Clowns & Jokers

Stuck in the middle.... Left, right, centre. It's a mess out there.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Friends like These

Shitbag Mr Armageddon and his (not so ) adoring 'masses' - hat tip Azamehr

Last weekend, 15 of our sailors and marines -- part of an international force and under U.N. auspices (which means nothing nowadays)-- carried out a routine inspection of a merchant ship near the mouth of the Shatt al-Arab waterway separating Iraq from Iran. As they returned to their own vessel in small boats, two Iranian gunboats approached, signalling friendly intentions – fairly regular and normal encounters in these waters - according to the journalist on board HMS Cornwall at the time. However four more gunboats, armed with machine guns and RPGs surrounded the patrol boats and with the 15 sailors clearly outgunned forced a surrender. It appears the Cornwall lost sight of her patrol boat (not unheard of) and faced with RPGs a helicopter stood NO chance. Opening fire at this point (Cornwall or personnel) would have been an utterly futile and frankly, pathetic last act. As would hairy chested gung-ho knee jerk military action into a third front in a war with Iran. The IRG are well trained ffs.

The Iranians have their men in a pre planned mission and are now attempting to do what the Islamic world does best, drive propaganda and blood pressure levels to drive rifts between allies and the West in general, show Western ‘aggressors’ as weak and distract from popularity issues at home. How much more popular are service personnel along with their "confessions", in uniform, paraded & widely broadcast to get people feeling good about a government unpopular with so many.

It’s pretty clear now that some (unexpected) voices are doing their level best to play along with the Iranian ruse at a point when even the EU has stepped out of its traditional line!

Without a hint of irony, one jerk, in his helpful rush to pass judgment a week after the ambush, in some American rag I need to provide a link to (!), managed to heap blame on the British AND talk about Nelson spinning in his grave. As if Nelson was bobbing around in some dingy when he took on the French? The Cornwall unleashing any power on retreating boats would have done what precsiely? Anyone? He also manages to pour scorn on the British reaction and then bypass the facts that the US were caught hand-wringing for a ‘mere’ 444 days in the mother of all hostage crises that ended so tragically and went on to inspire the arab world. Mr Armageddon was even a main player in the abduction of those US staff in 1979. And sidesteps the fact that in Mogadishu in 1994 the greatest military power in the world was ill-prepared, out-manoevered, humbled and humiliated, its men paraded both dead and alive –to Bin Laden’s delight. Who cares they got their man when 2 Black Hawks were brought down and the American Goliath was dragged through the town?

The point is that in 2007 it really matters very little how they rumble you at the end of the day. The 'lame', 'spineless' accusations are just a load of useless tub thumping & music to Iran’s ears. To my surprise, there seems to be plenty of this in the US blogosphere. Why? UK forces, command & government have been no quislings (whether you support this as a war on terror or view them as tools in America’s 9/11 payback). Blair is isolating Iran and has done so quickly. He seems to playing his hand in this ludicrous game rather well. What do those who accuse the British government of being spineless specifically want them to do – RIGHT now.

Any war with Iran needs some preparation. However this progresses it's patently clear the Iranian government is holding a burning fuse (from the inside and out)..not a fucking candle!

(Christ on a bike - Pelosi blocks motion of basic support for the British hat tip Troll.)


Thursday, March 22, 2007


(hit pause and let it load)
(Going to be away for a bit, bfn)

Medals from the Queen

The Queen presented Major William Chesarek from the United States Marine Corps with a Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC), awarded for gallantry in action during operations. He became the first American serviceman to receive a DFC since the Second World War. Private Michelle Norris has become the first ever woman to be presented with a Military Cross, one of the highest awards for exemplary gallantry against the enemy on land.

pic hat tip Op For via Defence News
Mike at ATW points to this - 'see how we like to say 'Thanks!' to our friends and neighbours".

Iraqi children celebrate their hard fought freedom

pics from Lenins Tomb Watch

"Many believe that the war was a dreadful mistake from which Iraq will take decades to recover and that its people would happily prostrate themselves in front of Saddam Hussein again if the hangman’s noose had not intervened. However, a survey of more than 5,000 Iraqis by Opinion Research Business, a reliable pollster, gives an utterly different view. It shows a country which is far more optimistic than anyone would have expected. By two to one, Iraqis say that life is better under the present system. There is, as might be expected, a clear Sunni-Shi’ite split. But even 29% of Sunnis, who had it pretty easy under Saddam, say things are better now. This result, when you take into account the fear, the bloodshed, the power cuts, the lack of water and the sheer struggle of everyday life, is remarkable...."


Thursday, March 15, 2007

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Empress Alison the Ceaseless of Yockenthwait Walden
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Power to the People

Ken Livingstone's transport heavies have been giving someone we know an unjust threatening hard time of late.
I'm pleased to report a citizens victory.


Friday, March 09, 2007

INTERNATIONAL Womens Day.... Was Rubbish

Ethical shopping, exhibitions from fashion designers and Kulture2Couture, preparing meals with Spice Magic and how to fix your bike. Some of the treats in store for us layyyydeees care of our gracious Mayor, for International Womens Day, in an email circulated last week.

What a patronising joke (and way to spend your money!).

Truly emphasising how trivial International Womens Day has become in this country, if it were even needed other than to grab your cash. It took some time to dig about and get some 'soundbites' about meaningful issues that represent the original intention of this day and I posted the ones i found below earlier this week.

In the West weve moved beyond 'feminism'. The IWD website acknowledges that we have come so far, this day is more a 'celebration' than a movement. Yep we left that sad shower of hippie 'radicals' (Germaine Greer and, gusset). The Commies who turned into Barbies PR brigade or worse..Islams PR brigade. Eugh. I'd love to dissolve the twitty 'war' started by people who think i should be boiling pulses, smiling at native dancers (as a token gesture to international) and cooing over some street fashion ...whilst paying glossy lipservice to the environment and 'positive discrimination'. Continued by their male antagonists and 'misguided' f$male
chauvinists - the ones who think a womans virtues are best liberated by size 6 airbrushing and frilly thongs. Tweee! Being duped into the male stereotype is nothing new - at the opposite end of the addled spectrum are women who tell you the burqa protects them.

Ultimately - if you want to, you can make it on merit in this country. You can argue your case by demonstrating your self belief, or by example, or presenting a strong enough case, or saying ladz magz schoolboy needling is like Gay Pride - all in-ya-face tits, arse and innuendo.

You can challenge real issues like rape and get it taken seriously. (This is NOT an issue that sits on the left or the right by the way and i resent that being perpetuated by the old associations with the word feminism in this country).

Ferris Bueller was right all along. "A person should not believe in an 'ism' he should believe in himself. I quote John Lennon, "I don't believe in Beatles, I just believe in me"". At any rate the mysognists that remain here in the West (mostly it would seem bobbing about in the blogosphere..) only need a 'dose' of reality - here we can at least load and administer the 'syringe' ;) .

On a serious note the issues that matter to women here, still do matter but they are perhaps more readily surmountable if we find a common, respectful ground and understand all sorts of issues really do matter to gals ...and guys.. to us all. We all need to 'buy in' to 'it'.

The 'sisterhood' and its true worth in obtaining insurances on votes, a chance to change things politically and fight real injustice should extend to the serious efforts being made beyond our own borders to women who want the same 'start'. Serious serious efforts. Big risks are being taken elsewhere. This international day should be a unique (soley!) an opportunity to focus attention onto those who are making these powerful strides, as the original meaning of this movement intended - if its to have any lasting meaning at all. They are fighters. They have a genuine desire to change their lot and risk it all. The MSM rarely shout about it. This is an opportunity to go all out and support them.

Last year's International Women's Day rally in Iran for equal rights was a horrendous affair. The women were set upon and violently beaten by special anti-riot squads from the Revolutionary Guards. The security forces charged the group and began beating the protesters. Even after the protesters had dispersed many were followed and beaten. Some of the female protesters were beaten repeatedly with batons, and some male protesters were beaten severely by security forces in teams.

Last Sunday in what seems like a premptive attempt to dissuade anyone from demonstrating this year on IWD - and after a year of crackdowns on what women can wear, university places for women and so on...Thirty seven leading Iranian women campaigners were arrested outside the revolutionary court for staging a peaceful demonstration. One was thrown against a busstop and had her teeth smashed. See pictures of the women posted here on ATW and in this
link The gathering was in support of five other women activists who were appearing in court for having organised previous peaceful gatherings. The five who were appearing in court today were Nooshin Khorassani, Parvin Ardalan, Shahla Entesari, Fariba Davoodi Mohajer and Soosan Tahmasbi.

The following petitions in support of the arrested Iranian women campaigners -HERE

hat tip on this as always... - For a democratic secular Iran


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

International Womens Day? Bear with me....!

Since its International Womens Day March 8 (is that a collective groan i hear?!) here are some different inspiring thoughts and themes I collated that stand out (to me) that I thought id share with you (if you are out there)... some where we need to see urgent change.

-'The capacity to dream and have fun' - Urvashi Butalia, head of Kali books, India - (from the Guardian)-

"I'd be deep in a campaign, locked in discussion with the state, fiercely opposed to the fundamentalists, fighting for the rights of minorities. If he were then to ask - as young men in the21st century might well do - what I wished for Indian women in this century, I would say an end of illiteracy, poverty and hunger, and, of course, the capacity and possibility to dream and have loads of fun. In other words, not only the whole of akasha, but a profoundly transformed akasha, a whole new sky, covering a whole new world, And I'd hope that the young man wouldn't then slink off but would stay, cast off his devilish garb, and join in the campaigns and the fun..".

-343 mothers of the ghettoes speak out - France-Campaign for Mamans (Ni Putes Ni Soumises)-

"It was to us, the mothers in the ghettoes, that you turned when the riots erupted in France, to calm the rage. To tell our children that violence isn't the solution to unemployment and racism. To stop these images of civil war that ran throughout the world. It was us you asked to prove our ability to control our kids, to keep our kids (often bigger & stronger than us) inside and at home. We ask you to assist us as women first. Give us transport out of the ghettoes - where the only meeting places are cafes...for men. Creche facilities that we are not restricted to homes, vulnerable to sexist violence. Help us expose and condemn polygamy, forced marriage. ...Put our academic qualifications to good use. ..Because we are the real actresses of integration, we ask you the ladies and gentlemen of Politics to stop marginalising us. It is only by being free, emancipated that we can fulfil our roles as mothers properly and make real Citizens of our children"

-'Another sexual revolution' Women's rights and healthcare advocate, New Zealand-(Guardian)-

"My second wish is to see another sexual revolution led by women. The first one was about women earning the right to say yes and now women need to fight for the right to say no - to reclaim control over their bodies. What I see now is women willingly embracing damaging stereotypes concerning their bodies and their sexual behaviour. New Zealand has a major problem with eating disorders, there's a boom in cosmetic plastic surgery, then we see people like Bernadine Oliver-Kirby, a prominent sportswoman, posing on a rugby magazine cover naked from the waist up with a rugby jersey painted on her torso. How can you expect to be treated seriously and at the same time want people to look at your tits?"

-Women with Voices Bagdad - planned and on the IWD website but not sure if this will go head -

A day planned to Inspire, Educate and Empower the international women within the International celebrate the beautifully diverse cultures and history within the local military and civilian populations as well as women from our Host Nation of Iraq. * American military women read inspiring poetry and true stories; * The highest ranking female Iraqi military officer who is Kurdish will speak about her "Journey of Courage" and An Iraqi female physician speaks to "Vision and a Voice".

-Prostitution: What's Going On? (a UK Exhibition until 31 March) -

A provocative and challenging exhibition exploring the topical and urgent issues of prostitution and trafficking for sexual exploitation ....and ...elsewhere a seminar entitled Women’s Rights, the Veil and Islamic and religious laws will be held by the International Campaign in Defence of Womens Rights in Iran and with the Secular Society - at the University of London Union Thursday March 8 from 6 - 10pm.

In IRAN recently, over 30 women were arrested and charged with endangering national security, propaganda against the state and taking part in an illegal gathering after protesting outside the court where 5 women were being tried for organising a protest last June against laws discriminating against women (hat tip Harrys Place)

Thing that i am most grateful for today? That I was born here in the UK and that I can make my own informed choices about everything - and that I can make my way on merit. Thing i most hate about feminism? A man summed that up. Nick Cohen remarked in Whats Left? that if western feminists dont fight oppression in Kabul and turn their backs on, for example, Afghan women..and believe God only gave rights to free born Englishmen... then feminist beliefs wouldnt be a philosophy but...a way of obtaining advantage in the Western job market. And you could conclude that feminism was not a serious political force. I agree. (Yes i think there are issues to highlight here - rape, the justice system and the shoulder shrugging being one such issue). And i thought it was pretty poor indeed that Alan Johnson chickened out of reinforcing the recent High Court ruling on the veil in schools - leaving it to schools to muddle through that equality battle and Islamic quagmire unsupported themselves.

The pic is of a recently freed Nazanin top left and middle ex Miss UK 'role model' 'Danielle Lloyd LAID BARE Inside!' in Maxim and 'a Marianne', a celebrated woman of France - who tragically died of stomach cancer after surviving gang rape in the banlieues as a young girl and helping found Ni Putes Ni Soumises (Neither Whores nor Submissives).

There was one other on Afghanistan to add in - too tired now, later...fwiw


You will Reap Nothing

After looking at the images posted on ATW of systematic kilings i think its only natural to question who on earth we are helping in Iraq.

Prior to the overthrow of Saddam all sorts of hideous barbaric acts were committed and the people who participated in any of these were vile then and are vile now. A country with systematic abuse is bound to have its share of vile specimens. And a good number pouring in from abroad.

What shocks me most is the lack of condemnation. Whilst our lads actions are held to account and highlighted and used to condemn every reason to be there, such disgusting muslim on muslim violence is not met with anything near the outcry from those who claim we are just there 'killing muslims'.

Last weeks Guardian heaped scorn on the PM towards his remarks that we should be 'immensely proud' of our efforts and our troops as they withdraw from southern Iraq. Marina Hynde in The Guardian alluded to and made light of Comical (not Chemical) Ali's remarks to make her jokey point. Asserting that his 'ravings' seemed somehow 'prophetic' - "Dont be so hasty because your disappointment will be great".he said ."You will reap nothing from this aggressive war except for disgarce and defeat" . 'Little did we know it but he was speaking more sense than our Prime Minister' she concludes. Really Marina? Could that be because you've thought so from the start and drumming home your determination has helped it along? It is interesting that Comical Ali and Marina both concentrate on what 'we' would reap as opposed to what local Iraqis want as that is the view they both couldnt care less about.

Who knew for example that, thanks to British troops, Saddams cruel efforts to drain the southern marshes have been reversed and are now back to 40% of their original size? That British aircraft sprayed almost 100,000 trees with insecticide helping their production to double since the days of Hussein's rule, immensely appreciated by the locals. BBB comments in the IHT that one of the locals asked him to visit the old British cemetery in Baghdad.

It was beautiful, he said: a sanctuary, a paradise. "And the gravestones are safe," the local assured him. "I have removed them, so that no one will destroy them." Such is the hatred?

He also points to the turnout in the elections which was strong and better than elsewhere (re Basra), 'where there have been highly successful missions to capture arms caches and terrorists, and grateful Iraqis rush to ask for their help in mediating tribal disputes or providing more protection from the militias'. Importantly 'The American presence also is helping to convince local tribes to turn against the bleak worldview offered by Al Qaeda and they are frequently asked to return to protect neighbourhoods they have cleared and moved on'.

He concludes that the "moral hazard" argument — 'the idea that, the longer coalition troops stay, the longer we simply allow the Iraqis to avoid sorting out their own problems — is perhaps the most powerful claim for coalition troops to leave Iraq altogether. To some extent this is too simplistic - Iraq's historical state has always been one of constant internal violence...The priority now is to give Iraqis the best possible conditions to achieve the best feasible Iraq: one that stays whole, that suffers less internal violence than it has historically, that is not a threat to its neighbours or to the rest of us and that, through a few good internal examples and a modicum of representative government, has hope and mechanisms for improving itself'. Pity the worlds media couldnt get behind that idea at the start.

How often did we hear of the success stories and achievements such as these? How often was this allowed to balance out the negative, damaging and often hysterical propaganda prefered by the likes of Marina, Stoppers and co in her quasi admiration for Comical Ali? Hers was the sort of dispicable criticism most often parroted eg all a BIG 'Bush No 1 Terrorist' and 'Bliar'. Same tired old joke. It certainly is a case of you reap what you sow from that perspective.


Friday, March 02, 2007

We are ALL Angry

In a well structured response to the newspaper The Independent (a broadsheet with an ailing circulation i prefer to think of as the Daily Mail for liberals) Michael Ehioze-Ediae at 18DoughtyStreet summarises what we've all said at one time or other.

You are not the only ones grieving.

1 Increase in Terrorism
2 Africans are Angry
3 The British are Angry
4 The Americans are angry
5 We are all angry

1 Increase in Terrorism

The Independent’s leading story has laid the blame for the rise of terrorism at the feet of America. It argues that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have radicalised a new generation of young Muslims who are angry about the treatment meted out to their fellow Muslims. Further, the paper claims that its view is backed up by evidence provided by the United States National Intelligence estimate. One should ask, even if these claims are true, do they justify the slaughter of innocent women and children? Why is it that the rest of the world is expected to ‘understand’ the anger of these radicalised Muslims? Are they the only ones who are angry?

2 Africans are Angry

Black Africans are angry that Condoleezza Rice was described as a black monkey by Palestinian newspapers because she supports Bush’s policies. They are angry that black people are being killed in Sudan by an Islamist government. They are angry that black people were killed when Tanzania and Kenya were bombed by Al-Qaeda. They are angry that black people are taken as slaves by Muslim Arabs. They are angry that when the Trade Towers collapsed, killing black people, there was rejoicing by Muslims on the streets of Gaza.

3 The British are Angry

The British people are angry that they have offered hospitality to Muslims fleeing persecution in their home countries only for clerics to call for the destruction of Britain in return. The British people are angry that British Muslims whose parents were welcomed to this country decided to blow up the underground trains killing over 50 people. The British people are also angry that during the cartoon protests, Muslims carried banners warning Britain to expect another terrorist attack.

4 The Americans are angry

The Americans are angry that despite intervening at the cost of their lives to prevent genocide in Kosovo, Muslims cheer when America is called the great Satan. The Americans are angry that despite the huge amounts of financial aid they provide to Pakistan and Egypt, the populations of those countries hate America. The Americans are angry that despite the fact that they provided security to the Arab countries when Saddam Hussein threatened to attack them, people danced in the streets during 9/11.

5 We are all angry

Well, Independent, as you can see, there are a lot of people angry on the planet. Therefore instead of appeasing fundamentalist anger, it would be perhaps more advisable to explain to these people that they should join the peacful political processes in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine. Other groups have done the same and thus they have no excuse for murdering innocent people in the name of ‘grievance’. After all, they do not have a monopoly on ‘grievance’.


Thursday, March 01, 2007

I just somehow ended up reading a wiki entry on Norman Tebbit. Tebbit was a close ally of Thatcher and served as her Secretary of State for Employment, Trade and Industry and as party chairman. - fyi - His wife became permanently wheelchair-bound after the Provisional IRA bombing of the 1984 Conservative party conference in Brighton. On 30 January 2006 he accused the Conservative Party of abandoning the party's true supporters on the Right, and opposed the new Leader David Cameron's attempts "to reposition the party on the 'Left of the middle ground'. Ive heard some of these before but liked them grouped together.


Said to Tom Litterick, a Labour MP, during a Commons debate in the late 70s (he died of another heart attack soon after this):

Go away and have another heart attack

On the BBC:

A typical piece of BBC anti-Tory propaganda.

(From an article heavily critical of the BBC and of what Tebbit regarded as the corporation's left-wing bias. Tebbit was referring to an episode of Doctor Who entitled Pyramids of Mars which he had recently seen - he perceived a "wasteland version of 1980" featured in the episode to be a symbolic, allegorical and propagandistic attack on the Thatcher government. Tebbit was apparently completely unaware that the episode in question was actually filmed in 1975, four years before Thatcher had even come to power). (He wasnt wrong though. It was just the BBC being ahead of its time.)


The word 'conservative' is used by the BBC as a portmanteau word of abuse for anyone whose views differ from the insufferable, smug, sanctimonious, naive, guilt-ridden, wet, pink orthodoxy of that sunset home of the third-rate minds of that third-rate decade, the nineteen-sixties.

On John Major

He has the mulishness of a weak man with stupidity

About Tony Blair

I don't think he's a liar, just a fantasist. He says whatever he likes, and then he believes it.

On Islam and the West

The Muslim religion is so unreformed since it was created that nowhere in the Muslim world has there been any real advance in science, or art or literature, or technology in the last 500 years...we've leapt ahead in all material terms, but the Muslim world would say we have fallen down in all spiritual and moral terms. We have to accept our share of the blame and they have to accept theirs.

On changing the rules of the House of Lords

My Lords, would it not be a good idea if the Chairman of Committees and all Members resisted the mad idea of this House being dragged into this century? It is a very disagreeable century. Would it not be a better idea to drag us back perhaps into the 19th century, which in many ways was a very much better one for this country?

On claims that he is a racist:

I haven't got a racist bone in my little finger

On Muslim women wearing the veil:

If they wish to cover their faces and isolate themselves from the rest of the community and so thoroughly reject our culture then I cannot imagine why they want to be here at all. Perhaps they should just push off back to their own countries.