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Gagged by Gorbals Mick

By ATWadmin On November 1st, 2006 at 8:31 pm

One of the great achievements of this Labour Government, from a control freak point of view, is how it has succeeded in ensconcing many sympathisers in  positions of power, culminating in an exercise of political nepotism never seen before.  One jewel in their armour was the election of Michael Martin as Speaker back in October 2000.  Although the former political affiliations of speakers have never been a barrier to their election, concerns were raised as to how impartial ‘Gorbals Mick’ would prove to be.

In terms of the rights of MPs to put the governing party on the spot, it transpires Martin is in no position to see his former boss humiliated by a baying opposition.  One of the weakest flanks exposed in the turmoil that is today’s Labour Party is the question of who Tony Blair would like to replace him as the standard-bearer of progenous socialism.  However, on Martin’s watch, the Conservatives have been blocked from posing questions on the issue by an apparent ruling prohibiting non-parliamentary business.  Tell me, Mick, since when have questions to a Prime Minister been exclusively about the business of Parliament?  An important feature of PMQs is the ability of the combatants to outflank their opponent, not for the Speaker to shield the Prime Ministerial incumbent from difficult situations just because he happens to share the same ideological tribe as himself.


On This Day…

By ATWadmin On November 1st, 2006 at 8:13 pm

1848 – WHSmith opens its first ever outlet – at London’s Euston Station.

1945 – In Britain, it is announced that all available evidence supports the theory that German Fuhrer, Adolf Hitler, has committed suicide in Berlin.

1950 – ERNIE bonds go on sale in the UK for the first time.

1963 – During a military coup in South Vietnam, President Ngo Dinh Diem is assassinated.

1976 – Jimmy Carter is elected President of the United States.

1982 – Channel 4 begins broadcasting across the UK – the first programme shown is Countdown.

The Joy of Tech

By ATWadmin On November 1st, 2006 at 3:59 pm

So, suitably enough for Halloween, my internet connection died a death last night. Presumably the goblins got at it. However, I will strive to make a contribution to the new and improved ATW blog as and when I get the opportunity. In the meanwhile, readers may be pleased to know that Tech Support across the board is… unusual

The fragmented mind of London’s Mayor

By ATWadmin On November 1st, 2006 at 1:37 pm

newt.jpgI heard Ken Livingstone on the radio yesterday giving the interview reported here and here, on the question of why a convicted terrorist, the son of Abu Hamza, was working on the London Underground. Livingstone dismissed as preposterous the idea that this person posed any threat. After all, it was only in Yemen where he was jailed.

I expect Ken knows nothing about Yemen and the functioning of Justice therein, either generally or in this specific case. To suggest that any conviction from there can be automatically ignored is dangerous and patronising.

Neither report mentions the comparison he made between Abu Hamza, in jail for incitement to murder, and Veronica Wadley, the editor of the Evening Standard, a newspaper he has hated ever since he stopped writing their restaurant column and realised they were Nazis. The child of either could work on the tube, he said, the parent had no bearing on the child’s suitability.

Standard fare for the useless Mayor, combining willful ingorance and gratuitous insults, but it’s beginning to seem like something more serious, something medical.  Perhaps an extended visit to one of Cuba’s wonderful sanitoriums would do Comrade Ken some good.  It would certainly do London a favour.

“Sauce, Goose; Sauce, Gander!”

By ATWadmin On November 1st, 2006 at 11:50 am


mosque2.jpegEver wondered how many mosques stand in this United Kingdom? According to one count, there are 1669, which is a fair number, considering that the first was established in 1889, but the fastest growth has happened in the last fifteen years. Some have graced their neighbourhood, some have gained an evil reputation, but in the main, the buildings, together with the accompanying religion, have been established in accord with the traditional tolerance given newcomers by the ordinary British people! The images on the left are all from mosques established in Britain over the last twenty-odd years. The holy book of muslims, the koran, as one commentator states, " It acknowledges the coexistence of other faiths, and in doing so acknowledges that other cultures can live together in peace."

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Then check out the pictures of Christian places of worship in Riyadh, or Mecca, or Jeddah, or Dahran. Wonderful portraits? Fantastic width of religious tolerance, in the birthplace of the same religion which plans, amongst other things, to slap the largest mosque in Europe right next to the Olympic Stadium!


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By ATWadmin On November 1st, 2006 at 9:20 am

homebase203.jpg I wonder are there any readers out there who would feel that those Republicans who have firebombed several stores in Belfast today should be elevated to the highest offices of Government? As the major blaze at Boucher Road Retail Park dies down, and people face the prospect of having lost their employment because of these arsonist thugs, is it time to consider inviting the firebombers into the Assembly – with perhaps the Commerce portfolio as a "sweetener" to them?

No – that’s rubbish isn’t it? I mean, who in their right mind, would REWARD the terrorist scum who carried out these bombings, putting life of workers at risk? Well, how about the British and Irish Governments, the Church Leaders, Trade Unions, Big Business, the MSM….and most political parties. After all, these are the same groups who enthuse about permitting those who belong to IRA/Sinn Fein into a devolved Government – and as I recall that organisation carried out THOUSANDS of bombings, and THOUSANDS of murders.

So, the firebombers of Boucher Road and the mass murderers of the IRA have much heritage in common. And yet, we are reliably informed that unless we dialogue and reward terrorists, we will only get more terrorism. Do you agree?


By ATWadmin On November 1st, 2006 at 8:35 am

khatam_cap_afp_203_b.jpgI wonder what you make of the news that former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami has received an honourary degree from St. Andrew’s University in Scotland? This BBC article fairly gushes warm praise on the erstwhile Iranian leader..

He cut a modest figure in the grey robes and black turban of a Shiite cleric. A small, bearded man, smiling at all the attention amid the gowns and mortar boards and applause in the Younger Hall at the university.


I was glad to see that at least some people had the guts to protest at the award being given to this "moderate" "reformist" – as the MSM likes to think of Khatami. Here’s a quote from Khatami from 2000..

In the Qur’an, God commanded to kill the wicked and those who do not see the rights of the oppressed… If we abide by human laws, we should mobilize the whole Islamic World for a sharp confrontation with the Zionist regime… If we abide by the Qur’an, all of use should mobilize to kill."


Moderate and reformist – a good guy, right? Wonder how long before Ahmadinejad gets an invite?

Recognising the Dangers

By ATWadmin On November 1st, 2006 at 8:12 am

Le Figaro, France’s right wing broadsheet, runs an interesting article which, here (in english), warns against anti-americanism. It certainly doesn’t labour over the ‘was it right to go to war’ argument.  Instead it presents some pretty rational arguments centred around the US, in its view, being ‘unsuccessfully bogged down’ in the region as the prescient danger.

"France cannot welcome the destruction of the United States’ deterrent power. The United States is a difficult, sometimes even arrogant, ally, but it is an ally”

“In the absence of a real permanent UN force, the United States is the only permanent Security Council member that has a credible modern army, capable of being dispatched quickly to any part of the world. The problem is that this force no longer really inspires fear”

“Unfortunately for the West – and for world peace as a whole – the United States, by becoming bogged down in Iraq, has destroyed its deterrence power and thus its political credibility. Its advice, demands, and threats are much less heeded than they were even just three years ago”

In referring to the UN the piece ignores this inept and corrupt organisations contribution to world affairs. But overall the piece serves as a timely if somewhat foreboding reminder that the West faces a tough time ahead.

The 21st century promises to be a century of dangerous religious, ethnic, political and economic rivalries, the world needs a global policeman. Until the United Nations has, as its Charter requires, established a military force of its own, the need for such a policeman will continue to make itself felt. And like it or not, this policeman is a US one"

For any mistakes it makes I’d agree that the US needs to be seen as that ‘policeman’, and to act, as the article notes, precisely as that deterrant power. I would argue that the rights and wrongs of the war, most regularly the wrongs, are overindulged by the western media with a singular almost obssessive aim. Often the arguments offer no real solutions, they ignore our duty to the Iraqi people, our own fallen soldiers and promote dangerous consequences for those soldiers still there who are fighting both a physical and a propaganda war


By ATWadmin On November 1st, 2006 at 7:37 am

I disagree with the idea that  Northern Ireland will not reach its full potential unless integrated housing projects become the norm, put forward by One Step Campaign chairman, former Irish Rugby International Trevor Ringland. He was referring to the Carran Crescent development in Enniskillen, which will see Protestant and Catholic families live side-by-side, could be a catalyst for very significant change.

"We cannot have a truly modern, dynamic and successful society and economy if our community continues to be divided along sectarian lines," he said.

Yes, that is true Trevor, but neither should we desire to create a control freak socially engineered society where the great and the good decide the exact ratio of Protestants/Catholics/Jews/Muslims/Atheists that should live cheek by jowl. You can’t FORCE people where to live, and you shouldn’t try. In trying to address the evil of sectarian separation, Trevor and his chums will create a much worse one.  And yet, to be fair to Trevor, I must admit that when I see now private housing estates bedecked with symbols indicating that one is entering loyalist/nationalist zones – it saddens me. 


By ATWadmin On November 1st, 2006 at 7:31 am


So, what do you reckon to La Giaconda – Islam style?

Those eyes sure remain alluring, and even though the smile is now covered, as required by our friends at the Religion of Peace, you can just imagine how happy Mona Lisa is to be in a state acceptable to the Imam’s of modesty. Is this what the picture hanging in the Louvre will look like in twenty years time?  As Ken points out over on the always readable Oblogatory Anecdotes,

We  have seen the destruction of great works of art before. There is even a name for it “iconoclasm”. In Afghanistan, during the rein of terror by the Taliban they destroyed not only centuries old Buddha statues but also hundreds of priceless works of art all because they said they were un-Islamic. What other great works of art is threatened? Europe’s birth rate is declining at the same time immigration from Islamic countries is at an all time high. One day European nations may fall to Islam. We may very well see the burning of the Mona Lisa and the destruction of Michelangelo’s David because they too are deemed un-Islamic. We are setting the precedence now that art that is offensive to Islam is unacceptable. Are we willing to lose all we hold dear as the price for tolerance?


It’s a fair question. Are we prepared to stand up for that which we hold? Is it possible for those of us who live in post-Christian western liberal democracies to come to terms with the brutal truth that freedom is not free. Have we the strength to repulse the threat from militant Islam that now circles the globe – or will we be the people air-brushed out of history?