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.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Which Respect?

The split in Respect into SWP and Galloway factions seems to be having a practical impact on the ground.

Over in Waltham Forest in the council by-election for Leyton Ward, Big Brother contestant Carole Vincent is standing. The official Respect (i.e. SWP faction) website says she is the Respect candidate. But on the council's list of candidates she has no party description at all.

Presumably there is some kind of dispute between Respect (SWP) and Respect (Galloway) over ownership of the official registration of the party, which carries with it the rights to put the party name and emblem next to a candidate's name on the ballot paper.

Either that, or her agent is spectacularly incompetent.


Anonymous Rich said...

Well Galloway is basically an idiot and should be sent to the gallows for treason in my opinion.

Won't be long before the Yanks pin something on him.

1:10 pm, January 21, 2008

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

Sorry Rich why is George Galloway an idiot and a traitor?

5:05 pm, January 21, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

Oh come Ravi, that man has had an agenda with militant governments in the Middle East.

I have a family member with a senior job in the security forces Galloway is one person who's watched constantly.

He's treading on very thin ice, he should be more careful.

8:05 pm, January 21, 2008

Blogger David Boothroyd said...

Carole off of Big Brother is in the Respect SWP group. The nominating officer for Respect is Linda Smith who is in the Galloway faction. The two do not speak to each other.

9:41 pm, January 21, 2008

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

Sorry Rich I don't buy it.
Treason is the offense of acting to overthrow one's government or to harm or kill its sovereign.

I don't believe he has done anything close to that, unless you have evidence of his collusion.

4:21 pm, January 22, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

Ravi having served in Kuwait Afganistan in 2001 before taking over the family business I think I'm more qualified to identify a traitor. So I would have to argue that any person in a position such as his to be involved with dubious fund raising and meeting with what we would regard as a terrorist organisation...is called a traitor. What proof does he have that his intentions were purely humanitarian? In war you have to prove your innocence and he's not.

That man had no reason or government mandate for those meetings and used charitable donations to fund them. On many occassions people lifted in this country for doing exactly what he did, it's only time before they do.

Lets put it this way Ravi, Men have been killed in the field for much less. Would Mr Galloway risk taking a trip to Israel, I expect he wouldn't make it back without being picked up by mossad.

10:39 pm, January 22, 2008

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

Rich, the charities commission stated that money raised by the Miriam appeal was used for humanitarian means. As a military man myself (well I'm in the Naval Reserve), I found former Secretary Albright’s statement that the deaths of (I think 50,000) Iraqi children was a "price worth paying" was repugnant. I hope we can both agree on that.
With regards to Hezbollah, I don't like them very much, and personally consider them terrorists (as I consider the Israeli security forces) the murder and kidnap of civilians cannot be tolerated whoever perpetrates it, however despite their obvious islamist philosophy many in the region (including a majority of Christian Lebanese) and the EU consider it to be a legitimate resistance movement. That said Hezbollah has not made the British government a target and therefore cannot be a threat to our political system (i.e. overthrow of the government), so calling George a traitor on those grounds are baseless.
Rose Gentle, the mother of Gordon killed in Iraq supports him as do many service families and personnel.

2:14 pm, January 23, 2008

Anonymous Richard said...

Hezbollah, Iran and various other groups fund terror across the world including this country. We often took on groups of insurgents using weapons and techniques used by the groups you say are not terrorists.

Israel do not fund terror, they are at war. Very different. They don't plant bombs or knowingly target civilians as a means to get a political message across.

Saddam knew the consequences of not co-operating with the UN. He thought, like Iran, that America will not take action. If anyone is responsible for the deaths in Iraq it is him not our armed forces.

Galloway has links to these groups and can not see any reason why mossad wouldn't consider him a legitimate target.

America now has the right to remove such people without the need to apply for extradition. Galloway is on their list, they just need more evidence.

3:34 pm, January 23, 2008

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

Rich, we have funded terrorists before the Mujahideen in Afganistan, the Contras in Nicaragua amung others and the US have supported the IRA here.

You say Israel does not knowing kill innocents, I beg to differ. Many palestinians (as well as our own citizens) have been murdered by the hands of the ISDF, not all of them are terrorists.

3:59 pm, January 23, 2008

Anonymous Richard said...

You would support this man Ravi , really?

Watch this and make you own mind up about this man:


4:01 pm, January 23, 2008

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

Sorry Rich I just re read your last statement, I think if you refer to my last statement before that yours I do say that I think Hezbollah is a terrorist organisation, just as I think the Israeli security forces are.

4:02 pm, January 23, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

Ravi there are no real rules in combat depsite what you may be told.

We were caught on camera in Afganistan by afgan news team during heavy fighting. We were plastered all over the news but our faces masked out for security reasons.

Large numbers of Taliban were killed that day and questions were asked by the UN but in truth we didn't take prisoners. They were killed whether they surrendered or not.
Israeli forces were trained by us and the CIA Ravi, I can't see the difference.

4:16 pm, January 23, 2008

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

Rich, I am shocked to read your last post. I was told when taking prisoners we had to treat them humanely. Yes the Laws and customs of War allows the summary execution of prisoners without uniform, but I am sure that is only the case when dealing with spies, sabbateurs and terrorists, were they not the standing army in Afganistan? I am an officer and I could not give such an order, the lines are just too blurry plus I would not want to kill an unarmed individual, enemy or not.

5:43 pm, January 23, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

The orders were regain control of a prison taken by Taliban prisoners.

How do you take prisoners when there's close heavy fighting. You would be killed in the process or you would lose control.

You're not killing them in cold blood standing in a line. It might be a small group confined to an area with heavy cross fire, you take them out regardless. If you don't they will simply change their mind when the pressures off and start killing you.

You say you are a naval man, have you actually served in a war zone. I'm from 3 Commando and served in many naval operations.

5:59 pm, January 23, 2008

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

Yes you're right I have never been in combat, the nearest I have been to firing live rounds in anger was on ship and into the sea.

I can't imgine what it is like out in the field, with bullets flying, the noise and the fear I suppose a little fear is good it probably reafirms you are human. I still remember the first time I fired a rifle, gone were all aspirations at being Rambo, so I have a lot of respect for the RM (and the Pongos as well)

However I felt the statement you gave previous warrented some response as I would be negligent if I said nothing.

Given what you have just said (i.e your recent post), it sounds like these Taliban were caught in the crossfire, (i.e. accidental deaths) I assumed you went in and took no prisoners out in the field in some pitch battle, which is ofcourse (as I am sure you'll agree) would be a disgrace to the Queen's Uniform and yourself. So apologies there as it is not as if you went in and purposly killed people who had surrendered and were not a threat to you.

Back on to point, I don't consider myself anything like the ISDF, I can't see you or I shooting live rounds at kids throwing rocks, or torturing and terrorising civilians.

6:10 pm, January 24, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

Ravi, you do what you ordered to do. I would of gone through a brick wall for a box of matches if asked.

War is no fun but in this case I think Blair was right. He made mistakes on execution of the wars but was right to go to war.

Galloway purposely used the war in Iraq to launch a militant campaign. He is not a cabinet minister or member of the security council and had no right to be talking to Saddam or his party.

I find it amazing that he seems to shout at everyone who appears to challenge him. He's bad news.

12:14 am, January 25, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

Another thing you have to remember we actually enjoy putting the training to use. We loved getting out there and popping a few taliban or routing them and taking tactical advantages it's what we did.

We often took bets on head counts and it became almost a competition. They just become targets not people.

You might think this is horrid but the reality is that this is needed to do the job. We are feared across the world and have some of the most battle ready men across the armed forces.

Every enemy new they were in for a kicking if we turned up. This might disgust some people but we need our armed forces to be this way.

10:51 am, January 25, 2008

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

Sorry Rich I don't think the Nuremberg defence holds in an international court.

Command responsibility ties commanders with how their troops behave in theatre. If your men commit a war crime it is because you can no longer control them and you are not fit to lead. It is the absolute responsibility of everybody in uniform to disobey an order that is either illegal or immoral.

Gallows humour is often used by nurses and doctors when they treat terminally ill patients, so it does not surprise me the RM and others have a similar outlook for what is in reality a difficult life threatening job, so no I don't find what you say there as horrible, bad taste maybe but not horrible. After all the enemy will use what he can to kill you and you will probably have to use deadly force in response. How you execute your duty on tour should reflect the high traditions of the HM Armed forces.

When you join up (or volunteer in my case) you are trained to be disciplined and professional. If you let anger control you, then you’re no better than a madman with a gun, a danger not only to you but the unit and anyonelse.

I could not disgrace the uniform by losing control, nor allow any of my men to do the same.

As for George going off to speak with Saddam, he was in good company, Cheney and Rumsfeld went to see him, of course the only difference is they went to Iraq to sell him guns and promote war, whilst George was trying to get aid into Iraq and prevent war.

1:32 pm, January 25, 2008

Blogger Merseymike said...

You sum up exactly why I never believe anyone working for the warmongers (military), irrespective of what 'side' they are on.

All as bad as each other

8:25 pm, January 25, 2008

Anonymous Rich said...

The reason why Galloway shouldn't be involved is that he doesn't represent any government. He was out there off his own back and what good could he possibly do.

He's not got any power of negotiation. And we all know that all the paper work surrounding his deals went missing.

So before you start praising this man think about the circumstances surrounding Galloway.

Why also did he fight a very good Labour mp for a seat so far from Galloways home constituency. Was it that he knew he could drum up support within ethnic groups and take this seat?

Personally I think Tony Blair greatest achievement was the decision on Iraq. It's just a pitty he could not wait for europe to come in with us. But Bush wasn't willing to wait....what else could Blair do.

I miss the 3 CDO, so much so that I've applied for a security contract with KBR in Iraq. I think it's difficult to adjust to civi street after so long in.

9:10 pm, January 25, 2008

Blogger Merseymike said...

I think you are safer in the forces, Rich. Its why they exist.

11:22 pm, January 25, 2008

Blogger Jim Haughey said...

'Galloway is basically an idiot'

No basically about it. He is an idiot. How anyone supporting him can call themselves a socialist of any stripe beats me. Anyone ever listen to his radio show? The callers are hilarious paranoid conspiracy theory types.

9:36 am, January 26, 2008

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