Thursday, August 28, 2014

We must speak out against injustice without fear of being called “racists” or “convicted criminals”

by Denis MacShane*, disgraced former MP

Having seen the full horror of Professor Jay’s report into organised sexual abuse in my former constituency, no-one can now deny that there is a dreadful culture in this country that tolerates and abets rampant criminality.

The report shows that public officials should tackle offenders regardless of race, without allowing themselves to be cowed by fears about “political correctness” or “being a convicted criminal with a prison record”.

Non-offenders in positions of power should bow their heads in shame. Our towns now have chief executives. Shouldn’t they take responsibility?

Certainly, as a mere Member of Parliament for the area in which these terrible crimes were committed, for the entire duration of these offences, I could have burrowed more deeply into the issue.  It may be that, as a true Guardian reader and liberal leftie, I didn’t want to rock the multicultural boat.

Or perhaps I was just too busy grafting large sums of public money by submitting fraudulent expenses claims to pay heed to the vast sexual abuse network that was flourishing under my nose. 

I don’t recall any of my constituents raising concerns about a cabal of child molesters with me and maybe, had this matter been brought to my attention, I might have investigated further and sought answers. 

Although in all likelihood, I would’ve been quite busy at the time illegally siphoning thousands of pounds to fund a vast array of think-tanks and watchdog organisations in an  endless campaign of brazen self-aggrandisement.

I can see why some may think it odd that I have so far escaped serious criticism for allowing a sexual abuse ring to operate unhindered, while I turned public cash into hay to feed my countless political hobby-horses. 

To that, I can only say - my dear journalists, if you need someone to publicly blame his own malfeasance on the Guardian and an abstract “liberalism”, well, you have my phone number.  Call me.

*Not actually the words of the hyper-litigious Denis MacShane.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Me, Or Your Lyin' Eyes?

For a new low in the old Terrorists Are Bad gambit - a rhetorical dodge allowing that no matter how bad your behaviour is, it's wholly justified because Terrorists Are Bad - see the following from JC editor Stephen Pollard:



This being Pollard's excuse for why he's apologised to his readers for running a humanitarian appeal for the people of Gaza in his paper.

You do have to wonder quite how far Pollard intends to ride this particular pony up Bullshit Boulevard: "It was wrong of me to shag the babysitter darling, but it's alarming that you are so much angrier about my infidelity than you are about Hamas war crimes", perhaps, or "I accept that public urination is illegal officer, but so is the act of firing rockets within civilian areas".

Anyway, the thing I like best about this is that Pollard actually seems to think that he's making a reasonable point, rather than giving us all a big belly-laugh at his expense.

Your Dick In Your Hand

Being reflexively anti-war in the UK is hard work - everyone agrees with you all the time, right up until everyone doesn't, and then you're left standing there with nothing but your dick in your hand while everyone else chases off after Gadaffis and Saddams with high-explosives.

It happens again and again and no matter how many times folk slink back later saying, well, we made a few justifiable strategic errors, you just know that you're going to have to issue the same Don't kill people warnings, one meagre year down the line.  It's generally a lonely life.

It doesn't matter, how many times your Yazidis get off the mountain without significant UK aid or an entirely theoretical artillery seige of Bengazhi with rapacious house-to-house murders turns into an actual, person-killing, NATO-supported, civilians-running-everywhere seige of Sirte.  There's always some compelling reason why this war, this intervention, this bombardment, is radically different to all the other invasions and occupations and airstrike campaigns, and why the horrible news always means that there's no time for rational thought this time before we start blowing that shit up.

Seriously, can anyone name a single UK military operation of the last thirty years that wasn't so urgent, so pressing, so desperate, that there was any time at all available for reasonable consideration or reflection?  I can't, and I have to say that I'm getting a bit suspicious about the constancy of the refrain.

I'm not even a pacifist myself - I'm quite in favour of serious violence, within certain constrained circumstances.  Nonetheless, if you're anti-war, that should mean something - it should relate to an actual principle about warfare that you have to consider and either stick to or throw aside out of absolute necessity, rather than easily turning a 180 on the spot and deciding that this war is actually awesome.

And yet, and yet.  Every single bombing campaign, it's the same.  We have no choice.

Friday, August 08, 2014

Declaration of (War/ Humanitarian intervention/ Kinetic operations) by (George W. Bush/Barack Obama; Anthony Blair/ Gordon Brown/ David Cameron; Nicolas Sarkozy/Francois Hollande; Ariel Sharon/ Ehud Olmert/ Benjamin Netanyahu/ Miscellaneous

(Presidential/ Prime Ministerial) address to the (Congress/ Senate/ Parliament/ National Assembly/ Knesset/ Miscellaneous) of (The United States of America/ The United Kingdom/ France/ Israel/ Miscellaneous

dd/mm/yyyy

It is with (great regret/ a heavy heart/ great resolve) that I must inform (Congress/ The Senate/ Parliament/ The National Assembly/ the Knesset/ Miscellaneous) that the situation is now grave and that I have ordered our nation's armed forces to prepare for imminent military action.

The situation in (Iraq/ Pakistan/ Afghanistan/ Sierra Leone/ Gaza/ Yemen/ Kosovo/ Lebanon/ Somalia/ Libya/ Syria) has now grown desperate and we are now (forced/compelled/required) to act in order to (prevent a dictator acquiring deadly weapons/ prevent extremists overrunning [area]/ prevent genocide/  protect civilians).  

I have consulted with our allies and (we have agreed that/ I have informed them that) military action will commence presently.

We have not taken this decision lightly, but the danger posed by (Iraq/ Pakistan/ Afghanistan/ Sierra Leone/ Gaza/ Yemen/ Kosovo/ Lebanon/ Somalia/ Libya/ Syria/ miscellaneous militia group in territory thereof) is so serious, so urgent, that we simply must (intervene to prevent the spread of/ degrade the capability of) this threat as a matter of vital (national security/ military necessity/ moral necessity).  

I can assure the people of (Iraq/ Pakistan/ Afghanistan/ Sierra Leone/ Gaza/ Yemen/ Kosovo/ Lebanon/ Somalia/ Libya/ Syria) that we have no quarrel with them and that we will do everything possible to ensure their safety.  They should rest assured that we will not stop until the threat of (Saddam Hussein/ ISIS/ Colonel Gadaffi/ Hamas/ Hezbollah/ miscellaneous militia group) has been defeated.  

I understand that many of you will have misgivings but it is clear that this situation is completely unlike (the 2nd Gulf War/ the Israel-Lebanon War/ the occupation of Afghanistan)This mission will not involve (invasion/ occupation/ mass destruction of civilian infrastructure).  It will be a limited, narrowly-focused operation aimed at (protecting civilians/ removing a clear and imminent danger).

This government will take every step necessary to ensure that we are committed to (ensuring the security of [our nation/the region]/ preventing the victory of evil forces)

My fellow citizens, (God bless the United States of America/ Thank you for your time/ Fuck you if you don't like it).