Monday, 7 March 2011

Blatant racism at Harry's Place

Those nasty bigots at Harry's Place have demonstrated another sordid quality of their daily hate-filled outpourings: blatant racism.

It begins with the title itself, which includes the phrase
'A Pair of White Muslim Extremists...'.

The article is about a two converts to Islam, who do seem to have been involved in an unpleasant campaign against an Imam - there's no defending that.

But what has their colour got to do with it? Nothing, they could just have well been black converts or Asian converts. The article continues:
... two indigenous English converts to Islam, who like to see themselves as white Muslim examples of Malcolm X’s “field Negroes” because these two brave white men “don’t take shit from the Man”, don’t you know.
The second of our nasty, befuddled white English converts
and in a quote from a comment included by the offensive Lucy Lips above the line
I remember listening to a white convert to Islam ... But in the name of religion, you can spout a lot of vicious hate, especially if you are a white convert who will scream ‘Islamophobia’ if you so much as call them out for their bigotry.
Hardly a surprise that it is a cross post from the outstandingly bad Effendi of The Spittoon.

True colours shining through.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Tower Hamlets politics run from Bangladesh?

The heading for this post would hardly set the world on fire, everyone and his dog has known this for years. Bangladeshis in Tower Hamlets have been broadly aligned to the two largest political parties in Bangladesh - the Awami League and the BNP. A smaller number have links to Jamaat-e-Islami, which a few years ago formed a coalition with the BNP.

So, the politics of Tower Hamlets has been a proxy for the rather nasty politics of Bangladesh. Currently, the Awami League, which has a history of violent support, holds sway, as it has in LBTH. Not that I'm singling the Awami League out, all the Bangladeshi parties appear to have blood on their hands and are corrupt to the core - they make our MPs look parties seem almost angelic.

But I hear rumour of some rather shady deals between leading Awami League figures in Tower Hamlets and... Andrew 'Peace TV' Gilligan. My sources tell me that Gilligan has been holding secret meetings with Awami League activists since at least 2009. Gilligan's offer was this: I'll help you get your people back in charge in Tower Hamlets by smearing your opposition, you help me to stop Ken Livingstone make a return as Mayor of London. To achieve this, he returned to his old trick: tell the world that Ken is the 'friend' of 'nasty' Muslims. That seemed to work when he was at the ES.

The first stage in this was his collaboration with Awami League supporters to make his Dispatches programme. Most of the Bangladeshis included in the programme turn out to be core Awami League activists. There is, of course, a historical enmity between the Awami League and Jamaat-e-Islami, so targeting the IFE and ELM makes perfect sense when seen in this context. None of this background is even hinted at in Dispatches, but several blogs have since taken pains to make an explicit connection.

The second stage was to ensure the Awami League faction in Tower Hamlets Labour Party regained its ascendency. In this, Gilligan's efforts failed spectacularly! When the people of Tower Hamlets voted by a significant margin in the referendum for an elected mayor, Gilligan pulled out all the stops to get Helal Abbas elected, the choice of the Awami League. He attacked Lutfur Rahman relentlessly by linking him to IFE and, therefore, JI. Gilligan failed to deliver, Abbas sank after a miserable defeat, and the Awami League felt Gilligan had left them short-changed.

But Gilligan's battle with Ken is far from over. I understand he's taking his political tie-up a giant leap further. His last blog entry spoke of a "secret mission" to "foreign parts". Well, I don't think he's joking; if my sources are right, he's engaged in a series of high-level, secret meetings with the Awami League - in Bangladesh!

I have nothing against Bangladeshis being interested in the politics of their country of origin, or even retaining their party affiliations. But using the politics of Tower Hamlets to fight their Bangladeshi battles is bang out of order, and the contemptible Gilligan's secret exploitation of this for his own vendetta against Ken is simply outrageous.

Do we have to let Gilligan back in, can't the Home Secretary recognise he's a preacher of hate and turn back at the airport?


As if to affirm the plans of anti-Muslim bigots to exploit bitter memories of a forty-year-old war, the vile 'Lucy Lips' from our favourite hate-blog, Harry's Place, couldn't help using this line to try and sideline the MCB:
The Muslim Council of Britain is a Jamaat-e-Islami controlled organisation, which favours the very opposite of liberal democracy. Jamaat-e-Islami members are implicated in serious war crimes committed against Bangladeshis in the War of Liberation.
 Gilligan likes Harry's Place, although they dismissed him as a Nazi propagandist.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Harry's Place: they're crazed, fascist bigots and extremists

I truly believe that the cowardly writers at the disgusting hate blog, Harry's Place, are a greater threat to British society than all the criminals and terrorists. This website laughingly tries to pretend that they are left-wing, when all the world can see they are an unprincipled right-wing infiltration into left-wing politics, with all the characteristics of the far right: warmongering, bigoted, intolerant, extreme and deeply opposed to the true liberal left.

They may have started out convincing some that they were a new spin on left-of-centre politics, and not everything they've said is wrong - for example, they memorably dismissed Andrew Gilligan as a Nazi propagandist - but it must have become clear to even the dimmest of bystanders that their vile rhetoric attracts support from the nastiest of right wingers. They proudly allow bigoted comments to remain unchallenged, only pausing to 'moderate' if a comment undermines the rubbish they gleefully produce.

Their latest outrage is in yet another rabid rant against the East London Mosque, which in the comments section one particularly nasty person ('Lamia') describes as a "shithole". No danger of the singularly disgusting bigot, 'Lucy Lips', moderating that comment on the most popular place of worship for thousands of ordinary Muslims in Tower Hamlets. For it is 'Lucy Lips' who contributes the most disgraceful slur by describing the wonderful Neil Jameson of Citizens UK as a "scumbag". Why? Because he defended the good work of the East London Mosque.

I'm pleased to see Andrew Boff pointed out to 'Lucy Lips' that Neil Jameson is: "a very good person who I’m betting has done more for humanity than all your collected diatribes". Too right! Andrew may come from the wrong side of the political spectrum, from my point of view, but he has always struck me as a decent person who puts integrity before political advancement - I only wish he wasn't a Tory! He's not afraid to stand up for the oppressed against the extreme bigots that have capitalised on the post 7/7 vilification of Muslims. And see how the Harry's Place regulars pour out their venom on him, just as they do on anyone who says the least positive thing about Muslims' leading institutions. Neil Jameson is an inspiring, dynamic person who works with all faith groups, grass-roots community organisations, trade unions and others to help people in our communities who need help the most. His work on the Living Wage is an achievement that has benefited thousands of Britain's poorest people.

Lucy Lips and her vile Harry's Place cohort of extremist bigots offer the world only hate; Neil Jameson and his associates offer hope.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Gilligan revealed as anti-Muslim as he defends the EDL

It has been pointed out to me before that Andrew Gilligan has refused to criticise the English Defence League (EDL). As my email correspondent explained, in the week that his programme attacked the East London Mosque, the EDL responded by waving placards against them outside parliament. Enough reason there, surely, for the Telegraph's London correspondent to make even a passing mention? No.

On the day of the EDL protest, Ken Livingston said:
Andrew Gilligan, phoned me just before I came to this programme... And I said, 'Did you see what happened today in Parliament Square? Three hundred fascists and racists marched through there with banners saying "Ban the hijab" and "Close the East London Mosque".' He said, 'Oh, that's nothing to do with me.' And I said, 'It is. Because your paper and you pander to racism and Islamophobia.'...

... because of Andrew Gilligan's programme Muslims will be harassed and spat at, and perhaps some will be beaten, and Andrew Gilligan should be ashamed of himself."
Did that elicit any comment from Gilligan on the EDL? No. Gilligan has refused to condemn the EDL, or even to criticise it.

Not really a surprise, why should Gilligan alienate some of his biggest supporters? After all, they promoted his Dispatches programme on the front page of their website.

Gilligan's key role in the rise of the EDL has now been documented in a detailed academic study Islamophobia and anti-Muslim Hate Crime: UK case studies. This insightful report exposes just how misleading Gilligan's reporting has been, and how it has fed into the EDL backlash against Muslims.

Of course, Gilligan has fired off the usual pathetic pieces in an attempt to deflect criticism by trying to undermine the report. His bluster has been taken apart once again at the superb blog Guy Debord's Cat, where the author has consistently shown Gilligan's numerous shortcomings in a long and compelling series.

And it is Gilligan's two blog pieces (so far) that have ended his silence on the EDL. His first piece appears to be a shoddy attempt to play down the suffering of Muslims from Islamophobic attacks. Well, he would, given that he is a leading Islamophobe. Revealingly, he refers to "the anti-Muslim frothings of the English Defence League". This, his first ever mention of the EDL, tries to trivialise the EDL as merely a vocal, rather than a physical, threat. But his admission that they are "anti-Muslim" is a damning indictment of his own views. The EDL, like Gilligan, Harry's Place and other bigots, tries to cover its prejudice under the guise of being anti-Islamist. Frankly, this is racist bullshit. Gilligan is letting slip here that really they are all anti-Muslim.

Do not think, though, that Gilligan is turning on the EDL here. Proof that he is in truth defending them came just a day later in his second piece:
Almost as stupid is the claim, earlier in the report, that the Dispatches investigation prompted an upsurge of “intimidation” in Tower Hamlets by the English Defence League. What actually happened is that fifteen members of the EDL paid a visit to a local pub, and an even smaller number subsequently came back to the same pub. A planned demonstration by the group never took place. To my knowledge, there has not been even one single incident of violence or intimidation against the East London Mosque as a result of my film; I’m quite sure the mosque would have let us all know if there had been.
Gilligan's shocking defence of the EDL, and his pretence that EDL attempts to reach the mosque were mere trips to the pub, is a scandalous reflection of the acceptance of anti-Muslim prejudice in the right-wing media.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Harry's Place bigots in EDL panic

I've been keeping quiet about the soap opera that is Tower Hamlet's first election for a mayor. It's impossible not to take an interest in what's being written about it, and that includes the painful task of reading some of the net's most unsavoury blogs.

And they don't come much worse than the hate-filled cesspit that is Harry's Place. The bigotry above the line is so entrenched it's hard for the nasty assortment of regular posters to be even more extreme in their views. Yet they try relentlessly and often succeed in spewing record-breaking levels of bile and hatred.

HP likes to portray itself as the 'decent left', though these war-mongers have no place on the left and not a shred of decency. In reality they are right wingers - and that's the far right, not your ordinary Tory types. Their main interest is defending every kind of Israeli aggression and persecution of the Palestinians, for whom they have utter contempt. This seems to go hand in hand with the flip-side of this interest, which is attacking Muslims. They try to pass this off as attacking 'Islamists', and keep pretending they have no problem with 'ordinary Muslims', but this is a lie. A damned lie.

There is an underlying approach to all that they do. Rank hypocrisy. See, for example, their Comments Policy; a disgraceful list of excuses for allowing every kind of vile excess on their site, all the things they would never tolerate from those they daily criticise. They claim they haven't got time to weed out the racism and bigotry, but the truth is they can't be arsed, not least because they mostly agree with it. They've got plenty of time to delve into the detail of every speech by every left winger or Muslim whose views they oppose. They don't hesitate to prevent posts that point out the gross errors in what they say - trust me, it's happened to me many times. When a contradictory comment does get through, it's often brushed off by accusing me of being a member of the SWP or of being a Muslim, depending on the topic.

In the last few days there's been a rush to post articles attacking the EDL. HP has panicked. They know that most of their contributors applaud the EDL's violence against Muslims, either publicly or privately. But now they're trying to pretend that the EDL's true nature is coming to light. Of course, the rest of us knew what the EDL were from the outset. The first time they began to emerge in public view was when they tried to march on the biggest mosque here in Tower Hamlets, aiming for the East London mosque at the end of a long pub crawl. Fortunately, the police stopped them at Whitechapel station. HP even blogged about this incident, and contributors defended the EDL and wished they could have marched with them.

Now Harry's Place is getting embarrassed by the EDL's violence as it gets posted to YouTube. Not that they care if Muslims get attacked, their real concern is if it damages their agenda, which is to undermine Muslims in Britain and supporters of Palestinians.

You see, it is only from blog's like Harry's Place that the EDL find out who their targets should be. Harry's Place provides the propaganda, targets and excuses that the EDL needs to function.

The EDL also draws heavily on an associate of Harry's Place, the egregious Andrew Gilligan whose shameful 'Dispatches' programme became an icon for the EDL on the front page of their website. And how telling it is that the Daily Telegraph's London correspondent, Mr Andrew 'Kennite' Gilligan, has failed to criticise the actions of the EDL even as they stood outside parliament. Gilligan is another extreme hypocrite and liar - see his blog for proof, or ask Keith Vaz!

The EDL presents a real and unwelcome return to anti-minority violence in Britain, rooted in bigotry and a corruption of patriotism. They are a menace and a danger to the innocent. But of far greater danger is the outpouring of propaganda and lies from Harry's Place, whose hatred breeds the violence that the EDL seeks to unleash in Britain's cities. They deserve to be ostracised, treated as the dangerous pariahs and bigots that they most certainly are.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

A rubbish waste collection service

I know it's not the most pleasant of jobs, but sometimes it's just a difference in attitude that makes a good service good, or a bad service a misery for residents; and collecting the waste is a service in my neighbourhood that just gets worse and worse.

We have communal bins, and I think our caretaker does a pretty good job keeping them tidy. But they have never been sufficient for the amount of weekly waste on our estate. So, blacks bags are stacked against the bins as the collection day nears. In days gone by all the caretaker had to do after the collection was straighten the bins and sweep up a little. Nowadays, though, any bag that's not in the bin gets left behind, often messily pushed to one side. The caretaker has to put them in the newly emptied bins, so there's already less space for next week, and of course longer for smells to build up as the contents rot. It's been even worse in the recent hot weather. And the bin men just don't care at all, their attitude to residents is one of contempt.

Can we have our old service back? I won't be tipping the bin men when Boxing Day comes.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Where's the fish 'n' chips?

I'm not averse to fried chicken or curries, pizza or kebabs. But why is it so hard to find a good old fish and chip shop? Someone point me in the right direction, please!