Of Badgers & Men (& Censorship)

The reason for my blog being censored by WordPress was because of a post about ‘Sir’ Howard Newby, I have not been told this in an email or any such civilised notification but I found the post had been altered by WP admin and was the source of me being barred from my own blog. If you want some background on ‘Sir’ Howard check out Derek Wall, Ecologics & Bristle’s Blog from the BunKRS. It appears he is very sensitive about his time as vice-chancellor of the University of the West of England and the firm Carter & Carter of which he was a non-executive director, all of which is in the public sphere in various publications, for example this is from the Guardian

The use of management consultancy firms linked to both Sir Howard and his wife, assistant vice-chancellor Lady Sheila Newby, also caused concern.

“They were private companies with no idea about university or academe telling us how to do things and what to do. People got upset because he was running the university life a little fiefdom and giving very big contracts to his mates,” said one academic, who preferred not to be named.

Such big publications with deep pockets were apparently not troubled but he had the University of Liverpool’s (where he is now Vice-Chancellor) legal department in the guise of one Mr. Kevan Ryan, Director of Legal Services go after the low lying blog fruit, which also caught the attention of Index on Censorship. This pushed my anti-censorship button and I made a humorous post that largely concerned itself with how trustworthy ‘Sir’ Howard was in regards to his moral conduct with badgers. But apparently WordPress err on the side of extreme caution when a lawyer and the UK’s libel laws hove into view (or maybe it was something to do with badgers, you never can tell). Consequently I realised I had to find other hosting arrangements for my blog if I am to be independent of people that do not value free speech or my own brand of what we shall loosely call ‘wit’. This has taken some time which is all down to my own procrastination but as we speak, thanks to the generous help of a friend of the blog, a new site is being prepared that is hosted in a far off land, details to come soon. If this post causes another act of censorship please refer to my Twitter feed for updates.

Bad YouTube

First The Huffington Post now Youtube has censored Max Blumenthal’s ‘Feeling the Hate in Jerusalem’-

Youtube has removed my video, “Feeling The Hate In Jerusalem,” on the baseless grounds that it contains “inappropriate content.” They have offered me no further explanation and have stonewalled my inquiries and attempts to rectify the situation. Thus they have censored a video that contains far less inflammatory content than thousands of video they are already hosting. Why? I won’t ascribe motives to Youtube I am unable to confirm, but it is clear there is an active campaign by right-wing Jewish elements to suppress the video by filing a flood of complaints with Youtube. At the same time these elements have attempted to paint me as a self-hating Jew determined to foment anti-Semitism. I answered this last charge to Ha’aretz (read the barely coherent article here) last week: “I have received death threats from people, mainly ones calling me a self-hating Jew. I am self-hating, but my self-hatred has nothing to do with me being Jewish.”

Jewish Voices for Peace (the parent organization of the excellent website Muzzlewatch) is preparing an action for tomorrow to pressure Youtube into restoring the video. They are asking their members to email press@youtube.com to demand an explanation for the censorship. For now, I have reposted the video on Vimeo and urge everyone to distribute it widely.

And worst of all it means I have to go back to my post with the vid and put in a new url for the video! Which is frankly just not on, so please write to press@youtube.com 

Some clue as to what may have helped the Zionist lobby pull off the Youtube censorship is provided by Jews Sans Frontieres YouTube has reached out to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). I don’t know what Huffington Posts’s excuse is and for that matter I don’t think Crooks & Liars posted it (yet happily posted his exposes of conservative & Christianist bigotry, hmm). Meanwhile here it is on another YT account yet to be shut down-

PS. CodePink Rule the Beach!

Huffington Post Censors Max Blumenthal

Seems polite liberals are happy when Max Blumenthal exposes right wing bigotry but aren’t ready to face Zionist bigotry, thus the exhilarating phenomenon of liberal censorship. His musings on this are very much worth reading @ Mondoweiss where he ably replies to his critics and below is the video too uspetting for the delicate sensibilities of Huffpo-

Google Disappear Norman Finkelstein’s Site

Both Jews san frontieres & Philip Weiss have discovered in the last few days Norman Finkelstein’s site has been disappeared from Google search results, you still get other sites with relevance to him and his work but not his own-

http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/

So what gives? Mistaken blacklisting or deliberate action?

Palestine: to exist is to resist- The Article That Was Censored

Via Pulse.  An article- Palestine: to exist is to resist in Therapy Today, the monthly journal of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) was about the psychological trauma inflicted on Palestinians, with emphasis on children.

Pulse goes on- Under pressure from supporters of the Zionist state of Israel the editor, Sarah Browne pulled the article from their web page yesterday. Seemingly this pressure was a phone call telling them “that they’d find out they’d been very unwise to publish such a one-sided piece etc” and a couple of emails.

It might be worth email her saying that caving in to such pressure and withdrawing such an accurate piece does not serve the best interests of BACP members.  (Thanks to Ian for this).

Her email address is: sarah.browne at bacp.co.uk

To me this is pure thuggism and censorship, a nation causes this suffering then bullies anyone who talks about it in an attempt to silence them, supposing if their victim’s death and/or suffering goes unacknowledged it does not exist and they can continue doing it. It is curious how people who think of themselves as liberal support Israel, censorship is a liberal thing now? This at the same time Haaretz is publishing stories detailing the racial extermination culture of the IDF.

Below the fold is the article retrieved from google cache.

Read the rest of this entry »

Free Book! Craig Murray’s- The Catholic Orangemen of Togo

togo

I, like many others have volunteered to help former Ambassador Craig Murray (also his Wikipedia page) distribute his new book (the prequel to Murder in Samarkand) because-

We already face FCO censorship, separate libel threats from Tim Spicer and Peter Penfold, and a friendly fire attack from Clare Short who doesn’t want me to publish her over-enthusiastic and well-oiled dinner party denunication of the British Empire (she denies it happened). Now I have received the comments from my publisher’s lawyers, who suggests at several points that changes are needed due to the Max Mosley case.

Ultimately his publishers after much faffing ran away and so he took full advantage of the possibilities of the web and blogtopia and appealed for Spartaci to publish it today on the web, thus overwhelming mercenaries and their S(c)hilling law firms attempts at censorship.

I do hope more people will learn about the truth about Spicer that way, than they would if Schillings had not intervened. I am very much hoping that I will be able to make some copies of an actual book available at the same time. But you should of course be aware that if you read it you will cause Tim Spicer “profound anxiety and distress”, according to Schillings. Possibly less, however, than that caused to the families of those killed by his mercenaries over the years.

Spicer of course now heads up Aegis Defence Services Mercenay Firm which became infamous for its video of mercenaries in Iraq shooting at Iraqi’s in their cars set to hilarious (oh the wit of the hired killer) music.

So onto the freebies! The book The Catholic Orangemen of Togo and Other Conflicts I Have Known by Craig Murray:-

  1. Togo Front Cover (1 page)
  2. Togo Intro/Contents (7 pages)
  3. Togo The Main Book (219 pages)

Or a single PDF of the entire book-

The Catholic Orangemen of Togo and Other Conflicts I Have Known by Craig Murray

(The advantage to the 3 part PDF’s is the page numbers of the Main Book PDF correspond to the page numbers of the book so referencing back from the index is made easier. The single PDF contains all 3 parts)

Or if you have such a thing as disposable income (I read about it in a library book once, money to spare, imagine such a thing!) and wish to compensate Craig for his work-

Go to his site and purchase a physical book (and you can have it signed and eveything by the author)

The blurb!-

The book is an autobiographical prequel to Murder in Samarkand and covers the period 1998 to 2002. It exposes the links between blood diamonds, crime and British mercenary involvement in Africa. it argues that the disregard Tony Blair showed for both British and international law in dealing with Sierra Leone prefigured the disaster of Iraq. It also covers my role in the dawn of democracy in Ghana.

More importantly, it is intended in an entertaining way to present questions of African development, drawing on thirty year’s practical experience. I am deeply critical of current fashionable doctrines in the field of overseas aid. I hope it will inform and entertain as Murder in Samarkand did, but on a different set of issues. Here is the blurb from the book:

Craig Murray’s adventures in Africa from 1997 to 2001 are a rolliciking good read. He exposes for the first time the full truth about the “Arms to Africa” affair which was the first major scandal of the Blair Years. He lays bare the sordid facts about British mercenary involvement in Africa and its motives. This is at heart an extraordinary account of Craig Murray’s work in negotiating peace with the murderous rebels of Sierra Leone, and in acting as the midwife of Ghanaian democracy. Clearly his efforts were not only difficult but at times very dangerous indeed. Yet the story is told with great humour. Not only do we meet Charles Taylor, Olusegun Obasanjo, Jerry Rawlings and Foday Sankoh, but there are unexpected encounters with others including Roger Moore, Jamie Theakston and Bobby Charlton! Above all this book is about Africa. Craig Murray eschews the banal remedies of the left and right to share with us the deep knowledge and understanding that comes over 30 years working in or with Africa. Gems of wisdom and observation scatter the book, as does a deep sense of moral outrage at the consequences of centuries of European involvement: even though he explains that much of it was well-intentioned but disastrous.

I enjoyed it immensely, found myself at page 100 before I knew what hit me, a testament to fascinating subject matter and an easy friendly style. It’s fascinating to learn more of how our embassies work (or don’t, it also works as a companion to le Carré’s recent books in providing more background detail to the machinations of power) and the reality of New Labour politicians (Amos!) and their far too close relationship with business all the while slickly marketing themselves as great states-people. His account of Africa and our role in it is useful and pragmatic although like me I’m sure there will be differences of opinion here and there. But as with Murder in Samarkand it is a forthright account of a man who we can recognise, with faults and weaknesses but a core determination to do his best, his pesky loyalty to democracy and human rights is the thing that tellingly makes him different from the establishment. Careerism, party/class loyalty, greed, tradition seem to have trumped all other considerations in many of the well known names who crop up. For example it’s interesting that the ‘ethical foreign policy’ that Robin Cook tried to implement was steadfastly opposed by Blair in No. 10 from the outset. And the passages where Craig, in Sierra Leone peace talks, realises he is the only one in the room who has never killed anybody, show the difficulty but necessity of peace negotiations.

So enjoy, download before some lawyers come sniffing around to protect the reputation of a mercenary…hmm, something fucked up right there.

The Independent Censor Mark Steel on the Raytheon 9

[Via Chicken Yoghurt] As if looking to hire Roger Alton wasn’t bad enough, The Independent had an attack of the vapours (propaganda model variant) and are not publishing Mark Steel’s piece about the Raytheon 9. Luckily he has a website and has published there on his blog, so go there or read it here (appended below). Here is the report from the Raytheon 9 site on the first day of court-

The trial of the Raytheon 9 finally got underway today at Laganside Court in Belfast. The day started well with about 50 people congregating outside the Courthouse. 28 of them carried placards with photographs of the men, women and children who died in the Qana massacre of 30 July 2006. A carload of Irish Anti War Movement activists travelled from Dublin and everyone felt good to see so many turn up to show their solidarity when the ‘official’ protest of the day before had been cancelled at such short notice.

As expected, the first day was taken up with legal arguments about the nature of the defence, witnesses etc. They don’t deny that they occupied Raytheon or that they destroyed their computer system but say that they had a legal, moral and political duty to do so in order to stop or at least delay war crimes, in which Raytheon were involved, being carried out by the Israeli army in Lebanon.

The judge accepted defence arguments that he should not rule the defence out but allow it to be argued and then, having heard the evidence, he can decide how to instruct the jury on what they can, and cannot, take into account in reaching their verdict.

The judge said that he recognised the difficulties the defendants and their supporters face in getting up and down between Derry and Belfast and ruled that the Court would start no earlier than 10.30am and finish no later than 4pm every day. The trial is expected to last three weeks.

Mark SteelHmm, I’ve written this article for this week’s Independent, about a case that should have had masses of publicity but has had hardly any. So there I am feeling smug at redressing the balance and I’m informed this evening that the good people of the law won’t let it be printed. So here it is – my illegal article – oo, it must feel like reading Lady Chatterley’s Lover in 1962…..

There’s a trial currently taking place in Belfast, that seems to explain plainly how nothing makes any sense. It revolves around a factory owned by the arms company Raytheon, which was set up in Derry soon after the IRA ceasefire. John Hume, who’d just won the Nobel Peace Prize was among those who announced the opening of the plant, welcoming it as a result of the ‘peace dividend’ Read the rest of this entry »

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