British Theresa May visits beheading Saudi Arabia

This video is about the horrible beheading of Ms Laila Bint Abdul Muttalib Basim, loudly proclaiming her innocence until the end, in Saudi Arabia. Not fit to watch for children and sensitive people

By Peter Lazenby in Britain:

Theresa May visits despots despite beheadings

Wednesday 5th April 2017

PM urged to call for release of men facing death for ‘protesting’

THERESA MAY kow-towed to Saudi Arabian leaders yesterday on an official visit to the brutal Gulf state — despite its plans to behead three youths for the crime of “protesting”.

Human rights group Reprieve called on the Prime Minister to intervene on behalf of Abdullah al-Zaher, Dawood al-Marhoon and Ali al-Nimr, who were teenagers at the time of their arrest in 2012.

All three were tortured into forced “confessions” relating to protests and convicted in secret trials. They remain imprisoned, and could be executed at any time without notice being given to their families.

A prominent group of UN experts has called on the Saudi authorities to “release all three minors immediately.”

But the only response so far has been an expression of “concern” from the Foreign Office which appears not to have sent a request for the release of the three young men, Reprieve said.

Ms May unsurprisingly received a warm welcome from Saudi’s leaders, who have received millions of pounds worth of arms as well as security training from the British government.

Reprieve deputy director Harriet McCulloch said: “The Prime Minister is seeking closer ties with the Saudi authorities, including on security co-operation, even while the kingdom’s security sector carries out appalling abuses — from torture and forced ‘confessions’ to the death penalty for juveniles.

“The Prime Minister’s desire to promote Gulf relations must not see Britain compromise our commitment to human rights.

“Theresa May must make clear on this trip that the UK condemns the kingdom’s use of torture and executions — and she must call for the immediate release of Ali, Dawood and Abdullah.”

Ms May is in Saudi Arabia for talks on increasing trade and military relations, insisting that it’s in Britain’s “national interest” to prop up the Saudi royal family.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn demanded the PM raise the issue of Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen with which Britain is deeply involved.

At the weekend Scotland Yard confirmed that it is investigating allegations of war crimes against the kingdom over its indiscriminate air raids which are believed to have killed thousands of Yemeni civilians.

British military advisers are stationed in the command centres that direct these strikes.

He said: “The Prime Minister should put human rights and international law at the centre of her talks with Saudi Arabia’s government this week.

The Saudi-led coalition bombing in Yemen, backed by the British government, has left thousands dead, 21 million people in need of humanitarian assistance and three million uprooted from their homes.

British-made weapons are being used in a war which has caused a humanitarian catastrophe.”

British, Spanish conservative Gibraltar sabre rattling

This video says about itself:

The War of Jenkins’ Ear was a conflict between Great Britain and Spain that lasted from 1739 to 1748, with major operations largely ended by 1742. Its unusual name, coined by Thomas Carlyle in 1858, relates to Robert Jenkins, captain of a British merchant ship, who exhibited his severed ear in Parliament following the boarding of his vessel by Spanish coast guards in 1731. This affair and a number of similar incidents sparked a war against the Spanish Empire, ostensibly to encourage the Spanish not to renege on the lucrative asiento contract (permission to sell slaves in Spanish America).

One might think, now it is the 21st century, not the 18th. Robert Jenkins died long ago. Spain does not have American colonies any more, so British slave traders can no longer sell African slaves to them. The British and the Spanish governments are European Union allies (for as long as the Brexit negotiations have not been concluded). They are both in the NATO military alliance. The British Tory government party and the Spanish Partido Popular are conservative sister parties.

Yet, in 2013 both governments did military sabre rattling against each other about Gibraltar.

In 2016, British Royal Navy warships were ‘sent to Gibraltar to protect it from Spain’ during Brexit negotiations.

And today, from Reuters:

A former leader of [Prime Minister Theresa] May‘s Conservative party, Michael Howard, said she [May] would even be prepared to go to war to defend the territory, as then prime minister Margaret Thatcher did with Argentina over the Falkland Islands 35 years ago. …

“Thirty-five years ago this week another woman Prime Minister sent a task force halfway across the world to defend the freedom of another small group of British people against another Spanish-speaking country,” he said on Sky TV’s Sophie Ridge on Sunday. “I’m absolutely certain that our current prime minister will show the same resolve in standing by the people of Gibraltar.”

The opposition Labour party said such “inflammatory” comments would not help Britain get what it needed from the Brexit negotiations. “Sadly it’s typical of the botched Tory approach which threatens a bad deal for Britain,” the party’s foreign affairs spokeswoman Emily Thornberry said.

Spain’s foreign minister Alfonso Dastis refused to talk about veto rights when it comes to Gibraltar in an interview on Sunday, but said he viewed the EU’s stance very positively.

“When the United Kingdom leaves the EU, the EU partner is Spain, and in the case of Gibraltar the EU is therefore obliged to take the side of Spain,” he told El Pais.

As if the British government bombing Syria and Iraq, helping the Saudi autocracy bomb Yemen; Spanish neo-colonial soldiers in Africa; and the threat of war between nuclear armed NATO and nuclear armed Russia, or China are not already bloody warmongering enough …

British government plan to jail journalists and whistleblowers

This video from Britain says about itself:

26 December 2016

Councils were given permission to carry out more than 55,000 days of covert surveillance over five years, including spying on people walking dogs, feeding pigeons and fly-tipping, the Guardian can reveal.

A mass freedom of information request has found 186 local authorities – two-thirds of the 283 that responded – used the government’s Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (Ripa) [‘against terrorism‘] to gather evidence via secret listening devices, cameras and private detectives.

Among the detailed examples provided were Midlothian council using the powers to monitor dog barking and Allerdale borough council gathering evidence about who was guilty of feeding pigeons.

Wolverhampton used covert surveillance to check on the sale of dangerous toys and car clocking; Slough to aid an investigation into an illegal puppy farm; and Westminster to crack down on the selling of fireworks to children.

Surveillance has gone too far.

Maybe British Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May, during her recent visit to dictator Erdogan in Turkey to sell him British weapons, saw the persecution of journalists and dissidents in Turkey, and thought that would be a good idea for Britain as well?

From daily News Line in Britain:

Monday, 13 February 2017

New Espionage Act under way to jail journalists and whistleblowers

THE Tory government is set to introduce a new Espionage Act under which its judiciary will be able to jail journalists and ordinary members of the public as spies for revealing information that the government demands be kept a secret.

The government’s advisers have recommended a ‘future-proofed’, draconian Act that will put leaking information and whistleblowing in the same category as spying for foreign powers and turn the UK into one big prison for basic democratic rights.

The plan is to treat whistleblowers, leakers and journalists as agents of a foreign power, even if they are British nationals, and even if they insisted that they were acting in the public interest. The recommendations of the UK Law Commission are contained in a 326-page consultation paper titled Protection of Official Data.

One legal expert said the new changes would see the maximum jail sentence increase from two years to 14 years; make it an offence to ‘obtain or gather’ rather than simply share official secrets; and to extend the scope of the law to cover information that damages ‘economic well-being’. ‘It is clearly an attempt to criminalise ordinary journalism,’ said Jim Killock, chief executive of the Open Rights Group.

John Cooper QC, a leading criminal and human rights barrister who has served on two Law Commission working parties, added: ‘These reforms would potentially undermine some of the most important principles of an open democracy.’

Jodie Ginsberg, chief executive of Index on Censorship, said: ‘The proposed changes are frightening and have no place in a democracy, which relies on having mechanisms to hold the powerful to account. It is unthinkable that whistleblowers and those to whom they reveal their information should face jail for leaking and receiving information that is in the public interest.’

Such official data will range from the secret plans of the government for running down the NHS, to the functioning of the nuclear power industry, or any strategic industry. The Law Commission report asks, rhetorically, if ‘sensitive information relating to the economy should be brought within the scope of the legislation… in so far as it relates to national security’.

Alan Rusbridger, the former Guardian editor who published the Snowden revelations has commented that: ‘It is alarming that such a far-reaching proposed reform of laws which could be used to jail whistleblowers and journalists should have been drafted without any adequate consultation with free speech organisations.’

According to the Commission, the proposed ‘redrafted offence’ of espionage would ‘be capable of being committed by someone who not only communicates information, but also by someone who obtains or gathers it’.

To emphasise that the enemy is the whole of society it is being stipulated that there should be ‘no restriction on who can commit the offence,’ from hackers, leakers, elected politicians, journalists, NGOs or just citizens who have got themselves into a situation where they just know too much as far as the government and its secret state is concerned.

Cited as a primary reason for the new legislation is the fact that the former Guardian editor Rusbridger could not be thrown into prison for handling copies of ten documents that were passed to his reporters by Edward Snowden. As it was state agents could only threaten him with a gagging order and prison, and then force him to destroy newspaper computers.

A proposed feature of the new legislation is that British Embassies abroad, intelligence and security offices, and data centres not officially publicised by the government would be designated as ‘prohibited places’ or ‘protected sites’, making it an offence to publish information about them or to ‘approach, inspect, pass over or enter’ for any ‘purpose prejudicial’ to national security.

The proposed law would replace four Official Secrets Acts dating back to 1911, as well as a raft of other government restrictions on releasing information, providing extra powers instead. There should be no statutory public-interest defence for anyone accused of offences, the Commission says.

Racist British Conservative politician suspended

This video from Britain says about itself:

Diane Abbott: Beyond Downton Abbey

19 February 2013

See more of Diane Abbott at ‘What’s Left Now‘, a debate about the future of progressive politics.

In response to the hit television serial Downton Abbey, provocative Labour frontbencher Diane Abbott presents a less saccharine, refreshingly outspoken view of British history.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Councillor suspended over Abbott ‘ape‘ tweet

Friday 10th February 2017

A TORY councillor has been suspended over a retweet that compared shadow home secretary Diane Abbott to an ape wearing lipstick, it was revealed yesterday.

This came after Ms Abbott received misogynistic criticism for having told Brexit secretary David Davis to “f*ck off” after he reportedly tried to kiss her in the Commons’ Strangers Bar on Wednesday night.

Faringdon Parish councillor Alan Pearmain has been suspended and is facing an investigation by the Tories after the message he retweeted in December was reported to the Labour Party.

The original tweet showed an ape with the captions “forget the London look, get the Diane Abbott look” and “let’s get fatty back in a zoo!”