Tag Archives: UK

Home Schooling Threatened in The UK

Thousands of parents in the United Kingdom prefer educating their children at home, but the government is now concerned over what they allege are examples of child abuse. The prosecution and conviction of a foster mother who abused three children for years has outraged many government officials and sparked discussion about investigating the entire home schooling process. Clare Murton, of Action for Home Education, argues the investigation is a “clear incitement to hatred of home educators” while other supporters believe “it is an attack on our beliefs.” Baroness Morgan, Children’s Minister, insists “local authorities have a significant duty to ensure all children are receiving a suitable education” but she believes there may be need for an investigation.

Many home school supporters believe the real object is for the government to gain “educational control over parents.” I am not an advocate or an opponent of home schooling. There are many arguments why parents should or should not be allowed to decide the education of children, but there is little evidence of widespread child abuse. Most probably child abuse is more prevalent among children attending schools than among home schoolers. The real issue is striking a balance between parental and societal rights concerning the education of children.

British Parliament Wants Answers To Torture Claims

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband and Home Secretary Jacqui Smith have refused to appear before Parliamen’s human rights committee to answer questions concerning allegation the UK colluded in the torture of British citizens in Pakistan. The Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) wants to know the truth and the Gordon Brown government is pulling a George Bush by refusing to tell the truth. Andrew Dismore, chairman of the Parliamentary committee expressed his disappointment and made clear, “the inquiry isn’t over yet.” He expressed hope that both the government and the committee can use the past in order to move forward in such a manner as to ensure that torture ends. “If people have been tortured, we can’t untorture them, but we can make recommendations about how this it to be avoided in the future.”

The more the Brown government dodges and twists, the more people come to the conclusion that a cover-up is taking place. Ranzieb Ahmed was taken to Pakistan and when he returned three fingernails were gone from his hand. Someone has to answer for such brutality, and if Brown will not respond, perhaps, the British people will in the upcoming election.

British Cooperated With Bush Rendition Program

British forces In Iraq handed over two terror suspects to the American officials who then flew the men to Afghanistan where they were interrogated. The British Defense Secretary admitted this happened in 2004. The disclosure contradicts claims by the Tony Blair and Gordon Brown government that their nation was never involved in any such activities. John Hutton, Defense Secretary said “the US Government has explained to us that they were moved to Afghanistan because of a lack of relevant linguists necessary to interrogate them effectively in Iraq. The men were classified as “unlawful enemy combatants.” Hutton now says, ‘it is clear to me that the transfer to Afghanistan of these two individuals should have been questioned at the time.”

It is fascinating a reason is offered concerning the lack of qualified linguists in Iraq. If this was true, it speaks volumes about the lack of planning on the part of the Bush administration for their invasion of Iraq. One would assume they realized in planning the invasion there would be need for linguists in Arabic. But, then again, we are discussing George Bush, Don Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney.

What Is Gordon Brown Hiding About Iraq??

Several British groups have asked the government to release Cabinet minutes for the meetings of March 13 and March 17, 2003 when discussions were held about the decision to support the Bush invasion of Iraq. Information Minister Richard Thomas ordered the release of the minutes arguing that their publication was in the public interest. His decision was supported by an independent tribunal last month. But, for the first time, the Brown government has decided to make use of “Section 53″ of the Freedom of Information Act which allows it to veto the release of documents. By drawing upon this section of the law it is impossible for challengers to take the case to court. According to a government spokesperson, the release of the documents would do “serious damage” to the frank discussions that took place on those two momentous days.

Members of parliament from every aspect of the political scene protested the decision. Many insisted the Brown decision showed disrespect for the people of Great Britain and their right to know why their nation got into a war. Of course, the men and women who died might complain of “serious damage” to their lives by the decision of Tony Blair and his associates.

Riots In The Streets?

A surprising poll taken in Great Britain reveals almost a third of respondents believe the British army within the coming years will be forced to deal with urban riots as the economic decline continues. Superintendent David Hartshorn of the London Metropolitan police believes radicals are planning a ‘summer of rage” to take advantage of social people angry at loss of jobs or loss of money caused by the growing recession. According to the poll, many believe there will be “serious social unrest in several British cities” in the coming months. A rather large majority believe young people who are without work should a year of national service working with the elderly or sick.

If the Depression is a model then government sponsored work programs for young people will be necessary if unemployment continues to increase. Unfortunately, the Gordon Brown government spouts cliches instead of coming up with interesting work programs for those who are without hope in the current work environment.

Dutch Parliament Furious At UK Ban On Wilders

The vast majority of members of parliament in the Netherlands completely disagree with the anti-Muslim views of one of its members, Geert Wilders, but believe since he is a member of the legislature it was wrong for the United Kingdom to refuse him entry to their country. Wilders deliberately attempts to provoke conflict and hatred toward those of the Muslim faith, but he was invited to speak in Great Britain and is a duly elected government official. Gerdi Veebeet, chair of parliament expressed her dismay that Wilders was denied entry and the Dutch foreign ministry, told the British, “The Netherlands deeply regrets the fact that the United Kingdom did not revoke its decision to refuse Mr. Wilders entry into the country.

Wilders seeks to deny rights to people of the Muslim faith in the Netherlands so it is rather ironic that the United Kingdom is denying him the right to speak. If some people get upset at his words they can ignore him or they can publicly refute his nonsense, but to deny his right to speak plays into his crazy ideas that Muslims are being pampered.

Civilians Die In Sri Lanaka’s Unseen War

In an age of instant communication and sharing of information, nations are still able to conduct military operations in secret as witness the Israel invasion of Gaza. Another example of preventing the press from uncovering what is happening in a war is now transpiring in Sri Lanka where thousands of civilians are trapped in the fight between government troops and the Tamil rebels. Dozens of civilians are dying because there is no process to allow them to get out of fighting zones to the safety of more secure areas. The government rejected a British proposal to send a special envoy who would work with both sides to ensure the safety of civilians and find a way to draw the fighting to a conclusion. “It is tantamount to an intrusion into Sri Lanka’s internal affairs and is disrespectful to the country’s statehood” exclaimed the foreign ministry.

The Sri Lanka government made clear to the United Kingdom it jeopardized relations by raising issues of special envoys to assist civilians and help end the fighting. Actually, the British effort was mainly concerned with helping civilians and dealing with issues such as the lack of adequate medical facilities. Journalists have not ben allowed in the fighting area so no one knows what is actually happening to civilians or the quality of medical care.

Can People Enjoy Ecstasy Or Not?

British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith is in the center of a controversy over the use of the drug ecstasy. An Advisory Council recommended that it be downgraded from a class A drug but she over ruled their advice and made clear it remained where it was as a class A drug. Professor David Nutt of the Advisory Council was told by the Home Office that its scientific evidence indicates that ecstasy poses a significant public health issue. The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) disagrees and does not believe ecstasy is anywhere near as dangerous as heroin or crack cocaine and should be downgraded to a class B status along with cannabis. This is the second time Smith has gone against advice of the group and last year disagreed with its advice about cannabis.

The ACMD report claims there are few adverse physical and mental health effects posed by ecstasy and reports only indicate at most it has caused the death of about 30 deaths a year. After all, in the United States over 40,000 die in automobile accidents each year but cars keep on being driven. Isn’t it time to allow individuals to make decisions regarding their drug use?

Prince Harry-Not Bad For A British Chap!

Once upon a time there were kings and queens in Great Britain who displayed the power of intelligent leadership, but we are now in the 21st century and all that poor nation has left is the likes of Prince Harry. Now, don’t get me wrong, for a member of the British nobility he i not bad for an English chap. After all, he has displayed his acumen in the field of international relations by appearing at a party wearing the arm band of the Nazi party. We can certainly understand his lack of awareness that men wearing the swastika killed hundreds of thousands of English people and after all it was at a party where young people are supposed to display their ignorance. Bully boy Prince Harry has used vulgarities about people from Pakistan of whom thousands live in the United Kingdom, but let’s face it, they really are a bunch of Pakis and we all know what that means.

The latest episode in which bonny Prince Harry displayed his intelligence came at a party at which comedian Stephen Amos performed. After the party, the bouncing idiot member of the British nobility told him, “you don’t sound like a black chap.” We hesitate to find out what Prince Harry thinks “sounds like a black chap” means.

Hey, Harry, got any remarks about people who “look like a Jewish chap?”

Is Obama Pulling A Bush?

Ironically, the Barack Obama administration is being accused by British MPs and human rights groups of using the same tactics as did George Bush on cases involving the use of torture on prisoners. Secret CIA documents held by the Foreign Office detail the interrogation and treatment of Binyam Mohamed, a British resident still held at Guantanamo prison. His lawyers asked the courts to release information about the interrogation and were told it would risk Britain’s national security after the United States threatened to stop its agents from working with British agents. Foreign Secretary David Miliband said the United States had made clear there would be threats to national security if the information was revealed.

The Obama(or is is Bush) White House defended the High Court’s ruling saying: “The US thanks the UK government for its continued commitment to protect national security information.” Hogwash. We elected Barack Obama in order to end the farce about always citing “national security” to protect torture. How does information concerning the abuse of prisoners link to “national security?” Shame on Obama.