The Devastating Impact of Plastic Waste: David Attenborough, Britain and “Environmental Missions”

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Featured image: Sir David Attenborough (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Few documentaries have had quite this impact, so much so that it has ushered in the unfortunate combination of war and plastic, two terms that sit uneasily together, if at all.  Tears were recorded; anxiety levels were propelled as Sir David Attenborough tore and tugged at heart strings in his production Blue Planet II.  The oceans, warned the documentary maker, is becoming a toxic repository, and humans are to blame. 

More than eight million tons of plastic eventually finds an oceanic destination.  Decomposition will take centuries.  For Attenborough, one scene from the series stood out. 

“In it, as snowflakes settle on the ground, a baby albatross lies dead, its stomach pierced by a plastic toothpick fed to it by its own mother, having mistaken it for healthy food.  Nearby lies plastic litter that other hungry chicks have regurgitated.”   

For Attenborough, plastic supplies a certain demonology for the environmental movement, a vast and urgent target that requires mass mobilisation and action.

“There are fragments of nets so big they entangle the heads of fish, birds, turtles, and slowly strangle them.  Other pieces of plastic are so small that they are mistaken for food and eaten, accumulating in fishes’ stomachs, leaving them undernourished.”

To firstly declare war against something deemed valuable, even indispensable, to preservation, distribution and storage over a multitude of products, to name but a few purposes, is lofty.  To also identify the casus belli against the inanimate again finds haunting resonance with other failed conflicts: the war against drugs, for instance, or that against terrorism. Will this war go the same way?

Guilty consciences are powerful motivators, and fewer guiltier than the affluent, or mildly affluent.  Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May is one, a figure who has decided to embrace the environmental cause with vote grabbing enthusiasm.

“In the UK alone,” she intoned, “the amount of single-use plastic wasted every year would fill 1,000 Royal Albert Halls.”

May’s direction is far from surprising.  There is Attenborough propelling a movement, and there are the votes that went begging in 2017.  A Tory think-tank, Bright Blue, found that many who refused to vote for her party in the last general election considered environmental initiatives key.  Its polling “shows that climate change is the second highest issue younger people want senior politicians to discuss more, second only to health, and actually the top issue for 18- to 28-year-olds.”

In getting on the cart against plastic, May has attempted, unconvincingly, to reassure critics that moving Britain out of the EU would not result in a lowering of environmental standards.  Britannia will remain responsible.  Her government, she spoke with confidence at London Wetland Centre, would “leave the natural environment in a better state than we found it”. 

What Sir David says, goes, though May has suggested a slow approach that would eradicate all avoidable plastic waste in the UK by 2042.  (What, then, is unavoidable?  The question remains unanswered.)  “Plastic-free” aisles are to be encouraged; taxes and charges on takeaway containers are being proposed.  None of these, it should be noted, entails Parliamentary regulation, retaining the old British approach of gradualism in action. No revolutions, please.

Supermarket chains smell climbing profits, luring the ecologically minded to shelves and fridges like willing prey.  One such outlet is Iceland, a chain that wasted little time getting on the radio and airwaves to ride the green belt.  Targets have been advertised, and it promises to remove plastic packaging from all its own labelled products over the next five years.  Even better, goes the fine print, it will enable those with less heavily laden wallets to shop and stay green.

Companies such as Proctor & Gamble, makers of Head & Shoulders Shampoo, have collaborated to produce a recycled shampoo bottle using plastic found in beaches.  This, in turn, pads out it advertising campaigns.  Use our shampoo, and feel good about yourself.

The guilty consciences were whirling and emoting on BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday as callers spoke of efforts to spend a week free of plastic, but ignobly failing before their friends, neighbours and fellow citizens, all of whom had managed to go one day further.  There were accounts about how French and German supermarkets ensure that fruits and vegetables are free, emancipated from the confines of plastic, and, it would seem, ready to salve the conscience of the green consumer.

In Britain, Attenborough’s environmental influence has become priestly for such individuals as Oswestry schoolteacher Mandy Price.  She has roped her daughter in as well in what has become a social media campaign featuring #doitfordavid, shared 125,000 times within a matter of hours.

“It has been shared on every continent apart from Antarctica,” praises Emily Davies of the Border Counties Advertiser.

This arms race of satisfying a bruised conscience has an undeniable merit in so far as it acknowledges some of the disastrous consequences of humanity’s addiction to the accessible and the easy.  Ambitious Mandy, for instance, speaks of her Facebook page “receiving photographs from lots of different people who are collecting plastic, even from holidaymakers in Cuba who have seen the posts and have recorded their own two-minute beach clean on the beautiful oceans there.”

But within such wars lie the seeds of, if not failure, then the coming of another problem.  In the British case, enduring snobbery is pointed to.  In Australia’s Northern Territory, environmental groups conceded in dismay that a ban single-use plastic bags less than 35 microns in thickness introduced in 2011 had not reduced plastic bag litter at all. On the contrary, the amount had increased.

This is a battle against human behaviour, against patterns of consumption and use in the human estate. It is, if nothing else, an attempt at behavioural adjustment and revolution.  Such a tall order, such a mission, but one that provides Mandy with rosy affirmation rather than dimming scepticism. 

Posted in Health, UK0 Comments

Carillion: An Insolvent British Conglomerate Awarded a £1.4 Billion

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Carillion: An Insolvent British Conglomerate Awarded a £1.4 Billion HS2 Contract by an Inept Government That Cannot Read a Balance Sheet!

A CEO still on full pay whilst this company and hundreds of firms in the supply chain and their employees are thrown on the scrap heap with mortgages to pay, no compensation, cancelled or postponed wages and reduced pensions, if any.

We have today in the May Conservative government a cabinet clique of overpaid amateur politicians who should be in a special needs school, not in Parliament.

What happened to essential professionalism? Is it all in the Labour Party? If so, there better be a General Election ASAP before everything collapses in a heap: the railways, the NHS, public services, the road network, the rail network, the education system, student debt, housing, hospitals, schools, power companies and pensions. All either failing, in disarray, bankrupt or non-existent.

The failure of capitalism in the United Kingdom is clear as the ‘C’ suite team take their salaries, dividends and share options while thousands of workers are thrown on the dole, dependent on state handouts whilst their former directors cavort about on Mediterranean beaches, wining and dining on their bonuses for failure.

This obscene scenario is the unacceptable face of capitalism and ‘caring Conservatism’. The sick joke of the Theresa May government. Did I say ‘government’?

Britain needs a Prime Minister, a leader who can govern – not someone in a frock and FM shoes who is clearly only competent to check the petty cash.

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Pro-Zio-Nazi editor’s joke about Iran-Iraq War provokes response

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OVANEWSImage result for Jewish Stephen Pollard CARTOON
Zionist racist Stephen Pollard

The editor of a prominent Zionist Jewish community newspaper has come under strong attack for making a joke about a war in which more than a million Iranians and Iraqis lost their lives.

Zionist Stephen racist Pollard, editor of Britain’s Jewish Chronicle, now stands accused of inciting hatred and bigotry following a tweet in which the staunchly pro-Nazi and equally enthusiastic Tottenham Hotspur fan compared the Premier League game between Chelsea and Arsenal yesterday to the war between Iran and Iraq because he wanted both sides to lose.

“Time to wheel out my regular comment,”  tweeted Pollard. “It’s Arsenal v Chelsea tonight, the football version of the Iran/Iraq war when you want both sides to lose.”

Tweet: https://twitter.com/stephenpollard/status/948617705351012352

Other twitter users condemned the JC editor for his insensitive and callous remarks about a war in which more than a million people were killed.

“I wonder what your reaction would of been if someone made football related jokes about the Holocaust!”  one furious twitter user responded. Another said: “Wow, how callous can you be? 1 Million people died and 10s of thousand people suffer from chemical attack and you make this comment. What is next? you will compare it to Holocaust?”

Others described the comment as “vile” and “disgusting”. Many were keen to point out the latent racism displayed by Pollard.

“You despicable man. A million people died & you make fun of them? Is this implicit #Islamophobia coming out? If someone had made such a hideous analogy with Israel etc you’d be crying antisemitism. Truly hideous man”.

Tweet: https://twitter.com/alihadi68/status/948847842931638272

“His hate and contempt for Arabs and Muslims is so obvious. And this is the editor of a major Jewish paper!”  wrote another angry user.

One took aim at Pollard’s well-known support for Israel: “Is it a bit like the Israeli Palestinian conflict where you wish Israel would just leave after their away game with Palestine, instead of permanently making the stadium their home?”

Tweet: https://twitter.com/Vghandi/status/948669884321484800

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, Iran, Media, UK0 Comments

British Anti Witch-Hunt Group expelled half its supporters

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Image result for ‘anti-Semitism.CARTOON
By Gilad Atzmon 

When you think that British ‘Left’ has reached rock bottom you wake up to learn that this political comedy act has no limits.

We learned today that the ‘anti witch-hunt’ labour group LAW (Labour Against the Witch-hunt ) has expelled half of its members over ‘anti-Semitism.’

Times of Israel reports today that LAW has cut ties to Socialist Fight because of the views of its members. Socialist Fight is accused of being “supportive of controversial Israeli-born author Gilad Atzmon.”

Needless to mention that I am thrilled by all of that. I enjoy being supported by proper radical left groups; people who adhere to universal principles of equality and human brotherhood. Despite the fact that in my entire life, I have never been a member of any political body or party, I can clearly see that my writing is now making a change.

If you are wondering what it is that I am saying that pushes LAW leaders Jackie Walker and Tony Greenstein, two self identified (political) Jews, over the edge, to the point that they themselves have decided to act, in the open, as witch hunters, I will provide a brief answer.

I argue that if Israel defines itself as a Jewish State we must ask who are the Jews, what is Jewishness and what is Judaism. We should then proceed and  examine Israeli politics and Jewish lobbying in the light of the above questions. I basically argue that Zionism is just one symptom of Jewish choseness. I actually identify the exact same exceptionalist tendencies in Jewish Left and in particular in Walker and Greenstein’s political act. To add to my sins, I am also responsible for the popular adage “by now, we are all Palestinians.” Like the Palestinians we are not allowed to articulate the true nature of our oppression.

No one could articulate this observation better than Jackie Walker and Tony Greenstein. In the minutes of the LAW meeting, Walker and Greenstein apparently said “Making a connection between the number of Jewish billionaires in the US or who is Jewish amongst the richest sections of society and imperialist support for Israel is anti-Semitic.”

For Walker and Greenstein pointing at a concentration of mammon and political influence as the core of Zionist power is a ‘hate crime.’ For Walker and Greenstein a principled universal socialist position based on dialectical materialism is crude ‘antisemitism.’

I am delighted as well as amused to see myself, an immigrant saxophonist at the centre of this ridiculous political storm. But I may assure you that none of this is new to Brits. They have seen it all before, they know about the People’s Front of Judea.

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, UK0 Comments

Decisive Victory as Labour Against the Witchhunt Meeting Excludes Socialist Fight

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Decisive Victory as Labour Against the Witchhunt Meeting Excludes Socialist Fight

Anti-Semitic Group Told They Are Not Welcome

 
The Independent’s coverage of the LAW meeting, which was extremely inaccurate, led to its cancellation

After publicity in The Independent and the Tory Guido Fawkes blog,  the landlord of the pub where we were supposed to meet, the Calthorpe Arms, cancelled the meeting.  So we had to quickly book the Union Tavern 5 minutes away.  As it happens this was a good thing as so many people turned up to vote out the anti-Semitic Socialist Fight.

 
Although a few Socialist Fight members left, the room was still packed

A packed meeting of Labour Against the Witchhunt voted by over 2-1 to exclude Socialist Fight from participating in LAW.  Led by Gerry Downing and Ian Donovan, SF has a theory that the Jewish Question is still relevant today, i.e. that Jews fulfil a distinctive social or economic or political role under capitalism.

 
The irony is that the International Jewish Anti-Zionist group here does not support Socialist Fight and it is one of those Jewish groups which are really a Zionist wedge!

What this means concretely is that the allegedly disproportionate number of rich Jews and billionaires are responsible for the United State’s support for Israel.  In particular that the relationship between Israel and the United States was such that the latter was ‘servile’ to the former.  SF argue that:

It is factually demonstrable that there exists a Jewish component within the ruling classes of Western countries that exceeds by many times over the proportion of Jews in the general population, and that this part of the ruling class is overwhelmingly loyal to Israel. This does not determine the bare existence of a Western alliance with Israel.

What it does, however, is play an important role in transforming what would otherwise be a ‘normal’ relationship similar to that of the US, UK, Germany etc. with each other as NATO allies, into a servile relationship where states like the USA give barely critical support to Israeli atrocities against Palestinians that certainly do not accord with obvious US, UK etc. imperial interests. It also gives Zionism a social power to persecute critics of Israel in Western societies not possessed by any other allied state. Including in the British Labour Party…

There were 2 motions on the floor – one from the Steering Committee and another from Socialist Fight.

Tony Greenstein and Gerry Downing respectively moved the motions.  Tony Greenstein stated that given that we were fighting a false anti-Semitism witch hunt, the presence of an anti-Semitic group in our midst was not helpful!  Downing responded that this was caving in to the Zionists and Labour’s crooked General Secretary, Iain McNicol.  We were joining in with the witchhnters.

Tony Greenstein also drew attention to the interview that Downing had very recently done with Gilad Atzmon, a notorious anti-Semite who Donovan has defended as an ‘Israeli dissident’.  Downing said that this was no different from talking to a dotty aunty with reactionary views but it was pointed out that Atzmon was not a batty relative but someone who had flown to Canada to give evidence in support of the neo-Nazi Ernst Zundel at a hearing before the Canadian courts.

 
Jews don’t need to apologise for the role they play in the movement – the only people who take exception to Jewish anti-Zionists are either Zionists or anti-Semites

Tony Greenstein also expressed wonderment at the fact that SF wanted to work with us anyway as they had stated in Defend Marxism and Labour Movement democracy against capitulators to Zionism

Today, he [Greenstein] and his bed mate Jack Conrad are in a bloc with the same Iain McNichol who is framing him up for anti-Semitism. This is class treachery at its most pathetic.’  

Below I have included material on both Socialist Fight’s and Gilad Atzmon that demonstrates that both are, without doubt, anti-Semitic.

During the course of the debate Ian Donovan, who is the main theoretician behind SF’s anti-Semitic orientation denied that SF spoke of Jews as an ‘oppressor’ people.  This was, as Moshe Machover has pointed out, quite clearly a lie.

Over 60 people attended this all members meeting and some people came down from as far as Sheffield and Liverpool.  A large number of people spoke in the debate and it went on for nearly one and a half hours.  I chaired the debate and then Jackie Walker took over afterwards.

After SF had been excluded a number of decisions were taken such as to establish a membership (£5/£10), affiliations (£25 trade union branches) and to prioritise a number of activities.  In particular we are organising pickets of the National Executive Committee on 23rdJanuary at Southside, London, a picket of Marc Wadsworth’s hearing before the National Constitutional Committee on 24th January (venue unknown) and a picket of Tony Greenstein’s hearing on 26th January.  We also have a public meeting on January 29th at Conway Hall with Ken Loach.  We also agreed a submission to Labour’s Democracy Review.

We also decided to make Professor Moshe Machover, who was auto excluded then reinstated in the Labour Party in October 2017 our Honorary President.  We also co-opted Sally to the Steering Committee as being responsible for social media.

 
Gerry Downing and  Gilad Atzmon unite in defence of anti-semitism

Steering Committee motion:

Labour Against the Witchhunt (LAW) is a Labour Party campaign. We urge all those who oppose Labour’s witchhunt against Corbyn supporters and critics of Israel/Zionism to stay in the Party and fight.

LAW reaffirms its three key demands:

  1.   That the Labour Party ends the practice of automatic, instant, expulsion or suspension of Labour Party members without a hearing, with no right of appeal.
  2.   That the Labour Party rejects the International Holocaust Memorial Alliance (IHMA) definition of anti-Semitism, which conflates anti-Semitism with anti-Zionism and support for the rights of the Palestinian people.
  3.   That the Labour Party immediately abolishes its ‘compliance unit’. Disciplinary decisions should be taken by elected bodies, not paid officials.

As shown by the September 2017 Labour Party conference, the formation of Free Speech on Israel and Jewish Voice for Labour, and by the surge of support which quickly achieved the reinstatement of Moshé Machover, we believe our campaign is capable of stopping the witchhunt.

 
Professor Moshe Machover, the veteran Israel anti-Zionist that McNicol was forced to reinstate in the Labour Party, is our new Honorary President

LAW campaigns for the immediate lifting of all suspensions and expulsions from Labour Party membership which were

  • connected with the rightwing witchhunt of Corbyn supporters;
  • carried out “automatically”, without a hearing, without the right of appeal;
  • connected to the ‘anti-Semitism’ smear campaign.

LAW rejects the view, promoted by the Zionist movement and the Jewish Labour Movement, that anti-Zionism equals anti-Semitism. Those, such as the Alliance for Workers Liberty, who conflate anti-Semitism with anti-Zionism and criticism of Israel, are not eligible for membership. Those who regard Moshé Machover, Tony Greenstein, Jackie Walker or Ken Livingstone as anti-Semitic or who regret the reinstatement of Moshé Machover and/or support the expulsion of Ken Livingstone, are not welcome in LAW.

However, our support will be weakened if we allow the campaign to be associated with those who promote views which are anti-Semitic. LAW condemns anti-Semitism and all forms of racism. Those groups or individuals, such as Socialist Fight, who promote a form of anti-Semitism, for example the view that imperialist support for Israel has any connection to the “overrepresentation” of Jews in the ruling class; or that Jews are “an oppressor people”; or that Jewish campaigns in support of the Palestinians such as Jews Against Zionism, Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods or Jewish Voice for Labour are racist because they operate on the basis of a supposedly “Jewish moral superiority”, are not welcome in LAW

Socialist Fight Motion

This meeting rejects the motion to expel Socialist Fight from the LAW and rejects the accusations of anti-Semitism against them.

Socialist Fight’s Anti-Semitism

An Oppressor People

In Defend Marxism and Labour Movement democracy against capitulators to ZionismDonovan speaks of 

the transformation of the Jewish Question into its opposite, from a question involving a people that suffered considerable, and at times enormous and genocidal, oppression in the early period of imperialist capitalism, to a question involving a people, who, insofar as they act in a collective manner under a quasi-nationalist leadership today, act as oppressors of another people, namely Arabs.

Under Breaking with oppressor Zionism, Donovan writes that

‘This view of Jews as having escaped oppression and become, insofar as they link themselves to Israel and give that state their support, an oppressor people, also gains Greenstein’s ire.’

He continues explaining that

‘Zionism is an unusual oppressor-people movement in that it partly operates on an extra-territorial basis’

‘Greenstein attempts to mock our interlocking points that Jews in the imperialist countries have become an oppressor people by various kinds of demagogy.’

In Third-Camp Stalinoids bring Witchhunt into ‘Labour Against the Witchhunt’ Donovan speaks of: 

‘a pandering to the nationalism and communalism of an oppressor people, as Jews have become today insofar as under Zionist leadership they manage to act collectively.’

ID  goes on to write that:

‘Jews are the one people in the imperialist epoch that have comprehensively escaped from systematic oppression and joined the ranks of oppressor peoples in the imperialist world order.’ 

This is not only an anti-Semitic position, it is a Zionist notion as Sally said from the floor because what it is saying is that Jews outside Israel constitute one people i.e. a nation, precisely the position of the Zionists.  This is another example of how anti-Semitism and Zionism are congruent.

ID states that  

‘It is factually demonstrable that there exists a Jewish component within the ruling classes of Western countries… This does not determine the bare existence of a Western alliance with Israel What it does, however, is play an important role in transforming what would otherwise be a ‘normal’ relationship… into a servile relationship

Jewish anti-Zionist groups are accused of operating as a 5th column inside Palestine solidarity groups, whose ‘opposition to Israeli crimes is suspected to be anti-Semitic unless validated by a special Jewish endorsement.

These groups are indirectly a transmission belt for Zionist influence into the left, despite their subjective intentions as anti-Zionists.’

Donovan accuses the CPGB of engaging in the ‘indulgence of Jewish sensibilities and ‘left’ forms of Jewish communalism.’

In Greenstein and Conrad circle the wagons Donovan explains the basis of all this:  ‘There is a huge disproportion between the number of Jewish bourgeois in the US and other Western ruling classes, and the number of Jewish people in society.’

Donovan – An Echo to the Anti-Semitic Gilad Atzmon

ID has long been a supporter of Gilad Atzmon, the anti-Semitic Jazzman.  He therefore picks up on all his themes such as opposition to Jewish only groups to combat Zionism and his hatred of the Bund, the mass anti-Zionist Jewish political party that led the Warsaw Ghetto resistance.   

In Third-Camp Stalinoids bring Witchhunt into ‘Labour Against the Witchhunt’ he writes of ‘The CPGB’s bloc with Bundist-influenced Jewish socialists such as Tony Greenstein and Moshe Machover, who have played initiating or supporting roles in various Jews-only political campaigns, such as Jews Against Zionism, Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods (JBiG) etc, only underlines this philo-semitic, Islamophobic bias.’

Indeed throughout his articles ID has an obsession with attacking the Bund, who the Socialist Zionists bitterly hated.  They were the main enemies of the Zionists in Czarist Russia and Poland.  It is no accident that Donovan and his mentor, Gilad Atzmon are so hostile to them.

Jewish Moral Superiority

Under the heading Moral Superiority and Zionist Racism Donovan writes that This concept of Jewish moral superiority does not however originate with Greenstein or the CPGB. It is a general social phenomenon…’   He goes on to explain that ‘it is precisely the concept of Jewish moral superiority, not crude concepts of racial superiority, that drives that hegemony.’  It is as if there is some homogenous Jewish people that all have one particular characteristic.  Now it might be possible to make such a characterisation in reference to the settler Jewish people in Israel, who quite clearly are an oppressor people, but ID doesn’t confine his remarks to Israel.

Jewish only Groups

In a particularly vile attack on Jewish groups specifically set up to counter the lie that Zionism speaks for all Jewish people, Donovan writes:

In the way these groups operate within the Palestine solidarity movement, they often appear to play a paternalistic role and actively reinforce, instead of fighting against, the widespread racist prejudice, based on the notion of Jewish moral superiority to non-Jews as a result of past suffering, that opposition to Israeli crimes is suspected to be anti-Semitic unless validated by a special Jewish endorsement. Greenstein has been involved in creating a number of Jews-only organisations connected with the Palestine Solidarity Movement, such as Jews Against Zionism (JAZ) and Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods (JBiG). These groups are indirectly a transmission belt for Zionist influence into the left, despite their subjective intentions as anti-Zionists, because a widely accepted notion of Jewish moral superiority is a sine-qua-non of Zionism’s influence and legitimacy in this society.’

This is a lie.  No anti-Zionist Jewish group has ever said that opposition to Israeli crimes is suspected to be anti-Semitic unless ‘validated by a special Jewish endorsement.’  What is noticeable is that he feels the need to lie in order to align him with the openly anti-Semitic Atzmon.

In Defend Marxism and Labour Movement democracy against capitulators to Zionism Donovan refers to Atzmon as ‘the expat-Israeli dissident Jazz musician’.  He speaks of ‘Greenstein’s campaign between 2005 and 2010 to witchhunt the Socialist Workers Party for hosting Atzmon’s gigs’.

What we opposed was not so much Atzmon doing gigs but being invited as a speaker to SWP events or, since these were antiracist events, an open anti-Semite playing and vocalising at such events.  Yes we criticised the SWP heavily for having anything to do with Atzmon but this was not a witch hunt, it was an exercise in anti-racism.

That is why in June 2005 Jews Against Zionism and other Jewish and non-Jewish socialists picketed a Bookmarx talk given by Atzmon on Otto Weininger, a Jewish fascist in Germany of whom Hitler was reported to have said that he was the only decent Jew and he went and killed himself.

In Third-Camp Stalinoids bring Witchhunt into ‘Labour Against the Witchhunt ID describes Atzmon as an ‘Israeli dissident’.  ID states that ‘Atzmon and Greenstein are both ‘Jewish anti-Zionists” which is untrue as Atzmon specifically rejects the notion that he is Jewish.

 
Gilad according to Ian Donovan is not anti-Semitic despite ‘absolutely detesting the Jew in you’

Gilad Atzmon

These are just a few examples of why Gilad Atzmon   is a vehement anti-Semite and why it is  disgrace that Socialist Fight treat him as some kind of comrade in arms.

In his essay On Anti-Semitism’ Atzmon stated that ‘we must begin to take the accusation that the Jewish people are trying to control the world very seriously.’ 

In Truth History & Integrity Atzmon doubted that Auschwitz was an extermination camp, writing:

if the Nazis ran a death factory in Auschwitz-Birkenau, why would the Jewish prisoners join them at the end of the war? Why didn’t the Jews wait for their Red liberators?I think that 65 years after the liberation of Auschwitz, we must be entitled to start to ask the necessary questions. We should ask for some conclusive historical evidence and arguments rather than follow a religious narrative that is sustained by political pressure and laws. We should strip the holocaust of its Judeo-centric exceptional status and treat it as an historical chapter that belongs to a certain time and place’

A good example of Atzmon’s anti-Semitism was when he cited John Reynolds, Chair of the Ethical Investment Advisory Group during the financial crash of 2008-9: Reynolds said that“Above all we need more individuals to make a stand. The Archbishops of Canterbury and York should go further and call for more Christians to work in the city.” The Observer 28.9.08.

Atzmon took this to mean that this was a call to rid the City of Jews:

‘One may wonder what Reynolds refers to when calling for more ‘Christians to work in the City’… By pleading the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to send more Christians to the City he may try to suggest to us that our financial world must be spiritually de-Judified. I must admit that it took me by complete surprise to read such a suggestion in the politically correct Guardian.’

It also came as a complete surprise to John Reynolds who, once he’d recovered, threatened to sue for libel. Atzmon therefore issued a Clarification and fulsome apology.

 ‘Clarification: In the course of an article entitled “Credit Crunch or rather Zio Punch?” I recently made a comment about Mr John Reynolds, the Chief Executive of Reynolds Partners and chairman of the Ethical Investment Advisory Group. I suggested that some people may think that his call in The Observer to send more Christians to the City was a plea for the financial world to be “spiritually de-Judified”. I want to make it clear that I did not intend to suggest that Mr Reynolds was anti-Semitic or in any way hostile to Jewish people or those of the Jewish faith and I am sorry if my comment was understood by anybody in that way. Mr Reynolds has asked me to clarify the position and I am happy to do so. I would like to apologise for any distress caused.’

I have previously referred to Atzmon’s hatred of the Bund, the General Jewish Workers Union in Russia, Poland and Lithuania.  In the delightfully named Swindler’s List Atzmon explained that

Bundists believe that instead of robbing Palestinians we should all get together and rob who is considered to be the rich, the wealthy and the strong in the name of working class revolution.’

Atzmon, who Donovan describes as an ‘Israeli dissident’ and an anti-Zionist has come up with the unique formulation of ‘Jewish Marxism’.  In Tribal Marxism for Dummies Atzmon explains that

‘While Marxism is a universal paradigm, … Jewish Marxism is basically a crude utilisation of ‘Marxist-like’ terminology for the sole purpose of the Jewish tribal cause. It is a Judeo-centric pseudo intellectual setting which aims at political power.’

In one of a number of attacks on Moshe Machover, Atzmon explains that

We are therefore entitled to assume that Machover’s ‘settler state’ is just another Judeo Marxist spin that is there to divert the attention from the clear fact that Israel is the Jewish state.

The last people who referred to Judeo-Marxists were the Nazis who held that the Jews had given birth to Bolshevism.  It is therefore somewhat of a surprise that a so-called socialist group is now taking to its bosom this vile anti-Semite.

Despite saying that they oppose Zionism and support the Palestinians Donovan and Socialist Fight directly contradict the statement of Ali Abunimah, Professor Joseph Masad and Omar Barghouti and other Palestinian activists and intellectuals.  

 
The Tories loved the internal dispute in LAW

In Granting No Quarter: A Call for the Disavowal of the Racism and Antisemitism of Gilad Atzmon they wrote:

Atzmon’s politics rest on one main overriding assertion that serves as springboard for vicious attacks on anyone who disagrees with his obsession with “Jewishness”. He claims that all Jewish politics is “tribal,” and essentially, Zionist. Zionism, to Atzmon, is not a settler-colonial project, but a trans-historical “Jewish” one, part and parcel of defining one’s self as a Jew. Therefore, he claims, one cannot self-describe as a Jew and also do work in solidarity with Palestine, because to identify as a Jew is to be a Zionist. We could not disagree more. Indeed, we believe Atzmon’s argument is itself Zionist because it agrees with the ideology of Zionism and Israel that the only way to be a Jew is to be a Zionist.

We reaffirm that there is no room in this historic and foundational analysis of our struggle for any attacks on our Jewish allies, Jews, or Judaism; nor denying the Holocaust; nor allying in any way shape or form with any conspiracy theories, far-right, orientalist, and racist arguments, associations and entities. Challenging Zionism, including the illegitimate power of institutions that support the oppression of Palestinians, and the illegitimate use of Jewish identities to protect and legitimize oppression, must never become an attack on Jewish identities, nor the demeaning and denial of Jewish histories in all their diversity.

Indeed, we regard any attempt to link and adopt antisemitic or racist language, even if it is within a self-described anti-imperialist and anti-Zionist politics, as reaffirming and legitimizing Zionism. In addition to its immorality, this language obscures the fundamental role of imperialism and colonialism in destroying our homeland, expelling its people, and sustaining the systems and ideologies of oppression, apartheid and occupation. It leaves one squarely outside true solidarity with Palestine and its people.

…..

The reality is that SF are a racist throwback to the early days of the 20th Century when the Social Democratic Federation and British Socialist Party under Henry Hyndman tried to combine socialism and racism and ended up forming a British National Socialist Party.

Posted by Tony Greenstein 

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, UK0 Comments

Draconian State Surveillance: Britain’s Falling Press Freedom Tells of Another Disturbing Story

NOVANEWS
  

There is something really quite worrying happening to Britain. We now have the most draconian state surveillance powers ever devised hanging over the entire population. Just six billionaires now run over 80 percent of the media where true editorial independence simply doesn’t exist and where corporate advertising revenue leads to censorship of their awful behaviour. Internet service providers and search engines now have the power to censor any information at will and given the scale of complaints globally by independent media outlets, they are using that capability to the full. In the meantime, the British government continues its assault on press freedom and by implication – democracy itself. There’s a reason.

We have known for years that the British intelligence services manipulate the press. Roy Greenslade, who has been a media specialist for both the Telegraph and the Guardian, said:

Most tabloid newspapers – or even newspapers in general – are the playthings of MI5.”

What is worse though than blatant propaganda is that press freedom in the UK is plummeting and doing so by design. This is confirmed by the fact that the UK has fallen two places to 40th out of 180 countries, down 12 places in the past five years alone. We lag well behind countries such as Ghana (26th), Namibia (24th) and Surinam (20th). At this rate, Tonga and even Botswana will be ahead of Britain in just two years time! In one example, the Botswana government stands accused of conducting a vicious cyberattack last year against an independent newspaper that destroyed more than a decade’s worth of its archived data. Botswana also remains without access to information laws and press freedom and neither is guaranteed in its constitution. But Botswana will have more press freedom than Britain does soon.

Other leading democracies have also fallen. It is not surprising that the US fell to 43rd – in a year in which the new president and leader of the (so-called) free world – called the press an “enemy of the American people” and anything he does not agree with as ‘fake news’.

The 2017 Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders (Reporters Sans Frontières or RSF) were pulling no punches when it came to describing why Britain is doing so badly.

A heavy-handed approach towards the press – often in the name of national security – has resulted in the UK slipping down the World Press Freedom Index. Parliament adopted the most extreme surveillance legislation in UK history, the Investigatory Powers Act, with insufficient protection mechanisms for whistleblowers, journalists, and their sources, posing a serious threat to investigative journalism. Even more alarming, the Law Commission’s proposal for a new ‘Espionage Act’ would make it easy to classify journalists as ‘spies’ and jail them for up to 14 years for simply obtaining leaked information. Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013 remains cause for concern – in particular, the law’s punitive cost-shifting measure that could hold publishers liable for the costs of all claims made against them, regardless of merit. The seizure by UK border authorities of a Syrian journalist’s passport at the request of the Assad regime sent the worrying signal that critical foreign journalists traveling to the UK could be targeted by their own governments.”

Just two years earlier RSF voiced their concerns over the rapidly declining levels of press freedom and state surveillance by the police, GCHQ and other government departments, along with many other issues (which you can read here). All of this is happening through a rather vague but real threat of terrorism, or national security, which is itself allowing the long-established values of freedom of speech to be weakened. This gives rise to the suspicion that our government is not as honest as it should be as it instead uses ‘national security’ as a shield against proper accountability.

However, the story of what is really happening starts to emerge when you combine a rapidly declining environment of press freedom, in conjunction with reductions of civil liberties and human rights along with the alarming rise of foreign billionaires, typically American ones, intervening in Britain’s most important political decisions, in this case, the EU referendum.  You would be forgiven for thinking that we are in fact entering some form of dismal imaginary place of the future.

Alex Younger, head of MI6, said in December, 2016″ acknowledges this point by saying:

“The connectivity that is the heart of globalisation can be exploited by states with hostile intent to further their aims.[…] The risks at stake are profound and represent a fundamental threat to our sovereignty.” 

Younger was right. Foreign billionaires, home grown politicians and transnational corporations are now teaming up against social democracy and civil society, in fact democracy in general in Britain. The Guardian found out to its cost recently in its publishing of such details – and reporting it has led to a nasty legal fight designed to intimidate news outlets and commentators – national or otherwise.

In today’s Britain we have legislation to silence charities from criticising government, massively increased public space protection orders to inhibit legitimate public protest, provided police unprecedented powers of surveillance, expanded secret courts and given all sorts of agencies the use of terror laws to chase fines and overdue payments. It all feels like we are being prepared or ‘managed’ for something much worse.

Freedom of the press is one aspect of our lives, it was born in an environment of liberal democracy. It is confirmation that our democracy is in fact functioning as it should. But something very unsettling is beginning to emerge from all of this.

Rebecca Vincent, RSF’s UK bureau director, said this year’s press freedom ranking would have actually been worse were it not for a general decline in press freedom around the world.

Quite unbelievably, for a so-called democratic nation like Britain, making journalists in Britain only comparatively better off than those in countries such as Turkey and Syria (said RSF) should be something of a national scandal prompting serious public protest.

Donald Trump’s rise to power in the United States and the Brexit campaign in the United Kingdom was marked by a high-profile and highly toxic anti-media discourse that drove the world into a new era of post-truth, disinformation and fake news,” RSF said in a statement.

The organisation’s secretary general, Christophe Deloire, added:

The rate at which democracies are approaching the tipping point is alarming for all those who understand that if media freedom is not secure, then none of the other freedoms can be guaranteed.”

Deloire included Britain in that statement – that a tipping point is close. RSF points to the “token resistance within parliament, despite giving UK intelligence agencies and police the most sweeping surveillance powers in the western world.” They made comment that a “death sentence” (their words not mine) had been passed to investigative journalism in Britain, owing to its lack of protections for whistleblowers, journalists and their sources.

Politicians put up no resistance whatsoever with the new espionage act. What this does is classify investigative journalists in the same threat groups as foreign spies.

Jim Killock, the executive director of the Open Rights Group, said –

“The government failed to protect journalists when it passed the Investigatory Powers Act. Now, the Law Commission has proposed to send them to prison if they so much as handle official data – this is a deeply worrying trend that needs to be addressed.”

What is really worrying is the reason why Britain is going in this direction right now. Extreme surveillance powers are now slowly being matched by restrictions on press freedom just as the country enters a critical political point in its history – Brexit.

For instance, Liam Fox’s trade department quietly released an exchange of letters between the UK and the office of the US trade representative agreeing to mark exchanged information, papers and discussions as either “sensitive” or “confidential”, with both sides also agreeing to keep the information “held in confidence” for four years after the conclusion of the Brexit trade talks. In other words, to report any leaked information of US/UK Brexit talks that will affect everyone in Britain is now an offence equivalent to a foreign operative attacking Britain’s national security.

During an interview with the BBC’s Today programme on November 7th, Fox said he intended to learn the lessons of the backlash against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership trade deal, better known as TTIP.  It was negotiated between the EU and US amid heavy secrecy. Talks subsequently failed amid massive high-profile public protests, where millions of citizens suddenly became activists in defence of their rights.

Fox went on to state that he and the American negotiating teams did not want to complete a “huge amount of work, only to find the public won’t accept it.”

Fox also knows that Britain will get a really poor deal with the Americans. Greenpeace reported on December 20th that “letters were also signed less than two weeks after Unearthed revealed through information obtained through US Freedom of Information (FOI) laws that Fox’s 27-strong UK delegation to the first US-UK working group meeting was lacking in any experts with substantial trade discussion experience. In contrast, the US team was 77 people strong and included at least 20 officials with direct experience of negotiating and enforcing trade deals.”

Why Liam Fox is so loyal to the Americans and so disloyal to his own country is a mystery. But one only has to read this article dating back to 2011 to be appalled by his association with the think tank Atlantic Bridge, his scandal involving Adam Werrity (an issue of national security) and connections to Donald Trump’s US Republican party. Fox has connections with ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council), a political pressure group that forces the free market on health and education, whose Neo-Cons destroyed the Middle East and peace across the world in favour of the military industrial complex.

Soon, there will be serious consequences for criticising the government on matters such as Brexit. Then, it will be too late. This is the reason why press freedom in Britain is rapidly falling. But it does so in an environment where citizens rights are being dramatically eroded.

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Records of British Mandate of Palestine

NOVANEWS
Records of British Mandate of Palestine: Shimon Peres’ Request to Become Mandatory Palestine Citizen Revealed

MyHeritage revealed on December 28 2017 a database that includes the citizenship requests filed by 67,000 people during the British mandate period in the land of Israel. Among those who filed a request was former Israeli President Shimon Peres.

A database that includes 67,000 citizenship requests from the British mandate period between the years 1937 and 1947 was revealed on Thursday. Among those who requested citizenship were people who went on to become key figures in the young State of Israel- including former Israeli President Shimon Peres, who was born Szymon Perski.

Peres’ request includes documents in which he declared that he is interested in agricultural work and wants to change his name to Shimon. Another request was submitted by author Dahn Ben-Amotz,who asked to speed up his immigration process.

The database was compiled by MyHeritage, an Israeli startup that specializes in developing genealogy building tools, with the assistance of the Israel State Archives. The requests, each of which is about 15 pages long, include the names, birthdates and addresses of 206,000 people.

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Another request Photo Credit: MyHeritage

Each request includes two recommendation letters from citizens who declared their support for the petitioner. Among those who submitted recommendations for future citizens were former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, former Minister Shlomo Hillel and author Yehuda Burla.

Many of the requests were filed by Jews who managed to escape Europe shortly before the Holocaust and survivors who wanted to move to Israel after the collapse of the Nazi regime. Other requests were filed by Jewish people from Arab countries who wanted to come to the holy land to fulfill the Zionist dream.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, UK0 Comments

‘Not enough even for coffee’: UK troops in Afghanistan get £1 each to celebrate Christmas

 NOVANEWS
 Christmas in Vietnam was different, girls brought in, all of us got to meet Bob Hope personally, hot turkey dinners, christmas carols.
The military wouldn’t have sent every combat unit into the bush before the holiday so that the REMF contingent of service academy types could celebrate in total safety.
The truth is a thousand times worse than this.g

As PM May praised the military for keeping the UK safe in her Christmas message, troops abroad were not exactly in a festive mood. It has emerged that 500 soldiers in Afghanistan received just £1 each to celebrate the holiday.

Five hundred British troops deployed to Afghanistan were allocated a total of just £500 ($700) for Christmas, the Sunday Times revealed.  Some said the defense chiefs’ frugality left the troops lagging far behind their foreign counterparts as soldiers from the  American contingent reportedly received eight Christmas trees, decorations, turkeys, numerous gifts, and even a copy of the new Star Wars film.

“The contrast between the American and British approach is staggering,” said a British officer stationed in Kabul. “As an army we don’t have as much money as the US, but even the Danish and Mongolians seem to be doing more,” he noted.

The tight Christmas budget has affected morale, one soldier told the newspaper: “They haven’t even sent us enough for a coffee. The Americans send in more money to feed the stray cats on their compound.”

Christmas festivities for troops from the Yorkshire Regiment have been limited to sneaking out and swapping the stars on the American trees for Yorkshire flags, the paper said. The ministry of defense said arrangements for Christmas festivities “are made locally,” it added.

While cash-strapped, the troops did not feel completely forgotten. “It has been staggering to see the number of parcels that have arrived for us from friends and family,” said the officer. In addition, Christmas lunch was still served on Friday, complimented by snow, which fell last week in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Посмотреть изображение в Твиттере

This  our UK Armed Forces will be deployed around the world on 25 operations in more than 30 countries. Take a look at just a few of the many places that they’ll be spending Christmas this year. 

The report on Christmas allowances came shortly after UK Prime Minister Theresa May stressed the “enormous debt we owe to our armed forces and veterans” in her Christmas message to the military.

“Whenever you are called upon – regulars or reserves – you always give of your best and inspire us all with your service,” May said, adding, “the valiant hearts of our servicemen and women, many far away from their own loved ones at this special time of year, are working to keep us safe.”

Посмотреть изображение в Твиттере

It was lovely to spend time with the families of our Armed Forces stationed in Cyprus today and wish them all a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

Посмотреть изображение в ТвиттереПосмотреть изображение в Твиттере

I was pleased to arrive in Cyprus last night, to today let our brave armed forces know just how vital their work is – and how much I appreciate the sacrifices that they and their families make in the service of our country, particularly at Christmas. https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-address-to-troops-at-raf-akrotiri-22-december-2017 

Afghanistan remains Britain’s largest overseas deployment.

Follow news the mainstream media ignores: Like RT’s Facebook

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Did UK Clown-Diplomat Boris Johnson Threaten Russia With War?

NOVANEWS

Madame Tussaud's London mark Boris Johnson's victory in the London mayoral election by giving him a post-party makeover.

Finian Cunningham

The bizarre US trend of encountering crazy clowns has come to Britain, reports say. The latest sighting perhaps was Britain’s foreign secretary Boris Johnson standing up in parliament and appearing to threaten Russia with war.

Johnson, whose buffoonish public antics have garnered a reputation for being something of a clown, was speaking this week in the British House of Commons on Syria’s conflict. He directed much of his fire-breathing act at Russia, reiterating allegations of war crimes during the offensive to retake the northern city of Aleppo.

Russian Embassy in London
With typical bluster, Britain’s top diplomat said Russian President Vladimir Putin was turning his “great country into a pariah state” – owing to unverified reports of air strikes on civilian centers.Then Johnson added a curious phrase. He warned that if Putin continued the military campaign in Syria, this would result in the leader’s ambitions for Russia being “turned to ashes”.

Maybe bumbling Boris was referring metaphorically to demise of Russia’s international reputation when he said “turned to ashes”. There again, given Russia’s grim history of war devastation, those particular words have sinister connotation.

Just like the internet craze gripping America where members of the public are being spooked by mystery clowns jumping out at them while walking down streets, or lurking in bushes outside their homes at night, the issue of intent is ambiguous. Is it a prank, or is it a veiled threat? A face-painted circus clown with crazy hair-do is usually slapstick fun. But a clown brandishing a hammer or chainsaw, as in the latest internet trend, now that’s creepy. And part of the ambiguity, one suspects, is intended to be menacing.

The same goes for Britain’s clownish foreign minister. His insinuation of Russia “turning to ashes” comes not out of the blue, which could be dismissed as ridiculous, but rather in the context of a steady drum roll of provocative accusations and threats against Russia made by the US, France and Britain.

Ever since the Kerry-Lavrov ceasefire in Syria failed last month – due to Western-backed militants breaching the truce, capped by a US air-strike massacre at a Syrian army base in Deir ez-Zor on September 17 – Russia and its Syrian ally have stepped up the offensive to fully capture the key city of Aleppo.For more than three weeks now, the American, British and French governments have embarked on an unprecedented media campaign to discredit Russia’s military operations, with tendentious allegations of war crimes. These same Western states have also toyed with proposals to increase weapons supplies to the militants, including anti-aircraft missiles. A US State Department official publicly conjectured that Russia could see more of its servicemen being returned in “body bags” and he also hinted that Russian cities could be targeted in terrorist bombings.

Recall, too, that former CIA chief Michael Morell recently endorsed the killing of Russian personnel in Syria by terrorist proxies as a way of making Russia “pay a price” for its military intervention in Syria, which appears to be defeating the US-backed covert war for regime change in that country.The information that the Western powers base their claims on is supplied by unverifiable sources from within the besieged eastern part of Aleppo. The Western governments and media routinely rely on “amateur” (sic) video footage – including drone (sic) video footage – from the so-called Aleppo Media Center. The AMC is under the control of the Al-Nusra terrorist group.

Yet based on this dubious source of information, Washington, London and Paris are calling for Russian leaders to be prosecuted for war crimes at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

President Putin this week rebuked Western claims of Russian war crimes as empty “political rhetoric”. And that’s true. But what’s disturbing is the repetition of these baseless claims by Western governments and dutiful news media.

Christopher Black, the internationally respected war crimes defense lawyer, told this author that history shows that when Western powers want to launch a war or some other military intervention against a designated enemy, the deed is often preceded by a media campaign of vilification. “In this way, the Western public is being conditioned into acceptance by their rulers of a desired, eventual military action,” said Black.

Western governments, whose derogatory charges against Moscow are being amplified without question by the Western mass media, have also advocated increasing economic and political sanctions against Russia. European parliamentarians voted this week for a resolution that could pave the way for Russian news media channels like RT and Sputnik being banned from Europe’s airwaves or internet.

Taken in this context of relentless Western hostility towards Russia, Boris Johnson’s words about “turning to ashes” should not be easily dismissed as merely clumsy, ill-chosen blather from a political court jester.Johnson may have verbally ruled out the setting up of a no-fly zone around Aleppo, but his hawkish Conservative party colleague Andrew Mitchell said the opposite.

Mitchell, a former Cabinet minister and well-connected to the British establishment, is backing American and French calls for a no-fly zone. That was the basis of the French draft resolution at the UN Security Council last weekend, which Russia vetoed because it said such a demarcation would have given air cover to the terrorist-dominated militants in east Aleppo.

Andrew Mitchell later went on CNN to reiterate claims that Russia was behaving in Aleppo like Nazi Germany did in Guernica when it supported the fascist Spanish dictator Franco to defeat besieged socialist revolutionaries during Spain’s civil war in the 1930s.

Talk about a grotesque, illiterate re-writing of history and abuse of false historical analogies to serve a present-day agenda. It is obvious that the British establishment, as articulated by Mitchell, is recklessly pushing an agenda to demonize and criminalize Russia in order to justify military intervention in Syria – one that would likely lead to all-out war between NATO and Russia.

Asked if a no-fly zone inflamed the risk of war, Mitchell deprecated any such concern by comparing it to “appeasement” of Nazi Germany. He also went on to make the specious comparison that Russia is trashing the United Nations and its veto power at the Security Council in the same that the Third Reich gutted the former League of Nations.The perverse reasoning coming out of Washington, London and Paris with regard to Syria and Russia is ludicrous. It belies an astounding distortion of how the Syrian war was instigated and fueled by the same Western powers in the first place, with their covert support of terrorist proxies for the criminal objective of regime change.

If any historical parallels are to be made, it is the US, Britain and France who are acting as fascist, rogue states and who have gutted the UN.

However, being ludicrous is not funny when such lunatics have their hands on the political levers to launch wars.

Britain’s foreign minister Boris Johnson may be a shambolic figure of amusement. But the clown is juggling words and sinister sentiments that he no doubt has picked up while prancing along the corridors of power in Whitehall.

Related:

The Mendacity of Boris Johnson’s Anti-Russian Rhetoric
Johnson Calls Aleppo Anti-Terrorist Airstrikes ‘Gross Crime Against Humanity’
Johnson: UK Should Reconsider Military Intervention in Syria
Johnson: UK ‘Wrong’ to Sign EU Lisbon Treaty, Allow EU ‘Judicial Activism’

Posted in Russia, UK0 Comments

Not his finest hour: The dark side of Winston Churchill

NOVANEWS

Image result for Winston Churchill CARTOON

Winston Churchill is rightly remembered for leading Britain through her finest hour – but what if he also led the country through her most shameful hour? What if, in addition to rousing a nation to save the world from the Nazis, he fought for a raw white supremacism and a concentration camp network of his own? This question burns through Richard Toye’s new history, Churchill’s Empire, and is even seeping into the Oval Office.

George W Bush left a bust of Churchill near his desk in the White House, in an attempt to associate himself with the war leader’s heroic stand against fascism. Barack Obama had it returned to Britain. It’s not hard to guess why: his Kenyan grandfather, Hussein Onyango Obama, was imprisoned without trial for two years and was tortured on Churchill’s watch, for resisting Churchill’s empire.

Can these clashing Churchills be reconciled? Do we live, at the same time, in the world he helped to save, and the world he helped to trash? Toye, one of Britain’s smartest young historians, has tried to pick through these questions dispassionately – and he should lead us, at last and at least, to a more mature conversation about our greatest national icon.

Churchill was born in 1874 into a Britain that was washing the map pink, at the cost of washing distant nations blood red. Victoria had just been crowned Empress of India, and the scramble for Africa was only a few years away. At Harrow School and then Sandhurst, he was told a simple story: the superior white man was conquering the primitive, dark-skinned natives, and bringing them the benefits of civilisation. As soon as he could, Churchill charged off to take his part in “a lot of jolly little wars against barbarous peoples”. In the Swat valley, now part of Pakistan, he experienced, fleetingly, a crack of doubt. He realised that the local population was fighting back because of “the presence of British troops in lands the local people considered their own,” just as Britain would if she were invaded. But Churchill soon suppressed this thought, deciding instead they were merely deranged jihadists whose violence was explained by a “strong aboriginal propensity to kill”.

He gladly took part in raids that laid waste to whole valleys, destroying houses and burning crops. He then sped off to help reconquer the Sudan, where he bragged that he personally shot at least three “savages”.

The young Churchill charged through imperial atrocities, defending each in turn. When concentration camps were built in South Africa, for white Boers, he said they produced “the minimum of suffering”. The death toll was almost 28,000, and when at least 115,000 black Africans were likewise swept into British camps, where 14,000 died, he wrote only of his “irritation that Kaffirs should be allowed to fire on white men”. Later, he boasted of his experiences there: “That was before war degenerated. It was great fun galloping about.”

Then as an MP he demanded a rolling programme of more conquests, based on his belief that “the Aryan stock is bound to triumph”. There seems to have been an odd cognitive dissonance in his view of the “natives”. In some of his private correspondence, he appears to really believe they are helpless children who will “willingly, naturally, gratefully include themselves within the golden circle of an ancient crown”.

But when they defied this script, Churchill demanded they be crushed with extreme force. As Colonial Secretary in the 1920s, he unleashed the notorious Black and Tan thugs on Ireland’s Catholic civilians, and when the Kurds rebelled against British rule, he said: “I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes…[It] would spread a lively terror.”

Of course, it’s easy to dismiss any criticism of these actions as anachronistic. Didn’t everybody think that way then? One of the most striking findings of Toye’s research is that they really didn’t: even at the time, Churchill was seen as at the most brutal and brutish end of the British imperialist spectrum. Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin was warned by Cabinet colleagues not to appoint him because his views were so antedeluvian. Even his startled doctor, Lord Moran, said of other races: “Winston thinks only of the colour of their skin.”

Many of his colleagues thought Churchill was driven by a deep loathing of democracy for anyone other than the British and a tiny clique of supposedly superior races. This was clearest in his attitude to India. When Mahatma Gandhi launched his campaign of peaceful resistance, Churchill raged that he “ought to be lain bound hand and foot at the gates of Delhi, and then trampled on by an enormous elephant with the new Viceroy seated on its back.” As the resistance swelled, he announced: “I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion.” This hatred killed. To give just one, major, example, in 1943 a famine broke out in Bengal, caused – as the Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen has proved – by the imperial policies of the British. Up to 3 million people starved to death while British officials begged Churchill to direct food supplies to the region. He bluntly refused. He raged that it was their own fault for “breeding like rabbits”. At other times, he said the plague was “merrily” culling the population.

Skeletal, half-dead people were streaming into the cities and dying on the streets, but Churchill – to the astonishment of his staff – had only jeers for them. This rather undermines the claims that Churchill’s imperialism was motivated only by an altruistic desire to elevate the putatively lower races.

Hussein Onyango Obama is unusual among Churchill’s victims only in one respect: his story has been rescued from the slipstream of history, because his grandson ended up as President of the US. Churchill believed that Kenya’s fertile highlands should be the preserve of the white settlers, and approved the clearing out of the local “blackamoors”. He saw the local Kikuyu as “brutish children”. When they rebelled under Churchill’s post-war premiership, some 150,000 of them were forced at gunpoint into detention camps – later dubbed “Britain’s gulag” by Pulitzer-prize winning historian, Professor Caroline Elkins. She studied the detention camps for five years for her remarkable book Britain’s Gulag: The Brutal End of Empire in Kenya, explains the tactics adopted under Churchill to crush the local drive for independence. “Electric shock was widely used, as well as cigarettes and fire,” she writes. “The screening teams whipped, shot, burned, and mutilated Mau Mau suspects.” Hussein Onyango Obama never truly recovered from the torture he endured.

Many of the wounds Churchill inflicted have still not healed: you can find them on the front pages any day of the week. He is the man who invented Iraq, locking together three conflicting peoples behind arbitrary borders that have been bleeding ever since. He is the Colonial Secretary who offered the Over-Promised Land to both the Jews and the Arabs – although he seems to have privately felt racist contempt for both. He jeered at the Palestinians as “barbaric hoards who ate little but camel dung,” while he was appalled that the Israelis “take it for granted that the local population will be cleared out to suit their convenience”.

True, occasionally Churchill did become queasy about some of the most extreme acts of the Empire. He fretted at the slaughter of women and children, and cavilled at the Amritsar massacre of 1919. Toye tries to present these doubts as evidence of moderation – yet they almost never seem to have led Churchill to change his actions. If you are determined to rule people by force against their will, you can hardly be surprised when atrocities occur. Rule Britannia would inexorably produce a Cruel Britannia.

So how can the two be reconciled? Was Churchill’s moral opposition to Nazism a charade, masking the fact he was merely trying to defend the British Empire from a rival?

The US civil rights leader Richard B. Moore, quoted by Toye, said it was “a rare and fortunate coincidence” that at that moment “the vital interests of the British Empire [coincided] with those of the great overwhelming majority of mankind”. But this might be too soft in its praise. If Churchill had only been interested in saving the Empire, he could probably have cut a deal with Hitler. No: he had a deeper repugnance for Nazism than that. He may have been a thug, but he knew a greater thug when he saw one – and we may owe our freedom today to this wrinkle in history.

This, in turn, led to the great irony of Churchill’s life. In resisting the Nazis, he produced some of the richest prose-poetry in defence of freedom and democracy ever written. It was a cheque he didn’t want black or Asian people to cash – but they refused to accept that the Bank of Justice was empty. As the Ghanaian nationalist Kwame Nkrumah wrote: “All the fair, brave words spoken about freedom that had been broadcast to the four corners of the earth took seed and grew where they had not been intended.” Churchill lived to see democrats across Britain’s dominions and colonies – from nationalist leader Aung San in Burma to Jawarlal Nehru in India – use his own intoxicating words against him.

Ultimately, the words of the great and glorious Churchill who resisted dictatorship overwhelmed the works of the cruel and cramped Churchill who tried to impose it on the darker-skinned peoples of the world. The fact that we now live in a world where a free and independent India is a superpower eclipsing Britain, and a grandson of the “savages” is the most powerful man in the world, is a repudiation of Churchill at his ugliest – and a sweet, ironic victory for Churchill at his best.

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