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Tuesday, 30 May 2017

So much to answer for

This will be a two-part post, or a post with a sequel, if you like. The focus here is on Morrissey's statement about the recent Manchester bombing. The focus of the next post will be on the recent discussions with TRB.

Celebrating my birthday in Manchester as news of the Manchester Arena bomb broke. The anger is monumental.
For what reason will this ever stop?
Theresa May says such attacks "will not break us", but her own life is lived in a bullet-proof bubble, and she evidently does not need to identify any young people today in Manchester morgues. Also, "will not break us" means that the tragedy will not break her, or her policies on immigration. The young people of Manchester are already broken - thanks all the same, Theresa. Sadiq Khan says "London is united with Manchester", but he does not condemn Islamic State - who have claimed responsibility for the bomb. The Queen receives absurd praise for her 'strong words' against the attack, yet she does not cancel today's garden party at Buckingham Palace - for which no criticism is allowed in the Britain of free press. Manchester mayor Andy Burnham says the attack is the work of an "extremist". An extreme what? An extreme rabbit?
In modern Britain everyone seems petrified to officially say what we all say in private. Politicians tell us they are unafraid, but they are never the victims. How easy to be unafraid when one is protected from the line of fire. The people have no such protections.
23 May 2017.

For me the problematic trouble starts with the bit about "her policies on immigration." Which of Theresa May's immigration policies are relevant is not detailed. I don't mind rhetorically bashing Tories (or Labor), but I do have a problem with evidence-free opinion and dog whistle politics.

Manchester's Muslim bomber was born in England. He was 22 years old. He was a Manchester-born British citizen of immigrant parents (sounds familiar). He travelled to Libya and back in April-May this year.

What UK government immigration policy could stop that? A Trump-style travel ban wouldn't do that, as although Trump's executive orders covered Libya, they didn't apply to American citizens. A British duplication of those bans would not have stopped Salman Abedi from leaving and returning.

Australia has something that may have stopped Abedi even if he was an Australian citizen and had visited we called a "declared area" of "terrorist hostile activities". Entering or remaining in these areas is an offence.
However, even if he was an Aussie, Abedi could still have travelled to Libya and back without a problem, as the "declared areas" are all currently in Iraq and Syria. Even if it did cover Libya, one of the few exceptions to the offence is "making a genuine visit to a family member," and we know that Adebi did visit his family, so he may have slipped through even that by arguing that this was all he did while there.

As many Muslims in the Manchester area had already alerted the UK government their concerns that this dim and troubled lad was a likely jihadist, you hope that the responsible authorities would have put two and two together and either refused his re-entry under such laws or detained him at the airport. However, we do not know if the "immigration policies" that Morrissey referred to means that he endorses the Australian-style "declared area" offence for Britain and that it should cover Libya. All we have his a vague dig at Theresa May's "policies on immigration". By the way, the Australian "declared area" offence isn't even an immigrant issue, as it comes under Criminal Code Act of 1995. If this is what he meant, he should have said so.

What about the Manchester bomber's parents? They were refugees from Libya who entered Britain in 1994. They were dissidents from Gaddafi's regime, which was hardly popular in Britain (especially as they were being held responsible for the Lockerbie bombing and arming the IRA). Can Theresa May be blamed for allowing the parents of a future suicide bomber into Britain? As she was only elected to the House of Commons in 1997, and then as an opposition backbencher, it's a long stretch.

Which brings us back to the dog whistle. The idea behind the dog whistle is to appeal to different audiences through some bland statement that is alienating to a minimum of people (those who are going to disagree with you anyway or who are aware of the statements possible alternative interpretations). Let's look at how Morrissey's Facebook post went down in terms of reactions the last time I visited it:
Facebook responses to the post are overwhelmingly positive, with 89k Likes and 9.2 Hearts. Negatives are just 6.3k Cries and only 683 Angries. Mozzer, the self-declared outsider is on a winner, however much the mainstream media bleated. Exceptions were the likes of the Brietbart, the alt-right troll Milo Yiannopoulos and Murdoch attack dog Rita Panahi: they heard the whistle.  

Then there's this bit:

Manchester mayor Andy Burnham says the attack is the work of an "extremist". An extreme what? An extreme rabbit?
In modern Britain everyone seems petrified to officially say what we all say in private. 

Search Hansard and you'll see many results for "Islamic extremism" and more for the phrase "Islamist extremism" being said in the UK Parliament (and not just by UKIP types). They are far outweighed by the use of the word "extremism" (in a diverse range of contexts), but it has been said.

There are several reasons why politicians are disinclined to say the words that Morrissey is also apparently too petrified to say in public. There is the fact that it only takes a tiny minority of the world's 1.8 billion Muslims to turn to jihadism or terrorism to cause quite a bit of trouble. This is part of the answer. Islam is not monolithic and most Muslims do not support ISIS (including in majority Sunni nations). I can't recall the Provisional IRA constantly being referred to as "Catholic extremists."

We need the support of these people if we are to marginalise the jihadists into history. There is the well-grounded fear that constantly banging on about Musim/Islamic/Islamist extremists by Westerners will only embolden ISIS-style propaganda and help to justify their arguments. When Western politicians speak, their audience is global and not just domestic. As Richard Stengel, former Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs in the Obama administration has pointed out:

"The implication is that we were all somehow too timid or too politically correct to say it. But the reason was a much more practical one: To defeat radical Islamic extremism, we needed our Islamic allies — the Jordanians, the Emiratis, the Egyptians, the Saudis — and they believed that term unfairly vilified a whole religion....

"They also told us that they did not consider the Islamic State to be Islamic, and its grotesque violence against Muslims proved it. We took a lot of care to describe the Islamic State as a terrorist group that acted in the name of Islam. Sure, behind the scenes, our allies understood better than anyone that the Islamic State was a radical perversion of Islam, that it held a dark appeal to a minority of Sunni Muslims, but it didn’t help to call them radical Islamic terrorists."

There is also the issue that when politicians use the euphemism of "violent extremism" they are actually acknowledging a problem that is much larger than that posed by Islamists (or immigrants). 

Like it or not, but in the political world beyond seminal agitprop popstars there are international considerations to the language used to describe Islamic terrorists. The thing is, that kind of nuanced and delicate position doesn't make great headlines. Morrissey's disdain for the mainstream media is well-known, but here he has fallen for a tabloid understanding of the problem.

But, to quote someone whom Morrissey says will kill America: "Anyone who cannot name our enemy is not fit to lead this country."  


  1. Hard to disagree with any of this

    1. You would say that, you wrote it. I can see your IP address.

      Moz bashing isn't required here.


    2. Liar. That first comment was written by Sabine.

    3. It certainly wasn't written by me. I don't play those kind of games.

    4. No, you just play with prostitutes.

    5. Perfectly legal where I live.

  2. I can't agree with any of your interpretation of Morrissey's words but please do post part 2.

  3. While I myself saw nothing particularly problematic with Morrissey's quote, it's refreshing to see someone on the other side of the debate who actually offers something with substance rather than hurling insults towards him and throwing in a few lines from Bengali in Platforms. I am not a follower of the Rodent, but find it unbearable how he is unable to tolerate any opinion other than his own, which is presumably what happened in this case: sigh...all fleas and hypocrisy.

    1. Something with substance? Morrissey is not a racist. All of those attacking him, such as comrade harps can just go and do one. Morrissey doesn't need fans like you.

    2. Hi Rat.You're not the brightest, are you? I said I DON'T think anything is wrong with what Morrissey wrote and don't like people insulting him - which directly relates to the fact I DON'T like people calling him Racist because I don't think he is racist. I don't agree with comrade, but he doesn't say Morrissey is racist in what he wrote. I was simply commending comrade on his ability to back his statements up with examples, which most people on his side of the argument are incapable of.
      Morrissey isn't racist, but you are a dim wit apparently that can't understand anything they read.

    3. That wasn't rat, it was me, Anon.
      You wrote that it was refreshing to see comrade harps offer something with substance, but his substance is that he finds Morrissey's statement, "problematic". Why would you find this, "refreshing", when you also state that you don't find Morrissey's statement problematic? You just want to be everybody's friend.
      Grow a pair.

  4. Anon 1 = Sabine
    Anon 2 =Chuck
    Anon 3 = Chuck
    Anon 4 = Marianne
    Anon 5 = Marianne
    Anon 5 = One of the sycophantic three, i.e. Rat, Heather or Ears

    1. Anon 1 = Rat
      Anon 2 = Rat
      Anon 3 = Rat
      Anon 4 = Rat
      Anon 5 = Rat
      Anon 6 = Rat
      Me= also, Rat

      Bottom Line - People need to realise Rat is the only one who comments on any of these things any more.

      *Goes off singing*

      I've been dreaming of a time when to be BRS is not to be baneful,
      To be standing with a rose not feeling shameful,
      But I ruined BRS with my big Rat mouth...
      You can't stay deluded FOREVER...

    2. This was so funny because it's probably true.
      Viva Moz - he's a good man.
      Rat, however is a sad excuse of a human who hurts many people.

    3. Are you two Rat too?

  5. Anon 1 = Sabine
    Anon 2 = Rat
    Anon 3 = Not sure. Chuck?
    Anon 4 = Rat
    Anon 5 = Chuck
    Anon 6 = Rat
    Anon 7 = Chuck
    Anon 8 = comrade harps
    Anon 9 = Chuck
    Anon 10 = Sabine
    This Anon = me

  6. Fuck off Rat

    1. Don't tell me to Fuck off. I'M the one who stumbled upon Morrissey's World in the first place all those years ago. Without me, NONE of you would have this opportunity to be part of history and part of this journey.

  7. Does anyone know if Rat has begun legal proceedings against Uncle Skinny yet?