Who does he think he is, Jenny Tonge??

David Ward MP – Bradford East – is in trouble. His crime: the temerity to mention Palestinian suffering in a post on Holocaust Day… Who does he think he is? Jenny Tonge??*

“Holocaust Day” has parallels with the theology of November’s Remembrance Day. Free speech gets suspended… There are things you may not say… How terribly impolite to mention more died than just soldiers… Or Iraq, where British forces helped kill a million people… Or that in WW2, bombers killed 100,000 fire-bombing Dresden and were forbidden to receive medals because of the horror…

The Holocaust was a horror, in its millions… But that’s not why Britain fought… We fought because of our treaty with Poland! Only as the years progressed did we really realise the fate so many Jews had met. Now, most of us are not Jews, while still being horrified at Hitler’s horror. Most of us, these days, are very critical of the wars Britain’s leaders order us to fight.

To see Holocaust Day ONLY as the suffering of Jews, is to sentimentally identify with a nation, race or religion, which, for most of us, is not ours. Therefore it is untrue emotion. They weren’t ‘our’ victims, they were Hitler’s. British forces truly liberated them, in 1945. To celebrate that liberation surely cannot lead to supporting Israel, the state Jews founded, in its apartheid racist persecution of others…

To see Remembrance Day ONLY as a rightful commemoration of the sacrifice of British forces, is to sentimentally indentify with Britain, the armed forces, the wars we are commanded to fight…

It’s far more important what is missed out:

Because there, are the civilians, the women, the children, the elderly – all officially unremembered that day. There, are the rest of the 60 million who died in that war. There, ultimately, is peace, and criticism of the centralised power and nationalism that might prevent the next Hitler launching wars, or the next Bush or Blair from launching his.

And there, too, is a rejection of sentimentalism of the Holocaust, and a rededication to  criticising any centralisation of power, any blinkered propaganda, any demonisation of some chosen so-called enemy… and this, of course, goes for Israel’s current treatment of the Palestinians, undergoing the longest military occupation in modern history.

Martin Deane

*Jenny Tonge was a front bench Lib Dem MP, but removed because of comments around Palestinian suffering. She’s now a Lord, Baroness.

Lib Dems condemn MP’s criticism of Israel ahead of Holocaust Memorial Day:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-21194991

Don’t pick sides, stop the bloodshed.

This is Prof. Michel Chosudovsky’s comments on the Observers’ Mission Report of the League of Arab States to Syria:

The report acknowledges the existence of  “an armed entity” involved in the killings of civilians and police as well as the conduct of terrorist acts, which in turn have contributed to triggering actions by government forces.

The Report refers to “armed opposition groups” as well as to the “Free Syrian Army”,  both of which, according to the AL Mission, are involved in the deliberate killing of innocent civilians:

“In some zones, this armed entity reacted by attacking Syrian security forces and citizens, causing the Government to respond with further violence. In the end, innocent citizens pay the price for those actions with life and limb. 

In Homs, Idlib and Hama, the Observer Mission witnessed acts of violence being committed against Government forces and civilians that resulted in several deaths and injuries. Examples of those acts include the bombing of a civilian bus, killing eight persons and injuring others, including women and children, and the bombing of a train carrying diesel oil. In another incident in Homs, a police bus was blown up, killing two police officers. A fuel pipeline and some small bridges were also bombed. ”

“Such incidents include the bombing of buildings, trains carrying fuel, vehicles carrying diesel oil and explosions targeting the police, members of the media and fuel pipelines. Some of those attacks have been carried out by the Free Syrian Army and some by other armed opposition groups.”

The Mission also underscored to role of media distortion in the coverage of events in Syria as well as the campaign to discredit ithe Mission’s findings:

“The Mission noted that many parties falsely reported that explosions or violence had occurred in several locations. When the observers went to those locations, they found that those reports were unfounded.

The Mission also noted that, according to its teams in the field, the media exaggerated the nature of the incidents and the number of persons killed in incidents and protests in certain towns.”

The Report also underscored attempts to discredit the Mission and dismiss its findings:

Arab and foreign audiences of certain media organizations have questioned the Mission’s credibility because those organizations use the media to distort the facts. It will be difficult to overcome this problem unless there is political and media support for the Mission and its mandate. It is only natural that some negative incidents should occur as it conducts its activities because such incidents occur as a matter of course in similar missions.

Also of significace were attempts by officials of AL governments to pressure several of the observers into providing “exaggerated accounts of events”.

Some observers reneged on their duties and broke the oath they had taken. They made contact with officials from their countries and gave them exaggerated accounts of events. Those officials consequently developed a bleak and unfounded picture of the situation.

Also of significance is the fact that the Mission acknowledged that peaceful protests by unarmed civilians against the government were not the object of government crackdowns:

group team leaders [of the Observation mission] witnessed peaceful demonstrations by both Government supporters and the opposition in several places. None of those demonstrations were disrupted, except for some minor clashes with the Mission and between loyalists and opposition. These have not resulted in fatalities since the last presentation before the Arab Ministerial Committee on the Situation in Syria at its meeting of 8 January 2012.

While the Mission does not identify the foreign powers behind “the armed entity”, the report dispels the mainstream media lies and fabrications. It largely confirms independent media reports including Global Research’s coverage of the armed insurrection since April 2011.

Petition against workfare

Petition against workfare:

https://submissions.epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/29356

Some businesses (and charities) can’t resist the opportunity to exploit the poor. Here is a full up to date list of those STILL using workfare:

Asda

ATS

BHS – British Home Stores [1]

Boots

Burger King

Burton

Age Concern

Argos

Asian Star Community Radio LTD

Barnardos

Bookers Wholesale

Carillion – Kent

British Heart Foundation

Capability Scotland

Cancer Research

DB Accident Repair – Kent

DC Cleaning Sussex

Diamond Glass Medway – Kent

Dorothy Perkins [1

]Envirostream – Kent

Evans [1]

Finsbury Park Business Forum

F&S Interiors – Kent

Go Response – Kent

Helen & Douglas House Hospice – Maidenhead

HMV [3]

Holiday Inn

Holland & Barrett

Gorgie City Farm

Greggs the bakers

JA Glover – Kent

Jessup Electrical Wholesale Ltd – Kent

JJ Vickers & Sons Ltd – Kent

Kennedy Scott

Kent Flooring Supplies – Kent

Kent Space – Kent

Tussauds [2]

Maplin

Matalan                                            – resigned from Workfare – 20.2.12 🙂

Mayhem Paintball – Kent

McDonald’s

Medway Council

Medway Tyres – Kent

Miss Selfridge

Mr Gleam – Sussex

Newham Council

Newhaven Community Development

Olympic Glass – Kent

Omnico Plastics Ltd – Kent

Outfit

Payless – Kent

PDSA

Pizza Hut

Plumbase – Kent

Poundland

Poundstretcher

PPDG

Primark

Process Plant Services Ltd – Kent

RBLI

Regency Guillotine – Kent

Richmond Fellowship

Romney Resource Kent

Royal Mail

RNR Performance Cars – Kent

Saffron Acres Project

Salvation Army

Savers

SERCO

Scout Enterprises

Servest – Kent, London

SHOC

Slough Homeless

Signs & Imaging Ltd – Kent

Slough Library

Slough Furniture Project

Southern Membranes Ltd – Kent

Southern Metal Services – Kent

southern Roofing & Building Supplies – Kent

Stephens Fresh Food – Kent

Superdrug

Swan Lifeline – Windsor

Tesco

Topman [1]

Topshop [1]

The Range – Sussex

Town and Country Cleaners Kent

Wallis [1]

Westvic Enamellers – Kent

WHSmith

Whittingtons Silk Flower & Plant Centre – Kent

Wilkinsons

The West Wing – a spectrum of acceptable opinion.

The West Wing series is great, a fine example of intelligent, politically focused scripts which cover any number of political issues, at the same time drawing you in to often feel sympathetic towards the main characters. You don’t have to be a fan of Martin Sheen, US politics and the White House, to enjoy it, although a similar treatment of the Kremlin might possibly lack in appeal! And, we can’t say we’re not used to the genre!

I’m not a devotee, but in series 7, there’s an entire episode spent purely on a US presidential debate between the two candidates, Democrat and Republican. Surely this was ground-breaking for a series, outside of actual real debates themselves, although Alan Alda was always going to make it more palatable!?

A lot of truth on the American situation is spoken – one reason why it is so popular among a great many people, especially those interested in politics, aware of how it is fought over, and controlled, and also how important it is in covering health, education, war, welfare, and so on.

In series 7 a nuclear accident happens on the Californian coast. It gets lots of coverage and influences the fictional electoral outcome. That was a few years ago but in it, it previsioned Fukushima 2011, a nuclear accident (on a much greater scale) and which arguably affects Americans more than the fictional events affected the fictional population (who fled the area en masse).

Despite covering important themes in different ways, at all times it continues the myth of noble America:

  • The myth of the world’s remaining superpower, with US peacekeepers keeping a fragile peace in Israel-Palestine – instead of an America which arms Israel to the teeth occasionally selling Palestinians a dodgy roadmap.
  • Yet another full-scale invasion is portrayed as an intervention to prevent a Russian and Chinese standoff  instead of the reality of unjustifiable invasions like Iraq, killing 1.5 million people, or Vietnam killing 3-4 million locals (or 58,000 GIs if you were educated in the US), or any of 100 interventions, invasions, coups and destabilisations since World War II, all favouring power – but not people.
  • The myth of an honourable US military is challenged by the revelation of a secret military space shuttle, flagging up the militarisation of space, an important issue (undoubtedly much further advanced than we have ever been told to date) but not that it has been America leading the arms race for decades, and with such an immoral level of defence spending as if it’s designed to take on the rest of the world (which it is).
  • The myth of Democrats being for socialisation and Republicans about tax-cuts is well-played, but unaddressed is the real power of big business and finance which pays both their elections bills, expected to be over $1 billion each this year!

Some home myths are challenged strongly, that government healthcare, MediCare, is hugely expensive – is outed as having only 2% administration costs, that education should have a better-rewarded professional teaching workforce.

The series covers huge amounts of ground, as American politics does, wherever money is involved, in fact. But what it provides is the spectrum of acceptable opinion.

Which series will it be that challenges America’s subversive role in the world, or its major inequality at home while outing the roles of big business, which can get protective laws changed resulting in wrecking the global economy, resulting in new, patented, forms of life, improperly tested and with effects for generations to come, not just the current generation of small farmers lives and livelihoods being wrecked, which can make a killing out of a global flu scare which turns out to be hype, which can fabricate a war for oil?

For some things, it will take more than just a change of administration.

Wind power provides 90,000 jobs – in Germany

This Telegraph article has a lot to say on wind.
An interesting comparison between us and Germany is that it has more individual, group and local ownership of turbines, compared to ours almost exclusively being major companies. Germany produces more wind power than us, with less wind resource.
Germany is the world’s third largest in wind power, behind China and the United States. Germany produces 29GW (2011). In 2011 we passed 5GW making the UK the seventh country in the world to reach this capacity – so maybe we’re not such the Old Man of Europe on this issue. Germany’s population is 82 million compared to our 62 m. Wind power in Germany provides over 90,000 jobs…  Denmark and particularly Spain are doing astoundingly well.
Despite various attacks about blights on countryside and health scares, the Telegraph points out that a recent ComRes poll states that 68% support windfarms.