"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Friday, June 06, 2008

Alice in Wonderland - 42 Days, Al Quaeda manuals, rendition and an alternate reality

Stop The War held a meeting at the Friend's Meeting House in Manchester last night to consider the nature of Islamophobia. A cause not addressed or moved forward but a modest leitmotif that was infrequently, referentially , if not reverently, mentioned.

David Edgar , looking very much older than his 60 years. The Oundle educated and faux enfant terrible of the 70's has a pale listless and wan look , combined with a high domed forehead that seems to attract the light. He could easily pass for a man who spends endless hours in lightless rooms attampting to provide improved designs for washing machines.

Equipped with the right glasses, with his high querulous voice, joyless expression and downcast visage he could easily obtain a solid income providing readings of Philip Larkin's better poems. Though probably not as financily rewarding as editing Dickens for BBC TV classic dramas.

His body language is entertaining, he sits leaning, holding his head back , hiding the wattles on his neck , reminsicent of the Sutherland portrait of Somerset Maugham (or Diedre Barlow from Coronation Street depending upon your social perspective). Whilst sat adjacent to Moazzem Begg or Rizwal Sabir he leant awkwardly away, as though they were producing a noxious smell.

His voice has a dry dullness, delivered, surprisingly for a dramatist, without emphasis, the way one imagines a country solicitor reading the will to anxious relatives of the deceased and at such a low volume it made concentration difficult.

As his address consisted of a shortened and edited version of his article in the Guradian Saturday Supplement for April 19th anyone anxious for the details can read it here.

Briefly , this member of the metropolitan muttering classes is not so much concerned with the down fall of western liberal civilisation but the disenchantment and disenfranchisement of the literary left gang he used to play around with.

Vitriol is a strong word to apply to Edgar's dessicated prose - he read from a prepared text - raising his head and voice slightly to emphasise a point and wag his arms , producing an image that might have been of Mrs Gamp, whose pale hands fluttered against her sombre and sober dress as she triumphed at whist. Vitriol was has been stored and saved for his renegade pals to seep out in his premature old age.

Self confessed deserters all, Nick Cohen , Andrew Anthony, Ed Husain , the loathsome Melanie Phillips , Martin Amis , Christopher Hitchens and even David Aaronovitch (who apparently had left wing parents - my god what treason is this ?) one of Manchester University's notorious University Challenge team, who answered "Marx", "Lenin" or "Trotsky" to every question).

Traitors all, to their race, gender and class fallen in the battle for socialism now grinding out the tracts and treatises on the new middle ground or old conservatism or neo neo-cons for the illiberal press. Not unhappy of coure to take the Guradian shilling himself which is loss making and relies for it's income on a stranglehold on regional radio and urban press monopolies such as the one in Manchester.

This is of course an ane old song - David Edgar has bragging rights to the territory of defection. Starting with Destiny (1976) and ending with Maydays (1983) he has become the chronicler of the crumbling of the liberal conscience. Having staked out his territory he has, like an assiduous taxonomist mapped out the phylogeny of socialist disaffection with its camps, cabals, cliques and "fault lines".

This dissection of the recent past , the erection of a museum for post war liberalism, may be as fascinating to some as, say the recreation of the battles of the American Civil War. As an ante room in the academic hell of the history of political thought the renunciations of Danny Cohn-Bendit , Tariq Ali, Alan Milburn, Alan Johnson, Alistair Darling and Stephen Byers may have its place. Members as he would call himself of the progressive intelligentisia (a recurrent theme) who generally, on close inspection, are rarely progressive and not very intelligent

In a world of action and not simply ideas, Edgar's laments are a passing, faded and fading sideshow. Like a the raddled Archie Rice, David Edgar hawks his allegedly troubled middle class academic conscience around echoing suburban halls, grinding out his repeated refrain of muddled alliances, tragic schisms, bitter and spiteful rows ... which must be beginning to feel to him like the end of the pier show.

Rizwaan Sabir was therefore a refreshing antidote. Young, energetic, with a gleaming toothy smile he had a fascinating tale to tell (see previous post about his arrest) about how his University grassed him up to Nottingham Plod, for him to fester whilst both he and Plod tried to work out why he was banged up, cooling his heels with Nottingham's criminals.

It is impossible to say without experience to evaluate what student life is like in the gun crime capital ofthe UK. Nottingham University was however well provided for by Victorian Quaker and pill pusher Josiah Boot who made sure that strong drink was not available in the Junior common room - which it wasn't in the 60's when Lord Patel last visited. (it would be intriguing to know if this prohibitory regime applied to the Senior Common Room).

What is memorable, is that old Jessie and his heirs and successors ran a very successful nationwide chain of pharmacies. He also exclusively employed female counter staff and forbade the sale of contraceptives. These twin facts became known simultaneously on many Saturday afternoons to anxious and ultimately embarassed male students in the 60's aiming to be prepared , should their carnal thoughts and physical longings be shared by their girl friends later on in the evening.

No doubt this same calvinistic streak breeds within the bosoms of the men who now run the place. Perhaps more likely is the Byzantine nature of University funding today. Professors of any discipline spend more time researching new channels of funds rather than their subject - hence the merest suggestion of any scandal that will sully their good name in any way will be borne down upon.

Noteworthy is the recent decision without consulting the customers and students to replace their coffee bars with Starbucks .. with higher calories and even higher prices ... a topic which seems to raise the student blood presure higher than banging up people for 42 days without charge.

Rizwaal - who had previous, for trying to erect a model wall dividing the apartheid israeli state on the University grounds found that his feet didn't touch.

His tale was frightening but becoming ordinary and frequent. The Kafkaesque and solitary silence whilst Plod tried to find reason to detain him. The echoing tiled and lonely cell and silent suveillance. The lies of the University. The incompetent CPS staff who didn't know how to apply for an extension of detention beyond 48 hours. The scared justices who provided it anyway on specious claims of mobile phones and computers ...nudge , nudge , wink wank .... Then the mystifying interrogation. Do you drink? Have you been to Iraq ? Are you , or have you ever been..... ?

Finally the admission by Plod to a University academic that this brown man with a beard wouldn't have been touched if he had been a blonde blue eyed lady.

Moazzem Begg displays immense calm whuch only hints at hidden reserves of inner strength and conviction. The ultimate victim as a brown man with a beard that Sabir has experienced.

Lifted by corrupt Pakistani agents anxious to impress their US friends through 3 years in Afghan hell holes and Guantanamo whilst war criminal Jack Straw lolled on his scarlet ottoman in the Foreign Office next door to Lord Levy, financier and fund raiser to the Party and the Government that allowed him to stew.

He dwelt for a short while on the pre-9/11 history of Afghanistan and the origins of the muja hudeen and the role of the US and UK in the curious history of the volume, first unearthed in Manchester before it appeared on the US DOJ website before being abstracted by Rizwaan.

Previous commentators have remarked about the role of "facilitators" in the UK in the assassination of Masood on the 7th September 2001 and their close and mingling relationships with UK secret services. A rich and fertile field for more study - safe one can be sure from the probing mind of David Edgar.

Listening to Moazzem's tale it is incredible that the whole and frightening tale of illegal rendition doesn't trouble any but a few who take the Government Whip. Like an unpleasant family secret, polite politicians don't want to talk about it.

What do they want to talk about ?

Why, how we can lock people up for even longer before we find some way of keeping them there even longer. So far they are blissfully content with 28 days, but hey let's get it up to 42 and then the whole 90 sometime real soon.

This is Alice's world. The Queen had only one way of settling all difficulties, great or small. 'Off with his head!' she would say, without even looking round.

'No, no!' said the Queen. 'Sentence first - verdict afterwards.'

'Stuff and nonsense!' said Alice loudly. 'The idea of having the sentence first!'

'Hold your tongue!' said the Queen, turning purple.

'I won't!' said Alice.

'Off with her head!' the Queen shouted at the top of her voice. Nobody moved.

Apologies for crap pic, bad light and camera problems.


Stef said...

Self confessed deserters all, Nick Cohen , Andrew Anthony, Ed Husain , the loathsome Melanie Phillips , Martin Amis , Christopher Hitchens and even David Aaronovitch (who apparently had left wing parents - my god what treason is this ?) one of Manchester University's notorious University Challenge team, who answered "Marx", "Lenin" or "Trotsky" to every question).

They haven't deserted their masters at all

Distractive gate-keeping knobs they were then, distractive gate-keeping knobs they continue to be.

A pox on all of them

Anonymous said...

I concur with your observation "Moazzem Begg displays immense calm which only hints at hidden reserves of inner strength and conviction."

I've seen him interviewed several times since his release/eviction from Guano. His 'presence' always leaves me with the impression that the War on Ter'rism's pimps and drones bit off a good deal more than they could chew when they kidnapped and attempted to frame him. I heard that he received well in excess of US$1million in compensation for the crimes committed against him. I hope it's true because he deserves every penny and earned it the hard way.

It seems a great pity that one apparently has to be as tough and smart as Moazzem Begg to notch up a victory against the War on Islam's criminally insane wankers.

(C) Very Seriously Disorganised Criminals 2002/3/4/5/6/7/8/9 - copy anything you wish