Political Rape 209


Nigel Evans is fully entitled to the presumption of innocence; and the media seem more inclined to give it to him than they did to Malcolm Blackman, linked to Anonymous. In this particularly disgusting piece of journalism by Paul Cheston of the Evening Standard, the vicious liar who brought false accusations against Blackman is referred to as “the victim” – not even the alleged victim, but “the victim” – even after Blackman was found not guilty.

The victim, who cannot be named, had lived at home in south London during the week, and slept in the Occupy tent at weekends.

Having been at the Occupy site, where every tent touched at least three others, the idea that repeated rape could be carried out amongst a packed group of people who were particularly certain not to condone it, was always highly implausible. Compelling evidence was given in court that Blackman was not even at the site on one of the two named occasions.

It is particularly sickening that Blackman’s name and photograph has been published everywhere in relation to horrifying and untrue accusations of binding someone against their will with cable ties and raping them. This terrible publicity will follow him everywhere for the rest of his life. The deranged or malicious person who fabricated this story in court continues to have their identity protected.

Blackman’s role within both Anonymous and Occupy has been exaggerated by the media. He was nonetheless associated with the internet and street resistance to the increasingly authoritarian state. The parallels to the Assange case are inescapable.

Returning to Nigel Evans, on the Jeremy Thorpe precedent there is no reason for him to resign his seat before a trial, presuming that he maintains his innocence. Should he resign, this could be one of those small historical chances that has great effects. UKIP will have a great chance of winning Ribble Valley, and the resulting momentum could contribute to a genuine political convulsion in the UK.

Nigel Farage and I were due to have lunch a couple of years ago, but couldn’t get our diaries to match up at the time. Unfortunately, while admiring UKIP’s insurgent spirit, I find myself the polar opposite of their major policies. Distrust and dislike of the political establishment that has failed this country and allowed inconceivable amounts of wealth to be creamed off by the heads of the financial services industry, while ordinary people struggle to get any work at all, is perfectly understandable. The three main parties in England all retail the same neo-con policies, with different packaging. It is inevitable this system must break. That is should break in the direction of right wing populism, is perhaps predictable. But there are worse people than Mr Farage inside all the main parties.

I remain entirely confident that the UKIP surge in England will convince a great many more people in Scotland that they need to break free of the United Kingdom.


209 thoughts on “Political Rape

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  • Suhayl Saadi

    Yes, that’s it, Technicolour. It’s a diversion from the real nature of power. Part of the fomentation of insanity entails instilling a sense of perpetual (mutual) entrenched grievance against monolithicised, often ethically/culturally-defined groups and the widespread facilitation of tribalism so that those groups then tend to intensify their own perceived isolation.

    And this neat trick, driven by a managerialism disguised as various pleasant-sounding things, and sometimes indeed even well-meaning in itself, helps to set working people (and unemployed, and retired, etc. people) against one another, instead of them uniting and attacking the very powerful forces in society that are exploting them (us) all.

  • technicolour

    I have people who tell me that UKIP is not *the reason* – it is just a *reflection* of what society is thinking – as though ‘society’ isn’t being programmed by the current hate-mongering and fear and lies spread through public mouthpieces and the media. And as though that bit of society doesn’t anyway only represent a pathetically small proportion of the vast majority of us. It only takes 26 percent (total vote for Hitler/New Labour/predicted vote for UKIP) to make the rest of us apparently roll over. How is that? It’s nonsense.

  • technicolour

    Mind you, that 26 percent need listening to, of course they do. But it’s not good for their souls (or intellects) to let them be allowed to take over just because they think they should.

  • technicolour

    and, anyway, it’s the leaders, innit. even decent people can vote for beastly leaders, as you say, Suhayl. good night!

  • Giles [was: eurobarometer.eu]

    Suhayl

    Sad that, as usual, and like Technicolour, you deliberately misquote me and quote me out of context. Regarding Pakistanis, Somalis, Bangladeshis being a “drain on the economy”, this was in direct response to a claim that immigration is beneficial to the economy. We were dealing with the facts about various comunities, Suhayl, not emotional responses, so it is neither here nor there how hard you work saving lives.

    And you misquote me and quote me out of context again with regard to “filthy rich Indians”. Go back, read it again, and try to be honest about the point I was making, Suhayl.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    1) “… in terms of Bangladeshis, Pakistanis, Somalis, etc., then very little benefit, as they consistently score lowest in the employment figures, and are therefore a drain on the economy. That and the fact that, by and large, they form closed communites, and want nothing to do with the society that has received them. Why invite them if they are of little economic benefit and do not want to integrate? Is it to rub our noses in diversity?” Giles, 5.5.13, 1:25pm

    2) “I appreciate that Mo Farah is something of a hero for the left, for being black and having won a race, much as Obama was before the scales dropped, but really, are Mo Farah and a bunch of filthy rich Asian businessmen the best you can do in support of what has happened to our cities?(I should add, it was wonderful to hear the distortions some went through to make Mo Farah British. I heard one commentator say, “Unbelievable, Mo Farah has beaten the North Africans at their own game!”!!!).” Giles, 5.5.13, 2:40pm.

    I accept that it was indeed, “filthy rich Asian businessmen” and not “filthy rich Indians”.

    But really, Giles, I think that any one reading these comments of yours will get the context very well. It is your comments, not mine, that ignore context.

    And so, if we do well, we are “filthy rich” and if we do not, we are “a drain”. I see.

    I might also have critiqued your comments about Mo Farah vis a vis North Africans, Britishness, etc. in various ways.

  • Giles

    Suhayl, I would have thought it was clear by now, but to reiterate, I can’t speak for other people, but my objection to mass-immigration is that I value a shared sense of culture, history and identity. It appears this is quite acceptable and even to be encouraged in most of the world, but not in white, Western countries, where it is considered racist, ugly, right-wing, by the establishment class (all three of lib, lab and con in this country), by most of the media including the state broadcaster, and by the right-on metropolitan chattering classes, in the arts, academia, education system and so on – the Establishment is pro-Multiculturalism. The people, by and large, are tolerant of immigration and of immigrants, but are opposed to the unprecedented rate of change seen in recent decades, brought about by politicians without consultation and against their will. As a side-note, it would helpful if you would resist the temptation to ascribe the basest of views to those opposing mass-immigration, such as hatred or fear of the foreigner.

  • Giles

    Suhayl, apologies, my reply was made without seeing your latest post.

    Again, out of context. Someone (I think Herbie) made the point that mass-immigration is all for financial reasons. I made the point that Pakistanis, Somalis and Bangladeshis (some of our most numerous immigrant groups) consistently scored lowest in the employmebt figures and therefore were of no economic benefit. I am sorry if that sounds harsh or you have taken personal offence but those are the facts.

    2. In defence Technicolour made the point by way of a link that some of the country’s richest Asian businessmen. Her use of “”they” indeed”, and her citing of Mo Farah (the accusation being that I was generalising), promted my admitedly sarcastic response, that Mo Farah and some filthy rich Asian businessmen don’t change the facts about the economic benefit of the Somali, Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities, if you follow. If I was guilty of generalising then she was guilty of cherry-picking.

  • Giles

    I must add that I hold nothing against Mo Farah, who is a perfectly nice fellow and undoubtedly a great athlete. My scorn is for the establishment media and politician, whose celebration of Mo Farah went far beyond his achievements on the track. He was being held up as some sort of paragon of multicultural Britain. It was the left that made race an issue in what should have been just a race, just as they did with Obama, who was awarded the Nobel for being black.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    “I value a shared sense of culture, history and identity” Giles.

    Yep. So do I. And, so, I suspect, though I cannot speak for him, does Mo Farah and many others whose parents came here/who have come here to live. The people who came from, eg. South Asia, the Caribbean and parts of Africa, already had that shared culture from the days of the British Empire; for example, the education systems in those countries was the British one. Think of the Ugandan Asians to whom, to his eternal credit, Edward Heath gave refuge, and how well they’ve done and how much they’ve contributed. Likewise, the Vietnamese ‘Boat People’. And so on.

    I’ve already alluded to the tribalism/divide-and-rule dynamic, which is creating problems. I accept that some people within many (I emphasise, though, not just incoming) communities have deliberately exploited tribalism for thei own ’empire-building’ ends within those communities and have helped to reinforce it and I am very much against that. I mean, I don’t think we need to have one monolithic culture, that would not be desirable either – the Scots, Welsh, English, Irish all have differing cultures and sometimes also differing languages. Some kind of middle way, as they say. Civil society is hugely important. I think secularism and pluralism are too. Workers will be pitted against one another to drive down wages – the asnwer to which is solidarity.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Okay, we’re answering alternate posts! – thanks also, Giles, for engaging. Even though we disagree on some things, I do appreciate you talking with me. I agree wrt the corporatisation of sport. And Obama should never have been given the Nobel Peace Prize; that was totally inappropriate – he hadn’t actually done anything at that point and of course now he’s done more-or-less the opposite. It’s part of the lip service dynamic that accompanied the entire Obama phenomenon. “Black skin, white masks”, to quote Franz Fanon.

  • Giles

    Suhayl

    The mass-import of totally different cultures such as those of Pakistan can not be equated with the existing differences within British cultural identity.

    I understand and have some degree of sympathy with the left-wing argument that the issue is really about class, but in working class communities where there is a high level of immigration from incompatible cultures there will be far less chance of solidarity against the ruling elites. As it can therefore be said that mass-immigration forments divisions amonst the subordinate class, is it too far a stretch of the imagination to say that the ruling class imposes mass-immigration for exactly the aim of formenting division – that is, divide and rule – and if you would agree, then why do you support it?

  • Giles

    Yes,.Suhayl, a pleasure to engage. I am typing on my mobile, so it is hard to keep up.

  • Evgueni

    Doug Scorgie, you ask what I regard as true democracy.

    In a nutshell, there are two equally important parts to true democracy. One is popular sovereignty, i.e. meaningful opportunities for everyone to get involved in decision-making (legislative, not executive). Parliamentary rule with regular elections is an extremely crude approximation to this, though self-evidently a big improvement on despotism. To quote someone else more eloquent than me: “There is no causality between elections and democracy. To issue every four years “carte blanche” is the most humiliating thing that can be expected of democratic citizens.” And another: “To call party-based parliamentarism ‘democracy’ is the greatest bluff in the history of mankind. A true democracy is yet to be established.” (Jiri Polak). Here is a whole eloquent essay on the subject http://tiberiusleodis.wordpress.com/2009/06/04/democracy-shamocracy/

    The other equally important part is information (the more important part, according to Thomas Jefferson, though he probably meant it in an elitist sort of way). Uncontroversially, with zero information we would all be making random choices. Arguably with deliberate propaganda we can be induced to vote against our best interest. The encouraging thing is as I mentioned, Chomsky’s findings wrt US public attitudes versus US government policies, and also my own experience of living in the USSR where again the total state control of all media proved ineffective in the end. Nevertheless, it is clear that it is the business model that causes the elitist bias in modern media. Again to quote someone else: “Freedom of the press in Britain means freedom to print such of the proprietor’s prejudices as the advertisers don’t object to”. (Hannen Swaffer, journalist, 1928). This view is also very well substantiated in Chomsky & Herman’s Manufacturing Consent. The problem can only be addressed by changing the business model. A discussion for another day!

    In my view the most practical means of achieving popular sovereignty is the system that has evolved in Switzerland – an elected Parliament that is constrained by popular referendum rights enshrined in the Constitution. The referendum rights exist at all levels of government and powers are mandated from lower to higher levels of government only with implicit majority endorsement, because any such decision can be reversed by popular demand. There is no reason to think that this cannot be scaled to a country like the UK. These ideas are not new to the UK e.g. Charter88, Saira Khan’s Our Say (now defunct), the English Democrats, Respect – all endorse Referendum and Initiative rights to some extent.

    So, to come round full circle, the following words from UKIP’s manifesto appeal to me: “give power back to … the people through binding national and local referenda”. Perhaps this is just bait for unsuspecting simpletons like me, but one thing is for sure – I do not find any words even remotely as democratic in any of the main three parties’ manifestos. I would prefer democratic advancement to be the central issue, but if it comes on the back of some other popular concern like that of UKIP, or that of Respect, so be it.

  • technicolour

    Giles, I am in a rush but I think you actually need to visit schools in the areas you describe as ‘not being England anymore’ or just hang around on the streets of Blackburn. The latter, for example, was deliberately designed by the Labour council as a segregated area, and it is shocking indeed to see a virtual apartheid working in the UK. The older generation are indeed largely huddled into a scared and imposed corner. However, the younger generation in all areas are mixing, dancing and sharing together – this is the future. You might not like even that, but it in no way fits into your current picture.

  • technicolour

    Also this idea that you can single out whole swathes of people and accuse them of not being of economic benefit is simply illogical. Take the Pakistani community. To be able to accuse Pakistani people as a group you would have to factor in the amount of tax paid by the thousands of Pakistani millionaires, the amount of jobs created by Pakistani businesses, and the benefits they create in the society around them, the amount of time they give to charities, and so on. Not simply take employment figures and extract a ‘net loss’ without putting these things into the balance. Have you done this research?

    And what would you do to people of a certain background if you found that, in general, they did cost the taxpayer more in lucre than they contributed, Giles? Would you, perhaps, deport the lot of them? Or would you merely encourage others to blame them – children, doctors, lawyers, unemployed, all of them – for a recession caused, as you must well know, by the banking and taxation system?

    “I value a shared sense of culture, history and identity” – yet it seems to be a curiously one-sided valuation. You do not appear to value the culture, history and identity of our former Empire, which finds its direct result in this ‘multi-culturalism’ of which you so scathingly speak. You do not appear to value the culture and identity of this country’s arts or literature, whose canon contains within it writings and artistry with direct inspiration from our varied past and present. And you would it seems, have taken a poor view of St George, who by most accounts was born in Palestine, whose economic contribution to this country remains unclear.

    Evegueni, just to remind you, selling your vote for the promise of referenda would, in the case of UKIP, involve accepting the following:
    “a party which is supported by the EDL leader, which forces a member to resign if they don’t join the lunatic coalition of the far-right in the EU and whose leader is openly angling to replace the BNP”

    Are you happy with that? Because the vast majority of this country is not.

  • evgueni

    Technocolour,

    what are you smoking 😉 You are apparently able to read the minds of “the vast majority of this country”, I wish I could! Lunatic coalition? Selling my vote? Colourful language but no more.

  • technicolour

    Evgueni – yes, I am not alone in thinking that it reflects a disordered mentality to accept jobs, a salary and expenses from an institution which you oppose, and to build an electoral platform on that basis. Obviously the impressive perks go some way towards cloaking the necessary cognitive dissidence. And that is, of course, before you even get to the policies. UKIP allies in the EU include:

    Lega Nord (Italy)

    In 2003, party president Umberto Bossi suggested opening fire on the boats of illegal immigrants from Africa, whom he described as bingo-bongos and Giancarlo Gentilini, at the time Mayor of Treviso, labelled foreigners as “immigrant slackers”, saying: “We should dress them up like hares and bang-bang-bang”.

    Lega Nord MEP Mario Borghezio has been convicted for racist assault and arson against homeless people. He has praised Serb war criminal Ratko Mladic and paid tribute to Norwegian mass killer Anders Breivik. He has also taken part in gatherings of right-wing extremists in Belgium and Germany.

    http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/ukip/allies

    Sane?

    “You are apparently able to read the minds of “the vast majority of this country” – er, you just have to look at the votes.

    “Perhaps this is just bait for unsuspecting simpletons like me, but one thing is for sure – I do not find any words even remotely as democratic in any of the main three parties’ manifestos. I would prefer democratic advancement to be the central issue, but if it comes on the back of some other popular concern like that of UKIP, or that of Respect, so be it.” –

    If that isn’t saying that you’re prepared to allow your vote to be bought, not by money, of course, but by an appeal to your particular area of interest, then we seem to be using different languages.

    “Colourful language but no more” – do look at the reality, Evgueni.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Great posts, Technicolour (10:42am and 1:43pm and 8.5.13). Excellent points.

    Giles, solidarity is something that needs to be built. There have been examples of workers from eg. Poland and the UK uniting to stop various employers driving down wages here in Britain. Also, going right back to the Grunwick dispute of the late 1970s, which was led by Bangladeshi women, and countless disputes since, we can see that coming from different cultures need not be a bar to working and struggling together. After all, those from the Con-Dem and Nu-Lab governments who are enforcing sell-out to the City of London and these cuts and so on are from the same culture as the majority of those whom they are exploiting. It doesn’t stop them having zero (in fact, negative) solidarity with we, the people.

  • Evgueni

    Technicolour,

    I don’t have that much leisure time, you won’t see me here usually until late. Now that you have taken the trouble to explain I will address your points.

    There is no problem with fighting the system from within and using all available resources, why on earth would you think otherwise? What are the alternatives – keep the handouts for personal gain, or refuse them on principle and compromise the effectiveness of the stated mission which needs resources. This is not some friendly club, the EU parliament is a travesty of democracy and the MEPs privileges are designed to inhibit dissent. At the very least these guys are not troughers like the rest of them.

    Your argument by association does not work for me. It is sort of like an ad hominem – attacking the person instead of the argument that they present. Coalitions are formed in order to pursue a common aim, despite disagreements elsewhere. To use a topical example – Churchill’s association with Stalin was not evidence of his secret admiration for Stalin’s mass murdering ways. Equally, just because unpleasant people belong to the same voting block as UKIP does not make the coalition or UKIP insane, that’s a non sequitur.

    There is a fatal error of logic in your assertion that the majority strongly disapprove of UKIP since the majority do not vote UKIP. The majority also do not vote for a number of other political parties. The voting patterns are a combination of preference, ignorance and indifference. You have assumed that the reasons other people do not vote for UKIP are the same as your own personal reasons.

    Of course you weren’t talking about selling votes literally, I realise that. But if my vote is ‘sold’ for a manifesto promise, in what sense can you claim that your vote is a selfless gift?

  • Suhayl Saadi

    And so, vis a vis the rise of UKIP/EDL and Condem-Nu Lab, as in most of eastern Europe, the fight now in the UK is b/w (by definition and actions) right-wing neoliberals and (by definition and actions) right-wing national chauvinists. How very sad, and how very convenient, for the rich and powerful who, under either type of rule, will remain rich and powerful while the rest of us get screwed… again and again and again because we believe in fairy-tales and circuses. Roll-up, roll-up! Take your pick!

  • technicolour

    “What are the alternatives?” – stand honestly for the UK Parliament. But of course UKIP would have got nowhere.

    “At the very least these guys are not troughers like the rest of them”

    Farage was asked by former Europe minister Denis MacShane what he had received in non-salary expenses and allowances since becoming an MEP in 1999.

    “It is a vast sum,” Farage said. “I don’t know what the total amount is but – oh lor – it must be pushing £2 million.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/may/24/mps-expenses-ukip-nigel-farage

    Your sources for your statement please. And like the rest of who? All the other MEPs? Sources please.

    “Your argument by association does not work for me. It is sort of like an ad hominem – attacking the person instead of the argument that they present. Coalitions are formed in order to pursue a common aim, despite disagreements elsewhere.” I have yet to see disagreements between UKIP and the extreme, murderous factions they support: perhaps you could supply them.

    “There is a fatal error of logic in your assertion that the majority strongly disapprove of UKIP since the majority do not vote UKIP. The majority also do not vote for a number of other political parties.” – no flaw in logic. They do not support the other parties either.

    “in what sense can you claim that your vote is a selfless gift?” I vote for the most decent person standing, regardless of party. Totally selfish.

  • evgueni

    Hmm, I see now. In essence, you know better than I do. UKIP are extreme and murderous by default, and it is up to me to prove otherwise. In the meantime, you give your vote to the good guys whilst I sell mine to, err.. bad guys.

    And I am afraid your logic really has failed you – your original assertion was that the vast majority do not vote for UKIP because they recognise how lunatic they are. Now you agree that the majority do not vote for UKIP perhaps for much the same reasons that they do not vote for other parties. These two statements are different and incompatible, yet you claim consistency.

  • technicolour

    Evgueni: No, I’m not claiming to ‘know better’, I’m answering your questions and asking you to provide sources for some of your statements. Like the one which says that at least UKIP aren’t ‘troughers’. Did you have no reaction to Farage’s own words on the subject?

    My *fact* was that the vast majority of the public did not vote for UKIP – just as they did not vote for the BNP. I also pointed out that the vast majority of the public do not support extremist far-right policies (are you really questioning this?) I did not say why they do not vote for the three main parties either, but it’s for a wide variety of reasons. That’s, surely, obvious. I called the coalition in the EU ‘lunatic’, based on the extremist and murderous makeup of many of its members, not UKIP. Please stop twisting my words.

    “whilst I sell mine to, err.. bad guys”. Very funny!

  • technicolour

    ps Evgueni “it is up to me to prove otherwise” – I think it’s quite important to research the reality – would have assumed that you would think so too!

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