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Archives’ sorry tales

An unhappy catalogue of lost (or concealed) archives…. Nicole Longpré writing in the blog of the Journal of the History of Ideas, Historians of the twentieth century in particular are frequently confronted with the barrier of the closed file: information that archivists, politicians, or others have deemed too sensitive to be read by the general…

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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…

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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…

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Metrics of Domestic Security

  “The number of women and children arrested on suspicion of terror-related offences has soared in the past year, official figures revealed today.A record number of terror suspects were under the age of 18, with a total of 16 children held by police in 2015, according to the Home Office statistics.A total of 280 suspected…

WoT & the deeper malaise

Michael Burleigh in the Evening Standard, ‘It is salutary to be reminded of how hard-fought-for institutional checks on “imaginative” intelligence materials delivered from domestic and foreign agencies were artfully circumvented to make the false claim (dutifully reported within hours by this newspaper) that Saddam Hussein’s battlefield artillery shells were really ballistic missile warheads that could…

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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…

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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…

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Islamophobia Dossier 2015

Most recent: Bow  violence; clumsy headline in broadsheet; Woking graffiti.  Three part dossier:  FIRST THE CLUMSY ACTIONS & STATEMENTS,  THEN THE MOCKING, ALARMIST TALK  AND FINALLY THE ABUSE, PHYSICAL DAMAGE, VIOLENCE For 2014 Islamophobia log, click here For 2013 Islamophobia log, click here For 2012 Islamophobia log, click here For 2011 Islamophobia log, click here…

Revolving Doors

There seems to be a seamless progression of public servants and politicians pursuing lucrative second careers…and vice versa. ‘Alistair Darling, the former Labour chancellor of Britain, has been appointed to the board of directors at Morgan Stanley. Darling will take up his role at the financial services firm in January… The news comes a day after it was…

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Dodgy Padres!

Wobbly church fathers, monks and rabbis! Trouble with the Franciscans Michael Day, writing in the Independent, notes how the Order has been ’embroiled in a scandal in which charitable proceeds were invested illegally in shell companies in Switzerland, Kenya, Eritrea and the Middle East, some of them linked to arms and drugs trafficking’. Apparently the…