Thursday, 28 August 2014

In a nutshell

Just watching the news channel in which one of the victims of the Rotherham abuse scandal is being interviewed. She summed it up perfectly when speaking about those who did nothing.

"I don't think they're sorry. They're not sorry because I got abused. They're sorry because they got caught out in a scandal that's hit the media"

Right there in a nutshell is it. Everything you need to know about what's wrong with public life in modern Britain. Our institutions and our democracy is broken. This is what we have because we have no meaningful method of holding public servants to account.

The question is what happens as a result. I've seen a lot of outrage both in the media and more importantly the comments from the public. It's palpable and the comments are suggestive that it won't be tolerated any longer.

That becomes a "so what?" moment in that it becomes a question of what they will do about it beyond venting in comment threads. I'm not talking about violence or anything of that notion but the point I make is that there is a small window of opportunity here to start something turn this around, but everyone has to be part of it, because here's the rub.

Look at what this scandal points to. It points to people who tried to keep a lid on a disgusting and vile  practice. They tried to ignore it, hide and generally ride out the problem. They'll try again. They're already playing for time and it won't be long before we start to hear revisionism come in to play.

1400 children. As opined in the Telegraph "let the weight of that number sink in" .  It is the equivalent of almost 50 classes or an average size secondary school.

This is about as bad as it gets and there's a lot of noise. If nothing happens though, it will tell those who work for us, there is virtually nothing that will cause us to take action. If nothing happens they will know all they have to is make mealy mouthed apologies, buy time and it will be business as usual.

So. What will It be?

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

The Stench in Britain's Air.

I suspect the blogosphere will be alive with posts around the release of the report into the Rotherham child sex abuse scandal and rightly so. They will cover it just like the mainstream media. There will however be a difference. The mainstream media will have surprise and shock as their themes. I suspect there won't be so much shock in the blogs. Revulsion yes, shock no. This is primarily because blogs have been writing about the poisonous effects of political correctness for a long time now. Whilst the press will write of it as though there was some unintended consequence of this well meaning and benign approach, bloggers will openly point to the deliberate design of political correctness as a tool to smash the societal cohesion of western nations. They will tell you that any degree of thought will show that what came out yesterday was entirely predictable.

But that's only part of it. If you haven't already, read the report I urge you to do so for it tells you something else it tells another story of this nation about where we are. Excuse my language but there's a stench of shit in the air. That stink is our nation and what it has become. Read the report and it will tell you about how pervasive in public life vanity, cowardice and rampant self interest has become. There is evidence aplenty in this report. People who can't recall meetings. Case files that laid bare he problem that went "missing". People in key places when presented with evidence crying out for action and it swept away in various fashions and attacking the messenger. Anything to make it go away and pretend it wasn't happening. In one of the worst examples (and I recall this story from when the scandal first broke) of a father who tried to rescue his daughter from one place where knew his daughter was being arrested by the police in what I can only imagine was a nightmare of kafkaesque proportions given the inversion of his reality. Even now, everyone's sort of sorry but nobody is really paying any price. The council leader has fallen on his sword, but so what he's just out of a job. There are whole lives and families that have been smashed laid waste, but it's just another day at the office for everyone else.

At the heart of this lies a group of people who talk about public service but know nothing of it. The problems here are about people who got in , got comfy and wanted nothing of the responsibility of serving the public. In their eyes, the public are there to serve them. I'm not saying everyone. Just a hard core of people who's rampant self interest trumps everything. No scandal must land at their door. No responsibility must be faced. They must bask in nothing but glory as they shin ever upwards on the greasy pole. The only responsibility they want to is to have eye catching initiatives brought to them, to keep them in their gilded position.  That is why everything inconvenient had to sink in the mud, that's why it had to dissappear. That's why the coercion of staff to go away and come back with the "right" answer happened. That's why files disappeared along with memories. That's why police officers ran away from their oath of office and that's why wretched souls had to go on getting abused both sexually and violently and the lives of they and their families ripped apart. All so vain and inept  people who were never fit for higher office could keep their fragile egos intact. people who should today be prison cells with their self constructed reputations in tatters.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Defensive Positions

For those of us who love our nation and what it once was and what it once stood for, we lament on a regular basis of what it has become. We look around in a bewildered fashion at everything that has gone wrong and it is pretty much everything. I suspect many of us cast our minds to the graves of men who died for us across the world and feel a sense of shame in what has happened to their sacrifice. From the top to the bottom, our nation is broken and it desperately needs fixing.

Many of us know what lies at the heart of it. Our politics and more importantly our culture has been collapsed from the within. Men and women who ascribed to a wrongheaded philosophy that started its journey in Frankfurt have spent decades slowly working their way through every aspect of our lives and our institutions right across the western world. Whilst we stood with guns and armour pointing at the overt manifestation of their political creed, seemingly everyday folk walked through our defences and in to our institutions, quietly coming at us from another angle. We did not notice them in action and here we are today with the result. The subtle were they, their language and viewpoints have become disguised as mainstream thought with even those who would opposed them, inadvertently advancing their agenda.

If we want to conceptualise it for the sake of what I'm about to write let's call it left v right. Yes there are nuances and extremes within both of them, but in order to simplify we'll go with this. They are on the left with us on the right.

When we look at the success on the left we are often bewildered. That's because too many times we're looking in the wrong place when we're trying to diagnose what went wrong. Why? In part because we never examine ourselves on the right as part of that assessment.

Our fundamental problem is our approach. In left versus right arguments and philosophies, we come at form different viewpoints and it's the heart of why we're losing. We tend to offer evidence for our arguments. We think the general good sense of our arguments and proposals are so self evident that others will see the sense of them and follow suit. More often than not, they are self evident so such a belief is not without sense to a point. Except for one fact. The left are not one bit interested in whether such things are self evident. They are fighting by a totally different set of rules in this war.

They brought totally different set of weapons and we're losing. We're on a battleground and we've no idea what the rules are. We're arguing and they're punching. Whilst we don't understand our battleground and any strategist will tell you the inevitable result will be defeat. We don't need a strategist to tell us though, the evidence is all around us. In short, the left get it and we don't. They're winning and we're losing.

Again, to a point, our approach is understandable. Our general philosophy of small state, personal responsibility, general stop interfering in everyone's lives has made it such that the way we have conducted ourselves to this point is an extension of that philosophy. It's costing us however and we will never see our vision come to fruition if we carry on the way we have.

We need to change. We need to wake up and identify the ground we're fighting on. We need to reform and find ways to make forward. Our hands have been raised whilst they've been throwing punches.

It's time to punch back (metaphorically, of course)


Wednesday, 13 August 2014

A Prediction

I see from the a Times of Israel that IHH is planning Another Gaza Flotilla.

Oh goody - an aid and relief shipment for the poor impoverished people of Gaza. Once again it will involve the Mavi Marmara. Readers might be familiar that it was the Marmara which was the scene of an incident when the ship was boarded by Israeli commandos, because it would not follow instruction to divert to an alternative port suggest by the Israelis. One aspect of this was the ongoing security operation to prevent military equipment making it into Gaza for use against Israel.

What followed was criticism of Israel. One " UN" investigation called the operation and the naval blockade illegal, citing the San Remo manual of armed conflict at sea. Israel performed its own investigation that many, including UN commentators described as a whitewash.

Well at least that's what you were told.

I suspect with this new flotilla, we're going Israel find itself in a similar position where it will have criticism levelled at it and similar accusations thrown around and the sheep will willingly trot it all out.

There are however a couple of observations that I made following the last incident. In addition, the recent conflict in Gaza has helped underscore an inconvenient truth that shows the Gaza Flotilla as being nothing more that an effort at provocation as opposed to a relief convoy for the beleaguered residents of Gaza.

Firstly the naval blockade of Gaza is legal despite what the UN seemed to think last time. Their original report cited the San Remo manual as the basis for their verdict. Just one problem. The Israeli Turkel commission which produced the report  described as a whitewash consulted one Professor Dr Wolff Heintschel von Heinegg.  Who's he you might ask. Well you can get a summary of the man Here , but the key thing to take away in this context is that he was one of the authors of the very same manual. Israel sought the view,of an expert on the matter, one acknowledged by the international community.

Secondly this latest round of conflict has revealed something that undermines these flotillas as humanitarian in nature, especially with the Mavi Marmara. One of the things Hamas is reputedly pushing for is the proper development of a harbour in Gaza. Even the BBC mentioned it in one of their reports on the situation.

that's right folks. Gaza does not possess a proper harbour. It was a little fact tucked away last time. The Mavi Mamara is too big to dock in Gaza. It needs to dock elsewhere to offload its cargo.

The organisers will know this. They're. To bothered about helping the people of Gaza. If they were they'd head to a port that can accommodate the ship.

No. They want to provoke an incident once again.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

"Dead Presidents" are not the only currency

I've been following the Israel /Gaza situation as much as current circumstances will allow me. It's been heartbreaking to see the images of the dead and injured women and children. In part I understand my friends inadvertently helping to peddle the simplistic propaganda doing the rounds on social networks. As terrible as those images are they are at the same time curious and for me as well as the plight of them being caught up in the situation they tell you something if you think beyond the one dimensional narrative presented by far too many in the mainstream media.

I find the images curious because the question I'm struck with is"where are the dead men?" Yes we're seeing a few, but what we're being served an almost exclusive helping of are bloody and dead women an children. Over and over and over again is a barrage of images that contain virtually no men. Is that not just a little curious. I find it so and regardless of all the possible variations of how they came to be in that location and how they came to be hit I am drawn to a conclusion:

The women and children are currency. Like contraband in prison, Hamas through their clearing houses in the mainstream media are trading the lives of women and children as a form of currency on the figurative international market and are finding a sea of willing buyers. Perversely their using to buy the worlds perception of Israel. In reality it should say more about Hamas' view of its own people as a disposable means to an end than Israel's, but curiously it doesn't. I've said it before. A lot of people don't want Gaza (and the West Bank) fixed, because it has more value being kept as a weeping sore.

This view of the everyday folk being used and abused by its leaders came home to me last night. Watching BBC Ten O'Clock news let a cat out of the bag for those willing to pay attention and think through what they're being told.

Israel finally got a bit more of its PR act together by taking a reporter into one of the tunnels that cross into Israel for offensive purposes built by Hamas. During the segment, the reporter comments on this one of many tunnels including how long it probably took to build and also the materials used. At one point the reporter refers to the concrete as "concrete from Israel".

This is quite telling. Concrete coming through the crossing monitored by Israel is one of the dual use items I mentioned in my post the other day. Dual use items are those that can also have a military use against Israel and are therefore subject to restriction. The restriction for this essentially requires that it includes an appropriate permit explaining where it is going and what it will specifically be used for I.e. Civilian use.

Assuming the comments by the reporter were correct, this would suggest that prior to crossing into Gaza, this Israeli concrete was designated for a villain project. However, once in Gaza, someone made a decision that it was no longer to be used for the people of  Gaza and was to be repurposed for use against Israel. Hamas decided that the people it governs were not to have their infrastructure developed. It was they that decided the people should go without and be kept in the under developed state in favour of  perpetuating a state of tension with Israel.

It would seem evident that Hamas are comfortable with the notion of trading the lives of the people they rule in pursuit of their hatred of Israel.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Stolen, you say?

It seems the misinformation campaign continues with regards to the Israel and Gaza situation and so I continue swimming against the tide in what is probably a vain effort alongside other bloggers such as Nourishing Obscurity.

It is said that history is written by the victors. As a statement it is only half true. The other truth is that some people try and rewrite and repurpose history for modern aims. Israel / Palestine is one that undergoes many a rewrite, usually by those who only want to see the Palestinian side of events and who care not that it is infinitely more complex than that.

It's begun to come to the fore again as a form of rationale for the rocket attacks from Gaza. Usually the rocket and mortar tacks are downplayed and once again mainstream media outlets have played a pretty disgraceful role in that. Their usual line to take has been to run with the narrative that it all started when Israel retaliated. Although they tried to advance that narrative around the broken ceasefire recently, on the whole it's been a little tougher to downplay the rocket attacks. The story of the attacks has got out more than previously and there's a more of a consensus that Hamas is has overplayed its hand this time. That consensus has made it a little difficult amongst the general Israel bad / Palestine good crowd to defend Hamas when the rocket attacks are brought up in the argument.

But they try.

They try and take the position that Hamas has no option but to shoot rockets from at Israel and in particular from civilian areas because the Israelis stole their land and penned them into squalid conditions. That's the logic, Israel stole the land and keep stealing it. That's the simple logic they want you to have in your head that justifies anything they do in Palestine.

Except it's not true. You don't have to take my word for - you can look it up yourself. Heck that's what I want you to do, so that when the pub bore amongst your mates starts coming off all Yasser Arafat on you and your mates you've got something to challenge him on.

What they'll try and do is try to talk about the period before the official formation of the state of Israel. Why? Well partly because they find it hard to admit that Israel was willing to accept getting shafted on the original, accepted a smaller chunk of land and still got attacked because their neighbours didn't want to give the Jews even one square metre of land.

So they talk about the bit beforehand, because they know that not too many people will know what really happened and that allows them to advance their narrative largely unopposed.

So just in case they decide to go their, take a look at this rather interesting summary of the history of the land from a time they'd hope you'd forget.

Early Palestine

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Check for yourself

It's been saddening recently to see my Facebook feed become increasingly populated by misinformed posts about the Gaza situation. Saddened for many reasons including the fact that many of these are intelligent people. Why it saddens me is because whilst I accept people are entitled to their opinion, so much of what I've seen is off the back of error riddled details and in some cases downright manipulated facts and images. Too many of these intelligent people are simply trotting out someone else's manipulative propaganda. Propaganda from those supposedly on the side of Gaza who are quite comfortable with the idea of dead  Gazans because  of the propaganda value they provide.

As Golda Meir once said "Peace will come when the Arabs love their children more that they hate us"

What's particularly saddened me, is that's it's all over my Facebook feed and the reality is I cannot really debate them. It's an exercise in futility for too many. Theirs isn't a question but a statement, one that I suspect there's no moving them from. I suspect that if I leave well alone, it will move on, but if I were to put something opposing to that, I would draw all sorts of additionally misinformed hellfire. It's a hallmark of the left v right in politics. Those on the conservative/libertarian right think you're entitled to an opinion whilst those on the left think counter opinion should be vociferously shut down.

The one that prompted me to post this morning was the infamous one in which Israel is "compared" (and I mean that very loosely) with South Africa and Nazi Germany and labelled as a third apartheid state.

I've come to the conclusion there going to be lots of this trotting out of dross and you, dear readers are also going to come across it from friends who will peddle it like it was a fact they have personal knowledge of.

My suggestion is to gently press back. When you hear it - ask questions.

When you hear the apartheid state myth - ask them to elaborate and explain. They probably can't (which will tell you so much). Ask them too to explain why this apartheid state has Arabs in its Parliament, and Arab Drs in its hospitals and Arabs in its infrastructure. Ask if Arabs are allowed to own property in Israel. Then ask them, how many Israelis and Jews are permitted the same rights in Gaza.

When you hear the idea the number of civilians killed in air strikes, ask them to explain how people came to be in those houses when they received a phone call from Israel beforehand telling them to evacuate followed up by the "hard knock" device to show a bomb was coming. If they try and tell you that warning isn't long enough, ask why the people in the town of Sderot managed to find shelter in the 10 seconds they get when another missile comes in from Gaza. If they tell you that most missiles fall harmlessly ask them how that makes it alright, when the intention was far different. If you want ask them that if you hung out of your back bedroom windows shooting at all the neighbouring houses, would it make it okay if you failed to hit anyone? Ask them too if they know how many of the missiles from Gaza fell inside its own territory. Ask them too about the missile that took out one of the Israeli power lines that provided Gaza with electricity.

If they complain about the occupation of Gaza by Israel, ask them what occupation? If Israel had already been occupying Gaza with its forces why did they have to launch a ground operation from outside Gaza? Ask them if they knew that in the past Israel had once occupied Gaza and pulled out in an effort to develop peace and was met in return by nothing but a barrage of mortars and missiles.

If they complain about the blockade and that Israel doesn't let goods in, ask them to explain that. Ask them what they know about the dual use restrictions because this is what Israel is blocking. Dual use restrictions are those things that could have a military as well as a civilian use and these include buildi building materials. They're not banned, the truck driver just has to have a permit by the proper authorities that states what the material will be used for and where it's going. Also ask them what it is about Gaza that even the Egyptians feel compelled to keep their border with Gaza closed too.

These are just a few.

I'm not saying the situation between Israel and Gaza isn't terrible and the loss of life isn't a tragedy beyond belief. My point is that it isn't as straightforward as many people believe, a situation exacerbated by biased viewpoints from the left dominated BBC and it's print version the Guardian. Both these outlets have a habit of leaving key details out, that serve only to misinform. There are other   facts and details that too many leave out which draw fair minded people to draw simplistic conclusions at best and at worst open to simply repeating the deliberate lies of those who want to keep people misinformed because it creates the very results I've just mentioned.

Form your opinion yes and be entitled to it. Just don't do the dirty work of  liars for them, nor let your friends. You won't solve this by jumping on their bandwagon because they have something much darker in mind than a simple peace agreement. Take a look for yourself,