These are all the Blogs posted on Sunday, 17, 2012.
Sunday, 17 June 2012
Baroness Warsi, her extremist business partner and the lunch with the Prime Minister
From the Sunday Telegraph
Baroness Warsi, the Conservative chairman, was facing questions last night over whether she breached the ministerial code by promoting her private business at a party function. She personally paid for potential customers, one of whom was in negotiations over a deal with her firm, to attend a Conservative Party lunch with the Prime Minister last month.
The Sunday Telegraph has also learnt that her business partner, Abid Hussain, a former activist with a radical Islamic group who has a conviction for violence, secured an invitation to meet David Cameron at Downing Street, raising questions over the Prime Minister’s security.
The disclosures put Lady Warsi under fresh scrutiny.
The latest revelations concern the launch of the Conservative Friends of Pakistan, in the Savoy Hotel, central London, last month. The guests of honour were Mr Cameron and Yousuf Raza Gilani, the Pakistani prime minister.
Lady Warsi paid a total of £5,000 for two tables at the event. Guests on one table included her parents, sisters, and others involved in the family’s Dewsbury-based bed manufacturing business. She “hosted” another table, made up of clients and staff from “Rupert’s Recipes”, although she sat on the VIP table.
The guests’ names were supplied to the Conservative Party by Lady Warsi’s husband, Iftikhar Azam, from his Rupert’s Recipes email address. Rupert’s Recipes describes itself as a “one stop shop for bespoke ingredients” for breaded chicken, fish batter, meat marinades and kebab seasoning.
As well as Mr Azam, the table included Mr Hussain, Mohammed Johngir Saddiq, and Fareed Nasir. Mr Nasir is the founder of Chunky Chicken, a chain of 19 fast food restaurants, mainly in the Midlands and North West. He said he was invited to the event by Mr Azam as they were “working closely” about a possible deal.
“We are trying to do some work with Rupert’s Recipes, we are not using their spices at the moment but we have had some samples,” he said. He added that he is not a member of the Conservative Party and has not donated money. Mr Saddiq runs Big John’s, a chain of 15 takeaway shops in and around Birmingham, worth £19.5 million. His business claims to have been the country’s first “drive thru” fish and chip shop and offers “the nation’s biggest pizza”. He declined to comment on the function.
Other guests included a halal meat supplier, and men believed to be Pakistani restaurateurs.
Lady Warsi personally vouched for the table’s guests, meaning they were exempt from checks carried out by the party’s internal compliance team, which verifies that guests can legitimately make donations to the party.
There are also questions over Mr Hussain, who met Mr Cameron at a Downing Street reception in November 2010 at which Lady Warsi was also present.
He has been closely involved with the Islamist group Hizb ut Tahrir, which Mr Cameron pledged to ban while in opposition. Mr Hussain, 42, was first involved with the extremists in the early 1990s, and backed them at meetings after the July 7 bombings in 2005. He also has a conviction for an assault, committed when he was 17. His lawyers confirmed that he was convicted of actual bodily harm in 1988 or 1989 and sentenced to three months in a young offenders institution.
They said that the conviction is now “spent” and its disclosure has “no legitimate …public interest”. However, it would have been relevant to his presence in Downing Street as it raises serious security questions about whether he was fully vetted.
Posted on 06/17/2012 2:18 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Sunday, 17 June 2012
Patriotism and National Identity in England
ED Miliband’s recent speech in which he tried to rehabilitate Englishness in the minds of his supporters illustrates the Left’s perennial difficulties with patriotism and national identity, particularly when they are English.
The Left doesn’t like them because they weaken the class antagonism upon which their own potential power depends.
But there is no doubt that there is a problem with Englishness in a way that there is none with Welshness or Scottishness.
Part of the problem is that the English national flag has until recently been so rarely displayed, unlike the Scottish
or the Welsh flags.
Unfortunately, English national identity became associated with beer-gutted, T-shirt-wearing, foreigner-hating, shaven-headed football hooligans who chanted Ingerland, Ingerland! while the national football team was playing and generally losing.
And the fact is that most English people did not want such an identity; it is not something to be proud of.
Therefore, when asked their nationality they would rarely say that they were English; they would say they were British, even though for most foreigners – for example, the French – the word “English” covers all the nationalities of
And, of course, there is a British identity. When I am abroad in a remote place and meet a Welshman or a Scotsman I feel an immediate identification with them that I do not feel with, say, a Greek or a Swede; and this is reciprocated.
THE very idea of Englishness has been attacked, particularly on the Left, because national identity, if it is English, is believed to be inherently intolerant, xenophobic and bigoted.
However, this is not so; when Rupert Brooke famously referred in his War Sonnet to the “corner of a foreign field
that is for ever England” he was not actually decrying foreign fields.
It is possible, after all, to love one’s country without hating other countries and to revere its traditions without
despising other people’s traditions.
Affection is not a zero sum game, so that if you love one place you must hate another.
The other way of attacking Englishness has been to say that the English are divided between north and south, rich
and poor, educated and uneducated, and so forth. But this is not true only of the English: it is true of every human group.
I am, for example, a member of the medical profession, members of which have never been entirely like-minded.
Some doctors are politically conservative, others politically radical; some have wide interests, others are narrowly focused on a small aspect of their profession.
But despite the variation the profession has an identity.
Indeed, if this argument against Englishness were valid – that the English vary greatly among themselves and therefore there is nothing distinctive about them or their culture – then no human group whatsoever could have an identity because the same could be said about all groups and we would all then be left as isolated human molecules floating in a social, psychological and cultural vacuum.
Perhaps one of the reasons that Englishness has traditionally been so disliked by the Labour Party is that, without
Welsh and Scottish votes, there would never be a Labour government.
That explains Gordon Brown’s sudden conversion to Britishness; between the Conservatives in England and the Nationalists in Scotland the Labour Party might be condemned to perpetual opposition if the Union broke up.
I write this in a Shropshire town where there are buildings of several centuries, each one of which could be nothing but English.
They form a graceful assembly and are something to be proud of; likewise the surrounding countryside (a human
achievement by the way, not a free gift of nature) is characteristically and uniquely English.
To say this is not to decry, much less to despise, anything else; but I feel especially attached to it because it is my
This is an almost universal human phenomenon which is why, when the Left tries to discount or discourage patriotism and national feeling, it always in the end has to make concessions to them.
There is no reason why the English should be any different in this regard. The fact that our identity is mixed – English and British – is not unique, or even unusual.
Bavarians, Saxons and Prussians are very different but they are all Germans.
(The East Prussian Bismarck once famously defined a Bavarian as a cross between an Austrian and a human being, a witticism that no one would dare make nowadays.)
ATTEMPTS to define a phenomenon such as “Englishness” often founder, though foreigners have less difficulty than the English themselves.
The foreign-born art historian and critic Nikolaus Pevsner, who ended up being knighted in the land of his adoption, had no difficulty in writing a book The Englishness Of English Art. Indeed, it is not easy to define art itself but like Englishness it is easy enough to recognise.
All national traditions have their strengths and their weaknesses.
No one, I suppose, would claim very much for English cooking. (I do not remember in all my travels ever having
seen an English restaurant abroad: that way bankruptcy would lie. Indeed, few restaurants in England itself advertise themselves as English.)
But man does not live by restaurants or cookery alone.
The English national identity has existed for a long time and never really disappeared, even if it was rarely paraded in public.
No Welshman or Scotsman ever had any difficulty identifying the English; perhaps the time has come for the English
to stop pretending they have such difficulty in identifying themselves.
First published in the Daily Express.
Posted on 06/17/2012 6:39 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Sunday, 17 June 2012
Deluded wishful thinkers Harry's Place deplore the Flee to Allah conference, which they say will "damage community cohesion".
Damage away, I say. I'd rather cohere on my own.
Posted on 06/17/2012 7:46 AM by Mary Jackson
Sunday, 17 June 2012
Ù„Ø§ÙŽ ÙŠÙ�Ù„Ù’Ø¯ÙŽØºÙ� Ø§Ù„Ù’Ù…Ù�Ø¤Ù’Ù…Ù�Ù†Ù� Ù…Ù�Ù†Ù’ Ø¬Ù�ØÙ’Ø±Ù� ÙˆÙŽØ§ØÙ�Ø¯Ù� Ù…ÙŽØ±Ù‘ÙŽØªÙŽÙŠÙ’Ù†Ù�
A believer is not bitten from the same hole twice
I was bitten from a different hole once. It was both the same.
Bite me once, shame on you. Bite me twice, shame on you again, you infidel dog and Allah knows best.
Posted on 06/17/2012 7:59 AM by Mary Jackson
Sunday, 17 June 2012
A portmantophobe writes ...
Telegraph blogger Daniel Knowles gives us the benefit of his Danielknowledge:
What are you doing this Greekend? I'm planning on making my own Grexit to get away from Eurogeddon. I'm bored, you see, of all of these portmanteaus. I don't know if you've noticed, but the impending financial catastrophe in Europe is being greeted in the City with the sort of wit usually reserved for Oxford college bars after the Christmas dinner port round. And several gin and tonics. In fact, perhaps all of these analysts are just drunk. I don't know how else to explain this proliferation of awful combinations of words about what's happening in Europe. Just consider these:
Merkozy (thankfully now dead)
Acropaplypse, Acropolis Now, etc
And these are just the eurozone debt crisis themed ones; the rot goes much deeper. I've just seen somebody suggest we should start using the word "Twobbying" for lobbying on Twitter, while someone else referred nonchalantly to the "Bloggertariat". Here are a few I've seen recently that should all be banned too:
Camerkozy (as used by Ed Miliband about David Cameron's economic policy)
Camnesia (for David Cameron's forgetfulness)
This mashing-together of words is not funny, it's not particularly thoughtful, and it does nothing to make conversation any easier. In fact, it's just more evidence of the destruction of language with endless jargon that seems unavoidable throughout finance and politics. When a banker appears on the television and says "If Greece has to stop using the euro, it may cause panic", you know what it means. When he says "Grexit may cause significant downside risks as the Spanic spreads", you don't.
Enough of this portmantra.
Posted on 06/17/2012 8:52 AM by Mary Jackson
Sunday, 17 June 2012
Five church bombs rock Nigeria
KANO, Nigeria — Bomb blasts damaged five churches in four cities in Nigeria's northern Kaduna state on Sunday, injuring dozens of worshippers and leading to an immediate curfew, officials said.
The number of casualties in the blasts in the neighbouring cities of Zaria and Kaduna and in the southern Christian-dominated Nassarawa and Barnawa was not immediately clear. Police and the military cordoned off the areas.
The state-run National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said the blasts happened in the Wusasa and Sabongari districts of Zaria, previously targeted by the Islamist group Boko Haram.
Residents in the areas surrounding the churches said several people were injured in the attacks on the Christ the King Catholic Cathedral and ECWA GoodNews Church.
Officials later said a third bomb attack targeted a church in Kaduna, but there were no immediate reports of casualties. NEMA officials said the third attack hit the Sharon Church in Kaduna city and that there were two other bombings in the Christian-dominated towns in the south of the state.
Residents said the two other bomb blasts in the south of the state triggered street protests by Christian youths. They said mobs barricaded roads in the towns of Trijania, Gonin Gora and Sabon Tasha, attacking motorists who looked Muslim.
Posted on 06/17/2012 10:30 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Sunday, 17 June 2012
Hausman on Obama and American Jews: Eyes Wide Open But Shut on Israel
Last week, the Gallup organization released poll results on a drop in support by American Jews for President Obama in the November 6th election. Support for Obama dropped 10 points to 64% among American Jews, while Governor Romney the presumptive GOP captured support of 29%. To Matthew Hausman this is still delusional given the facts of how President Obama’s policies have isolated Israel, the Jewish state. To his reckoning, more American Jews should have abandoned their traditional attachment to the Democratic party. Are they equivalent of people who have their eyes wide open but shut on Israel when it comes to American Presidential preferences?
In an Israpundit article, “To Obama: Fool Me Once, Shame on You; Fool Me Twice, Shame on Me”, Hausman presents the evidence of Obama’s isolation of Israel. That raises the question of why American Jews still support President Obama. Hopefully this piece might change some minds.
To Obama: Fool Me Once, Shame on You; Fool Me Twice, Shame on Me
By Matthew Hausman
Eighty percent of American Jews voted for Barack Obama four years ago despite his associations with antisemites and anti-Israel hatemongers. Mainstream leaders knew of his friendships with Jeremiah Wright, Rashid Khalidi and Edward Said, but proclaimed him good for Israel nonetheless. From the “Rabbis for Obama,” to Congressional Jewish Democrats, to the usual assortment of Hollywood activists, the fawning chorus sang about his affinity for Israel despite troubling evidence to the contrary. They were unbothered by his 20-year affiliation with an antisemitic church, his political alliance with the Nation of Islam in Chicago, his doublespeak to AIPAC about his commitment to an indivisible Jerusalem, and his cagey silence regarding Israel during his brief tenure in the U.S. Senate. And now, after several years of policies that have facilitated the rise of Islamist regimes, enabled Iran’s nuclear ambitions, excused doctrinal Jew-hatred, and compromised Israel’s security and national integrity, polls suggest that nearly 60% are likely to vote for him again.
When Mr. Obama’s Jewish supporters discuss his treatment of Israel, they offer platitudes that are short on facts; and when they mention his relationships with characters like Wright and Khalidi, it’s to assure us that they were fully vetted in 2008 and, thus, should be of no concern to voters today. In truth, though, his dubious associations were never investigated, but instead were ignored by a partisan media that shielded its chosen candidate from any unpleasant controversy. Although a Republican’s involvement in a white supremacist church would certainly be front-page news, the press glossed over Mr. Obama’s longstanding membership in Wright’s congregation and refused to question his relationships with demagogues and bigots. To this day, the LA Times refuses to release video of Mr. Obama at an event sponsored by anti-Israel Palestinians, where he reportedly toasted Mr. Khalidi, a friend from his Chicago days, whose negative views and writings on Israel are well-known.
These relationships should have provided insight into the man’s character and beliefs, but they were consistently ignored – as has been his contemptuous treatment of the Jewish State since his first days in office. Despite Mr. Obama’s adversarial relationship with Israel, Jewish Democrats continue to parrot his unfounded claims of support, which he compulsively spouts before any Jewish audience. (READ MORE)
Posted on 06/17/2012 9:58 PM by Matthew Hausman