Tag Archives: Nile Gardiner

Nile Gardiner, the Falkland Islands and Barack Obama

Nile Gardiner: obsessive and paranoid. He could give Dr Strangelove’s General Jack D Ripper a run for his money.

There are two words that I’d use to describe Moonie Nile Gardiner. One is paranoid, the other is obsessive. He can only write blogs about two things: The Falkland Islands and Barack Obama. Sometimes…well, most of the time, he combines his two obsessions into a single blog.

Until Mitt Romney’s defeat last November, Gardiner was one of Mitt’s mutts. His brief was to brief Romney on foreign affairs. He did a pretty poor job of it too. Now he’s back to his day job as the Director of The Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom (sic), a subdivision of the extreme right-wing Heritage Foundation.

In the last month, I’ve lost count of the number of Gardiner’s blogs that mention or feature Obama and The Falklands. It’s clear that he desperately wants some kind of confrontation between Britain and Argentina. He’s nostalgic for the glory days of 1982 and he doesn’t really mind if people get killed just as long as the Falklanders maintain their dubious ‘sovereignty’.

Take yesterday’ blog titled, “British Ambassador to Washington calls on Obama to back rights of Falkland Islanders”, in which he conscripts the ambassador to fight his corner. He writes,

Sir Peter Westmacott, the veteran British Ambassador to Washington, has an excellent piece in Politico today in advance of the Falklands referendum which is taking place on March 10 and 11. Aimed squarely at US policymakers, the article outlines why Argentina’s claims over the Falklands are unfounded, and why the future of the Falkland Islands must be decided by the inhabitants of the Islands themselves. It is a clear-cut case of self-determination. As Sir Peter writes, invoking the spirit of the American Declaration of Independence:

My bold. He’s got this all wrong. How on earth can he compare the Falklands – a British colony  Overseas Territory in the South Atlantic – to the 12 states that rejected British rule in 1776? His understanding of history is faulty. Here’s what the ambassador wrote,

The Argentine government claims sovereignty over the islands based on events that took place more than 180 years ago when the archipelago was little more than an isolated outpost with almost no permanent population. But according to the most fundamental principles of international law, accepted by all nations for the past 60 years, it is for the inhabitants of a territory alone to determine how they are governed — the fundamental principle of self-determination, which received its most eloquent expression in Philadelphia in 1776.

… Kirchner and her government seek to portray the Falklands’ status as an example of British colonialism. But what could be more colonialist than seeking control of a territory — over which you have never exercised sovereignty and which your country accepted was British more than 160 years ago — against the wishes of the people who lived there?

Britain, as it has done so many times, stole the islands from under the noses of the nascent Argentina.  The islands were formally colonized by Britain in 1840. But the word “colonialism”, which has been used by Cristina Kirchner, is contested by Gardiner and his buddy, Westmacott.  But the facts speak for themselves: the Falklands are one of the last vestiges of British colonialism along with the troublesome Pitcairn Islands and tax havens like the Cayman Islands. The title “British Overseas Territories” is highly misleading because these territories are colonies in all but name; their inhabitants are considered British citizens but have no political representation in the ‘mother’ country as is the case with French overseas territories or DOM-TOM. Most of these overseas territories have strategic value or are located adjacent to some natural resource or other. Hence the reason why they remain British.

But what about this referendum? Isn’t it a foregone conclusion that the Falklanders will vote to remain, er, ‘British’? So what’s the point of it? It’s simple: Britain or, at least, the Tories and perhaps UKIP, want to rattle sabres with Argentina. Both parties are nostalgic for the long-dead British Empire and both parties gush over the memory of Thatcher’s triumph over the beastly Argies.

In the previous blog, the Moonie writes,

As readers of this blog will know, the Obama administration has a long track record of knifing Britain in the back over the Falklands issue. It has consistently sided with Cristina Kirchner’s calls for negotiations between London and Buenos Aires over the sovereignty of the Falklands, and will not recognise the right to self-determination of the Falkland Islanders. The Obama White House and State Department have refused to condemn the Kirchner regime’s campaign of intimidation against the Falklands, a self-governing British Overseas Territory in the South Atlantic, including the boarding of fishing vessels bearing the Falklands flag, and threats to mount a naval blockade.

“The Obama administration has a long track record of knifing Britain in the back over the Falklands issue”? The Obama administration has only been in place a little over 4 years. But here’s a question: how has Kirchner “intimidated” the Falklanders? He does not say. Knowing Gardiner, as I do, I would suggest that he’s come over all dramatic like a pantomime dame. I urge you to look at the blog title. It’s typically hysterical.

He provides a video produced by The Heritage Foundation… well, there’s a surprise.

The narrative advanced by this video ignores the fact that sovereignty over the islands has always been disputed. The reason why Britain colonized the Falklands was because of sealing and whaling. Both animals provided oil for lighting, heating and domestic products. Now oil of a different kind has been found offshore.

The Eastleigh by-election, in which the Tories came fourth behind UKIP, is shamelessly used by Gardiner to have another feeble pop at Obama.  He only mentions Obama once in this blog and it’s in the final paragraph. He tells us,

David Cameron needs to look to the Iron Lady, and not Barack Obama, for inspiration if he is to have any hope of winning in 2015. A conservative party can only win if it sticks to conservative values. Otherwise it becomes an empty shell that succeeds only in alienating its own base and destroying its very identity.

Ridiculous. Nurse! This one keeps thrashing about!

The day before Eastleigh, the ever-paranoid and shrill Gardiner tells us that Obama’s presidency is “A nasty, brutish, imperial presidency”. So why is that, Nile?

Thomas Hobbes wrote that the life of man is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.” Today’s White House definitely isn’t poor, lavishly feeding off the wealth of the American taxpayer, and the current presidency certainly isn’t short, with nearly four more years to run. But it is undeniably nasty and brutish, as veteran Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward has found after questioning President Obama’s narrative on the sequester issue.

A quote from Hobbes? Great. Just what we needed. There’s more,

Woodward, one of two reporters who broke the Watergate story that led to Richard Nixon’s downfall (immortalised in the 1976 Oscar winner All The President’s Men), has revealed to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that the White House warned him that he would “regret” his recent remarks on the sequester, made in Washington Post column. (Read the exchange of emails between White House economic adviser Gene Sperling and Woodward posted by Politico here.) Woodward is hardly a conservative, and has been at the heart of the liberal media establishment for decades. He is, however, not afraid of challenging the status quo, as he did with his 2010 book Obama’s Wars. Woodward is not alone. Lanny Davis, another liberal columnist and former special counsel to Bill Clinton, who has penned several pieces critical of Obama’s policies, has also spoken out against similar White House tactics.

So Bush’s presidency, in which the PATRIOT Act was enacted, doesn’t count?

We get to the point of the blog towards the end,

Will American liberals now stand up to the Obama White House and condemn its blatant attempts to suppress criticism and free speech? I doubt it. The Washington Post has provided relatively little coverage of the story, despite the fact that one its own star writers has been targeted.The New York Times is, unsurprisingly, completely silent (with the exception of a small mention in a single blog) on the issue. Ironically, most of the reporting of the White House’s attempts to intimidate liberal critics has come from the conservative press, led by the Drudge Report, which has propelled the story to national prominence. Both conservatives and liberals should be rallying to the defence of free speech and freedom of the press, holding the Obama presidency to account. All Americans should be concerned by government attempts to stifle press criticism in the land of the free, tactics which undermine the very foundations of liberty.

The first sentence of this paragraph reminds me of Louise Mensch’s outburst on Twitter when she demanded that the Labour Party condemn those who wished Thatcher dead. It’s a right-wing trick designed to claim moral authority over their opponents.

I would continue with Gardiner’s obsessions but I’d be here for months. Why not have a look at this page on Telegraph blogs? You’ll notice that the Moonie has little else to write about. He even manages a rather bitchy attack on Michelle Obama.

Now I’m not a fan of Obama but I find Gardiner’s fascination with him bizarre to the point of being pathological. He’s a cheerleader for war, death and destruction. His idea of freedom, like that of The Freedom Association, is Orwellian.

Mitt Romney lost the presidential election. Gardiner is still bitter that his man choked it. Now he spends his days churning out blog after blog about Obama. He also has the Falklands to use as a stick to smash his favourite target over the head. Obama will be in the White House for four years, but I suspect Gardiner will still write blogs about him long after he is gone.

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Filed under Ideologies, Journalism, Media, propaganda, Tory press

Gardiner leads The Charge of the Bitter Brigade

Obama won, get over it.

Obama won the election and the Moonie is angry… and bitter. I found this on the English version of Die Welt.

… Nile Gardiner, of conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation, does not believe that the Republicans’ defeat is of great significance, since they still have the power to stymie the president’s bills. He points out that the new generation of Republicans, like Florida senator Marco Rubio, are just as conservative as the old. “So you’re not going to see the Republicans shifting to the left but maintaining their core conservative principles,” said. He also believes that the Tea Party will continue to have a lot of influence.

He’s in denial. The Republicans have to change. Gardiner’s idea of a conservative is something akin to a Falangist (I’m stopping short of fascist). Indeed, the Republicans have slid so far to the right that any party that is slightly less right-wing is seen as “left” or “socialist”. In truth, the Tea Party’s influence scuppered any real chance Romney had, because by associating with them, he became their hostage to such an extent that he developed Stockholm Syndrome. But the Republicans can’t see it. Here’s some more from The Moonie.

“So far there isn’t any evidence that he is willing to be bipartisan,” he warned.

Gardiner also argued that though Obama is politically further left than the country as a whole, he will still be a “lame duck president.” And he adds that Obama will struggle to pass his immigration reform proposal. “I don’t see any Republican appetite for immigration reform,” he said.

If Obama is “left-wing” and a “socialist”, then I’m a Tory grandee. He’ll continue to kill civilians in drone strikes and protect capitalist interests. That’s what he does. The Affordable Healthcare Act, dubbed “Obamacare”, will continue to exercise Republican emotions.  And the Birthers and Truthers? Well, they’ll keep dribbling conspiranoid fantasies. The world still turns.

Let’s have a look at some of his tweets.

His Torygraph stablemate, James Delingpole, chimes in with some poorly thought out bollocks about Greece and the EU. Notice how Gardiner also retweeted some bullshit article from  The Washington Times. Now correct me if I’m wrong, but haven’t plenty of Republican presidents sucked up to “overseas authoritarians”? Do the names Nixon, Pinochet and Suharto mean anything? Well, not to Gardiner, because he’s the Director of the Orwellian Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, whose raison d’etre is not freedom but serfdom for those who aren’t billionaire industrialists or bankers.

Let’s have a look at that Wash Times article. Here’s the opening paragraph.

The Russians, Chinese and Iranians would vote for Barack Obama. That’s a good reason for Americans to select someone else.

Oh, very bitchy. Let’s read on.

Polls and informal surveys from around the world show that if foreigners could vote in the U.S. election, President Obama would win hands down. “The One” may have lost some of the luster he had four years ago, when simply showing up was good enough for him to land a Nobel Peace Prize, but he’s still popular overseas. That’s because many countries resent a robust White House, and adversary states chafe when their designs are foiled by American might. Mr. Obama is the perfect president for both factions. His diminutive stature on the global scene incites no envy among our friends and offers frequent opportunities to our adversaries.

Paranoia alert! Curiously enough, this article has no by-line and it’s entirely possible that it was written by the chubby-cheeked one.

Over at the Torygraph, Brendan O’Neill claims that Obama’s victory is a win for the “elitists”. It’s a typically confused piece that argues the President’s campaign was not so much supported by “Joe Averages” as it was by

 “the tech sector, government and the academy” – his top five funders were “the University of California, Microsoft, Google, the US government, and Harvard”. Executives at Craigslist, Facebook and Google gave maximum donations to Obama’s campaign.

O’Neill’s argument is drawn from an article by Joel Kotkin at the Daily Beast. Tell us something we don’t know, Brendan. Big business supports the Democrats. It’s hardly earth-shattering stuff.

Doc Stanley, he of the Pat Buchanan biography, points the finger at the Tea Party for Romney’s defeat.  The sanguine Stanley then offers some advice to the Tea Party. Good luck with that.

The challenge for the Tea Party is to return to its fiscal roots and try to shake off some of the bad memories of this election year. It’s interesting to note that House candidates supported by Ron Paul – who peddles a less culturally toxic brand of libertarianism – did rather well. Is Paulism the future?

Ah, so now the Doc has become a Paulician? Yeah, I know what a Paulician is, I’ve just appropriated the name. Dig? I love how Stanley casts off Romney like a beat-up mac and slips into his new Ron Paul cape and boots. No one wants to be seen with a loser. Good luck with that one too, Doc. As for Paul’s [coughs] libertarianism being “less toxic”, that’s just nuts. He’s a racist. Remember?

I can’t end this blog without mentioning Janet Daley, whose blog is, well, weird.

A depressing election fact for the Republican party constitutes something of a warning for Labour. According to exit polls, a significant majority of US voters still blame George Bush for the economic crisis. In other words, they continue to hold the party which was in power at the time responsible for the 2008 crash and its lingering consequences. Angry commentators on the American Right are attributing this to the White House spin operation which has never failed to pin it all on the Bush administration even as its own goals for economic recovery were repeatedly missed.

There’s no mention of Romney or the Tea Party in her blog. Instead, she tries to comfort herself with the fantasy of Labour being trounced at the next general election by the Conservatives… who are currently demonstrating how economically illiterate they are, while doling out NHS contracts to their business chums. You keep taking the drugs, Janet but I don’t think they’re working.

And what about the zombie-eyed granny-starver, Paul Ryan? Hopefully he’ll disappear back up his own arse.

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Filed under United States, US Presidential Election 2012, World

Can you hear that?

It’s the sound of Moonie, Nile Gardiner sobbing his wee heart out as Mitt Romney loses the Presidential Election to Barack Obama.

I guess it’s back to penning outraged blogs about how Churchill’s bust no longer sits in the Oval Office and how Obama is allowing Argentina to “insult” Britain. He’ll also find the time to complain that Obama hasn’t visited “our friend and ally” Israel.

Gardiner still hasn’t said anything about Sun Myung Moon’s death. The silence, as they say, is deafening.

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Romney, Gardiner and the Anglo-Saxon comment

The Normans: they came, they saw, they conquered and later intermarried with the locals.

When it was announced that Mitt Romney was to visit the UK, Israel and Poland, I suspected that Nile Gardiner was involved in drawing up the itinerary for the Presidential hopeful.  It has his dirty fingerprints all over it.  How can I tell? Well, if you Google “Nile Gardiner Poland”, for example, you will see that the top three links are Gardiner’s  Torygraph blogs. Now try Googling “Nile Gardiner Israel” and you will get similar results.  But the visit to Britain has not gone as well as planned and a remark made by Romney about the Olympics sparked off a bout of transatlantic mudslinging.

Yesterday,  one of Romney’s advisors used the phrase “Anglo-Saxon” when speaking to Jon Swaine of the Daily Torygraph.  swain doesn’t name the advisor but I have my suspicions. The remark caused a predictable reaction and this prompted several of the Torygraph bloggers to rally behind Romney and assert their Anglo-Saxon credentials. Some, like the Lyin’ King, have insisted that the compound  “Anglo-Saxon” is equivalent to the word “liberty”. He writes,

And where do these characteristics have their roots? In Anglo-Saxon civilisation. When a Romney aide told this newspaper that the US and Britain shared an ‘Anglo-Saxon heritage’, he or she was stating the obvious. Those Lefties pretending to be upset – the Obama campaign called the remark ‘stunningly offensive’ – know perfectly well that the reference was cultural rather than racial. When the French talk of ‘les anglo-saxons’ or the Spanish of ‘los anglosajones’, they don’t mean Cerdic and Oswine and Æthelstan. They mean people who speak English and believe in small government.

I love how Hannan excuses Romney by saying, ” the reference was cultural rather than racial”. But then, he would say that. He would defend Satan, given half the chance. He also deliberately ignores the way in which the phrase is often used to claim that Obama isn’t “white” and to make the spurious point that he does not understand the mythological ‘ties that bind’ the two English-speaking countries.

The fact of the matter is that this country was invaded by the Normans in 1066. the Anglo-Saxons and the other peoples who inhabited this island were over-run and forced to accept the invaders as their conquerors and overlords. Over time, the Normans intermarried with the locals (after brutalizing them). That makes this country as much Norman as it does Anglo-Saxon.  Of course, the fact that large swathes of this country were  occupied by the Danes (Danelaw) as well as the Romans before them doesn’t seem to matter much to the racists and  crypto-racists that clutter the Internet. They declare themselves to be Anglo-Saxon, even though a simple DNA test would reveal something startlingly different.

Here’s the offending remark that was made by the ‘unnamed advisor’,

“We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and he feels that the special relationship is special,” the adviser said of Mr. Romney, adding: “The White House didn’t fully appreciate the shared history we have.”

Ah, the shared history and the transatlantic bruderschaft. This is odd because from the American War of Independence in 1776 to the period immediately after WWII, Britain was on the US’s shit-list. In fact the US and Britain came close to going to war with one another in 1895 over a small strip of land between Venezuela and British Guyana. The US even planned to have a war with Britain as recently as 1930.

So who produced this extraordinary piece of ahistorical tosh? Like me, Gideon Rachmann of the FT has his suspicions,

Suspicion swiftly fell on Nile Gardiner, a Brit who works at the Heritage Foundation and has been named as one of Romney’s foreign-policy advisory team. Gardiner blogs for the Telegraph and has admitted speaking to the Telegraph journalist who wrote the story – but, despite strong circumstantial evidence, denied being the source of the quote.

As we know, Gardiner isn’t shy when it comes to making comments that can be construed as racist. He has plenty of previous. On this occasion he denies it but then, he would.

Rachmann also highlights a blog written by the Moonie in which he lists Barack Obama’s “Top 10 insults against Britain”.

This article from TMP is rather interesting, especially for the last paragraph.

My other reason for being interested in this is something my friend Mike Lind always had a good way of capturing — which is the way that on the American right, Brits, particularly conservative Brits, amount to something like Americans by proxy. Sure, they don’t carry US citizenship. But by possessing the ur-Anglo-Saxon-ness and the heritage thing and the stiff upper lip and some Great Books rearing they’re practically more American than we are. Sort of like the yeast that makes the bread. So a Brit like Nile Gardiner is sort of more one of us — at least in some Platonic ideal form — than the Mexican-American son of immigrants in San Diego or Los Angeles. And certainly he might get the centrality of our Anglo-Saxon heritage more than someone like Barack Obama who’s the son of a Kenyan and born in Hawaii and even spent time as a kid living in Indonesia.

But all that aside, is Nile Gardiner an American citizen?

My bold. No he isn’t but that doesn’t mean that he’s particularly au fait with what’s happening in the UK either, as I point out in this blog.

Interestingly,the American Conservative dismisses any suggestion that the US is 100%  Anglo-Saxon,

But it’s misleading to describe the folkways and political traditions that Americans inherited from Britain as “Anglo-Saxon”. For the most part, they date back no further than the 16th century, when British life was redefined by the Reformation and the beginnings of capitalism.

The Anglo-Saxons, on the other hand, were Germanic tribes who lived in Britain after about the 5th century. Although not eliminated, their language (Old English) and political institutions were transformed by the Norman conquest in 1066. Calling the early modern traditions that connected the United States and Britain in the colonial period “Anglo-Saxon” is a little like calling the calling the Pope the pontifex maximus. There’s a sense in which it’s true, but too much history separates the two eras for the comparison to be useful.

Quite.

What we have here is a very sly way of playing the race card. The suggestion is that Obama is not “Anglo-Saxon” is another way of saying he  isn’t white and therefore doesn’t understand the ‘Special Relationship’. This, of course,  isn’t true and as we all know, Obama is mixed race. But Gardiner and his chums on the Torygraph favour the One-Drop Rule. If you have a one black parent, grandparent or great-grandparent, then you are black; an Other.

Furthermore, Moonie Gardiner has been involved in an anti-Obama smear campaign since the President took office. Not a week passes by when he hasn’t written a blog that complains of Obama’s insensitivity towards this and that. The fact that Gardiner denies making the comment means nothing. It’s his modus operandi. Those are his words.

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Romney includes Nile Gardiner in his foreign policy team

Apparently GOP presidential hopeful, Mitt Romney, has included Moonie Nile Gardiner, in his foreign policy team. Quite what Gardiner has to offer in the sphere of international relations is anyone’s guess. Last month, The National Memo said this,

And then there is Nile Gardiner, a British national, ultra-conservative, and former Unification Church devotee, who is thinking deep thoughts about Europe for Romney. Gardiner once said that we would only discover why we had invaded Iraq after the fall of Baghdad, when records proving Saddam Hussein’s collaboration with Al Qaeda would fall into our hands. (Is he still waiting for that?)

Gardiner is something of a Jack D. Ripper figure who imagines that all sorts of enemies are lining up to poison our water and steal our women.

Gardiner’s world view, like that of Romney, is US-centric and thus cyclopean. Both of them inhabit a pre-Copernican world where the US is the centre of the universe.

According to Romney’s website, Gardiner is going to ‘advise’ him on Europe. That’s interesting, given the fact that Gardiner spends no time here nor does he seem to know much about the continent for which he has been given a brief.

Here’s Gardiner’s latest drivel, where he claims that the #OWS movement has been “defeated”. Of course what our Moonie friend completely ignores is the police brutality that forced the protesters from Zucchoti Park (of which he doubtlessly approves). He also seems to have ignored the fact that the protest is continuing.

Occupy Wall Street has been an act of desperation by the liberal Left, which now represents a small minority of Americans in terms of ideology. In many ways, OWS has been the antithesis of the Tea Party. It has failed to shape the political debate on Capitol Hill and has been driven by an anti-capitalist agenda that does not resonate with most Americans. In addition, while the Tea Party has been an unfailingly law-abiding movement, with tremendous respect for the police and the rule of law, Occupy Wall Street has descended into anarchy. In many ways, OWS is an anachronism, a wannabe 1960s-style protest movement in an America that has moved on. And it is above all a symbol of a Left in decline amidst an increasingly conservative nation that has had enough of the kind of big government, anti-free market policies the liberal protestors crave.

Smears and lies.  In the same blog, he claims that the Tea Party is the political force in the ascendancy. Nothing like objectivity, eh?

In marked contrast, conservatism has undergone a profound revival since Obama entered the Oval Office. As I’ve noted before, the Tea Party has been the most influential US political movement of the early 21st Century, fundamentally transforming the political landscape.

Funnily enough, the Tea Party seems to be in decline but Gardiner doesn’t let the facts get in the way of a good story.

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Filed under Media, propaganda, Tea party, United States, United States, World, Yellow journalism

More shady happenings in Hammersmith & Fulham

The Tories who run Hammersmith & Fulham Council are not a democratic bunch. This was amply demonstrated earlier this year when they bulldozed through their plans to close community centres and mass evict over 20 local charities from Palingswick House, which they have given the Hon Tobes West London Free School. These Tories talk about liberty and democratic values but it is nothing but lip service. They work in the interests of themselves and their business partners. They dole out favours to their favourite construction business who, in return, make vast profits for themselves and their shareholders, who are Tories.

The Cowan Report says that

The Daily Telegraph is reporting that the Conservative Party set up a property speculators forum that “raises around £150,000 a year for the Tory party and charges members £2,500 to meet senior MPs to discuss policy and planning issues.”  It is chaired by Mr. Mike Slade, of Helical Bar Plc. That firm is one of Hammersmith and Fulham Council’s preferred partners behind the highly controversial new Town Hall office plans.
The Telegraph tells how Mr Slade has been a key influence on the Conservative Party’s developing planning policies and how he has also generously “given more than £300,000 over the past decade, individually and through his property firm, Helical Bar.”

You can read the rest of the blog here

Naturally, this should come as no surprise especially when one considers the companies that were given contracts to build private prisons, McAlpine and Mowlem, are massive contributors to the Tory Party. You can read more about those two companies here.

In the aftermath of the worst rioting seen for a generation, it’s surprising that some junior minister or barking mad Tory backbencher didn’t call for the expansion of private prisons. Here’s Moonie Nile Gardiner in the Telegraph calling for more private prisons to be built.

The prime minister should make it clear that no effort will be spared in hunting down the looters/rioters, who must face lengthy prison terms for their crimes. He should also be prepared to build new prisons if necessary to hold them. This is no time for Cameron to go wobbly. Britain is on the precipice of unprecedented levels of public disorder which must be decisively met with a firm determination to quell the riots and bring every one of these violent thugs to justice .

Justice, in Gardiner’s Moonie universe, is for those who can afford it.

The Tories who run Hammersmith & Fulham suffer from the same afflictions as Gardiner: narrow-mindedness, greed and class disgust. Recently, Edith Summerskill House in West Kensington was decanted of its tenants who were told that the block had to be emptied in order for improvements to be carried out. The tenants were not allowed to return and the block was sold off to a private developer. I suspect that this developer has close links to the ruling Tory group, if not the national party. HF Conwatch has the story here. Commenting on the blog, Caroline Ffiske, former Tory councillor, spouse of Foghorn Phibbs and member of the West London Free School steering committee, wrote.

I think its is a wonderful scheme. Apparently it would have cost thousands to bring each of the existing flats up to Decent Homes standards. I think mixed developments are great for the whole community.

Well, she would think that. But, hang on, don’t the funds for the Decent Homes Scheme come from central government? Furthermore, haven’t these funds been allocated for this purpose? By the way, the council also intends to dispose of the Clement Atlee Estate.

Finally, The Cowan Report notes that H&F Council has marked its thirteenth appearance in Private Eye’s Rotten Boroughs column.

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The Tottenham riots, the racists of Fleet Street and their friends

Babylon is burning.  Photo courtesy of The Guardian

The riots in Tottenham have not only brought many youths onto the streets, they’ve also brought Britain’s cyber-racists out in great numbers. The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail are the homes of Britain’s reactionary tendency. The Telegraph, in particular, has seen an upsurge in Islamophobic comments over the last few years. But this Islamophobia has within it a barely concealed racism. It took the recent riots to bring this to the surface.

Nile Gardiner uses his blog to smear his opponents. To be honest, it’s surprising that he didn’t blame the riots on his favourite hate-figure: Barack Obama. He tempts his readers with this

And what’s the evidence that these riots are anything at all to do with the policies of the current government? Absolutely zilch. They are merely an excuse for robbery and destruction. And if anything the Coalition has not gone far enough in reining in the deficit, and has not been forceful enough on issues like crime.

Gardiner doesn’t have his ear to the ground; he lives in Washington DC and makes frequent appearances on Fox News where he spins yarns about ‘liberals’ and disseminates his paranoid fantasies. But it’s the unmoderated comments like this one from the appropriately named “bear_of_very_little_brain”

in the eyes  of modernists blacks, queers and women can do no  wrong.
Sexism and homophobia as well as racism. Charming. Another called “cartimandua” says
Lefties are very thick. For years they have been selling us the prison yard culture of Jamaica and Trinidad and saying it is black culture. I always wonder what the middle classes and intellectuals of those places think about that.
And this from “simonlove” lauds Hitler – but with a caveat.
Loads of the older generation who even fought against Hitler will tell you that Hitler had the right idea, he just took it too far…
“danoconnor” barely conceals his meta-racism,
National Black Police Association “Oh , right !  the National African Non-British Police Association
That must be just next door to the Muslim Police Association ,
and the….Hindu
Sikh   Police Associations
Where can I find the National White Police Association ?
This one summons up the ghost of Enoch Powell. “Hacim Obmed” says,
The deep problem revealed by these riots will not dissipate but will only fester and become worse.  Accept that Enoch Powell had it right with his “Rivers of Blood”, and a dreadful mistake has been made. We in the US made the same mistake by permitting the importation of African slaves and we paid a heavy price.  My advice, send these alien populations back where they came from before it is too late. I know it is hard but this is a matter of survival. Save British culture and society while you still can. Time is short. Your children deserve to inherit the same England that your ancestors bequeathed to you.
Well, who’d have thought it – Ken Livingstone is trying to use the Tottenham riots to further his election campaign. Here he is, blaming evil Tory cuts and crowbarring three attacks on Boris Johnson into a 300-word statement. Even Thatcher gets a namecheck!
Gilly likes to tell us that he isn’t a racist or an Islamophobe but his articles tell us a different story. As I’ve pointed out in previous blogs, he encourages racists from the EDL and the BNP to comment on his blog
Katharine Burbalsingh, ever the opportunistic blogger, chips in with her ‘expert’ analysis,

What colour is Mark Duggan? Mark Duggan is the man who was shot dead by the police on Thursday in Tottenham. The Tottenham riots last night were sparked when people protested his death. This morning, I first heard of the riots on the radio, then on the television. I read articles on the internet. But oddly, no one would say what colour Mark Duggan was. No one would say the unsayable, that the rioters were, I suspect on the whole, black. Then, finally, Toby Young’s Telegraph blog post on the riots was published. Is Toby Young the only  journalist out there who will dare say that these riots are about race?

One of her commenters, the charmingly named “j-white” decries ‘multi-culturalism’

The riots and looting have once again proven that multi-racial societies are inherently unstable, and shown that the state has a policy of appeasement toward third world colonies.

I wonder what “j-white” would have made of Roman Britain? The exceptionally racist “quatzee”, who deliberately misspells the word “Muslim”, reckons himself a comedian,

Two Guardian readers walking down the street happen upon a Muzlim screaming “Allah Ackbar! death to you! how dare you insult Jizzlam! Mohammed rules!” etc. One says to the other…..
But wait, there’s more enlightened comment! This is from “michael_arch”
As opposed to the BBC being blind to the News. Loves its ethnics – The Black Broadcasting Corporation that doubles up as the voice of Islam.
There are many more examples of unmoderated racist comments in the Telegraph but the prize for the most racist remark has to go to the Daily Heil’s Mad Mel Phillips who tweeted this,
@Mel_Phillips Melanie Phillips
‘Jungle Fever’ in #tottenham. As Leroy loots Primarni, we need to loot moral high ground of multiculti brigade.
“Jungle Fever”, eh? Who says that Jews can’t be racists too? I wonder if she realizes that there were Hasidic Jews on the streets of Tottenham jeering and mocking the police? From the Guardian,

The make-up of the rioters was racially mixed. Most were men or boys, some apparently as young as 10.

But families and other local residents, including some from Tottenham’s Hasidic Jewish community, also gathered to watch and jeer at police.

Rather predictably, the racist hacks of Fleet Street rush to paint this as a solely ‘black’ thing. The racists that make up their readership and comment on their blogs help to stoke the flames of ethnic tension. None of them are capable of understanding how much more there is to these riots beyond seeing a ‘bunch of violent thugs on a rampage’. Every single one of the Torygraph’s bloggers deny that the cuts in public services, the lack of opportunities and long-term wage stagnation have anything to do with these riots. They bury their heads in the sand and pretend that it’s all about ‘yardies’ in hoodies who are also, oddly enough, Islamic extremists. This is what passes for analysis on the pages of Britain’s right wing press.

I’ve just heard that Theresa May is cutting short her holiday to return to Britain to make the usual noises about law and order. Oh joy.

UPDATE: 9/8/11 @0023

Just to point out that the ‘Tweet’ from Melanie Phillips comes from a spoof Twitter page. I didn’t know this at the time.

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