Monday, 22 November 2010

BBC News - Saudi school lessons in UK concern government

This barbaric stuff is being taught to children in the UK. This is what they learn about the world at their mother’s knee, at the mosque and in their schools. Summary, violent solutions to life’s problems and grotesque caricatures of the “other.” Do you think it is just the Jews, just the gay community they despise and demonise?

Even while they benefit from our civilised, Christian-based, liberal democracy they despise our culture and our “Western ways.” A so-called moderate Muslim is one who has been influenced by those ways and a fundamentalist Muslim, who regards the moderate as apostate, is one who has been influenced by the teachings of Islam through schools like this.

“One of the text books asks children to list the "reprehensible" qualities of Jewish people. A text for younger children asks what happens to someone who dies who is not a believer in Islam - the answer given in the text book is "hellfire".

Another text describes the punishment for gay sex as death and states a difference of opinion about whether it should be carried out by stoning, burning with fire or throwing the person over a cliff.

In a book for 14-year-olds, Sharia law and its punishment for theft are explained, including detailed diagrams about how hands and feet of thieves are amputated.”

This is not a radical twisting of Islam – it is Islam. It is not, as the Saudis insist, shocking because it is taken out of context. The acceptable face if Islam we too readily buy into in the UK is out of context and this is Islam. It is ironic that the Saudis, who maintain oversight in these schools, should be anxious to distance themselves from this since they enforce and export Whahhabism, one of the most extreme, fundamentalist expressions of Islam.

BBC News - Saudi school lessons in UK concern government

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Fire brigade cuts Christian references from Remembrance service - Telegraph

I am so sorry that those big, butch brave boys in the Norfolk fire service are so sensitive and tender-hearted that the very idea of religion offends their little sensibilities.

"A fire brigade has removed all religious references from its remembrance service after complaints from staff.

The Church said it was “a big step” to take but the decision was welcomed by the National Secular Society, which said religion had no place in the annual commemorations.

Norfolk’s fire service said it had taken the decision because some staff felt excluded in previous years by the Christian references during Remembrance Day.”

Although, it has to be said, their aversion to religion seems incredibly selective. Isn’t this the same fire service that sent a great big, kissy-kissy “Happy Eid” greeting to Muslims on September 10th?

They eschew the Christian faith that gave us the values for which those we remember fought so bravely and send good wishes to the faith that burns a giant poppy on the stroke of eleven to coincide with the two minutes silence to mark the Armistice. Of course, the National Secular Society is doing its usual high-minded gloating. Does this mindless ingratitude and rank hypocrisy take your breath away? It does mine.

Fire brigade cuts Christian references from Remembrance service - Telegraph

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Proclaiming Jesus from the Roof Tops | Christian Concern

An excellent comment on the increasing restrictions on Christian activity in the UK and the difference between freedom to worship and freedom of religion.

“What kind of freedom of religion do we want to see in the UK? The freedom to worship in private, unseen and behind closed doors - or the freedom to practice and boldly proclaim our faith in public?”

Proclaiming Jesus from the Roof Tops | Christian Concern

Monday, 8 November 2010

BBC News - Cameron hails 'revolutionary' Whitehall data website

Following plans to make the unemployed work at menial tasks for £1 an hour the government is now planning to hand over the auditing of the civil service to – well, you and me. Ironically, it is the unemployed who might be best placed for time to do this job.

Funny, but when I put my cross next to my candidate of choice at the last election I was convinced I was helping to build a government that would do the job. It seems that while they are dead keen that all the people they are planning to put out of work should find a job, even if it is for £1 an hour, they themselves seem curiously workshy.

David Cameron announced a new age of transparency, when ordinary people will be able to check on whether the government is keeping to the pledges it has made. Maybe he should look closer to home. He is already in government with Nick Clegg and the LibDems who have broken almost every pledge they made before the election.

BBC News - Cameron hails 'revolutionary' Whitehall data website

Sunday, 7 November 2010

BBC News - Ministers defend plan to force jobless to do work

Last time the Tories were in power the joke was that they had plans to shorten the dole queues; get people to stand closer together. Is it just like last time? Listen to their rhetoric, they are vilifying the weak and vulnerable, creating unemployment and then blaming people for being out of work; just like last time.

They are dividing us by setting us against each other. Calling working people superfluous backroom staff and making them unemployed in the name of economy then making working people think that those out of work are not workless but work shy; making the able-bodied think the disabled are cheating the system, making every blue-badge holder the object of suspicion; making the unemployed, made so by the Tories, work for nothing more than benefits and expecting them to be grateful to eat today.

Why this sustained and indefensible attack on ordinary people who are the victims  and not the instigators of the current crisis? What is this designed to distract us from? What are they doing behind our backs while we worry about our futures and that of our children? They are putting us all in our place, making us accept their presumed natural right to govern. They are looking after their own and ensuring their own are well provided for. Do you doubt it?

They are creating an educated elite by burdening future graduates with unsustainable levels of debt so that our universities will be filled, not with the gifted who will contribute to the future wealth of the nation, but the privileged who will contribute to the future wealth of the privileged.

Ian Duncan-Smith, during the Tory conference, was challenged about his plans to withdraw child benefit and he gave a response that I am surprised no one has made more of. “I wish I didn’t have to do it,” he said, “I wish we were elected in 1997. The treasury was awash with money then.”

Indeed, the Labour government inherited a strong exchequer, along with crumbling schools, people dying on hospital waiting lists and on trolleys in hospital corridors, the old were dying from cold in the winter and the young despairing of any hope. When the Tories were last kicked out the country threw a party and the only thing we have to look forward too now is the next party, when the country comes to its senses and throws them out again. Let’s hope we don’t take so long this time to see this lying, cheating rabble of chinless wonders for what they are.

As for the LibDems, well, at least the Tories are true to their nature when they take the country back to the big house, the poorhouse and the tugged forelock. The LibDems declare themselves progressive then betray themselves as Quislings. They should remember that “coalition” only has meaning and significance for LibDems. Everyone knows this is a Tory government and all the talk of coalition won’t change the fact that we have a Tory future until we take back what is ours.

BBC News - Ministers defend plan to force jobless to do work

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Public/Private Enterprise on Speed in Swansea

It’s as neat a piece of public sector/private sector co-operation as you will ever see; PFI on speed – literally. Doing a little business in the city centre this afternoon I parked my car close to the recently opened, £2m Swansea Drugs Project building. It offers a range of essential services on top of the usual substance abuse therapies; a gym, kitchens, crèche, IT suite.

But I noted a service that I believe has not been so widely publicised. Parked neatly outside in an expensive people carrier was the local drug dealer and a couple of heavies, smoking joints and providing those bits and pieces that visitors to the centre might have forgotten, or thought they might do without but...

It is, as I say, as ingenious a piece of enterprise as you will see. Where would you go to sell drugs? Where would you find a lot of addicts in one place? Conversely, where would an addict go to score, or to earn a little extra for the rent this week? Before today, frankly, I wouldn’t have had a clue. I am sure our wise city fathers, when they were discussing how to attract business to the city, didn’t either. But with a record £52.6m being spent in Wales on dealing with substance abuse maybe they should get their fingers out and tax this burgeoning sector.

Either that or police properly this much needed and valuable service so those who take their addictions seriously and are determined to beat them get more than a fair chance to do that.

Drug abuse in England and Wales is the worse in Europe, according to a new survey. Drug-related deaths in Wales are up by 67% and the pain and misery caused by this pernicious trade is apparent on our streets every day. Swansea High Street is almost a no-go area with discarded syringes a common sight, drunken and abusive behaviour and foul language as commonplace. But this is a city-wide problem and a nightmare for descent people going about their daily lives.

I am in favour of whatever works but whatever is being done now clearly doesn’t. Isn’t it time we had a zero tolerance approach to drug abuse? Isn’t it time we stopped telling people they are victims as though drugs creep up on them, mug them and drag them into an alleyway to jack them up? We are the victims, the people whose streets are not safe to walk, whose property is not secure from drug-related crime, whose lives might be at risk and who don’t know any more who can be trusted and where might be safe.

Isn’t it time we set a few examples and dealt a blow to the wicked drug trade? Time we established a few ground rules based on absolutes and certainties. Time justice got meted out alongside these programmes that are in serious danger of becoming an end in themselves. Time we took back our streets, our districts, our city and made them safe again, for ourselves and for the millions of visitors, tourists and students alike, who visit us every year and must wonder sometimes, walking down from High Street station, what on earth they have walked into?

Let’s help by all means but let’s remember that kindness can kill and love must sometimes be tough.