566 thoughts on “A Good Idea

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  • Mary

    Who are these people and where do they come from?


    How did those from other backgrounds feel?

    ‘Tensions increased when a group at the launch party for the black-tie event started chanting “The South will rise again”, the anthem sung by the pro-slavery Confederates in the American Civil War.

    Members of the organising committee managed to stop the singing, but the incident caused deep disquiet at St Edmund’s, which is one of the most multi-ethnic colleges at Cambridge University. Around two-thirds of its students are from non-UK countries.’

  • Mary

    Thanks Brian. I had already had that from my youngest brother who is an architect. He sent a link to it from a magazine called Building Design so the RIBA motion is getting wide coverage in the construction world.

    Note that there is a mention on the creation and construction of an Israeli archaeological museum. No mention of the Palestinian history. All about the Dead Sea Scrolls.

    Row breaks out over Angela Brady’s RIBA Israel motion
    19 March 2014
    RIBA votes for suspension of Israeli architects from international body
    The RIBA has approved a motion calling for the suspension of the Israeli professional body from the International Architects Union (UIA).
    The motion, proposed by Angela Brady and backed by more than 60 members including Will Alsop, Richard Murphy and Jeremy Till, was carried by 23 to 16 with 10 abstentions in a secret ballot.
    Supporters at the RIBA Council debate yesterday argued that the Israeli Association of United Architects (IAUA) should be suspended until it condemns the policy of building illegal settlements in the occupied territories.
    Brady, who tweeted a picture of herself wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the RIBA charter, said one of the profession’s core skills was promoting well-being.
    She told Council: “Refusing this motion would send a clear message to the world at large that we as an institution turn a blind eye or by inaction support what’s going on – land grabs, forced removals, killing the state and human rights and reinforcement of apartheid.”
    She added: “We must act now. This has gone on too long. We’re at a tipping point. Israel’s illegal actions mean Palestine could be wiped out.”
    Speaking in support, George Oldham said: “Why Israel? It’s the only [country] where fellow member architects are directly involved in illegal acts. This is an entirely reasonable sanction.”
    And James Karl Fischer said: “Not to carry this motion is to make us irrelevant.”
    But other Council members argued it was the “wrong motion”, describing it as a misguided attempt to tackle an injustice.
    Anthony Clerici, acknowledging that it was one of the “most difficult debates I have sat through in this room”, said it was inconsistent of the UIA to seek the suspension of one of its members and not others.
    “The RIBA is already influencing for the better in many places in the world such as Libya, China, Russia, Saudi. I feel this is a better way that we should follow,” he said.
    Francesca Weal said North Korea was a member of the UIA. “Don’t you think architects are designing prison camps and torture chambers there,” she said. “Angela went to China on a trade mission to a country that took over another country: Tibet. We haven’t had a motion about China. It’s a big, powerful country where members get a lot of work.”
    Sumita Sinha, who has worked in the occupied territories, questioned whether expulsion would make any difference on the ground. She pointed out that the RIBA already does not validate schools of architecture in Israel/Palestine.
    “China, North Korea, countries in the Middle East all have bad human rights records,” she said. “Why are we singling out one country?”
    Brady accused “some people in this room” of allowing their desire to work in Israel/Palestine to influence the way they voted.
    Afterwards, welcoming the result, she said: “This shows the RIBA has teeth and it’s going to use them in a positive way. This is not a boycott.
    “Maybe China will be next but this is the starting point.”
    RIBA member and chair of Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine, Abe Hayeem, who worked with Brady on the motion, said: “We urge the RIBA not to hesitate in backing this Motion to call for the IAUA’s suspension from the UIA, due to its failure to practice in line with the UIA Accords and Resolutions and the architect’s duty to all of society.”
    Israeli architect Moshe Safdie has designed a new national archaeological centre to showcase two million artefacts.
    The 35,000sq m centre is being built in Jerusalem and will house around 150,000 books. The government’s collection of 15,000 Dead Sea scroll fragments will also be moved into a new conservation laboratory at the centre. The scheme is due to be completed in 2016.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) a!


    “Galloway should be very careful indeed if he touches on the early life of Bliar, is my guess.”

    Brendan, I hold absolutely no brief for Blair, but certainly Galloway – as anyone else – should be careful when making a biopic about someone. The laws of libel apply to Galloway as to everyone else.

    ~”His quite obvious and evident personality disorder – it really is blatant these days – is not to be discussed in polite society, it seems. This is a shame, I think. Because an open discussion of our ‘leaders’ (and Blair was never a leader of anything at all) is a good thing for society. Maybe one day it will be possible. Not at the moment, alas.”

    Never let accuracy get in the way of something you feel you just have to say. The late former Labour MP and qualified pyscologist Leo Abse wrote a book called “Tony Blair – the man behind the smile” twenty odd years ago. I’ve brought this book to the attention of readers on a number of occasions. So the question of Blair’s inner personality has been in the public domain for quite a time.

    Leo Abse died a natural death, by the way, and was never sued as far as I know.

  • N_

    I remember when Blair was challenged on slavishly helping the US attack Iraq. He gave a sneering little laugh and said “It’s worse than that”, boasting how if the US had been against attacking Iraq, he’d have pushed them as hard as he could to change their position.

    “It’s worse than that”, with a laugh.

    It reminded me of when George W Bush ‘joked’ on camera that staff had better check under his desk in the Oval Office to make sure there were no “weapons of mass destruction” there.

    Yes, both of these men have mental-health problems.

  • Mary

    The father of the House is standing down next year.

    MP Sir Peter Tapsell to stand down in 2015

    He brought the House down in gales of laughter in 2006 when referring to BLiar and his reliance on divine powers for going to war.

    Another of Sir Peter’s references to BLiar.

    Sir Peter Tapsell (Louth and Horncastle) (Con): The invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq was, in my view, a strategic, political and humanitarian blunder of historic magnitude. It was a strategic blunder because the traditional aim of British foreign policy over the centuries, the maintenance of a balance of power in each region where we have a national interest, has been destroyed in the middle east. It rested on the balancing of the triangular animosities of Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Iran—respectively secular, Sunni and Shi’a—each hostile to the other two. That is why when Iraq invaded Iran in the 1980s, and it looked as though Iran would win the war, Britain and the United States gave much support to Saddam Hussein, despite his being already a proven warmonger abroad and a murderous tyrant at home.

    The major beneficiary of the overthrow of Saddam and his secular tyranny has been Shi’a, theocratic, nuclear Iran, a far greater threat to western interests today than Saddam was in 2003, with his by then non-existent weapons of mass destruction—the excuse for the invasion so shamefully advanced in the House by our Prime Minister, to his everlasting disgrace. I did not believe him then, and I voted against the invasion.

    The occupation of Iraq by foreigners has made Iran the most potent political force in the middle east, as Hezbollah recently demonstrated in Lebanon, so the neo-cons, who had long been plotting an attack on Iraq, in the event achieved nothing for Israel, and Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states are more than ever fearful of Iran.

    The invasion was a political blunder because the attack on Iraq divided the United Nations, divided NATO, divided the European Union, inflamed Islamic opinion against Britain at home and abroad, constrained British diplomatic influence and commercial success in the middle east and beyond, increased the influence of President Putin’s Russia, weakened the world economy by forcing up the price of oil and, at a significantly lower level of importance, has largely destroyed the political reputation of our Prime Minister.

    The war was a humanitarian blunder because of the tragic deaths of so many British and American soldiers and the many more whose bodies have been maimed and whose lives have been ruined, and the sadness and suffering that that has brought to their families, which will stay with them for the rest of their lives. It was a humanitarian blunder also because of the countless and largely uncounted tens of thousands of wholly innocent non-combatant Iraqis—Shi’a, Sunni and Kurds—who have been slaughtered, mutilated, orphaned or robbed of their homes and livelihoods by reason of the chaos into which the invasion has plunged the country that was Iraq, but can never be Iraq again.

    As a result of his tragic misjudgments in the middle east, our Prime Minister is, figuratively speaking, more deeply steeped in blood than any Scottish politician since Macbeth. We need an inquiry to tell us how he led us into this disaster, and to make sure that no vainglorious and ignorant Prime Minister can ever do so again.


  • Donald

    Hold the front page! Blair is a morally weak, lying war criminal. Gorgeous George will put down his cigar and tell us all how it really is. Don’t rustle your crisp packets in the audience.

    I have the same feeling about this film as I had about Tariq Ali’s play, staged some time around 1997-98, which brought people the news that New Labour was ‘all style and no substance’.

    Another safety-valve.

  • Martin T

    The flag of Nablus was hoisted above the city chambers.

    And nearby, Marks and Spencer went on trading as usual, right?
    And Starbucks.
    And Group Four.
    And Caterpillar.

    But the flag flapped meaningfully in the wind?

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) a!

    Martin T (10h20)

    Brilliant post, Martin, I’m still chuckling. It’s almost poetry. Many thanks!

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) a!

    Abe Rene

    “Let’s suppose for the sake of argument that Tony Blair was responsible for the deaths of 100,000 Arabs. Then we would have to assign to Pol Pot 10 times that guilt, Mugabe perhaps 20 times that much, the Kim dynasty of North Korea 100 times that much and Comrades Stalin and Lenin 1000 times as much. Thus in perspective it is better to get hot under the collar about godless Communist rulers than Dubya’s good pal. Finally, I don’t hold Blair personally responsible for 100,000 deaths. The question is more complicated than Blair deciding on a Final Solution for 100,000 Iraqis.”

    So much good sense in your post that I’m reposting it.

    Intentions and absolute numbers are factors which need to weigh in any comparisons.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) a!

    “The father of the House is standing down next year.”

    That got me wondering, perhaps unforgivably whimsically: if the longest-serving MP were in fact ever to be a woman, would she still be called the father of the House?

  • Macky

    Habbabkuk; “The link you give merely has Nevermind claiming that Craig told him GG tell lies.

    Can you provide a direct link to Craig claiming that?”

    Sorry, but my dutiful & helpful reply to you has been removed, leaving the erroneous assertion in your question to strangely remain,so I once again kindly direct you to the key word in my comment that you either missed, or even perhaps don’t seem to know the meaning of;


  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) a!


    Yes, I remember. You used the word “apparently” to enable you to wriggle out of the charge of stirring up la merde for Craig.

    Didn’t work, apparently: you were spotted by others as well. Better luck next time, Macky., and have a nice day.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) a!

    Martin T

    While we’re on left-wing local govt inanities, did not David Blunkett declare the city of Sheffield to be a nuclear-free zone? Or was it Ken Livingstone and London?

    Either way, the Kremlin apparently (that’s for you, Macky) never got back to them on this.

  • Macky

    Habbabkuk; “Yes, I remember. You used the word “apparently” to enable you to wriggle out of the charge of stirring up la merde for Craig”

    Sorry this non sequitur response doesn’t address as to why you chose to deliberately falsely state that I “claimed” something that I didn’t ? Is was a question addressed direct at Craig seeking clarification, hence that important “apparently” word, which he has pointedly declined to do.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) a!


    “Is was a question addressed direct at Craig seeking clarification,…”


    This is exactly what you wrote, Macky, no more and no less:

    ““Craig, I hope Galloway doesn’t known that you apparently disparage him by stating that he tales porkies;””

    Doesn’t sound like a question to me, Macky.

    Rather, I detect a rather pleased tone, a touch of sarcasm, a dash of malevolence. I agree with the other commenter who thought you were trying to get your own back on Craig for the tickings off he gave you.


    Over and out on this one, more important thing to discuss! Have a nice day now.

  • nevermind

    1+2+ three, gosh, who would have thought…Blair is a liar and deserves to be investigated by a team of judges and a proper researcher, full on Ba’al, Clarissa Dickson Rights claims about Blair,written in her autobiography, may she rest in peace, should also be investigated.

    No doubt GG will also be held to account for his past claims and dalliances, but for now he’s the best there is ‘investigating’ Blair.

    I’d like to offer him an opportunity to proof one of his claims, i.e. that he is a boxer. I’m willing to give him three minutes of my doubts in the appropriate ring, gloves or no gloves.

  • guano


    And was the last Ashes tour cricket? One has to keep one’s pecker up somehow, brother.

  • Macky

    Habbabkuk; “Doesn’t sound like a question to me, Macky”

    Perhaps you need a refresher course in Basic English Comprehension skills, as my comment was certainly not a claim but an open question.

    The person who IS actually claiming that Craig stated Galloway lies, is of course Nevermind, so best direct your accusation to him, then at least this time you won’t be making things up.

  • Macky

    Nevermind; “I’d like to offer him an opportunity to proof one of his claims”

    As I imagine Habbabkuk will chicken out of asking you, I will do it for him;

    Do you stand by your statement of Craig telling you that Galloway lies ?

  • Macky

    Thanks, but no thanks Anon; nothing will ever stop me digging for Truth & Justice by confronting irrationalities & hypocrisy. 😀

  • Jemand

    Whatever the truth or otherwise of what Craig has previously said and whether George Galloway is occasionally dishonest or misunderstood, you Macky are doing no one any favours, least of all yourself. You’re not a champion of “Truth and Justice” as you proclaim yourself to be, just a vindictive scragg out to derail Craig’s work.

  • Mary

    Some refreshing views from George Galloway’s guests this week. Recommended.

    Seumas Milne on Tony Benn and Davisd Chandler on the break up of Yugoslavia.

    ‘Britain and the United States bombed Yugoslavia having spent decades subverting it, splintering it into an alphabet soup of countries and states. A NATO enforced “peace” in Bosnia-Herzegovina is now neither stable nor peaceful with predictions of a “Bosnian Spring” thickening the air. We invited Professor David Chandler of Westminster University into the studio to help make sense of the NATO sponsored break-up of Yugoslavia and ask whether this has been a success or a failure.

    And we dedicate part two to The Right Honourable Tony Benn who died last week. Seumas Milne, Associate Editor of the Guardian and author of the epic book The Enemy Within joins us to discuss the greatest British socialist leader of the last 50 years, as we look at Tony Benn’s life and times and the meaning of his death to the British left.’

  • Anon

    Galloway’s film ought to have been called ‘The Killings of Tony Blair’. As it stands the title suggests viewers will be treated to a feature-length disembowelment of the former PM, and while that might constitute pleasurable viewing for many here, it may be deemed confusing or even offputting to many.

    As for some of the regular violent fantasies towards Blair indulged in by many here and so excellently put into perspective by Abe Rene above, I’ve always felt a short spell – say two months – of community service would be ample punishment for his sins. In Fallujah.

  • Anon

    “the greatest British socialist leader of the last 50 years”

    Benn never led his party, he never even held any of the four most important offices of government.

    Benn’s socialism extended to renouncing his title, but not, unfortunately, to renouncing his inherited wealth, which, thanks to his astute use of an inheritence tax loophole, can now be safely passed on to his son.

    If anyone wonders why there have been no street parties or songs celebrating his death, it’s because he wasn’t a success.

    Another Bollinger Bolshevik, Benn will be remembered chiefly for being a fantastic gift to the right.


  • Anon

    In other news:

    “The Rt Hon Lord Kinnock of Bedwellty and Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead are delighted to announce that their son, the Hon Stephen Kinnock, Husband of the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Denmark, has been appointed Labour prospective parliamentary candidate for Aberavon.”

    Who says socialism doesn’t pay?

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