Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The End is Nigh.

Mark Steyn gets busy on the summing up of the defence and the "rebuttal" by the prosecution as the Black trial comes to its close- the "rebuttal" being one of the (many) novelties of the US legal system which I wasn't familiar with. Actually, it's been quite an eye-opener, and made me quite fascinated by the relative high level of the UK legal system which I know rather better. Having absorbed quite thoroughly the Steyn line, I'm rooting for Black and co, as if I was ever doing anything else. Either Steyn's a genius propagandist though, or the Govt. case and the Government prosecution service is deeply unattractive.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Aayaan Hirsi Ali. So elegant as ever.

Pakistani dreaming.

"The politician is an acrobat. He keeps his balance by saying the opposite of what he does."

Mark Steyn says

"It seems Her Majesty's Government in London was taken entirely by surprise by the scenes of burning Union Jacks on the evening news. Can that really be true?"

Well, my answer would be no, it can't be true and it isn't true. Steyn goes on to make hay out of this notion of a government without knowledge of even basic facts about Salman Rushdie. Fair enough, in a way, but Pakistan is now on the British radar in rather a dramatic way.

There is the basic fact that the 7/7 bombers were mainly of Pakistani origin.

There is the fact that most aspiring terrorists in the UK now receive their training and support from Pakistan.

There is the case of Kriss Donald, whose attackers fled to Pakistan and were tracked down with the help of British mulsim MP Mohammed Sarwar, who is now retiring following death threats which are, according to the BBC, unrelated to his retirement. According to the Guardian however,

"The multimillionaire MP used connections in Pakistan to help arrange the extradition of Imran Shahid, Zeeshan Shahid and Mohammed Faisal Mushtaq to the UK, where they were jailed for life for their part in the kidnap, torture and murder of the teenager Kriss Donald in 2004. The trio, part of a violent Glasgow gang, fled to Pakistan after the crime but were returned after 18 months of negotiations between the Pakistani and British governments, assisted by Mr Sarwar.

"Life is not the same, to be honest with you, since I brought them back. I was subjected to threats"

Aunty telling fibs again, methinks.

Still, this provides me another opportunity to ask an exit question: just why was the Bob Woolmer case so radically re-evaluated? After all, what could be easier and less controversial than to accuse the Pakistani national cricket team of murder?

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The EU treastitution.

To analyse this sleight of hand by the resurgent Merkel and Sarkozy, and the no-longer-needing-to-tread-with-care Blair, you have to take a step back. Of course it is correct to say that it is practically the same as the EU Constitution which French and Dutch voters rejected. Back in October 2004 Blair said "There will not be a referendum. The reason is that the constitution does not fundamentally change the relationship between the UK and the EU."

Well said, Mr Blair! Bravo!

Now he is saying almost the same thing! Here's principle for you:

"If it's not a constitutional treaty, so that it alters the basic relationship between Europe and the member states, then there isn't the same case for a referendum,"

Phrasing slightly different, meaning the same. Yet in between these two occasions, in the three years that have passed, he has continually reiterated either the commitment to a referendum on the matter on the table then and now, or its obscurity as an issue out of consideration. Three years of rhetoric- denied, as Frank Field affirms in EUbusiness:

"One of the more popular things Tony Blair did was promising a referendum... Going back on that is against all the rhetoric of a government which says it wants to reconnect with a disillusioned if not hostile electorate"

That's it, win popularity where you need to, backtrack when you can, and return to the idea you first thought of because you're too pig-headed to think of anything else. That's Blair, and he'll make a fantabulous EU president no doubt.

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