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When Illness Becomes a Convenience

By ATWadmin On November 30th, 2006 at 8:28 am

What are we to make of the news that Chancellor Gordon Brown’s son has cystic fibrosis?  For the child we should express nothing but our sadness at the fact a beautiful bouncing baby will have to endure a life of disability resulting in a probable early death, as cystic fibrosis is indeed a wicked ailment.  It goes without saying that we should feel sympathy for baby John.  However, as far as Gordon and his wife are concerned, that’s the whole point…….isn’t it?

As a paragon of cynicism I believe contemporary politicians are more than adept at using any imagery to boost their public persona.  There can’t be a person in the UK who doesn’t know David Cameron has a disabled son.  We also know Gordon Brown lost a baby girl some years back.  But why should we know these things, brought to us by a compliant media?  One of the hallmarks of prominent politicians in the past was their steadfast ability to keep family life private.  Yet here we are, in the media age where people such as Brown, whatever the degree of personal woe concerning family matters, still manage to project them on to a public stage so an emotionally-crippled electorate will shower sympathy on their plight and maybe, just maybe, give them a few extra votes as a consequence.

New Labour big-wigs are not averse to using children for their own ends.  Aside from this latest news and the news about Brown’s baby girl, we also endure nauseating pictures of Tone standing with his offspring on the steps of 10 Downing Street.  He even managed to fertilise the Wicked Witch just in time for the 2001 General Election.  For once Tony realised how children could be a filip for his public image, the bedroom must have been filled with nothing but groaning.

Brown is carrying on this trend.  The only difference lies in the aspect of the child’s life.  Where Tony laid the groundrules on infantilistic images using healthy kids, so Gordon and Cameron  have followed using their personal tragedies to curry public sympathy.  What a disgusting way to use children – and especially children with illnesses.

On This Day…30.11

By ATWadmin On November 30th, 2006 at 8:17 am

1840 – The remains of Napoleon Bonaparte, allegedly without his penis, are returned from the island of St Helena, where he died in exile, to Paris.

1874 – Sir Winston Churchill, a descendent of the Duke of Marlborough, is born at Blenheim Palace, the son of leading politician Sir Randolph Churchill.

1900 – Death of Oscar Wilde in Paris at the age of 44.

1936 – The Crystal Palace at Sydenham Hill in south London, originally built in Hyde Park for the Great Exhibition of 1851, is destroyed by a massive fire which could be seen as far away as Calais.

1956 – American boxer Floyd Paterson becomes the youngest ever world heavyweight champion at the age of 21.

1988 – Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat is refused a visa to enter the United States of America where he was planning to address the UN General Assembly.

Talking Point – 29.11.06

By ATWadmin On November 29th, 2006 at 11:51 pm

‘If Ian Paisley goes into a powersharing government with the IRA, he will deserve the title of ‘Lundy’ far more than any leader he has supplanted in his political career.’  Discuss.

Totally Beyond the Veil

By ATWadmin On November 29th, 2006 at 11:33 pm

Further to David’s article on the rather disappointing news that only a bare majority of the British people disapprove of wearing the niqab (‘facial handkerchief’ to you and me) in public places, did anybody see the BBC report about the sales of this black material abomination in a principal Muslim outlet in Blackburn?  Since Jack Straw made his tentative –  nay, ‘man of straw’  – remarks about politely asking Muslim women to remove this monstrosity in his presence at constituency surgeries, sales of the veil have actually risen.

We are told by Muslims (oh Allah, there goes that dreaded ‘M’ word again) that wearing the niqab is demanded in the Koran.  Aside from the fact that if the Koran said all Bradford male Muslims had to bare their bums in the shop windows of the city’s Kirkgate Centre at 7am every Wednesday morning, there would be a mid-week stampede fuelled by testosterone, why should sales only start to rise on the back of what the MSM derisively calls a ‘controversy’?  If the niqab is so fundamental to Islamic female modesty, why should it only be so after Straw brought it to national attention?

The truth is the veil is not any symbol of modesty, but a further show of defiance from a community the rest of us are getting increasingly sick and tired of.  As several ATW readers have stated, if we lived in Muslim countries we would have to abide by their customs.  My word, would we have to abide by their customs!!!!!!!!  The same principles should apply here.  They can either integrate or find Islamic solace in one of the undemocratic backwaters they proclaim as their cultural homelands.

On This Day…29.11

By ATWadmin On November 29th, 2006 at 11:27 pm

1864 – US Cavalry troops, commanded by Colonel Chivington, massacre 150 unarmed Cheyenne and Arapahoe Indians at Sand Creek in Colorado.

1898 – Birth of writer CS Lewis in Belfast.

1907 – British nurse Florence Nightingale is presented with the Order of Merit by Edward VII of England for her work tending the wounded during the Crimean War.

1962 – Britain and France announce a joint agreement to design and build ‘Concorde’ – the world’s first supersonic airliner.

1965 – In Britain, housewife Mary Whitehouse begins her ‘Clean Up TV Campaign’ by setting up the National Viewers and Listeners’ Association to tackle ‘bad taste and irresponsibility’.

1995 – On his visit to the United Kingdom, US President Bill Clinton praises British Prime Minister John Major for his efforts to bring ‘peace’ in Northern Ireland.


By ATWadmin On November 29th, 2006 at 3:14 pm

As the Pope visits Turkey, Irshad Manji, reflects on the importance of a liberal islamic reformation.

‘Along the way, Benedict quoted an obscure Christian emperor who linked Islam to violence. As if on cue, Muslims around the world reacted angrily, some resorting to the very violence that they denied plays any role in our faith’

She goes on:

‘Consider, for example, this message from Imran, a self-described “moderate Muslim” and American citizen who works for the US government’:

“You said that how Muslims are reacting to the Pope is like reducing the Quran to its most bloodthirsty passages. There is no such thing, Missy… You are looking for cheap publicity for your book and bashing Islam is the easiest way to get it nowadays. It used to be sleeping with the publisher, but for that you require looks. One more thing, if you are a Jew, you should not be ashamed of it."

‘Imran and Sonya are more representative than I wish. All Muslims are taught that because the Quran comes after the Torah and the Bible, we must regard it as the final and perfect manifesto of the Divine. It is, we’re told, free of ambiguities, contradictions and human editing; in other words, free of the corruption that contaminates Jewish and Christian scriptures’. 

‘Thus the central conundrum for us Muslims. If it’s an article of our faith that the Quran is the unfiltered declaration of God, then what makes moderate Muslims “moderate”?’ 

She concludes

‘Fortunately, more and more Muslims are proclaiming that it’s time for a liberal Islamic reformation. Two groups that powerfully attest to this movement are the Democratic Muslims of Denmark and their off-shoot, the Critical Muslims, both of which emerged from the Danish cartoon wars’.

In addition to this we have seen recently a group of muslims opposing the building of a mega mosque in east London, largely because the people behind it endorsed extremism. How is it we allow this even to be considered? It is in ours and their interests to platform more voices like Irshads, instead of allowing the MCB, MPAC and silly little girls in veils to push a fundamentalist agenda. In endorsing their ‘freedom of expression’ we suppress others.  If anything i think these organisations have gone some way towards hoisting themselves on their own pseudo ‘moderate’ pasard. The result is that people are wary of the word moderate and as she herself concludes the word now has ‘little meaning’.

Pull your weight

By ATWadmin On November 29th, 2006 at 2:49 pm

Interesting to read that progress has been made in Riga, ‘if only because the political leaders have conceded that while all have soldiers deployed in Afghanistan, some are engaged in wholesale combat, while others are having a pretty quiet time’.

‘The Canadians, in particular, have been laying down the law about other Nato members sharing more of the risks. Canada has suffered a large number of casualties, even more than the British in Helmand, and resent it when alliance members have failed to come to their aid when facing relentless attacks by the Taleban’

Id agree with that sentiment – why is it most consistently left to the British American Canadian and Australian (and Dutch in this case) forces to undertake the heavylifting in what all have agreed is a battle we must win. At one point i seem to recall it being noted that British forces witheld positions in Helmand and fought off the Taleban in one of the longest battles in British military history.

In extremis? The whole of Afghanistan is already ‘in extremis’.

‘apart from the moves over national caveats, only a handful of member states offered more troops and equipment for Afghanistan, enough to reduce the present 15 per cent shortfall in capability to ten per cent.

General Jones said that a shortfall in capability in a peacekeeping mission was one thing, but a capability gap in an operation where soldiers were being killed in combat was potentially more dangerous’

Quite. Get in there.


By ATWadmin On November 29th, 2006 at 2:32 pm

It appears that some of my recent comments on the DUP’s “despicable” embrace of Sinn Fein (not IRA?) have struck a raw nerve or two amongst DUP ranks. Good. The purpose of ATW is to provide a forum in which to confront and challenge the political class.

Let me be very clear here; I come not to praise them but to bury them, so to speak. And I won’t say soft things just because some become offended.

For years, the DUP has (rightly) criticised the UUP’s spineless efforts in defending the Union. Some of that criticism was extremely harsh, though I agreed with it since it mirrored my own view. Now, the DUP brazenly cavorts with Sinn Fein/IRA in a Hain-choreographed waltz, but demands that critics stay mute. It’s “Strictly Come Dancing” with the volume muted. Well, forget it. If you enter politics, you must expect to be criticised.

It strikes me that the UUP and DUP have BOTH now failed the unionist people. That failure may indeed prove fatal for the Union. I doubt the present generation at the top of the political food chain care that much, since they can enjoy their tax-payed funded retirement in whatever constitutional location Northern Ireland ends up. These political undertakers for the Union are driven by a bizarre mixture of avarice, stupidity and duplicity. But sssssshhhhh…we must not speak of such things. It may be that ATW receives fire from both quarters, and that a chill descends from certain quarters. That’s cool! I’d sooner speak the truth than participate in the twisting of truth.


By ATWadmin On November 29th, 2006 at 9:20 am

795151-569390-thumbnail.jpgDid you read that one in three people would support a ban on Muslim women wearing the veils which cover their faces in public places, according to a new survey? Asked if they would support prohibition in specific circumstances, 61 per cent said they would approve a ban in airports and at passport control, 53 per cent in courtrooms and 53 per cent in schools. Forty-one per cent said they would support a workplace ban, but 56 per cent said they would oppose a ban on Muslim women wearing veils while travelling on public transport.

What fascinates me is the mindset of those who would NOT seek to ban this outward and visible expression of militant Islam. It seems from this poll that a disconcertingly large number of British people are prepared to accept the Burqa babes. In doing so, they de facto shuffle towards a gradual acceptance of Sharia. Then again, I wonder how many MUSLIMS were interviewed as part of this poll? All the BBC says is that "a nationally representative sample of people were questioned in the survey." So, what precise % of Muslims were interviewed?

If we lack the true grit to force the Islamists to integrate into OUR society, maybe they will be more successful at getting us to integrate into theirs?


By ATWadmin On November 29th, 2006 at 9:16 am

I continually harbour grave doubts about Pakistan’s ACTUAL status in the war on terror. Is it friend or foe, or both?

I read today that Pakistan’s foreign minister, Khurshid Kasuri, has said in private briefings to foreign ministers of some Nato member states that the Taliban are winning the war in Afghanistan and Nato is bound to fail. He has advised against sending more troops. Other Pakistani officials are suggesting that NATO accepts an Afghanistani Government that includes the Taliban, and that excludes Hamid Karzai!

It’s also instructive to read that Lt Gen Ali Mohammed Jan Orakzai, governor of the volatile North West Frontier Province has stated publicly that the US, Britain and Nato have already failed in Afghanistan. "Either it is a lack of understanding or it is a lack of courage to admit their failures," he said recently. Gen Orakzai insists that the Taliban represent the Pashtun population, Afghanistan’s largest and Pakistan’s second largest ethnic group, and they now lead a "national resistance" movement to throw out Western occupation forces, just as there is in Iraq.

These are ALL siren voices. The Taliban should be crushed, not accommodated. Those like Orakzai should be given the chance to experience a few well-aimed daisycutters. Those Pakistani officials now briefing in favour of the Taliban need to be sacked or imprisoned.

Of course there may well be some "realists" about (Cue Fabulous Baker Boys?) who have some empathy for these surrender suggestions? Perhaps we can enlist the help of the Taliban to quell violence, in the same way as we’re going to enlist the help of the Mad Mullahs to quell violence?

If we lose our will to crush the Taliban, rather like we are losing our will to crush the Jihadi in Iraq, then beware. Envigorated, the Islamofascists will come for us in their swarms, sensing our institutionalised weakness dressed up in the empty rhetoric of "realism."