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Friday, 13 March, 2009

Sarah McDermott | 17:56 UK time, Friday, 13 March 2009

Here's Kirsty with a look ahead to tonight's Newsnight:

Hello viewers

I'm just back from deepest Sussex where I interviewed the Chancellor as the G20 finance ministers meet to plan how they are going to save the global economy... How advanced are their plans? And do they really agree on anything?

Also tonight, after a sad but historic week in Northern Ireland, Michael Crick assesses whether something fundamental has changed in the politics of the Province.

And as we await the return of more troops from Iraq, will they be met by the same protests as the Royal Anglian Regiment faced in Luton? We'll debate.

Join us at 10.30pm.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Regarding the protests at the troop homecoming marches, I think the protestors need to understand that it is these troops that are defending the right of free speech in this country and are attempting to make this available in others. The protestors should be asked which country they would like to go and live in, and then be put on a lorry trailer to get there as illegal immigrants and see how well they are treated when they get to their utopian country.
    Peter, West London

  • Comment number 2.

    THE (KEEPING) QUIET MAN AND POLITICAL REGRET

    Shiney-Boy Dave has 'out-regretted' poor James Gordon over regulatory laxity, in the field of finance. What a squalid ploy.

    If the Tories want to do PROPER regret, let's hear, loudly, from the 'Quiet Man' how much he regrets his starry-eyed acceptance of Blair's mendacity, when he (IDS) marched his troops though the War lobby in support of Blair, while a million wiser-but-powerless voters cried NO!

    Now that another dribble of truth has emerged (Crick's report) it is time to flush IDS out as the man who turned the bogus War on Terror into a Terrible War on Iraqis.

  • Comment number 3.

    Sarah [Kristy]

    How advanced are their plans? I think the plans are very much advanced regarding the Gordon Brown (G-20)...

    ~Dennis Junior~

  • Comment number 4.

    DoktorPeter (#1) But large numbers of non-Muslims also protested against the bogus 'war-on-terror'. We even have senior people in the armed forces asserting that our forces are inappropriately deployed.

  • Comment number 5.

    I don't know what the participants in the G20 will decide, but I really hope they take a much more positive approach than the many naysayers who are now emerging from the woodwork. Opportunistic cynicism seems to be the most prevalent approach for politicians and media commentators alike. But we all need the G20 to agree a solution. If they don't find one we will all have to relive the depression of the 1930s.

    Those conservatives who want as little change as possible, perhaps a bit more regulation, are trying their hardest to persuade us that anything more, any fiscal stimulus package (which is the shorthand these conservatives use to paint a picture of coming disaster) is socialism gone mad. Do the media really want the G20 meeting to be a mess, as they are gleefully starting to report. Economics used to be thought to be the dosmal science, are the media now the most dismal of all?

    The real hope which emerged after the December G20 meeting, of the 'revolutionary' approach needed to address the 'death' of capitalism (or at least the form promoted for half a century by the US), has to be fostered if we are all to have a happy future; so why ask for anything less.

  • Comment number 6.

    As a british muslim why oh why have the bbc pandered to savage medieval fundamentalist evil toad anjum chowdhury on TV. DEAR BBC, DO NOT EVER USE A SINGLE PENNY OF MY TAXES ON THESE ANIMALS!! And Kirsty you treated him better and more respectfully than you did the chancellor and next time get a proper person to argue with him. Why did you not get kelvin Mckenzie..... or Kilroy?? If the bbc gives the nazi chowdhury a platform, then for the sake of 'bbc-fairness', why not get the British National Party leader on the same show.....

  • Comment number 7.

    NEVER MIND THE INSENSITIVITY - FEEL THE SPURIOUS 'MERIT'.

    Playing artistic games with visual images of, and directly related to, sexual predation, are the work of - what kind of mind? If I were to give Newsnight an award, it would be for laying down a very clear marker for our time.

  • Comment number 8.

    The Kirsty Wark interview was "reasonable" but still, to me, did not answer the central dilemma.

    The Iron Chancellor was happy to "have DELIVERED 10+ years of continuous economic growth" i.e. total control.

    But then "all of the global economies regulatory regimes were not up to scratch".

    Really, seems to have been mostly US and UK banks.

    You can't go from dominant male to abject prisoner of nasty bankers in such a leap.

  • Comment number 9.

    Well done Kirsty for telling the Shariah law guy that hes a free man and can leave Britain anytime he wants.He says that its a democratic country and he has the right to try and persuade us to "drop the British way of life".These soldiers (my father was in the RAF for 22 years and my brother was in the Army for same) are the ones who have kept this country the way it is.
    Why dont they all (people of any religion) jsut leave if they dont like it...

  • Comment number 10.

    Talking of stupid leaps (#8) lets talk about #6 London_Baby.

    Well I find it hard to believe an Asian wants to listen to a race realist who likes Hitler and probably "has an open mind" on the Holocaust.

    So when an Asian says "If the bbc gives the nazi chowdhury a platform, then for the sake of 'bbc-fairness', why not get the British National Party leader on the same show....."...

    you thank God that the BNP don't understand linguistics or psychology (or IQ).

    Could this be a "false flag" post? Gosh its a toughie.

    Asians for the BNP? Not!

    These are people who try to trumpet their intelligence and clearly don't grasp why 99.9% of the public loath them.

  • Comment number 11.

    WINDBAGS AND WHIRLWINDS (#5)

    This time it was a money crisis. Next time it might be food, water, energy, migration, etc.

    ANY crisis needs MATURITY, at least in leaders and preferably in all, if it is to be resolved in a civilised, cooperative way. Even if our 'leaders' manage to come to some monetary accommodation, they will still be a bunch of desperate wannabes, all jostling for the spotlight, and to have 'saved the world'. (I can hardly bear to watch Brown trying to 'do a Blair'.)

    If we don't take a hard look at who gets to the top and why, a crisis will turn up that they can't handle, and we shall reap the whirlwind.

  • Comment number 12.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 13.

    #6 Thank you London baby, for your comments. It seems rare for muslim comment on this blog. I think you are right, I'm not a fan of the BNP, but in fairness why isn't their opinion ever shown?

    And yes why are we so obsequoiuse to these odious men, with their extreme views? In fact it would be better if they were never given air time at all, in the interests of peace.

  • Comment number 14.

    Well done to Newsnight for getting Anjem Choudray on though I don't think the rather likeable General was the right person to take him on. I suppose no politicians had the guts for it. Why not get Nick Griffin from the BNP on to challenge people such as Choudray? We don't see enough from such organisations on the TV and the BNP particularly has overtaken both UKIP and the Greens so it is only right that they should be invited to take part in such debates.

  • Comment number 15.

    #10 talking of stupid leaps.

    London_baby said s/he was a British Muslim.

    Do you think that means Asian?

  • Comment number 16.

    OH TO BE IN ENGLAND

    We really are mixed up when a senior member of our state killing and destruction arm, is in discussion with a disaffected representative of the 'collateral damage' branch of humanity, overseen by a broadcaster, who turns the whole sorry business into theatre of the absurd, at the drop of a bomb.

    Or is it me?

  • Comment number 17.

    Please can we encourage democracy and peaceful protest.
    As I understand it the anti war protest is only a news item because the protesters were attacked by a violent mob and it was felt that such violence marred the parade but the fact that those arrested were not the protesters, they were from the angry mob that attacked them was rarely mentioned giving the impression that this was a violent protest.
    Why can't the media publicise democratic political action as they do cultural events? Why can't they encourage people to take an active part in campaigning and in legal and peaceful protest? Why can't they encourage people to join political parties and to attend public meetings? Why do they treat politics as if it were just the Westminster village? Why do they report political action involving ordinary folk only when there is violence, disruption of services or when there are good pics (as in the Plane Stupid green custard incident). Why can't they promote political action, report it and show what really goes on?
    So, from one Christian, white, Englishman with white parents and grandparents, "God bless you muslim protesters. If you too are English then I am proud of you. If you are not then still you are welcome in my country. Long live democracy and long live free speech."

  • Comment number 18.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 19.

    Kirsty Wark was offensive and rude towards her Muslim guest, tonight.
    He is British just like her. She should apologise.

  • Comment number 20.

    19. At 02:31am on 14 Mar 2009, lionPeterPaul

    Yes, that should sort it. Just pop over to Mr. Robinson's blog to see how the notion is being received...

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/nickrobinson/2009/03/saying_sorry.html#commentsanchor

    A sorry lot indeed.

    I think that, with the example set by our media-politico media establishment of late, from Dear Leader to Mr. Ross, etc, I may have to have a wee chat with my boys about what counts as an apology, and what is just an apology for one.

    How long before we get apology advocates on the public purse in this new, POOR 'process over obvious result' society that is being spun... staffed, paid, bonussed and pensioned?

  • Comment number 21.

    Sarah (Kristy):

    Also tonight, after a sad but historic week in Northern Ireland, Michael Crick assesses whether something fundamental has changed in the politics of the Province.

    I think that something fundamental is changing the politics in Northern Ireland in the past several days...And, they are going to continued..

    ~Dennis Junior~

  • Comment number 22.

    Sarah (Kristy):

    And as we await the return of more troops from Iraq, will they be met by the same protests as the Royal Anglian Regiment faced in Luton?

    I think that there is a chance of more protests when British soldiers return to Luton...

    ~Dennis Junior~

  • Comment number 23.

    As a British Muslim I have always held a certain degree of animosity towards British Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan but have always been reluctant to voice these with my non-Muslim friends and work colleagues due to the potential social reprisals.

    Anjum Chowdhury has brought this topic into the limelight and made me realise I wasn’t alone in harbouring these feelings, but most importantly, it’s not a criminal offence to think this way. I now have the confidence to engage my non-Muslim friends and colleagues and discuss how I view the social and moral responsibility of the British Army as an occupying force in a sovereign nation.

    I do disagree with Anjum Chowdhury’s other views, probably more than most readers of this post, however, on this particular topic he has opened the doors to much needed discussion……

  • Comment number 24.

    "As a British Muslim I have always held a certain degree of animosity towards British Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan but have always been reluctant to voice these "

    AbuImani, because its based on bigotry, racism and xenophobia, for its very noticeable that Muslims have no problem with murderous leaders of the Islamic world, we don't hear a peep out of Muslims on these issues. Where are the Muslim demonstrations against the Sudanese regimes actions in Darfur? There aren't any, but god forbid if the West tries to intervene in Muslim country to try to make it a better place for the people there, then we see Muslims here getting very exercised. So why is that why AbuImani? There is only one explanation, it is about the xenophobia, bigotry and racism that's rife within the Muslim population here in the UK.

  • Comment number 25.

    #24 What a good point you make i.moore!

    #23 Abulmani I have a question also for you, why do Shia and Sunni muslims hate each other so much? To me they are all muslims, but these two groups seem to enjoy killing each other.

    Bu the way I'm a strict atheist, and would support the secular society view.

  • Comment number 26.

    MERCENARY ARMIES AND RELATIVE THREATS.

    Not long back three returnees from the War on Terror were TV guests. None of them (even a badly injured man) said they had joined the military to protect Britain.

    TV recruiting advertisements (from memory) extol the career, and personal developmental facets, of the life, not the need to defend Britain (nor, indeed, the possibility of injury or death - ASA please note).

    A soldier's MOTIVE is surely fundamental to any discussion of how they should be viewed in terms of nobility, heroic status, pride, adulation etc?

    I suspect there is an ICONIC status attached to the military; whose CIC is The Queen, another iconic figure. When the nation is under tangible threat (as in WW11) and conscription was in place, the rational and emotional status of our forces coincided, and 'made sense'. The spill-over into current times of this ethos (not to mention utter confusion as to who is an 'alien' (god knows who we intern, if a proper war comes) is beyond the wit of us simple humans to embrace.

    I was one of the million-or-so who stood up to be DIScounted, against the Iraq War, that Iain Duncan Smith gifted to Little Boy Blair. I assert that HE is the proper focus for anger, from ALL OF US!

  • Comment number 27.

    " I assert that HE is the proper focus for anger, from ALL OF US! "

    Not this Labour Government? You didn't happen to vote for them did you? Is that why you want to absolve yourself by trying to blame IDS?

  • Comment number 28.

    ADDITIONAL TO POST 26

    David Davis asserts that military personnel are the 'cream of society'. Hmmmmmm.

    Personally, I would not offer myself for deployment, maiming and death, on the whim of a deluded messianic politician who was prepared to mangle the truth and coerce the gullible to his bizarre ends. I suppose that makes me a bit 'skimmed'?

  • Comment number 29.

    WHY DISCRIMINATION IS NOT XENOPHOBIA

    thegangofone (#10) You appear to be intolerant of others holding/expressing views which you do not share. So much so in fact, that you openly state that you would endorse legislation which proscribed some views being expressed even though there is already legislation which strikes a balance. See the recent debates (available in online Hansard records) as the Employment Bill passed through the Houses.

    Race Realism essentially comes down to just pointing out that because of gene-barriers (including social ones like assortive mating) some phenotypes are more prevalent in some groups than in others. That does not mean that because one is a member of a particular group that one ipso facto has those characteristics. Just that the probability or risk is increased. This does, however, have important policy implications. For example, there is a higher prevalence of some classes of SEN in some ethnic groups compared to others. If the birth rate of said group is higher than others, this will have implications for public resources so long as the difference prevails (maybe through cosanguineous marriages). Asserting that there are no group differences when in fact statistics reveal otherwise is not just irrational, it's highly irresponsible if not incompetent. We train undergraduate and post-graduate scientists to look for such differences. It's how statistical testing works.

    You might like to think about this.

  • Comment number 30.

    seems NN wants to give the impression anyone interested in green energy must be some kind of saddo oaf?

  • Comment number 31.

    OUR FORCES

    My view on why people join the forces of any type. Family tradition I think is a strong reason, particularly at officer class. I think that started in the first world war.

    Unemployment is a big reason as well, people can't find work, so think a career in the forces would be a positive thing. Never expecting to fight or get killed, especially in past years.

    The awful adverts to join up, pure properganda. Why don't they actually show the boredom, the discipline, the muck, the ghastly things they see, and getting badly maimed and killed.

    I suppose the huge amount of foreign people in our forces indicates that we are not war mongerers. But those poor men, (usually) can see a way of earning money for their families.

    And I think we all have a very bad attitude to our forces. We have no idea what their lives are like, we sit cosily at home watching the news programmes, what is it actually LIKE to be there! We seem to be very seperate societies, half of us don't want them fighting anyway, lots wish them dead as well. They must be wrecked when they leave the forces, we haven't a clue what their lives have been like or the horrors they've seen. Listen to men like Harry Patch, he said the horror is never forgotten.

    My husbands grandfather age 16, and mine, were in the Somme, they never talked about it to anyone ever, because it was so terrible.

  • Comment number 32.

    Hello

    There is indeed a thin line between our British value of free speech and allowing those who wish to destroy our way of life to have the use of the airways. This line was breached on Friday by allowing a gentleman who wants the UK to have an Islamic way of life. to have an excessive exposure. As the programme stated, his views are not in line with most decent Muslims in the UK.

  • Comment number 33.

    WAR AND WEALTH

    That we still use a won-war (if WE won) as a measure of rightness, and wealth (personal or national) as an absolute measure of success, speaks volumes of our primitive, juvenile condition.

    Prince Charles, in his all-embracing love of mankind, would do well to remove all military pageantry from Royal occasions, should he ever ascend the throne.

    No true democracy would ever mount a bogus pre-emptive war in a distant land, because there would never be a true majority in favour. Once again, we are confronted with the peculiar political mind and its aberrant super-intensity in those whom politics promotes to leadership.

    Until we recognise money and war as, inexorably, leading to obscenity, we will gain control of neither.

  • Comment number 34.

    ecolizzy (#31) Do you recall JP interviewing three soldiers last December?. There's another, darker, side to the story, despite JP's lament. It's worth re-viewing with 'a third ear' :-(.

  • Comment number 35.

    Troops homecoming protests

    As an immigrant myself, I dont understand why these Islamic extremists want to reside in a foreign country whose way of life they clearly despise. Isnt it better to leave rather than mounting protests and attacks that disrupt society's law and order, incite racial hatred, and inevitably make life more difficult for other Asian Muslims living in this country?

  • Comment number 36.

    There are really risible comments from people who do not claim to be BNP members or activists. Every day people see the race "realist" posts, verbage against Jews, haze over the Holocaust, desires for a Hitler style planned economy.

    People know what you are about, you know that they know and they know you know they know. So why pretend?

    Meanwhile:

    'A British National Party (BNP) member was attacked with a hammer when protesters arrived at a campaign event in Greater Manchester.'

    The BNP are not going anywhere and so attacking them like that just gives them publicity and is counterproductive. They may get a council seat here and there but its clear that they do not understand that they are widely despised and even hated, though that may relate to their psychological disposition to adhere to a failed and flawed ideology.

    I assume that the contaminated hammer will not be returned into society.

  • Comment number 37.

    mademoiselle_h (#35) "As an immigrant myself, I dont understand why these Islamic extremists want to reside in a foreign country whose way of life they clearly despise."

    I know what you're referring to but think of it another way, what about all the indigenous Britons who also complain about the same things? What if many of the immigrant Britons are complaining about the decline in behaviours which were once so very British?

  • Comment number 38.

    I MENTIONED INTERNMENT - BUT I THINK I GOT AWAY WITH IT. (#26)

    Seriously: presumably we have contingency plans for various sorts of war? It follows there must be an INTERNMENT PLAN. But with a massive invisible population of black economy fodder, and all those individuals who, if pressed, might not pass the 'Cricket Test' (let alone the Nuke Test) it must be quite a dangerous document. One for gum shoe Crikey Crick?

    Would we have to intern the whole politically correct cohort? What's the Gaelic for 'Guantanamo'??

  • Comment number 39.

    #31 ecolizzy

    "
    My view on why people join the forces of any type."

    Actually its a redundant view so far as I can see as nobody with your race "realist" views would be allowed to join.

  • Comment number 40.

    COGNITIVE BIASES AND POPULATION BASE RATES

    thegangofone (#36) Much of science is about probabilitistic relationships, not absolutes. Once one understands that, many concerns, such as yours, just disappear. As an example, consider the statements 'dogs hate cats' or 'black men make good sprinters'. This does not mean that some dogs don't get on with cats or that all black men are good sprinters. Most people understand that when people make generalisations, they are making statistical generalisations, the sort of actuarial statements which are made by insurance companies. If everyone talked the way that you prescribe, nobody would be able to talk about classes (e.g. 'I like cheese' as there are always exceptions.

    As an exercise in demography and hegemony, look at the frequencies here #5 and see if you can estimate the likelihood (probability) of randomly encountering a WASP (or Catholic) in NYC.

    I suggest you try to be more accepting of the empirical facts of life.

  • Comment number 41.

    Jean this sounds very much like you!!!

    5. At 09:50 PM on 19 Sep 2007, Adrienne wrote:


    Or is it one of your friends or colleagues?

  • Comment number 42.

    #31 "And I think we all have a very bad attitude to our forces."

    Speak for yourself. Like other posters on this thread, I agree that often the forces, as a career, are seen as an escape from the poverty trap, often also as a legal way to enjoy fighting. We should have nothing but sympathy for these young men and women who are sent to fight, get hurt or killed in theatres of war for which we don't really understand or agree with the motives, and then "carry the memories of the horrors forever."

    Harry Patch says he doesn't like to talk about it; my grandfather thought talking about it would make others realise the futility of it, and he was someone who joined up in 1915, lying about his age, because he wanted to "have a good fight!"

    He rose from private to captain in two and a half years , earned gallantry medals both British and French and was the most articulate anti- war proponent that I have heard yet.

    So let's have some sympathy for these young people and treat them right.

    As for the protestors, it's a free country and they bring shame only on themselves for their protests, no-one else, least of all the wider community of Islam.

    Northern Ireland is no longer a time bomb but the bitterness, sectarianism and bigotry is only just concealed by the political peace process; see David McKittrick's article in today's Independent for a concise and realistic view of what happens on the ground on a daily basis.

    In reality, the low level bigotry is just as insidious in Scotland; "What school did YOU go to?" is still a common question used to seek out the religious affiliation of the other person. "He/she's got the map of Ireland all over his/her face" is another often heard statement, supporting the widely held opinion that "you can spot "them" a mile away".

    Ask Kirsty Wark to return to her home town Kilmarnock and conduct an investigation for Newsnight into the levels of bigotry in Scotland.

    Or just watch BBC1 Scotland's coverage of the Celtic v Rangers game tomorrow.

    #33; nailed that one good and proper, barriesingleton; well said!

  • Comment number 43.

    ecolizzy (#41) Is it (ever) the who or is it the what which matters? ;-)

  • Comment number 44.

    THE 'WHO' EVERY TIME JADED JEAN (#43)

    e.g. The Christian ethos (as supposedly enunciated by Christ) was lovely until the Christians gave it umpteen makeovers.
    Likewise, the WHAT is always a product of, or modified by, NEED in some 'WHO'.
    Science struggles to make advances because the present incumbents of high office RESIST a higher 'truth' to the one they espouse and dispense.
    In politics we have a bunch of wannabe WHOs making a consummate mess of every WHAT they touch because of pre-occupation with re-election and power. If Christ returned today, with his message of peace and love, Labour would pass a law to slap an ASBO on him if, for a moment, they thought he would put them out of power.

  • Comment number 45.

    #35 As much as i disagree with the methods of these so-called 'extremists'.

    I think there is a point, where you have to break down exactly what they have done.

    which is; to protest against something they do not agree with.
    Perhaps, those of us who consider the UK to be perfect, would find there is no such need.
    however as the debates on this site conclude time and time again, we do not agree with a lot of things that are done supposedly with our interests at heart.

    If these protestors had been white and middle class, they would merely have been brushed off as a loony left fringe.
    It seems to me that, we as a society have become so averse to protest, that we get all wound up when someone else decides to protest about something i.e.The Green Custard Lady, Which is why we have a political elite who have no interest in 'the general public' and go about setting policies knowing full well that the only people that protest (Getting out of thier armchairs!) are Muslim Men.

    The rest of us have a 'what this weekend? ooh I'm off to watch the Arsenal this weekend!' mentality.
    put it into perspective people! they made a lot of noise, does this really make them extremists!!
    If so then i expect the police cells to be very busy tonight with thousands of football Extremists who go on thier weekly rampages through our major cities this weekend, wreaking much more havoc than these individuals.

  • Comment number 46.

    TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN (Lord Ahmed)

    I am trying to find definitive, 'written' confirmation that no record of Lord Ahmed's sentence to imprisonment, and its enactment, will exist in the future.
    Various TV/radio reports, registered by myself and others, seemed to state this as fact. Yet it has had no airing on the usual (suspect) forums nor, so far as I can ascertain, in the Sunday papers. Much said about his release - nothing about altering history.

    Anyone?

  • Comment number 47.

    Protests debate:
    Appalling behaviour from Kirsty Wark towards the head of the Muslim protestors.
    "If you dont like it here you can leave.." sounds completely racist to me.
    If being British to Ms Wark means supporting torture, occupation and murder in Iraq .. we have a bleak future indeed.
    I would have expected such bigoted outbursts from Melanie Phillips, but not from Kirsty Wark.
    How is she allowed to get away with it is beyond me.

  • Comment number 48.

    47 She is allowed to get away with it because the demonstration deeply offended the vast majority of the country. If you don't understand why the country was offended then you don't understand your own country.

  • Comment number 49.

    My Personal Views -

    Protest Debate

    I don't agree our troops had any say in where the politicians planted our flag for them to rally around , so I can't see the point in trying to blame them for the decision.

    Personally I believe in the right of protest (or should I say the freedom of expression) and I would not deny my fellow citizens their freedoms.

    But , one does question the logic of the police in allowing the protesters to protest in such a close vicinity of the troops and their supporting (rightfully in my view) crowds.

    Surely the police should have had public safety (law and order) considerations when planning and managing the march and the protest ?

    Lets not forget it has been alleged on QuestionTime this week that 20,000 leaflets were handed out in the previous week advertising the protest.

    Even I had read the leaflet posted on the internet a few days before the welcome home march happened.

    It's a shame Newsnight did not get the police to answer some questions on this, as I feel that was the failure that caused the incitement of some of the crowd to be arrested (2 people I believe ?).

    Let's not forget the protesters numbered only 15 people.


    Can I also add a personal message -

    Welcome Home The Royal Anglian Regt.

  • Comment number 50.

    doctormisswest (#48) Actually, you could see the funny side to it!
    I initially asked myself what the soldiers were doing in Luton (having misread one of the banners as saying "Anglian Soliders Go Home" - to Anglia presumably!). We do have quite large pockets of Muslim Britons these days, and there are lots of people who are anti-war, not all of whom get togged up in 'Islamic extremist' gear. This may have been a subtle recruitment drive by MoD spinmeisters! ;-)

    "A group of around 20 men in traditional Islamic dress held up banners and placards that read: "Anglian Soldiers Butchers of Basra", "Anglian Soldiers Criminals, Murderers Terrorists" and "Baby killers".

    As the battalion, which is nicknamed The Poachers, reached Luton Town Hall the small group shouted and yelled "Terrorists" and "Anglian Soliders Go to Hell."

    The protestors then had to be protected by police as angry supporters of the soldiers turned on them shouting: "Scum" and "No surrender to the Taliban."


    Telegraph 11th March 2009

  • Comment number 51.

    47
    "If you don't like it here you can leave"

    Well, what else is there to ask when you question someone whose religious beliefs are akin to a 12th century Christian...ie the mentally ill, thanks to religious and cultural entrenched indoctrination. Paxman once asked that hooked-handed self-styled mullah from Finsbury park mosque a similar question when '2 hooks' said "England is like a toilet"..really, what else does one say to these warped minded people?

    Its kinda trite but when in Rome... and don't push your luck when in Rome as the natives invariably always turn on you. History is littered with many examples of how societies fracture and crumble. You can't constantly legislate and bring in new laws to make us more civilized or more tolerant, as at some point, laws are always swept away when the human emotional buttons are pressed to hard. Hitler, Stalin, Mugabe..the list can be expanded quite easily but we could - and it may be hard to believe that it could happen - see 'Griffin' join that list. do we really want that?

    "If you don't like it here you can leave"

    The question was based on a basic Sentiment shared by many...and increasingly so.

  • Comment number 52.

    laws have been brought in not to make us more tolerant but to make us more submissive to big EU government

    in my experience, the use of negative cultural stereotypes is not quite as restricted to the indigenous population as the protection afforded to certain groups under legislation would seem to imply

    perhaps it's time the bar was lifted on discussing the reasons why so many of us are offended daily and unable to speak out

    Welcome home troops


  • Comment number 53.

    23 "I now have the confidence to engage my non-Muslim friends and colleagues and discuss how I view the social and moral responsibility of the British Army as an occupying force in a sovereign nation."

    You set a false premise before you even start to proselytise - the troops have remained in Iraq, at great cost, at the request of the Iraqi government and for no other reason

    perhaps you should take your opinions to Iraq and try and sort that country out before you bring destruction to a country that has largely managed to grow out of sectarian violence as a pastime

  • Comment number 54.

    ALIEN IDEAS

    doctormisswest (#53) "the troops have remained in Iraq, at great cost, at the request of the Iraqi government and for no other reason"

    But some Muslims (and secular) Europeans have been led to believe that the troops went to Iraq to protect Israel and Liberal-Democratic interests. The Iraqi Government was democratically elected much the same way that the post-war German government was democratically elected, i.e to govern in the interests of the USA and her allies. Rightly or wrongly, Islamic fundamentalists see neo-Liberal values as decadent much the same way that Soviet statists did, and that may be no coincidence either.

    Perhaps we should look more self-critically into the specifics of what some of these fundamentalists say are constitutive of our 'toilet' (see 'Little Britain' or 'Ali-G')? Wasn't it the failure of most Germans to do that which led to Hitler's rise to power and his subsequent Socialism in One Country? Is it because these protests are by people (purposely) kitted out in alien gear that what they have to say appears so alien/repugnant?

  • Comment number 55.

    #54 re: Britain as a toilet

    Please Jean how can you defend Muslim beliefs when they engage in practices like this... http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/7708169.stm

    I know that isn't here, and most muslims most be moderate here, or we would have a lot more problems. But the extremist ones advocate Sharia law, and this article is it in practice!

    I would sooner see us decadant, than extremely cruel as Sharia law dictates!

  • Comment number 56.

    TIME TELESCOPE (#55)

    Ecolizzie, in very simple terms, Islaam is in the order of half a millennium behind us. If you draw two time-lines and slide one against the other appropriately, you find that we were every bit as physically vile - 'in our time'.

    NOW we are psychologically vile, but live stupidly within the lie of it. Humans are just so terribly bad at anything but 'primitive' small-group technology-free living.

  • Comment number 57.

    ecolizzy (#55) ".. how can you defend Muslim beliefs when they engage in practices like this..."

    How often does one hear 'How can you defend National Socialism/Stalinism/...' and then some (possibly specious) horror story is graphically described essentially for propaganda purposes?

    I wasn't defending Sharia Law, nor were the protestors. I was drawing attention to the general deterioration in behaviour within our Liberal-Democracies. One hears/sees indigenous people talking about this in different ways (think ETS, the Christian church), but when Islamic fundamentalists do the same, they're often told "if you don't like it, you know what you can do!"

    I am saying that in doing this, we just further undermine our culture by insidiously/unwittingly endorsing anarchism which effectively reinforces the anarchic-maket economy and all the ills which come with it. Luisten to Brown-Barroso today...what are they really saying?

    Of course stoning is horrific. It's done in public for that very reason, i.e. to deter and maintain law in largely 'low literacy' societies. If one looks at the Penal Consortium in this country, you will find large numbers of 'subversives' and 'useful idiots' striving to improve the conditions of offenders (the later usually fail to appreciate how negative reinforcement works). Prima facie it all looks very caring, until one looks very carefully into the politics (see about Q276 - Warnings here were ignored by the Home Affairs Committee, but matters have gone the way that those expressing concern highlighted - Probation has been all but privatised by recent legislation).

    Like the ETS report/video back in Feb 2007 and warnings by others much as Herrnstein and Murray in 1994 and by Lynn in 2001, people object to having these problems being highlighted, largely because they don't like what they are being shown, I fear (although others see wider recognition as a threat to anarcho-capitalism, so censure it via Gramscist/Trotskyite Political Correctness). As a consequence, matters just get slowly (imperceptibly for many) get worse and worse.

  • Comment number 58.

    STEALING CANDY FROM BABIES

    Barrie (#56) As I've said before, maybe more should titrate the age:IQ relation to average national IQ? That is, accept that nations with low mean IQs are in fact more childlike, (more) superstitious, and more in need of firmer (paternalistic) management/government as a consequence? If sound, ethnocentrically exporting Liberal-Democracy as 'freedom' would just be subversive/seditious/predatory and inevitably breed resentment in those trying to govern more child-like people.

  • Comment number 59.

    BURNING PASSION (#56 detail)

    Now that the West is fully entrenched in the 'War on Terror', demonisation of Muslims - in reaction to the minority prepared to use extreme action - is proceeding apace.

    But as the rhetoric becomes, daily, more righteous, should we not allow for the fact that Islaam is 600 years younger than Christianity?

    600 years ago, Spanish Christians enjoyed a long established Inquisition and were busy burning 'heretics'.
    300 years ago, we were burning witches across the world - from Moravia to Massachusetts - in the name of God.
    Only 60-odd years ago, we were fire-bombing women and children (although, to our credit, we did manage to repeal the 'Witchcraft Act!').

    Today, the fire has, I hope, gone out of Christianity but Islaam (perhaps predictably in view of its youth) still burns with a passion.

    In this time of intractable confrontation, humility, a good Christian tenet, is certainly called for. But more poignantly, who is most in need of that other Christian value -forgiveness?

  • Comment number 60.

    #56 Oh yes barrie, I'd be the first to say we were terrible as well.

    But I think we gradually have learnt the lesson of our ways. I'm not sure we're psychologically vile, but I think we are forgetting very quickly a more simple way of life. I do hate the way "must have everything" people here are now, and "it's my right to travel the world", without actually looking at how others do live.

    I'm not very optimistic for our future!

  • Comment number 61.

    barrie (#59) "although, to our credit, we did manage to repeal the 'Witchcraft Act!'".

    Actually...I'm rather concerned about the apparent proliferation of witches and their craft.

    I see supermarket 'cash-back' as an insidious contributor by the way ;-)

  • Comment number 62.

    TOO PAINFUL TO COMPLETE (#60)

    Hi Lizzie. Apologies for use of 'vile'.
    Below some psychological horrors to be compared with stoning - only much slower.

    Pre-pubics persuaded to ape puberty.
    Women persuaded they want to be men.
    Schooling for Mammon masquerading as learning for life.
    The tenet that any 'human' not dead it a worthwhile life.

    And I haven't mentioned politicians!!

  • Comment number 63.

    CALL ME HAZEL (#61)

    Sorry JJ, didn't mean to be provocative there. (:o) Do you think we should put The Witchcraft Act back on the Statute Book?

    I thought it had now been established that a placebo prescribed by a witch, with lots of hocus pocus, was on a par with a pharmaceutical prescribed by a vague distant doctor in a white coat? And only the latter has side effects (unless the witch is a not white).


  • Comment number 64.

    #47

    I think Kirsty had every justification in posing that question to Mr Choudary , if you had listen to any of this speeches , then you might understand why the question was put to him.

    #46
    Barrie I think this Times report might answer your question.

    #
    Jean

    I don't know if you noticed this BBC report this weekend, you might find it interesting or not.


  • Comment number 65.

    #62 Barrie
    Oh dear I seem to agree with all these! ; )

    Pre-pubics persuaded to ape puberty.
    Women persuaded they want to be men.
    Schooling for Mammon masquerading as learning for life.
    The tenet that any 'human' not dead it a worthwhile life.


    But then I see my brain has addled! ; )

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7945569.stm

  • Comment number 66.

    barrie (#63) "The Witchcraft Act back on the Statute Book?"

    Well, the Fraudulent Mediums Act 1951 doesn't really do it for me, as now, witches make out that it's OK to cast their spells so long as they say that what they're doing is just for fun/entertainment!

    I fear much of our Higher Education now has much to answer for, as it appears that one can now get degrees in these crafts. I don't approve of burning (etc), but maybe warming up a bit (humiliation) might not be too severe? Maybe we could have some H&S guidance as to what would be a legal limit in case there's any risk of spontaeous combustion (although I hear many come with automatic sprinklers)?

  • Comment number 67.

    CURIOUSER AND CURIOUSER (#64)


    Grateful for that Steve, but no wiser. The Times article might almost be devious in its wording.

    3 paragraphs pertain but none DIRECTLY states what will end up RECORDED for posterity.

    A friend has asked her MP to clarify, if that is abortive I will do likewise. The verbal assertion, heard by myself and others, was that THE RECORD would not be of a prison sentence, handed down and (partially) served. Very un-British.

  • Comment number 68.

    STATE-INDUCED NARCISSISM (#64)

    Add that to my list of 'psychological horrors' at #62. What a prospect: generations of individuals 'stoned' on narcissism! No wonder JJ is going spare. Contrast that with a small number stoned to death by aberrant Islaam, and one can see why THEY want to get at US!

    BUT. Try telling Ed Balls, and see how far you get. It is a whole Westminster of Balls that have led to a cultural Ed-up. But how to turn the tide without gunpowder - that is the problem. Westminster calls its own and inflicts them on us.

    SPOIL PARTY GAMES.

  • Comment number 69.

    THE QUALITY OF INSIGHT IS NOT STRAINED (#65 link)

    Good grief - makes me want to bang expert heads together.

    I am coming up for 72 (27 backwards?) and DELIGHTING in the way my brain is working. I might be driving everyone else barmy (no names) but inside 'here' self-consistency, perspicacity and (self referenced) rationality rules - OK!

    (:o) (:o) (:o)

  • Comment number 70.

    barrie (#63) "I thought it had now been established that a placebo prescribed by a witch, with lots of hocus pocus, was on a par with a pharmaceutical prescribed by a vague distant doctor in a white coat?"

    Well... yes, err...there isthat I guess.

    ..but.. they do crop up everywhere you know!

  • Comment number 71.

    #54, I can't believe it! What no eugenics Tirade?
    No have a look at this link?
    Has the world spun off axis?
    I really am lost for words! so i'll just quietly sneak off out the back of the newsnight forum.
    Hoping jaded doesn't notice. Smile Jaded. you are on your way to lightening up a bit!!

  • Comment number 72.

    Hope i'm not proved wrong! but hey it was good while it lasted

  • Comment number 73.

    JADED JEAN IS DOING JOKES (#66)

    Watch that street cred JJ! Loved the one about the sprinklers.

    I'm a 'what works' guy myself. But I long ago stopped telling others it must therefore work for them. I think my most notable failure was three lots of different antibiotics; I finally applied visualisation (no, not just after the last pill) and won. I have 'success' with vitamins, minerals, herbs and other supplements to defeat what are erroneously called 'diseases of old age'. The odd thing is, even with my gullibility, homeopathy does not work. Where am I going wrong?


  • Comment number 74.

    Steve-London (#64) Thanks. In fact, I'd seen it and used it in an attempt to get what's wrong with the Austrian School of economics across to some Libertarians/Anarchists.. The problem with clinical NPD is that you can't get them to see they have a problem, which is why it's widely regarded as untreatable like ASPD.

    I suspect it has its roots more in breeding (genes) than environment, but the jury's still out on that.

    They do seem to get an easier ride than I think is healthy for the majority, but we have embraced a celebrity culture and we see that reinforced via TV every day, hour, minute... alas.

  • Comment number 75.

    Gr8vel (#71) "I can't believe it! What no eugenics Tirade?

    Did you watch Jimmy Doherty in Darwin's Garden? Darwin was very concerned about family planning (eugenics) ;-)

  • Comment number 76.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00j6r1b/Darwins_Dangerous_Idea_Born_Equal/

    ...human sympathy is the noblest part of man's nature (Charles Darwin).

 

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