Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Iranian Hostage Crisis and Big Brother

Looking at the papers today, the whole thing is being to look like an awful parody of Big Brother.

I'm just waiting for one to pop into the diary room to issue another letter to the British Government.

If they had wanted this to work and to truly influence the British public, they should have tried to copy the old classic, Jim'll Fix It.

"Now then, Now then, what can Jim fix for you?"

"I want to go home and see my children"

"Now Faye, isn't there something that you would like more than that? Something that the show organizers have suggested that is better? Lets have a look at the letter you sent in!"

"Dear Jim, will you fix it for me so that the fascist English pig dog oppressors can be humiliated in front of the world and Arab states?"

Lets hope that this is resolved before the Iranians continue with their charm offensive and launch a phone in number for evictions. I can see them now leaving the BB house, walking the red carpet, quick interview about the other hostages and then wrapping up with a nice jolly public hanging using a crane.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Freedom of Speech Rally

What a wonderful day. It was great to amongst like minded thinkers and to speak with those in the crowd. We really were from all backgrounds I had a great chat about the state of the world with a very well informed Indian chap. I noted was how few young people there were, we were all mature and stood in the rain to hear people speak their mind without the constraints of Political Correctness. This was not a G8 protest, we knew why we where there.

My favorite moments were at the beginning, there was a BBC reporter desperately looking for far right people, desperately looking of Muslim haters. He was bitterly disappointed. There were some long beards about, I smiled at them and in return they turned their faces in disgusted.

Just before the speakers started, an Iranian ex Muslim stepped forwards with a sign containing the 4 strongest Danish cartoons. At first he was very shy, but we all stood around him protectively and encouraged him to speak "here, here, well said that man", the journalists rushed to get quotes from him. He explained what each of the cartoons mean to him, he pointed at one and said "this is about the suppression of women", he was angry about women being stoned to death by followers of Islam, and that Islam specified the size of stones to use. He stated that he had been tortured by the Iranian government, he said he came to England to be free from persecution. Us people around him said “you are welcome here” and the Islamist interviewers visibly shook with anger at this.

One speaker said “Anyone that proposes that they back the concept of ‘free speech’, but free speech with ‘respect’, is talking about respect on their grounds. This is not free speech at all. These are false friends”.

I admire Rend Shakir for trying to build bridges and stating that Muslims are not demons, I agreed with her and cheered her initial comments. As she went on she did not speak out against the rise Political Islam and the injustices that are acted out in its name. She didn’t acknowledge the benefits that free speech has brought this country. She proceeded to run over her time and tried to explain that free speech shouldn’t really include the right to insult. In my opinion she deliberately extorted Peter by offering to speak, then he announced it, soon after she withdrew her support unless he bowed to the demands of the MAC, which he did, just to have her there.

Rend Shakir is a false friend.

Overall I think that it was right that Peter asked people not to bring the cartoons, they were there, but they only held by ‘brown’ people, not white people. This beautifully sidesteps accusations of ‘white supremacy’. Had I bought one and held it aloft it would have tainted the message.

The only shame is that the without the pictures the Rally become a discussion group, it was not a really a protest. Had it been a protest the turn out would have been better, but I don’t believe the discussion would have progressive.

Many of my friends refused to come because they were scared or believed that the rally was being held for the wrong cause, they read the statement and asked “who is this Peter, why do you lend your support to him?”. Post the success of this rally, they would certainly join us for the next one.

I thank Peter for getting the ball rolling and the insightful speakers that stepped forwards to speak.

He is right, the wave has broken and the tide has started to turn.