In defence of Jeremy’s 9/11 tweet

It seems that everyday the papers are filled with an “Outrage”. Since it’s September it’s the beginning of the “Ban the poppy/Christmas” outrage bus, but it’s now at the point where an “outrage” is simply something as innocuous as a tweet*.

Take for example the “outrage” over a tweet Owen Smith sent back in April:

Yea it’s not exactly up there in terms of funny but at the beginning of September the Corbyn supporters found it and latched onto it as an example of how sexist and misogynistic Owen is. The Gobstopper is obviously a reference to shutting Sturgeon up especially since it was the campaigning for the local elections (one Labour did exceptionally well to avoid a total collapse/ won more than anyone ever has hail Corbyn!) so in context it’s hardly up there with something like this, which by the way is a perfect example of being a sexist waste of skin:

Now for something I never thought I’d do with less than a week until the election results are due, I’m about to defend Jeremy Corbyn.

I’m not a fan or Jeremy anymore and my reasons are scattered throughout this blog and twitter. It all started on Sunday, a day when campaigning across the board ceased to remember the events of September 11, 2001. Amongst the posts from politicians expressing sorrow and remembrance was this from Jeremy:

It’s an inevitability that anything Jeremy was going to post that day was going to be leapt upon his past associations and comments, not to mention his Director of Communications being the person who immediately blamed the US and once said the murder of Lee Rigby wasn’t terrorism because he was a soldier (then there’s the praising Stalin stuff) meant that it was going to be open season. Naturally a lot of people were annoyed that he had shoehorned some anti western sentiment into a sombre moment or that he was using it to score cheap political points (the irony of then using Jeremy scoring cheap points, to score cheap points was immediately lost)

But here’s the thing.

Is it really *THAT* offensive or outrageous?**

Many think that it simply wasn’t the right time to mention the aftermath of 9/11 but then they can never answer the question “then when is?” without giving the same answer “anyday but this”. The problem is I fundamentally disagree. In the 15 years since 9/11 we’ve went to war in Afghanistan, thrown lives and resources trying to bring order to a land that proved the downfall of the greatest empires in history, we’ve left behind a broken country in Iraq, where lawlessness, sectarianism, and now ISIS which rose from the ashes of the insurgency in Iraq controls vast swathes of Iraq and Syria. There’s been attacks in London, Madrid, Brussels, Paris, Nice, Tunisia, Bali, Baghdad, Mosul, Moscow, Kenya, Texas, Boston, Cologne, and many of which have their origins in the aftermath of 9/11.

Then there’s the argument of “Think about their families” well what about the Familiy of 13 year old Mohammed Tuaimanor the families of those killed in Yemen when a drone strike hit a wedding ceremony?

I think the issue is this has resulted in a war that hasn’t ended. In 3 months when people stop to remember the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor people will be thinking about the attack, the loss of life and some will think about what happened after, the remembering the victims in the aftermath comes in May and August with VE and VJ day. A day when we stop, fall silent and remember those who died in the battles that followed (for Americans at least.) There’s no single moment in the War on Terror where we can stop and think of everything that has happened after, there’s no VGWOT day.

I think it’s also important that we do remember the aftermath, how as a people once the dust settled we began to fight back, badly. 15 years and the only notable victory was the killing of Osama Bin Laden, Afghanistan is slowly falling back into the hands of the Taliban, Syria and Iraq are on fire, Libya is a mess, Egypt is in the middle of a brutal crackdown. If we don’t stop to remember what happened and what came next we’re bound to make the same mistakes, we relegate the “War on Terror” as a separate beast to 9/11 and disassociate what we’ve done after as a response to it. We doom ourselves to forget the lessons and if it were to happen again we’re bound to make them again.

As James Joyce wrote in ‘Ulysses’ “History, Stephen said, is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.”

At the end of the day Jeremy is vehemently anti-war, he was well within his rights to highlight what came next, we should never forget 9/11, the peaceful bright morning shattered by the sound of jet engines.

*As a caveat I’m not saying that all tweets aren’t worthy of outrage, I mean Donald Trump’s feed is testament to just how awful it can get and the less said about Katie Hopkins the better.

** It’s not like he wished his enemies a happy 9/11, I mean you’d have to be a grade A asshole to do tha- DAMMIT DONALD!

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Whoops

A few days ago the Prime Minister appeared on ‘This Morning’ during the interview he was ambushed by Phillip Schofield on the abuse scandal currently engulfing the country. Schofield had spent only a “few minutes” on the internet searching for the high profile member of the Conservative party who was alleged to be involved.

Now there’s no secret that there were at least one or more members involved in the scandal, some of the names are in the public domain already so it’s highly unlikely David Cameron isn’t aware of who they are. Much in the same way the Premiership footballer involved in the Super Injunctions wasn’t an open secret.
During the interview Cameron warned of a “[Gay] Witch hunt” many saw this as a veiled insult that being gay is equal to being a paedophile, it could be. Or it could be something more rational, that in the minds of some being gay is a “sexual deviancy” that is akin to paedophilia. It turns out the more widely discussed name was in fact innocent of the allegations but this was revealed too late.

Last Friday the BBC’s flagship current affairs show ‘Newsnight’ broadcast a report into the North Wales abuse scandal. In it, one of the victims Steve Messham revealed that a senior Conservative from the Thatcher administration had abused him. Newsnight had the scoop, they had the name but in the report the name was omitted  They didn’t even contact the person offering them right of reply. The report broadcast immediately added fuel to a mob mentality online and in the media on the identity. Many high profile journalists named them online, the wife of the Speaker of the House – Sally Bercow- also named him online. 2 days ago that person came forward to deny the reports.

Lord McAlpine, a former conservative party treasurer released a statement, in it he says:

“I must publicly tackle these slurs and set the record straight. It is obvious that there must be a substantial number of people who saw that I had been identified in the internet publications as this guilty man and who subsequently saw or heard the broadcasts or read the newspapers in question and reasonably inferred that the allegation of guilt in those broadcasts and newspapers attached to me.”

Last night Newsnight under the supervision of a senior BBC executive apologised for the error, it also carried the apology of Steven Messham who said the man in the photograph he saw at the time was said to be that of McAlpine and after seeing a photo of him from that time period recently he is now aware that it wasn’t him. Newsnight, Phillip Schofield and the internet got it wrong. I will admit I too have seen the list of names online, some of them I can’t see being involved. I’m guilty of passing on the names in conversation as, I suspect, has nearly everyone else who is interested in this story. David Cameron was right, this has become a witch hunt. Innocent people are being dragged into this story and the nature of the allegations are career ending for almost everyone involved. The British public despise child abusers, these stories can make even the most reasoned and rational person turn into a foaming lunatic demanding blood.

McAlpine is now pursuing legal action, it is highly likely Newsnight will be the main target they behaved irresponsibly it was a massive failing of journalistic standards in pursuit of a story. Newsnight already had a massive story linked to all this. They refused to run it.

Their story?

That TV superstar Jimmy Savile was a serial child abuser with victims in their hundreds.

Schofield’s List

Phillip Schofield is a man who to me will always represent Saturday morning TV, until I started following him on twitter, instead there was a guy who was pretty smart and damn-right likeable.

He’s plodded along with a few juvenile jokes on weekday mornings generally not going out of his way to offend anyone. Until today.

While interviewing the Prime Minister about the abuse scandal that is engulfing the country at the minute Schofield handed a list to the PM of names linked to the scandal. It’s no secret who these people are, their names are easily accessible on the internet. Amongst them are peers, advisers, cabinet members and reality show contestants. The Prime Minister was caught on the backfoot he had no answer to this, no pre prepared soundbite, no biting joke we see day in day out in carefully managed stage shows. Instead of ignoring it, saying no comment or addressing it he accused Schofield of being involved in a gay witch hunt. This leaves us with two conclusions, either the names on the list are Homosexual conservatives (which narrows the list somewhat) or Cameron thinks that if you’re homosexual then you are a paedophile.

Either way this was a poor response from the PM, not only that but it’s riled up the Tory right, who now call for Schofield’s head the same way they called for Matt Bakers after asking about Cameron’s sleeping habits. He needs to be aware that hiding on daytime TV sofa’s talking about how he juggles the job and his private life doesn’t mean he can avoid answering the difficult questions. He’s happy to let his attack dogs go for the BBC, State Schools and the NHS, things he and his ministers are dismantling as we speak, but you attack him or his party then you’re immediately on a “witch-hunt,” while they’re happy to accuse the BBC of a cover up they refuse to accept that they themselves were complicit in such an activity in the 80’s and 90’s.

The truth is this. Unless a full enquiry is held examining the BBC, NHS, and the Welsh scandal then these questions will remain, ignoring it won’t make it go away. And it should be up to them, not Phillip Schofield or Tom Watson to lead the way.

Did you hear the one about the Union?

Jeremy Clarkson is no stranger to controversy, when he’ not mentioning lorry drivers murdering prostitutes between gear changes or slamming the Mexicans for being a bit lazy, he can be found in the pages of the Daily Mail with a bevy of women who aren’t his wife.

It comes as no surprise that his comments yesterday about “Taking strikers out and shooting them in front of their families” would rile people up. The reaction on twitter was the usual mock outrage and that clip of Stewart Lee. This normally happens, so consider my surprise when one of the largest public sector unions openly admitted they wanted to sue, have him sacked and arrested for his comments. It’s almost as if he had a new book, DVD and a Top Gear special to promote.

A day after Unisons members joined the over 2 million workers who took to the streets over pensions they decided that his comments warranted more attention than the dispute over pensions, or the prospect of over 5 years without a decent pay rise when the cost of living is shooting up and job losses.
I think Unions are a brilliant thing and they have given so much to society including a weekend, a minimum wage and workers rights. The last one in light of the chancellors recent autumn announcement is vital to preserve. However for a Union with so much to deal with to instead go after Jeremy Clarkson, a man who has carved out a role as an angry right wing nut job is misguided, stupid and a needless waste.

It’s time the unions asked their members what was really important.

Gadaffi and the New Libya.

Gadaffi’s death was undoubtedly a turning point in the Libyan civil war. Died with him were 4 decades of suffering, misery and oppression. There was no doubt that when he was captured hiding in a sewer drain he wouldn’t see the end of the day, no way would he survive his capture and there was little surprise when he ended up killed.

NTC claimed he had been killed in “crossfire” between his captors and loyalists. Slowly the videos and images emerged. One showing Gadaffi bloodied but very much alive, then his lifeless corpse, blood oozing from his face. Then it got more disturbing, footage of him being sodomized with a metal object, a video showing him being beaten and finally with a pistol to his head, conveniently when his body was on show the head was tilted covering the area the gun was pointed at. It turns out the manner of his death summed up his entire rule on Libya, painful and cruel.

Many will argue that Gadaffi deserved to die, however I disagree. Gadaffi should have been kept alive, placed on trial and allowed to speak. What would he have said though, it’s pretty certain that there would be ranting, but what about the meetings with Blair, Oil deals, Lockerbie and the murder of Yvonne Fletcher.

With the announcement that Libya will be run in accordance with Shariah, and the spate of murders as scores are settled, Libya is at a dangerous crossroads, Libyans fought hard for this, and it would be a crime if they were pushed one way without a say. The announcements made during the official declaration of liberation raised a few eyebrows both in the wider world and in Libya. One person on Facebook remarked that:

“First Abdul Jalil is not the one who should change or add rules, it’s not [part] of his powers. He was aperson that we agreed on for temporary period until we get a constitution that we vote on then political parties.[The]thing is islamists are pushing on him and they have been supported by qatar and got [have] power on the ground. Most people are afraid to oppose someone [who] talk about religion. I’m afraid we are not free yet from police/military dictatorship to people speaking with religion dictatorship .

I and many will go with a liberal government. and others with Islamist. It depends but I will accept the elections and what most of the ppl vote for, even if i don’t like it. If you can follow my arabic status it’s all about these since days I went out for freedom .and that means freedom for all ..including libyan jews.

The 4 wives thingy is rather silly to mention it in such a speech and most women don’t agree on it and it won’t happen in real. i think Abdul Jalil was trying to convince islamists that he will not go secularist as they keep saying. However, it can’t happen [the]thing is we DON’T HAVE ANY POLITICAL GROUND! it’s really hard there r alot of ppl trying to force their view with force ..some coprruted ppl with their money some islamists has been given money and power from qatar and wants to push themselves in. and you got large number of youths who doesn’t really know what’s politics and dont really care to learn. I’m rather pissed since we made it into tripoli because many incidents happened (jew thingy. fashion show and also sufi’s temple being destroyed) I want a democratic state which respect everyone’s views”

His declaration was carefully planned. To be seen as too secularist would mean alienating people, being too religious would alienate the western nations that helped remove Gadaffi. These are tough times for Libya, times that do not call for too much western interference, because we all know how that ends.

Libya is suffering a complete collapse of the government there is very little power amongst the politicians and in a country that is- now Gadaffi is dead- tribal there is a real risk that unchecked there is a potential for a Somalia type failed state.

Libya must choose it’s own path, however with so much at stake there are too many vested interests for this to happen. Western governments want a friendly face in charge, Saudi Arabia, Quatar and other big muslim countries will want friendly governments in charge and there is no Doubt Iran will have a hand in there somewhere.

However I believe the UK should stand back and take stock before it ends up throwing its lot in with killers and thieves. And for once, let the people decide.

In which Twitter pisses me off.

Twitter, everyone has it and every show has their generic presenter robot announce “Or you can tweet us on Twitter @” (Or in the case of Question time has an actually robot presence on Twitter) it used to be such a nice place.
However with the advent of X-factor and the fact that Facebook continues to roll out “improvements” much in the same way losing your head would be an improvement on your height, most of the devotees of the offal of X-factor now loiter in the virtual bus stops proclaiming their love of it.

When I started on twitter, like everyone else I didn’t get it. However it soon became a place to contemplate the deepest mysteries of life such as “what was the biggest blunder of WWII” or “Just how much humor does an airport authority have” now it is just a place to bitch about something some Canadian he/she did that has no relevance on anything.

Trending topics used to be a glimpse at what the nation was talking about, thus providing the answers to 8 out of 10 cats but not answering the greater question “Why does this show suck now?” When the riots happened it was the best place to get the news before the News got it and turned it arse side up.  Now the news is normally at the bottom of the topic list behind “PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3 (Sponsored link) or “JUSTIN WIPED A SNOT FROM HIS NOSE!”

There was a time when this inane horse**** was confined to one part of the internet. Funnily enough it too consisted of profiles with Stars and moons in peoples names, and those awful oh if I take this photo in the dark with my head pointed down it shows my moody soul. It was called myspace. It was like a containment zone for the stupid. Then Murdoch bought it and it died.

Another reason why he should be on trial at the Hague