Monday, September 28, 2015

Jeremy Corbyn and the New World Order

Careful what you wish for.

On 15 July the Daily Telegraph ran an article headed

How you can help Jeremy Corbyn win - and destroy the Labour Party

Sign up today to make sure the bearded socialist voter-repellent becomes the next Labour leader - and dooms the party forever

They failed to explain why 'bearded' is derogatory. Perhaps it's an allusion to the fact that beards have long been understood as tools of revolution.

Whatever, as Corbyn turned out to be genuinely popular - the Labour candidate most likely to win supporters from other parties including UKIP - the Telegraph changed tack with a range of increasingly silly stories.

Just five weeks after publishing heir step by step guide to getting Corbyn in power they told us of

Jeremy Corbyn’s plan to turn Britain into Zimbabwe

They matched that linguistic flatulence with this shocking news earlier this week

Jeremy Corbyn: 9/11 was 'manipulated'

In comments that will raise questions about his suitability to lead the Labour Party, Mr Corbyn appeared to blame George Bush and Tony Blair for using the September 11 attacks in New York to allow them to go to war

Whilst it's hilarious that a statement of bald fact can be seen as an indication of something deranged, there is a sinister undercurrent. It's an attempt to make Corbyn look like a conspiracist.

They cite the 'he said Bin Laden's death was a tragedy' tripe again (even though he didn't, as the clip of context proves).

They continue with

he wrote a series of articles which appear to have endorsed the conspiracy theory about the “New World Order”. The “New World Order” conspiracy is frequently linked to theories about the so-called “Illuminati” and claims about a “totalitarian world government”. 

This is worth looking at. Much of Corbyn's support comes from young people, many of them will not know that the phrase referred to something different to an older generation in the time when Corbyn said it.

In 1991, the Soviet bloc had just collapsed. The Cold War world of two superpowers had ended, leaving one remaining. The American establishment saw that it could bestride the globe unchallenged. The phrase New World Order was used to describe the American-led post-Soviet neoliberal momentum. President Bush used it in a speech to Congress in September 1990.

Corbyn's 'series of articles' is actually two and a half uses of the phrase in 1991-1992. Firstly

We now know that the Gulf War was a curtain-raiser for the New World Order: the rich and powerful, white and western will be able to maintain the present economic order with free use of all the weapons they wish for.


What is required now is a bold, democratic alternative to the New World Order. The US veto at the Earth summit in Rio...shows just who calls the shots in this New World Order and who will be asked to foot the bill

And finally, not even using the full phrase or capitals,

The aim of the war machine of the United States is to maintain a world order dominated by the banks and multinational companies of Europe and North America.

None of this comes anywhere close to saying there is a cabal of Jewish bankers and/or lizards who organised 9/11 as part of their plan for world government.

It is plain that Corbyn was using the commonplace, President Bush definition. In recent years, especially since 9/11, it has come to have the conspiracist meaning. The Telegraph seems unable to find Corbyn saying it since 1992, however.

Their sleight of hand in implying he means the latter definition is blatantly dishonest, as daft as someone thinking their nan calling her happy mood 'gay' means she's suddenly embraced her inner lesbian.

In case there's an residual doubt, Corbyn has specifically mentioned conspiracy theories this year.

Mr Corbyn wholly rejects the conspiracy theory and ‘truther’ theories about the terrorist attacks on September 11th 2001, which are distressing to the families and friends of those lost and hurt on that day and very often involve antisemitic views to which he has - and always will be - opposed.

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Important Information About Terrorism

When is civil disobedience violent terrorism? Whenever the police want it to be.

Not very funny is it? To be honest, it's even less funny than you might imagine.

The police's Prevent strategy for spotting extremism before it starts has long been criticised as overzealous, bordering on creating thoughtcrime. At a recent meeting for over 100 teachers in West Yorkshire, the Prevent officer cited environmental groups and named Caroline Lucas MP as an example of extremism.

Lucas was arrested in August 2013 at the Balcombe fracking site. I was in the same group that day. It was peaceful and stationary, sat in the road outside the fracking site on a Sunday. Police came and picked Lucas and her son off and arrested them, the rest of us were left alone. It was totally political. She was charged with minor offences and later acquitted.

Asked to comment on this recasting of Lucas, the assistant chief commissioner at West Yorkshire Police, Russ Foster, said:

The police acknowledge the right of people to protest in a lawful manner. However, should an individual seek to use violence in furtherance of their view, then Prevent would seek to engage with them.

Implication: To disobey a police officer is violence.

More interestingly Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers teaching union, adds

This is obviously a training session where the presenter didn’t follow his lesson plan properly, and was drawn into a very vague and ill-defined discussion of various forms of extremism, which he didn’t handle very well.

Sorry Mary, but this is the Prevent script. Across the Pennines, fracking activists and their parents have been visited by Prevent officers saying they are 'involved with extremists'.

Greater Manchester Police take the Prevent strategy into colleges, dishing out the All Communities Together Now workbook to students. Page 3 is headed Important Information About Terrorism. Seven examples are given.

  • Animal rights extremists planning to damage the house of a director of a laboratory which tests products on animals;
  • A right-wing extremist planting a bomb outside a pub used by the gay community;
  • Irish extremists planning to abduct a British soldier;
  • Left-wing extremist planning to assault a Neo-Nazi;
  • An environmentalist group disrupting air traffic control systems by blocking the runway at an airport;
  • An international terrorist group planning multiple co-ordinated attacks in crowded places;
  • A religious fanatic who is fed a distorted interpretation of an ideology over the internet and plans to attack government premises. 
Occupying a runway is terrorism.

The example is spiced up with 'disrupting air traffic control systems', which gives images of hacking computers and causing crashes. In real life, there are delays at airports all the time. Even an especially smelly turd can qualify for this definition of 'disrupting air traffic control systems'.

When climate activists have occupied infrastucture they've done so with full regard for people's safety. The Drax 29 stopped a coal train with a textbook use of railway protocol, right down to the red flag.

Among them was Mark Kennedy, a police spy whose authorisation papers from the head of the political spy units, barely two years after 7/7, said

This operation/deployment is focused on key areas of Domestic Extremism which I can say sit in the ‘priority area’ of DE for England and Wales

Yet a report into Kennedy and his unit said their targets

were not individuals engaging in peaceful protest, or even people who were found to be guilty of lesser public order offences. They were individuals intent on perpetrating acts of a serious and violent nature against citizens going about their everyday lives.

The Drax train action was was shortly after the Metropolitan Police had amalgamated their Special Branch - which ran the notorious Special Demonstration Squad - and their Anti-Terrorist Branch in 2006 to form Counter Terrorism Command. Within five years it had absorbed all the political policing units, creating a single unit for all forms of possible criminal dissent, whether you're sitting in a Suffolk lane or bombing a tube train.

One of those old units was the National Extremism Tactical Co-ordination Unit (NETCU). Founded in 2004, its aim was to advise organisations that were targeted by animal rights activists but, like all the political secret police, it rapidly developed mission-creep.

The man who effectively ran it, Detective Chief Inspector Gordon Mills, gave briefings to the illegal construction industry blacklisting firm the Consulting Association. Like so many others, this spycop was not a police officer upholding the law - he was breaking the law in order to uphold something more important. NETCU certainly regarded campaigners who threaten corporate profits as dangerous extremists.

In 2012 Mills wrote a paper for the International Journal of Police Science and Management on the difference between the two words at the heart of this.

the word 'activist' would normally come within what society and the courts tolerate as a determined protestor for social change, who might engage in acts of civil disobedience which may lead them to commit minor offences.

Such as Caroline Lucas sitting in the gate way of a closed industrial site and getting charged then cleared of Obstruction of the Highway. It seems an officer must retire and be writing in a trade mag before you'll hear them say 'civil disobedience'.

In comparison, the word 'extremism' or 'extremist' carries much stronger connotations as it is commonly associated with those that attempt or carry out acts of extreme violence to achieve their ideological aims, especially witnessed within acts of terrorism.

Violence, which we've seen includes disobeying a police officer.

Terrorism, which Prevent says includes occupying a runway.

There are continuing problems, however, in using such an emotive term when seeking to describe protest campaigns. Milne (2009) believes that, because no definition has been given to the term 'extremism' in the UK, it provides a much broader meaning than terrorism and therefore can be open to abuse by the state.