Talk Registration 80

UPDATE Approval for the talk has now been given. I understand to gain admittance for the talk this evening (for which permission remains pending) you have to register your wish to attend. I understand the easiest way to do this is via this Facebook page. . Apologies for the palaver.

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80 thoughts on “Talk Registration

  • glenn_uk

    Bit hard on those who don’t have smartphones, or use Facebook. I’m increasingly concerned about the exclusion in society of people not signing up with their real name and details before going about their lawful business.

    The Huffington Post, for instance, requires one to “sign in with your facebook account” before posting comments. What if I don’t want to have my political views known to everyone? Here, it appears a full record will be kept of attendees at your talk.

    When I organised the Amnesty talk you gave, I have no idea who attended, apart from the individuals I recognised, and – IMHO – that’s the way it should be.

      • lysias

        The CIA funds startups, largely in tech.

        I’ve always suspected U.S. government involvement in the creation of Facebook. Because of my own experiences in military signals intelligence, I have always resisted signing up for Facebook.

        • Habbabkuk

          When asked, once upon a time, to tell us what he was doing with the US military in West Berlin a certain commenter – who shall remain nameless – replied that he was not allowed to say because he was bound by the US equivalent of the Official Secrets Act.


        • Itsy

          If the CIA weren’t involved in the creation of it, I bet they got in on the act quickly. The amount of information people are prepared to throw around about themselves is unbelievable. I signed up for it, early on, but deleted my “account” quickly.

          I then found there were things I couldn’t access or read. So I signed up again – with entirely false info, and fictional stuff about where I went to school and university, etc. Needless to say, I can’t “register” for Craig’s talk with that. Never mind, I’ll catch him again.

        • Ba'al Zevul

          I’ve always resisted (without any great difficulty) signing up to Facebook because it would not be the done thing for someone of one’s aristocratic breeding, former chairmanship of the UN, Nobel Prize for Chemistry and vast experience of life.

          But I’m sure it would be quite suitable for an ex-Navy Seal/Intelligence officer/insert as applicable who may or may not have read Classics at Oxford but claims he has at every possible opportunity as if it conferred some tangible advantage, so you should. You really should.

          • lysias

            When was the last time I mentioned on this forum that I was at Oxford? I think it was some years ago. Does that amount to “at every possible opportunity”?

            When did I ever say I was an ex-SEAL? I don’t believe I ever said it, for the simple reason that it is not true.

            And are you saying that no harm is done by ordinary people signing up for Facebook, even though by doing so they reveal all sorts of secrets that governments and corporations can manipulatively use against them?

          • Ba'al Zevul


            You certainly re-informed us that you ‘read Classics at university’ this very day. And feel free to insert as applicable. I had toyed with ‘First Lady’ as an option for you, too.
            Point being we’re all pixels here. There’s very little point in bragging, pulling academic rank, or anything else. There’s always someone who’s actually done it, and five who say they have. Ignore that, and you’ll continue to make Habba a very happy *whatever Habba is*, and far be it from me to spoil his fun.

          • lysias

            I’m American. “Read Classics at university” is not something I would say. Please don’t use quotation marks when you’re not quoting the actual wording.

            I mentioned having studied Classics for a reason. The talk was about Richard Wagner, and it was appropriate to mention why I love his work. I did not mention my studies gratuitously.

            Can I help it if class-obsessed Brits take such language as some kind of put-down when nothing of the kind is intended?

          • Habbabkuk

            Irish-American last time I looked.

            BTW, have you got round to renewing your Irish passport yet (as announced shortly after Mr Trump became President Trump)?

          • glenn_uk

            L: ” I did not mention my studies gratuitously.”

            I, for one, am sure you didn’t, just as you don’t frequently _just happen_ to mention any of your vast, diverse and incredibly (literally!) impressive range of qualifications and job expertise. /cough/

          • lysias

            So you’re accusing me of lying, when you have zero evidence of that. Isn’t that very bad manners?

            I mentioned my experience in signals intelligence in this thread to try to lend some credibility to my suggesting that signing up for Facebook is a very bad idea, which I wanted to encourage people not to do.

            I generally have a reason for saying things that you apparently dislike, and jump to the conclusion that I am lying about.

          • lysias

            You have successfully diverted the discussion from what it should have been about, namely, the sinister nature of social media sites like Facebook. I shall refrain from discussing myself further, because it diverts attention from what the discussion here should be about.

          • lysias

            When I mention books, it is generally to recommend them. I appreciate it when other people recommend books they have read, or are reading.

          • Herbie

            My memory is of habby continually bringing up Oxford and Classics.

            All the time.

            I’m sure that’s correct.

            Lysias’ only offence was to occasionally give in and respond to habby’s obsessive questioning on Oxford, Classics and whatever other nonsense she could invent to derail a point Lysias was making.

            Very unfair attacks above.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            At risk of further prolonging this idiocy, in which,

            1. Lysias maintains that he mentions his military intelligence past to add authenticity, thus:

            I mentioned my experience in signals intelligence in this thread to try to lend some credibility to my suggesting that signing up for Facebook is a very bad idea,
            as in –
            I’ve always suspected U.S. government involvement in the creation of Facebook. Because of my own experiences in military signals intelligence, I have always resisted signing up for Facebook.
            Does this add authenticity? Can we see some verification of his claim? How many members of the intelligence community would even acknowledge the fact in an open discussion?

            2. Lysias asks-

            And are you saying that no harm is done by ordinary people signing up for Facebook, even though by doing so they reveal all sorts of secrets that governments and corporations can manipulatively use against them?

            No. In fact I had not even mentioned Facebook. Which is a crock of shit. Happy?

            3. Reading Classics…If Lysias had indeed completed a degree course at Oxford, he would have ‘read’ Classics. And very likely referred to his achievement in those terms, since that is what Oxonians as well as alumni of other leading UK universities do. He is not speaking to a largely American audience. He attempts to win on a technicality, but remains strangely silent when it’s pointed out that his last mention of his classical education was, contrary to his assertion, a matter of hours earlier.

            4. Lysias complains – You have successfully diverted the discussion from what it should have been about, namely, the sinister nature of social media sites like Facebook. I shall refrain from discussing myself further, because it diverts attention from what the discussion here should be about.

            (But he doesn’t depart, but remains, his huff’s battery being flat…)

            The sinister nature of Facebook, as opposed to its inconvenience, was first mentioned by Lysias, in the third comment on the thread, in answer to Bevin’s link to a longish op-ed on capitalism. In which there is one peripheral mention of Facebook. The topic of discussion should have been ‘Talk Registration’. A successful diversion, then, but not mine.

            Habb will speak for himself should he feel like it, Herbie. For me, I have the impression that Lysias’ function is to promote a reflex anti-Western view, regardless of the topic under discussion, while providing little or no independent support for his assertions, but invoking from time to time his soi-disant intellectual superiority in any debate.

            In this he resembles a negative image of Habb , but much less amusing, and Habb, realising that he is like the rest of us, pixels, is far subtler at harnessing his past, real or imagined, to his gnomic interventions.

          • John

            I have heard the official recommendation re Facebook is to open an account and then never use it.

            Helps avoid ID theft, etc.

          • Habbabkuk

            Just to round off about “Lysias” (although it would be hard to improve on Baal’s demolition):

            “Lysias” is either an utter fraud or a complete fantasist.

            I am neither.

        • Herbie

          First place hacks go when some normal punter ends up in the news.

          Facebook, and other social media.

          Before you know it your whole life’s all over the front pages.

          No need for doorstepping the neighbours and whatnot.

          Your whole life’s out there in glorious colour.

          Your friends, connections and asociates.

          The Stasi were amateurs.

          • fred

            BREAKING: As a third body is found under the patio we have exclusive pictures of his cat playing with the TV remote control.

      • J

        Am reminded of my first and only viewing of ‘Snowden,’ the film.

        Whether Stone intended this or not, the subtext is ostensibly that “the system is working,” the good guys are separated from the bad by their conscience, their willingness to do the right thing, or rather, their inability to continue to acquiesce, even in a broken system, they can and will prevail in some form.

        Another level of subtext was possibly intended to impress upon it’s liberal audience the scale of their denial, after all, most of them up until a few years earlier were insisting that such things were the stuff of conspiracy.

        Another level deeper and we begin to touch the emotional residue which lingers after the fine details of plot and story are forgotten, the unconscious levels.

        Remember, in the only instance of the vast surveillance apparatus we actually witness throughout the film, the point is quietly made that it is employed to blackmail a foreign national. Our alarms are not triggered, we don’t identify with him enough, but a deep recognition of this event is lodged within us. The panopticon is not looking at us nor it is it looking at the enemy such as we have been invited to imagine them. But it is looking at someone very much like us, and if we step out of line it may well find us. Our demons are invited to consider that they are under total scrutiny, everything done is available for power to recall should it need to, the only thing worthy of drawing that attention is not whether we approximate ‘the threat,’ but merely that we might become useful to someone in amongst its vast apparatus. At that point all our sins return to haunt us, we are owned.

        The lasting message of the film is appears to become that all western populations are now available to be blackmailed by big brother. This is the essential purpose which big brother has defined for it’s godlike power. Resistance is now the last thing on our minds, what we can barter for our soul should be our abiding concern.

        Am I wrong?

        Alternately, while watching the film it also occurred to me (viewing it as fiction, rather than real events allows enough distance to ponder) it occurred to me that the character of Snowden could be viewed as a manipulated pawn whose sole purpose is to be drawn far enough inside to witness enough telling details of the whole before being prodded back out of the organisation precisely in order to carry back to the world the essential message that US surveillance is total, resistance is so futile that we must censor any potential action before it becomes even the thought of dissent. At which point it really is game over.

        Just some late night musings.

    • Jayne Venables

      Glen, we drove through rush hour traffic for over an hour to hear Craig’s views. Greeted by Uni Student ,barring our entry, demanding to know “Were we on the list?” “Were we in (?) PSC (?) PSE (?)?” Answer “We just came to hear Craig Murray speak.”

      Our questions to her: “Why do you want our names?”
      Answer incoherent.
      Our next question: “Who ordered the list?”
      Answer :”Leeds Uni Secretary.”
      Next question: “Who is that?”
      Answer: “Roger Gair.”
      We try to write his name down. I ask “What was that again?”
      She refuses to tell me.
      She still needs to vet us before we can be allowed in.
      So we ask for her name.
      She refuses to give us it.
      I start to take photos of her barring people’s entry. She doesn’t like that.
      Security comes. Lovely chap. Clearly uncomfy at this ludicrous scenario.
      Eventually, two of Craig’s pals arrive. She phones to confirm. The lady who is Head of Student Engagement arrives. They are allowed to pass into the exclusive warmth of the Conference Auditorium and we follow.
      My husband asks for Head’s name and makes to write it down. She clearly finds this absurd but the insanity of the demand to vet our names escapes her completely.

      Could have listened all evening to Craig’s insights and views. Not a single heckler. So what was all the vetting about?

      My stomach still churns with rage at being treated like that, at the hands of an English university, where free speech should be absolutely fundamental, where access to free speech and debate should be open armed, and where citizens who have contributed all their lives to the funding of such hallowed academic institutions should be free to listen in peace and with dignity.

      • Alcyone

        Truly disgusting, is this a revival of The Great British Bureaucracy, or a refinement of the art?

        Pretty poor example to students at any level.

        I hope you will email this to Craig, in case he misses it here, so he can pick it up with the Uni and SU, I hope at every level.

        Thank you.

  • D_Majestic

    You couldn’t make all this stuff up, Craig. Except they just did. And in a “Western Democracy” at that. Best wishes for the talk.

  • Alcyone

    Am still watching the last video you pinned up. I hope you have watched it yourself to realise how disconcerting, inelegant and unnecessary (?) your constant swinging back and forth is. You mention somebody remarking that you had aged in the last year or so. Well, firstly I hope the swinging doesn’t derive from the foot ailment you had a while back; secondly, I don’t know about ageing, but your expanding waistline is also rather inelegant. One admires your stamina and ability for clear-thinking despite it all, but I think you need to invest in a serious and thorough health-check. I believe there are excellent doctors in Edinburgh. Consider this as a friendly ‘look after yourself’ message. Think about your friend Julian and see how lucky you are. No-one is without their challenges.

    • Ian

      Are you trying hard to be unpleasant and mean, or are you just naturally like that?

          • Alcyone

            We already know you are reckless RoS, what with your (lack of) understanding of economics and your charge to the Scottish windmills. Save your money, I don’t want it.

          • Republicofscotland

            Oh that’s right Hinckley Point power station, isn’t a reckless waste of billions, that will see energy customers pay through the nose for decades to pay off it builders, and EDF.

            Don’t even get me started on Trident, and its cost.

            Economics, you’re having a laugh.

          • Habbabkuk

            RoS to Alcyone

            “I bet you’re no oil painting yourself.”

            That’s what I used to say to RoS in the days when he specialised in making vulgar remarks (perhaps he thought them funny?) about Her Majesty the Queen’s and HRH Prince Charles’ looks.

            Imitation is the best form of flattery as they say. 🙂

          • bevin

            What they actually say is that “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”
            Are you really arguing that RoS is copying your witticisms?
            Are you really keeping count?
            Are you a complete narcissist?

          • Habbabkuk


            Of course I don’t “keep count” (was that the correct expression, by the way?).

            It’s just that one feels flattered when a voluble wordsmith as skilled and inventive as RoS deigns to use one of one’s own little expressions which had in fact previously been directed against the very same voluble wordsmith!

          • Herbie

            “I bet you’re no oil painting yourself.”

            You’re claiming the above, habby, as:

            “one of one’s own little expressions”

            Are you serious.

            It was a common enough expression.

            At one time.

            It’s just an imprint which dates you.

    • Sharp Ears

      Is the writer @ 15.09 yesterday completely insensible to a fellow human’s feelings? How can someone make such personal remarks and to the host of the blog whose bandwidth he consumes with vast tracts of K c and p? I am disgusted.

  • mog

    Not on Facebook, but want to go to Leeds to hear you talk. Any other options?
    Facebook page is blank (for me) anyway…..

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Could be down to freezing outside tonight in Leeds. Glad they let you in!.

  • Habbabkuk


    “Apologies for the palaver.”

    To what palaver are you referring – the two previous threads? Do you now consider you may have over-reacted on the blog?

    • Dave Price

      That would be the palaver of registering.

      Reminds me of comprehension at school:

      Read the following passage and then answer the questions:

      “I understand to gain admittance for the talk this evening (for which permission remains pending) you have to register your wish to attend. I understand the easiest way to do this is via this Facebook page. . Apologies for the palaver.”

      1) What does ‘palaver’ mean?
      2) To what does the word ‘palaver’ refer in the passage?
      3) Make up a sentence of your own using the word ‘palaver’.

    • Habbabkuk


      Merriam-Webster defines “palaver” (as a noun) as follows:

      ” 1
      a : a long parley usually between persons of different cultures or levels of sophistication a palaver between foreign ministers; b : conference, discussion a palaver between union leaders

      a : idle talk Cut the palaver and get down to business.b : misleading or beguiling speech Don’t get taken in by the candidate’s palaver.”

      So under those definitions Craig’s use of “palaver” might appropriately describe the previous two threads and not the registration procedure or its mechanics.

      • Dave Price

        So that would be the palaver of describing the registering. Either way precludes your strained interpretation, no ‘might’ about it.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    I think the meaning’s shifted, thanks to sloppy usage and bad teaching.

    The Cambridge Dictionary has:

    unnecessary work and trouble:
    ‘Organizing the annual office lunch was such a palaver, I swore I’d never do it again’.

    in addition to

    talking or discussion that goes on for too long and is not important:
    ‘That’s enough palaver for now’.

    Neara da street, da dudez @ Urban Dictionary has fuss/ bother

    And here, among other esoterica, scroll down to 16 Oct 2015, to confirm that Craig is indeed aware of current usage.

    • Deepgreenpuddock

      Re the. hunting season (from previous post) yes. you are quite right that the stag hunting ends and the hind season begins in October. but my interest was always food related, rather than trophy related and since hinds taste so much better I tend to regard the season as ‘beginning’ in October.

    • Deepgreenpuddock

      I also. meant to wade. into the. debate re facebook and the. CIA.(all this. bad. tempered name calling etc) Essentially there is no real secret(although no doubt there are ‘secret’ elements) about the fact that the US state engages in development of technical change. It is one of Noam Chomsky’s key observations- that the ‘free enterprise’ fetishisation of US is ironically,anythng. but ‘free enterprise’ since the many of the very highly profitable areas. of technology are. largely funded through their initial loss making/expensive/high risk stages by tax money, often, not always, through the military. or other related state systems / services before being sold off or. integrated. in some way into ‘preferred’ private system.
      At. one. level, It is a huge hypocrisy, of course, but it is hardly a revelation. It is quite easy within an academic system to trace much of this developmental process. of a great deal of the current technology. There is not really any doubt about the key role of a number of state agencies involvement in the funding and accepting the. losses of early development and the. crossover. between. public and. private. in. order to. monetise. knowledge and expertise.
      I actually worked on the development of a military communication system called Clansman, in a company in Glenrothes (Silicon Glen?-anyone remember? ) who were suppliers to a company called RACAL-a then electronic defence contracting company which had been started up by some Ex-RN engineering officers/wallahs-probably in the late fifties.
      ‘The Clansman’ was developed in the sixties and in use through the seventies eighties and. early nineties. It was used. by the. British Army. in the first gulf war and afterwards a parliamentary committee severely criticised the military for its Clansman system as it was, by then, well out of date and probably pretty much obsolete.
      However, it is well known that RACAL created an offshoot company (can’t remember exactly when ) sometime around the late sixties called. ——-Vodaphone. It was a (then) specialised company that provided car phone systems, very limited to London and one or two other places. These were very expensive gadgets and were really only available to high end operators in major companies(BP etc) and probably within key government departments and diplomatic circles.
      The point. here is that in the early. eighties two of the directors of RACAL approached Thatcher and got some kind of audience/arrangement/ got into a ‘process’ with her, and sometime later ‘secured’ the. licenses to begin the development of the mobile phone network. There is not the slightest doubt that the knowledge and expertise that Vodaphone acquired through the defence contracting RACAL connection (tax funded /risk bearing Clansman) was the foundation for the Vodaphone ‘private enterprise’ money. making empire. It possibly also took some. clever political and business manoeuvring by those with that knowledge acquired in this advantaged way.
      I am not going to make any judgements although it is a matter requiring some consideration and debate. Should the (financial) benefits provided to certain individuals through their advantaged position in having access to the (risk free) tax funded, technology be the foundation for private fortune- and is it. enough that the general (tax. paying ) public get the benefit of the mobile technology? it enough that we are the. beneficiaries of. technology. and those key(lucky) people deserve their vast fortune for enabling us all to. get access to the. technology. Personally i think the balance. is way off. -far too much advantage is given to the private system in the sense. of being. given. (since Thatcher). a very lax. penalty on such advantages. which they. did. not themselves generate. However too. punitive a tax take. is. quite. likely to disrupt the development process.
      i am sure that many of the technical developments we now enjoy have had much connection to the risk abatement that comes from state involvement. It is arguable that technical and. technological improvements are. absolutely. dependent on this rather difficult to defend ‘process’ and that we risk losing these benefits of. technology if we. become obsessed with the. niceties. of who paid what etc. etc.

      it. is an interesting thought that there is generally a ‘ten year’. military. civilian technology gap. We. can only speculate. over what is actually. being developed at the moment-just as. in. 1969 when. i was. working. on. producing mosfets for the clansman, I had. no idea that it would eventually. develop into a ‘Startrek'(SCI-fi) mobile phone system.
      Much potential for conspiracy theorising.

      • Ba'al Zevul

        So THAT’s what happened to Racal. I remember with affection the much older RA17, also developed for forces use. The wavelength scale was on 35mm film wound past the cursor, and usefully long A geek explains why it was so good for its time-

        Though I think he’s been unfair in including the ATU as an extra complication!

        Good points re. the illusory nature of free enterprise. TY.

      • lysias

        I hope you noticed that I engaged in no “bad tempered name calling,” as you call it.

  • james

    …” the easiest way to do this is via this Facebook…”
    no.. fb is a pain in the ass info snope site that is probably the cia/fbi and etc favourite site of choice.. this must be why they are routing everyone and everything thru fb and twitter.. collection agencies supreme.. resist this vacuous bullcrap..

  • Alcyone

    I hope the talk itself caused as much excitement as it did here; even though much of the talk here was about the impending talk and very little of substance. So much banter motivated to provide escape from people’s boring lives and to deliberately berate. Well relaxation in itself is legitimate in its decent forms. But, it’s still interesting to observe the wheels of conflict within-the-wheels from the large to the tiniest, subtlest, littlest wheels and so it goes.

    Meanwhile, I am re-linking Craig’s recent video of his excellent talk on Iraq/Syria, though he covers a much wider range of subjects:

    • Ba'al Zevul

      So much banter motivated to provide escape from people’s boring lives and to deliberately berate.

      And your excuse is?

  • fred

    Robin McAlpine says that if an Independent Scotland were not given EU membership the SNP would send every EU national in Scotland home on Easyjet and make a military pact wit Russia.

    Do they honestly think they can threaten bully and blackmail the EU?

    From 3:20 in.

    • Rob Royston

      That’s the problem with starting from 3:20 in, you miss all the context of the point he was making. I liked the bit about Gibralter at the end.

      • Republicofscotland

        Rob Royston.

        You’re correct you always have to call Fred out on his dodgy links. This link falks into that dodgy category.

        Robin McAlpine, was making a joke about it all, as anyone watching can sed the audience burst into fit of laughter.

        We should know better, afterall how can anyone believe Fred, when he vigorously defends a racist.

    • Node

      Robin McAlpine says that if an Independent Scotland were not given EU membership the SNP would send every EU national in Scotland home on Easyjet and make a military pact wit Russia.

      No reasonable person would interpret his words in that way.

      • fred

        But that is what he said, they would “send them home on Easyjet” if Scotland wasn’t admitted to the EU.

  • Sharp Ears

    For Leeds Univ read Southampton Univ who succumbed to pressure and cancelled an anti apartheid conference referencing Israel. That is now being held in Ireland at Cork Univ. at the end of this month after yet another postponement following g the usual lobbying.

    Another blot on Leeds University’s copybook was the appointment of this woman. She had been dismissed by a NHS Trust for fraud.

    Earlier she had been convicted for breaches of employment legislation for fixing a job for her daughter’s boyfriend.

    Incredibly she moves north and secures a job with another trust.

    Then she is appointed to a job as an advisor at Leeds Univ.

    Shamed NHS chief’s advisory role at Leeds university revealed

    Professor Moizer seems to have been easily convinced.

    ‘It is apparent that she was taken on in good faith and we have found nothing to indicate that the University was aware of allegations of fraudulent payments. University of Leeds Business School spokesman.’

    But in an email from 2014 seen by this newspaper, the business school’s dean Professor Peter Moizer defended her appointment despite her previously having been the subject of an unrelated high profile employment tribunal.

    • Sharp Ears

      I was so wrong about Cork.

      ‘UPDATE: The conference has been POSTPONED INDEFINITELY!

      Thanks in part to a massive well supported email petition campaign spearheaded by StandWithUs, with the cooperation of Irish4Israel, the anti-Israel academic conference at University College Cork Ireland that had been scheduled for the coming March has been postponed indefinitely.

      While we are disappointed that UCC Ireland would not condemn the conference outright, the added security stipulations and scheduling limitations imposed on the organizers by the university amount to a de-facto canceling of this hateful event.

      We will continue to monitor this situation closely, and what to thank all of our supporters who made their voices heard against discrimination and bias!

      StandWithUs is proud to stand up for Israel. If you are facing anti-Israel discriminational, please let us know at

      Freedom of Speech 0 Israel Lobby 1

    • Habbabkuk

      “…Southampton Univ who { sic }succumbed to pressure and cancelled an anti apartheid conference referencing Israel.”

      Since there is no apartheid in the State of Israel, an anti-apartheid conference should not be referencing Israel.

      The idea is a nonsense.

      That is probably why the conference was cancelled.

  • lysias

    Freedom of expression under assault in institutions of higher learning here in the U.S. as well. Middlebury Professor Assaulted, Injured While Escorting Conservative Speaker:

    In the latest literal assault on free speech at an allegedly tolerant educational institution, a Middlebury College professor was assaulted and injured by protesters on Thursday evening as she was escorting a controversial speaker from campus. She was treated at Porter Hospital and released, the Addison County Independent reported.

    The night’s event unfolded in two parts.

    At first, Middlebury students forced conservative American Enterprise Institute scholar Charles Murray – a political scientist who has been criticized for his views on race and intelligence – to stop his address before a campus audience Thursday night.

    And after that the assault occurred.

    One summer I attended the Middlebury Summer School of Chinese at this lovely campus in Vermont. It’s a pity this sort of thing has to happen there.

  • johnf

    An article on the Israelis’ use of the anti-semitism label to silence pro-Palestinian meetings in the West and their increasing failure. The author Ann Wright served 29 years in the U.S. Army/Army Reserves and retired as a Colonel. She was a U.S. diplomat and served in U.S. embassies in Nicaragua, Grenada, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Sierra Leone, Micronesia, Afghanistan and Mongolia. She resigned from the U.S. government in March, 2003 in opposition to President Bush’s war on Iraq.

  • Sharp Ears

    Leeds Univ cont’d

    Roger Gair speaking about ‘Prevent’.
    ‘The Gryphon speaks to University Secretary, Roger Gair, to clarify the University’s position on the controversial Prevent Strategy.

    Could you tell us what the University’s official stance on the Prevent Strategy is?

    I think the first thing I want to say is that actually the Prevent duties have applied to universities for about a decade now. What’s different, and has been different since September of last year, is that the Prevent duty has statutory force for the first time. This means that the whole area of Prevent has gone from being discretionary, to something we are obliged to do. The most important point I want to make is that our whole approach is founded upon three judgments. These three judgments are, first of all, that in the UK people are more prone to being drawn into terrorism if they are alienated or marginalised from society and their local communities. The second judgement is that the greatest protection against students being drawn into terrorism is to ensure that as a community we celebrate diversity and difference, and that through our curriculum and our culture, we inculcate and celebrate the values of global citizenship and tolerance. The third judgement that we have made is that as a institution of learning, the most effective way of countering views which might drawn individuals towards terrorism is actually through open debate, dialogue and discussion. What they mean in practise is that while we will be rigorous in doing what the law requires, we are not going to be heavy handed, we want to avoid alienation in particular groups of students.

    We want to avoid any sense of disenfranchising any individuals. We will remain as committed as ever to freedom of expression and to promoting free debate. We have a freedom of expression protocol which says that we even encourage protest. We won’t, as I have already indicated, be targeting particular groups of students. If we were to that would be counterproductive. We are not spying on students, and we are being open and consultative, we have been talking to staff groups, we have been talking to representatives of the Union, and having this interview is part of that commitment to debate.’



    The University Secretary Philosophy and Theology. Quite so.

    and the Chancellor is ….Lord Melvyn ‘Barge’.

  • Sharp Ears

    Why the ganging up against Lysias in the week? Like a crowd of schoolyard bullies.

      • lysias

        I think it means I have struck a nerve, most immediately with my comment about Facebook and social media.

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