All 5 entries tagged Politics

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August 22, 2006

UK Terror Plot: Be very sceptical?

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Former UK Ambassador to the Central Asian Republic of Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, has written a remarkable analysis of the 'UK Terror Plot', its policing and its coverage in the media, which has created quite a stir.

In his first blog post on the issue – The UK Terror plot: what's really going on? – Murray picked apart the various details we then knew of the supposed plot and, in an incredible passage, wrote the following about Bush And Blair:

Both in desperate domestic political trouble, they longed for "Another 9/11". The intelligence from Pakistan, however dodgy, gave them a new 9/11 they could sell to the media. The media has bought, wholesale, all the rubbish they have been shovelled.

Murray concluded his piece thus:

In all of this, the one thing of which I am certain is that the timing is deeply political. This is more propaganda than plot. Of the over one thousand British Muslims arrested under anti–terrorist legislation, only twelve per cent are ever charged with anything. That is simply harrassment of Muslims on an appalling scale. Of those charged, 80% are acquitted. Most of the very few – just over two per cent of arrests – who are convicted, are not convicted of anything to do terrorism, but of some minor offence the Police happened upon while trawling through the wreck of the lives they had shattered. Be sceptical. Be very, very sceptical.

His post has since received considerable coverage across the web and in the mainstream press which he has commented on further in a post entitled Hitting a Nerve

His claims about the political nature of the policing have prompted an exchange between Murray and Chief Constable Ken Jones, President of The Association of Chief Police Officers in the letters pages of The Guardian which Murray reproduces on his blog in the following post:

Police, politics and public safety: Letters in the Guardian

Murray continues to address this issue on his blog at

May 05, 2006

Blair must go now

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Charlie Whelan, a former Brownite bruiser, pulls no punches today following the local election results:

The prime minister won't quit of course; it couldn't possibly be his fault that no one wants to vote Labour anymore could it? Realistically the only people who can rid us of Tony Blair are the Labour MPs, though we cannot expect too much from a bunch of people who voted in favour of the war. I don't know what MPs do in their spare time but they clearly don't listen to their constituents much. If they did, they would surely have moved before the last election to dump their leader. The big question today is: will this so far spineless bunch of people finally have the guts to do the dirty deed.

May 03, 2006

The Apprentice and Blair's Britain

Writing about web page,,1766121,00.html

Provocative, persuasive piece of analysis of The Apprentice as a cipher for Blair's Britain from Jonathan Freedland, one of The Guardian's most persistently reliable and interesting columnists. In the space of a column the analysis has a lot to say not only about television but about our socal and political cultures, about ethnic diversity, meritocracy and the potential irrelevance of a university business education. Freedland's big conclusion, however, is that The Apprentice teaches us that

deference is far from dead, it's just that now there is a new class to be deferred to – the aristocracy of wealth. And in this new nobility, Alan Sugar's blood is purest blue.

May 02, 2006

Con Yer Bike Cameron

Writing about web page

David Cameron's 'green credentials' take a panning from the Daily Mirror with the inspired headline above.

DAVID Cameron flaunts his green credentials by cycling to work – but there's a flunky following behind in a gas–guzzling motor carrying his shoes and briefcase.

Smart blogging London–based bike shop and courier company Velorution write to Cameron offering to deliver his briefcase and shirt carbon-free.

Or maybe he should just get some panniers or a rucksack? Or maybe the flunky should get a bike and some bags, so that young David can continue to look good for the cameras? Or a tandem, so that the flunky can carry the bags carbon–free?

January 19, 2006

Our shabby media culture

Writing about web page,,1687932,00.html

I'm kicking this blog off by pointing to an excellent piece of writing by Polly Toynbee about the ways in which as a culture, and in our media, we treat politicians. In a very powerful paragraph, Toynbee writes:

A free press may be essential to democracy, but how grotesquely it exploits that necessity. Self-righteously we pontificate on politicians, free to damn ministers at whim, shameless about our own far worse venality and hypocrisy. Politicians try to get things done while we shoot them down from comfortable quarters. They come and go – but we stay on and on, never at risk of de-election from jobs no one elected us to. Instead we award one another prizes. We confront no dilemmas where there is no right answer; we always know the answer to everything.

Donald Dewar, Scotland's first First Minister, wrote passionately about how our media create a grotesque picture of our politicians and politics which is not good for voter engagement and turnout and so on. The treatment of Ruth Kelly at the hands of baying journos this week is only the most recent in a long line of similar, shallow but dangerous ventures masquerading as investigative journalism.

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