77 thoughts on “Muted

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  • mary

    Details of the meetings of the meandering Fox and Werritty. 70! in total and that is just for the last 18 months. How about what went on in the previous years when Fox held Shadow posts?
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    Full list of meetings between Liam Fox and Adam Werritty
    The Defence Secretary and his friend met on a number of occasions – and we have the list from the MoD. See how many – and download the list for yourself

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/datablog/2011/oct/10/liam-fox-and-adam-werritty-links-liamfox
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    Indication is made as to whether Werritty was present or not.
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    A reminder of his career details since he entered Parliament in 1992.
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    Thereafter, he sought and won nomination for the English constituency of Woodspring and was successful in being elected MP for that constituency at the 1992 general election.
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    In government
    A little over a year after his election in 1992, Fox was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Home Secretary, Michael Howard, in June 1993. Thereafter, in July 1994, he was appointed an Assistant Government Whip. Following a limited government reshuffle in November 1995, he was appointed a Lord Commissioner of Her Majesty’s Treasury – a Senior Government Whip. He was Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from 1996 to 1997.
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    In 1996, he brokered an accord in Sri Lanka, called the Fox Peace Plan, between Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunge’s PA and the opposition UNP of Ranil Wickremesinghe, on a bipartisan approach for ending the ethnic war. However, little has happened since then to suggest that the various parties have acted in good faith in the interests of peace.
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    In opposition
    Shadow Cabinet
    In June 1997, Fox was appointed Opposition Front Bench Spokesman on Constitutional Affairs and joined the Shadow Cabinet in 1998 as the principal spokesman for Constitutional Affairs. Between 1999 and 2003 he was the Shadow Secretary of State for Health.
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    In November 2003, Fox was appointed campaign manager for Michael Howard following the no-confidence vote against the Conservative leader, Iain Duncan Smith. Fox was made co-chairman of the party by Michael Howard when he became party leader in November 2003. After the 2005 general election he was promoted within the Shadow Cabinet to become Shadow Foreign Secretary. On 7 December 2005 he was moved to Defence by new Leader of the Opposition David Cameron MP.

  • Duncan McFarlane

    I think being ill with more than one disease is a pretty good reason not to go – no-one’s going to blame you Craig.

    On Werrity, i’m more concerned that the British government is trying to promote more business with Sri Lanka in talks with a government that massacred prisoners of war and probably civilians too and buried their bodies in mass graves.

    The Prime Minister has also had his opponent in the last elections (the general who led the military campaign that included these massacres) jailed for being too soft on Tamils – or possibly just for standing against him in an election.

    Sri Lanka is not a democracy and is run by war criminals. Our government should not be offering them new trade deals.

  • Quelcrime

    the British government is trying to promote more business with Sri Lanka in talks with a government that massacred prisoners of war and probably civilians too and buried their bodies in mass graves.
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    It’ll be trade between equals then.
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    Sri Lanka…is run by war criminals.
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    So is the UK.
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    Our government should not be offering them new trade deals.
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    Why not?

  • Clark

    What “business”? They weren’t thinking of selling them a lot of weapons for a few years, so that they can then accuse them of human rights violations and then attack them, I hope. Still, if they do, it’ll be no good making a fuss, because us of the Liberal Left will then just be supporting Sri Lankan war criminals! Damn, I really must grow up.

  • angrysoba

    They weren’t thinking of selling them a lot of weapons for a few years, so that they can then accuse them of human rights violations and then attack them, I hope. Still, if they do, it’ll be no good making a fuss, because us of the Liberal Left will then just be supporting Sri Lankan war criminals!
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    Was the Sri Lankan government not guilty of human rights violations?

  • Quelcrime

    I think the Netherlands government has a fairly good record on internal human rights, though externally they take part in NATO aggression. Maybe Iceland? I’m not sure there’s anywhere else is there? I can’t think of anywhere off the top of my head. Little places are probably best, perhaps Liechtenstein?

    Seriously, if we’re not to trade with human rights violators, that takes the USA out of the picture right away, and China too.

  • me in us

    Hi Craig, did you see this? Republican candidate for president was asked a question about president of Uzbekistan:
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    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/10/10/1024764/-Herman-Cain-is-proud-to-be-ignorant-about-Uzbekistan
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    BRODY: Are you ready for the ‘gotcha’ questions that are coming from the media and others on foreign policy? Like, who’s the president of Uzbekistan?…
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    CAIN: I’m ready for the ‘gotcha’ questions and they’re already starting to come. And when they ask me who is the president of Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan I’m going to say, you know, I don’t know. Do you know?
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    And then I’m going to say how’s that going to create one job? […]
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    Knowing who is the head of some of these small insignificant states around the world — I don’t think that is something that is critical to focusing on national security and getting this economy going. When I get ready to go visit that country, I’ll know who it is. But until then, I want to focus on the big issues that we need to solve.

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    Cheers

  • Anon

    DLJ
    10th October 2011
    No one has really refuted the points I made. FACT.

    –oh but they have. not that it was necessary; you must have been aware that the points you were copying were bogus. one example, to send you on your way –
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    DLJ
    8th October 2011
    The only causes that attract their attention from the shelves are those in which western governments are complicit or perceived to be complicit….
    Familiarity breeds contempt and political activism today is not so much about values but about rebellion against the existing political order within which you live and are bitter and resentful towards.

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    Clark
    8th October 2011
    We in the West supposedly live in democratic countries. It is absolutely proper that our efforts are concentrated upon influencing our own governments to reform their disgusting foreign policies.

  • dlj

    Anon: Fair enough. That point by Clark is a good one. I think that Clark is one of the more reasonable commentators on this blog. But my overall argument is not bogus. It is pointing out a tendency, for example, to cite something like Press TV or its supporters without criticism. Also it is partially about generalities. If one always see attacks on USA, Israel, UK, NATO, etc and NEVER see any criticism of Russia, China, Syria, Hamas, Iran etc. then one can draw some conclusions about the injustices that matter to the people that make such attacks – i.e., they are those committed by your enemies and not by your friends. The Commentator piece is merely hinting that this is the case among large sections of the so-called left these days, and that there might be psychological explanation for this, rather than rational political explanations: a kind of permanent adolescence, resentment, feelings of exclusion and powerlessness, failure. These negatives traits can explain the lack of true moral judgement exhibited in someone who can criticise the BBC while citing people who work for the Iranian state.

    Take Craig Murray for example, who has not cited Press TV to my knowledge. Note that he turned his fire on his government only after he was sacked. I wouldn’t blame him for feelings of resentment and rejection but it is true that all the things the UK government do now, according to its critics, they were doing then.

  • Clark

    Angrysoba, quite right. From my comment, please strike “accuse them of” and replace with “make a big noise about”

  • Uzbek in the UK

    Dlj,
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    I would argue with your statement that Mr Murray turned his fire on the UK government only after he was sacked. He was sacked because he did not want to participate in wrongdoings of British government. Before you try to judge someone’s actions you better study case more accurately and then come up with your point. Of course no one could judge Mr Murray, but we all probably agree that if decided to cooperate with British government at that time, he would have certainly been better off now. He would have probably been promoted and trusted ambassadorship to some important country, having had all his expenses paid by taxpayers etc. But instead he has become an ‘eye opener’ to many illegal and very often immoral doings of British and some other governments.
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    Not sure about you but I certainly grateful to him for his choice and his actions.

  • Clark

    DLJ, I think the effect you are seeing could be caused by propaganda. We live in a news environment that presents the actions of Western countries as good and acceptable. Yes, we have all these wars, but there is always a very good reason presented, there is always some necessity. If the presented “necessity” is subsequently shown to be false, or indeed fabricated, our media can be relied upon to present our war as a mistake.*
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    The trouble is, this is pervasive and ongoing. Yes, other countries do bad things, but us immature lefties are not being lied to about those. Lies make people angry; they cause people to accept things that they would have rejected, so people’s anger is partly stimulated by their own feelings of guilt. Also, the dishonesty is ongoing, so when someone sees through it, they find themselves outside the consensus, feeling isolated. You wrote, “a kind of permanent adolescence, resentment, feelings of exclusion and powerlessness, failure”. Yes, I agree, that is about right.
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    “The Commentator piece is merely hinting that this is the case among large sections of the so-called left these days…” – no, I disagree strongly. That Commentator piece, like all the others on that site, is trying to smear and discredit all opposition to UK/US/Israeli imperialism and expansionism.
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    * – To see many examples of this clearly illustrated, subscribe to the Media Lens mailing list at:
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    http://www.medialens.org/index.php

  • Clark

    DLJ, the article that you quoted from (you didn’t cite it), I found particularly insidious; I’ve only just realised why. “The politically active classes today, led by the liberal-left, take their shopping trolleys and enter the supermarket of political causes. The only causes that attract their attention from the shelves…”
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    So the “politically active classes” are mere consumers, in contrast, presumably to the article’s author (“an expert on counter-extremism”) and his enlightened readers – ie the NON politically active.
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    So, one can consume the products of the media, and The Commentator will not criticise. But if you start criticising your own country and media, well, Ghaffar Hussain of Quilliam is here to point out that you are still just a passive consumer, that you choose from the selection that his (entirely unbiased) media produces for you, and your unwise selection demonstrates your adolescent mindset. Message: “Go back to sleep or face ridicule”.
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    That article made me really cross.

  • DLJ

    True, Mr Murray did turn his fire on the government before he was sacked. That was the cause of his being sacked, you, Uzbek, are right. But, on the other hand, I do find a certain bitterness displayed. It is hard, if not impossible to speculate about motivations, but I think that the desire to strike back against one’s own government and state, the alliances they are involved in, and their actions, can lead you to side with the enemies of that state, who have their own motivations. This has happened to large sections of the left in recent years. Just as in years gone by, the left looked to communism as an alternative, a gross miscalculation. I merely point out that one should not run joyfully into the arms of Press TV or Russia Today, out of feelings of injustice, a need to take revenge.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    DLJ,
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    When you are put before choice on whether to cooperate with the government on complicity on torture or keep your mouth shut when you see that the same government that sends thousands of soldiers to remove one dictator at the same time is having ‘cocktail style relationship’ with another and by far more brutal dictator then it is NOT about right or left IT IS about right or wrong (this is my point of view). If a government (British, US or any other) is doing wrong things then it is up to right (good, trustworthy) people to at least point out to these wrongdoings. Otherwise what makes us (free nations of the west) different from those whose life is under constant supervision of Big Brother?
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    Following your logic that was also expressed by fathers of Russian Revolution in words ‘who is not with us is against us’ we only are reliable citizens if we keep out mouth shut and keep ignoring whatever wrongdoings of our government in the sake of not being sided with enemies. This login is in my opinion not only immoral but also is dangerous as it opens up very clear and unchallenged way to a dictatorship and tyranny.

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