Posts Tagged 'Intolerance'

Mehdi Hasan – what an unpleasant piece of work

Watching Mehdi Hasan on television has long given me a sense of the man’s intolerance for anyone who disagrees with him.

But that intolerance has previously manifested itself in a different way, something I was unaware of.  The clip below demonstrates Hasan’s casual bigotry and disdain for non Muslims, and his misplaced sense of moral superiority.  What a thoroughly unpleasant individual.

He may use his frequent BBC appearances spout the usual buzz words such as ‘equality’, ‘diversity’, ‘multi-culturalism’ and ‘Islamophobia’ but we can now see what exists behind the carefully moderated public face. No wonder he is the pride of the New Stateman.

(Hat tip: commenter in another thread)

Richard Falk finally goes too far even for the UN

A tireless effort by campaign group UN Watch has led to what is being described as the unprecedented international condemation of Richard Falk, who has consistently exploited his position as a special rapporteur at the UN’s Human Rights Council to justify and deny Hamas and Al Qaeda terrorism.

As the UN Human Rights Council’s permanent investigator of alleged Israeli violations in the Palestinian territories, Falk has had a largely unscrutinised position from which to satisfy his unquestioning vilification of the Israelis.  As his target was Israel he was indulged by the left wing media as his outbursts fitted their narrative.

But it now seems that after years of Falk’s rampant Israel bashing and partisan bias towards Hamas, spreading slurs and distortions and the asserting as fact claims that have later been debunked, the penny has finally dropped among his UN colleagues and the media that he is a deluded and unreliable propagandist.  It follows his promotion of 9/11 conspiracy theories and attempts to exonerate Al Qaeda of any involvement in the terrorist atrocity, instead claiming the US government was responsible for the attack.

Can Guardian journalists get any more hypocritical?

There are publications with journalists that are ‘selective’ with the facts, then there is The Guardian. Uniquely among newspaper journalists, those earnest propagandists who inhabit The Guardian possess a sense of moral superiority and engage in double standards that would shame many other reporters.

The latest example comes from Damian Carrington writing on his Environment Blog, who takes the Arizona shooting murders and subsequent discussion about violent rhetoric, and attempts to superimpose it over the climate change arena to attack those who disagree with the alarmists.

On Planet Carrington (which is no doubt heating uncontrollably and where snow and ice is a thing of the past) the violent rhetoric seems to be a one way street, from evil climate change deniers / criminals / sceptics to those noble, selfless and unimpeachable climate scientists tainted by Climategate or their simple association with the man made global warming alarmist creed.  What else could we have expected? If nasty ‘right wingers’ are fair game then it follows the Guardian’s special loathing for anyone opposed to the AGW groupthink makes them fair game for this treatment too.

Abuse, threats, intimidation and genuine violent rhetoric are reprehensible and intolerable, no matter where they originate or where they are directed.  But for once it would have been welcome to see some balance from a Guardian journalist like Carrington. That is obviously too much to ask. Which is why it falls to blogs like this to shine a light on the other side of the coin… there is enough out there and here’s a few examples:

In a post titled: ‘There will be blood‘ Carrington showed up his rank hypocrisy as he himself described the ‘No Pressure’ 10:10 video (embedded within his post) of children being blown up for ignoring their carbon footprints thus:

It’s most definitely striking and if you haven’t watched it yet – taking into account the warning that it contains scenes some people may find disturbing – do so now, before I give too much away.

Even after 10:10 took down their video, Carrington scurried off to YouTube and found another copy to link to so it could stay on his blog. He then asked his readers:

Had a look? Well, I’m certain you’ll agree that detonating school kids, footballers and movie stars into gory pulp for ignoring their carbon footprints is attention-grabbing. It’s also got a decent sprinkling of stardust – Peter Crouch, Gillian Anderson, Radiohead and others.

So it seems violent rhetoric and imagery was perfectly acceptable to Carrington as it furthered his agenda and was ‘edgy’ and sprinked with stardust.  Nice to have him out of the intolerance closet.  Here’s a few others:

Why climate change deniers should be blown to bits…

Finnish environmentalist recommends that climate change deniers be “re-educated” in eco-gulags and that the vast majority of humans be killed with the rest enslaved and controlled by a green police state…


Disgraceful efforts to make capital from mass murder

One expected consequence of the shocking mass murder of people at the political surgery of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson is the  frankly disgraceful attempt of some to make capital out of the attack to shamelessly further their own political agenda by attributing responsibility to people that had nothing to do with it, but whom they wish to undermine nevertheless.

This has manifested itself with various tweets and blog posts laying blame for the attack at the doors of former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, the US Republican Party in general,and the disparate Tea Party movements around the US. Biased BBC and the Telegraph’s Toby Harnden examine this with two must read posts that provide some much needed context.

Another expected consequence of such a terrible criminal act is kneejerk responses that paint an inaccurate and unfair picture of the American people. Comment that asserts some kind of British moral superiority as a result of the tragedy, then suggests the outlook of the American people calls into question if we can describe America to be a democracy. This is what I want to look at in more detail.

One example that particularly stands out for me is a post from Conservative activist Chris Hawes. It suggests not only a lack of knowledge but the absence of any self awareness of our situation in Britain.  I’ll explain. Hawes briefly tours the US political scene and notes the polarised landscape, then goes on to suggest to readers that the Democrats and Republicans in the US:

‘truly hate each other in a way that is totally alien to us in Britain,’

This is an insult to the Americans that stems from complete ignorance of American politics. I know from personal experience that Hawes’ claim is way off the mark. It is true to say that the Democrats and Republicans frequently hate what each other stand for politically, but unlike here in the UK there exists a sense of unity borne from the shared experience of being part of the great American nation.

Hawes then incredibly goes on to add 2+2 and make 7 when he opines:

Going back to this specific incident, Gifford was at a public meeting called “Congress On Your Corner” where she was actively responding to her constituents and doing her job when she was gunned down. The assailant didn’t appear to be interested in asking a question and getting a response from his Congresswoman – in short, participating in the democratic process – but intent on assassination.

All of this together makes me wonder whether America can truly be called a democracy any more. Democracy requires consensus and acceptance of the democratic process – if an opponent is elected, they have the mandate to govern until the next election. Violence should never be part of political rhetoric; reasoned debate is foundation of democracy. If polticians have to be concerned about being attacked if they support an unpopular motion (even if it is only unpopular amongst a certain demographic), democracy is failing.

I’m sorry, but that is utter nonsense. Since when has an act of terror or the act of a mad man/men denoted that a nation might no longer be democratic? The murderous incident was perpetrated by a man who clearly has psychological issues, was rejected for military service (which takes some doing) and harboured violent intent to government and while possessing a hatred of the law.

The target of the attack, Rep. Giffords, was the kind of Democract who appealed to a large number of Republicans, being (as Harnden points out) a deficit hawk, someone who voted to lift the ban on guns in Washington DC and who voted against Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the House. If anything, Rep. Giffords created more anger among Democrats than Republicans, which is why a blogger at the left wing DailyKos blog said that Giffords was ‘dead to me‘ for failing to back Pelosi.

Hawes is also wrong to suggest democracy requires consensus. In fact, consensus undermines democracy because it stymies healthy adversarial politics which provides people with political alternatives. Consensus has been used by the political class to ensure the voting public is presented with nothing more than an opportunity to change the faces of MPs while leaving the direction of the country unchanged.

The piece goes on to say that violence should never be part of political rhetoric. Yet the Conservatives, Labour and Lib Dems in this country have all been guilty of it. Remember all the talk in recent elections of decpatitation strategies and George Osborne referring to the attempt to defeat Ed Balls as a castration strategy? In a nation where guns are a way of life, gun related metaphors can only be expected, even if they appear unseemly in countries like ours that have been disarmed through legislation. But the metaphors are not an incitement to murder politicians with whom people are dissatisfied or that political opponents hate each other personally.

Hawes then says that if politicians have to be concerned about being attacked for supporting a particular line then democracy is failing. This line in particular really rankles. Democracy is failing, but not for the reason he offers. Look at Britain. With all three main parties singing loudly from the same hymn sheet on the central political issues of the day, such as the being governed by the EU, taxation, state interference etc. the electorate is being denied democratic alternatives. The people we have asked to serve and represent us are ignoring us.

No number of letters to MPs and Councillors, campaigns, petitions, demonstrations and marches to signal our discontent or insistence in a change of direction by our representatives have any effect. The political class is determined to tell us what is best for us and impose it upon us regardless of what we think. That is what is subverting democracy and needs to be tackled, not the act of a lunatic.

The attempted assassination of Gabrielle Giffords, resulting in the death of at least six people, was horrific. It was the act of a deranged man or men. But it should not be used as an excuse by media outlets or individuals to build strawmen to knock down, further agendas or seek to make political capital. Such behaviour is disgraceful.

I feel nothing but sympathy for the families and friends of those whose lives have been cruelly snatched from them and I hope Gabrielle Giffords and the other victims of that maniac who are being treated in hospital make full, swift recoveries.

One for Lauren Booth to consider

The journalist sister-in-law of Tony Blair, Lauren Booth, recently revealed she had converted to Islam. It’s her choice. But in response to questions raised asking how she could square her new Islamic faith and the subjugation of women with her views on women’s rights, Booth wrote:

So let’s all just take a deep breath and I’ll give you a glimpse into the other world of Islam in the 21st century. Of course, we cannot discount the appalling way women are mistreated by men in many cities and cultures, both with and without an Islamic population. Women who are being abused by male relatives are being abused by men, not God. Much of the practices and laws in “Islamic” countries have deviated from (or are totally unrelated) to the origins of Islam. Instead practices are based on cultural or traditional (and yes, male-orientated) customs that have been injected into these societies.

Booth readily admits to not having read the Qur’an so her knowledge of Islam is negligable. But on the basis of her fanatical fondness for and relationships with some Palestinians she offered the comment above.

Now watch the video below. Just to be clear, as the reporter says before the clip is played, the Governor of Khartoum said this woman had been punished under Sharia Law – not a cultural or traditional custom, but a tenet of the Islamic faith. There is no justification for this kind of barbarism, certainly not the ‘crime’ of wearing trousers under one’s proscribed garments.

A plague on both their houses

No, not Labour and the Conservatives for once.  I am talking about the two sides of a different coin who demonstrate tolerance only of their own intolerance.  The two sides in question are the British National Party (BNP) and Hope Not Hate, which are frankly as distasteful and spiteful as each other.  The latest example stems from a street brawl in Barking, east London, between BNP candidate Bob Bailey and some Asian youths, which is getting media attention.

While out canvassing, Bailey and his entourage were approached by three Asian youths who demeanor can only be described as hostile and confrontational.  They get into Bailey’s personal space in a threatening manner and words are exchanged with Bailey telling them to move on.  His politics may be loathsome, but his party is legally constituted and he has a right to campaign lawfully without harrassment from the youths who have gone out of their way to confront him.  Then one of the Asian youths resorts to disgusting feral behaviour by spitting in Bailey’s face.  Bailey’s reponse is violent and sustained, resulting in a brawl as captured below:

Bob Bailey’s reaction contrasts with that of most other politicians (excluding that moronic dinosaur, John Prescott) who have been spat at or had eggs thrown at them.  Most others, despite the evident provocation and their disgust or anger, maintain their dignity and control themselves.  Bailey’s reaction however just makes the whole thing worse and demonstrates a questionable character.

Unsurprisingly supporters of the self proclaimed anti-fascist, anti-BNP group, Hope Not Hate are making hay with this story.  For a group that claims to be against hatred, they seem more than willing to express hatred of BNP members.  Their version of events is an appalling distortion of what happened, deliberately designed to give the impression Bob Bailey, violent fool that he is, seemingly attacked the Asian youths for no reason.  They are distributing the cropped version of the incident shown below:

What is clear is that the intolerance and deceit of the BNP is matched only by the intolerance and deceit of people like the author of ‘The Duck Shoot’ blog.  Neither side comes out of this with any credit.  They are two cheeks of the same arse.  A plague on both their houses.

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