That Special Relationship

    What is the nature of the special relationship between Britain and the US? “Britain’s special relationship with the US is so special only one side knows it exists” – Helmut Schmidt July 2014   In a remarkably frank articulation of London’s subservience to Washington, William Hague said in response to the Isis advances: ‘We…

Blair – the tired/tiring record

July 2014 One of the attractions for Blair in working with the United Arab Emirates and al-Sisi is apparently that the latter two have turned against the Muslim Brotherhood. Blair is a profound Islamophobe and hates the Muslim religious Right, even though he has been perfectly happy to shill for the Christian religious Right. Al-Sisi…

censored

Censorship is OK for the lascars

So there are limits to freedom of expression after all! But not if it applies to Muslims. New York’s famed Metropolitan Opera cancels ‘Death of Klingoffer’       New York’s Metropolitan Opera have cancelled an international simulcast of John Adams’ opera The Death of Klinghoffer due to “an outpouring of concern” that it “might…

Afghanistan

Afghanistan – Pride & Prejudice – Part X

                        3rd June 2014 Sgt Bergdahl had joined the army when it was short of soldiers to send to Afghanistan as part of the “surge” in the number of combat brigades there. With too few men, it had started to issue “waivers” to recruits…

immigration

Immigration – Britain cannot do without!

          All our Yesterdays! Ian Jack, reviewing Chapman Pincher’s biography in the London Review of Books (5 June 2014) quotes an encounter the veteran journalist had with Harold Macmillan in the 60s: A sad, otherwordly conversation with Macmillan occurs when he asks the retired prime minister why he didn’t foresee that…

extremists-box

Extremists – what us?

“Every year the American historian William Blum publishes his ‘updated summary of the record of US foreign policy’ which shows that, since 1945, the US has tried to overthrow more than 50 governments, many democratically elected; grossly interfered in elections in 30 countries; bombed the civilian populations of 30 countries; used chemical and biological weapons;…

farsi couplet

SOAS academic’s take on Maudoodi

  Jan-Peter Hartung, Senior Lecturer in the Study of Islam at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London,  has recently published a book on the thought of the founder of Pakistan’s Jamaat Islami, Maulana Maudoodi (he prefers the spelling Mawdudi). For Salaam’s reviewer, it typifies the “malevolent but useful gaze of…

Revolving Doors

There seems to be a seamless progression of civil servants and politicians pursuing lucrative second careers…and vice versa. “The former chief executive of BT, who is now a senior Government trade minister, is at the centre of a row over Britain’s alleged role in America’s secret drones’ war. Ian Livingston was head of the telecoms…

We Did It! Assassinations…Regime change…

  “Relatives of unarmed rubber plantation workers killed by British troops in Malaysia said on Wednesday they would appeal to the supreme court after three senior UK judges said they had “forged the first link in the chain” in their campaign for an independent inquiry into the massacre.” Richard  Norton-Taylor in the Guardian, 19 March…

simonwoolley

Simon Woolley rocks!

On Wednesday 5 March an extraordinary meeting of minds took place at the office of Operation Black Vote in Bethnal Green.  The theme was ‘The Power of the Black Vote’ and it aimed at creating a coalition of activists to put ‘race equality back on the agenda’.  The message: that it was essential for the…