torture

Torture – a shared value?

                  Phil Shiner in the Guardian: ‘But the debate should not be about mere UK involvement or complicity in torture. It is the UK’s actual use of torture – most notably in Iraq – that needs judicial scrutiny in public. That is the story, despite the fact…

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Extremists – what us?

The UN has called for the prosecution of those behind a ‘criminal conspiracy’ at the CIA that led to the ‘brutal’ torture of detainees. Ben Emmerson, United Nations’ special rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism, said those responsible for planning, sanctioning or carrying out crimes including waterboarding should not escape justice – even senior officials from…

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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…  Owen Bowcott in the Guardian: ‘The “secret, massive and indiscriminate” surveillance conducted by intelligence services and disclosed by the former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden cannot be justified by the fight against terrorism, the most senior human…

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Hit for a Six!

Where are the condemnations now? The Church Fathers are quick to call on Muslims (even British Muslims far removed from happenings) to condemn violence. Often noticeable in this lineup is the former Bishop of Rochester,  Michael Nazir-Ali, now President of the Oxford Centre for Training, Research, Advocacy and Dialogue, quick to take the high moral ground…

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Immigration – Britain cannot do without!

          Niki Chesworth in the Evening Standard, 24 November 2014: ‘…the London Ambulance Service (LAS) has been forced to look abroad to fill its vacancies as a result of the shortage of paramedics in the UK, hiring paramedics from Australia and New Zealand after a recruitment drive…However, nursing and midwifery has…

Revolving Doors

There seems to be a seamless progression of public servants and politicians pursuing lucrative second careers…and vice versa. “It is a curious coincidence that Assistant Chief Constable Anton Setchell, head of the entire UK domestic extremism spying operations between 2004 and 2010, is now head of security for engineering firm Laing O’Rourke…”. Dave Smith, the Guardian,…

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 October 2014 Michael Clarke of RUSI: …the British took responsibility for Helmand in 2006. It was a move dictated as much by…

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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. Catholic theologian banned A female Catholic theologian has been banned by the Archbishop of St Andrews…

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Dodgy Padres!

Wobbly church fathers,monks and rabbis! The Churches during the National-Socialist era Charles Marsh’s recent biography on the heroic Pastor Bonhoeffer provides some insights on the less laudable responses of the Churches to the Nazis in 1930s Germany. Christian teachings “could be commandeered in the service of Germany, especially when the German theological establishment prsumed the…

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Gaza: merely a retaliation?

Ilam Pappe was brilliantly incisive in his recent contribution to Electronic Intifada: The present genocidal wave has, like all the previous ones, also a more  immediate background. It has been borne out of an attempt to foil the Palestinian decision to form a unity government that even the United States could not object to […]…