Posts Tagged 'Revolution'

Revolution time

If you take a couple of minutes to read this op-ed in the Irish Independent by Eamon Keane, one can quickly identify a number of parallels with our own Westminster Parliament and self serving politicians.

Some of the sentiments that stand out include: ‘Power no longer rests with our impotent national parliament’… ‘Truth be told, it’s been finished for a long time, made redundant by the actions of our politicians’…  and ”Our Dail is also doomed because it is based on a political system where getting re-elected takes precedence over the national interest’.  Keane may be writing about Ireland, but it all has a very familiar ring to it.

But the greatest resonance can be found in the most thought provoking part of the piece:

We are in the worst crisis in our history and our parliament is impotent.

Is there any hope for democracy? Yes. While the Dail may be dead a new parliament is emerging. It is to be found in ordinary people, community and support groups who come together to discuss a way forward. A second wave is already there though social networks.

Bullseye.

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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.

A minor edit shows life is now imitating art in the EU

Good evening, London.

Allow me first to apologise for this interruption. I do, like many of you, appreciate the comforts of every day routine – the security of the familiar, the tranquility of repetition. I enjoy them as much as any bloke. But in the spirit of commemoration, thereby those important events of the past usually associated with someone’s death or the end of some awful bloody struggle, a celebration of a nice holiday, I thought we could mark this November the 5th, a day that is sadly no longer remembered, by taking some time out of our daily lives to sit down and have a little chat.

There are of course those who do not want us to speak. I suspect even now, orders are being shouted into telephones, and men with guns will soon be on their way. Why? Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power.  Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn’t there?

Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission.

How did this happen? Who’s to blame? Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you’re looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror.

I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn’t be? War, terror, disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you, and in your panic you turned to the supranational European Union. They promised you order, they promised you peace, and all they demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent.

Last night I sought to end that silence. Last night I destroyed the Old Bailey, to remind this country of what it has forgotten. More than four hundred years ago a great citizen wished to embed the fifth of November forever in our memory. His hope was to remind the world that fairness, justice, and freedom are more than words, they are perspectives.

So if you’ve seen nothing, if the crimes of this government remain unknown to you then I would suggest you allow the fifth of November to pass unmarked. But if you see what I see, if you feel as I feel, and if you would seek as I seek, then I ask you to stand beside me one year from tonight, outside the gates of Parliament, and together we shall give them a fifth of November that shall never, ever be forgot.

Putting the threat to our freedom into context

In a private exchange with a fellow blogger several days ago he speculated that the Anders Breivik mass murder would bode ill for dissenters.  Well, one assumes it was private, but who knows what is being monitored and by whom…

Anyway, being a ‘glass half full’ kind of chap I replied that seeing as the Norwegian intelligence service has shown Breivik up to be a dangerous and well armed Walter Mitty, attempts to tar dissenters with the same brush will fail.  I stressed the importance of continuing to cite evidence and push our arguments so the powers that be will be forced to speak to them.

After all, I pointed out, 7/7 didn’t really change anything and subsequent plots haven’t really changed anything, so therefore it follows a Norwegian mass murderer will not change anything either.

At this point my blogging friend said he was not so sure.  He qualified his concern by providing me with a link to a piece on the French language version of EurActiv, translated roughly by Google.

Reading and reflecting upon it made me reconsider my inital assessment, hence my post yesterday.  All bloggers should take a few moments to take the article on board.

Mentioned in that piece is European Commission spokesman Michele Cercone (pictured).  It seems old Michele has had a fair bit to say lately – some of it extremely illuminating and far reaching.  Consider this, attributed to Cercone by Balkans.com:

The European Commission is building a security system to issue early warnings on threats of extremism, xenophobia and other forms of radicalism

Or this quote reported by Hurriyet Daily News:

Compromises are more easily reached after shocking events like those that happened in Norway.

And International Affairs Magazine, explained that: ‘Various forces will be trying to capitalize on Norway’s bloody drama. Interestingly, the European Commission championed the cause. Breivik left a thorough description of the costs of the bomb ingredients, the result being that the EU rushed to impose regulations on the sales of chemicals that can be mold into explosives,’ and reported Cercone as saying:

The European Commission will speed up the introduction of new regulations on chemicals sales after a Norwegian extremist who killed 76 people in last week’s bombing and shooting spree admitted he used fertilizers to make explosives.

But virtually none of this has been reported by our world beating media corps, which is too busy devoted column hectares to its navel gazing over phone hacking.  Should we be worried by this?  Absolutely.

It is a fact that the European Commission, an arm of the EU, is now increasing its efforts to apply control over people in the member states.  No crisis must ever be wasted.  The EU, being unelected, unaccountable and therefore wholly anti democratic, is seizing the moment to empower itself still further at the expense of our personal freedoms.  We are being dictated to by an entity that is taking an opportunity to use the actions of one individual as justification to clamp down on anyone who opposes this essentially socialist construct – hence the focus on right wing ‘extremism’ where the EU decides what constitutes extreme.

The issue is one of mission creep.  We have seen it all before, where legislation enacted for one purpose becomes a convenient measure that is applied for a different purpose that was never intended.  The EU is engaging in naked opportunism to exert greater control, while setting itself as the sole authority to determine what dissent against it will be tolerated.

It is frightening that the EU, with its goal of eradicating the nation state, will be deciding whether its opponents are too radical, whether their views can therefore be shared on the internet, and will define what constitutes xenophobia and whether that should be punished – all backed by European courts and European arrest warrants.

In hindsight I got it wrong.  We are indeed staring into an abyss where our enemy, the EU, could take advantage of the Breivik attacks to effectively criminalise anti EU sentitment, or at the very least prevent people from sharing those sentiments with others, citing them as ‘extreme’, ‘radical’, ‘xenophobic’ or even potential ‘lone wolf terrorists’.  This response isn’t being driven simply by Breivik’s actions, but crucially the rationale he gave for them.

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.

People power and the restoration of democracy

Many people in this country turn off when the words ‘politics’ or ‘politicians’ are mentioned.  Ask people why they react in such a way and you will hear many different answers, but there will be several common themes.

Among these are the feelings that politicians are incapable of telling the truth and they work in their own interest; there is no point voting because politicians in the different mainstream parties have indistinguishable views on the major issues; and that politics itself is now irrelevant because the wishes of voters are ignored.

So it is that we hear politicians pontificating about ‘reconnecting’ the public with the politics and encouraging people to ‘engage’ in the political process. These sentiments by politicians are evidence that our politics is broken. It is an admission that politics is not working for the people. But despite this that same political class responsible for breaking our politics and bringing about the disconnect and lack of engagement refuses to acknowledge itself as the root cause of the problem. That is why we need a new approach and why I am supporting the idea of Referism.

What we have before us is not democracy but a hollowed out shell. Politics in this country, as in many others, has become a one way conversation. Politicians speak and they expect us t0 listen. The political class is set in ‘transmit’ mode but refuses to flick the switch to ‘receive’. They present their non binding manifestos and declare this is what they want you to vote for. This is the ‘democratic’ choice laid before you. But the manifestos have not been constructed by listening to the wishes of voters. As such the elections in this country are largely meaningless and – importantly – the ability to bring about real change is denied to the electorate.

It is the pursuit of power that accounts for most of those people who join parties and become politicians. The notion of entering politics to ‘make a difference’ or merely to ‘serve’ is seldom a genuine explanation, and in any case it lasts only a short time after election success.

I can vouch for the reality of this having been elected as a Councillor with the best of intentions – and then having seen at first hand how any effort to carry out the wishes of the people who voted for me was met by inertia or outright opposition from civil servants. This was accompanied by warnings from local party leadership that positions on key committees or ascent to deputy or chairman roles depended upon not rocking the boat. That is why so many Councillors get involved enthusiastically for the right reasons then turn native after their election. For my part, I resigned rather than compromise my principles.

The problem is that during a term as an elected representative there is absolutely no need whatsoever to take heed of what those who cast their votes actually want their Councillor or MP to do. When I argued in open Council that Councillors should listen to what people in their wards wanted and do all they can to deliver on those wishes, I was told that we should act as leaders and tell the people what we believed they needed instead. The very idea of letting people decide what they want is anathema to those who hold power.

The power in this country resides with the political class, and the civil service which only seems to serve its own interests and objectives. It should reside with the people. That is what democracy is supposed to be about.

So it follows that in order to restore democracy to this country power must be taken back by the people. The power our politicians possess is the ability to make decisions requiring them to determine how our money, collected through taxation, is spent. If people had the ability to veto decisions by refusing to allow their money to be spent, the power of the political class – supposedly our representatives and servants anyway – would be removed. Ordinary people would be calling the shots, which is as it should be.

In the Referism model politicians would have to ask us for money to spend. They would become accountable if forced annually to seek our approval for spending and therefore receive our money. If their request was, for example, for money to hand to the European Union as part of our contribution to Brussels’ unaccountable spending a majority of voters could deny the request and prevent that money being handed over.

Money is power. This works not only in the world of business but in the world of politics. When it comes to government spending it is our money being used, therefore we should have the power.

The Referist idea is developing and more people are joining the debate. Do join the debate and share your views about how we ordinary people can take back power and how this democratic ideal can supplant the system of elective dictatorship in this country.

Today Libya, tomorrow Saudi Arabia?

The UN Security Council has voted 10-0 with five abstentions to impose a no fly zone over Libya.

So the obvious question is, if and/or when Bahrain, Yemen or Saudi Arabia’s people decide to oppose their rulers in direct fashion as we have seen in Libya, will we see the United States, UK and France marching into the UN Security Council to demand the imposition of no fly zones over those countries?

Or are such actions only reserved for regimes with whom there are old scores to be settled?

Will we see this newly found principled approach trump the vested and strategic interests of the US and other western nations?  Will we see a surprising appetite for intervention to ‘level the playing field’ in potential civil conflicts between autocrats and the people they dominate?

The words ‘Yeah, right!” spring to mind.

Countries praised Libya’s human rights spin in UN report

Only the United Nations…

From UN Watch we learn that despite having just voted to suspend Libya from its ranks, the UN Human Rights Council (according to the agenda of its current session) is planning to ‘consider and adopt the final outcome of the review of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya’.  This concerns a lengthy report which hails Libya’s human rights record which is still due to be presented on March 18.

The report features comments from various countries and include the assessments and observations below about human rights in Libya – the same country that is currently machine gunning and hanging democracy protesters who are trying to end the Gaddafi regime.

Iran noted that the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya had implemented a number of international human rights instruments and had cooperated with relevant treaty bodies. It noted with appreciation the establishment of the National Human Rights Committee as an independent national human rights institution, and the provision of an enabling environment for non-governmental organizations.

Algeria noted the efforts of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya to promote human rights, which reflected the country’s commitment to complying with Human Rights Council resolutions and cooperating with the international community. Algeria welcomed the national institutional framework that had been set up, in particular the National Human Rights Committee. It noted that the country had made some progress in the area of education, as well as social and economic progress since the lifting of economic sanctions.

Qatar praised the legal framework for the protection of human rights and freedoms, including, inter alia, its criminal code and criminal procedure law, which provided legal guarantees for the implementation of those rights. Qatar expressed appreciation for the improvements made in the areas of education and health care, the rights of women, children and the elderly, and the situation of people with special needs.

Sudan noted the country’s positive experience in achieving a high school enrolment rate and improvements in the education of women.

The Syrian Arab Republic praised the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for its serious commitment to and interaction with the Human Rights Council and its mechanisms. It commended the country for its democratic regime based on promoting the people’s authority through the holding of public conferences, which enhanced development and respect for human rights, while respecting cultural and religions traditions.

North Korea praised the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for its achievements in the protection of human rights, especially in the field of economic and social rights, including income augmentation, social care, a free education system, increased delivery of health-care services, care for people with disabilities, and efforts to empower women. It noted the functioning of the constitutional and legislative framework and national entities.

Bahrain noted that the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya had adopted various policies aimed at improving human rights, in particular the right to education and the rights of persons with disabilities. Bahrain commended the free education system and praised programmes such as electronic examinations and teacher training. It commended the country for its efforts regarding persons with disabilities, particularly all the services and rehabilitation programmes provided.

Palestine commended the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for the consultations held with civil society in the preparation of the national report, which demonstrated its commitment to the improved enjoyment of human rights. Palestine praised the country for the Great Green Document on Human Rights. It noted the establishment of the national independent institution entrusted with promoting and protecting human rights, which had many of the competencies set out in the Paris Principles. It also noted the interaction of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya with human rights mechanisms.

Iraq commended the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for being a party to most international and regional human rights instruments, which took precedence over its national legislation. It welcomed the efforts to present a comprehensive overview of the human rights situation in the country based on the unity among democracy, development and human rights. It also commended the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for its cooperation with the international community.

Saudi Arabia commended the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya’s achievements in its constitutional, legislative and institutional frameworks, which showed the importance that the country attached to human rights, and for the fact that international treaties took precedence over its national legislation. It noted that the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya had become party to many human rights conventions and had equipped itself with a number of institutions, national, governmental and non-governmental, tasked with promoting and protecting human rights.

Tunisia welcomed [Libya’s] national report, as well as the efforts of the National Committee, such as the website created to gather contributions. Tunisia noted progress made by the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, such as the adoption of the Great Green Charter, which was very comprehensive and enshrined fundamental freedoms and rights as enshrined in international human rights instruments.

Venezuela acknowledged the efforts of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya to promote economic, social and cultural rights, especially those of children. It highlighted progress achieved in ensuring free and compulsory education.

Jordan welcomed the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya’s achievements in the promotion and protection of human rights, including the establishment of institutions, particularly in the judiciary system. Jordan praised progress in the fields of health, education and labour, as well as the increased attention to the rights of women. Jordan noted the participation of women in public life, including decision-making, and emphasized the fact that women held one third of all judicial posts.

Cuba commended the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for the progress made in the achievement of one of the Millennium Development Goals, namely, universal primary education. It noted that the country had also made a firm commitment to providing health care.

Oman commended the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for its diligent efforts in the field of human rights and for making them its priority. It referred to the legal framework for the protection of human rights, and its clear commitment in that regard, which was reflected in the ratification of most human rights instruments, and its cooperation with United Nations mechanisms. The country’s report focused on both achievements and challenges, which demonstrated its sincerity in addressing human rights issues.

Egypt commended the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for progress in building a comprehensive national human rights framework of institutions and in drafting legislation and supporting its human resources in that area. It commended the separation of the Ministries of Justice and the Interior and the development of a new criminal code, and it praised the cooperation with international organizations in combating human trafficking and corruption, and the improvement made in the conditions related to illegal migration.

Malta fully recognized the difficulties faced by the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and welcomed the action taken at the national, bilateral and regional levels to suppress the illegal activities that gave rise to migration. Malta welcomed the cooperation of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya with the International Organization for Migration.

Bangladesh referred to the progress made in the enjoyment of economic and social rights, including in the areas of education, health care, poverty reduction and social welfare. Bangladesh noted with appreciation the measures taken to promote transparency.

Malaysia commended the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for being party to a significant number of international and regional human rights instruments.

Morocco welcomed the achievements in promoting social protection, especially for women, children and persons with special needs. It welcomed the efforts to protect the rights of children. It welcomed the establishment of a national committee for the protection of persons with special needs. Morocco also praised the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for its promotion of human rights education, particularly for security personnel.

Pakistan praised the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for measures taken both in terms of legislation and in practice, noting with appreciation that it was a party to most of the core human rights treaties. Pakistan praised the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya’s commitment to human rights, in particular the right to health, education and food, even when the country had faced sanctions in the 1990s. Pakistan was encouraged by efforts to address the root causes of illegal migration, and noted the good practice of settling political disputes and developing infrastructure in source countries.

Mexico thanked the delegation for the presentation of the national report and the answers that it had provided. It expressed appreciation for the political will of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya to address the human rights challenges facing it. Mexico hoped that the universal periodic review of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya would make a positive contribution to national efforts to overcome challenges to guaranteeing the full enjoyment of human rights.

Myanmar commended the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for its economic and social progress, and recognized efforts in domestic legislation aimed at guaranteeing equal rights. Myanmar noted that the country had acceded to many international human rights instruments and established a national Human Rights Committee. Myanmar praised efforts to realize basic education for all and a free health-care system.

Viet Nam congratulated the delegation on the quality of the national report. It noted with satisfaction the commitment of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya to the protection and promotion of the human rights of its people, particularly the country’s accession to the main international human rights conventions. It welcomed achievements made in the exercise of human rights.

Thailand welcomed the national report, which presented both progress and challenges. Thailand highlighted efforts made with regard to education, persons with special needs and vulnerable groups.

Brazil noted the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya’s economic and social progress and acknowledged the promotion of the rights of persons with disabilities, the free health care and the high enrolment in primary education. Brazil noted the successful cooperation with international organizations in areas such as migrant rights, judicial reform and the fight against corruption.

Kuwait expressed appreciation for the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya’s initiative to improve per capita income and to ensure social justice and the fair distribution of wealth. It praised the measures taken with regard to low-income families. Kuwait called upon the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya to continue its efforts to integrate people with disabilities into society while recognizing their positive role.

Reading these submissions one wonders why anyone would want to foment a revolution in such a utopian paradise… What a misunderstood and benevolent man that Gaddafi is.

The EU could make north Africa’s ills worse

A piece in yesterday’s Economist is noteworthy for that magaine’s continuing blinkered assessments of the reach and influence of the European Union.

The Charlemagne column offers us what its author probably thinks is an insightful article titled ‘No time for doubters’, which argues that Europe must do more to support Arab democracy, out of self-respect and self-interest.  As always, whenever there is a crisis the Euroweenies always emerge and declare that ‘Europe’ must do something.  We are told that:

WHEN people took to the streets of Tunis, France offered to help President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali’s security forces. When they filled the squares of Cairo, Italy praised Hosni Mubarak as the wisest of men. And when they were slaughtered in Tripoli, the Czech Republic said catastrophe would follow the fall of Muammar Qaddafi, Malta defended Libya’s sovereignty and Italy predicted that the protests would lead to an Islamic emirate.

With every new Arab uprising, some European country has placed itself on the wrong side of history. So it is no surprise that the European Union has been slow to tell regimes to listen to demands for democracy and to condemn violent suppression.

Well, what do you expect?  The European Union has as much place lecturing others on democracy as the Taliban has lecturing others on the wonders of Hinduism.

When are people like the author of the Charlemagne column going to get it through their thick heads that the EU is not democratic?  If anything the EU acts in much the same way as Ben Ali, Mubarak and Gaddafi, selecting its own leaders and imposing laws and regulations on the people of member states through entities that are unelected and unaccountable.  Too many EU leaders have respected the autocrats of north Africa and have coveted the kind of power they have wielded until now.

So when Charlemagne’s author pens comments such as the one below, it is clear he either doesn’t ‘get it’ or is simply helping to hold the EU’s anti democratic line:

Yet it is hard to avoid the suspicion that too many European countries are still more worried about stability in the Middle East than about democracy.

For sure EU leaders love globe trotting and telling the world about the wonder of democracy. But they sure as hell don’t practice what they preach. Out of all the member states only Ireland held a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty’s package of measures to dramatically increase the power of the EU at the expense of national sovereignty. That’s democratic?  The cosy stitch up by the political class serves no one’s interest but theirs, but they believe their own bullshit and think they are some kind of model democratic structure.

In truth the EU is only a model for a modernised version of the totalitarian autocracy being thrown off by the people in north Africa.  The only difference being the illusion of democracy where in truth none exists.  Which is why comments such as the one below are worthy of such contempt:

A better test of European diplomacy will be whether, in the longer term, the EU can help north African countries establish lasting democracies. Europe has a wealth of experience in helping to reform former totalitarian states.

Reform them into what, precisely?  There is a risk here that if north Africans listen to such garbage they will soon be engaging in yet more violent actions.  The erosion of democracy across the EU member states has been a gradual process, where each night a few extra bricks have quietly been laid on a steadily growing wall separating us from self determination. If the north Africans implemented an EU model as it currently stands, people would soon realise they have been conned. Charlemagne almost gets it right when he writes:

So far the revolts of 2011 have been strikingly free of Islamist, anti-imperial and even anti-Israeli ideology. Such sentiments could yet be stirred if Europe appears to be colluding with hated rulers.

Or if the people realise that the European method simply replaces one set of hated rulers with another outside the reach of democratic accountability.  What then? From the tender shoots of a desire for democracy we will see grow a thorny bush of Islamist fervour as the corruption of democracy becomes all too apparent – and the only available outlet for rebellion is offered by the Islamists, who will say only embracing their godly ways can satisfy the wishes of those who risked their lives to throw off dictatorship.

Indirectly, Europe’s slow burn coup d’etat could in the future have the effect of driving people into the arms of the extremists. Which is a pity, not least because it should be having the effect of making people in the member states rise up and take control back from those who have stolen it.

Britain’s humiliation

The pathetic David Cameron on the Libyan evacuation farce:

“I’m incredibly sorry that people have had a difficult time. This is not an easy situation”

And it isn’t made any easier by the arrogance and incompetence of people who are paid to do jobs they are singularly incapable of carrying out effectively or properly.  Sorry, it seems, is now the easiest word.  Sorry is what is offered up readily in place of properly carrying out the basic functions of a government.

This is now a nation on its knees.  We have been dragged here by successive governments, staffed by over rated managerialist incompetents, that have intentionally allowed the proper functions of a nation state to decay into uselessness because they don’t believe this country should punch above its weight.  They have the ‘small island’ mentality. The one that recites the narrative that it isn’t our place to be important on the world stage. Never mind the globally significant achievements of this country and its people over the centuries, they believe we must not be a world power and they sneer at anyone who disagrees.  Instead they say we must scale down our capability and our influence to match the small geographical area of these islands because anything else constitutes some kind of arrogance.

Theirs is an artifical construct.  Only a fool would argue that a nation’s influence should be constrained because of its physical size.  What matters is not the amount of land a nation covers, but what the people of that nation can do, what challenges they can overcome, what great strides they can take for the betterment of everyone and what great examples they can set.  Britain earned its place at the world’s top table because of the entrepreneurial and daring mindset of many of its people.

The rush for mediocrity and the guilt complex of the self loathing has seen us replace our can-do attitude and sense of self worth with incompetence and failure.  And the self loathing celebrate this.  That is where we are today and that is, in a nutshell, how we were led here.  It is why our self reliance has been supplanted by reliance on the state. It is why every measure of this country’s capability has declined, from the standard of our education to the quality of our goods and services, from the strength of our armed forces to the ability of our public servants.

It is a nauseating disgrace. It is a national humiliation.

The first consideration of any government is the protection and security of the people it serves.  The government failed spectacularly to do that in Libya. While the governments of other countries were busy providing a means of exit in the absence of commercial travel, arranging transit to ports and airports in convoys, generating lists of people to be extracted, and putting on the ground a visible organising presence by embassy staff to manage the operation at the airport, the oh-so-grand United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office was telling Britons to stay put if they wished or leave on commercial flights.

Listening to the accounts of Britons who had made it out of the country yesterday – before the FCO had shaken itself from its laser like focus on surrendering this country’s interests to the European Union – we heard the humiliating tales of Portuguese and Argentine embassy staff providing assistance to Britons while our embassy staff were nowhere to be seen.

A nation that once governed effectively and ran competently a global Empire in the challenging days of ships and horse mounted couriers, has found itself incapable in the digital age of communicating clearly and mounting a cohesive evacuation operation for several hundred of its citizens stuck in a country only a few hours flying time from London.

That the first aircraft chartered by the FCO to fly people out of Tripoli developed a technical fault and sat on the ground for 10 hours, without anyone having the wit to source another without delay, was truly symbolic.  It was a working example of this nation’s decline and the extent to which our character has been eroded by handwringing wimps.

So it was no surprise that the Foreign Office’s failure should provoke a typically pathetic response from David Cameron that the government must ‘learn the lessons’ from it. What utter bullshit.  This isn’t the first time.  It is code for doing nothing and trying to dodge the deserved contempt of the yet again let down public.

Where are the lessons that have been learned from previous failures?  Anyone can learn from their own mistakes, but wise people learn from the mistakes of others. But not in this country.  With our useless stuffed suits wandering aimlessly around Whitehall we continue to make them and are condemned to continue making them.  These are the kind of people who have transformed Britain into third rate country deserving of scorn.  They did not want us to have a nation of which we can be proud and even now actively play down moments in our history of which we should be proud and that should be inspiring the next generation.

The people of this country have been lulled into a virtual coma by those who want to undermine it. The political parties, the establishment, the media, all of them have conspired actively or through silence in this evisceration of our nation.  It will continue until some people have the courage to take this country back from the quisling, defeatist bastards and make it something we can be proud of again.

That Egyptian secular uprising Rageh Omaar told us about

Three weeks ago viewers of Andrew Neil’s ‘This Week’ show were treated to the ‘expert analysis’ of former BBC journalist Rageh Omaar.  He forcefully argued that the Egypt revolution is not an Islamic uprising.

He refused to accept he was being naive in believing the Muslim Brotherhood would have little if any influence in Egypt, claimed that El Baradei was the only real opposition and even said:

‘In all of these demonstrations, have you seen any Israeli flags being burnt? Have you seen any American flags being burnt?’

Hmmm. Clearly the expert Omaar was saying ‘nothing to see here, it’s just a democratic outpouring with no aggressive intent’.  What Omaar obviously did not foresee in his somewhat arrogant dismissal of concerns about what will happen next, were significant development such as Al Qaradawi’s ascendancy or the scenes in Tahrir Square where around a million celebrating Egyptians chanted ‘Jerusalem we are coming for you’ as shown in the video below:

But worry not, this probably is nothing to do with the Muslim imperative taught in the mosques about killing the Jews wherever you find them. Oh no.

Such a high salary but a finger so far off the pulse it makes one wonder what value he actually is. No wonder he was the darling of the BBC before clearing off to Al Jazeera.

Gaddafi Jr and the London School of Economics

It’s as if the raft of state sponsored terrorist attacks, the murder of WPC Yvonne Fletcher and the bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie  never happened:

The London School of Economics, one of the top-ranking universities in Europe, on Monday (21 February) acknowledged it had received a gift of €1.78 million from the Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation, chaired by Saif al Islam, one of the Libyan dictator’s seven sons and a former graduate.

The university also admitted it had “delivered executive education programmes to Libyan officials”, but said it had now decided to sever all those links “in view of the highly distressing news” about hundreds of protesters killed by armed forces.

“The school intends to continue its work on democratisation in north Africa funded from other sources unrelated to the Libyan authorities,” it said in a statement published on its website.

Only now is the LSE severing links with the Libyan regime, as if the actions of the Gaddafi regime over the last 40 years haven’t given enough clues about its violent and repressive nature.

But then, what else could we expect from such a bastion of left wing radicalism that embraces climate alarmism’s chief media attack poodle Bob Ward as part of its extended team?  No doubt as more people trawl over this obnoxiously pungent relationship between the Gaddafis and the LSE, the college will employ the same kind of diversionary tactics as Ward does when trying to smear someone who tells the inconvenient truth.  Birds of a feather…

They have lost their fear, so we must lose ours

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Dr Richard North of EU Referendum examines why the people who serve us just don’t give a damn. The central thrust is that our public servants have lost their fear of us and now feel they are our masters. As North explains:

It is my belief that the rot starts at the top. But for answers, you need to go back to the great Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States and the principal author of the Declaration of Independence.

He saw how the people and their governments should relate, declaring: ‘When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.’

There lies my conclusion, gained from a lifetime of experience at all levels of -government. Our ‘rulers’ have lost their fear.

You have only to go down to the Houses of Parliament or Downing Street to see this. Our masters have retreated behind concrete barricades, blastproof windows, policemen with machine guns, armoured limousines and riot police.

The political classes are now a gated community. They feel safe. They are not afraid of us.

Have you noticed in recent years how public service doors are increasingly closed to us? How previously open avenues to simple solutions to problems have been put off limits and we are forced to accept complicated and bureaucratic rules that serve every interest but ours? How the distance between us and those previously accessible people responsible for those who deliver our services has widened to the extent they are now completely out of reach?

The services we pay a huge sum of money to have delivered are performed by people who want the money that comes with the job without the need to do the job. It is blatant contempt. Only a trivial anecdote maybe, but my request to speak with the headmistress at Mind Jr’s school was rejected out of hand. I was told she did not meet with parents, that is the job of the head of year and the deputy head.

Another many readers will be familiar with concerns our binmen.  Previously these rugged men would march up your garden path, grab a heavy metal bin and swing it over their shoulder, march it to the rubbish vehicle and empty it, before bringing the bin back and picking up anything that may have been dropped. Now? You must put your bin out on the pavement so pedestrians cannot pass. If the lid is partially open it gets left. If the bin is not fully on the path it is left. If the bin is not brought in that same day you risk being fined. Some authorities task binmen with rummaging through the bins to see what is being thrown away and if there is anything in the bin they say should not be there, a red sticker is affixed and the bin is again left.

Letters to MPs and Councillors, campaigns, petitions, demonstrations and marches to signal our discontent or insistence in a change of direction by our representatives are sneered at and ignored. Government creates teams to ‘nudge’ us into doing what government wants us to do, rather than what we want to do. The democratic process changes nothing because the alternative political parties capable of winning an election comprise a cosy consensus so the only thing that changes are the faces.

They know it. We know it. But the charade continues as too many of us foolishly play the game by their rules and believe they can bring about change by doing so.

The only thing that has changed, as North says, is that they have lost their fear – while too many of us are too scared to act. They will not give anything to us while we do what they want us too. The time has come to turn the tables and assert our power. If we want our country back we need to lose our fear. They will not give us anything. We must take it.

The people of America did not cast off the British yoke by playing by London’s rules. They declared their independence and literally fought for their freedom. History is littered with examples of people rebelling and removing rulers who ignored the wishes of the people.

Due to their arrogance, the political class in this country think it could not happen here. They believe they are immune. This is Britain, after all. If their abuse of the law and corruption of democracy continues from behind their barricaded positions then must lose our fear and prove them stunningly wrong.

The Devil is laying down his blade

The Devil’s Kitchen morphed into The Devil’s Knife. But now Chris’ blog looks like slipping into animated suspension because despite clamouring for change it is clear none will be forthcoming.

As he eloquently sets out in his rationale to stop blogging (for the time being at least) this is the reality of our situation here in the UK:

The second reason to keep blogging was that there was some hope of change in the near(ish) future. Now, we have seen that change, and it is no change at all.

We are ruled by same loathsome, lying, corrupt, venal bastards rule over us: they are simply wearing slightly different novelty masks. Indeed, the simple fact that I must write the words “we are ruled” is sign enough that nothing has changed.

We are in for another five years of the same “dreadful, overbearing and untrustworthy” government as we have had for the past thirteen. And then? Well, either these same awful people will be returned to power or the Other Lot of awful shit-bags—the ones that we’ve only just got rid of—will be brought in instead. Again.

And no matter which bunch of bastards we are forced to elect to Parliament will make little difference: the state will continue expanding, we will continue to pay more tax, society will become more atomised and dangerous, business will become more difficult, civil liberties will be removed, everyday pleasures will be ever more circumscribed and punished and our lives will continue to be a little bit harder and more miserable with every year that passes.

Every word is echoed by this blog. Reading the Devil’s assessment brought to mind a quote from John F. Kennedy – and it is one the political class today would do well to think on:

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.


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