Friday, December 02, 2005

Soggy Puddles From The Curate's Paddock

Broadband still bust - seems to be the router or cabling rather than the connection, so I'll be at Gloucester Screwfix (that well known networking supplies store) for some patch cables come 8 am tomorrow.

As a result I haven't browsed the Web much and am out of touch with what's going on, having only BBC news to listen to - most of which has been seemingly devoted to the Anthony Walker verdict. The contrast between the coverage and that given to Kriss Donald (see this First Post piece) is so infuriating that I have to keep reminding myself that Anthony Walker was a decent guy, foully killed by evil men, that his family are better Christians by far than I am (I'd be happy for the killers to be executed whereas his mum's forgiving them) - and that it isn't the Walkers' fault that the BBC don't cover white victims the same way - or even black victims who aren't killed by whites. Isiah Young-Sam was a young black Christian killed in a racist attack - but we didn't get live coverage of his memorial service. The wrong guys killed him.

Incidentally I note the murder weapon (ice-axe) had been stolen by our Scally killers from a mountain shop in Snowdonia, in line with the great Scouse tradition in which the A55 is full of Transits taking heroin in one direction and returning with antiques and garden statuary in the other.

Elsewhere ... Fiona Pinto flags up an interesting event.

On December 6, at 6.30 in Committee Room 11, in the Palace of Westminster, Gianna Jessen, a young American woman who survived saline abortion at 7 plus months, and now campaigns against abortion, will be the guest speaker at an event hosted by Mr Joe Benton MP, on behalf of our own new campaign Alive and Kicking (of which CORE is a member).

Gianna will be running the London Marathon next April for S.O.S ;a charity which supports children born with cerebral palsy. Gianna herself suffers from this condition as a result of her traumatic and premature birth.

The day before (Monday 5th December), get down to the LSE if you're in London.

The Big Debate
National Security vs. Political Expression: Where do we draw the line?
London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
6.30pm 5th December, 2005
Room D602


Professor Lord Robert Skidelsky, Baron of Tilton (Warwick)

Peter Hitchens (Mail on Sunday)
Brendan O'Neill (Deputy Editor, spiked)
Alasdair Palmer (Public Policy Editor, Sunday Telegraph)

There is no doubt a line must be drawn since a shift too far in either direction imperils the other position; however the precise position is clearly a matter of contention.

Prime Minister Blair's first 'whipped-vote' defeat in the Commons on Bill 55 - The Terrorism Bill 2005 (despite the support of The Sun Newspaper) highlighted a deep and divisive faultline in British politics about how to deal with an entirely new security paradigm.

With the gruesome and horrific London bombings of 7/7 fresh in our hearts and minds the nature of the threat must be addressed so that together we may plot the way forward.

Some questions are procedural (i.e. what rights should a potential terrorist have, 28 days or 90?) but others go far deeper into the collective British psyche. Should support for resistance movements be criminalized? Should non-violent political parties be banned? Is habeas corpus dispensable? Shoot-to-kill? Does it truly matter that we will have to impinge on the right to protest to save lives? What should be the role of the judiciary in this new environment? Does Western civilisation face an existential threat from Al-Qaida cells or is that assessment overblown? Have British Muslims integrated?

These are in addition to more pivotal philosophical questions. How central is the right to political expression in a secular, liberal democracy? Do the needs of the many outweigh the rights of the few? What is it we truly value: life or liberty? Does there really have to be a trade-off between the two?

As the War on Terror continues to escalate from Bagram to Bali, Grozny to Gaza City, Tashkent to Tal Afar, once again the LSE SU Comparative Ideologies Society takes on the complex issues and tackles the tougher questions. Join us…

Sounds like a belter and I hope a few people will be blogging it.

I can't believe the naivety of the Christian 'Peace Activists' who thought Iraq was a good place to hang out in. Having spent their time campaigning for the release of detainees in Iraq, they are now detainees in Iraq themselves. "Committed to reducing violence by getting in the way" is their motto. They must be thanking their lucky stars that they're not in Nazi Bush's Gulag but in the hands of the struggling and oppressed Iraqi people.

The only cheerful thing about this whole sorry story is that the 'resistance' don't seem to be that media-savvy, if the desire to kill Westerners is greater than their need for good publicity from useful idiots. Nothing like attacking people who are on your side.

Interesting story on the Belgian bomber oin the Guardian. I thought only the Sun wrote about immigrants claiming benefits and driving expensive cars.

Three years ago she married Hissam Goris who took his new wife to Morocco, though they were careful to return home so they would not lose unemployment benefits. The couple eventually settled in in the rundown area around the Gare du Midi in Brussels where many Muslims live.

Muriel's parents spoke of the cultural gulf which strained relations on the rare occasions that their daughter was driven to their house by her husband in his Mercedes.

Stereotyping or what ?

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