Saturday, October 22, 2005

Birmingham Riots - 1 Dead

BBC Radio News are reporting at least one death after rioting broke out in the Lozells area of Birmingham tonight, following a meeting held to protest against an alleged sexual assault on an illegal immigrant. Last week protesters in nearby Perry Barr stopped traffic in protest at the assault.

After all, it's not as if Brum has any other major problems to protest about.

More updates when I can tune into BRMB.

UPDATE 10.20 pm - Radio Five have live coverage and the local MP in the studio - the causes seem to be obscure, but the hundred-plus guys in hoodies with baseball bats, attacking motorists and looting shops are pretty real. Apparently the allegd attack took place in a shop. Which according to the studio guests is one of a chain. Which again according to those guests has been seen by some members of "the community" as unfairly competing with "community-owned" businesses. I'll take a guess at the ethnicity of the chain's owners.

I get a bit of a "Freddy's Fashion Mart" feeling about all this. And I remember the Asian family, now totally forgotten, who were burned alive in their post office during the 1985 Handsworth riots. If the police or white racists had killed them they'd have schools and streets named after them.

An Everyday Story ...

of underclass folk.

Oh - and another one.

Friday, October 21, 2005

I Was Surprised ...

To read on this talkboard that the 12-year old girl who slashed a classmate's face was Asian. Most surprised. Obviously in Yorkshire they're integrating well with the host culture. But if it's true, I'm not at all surprised that it's not been reported anywhere in the media.

Nun Stabbed By Anti-Christian Protesters In Egypt

Thanks to Irene Adler for this story, cross-posted at Biased BBC.

Don't wait up for a speedy response from Rasputin.

Half A Huzzah

The "Do Not Resuscitate" order on baby Charlotte Wyatt was lifted today.

But don't go getting the ideas that parents should have more say over their child's life than doctors.

Reading a statement outside the court, Pat Forsyth, a spokeswoman for St Mary's hospital, said the judgement was very clear.

"Doctors are not required to act against Charlotte's best interests. In practice, this means that the paediatricians will continue to work with the parents and hopefully agree treatment for Charlotte at all stages.

"However, if there is a future disagreement we have a very clear direction from the court that the doctors are not required to ventilate Charlotte when it is not in her best interests to do so."

Ms Forsyth could have more truthfully said "when the doctors do not consider it is in her best interests to do so". But when was the last time anyone put up a 'spokesperson' to tell the truth ?

(Thanks to James Hamilton for the news)

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Another US Outrage

From the "British" Broadcasting Corporation.

US probe into 'Taleban burnings'

The US military has launched a criminal investigation into alleged misconduct by its troops in Afghanistan, including the burning of Taleban corpses.
The move came after an Australian TV station ran footage of what it says was US soldiers burning the remains.

The footage shows other troops apparently taunting residents of a nearby village, which they believed to be harbouring the Taleban.

The act of burning corpses is regarded as a sacrilege in Islam

I think the BBC should point out that when British Imperial administrators were killed by religious zealots on the North-West Frontier, the offender would be sewn up in a pig's skin before being burned and his ashes scattered on a river. This was offensive to Islam - and meant that the soul of the dead man could not reach Paradise.

"Afghanistan's Independent Human Rights Commission said US forces would be in breach of the Geneva Convention, which says that enemy dead should be honourably interred."

Someone ought to have a word with the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission. They really should be aware that the Afghan custom has traditionally been to castrate a dead enemy before stuffing the severed genitals into the deceased's mouth. Brings a whole new meaning to the word 'honourable'.

I won't even start on what happens if you're wounded or captured.

Homophobia and Church News

When David Morley was beaten to death in an unprovoked attack last year, Rasputin issued a press release implying that Anglicans who disapproved of homosexual clergy used the kind of language that inspired Mr Morley's killers.

I pointed out at the time that said killers were unlikely to be churchgoers.

Rasputin wasn't the only one to blame "homophobia" for Mr Morley's death. There was a march through London, Peter Tatchell blamed Jamaican singers - probably a bit nearer the mark than Rasputin was. One and all shouted "homophobia" !

So it's with joy and relief that we greet the news that it WASN'T a homophobic attack. It turns out Mr Morley was one of eight people assaulted that night, of which two at most were homosexual. The perpetrators were doing it for fun - they'd have killed a straight just as happily. Just an ordinary, multiracial crew of young Londoners out for a good time.

Thank heavens. We can all breathe again. Except Mr Morley, of course.

Heroic Justice System Nails Perpetrator Of Vicious Child Assault

Isn't it fantastic that in Britain you can walk up to a stranger, insult him - and call the cops if he does anything about it ?

Rivers Of Babylon

I generally avoid Libby Purves' Radio Four show 'Midweek' because it's so bland and mushy-liberal.

Not yesterday it wasn't. I've never heard Darcus Howe so quiet before - and probably never will again.

(via Clive Davis).

More Religiously-Motivated Assault

"Patel told her victim as she was hitting her that she was obeying Kali, the Hindu goddess of death and destruction. According to the woman, Patel kept a shrine to the deity and would regularly pray in front of it."

Blimey. They'll be bringing back the Thugs next.

As the Londonist points out, this could set a whole new precedent for defence pleas in English courts :

"I didn't want to hit him, guv. It was Thor the Norse God of thunder what made me do it. He hangs round Elephant & Castle with that Loki chap... sells watches out of a suitcase. Tall bloke with a hammer. Bad bunch that Asgard lot..."

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

A Night At The (Soap) Opera

From Albert Speer's memoir Inside The Third Reich - Nazi propaganda chief Goebbels has had many afffairs, deeply hurting his wife Magda, mother of his six children. A younger man, Gauleiter Karl Hanke, has fallen in love with Magda and after much wooing has finally persuaded her that she must leave her husband. The top Nazis are all assembled in Bayreuth for the 1939 Festival.

Goebbels and his wife had arrived in Bayreuth on the same day as myself and, like Hitler, had moved into the Wahnfried annexe. Frau Goebbels looked very drawn. She spoke quite candidly with me : "It was frightful, the way my husband threatened me. I was just beginning to recuperate at Gastein when he turned up at the hotel. For three days he argued with me incessantly, until I could no longer stand it. He used the children to blackmail me; he threatened to take them away from me. What could I do ? The reconciliation is only for show, Albert, it's terrible ! I've had to swear never to meet Karl privately again. I'm so unhappy, but I have no choice."

What could have been more appropriate for this marital tragedy than, of all operas, Tristan und Isolde ? Hitler, Herr and Frau Goebbels, Frau Winifred Wagner, and I heard it sitting in the big central box. Frau Goebbels, on my right, cried silently throughout the performance. During the intermission she sat, bowed and sobbing uncontrollably, in a corner of the salon, while Hitler and Goebbels went to the window to show themselves to the audience, both of them strenuously pretending to be unaware of the embarrassing episode.


I presume the Dumb One has his facts right here ? That what's at issue isn't the ability of the Crown to say "Well, we had Ahmed X tortured over in Egypt, and he says that you asked him for 100 kilos of Semtex". Instead what we're being asked to do is to declare evidence inadmissable if it comes from a country where people might possibly be tortured ?

If you recall, one of the 10-odd guys held in Belmarsh successfully fought extradition to France a few years back on the grounds that the evidence against him was a product of French torture. You'll almost certainly get lawyers waving photos of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamera - that's the US off the list. Indeed, as renowned Guardian journalist Gerry Adams tells us, we British use torture extensively.

We won't be able to take evidence from any country - including our own. I suppose that's what the Gareth Pierces and Clive Stafford-Smiths want. Ho hum ...

Social Disapproval - New Grounds for Asylum

The Today programme featured a long item (RealAudio) this morning. Apparently the famous police raid on a Birmingham brothel, where 19 women were rescued from traffickers a week or two back, is not as first reported.

Of the 19 women, only one is claiming that she was there against her will. And she is claiming asylum - supported by the (State-funded) refugee agencies and "human rights activists" - on the grounds that friends and relatives back home will ostracise her when they find out how she's been earning a living.

Surely that means that the American National Socialists (not neo-Nazis - this lot go for the full swastika and jackboot effect) who demonstrated in Toledo, Ohio, on the weekend, qualify for refuge here should they wish it.

They marched ostensibly against gang violence. The locals disapproved of them, and expressed this disapproval by burning buildings, smashing up cars and looting shops. I'd hazard a guess that few of these shops were owned or staffed by swastika-wearers.

Face Right has the whole sorry story.

Monday, October 17, 2005

I Don't Know ....

Who Gavin McEwan is.

But I do appreciate the shout.

From the BBC Question Time website :
"How about someone from the "blogosphere"? There are some very knowledgeable and articulate commentators out there - Oliver Kamm and Laban Tall being just two.
Gavin McEwan"

UPDATE - I like to think it's this chap.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Fiona Pinto ...

Reports on a par-for-the-modern-medical-profession story - parents being pressured by NHS staff to abort their baby - and also on the foetal corrective surgery that could reduce those pressures.

Here We Go Again ...

BBC radio news all day today has featured this murder on Clapham Common. It's on the front page of the BBC News site.

Tragically this murder trial is only reported on the BBC London website, and never even made it to the England news section, let alone onto national radio or TV news.

I wonder why ?

Hat-tip : Scott and Jon

October Song

I'll sing you this October song
For there is no song before it
The words and tune are none of my own
For my joys and sorrows bore it
Beside the sea, the brambly briar
In the still of evening
Birds fly out behind the sun
And with them I'll be leaving

The fallen leaves that jewel the ground
They know the art of dying
And leave with joy their glad gold hearts
In the scarlet shadows lying
When hunger calls my footsteps home
The morning follows after
I swim the seas within my mind
And the pine-trees laugh green laughter

I used to search for happiness
And I used to follow pleasure
But I found a door behind my mind
And that's the greatest treasure
For rulers like to lay down laws
And rebels like to break them
And the poor priests like to walk in chains
And God likes to forsake them

I met a man whose name was Time
And he said, I must be going
But just how long ago that was
I have no way of knowing
Sometimes I want to murder time
Sometimes when my heart's aching
But mostly I just stroll along
The path that he is taking

Words by Robin Williamson. I was rather fond of this song in 1972, and it's still pretty good now.