Saturday, 30 January 2016

UK: Death and diplomacy

To declare my interest upfront, I have neither love nor hatred for Vladimir Putin.

I also know many Eastern Europeans who fear and distrust him intensely, but he is nonetheless leader of about 150 million people in the largest geographical country on Earth.

But anyone viewing the latest BBC documentary about an alleged secret stash of millions, or was it billions, of dollars, would be forgiven for thinking that they were witnessing a story about the leader of a Mexican drug cartel.

Now quite where Mr Putin finds the time and anonymity to accumulate such wealth, while running one of the most important countries on our shrinking planet, I have no idea, and it was not explained.

How such a high profile figure could hope to get away with this wealth, or how or where he would spend it, presumably during his enforced retirement, was also left unexplained.

Looking at Russian history, and the way they deal with despots, I suggest that if such dealings had happened and were discovered, said retirement would be a rather short one.

Regardless of what we might call a harmless bit of fun at this powerful man's expense, it came barely a week after a UK public enquiry concluded that Mr. Putin had 'probably' personally ordered the assassination of Alexander Litvinenko here in London in 2006.

Now coincidence is one thing, but timing is entirely another, and added to a string of smears and slanders over recent years, it is becoming impossible to take much of this at all seriously.

Without excusing what he may, or may not, be doing, I am bound to ask which president, prime minister or other autocrat or leader, has not benefited from their time in office?

What really stinks here, is not the accusation or insinuation in itself, but that there are ways and means of making such claims, and I am old enough to remember when terms like 'Person in the Highest Office' and 'Most senior Government Official' were used to point to those we wished to accuse.

At a time when Syria and Ukraine are top of our shared agenda, it is impossible to see how talks cannot have been poisoned 'probably' intentionally, by such crass and undiplomatic language.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Ireland: Was justice done?

So common sense prevailed, but was justice really served?

Pastor James McConnell was acquitted, but his name has been besmirched, and the judge, in releasing him, has nonetheless declared his comments offensive.

Even though he declared islam to be satanic and heathen, police refused to prosecute under the banner of hate speech, presumably because the good pastor was simply being honest and accurate, and there is no libel in the truth.

So the instrument used to attempt a conviction, was that his remarks about not trusting Muslims were offensive, but surely common sense also demands that a man be cautious of those who might murder him for his views?

It is clear that there are texts within their creed that they themselves find offensive, but would it not be better for them to remove these passages, rather than condemn those who comment on such iniquities?

How they reconcile their ancient prejudices within the civilized world is their own concern, and in a free society we cannot legislate a person's right to be offended, but this licence should not extend to tarnishing the reputation of the truthful.

Available Here

Monday, 4 January 2016

Ireland: The truth on trial

The first week of 2016 is about to tell us something of what we can expect in the coming months.

Pastor James McConnell returns for judgement after standing trial for stating that he did not trust people who adhere to Sharia law.

Now anyone who knows what the good pastor was talking about, will also know that he was simply stating the obvious truth about a doctrine rooted in deceit and cruelty, but it seems that is enough to put the 78 year old preacher in the dock.

So, while the world awaits the next attack from the very people he warned us about, it is comforting to note that the case was brought about by a supporter of IS in Iraq who will not be charged with praising the mass expulsions and murders in Mosul, so free speech is not dead yet, for some people at least.

Available Here

Saturday, 2 January 2016

2015: An intolerable year

Two days into the New Year, and nothing much has changed, our enemies are still plotting our destruction, and our leaders are still aiding and abetting them.

In the name of tolerance, we stood by and watched while others suffered, and in our pious certainty we forgave the evildoers and demanded that their victims forgave them also and took their part of the blame for simply being there.

A year that saw Saudi Arabia chair a UN panel on human rights, then form it's Coalition of the Damned to attack Yemen, was also the 100th anniversary of Turkey's slaughter of a million or so Christians, so we should not have been too surprised at the savagery that took place elsewhere in their sphere of influence, but the absolute refusal of our elected and unelected representatives to confront, or even acknowledge, the root cause of the carnage, has been the most telling and worrying aspect.

While voices are starting to sound the danger before us, with Cameron, Hollande and Trump most senior, the problem we face in recognizing what we are fighting against, is as nothing to agreeing on what we are fighting for.

So corrupted and demoralized are we now, that tackling the beast may be beyond our collective will if we tolerate even one more year like the last.