egypt_sisi

Lessons from Egypt

Egypt’s reputation Abdullah Al-Sinawi writes in middleeastmonitor.com, August 2016, ‘The economic crisis in Egypt is escalating and the government is looking to sign a contract with the IMF for the value of $12 billion and for other loans worth $9 billion from other international institutions as a final resort before any possible collapse. The most…

secret-state2

Metrics of Domestic Security

counterpunch.org reports, ‘Touting itself as a campaign providing advice on how to raise funds for Syrian refugees using the campaign, Help for Syria, Ricu has distributed leaflets to 760,000 homes throughout the country without alerting the recipients that these were government communications.  The Ricu initiative is contracted to private companies such as Breakthrough Media Network…

Bishop-Michael-Nazir-Ali

Dodgy Padres!

Wobbly church fathers, monks and rabbis! Child abuse not taken up under Bishop Nazir Ali’s watch Michael Nazir Ali was appointed Bishop of Rochester in 1994, resigning after 15 years of service, in order  ‘to work with Muslim converts to Christianity in Britain’ (Daily Telegraph, 28 March 2009) and collaborating with Patrick Sookhdeo of the Barnabas Fund,…

Revolving Doors

There seems to be a seamless progression of public servants and politicians pursuing lucrative second careers…and vice versa. Some Post-Chilcot revelations: ‘ Jack Straw (former Home Secretary & Foreign Secretary) . . . has worked as a well-paid consultant to a commodities firm ED&f Man’; ‘Geoff Hoon (former Defence Secretary) . . . in May 2011, he…

torture

Torture – a shared value?

                  Owen Bowcott in the Guardian, 27 June 2016, ‘Munyaka is one of 40,000 Kenyans who are suing the UK government for compensation over the injuries and losses suffered during official repression of the Mau Mau insurgency. Despite paying out £19.9m to 5,228 Kenyans who suffered abuse…

crows (Custom)

WoT & the deeper malaise

Patrick Cockburn in the Independent, ‘. . . there is still very little understanding among Western leaders about what happened in Afghanistan after 2001 and in Iraq after 2003. Whatever the humanitarian justifications for foreign intervention there, the wars rapidly transmuted into neo-imperial ventures not much different from those undertaken during the high days of…

RICU

RICU in focus

RICU remains in the news…  Ian Cobain, Alice Ross, Rob Evans and Mona Mahmood reporting in the Guardian, 2 May 2016: One Ricu initiative, which advertises itself as a campaign providing advice on how to raise funds for Syrian refugees, has had face-to-face conversations with thousands of students at university freshers’ fairs without any students realising…

terrorism-laws2

Terrorism Laws – crows come home to roost?

The misuse of Britain’s hastily conceived anti-terrorism/counter-terrorism laws and security regimes is now affecting society as a whole… a climate of suspicion permeates, with an impact on individual and collective behaviour. Rob Evans and Vikram Dodd in the Guardian, 28th April 2016, ‘A  secretive police unit tasked with spying on alleged extremists intent on committing serious…

censored

Censorship is OK for some!

So there are limits to freedom of expression after all! But not if it applies to Muslims. If Muslims protest, then it becomes a battle to preserve artistic freedoms and the rights of expression, regardless of the insult caused. However, censorship is widespread… USA Rania Khalek in electronicintifada.net, ‘The publisher McGraw-Hill Education is destroying all…

FISK

Afghanistan – Pride & Prejudice – Part X

    28th December 2015 Robert Fisk in the Independent, ‘The news from Afghanistan is very bad. No one says that, of course. President Ghani has a “national unity government” that “supports a strong partnership with the United States”, according to Barack Obama two months ago. Sure, Kunduz was captured by the Taliban – but…