Posts Tagged 'Protest'

Farage meltdown

Confession time.  No way did I think Nigel Farage would inflict so much damage on himself so quickly after such a high profile improvement in his party’s fortunes.

His badly thought out appearance in Scotland was bad enough.  Requiring a police escort away from protesters was humiliating.  But what has followed – his ill-tempered name calling and undignified petulance in putting the phone down during an radio interview when walked into confirming the somewhat  embarrassing fact UKIP has no elected members north of the border, suggests the shine is coming off the blessed Nigel incredibly quickly.

UKIP insiders are all too well aware of Farage’s ignorant refusal to brook any challenge or opposition to his views.  But Farage’s demonstration of his inability to rise above the abuse he experienced on the street and defuse its sting won’t play well with voters, who are entitled to expect potential leaders to deal with such things in a gracious and magnanimous way.

I honestly pity Farage’s press adviser.  I am certain in my own mind that Farage would have been told how to handle this incident and respond assuredly to the unpleasant and seemingly intimidating experience, but refused to take the advice on board.  He could have told the media that seeing those Scottish protesters enjoying their freedom of speech was a welcome sight because such freedom is essential in a democracy – and that the political class increasingly censors people and the deeper we are integrated in the EU the less democratic this country becomes.  He could have added that while he strongly refutes and disagrees with their arguments and accusations he defends their right to express them and he would respond fully and openly to their claims.

Instead we have seen a senior politician engaging in pathetic namecalling that would be considered immature on a playground.  Far from being the bloke one would he happy to have a pint with, I would now be more concerned he would smash some glasses and kick some tables over if he hears something he doesn’t like.

Farage, as predicted, has just done some damage to UKIP and its credibility.  That party deserves better.

The popular mass movement that is UK Uncut

The furious grassroots uprising against Starbucks for acting in a legal manner took place yesterday.  At my local Starbucks the protest was unleashed with full fury, to the extent that the local press in Northampton was moved to sending a photographer to the scene to capture the moment.

But before we take a look at the image, let us remind ourselves how UK Uncut framed the protest.

Protestors plan to transform Starbucks into refuges, crèches and homeless shelters in protest against impact of government’s cuts on women.  [...]  Women’s groups and local UK Uncut groups from Glasgow to Belfast to Portsmouth will be participating in their biggest national day of action yet on Saturday 8th December, targeting Starbucks coffee stores in protest against the government’s spending cuts that are hurting women.

So, on to that picture…

As you can see, there’s not just a noticable absence of protesters, there is a complete absence of, erm, women.  There’s no creche or refuge on show either.  It’s always nice to see committed souls going out to protest on behalf of those they feel are being hard done by – especially when those who are being hard done by are too busy doing other things to participate themselves.

With a delicious lack of self awareness, this group told the local media it calls itself the Northampton Alliance to Defend Services, or NADS.  No disagreement here. Although there don’t seem to be many allies for a Saturday morning.

This kind of suggests UK Uncut isn’t quite the popular grassroots movement it has been painted as by the likes of the BBC.  Consisting of just a few trade union activists, the inevitable placards and trademark rucksacks this doesn’t represent anything close to people power.  In fact it seems to be something of a rather vocal tiny minority.  Perhaps given the BBC’s affection for minorities that share their worldview it is understandable how UK Uncut gets such disproportionate coverage.

Regardless, we can now see what an irrelevance UK Uncut is. It’s time for the hysteria to end.

In defence of Starbucks

There are few groupings more ignorant, deluded and wrongheaded as Labour Party front organisation, UK Uncut.  On Saturday this bunch of Fabian virtue farmers, whose mindset is if a person or company is successful and has some money it is only ‘fair’ they should have it taken of them by the state to use on others who all too often are not vulnerable but simply can’t be bothered to earn for themselves, plan to protest at Starbucks shops up and down the UK.

Starbucks have structured their business to maximise the return for its owners and investors.  That is what a business exists for.  They are being outrageously and unfairly maligned by groups like UK Uncut and Westminster’s money grubbing politicians who are blackmailing Starbucks into not using legal taxation structures in Europe so they pay tax to the UK exchequer regardless of whether the company structure means laid down royalty payments to the European HQ results in a trading loss.  As Helen observes, the £20m over two years Starbucks have volunteered to pay, is protection money.

Starbucks, which is working within the rules devised and handed down by the same European Union most of the UK Uncut bedwetters adore so much, have headquartered their European operations in the Netherlands to take advantage of an advantageous corporation tax deal that was offered to them by the Dutch.  The Netherlands exchequer therefore benefits from offering a competitive lower rate instead of going out of its way to treat the business as a cash cow and snatch as much of its money as possible.

There’s a lesson in that for the UK’s politicians who, so used to troughing from the public purse for their expenses, believe the state should do the same only from the bank balances of companies.  Fairness is not a one-way street that only runs in the state’s favour.  But then, how could we expect any sort of common sense from politicians when the likes of Lib Dem Treasury Spokesman, Stephen Williams, opines:

Tax is something that is a legal obligation that you should pay according to the tax rules of a particular country.

Which, FFS, is exactly what Starbucks have been doing.  So what’s this troughing moron’s problem?  Like the rest of the political class, he doesn’t like the rules he signed up to when desperately licking the EU’s arse.  So instead of taking issue with the rules he no doubt agreed with, or didn’t read, he chooses to shift blame on the law abiding company which is based in the Netherlands and pays its corporation tax there.  I’m sure he wouldn’t mind, say, HSBC paying its corporation tax here where it is based, but not in another country.

So on Saturday, while the protesters who always seem to have so much time on their hands, doss around at a Starbucks near me, I will take some time out from earning some money and spend some of it in the shop.  Not because I’m a fan of Starbucks, I have visited their shops twice; but to mark the principle that a government shouldn’t blackmail any company into paying money it does not owe by inciting rent-a-mob state clients to launch boycotts and protests to damage that company’s revenues.

If UK Uncut and the Guardianistas who fawn over their little Fabian friends want to protest about unfairness, they should start by demonstrating against the politicians who squander money and then come back to raid individuals and companies for even more.  If the government was ‘fair’ and only took the bare minimum needed to provide essential services and infrastructure, all working individuals and companies would be able to pay less – resulting in a reduced appetite for minimising their tax liabilities.

Indeed, if the system was truly fair the people would actually be asked for approval by the government to spend money.  If they didn’t want, for example, £2 billion of our hard earned being sent overseas to Colombian cattle farmers and companies installing wind turbines in Africa, they could block the expenditure.  If people wanted more money spent on services for the elderly, or money put into hospice provision, then the government as our servants would have to do that.  But of course the reality is the corrupt gerrymandering we see where successive governments buy off voters by diverting some of our cash to those people whose votes they want to secure, then spending the rest as they see fit without any form of accountability.

This state of affairs isn’t the fault of Starbucks, Amazon or Google.  And the current harrassment of them – and the barely known small businesses being made to feel like criminals for making use of legal tax reliefs – by some of the biggest hypocrites on the face of the planet is a crass smokescreen.

Tottenham shows it’s time to end the Jody McIntyre roadshow

Update: Bubbling with excitement, McIntyre enjoyed a second night of riot tourism this time in Brixton.  The journalistic giant, pride of The Independent, The Guardian and New Statesman, returned to his lair in the early hours to bash out some tweets glorifying the violence:

Those who have watched his evasive BBC TV interview from last year will be familiar with his technique of not answering a question, instead posing another of his own. Well, he does it on his keyboard too. There remains not a single word of condemnation from McIntyre of the looting, arson and criminal damage.  So will the newspapers continue to give this thug a platform?:

When this round of rioting is over we can but guess what ’cause’ he will attach himself to next as an excuse to take to the streets yet again and add to disorder and criminality.

————-

Original Post

Thanks to The Guardian, The Independent and the New Statesman, the self promoting rent-a-protester, Jody McIntyre, has been afforded the oxygen of publicity and a platform to spout his special brand of bile.  We’ll come back these media giants further down.

Jody McIntyre describes himself as a ‘journalist’ and ‘political activist’.  The reality is he is nothing more than a trouble-seeking wannabe thug who gets a thrill from being right in the thick of violent disorder.  On his blog he tells people:

Jody McIntyre is a journalist and political activist. With a regular blog for The Independent, he has also written for The Guardian, the New Statesman, Electronic Intifada and Disability Now.

That apparently depicts journalism despite an apparent lack of payment for his ‘work’.  In reality he is trying to cover his activities in a veneer of respectability they do not warrant.  What is noteworthy is that despite his complaint that disabled people are badly treated and discriminated against he seems to think his cerebral palsy and use of a wheelchair should exempt him from being treated in the same way as other protesters.

As McIntyre lives in south London it should come as no surprise that he was present in Tottenham, north London, last night as parts of the borough were consumed by rioting, arson, looting, house breaking and muggings.  But more of McIntyre’s big night out (presumably only for the purposes of ‘journalism’…) in a minute.  First, let’s examine the legend Jody McIntyre would have us believe, then add the reality he and his band of anarcho-fans would prefer people didn’t know.

McIntyre came to prominence during the student protests in London when he was twice taken out of his wheelchair by police and moved to the side of the road.  His complaints about his treatment were quickly picked up by the media looking for a police ‘disproportionate force’ and in no time he was on Sky News and the BBC claiming he had been ‘attacked’.

However the TV interview showed Jody McIntyre up to be slippery and evasive and his story was clearly questionable as the footage was not very clear.  When challenged about his self description as a ‘revolutionary’ who believes in ‘direct action’ McIntyre sought to get off the subject as quickly as possible.  Clearly it would be inconvenient to present himself as merely a concerned citizen when the reality is he goes out of his way to get stuck into the action anytime there is a protest, no matter what the cause.  However McIntyre can be seen trying to crawl away from the police officer in the middle of the road as he resisted before being pulled to the kerb where he wouldn’t cause an obstruction.

So here we had this poor, wheelchair bound, young lad who just wanted engage in peaceful, democratic protest, being mistreated by the police. Not once, but twice.  Or did we?  Because, before this incident, McIntyre had been right at the front of violent clashes with the police.  He deliberately put himself there despite knowing violence was taking place. He actually describes it on his blog!  Here are some snippets…

As we parked up, and began walking back down the Strand, we saw a crowd emerging from Aldwych; around 2000 students had set off from LSE. However, they were only marching down one side of the road, and we were in a militant mood. Me and Finlay crossed over, into the oncoming traffic, and within seconds the whole crowd had followed.

It was an endless sea of people, but unfortunately, they had been corralled by police and NUS stewards into one lane of the dual carriageway. Me and Finlay immediately set to work, tearing down the metal barriers which separated the two lanes. Oncoming traffic drivers looked on in wonder.

The people with the music system must have had the same thought. All of a sudden, the bicycle burst out of the crowd, rushing through the pair of armed police guarding the private road of the Treasury. A group of 200 followed, including me in my wheelchair, and Finlay pushing at full speed. A dubstep tune came on, and the chanting began; “Fuck Cameron! Fuck Cameron! Fuck Cameron! Fuck Cameron!” Not the Treasury’s proudest day.

The building was occupied on the day the Browne Review was released, so here the police were ready for us. We flooded into the courtyard, but the riot cops were called within minutes. As batons began to swing, me and Finlay stood our ground on the front line. I stood up on my wheelchair, but attempts to re-take the courtyard soon fizzled out as a riot van was brought in.

In front of us, a huge glass building towered; it was the Conservative Party’s Headquarters, and it was under attack. The crowd was so tightly packed that even with the wheelchair, it was a huge effort to force our way through. Around half way we gave up. The crowd was swaying. “They’re smashing the windows…”

Me and Finlay looked at each other. We knew that we had to make it to the front. Kareem started pushing the wheelchair again, and Finlay cleared a path in front of us.

It wasn’t long before the next surge came. A Mexican wave of bodies. I fell out of my wheelchair and pushed through two cops. Finlay stood behind me, the wheelchair still in his hands.

Scores of demonstrators followed. Finlay came running in with the wheelchair a couple of minutes later. Victorious chants rang in the air; “Tory scum! Tory scum!” “When they say cut back, we say fight back!”

But then, the chants changed… “To the stairs! To the stairs!” Two policemen blocking a tiny door were soon brushed aside, and around fifty of us forced our way through before they had a chance to re-seal the entrance.

It was an epic mission to the top. Nine floors; eighteen flights of stairs. Two friends carried my wheelchair, and I walked. We couldn’t give up now.

When we finally made it to the roof, a feeling of calm descended. I looked over the edge; thousands of students, three massive bonfires and masses of passion still occupied the courtyard. The Tory’s HQ was on it’s last legs. And we were on the roof.

This is only the start.

Gentle lamb, isn’t he?  All of this activity, yet no complaints about being disabled.  Yet the moment the police moved him out of harms way on a street, Jody McIntyre was screaming blue murder and citing his cerebral palsy and seemingly sporadic wheelchair use to underline their sheer evil and lack of concern for the disabled.

Inconveniently for McIntyre, not only was his involvement in the street part of the violence photographed, but the photographer even posted a blog piece explaining what McIntyre had done and why his subsequent complaint was vexatious.  It is a must read piece.  One of the photos included in it is of McIntyre, on his feet, about to hit a police officer – known in legal parlance as assault.

Despite this the Graun, the Indy and the marxist Staggers all publish his self indulgent tosh.  Fast forward from last autumn in central London to last night in Tottenham.  By 10.00pm it was clear that the peaceful protest outside Tottenham police station had been hijacked by those bent on violence and criminal activity.  But where there is violent protest, there is McIntyre.  We know because Guardian journalist Paul Lewis tweeted a message to McIntyre earlier today:

McIntyre was also online, winding things up and revelling in the disorder on his Twitter account.  The tweets below were screen captured at 2.00pm today, putting the time of posting the first image at around 11.00pm last night, at the height of the trouble and the second one at around 5.00am this morning when looters were still destroying businesses:

So here we have a man who is given a platform in The Guardian, The Independent and the New Statesman, out in the thick of the violence until early morning and inciting people elsewhere to riot in similar fashion.  A man who went on to condemn the police as troublemakers as properties, vehicles and businesses were torched, journalists and media were attacked and robbed, bystanders were mugged, and residents overrun by thugs who broke down their doors to steal from their homes.

The question is, having fallen for his deceitful sob story last year and given this man an unwarranted veneer of respectability, will these media outlets now remove the platform they provided this violence glorifying hooligan?  Or will they show themselves (again, more on this during the week) as part of this country’s enemy within who endorse and provide assistance those who engage in pre-meditated criminality, be it as a battering ram on wheels or walkabout agitator?

It is time to end the glorification of troublemakers like McInytre. It’s time for these papers to withdraw their endorsement and put an end to the Jody McIntyre media roadshow.

Police swift to seize the new opportunity

Barely a week has passed since the mass murders in Norway.  But that hasn’t stopped Britain’s ‘finest’ using the attacks by Anders Breivik to justify their own paramilitary behaviour in defence of the establishment.

A reader has written to AM today with anonymised details of something that happened a few days ago.

A man was arrested in an English town following his written demand for a senior council executive to resign from their job, over their refusal to listen to local residents’ demands for a proper consultation over a contentious issue.  The man sent in a strongly worded communication, including his details, and with typically British humour included some tongue in cheek comments to demonstrate his annoyance.

The authority in question chose to interpret the letter as a threat and called in the police in an attempt to criminalise the individual.  Contempt of local government is clearly a priority for the police and so, at 6.00am, several officers arrived at the individuals address, arrested him and also removed his computers.

It was during this daring operation that one of the officers explained to the gobsmacked individual:

‘After Breivik we can’t be too careful’.

!!!

He was later released and his computers returned to him, but to satisfy the lust for retribution from the local authority the police gave the man a caution for good measure.  On the advice of his solicitor he has asked that no information that can identify him or the easily offended authority be published, in case it results in further attempts to acquaint him with various organs of the state whose intrusion and interference would make life somewhat less enjoyable.

Suffice to say this is another example of police over reaction. Never slow to miss an opportunity to impose themselves on people in dubious circumstances they are already citing the Breivik factor as justification for their disproportionate and heavy handed behaviour.  Didn’t take long, did it?

Had a member of the public reported an actual threat they could only dream of this kind of police response on their behalf.  Clearly we have a two tier nation where the establishment can make vexatious complaints and count upon rapid and fullsome police action, but ordinary people are often left to fend for themselves when faced with genuine threats.

Following the Europeans into dismantling democracy

It really has come to something when Europe’s supposedly enlightened approach to democratic protest is cited as justification by another country’s Attorney General to restrict the right of their people to demonstrate against their government.

Yet that is exactly what happened this week in Tanzania.  As Tanzanian paper ‘The Citizen’ reports:

The government is pondering whether or not to ban public demonstrations, the Attorney General, Justice Fredrick Werema, hinted in Parliament yesterday. Justice Werema said his office was contemplating the possibility of tabling in parliament a Bill seeking to restrict public rallies and demonstrations during working hours.

He said although it was universally a constitutional right for people to demonstrate, some countries, like Germany, have in place laws restricting demonstrations during working hours, and Tanzania government was considering whether to emulate the example.

If implemented, such a law would be seen as a way of stifling the rising culture of demonstrations in the country, as members of the public continue to press the government to take action over burning issues.

The EU is constantly voicing its desperation to make its mark in the world.  It is becoming clear that mark is as a collective of anti democratic member states ensnared by dictatorial governance, characterised by the slow burn erosion of civil liberties and personal freedoms.

People throughout the EU should feel a sense of utter shame that this is what ‘Europe’ has become and how it is viewed in the world.  It is a supreme embarrassment that tin pot little African countries see European countries as examplars of how to stifle legitimate protest and keep people in check.  People must be allowed to protest when they wish, not when it is convenient to the authorities.

We have no place inside such an insipid and repressive entity.  It is only the political class that keeps us shackled by the bonds of Brussels.  If the politicians actually represented us as they are supposed to, they would have already sought our opinion and allowed us to decide if we wish to remain members and acted on our wishes.  But the political class acts in its own interest, not ours.  They are the modern fifth column.

One wonders how much longer we will be permitted to make observations and criticisms such as these. No doubt the bureaucracy will do all it can to decree that such comments are too ‘radical’ or an unacceptable form of ‘xenophobia’.

We must protect freedom, by restricting your freedom

Richard North, writing on his EU Referendum blog, draws attention to a communique following a joint meeting yesterday of the two Council of the European Union working groups on terrorism – the Terrorism Working Party and COTER.  The release explained that:

Representatives of the Norwegian authorities informed the meeting about the events and the ongoing investigation. This was followed by a debate which included experts from EU member states, representatives of several EU bodies and institutions (Europol, European External Action Service, European Commission) as well as the office of the EU Counterterrorism coordinator. Delegations seized the opportunity to express condolences and solidarity with Norway and the Norwegian people.

This is an all-too-predictable self insertion into the fallout of the massacre in Norway in an effort to make the EU appear relevant and strengthen its control over member states.  Although this meeting is quite noteworthy as Norway is not a member of the EU.  It seems to suggest that this horror will also be seized upon by the EU to add weight to its effort to court Norway and enjoin Oslo to put EU membership on its to-do list. 

But reading between the lines this communique is deeply disturbing as what we are seeing is the groundwork being laid for an assault on our freedom.  The clue is there in the last paragraph (relevant section in italics) which reads:

The issue of ‘lone-wolf terrorism’, represented by terrorists that are self-radicalised (e.g. through the internet) with no obvious attachment to any terrorist organisation, seems to require increasing attention. The experts also agreed that in confronting the threat of a terrorist attack, regardless of its underlying motivation, the effective exchange of information is vital. The importance of strengthening response capacity was another issue that was highlighted.

Alarm bells should be ringing already because the whiff of censorship of dissent is in the air.  There is a mood for it among those who advocate big government and its agendas.  It is inconceivable that those who have the power to legislate these things beyond our control are not accumulating a raft of justifications for shutting down free speech and only permitting views and opinions that fit in with their worldview.

In the piece above we have the clear reference to internet centric radicalisation.  In the last week there have been similar assaults on the notions of free speech and openness that have arisen from very separate topics.  There was  Thomas Hylland Eriksen writing in the Guardian who said Anders Breivik has been ‘brainwashed’ by websites and that if he had:

instead been forced to receive his information through a broadsheet newspaper, where not all the stories dealt with Europe’s loss of confidence and the rise of militant Islam, it is conceivable that his world would have looked slightly different. 

Indeed. He would have been brainwashed with the state sanctioned approved truth instead, and the topics that don’t pass official muster are censored out of existence. 

Then there was Professor Steve Jones’ report commissioned by the BBC Trust into its science coverage, where the esteemed snail geneticist and doyen of the corporation openly argued that the BBC gives too much air time to people who are sceptical of the ‘consensus’ on global warming.  The thinking is that their views should be struck from the airwaves because they might strike a chord with other people, who in turn might choose to reject the position adopted and pushed by government and its media friends.  As this blog said at the time:

We are witnessing the most successful and far reaching attempt yet by the liberal left to censor the news and information delivered to the public and indoctrinate us with their selective worldview – and do it with our money.

Watch them come for the blogs next.

They are already on their way. 

Their mission is to deny us access to information, views, opinions and commentary they have not created and they do not sanction.  It is a dangerous leap forward on the path to a totalitarian form of control.  But maybe they are their own worst enemies.  For we have just seen what happened when one dangerous man in Norway felt his views and wishes were being ignored by his government.  He tried to assassinate the Prime Minister then set about murdering his supporters in the Labour Party youth organisation.

Does the EU not realise, do national governments not realise, that restricting freedom of speech and the ability to share views and opinions – no matter how daft some might seem to others – will not dissolve the threat?  It will result in duplication and replication of the very extremism exhibited by Anders Breivik and a consequent escalation in violent acts.

The censorship that seems to be under consideration or construction to control ‘extremism’ will not passify the people, instead it will turn frustration and resentment into real anger, and it will only drive more people to adopt an extremist path trodden by Breivik.  And we all know how that turned out.

The last unauthorised protester, Brian Haw, dies

The death yesterday of Parliament Square protester, Brian Haw, signals the end of last unauthorised protest within one mile of Parliament.

While I did not agree with all that Brian Haw believed in and stood for, he was an excellent example of how ordinary members of the public can thumb their nose at the political class which seeks to marginalise and silence people when they choose to dissent and campaign about something they strongly believe in.

The people of this country should be entitled to protest against the decisions of the political class directly outside the Palace of Westminster as they see fit.  But since 2005 the parasites have sought to insultate themselves from protest and opposition by the people who pay their wages and make their legislative agenda possible via taxation.  This underlines the fact that Britain in 2011 is not a democracy and ordinary voters are an inferior class to those who form the establishment.

If enough people choose to do so, they have the power to reject this segregation and make a mockery of the insulation law passed by Parliament by carrying their protest right to the heart of this nation’s supposed seat of democracy without having to seek permission from the police. It is those who have seats in Parliament who should be answerable to us, not the other way around.

Brian Haw tried in his own way to make that point and whether you agree with his cause or not, he deserves recgonition for standing against the establishment in the way he did.


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