Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Astragate, the fallout.

I have just read my colleague John Dickies last post on the troubles besetting local Council Leader Tony Woods following the 'Astragate' affair and must agree to disagree with my friend and elder statesman on an important point of description

John, understandably annoyed at Woodsy's reference to him in the report as not a 'Bona Fide' member of the public has now compared the local leader of the Lib Dems in Northampton to Uncle Joe Stalin, suggesting that anyone disagreeing with the leader would find themselves sent to the gulag never to be seen again.

This is a disgraceful slur on the Leader of the Council and totally inaccurate. You see I have it on very good grounds that after witnessing Cllr Woods strutting around Northampton Market arms behind his back, nose in the air, king of all he purveys, indifferent to any opinion other than his own, that market Trader 'Fitzy' has likened Woodsie to another more self effacing member of the dictators club...............................

IL DUC'E, himself!

And judge for yourself below the resemblance is quite striking. It seems as if this tag has now caught on across the square and cries of "IL DUC'E, IL DUC'E" are now to be heard from traders whenever he sets foot on the Market.

And that should trouble Cllr Woods more than his local difficulties with the standards board. You see in my view the issue of where he parked his untaxed car pails into insignificance when placed beside the comments contained within the report from Tony Woods when interviewed by local investigator Phillip Mears.

It is the air of arrogance and indifference when questioned that condemns him, not his actions alone. See

According to 'IL WOODSY' The two complainants are not even "Bona Fide" members of the public and their interest was 'Political' It reminds me of the time he refused to attend a public meeting in the Guildhall in January because that was also 'Political'

Press interest he tells us was puerile and his whole manner of suggesting that he was far too busy to abide by the law of land smacks of self importance and lack of understanding of how others will judge his indifference. He was busy every day and every night we are told? but going to the theatre or watching the Arsenal were far more important than abiding by the law.

He also reveals that he told the Chief Executive in October 2008 that he would move his car in November when he could afford to do so, when and after he had received his backdated increase in his Cllr Allowances!

And this was before we had even discussed the matter of increased allowances in Full Council. Shouldn't he have declared an interest? after all his judgement and the decision he took to vote himself a huge pay raise in the middle of a reccession was obviously clouded by his need to get his hands on a quick back payment to ensure his car was legal again!

The report also reveals that despite alluding to the Chief Executive that he had registered the car as off road with a SORN certificate in January that no such registration had taken place and that as a result he was issued with a fixed penalty notice thereafter.

I said to Cllr Woods earlier this year at a full council meeting, when I accused the Lib Dems of not listening to the public view that it is the little things that do for you in the end, and I can't help but think that if he had been a lot less cocky, a little less arrogant, and a little less triumphant then in ridding the town of dangerous Alderman, (Like John Dickie) then the public and John would have been perhaps a bit less eager to have exposed him to a taste of his own medicine.

The local standards board committee will of course have the final say, and thats how it should be, but the damage to his reputation and the Lib Dem group on the Council not to mention his standing within his own group are probably damaged far beyond the level they need to be.

Sometimes saying Sorry at the outset not at the end is a far better policy. Sometimes remembering that whatever the title says on your post that you are no more important now than you were first achieved office and supposed greatness is also very good practice.

It's humility, and genuine remorse that will save you Tony not belittling your detractors and undervaluing their opinion.

Here is the news, or not, parts three, four, five etc

By now you will have got the general drift, white supremacists bought before the courts after threatening or carrying out terrorist attacks, their trials not covered by the mainstream media and their sentences not equitable when compared with other cases over the years be they young muslims or old Irish

So heres a few more recent cases for you to be concerned and amazed at...................................

Lets start with Neil Lewington, Mr Lewington has just been on trial at the Old Bailey charged with the preparation of terrorist attacks using home made bombs made from tennis balls and weedkiller. He made the bombs at his parents home in Reading and aimed to target those who he thought of as 'non British' searches of Mr Lewington's home revealed a notebook entitled "Waffen SS UK members' handbook" which contained drawings of electronics and chemical mixtures. He had once told a woman that "the only good Paki was a dead Paki." Mr Lewington has been found guilty and will be sentenced in September. Press Coverage has to say the least been sparce.

Or how about
the case of Robert Cottage? a former 3 times BNP candidate jailed in July 2007 for possessing explosive chemicals in his home. Police comments at the time informed us that following his arrest they found the largest amount of chemical explosive of its type ever found in this country. The national coverage of Cottage’s arrest in October 2006 amounted to exactly 56 words in a single “news in brief” item in the Sunday Times. Cottage was charged under the obscure Explosive Substances Act 1883, not the panoply of modern anti-terror laws now at the disposal of the police which probably explains his lenient 2 and a half year sentence! Cottage told the court that "the evils of uncontrolled immigration' would lead to civil war which would be imminent and inevitable."

And then there is Martyn Gilleard, another Nazi fantasist and a pedophile who in June 2008 was arrested after police found nail bombs, bullets, swords, axes and knives in his flat, together with more than 39,000 indecent images of children on his computer.

In addition he left a note in which he had written, “I am so sick and tired of hearing nationalists talk of killing Muslims, of blowing up mosques, of fighting back. Only to see these acts of resistance fail to appear. The time has come to stop the talk and start to act.” In another note, he wrote that he wanted to see "reds" - left-wing activists - attacked with "lightning strikes" and "home-made grenades". Gilliard was jailed for 16 years and there was only sporadic and not surprisingly limited media coverage.

And then there is Nathan Worrell? This neo-Nazi, described by police as a “dangerous individual”, who hoarded bomb-making materials in his home, and was found guilty in December 2008 of possessing material for terrorist purposes and for racially aggravated harassment. He was jailed for 7 years. Worrell admitted to police that he was a white nationalist. He signed his texts off as "88" - a code for Hitler. The trial heard Worrell left racist stickers at the home of Susan Crofts and Mohammed Chowdhery and on a lamppost. One sticker read: "Only inferior white women date outside their race. Be proud of your heritage. Don't be a race-mixing slut", while another from the Combat 18 group said: "It's our country. Let's win it back. Repatriation now." His trial attracted just two passing references in the popular national press, in the Daily Star and the Sun.

Medhi Hussein highlights the above cases in the New Statesman and helpfully informs us that Europol, the European police agency, suggest that the threat of Islamist terrorism is minimal compared with that carried out by separatists and nationlist groups. Across Europe in 2006, one out of 498 documented terrorist attacks across Europe could be classed as “Islamist”; in 2007, the figure rose to just four out of 583 – that’s less than 1 per cent of the total. By contrast, 517 attacks across the continent were claimed by or attributed to nationalist or separatist terrorist groups, such as ETA in Spain.

Now to me a terrorist is a terrorist, the taking of innocent life or the threat to do so is abhorant to us all. But why do the British Media reserve their press inches for the minority of Muslim offenders whilst conveniently missing or skirting over stories such as those outlined above?

It is no wonder that the country is becoming paranoid and Islamaphobic when it is being fed such an unbalanced view from the press as to the real nature of the threat that surrounds us all. It is also no wonder that Britain's Muslim youth feel so alienated and stigmatised.

The threat to our security and community is most definitely out our there, it is very very real, but it isn't necessarily always dressed up in dark skins and beards and the sooner the media realise this and start to present a more balanced view of what is happening the better we will all be for it.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Here is the news, or not, part two

Following on from the post below about the biggest terrorist arms raid since the 1960's being curiously missing from the mainstream news, I thought you would welcome this similar scarcely covered story (which did at least make it to the BBC) about how the far right are dealt with (or not) when they are finally bought before the beak.

A Derbyshire man, Neil Macgregor 36 was recently up before a Scottish Court where Sheriff Andrew Mackie heard his plea.

Mr Macregor threatened to blow up Glasgow Central Mosque, in fact he went a little bit further than that, let him explain in his own words in an email he sent to Strathclyde Police which was given to the court as evidence. He said:

"I’m a proud racist and National Front member. We as an organisation have decided to deal with the current threat from Muslims in our own British way like our proud ancestors.

“Our demands are very small. Close all the Mosques in Scotland, we see this is very easy – even you guys can handle that.”

He then issued a barrage of sickening threats, centering on the internet killing of Ken Bigley.

He wrote: “If our demands aren’t met by next Friday we’ll kidnap one Muslim and execute him or her on the internet, just like they did to our Ken Bigley.

“Those monster evil Muslims cut off his head with a kitchen knife, so we would like to repay the compliment. Every week we’ll kidnap and behead a Muslim if our demands aren’t met.”

... “We will also detonate a box of nails in the Central Mosque on Friday night.”

MacGregor then followed up the e-mail with a call threatening to blow up the Central Mosque.

Threats to kill a Muslim a week, and blow up a Mosque? what's the tariff on that then under the Prevention of Terrorism Act?

15 years? 5 years? maybe being held indefinitely at her Majesty's pleasure? (a bit like Phil the Greek)

No Mr Mackie decided that he needed medical treatment not punishment and dished out a tough sentence of 3 years probation.

3 years probation! you couldn't make it up, Neil Macgregor is, as we speak is free as a bird walking around Derbyshire a man at full liberty.

The trial didn't even make it to Scotland High Court system and serious questions are now being asked as to why the matter was allowed to be dealt with by the junior Sheriffs court system?

I can but wonder what would happen if a member of the Muslim community was bought before a court having admitted to threats to kill a Christian a day and blow up Glasgow Cathedral, on demands that all churches in Scotland be closed?

Judgements like this do little to promote any sense of equity within our legal system and the failure of most of the press again to report the trial or its outcome will not help to convince the Muslim community that the media doesn't operate a wicked policy of double standards when reporting such matters. It also adds to the concerns of many that the dangers of far right extremism in our country are being underplayed and under reported

Well done the BBC at least, and believe it not The Scottish Sun, but if you wanted to read the news elsewhere you would have to subscribe to newspaper titles and websites well outside of the UK.

Or of course read this blog...........................................................



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