Collateral Damage: Vince Fean the Wrong Target 73

The physical hassling of Vince Fean by Palestinian student activists is a mistake. Vince is not only an extremely decent man, but his private views are of horror at the occupation, and as Consul-General he refuses to deal with the Israelis in the West Bank.

Anger at William Hague is perfectly understandable, I feel it myself. As is anger at Matthew Gould’s repeated and uncalled for declarations of commitment to zionism. But I urge all Palestinians not to attack Vince; he is doing his best and on your side.

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73 thoughts on “Collateral Damage: Vince Fean the Wrong Target

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  • Fred

    “Those of you who think that the answer to the Palestinian problem is to stop a decent man speaking are taking a very stupid position. I presume by extension they must believe a solution can only come through war – which they would lose.”

    After 50 years we are no closer to solving the Palestinian problem we caused and Palestine gets smaller by the day.

    Those Palestinians never drank single malts with Vince Fean, they don’t know what he’s like, they are just angry, very very angry and they have every right to be angry.

    He isn’t the first innocent man to get the rough end of the stick in this conflict, Israeli jails are full of nice innocent people doing their best to solve the problem.

    Samer Issawi, he’s doing a hell of a lot more for Palestine than Vince Fean and getting one hell of a lot worse treatment.

  • herbert

    “Vince has taken personal career risks here.”

    Let him take some more and spill the beans on the power of the Zionists in the UK, including in Whitehall. I’d certainly put some money into the collection tin to support him if he did.

    The idea that only evil people should work for government would probably not lead to us being better governed, if you think about it.

    That’s a vague and twisted-up thought that you’ve got there, capped off with a patronising Britishism.

    How do you know people haven’t thought about it and reached different conclusions from yours?

    The system is run by evil people. You can’t use your influence as one of their officials to dent their power.

    Power, I’m afraid, lies on the streets.

    Mopping the floors in a minister’s office is one thing; being a consul is another. Where do you draw the line? The wrong bloody place. Is it OK to bomb the shit out of a country but have a conscience, looking forward to saying critical things after you’ve retired?

    The thing is, you are much better than that. Go the whole hog! 🙂

  • Guess Who

    I didn’t “simply” call an entire organisation “bastards”, but asked a specific question regarding public relations, to which there has been no effective “riposte”.

    I think Craig is at the end of the day a good guy and the FCO were right in their own terms not to want him.

    But tose who want to offer advice to people who have suffered more oppression than they themselves have ever suffered or ever will suffer, should take 10 deep breaths before they do so. Examine their assumptions.

    Otherwise…well otherwise it’s the posh white man’s burden, isn’t it?

  • Mark Golding - Children of Conflict

    British Consul General to Jerusalem Sir Vincent Fean attempts to walk a very fine line of respect between Israel’s right to security and the Palestinians right to remain in their communities.

    That ‘fine line’ is no longer traversable, obstructed by too many failures over too many years and now lacks relevancy.

    It is time for Sir Vincent to bite the bullet and convince his government that sanctions on Israel are long overdue.

    I cannot find Al-Issawi’s comment in the Guardian:

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    There you go, Craig, you’ve been found guilty of being too moderate (and sane) by some of the Eminences. But I’m confident you’ll survive.

    I simply must repeat a couple of the more egregious remarks posted so far:

    1/. “Look Craig, for goodness sake, you do not have the right to decide what’s best for Palestinian victoms of Zionism” (Herbert at 11h22).

    A sagacious comment, marred only by the fact that (a) Craig’s not in a positiion to “decide”, and (b) he is giving an opinion, not handing down a decision.

    Beta double minus for Herbert.

    2/. “Power, I’m afraid, lies on the streets” (Herbert again, at 11h30)

    Only correct if you co-inhabit Herbert’s imaginary world. Wrong, in general, if you are on planet Earth.

    Gamma plus for that one.

    Herr Rektor signing out now!

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    @ Never-a-mind (11h26) :

    “….your lesson on fascism and how to write it”

    As you’ve decided to call me Herr Rektor, you’ll not be surprised that I consider it my duty to suggest that you should have used the word “spell” instead of “write”.

    I am however aware that the German verb “schreiben” can be used for both.

    No charge for the above!

  • Mary

    I followed a removal lorry home just now. One of its services on the sign written rear was ‘Disaster Recovery’.

    As the driver looked rather lost I felt like flagging him down and directing him to King Charles Street (FCO)!

  • ValuePlus

    If most of those working for FCO are decent people, it would mean that the government is forced to appoint decent people against their better judgement. If that was the case in reality and all these decent people resigned, the FCO will have no one working for it. Wouldn’t that be wonderful. And pigs will fly.

  • Fred

    “I wish power did lie on the streets!”

    Mob rule is just democracy with a bad press agent.

  • Mary

    Education Under Occupation

    Palestinian Universities have endured an acute degree of suffering under the Israeli occupation. The repression of academic life in the occupied Palestinian territories is part of a concentrated and systematic political effort of the Israeli government to attack the means of development of the Palestinian society.

    Palestinian-only buses are now being introduced in Israhell.

    Segregation and echoes of apartheid: Israel launches Palestinian-only buses
    Separation and discrimination is a numbing fact of life for Palestinians in the West Bank.


  • Mary - For Truth and Justice

    A good friend just e-mailed.

    ‘The other bit of cheering news yesterday was that the two apartheid, Palestinians-only buses were both torched, on their first day in service. Most cheering.’


    The bill for them will be probably be deducted from the massive amount of taxes that the Israelis are withholding from the Palestinian Authority

  • foolish grin

    Nice to hear Craig say a supportive word of a Brit diplomat; kind of like reading John le Carre i.e. being reminded that we still have decent ones working away in the quiet.

  • Villager

    With reference to Habbabkuk: “I’d imagine you’re a former colleague of Craig’s, possibly Charles Crawford.”

    Herbie, dead wrong. Habbabkuk is anything but an ex-diplomat. He is an immigrant, who doesn’t want, and is scared about, Romanians (especially the Romani people) and Bulgarians to come to the UK. He voluntarily spells “involontary” as such and its not a one-key-away typo. He writes his time as 15h45. He doesn’t know how to cut and paste so he re-types others comments when he quotes, evidenced by introducing careless spelling mistakes like “victom” when Herbie had spelt it correctly in his original. He claims to have been a member of the Bullingdon Club but more likely to be the incumbent Chairman of the Bullyingdung Club.

    He is a pseudo-intellectual who feels that the strength of his argument is so logical that the person who rejects it is a moron and conspirator. A real intellectual realises that others also can have very strong beliefs which they too believe are rational and right. A real intellectual respects differences, converses with respect, and does not think those who disagree are to be stalked and interrogated with calculated and deliberate offence.

    He is a Catholic who claims to be as Christian as you can get. Yet, he is happy in his ‘Life is Beautiful’ mode to mock his own religion by relentlessly referring to his primary victim as St Mary. Whereas, it is Mary who is a completely harmless and likeable good soul. Despite being counselled by numerous contributors he has continued his imbecilic behaviour.

    We may not know what Habbabkuk’s occupation is/was but his pre-occupation is clearly to create discord and an uncivil atmosphere. Appraisal: his prosocial and civic behaviours require serious improvement. Runner77, a relatively casual contributor observed that this blog would be better off without him. I happen to agree and believe that all should think twice before engaging with pseudo-intellectual.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    @ Herbie :

    I have rarely been so flattered! For having taken the trouble to investigate me so thoroughly and for making me sound like a reincarnated Evelyn Waugh. Thank you! And thanks you also, of course, for recognising the intellectual firepower I apply to those comments that I feel could profit from it.

    I’d clean forgotten that I claimed to be a member of the Bullingdon Club; are you sure you’re not getting me mixed up with Radek Sikorski, whose former membership of the same I did once refer to?

    You’re right, I don’t know how to cut and paste! I really should learn how to do so because there is always a rich feast of foolishnesses on which I feel duty bound to comment and it is indeed rather tiring to have to write out those comments again “manually” so to speak. I must ask my great-grandmother to instruct me in the art.

  • glenn_uk

    Copy & Paste tutorial for widows:

    Basically, highlight the text to be copied (position the cursor over the start of the text, then hold down the right mouse key as you move it to the end of the bit you want, then release the key). Type control-C to copy it. Move the cursor to the destination spot, click the right mouse key again. Then type control-V to paste it in, as often as you want.

    On a Mac, use the ALT key instead of CONTROL.

    You can also highlight a word by double-clicking on it, or an entire paragraph by triple-clicking on it.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    Thanks, Granny ! 🙂 I’ll give it a go (you do realise, I hope, that you have made my educational mission easier? The Eminences will not thank you for that….)

  • Villager

    Of course i’m right that you are a cut-and-past PSEUDO-intellectual. So quit self aggrandising yourself once again for your intellectual “firepower” I assume the firepower equates with bully.

    And I’m not at Herbie’s. And Craig is not @ Craig since you know he is using his real name, he would simply be Craig wouldn’t he Supdt Investigator?

    You’re a weird man with a weird sense of humour given your reference to your great-grandmother, who fortunate for her doesn’t have to suffer you. Your comment reflects your bad energy and the bad karma you create, hence you hide behind the banner of Life is Beautiful. What do you know about Life, Truth, Beauty, Goodness? I have particular disdain for old-agers like you (elders is too good a word)–with grey hair (bald in your case, I bet you, for reasons i won’t divulge) who have not an ounce of wisdom. Just bland, gullible, anal stuff–a damp squib I would submit. Firepower indeed. You could indeed profit from interrogating, as in investigating the meaning of Life. Until then you’re a second-hand human being with zero originality to offer the human race.

  • Villager

    Glenn, now there’s an example of a good, helpful human being contributing to good Karma to make the world a better place.

    And the idiot calls him Granny–what social skills! And its supposed to be funny.

    Habby you fool you should thank me for pointing out how to make your life easier, you poor lonely soul.

  • Mary - For Truth and Justice

    This widow knew how to C&P many years back! I learnt my computer skills at college. They were teaching us Word Perfect in those days!


    195 Thomas Cook shops are to close. More whited out windows in what’s left of the British High Street. Axminster Carpets, some hundreds of years old, is going into administration and 300 out of 400 workers to lose their jobs. Yet all Gideon can do is to go to Brussels to defend the bonuses of his greedy banker friends. He failed thankfully.

  • Mary - For Truth and Justice

    That is 2,500 jobs to go at Thomas Cook. Is the UK so called ‘economy’ ever going to be recoverable? Is the UK ‘f***ed’.

  • glenn_uk

    Mary: The frightening thing about these job losses, are how they are about matched by McJobs, often one “zero hour contacts”, which pay the minimum wage at best, for less than a full week.

    McDonalds announced 4500 new McJobs in the UK for this year. These new “Do you want fries with that?” jobs are – in the Official Figures – more than offsetting the jobs at Thomas Cook and Lloyds. So rejoice! Employment is up!

    People on min. wage jobs aren’t paying any tax at all, once the Universal Credits and so on are accounted for. There’s a net loss to the country here, but who cares? The investor class has never had it so good, after all.

  • Villager


    “This widow knew how to C&P many years back! I learnt my computer skills at college. They were teaching us Word Perfect in those days!”

    Funny when you think of it, one has never seen a single link from The Babbler. I realise now he’s ever so jealous of you, can’t keep up, therefor, keeps pulling you down.

    Are you absolutely certain he’s not someone you spurned in your younger days? If you did, i’d forgive him. At one level i feel compassion for the old sod not having anyone to show him how to cut ‘n paste. But then at another, this fellow’s not going to change. They say the only one that likes a change is a wet baby.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    re. Villagers post, above :

    “If yo did, I’d certainly forgive him”

    But not as much as I would forgive myself, for to have had to spend my old age with the likes of Mary would be simply…unbearable 🙂

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    @ Glenn-uk : Villager’s post has made me realise that I was completely out of order by saying Thanks, Granny and must have hurt you deeply. Can you find it in yourself to forgive me?

  • Herbie

    The facts are that he knows far too much about the arcane intricacies of the FCO gong system.

    He seems to know Craig.

    He casually mentions seeing someone as he passes through Brussels airport.

    He delights in displaying his familiarity with western European languages, particularly, French, Italian and German.

    He knows a lot about Switzerland, where of course these three languages are spoken.

    I don’t know anything about the Bullingdon Club, nor the rest.

    But the facts as they stand, particularly the first and supported by the rest, place him as a member of a very small set which would include former and current members of the FCO, probably stationed for some time in Berne.

    I think too, and this is rather more speculative, that he may well be a she. There are certainly some pointers in that direction including, but not limited to, linguistic style.

    All from memory.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    I’ve just noticed that Mary’s handle has benefitted from the addition “For truth and justice”. I would like to underline my approval of this daring break-out by inviting Villager, Nevermind and Fred to think about doing the same. To encourage them in their reflections, let me throw out the following for consideration:

    Villager (Yokels of the World, Unite!)

    Nevermind (the quality, just feel the width)

    Fred (the original four letter word)

  • Villager

    Babbler i’d rather get my inspiration more directly from yours–it would be Life is Sacred. Just a piece of Wisdom for one who is spiritually bankrupt and follows the neocon order like a lemming.

    And as for my comment re the wonderful Mary spurning you: get it right, chronologically, she discovered first that you were unbearable in your manners and as i said before as a wannabe pseudo-intellectual. She is the one that has ignored you all these weeks. We were witness to that and also witness to your constantly and shamelessly, trying to tug her skirt with your stalking. You disgraceful creep. Give me four letter words in context anytime. Especially LOVE, something you poor soul it becomes obvious have never actually seen in your life.

    I think Fred’s comments of late have been actually not just well-argued but some quite brilliant and heart-felt.

    Now go and practice some cut and paste. 😀

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