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Saturday, 30 July 2011

"This England..."


Tower Hamlets

People may be forgiven for believing that there is a hidden agenda among many immigrants  to impose alien cultures, sometimes alien to their own, in ghettoised areas simply to impose their political will on British society.

Here we have another example. "You became a viper in our midst willing to go to as far as possible to strike at the heart of our system. You purport to be a British citizen but what you stand for is totally alien to what we stand for in our country. - Mr Justice Royce, jailing Bilal Ahmad at Bristol Crown Court.

This England never did, nor never shall,
Lie at the proud foot of a conqueror.
William Shakespeare"King John", Act 5 scene 7

Were it not so serious this might appear a sick joke given its hypocrisy. Thanks to Voice Of The Copts (see Blogs to the right) I picked up this video, Islamic Emirate Project, which claims to be the Muslim response to the tragedy in Norway by calling for the Sharia in Britain, Europe and the World. Dismissed as nutters, extremists often take matters into their own hands as demonstrated here with the declaration of Britain's first Sharia law zone. 

Dadaab, Kenya: Somalis Fighting For Survival

If anyone seriously doubts that there is a famine in Africa, MÉDECINS SANS FRONTIÈRES (MSF) have provided some powerful images from the Dadaab refugee camp here.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

The Murdoch Cameron show

Look where you will, despite the enormity of the famine in Africa and the tragedy in Norway, the Murdoch stories will not go away illustrating the seriousness of the problem for the Tories, the top two, Cameron and Osborne, in particular.

Every stone upturned produces further revelations about the extent of Murdoch's influence and the power wielded by his organisation in British politics but amongst all the stories emerging there can be few as devastating for the Prime Minister as the account from across the pond of 'The Cameron Collapse'.

There's more and more and yet more - money this time. Did I hear bankers mentioned?

Friday, 22 July 2011

Islamist deceit

Yesterday I referred to reports that militant Islamists in Somalia had agreed to lift restrictions to allow aid to get through to the starving. Not only has this been denied by the rebels but they have even rejected the UN's claim that there is a famine in the region.

How odd, then, that 'Islamic Relief' is not only one of the charities listed on the Disaster Emergency Committee's 'East Africa Crisis Appeal' but the same appeal is an option for giving on their own web site. However, caution is needed in giving directly to Islamic Relief amid reports that little aid if any gets through to non-Muslims. 

A report here (with pictures) on the 2.2 million starving Somalis the Islamist militants Al-Shabab claim do not exist. And they want to impose their ideology on the rest of us!! 
More here (video)
and here. Better dead than Christian aided apparently.
Finally, an excellent summary of the problem here - " 'The world should be ashamed' of Somalia crisis", a Today interview with Oxfam's Chief Executive, Dame Barbara Stocking.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

The dilemma of the Horn

From arms to famine.

International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell has described the response of other countries to the African famine crises as "derisory" but the scale of the problem is enormous and not limited to feeding the hungry.

Islamists in Somalia have agreed to lift restrictions to allow aid to get through but doubts inevitably remain leading to a crisis in charitable giving. With 57% of people believing overseas aid is wasted and stories of corruption with aid diverted or even used against our interests here and here the temptation to ignore requests to donate, eg, to DEC is becoming a problem

Despite the harrowing pictures it must be right to question a strategy that saves people in a time of crisis only to let them live a life of misery, often mercifully short. Misrule, the problem of piracyand the threat of militant Islamic expansion all need to be addressed to restore public confidence that their charity is not misused or abused.    

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Integrity today

"Let down" and "betrayed" by people they "trusted",
can't say anything, see anything, hear anything or do anything.
Aren't other people beastly! 

Room at the top?

Apparently not - except at the Met

In one of the closing questions from the Commons Culture and Media Select Committee (July 19), Rupert Murdoch was asked if he would take responsibility as Chairman and Chief Executive of News Corporation and resign in the wake of the phone hacking scandal that has rocked his media empire. His response was an emphatic 'No' on the grounds that he was the best person to clear up the matter. This was a far more robust response from someone who at first appeared to be a sad, tired, old man who needed the support of his son to get him through the ordeal. 

One was left wondering how this faltering old man who, according to Wikipedia, "was listed three times in the Time 100 as among the most influential people in the world. He is ranked 13th most powerful person in the world in the 2010 Forbes' The World's Most Powerful People list.[4] With a net worth of US$6.3 billion, he is ranked 117th wealthiest person in the world.[5]" could possibly run a worldwide organisation employing over 50,000 people and be courted by a succession of political leaders.

By contrast his son James talked a lot but said little. Over deferential, he twice complemented his interrogators on the quality of their questions but generally his answers were routine; it was before his time, he hadn't been told, or he would be happy to co-operate by seeking to provide the information sought by the committee. I doubt that the Home Affairs Committee Chairman Keith Vaz would have allowed Murdoch Jr to talk at such length while saying so little. 

The long pauses employed by Murdoch senior and the groping manner of his son first gave me the impression that they were wired into their legal team but perhaps it was all part of the planned response. After sitting through all the evidence the only real excitement came when a protester hit Murdoch senior in the face with a shaving-foam pie, receiving a right hook from the much younger Mrs Murdoch for his trouble. 

Much later than expected Rebekah Brooks was called to give evidence but I was left none the wiser whether all three senior managers of the most influential media empire were completely ignorant of malpractice within their own organisation or whether their briefings were such that they simply managed to give nothing away. For an organisation that prided itself on exposing wrong-doing they failed to notice it in their own organisation. Earlier in the day, we heard the observation in response to evidence from the Metropolitan police to the Home Affairs Select Committee, that the Met and the News of the World were on a merry-go-round with the Met employing ex-NoW journalists and Met officers working for News Corp.

Next it is the turn of the Prime Minister to explain why, contrary to all the advice given to him, he employed Chancellor George Osborne's choice of ex-NoW editor Andy Coulson as his spin doctor. Will he will be as ignorant as the rest of them? Deceived, sorry and bewildered as characterised by Murdoch senior: “I feel that the people I trusted, I don't know at what level, let me down and I think they behaved disgracefully, betrayed the company and me and it's for them to pay. I think that frankly I'm the best person to clear this up.” Hmmm!


A report on the Home Affairs Select Committee conclusions can be read here.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

So what will be under the next stone?

Those at No 10 are now saying that the Met's Chief has questions to answer following revelations concerning their involvement with the Murdoch empire.  Earlier it was those in No 10 who had questions to answer following accusations of lack of judgement by the Prime Minister. As each side blames each other the size of the web is seen to be ever wider.

The performance of senior police officers before the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee was a revelation in itself with all the blame for the problem being heaped on News Corp's unwillingness to be co-operative, an interesting testimony from senior police officers charged with upholding the law. The evidence of former Assistant Commissioner Andy Hayman who went on to be employed by News Corp as a journalist was delivered in a manner which I thought ignorant if not contemptuous. From talking with others I gather I was not alone in wondering how he managed to get employed at all let alone rise to Assistant Commissioner given the manner of his delivery in response to the Select Committee's genuine concerns. 

Every stone turned reveals yet another Murdoch link so how was the lid kept firmly on the story for so long? Reading this special report on how things were run in the News of the World shows that screwing information out of anybody in any circumstances at any cost was the name of the game. The willingness of journalists to invade the private lives of politicians and others enabled News Corp to impose their view with impunity advancing their own cause whether or not it was in our best interests. 

Many MPs and journalists now claim to have been unhappy with the situation but without the dogged persistence of the Guardian, a couple of MPs and the private actions of victims, no doubt we would have seen the BSkyB bid waved through enabling Murdoch's empire to tighten its grip even more on our apparently impotent politicians. All credit to them for their persistence.

Friday, 15 July 2011

"Here is the News." - Just!

Joy of joys! Whilst making no comment on the justification of the journalists' dispute, today I was granted what I have long yearned for; the news just as it is, not presented by 'personalities' projecting their own particular touch like 'gesticulating' George or 'the tigress' Bruce. I could go on but you should get my drift.

I have never understood why two readers have to take turns to read bits of the news in the morning while managing quite adequately alone later in the day. And why, for example, does the 'Royal Correspondent' have to be standing in front of Buckingham Palace? Can it really help anyone to understand the story as they watch the traffic moving in front of the palace?

The news is the news, why tart it up? In doing so the accustomed formula is to progress from the sombre look of the initial tragedy, through the  self-satisfied, 'I-am-doing-this-remarkably-well' mid-section to the customary 'Cheshire cat' sports grin, and the final pre-weather report chuckle. Doubtless the BBC needs to save money and today we have witnessed plenty of opportunities for savings before cutting the influential World Service. God knows we need as many friends as we can get. With reports of 'stars' such as Kate Silverton, "thought to be one of 33 stars on £250,000-£500,000", for reading the news, there must be ample scope for savings by simply by employing someone to do just that. 

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Feed my sheep!

St. Peter must be turning in his grave! The closing message of the York Synod is that "the Church of England could be virtually extinct in 20 years as elderly members die". We have also been told that "Christians should learn from Muslims how to exist as a 'minority' culture in British cities dominated by immigrants"!  

How does the church hierarchy feel about what they have done? Bending over anyway necessary to accommodate anything but the traditional Christian faith, "feed my sheep" has been replaced by 'shepherd please thyself' as the Anglican church becomes ever more secular by the day. So much for the ordination of women, sexual freedom and all the other politically correct introductions that have relegated traditionalists to the awkward squad.

However bad it looks in England though it is much worse in Wales based on this piece news I received:

 "Since Wales has neither a Provincial Episcopal Visitor (PEV) or Provincial Assistant bishop (PAB), and the Mission Society of Saint Wilfrid and Saint Hilda (SSWSH) is based on a society model centred on the PEVs, it would appear that, contrary to the expectations of the remnant Anglo-Catholic faithful who look to Credo Cymru for support, SSWSH will have no mission agenda in Wales. Indeed when asked specifically at a SSWSH gathering to clarify this point it was suggested that SSWSH would only work in the CofE. The liberal Bench of Bishops in Wales are adamant that, being all things to all people, they are able to cater for the diverse needs of their church, so they will not permit the English PEVs to cross the border to administer the sacraments of Confirmation and Ordination. Consequently, there is no episcopal bed rock for the society model in Wales. Those traditionalist Anglicans in Wales who were pinning their hopes on being Credo-SSWSHed had better read the small print; it seems that by not appointing a replacement PAB the Bench have Credo-swotted them!"

 Following a recent protest against the closure of a church in the Rhondda, Archbishop Morgan complained that he could be accused of 'being a tyrant'. I have seen no evidence so far that it has previously bothered him. So it is to be lambs to the slaughter rather than feed my sheep. How long I wonder before a bishop recommends paying jizya for the privilege of living among our immigrant population? 

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

The Life of Muhammad

Reading a preview of last night's 'The Seeker', part 1 of BBC2's presentation The Life of Muhammad, I was surprised to read, "Perhaps owing to the sensitivity of the subject matter, the BBC were unable to provide preview tapes of this new three-part series presented by Rageh Omaar (above) which charts the life of Muhammad, messenger and final prophet of God worshipped by a billion-and-a-half Muslims across the globe. (My emphasis).

Messenger and final prophet of GodThat bald statement implies a credibility not shared by Christians but how will others interpret it? What was actually said in the programme was that "for one-and-a-half billion Muslims, he is the last and greatest of that long line of prophets who have brought the word of God to humanity." Claimed to be "in the top three of world leaders" who "began a mission to give light to the world", one suicide bomber in the programme was able to claim that his martyrdom was "obedience to the one true god, Allah, following in the footsteps of the final prophet and messenger." It will be interesting to see in the remaining episodes how the prophet Muhammad is presented as "the ultimate role model".

As a Christian I find the implication offensive that Muhammad was the last in a line of Jewish prophets of which Jesus was just another. It was Jesus who said, "I am the light of the world" and "beware of false prophets". But there will be no outcry. No people on the streets. No book burning. That is in line with 'love your enemy' but what is the Anglican Church doing to address these issues? Not a lot. Not for the first time a Jew points the way!

Monday, 11 July 2011

Chicken and foul egg

Despite News Corp's 'bad egg' image, the PM is
reported to have chickened out of asking Murdoch
to withdraw his BSkyB bid.


Shallow is the word that springs immediately to mind.

Kick the ball into touch until it becomes yesterday's news in six months time or so, perhaps closing his remaining titles in the meantime, then throw him the much more profitable BSkyB prize. Who is running Britain? Murdoch!

Saturday, 9 July 2011

That was 'The News' that was...

As the News of the World closes after publishing for 168 years, it says much for our electoral system, and even more for the electorate, that our leaders felt the need to suck up to a man such as this

And he still expects to takeover BSkyB! Not if 38 Degrees can help it! You may care to sign their petition.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Sanitary reminder: Water Aid's Loo Queue Petition

On 17 June I blogged on the plight of the 40% of the world's population who do not have access to adequate sanitation. We take it for granted; others pray for it.

There is still time to sign the petition - by 7 July 2011. Thanks.