Freethinkeruk’s Weblog

UK Political weblog

Archive for the month “December, 2008”

The UK’s Shame

This country just seems to go from bad to worse particularly when it comes to human rights. It is such a shame when we used to be known for fair play, respect for the individual and for minorities and for observing the rule of law.

Today, despite a ruling to the contrary by the European Court of Human Rights the Government is to hand over two suspects (Mr Al-Saadoon and Mr Mufdhi) of the killing of two British servicemen in Iraq to the Iraqi police. Fair enough so far BUT if found guilty then they could be sentenced to death.

Since we in the UK abolished the death penaly and rightly so, we have refused handing over for trial anyone who if found guilty could be sentenced to execution. In addition, in this particular case the Government is ignoring the Human Rights Court which we ascribe to. How much lower can we sink?

Utter Stupidity

Israel is once again bombing Gaza and so killing and maiming hundreds of men women and children and of course destroying infrastructure. What amazes me is the utter stupidity of it all; it will not end the violence, it will only serve to increase it.

Palestinian dead (From BBC)

Palestinian dead (From BBC)

It doesn’t take much commonsense to put oneself into a Palestinian’s shoes. Let’s have a little go at it.

A huge portion of my land was stolen after the second world war and we became refugees in what was left of our own country. In 1966 even more land was seized by the Israelis who also controlled our supply routes which are frequently cut off by them. What little resistance we can put up by way of home made rockets and mortars are met with massive force from Israel by way of air attacks and incursions into Palestine with tanks and high explosives. The West, in particular the USA, supplies these advanced weapons and provides financial support on a huge scale. The Arab nations mutter condemnation of Israel but give us little by way of real assistance. The West calls for democratic elections and when we elect our choice in Hammas the West condemns our decision and helps implement sanctions against us.

They call us terroists when we fight with what we have for our freedom.

We who think freely can and must argue against this cruelty and lobby our elected leaders but we can also refuse to buy anything made in Israel. Look at the bar code of any potential purchase, the first three numbers denote country of origin and Israel’s is 729. The Boycott Israel Campaign gives more information on how to help.

End of Year Hypocrisy

Well, here we are again, almost Christmas Day and if you can be bothered (I won’t) you can listen to the Queen’s message in the afternoon.

queenIt will be the usual mix of unpaid for advertising for the House of Windsor, a few bits of personal stuff to curry a little favour and even some sympathy and a statement of how she ‘understands’ the problems that befall the people in the wake of the current financial crisis. She will then leave the studio and bowing producer and technicians, accompanied by her flunkies and get into her chauffeur driven car surrounded by bodyguards and police and drive off to one of her enormous palaces. There, waited on hand foot and finger and surrounded by priceless works of art, paid for by the citizens, she will kick off her shoes, stretch out on a couch saying “Philip, one does hope that democracy doesn’t catch on and the people demand to elect their Head of State!” “That really would be an ‘annus horribilis’!”

Homophobic Pope

Well here’s a natural follow on from my post of yesterday.

“Pope Benedict XVI has said that saving humanity from homosexual or transsexual behaviour is just as important as saving the rainforest from destruction.”

According to the Pope homosexuality and transexualality could bring about the destruction of the world. What planet is this guy living on? Trans gender orientation has been around since the beginning of life and so far the world seems to be intact. Religion in it’s various guises is more likely to bring about the destruction of the world and seems to be well on the way to achieving this at the present moment in history.

His statement will do absolutely nothing to change the way people are, or how they act but almost certainly will generate an excuse for homophobic violence against gay, lesbian, transsexual and trans-gender people. Yet another example of religion trying to turn back the clock and keep people in fear and under the control of religious leaders. Time to look again perhaps, at the quotation on my previous post?

Leave Our Kids Alone

One can’t but help notice at this time of the year young school children dressing up as middle Eastern shepherds of a couple of thousand years ago and also as strange beings with wings! A virgin who has had a baby….What! As if this wasn’t enough three kings who ride camels and ‘follow’ a star, yeh right!

This nonsense is actually taught by our teachers in our State schools and then just a few short years later they are expected to study science and mathematics, arrive at facts which are verifyable by experiement, learn the origins of the Universe and Darwin’s theory of evolution.

Personally I would abolish all faith schools but we should certainly ban teaching of any religious fables in our State education system.  There must be a clear separation between Religion and the State including the role of the monarch as head of the Church of England before we can have true freedom.

I can’t for the life of me recall at the moment who’s quote this is but:-

“There can be no freedom until the last King is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.”

Now that might be going a bit far but I get the sentiment behind it.

Time to Come Home

At least five more deaths of our troops in Afghanistan since I last wrote on this matter. Five more wasted young lives along with even more injured, some of whom will require care for the rest of their lives.

The financial cost of this hopeless invasion is crippling and the human cost is incalculable. The government says that we are fighting terrorists who would otherwise be in the UK causing havoc. Even if this were completely true and nothing to do with pipelines across Afghanistan, already it is said that trainee terrorists are moving into Pakistan and Somalia where it is easier for them to set up camp. What is the West going to do now then? Invade Pakistan, invade Somalia? Then where? Atrocities have so far been committed here by largely ‘home grown’ terrorists so is the government going to create Martial Law here?

Bring our troops home now and save who knows how many young lives. This ‘war’ is actually an invasion of a foreign country and the so called ‘insurgents’ are in reality fighting for their country against the invaders. Surely we would do the same if the situation were reversed. The government in Kabul is nothing¬† but a puppet of the US and is corrupt from top to bottom. No, I wouldn’t like to see the Taliban back in full control but it is their country and we should keep our noses out. It took many hundreds of years to arrive at our democratic and freedom loving society, they too need time to develop. Let’s not forget that our democratic and freedom loving society created Guantanamo Bay, an acceptance of torture and in the UK’s case, allowing US planes to refuel en route with prisoners being taken for torture.

Bring our troops home, cancel the aircraft carrier order, concentrate our resources purely on a defensive force and we will be richer, pose no threat and therefore be safer.

US Vice President admits Torture

The Vice President of the United States, Dick Cheney, admitted that he was consulted on the use of ‘water boarding’ torture in Guantanamo Bay prison and that he approved it.

That the US could sink to such depths is perhaps not that surprising but it is still a shock when the second in command calmly and coolly states that it’s OK to torture people in the name of freedom and democracy. There should be world wide outrage and condemnation and all those involved including the President and Vice President should charged with crimes against humanity and appear before a Tribunal at The Hague.

Economic Boost

Well, it’s coming up to Christmas so let’s have a little bit of cheer amidst all the gloom and economic despondency.

The Pound has fallen in value to almost equal the Euro and in the current recession this is a definite advantage. Our exports will be cheaper for the buyers thereby creating more work for us or at the very least, preventing the closure of some companies. Holidays abroad will be considerably more expensive and so encourage many of us to holiday in the UK and so keep the money within our own economy. Additionally, a holiday in the UK will be very attractive to foreigners and provide yet another boost.

Of course, as the global downturn turns up in a year or so, we will be at a slight disadvantage to start with but let’s not worry about that for now, it’ll spoil this little bit of cheer.

Assisted Suicide

Assisted suicide is much in the news lately including today’s showing on Sky and recent death of the young rugby player in Switzerland.

There is opposition to legalise assisted suicide in this country, in particular from religious groups who say only God can decide when someone should die and that life is a gift. It seems to me that a gift with strings attached is no gift at all. I have no problem respecting these people’s point of view and if they want to suffer unnecessarily that’s their right but what of those who have no religious belief? A right to choose is all that is required.

At the moment a terminally ill person can go to Switzerland for example, to leave this life peacefully with loved ones around. The problem is they have to leave their home and travel to a foreign land and do so perhaps before they wish in order to be able to travel. Why can’t they have the right to choose to die in their own home at the last moment that they wish?

It seems so simple to me and would also appear that the majority of our population agree, so come on Parliament get on with legislation, safeguards can easily be inserted into a Bill.

Euro Rights

It’s sad state of affairs when we in the UK have to depend on The European Court of Human Rights to stand up for us in our fight for rights and freedoms. Having given their unanimous verdict that keeping DNA samples of innocent people is a violation of human rights we will now, I guess, have to sit and watch the unedifying spectacle of our government trying to find ways to wriggle out of implementing the decision.

What with police raids on the House of Commons and anti terrorism laws being used against collapsing Icelandic Banks, Billions to spent on ID Cards and CCTV cameras on every corner, we have every cause to be worried, very worried indeed.

Post Navigation