Of This I Am Proud 321


I am proud of the company I was in of fellow Sam Adams winners; but also because in the circumstances I think this was the best speech I have ever made. If you listen from 15 minutes, the enthusiastic and sustained interruption of applause I received from the Oxford Union for my attack on those demonstrating against Julian Assange is remarkable.

It particularly explodes the appalling lies of the Guardian’s shrill hate campaign against Julian Assange, which you will recall covered this event under the headline Julian Assange finds no allies and tough queries in Oxford University talk . It has taken the Oxford Union two months to post this video, and then unlike other newly posted videos it does not appear on the front page of their youtube site.

The students no longer have any autonomy in the the Oxford Union where speakers and videos have to be approved in advance by a solidly and uniformly right wing board of trustees which includes William Hague and Louise Mensch.

It is, however, even at this belated time, a great pleasure to be able again to state and to demonstrate what a vicious little liar Amelia Hill is.

After my point on the Assange demonstration, you could have heard a pin drop for the rest of my talk and I was unsure how the audience were reacting. Unfortunately the video cuts off the peroration, so you will have to take my word for it that the applause was very big and after resuming my seat I had to half stand and acknowledge again. But I had concluded by introducing Julian Assange, so that may have been for him not me – I would be just as pleased.

Let me post this one again so you have the pair of me on consecutive nights in very different moods.


321 thoughts on “Of This I Am Proud

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  • resident dissident

    A node

    The poll you refer to was in January 2012 – and it was only of about 250 people living in Syria. And if you hadn’t noticed opinion polls aren’t very reliable in police states such as Syria. Your statement isn’t a question – and it isn’t correct anyway.

    The Syrian regime is acting in violation of many UN and Arab league declarations and has committed gross abuses of the UN Declaration of Human Rights.

  • resident dissident

    Ben Franklin

    Most of my roots are in Yorkshire – though from the bit which is reputed to be where the English Celts made their last stand. Also have a line going back to the Isle of Man,

    Yorkshire people are known for grit and perseverance – or some would call it stubborness/bloodymindedness or worse.

  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    “some would call it stubborness/bloodymindedness or worse.”

    That quality is why I suspected some Irish. It may be an old joke in the UK but I remember a saying that God created whiskey so the Irish wouldn’t rule the world.

  • A Node

    Resident Dissident.
    OK, I forgot the question mark.

    This is the question …
    “Can you see any inaccuracies in this statement?”

    … and this is the statement:
    “The U.K. is illegally aiding terrorist groups to violently overthrow a government which is supported by the majority of Syrians.”

    You dispute the poll which says a majority back Assad. On what grounds? Just because you say so? Can I take it that you agree with the rest of the statement about illegality, terrorist groups, and violence?

  • resident dissident

    Yes I can see plenty of inaccuracies in the statement – re the poll, whether it is illegal to support opposition groups, whether the UK is providing weapons at present, whether all the opposition groups are terrorist. A poll sample of 250 taken under the noses of Assad’s goons tells us very little – and certainly less than half a million refugees.

    Now perhaps you could answer my question as to whether it is possible for a decent human being to act as an apologist for the Assad family which has a long and well documented record of human rights abuses, using tanks and airplanes on its own citizens, which rules its own people by terror, continues to ignore UN resolutions and violates the tyeriitorial integrity of its neighbours – or do decent human beings believe that something should be done about such sickening behaviour.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    A Node asked Resident Dissident the following :

    “Can you see any inaccuracies in this statement:

    The U.K. is illegally aiding terrorist groups to violently overthrow a government which is supported by the majority of Syrians.”

    As answering for others seems to be the norm on this blog, I will venture the following, in the hope that Resident Dissident will forgive me :

    “terrorist groups” – a tendentious and possibly inaccurate description.

    “a govt. which is supported ..etc..” – please recall for my edification the date of the last free elections in Syria which would give substance to this assertion.

    Thank you.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    Mary says the following about the Duke of Gloucester (whom she now admits she knows of, despite having previously asked “Who he?”) :

    “Yet another of the royal hangers-on and a parasite like the rest of the bunch living off our backs.”

    Once again, tendentious and/or inaccurate. Very Mary, in fact.

    1/. “another of the royal hangers-on” – for this, read ” a relative of the Queen”

    2/. “a parasite” – read my previous post, which points out that the Duke’s Parliamentary annuity is reimbursed in its entirety by the Queen from her private funds.

    Apologies please, Mary.

    ********

    La vita è bella, life is good! (Habbabkuk against bigotry and lies)

  • Mary

    ‘Setting the Middle East ablaze’. What an excellent metaphor. Just what Resident Dissident would like to see happen.

    Obama to Mark Iraq War Anniversary with War Summit in Israel
    by Ben Schreiner / March 19th, 2013

    A decade after the American-led invasion of Iraq, the U.S. is once again preparing to set the Middle East ablaze. In fact, President Obama will touch down in Tel Aviv ten years to the day “shock and awe” was first unleashed for what appears to be little more than a war summit with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

    According to the Guardian, Netanyahu plans on using the president’s trip “to try to persuade the US to carry out air strikes on Syria if there is evidence that Syrian missiles are to be handed over to Hezbollah in Lebanon, or at least to give full support to Israeli military action to prevent the transfer.” Tel Aviv, the paper adds, wants U.S. support for more preemptive Israeli strikes “even if they risk provoking a cross-border conflict with Hezbollah.”

    Back in the U.S., meanwhile, similar domestic pressure continues to build for an escalated level of U.S. intervention into the Syrian conflict.

    /..
    http://dissidentvoice.org/2013/03/obama-to-mark-iraq-war-anniversary-with-war-summit-in-israel/

  • resident dissident

    @Mary

    “Setting the Middle East ablaze’. What an excellent metaphor. Just what Resident Dissident would like to see happen.”

    A rather pathetic smear – and what constructive solutions would you proposes to resolve the conflicts in Syria and Israel/Palestine etc – apart from annihilation of those who oppose your own views – please enlighten us?

  • Mark Golding - Children of Conflict

    Recommendations, initiatives and Plans 4 Peace in Syria.

    The Brain childs are were:

    1. The Arab League peace plan and the resulting Arab League observer mission, launched in December 2011.

    2. The Russian proposal that binds the Arab Peace Plan.

    3. The “Friends of Syria” initiative developed after early 2012 conferences in Tunisia and Turkey.

    4. The Kofi Annan peace plan for Syria as initiated in February 2012.

    5. Brahimi’s proposal to create and deploy an international force of up to three thousand troops from European countries (without participation of the UK and the US) on Syrian territory with the objectives of disengagement and ceasefire between the armed groups warring government army.

    Predictably the Norse warrior bloodthirstiness in UKUSIS contrivances rejected any previous peace plans.

    Meanwhile out of the terror arsenal magicians hat reconstituted and doctored after an Israeli raid, appears the Syrian chemical weapon threat in true Fallujah massacre style.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9940453/Syria-state-TV-airs-footage-of-chemical-attack-victims.html

  • A Node

    Resident Dissident
    You claim to “see plenty of inaccuracies in the statement” without providing any argument in support. Further, most of your claimed inaccuracies are about things which are not even in the statement!

    Yes I can see plenty of inaccuracies in the statement – re the poll (1), whether it is illegal (2) to support opposition groups, whether the UK is providing weapons at present (3), whether all the opposition groups are terrorist (4). A poll sample of 250 taken under the noses of Assad’s goons tells us very little – and certainly less than half a million
    refugees (5)

    (1) “re the poll” You question it but you don’t give alternative figures to prove it wrong. When I researched that figure I chose the Guardian piece because they are supporters of the intervention and therefore you can’t claim they are biased in favour of Assad. I could have chosen figures claiming a much larger majority for Assad. I couldn’t find any claiming the
    opposite.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jan/17/syrians-support-assad-western-propaganda

    (2) “whether it is illegal”
    When is a country allowed to intervene in another country’s affairs?
    Answer:
    In general, most countries follow the rules of international law and
    diplomacy which require that no country interferes in the affairs of
    another. Not at all. Ever.
    But there are exceptions. Particularly if one rogue country is breaking the
    rules itself and invading another or causing harm to another. In such cases
    there are international courts which should be approached for rulings, as
    well as the United Nations.
    If such courts and the UN decide to take action, it is usually graduated
    action, slowly ramping up through through diplomatic approaches, trade
    embargoes, total blockades and eventually armed intervention – also called
    War.
    There is also an exemption considered under humanitarian law, allthough not
    binding, that considers the case when the population or large sectors of the
    population of a country are at risk of life because of lack of centralized
    government or lack of action from a central government. In such
    extraordinary situation, a non military action may be taken by a coalition
    of at least two countries under the supervision of the United Nations for
    relief or evacuation purposes.
    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/When_is_a_country_allowed_to_intervene_in_another_country%27s_affairs

    (3) “whether the UK is providing weapons at present”
    I haven’t claimed they are supplying weapons (although they probably are). I have claimed they are “aiding” these groups, and so does William Hague.

    (4) “whether all the opposition groups are terrorist ”
    I haven’t claimed they are all terrorist. Some of them are Al Qaeda which our government claims are a terrorist organisation.

    (5) “and certainly less than half a million refugees”
    And presumably your implication is that all of these people are refugees from Assad’s troops? There were no refugees before the Western backed rebels began their campaign.

    Now perhaps you could answer my question as to whether it is
    possible for a decent human being to act as an apologist for the Assad
    family which has a long and well documented record of human rights abuses,
    using tanks and airplanes on its own citizens, which rules its own people by
    terror, continues to ignore UN resolutions and violates the tyeriitorial
    integrity of its neighbours – or do decent human beings believe that
    something should be done about such sickening behaviour.

    I think this is what we call a ‘loaded question’: Would a decent person support a monster?
    If you’re asking me do I support him, then no I don’t. That’s my point, the internal affairs of Syria are not my business. As to whether he really is the monster you portray, it all sounds to me a bit like the run up to Iraq – babies in fridges and WMD. It’s now conceded by all sides that that was a load of bollocks. I suspect most of the Syria scare stories will prove likewise in time.

    I’m going out now. Please don’t bother replying unless you have reasoned argument rather than bluster to back up your views.

  • doug scorgie

    “Syrian rebels and the government have accused each other of firing chemical weapons, reportedly killing at least 25 people in the north of the country.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-21841217

    If chemical weapons have been used (it has not been confirmed yet) one must question which side is the likely benefactor of such a war crime.

    Certainly not the Assad regime I suggest, more likely a false flag.

    We will have to wait for more news but I can imagine the type of headlines in the MSM tomorrow.

  • doug scorgie

    From our human rights advocate:

    Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)
    19 Mar, 2013 – 2:09 pm

    “….and must be providing employment for few people, whether in Europe or the Far East, which I think you would agree is a good thing in these times of high unemployment.”

    Habbabkuk,

    The enslavement of people from West Africa by British, European and African traders, and their mass transportation to the Americas was known as the transatlantic Slave Trade.

    We don’t transport slaves these days, we outsource the back-breaking work to other countries (it’s cheaper).

    On the plantations, life expectancy was short because of poor diet and the back-breaking work. Slaves were branded with hot irons and punishment for trying to run away was whipping or execution.

    Not much different in some countries today but mainly the slaves are children as in Uzbekistan.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    Seeing Douglas’ post above reminds me that I should ask him if he has now read the 1903 and 1934 US-Cuba treaties concerning Guantanamo? He did seem very eager to do so and even took me to task for not helping him by immediately providing links to the texts in question (I of course did so subsequently).

    Which in turn reminds me that John Goss – who claimed that the US presence at Guantanamo was ‘illegal” – hasn’t come back to me on this either.

    When, oh when, will I meet a worthy opponent on this blog, one who will not immediately be reduced to silence by my brutal intellect?

  • resident dissident

    On your rather pathetic opinion poll please read this http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jan/19/syrian-poll-assad-no-credibility

    On Syrian refugees please read this http://www.unhcr.org/5148b4f96.html – 3.6m people displaced and 1.1m refugees – and you don’t think Assad should be held responsible, especially when he shells those refugees on foreign territory? You might also wish to ask why there doesn’t appear to be much support for Assad among the refugees.

    Re legality – the article on which you appear to base your opinion just really demonstrates how little you have looked into this matter – you also make the incorrect that I would be against taking the matter to the UN. I think you will find that if you look a little deeper this is an area where even specialists on international law are far from agreed. You also blithely ignore that the Assad regime has already committed many violations of international law – but which you appear to suggest there should be no penalty whatsover. I think its best that questions of international law are not left to Wikianswers.

    No you haven’t claimed that all opposition groups are terrorist, and given that you wouldn’t give that label to Assad I wouldn’t trust you on that matter however. What you did state was that the UK was illegally aiding terrorist groups – well first of all I don’t belive we are consciously proving aid to terrorist groups and the aid we are providing at present is clearly not illegal even under the Wikianswers version of international law that you rely upon.

    If you really believe that what is being said about Syria are scare stories then might i suggest that you read what Anmesty, HRW, Reporters without Borders, UNHCR, the Red Cross, Save the Children are all saying. As for the not interfering line, perhaps you should ask youself why the UN and its declaration of Human Rights were put there in the first place – of course others were saying just the same with regard to Bosnia, Kossovo, Darfur, Rwanda, Hitlers treatment of the Jews from 1933 onwards and his multiple invasions of his neighbours, the Spanish Civil War – but they were scare stories that just happened to be true.

    I note that you are rather keener on asking loaded questions than on answering them.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    From Douglas just now :

    “From our human rights advocate:

    Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)
    19 Mar, 2013 – 2:09 pm

    “….and must be providing employment for few people, whether in Europe or the Far East, which I think you would agree is a good thing in these times of high unemployment.”

    Habbabkuk,

    The enslavement of people from West Africa by British, European and African traders, and their mass transportation to the Americas was known as the transatlantic Slave Trade.

    We don’t transport slaves these days, we outsource the back-breaking work to other countries (it’s cheaper).

    On the plantations, life expectancy was short because of poor diet and the back-breaking work. Slaves were branded with hot irons and punishment for trying to run away was whipping or execution.

    Not much different in some countries today but mainly the slaves are children as in Uzbekistan.”

    You obviously disapprove of the beautiful rainments worn by the Holy Father, the Cardinals, etc etc because they might be made in poor countries.

    But consider this, Douglas : if the Holy Father and the Cardinals wore t-shirts and cotton shorts instead, would there not be an even greater chance that they would be wearing clothes produced in poor countries?

    Would not the logical conclusion of your argument be that the Holy Father and the Cardinals should go about naked?

    ************

    La vita è bella, life is good! (wea

  • doug scorgie

    Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO (Richard Alexander Walter George).

    He is currently 21st in the line of succession. So, definitely a republican and democrat.

    Strange how these royals don’t seem to have surnames like ordinary people.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    From Douglas just now :

    “From our human rights advocate:

    Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)
    19 Mar, 2013 – 2:09 pm

    “….and must be providing employment for few people, whether in Europe or the Far East, which I think you would agree is a good thing in these times of high unemployment.”

    Habbabkuk,

    The enslavement of people from West Africa by British, European and African traders, and their mass transportation to the Americas was known as the transatlantic Slave Trade.

    We don’t transport slaves these days, we outsource the back-breaking work to other countries (it’s cheaper).

    On the plantations, life expectancy was short because of poor diet and the back-breaking work. Slaves were branded with hot irons and punishment for trying to run away was whipping or execution.

    Not much different in some countries today but mainly the slaves are children as in Uzbekistan.”

    You obviously disapprove of the beautiful rainments worn by the Holy Father, the Cardinals, etc etc because they might be made in poor countries.

    But consider this, Douglas : if the Holy Father and the Cardinals wore t-shirts and cotton shorts instead, would there not be an even greater chance that they would be wearing clothes produced in poor countries?

    Would not the logical conclusion of your argument be that the Holy Father and the Cardinals should go about naked?

    ************

    La vita è bella, life is good!

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    “Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO (Richard Alexander Walter George).

    He is currently 21st in the line of succession. So, definitely a republican and democrat.

    Strange how these royals don’t seem to have surnames like ordinary people.”

    This extraordinarily silly post from Douglas (silly even by his standards) calls for the following questions.

    1/. Is Prince Richard any more obliged to be a republican than you, Douglas Scourge, are obliged to be a royalist?

    2/. Is having a royal family incompatible with democracy (if so, please get in touch with Norway, Sweden and Denlmark immediately, please)

    3/. What is his surname – the name you find so different from “ordinary” peoples surnames? You haven’t bothered to tell us and this would seem to weaken your argument just a little.

    **********

    La vita è bella, life is good! (always think before writing)

  • Brendan

    Two items of interest from Australia. First, Gillard was once apparently told by Blair, presumably ruefully, that there was now more ‘brutality’ in politics.

    And the next day, Foreign Minister Carr is asked about possible war crimes by Syrian rebels, who are alleged to have used chemical weapons. Note: the rebels, not Assad, are being accused of using WMD. In other words, the ones we like are using WMD.

    Revealing, no? Were politics really brutal, Blair would be in The Hague, along with his co-conspirators. But he isn’t.

  • doug scorgie

    Resident dissident
    19 Mar, 2013 – 3:38 pm

    “The Syrian regime is acting in violation of many UN and Arab league declarations and has committed gross abuses of the UN Declaration of Human Rights.”

    Yes it is and yes it has; but so have many other “western friendly countries” that, for some reason get little criticism. Uzbekistan; Saudi Arabia – oh and how about Israel?

  • resident dissident

    Scorgie

    Criticise away – some of believe that one of the purposes of International Law is to provide justice to all whose human rights are violated – the UN Declaration is meant to be universal. The UN and International Law were not but in place as a means to allow the abusers to say its none of your business, as some here are arguing repeating the arguments of the appeasers of the 1930s. There is much to argue about how International Law should be applied – but in decent society whether it should or should not be is really not the question. The others get away with it isn’t really the best legal defence.

  • doug scorgie

    Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)
    19 Mar, 2013 – 4:52 pm
    You say:

    “As answering for others seems to be the norm on this blog, I will venture the following, in the hope that Resident Dissident will forgive me:”

    Habbabkuk, answering for others is an irritating habit of yours and is the height of bad manners and disrespectful to all parties. It is not the norm here as you well know.

  • The CE

    Thanks for that link about the poll ResDis. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at the unquestioning attitude to Syrian state media and Press TV from some on here.

    Although I think you are wasting your time expecting a sense of historical perspective about the anti-totalitarian left around here, It’s black and white around here and intervention(no matter the circumstances) = Bad, doing nothing = Good.

    They also seem to forget there has been quite a lot of ‘intervention’ already, just that most of it has been coming from Iran and Russia.

  • doug scorgie

    Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)
    19 Mar, 2013 – 8:53 pm

    “Seeing Douglas’ post above reminds me that I should ask him if he has now read the 1903 and 1934 US-Cuba treaties concerning Guantanamo? He did seem very eager to do so and even took me to task for not helping him by immediately providing links to the texts in question (I of course did so subsequently).”

    Habbabkuk,

    You obviously read my post above but chose to ignore the points I made about child labour. Instead you changed the subject.

    I wonder if you have any compassion or empathy for people horrendously abused around the world in the interests of the powerful and [in my view] criminal elite.

  • technicolour

    Ah, well, it’s quite clear now.

    I used to want to be a gun-slinger, like in the Magnificent Seven. I think this may be behind all this ‘we have the weapons, therefore we are right to blaze in’ stuff. Right, boys?

    Except none of you, parallels with Orwell notwithstanding, are showing any signs of wanting to go and fight with what you seem to think are the Syrian resistance (and vice versa, it is fair to say)

    In fact, ‘we’ have the weapons because we are part of a bloody, subsidised and entirely cynical industry, where, if you ask me, the proponents would be happier giving it up and retraining as reflexologists.

    But no-one is asking me, anymore than they are asking Habbakuk, or anyone here.

    So could I ask a couple of genuine questions, where views will be taken into account? What do people think of as ‘the left’? What is ‘the left’? How does it differ from ‘the right’?

    Thanks.

  • technicolour

    ps Sorry, ears blushing – didn’t mean to be utterly reductive and during these most interesting discussions about Syria find myself agreeing with A Node, to come clean. But v interested about this left/right thing, particularly about the fact that it is now apparently wrong to be on the ‘anti-totalitarian left’ when I thought that being ‘anti-totalitarian’ was a good thing generally? Are there no points of agreement?

  • technicolour

    Otherwise, more importantly, can’t seem to post this salient link on the next thread (computer keeps crashing there and nowhere else) – so for everyone thinking about nuclear power it is not an abstract issue. This should be viewed before judgements are made.

    Women of Fukushima

    http://vimeo.com/49169624

  • technicolour

    Otherwise, more importantly, can’t seem to post this salient link on the next thread (computer keeps crashing there and nowhere else) – so for everyone thinking about nuclear power it is not an abstract issue. This should be viewed before judgements are made.

    Women of Fukushima

    http%

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