Monday, October 09, 2006

Ex-BNP members in explosives plot?

The alternative media is in a lather over an interesting story that appeared in a local paper, Pendle Today. It is also being picked up by bloggers. (Thank you for the comments and emails about it, I have been following it via urban 75 message boards, and I was holding back to see if it got picked up by the national, rather than local media and if more information about the men charged, and the exact nature of the substances found, came out before posting. Only the Sunday Times so far...so I'll dive in)

The story concerns two men arrested and appearing in court charged with being in possession of an explosive substance for an unlawful purpose. The offences are under the Explosive Substances Act 1883. The ''22 chemical components recovered by police at a Pendle address are believed to be the largest haul ever found at a house in this country'' says the local press.

The prosecution alleged the pair had "some kind of masterplan", ( having produced a single witness) saying a search of Jackson's home had uncovered ''rocket launchers, chemicals, BNP literature and a nuclear biological suit.''

Hmmm. ''Rocket launchers'', as an u75 poster pointed out, can cover used 66mms - while techically a fire arm its actually a fiberglass tube - the sort of memorabilia alongside replica guns neo-Nazis love to collect - and can also cover what are ''essentially large fireworks.'' ( Like erm, the popular fireworks known as ''rockets''. In which case, I've got a rocket launcher left over from 5/11/05. It's a stick. And I have just checked, and yes, I have over 20 chemicals in my own home too, including some quite nasty things to unblock drains and clean ovens, peroxide based things, ammonia based things, fertiliser, and so on.)

Anyway, what we know so far....

Some local police - not dozens of anti-terrorism police - raided a home in Colne on Thursday of last week. The house was taped off while forensics officers searched the premises. Neighbours were told to stay in their homes for their own safety ( that's normal. If it had been a pre-Armageddon arsenal in there, the whole town would have been evacuated.) A car belonging to one of the men was also taken away for examination. The two men, who have been remanded in custody, will appear at Burnley Crown Court on October 23rd.

The twist is that the two men were white. One is an ex-BNP member who stood as a candidate in the Pendle Council elections in May. Why has this not recieved wider mainstream media coverage, froth some in the blogosphere? Is it because they are not Muslim/Asian/Black and so do not fit the stereotype of current ghastly threat to the nation's security?

I don't think the media have held back generally from covering stories about white extreme right-wingers, racists, anti-semites, or BNP bone-headed thuggery. I can think of dozens of stories over the last year, so the conspiracy theories doing the rounds that the Government is victimising Muslims and the media are complicit in deliberately fostering race hatred are, I think, largely bollocks. That doesn't mean that there has been some very irresponsible and offensive reporting about Muslims this year, which can only add to the sense of grievance amongst some. But then, our press is like that, and until we stop buying copies, it will continue to pick on people and sell shock shlock as it drives sales. Vote with your feet and don't buy it, complain.

But there has also been a very great deal of responsible reporting, determined efforts to cover news concerning Britain's largest minority in a careful, thoughtful manner. The recent discussion ignited by Straw about segregation symbolised by full-face veil has spawned acres of reflection, debate and investigation, and very little lazy Muslim-bashing. Muslims are in the news a lot these days. Perhaps many of them are sick of it. It wouldn't surprise me. In the 1970's there was a big debate about turbans and motorcycle helmets and Sikhs were in the news a lot then, and apparently many of them got pretty sick of it too. (There were lots of vile stories about gays when AIDS came to the media attention. That was offensive and lazy journalism too.)

The difference though, is that there was not an extremist but highly vocal fringe active within the Sikh community at the time espousing worldwide conversion to the Sikh religion and threatening acts of terror as reprisals for the UK's foreign policy, successfully pulling off a murderous attack last year. And the fact that there is this extremist fringe actively recruiting within British Muslim faith communities and that it is linked to a global, violent, anti-Western political/religious extremist movement, against whom the world's largest superpower has declared itself ''at war'', makes Islam and Muslims hot news, unfair as that is to the peaceful majority who are not represented by the rent-a-ranters who seem to turn up to speak on their behalf with disturbing regularity.

Doesn't mean that white nutjobs plotting explosions aren't equally interesting news though. In fact, the mainstream media should welcome the chance to cover this story, if only to prove that they're not up to their ears in a sinister agenda as the lackeys of the New World Order Government's ( c) conspiracy theorists everywhere efforts to demonise innocent Muslims. So I've pinged off a few emails drawing attention to the story to some journalists, and we will see what happens...I'll let you know.

UPDATE: BBC ''missed it'' and will cover the 23rd October court case instead. The local press picked up on it, then the weekend happened, by which time the arrests were less newsworthy.

I think it's a pair of nutters and their unpleasant little Reich fantasies myself. But what coverage this story would have recieved if they were Asian, or Muslim, is still a hypothetical point worth discussing. Fair and balanced, are we, responsible reporting, the politics of fear, is it, don't you know, what d'you think, chunter chunter, hmmmm...

39 Comments:

Blogger Bridget Dunne said...

No threat here from your friendly local fascist then.

Soho Nail Bomber?

btw What does the official report into 7/7 indentify the explosives left in the car in Luton as?

October 09, 2006 11:13 am  
Anonymous paul said...

What is this global violent anti western movement you speak of? Does it present any chance of imposing its will on the west?

As no accomplices have been found to the london bombers, would it not be reasonable to describe the as two pairs of nutters on the available public evidence?

October 09, 2006 12:33 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

paul,

The global violent anti Western political movement I speak of is commonly described as 'Al Qaida-inspired terrorism'. It is clearly not a single entity, it is an idea, inspiring different groups to criminal acts of violence and murder. I don't think it has much chance of imposing its will on the west, no, any more than the BNP has. The difference is however, that 'the tow pairs of nutters' to whom you refer killed 52 and injured hundreds last summer, which makes them in a different league to the pair in Pendle, don't you think?

I do hope that you are not going to infer that because Bush and Blair have embarked on a series of ill conceieved militaristic adventures in the name of the war on Terror, anyone who belives, like I do - because I was rather on the sharp end of it - of a global political ideaology preaching violent jihad - is in some way sympathising with neo Con warmongers. Because that would be stupid. Ta.

October 09, 2006 12:39 pm  
Anonymous paul said...

No, I don't think they are in a different league, if you have a large cache of explosives, its certainly possible to have the same intent.

I'm not going to infer anything about your views on the organised anti occidental war crimes our government has participated in, and nothing I wrote could suggest this.

So no need for pre-emptive arguments about what you hope I won't say.

October 09, 2006 1:04 pm  
Blogger D.B. said...

Eep. I think it's a bit harsh to describe the belief that "the media are complicit in deliberately fostering race hatred" as a conspiracy theory. I don't think it's a particularly extreme or uncommon view to take. I'm thinking here of The Sun and the Daily Mail, newspapers read by possibly up to a third of the population. Surely it would be more far-fetched to suggest that they're complicit in spreading racial harmony and understanding, or even that that the systematic misrepresentation of Muslims and minorities is merely "irresponsible" and not vindictive and deliberate. Some of what they publish is astonishing. And (shock, horror) they have been known to tell lies as well.

As for the Beeb, who I have a lot of time for, I think this proves that as a media organisation you don't have to be up to your ears in a sinister agenda to reflect the news values of the powerful. It kinda just happens naturally and unwittingly a lot of the time, when you're part of the consensus. Which is why I am not surprised that they "missed it".

October 09, 2006 1:15 pm  
Anonymous Tim said...

Has Paul got his occident and orient mixed up? Also I'm sure that Rachel's house and indeed Rachel contains more than just 20 chemicals. Indeed, at least in a material sense, nothing in Rachel or her house that isn't chemical.

October 09, 2006 4:29 pm  
Anonymous Eddie said...

Wow, you seem almost as keen to tear apart these reports as the much hated conspiracy nuts do the 7/7 reports. Why is that then?

October 09, 2006 4:52 pm  
Blogger Mitch said...

Hi Rachel,

Great post. I have just heard of another plot; one which could have taken place last year:

http://desicritics.org/2006/10/09/034627.php

Could be total rot.....

Mitch

October 09, 2006 5:07 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

Gosh Eddie, have you read my post at all? No? Keen to jump in with an opinion anyway? Why is that then?

October 09, 2006 5:14 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

Hi Mitch, that one you mentioned was in the Sunday Times this weekend...

d.b: the paspers are irresponsible and inaccurate at times, yes. But there is also fair and balanced coverage. This week there has been a good debate about integration/seperation which has featured many Muslim vioces not just the usual suspects. And the BNP hardly escape regular hammerings for their troll -like ways, which is good - and I linked to a quick search which threw up lots of stories. I was taking issue with some of the more hysterical alt. media spin that all the main stream media without exception is in the pay of the Zionist Neocon Facist NWO Govt and won't cover stories on alleged white facists possibly found plotting alleged explosions...

October 09, 2006 5:19 pm  
Anonymous paul said...

Has Paul got his occident and orient mixed up?
I think I may well have

October 09, 2006 6:02 pm  
Anonymous D Smith said...

The prosecution alleged the pair had "some kind of masterplan", ( having produced a single witness) saying a search of Jackson's home had uncovered ''rocket launchers, chemicals, BNP literature and a nuclear biological suit.''

Why say 'single witness' to me it seems you are suggesting there isn't much of a case against the man, this is what conspiracy theorists say about 7/7.

Hmmm. ''Rocket launchers'', as an u75 poster pointed out, can cover used 66mms - while techically a fire arm its actually a fiberglass tube - the sort of memorabilia alongside replica guns neo-Nazis love to collect - and can also cover what are ''essentially large fireworks.'' ( Like erm, the popular fireworks known as ''rockets''. In which case, I've got a rocket launcher left over from 5/11/05. It's a stick. And I have just checked, and yes, I have over 20 chemicals in my own home too, including some quite nasty things to unblock drains and clean ovens, peroxide based things, ammonia based things, fertiliser, and so on.)

This is where you get all weird, many of the 7/7 conspiraloons have been keen to point out that most of the chemicals necessary for manufacturing TATP have other uses, particularly in amateur horticulture. Yet despite deriding these loons you now say the same thing. As for rocket launchers, you're just being daft, 'explosives' could be used to describe a firework also, but I bet you'd be 'all in a lather' if some 'young Muslim men' were found with a large haul of explosives, you certainly wouldn't be on your blog saying, 'maybe they're just fireworks, I have chemicals.'

You have attached much significance to the 7/7 'bomb factory, yet now you are rather oddly saying that traces for manufacturing explosives can be found in your house.

Some local police - not dozens of anti-terrorism police - raided a home in Colne on Thursday of last week.

Perhaps the find was not quite what they were expecting, it does not mean that a raid by scores of police would not have been justified.

The house was taped off while forensics officers searched the premises. Neighbours were told to stay in their homes for their own safety ( that's normal. If it had been a pre-Armageddon arsenal in there, the whole town would have been evacuated.)

The police may not have been overly concerned as the chemicals had not yet been processed into explosives

I don't think the media have held back generally from covering stories about white extreme right-wingers, racists, anti-semites, or BNP bone-headed thuggery. I can think of dozens of stories over the last year,

So without discussing Muslims, without even linking it to the wider terrorism issue, why has this story had so little coverage?

The difference though, is that there was not an extremist but highly vocal fringe active within the Sikh community at the time espousing worldwide conversion to the Sikh religion and threatening acts of terror as reprisals for the UK's foreign policy, successfully pulling off a murderous attack last year. And the fact that there is this extremist fringe actively recruiting within British Muslim faith communities and that it is linked to a global, violent, anti-Western political/religious extremist movement, against whom the world's largest superpower has declared itself ''at war'', makes Islam and Muslims hot news, unfair as that is to the peaceful majority who are not represented by the rent-a-ranters who seem to turn up to speak on their behalf with disturbing regularity.

Interesting, because there is an extremist but highly vocal fringe active within the British community at the time espousing extreme right-wing dogma and threatening acts of terror as reprisals for the UK's domestic policy. successfully pulling off a range of murderous attack through the years. And the fact that there is this extremist fringe actively recruiting within British white communities and that it is linked to a global, violent, racist politics extremist movement. A fringe that is gaining support day by day and is even represented in British politics, but hey ho!


Doesn't mean that white nutjobs plotting explosions aren't equally interesting news though. In fact, the mainstream media should welcome the chance to cover this story, if only to prove that they're not up to their ears in a sinister agenda as the lackeys of the New World Order Government's ( c) conspiracy theorists everywhere efforts to demonise innocent Muslims. So I've pinged off a few emails drawing attention to the story to some journalists, and we will see what happens...I'll let you know.

So even if the media talk, prompted by normal citizens such as you an I, I also contacted many papers and news agencies, though probably do not have your inside line, even then. Why the government silence, where are the press conferences, the threats of new laws to keep us all safe from the scourge of right-wing terror, why aren't the BNP being hastily prescribed as a terrorist organisation... etc?

I think it's a pair of nutters and their unpleasant little Reich fantasies myself. But what coverage this story would have recieved if they were Asian, or Muslim, is still a hypothetical point worth discussing. Fair and balanced, are we, responsible reporting, the politics of fear, is it, don't you know, what d'you think, chunter chunter, hmmmm...

A pair of nutters maybe, but a pair of nutters driven by a doctrine of hate that hides with in our midst and corrupts the minds of our young, a doctrine of hate, a hatred of our freedoms and our way of life.

October 09, 2006 7:13 pm  
Anonymous Smith said...

The global violent anti Western political movement I speak of is commonly described as 'Al Qaida-inspired terrorism'. It is clearly not a single entity, it is an idea, inspiring different groups to criminal acts of violence and murder. I don't think it has much chance of imposing its will on the west, no, any more than the BNP has. The difference is however, that 'the tow pairs of nutters' to whom you refer killed 52 and injured hundreds last summer, which makes them in a different league to the pair in Pendle, don't you think?

The global violent racist movement I speak of is commonly described as 'Fascism'. It is clearly not a single entity, it is an idea, inspiring different groups to criminal acts of violence and murder.

I wonder, do you place the Pendle men in the same league as say the August plane plot suspects, the Operation Crevice defendants, the July 21st defendants? Where do you place the Pendle men? Is it their failure that defines their league, their intention, their motivation or perhaps that you don't feel as threatened by them? Well you should do, Operation Gladio shows us how fascists are prepared to operate, especially to discredit their enemy. The spectre of right-wing groups using bombs to either attack the government or their opposition, or worse in brutal mock Islamist attacks to up the ante and bring relations between Muslims and non-Muslims to utter breaking point, is a scary one indeed. They want race war, perhaps they have seen a way to create it.

October 09, 2006 7:37 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

Do you think we can all calm down? If you're here to post wild speculation about the Neo-facist Zionist New World Order then please be aware that this isn't a CT site and you have plenty of places to discuss that stuff on the internet, and this is not one of them. I don't place the Pendle men in a 'league'. I am waiting to find out more about what was going on. I expect that will come out in the trial. I am watching what I can of Crevice, and there have not been trials for the August alleged plot or July 21st. I will ascertain my personal level of percieved threat once I know a bit more about what they hav been accused of and what evidence there is against them.

And as I wakled past the Admiral Duncan shortly before and after the carnage, I am quite aware of what bombs planted by white British racists can do, thank you, just as I am quite aware what bombs planted by a Black British man can do. The skin colour of the bomber does not affect my abhorrence of the bomb.

If you are suggesting there is suppoirt for the BNP or any facist group either here, or in the media, you can piss off, frankly.
There's enough fear about without idiots positing race war new world order bollocks

October 09, 2006 8:12 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

and yes, I took th episs out of the August alleged liquid bomb plots as well.

October 09, 2006 8:22 pm  
Anonymous Smith said...

Calm down? Why may I ask do you say that? I am as calm as can be.

I am not here to push conspiracy, and as for Zionists, I am an Israeli national and absolutely a Zionist.

I have good cause to fear fascist terrorism, I am not saying we should not fear Islamofascism, believe me I am well aware of its dangers. I am just saying do not underestimate the evil potential of fascism and dismiss its foot soldiers as mere nutters. They are a dedicated bunch who literally conspire to cause violence in society to bring about the social change they desire. Fascists have no qualms about killing, killing innocents to further their aims, and I deeply fear the power of fascists to whip up the violence to fever pitch, to cause race war through terrorism.

Why when they want race war, do you refer to it as bollocks?

October 09, 2006 8:52 pm  
Blogger Dr. Deborah Serani said...

Just makes me shudder....

October 10, 2006 2:52 am  
Blogger Rachel said...

As we don't know anything much at all about what they were plotting, why they were plotting it, I think it would be sensible - not to mention legally advisable - to refrain from wild speculation at this stage - which is why I await Oct 23 court case with interest.

Meanwhile, anyone mentioning the word 'Gladio' tends to flag themselves up as a conspiracy theorist and there is a policy of discouraging CT speculation on this blog, since experience has shown that conspiracy theorising tends to take over the comments and lead to bickering, bad feeling and entirely unprovable speculation, that in some cases has descended into outright racism and personal abuse. There are many, many places to discuss the possible existence of the NWO, discuss facist state theories, synthetic terror etc etc on the internet, and this isn't one of them.

I posted about the determinatiuon of some in the alternative media to leap to conclusions on mimimal evidence, with an unfortunate parallel in some of the MSM to do exactly the same, and how unhelpful it is. I see no benefit if the comments then get taken over with agenda-driven speculation of the worst kind. Comment moderator is therefore going to be used to manage the situation and conspiracy theorists, having been politely told this ain't the place, are advised that their comments will not make it through moderation for reasons I have explained already

October 10, 2006 8:16 am  
Blogger Rachel said...

But thank you for the comments. I guess I was kind of hoping to have a discussion about media bias, without going into theories about the possible existence of a shadowy global facist super state ( sigh)...I would expect there to be hysterical reporting of the terror threat in lots of sensationalised newspapers - but I still think, that there has been quite a good attempt to have a broader debate about foreign policy, integration, sense of belonging or not, multiculturalism in the last ten days.

But maybe I 'm alone in thinking that... or maybe people only see what they want to see. One guy on a discussion board last night was adamanat that Forest Gate had only hyped the threat and shown nothing of the fact that the raid was a failure and that nothing of the victims had ever been seen. When I showed him that typing 'Forest gate' onto the BBC turned up a prime time vid clip of the Muslim men whose house was raided giving a press conference and an interview, asking for an apology, local support for the men that had not descended into hate-rallies, a public apology from Ian Blair and the police, an inquiry, reports of lessons learned, the cost of the raid at £2m and widespread discussion of its failings, he was genuinely surprised.

I do htink it is easy to see bioas and victimissation where there is none. Having said that, there has been repeated portrayal of Muslims in some papers that borders on hateful. And yuou have to ask, why is it that the ranting placard waving minority get so much coverage? Why give excessive airtime to extremists? It might make for punchy TV, but is it responsible reportage? One of the good things about the last week was that many vioces were heard. Including many Muslim women's voices.

October 10, 2006 9:04 am  
Blogger steve said...

Hi Rachel,

did you see "Death of a President" last night? Although obviously entirely fictional, I thought it was probably a pretty accurate depiction of how the investigation would focus on Islamic males by default.

Also, there was another story "up north" of a 21 year old male experimenting with the same explosives used on July 7th. Here:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/manchester/6034457.stm

October 10, 2006 10:18 am  
Blogger Rachel said...

Damn, I missed it. Did you tape it? Or maybe it'll appear on YouTube...

It is very interesting about the student bomb maker. It looks as if he was alone thrill seker, but I wonder what coverage the case would have recieved if he was Asian, or Muslim...

maybe it wouldn't have made any difference what race or religion he was to the coverage, if it turned out he was just messing about trying to recreate explsoives to see if he could make them himself, fascinated by what he heard on the news of home made big bangs...

...but then again, maybe it would.

October 10, 2006 10:34 am  
Blogger steve said...

It's repeated on the 13th October (this Friday) at 9pm on More4. Well worth a watch.

I think it would have got more coverage if he was Asian or Muslim to be honest. But not necessarily any different, or more biased coverage. I honestly do believe that stories involving Muslims are given more prominence than at any other time. But then that's just the climate, it's just what's more topical and relevant now.

Surely it is easier to give more weight to a story which is of a consistent and present theme as it is already in the readers mindset.

October 10, 2006 10:59 am  
Anonymous Smith said...

I'm not suggesting a possible existence of a 'shadowy global facist super state', I am merely suggesting that fascism, as a movement is organised, and should be feared, and that it has an ideology of hate, much like Islamofascism. That it twists things and tries to recruit from white communities. Crutially it exploits other events to feed hatred and to recruit the unwitting. I have said nothing of thses men and accused them of nothing, I am talking of fascism desiring conflict and race war, not these individuals, that is for a court to decide. Though we do know them to be supporters of fascist ideology.

I don't really understand why you think that is CT speak, you have confused me, and to be honest I feel rather hurt. I have had family members injured by Islamic terrorism and been personaly attacked by fascists, these are real things, that I have felt with my own pain and anguish, they are not the domain of CT.

As for Gladio, it is not just CT types that talk of Gladio.

As much as this is your place, and you can chose what is and is not discussed here, I find your dismissal of me and my line of discussion perculiar at best. I have no row with you.

October 10, 2006 11:04 am  
Blogger Rachel said...

OK Smith, I am sorry then that I have confused you with the usual conspiracy theorist suspects who haunt this blog, and I apologise. I am rather oversensitive to them probably, having had problems with them all year since I publicly voiced disagreement with them on my blog and elsewhere. As a terrorism survivor who writes about July 7 on this personal blog, I became an unwitting magnett for all sorts of people with agendas who were determined to make out that 7/7 was a 'false flag' operation by the State, something that runs against all evidence and reason. Over time I noticed thsat they woudl often start to seek to convert me by talking about a few historical events about which there remains controversy - Gladio and the Reichstag fire cam eup again and again with wearying regularity. Thus your mention of Gladio made me think that you were about to start off on the susual '7/7 was a Governemtn facist operation carried out by security services to foment race war and achieve the objectives of an authoritrian new world order blah blah...' which I have had a belly ful of this last year.

Anyway. yes, Facism is disgusting. State racism and enforced seperation/segregation of communities, militaristim and authoritarianism state control, nationalism and anti-liberalism will find no friend in me. I hope these men, if guilty, are exposed and punished, but we don't know what they were up to yet so that is why I am awaiting the court case to find out. I do not think though, that they, or the BNP in general, has anything like the clout and power of those behind Gladio, do you? so I think the comparison of Gladio and 2 right wingers arrested for possession of explosive substances is not really helpful.

October 10, 2006 11:15 am  
Blogger Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed said...

there are a few important things we need to understand about the media. that the media is often capable of systematic distortion and ommission can be explained without reference to stupid conspiracy theories; in fact, an institutional study of the mass media's structural relationship to powerful pressures and interest groups, via issues like advertising, corporate ownership, and so on, is enough to show why many studies find ample evidence of a *tendency* to report within certain ideological parameters or frameworks of thinking. noam chomsky, like him or loathe him, co-authored an essential study on this, 'manufacturing consent'. brits will be more interested in reading the works of mark curtis, who looks at the british media on foreign policy issues.

in the same vein, there is a discernible and documented trend of anti-muslim hostility, attacks and discrimination sweeping across the usa and western europe, that has coincided and escalated in relation to terrorist attacks like 9/11 and 7/7.

the media is inextricably involved in this trend, not by way of conspiracy, but by way of wider social processes, the combination of ignorance and the desire for fast, quick juicy headlines, as well as a longstanding ideological framework built-up from long established hegemonic relations with the middle east.

that's why you will find an overarching lack of mainstream interest in the bnp story. yes, there will be some, but it will be quite marginal.

on hegemonic relations, the late prof. edward said, wrote about this in his book 'covering islam', where he noted that the muslim world is largely unknown to the west except as it relates to "newsworthy issues" like oil or "terrorism." the consequence is that muslims are "covered", obscured by a politicized and sensationalized media which in the long-run (so exceptions are always possible) tends to represent them either "as oil suppliers or as potential terrorists." the definition of what is "newsworthy" is conditioned by particularistic groups and interests; energy companies; powerful lobby groups; the tendency to uncritically report defence and security sources; etc.

October 10, 2006 12:03 pm  
Anonymous Smith said...

Perhaps the Gladio comparison is not entirely valid, perhaps I am over sensitive to the power of fascism and its techniques for gaining support. Fascism is a devious entity, in that it tries to appeal to people that do not fully support its policies, and will stop at little or perhaps nothing to gain support. Extreme right-wing politics are on the rise, in Islamic and white communities, and even in Israel with many hardline Zionists, I have no idea what else to call them I find the term Zionist misleading as there are many types of Zionists from many political persuasions.

I certainly do not believe that there is a government-fascist conspiracy at play here, but I do fear a wide fascist conspiracy, please do not attach too much significance to the word conspiracy, I mean it only in the sense of small groups conspiring to fan the flames of unrest. I too will watch this case carefully.

Additionally I fear the normalisation of right-wing politics, the exploitation of events to push forward anti-liberal agendas. I have yet to decide if the increasing restriction we are witnessing to civil liberties are intentionally restrictive or simply the misplaced but well meant actions of those that seek to make us safe.

October 10, 2006 12:51 pm  
Anonymous Graham O'Mara said...

I don't know if this is what you meant by media bias, but...

I was in the USA in September of 2001, and witnessed the media frenzy of 9/11 on a second by second basis.

The friends I stayed with were busy, so I tuned their cable system to the Discovery channel, which was showing BBC News (UK) (I dunno why), and when my friends saw what I was watching, they all commented how balanced and non-inflamitory the UK press seemed to be.

In fact, they thought they learnt more about what was happening from the UK news media, than many of the US outlets.

Having watched the CNN coverage of 9/11 again this year, and recalled how and what I felt during the event, I would say that whilst the UK media is not perfect, it is darn good (Note the Kelly inquiry in my belief should of not blamed the BBC as it did).

I know I do not know everything, and because of people like Rachel, (Both in their private lives, and the people in the public media) I learn more about the things I need too. (Thanks to you, Rachel, for posting many stories and rebuttles, and I think you are fairly balanced, you seem to allow both sides to be seen, a sort of devil's advocate - finally, though I may not agree with everything you or anyone else says, I am supportive of the right to say it)

Media bias - well, this will always be a part of any media, even the truly independent media has its own bias - As does Rachel, as does I.

October 10, 2006 2:48 pm  
Blogger D.B. said...

Hello Rachel, I hope you don't mind me commenting again...

I can understand why you would be wary of conspiracy theorists, in light of some the crap you've endured. I suppose the question is where you would draw the line. I noticed that you wrote above:

but I still think, that there has been quite a good attempt to have a broader debate about foreign policy, integration, sense of belonging or not, multiculturalism in the last ten days.

See, I wouldn't entirely go along with that either, although I agree that it's been better than usual ... There has been a debate with some great contributions, but I would say it's a debate that has taken place on an unequal playing field, as always. It's not necessarily intentional bias, but I think the mainstream media adopt a conservative (with a small "c") common sense view against which everything else is deemed unusual, eccentric or even extremist.

Again I would question how a garment worn by less than 5% of the female Muslim population of Britain was able to trigger a national debate about integration or multiculturalism. The more I think about it, the crazier it seems. And because it was triggered by Straw's comments on the veil, it immediately established the tone of the debate: with an emphasis firmly on Muslims, the veil and their side of the bargain. The emphasis is on them. It's like asking a loaded question, if you know what I mean.

This story about suspected far-right terrorists could also have been used to stimulate a debate about integration and multiculturalism, of course (just as the Forest Gate raid was used when it originally broke). It's hardly a great leap. There are probably more BNP voters in the UK than there are veil-wearing Muslims. Some interesting questions could have been posed about what fosters such xenophobia and racism, with an emphasis placed instead upon white "anglo-saxon" Britain and the inability of certain members to integrate. But this probably wouldn't occur to mainstream journalists, many of whom I suspect are white, male, middle-class and a million miles away from the BNP's sphere of influence. The BNP aren't are a threat to them.

Earlier you mentioned that "the BNP hardly escape regular hammerings" which I would also take issue with. The BNP brand suffers regular hammerings, but I would argue passionately that most of their flagship policies and arguments are left largely unchallenged by the mainstream media. The Sun and the Mail dance to BNP's tune on scrounging asylum seekers and Muslims as the "enemy within"; and even the BBC seems reluctant to report on immigration except from a basic premise of a question of numbers/secure borders. It's the only time it ever makes the news. Personally, I think the biggest scandal regarding immigrants and asylum seekers is how badly they are treated, but I can't imagine anyone other than the Independent or (maybe) The Guardian putting this on its front page. Why?

Yes, there is some fair and balanced reporting, but I would say they're in a minority. That's the important bit. Of all these competing discourses, WHY are some placed on the fringe? That's the interesting question.

Phew. Sorry about that ramble.

October 10, 2006 5:13 pm  
Blogger Don't Call Me Ishmael said...

In light of what graham o'mara said, as an american I have always had the perception that the british media is definitely more balanced and nonbiased than the american news programs. For instance the first I heard about US troops in Iraq causing widespread devastation to ancient archealogical sites was from the BBC & also theGuardian, and I still have yet to find ANY information from any american news outlet on this subject, and I researched it extensively. (Among other appalling and irreparable damage to various sites of incredible importance, the american military actually set up a camp of 2000 troops in the heart of the ruins of the ancient city of Babylon and their tanks crushed a 2,500-year old brick pavement.) By signing a bill that allowed the conglomeration of almost all the major media outlets into one super corporation, Clearchannel, Bill Clinton unfortunately resigned us into a situation where the news is being controlled and heavily influenced by the political climate, and not in a good way: Fox News being the number one example.

However,as Rachel said, when it comes to the "war on terror" it seems that even british media is unable to stop itself from the kind of news reporting that caters to the world view of war mongers and fear-spreaders. If homeland security in both our countries is of such high significance that our respective governments deem it necessary to go to war, would it not be prudent to hype & analyze EVERY act of agression or terrorism in order to train our forces to respond to every type of emergency? The media is complicit in the downplay of attacks that are not relevent in the political climate. If the government are going to use the acts of agression as justification to go to war, every act of agression should be publicized and analyzed, even if it is thwarted, in order for the public and the world to at least see justice carried out. After all it is the public who are the most at risk of being attacked.

Everything about the so-called "war on terror" is hypocritical and self-defeating. As the world's superpowers we are setting the example, good or bad. How can we expect the other side to show mercy if we break every ethical code and destroy our civil rights which are the basis of our supposedly superior societies?

October 10, 2006 7:20 pm  
Anonymous cmain said...

How do you think a couple of fantasising nutters managed to get hold of an NBC suit (if that is confirmed)?

October 10, 2006 9:13 pm  
Anonymous NotSaussure said...

Cmain asks, How do you think a couple of fantasising nutters managed to get hold of an NBC suit?

Froogle is your friend!

October 11, 2006 8:38 pm  
Anonymous Smith said...

I have been told that there are reporting restriction in place on this case.

October 12, 2006 10:26 am  
Anonymous NotSaussure said...

Indeed there are reporting restrictions in place, Smith; that happens automatically when someone's charged with any offence.

October 12, 2006 7:59 pm  
Blogger Bridget Dunne said...

Any comment on this:

Ian Blair hints at Internment for Muslims

Perhaps now you can see why the truth around the events of July 7th are crucial to what is unfolding.

October 15, 2006 1:57 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

Perhaos now you can see Bridget that I have been pushing for an indeoendent inquiry since last autumn. Perhaps now you can see why I have repeatedly spoken out for civil liberties. Perhaos now you can see why I was outspoken against 90 days. Perhaos now you can see why I attack people who lazily dismiss Muslims as terrorists. Perhaos now you can see why I want no truck with you, who has publicly said that the 7/7 bombers were innocent, witters on about false flag operations, accuses the Government of beign behind 7/7 as part of soem conspiraloonery about facist new world orders, and perhaps now you can see that your repeated wriggling and lies obfuscates the very real need for debate, clairity and understanding of the role of foreign policy in whipping up hate and increasing the risks to innocents.

However, I seriously doubt it, because you are a conspiracy theorist who is wilfully trying to derail the campaign for an independent inquiry but publicly stating that the bombers were innocent, and make up conspiuracy bollocks which only make the chances of getting anywhere that much harder.

October 15, 2006 2:07 pm  
Blogger Bridget Dunne said...

Ah Rachel how can we have a discussion on the truth around the events in London on 7th July, when you falsely claim that I maintain that the 4 accused are innocent?

As you WELL KNOW, the statement in the official report that they caught the 7.40 which I KNEW was cancelled, was what I based that comment on. As you well know, John Reid has had to change that statement, with no official explanation to date of why it was wrong.

I feel it is always best to discuss truth truthfully. You do yourself and your credibility no favours Rachel by being disingenuous.

October 15, 2006 2:16 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

Bridget Dunne, here are your very own words, published on urban 75 message boards.

' It is a travesty of justice, these men didn't do it.Read the narrative and then you'll know what tasteless fact-free conspiraloonery really looks like'

'From the evidence that I've researched so far there is no such thing as home-grown Islamic suicide-bombers'

'I also believe that acts of 'terrorism' are carried out by groups pursuing a political agenda ie IRA ETA etc. I do not know what acts would be carried out in the name of 'Islam' or if in fact any ever have been.'

That is why I do not want to get involved with your 'campaign' for 'truth and justice'. It is not a campaign, it is an agenda.

I do not want this rubbish in my life and I do not want you on my blog because I find your exoneration of murderers and your denial of suicide bombings repellent.

Please go away, I do not see why you should seek to publicise yourself and your agenda at my expense on my personal blog.

October 15, 2006 2:24 pm  
Blogger Bridget Dunne said...

Selective quoting and selective comment approval, the truth is not selctive.

going going gone

October 15, 2006 2:43 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

Quite, Bridget. You have been rumbled. Selective quoting and selective use of sources in order to push an agenda which YOUR OWN WORDS make quite clear.

' It is a travesty of justice, these men didn't do it.Read the narrative and then you'll know what tasteless fact-free conspiraloonery really looks like'

'From the evidence that I've researched so far there is no such thing as home-grown Islamic suicide-bombers'

'I also believe that acts of 'terrorism' are carried out by groups pursuing a political agenda ie IRA ETA etc. I do not know what acts would be carried out in the name of 'Islam' or if in fact any ever have been'

I have always made it clear that links to evidence-free conspiraloonery sites, race hate, faith-hate, personal insults and wilful lies will not be published. I regret I have had to be tough about this recently.

I would like to have comment moderator off, but since some people abuse it, it will have to stay on. You know the blog policy about conspiracy theories, Bridget. I am glad that you have now finally realised that they are not welcome here.

And I am pleased to show this blog readers what your REAL agenda is, via your own words. Now if they want to visit your site, they will at least know what the agenda behind its supposed 'quest for truth and justice' is, despite your wriggling.

On another note, the abusive emailer whom I blogged about a while back was arrested last week by Thames Valley police and her computer was siezed as part of the investigation into her alleged criminal behaviour. She is under police investigation for numerous instances of malicious harrassment campaigns against myself and several other parties. In return she has set up hate blogs, and sent over 1000 emails to the police claiming she is the victim of harrassment herself. She is also the subject of an investigation into her behaviour from the Metropolitan police. She continues to send hatefilled anonymous comments to this blog from an internet cafe: another reason why comment moderator stays on.


It's all quite depressing really.

October 15, 2006 2:57 pm  

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