Send the buggers back, put up the shutters, and die.

 

Let the nationalists win, because that’s all the EU debate is about, will the racists and nationalists win?

It’s not about economics, public services or the future. It’s a game of poker between the dinosaurs and the future. A battle of ideas.

Are we an idea that can be marketed in The Sun or the Guardian?

Britain gave the world the modern style of free and open parliamentary democracy, co-operation and hope for all people to maintain freedom.

A vote about the future of everything has become a debate about immigration and a vote about the cult of celebrity when it should be a debate about the facts, the future and the effects of staying in or leaving.

I’ve never seen a more foggy debate about anything.

Lies, bullshit, self interest and fear rule. But only so that people of weak mind and undecidedness are commodities available right up until the last second before the ballot box opens.

People need to do their own research or sell this country down the river because of lies, bullshit, self interest and fear.

Europe isn’t our enemy.

Well not yet anyway.

Don’t cry, you can always move to Europe when things get tough when we are isolated and independent to let the Tories have absolute power. Man! We’ll make even North Korea look like a more attractive place to live.

Peace….. hahahahahaha. We can dream.

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Syria’s war and Britains role in the world.

A lot has been said about the decision of the House of Commons to vote against British military involvement in Syria to defend the civilian population from chemical weapons being used by Assads government. I cannot see what the problem is. We live in a democracy and our elected officials put forward a motion, it was voted on and they voted against it, end of. I think it is a good result because it stops our RAF being put in harms way and it also stops the civilians we are claiming to be saving from getting rained upon by our freedom bombs and justice explosions that will kill them instead in the name of humanitarianism.

I can fully understand why the worlds powers are talking amongst themselves and to the UN about the situation. It is quite illegal under international law to use chemical weapons and is just wrong to use them against your own people. The death of over a thousand men women and children in the chemical attacks is a crime against humanity and a crime that Assad should be made to pay for one day in an international court. But I don’t have the faith that the air strikes planned by foreign powers on large urban, residential areas will be accurate and successful. I also wonder how an attack by America might be seen and reacted to by Syrias allies Iran, Russia and Hesbollah. The great American ally and construct that is Israel could become a target and even neighbouring countries like Turkey could find themselves being bombed. The war could be extended from a civil one to a regional one and then who knows what the hell might happen and who might get involved. If Turkey is attacked (and technically has already been as bombs have crossed the border and exploded inside Turkey) it could lead to action by the EU and NATO and the UK might have to get involved as part of its mandate to those organisations. This really could become one big mess indeed. But like I said, I’m glad at this point the UK aren’t getting involved because despite the crimes that are being committed in Syria I can’t see civilian lives being saved by having us dropping explosives everywhere. But when the day comes for Assad to be dragged from his palace and thrown to his knees by the opposition I for one will be celebrating. I just hope they keep the fucker alive to face the humiliation of standing in court and the justice of a trial by Syrian people.

Now bombing of Syria aside there has been chat about the role that the UK might or might not now have in the international community as a result of the decision in the commons against the air strikes. So what are these journalists saying? You can only be a big hitter if you are a big aggressive country that elects itself world police and judge and jury over every other nation on the planet? We know that America and France are up for the intervention, but which other countries are weak and no longer have a role to play on the international stage because they oppose foreign intervention. Well Germany. Sadly the biggest economy in Europe opposes it too, so I assume they no longer have a role to play internationally. Who else, well China. As the biggest population and the 2nd largest economy in the world they are meaningless now because they don’t want to see a civil war interfered with in such a direct way by outsiders. Who else, errrrr Iran. Iran is a country that has manoeuvred itself to be one of the most powerful and influential countries in the Middle East. They’ve managed to do this largely because of the West removing the main rival they used to have to that crown, Saddam Hussein. Iran has nuclear enrichment facilities but no one can be sure what for and it has a standing military force of about 550,000 personnel but none of this matters because they have no role to play internationally anymore because they oppose intervention in Syria. See what I’m saying here? The idea that the UK has no place in the modern world over one matter like this is ludicrous at best. I think it is just the Tory supporting media trying to shame politicians into acting when they’ve already spoken – and said no. They want a war because war headlines allow other bad news stories about Tory policies and bad management here in the UK to be hidden on page 27 and buried. But without the war, not only does the Tory government look weak but it won’t be able to shy away from issues at home that are more at the forefront of people’s minds because they are front page headlines and so are likely to cost them votes at the next general election.

The Commons has spoken and for what feels like the first time in a long time, politics seems to be working for the UK, certainly it is on this issue. I disagree with what Assad is doing, I support the Free Syria opposition but the rules of war have to be upheld and if they’re not, when this war is over those responsible for murdering people during it must face the consequences.

Peace.

PS I know I wrote a post not long ago about Syria and I asked why is the West watching a country implode? I stand by the points made there and here but I do not think a few days worth of air strikes is what is needed. Why aren’t we talking to Syrias allies to try and get them to put pressure on Assad? Why aren’t we encouraging the opposition to act fairly to take the moral high ground? Why aren’t we encouraging them all to avoid committing war crimes? I feel we could do so much more to bring the opposing forces to the peace talks table rather than us being expected to pick a side and fight.

Free Speech, It was Good While It Lasted.

As someone who has enjoyed freedom of speech for 35 years in a country that has had freedom of the press for hundreds of years, I find the announcement of a Royal Charter to govern the press (in the wake of a the Leveson inquiry that was an investigation into the wrongdoings of newspapers that were already covered by the PCC and criminal law) a total fiasco. We don’t need it, we already have laws in place to protect people from unjust stories and lies and salacious gossip and downright bullshit.

The Leveson inquiry was set up quite rightly to look at how the press behaves after phones of celebrities, politicians and murder victims were hacked to provide sensational stories and headlines. The outcome of all of this is this new Royal Charter to govern the press in the UK and it appears to mark the end of the free press. The press in the UK has been irreverent and rude and investigative and sometimes close to breaking already sufficient liable and slander laws for years and as a result we have some of the best journalism and news reporting in the world. Terrible goings on have been exposed such as abuse in care homes and dodgy dealings in business and sport. Without the journalism (of the past it seems) none of these things would have come to light and the world would be a bit more scummy, dirty and dodgy as a result. Of course we have the gutter press too in the UK but I know I enjoy seeing a pair of tits on page three and holiday deals for £10. But tabloids aside, overall, the wide variety of publications and writers that work for our newspapers are truly amazing, they uncover, they report and now they might just back off. What will it mean for investigative journalism? And from my own point of view what will it mean for bloggers and blogging?

I am not an expert in the new rules but I do understand that a clause was introduced to the crime and courts bill in the commons on Monday (18th March), Clause 29, and under that the definition of “relevant” bloggers or websites is used. I understand it to mean: ‘any website or blog that generates news material where there is an editorial structure giving someone control over publication.’ So any fears I have about my blog should be alleviated, right? Well sometimes I blog about news stories and I’m the man with editorial content over what is published as I’m the only person writing and publishing here at bilstonjay.wordpress.com Are blogs that comment on news, news-worthy? Are they an extension of the news? Are they subject to the new rules? Do I need to sign up to a charter in order to have a blog? If the answer is ‘yes’ to any of these questions then I’m afraid the idea of a free press in Britain is dead. Completely and utterly dead. Hundreds of years of rights destroyed in one pointless, unnecessary charter.

So why is free-speech dead? The idea of exemplary damages of course! If you’re not signed up you have no protection. So you then can face massive fines as you’re not covered by the Royal charter. But if you are recognised/acceptable you and your website/blogs are guaranteed exclusion from exemplary damages (which essentially means a fine of up to £1m – nice!). You’re only covered by the charter if you are a ‘news site’ that has multiple authors. But anyone commenting and blogging on news and current affairs, celebrity gossip and gossip about people in the news can be fined under the charter. So a newspaper is covered by the charter and so cannot expect unfair fines (but is expected to play by the rules), a blogger or bloggers aren’t covered and so can face unfair fines.

So if I say something wrong, I’m not covered as a lone blogger (I’m not a news source or newspaper) and so I can face unbelievable fines! If you have multiple authors and are essentially a news-type site you can sign up to the charter (or qualify due to the nature of your online activities) and although you’ll have to act within the law as it has always stood, you will avoid exemplary fines.

Maybe I’m misinterpreting the charter, and it has still got to go through the House of Lords, but what I’ve said above is how I understand the news of a Royal Charter to regulate the press. It seems to me those individuals who want to blog their own point of view and opinion could end up feeling they have too much to lose by saying the wrong thing, or having the wrong opinion, and quit. People will hold back and be fearful of using their freedom of speech. This regulation might stop phone hacking and all of that dark stuff the huge news publishers have gotten up to, but it will stifle the voices of many tens of thousands of little people who do nothing more than share thoughts and ideas and opinions with the internet.

But there may be some small hope. Under questioning during the Commons debate about the courts bill, the culture secretary, Maria Miller, said the “publisher would have to meet the three tests of whether the publication is publishing news-related material in the course of a business, whether their material is written by a range of authors – this would exclude a one-man band or a single blogger – and whether that material is subject to editorial control“. Let’s hope the House of Lords make the necessary changes to the language that lone bloggers such as me are not subject to the rules that were never designed to govern them in the first place.

But if the government think they can stop people publishing exactly what they want to they are mistaken. They cannot control proxy servers and anonymous email and blogging accounts online. They cannot stop people wirelessly uploading or using pay as you go phone sims to upload via such proxy servers anything they want. People can avoid detection if they really want to and flaunt all of the laws. So the government needs to make the rules fair for all or face the backlash that will inevitably happen.

This video here probably explains the charter better than I have, I still feel like I don’t understand it fully, as it’s all so vague.

Peace!

PS I haven’t even mentioned the European Unions Article on the right to free speech and freedom of expression. But as a European I don’t have to. This is an argument that won’t go away and will be tested by bloggers, news publishers and the European Union. Free speech is a right we’ve had for centuries. We cannot erode it because we fear newspapers underhanded tactics because lets face it, they’ll find a way around this to print what ever they want. It’ll all be in the semantics peeps!

Brussels or London, who do you want running the UK?

I was surfing around the BBC news website tonight as I usually do late at night. I’m a news whore and always have been, I love it. I feel strongly that people should know what is going on, you don’t have to care, but we should all be aware of what is going on in this world. Who’s suffering, who’s helping, what are politicians doing? We need to be informed so we can all make a balanced decision that is in our own interests at election time. But that is just my opinion.

So this news story pops up:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-12156490

… and I’m a bit speechless at the wording, “ a referendum before “significant” powers pass to Brussels.”

This suggests that we won’t get a referendum when ‘not so significant powers’ are passed to Brussels… And what could they be? Bin collections? Council tax levels? Welfare? Health? I mean you can break up any major issue into smaller bits and then let the insignificant parts go to Europe for decisions to be made – ludicrous in a parliamentary democracy, we are a sovereign fucking state damn it! This story sounds awful and holds no legal basis in the parliamentary democracy that we vote for (a democracy that has been the basis for dozens of democratic countries around the world). What’s the point of a parliament and elections to fill the house if we then have elections for Europe that elect the people to represent us? Two sets of elections, one for the smokescreen government (London – you know the ones who claim expenses then go to prison) and one for Brussels (where our voice is watered down by the number of seats we have as a nation compared to the aggregate number of seats, and where expenses are claimed and no one seems to care). Let us not forget that last point, the number of overall seats for the UK is proportionate, every other country has a set amount too. So we end up with a small number of UK officials elected to a house where majority votes take president. So France, Spain, Germany and Italy can all agree to cancel our rebate and oppose our views (they do it in Eurovision ala Iraq War, why not in Euro-politics? We’re the most successful and most hated country in Europe.)

Plus we have to remember that in European elections cunts like Nick Griffin get elected to ‘represent the UK’ in Europe. Do we really want to pass significant (or even insignificant powers) into a body that represents us so badly? I seriously doubt that.

If we are going to end up in a state of European wide governance we should at least be given a referendum on that, do we want to be told what to do by the European parliament in Brussels or do we want to be told what to do by London and our MP’s?

I’m all for being part of a common market, Europe as a trading block propping each other up for mutual benefits like jobs and wealth creation, a single currency aint such a bad thing (cus we aint in it hahaha) and freedom to move across borders is useful . But all nations need to keep their sovereign rights to do as they please. For security we have NATO, for opportunity we have the common market, but let’s keep it like that. The paranoia of two world wars fought decades ago should not drive us down a road of one nation of Europe. We can run our own affairs and not go to war ever again with each other because of an understanding that we are single nations with peaceful, freedom promoting , secular ideals but we have different cultures and ways of life (Generally we are very similar all across Europe). We all stand for peace, democracy, the rule of law, fairness, equality and some socialism and capitalism.

But we don’t need an umbrella over us called “The European parliament” telling us what to do. We need to re-evaluate what “Europe” actually means. I always thought it meant common ideas running alongside each other for the mutual benefit, not a United States of Europe with a federal government pulling the strings that no-one really agrees with or cares for that much.

Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal et al… we all need our autonomy. Without it we are fucked.

We can work together, but we cannot work as one nation. The whole isn’t always greater than the sum of its parts.