It is one thing to be disliked; quite another to be despised. Iran would not have kidnapped our Servicemen without having considered our rules of engagement, our diplomatic isolation and our likely military response, and made a rough calculation of how likely they were to get away with their piracy.
There was a time when British citizenship afforded a degree of protection from foreign harassment. When the half-mad King of Abyssinia interned two of our diplomats in 1868, we sent an expeditionary force of 13,000 British and Indian troops on a nine-month rescue mission. When Gordon was besieged at Khartoum in 1884, public opinion demanded a relief expedition, whose failure to arrive in time contributed in no small part to the downfall of the government.
During the Don Pacifico Affair in 1850, when Britain blockaded Piraeus in order to secure compensation for a Portuguese moneylender who had been born in Gibraltar, Palmerston assured his countrymen that "a British subject, in whatever land he may be, shall feel confident that the watchful eye and the strong arm of England will protect him from injustice and wrong".
Not any more. Teheran is well aware that we have been taking on additional military responsibilities while running down our capacity. Struggling to meet our commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan, we are in little position to pick a new fight. Public opinion, too, has changed. Where our great-great-grandfathers clamoured for the rescue of Gordon, we have reacted to Iran's provocation with a resigned shrug. Americans, in particular, cannot understand why we seem so indifferent to the fate of our own people.
Part of this indifference has to do, disgracefully, with anti-war sentiment: there is a feeling that we have no business being in the Gulf, and that we therefore are in no position to complain when things go wrong. But our sailors were carrying out their task at the behest of the Iraqi government and the United Nations. The rights and wrongs of the original invasion have no bearing on the criminality of their abduction.
There is also, perhaps, a feeling of impotence: if we can't invade Iran, what else can we do? Plenty of things. We can, of course, pull diplomatic and economic levers. This will involve going through Brussels, not so much because we need a favour as because we have no independent trade policy: the only way that Britain can impose sanctions on Iran is if the EU does so. At the same time, we could be seizing Iranian assets. Longer term, we could be putting pressure on the regime by sponsoring its opponents. We could launch tactical strikes at Iranian military installations.
We could even, in extremis, impose the kind of armed siege, complete with no-fly-zone, that paralysed Saddam in the years between the two Iraq wars: we already maintain large coalition garrisons on both Iran's flanks. Limiting ourselves to trivial resolutions will be treated by the ayatollahs as a sign of weakness. If they hate us, let them also fear us.
The 49-year-old newspaper columnist and conservative blogger, who had come from Manitoba, Canada, to become the sharp-tongued doyenne of the Los Angeles media scene, was only hours away from losing her years-long fight with cancer, leaving behind a 17-year-old daughter, a lifetime of work as a plucky and plain-speaking wordsmith, and the respect of colleagues from both sides of the political spectrum.
But what was supposed to have been a dignified end for a long-suffering single mom instead turned into what friends called a disgustingly public travesty, an example of the current Wild West atmosphere of Internet privacy issues, and a sordid showcase of just how far a beef can go.
Am I suprised this was an attack on a Conservative blogger by a leftist? No of course not. The leftists have always been the most vicious vitriolic little fucks I have ever met. There are right wing ones too; granted. But fuck me. What's wrong with these people?
And they way women often treated really is despicable. It's a male dominated sphere, by a long shot, so we (male bloggers, commentors) have a duty to encourage and protect women from particularly vicious and personal attacks - often which would not be so vitriolic if it were a man.
Take this case reported in the BBC, blogger Kathy Sierra is reportedly thinking of giving up blogging altogether, after highly personal, vitriolic and utterly repugnant comments - and death threats.
Well I am here to start a campaign for manners in the blogosphere, and zero tolerance for such pathetic and hostile comments. It's called
GET SOME FUCKING MANNERS!
Chris Rock is tired of this shit. He is so fucking funny.
A decent Morrissey cover (very rare). Such goddam sad song!
"The tribesmen are fed up with them [foreign militants] "
Maj-Gen Waheed Arshad, Military spokesman
Maybe now these Taliban tribes won't hold so much sway with the Guardian intelligentsia, I mean they almost sound like Tories!!
Meanwhile, back in Britain, they are cleverly dealing with the problem of immigrants by banning the words used to describe them, since if people can't talk about it, then they can't say there's a problem!
The problem in getting this gang violence problem sorted out is that it is largely a black youth culture driven where to gain respect among your peers you have to conform to the 'Gangsta' lifestyle . The majority of the reported crimes are black on black violence. Of course if the police target such gang members there will be screams from white, liberal, middle class, PC zealots about police racism.
Spot on John.
As there are no screaming headlines of "racist killing", I'm taking an educated guess that both victim and suspected killer in this instance are of the same non-white colour. Race is not important to me, you understand; but it means everything to our cowering pc establishment who try to convince us that racist crimes are more serious. I hope the killers of this boy get the same hefty sentence that a "racist" killer would get. In both situations there is a trail of shattered & bereaved loved ones
Good point Nicola. It really is rather infuriating the way the media report things with regards to race. If a black boy dies, nobody has screamed racism, then you know for a fact that the killer is also black. I don't buy into this colour-blind approach. If you don't acknowledge the nature of a problem, how are you going to solve it?
We know that generally only black people suffer from sickle cell anemia, that only white people suffer from cystic fibrosis, and that Asian mothers tend to give birth two weeks earlier than white mothers. In the medical field, a race blind approach would amount to gross negligence.
We know that there is a HIV epidemic, especially in London. The fact is, which is never mentioned in the media, is that the majority of these HIV cases are heterosexual males from the African continent. So is it really necessary to have a massive HIV awareness campaign (featuring white teenagers) in the heart of white chav central in Essex?
This comment probably won't get through as it doesn't meet the pc criteria of the BBC. However, I have to ask, why we don't see gang warfare from other 'disadvantaged' minorities such as Indians, Chinese and Jews? They came here with just as many disadvantages as blacks but just got on and worked hard rather than playing the victim card constantly. Its time we called a spade a spade and stopped excusing this awful gangsta culture!
Michael Townsley, Shepherd's Bush, London
Agree 100% with the need to come out and condemn this awful gangsta culture. BBC liberals must be seething at all these straight up comments.
Every time another stabbing is reported my first thought is "black teenager". Perhaps its time the police were given proper powers to stop and search. All these people who say "it goes against individuals rights" need to wake up and smell the coffee. Your PC liberalism is whats got this country into the mess its in now. The victims of these crimes have rights too. People won't carry weapons if they know they can be searched. Britain needs to start protecting itself against do-gooders too!!
Complete with comments from the 'anti-war' crowd and other assorted humourless upstarts.
peacechikuk (21 minutes ago)
not at all ..doesn't change the fact that he committed a MAJOR war crime!! ,, which led to a huge loss of civilian lives,, hw wud u lyke it if that happened 2 u!!!
How would you like to suck on my balls? as Cartman would say.
Organisers of a children's concert have given the go-ahead for the three little pigs to appear, after they were banned over fears they might offend Muslims.
Pre-emptive dhimmitude anyone?
No complaints had been made about the pigs appearing in the Kirklees Primary Music Festival event.
The committee organising the concert decided Muslim children may not want to sing about pigs.
However, council education spokesman Jim Dodds told BBC Five Live the decision had been overturned.
He said: "There is something barmy going on here and it has happened on my watch.
"I can tell you now that the three little pigs will be back into the school musical festival.
"The decision (to ban the pigs) was made by well-meaning people - it was the wrong decision, so let's stick with the traditions."
From BBC news
These "well-meaning" people can only make life more difficult for the majority of the Muslim community. What a complete embarrassment to this country.
Seventeen primary school children have been shot with plastic pellets at a school in Staffordshire.
Police said 15 boys and two girls were hurt when a BB gun was fired at them in the playground at Etching Hill Primary School in Rugeley.
Two 12-year-old boys were later held on suspicion of assault. Three boys from a different school were thought to have fired on the pupils from nearby bushes.
The youngsters suffered bruising but did not need hospital treatment.
The injured children are aged between seven and 11.
Head teacher Jenny Dodd said: "We're just hugely relieved that nobody had any serious injuries.
"As soon as we were alerted we contacted the police and we're doing all that we can to help them with their inquiries.
"They were minor injuries, basically bruising.
For fucksake. Pathetic.
And in other news, genocide continues in Darfur....
More on the BBC's anti-nuclear wankfest
The screenshot on the left is a choice representation of the BBC's have your say forum. Good pic, BBC editorial staff. Except, the forum overwhelmingly supports the Trident nuclear replacements
An 'analysis' by the BBC's Nick Assinder is headlined "Is this end of Trident debate?".
Tony Blair may have survived a sizeable backbench revolt and won the day over replacement of the Trident nuclear deterrent, but few believe this will be the end of the matter.
Really? Nearly 3/4 voted for replacement. I shouldn't think they'll be expecting another vote on it, dip shit.
There's more of this (subtle?) anti-nuclear debate on the BBC website, with articles on the left-wing communist CND (who's members ironically are against preventing Iran from developing nuclear technology) - who perhaps once stood for something principled but now are nothing but pathetic old timer communists against the West having nuclear weapons.
Seven people have been taken to hospital after a shooting at a Leicestershire university.
The East Midlands Ambulance Service said one man aged 20 had been shot in the abdomen during the incident at Loughborough University at 0245 GMT.
Six others were also injured during what was described as a scuffle that broke out after CS gas was sprayed following a public live music event.
A 22-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the incident.
The man who was shot was described as being in a non-life threatening condition in hospital.
One of the other six injured was a 26-year-old woman who was punched in the face. The extent of her injuries were not fully known.
Detective Chief Inspector Phil Taylor, the officer leading the investigation, said: "It is important that we ascertain the circumstances leading up to the incident.
"If you were at the music event and witnessed the incident or have any information about who is involved, then I'd urge you to get in contact with us."
OK, what do we know about gun culture in this country? It's linked in with the export of American Hip-Hop culture. There's an entire police department dedicated to black on black violence, it's called Trident. Here at DrunkenBlogging, we (well, I) do what journalists used to do in the olden days, and did a little journalistic investigation.
When one hears the term music event in the same breath as gun shot, what kind of music springs to mind? Perhaps a Beethoven symphony gone awry? ... Well, immediately on hearing "gun shot" and "music event" in the same report I'll tell you what comes to my mind. Hip-hop or Speed Garage.
News from the BBC
Update: from l3viman in the comments
Falk-Egg news has learned that
20 year old Aaro Waller, Loughborough university student and union security bouncer was shot 3 times. 1st hand accounts say that a CS gas bomb was let off just after the group pretty ricky left the stage in room 1. Just outside the union entrance is where the shooting occurred where Aaron Waller was shot once in the stomache and twice in the legthere is an ongoing police investigation
They are in a stable condition it is reported.
So who are Pretty Ricky? They are a hip-hop group. Quelle surprise.
Update 2: CRINGE ALERT
The BBC have updated with this:
The event, a live performance by American urban band Pretty Ricky, was attended by members of the public as well as university students.
"Urban" is a liberal-lefty euphemism for "black". This reminds me of the hilarious character Fiona in the comedy sketch show Little Miss Jocelyn. She often refers to urban when she means black
From the BBC
The British military is set to take one of its most significant steps into the digital age with the launch of the first Skynet 5 satellite.
Have they got a fucking deathwish? Haven't they seen Terminator?!
Wikipedia on Skynet
Skynet is a machine network that has gone on a mission to terminate all humans in a global war. Skynet was originally built by Cyberdyne Systems
I am astounded that Sky news has just broadcast a very pleasant and jolly interview with the editor of Al Quds magazine, regarding Bin Laden's
Al Quds openly support terrorist organisations, and the friendly approach of the Sky news-reader is reproachable. Does Sky news have access to Google? Do they make the most basic checks as to who they have on air and what they represent?
Will Sky News be interviewing editors of Neo Nazi magazines giving their opinion on Hitler's anniversary?
I await your candid response.
Update: How embarrassing. The letter I sent to Sky News said Bin Laden's death, not his birthday. Shit. And to the anonymous commenter I apologise for not noticing your subtle hint. I thought you were just being thick.
that's the way it is in the Army. If someone is slow on the assault course, you'd get people shouting: 'Come on you fat bastard, come on you ginger bastard, come on you black bastard.
... Let's see what a former black corporal has to say:
Leroy Hutchinson, a black former corporal who served with Mr Mercer for 12 years, said: "He never tolerated racism in the battalion and not a single one of his men would consider him to be racist."
Mr Hutchinson told the BBC: "In the forces... name-calling - whether you be black, white, ginger, red, brown - it is part of the establishment."
He added: "It's not meant and it doesn't come across from an individual as a racist comment. It's just part of the culture.
"When you wear that uniform, it is what goes on and it's been happening for a long, long time."
The Politicians say:
TORY LEADER DAVID CAMERON
The comments made by Patrick Mercer are completely unacceptable and I regret that they were made.
We should not tolerate racism in the Army or in any walk of life.
Patrick Mercer is no longer a Shadow Minister.
LABOUR ARMED FORCES MINISTER ADAM INGRAM
Racist abuse can have no place in any walk of life, and it is appalling and inappropriate for any politician, never mind a senior Tory MP like Patrick Mercer, to suggest that 'this is just the way it is in the Army'.
Our troops and our officers are 21st century people who recognise that there is no place for prejudice in the modern world... Patrick Mercer may have a military background but he no longer speaks for the Armed Forces.
It is an insult to the brave men and women who serve in our armed forces with great distinction, and it does not represent a true picture of today's Army which goes to great lengths to ensure that all those who serve, irrespective of their race or ethnic origin are given the opportunity to fulfil their potential.
LIB DEM CHIEF OF STAFF EDWARD DAVEY
These are staggering remarks from a frontbench spokesman. Comments like this undermine all those in the Army who have gone to great lengths to ensure that every soldier is treated fairly.
COMMONS LEADER JACK STRAW
The comments are breathtaking and dreadful and Mr Mercer's resignation is appropriate.
All rather a predictable knee-jerk affair.
The People say:
I spent 17 years in the Army and my experiences were aligned to Mercers. For me the insults (when I deserved them) were based on my "Yorkshireness". But I never took them as "personal". It was just the norm. The fijians, gurkhas, africans, welsh, irish, scots etc. etc. also got their share of tailored insults - as did fat, thin, tall and short people. We all got them and all used them.
Maybe we were less precious then and had fewer 'PC warriors' standing up for us. Much better then than now!!
Martin Hudson, Salisbury, United Kingdom
Added: Thursday, 8 March, 2007, 18:13 GMT 18:13 UK
Somebody who has served in the army gives a description of what it is like and lots of people who have not served in the army say that this is not a fair reflection??
fred fannakapan, bristol, United Kingdom
Added: Thursday, 8 March, 2007, 18:07 GMT 18:07 UK
Sounds like he was just describing life in the army as it is.
Added: Thursday, 8 March, 2007, 18:52 GMT 18:52 UK
It's yet another case of the media taking a perfectly true statement and using it out of context to create their own cut'n'stick villains. For anyone who's bothered to actually read his quote, he said nothing resembling 'all blacks are useless' or even hint he didn't like ethnic minorities. What he in fact said was to any logical person quite true. And why not use the 'racism card'? The government seems to promote it.
Abitha-Evie Varney, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Added: Thursday, 8 March, 2007, 18:23 GMT 18:23 UK
At least we know what this MP thinks which is more that can be said of the rest ,shout Race or racist and the debate is closed thats why so many use the argument
David Gray, Isleworth middlesex
Added: Thursday, 8 March, 2007, 18:13 GMT 18:13 UK
It has clearly emerged from this incident that Patrick Mercer
Rodney Frampton, RINGWOOD, United Kingdom
Added: Thursday, 8 March, 2007, 18:53 GMT 18:53 UK
I served 22 years in the army and agree 100% with what Mr Mercer has said. The army runs on good natured banter. I have a West Country and in my time have been called Yokel, Worzel Gummidge and a variety of less printable names. I did not take offence as I would give as good as I got. What ticks many squaddies off today is the PC b/s that has stifled free speech, one of the freedoms that we joined up to protect.
Mick Taylor, Navarre Florida (Ex Pat)
Added: Thursday, 8 March, 2007, 18:51 GMT 18:51 UK
I'm not in the army, I'm in the merchant navy but i see the same sort of thing in my very multinational work. The general perception is that it doesnt matter what colour creed or religion you are so long as you can do your job properly. However try telling a one of our ethnic minority colleagues that they have done something wrong and you are immediately accused of being a racist. I have heard them saying some very racist things but you cant accuse THEM of being racist oh no, thats not PC is it?
Added: Thursday, 8 March, 2007, 18:12 GMT 18:12 UK
Mr Mercer was not condoning racism at all and his comments have been taken out of context. The black officers once under his charge have even stepped forward in his defence.
Rather than look at the evidence and facts Mr Cameron seemd to have leapt in two footed and taken what he see's as a responsible decision. I see it as rash and not thought out,also showing the fragile state of the Tory party still , even after 10 years of the current jokers being in power.
Andrew Lindop, Connahs Quay
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Harrys Place alerts me to students of a satirical political magazine being interrogated by police for implying that a revered historical figure, who happens to have founded a religion, was a "violent paedophile".
Now, whether this is true or not, slandering somebody who lived over 1,400 years ago - does that really need to be prevented by the force of the law? To what ends?
We are of course talking about slandering Mohammed the Prophet of Islam. Of course, under Sharia law, the penalty is quite clear. Kill him.
Which, I feel, it is all the more prudent to defend those who insult Mohammed. It says at the top of my blog "A safe society is one where it is safe to be unpopular".
Surely in Britain in 2007 we can slander religion and religious figures without fear of losing our jobs, our status or face criminal charges, because somebody has taken offense?
Now the Israeli Eurovision song (yes they aren't in Europe - I haven't figured that one out either) may be banned because it contains, shock horror, thoughts about the world we live in.
The oft-quoted comedian Stephen Fry on the subject: "You're offended? So fucking what."
And one of my favourite hippy sayings is:
"You cause as much pain and suffering in the world when you take offense, to when you give offence"