Lord Levy and Cash for Honours

...the swoop on Levy perfectly illustrates the decay of the Government and the putrefaction of the honours system It is as though we don't do white-collar fraud, except when it involves peerages, and we contract the big stuff to our American overlords
Arrest Lord Levy! Arrest Blair! Arrest the lot of them Let me begin by saying that I have no objection at all to the decision to arrest Lord Levy. I am sure I speak for millions when I say that it is high time that the fuzz moved in on the Blairite high command, and they might as well start with his tennis partner. As far as I am concerned, the whole lot of them deserve to have their collars felt. If the cops decide to launch dawn raids on all the other arch-toadies of the regime, they will find many of us prepared to hold their coats. Winkle Mandy from his lair! Arrest Alastair Campbell and haul him out from under whatever stone now conceals him. Let's nick them all, sarge! Go, boys, go! And if Sir Ian Blair decides to haul his namesake in, I am not going to stand in his way. What joy it must be for the cops - and yet what an amazing spectacle we must present to the world outside. Here is the Prime Minister's chief financial fixer being hauled in for questioning about a suspected crime that is quintessentially British, and unknown to any other jurisdiction on earth - the sale of peerages. Huge numbers of detectives are involved. Expensive new software is being installed to track down any deleted e-mails. I would not dream of pretending that the matter is unimportant, since the swoop on Levy perfectly illustrates the decay of the Government and the putrefaction of the honours system. I merely ask you to contrast this frenzied activity by the police and their total indifference to the case that was discussed in Parliament yesterday. As the minister did not hesitate to remind the House, the allegations against the NatWest Three are very grave indeed. They relate to the biggest financial scandal of the past few decades, in which a company worth billions was destroyed and thousands lost their jobs, and in which a British bank was (allegedly) defrauded of millions of pounds. The NatWest Three, like Lord Levy, are to be found in Britain. Like the noble lord, they are British citizens. It is suggested that their alleged offence was against British interests. The tennis partner-in-chief is being questioned about an outrage to the British constitution, namely Labour's suspected cash-for-coronets scheme. The NatWest Three are accused of what amounts to theft from a British bank - a matter that you might have thought was of equal interest to our criminal justice system. But it is the silver-quiffed Lord Levy who has the exquisite shame and embarrassment of being arrested, and who is forced to issue a statement alleging that this is a gross abuse of police powers. And what do the police do to the NatWest Three, for all the terrible accusations against them? They do diddly squat. They move not a muscle. They go into spasms of excitement about the corruption of the ermine and, in the face of the NatWest allegations, they turn into monuments of marmoreal motionlessness. No emanation of the British criminal justice system has taken the slightest interest in prosecuting these three, and yet we are happily sending them for trial in America. It is bizarre. It makes us look like a banana republic, or some backward and unselfconfident province of the Roman empire. It is as though we don't do white-collar fraud, except when it involves peerages, and we contract the big stuff to our American overlords. I don't know whether David Bermingham and the other members of the NatWest trio are guilty or not, but I do know that when he boards the 9.30am flight from Gatwick today, the British Government will be conniving in a serious injustice. It is a measure of this Government's panic over the 2003 Extradition Treaty with America that Tony Blair has simultaneously dispatched Baroness Scotland to plead with the American authorities. She is to scurry around Washington, reminding people how staunch we were in the war on Iraq and inquiring whether they might see their way round to ratifying this treaty. She will point out that we have been good boys, as usual, and put it into our law. She will ask whether they might consider doing the same. She will be given the bum's rush. She will then join the Prime Minister in begging the Americans to use what clout they have with the courts in Texas to give the men bail, and allow them to return to England, so that they don't spend the next two years in Guantanamo conditions while preparing their cases. What a truly incredible state of affairs, and what a devastating comment on the workability of this treaty, that senior Labour ministers should be obliged to rush around Washington begging the American authorities not to use the powers we have given the Americans, and which the Americans refuse to give us. As I have said before, the first problem with this Extradition Treaty is that it is unbalanced. Contrary to the rubbish peddled by the Prime Minister, it gives the Americans the right to demand suspects from Britain with virtually no evidence, while American suspects wanted by Britain have the protection of a hearing in which the evidence against them can be tested and contested, in court, by the defence. That asymmetry would apply even if the treaty were ratified and would be reason enough to drop it. What makes it even worse is that the 2003 treaty takes away the right of any British authority to decide in which country the case should be heard. As I never tire of saying, the natural forum for this case is obviously Britain: the evidence is all here, the men involved are Brits, and the allegedly defrauded entity was NatWest. The Americans are scooping them up because American telegraphic equipment was involved. Well, you might as well ask the Americans to try Lord Levy on the grounds that he used American Microsoft programmes to send his e-mails. The best thing would be to renegotiate this treaty, not just for the sake of British justice but for the sake of America, whose reputation is suffering terribly as a result of the scandal. I have faith in the fundamental goodness of America. I hope relations will improve. We must have faith, hope and parity - and the greatest of these is parity.

142 thoughts on “Lord Levy and Cash for Honours”

  1. ‘No emanation of the British criminal justice system has taken the slightest interest in prosecuting these three, and yet we are happily sending them for trial in America’

    The police here never have had an interest in prosecuting fraud. A book I once read about Kenneth Noye quoted an old flying squad guy from the sixties saying something along the lines of fraud being no business of the police. The attitude has never really changed.

  2. “i think boris deserves a peerage for his good sense and humaity.

    ps. what about loaning me a few quid? i want to have a few tennis lessons.”

  3. The arrest of “Lord” Levy was always inevitable.

    Downing Street was warned that, once police were called in, the cash-for-gongs probe would go “all the way to the top”.

    Levy, the music tycoon is not just a Labour Party bagman – he is the Prime Minister’s personal fundraiser.

    Together they took the decision to classify election donations as loan. Even party treasurer Jack Dromey was kept in the dark (!!!). The fiasco is already costing New Labour dear.

    ** Cherie Blair is not laughing any more! Thanks God! When Cherie laughs, she looks exactly like the Joker in Batman !!!

  4. So?

    Our government’s corrupt and mostly run from Washington;
    Our civil liberties have been roundly buggered on the town hall steps;
    We’ve got political-bastard-correctness coming out of our f**king ears;
    We are at war with Planet Earth’s terrorist central;
    You’ll be lucky if you can pay off your mortgage in your own lifetime (assuming you can buy a house in the first place);
    Water, gas, electricity and petrol seem to cost nearly as much per litre as Chanel No 5;
    You can’t go to the pub for a fag any more and giving some juvenile toerag a good slap because the little twat’s just set fire to your car and tried to mug you at knifepoint is likely be rewarded with a six-month dose of ‘bird’.

    In the circumstances I really can’t get very worked up about three overpaid and underworked berks who probably DID have their hands in the till.

    Call that a government? I’ve stepped in dog turds that are more civically minded!

  5. Lord Levy’s solicitors complained yesterday that he had been “totally unncessarily” arrested, and he had gone to the police station with the full intention of complying with all their requests.

    And I must say that I have the fullest sympathy for Lord Levy in this respect. In my own case, I had just fastened a piece of jelly (gelignite, to those unfamiliar with the term) to a large safe inside the NatWest bank at 3 a.m. one morning when the fuzz burst in through the door, waving guns, and demanding that I prostrate myself on the floor immediately, and finally arresting me. But I was perfectly perfectly prepared to accompany them to the police station to answer all their questions to the very best of my ability. All the shouting and waving of guns was a hysterical over-reaction, and probably intended to grab headlines in the press (which they duly did). And my arrest was totally unnecessary, since I offered no resistance at all, and spoke to the officers in my normal polite manner (despite all claims to the contrary, “effing b******ds!” is actually a term of endearment in my community).

    I was, of course, innocent of all crime, but this did not deter the judge at my trial from sending me down for 10 years, and gratuitously remarking that people like me were “a menace to society”. Given the current parlous state of the law, I have no doubt that Lord Levy will fetch up in the cell beside me. But I will endeavout to teach him the delights of jelly, and I sincerely hope that he will teach me how to become a peer of the realm.

    Signed. (Soon-to-be-Lord) Jelly of NatWest.

    X, his mark.

  6. We must have faith, hope and parity – and the greatest of these is parity.

    Indeed, Boris. Better be careful what you ask for: I have an old Tatler magazine that matter-of-factly lists the cost of a peerage at £3 million from the Tory government.

    Actually, what’s interesting to me is that Levy claims no charges were filed, yet he had to put up bail. Off to Guido’s to find out what happened there…

  7. Why shouldn’t you buy peerages by means of a big wad of cash to the Labour or Tory parties?

    People with loads of wonga can buy enormous homes, cars and judges so why not also allow these stalwarts of industry to adorn themselves in ermine and coronets for a fixed fee? Given this additional revenue stream to the prevailing government maybe our council taxes won’t be so high.

    Set up a proper price list and stop effing around, we all knew it went on anyway.

  8. Oh, and by the way, Britain is certainly NOT a banana republic!

    It’s banana monarchy.

  9. Except we have no bananas today (although global warming should sort that out shortly)

  10. ‘You’ll be lucky if you can pay off your mortgage in your own lifetime (assuming you can buy a house in the first place)’ (Ban Tuesday)

    Oil is up to $78 a barrel today, once it’s up to $100 things will shift in the housing market.

  11. “Oil is up to $78 a barrel today, once it’s up to $100 things will shift in the housing market.” (Steven_L)

    They’ll probably shift in the catastrophic-global-economic-meltdown market too.

    But bike sales will go up so Boris and his boss will probably get a few peerages lobbed at them for being ahead of the game.

    Or, more likely, they’ll have their bike’s nicked. I hope this is done by an American so we can try out the extradition treaty from this end.

    Pick someone at random out of the phonebook like the Yanks.

  12. Sorry “There’ll probably be a shift in the…”

    Must have spent too much time on the Adam Bolton blog (Sky News). Seem to have caught a dose of illiteracy.

  13. Parity? I love a parity, don’t think it’s going to happen though.

    I would love to ramble on about pakistan and india bombings and bliar and corruption in our government and africa, Iraq etc etc but I’m fighting the urge to ramble. I nerly rambled to Hitch and won the fight and now to the Boz cats and won again. Congratulate me please from sparing you my opinions. I’m like a she-bear with a sore erm head.

  14. Dear Lord Levy, Sir, M’lud,
    loved your website your honour (gawd, loveaduck)
    Can oi be ur secretary SirM’lud?
    iam v.fast typing with 1 thumb.
    ta.
    PS: iam nearly 6′ tall, long brown wavy hair, size 12: 34C, 25, 35, with long legs and can keep my mouth shut. I no f.a;ll about politics tho. do i get the job??
    ooh ta!
    Delores

  15. ‘Pick someone at random out of the phonebook like the Yanks’ (Ban Tuesday)

    Having had the dubious honour of working in a directory enquiries call centre and having access to the US residential database I like this idea.

    We could try and extradite Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Vader, Homer J Simpson from Springfield or one of several guys called ‘Wanker’.

  16. Some years ago there was a song (honest) called ‘I’m a wanker’ it was a sort of scottish sounding jolly tune and seemed to be v. popular on the local jukebox. Don’t know who sang it tho.

    Heard on the radio tother day that some place has produced a phone book listing nicknames as so many people have the same name. I think that’s a great idea. You know, like jones the sheep and Patel the shop, that sort of thing. I think it was in Italy, you know, those people who won the world cup.

    Cashpoint Levy?
    Princess Tony?
    Porker Prescott?
    Cardboard Cameron?

    Boris……… for PM.

  17. Tony Blair had a chum called Lord Levy
    with a long and illustrious CV
    but he flogged off some ermine
    for loans from some vermin
    to buy Labour adverts on TV.

  18. “…or one of several guys called ‘Wanker’.” (Steven_L)

    That doesn’t narrow it down very much though does it. Isn’t ‘Wanker’ a common middle name over there? I always thought that’s what George’s middle initial stands for along with: Dr. Condoleeza (Wanker) Rice, Woody (Wanker) Allen, Barbara (Wanker) Streisand, Brittany (C**k-S**kng-J*sus*-F**ing-Wanker-CH**ST!) Spears, Arnold (Musclebound-Wanker) Schwarzenegger etc.

    I mean, if you ask for the deportation of the Wankers you’ll depopulate most of North America.

    And where would we keep a bunch of wankers like that?

  19. Ban Tuesday, may I say that I take grave exception to both your language and your imputation that our colonial cousins in the United states of America are onanists.

    May I also state that I am particularly offended by your outrageous, and blasphemous, language in connection with a lady of the utmost charm, virtue and integrity, to whit, Mz. B Spears.

  20. Isn’t it conceivable that the Labour peerage loans contributed to the Enron collapse? Why not send Lord Levy over with the Natwest three as a gesture of good faith. Sort of an ‘Extradite three fraudsters and get one free’ offer.

    Levy probably works for the CIA anyway (along with half the cabinet) Sadly, John Prescott didn’t get through the interview (went into hypoglycemic shock because he forgot to bring his emergency jam doughnut).

  21. “May I also state that I am particularly offended by your outrageous, and blasphemous, language in connection with a lady of the utmost charm, virtue and integrity, to whit, Mz. B Spears.” (Garytm)

    Get a girlfriend.

  22. “New Labour” is an anagram of “No Law rube!” (rube in the context of North American carnival/circus slang for ‘sucker’)

    Perhaps Lord Levy simply took this too literally.

  23. Can you sell peerages on? i.e. bung Lord Levy, say, two mil and then flog it on for three? I bet Mohamed Al Fayed would cough up, he might even get a British passport then.

    Tony should look at setting up a peerages futures exchange, he could score a bundle! Imagine being able to finance 24/7 Labour party political broadcasts on all channels for a month before the election.

    Probably better than the usual crap anyway.

  24. Yeah, I think he may be shaving a few years off his CV. Anyone want to take my bet that he has a bong in the shape of a bust of Pericles? Or Thatcher…could be Thatcher.

    And lay off the Britney. She’s not a wanker: that’s what she got K-Fed for. She’s a dim, trampy piece of white trash, but she’s by all reports a cheery, friendly one.

  25. Yeah, nothing wrong with ‘cheery, friendly, dim, trampy white trash’ – every MP should have one. Or have I got it wrong, do they collect on the Labour front benches? Digesting pies and fingering their little black books?

  26. “And lay off the Britney. She’s not a wanker: that’s what she got K-Fed for. She’s a dim, trampy piece of white trash, but she’s by all reports a cheery, friendly one.” (teatoaster)

    What’s a ‘K-Fed’?

    You and Garry trademark are obviously not English or you would be aware that the term ‘wanker’ usually doesn’t have anything to do with a Jodrell, ham shank or Barclays; it is an epithet used to describe someone who is a dim, inept and/or pointless dollop of human garbage.

    Famous British wankers (allegedly) include John Prescott, Harold MacMillan , David Beckham, The Marquis of Queensbury, King Charles 1st, Ethelred the Unready, Tony Blair, Michael Howard and, lest we forget, Iain Duncan-Smith. On a personal note, I (allegedly) think Steve McClaren will shortly excede all English expectations in the field of being a complete dick (or wanker).

    Although not British Tom Cruise, Sven Goran Ericsson, Gérard Houllier, George W(anker) Bush and his entire administration (allegedly) deserve honourable mentions in this category.

    Note that there is no implication of ‘self-abuse’ in this title, it’s simply a ‘lack-of-character’ assessment. In terms of this definition, the in(under)estimable Britany qualifies admirably even according to your own description of her and has the honour of being one of the few women to have this honour conveyed upon them.

    Did I say honour? Whoops! Better stop Lord Levy from flogging a few down the pub. (allegedly)

  27. Off topic. Indeed much more important topic.

    I’m utterly appalled at what Israel is doing to Lebanon.

  28. Backslang is so outre in modern Europe raincoaster , sorry, it reeks of Curly , Larry and Mo.

  29. Dear drinkscoaster
    I am please to say that I don’t even know how to spell the slag’s name. If your link in any way enhances my knowledge of the dreary twat it’s wasted. What’s wrong with a simple asnwer anyway? Too many Britny vids? Has she rotted your brain already?

    And you are spot on, I am not American in any way I AM ENGLISH and embarrassingly proud of it. This probably gets me a disability pension in Britain these days or at least a bed in a mental home.

    Not very cool being a Yank these days either not least because it rhymes with wank which is where we started. They’re the evil empire, the rogue superpower, the Axis of Antagonism. The US is also the only UN country with a head of state who still watches Sesame Street. (O! O is for OIL! A! A is for Al Qu’aeda TERRORIST. Terrorists are BAD! They don’t like our OIL or our FREEDOMS. They hate our DEMOCRACY! They think our wealth is DISPROPORTIONATE and are sick of us f**king with the Middle East)

    And you don’t understand that wanker has FA to do with feeding the ducks.

  30. I couldn’t agree with you more about the Americans.

    But I still disagree with your main point. I think Britney’s not a wanker. She’s a dimbulb, but she’s worked hard and earned her money and is by all accounts a pleasant enough person.

    I do understand even a few slang terms in British English, including “wanker” but I still don’t think it fits Britney. I’m not bad with English, you know, having probably been fluent in it longer than you’ve been alive.

    I’m happy to give you your “a simple asnwer” as requested. K-Fed is Kevin Federline, her husband. How much do you actually know about Britney Spears if you don’t know that she’s been trying to make a hip-hop silk purse out of that trailer park sow’s ear for a couple of years now?

    Mac: It’s not backslang. It’s an American hip-hop abbreviation. He’s far more famous as K-Fed than as Kevin Federline.

  31. I didn’t call her a wanker, it was “Brittany (C**k-S**kng-J*sus*-F**ing-Wanker-CH**ST!) Spears” basically just a stream of expletives which is a rough guide to how much the stupid bitch irritates me.

    Re “having probably been fluent in it longer than you’ve been alive.” Don’t be so ****ing patronising or are you one of those snotty “I’m cleverer than you” pillocks who pose about their intellectual superiority and burst into tears at the drop of a hat because they actually got D’s in all their exams?

    As for what I know about B.S. all I can say is that my knowledge is limited to remembering that I gag whenever she’s on the TV if I can’t change channels in time. That’s more than enough.

    “asnwer” at least it shows I don’t have to use a spellchecker Brainboaster.

  32. Well said Idlex!

    And it’s not as off topic as you may think. I read some stuff last week which reckons a lot of Blair’s cash and backing comes from Israel in return for ‘support’. Support equals looking the other way while the IDS cuts off (inter alia) medical supplies to Gaza hospitals and blows up the odd family picnicking on the beach. I’m not going to say anything about what my own reaction to these things would be if I was Palestinian because I’d probably be in breach of the laws about glorifying terrorism. (whatever that means)

    I mean, how does this particular bit of semantic wizardry work? Hamas KIDNAP a soldier but the Israelis ARREST Hamas ministers? errr? Shurely shome mishtake? Another interesting twist is when the Israelis talk about suicide bombers killing Israeli civilians.

    What Israeli civilians?

    Every Israeli citizen has done, is doing, will do military service. End of! Not all Palestinians on the other hand are terrorists but that doesn’t stop the IDS performing ‘Collective Punishment’ periodically. (Even if it is banned by the UN, when did that stop them doing anything)

    Don’t get me wrong, I understand the Israelis are fighting for survival. It just strikes me that the whole thing is virtually identical to South African Apartheid. The Israelis have drawn their national boundaries along lines that suit them so there isn’t a Palestinian voting majority in their ‘democracy’. The difference between South Africa and Israel is that the Israelis seem to have international support for doing this.

    Of course, try and write anything like this in the press and you’ll get a massive bleat of “anti-Semitism!!”, “Persecute the heretic!!!”, “Nazi!!”. But the Palestinians are Semitic for Christ’s sake. It’s Zionism not Judaism that’s the problem here anyway. Of course the Zionists would like to perpetuate this little misunderstanding for as long as possible. I don’t think it’s beyond the pale to suggest that they actively provoke anti-Semitism sometimes so they’ve still got something to hide behind. Don’t forget, these same twats supported the Nazis on the basis that the enemy of my enemy (Britain) is my friend.

    The second world war was the best thing that ever happened to them. It wouldn’t surprise me to discover this crew were behind the concentration camps too, great publicity! The Zionist leader Yitzhak Greenbaum said that ‘One should resist this wave to push Zionist activities to secondary importance’ (Tel Aviv on Feb. 18, 1943) and also that ‘One cow in Palestine is more important than all the European Jews’. They didn’t want to save Jews, No way! The more Jewish blood spilt the better their claim for the creation of their state.

    The Palestinians should try to get partially exterminated by a fascist state (like Israel) so they get a little consideration in the future. Perhaps that’s their current ploy cause if this carries on much longer they’re toast.

    The bottom line is that they are as bad as each other. I can’t see the moral superiority of launching a missile from an Apache helicopter into a block of flats over a suicide bombing. The IDS are just conscripted terrorists who can afford uniforms, 60 years ago MI5 had virtually the entire Israeli government on the terrorist list. These days they’re a convenient irritation in the Middle East to mess the ragheads about. I mean, heaven forbid that a bunch of tent dwelling, camel shagging heathens ever build an infrastructure!

  33. Philomon, I presume by IDS you mean IDF or is this intentional? I would have thought IAF was more appropriate anyway judging by news coverage.

    Very interesting but I know stuff all about it except that they’re always bunging missiles at each other.

    Sounds a bit like Liverpool and Manchester.

  34. I just spoke to a mate of mine about Palestine and he just laughed and said “there’s no such place”.

    What’s that about then?

  35. BT: Has the NHS budget crisis resulted in a shortage of Xanax where you live? I was referring to my age, not my brain, when I said I’d been using English longer than you’ve likely been alive.

    There is no spellchecker on Boris’ blog. No doubt as an editor he would consider it cheating.

    I am not sure what Boris’ position is on Britney (not that I am implying anything). I suggest that we ask Melissa if Boris thinks Britney is a wanker. Also, what he thinks of Popozao.

  36. Boris Johnson’s opinion piece in today’s Telegraph makes good reading. I do enjoy his laid back approach to politics and his irreverent humour. I would warn him, however, that it is dangerous to point fingers – especially as a Tory MP. The Conservatives are hardly able to claim the high moral ground on past performance and it was not all that long ago that himself was bonking away from home. Fair enough, he was not doing it on the taxpayers time, or in a public office like John Prescott. But still…

    Regime change is around the corner. Will Boris become the next Education Secretary? As an academic, I hope not as I fear educators will get little sympathy from him when it comes to the next round of the fair wage for work fight. Boris was not all that supportive towards academics in the recent strike, suggesting that lecturers were using a “completely disproportionate means” to make their point and at one stage suggesting that lecturers who did not mark scripts should not be paid.

    What he does not seem to realise is that work was still being done. Lectures were being held. Assignments were being marked. Papers were being set. We simply threatened to withholding the marks. I would be interested to hear Boris’s ideas about the ‘proportionate means’ we might use to get a decent working wage, given that it is impossible to get anything out of management in this country unless you take or make the opportunity to grab the bosses by the nuts and twist.

    No – Boris’s job should be a new one as Minister of Humour. We certainly need a laugh, given the way we are becoming increasingly irrelevant as a country of influence. And laughs a plenty he will provide.

    Notwithstanding the above comments, I am a real fan.

  37. Inyoka – Boris can’t possibly be minister for humour, his politics and policies are far too sensible. I’d suggest Blair, half his front bench and Cameron and half of his if I wasn’t crying so much at the result of such a joke.

  38. I can’t really say that I agree with you, Philomon Ndebele. I used to have, and indeed still have, quite a few Jewish friends, and partly as a consequence of that I’ve generally been pro-Israel. I think they should have their own country.

    But this bombing of Lebanon is an appalling crime. And in those bombs I don’t see the death of Lebanon, but the death of Israel. As I have seen it, they may as well have been bombing Tel Aviv rather than Beirut.

  39. Professor Martin van Creveld, of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem is Israel’s most prominent military historian. In this 2002 interview with Jennifer Byrne he claims that despite the recent increase in Israel’s military operations, the huge Israeli defence forces will inevitably lose to the Palestinians.

    Nothing has changed in the past 4 years.

  40. What’s that about then? (Ban Tuesday)

    Your mate’s right, there’s no such place, except notionally.

    As far as the UN are concerned the West Bank and Gaza (theoretically Palestinian territory) are called “Occupied Territories” and, strictly speaking they are under the control of the Israelis. That’s why they can use words like “ARREST” when they incarcerate democratically elected government ministers.

    The fact is these territories are much like the Bantu homelands in South Africa or the ‘indian reservations’ of US history. They’re just a dumping ground for ‘undesirables’ (as far as the Israeli government are concerned anyway) under the fiction that this is their ‘own’ place generously donated by the Israeli government. (even though 60 years ago it was ALL theirs)

    It also allows Israel to operate under the illusion of being a democracy; all they’ve done is to move all the people they’ve disenfranchised into the plaguelands so it’s hardly surprising they (the Palestinians) want some of their land back and are prepared to fight for it?

    I can’t really say that I agree with you… (idlex)
    Agree about what and what’s this stuff about ‘having Jewish friends’? So what? I’ve got Jewish family and they reckon the worst Jew bashers are people that start with “Some of my best friends are Jews but…”

    This isn’t a religious thing or a racist thing. As I said I don’t have a problem with Judaism any more than Christianity or Islam. I’ve got a serious issue with the Zionists in Israel though.

    These guys love the fact that most people don’t make any distinction, and that’s what allows them to get away, literally, with murder.

    They taunt the Palestinians on the quiet, harry and badger them and then, when the poor sods retaliate they come down on them like a ton of bricks saying to the world “See! Look what we have to put up with!!”

    Have a look into the history and at some of the viewpoints of the Palestinians. I can guarantee it will horrify you or at the very least leave you in tears.

  41. And yes BT you’re right. It should be IDF not IDS. I just can’t get “Israeli Defence Scumbags” out of my head sometimes.

  42. Re Raincoasters suggestion: what a fantastic website! All I need now is someone to teach me how these damn html prompt thingys work.

    Re Britney Spears: Lay off guys I fancy her rotten, I just love that Southern twag (and those legs).

  43. And guys, how predictable was it that I would get to work, check this blog and read a load of anti-Israeli nonsense?

    Get a grip, or bugger off and live in Iran (or North Korea) if you feel that way inclined!

  44. Get a grip, or bugger off and live in Iran (or North Korea) if you feel that way inclined! (Steven_L)

    Why? Who the **** are you to say that?

    You’re probably the same sort of right wing fascist that supported apartheid South Africa while Nelson was in prison.

    It isn’t an issue of who’s ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ it’s an issue of fairness and humanity.

    We should all care about these things even if they don’t affect us personally you thoughtless pratt.

  45. ‘You’re probably the same sort of right wing fascist that supported apartheid South Africa while Nelson was in prison’ (Philomon Ndebele)

    I was about 6 years old or something when Mr Mandela was released from prison actually.

    And I’m not a fascist, yes I might be right-wing, I might be a fan of the American Neo-Cons, I might support NATO in the War on Terror, but thats my opinion and I’m entitled to it.

    I do care about the social, cultural and economic problems in the middle-east, but as a young European I find their culture very difficult to understand, Israeli culture on the other hand I don’t.

  46. Unfortunately Mr Underbelly (love the phonetic surname!) the Israelis are masters at manipulating world opinion. There’s a particularly oily spokesman of theirs who keeps appearing on BBC radio-4 putting out the most unpleasant sophistries that seem to get accepted at face value by the presenter on the ‘PM’ program.

  47. “UnderBelly” (Chris Morriss)
    It’s actually pronounced Ender-Bee-Lee (more or less) but I think I prefer Underbelly. Never noticed before.

    Re your point on the BBC, the Zionist apologists are everywhere with the same tune, i.e. “We only do this to them when they do it to us.”

    Really conciliatory hey? Might be a bit more compelling if the Palestinian casualties over the past 6 years weren’t 5 – 6 times that of the Israelis.

  48. Sorry, Palestinian deaths are 4 times that of the Israelis. Deaths of children are 7 times. (over the last 6 years)

    Before anyone says I’m blowing things out of proportion.

  49. Philomon,

    I read your link, perhaps you would like to consider some more statistics. In Lebanon unemployment is 18%, infant mortality 24.52 / 1000 live births (wikipedia). Middle-Eastern demography is such that there is a large youth population, many have poor access to education and cannot find work. Their main exports are foodstuffs and tobacco, hence they are now trying to integrate their food and consumer laws more with the EU. The tourist trade was taking off also.

    Recent events will stifle Lebanese development, will stifle the improvement of infant mortality rates and reduction in unemployment, much to the detriment of the Lebanese people. The EU are probably about to suspend much of their project work in Lebanon and evacuate. You may or may not of noticed, but the G8 leaders agreed that Hezbollah was to blame for the troubles. I think that these people are in a better position that you or I to judge these things; and no I do not think it is all part of a Zionist conspiracy.

    Iran, an oil rich nation, has 11% unemployment and infant mortality of 41.58 /1000 live births (wikipedia). Perhaps they should be looking more at healthcare and development of both their education systems and non-nuclear technologies industries rather than importing weapons en-mass and starting a nuclear program that for obvious reasons Israel will probably not tolerate.

    In my view the refusal of Russian and China to stop the export of arms to Iran is going to create much more trouble in the Middle East, the dragging of heels over North Korea could conceivably lead to Japan arming itself and yet more misery for the North Korean people. I think what you are seeing is just the beginning it what could escalate to full-scale war in the region. This could lead to NATO having to withdraw forces from Iraq and this would be of massive detriment to the Iraqi people who now have an opportunity to rebuild their nation along the principals of freedom and democracy; this situation could conceivably lead to full-scale civil war and will not help the Iraqis (oil rich people again) to develop their education and healthcare facilities that were so neglected by Saddam for many decades.

    I fully accept that Muslim nations will want law based on Sharia principals, however law should be enforced by the state, preferably democratically elected governments, not a load of disillusioned, unemployed kids toting inaccurate Russian machine guns. The failure of some Middle-Eastern states to control extremists within their own borders will damage their region immensely in the long run and will ruin what development has been achieved in recent years by progressive nations such as Lebanon. You can’t expect the Israelis to pack their bags and leave, nor can you expect the Israeli government not to defend their free and democratic sovereign state. Their methods of defence will indeed attract much criticism and some of this may be well placed.

    However I strongly believe part of the real problem is that in the UK and to some extent the US the anti-American, anti-Bush and even anti-capitalist attitude that have developed over recent years has rendered the Bush administration handicapped in the War on Terror. The refusal of some European states to support NATO action to bring long term stability to the Middle-East has stifled the War on Terror and the attainment of freedom and democracy for some of the worlds most oppressed peoples.

    In my view it’s just like Bush says ‘you are either with us or you are with the terrorists’. It sickens me how many people side with terror.

  50. Agree about what and what’s this stuff about ‘having Jewish friends’? (Ndebele)

    I remember them with affection, and so I’m not going to start bashing Jews. But I remain appalled by Israel’s current action. I don’t think it helps Israel at all. It harms it.

    It’s exactly the same as liking Americans but loathing the administration of George W. Bush. I think what he does harms America.

  51. Whoa!

    Who’s siding with terrorism? I am certainly not and never will support such a thing. There’s a big difference between saying institutional oppression is wrong and going out and blowing yourself up on a bus. The latter not being something I would advocate. The old “you’re either with us or against us” crap really has worn out though, get some new lines before you start sounding like Bruce Forsythe. I’m with justice and equality and the Palestinians aren’t getting any.

    Aren’t we all supposed to be better than this? (I know you’re not but you’re just a by-product of US indoctrination) When a wealthy country attacks and persecutes a feeble enemy shouldn’t we stick up for the underdog rather then saying “Rah rah, give those camel jockeys some shit boys”? This situation needs to be sorted out JUSTLY! It’s this sort of thing that stokes the root CAUSES of terrorism NOT impassioned pleas from some prick in a cave. An IDF Colonel shooting a 12 year old girl for being in the wrong place at the wrong time probably recruits more would be suicide bombers than the invasion of Iraq.

    Anyway, what have your figures and observations got to do with the Israeli oppression and wholesale murder of Palestinians? Nothing! It’s the same old load of twaddle about ragheads being their own worst enemies and how they are worse to each other than the Israelis ever are. It’s bollocks and the same people say the same things about niggers like me. Two wrongs don’t make a right nor does justifying your own criminal actions with the criminal actions of others. Wrong is wrong! And what the Israelis have being doing to the Palestinians for the past 60 years is wrong, simple as that.

    So, we can deduce from your post that you support Israeli murder and probably any other murder as long as it’s used judiciously and keeps your fuel tank full. We all know where “the ends justify the means” type thinking ends up. Enjoy.

    Ironically enough it was your sort who were probably first to the ovens when the Nazis were in full swing.

    Hardly anything changes, not even the rhetoric. Only the victims.

  52. Philomon Ndebele,

    This is a better arguement than just swearing at me and simply calling me a fascist, but what is your solution to the problems in the Middle-East?

    I’ve stuck my oar in the water, I side with the Neo-Cons, in case you are not aware of new-conservative philosophy here is a link.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neo-conservatism

    So rather than just quote history and state your opinions about these events lets have your ideas on how you think we can help the Arab people (or as you like to say the Rag-heads).

  53. I get the feeling that many of us who post here, even those of us who are right-of-centre, are not really conservatives or neo-conservatives, whatever they are (the Wiki page was no help on this at all). I’m a libertarian and I believe that the individual is more important than the collective. In this case the collective is the all-powerful USA (and Israel), while the individuals are the baffled and deluded people in Palestine who don’t know which way to turn, and are in utter despair.

    Bring back Gladstone, and if we can’t have him as PM then Boris will do.

  54. “So rather than just quote history and state your opinions about these events lets have your ideas on how you think we can help the Arab people (or as you like to say the Rag-heads).” (Steven_L)

    Have you got a gold medal in sanctimony?

    Wasn’t it you who recommended that I “bugger off to Iran”?

    To what do I owe this sudden contrition? Realised that your smug ideology may have a few ethical holes in it?

    As to what needs to be done in the Middle East I’d say the first thing is simply to raise public awareness of the plight of the Palestinians. THEN one can start doing something about it. Right now, just about everybody has the same view as you, that there are just a bunch of volatile Islamic fundamentalists that explode on sight.

    And, for the record, I don’t call them rag-heads. That’s the popular euphemism with right wing louts that side with the Israelis. My purpose is to use the most offensive terms possible because it often strikes a choord when plain logic and history won’t.

  55. Here’s an interesting little snippet from Steven’s link on Neo-conservativism.

    “Neoconservative identification with the State of Israel’s struggle against terrorism was furthered by the September 11 terrorist attacks, which served to create a perceived parallel between the United States and Israel as democratic nations under the threat of terrorist attack. Moreover, some neoconservatives have long advocated that the United States should emulate Israel’s tactics of pre-emptive attacks, especially Israel’s strikes in the 1980s on nuclear facilities in Libya and Osirak, Iraq.”

    Explains a lot doesn’t it.

    Sounds like ‘gunboat diplomacy’ wearing dark glasses and a raincoat. Didn’t Britain grow out of that with the death of Lord Palmerstone?

    I thought the concept of “Shoot first and don’t ask questions ever” was drawing to a close in the 21st Century. Obviously not.

  56. Hey Philomon,
    ever heard of “Lhap Gogh”?

    Apparently it’s the Welsh art of self defence. It’s based on the premise that attack is the best form of defence consequently the earlier you attack the better.

    So the very best form of defense is to attack before your opponent is even aware of your existence.

    Lighten up dude, the Middle East will sort itself out ten minutes after there’s an alternative to oil.

  57. This could lead to NATO having to withdraw forces from Iraq and this would be of massive detriment to the Iraqi people who now have an opportunity to rebuild their nation along the principals of freedom and democracy; (Steven_L)

    Hmmm. Let’s see the news today from Iraq:

      BAGHDAD, Iraq – Dozens of heavily armed attackers raided an open air market Monday in a tense town south of Baghdad, killing at least 50 people and wounding about 90, Iraqi and U.S. officials said.

    No, they don’t have now have “an opportunity to rebuild their nation along the principals of freedom and democracy”. And they never did.

    What’s it like, Steven, living in Neverland? Does everything really look gorgeously rose-tinted and beautiful every day? Does nothing bad ever happen?

  58. “Lighten up dude, the Middle East will sort itself out ten minutes after there’s an alternative to oil.” (Ban Tuesday)

    Much consolation that will be to the thousands of Palestinians whose lives have been crushed under the heel of Israeli expansionism.

    If you check the news at the moment you’ll note that the Israeli military are well ahead in the confirmed civilian kills category in Lebanon. Shouldn’t they be engaging the Hizbollah ground troops on the border rather than blowing up civilians in cars?

    Sounds a bit like terrorism to me. And wouldn’t that make Tony Blair’s words of support to Israel the other day put him foul of his own laws on the glorification of terrorism?

    Or is ‘terrorism’ a more complicated term than we currently understand from Bush’s interpretation?

  59. Sex first thing in the morning is a big turn-off because of the hot weather, say 99 percent of people in a survey.

    That’s why we bought a mobile air conditioner from B&Q yesterday!

  60. Tony Blair’s hopes of escaping a sleaze probe collapsed last night !

    John Yates, top in the cash-for-“honours” scandal, told MPs he would not “baulk at interviewing anybody”. His vow came as the PM’s close friend “Lord” Levy was questioned for a third day by police.

    Blair & Cherie are wetting, I mean sweating.

  61. I’m just sitting here waiting for my comment to be approved. It’s just like posting on Guido’s blog!

    Hell, I’m too impatient. I shall make separate posts for them.

    Here is the blog of a Lebanese man living in Beirut. All this third- and fourth-hand commenting on comments can be stripped away when you read the first-hand account.

  62. And here is the Save the Lebanese Civilians petition.

    To The Concerned Citizen of The World:

    “Killing innocent civilians is NOT an act of self-defense. Destroying a sovereign nation is NOT a measured response.”

    Lebanese civilians have been under the constant attack of the state of Israel for several days. The State of Israel, in disregard to international law and the Geneva Convention, is launching a maritime and air siege targeting the entire population of the country. Innocent civilians are being collectively punished in Lebanon by the state of Israel in deliberate acts of terrorism as described in Article 33 of the Geneva Convention.

    The Lebanese people feel left out by the world that is turning a blind eye on the savagery of the Israeli state. Israel does not seem to be capable of approaching any problem outside the realm of the military power bestowed on it by the government of the United States of America and other western governments.

    We are writing you this letter in the hope that this massacre is immediately stopped. It is the universal duty of each individual to defend the innocents and expose the truth. The numerous civilian victims of the Israeli operations are increasing by the hour. The viciousness of the attacks has attained terrifying levels where a child has been cut in three while another was half burned.

    The Israeli war machine, in its blind savagery, is destroying not only our lives but the foundations that could help the civilians survive beyond their massacre. The Israeli Defense Forces are destroying in few hours what Lebanon has spent years and billions of dollars to rebuild.

    Up until now more than 100 Lebanese civilians have been killed, hundreds wounded, bridges and infrastructure destroyed, refugees are leaving Beirut in droves and worst of all the enforced siege might lead to a human catastrophe in the next 48 hours. There must be an end to this cycle of violence and continuous violation of international laws and basic ethical behavior.

    Between the blindness of the international community and the deafness of the Arab one, the besieged Lebanese population has no way out.

    Peace begins with justice

  63. And here is the roundup of Republican comments, from the ever-dependable Jesus’ General. While you’re there I encourage you to click around. Best US political blog I’ve ever seen, and it’s won everything.

  64. “Here is the blog of a Lebanese man living in Beirut. All this third- and fourth-hand commenting on comments can be stripped away when you read the first-hand account.” (Brainboaster)

    Do you lie awake at night trying to think up snotty comments to put down other bloggers or are you just an arrogant twat?

    You must be a woman. Any guy with your attitude and insensivity would have been flattened often enough to get the message.

  65. Ban Tuesday, do you have an opinion on the issues, or do you come to Boris’ blog just to drop insults on me because I don’t hate Britney Spears?

  66. “…or do you come to Boris’ blog just to drop insults on me because I don’t hate Britney Spears?” (drizzlesurfer)

    Absolutely! I think Bratney should be criminalised for the same reasons as class A drugs. Victimisation is just a perk.

    “Opinions are like assholes, everyone’s got one.” (Clint Eastwood, but not on this blog)

    I’ve already said my bit about Levy and Labour (at the top) What I know about Israel/Palestine though could be comfortably fitted on the back of a fag packet.

    See, I don’t mind admitting it when I’m incompetent, rather than trying to cover it up with a bit of banter and ‘clever’ or glib comments.

    Talking of which, did anyone see the news clip where Blair is talking to Bush at lunch at the G8 summit?

    It reminded me a of a crawly-bumlicking employee (Blair) talking to his boss (Bush) about doing some overtime at the weekend. It had subservience written all over it. Break out the US flags because the British overnment is being run from Washington, official!

    The fact that they are both demonstrably clueless about what’s going on in the Middle East adds a whole new dimension of terror to the situation.

    Now over to you Philomon because that’s effectively exhausted my knowledge of international politics. I’d be grateful if you could explain to me why the Saudi’s allow Israel to get away with the persecution of the Palestinians which you claim. Surely they could stomp Israel with one call to their old mate G W Bush.

  67. It’s encouraging, really. The way you’re going one day you’ll drop the ad hominem attacks entirely.

    I don’t mind disagreeing with someone, but this is not debate. It’s abuse. Haven’t we got issues to talk about? If you don’t have an opinion about them, then don’t post.

    Simple.

  68. Ooooh, touchy!

    You’re the one who makes all the snidy little side comments (“Google it stupid” ring any bells?). I think the usual guideline is “don’t dish it out if you can’t take it”.

    How did you honestly expect anyone to react to something like “All this third- and fourth-hand commenting on comments can be stripped away…”? Basically (paraphrased) “All your stuff is irrelevent and here’s the proper information from clever little me”. It’s arrogant (typically American I might add) and I feel the need to tutor you in the ways of righteousness.

    However, I did post an opinion, several actually. I admit that some of the posts are questions (about the situation in Israel) rather than opinions because, unlike you, I don’t know everything.

    Anyway, I’m not attacking your arguments (as ad hominem implies) I tend to agree with what you and Filament have posted on the basis of prima facie evidence. What I find curious though, is given these facts are substantially true, why there isn’t a massive public outcry and calls for sanctions against Israel.

    Just seems odd.

  69. I’m not touchy, but I am tired of your sniping. Why I’ve been singled out for your inane attacks is beyond me, but it’s time that you got beyond it and stopped. Using schoolyard slogans to bolster your case doesn’t really serve to do more than reveal more about you than you perhaps intend.

    Just stop this.

  70. “Here is the blog of a Lebanese man living in Beirut” (raincoaster)

    Thanks raincoaster, very interesting site. I haven’t seen it before. It continually amazes me that these guys (Israel) can get away with this sort of thing. Any other country in the world would have its leaders on trial for war crimes a week later but not Israel. Then again, the Geneva convention has never really held much interest for these bastards. They’re in breach of so much of it with regard to the Palestinian occupied territories what are a few more charges? I just find it beyond belief that the US continues to support it. They must completely censor any coverage which makes it look like the Israelis are the aggressors (and not victims) or I can’t think that even the American public would stand for it.

    “I’d be grateful if you could explain to me why the Saudi’s allow Israel to get away with the persecution of the Palestinians which you claim” (Ban Tuesday)

    Very interesting question, I’ve never really thought about this before. Considering that many of the Saudi royal family are on house guest terms with the Bush family (Michael Moore, Fahrenheit 911) implies that this subject must have come up a dinner occasionally. They also wield considerable financial power in the US (Saudis own 6 – 8% of the NYSE and have over $Trillion in accounts) even suggesting that they would sell up and withdraw their money unless the US stop the $15,000,000/day subsidy of Israel would probably be enough to make Israel act nicer to the Palestinians.

    Considering that they (the Saudis) also have among the best equipped military outside the US they would be more than capable of dealing with the situation themselves if they had any incentive.

    I’ve only come up with two theories to explain it that make any sense.
    1) Israel has told Saudi (in no uncertain terms) that any threatening military action will cause a nuclear warhead to be immediately lobbed at the Saudi oilfields.
    2) The Palestinians being ****ed over by the Israelis is a great distraction from the dissatisfaction of the Saudi population with the House of Saud. As long as the mullahs keep giving sermons about “their poor brothers in Israel” rather than the amount of coke going up the noses of the Saudi royal family I doubt that the Saudis will do anything to assist the Palestinians.

  71. “please stop calling me American!” (pop-up-toaster)

    Well what are you then? I am happy to insult you in the nationality of your choice.

    (Pssst. Probably best not to make it Israeli though or you’ll have Underbelly on your case)

    If you would like to select a species too I’m happy to comply.

  72. I just find it beyond belief that the US continues to support it. (Ndebele)

    That’s the easiest thing to for me to understand: Israel is simply doing what Bush has already done in Iraq and Afghanistan – create another failed state.

    These guys are very good at blowing stuff up. They love it. They love war. They think it’s ‘noble’. And they haven’t a clue how to put things back together again. Their ‘solution’ to every problem is to drop a bigger bomb on it (unless the other side has one). Their idea of progress is more carnage, more destruction. That’s why they thing everything’s going so swimmingly well in Iraq and Afghanistan – and now Lebanon. “Creative destruction” is what soneone (Michael Ledeen?) called it a few years ago.

  73. Rather amusing that Mr. Blair is now calling for a UN force to man the Lebanese border. Bearing in mind that the US/UK alliance has no enthusiasm in stopping Israeli aggression in the region neither have they any regard for human life, the calling for a peace-keeping force would seem to suggest that the Israeli military (IDF) is not confident of engaging in a ground offence against Hezbollah. Rather than admit this, which would of course give a significant shot-in-the-arm to the Palestinian resistance not to mention Hezbollah, the Israelis have asked their US-patrons to intervene so the Zionist State can save face both with its own people and its enemies. Hezbollah would welcome an Israeli ground offensive and the conscript army, no matter how well armed by the Americans would in all likelihood suffer significant casualties with no definite assurance of victory against Hezbollah even if the casualties were acceptable to the Israeli military. Of course if Blair wasn’t once again embarrassing himself by being used as a puppet to US hegemony he would have the courage to act as a Statesman and call for the UN to not only have mandate over the Israeli/Lebanese border but also Gaza and the West Bank too. He could even use the excuse of wanting to stop Hamas rocket attacks into Israel, if he wanted to steer clear of mentioning 60 years of violence perpetrated against the Palestinian population.

  74. (Off topic) – MPs have abandoned wearing ties in droves for the open-neck look – the Cameron effect is making our Members of Parliament look like a collection of the oldest swingers in town – but there’s always one who has to go further.

    During a division of thr NHS Health Bill last week, a man in a pair of the shortest shorts ( hot pants? ) jogged past the speaker’s chair and headed briskly out through the main door.

    There is said to be video evidence of the atrocity and sources say the man resembles Tory MP for Gravesham, Adam Holloway.

    What next? Posing pouches?! (giggle)

  75. Blimey! The language has got a bit ripe since I last visited. And people are squabbling like nobody’s business. And someone quoted Michael Moore as a source!

    Are there no true patriots in this blog to clean things up a bit?

    Anyway I’m backing Israel in the current crisis. Damn me if you wish but if you’re interested in reasons I’ve contributed to David Aaronovitch’s site at http://timesonline.typepad.com/david_aaronovitch/

  76. Tony and George Bush lifted the lid on their partnership yesterday – when they left their microphones on by mistake at the G8 summit, icluding Bush accusing Syria of stoking up terrorist “shit” in the Lebanon crisis! Here are key extracts from the recordings:

    BUSH: Yo Blair, how you doin’ ? Thanks for the sweater. It’s awfully thoughtful.

    BLAIR: It’s a pleasure! (!!!)

    BUSH: I know you picked it out yourself. (?!!)

    BLAIR: Oh, absolutely (!!!) , in fact…(inaudible). (!!!)

    BUSH: What about Kofi (inaudible), his attitude to the ceasefire?

    BLAIR: The (inaudible) is really difficult. We can’t stop this unless you get this international business agreed.

    BUSH: Yeah.

    BLAIR: I don’t know what you guys (!!!) have talked about but I’m perfectly happy to try and see what the lie of the land is – but you need that done quickly because otherwise it will spiral.

    BUSH: I think Condi is going to go soon. (???!!!)

    BLAIR: Well, if she needs the ground prepared…because obviously if she goes out, she’s got to succeed whereas I can go out and just talk. (!!!)

    BUSH: You see, the thing is, what they need to do is to get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit (!!!) – and it’s over. (!!!)

    BLAIR: (inaudible)

    BUSH: (inaudible)

    BLAIR: Syria.

    BUSH: Why?

    BLAIR: Because I think this is all part of the same thing.

    BUSH: Yeah.

    BLAIR: What does he think? He thinks if Lebanon turns out fine, if we get a solution in Israel and Palestine, Iraq goes in the right way…

    BUSH: Yeah, yeah, he is sweet. (!!!)

    BLAIR: He is honey. (!!!) That’s what the whole thing is about. It’s the same thing with Iraq.

    BUSH: I felt like telling Kofi to call Bashad – (Syria’s Bashir Assad !!!) to make something happen. We are not blaming the Lebanese.

    BLAIR: Is this…?

    ( At this point, Blair taps the microphone and the sound is cut. )

  77. …yes very ripe language….

    Let’s get on to fresh territory folks and out of the Bratpack analysis

    I like your video link raincoaster – I’m sure it is the sort of music Boris would like. Popozao… very intriguing

  78. Thanks Melissa. If Boris likes K-Fed, then that makes him and Britney. She’ll be pleased.

    Neo-Pythogorean Pagan, I think the last thing the UN is going to do is go in there and hold that border. It effectively doesn’t exist at the moment; it’s just a shelling zone. As we’ve learned to our detriment in Afghanistan and Somalia, peace must exist in at least some sense before the peacekeepers can be sent in.

    Only Israel and Lebanon can stop this war. I suggest sanctioning Israel with a Cuba-like embargo, as they did start the hostilities this time around. Lebanon, backed into a corner, obviously already has a vested interest in ending this. Israel currently does not, as they know quite well the military advantage they have.

    Lebanese Dead 220
    Lebanese Wounded 850
    As of yesterday, from Al-Jazeera

  79. Lebanon, backed into a corner, obviously already has a vested interest in ending this. Israel currently does not, as they know quite well the military advantage they have. (raincoaster)

    Does Israel possess the military advantage? I know they’ve got tanks and jets and even nukes, but respected military historians like Martin van Creveld (that I cited upthread a few days ago) see Israel losing these wars.

    Another military historian, William S. Lind weighed in today saying:

      I think the stakes in the Israel-Hezbollah-Hamas war are significantly higher than most observers understand. If Hezbollah and Hamas win–and winning just means surviving, given that Israel’s objective is to destroy both entities–a powerful state will have suffered a new kind of defeat, again, a defeat across at least one international boundary and maybe two, depending on how one defines Gaza’s border. The balance between states and 4GW forces will be altered world-wide, and not to a trivial degree.

      So far, Hezbollah is winning. As Arab states stood silent and helpless before Israel’s assault on Hamas, another non-state entity, Hezbollah, intervened to relieve the siege of Gaza by opening a second front. Its initial move, a brilliantly conducted raid that killed eight Israeli soldiers and captured two for the loss of one Hezbollah fighter, showed once again that Hezbollah can take on state armed forces on even terms (the Chechens are the only other 4GW force to demonstrate that capability). In both respects, the contrast with Arab states will be clear on the street, pushing the Arab and larger Islamic worlds further away from the state.

      Hezbollah then pulled off two more firsts. It responded effectively to terror bombing from the air, which state think is their monopoly, with rocket barrages that reached deep into Israel. Once can only imagine how this resonated world-wide with people who are often bombed but can never bomb back. And, it attacked another state monopoly, navies, by hitting and disabling a blockading Israeli warship with something.

    Lind goes on to say:

      Ehud Olmert, referring to the initial Hezbollah raid, said, “I want to make clear that the event this morning is not a terror act but the act of a sovereign state that attacked Israel without reason.” This is an obvious fiction, as the state of Lebanon had nothing to do with the raid and cannot control Hezbollah. But it is a necessary fiction for Israel, because otherwise who can it respond against?

    That is, Israel’s attack on Lebanon’s infrastructure is a flailing and ineffectual response by conventional state miltary to a non-state enemy, by attacking what it does know how to do: attack other states. That’s not a sign of strength, but of weakness.

  80. I wrote yesterday about Bush’s neocon penchant for “creative destruction”. It seems the concept is alive and well, and being noted today by George Will:

      Speaking on ABC’s “This Week,” Rice called it “shortsighted” to judge the success of the administration’s transformational ambitions by a “snapshot” of progress “some couple of years” into the transformation. She seems to consider today’s turmoil preferable to the Middle East’s “false stability” of the past 60 years, during which U.S. policy “turned a blind eye to the absence of the democratic forces.”

      There is, however, a sense in which that argument creates a blind eye: It makes instability, no matter how pandemic or lethal, necessarily a sign of progress. Violence is vindication: Hamas and Hezbollah have, Rice says, “determined that it is time now to try and arrest the move toward moderate democratic forces in the Middle East.”

    So, no more of the ‘false stability’ of the past 60 years. The more unstable the Middle East becomes, the better it all gets, and the more assuredly ‘democracy’ advances in the region.

    Or, in other words, the deeper we dig a hole in the ground for ourselves, the nearer we’re getting to the other side of the world.

  81. “Anyway I’m backing Israel in the current crisis.” (Jack Ramsey)

    Are you backing them to win or backing their approach?

    Regarding your contribution to David Aaronovitch’s site (“Israel does not target civilians.”) You have been watching the news haven’t you or is this view based on output from the Israeli propaganda machine?

    Hertzog was on the TV a few times yesterday and his comments bear a startling resemblance to the Iraqi Information Minister during GWII, maybe you’ve been listening to him. That being the case you must also be of the opinion that the Palestinians are all living in million dollar luxury apartments and dine on a diet of newborn Israeli babies.

    Get real.

    I hate war, loathe it but if Hezbollah have got the balls to stand up to those murdering bastards they get my vote. If the UK wasn’t run by a Washington puppet (see la Bach’s transcript) perhaps Britain would have dealt with the situation in Gaza and the West bank before it became a humanitarian crisis requiring the intervention of a bunch of terrorists! Do you know how many children alone the Israelis have killed over the past 6 years!

    The problem is the aftermath of this whole situation. Radical Islam knows it can’t trust the West (or the US & Europe would have sanctioned Isreal for their intolerable behaviour like they did South Africa) so this is another shot in the arm for fundamentalism.

    The US support of Israel in persecuting the Palestinians is the biggest US foreign policy miscalculation since, well errr, the last one.

  82. Oh before I forget, in what way is the Iranian support for Hezbollah (and therefore, indirectly, the Palestinians) different from the Boston and Chicago support for the IRA?

    Iranian fingerprints are allegedly on the missiles into Haifa so too are American fingerprints (” — without agreement from its own government — ” to quote David ‘I may want to retire to Israel one day’ Aaronovitch) on IRA guns and bombs used in Northern Ireland and mainland Britain.

    Should we destroy their infrastructure?

  83. Sorry, it’s 5:00 AM and I’m on call and there’s no-one in casualty (there IS a God!) so I’m monopolising the blog.

    I just thought I should add that Aaronovitch is quite right that solving the Palestinian issue will not make Hezbollah go away, quite the reverse. The problem is, allowing the Palestinian crisis to continue to go on for so long without ANY significant Israeli censure from the US makes Hezbollah look like the 5th Cavalry coming over the horizon to many Middle Eastern nations. Unfortunately, the prestige they will enjoy as a result of this will probably have far reaching (and unfortunate) effects for Israel.

    Aaronovitch fails to mention any of the reasons Hezbollah still has some popularity in Lebanon. The two main ones are
    a) That they effectively drove Israel out of Lebanon after 18 years of Israeli occupation of South Lebanon.
    b) During the Lebanese civil war, the Hezbollah refused to get involved in the internal strife and took it upon themselves to patrol the Southern border. They got a lot of brownie points for that.

    By the way Aaronovitch’s comment “…do we think that Israel’s response is “proportionate”? By the way, if it isn’t, then the Falklands campaign, in which deaths actually exceeded the population of the contested area, can only be described as grossly disproportionate”. This is the sheerest, unmitigated CRAP. The war lasted 74 days, with 255 British and 649 Argentine soldiers, sailors, and airmen, and three civilian Falklanders killed. In wars we expect military casualties, it’s the civilian ones which should be minimised. By that token the Israeli reaction isn’t just disproportionate, it virtually amounts to mass murder. This is spin doctoring worthy of Alistair Campbell or the Iraqi Information minister.

    Sorry Jack, if this guy is your reference source I’d dig a little deeper. Not impressed.

  84. One last thing Jack, you’ve heard of the term “Collective Punishment”?

    The Israelis are quite fond of it.

  85. The US patronage of Israel has caused them to be a proxy for Middle Eastern aggression.

    Not deluding themselves with any notion of being able to strike directly at the US (except in Iraq) Islamic fundamentalism contents itself with attacking the next best thing, Israel.

    Israel cannot afford to lose this conflict.

  86. Dr Prion

    No sir! DA is not my reference and I thought the Falklands was a bad example too. I merely referred to DA’s blog because I didn’t want to take up valuable room – that which you have left – with repeating my comments on Boris’ blog. This gives people a choice about whether they wish to view the results of the meandering of my febrile brain (but it’s only a click away folks!).

    I think DA has a more worthwhile perspective than most journalists.

    As is your comment re the support of Irish Americans for those well known fighters for liberty the IRA. The Americn Government never supported the IRA as a means of destroying either Britsh rule in Ulster or the British state. The Iranian leadership by comparison wants Israel to be history and probably the same for the Jews as a whole. Thus it arms Hizbollah not with the odd brace of AK 47s but a whole range of big boy’s rockets to aid this process. So another nice fable but I’ll have to mark you down for lack of correspondence with the facts. Must try harder!

    Melissa – I’m pleased to see you’re whipping them into shape!

  87. Oh, and Jack Ramsey, you have my patriotic support on this one mate. We might not agree on much, but I agree with much of what you have said on this.

  88. One of the reasons I generally avoid the whole Israeli war debate is that it is so exquisitely divisive. People pick sides in this more readily and more strongly than in any other kind of international conflict. We cannot seem to treat Israel as a mere geographic and political entity, and fall into the trap of treating it as some kind of supernatural supernational entity, whether of good or evil. I’m guilty of this as much as anyone.

    But we really might be facing a nuclear situation in this case, so we all do have to think about this with a great deal of care. The American news outlets are possibly the worst in the world for reliable information and clarity, perhaps second behind Saudi Arabia’s. The UK news outlets are also so slanted that straining the facts out of the sludge almost isn’t worth the effort. That’s why I like the blogs.

    Here is BEYOND NORTHERN IRAQ, the blog of Stuart Hughes, a BBC reporter. Having read some of the BBC “blogs” I have to say you’ll find more valuable stuff on the personal blogs. He also posts his (uncensored) pictures here.

    The US is in a very awkward position. There is no question at all that they have been funding much of Israel’s growth for decades, as well as training and supplying its military. In the past twenty years, the US has begun to do the same for Saudi Arabia and Islamic jihadists in Afghanistan, among other nations. Bin Laden is American-trained, for instance.

    The American position has always been reflexively pro-Israel, but now, with their armed forces stretched to the breaking point and beyond, with the PR imperative to avoid the appearance of Arab-bashing, and with the obvious public outrage against Israel as the aggressors in this case, the US could go either way.

    As Condi goes, so goes the war. God help them all.

  89. Steven_L

    Actually I can’t remember what we disagreed on (it’s age on my part). I’m sure we shall both be forcibly reminded of our differences soon. But as Ali G says

    “Respect man!”

    or something like that!

    Are you a liberal mugged by reality neo-con?

  90. Apostrophe Police are back in town and wish to reiterate that the use of the word “respect” in jovial bombastic fashion is one thing, but ommitting the comma before the word “man” is a commonly seen misdemeanour for which you shall be chastised.

  91. Jack,

    We probably has different points of view over the lecturers strike or some other piffle we had a quick blog about.

    I am naturally liberal minded in some respects, I have no problem with people hunting foxes or wearing (non-designer branded) headscarfs in schools.

    I’ll be the first to admit I jumped on the ‘lets take the ‘mike’ out of Dubya’ when he became President. At the tender age of 21 I jumped on the whole anti-Bush bandwagon like most young people I knew did after the shocking events of 9/11.

    I don’t know what you mean by ‘reality neo-con’ I’ve just changed my opinions on a few things recently.

  92. Apostrophe Police

    B****r! I should have consulted the young persons in my household before trying such as risky move! Correction received and understood!

  93. Hi Raincoaster,

    Was thinking about your passport predicament. I reckon you should write to HRH The Queen, after all what Canadian doesn’t want to see the changing of the guard?

  94. Jack Ramsey – I’m with you, all the way honey.

    Can’t agree with the chastisement though as you were quoting. Consider your chastisement wounds well and truly licked!

    Oh Boris, Boris (sigh) if only I could have received a slim volume of greek poetry from you. Oh well, love and kisses had to do I suppose!

  95. Jack Ramsey – I refer you to your post, above, dated 09:35am.

    Tell me this:
    Where does the apostrophe go to indicate the possessive in your sentence?
    I am asking you one last time before I am officially disappointed by the absence of any good standard of punctuation in your additions.

    Your phrase is:
    “…a whole range of big boy’s rockets…”

    You, as I have replicated, placed it before the “s” in boys.
    It should have gone AFTER the “s.”

    It is the boys in the plural and it is THEIR toys of which you speak so it must read “boys’ toys.”

    You have been punctuated.

  96. “No sir!…” (Jack Ramsey)

    Given the views you expressed on the DA blog I suppose you’ll dismiss this (see link) as Arabic ‘spin’.

    peace plan sabotage

    I draw your attention to the section: “Two days after the news conference…”

    Looks like a real commitment to peace to me. I’d be fascinated to see your source for “Israel has been the one trying to negotiate and has conceded again and again.” outside your febrile dreams (which are probably about Greater Israel).

    Bullshit. You’re just another Zionist Islamophobe the likes of which Bush relies on to create worldwide instability and alienate the Middle East.

    I’m wasting my time here.

    You sicken me.

  97. Dr Prion,

    In case you didn’t notice there was a polite request from the administrator of this website to tone down the language a bit?

    I think everyone understands that people have strong feelings about what is happening in the world at the moment.

    At the end of the day none of us have all the answers either.

    Swearing about it is not going to help keep the tone sensible. I apologise to anyone who has been offended or annoyed by my use of inflammatory language on this (off)topic.

  98. What swearing you irritating sycophant? Are you the milk monitor or do you just want a gold star from the teacher?

    This isn’t a political blog it’s a cosy little chat room for a clique of self congratulating halfwits.

    I always had a grudging respect for Boris Johnson but if you lot are representative of what he tolerates he really must be as blithering and dozy as he comes across.

    Sad

  99. Never met the man, could be twit for all I know. I like reading his stuff mate, I’m opinionated, I like arguing.

  100. This is the begining of the end for the murderring Israeli scum.

    The US and UK should feel shame in helping Zions theives and persecuters of women and children.

    Praise Allah in his infinate wisdom and may he give strength those who hate opression

  101. Crikey, it’s certainly warmed up round here.

    You’ve even pulled the online intefada, Respeck!

    Naah, I’m sorry, I’ve decided the Israelis get my vote on this one, sorry Filament.

    Although I can’t really condone blowing the crap out of civilians there doesn’t seem much alternative to stop an unregulated militia (Hizbullah) from flattening Northern Israel. (Which they started without the permission of the Lebanese people or the Government.)

    ‘Fraid the back wheel skids din’t have much choice in this one so, although I don’t like the idea of kids getting splattered, the blame must lie with the terrorists.

    Byeeee.

  102. Oh Good Grief!! Are all the British quietly making tea in the face of this offensive diatribe? Steven was correct in that we do all have strong opinions but can I remind the offenders that profanity and personal atack is not an intelligent way to argue a point. Melissa – over to you. I’m going for a cuppa until the grown-ups get back.

    Musharra Amedin – your opinion is frightening, but then the voice of a fanatic always is. You see, your last line is a contradiction.

  103. I fail to see how there can be any argument or dissent about this matter at all.

    Israel, quite simply, brought the Hezbullah attack upon itself; the direct result of 39 years of systematic abuse of Palestinians. The very best its leaders could plead would be contributory negligence.

    During the course of one week Israel has callously murdered over three hundred innocent men women and children. Naturally, these people were ‘only Lebanese’ and therefore of less importance than Israeli cattle from the perspective of the Israeli military machine. This appraisal/value assessment can be easily confirmed by the simple expedient of a ten minute conversation with any active member of the IDF. Certain people on this forum have argued that Israel had no choice but to retaliate because of incoming missile attacks. This is a specious corruption of the fact that the Israeli government made no attempt whatsoever to compromise on any matter at hand but merely, as is their usual practice, issued a set of non-negotiable, unilateral demands; strife and conflict being their preference in any case.

    Someone here also claimed that the Israelis do not target civilians. I recommend that this person takes a trip through Gaza so he/she can count the civilians targeted first hand. It won’t take very long.

    I could only conclude that anyone who disagrees with these comments is either Israeli or has never been to the West Bank. Alternatively, they may be a member of the Bush administration whose current policy is understood, by many Islamic nations, to be “the only good Moslem is a dead Moslem”.

    I humbly request that those persons supporting Israel’s position in this matter take some time for a visit to Gaza or the West Bank. Then they must feel free to comment at length about the curatorship of the IDF in the occupied territories and the willingness of the Israeli nation to live in peace and harmony with other religions and nations. Alas, they will find, as I did, a country born of outrage and committed to the preeminence of Zion above all else, with scant regard to the moral and ethical boundaries these policies transgress.

    The Israeli assault on Lebanon should receive immediate, unqualified UN censure and a multi-national force should be dispatched to Gaza, the West Bank and South Lebanon as soon as is reasonably possible; with or without Israeli consent.

    Arthur Mellor,
    Senior Aid Administrator SAMAF

  104. I’ve just been on a website that displays photographs of the devastation wrought upon the Lebanese people by Israel in its act of vengeance/reprisal/defence/righteous war on terror (delete as your bias dictates). I was terribly saddened to see the dust-covered, now disfigured and lifeless forms of infants pulled from the rubble of civilian homes/legitimate targets/precision strikes (delete as your bias dictates). I am equally saddened to witness the lack of humanity and compassion shown here by the defenders of the killing/Israeli right of defence/war on terror/”we’ll show them” groups, who insist that Israel is; right, the victim, surrounded by enemies, are peaceful and just want to be left alone (cue the pathos and appealing to the inherent racism and cultural bias of westerners towards people who are non-white/non-Christian/rag-heads/Muslims (delete as your bias dictates). The thing is; I would like to ask a question. If Israel only desires peace, and of course there is no point in framing this question at their government, but perhaps a simple Israeli citizen can answer; what form would this peace take for you? In answering I would like the scope of the answer to include the following:
    What do you, the Israeli citizen, expect in terms of safety and guarantees from your neighbours/Arabs in general/Muslims/the world at large, and why you deserve this security and which, if guaranteed, would cause you to say to your government and military “we are now ok, we have no need to fight/defend ourselves/bully/steal/act in a reprehensible fashion (delete as your bias dictates)?” Further what do you offer in return? What can the Palestinian population (who have been the victims in the establishment of Israel), the greater Arab community and the Muslim world expect in return? Please be very specific in terms of what the Palestinian people can look forward to in terms of land, rights and respect (we won’t bother with apologies). What parts of the territory that they previously enjoyed as their own will you deem them entitled to? Will they be invited back en-masse into the former Palestine/Israel and share in a one-man one-vote solution? If not, why not? Or does peace mean to you the complete and utter destruction of countries, societies, villages and ways of live that pre-date your colonization because you are greedy/divinely favoured/mental/scared/have a big plan for a big biblical/torah Israel? (delete as you bias dictates) Children are dying and the pictures are not pleasant. Palestinians have been dying since the advent of zionism. The Jews in Palestine are a reality, the Palestinians in Palestine and the refugees are a reality, the need for those outside the area to find a peace is a reality. Individual, common people, mothers and father, brothers and sisters can and will find a solution if allowed. The pressures that currently preclude common people finding a solution as I see it are as follows: Despotic ME regimes such as the House of Saud needing to deflect popular attention from their tyranny, the US/UK industrial/military complex and its greed, Zionism/Judaism/Christianity/Islam, cultural prejudice and apathy. I personally never want to know that another Palestinian/Lebanese/Israeli child is lying lifeless, its body broken, covered in dust because of the callous attitudes so easily adopted and supported by the common folk in times of fear.

  105. I’ll spare you the link, but there is certainly adequate photographic evidence to show that Israel has, in fact, slaughtered a lot of children in this conflict.

    Did anyone else read the Doonsbury from a few years ago?
    “What’s the dead terrorist count?”
    “Twenty dead terrorists in the last round, sir.”
    “Excellent.”
    “Five dead terrorist men, five dead terrorist women, and ten dead terrorist babies.”

    Israel only targets terrorists; they just forgot to tell us they define it racially.

  106. This seems to be a fairly unbiased report, with some good background material.

    The attack on Haifa raised Israel’s death toll from the fighting to at least 24, including 12 civilians. Israeli air strikes in Lebanon have killed about 150 people, mostly civilians. Seven Canadian citizens — members of the same family — are among the dead, killed in an Israeli air strike on the border town of Aitaroun.

  107. So Jack,
    how many terrorists were in the Canadian bus and the power station? Terrorists often being electrical engineers and well known for putting on a Canadian accent. Could fool anyone.

    I’d also be interested to understand how blowing up a power station “reduces the movement of Hizbollah forces”

    Love the Doonsbury post raincoaster.

  108. During the 1960’s as Israeli atrocoties carried out against Palestinians began to attract the attention of the world’s media, which was at the time, comparitively free of it’s current pro-Israeli bias, Zionist supporters began making use of “the holocaust” to manipulate pulic opinion and enlist the support of potentially powerful friends. This new found syzygy of Zionism and the holocaust saw the numbers of Jewish deaths at the hands of the Nazis rise steadily during the 60’s and 70’s until they peaked at 6m somewhere in the 80’s I think. Now we have Holocaust museums where black & white still photographs, grainy camera work and reconstructions of these terrible events can be visited to give the viewer an experience of the torture, violence and systematic brutalisation and murder of defenceless Semitic people at the hands of jack-booted fascist b*stards, that is heart-wrenching. However a week’s holiday in a bed and breakfast of your choice in Gaza city will allow you to see the same thing in real time and they don’t charge an entrance fee.

  109. Getting back to the point, I see Lord Levy has been dishing out honours to some of his staff.

    Surprising John Prescott didn’t think of that little wheeze as an incentive for alternative activities.

  110. Apparently, when the media asked her what she got it for she said it was a total surprise and she couldn’t remember what it was for. Later, after no doubt consulting with a spin control specialist, she said she’d been very active in Jewish charities for over a decade.

    Funny how that just slipped her mind, eh?

  111. Dr. Prion

    Since I don’t approve of religious states I guess I am actually anti-Zionist. However I support the right of the state of Israel to exist in the current situation.

    Do I have an irrational fear of Islam? I talk to Muslims most days and I can make a case for not having an irrational fear of Muslims. I think I have a rational suspicion of all religions, including Marxism and its twin fascism.

    Looks like the walking holiday we planned isn’t on any longer Doc!

    To all the other more vehmently anti-Zionist of you: the quips are ‘clever’

    “What’s the dead terrorist count?”
    “Twenty dead terrorists in the last round, sir.”
    “Excellent.”
    “Five dead terrorist men, five dead terrorist women, and ten dead terrorist babies.”

    but irony is not necessarily truth seeking.

    My very own quip.

    Just becuse you are anti-Zionist does not mean that you are not anti-Jewish.

    I may be a tedious old would be pedant but as far as I am aware there is no use for expletives in first order logic. Why do they make cases better? It shows no greater commitment to use them.

    Competition time:

    Finish off the following poem.

    Oh Dr. Prion
    Has gone to Zion
    …………..

  112. “Just becuse you are anti-Zionist does not mean that you are not anti-Jewish.” (Jack Ramsey)

    Couldn’t agree more. My brother (converted to Judaism) and my sister-in-law (Jewish) and their kids have never persecuted anyone (as far as I know anyway). And we are all on the most cordial terms even, remarkably, on the issue of Zionism.

    There’s a very simple reason for this curious concensus: the creation of the state of Israel and the behaviour of this nation over the past sixty years is indefensible. Just like apartheid and the holocaust.

    I hope it’s only a matter of time before Israel is dismantled and the occupants of the territory understand that they are not surrounded by moslem aggressors, but human beings who share the same fundamental aspirations and desires. What’s so hard about that?

    They have created the monster they currently face entirely themselves and, unless they change their ways, it will, one way or another, consume them utterly.

    P.S. Musharra Amedin, you aren’t doing anyone any favours with that sort of attitude pal.

  113. Philomon Ndebele
    I’m not sure you counted the nots but never mind.

    I think we’ll have to both go away and have a think old pal.

    “the creation of the state of Israel and the behaviour of this nation over the past sixty years is indefensible. Just like apartheid and the holocaust.

    Israel is in no way comparable to apartheid SA where racialism was enshrined in the constitution. I have already mentioned my objection to religious states but as far as I know there is no constitutional bar on people of different religions and ethnicities rising to any position in Israel.

    Of course even that absurd comparison pales before comparing the behaviour of Isarael to Nazi Germany. However as a dull old plonker I guess I should not criticise others’ rich fantasy lives.

    I could be very wrong of course so I will have a think.

  114. “…apartheid SA where racialism was enshrined in the constitution” (Jack Ramsey)

    Ohhhh I see!! So the only mistake South Africa actually made was to write it down. How stupid of me. All they had to do was to move all the wogs into the Bantu homelands like Swaziland and Bophupatswana and no one would have minded at all about the institutional racism in the government.

    Thanks for pointing that out to me Jack, I’m eternally in your debt.

    And you are correct, I did miss the extra ‘not’, I thought perhaps you’d enjoyed a moment of lucidity in your dotage.

  115. “Finish off the following poem.” (Jack Ramsey)

    “Dr Prion went to Zion in a shower of nukes.
    He stepped in a crater and died sometime later
    his coffin is next to Farouk’s”

    Do I get a present?

  116. Edward McD

    Only my undying esteem i’m afraid. Possibly Melissa could help….

    Philomon

    Quit the quipper aren’t you but it brings a smile to an dotard’s face. Have a nice weekend and don’t talk to any strange old men!

  117. Gerald Norley-Thumbwhisker

    Be nervous, be very nervous. I understand that the Turner Prize Committee are investigating you for plagiarism.

    Philomon

    Apologies

    Should have been Quite not Quit. You must never quit.

  118. The editorial in the Spectator of 22 July, titled “Let Israel finish the job” rambles on and on, and finally terminates:

      What the Islamists dread is a clear decision by the international community to let the Israelis finish the job, eradicate as much of the Hezbollah machine as possible, and then – and only then – resume the painful process of transforming Lebanon into a tolerable neighbour.

    Over a week after this conflict began, Israel seems to have made little progress in eradicating the Hezbollah machine, given that Hezbollah rockets are still landing on Haifa and other parts of Israel. The Israeli military seems strangely ineffective in suppressing these attacks.

    And how’s progress going on the other front, the transforming-Lebanon-into-a-tolerable-neighbour bit? Well, Israel has demolished entire districts of Beirut, bombed bridges, airports, petrol stations, roads, power stations, killing over 300 Lebanese civilians, and displacing 500,000 people. It’s rather hard to see how this serves to transform Lebanon into a ‘tolerable neighbour’. If anything, it looks like a good way to create another bunch of intolerable enemies.

    At this rate, when the ‘job’ is ‘finished’, Israel will end up surrounded not by tolerable neighbours, but by a subcontinent of sworn enemies. By every measure, the Israeli response of the past week has to be counted as not just a failure, but a disastrous failure.

  119. Jack R –

    Yes – all of our undying esteem!

    Do you think he deserves something – quite a quick wit heh? that’s what we want to promote so perhaps….

  120. Melissa – I think Jack Ramsey should win prizes for just being Jack Ramsey: witty, pertinent, well informed and well written.

    I would have included fabulous but my courage failed me. (sigh) Always the way isn’t it?

  121. Aw! Gee jaq!

    Kind words are prize enough even though unearned!

    Fabulous as in mythical?

  122. You’re married sweetie, let’s not define ‘fabulous’.
    Anyway, I’m feeling penned in at the moment – I don’t want any reminders of what else I might be missing. Let me just concentrate on pacing my cage like an injured lioness. Grrrrrrrrrr

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