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Monday, 30 April 2012

Bradford Muslim Councillor poses with an RPG

First we had the scandal of Bradford Respect candidate Asif Khan pictured on Facebook holding a machine gun, and now we have another involving sitting Labour Muslim councillor for the city's Toller ward, Amir Hussain. On this occasion however, Mr Hussain is not brandishing a machine gun, but holding a rocket propelled grenade with two guns in the background! Where was this delightful picture (see below) taken? Well, apparently it was taken in Afghanistan as was Mr Khan's, this time 20 rather than 10 years ago. What was Mr Hussain doing there? The Telegraph and Argus reports him as saying that he made the trip "as a local businessman, to distribute funds raised as part of a Bradford radio appeal." If you gave money to that appeal, how do you feel now? Duped?

How very strange that Amir Hussain's and Asif Khan's 'charitable' missions to Afghanistan both involved heavy-duty firearms. These followers of the "religion of peace" certainly have an odd perception of 'charity', do they not? Politics in Bradford is a rum old business.

Amir Hussain on his 'charitable' mission to Afghanistan

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Respect's Machine Gun Etiquette

The title of this piece could just as readily have been "Muslim Machine Gunner has Bowling and Barkerend in his Sights", but naturally, I resisted the temptation to post something in such poor taste. However, it would appear that the Respect candidate for the ward of Bowling and Barkerend - Asif Khan - was quite happy up until a couple of days ago to have been pictured on his Facebook page brandishing a machine gun. What was depicted in the picture was all quite innocent of course; "charity work" in Afghanistan some ten years ago apparently. Afghan chuggers evidently use rather heavier tactics than a bit of unbidden and jaunty clipboard waving and faux bonhomie whilst you are out shopping. Now, I wonder what manner of charity Mr Khan was assisting? Afghan Heart Foundation? Afghan Water Aid? Perhaps not. Maybe a little assistance with one of the local outward bound youth camps? Should someone ask Mr Khan? Then again, this might not be such a good idea, given that he is not an overly fluent user of English, and thus might not be able to explain himself properly.

Asif Khan: Your charitable Respect Candidate

Khan's relaxed machine gun pose has been a godsend (allahsend?) to his opponents, particularly to Labour, who have been making a big song and dance (behaviours condemned by many 'devout' Afghans) about the picture which has subsequently been removed from his Facebook account. Besides this one image, there are also many others featuring Mr Khan with shotguns, for he has declared that he is rather keen on attending "shooting grounds" in Skipton. "Shooting grounds" - there's a rather chilling ring to this term isn't there? Rather like "killing fields". Still, so far as I'm aware, Mr Khan has not previously opted for a holiday in Cambodia. This particular candidate ought to get together with neo-Nazi gun nut Dave Jones who is standing for election in Todmorden, for they are well matched.

Could it be the case that Khan's opponents have missed footage of his earlier association with machine guns? Who is this turbaned individual introducing the Cramps' 'Bikini Girls with Machine Guns'? Take it away Lux!

Met Office Forecast: April 2012 “drier than average”

The Met Office is quite right to state that the limits of accurate weather forecasting tend to stretch no further than five days into the future, yet it does still produce three-monthly forecasts that are not widely publicised. That its most recent one was not drawn to the public’s attention is just as well, for its 3-month outlook issued on 23 March stated the following:
‘The forecast for average UK rainfall slightly favours drier than average conditions for April May June as a whole, and also favours April being the driest of the 3 months.’
If April is to be the driest of the three, then keep your boats and inflatables at the ready, for as of 25 April an article on the Met Office site stated that the month to date had been the 9th wettest April recorded in the UK, with the wettest being in 1910. Yet more heavy rain is forecast for tomorrow, so in some areas at least (it is already the case in Sheffield) a new record is likely to be set.

Meanwhile, the ice prophet Piers Corbyn has this week followed up on his dire prognostications regarding the forthcoming “coldest May in 100 years” for central and eastern Britain and parts of western Europe, stating that:
‘Solar Climate Change is happening now. The Sun is entering a ‘muddled’ magnetic state. ‘Little Ice Age (Maunder-Dalton) circulation patterns are emerging and more rapid world cooling is taking over.’
Corbyn ‘clarified’ his remarks further stating: 
“The Sun’s magnetic field is getting into a muddle as one half of it changes out of step with the other and this muddled behaviour is likely to become very marked in MAY.”
With dire warnings such as these, Corbyn had better hope that this gamble pays off, and does not once again leave him with egg on his face. Irrespective of his forecasts and statements regarding global cooling, the sea level continues to rise and the volume of ice on the planet continues to decrease. Meanwhile, science attempts to grapple with understanding the complexities of the climate system, and the Met Office to produce accurate forecasts beyond the current five-day limit. Corbyn may be right to emphasise that solar influences are not accorded sufficient weight in weather and climate forecasting, but he is wrong to believe that he possesses the key to long-term forecasting, for his past failures show that he does not. However, what would be interesting would be for an analysis to be carried out of his forecasts versus those of the Met Office over the past decade to ascertain which proved to be more accurate. 

Friday, 27 April 2012

Ed Miliband's Scottish Muslim Misadventure

Poor Ed Miliband. He is not having a very good day. There he was thinking that a little light aping of George Galloway's antics would secure him the Muslim bloc vote in Glasgow's forthcoming local elections, but his "dhimmitude lite" approach seems to have left resident Muslims - one wealthy Muslim in particular - unimpressed. Muslim millionaire Mohammad Ramzan has switched his backing from Labour to the SNP. Embarrassingly for Miliband, Ramzan is both brother of ex-Labour MPMohammed Sarwar as well as the uncle of Anas Sarwar who happens to be Scottish Labour's deputy leader.

Labour's allure in its Glaswegian heartland is beginning to fade, and its power to crumble, Michael Crick noting that the party lost control of Glasgow Council a few weeks ago and that the SNP is exerting a strong appeal to traditional Labour voters. It has taken a while for indigenous Labour supporters to notice that "their party" is theirs no longer, and is instead a party obsessed with courting ethnic minority votes and bestowing privileges upon members of ethnic minorities. In Scotland at least, it would appear that what is now a misplaced age-old Labout tribalism is finally disintegrating. What is equally interesting is how Labour's automatic assumption that it can secure the Muslim vote is dissolving, with Ramzan's move here, and Galloway's success in Bradford West, seeming to indicate that it can no longer be taken for granted. Still, these changing political realities do not seem to have awakened Miliband to the folly of Labour's policy of non-indigenous ethnic preference, and its recent destructive embrace of "faith" as a valid facet of identity and basis for policy. Balkanisation proceeds apace.

Into this post-industrial and post-ideological (in terms of the big three parties in Britain) age, the new sectarian divide in Glasgow is not between Protestant and Catholic, but between Muslim and non-Muslim as in so many other cities across Britain. Some might term the distinctive sense of Muslim identity "vibrant" and "assertive", whereas others might perceive many of its characteristics to be alien and aggressively domineering. Nonetheless, Labour's love of multiculturalism will not suffer the party's members to entertain any apprehensions about the overwhelmingly positive and cuddly contribution of minorities to life in this country, hence Miliband's craven courting of the Muslim bloc vote which has this evening led him to a Glasgow mosque. There he will be inaugurating a new group named Muslim Friends of Labour in Scotland. He will doubtless have warm words to lavish upon his Muslim hosts, but what thoughts will his audience harbour of him? How readily might they turn their coats and become Muslim Friends of the SNP?

If Labour support slumps in Scotland next week, how secure will Ed Miliband remain in his post as Labour leader? Ed Balls, amongst others, is probably feeling quite happy. 

Mohammad Ramzan

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Tommy Robinson to appear on Jeremy Kyle?

An anti-British campaign blog has today claimed that Tommy Robinson/Stephen Lennon will shortly be appearing on the Jeremy Kyle show together with the Chairman of the British Freedom Party Paul Weston. Is this true? It may be a popular show (I must confess to never having watched it), but is this really the right forum for people who wish to elicit support from the general public? Does this not run the risk of seriously backfiring, with these two participants, given the type of people normally said to feature in the programme, coming to be perceived as just another addition to Kyle's dysfunctional circus sideshow?

Rhetorical Question: Is Jeremy Kyle patronising or smug?
Russia Today has hitherto been a rather more reliable news source with respect to its treatment of Islamism and Islamisation in Europe, but in the video below it would seem that it has been infected by the Breivik meme being vigorously peddled by none other than the anti-British 'Hope not Hate' campaign. As someone elsewhere has commented, blaming the EDL for Breivik as 'Hope not Hate' and this report do is akin to blaming The Beatles for Charles Manson (although of course it has to be said that The Beatles produced rather better music than the EDL).

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

UKIP’s local election Broadcast

This evening’s UKIP party political broadcast sought to bolster and capitalise upon the party’s recent relatively healthy showing in national opinion polls, a number of which have shown them enjoying higher support than the Liberal Democrats. However, given the very low level support for the latter, this does not necessarily betoken a golden dawn for UKIP, as after all the party has previously enjoyed a much higher level of support during the parliamentary expenses scandal. Nonetheless, it was interesting to see how on this occasion it had chosen to present itself to the electorate, choosing to downplay its central “anti-Brussels” line, which was a sane approach given that we are approaching local rather than EU or national elections. Despite its present relative popularity, UKIP has hitherto never fared well outside of the arena of elections to the European Parliament, and it will represent a significant challenge to the party to break away from the single-issue image that it possesses. This broadcast constituted a decent effort at tackling this perception. 

UKIP’s membership is notoriously grey, both in hair and suit (granted, it must be conceded that the sartorial allure of blue pinstripes also proves to be strong for many a Ukipper), whereas the broadcast sought to portray a rather more mixed age range. A youngish (mature rather than callow) couple appeared to describe themselves as “go-getting” (representative of a demographic segment that marketers might term “aspirational”) who declared that they were paying too much tax. Neither how much they were earning nor how much they had inherited were revealed, so I cannot comment upon the merits of their statement, but their clear desire for an uber-Thatcherite low-taxation economy was apparent. This was a central theme of the broadcast: UKIP are a low-taxation rather than a “tax and spend” party like the Westminster triumvirate. UKIP are the populist voice of an electorate groaning beneath an oppressive taxation system, standing up to the professional “career politicians” of the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties. That may be their message, but there was scant explanation of how such a commitment to low taxation could be funded, other than averring that there was a great deal of “waste” (code for the existence of the public sector).

Despite UKIP being the breakaway Atlanticist Thatcherite wing of the Conservative Party - the only true ‘conservative’ party in the UK given the Conservative Party’s abandonment of Conservatism - the broadcast sought to emphasise that it provides a voice and natural political home for disaffected patriotic Labour supporters. To underscore this assertion it drafted in a former Labour Party member who had been converted to the UKIP cause. Quite how far he concurred with UKIP’s flat-tax free-market globalist economic policy can only be guessed, but UKIP, for all of its positive points, is still a deeply flawed party that is incapable of curing our national, particularly our economic, malaise. Although it was right to draw attention to the well-publicised and unjust sacrifice of jobs at Derby carriage and wagon works Bombardier owing to EU procurement rules, UKIP’s free-market globalism would just as readily lead to the outsourcing of such contracts not to Germany, but to some other country lying far beyond the boundaries of Europe.

Critics of UKIP state that Nigel Farage excessively dominates his party and its proceedings, but on this occasion his presence was marginally less intrusive than in earlier broadcasts, which represents something of an advance. Overall therefore, this UKIP broadcast was an improvement upon their previous offerings, managing to appear reasonably professional, moderate, and to some extent credible. How many voters it appeals to will become evident soon enough. As for myself, like many others I shall be presented with the task of deciding which is the least bad of the candidates offering themselves in my ward, but there will be no anti-globalist candidate of any description. Quite clearly, there exists a public appetite for a credible, moderate anti-globalist party that protects and promotes the material and cultural interests of our people. UKIP may not be that party, but its rising level of support indicates that just such a party is needed. It is our task to bring that party into being, and to offer a positive alternative to the failed globalist free-market economic policies of the big three and UKIP alike.

Farage in Plymouth

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Luton in ‘harmony’, or Luton in discord?

“Read all about it! Five terror plot suspects arrested in Luton!” Yes, yet again dear reader, police have descended upon a number of addresses within a certain “community” to arrest a group of men alleged to have been planning to inflict death, injury and general misery upon the host population, simply because we do not share their warped backward Islamist ideology. So wearisomely familiar and routine have such arrests become, that it is increasingly hard to be moved to comment upon them, which is a worrying sign in itself.

Scarce a week seems to go by without another Islamist plot being uncovered, and for all of the media’s professed concern about a potential network of crypto-Breiviks lurking in the shadows waiting to butcher the innocent, this thankfully remains as firmly in the realms of fantasy as Breivik’s resurrected ‘Knights Templar’. Breivik the butcher, mercifully, remains an army of one; a genuine clerical fascist; a warped individual who carries within himself more the spirit of Mohammed than that of Christ; a man possessed of a lust for blood, rather than a desire for peace. Breivik is, in many respects, a mirror-image jihadi. A man who truly loves his people would never seek them out and methodically murder them, irrespective of any ideological difference. Breivik is no nationalist. He has made of himself a wretch and a perpetual outcast.

And what of the men in Luton who have just been arrested? What will they become? For the English, if these five prove to be found guilty, then true justice must surely demand that they be shunned and returned to their land of ancestral origin. Amongst their “community” however, how will they be regarded? Will they be ostracised or fêted? The likely attitude, sadly, is predictable, for although many of Luton’s Muslims will refrain from lionising these aspirant killers, significant numbers of them will not. As sure as night follows day, in the weeks, months and perhaps years ahead, their advocates will be heard, and they will shriek at us as if we were the criminals. Luton, according to an initiative funded by the town council, is in “harmony”. This arrest, together with this medium-sized town’s Muslim population having provided a home to the Stockholm suicide bomber Taimur Abdulwahab al-Abdaly, one of the fertiliser bomb plotters and a facilitator of the 7/7 bombings, attests to the fact that there is no such thing. It is also home of course, to Sayful Islam. For observers to profess to be perplexed at why Luton should have given birth to the EDL is thus disingenuous to say the least.

In a little under two weeks’ time, the EDL plans to demonstrate in Luton in celebration of its third anniversary. What impact, if any, will these arrests have upon that day, Saturday 5 May? Channel 4 may have dubbed Stephen Lennon and the EDL “proud and prejudiced”, but who can blame him and his supporters for wishing to articulate a deep and well-founded sense of unease arising from certain unwelcome phenomena originating within the Muslim population, that no major political party will acknowledge, let alone address? “Luton in harmony”? Unfortunately not. It could be, but that would demand something that our current authorities are unwilling to do: ditching multiculturalism and rooting out Islamism once and for all. The one reassuring thing to emerge from today’s story is the fact that our security agencies have once again nipped a potential plot in the bud. Overall, they have done a pretty good job in recent years. 

Monday, 23 April 2012

Nicolas Sarkozy isn’t listening

“I have heard you”, Nicolas Sarkozy is said to have told Front National voters today as he made a desperate attempt to win them over in the second round of the French presidential election. Now, like me you may find such a phrase uncannily familiar, for have you ever heard your boss say “I hear what you’re saying” or “I hear you”? If so you know what it means: nothing. It is simply a polite way of disarming your gripe, even though your boss is utterly dismissive of it and disagrees completely with the substance of what you are saying. Hearing after all, is not listening, although this distinction seems to be lost on many people. Don’t believe me? Well, try comparing Sarkozy’s words here as quoted in The Daily Telegraph: “I've heard you...The French don't want to be dispossessed of their way of life. That's the message I heard, and I will take to the second round of the election," with what he says in the video below where he makes it clear that the French people should effectively cease to be. 

There is only one good thing about Nicolas Sarkozy: his wife, for it has to be said that Carla Bruni is very easy on the eye. Other than that, there is nothing really to be said in his favour. However, the attractiveness of someone’s wife or otherwise really doesn’t constitute grounds for lending them support or not. Then again, thinking of Tony Blair and . . . brrr! He and his wife were a ‘good’ match come to think of it.

Anyway, returning to more serious matters en France: Marine Le Pen did manage to secure a creditable 17.9% of the vote, although unfortunately this was insufficient to allow her entry to the second round of the contest. That Sarkozy as the incumbent, failed to win the largest share – coming second to François Hollande with 27.18% to 28.63% - was noteworthy, for apparently this is the first time in the past fifty years that this has happened to a presidential incumbent running for re-election. Sarkozy therefore needs the votes cast for Le Pen in the first round, and is making patriotic sounds (debunked by the video linked to above) to try and woo Front National voters. Why though, should they support him?

It is wise that Le Pen has refrained from recommending who her voters should support. Tactically, it would be wiser for her circa 6.4 million voters to abstain, registering their condemnation of both Sarkozy and Hollande. It is almost inevitable that Hollande will harvest the votes cast for other candidates of the Left such as Melenchon, but there is no inevitability about Sarkozy taking votes from the Front National. Hollande looks set to win.

It is not so much the next round of the presidential race that interests me, as June’s elections to France’s National Assembly in which all 577 seats will be contested. Given Le Pen’s strong showing yesterday, it is to be hoped that the Front National will win a number of seats, now that she has succeeded in extending the appeal of her party beyond its old social constituency and has emerged as a champion of the interests of the French working class. Such a political approach is required here in the UK, in England in particular, and news will be forthcoming on this in due course. 

"Less people voted for you than bought my last album Nicolas."

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Le Pen set for more than 20%?

An exit poll published by Harris earlier this evening suggests that Marine Le Pen has come third in the first round of the French presidential election, securing 20.7% of the vote, with Sarkozy taking 27% and François Hollande 28.5%. Although Le Pen appears to have won a significantly higher share than predicted, it may be the case that it could have been higher still if indeed allegations connected to the withholding of Le Pen ballot papers from 16 departments and many voters resident overseas prove to be true. The GalliaWatch blog is sure to post more up-to-date material on this shortly, and the real results will be available soon enough.

The French Presidential Elections: a Muslim Bloc Vote?

In what would appear to be an interesting parallel to the recent behaviour displayed by Muslim voters in Bradford West and their election of George Galloway, Al Jazeera notes that in today’s first round of the presidential election French Muslims are ‘likely to vote for the far left’. It notes:
Throughout the duration of the campaign for France's presidency, one issue has come up over and over again.

Islam, and whether it has a place in French society, has been a favourite issue of the two right wing candidates, the National Front's
Marine Le Pen and Nicolas Sarkozyof the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP). 
France’s Muslim population is even larger than that of Britain’s both in terms of its overall size and share of the national total, and as has occasionally been documented on the pages of this blog, concern over cultural and demographic Islamisation has been growing in France, wedded as it is to its central national idea of laïcité, an approximate translation of which is secularism. Given the tenets of doctrinaire Islam, the two were bound for inevitable collision, resulting in agonised national debates over the veil, the burqa, minarets, praying in the streets and most recently the unwitting consumption of halal meat, particularly in the Paris area, by ordinary Frenchmen and women. One opponent of Islamisation - Christine Tasin - even received a fatwa demanding her death for her robust secularist stance, so the debate about secularism in France does possess a real implications for the lives of the country's citizens; it is not some petty theoretical debate.

Marine Le Pen has not been backward in articulating popular concerns over the various facets of Islamisation, and although doing reasonably well in the opinion polls, having often scored in the high teens or low twenties, unfortunately does not appear to be on course to participate in the second round of the presidential context. If allegations published on the GalliaWatch blog relating to Le Pen ballots being withheld from 16 departments in France as well as from many voters resident overseas prove to be true, her vote could be considerably lower than anticipated. Instead, it would appear that Sarkozy will go head-to-head with the Socialist Party candidate François Hollande, with the two being almost neck and neck in recent polls. Who wins will very much depend upon where Le Pen’s and Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s (the Left Party candidate) supporters cast their votes in the run-off. The majority of Muslims however, have made it quite that Sarkozy will not secure their support because of his perceived ‘Islamophobic’ attitude and pronouncements (in reality Sarkozy talks tough but does little so as to undermine support for Le Pen). This is very much in line with the presidential elections of 2007, for as The Washington Times observes:
In April 2007, polls found that French Muslims voted mainly for the Socialist presidential candidate: Segolene Royal won 64 percent of their vote, while Mr. Sarkozy got just 1 percent in the first round and 5 percent in the second.

“People who would have originally voted for the center or the right-wing are now determined to vote against Nicolas Sarkozy,” Ms. Lorcerie said.
So it therefore seems likely that Muslim voters in France will throw their support behind Moroccan-born Jean-Luc Mélenchon today, and then François Hollande in the second round. George Galloway and Ken Livingstone are but the most notable politicians to have participated in the creation and the exploitation of the Muslim bloc vote in Britain, and it would appear that a parallel process could be underway in France. Could it be that across Europe a pattern is emerging in which Muslims are casting their votes en bloc for particular candidates and parties that specifically pander to their demands? Will this register with the rest of the electorate? The Washington Times notes that it has certainly registered with sociologists:
France’s Muslim community is mobilizing voters to reject President Nicolas Sarkozy in Sunday’s election to punish the conservative leader for his anti-immigrant and anti-Islam rhetoric.

“[French] Muslims can’t stand it anymore. They are fed up with these debates about national identity, halal meat, the veil or fundamentalism all over the place,” said Francoise Lorcerie, a sociologist with the Institute of Studies on the Arab and Muslim World near Marseille.

“The terms [Islam, immigration and fundamentalism] are being used interchangeably, without care, with people being targeted, denigrated and used for [votes].”

Friday, 20 April 2012

Remploy Factory Closures: Government uses PC Orthodoxy to condemn disabled Workers to long-term Unemployment

Finding a job today is tough, and finding work at the best of times is hard enough for many people with disabilities. Remploy, established in 1945 to provide disabled people with factory work, has recently announced that it is to close 36 of its 54 sites across the country, which has understandably led to a sense of abandonment amongst the staff who will be laid off. It is thought that 1700 will lose their jobs in all, with 1500 of these having disabilities. Today, 300 employees therefore participated in a protest against the closures in Sheffield, with the BBC quoting Remploy worker Vicki Charlesworth as saying:
“A lot of people will not get jobs. What are we going to do? We are going to be in a right state.”
Her concerns would appear to be well placed, for according to The Independent, GMB General Secretary Paul Kenny stated:
“The last time the Government shut [Remploy] factories, they said that it would be absorbed into mainstream employment – 90% of those people who lost their jobs last time are sitting at home on benefits and have never worked since.”
The Government appears to have used the findings of a campaigning charity named Radar to provide part of its justification for the closures, with Radar’s June 2011 report suggesting that Remploy employees would be better off working in mainstream employment. Quite clearly, many Remploy workers would not agree. Through forcing the closure of Remploy factories the Government is pretending to act in a ‘progressive’ fashion, whilst in reality condemning many disabled people to long-term unemployment and the attendant material, social and psychological problems that this can engender. Whilst some who work for Remploy will undoubtedly be capable of working elsewhere for mainstream employers, how will they be able to find such jobs? The types of disability experienced will be highly varied, and many will have restricted mobility that could limit their ability to commute.

How much money will these closures save when compared to the additional costs that will be brought about through these job losses and the problems that they will generate? Is this really about the “integration” of disabled people into wider society, or about dogmatic hostility to the state providing assistance in the form of employment for the disabled?   

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

May 2012 Forecast: Coldest for 100 Years (according to Piers Corbyn)

If you were to believe an announcement made on 17 April by Piers Corbyn, you would certainly be taking note of the old saying "ne'er cast a clout til May is out", for the unorthodox weather forecaster has recently made the dire pronouncement that "The coldest or near coldest May for 100 years" will shortly befall central and eastern England. His gloomy prognostications state that there will be "a record run of bitter Northerly winds. Snow at times especially on high ground in NE/East. Spring put in reverse." 

Corbyn's rather awkward and admonitory style of writing almost brings to mind a Nostradamus quatrain, and his forecasts could well be founded upon methods just as spurious. The contrarian weather forecaster has many devotees who swear by the accuracy of his predictions, and who also in equal measure tend to rubbish conventional forecasts produced by the Met Office. Corbyn is an astrophysicist who has for a number of years made a living through the sale of his forecasts which are said to be based upon his unique (but methodologically unexplained) "solar-lunar" method. Although Corbyn often provides very precise dates for his forecasts, the nature of the meteorological phenomena predicted tends not to be quantified, with the general descriptive language used by Corbyn thereby being not only inexact, but providing a useful get out clause should his forecasts prove to be wrong. His fans remember when his forecasts (roughly) coincide with conditions, and conveniently forget the many times when they do not. He is certainly an effective publicist, for both The Daily Telegraph and The Daily Mail have published pieces on his "coldest May" forecast, but have refrained from linking this to a rebuttal of mainstream climate science, although the comments sections show that their readers have not been coy about voicing such a sentiment.

In October and early November 2011 Corbyn made dire predictions relating to what he claimed would be another exceptionally cold winter in Britain, but this never materialised, with Corbyn blaming an unexpected "solar filament" for throwing his forecast off kilter. In England the winter of 2011-2012 proved to be warmer than average. So, with him having once again stuck his neck out with respect to our weather next month, it will be interesting to see what transpires. For the sake of British fruit growers, let's hope that his latest forecast turns out to be nothing more than (please forgive the inappropriate expression) hot air. Lord Summerisle would not be pleased were his crops to be blasted by chill May winds. Whatever happens, May will probably fail to live up to our expectations in one way or another, leading to grumbling about cold, drought, heat, rain, hail or wind. What can be predicted for certainty is that the British obsession with the weather will continue, and that advocates of climate change and its opponents will employ the perfectly natural variability in our weather as evidence for or against their respective positions. 

May Blossom

Internet Censorship: Protection for Whom?

Politicians, particularly those enjoying the benefits of office, are understandably concerned with maintaining and bolstering their support with a view to securing an extension of their tenure. The more principled amongst them will try to achieve this through persuading the electorate that they are doing a good job in protecting and advancing the latter’s interests, ideally because they are actually doing so. However, there are, always have been and always will be, those who choose a different tack, and who are prepared to use less well-intentioned means to secure and advance their position. The latter approach tends to predominate when those seeking to retain their power lack legitimacy. This observation, given recent proposals relating to control of the internet and the widespread unpopularity of Westminster politicians, should give us grounds for concern.

Yesterday, The Daily Mail reported that certain MPs have responded to the complaints of some constituents regarding the ease with which children are able to access hardcore pornography via the internet by proposing the blanket application of an automated blocking system preventing access to internet porn. It stated:
“Internet users should automatically be blocked from accessing pornography at home to stop the surge in children seeing adult material, MPs will demand today.

Anyone wanting to view hardcore images online should have to ‘opt out’ of a special filter, according to the panel of MPs and peers looking into child protection.”
The article later draws attention to the fact that there are already a number of free internet filters readily available that parents can download to prevent their children from accessing such sites, which suggests that the grounds for such legislation are lacking. However, it is an observation by the blogger Quiet Man that caught my attention, for he noted that if the state is able to legislate to impose such a filtering system on the internet to protect children, might not it then be tempted to legislate to ‘protect’ the public from views that it deems to be unacceptable?

In recent years the internet has allowed genuine debate to flourish, enabling views that are ignored in mainstream politics and the media to be given an airing, whether they be good, bad or patently mad. It has facilitated the emergence of new types of political activism, and highlighted negative phenomena characteristic of sections of certain “communities” that fly in the face of politically correct orthodoxy. As those who criticise multiculturalism are generally stigmatised as “far-right”, “fascist”, “racist” and even “Nazi” by certain campaign groups and elements within the media which are also attempting to fabricate links between mass murderer Anders Breivik and individuals and groups critical of Islamism and various facets of Islamisation, might not mainstream parliamentarians be tempted to extend censorship into the realm of online politics? Fabricated claims about a “far-right” or “neo-Nazi” threat could be employed as a pretext for automatically screening out websites and blogs that are deemed to be beyond the ideological pale. What implications might such a measure have for freedom of thought and expression in the UK? It would seem that such a move could be very harmful and result in problems being ignored and hidden instead of being addressed and solved peacefully.

A number of politicians may today claim that they wish to introduce this technology to protect children from hardcore pornography, but in the longer term, whose interests will be protected by such technology: those of incumbent parliamentarians, or of the general public? Are they really thinking of the interests of our children, or of themselves?

Monday, 9 April 2012

Mayoral Elections May 2012

Understandably, when it comes to the forthcoming mayoral elections the gaze of the media has thus far largely been directed towards London, the place where the concept of a directly elected mayor was put to the test for the first time in 2000. It is and will be a contest dominated by the personalities of Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone, the only men to have held the office to date. Already it has proven to be an exceptionally bad tempered race, with personal animosity boiling over into the well-publicised “fucking liar” incident in which Johnson lost his rag with Livingstone during a live radio debate. Although Johnson is a rich man, the subsequent publication of his personal earnings and tax details for the past three years, when compared to Livingstone’s, shows that he has paid his way whereas Livingstone, thanks to a little creative accounting, most certainly has not. Johnson’s fury therefore possessed some justification.

Livingstone was a trailblazer of divisive multiculturalist identity politics, helping to create an ethnically and culturally fragmented capital that whilst in our country is largely no longer of it; a city defined by geography rather than by people and community. Having nurtured the emergence of distinctive self-conscious ethnic blocs, it is to them that he now largely appeals, championing ‘minorities’ over the indigenous population. Andrew Gilligan and others have noted Livingstone’s poisonous embrace of Islamists in recent years, as well as a succession of remarks that indicate an apparent antipathy towards Jews. Having witnessed Galloway’s successful mobilisation of the Muslim bloc vote in Bradford West, it is a certainty that Livingstone will tap into this same demographic in London, appealing to the electors of Tower Hamlets and other such areas, using the Islamic Forum of Europe to help deliver the “community” votes that he requires. Galloway’s victory was to a considerable extent founded upon the willingness of Muslims to vote and the apathy of the non-Muslim indigenous population. Given that neither Johnson nor Livingstone enjoys a commanding lead in the opinion polls, Livingstone’s ability to tap into the growing Muslim bloc vote could provide him with the advantage that he requires to edge ahead of Johnson. This is the ugly political reality that characterises our capital today.

For all of the metropolitan media’s obsession with London, life and politics do exist outside of the capital, and mayoral elections also will be taking place elsewhere on 3 May, notably in Liverpool and Salford. Doncaster, which produced something of a surprise in its mayoral election of 2009 by returning the English Democrat Peter Davies (quite why a man would praise the Taliban for their “family values” is puzzling), will be holding a referendum over whether it should retain or abolish the office of elected mayor. With none of the mainstream political parties igniting voter enthusiasm, the time would seem to be ripe for other parties to make a breakthrough, so perhaps either of these elections might produce a surprise result. However, the personality and background of each of the candidates is as likely to be just as influential as any party label.

In Liverpool a mayoral debate will take place on Thursday 19 April, with the opportunity being open for all candidates to contribute. However, given their antipathy towards free speech and democracy, the self-styled “Liverpool Antifascists”  have stated that their supporters are planning to hold a demonstration outside of the debate’s venue – Mountford Hall – because they claim that “three fascist candidates” will be present, with one from each of the following parties: “the British National Party, English Democrats and National Front.” The recent demise of the BNP has resulted in groups and campaigns describing themselves as “antifascist” seeking to find new targets for their activities so as to justify their ongoing existence, and it is thus unfortunate for the English Democrats that they are but the latest to be singled out for stigmatisation by Liverpool Antifascists, Hope Not Hate and UAF.

Contemporary politics, in England in particular, has grown stale and offers prospective voters no real choice. This fact is reflected in the dismal approval ratings of the leaders of the main political parties and low voter turnout. Clearly, there is room for a new party that seeks to provide a credible and moderate nationalist programme aimed at improving the lot of our citizenry as a whole, and our people in particular. Although such a party does not yet exist, a decision has been taken to bring it into existence, and work is currently underway with respect to its organisation, structure, constitution and policy. A team is being brought into being and an announcement regarding its launch will be made within the next couple of months. The next set of local and mayoral elections therefore, should be rather more interesting than those scheduled for this May.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Bradford Respect Local Election Candidates Announced

Despite Galloway's breezy braggartry that his Respect Party would field candidates in every Bradford ward in the forthcoming May local elections, this has in fact proven to be far from the case. In total, Respect will be contesting only 12 of the city's 30 wards. Predictably, the ethno-confessional identity of its slate of candidates displays a certain bias, with 8 of the 12 being Muslim and one possibly Hindu (Karmani).

Yesterday, a rumour was reported that a Labour Party member in Manningham had defected to the Respect camp, and according to the Statement of Persons Nominated issued by Bradford Council, the Respect candidate is named as Ahmed Ishtiaq. Confusingly, an individual of that same name stood as a Conservative in Manningham in 2006, and not unnaturally in the initial draft of this piece I therefore got him mixed up with his namesake. As you can see from the comments section, the Conservative Ahmed Ishtiaq remains in the Conservative Party, and quite rightly has been rather annoyed that his name has seemingly been sullied by a false association with Respect. I therefore apologise to this latter Mr Ishtiaq who, contrary to what was thought earlier, can in no way be accused of being opportunistic. This error led to the seemingly bizarre situation of Ahmed Ishtiaq backing both the Conservative candidate Abid Majid in Bradford Moor and Respect candidate Mohammad Shabbir in Heaton. All  has of course become clear, now that we know that there are two Ahmed Ishqtiaqs involved in Bradford politics.

Another interesting fact to be gleaned from the list of candidates is the fact that the two ex-BNP councillors Paul and Lynda Cromie now sitting as Independents, have acted as the proposers and seconders of Michael Walls, the Conservative Party candidate for Queensbury. The BNP, which is fielding very few candidates nationwide owing to its implosion, is standing Eric Baxendale in the ward, so evidently there is no love lost between him and the Cromies. A local party which was born of a schism within the BNP some years ago - the Democratic Nationalists - is fielding candidates in Royds, Tong and Wyke. The BNP is now in such a poor state that Baxendale is its sole candidate.

Surprisingly, Respect has not been able to field candidates in Keighley Central or Toller, two of the wards identified in a preceding piece as being good prospects for the party. Realistically therefore, Respect only stands a chance of taking six seats. It may of course take none, although it should make a decent showing in those wards identified. Thanks to Galloway's popularity in Bradford West, the eyes of the media will certainly be eagerly peering at Bradford in early May. Will this really prove to be Galloway's "Bradford Spring", or will it turn out to be a "Bradford squib"?

The full slate of Respect candidates is as follows:

Bolton and Undercliffe - Tazeem Sawaiz
Bowling and Barkerend - Mohammed Asif Khan
Bradford Moor - Faisal Khan
City - Ruqqaya Collector
Clayton and Fairweather Green - Dawud Islam
Great Horton - Salim Jelani
Heaton - Mohammad Shabbir
Little Horton - Alyas Karmani
Manningham - Ahmed Ishtiaq
Thornton and Allerton - Patrick John Mulligan
Tong - Sarah Cartin
Wyke - James Philip Clayton

George Galloway & Bradford Respect Candidates

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Bradford Green and Labour Candidates defect to Respect

With the May local elections fast approaching, Galloway’s Bradford bandwagon is still rolling. Yesterday, Bradford West Green candidate Dawud Islam announced via Twitter that he was defecting to Respect to stand under that party banner in May. He stated:
Hello everyone. I have just released the following Press release on why I am joining the Bradford Spring: #BradfordWest
His full press release is as follows: 
Hello Everyone. I have just released the following PRESS RELEASE:

Dawud Islam, the Green Party candidate in the recent Bradford West by-election, has today accepted an offer to join RESPECT and will be standing for the party in Clayton and Fairweather Green in the local elections on May 3rd. Mr Islam said that it was not a decision that he had taken lightly but one made because of the unique set of circumstances that Respect’s by-election victory had created. “This is a real opportunity for a re-alignment of progressive left wing politics in this country and I call on all of those who share similar politics to myself to climb onboard and get involved. This is not about what you may or may not think of George Galloway as an individual, that is not the issue here, although many of course love him. What it is about is creating a genuine left leaning political party that can win seats in inner cities across the country and to offer real hope to those currently disenfranchised by the current political ruling elite”.
He continued “I call on all ‘Real’ Labour supporters to come and join us, I also invite trade unionists, left leaning greens and those many genuine activists in the Lib Dems that follow a progressive agenda and feel let down by the direction Nick Clegg has taken their party. Let’s create a lean well organized coalition of the left that can deliver electoral success both locally and nationally and can speak up for all of Britain’s communities that are currently voiceless”
Dawud praised his old party at the time of making the switch: “It would be an easy decision to make to leave any other party to join RESPECT except the Greens. They are an excellent party and my local team are an excellent set of individuals. I continue to support their entire agenda and will continue my attempts to see it implemented whilst a member of RESPECT. I hope that Caroline Lucas MP and George Galloway MP can agree some sort of electoral pact between the parties in the future as I certainly view the Green Party as a progressive party of the left.

Thanks. Dawud Islam
This will not be the first time that he has changed party affiliation, for in 1996 he left the Labour Party for the Greens owing to his sense of unease with the New Labour project. Radical changes of identity are something that Dawud Islam would seem to be comfortable with, for once upon a time he was a non-Muslim named David Edler. Quite what made Mr Edler embrace such a backward creed is currently beyond the knowledge of this blogger.

Moreover, in line with my speculations on possible Labour defections, some sources claim that the Labour candidate for Manningham has jumped ship at the last moment, and will instead be standing for Respect. If this is true, he will of course take the bulk of his ‘community’ backing with him, and in all likelihood, capitalise upon the jubilant ‘community’ support displayed for Galloway. We will not have long to wait for the veracity of this claim to be established, for all candidates will be announced tomorrow lunchtime. It will be interesting to see how many other Labour candidates might display such brazen opportunism. 

Bradford City Centre: Berlin Wall Theme Park?

Monday, 2 April 2012

The Sound of Confusion: another “Freedom Party”?

A little over a week ago a story appeared courtesy of Reuters in which journalist Michael Holden claimed that the EDL was going “to form [a] “Freedom Party””. This claim was made upon the basis of a couple of quotes from Stephen Lennon:
Stephen Lennon, head of the English Defence League (EDL), said the three-year-old grassroots group wanted to move on from holding street demonstrations to contesting elections.
"The British political anti-Islamist party will be launched in May at our Luton demonstration," Lennon told Reuters, saying the new body would be called the Freedom Party.
"At the Luton demonstration, the whole country will hear an anti-Islamist political party that gives everyone an option in a non-racist way - the opposite to the British National Party."
It would seem that either Holden misheard what Lennon said, or that Lennon accidentally omitted the first part of the party’s full name which, given his hitherto stated support, can only be assumed to be the British Freedom Party. There is, or more accurately was, a UK political party named The Freedom Party (its website can be viewed here), but it is now essentially defunct although still technically under the chairmanship of Adrian Davies. So, the question that naturally poses itself is this: is Lennon really proposing to launch another party named “The Freedom Party”, or is he choosing the occasion of this May’s EDL Luton demo for what will be the third attempted launch of the British Freedom Party (BFP)?

The second option would seem to be the most logical one, but then again, not as logical as it ought to be. After all, the local elections are on Thursday 3 May, but the EDL’s Luton demo is on Saturday 5 May. Why choose to launch a party two days after the elections, particularly if the launch in question is actually a relaunch of the BFP? The BFP has previously declared its intention to field candidates in May, but to date, no concrete announcements seem to have appeared in connection with such plans. Perhaps a decision, for whatever reason, has been taken to delay its electoral baptism? Whatever the fact of the matter, this launch or relaunch is being poorly managed and communicated owing to the lack of clarity surrounding the whole affair. 

Yesterday also witnessed Stephen Lennon/Tommy Robinson appear on the BBC Sunday morning television programme ‘The Big Questions’ following his trip to Aarhus in Denmark the preceding day for a European Counter-jihad gathering. Although this was the first time that he had appeared on ‘The Big Questions’, this was not the first occasion that Islam featured in the programme, for the fact is that it seems to play a disproportionate role in almost every episode that is aired. This perhaps should not come as a surprise given that Aaqil Ahmed was appointed as the BBC’s Commissioning Editor Religion and Head of Religion and Ethics in 2009. His appointment has served to embed a pre-existent pro-Islam bias at the BBC, which also seems to have spilled over into its ‘Thought for the Day’ slot on Radio 4’s Today Programme, where once again Islamic voices are given a disproportionately large amount of airtime, whereas neo-pagans, Wiccans, UFO worshippers and voodoo practitioners seem to be left out of the equation. Come on now BBC, when are you going to redress your innate monotheistic bias! So much for ‘diversity’, eh?

Returning to yesterday’s rather more mundane and predictable bear-baiting session on ‘The Big Questions’, the BBC did of course deploy its normal tactic of packing its panel and audience full of pro-Muslim voices, leaving Lennon to defend himself from a far from impartial Nicky Campbell. The latter sneeringly inferred that Lennon dwelt in an alternative reality, responding to his comment that many middle class academics, such as Matthew Goodwin (also on the panel insinuating that Lennon was a crypto-Nazi), were out of touch with ordinary people’s life experience and concerns with the question: “Are they out of touch with what he perceives to be his reality?”

Although the programme purports to present a debate, its real function is to draw the audience towards a predetermined conclusion agreed in advance by its producers, and brought about through their careful selection and weighting of the audience. The end result is to produce a narrow and dogmatic BBC narrative that dehumanises anyone who objects to the ill effects of multiculturalism through making nasty and baseless assertions about their characters, and insinuating that anything other than a thoroughgoing endorsement of its position inexorably paves the way for ethnic cleansing and gas chambers. Yesterday’s episode, as can be seen from the video excerpt below, conformed precisely to this tediously predictable and bogus narrative.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Bradford May 2012: a Respect Breakthrough?

On Thursday 3 May Bradfordians will have the opportunity to go to the polls not only to vote in the local council elections, but also in a referendum as to whether the city should opt to elect its mayor. Now that George Galloway, through his dramatic victory, has demonstrated the potential of Islamic sectarian politics in certain parts of contemporary England, we may see wins for Respect in a number of Bradford wards now that he has declared that the party will field candidates in every ward. Galloway has certainly built up a head of steam for his party, and has generated much enthusiasm amongst the city’s Muslim population, even going so far as to win the backing of its mosques. Indeed, his efforts to tailor his message to this section of the electorate were quite remarkable, as is evidenced both by the letter reproduced below and the campaign speech at the end of this piece. If you possess neither the time nor the inclination to watch Galloway’s speech, you should certainly not omit to read his letter, for its content has to be seen to be believed.

Galloway has never been the shy and retiring type, yet his campaign speech took him well beyond exuberant confidence into the realms of messianic hubris, with him going so far as to invoke the divine punishment to be meted out on Judgement Day as the prospective fate of Muslim electors who chose to vote for a party of war – Labour – rather than for himself: “I believe in the Judgement Day. Not all of you do. I believe that one day we will have to answer to the Almighty for what we did and we did not do.” Galloway would seem to think that he has God, or rather Allah, on his side. He was also rather keen to imply that he, although not formally a Muslim, was a Muslim in deed, citing his teetotalism as evidence and stating that he shared a belief in the Ummah.

How then might Galloway, with his charisma and oratorical skills, support a breakthrough for other Respect candidates in May? Besides the canny honing of his pro-Muslim message, Galloway has also chosen to move the Respect headquarters from Manchester to Bradford, and in his main campaign speech made much play of the fact that he was also eyeing up the local elections “in six weeks’ time”. Connected to this was his statement that “I’ll be ashamed if I leave Bradford and there’s not a new generation of leaders stepping forward to take my place.” Quite clearly, he has plans afoot to develop “a new generation of leaders to come after me,” as was the case he claimed, in Tower Hamlets. Tower Hamlets sets an ugly precedent, and it ought to be a salutary warning to Bradfordians that Galloway intends to develop a cadre of Islamist politicians in the city.

Moving on to a rather more concrete electoral tactic that seemed to work well for Respect last week and will doubtless be employed again in the weeks ahead, Galloway asked of his audience “Every one of you has got at least fifty numbers in your phonebook. Send a text to them all and ask them to send a text to everyone in their phonebook and we reach thousands and thousands of people in Bradford.” This tactic was cheap, personal and effective. He also managed to secure the support of the innocuously named Chambers Solicitors, which not only provided him with the venue for his campaign speech gratis, but also paid for trailers displaying electoral posters. Will the same level of support be available in the weeks ahead?

Turning to the question of which wards Respect could stand a good chance of taking, two primary factors need to be considered: the ethnoconfessional composition of the electorate and Labour Party support. Where the two coincide – i.e. where the electorate is predominantly Muslim and returns Labour councillors – we can see an opening for Respect. Of the two factors however, it is the ethnoconfessional one that will play the determining role in the potential success of Respect, for it will not win votes in any significant numbers from indigenous voters of any political stripe. However, in Bradford West it was demonstrated that Muslims who had previously voted Conservative and Liberal Democrat were quite happy to switch their votes to Respect because of its overtly Islamist agenda. For these Muslim voters, faith trumped every other aspect of policy and personal identity.

Thankfully, we should not yet anticipate that Bradford Council will be transformed into an authority dominated by Respect, for it includes many outlying towns and rural areas that have not to date undergone the demographic transformation of many of the inner urban wards. Furthermore, Bradford Council is comprised of 90 councillors drawn from 30 wards, with one third of its councillors being up for re-election this coming May. Referring to the most recent set of electoral results from 2011, it is clear that there are a number of council seats that could be ripe for Respect. Each of the following wards can be characterised as ‘Asian’ (i.e. majority Muslim) and thus the only realistic targets for Respect: Bowling and Barkerend; Bradford Moor; City; Heaton; Keighley Central; Little Horton; Manningham; Toller. It is quite possible that all eight could return Respect councillors.

It is well known that Bradford West was a Labour stronghold, but some of the wards listed above are in a firm Labour stranglehold: Bradford Moor – 66.6%; City – 64%; Little Horton – 86.8% (Sher Khan – not the tiger from The Jungle Book surely?!); Manningham – 73.2%, and Toller – 80.5%. The question is: how strong are the networks of personal, clan and familial relationships within ‘local’ communities and businesses enjoyed by the men who control these wards? Furthermore, might not some of their colleagues be tempted to run under the Respect banner on this occasion, given that it has now successfully demonstrated its credentials as a viable Islamist party and is riding a wave of popular Islamic support in the city?

As illustrated in Bradford West, it was not only Labour supporters who deserted ‘their’ party for Respect, but also Muslim Conservative and Liberal Democrat voters. The same phenomenon could also characterise the local elections. Although of course non-Muslims will have voted for Muslim candidates in wards across the city – especially when only Muslim candidates were fielded – the following percentages of the vote were cast for such candidates in 2011, and provide a reasonable proxy for the Islamic character of particular wards. Thus, the bases of potential support for Respect are revealed to be much higher: Bowling and Barkerend – 74.9%; Bradford Moor – 100%; City – 91.7%; Heaton – 74.6%; Keighley Central – 85.5%; Little Horton – 86.8%; Manningham – 95.6%; Toller – 100%. Not all will transfer across to Respect of course, but these figures would seem to suggest that the party stands a very good chance of taking them, particularly if its candidates are endorsed by local mosques.

Turnout in local elections is notoriously low, which constitutes another reason for them being able to provide unexpected results for smaller parties. The average turnout across Bradford in 2011 was 40.63%, and given the lack of enthusiasm amongst voters for the traditional mainstream parties, it tends to be those who are the most motivated and passionate about their candidate who bother to turn out and vote. Thus, if last year’s turnout were to be repeated, Respect would on average need to secure the votes of only 21% of the eligible electorate in any ward to be able to take the seat. This is perfectly achievable. Galloway may have reason once again to purr with delight on 4 May.