The Nether-World

February 14, 2007

Stop The War Demonstration in London Saturday February 24

Filed under: Uncategorized — netherworld @ 2:19 pm

From the Stop The War Coalition:

demo-24th-feb.jpg

Tony Blair took us to war on Iraq to find weapons of mass destruction. There were none. 655,000 Iraqis, over 3000 US soldiers and 130 British soldiers have died in that illegal war. Now Blair wants to spend up to £76 billion on new Trident nuclear weapons for a ‘defence’ policy based on indiscriminate killing of millions.

Stop the War, CND and BMI are calling a national demonstration on 24 February to say no to these insane policies of death and destruction.

JOIN US.

If you need another reason to demonstrate, read this.

Assemble 12 noon
Speakers’ Corner

Rally in Trafalgar
Square, London

Organised by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, the Stop the War Coalition and the British Muslim Initiative

Details for coaches here

Contact Details:
office@stopwar.org.uk

020 7278 6694
07951 593525

27 Britannia Street, London WC1X 9JP

Press Enquiries
07939 242229
07951 579064

There is a Petition worth signing on the Downing Street Website which reads:

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to not support America in the event of hostilities against Iran, or any other country without consulting the people of great Britain.

Please give it your support.

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January 16, 2007

An Opportunity Missed

Filed under: Uncategorized — netherworld @ 3:49 pm

Here’s another first for this blog, a film review (or rather, a rant about a TV show). Since I saw it advertised on More 4, I had been waiting impatiently to watch “The Trial of Tony Blair“. The trailers looked great and I’ve liked Robert Lindsay as an actor since “Citizen Smith” back in the 70s. I thought the idea for this programme was a good one; to see Tony Blair (a fictional one unfortunately) on trial at the Hague for war crimes relating to the illegal Iraq war. What a disappointment it turned out to be!

My main gripe is this: How can you have a programme called “The Trial of Tony Blair” without erm… a trial? We only see Blair in the dock once, and that is for the extradition hearing. For me this spoiled the entire show. I was looking forward to seeing Tony Blair answer a well presented case by the prosecution with his defence (whatever that might be). Instead the film finishes as he is bundled off in a prison van to the airport and what we are presented with instead is a series of mildly amusing but not very credible gags which would have been more at home on the “Bremner, Bird and Fortune” show. Because of this the film packs less punch than a newspaper cartoon. Perhaps the film would have worked better as a docudrama, starting in the Hague with pertinent episodes dealt with as a series of flashbacks

Robert Lindsay does look the part but nevertheless fails to convince as Tony Blair. He seems to have borrowed from his performance as the fictional manic Labour councillor Michael Murray in the excellent “G.B.H“. Tony Blair’s deluded character is dealt with far too obviously. Yes, of course Blair is deluded, but the film fails to portray his talent at spin and presentation. This clumsiness was shown in the scenes where he is writing his book and keeps using the soundbite “I felt the hand of history on my shoulder” over and over again, a good gag, just not very believable. One thing about Blair is no matter how cringe-makingly messianic his speeches are, they are well presented; it’s one of the reasons he’s so dangerous. I wasn’t convinced by Phoebe Nicholls portrayal of Cherie Blair either. Peter Mullan did manage to capture the voice, mannerisms and general awkwardness of Gordon Brown but I think all the actors were let down by the script.

Unfortunately this was an opportunity missed. The chance for putting the possibility of Tony Blair being tried for war crimes into the public conscience degenerated into cheap satire. Now that the film has been made and well-received, there is little chance of another one being made covering the same topic. Unless of course the real Tony Blair is carted off to the Hague, but I’m not holding my breath.

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October 9, 2006

US Army’s answer to the high number of troops away from home

Filed under: Uncategorized — netherworld @ 1:01 am

This isn’t satire, at least I don’t think it is.

It is one of the hardest things about being a military family. How to cope when a husband and father, or wife and mother, is posted abroad, especially to combat zones such as Iraq or Afghanistan.

Now the United States army has come up with a bizarre solution: Flat Daddy and Flat Mommy.

Many military units can provide families with a life-size cardboard cutout of their overseas warrior. The family can then take that figure to parties, put it in the passenger seat of their car, take it to bed or do whatever it is that families want to with a replica of their loved one.
Source

Wow, just like the real thing! I’ve got an idea, why not send the the cardboard cutouts to Iraq and Afghanistan and let the real soldiers come home. They’d be just as effective at bringing order to those countries.

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September 28, 2006

The continuing delusions of Bush and Blair

Filed under: Uncategorized — netherworld @ 7:02 am

The gulf between the fantasy world of the Bush/Blair axis and the real world is getting wider. This is particularly evident when listening to the utter drivel spouted by these leaders in their recent speeches and comparing their views with the findings of more qualified professionals and, well, just about everybody else.

Tony Blair at the Labour Party Conference September 2006

“This terrorism isn’t our fault. We didn’t cause it. It’s not the consequence of foreign policy.”
Source

Ministry of Defence thinktank

“The war in Iraq … has acted as a recruiting sergeant for extremists across the Muslim world … Iraq has served to radicalise an already disillusioned youth and al-Qaida has given them the will, intent, purpose and ideology to act.”
Source

George Bush September 2006

“America is safer and America is winning the War on Terror.”
Source

Declassified excerpt from the April 2006 National Intelligence Estimate on Trends in Global Terrorism released on Tuesday 26 September 2006.

We assess that the Iraq jihad is shaping a new generation of terrorist leaders and operatives; perceived jihadist success there would inspire more fighters to continue the struggle elsewhere.The Iraq conflict has become the “cause celebre” for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of US involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement.
Source

UN Report 27 September 2006

“New explosive devices are now used in Afghanistan within a month of their first appearing in Iraq,” said the report. “And while the Taliban have not been found fighting outside Afghanistan/Pakistan, there have been reports of them training in both Iraq and Somalia.”
Source

Maintaining these unrealistic positions on the ‘War on Terror’ despite all the evidence which points to the contrary and advice from their own experts, demonstrate just how deluded and dangerous these people are.

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August 23, 2006

Amnesty International states the obvious

Filed under: Uncategorized — netherworld @ 5:38 pm

DahyaAmnesty International has accused Israel of committing war crimes in its conflict with Hezbollah in Lebanon. The published findings of Amnesty’s report can be seen here. Throughout the conflict there have been repeated warnings that the wanton destruction of civilian infrastructure, the mass killing of civilians and targeting of ambulances amount to war crimes. Usually when Israel kills innocent civilians, as it frequently does in the Palestinian Territories, little action is taken. But the scale of destruction is so huge in Lebanon that Amnesty is calling for a full impartial investigation by the UN. Such an investigation should also look into any war crimes committed by Hezbollah. It is likely to be a long time before any investigation takes place let alone yield any results, but with enough international pressure some sort of investigation may eventually take place.

Amnesty International today published findings that point to an Israeli policy of deliberate destruction of Lebanese civilian infrastructure, which included war crimes, during the recent conflict.

The organization’s latest publication shows how Israel’s destruction of thousands of homes, and strikes on numerous bridges and roads as well as water and fuel storage plants, was an integral part of Israel’s military strategy in Lebanon, rather than “collateral damage” resulting from the lawful targeting of military objectives.

The report reinforces the case for an urgent, comprehensive and independent UN inquiry into grave violations of international humanitarian law committed by both Hizbullah and Israel during their month-long conflict.

“Israel’s assertion that the attacks on the infrastructure were lawful is manifestly wrong. Many of the violations identified in our report are war crimes, including indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks. The evidence strongly suggests that the extensive destruction of power and water plants, as well as the transport infrastructure vital for food and other humanitarian relief, was deliberate and an integral part of a military strategy,” said Kate Gilmore, Executive Deputy Secretary General of Amnesty International.

The Israeli government has argued that they were targeting Hizbullah positions and support facilities and that other damage done to civilian infrastructure was a result of Hizbullah using the civilian population as a “human shield”.

“The pattern, scope and scale of the attacks makes Israel’s claim that this was ‘collateral damage’, simply not credible,” said Kate Gilmore, Executive Deputy Secretary General of Amnesty International.

“Civilian victims on both sides of this conflict deserve justice. The serious nature of violations committed makes an investigation into the conduct of both parties urgent. There must be accountability for the perpetrators of war crimes and reparation for the victims.”

The report, Deliberate destruction or ‘collateral damage’? Israeli attacks against civilian infrastructure, is based on first-hand information gathered by recent Amnesty International research missions to Lebanon and Israel, including interviews with dozens of victims, officials from the UN, Israeli Defence Force (IDF) and Lebanese government, as well as official statements and press reports.

The report includes evidence of the following:

  • Massive destruction by Israeli forces of whole civilian neighbourhoods and villages;
  • Attacks on bridges in areas of no apparent strategic importance;
  • Attacks on water pumping stations, water treatment plants and supermarkets despite the prohibition against targeting objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population;
  • Statements by Israeli military officials indicating that the destruction of civilian infrastructure was indeed a goal of Israel’s military campaign designed to press the Lebanese government and the civilian population to turn against Hizbullah.

The report exposes a pattern of indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks, which resulted in the displacement of twenty-five percent of the civilian population. This pattern, taken together with official statements, indicates that the attacks on infrastucture were deliberate, and not simply incidental to lawful military objectives.

Amnesty International is calling for a comprehensive, independent and impartial inquiry to be urgently established by the UN into violations of international humanitarian law by both sides in the conflict. It should examine in particular the impact of this conflict on the civilian population, and should be undertaken with a view to holding individuals responsible for crimes under international law and ensuring that full reparation is provided to the victims.
Source

At the beginning of the conflict Israel’s army chief of staff, General Dan Halutz, said his military would target infrastructure and “turn back the clock in Lebanon by 20 years“. This was one Israeli war aim that was actually achieved. The same General also declared that 10 buildings in Beirut would be destroyed for every rocket fired at Haifa.

“Army chief of staff Dan Halutz has given the order to the air force to destroy 10 multi-storey buildings in the Dahaya district (of Beirut) in response to every rocket fired on Haifa,” a senior air force officer told army radio on Monday.
Source

Statements like this expose Israel’s claim that everything they targetted was Hezbollah hiding behind civilians as the obvious lie it is.

The question now is whether anything will actually be done to bring the criminals responsible for all this death and destruction to justice or whether America will once again manage to ensure that they are never held to account.

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A couple of things to do on Thursday

Filed under: Uncategorized — netherworld @ 3:10 pm

1. Defend Freedom of Speech by participating in this clever little stunt:

(via Rachel from whom I’m cheekily lifting most of this because I can’t put it any better.)

A Simultaneous lone demonstration This is a great idea and well worth doing…[Now over to Rachel]

A recent damn-fool law has made it illegal to protest anywhere near Parliament without official police permission, and comedian Mark Thomas is organising a stunt to highlight the danger and stupidity of having this law in a democracy. Please note that taking part in this is 100% LEGAL, and the whole purpose of the stunt is to overload the system by dozens of people all asking for permission to protest all at the same time.

The law: Under section 132 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 (.PDF) it is an offence to organise or take part in a demonstration in a public place within the “designated area” (up to 1 km around parliament) if authorisation has not been given by the Metropolitan Police Commissioner.Participants may be subject to a fine of up to £1000 and “organizers” face up to a year in Jail.Tsk! We haven’t enough space for this nonsense in our jails. It’s an outrage!

DESIGNATED AREA: Dozens of people have been arrested for not complying with the law even when they are taking part in “Lone Demonstrations” – i.e. if they are one person with a placard.

Many people see this legislation as an assault on our civil liberties and human rights. It’s not always practical to plan a week in advance what government activities you may or may not disagree with. Sometimes a spontaneous response is called for. And surely the most appropriate place to demonstrate against the government’s actions is within the newly “Designated Area”, at the very core of this country’s democratic foundation.

And why is New Labour so concerned about peaceful protestors anyway?If you apply for permission 6 days in advance for a lone protest (ie 1 person) they cannot refuse permission, so in order to highlight the ridiculousness of having to ask for police permission to hold a peaceful demonstration, Mark Thomas is organising a mass lone demonstration evening.

Anyone who wants to demonstrate about any issue can come along, or even if you just want to demonstrate your disgust at having to ask for permission to protest in a supposedly free country. Remember. This will NOT be breaking the law in any way!

In fact the purpose of this is to get as many people as possible complying with a ridiculous law. All at the very same time! Huzzah! Stage 1 – Decide on your protest!

This can be something you feel strongly about or something very silly – it’s up to you. Then you need to fill in the official SCOPA application form (which is very simple) and there is a copy of the form attached. You can get it from here.

Stage 2 – Meet on Thursday 24th August outside Charing Cross police station any time between: 5.30pm-6pm to hand in your SOCPA forms. The address is Agar Street, London, WC2N 4JP and a map is attached. You have to fill in form and hand it in to the police 1 week before you protest, so everyone has to turn up at the same time to give their forms to>the Police. This will mean if 100 people turn up and apply for permission, then the unfortunate police have to license and approve 100 lone demonstrations. (Yes, I know they have more imprtant things to do. That’s the whole point. It’s for the long term good that we do this, so they can get on with catching baddies instead of wasting their time with this nonsense.) If you can’t make it to hand the forms in but want to demonstrate on the 31st, post them to: Ben Stern S2S Suite Z009 Old Truman Brewery 1 Brick Lane London E1 6QL. (Yay Ben! Then I suggest we all go for a pint afterwards.)

Stage 3 – The mass lone demonstrations will be 1 week later on Thursday 31st August and will again be at 6:00pm for 1 hour, so this event is open to those with day jobs. Come along! Join in! Exercise your democratic rights! The more people who come the bigger an impression this will make! EASY-PEASY STEP BY STEP STEP 1 Forward this on to any friends who have a burning issue that they might need to protest about and persuade them to come as well. This is also for anyone who finds it terrible that we have to ask for permission from the Police to peacefully protest outside Parliament. STEP 2 Print out form STEP 3 Fill in form with the issue that you wish to protest about. STEP 4 5.30 – 6pm Thursday 24th August, show up at the same time as other>lone protesters at Charing Cross Police Station. STEP 5 6pm Thursday 31st August, show up and protest about your personal issue in Parliament Square. STEP 6 Consider continuing your protest again at a later date.

Again a group session for shy lone protesters will almost certainly be scheduled. Once again this is COMPLETELY LEGAL – in fact we are encouraging as many people as we can to apply to the letter of law simultaneously. Dozens of people have already agreed to do this so don’t worry that you’ll be doing this on your own. See the links below to learn more about SOCPA, the groups it has angered and the people it has affected. This is also likely to be covered by the press. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns about this event. Links: Parliament Square.org.uk Spy.org.uk

 

2. Reward yourself by coming to this:

(Please note that this has absolutely nothing to do with the above protest apart from the fact that I’m trying to get to both events)

Darbuka

Kamel Nitrate, the embassadors of global psychedelic sexy funk break beat dub, will be performing live at Darbucka this thursday, bringing with them the lovely Scarlet Sahara, carrying light in her shimmering waist and rainbows in her silk veil. Kamel Nitrate will be performing new tracks from their upcoming album, extending their live shows for over one hour of indulgent sounds. Making a debut on the night with the Kamels, guest percussionist and man of international rhythms, Barnaby Green.

The enchanted evening will be taking place at Darbucka, a lovely venue where you can just sit back and feel like the Kings and Queens of Arabia and indulge yourself on delicious food and try some of the varied perfumed shishas. Or you can dance the night away with the global exotic rhythms of DJ Karim and feast your eyes on the exquisite tribal belly dance group Atalanta, with most tantalizing and gracious Hannah and her friends. Either way, spoilt for choice I’d say but you have it all under one roof. This is a night for magic to happen, leave your worries outside, come and get pampered….

Hello again

Filed under: Uncategorized — netherworld @ 2:28 pm

This is the first post I’m writing on this blog. The Nether-World was an established blog that I had been running on Blogger, but today it mysteriously vanished (or at least became unaccessable) which is extremely frustrating. So after leaving lots of emails on the Blogger help-line and not getting much…erm, help, I decided to give WordPress a go.

There is of course the possibility that The Nether-World version 1 will re-appear which would be nice because it has some rather good posts on it. But in case it doesn’t I’m ready with this, and if WordPress turns out to be better than blogger then I shall remain here. I was discouraged by the lack of help available on blogger. I haven’t explored WordPress enough to form an opinion as to how good it is yet, so I shan’t be telling everyone to change their links just yet. Anyway so far so good. That’s probably enough text to see how writing a post works. Hopefully I’ll be back with some more interesting content soon.

Hello world!

Filed under: Uncategorized — netherworld @ 1:50 pm

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