extremists-box

Extremists – what us?

Greece A woman has been injured by a parcel loaded with explosives that was posted to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) offices in Paris . . . The attack bore all the hallmarks of a Greek anarchist group known as the Conspiracy of Fire Cells (Synomosia Pyrinon Tis Fotias), which claimed responsibility for another package…

torture

Torture – a shared value?

                  Iain  Cobain in the Guardian, 15 March 2017, ‘. . .The operation, codenamed Aston, was considered something of a triumph for MI6 and British special forces . . . The two prisoners were held initially at a secret detention facility at Baghdad airport that British troops…

Quick to serve!

The Prime Minister has been rightly castigated for not being forthright in criticising Trump’s ban on nationals of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entry to the US for 90 days (Executive order, 27 January 2017). According to press reports, she may even have been informed about the country ban in advance of meeting President Trump.…

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. PREVENT and infringement of liberties, reported in the Guardian, 20 January 2017, ‘One of the UK’s most prestigious universities has warned students and staff…

rollsroycejpg

First World Corruption

Remember Halliburton’s role in Nigeria in the 1990s, when huge sums were funnelled to accounts of officials in order to obtain construction contracts? Now Richard Millard in the Daily Mail reports (16 January 2017) on the corrupt actions of a company closer to home, ‘Rolls-Royce has agreed to pay a record £671million to British, US and…

crows (Custom)

WoT & the deeper malaise

Samuel Osborne in the Independent, ‘George W Bush’s administration saw Iraq as “unfinished business” and had their “minds made up from day one,” a former CIA analyst has said . . . “You know, they had their minds made up from day one. And then after 9/11, that’s when the death warrant for Saddam Hussein was…

synagogue knocker

Knocking at another door!

So there are Britons so disturbed by the socio-economic consequences of  the Brexit vote that they are contemplating emigration! According to Sam Jones of the Guardian (31 December 2016), ‘The UK’s decision to leave the European Union has fueled an 80-fold increase in the number of British Sephardic Jews seeking Portuguese citizenship under a recent…

football

The Slip Up

The OIC Secretary General has fallen on his sword for his slip up when calling on the Tunisian President  Beji Caid Essebsi to the podium at a recent conference:  “Mr President Beji Caid al-Sisi. Essebsi. Sorry. This is a big mistake.” However Iyad Madani then tried some humour: I’m sure your fridge has more than water, Your…

cup of tea

Fun and Faction

Fly on the wall – some Fun and Faction Downing Street ,Thursday 20 October, 8 a.m. Prime Minister’s breakfast meeting with her PPS. PM: Patch me to Parker. Now. PPS sets up secure line to Thames House: PM for the DG. Now. PM: Parker, have you seen today’s Guardian? Parker:  PM, I read the Telegraph…

french-flag

Fly on the wall

French hypocrisy So is the French state really neutral about religion? Not from President Francois Hollande’s latest statement (11th October 2016, reported in lexpress.fr). “Ce n’est pas l’islam qui pose un problème dans le sens où ce serait une religion qui serait dangereuse en elle-même, mais parce qu’elle veut s’affirmer comme une religion dans la République.”…