Archive for the ‘Britain’ Category
George Galloway, Posadist, “Every terrorist will be shot down dead, and if I can, I will pull the trigger myself from my Sputnik.”
Watch out World: Galloway is in Orbit!
George Galloway has been a busy bee.
Here is Galloway this morning:
Here was Galloway yesterday:
Here was also Galloway yesterday.
This yet again was Galloway yesterday:
He even claims that Russia is the forefront of the fight against the Daesh genociders.
Forgetting perhaps that it was welcome US air-support that saved the Kurds from in Kobane from mass murder.
Here was him last week.
The police will find a friend in me,” he added.“Every terrorist will be shot down dead, and if I can, I will pull the trigger myself.
“I say to the police officer in the room, when it comes to your wages, your resources and your strengthening, you can count on me.”
Speculation is rife that Galloway plans to follow Vladimir Putin and wrestle a terrorist, bare-handed, to the ground.
He is there, up in space, with a new Communist civilisation, orbiting the earth, just waiting……
Here is an earlier incarnation of Sputnik.
Remembering those who gave their lives in Protest at the Invasion of Iraq.
There are two powerful voices pushing people to support bombing Syria.
A couple of days ago Giles Fraser wrote,
War in time for Christmas is David Cameron’s plan. Yes, exquisitely timed to coincide with the Christian message of peace and goodwill to all. Yes, a perfect accompaniment to all those half-forgotten carols: “And man, at war with man, hears not, / The love-song which they bring: O hush the noise, ye men of strife, / And hear the angels sing.” Translated into the prosaically secular: we have no vision of peace.
Now Ken Livingstone has intervened.
He said on Question Time this week,
Mr Livingstone argued that David Cameron’s proposed air strikes against Isis in Syria were “too indiscriminate” and that the only way to defeat Isis would be with tens of thousands of ground troops – a move repeatedly ruled out by the Prime Minister
Livingstone also said.
In a heated debate on BBC One’s Question Time, he recalled the start of the Iraq invasion, saying that Tony Blair was advised that joining the US would make the UK a terror target.
“He ignored that advice and it killed 52 Londoners,” Mr Livingstone continued…
Jeremy Corbyn’s Defence adviser said out loud what the SWP and others , er, say even louder: those killed by Islamist bombers are the victims of imperialism, in this case, its agent, Tony Blair.
The former London Mayor also had a theme of religious sacrifice:
“Go and look at what they (the terrorists) put on their website did those killings because of our invasion of Iraq…they gave their lives, they said what they believed,” the former mayor of London said.
“They took Londoners’ lives in protest against our invasion of Iraq.”
It’s hard to not feel that, yes, it was an act of generosity, of martyrdom, of truth speaking to power…
Perhaps Giles Fraser could continue the lines of his Christmas Carol,
Glory to God in the highest
Glory to God evermore
Good news, great joy for all
Melody breaks through the silence
Marina Hyde in today’s Guardian, with Christian Charity, dissects Ken’s finely honed remarks.
Like Austin Powers after the cryogenic unfreezing process, Ken Livingstone has no inner monologue. Or if he had one, it was extinguished some time around 2006. The absence of any kind of filter makes Powers say out loud: “My God, Vanessa’s got a fabulous body … I bet she shags like a minx.” With Ken, it’s contemporaneous stuff, like how the 7/7 London terrorists “gave their lives” in protest. Although he can do the sexytime too: he once leered at a female journalist: “You should come home with me – I’m like a broom handle in the morning”. And still people persist in the nonsense that politics is showbiz for ugly people. If you’re not turned on by that, you’re either dead or a Tory. Which is the same thing – amirite, comrades?
Ken’s political superpower is a total inability to feel even a scintilla of shame, which is why he was back on the horse for his Question Time outing so quickly after last week’s forced apology, and will doubtless have something else groan-inducing up his sleeve for the runup to Christmas. Maybe Labour’s merchandise unit could produce a Ken-themed advent calendar, with a piece of signature artless spite behind each door. On 24 December, you get to open his brain and reveal the festive message: “Jesus was a terrorist. Now either get undressed or piss off.”
As Ken Livingstone stonewalls calls for his good self to piss off perhaps he will seek advice from his one-time Policy Director of Economic and Business Policy, John Ross, of the International Marxist Group.
Ross is a dab hand at putting a spin on difficult issues.
Recently he wrote, How China made the world’s largest contribution to human rights
China should be supported precisely because of its contribution to human rights. China has done more to improve the overall situation not only of its own people but of humanity than any other country in the world – as the facts show.
Ross, like Livingstone, is also a great patriot,
I love my country deeply, and the enormous contributions it has made to world culture and science…
The former London Mayor loves himself deeply as well.
Let’s hope that his Yuletide carol singing with Gilles Fraser is a happy one.
Despite Fraser and Livingstone’s efforts the Tendance remains opposed to Cameron’s plans to intervene in Syria.
Meanwhile a very different left approach (which we signaled when it appeared in French) has now been translated.
It is absolutely essential reading:
No to Daesh- no to imperalism
Solidarity with the victims!
Friday 27 November 2015, by,
Whatever the role of imperialism, the Islamic State is responsible for its actions.
All fundamentalist movements do not have the same bases, the same strategy. Are some of them, such as the Islamic State, fascists? They do not maintain the same (complex) relations with sectors of the imperialist bourgeoisies as in Europe in the 1930s, but they reproduce them with sectors of the bourgeoisie of “regional powers”, such as, in the Middle East, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey … They attract the “human dust” of decaying societies as well as elements of the “middle classes”, of a “petty bourgeoisie”, of educated workers. They use terror “from below” to impose their order. They dehumanize those who are different and make scapegoats of them, as yesterday the Nazis did with Jews, Gypsies or homosexuals. They eradicate all forms of democracy and of progressive people’s organizations. Religious exaltation occupies the same function as national exaltation in the interwar period and enables them, in addition, to deploy internationally
Brave Silhan Özçelik: Convicted and Denigrated by Judge
The Guardian reports.
A British teenager who made a graveside pledge to devote herself to the PKK cause has been convicted of intending to join the proscribed Kurdish terrorist organisation to fight Islamic State.
Silhan Özçelik, 18, from north London, ran away from home, took a train to Brussels, and left behind letters and a video for her distraught family telling them she wanted to be a guerrilla fighter and was joining the Kurdistan Workers’ party’s women’s militia.
She is the first British citizen to be convicted for trying to join the campaign against Isis jihadis in Syria.
Özçelik, who was 17 when she went to Belgium in October 2014, had been “smitten” by the PKK since she was 13 after watching a film, Comrade Beritan, about a PKK female guerrilla who threw herself off a cliff rather than face capture and died in 1992.
She had also visited the Turkish grave of Leyla Saylemez, whose nom de guerre was Comrade Ronahi and one of three female PKK activists shot dead at a community centre in Paris in January 2013.
In the 25-minute video Özçelik left behind explaining her decision to her family, she said she had taken soil from Ronahi’s grave and made a promise, which she was now going to fulfil.
The jury at the Old Bailey dismissed Özçelik’s claim that she had invented the PKK story because she was running away to meet a 28-year-old man in Belgium with whom she hoped to kindle a romantic relationship, and wanted to spare her family shame in the strict, traditional Kurdish community.
Dan Pawson-Pounds, prosecuting, said the video and letters, in which she passionately described her love for the PKK, her wish to become a militant and “bride to the mountains”, and her desire for her family to be proud of her, “couldn’t be clearer or more consistent” with her long-held ambition to be a fighter and guerrilla.
Özçelik was “passionately engaged” with the PKK cause. She spoke of her anger that Islamic State at that time was crushing her people in Kobani, the largely Kurdish city in Syria, and that no men were going out there to fight against Isis. She was attracted by the active role women were allowed to play in the PKK, the jury was told.
She wrote: “Maybe I will go to Kobani, or I will not go. That is a different matter. It is up to the PKK to decide. But I see myself as a fighter, I see myself as a militant, a guerrilla.”
Özçelik was the baby of her family. She was 10 years younger than the youngest of her three siblings and found life in the strictly traditional family home restrictive. Her father, a chef, and mother, a textile factory machinist, gained political asylum in 1993 and settled in Britain. Though born in London, Özçelik identified strongly with her Kurdish roots and told school friends she used the name Dersim, the Kurdish name for the city of Tunceli – where the family of Comrade Beritan, the nom de guerre of Gülnaz Karataş, was from.
Posters, collages and Photoshopped pictures of PKK slogans and armed female guerrilla fighters were found in her bedroom. She had “glorified” the fighting and use of guns, especially by women, the prosecution said.
At the time she ran away she was a student of media studies at Holloway College. She had gained nine GSCEs at secondary school but then dropped out of her previous sixth form, where staff described her as “insular”, with few friends and seemingly “a bit depressed”.
She had lied to friends about her reasons for going to Belgium, telling them variously that she was going to visit an uncle, to study in Germany, to go travelling, or to escape a jealous ex-boyfriend, the jury heard.
There was no evidence Özçelik had joined the PKK, made contact with PKK members or travelled to Turkey or Syria before she returned to Britain from Cologne in Germany in January 2015 and was arrested at Stansted airport.
The jurors were told they had to be sure of two things: that she had the intention to commit acts of terrorism by joining the PKK, and that she engaged in conduct in preparation for the act. That preparation, said the prosecution, involved buying a one-way ticket to Brussels, recording a 25-minute video to her family and writing two letters to them saying she was joining the PKK and giving her reasons why, and by getting on the train to Belgium.
Before leaving, Özçelik had wiped most of the data from her mobile phone, which she left behind. She told her family she would be in contact, but that when she did they could not mention her name on the phone. This, the prosecution said, was consistent with her intending to join a terrorist organisation and knowing the authorities might be monitoring her communications.
Özçelik told the court she thought making the video was “cool” and she made it so that if things did not work out with the man in Belgium – and they did not – she would still be accepted back by her family. If they thought she had been fighting for the PKK, that was more heroic than the shame of knowing she had gone to meet a man, she said.
The jury of nine women and three men took five hours to reach a unanimous verdict.
Sentencing her to 21 months in a young offender institution, the judge, John Bevan, described her as “a stupid, feckless and deeply dishonest young woman”. Although there was no evidence she did anything to “advance the aim expressed in the video”, he told her she was “immature” and the “author of your own misfortune”.
Dismissing her counsel’s appeal for a suspended sentence, the judge added “any conviction for an offence of terrorism is serious”. He was not satisfied that the PKK was her only motive for travelling, and her emotions for Mehmet, the man in Belgium she said she hoped to have a relationship with, may have been a part, but the jury had decided “for a time at least”, joining the PKK was her intention.
He said her sentence was much reduced “because of the highly unusual factors of this case”. She would have to live with the “long lasting consequences of a conviction for terrorism”, he added .
As he passed sentence, sobs could be heard from the public gallery where members of her family had sat throughout the trial.
Özçelik is very young, she was very brave, full of emotion, and she wanted to fight an enemy that is unimaginably evil.
She does not deserve this sentence, nor does she merit the despicable comments of Judge John Bevan.
John Wight, of Socialist Unity and Russia Today.
You have to feel for the Stop the War Coalition. Back in June I attended one of their conferences in London, where during one of the plenary meetings a few people voiced criticism from the floor over the organisation’s refusal to come down squarely on the side of Assad in the Syrian conflict.
He adds, “I have long expressed sympathy with this position.”
I have had my share of differences with the Stop the War Coalition over the years, but I have no hesitation in crediting them with maintaining a principled opposition to wars and conflicts unleashed in the name of a status quo of injustice and might is right. Its organisers and activists have given over a decade’s service to exposing the hypocrisy and subterfuge employed to defend the indefensible, and consequently I feel duty bound to defend them now.
But on the other hand (there’s always another hand).
Peter Tatchell on the other hand is a classic example of the Western liberal whose conception of the world is akin to that of a child let loose with crayons on a blank sheet of paper, allowing said crayons to go wherever they please with no thought of the mess being made or lack of coherence being wrought.
Worse, he and his co-thinkers continue their slavish attachment to the wondrous virtues of ‘humanitarian intervention’, despite the history of the catastrophic consequences of this very concept in practice.
Now slaves we – all – may be, and wonderfully wondrous as “humanitarian intervention” may be to some, hard-to-find, people, but comrade Tatchell is on record as having opposed the US-Led invasion of Iraq (No Invasion of Iraq! Arm the Kurds to Topple Saddam.
On Afghanistan he stated in 2011, “The Afghan war strategy is not working. After 10 bloody years, there are too many civilian casualties and no prospect of defeating the Taliban. We are propping up a Kabul government mired in corruption, which gained power through fraudulent elections. Our intervention has focused on war-fighting to the relative neglect of economic reconstruction and the empowerment of civil society. The cost to the British people of this half-baked venture is a staggering £5bn a year, when public services are being slashed. For all these reasons, I’m supporting the mass anti-war assembly in Trafalgar Square this Saturday. But I do so critically.” (Guardian).
On Libya Tatchell like the leader of the French left-party, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, supported a limited ‘No-Fly Zone’.
Tatchell is not a “humanitarian interventionist” in the sense of giving blanket support for Western invasions of countries like Iraq.
He makes simple, and humanitarian, points about the need to support Syrian democrats.
If that is “cultural imperialism” then, so be it.
Wight makes no mention of the role of Russia – something which Stop the War Chair Andrew Murray regards with equanimity – an affair between sovereign countries.
That is, obviously, not imperialism.
Wight is concerned with this,
..that Assad should be overthrown are not motivated by the belief that he is a benevolent leader, but rather that his government is all that currently stands between Syria’s survival as a secular state in which the rights of its minorities are protected, and it being turned into a mass grave by the modern incarnation of the Khmer Rouge…..
This is a legitimate fear.
Indeed if Socialist Unity were not so concerned to talk about violent Islamism as some kind of ‘blow back’ to Western imperialism, or continually talk of Muslim reactionaries as ‘victims’, they might not be so surprised that Daesh has found its own dynamic in the Syrian conflict.
Along with other, equally unsavoury Islamists, from the al–Nusra Front, or Jabhat al-Nusra, onwards.
Apart from the Baathists’ role as a dictatorship it remains a very uncertain question whether Assad can crush these genociders without agreement with democratic forces.
We are concerned about Wight.
Is this a cry for help?
Just as a crayon in the hands of an unsupervised child spells havoc in the home, moralism in the breast of a liberal spells havoc in the world.
Lie No.1: Regarding “Andrew Murray’s support for the Syrian regime”
During the meeting Andrew Murray called for the support of the Syrian Army and the Iraqi Army in the fight against ISIS. This will be on record of the footage that Stop the War Coalition have yet to release of the meeting (unless they choose to edit it).
Andrew Fisher, Respected and Much-Liked Comrade.
Everybody has had a go at Andrew Fisher over the last few days.
I haven’t heard complaints from Ipswich yet, a non-1% elite town which Andrew visited earlier this year.
He came and talked to the Ipswich Trades Council and the Suffolk People’s Assembly on anti-austerity economics.
Fisher’s message is summed up in this review of his book, The failed experiment and how to build an economy that works. (2014)
With eloquence and passion Fisher argues debt and growth are not the real issues, the economic problems we face are in fact “the consequence of political decisions”. The conditions that neoliberalism demands in order to supposedly free human beings from the slavery of the state – minimal taxes, the dismantling of public services and welfare, deregulation, the breaking of union.
Those listening to him didn’t go to Cambridge. But they included trade unionists, teachers, clerical and manual workers, retired people, Labour Party members, and supporters of socialist groups, Greens and anti-cuts activists.
We were distinctly impressed – and he’d travelled all the way from the wilds of Sarf London to speak to us.
As Labour Briefing is one the best read left weeklies round here we are equally pleased to see his contributions in the paper.
The Guardian lays down the present charges:
Jeremy Corbyn is under mounting pressure to dismiss his policy adviser, Andrew Fisher, as a second, stinging letter of complaint about his past support for candidates from other parties was leaked to the Observer.
Fisher was suspended by Labour general secretary Iain McNicol on Friday, two weeks after Emily Benn, former parliamentary candidate for Croydon South, lodged a complaint to the party, saying Fisher backed the Class War candidate in her constituency ahead of the general election in May.
In a move that angered many at the top of the party, Corbyn said he still “had full confidence” in Fisher who would continue to work for him, though he respected the “integrity” of the general secretary’s office.
But in a new blow to Corbyn’s defence of his aide, the Observer has obtained another letter sent on Tuesday to McNicol from a former treasurer and executive member of the Labour party in Brighton, Peter van Vliet, about separate alleged instances of Fisher backing rival candidates. Van Vliet protested “in the strongest possible terms” that Fisher had encouraged people to back Green candidates before the 2010 general election. The Greens’ Caroline Lucas went on to take the Brighton Pavilion seat from Labour with a majority of just 1,252 votes.
Van Vliet told McNicol he found it “unacceptable that Mr Fisher is now allowed to remain a party member” because he urged people to consider supporting parties other than Labour.
After Benn’s complaint, Fisher apologised for putting out a tweet in August 2014 which said: “FFS if you live in Croydon South, vote with dignity, vote @campaignbeard.” @Campaignbeard was the Class War candidate’s Twitter account. Fisher maintained that the tweet was a joke and did not indicate his support for Class War at the time, a line since backed in public by Corbyn’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell.
The Sun helpfully adds to the list,
JEREMY Corbyn’s top aide was suspended last night over footage of him admitting he was tempted to beat up a former Labour bigwig.
The Sun played the party a video of Andrew Fisher saying he was tempted to “thump” ex-cabinet minister James Purnell for not being left-wing enough.
He was filmed saying “It took every sinew of my self-discipline not to thump him” over his views on welfare reform.
The wider context is well-covered by Phil here: Andrew Fisher’s suspension isn’t about rule-breaking – it’s about factional struggle.
These are some more points.
- James Purnell – involved in a serious Expenses scandal – was Work and Pensions Secretary from 2009 – 2009 (when he resigned, claiming disagreements with Gordon Brown – but see previous link). As such he presided over the Flexible New Deal – the precursor of the present Work Programme. It was based on the principle that rpivate companies would ‘provide’ the programme for the out of work, and that they would be put into “work placements” – unpaid work. This is how the Guardian represented his policy in 2008, “James Purnell accused of introducing US ‘workfare’ with benefits reform. Work and pensions secretary says under white paper proposals virtually everyone claiming benefits will have to do something in return”. It may be imagined that it was not only Andrew Fisher who took a dislike to the man.
- The ‘Class War Tweet was made in August 2014. That is pretty far outside of the General Election. Now, much as the Tendance likes Ian Bone, Class War is generally considered something of a joke on the left. Not, indeed, as funny as the Posadists. But pretty amusing. Note to Labour Party, the Tendance has tweeted backing for J. Posadas’ views on Communist Flying Saucers and intelligent dolphins.
- That Andrew said some nice things about Carolyn Lucas and some Green Party policies, is something he shares with about 99% of the British left – excepting steel-hardened comrades like Andrew Coates. He did not back the Green Party.
There is quite a list of other notorious “tweets” (here).
For once Ken Livingstone has followed the Tendance’s lead (on our own Tweets and Facebook).
He suggested on Channel Four yesterday that Andrew Fisher was ‘aving a larf.
As also suggested here: Andrew Fisher’s comedy career is all over. David Osland.
Odd, innit, that when right-wing gits make off-colour remarks this is proof of what great characters they are.
When a lefty shows a bit of rancour, and humour…all hell breaks lose.
Macer Gifford: “wanted to shine a light and to show the Kurds aren’t alone.”
The Union banned a YPG fighter from talking at the University – in case he influences others to go and fight.
Ex-student Macer Gifford fought in Syria for five months earlier this year with the Kurdish Group YPG against Islamic State, and was due to give a speech at the University yesterday.
President of the Kurdish Society, Kavar Kurda, organised for him to come in, but was told Macer would not be given a platform to speak because “one man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist”.
Activities and Events Officer, Asad Khan, said the decision was “because there were concerns an event with a person speaking about their experiences fighting in Syria could lead to others going and fighting in the conflict”.
He said in an email: “In every conflict there are two sides, and at UCLU we want to avoid taking sides in conflicts.”
“Kavar claims Asad went on to say how he “doesn’t agree with western definitions of groups.”
Kavar told The Tab: “Asad went down the same route as CAGE and other questionable organisations by appealing to white middle class stereotypes and told me the only reason Macer wasn’t arrested was because he is ‘white and middle class’.
“I find it astounding such an institution like UCL are unwilling to take a side in this conflict
“If you don’t support Kurds and the YPG, only ISIS are left. Where’s the freedom of speech? What about human rights?”
Asad had expressed concerns to Kavar about the human rights record of YPG, citing UN reports which detailed how YPG had “carried out recruitment of child soldiers”, but Kavar says the sources were “random” and Asad had “gone out to find anything remotely negative against the group, dismissing the huge applause for them around the world”.
Asad said the Syrian crisis is a “contentious topic” and defended his decision to block the speaker.
He told The Tab: “It is important to note the rooms these activities take place in belong to UCL rather than UCLU and we liaised with UCL, who in turn wanted to seek advice from the police.
“When they didn’t get a reply, to stay on the side of caution, UCL also leant towards not providing a platform.
“The Syrian crisis is a very contentious topic with many different groups, and although I understand YPG are fighting against ISIS the situation is far too complex to understand in black and white as expected by the student.
“I don’t think UCLU can disregard an Amnesty International report as well as one from the UN Independent International Commission. Despite signing a commitment in 2014 to demobilise all under-18 fighters, the Human Rights Watch have reported that YPG have recruited child soldiers, some of them below the age of 15.
“In this context, despite the fact YPG aren’t a terrorist organisation, I think there is enough evidence to show they have committed human rights abuses, for which reason it is not appropriate for UCLU to be associated with someone who chose to go and fight for them.
For the Kurdish reply to these allegations:
The General Command of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) has released a detailed statement responding to the Amnesty International Report, published on 12 October 2015 and titled, “We Had Nowhere Else to Go – Forced Displacement and Demolitions in Northern Syria”.
Underlining that the report is contradictory and puts the credibility of the organisation at stake, the YPG higlighted the following points in response to the report which drew worldwide reaction due to its attempt and effort to defame the People’s Protection Units by means of unfounded claims;
Not many people think that backing the YPG’s fight against the Islamist genociders of ISISis “contentious” and, not a “black and white issue” and “far too complex” to take sides in.
It would be interesting to find out the stand of Kahn’s own organisations on this and related topics.
“…my main involvement in university has to be with Pakistan Society where I was the events organiser and in the Islamic Society where I led Charity Week in my final year. Profile.
And there is this:
• Allegations of mass electoral fraud sees last minute disciplinary meeting
• Asad Khan and Mohammad Ali named in complaints seen exclusively by The Tab
• Union panel docks Asad Khan one per cent of his votes
Fraud allegations have been levelled against victorious candidates of this week’s Union elections, Asad Khan and Mohammad Ali.
Asad, who will serve as the £25K-a-year Activities and Events Officer, had one per cent of his first preference votes docked after an official complaint was made to the Union.