Veteran Labour MP Brian Sedgemore said the government should be “damned” for moving to a style of justice used by South Africa under apartheid.
They say that the people have lost interest in politics, and maybe they have. But, every now and then, there are some great speeches in The House and I am very glad that the web makes them available to me:
They voted: first, to abolish trial by jury in less serious cases; secondly, to abolish trial by jury in more serious cases; thirdly, to approve an unlawful war; fourthly, to create a gulag at Belmarsh; and fifthly, to lock up innocent people in their homes. It is truly terrifying to imagine what those Members of Parliament will vote for next. I can describe all that only as new Labour’s descent into hell, which is not a place where I want to be.
I am surprised the resignation letter of John Brady Kiesling (political counselor at the United States Embassy in Athens) has not been more widely reported (New York Times | ZNet). In the letter he says:
“The sacrifice of global interests to domestic politics and to bureaucratic self-interest is nothing new, and it is certainly not a uniquely American problem. Still, we have not seen such systematic distortion of intelligence, such systematic manipulation of American opinion, since the war in Vietnam”.
Many good points are made, some of which I believe we in Britain ought to be asking ourselves. Why, Mr Blair, have you been unable to convince your fellow MPs? Why has America and the UK failed to convince a great deal of the rest of the world that this is a proper course of action? While I have no doubt that there is much that can not be made public, the fact that we have failed to convince foreign leaders of the rightness of our approach is, to me, the most serious cause for concern. If we have to go to war, I would like to believe that it is being done with the backing of the world. The current talk of re-building the Middle East seems to be the worst kind of message coming from the West, and especially the US. Who gave them (or, indeed, us) the right?
Although I don’t like it, I am not anti-war. But war only if appropriate and only when all other reasonable actions have been taken. Then, with the support of the rest (or at least a majority) of the world, I would concede war is necessary. Until it does, we have to be very careful indeed.
As Mr Kiesling says, it all smells suspiciously like something in Vietnam. And we know how that ended up, don’t we?
We should continue to push the boundaries of technology and exploration.
While the investigations into the loss of the Space Shuttle continue, some argue that the Shuttle itself should be scrapped,
The space shuttle is impressive in technical terms, but in financial terms and safety terms no project has done more harm to space exploration. [Source: Time.Com]
For me, the most compelling story in the media today is from BBC News who have the text of an e-mail from shuttle victim Laurel Clark.
I feel blessed to be here representing our country and carrying out the research of scientists around the world. All of the experiments have accomplished most of their goals despite the inevitable hiccups that occur when such a complicated undertaking is undertaken. [Source: BBC News]
I am grateful that people are prepared to take such great risks in the interest of human knowledge. I, for one, salute their bravery.
Like everybody else, I was shocked to hear of the loss of the space shuttle Columbia. Like many, the first pictures I saw were the trails in the sky as the craft disintegrated. I’ve just found this radar picture online from the US National Weather Service which shows the heat generated as Columbia broke up. Despite the previous tragedy, it seemed space travel was gradually becoming routine. Seeing the radar image reminded me just what these craft and crew have to endure to push the boundaries of human knowledge. It brought space travel back into perspective for me and really shows the bravery of those who choose to go into space. As the events leading to the disaster unfold, it’s time to remind ourselves that we really are pushing boundaries. I am grateful that people are prepared to take such great risks in the interest of human knowledge. I, for one, salute their bravery.
I swear some news is made up: A pair of Canadian otters brought to Britain a year ago are under 24-hour guard at the National Sea-life Sanctuary, near Oban in Scotland, because of fears they will be attacked by indigenous cousins unable to understand their “foreign accents”.
I swear some news is made up: A pair of Canadian otters brought to Britain a year ago are under 24-hour guard at the National Sea-life Sanctuary, near Oban in Scotland, because of fears they will be attacked by indigenous cousins unable to understand their “foreign accents”. [Independent]