Archive for the ‘The War on Stupid’ Category

Posted by Tim Ireland at March 31, 2005

Category: The War on Stupid

Mother Jones – Inside Terry Jones’s War on the War on Terror: Instead of treating it as a crime – which is what they should have done, getting the FBI and Interpol and everybody onto it – they’ve elevated it into a war. So they’ve elevated the status of the evil perpetrators like Osama bin Laden. He’s put up as of an equal footing with the United States itself. They’ve increased his prestige and reputation to no end, the perfect way of recruiting more people to his agenda.

Book plug: Terry Jones’s War on the War on Terror

Link via Man With No Pseudonym

Posted by Tim Ireland at March 14, 2005

Category: The War on Stupid

Observer – Chaos: how war on terror became a political dogfight: If anyone seriously thought that security would fade as an election issue, the rhetoric and propaganda of the past 24 hours should provide ample evidence that it will be at the heart of the campaign. For Labour, it is clear that the war on terror and the war against the Tories have become indistinguishable.

Told you so.


Sctosman – The long battle ends, now the war begins: The Tories belatedly making their way to their pre-election rally in Brighton proclaimed the outcome a victory for their uncompromising stance on the bill, citing the compromise that the new laws will be reviewed next year as a cave-in by Tony Blair. And yet, despite the opposition’s crowing, Blair, Clarke and his predecessor, David Blunkett, got exactly the powers they had been seeking all along.

Nick Barlow – The wrong kind of steel in the backbone
Returning Officers – LibDem conspiracy theory

Posted by Tim Ireland at March 11, 2005

Category: The War on Stupid

In a lot of ways.

I’ll mostly be posting late this afternoon.

The ‘Blair or Howard’ debate continues over at Tom’s.

You’ll also want to read this:

Chicken Yoghurt: Stop me before I kill again, pleads Straw

And these:
Honourable Fiend: Questions that nobody’s asking the National Labour Party
Observer Blog: Right, you’ve had your fun

Also pay close attention to the ‘we are the democratic house’ argument that’s finally reared its ugly head… and this little dance over the sunset clause that may or may not have been long range or short range ruled out by advice from the security services…

Guardian – Clarke urges Lords to give way on terror bill: The Tory leader, Michael Howard, angrily called on Tony Blair to come to the House to withdraw comments made in prime minister’s questions on Wednesday in which he appeared to suggest the security services had advised against a sunset clause. It followed an admission by Ms Blears that the advice from the security services referred only to the issue of the burden of proof… Today the home secretary dismissed Mr Howard’s call as a cynical ruse to distract and delay proceedings.


Watch closely and approach carefully. There’s a lot of bulldust passing itself off as debate today.

There’s also the very real risk that the opposition in the House of Lords may be weakened by sheer exhaustion.

UPDATE – Europhobia: Thank the Lord for the Lords: The entire POINT of the House of Lords is to do precisely what it has been doing over the last few days. The Lords’ sole purpose is to prevent a Commons dominated by one party with a large majority from passing bad legislation via a three-line whip.

UPDATE – A few snippets from the front line, which includes a reference to Tom. Hm. Is Tom blaming Vodafone here? Shall we start a campaign of harrasment and insist that either Tom or Vodafone is lying? Once we imagine that we’ve got our answer, I’m sure this could be bigger than the Swift Boat Vets! etc. etc. etc.

UPDATE – Via GuidoThe New Labour Code

UPDATE (3:30pm):
BBC – MPs reconsider anti-terror bill
BBC – Blair accused over sunset advice
BBC – The last eight foreign terror suspects detained in UK jails without charge have been granted bail

Keep a close eye on Richard Allan’s weblog, where lots is being blogged live (or as close to live as it gets, what with all the voting and the sword-waving that has to be done in-between posts).

The UK Today – Terror: In spite of British involvement in Iraq; in spite of tying our colours to America’s mast, we have yet to see any deaths from terrorist acts on the mainland. Yet Labour wants to introduce powers that would allow it, or any future government, to seriously restrict our civil liberties. And Labour doesn’t want the powers to be open to review. This is not about your safety or mine. It is about the transition of power from the judicial domain to the political arena.

UPDATE (5:01pm):

Honourable Fiend: the farce continues: Clarke stands up in the house and says both that he’ll introduce a replacement act shortly, and that he’s still completely ruling out the “sunset clause” amendment… All the Tory front bench eyebrows suddenly hit the ceiling since Chuckie hadn’t spoken to them about this before saying it in the House

BBC – Blair olive branch over terror: Tony Blair has urged opponents of his anti-terror bill to “come to their senses” and accept plans for new laws that will deal with their concerns. In a move designed to end deadlock over the issue, he pledged to give MPs with “genuine concerns” the chance to review the law in a year. Mr Blair insisted this did not amount to the sunset clause demanded by opposition parties. But he warned the Tories there would be no more concessions on the bill.

UPDATE (5:31pm – this same link now updated to read):

BBC – Howard accepts Blair terror deal: Tory leader Michael Howard says he accepts the prime minister’s offer of new laws that will deal with his concerns over the anti-terror bill. Mr Howard said Tony Blair’s pledge to give MPs a chance to review the law in a year’s time was a “sunset clause in all but name”. This was earlier denied by Mr Blair – but Mr Howard said his party had got what it had been asking for. The moves look set to end the deadlock between MPs and peers over the bill.

And here’s a picture what I made about them sunset clawses.

UPDATE (6:19pm) – Richard Allan: 42 O’Clock and the Deal is Done: Liberal Democrats are still concerned about a key point of principle on the standard of proof that must be used to secure a control order. We wish to see a higher standard used than that proposed by the Government and may vote again in the Lords for an amendment making this change though it is unlikely we will win again if the Conservatives no longer support us. Many members of both Houses are still unsure about aspects of the Bill but it is certainly a different beast from that which was initially introduced into Parliament. The pain has been worth it in terms of securing changes. It is a shame they had to be dragged out of the Government like pulling teeth.

UPDATE (9:11pm):
BBC – Government’s terror bill passed: The end to the stalemate came after the Tories accepted a compromise offered by Prime Minister Tony Blair. His promise to allow MPs to review the bill in a year’s time succeeded, although the Conservatives claimed it as their victory.

Posted by Tim Ireland at March 10, 2005

Category: The War on Stupid

Independent – Anti-terror Bill passes Commons hurdle after MPs win concessions: Tony Blair faces a trial of strength with the House of Lords today to secure his anti-terror Bill after threatening to make the fight against terrorism a central election issue. The Prime Minister warned that he would hold the Conservatives responsible for destroying the Prevention of Terrorism Bill if peers did not drop their opposition to house arrest for suspects.

Guardian – Terror bill faces deadlock in Lords after concessions cut Labour revolt

Guardian – Bones of contention over a dog’s breakfast

BBC – Blair warning on anti-terror bill

Telegraph – Blair ready to take terror fight to polls: Tony Blair raised the stakes in the battle over anti-terrorism laws last night by declaring his readiness to fight the general election on putting the security of the country before civil liberties.

Remember, those who oppose this bill are causing the problem. And this government wasn’t warned over a year ago that their anti-terror laws were flawed and needed to be reviewed as a matter of urgency.

Timeline up to and including the Law Lords ruling in Dec 2004.

Posted by Tim Ireland at March 7, 2005

Category: The War on Stupid

The threat is real and immediate. Former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens says so. In News Of The World.

I shan’t bother wasting my breath to point out the obvious.

UPDATE – But Chicken Yoghurt will. Enjoy.

Posted by Tim Ireland at March 2, 2005

Category: The War on Stupid, Uzbekistan

Independent – Peers line up to condemn ‘terrifying’ house arrest plan

Guardian – Muslims face increased stop and search

BBC – Immigrant abuse claims examined

Take a close look at that last story and then ask yourself why The Sun today focus so heavily on a drink-driving illegal immigrant. Today’s editorial even goes so far as to ask; “How many thousands more are there like Chisango? Why can’t we round them up and ship them back home?”

Message: they deserve what they get. Ignore the lefties at the BBC. They would prefer it if drink-driving drug-dealing disease-ridden foreign scroungers overwhelmed us.


Here you go, feed your eyes before we move on…

Has Tara Conlan got herself a new job with a less scummy newspaper? Have I actually managed to (ahem) rattle Satan’s cage?

Interesting comments on house arrest continue at the new Guardian blog. You may also be interested in this not-entirely-unrelated story from the States. That first link also leads us to your typical BBC feedback page, BTW. One has to wonder how many ‘all for it’ messages are planted by pro-government dupes.

Oh, and in case you missed it yesterday, here’s someone wondering if I’m a Tory. Whoops; there goes another one!

Hm, I’d best check my moral compass just to be sure…


Speak your mind, but keep in mind that we all know what Tom’s position is. He has the balls to keep comments intact, so please keep it civil.

Governor Arnold mimicking Bush with his own phoney news.

Via Chicken Yoghurt…. New York Times – U.S. Cites Array of Rights Abuses by the Iraqi Government in 2004 (this article does not mention personal executions undertaken by the interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi).

But wait… it gets better…

Democracy Now – Intelligence Inc: The Privatization of U.S. Interrogations at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and Afghanistan (link via Logical Voice).

I saw some evidence of this last night on Channel 4 during Torture: The Dirty Business.

If you haven’t been keeping up with it all, I urge you to start now. There’s more tonight.

It was during last night’s programme that I was reminded of Craig Murray.

Here’s more…

Indymedia – UK torture: Interview with Craig Murray: Ex-British Ambassador to Uzbekistan
BBC – Report praises suspended diplomat
Commin Dreams – Fighting Terror with Terror?

That’s why you have a rushed link-dump this morning, folks. I need to spend time tracking this man down. Because I’m going to build him a website.

His story has been largely ignored by the mainstream media, so I’m hoping that you’ll help me to help him tell it to as many people as possible via Teh Interwebs.

UPDATE – Craig has just launched… I think you’ll agree that it could do with some work. I’ll make an offer today.

UPDATE – Chicken Yoghurt – Poisoned Chalice: The Government have belatedly come round to the idea that human rights in Uzbekistan might be a good idea. FO minister Bill Rammell was due to visit Tashkent “to press the government on its poor rights record” but the Uzbek government have vetoed the trip.

Posted by Tim Ireland at March 1, 2005

Category: The War on Stupid

Guardian – Terror bill climbdown by Labour: Tony Blair’s government last night sustained a significant blow to its authority when 60 Labour MPs, including four ex-cabinet ministers, rebelled against Charles Clarke’s plans to impose control orders on terrorist suspects – despite last minute concessions – and helped slash their party’s 161-vote majority to just 14.

Bloody lefties. Even Reuters has been infiltrated. As usual, I have to turn to The Sun for the truth…

The Sun – Better Still: The Home Secretary has reached a sensible compromise over the anti-terror laws. Charles Clarke’s willingness to listen has produced a good result. The amended law is better than the original one that caused such a row in Parliament. Now, if the Home Secretary wishes to issue a control order against a terrorist suspect, he must consult a judge first. But while the judge is making his decision, the police will have the powers to hold the suspect. The Tories should stop trying to score points on such a vital issue. The new law will enable swift action to be taken against suspects while also safeguarding rights. It is a powerful weapon which we should all welcome.

See? It’s not a defeat… it’s an *improvement*….

Now we should stop all this political posturing and just allow Blair and Clarke to have their way. Before we all get blowed up.


UPDATE – The new Guardian blog points us to a list showing how MPs voted (see below). Mine voted against. Twice. So I’m going to write her a nice email at lunchtime.

Perhaps you’d care to look up your local MP after checking how (or if) they voted and write something suitable yourself.

UPDATE – Thanks to Anthony for this….

Click here for votes on Division No. 94
Click here for votes on Division No. 101

UPDATE – You may find it easier (and quicker) to simply look up your MP via This will also let you know how they’ve voted on similar/related issues in the past. Once you’ve looked your MP up and written an email expressing praise, confusion or disappointment, you may also want to have a play with the most-execllent ‘Dream MP’ function at

Posted by Tim Ireland at March 1, 2005

Category: The War on Stupid

I hope you all ‘enjoyed’ The Guantanamo Guidebook last night (it’s part of Channel 4’s torture season).

For the record, John Beyer did not want you to see it.

There’s more tonight:

Torture: The Dirty Business. Tuesday 1 March at 11.10pm

…and later this week. Make time to watch it and take time to tell others. Please.

Posted by Tim Ireland at February 28, 2005

Category: The War on Stupid


Posted by Tim Ireland at February 28, 2005

Category: The War on Stupid

Clive Stafford-Smith – Torture is rife because our leaders encourage it (requires subscription): Top brass such as Tony Blair and George Bush indignantly condemn abuses, yet it is no coincidence that torture is rife in the rank and file. It would not be happening if it were not encouraged by the attitudes of our political leaders.

Clive is a human rights lawyer, and his Channel 4 documentary Is Torture a Good Idea? tonight at 8pm kicks off “a special season of programmes examining the use of and justification for torture in the war against terror.”

I urge you to check and circle the relevant TV listings. Oh, and now seems as good a time as any to share this with someone you love.

UPDATE – has highlighted listings and a nifty link for you.

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