Archives for category: politics

Earth is not a cold, dead place. But we humans do our utmost to make it so.

Every now and then I need to take a little break from the wall of depression that is the 21st Century, this weekend I took one. I was at a wedding all day Saturday and today I just relaxed at home reading a book (1Q84: Book One) with Vingt-Quatre Heures du Mans and the Cricket on in the background. It’s been a good weekend, detached from the realities of mainstream news and the real news.

But as the old saying goes:

“All good things come to an end.”

True enough, no sooner than ‘Rise of The Continents’ with Professor Iain Stewart had finished on BBC2, I switched over to BBC1 for what felt a bit like the 2013 equivalent of ‘The Ten Minutes Hate’. The content was so dire and depressing that I can’t even remember what was said, instead I have moving images floating around in my head jostling for position with the images that were stuffed in there last week and the week before and the week before that and so on…

I can’t even keep track of what’s going on in the world anymore. There’s just so much going on everywhere and I feel like our masters and overlords balance our news diets for us, make sure we know enough to believe we are free but not enough to actually be free.

It was interesting that Professor Stewart talked of all the activity beneath the surface that constantly and almost secretly changes the nature of our worlds. I’ve kind of half followed the Edward Snowden story over the past week, it’s something that we all should be incredibly interested in and frightened by but there are too many sheep on the abattoir conveyor belt perfectly happy in the knowledge they’ll soon be made into mincemeat and stuffed into a Tesco Value Lasagne.

There are others though who turn their eyes to a life away from the conveyor belt and think:

“Hold on a minute, Not sure I fancy being sold as a 99p Microwaveable meal actually!”

But us Black Sheep face a Matrix-esque problem, we’ve already taken the Red Pill yet not everything is quite as it should be. We seek the truth, but we don’t know exactly what it looks like, sounds like or feels like at the minute. We’re carving out our own methods and techniques of trying to figure out what’s going on, we’re the digger that just keeps digging and with each new layer of earth we breach we find more and more unmarked mass graves. We find more and more skeletons, more and more questions only to find that we’ve been followed by snakes looking to poison us and spiders looking to ensnare us in their webs of lies and deceit.

The point is though, the NSA and GCHQ have been spying on us to the extent that we can’t even be sure what exactly it is what they know, what they were looking at or why. I read an interesting statistic that actually blew my mind. There are 850,000 NSA employees and US ‘contractors’ with access to GCHQ’s fibre-optic spying databases. What kind of country needs a quarter of a percent of its population snooping around UK web and phone records? It’s just staggering. If you stuffed 93,000 average American citizens inside Wembley Stadium, 250 of them would have access to GCHQ’s data.

There are so many questions that we need answers to, but will these questions even be asked? And if they are, will they be answered? Why is GCHQ spying on UK citizens? What data are they collecting? Who’s looking at it! What are they doing with it? Why is it shared with the US? Why do they want it? Who are these private contractors? What is so interesting about this data that almost a million Americans can access it?

People have said for years now that we live in the ‘Information Age’ but only now are we awakening to the fact that our governments want access to all of our personal information. They want the facility to type your name into a computer and find out everything about you. Everything. But why? Are we the enemy? The answer to that question will hit the conveyor belt sheep like a bolt-gun to the brain, but the digging black sheep will already know.

The Electorate are the Enemy of the State

It shouldn’t be this way, but it is. And the reason it is this way is that our ‘Free and democratic’ nations are neither free nor democratic. Imagine a country where less than 20% of eligible voters chose the ‘winner’, and imagine that ‘winner’ acting with impunity savagely destroying the fabric of society for personal profit. Imagine a country where you choose between one right-wing authoritarian or another one. Imagine a nation that sells weapons to the highest bidder without a care in the world who’s buying. Imagine a nation that criticises others for their lack of freedoms.

Welcome to Britain. Where the elites get rich and you die trying.

For a good while now, every negative news story involving either a Muslim, a group of Muslims or even a person with a vaguely ‘Muslim-looking’ face or a ‘Muslim-sounding’ name is swiftly followed by one sentence of immense stupidity:

Muslim communities need to do more to root out (insert crime here).

‘Why is this such an immensely stupid statement?’ I hear you ask.

When a white Briton commits the very same crime, and they do (quite often as it happens), do we see media outlets ask the same question of white British communities? Never. Do white British communities do enough to root out Paedophilia? It’s a ridiculous question to ask. Is it a cultural thing that means Paedophilia within white Britons is more likely than other communities? Of course it isn’t. Do white people need to apologise for every white Paedophile or rapist? Don’t be absurd.

So why do we see that minority communities in Britain face these very same questions? Muslims in particular face the pathetic accusation that we ‘Don’t do enough to root out terrorism and extremists in our midst’. If the accuser would stop for just a moment to allow the brain-mouth link to function correctly they may begin to understand why it is so ludicrous.

I’ve been to a great many mosques over the past five years. I’ve been to Pakistani mosques, Indian mosques, Somali mosques, Bengali mosques, Libyan mosques, Iraqi mosques, mixed mosques, Arab mosques, revert mosques, university mosques, multi-million pound mosques, garden shed mosques, multi-storey mosques, mosques in India, Nepal, Egypt, UAE, Palestine, Turkey and Britain. Not one of them had a dark little hideaway labelled ‘Terrorist Corner’.

What you must understand before asking whether Muslims ‘do enough’, or just outright declare that we don’t, is that terrorists or extremists in our midst don’t exactly shout their opinions from the rooftops. They probably don’t even discuss their views within the mosque itself and there’s actually a damned good reason for that too: It isn’t Islam. It isn’t welcome in our mosques, it isn’t welcome in our communities and it definitely isn’t welcome in our name. Our imams don’t preach hatred or talk of commandeering these isles in the name of Islam or of enforcing ‘Sharia Law’ on the native white population. They preach love and tolerance, equality and peace.

I often wander around inside mosques, casually eavesdropping on conversations and surprisingly enough I’ve never encountered any hushed groups of four to five angry, bearded, robed men sat around the blueprints of a major landmark discussing strategically placed plastic models of TNT. Usually they’re talking about the beauty of the Qur’an, talking about it’s pronunciation or meaning, talking about the Almighty or his Messenger. Mosques are not sinister breeding grounds for extremism and misogyny.

Consider this: how many ‘Dawn raids’ do police carry out on mosques on Counter-Terrorism grounds? None. The raids are always on houses, usually belonging to another seemingly mundane member of the local community. Usually the inhabitants eat, sleep, shower and s**t in that house. Often, they actually leave the house to buy food or talk to people about sport, news, the weather or family. Sometimes they invite people into that house, other times they’ll visit other people’s houses. They seem to be ordinary people. In fact some of them don’t even live within a ‘Muslim Neighbourhood’, some have the audacity to live next to White British people.

The problem then for the Muslim community then becomes a little more apparent don’t you think? In Islam, we believe in many miracles. Sadly mind-reading is not one of them. So tell me: What should Muslims be doing exactly? And what are you doing about Paedophiles, Rapists and Murderers?

Late on Saturday night I had the misfortune of reading Tony Blair’s latest offensive on Islam. The MailOnline website had posted an article just before 1am talking of Blair’s ‘Most powerful political intervention since leaving Downing Street’. An interesting description, presumably the Mail correspondent believes Blair has been next to useless in his role as Peace Envoy to the Middle East too?

An hour later the full article was published. The extreme arrogance with which he wrote sickened me to the core. In it he claims he has ‘first-hand experience of what is going on in the Middle East’ and will make his ‘100th visit to the Middle East’ this month. He claims to know of Bashar al-Assad’s plan to split Syria in two and is ‘using chemical weapons on a small but deadly scale’, he claims that ‘Al Qaeda is back causing carnage in Iraq’, and ‘Iran continues it’s gruesome meddling’ whilst also ‘Still exporting terror to West’ and are ‘Still intent on getting a Nuclear weapon’.

All of this is exceedingly wonderful insight into the Middle East (and his psyche), but beneath it all lies the inescapable fact that the West has either caused or played a significant role in the general instability over there. All of this insight ignores the fact that it comes from the mind of the man who took us to ‘War’ in Iraq solely on the premise that they had WMDs. Whether Tony lied about WMDs or just plain got it wrong is actually irrelevant for the purposes of my article. Saddam didn’t possess any WMDs, Tony Blair’s credibility in international politics dwindled with each new day of fruitless searches whether he lied or got it wrong.

His opinion on the Middle East is therefore worthless, he has proved he is either incompetent or a liar. He has made almost 100 visits to the Middle East in 6 years of his heart-crushing role of Peace Envoy and what has he achieved? All we know is that he’s developed a fine career advising questionable regimes and giving speeches to questionable corporations. But achieving peace in the Middle East will never appear on his CV.

Tony Blair has the classic White Supremacist ideology coursing through his veins, he is incapable of listening to the people on the ground affected by his reckless politics. Remember how many turned up for the ‘Stop the War’ protests in 2003? Did he listen? No. Tony Blair is single minded in that he is always right. He has never expressed even a modicum of regret on the Iraqi invasion, he still believes it was the right thing to do, he still thinks Iraq is a safer place to live now than it was then. How many civilians died in Iraq last week Tony?

Not only does he refuse to acknowledge his error of judgement, in his article today he refuses to acknowledge the role of the West in causing this instability we currently see in the Middle East. He makes no mention of The USA’s gruesome meddling in Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Egypt, Libya, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Yemen etcetera etcetera. He chooses to ignore western support for totalitarian dictatorships, he refuses to acknowledge that the majority of the current ‘villains’ were at one point funded by us! In fact he claims the Taliban was borne out of the Russian Occupation of Afghanistan but fails completely to mention the role of the Americans.

Tony states that there is a ‘Problem within Islam’ but ‘not with Islam itself’ and I find myself actually agreeing with this up to a point. I would suggest that Islam is a peaceful religion, its adherents struggle to achieve the same goals as any westerners: to provide for their families, to better themselves, to practice their faith freely. The ‘problem within Islam’ he talks of is accurate to some extent, there are people who act in brutish, thuggish, disgusting ways who claim to do so in the name of Islam, in the name of Allah. But let me assure you they are not acting in the name of Islam Tony, they act purely in retaliation and revenge against the west merely using Islam as a cover to legitimise their acts and attract support. These people were created by you, they were created by your predecessors, and their predecessors too.

There are too many people in this world willing to kill and to die doing what they believe to be right. The overwhelming majority of these people make no claims to be Muslim, they wear camouflaged clothing, carry expensive weaponry and drive around in armoured vehicles. They are convinced that what they are doing is right by people like Tony: pen-pushing, money-grabbing, attention-seeking, credit-hogging, self-indulgent, corrupt autocrats.

Tony says that beneath all the troubles in the Middle East and North Africa lies a common thread, he asks us ‘Are we going to continue to ignore this?’ He’s right. There is a common thread: Western Intervention. And this fact has been ignored far too long.

Tony also says ‘The ideology behind the murder of Lee Rigby is profound and dangerous, why don’t we admit it?’

I respond with a question:

When will the West pull our bloodied hands from behind our backs?

It is our ideology that is profound and dangerous. We think we have done no wrong. A casual glance through history would suggest otherwise.

Whilst Muslims in certain areas of the UK are living in fear of reprisal attacks from bone-headed thugs, the Muslims of Burma (or Myanmar) live in fear of their businesses, their lives and their homes being taken from them. If you’ve ever had the good fortune of reading Orwell’s fantastic novel ‘Burmese Days’, set in Burma under British colonial rule, you’ll understand that the Burmese were thoroughly oppressed by their British rulers.

What is surprising now is that a sizeable chunk of the Rakhine Buddhist population have split themselves from the Rohingya Muslim population and began oppressing them. They’ve adopted a ‘strategy’ that could be described as being the illicit love-child of Adolf Hitler and Osama bin Laden. One of the most outspoken Buddhist monks, Sayadaw Wirathu, even goes as far as to label himself the ‘Burmese bin Laden’. His sermons and speeches attack Muslims and Islam, claiming that they are taking over Myanmar and will prevent Buddhists from practicing their faith.

He claims that they are buying out all of the land and the buildings, using their money to take young Buddhist women, outbreeding the ‘native’ Burmese and ‘infiltrating’ political parties. Interestingly he claims that Aung San Suu Kyi’s party is under particular threat of infiltrators, which seems a little outlandish given her relative silence on the entire matter. According to him ‘They’ve got her’.

Last year saw some 180 Rohingya killed (though figures vary) and 120,000 displaced, it saw nationalists call for a boycott of trade with all Muslims, it saw riots, it saw villages burnt to the ground, it saw refugees attempt to escape over the border to Bangladesh only to be turned back to face continued persecution and it saw very little media attention. This year is no better, in fact the persecution is escalating.

Bangladeshi Buddhists have been quietly crossing the border, re-settling around the edges of Rohingya villages causing increased tensions in the area. The Rohingya people have lived in the area for almost a millennia yet are not currently ‘recognised’ by the Myanmar government as citizens, but as refugees with limited access to basic amenities such as schools. Now the very real fear amongst the Rohingya is that the government are trying to force them from their home through fear, oppression and violence.

The latest development, a truly shocking one at that, comes in the form of a two-child limit enforced upon the Rohingya. Immediate thoughts turn to China where there has been a ‘One Child Policy’ since 1979, but in truth there is no comparison as China does not target this policy at specific ethnic groups. My friend Omnia brought it to my attention that in Myanmar this policy only applies to Rohingya.

The policy itself actually dates back to 1994 but until now has never been enforced. A government-appointed commission identified rapid population growth as one of the key factors behind the ‘sectarian violence’ last year. For this reason the government is implementing this ban in two Muslim-dominated townships along the border with Bangladesh: Buthidaung and Maundaw. Aung San Suu Kyi, the Western-appointed saviour of Burmese democracy, has spoken out against this policy but is mere condemnation enough?

To this end, it’s clear that the official policy of the Myanmar Government is the Ethnic-Cleansing of the Rohingya people. If this plan is successful, the consequences for the Rohingya are stark. Not only will they lose their homes, they don’t have anywhere else to go. They will be forced to live under the increasingly repressive rule of the Buddhist majority. That’s if they’re still alive.

The world’s media have been silent for too long. And by silent I don’t mean that the plight of the Rohingya has gone unreported, I mean that it has not been reported enough with actual purpose. The reports we’ve read are somewhat disjointed and focus on ‘Sectarian Violence’ and ‘Riots’ when the Rohingya dare to fight back against their Rakhine oppressors, instead of what’s happening: Ethnic Cleansing. It’s unacceptable and the world needs to be informed.

Why should we care though? For the same reason western news agencies fawned over Aung Sang Suu Kyi during her house arrest. It’s unfair, it’s unjust and it’s inhumane.

Why such a difference in the reporting? Well, it is said that a man can be judged by how he treats those who can do nothing for him. Supporting Suu Kyi during her incarceration was aimed at opening Myanmar to democracy and therefore trade (note Coca Cola resumed trade there this year), whereas supporting 4% of a population (Rohingya) will give a far smaller financial benefit. Now is the time for wealthy western nations to develop a more compassionate foreign policy, because pursuing this exploitative one is damaging both the environment and humanity itself.

It looks increasingly like the Rohingya’s Burmese Days are numbered, we should do all that we can to ensure this is not the case.

As many will already know, or will be arriving home to find out, a young male was murdered in Woolwich today. I won’t go into the details as that will no doubt be extensively covered in the media over the next week or so, besides it’s so disgusting and evil I can barely comprehend it.

The first thing to say is that my heart goes out to the family and friends of the young man whose life was ended so prematurely, so abruptly and so unjustly. The attack itself was horrific and seemingly out of the blue. Initial reports (including a filmed speech by the attacker) indicate that it was carried out by a man purporting to be Muslim.

Before this video appeared though, the media and Political reaction was almost as shocking as the event itself. The BBC’s Nick Robinson claimed the attacker had the appearance of a Muslim, quite how this kind of conjecture came to be broadcast by a journalist is disgusting. Nick later claimed to be quoting a politician who quoted a police officer. Also quite worrying, given the attacker wasn’t wearing particularly Islamic clothing, how can a man look Muslim if he’s wearing normal clothes? Strange.

The political reaction is even more disturbing. David Cameron believes there is a strong possibility that this attack could potentially be a terrorist attack, COBRA has had an emergency meeting, MI5 is briefing Theresa May and Ed Miliband is cutting short a trip to Germany. Why, why, why and why? Having watched the video, they attacker claims to be Muslim indeed. But why is this attack on one person considered a ‘Terrorist’ attack? Why is that the instinctive reaction of the media and political establishment?

The hypocrisy on display is so brash and in-your-face it’s quite unbelievable to see. The facts are: Black man, presumed Muslim, murders a white man who we now know to be a soldier. Where is the terrorism? I see a sickening, brutal murder. A crime. While the media, police and politicians were scrambling to establish whether the attacker was actually a Muslim or not, they were unsure whether to treat this as a matter of criminality or terrorism.

So the obvious questions are: if a non-Muslim kills a man why is it just a crime, not terrorism? Why is it if a Muslim is involved in a crime that it’s immediately linked to terrorism? Why is the Woolwich attacker a terrorist for killing one man, yet the man accused of killing and raping April Jones is just a criminal? Surely little girls and parents are terrorised by the thought of Paedophiles and Murderers? Why was Ryan Lanza in America immediately considered insane, yet today’s attacker isn’t? Why are the countless murders every week all over Britain considered murders not terrorist attacks?

There are so many more questions and the answers are all the same. The media hates Islam, Politicians hate Islam and the campaign to convince a majority of the general public to join them in mutual hatred is well underway. But just to clarify something, something that shouldn’t need clarifying: Islam does not want to conquer Britain, Islam does not seek to kill non-Muslims, Islam is a religion of peace. Muslims, however, are just as susceptible to mental illnesses and criminality as non-Muslims whereas Non-Muslims are actually more like to commit terror attacks in Europe than Muslims.

David Cameron has been on the offensive this week after two of his frontline cabinet ministers almost sort of broke ranks at the weekend. Michael Gove and some other bloke who looks like your atypical Tory, and whose name is instantly forgettable, both declared they would vote to leave the EU if a referendum where to be held today.

This gave David an excellent opportunity to appear on his favourite mouthpiece, or rather TV channel, and give one of his endearing head-masterly type speeches where he left us in no doubt that there won’t be a referendum until 2017. I absolutely love watching our glorious leader’s appearances on the tellybox. He’s such a natural in front of the camera, his appearances are NEVER stage-managed unlike that odd-looking commie Miliband fellow and what’s more you simply cannot beat a leader who talks to his subjects like primary school children. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Sarcasm and sick buckets aside, Nigel Farage has really hit a big blue Tory nerve within the last month. You see, the thing about the Tories is they’re a bit like Millwall FC fans in a small way. They know nobody likes them, but the key difference (aside from the fact Millwall fans know what hard graft REALLY is) is that the Tories do care. To an extent. The Tories need us on their side for them to gain and regain power, but they know that their ideologies and policies if presented openly would repulse the common person.

One might think that the thing to do then would be to, I don’t know, change tack? They could adapt policy and/or ideology to suit the political, social and economic landscape around them to win public support. This way Britain would actually move forward and the general public would slowly begin to warm to this bunch of work-shy, trust-funded, elitist toffs.

What the Tories and to a much lesser extent, Farage’s UKIP, do instead is manipulate the political, social and economic landscape to suit their own ideology. A few examples spring immediately to mind: ‘This mess we’ve inherited’ was a phrase synonymous with the first 3 years of Conservative rule, EU bureaucracy accepted a part-time role initially but has sprung to the foreground more recently, the Welfare bill has been under attack from day one, Immigration has been an underlying theme to Tory ideology for decades and this week Boris Johnson said that laziness in the workforce is the reason for our economic woes.

All of the examples above may contain a tiny element of truth. Perhaps the outgoing Labour government did overspend a bit, perhaps EU Bureaucracy can be a little irritating at times, perhaps some benefit claimants do take advantage, perhaps some immigrants have hindered our cause and perhaps some of our workforce are a bit lazy. What Cameron has expertly done is manipulate the public to believe that these issues are far worse than they actually are, and that the only possible solution is his. Effectively he has engineered problems for which the only remedy is traditional Conservative ideology.

So for ‘This mess’ we have swingeing, indiscriminate cuts across the board as well as privatisation of the NHS; for EU bureaucracy we have pointless negotiations leading to an eventual referendum in 2017; for the welfare bill we have the likes of ATOS and Bedroom Tax (with Top-rate tax cuts somehow thrown in); for Immigration we have changes to welfare policy, immigration caps and more pointless negotiations with the EU on Bulgarians & Romanians and for the lazy workforce we have ‘Workfare’ or, as it is known throughout history, slavery.

Cameron has picked up on the media-driven public perception of ‘major’ issues and instead of confronting that perception with the cold, hard facts he’s chosen to buy a high-power wave machine to stir the waters and surf the resulting tidal waves. He then panders to the misinformed public by bringing in legislation that ‘fixes’ these scapegoats or faux-issues whilst the real issues lurking in the background continue to grow and grow. He is effectively the waste management firm that dumps rubbish in big holes in the ground and just hopes it’ll all just disappear. And for him it will, it’ll be someone else’s problem in 2015 or 2020.

What the public need to realise is that David Cameron, Nick Clegg and their respective parties are not actually making one jot of positive difference to this country as a whole, neither in the short, medium or long term. All they are doing is using scapegoats to buy time for themselves.

But why? Well Politics is about the gaining or regaining of power for personal benefit, the benefits of wielding power are enormous. Particularly if you side with big corporations over the little people. And that is exactly what modern Conservatism is all about, large corporations driving forever increasing profits from the pockets of the common person. Presently, the Tories are using scapegoats and false issues to make you think they’re helping you. Well they’re not, they’re helping themselves.

I was born in 1985, so my understanding of the impact Margaret Thatcher had on the lives of the working class during her tenure is minimal. I wasn’t there. Sure, I can read countless articles and books but I could never claim to have first-hand experience of it. I could never feel what it meant to working-class and under siege for 11 years. What I do know is that she began the process of dismantling the state, privatising as much as could be gotten away with at the time. Her politics were an assault on the poor, and her handling of Hillsborough leaves the city of Liverpool and a great deal of others believing there was a cover-up that reached the very top.

I see on Twitter and various comments sections of national newspapers that there are a great number of people who are happy to see her dead. I am not a Thatcher apologist, I hate everything her particular brand of politics stood for (and still stands for), yet I cannot bring myself to say that I am happy at her death. There are a number of reasons for this, firstly I never knew her personally so I cannot say beyond any doubt that she really was a bad person. Secondly, during my lifetime I’ve witnessed such celebrations as those in Pakistan at the time of 9/11 and those in the US at the death of Osama bin Laden. I’ve witnessed level-headed Britons air their disgust at these celebrations, so it would be hypocritical of me to celebrate this. Finally, I said at the time of Hugo Chavez’ death that an idea is more powerful than a person and far outlives them.

This is certainly the case with Baroness Thatcher. Politically speaking, her death is an irrelevance. Her ideals live on through this current incarnation of the Conservatives and in all honesty, she passed on the baton a long time ago to John Major. Tony Blair then stole it and lovingly returned it to our incumbent PM. David Cameron and his band of trust-fund spongers are no less evil than her politics ever were. The difference is that Thatcher had the balls to be perfectly upfront about it, whereas Cameron is a snivelling little PR megalomaniac. Beneath the squeaky-clean veneer lies a cold, calculating tyrant who has somehow manipulated himself a positive PR image.

The national media will now enter a period of self-declared mourning, remembering her for her iron will and steely determination. The Real Conservatives will come out in force, declaring their affection for her in idolatrous missives via every form of media possible and The Secret Conservatives (Labour) will largely jump aboard this little bandwagon in a bizarre ploy to win a few polling points. We must not lose sight of the fact that her politics were despicable, that the current government are treading where she daren’t. They are selling off our NHS, they are savagely attacking the less fortunate punishing them for the sins of the most fortunate. We live in unjust times, ruled by an unjust government, informed by an unjust media, with a spineless opposition in a world that favours the rich and seeks to exploit the poor.

This is what Baroness Thatcher stood for. Don’t celebrate her life, but don’t celebrate her death either. It achieves nothing, instead save your energy for opposing this current government because we’ll need every ounce we can get. They are our greatest threat, whether rich or poor austerity will cripple this country and it will hurt you.