BBC & Sky say “No appeal” to Gaza victims

January 29, 2009

The BBC and Sky TV are continuing to hold the line that broadcasting a humanitarian appeal for aid to help rebuild the Gaza Strip would compromise their journalistic credibility and their ability to objectively report on the Middle East conflict.

Overnight (Kiwi time) a group of protestors staged a sit-in at the BBC HQ in London and burned their TV licences. Meanwhile a group of British MPs is backing a motion in the House of Commons that would attempt to force the BBC to broadcast the appeal.

Meanwhile the appeal has already raised in the vicinity of $NZ 1.6 million.

The refusal of Sky to broadcast the appeal makes some sense, it is, after all, owned by Rupert Murdoch who is very pro-Israel and regularly feted by the Zionist lobby in the USA. Sky, like Fox in the US, is still neo-con in outlook and would never compromise Murdoch’s links with Israel.

However, the BBC case is more nuanced and I’m still struggling with the issue of credibility and compromise.

Read the rest of this entry »


“Deradicalisation”: What the fcUK is this about?

June 3, 2008

I’ve got no idea how this is going to work, it seems like the most bizarre and twisted form of social engineering to me.

A nationwide “deradicalisation” programme is being developed to tackle people who have been drawn into Islamist violent extremism in Britain, the government will reveal today.

This is from The Guardian, but what the fcuk is the British government up to?
I can’t help but have a very sad laugh at this effort.

“Nationally we are developing a UK deradicalisation programme,” says the government’s new strategy document on preventing violent extremism published today.

What does this mean? It seems, from the Guardian report it means a whole new era of racial and religious profiling right across the UK.

The document publicly confirms for the first time an attempt within Whitehall to map the country by the religious denominational background of the population, to better understand where radicalisation is taking place. However, last month’s attempted bomb attack in Exeter, which does not have a significant Muslim population, demonstrates the limits of this approach.

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Harry Hotpants exposes himself to Terry Taleban: "I’m a f*ck*** tosser!"

March 3, 2008

Now that the giddy “Oh my gosh!” pretend outrage has cooled a little I’d like to add my ten Kiwi cents to the Harry-Embargo-Imbroglio (HEI).

It seems that the English tosser who happens to be 3rd-in-line to the best paid non-job in the world is not that keen on the country of his birth. HEI’s been telling anyone who’ll listen – pretty much the entire world’s media – that, actually, HEI hates England. In particular Harry Hotpants doesn’t like English beer (he drinks something called a Crack

baby cocktail
(see separate post) and HEI doesn’t like the English media too much either.

From today’s New Zealand Herald (and a 1000 other quasi-tabloid shi*sheets. The NZH lifted the story from The Observer):

“I don’t want to sit around Windsor,” HEI admitted. “I generally don’t like England that much and, you know, it’s nice to be away from all the press and the papers and all the general shite that they write.”

England was, in fact, “poo”, HEI declared.

That’s a pity really. His retainers and flunkies should tell the lucky shite that thanks to the world’s oversupply of trash and gossip magazines HEI’s one of the most eligible rich dicks around and can get into the pants of every young ‘gel’ who takes his royal fancy. HEI doesn’t even know that “poo” (how upper-class quaint) “stinks”.

To be honest, I wouldn’t lose a minute of my life worrying or being upset if HEI was topped by an IED. Apparently there’s a price on HEI’s head.

‘Prince Harry

Is A Top Terror Target’

Prince Harry is now a top terror target after serving in Afghanistan, a radical cleric has warned.

<img src=”http://static.sky.com/images/pictures/1125999.jpg&#8221; alt=”Omar
Omar Bakri Mohammad

Omar Bakri Mohammad said the Prince, who is arriving back in the UK today, was behaving like a “big man, tough man” and that would make him a target for Islamic militants.

The cleric said the Prince had become an “ambassador of war” unlike his mother Diana who had been an “ambassador of peace”.

“I think now he will be more targeted by the Taliban and al Qaeda supporters than before,” he said. “It’s better for him to return home.

However, let’s remember that while the world’s media spent far too much time fawning over this blue-blooded waste of oxygen, real people were dying in Afghanistan and Iraq. We can pause to reflect on another British serviceman who was killed on Sunday March 2:

British airman killed

in Iraq attack named

8:29AM Monday March 03, 2008

By Peter Griffiths
British airman killed in rocket attack named.  Photo /Reuters.

British airman killed in rocket attack named. Photo /Reuters.

LONDON – A British airman killed in a rocket attack in southern Iraq was named on Sunday as Sergeant Duane Barwood.

The Ministry of Defence in London said the 41-year-old from the town of Carterton, Oxfordshire, died on Friday after an attack on the British military base outside Basra.

His death brings to 175 the number of British armed forces personnel who have died in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003.

Barwood, known as “Baz“, was part of the 903 Expeditionary Air Wing of the Royal Air Force and was based at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire.

He leaves a wife, Sharon, and two daughters, Leanna and Rebecca. In a statement, his family said: “Baz will be greatly missed by all those who knew him.

Harry Hotpants you are a lucky and privileged bastard. Shove another Crack Baby down your sun-burnt neck instead of complaining about English ordinariness. Harry have you sent flowers to Mrs Barwood? I didn’t think so, you insufferable waste of space.

We should also pause for the other victims of this senseless Imperialist adventure in which Prince Hotpants got to play toy soldiers. We need to be reminded of the hundreds who die every week in Iraq and Afghanistan whose names we are never told by the press.

Sunday 2 March: 22 dead

Baghdad: 3 bodies.

Diyala

Baquba: roadside bomb kills policeman trying to defuse it; gunmen kill civilian.

Wajihiya: roadside bomb kills 6, 2 of them children.

Buhriz: motorist is shot dead by Iraqi soldiers, after failing to ‘respond to checkpoint instructions.’

Muqdadiya: 3 bodies.

Ninewa

Mosul: car bomb kills civilian.

Shabana: 2 policemen killed in clashes with gunmen.

Salahuddin

Samarra: car bomb kills 4, a child among them.

But while all this is going on, the crap media’s attention is somewhere else. The photogenic action man Harry Hotpants has been discovered living a “normal” life in southern Afghanistan.


As an aside:

“Oh shi*, hold the presses!” Harry Hotpants leads ‘normal life’, now there’s a headline you don’t see every day.
You little silver-coated turd; you think life in southern Afghanistan is ‘normal’? You freakish little rich shi*, fu** you and your warped idea of ‘normal’. A life of war and poverty is not ‘normal’. You, sir, have no idea of what ‘normal’ is. Suck down another Crack Baby you lazy ill-begotten drunk and fu** off back to Knightsbridge.

HEE HEE HEE…Oops…

Sorry, back to the real point of this post:

A few days ago there was an almighty fuss that was heard around the world: some pissant little Australian gossip rag had broken an embargo on a story that the valiant prince had “seen action” in Afghanistan.

No, it wasn’t about the princely prick getting on in a Kabul whorehouse; though it would be a better story if it was. There happened to be a jeep-load of photos and video footage of Harry with a pistol tucked into his flack jacket in really cool wrap-around sunglasses in a cool brown T-shirt and a backwards baseball cap chatting to “Terry Taleban“. but I noticed with some delight that Harry and Terry were never in the same frame; though HEI did tell the media that when Terry’s head “popped up”, HEI fired his trusty blunderbuss for a minute or too.


As an aside: Does anyone else feel slightly uncomfortable about this veiled reference to “Towel Heads” (Terry-toweling)?



When HEI wasn’t kissing Terry’s babies, or getting the footman to make HEI an icy Crack Baby back in the mess, HEI was cracking off some rounds of 50 calibre machine gun fire in the general direction of the native men-folk.

“Mix me another Crack Baby, Hughes.

This damn gunnery is hot work.”

Harry Hotpants on show during a secret attack

against Terry Taleban of Helmand Province.


As an aside:

Cue Monty Python music: “I fart in your general direction.” Did you notice HEI looked remarkably uncomfortable behind that gun, with the regimental SM leaning over his shoulder: “Put your balls into it you useless twat.” Not the right kind of show for a chap with the (purely ceremonial) rank of Coronet.



Is it just me, or did the whole thing seem slightly staged from the royal “get go”?

And why pick on New Idea, according to other media reports the story was also on the Drudge Report and on several European news websites.

The point is that the whole idea of an embargo is stupid and the media who were prepared to stick with an agreement to keep Sir Hotpants‘ deployment to Afghanistan secret were colluding in a restraint of trade and an ideological hoodwinking of their readers and viewers.

Buckingham Palace and the British government had a deal: Sir Hotpants‘ heroic (sic) stint in dusty Afghanistan would be revealed to a grateful public at a time of their own choosing; preferably when Harry was doing the horizontal Zorba with a suitably lubricated (with Crack Baby) Chelsea slapper and was safely out of the way.

Just to make sure the loyal tabloids didn’t miss a beat, or a shot, a royal battalion of tame paparazzo was billeted next to HEI to film his every move across the wide brown plains of Helmand province.


“Sir, would you mind pooing in this trench, sir. We can shoot your royal buttocks from a flattering angle over here, sir.”

“Make-up, more powder on the royal derriere please…and…action.”

“Oh sir, it’s true! Royal poo is blue, and sir, it smells divine, sir.”

You think I’m being funny? No? Well, yes and no. The Telegraph story on the breaking of the embargo contained this little gem:

As part of the deal between the media and the MoD, a small number of journalists went to Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan to report.

[British defence chief] Sir Richard said: “What the last two months have shown is that it is perfectly possible for Prince Harry to be employed just the same as other Army officers of his rank and experience.

Yes, just the same as any officer with rank of Coronet with fuc*all experience, except in drinking Crack Baby cocktails and senseless rutting.

Yes, just the same as every Coronet who needs a battalion of minders tagging along in a war zone.

Harry Hotpants was never in danger in Helmand Province. He’s safer there than in any Soho nightclub where he might drown in his 37th Crack Baby of that particular binge.

The whole thing was a stinking propaganda exercise designed to hit British hearts and minds with a “shock and awe” message bomb. The war is unpopular in Britain and this would have been a huge publicity coup.

I don’t much care who broke this story. If it was New Idea then good luck to them. According to The Telegraph in London, the story was in New Idea a month ago and no one picked it up then. In a statement issued on Feb 29, New Idea is quoted as saying:

“New Idea was not issued with a press embargo and was unaware of the existence of one…

The story was published on Monday, January 7. Since then New Idea has received no comment from the British Ministry of Defence.

We take these matters very seriously and would never knowingly break an embargo. We regret any issues the revelation of this story in America has caused today. “

Six weeks ago this story was mentioned in NW; now they’re getting blasted by the rest of the press. Actually, NW was probably dobbed in by Palace flacks as a way of giving the story a boost. How else could Sky TV and other networks have a special all ready to go with the shit-eating headline “Hero Harry Home At Last”. PUKE!

The British tabloids hate to be upstaged and for an Antipodean trash mag to do it is the height of colonial bastardry. For revenge, the tabbies have been falling over themselves to gush the mush about the heroic Harry Hotpants and sections of the quality press have been rubbing their noses in it:

Earlier yesterday even The Sun found itself saying: “There’s no doubt Harry has struggled with the pressures of Royalty. But Harry has found richer fulfilment serving with his mates than he ever found in the bottom of a Crack Baby cocktail.

“In place of the tipsy playboy, we saw a self-assured and mature man of action at ease with himself.”

The Daily Mirror said: “Harry, famous in the past for his partying, is a young man who has come of age, serving his Queen — his grandmother — and country with distinction…


The Daily Express said: “For Harry to serve his country in a combat zone will boost the morale of forces families everywhere. Britain can be extremely proud of its soldier Prince and so can the Royal Family.”


The story was heavily used around the world, and in the United States there was sometimes a little more comment added.

The New York Post said: “Looks like the Taliban is getting the royal treatment.” And it added: “The 23-year-old royal heir, once nicknamed ‘Dirty Harry’ by British tabloids for his hard-partying ways, has now been dubbed ‘Harry the Hero’ for his role in the war on terror.”

The real point is the sycophantic coverage by the hypocritical tabloids that’s vomited up on every news website since Sir Hotpants‘ glorious return to the country of his mother, his mother country that he hates.


As an aside:

Fuck you, Harry Hotpants; bloodsucking scion of inbred ingrates.

And to you sycophantic toadies of the tabloids:

Get a grip (or actually let go of your august organs and start thinking with your brains, not your assholes).

I’m with Peter Preston of The Observer on this shabby little story:


But phooey! Double phooey! There’s no point in criticising anyone involved in this deluded little charade, because everyone acted from perfectly comprehensible motives. Harry wanted a bit of proper soldiering. The MoD wanted a warm bath of publicity on its own terms. The press loves being praised for restraint, plus getting pool exclusives of ‘Hero Harry’ playing ‘keepy-uppy‘ with a toilet roll shortly after ‘shedding tears for Chelsea’. But the difficulty is that this was always going to be a flaky deal, which lasted rather longer than you’d have bet at the start.

That’s right, a flaky deal designed to get some good publicity for the British military machine and for dumbass Gordon Brown.

A flaky deal aimed at the gullible audience (in MoD parlance) of New Idea readers who were told this remarkable and top secret news SIX WEEKS AGO, but didn’t see they’d been duped by those nasty editor-bitches.

Hey guess what, Terry Taleban (or at least his missus) must also not be reading NW. Terry and his brothers had six weeks to get to Harry Hotpants with a suicide bomb or a sniper yet the self-confessed “bullet magnet” made it home alive.

The power of the press HEI HEI HEI. It seems HEI actually blew it with his “I don’t like England” comments. I think the good folk of the Home Counties should whip the hat around to buy the idiot prince a ticket back to Helmand Province. Perhaps HEI and Terry Taleban could share a Crack Baby and get drunk enough to think they’d solved all the world’s problems. At least they’d be too pissed to shoot at each other.

And for those whingeing outlets who are now ganging up on New Idea, including stupid, inane and unethical gossip websites, such as Defamer.com, stop the crocodile tears. You would steal your granny’s nickers for the sake of a story.


Alan Johnston free at last

July 4, 2007


BBC correspondent Alan Johnston is freed by his captors and handed over to Hamas officials in the Gaza Strip after almost four months in captivity. Wednesday, 4 July 2007, 02:26 GMT 03:26 UK

Congratulations to Alan and all of his family, friends and supporters worldwide.
The BBC website is the best place to find out more. There’s a very scratchy audio interview with Alan and more pictures.


Alan Johnston – 14 weeks in captivity

June 18, 2007

It’s now 14 weeks since BBC correspondent Alan Johnston was kidnapped in Gaza. Given the events of the past week in which it seems Hamas has effectively destroyed the Palestinian Authority and the Fatah faction, it is a dangerous time for Johnston.

Hamas has apparently sent a message to the kidnappers demanding Johnston’s release. You can keep up with the story by clicking on the picture of Alan on the right of the page.


BBC’s Johnston wins press award

May 11, 2007

BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | BBC’s Johnston wins press award

Congratulations Alan. We all hope that you can come home to enjoy this win.
Apparently Al Jazeera has a video sent by Johnston’s captors, but it contains no new images of him, only a shot of his BBC identity card. The tape was sent by a group calling itself Jaish al-Islam (Army of Islam). I have not been able to find a copy of the footage to link to.


Where is Alan Johnston?

May 4, 2007
Reuters Photo

Palestinians know whereabouts of kidnapped BBC man: Abbas. 03/05/2007. ABC News Online

Agence France Press reported this week that kidnapped BBC reporter Alan Johnston is being held in Gaza and that the Palestinian authorities know where he is. Apparently they haven’t launched a rescue operation because they are worried he’ll be killed.
There’s been no official or verifiable information about Alan since it was reported in mid-April that he was being held, or had already been killed by a little-known group called Tawheed & Jihad.


Livingstone urges Johnston’s release

April 25, 2007

Livingstone urges Johnston’s release: MediaGuardian.co.uk

The mayor of London, “Red” Ken Livingstone provided the latest call for the release of Alan Johnston when speaking on the Arabic-language al Hiwar television network.

There is still no word on Johnston’s fate since a previously nknown group callling itself Tahweed and Jihad brigade said they had killed him a week ago.


Reporters sans Frontieres calls for Johnston release

April 21, 2007

The global media watchdog group, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has called on the Palestinian Authority to pressure those holding BBC reporter Alan Johnston to provide evidence that he is still alive.
A few days ago the previously unknown group, the Tawhid and Jihad Brigades, said they had killed Alan, but later Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas said he had evidence that Johnston was still alive.

On the 40th day since BBC correspondent Alan Johnston’s abduction in Gaza, Reporters Without Borders today called on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to urge his kidnappers to produce evidence that he is still alive.

“We continue to be worried about Johnston’s fate and we call on President Abbas and Prime Minister Haniyeh to coordinate their efforts to obtain his release as soon as possible,” the press freedom organisation said.




Still no confirmation of Alan Johnston’s fate

April 17, 2007

There is still no confirmation of the fate of Alan Johnston despite Sunday’s announcement by a previously unknown group that it had killed the British journalist.
The BBC continues to report on the situtation, saying his family is very worried by the lack of firm news. Journalists and supporters have rallied around the world calling for Alan’s release. The BBC itself organised rallies across the UK

I can’t help wondering why, with all the sophisticated surveillance technologies at their disposal why the Israeli secret service or the CIA, or MI5 have not been able to locate Alan or his kidnappers.

Why would an Islamic or Palestinian group want to kidnap a BBC journalist? I’m worried that this story doesn’t make sense, but I have nothing to support my unease.

I’m going to keep looking.


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