Friday, 26 August 2016

France Is Not Alone



If I had been in London yesterday, I would have gone along to support the 'wear what you want' (WWYW) protest outside the French Embassy. 

Because for me it's an issue about freedom of expression and despite the terrible Islamist atrocities in France recently this is a time for cool heads - not demonising Muslims.

But I have also been in touch with the organisers of the 'wear what you want' event to ask when and if they intend taking their protest to the Saudi and Iranian embassies - countries where women are unable to say, do or wear what they like, of course.  

In the Islamic theocracy of Saudi Arabia a woman is not even allowed to go to the beach without a male escort, never mind wear what they like, yet women are permitted to operate vacuum cleaners and washing machines, but are prevented from driving a car or travelling on their own. 

So I hope the WWYW campaign is not just another anti-western leftist campaign because that would be very sad and terribly hypocritical to boot. 

Read the report below in The Guardian.



https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/25/protesters-throw-beach-party-protest-in-london-against-burkini-ban

Burkini ban protesters throw beach party at French embassy in London

Demonstrators sport burkinis and park deck chairs, lilos and makeshift sand outside French embassy 


Image result for burkini ban protest + guardian images

Burkini ban protesters stage beach party outside French embassy in London

By Alice Ross - The Guardian

Demonstrators have staged an impromptu beach party complete with sand, deck chairs and a lobster-shaped lilo outside the French embassy in London to protest against burkini bans that have become law in many French coastal towns and cities.

Under the bemused gaze of the embassy’s armed police officers, some protesters sported burkinis – swimsuits that cover the wearer’s whole body, including her hair – or swimsuits, while others threw beach balls at the lunchtime protest.

Shortly after midday, a van pulled up and deposited several sacks of sand, to the consternation of police officers. The 40 or so protesters set up deck chairs and brandished placards among a scrum of journalists.



— CaoimheMc (@CaoimheMMC) August 25, 2016


'Aslef of Arabia' (29/12/11)


A number of readers have been in touch to ask where the 'We the Women' picture came from - to accompany the post about women drivers - dated 27 December 2011.

Well  it comes from people campaigning in Saudi Arabia - against the ban on women driving cars and other motor vehicles - public or private.

According to the Saudi authorities it's against Islamic teaching that women should drive cars - never mind trains - it's against the law of the land.

Any women caught doing so - by the religious police - are liable to be severely punished.

But all hope is not lost - because people are fighting back - with courage, wit and humour.

By arguing that it's ridiculous and even anti-Islamic - to suggest that God somehow proclaimed that women can't drive.

'We the Women' is their campaign slogan.

And the campaigners think of all kinds of ways to illustrate how crazy it is - to ordain that women can use washing machines or mobile phone or computers - but not cars (or trains for that matter).

Some women have taken to dressing up in male clothes and wearing false moustaches - to ridicule the authorities - but as the law stand women still need a man to drive them around.

Apparently a father, brother, son - or just about any old male relative will do - which seems bizarre.

Now to look at the statistics on the number of women train drivers in this country - or the number of women members in Aslef - you'd be forgiven for thinking that God had made a similar proclamation in the UK.

But thankfully no one believes that kind of nonsense in this country.

So maybe 'We the Women' will catch on in the UK - maybe even deep in the bowels of the still male dominated parts of the UK trade union movement. 

I for one hope so - anyway.

  

'Aslef of Arabia' (29/12/11)


A number of readers have been in touch to ask where the 'We the Women' picture came from - to accompany the post about women drivers - dated 27 December 2011.

Well  it comes from people campaigning in Saudi Arabia - against the ban on women driving cars and other motor vehicles - public or private.

According to the Saudi authorities it's against Islamic teaching that women should drive cars - never mind trains - it's against the law of the land.

Any women caught doing so - by the religious police - are liable to be severely punished.

But all hope is not lost - because people are fighting back - with courage, wit and humour.

By arguing that it's ridiculous and even anti-Islamic - to suggest that God somehow proclaimed that women can't drive.

'We the Women' is their campaign slogan.

And the campaigners think of all kinds of ways to illustrate how crazy it is - to ordain that women can use washing machines or mobile phone or computers - but not cars (or trains for that matter).

Some women have taken to dressing up in male clothes and wearing false moustaches - to ridicule the authorities - but as the law stand women still need a man to drive them around.

Apparently a father, brother, son - or just about any old male relative will do - which seems bizarre. 

Now to look at the statistics on the number of women train drivers in this country - or the number of women members in Aslef - you'd be forgiven for thinking that God had made a similar proclamation in the UK.

But thankfully no one believes that kind of nonsense in this country.

So maybe 'We the Women' will catch on in the UK - maybe even deep in the bowels of the still male dominated parts of the UK trade union movement. 

I for one hope so - anyway.

  

Labour Rival Draws Blood



Jeremy Corbyn's rival for the Labour leadership, Owen Smith, has drawn blood I would say with a stinging attack on Jezza for his lacklustre performance during the great EU referendum.

The problem for Corbyn, as he admitted himself on a live TV programme (see post below), is that remaining in Europe was not one of his big priorities.

When asked to rank the EU referendum in order of importance, Jezza's answer was an unbelievably lame "7 to 7.5" out of 10 even though it was undoubtedly the biggest single issue facing the country for many a year.

So Owen Smith has Mr Corbyn bang to rights if you ask me, when he says that the current Labour leader is relatively relaxed about the UK voting to leave the EU.

Unlike Jeremy Corbyn I certainly see nothing wrong is making life very difficult for the Brexiteers, as they would have done had the 52-48 vote been the other way round, and then calling for a second referendum if the cost of leaving looks very dodgy or dangerously high.



'Bog Standard' Officials (24/06/16)

Jeremy Corbyn appearing on The Last Leg

I was unfazed one way or the other by Jeremy Corbyn's appearance on 'The Last Leg' TV programme which had the Labour leader arrive in a chauffeur-driven Bentley, dressed in a dinner suit and a full-length white fur coat.

After all if you have an image problem, then why not do something out of the ordinary to confound and confuse your political opponents.

But no, my real problem with Jeremy is that in answer to a 'dolly' question about how he would rank the importance of the next week's EU referendum on a scale of 1 to 10, Jezza responded with the unbelievably lame answer of "7 to 7 and a half".

Now when so much is at stake in next week's referendum, you would think a Labour leader worth his mettle would have emphasised, in the strongest possible terms, the very real threat to the UK economy, jobs and investment posed by the country's withdrawal from the European Union (EU).

So Jeremy's a complete fool if you ask me, a political half-wit, but that's what you get if you elect as Labour leader a man who rose to the dizzying ranks of 'bog standard' union official before finding a niche as a backbench Labour MP in the House of Commons for the next 32 years.

And while there are some decent trade union officials around, believe me there are plenty of complete 'duds' in the ranks too, as the Labour party and the country is finding out to its cost.

Cult of Corbyn




The pollster YouGov reports that a big majority of voters believe Virgin Trains rather than Jeremy Corbyn over the rumpus about the Labour leader's journey to Newcastle.

But the most remarkable figure is the 39% of Labour voters who believe Jeremy Corbyn's version of events even though the Labour leader has since admitted that he walked past unreserved seats on the train - which he didn't use because he wanted to sit with the rest of his team and/or his wife.

See the following quote from the London Evening Standard newspaper:

"Jeremy Corbyn today conceded there were spare seats on the “ram-packed” Virgin train where he claimed he was forced to sit on the floor.


"In a change to his version of events, he said he had been looking for seats for him and “a group of colleagues” to sit together, accepting that the train was not full.

"It came during a bad-tempered press conference in which he rebuked reporters for questions about the incident and whether it reflected on his integrity."


Now a cult depends on the support of otherwise people who rely on propaganda and refuse to believe the evidence of their own eyes.

So the 'Cult of Corbyn' is the only rationale explanation here, if you ask me.


  

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Cunning Stunt Backfires


John McTernan is on fine form with this article in The Telegraph about Jeremy Corbyn and his 'Traingate' fiasco.

But the killer lines are all from Richard Branson and the Virgin Trains spokesperson who says matter of factly:

"We're a bit puzzled why Jeremy couldn't find unreserved seats when he boarded the train - they're right next to him as the photo shows."

Boom, boom!

  

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/08/24/jeremy-corbyn-will-regret-picking-a-fight-with-sir-richard-brans/

Jeremy Corbyn will regret picking a fight with Sir Richard Branson

By JOHN MCTERNAN - The Telegraph



Jeremy Corby on the train CREDIT: VIRGIN TRAIN

Rule 1 of spin is "Don't lie". Embellish the truth, gild the lily, make the most positive presentation possible but do not lie.

Of course, sometimes you may feel that you have to make something up. This is where Rule 2 comes in - "Don't get caught." In politics, the truth doesn't have to be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, it just has to be a "defensible truth". Or, in other words something that no-one can disprove.

Which leads directly to Rule 3 - "Remember that people will fight back if their reputation is at stake." Yesterday, as "Traingate" unfolded, it was clear that Jeremy Corbyn and his team had broken all three rules.

When Corbyn originally released his ridiculous low-fi rail video I thought that this simply confirmed how completely incompetent his whole operation is. They had obviously not ordered those cheap advance tickets because they always come with a compulsory reservation. Obvious really, Corbyn was bound to treat Labour Party money the same way he would spend the taxpayer's money - wastefully.

Compare and Contrast



Here's a photo of the London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, on his was to meet his counterpart in Paris,  Anne Hidalgo.

Contrast Sadiq Khan's behaviour with that of Jeremy Corbyn and it's pretty obvious why Jezza leader has become a laughing stock and terrible liability for the Labour Party. 


Image result for jeremy corbyn + train images

Sheep and Goats

Image result for sheep and goats + images

John Mason is my local MSP, but if you ask me the member for Glasgow Shettleston is making a complete fool of himself over his ridiculous call for business to keep out of politics.

Not least because there is a well known 'Business for Scotland' group which campaigned in favour of independence in the 2014 referendum which is not affiliated to any political party, but which is clearly very 'friendly' towards the SNP.

Now there's nothing wrong in that because business in Scotland, just like individuals and trade unions, is perfectly free to take up a position in relation to the big political issues of the day.

But once a democratic decision has been made that ought to be the end of the story and if you ask me, it's quite idiotic to bear a grudge against someone or something because they voted differently to you.

As a Yes voter myself, I can honestly say that the only thing on my mind when buying a service or a product is the quality and value for money of my purchase - not settling scores.

But John Mason is a religious fundamentalist, of course, who seems to delight in separating people out into either 'sheep' and 'goats' which is not the kind of behaviour I expect from my local MSP.

The SNP should be concerned as well because the party has pledged to govern in the interests of all voters, whether they voted Yes or No in the referendum.

Yet here we have one of its leading figures trying to punish a major business in Glasgow for taking a different view to him.

Here's an extract from the Gospel of Saint Matthew from which John Mason seems to be drawing some inspiration:

"But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. 32 Before him all the nations will be gathered, and he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.

"He will set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will tell those on his right hand, ‘Come, blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."

Nuts or what?



http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/14657868.MSP_defends_Barrhead_Travel_boycott_and_warns_businesses_to_keep_out_of_politics/


MSP John Mason defends Barrhead Travel boycott and warns businesses to keep out of politics
By Daniel Sanderson - The Herald

A ROW has erupted after a nationalist MSP revealed that he boycotts a travel firm due to its founder's opposition to independence and warned other business leaders they should fear the consequences of expressing political views.

John Mason said that he has not used Barrhead Travel, the largest independent travel company in the UK, since an email was sent to staff ahead of the 2014 vote expressing a view that leaving the UK would prove disastrous to the business.