The Absence of Liberalism

by craig on July 11, 2014 3:17 pm in Uncategorized

The overruling of a European Court judgement to assert individual privacy, and the anti-democratic rushing of emergency legislation through parliament where no emergency exists, are the antithesis of liberalism. So of course is the jettisoning of all the Lib Dem manifesto pledges on civil liberties.

It is not news that Nick Clegg has become the poster boy for a politics utterly devoid of principle, organised purely around the desire of individual politicians for wealth and power. But even with all that background, I found Clegg’s enthusiastic ratcheting up of the fear factor over the “need” to protect us from virtually non-existent threats, utterly reprehensible.

At his press conference with Cameron, Clegg actually quoted the non-existent “liquid bomb plot to bring down multiple planes” as the reason these powers were needed. He even made a direct claim that telephone intercepts had been instrumental in “foiling” the “liquid bomb plot”. That is utterly untrue. The three men eventually convicted had indeed been under judge approved surveillance for a year. In that year, they made no reference to a plan to bring down airplanes, because there was no such plan. The only “evidence” of a plan to bring down multiple airplanes came from a Pakistani torture chamber. There never was a single liquid bomb. 90% of those arrested in the investigation were released without charge or found not guilty.

The three found guilty had done little more than boast and fantasise about being jihadis. That is not to say they were nice people. They may even have done some harm, though if Clegg were in any sense a Liberal he would not be supportive of imprisoning people in case they one day do some harm. But they had never made a liquid bomb or made a plan to bring down multiple airlines.

The point is, that while any ordinary member of the public could be forgiven for believing in the Liquid Bomb Plot, given all the lies of the mainstream media, Clegg has to be aware that he is spreading deliberate lies and propaganda to justify this “emergency legislation”.

Still more ludicrous was the failure to address the elephant in the room – Snowden’s revelation that the NSA and GCHQ indulge in vast mass surveillance, of the communications of millions of people in the UK, with absolutely no regard for the legal framework anyway.

In the last few weeks there has been a concerted effort to ratchet up the fear of the extremely remote possibility of a terrorist attack. We have seen, as first lead on the news bulletins and front page headlines, the jailing of two young men for “terrorism” for fighting in Syria, when there was no evidence of any kind that they had any intention of committing any violence in the UK. We have the absolute nonsense of the mobile phone in airports charade. We had days of the ludicrous argument that ISIS success in Iraq will cause terrorist attacks in the UK. Now we have the urgent need for this “emergency legislation”.

Why is the fear ratchet being screwed right up just now? What is this leading up to?

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  1. “Enhancing hatred with words beats the alternative”

    And how do you think that ‘alternative’ is encouraged, if not with words. It’s certainly not encouraged by the prowess of the opponents.

    Arsalan, I’ve learnt a lot from you, but the fact is that the children inside Israel don’t just ‘feel’ they have a right; they were born there. Since on both sides, the majority will want peace, we should be supporting the voices of peace.

  2. Answers Technicolour.

    1. Disagree. Israelis, by virtue of living as occupiers of another people’s land, are ALL supporting a cruel militarized entity which has no borders and knows no law. They choose to live there in the Zionist construct.

    Who said that Palestinians cheered 9/11? Thought that was Israelis in NY.

    2. Nonsense. I have seen too much of the Israelis’ actions over many years. There is no changing their lack of understanding and humanity.

    Where are you coming from btw?

    Read Gilad Atzmon’s piece.

  3. And there I was thinking you cared about children, Mary. So that six month old baby in Tel Aviv chose to live in the ‘Zionist construct’ is it?

    Who said the Palestinians cheered 9/11? The same cheesy tabloid sources you choose to quote when it suits you, Later exposed as lies – but you won’t be looking out for fakery in that Israeli story, will you?

    “Their understanding and lack of humanity”? Tell that to the Shminitsim, you hollow person. Or Uri Avnery. Or the Israeli Women in Black.

  4. Resident Dissident

    12 Jul, 2014 - 10:59 pm


    Attributing uniform characteristics to all members of an entire nation is usually seen as one of the key attributes of racism – why don’t you think that this doesn’t apply in your case?

  5. Where are the people to run? A promise by the Israelis that Northern Gaza is going to be ‘hit hard’. An invasion is on the cards. Reservists are being called up and put in position.

    Gaza Residents Told To Leave ‘For Own Safety’
    Israel says it will hit the northern Gaza Strip hard in the next 24 hours as it steps up an offensive against Hamas militants.

  6. Alfred Rosenberg the founder of Nazism doesn’t make a secret of the fact he has copied Zionism when he founded Nazism.

    Fact that Jabotinsky and his betar used to be parading alongside the Hitler youth bearing their swastika flag , and the zionist youth with their own flag (the lined prayer shawl depicting a minora in the middle) as the various archival photographs of the era convey.

    However in line with the current oppressive measures that none dare to even hint at such facts without the usual slurs of “antisem……” getting slung even at the contemplation of such egregious “unfacts”.

    The current onslaught of the rabid mad zionists scum on Gaza the worlds most densely populated concentration camp is explained away as;

    Hamas is instructing women and children to remain in their homes to die as Israel bombs them.

    (as seen on CNN)

    This is in line with other explanations of; Palestinian parents push their children in the path of the zionist bullets!

    Further the pernicious corruption of facts going unabated the medjia is reluctant to show the results of the thousands of explosives raining on such a densely populated concentration camp. 1m25s “

    At 1:25 of the following the attack on a beach is on a boat that belongs to that of “freedom flotilla” the boat was supposed to be used for exporting the Gaza produce for other markets.

    Not all of the strikes are on militants and buildings though. Late Thursday night a peculiar strike took place at Gaza’s marina. A boat owned by the Freedom Flotilla Coalition was the sole target.</blockquote

    This is a continuation of the systematic effort of the rabid mad zionists to extirpate the Palestinians through; a fire now and kill for many years to come policy.

    Although these facts are mere detail in the narrative regurgitated by the zionist apologist scum as only hatemongering, and not conducive to peace efforts, in an attempt to portray the victims of the rabid zionists aggression as the aggressors and anyone who stands in support with these victims to be discounted as haters and "antisem….", how far these zionist apologist scum are removed from the realities is only a singular factor that is getting reiterated with every comment these "contribute".

  7. Technicolour

    Sneering? Well he did call me a proto facist John Cleese type who aligns with Russell Brand. Not that I am in a position to complain about sneering of course.

    But anyway. Basically I hope for radical decentralisation towards an egalitarian society. Cooperation over coersion. Anarchism. That type of thing.

    What you looking for?

    Sorry in a field on a phone so won’t be able to talk as much as I would like.

  8. Reality of the Massacre in Gaza
    There are 135 Palestinians murdered by Israel so far and most of them are children, women, and the elderly. Pray for Gaza

  9. Mary, and apologies, I take back ‘hollow person’, but I was cross; what did you do when your own government was inflicting similar horrors beyond imagining on Baghdad? Would you feel comfortable if, say, a German, categorised you as being lacking in ‘humanity and understanding’ as a result? Is your excoriation of Israeli people as a whole guilt at having not been able to prevent something vaster but equal in insanity? I would sympathise.

    I am finding your updates and references, in a crisis, brave and useful, even if you don’t have time to check them out yourself, by the way. Thanks.

  10. Uri Avnery managed to slip this sentence into his latest piece of fine writing – The Atrocity.

    ‘Under Israeli law, East Jerusalem is not occupied territory. It is a part of sovereign Israel.’

    There you have it. There is yet another Zionist exposed just as Technicolour’s true self has also been exposed.

    PS I am the very opposite of ‘hollow’ incidentally. I love the way the invective comes into play from the defenders of ‘the only democracy in the Middle East’ on these occasions. RD chimes in as per usual.

    Goodnight. I will be thinking of the people of Gaza as they face yet another night of bombardment and slaughter.


    12 Jul, 2014 - 11:24 pm

    ” It’s certainly not encouraged by the prowess of the opponents.”

    I don’t get the point.

  12. Phil, hmm, no rules, is what I see. Perhaps we will decentralise in the sense that we all realise we are a very small planet in the middle (of course) of a really quite large universe, and stretching a hand across to Ghana really takes up quite a small amount of time, in the span of human existence, even if you do it by vegetable oil powered boat.

  13. Mary, really trying to smear Uri Avnery for quoting a fact? The man who is doing this?

  14. Go on, try and smear the Shministim

    or the Israeli Women in Black. Go on, I dare you.

  15. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    12 Jul, 2014 - 11:53 pm


    “Alfred Rosenberg the founder of Nazism doesn’t make a secret of the fact he has copied Zionism when he founded Nazism.”

    Reputable source for that, please. Thanks.



    “Fact that Jabotinsky and his betar used to be parading alongside the Hitler youth bearing their swastika flag , and the zionist youth with their own flag (the lined prayer shawl depicting a minora in the middle) as the various archival photographs of the era convey.”

    Reputable sources and links for that, please.


    Otherwise Mr Scorgie will get very cross with you.


    13 Jul, 2014 - 12:00 am

    I think you don’t know what you think. It’s all a muddle for you.


    13 Jul, 2014 - 1:02 am

    Talk is cheap. Actions have some legitimacy, UNHRC, ICC et al. Time for decisive and definitive acts without equivocation and ‘patience’

  18. خاله ووسو

    13 Jul, 2014 - 1:42 am

    I have a feeling that this attack on Gaza is a deliberate distraction by Israel from its other operation in Iraq.

    Sheikh Nabil Naiim stated that Israel’s ISIS forces killed 1,000 Sunnis in the manly Shi’a city of Sammarra. Here is the link again, so far no comments about it:
    “Nabeel Naiem: It fights both Sunnah and Shiites, when they entered Sammerra, Sheikh Ali Hatimi, head of Anbar Tribes said: ISIS entered Sammerra and killed a thousand Sunni in cold blood.. and it kills Shiites and kills Christians and kills whoever it faces, ISIS considers all people infidels and their bloods are free.”

    You can see why the prospect of using Islam against itself is so attractive to Israel. There is a Fatwa that if someone lives alongside open wrongdoing, such as the false worship of the Shi’a rituals and does nothing to oppose them or remove themselves from living near them, then even if they are Sunni Muslim , they should be killed first.

    That’s logical because it shows utter indifference to Allah’s laws. Problem is, that some of the Jihadi Sheikhs who flew to Jordan to initiate the ISIS attacks on Iraq have lived in proximity to European decadence for up to 15 years and they are free to fly to London or Jordan but they have never succeeded in seriously opposing Western Decadence nor removing themselves from its evils.

    Sheikh Nabeel calls London a “nest of spies”. Why do the moral leaders of ISIS not apply the same laws they apply to ISIS victims to themselves. So far the only reply I have had to this link is an ugly death threat on the So Soon Forgotten thread
    last time Time.

    The collaborators with Zion and moral leaders of the “Dogs of Hell” ISIS cannot bear their hypocrisy being aired on the internet.

  19. Amjad Shabita, an Israeli Palestinian activist in Israel’s Hadash Maki party introduces a harrowing account of Jewish lynch mentality on Facebook in Hebrew during the period the Israeli government was lying about the three “kidnapped Jews” and Hamas. Its following English translation was published by Nijmeh Ali, an Israeli Arab citizen.

    Fascists in a colonial regime? Is that a historical precedent?

  20. Basically, the leadership of all 3 parties have shown they have zero respect for people’s privacy, and zero respect for democratic process. And there are 600 sheep-people in parliament who will do their every bidding. It’s all rather sad really. I’ve never been fooled by David Cameron, he’s a lightweight, authoritarian prick who gets red-faced angry whenever someone says something critical. Clegg is a nobody. Ed Milliband, well I was slightly surprised, at first, he sided with Cameron on this one. However, on reflection, Ed has said basically nothing about illegal surveillance, it’s been tumbleweed all the way, so I really shouldn’t have been surprised. Ed has been vetted, like all the rest.

    And now we are hearing rumours of, basically, a corporate coup. The Trans-Pacific partnership has been organized in secret, and none of us are even allowed to see the details.It took Wikileaks to reveal a law that will affect us all; they simply refuse to let us know what the agreement is. I mean, how fucked up is that? It should be put to a referendum – where it would be roundly rejected – but evidently such thoughts are naive, in our current phase of authoritarian rule. We are just going to take what they give us, as they say in prison.

  21. @Technicolour: The Palestinians cheering on 9/11 was a great deception. The footage was in fact from Kuwait, cheering the liberation of Kuwait from Sadaam Hussein in 1991. At the time in was “unthinkable” that CNN would do such a thing. Nowadays, there are many examples of deception via mainstream media.

  22. @Brendan:

    If this blog is representative of concerned British citizens, I don’t think there is much hope of even raising a finger to stop the powers behind Cameron & Clegg doing as they please. Despite Craig’s best efforts, we just have a quick gas about it, and then go back to our favourite subject… Palestine. although what is happening out there is terrible, we are never going to help the Palestinian, or any other people, until we get democracy back in our own land.

    I don’t know who else received an email from 38 degrees, but the one I received was asking whether or not the Emergency legislation was a problem and whether they should bother with a petition (!) And this organisation was supposed to be about bringing back democracy…

    I can’t believe that I’m having to say this but if we aren’t happy we all need to write to our MPs about this. If we wish to have any effect at all, we should avoid electronic media and go back to traditional means of communication… that will at least give them something physical to think about. We should also hold demonstrations outside constituency offices, but we need to act, not just talk, and should not expect the mainstream media to support our cause, because they are the cheerleaders of this apparent rush to a snooped on society.

  23. Sorry you felt unable to continue with the dialogue between us about the theme of this blog, Habby. From my side it was genuine debate with no hidden agenda.

    I’ll try once more though. What do you think of this statement by a real eminence, the President of the Law Society?…

    “We are concerned that introducing emergency legislation does nothing to enhance the rule of law or address the fact that we are increasingly becoming a ‘surveillance society’. The history of emergency legislation is not exemplary, with laws being used for purposes for which they were not intended. Today’s news is particularly worrying, given the emergency legislation will go against a court judgment on human rights.

    “There needs to be a public debate about how to strike the right balance between security, freedom and privacy. We need to simplify and clarify a complex and confusing legal framework and ensure that it protects human rights.”

  24. @ Peacewisher

    “I can’t believe that I’m having to say this but if we aren’t happy we all need to write to our MPs about this. If we wish to have any effect at all, we should avoid electronic media and go back to traditional means of communication…”

    Yup. And I have to say, I’m no fan of petitions. If someone wants to sign one, fair enough, but I don’t think any Government gives a flying. I suppose at best it gives a sense of strength of feeling (as in the reaction to a potential Syria invasion), but the good old fashioned way of writing to MP’s, and going on demo’s strike me as a better option. If nothing else, demos interrupt traffic, so get some attention.

    As to Palestine, it’s a good barometer of how screwed our own democracy is. Basically, Israel pulverizes Gaza, and almost nobody in parliament says a word. Collective parliamentary shrug. This is just weird. It’s not even a fair fight, it’s a massacre, and I’m led to believe that massacre’s breach all sorts of international laws, and are bad. Well, they used to be bad. Perhaps they are good now, and I’m mistaken.

    And, that idiot Cameron. I shake my head in disbelief almost every time he opens his mouth. How that lord of nong is PM is beyond me. They should give Craig the gig. Might be a bit jolly on the sauce sometimes, and cause the odd diplomatic incident now and again, but I’d vote for him. Especially if he told Karimov to go fuck himself. That would be a chuckle.

  25. Technicolour

    No rules? Vegetable boats?

    To be honest I haven’t got a clue what you are saying.

    Just in case: anarchism does not mean “no rules”. This is a common misconception from those who know nothing about it. Anarchism requires rules. It requires self reliance and self discipline. Anarchism is about minimising the ability of individuals to coerce others.

    Anarchism does not have a lot to say about vegetable boats. Except at a stretch: locally sourced power is good. And I am not aware of any huge vegetable oil war boats. Maybe you are on to something. Which is much better than a rosé sneer.

  26. This caps it all.

    BLiar on YNet News.

    Tony Blair – A ‘Peace Envoy’ or an Israeli Ambassador? (must watch)
    By Gilad Atzmon

    Tony Blair is not a Sabbath Goy, he actually works for Israel 24/7.

    In this shameless performance on Ynet (11/7/2014), Israel’s most popular media outlet, Blair misses an opportunity to communicate with Israelis and explain to them for the first time the context in which the conflict is taking place. Blair obviously prefers not to upset the Israelis. Bearing in mind the scale of the crimes Blair committed in Iraq on behalf of Israel and the Jewish Lobby, it is understandable. Israel is probably the only country that is willing to give him a shelter.

    Apparently, in the last seven years, Peace Envoy Tony Blair has visited Gaza only once.

    Posted July 12, 2014

    I could stomach only 3 mins of the 13 mins.

  27. “The Palestinians cheering on 9/11 was a great deception. The footage was in fact from Kuwait, cheering the liberation of Kuwait from Sadaam Hussein in 1991.”

    Strange that they should be waving a Palestinian flag and that the distinctive Kuwait headdresses are conspicuous by their absence.

  28. Technicolour

    Attempting to improve on my par above:

    Anarchism does not mean “no rules”. Anarchism requires rules. But rules agreed by everyone they apply to rather than rules imposed by an elite few. Anarchism is about minimising the ability of individuals to coerce others. It prioritises cooperation over coersion.

    And it does not require a fluffy wonderland where no one is a nutter. Anarchism has mechanisms to minimise the ability of nutters to run amock. I think that this is in fact the one of the main reasons we should look at it. Our current system seems to reward nutters with positions ruling over us.

  29. Given that the oppression in Palstine would end tomorrow if the US wanted, given that the US state is the power that has enabled decades of slaughter it is hardly surprising even if a few Palestinians did cheer 911.

  30. Shouldn’t discussions about Palestine be on the relevant thread from a few days ago?

  31. Interesting that Kempe, quick as a flash, had those links up his sleeve.

    I would not believe anything Fox News produces, nor the word of CNN. Remember the fake palm trees in the studio?

    CNN Fake Newscast Best Quality

  32. How about this from the BBC’s Mark Urban retweeted by Aaronovitch?

    Retweeted by David Aaronovitch
    Mark Urban @MarkUrban01 · 13h
    Hamas just tried a big strike on Tel Aviv. Are they goading Israel to see if it has guts for ground op in Gaza? Both sides playing with fire.

    Urban’s loving it. More war and killing. He can get his magic pen and charts out on Newsnight.


    Aa’s own tweets in which he reveals his prejudice about Hamas. Predictable of course.

    Chris Gunness of UNWRA starts off.

    Good challenges there from a Mark Doran.

  33. What do we think it’s leading up to, then?

    There were preparations on the London tube system before the bombs went off on 7/7 too.

    The vile Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary-General, has said that there is a risk of an “all-out escalation” in Gaza, and that the Arabs in Gaza must stop defending themselves.

    (In his Zionist terms, “Hamas must stop firing rockets”).

    Meanwhile the moderated comments on the Jerusalem Post website contain exhortations to turn Gaza into glass.

    In case anyone doesn’t understand what that means, that means a nuclear attack, which causes enough heat to fuse sand into glass.

    With the ‘new’ government in Teheran, the Sharon doctrine – based on Netanyahu’s replacement for the East-West arms race (the ‘war on terror’) and focused on Iran (any problem for the Zionist entity is a problem for the world) – looks as though it is in the process of being updated.

  34. “Interesting that Kempe, quick as a flash, had those links up his sleeve.

    I would not believe anything Fox News produces, nor the word of CNN. ”

    There was a gap of nearly four hours between Peacewisher’s post and mine. Hardly quick as a flash even at my age.

    The footage was shot by Reuters and syndicated to CNN, Fox and other outlets.

  35. “In case anyone doesn’t understand what that means, that means a nuclear attack, which causes enough heat to fuse sand into glass.”

    Considering nowhere in Gaza is more than 7 miles from Israel and the destruction zone of even a small atomic bomb has about a 30 mile radius I think we can safely assume those are just idle threats.

  36. @Kempe:

    That may be the case, but it wasn’t the original footage shown by CNN after 9/11, which was obviously pulled out of the archives for purposes that soon became apparent – deflect the blame from the incompetent Bush to those wicked ragheads…

    BBC has being using archived footage as well in recent years, which is again deception and undermining democracy. We have to see it, and say it, as it is… however unpalatable it may seem

  37. “We have to see it, and say it, as it is… however unpalatable it may seem”

    Which is precisely what Kempe was doing.

    You were the one saying it how it wasn’t.

  38. Was my reply to Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) deleted?
    If so what was wrong with it?

    Anyway, read The Myth of 20th century man by Alfred Rosenberg,
    Where he discribes how he constructs Nazism.
    I don’t think you need to though. Taking a look at both idiologies is enough to see that they are one and the same.

  39. The interview from Israel was indeed disgusting and like you I had to stop it ..he looks and sounds like a ventriloquists dummy Mary

    Just over one year ago this article by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya appeared in Global Research: Are the Boston Marathon bombings tied to a New American Campaign into the Caucasus?

    Since false flag events become credible for what they are with hindsight and their purpose ultimately reveals itself has the time come? Not only was the Boston fake bomb event a practice for the imposition of martial law with civil liberties suspended while the man hunt was underway but did it serve another purpose? Is its main purpose now revealing itself?
    And of course the UKs emergency data law will be justified by such false flag events as the comical headless dummy and very very tragic and not faked bombing of the underground. The shameful public memorial was defaced this week

    The slogans, including “Blair Lied Thousands Died”, “4 Innocent Muslims” and “J7 Truth”, were stencilled onto the 11.5-foot (3.5-metre) columns in red and black paint.

  40. Phil; I remember reading Anarchy & Order rather belatedly: it felt as though Reid had been looking over my shoulder and written down what I’d been thinking since about the age of 5 (rather more eloquently, however). Read the Secret Life of Plants at around the same time: it was an interesting week for books. Thank you for your thoughtful definition. I still prefer guidelines to rules, mind you. And decentralistion, I think, should be a very good thing, although of course a small community can be as corrupt, wasteful and bullied as a large one (hence the guidelines). And, I’ve found, understandably inward-looking, hence my diverting to muse on the real situation of the planet.

    Mary, you seem to be blithely brushing over your attempt to smear Uri Avnery and your suggestion that all people in Israel, even the children, are somehow to blame. You therefore appear to be the mirror image of the extremists you hold up for horror. Quite unforgettable.

  41. I am not smearing Avnery. At the root of it, he is a . Stop putting words into my mouth.

  42. Even the writer of that article attacking Avnery omits children from the list of those to blame, unlike you. Even the writer of that article ends by quoting Avnery and his desire for “Israel to be a state belonging to all its citizens, without distinction of ethnic origin, gender, religion or language; with completely equal rights for all”. Even the writer of that article ends by concluding that Avnery may have the right idea.

    Going back to your attempt to demonise the whole of the Israeli population: anything to say about the Shministim? Anything to say about the Israeli Women in Black? Anything to say about the majority who did not vote for Likud? Anything to say about people who were born there? No?

  43. @Fred

    Considering nowhere in Gaza is more than 7 miles from Israel and the destruction zone of even a small atomic bomb has about a 30 mile radius I think we can safely assume those are just idle threats.

    You are mistaken. The destruction zone in Hiroshima didn’t go out anywhere near that far, and nuclear weapons can be far smaller than the one they dropped on Hiroshima, called “Little Boy”. Take a look here.

    Nukes go down to about 10-20 tonnes of TNT equivalent. Little Boy had a yield about 1000 times bigger, at 16 kilotonnes. For scale, the highest-yielding nukes ever built go up to about 3000 times bigger still, at 50 megatonnes.

    The Zionists also have the neutron bomb.

    It’s not just moderated comments at the Jerusalem Post. Avigdor Lieberman, the Zionists’ current Foreign Minister and probable next Prime Minister, has threatened to nuke Gaza before.

    Remember that nowadays most wars have big propaganda value. The Zionists do not want peace, any more than the Nazis did.

    Google – surprise surprise – has openly taken sides in this massacre.

  44. technicolour

    13 Jul, 2014 - 1:24 pm

  45. technicolour

    13 Jul, 2014 - 1:28 pm

    “We’re part of a club, and we paid a very expensive membership fee to get in,” said Rami Elhanan, an activist with the Parents Circle, which includes both Israeli and Palestinian families who have lost loved ones to the conflict. His daughter Smadar was killed in a suicide bombing in 1997.

    “We are not going to let them use our pain to enlarge this club,” he said.

    Elhanan pointed out the other dozen activists — this one lost a mother, this one a brother, this one a son.

    “Every one of the people here has on their back a very heavy weight,” he said. “We paid that price and we know how important it is not to have other people join.”

  46. technicolour

    13 Jul, 2014 - 1:31 pm

    Protests took place in Boston, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and San Francisco, among other cities, according to Rabbi Alissa Wise, a a member of the group’s rabbinic council. Jewish Voice for Peace is allied with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.

    Read more:

  47. technicolour

    13 Jul, 2014 - 1:34 pm

    The attempt of Netanyahu to use the deaths of the Israeli teens as the pretext for stepped up aggression against the Palestinians, and the racist agitation of pro-settler elements, prompted some 3,000 mostly young Israelis to stage a rally for peace and tolerance on [July 2]. The rally was organized by Tag Meir, a pro-peace coalition of 43 organizations. USA Today quoted one of the participants, Jonah Clarfield, 25, as saying, ‘This is a response to the racist march that took place last night.’ Marchers held hand-made posters reading, ‘We Are All Human Beings’ and ‘Light, Not Terror.’

  48. N_, that app was developed by, not Google. RustyBrick develop for iOS and Android as well. Google’s development method makes use of a lot of contributions, so which apps get developed is down to the contributors, not Google.

    Someone developed a drone-strike app for iOS; it would show the locations of drone-strikes in real time. Apple refused to host it in their App Store.

  49. technicolour

    13 Jul, 2014 - 1:38 pm

    Hilleli, Women of Peace: “We believe that this cycle of violence must be ended, and it’s definitely not going to be ended by more violence and by more bombs on Gaza, and it’s not going to help the people in the south and neither the people in Tel Aviv that have been subject to missiles in the past few days.”

  50. Technicolour, your points illustrate another aspect of propaganda; I expect Phil will agree here – our corporate news frequently repeat the official Israeli narrative (usually without challenge), but where are the reports of protest from within Israel? Remember when the Occupy protests began, there was a huge camp in Israel; it was reported a bit, but somehow it seemed to be dealt with separately from the rest of Occupy and then it was just forgotten. I don’t even know what became of it.

    Failure to report popular Israeli opposition to Israeli government policy contributes to the impression that all Israelis are racist – so the corporate media contributes to divide and rule, as usual.

  51. there will be peace one day, and that would be when what causes war ends.
    What causes wars is the racist state of Israel.

  52. technicolour

    13 Jul, 2014 - 2:01 pm

    Clark, yes, of course, thanks. One would hope that people who are au fait with the internet and message boards and so on would look beyond the corporate media, rather than just seek to reinforce hate and prejudice, but.

    Occupy another striking example, I agree. It was global – from Japan to New Zealand. But it was silenced, and crushed.

  53. It must be really frustrating to be a progressive Israeli activist. Ignored by all sides and dismissed as hopelessly contaminated, non-existent or a contradiction-in-terms by non-Israeli activists.

  54. technicolour

    13 Jul, 2014 - 2:08 pm

    Right, Arsalan. So all the wars which happened before the creation of israel were just – what, exactly?

  55. Phil at 12 July 8.58 pm: You have the knack of using the right bait to get a rise out of me – attributing to me language and values that I have not used or espoused. From false assumptions just about anything can be deduced. However, let’s look at your suggestion that I am “stuck with writing letters you know will be ignored”. If I accepted that the minimal criterion for writing to my MP being a useful activity was that she reads it – far less acts on it – you would be right. Indeed, I have sufficient experience of parliamentary letter-writing (myself and others) to consider it unlikely that Tessa Jowell will read my letter. However, what makes the activity marginally useful (more useful than sticking pins into a Tessa Jowell doll, even though that might be of mild therapeutic value; but less useful than exchanging views with you here on creating a better political system) is that far more is involved than engaging Tessa’s eyes or brain.

    First, sending the letter to my MP means that I am responding positively to a general Liberty request to campaign on the issue of this “emergency” legislation; and to a specific request from a good friend who shared the letter he had sent his MP. It’s part of social bonding and it also makes me engage with the issue more seriously than if I were simply to say: “Just what I’d have expected of this lot, but nothing I can do will make any difference”. Second, the effort of making the letter a personal one, rather than just topping and tailing the one my friend copied to me meant I was able to develop a point that is often overlooked – that collecting email mega-data is not adapting to a new technologies but is abusing them to snoop in ways that would never be acceptable, morally or legally, with snail mail. That’s useful for me – getting my thoughts sorted out – even if I never sent the letter to Tessa.

    Third, having sent the letter, blind copied it to friends who share my concerns about this legislation, and later copied it to this blog, I have made sure that even if Tessa does not read it, someone on her staff will as will others who can then improve, amplify or disagree with my arguments. I may not have snared Tessa as a reader, but I have snared two who matter far more to me than her – the friend who urged me to send a letter and you, dear Phil, who urged me to recognize the uselessness of doing so.

    There’s a final useful outcome. I now have the opportunity to invite you, before all these witnesses here, to pen three suggestions for useful actions by those of us who wish to discredit this legislation and render it inoperable and an albatross around the necks of MPs who support it even if the legislation gets approval from this rump parliament.

    There, an open goal – I’m sure you can score a hat-trick well before the match starts this evening. For a gifted forward like you, delivering philippics on target is why you are so valuable for the FC Utopia team.

  56. Technicolour, I feel sorry for Mary in this. Her attitudes appear to me to have hardened, but anyone’s would have under the sustained barrage of personal abuse, distortion and innuendo she’s been subjected to for years here on this blog. Someone even posted a comment under her name on the Stormfront fascist website, then linked to it here; various critics of Mary treated it as genuine. And even you, Technicolour, recently criticised comments from Mary as anti-Jewish, but didn’t mention more offensive anti-Muslim comments from Jemand which were just above it…

    …on which basis I could leap on the “Technicolour is Hasabra” bandwagon which has also been proposed on these threads – the flip side of the “Mary is anti-Semitic” bandwagon. But I oppose such polarisation as unproductive, a microcosmic element of those human traits that tend to escalate conflict. I prefer the model that, in each case, certain dynamics led to certain behaviours, because this model is susceptible to change, whereas “such-and-such is a bad person / are bad people” perpetuates distrust and animosity.

    If we can’t get on with each other amicably here on these threads, what hope for resolving any entrenched conflict?

  57. ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    13 Jul, 2014 - 2:51 pm

    Mary mentioned the high blood pressure Highlander who was ranting on Question Time on Thursday. He screamed that he was prepared to “lay down his life in defence of the Union,” which of course has received much publicity in the media, including from the Scottish Daily Record.
    However there’s a comment from a member of the audience below the Record article:

    “As a member of the Audience, I witnessed first hand how this bloke was used by BBC. They had chance to get rid of him in the dummy run we had before the panel came on…The subject was making some drugs legal…..The highlander , with a twist of irish accent did a 3min rant referring to hell,jesus,etc……myself and my partner , and the rest of Audience were expecting him to be thrown out.Never happened, and then he gets Air time twice…?….Reason,because he was spouting about being British….”

  58. ‘Mary, you seem to be blithely brushing over your attempt to smear Uri Avnery and your suggestion that all people in Israel, even the children, are somehow to blame.’

    Technicolour’s conclusion is (for once) spot-on here. It is unforgivable of Mary to suggest that, simply by stating the facts about Israeli law and East Jerusalem, Avnery is simply a ‘Zionist’ to be lumped in with the likes of Netanyahu or Leiberman.

  59. ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    13 Jul, 2014 - 2:53 pm

  60. Iain Orr, 2:13 pm: thanks for that. One of my contributory skills in this world (“gainful employment” to you, Anon) is making people’s computers work right, so that they can reliably manipulate information. Thank you for describing how manipulation of information can affect the influences upon people in a structure.

  61. “You are mistaken. The destruction zone in Hiroshima didn’t go out anywhere near that far, and nuclear weapons can be far smaller than the one they dropped on Hiroshima, called “Little Boy”. ”

    I don’t think so, even small nukes produce a lot of radioactive dust. The Israeli government would not risk it raining strontium 90 onto Tel Aviv. No government would use nuclear weapons so close to their own inhabited areas.

  62. [ – your comment is linked here:]


    The following, which was I am pretty near darned certain, earlier positioned in this thread circa 12 Jul, 2014 – 11:58 am, appears to have been spirited away/been disappeared. Such tells us all what you should really know, for it be hard core fact rather than soft porn fiction?

    Or maybe I was mistaken. Oh well, let’s see if we can learn more with another try and trial submission of a tale with red hot trails which burn like hell if denied, Craig, for such denials would be from those not in the loop and completely unaware of planes of future events, dear boy, and planned future eventing.

    Why is the fear ratchet being screwed right up just now? What is this leading up to?… craig

    The herd of stampeding elephants in the room, Craig, are intelligence services flexing new muscles and field testing IT Virtual Power Control. Or are y’all here of the opinion that established and Establishment spooky default services are as cowed cuckolds and mindlessly status quo dependent rather than rapid and even rabidly active and extremely stealthy revolutionary independent special operation forces?

    And whoever would one ask to know, and for it to be, however plausibly, implausibly denied, for as is being increasingly recognised and discussed here, is the System rattled by something way beyond both its practical and virtually remote command and control.

    amanfromMars 1 Sat 12 Jul 06:56 [1407120656] commenting on

    Condor Flight Path for Vulture Rich Pickings/Rich Vulture Sit-Ins/Venture Capitalisation

    It has long been known, Martin S, that practise makes perfect and perfect is great practice and for Glorious Command Head Quarters and Remote Vital Virtual and Virile Virtuous Control of Global Operating Devices, on and in Dark Web Enterprises with Black Watch AIdVenturers, is it IT Par for every course.

    Is any and every bet and event move, which can be in any way perceived as being against and in aggressive negative competition to, rather than in simple surreal support with and sublime encouragement of, SMARTR Virtual Machines and InterNet Working Infrastructures …. ITs XSSXXXXoSkeleton ……. a crushing hammer blow to failing dumb systems and corrupted perverse executive administrative persons of particular and peculiar interest and/or waned influence?

    And would such be a Front Facing AI in the Virtual Field and CyberSpace Place and Forward Operating Base of MIComplexIT only the Dire Rich and Retarded Foolhardy would Dare 42 Win Win against in order to Fail Fundamentally and Crash Catastrophically in CHAOS ….. Clouds Hosting Advanced Operating Systems ……. Astute Active Alien Systems of Operation with Exotic and Erotic Universally Attractive and Addictive Projects for Man Management in a Reputable ReProgramming of Heavenly Assets and Earthly Bodies/Persons and Agencies?

    Take Care, IT’s a Mined Mind Field out there ……

    A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction.

    Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peacetime, or indeed by the fighting men of World War II or Korea.

    Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.

    This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

    In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

    We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

    Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.

    In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

    Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

    The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present

    and is gravely to be regarded. ….. Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States

    PS …. Condor is four strokes under par and therefore in the context used above an incredibly fast track to that which is chased and called wealth by both the many and the few.

  63. OldMark, 2:51 pm; I doubt Mary objects to “Under Israeli law, East Jerusalem is not occupied territory”, which is a simple statement of fact. But the next bit, “It is a part of sovereign Israel”, is open to interpretation; I take it that Avnery here continues to speak on behalf of Israeli law, as would be explicit had Averny continued with a comma. But Averny used a full stop and a capital letter, so “[East Jerusalem] is a part of sovereign Israel” can be read as Averny’s own opinion, and it seems that Mary interpreted it that way.

    The brutal ethnic cleansing of Palestine and the ongoing Israeli abuse of Palestinians have made Zionism a dirty word. In principle, Zionism should seem no better or worse than other nationalism movements.

  64. Clark – the link you sent Phil at 3.11pm contains ideas (allowing for a few typos in its text)applicable to many disciplines and activities besides systems engineering. Education, health, foreign policy, economics, journalism and all forms of political activism should take account of this positive insight:

    “16 Any small unit committed to qualitative action can affect radical change on a scale outside its quantitative measure.”

    Visions and values are the weapons to use to combat the trigger-happy – and internally unstable- world of quantitative targets.

  65. technicolour

    13 Jul, 2014 - 4:09 pm

    Well, Clark, I appreciate the need to share and exchange views, which is why I took back the word ‘hollow’ and asked Mary to shine a light on why she would blame an entire population, including children, for the atrocities perpetrated by its minority government. I’d like her response.

    As for tackling Jemand’s latest anti-Muslim witters, I don’t bother reading him any more (it’s rather harder to avoid reading Mary, I find). If, however, you look back at the merry abuse I’ve had from him in the past, you’ll note that it’s because I’ve challenged his views/’facts’ before.

    AmanfromMars – I saw that post.

  66. Technicolour, sorry, I didn’t mean to seem critical of you. Rather, I’m trying to highlight that often, interpretations are unjustified by the information that suggested them, that we are all prone to such errors of magnification and oversimplification, and this simple human tendency, so common that we don’t even notice it, generates the seed-crystals of conflict, some of which grow to global proportions.

  67. technicolour

    13 Jul, 2014 - 4:58 pm

    Clark, that’s fine – I agree.

  68. there will be peace one day, and that would be when what causes war ends.
    What causes wars is the racist state of Israel.

    The writing is on the wall so far as the future goes, but the supremacist scum are the last ones to notice what is going on.

    Over the past seventy years, since the start of the bastard estate of zionistan, which was constituted to be the private clearing gateway for a certain house of banksters whom we dare not to mention in case we are labelled as “antisemi…”. As well as keeping the natives down for the benefit of the rest of the privateers (oil and resources) whom own the puppets that are selected to be elected to run the masses (keep them down too, albeit in varying degrees of intensity).

    The zionist apologists scum have been in overdrive mode bombarding the threads with their “hasbara by numbers” ranging from the very crude as in the case of the dancing Palestinians on 9/11 that carries such enlightened commentary;

    Comptown SurSide 1 month ago

    Fuck the Palestines, so glad that Israel bomb the shit out of them, God Bless America and Israel

    In response to a purported close camera shot package of at most twenty people (Arabs in some place holding a hand drawing of a Palestinian flag) celebrating something/some event, however the commentary puts it as celebrating the 9/11 attacks, and it was as seen on the telly, so must be true!

    To the more subtle; highlighting the peace activist and the various other positive aspects of some of the residents of zionistan. This then is used as a leverage to cut slack for the mad rabid zionists to accommodate their genocidal, land theft and regular massacre of the Palestinians, because hate will not solve anything!

    Finally the whataboutry kicking in, to defend he indefensible mad rabid zionists and their ongoing crimes against peace, and against humanity.

    The simple fact is, the slow destruction of the nation of Palestine that has been afoot for the last seventy years, somehow as ever is projected as the aggression and hatred of these subhuman Arabs who are intent in pushing the zionists into the sea!!!

    This is in line with the other pearls of wisdom;

    In he face of US forces killing 4 million Vietnamese; men, women, children, and infants, who were classed as gooks and Vietcong. William Westmoreland explained it away as; “The Oriental doesn’t put the same high price on life as does a Westerner. Life is plentiful. Life is cheap in the Orient.”

    Banastre Tarleton stood up in Parliament and pontificated that Africans did not object to being slaves.

    President William McKinley believed and said so; little brown Filipinos appreciated being conquered and dominated.

    Dehumanisation of the victims by the oppressors has always been a keystone policy in garnering sympathy for the mass murder and destruction of the target group by the aggressors and oppressors.

    Further, anyone disagreeing with such a filthy policy is then classed as trouble maker, and so far in this blog everyday one or the other of the zionist apologists scum ask why such an emphasis on Palestine? Fact that such a line of questioning is contrary to principles of the freedom of expression is never entertained. Evidently freedom of expression is what we are allowed and encouraged to express, as the good rabbi put it; you cannot run into a full theatre and shout fire!

    Note the simplistic allegories and lessons!

  69. Technicolour, further, our human tendency to polarise like this, to close ranks and identify an external enemy, and then to interpret their behaviour as hostile, increases when we are ourselves attacked, and Mary has suffered extended verbal attack from Habbabkuk and the bandwagon he started. That’s the same Habbabkuk who attempted to wind up the visiting Israeli Oneil.

    “Let’s all you lot fight – and especially fight her” says Habbabkuk, so I excuse Mary preferentially and wish her strength, especially now with Israel again bullying Gaza. And I also endorse your advice and, like Phil, urge Mary to reconsider; to recognise and resist incitement to polarisation and side-taking, and acknowledge and respect well-motivated activists who happen to be Israeli – which I suspect she does to some extent anyway.

  70. Resident Dissident

    13 Jul, 2014 - 6:37 pm

    “urge Mary to reconsider; to recognise and resist incitement to polarisation and side-taking”

    Best of luck with that one.

    As an experiment Clark might I suggest you keep a count of who is undertaking the personal verbal attacks.

  71. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    13 Jul, 2014 - 6:49 pm

    Absolutely agree with Resident Dissident at 18h37 above.

    Two further comments:

    1/. Clark, please drop your hand-wringing, fake “honest broker” posture; you’re a fully paid-up member of the Egregiousness of Excellences and fool no-one.

    2/. Things have reached a new low when Mary uses Israel Shamir in an attempt to rubbish Uri Avnery. Check the two of them out on Wikipedia and Counterpunch and make up your own minds.


    13 Jul, 2014 - 7:00 pm

    “As an experiment Clark might I suggest you keep a count of who is undertaking the personal verbal attacks.”

    As a percentage, I would say your side has the edge similar to the lop-sided retribution in Gaza. What is it now; 100 to 1?

  73. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    13 Jul, 2014 - 9:56 pm

    California Ben

    ““As an experiment Clark might I suggest you keep a count of who is undertaking the personal verbal attacks.”

    As a percentage, I would say your side has the edge similar to the lop-sided retribution in Gaza. What is it now; 100 to 1?”

    You must have written that after quite a few smokes, Ben.

    How many?

    Can you still count them for us?

  74. Iain
    “I now have the opportunity to invite you, before all these witnesses here, to pen three suggestions for useful actions by those of us who wish to discredit this legislation and render it inoperable and an albatross around the necks of MPs who support it even if the legislation gets approval from this rump parliament.”

    I have no suggestions as to how you can render this legislation inoperable. It seems a done deal. Nothing you or I can do will make a blind bit of difference to the outcome next week. My beef is that letter writing is buying into the illusion that we can do something. Thereby abrograting ourselves of the need to actually do something possibly more usefull.

    My opening comment on this thread countered Craig’s anger at Clegg’s betrayal by pointing out this has been going on for a long time indeed. Not years, not decades, but centuries. Well meaning social democrats have been lobbying the psycopaths who run their favourtite party to not be so nasty. To no avail. Now we not only continue to slaughter the poor and all other species, we face several existential threats. It is time to consider something new.

    So although I have no short term immediate solution to this particular legislation I can recommend a long term prescription for what ails us. Radical decentralisation. Anarchism. We need to stop expecting remote elites to make decisions about our lifes. We, the majority of good people, need to restrain psycopaths with a more direct democracy, not put them in palaces.

    I am a little drunk in a big field so this is less coherent than it might hasve been. Anyway I am not sure how laced with sarcasm your comment was but I err on the side of dialogue in my attempts to be less angry. Clark and Node are to blame for my attempts at being reasonable.

    I had to look up “philippics”. Made me laugh.

  75. Clark

    Sorry, I am not overly inspired by the Fripp list. I don’t get it.

    “16 Any small unit committed to qualitative action can affect radical change on a scale outside its quantitative measure.”

    I fundamentally reject the elitism of this. Well meaning vanguardism soon becomes the new establishment. Lenin and Trotsky might have made this point 16.

    The only gig I actually really fell asleep in was a frippotronics show. I was very tired but still.

    Perhaps only popular change can be radical.

  76. Phil, that was lovely. And Iain is too. By agreeing with both of you I feel I am encompassing dualism and transcending it to the Tao. Thanks, chaps.

  77. In fact, and more considerately, this is all a process, and an incremental one, at that. I don’t mean responding to urgencies like Gaza and Syria, but generally. I am struck by the fact that in the UK ‘revolution’ is mainly a terrifying, destructive word, used by people who talk about it with a general acceptance of inevitable bloodshed, whereas in Germany, the word ‘revolution’ means a gradual turning of the wheel in a forwards and positive direction.

  78. Clark@3.36

    Avnery’s construction ‘part of sovereign Israel’ in relation to East Jerusalem is certainly over egging it. Reading it in the context of the whole article, I took this to be a rhetorical flourish on his part. He seems especially outraged that the atrocity happened on territory over which Israel claims sovereignty. I think he would have been less surprised (if equally disgusted) if the atrocious act had occurred in Hebron or Ramallah.

    In the end,it was Mary’s refusal to acknowledge the existence of ‘good Israelis’, such as Avnery, and her subsequent refusal to retract that sentiment, that so riled me.

  79. @Clark – Thanks for the info on that application, of which I was unaware.

    But Google is certainly Zionist.

    I am reading Steven Levy’s book at the moment.

    Google is a big story, perhaps even in a sense THE big story waiting to blow, even if maybe it never will. I’m hoping (but not expecting) that there will be some Snowden-Greenwald material on it. They’ve sent cameras down everyone’s fucking street for goodness sake. They vans carrying the cameras have also been caught snooping on other parts of the EM spectrum than visible light.

    It’s interesting that it’s Germany, which recently caught two US spies and threw out the head of the Berlin CIA station, which has kicked up a little bit of fuss. As far as I am aware, the British government did fuck-all even when Google pissed off the SAS by snooping on its Hereford barracks!

    Google is on public record as planning for a world of mass microchip implantation and a microphone in every ceiling. (There is no need for anyone to ask me to post sources. They are very easy to find.) This is not “lizards” or “Alex Jones” stuff at all.

    Meanwhile ‘conspiracy’ people concentrate on other interests as if they were writing fanfic.

    I’m reminded of the Finbarr Saunders and his Double Entendres strip in the Viz. For those whose literary tastes lie elsewhere: the eponymous teenager imagines his mother and her boyfriend are making sexual references when they aren’t; and then when they eventually really do make some, he’s oblivious and doesn’t notice!

  80. There are no “good Israelis” if that means Israelis who support the existence of the state of Israel. Talking about Israeli “sovereignty” is not a rhetorical flourish. I didn’t realise there was anything in the hasbara manuals about what to do when you’re on your back foot. There are some “good Israelis” if the phrase includes the very very small number of people who carry Israeli passports with “Jewish” recorded as their “ethno-religious” group and who want the end of the state of Israel. That’s the dividing line: for or against the existence of the ethnic-supremacist entity.

  81. N_, much of Google’s code development is based upon community contribution. This can be seen as Google freeloading upon young programmers. But Google did used to release under free and open-source licenses, and thus we got important software that’s open to public scrutiny such as Android version 2 and Google Chrome. They’ve taken some retrograde steps with Android 3, though this may well reflect pressure from ‘phone manufacturing companies:

    As to microchips implanted in our brains; I’d consider such technology so long as I knew I could trust it. Wonderful; no more typing, just “think” text onto the page. No more squinting and peering at screens through my failing and unmatched eyes…

    But the big issue is trust, and that can only be achieved through transparency. I’d only consider a brain-Internet interface if all the hardware and software were fully disclosed, and Google is a leader in disclosure of technology.

    Google and Wikipedia are often criticised for supporting Israel; Google for its search results and Wikipedia for bias in articles. The phenomena is well understood among Wikipedia editors who have to deal with it; the bias is in the corporate media, from which Google search results and Wikipedia articles are constructed – you can’t make a silk purse from a sow’s ear. Sure, there are plenty of Wikipedia editors who are Hasbara, but it’s easy to spot their activity in the article histories. Rather than moaning about pro-Israeli influence on Wikipedia, people should get in there and edit it, as it their (and Hasbara’s) right.

    I maintain a reservoir of suspicion for Google because it has become such an influential company. So far, Google’s ethics don’t seem particularly bad to me, but I’m going to keep watching.

  82. Phil, 13 Jul, 10:50 pm:

    “16 Any small unit committed to qualitative action can affect radical change on a scale outside its quantitative measure.”

    I agree that’s probably the weakest part of the passage. I take it as wishful thinking from Fripp rather than elitism. It does happen sometimes, but not often; Fripp’s “any small unit” is hopelessly optimistic.

  83. N_, my ideal society would be like Iain M Banks’ The Culture. There’d be virtually total “surveillance”, but all the output would be public. Nearly everyone would have a far more advanced version of a microchip in their brain, but they’d control it and not vice-versa. You could study whatever you want, have access to any information (this is why surveillance output has to be public), and so long as you didn’t abuse others, you could do whatever you like.

  84. Phil (to me at 10.13 pm on 13 July – and to Clark at 10.50): Thanks for that response. We both abhor the present political system in the UK (and globally, given that other states plus multinational agreements and companies limit our freedom of action). But we are both frustrated by what we see as the other’s energies being misplaced. I think we agree that the Home Office’s “emergency” bill is illiberal in both content and the way it will become part of UK law. But you think – I know this is my interpretation, exaggerated for effect, and not your precise words – that the legislation is a done deal and that writing to my MP is dilettante, self-deluding, elitist, Trotskyist/Leninist displacement activity. Much of that criticism hits home and my weakish defence is simply that opposing (however ineffectually) and discrediting bad laws undermines the authority of the legislators and governmental implementing agencies. That needs doing.

    Your energies concentrate on promoting radical decentralization as a long-term solution. I don’t disagree with that as a long-term aim, but I’d like you to show me even a tentative plan for how to get from here to there. You say: “We need to stop expecting remote elites to make decisions about our lives. We, the majority of good people, need to restrain psychopaths with a more direct democracy, not put them in palaces.” My problem is not what I expect others to do or entrusting to others instead of doing it myself. My specific problem now is what others are doing, whether I like it or not – such as this proposed legislation. (My voting in the last election does not mean that I was endorsing the current political system.) My aim is emphatically not to shore up a wonky system by piecemeal reform. It is simply to discredit one specific bad proposed new law.” It’s as if I’m hungry (even though employed) and you are telling me (shades of IDS) –“Learn to put up with the discomfort – what will really cure your hunger is a radically reformed and decentralized welfare system.” Extremes meet. But of course I don’t think your views are remotely like those of IDS.

    Isn’t the difference between us one of different levels of political activism? Opposing one unjust law is a different level and type of activity from opposing an unjust political/legislative system. And articulating a vision of future radical decentralization has little to do directly with tackling specific current injustices. The two can surely be linked, rather than dissipating the energies of both by those who are currently mainly occupied at one level disparaging the ideas and activities of those concerned to secure justice and greater social cooperation at a different level. That leaves plenty of room for constructive suggestions and criticism from those who approach issues from different timescales and perspectives. This website provides many examples of both constructive and destructive contributions, which is probably what attracts stubbornly argumentative contributors to it.

  85. I have just returned to this page since I last posted at lunchtime on the 13th.

    Clark I appreciate your interventions and explanations but there is no way I am responding to Technicolour’s goading and hectoring. Of course I do not put all Israelis in the same category and, as I have said before, have worked for Jewish bosses and have several Jewish friends, some of whom are members of Jews for Justice for Palestine.

    I do have a personal perspective on modern day Israel though because a very dear and close relative (whom I am not naming for fear of them being smeared by association with me) whose life was nearly taken on two occasions by the Israelis once when attempting to enter Gaza and once when in Gaza and I am not making that up.

    Anyway very soon I will not be around for a while as I am waiting to go into hospital so you can all have a nice rest from my postings! Habbakuk will have to select another person for his attentions.

    strong> I will not and never will give equivalence to the Occupier and the Occupied.

  86. Got the formatting wrong there :)

  87. @Clark

    I’d only consider a brain-Internet interface if all the hardware and software were fully disclosed, and Google is a leader in disclosure of technology.

    Are you serious?! We should trust the techies, then?

    The answer as to whether that’s supportable may rest on the answer to the question ‘What have the techies done for us so far, while history developed so that most people carry microwave trackers and the NSA seem to have got almost everything they’ve wanted?

    Google and Wikipedia can’t get away with blaming ‘the media’ for what they do. The internet is a medium. The question is who does what to whom.

    Google is a leader in hiding stuff, and has been since the early days.

    The issue isn’t cooperation and openness among programmers. That will be encouraged when it’s useful in the bigger picture and discouraged when it isn’t.

    Google’s marketing line has always been ‘give people what they want’. Of course that’s true of many or most companies’ marketing lines, but Google took it to an extreme (petabytes and up) with the whole way they took over and dominated internet search by promoting the sites that many other sites linked to.

    The company already dominates the field of machine learning, by which I mean it has a large proportion of the world’s experts on its payroll.

    I’d strongly recommend Steven Levy’s book – albeit that it’s pro the company, not anti, and a few years out of date.

  88. @Mary – I just read your above post. I hope everything goes well for you in hospital!

  89. Mary, best wishes for hospital. I don’t think for a moment that you made that up; the passion in your campaign long since convinced me that your involvement in the Palestinian struggle has personal dimensions.

    I don’t think Technicolour meant to goad or hector; ethnic discrimination is her specialist campaign as justice for the Palestinians is yours, and she annoyed me greatly a couple of years back when, I felt, she tried to smear me as racist for defending the notion that immigration rates should be open to discussion in a democracy; “if the people of Barking can [appreciate equality], why can’t you [Clark]?” or something like that. Gone and done, Mary; it was a spat and Technicolour is not on the “wrong side”. Neither is Dreoilin. Different people support various causes in their own ways, whereas some people disrupt in any way – I really can’t see you, me, Dreoilin or Technicolour sock- puppetting to post a “joke” about pork at an Israeli, or impersonating someone on Stormfront to discredit them here.

    Every time we discount someone, our own support comes to seem smaller and the opposition seems to get larger. Thus our own position seems to become more marginalised, and in response our struggle can become more desperate and our suspicion is likely to run higher. I hate to see this happening to you.

    Please look after yourself and let us know how you’re doing after hospital.

  90. N_, no, we shouldn’t trust “techies”. The point of disclosure is that it moves the trust from a selected insider group of techies to the entire technical community, including anyone who wishes to get involved. It isn’t just about the freedom to program; as Stallman says, “If the user doesn’t control the software, then the software will control the user”.

    Google’s search algorithm is partly secret; unless they disclose it Google can’t really defend against your charge, which presumably includes altering search results to favour Israel.

    “Wikipedia”, on the other hand, can hardly be blamed for anything; exactly who are you accusing here? I’m a Wikipedia editor; you may be as well. It’s not “Wikipedia’s” fault if Hasbara run courses on how to improve Israel’s image on Wikipedia.

    I wish people who dismiss Wikipedia would get in there and edit it themselves, especially regarding the Israel-Palestine issue, because there are much higher proportions of fluent writers of various languages among supporters of Israel than of Palestine, and this biasses the articles. It’s really easy to find other editors for mutual support, because you can see who did what from the articles’ histories.

    But I’m sorry to say that most people seem to give up on editing Wikipedia through lack of self-discipline. They start editing without reading and understanding the rules, and then when another editor reverts or alters their contribution they don’t handle it well. Maybe they’re used to posting whatever they like on blogs, and only stuff that’s actually offensive or irrelevant being deleted. Wikipedia isn’t like that, you’re not meant to post any opinion, anything you post is likely to be deleted if you haven’t supported it from a “reliable source”.

    But these rules apply to the Israeli-supporting editors as well. Pro-Israeli Wikipedia editors can and do get suspended or banned for breaking these same rules. So if you feel like countering a Zionist on Wikipedia, go look up user Gideon (if I remember rightly), and view the page that lists Gideon’s edits – users can’t delete these pages that show their activity. Look through the edits until you find well-sourced material that Gideon has removed – if you’re lucky, it’ll be some nugget you hadn’t encountered before. Check that Gideon wasn’t somehow justified – like the information should be in a more relevant article, or it’s repeated further down the page. Revert Gideon’s edit – the software may not let you do this, since it may affect other edits that are more recent, in which case you’ll have to restore the information manually…

    …Then add the page to your Watched Pages list, because Gideon or someone may come along and undo your edit. If they do, you can accuse them of Vandalism, removing well-source material.

    As you can see, it’s a lot of work and discipline. Israel has organised a small army of cyber-warriors, many of whom have learnt the terrain at Wikipedia and range freely within it – but how can I blame Wikipedia for that?

  91. Mary

    You claim to be misrepresented and then you blatantly misrepresent the argument of others.

    I hope your hospital visit goes as well as it can. Take care of yourself.

  92. Clark

    I too findt your faith in Google startling. They are the evil empire.

  93. Iain

    Sorry I am going to remain stubbornly uncompromising with this example.

    I am so far down the rabbit hole that I distrust Liberty. They are another pressure group of professional do gooders whith close personal links to the establishment and direct dissent in a way that does not challenge the establishment. They are a saftey valve to release pressure in a way that changes as little as possible. They are part of the problem.

    Writing letters at the behest of Liberty is a waste of time and energy. It is meant to be. Just to be clear I do not suggest that Chakrabarti OBE is even conscious of her role within this system. She might be, she might not. It doesn’t matter to the outcome.

    What I actually do instead is not so easily answered in the few minutes of narrow bandwidth I have right now. I will return later.

    [Walking on the Dales being buzzed by some very fast low flying aircraft. Presumably military training.]

  94. Phil, I have no faith in Google. My basic model is that companies are more benign when they’re young, and bit by bit the commercial structure they’re embedded in turns them more and more exploitative. They start out more benign because someone genuinely has a good idea. Someone thinks something up and thinks “wow, I’d pay for that, so other people would probably pay me for that” – a wholesome bargain, which becomes implemented by a company.

    Pretty soon, however, the commercial pressures move the company to decrease the value of what it is offering on the market while at the same time increasing the profit it makes.

    So far, what I’ve seen of Google doesn’t seem too bad. They don’t seem to be shooting environmental activists in Africa, or covering up pollution, or offering bribes to Saudi princes, or cutting off funds to Wikileaks. They don’t even make fighter jets or landmines. They’ve tried to resist US surveillance upon their users, and they seem to take their users’ e-mail security seriously. They’ve done some unsavoury stuff like hiding their funding of certain conferences. But this doesn’t mean I think Google is “good”. Commercial pressures just haven’t yet caught up with how to corrupt the good ideas that went into Google, but they will, and I’m very worried about the vast power Google is holding as that proceeds.

    But there’s a difference in our outlook. I don’t place any responsibility upon corporations to act morally or ethically. I see that as something to be imposed by laws made by democratic governments. I’m in favour of decentralisation within companies, such that the people doing the work have self-determination and can work in accord with their conscience. But that doesn’t guarantee that the company will behave ethically externally, because people’s ethical values differ; for instance a company could recruit thugs who had no qualms about intimidating people for money.

  95. Phil, I feel I should also point out the similarity between Mary’s “Israel is the problem” and your “Google is the evil empire”.

  96. Clark – your reply to Phil at 10.5 on small groups: I’m sorry that you see the potential influence of small groups as “wishful thinking” and “hopelessly optimistic” (though not, as Phil does, as elitist). Of course most small groups campaigning either for what they see as beneficial change or against unwelcome change fail; but I read the Fripp phrase “Any small group… can effect radical change” as focusing on the potential effectiveness of small groups in general, not as saying all you need to do is get together a like-minded group and, with enough commitment, you have a strong possibility of changing the world. Small groups are more like clumps of frogspawn, tadpoles and frogs: most fail to complete the cycle as far as producing effective/fertile successor generations. Would my preference for hopeful (but realistic) optimism be better expressed by saying that “Most radical change has its origins in small committed groups”?

    Let me give some examples, chosen to remind us that not all radical change is desirable: the Tolpuddle Martyrs, Jesus and his disciples, the Stern Gang [both operating in and around Jerusalem], Rosa Parks and the Montgomery chapter of the NAACP, the campaign by the islanders to buy out the landlord of Eigg, the Cuban revolution, the Dongria Kondh’s victory (so far) against the Vedanta mining group’s plans to destroy the sacred Niyamgiri Hills from bauxite mining, the 9/11 conspirators (whoever you believe they were); and the Tristan da Cunha islanders who won their campaign to return, in 1963, to their island homeland to prolong the vitality of their fascinating example of a society where cooperation and caring for each other is built into every local institution [except the still colonial constitution designed by the FCO]. Sadly, the Chagossians have not yet won their campaign, which also started with small groups of activists.

    There are all sorts of reasons why some small groups succeed and others fail. Confidence matters, as do solidarity, leadership. Outside support and advice may be factors, but generally if it’s a matter of life and death for core members that will matter more than the advice from kibitzers, as most of us contributing to this website are. And the effects can be unexpected. Craig’s standing in two parliamentary elections may look now to have been “hopelessly optimistic”, but it has led to this website becoming one of the better public resources for radical voices that are seldom given time, space or serious attention in the BBC, ITV and mainstream media. So, let’s try to make the small groups whose aims we share effective rather than resigning ourselves to noisy electronic impotence.

  97. Phil (at 2.01 pm) – Just seen and worth a brief rejoinder. I can understand your stubbornness since far too often letters to MPs, PQs, petitions,Early Day motions, select committee reports and even that jewel in the our democratic crown, parliamentary debates – like the much-touted Lord’s one we will soon have on Assisted Dying – are indeed ineffective. They are seldom levers for change – donating to political parties is. But I don’t accept that letter writing and other such activities are “meant to be… a waste of time and energy”. Rhetorically, perhaps. But for “waste of time and energy” to be the conscious intent of ministers and parliamentarians of all parties, rather than an unwelcome by-product of far more basic deficiencies in our political system, you would need to convince me that these are either psychologically sub-normal people or genuinely – not just rhetorically – psychotic, compared to you and me. I find it difficult to deal with an analysis where I am invited to regard others as inferior to you and me, even if your next move is to say – “it’s not them, it’s the system”.

    I don’t know enough about Liberty to feel able to defend it fully against your charge, as I understand you, of being unwitting dupes of the establishment, becoming in effect an addition to Bagehot’s decorative and ceremonial part of the UK’s unwritten constitution. However, I have often heard Shami Chakrabarti use her access to the media to say things that need saying with every appearance of meaning what she says. I’d find it weird if she asked me my honest opinion to say to her: “I agree with every word, but just by remaining in your present position you are giving aid and comfort to the enemy. So, please now resign and say why you are doing so. Have you considered that she might be a more than willing dupe so that come the revolution she can raise your flag of radical decentralization from within the ramparts of Westminster. Why not write to her? You ought to be able to do so in terms sufficiently untendentious for her reply to provide evidence of what sort of dupe she is, witting or unwitting; or whether she is one at all.

    Finally, I did not write to my MP “at the behest of Liberty”. re Rather (as I thought was apparent) learning of their campaign was the trigger for my finding out more about the new Home Office legislation and then having sufficient reasons of my own to want to write to my MP, making no mention of Liberty in my letter. I expect that any of your further comments on this subject will be at your own rather than at my behest. I do envy your walking in the Dales. It probably leads to sharper thoughts than muggy SE London.

  98. Iain

    Sorry mate I suspect you are going to find my answer unsatifying.

    Chakrabarti asks people to write letters that achieve nothing and she is rewarded with honours by the corporate state. She is often on the tv machine. She opens the olympic games. She drinks tea with gold command watching live helicoptor video feeds. In contrast London greenpeace, for challenging the flow of money, get imprisoned and raped by agents of the corporate state. They are not often on the tv machine. They do not get to open the olympic games.

    Of course Chakrabarti says things that appeal to you. That’s how she got where she is. She has to appeal to you or you might go off and do something else. But no matter how damning her description may be her prescription is always never a threat to the establishment.

    This is how it works. Ineffective dissent is rewarded and threatening dissent is crushed. All it takes is for everyone to do their job. I don’t even see this as anything contentious. It is obvious.

    Trying to assess Chakrabarti’s motivation and cynicism is entirely moot. It makes no difference to the action I take, which is to ignore her.

  99. Clark
    Phil, I feel I should also point out the similarity between Mary’s “Israel is the problem” and your “Google is the evil empire”.

    Of course I only think of Google as one evil corporation in a world of evil corpoprations and lots of evil other things. I give them no special significance beyond their size and influence. As well you know from previous arguments we have had. You’re joking right?

  100. Clark

    Sorry mate I can’t debate your crazy faith in evil corporations right now. We have failed to agree at great length before. I’m on holiday and Clare is threatening to throw ne out of the tent if I stay online.

  101. Iain

    You probably are but just in case, I refer to the London Greenpeace (nothing to do with Greenpeace) activist who said having sex with an undercover cop was like being raped by the state.

  102. Phil, 6:51 pm; that’s a pretty convincing argument. What about Caroline Lucas?

  103. Phil, enjoy your holiday.

  104. I sent off a letter to my MP about the Snoopers’ Charter, much good it will do.


    Saw this and found it unbelievable knowing of the crooks’ sharp practices that lie behind PFIs but it fits in with Gideon’s outlook.

    14 July 2014
    Midland Metropolitan Hospital PFI plans approved

    The Midland Metropolitan Hospital will be built on this land in Smethwick

    New hospital business case approved
    £380m hospital ‘one step closer’
    Hospital plans delayed by review
    A £353m hospital is to be built in the West Midlands.

    The Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has announced approval for the 670-bed Midland Metropolitan Hospital to be built on land in Smethwick.
    The building will be funded by both the public and private sector through a private finance deal, he said.


    I imagine the plan in place is that the site of the old hospital will be flogged off to Gideon’s and Agent Cameron’s developer friends once the new one is built and the hospital is closed down.

    Shame on all of them and that includes the execrable LDs who facilitated the rotten coalition.

  105. Phil

    When you’re back from holiday – so perhaps on a different thread – I’d like to hear you spell out the things that Chakrabarti would not want me to go off and do.

    “Ineffective dissent is rewarded and threatening dissent is crushed”: fine phrasemaking but I don’t have your faith that the corporate state understands what is effective or ineffective, nor in its ability to crush threatening dissent. As you said yourself earlier in these exchanges: “We need to stop expecting remote elites to make decisions about our lives”. So, why build the current morally and economically discredited neo-conmen into the such powerful monsters?

    I don’t share your rather Manichean or Calvinist view of the world where people and institutions are slotted into good and bad boxes. Like you, I have considerable admiration for Greenpeace. I did, not, however, admire their public support for David Miliband’s declaration on 1 April 2010 of a full no-take Marine Protected Area in the Chagos Archipelago(excluding the area immediately around the US base on Diego Garcia). That support was given in the full knowledge that a key element of the FCO’s strategy to prevent the return to their islands of the exiled Chagossians was getting the weight of the environmental lobby to welcome this disingenuous pretence that the then Labour Government was purely motivated by concern for the global marine environment. But I would not thereby write off Greenpeace as New Labour brown nosers: just as showing very poor judgement in this case and being ready, as many NGOs are, to compromise their values and be diverted from threatening dissent by their hunger for goodies that only the corporate state can currently give them.

  106. Iain

    “spell out the things that Chakrabarti would not want me to go off and do”

    I have no idea. I am not interested in what she thinks. My argument does not require her to be cynical in any way. She might be but I do not care. I am interested in what she does. In her role as an acceptable (to the establishment) face of dissent.

    “why build the current morally and economically discredited neo-conmen into the such powerful monsters?”

    I don’t think I did. I do not think the current political class is the problem. I do not think our problems will be solved by a new political class and the problem existed long before our current political class. The problem is systematic. Power corrupts. We need to minimise the destruction that centralised corruption enables. A radically wide distribution of power is the only mechanism I can see which might achieve this. Anarchism.

    “[your] view of the world where people and institutions are slotted into good and bad boxes.”

    I do no such thing. It is the very fact that people are not either good or bad that informs me. Were things so simple all we would need to do is elect the good ones and hey presto we are laughing.


    Possibly incidentally (but probably not) London Greenpeace are not Greenpeace. Different groups with similar name.

  107. ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    15 Jul, 2014 - 1:27 am

    Why does our government even want more surveillance powers when it’s already got this, another Edward Snowdon leak:

    “A newly released top-secret GCHQ document called “JTRIG Tools and Techniques” provides a comprehensive, birds-eye view of just how underhanded and invasive this unit’s operations are. Here’s a list of how JTRIG describes its capabilities:

    • “Change outcome of online polls” (UNDERPASS)

    • “Mass delivery of email messaging to support an Information Operations campaign” (BADGER) and “mass delivery of SMS messages to support an Information Operations campaign” (WARPARTH)

    • “Disruption of video-based websites hosting extremist content through concerted target discovery and content removal.” (SILVERLORD)

    • “Active skype capability. Provision of real time call records (SkypeOut and SkypetoSkype) and bidirectional instant messaging. Also contact lists.” (MINIATURE HERO)

    • “Find private photographs of targets on Facebook” (SPRING BISHOP)

    • “A tool that will permanently disable a target’s account on their computer” (ANGRY PIRATE)

    • “Ability to artificially increase traffic to a website” (GATEWAY) and “ability to inflate page views on websites” (SLIPSTREAM)

    • “Amplification of a given message, normally video, on popular multimedia websites (Youtube)” (GESTATOR)

    • “Targeted Denial Of Service against Web Servers” (PREDATORS FACE) and “Distributed denial of service using P2P. Built by ICTR, deployed by JTRIG” (ROLLING THUNDER)

    • “A suite of tools for monitoring target use of the UK auction site eBay (” (ELATE)

    • “Ability to spoof any email address and send email under that identity” (CHANGELING)

    • “For connecting two target phone together in a call” (IMPERIAL BARGE)”

  108. Iain Orr, 14 Jul, 9:18 pm:

    “I don’t have your faith that the corporate state understands what is effective or ineffective, nor in its ability to crush threatening dissent.”

    It doesn’t need to understand; it’s more like a reflex response inherent in the structure of the system:

    Such emergent self-organising systems are found to be common in biology; “macrocosm dominates microcosm”, just as the organisation of our bodies imposes non-reproduction upon the vast majority of our cells (and those cells are adapted to comply), the corporate imperatives impose behaviour upon employees (including those high in the hierarchy) and those who won’t yield, it replaces.

    The evidence that the corporate system can identify and oppose actions that threaten or restrict it is all around us. The corporate system blindly* destroys environments and dominates lives; it has major influence upon supposedly democratic governments.

    * – “blindly” – Phil, as I’ve said before, I don’t regard corporations as evil, but as amoral – simply not suitable to be considered in moral terms. If doing something beneficial makes the most profit in a given circumstance, corporations will do it. For me to regard corporations as “evil”, they’d have to choose to do damage in preference to pursuing their own best interests as measured in their own terms – which is profit.

  109. Phil passim and Clark (at 7.50 am): There’s a lot that is plausible – indeed, accurate in significant parts – in the models you both use to explain how “systems” produce results that are damaging to society without needing bad people or villains. In Phil’s words (and as Clark’s stolen telephone calls example is intended to illustrate): “All it takes is for everyone to do their job. “ What I find depressing is this dehumanizing reduction of people to jobs. If Craig in Uzbekistan had just “done his job” and not rocked the boat he would have been both a bad ambassador and a bad person. Clark’s BT example is beautifully constructed as long as two human qualities are removed from the equations – imagination and trust. At every level Clark populates the BT system with jobsworths. In my book anyone who significantly harms others through failure to imagine what it is like to be the other person and without trusting what others say to them is a bad person. Of course there are often good objective reasons to distrust what someone says – but I will not accept “company policy” as a “reason”, only as a rule which is not to be applied blindly. To the extent that blind application of rules is discouraged at different levels or is enforced with whips and scorpions, the badness may be due to “one bad egg” or indeed be part of the system. But if lack of imagination and trust are integral to the system, the system is far from “amoral”, it’s immoral.

    I agree with Clark that “openness and accountability matter so much”; and I am keen to read Phil’s promised post-holiday suggestions of what I and others can do to promote radical decentralization. Are these activities ones that can be undertaken completely separate from engagement with current defective political and social systems? Interpreting and understanding systems is invaluable as far as it goes, but, as Marx said in his eleventh thesis on Feuerbach, the point is to change the world for the better.

  110. It’s only 4 days since Craig’s original post on this subject and since I wrote to my MP on the subject (text at 7.02 pm on 11 July). So Tessa Jowell’s office can’t be faulted over speed in replying. Neither I nor anyone else reading it will be surprised by the content of her round-robin reply (below). However, having started, I will continue this stately parliamentary pavane, the next step being to thank her for her email but regretting that she and her party have missed the opportunity to mount a principled opposition to this bill in terms which could have put pressure on those (few) Conservative and LibDem MPs who really do attach importance to big government not prying into citizen’s private lives. (I’ll also send an email to thank all MPs who vote against tonight’s motion: my prediction is 25 against: 8 Lab, 4 Con 1 LibDem and 12 SNP and assorted others.)

    JOWELL, Tessa Today at 5:15 PM
    JOWELL, Tessa
    Thank you for getting in touch with me about the Government’s emergency legislation on communication data and interception. I’ve received over 200 emails today on various aspects of this legislation and I hope you will understand if I reply to these as a whole whilst addressing as many of these issues as I can in the time available.

    As a result of a recent judgement by the European Court of Justice, the police and intelligence agencies are in danger of losing vital information which is used in 95% of serious and organised crime investigations as well as counter terror investigations and online child abuse. In order to prevent this, new legislation is needed which responds to the European Court of Justice judgement on data retention and brings clarity to existing law in response to communication service providers’ requests. If these changes are not made, the police are likely to suddenly lose vital evidence this summer.

    The Government has come forward with emergency legislation and, in considering our response, I believe it is essential to maintain the security of our citizens and also ensure people’s privacy is protected. Serious criminal investigations and counter terrorism intelligence operations must not be jeopardised. That is why I support this emergency legislation which I accept is designed solely to protect existing capabilities.

    I share the concerns that many have expressed about the timetable and the fact the Government has left this until the last minute. Given the limited Parliamentary time to discuss emergency legislation Labour has ensured that the Government’s legislation is temporary and will expire in 2016. This will require the Government and Parliament to properly consult upon, and consider, longer term proposals next year.

    Labour has also secured an independent review into RIPA – the legislation that has governed everything in this area, including data retention and access – in the light of new technology. We announced this pledge four months ago. It is a major reform and will now begin imminently. This afternoon, Labour is also seeking to amend the Bill to make this review part of the law.

    This review will enable longer term questions and concerns to be properly dealt with and debated in time for new legislation. Changes will then follow. In addition, Labour has called for and secured further safeguards to restrict the ways in which communications data and intercepts can be used to prevent misuse.

    Some people have been calling for new legislation in 5 months, but I don’t believe that is enough time for the serious, thorough and sustained public debate and consultation needed to get this right. That’s what Labour’s independent review will deliver.

    It would be far too damaging to the fight against serious crime, online child abuse and counter terrorist intelligence to suddenly lose these capabilities now, and these safeguards have secured a better process for longer term reform to make sure we have the right capabilities and the right safeguards in place.

    I do recognise that these are issues upon which there are wide ranging views but I hope that I have set out my position clearly.

    Thank you again for contacting me on such an important matter.

    With best wishes,

    Tessa Jowell

    Rt. Hon. Dame Tessa Jowell MP

    Tessa on Twitter: @jowellt
    Tessa on Facebook:

    This e-mail is confidential to the intended recipient. If you have received it in error, please notify the sender and delete it from your system. Any unauthorised use, disclosure, or copying is not permitted. This e-mail has been checked for viruses, but no liability is accepted for any damage caused by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.
    UK Parliament Disclaimer: This e-mail is confidential to the intended recipient. If you have received it in error, please notify the sender and delete it from your system. Any unauthorised use, disclosure, or copying is not permitted. This e-mail has been checked for viruses, but no liability is accepted for any damage caused by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.

  111. For the record. Here are the 35 (including the No tellers) who opposed the third reading of the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill (from Hansard at )
    Abbott, Ms Diane Lab; Bone, Mr Peter Con; Campbell, Mr Ronnie Lab; Clark, Katy Lab; Davis, rh Mr David Con; Durkan, Mark SDLP; Edwards, Jonathan PlC; Hemming, John LD; Hoey, Kate Lab; Hopkins, Kelvin Lab; Hosie, Stewart SNP; Joyce, Eric Ind; Lavery, Ian Lab; Lazarowicz, Mark Lab; Llwyd, rh Mr Elfyn PlC; Long, Naomi All; Lucas, Caroline Green; MacNeil, Mr Angus Brendan SNP; McDonnell, Dr Alasdair SDLP; Morris, Grahame M. (Easington) Lab; Mudie, Mr George Lab; Ritchie, Ms Margaret SDLP; Robertson, Angus SNP; Sanders, Mr Adrian LD; Sheridan, Jim Lab; Skinner, Mr Dennis Lab; Turner, Mr Andrew Con; Watson, Mr Tom Lab; Weir, Mr Mike SNP; Whiteford, Dr Eilidh SNP; Williams, Hywel PlC; Winnick, Mr David Lab; Wishart, Pete SNP; Tellers for the Noes: John McDonnell Lab and Jeremy Corbyn Lab
    Totals: Lab 15, Con 3, LD 2, SNP 6, Others 9
    My prediction was close, but for underestimating the number of Labour rebels.

  112. Thanks Iain.

    Just three extracts from yesterday’s proceedings. They stand out for standing up.

    1 pm
    Mr David Winnick (Walsall North) (Lab):
    I consider this to be an outright abuse of parliamentary procedure. I will certainly vote against the motion, and I hope that a number of hon. Members will do so as well.

    Even if one is in favour of what the Home Secretary intends to do, to do it in this manner—to pass all the stages in one day—surely makes a farce of our responsibilities as Members of Parliament. When one considers the issues that are involved, how can one justify saying that the Bill must pass every stage by 10 o’clock? Does that meet our duty and responsibility to our constituents?

    We must bear it in mind that, as has been said, the European Court of Justice made the decision in April. It is now July. The theatre of last Thursday—the Cabinet meeting at 8 o’clock, the television conference and the statement by the Home Secretary—was all well staged.

    There has been no pre-legislative scrutiny by the Select Committees—none at all. This is the sort of issue that the Home Affairs Committee and other Select Committees that consider human rights should look at in detail. None of that has been done.

    Today, we should try to persuade the Government to provide more parliamentary time, whether by extending this sitting or postponing other business, so that we can go through the stages. One thing is absolutely certain: every Member of this House must consider very carefully, if they are in favour of the measure or not, whether it is right and justified to go through all the stages in one day. Is that not a mockery of parliamentary democracy?

    Mr David Davis (Haltemprice and Howden) (Con):
    To follow on from my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Kensington (Sir Malcolm Rifkind), I think that we are looking at a third category: a piece of legislation that is being renewed, but that has fallen into disrepute over the years in which it has been used. That is why this Bill is more important than a simple renewal.

    There is an emergency—a legal emergency—but it started on 8 April. It was eminently predictable because, as far back as 2010, the European data protection supervisor said that the data retention directive was

    “without doubt the most privacy invasive instrument ever adopted by the EU”.

    Data retention has been struck down in Germany and Romania, and there have been difficulties in other countries. The two requests to the European Court of Justice came not from bogus organisations, but from the Irish High Court and the Constitutional Court of Austria. Those were therefore serious revisions and it was entirely probable that we would find ourselves in the situation that we are in today.

    Why has it taken three months? Why was the legislation not pre-prepared? Why was the deal with the Labour party not struck in advance? My understanding is that there was an argument inside the Government between the two halves of the coalition. That argument has gone on for three months. What the coalition could not decide in three months, this House has to decide in one day. That seems to me entirely improper.

    Dr Huppert:
    Will the right hon. Gentleman give way?

    Mr Davis:
    No, I am going to be very fast and finish on this point.

    Parliament has three roles: to scrutinise legislation, to prevent unintended consequences and to defend the freedom and liberty of our constituents. The motion undermines all three and we should oppose it.

    Mr Tom Watson (West Bromwich East) (Lab):
    In the brief time that we have, I think that I should put it on the record that MPs had only 47 minutes to submit unstarred amendments to the Bill yesterday. Most reasonable people will conclude that Parliament has been insulted by the cavalier way in which a secret deal has been used to ensure that elected representatives are curtailed in their ability to consider, scrutinise, debate and amend the Bill. It is democratic banditry, resonant of a rogue state.


    data retention and investigatory powers bill (business of the house)

    data retention and investigatory powers bill

    data retention and investigatory powers bill (money)

    data retention and investigatory powers bill

    Linked on


    One of the several office assistants that my MP employs (with my taxes)has writtene to say she would be replying asap. The usual. The posh embossed envelope will arrive in a couple of weeks’ time containing anodyne printed on matching stationery. There will also be a government handout.

    Democracy? What democracy?

    This vile bill, designed to demonise Muslims who have lost millions of their peoples to the ‘Christian’ and the ‘Jew’ over the centuries, has been pulled out of the hat in the illusion that British Muslims fighting against Assad in Syria will come back to bomb us.

    Every element is a lie, including of course our own Pearl Harbour – 7/7. And no one in our bloody-handed media (with very few exceptions) has said that Cameron and Hague and the rest encouraged ‘jihadists’ to go to Syria in the first place. Cunning parallels evil.

  113. Mary – thanks for selecting those passages from the debate. Maybe we need to balance the picture with a few examples of the quality of argument of those supporting the legislation. I was particularly struck by these complacent and disingenuous remarks from Jack Straw at 7.25 pm: ” Of course I accept that the public are concerned, but from my long experience they have a clear view of how to balance the interests of liberty and their own personal security—that is what this is about, not the security of the state—and they implicitly acknowledge that, although the systems that we have built up during the past 30 years may not be perfect, they do provide that balance. They provide a level of control over Ministers and the intelligence, security and police services, which is pretty unparalleled in most other countries.”

  114. Iain
    “I am keen to read Phil’s promised post-holiday suggestions of what I and others can do to promote radical decentralization.”

    Become an anarchist.

  115. Iain

    Back in fat bandwidth land I have just looked at your profile. We’re practically neighbours. I’m in Waterloo.

    To my horror (read delight) I see you are up to your neck in the world of reformist NGOs I disabuse.

    I would like to offer Liberty’s application to a secret court as further proof of my argument that they direct dissent towards futile action.

  116. I see the MP for where I live, Kate Hoey, voted against the bill. I am still considering standing against her next year.

    That Straw quote is hilarious. He typifies careerist scumbag. I like Craig’s stroies about his gangsterism. All very Brechtian.

    Iain, what philosophy did you study? Does it inform you now?

  117. ‘I’m in Waterloo.’ Which platform? Or are you under the clock? ;)

  118. Iain Orr and Phil, sorry I haven’t responded; life suddenly got busy! I’ll come back to this thread – er – later…

  119. Phil (on philosophy): I followed a traditional Scottish course at St Andrews – Moral Philosophy (Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes, Locke, Kant and modern Anglo-Americans with barely a disdainful look at continental woolly mammoths from Hegel to existentialism) and Logic & Metaphysics (ditto, with the addition of Russell, Wittgenstein, Ryle, Austin etc). I nearly went into academic philosophy but didn’t feel consumed by ideas. Recently I’ve joined the South London Philosophy Group and sometimes do papers showing that I can quickly get lost up my own fundament on issues such as space (if it has three dimensions, why), time, perception and wondering if there could be a “Green Philosophy” [Roger Scruton has signposted one blind alley].

    Where philosophy informs me now is probably in only considering problems real if they come tied up in conceptual and linguistic knots; and in formulating excuses that seem watertight until one finds that the bricks they are built of are made of straw rather than clay.

  120. Phil

    Back to politics and thanks for the link to the case that Liberty and others have taken to the Investigative Powers Tribunal (so secret that its website gives the CVs of its members and this week’s hearings are held in public at the Royal Courts of Justice: I’m tempted to go along tomorrow). However, I don’t see this as evidence that Liberty et al are busy doing things that don’t cause the government any problems.

    I was delighted (and I don’t mean horrified) finally to have advice about what I should do instead – inter alia – of wasting my time writing to MPs. However it’s so simple and clear – “Become an anarchist” – that philosophy immediately kicks in to muddy the water. How do I “become” what I am not? Do I need, like Tony Blair becoming a Catholic, to “take instruction” (not quite as anti-anarchic as it might seem)? Or do I need to wait for a moment of quasi-Buddhist enlightenment? Is there an anarchist Alpha course that I can attend? Will it work on a committed but stingy Church of Scotland atheist?

    If you’d be prepared to stand a first round, email biodiplomacy [-] yahoo [-] co [-] uk and we can down some pints as a Hague send-off in or around Waterloo. I’ll be intrigued to hear how, if you stand against Kate Hoey, you will manage not to waste many hours (and pounds, for the deposit and campaign – ask Craig all about it)in futile activity that poses no threat to “the system”.

    Just to round-up on yesterday’s debate and vote on the DRIP bill, here’s the email I sent this morning to Jeremy Corbyn (a campaigner for the exiled Chagossians and many others oppressed by those wielding power), copied to others who opposed the DRIP bill:

    “As you were one of the No tellers for last night’s vote, I write to you, copied to all other MPs who opposed this lamentable bill. You all deserve thanks from those whose dream is of a Parliament which provides effective oversight of the executive. Sadly, last night provided further evidence of the readiness of the majority of your parliamentary colleagues to serve as loyal lobby-fodder, even if many of those who went into the “Yes” lobby did so with a show of reluctance.

    However, though you did not have the numbers, you had far the better of the argument. Also, yours was the argument that had support from more political parties, even if the main ones could rely on carpet-bombing to blanket your sniper-fire. With respect for parliament and for mainstream political parties diminishing, it must be a worrying sign for those with the courage to defy party whips that those you counted through the “No” lobby from the three main parties (18) were nearly matched by those representing minority parties (14), whose strength comes primarily from voters who have lost faith in the ability of the main parties at Westminster to reflect their values, needs and aspirations for a better society.

    But that was just round one on DRIP. You and your “No” colleagues will need to carry this battle into the next parliament. Meanwhile your votes were good deeds in a naughty world. ( ”

    We should meet sometime in or around Waterloo. Email me: biodiplomacy [at] yahoo co uk

  121. Drip, drip!

    Peers criticise government over emergency data laws

    But they will probably rubber stamp it.

  122. Iain
    “Investigative Powers Tribunal (so secret that its website gives the CVs of its members and this week’s hearings are held in public at the Royal Courts of Justice: I’m tempted to go along tomorrow)”

    So secretive that it has no location. It has no obligation to publish it’s rulings. So not entirely secretive but certainly not transparent.

    So this court: It is partly secret. All the judges are appointed by the PM (the Queen of course). There is no process of appeal. They keep rulings unpublished. They have dismissed 99.3% of reported complaints.

    This is the process you are happy to participate in? Sorry not participate, watch. If you do go along please write a report up for us.

    “finally to have advice about what I should do”

    Sorry to have kept you waiting.

    “How do I “become” what I am not?”

    Learn, think and act. Honestly, you philosophy types make a meal of everything.

    “Will it work on a committed but stingy Church of Scotland atheist?”


    “if you stand against Kate Hoey, you will manage not to waste many hours (and pounds, for the deposit and campaign – ask Craig all about it)in futile activity”

    Yes. I was joking. Sort of.

    “Email me”


  123. Phil

    Thanks for the extra details on the IPT. I imagine few would be surprised that less than 1% of complaints to it are upheld: either it means that snooping authorities are punctilious about staying within their legal restrictions or (more plausibly) that these legal restrictions are as confining as the oceans are to fish. The secrecy of the Swedish procedures faced by Assange [Craig’s latest posting]make the IPT seem almost benign. I’m not in the event able to go to the Liberty hearing today, but will lookout for another opportunity. Meanwhile, I wonder if Liberty will be allowed to report on the hearing.

  124. “What is this leading up to?” I would suggest, not a lot. The fear of liquid bombs may well be exaggerated, but if the government believes that terrorists are willing and able to make them (or even *might* do so) then airport security will continue banning travellers from taking bottled water past security (as happened to me in the USA some years ago) or insisting that small tubes of toothpaste be in transparent containers, not opaque plastic bags (happened to me more recently).

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