The Daily Mail has become an excellent and well-informed supporter of issues concerning civil liberties. They have a lengthy article on the impending decision on the extradition of Gary McKinnon, the hacker who exposed how easy it was to enter the Pentagon's IT system in order to look for UFOs!
Signing petitions is usually a waste of time but the Mail has a reputation for influencing government so please sign their petition. It will only take you a few seconds and might save Gary 60 years in a top security American prison.
The good news is that, at vast time and expense, we are to have an investigation into the Iraq war. You and I know that politicians misled, lied, plagiarised and totally failed to plan the post-invasion strategy and provide adequate numbers of troops. You and I knew that a civil war would follow invasion but that our leaders did not. We read between the lines of the Hutton and Butler reports and we shall enjoy hearing Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, John Scarlett et al prevaricate and justify their actions. But we know that no-one will be charged or blamed and we shall just know in more detail what we already know.
Wouldn't it be more sensible to have an investigation into the war in Afghanistan? Our reasons for fighting this war change like the seasons and few can give a coherent game plan or exit strategy. Perhaps a few lives and injuries could be saved by exposing the total lack of direction in our 4th Afghan War.
ps we lost the first three.
President Sarkozi has proposed banning the burqa in all public places in France, claiming that it oppresses women. He states:
The burka is not a sign of religion, it is a sign of subservience
Here in the UK that progressive organisation - The Muslim Council of Britain stated:
"It is patronising and offensive to suggest that those Muslim women who wear the burqa do so because of pressure or oppression by their male partners or guardians."
The latest development in the MP expenses' scandal is the involvement of the police. Does this, or will this, solve anything? Not at all. In fact it creates more problems that it solves.
The 'cash for honours' inquiry cost at least £1.5 million, took far too long and achieved nothing. But it did sow the seed in the mind of the public that the police tend to fail when the great and good are in the frame; it also showed their work is way over priced. Who can forget the not-so-veiled threats that Tony Blair would stand down if the police inquiries reached all the way to himself?
An article in the Spectator by James Forsyth refers to another article, this time in the Sun and by Trevor Kavanagh.
Kavanagh has a quote from Tony Blair - "I would rather nail my testicles to a speeding train than be President of the European Union."
Several people have spotted this and instantly linked it to the Peter, Paul and Mary song with the delightful title – 'If I had a hammer'
Mind you it's also worth quoting Kavanagh who writes - “Given the other likely candidates, I have little problem with Blair as President of Europe. He’s for free trade, the market and an Atlanticist which is not bad going. But if he does end up in the job after having said this, he will have set a new standard for a politician going back on his word”.
Well as it's Blair doing the talking and Kavanagh doing the thinking aloud that's something to remember, is it not?
The origins of this song, the first draft, pre-date the EU, it was written in 1949 by Pete Seeger and Lee Hays.