crows (Custom)

WoT & the deeper malaise

Robert Fisk in the Independent, 15 September 2016, ‘For if the Saudi identity of the whole operation [9/11] had been acknowledged from the start, how could the US and the country led by a prime minister whose name I find it difficult to utter, have claimed so imperiously that Saddam Hussein’s Iraq – not Saudi Arabia…

torture

Torture – a shared value?

                  Spencer  Ackerman in the Guardian, 11 September 2016, ‘Bush was, for the first time, acknowledging the existence of the program that Senate intelligence committee staff investigator Daniel Jones would later expose as taking power drills to the heads of captured men; making them stand with their…

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… UK Self-censorship at the Catholic Herald, reported by Roy Greenslade in the…

secret-state

The Honey Traps

Martin Evans and Ben Farmer in the Daily Telegraph, ‘. . . [Anjem] Choudary was eventually prosecuted after swearing an oath of allegiance to Isil and posting YouTube videos in which he praised the murderous group. But there have been questions about why it took the authorities so long to prosecute Choudary, with some suggesting the…

fire-mau

Archives’ sorry tales

An unhappy catalogue of lost (or concealed) archives…. Marc Parry on the Mau Mau investigations by Caroline Elkins, ‘. . . Many documents relating to the detention camps were either absent or still classified as confidential 50 years after the war. She discovered that the British had torched documents before their 1963 withdrawal from Kenya.…

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…

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…

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…