Posted by: James Shaddock | Thursday 9th October 2008

Icelandic Government Are Terrorists

At least they are if my understanding this story is correct.

It seems Gordon Brown has decided that the Icelandic Government’s refusal to guarantee the deposits of UK customers of the Icelandic banks they nationalised is ‘illegal’ and in retaliation has decided to freeze the UK assets of those banks. The easy way to do this, without getting tied up in the courts, is through anti-terror laws.

Therefore, in theory, the Prime Minister has declared the government of Iceland a terrorist organisation. What’s next? War? Oh.

What really gets me about the Iceland situation is that only a week ago I was hearing how Landisbanki was one of the safest European banks to have your money in, which to me suggest that a lot of the problems are self-fulfilling prophecies and we’re talking our way into recession.

Edit: Charlotte Gore got to this before me.

Posted by: James Shaddock | Thursday 9th October 2008

National Poetry Day

It’s National Poetry Day (thanks for the heads up Jennie), so I thought I’d share two of my favourite poems with you all (I’m nice like that) via the medium of Youtube.

Suicide in the Trenches by Siegfried Sassoon as read by Pete Doherty

The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe as read by Vincent Price

Enjoy

Posted by: James Shaddock | Tuesday 30th September 2008

Gurkhas Get Justice

In the face of government opposition, the brave and fearless veterans of the Gurkhas have won the right to automatic citizenship.

From the BBC:

Gurkhas win right to stay in UK

A group of retired Gurkhas fighting for the right to settle in Britain have won their immigration test case, their lawyers have said.

Five ex-Gurkhas and the widow of another Gurkha veteran took their case to the High Court in London.

They were challenging immigration rules which said that those who retired from the British Army before 1997 did not have an automatic right to stay.

The judgement could affect some 2,000 former Gurkhas.

The regiment moved its main base from Hong Kong to the UK in 1997 and the government had argued that Gurkhas discharged before that date were unlikely to have strong residential ties with the UK.

That meant those who wanted to settle in the UK had to apply for British residence and could be refused and deported.

‘Common sense’

The judge, Mr Justice Blake, said the Gurkhas’ long service, conspicuous acts of bravery and loyalty to the Crown all pointed to a “moral debt of honour” and gratitude felt by British people.

Laywer Martin Howe said: “Today we have seen a tremendous and historic victory for the gallant Gurkha veterans of Nepal.

“This is a victory that restores honour and dignity to deserving soldiers who faithfully served in Her Majesty’s armed forces.

“It is a victory for common sense; a victory for fairness; and a victory for the British sense of what is right.”

The five ex-Gurkhas involved in the test case were L/Cpl Gyanendra Rai, Deo Prakash Limbu, Cpl Chakra Limbu, L/Cpl Birendra Shrestha and Bhim Gurung.

Gurkhas have been part of the British Army for almost 200 years and are hand picked from a fiercely contested recruitment contest in Nepal to win the right to join.

They have seen combat all over the world, with 200,000 fighting in the two world wars.

Let us hope all politicians learn from this, and do not make the same mistake the current government has done in letting down its ex-servicemen, especially those who came from overseas and served our country for no real reason, where plenty of natural born citizens would not.

Posted by: James Shaddock | Monday 22nd September 2008

ID Cards for 14 Year Olds!

That’s right.

According to Meg Hillier, the Under-Secretarty of State for Identity, compulsory ID cards could be issued to children as young as 14 in order to assist in the sale (or rather no sale) of age restricted products.

So what we’re now seeing is that a scheme aimed at combating terrorism is to be used to criminalise young people for things that shouldn’t even be illegal. So, let us begin disecting this pathetic, illiberal and downright wrong idea.

Firstly, ID Cards do not help counter terrorism. Evidence of this can be seen in the Madrid bombings, where the perpertators all carried ID cards in accordance with Spanish law. Unless, they carry a giant T for terrorist on, the only use in investigating terror offences ID cards will be is identifying the bodies. And don’t assume terrorists will be noticible because they won’t carry them. Of course they’ll carry their ID cards, they need to blend in and not arouse suspicion.

Secondly, why is it that the scheme is being thrust upon under 18s? One can only hypothesise that it’s because they don’t have the right to vote and thus can’t have a say in the matter. As those ads around the 2005 election went (roughly) ‘Don’t Vote? Can’t Complain’. The constant testing of government schemes and programmes on those sections of society who are disenfranchised foe the is nothing short of a disgrace. If this was aimed at a specific ethnic group, they’d be cries of racism, if women, it’d be sexism. So why is it ok for children and young people to be treated like this? It is ageism and if anything, is a great example of why the voting age should be lowered to 16, and perhaps even further.

Third and finally, and this is the the point that really gets to me: What is the obsession with society, the media and politicians with criminalising children and young people? Seriously, why must we be victimised for every decision we make? If its ID cards, its ASBOs. Anti-Social Behaviour? When was being a kid, hanging out with other kids anti-social? Its pretty much as social as you can get. There is no such thing as anti-social behaviour! All it is is local busy bodies who have nothing better to do but moan about people not acting how they’d like them. Again, if someone complained about Muslims or Sikhs hanging around just being Muslims or Sikhs, they’d be done for being a racist t*at. But because it’s young people, its fine and f*cking dandy! The hyper-regulation of public space and young peoples’ lives must stop.

Then there’s the supposed reason behing Hillier’s comments, that issuing ID cards to teenagers will help in preventing them purchasing age resctrited products. Sorry, but there shouldn’t be age restricted products in the first place. People, regardless of age, should be able to make decisions on there own life when they feel ready, not when the state tells them they can and that goes for actions which can be detrimental. Who says that a 12 year old can’t handle a drink better than an 18 year old? I know people two, ever three times my age that can’t drink as much as I can. Who dares to question two people, in love and feel ready that have sex under the age of 16? Even Tory leader David Cameron knows only a common sense approach to drinking at a young ages is the best way to prevent alcohol abuse. This obession that decision making must go hand in hand with a set age is wrong, because decision making is subjective. That is why if someone asks me to go into a shop and buy them cigeratess or alcohol, I do, because 1) it’s not my place to make judgements about them and 2) I believe when a law is wrong, it should be disobeyed.Age restrictions are nothing but a relic of the 20th century and if we are to move 21st century society forward, we must do away with them.

This country is slowly, but surely turning into an Orwellian nightmare and we must do what it takes to prevent it getting there and roll back the illiberal policies passed so far.

Posted by: James Shaddock | Sunday 21st September 2008

Gurkha Campaign Needs Urgent Help

From Anthony Hook

URGENT: Can you help the Ghurkas’ legal team?

Gurkha Justice campaigner Lib Dem Peter Carroll has issued an plea for evidence to
back up the legal team representing the Gurkhas in the current High Court
hearing on the lawfulness of the 1997 ‘cut off’ date for citizenship.

The case received huge coverage earlier this week when Joanna Lumley and others
gave their backing to the cause. The Gurkha’s legal team urgently (by
Wednesday 24th September) need to find an example case of a soldier
recruited directly from a Commonwealth country to disprove statements being
made by the Home Office.

Peter Carroll says:

“We need to find a person who joined the British Army between 1962 and
1997 who was a citizen of a Commonwealth Country and joined the Army
directly from his own country – that is, they had not entered and settled
in the UK before applying to join the Army.

“The reasons behind this requirement are complex. However, our legal team
say that the finding of even one such instance would fundamentally improve
the chance of victory in this case.”

If you meet the criteria above, or know anyone who does, please email
Peter Carroll on pdcarroll@cix.co.uk or call 07866 800755 AS SOON AS
POSSIBLE AND BY 24TH SEPTEMBER 2008 AT THE LATEST.

Even if you do not know directly of such people, please email this message
to others and ask them to pass it on as well to anyone they think might be
able to help, especially army contacts.

The success of the Gurkha’s claim for citizenship rights for those
retiring before 1997 would be STRONGLY helped by finding people as above to
disprove the Home Office’s case in the next two days: you can make it
happen, and help right this wrong.

You can read more about the Gurkha Justice Campaign at
www.gurkhajustice.org.uk

Posted by: James Shaddock | Wednesday 17th September 2008

The Banking Crisis for Beginners

Forceful and Moderate has a rather good introduction to the current financial crisis for the economically challenged like myself (E in the subject at AS Level).

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Posted by: James Shaddock | Tuesday 16th September 2008

Sarah Palin Baby Name Generator

Want to know what you’d be called if Sarah Palin was your mother?

Then try the Sarah Palin Name Generator

I’m Spackle Camshaft Palin.

(Hattip: Nunc Scio)

Posted by: James Shaddock | Monday 15th September 2008

Was Alistair Campbell Leaving No.10 The Tipping Point?

One of the most commonly occuring phrases I’ve heard in relation to the current Labour leadearship coup/plot/kerfulfle is ‘This wouldn’t have happened under Alistair Campbell’s watch’, namely in relation to the poor media handling from Number 10 over this, and its got me thinking.

Alistair Campbell left Number 10 in August 2003, and its roughly from that point on that Labour’s woes in government began. Anyone who’s read all or part of his diaries The Blair Years, can see how integral a part he was to Blair’s media operation not only in conveying messages to the press and public, but also keeping a lid on thing within the party. It’s probable that had Campbell not return briefly to assist with the 2005 General Election, Labour would not have done as well.

Therefore, is it right to conclude that if there was an Alistair Campbell figure keeping things in check between Number 10, the Labour Party and the press & public, they would not be in such a mess?

Posted by: James Shaddock | Sunday 14th September 2008

Are You Happy Here?

By here, I mean in the Liberal Democrats.

I’m asking as today’s media coverage of conference (I’m not there myself) keeps harping on about whether we’re closer to Labour or the Conservatives and it’s pissing me off!

Why can’t people just be happy just being Liberal Democrats? What is so wrong with being our own party, with our own identity?

Both Labour and the Conservatives are illiberal, authoritarian parties,  so I really don’t see why anyone can have inklings towards one or the other.

So ask yourself this: Are you 100% committed to this party above the other two? If not, why are you even here?

Posted by: James Shaddock | Saturday 13th September 2008

Somebody Stop Sarah Palin

before she starts a nuclear war.

This woman is  DANGEROUS. Do people not get it?!!

To echo Russell Brand’s comments on George W. Bush at the VMAs in this country, “[s]he wouldn’t be trusted with a pair of scissors.”

(Hat tip: Paul Walter)

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