Tuesday, February 28, 2006

March For Free Expression

A reminder - the March For Free Expression. Be at Trafalgar Square or be square (sorry, I've had a few - best I could come up with).

Kudos to Peter and Patrick - looks like it's going to be a winner.

Support for Denmark

Inspiring news from the Brussels Journal:
Flanders' largest carnival parade, which was held today in the town of Aalst, 35 kms to the west of Brussels, became a statement of solidarity with Denmark. All the floats participating in the parade were adorned with at least one Danish flag, while many of the onlookers waved Danish flags as well.
Perhaps they'll do something similar for the Oldham Carnival. Then again, they might not.

Crêpes of Wrath

If you're making pancakes tonight, try to use Danish goods where possible.

Iraq Poll

Jonz notes how little Iraqi opinion matters to the BBC and the Guardian.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Al Qaradawi discusses Religion of Peace

Here’s Mayor Livingstone’s mate Sheik Yousef al Qaradawi on Qatar TV a couple of days ago:
This is why I ruled that martyrdom operations are permitted, because he commits martyrdom for the sake of Allah, and sacrifices his soul for the sake of Allah.

We do not disassociate Islam from the war. On the contrary, disassociating Islam from the war is the reason for our defeat. We are fighting in the name of Islam.
Video and transcript at the IBA.

Mini Round-up

Don’t need a weatherman to know how much Fisk blows.

Marc takes John Simpson and Kofi Anan to task.

We’re all Danes extremists now. Natalie, Tim Blair and Max on "The Oldham Horror".

Imran Khan: Toons worse than Holocaust

Speaking on Five Live Drive moments ago, cricketer turned politician Imran Khan said the Danish cartoons are worse than the Holocaust.

Update. Here's the clip (mp3 250kB, 15 secs)

“I don’t think the message has got through that for us it’s far more painful than perhaps even the Holocaust for the Jews. Any caricature or any ridicule or any humiliation of the holy prophet is far more painful for the Muslims.”


What next? "Toons worse than everything bad that's ever happened times infinity, plus one!" says Muslim.

Update 2, February 28 8:45am
. I notice that the BBC has chosen to pretend this interview never happened. Radio Five Live (R5L) is usually very keen to claim whatever exclusives it gets ahead of the higher profile news programming on Radio 4. It’s a news and sports channel so one would think that a major ex-sports figure turned politician making outrageous statements on their station would be the ideal R5L story. Evidently not. Khan’s interviewer, Peter Allen, didn’t pick up on the Holocaust mention at all; the MSM has conceded so much ground over the cartoons that comparisons between drawings and the murder of millions now pass without comment. However, the fact that Allen failed to do his job doesn’t explain why the station has chosen to bury the news. One reason may lie in the fact that R5L’s station controller Bob Shennan is also head of the BBC Asian Network. When the BBC was announcing cutbacks to programming, Shennan was sending all his staff on ‘diversity’ seminars. Whatever the reason for ignoring Khan's opinions, my view of the BBC as the Islamic PR Agency is reinforced.


It will be interesting to see if the BBC decides to cover similar comments made by George Galloway (it was the BBC monitoring service that produced the transcript of Galloway’s interview). If so, they won’t have an excuse for brushing the Khan interview under the bokhara.


One more thing - Imran Khan is the current Chancellor of Bradford University.

Madeleine Bunting

Here's Madeleine Bunting in
The vast majority in this country know little about Islam and care even less… A small minority manage to combine ignorance with prejudice - and see no reason to learn more about a subject on which they are none the less happy to pontificate, whether propping up the bar or hunched over their blogs.
The real ignorance and prejudice comes from the Guardian-loving classes who bow and scrape in response to threats from Islamofascists. And I see we “hunch” over our blogs. What does Bunting do what when she’s composing her half-baked columns - dictate them to some poor lackey whilst reclining on a chaise longue? She continues, pug-in-lap:
Glossing over July 2005, there has been a remarkable revival of faith in British multiculturalism as Brits look with smug horror at the Islamophobia of Denmark and the Netherlands or the violence in France last autumn.

Meanwhile, among British Muslims it is commonplace to draw analogies with the rise of anti-semitism in Germany in the 30s… what happened in Europe in the 40s could happen again, and they will be the victims this time.
You may want to gloss over 7/7, Madeleine, but I certainly don’t. In Denmark and the Netherlands I see people of extreme courage standing up for free expression in the face of death threats. And those comparing events today with the Holocaust should take a good look at what’s going on in France right now. Yes there are parallels, but Muslims aren’t the victims, they’re the perpetrators. The victims are the same as last time. As Mark Steyn said in the Sun-Times:
The Jews are playing their traditional role of the canaries in history's coal mine.

Galloway: Toons worse than 9/11, 7/7

George Galloway on the Danish cartoons in an interview with Algeria's El Khabar newspaper (via Harry's Place):
This incident is worse than the 11 September attacks in the US and the 7/7 incidents in London. Therefore, today it is the right of Muslims to express their anger and to defend their right and faith.

More Gordon

From today's Independent:
Press claims of a PR machine designed to improve the public image of Gordon Brown as he positions himself as Britain's next prime minister are hopelessly flawed, says his former spin doctor Charlie Whelan
There then follows an article designed to improve the public image of Gordon Brown as he positions himself as Britain's next prime minister.

Meanwhile over in the Guardian the man himself is once again waffling on about his vision for Britian. He even mentions constitutional reform - but it's the House of Lords and votes for 16 year olds, not the West Lothian Question, that interest him. For all his talk about democracy and empowerment, he’s more than happy to see the English remain as second-class citizens.

Here's a word cloud of the article. It's all 'Britain' and 'British', 'liberty' and 'reform', 'young' and 'youth', but there's no hiding that great big overbearing 'government'.

(Via Snapshirts.)

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Not quite what Gordon had in mind…

...when he said "embrace the Union flag":



Update
. I missed this one (hat tip Anonymous in the comments):



It's a good time to be a flag manufacturer, isn't it?

From Free Scotland Now.

Autistic basketball player clip

Here's a great news clip from CBS over at Youtube - a high school basketball coach lets an autistic boy play the last few minutes of the final game of the season. I defy you not to be moved.

Thomas!!

Professor Hasan Bolkhari of the Iranian Education Ministry and the Iranian Film Council believes that Walt Disney's (?!) Tom and Jerry are part of the global Zionist conspiracy. Via LGF, where there’s video.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

"Don't on any account get sick before 6 April."

Kirsty Wark's Blow Job Fantasies & Other Tales

(I bet that title attracts a few clicks)

Have you ever seen one of those TV shows where 'experts' analyse the psychology behind celebrities' body language? They're mostly pap, but there was quite a good one which showed how irritable Gordon Brown gets in the presence of Tony Blair.

I wonder what these body language specialists would make of the 'hidden tells' in Kirsty Wark's interview with George Clooney on yesterday's Newsnight Review.








Anyway, moving on. Here are some Clooney quotes from the programme:
"The truth of the matter is you don’t have to run the cartoons. It's not necessarily censorship. It's maybe just saying, 'It's a little hot right now - let's not push those issues.' Look, I'm a freedom of speech guy. I grew up, you know, I'm the son of an anchor guy so I believe you should be able to say anything."
Except when things get "a little hot", obviously.

"The New York Times - that’s where we get our straightest news from."
Ha ha ha ha!
"Sanctions and inspectors were working."
Yes I suppose they were, in a UN multi-billion dollar fraud kind of way.

And of course, they played the clip from Good Night and Good Luck that nearly every other BBC programme seems to have shown over the past week where Ed Murrow says:
We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home.


The irony is that those now lauding Murrow's legend are the very same people who have deserted freedom by censoring themselves in the face of threats.

So, if like me you've grown a bit sick of the BBC's week-long promotion for George Clooney and the rebirth of 'idealistic cinema', here's the bit in Team America where his head gets blown off:

Priorities

What he says.

Archdhimmi of Canterbury

From the Archbishop of Canterbury’s recent address to the World Council of Churches:
...many non-Christian majorities regard Christian presence as a threat, or at least as the sign of a particular geopolitical agenda (linked with the USA or the West in general)... One of the most problematic effects of recent international developments has been precisely to associate Christians in the Middle East or Pakistan, for example, with an alien and aggressive policy in the eyes of an easily manipulated majority. The suffering of Christian minorities as a result of this is something which all our churches and the whole of this Assembly need constantly to keep in focus.
Muslims kill Christians, burn churches, send suicide bombers into Western cities and threaten to murder those who publish things they don’t like, and Rowan Williams responds by telling members of his faith to be less threatening. Islam is blameless - it’s the West that’s at fault.

Here's the C of E's current logo:



This might be more suitable:




(Related - Laban Tall takes a looks at the Anglican response to the violence in Nigeria.)

Friday, February 24, 2006

BBC sponsorship for US lefties

A pro-Denmark rally organised by Christopher Hitchens is just the thing to rile the liberal wusses at Wonkette, but look who’s sponsoring their sneering reports:

More cartoon madness

Dog Pundit has news on the latest cartoon to cause Muslim riots. As he says, "If you give an inch to Islamists, it will never be enough, and they will riot and kill until they get a mile."

Huh?

From Yahoo News -

Kashmiri earthquake survivors set fire to a puppet representing U.S. President George W. Bush during a protest against the publication of cartoons and caricatures depicting Prophet Mohammad, in the earthquake-devastated city of Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-administered Kashmir February 24, 2006. REUTERS



I can't get my head round this at all. What are they blaming Bush for exactly? The earthquake? Danish cartoonists? It's beyond me.

Martin Rowson & Steve Bell

Here’s a sound we’ve become all too familiar with over the past few weeks - the whine of the hypocritical left. Guardian cartoonist Martin Rowson interviewed at Ohmy News:
Would you have published the cartoons?

I wouldn't have published or drawn these cartoons because Muslims are powerless.

[…]

Would you have published them, if the Muslims were not "powerless"?

If they had been in a position of power, I would.

But don't Muslims have a considerable amount of power in the U.K.?

No, because in my mind, it is a mental juggling act. To issue those cartoons in this country would be attacking a vulnerable minority group, they are poor, they are powerless.
I think you'll find the only mental juggling act is going on inside Rowson’s head as he tries to justify his double standards.

Well, don't you think Muslims have also used the power of their religion?

What has happened in the Muslim community is that they are using religion as a method of defense from the disadvantages they suffer because they live in a racist country here in the UK and they want their dignity back.
For a bunch of powerless victims they did a pretty good job of terrifying the British press into censorship.
The Danish cartoons were saying: "Islam is terrorism."
Er, no they weren’t. They were saying that there are Islamic terrorists.
Do you have the right to insult people's faiths just because of freedom of speech?

Yes, because I believe religion is an artificial human construction and it does not have any special feature to make it immune. There should be no no-go area.
Ha! He really is full of shit, isn’t he?

Rowson repeats his "poor and powerless Muslims" argument in today’s Washington Post, where that other fearless Guardian cartoonist Steve Bell also offers his views (hat tip The Mid-Atlantic Blog):
But even as a believer in harsh political satire, Bell said, he would not have drawn the Danish cartoons, including one that featured Muhammad with a bomb in his turban. He defended the Danish newspaper's right to publish the drawings, saying limitations on free speech should be "self-imposed."

"The limits are one's own integrity and one's own beliefs," he said. "Sometimes you want to offend. But you target the powerful, not the weak.
How sweet, they both think the same thing! They must find that very reassuring as they sip their camomille teas in the Guardian canteen. They don't appear to have convinced fellow doodler Hunt Emerson though:
"As a cartoonist, I have quite a few views about it," he said. "But as a human being, I'm not going to put me and my family in danger. So you might say they're winning."
But haven’t you heard Hunt, they're powerless!

Update. Here are some American cartoonists addressing the issue of the powerless religion. (Hat tip USS Neverdock)

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Islamic PR Agency Watch


Biased BBC and USS Neverdock (and many more, no doubt) note that the BBC still cannot bring itself to report on certain aspects of the kidnap and torture to death of the young Jewish man Ilan Halimi in France. Elsewhere there are reports that the kidnappers quoted the Koran during their ransom calls, and even the Guardian says that literature linking some of the gang to Palestinian and Muslim groups has been recovered. Not one of the BBC’s online items (here, here and here) has so far mentioned these facts. Why?

Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill

If you haven’t done so already, get along to Right Links and gen up on the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill which, if passed, will give ministers the power to bypass Parliament.

Here a couple of points to consider -
"Legislation will be introduced to streamline regulatory structures and make it simpler to remove outdated or unnecessary legislation" (Queen's Speech May 17 2005, proposing the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill.)

"necessary… (for) the principles of common sense in the organization and conduct of business". (Adolf Hitler during the debate on the Enabling Act which gave him dictatorial powers, March 23 1933.)

"Ministers have denied fears measures intended to cut red tape could give them wide-ranging powers to change laws without needing Parliament's approval." (BBC report on the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill.)

"The government will make use of these powers only insofar as they are essential for carrying out vitally necessary measures." (Adolf Hitler during the debate on the Enabling Act, March 23 1933.)

Nothing to worry about. Move along now.

£40m depot raid

From the Guardian:
An armed gang escaped with up to £40m million in a raid on a high-security cash storage depot yesterday in what is thought to be one of the biggest robberies in history.

During a meticulously-planned operation, the depot's manager and his family were abducted by two groups of men posing as police officers, while other gang members tied up all 15 members of staff.
Apparently the fake police officers were very convincing - one group said they were looking for a old lady who had said "Fiddlesticks!" in a built up area, and the other claimed they were on their way to stop a game of kiss-chase at a nearby infant school.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

'Happy Slapping' Scum

I defy anyone with an IQ above that of an amoeba to watch this and not feel disgust that our country could produce such scum.

Update. The police are asking for the victims to come forward. Why didn’t they do so in the first place? Could it have anything to do with the the fact that our police seem more preoccupied with shit like this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and this…?

What we really need is untold billions of pounds spent on an ID card scheme. That'll sort everything out.

(Hat tip EU Referendum for some of the above links)

Psychic TV

I’m not a big fan of “psychics” as my reaction to Derek Acorah's appearance on BBC radio last month will testify. James Randi has a brief clip from one of Acorah’s shows, complete with the director’s audio feed to the cameramen. It's worth watching to see how the technical team is forced to make Acorah's "special powers" seem a bit more impressive than they actually are.

(And all the best to the Amazing Randi, who has just undergone heart surgery.)

The Islamic PR Agency



When Muslims are killing Christians this is how the BBC tells us:




Nothing so vague when Muslims are the victims:


This is not to condone any violence, merely to show the biased reporting.

Dhimmi Watch notes that AP has been doing the same thing.

Law & Order Priorities

Today's Sun:
A POSTIE was hauled before a jury on a sex rap — for giving a customer an Xmas kiss on the cheek.
Alan Pearson, 41, cycled up to her on his round and gave a ‘harmless’ peck.
But the woman — who Alan regularly said hello to — went home and told her husband, who called the police.
He was summoned back to his sorting office where TEN cops were waiting to arrest him.
Today's Times
Muhammad Hussain, 26, who killed Levi Bleasdale, 3, while driving a stolen car, and on parole, was jailed by Burnley magistrates for 12 weeks. He could have faced six months. Levi’s grandfather said: “We’re appalled. Someone who stole a teddy from her memorial got eight months. The person who kills her gets just three.”

The Dutch?

The leader of the New Black Panther Party demonstrates his grasp of geography at an anti-cartoon demo in Washington by raging against the Dutch East India Company. Michelle Malkin has footage.

(Previously on DFH - Stage Your Own Cartoon Demo.)

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Lefties

I haven’t watched any of BBC 4’s Lefties - Rod Liddle’s description of the series as "a misty-eyed and affectionate look at the old radical left" convinced me that it probably wouldn’t be good for my blood pressure - but I found this little titbit about tomorrow’s final episode quite enlightening:
News on Sunday was a left-wing tabloid that launched to great fanfare in 1987 and went bankrupt just eight weeks later. It was one of the boldest business ventures ever attempted by the far left and it was a disaster.

A group who met through a tiny left-wing faction called Big Flame were convinced it was possible to market a left-wing mass-circulation newspaper. They were led by ex-Ford worker Alan Hayling (now head of BBC Documentaries) under the editorial leadership of John Pilger, who walked out before the paper had even launched.
I wonder if he was head-hunted:
"Mr Hayling, we see that you’re a radical left-winger with a spectacular failure under your belt. The BBC might have just the job for you..."

From down under...

Heh.

A UNIVERSITY graduate student abandoned the [Queensland University of Technology] in frustration…

The original marking of a 2000-word paper included a comment from lecturer Edwina Luck advising Mr Duggan to present "more smarter writing".

After Ms Luck graded the paper at 65 per cent, Mr Duggan questioned the grade and Ms Luck passed it to another staffer, Dr Yunus Ali, who downgraded it to 35 per cent.

In re-marking, Dr Ali questioned the use of the terms "Yin" and "Yang", a Chinese concept of balance… Dr Ali admitted he had "no idea" what the terms meant and thought they were references to people's names…

In response to further queries, Ms Luck sent Mr Duggan a short e-mail which, because her "s" key was not functioning, read as: "I knew you would be di appointed, o what I have done i taken the middle ground. I am uppo ed to take the econd mark, but I did not want to kill you that much. I do hope that you have learned from thi . Not the point of a king for explanation, but that we a lecturer are not totally illy!! Academic writing i difficult. I hope all our comment can be helpful in the future. Edwina."
You couldn’t make thi ort of hit up!

Irving/Waldheim

It just occurred to me that the Austrian President at the time David Irving made the comments for which he has just been imprisoned was Kurt Waldheim, the former General Secretary of the United Nations. According to the UN’s online biography of Waldheim, these were his early years:
The Secretary-General was born at Sankt Andra-Wordern, near Vienna, Austria, on 21 December 1918. He graduated from the University of Vienna as a Doctor of Jurisprudence in 1944. He is also a graduate of the Vienna Consular Academy.
Hang on, haven’t they skipped a bit there? Ah, yes...
...Waldheim had lied about his service as an officer in the SA-Reitercorps (Stormtroopers - Cavalrycorps), a paramilitary unit of the NSDAP (Nazi Party) before the war, and his time as an ordinance officer in Saloniki, Greece from 1942 to 1943. It is known and documented that many crimes against civilians were committed during the military occupation of Greece. Instead, Waldheim had incorrectly stated that he was wounded and had spent the last years of the war in Austria. Speculation grew, and Waldheim was accused of being either involved, or complicit, in "war crimes".
It's not the like UN to cover up the dodgy goings on of its Secretary Generals, is it?

As I said yesterday I find Irving’s views abhorrent, but isn’t it somewhat ironic that when he committed his crime in Austria, Waldheim was its leader?

EU propaganda

The EU Information Commissioner wants to brainwash our kids.

Don't mention the 'E' word

David Miliband and Oliver Lewtin were on the Today programme (streaming RAM) this morning to discuss Labour’s latest headline-seeking smoke and mirrors exercise - “double devolution”. This ludicrous buzz phrase is the name Miliband has given to his proposals for addressing society’s "power gap" through "people power". Nick Robinson offers his thoughts on what it all might mean, but I'm far more cynical and foresee a proliferation of non-elected mini-quangos filled with New Labour apparatchiks. Laban Tall is unimpressed too.

One word that Miliband, Letwin and John Humphrys did not mention during their discussion on devolution and disempowerment was "England".

'England'

Natalie Solent notes an interesting use of inverted commas at the end of a press release from the Department for Education and Skills:
This press notice relates to 'England'
As far as the government is concerned it’s not even a real place any more.

Monday, February 20, 2006

David Irving

Irving talks shit but he shouldn't go to prison for talking shit. So long as he doesn't incite murder he should be free to air his contemptible views just as we are free to disprove them. That’s the way it’s meant to work. I hope the cunt wins his appeal.

Public Service Announcements

March for Free Expression - Trafalgar Square 2:00 - 4:00pm on Saturday 25th March 2006. I hope to be there.

ID cards - write to a Lord.

Bloggers of all political persuasions unite to defeat the authoritarian New Labour administration. (Well done MatGB. Pissed off with the control freaks, I went on a countrywide binge - you did something a bit more constructive.)

Funny

Like Max says - heh!

Stage Your Own Cartoon Demo

Feeling left out of the anti-cartoon protests? Want to get involved but don't know how? Fear not! With Drinking From Home's easy-to-follow guide you too could soon be raging hysterically against the western infidels!

You will need -
A copy of the Koran to show photographers.

A couple of effigies.

A child with a slogan on its head.

Some donkeys.

A ginger beard.

An embassy or two to attack.

And of course flags - lots and lots of flags. For burning...

...or putting your shoes and footprints on...
...or both.


Remember to -

Demand respect...


...celebrate terrorism...


...and threaten death.

If you follow these simple guidelines your demonstration should be a great success. Now get out there and join the worldwide struggle against freedom of expression!

And good luck!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

BBC Spot The Difference

Saturday, 18 February 2006, 05:25 GMT (via Google cache)



Same link, updated Saturday, 18 February 2006, 23:46 GMT




(Hat tip Neil in B-BBC comments)

Another luvvie condemns cartoonists

Nick Cohen in today's Observer:
Rory Bremner will tear into Tony Blair, but not Mohammed Khatami.
One of the regulars from Bremner, Bird and Fortune - actress Maria McErlane - joined Julian Worricker for his weekly leftie love-in on Five Live this morning. Here’s what she had to say about the latest cartoon to offend Muslims:
"I think cartoonists really need to stick to the kind of Peanuts - y’know Schulz line - and stay away from satire."
Yes, satire should be the exclusive reserve of liberal luvvies like her and Rory Bremner who wouldn't cross a culturally sensitive boundary even if their lives depended on it.

Tossers.

(Previoulsy on DFH Stewart Lee, Hugh Dennis)

Trafalgar Demo Pics

'Moderate' Muslim placards from yesterday's anti-free speech demo. Note the underlying threat.

This doesn't look like a request:



And if we don't 'learn to apologise properly', what then? Why, then we'll have a 'real' debate:



What do you suppose a 'real' debate involves? This might give you a clue:



And then there were the Sisters of Irony:



Meanwhile, in Tanzania:



Which reminds me, must get some more Denish bacon.

Religion of Peace "Family Law"

From the Sunday Telegraph:
Four out of 10 British Muslims want sharia law introduced into parts of the country, a survey reveals today.
What a great opportunity for the Labour government to further appease Muslim voters! In November 2004 an editorial in the Guardian (where else?) made the helpful suggestion that sharia could be spun as "Muslim family law" to make it more acceptable to the wider British public. "Muslim family law" - I can already hear the phrase tripping off the tongues of Labour ministers. Ex-Muslim Dr Patrick Sookhdeo of the Institute for the Study of Islam and Christianity believes it's inevitable:
"The cartoons, you see, have not been published in this country, and the Government has been very critical of those countries in which they were published. To many of the Islamic clerics, that's a clear victory.

"It's confirmation of what they believe to be a familiar pattern: if spokesmen for British Muslims threaten what they call 'adverse consequences' - violence to the rest of us - then the British Government will cave in. I think it is a very dangerous precedent."

Dr Sookhdeo adds that he believes that "in a decade, you will see parts of English cities which are controlled by Muslim clerics and which follow, not the common law, but aspects of Muslim sharia law.

"It is already starting to happen - and unless the Government changes the way it treats the so-called leaders of the Islamic community, it will continue."
Sookhdeo really lays into Blair's dhimmitude. Read it all.

Back to the poll -
The ICM opinion poll also indicates that a fifth have sympathy with the "feelings and motives" of the suicide bombers who attacked London last July 7, killing 52 people, although 99 per cent thought the bombers were wrong to carry out the atrocity.
Twenty per cent sympathise with the 7/7 bombers and one in a hundred were prepared to admit that the terrorists did the right thing. It’s a small sample (500 people) but if accurate it suggests that there are around 20,000 Muslims who support the activities of suicide bombers in Britain. Let's give them sharia law like the Guardian wants, then they'll be happy. Won't they?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Drinking Away From Home

Fuck it all for now - I’m taking off to get pissed for a few days in an attempt to forget all about the petty, emotionally needy, headline-seeking, anally retentive, self-serving control freaks who make up our sorry excuse for a government.

Back Sunday-ish.

Monday, February 13, 2006

ID Cards Bill Debate

I took this screen grab a couple of minutes ago. Nice to see so many of our elected representatives taking part in the debate.




Update. ID cards bill passed. Bastards.

Brown's Buzzwords

Did you notice the two words that kept popping up in Gordon Brown's interviews over the past couple of days? (mp3, 400kB, 26 secs).

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Nads like petanque boules

Two very brave free speech activists at a Muslim anti-cartoon march in Paris (via Max at un-r-us). Update - here's their own blog.

James Naughtie and Gordon Brown

Forgot to mention this at the time. Here's James Naughtie, presenter of BBC Radio 4's Today programme, talking to the Daily Mirror's political editor last Wednesday:
Kevin Macguire, your paper ran, I mean, forgive me for putting it like this, a rather soft interview with the Chancellor on Monday - all sorts of grinning and sitting by an open fire and, y’know, Mr Nice and the sort of chap you’d like to live next door to and all the rest of it.
That’s James Naughtie, former flatmate of the Chancellor, who once began a question to a Labour minister with the words “When we win the next election…”

Gordon Brown and ID cards

So, ID cards will prevent terrorism after all. From the Mail:
ID cards are vital to protect the UK from a repeat of the July 7 terror attacks, Chancellor Gordon Brown said as the Government faces a vital vote on the issue.
However, the cards won't be compulsory just yet:
The government has accepted that completely new legislation will be needed to make the cards compulsory, following defeats in the Lords.

It’s all very confusing. When David Blunkett unveiled his ID card proposals in July 2002 this was the line:
Mr Blunkett claimed that there was no question of the "entitlement card" being a compulsory ID card that individuals would be required to carry at all times... Mr Blunkett played down suggestions that the cards would provide a weapon in the fight against terrorism...
By November 2003 he’d given up trying to sell them as "entitlement cards", and the name wasn’t the only thing that had changed:
David Blunkett said in a statement that ID cards will help "tackle the challenges of the 21st century" including terrorism, organised crime and illegal immigration.

"The draft Identity Cards Bill is about taking the difficult decisions now needed to prepare Britain for the future. It will set out our plans for an incremental approach to the introduction of a compulsory national identity cards scheme," he said.
On April 8 2004 we had this:
Legislation paving the way for a compulsory identity card will be published within the next few weeks, David Blunkett, the Home Secretary, said yesterday... Mr Blunkett maintains that concerns about the threat from international terrorism have overridden any civil liberties objections.
But a couple of weeks later:
David Blunkett yesterday watered down suggestions that ID cards would stop terrorists as he set out plans to introduce a compulsory scheme within 10 years.
The Home Secretary denied that the main reason for proceeding with the first ID scheme in 50 years was to counter terrorism
.
On November 17 2004 the Home Office told us:
Liberties will be strengthened, not weakened, through an ID cards scheme.

That would be the liberty to get fined, as announced on November 29 2004:
...civil penalties would include up to a £1,000 fine for people who fail to say they have moved house or changed other details and up to £2,500 for failing to sign up if the cards become compulsory.
When Blunkett lost his job in December 2004, his replacement Charles Clarke immediately set out his stall:
From preventing benefit fraud to winning the War on Terror, why I am supporting today’s Bill

Two days after the London bombings things were a little different:
Identity cards would not have prevented the bombings, Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, said yesterday.

By November 7 2005 Clarke had changed tack again, telling the House of Commons this:
We have set out the figures very clearly, and ID cards contribute to our ability to defend ourselves against terrorism...
And now Gordon’s saying the same thing.

Why do we need ID cards? Depends which way the wind’s blowing.

Dunfermline Fallout

Scotland on Sunday reports:

the Labour party is divided, with Gordon Brown and his camp blaming the First Minster and Jack McConnell and his supporters blaming Brown's blunderbuss approach.
The Holyrood Chronicles blog asks this:
Is it not odd that the Labour Party (and the Labour Party in Scotland particularly), despite having brought devolution into being, seems to have the most difficulty in coming to terms with its practical implications?
It's hard not to feel a frisson of schadenfreude, isn't it?

Meanwhile, at the Muslim demo...

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Cartoons Again

In response to the "moderate" Muslim march in London today - here are the cartoons again (and a few other related pictures - click to enlarge).

The Jyllands-Posten Dozen -



The three fakes and the squealing contest photo -



Fox -




ABC -



BBC (includes a Newsnight-commissioned artist redrawing the cartoons without Mohammed, and News 24 unwittingly showing one of the fakes) -



Flags and embassies burn -



Protesters in Britain and the police response to those photographing them -



The Egyptian paper that published the cartoons last October -