Well, can anyone tell me why the same sort of people - Harry's Place/Kamm/etc - aren't noticeably furious that Bartholomew's Notes on Religion is being censored by rightwing religious zealots? Bart reported in February on the people behind a new lobby group, "Anglicans for Israel". One of these, Huw Shooter, is a veteran of the Young Conservatives in their 1980s Hang Mandela period.
Shooter, it seems, smashed up a model Trident submarine CND had placed outside the 1984 Conservative Party conference as part of an anti-nuclear demonstration. He was expelled from the Lewisham Conservative Association. Bart mentioned these facts. Shooter's mate and comanager of Anglicans for Israel, Simon McIlwaine, has now threatened to sue Bartholomew for libel.
How so? Surely Shooter is either guilty or innocent? Apparently not. As his conviction has since been spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, 1974, McIlwaine contends that it is libellous to mention its existence. It seems that, in the case of a spent conviction, an accusation of libel could be upheld even if true if there was no justifiable reason for reporting it and/or it was reported out of "malice". McIlwaine contends, according to his own (selfpenned) solicitor's letter, that being rude about the Israeli government is sufficient evidence of this:
It is evident that your reason for publishing those details was utterly malicious and that you did so out of spite because of Mr Shooter’s support for Israel.This is risible. It is certainly of public interest that AFI is the work of a rightwing political activist who was sufficiently committed to use violence towards people he disagrees with. But it's illegal to call him a convict or a criminal.
Very well then. It's not libellous to assert that it was him who smashed the sub, because it's the truth, and his wanky lawyer's quibble about the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act doesn't affect it. Much more embarrassing, I think, is the fact that one of the patrons of Anglicans for Israel is Professor David Marsland, who gave the following talk to something called the Springbok Club in July, 2004. I shall reproduce it in full, as I think the full madness is worth savouring.
We British – including the whole Anglophone diaspora – are slow to anger. But given sufficient provocation, we kick the hell out of everyone in sight. This is our tradition. It is a good tradition which has served the world well. It has been subverted in recent decades by communist propaganda, utopian dreams, and humanitarian fantasies. My aim in this paper is to repair, defend and justify our tradition of ruthless action on behalf of freedom. I take my text from an American prisoner of war in Japan. “When I heard we dropped a bomb on Hiroshima,” he said, “I thought, great – let’s drop ten more”.Somebody ought to publish this as a record with suitable background music..I'm thinking Chris Morris's Blue Jam series, or failing that the Radio 4 UK Theme.
At the moment when Islamist terrorists flew the first plane into the World Trade Centre on 9/11, the fate of their movement and its supporters world-wide was sealed. Afghanistan and Iraq are just the beginning. Realising their mistake, the friends of terror initiated an ambitious, malign campaign to “Stop the War”. Failing in this objective, the same enemies of freedom went on immediately to a program to “Sabotage the battle” – as if the Iraqi dictator could be saved from justice and his allies spared the price of their support for his neo-Aztec regime. Failing again – with the Saddomite army defeated, the tyrant captured and the regime destroyed – these same enemies of freedom have turned to the third phase of their mischievous programme – their “Ruin peace and stop reconstruction” campaign, consisting primarily of blowing up Iraqis and chopping the heads off innocent hostages.
If we are to learn from this experience the lessons which will secure success in future stages of the war on terrorism, we need to ask in relation to each stage – initiating war, fighting war and democratic re-construction – who our enemies are and how best to deal with them (Marsland, 2003). There are first the remnants of the domestic Left. The Prime Minister and the Security Services underestimated them badly. Networking and organisation in the “Stop the War” campaign are staffed largely by communists – Stalinists and Trotskyites, open operatives and sleepers, hard-line anti-capitalists and soft-porn pseudo-pacifists. The political parties, the civil service, the trade unions, the universities and the media are riddled with these lethal pests, all located in crucially influential positions. While Wedgewood Benn and Livingstone are treated all-round as if they were cuddly toys, while Hobsbawm, Pilger and the late Paul Foot are treated seriously, we evidently need an urgent, unapologetic, comprehensive McCarthyite purge. They are not “with us”. They are with the enemy. They are costing our soldiers’ lives now. They could cost tens of thousands of British lives in the future. We should get rid of them.
There are next on the domestic front our local Moslems. Extremists and so-called moderates alike (Liddle, 2004). They have all given comfort from 9/11 onwards to the terrorist enemy. Mendacious twaddle about “islamophobia” should be rebutted and dismissed. Suspects should be pursued ruthlessly wherever they are most likely to be found, and locked up. Enemy aliens should be deported without delay – and with or without hooks, or kept on ice. Any future flow of Islamic immigrants and refugees should be stopped-off permanently. Legalistic nit-picking should on no account be allowed to inhibit defence of the realm. Then there are the Liberal Democrats – the respectable, legitimating face of international terrorism. Can we bear another minute of Kennedy’s incoherent, peacenik bleating? Another second of Campbell’s sanctimoniously subversive sermonising? One is not surprised to learn from recent research in the archives of the Fourth Reich that one of the Liberal Democratic Party’s current and influential senior leaders worked for years as an agent of the GDR Stasi (Glees, 2003). There should be a systematic expose of the Liberal Democrats’ suspect liberal and democratic credentials before the next battle in the war on terrorism begins.
Nor should the Conservative Party escape challenge. Overall and in the last resort they will fortunately always support the Bush-Blair alliance against terrorism – but they have made mistakes. Conservatives should support our troops and a Republican President unquestioningly. They should be urging the Prime Minister to back ruthless measures against terrorists at home and abroad. They should lead the attack against the Stop the War zealots, the Labour Left and the Liberal Democrats in Parliament, and against media treachery. They should constantly remind the Prime Minister of those splendid British role models for resisting evil – Salisbury, Churchill and Bomber Harris. Consider also our enemies abroad.
First and most despicable is the mafia gang comprising France, Germany and Russia. Between them they have for years been Iraq’s primary armourers, in the nineties – sanctions notwithstanding – as much as earlier. I will not be surprised if we learn eventually that Saddam Hussein’s chemical and biological weaponry was spirited out of Iraq into some Syrian or south Russian lair by a combined task-force of French, German and Russian secret-servicemen. Certainly all three of these rogue nations have played a viciously active part in the attempt to prevent war in Iraq, in sabotaging our troops’ courageous war-fighting, and in subverting stabilisation and re-construction. They are currently working hard to prevent NATO involvement. They are driven by a poisonous cocktail of anti-Americanism, anti-capitalism, anti-Semitism and suicidal self-hatred. The latter is born out of a deep and childish inferiority complex in the face of Anglophone American superiority and supremacy.
There are a number of serious implications of the role played by the French, the Germans and the Russians in jeopardising the lives of our troops and our people, and in threatening the security of freedom and civilisation. First, we should abandon membership of the EU immediately. We cannot afford to be associated with – let alone subjected to – irresponsibly mischievous states such as these. Moreover, in leaving this unholy Roman empire, we should do all we can to sabotage its survival. It has never been in Britain’s interests for Europe to be unified. It has never served freedom other than negatively for Europe to unite. We should return to Salisbury’s European policy – first British independence, second shifting alliances, and first, second and third British interests.
There are also serious implications of Franco-German treachery for the future of NATO. We should begin planning to wind it up and replace it with an Alliance for Freedom. The core membership would comprise the US, the UK, the other Anglophone states and Israel. To this might be added a small number of states from northern and central Europe, and – if they can prove their loyalty – a handful from Latin America and Asia. The key mission should be high technology, enhanced intelligence capacity, rapid deployment, increased and consistent defence spending, and an unremitting anti-terrorist focus.
The implications for the United Nations are also serious. It was foolish of the allies to pursue the will o’ the wisp of a second resolution. French intransigence was entirely predictable, and delay gave Iraq and al-Qa’eda the time to prepare and to hide their weapons of mass destruction. It was no less foolish to involve the UN in re-construction – as if multi-lateralism on the legal front could mean cooperation between the police and criminals. An organisation with the Soviet Union and Red China in its top leadership for decades; where Libya – of all the splendid police states available – could be appointed to the chair of the Human Rights Committee; and whose agencies have done more to peddle anti-capitalism for decades than the Comintern ever managed – such an organisation should be closed down lock, stock and barrel forthwith and its assets, if any, sold off. We should seize the opportunity provided by a Mafioso gang of war-resisters to withdraw from the UN, to wind it up, and to invent a more modest, more practical and more realistic alternative. Membership should not be universal but toughly selective, to be earned and awarded on the basis of rigorous criteria of democratism, honest governance, and economic good sense, with incentives offered for qualifying compliance. Its purposes and political mission should be entirely practical. Its budget should be kept small. Its operating agencies should be staffed by enterprising experts instead of remaindered incompetents.
The world has no need for a global talking shop. Since its inception it has been a Trade Union Council of crooked fixers. It stifles enterprise and competition with the narcotic poison of utopian ideology. It cripples democracy in the straightjacket of politically-correct nonsense. It abandons the masses on whose behalf it claims to speak to exploitative oppression and to the poverty of welfare dependency. It was not Messrs. Bush, Blair and Aznar who have sabotaged the United Nations. The culprits are in Germany, in France, in Russia and in China – and by subverting the UN for their own dishonourable ends they have done the world a great, if wholly unintended, service. Like Saddam Hussein, the UN is finished, and we should on both counts unreservedly rejoice. This leaves, among the friends of terrorism to be addressed just the media – and their effects in inhibiting the necessary ruthlessness of successful war on terrorism. They are the crucial link between all our enemies, mediating and amplifying their destructive lies.
With what wicked glee the editor of the Daily Mirror presented his fake photographs of British soldiers abusing Iraqi terrorist prisoners. With what shameless relish the BBC bosses defended their reporter’s destructively erroneous calumnies against the British government. With what disingenuous naïveté – or worse – the BBC World Service routinely traduced the motives of American and British troops in Iraq, and underestimated their success. With what transparent mendacity have BBC and other television reporters referred – day after day and night after night – to terrorists as “innocent civilians”, to militants as “local inhabitants of a poor neighbourhood”, and to allied military reports as “allegations” – as if we should treat professionals serving a democratic country on the same footing as murderous habitual liars. With what mischievous zealotry is the “objective expertise” of Newsnight, Channel 4 News, Panorama, and all the rest of that ideologically monotone gang applied to raking over the latest report, the next story, and every rumour for evidence of the Prime Minister’s supposed guilt, the President’s alleged failings, and Israel’s presumptive faults.
It does not occur to our high-minded reporters that soldiers might reasonably behave with a little indiscipline when their fellows have just been blown to pieces by lunatic terrorists. It does not apparently occur to our ace journalists that the enemies of freedom have long had highly professional fake photography and film units. It does not occur to these doyens of in-depth understanding that the Geneva Conventions have been used more often to protect terrorists than to prevent inhumanity, or that international law, so-called, has been routinely abused by international criminals for more than a century. As for Guantanamo and Falluja, how – with the prejudiced assumptions of the media being what they are – could we expect better than what they regularly give us – a complete reversal of the truth. Guantanamo, like Belmarsh, is not – as our journalists and crooked lawyers would have the people believe – a Nazi concentration camp – but a legally and operationally justifiable long-term lock-up for combatant murderers under investigation. We shall need more such prisons.
Again, Falluja is not – any more than Jenin or Gaza – a city of innocents under siege by barbarians, but a nest of vipers organising killing on a daily basis. Such places should be liquidated. The media lost us the Vietnam War – and cost the millions of people of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia decades of communist oppression, genocide, starvation and poverty. If we let the media lose us this war, if we tolerate their lies and fail to stop their mouths, the cost will be worse by far – freedom destroyed and civilisation snuffed out.
In concluding, I summarise my proposals for the ruthless action necessary to defeat Islamist terrorism and save civilisation. The threat is real, imminent and persistent. Among our immigrant communities in Britain there are thousands, possibly tens of thousands, of al-Qa’eda sleepers, many of them trained in Afghanistan and eager for martyrdom. Arabs have been detected in large numbers crossing from Mexico to the United States in disguise (Galland, 2004). After Afghanistan and Iraq, another front of the war against terrorism will open up soon – probably before Iraq is fully settled. It may happen in the regions where it seems currently most likely – Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, or perhaps Iran. But it will more likely erupt quite unpredictably – in Cuba, in Central Asia, in the Philippines, in West Africa, or in the Mahgreb.
Whenever and wherever, it threatens death by the tens of thousands on our own streets, on the home front. We have to be ready. This means ruthless action at home and abroad – immune against inhibition by international opinion or by our domestic media. This requires consensual legislation in the US, the UK, Australia, and wherever else it can be managed. We need a Patriot Act plus, and patriotic action plus, plus, plus. We should not be inhibited in these measures by the bleating protests and the lying campaigns of the “human rights” crowd. Their commitment to rights is as fraudulent as Stalin’s when he stuffed the 1936 Soviet Constitution full with the longest list of rights in history. Their faith in humanity is as flagrantly specious as that of Robespierre or Lenin. Democratic societies uniquely have the legitimate authority to defend their interests and the lives of their people with merciless implacability (Marsland, 2004). This will not make Britain, as our enemies will claim, a police state: it will make us a nation appropriately armed at last to defend its democratic institutions and its freedoms.
* Make a formal declaration of war on al-Qa’eda, its associates, its supporters, and those who harbour them.
* Introduce compulsory electronic ID cards, beginning with recent immigrants, asylum seekers, anyone with a criminal record and the unemployed, and extending as quickly as possible to the whole population. Failure to produce an ID on demand to be punishable by six months in prison without appeal.
* Withdraw from and replace the UN, NATO and the EU.
* Withdraw immediately from all international treaties and agreements, including all aspects of so-called international law, which might be used by the enemy to impede national self-defence, including the use of pre-emptive military force.
* Immediately halt all immigration, asylum seeking, and student entry by Arab nationals and other Moslems. Identify, arrest and deport Arab and other Moslem illegals. No appeals to be allowed.
* Halt or segregate air flights into or out of Britain by Arabs.
* Transfer to the defence budget, and to the war against terrorism specifically, all the public expenditure currently squandered by the billions of pounds on welfare for derelicts, no-hopers, unemployables and moral delinquents, on legal assistance for career criminals, and on foreign aid to despotic, incompetent rulers in Africa and other parts of the “Third World”.
* Strengthen surveillance of Moslem communities throughout Britain – with no limitation of targets to self-avowed and known “extremists” (Browne, 2004).
* Strengthen anti-terrorist legislation to allow on suspicion indefinite secret imprisonment (without appeal, without visits and without any privileges), tough interrogation, and where necessary summary execution by authorised agents.
* End the production of official, legal, and other reports and enquiries concerning any aspect of the war on terrorism until the war is won. This will take as much as a decade.
* Speak out in support of Israel’s fight against terrorism.
* In Iraq and other anti-terrorist battle-fields, forget “hearts and minds”. The enemy are heartless and of low mentality. Build up allied and local forces and unleash them mercilessly until the enemy is wiped out.
* Rather than risk rescue, suicide or future political concessions, summarily execute Saddam and his top henchmen immediately.
* Never allow anyone – family, company or country – to pay-off hostage-takers, either in cash or in political concessions. Where hostages can be located within twenty-four hours, effect a military rescue if it can be done safely, otherwise destroy the hostages, the hostage-takers and their retinue by bombing. Where location proves impossible within twenty-four hours, bomb any convenient target associated with the hostage-takers.
* Reduce the need for prisons in Iraq by authorising summary execution of known enemy. Throw journalists, servicemen or anyone else who seek to file lying and negative reports about conditions in terrorist prisons in Iraq or elsewhere into these same prisons for an indefinite term.
* Censor prejudiced and negative reporting of the war against terrorism by British media. Neutralise by military means any Arab media providing a propaganda outlet for terrorists.
* Prepare militarily and politically for the next battle in the war on terrorism, wherever it may occur, by cultivating reliable allies; by enhancing the language capabilities of the armed and secret services; by developing unmanned weaponry; and by investing heavily in intelligence capability.
Our enemies will no doubt claim that measures such as these will “make us as bad as the terrorists”, that ends, however desirable, can never justify such “undemocratic” and “immoral” means. This is utopian nonsense calculated to assist al-Qa’eda. If means are not to be justified in terms of the ends they serve, how else are we to choose among them rationally and morally? We must keep our purposes – and the starkly contrasting purposes of our enemies – at the forefront of our minds. We are for freedom – they are for slavery. We are good – they are evil. We are us – and they are them.