Saturday, October 01, 2005

Some great stuff on the web.

Had some peace and quiet, and no eye strain- and no major deadline; and the result was I spent a while actually surfing the web and reading some stuff (following up some stories), and checking my links- and it was great.

This post, therefore, could go in a variety of directions, but as I'm just calming down from being greatly tickled by something Barry Beelzebub said, I'll link there first. B.B. is going to be one of the biggest British blogreads, if he sticks around and doesn't greatly prefer venting through his local newspaper columns. He just has a satirist's gift for pith. Thus, talking about the girls who claim they've been assaulted while drunk, he says:

'What these girls are really reporting is not assault but regret.'

And aint that the truth?

Staying with British blogging, I found that this rang true for me, and reflects a considerable malaise in British society. Paul Marks talks about a conversation overheard on a train (trains, in my view, are not so much ways of getting from A to B as they are cultural and civilised leisure facilities- which of course is why they are endangered- acknowledging of course that there are those who rely on them in daily life, with catastrophic effects for their household budgets and blood pressures). The conversation was between two academics from Nottingham University and basically what emerged was what frauds today's academics in the UK are: idle, lacking intellectual curiosity, even dishonest. I say 'in the UK' but actually I think it's a little more universal than that. I've always found myself very comfortable with the atmosphere in any university where I've spent time (including several outside the UK)- and that's how I know they're morally wrong. No place that makes me feel so comfortable can be a real benefit to society (er,- updating hastily-, not that I find myself at home in dishonest company, but intellectual dishonesty is generally quite pleasant for those on the inside; or those temporarily accepted by it).

Another reason for surfing the web is that there's so much going on which, for good or ill, is important.

I came across some fascinating stuff surrounding the Conservative leadership campaign via the EURef blog- stuff with which I actually agree. According to the Daily Telegraph, that makes me a 'right-winger'. Yay- at last I know for sure. The interesting essays from 'Right-wingers' include some I'd almost be happy to sign a petition for- but I suspect I'd want to tease out the details. That's why it's troubling that the Conservatives are so weak just now- there's not room for that debate when things are in the broadbrush phase (still).

Finally (I think), but most important, thanks to A Tangled Web I noticed what John Dugard- special 'rapporteur' from the UN to the so-called occupied territories- said about a single (Palestinian) state solution to the conflicts there. It only backs up other things he's said.

Something else I noticed also interested me though (something I picked up at the Jerusalem Post)- that was Kim Howells' response to Israel's recent actions in retaliation to shelling from Gaza. It's quite different to Dugard's tack. Howells says:

'"I thought the retaliation this week was proportionate," said Howells about the IDF operations. "The [Palestinian] attack was a very serious one, it could have killed a lot of people. It's a miracle really there weren't more casualties."

"I think there is no excuse now," he added. "Gaza is now in the hands of the Palestinian Authority, and there are no Israeli troops there. One hopes that where tough decisions have to be made, Abu Mazen [PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas] and the PA will make them." '

He also followed it up, forcefully:

'"We are waiting with bated breath for a response from the PA," said Howells, "and it has to be a signal that it is capable of good governance. This is not a bottomless pit that this money is coming from."

Howells dismissed PA claims that it doesn't have the wherewithal to effectively take on Hamas and the other terrorist organizations. "Look, they have 60,000 troops in the PA, they have all the equipment they need. What they need is the political will to do it," he said. '

And he topped it off by the following:

'Regarding moves he expected Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to take immediately to move the diplomatic process forward, Howells said, "I'm not looking for Sharon to do anything other than – if Israel is attacked in the way it was attacked this week – to act in the measured way I spoke of. '

Well, it could be better, but it's been worse- see how the late Robin Cook faced a similar situation. The divide between the Dugard approach and the British Government's one is heartening; one can only hope it widens and that the former is seen for what it is: anti-Jewish, hopelessly biased, and symptomatic of the UN's condition.

Supporting Israel is made more and more essential by every fresh terrorist attack by Islamists- such as the one that's happened just today in Bali.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Time for 'Institutional Repentance'?

The deep parody of a church that the C of E has become is quite stark this week.

The backdrop was already provided by the way their senior British numpties had decided they ought to issue a report prepared to broach the idea of apologising for the Iraq war. It was reported that:

'While criticizing Western democracy as "deeply flawed," the bishops appeal for greater "understanding" of what motivates terrorists, and say efforts must be made to address their "long-standing grievances'

For me it doesn't matter that, as some pointed out, their eminences weren't gung-ho against the war; the point is that with IslamoNazis you can't afford to give their propagandist nostrils a sniff.

That's even what their own man in Iraq, Canon White, thought:

'"They've got to take seriously the Anglican churches in these [Muslim] nations," the Church of England Newspaper quoted Canon Andrew White as saying in its weekly edition published on Friday.

"The situation is dangerous on the ground and what is said in the U.K. has a profound effect," he added.'

But did their eminences bother to consult with their man on the ground before they pronounced from comfortable blighty? I doubt it. They thought it was enough to turn down an interview with Al Jazeera.

Canon White was primarily concerned about St. George's church, Baghdad's only Anglican church, which had been shut by Saddam and only reopened in 2003- in other words, because of the war their eminences wanted to apologise for.

Today I came, by chance, across a report which said that the lay leadership of St George's Church in Baghdad is missing, believed murdered by criminals on the Ramadi-Fallujah road. Canon White thought the murderers were likely to have been simple criminals. Who knows? What I do know is that it must have been a lonely road they were on, when the Anglican hierarchy itself was passing by on the other media side.

Nevertheless at least the C o E newspaper was on the ball, taking a completely solid line for once on something with its headline story:

'MUSLIM consultants are queuing up to offer their services free of charge to help Anglican clergy following the London bombings. In what can only be seen as pure acts of altruism, a spate of Muslim doctors have been volunteering their expertise to patients since July 7, at St Luke’s Hospital for Clergy in London, after it was put on alert to help victims of 7/7.'

Nice to see they know how to pay tribute to the poor and downtrodden still.

(highlighting mine- and btw, quite how this muslim activity helps is difficult to fathom; and quite why the hospital is so busy with Anglican clergy is also obscure, being as it is nearly three months since the attack. Spiritual mysteries that are beyond me, no doubt).

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

I hope to be more active blogging soon. The deadline I mentioned has been extended, though I think I kept my end up reasonably, so to speak. Anyhow I have noticed a few things:

Peace has broken out in Northern Ireland- not

I have to comment about this, as few Brits from the mainland probably will. I think that it's despicable to give the people of Northern Ireland up to a bunch of long in the tooth gangsters like the IRA/Sinn Fein. I worry that, admirable though he is (and I've known people who know him), Ian Paisley may not be quite strong enough to see off the men of near violence for the adequate future- he's getting a bit frail. And, save Ian Donaldson, there's no successor (and I don't trust Donaldson all that much, either). People always mocked Paisley's 'Ulster says NO' line, but what's at stake in Nothern Ireland is the democratic integrity of the British Isles, long term. In the short term, there are victims past, present and future to worry about (and when I say victims, I think we need to mention the Mcartney case, and ask ourselves whether the IRA mentality should have any place in any Government anywhere).

David Vance summarises very well a line of resistance (I highlight what I think are the highlights):

As a pro-republican propaganda blitzkrieg is launched this week, and assiduously sold by our own Government, thinking unionists should stand firm and ask three simple questions to all those appeasers and peace processors now praising the IRA. 1. Has the IRA disbanded? 2. Has the IRA desisted from its multi-million annual criminal racketeering? 3. Has Sinn Fein accepted that the IRA was a gang of murdering thugs?

The political gales that will buffet unionists in coming days will be of Hurricane Katrina-scale proportions, but I trust that our political representatives will recall that "the thing that will destroy us is politics without principle". This is the time to stick to our principles, insisting that terrorist proxies can never be permitted into Government. If we allow that then we decommission democracy.

Meanwhile, I notice the BBC reporting Hain, who could really be Mo Mowlam's little brother when it comes to flippancy and leftist idealism:

'"I wouldn't have expected Ian or the unionists to just bowl over and welcome everything with open arms because they've got a lot of cause to be sceptical and suspicious over the behaviour of the IRA in the past," he told BBC News on Tuesday.

"The IRA have often promised to do things and then reneged on them."

Earlier, before editing, Hain was also quoted saying that no reasonable person could doubt the decomissioning process- which shows you exactly what Hain thinks about the DUP. But what no-one on this side of the water seems to think about, least of all, Hain, is just what it must be like to consider actually having to look up to Gerry Adams as a political authority. Or to have Martin McGuinness in charge of your kids' schooling. I wonder what his line on bullying is? That's really what's at stake in Ireland, but with every act of a nation a kind of mentality is cemented- so there's bigger, British dimension too- unsurprisingly, since you can't duck out from history. If we cave in to the political aspirations of the IRA, I see no discouragement whatsoever in temporary setbacks for Islamic terrorists- and while the Catholics in Ireland have to face the fact that demographics do not favour a Republican, Catholic North, greying-beard Osama (not actually so very old himself), knows how many opportunities are springing up out of his Faith's fertility.

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