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Sunday, February 27, 2011

WikiLeaks: Secrets, Lies and Egos

This week, the pale-faced and reputedly rather smelly, Julian Assange, founder and champion of the website WikiLeaks, lost his battle to prevent his extradition to Sweden to face charges of rape and sexual assault. Assange, who now describes himself as a 'non-profit free speech activist', has, since WikiLeaks upped the ante back in October and November 2010 by releasing the Iraq War Logs and US state department diplomatic cables, slowly morphed from a champion of free speech to an egotistical Sméagol like figure who now speaks from behind his lawyers, his face occasionally popping into view from behind someone's shoulder. Or emerging, stealthily from an area of shadow before creeping back into the darkness, leaving presumably, only the lingering aroma of unwashed flesh to remind the world of his presence. 

Courted by left-leaning glitterati like Jemima Khan, an heiress and the former girl friend of actor Hugh Grant; the film director and member of  George Galloway's grisly Respect Party, Ken Loach, who claimed last year that the closing of the UK Film Council, the source of most of the state funding for his virtually unwatchable films, was akin to closing the Health Service; and the utterly ghastly journalist John Pilger whose CIA conspiracy theory obsessed diatribes against the US have, since Pilger began defending Assange, begun to read like the outpourings of a bipolar Maoist and can only alienate Assange from the rest of us still further.  For that is what WikiLeaks and Assange have become now, a collection of bitter egos in search of a cause surrounded by thousands of secrets stolen by other egos keen to get in on the act. 

Assange is unelected, unappointed and answers to no one. The source of WikiLeaks information is clandestine and illegal, with malcontents and activists deciding what information to put out regardless, or ignorant, of the harm or mischief it causes. For the Pilgers of this world, whose anti Americanism, were it transmuted into a definitive US racial type or a religion, would put him on a par with Julius Streicher, the infamous, whip-carrying Jew baiter of Nuremberg. For Pilger, any one, or any project, that disses the United States is good, and anyone, or anything that supports it, is bad. 

Assange, having elevated himself to the God like status of a Veritas, has surrounded himself with a collection of acolytes, who, like him, are driven not by a sense of righteousness but by a sense that they have a God-given right to decide what the rest of us mortals should and shouldn't see. Then from the safety of their Mount Olympus style ivory towers they can look down and watch the results of their leaked mischief as countries and individual's securities are undermined, embarrassed and undone. 

Yet when countries react with rancour and anger at Assange's antics there is dismay and incredulity from WikiLeak supporters that a Government, and in particular, the US government, could have the temerity to attack such a pure, God-like figure. How dare they? How could such a corrupt country not see the truth? What do the lifes of soldiers, informers and undercover operatives in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere matter when compared to the egos of Assange and co, whose document dump, which is effectively what WikiLeaks is, is so much more important?

Of course being graced with God-like wisdom, Assange, no doubt ably assisted by the likes of Jemima Khan and Ken Loach who both I am sure also possess a knowledge of world affairs that surpasses that of lesser mortals, will be able to shift through the thousands of leaked files and emails and arbitrarily decide which ones in their lofty opinion are unfit or too dangerous for us common mortals to see. This, according to Assange, gives the world protection from the WikiLeaking of documents that really are dangerous. That is, of course, unless an uppity government dares to assail the mighty Assange and threaten to haul him before the courts to answer for his covetousness in which case WikiLeaks tends to resort to the very ungodly like practice of blackmail by threatening to publish those same 'sensitive' and potentially dangerous documents if the threats against Assange continue.

Now facing two charges of sexual assault and rape in Sweden, Julian Assange has become increasingly mortal, paranoid and egotistical. Firstly the Swedish women are of course lying. Surprisingly his left-leaning supporters who would normally rally round any woman claiming to have been raped by a powerful public figure have decided that in this instance the Swedish women are Yankee-loving sluts whose testimonies are worthless and should be dismissed. Secondly, Assange has begun the process of morphing from a Smeagol like figure with a God complex to an unwashed Gollum-like creature whose love for his documents and his right to decide the truth is all. To enforce and protect him in his new role Assange has supped with the devil and brought in two of the UK's leading Human Rights lawyers, solicitor Mark Stephens who tends to pop up every time a celebrity with a problem  and a camera are in close proximity, and Geoffrey Robinson, husband of writer Kathy Lette, and one the highest paid barristers in the UK with an ego to match.

I should at this point mention that I was represented by Mark Stephens and his then law firm Stephens Innocent in my fight some years ago with the UK Governement and the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) over my short film Visions of Ecstasy which had been refused a UK certificate on the grounds that my film was potentially blasphemous. My barrister during what turned out to be a six year battle with the government was Geoffrey Robinson. What these lawyers actually represent more than anything though is the power of the UK chattering classes, the London based, soft, left-leaning, intellectual clique of media figures, writers, journalists, occasional politicians, lawyers, financiers and celebrities whose influence is all invasive and whose power far exceeds that of mainstream government. 

These individuals shape and influence our society through television, through what we read and see, and through the laws that govern our intellectual thoughts and freedoms. When I was challenging the blasphemy laws, which at that time in the 1990's only pertained to Anglican christians, the main argument was that they should either be abolished entirely or extended to cover other religious faiths. My lawyers though wanted to see the law of blasphemy abolished and replaced with a law that would make it a criminal offense to discriminate against, incite hatred of, or defame a persons religion. This was something that I was totally opposed to as it would be replacing a pretty useless, ineffective and virtually unenforceable law with a highly effective and far more draconian new one. In 1996 I lost my case, yet the machinations of legal process had been set in motion, and ten years later a law dating back to the twelfth century was abolished and replaced with the ghastly Racial and Religious Hatred Act, 2006.

Assange has become the intelligensia's current champion not because they particularly like grubby rapist geeks but because Assange, for the present, represents knowledge and knowledge is power. He also represents secrets, American secrets, and these represent both power and the possibility by their being made public of hurting America or those close to America, another plus for the UK's chattering elites. All of those key figures that now surround Assange, from the lawyers to disgruntled heiresses in search of a cause, have their own agendas and sooner or later Assange will come to realise that their cause is not necessarily his cause and maybe then he'll grow up, take a bath and put his ego away. For whatever comes out of the WikiLeaks affair it will almost certainly mean more laws, more jobs for the lawyers and less true freedoms for the rest of us.  

Saturday, February 19, 2011


In 1848, a revolution in France acted as a catalyst for a whole wave of uprisings and revolutions that erupted across Europe in its wake, with the year becoming known as the Springtime of the Peoples, the Spring of Nations and the Year of Revolutions depending on which country you happened to be in and how poetic the local historians were. Revolts against the old order spread from country to country via the 19th Century equivalent of Facebook and Twitter; word of mouth and newspapers. Revolutions and uprisings followed France's across Europe: in many of the states that would help form Italy and Germany, and in Schleswig, Denmark, the Hapsburg Empire, Hungary, Slovakia, Switzerland, Greater Poland, Wallachia, Ireland and amazingly Belgium.

Most of these uprising were bloody, violent and put down quickly but they led to changes, to the eventual creation of Italy and Germany, to a widening of the electoral franchise and the slow devolution of power to classes below the ruling elites and so on. 1848 was ultimately a watershed moment for Europe and one whose legacy would be felt for decades following. Fast forward past the Russian revolution of 1917 and the Fascist and Nazi ideological revolutions of the 1920s and 1930s, to 2011 and revolution is in the air again. Spreading from country to country like wildfire, the flames fanned by the new sirens of revolt: Twitter, Facebook and 24 hour news channels and suddenly everyone is a protestor with one eye on CNN and the other on his Twitter update.

The Tunisian uprising took just about everyone by surprise and drew attention to a regime that most westerners only know about from holidays, if at all, and yet in a few days the sight of people bravely battling brutal police thugs and amazingly winning, inspired many and led to the toppling of the country's dictator-like President Ben Ali after 23 years in power. Then came uprisings in Egypt and the unthinkable ousting of President Mubarak after 30 years in power and suddenly as a result almost the whole of the Middle East is galvanized into rebellion. Now rulers across the region are quaking in their palaces, while Israel watches nervously from the sidelines and western powers, in particularly the United States, are shown to be treacherous fair weather friends and hopelessly lost and out-of-touch when it comes to this new and radical Middle East. A Middle East where old tribal allegiances and religious beliefs are morphing with 21st Century social networking sites and instant media access in ways unthinkable only months ago.

Yet this wave of protest, national angst and Facebook fury is gathering pace and spreading, its tentacles reaching into Africa, Western Europe and the US and threatening yet more violence and ever greater unrest. For the financial crisis hasn't gone away its just moving into the second phase as the implications and impact of a decade incautious lending, greed and toxic debt come home to roost. The printing of obscene amounts of money may have calmed the financial crisis in the short term but its causing inflation, particularly of food, oil and other important commodities, bankers, bailed out by tax payers only two years ago, are paying themselves massive bonuses and bigging it up again, and with our societies cutting back and making increasing numbers redundant, people are beginning to get scared and angry.

Scared of losing their job, their home, their income and their security people in the West are losing faith in their traditional leaders ability to put things right. Years of affluence, easy credit and government benevolence has weakened our societies collective will and now cutbacks are threatening to erode our national resolve still further. Now the threat of cuts is met with incredibility and hostility, as if the financial crisis were some vagary in our distant past that had no meaning on the present and that our governments largesse was infinite. Yet criticism of those who oppose attempts to rain in government spending is now hampered by comparisons with the profligacy of our banks, bailed out as they were by the same taxpayers whose jobs and livelihoods are now under threat. How can one champion the free market when the heart of capitalism went cap-in-hand to the State at the first sign of trouble? You can't, and in the words of the UK Uncut protesters attempting to occupy High Street branches of Barclays on the 19th February,  it's not the banks that our too big to fail, its society. The banks and our decision to save them in the manner we did have made arguing for radical change more difficult, but not impossible.

The truth is that Western societies are beginning to fail because our Governments failed us, they failed us through unchecked immigration, through multiculturalism and enforced societal changes driven by a radical adherence to political correctness that has empowered criminality and emasculated our police, subverted  excellence, indoctrinated our teachers and undermined our national psyche. They have failed us by creating welfare dependency and a massively overburdened health service whose budgets are unaffordable and untenable, and most of all they are failing to lead and to govern, preferring instead the sound bite and opinion poll driven policies. This is the government of the weak for the meek which is fine when the meek are performing to type, but having been spoiled for the last twenty or so years and with their wealth and security under threat, the cries of revolt from the meek are getting louder by the day. 

In the US the Democrats in Wisconsin have gone into hiding rather than participate in the voting through of cuts to public employees incomes and in doing so have brought in thousands of their fellow Americans for their protection and in doing so are whipping up a storm of protest and ludicrously evoking Egypt as they do so. That storm of protest is currently being directed at Republicans and members of the Tea Party and both groups are getting very angry... In the UK March 26th, the day of the TUC's anti cuts demonstration, is being seen as a massive chance for serious protest with leaflets and flyers depicting burning buildings and general anarchy under the new heading the 'Battle of Britain'. In fact across Europe discontent and disgust with mainstream governments is growing with groups and individuals on all sides of the political spectrum seeing events in the Middle East as the start of something big. How big, and whether they'll party like its 1848, remains to be seen

Monday, February 14, 2011

Europe's Big, Flawed and Very Full Society

The UK's Prime Minister David Cameron, leader of the Coalition between the Conservatives and Liberal party, and erstwhile champion of the theme du jour, the Big Society, made waves recently by announcing, alongside his usual considered happy-clappy rhetoric, that in his opinion "state multiculturalism had failed". This was apparently because the races and cultures that have poured into the UK and the rest of Western Europe since the late nineteen sixties are not assimilating, or being assimilated into our culture. Rather, many are existing outside of it, or in some cases trying actively to destroy it and replace it with their own values, religion and culture. So rather than assimilating to our ways, we are being assimilated to theirs. 
His speech was applauded by some for being, in our current politically correct times, brave and courageous and attacked by others including spokespeople for the non assimilated who, like Inayat Bunglawala of the ghastly named Muslims4UK, felt Cameron was "firing at the wrong target", while the Labour MP for Luton, Sadiq Khan, said that David Cameron was writing material for the English Defense League. 
Yet for all the mock hand-wringing and cliché-ridden sound bites Cameron has said nothing particularly new or revolutionary and nor has he admitted that the main problem for Western Europe is not that multiculturalism has not worked but that it should not have happened. Multiculturalism was never put to Europe's voters, no political party or politician went to the polls announcing that they were embarking on a program of mass immigration that would transform our cities, our societies, our environments and bankrupt our social services and eventually threaten to destroy a way of life that had evolved over centuries. What we had was multiculturalism by the backdoor and immigration, driven by guilt at Europe's colonial past, through the front door. That immigration was combined with an almost imbecilic zealotry that believed that by transforming and undermining Europe's nation states and identities through mass immigration that the resulting racial and religious stew of multiculturalism would prevent Europe from ever again suffering the horrors of World War and genocide. Ironically this unasked for, and clandestine experiment in human manipulation, may, at best, be undermining the very societies that Europe's current generation of politicians were so keen to create, or at worst sowing the seeds of yet further and more terrible European conflicts . 
While Cameron may have just dipped a toe into the murky waters of multiculturalism and found racial and religious discord beneath the surface, he has at least dipped it, most of his predecessors, like Narcissis, have just basked in the reflected vainglory of a multicultural wonderland that just does not exist outside of their politically correct imaginings. Once in the time of dynasties and empires, states would govern multi-ethnic groups and if those groups were loyal then harmony generally reigned, nationalism, revolution and 'people' power changed that and ensured that racial and religious type as much as national character created the new national boundaries and the nation states we know today. Now without war, and as yet little bloodshed, our politicians are seeking to remold and restyle the nation state from within using third world migrants as the foot soldiers in a new war which seeks to destroy the nation state as effectively as armies have done in the past. The zealots driving us towards a new multicultural european ideal these last three decades may have envisaged that they were creating a multiracial Camelot but if so they forgot to tell anyone first.
This is multiculturalism's true role, for with the massed ranked of families that have poured into Western Europe's cities over the last thirty years has come religious intolerance, social breakdown, the undermining of Europe's economies and welfare systems as the demands on each countries health, education and police services have become unntenable. Eschewing birth control and supported by a generous social security system that entitles all to money, home and support the moment each belligerent foot is placed on European soil, the thousands rapidly become tens of thousands as the womb is used as a Trojan horse to undermine Europe still further. For with each family have followed dependents, uncles, aunts, cousins and with them begin the babies, thousands and thousands of babies, growing up in Europe, feeding off Europe, living in Europe, undermining Europe, hating Europe and the nation states that feed it. Unassimilated, unlimited, unemployed, rootless and angry, the children of multiculturalism are Europe's nemesis. 
For many of Europe's political elite multiculturalism is an endless love affair that has seen endless betrayals and cuckolds and is increasingly seen by outsiders as an abject failure of social engineering while, conversely the multiculturalites are getting increasingly militant and estranged from the societies in which they live. Multiculturalism has not just failed, it should never have been. 
Now, even as the soft liberal elite begin to see the dangers of unchecked immigration and the financial crisis highlights how Europe's increasingly limited resources cannot sustain an unlimited population, criticism of multiculturalism is still coaxed in ludicrously coy language for fear of offending the offenders. Yet offend we must if we are to move on and tackle the issues that have been deliberately created by our increasingly useless and aloof political elites who hide behind a veneer of faux democracy by creating ever more draconian law to silence the few politicians and pundits brave enough to speak out.
Hate Speech is the new thought crime, and race the word that dare not speak its name in our new, politically correct democracies and anyone that dares criticise or even voice concern that the new european multicultural experiment might just be a mistake risks arrest, mockery or violence. Silence is golden and safer in the new europe. In Holland, the politician Geert Wilders has famously been fighting charges of hate speech for years and was even banned by the UK Labour governement from entering the country or from screening his anti Islamic film ‘Fitna’ in case it upset anyone. And in Austria the MP Suzanne Winter has been convicted of incitement for public statements she made against Islam, and another female MP, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff is facing a charge for “hate speech” which included this comment;  “Islamic doctrine discriminates against women and non-muslims. Islamic law, or shariah, cannot be reconciled with democratic principals and universal human rights”. Shocking! Criticism and freedom of thought is fine it seems as long as you say what the multiculturalists want to hear, otherwise criticism is ‘hate speech’ and the state will shut you up, and shut you down.
European peoples must learn to be hard again and to fight back against criticism, to attack those who would destroy our way of life, and inspire their people to love their countries and their nations rather than loath them, because for all their flaws they are all we have, and we should strive to make the best of them rather than championing the worst. Government is not about Big Society, or the Broken Society or even a Multicultural Society it is about the nation within which that society lives and which ultimately shapes that society and its peoples. Undermining the nation undermines the society that holds it together, big, small or indifferent, and right now Europe has undermined itself to the point of collapse, only its politicians appear to be asleep and haven't noticed. Perhaps the children of their multicultural experiment will be kind enough to wake them up one day.