Other Stations Will Air Gaza Appeal, BBC Now Isolated

ITV, Channel 4 and Five are to show a charity appeal for Gaza amid a row over the BBC’s decision not to run the film.

If they don’t…well, mass TV licence non-payment campaign?


gaza(ht2 Otto)

Then there is this@ Pulse, settlers are salivating at the territory their army might have opened up for them, excerpt-

In spirit, many of the Gaza settlers never left the coveted Palestinian territory on the Mediterranean coast. Despite ample compensation from the Israeli government, many have chosen to live in nearby caravan camps in desert towns between Ashdod and Ashkelon, clustered with families from the same settlement of origin. Most of the settlers didn’t pack before they were escorted out of their compounds, not believing that the Israeli government would permanently expel them. Some have posted the road signs identifying their old settlements in their camps.

The evacuees have reportedly suffered from high rates of divorce, drug abuse and other problem behavior. Imbued with messianic zeal, for the last three-and-a-half years, they have been mobilizing to resettle the land they believe is theirs by divine right.

Settler activists are counting on their historically strong ties to the Israeli military, with some units composed entirely of settlers, to help in their fight. Indeed, some soldiers and reservists currently in Gaza were there three years ago living in cherished settlement communities. On Monday, an article in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz described the bittersweet reactions of soldiers who had lived in Gaza settlements and are now back in uniform, noting, “Some see it as a first step toward returning to their former homes.”

Earlier this year, Haaretz reported on settlers’ plans to follow the Israeli army into Gaza. Boaz Haetzni, a leader of the settler movement, explained, “In our estimation the ‘big operation’ is only a matter of time; we will follow them in. We will not ask for permission from anyone. The [settlement] groups will be ready … These core groups will do exactly what the group that re-established Kfar Etzion did after 1967. They will return to the lands where they existed in the past and will rebuild them.”

Kfar Etzion was the first Israeli settlement established in the West Bank after the end of the Six Day War and is now part of a large bloc of settlements connecting Jerusalem to Hebron.

…Both events reflect the pattern that has emerged over the last several decades. After Palestinian land is seized by the Israeli army, settlements are established, connected to Israel’s electricity, water and security system, and aggressively marketed to potential residents. Today, Israeli settlements and the state security apparatus cover over 40 percent of the West Bank. Nearly half a million Israelis live in settlements in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, all of which are considered illegal under international law.

Posted in Israel-Palestine. Tags: , . Comments Off on Absent

Friday! A Bit of Fry and Laurie- The Ambassador

Effective British diplomacy…

So, Have The BBC Stopped Colluding With War Criminals Yet?

Update: Stop the War Coalition report the government have complained to the BBC, curiouser and curiouser (although makes me feel ..odd…being with the govt. in complaining about the BBC, beardy Spock!). Also Demo tomorrow.

I was incensed at the news (in the previous post) about the BBC refusing to air the DEC ad which in effect killed it on all broadcasters networks. Since then Medialens have an alert on it and loads of other blogs have caught the news and have more action resources to deluge the BBC with complaints and change their decision. So down to business, the BBC and the DEC appeal itself which is now active. Also a couple of petitions via Pulse regarding arms sales and war crimes. First more ways to contact the BBC-

Phone the BBC from the UK on: 03700 100 222


Helen Boaden, Director of BBC news
Email: helenboaden.complaints@bbc.co.uk

Peter Horrocks, Head of BBC TV News
Email: peter.horrocks@bbc.co.uk

Richard Sambrook, Director of the World Service and Global News
Email: richard.sambrook@bbc.co.uk

Now the DEC appeal the BBC is refusing to publicise:-

The situation
After an 18 month blockade of Gaza and three weeks of heavy shelling the humanitarian crisis in Gaza is now completely overwhelming.

  • Donate online to the DEC’s Gaza Crisis nowGaza Crisis
    Thousands of people are struggling to survive with many having lost their homes and most down to their last supplies of food and only limited amounts of fresh drinking water.
  • Just £25 can buy warm blankets for 8 children
  • Just £50 can provide a Food parcel for a family for one month
  • Electricity – supplies to Gaza are erratic at best with 75% of the area cut off completely. There is a significant public health risk arising out of the almost collapse of Gaza’s water and sewage system, the running of which is dependent on electricity.
  • Water – Around 500,000 people are without running water with 37% of Gaza’s water wells not working effectively and fuel reserves depleted due to restrictions on access and damage to pipes.
  • At least 412 Children have been killed and 1,855 injured
  • 60% of the population is living in poverty
  • 1.1 million people are dependent upon aid to survive.
  • Health – The capacity of the health system has been significantly reduced due to the damage of at least 21 clinics. Ten primary health care clinics are functioning as emergency clinics and hospitals and intensive care units continue to treat the mass casualties.

And two petitions- this petition to the UN is to Call upon the General Assembly to create a special international tribunal to try Israel, its political and military leaders, for such crimes in violation of international law, human rights law and international humanitarian law in the Palestinian Occupied Territory of which they may be charged.

This second petition is UK specific and to petition the Prime Minister to do everything in his power to impose an arms embargo on Israel in light of the recent Israeli offensive in the Gaza strip and to apply pressure on countries supplying Israel with arms that breach international agreements with the intention of restoring lasting peace to the region.

Below is the full text of the Medialens alert-

Read the rest of this entry »

UK Broadcasters Refuse To Show Gaza Appeal by Disasters Emergency Committee

Let the BBC and others know they are wrong and must reverse this decision-

The Guardian:- The BBC has refused to broadcast a national humanitarian appeal for Gaza, leaving aid agencies with a potential shortfall of millions of pounds in donations.

The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), an umbrella organisation for 13 aid charities, launched its appealtoday saying the devastation in Gaza was “so huge that British aid agencies were compelled to act”.

But the BBC made a rare breach of an agreement dating back to 1963 when it announced it would not give free airtime to the appeal. Other broadcasters then followed suit. Previously, broadcasters have agreed on the video and script to be used with the DEC, with each station choosing a presenter to front the appeal, shown after primetime news bulletins.

The BBC said it was not the first time broadcasters had refused to show a DEC appeal.

The corporation said it had been concerned about the difficulties of getting aid through to victims in a volatile situation. The BBC, which has faced criticism in the past over alleged bias in its coverage of the Middle East, said it did not want to risk public confidence in its impartiality.

The DEC’s chief executive, Brendan Gormley, said the decision could have a big impact on its appeal. “We are used to our appeal getting into every household and offering a safe and necessary way for people to respond. This time we will have to work a lot harder because we won’t have the free airtime or the powerful impact of appearing on every TV and radio station.”

DEC appeals have recently raised £10m for the Congo and £18m for Burma.

Gormley rejected the BBC’s claim that it was difficult for aid to reach those in need, saying 100 lorries a day were entering Gaza. He challenged the corporation’s concerns about impartiality. “We are totally apolitical and are driven by the principles of the Geneva conventions in terms of impartiality and neutrality. This appeal is a response to those humanitarian principles. The BBC seems to be confusing impartiality with equal airtime.”

A BBC spokesperson said: “Along with other broadcasters, the BBC has decided not to broadcast the DEC’s public appeal to raise funds for Gaza. The BBC decision was made because of question marks about the delivery of aid in a volatile situation and also to avoid any risk of compromising public confidence in the BBC’s impartiality in the context of an ongoing news story. However, the BBC will of course continue to report the humanitarian story in Gaza.”

ITV said: “The DEC asked all broadcasters if they could support the appeal. We (the broadcasters) assessed the DEC’s requirements carefully against the agreed criteria and we were unable to reach the consensus necessary for an appeal.”

Sky said: “We were considering this request internally when the DEC contacted us to let us know that the BBC had decided not to broadcast the appeal at this time. As, by convention, if all broadcasters do not carry the appeal then none do, the decision was effectively made for us.”

Calling Torture Torture

Potato, Potartoe…

Not rigorously scientific I grant you but… I tried a little experiment with regard to discussions of torture in America/confirmation hearings etc. I did two google news searches, one with ‘torture’ as the search term and one with ‘interrogation’ as the search term (do try this at home kiddies). Torture in regards to the US gets the top two results with a total of  723. Interrogation (again both top results are US/torture) gets 6,288.

So we can see the media have made their choice, does this reflect a wider public acceptance of torture and rebranding it as interrogation? I don’t know. But hey guess what in percentage terms reports are calling torture torture, it’s roughly ten percent! Go figure.

And as I think I have said before where will the rebranding stop, will rape become sexual cold calling? Will repeatedly stabbing someone in the eyes become aggressive ophthalmology? Will killing 1, 400 trapped starved people become self defence? Ooh look, the future’s already here! And it’s Hell.

Unseen Gaza UK Ch4 Thursday 11.05pm

Update: Watch it @ Pulse.

Would have been nice if it was in primetime, but hey Celebrity Big Brother (almost) pays the bills at Ch4. Via Pulse

Jon Snow in The Independent:- There have been two versions of the assault on Gaza played out over the past three weeks. One is the moderated account aired in the West; the other is the unexpurgated account of civilian deaths filmed in vivid close-up inside Gaza.

Has the Western account, restricted by the Israeli ban on journalists in the conflict zone, been so reduced as to dull the scale of protest? Has the volume of images of death injury and destruction played and replayed in the Arab media served to radicalise and enrage the Islamic world still further? Thus creating a gulf so unbridgeable that it defeated even the passage of a unanimous UN call for a ceasefire? I want to take you on a personal journey that I made to the region last week.
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It’s Class Stupid

I think this is interesting because it calls out the phenomenon of affluent middle class media people setting poorer people against each other using race, all the better to keep attention off the inequality from which they profit. I think people who obsessively put ‘white’ in front of -working class- all the time are always suspect. And it’s not just the usual tabloid, conservative or fascist suspects doing that (hello BBC!)-

The white working class are discriminated against because of their accent, style, food, clothes, postcodes and even their names, but not because they are white, according to a Runnymede Trust study published today.

The report, Who Cares about the White Working Class?, disputes the claim that white working class communities have been directly losing out to migrants and minority ethnic groups.

It says that commentators who pretend that white working class disadvantage is ethnic rather than a matter of class does little to address the real and legitimate grievances that poor white people in Britain face.

The study followed a call from Hazel Blears, the communities secretary, for white working class voices and grievances to be heard.

It says that after a decade of politicians and commentators ignoring the issue of class, with Labour preferring to talk about “hard-working families” and “social exclusion”, class inequality is making an overdue comeback onto the political agenda.

“Britain remains blighted by class division, and economic background is still the best predictor of life chances. Class is central to how people see their place in Britain today. Returning to the issue of class inequality and social mobility is therefore long overdue,” the report says. Socially, Britain remains dominated by the same class divisions that have been in place for 40 years with scorn for poor white people and their “perceived” culture not only socially acceptable but also rampant.

But it also warns that there is a danger the “muted and repressed” debate on class that is re-emerging could prove harmful. It argues alarmist predictions that Labour’s neglect of the white working class will boost the British National party are little more than veiled attempts to curb race equality.

Citing examples of the BBC’s White Season and Channel 4’s Immigration – the Inconvenient Truth, the study says: “The interests of the white working class are habitually pitched against those of minority ethnic groups and immigrants, while larger social and economic structures are left out of the debate altogether.”

The researchers show, for example, that poor white working class boys being left behind at school are losing out to affluent white pupils, not minority ethnic pupils.

They say middle class commentators are happy to defend white working class interests against politically correct multiculturalism but they simultaneously deride and ridicule the feckless and undeserving poor, who have squandered the opportunities offered by the welfare state.

Posted in Media. Tags: , . 4 Comments »

Whiny Wankers Step Up Their Lobbying

ZOMG! He’s going to talk to Iran Arrrggghhh!!!!!

Obama’s plan to negotiate with Iran buys Tehran time to complete its nuclear program

And just remind us who hasn’t signed the NPT (unlike Iran, you may recall the endless spinning of inspections that misrepresent what the IAEA find, speaking of which- IAEA to look into Gaza uranium ammunition claim) yet has over 200 nukes? Hmm? There’s going to be a lot of this, fearmongering to forestall even diplomatic contact, neocons and their zionist chums have not gone anywhere, in fact many now have more time to fill the media with their bullshit (not Rahm Emanuel though, d’oh). Look out for more anonymous ‘intelligence sources’, ‘senior figures’ and ‘experts’ cropping up in the Iraq-lies-unrepentant-media.

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Greed Will Eat Itself

A rift has opened up between the government and the financial authorities after a furious Alistair Darling was kept in the dark over the lifting of the ban on short-selling, which may have contributed to this week’s tumultuous crash in the value of banking shares. The chancellor is thought to have been given just one hour’s notice by the Financial Services Authority that hedge funds would once again be able to place bets that bank shares would fall. Darling believes the ban will have to be reintroduced, given the fragility of the financial system.

D’you think?


Have to wait until a recording of it makes its way to me tomorrow, but Harpymarx writes about it here.

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Money Transfer, Wealth Transfer

What clearer lesson do you want that government has been colonised by a plutocracy and used as a means to siphon off public money into the private sector and at every stage generating private profits at public expense. So here we go-

Britain’s public finances took a big hit in December from the government’s recapitalisation of Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS).

So public money going to a private bank, then-

A scheme to renovate England’s secondary schools could grind to a halt because banks are not lending money, the building industry has warned.

Oh dear the bailout has not encouraged the banks to behave for the common good, how strange it’s not like they are explicitly profit making corporations with zero moral accountability, oh wait…but you see it’s far funnier than that-

Speaking to the committee of MPs later, Schools Minister Jim Knight said the current problems with lending could have an effect on Building Schools for the Future (BSF) because the scheme used private finance initiatives (PFI). Under PFI, private companies fund the building of schools, typically with the local authority repaying the costs over the next 25 to 30 years.

But Mr Knight added: “It is not the case that the money has dried up.” He said there was still interest from banks wanting to take part in the scheme, and there were alternative sources of funding. The feedback we are getting is that this aspect of investment, in public sector projects, is the lowest risk of them all, and probably the last to feel some of the difficulty and heightened risk attached to it.”

Get it? See the government could have used our money to build our schools but…no it used our money to keep the financial sector going with few reforms, so the PFI schemes would keep going, so private corporations would profit off safe investments in public projects, investments made with, er…our money (well they will be when they start lending). Exactly how including a third party who must take a certain amount in profit is ‘more efficient’ remains a Holy Mystery that must never be discussed… Of course PFI’s are disastrous for value and public accountability but what they do do is provide long term sources of revenue to private corporations with cosy relationships with government, who also benefit by appearing to be doing stuff and hoping no one notices the decades long bill future generations will be paying. So at the end of all this banks & politician’s who helped cause the crisis under the guise of neoliberal zealotry are rewarded while ….well some schools will get built, maybe, and end up costing us far more so PFI’s remain a good source of profit. It’s all down to who our representatives really work for and just how democratic we are, can we really have a say in how and by whom the country is run? Or are we just running occasional popularity contests for middle management, and let’s face it, an awful lot of people let themselves be lied to, as long as the living was good. Yeah, that worked out.

Monterrico Metals Majaz Torture Gets Official Investigation, Also- NYT Still Crap

Otto reports @ Inca Kola News

Last night RPP radio reported that the Majaz torture case would be officially investigated by Peru’s Congress. This is the full-on public enquiry method in Peru and although it might not move very fast it will cover all the ground and dig out all the details as it goes along, including the names and addresses of the National Police and Monterrico Metals security guards and bosses.

Intriguingly, the congresswoman in charge of the case, Marisol Espinoza, also mentioned last night that if necessary the case would eventually be forwarded to the International Commission for Human Rights.

PS. He also notes in a subsequent post how the NYT ignores the kidnapping and torture of  29 people in Peru (Empire’s new friend) involving state police and corporations (gosh, what does that remind you of…can you say Medal for Uribe) but reports (well pastes the AP) on 4 people arrested in Venezuela (Empire’s enemy) for throwing Molotov cocktails as a way to paint Chavez in a repressive light. Meanwhile the NYT’s coverage of Gaza may be somewhat explained by this- Married to Israelis.

New Labour Backs Off Hushing Up Expenses

(ht2 Harpymarx) Yep after sneaking out the news under cover of their runway bullshit they have failed to keep it sufficiently low key to pull it off, NL claim they had a deal with the tories, which the tories deny (except they ‘decided’ against it and ‘changed’ their whip so that means, er yes they were gonna help out until rumbled). One thing for sure attention paid to this, put paid to this, can’t leave ’em alone for minute-

Ministers have shelved plans to exempt MPs’ expenses details from the Freedom of Information Act, after the Tories and Lib Dems said they would fight it.

The High Court ruled last year that details of claims made under the second homes allowance, including receipts, should be published in the interests of transparency. Campaigners had denounced the planned Commons vote as effectively overturning the High Court ruling and said MPs were trying to exempt themselves from a law had they created.

Freedom of information campaigners welcomed the decision, saying the proposal to limit disclosure would have made MPs the only public officials immune from public scrutiny. But they warned it was not the end of the matter and similar plans could resurface in future. Maurice Frankel, director of the Campaign for Freedom of Information said: “Some MPs are clearly desperate to prevent the release of past expenses claims which are likely to have exceeded what could reasonably be justified to the public.”

An internet campaign by MySociety urging MPs to vote against the change attracted more than 6,000 supporters on the Facebook website. Peter Facey, of pressure group Unlock Democracy, warned if the vote had gone ahead it would have had “a catastrophic impact on the reputation of Parliament.” He urged the Commons to publish all expenses details “at the earliest opportunity”.

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Mark Steel Brings The Funny

The worrying part about whether the ceasefire in Gaza can hold together will be whether the international community can stop the flow of arms to the terrorists. Because Israel’s getting their planes and tanks and missiles from somewhere and until this supply is cut off there’s every chance it could start up again.

The disregard for life from these terrorists and their supporters is shocking. For example Thomas Friedman, the New York Times columnist, wrote that the purpose of the Israeli attack must be to “inflict a heavy death toll and heavy pain on the Gaza population”.

Replace “Gaza” with “western”, and that could have been written by al-Qa’ida. Maybe this is the problem: the Israelis are writing their policies by downloading statements from an Islamic Jihad website and just changing the place names. Also, if the Israelis think the Hamas rockets are as lethal as they say, why don’t they swap their F-16 fighters and Apache helicopters for a few of them?

Read the Rest

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