Friday, 18 December 2009
Monday, 7 December 2009
Monday, 26 October 2009
In related Vatican news, I really like the sound of this idea.
Friday, 23 October 2009
I'm glad that yesterday's airing of Question Time with Nick Griffin turned out to be a lot better than I thought it would be. I, like many of those that support freedom of speech supported the BBC's decision to allow Nick Griffin on the show, even though I despise the slimeball and his views. Of course, certain members of Parliament and the anti-facsists thought otherwise, especially Unite Aganist Fascism and their pathetic 'no platform' policy - they really need to look up "freedom of speech" before they go around trying to break into a television centre to stop a televised debate.
Despite supporting the BBC's decision to allow the BNP leader on the show, I expected this edition of Question Time to be a car-crash, and was concerned that even the audience would break out into a riot of some sort (what with the fact that the BBC confirmed that some members of the audience were BNP supporters), but luckly that wasn't the case. Instead of being the slick talker from previous appearances, Nick Griffin kept on stumbling over himself and was being shown up for the fascist that he is. Watching him squirm when the panel and David Dimbleby made mention of vile comments he has made in the past and him trying to deny that he ever made such comments was a pleasure. Not to mention the comments he made on the show, such as claiming the Ku Klux Klan are an "almost entriely non-violent" organisation. Did he really think he would get away with saying things like that on a television debate that was broadcast throughout the country?
A minor issue I have with last night's show was that Nick Griffin's views on homosexuality weren't directly addressed. Although the topic of civil partnership was mentioned in passing in the last ten minutes of the programme, when someone asked a question in regards to Jan Moir's homophobic article on Steven Gateley, I was suprised that none of the panel or even the audienced addressed his views. However, Griffin himself said on the show that he didn't like "militant homosexuals indoctrinating our children", so I guess that spoke volumes about the intelligence and views of this man towards the gay community. But still, I can't help but feel that he got off lightly with the homophobic comments he has made throughout his political career. Also, I really wish Ian Hislop was on the panel instead of Bonnie Greer, although I'm grateful that she was there to point out the absurdity of the term "indigenous Caucasian race" to Griffin.
Anyway, I'm gonna go and collect any spare pennies lying around my room to help chip in for a plane ticket to send Nick Griffin and his ilk to the South Pole. Anyone want to join me?
Monday, 19 October 2009
Wednesday, 14 October 2009
A mysterious new far-right group has recently come into the media spotlight since this summer. Reports on the group were first made in late August when they protested against the threat of the alleged "Islamification" of Britain. Last month, they were seen in Birmingham city centre to preach the same message, but failed to turn up at the site of Harrow Mosque in West London. Last Saturday, they made their voices heard once again in Manchester in their largest demonstration yet, when 700 members of the organisation (and 1400 counter-demonstrators from Unite Against Fascism) turned up in the city centre, which saw riot police and mounted police being deployed in the city and arresting 48 people. They are expected to make an appearance in Leeds in the near future.
The English Defence League was created in 2009 from the United Peoples of Luton, an organisation which itself was formed in response to the Islamist protests held back in March by the extremist group Al-Muhajiroun, when troops returning from Afghanistan marched through the town. Tensions flared up in June when Al-Muhajiroun supposedly "converted" an 11 year-old boy to Islam in Birmingham city centre. The League claims that it opposes the spread of Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism in the UK and Sharia law, and according to the organisation's spokesman, Trevor Kelway, the EDL is not a racist organisation. To try and verify this to the media, they have been burning Nazi flags for the cameras to emphasis they abhor racism. The League claims that British Muslims and Jews who are against militant Islam can join "as long as they accept an English way of life". The League has a woman's division and also a youth division, which is led by an 18 year-old boy of Irish and Afro-Caribbean heritage.
Because of the controversy surrounding the EDL, the British National Party have tried to distance themselves from the organisation. The Hope Not Hate campaign recently released audio recordings of a conversation allegedly between Nick Griffin and Simon Derby, where they accused the EDL of being a “Zionist false flag operation” which was created in order to create “a real clash of civilisations right here on our streets between Islam and the rest of us.” As a result, the party have designated the EDL as a “proscribed organisation”, supposedly frowning upon the violent, confrontational style that many members of the EDL have taken up in recent demonstrations. The EDL have also tried to distance themselves from the BNP, at least according to a London businessman that supports and funds the organisation. Despite the distancing between the EDL and BNP, it would seem that there are links between the two, and this is not just because the two seem to share the same anti-Muslim and far-right sentiments - the EDL’s website was created by a prominent BNP activist and many members of the party have been seen in recent demonstrations. The fact that the BNP have labelled the EDL as a “proscribed organisation” is, according to Searchlight magazine, standard practice of the party when attempting “deniability”.
Should we be concerned about the English Defence League? The founders of the group claim that they are not a racist organisation, that they allow people from all walks of life (guaranteeing they accept the “English way of life”) and say they are a peaceful organisation. However, such claims seem to contradict the fact that demonstrations organised by the group have been attended by white skinheads, many of whom have a history of football hooliganism – the organisation itself is loosely affiliated with Casuals United, an anti-Islamist hooligan group. Many EDL members have been seen giving Nazi salutes, and allegedly at a pro-Palestine protest in London recently, members of the League were heard to chant “We hate Muslims”. The fact that there are reports that two sister organisations have formed as a result of the rise of the EDL is a cause of alarm for many - the Scottish Defence League intends to hold a protest in Glasgow in the near future and there are calls to ban marches organised by the Welsh Defence League in Newport and Swansea. According to ‘Tommy Robinson’ in a recent interview in the Telegraph, the organisation has 3’700 members, and rising. It is no surprise then that the EDL are currently under investigation from four specialist national police units, including detectives with a background in watching hooliganism, extreme violence and terrorism.
Monday, 12 October 2009
Monday, 5 October 2009
I know, I promised a brand spanking new strip today, but I didn't want to miss an opportunity to write a little something about Ireland's referendum on the Lisbon Treaty last Friday. Even if it is a little late.
Being the only EU member state to hold a referendum on the Treaty (although Poland and the Czech Republic have both yet to ratify it in their parliaments), the Irish approval of the Lisbon Treaty means that the European Union is one step to further intergration, allowing the creation of the post of "President of Europe" and streamlining and reforming many institutions within the Union (such as allowing the European Parliament to be more involved in the legislation process and making the European Charter of Fundamental Rights legally binding). Great if you're the sort of person that likes the idea of a united and federal Europe. Not so great if you're David Cameron or are horrified at the prospect that Tony Blair has his eyes on the soon-to-be newly created European presidency.
Eurosckeptics claim that Friday's result was due to the fact that the Irish were essentially bullied by their Government to accepting the Treaty. It cannot be denied that the referendum followed on from last year's one where 53.4% said "No" to the Treaty, but it could be argued that the state of the Irish economy resulted in more voters turning out to Friday's referendum. After Spain, Ireland has been most affected by the global economic crisis; unemployment is currently at 13% - it's highest level since 1996 - and 400'000 people now claim unemployment benefit. The Fianna Fail and Green coalition government argued that to reject the Treaty a second time would risk Ireland from being isolated by the EU and being denied a resuce package from the European Central Bank to save the Irish banking system and economy.
It would seem therefore that the Irish took this on board when voting in the referendum, to reject the Treaty a second time would supposedly be economic suicide. However, the only county in Ireland that rejected the Treaty a second time was Donegal, which also happens to be the poorest county in the country. Donegal's economy relies heavily on the fishing and tourism, which have both been severely affected by the recession in Ireland. As a result, the unemployment rate in Donegal currently stands at 23%, the highest in the republic. So if the state of the economy was the defining factor on Friday's referendum, then why did the portion of the "No" vote in Ireland's poorest county stay the same?
New strip on Friday, I promise!
Friday, 2 October 2009
New comic on Monday!
Friday, 25 September 2009
Anyways, I thought I'd quickly write about the Iranian diaspora's Green Scroll Campaign. This campaign aimed to create the world's longest green scroll covered with signatures of those questioning the legitimacy of the re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad back in June. The original plan was the hang the scroll from the Eiffel Tower in July, but the campaign is still apparently getting signatures from people across the globe. I haven't really heard much of the campaign since the (very limited) coverage on it back in the summer, but the last time I heard something on the campaign was a couple of weeks ago. Apparently, the unveiling of the scroll won't happen until around the end of the year in Stockholm when the leaders of the 27 member-states of the European Union meet up in a summit. I can't really verify this as even the Internet has a limited number of sources on the campaign.
Here's the campaign's website
Friday, 11 September 2009
Having no hot water for at least a week is an interesting experience. You should all try it sometime!
Monday, 24 August 2009
Friday, 21 August 2009
In other news, I found out that an entry I did earlier this month on the book The Evil Empire got a mention in British Reparations.org. They accused me of being drunk and incompetent because I couldn't make my mind up. The whole point of that blog entry (and the strip that went with it) was just that! Since then, I'm convinced that the book is just there to be laughed at. I managed to read at a copy of the book, which I conveniently found in the Humour section of my local Waterstones, and the numerous crimes against humanity that the British Empire committed get even more bizarre. Such crimes include the claim that Colplay destroyed rock 'n roll music and the infamous fact that the English language comes from...England.
By the looks of it, British Reparations.org also seems to be a joke website and organisation too, seeing as it just another creation of Steve A. Grasse, the author of The Evil Empire.
Monday, 17 August 2009
Thursday, 13 August 2009
Once again, the issue of universal healthcare has been heatly debated in every town hall across the United States. Not since Bill Clinton's healthcare reform package back in 1993 has the issue on healthcare divided the world's superpower.
In reality, what Obama is proposing isn't a healthcare system for all, but a federally financed health care plan for people who don't otherwise have access to one. Currently, 50 million Americans have no access to any form of health insurance simply because they cannot afford it. Obama's reforms will simply add on to the publicly funded healthcare programs that already exist in the United States, which include Medicare (for the elderly and disabled), Medicaid (which covers some of the poor) and Veterans Health Administration (for military service families and veterans). But of course, the thousands that have disrupted town hall meetings across the US and have protested against the reforms are unaware of what it is Obama is actually proposing, instead being fed on their usual diet of spin and lies from the American right, who have decried the reforms as "evil and Orwellian" and "socialist".
The harsh criticisms on the reforms have gone to the point where the right and FOX News have resorted to demonising the NHS. Sarah Palin's "death panel" remark reflects the untruthful criticism many Republicans have been making on the NHS. For example, they claim that the NHS denies people over 59 are heart treatment or women under 25 cancer treatment. Sean Hannity of FOX News suggested viewers to "get their super glue" ready if the healthcare reforms are passed, a reference to a Daily Mail article from 2006 which Hannity used as "proof" how the evil the NHS is and how much us Brits suffer from it. The news channel have also cherry-picked the handful of politicians and critics of the NHS to represent the views of Britain in general. One example is MEP Dan Hannan, who made an appearance on Sean Hannity's show back in April. The lies have gotten so ridiculous that a conservative journal claimed that Stephen Hawking would have had no chance of survival if he were British and treated by the NHS, failing to realise that Hawking is British, has lived in this country his whole life and has always received treatment by the NHS. They hurriedly corrected the mistake.
The ongoing debates on Obama's healthcare reforms have reflected the sheer hypocrisy of the American right. Jon Stewart of the Daily Show once again highlighted this by comparing FOX News commentary on the current town hall meetings with past demonstrations organised by the "loony left". It's perfectly fine when conservatives are out there demonstrating as they're fulfilling their duty as American citizens by enacting the right to freedom of speech , but it's evil and "un-American" when liberals do the same.The American right also claim to be the upholder of Christian values with issues such as abortion and gay marriage, yet are strangely unaware of the "love thy neighbour" principle when it comes to the issue of healthcare.
Is there an underlying tone of racism with these protests? Possibly. Some members of the American public that have expressed concern over Obama are frightened that the President is turning the country into the United Socialist States of America (which is utterly ridiculous as it sounds, because pretty much everyone that has accused Obama of being a "socialist" don't know the meaning of the word). However, many are worried about Obama simply for the fact that they're "just scared" of him. Of course, this can be interpreted in so many ways, but I can't help but think that they hate him because of the colour of his skin, that the accusations of socialism are nothing more than a disguise on what they really think of him. Many of those interrupting the town hall meetings at the moment are from the Deep South, an area where some still advocate the return of Jim Crow or even secession from the United States. Obama represents a new generation of Americans who didn't grow up in the days of segregation and Jim Crow and see past race and colour. It seems that the Angry White Man has made a comeback in American politics, but this time they've gotten uglyier, what with accusing the President of being an illegal immigrant, a Muslim terrorist and for apparently hating white people, among other things.
Wednesday, 12 August 2009
Friday, 7 August 2009
The book The Evil Empire - 101 Ways England Ruined The World was published two years ago by Steven A. Grasse as a ploy to undercover the horrors of British colonialism and to point out to Britons everywhere how America is cleaning up their mess after four centuries of empire building.
I'm certain the book is nothing more than satire: the many reasons as to why the British is so evil include the fact we knighted Elton John and how the Industrial Revolution was actually the British Empire's plan to control the universe. The video advertising the book seems somewhat sarcastic in nature. Even the photo of the illustator of the book in the book's website depicts him sitting on a toilet naked with a big grin on his face, so clearly this book was just published for a bit of a laugh.
However, the reviews on Amazon and the interviews he did on the Richard and Judy Show and BBC Radio two years ago seem to suggest that the author is pretty serious and somewhat uneducated. I'm not denying that British colonialism damaged many parts of the world, but I find it amusing that an American is accusing Britain of genocide and all sorts of crimes without taking note of America's treatment of the Native Americans and its history of foreign policy. He seems somewhat ignorant with history - he claimed that the Vietnam War was Britain's fault and that the current Iraq War was due to the fact that Britain "invented" the country (he is right in the sense that Iraq was created from the British Mandate of Mesopotamia, but last time I checked, the US and UK invaded the country for non-existant WMDs).
Eh, I dunno. Either the guy is just trolling (as they say in the Internet world) or he's just a complete buffoon.
Wednesday, 29 July 2009
Once the Lisbon Treaty has been ratified by all 27 member states of the European Union, the post of the President of the European Council will be created. This will essentially make whoever has this role as "President of the European Union", as they will have a key role in detemining the policies and international relations of the Union throughout their two and a half year term in office (a term which can be renewed only once), and will also be the international face of the EU. The position will also be unelected and therefore undemocratic, a change from the current system of the rotating presidency that allow national leaders (who have a democratic mandate) to set the EU's agenda during a six-monthly term.
So who better to have this role than no other than a certain Antony Charles Lynton Blair! Blair has set his eyes on the Presidency for the past year, but wasn't offically confirmed to be the UK candidate until two weeks ago by Baroness Kinnock. Apparently, she felt that Blair "could step into this new role with a lot of respect and he would be generally welcomed." The same has been said by pretty much everyone in the Labour Government. Opposition to the idea has come from, well, the Opposition.
It seems that the only people that can stop Blair from becoming President, or even creating the position of President in the first place, are the Irish, as they are to hold a second referendum on the Lisbon Treaty in October. Of course, even if they do say "Yes" this time to the Treaty, Blair would have to get support by many from the continent. It seems that his only endorsement is from vile, seedy Italian Premier, Silvio Berlusconi. According to him, Blair has the "ideal personality" for the job as President. It was originally thought that Nicholas Sarkozy was a Blair supporter, but he's now endorsed Blair's main rival to the position, former Prime Minister of Spain Felipe Gonzalez. Concern has been expressed by Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt (who currently holds the rotating presidency and will chair the meeting at the end of October that will decide who will become "EU President"), Spanish PM José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and Angela Merkel, who could actually ruin Blair's plans if she loses Germany's general election in September, as she has also expressed strong desire for the job.
Personally, Blair becoming "President of Europe" is as laughable as his current position as Middle East Peacy Enovy for the Quartet. Baroness Kinnock's comment that "he would be generally welcomed" into the position is just as laughable and proves how detatched from reality the Government is, obviously ignoring the fact that millions throughout this country and in Europe protested against his and Bush's decision to invade Iraq. I'm hopeful that Blair would not get the role in the end, I just can't see the leaders of Europe rally behind a man that is so unpopular by people in his own country (a country which is detatched from the Eurozone) and cares more about his image than anything else.
In the meantime, there's an online petition that's been going around for the past year. More than 32'000 have signed it so far!