Search Results for: democracy the panacea

Democracy the Panacea

Before the Egyptian uprisings we were told that we in the West must support tyranny to maintain stability. After the uprisings we were told that our newly discovered duty is to oppose tyranny and support democracy.

Our government strove for stability by maintaining a harmonious relationship with “tyrants,” but now they’ve seen that turning a blind eye to tyranny was morally wrong, and universal democracy would be morally right.

Many people suspect that “tyrants” were all that stood between the fragile stability and the dreaded clash of civilisations. However, for the BBC and, it seems, Cameron’s government, democracy is a thing with magical properties. If it comes, lo and behold, it will turn the Islamic street into a secular wonderland.

Meanwhile, (as if we had any choice) we’re plumping for toppling tyrants and keeping our fingers crossed this will bring about liberty, freedom and peace – and abracadabra, turn the Arab World into the West.

No longer must we turn a blind eye to tyranny. Now our blind eyes are turned to the baying mobs chanting “Death to Jews” in Tunis, the stars of David scrawled on Mubarak posters, and the sinister signs of religious bigotry rather than secular liberalism that are emerging from the angry rioting crowd. The BBC’s eyes are the blindest of all.

Many people, apart from the BBC, think this is quite important. Should ‘free and fair’ elections materialise, and the Arab World democratically elect their governments of choice, and hey presto, should their choices involve the Muslim Brotherhood and its ilk, the glorious revolution will, with our blessing, have brought back tyranny. Plus an inharmonious relationship with the West, and lashings (excuse the pun) of extra insecurity and instability thrown in for good measure.

A reader has sent me this:

“There has been so much misinformation circulated that the Egyptians have not used their demonstrations to attack Israel.

The massive crowd (possibly over a million) is first incited by Sheikh Al-Qaradhawi who as part of his victory speech (following the resignation of Mubarak) calls upon the crowd to pray for the conquest of the Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. The crowd goes wild. Al-Qaradhawi is the “moderate” muslim leader that condoned suicide bombing of Israeli civilians and advocated the murder of homosexuals. He is now banned from entering the UK after his last visit as a guest of the then mayor of London Ken Livingstone.

Shortly afterwards, the crowd erupts into chanting in unison “To Jerusalem we go, for us to be Martyrs”

So it may be true that the Egyptians were more interested in overthrowing their despotic leader than a Palestinian state, but don’t be misled into thinking that they are likely to set up a wonderfully democratic country with good relations with Israel anytime soon. How could they, if all they’ve been used to receiving on their TV sets for the past 3 decades are programmes inciting the hatred and murder of Jews.”

Our government and our BBC will say, ‘that is how democracy works,’ so like it or lump it.’ Our foreign policy would have to be slightly adjusted, our appeasement of Islam ramped up, and William Hague could stop defending Israel’s right to exist, a stance that looks more faltering and unconvincing each time he declares it.

If they believe that a settlement freeze will hasten the peace process, they must have little or no idea at all what the conflict is about, probably through misleading journalism courtesy of the BBC.

Logic says that anyone who accepts that the Palestinian Authority’s demand for a settlement freeze is a valid prerequisite for ‘coming back to the table’, should equally wonder what’s to stop Israel feeling that Arab recognition of Israel and renunciation of violence is a jolly valid prerequisite for the resumption of negotiations too?

How can anyone expect Israel to come to a peace agreement with neighbours who insist loud and clear that they will never renounce violence and will never ever recognise Israel’s right to exist?

Yet because of heavily slanted reporting, which ignores previously negotiated and agreed territorial apportionment in order to portray all settlement construction as defiant, and a mere land-grab, Israel is not only unjustly given the role of intransigent, swaggering obstacle to peace, it is expected to make concession after concession whilst its enemy sits back and waits for more Hamas-like Islamist-style democracies to load the dice more and more heavily against it.

The Kuenssberg Iceberg delusion


Kuenssberg has been pushing the idea that it is possible and morally acceptable to bin Brexit, to betray those who voted in the referendum to leave the EU….just vote Labour and seee your EU dreams come true!…what she misses, apart from the fact that such a move would indeed be a betrayal, not just of the voters but of democracy itself, is that most people, even Remain voters, now want Brexit to be implemented with as little fuss and as quickly and efficiently as possible….even the lefty New Statesman can see that…

The Remain delusion: “the 48 per cent” do not exist

The number who want Brexit stopped or radically softened is only 25 per cent.

Almost a year on, Theresa May is pursuing a “hard Brexit” (the Prime Minister prefers “clean”) and is on course to secure a landslide election victory. But Remainers hope that tactical voting by “the 48 per cent” against anti-EU candidates could yet thwart the Conservatives. Their ambitions, however, are likely to be disappointed. The truth, which few have recognised, is that “the 48 per cent” no longer exist.

After voting Remain, they ceased to act as a unified political bloc. The crucial figure for understanding May’s decision to pursue Brexit is not “the 48 per cent” or “the 52 per cent” but the 69 per cent – the number who believe the government has a duty to leave the EU (more than a third of whom voted Remain). A mere 21 per cent agree that the government should either block Brexit or seek to prevent it through a second referendum.

“The 48 per cent” are not even united on the desirability of a “soft Brexit”. Only 24 per cent, according to YouGov polling, believe it is more important to enjoy tariff-free trade with the EU than it is to control immigration (16 per cent believe the reverse, while 40 per cent, like Boris Johnson, want to have their cake and eat it). Fifty two per cent believe May’s proposed Brexit deal would be “good for Britain” (only 22 per cent believe it would be bad) and 61 per cent believe it “respects the referendum” (only 11 per cent believe it does not). Far from believing the government has no mandate for a “hard Brexit”, 64 per cent believe this version respects the vote and only 12 per cent believe it does not. Finally, 55 per cent support May’s assertion that “no deal is better than a bad deal”, while only 24 per cent oppose this stance.

Politics, of course, is about leading opinion, not following it. But to grasp their predicament, Remainers most recognise that they enjoy the support not of “the 48 per cent” but “the 25 per cent”. These figures help explain why the Conservatives enjoy a mammoth poll lead (leading among Remainers in yesterday’s ICM poll), why the anti-Brexit Liberal Democrats have not surged and why promising a second referendum would not be an electoral panacea for Labour or a new party.

As long as Remainers speak as if there is a nascent “progressive majority” built on “the 48 per cent”, they will repeat the very mistake that led to Brexit: misreading the electorate.

Take note Kuenssberg.


Them and Us

The way the recent upheavals in the Middle East have been reported by the BBC show clearly that it’s beyond their collective imagination to wonder whether the Arab/Islamic population is really and truly full of ordinary people just like us.

Even though Jon Donnison and Jeremy Bowen have spent considerable time in the Arab world, they still can’t grasp the concept that there is a “them and us” and that *their* worldview is antithetical to *ours* . Would Jeremy Bowen send his young relatives off to prosecute holy jihad wearing a suicide belt? Would Jon Donnison support the stoning of an adulteress or the limb amputation of a thief? Would he expect to enter Paradise if he copped it in the fog of struggle? Probably not. But they must know that these beliefs exist and can’t be shrugged off with a casual “I’m sure they don’t really mean it.”
The BBC’s reporting on the escalation of attacks from Gaza is an example of this moral equivalence. Towards the end, the BBC’s report demonstrates how the writer identifies with Hamas, “Last month saw some of the worst violence since Israel launched Operation Cast Lead in Gaza in December 2008, says the BBC’s Jon Donnison in Gaza.” reminding us as usual, of Cast Lead.
“In one week in March, at least 10 Palestinians – including several civilians and children – were killed by Israeli attacks” Donnison begins, adding:
“In the same period, militants in Gaza fired more than 80 rockets and mortar shells into southern Israel.”
This implies that Israel killed “several” (how many?) innocents, then Hamas responded, pitifully, killing no-one.
“Hamas had pledged to try to restore a ceasefire that ended on 16 March when an Israeli air strike killed two of its militants in the Palestinian territory.”
This makes no sense. Would or could Hamas ‘try to restore’ a ceasefire that was allegedly broken by Israel?
“However, Israel said it had suffered “bouts of terror and rocket attacks.”
Israel said? Hamas has pledged? Which is more reliable, a *say* or a *pledge*?
“Despite recent calls for calm, neither side seems to be able to stop firing, our correspondent says. Both say the other started it. Israel says it holds Hamas responsible for all attacks coming out of Palestinian territory, even if it is other militant groups carrying them out”
Read Melanie Phillips and Honest Reporting on that kind of remark.

While I’m at it – “Attack on Bus” Why does Hamas attack just *a bus?* Is ‘damaging a bus’ their intention? When rockets land without killing any Israelis, is that intentional?
Also, when is a teenaged boy a child? When he’s a Palestinian, of course. Israeli children are ‘people’ or teenagers, young Palestinian resistance fighters are counted as children till they get the key of the door.
The invariable chronological inversion of attack and retaliation and the habitual emphasis on the retaliation and downplaying of the provocation is automatic for the BBC. Not many people used to know that, but thankfully more and more people are starting to notice.
Even Sky has:
“The violence began when Gazan militants launched an anti tank-missile at a school bus in an apparently deliberate escalation.”

The BBC prefers to begin their article by concentrating on Israel’s military might, emoting a disproportionate response to a damaged bus.
“Israeli tanks, helicopters and planes have struck Gaza after an anti-tank missile fired from the Palestinian territory hit a bus in southern Israel.”
If the BBC understood what is happening it could have speculated that the escalation in hostilities might be related to the “Arab Spring.” It might have occurred to someone that Hamas has been emboldened by the the Islamist and Muslim Brotherhood’s prospective rise to prominence throughout the Arab world.
Here’s a quote from a thought-provoking article everyone should read.

And, as in much other coverage of the Middle East, the journalists – take a bow, BBC – did not bother to exercise the elementary functions of their craft: to be inquisitive, to question assumptions, to look beyond the overheated excitement. Having written the script, they were determined to stick to it in breathless, eye-moistening interviews – “live and direct from Tahrir Square” – with self-selecting, highly educated, English-speaking protesters.

And just as the media made their bizarre extrapolations and re-wrote the script, they also changed their language. In less than a month, Mubarak had made the seamless transition from “moderate, pro-Western Egyptian president” to “corrupt, tyrannical dictator”.

I blogged something like this myself not so long ago.