Joint Select Committee Scathingly Dismisses Theresa May’s Counter Extremism Proposals

From the Joint Select Committee report:

“The Government should reconsider its counter extremism strategy, use the existing extensive legal framework for dealing with people who promote violence, and introduce new legislation only if it can demonstrate a significant gap.”

They echo the concerns I had expressed some time ago, some quotes from their report:

“No clear definition of extremism”

“The difference in wording suggests a degree of confusion and, in either event, these definitions are couched in such general terms that they are likely to prove unworkable as a legislative definition. In particular, the extent to which lack of “mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs” could or should be deemed unlawful is likely to prove deeply contentious.”

“The aim should be to tackle extremism that leads to violence, not to suppress views with which the Government disagrees.”

“The legal issues that we have examined are so problematic that we consider that it would serve no purpose to have a further general consultation. If the Government wishes to take forward these proposals it must bring forward a draft Bill. It is plain that a consultation which does not provide a clear legal definition of what is meant by extremism would be futile. “

To put it in simpler terms, it is not possible to “combat non-violent extremism” without abandoning our most important liberty – freedom of speech. A great deal of the government’s time is being wasted establishing this patently obvious fact.

Is this enough to sink the strategy though? Could be embarrassing for the government. Theresa May’s government.  How did we end up with this person as our Prime Minister?

http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/joint-select/human-rights-committee/news-parliament-2015/counter-extremism-report-published-16-17/

RELATED POSTS:

The Pretend Strategy – From Chamberlain to Cameron

Extremist Banning and Disruption Orders

 

 

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Of Gods and Men

[Film Review]

‘Of Gods and Men’ is a moving and beautiful film based on the true story of a small group of Cistercian monks who ran an abbey in Algeria until 1996. The monks got along very well with the local Muslims, joining in their celebrations, and one of the monks was a doctor who tended to the sick from the nearby village. The monks grew crops, collected honey, and sang beautifully in their small chapel. The prior, Christian de Chergé, a devout Christian, also had a keen interest in the Islamic religion, which he studied. It seems also in real life, he believed that the two religions could reach an understanding through dialogue. Many years before, while serving as a young officer during the Algerian war of Independence, his life had been saved by a Muslim.

Then one day, during the Algerian civil war, a group of jihadis arrive demanding the doctor monk come and help tend to their wounded. Christian refused, saying that the doctor could not leave the abbey. The jihadis leave without him, but a sense of foreboding hangs over the monks from this point onward. A unit of the Algerian army arrives, their officer tries to persuade the monks to leave or accept protection, but Christian refuses and the monks remain.

Life appears to go back to normal for a while, but some of the monks are doubting whether they should remain, as their lives will clearly be in very real danger from now on. Eventually they arrive at a consensus in favour of remaining however, encouraged particularly by Christian’s strong conviction. In a very moving scene the monks listen to the sounds of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, while drinking a glass of wine, and the mixed emotions of joy and sadness that they are experiencing are revealed. Eventually another group of jihadis arrive at the mosque and take all but two of the monks prisoner. The final scene shows the monks marching in a line with the jihadis up a hill, snow is falling.

In real life apparently the monks’ heads were later discovered, but their bodies were never found. There seems to be some doubt about whether they were killed by the jihadis or by the military, but jihadis have a habit of beheading people, because the man they regard as a prophet, did the same during his “most perfect example of a life” (Koran 33:21 and 33:26) (1).

Of course it is tempting to react to this film as I suspect we are supposed to, by hoping that such a dialogue that Christian hoped for, is indeed possible. It is also tempting to see ordinary Muslims as peaceful and tolerant people, like the villagers, who are terrorized by jihadis. The jihadis have “extremist” views and, supposedly in error, take Islamic texts in a literal way. Unfortunately although many Muslims may indeed behave in such a peaceful and tolerant way, there are also many other stories, that were they to be told, would reveal a very much more complicated and far less comforting picture.

I hope that one day Xavier Beauvois will make another moving and beautiful film, this time perhaps about say the story of Aasiya Bibi, another very brave Christian who has been on death row in Pakistan for 7 years. The moving film will reveal how a petty dispute about a drinking vessel escalated, how the local imam encouraged a mob of local villagers (not “jihadis”, ordinary Muslims) to attack Aasiya and her family. It will then show the scene where the police arrived to rescue her and her family, only to decide she had in fact committed the “crime” of blasphemy, and take her away to prison.

After 18 months in prison, in appalling conditions, she was eventually sentenced to hang by a court. The sentence was later suspended, and she remains in prison, still in appalling conditions, in a bad state suffering internal bleeding for which she receives no treatment. Two brave politicians, one a Christian, and one a Muslim, have been assassinated for their attempts to save her from this harsh punishment. Perhaps those seeing this shocking and moving film will be reminded of the “body and soul” that the prior Christian referred to, the soul of course meaning Islam.  According to Pew research, a majority of Muslims in Pakistan support such punishment. Apparently 10 million Pakistanis have said that they would be willing to execute her themselves.

Of course if a prominent director like Xavier Beauvois were to make such a film, the whole world might descend into chaos. Rioting could occur around the Muslim world, the French flag might be set on fire (again) (2), fatwas would most likely be issued for his assassination. I fear though that until the high profile film makers of the world start to make such films, such intolerance and brutality will continue to escalate, as the fear and intimidation that Islam promotes, begins to gain the upper hand in the world. Only courage and honesty about the true nature of Islam can stop this tide.

Note: A film has in fact been made about Asia Bibi’s case, but I don’t expect we’ll be hearing about it at the Cannes film festival, more info can be found here (pass it on):

http://asiabibi.org/?lang=en

I have also written a short poem about her:

https://chaunceytinker.wordpress.com/the-ballad-of-aasiya-bibi/

REFERENCES:

(1) http://www.usc.edu/org/cmje/religious-texts/quran/verses/033-qmt.php

(2) http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/charlie-hebdo-protests-five-dead-as-churches-and-french-flags-burn-in-niger-riots-over-cover-9985195.html

FURTHER READING:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assassination_of_the_monks_of_Tibhirine

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1588337/

http://www.breitbart.com/london/2016/07/08/church-sells-monks-fear-muslims/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asia_Bibi_blasphemy_case

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/07/29/which-countries-still-outlaw-apostasy-and-blasphemy/

https://www.aei.org/publication/pakistans-blasphemy-impasse/

Theresa May – The Most Worst Candidate – Extra 2

Of course by now I’m sure readers have heard that Theresa May has won the leadership contest and is now the UK Prime Minister, despite my efforts to thwart her bid. Crucially I believe the threat by 20 Tory MPs to “jump-ship” if Leadsom won the contest was what caused Leadsom to drop out of the race. This could have undone the Tory majority so it was no idle threat. This is an example of our democracy at its most undemocratic, even the Tory grassroots never got to decide on who would lead them despite May’s protestations that she didn’t want a  ‘coronation’. Also the relentless media bias against Leadsom, who was attacked for a handful of supposed gaffes, took its toll. Meanwhile all of May’s huge catalogue of failings which I have been publicizing in these last 3 blog posts, received very little attention in the press. My purpose in posting this anyway is simply for the record as it were. Lest we forget.

TAX AVOIDANCE SCANDAL?

A feature of politics since the Blair era particularly, has been tough talk about cracking down on “tax avoidance”. These politicians clearly hold the British public in contempt, because of course it will not ever be possible to “crack down” on tax AVOIDANCE because tax AVOIDANCE is by definition, not illegal. Only tax EVASION can ever be cracked down upon. Taxation laws may of course be improved upon to make tax avoidance more difficult, but you know that’s going to be difficult, when so many of those in power would be affected. Jumping on this bandwagon, May apparently said this in a speech:

We need to talk about tax. It doesn’t matter to me whether you’re Amazon, Google or Starbucks: you have a duty to put something back, you have a debt to your fellow citizens, you have a responsibility to pay your taxes. So as Prime Minister, I will crack down on individual and corporate tax avoidance and evasion.

The Independent newspaper now claims that her own husband Philip is a senior executive in an investment firm that has $20 billion of shares in Amazon and Starbucks, the very companies she mentioned (1).  So, we hope the Mays will be putting something back then…

It does seem a little bit suspicious, does it not, that this story has only just been published now, AFTER Leadsom had already announced she was dropping out of the leadership bid. There was intense pressure on Leadsom to publish her tax affairs, and insinuations that she had engaged in tax avoidance. Did this contest take place on a level playing field, I ask?

SHARIA INQUIRY WHITEWASH

Theresa May’s much vaunted tough inquiry into Sharia Law in the UK, is turning out to be a whitewashing exercise, it would seem:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/sharia-courts-review-branded-a-whitewash-over-appointment-bias-concerns-a7128706.html

She has appointed an Islamic scholar as chair and two imams in advisory roles, leading to questions about the erm, impartiality of the inquiry.

MAY’S IDEA TO USE EU RESIDENTS AS A BARGAINING TOOL?

May is already getting busy alienating her own supporters by refusing to confirm that EU citizens already resident in the UK may not be able to stay after Brexit. Such a suggestion was never made by the Leavers during the campaign:

http://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/686337/Theresa-May-attacked-own-supporters-refusal-guarantee-EU-citizen-rights

http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2016/07/theresa-may-want-kick-europeans/

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/686615/Brexit-Nigel-Farage-Theresa-May-EU-bargaining-chip-migrants-UK-Britain

KINCORA BOYS’ HOME SCANDAL

[Hat tip to one Andrew Richards for reminding us about this scandal.]

According to the BBC, May excluded the Kincora boys’ home in Northern Ireland from part of a much larger inquiry into child abuse (the Goddard Inquiry) because it was a “devolved matter” (2). Criticism came from the fact that the Goddard Inquiry had larger powers which would have enabled a more thorough investigation of alleged involvement of MI5 and members of the establishment (3).

MAY’S PASSPORT OFFICE MESS UP

[Hat tip to ‘Neil Orange peel’ for reminding everyone about this affair.]

In 2014 the Daily Telegraph reported that a mess-up at the passport office was forcing travellers to resort to drastic measures, such as returning to the UK to get passport renewals. The trade union claimed there was a backlog of almost half a million documents to process.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/expat/expatnews/10887252/Passport-delays-prompting-drastic-measures.html

http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/777922-changes-to-british-passport-services-in-thailand/page-5

MAY NODS OFF DURING CHILCOT INQUIRY STATEMENT?

http://order-order.com/2016/07/06/poll-theresa-may-drop-off/

Oh well sometimes old ladies do need a nap. Pity her nap had to coincide with a statement about government failings that led to the deaths of British soldiers and innocent civilians, and helped to create a huge crisis in the Middle East.

MAY’S MEETING WITH BRANSON

May met with Branson following the Brexit vote.  A quote from Sky News:

“He also pointed to the slide in the share price of Virgin Money in the days following the Brexit vote.”

Our deepest sympathies for your losses, Mr. Branson. Your share price does seem to have now recovered somewhat. The nation is very relieved on your behalf.

What were they even meeting about? Branson’s agenda is he wants a second referendum.

http://www.breitbart.com/london/2016/07/06/revealed-theresa-may-secretly-met-billionaire-branson-plotted-crush-brexit-vote/

To be fair, Mrs May has now announced that David Davis the eurosceptic is her Brexit minister and Liam Fox (also a eurosceptic) is in charge of international trade. This does seem to suggest that Brexit may at least be going to happen at some point, in some form. The kind of indefinite postponement suggested by her earlier remarks (about delaying even invoking article 50 for at least 6 months), seems somewhat less likely now.

SUMMARY

I am not planning to add any more of these posts about Theresa May. The 3 you have before already should contain enough information to cause you to call for the immediate resignation of Mrs May, and the triggering of an immediate and this time actual and fair, Tory leadership contest, preferably without Mrs May’s name on the list.

I cannot altogether resent David Cameron’s time in office, he has at least managed to save us from another Labour government, “quantitative easing” has ceased at least for now. However he has made many mistakes such as the HS2 project which will be a financial weight around the UK’s neck for many years unless it is scrapped, among other things. Could we even legally scrap it now I wonder? He has also failed to deliver on 2 key promises – reducing immigration to the 10s of 1000s, and reducing our huge national debt, which is as huge as ever. Altogether, as the clueless lame duck president Obama once remarked, he is a lightweight (takes one to know one, eh, Obama?).

REFERENCES:

(1) http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/theresa-may-philip-may-amazon-starbucks-google-capital-group-philip-morris-a7133231.html

(2) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-36413745

(3) http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/kincora-boys-home-belfast-court-decision-to-not-include-case-in-ukwide-goddard-inquiry-is-perverse-claims-uup-leader-34610808.html

FURTHER READING:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kincora_Boys%27_Home

Theresa May – The Most Worst Candidate – Extra

Adding to the points I made in the last blog post an article appeared in the Daily Telegraph by Jonathan Foreman, but was pulled from the paper, allegedly under pressure from May’s team. If this is true then this is a disgraceful attempt to interfere with the free press, and is surely a sign of worse press censorship to come, if she is elected. See the allegation at order-order:

Telegraph Pulled Article Critical of Theresa May After Campaign Pressure

For anyone who has followed Erdogan’s career in Turkey, alarm bells will be ringing loudly. The effect on the democratic process of a national leader who cannot stand criticism from the supposedly free press is truly chilling. Once a leader embarks on this course of action the censorship almost invariably will increase, just as a murderer will often commit further murders in an attempt to cover up the evidence of their first murder.

The article has been made available in full at Guido Fawkes blog however:

READ IN FULL: Article Pulled By Telegraph After Pressure From Theresa May’s Campaign

This should be read in full by everyone who shares my concern for the UK’s security and future. The article details May’s lamentable failure to secure our borders among many other failures.

The article also refers to the Muslim grooming gangs scandal. May also made a hash of appointing someone to lead another major child abuse inquiry, thereby delaying the painful process for the victims:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-29876263

MAY’S PREVENT STRATEGY IS ALIENATING JUST ABOUT EVERYBODY

(As Douglas Murray pointed out some time ago).

Further to my comments on the Extremist Banning and Disruption Orders in the last post, people should also be considering the divisive “Prevent” strategy which is alienating Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Of course, everybody knows that the objective of this strategy is supposed to be to counter violent Islamic extremism, but thanks to the “politically correct” agenda of Cameron and May, in attempting to appear balanced, they have treated many non-Muslims appallingly. In 2015, only 1 in 3 of 4,000 people referred to the de-radicalization scheme were Muslims (according to Breitbart) (1).

Here are a couple of bizarre examples of the “Prevent” strategy in action – non-Muslim children reported to the authorities:

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/685502/redcar-middlesborough-teesville-primary-prevent-legislation-radicalisation-brexit
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-35671519

David Cameron has criticized his own government’s policy, in an echo of May’s absurdly hypocritical speech about immigration:

http://www.christiantoday.com/article/david.cameron.clearly.ludicrous.to.ban.christian.unions.under.extremism.laws/87901.htm

In another incident, a Christian union has been “prevented” from holding prayer meetings:

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/college-outlaws-christian-prayer-meetings-under-extremism-rules-qsrmd07sd

Strange incidents considering May is herself a Christian and the daughter of a vicar!  Strange leadership from a CONSERVATIVE party!

MESSAGE TO THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY MEMBERS WHO WILL SOON BE DECIDING ON THEIR FUTURE LEADER

If Theresa May is elected she will be deeply unpopular among the general public and may well sabotage the Conservatives chances at the next general election. She will be resented by the 52% who voted to Leave the EU, because she has launched this internal power grab for the leadership despite backing Remain. Gordon Brown came to power in a similar fashion, his career was unpopular and gave the Coalition the opportunity to push Labour out at the 2010 election. Conservatives, do not make this same mistake. Elect a leader now that you can be confident will gain popularity for your party, not lose it, as May will do.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Theresa May – The Most Worst Candidate

The Pretend Strategy – A New Orwellian Direction

Extremist Banning and Disruption Orders

OTHER PERSPECTIVES ON MAY ELSEWHERE ON THE WEB:

http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2016/07/you-voted-for-a-revolution-you-got-a-blair-robot.html

Judge Theresa May on her record

REFERENCES:

(1) http://www.breitbart.com/london/2016/03/21/muslims-account-for-only-a-third-of-referrals-to-governments-de-radicalisation-program/

Theresa May – The Most Worst Candidate

The effect of the Brexit result for the EU referendum has had a seismic impact on UK politics. Both the two main UK political parties, Conservatives and Labour are in disarray.

The prime minister has announced his resignation triggering a leadership contest for the Conservatives. Boris Johnson, long touted as Cameron’s probable successor, has had to drop out of the race soon after it began because it became clear he did not have enough support.  George Osborne, also long rumoured as another possible successor, vanished from public view altogether for quite a while despite the fact that he is still the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He had backed the Remain campaign.

Worst of all, Theresa May the home secretary, has thrown her hat into the ring and has so far garnered by far the most endorsements from Conservative MPs. This is something of a worst case scenario as far as I am concerned. She announced for Remain, in a totally cynical and calculated career move. She gambled and lost. The vote went for Leave, it is ridiculous that she is even standing in the leadership contest.

MAY’S INTENTION TO DELAY BREXIT

As part of her leadership bid announcement she has stated her plan to delay the Brexit process AT LEAST until the end of the year, i.e. for 6 months, and hey, who knows maybe even longer (1):

“And there should be no decision to invoke Article 50 until the British negotiating strategy is agreed and clear, which means Article 50 should not be invoked before the end of this year.”

You never know, it could even take a year or two…

MAY’S RECORD ON IMMIGRATION

In 2015 she made a tough-sounding speech saying that high immigration was bad for social cohesion (2). She made this speech at a time when immigration was running at the highest rates of all time (3), and – she was the home secretary and had been in that post for nearly 5 years.  This also despite the fact that the Conservative party she was a part of had been elected on the promise that they would reduce net immigration to the tens of thousands (“no ifs, no buts” were Cameron’s words). The home secretary is responsible for immigration, just as a window cleaner is responsible for cleaning windows. You would not expect a window cleaner to make a speech about how dirty the windows are, after he had failed to clean the windows.

Many foolish people were eagerly expecting this speech was going to be the start of her bid for leadership of the Conservatives. However, their expectation was also that she would lead the LEAVE campaign because surely, surely, she would not have a hope of reducing net immigration while we remained a part of a union that regards free movement of people as one of its most important principles?? In the event, she decided her best bet was to come out for REMAIN, and sit on the sidelines! A wait and see approach that was clearly all about maximizing her chances of gaining the leadership following what she expected would happen, a vote for REMAIN. By announcing for REMAIN but also staying out of the campaign she was hedging her bets and also crucially, avoiding the alienation of the Tory MPs who were campaigning for LEAVE. No principles involved. If you are doubting this, just ask yourself, why did she not CAMPAIGN FERVENTLY for Remain if she believed it was the best course for the UK to stay in the EU?

MAY’S DOUBLESPEAK

An example of great oratory or an example of Orwellian doublespeak (4)?:

‘We’re not talking about curbing free speech. We recognize that free speech is one of our values. But we have to look at the impact some people have in terms of the poisonous ideology they plant in people’s minds that will lead them to challenge, lead them to undermine the values we share as a country.’

I’ll translate – what she was saying here is that she is planning to curb free speech. Apparently one of “our” values is tolerance of those who have no tolerance of our way of life. In her view, If we have a problem with these intolerant beliefs of other people, then we should shut up about it, because it might make those intolerant people angry.

MAY’S INTRODUCTION OF BAD LAWS

Extremist Banning and Disruption Orders (will soon be before parliament). Around the time she first proposed these orders, she was calling for it to be made illegal to ‘undermine democracy’, but these orders would themselves undermine democracy because they would give the government of the day the power to silence their critics, and interfere with freedom of speech in any way they saw fit. Democracy has no meaning without freedom of speech. A home secretary who creates legislation that (if applied logically and consistently at least) would criminalize herself and her colleagues in the government is a type of idiot that should not be in government in the first place, let alone be the Prime Minister (why am I even needing to point this out to people?).

Snooper’s Charter – she has pushed for internet history of all UK citizens to be stored for a year as part of this bill, among many other things (5). The objective of this bill is not to catch Islamic terrorists, contrary to the prevalent misconception. The bill is designed to enable the government to gain more power over the oiks, the ordinary people, you and me. The records will be used in conjunction with the Extremist Banning and Disruption Orders to find and silence the government’s critics. Most Islamic extremists tend to hide in plain sight and are quite easy to spot, for example the killers of Lee Rigby were known associates of Anjem Choudary, one of them even appeared in a video available on Youtube with that notorious Islamic preacher. There is no need whatever to gather data on every single person in the country in order to find these people. Targeted investigations are what is needed.

While she has been busy devising these appalling attacks on our freedom and civil liberty, she has of course also been too “busy” to address problematic laws that the Labour party introduced such as the Racial and Religious Hatred Act. There are others, I will be writing more about these in future.

MAY’S APPALLING IGNORANCE OF THE ISLAMIC RELIGION OR WILFUL BLINDNESS

She has routinely trotted out the “Nothing to do with Islam” line following terrorist attacks perpetrated by Muslims, even when they were justifying their acts with direct recitations from the Koran.

She has claimed that Sharia Courts benefit Britain (6).

MAY’S LACK OF INTEREST IN THE GROWING INFLUENCE OF ISLAMIC GANGS IN OUR PRISONS

While not technically her personal responsibility, as the prisons are now the responsibility of the Ministry of Justice, she nonetheless should be taking a keen interest in this situation, due to her responsibility for policing and security.

A growing feature of our prison system (according to the prison officers association) is the increasing presence and influence of Muslim gangs (7). Now I don’t know about anyone else, but I don’t really feel all that safe knowing that the most violent offenders in our country are being lured (or coerced) into joining a religion that encourages them to wage jihad against the unbelievers, while they are supposedly being rehabilitated back into society.

Perhaps journalists should be focusing more on this sort of thing, instead of waxing lyrical about Theresa May’s terrifying fashion sense (2) and (8).

SUMMARY

Theresa May is the most worst of the available candidates to lead the UK through Brexit (or at any time for that matter, as far as I am concerned).  I have not decided which of the other candidates I think is the best option yet (it may be more about deciding who is the least worst), but this one thing I am sure of, is that Theresa May is the most worst.  Our freedoms and democracy will not be safe in her hands.

RELATED POSTS:

Extremist Banning and Disruption Orders

REFERENCES:

(1) http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2016/06/name-theresa-may-im-best-person-prime-minister/

(2) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/conservative/11915376/Theresa-May-saying-what-everybody-thinks.html

(3) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34071492

(4) http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2015/07/theresa-may-on-tackling-extremism-were-not-talking-about-curbing-free-speech/

(5) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Investigatory_Powers_Bill

(6) http://www.breitbart.com/london/2016/05/28/teresa-may-sharia-courts-benefit-muslims-britain/

(7) http://news.sky.com/story/1156989/inmates-bullied-into-converting-to-islam

(8) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2978868/As-Theresa-wears-thigh-high-boots-meet-Queen-Home-Secretary-s-outrageous-footwear-revealed.html