“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Archive for January 18th, 2010

Florence And Precious Belong To Glasgow.

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Just got an update on Florence and Precious Mhangos, from Esther Sassaman on Facebook:

“First of all, the group has a new name – ‘Florence and Precious Belong to Glasgow’ – to reflect the fact that the Mhangos are not presently in detention but are still under the threat of detention and deportation, so the campaign continues.

We’re looking for your help to spread the word about Florence and Precious’ plight. They are currently back at home in Cranhill, but required to sign in at the Border Agency office in Glasgow each week, and their lawyer Paul Chen QC is building a case for judicial review of their claim to asylum. They still face detention and deportation.

We need more money for the legal fund and more political pressure on Home Secretary Alan Johnson MP – so if you haven’t already can you please donate to the campaign and write expressing your support for the Mhangos to Johnson? Information about this is on the info page of this facebook group.

Most importantly, please invite all your friends to this Facebook group so they can spread the word and raise the profile of this case.

We are also interested in knowing if any individuals would like to donate some of their time to fundraising and raising awareness of this case, and in attending a local meeting to coordinate efforts? If so, please get in touch via fb message and we will pass on details. We could also organise an online meeting for supporters who are a bit further away.

Finally, remember that Florence and Precious will be appearing alongside Cranhill campaigners on The Politics Show this coming Sunday, 12PM on BBC Scotland, on their special on child detention. Please tune in!

In solidarity,

Esther Sassaman”

Written by modernityblog

18/01/2010 at 21:32

What is Gaza Really Like?

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Who really knows what goes on in Gaza?

Who is free to tell? How does Hamas manipulate sympathies in the West?

I do not know and I will bet that neither do most people.

But we know that Hamas controls Gaza with force. Hamas will subjugate, torture or murder any dissidents.

Hamas play the Western media’s game, portraying a particular image that they wish Westerners to see, but occasionally the façade falls

The BBC’s Edward Stourton reports from Gaza [07:39 on the 18th Jan 2010 BBC’s Today programme, available here via the BBC player, approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes into the programme].

It is well worth a listen, especially the bit where Stourton reports:

“I am actually in rather an elegant hotel by the sea in Gaza City, you maybe able to hear the waves lapping on the beach, and give or take the odd shortage it just about works…..hundreds of tunnels, and we are told some are big enough to allow entire cars to be smuggled through…..I am in the heart of Gaza City in the shopping area, in front of a shop absolutely stuffed with goods, inside there are clocks, and kettles, and crockery and pretty much anything you could want. Outside there on the pavement piles of fridges, washing machines and microwave ovens…”

It strikes me that Gaza is very much like any city or society, with its rich elements and the poor.

Capitalism with all of its inherent problems, is alive and well in Gaza, but it’s not just that.

Clearly, poverty in Gaza is exacerbated by Hamas’s actions, the military conflicts, Hamas’s excessive spending on weaponry and building up their own internal security forces, to keep them in power.

The money wasted on arms cannot be spent on alleviating the real poverty that exists in Gaza.

But then again, I suspect that Hamas do not really care much about the poor, except when they can be pulled out and shown to the Western media as objects of pity. Hamas has a vested interest in portraying the worst possible picture, but can’t be absolved of blame as they have run Gaza since 2006.

On top of that, the Western correspondents in the Middle East are partly to blame, they know full well the divide between rich and poor in Gaza. They know of the elegant hotels, the shops stuffed with goods and tunnels big enough to smuggle a car in, yet without exception we hear next to nothing about them.

I wonder why?

Update 1: See the comments, but in late 2008 Hamas kicked out an Israeli journalist. “But on Sunday, Hamas officials told Amira Hass they would no longer guarantee her security and told her to leave. “

As she says:

“AMIRA HASS: I don’t know. They just got tired of me, I guess, because they insisted from the start to follow me, to escort me twenty-four hours a day, which, of course, didn’t make my work very easy, but I took it OK. They said there is a—“We want to avoid any—the slightest chance that somebody might hurt you.” And then, all of a sudden on Sunday, they told me that the circumstances have changed, and there is more tension in the region, and there are all sorts of information—there is all sorts of information that my life might be in danger. And as a principle, I don’t take such, you know, at face value what any security apparatus tells me, whether it is the Israelis, whether Arafat or Hamas. But they left no option. I mean, they were very strict about it. I have some friends in Hamas. They tried very hard to put sense into some people, but it was in vain. “

Written by modernityblog

18/01/2010 at 16:15

Rod Liddle Update.

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According to a story going around, Rod Liddle use to post on a Millwall FC forum as monkeymfc.

His comments are disgusting, there are many, here’s just one:

“monkeymfc Posted 3/11/2009 13:59
#423969 – in reply to #423700
Subject: Re: Visited Aushwitz on Saturday n/w

Supreme MO

Posts: 6231

Sorry you took it like that and sorry if I offended, mate. But to tell you the truth I thought the “Auschwitz Experience” had been devalued by the people who run it to the point where I think it deserves taking the piss out of. I’m glad it moved you, but it worried me more that it’s set up as a politically correct tourist attraction, sort of Hitlerworld. Our guide even instructed us when we should “reflect” – and the whitewashing of Polish involvement seemed both hypocritical and at times obscene. Also, the edges of the place had been smoothed down so in a way the bleakness was lost. I mean there were disabled access ramps to the gas chamber. I KNOW why they have them, I see the point, but the whole thing had seen the horror ripped from it and we were left with a sanitised PC version of the story.
Did you know you can book the restaurant for parties? I mean, hello?

I got a million times more from Primo Levi’s “If This Is A Man” and “The Truce” – I’ll PM you and if you ain’t read them I’ll send them along.

**That was to Gaz, not the sanctimonious toss from Kinnel.

Edited by monkeymfc 3/11/2009 14:03″

Read more.

Update 1: A figure calling himself Rod Liddle is trying to explain things over at Socialist Unity blog, very strange.

Update 2: Still more at SU blog, particularly this comment:

“You say you don’t have problems with multiracialism Rod. Yet under the name “monkeymfc”, which you have admitted to being your username with an exclusive password, you wrote on a website for football hooligans that black people are “ten points thicker” than white people. You also said black people “have their own TV programme: Crimewatch.” You lied about being monkeymfc at first then had to admit it.

I think it’s a shame you don’t have the courage of your convictions. Why won’t you just admit these are your views? Why continue with this pantomime that you are only criticising multiculturalism when you say black people in Britain have done nothing but stab white people and introduce “goat curry”?

Comment by Andy — 6 February, 2010 @ 1:43 am”

Written by modernityblog

18/01/2010 at 03:42