Thursday, 23 July 2009

GENOCIDE WATCH – not just the Jews

A Genocide Watch should not be necessary in a civilised world – but we are not civilised. We are prone to pride and selfishness and power and fear and hate. These negative attributes mingle within and throughout our minds. Because of this there must be ways and means available to temper our negative attributes. If we are aware of areas of dispute and conflict we can at least be trying to do something – even if it is only praying or meditating about the situation if you are religious – or encouraging, empowering or cajoling others who can have influence or impact in such situations, to do something. To ignore is not an option.

In the UK, and most ‘westernised’ countries we have a relatively trouble free life, with utilities and services available for most people to access. In the UK we have a good health care service, not perfect, but better than most. We have a benefit system that enables those on it to at least survive with access to shelter, food and water, leisure amenities. There are organisations that provide access to ways and means or seeking training or work to come off the benefit system. Admitted not perfect amenities or structures, but better than most, and better than countries that have none of the above! We do not need to blame 'others' for what we have not got, we have got access to our needs, if not access to all our wants.

That does not mean that we in the west do not have civil unrest or factions of society that would support actions of genocide, knowingly or not as the case may be; the Serbian and Croatian conflict for instance. But we are the lucky ones because where we see injustices we are relatively free to speak out about them or against them.

Other countries are not so freedom orientated. So I simply ask that we help those who are trying to bring civil rights and justice into the global sphere of politics, religion and market resources; and to at least speak out when we see or hear of injustice or prejudices being enacted out. Because if we do not then Martin Niemoller’s, the German theologian and pastor (1892 –1984), words will become a reality for many, again:

They came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up”.
Sojourners Verse and Voice of the Day.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

HOPE not hate – absolutely!

My interest in political history will always lead me to a great sadness when I think about fascism and racial nationalism. We really have not learnt a b****y thing. We let our fear of anything or anyone different override our intelligence and then we start swinging from the fascist hate branch of our human race tree. I still can not get over the fact that the UK voted into to the EU - and thus giving them lots of money to faff around with - two fascists, the BNP candidates, and now EU delegates, shame on us. As I said we never learn.On a good note there was a backlash of concerned citizens and the Hope not hate campaign has been boosted by the June EU election results as more and more people see that fascism is not the intelligent way forward to deal with our political problems or concerns. Neither is a head in the sand stance applicable.

It is always important to fight fascism and racism. That does not mean we have to ignore those concerns and worries of those voters who voted fascism. As I’ve said in my blog before, the main parties failed to get a grip on what was really concerning the average Brit. Immigration being the number one concern. The BNP simply grabbed hold of those concerns and put a nice spin of rhetoric onto their sales patter.

Personally I like Frank Fields idea of “balanced migration”, whereby immigration should be brought down to the level of emigration. For more information see the Balanced Migration website. Freedom and commonsense are not, sadly however, always reliable bedfellows in debates about immigration. Though I feel there is a just case (hate that expression as it has the connotation of ‘a just war’ about it) for concern about an overpopulation of immigrants, I am always wary of the scapegoating of immigrants, which then brings one to seeing them as enemies, rather than seeing them, for what they are, people like ourselves trying to find a livelihood: “God has made of one blood all nations under heaven. No man can suddenly become my enemy just because he happened to have been born on the other side of a river or a boundary line…” part of the quote by Muriel Lester, social reformer and pacifist (1883-1968), from ‘voice of the day’ at www.sojo.net. All I can hope is that we learn from our political history before it becomes too late. Sadly, it seems, the Labour government has not…yet.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

ENO TRAP FODNE 2

Iraq shows it still has problems. As I said in my ENO TRAP FODNE blog Iraq has a problem with the idea of real democracy. Though the US armed forces have left the cities, retreating to the rural areas ready for for deployment out of Iraq, and the PM of Iraq declared a national holiday to mark the withdrawal of troops, there was still violence as a car bomb exploded, killing 25 and injuring 40 more. I guess, sadly, there will be more of the same as religious/political sects use weapons rather than words and debate and democracy, to get their own way.

This kind of anti-democratic behaviour is also to be seen in Iran, with the peoples riots in Iran after the election being quashed violently by the government. I guess they learnt from the Chinese government. It seems that violence and oppression is the only way they know how to govern; so my thoughts that reality of democracy is an alien concept to the hard lined fundamentalists of religious orientated countries and egocentric despots has, sadly, been confirmed.

The hardliners are people want power for themselves and their consorts. They have no concept of civil, religious or human rights. This is not new. Power is a addiction and with addiction comes abuse, either of ones own body, or in the case of governments abuse of civic and civil activities of others as the addict tries to maintain that high – the power control – that drives the addict to not only abuse his body but also to abuse others who might stop him from being addicted. Like an addict who mugs and murders someone for the means to continue with his addiction, power addicts do the same to their people, even to those people who are addicts with them and to all intensive purposes are on their side. Addicts don’t reason (not in the normal understanding of the meaning of the word reason), negotiate, or consult. Addicts just act for their own benefit. The only way an addict can be helped is when he admits he is wrong!

And of course not all power addicts are Asian, Balkan, Middle-Eastern or African (Idi Amin and Robert Mugabe come to mind). You only have to look at Blair and Brown and dear old G W Bush and Margaret Thatcher to see how power corrupts and arrogance and conceit creep in; even something as ‘low’ on the addiction list as expense fraud is a power addiction – addicts hope they do not get caught or found out. Thatcher, Blair, G W Bush and now Brown have never admitted that they are, or were, wrong. Their addiction blinded them to reason, they failed to negotiate and consult with others of a different view, because it took away some of their addictive power. They held on and are holding on to the addiction of power.

Nor are power addicts just of a fundamentalist religious bent, as we saw above, past despots of the world were not all religiously orientated, slavishly egocentric yes, but their religion was not their power base, but religion does add to to power addicts fever and addiction. Does that make all religious people power addicts or dangerous (see Dawkins, Dennett and Hitchen for atheistic views)? And would Christians be any different? History says look back to the Papal despots and the murderous Crusades and Inquisition. Look back at the Oliver Cromwell’s and the Bloody Mary’s - Queen Mary was known as ‘Bloody Mary’ (see UK history). Power was their addiction. Power was their “raison d'ĂȘtre”.

Power to those given through or by so called heredity assent or so called democratic election with out checks and balances leads to power addiction. Would you or I be any different? It depends I guess on how addicted we became.