A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The voice of British liberalism?

Is there any editorial position at the Guardian on who they would draw the line at giving op-ed space to? Today it's someone called Ali Fayyad, a member of Hizbullah leadership council. So not to a representative of the Lebanese government but to a member of the leadership council of an organisation that started this whole crisis and has fired off 2,200 rockets into northern Israel in the last two weeks - deliberately fired indiscriminately at civilians. Who next in the Guardian's sick giving of platforms to terrorists?


Blogger Patrick H said...

Indeed. I seem to remember the Guardian outrageously giving column inches to someone on the very fringes of British liberalism only a month or two ago.



12:15 pm, July 25, 2006

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Yes but unlike Hizbollah or Neal Lawson I am confined to the letters page.

12:32 pm, July 25, 2006

Blogger kris said...

Yes, and Rageh Omar left channel 4 for al jezerra. What a coup for them. And now the prawn-sandwich eating hand-wringers at the guardian legitimise terrorism.

Are you sure you're not a secret conservative? Come out of the closet in time for the next election.

4:25 pm, July 25, 2006

Anonymous sick of his-bollocks said...

The Guardian blasts the Bush administration for going along with "Israeli logic" of not negotiating with terrorists and using overwhelming force.

Apparently, it is no concern to The Guardian that Hezbollah has not complied with U.N. Resolution 1559 to disarm.

Terrorists have attempted to destroy Israel since its creation in 1948. Egypt and Jordan lost a few fingers before realizing the bite of Israel should not be ignored.

A peace agreement was signed, and borders were recognized.

Notice that peace came after the victory on the battlefield.

Israel's remaining neighbors have no desire to seek peace, only the total annihilation of Jews. Where is the diplomatic middle ground in that?

Hezbollah terrorists created the latest conflict by kidnapping two Israeli soldiers on July 12. The Guardian would have us believe that diplomacy should rule the day in order to gain their release.

Terrorists will continue to bomb Israel with impunity, fully aware that the peaceniks of the world will demand that the Jews use restraint and enter into a cease-fire, which will be followed by fruitless negotiations and the conclusion that Israel is being forced to release limited and strategic land.

4:45 pm, July 25, 2006

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Kris - it's not a conservative position to back a democracy against a terrorist organisation backed by neighbouring fascist states.

5:08 pm, July 25, 2006

Blogger A soft socialist said...

And for once Luke I agree with you. Unlike that nutter Galloway they are meant to be responsible.

9:11 pm, July 25, 2006

Anonymous Sue Smith said...

Going back to the comment by patrick h, you have my sympathy Luke. Not only have you got to put up with the pro-fascist platform offered by the Guardian, but worse still they print letter after letter from some damned proto-facist masquerading as you, viz:

"More questions for the polls"
"Trotsky on terrorism"
"New electoral battles"
"Give us a break, Clare"
"Labour disunity over unity in London"
"A sense of purpose"
"Ending the nuclear age"
"Labour's programme of moderate reform"
"Swedish lessons for Labour"
"Campaigning for a fourth term"
"Green is the new Brown for voters"

I think you should write to the Guardian immediately demanding that they put a halt to this nonsense!

10:31 pm, July 25, 2006

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Hezbollah terrorists created the latest conflict by kidnapping two Israeli soldiers on July 12."

In conflicts, enemy soldiers are "captured" and not "kidnapped" surely?

5:10 am, July 26, 2006

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Sue, could you point to anything I've written in the letters you list which is "proto fascist". If not it's generally a bit silly to use political labels that actually mean something serious to slander people you disagree with.

10:26 am, July 26, 2006

Anonymous Paul said...

Iran eyes badges for Jews
Law would require non-Muslim insignia

Chris Wattie
National Post

Friday, May 19, 2006

Human rights groups are raising alarms over a new law passed by the Iranian parliament that would require the country's Jews and Christians to wear coloured badges to identify them and other religious minorities as non-Muslims.

"This is reminiscent of the Holocaust," said Rabbi Marvin Hier, the dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles. "Iran is moving closer and closer to the ideology of the Nazis."

Iranian expatriates living in Canada yesterday confirmed reports that the Iranian parliament, called the Islamic Majlis, passed a law this week setting a dress code for all Iranians, requiring them to wear almost identical "standard Islamic garments."

The law, which must still be approved by Iran's "Supreme Guide" Ali Khamenehi before being put into effect, also establishes special insignia to be worn by non-Muslims.

Iran's roughly 25,000 Jews would have to sew a yellow strip of cloth on the front of their clothes, while Christians would wear red badges and Zoroastrians would be forced to wear blue cloth.

"There's no reason to believe they won't pass this," said Rabbi Hier. "It will certainly pass unless there's some sort of international outcry over this."

Bernie Farber, the chief executive of the Canadian Jewish Congress, said he was "stunned" by the measure. "We thought this had gone the way of the dodo bird, but clearly in Iran everything old and bad is new again," he said. "It's state-sponsored religious discrimination."

Ali Behroozian, an Iranian exile living in Toronto, said the law could come into force as early as next year.

It would make religious minorities immediately identifiable and allow Muslims to avoid contact with non-Muslims.

Mr. Behroozian said it will make life even more difficult for Iran's small pockets of Jewish, Christian and other religious minorities -- the country is overwhelmingly Shi'ite Muslim. "They have all been persecuted for a while, but these new dress rules are going to make things worse for them," he said.

The new law was drafted two years ago, but was stuck in the Iranian parliament until recently when it was revived at the behest of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

A spokesman for the Iranian Embassy in Ottawa refused to comment on the measures. "This is nothing to do with anything here," said a press secretary who identified himself as Mr. Gharmani.

"We are not here to answer such questions."

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre has written to Kofi Annan, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, protesting the Iranian law and calling on the international community to bring pressure on Iran to drop the measure.

"The world should not ignore this," said Rabbi Hier. "The world ignored Hitler for many years -- he was dismissed as a demagogue, they said he'd never come to power -- and we were all wrong."

Mr. Farber said Canada and other nations should take action to isolate Mr. Ahmadinejad in light of the new law, which he called "chilling," and his previous string of anti-Semitic statements.

"There are some very frightening parallels here," he said. "It's time to start considering how we're going to deal with this person."

Mr. Ahmadinejad has repeatedly described the Holocaust as a myth and earlier this year announced Iran would host a conference to re-examine the history of the Nazis' "Final Solution."

He has caused international outrage by publicly calling for Israel to be "wiped off the map."

Iran does not yet have nuclear weapons, but Tehran believed by Western nations to be developing its own nuclear military capability, in defiance of international protocols and peace treaties. The United States, France and Israel accuse Iran of using a civilian nuclear program to secretly build a weapon. Iran denies this, saying its program is confined to generating electricity.

12:30 pm, July 26, 2006

Anonymous Sue Smith said...

Sorry my attempt at satire went over your head. It was your reference to "neighbouring fascist states" - presumably an expression not "generally a bit silly" - that I was echoing back when referring to the many letters that you seem to have had published by this very illiberal newspaper, The Guardian. However, as you say, you are confined to the letters page, which is clearly a fate worse than death.

1:54 pm, July 26, 2006

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

I think fascist is a fairly accurate description of the regime in Syria. Admittedly I might have described Iran's regime as "theocratic nutters with nuclear ambitions and a state ideology of anti-semitism" if I was going to be precise.

3:48 pm, July 26, 2006

Blogger El Tom said...

well said luke, you're spot on there. fascist and theocrats respectively.

as you said, lebanese govt., fair enough. Hizb'allah, no thanks.

6:17 pm, July 26, 2006

Anonymous Dr. Dunc said...

Good heavens above. It's Luke "The Nuke"! I was quite sure you'd be a raging 'Trotskyist' by now - all these years on from Labour Students days... ah.

Oh well - glad to see you you're still in the party, comrade. And comforting to see that you are still as jaw-achingly bonkers and universally wrong as you ever were!

So, apart from welcoming the death of an old man - and finding it hard to condemn the deaths of 400 men, women and children - are you doing anything useful or progressive at the moment?


7:12 pm, July 26, 2006

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

"Luke the Nuke". I love it! Wish I'd thought of it. From now on it will be my "handle" as those young people say in the "webosphere".

7:15 pm, July 26, 2006

Anonymous Sue Smith said...

I'm interested to hear about the strategic advantages of firing satellite-guided missiles at ambulances, evacuation vehicles and United Nations headquarters.

Presumably these facilities play some key role in the service of Hezbollah.

7:56 pm, July 26, 2006

Blogger A soft socialist said...

Labour student and raging trot?!!

12:04 am, July 27, 2006

Anonymous Sue Smith said...

Can I recommend head-butting as a more peaceful method of attacking your opponents.

Neither Zidane's head-but of Materazzi nor Paul O'Neill's head-but of City Affair seem to have resulted in any permanent damage, so it looks like this modus excursus could be used on bad days with Frank Dobson.

12:20 am, July 27, 2006

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Duncan - how good to hear from you and how I regret not having shut down your alma mater York University Labour Club at the same time as I took out Cardiff (though I suppose the minority faction in the club of Lee Findell, Luke Bruce and Matt Carter might have been unacceptable collateral damage). As your definition of "progressive" seems to involve supporting John McDonnell, I doubt I fit it. And yes I am still known to comrades as "Luke the Nuke".

8:23 am, July 27, 2006

Anonymous Dr. Dunc said...

Hi Luke. Yes, I've often wondered why you didn't close us down! There would have been every opportunity for Lee, Luke and Matt (hope Scotland Yard aren't causing the latter two too many headaches just now) to begin a replacement body. Would have been much more effective than their hapless 'coup' attempt!

Anyway - don't knock campaigns on the left; I still remember your presence at a slightly bizarre caucus-of-convenience in Hull many years ago! Oh to be on Standing Orders Committee now that Spring is here!

To be fair, I always rather admired your strict passion for constitutional observance (unlike messrs Carter and Findell et al. who always played a little fast and loose with such niceties) and you appear to have found yourself on the right side of several arguments in recent years despite your rather hawkish approach to foreign policy and autoritarian approach to party discipline. And the photo with Diane Abbott is great!


3:35 pm, July 27, 2006

Anonymous Sue Smith said...

I've just discovered that New Statesman publishes your letters as well. Oh my God! Beatrice and Sidney would turn in their graves.

8:25 am, July 29, 2006

Blogger Merseymike said...

Actually, being liberal does mean giving space to a variety of voices - including the odd Zionist or two. Hizbollah exist, fuelled and encouraged by the expansionism of Israel. They will have to be part of the solution particularly as their numbers will increase owing to Israel's disproportionate behaviour in the region

12:52 am, August 04, 2006


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