Key Posts Category
The Munich massacre is all over the Daily Mirror’s front page. The word is “terror”. But why did the killer do it? Lunacy? Narcissism? Nihilism? Anger? Because he could? Nazism? Islamism? Racism? Brexit? Low blood sugar? The NRA?
The killer is dead. Can we guess, then, why a young man would slaughter so many at a shopping mall?
The Mirror calls the 18-year-0ld Iranian-German the “crazed killer”. He is the “lone gunman”.
When Labour MP Jo Cox was murdered on a street in England, the Mirror knew everything about her alleged killer, Thomas Mair, in an instant. The Mirror was backing the Remain vote in the EU Referendum:
The Star also knew about Mair:
And the Sun knew Mair was a far-right loon:
But now the Star can only muster: “…the shooting may have been carried out by Islamic extremists or far-right sympathisers.”
And the Sun just settles on nationality:
The Press are pussyfooting around.
The Mirror does quote an eyewitness, who spoke with CNN:
The woman named Loretta told CNN: “I come out of the toilet and I hear like an alarm, boom, boom, boom. He’s killing the children. The children were sitting to eat. They can’t run.”
She also said the man yelled: ‘Allahu Akbar!’
She said she recognised this phrase as she herself is Muslim, according to CNN.
Surely people of all religions and races know that phrase by now. The Greater Manchester Police have used it in their terrorist training for attacks on shopping malls.
So. Why did he do it? Discuss. And here’s a clue: it’s never a simple answer (unless myou want it to be).
The Munich massacre, the Press are calling it. A Iranian-German nutter has murdered many a German shopping mall. Who can we blame. They know. We can blame ourselves:
The New York Times blames Europe:
First came Britain’s decision to leave the European Union. Then the horrific attack in Nice, France, which killed 84 people. Then, on Friday, a shooting near a shopping mall in Munich, which the police are treating as a possible terrorist attack.
These events alone would be cause for a continental nervous breakdown. But still unresolved is an even bigger threat to European stability: a failure to develop a coherent, humane plan to deal with the inexorable flow of desperate people fleeing violence and persecution in the Middle East and Africa and seeking a new home in Europe …
The refugee issue continues to stoke fears and xenophobic politics. If Europe fails to face this problem squarely and humanely, more migrants will die, and a union that has kept the peace in Europe for decades could well unravel.
Anger and fear drove Brexit just as Donald Trump fans the flames of a disenfranchised America, which as Baton Rouge proves, is as racially and ethnically divided as Europe, which is dealing with mass immigration, an attempted coup in Turkey and seemingly relentless terrorism borne out civil war-torn Syria. Mark MacKinnon reports on the relationship between seemingly unconnected events across the globe..
Our societies are fracturing into tribes. In the U.K., it’s Leavers versus Remainers. In Turkey, the failed coup has cleaved society into Erdoganites and Gulenists (after the movement accused of supporting the failed putsch). Almost everywhere, lines are being drawn between immigrants and the native-born. Black and white. Us and them.
And the tribes are turning on one another.
Leave v Remain is like black v white? What utter balls.
And on NBC:
TODD: Do you draw a straight line? I mean, do you draw a straight line from basically the Syrian refugee crisis to Brexit to what we are seeing in Germany and France?
ENGEL: I think you can draw a straight line.
So. Why did you murder so many people in Germany? Narcissism? Islamism? Poverty? Racism? No. It was Brexit…
The qualities Mr. Trump seeks in his romantic partners are remarkably retro. Melania Trump is a former model with her own QVC jewelry line and skin care brand who emphasizes that her role as a mother comes before all else; Mr. Trump… expects women to be more aesthetically appealing than intellectually substantive.
Melania survives on her looks? No. She thrived on them, working as a well-paid model. But the NY Times doesn’t see modelling as a proper job. It sneers at her choice of profession. Women who make a living from their aesthetic appeal are dumb, we’re told. The Times should read the story of the wonderful Lydia Lova and get a grip.
The problem with Melania, of course, is that she is no Hillary Clinton:
The distinctions between the Clinton marriage and the Trumps’ reflect an uncomfortable evolution also happening in homes across the United States.
The Clintons’ marriage is the model. His alleged cheating and lying, and her alleged bullying of his mistresses is the model, the American ideal? A woman who get to the top by using her husband’s name and contacts is the model?
In the past half-century, American women have undergone a transformation in roles, and married couples now look a lot more like the Clintons than whatever traditional view of women and home life that Mr. Trump holds: Most women work outside the home full time, and men increasingly marry women who are their educational and professional equals.
Melania speaks 6 languages. Hillary misspeaks one.
What a sad and twisted little story on the BBC. In “Attack on Nice brings danger to France closer to home”, Hugh Schofield follows up the story of how Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel murdered scores of people at a Bastille Day celebration by noting:
Through the last 18 months of jihadist terror in France, a simple pattern is emerging: it keeps getting worse.
Worse than mass murder?
If the January 2015 attacks were aimed at specific groups – Jews and blasphemers – the November follow-up was more indiscriminate.
Murdering Jews and blasphemers is not worse – is it better, then? – than killing anyone else.
Is it time to update Pastor Martin Niemöller’s poem:
First they came for the Satirists, and I did not speak out—
Because I agreed that ‘You can’t say that!’, words are criminal and US Secretary of State John Kerry saw a “rationale” in the slaughter at Charlie Hebdo.
Then they came for the rock fans, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a rock fan and they are “hedonists”.
Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.
So goes the evolution of a death cult.
At the Bataclan Massacre, the scene was gruesome. HeatStreet says:
A French government committee has heard testimony, suppressed by the French government at the time and not published online until this week, that the killers in the Bataclan appear to have tortured their victims on the second floor of the club…
Or as Schofield puts it:
At the Bataclan and at the cafes the Islamists killed young adults, out being European hedonists. This time, it’s gone a step further.
In Nice, it is the people at large – families and groups of friends – doing nothing more provocative than attending a national celebration. Ten children were among the dead.
People at large are not Jews and “hedonists” at a pop concert. Jews shopping for Shabbat dinner were being more provocative than non-Jews walking about in Nice?
Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, we learn, is a victim, who “fell prey to the torrent of jihadist propaganda emanating from so-called Islamic State (IS), and elevated his personal grievances into matters of cosmic importance.” He had a “weakness for Islamist ideology”.
And then comes the inevitable story that it’s not them, it’s us.
This is the moment when the attacks become so outrageous they provoke a backlash. A mosque is burned to the ground. Some white youths go on a rampage through a banlieue (suburb).
Don’t react. Don’t be furious. Fear yourselves. Fear the masses – irony of ironies – the very people who stormed the Bastille and gave rise to democracy and human rights founded on universalism and enlightenment values. Treat people as suspects.
There will be no debate about why and who? Why is Islam a lightning rod for these horrors? Why are young, third generation Muslims radicalised? Why has identity-based politics come to the fore? Why France? Why now?
This is what IS desperately wants to happen, of course, because France could then be on course for a truly bloody civil conflict.
What were the murders of 84 people in Nice; the murders of Charlie Hebdo journalists; the murders of 89 freedom lovers at the Bataclan theatre; mass murder on the Rue de Charonne, Rue de la Fontaine-au-Roi and Rues Bichat and Alibert if not truly bloody?
Stand up for freedom. Don’t be scared to uphold the values France epitomises.
Vive La France!
So how did CNN illustrate the story of the Islamist maniac who murdered scores of people on Bastille Day in Nice, France? With an advert for Falken tires [sic] that grip:
Native advertising is a horror, Whoever invented it should be taken from this place and forced to live in an echo chamber.
Nice, France. Many words will be said about the barbaric horror that has left so many dead. An Islamist in a lorry mowed them down at Bastille Day celebrations along the Promenade des Anglais. The victims are being mourned by those who knew them and loved them.
Others want to wallow and retreat. Where there might be fury and outrage at the hideous actions of one Islamist in a truck, there is this:
Can we get angry that people are being slaughtered? No, said one writer in the Huffington Post, “ISIS counts on anger… to advance its cause.” We are told to conform, not to speak out and speak freely. We are only in the Safe Space if we all agree to say little and do nothing. The masses must not be heard.
What if cowardice and candles are not enough? One Washington Post writer said changing our Facebook status to feature the Tricolor could be interpreted as “an endorsement of the far right”.
What about singing the stirring anthem of France? No way. One Guardian writer tells us La Marseillaise is “not a million miles from the ISIS anthem”.
Maybe we should sing this instead:
I went to the place where every white face is an
invitation to robbery
an’ sitting here in my safe European home
I don’t wanna go back there again
– The Clash
Is it an isolated view that the West and ISIS are natural bedfellows? No. As President Barak Obama, champion of free speech and liberty told one and all:
“Humanity has been grappling with these questions throughout human history. And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.
“In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”
Don’t get angry. Don’t fight. Get retrospective. Seek therapy. Heal thyself.
US Secretary of State John Kerry saw the murders of Charlie Hebdo staff in Paris and opined:
“There’s something different about what happened from Charlie Hebdo, and I think everybody would feel that. There was a sort of particularized focus and perhaps even a legitimacy in terms of – not a legitimacy, but a rationale that you could attach yourself to somehow and say, okay, they’re really angry because of this and that.”
Hebdo staffers, those free speech extremists, were asking for it, said the gilded elite, those champions of free speech and free expression.
And when once again the nihilists struck Paris, Kerry had more to say:
“This Friday was absolutely indiscriminate. It wasn’t to aggrieve one particular sense of wrong. It was to terrorize people. It was to attack everything that we do stand for. That’s not an exaggeration. It was to assault all sense of nationhood and nation-state and rule of law and decency, dignity, and just put fear into the community and say, “Here we are.” And for what? What’s the platform? What’s the grievance? That we’re not who they are? They kill people because of who they are and they kill people because of what they believe. And it’s indiscriminate.”
Having heard a leading figure in the so-called Free West provide ISIS with a list of legitimate targets, there was the Guardian writer who told us all beneath the headline, “The Isis women’s manifesto is grotesque – but some in the west would agree with every word” that an alleged rapist employed as a footballer is like women who think a man marrying a nine-year-old girl is fine:
Ched Evans, in believing that it’s fine for him to have sex with a woman without her consent – if she is drunk and already having sex with a stranger anyway – probably has a good deal of common cause with the ideas of these women of the Islamic State.
As the bodies pile up in Nice, just as they did in Paris, the intelligent and knowing warn the thick and reactionary not to be angry that our hard-won values and freedoms are being attacked. Don’t summon the sprit of Bastille Day, and take on the bigots in the name of liberté, égalité, fraternité. All we need do is light a candle and huddle round in the dim light. This introspection serves no useful purpose other than to allow the enemy a better shot at us in the dark.
Allons, enfants de la Patrie
Le jour de gloire est arrivé!
Contre nous, de la tyrannie
L’étendard sanglant est levé
Vive La France!
The Guardian’s Hugh Muir talks of “black flight”. The teaser explains the phrase: “Black flight: how England’s suburbs are changing colour.”
What is remarkable in our national story is the extent to which thousands of… black and Asian Brits have followed that trajectory [from the city centre to the suburbs].
It isn’t the least bit remarkable, is it. The Jews moved to London’s East End because they were poor, housing there was cheap and you could get manual work in the big city. As they set up their own companies and got more money they sought more space and moved out, first along the Tube lines, then further from city. As for Jews, so too for Irish, Huguenots, Asians and, well, every immigrant group to have settled in England.
Muir says that “less talked about” than “white flight” is the “growing movement of visible minorities into the heartlands of Englishness”. What’s Englishness, then? We’re not told. But he suggests it means not being a victim, but a member the white, working-class public who voted Leave in the EU Referendum. Remainers narrate that the EU stopped the UK from being a racist country. Voting for Brexit was not a vote for self-determination, an end to independent states being trampled on, democracy, risk, change and an enlarged world view. It was a vote for bigotry, so the losers say.
In post-referendum Britain we have seen sudden waves of intolerance.
Eastern Europeans told to go home. A BBC reporter branded a “Paki” in the English town where she was born. An African-American on a bus told by fellow passengers to go back to Africa. This is distressing.
Racial abuse is abhorrent. Thankfully, the shock value to the rest of us is in the rarity of such attacks. And before we go on, what of the “surge”? The Indy reported:
Reports of hate crime have risen 57 per cent in the aftermath of the EU referendum vote, according to the National Police Chiefs’ Council. There were 85 reports of hate crimes to True Vision, a police-funded reporting website, between Thursday and Sunday compared with 54 reports over the same period four weeks ago.
True Vision was launched by the Association of Chief Police Officers in 2011. On 18 May 2011, it was announced that Gary Dobson and David Norris would face trial over the murder of Stephen Lawrence following a review of forensic evidence that the “institutionally racist” police force missed. Valuable or not, True Vision is foremost an exercise in police PR.
Mark Hamilton, Assistant Chief Constable for the National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Hate Crime, was quoted in the Indy:
“At the national level, the vast majority of people are continuing to go about their lives in safety and security and there have been no major spikes in tensions reported.
“However, we are seeing an increase in reports of hate crime incidents to True Vision, the police online hate crime reporting site. This is similar to the trends following other major national or international events. In previous instances, crime levels returned to normal relatively quickly but we are monitoring the situation closely.”
John Betjeman would have spotted it immediately, for it is via the former poet laureate and his celebrated 1973 BBC documentary Metroland that the traditional perception of the English suburbs has been formed. On a gentle jaunt, in his gentle way, he described communities stretching from Neasden in north-west London all the way to the Chiltern Hills, along the path of the Metropolitan underground line. Betjeman’s suburbia spoke of cricket pitches, golf clubs, women’s institutes and verdant farmland: a new life for indigenous Britons at arm’s length from the bustle and smoke of London.
Indigenous Britons who were living in Neasden, north-west London, in the 1970s took flight? I know Neasden well, very well. It was there and in nearby Hendon my immigrant family settled after moving from Stepney Green and Old Ford in London’s East End, and inner-city Leeds. They sold their Neasden home to an Irish family and went down The Bakerloo line (now the Jubilee Line) to Stanmore.
Muir says black flight “tells us that minorities themselves feel psychologically able to move to new areas.” No. It tells us they got enough money to buy a home with a garden and garage. It tells us also that rising housing costs and declining school quality encourage human beings to move.
Muir then adds:
One can’t be Pollyannaish about this, as alongside black flight, demographers detect an extension of white flight. Minorities move out; many white Britons move out even further. But perhaps there is a natural filtering system at play, and perhaps that’s for the best. Those who can be comfortable with a changing Britain embrace it or make the best of it. Those who can’t just pack up and leave.
Before long the only people living in London’s village will be Guardian writers basking in self-affirmation, fretting over the falling FTSE and using their London borough’s diverse population and ‘filtering system’ as a signal of their virtue – unless they’re staying at their holiday homes in Italy, France and Cornwall.
Good news. Leave voters can be cured of mental disorders through therapy, wonder of the age and booming business sector to boot.
Ewan Cameron, “a psychologist who provides assessment and treatment of forensic and clinical clients”, writes on Politics. co.uk:
So your mother voted Leave: How to fix a family broken by Brexit
It’s a new version of David Cameron’s “broken Britain”, the former Prime Minister’s view of the working class and other Untermensch. It’s no longer the much-derided, dystopian Tory vision, what the Guardian called “glib jargon” that “feeds off popular anxieties”, a “popular, ill-defined sense that somehow things are going wrong in society”, adding that “there is real hostility to being tarred as a broken society”. That broken Britain was “offensive”. This broken Britain is all about helping. It is, of course, entirely offensive, bigoted, condescending, ageist, and dismissive of the working class and the right of one person one vote.
Says E. Cameron:
It’s not just political parties that are being torn apart by the Brexit vote. Across the country, families have been pitted against each other, usually on generational lines, as the emotional fallout continues. Millions of older voters feel they’ve taken back control of their country. But for many of their sons and daughters, it’s like someone just stole their future. The political has never felt more personal.
Never felt more personal? It’s history day one all over again. What about when being gay was a crime? What about when women were banned from voting? What about abortion law? What about 1780, when less than 3% of the total population of England had the right to vote? Democracy won the day in the EU Referendum. The people voted in large numbers. The Leave vote won. The therapy should be short and succinct: suck it up and crack on.
But Cameron E has tips on what you should do if you can’t grasp the concept of democracy and are slamming bedrooms doors and shouting “I never asked to be born”:
1. Seek to understand before being understood
Try to understand not just your mother’s political arguments, but the personal reasons and emotions that contribute to them. Maybe her fears are both political and personal, reflecting a general fear of change or a core belief that unknown others can never be trusted.
A fear of change for the woman who, er, voted for change, who embraced the new and the risky.
Personality factors are also relevant – are your mother’s view sustained by a sense of entitlement? Do her political views conform to a broader sense of personal alienation, or vulnerability? Seek to understand not just ‘what’ but ‘why’ she has the views she does.
In a word: experience.
2. Communicate in neutral, non-judgemental language
What an utter kno..
Simple techniques like avoiding the pronoun ‘you’ and instead structuring sentences around ‘I’ can reduce the potential for the other person feeling blamed, and keeps the focus on your needs.
Why not go the full superior and opt for “one”.
Examples might include “I have noticed that when I express those thoughts, I am often not heard”, as opposed to “you’re ignoring everything I say”.
3. Specify the problem, even if it seems obvious
…Maybe it’s that your mother deliberately ignores certain widely known facts in order to sustain a distorted worldview.
You: you need to look at the facts.
Mum: I do. You lost.
4. Express the emotion you are feeling
Tell your mother what emotion you feel when you bring up this problem. Telling someone how you actually feel makes an issue harder to ignore. Examples might include “I feel hurt that you voted in a way that I believe damages the future of my children”, or “I actually feel quite alone and sad when I think about the political distance between us”. Be honest when you do this.
Mum to child: “I feel hurt that you voted in a way that I believe damages the future of my children.”
5. Specify what you want – and be realistic
…Maybe you need to tone down the moral certainty.
But without moral certainty you’re left with nothing apart from the T-shirt that orders ‘Hug An Immigrant’.
6. Practice Acceptance
If you are troubled by any of the above or see assurance and direction, seek help immediately. No, not therapy. That clinic has a revolving door. Ask your mum what you should do.
Remember: mother knows best.
Former England footballer Paul Gascoigne has triggered “fears”. The Sun shows a picture of Gazza and says, “There were new fears for Paul Gascoigne last night after he accidentally exposed himself in the street.”
What street? Who was watching or, rather, being exposed to? What did he expose, accidentally?
All will be revealed soon enough.
For now, we’re grateful the Sun is here to help Gascoigne and relay news of his latest humiliation, sorry, suffering to us. To recap: Gazza, as he is known, is not dead. In 2008 the no less caring Daily Star reported beneath the headline “Gazza dead and gone for good”: “FUN-LOVING football legend Paul Gascoigne is ‘dead’, his TV star stepdaughter Bianca revealed last night.”
They were wrong. “The former England star is seriously ill with depression, and Bianca admits his family is powerless to help him,” the Star continued. Gascoigne was not dead then. He remains not dead now.
Today we see a photo of Gascoigne in a dressing gown. A generous black triangle hangs over his crotch. The paper reports:
The football icon heading to buy booze in only a dressing gown stumbled barefooted from his flat with a bent cigarette hanging from his lips. Slurring his words, Gazza, 49, climbed into a taxi before returning with a bottle of gin, cigs and painkillers. As he stepped out of the cab his gown fell open revealing he was naked underneath.
Again, let’s recap: man comes out of his home; a passing photographer takes the trouble to take pictures of him and alert the Sun newspaper; the Sun publishes the pictures in the hope Gascoigne can be helped.
The paper says a photo it published in March of Gazza’s bruised face “made him realise how low he had sunk”. Gascoigne “admitted” this when he appeared on Good Morning Britain (see below). It’s not about gawping at a man with issues and exploiting him to sell pictures and papers. It’s about caring.
Here’s Gascoigne thanking the press on GMB after the Sun published that photo of his face after a “drunken fall”:
Right. OK. Andrea Leadsom has gone. Theresa May is now the only candidate in the ‘race’ to become the next British Prime Minister.
Angela Eagle wants to be the next leader of the Labour Party. First she has to defenestrate Jeremy Corbyn, who says he will stand against her and sue the party if they don’t let him.
Could May call an election before Labour can dump Corbyn?
It’s all nothing short of brilliant.
Highlights so far:
Angela Eagle gets her big announcement gazumped by Andrea Leadsom quitting:
— Livvy Bolton (@livvybolton) July 11, 2016
David Cameron calls it a day. Right. Good. He did not says right-ho. But he might have done. As @SimonNRicketts puts its: “I could watch it over and over. Your last moments as Prime Minister. Wandering off like Bertie Wooster going to get a sandwich…When British people realise things have gone a bit rubbish, they say “Right” very meaningfully.”
A slightly longer version of Cameron’s exit. There’s not only a ‘right’ but the classic follow-up ‘good.’ I adore it pic.twitter.com/w311FNKabL
— SimonNRicketts (@SimonNRicketts) July 11, 2016
It’s not over yet. Former Tory MP Louise Mensch thinks May could quit / implode / defect to Labour / tie herself to an radiator and drink her own urine / insert option here:
It's not going to be Theresa May, there is no chance.
— Louise Mensch (@LouiseMensch) June 30, 2016
Andrea Leadsom clenched her fist and smacked Theresa May, her rival for the Tory Parry leadership, right below the belt and into the ovaries. May has no children. Leadsom has three children. This, reasons Leadsom, makes her a better human being than May, more able to think of the future and other people.
In the numbers game, Dear Andrea is, of course, not as good as the old woman who lived in the shoe (loads kids), Rose West (eight children) but a bit better than Jezebel (two kids). Leadsom is a lot better than Mother Teresa, Gloria Steinem, Dame Helen Mirren and Dolly Parton (no children between them).
This was is what Dear Andrea told the Times:
She also said this:
Dear Andrea is supported in her leadership campaign by Ian Duncan Smith. Dear Ian has already stated: “I believe that Andrea’s strong family family background… will make her a great prime minister for the UK.”
This attack seems awfully familiar. In 2001 top Tory Norman Tebbit (three children) backed Duncan Smith (four children) to beat Michael Portillo (no children, married and who spoke of his “homosexual experiences” – what Tebbit called “deviance”) in the Tory leadership race. Said Tebbit: “He [IDS] is a remarkably normal family man with children.”
Portillo was winning the race. After the gay story was fanned, he lost. IDS won.
PS: Leadsom has accused the Times (like May, and unlike Leadsom, the paper backed Remain in the EU Referendum) of “gutter journalism”. The writer stands by her story.
What Mrs Leadsom said:
Rachel Sylvester: “Do you feel like a mum in politics?”
Andrea Leadsom: “Yes. So…
RS: “Why and how?”
AL: “So really carefully because I am sure, I don’t really know Theresa very well but I am sure she will be really really sad she doesn’t have children so I don’t want this to be ‘Andrea has children, Theresa hasn’t’ because I think that would be really horrible.
“But genuinely I feel being a mum means you have a very real stake in the future of our country, a tangible stake.
“She possibly has nieces, nephews, lots of people, but I have children, who are going to have children, who will directly be a part of what happens next.
“So it really keeps you focused on ‘what are you really saying?’. Because what it means is you don’t want a downturn but ‘never mind, let’s look ahead to the ten years’, hence it will all be fine. My children will be starting their lives in that next ten years so I have a real stake in the next year, the next two.”
So, she said it, then.
Tony Blair is “on the couch”, says the Daily Mail. There are questions over the former Prime Minister’s sanity, writes Stephen Glover. Blair is “delusional”. Blair “has some kind of Messianic complex”. Blair is a “near lunatic”. Blair is “manipulative and devious”. Blair is “an extreme narcissist”.
Vain, pushy, manipulative, self-regarding and self-absorbed. So what. He’s a politician, and one who, most worryingly of all, wore his god on his sleeve. The sadness is that the voters are now being portrayed as victims of his sorcery and trickery. If you accept that he duped you, then you accept that you are easily duped. It’s the same narrative that infects the post-Brexit haze and seeks to portray the white working classes as ignorant scum.
Did we all believe Saddam Hussein could launch chemical weapons within 45 minutes? Did you believe in New Labour’s “ethical foreign policy”evident in Nato’s attack on Serbia over Kosovo in 1999 that established the rule of a humanitarian intervention? Blair called the Kosovo intervention “a battle between good and evil; between civilisation and barbarity; between democracy and dictatorship”.
Did you nod when Tony Blair, champion of “humanitarian warfare”, said in 20014:
“…the notion of intervening on humanitarian grounds had been gaining currency. I set this out, following the Kosovo war, in a speech in Chicago in 1999, where I called for a doctrine of international community, where in certain clear circumstances, we do intervene, even though we are not directly threatened.”
Did you feel good when Blair said in that 1999 address:
Looking around the world there are many regimes that are undemocratic and engaged in barbarous acts. If we wanted to right every wrong that we see in the modern world then we would do little else than intervene in the affairs of other countries. We would not be able to cope.
So how do we decide when and whether to intervene. I think we need to bear in mind five major considerations
First, are we sure of our case? War is an imperfect instrument for righting humanitarian distress; but armed force is sometimes the only means of dealing with dictators.
Blair was clear: if the United Nations failed to act, then individual countries should go it alone.
Were you one of the 412 MPs who voted to use “all means necessary to ensure the disarmament of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction”?
No matter if you did or did not. The Chilcot Report clears you of blame. This was Tony Blair alone. It was his “private war”. The political elite are in the clear. The Guardian says Chilcot can “restore trust in the process of decision-making in government”. The New Statesman says Chilcot will “drain the poison that has built up in our national life since Blair took the calamitous decision to follow the US into invading a country that its president knew zip about”.
Invading Iraq was not a calamity of moral and ethical convictions, a horror show for the media and Westminster, a disaster fuelled by “sexed-up” political flimflam over substance. It was just the ultimate expression of mad Tony’s diseased brain.
Now let’s hang the bastard and be made clean.
“We are all tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime,” opined Tony Blair. If he’s the criminal what were the causes of his crime?
Just over a year ago the former Liberal Democrat Party leader Charles Kennedy died at his home in Fort William, Scotland, aged 55.
We said then, “…despite his alcoholic affliction, he brought humanity and common sense into UK politics and governance when he entered the Westminster Parliament.
He was Leader of his party when Premier Blair launched the UK into the Iraq conflict.
In what many found to be a magnificent stand, in 2003 Charles Kennedy fought against all-comers from other major parties over the proposed invasion and war in Iraq.
There is little doubt he was right in every respect in his then dire predictions of what was to follow. Later in September, 2005 at the Blackpool, annual Liberal Democratic Party Conference he made it clear he neither forgot nor forgave when in a passionate speech he called on on the then still prime minister Tony Blair to make a timetable of the withdrawal of British troops from Iraq.
The long-delayed Chilcot Report may very well be his finest epitaph….”
Know what time it is with this cuckoo clock in the form of the axe scene from The Shining. On the hour every hour Jack Torrance with menace you with a “Here’s Johnny!”. For added homeliness, Shelley Duvall’s character will scream her head off.
It’s made by Chris Dimino.
The post-Brexit UK was, as the Daily Mirror put it with a front-page photo of a large black hole, a leap into the unknown. Where the Mirror saw danger, chaos and, if the country voted Leave and thereby fell into that hole, death for all, others saw adventure and opportunity. Who embodies the spirt of rosy-fingered dawns over new horizons better than Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin brand and the man who signed the Sex Pistols – those working-class dupe-proof advocates for Anarchy in the UK and a rejection of the tired, old Establishment.
Branson opines axiomatically on his company’s website, “In order to think outside the box, avoid getting into one. There is no need to accept accepted thinking. Remember, it was once accepted that the world was flat.”
“If you don’t let anybody build a box around you, then you will never have to think outside of the box. Basically, in order to think outside the box, avoid getting into one.
“But if you do find yourself getting boxed in, think to yourself: I will only think outside the box when the box is empty. Get everything you can out of a situation, but keep an eye out for the next opportunity.”
The box was the European Union. The vote to get out of it was a vote for a bigger planet view that doesn’t end where the EU border lies. But Branson is scared. He is not eyeing the next opportunity. Sky News reports that this knight of the realm “has held secret talks with Theresa May in an effort to boost his plea for a second referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union (EU).”
In a blog-post published on 27 June, Sir Richard wrote:
“The vast majority of MPs voted in by the electorate want the UK to stay part of Europe. In light of the misrepresentations of the Leave campaign, Parliament should reject the results of this non-binding referendum as Nicola Sturgeon has announced she will do in Scotland’s Parliament.”
How’s that for thinking outside the box? Ignore the anti-Establishment risk-takers, the people who voted for change, and side with the elite who want to snuff out democracy. ‘Safety-first,’ says box-ticking bureaucratic Branson. Big business must take priority over independence and “screwing it, just doing it”, something he advises we do in one of his “lessons for life”. Richard is now of the “screw you, the multi-nationals and connected are in charge”.
To paraphrase the Sex Pistols, We Do Mind the Bollocks. We voted against it.
Invoke Article 50 NOW! is spiked’s campaign for the people’s democratic will to be enforced. The British public were given the vote on whether to leave the European Union. They voted to leave.
But the Government has not triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, initiating Britain’s exit. Why not? There is talk of a second referendum, and with it the opportunity to correct what the likes of David Lammy MP, Bob Geldof, big banks, Tony Blair and multinationals think a mistake. They don’t like democracy. They don’t think the people are worth listening to when they fail to agree with what they want. Democracy is the great invention. It is under threat.
Uphold the vote! Defend democracy! Invoke Article 50 now! Join the campaign here.
Much of the post-Brexit talk has focused on the Leave voters who now regret their decision. The Metro said 7% of Leave voters regret voting to leave the EU. It and the Indy cited research that suggests “1.2 million Leave voters regret their choice”. The Huff Post built a story of Leavers regret – regrexiters – around Barbara Ansdale, from the Black Country, who told BBC Radio 4 she had voted leave but “wasn’t really voting to get out of the union” and “Adam” who told the BBC’s TV News: “I didn’t think my vote was going to matter too much because I thought we were just going to remain.”
The Guardian – “‘I hope I don’t live to regret this’: Brexit doubts linger at the centre of England” – likened Leave voters to frightened children:
In the West Midlands village of Meriden, some of the 17 million voters who had willed Britain’s departure from the EU into being were not so much celebrating Freedom Friday as enduring terrors of self-doubt. A few seemed like kids who had disobeyed instructions, pressed the eject button in the pilot’s cockpit, and were starting to wonder what the hell was happening.
Leave votes minds were troubled by a “strange tingling”.
The London Evening Standard heard from a tweeter, who opined: “I personally voted leave believing these lies and I regret it more than anything, I feel genuinely robbed of my vote.” The anonymous tweeter was one of the “The Brexit voters who wish they’d backed remain”. The Telegraph quoted Mandy Suthi who says that “she her family voted for Brexit but they’ve changed their mind now that she’s seen what’s happening.”
The only change is in a narrative that says Leave voters are all dolts who never knew how democracy worked and would dearly love to rewind the clock. The idea, presumably, is that Article 50 will not be invoked and everything will continue as before, sparing the blushes of 17 million people who voted out.
But today the Sun produces an Ipsos MORI poll. It finds that more Remainers than Leavers regret their vote. If therw was second referendum – which we hope there will not be – the Leave campaign would win by a bigger margin.
Vote once and make it count.
Top Shadow Front Bench at the moment. Diane Abbott, shadow secretary of state for health, asks the Government about an Indonesian province that does not exist:
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps she has taken to assist people in the Indonesian province of Province of Davao del Norte affected by the drought in that province.
Justine Greening The Secretary of State for International Development replies: “There is no province called Davao del Norte in Indonesia.”
There is one in the Philippines. Does Diane think all Asian countries look the same?
The Labour Party is in crisis.
Spotter: Rob Baker
The Mirror talks of the “Brexit Crisis”. The OED says a crisis is “a time of intense difficulty or danger”. Do you feel more endangered than you did before the EU referendum? Jeremy Corbyn does. The Mirror says he is in a “battle to remain”. He faces a “coup” as 11 members quit his shadow cabinet after Labour voters continued to desert the party and he sacked “disloyal” shadow cabinet minister Hilary Benn, one the hereditary Labour hierarchy.
The Mirror hears from the stayers and the leavers.
Emily Thornberry, last seen joining the liberal elite in mocking the white working class living in what one Mirror writer called “white man’s gulch“, says the Leavers have “no plan and no clue as to what happens next”. She says Labour can help by listening to “Labour supporters throughout the country who decided to vote Leave”. Emily, they are not Labour supporters by definition. You suppose too much. Emily says the Tory party is “tearing itself apart”. She says Labour can be the unifying force. And Labour can do this under Jeremy Corbyn.
On the other side is Stephen Kinnock, one of the hereditary Labour hierarchy. Kinnock says “this is the biggest peace-time crisis since the Second World War”. Kinnock says Corbyn lacks the knowledge of Europe to negotiate with the EU. Kinnock says “Jeremy received an unprecedented mandate from our members last year”. Yep, they voted for him. So, Kinnock, a true Europhile, says the will of the people doesn’t matter. Just get rid.
On Page 6, the Mirror says there has been a “surge” in Scotland for a “Scots breakaway”. Right now 54% of Scots are “for” an independent Scotland – 46% are against. In 2014, 55% of Scots voted to remain in the United Kingdom. Nicola didn’t like the result so she wants another referendum. If the result goes the other way, as the Mirror’s poll suggests it will, will the losers under Ruth Davidson do a Nicola and demand another referendum? The Guardian says “Ruth Davidson is the Tory who stands between Scotland and independence.” She’s a formidable sight.
On page 8, the Mirror’s Kevin Maguire thinks a second EU Referendum would be good idea. that, he says, could fix the “gangrenous, gaping national wound”. Kevin backed the losers.
The Daily Star leads with a neat pun: “Corb faces Jexit.” Corbyn is a “red man walking”.
On Page 9, the Star outlines the Brexit plan. Emily Thornberry may care to read it.
The Sun leads with news that Michael Gove is backing “tennis-loving” Boris Johnson to lead the Tories. The Sun mentions Johnson’s love of tennis in the second paragraph. Why? Is the Sun massively popular among tennis fans? The Tories are, of course. Tennis clubs are havens for solid Conservative supporters, as well as adulterers, sex maniacs and alcoholics who find golf too taxing. Doubt that? Just cop a load of Bozza’s bat.
Tom Newton-Dunn tells readers on Page 5 that one Tory has referred to Westminster as “a cluster of goat fuck with knobs on”. Can we get that in Latin and put it over the door?
On Page 7, readers see a picture of deputy Labour leader Tom Watson at a silent disco at Glastonbury. He’s dancing to his own tune that no-one else is listening to. Yeah, really.
The Daily Express tells readers, “Don’t panic! Why Brexit will be a breeze.” Passports, the pound, mortgages, savings, pensions and travel are all going to be sorted just fine. Crisis. What crisis? And one other thing: a butcher is now selling sausages in pounds and ounces. Metric is out! Imperial measures are in!
And so the the Mail, the paper that if any can claim it won it, won it. News is of a “plot to block Brexit”. Tony Blair, Nicola Sturgeon, a “senior German” and pro-Remain MPs plan to scupper Brexit. How? They hope there will be a general election before the formal process of quitting begins. Tony says there could be a second referendum. Nicola says the Edinburgh parliament could block Brexit. They hope the majority who wanted out will see that their voices are still not being listening to and vote in? Do we keep voting until we give the elites the answer they demand?
Over Pages 4 and 5, the Mail tells of “the day Labour imploded”.
On Page 6, we learn that Theresa May wants to beat Boris Johnson to the top Tory job. And on Page 11, George Osborne “breaks over to claim the City”.
Politics is big news. and the best bit is you can vote anyone you don’t like out at an election. Isn’t democracy great.
Having warned against a vote for Leave in the EU Referendum, the Mirror titles are in a dither. Do they: a) ignore the whole thing; b) try to beat UK leader Nigel Farage at his own game by whipping up fears over immigration, and in so doing connect with the paper’s readership whose vote for Labour was once a given?
The Sunday Mirror just goes with a):
Congratulations to Wales, which voted out of the EU and stayed in the Euros (source for joke: all papers). But what about those half a million desperate “migrants”? Well, the People seems unsure who they are: are they migrants or EU workers? And what of the number? A clue to how speculative it is comes in a further headline:
Brexit to cause immigration surge as 500,000 East Europeans ‘will rush in before borders close’
The inverted commas means it’s untrue. Fact is now opinion. Whose opinion becomes clear – and no, it’s not the Daily Express leader writer’s:
The warning was issued by former minister Phil Woolas who said ‘those who wanted to halt immigration will, perversely, cause the opposite’
Woolas is a former Labour MP. He says:
“Every time the UK Government announces a cap on immigration, thousands rush in before the deadline. Would-be immigrants see that the door is about to slam. So they bring forward their plans and a last-minute rush heads for the UK. In the Home Office, they call it the fire sale.”
So the paper’s headline figure is a guess based on the opinion of a former Labour MP. And what do we know of him? Well, the BBC reported in 2010:
Former Labour MP Phil Woolas has admitted defeat in his battle to overturn a court ruling which stripped him of his Commons seat. “It is the end of the road – I am out,” the former immigration minister said as he left the High Court. It means a by-election in his Oldham East and Saddleworth is likely soon. Mr Woolas narrowly won the seat in May but the result was declared void by an election court which ruled he had lied about his Lib Dem rival.
The specially convened election court ruled that comments in campaign material suggesting Lib Dem candidate Elwyn Watkins had tried to “woo” the votes of Muslim extremists, clearly amounted to an attack on his personal character and conduct. The court ruled he was guilty of breaching the Representation of the People Act 1983 and barred him from standing for elected office for three years, as well as fining him £5,000.
What the former Labour immigration minister says is now front-page news.
The Labour MP David Lammy MP wants Parliament to ignore the EU referendum result. He wants Parliament to go against the will of the people, the majority of whom voted for the UK to leave the European Union. The people who rejected the establishment, the liberal elite, the knowing celebrities, the multi-nationals, the doom-mongers and the bankers got it wrong, says Lammy, a member of a Party divorced from its once core vote. Says the self-regarding one:
Wake up. We do not have to do this.
We can stop this madness and bring this nightmare to an end through a vote in Parliament. Our sovereign Parliament needs to now vote on whether we should exit the EU. The referendum was an advisory, non-binding referendum. The Leave campaign’s platform has already unravelled and some people wish they hadn’t voted to Leave. Parliament now needs to decide whether we should go forward with Brexit, and there should be a vote in Parliament next week. Let us not destroy our economy on the basis of lies and the hubris of Boris Johnson.
He’s right. The European Referendum is non biding. The vote is not law. What it was was a free and fair vote on staying in or leaving the European Union. Lammy doesn’t much like the result. He says the people cannot be trusted to make the right decision. They made a mistake. So he wants them to be ignored. He wants change stopped.
A US readers has written in. He puts it well:
CONGRATULATIONS !!! Leaving the EU has been too long in coming. We have a similar situation here in the USA. For us Washington D.C. is about identical to the EU leadership with re: to their relationship with all the individual states. An entrenched cadre of infinitely corrupt career politicians control or try to control every aspect of our lives from fortress Washington D.C. just as the EU leadership has imposed their will on Great Britain and other EU member countries. The politicians keep getting richer while our middle class is dying along with many small towns all across our country. Our fast growing national debt tells the story. The politicians are spending money we don’t have to shore up their power. Anyway so very happy for your good fortune.
Lammy thinks you’re idiots. You are if you listen to him.
For those of you who missed the moment when Kerry and her family went to Thorpe Park, on June 6 the Daily Mail published 21 photos of Kerry and Molly on their family day out. The Mail announced in a headline: “Molly McFadden can’t hide her delight as she enjoys rollercoaster ride at Thorpe Park with her mother.”
Now on June 23, the Mail tells is readers, “It was only on social media that things escalated, with Molly being criticised for her weight and Kerry’s parenting skills called into question.”
Curse that social media for fomenting upset and those “vile” comments. It’s nothing like the, er, online Daily Mail, whereon you can read comments like:
Her daughter is seriously overweight, people get sensitive when it comes to weight and children – but her health is already at risk from a very young age. If anything she should take this as a wake up call.
Molly shouldn’t be in the papers- Kerry shouldn’t put herself in that position with her family.
A cruel, mean, bullying article very loosely & badly disguised as a ‘fun day out’ article.
You nasty cruel bunch. Publishing some unflattering images of a young girl, making out the story is all about her having a jolly day out. . Do you all feel better about yourselves now DM ? Having a rubbish Monday and thought you would have a laugh at a 14 year old girls expense ?! That’s plain Nasty
Nice to see her spending time with her daughters. She needs to keep an eye on Molly’s weight though.
Children don’t get to be that size when they’re happy so she’s comfort eating to deal with her issues and the blame for that lies squarely with her mother.
The little girl looks troubled
Those online trolls, eh.