Unfortunately my plans for a weekend of drinking and watching golf were foiled on Friday by a really acute attack of illness, which by 3am Sunday morning had become quite alarming. Happily I feel a good bit stronger now. I did watch the golf all day yesterday, but I felt so unwell that when I awoke this morning I could not recollect any of it.
I am much cheered to learn that Sheikh Raed Saleh was released from jail on Friday. It is quite incredible that he could be imprisoned on the word of the Home Secretary – as grubby third rate politician – for his political opinions, but without clearly definable cause, and after he had already given on this visit a couple of public speeches in which he had said not one word which anyone claimed as constituting an offence.
Both the UK and US governments encouraged the Greeks to prevent the Gaza peace convoy from sailing. This from the invaluable Mary, who should take over writing this blog:
Anas Sarwar (Glasgow Central, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Greek Government on the Gaza Aid flotilla.
Hansard source (Citation: HC Deb, 13 July 2011, c385W)
David Lidington (Minister of State (Europe and NATO), Foreign and Commonwealth Office; Aylesbury, Conservative)
Officials from our embassy in Athens have discussed the matter of the Gaza flotilla with the Greek authorities and have relayed to them the United Kingdom’s position on this. Our travel advice for Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories gives clear guidance against any attempt to enter Gaza by sea. We continue to advise against participating in flotillas or overland convoys to Gaza because of the risks involved.
So between Saleh and that, it seems any attempt to support Palestine is simply to be blocked by the force of the state. What astonishes me is that so few people seem to care about this growing fascism.
When you have a fever, thoughts run though your head insistently, in a different pattern of thinking to the normal. Anyone know why this is? While I was ill this morning, I kept remembering one incident. When I stood as an independent anti-war candidate against Jack Straw in Blackburn, the large body of New Labour supporters inside the count booed and jeered me like a football crowd when my result was read out. The BNP candidate – who had been booed a little – turned to me in some astonishment and said “They hate you more than they hate me.”
I did record that in Murder in Samarkand, but had only ever thought of it as an amusing incident. While I was sweating last night, it kept hammering at my brain as important. Now I feel a bit better, it still seems important.