Thursday, 25 November 2004

Peter Hain recently claimed that Britain is 'safer' under Labour as they are the party making all of the 'anti-terror' policies. With that, he has brought the 'fear of terror' issue into party politics. When I first heard this I was slightly worried that the public would fall for it, but seeing views like this one on the BBC from members of the public are greatly reassuring.

The public isn't stupid enough to fall for this line - the tricks that Bush used to win the US election won't work here. Hopefully it will backfire and cost Labour votes when this extra coverage makes people realise that far from protecting us, Labour are simply trying to scare us into believing them. The Tories may be indignant, but they are no better with their support of ID cards and removal of other liberties. Only the LibDems seem to care about freedom these days, and hopefully the public will be aware of this come the election...

Tuesday, 23 November 2004

Anyone who saw the front page of race-hating bigot rag The Daily Mail today will have seen that a supposed 'terror plot' targeting Canary Wharf has been 'foiled'. Hmm. It is interesting that this has been revealed on the same day that the Queens Speech, outlining the beginnings of a police state as I mentioned yesterday, is taking place. This is a terror plot that has been revealed by 'a senior source', with no proof of any kind. Well, that's good enough for me!

Let's think... if this story was at all newsworthy is it at least possible that the government would capitalise on it a bit more, rather than just smugly sitting back and smiling at panic among Daily Mail readers. Anyway, The Register sums it up quite well.

Monday, 22 November 2004

Blunkett and the police state. Again.

By all rights you should be terrified by Blunkett's proposal to lock people up without trial, and secret trials without juries. No longer would the authorities need a court order to tap your phone - they can listen in whenever they like. Oh, did you mention something about not liking the government? Well, they will be quite entitled to come and lock you up with no evidence. Once there, good luck trying to get out! Without a jury your secret trial could be non-existent, since nobody will be allowed in and would just have to take your word for it.

Why should anyone who has done nothing wrong face this? This quote from Blunkett is scary: "We'd be able to use civil law, like anti-social behaviour orders, to say, 'If you step outside what we've precluded you from doing, if you, for instance, use this particular banking network... then we can move you from the civil into the criminal law', and then we can use the normal criminal justice process, " he said. OK, so if the government decides that I might be using the Internet to organise a group they don't like (for example), they can forbid me from using the Internet at all. If I then do so I can go to prison, despite being completely innocent!

I've never liked Blunkett. He's a power-crazed idiot who would seemingly have been rather at home serving under Hitler. I don't think that's over reacting. Anyone who know about how the Nazis gained control will be able to spot that the government is doing the same thing now. OK, they say 'Islamists' not Jews, but they have the same basic principles. There is a bogeyman out to get us, so we have to do dramatic things to save ourselves. Blunkett is a danger to you, me and society. The man must lose his seat at the next election even if the government stays in. The dead from two world wars didn't die so this fool could throw all of our freedoms away and create a police state.

Tuesday, 9 November 2004

The fallout from the US elections continues. I can't believe how many people justified voting for Bush because of his 'Christian values'. Hmm. Is it 'Christian' to be proud of a record as governor that saw a massive increase in the number of executions? Is it 'Christian' to invade a country and kill 100,000 people in order to get one man? Is it 'Christian' to screw over the poor so that you can give your rich mates tax cuts? Is it 'Christian' to not sign up to Kyoto or in fact pass any environmental legislation that would cost "even one American job"? I guess the bible has changed since I last saw it.

Beware of people who claim that the law needs more of a religious input. We might end up with a situation like those schools in America where teaching evolution is risky. Whether you agree with euthanasia, abortion, and all that stuff or not, we should be debating in terms of moral issues rather than religious ones. Otherwise where do we draw the line? And just whose religion do we follow anyway? Even the old and new testaments disagree on stuff. From an eye for an eye' to 'turn the other cheek', that's quite a different approach. The Old Testament is crap anyway. Even Jesus knew this, hence his one rule over all others - "Treat others as you would have them treat you". That's a rule we could all do with living by.

Thursday, 4 November 2004

Thank God for the serious papers

I thought that today's front cover of The Independent was brilliant. With just three words it said so much - classic newspaper journalism. However, the excellent stuff that is written in some of our papers is overshadowed by some of the lesser quality ones. Take a look at the front of some of the other papers on that link. Some of them completely fail to mention the US election! It's only one of the most important things to happen!

You have to despair sometimes that the most popular newspaper in this country is The Sun. To be fair to them they did actually mention the election (despite supporting Bush), but you can hardly call it an educational paper. I don't think there is anyone to blame for this really. It is a sad fact of life that some people are just selfish and don't really give a toss about anything outside their own lives, so what would they care about world news? Sure, they'll complain if petrol prices go up because of war, but they really couldn't care less about 100,000 dead civilians in Iraq or genocide in Rwanda.

It's not lack of education, poverty, or anything else that is to blame - morals are something that is intrinsic to the soul. The tabloids, with their stories about naked women etc, cater for this. They are not all bad of course - despite its faults, the Daily Mirror does try to actually show people what's going on. Even the Daily Mail and the rest of the right-wing press do try to inform, even if it is just to make its readers hate black people or whatever. Until people actually care about our world though, genocide, destruction of the planet and gross injustices will continue. There is no easy solution to this, and that is the depressing thing.

Wednesday, 3 November 2004


I can't quite believe the way the US elections have gone (barring a miraculous result in Ohio). Words fail me.This is a very dark day for the world indeed...

Tuesday, 2 November 2004

Fair play, Jeremy Hardy

I've always liked Jeremy Hardy. His 'Jeremy Hardy Speaks To The Nation' programme on Radio 4 is always amusing. It seems that he has upset Burnley council by suggesting that the BNP and their supporters to be shot. If you heard the programme you'll know that he didn't mean this literally and was making a comedic point about their opponents (although he doesn't like the BNP, obviously). Anyway, the council (which actually has BNP members) have decided to ban his show because of this.

I say 'well done' to Jeremy Hardy. The fact of the matter is that anything that upsets the BNP has to be a good thing, especially as (whether they admit to it in public or not), shooting is exactly the sort of thing that they'd like to do to anyone who isn't white. Reap as you sow, and all that.

Bin Laden tapes

Far from endorsing Kerry, Bin Laden's tape mainly criticised the corruption of the Bush administration. Unsurprisingly, what US viewers saw on television was a very edited version. Now I'm not saying that Bin Laden is a figure who should be believed, but why have CNN changed his words to involve Kerry when he didn't mention him at all? There is something fishy going on here. Read the link and make up your own mind...

American Election

Today is, as the front page of The Independent puts it, 'A day that will decide the fate of the world'. On the one hand we have a president who, if you put him in charge of, say, Russia instead of the US, would make a perfect Bond villain. Kerry isn't that great either if you want to be realistic - he still sticks to the American principles of the rich getting richer and the poor being denied healthcare etc. He is slightly less of a zealot when it comes to this though, and he appears to at least have a clue when it comes to foreign policy, so when it comes down to it he is the obvious choice.

Just how the whole election seems to be so close is something that wouldn't be believed if it wasn't actually happening. Under Bush the US has done from a massive trade surplus to an unsustainable deficit, and a general feeling of goodwill from the rest of the world that has turned to contempt, and sometimes hatred. At the same time he has made a select few Americans richer, at no benefit to majority. Just why do Americans seem to want to vote for him? The man is a fool, and the fact that this is clear to everyone apart from the people voting has to make them wonder if they're being fully informed by their media.

What it comes down to is the fact that a lot of Americans don't like to question that fact that they are 'right'. Consider the fact that even publishing a book from certain countries is illegal in the US (even if it was won top prizes). If some book was banned in Afghanistan by the Taleban you can bet that the US would be the first to complain. The same is true of their last election, where the result was decided by their 'supreme court' by judges strictly to their party lines. This was outrageous, yet somehow it stood. How can a country where the whole electoral system is so clearly broken and corrupt lecture other countries on what they should do?

I won't be surprised if Bush wins. You know what though? Maybe it's for the best. If Kerry wins he will no-doubt be blamed for the aftermath of Bush's actions. If Bush wins then he will pay the price for the last four years. Not only that, but the US will be so financially weakened and lose so much standing in the world that it might lose its superpower status. This might well be for the good of the world. It is only through co-operation that the world can move forward. The days of unilateralism are over. We must go forward with consensus or possibly face a period of fear, war and terror that we can't imagine.