Independent – Campaigners accuse ministers over Bush visit: Anti-war campaigners have accused ministers of caving into American pressure by keeping protesters well away from a reception for George Bush in Downing Street tomorrow…. Scotland Yard said it had not banned the march as plans to close Whitehall for “good public safety reasons” had already been drawn up before it received the application.
Hm. Feel like changing stories much?
There’s also been lots of press from Friday afternoon onwards about London being in ‘lockdown’ for the two days that Bush is here, and about the chaos it will bring to weary travellers on Sunday and general commuters on Monday.
On that note, I’d like to apologise to the police and security personnel in advance:
Dear policing peeps,
I’m really, really, sorry that it’s come to this, but if you do your best to play by the rules and genuinely look out for the rights and safety of others (as a priority over, say, the ego of a gutless warmonger who has to sneak around just so he can appear to be welcome), then we’ll be equally considerate. Promise.
PS – I bet you a pint that you won’t see us coming.
To innocent bystanders, I say this:
Hello, innocent bystander.
The only one who gains from this visit is George ‘Dubya’ Bush. He’s invited himself when he knows he’s not welcome. He plays the dove-like statesman in the face of clear evidence that he’s a war criminal. He’s a lame duck who deserves what’s coming to him.
That’s so you know why I may act in any way that causes you inconvenience.
Sorry for that if it comes up, and for any worries I might cause you.
To everyone else, if you have not yet been invited to take part in Operation Manticore, then my advice to you is (a) don’t take it personally, (b) remember that it’s not over until Bush’s plane leaves, and (c) make sure that you turn up to the demonstration on Sunday, as agents will be at this event. Briefly.
Oh, and if you see George W. Bush at any time on Sunday or Monday, don’t be afraid to kick it old skool and moon the creep.
It is very likely that this is all that will be blogged here until Bush pushes off.
Until then, I leave you with this song.
[Comments are closed at this time.]
The Times – Britain shamed as Iraqi interpreters are resettled in squalid tower blocks: The first Iraqi interpreters to be offered refuge in Britain are living in fear in squalid tower blocks in Glasgow, The Times has learnt. They complained of living among drunks and drug addicts, being abused and spat at, and of feeling isolated and unable to work. One girl of 9 had had her hijab torn off by one of her new neighbours. Abdul, 71, one of three Iraqis who risked their lives working for British troops in Basra and were resettled in April with 15 dependents, advised others in a similar position to stay in Iraq. The Government decided to offer sanctuary to some of the hundreds of Iraqis who have helped British Forces after their plight was highlighted by The Times. In Iraq they are regarded by extremists as traitors and many have been targeted by death squads. (via)
But if they move back to Iraq (or stay in Iraq on the advice of others) then it will be their choice, won’t it?
There’s something going on here that’s much cleverer than simple economic prudence, you mark my words. To call Gordon Brown a tightfisted git over this is to give him the benefit of the doubt.
And this article doesn’t give any details, but my gut’s telling me that these people are looked down upon and/or seen as terrorists by the type of people that tabloids knowingly exploit with their shameless fear mongering. I’m happy to be proved wrong, but until then I’ll be assuming that the average interpreter’s first taste of British cuisine is bitter irony.
So that was the weird shudder I felt on the Underground as I left Westminster early this afternoon; it was a thousand or so people directly above me turning around and saying “WTF?!” in near-unison.
It’ll be interesting to see how Murdoch + chums at the Scum play this. If Labour refuses to field a candidate, we may even see a Page 3 girl running as an independent in Haltemprice and Howden on a ‘cage terrorist scum’ platform.
You think I’m kidding, don’t you?
UPDATE (13 Jun) – Well, I almost picked it. The Scum are running with one tit, not two. See comments* for more.
[ *Thanks, Justin, for jumping the gun and treading on my punchline. :oP ]
UPDATE (13 Jun) – Some news items for you, including that exchange on Radio 4 that I mention under comments:
BBC – Ex-Sun editor ‘to take on’ Davis: Ex-Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie says he is likely to take on David Davis in a by-election in Haltemprice and Howden if Labour does not stand. He says he is 90% certain to stand on a national security platform, arguing in favour of 42-day terror detention.
The Age – Sun’s former editor may challenge Davis: Asked whether it was Murdoch who wanted him to stand, Mackenzie said “Yes it is. Rupert Murdoch and Rebekah Wade, who is editor of The Sun, both felt that democracy would not be best served by a walkover and suggested to me last night that I might be the person to fill the hole.” When BBC Today presenter John Humphrys asked him “You don’t always do what people tell you to, do you?” Mackenzie retorted “I do if it is Rupert Murdoch, strangely.”
BBC (Newsnight Blog) – How will Murdoch fund Mackenzie campaign?: Former editor of the Sun newspaper Kelvin Mackenzie has indicated that he’s 90% certain to stand as a pro 42 days candidate in the Haltemprice and Howden by-election; caused by the resignation of David Davis.And on the BBC’s This Week programme he revealed that his old boss Rupert Murdoch had offered to back his campaign financially: “Rupert suggested to me that if Labour didn’t put anyone up, that I would run against David Davis, if that’s the case – and Rupert says he’s good for the money… I might well do it,” Mr Mackenzie said. But there is one problem with that. Mr Murdoch is an American citizen and so under British law is not allowed to contribute funds to any UK election campaign.
Let me tell you this for nothing; George W. Bush is unlikely to be ferried in through the front gate on Sunday:
In fact, there are workmen busily removing scaffolding by the rear entrance today.
UPDATE – Yes, the area immediately around the Cenotaph is in a right old state as well. I take back what I said about a wreath laying being a dead-cert… unless someone can rustle up 300+ yards of black curtain before Sunday morning.
Bush was ignored* in Germany and attracted a modest 1000 protestors in Rome. Here, authorities are taking no chances; Brown has to make nice with George ‘Warmonger’ Bush and already there are red faces and Brown stuff everywhere. About the only thing they can count on is that Fathers4Justice will probably stay at home (or maybe enjoy a day at the zoo).
– , Operation Manticore, . BYOB.
(*Mind you, his staying way, way out out of town helped.)
There’s bound to be plenty of talk about the support from Northern Ireland that helped Gordon to squeak by, but this morning my eyes are drawn a little further south…
Today, in the Downing Street Echo, Page 3 lovely Claire Tully (24, from Dublin, who has a First Class Honours in Biochemistry, thank you very much) gets her cha-chas out to deliver
this message on behalf of the editor, Rebekah Wade her own personal take on matters:
Claire thinks the 42 days detention measure means the authorities will have to strike a delicate balance between preserving civil liberties and protecting the British public from terrorists. She says it shouldn’t be used “without strong and valid reasons”.
What, like this whole issue was?
This cynical manipulation of the terrorist threat for political gain makes me sick to my stomach…. and I’d love to dwell on how happy it makes me that we have yet another PM who thinks he can play pissy power games with it, but there’s plenty of dissatisfaction here for you to chew on and right now at Bloggerheads it’s time to point, laugh and get a wee bit frightened about what happens when they do try to take the issue seriously:
BBC – Secret terror files left on train: Police are investigating a “serious” security breach after a civil servant lost top-secret documents containing the latest intelligence on al-Qaeda. The unnamed Cabinet Office employee apparently breached strict security rules when he left the papers on the seat of a train. A fellow passenger spotted the envelope containing the files and gave it to the BBC, who handed them to the police.
BBC – Terror files official suspended: The Cabinet Office has suspended the civil servant at the centre of an inquiry into the loss of top-secret documents on al-Qaeda and Iraq.
Five quid says the opening paragraph on the top-secret Iraq documents reads; “The place is still in a right mess, but we and our chums over the pond are f**king coining it in.”
BBC – BBC uncovers lost Iraq billions: A BBC investigation estimates that around $23bn may have been lost, stolen or just not properly accounted for in Iraq. For the first time, the extent to which some private contractors have profited from the conflict and rebuilding has been researched by the BBC’s Panorama using US and Iraqi government sources. A US gagging order is preventing discussion of the allegations… Henry Waxman who chairs the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform said: “The money that’s gone into waste, fraud and abuse under these contracts is just so outrageous, its egregious. It may well turn out to be the largest war profiteering in history.”
I’m sure I don’t need to remind you that it cost more than a few paper dollars.
And while we’re on the subject…
Independent – Transatlantic relations: George Bush’s farewell tour: George Bush should be accustomed to protesters in Britain because each of his visits has provoked some kind of hostile reaction. For that reason, Downing Street is coy about giving details of his itinerary. It seems almost reluctant to admit the American President will be here at all. From the US end, we know that Mr Bush will drop into Windsor Castle at lunchtime to visit the Queen, and then go to 10 Downing Street for dinner with Gordon Brown. The fact that police have closed Whitehall until noon on Monday suggests there is more on the agenda.
There’s sure to be a ceremony at the Cenotaph. Ironically, it’s one of the few places that isn’t behind a large fence where Bush is safe from protestors… and not just because we’re not allowed to honour the dead without a permit.
His sackcloth is like a shield of steel.
Ah, me… if only we understood his pain.
UPDATE – And speaking of the need for permits:
Guardian – Anti-Bush protesters to defy march ban: Anti-war campaigners said today that they would defy a ban on a planned march to Downing Street at the weekend to protest against a visit by George Bush. The Stop the War Coalition said that it would press ahead with the protest on Sunday, and stage a march from Parliament Square to the gates of Downing Street.
– Operation Manticore, , . Weather permitting.
The Raw Story – Kucinich presents Bush impeachment articles: Kucinich, a 2004 and 2008 Democratic candidate for the White House, abandoned a prior attempt to begin impeachment proceedings against Bush in January of this year. In April of 2007, Kucinich presented impeachment articles against Vice President Dick Cheney, but the effort went nowhere. Kucinich exclaimed that “impeachment may well be the only remedy which remains to stop a war of aggression against Iran.”
The smart money is on a totally defiant and somewhat bonkers response sometime today on Nadine’s not-a-weblog.
UPDATE – Septicisle – The Dorries deficit