Saturday, 28 March 2015

Islam's false "victim-hood" and the anti-imperialist "left"

A story caught my attention in the London Evening Standard on the way home from work last night. It referred to one of the parents of the "Jihadi Brides" that have been in the news of late. Ben Morgan reports:

The father of one of the three runaway "jihadi brides" marched at a flag-burning rally led by hate preacher Anjem Choudary, it has emerged.

Abase Hussen, whose daughter fled east London with two school friends to join Islamic Stae militants was filmed chanting "Allahu Akbar" alongside a sign reading "The followers of Mohammed will conquer America" according to the Daily Mail"

This from a man who told a Parliamentary sub Committee that the Police, Turkish authorities and everyone else as to blame for his daughters "plight".

Smoke & Mirrors methinks.

Attending one of Choudary's hate rallies is not normal activity for anyone, let alone a parent who claimed not to understand how his daughter became radicalised.

The Mail runs this as it's lead story today and guess what. Mr Hussen employed a somewhat "radicalised lawyer. The Daily Mail reports:

Tasnime Akunjee has gone on record in the past to declare that no Muslim should co-operate with the British police force because the Government’s Prevent counter-terror policy is ‘straightforward, paid-for spying on the community’.

He once asked in an internet rant: ‘Does she [Home Secretary Theresa May] have Nazi blood in her veins?’

Imagine the furore if someone had insulted a Muslim leader in the same vein.

The wider public might not have heard of Mr Akunjee until now but behind his self-righteous performance in the Commons, behind his fancy legal credentials, behind his respectable upbringing (his father and two younger brothers are all doctors), is an individual with links to what some might describe as the ‘who’s who’ of Islamic extremists in Britain.

As far as I'm concerned the "Islamists" ARE the new Nazi's and should be treated as such, not that the so called "anti-imperialist" left are much better.

The recent furore over the mass murderer Jihadi John created by an unsavoury alliance of Cage and Counterfire (a breakaway from the Socialist Workers Party) shows what not just a nonsensical but down right evil world some of these people live in.

Hearing followers of the religion of peace intolerance calling a murderer a "beautiful man" and being supported in this by John Rees not just a Counterfire member but a leader of the misnamed Stop the War Coalition disgusts not just me but the vast majority of decent people in this country.

But there are others. We all know that the SWP slavishly follows Islamism and describes any criticism of their religion (even from atheists) as "Islamophobic" but in the new Left Unity "party" there is a chap called John Tummon who has become notorious for trying to describe ISIS as an "anti-imperialist" movement. He's now part of the LU leadership.

If anyone is in any doubt about the fascist, genocidal and Islamic imperialist nature of ISIS they should watch the Unreported World documentary on Kobane and the Kurds broadcast on Channel 4 last night (it should be on-line by now).

The fact is Islamism breeds on unjustified "victim-hood" and far too much time is spent placating them rather than opposing them in defence of human rights which the left is supposed to be about.

Trouble is blinkered the blinkered ideology of "anti-imperialism" has become one of appeasement to the rise of the new fascism.

Most of the left can no longer be trusted.

Neither can today's student activist generation who are too busy either ignoring hate preachers on campus in case they upset "Muslim students" and ignore the rights of women, gays and frankly everybody else from this far-right ideology.

Still the student comrades can either wave "jazz hands" or hide in one of their "safe spaces watching videos of puppies (I do not jest this happens in one American University) whilst the new Nazi's grow.

There needs to be a "new left". One that ditches the failed ideologies of the last two centuries and moves forward with human rights, free speech and secularism as it's creed.

The old left has failed. Lets build a new one.

Let the works of Marx Trotsky & Lenin, Chomsky and all the rest collect dust on the shelves. We need new thinking.


Friday, 27 March 2015

“Sodomite Suppression Act” proposed by US Christian lawyer

Cross-post from the National Secular Society

A California lawyer has proposed a "Sodomite Suppression Act" and warned of "God's just wrath" should the state of California not put homosexuals to death.

The lawyer who is proposing the legislation, Matt McLaughlin, says "buggery" and "sodomy" are an "abominable crime against nature" and a "monstrous evil that Almighty God, giver of freedom and liberty, commands us to suppress on pain of our utter destruction".

McLaughlin is calling for homosexuals to be executed "by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method."

The Sodomite Suppression Act warns that "any person who willingly touches another person of the same gender for purposes of sexual gratification be put to death" and that no person may "distribute, perform, or transmit sodomistic propaganda."

It adds: "Sodomistic propaganda is defined as anything aimed at creating an interest in or an acceptance of human sexual relations other than between a man and a woman. Every offender shall be fined $1 million per occurrence, and/or imprisoned up to 10 years, and/or expelled from the boundaries of the state of California for up to life.

"No person shall serve in any public office, nor serve in public employment, nor enjoy any public benefit, who is a sodomite or who espouses sodomistic propaganda or who belongs to any group that does."

The proposal contains a clause that the law may not be invalidated "until heard by a quorum of the Supreme Court of California consisting only of judges who are neither sodomites nor subject to disqualification hereunder.

"Seeing that it is better that offenders should die rather than that all of us should be killed by God's just wrath against us for the folly of tolerating-wickedness in our midst, the People of California wisely command, in the fear of God, that any person who willingly touches another person of the same gender for purposes of sexual gratification be put to death by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method."

McLaughlin must now collect over 350,000 signatures for his proposed ballot initiative in order for it to actually appear on the ballot paper. However, the California Attorney General is seeking permission from a state court to reject the proposed initiative.

There is currently a petition with over 51,000 signatures to have McLaughlin disbarred by the California Bar Association, in response to his voter initiative.

Whilst this proposal is almost certain not to be seen by voters on the ballot paper in 2016, it is not the only piece of anti-LGBT legislation currently being discussed.

Indiana has recently passed a 'religious freedom' bill that would allow discrimination against homosexuals. The American Civil Liberties Union said the legislation appears "to invite the use of religion to discriminate, including on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity."

The Belfast Telegraph compared the legislation to the 'conscience' bill in Northern Ireland that is being pushed by the DUP, in response to the Ashers bakery case, which is currently being heard in court.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

A Life of Brian moment in Bermondsey

Left Unity  Bermondsey Republican Socialists

The new political formation that laughingly describes itself as Left Unity is taking tentative steps into electoral politics. But in the usual Life Of Brian fashion not all is going well even on the micro-scale that the comrades are operating.

One small problem has arisen in the constituency of Bermondsey, the seat occupied by David Hughes and where Peter Tatchell makes his name way back in the unsavoury eighties when homophobia was quite open and rabid. He was described as an "Australian Poof" by one leading Labour Party member whose name escapes which is probably best.

But I digress.

Now there is a small organisation that most of you may not have heard of. They are called The Republican Socialist Party and are led by a certain Steve Freeman whose politics (as far as I can be bothered to ascertain) are summed up thus: "In order for socialism to succeed the bourgeois revolution must be completed first".

Hence republicanism as a, nay central precept for any "socialist" organisation". The abolition of the Monarchy and the creation of a republic. Trouble is there aren't many takers amongst the "bourgeoisie" for Republicanism. Constitutional monarchy seems to suit most people. Even most of the working class aren't much bothered by calls for the abolition of the monarchy.

But never mind. Comrade Steve Freeman the cults leader has a cunning plan. He's going to stand for parliament in Bermondsey as a republican socialist candidate and remind the masses about the betrayal the "45%" feel in Scotland about being "cheated out of independence". He's even called on the radical Independence Network for "backup".

Not sure exactly how that will motivate the voters of the London Borough of Bermondsey but I'm sure Comrade Freeman has the interests of the workers at heart.

Trouble is in order to do this he has to stand against Left Unity of which he also happens to be a member. They have different plans apparently and these don't include running poor Steve as their candidate.

Kate"CND" Hudson has written to comrade Freeman sternly:

I am writing to inform you that your intention to stand as a candidate in a constituency where Left Unity is standing a candidate is incompatible with Left Unity membership.....

I urge you to withdraw your candidacy and support the ‘Left Unity - Trade Unionists and Socialists’ candidate, Kingsley Abrams, who has been endorsed by Southwark branch and Left Unity national council.

If you persist with your candidacy, I advise you to resign from Left Unity. If not, I will pursue withdrawal of your membership with the appropriate party bodies.

That's not acceptable to "our Steve" who rants:

Thanks for your letter (March 20 2015) advising me of the intention to expel me if I do not stand down in favour of a Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidate. I will not be standing down...

If Tusc does well in the election, this will make the Tusc-LU merger which is now on the cards more or less inevitable. The expulsion of a republican socialist from LU, combined with the dominance of the lash-up between the SP-SWP and RMT bureaucracy is the death knell for LU as an independent party. All the votes that pile up for Tusc nationally and in Bermondsey are but fuel for a funeral pyre for LU.....

The plan to expel me from LU is, thus, a curious combination of political ignorance, gross stupidity and the behind-the-scenes manoeuvrings of dark forces.

No he doesn't mean the Romans (I think), he's referring to Socialist Resistance another tiny group that has weaselled it's way in the faction driven Left Unity "party".

Personally I think he should just shout "splitters".

Answers on a post card as to why the far-left are incapable of ever achieving anything.

Like, ever.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

NUS Womens Conference: No wonder they call it TWITter

nus women

Mary had the right response!

However the TWITters at NUS are encouraged to use "Jazz hands" (WTF?)

original complaint nus women

Jazz hands? Only the Black & White Minstrels come to mind. Not very PC I'm told!

Actually I've had my anxiety raised by the same conference debating a motion to abolish the Industrial prison complex". Apparently Prison is about "punishment" (who knew). 

So let's not put all these muggers, thieves, rapists and murderers in prison. Just give them a good telling off and a book on political correctness to read eh comrades?

And they worry about clapping?

I'd tell these individuals they are deranged, but it'd probably make them anxious.

Poor souls. How will they cope outside the hallowed corridors of higher education in the real world.

Big hat/tip to: The Backbencher

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

The dark side of multiculturalism

For some reason there seem to be double standards applied to freedom of speech when it comes to Islamists and those who oppose them even if they are former Muslims themselves.

Or "Apostates" as Islam describes them.

Take this report from the Irish Independent:

Iranian-born Maryam Namazie was due to give a talk to the Society for International Affairs on Monday on ‘Apostasy and the rise of Islam’ but decided to withdraw from the event after college security imposed “certain conditions”.

“I’ve just been informed… that college security (why security?) has claimed that the event would show the college is ‘one-sided’ and would be ‘antagonising’ to Muslim students,” she wrote on her blog.

Ms Namazie, who is from a Muslim background but stopped practising the religion several years ago, said she would not do the talk "since such conditions are not usually placed on other speakers.”

“I was told that two conditions were required for the event to go ahead; one, that it only be open to students of the college, and two, that there would be a moderator to chair the talk”.

Speaking to, Ms Namazie said she decided against speaking because “such conditions had not been placed on other speakers.”

Last month preacher Sheikh Kamal El Mekki was invited to Trinity College in an event co-hosted by the TCD Muslim Student Association (MSA) and the Irish branch of the AlMaghrib Institute.

His visit to the university was controversial because, in the past, the scholar has explained why apostates should get the death penalty and why the punishment of stoning exists for adultery.

Double standards. Actually no standards would be a better way of describing the University's actions.

As Ayaan Hirsi Ali puts it in the Huffington Post

"Instead of contorting Western intellectual traditions so as not to offend our Muslim fellow citizens, we need to defend the Muslim dissidents who are risking their lives to promote the human rights we take for granted: equality for women, tolerance of all religions and orientations, our hard-won freedoms of speech and thought.

"Multiculturalism should not mean that we tolerate another culture's intolerance. If we do in fact support diversity, women's rights, and gay rights, then we cannot in good conscience give Islam a free pass on that spurious ground."

Spot on I'd say!

But I'll leave the last words on this to Pat Condell who has a thing or two to say to the so-called "progressives" on the left who ignore these issues.

Monday, 23 March 2015

The Putinisation of Israel

Cross-post by Eric Lee


In a sense, not much changed in the Israeli elections of 2015, despite media reports of a “landslide” victory for incumbent Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

The country is still almost equally divided between Left and Right. The parties of the Zionist Left (Labour and Meretz) have seen their combined vote steadily increase over the last three elections, from just 16 Knesset seats (out of 120) to 21, and now to 29. The voting strength of the Arab parties is larger than ever, with a single united bloc now holding 13 seats, a record result.

The main parties of the Right (Likud, Jewish Home and Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beitenu) grew by just a single seat, from 43 to 44. The difference though is that while previously Likud held just 18 of those seats, it now holds 30 – and the other two Right parties dropped by 11 seats.

The two ultra-Orthodox parties lost a considerable amount of support, dropping from 18 to 13 seats.

It almost sounds like I’m describing a win for the Left, but of course it will not be the Left forming the government – it will once again be Netanyahu.

The reason for this is that a coalition of the Right parties, the ultra-orthodox and one of the centre parties (the new party Kulanu, headed by former Likud minister Moshe Kahlon, which won 10 Knesset seats), allows for a majority government headed by Netanyahu.

So while the Left grew, it did not grow by enough, and things will stay pretty much the same. Except for one thing – Israeli politics changed, and changed for the worse, in this campaign. The change can only be described as the “Putinisation” of Israel.

In the course of an election campaign which saw Netanyahu struggling to survive, and only days before the election facing near-certain defeat, the Israeli Prime Minister used a number of tactics which seemed to have been inspired by the Russian President.

He made an election issue of the role of “foreign money” in Israeli politics and was particularly concerned with “foreign-funded” non-governmental organisations (NGOs). This is not new; the Israeli Right has long been concerned about groups which promote, among other things, human rights for Palestinians. But Netanyahu embraced it, focussing in particular on V15, a non-partisan NGO that campaigned for his defeat. In a post-election interview with MSNBC, Netanyahu continued to allege that “tens of millions” of dollars were spent by shadowy foreign sources to topple him.

This of course has been central to Putin’s rule, and the Russian President has long alleged that any and all democratic revolutions that take place in Russia’s “near abroad” such as Georgia and Ukraine are almost by definition foreign-funded plots. This is not unique to Putin; other dictators such as Sisi in Egypt have similarly cracked down on NGOs that receive foreign money. What is unusual is for this to be a central issue in Israeli politics.

Putin came to power at a time when Russia was experiencing a flowering of freedom of expression, with a number of independent newspapers and television stations, many of which have since been shut down. Media loyal to the regime dominates and dissident voices are heard only with difficulty. Israel, on the other hand, has long been seen as an oasis of press freedom in the desert of a region dominated by dictatorships of various kinds. Newspapers like Ha’aretz have long played the role of critics of Israeli governments and critical voices could be heard on television and other media as well.

But taking another page from Putin’s book, Netanyahu has tried to clamp down on the Channel 10 television station which was seen as hostile to his rule, and with the financial backing of an American gambling tycoon, funded his own free daily newspaper to rival the established ones which were seen as too critical of his policies. Chief among these is the daily newspaper Yediot Ahronot, which faces both a commercial and political challenge from the free paper. Following the election, Netanyahu’s supporters were quick to take to the airwaves to protest how the mainstream media covered the Prime Minister with none-too-subtle hints that something needed to be done to reign in excessive criticism of the country’s leader.

Like Putin, Netanyahu’s strong point is that he’s seen as “Mr Security” – someone who will stop at nothing to defend the country. Both Putin and Netanyahu have made much of the Islamist threat, and both have expressed concern that the West doesn’t understand that threat as well as they do. In the case of Putin, it’s the Chechens and their allies in the North Caucasus. In Netanyahu’s case, it’s Iran, Islamic State, Hamas and Hizbollah. Netanyahu campaigned on the issue of the Islamist threat to the exclusion of everything else. Social and economic issues played little role in his campaign. Like Putin, who’s proud of his KGB past, Netanyahu still trades on his youthful exploits as a member of an elite unit in the Israeli army.

Most shamefully, in the final hours of the campaign, Netanyahu launched a racist tirade against “busloads of Arabs” who dared to vote. He called upon his supporters to rush to the polls, otherwise the Left might come to power. Putin too has encouraged anti-Muslim racism and xenophobia in general as a way of keeping Russians united around his rule.

As Putin grew stronger and more popular, he refused to debate his opponents and preferred to delegitimise them, and in some cases jail them or kill them. Netanyahu refused to debate his main rival, Yitzhak Herzog of the Labour Party, and uses every opportunity to delegitimise the opposition.

The parallels between the two leaders are striking, Right down to some details. Putin, for example, has found an admirer in washed-up “actor” Steven Seagal, star of such forgettable films as “Under Siege”. Putin and Seagal apparently share a love of martial arts.

Netanyahu’s B-movie actor is Chuck Norris, star of “Walker, Texas Ranger” whose video message supporting the Likud leader was promoted to the world through the Prime Minister’s official Twitter feed.

Blaming foreign-funded NGOs for stirring things up, accusing his opponents of disloyalty, threatening independent media, and so on are all tactics Netanyahu has adopted from Putin. This is not good news for Israel.

While at the moment the country remains a democracy (except in the occupied territories), with a lively free press, that could begin to change. Netanyahu would still like to close down Channel 10, to intimidate newspapers like Ha’aretz and Yediot Ahronot into silence, and to cut off foreign money that might be funding NGOs he doesn’t like.

Faced with those possibilities, the Israeli Left needs to be thinking how to cope with an increasingly authoritarian leader who’s learning from Putin’s book. Normally one would turn to see what the Russian democrats and dissidents have been doing, but there’s no success story to report.

It’s up to the Israeli Left and their supporters abroad to develop a strategy to block any attempts by Netanyahu to undermine Israel’s democracy. Netanyahu’s victory is widely being interpreted as a gift to those supporting a boycott of Israel, and the growth of the BDS campaign which will almost certainly result from this will not make the work of the Israeli opposition any easier.

There is no road map to block Putinism. And there are no short cuts. The fight will be a long and hard one, which the Israeli Left can win – but they cannot win it alone.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Unite: McCluskey prepares to move to the far-left


Britain's largest union is in two news stories this weekend as Len McCluskey ups the ante in advance of the general election as reported on the Unite website:

Such are Unite’s concerns, the union’s executive is recommending to members that the words “so far as may be lawful” are removed from the rules governing the union’s actions in recognition that a Tory government will introduce laws to prevent working people mounting a decent defence against employer abuse.

In a far reaching speech covering the journey from the Margaret Thatcher’s assaults on unions to the present day, whereby a single judge can deny hundreds of workers the ability to take lawful industrial action mandated by legal ballots, Len McCluskey warned that the fundamental human right to strike is “hanging by a thread”.

Emphasising that Unite is committed to operating effectively within the law, he says that the time has come to ask “can unions stay within the law any longer?” .......

“These words will go not because we are anarchists, not because we are suddenly planning a bank robbery - but because we have to ask ourselves the question, can we any longer make that commitment to, under any and all circumstances, stick within the law as it stands?

A challenge that will add to Mr Miliband's difficulty in getting elected. 

And McCluskey's not exactly helping much there either. 

According to the Sunday Times today (no link£):

The general secretary of Unite will move to sever the unions links with the Labour party within weeks if Ed Miliband loses the election according to an insider.

Unite, Labour's biggest donor, will hold a rules conference that would re-write it's constitution so that it can support other parties instead.

McCluskey will back the change if Miliband fails to make it to No 10, the source predicted.

Such short sighted sectarianism all resulting from the Falkirk clash could seriously damage the unity of the Labour & Trade Union movement in this country for years to come.

These proposals come at a time when far-left forces are already disrupting a number of trade unions most notably the nearly bankrupt civil service union PCS.

Such ultra-leftist posturing could be the key Serwotka and his Socialist Party cronies need to get the merger they want through conference.

Mcluskey the Marxist is playing a dangerous game. 

Labour supporters should ensure this nonsense is beaten off and act now, not just at Unite conference this summer.