Friday, 3 April 2009

G20 Financial Fools Day: I was there

(This was the intended article on the G20 protests due to go up for Harry's Place, however in haste my e-mail to them was mistakenly put up instead.)

The sound of smashing glass from the RBS branch there were followed by cheers from the crowd, and as protesters pelted fruit and plastic bottles at police officers stood high on the steps of the Bank of England, I advised friends that we should leave before anything got worse. I had been to the G20-Meltdown rally that day, not as a ‘revolutionary’ or an anti-capitalist, but rather as a pro-capitalist classical liberal, expressing my concern over the way in which the Labour Government has handled the economy. I should have known however that once the first scaffolding rail had pierced the dull glass of RBS, none of that now mattered, my opinion was irrelevant.

The front of the Daily Express the next day had the headline ‘Anarchy does not rule UK’, its following coverage making a fervent and unashamed hard line against yesterdays protesting hoards. A photo on the cover of the newspaper showed demonstrators clashing with a gauntleted police officer, above the line ‘...police clashed with demonstrators trying to force their way into the City’, however as many other media outlets since have reported, a very opposite scenario had in fact occurred.

Rushing from the middle of Threadneedle St to the back of the four-thousand strong rally, I squeezed my way to the line of police blocking the road ahead only to be denied exodus. Two strongly linked chains of florescent garbed officers, separated by a bus-length, held back the few hundred wishing entry to the rally and prevented those inside from leaving. Members of the press were refused past the line, as were the elderly, and it did not go unnoticed that a young man with a seemingly severe head injury was also denied from exiting the scene. Chants ensued “let us out!”, “shame on you!” and one individual shouted impatiently at officers claiming his wife was in labour at the hospital.

An hour soon passed, and scuffles began as determined protestors scarped between lines only to be dived on, handcuffed and dragged away by more officers. The use of the surrounding walls as a urinal block was a sure sign that things were becoming dire, and as rumours of prolonged kettling for another two hours spread throughout the crowd, subtle pushing began. United only by common treatment and a desire to leave, the disgruntled caged masses surrounding the Bank of England had had enough of the interpreted disregard for British liberty. As banners waved and horns sounded a charge began on both sides of the divide, and as the oppressive chains disintegrated before us, officers fell back, retreating and regrouping with a keen desire to re-establish control.

With the chain now gone, I and my pro-capitalist cohorts swiftly left the scene, making our way to St Paul’s underground with a yearning to move on. The police later arrested the few who had caused most of the trouble, and subsequent reports suggested that control was later established after remaining protesters were allowed to drain away. The day had been eventful and enlightening to say the least, but the taste of appal was still in my mouth, after all how could the footsoldiers of Scotland Yard have acted in such a manner? Simply being in that crowd had evidently meant that our right to leave was denied by the state, the core foundations of liberty had not been allowed us any longer.

In contrast, to the oppressive 'kettling' techniques which protesters experienced on Wednesday, was the reaction of the metropolitan police when in January of this year- hundreds rioters took to the streets of Kensington in protest at the Israeli invasion of Gaza. How did the police react to this variety of protestors? See for yourselves:

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Quid es Veritas?

A few weeks ago, notably on the Isle of Man, I attended a public lecture by historian Professor Ronald Hutton of Bristol University quaintly entitled 'The Druids', in which the Professor articulated on the history of Druidry in Britain and its Isles. Perched afront a sea of bleary eyed, bearded, woolen garbed representatives from the modern Druid community, and members of the local intelligencia, Professor Hutton spoke about the historical evidence backing up the existence such a world-renowned ancient religion, or lack thereof, and its relevance today. Having pulled apart some of the myths perpetuated about ancient Druidism in Britain, he went on to suggest that despite historical sources, principly that of the Roman- Tacitus for which nearly all understanding of British Druidism is based, it seemed more than probable that no such religion or movement officially existed here. He even went on to say that the word Druid, from the word druidae was actually the name of a barbaric individual refered to by the ancient Greeks and that this had ultimately been misunderstood by chroniclers over time.

Once having swiftly dismantled the historical basis for such a religion, assumedly leaving many in the hall wondering how sure they were of themselves, he then went on to the revival of Druidism as a Germanic reaction to renaissance Italy, its subsequent spreading throughout Europe, and to the modern Druid movement and its early beginnings in C18th London. What astonished me most was that the heckles of "Rubbish!", and other such remarks from severely unkempt members of the audience upon hearing Prof Hutton suggest that modern Druidism was nothing more than a dressing-up club spurred on by remnants of the 60s hippy-generation, were evidence that his lecture was having little or no effect on the mindsets of those self-acclaimed 'Druids'.

Overall the lecture was highly insightful and extremely enjoyable, and I am glad to say was evidently appreciated by the majority of the audience, whom later rewarded Professor Hutton with great applause. Upon leaving the lecture theatre however I couldn't help but realise what this might actually have signified in the grander scheme of things. You see religion, it would seem, does not value the importance of evidence, fact or reason, and does not apparently care for the logic behind its practices or origins. The only obvious truth in religion is that it is community, a set of mutually benefitial tribes of likeminded people who deep down do not really care if what they believe is proved to be fabricated or forged. The overwhelming temptation for an instinctively tribal, naturally social animal to 'belong' to any social group is almost impossible to resist; and modern advancements in science, medicine, anthropology, philosophical growth and even the enlightenment period still (it would seem) cannot break the overpowering desires of those whom purport to be 'the religious', to be just that. But then again, as Jonathan Swift once said, it is useless to attempt to reason someone out of an attitude which they were never reasoned into.

(Picture 1: British Druids at Stonehenge.)

Friday, 15 August 2008

Hydrangea Hiatus...[an informal post]

...and that'll do fine. In the two months that have just passed, not only have I somehow refrained from blogging to my heart's content, but much else has in fact happened in the world of...well the world. Talk's are underway in Zimbabwe which could see the beginning of the end of Mugabe's reign of tyranny, Inflation has risen to a new high of 4.4%, and of course Georgia has been invaded by Russia as it attempts to control it's own rogue regions. Not to mention the fact that last month Chris Huhne, the failed Lib Dem party leadership candidate, I saw soaking up the rays (or rather 'ray') here on the Isle of Man. I did wave to him but he didn't recognise me...musn't read the blog much anymore...*sigh*

Anyway on to better news:
Although From Across The Water had experienced a slight slow down in general post regularity before the hiatus commenced, this might not necessarily change. Although I assure you that no such hiatus shall again occur for at least another...while. Part time gardening is taking it's toll on the old energy reserves but i'm sure T.E Lawrence might have had the energy to write a blog after fighting the Ottomans all week, maybe even Churchill after fighting Jerry for years on end. Balls to it, those hydrangeas will have to wait!

Second: I begin reading Politics w. History in September and so plans are underway for a new Martin David blog Winchester, which would basically mean more frequent posts with more British political content, and perhaps the odd London, Brussels, Paris trip report thrown in.

Exciting stuff eh? So remember folks keep your eyes peeled, chins up, and your tweeds on. I'll be back in no time...

Sunday, 15 June 2008

The Fuss Of Forty Two Days...

This week Prime Minister Gordon Brown narrowly won a House of Commons vote on extending the maximum time police can hold terror suspects to 42 days. The vote, which was officially opposed by the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats, and 36 of Labour's back-bench rebels, will now have to survive a battle in the House of Lords before it can be implemented. Upon learning of the Governments victory, members of parliament were also shocked to learn of the resignation of Shadow Home Secretary David Davis in protest at the result. A decision for which the MP has received much mixed support and criticism about.

As a Conservative and a supporter of the 42 day proposal I have felt utterly compelled to express my gladness at Davis' resignation, and yet sadness that he is being branded as exemplary by members of the extreme left. Davis has never really had a place on the front bench of the new and improved Conservative Party, and I feel in all sincerity that even he himself new this. I suppose it was polite of David Cameron, upon winning leadership of the Conservatives, to offer Davis the place of Home Secretary, but come on let's get real. I mean how can a man such as he possibly lead the fight against home-grown terrorism and extremism in the same way in which Charles Clarke used to; there is simply no comparison.

The labelling of Davis as integral because of his decision to step down has really got up my nose these past few days, when the only REAL Conservative integral enough to do the right thing and vote with the Government is a one Ann Widdecombe MP. A woman who clearly sees that doing the right thing for ones country is more important than unquestionable loyalty to ones party. After all what's integral about playing party politics, trying to gain the vote of a few liberal idiots at the next general, when the national security of the state is at stake. In every poll taken over the issue, only around 30% of the public have shown to oppose the bill while around 65% support it; and yet somehow the Government has had to rely on Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionists to get the bill through Parliament. So much for representing your constituents Tories...

Many people in recent days have suggested concern over the 'taking of our rights' by the Government, saying that 42 day detention is an infringement of our civil liberties. One argument in particular which I found to be the most flawed was given by a well respected Conservative MP, a man who I myself admittedly admire. His argument was that further demeaning our civil liberties would be a great victory for extremism, and that terror should only be fought without undermining our liberties. But how exactly? And surely it would only be a victory for extremists if the denying of our liberties was somehow Islamic related, i.e. a national ban on alcohol, a ban on the education of women. Not that terror suspects can be held for two weeks more than currently held in extreme circumstances, and that's all it is- 2 weeks more. The very notion that we should deny many weapons in the fight against extremism merely due to philosophical principle, I find to be highly questionable...

(Picture 1: An armed Police Officer at Whitehall, London.)
(Picture 2: Ex-Shadow Home Secretary David Davis.)

Thursday, 15 May 2008

The Problem Of A Promise Land...

Marked by a visit by U.S President Bush to the region, this month marks the 60th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel. Celebrated by Jews across the world, and mourned by Arabs as al-Nakba or 'the catastrophe', the anniversary has shed new light on the original events which lead to the founding of the Jewish state, and speculation on the amount of time it might have left to remain. With Islamist group Hezbollah taking over parts of Beirut in the north, and Hamas increasing in strength and momentum in the south, peace will probably not be a luxury which the region can afford any time soon. But how do we in the west view the existence of a Jewish state in the Holy Land?

It is no secret that the plight of the Palestinians in this age of 'victim culture' has made sense to many on the British political left, and also to terror groups such as Al Qaeda, but the most astonishing development in the opposition to the Jewish state is in that of the mainstream media. The Guardian's evident hatred towards Israel is one I find the most distasteful and sickening, with an apparent desire to do as much damage to the reputation of Israel in Europe as possible. Articles written in the paper almost daily attack the operations of the IDF and Mossad, and yet make no such criticisms of rocket attacks from the Gaza strip or attempted suicide attacks indirectly funded by Iran. The mentality of the 21st century anti-Semite is one that oddly unites those of the political left, Islamists, and white supremacists, and can even seemingly be adopted by the average joe nowadays without much fuss.

This shared doctrine, which spans from opposition to Israel to perpetuated lies about the Jewish 9/11, is an inevitable consequence of the desensitisation of the world since the Holocaust. As with all conflicts and traumatising events in world history, there is a period afterwards of absolute mourning, a sense of injustice which stays for a period of living memory, or at most two to three generations. After this time however, when the people who had memory of those events are all but dying out, it seems that the taboos associated with those memories are no longer relevant. For example, to express support for Napoléon Bonaparte in mid 19th century Britain would have been seen to be almost blasphemous by the general population. Talk favourably of him in Britain today and nobody cares. We are no longer concerned by the threats of Imperial France, nor sensitive to the French Reign of Terror which saw thousands put to death by the horrific guillotine.

My personal standing on Israel has wavered over the years, as a child I grew up with huge admiration for the IDF and Mossad, even though not fully understanding the politics at the time. Upon learning of the ultranationalist Israeli Irgun which fought against the British in the 1940's my views did change for a while, however the passing of my days as an imperialist have led me to believe that the existence of Israel is a great thing. I now see it as the most important western outpost on the eastern frontier, with enough stability and national confidence to ensure the security of the eastern Mediterranean. It is, if nothing else, a cork in the neck of the Islamic world; an assurance to us that as long as it stands the world is free. As an Anglican, my mind is often on the Holy Land and what tragedies could befall it any day. I would hate to learn for example that Holy sites in Jerusalem or Bethlehem might end in the same fate as the Buddhas of Bayman under the orders of some Islamic cleric; the existence of the Jewish state is assurance that this cannot happen.

Israel's determination to survive when it is surrounded by countries that want to wipe it out cannot indefinitely continue without support from the west. We the inheritors of the modern world must ensure that the expressive sentiments of solidarity with Israel does not die from neglect, but continues on. Every day, the anti-Semitic malice of the western media recruits another free voter to its cause using perfected convincing strategies. How long before the actions of the do-gooding medio-intelligencia enable a united Islamic front to finally rid the region of the only significant non-Islamic country there, from under the watchful but placid eyes of the pointless United Nations? One only dreads to think. The problem of the promise land is of course that it is desperately wanted for the re-establishment of the promised Islamic Caliphate...

(Picture 1: Members of Hamas on parade in Gaza.)
(Picture 2: A 100,000 strong anti-Israeli protest in London, 2006.)

Saturday, 3 May 2008

Three Cheers For Boris...

The fantastic news came just before midnight last night, but the suspense of the moment prior was utterly torturous, the mere prospect that the capital city of our great nation may have once again failed to escape from the iron grip of Red Ken was almost too much to bear. For 8 years the leftist, self-righteous and neglectful ways of Livingstone's City Hall have undoubtably ensured the transformation of London into a dangerous, unpleasant and confusing place remeniscent of the Dickensian city. A place where you are twice as likely to be a victim of street crime than in New York City, the once U.S. capital of crime.

The campaign of Boris Johnson has undoubtably given confidence back to the people of the City of London, a confidence not only for Boris himself, but also a confidence for the Conservative Party's ability to lead the greatest city in Europe. I commend Boris Johnson for taking London from the hoards of British left wing intelligencia, and wish him all the best in achieving his vision for it. I'm sure that Boris's well known trait of achieving what he sets out to achieve will no doubt prevail in this most prominent instance, and indeed in the next four years. Three cheers for Boris...

(Picture 1: A victorious Boris Johnson last night.)

Sunday, 27 April 2008

The Persuasion of Conversion...

Last week saw the 40th anniversary of Enoch Powell's controversial 'Rivers of Blood' speech, in which the late MP warned of the threats of a multi-cultural society. In it he aired the concerns of his constituents with regard to immigration and race, and suggested that the influx of huge numbers of foreign born peoples would lead to tensions in following years. The explicitly apocalyptic suggestivity and nature of the speech still harrows the mind even today.

"In 15 or 20 years time, the black man will have the whip hand over the white man.... We must be mad, literally mad, to be permitting the annual inflow of some 50,000 dependents. As I look ahead, I am filled with foreboding. Like the Roman, I seem to see ‘the River Tiber foaming with much blood’."
Taken out of context Powell seems irrational, like a racist scaremonger making false prophesies; but if it is known that Powell is reading a letter from a concerned constituent of his, the speech seems to loose much of its ferocity. At the time however this was irrelevant, the speech provoked outrage when it was broadcast in 1968, at a time when black America was at the height of it's civil rights movement, and the results of the British 1950s immigration experiment were first being made known. Powell was remembered for what he said on that day for the rest of his life, he became a hero to some, and an monster to others as a direct consequence of it. The speech has been a stumbling block in the immigration debate ever since that day in Birmingham, a 'no-go area' for most MP's and politicians, until the influx of predominantly white European migrants in recent years has changed everything.

For half a century or more, immigration and race were always seen as one entity, and of course the two have been historically intertwined for thousands of years. For a non-white person to be residing in the UK, their family line had to have been originally extracted from elsewhere, such is the nature of evolutionary development. Colour may be a physical indication that people are of a foreign descent genetically, even though this is obviously not the rule. And because it is not the rule, people of foreign white descent may have been overlooked in the past, or not known about, by the population of the time. Because of this, concerns aired about immigration in previous decades must have been directly linked to race and colour, therefore deeming it (rightly or wrongly) racist to see immigration as bad.

Due to this, concerns about immigration were previously ignored by politicians, as opposition to it was seen to be an overlying excuse for opposition to people of non-white descent. Despite the fact that an uneducated, racist element may still reside within the UK, I believe it is far smaller than those politicians previously thought. And that in fact more people are opposed to uncontrolled immigration full stop, whether immigrants coming into Britain are white or not. This realisation that immigration is no longer a race issue has taken the influx of Polish, Estonian and Lithuanian immigrants into Britain in recent years, for the Left to see that people are opposed to their uncontrolled migration as well, even though they are white. If immigration was still a race issue, surely we would see the promotion of the influx of Eastern Europeans, and at the same time the opposition of non-white immigrants. The snake of racism in Britain is evidently dying, and immigration is now being taken seriously by politicians.

This week, Islamic-extremist Abu Izzadeen and five other men were convicted on charges of terrorist fund-raising and inciting terrorism overseas. Izzadeen, who has been known to BBC 2's Newsnight for four years, has openly praised the 7/7 London suicide bombings and the atrocities of 9/11 live on television, and is a spokesman for banned extremist group Al-Ghurabaa. If I were to remark on the relevance of verses in the Quran which may justify the extremist views of Izzadeen, I may be accused of (as I have before) 'Islamaphobia'. The fact that extremists are generally known to be non-white may also have led to an accusation of my being a 'racist' or 'xenophobe' as well, until now.

One of the men convicted along with Izzadeen was 35 year old Simon (Sulayman) Keeler, a white convert to Islam from Whitechapel in London. Keeler's anti-American, anti-western sentiment had also been made known on BBC 2's Newsnight in 2004. On 9/11 he said this:

"I don't believe in democracy. It's man made. You're talking about a government that taxes the people to death. It oppresses many millions of people in the world. It wouldn't be such a shame to have them overturned. You're talking about one man, Tony Blair, sends a bunch of aircraft into Iraq, bombs a bunch of people. You're talking about another man, Osama Bin Laden, who sends a bunch of aeroplanes into America and bombs a bunch of people - what is the difference? You tell me."
And on the victims of 9/11:

"But you talk about 3,000 so-called innocents. What about the 200,000 innocents in Afghanistan? What about the one million children in Iraq who died as a result of America's foreign policy? Let's remember who we're talking about. You're crying about the fact that America, the oppressor, has been punched in the nose. That's what happened"
It is one thing to be aware of the frightening reality that is the home-grown threat of terrorism, but it is quite another to now accept that white, British converts may also be as willing to blow themselves up in British cities as people such as Muhammad Siddiq Khan and Shehzad Tanweer. The only good thing I can see from this scenario, is that the threat of this extremist ideology can now be made known. To see the London suicide bombers as nothing more than murderers is dangerous, and it is ignorant and naive to think that only foreignly extracted Muslims are capable of such atrocities. The proof of the danger of Islamism is now clear, the ideology must be defeated.

It is no use locking up people on terrorism charges all the time, hoping and praying that people like Anjem Choudary leave enough substantial evidence for the authorities to take legal action against them, even though we all know of their abhorrent views. Groups like Hizb ut-Tahrir need to be banned in Britain, as does the public proclamation of support for such groups. In Germany and Austria it is illegal to depict Nazism in a positive light or to possess any Nazi paraphernalia; and to openly deny the holocaust is an act that will rightly land one in jail in those countries. Nobody disputes these laws, and so why not implement something similar here? Islamism, like Nazism, is no joke.

Situationary evolution has once again meant that the racial gap has been bridged, potentially meaning that reactionary debate might no longer be hindered by re-worded accusations of racism. The enlightening realisation that we might not only be at war with Islamists, but with our own genetic countrymen in future years, changes the way we now view the extremist threat. There is now a danger that because the adoption of Islamism is a choice, which white and non-white may endeavour in, it may prove to become a far wider phenomenon than previously anticipated. Remember if you will the number of victims of the London bombings, 52 people were killed and 700 others were injured by a mere four men, a mere four dedicated Islamists. Race was an irrelevant factor...

(Picture 1: Enoch Powell in 1968.)
(Picture 2: Abu Izzadeen heckling John Reid in 2006.)
(Picture 3: Recently gaoled Sulayman Keeler at an extremist rally.)