Sunday, 5 September 2010

Giskard and the 'End'.

I recently joined  'The Engineering Guild', mainly because I admired the work that some chap called Giskard had done on extending the whole Oblivion Game.

I am less than impressed that he has taken his Oblivion related content down.

It seems to me to be a storm in a teacup. Apparently Better Cities folk have ripped off his content. But, everyone rips off everyone else's content.

This is someone in a strop. Because his content has been 'ripped off'.

Well, his ideas were based on what Bethesda let him do. And his ideas were really good.

It is verging on crazy, it is verging on mad to think that some little clique don't recognise his genious, for taking a tired old cliché and making it a lot better.

An example:

It seems to me now obvious that the Daedra would also have their 'champion of Kvatch'. It was not obvious until Giskard stuck it in my face.

The community ought to be able to accomodate Giskard.

I am quite angry at Giskard too, who does anger much better than me. He ought to be able to let things rest, but he cannot.

Instead. he goes off in a strop.

Yeah, well Giskard,  thanks for the content. No thanks for the attitude.

This post will mean nothing to anyone who has not played the Elder Scrolls or played the mods. Your loss....

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

How serious is the debate about gauge?

 It seems to me that we can find enemies wherever we look. Or. alternately allies.

I do not, ridiclous at it might seem to others, see nationalism as exclusiive, rather the contrary.

There is a Gaelic word for Spanish, which I can't find right now. The story goes that after the Armada was beaten by the weather, they ended up, some of them, wrecked in the Outer Hebrides. They married, or summat like that, and their decendants are still seen as Spanish.

That tells you quite a lot about the political landscape of the day, and what these, probably exclusively, men had to offer. Ooh Err.........

I dunno, it just seems worth investing some DNA research in. Are they or aren't they? Maybe not. Who cares?

Still, the principle of  assimilating folk seems to go back a long way. We are not concerned about it. It seems to me that people change, over time. It might take a generation or two, but I expect that folk will have similar difficulties in identifying Asian Scots from, err, what?

Us?

And who are we, exactly? We are who we say we are. And that includes all of us.

Which is an attempt to explain :
 

What I am trying to say, perhaps badly, is that nationality is not that important. It is a bit of a contrary indicator, much like folk whose religion is Muslim and who can’t see outside that box either. No-one needs to define themselves in a one dimensional manner.
You do not need to define yourself. You are not just ‘English’ when a World Cup arrives, you are wrestling with a dilemma that ought to exercise you quite a lot.
Whilst I hate American foreign policy – I think it is generally a pretendy imperialism – I have extremely good internet relationships with Americans. It took me quite a while to disentangle the good that they are, from the bad that they think they need to support. I think, once you try to address their ‘issues’ , on reasonable sites, they are persuadable. The point being that defining yourself by nationality is subject to, winnable, challenges.
It is a point that China Mielville made in an article once. He read specialist magazines, not for their content, but for the range of human emotions that are expressed in them.
There is a ‘gauge’ issue for model railways. They believe, most of them, that 4mm equals a foot. Heretics model in other scales to the foot.
For those concerned, track gauge, the measure of the 4′8″ ( and a half, I can’t seem to work out how to do that) becomes a debate in it’s own right. There are those that believe in OO, there are those that believe in EM and there are perfectionists that believe in P4. We are talking millimetres here.
There is that, albeit small, group of folk that consider that to be an important issue in their lives. Why are they wrong and why are they concerned?
I am not mocking these people. I am just pointing out that a debate will rage unto eternity about the relative merits.
I would assume that none of the participants in that debate see it as defining of themselves. What they do see it as, is important.
To them.
Perhaps because it matters to them. But what matters to you, and them, ought to be subject to review. If you become ’stuck’ on a belief then you are no better, or worse, than a person that wants to build a model railway. For the criteria of difference, the criteria of exceptionalism is there to behold.
Which is, perhaps, an analogy for the attempts here to ‘rule the roost’ on what we should ‘take’ from the immigration debate. I think their are folk that come here that have an agenda I could not agree with, call them the OO folk.
We categorise ourselves at some risk to independent thought.
(Personally, I’d sponsor a Pakistani P4 follower, but the OO person would get short shrift. You can divide the world up any way you like. Respect to ‘Model Railway Journal’ by the way.)
 Update:

You might find this enlightening. 


Tuesday, 1 June 2010

I fought the Law and the Law won

It seems to me that Israel was completely in the legal right in murdering folk delivering supplies to Gaza, which, let us not forget is being encouraged by the Knesset to become completely self sufficient. In the sense that imports are banned.. Y'know, dangerous materiels such as cement and stuff. Allegedly wheelchairs too. But that can't be right, surely?

Y'know a separate jurisdiction applying it's rules to another? Why not? The Knesset is obviously the arbiter of what the Palestinians should do.

Is that not an obvious choice for a muscular liberal?

Well, yes, indeedy it is.


Why, I ask you, would anyone see an attempt to break that embargo as wrong?

Well, the contested true story of the good ship 'Exodus' suggests another narrative, one where breaking an embargo was seen as heroic.

Quite how muscular liberals reconcile that remains to be seen.

Given the ability to apologise for anything, I suspect that the brain dead zombies that co-habit 'Harry's Place' will get their legal shit on.

For that is how bereft these poor children are. Kill folk and say it was legitimate.

What pathetic fools these people are!

Late to the Party - The 'Exodus' Analogy

It had occurred to me that there were parallels between Leon Uris's 'Exodus' story and what has happened to the 'Peace Flotilla'. Googling around gave me this link:

http://tinyurl.com/29d9o7o

Which makes the following point, amongst others:

"The tougher Israel is, the more the flotilla’s narrative takes hold. As the Zionists knew in 1947 and the Palestinians are learning, controlling public opinion requires subtlety, a selective narrative and cynicism. As they also knew, losing the battle can be catastrophic. It cost Britain the Mandate and allowed Israel to survive. Israel’s enemies are now turning the tables. This maneuver was far more effective than suicide bombings or the Intifada in challenging Israel’s public perception and therefore its geopolitical position (though if the Palestinians return to some of their more distasteful tactics like suicide bombing, the Turkish strategy of portraying Israel as the instigator of violence will be undermined)."

So, it is clear that others can see the analogy, or perhaps the derivative nature of the tactic. Here is a pretty reasonable summary of the PR battle that is going to surround this incident.

One highlight is this, referring to the original model for the latest atrocity:

"Captain Ahronovitch was 23 when he took the helm of the Exodus. On July 11, 1947, he picked up the refugees at Sète, in southern France. On July 18, as the ship neared the coast of Palestine, the British Navy intercepted it. Captain Ahronovitch tried to break through, but two British destroyers rammed the ship.
Several hours of fighting followed, with the ship’s passengers spraying fuel oil and throwing smoke bombs, life rafts and whatever else came to hand, down on the British sailors trying to board, The Times reported at the time. Soon the British opened fire. Two immigrants and a crewman on the Exodus were killed; scores more were wounded, many seriously. The ship was towed to Haifa, and from there its passengers were deported, first to France and eventually to Germany, where they were placed in camps near Lübeck."


Plus ca change? and all that.

Seems to me that this has been an enormous misjudgement on the part of Israel.

If you prefer your tea with a dash of whisky, I'd thoroughly recommend the Flying Rodent approach. Which includes the quite incredibly pithy summary:

"Shorter – there really is an urgent and perilous threat to Israel. It’s called “the Israeli government”."
Update:  It is difficult to feel much sympathy for this post in today's Telegraph.









Saturday, 15 May 2010

The idea of overcriminalisation

There are two, or more, sides to any arguement. See here:

http://blog.echurchwebsites.org.uk/2010/03/03/philosophy-tutor-and-atheist-harry-taylor-in-court-for-leaving-anti-religious-cartoons-in-john-lennon-airport/

It seems to me that the idea of overcriminalisation is a 'steam engine' moment in English jurisprudence. It seems to me to be fundamentally wrong that laws that are passed through Paliament - with specific objectives in mind - can be used for purposes they were, and this is controversial, never intended.

Why, for instance, can a law directed at terrorism be used to check on our methods of rubbish disposal?


See, here:


In addition, opposition MPs fear the 2000 Terrorism Act could be used by councils to probe ordinary householders’ bins.

Tory MP Philip Davies said: “It is one thing for the security services to go through your rubbish but quite another for the council.

“They should concentrate their efforts in collecting it not looking at it. It is yet another example of a growing police state.”

That is not the most persuasive quote I have ever seen, but it is indicative of what you get when you allow loose legislation, well loose. It is used for unintended purposes by bureaucratic non entities. For that is what they do. Twist legislation beyond it's original purpose and apply it in, frankly evil, ways. There is, apparently, no consensus that religion has no right to protection. Apparently it ought to, and it does. I refer you to this thread, where I may have lost the plot, but remained polite:

http://blog.echurchwebsites.org.uk/2010/03/03/philosophy-tutor-and-atheist-harry-taylor-in-court-for-leaving-anti-religious-cartoons-in-john-lennon-airport/


We are completely stupid in allowing government to enact laws that are twisted far and away beyond their original intent. I do not believe it was the intention of Parliament that Harry Taylor should be criminalised. It is, however, the rule of unintended consequences. Crap legislation makes for crap decisions.

It was never right to allow you or me to prosecute under the criminal law for 'offence'. Your offence is my decency, and vice versa. Trying to arbitrate between us is taking the state, and the stakes too far.

Fuck your 'offence'. Fuck my 'offence'. Your right to offend and mine ought to be equal under the law.

There certainly ought to be no religious exceptionalism.

 I'd go as far as to say that Parliament has got this entirely wrong.

And the law that protects the god fearing is out and out wrong.

Salman Rushdie had a right to say what he did. And no petty fool had the right to do anything other than argue against him. Balancing the law in the favour of religious bigots is completely stupid.

That is the measure of what is right and what is wrong about this case.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

What next? Politics as a spectator sport.

OK, I am a bit depressed. I am a member of the SNP and, frankly, I have no idea where we go to next.

I see the loss of both our by election gains as a kick in the teeth by Scottish voters.

I really do not understand the dynamics of what exercises Scottish voters sometimes.

It seems to me obvious that Scottish voters are actually liberated in who they can vote for.

For instance, a vote for the SNP was not going to increase the overall Conservative majority at Westminster.

It seems that the availability of that freedom of expression - vote Green if you like - was denied in some sort of self serving masochism by voting Labour. Despite the fact that, if you think about politics at all, it would never have mattered. Scottish voters could have voted better, but were feart of the big bad bogeynman and assumed that the beautiful Princess that is Labour would save them, when it is now quite evident that they can't and weren't really interested in even trying.

Odd times we live in.

For, whenever we feel threatened by Tories, we revert to that.

It is a failure to, simultaneously, see how wee we are and how much better we could be. And a vote for the SNP would not have been a vote for the Tories, either.

This blog has kept an eye on Steven Purcell, but Glasgow voters just ignore that sort of stuff.

It is quite astounding. Usually folk will see the wood from the trees.

It seems to me that Scottish voters don't.

However, This is probably down to a pretty poor election strategy by the SNP. We should have done better, but we didn't, probably because we don't understand the electorate, and I don't mean 'focus groups'. It is far more fundamental than that.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Another Option - A Lab / Con pact?

It seems to me that Labour and Conservative's, apart, obviously from their unique tribal instincts, have more in common with each other than they do with Liberals, or Scottish Nationalists, or frankly, human beings:

Extending on that idea:

Could someone tell me what the heck is the substantive difference between them on the following, broad, subjects?


Most they are willing to do about fixing our voting system is AV’

Agree in principle about getting rid of our debt mountain,

Agree in principle that we are up shit creek without a paddle, on our finances,

Hate asylum seekers,

Hate immigrants..

Love Trident,

Hate the poor, but pretend otherwise,

Love the rich, but pretend otherwise,

Prison is the answer to all crimes,

Love the privilege of ‘your turn’ politics and will fight tooth and nail against any change to that,

Hate progressive politics.

Seems to me they have more in common with each other than they let on….

The Liberals ought to take a care, as Dixon of Dock Green may, or may not, have said.

A 'Government of National Unity' would be a disgraceful outcome, but no-one could argue against it's electoral legitimacy.

Could they?

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Some Points about Scottish and English Politics

Just a few thoughts on the post election apocalypse, as BBC News 24 would have it.


I do not think most people that are adult in England probably remember the deals that were struck in the '70's to form governments. You'd have to be, what around 55 or so and a precocious child to recall the negotiations that took place. Personally I had to remind myself of the details! So, there is a complete lack of  personal experience of the situation.

Scots, and the Welsh and those in Northern Ireland have lived with coalition government or minority government for years past. To that extent, you have a more sophisticated electorate and one that doesn't think the sky is falling down if it happens. It has happened and it is a non - event. 

Gordon Brown has conducted himself entirely constitutionally and correctly in continuing to remain Prime Minister. It astonishes me that folk seem to assume he should have simply handed the keys to Number 10 to Cameron and walked away.

What? Without Cameron having the opportunity to form a government? Because he certainly wouldn't have had the opportunity if that had been the case.

He would have been a hostage to being voted down on the first substantive issue, probably the vote on the Queens Speech, or his first budget.

Reasonable transfer arrangements have to be put in place, and as soon as possible, obviously.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

I think that Scottish Liberal Democrats are being handed a poisoned chalice. It is very difficult to imagine that Scots voted for them on the assumption that they would ally themselves with the Tories. If the Lib Dems do enter a coalition or other enabling arrangement with the Conservatives, I think it will have a toxic effect on their votes North of the border. I would be astonished if Scottish Liberal MPs were unaware of that. They could face a situation where they were decimated.

There is sufficient evidence, I think, that Scotland drew it's skirts in at this election and voted substantially for anyone that would keep the Tories out. The fact that the chances that a Tory might get elected applied, reasonably, to only four of five constituencies did not matter. The fear of running away from matrons apron strings had an overwhelming effect on Scottish voting intentions.

Which is a distortion of our own politics, dancing to opinion polls that were completely unrepresentative of what would happen on election day.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Finally, it seems to me that there is a huge naiveté amongst English voters on what happens in the event of a hung parliament, one with no overall majority. There is an assumption that the largest party has a mandate to govern without taking account whatsoever of the aspirations of whosoever it's minority partners might be.

What the UK voted for is compromise.

You probably had to compromise when you cast your vote. It is a party political robot that actually believes every nuance of a political parties manifesto. I do not, for instance, completely subscribe to the SNP policy on nuclear power, but it is a relatively minor issue for me.

However when political parties are asked to make similar compromises they jibe at it. The Tories, for instance may see PR as a sticking point, just because; or alternately cutting £6bn from this years budget may be a sticking point for the LibDems.

Yet, these are the compromises that we all have to make in relationships and in casting our votes.

I see no reason why they should not be expected to do exactly the same thing.

There was no knockout blow in this General Election and, frankly, that ought to be enough to shake our political class out of their almost eternal lethargy.

I live in hope....

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

I urge you.

Dunnno whether a vaguely SNP voter has it in their soul to read this post.

It seems to me that any attempt to say anything positive about the SNP is doomed to calumny. I'd urge you to ignore the shite and place your vote for your local nationalist candidate.
What that vote means is that you do not see Scottish Nationalism as an exclusive thing. If you are Asian or Jewish or African, as long as you say you are Scottish, you are. Which, is as it should be.

--------------------------------------------------------------

We are treated as if Jeff Breslin was, legitimately, a subject of due process, when it is quite clear that he is a subject of immediate political process. Backed up by foolish cops. Talk about breaking butterflies on wheels!

This is probably as near as anyone will ever get to comparing Jeff Breslin to Mick Jagger.

_______________________________________________



It is perfectly obvious that the deplorable concept of postal voting, or the ludicrous extension of the concept at least, may be a twist too far in democracy.

I'd quite like the SNP to come out against the whole idea of postal voting, at least without root and branch reform.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Agency - or not? Pat Bertroche.

KJB brought an interesting piece of American lunacy to my attention.

This shit

The highlight of which is this piece of self aggrandising, self unaware idiocy:



Speaking at a forum Monday in Toledo, 3rd District Republican candidate Pat Bertroche said police should catch illegal immigrants and document their whereabouts.
The Cedar Rapids Gazette reported that he added, "I can microchip my dog so I can find it. Why can't I microchip an illegal?"
Bertroche — one of seven Republicans seeking the nomination to run against Democrat Leonard Boswell — said in a statement Tuesday that his comment was social commentary on how inane the immigration issue has become.

This is the victory of the political class over us.

We are no longer, even in democracies,  people anymore. We are reduced to machines. For make no mistake, the wedge strategy is to dehumanise 'the other' first and then get around to the rest of us. There is no 'natural boundary' between what he says now and what others may say in the future. It is to dehumanise the lived life, for the sake of political power. Lose this arguement, and it is a slippery spope to agreeing that we should all have a 'chip' or a 'tag'.


This is elitism of the first order. And it is an arithmetical game, where the only winner is likely to be a tiny, perhaps vanishing tiny, monopoly on human development. Not at all healthy.

Pat Bertroche should be resisted all the way!

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Who knows?

We are talking about the General Election here, firstly on a UK basis, and secondly on a Scottish basis.

The UK arguement, it seems to me, is for the Liberal Democrats to win or lose.

They really do need to add at least 10 percentage points, somehow, someway, to achieve a breakthrough . I am not sure that they can.

It would, I think, take a black swan sort of  day for that to happen. Gordon Brown has offerred chances, David 'Teflon' Cameron has not.

Least that's how I see it.

On the question of how our three party politics works out, for the Tories are irrelevant, is far more difficult to discern.


It is reasonable to assume that Liberals and SNP will continue to do vote attrition on Labour, but will it be enough to gain them the odd seat?

Who knows?

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

A question for Mike Smithson and maybe, Jeff of SNP Tactical Voting too.

Just to read with you tea, folks.

This is the somewhat brilliant Nate Silver:

http://tinyurl.com/3y892zn

It does not bore down to our, somewhat unique politics, but. 



Friday, 23 April 2010

Identity Theft and Stupid Wee Bastrards

I have been the subject of local, and I suppose national, identity theft.

It seems to me that having my ideas corrupted by evil wee tits is, well, quite evil,

For they have nothing to say for themselves. They have grabbed whatever I have to say and corrupted it.

That is not just evil, it is incredibly weak.

It is the weakness I admire. I am no-one, yet they attach themselves to me?


What the fuck?

It is, I suppose, time to get stronger.

As far as I'm concerned it is time to stand up for the SNP. It is important to recognise that all our identities have been stolen, That we are who we say we are, and that we don't need a bit of paper to prove it.

Least, that's what I think we are about.

What say you?

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Politics - ain't it fun?

I use this blog and other places to write about things that interest me.  It will have occurred to anyone who has bothered to read anything here that I am a member of the SNP. And I was more than a tad annoyed about the SNP and Plaid being excluded from what started off as 'Leaders' debates and metamorphised into 'PM' debates.

However, the outcome of the first debate has led me to rethink my ideas, at least slightly.


It seems to me that we are wishing on ourselves a sort of 'Obama' moment, when we throw away all the wrong that has been perpetrated in our name.

It is, kind of hard, for me to see Nick Clegg as an Obama figure.

But this weekends opinion polls suggest that people do want to give him that status.

It looks to me like 'a plague on both your houses'. Lab and Tory are both thought to be old and corrupt by the electorate. They will find any alternative, any option, to vote for.

I felt, no feel, continuing anger at the political duck house owners and other chumps that make up our political class.

It seems that I underestimated the Great British Public. Give them an option, and they might well take it.

From an SNP point of view, of course, none of this is news.

I am pretty sure that the Scottish debate, if enough people watch it,  will have a similar defining effect on this mood.

I have watched in awe at the ability of folk to spin. Be it the Steven Purcell stuff and the alleged links to organised crime that were firstly not to be investigated and now, perhaps, are. Whether anything is allowed to surface that would have a political impact on this election is probably the extent to which this cloak will be deemed successful or not.

The whole sleazy aspect of politics ought to have an effect on folk. It seems to me that the
admittedly proven, troughing at Westminster may have a significant effect in the Westminster elections. The lesser and later allegations against Scottish Local Government, Scottish Labour MP's should impact but probably won't.

Still, as a voter, if there are unanswered questions against a particular political party, Labour in this case, the electorate should, but probably won't, consider unproven gangster links, or unproven influence on tendering processes as sufficient to change their vote.

They probably won't.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Steven Purcell - at last!

The super soaraway paper of choice says this:


http://tinyurl.com/y5zult7

I have no idea whether this will end up in a court case, or not, but it has to be investigated...

Friday, 9 April 2010

Ask not what Labour can do for Scotland, ask what Scotland can do for Labour

Jeff, over at SNP Tactical voting has made, in his polite and civilised way, a very good point:


http://tinyurl.com/y6nmbqu


In essence our 'last colony' status will bring us nothing from the Westminster Labour Preservation Society.

We will be asked to help fund the Olympic Games and Crossrail (both London only projects) and probably end up bailing out a ridiculously overpriced high speed rail link between London and Birmingham. We will probably end up providing seed funding for English nuclear power when we don't need it - neither do they.

In exchange we get, what?

Not a heck of a lot that I can see. Oh! yes! We will be allowed to park the replacement for Trident on the Clyde, which will make us the target for many a nutter for at least another fifty years.

And, rather than building useful stuff like wave energy systems we'll get, maybe aye, maybe naw, a share in building two aicraft carriers to 'project' our power and influence on the world stage. I love that bit.

Really?

I don't want to project our influence on a world stage. And if we want to protect ourselves I'd rather do it as a NATO partner, not as a Colonel Blimp.

So the balance of the Labour Manifesto is, firstly geared to the South East of England and secondly towards maintaining a phantom empire.

It is really pretty bankrupt.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Craig Murray on the General Election 2010

Thought this was interesting:

http://tinyurl.com/yeok95e

Perhaps not everything is perfect in the best of all possible worlds?

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Joan McAlpine and Steven Purcell - a match made in heaven?

Joan McAlpine - who I had not even heard of a month or so ago - is my new heroine.

Here is what she says about oor Stevie:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/scotland/article7086672.ece

Now that is a true journalist, so it is. Look at that and respect it for what it is. Investigation, pure and simple.

Where is the place that you get for voting for Scottish Journalist of the Year?

Monday, 5 April 2010

Apparent Death Threats by the BNP, to the BNP

That is a ridiculous thing for a party that is attempting to reach out to the electortate.

This appears to be them reverting
.
Well, we are shocked, are't we?

No, noy as an option....

Monday, 29 March 2010

More on Steven Purcell






BROWN FAILED TO HONOUR PROMISE ON PURCELL INVESTIGATION
YET MORE QUESTIONS ON LABOUR-RUN GLASGOW CITY COUNCIL
Commenting on the Prime Minister's interview on the Politics Show where he indicated that he has not looked into whether a Downing Street staffer took part in a conference-call in July 2008 which discussed the suitability of Stephen Purcell as a candidate in the Glasgow East by-election, SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson MP, who asked the question at PMQs on 17th March, said:
"Gordon Brown today said he would "investigate" whether a Downing Street staffer took part in a conference-call to discuss the suitability of Stephen Purcell as a candidate.
"However that is exactly what he said he would do nearly two weeks ago in reply to a question at PMQs.
"He now has questions to answer on this matter. Why has he therefore not launched this investigation already? When will he do so? Why is there a delay?
"The Prime Minister's evasiveness in this only raises questions of how much he knows about what has been going on at Labour-run Glasgow City Council."
The SNP MP for Glasgow East, John Mason, also commented on the the fresh set of newspaper revelations to arise from the resignation of Steven Purcell as the leader of Glasgow City Council and said it only raised further the need for a full inquiry into how the council was run.
The latest revelations include champagne bills being billed to the taxpayer, Labour councillors using the council chambers as a party political postal address, the salary of the head of Strathclyde Public Transport still being paid despite the fact he stood down a month ago, and a Labour quango set up by the council awarding lucrative contracts to yet more companies donating to the Labour party.
Commenting Mr Mason said:
“As each week goes by, the questions keep piling up for Labour, and we have had no answers. With Alistair Darling threatening cuts worse than Thatcher, these reports about how Labour politicians use public money are astonishing.
“With more revelations about City Building (Glasgow) LLP – the quango set up by the Labour Council –awarding a lucrative contract to Labour party donor AS Scaffolding, Glasgow City Council must endorse the SNP call for an inquiry when it meets this Thursday. Many other contracts involving taxpayers’ money are suspicious and should be fully investigated.
“There are now too many questions flying around in the wake of Steven Purcell’s resignation - Labour should welcome the chance to prove they have not acted improperly and support SNP calls for a full investigation of the council.”
The SNP's group leader on Glasgow Council, James Dornan, added:
"Glasgow's voters are being treated with contempt. The receptions, paid for by the public purse, raises a number of questions.
"Who attended it? What was it was for? And was there any relation between this event and the famous Friday lunches attended by Steven Purcell and his mates?
"We need assurances there have been no other instances of Labour councillors not declaring receipts of gifts from Labour donors."
 
This is not worth investigating? Words fail me.

England and the Left

I have had an interesting discussion - off line - with an English nationalist who appears to me to be right on the button. It is obviously nonsense to assume that the SNP, whose raison d'etre is independence would appeal on a tartan note to an Englishman.


However, my new friend saw the sense in the rest of  SNP policies. It is a good thing, I think, that most policies that we have can be subscribed to by someone on the left of UK politics.

So much for the epithet, Tartan Tories.

I hope he reaches a position of power at some time in the future. For what he has to say, and our manifesto, are not very far apart.

Ireland, apparently. The Steven Purcell story - part 100

According to the Caledonian Mercury, Mr Purcell is in Ireland:


He is now in Ireland, a stop-over to prepare him for a return to Scotland soon.

It is the 'soon' that gets me. We were told he was away for a year. And where was he before he was in Ireland? Why is he coming back?

Further Steven Purcell and all that jazz

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/glasgow_and_west/8592601.stm




Purcell admits cocaine blackmail fear

Steven Purcell
Steven Purcell resigned from the council citing stress and exhaustion
The former leader of Glasgow City Council has admitted using cocaine and told of how this may have left him open to blackmail.
Steven Purcell told The Scottish Sun newspaper that he had taken the drug a "handful" of times.
He also said police warned that there could be video footage of him using the drug which might be used for blackmail.
Mr Purcell resigned as leader of the authority on 2 March, citing stress and exhaustion as the cause.
The 37-year-old told the newspaper he had used cocaine on several occasions after being first offered it at a party.
He blamed his own "stupidity" for his decision to take the Class A drug and explained how it eventually led to a visit from police.
He told the paper: "Two officers from the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency came along.
I was contemplating suicide. I thought to myself - life isn't worth living like this
Steven Purcell
"They told me that during the course of an investigation they came across information that could mean I would be subject to blackmail because of the use of cocaine.
"They said there might be a video of me using cocaine and that could be used to blackmail me.
"The last time I used it was a year ago, a few weeks before the police came to see me. I told close colleagues at the council about it because I think it's important to be honest."
The former Labour councillor for the city's Blairdardie ward also said that he had problems with alcohol before he decided to step down.
He told the newspaper he had suffered from "increasing feelings of loneliness" in the months before his decision to step down as council leader.
'Rock bottom'
He said he started to drink heavily at the beginning of the year, using alcohol as "crutch" to help him cope when he was "low or stressed".
"I had gone from being normal to hitting rock bottom. I was basically having a nervous breakdown," he said.
"I was contemplating suicide. I thought to myself - life isn't worth living like this.
"It was at that point I called my family and told my family how I was feeling and that I was considering resignation."
I must apologise to my family, my constituents who loyally elected me, my friends and my colleagues who may feel I ran away from things
Steven Purcell
He told how he decided to seek professional help and booked himself into the Castle Craig clinic in Peeblesshire, from where he tendered his resignation as council leader by telephone.
He said: "I must apologise to my family, my constituents who loyally elected me, my friends and my colleagues who may feel I ran away from things."
Mr Purcell was first elected to Glasgow City Council in May 1995.
He served as convener of development and regeneration, then education before becoming leader, at the age of 32, in 2005.
He was named as "Councillor of the Year" at last year's Scottish Politician of the Year awards for his role in delivering the Commonwealth Games to Glasgow and for promoting a "living wage" for workers in the city.
Following his resignation, there have been calls for Strathclyde Police and the public spending watchdog, Audit Scotland, to investigate allegations about how council contracts were awarded under Mr Purcell's leadership.
Both bodies confirmed last week that they would not proceed with any investigation

What the heck is going on here? It is obvious that the BBC and others have chased Steven Purcell down. We are left in the dark as to where he is. Perhaps that is legitimate, as he may be a witness against corruption, or summat. We can be relieved that he is still alive. The more ridiculous conspiracy theories can be put to bed.

Steven Purcell - More Information

It seems odd to me that an organ I have never heard of before, has this information:




Steven Purcell tells of ‘gangster fears’

Former Glasgow leader tells of booze and drugs hell

Published: 29/03/2010
FORMER Glasgow City Council chief Steven Purcell turned to alcohol to fight pressure and loneliness, it was reported today.
Mr Purcell, Glasgow’s ex-Labour leader, also revealed that he had suffered a breakdown amid fears that gangsters had a video of him snorting cocaine.
Mr Purcell, 37, quit politics earlier this month.
He reportedly said today: “I must apologise to my family, my constituents who loyally elected me, my friends and my colleagues, who may feel I ran away from things.”
Mr Purcell said responsibility for the £2.4 billion annual Glasgow budget and the upcoming Commonwealth Games in 2014 had increased the stress he was under.

Countersuing

It seems to me that George Galloway and other big beasts of our shared sphere of the blog are willing to sue at the drop of a hat.
 
It seems to me that it ought to be obvious that a fund ought to be set up to defend bloggers such as Simon Singh,  and damn my eyes, David Taube.

For the attack legal dogs will take your rights away. They will legalise your opinions. They will attempt to make money out of your ideas. By suing you. Thus, they will take your breath away. For who will not look over their shoulder, at the legal ramificatiions, whenever they post a comment?

That is what they do. Lawyers will take away your rights, as quick as cheese.

It is perfectly possible to counter argue on the internet. It does not require  lawyers to follow an ambulance.

It seems to me that that is what lawyers do. It also seems to me that the exclusion of lawyers from internet debate is probably a good thing.

A friend and a reasonable proposition.

I do not know who 'Jai' actually is.


However,  he or she seems to talk sense


:
Music has often been termed the “universal language” of humanity, something that touches all of us and which we can all connect with irrespective of our backgrounds, in many cases even if we don’t understand the actual words. The music itself often conveys the message by the sheer power of the emotion. However, there is another essential point, embodied by the historical & contemporary individuals discussed above and also perfectly symbolised by the musical performances that the singers amongst them have been involved in :
There are far-Right groups such as the BNP, EDL and SIOE in Britain, their fringe Hindutva counterparts the Shiv Sena, RSS and Bajrang Dal in India, and Islamist extremists such as Al-Muhajiroun and Hizb ut-Tahrir in Britain, the Taliban in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, and Al-Qaeda globally; all of whom promote hatred, bigotry and persecution, in many cases taking their fanaticism to the extent of not only viewing their targets as literally subhuman but actually dehumanising them completely.
Conversely, there are also people who refuse to limit their perceptions by such divisive attitudes, for whom the words “we” and “us” mean the whole of mankind, who have the strength and mental clarity to be able to perceive our common humanity beyond artificial notions of “race” or religion, who understand that such differences are superficial, whose empathy and decency towards others is not limited or defined by such notions, and whose priority is to unite people, not tear them apart.

That is the point, is it not?

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Is Steven Purcell alive or dead?

Well, is he?

He strikes me as Schrödinger's cat. Alive or dead, or dead or alive, until the box is opened.

I'd have assumed someone has to find him. So far, the question is not being addressed.

Correct me if I am wrong...

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Oliver Kamm and his enemies.

I believe Oliver Kamm writes editorials for the Times.

I believe he also has ideas floating around in his head that I cannot map onto my conscience. I also believe he was, at least once upon a time a member of the Euston Manifesto gang.

He has a simplistic idea about death.

He believes it should be inflicted on others.

Specifically and exactly on Germans and Japanese. Iraqis and perhaps Afghanistanis. Maybe Vietnamese, although I have not caught him out yet on that particular and dreadful dreadful calumny. It is there in his ammunition. He can fire it off when he likes.

And who, pray tell, could argue against this hero of modern thought?

This incicively, what shall we call it, barbaric arsehole, occupies a place at the high table of UK opinion forming - Times editorials no less - when the only suitable place would be somewhere in Dantes circles of Hell.

There has been a fascinating discussion about this, clearly careful, clearly motivated arsehole over here . There are people there that I weep for. They are not so chewed up on the 'might is right' shit.

Och, go and read it for yourselves and make your own mind up.

Crooked Timber -v- The Times Editorial Content. 6/4 -v- 100/1.

A subject of some amazement - Lee John Barnes as a subject of debate between Iain Dale and Nick Griffin

The link is here


I have had, shall we say, an acquaintance with Lee John Barnes (Llb Hons) off and on for quite a while. He 'comments' on Pickled Politics sometimes, and I managed to get so under his skin that he determined that, when the BNP became the government, I would be for the off. Chucked out of Blighty without a care.

I thought that was rather extreme at the time. But I wore it as a sort of badge.

It is interesting, and will raise his profile miles higher than his tiny spat with me, that he is now the subject of a discussion between Iain Dale and Nick Griffin.

Frankly, I am not at all clear whether Nick Griffin idolises Lee John Barnes, or not. I think it is pretty obvious that you have to work with the hired help you can attract. Seems to me.

Anyway, this is a sample of the discussion, specifically the bit about LJB LlB. The rest is quite fascinating too:

To clarify, I have added [ID] before Iain Dales comments and [NG] before Nick Griffins'. Neither were in the original text:

[ID] You present yourself as a moderniser. But a blog written by your legal officer Lee Barnes is all about how ethnic minorities and the Jews are awful. He reckons Britain is controlled by Zionists and their media puppets. There's just no way that if he's a national officer of the BNP, you can present the party as being anything other than obsessed by the usual issues.

[NG] Lee is a very strange and complex character. He's also regarded by all of Britain's Nazis as a leading treacherous pro-Jewish liberal, who's taken control of the BNP.

[ID] If he's liberal, I'd love to see someone who wasn't.

[NG] Lee is one of the people who believes that if you say that there's a Zionist influence in Britain, that does not make you antisemitic. We've got Jewish members. We've got a Jewish council group leader.

[ID]So some of your best friends are Jews... I see.

[NG] Lee is one of the ones who has taken most flak from Britain's Nazis, as he's taken the anti-semitism out of the BNP. But he's still fiercely anti-Zionist.

[ID] But if you say: 'Britain is controlled by Zionists and their media puppets,' there is only one way to read that. I would say that's a grotesque exaggeration. So you don't share any of those views at all?

[NG] No.

[ID] But you've allowed someone who's obsessed by Jewish issues to hold national office in the BNP.

[NG] I do, yes. As I say, if you look at his blogs and his arguments with people in the round, you will see that he's one of the people who's taken the obsession with Jews out of the BNP. It was there. But he's one of the ones who've taken it out by putting it in context.

This is mendacious. Lee John Barnes certainly is no friend of anyone that doesn't subscribe to his own philosophy.

For instance, you can see what he thinks:

Here

If that is friendly to Jews, then I'm the Flying Dutchman.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Steven Purcell - WTF?

Yesterday, or day or two ago, it was not exactly clear what was a-going on here. It has become a little bit more obvious. See my previous post.

I'd like to know how anyone defends Mr Purcell, or Glasgow City Council as Mr Black appears to do?

There, it seems to me, to be corruption allegations to be faced up to. It is for George Black to answer that.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Strange weather lately?

The Steven Purcell show.

The Sundays.

From todays Sunday Times:

here


And also, Joan McAlpine:

here

Scotland on Sunday:


here


Sunday Herald:

here

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

The Gordon Brown link to Steven Purcell

Here!

This moves up and up, doesn't it?

The Glasgow Media - Blackout or What?

Another day, another revelation in the Steven Purcell affair here

Shorter version - City Building, an arms length, but wholly owned subsidiary, of Glasgow City Council gave a £2000 donation to the Labour Party. And this is legal?

We hear about it from the Scotsman?

The main two newspapers that appear to be treating this as a newsworthy story are the Scotsman and the Sunday Times. The Glasgow press corps seems to be always 'behind the curve' on this whole affair.

Hat tip to Stuart Dickson in the comments here

Monday, 15 March 2010

Sunday, 14 March 2010

SNP Tactical Voting - a weird factoid

Jeff Breslin is a very good guy.

He has had the decency to link his site to mine, and I thought that my infinitesimal traffic should  flow back to his, clearly better, web site.

And so I discovered the joys of The Link.

But it didn't link me to his front page. It linked me to something he hadn't cared to publish. Something about an old card pretending to be SNP.

This seems to me to be wrong.

Mr Breslin should not be hacked, and I assume that this is what this is, by back door tactics. And me as an innocent dupe.

I intend to try to post this on his very own web site, as a warning to him and to others.

The Steven Purcell Story - Part Three

I'd like to know the outcome of the autopsy on Danus McKinlay.

Why has that  become something no-one is talking about?

Did an autopsy actually take place?

We were told it would, but where is it?

I'd have thought his mother and father would have liked this all cleared up.

If you turn you eyes away from this, much like most folk seem to do, you are not asking to be told a truth. Whatever that might be.

Steven Purcell - The story moves along - Part 2

I sometimes wonder how closely we are expected to read newspaper reports before we can arrive at any sort of conclusion.

William Haughey has apparently said this to the Sunday Herald. It includes this apparently throw away indirect quote:

"But Mr Haughey insisted he not spoken to or helped Mr Purcell since his breakdown."

Yes, the grammar is theirs, not mine...

On the other hand, The Sunday Times claims this

Which says, inter alia:

"
NINE days ago Willie Haughey, one of Labour’s biggest donors and an ally of Gordon Brown, was spotted at a secret crisis meeting in a pub car park in the south of the Glasgow. He was flanked by two smartly dressed businessmen. Nearby, a plump man sat in a car, clearly agitated.

Haughey, the Scottish businessman, who built his £100m fortune out of a refrigeration business, was in a sombre mood as he spoke to the two men. The outcome was clear: the career of Steven Purcell, the plump man in question and one of Labour’s brightest stars, was over.

Purcell, 37, afraid and tearful, had already stood down as council leader of Glasgow, Britain’s fourth largest city. Friends had urged him to stay on as a councillor and rebuild his career.

Haughey, who has given more than £1m to Labour, and the two other men ordained a more drastic option. It would be announced later that Purcell’s career in local politics was over. “By then he will be out of the country,” said one of those present."

Well, even if both stories are completely accurate, they don't actually contradict each other, do they, dear reader?

The joys of go betweens and deniability, or a load of hooey? Spotted by whom, for instance, seems a reasonable question? Is it not the case that before a story like this is run there ought to be two independent sources?  Or do have we a local version of Deep Throat in play here?

And who, exactly were the two smartly dressed businessmen? The way it is written it would seem that they were a party to the decision.

It seems to me that the steam is still building on this story.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Hmm.. This is not Part Two...

Here is an interesting aside on this case:

http://tinyurl.com/yl87lav


To quote from the above, Jack Irvine allegedly says, inter alia:


"It has made allegations about the PR strategy but it has no idea about the hidden issues involved."


As a bear of very little brain, it seems to me that the public has a right to know what the 'hidden issues' are?

UPDATE: 14.03.10

Seems I am not the only one calling for some clarity here:

http://tinyurl.com/yayd8ku


Oh! And  

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article7061170.ece 

And, most astonishingly:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article7061166.ece



The Steven Purcell Story - A post modern tale - Part One

And then it all went wrong, didn't it? I'd like help in filling in the gaps, some of which are down to my ignorance and some of which may point to what is really going on here. You decide, or help make this a better narrative. I will modify the narrative as comments or news arrives. This is supposed to be politically neutral, though Labour supporters may not see it as such. That is their cognitive dissonance, not mine.

For those that do not know, a few weeks ago it seemed that Steven Purcell, the first (?) outright gay Leader of Glasgow was heading towards the stratosphere of Scottish Labour. He was well respected, even by his opponents, including me, and had managed to bring the 2014 Commonwealth Games to Glasgow.

A bright and shiny future seemed to await him. He had been headhunted to stand against John Mason in the Glasgow (East) by election, and would probably have won. But he rejected that opportunity, perhaps because he wanted to see the Commonwealth Games project to a conclusion. On balance, I think that was true. There have been few occasions for this city to stand on a global stage and it would have been kudos all the way. It might not, exactly, have been a platform as strong as a certain Mr B Johnsons, but it would have been a credible rising tide on which to enter Parliament.

Would it not?


----------------------------------------------------------------

It is quite difficult to understand how someone on the cusp of that much potential could have blown it so thoroughly.

Who are these 'pals' that The News of the World said he had?

It all seemed to start to go wrong at the dog end of an evening out. February 26th, described as a 'convivial night out'.  It was a night that our beloved leader - to quote Private Eye - was in attendance. (OK, G Brown.). That appears to have ended rather oddly, as  Steven Purcell was, apparently, huckled out of the joint by 'pals' and taken home. What had the 'rising star of Labour Politics' done to result in this 'I'll get your coat' treatment?

No-one is saying. Correct me if I am wrong, but no-one is saying.

It gets more weird.  February 26th is a Friday. The weekend starts here, and all that.

What happened to Steven Purcell over that weekend?

Apart from unsubstantiated comments that 'he was getting worse' or the like, issued by pals, apparently, very little. We do not hear from his family, we do not hear from him.

Who hasn't hade a tit of themselves late on a Friday night? What degree of embarrassment would be enough to make you walk into work on the Monday morning and resign? Well, he was so embarrassed that he didn't even turn up. He just resigned over the phone from, probably, the most important post in Scottish Local Government.

What could he possibly have said or done on the Friday that made resignation necessary on the Monday?

Occams razor kind of cuts through most speculation. It is not obvious that he even spoke to Gordon Brown.

So what was said, that was enough for him to firstly give up his authority and then his job. I do not believe it was just a cocaine habit, which is comprehensively denied, he merely 'dabbled'. There is something else going on here, and I think it is darker and deeper.

More later....

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Steven Purcell

It is all becoming a bit mad, isn't it?

There are folk that think tomorrows' papers will reveal all.

Frankly, I have no idea.

I don't know about you, but I'd really like to see tomorrows headlines. And an analysis of whether he has been strung out to dry, or not. It could be a game changer in Glasgow.

This could be a big deal politically, or a damp squib....

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Bringing it all back Home

My friend Rumbold has coincidentaly, addressed something I expected neither of us to have to address.

It is the post rational swirl of undirected intent. You may, or may not be aware that my identity has been pinched.

Post-rationalism seems to me to be where we are right now. We have a new meme in the common brain. It is that we can do whatever we like, say what we like, be whoever we like as long as we are never caught. And that that is a legitimate, perhaps monetised, way of being.

Well, it isn't. It is to subscribe to a check list of idiocy:

Lying about learning - check.

Lying about others - check.

Lying about identity - check.

Just lying - check.

But mainly about being a nihilist - check.

I have spent a little time, because that is what my stalker wants and I am generous with my time. I have come up with this, a la Cracker.

My stalker is:

Male

A disgusting mysogynist, with rape fantasies

A Jew hater, possibly Muslim

Probably a virgin

Probably likely to remain a virgin

Under or around twenty, see previous point

Computer literate

English.

Uncircumcised.

Posting in his Y Fronts

Mad.

Well, that should narrow it down a bit.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

A Public Service Announcement - NSFW

There is something a bit awry with the internet when someone can post this on my web site as though I had written it. Which I did not:


Douglas Clark and *** are convicted paedophiles


You sad pair of cock sucking cunts

“drop me an email sir” you desperate fucking cunt!!! you have no fucking friends because you are a big mouthed small brained internet gobshite and as for the cock sucking slob Clark, you are another one.

What r u going to do about it anyway *** you ugly fat yellow rat toothed jew cunt?

Fuck all.

*** screams like a two dollar whore as I ram my uncut European meat into her sullied gaping hole and cum on her saggy tits. I make her say “thank you sir” when I am done.

See ya soon fat cunt.
 
If I am unable to determine who this idiot is, I do believe I will take it to the Police.
 
There is identity theft, seriously wrong accusations and signs of mental disorder.
 
I wonder how seriously the Police would take it?
 
Meanwhile anything that claims to come from me that I did not write will be deleted at the first opportunity, same goes for anonymous posts or those that say they are from *** and aren't. I shall investigate tracking software.

This is quite serious stuff. If *** or *** believed I had published that nonsense they would be completely entitled to sue me.  
 
This person needs to be stopped. But mostly they need psychiatric help.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Hmm....

It has certainly occurred to me that Anjem Choudary is completely insane.

It didn't occur to me, until recently, that he could be destroyed by the religion he usurps.

But it is certainly possible.

Within Islam is the idea of Shaitan, who deliberately attempts to corrupt humanity. He is a shady character, who tries to enter your brain and mess with you.

It seems reasonable to me that Anjem Choudrary has been taken over by Shaitan. He believes he is right, and is not open to contradiction.

Just how much of this has a man to countenance before he realises he has been the victim of satanic possession?

Apparently you never know.

I think Anjem Choudary is an apostate, a person who, according to his own rules, doesn't even realise he is evil.
What do you do with a devil incarnate?

Remember, dear reader, he knows not what he does.

I thought about starting a Facebook group with the idea that Anjem Choudary was an apostate, and deserves the fate he reserves for others. But that would be wrong.

Monday, 11 January 2010

A question of doubt

A chap called habibi had this to say about Moazzam Begg. This is long, as I am quoting him in full:


Promoting failed jihadi Moazzam Begg at Downing Street earlier today is not enough for Amnesty UK. Now it will embark on a European tour with the fan of al Qaeda preacher Anwar al Awlaki:




Meanwhile, Reprieve, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and former Guantánamo detainee Moazzam Begg of the organisation Cageprisoners are today beginning a tour across Europe urging more states to offer the men a safe haven. The tour will be hosted by Amnesty International’s national sections.



begg



allen

Moazzam Begg and Kate Allen of Amnesty outside Downing Street earlier today



Perhaps Amnesty UK are gullible enough to believe Begg’s story about how he ended up in Afghanistan in the run-up to 9/11, just when the Taliban were harassing UN personnel, expelling foreign aid workers, and slaughtering the wrong kind of Muslim. It was charity work, don’t you know.



Or his story for Channel 4 about how he – most strangely – ended up choosing the very same escape route from Afghanistan as Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda fighters, with B-52 bombers in pursuit. He was worried about safety, you see, now that the Taliban were no longer around to maintain “a semblance of order”, which is an interesting turn of phrase for the horror they inflicted on Afghanistan.



Q. What did you want to do then, because you’re suddenly becoming more vulnerable?



Moazzam Begg: Well we evacuated from Kabul, myself and my family. I really didn’t want to give up all the projects that we’d begun, we put a lot of hard work, time, effort and money into all of this. Eventually my, my family evacuated separate from myself – I got caught off from them as I was visiting the city of Kabul, I was unable to reach them, I had to walk over the mountains for two days to arrive in Pakistan and try and reach them through a different route and try and reenter Afghanistan.



Q. This of course was to become a very big problem later because the Americans say that you went through the Tora Bora mountains -



Moazzam Begg: Right.



Q. – and this is when they, they believe you might have been engaged with al Qaeda.



Moazzam Begg: This is what they say. The reality of it, of course, is that it was a place that I evacuated from. The roads had become impossible, especially for foreigners, regardless of where you were from, and several people I had heard of had been attacked, captured, killed by literally highway robbers, because although the Taliban, however austere they were, still had some semblance of control around the country. Once that had gone there was no, no … left in the country at all.



Q. But how obvious a route was Tora Bora?



Moazzam Begg : I wasn’t aware of where I was going through, to be honest with you, it was just a, a route that, we were supposed to go through Jalalabad and apparently the roads had been cut off, … firing in the streets, eventually we drove to an area where there was, the road stopped and mountains began, I left with a group of Pakistanis and a guide, and we walked over into Pakistan.



torabora

Tora Bora, 2001



This is what Begg really got up to in Afghanistan, according to Con Coughlin:



But Begg’s account is starkly at odds with the signed statement he gave to FBI agents while held in Afghanistan after his capture in February 2002, a copy of which has been obtained exclusively by The Daily Telegraph. In the statement, which US officials insist was not obtained under duress, Begg admits to having attended three separate al-Qa’eda terrorist training camps in Afghanistan where he learnt to fire AK-47 rifles and rocket-propelled grenades and use primitive explosive devices.



In the statement, he also admitted that, when living in Britain, he acted as a “communications link” between radical Muslims in the UK and others living abroad.



During the war in Afghanistan in October 2001, Begg says he “was armed and prepared to fight alongside the Taliban and al-Qa’eda against the US and others”.



After the collapse of the Taliban, he retreated to the Tora Bora cave complex with Osama bin Laden and the rest of the al-Qa’eda leadership. From there, he made his way to Pakistan where he stayed with his wife and children until his capture by US forces.



The details contained in Begg’s FBI statement bear little relation to the contents of his book, Enemy Combatant, which he wrote after the British Government secured his release from Guantanamo in January last year.



Begg and his Cage Prisoners group do have an interesting relationship with the truth. Recall that this is how they dismissed concerns raised last summer about al Qaeda preacher Awlaki being the star turn at their annual fundraiser:



CP cannot comment on any other statements attributed to Imam al-Awlaki or other guests as we are unaware of their accuracy



This is ludicrous. “Inspirational“Awlaki is a hero to Cage Prisoners. You can still see his videos on the Cage Prisoners website, or read pieces lifted from his since martyred blog, such as this paean to Islamist ideologue Sayyid Qutb. That article is helpfully posted in the website’s “Islamic Focus” section, showing Cage Prisoners’ interest in Awlaki is theological, and most certainly not limited to human rights in the case of Awlaki or anyone else. Awlaki is all about jihad and Begg and Cage Prisoners know this full well. Unlike Amnesty UK, it seems.



Remember that Begg also defends hate preacher Ali al Timimi, who is serving life in the US for convincing young men to go to jihad shortly after 9/11. This is what Begg says of the man:



He cannot be regarded as an extremist, fundamentalist, lunatic type terrorist scholar that they claim abound. He is one of the most reasonable and middle of the path scholars that I have come across, who not only make sense in everything that they say, but they back it up with evidence from the Qur’an.



And here’s Timimi on Jews and jihad:



They seek to morally corrupt the region, as is the way with the Jews whenever they enter into a land.



We must understand this animosity that the Jews harbour and hold towards this ummah. It began from the time of the prophet and will continue until the appearance of their king and false god, the dajjal (devil), the Antichrist.



This type of animosity and hatred will continue towards this ummah since it has been since the time of the prophet until finally they come, being led by their king, who they expect, their awaited one, their false Messiah, who they will worship as God, the dajjal. This is the history of these people towards this ummah, their hatred and their animosity towards us.



So we need to keep this in mind, who are we dealing with when we talk about peace with these people.



As far as the idea of entering into a peace treaty, outside of these two reasons, namely, that the unbeliever has become submissive or to push back the greater evil, this becomes impermissible. Like in order to enter into a peace treaty because the Muslims feel themselves to be small in number. Or because the Muslims do not want to fight jihad, they don’t want to engage in war anymore, they, you know, just want to sort of enjoy the world, this becomes something forbidden by the sharia and Allah has commanded that we fight as Allah says: “fighting has been prescribed upon you but it is something disliked to you”. So therefore this is a ruling. As the prophet said in a hadith, that jihad will remain until the day of resurrection.



Here’s a nice little “inspirational” send-off for Amnesty UK and Begg’s European tour.


Lets see if that has worked.

Hmm..., sort of.

Anyway, you get the general impression.

I know not a lot about Moazzam Begg, except for his Wikipedia entry which includes this:


On Monday January 11, 2005, the British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw announced that the four British citizens remaining in Guantanamo Bay would be returned to Britain "within weeks" after "intensive and complex discussions" with the US government. Though they are still regarded as "enemy combatants" by the US government, no specific charges have been brought against any of them.

On Tuesday January 25, 2005 Begg and the three other British citizen detainees were flown back to the United Kingdom by an RAF aircraft.[54] On arrival they were arrested by officers from the Metropolitan Police and taken to Paddington Green police station for questioning under the Terrorism Act 2000. By 9pm on Wednesday January 26, all four had been released without charge.


I'd have thought, correct me if I am wrong, that someone who had not been accused of anything in a UK jurisdiction would not be the subject of scurrilous allegations by someone called habibi.

This is just another example of trial by playboy jurists.

We seem to see a lot of that, particularily from Harrys Place and The Spitoon.

Judge, jury and executioner in a delicious wrap of half baked accusations....

They seem to take a degree of delight in saying stuff. Whether it would pass in a court of law or not, and...

Whether it is right or wrong.

I somehow doubt that Moazzam Begg is quite the character that has been described by our good friend, the ace reporter, habibi. But it would be too much work to deny it. And that is his advantage. Most of us are not invested in Moazzam Beggs' good or bad reputation. So, shit like this passes us by.

It is quite irritating though.....It is beyond belief that anyone would take a confession obtained by any US forces as 'In the statement, which US officials insist was not obtained under duress, Begg admits to having attended three separate al-Qa’eda terrorist training camps in Afghanistan where he learnt to fire AK-47 rifles and rocket-propelled grenades and use primitive explosive devices.'

How strong are you, dear reader? I'd admit to anything to avoid pain. Doesn't make me guilty of fuck all.

Which seems to me to be the question of doubt. habibi doubts what Moazzam Begg has to say. I doubt what the US and habibi have to say. It is perhaps disturbing to assume that the UK police and presumeably CPS would release someone unless they were innocent, or there was insufficient evidence for a prosecution, or it was obtained through torture lite. Our ace reporter appears to have missed that.

If you believe that any incriminatory statement was obtained without duress, I have a bridge to sell you.

I still give money to Amnesty and will continue to do so.