Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Idealist or realist - the choice we must make

I COULD be wrong but I'm certain that I listened to two news summaries and an in-depth report on the unveiling of the memorial to those killed in the London Tube bombings and there were two glaring omissions in the coverage.

Not once did I hear either the word 'Islam' or the word 'Muslim' mentioned. According to the BBC it was just any old suicide bomber or terrorist that took the lives of all those innocent Londoners four years ago. As far as the Corporation's coverage is concerned it seems that the killings were motiveless.

However the words 'Islam' and 'Muslim' were being mentioned in abundance by news readers and reporters in an earlier item concerning the persecution of Muslim Uighur separatists by the Chinese authorities in the western province of Xinjiang.

It seems that the words can be used when creating sympathy, but not when raising concern.

Poor old Gordon Brown has now even fallen foul of one of his greatest supporters after his "local homes for local people" scam.

Equality and Human Rights Commission chairman Trevor Phillips says there's no evidence that immigrants jump the housing queue and blamed the Government and a "failure of social housing supply" for the growth in support of the British National Party.

A bit of feedback from the Nonsuch Ward by-election in Sutton which was held last week.

Croydon Organiser Charlotte Lewis reports:

"At the Greater London Assembly election of May 2008, where people had four votes as opposed to just the one they had on Thursday, 4.9% of Nonsuch voters chose the BNP candidate as their first choice for mayor. 8.9% voted BNP on the 'top-up' list.

"My view is that the Tories lost out in a seat they were confident of winning due to the Westminster expenses scandal. Labour were completely humiliated.

"I would like to say a big thank you to Peter North (right), who is a new recruit to our party, for his hard work and very promising 6.4% in a ward we were contesting for the first time."

Hopefully our office search is coming to an end with two properties in the frame and our final choice depending on the best deal we can get.

I have been snowed under with advice as to which sort of office to sign up to and it's provided a good briefing and alerted us to some problems we might not have foreseen.

A former Tory agent warns against a city centre office with street access.

"Our MP had one and we had all sorts of problems. It was a magnet for malcontents, those who had had too much to drink, people with personality disorders and, during the winter, down and outs looking for somewhere to keep warm after they had been thrown out of the betting office next door.

"We also had the problem of our own people using it as a drop-in centre where on Friday afternoon in particular little or no work could be done because all the offices were full of our supporters discussing the weekend's activities."

Another former Tory councillor has a completely different take:

"I urge you not to go down the 'prestige office' route. The party will be seen by many (and be denigrated by its opponents) as having 'sold out' and to be feathering its own nest, with money being spent on high living which distances you from the people suffering during the recession. Of course this wouldn't be true, but that's how it would be seen and portrayed.

"Consider the Ferrari Maserati car company. You could hardly have a more prestigious marque redolent of wealth, luxury and sophistication. Yet where is their UK head office? Mayfair? Westminster? Chelsea? No. Slough. Prestige comes from the brand, not the location of its offices!"

"The BNP need to be seen as part of the community and the head office should be right in the thick of it."

Then there was this from the head of a security firm:

"You'll have five years of sleepless nights with a city centre location. No matter how good the cameras are and the security system, the building will still be targeted by our opponents on a regular basis. Minor vandalism and graffiti, not necessarily politically motivated, but just 'passing' drunks and yobs, will be a constant headache because the BNP office will always be the local talking point and rather than being a shining light in the community the office could become the eyesore of the community.

"Rather than being an open door to local people, it will have to be a mini Fort Knox because the opposition will be constantly monitoring it, eager to expose any shortcomings in security and ready to swamp the office when your guard is down.

"Don't provide an easy target - get out of town and make the buggers travel if they want to oppose us."

There were many more on similar themes with the two distinct camps - idealist and realist, it is a choice that we will have to make.

Finally, Robert McNamara (left), the architect of the 'body count' strategy of the Vietnam War died at the age of 93 on Monday - 40 years after the 58,000 American youngsters he helped send to their early graves fighting that futile war.

The Defence secretary under Kennedy and Johnson will always be associated with his attempt to apply systems analysis to human behavior.

In a memoir published in 1995, "In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam," McNamara wrote that he had misgivings about the Vietnam War as early as 1967, though he continued to prosecute the war as U.S. and Vietnamese casualties mounted.

A New York Times editorial referred to McNamara as offering the war dead only a "prime-time apology and stale tears, three decades late."


Anonymous said...

Finally dying at 93, McNamara may seem to some to have had a good innings - and in this world he certainly has, when you consider that many of those he sent to their deaths in the hell of Vietnam perished at an average age of 19. However, if one believes in eternal life, the eternity of Hell that the likes of McNamara, Blair, Bush to name but three will surely suffer, while those who have heroically died in the pointless and illegal wars enjoy the eternity of Heaven, 93 and 19 seem much easier to cope with, especially for the loved ones of those who have been sacrificed on the altar of the satanic New World Order.

Myles said...

The Sutton result was very encouraging, as given the overwhelming number of votes cast for the Tories and LibDems (with Labour not in sight), this is obviously an area yet to experience the advantages of "enrichment".