Question of the Day

by craig on February 24, 2012 7:23 am in Uncategorized

Why is self-determination an inalienable right for the people of the Falklands, but a gross example of Iranian meddling for the people of Bahrain?

Answers on a postcard please with a twenty pound note and framed photo of William Hague to Wars’R’Us, Oil and Armaments Ltd, House of Lords.

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320 Comments

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  1. because nuclear programme shariah law gay rights ayatollah wipe israel off the map something something

  2. Not to mention not being on offer to Chagossians.

  3. Both Bahrain and the Falklands are of increasing strategic and economic importance. Bahrain has oil, the Falklands may have oil.

    In Bahrain crushing the democratic rights of the population serves our interests, in the Falklands supporting the same rights, serves our interests.

    We have inalienable interests, and that’s all that really matters. That, under differing contexts, and conditions, they are pursued in wildly contradictory ways, bordering on the grotesquely hypocritical and criminally cynical, is of secondary importance.

  4. Writerman: I suppose you could say, with Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), in his 1841 essay on “Self-Reliance”, that:

    .

    “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words, and tomorrow speak what tomorrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day. ‘Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood.’ Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.”

    .

    So, that’s all right then. Some people once thought that Tony Blair was a pure and wise spirit. Thank goodness that they were not prevented by a foolish consistency from changing their minds.

  5. writerman

    How very well put!

  6. I thought this little piece from the Global research site, might function as an antidote, or another, ‘sober’ perspective, at the least, on the fiendishly complex situation in Syria.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=29461

  7. The Falklands are the last vestige of British imperialism – what really got started during the Napoleonic Wars, and its investiture there.

    Keeping it is just an anti-French gesture in the name of self-determination, and democracy is a fraud for anyone who follows its pathetic results.

    Wars, what the fatcats want, and the bureaucrats dream of always take precedence over the alleged results of any election process.

    The West should get over it, as even the Greeks learned long ago.

    P. s. Would send this long as I do have a £20 note, but won’t give up by authographed photo of wee Willie, as it is the only one I have.

  8. Skipjack : you are either naive or do not read serious blogs and press. Every Islamic country (including Egypt, and others) have their constitution based on Sharia law, but Iran laws in many aspects are much more democratic than many of the others (UAE, Saudi, Qatar,etc).. Re Iran government (which btw I despise) threatening to wipe out Israel, well I leave that for you to go and research, Wetern media have a habit of misquoting Ahmadi Nejad. Re Nuclear Weapon, let Israel get rid of theirs first! have you heard “what is good for goose is good…”

    Writeman: Bahrain does not have oil (very little), but Bahrain has been supporting USA Naval activities since 1947 (before it even became indepenant of Iran), that is why MSM are more or less deaf and dumb when it comes to daily demonstration and Khalifa’s government atrocities. Majority of Bahrainis are Iranian (not Arab origin) and Shiaa. Bahrain became fully independant in 1971. the puppet Shah of Iran, like a good little puppy listened to what his masters told him and raised no objection. Had there been a fair, proper referundum, I doubt Bahraini of 1971 would vote to be separated and independant from Iran.

  9. Satire is dead. Some award winners of the incestuous Royal Television Society.

    .
    News Coverage – International
    Libya, Sky News
    .
    “At the heart of the winning entry was a series of reports that called for extraordinary bravery, endurance and outstanding judgment, not to mention some brilliant achievements in just getting to the right places at the crucial moment. The judges praised the powerful journalism by a team of correspondents, camera crews and producers, reporting from the front line of a brutal civil war.”
    .

    News Programme of the Year

    Newsnight, BBC Two
    .

    “The judges felt the winner stood out as the main forum for the live studio encounters of the year. Together with some edgy exposés and analysis from first-rate specialists, it made them the “must-watch” news programme.”
    .
    Television Journalist of the Year

    Alex Crawford, Sky News
    .
    “The judges recognised the extraordinary achievement of not only Alex Crawford but also her team in getting unique access to the frontline in Libya – in particular capturing the first proof that Ghaddafi was attacking his own people. It was brave, vivid conflict reporting of the highest order: compelling viewing on a story of major importance.”
    .

    http://www.rts.org.uk/rts-television-journalism-awards-2010-2011

  10. I like to tell myself Craig that one day when humanity has suffered enough a great majority will stand up and refuse to allow all of this to continue any further, but when I look at history with even my limited knowledge of it I see through the endless cycle of power, greed and billions of deaths and suffering that if that were true then it would have happened long before now.
    .
    I am not religious or part of any cult organisation, but due to a very strange conversation I had with a 4 year old some years ago where he described in very sincere and rather great detail that he should not have possessed the story of “When he was a grown man like me and a soldier”, I am pretty much convinced that we live more than one life, infact I think we live quite a few.
    .
    I have come to believe that what we really are is energy, the physical body little more than a container from within which we experience lifetime after lifetime in what I think is nothing more than a process of aversion therapy and the transition from childhood to adulthood. The earth is a Kindergarten my friend, a huge playground for the demented child kings of energy to play out their childish greed, cruelty, self interest/obsession and throw their silly little tantrums whilst segregated from the great collective consciousness, where they can do no real harm to the universe and replay over and over those same childish mistakes until they are so sick of the repercussions of it that the folly of it all finally dawns on them and they no longer replay it at all.
    .

    In the end this insanity on earth will not be stopped, too many young souls driven by power, greed and possession, the endless cycle of learning that in reality all of those things are counter productive and we never truly possess anything, we just covet things for a brief moment in time like little children who see an ice cream in the hand of another and want not only that, but as much ice cream as we can lay our hands on,,,, we want it all with such obsession that we never truly appreciate or value anything we have because we are far too busy coveting that which we have not to see that which we have. lol
    .
    I am not saying that trying to change things is futile, far from it actually, it`s an important part of the transition from childhood to adulthood, it`s the very important stage of adolescence where we have become no longer the self obsessed child and have begun to see there are things that matter far more than just what we want in this world. It`s a painful but very necessary point in out ultimate development, the point where we have begun to understand that everything we do has an effect on others and we are no longer comfortable piling up the ice cream because we realise that in doing so others will never have any ice cream at all. The road to empathy is a very arduous road indeed lol.
    .
    There is a short passage in Erasmus`s work “In Praise Of Folly” which I suspect alludes to it all, though as is everything that is open to interpretation, it can be taken many ways,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,’If a person were to try stripping the disguises from actors while they play a scene upon stage, showing to the audience their real looks and the faces they were born with, would not such a one spoil the whole play ? And would not the spectators think he deserved to be driven out of the theatre with brickbats, as a drunken disturber ?… Now what else is the whole life of mortals but a sort of comedy, in which the various actors, disguised by various costumes and masks, walk on and play each one his part, until the manager waves them off the stage ? Moreover, this manager frequently bids the same actor to go back in a different costume, so that he who has but lately played the king in scarlet now acts the flunkey in patched clothes. Thus all things are presented by shadows.’
    .
    There will always be another war, another sad little twisted Bush or Blair that wants all the ice cream and sets off with childish ignorance to get it all. But pity them Craig, at their stage of development they are going to have to come back and swim in this shit for far longer than you and though the manager may have given them the kings robes of scarlet in this life, they will be wearing the patched clothes on many occasions too. lol
    .

  11. The problem with all our great aspiration and fine protestations of human rights is this. We are actually a bunch of apes who have vastly outgrown the environment in which we evolved to survive. Many people reject such a description emotionally, lashing out in the belief that there is a vast gulf between homo sapiens and the gorilla, chimp, bonobo, or orang utan. Superficially, yes: we wear clothes and jewellery, drive cars, fly planes, sit in important meetings, learn poetry, walk (some of us) on the Moon. And we aren’t obviously so hairy, we have lost the strength and agility that allows apes to swing so gracefully through the trees, we have gained speech and writing and “civilisation”.

    All true, but don’t forget this: inside every human brain lie the instincts of an ape. Apart from orang utans, apes are social beings, but their society is markedly different from our ideals. (Although strangely similar to our actual practice). Each band requires a leader, and falls into disorder and decline if it lacks one. At times of crisis, what we all yearn for deep down inside is a strong, powerful, decisive boss – “a man on a horse”. All apes have strong pecking orders within their bands, and we need that too. That is why people are forever “judging” one another and struggling for relative position in the eyes of their community.

    One of the strongest instincts of a group of chimps, for instance, is to defend their own territory and (if possible) take that of other, weaker, bands. They define themselves by not being the “other”; they pride themselves on vanquishing the other.

    Good luck building any society that doesn’t take these facts into account.

  12. Hotting up in Afghanistan.
    .
    Two U.S. troops are shot dead by Afghan ‘ally’ as Obama expresses his ‘deep regret’ to Afghan President for Koran burning by American soldiers
    Two U.S. troops killed by Afghan soldier after Taliban calls to arms
    Violence expected to flare across the country after Friday prayers
    .
    Racist ‘black dog Obama’ effigy burned in the streets amid anti U.S. protests
    .
    Obama sends letter to Afghanistan apologising for Koran burning
    Eleven people dead and dozens more injured as thousands vent fury
    Troops torched copies of the Koran scrawled with ‘extremist’ messages in a ‘burn pit’
    .
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2104801/Afghanistan-Koran-burning-protests-Effigy-Black-Dog-Obama-set-alight.html

  13. Self-determination in Bahrain is BOTH and inalienable human right and an excuse for cynical self-interested outside interference. What’s new? Did the USSR support universal suffrage and fair elections, for South Africa? Did Louis XVI support “no taxation without representation,” for British North America?

  14. Maybe we should ask the former Diego Garcians, “Why is self-determination an inalienable right for the people of the Falklands, but a gross example of Iranian meddling for the people of Bahrain?”.

  15. It’s difficult to work out when we’ll reach peak hypocrisy but my guess would be that it will be during the revolution in Saudi Arabia, whenever that eventually happens. Russia and China will propose a no-fly zone which the US and Britain will veto resulting in the spilling of 10 000 barrels of irony a day.

  16. Read quite a funny articel about how Argentina was approaching Alex Salmond.
    In a paragraph at the bottom it stated that Scotland was claiming the Falkland Islands as their own because they were discovered by a Scot and subsequently settled by Scots. Most of the present day population are descendents thereof.
    Wouldn’t it be funny if the Falkland Islanders inalienable right to self determination allied themselves with Alex Salmond and they became independent of England ? Wonder how Cameron would react.There’s no disputing that Falkland is a Scottish name.

  17. Writerman: In Bahrain crushing the democratic rights of the population serves our interests, in the Falklands supporting the same rights, serves our interests.

    .
    I think you’re right which is why the Falklands should be defended and Bahrain should be left to do what comes naturally. Of course, it is important to make sure that the Bahrainis want to be invaded by Iran, which is what seems to be assumed in Craig Murray’s post. If they do then I am more than happy to see it happen. If not then it is a false analogy.

  18. Keith Robinson

    24 Feb, 2012 - 11:28 am

    The best put down I have heard in years was when Robert Fisk of the Independent was being interviewed on the crisis in Syria.
    He said “William Hague, who spends most of his time impersonating himself”
    Don’t know how origianl it was, but it deserves a mention.

  19. Just found this video clip, completely consistent with the man’s views which nontheless I thought worth posting here just because it conflicts wildly with one charge made against him. For those who are impatient you may skip ahead to 2:20.
    .
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=QuCyjqUZhzA&NR=1

  20. Watch your backs ISAF aka the coalition of the willing. Helicopter on the roof time?
    .
    24 February 2012 Last updated at 12:49
    Two dead as Afghan Koran protests rage for fourth day
    Several protests across north and east Afghanistan turned violent on Thursday
    .
    Afghanistan War – 10 years
    Nato’s tipping point?
    Why Taliban are so strong
    Graphic: How have Afghan lives changed?
    Everyday Afghanistan – six ordinary voices
    .
    Two people have been killed in the Afghan city of Herat as protests continue for a fourth consecutive day over the burning of Korans by American troops at a US air base.
    .
    Gunfire broke out near the US consulate in the city, a security official said.
    .
    Crowds are heading towards the centre of Kabul and protests are taking place in several other Afghan cities.
    .
    /..
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-17152705

  21. Angrysoba

    I don’t suggest the Bahrainis want to be invaded by Bahrain. I suggest they did not want to be invaded by Saudi Arabia, and wanted to choose their own government.

  22. DonnyDarko – I’d be very surprised if the Falklanders chose to ditch the military and diplomatic support of South Britain to throw their lot in with the sparsely populated North Britain.

    Apparently there have been intermittent proposals to make Turks & Caicos a province of Canada, – that one might make more sense as Ottawa is significantly closer than London. Swapping London for Edinburgh wouldn’t make a lot of sense, though.

    In terms of dealing with small islands with oil reserves, the Scots might have more on their plate with the Shetlands than with a Falklands (oil) pipe dream. Indigenous Shetlanders aren’t really Scottish so if Scotland went independent they might well take the view “why not us too”.

  23. A important link Writerman – Thank-you – Sharmine’s email has immense factual strength of reasoning and I particularly liked this paragraph;
    .
    ‘The problem with foreign policy, particularly in the Middle East, is ultimately about the kinds of people making the decisions – ideologues with clear agendas: against Iran and for Israel; against the Syrian “dictator” but in favor of the Saudi, Bahraini, Yemeni, Qatari ones; against Iranian nuclear capability, defending 200 nukes in Israel; abusing UN veto power (80+ times), deriding others for exercising a veto (Russia, China), and so on and so forth.’
    .
    Sharmine Narwani is a smart lady, a political analyst with narrative clout and insight that cuts through propaganda hasbara like a sharp knife without the usual ad hominem attacks. In 2006 she agreed that ‘the War on Terror fails to distinguish between real terrorists and “legitimate resistance movements.” She points out that two of America’s major allies (Egypt and Saudi Arabia) are anything but free, and are in fact very tyrannical. She says, “..the wars that the United States and it’s allies have fought to help Muslims have in many cases brought more harm than good.”
    .
    Her new blog is here:
    .
    http://english.al-akhbar.com/blogs/sandbox/veteran-us-diplomat-questions-syria-storyline
    .
    She asked to be forgiven for this rather poignant but passionate nuance:
    .
    “But, the current Jordanian establishment, like many other Arab and Muslim elitists, is so far up the collective US, Israeli and Saudi arse, it would take major surgery to find it, let alone free it.”

  24. It’s obvious. The Falklanders are British. The other ones are Arabs. How can you equate the two?

  25. Are the Friends of Syria the same as the Friends of Israel?
    .
    Syria unrest: Opposition seeks arms pledge
    The humanitarian situation in Homs is reported to be worsening every day (photo)
    .
    Syria Crisis
    Syrians flee
    Tribute to Colvin
    Guide to opposition
    Civil war?
    .

    The main Syrian opposition group has asked for rebel fighters to be allowed to import weapons.
    .
    The plea came at a major international “Friends of Syria” conference being held in Tunisia to seek a breakthrough in the increasingly bitter conflict.
    .
    A declaration is expected later, calling on Syrian forces to declare a ceasefire and allow humanitarian access to the worst-hit areas.
    .
    Syrian state TV said the conference was a meeting of “symbols of colonialism”.
    ,.
    Those attending, it said, were “historic enemies of the Arabs”.
    /
    /..http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17144805

  26. Self-determination does not apply to lesser peoples. Only civilised Westerners.

    Incidentally, the Argentine approach is the clever one. Increase the diplomatic pressure and financial burden on the UK who are already spending $130 million per annum maintaining 1300 soldiers in the Falklands ($100,000 per per soldier per annum – real value for money!). That will become increasingly hard to justify as schools shut down and hospitals cut services in the UK.

  27. Michael Stephenson

    24 Feb, 2012 - 3:42 pm

    In the mentions and non-mentions thread Craig posted:

    “Annie
    We are working very closely together, don’t worry. On fact the next revelation will be in the Eye this Friday. I know what it is but my lips are sealed till then!”

    Which was odd because the Eye is published fortnightly and the next release would not be that week, so anyway the new one is out now, and there is no mention of Werritty (Except in the Letters section where someone points out that Universal Exports is cover name the name used in the Bond novels)
    What gives? Are the eye going to publish the new information or not? If not what is preventing you from publishing?

  28. Michael,

    What prevents me is simply that I am in Ghana and haven’t had a chance to talk to them about it. I don’t know why they didn,t run it yet.

  29. Michael Stephenson

    24 Feb, 2012 - 3:58 pm

    That’s disappointing that they didn’t run it. Was it something that could have had potential libel issues?

  30. Bahrain is the home for the US fifth fleet, obviously no need to invade the place or bomb the place into democracy. However because the pesky Bahrainis have bought into the cock and bull story of “democracy, freedom, self determination” lark, there is a need to put these jumped up villains/rioters/militia/illegal demonstrators/terrorists in their place; killing a few hundreds, maiming a few thousands, jailing a bunch. As well as copious applications of the the usual general coercion and harassment campaigns that Saudi do best, all out, in the open, can be a bit of bad mark for the dictator of Bahrain who is our very own hand picked dictator and does not dictate anything that we don’t tell him.
    ,
    Blame the Iranians, and the problem is solved, in fact I hear that Argentinians had been talking to Iranians before deciding to start the Malvinas lark again. However, as we all know the two hundred Bennies in Falklands are indeed in need of “freedom and democracy” from the mullahs in Iran. Ergo problems solved. The short answer: Save the Bennies, kill the Arabs and blame the Persians for all the mishaps.
    ,
    Where do I apply to get me fiver?
    ,
    ,
    PS even with so much loot stolen from various vanquished nations, the bunch of pratts running the show still have fucked up their economies so bad to the extent of the current deep shit they are to be found. How can these incompetent bastards get away with mass murder is beyond logic?

  31. For that matter, why is self determination an inalienable right for the people of the Falkland islands, while we Brits are deemed not competent to choose for ourselves whether we want the EUSSR to absorb and govern us. Politicians are a breed that make it up as they go along according what suits them best. Treason’s’us.

  32. Red card or No Red Card-question of the day

    24 Feb, 2012 - 7:39 pm

  33. “That will become increasingly hard to justify as schools shut down and hospitals cut services in the UK.”
    .
    Err – they don’t need to justify anything. Everyone who votes will be voting for them (Lib/Lab/Con) at the next general election, just as they did at the last, just as they will at the next after that, and after that and after that. They have a permanent electoral mandate. Kings were legitimised by religion, democratic governments are legitimised by the same ignorance. They have no more validity than voodoo.
    .
    Darwin’s natural selection doesn’t mean that we shall ascend, discarding our weaker traits, evolving and strengthening. Most species that appeared have already disappeared. We’re like to join them.

  34. A4E Give it a few years and we will be reading the same sort of thing about the ‘health’ outfits.
    .

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/feb/24/emma-harrison-quits-chairman-a4e
    .
    Will Harrison be refunding any of the £180m she has extracted from the HMG? Is Cameron’s face even more red? Probably not.

  35. I was wrong. A4E’s take is £234m.
    .
    …a firm whose £234m turnover depends entirely on government contracts and yet repeatedly fails to meet its targets.
    .
    http://www.private-eye.co.uk/sections.php?section_link=in_the_back&

  36. Craig. Humans have an inalienable right to worship their sole Creator on His Own. That’s their fitra, their birth-right and internal programming. Shi’a place the blood descendants of our prophet SAW, over those who adhere to the religion in its rules of Justice and how to treat other human beings. They worship saints in their graves instead of the Living God.
    .
    Saudi Salafism has completely failed to deliver the justice of Islam, but it tries to deliver the inalienable right of Tawheed, monotheism.
    .
    Sheep on the other hand have an inalienable right to eat grass, whether they are in a paddock in Kent or in the Falkland Islands. I wouldn’t send a battleship to fight over the ownership of the grass or the oil.
    .
    Similarly until and unless the regime in Saudi Arabia protects the central core of Justice in the religion of Islam, I wouldn’t join its mercenaries in Syria to fight over the ownership of that country. Without reform they will just be replacing one form of dictatorship with another. Shi’a shirk or Al Qaida Stupidism. Maybe the names on the arms/oil contracts will change.

  37. bonifacegoncourt

    25 Feb, 2012 - 1:53 am

    Despite my leftist instincts, I’m for the Bennies. They are not depriving any Argentine of his dinner. I had to spend a lot of time in Argentina in the 1970s. They are pretty nuts. At that time, they were claiming the S Pole was Argentinian, since an air force wife had given birth to a son on an Antarctic base. Argentinian blood had sanctified the national territory! Real Blut und Boden Nazi stuff. Trouble is, the Args have a huge chip on the shoulder. They imagine themselves a world power but have used their army only to slaughter their own natives. Their
    neighbours laugh at their pretensions of being an outpost of white European culture, while they sneer at their ‘mestizo’ neighbours, and resent it when the Americans dismiss them as another bunch of greasers. The problem with the Falklands is that it is not a real, cohesive place. There is no ‘there’ there. The island of Mauritius at 2,000km2 has a population of 1.2 million, while the Falklands, at 12,000km2, have a permanent population of less than 2,000. Unlike, say, the Bahamas,there is no nationhood or identity, suitable for statehood. They have built no roads or towns. The place is the size of East Anglia, yet apart from Stanley, a sort of Butlin’s holiday camp, there is nobody there. The UK will inevitably revert to indifference. However the Args are terrified of the
    efficient Chileans and back off from any dispute. Therefore the best future for the islands would be as an extra province of Chile, next to Magallanes…..Tierra de los Bennios!

  38. bonifacegoncourt

    25 Feb, 2012 - 2:03 am

    A propos, how come the Benny population is so low after 160 years? There should be loads of them. Don’t they breed? Where do they put the children? It all seems a bit ‘Village of the Damned’….

  39. Oilbaron McJock of the Isles

    25 Feb, 2012 - 2:30 am

    Sandman, only in the fantasies of the Unionist Labour, Tory and Liberal Democratic parties which delusions you presumably share; your point about the Shetland Islands is straight out of the McCrone report, which infamous paper tries, as you do to foment differences where none exist between mainland Scotland and the Islands Of Orkney and Shetland. I’ve no doubt these approaches from the Falkland Islanders are another red-herring and their instigation probably stems from Whitehall Machiavellianism rather than Falkland Island sentiment.

    Having around 8 percent of the UK population Scotland can expect around 8 percent of the Falkland Islands as with all other joint possessions, to dispose of in due course as they will. England, outside of the city of London has nothing in common with the elitist cabal of politicians and fatcats within, there’s a far stronger argument there for separation, infact these crooks have already set themselves apart from everyone else and in truth do not belong and England would be better without the capital lording it over them as no doubt would everyone else here and around the world.

    I am of course sympathetic to the plight of England and Wales, left all on their own, subjected exclusively to the torments of the tyrants of Westminster and Whitehall after Scotland has broken free; by then most of the UK’s foreign buccaneering will also be at an end as the US partner in crime implodes into very uncivil well-armed fratricide, roughly half-an-hour after they run out of motor fuels for civilian use. Westminster will then turn on their remaining English and Welsh captives, their first and ultimately also last victims, and only outlet, with a vengeance and with impotent and terrible rage.

  40. bonifacegoncourt

    25 Feb, 2012 - 2:41 am

    Furthermore, what about the fool Tappin, now languishing in a hellhole in El Paso? No UK government [‘Better live on your knees than die on your feet’] can be anything but abject towards Amerika, but had this Brit no wit? He’s 65 FFS! Rather than dying in an Amerikan jail, he had plenty of time to sell up and disappear to Dublin, or Paris, or the Costa del Crime. Presumably not short of money, he could then plan a sunny non-extraditable retirement in Malaysia, Venezuela, Brazil…etc…
    A genuine passport from Belize, Jamaica, or Montenegro is available at reasonable cost. FFS what was wrong with him? It is a genuine question. Anybody sane would be on their toes.
    Even Belgium wouldn’t extradite him.

  41. Bonifacegoncourt: at 1.53 am on 25 Feb you wrote:

    .

    “The problem with the Falklands is that it is not a real, cohesive place. There is no ‘there’ there. The island of Mauritius at 2,000km2 has a population of 1.2 million, while the Falklands, at 12,000km2, have a permanent population of less than 2,000. Unlike, say, the Bahamas,there is no nationhood or identity, suitable for statehood. They have built no roads or towns. The place is the size of East Anglia, yet apart from Stanley, a sort of Butlin’s holiday camp, there is nobody there.”

    .

    Having visited the Falklands and having friends there who perfectly rationally and emotionally regard “there” as their home, I find it hard to know which of your strange points to deal with first. Some people will tell you that most of the 700 or so islands in the Falklands archipelago are “uninhabited”. That’s only true if only humans count as inhabitants.
    .
    Nor do I see why density of human population should be regarded as making a place more real or cohesive. Mauritius, where I also have friends, is regarded by many of them as considerably lacking in cohesion – those descended from indentured labourers from India, from Chinese emigrants, from colonial French stock – as well as Chagossians dumped by HMG on the quayside of Port Louis (go and see “A Few Man Fridays” at the Riverside Studios, Hammersmith before 10 March; and listen to the Radio 4 “Midweek” interview on 22 Feb with a Chagossian exile and the author of the play): these people often get on badly with each other. And ask those in Rodrigues how much they appreciate the cohesiveness of rule from Port Louis.

    .
    If the Falklands had as large a population as Mauritius there would be considerable environmental degradation; and if Mauritius had the population of the Falklands it would be a far pleasanter place in which to live – and, as well as humans, there would be extensive endemic fauna and flora, perhaps including the Dodo.

    .

    Why not deal with the world as it is rather than pretend that places don’t exist and that large human populations make places more real? And talk to the Tierra del Fuegians – if you can find any – about the benefits of colonization by Europeans and Argentines of European origin.

    .

    PS The food in the Falklands is as far away from Butlin’s bangers and mash as the islands are from Billy’s beach chalets. Indeed, it is almost as good as the best restaurants in Mauritius.

  42. OT, but on the subject of yesterday’s Extradition of the 65 yr old British Chap who allegedly exported batteries to Iran.

    A BBC reporter called ‘Andrew’ has just said on their breakfast program ( 7:23am ) “he had no idea these batteries were to be used in a nuclear missile”

    ‘nuclear’ !!!!!!!! – Deliberate propaganda. sigh.

  43. Oilbaron McJock of the Isles

    25 Feb, 2012 - 7:55 am

    I read they hadn’t had fresh eggs or salad vegetables in the Falklands for almost two years prior to the future King Billy’s impending arrival there, and that a South American trading boycott of the islands has bitten hard. Not being familiar with the restaurants of Mauritius, I can’t comment on the lack of choice or nutrition there or the merits of the different methods of rendering mutton almost palatable. I can hardly believe its far flung parts being some sort of unspoilt nature reserve is a justification for the continued burden, and sheep I doubt were indigenous to the Falklands. Strange how we’re left with all the cold wet and windy places post-empire, yet gave away jewels such as Palestine at a bankers whim. As Europeans, we’re not known for our philanthropy or over-burdened by concern for the natural world or its diversity, preferring it hunted, shot skinned, under a glass slide or stuffed and mounted, humans included, else herds of buffalo would still roam North America.

  44. Oilbaron McJock Of The Isles [which isles would these be then?]: I can assure you that the food is excellent, especially the seafood and Roast Upland Goose. For a taster, go to http://www.falklandislands.com/contents/view/58 .

    .

    Don’t be so dismissive of “wet and windy places”:

    .
    This darksome burn, horseback brown,
    His rollrock highroad roaring down,
    In coop and in comb the fleece of his foam
    Flutes and low to the lake falls home.
    .
    A windpuff-bonnet of fáwn-fróth
    Turns and twindles over the broth
    Of a pool so pitchblack, féll-frówning,
    It rounds and rounds Despair to drowning.
    .
    Degged with dew, dappled with dew
    Are the groins of the braes that the brook treads through,
    Wiry heathpacks, flitches of fern,
    And the beadbonny ash that sits over the burn.
    .
    What would the world be, once bereft
    Of wet and of wildness ? Let them be left,
    O let them be left, wildness and wet ;
    Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.
    .
    Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889) “Inversnaid”

    .

    Most humans – and not just Europeans, though they indulged in species-cleansing with the greater efficiency of their firearms (cf big game hunters like the Duke of Edinburgh) – have wrought havoc on the natural world. However, attitudes are changing. The Falkland Islanders have an excellent record – far better than the UK – in conservation, human rights and non-aggression.

  45. Thanks Iain. I like the alliteration there and the imagery.
    Not bad for such a wee chap, only 5’2″. And such a short life sadly.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerard_Manley_Hopkins

  46. DownWithThisSortOfThing

    25 Feb, 2012 - 9:50 am

    I read they hadn’t had fresh eggs or salad vegetables in the Falklands for almost two years
    .
    The Falklanders are being denied egg and cress sandwiches. The UK government’s response of sending nuclear powered and armed forces is well considered, balanced and justified.
    .
    It is another fine judgment by closet homosexual and alleged Foreign Secretary William Hague. The British people can be proud to have this man representing them on the world stage.

  47. Guano, I was brought up as a Shia, although, and as I grew up, I found out for myself that Sunni is most likely to be the true path of those who are Muslim, I am not practicing either and prefer to follow path of humanity, but I can assure you, Shiaa Do not worship anyone but Allah, and believe he is the only one and do not see anyone else as his equal. Yes there is lot nonsense there, 1400 years later they still mourn the grandson of the prophet, but there is a clear line drawn between Allah and his prophet or descendants of him. There are times I believe that theocracy in both spread this nonsense for power.

  48. Just had to leave this reply to Simon Tisdalls article, though I do not expect the Goniad to let is sully their pristine hasbara forum.
    .
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/feb/24/iran-war-buildup-iraq

    Fact Persia/Iran has never attacked another nation for 2500 years, although it had to defend itself against aggressors from outside and it did.
    .
    “The regime in Iran is extraordinarily unpopular and corrupt. It is a vile, vile government.” dualismn wrote.
    .
    Poppycock propaganda
    .
    Ahmadinedjad was re-elected, despite the 400 million/annum spend on undermining his regime since 2004 and I do not agree that his regime is more vile than that of the Shah. It was the Shah who left Bahrains shia’s to suffer under its sunni rulers, not khomeni.
    .
    Vile practises in Iran will be tackled by its people, society is far more modern than that of any other Arab enforced regimes and the electoral process is also better than anything Saudi can come up with.
    .
    What is vile is thst the same leviathan politicians who had no regards for Iraq’s future when they attacked Baghdad, are using the same lame excuses to wind up and provoke Iran/Persia into a response.
    .
    Whilst we have no problems seeing the Falklands as ours, Bahrain, inhabited largely by Iranian shia’s, was part of Iran until 1951, did we hear any claims made by Irans so called regime?
    .
    Iran is being bullied into a war by a small group of vested interests and neocon war mongers, so fret you not, we are proposing nothing more than violence and death for amny more civilians and those who crow for the use of nuclear weapons on Iran are clearly mad or psychopathic, because they are proposing to pollute and contaminate third parties with isotope they have no conmtrol over, criminal would be another word for it.
    .
    The UK/US and its western vasall NATO are now the tools for oppression, like mafiosis who rather shoot than pay the full price for others resources, we are now judge juror and executioners, just to get our way. It is despicable that our newspapers are part of this agenda, as is the BBC.
    .
    Finally, this continuous baying for more violence against Arabs who are able to hold their own in the ME, will work against our long term aims and objectives, it will sour relations with Muslim/Arab countries for decades, if ever reparable, not a good example to set for our children, we are increasing our own unsustainable lifestyles at their peril making their future life’s hell on earth.
    .
    We must never forget that Persia has never attacked another nation, it is one of the oldest civilisations on earth, its ancient breadbasket and bringer of poetry, matmatics. Persia’s constitution safeguards minorities rights, for hundreds of years, when the buffaloes still roamed the American plains and its indigenous Indian populations was able to live sustainably.

  49. Actually I should mention that my son (who is a practicing Sunni), has studied both (in original text in Arabic), also confirms that there is nothing in any of the these books to demonstrate what many are claiming. Shiaa religion was invented to divide the Muslims of the world and it has achieved its goal!

  50. Top story in the New York Times:
    ‘U.S. Agencies See No Move by Iran to Build a Bomb’ tinyurl.com/74k9t2r

  51. Azra
    would it not be a good idea to practise?
    Thanks for your clear explanation of Shi’a belief.
    Can you tell me what distinguishes the Alawi sect from others please?

  52. O/T GB February 2012
    Loan sharks. Payday loans threats and intimidation
    When her account was eventually passed on to debt collectors, her original £100 loan had spiralled to £750. She is now paying back £50 a month.
    .
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17127951
    .
    Workfare.
    The scheme, aimed at 16- to 24-year-olds on jobseeker’s allowance (JSA), allows them to do unpaid work experience with a company for up to eight weeks – without losing their benefit and potentially with some expenses paid. But if jobseekers choose to take part and then fail to turn up without good reason after the first week, their benefits could be docked for a period. This has led critics to question whether the placements are really “voluntary”.
    .
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17150593

  53. Mary
    Gerard Manley Hopkins
    Glory be to God for dappled things, or The Windhover
    These amazing poems and psychedelia fashion and hard rock are part of my childhood. They simply blow the mind, but nothing touches the Qur’an for totally blasting one’s mind into outer space.

  54. bonifacegoncourt,
    Not having traveled along with the Gaucho on the plains of Argentina, I take your word for their hubris and arrogance. However due to the endemic fascist tendencies fostered and promoted by the School of Americas in US, we can safely assume that regardless of Argies or Chilean taking the mantel of power over the Bennies their lot would be the same.
    ,
    However, given that the costs of keeping the Bennies all democratic and free is getting born by the unemployed, the sick, the retired, and the school children, on the mainland. Further, without much of returns in any tangible way. It is high time that the oligarchs either started to exploit the resources of that god forsaken corner of the Earth, instead of trooping up to the mid east and fighting over the access to oil, or sell/lease the Bennies as they did with the Scots and the Irish.
    ,
    The grand notions of dominions and shite may have been appealing to those free loaders who did not traipse around the world looking for fights and wars, but the current batch of free loaders taking the piss by burning the candle at th both ends cannot justify the extra costs of keeping the Islands and best to either hand these over or start drilling pronto.
    ,
    ,
    ,
    Oilbaron McJock of the Isles,
    Ditto
    How come the banker gets the cream and honey, and we are left with the afterbirth?

  55. Oilbaron McJock of the Isles: the notion that Scotland would take 8% of each of the UK’s overseas territories is a ludicrous one.

    I live in Bermuda, which is 21 sq miles. Which 8% is going to go Scotch?

    The overseas territories are largely autonomous, with Westminster having a say in foreign affairs, etc. They are also all common law jurisdictions. Doesn’t sit easily with Scotch civil law.

    If Scotland went independent, it would have no bearing on the overseas territories. The Queen would still appoint the Governor, and Scotland would have no say in the matter.

    I am ambivalent about Scotch independence – it’s a matter for the Scotch, just as Shetlands independence is a matter for the Shetlanders (if I were Shetlander, I’d be seriously considering campaigning for the Shetlands to be an autonomous overseas territory if Scotland goes independent, like its close neighbour the Faroes).

    But the Scotch can keep their hands off Bermuda – it’s nothing to do with you!!!

  56. Azra, Guano,
    his prophet or descendants of him…….. Shiaa religion was invented to divide the Muslims of the world and it has achieved its goal!
    ,
    Fact that Saudi have proved to be the perfect Muslims and custodians of all things Islamic, proving their devotion through their shameless hiring out of; Allah and profit Muhammad to the Yanks and the ziofuckwits. That in turn clarifies the notions of a unified Muslim brotherhood would have spelled out the total and abject subjugation of all Muslims to the AIPAC ran US control constructs.
    ,
    Often those expounding worship for the sake of worship, are the agents of reaction or caught up in the torrents of propaganda, that discounts/forget the basic tenets of religion being a set of rule to be abided by all of the members of a society/group in the way of facilitating a harmonious life and coexistence.
    ,
    Therefore religion is politics, and judging by the dogmatic mumbo jumbo passed as the political debate evidently politics is a religion too, hence the almost automatic disdain of the politicians for the religious lot. Furthermore given the excess of the Caliphates that rendered the Islamic world to be so underdeveloped due to the lack of foresight and forethought brought on by the constant state of intoxication of the various Caliphs in their respective harems, the best that could have happened to Islam was the advent of the Shia, that to date keeps the corrupt bastards from degrading Islam further. Although this latter point is debatable given the Saudi efforts in this direction.
    ,
    Shia rejection of Ab Bakar (Muhammad’s father in law) being the first Caliph ( he actually became the first Caliph), instead accepting the choice of Muhammad who appointed Ali his son in law as the first Caliph (theoretically) has nothing to do with idolatry and or saint worship but getting back to the basics of the choice of the prophet at the time of his death.

  57. Guano, As you are aware Iranian are not Alawi and what I was taught in my younger years is what you call 12 imams shiaa (nearly all the Iranian Muslim follow this branch of Shiaa) therefore I really do not know what distinguish Alawis from others. I need to ask my son, he will know I am sure .
    Passerby : I agree, those who worship for sake of worship, are easily corrupted, whether they call themselves Muslim, Jews or Christians..

  58. Passerby,
    Why do you keep calling the Falklanders Bennies? I know where the term originated from, but it is the height of dis-respect.

  59. Sandman,
    If you have more than twelve rooms in your house on Bermuda you will have to give one up for the “Scotch” Lairds when they come to collect the rent.

  60. Saudi help for the Yanks and ziofuckwits was engineered by Zionist T.E.Lawrence who photographed them in compromising circumstances and blackmailed them thereafter. They did the same to Blair.
    That’s why they are called ziofuckwits, because they offer the political classes obscene amounts of money and dollops of lust, which they would be ashamed to be exposed indulging in.
    Praise be to God for the sexual and financial liberalisation revolution which has made it much more difficult to control politicians through blackmail.
    If I had a choice between myself or my wife being exposed doing something filthy, horrible and dirty, and sending Iraq, Libya or
    Syria to decades of bloody civil war, I hope I could find the honesty to save the lives of millions at the expense of my own pride, and to expose the blackmailers who offered the temptations and caught me with my trousers down.
    Blair has still not found the courage to do so, relying on the blood of Jesus for redemption, which I suspect Jesus pbuh him would rather prefer to keep circulating in his own body than waste on tramps like Blair.

  61. For Mary regarding Workfare:
    .
    .
    The government have been consistently claiming that the Work Experience Scheme and the Work Programme are entirely voluntary, and that only Mandatory Work Activity is compulsory. They were lying, and now we have proof.
    .
    .
    http://www.latentexistence.me.uk/dwp-edits-documents-to-pretend-work-placements-werent-compulsory/
    .
    .
    .
    Arbeit Mach Frei

  62. Thanks. The jargon within is worthy of the Third Reich. They also liked to make lists and notes.
    .
    Work will set you free: from welfare to workfare Debbie Jolly
    http://www.digitalvoice.eu/?p=172

  63. Rob Royston – I shall remember to tug my forelock and avert my gaze when the Lairds come a’calling in Bermuda, or the 8% of it that will presumably be known as New Benbecula.

    Seriously though, I thought Scottish nationalism was about self-determination. Didn’t realise they had aspirations to annex autonomous territories thousands of miles away.

  64. I see that Barbados is being visted by these royal hangers on. What goodies will they return to the UK with? Or it is only outfits like Bahrain that dole them out to the likes of ‘Edward’ and ‘Sophie’?
    .
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2106246/Prince-Edward-Sophie-wear-ordinated-outfits-attend-Barbados-state-dinner.html

  65. Charity begins at home The back to work (now there is a novelty, great assumptions; there exists work”) Tsar adhering to the great principles of crony capitalism got busy squeezing every penny towards good causes; her bank account. Has resigned but the stink goes on.
    ,
    Great ploy, anyone who thinks there are any jobs ought to have stepped off a banana boat, or a Martian Explorer. Therefore to appoint a greedy patsy who will take on finding work for the millions of unemployed is the first step in the elaborate scam, then the second step is to expose the misconduct, and malfeasance of the greedy patsy, the third and final step: everyone starts fighting about the monies being spent to find work for the lazy layabout who don’t want to go to work, and no one talking about where are these jobs suppose to be fucking at?
    ,
    Job’s a gooden and problem of doing away with the benefits solved, done and dusted. Soon we will be reaping the benefits of the model economy we have followed for years: families dying together in their homes because of hunger and cold.
    ,
    Family of three dies from apparent starvation in Japan
    ,
    {http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/feb/24/family-die-starvation-japan}
    ,
    I suppose one way of reducing the calls on the nation’s purse. Kill the poor over there in the wars of choice, apply the same formula to the “spongers” over here too, calling it war on fraudsters/layabouts/spongers

  66. bonifacegoncourt

    25 Feb, 2012 - 11:08 pm

    @Iain Orr

    But ‘uninhabited’ does normally mean ‘humanless’! It would be nice if the FIs could be subsidized forever in their idyllic peat bog, but realpolitik enters the frame. Two thirds
    of their income is from selling fishing licences, notably to
    the Spanish, who come to scoop the calamares, but could the FIs collect without Royal Navy enforcement…paid for by UK?
    Mauritius is a member of the Commonwealth, African Union etc, has no known predators, and its 2,000 strong paramilitary police/coast guard is trained and equipped by UK, US,
    France, India. It exports a lot of products. It pays for itself. What hope for an independent FI, which does have a known predator, no industry, no distinctive culture, and only a few thousand people? What have they been doing for 170 years?

    France’s overseas territories thrive because they are
    actually parts of the French Republic. London has no interest
    in hanging on to Tristan da Cunha, St Helena, or the FI, while Bermuda, Caymans, and Turks and Caicos are just for money-laundering. Is Britain going to make FI a shire? No. Perfide Albion will always let you down [cf the disgusting betrayal
    of the Chagossians]! Passerby’s rather brutalist take is about right. It’s money. You cannot just recite ‘we’re sooo British’ and expect a meal ticket. Most Brits don’t want to pay for Wales, let alone Marmite-munchers on the other side of the world, and even less so as 1982recedes into ancient history. Anyway, why are the FIs still ‘British’? In 170 years they could have evolved a new identity, like Canadians or Australians. Or, they could have reached out to their neighbours and become South Americans. At least they could have
    populated the place and built a few towns. Eventually London will dump the FIs, or at least offer them an identical peat bog in Scotland or Co Tyrone. Suddenly the Hobnobs and Shippam’s meat paste won’t taste so good, and they’ll wish they had become part of Chile.

    @Azra

    There are only two kinds of godworshippers, the conmen and the conned. All religion is vanity. All worship is self-worship. ‘Allah’ is merely the right hemisphere of your brain.

    @Sandman

    “I live in Bermuda, which is 21 sq miles. Which 8% is going to go Scotch?”

    Sandman I have many fond if glazed memories of your island. Bermudians have no need to go to Scotland since most of the scotch is in the Bermudians.

  67. I’m sorry that several contributors have such narrow views of the UK’s overseas territories. Most sound like the FCO, which has indeed tried – but failed, with the recent exception of Hong Kong – to get rid of most of them. Quite apart from the territories rich biodiversity (conservatively 20 times the endemic species of the metropolitan UK) they have many historic buildings and sites with much of value for those who have any sense of British history.

    .
    A particularly striking example is Rupert’s Valley in St Helena recently excavated to reveal the bones of many liberated slaves when St Helena became a focal point for the Navy’s suppression of the slave trade from West Africa. See the article by Andrew Pearson in the March-April 2012 issue of “British Archaeology”. He will also be launching his book on the excavations in St Helena with a lecture at 17.00 on 9 March at Bristol University.

    .
    Other territories remain of far greater interest than as offshore tax havens. The Cayman Islands operates a more effective Freedom of Information Act than does the UK. Bermuda has a fine artistic traditions and a magnificent Maritime Museum. Montserrat has an active volcano – where can vulcanologists go in the UK?

    .
    I have doubts myself about whether it would be sensible – for them or for Scotland – for any of the present overseas territories to shack up with Wee Eck. An Independent article of 1 July 2006 showed that Scots were better at seeking fame and fortune within the British Empire than running their own. See http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/uk/the-complete-guide-to-the-scottish-empire-407924.html . I’m not enough of a lawyer to know whether the Scottish legal system could easily adapt to taking on the “sacred trust” (UN Charter) of giving paramount importance to the interests of any overseas territories (aka colonies).

    .
    However the section “What Next?” in the article does show the considerable Scottish links with Tristan da Cunha and the Falklands. In his dreams I bet Wee Eck would love to get his hands on Diego Garcia and then sell it to China!

  68. bonifacegoncourt

    26 Feb, 2012 - 12:26 am

    @Iain Orr

    It’s nice to be romantic but you can’t eat sentiment. When the Rothschild regime in London finishes robbing the British people, why will they bother about useless remnants of empire? You won’t need to travel to the 3rd world to view imperial relics, for Britain will be in the 3rd world.

  69. Ass.District Commissioner

    26 Feb, 2012 - 12:48 am

    One of the NuLab Party’s crimes against humanity:
    http://www.chagossupport.org.uk/

  70. Ass.District Commissioner

    26 Feb, 2012 - 1:04 am

    Just in case you didn’t scroll down that far, watch this. And be prepared to vomit (preferably) at the sight of the former Labour MP for Harlow, Bill Rammell, now Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Plymouth:

    http://vimeo.com/17401157

  71. Bonk-face Gonk-ort.
    ‘There are only two kinds of godworshippers, the conmen and the conned. All religion is vanity. All worship is self-worship. ‘Allah’ is merely the right hemisphere of your brain.’
    .
    By that logic, the whole outside world is an illusion. When you get into a plane and fly over the English channel it’s reassuring to find that it doesn’t just exist on a map. Or is that the same as my Tom Tom? It still thinks it’s steaming up the M40 after I’ve put it to bed in a chest of drawers at home.

  72. I suppose we now know why Hamas quit Damascus:
    .
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/hamas-ditches-assad-backs-syria-revolt-1.414701
    .
    The divorce between Hamas and Damascus had been coming for months. The Palestinian group had angered Assad last year when it refused a request to hold public rallies in Palestinian refugee camps in Syria in support of his government.

    Hamas’s exile political leader Khaled Meshaal and his associates quietly quit their headquarters in Damascus and have stayed away from Syria for months now, although Hamas tried to deny their absence had anything to do with the revolt.

    Haniyeh visited Iran earlier this month on a mission to shore up ties with the power that has provided Hamas with money and weapons to fight Israel. It is not clear what the outcome of his visit has been, though the tone of the latest Hamas comments is hardly compatible with continued warm relations with Tehran.


    .
    It will be sad if Hamas and Iran also fall out. 😀

  73. Scotch is a drink,Scottish is a nationality.
    .
    For the umpteenth time y’all….:-)

  74. Guano and Azra,
    The shia do not worship the dead, they ask the dead to help deliver their prayer (dua) to Allah (God), in other words they associate smn in asking Allah. This is called shirk and Allah says in the Quran He forgives sins of humans (provided they repent) except for shirk.
    Passerby: there is no documented fact that prophet Muhammad did appoint Ali as calif at his death. However, there are documented facts that only Abu Bakr was alllowed to lead congregation prayers in the mosque of the prophet when he was severely ill. Leading the congretaion prayers meant being a leader at that time, and there were two or three cases when prophet was not able to lead the prayer at the time of his death and asked Abu Bakr to go for it. Therefore, after death of prophet people chose Abu Bakr to become calif. Besides, Abu Bakr was one of the ten people whom Muhammad prophesized to see in paradise.
    Insinuation of the shia that Abu Bakr, Umar and other califs went againts wishes of the prophet is pure madness driven out of political objectives to divide muslims.
    Allah says in the Quran that prophet Muhammad does not say things out of his desire, meaning that everything prophet says or does is because of instructions from Allah. If prophet allowed Abu Bakr to lead the nation at that time he did so because of instructions from Allah. Denying this is denying the Quran.
    Peace.

  75. Craig Murray: Angrysoba

    I don’t suggest the Bahrainis want to be invaded by Bahrain. I suggest they did not want to be invaded by Saudi Arabia, and wanted to choose their own government.

    .
    Yes, I too want Bahrainis to choose their own government. And Iranians to be able to do so too. But I don’t understand this comparison:
    .
    Why is self-determination an inalienable right for the people of the Falklands, but a gross example of Iranian meddling for the people of Bahrain?
    .
    I think you are referring to some comment in which it was considered hypocritical for Iran to call for Bahraini freedom and decry the brutal crackdown of the demonstrators there while treating its own citizens no differently.

  76. Bonifacegoncourt, Britain will fight to hold the Falkland Islands for the same reason it did in 1982; there is oil there.
    .
    I think you should think again about why people believe in “God”. Of course religion is used to con people. But your statement “There are only two kinds of godworshippers, the conmen and the conned” ignores two important groups; those who are both, and those who are neither. These are not empty sets.
    .
    The term “worship” has very negative connotations in this modern age. Fake worship of one’s self is vigorously promoted by commercialism. There is no profit to be made from promoting respect, reverence and awe for whatever it is that makes our Universe consistently, continually and superlatively creative. To do so would detract from commercialism, which promotes the lie that creativity derives solely from itself. Commercialism claims to be the “producer”, and that all us people are mere “consumers”; there is no room for The Creator in that relationship.
    .
    Huge damage is done by the various religious descriptions of “God”. As soon as people decide that they know what “God” is, they can disagree and argue over it and ultimately fight and kill (and a definition of “God” as non-existent is just more of the same). Yet we all know, if we look into our hearts, that fighting and killing are in opposition to creating. We know that we are most creative ourselves in a peaceful and supportive environment. We feel happy when we create, and we are hurt when that which we have created is destroyed.
    .
    “God” is just a word for That Which Creates. We all know when we are acting creatively; we don’t need anyone to tell us. Thus, it is correct to state that God is within us all. All the Universe is creative, so it is correct to state that God is everywhere. We should treat any person or group that claims to speak on God’s behalf with vigorous skepticism. Always, the responsibility to act morally is personal. Paradoxically, we cannot escape our free-will, our own God-ness. We can choose to follow someone else’s laws, rules or advice, but whose to accept is still our own choice. So the only inescapable “commandment” is:
    .
    THOU SHALT…
    Decide for thine self!

  77. Angrysoba: “It will be sad if Hamas and Iran also fall out. :D”
    .
    It is both sad and extremely dangerous that so many in the Middle East are “falling out”. I really don’t see anything positive in any of it at present. Support for Hamas and its extremism is a reaction to extreme oppression by Israel. Israeli oppression will not disappear even if Hamas does become more isolated. Rather, the attitudes of Hamas’s supporters are likely to harden if Hamas’s isolation increases, leading to yet greater oppression from Israel. This looks very bad for the people imprisoned in Gaza.

  78. Unsurprisingly Liam Fox did not take part in the debate in Westminster Hall on 22 February on Human Rights in Sri Lanka.
    .
    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201212/cmhansrd/cm120222/halltext/120222h0001.htm#12022246000001
    .
    Reminder that he and Werritty had/have connections.{http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/oct/13/adam-werritty-liam-fox-sri-lanka}

  79. Miles Goslett is on the BBC’s case. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2103258/BBC-pays-1-8million-legal-help-stars-pay-confidential.html
    .
    BBC pays £1.8million legal bill to help keep stars’ pay confidential
    By MILES GOSLETT – 19/02/2012 Figures obtained by The Mail on Sunday show that the BBC Trust – the body that has overall control of the public broadcaster – paid an average of almost £20,000 a week to the London office of Baker & McKenzie during the past two years

    .
    The Berghaus Broadcasting Corporation: Presenters accused of ‘advertising by the back door’ as BBC gets massive discounts on designer winterwear
    By RUSSELL MYERS,MILES GOSLETT – 15/02/2012 The Corporation has spent thousands kitting out staff on its most popular programmes in a range of the Berghaus brand’s latest jackets and fleeces.
    .

    MPs say BBC must reveal details of journalists’ commercial deals
    By MILES GOSLETT All By This Author – 13/02/2012 Radio 4’s Sarah Montague (pictured) and Newsnight’s Gavin Esler have been paid to speak at medical conferences organised by the NHS.
    .
    http://tiny.cc/6lfco

  80. We have discussed Somalia here before. As someone said, it’s always about OIL.
    .
    ‘The Observer can reveal that, away from the public focus of last week’s summit, talks are going on between British officials and Somali counterparts over exploiting oil reserves that have been explored in the arid north-eastern region of the country. Abdulkadir Abdi Hashi, minister for international cooperation in Puntland, north-east Somalia – where the first oil is expected to be extracted next month – said: “We have spoken to a number of UK officials, some have offered to help us with the future management of oil revenues. They will help us build our capacity to maximise future earnings from the oil industry.”
    .
    British involvement in the future Somali oil industry would be a boon for the UK economy and comes at a time when the world is increasingly concerned about the actions of Iran, the second-biggest oil producer in Opec.’
    .

    Britain leads dash to explore for oil in war-torn Somalia
    Government offers humanitarian aid and security assistance in the hope of a stake in country’s future energy industry
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/feb/25/britain-oil-dash-somalia
    .
    Note the little throwaway phrase on Iran. That’s right Guardian. Keep up the pressure and keep the propaganda flowing.

  81. Get the soar-away Sun TODAY! Yes, SUNDAY! That’s right, you’re not hearing things.
    .
    This is truly historic, you can tell by the media’s 24 hour display of continuous astonishment.

  82. what a lovely uneventfull sunday, had to put in my earlies yesterday, The sun is shining on my back and TV viewer is rupturing his little brain in excitement over some artificial hype about nothing, nothing at all.

    Hamas jumped before it got involved in this sectarian brawl between Saudi’s paid mercenaries, their money and Russian arms, I call this a wise choice. What is important is that Hamas and Fatah are growing together their real politic, something Israel is trying to break up at every opportunity.
    The danger of increasing isolationism of armed factions in the ME could mean a re run of sectarian violence ala Lebanon during the early 1980’s, a collapse of past peace alliances. We in the west know very well how to support such kind of instability, as it serves our aim and plans to intervene for our own reasons.

    Craig, have you found Adam Werritty in Ghana? If he’s not there, maybe we have misread his relationship with Liam Fox, he could well be lavishing it away in some spanky dungeon of his own liking, ready to be released from his leash.

  83. Clark: Bonifacegoncourt, Britain will fight to hold the Falkland Islands for the same reason it did in 1982; there is oil there.

    .
    I was only five years old at the time of the Falklands War so I don’t remember the debates at the time. And yet, this claim seems to me to be so radical as to be almost entrepreneurial. Could you elaborate on it a little? I didn’t know oil was known to exist in such large quantities off the Falklands at the time.
    .
    However, just for the sake of argument, if we assume that the existence of oil was not known to exist there would there have nontheless been a case for expelling an invading army directed by a fascist regime in Argentina?

  84. Clark: It is both sad and extremely dangerous that so many in the Middle East are “falling out”. I really don’t see anything positive in any of it at present.
    .
    I would suggest that if Iran did not provide Hamas with rockets then there would be something positive to be said for the split.

  85. Bonifacegoncourt: I’m partly happy to accept your implication that I’m romantic [you at 26 mins into today]; but I don’t think that regarding different parts of the world in their own terms is romantic. Throwing stink-bombs such as “imperial relics” and “Britain will be in the 3rd world” is far more romantic, in the sense ” having no basis in real life”.

    .
    However I’d rather call you catalytic (others might say “cataleptic”), especially for eliciting Clark’s reflections on God, creativity and non-empty sets.

    .
    You are, of course, right that “uninhabited” normally means “with no humans there”. My phrasing was meant to be an antidote to rampant anthropomorphism; but it seems to have worked in your case as an injection of anthrax (“an often fatal infectious disease…caused by a spore-forming bacterium and capable of being transmitted to humans”.) You are an earthling aren’t you, rather than a transvestite Martian?

  86. Off Topic: As frauds go, no one touches Ponzi Street (Wall Street) for blatant arrogance, and funnily enough a pat on the back for getting away with it.

    When you thought it couldn’t become funnier, the MF Global scandal steps in, and then a Lord of the British realm steps forward with some more scandalous news.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eL5hqvTWkYg

  87. Rap News 10 is out featuring OWS and Noam Chomsky (he even raps). Check it out, one of their best videos yet:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-rxe9Ayb8c
    .
    Rap News 11 is also out (but perhaps a little Aussie-centric for this forum). *Warning, contains Australian language*:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRhBRg-XkWY
    .
    I think these are the best vids you can find on youtube.

  88. Angry:
    .
    Your last post seems to ignore that Israel has a long and sordid history of undermining Palestinian non-violent resistance. With that in mind, why is it good that the Palestinians are made even more defenseless? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like violent conflict or random rocket fire, but I am also painfully aware that the strength of Hezbollah does deter Israel from waging further war against Lebanon.
    .
    AmnestyUSA on Palestinian non-violent resistance:
    http://blog.amnestyusa.org/middle-east/palestinian-nonviolent-resistance-has-strong-roots/
    .
    Foreign Policy on Palestinian non-violent resistance:
    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/05/18/palestines_hidden_history_of_nonviolence?page=0,0

  89. Bonifacegoncourt: it’s very insulting to people who live in places like Bermuda and Cayman to say that these places exist for money laundering. I wish that Brits would actually take an interest and learn the facts about the overseas territories. You even say you’ve visited Bermuda, so you should know better.

    Bermuda is self-sufficient financially but is too small to be independent. Most Bermudians welcome the ties to the UK because it helps to guarantee rule of law. The Governor appoints judges, oversees the police force and deals with foreign affairs. Bermuda is a very sophisticated jurisdiction for reinsurance. Its reputation would be destroyed if it was complicit in money laundering.

  90. Sandman: Bermuda is self-sufficient financially but is too small to be independent. Most Bermudians welcome the ties to the UK because it helps to guarantee rule of law.
    .
    The UK is only interested in Bermuda’s oil. Everyone knows this.

  91. Boniface: However the Args are terrified of the
    efficient Chileans and back off from any dispute. Therefore the best future for the islands would be as an extra province of Chile, next to Magallanes…..Tierra de los Bennios!

    .
    Any future war there would have to be known as the Fray Bentos.

  92. Cheebacow: Your last post seems to ignore that Israel has a long and sordid history of undermining Palestinian non-violent resistance. With that in mind, why is it good that the Palestinians are made even more defenseless? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like violent conflict or random rocket fire, but I am also painfully aware that the strength of Hezbollah does deter Israel from waging further war against Lebanon.

    .
    I don’t think that is true. Why did Israel ever go to Lebanon?

  93. But, what I would say is that the US, the EU and other countries need to get tough with Israel on settlements in the West Bank. My thinking is that Hamas and Hizbollah are counterproductive to this because they couldn’t appear more like a typical bunch of terrorists in the public mind if they tried. They look like they are straight out of central casting; almost a parody of a Hollywood cliche; beards, suicide bombing, dressing in black, goose-stepping around giving Nazi salutes; firing AK47s in the air to celebrate. You may look down on “the general public” but unfortunately for the Palestinians their self-appointed guardians such as Hamas and Hizbollah simply look like foam-flecked nutters. And that’s partly because that is what they are. While lots of commenters here clap themselves on the back for their pleasingly feel-good radical notions that black is white and white is black most other people simply see Hamas and Hizbollah as theocratic terrorists. And ultimately that is why the Palestinians don’t get the sympathy they deserve.

  94. I read in the Mirror on Sunday in a cafe this morning that Bliar is speaking to groups of Labour MPs and is thinking of making a comeback to frontline politics. Milipede Jnr is said to be relaxed about it. God help us all.

    .
    In addition to those items in the Mail I posted earlier about the BBC, I saw in the Mirror that those who work outside 9-5 get £4,000 pa extra to compensate!

    .
    The Mirror did have a good double page spread on the proposed annihilation of the NHS and the opposition to the bill. It is not online except for this article.
    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/three-key-royal-colleges-prepare-743780
    .
    PS Don’t waste time with Angry. Only here to disrupt and divert.

  95. Angrysoba, I didn’t take much notice of politics at the time of the UK’s war over the Falklands. I have no memory of oil being mentioned in the mainstream media. However, I do remember a word-of-mouth rumour of untapped oil deposits; maybe it was something mentioned in the more in-depth reports.
    .
    The big question at the time seemed to be why so little effort in negotiation was made by the UK, and the generally accepted answer was that Thatcher wanted a war in order to look strong, and thus made no effort to avoid one. Oil, if indeed that was a reason, would provide a more objective and less personal explanation as to why negotiation could have been futile from the start.
    .
    This would further imply that current conflict in the Middle East was anticipated decades ago, and that the failure to develop alternatives… What can I say? Sometimes it feels like fate, like a car crash in slow motion, where it looks like there is time to change things, but that in fact the point of inevitable disaster has long since been passed. I accept that this could just be my own crazed musings, brought up as I was to believe in an immanent Armageddon.

  96. Spot on here Ahmadinejad.
    .
    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says arrogant powers will never achieve their objective of rescuing the “evil and inhumane” Zionist regime of Israel.

    .
    “The goal of arrogant powers is to save the Zionist regime [of Israel], but they will certainly not fulfill this wish of theirs, because the world has changed and their era has come to an end,” Ahmadinejad said in a meeting with Lebanese Defense Minister Fayez Ghusn in Tehran on Sunday.
    .
    +++“The Zionist regime is an evil and inhumane creature that will massacre all regional nations if it is given the opportunity,” Ahmadinejad said.+++
    .
    The Iranian President further expressed confidence that a “just and humane order” will prevail in the world in future in place of the current rule established by arrogant powers.
    .
    For his part, the Lebanese defense minister hailed the resistance of the Iranian nation against Israeli aggressions saying that today Tel Aviv will think twice before attempting an invasion anywhere in the world for fear of the Islamic Republic.
    .
    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/228736.html

  97. A Question for SUNday. Have you all observed the boycott of the Sunday Sun? I have. However, I not only looked at the front page: I was complicit in agreeing to my wife’s blackleg request that I buy her a copy. Now I understand fully the gravamen of Craig’s charges against Jack Straw, the FCO, the intelligence services and HMG.

    .
    Disappointingly, in my local newsagents the pile of unsold Observers over-topped that of the Sunday Sun tenfold. The best gloss I can provide is that Murdoch’s hybrid will probably prove infertile; and that it was selling like cheap [50p] bags of horse manure.

    .

    Bought a “Top Cat” National Lottery Scratchcard to reward myself for observing the boycott. Won zilch. Condign punishment for complicity. All I can salvage of self-respect is that I can easily top the Sunday Sun’s front-page scoop – “Amanda Holden: My Heart Stopped for 40 Seconds”. When I had a quadruple by-pass on Friday 13 January, my heart was stopped for far longer than that.

    .

    Non-God in his Non-Heaven: Arsenal 0 Spurs 1 (Saha). This cannot now be an empty set, Clark.

  98. Clark: Angrysoba, I didn’t take much notice of politics at the time of the UK’s war over the Falklands. I have no memory of oil being mentioned in the mainstream media. However, I do remember a word-of-mouth rumour of untapped oil deposits; maybe it was something mentioned in the more in-depth reports.
    .
    The big question at the time seemed to be why so little effort in negotiation was made by the UK, and the generally accepted answer was that Thatcher wanted a war in order to look strong, and thus made no effort to avoid one. Oil, if indeed that was a reason, would provide a more objective and less personal explanation as to why negotiation could have been futile from the start.

    .
    This sounds far more qualified than the earlier, bolder statement you made:
    .
    Britain will fight to hold the Falkland Islands for the same reason it did in 1982; there is oil there.

    .
    Don’t get me wrong, I do think you are entitled to your opinions but I find it very confusing when you state them as if they were documented fact. The thing is that I had never heard the oil argument for the Falklands War but if there was one then I would be interested to know of it. Yet, as I said, it seems more likely that an invasion by the Argentinian regime which was itself beset with internal problems and was itself a fascist regime that “executed” its leftist opponents by rounding them up, flinging them naked and screaming from transport planes into the Atlantic Ocean.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_flight
    .
    I think the most controversial point at the time was the sinking of the Belgrano which was seen as an unnecessarily provocative escalation of the conflict which, as you say, could arguably have been ceased through a peace plan of some kind. Yet the reason for the UK’s desire to fight the war is far more explicable as an obvious response to not just as act of war but an all-out invasion by an aggressive nation. This combined with the obvious loss of national prestige if the UK had failed to react makes any other explanation superfluous. Though some people naturally thought Margeret Thatcher had engineered something to help her re-election bid.

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