Tuesday, 31 July 2012

London 2012: what breaks our hearts makes us stronger

The Olympics, it seems, constitute the opposite of social media. In the Olympics people stand shoulder-to-shoulder with their peers, the best in their fields. There’s no anonymity or pseudonyms, it’s good honest sport. Therefore the bullies on social networks are having a field-day.

The most infamous comment appears to have come from an eejit called @Rilevy_69...

Tom Daley retweet's @rileyy_69's abusive text

...whose profile links to a site advertising "free porn videos and sex movies" and who initially tried to blame Daley for the hatred he was receiving…

@rileyy_69 accuses DALEY of hate

…while showing he was no stranger to dishing it out, threatening one tweeter that he would "come to your f*****g house right now with a rope and strangle you with it", and threats of sexual violence I won’t reproduce here. Like cowards the world over, he can give it but he can’t take it. I’m glad the police have caught up on him. Maybe they might want to check the "free" porn for viruses and pirated material?

read more about Ruta Meilotyte
Daley, on the other hand, has maintained a dignified silence on the issue and is doing what he does best: honouring the memory of his recently departed father by excelling, and the Olympian spirit by wishing good luck to Lithuanian swimmer and Plymouth schoolmate Ruta Meilutyte (right), who went on to win gold at 100m breast-stroke. Gabby Douglas: click to read athletic profileAnd as good as our women’s gymnastics team was, gold-winning Gabby Douglas (left) of the US gave an absolutely stellar performance. Gemma Spofforth: click to read more

Like any major event the Olympics is full of human stories. World-record holder for backstroke, Gemma Spofforth (right), didn’t want to talk bout missing out on a medal for the 100m, concentrating on plans to climb Everest as a way of honouring her mother's memory after her sad death. She’s living proof that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger even if, or possibly especially if, it breaks your heart. I hope Spofforth, Daley and all the world’s Olympians of 2012 continue onward and upward.

Gerry Dorrian
300 words

Thursday, 26 July 2012

female genital mutilation: isn't child protection for all children?

Linda Weil-Curiel
"Cultural sensitivity" isn’t a favourite phrase of French lawyer and FGM campaigner Linda Weil-Curiel (right), who prosecuted former female genital mutilator Howa Gréou after neighbours heard children screaming in her flat. Gréou found some sort of redemption in prison, and now herself campaigns against mutilation alongside Weil-Curiel.

Whether prison might similarly redeem practitioners in the UK is unknown, because there’s been no prosecutions here. 10,000 Somalis have relocated here from the Netherlands because our Establishment will not extend child protection to all children.

Dr Comfort Momoh - click to find out more
On Newsnight, Omar Ahmed of the Council of Somali Associations said FGM affects a "minute proportion" of the community; he was immediately challenged by Dr Comfort Momoh (left) and by girls from Integrate Bristol, whose prize-winning film The Silent Scream [see resources, below] challenges FGM. Following the film’s release their community turned against them – Bristol has an imam who advocates FGM.

Gavin Esler, interrogating equalities minister Lynne Featherstone, replied to her objections over difficulties getting witnesses to testify by reminding her that the same concerns were once voiced regarding rape.

In France, doctors intimately examine young girls every year for FGM. When Featherstone condemn this as abusive, she confirms our system of apartheid regarding children’s rights when the children are from diverse communities.

click to go to Integrate Bristol's website
Groups such as Integrate Bristol show the determination of people seeking a new life to remake the old. I hope that in the future integrationists and patriot groups will forge a Great Britain where all have the same rights under one law, and avoid "the racism of the respectable", where "The CPS will defend women’s rights, but only the rights of white women. Girls with black or brown skins can go hang — or rather go have their genitalia cut to pieces."

I prefer a girl from Integrate Bristol’s analysis: David Cameron should "grow a pair and challenge FGM".

Gerry Dorrian 300 words


Sign the HM Government e-Petition to stop Female Genital Mutilation in Britain

Woman's Hour, Radio 4, 24/7/12 - Jane Garvey talks to Sue Lloyd Roberts from Newsnight and Dr Comfort Momoh MBE of Guys and St Thomas’s Hospital in London.

Newsnight, 23/7/12 - first of a 2-part report into FGM, including interviews with girls from Integrate Bristol (Starts at 13:00).

Newsnight 24/7/12 - starts with a film examining FGM in France, the Netherlands and the UK, then a panel discussion - highly recommended.

Watch The Silent Scream on YouTube or below:

Go to the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

my Grandad: an unknown great Briton

read about Gallipoli at History Learning Site
Amid the rollcalls of great Britons, I’d like to tell you about my grandfather. He was born in 1890s Glasgow and was working in the Parkhead Forge at 12; the school leaving age was 14 but nobody investigated. While there he witnessed a man burn to death and was probably ahead of the game in terms of what psychiatry now calls post-traumatic stress disorder by the time he landed at Gallipoli (right).

He’d lied about his age to get escape a heavy-handed father and was a Sergeant by the time WWI started. His Lieutenant had noticed that he was what we’d call functionally illiterate and had arranged training; Grandad would go on to prevent him from messing up during the war.

read about the Independent Labour Party at Glasgow Digital Library
He married after the war and, moving from Townhead to Garngad, borrowed a horse-and-cart from an associate in the Independent Labour Party (ILP): a coalman who had conditioned the horse to move only when it heard The Red Flag sung. (Grandma’s first vote under universal suffrage went to the Conservatives!)

Conscripted for WWII for his training skills, the heavy drinking common in Glasgow had taken root so He oscillated between Private to Sergeant like a yo-yo.

He died at 66, having been unable to claim his pension because of the lie about his age; already the golden thread of patriotism that had bound together socialists, capitalists and everybody in between was inconvenient to unelected officialdom. His officer, whom he hadn’t seen since WWI, attended the funeral.

He'd lost his birth certificate and Mum also suspected it only surfaced after his death because the ILP – rooted in working-class activism – was seen as "extremist" by cadres who were sharpening elbows for social ascent. But on such as my Grandad are founded the precarious freedoms of modern Britain.

Tony Urquhart
300 words

Sunday, 15 July 2012

...and in pictures: EDL Bristol demo July 2012

See also - pride of Bristol: EDL demo 14 July 2012

It was good to bear witness to our opposition to the creeping Islamicisation of Great Britain in such a picturesque place as Bristol. Here the march passes the medieval facade of St Mary Redcliffe.

Also beautiful to see were the Georgian terraced houses overlooking the coach park next to the river Avon.

The concerns of ordinary Bristol people were on the agenda;

Including concerns about decent Muslims trying to make Bristol a home where they could escape from extremism. The Daily Mail had caught Bristol Imam Mohammed Abdul advocating Female Genital Mutilation, saying girls don't need a clitoris. (Click to read more about fgm)

The demo was held on the same day as the Bristol Gay Pride, and everybody was aware of the fight by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people for equal rights, rights that sharia law strives to negate along with those of many other people;

June, a transsexual and long-standing member of the EDL, said from the podium that nobody chooses to be gay or transsexxual, and that she was proud to be a member of the English Defence League because of its emphasis on equal rights for everybody under British law.

She'd been introduced by Kev Carroll, who excoriated the Government for its proposed axing of a 20,000 soldiers, a fifth of the army's strength; and added, to cheers, that the entire cadre of ministers in Westminster weren't worth the life of one member of the Forces.

Tony Curtis congratulated the approcimately 1,000 attendees for coming despite death-threats and the police discovery of machetes, firearms and a, IED that had been intended for the EDL demo in Dewsbury.

The so-called Unite Against Fascism seem to think that they are the inheritors of the real antifascists who fought against Franco in the Spanish Civil War, and have misappropriated their slogan. They either do not see or refuse to admit that the Islamists, if allowed to implement sharia law in Great Britain, would surpass even Franco's cruelty and totalitarianism;

An EDL supporter got among them and hung an EDL flag near their banner. The UAF turned violent and police threw a protective cordon around our lad - they were brilliant;

And while they insisted that EDL demonstrators couldn't cover their faces, they did the same to a UAF protestor who was covering his.

Hope you enjoyed the pics, herre's a few more!

Gerry Dorrian

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Pride of Bristol: EDL demo 14 July 2012

Snaking through the beautiful cobbled streets of Bristol on an English Defence League demo, it was depressing to see one of the jeering handful following us make a Hitler salute.

This would have been distressing enough at any time, but we were marching in solidarity with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community: not one of Adolf’s favoured constituencies. Before the march we gathered in a car-park by the river Avon overlooked by a walkway over which our opponents, misnamed Unite Against Fascism, had draped a banner proclaiming “¡No pasarán!”

This was the slogan of the original – and real – antifascists fighting in the Spanish Civil War. As brainwashed as many soldiers of the International Brigades were by Marx, the more percipient among them understood that while no Western government would challenge the Nazis, if they could be thwarted in Spain then Europe might be spared the evils that many saw coming.

Emblematic of the storm to come was the fate of Federico Lorca, a poet who was executed by Fascist forces because of his sexual orientation in 1936. So it was strange to see so-called anti-fascists demonstrating in favour of a mode of Islam that would dispose of Lorca today at least as efficiently as Franco’s forces. The real antifascists must be turning in their graves.

One of the many themes of today’s demo was EDL solidarity with the LGBT community. A male-to-female transsexual who is a long-standing member of our movement put things in a nutshell as she spoke for all of the EDL membership:

We fully support the rights of the LGBT community to live without fear of persecution. On this day of Pride in Bristol I wish to say I’m proud to be a transsexual and I’m proud to be a member of the English Defence League.

Gerry Dorrian
300 words

Friday, 13 July 2012

Rangers' bust-down and football's working-class fan base

In Glasgow this February, I ran into some Celtic supporters from Ireland in a chip-shop and asked what was going on with Rangers. Almost in tears they explained that if Rangers fell it was the end of Celtic. I asked a Rangers-supporting friend, and he said much the same thing. It seems that working-class Old Firm supporters understand we’re all in it together better than David Cameron did when he said it.

Sponsorship deals for televising Scottish Premier League matches are given on the understanding that there will be four Old Firm matches per year. Now Rangers is being busted down to Third Division I suppose some quasi-legal fiction could be devised to allow Celtic and Rangers to play, but it’s difficult to see how the two can compete as anything less than equals. Where will the money come from now?

click to read about Jimmy Carr's tax avoidance
Rangers’ downfall seems to have been the use of trusts to pay players – the same thing that Jimmy Carr (right) did to pay himself: and got off scot-free.

Rio Ferdinand: read outcome of 'racism' case
Given the absorption of trade-unionism’s higher reaches into the sharp-elbowed middle classes, I suspect the powers-that-be are unhappy that football is the last remaining bastion of working-class unity. Why else would John Terry have been taken to court on the basis of racist remarks that Rio Ferdinand (left) never heard and were never proved to have been said? Like Rangers’ punishment, the real object was enshrining football as an object of middle-class derision.

But Rangers’ fan base is too big and too loyal to give up on such a major part of their lives without doing their best to cheer them back up to the top of the tree. And in that, for the sake of every British football club that fears finding itself in the same position soon, I hope they succeed.

Gerry Dorrian 300 words

Rangers: best of luck for all our sakes!

Thursday, 12 July 2012

the right to wear a cross: Cameron's bind

Nadia Eweida: click to read more about her struggle

David Cameron is, again, in a bind. Two employees who have been victimised for wearing a cross at work are taking their case to the European Court of Justice, and his ministers are opposing them.

In terms of Christianity in England, this is very late in the day indeed. When Augustine came became the first Archbishop of Canterbury at the very dawn of England in 597AD, there were already Christians here, Alban having been martyred in 305AD.

So given that Christianity has been here at least 1700 years, what gives European judges the right to adjudicate on how we may or may not manifest our religion?

I’m am not advocating wearing the cross to the exclusion of other religious symbols, be it the Star of David, or Sikhs’ bangles and turbans. And I have no more against the scarves worn by some Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims than I have against nuns' veils.

the full veil: a human right?

What I’m suspicious of is the full veil worn by some Muslim women, not always consensually. The problem is ideological, saying not only that the wearer cannot control her sexuality, but predicating this of all women. I’d welcome a debate between full-veil advocates and feminists on the extent to which women have the right to renounce their hard-won rights, but won’t hold my breath.

Herein is Cameron’s bind. If he legislates that Christians have a right to wear the cross, he opens the Government to maneuvring by those with an agenda to legitimise the full veil. but if his ministers win their fight against Christian religious freedom, we will speak in the ballot box.

Cameron’s problem cannot be solved within the EU-centric polity. Which is yet another reason for Britain to be free again, and guarantee thereby the rights of all people of good will living within her shores.

Gerry Dorrian 300 words


Read about the controversy at the Christian Institute website

Sunday, 8 July 2012

since when were concerned Sikhs extremists?

go to EDL bomb threat article

The Daily Express has been one of the many outlets to speculate that an IED found on a car impounded because it had no insurance may have been destined for the English Defence League Demo at Dewsbury on June 30.

However, my eye hit a passage in the Express coverage that wasn’t immediately related to the incident:

[The police] are also concerned about reports suggesting the EDL has forged links with Sikh extremists following the rape of a Sikh woman by a Muslim.

Although I think I’d feel pretty extreme if somebody from my community was raped, the Express appears to see no need to justify why the Sikhs who protested in Luton were, in their opinion, extremists.

Possibly, its strategy might be to invite its readers to consider that "extremists", like birds of a feather, stick together: if the Sikhs are extremists, then so must their EDL friends be.

Emily Heathcote-Drury: click to read about her ordeal

Alternatively, I wonder if there is a default assumption that anybody who makes an allegation against a Muslim is an "extremist". For example, portrait photographer Cinnamon Heathcote-Drury (right) found herself being charged with racially-aggravated assault upon a Muslim couple after she complained to police that she had been assaulted. (The jury found her not-guilty in 15 minutes).

Richard Littlejohn suggests that media fetishisation of Islam is fuelling record levels of anti-Semitism in Great Britain. We are now seeing another consequence of unthinking tolerance, whereby Sikhs are targeted for refusal to be quiescent towards the sort of Islam that awards with kudos men who are prepared to be abusive towards non-Muslim communities.

What we are seeing, with Sikhs and EDL members (which are not mutually-exclusive groups) demonstrating together is that the victims of institutionalised abuse will not lie under it; we are not extremists, we are only making common cause with each other.

Gerry Dorrian
300 words


Click to read the Express.co.uk article with the remark about Sikh "extremists"

300 Sikhs and English Defence League confront Muslim rape - British Freedom

Richard Littlejohn attacks anti-Semitism - TotallyJewish.com

Click for Daily Mail interview with Cinnamon Heathcote-Drury after her acquittal from charges of "racially aggravated assault"

Saturday, 7 July 2012

where was the 7/7 anniversary tribute?

click to read more about the 7/7 memorial in Hyde Park

We’re big on anniversaries nowadays. Dickens, Shakespeare, the Antarctic treaty, the list goes on. So, on 7 July, where was our state broadcaster’s anniversary tribute to the victims of the 7/7 bombings?

And yet, the anniversary was nearly marked in a negative way. Dymphna, posting on the Gates of Vienna, suggests that the suspected terrorist who was arrested for casing the Olympic may have been looking for a way to mark the seventh anniversary of 7/7.

Dymphna points to the generational strategy Islamists have taken in Egypt that have given them control of the armed forces, and wonders if the same thing is happening here. It’s entirely possible, but I wonder if there isn’t another factor causing distress among those who look at the West with covetous eyes.

read more about Islamic opposition to the London megamosque

In the three years that the English Defence League has been in existence, there has been unprecedented pressure on the police hierarchy and the Crown Prosecution Service to act on Muslim child grooming gangs, certainly, but more subtle currents have also been finding their way to the surface. In the absence of a formal anniversary tribute to the victims of 7/7, it’s fitting that the Center for Islamic Pluralism is leading a campaign against the Markazi Masjid mosque in Dewsbury (left) because of the movement’s links with terrorists, not least two of the 7/7 bombers. And Muslim parents have been campaigning against a proposed "megamosque" on the Olympic site because they don’t want their children radicalised.

I believe current Islamist threats in Britain, including the bomb possibly intended for EDL supporters in Rochdale, are aimed at moderate, westernised Muslims and those open to dialogue with them. Social Services threats to remove the child of a pregnant woman because of her support for the EDL almost certainly have a similar focus. In a spirit of respect for the victims of 7/7, I suggest that this is not the time to give up on moderate Muslims.

Gerry Dorrian
300 words


Read about the 7/7 memorial in Hyde Park

Tommy Robinson talks to Giles Coren about Social Services threats to remove a pregnant woman's baby at brith because of her support for EDL. Watch below, or click to watch here on YouTube.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Happy 4th of July!

A statement in the Demos report on the English Defence League caught my eye: “groups [like the EDL] lay claim to the mantle of the enlightenment, espousing support for fundamental liberal values of free speech, democracy and equality”.

I don’t know how to lay claim to such a prolonged and heterodox phenomenon. For example, the EDL (and other friends of Israel) would treat with caution the "mantle" of the European Enlightenment, because in its scramble towards rationalism it adopted as its standard the premise that the human race was perfectible solely through that which it contains. A line runs from that premise, passes through eugenics, and leads straight to the Holocaust.

Other European Enlightenment figures thought in terms of religious and political conflicts that had blighted the continent. Hobbes and Locke theorised about what the relationship should be between a people and their prince. Rousseau abolished the prince and, in failing to prescribe any other central power, created a vacuum that communism would fill with fascism.

George Washington

The American Enlightenment is the crucible that forged philosophies to fire today’s patriots worldwide. The Founding Fathers, defeating a colonial power, found themselves, literally, in a new world. Anxious to avoid the excesses of the old, people of the calibre of, say, George Washington (right), Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson worked on avoiding the trap that France would soon fall into by killing a king and ending up with an emperor.

Replacing the Declaration of Independence with the Constitution, they sidestepped the problem (as Popper would later define it) of any movement engendering within itself its own opposition. Its checks and balances recognised that a society’s soul resides not in forced homogeneity but in the spaces between its contradictions.

In the face of renewed colonialism, may God bless us all; and, in particular, may this Scot wish: God bless America!

Gerry Dorrian
300 words

Old Glory: flag of the United States of America

Sunday, 1 July 2012

EDL Bristol demo - newpaper site runs summary of summary of flawed survey

NB: page numbers referred to for the Demos report Inside the EDL are for the .pdf (online) document. Subtract 2 to get page numbers in the hard copy.

click to find out more about the Bristol demo

In anticipation of the English Defence League's march in Bristol on 14 July, This is Bristol have released excerpts from Demos’ inside the edl: populist politics in a digital age.

Except, they haven't. what they have released is excerpts from the EDL Mission Statement, interspersed with a summary of the Guardian's summary of the Demos report: a third-hand report.

Jamie Bartlett: click to read more at the Demos website

To suggest there are flaws in Demos' report says nothing that authors Jamie Bartlett (left) and Mark Littler haven’t indicated themselves.

There are two areas that give me trouble.

Firstly, the sample were self-selected – ads on Facebook may have been answered by trolls, members of EDL groups who were there to give people the wrong ideas about what we are about. The authors’ guess on p35 is that about 10% of its respondents were trolls, whereas others set the figure for infiltrators at a quarter. Which is true could make a lot of difference to interpretation of the findings. Might trolls be more motivated to self-select? (I should add that self-selection was famously ridiculed when it led Dr Kinsey to report that 8% of men and 3% of women have sex with animals.)

My second problem is a table on p26 of the .pdf comparing EDL members’ attitudes on views to the "national average". A footnote reveals the national average to have been taken from the Eurobarometer 2011 study. An EU webpage indicates gaining attitudes about climate change was a priority for this, so it’s perhaps no surprise that no "national average" opinion available for "security" and "strong government" – the strongest EDL priorities - was available.

Think-tanks usually fish for funding by indicating further study is needed. But the authors’ statement to this effect on p39 is accurate, if not an admission that the "large-scale empirical study of the EDL" promised on p5 fails to materialise.

Gerry Dorrian
300 words


Click to go to the Demos report inside the edl: populist politics in a digital age

Click for the EDL LGBT statement on the Bristol demo (which is on the same day as the Bristol gay pride)