I had it put to me recently that in supporting ‘someone like Jeremy Corbyn’ I was supporting someone who supports terrorists and fascism…
Jeremy may be many things, a man of honour perhaps, but not a terrorist sympathiser. Those accusations should be reserved for the actual supporters of terrorism, namely Rupert Murdoch and the Newscorp empire, who think it okay to bomb children in Gaza for the right of the IDF to get its blood lust on every couple of years.
Let’s get one thing straight, I am not suddenly a born again Labour Party member or supporter. There is still much wrong the Labour Party, namely three out of the four contenders for leadership and the people who are backing them, seemingly choosing the dark side over the light. What Jeremy does offer is a real choice between the current malevolent forces occupying Downing Street and change. In David Cameron’s Conservative Party, we have a more right wing, aggressive party than any cabinet Margaret Thatcher over saw. In fact, the next 5 years of Cameron’s hatchet mob might make us wistful for the days where miners got their skulls cracked by the police on Thatchers orders to break up the working classes only real strength; collective bargaining.
Jeremy Corbyn offers a chance of the politics of hope and not more of the politics of fear that we’ve had since 1979.
The images this week of 3 gunmen killing journalists at Charlie Hebdo whilst at work sent shock waves around the world. People reacted strongly to the attack, the hashtag #JeSuisCharlie trended and peaceful assemblies to remember them took place all over.
I was with some police officers when news broke and the images started to go viral. My first thoughts were with the victims and their families, then the countless number of innocent Muslims that would be victimised as a result of this barbaric act. This was a vicious attack, conducted by a handful of people with significant issues but not one driven by religion.
The attacks are alleged to be in response to several cartoons published by Charlie Hebdo, that portrayed the Prophet Muhammad in a negative light. This has resulted in dozens, if not hundreds, of people coming out and expressing their belief that these attacks were an attack on the freedom of speech and expression itself. People such as Barack Obama and David Cameron. Barack Obama and David Cameron? These people have been the face of oppression, both sides of the Atlantic, with acts and bills being passed day and night that have gradually stripped away our freedoms and liberties. I do not recall any of them bleating about our rights to expression then?
Secret Courts, TPIMs, DRIP, NDAA, RIPA, CISPA; you name it, they have passed it, to protect our ‘liberties’. If the situation in Paris was not so serious, it would be laughable to hear these people come out in their support of our freedom of expression.
The right to freedom of speech and expression is something that causes controversy; is it okay to have freedom of speech and expression if it incites hatred or intolerance, or cause offence? The main problem is the balance with which this freedom is given. Even with a cursory glance at the media you will see that the majority of views, regards certain religions or beliefs, are typically one-sided and biased. If we are therefore to have the freedom for all to express themselves, without remit, there has to be an equal and opposite balance of views, which is something sorely missing. Some believe that our freedoms come with moral responsibility to be mindful of others.
To put the bleating of Cameron into perspective, in the lead up to the Royal wedding, the MET police went on a ‘pre-crime’ spree of arresting people who they believed would visibly oppose the wedding, sort of like the Tom Cruise film ‘Minority Report’. Is this the action of a state that supposedly supports the freedom of expression, something that we would “never relinquish” as exclaimed by David Cameron this week? But, you might say, there should be a line, it was someone’s wedding, something that people wanted to see, so you cannot speak out openly about it and disrupt the publics viewing pleasure. How is that any different to the divisive images created by Charlie Hebdo or others? Their images may have caused offence to the population of Frances’ Muslim community, and the wider Muslim community as a whole, yet there was not the global race to remove such imagery from their repertoire?
Where do we draw a line on what is the right to free expression? Do we draw a line? Should there be a line? Would the same support for this freedom of expression have existed if the cartoonists were making offensive imagery of Jews? I doubt very much so. Russia Today journalist Harry Fear said: “There’s a big difference between the right of expression and the freedom of expression. The latter concept conveys solely the ability to express; one is free to do something. It’s different to be able to do something, than to be able to do something and also to do it. In France, yes, it’s a freedom, to insult, humiliate and disrespect minorities for the sake of it, just to hurt them — but should it really be a right that one fulfils for the sake of it? Further, is it really noble to do so? Is it valuable for democracy? It is a symbolic measure of civilisation?”
What happened this week was a vicious, cowardly act, perpetrated by deeply troubled people. It has been used by the right to justify their beliefs and actions over minorities and now there are calls for the Muslim community to apologise, but why? Did we ask the Catholic church or the Buddhist temples to apologise for Hitler or Moa? Did we ask all Jews to apologise for the acts of the Israeli Defence Force in Gaza last summer? No. So why are some in society making the requirement for one group to apologise over another? For villains such as Rupert Murdoch, who it might be said are complicit in the deaths of millions of innocent people and armed forces personnel wading in to call for Muslims to be held responsible is deplorable. The religion someone is born into, the language they use to justify their actions, should not be used to perpetuate intolerance towards the wider, peaceful majority. Hitler, Stalin and Moa were all born into certain religions, used phrases such as ‘doing the lords work’ yet we do not condemn the entire faith base of their religion with the same crimes or with the same conviction. Do not do so to followers of Islam either.
The attacks in Paris this week were horrendous but the clamour by the establishment to call this the ‘war on freedom’, with the evidence and experience we have of the way in which we are viewed as subjects by our very own governments, is as callous and scandalous a move as I have seen.
Do not be undone by fear, we are more alike than we are different and do not let the seeds of fear grow doubt within you because the media says so.
Common questions such as ‘don’t you have high blood pressure’ usually make me laugh but this mornings well-earned lay-in has been interrupted after deciding to look into what the Middle East Peace envoy and war criminal Tony Blair has been up to as the death toll in Palestine passes 1,000.
Blair’s wife, Cherie, celebrated her 60th birthday this week and so he hosted a £50k birthday party for her with special guests such as Bobby Davro providing the entertainment. Whilst I am still fresh off the back of my Richard Feynman rant earlier this week I do not know if I particularly begrudge ben this war criminal spending a birthday with his wife, especially one as significant as 60 (it may be his last before he ends up in the Hague?) but I do question why this megalomaniac is busy making speeches in London about progress and leadership, 20 years on from taking the New Labour hot seat whilst Gaza burns and children die? He was allegedly crowned Middle East Peace envoy due to his exemplification of peace during his tenure as UK Prime Minister which is lamentable considering his religious doctrine is responsible for the destabilisation of the world that we are seeing today, his modern-day crusade with George W. Bush.
Many would call in to question his validity of such a position, some have called for his sacking after finding his work in the are negligible to date. We should also remind ourselves that this peace envoy is the same man crying out for intervention recently in Syria and who continues to state that the massacre that is unfolding in Gaza is justified as Israel has the right to defend itself. A closer look at Blair’s relationships makes for sickening reading. He has long been a support of people that we now call despots, such as Gaddafi and Assad but evidently at those times they were bastards but they were ‘our’ bastards so that was okay.
It also appears that Blair, during his time as peace envoy, has been instrumental in brokering deals in Palestine for large corporations. According to Channel 4’s Despatches, Blair helped persuade the Israeli government to open up radio frequencies so that cell phone company Wataniya Mobile could operate in the West Bank, as well as a large development for a gas field off the coast of Gaza which is run by the British Gas Group. Both these contracts are for British Gas Group and Wataniya Mobile are major clients of Blair’s financiers, JP Morgan. It just goes to show that their saying is right, the right relationship is everything, you couldn’t make it up!
Tony Blair’s only interest in the Middle East is what he can squeeze out of it financially for both himself and his pay masters, that’s all his crusades have ever been about. In the meantime children continue to pay the ultimate price as the Israeli Defence Force bombs rain down on the open air prison that is Gaza and the West sits by idly watching.