Archive for the ‘Major Political Issues, Britain & World’ Category

A question for George Monbiot. Seriously. (Poll)

January 27, 2014

27th January 2014

My twitter account

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Dear Mr Monbiot (@GeorgeMonbiot)

What if Twiggy Garcia had been filled with revengeful hate when he stood behind Tony Blair at a restaurant last week?

What if… I don’t need to spell out the possibilities in gory deal; we all know they were in a steak restaurant.

As I reminded others here – you, George Monbiot, intend to hound Mr Blair until he is either prosecuted or is no longer with us.

You can write all the provisos, rules and opt-outs you like at your Arrest Blair website but you MUST know where this could lead. It IS a “bounty”, after all. Dead or alive, hmm?

So my question is: if some hater in a position to actually attack Mr Blair were able to do so, and admits having been inspired by you and your site, would you bear any responsibility?

I think you would.

What do others think?

Previous recent posts on this matter:

Arresting Times? Arrest the ignorant know-alls

Twiggy Garcia, aka Ghoulian Assange described the Police as sh**s

Enlightening James O’Brien; Arresting George Monbiot

Enlightening James O’Brien; Arresting George Monbiot

January 25, 2014

25th January 2014

Previous recent posts on this matter:

Arresting Times? Arrest the ignorant know-alls and Twiggy Garcia, aka Ghoulian Assange described the Police as sh**s

My twitter account

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I noticed on Friday morning that LBC  (London’s Biggest Conversation, radio) was doing a slot on the (failed) “citizen’s arrest” of Tony Blair. James O’Brien (twitter handle @) was at the helm.

It still surprises me how quite a few broadcasters and even some printed journalists seem to be unaware of so many important issues.  Mr O’Brien admitted on his radio programme that he hadn’t heard anything about Twiggy Garcia’s attempt to do his master’s bidding (George Monbiot – the Bounty Hunter who hides behind useful idiots). “Moonbat” as he is known to some thinks Mr Blair should be hounded until the day he dies (and after, if at all possible).  Don’t believe me? Keep reading…

But I found James O’Brien to be very fair-minded. He said he had agreed with the Iraq invasion at the start but had changed his mind. That is the opposite of my position. That’s no more than an academic point, but perhaps it shows that minds can change both ways. I hope he is not upset by the title of this article. Mr O’Brien is clearly an educated man, but perhaps, like many, not all that au fait with the Blair and Iraq business and the complexities surrounding.

I thought it might be helpful if Mr O’Brien were allowed to see the balancing argument FOR Tony Blair and the Iraq invasion and AGAINST such as Moonbat & The Anti-Warriors. Hmm… that sounds like a good name for a band. I’m sure DJ Twiggy would give them an airing.

First, the case AGAINST Monbiot & Ghoulian Assange (aka Twiggy Garcia)

UNTIL HE (BLAIR) DIES

I fully recognise that many people, perhaps even a majority, disagree/d with the Iraq invasion. However very few people have felt the need to take the law into their own hands. Bellowing repeatedly their “everyone knows” opinions online suffices for most.

Monbiot’s approach is different and far more dangerous and I contend it is high time his antics were stopped before they have consequences which, as some might say on other matters, can easily be foreseen. As I pointed out here a citizen’s arrest DID NOT apply in that barman’s last fling.

Four years ago I wrote this post – Arrest George Monbiot for his ‘Bounty’/Incitement to Murder Tony Blair. I referred to this statement at Monbiot’s Arrest Blair website:

Monbiot: “The fund will remain open for as long as Mr Blair lives, or until he is officially prosecuted. If it still contains money after his death or prosecution, the remainder will be donated to one or more organisations campaigning for international justice, or used to pursue other people responsible for the Iraq war.”

The fund will remain open until Mr Blair is officially prosecuted. If it still contains money after his prosecution or after five years have elapsed since the last attempt to arrest him, the remainder will be donated to one or more organisations campaigning for international justice, or used to pursue other people responsible for the Iraq war. You will be welcome to nominate recipients. – See more at: http://www.arrestblair.org/#sthash.dsi2E5xy.dpuf
The fund will remain open until Mr Blair is officially prosecuted. If it still contains money after his prosecution or after five years have elapsed since the last attempt to arrest him, the remainder will be donated to one or more organisations campaigning for international justice, or used to pursue other people responsible for the Iraq war. You will be welcome to nominate recipients. – See more at: http://www.arrestblair.org/#sthash.dsi2E5xy.dpuf

As long as Mr Blair lives, eh? The keen-eyed among you will notice that the wording has now been altered somewhat. Dare I suggest due to my (and others’) campaign AGAINST Monbiot’s campaign?

It now says “the fund will remain open until Mr Blair is officially prosecuted”. Hmm. Less threatening, perhaps, but that could mean the fund will remain open forever. Sometimes I wish I had a touch of the Monbiot omnipotence.

(Screenshot below from the Arrest Blair website, as at 24 January 2014. Why a screenshot? Well, Monbiot has disabled copying!) Warning: text and silly pictures are liable to change without reference to such updates, explanation, apologies or dates. Ironic, some might say.

copying text has been disabled at Monbiot's site. Well, fancy! Save this text as a jpg, as I have.

Please note: copying text has been disabled at Monbiot’s site. Well, fancy! Save this text as a jpg, as I have. Useful for future reference, aka evidence.

In case you think I must be wrong re Monbiot’s copy disabling, I’ve just checked the source code. It shows this: <script type=… doNotCopy…/script>

In the above screenshot you will notice that Monbiot wishes others to try to “arrest” Blair even if only for the money. This high-principled position is somewhat out of my sphere of familiarity, I’m afraid. I’ve never been into accusing others of high crimes and misdemeanours or of putting myself or others in danger for the sake of a few dollars.

BOUNTY / EXCEPTIONALISM

According to his original post – “A Bounty for Blair’s Arrest” – Monbiot launched his website “today” 25th January 2010. In fact he altered it shortly after first publication to say this: “the bounties will remain available for as long as Blair lives.” (My bolding)

It has been altered again, possibly several times, and now only makes a reference to “five years” from the date of the last arrest attempt. Does anyone in their right mind think it acceptable that until January 2019 people are being encouraged – yes ENCOURAGED – (come and grab the money) to harass a former Prime Minister? Or to harass ANYONE, come to that? Yet this is precisely what Monbiot is doing and the supposedly “balanced” world turns a blind eye. Why on earth do we do that? Would we ignore such threats to anyone else? I think not. It is my argument that Tony Blair is the subject of unique exceptionalism in this country.

He is the exception to this:

  • No-one can be subjected to harassment without accounting for such harassment. Even the courts today, at last, are clamping down on twitter harassment and jailing such abusers. Monbiot’s site is in the same category (if put a touch more politely).
  • No-one is guilty of any “crime” until so proven in a court of law.

Monbiot openly stated that it was a “bounty”, which as I pointed out here means (in most people’s wild west reference) “dead or alive”. Right from the start Monbiot added man-hunting to bribery. And he has never changed the tenor of his aims, though presumably legal advice has moved him to alter the wording.

Secondly, the case FOR the Iraq Invasion and Tony Blair’s decisions. Decision backed by Parliament

1. Why The Iraq War Was Legal, from “Back to the Legality Argument” – … all arrangements between Saddam and the international community, after 1991, were based on a ceasefire, explicitly tied to Iraq’s disarmament. In particular Resolution 678, the legal basis for military action during the first Gulf war, and Resolution 687, which determined the conditions for the ceasefire between the UN and Iraq, were extremely important. Both were never revoked and authorisation to use force remained in being throughout the years and was also the legal basis for actions in 1993 and 1998.

So why not in 2003?

Furthermore, the legal advisor to the UN, Dr. Carl August Fleischhauer, confirmed that the original authority to use force in UNSCR 678 could revive, given the Security Council’s agreement that a violation of the ceasefire was in place. (more)

_____

2. Hans Blix to Chilcot – I like most people felt that Iraq retains WMDs

Excerpt:  On his view about Saddam’s WMDs

It seemed plausible to me at the time, and I also felt — I, like most people at the time, felt that Iraq retains weapons of mass destruction. I did not say so publicly. I said it perhaps to Mr Blair in September 2002 privately.

I talked to Prime Minister Blair on 20 February 2002 and then I said I still thought that there were prohibited items in Iraq.

In other words, Blair and Bush believed what everyone believed for very good reasons.

Blix also said, “I have never questioned the good faith of Mr Blair or Bush or anyone else.”

_____

3. Where 45 mins came fromUnholy trinity: BND, Curveball, Iraq

_____

Since there is no point reinventing the wheel I’d like to refer you here for more considered information on the Iraq decisions. (From Julie, @MsIntervention)

Julie’s “Humanitarian Intervention Centre” recently presented papers to the House of Commons Defence Select Committee. See here – Political dimension of interventions and Legal dimension of interventions

__________________________

Another noteworthy matter: Monbiot no longer takes comments at his arresting site. I cannot imagine why not, Mr Monbiot.

Arrest Blair for crimes against peace

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Donations:

You can make direct payments to the bank account ‘Justice for War Crimes’. Please note that the account details have changed. Go to the contact page and get in touch if you would like to make a direct payment.

Send cheques to:
Justice For War Crimes
PO Box 50
Y Plas
Machynlleth Powys
SY20 8ER
UK

Amount in the pot at 20.01.14: £8,890.18

First payment to Grace McCann: £2,619.67
Second payment to David Cronin: £2,801.98
Third payment to Kate O’Sullivan: £3,129.02
Fourth payment to Tom Grundy: £2,420.89

Blair must face justice

This site offers a reward to people attempting a peaceful citizen’s arrest of the former British prime minister, Tony Blair, for crimes against peace. Anyone attempting an arrest which meets the rules laid down here will be entitled to one quarter of the money collected at the time of his or her application.

Money donated to this site will be used for no other purpose than to pay bounties for attempts to arrest Tony Blair. All the costs of administering this site will be paid by the site’s founder.*

The intention is to encourage repeated attempts to arrest the former prime minister. We have four purposes:

- To remind people that justice has not yet been done.

- To show Mr Blair that, despite his requests for people to “move on” from Iraq, the mass murder he committed will not be forgotten.

- To put pressure on the authorities of the United Kingdom and the countries he travels through to prosecute him for a crime against peace, or to deliver him for prosecution to the International Criminal Court.

- To discourage other people from repeating his crime.

We have no interest in people’s motivation, as long as they follow the rules laid down by this site. If they try to arrest Mr Blair because they care about the people he has killed, so much the better. But if they do it only for the money, that is fine too, and we will have encouraged an attempt which would not otherwise have taken place.

The higher the bounty, the more people are likely to try to arrest Mr Blair. Please remember that the account will remain open, regardless of how many have already claimed a reward, so new donations will continue to encourage have-a-go heroes.

If you are giving money to this fund, please be aware that, in the interests of transparency, we cannot accept any donation of £1000 or greater unless the giver is happy for their identity to be made public. This is a principle we feel should apply to all organisations that engage in public advocacy.

If, beyond 31st December 2010, a bounty is claimed when the total fund has fallen below £500, the successful claimant will take the whole pot, which we will then seek to replenish. The fund will remain open until Mr Blair is officially prosecuted. If it still contains money after his prosecution or after five years have elapsed since the last attempt to arrest him, the remainder will be donated to one or more organisations campaigning for international justice, or used to pursue other people responsible for the Iraq war. You will be welcome to nominate recipients.

*This does not include any charges added to your donations by Paypal, Tipit or the other banking services you might use, and tax or legal costs.

The fund will remain open until Mr Blair is officially prosecuted. If it still contains money after his prosecution or after five years have elapsed since the last attempt to arrest him, the remainder will be donated to one or more organisations campaigning for international justice, or used to pursue other people responsible for the Iraq war. You will be welcome to nominate recipients. – See more at: http://www.arrestblair.org/#sthash.N03FtQzg.dpuf

– See more at: http://www.arrestblair.org/#sthash.N03FtQzg.dpuf

The fund will remain open until Mr Blair is officially prosecuted. If it still contains money after his prosecution or after five years have elapsed since the last attempt to arrest him, the remainder will be donated to one or more organisations campaigning for international justice, or used to pursue other people responsible for the Iraq war. You will be welcome to nominate recipients. – See more at: http://www.arrestblair.org/#sthash.N03FtQzg.dpuf
The fund will remain open until Mr Blair is officially prosecuted. If it still contains money after his prosecution or after five years have elapsed since the last attempt to arrest him, the remainder will be donated to one or more organisations campaigning for international justice, or used to pursue other people responsible for the Iraq war. You will be welcome to nominate recipients. – See more at: http://www.arrestblair.org/#sthash.N03FtQzg.dpuf

By the way I noticed that Monbiot didn’t have much to say on twitter re his chat with James O’Brien this morning.

Lost for words, eh, Mr Monbiot?

And so you should be. You are an inciter, thus very dangerous and an abuser of your position in the media.

Tony Blair Launches Two Major Programmes In Kosovo

June 18, 2012

All blog posts 2012 + Original, from 2006 to 2012

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19th June 2012

Blair: “It means a lot to me for my Foundation to have this partnership with the American University of Kosovo and the University of Pristina. But it means more to me on a personal level; I saw first-hand what happened here and I did what I could with others to make things better.”

Remember what Tony Blair did in Kosovo? Related links at foot of this post, if you don’t.

Tony Blair launches two major programmes in Kosovo

Rt Hon. Tony Blair, former UK Prime Minister and Founder and Patron of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation today launched two major new programmes as part of his Faith Foundation’s work.

He celebrated the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Kosovo and his Foundation which will implement the Foundation’s global schools programme Face to Faith in Kosovan schools and be incorporated into the development of the national curriculum.  The programme will provide a transformative experience for Kosovan students to be affiliated globally, without overlooking their national aspirations, and help Kosovan students and teachers to develop deeper dialogue and negotiation skills.

Tony Blair also inaugurated the partnership between the his Foundation’s global network of leading universities, the Faith and Globalisation Initiative (FGI) and two of Kosovo’s prominent universities, the University of Pristina and the American University of Kosovo. The partnership will help current policy makers and future leaders understand the role religion plays in areas where there are, or have been, both political and religious tensions. In Kosovo, and the wider region, the impact of the globalisation is affecting the country and its faith communities at an ever faster pace – and it is crucial to understand it.

Tony Blair, Founder and Patron of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation said:

Kosovo is a country with challenges but it is going places. You are open to the future and open to new ideas. It is an honour and privilege to be here today. It means a lot to me for my Foundation to have this partnership with the American University of Kosovo and the University of Pristina. But it means more to me on a personal level; I saw first-hand what happened here and I did what I could with others to make things better. What this country has to learn is significant but what others can learn from you is more significant. I believe there is a way to have intense pride in your nation whilst at the same time having an open mind to the rest of the world.

In this era of globalisation, societies are changing, Europe is changing.  Don’t be frightened of change instead see it as an opportunity. This coming together of different religions and cultures can enrich a country and be a source of strength. But the forces it can also lead to conflict and fear which we have witnessed in the past. If people have problems in dialogue then we need to learn how to resolve this. This is what my Faith Foundation’s universities network, the Faith and Globalisation Initiative aims to achieve in this region: examine the role of faith in more depth. In Kosovo, and the wider region, the impact of the globalisation is affecting the country and its faith communities in transformative ways– and it is vital to understand and hear those perspectives.  The University of Pristina and the American University of Kosovo will provide those valuable insights.

Most of the conflicts in the world today have a religious dimension. The purpose of interfaith is not to diminish specific faiths but to gain understanding. The more you understand someone the more likely you are to live in harmony with them. People of a faith need to take responsibility for religion; preventing it from being misused as a weapon of destruction. Harmony between faiths works better than conflict.

The Kosovan Government’s commitment to incorporate our schools’ programme Face to Faith in the development of the national curriculum, shows how seriously they take the advancement of the next generation – and I am excited about its future.”

__________

 

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Blair: Balkans – work in progress…

Excerpt: Kosovo is going in good direction, said today in Pristina the former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Pristina: “Kosovo over the last decade has seen significant progress. Yes it is clear. But there is also a lot to do”, stressed at today’s press conference held in Pristina former UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair.

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Handy tips: how to get your comment published at Guido’s blog

June 15, 2012

All blog posts 2012 + Original, from 2006 to 2012

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15th June 2012

Let me say that I don’t actually subscribe to the view of some that Britain’s best-known blogger Guido Fawkes is a pile of manure. The picture is just visual licence as we bloggers have been entrusted it by the great know-all in internetyland. Guido will understand.

Guido has been a trendsetter in recent years showing the mainstream media how to get news, even ‘scoops’ without being in the mainstream. He has an understandable desire to retain this renegade position and at times is, therefore, inaccurate with the verity even if occasionally unintentionally. That aside, Guido has one major problem: his commenters.

Some of them are probably normal people, but to be honest, I’m yet to be convinced that there are that many. The pressure of his aim in life is such that Guido has a tendency not to monitor comments and I have from time to time had a little moan about some of them. Even some success in having some removed due to the intervention of an understudy of Guido’s. GF himself blocked me on twitter some time ago for some unknown reason.

The talk as the Leveson Inquiry into press/media standards nears its end is of regulation of the internet. That “threat” like every other threat Guido and his followers see every time they open their eyes in the morning is boosted by a general distrust, at least on internetland, of politics and politicians.

Sadly, it is my humble opinion that the way blogs, commenters, tweeps and other social network users often behave would itself be to blame for any regulation. So in an unintended way the civil rightists with instant-glue like determination to rant on about their rights while exercising little responsibility may well have brought regulation on themselves.

More blame for the moral descent of normally acceptable behaviour is to be laid at the feet of the mainstream press, the font of all knowledge information and stuff to twist around and then bash people with.  Lord Justice Leveson now knows this, as many of us have known for years. Although the papers themselves don’t scream (for) blue murder at (of) those with whom they disagree they lay the ‘freedom of speech’ trap for their commenters. And being ‘troof-finders’ the commenters fall straight into it.

So where was I? Oh yes, how to get your comment published at Guido’s, something which I signally failed to do with a recent one of mine. But I’ve worked it out now, just by taking a look at some of the commenters in a recent blog  -

  • First of all you need to be anti-government. Any government, but preferably a Labour one. Or a Tory one when it sounds too European. Lib Dem governments don’t count except when they do and then you have to dismiss them, anyway.
  • Make sure you agree with Guido on the gist of his particular post. He will still publish you some of the time if you disagree, but only if you don’t expose his shortcomings.
  • Make sure you talk loudly about things of which you know little are an undoubted expert, such as the Iraq war, legality or otherwise, decisions made in government re same, and of course who pulls the world’s strings and why. ‘Bilderberg’ is always useful to drop in here.
  • Make sure you bellow even louder about how at least one ‘Labourite’ is now ‘filthy rich’ after office and that by so being he has obviously impoverished the rest of us, while destroying the UK’s moral fabric and the world as we know it.
  • Never agree with any politician unless it’s an anti-European one or Tom Watkins or someone of his ilk. His agenda is the same as yours. And Guido’s.
  • Remember Guido’s is your home-from-home. This is not The Telegraph or even the Daily Mail, where they occasionally expect standards. Well, very occasionally. Think of it as your local pub.
  • Give yourself a good alias, so that others get your all about before you even tap anything out. Samples of this are - Tony Bliar didnt fool me / socialism is a mental illness / The future is NWO / One day one of his bodyguards will do him / and Lordy Mandelscum just stating the bleeding obvious
  • And of course don’t forget that you can suggest killing anyone, as long as he’s not the enemy, as we know it or rather knew it before the internet toddled along and told us all otherwise.

Also be as to-the-point as you like. For instance this kind of comment seldom if ever gets removed at Guido’s:

94 socialism is a mental illness says:
June 14, 2012 at 8:57 pm

Blair is long overdue for the snipers bullet.

Well? Just a statement of fact! Not incitement or anything.

Then there’s this in reference to the same clearly ‘deserving’ individual:

92 Timothy Lloyd-Davies says:

June 14, 2012 at 6:25 pm

I pray to God that we see this vile piece of filth hanging by his neck one day!

Well? The commenter IS a religious man.
Then there’s this sort, more wordy so that you can sound ‘informed’ and a clued-up good egg:
62 One day one of his bodyguards will do him says:

Chief Inspectors that refuse to investigate claims of treason, malfeasance in public office, etc.

The HMRC officials that don’t care about shredded receipts, or his off-shore accounts.

The EU that pay him shitloads to ponce about as a peace (oh, the irony) envoy to the ME, the very place he brought war to.

The Humphreys in the the Civil Service, who know where the bodies are buried (possibly literally), yet keep schtum.

Probably the worst offenders in allowing this utterly vile piece of filth to continue breathing are the British public that voted for the twat 3 times, and don’t lynch him on sight now they can see he was nothing but a fraud.

Well? Three times “well”.  You mean you think this might be a touch OTT, with its suggestive alias an’ all? Not to mention the “lynch” bit? No, never. It’s at Guido’s.  It must be right. All of it.

Taranow. Take care.

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Why did Guido Fawkes monitor (out) my comment? Was it too abusive?

June 15, 2012

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15th June 2012

Or did I do something right?

I imagine my dear friend John Rentoul would suggest I see this monitoring (nay, monitoring OUT – I’ve just checked) as a badge of honour. But I’m a sensitive soul. And it’s my birthday today – Magna Carta Day. True as  it happens, all ye “liberals” of the left and right (latter exemplified in Guido’s commentary stream.)

Lord Denning described the Magna Carta as “the greatest constitutional document of all times – the foundation of the freedom of the individual against the arbitrary authority of the despot”. (source)

Not that I’d describe Fawkes as a despot. Oh, that he had that power, eh Guido? But he is now monitoring my comments and refusing to publish those with which he disagrees. Freedom of speech at Guido’s.  And it’s odd.  I am hardly abusive. I don’t call for a “sniper’s bullet” or for “hanging” anyone. Even if they are as filthy as Guido’s commenters often are. Nor do I curse anyone or any political party or group of individuals in the way his blog commenters habitually do. Perhaps it’s because he doesn’t like being hauled over the coals as to the facts. As if.

As readers of my earlier post may have noticed I have been trying to put Guido right on a few FACTS regarding the Numpty incident at Hong Kong yesterday. Seems Guido doesn’t like facts up him.

Below is the comment I posted at his site earlier. Guido has decided, in his wisdom, that it is not deserving of a flicker across the eyeballs of his brainwashed. Sorry, his readers -

  • Blair Supporter says:

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Jimmy – “Menacingly? Really?” is to put too forgiving a light on Guido’s “story”.

    Fact is Tony Blair NEVER said “I wouldn’t come any further.” Professor Daniel Chua, Director of Humanities at HKU said it as he looked towards the security people for cover. Nor did Mr Blair or Prof Chua “threaten” anyone.

    Watch the video at YouTube. In full screen at around 50 secs you will NOT see Blair’s lips move. Prof Chua is the “culprit”. Should he be shot too?

    Still waiting for Guido to apologise for this latest ‘lies/world/truth/boots on’ episode.

Terrible stuff, eh? Worthy of keeping away from the tender view of those who share his views.

But Guido is not for deleting me permanently, unlike some of his commenters, no doubt.

Thus far he is still showing my latest comment:

112
keeptonyblairforpm says:
June 15, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Thanks for monitoring out my comment, Guido. Will be following up my earlier post.

To check the truth of what I said in the comment you cannot see – take a peep at the video again.  Watch in full-screen view and pay close attention from around 50 seconds.

As “I wouldn’t come any further” is heard, did you see Tony Blair’s lips move? Nor me. The man is astounding. A ventriloquist as well!

A propos today’s 797th Magna Carta anniversary: who is the most infamous name who attempted and failed to destroy our democracy? That’s right – The REAL Guido (Guy) Fawkes in 1605, after which futility he decided to choose the high jump.

By the way, Happy Magna Carta Day.

Next post, handy tips: ‘How to ensure you get published at Guido Fawkes’ blog’

Update: And here it is – Handy tips: how to get your comment published at Guido’s blog

_____

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Tony Blair partners with HKU on “Faith and Global Engagement initiative course”

June 15, 2012

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15th June 2012

[Cross-post] The real story on Tony Blair at Hong Kong University

Conflict and compassion | Tony Blair discusses the two faces of religion

HONG KONG : Tony Blair, Former UK Prime Minister, speaks at University of Hong Kong, Thursday, 14 June, 2012

Today Tony Blair, Founder and Patron of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, delivered a key note speech and answered questions on the impact of faith and globalisation on Hong Kong and the wider region, at a lecture held in the University of Hong Kong (HKU).

This lecture inaugurated the partnership between the Tony Blair Faith Foundation’s global network of leading universities, the Faith and Globalisation Initiative (FGI) and HKU’s Faith and Global Engagement Initiative.

Tony Blair spoke of the significance of the partnership between his Foundation and the Faith and Global Engagement Initiative at HKU.

Addressing an audience of HKU students and professors Tony Blair, Founder and Patron of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation said: “The initiative is very timely. This part of the world is one of the fastest areas of growing Christianity as well as many other faiths. HKU has a steadfast commitment to scholarship and freedom. The basis for the Tony Blair Faith Foundation’s Faith and Globalisation Initiative is similar. I am delighted and honoured to be partnering with HKU, I could not think of a better partner or a better part of the world.”

“My vision for the Faith and Global Engagement at HKU is to change the nature of the debate – I want people to see that you have to take religion seriously and I want to help build interfaith understanding.”

Professor Daniel Chua, Director of Humanities at HKU said: “Leaders should be intelligently engaged with the questions of faith and the global impact. We formed the Faith and Global Engagement programme to initiate a conversation in the spirit of hospitality. Whoever you are and whatever you believe in we want to engage with you about religion.  Our initiative here at Hong Kong University has much in common with the principles of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation. For this inaugural lecture on Faith and Global Engagement, “I am honoured to welcome Tony Blair”.

Tony Blair stressed the urgency of understanding the impact of religion in the modern world:

“Just look at the news and you see the impact of both everywhere; in the conflicts in Afghanistan and Pakistan and the debate over whether or not orthodox Jews should serve in the military in Israel. The face of religion in this environment is two-fold: conflict and compassion. Much of the news about religion is about conflict. However, religion is also capable of great compassion. For example, much of the improvement in health for continental Africa is as a result of religious centred endeavours.

“We can promote this face of compassion by firstly, treating religion as religion. There is a temptation to view religious problems as political problems, especially for politicians. If the heart of the matter is religious, than the religious element must be understood for what it is: religious. Secondly, by building platforms of inter-faith dialogue and action. Thirdly, through research and scholarship. Religion has much to say from many perspectives on many issues. What is required is proper, in depth and rigorous research into these issues. This is where these programmes and the work of HKU can help.”

The Tony Blair Faith Foundation’s Faith and Globalisation Initiative (FGI) is a network of leading universities around the world, collectively exploring the relationship between religion and globalisation. Through the Faith and Globalisation network, the Tony Blair Faith Foundation is supporting policy makers, and future leaders, equipping them to appreciate religion’s presence in the world and its relationship to decision-making and public policy.  Significantly HKU is the ninth university in the world and the second in China (following Peking University) to join FGI. In collaboration with other FGI partner institutions, HKU’s Faith and Global Engagement Initiative will explore topics including religion and conflict, religion in public life, and human rights bringing critical analysis to the forefront of global debate.

The new Faith and Global Engagement initiative course at HKU will bring a unique perspective to the academic and policy analysis of the relationship between faith and globalisation. Hong Kong’s position at the nexus of East/West relations, adds an important voice to this global debate.

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Guido, BBC, ITN, Huff all mislead re Tony Blair “loses cool, threatens” Hong Kong Grundy Numpty

June 14, 2012

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14th June 2012

Guido Fawkes says:

“…former PM warned menacingly: “I wouldn’t come any further…”

Except the former PM didn’t say that!

I have spent some time looking through today’s video versions, edited and otherwise of this incident in Hong Kong. This is the only full version I can find.

Protester attempts to arrest Tony Blair in Hong Kong (1m 53s from YouTube channel telegraphtv)

The bad news is that this full unedited version – the truth and nothing but the truth (so help them Lord Justice Leveson) – originally appeared at the Huffington Post. Until that is, they realised it showed Tony Blair in far too good a light for their agenda.

So I am calling out the BBC, ITN, The Huffington Post & Guido Fawkes for messing with the facts.

Lord Justice Leveson, Sir. You ARE going to investigate ALL the broadcasters and the internet know-alls, aren’t you? After all, as David Cameron admitted today, the broadcasters are the ones whose reach is all-pervasive and who have by far the widest coverage. Especially the “blessed” BBC. Thus the broadcasters are the main target for those who wish to get a political message out instantly to millions.

Let’s take a closer look at today’s (video) editors.

1. If you read Guido Fawkes’s blog on the Grundy Numpty who tried and failed (as they always do and will) to arrest Tony Blair in Hong Kong today, you could almost believe that our former PM reached into his pocket for his pistol. In fact he didn’t “warn” the protester and spoke in NO WAY  “menacingly”. Nor did anyone present. Apart from Tom Grundy. (Isn’t he from “The Archers”?)

At Guido’s -

Blair Loses Cool, Threatens War Protester

Tony Blair lost his rag after being heckled by a protester during a speech to students at the University of Hong Kong. As the man approached Blair, accusing him of breaching the Geneva convention, the former PM warned menacingly: “I wouldn’t come any further…” Asia Pacific News claims that  Blair said “that’s democracy for you” as the man was led away.

Neither did anyone else threaten the protester, as a quick look at the only unedited video online proves (Telegraph video above). Well done, the Telegraph. Now please do not remove it!

Guido probably picked the story up from ChannelNewAsia. That sentence  was not mentioned by Peter Walker here at the Guardian.

2. At the Huffington Post video version things are actually even worse. Guido could be forgiven for just copying and pasting. After all he has to prove he’s on the ball. Quick with the story, inexact or not. But when I watched the Huff’s video and tweeted on it earlier, twice, I said this:

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Blair Supporter Blair Supporter@blairsupporter Video of prize wally, Briton Tom Grundy’s #failed attempt at Citizens Arrest On Tony Blair In Hong Kong. http://huff.to/LFq79k @HuffPostUK

Blair Supporter Blair Supporter@blairsupporter

Just watched this video once: http://huff.to/LFq79k Check & see if you think Tony Blair “threatened” the Numpty in Hong Kong. Applause for TB

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I would not have tweeted this if it was not clear that Tony Blair did NOT say it. So I tweeted twice again to Guido, though he has blocked me on twitter for some inexplicable reason.  (He’ll still read them, believe me)

Blair Supporter Blair Supporter@blairsupporter

I don’t think it was Tony Blair who said “don’t come any further” to that numpty in Hong Kong. Guido? @guidofawkes So no threat, eh?

Blair Supporter Blair Supporter@blairsupporter

. @Firebird734 @guidofawkes said TB threatened the guy. He didn’t. It was another voice saying “don’t come any further” Apologies Guido?

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Now the Huff has got the huff and is showing the shortened ITN News version- 1:28 long. In this we do not hear those words uttered by anyone, nor much applause at the end. The Huff has also added to the text input of the protester, to include his denial over “harassment” something I, co-incidentally of course,  mentioned at twitter. Twice.

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Blair Supporter@blairsupporter

@MarkKersten “Armed with the law”? That’s why they keep failing, & always will. GUILTY of harassment Arrest the “arrest Tony Blair” idiots

and

Blair Supporter@blairsupporter

Arrest this numpty for harassment. GUILTY! In Hong Kong reading out his charges to Tony Blair. @Daylifehttp://www.daylife.com/photo/0crs6xHcMZ4j5?__site=daylife&amp;q=Tony+Blair&amp;__site=daylife&amp;__site=daylife

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Why did the Huff change their video? Imho,  two reasons: 1) sustained applause for Mr Blair at the end of the original clip, and 2) it was clearly NOT Mr Blair who spoke those dreadfully menacing words.

BROADCASTERS’ BIAS

3. The BBC/ITN

Both ITN and the Johnny-come-lately of broadcasting the BBC – in their talked-over video clips – edited out that remark. The BBC website even has this, a blatant LIE -

“As the heckler neared the podium, he was threatened with police action and left the auditorium peacefully.”

Really? Where was this “threat”?

As I tweeted earlier -

Blair Supporter@blairsupporter

@Axelfinance Another video this time from ‘honest’ #BBC which edits out fact that Blair did not threaten. BBC in cahoots w Guido Fawkes ;0)

and

. @MailRightMinds Love how the editors at ITN edited out the part that show Tony Blair did NOT threaten the Grundy Numpty. OK, @guidofawkes

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The ever-trustworthy and truth-seeking Daily Mail used the ITN version. Again WHY? Simply because Tony Blair did not say it. Any of it. And showing the full video as above would have shown this. The chairman of the Faith & Globalisation meeting said it AND it was in no way threatening.

TBFF upcoming transcript Editing out the peripheral and unnecessary, hopefully.

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ADDENDUM Just spotted the longer version also here at Sky Watch it in full screen. You will then see clearly that it was the man standing immediately in front of Tony Blair who said “don’t come any further”.  NOTHING at all, by anyone, about a threat to arrest the protester.

ADDENDUM 2: The Telegraph disappoints me by spreading the lie/world/truth/boots on in its online article by saying, weakly, ‘Mr Blair reportedly told the protester: “I wouldn’t come any further … you can go.” ‘

For the umpteenth umpteenth – the man in front said that, NOT TONY BLAIR.

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Tony Blair to Germany: Stand by euro. To Cameron: Get in there

June 13, 2012

All blog posts 2012 + Original, from 2006 to 2012

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14th June 2012

The FT’s Lionel Barber has this very interesting article from The Man, in Jerusalem -

Blair calls on Germany to stand by euro

Tony Blair has delivered a stark warning of a popular backlash against austerity policies in the euro-zone ahead of this Sunday’s re-run election in Greece.

“You look at what the Greeks are being asked to accept: it’s beyond tough,” Mr Blair said in an interview with the Financial Times in Jerusalem.

The former long-standing UK prime minister, a self-professed pro-European, said the risk of unrest applied to Europe as a whole. “In the end, what people will ask is: ‘Is the single currency worth it if that’s what we’re being asked to accept’.”

Mr Blair’s said the remedy should be a “grand bargain” between Germany and the rest of Europe to rescue the single currency. This would involve a pooling of European debt and a new push for growth, matched by deficit reduction through pension and welfare reforms.

[...]

He added that the euro would survive in some form even if the present 17-member set-up collapsed. The euro was central to Europe’s ambitions to be a power on the world stage: “I have no doubt that the single currency makes sense.”

Mr Blair steered clear of directly endorsing a European-wide banking union, as proposed by José Manuel Barroso, European commission president. But he made clear that Britain had to play an active role in negotiations on the next phase of European integration, even though he refuse to say whether this would involve a referendum.

“I am not going to criticise the prime minister…But If Britain were absent, we would be opting out of an incredibly important decision. The important thing is this: Britain has got to put itself in a position where it can play a part in what will be a reconstruction of Europe.”

Mr Blair’s proposals will cause unease in the UK coalition government where Conservatives are loath to sign up to an economic union. The government says it is opposed to making British taxpayers liable for recapitalising eurozone banks or putting major British banks under the watch of an EU authority.

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