Category Archives: Politics

Donald Trump In The Whitehouse: A Survivors Guide

Donald Trump is headed for the White House and for the second time in a matter of months the world is reeling from a vote that no-one expected. Trump’s victory in the U.S. presidential election is all the more cataclysmic because it is a result that was so unexpected. Admittedly the pollsters had been saying that the gap between Hillary Clinton and Trump was a narrow one, but few doubted that Clinton would carry the day. As the results emerged on Tuesday evening, and it became clear that Trump was set to pull off a staggering victory, there was a sharp intake of breath across the world.

Donald Trump In The White House: A Survivors Guide

 

Jeremy Corbyn Teaches Those Who Say He Doesn’t Have The Presence To Lead A Lesson

It won’t have escaped anyone notice that labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn has been under fire, not least by his own colleagues, over the past couple of weeks.  Corbyn isn’t a statesman they bleat.  Corbyn doesn’t have any credibility, he is not a leader they complain.  The truth is that many in the parliamentary labour party want a return to the Blair years, the years of “win at any and all cost.”

Blair cut out the heart of the Labour party by moving Labour to the right of the Thatcher Government.  Neoliberal policies, favouring the bosses over the workers was the central core of Blair’s plan for Labour.  It was Blair and Tony’s Crony’s who were largely responsible for me and many others losing faith in politics in general and in the Labour party in particular.

My cynicism led me to believe that Sir John Chilcott’s report into the Iraq war would prove to be yet another costly whitewash.  I did the man a disservice.  His report was a damning indictment of the Blair administration and he even went so far as to say that legal action against Blair and his cronies was not beyond the scope of possibility.

How the Labour rebels must have cringed today when Mr Corbyn handed them a lesson in statesmanship and humility.  Corbyn’s statement made it clear where the blame lay.  Firmly at the feet of the government he was part of.  Corbyn has always been a fierce critic of the war in Iraq but he stood and apologised to the British people and more importantly to the families of everyone killed in this atrocity.  Corbyn voted against the war and campaigned against it at every opportunity and yet he apologised on behalf of colleagues who took every opportunity to stab him in the back.

Corbyn was sincere, measured and dignified, his words heart-felt and genuine.  Corbyn did not throw insults or accusations as many had expected. Corbyn had just three hours to assimilate Chilcott’s findings but compare his performance with Blair’s crocodile tears.  Blair has had quite some time, arguably 13 years, to prepare for this moment.  Corbyn had three hours.

I struggle desperately to recall an occasion where a politician performed with more decorum that Corbyn did today.  I simply cannot remember one.

Corbyn does’t have what it takes to lead this country?  Don’t make me laugh! #KeepCorbyn

 

 

 

Does Kaley Cuoco Flag Controversy Give A Glimpse of Trumps America?

Big Bang Theory actress Kaley Cuoco offended many American’s on Independence Day when she posted a picture of her dogs laying on the Stars and Stripes. Kaley’s snap featured her three dogs sporting Stars and Stripes neckerchiefs whilst two of the pups sat on the flag which was spread out on the ground. Clearly Cuoco was trying to show her patriotism but Kaley totally failed to appreciate that many people would see the sight of dogs sitting on the American flag as a grave insult.
Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/3279594/does-kaley-cuoco-flag-controversy-give-a-glimpse-of-trumps-america/#9a6xxcmZPp9IjWWF.99

Could A Progressive Alliance Be The Way Forward For Jeremy Corbyn

A week is a long time in politics.  Since the announcement that the people of the UK voted to leave the European Union just a week ago we have seen the emergence of insidious opportunism in both of our main political parties.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been under attack by his own MP’s who overwhelmingly backed a vote of no confidence in their own leader.  On Thursday MP Angela Eagle found herself in a very awkward position.  As Eagle left her home in the morning she told waiting journalists that she would be making an announcement at 3pm.  It was widely presumed that she would mount a leadership challenge.

3pm came and went and Eagle found herself in a very difficult position.  Her Constituency Labour party made it clear that they back Corbyn and the signs are that the Labour membership has not weakened in its overwhelming support for Jeremy Corbyn.  As the weekend has arrived we have seen well supported events across the country in support of Jeremy Corbyn.  The fact is that Corbyn has overwhelming support among the membership, it is very doubtful that he can be unseated if he does not resign.

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Make no mistake, this attempted coup has nothing to do with Brexit.  The Tory mouthpiece newspaper The Telegraph reported two weeks before the referendum that Labour MP’s would attempt to remove Corbyn following the EU vote.  The assumption was that put under enough pressure Corbyn would fold and resign.  The man has shown he is made of the right stuff and stood firm.  The Parliamentary Labour Party have treated the party membership with absolute distain.  The membership have been branded as “lunatics” and Trotskyists by those who are supposed to represent them.

According to Sky News Corbyn is now ready to reach out to heal the rifts in the Labour Party.  In my view that would be a mistake.  I have no doubt that those who have betrayed both their leader and the membership would simply bide their time to backstab Corbyn at every opportunity.  I would like to see Corbyn take a different route, one that could deliver the new style of politics that Corbyn is desperate to see.

With so many of his own MP’s backstabbing him Corbyn is in a difficult position.  Those who walked out of shadow cabinet posts did so in a way calculated to cause maximum damage to Corbyn and the party.  These snakes must not be trusted again but that would potentially leave Corbyn in a position that he cannot assemble a full front-bench team.

C at Westminster_0

If Corbyn truly wants to change politics he has the chance to do so.  On Thursday the Green Party published an open letter to Corbyn inviting him to form a progressive alliance to fight against austerity.  I believe that this offers a unique opportunity.  Corbyn should appoint Green Party MP Caroline Lucas to environment and cherry pick talent from across the Lib Dem’s, SNP and Plaid Cymru to support his front bench team.

There is a real upside to this approach.  If all of the progressive parties agreed to stand a single candidate against the Tories we could wipe the tories off the political map.  A progressive alliance would certainly be a new type of politics.  Of course those who are wed to the partisan style of politics, the politics that fails to represent the views of the electorate.

I hope that Corbyn will stand strong and overcome the plot to destroy him, if he does he can change the face of politics in the UK for ever.

 

 

 

Why David Cameron’s Desperate 2015 Gambit Was Political Suicide

For many David Cameron will go down in history for all the wrong reasons. According to the Independent Cameron was the U.K.’s worst Prime Minister in over 100-years. Cameron’s decade long leadership of the Conservative party will soon come to an end and his legacy will be as the man who led the U.K. into walking out of the European Union. It is ironic that when Cameron took the leadership of the Conservative’s it was as a unifying force. Cameron was the man who could unite his party by answering the European question for once and for all. After announcing his resignation in the wake of losing the Brexit vote Cameron will doubtless be reflecting on the fact that he was the architect of his own destruction.
Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/3242624/why-david-camerons-desperate-2015-gambit-was-political-suicide/#B2vteXdfUYYlmsVE.99

Donald Trump: The Pantomime Villain Leading The World Towards Armaggedon

From the European side of the Atlantic it is easy to laugh at Donald Trump. In the U.K. people look at Trump and shake their heads in despair. Many in the U.K. see Trump as a xenophobic, racist manipulative liar. The truth is that if Trump had uttered his hate-filled rhetoric here in the U.K. he would be much more likely to be locked up that to be winning Republican party primaries. Many in the U.K. cannot believe that Trump, a man who has never held an elected office, could soon be the leader of the free world.

via Donald Trump: The Pantomime Villain Leading The World Towards Armaggedon.

Cassette Boy – Emperors New Clothes Rap.

You might not have seen this or even have heard about Cassette Boy.

I think it’s fair to say he is no fan of The Conservatives or the United Kingdom Independence Party.  He is therefore OK in my book.

His mash-ups are really very creative.  Check this out

Rozanne Duncan

UKIP Strike Again: Vile Racism On Show Once Again

Just yesterday I was attacked by a UKIP supporter for stating that UKIP are a party of the far right wing.  I responded with a lengthy blog post yesterday in which I pointed out a number of horrendous examples of racist, sexist and xenophobic comments by people highly placed in the party.

Today yet another example of the most vile form of racism in UKIP has emerged.  I shall say no more and I simply invite you to watch the video and make up your own mind.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/watch-ukip-councillors-vile-racist-5207521

Now to be fair to UKIP they have expelled this vile woman, Rozanne Duncan, but if people highly placed in the party feel that it is OK to share these views on a ‘fly on the wall’ TV documentary what do they say privately and what do their less highly placed supporters think?

I an absolutely dumbfounded to see that this woman claims that her comments were not racist!!

Nigel Farage

Nigel Farage: We Have A Few Idiots In Our Party

Seriously, this stuff defies belief.  UKIP Leader Nigel Farage is interviewed by James O’Brien on LBC Radio and is totally taken to pieces by O’Brien.

Issues discussed are a UKIP Councillor saying that “If we shoot one ‘Poofter’ the other 99 will decide that it’s not genetic”.  He then follows up with the story about the `UKIP small business advisor who ‘accidentally’ employed seven illegal immigrants.

You really should listen to this if you are considering voting for UKIP.

Je Suis Charlie

Charlie Hebdo: I Am Not Charlie And I Make No Apology For That

Earlier this week I sat horrified and appalled by the events that took place in Paris.  The barbaric murder of journalists, Police Officers and innocent bystanders cannot be excused by any sane and rational person and I most certainly do not intend to offer any excuses for the perpetrators of these truly horrific murders.

Today sees a million people come together in Paris in a show of ‘solidarity’, and over the past few days we have seen the hashtag #jesuischarlie go viral in a social media campaign that “Stands up for free speech.”  Politicians around the globe have rightly condemned the attacks and many have made their way to Paris today to support the protests against the killings.  Against this backdrop I and no doubt millions of people around the world are wondering where attacks of this nature leave us.

It isn’t difficult to come up with a huge list of atrocities that have been committed in recent times in the name of Islam.  9/11, 7/7, Peshawar, Madrid,  the list goes on and on.  The rise of Islamic State, the battle for Kobane, the rise of Boko Haram, the kidnap of 276 Schoolgirls, the slaughter of over 2000 people in Baga, Nigeria this week all issues that have us scratching our heads and wondering what to do to combat the threat posed by Islamist terrorism.

We hear much about the ‘War on Terror’ and just today we hear world leaders saying that we must step up our efforts in that direction.  We in the UK today have also heard that more funding must be directed to our secret ‘security services’ and that those organisations must be given still greater powers to spy on their own citizens.  I find this ever increasing erosion of my civil liberties deeply concerning.  I know for a fact that we have Police Officers trained to pick locks to gain access to suspects homes to place listening devices and spy camera’s, I know that tracking devices are attached to suspects cars.  I know that mobile and landline telephones are regularly listened to by Police.  I accept that the Police have to have a warrant before they can place these devices but if this is what is happening in Policing, how much more surveillance are  people subjected to by the secret security services.  As our civil rights are eroded as a response to the ‘War On Terror’ how much freedom will we have to give up in the name of security.  How far do we trust those who spy on us to use the information lawfully and reasonably?  I can only say that after some 29 years as a Police Officer I have no faith that the agents of state will act reasonably.  None!

Getting back to Je Suis Charlie, let me say that I am delighted to see so many turn out to support the families of those who were murdered.  I believe that response is right and proper and it may even provide a crumb of comfort to the families.  What I am less comfortable with is the groundswell that this in some way protects free speech.  I wonder!  Charlie Hebdo is portrayed as a satirical magazine.  Now as I understand it the magazine has attacked Islam, Judaism, the Catholic Church and just about everyone else in recent years.  I accept that as fact without argument.  I saw the argument put forward very forcefully today that this was OK because it attacked everyone equally.  This where my support evaporates.  This magazine has been Racist, Sexist, Anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, Anti-Catholic and insulting to just about  every race or creed.  The question I have to grapple with is this.  Is it acceptable to insult peoples beliefs so long as you insult everyone’s?  Not in my view, that sort of thinking is just bonkers in my opinion.

Of course being rude and insulting people or religion should not carry a death sentence.  It does however mean that I don’t want to be Charlie, thank you very much.  I have had more than enough religious hatred in my life growing up in N. Ireland.  It may be a cliche but hate breeds hate.

Je Suis Charlie

The thing that has been totally absent in the past few days is any meaningful analysis of the root causes of these atrocities.  It seems clear that for some reason young Muslim men, and increasingly young women and children, are all too easily radicalised.  What on earth induces a 10 year old child to strap a bomb to herself and to explode it in a market place killing herself and at least 19 others in Nigeria yesterday.  Perhaps Ironically this incident and the atrocity in Baga, Nigeria where over 2000 have been slaughtered by Boko Haram this week are almost totally unreported in the mainstream media.  This lack of coverage leads me to ponder why the murder of 17 people is more newsworthy than the murder of over 2000.  Is it because it place in Nigeria and the area is deemed too dangerous for journalists, is it because we find it so difficult and sensational that gunmen can walk into an office in a major European city and murder indiscriminately?  Is it because it is closer to home and that journalists see the murder of their colleagues as more important.  I genuinely have no idea.

Image: TOPSHOTS-FRANCE-ATTACKS-CHARLIE-HEBDO-SHOOTING

What does seem clear to me however is the elephant in the room.  That elephant is U.S., Nato & European policy in the Middle East.  There can be little doubt that the implementation of the ‘agreement’ of the formation of the state of Israel and western support for the jewish state caused a huge amount of resentment in many of the Arab States, there have been wars and conflict in the region ever since.  The unrest and radicalisation however seems to have accelerated significantly since the first Gulf War in 1990.  Since that time the terrorism has become the weapon of choice in the region.

Lets be clear, terrorism is the weapon of the weak, particularly of the weak who feel oppressed and aggrieved by stronger oppressors.  The first Gulf war was ostensibly prosecuted to liberate Kuwait after it was invaded by the larger and more powerful Iraq.  The liberation of Kuwait was undoubtably one of the primary objectives but it is widely accepted that Iraq’s actions could not be tolerated because it threatened the west’s oil interests.  Our reliance on oil meant that any action that threatened access to this increasingly rare resource could not be countenanced.  Ever since 1990 our policies in the region have become increasingly confusing with support for regimes seemingly changing on a whim.

What is absolutely beyond a shred of doubt is that the war on terror has cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in the Middle East and that the overwhelming majority of those killed are Muslim’s.  It seems to me that the killing of Muslims by Muslims or by coalition forces is either under-reported or not reported at all.  The Stop the War coalition reports on these issues today saying

“The same people responsible for the attacks in Paris are also responsible for much worse attacks on their fellow Muslims in countries like Yemen or Libya. Last week 37 police recruits were killed in a bomb at an academy near near Yemen’s capital city Sanaa, and dozens more injured.”

“Many people hearing about so-called western values ‘freedom’, ‘truth’ and ‘equality’ — now made so much of, following the Charlie Hebdo slaughter — will wonder what values it was that allowed Israel last Summer to bomb Gaza, causing the deaths of thousands of Palestinians. They will wonder about the torture by US forces at Abu Ghraib (cited as one reason for the ‘radicalisation’ of one of the Charlie Hebdo murderers). They will wonder about Guantanamo, extraordinary rendition, torture, and the other consequences of the war on terror that have caused such misery.”

“They must also wonder at the myopia which allows the absolutely correct condemnation of terrorist attacks in France but which seems to regard western bombings, drone attacks and the killing of civilians in occupied countries, as necessary if slightly distasteful activities, justified because they are carried out by nation states, rather than lone individuals.”

The sad fact is that terrorism is bred by oppression.  The oppressed can only attack nation states in a limited way such as we saw in Paris this week.  Charlie Hebdo may have been attacked because of their depiction of the prophet but the willingness of individuals to commit mass murder in this way is driven by something much deeper and much more difficult to understand and resolve.

I fear that the attacks in Paris will serve to stir up more anti Islamic feeling not only in France, where there have been numerous attacks on Muslims since the murders, but also in the UK.  I am certain we will see Nigel Farage and UKIP step up the anti-immigration rhetoric as we move closer to the forthcoming General Election.  We have already seen fascist group ‘Britain First’ step up their racist attacks.

As our political leaders gather in Paris today, along with the millions around the world, to mourn those so brutally murdered, I hope they will take a moment to reflect on how we have come to be where we are.  Our leaders have supported war after war in the middle east since 1990.  Rather than recognising that our reliance on oil puts us in an increasingly vulnerable position and instigating measures to reduce that reliance we seem more than willing to fight wars over what remains.  Reliance on oil cannot continue for ever, it is a finite resource.  Fighting over the last few drops will lead only to further conflict and more killing.

Those same leaders have to recognise that the ‘War on terror’ is a war that cannot be won militarily.  There is no military solution, as the British Army found out in Northern Ireland, you cannot fight an enemy that you cannot see.  Eventually attacks of the kind we saw this week erodes the will to fight and it must be acknowledged that Muslim Terrorists are often much more ruthless that The IRA.  The IRA wanted to walk away from their attacks, the radical Jihadist terrorist is not only prepared to die bringing terror they seem to welcome ‘martyrdom’ with open arms.

In conclusion I will return to my original point about Je Suis Charlie.  I fear that this has little to do with ‘freedom of speech’.  I fear that the solidarity expressed will lead to further demonisation of Muslims and even worse it presents the conditions for an anti-muslim backlash in Europe, something likely to cause yet more radicalisation.  The biggest tribute that could be paid to those who died this week would be for our leaders to begin the process of addressing the root causes that underly Islamic extremism.  For them to begin the process of finding a political solution that sees a fair settlement for all and that removes the sense of injustice and powerlessness that breeds terrorism.  Where that to happen I could then stand proudly and say Je Suis Charlie.

(AP Photo/Thibault Camus)