Sunday, October 01, 2006
Forgot National Police Memorial Day, Remembered New Carpet
The President of the Belfast Islamic Society, Yaqub Joya, had been due to play a part but did not arrive at the ceremony.Dishonouring the memory of 4000 fallen police officers because of Ramadan is perhaps understandable if not forgivable. However, the new carpet line is just beyond the pale. Given how touchy Islam is collectively when it is subject to a perceived slight I trust this insult is dealt with quickly by Mr Joyas' community.
But Mr Joya later insisted he had wanted to go to the service, indicating that he had simply forgotten to attend.
When contacted, he said: "Oh my God! We've been so busy with Ramadan. We had a meeting which finished at 12.30am last night.
"We've just had a new carpet fitted and all these things are going on and stressed me. I really wanted to go. All the words that I wanted to say had been prepared."
UPDATE Seemingly the PSNI Chief Constable was also not in attendance. He was running the Great North Run to raise funds for the RUC GC Foundation. Good for him.
Criticism of Sir Hugh does, in the circumstances, seem churlish.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Annual Whiskey Olympics Cancelled
I wonder if that had anything to do with its' proposed start date- 24th November?
Monday, September 25, 2006
Hell Hath No Fury...
...Cherie Blair accused Gordon Brown of lying during his keynote Labour conference speech.No really. You couldn't make this up (or could you, Bloomberg?)
Bloomberg news agency reported that she said "well that's a lie" when she heard the chancellor saying it had been a privilege to work with Tony Blair.
No 10 denies the claim
Praguetory: Political Joke Du Jour
It will be the largest place of worship in Europe, a gigantic three-storey Islamic centre, with schools and other facilities, able to hold at least 40,000 worshippers and up to 70,000 if necessary.I have to admit that the imagery does not bother me. I have lived in Bow and Mile End and anyone who thinks the history of the East End is strictly of WASP Pearly Kings and Queens is delusional. The culinary geography of the routes west into the City tells of waves of new arrivals bringing first bagels and then baltis. What is concerning is who is behind the proposals:
It will be called the London Markaz and it is intended to be a significant Islamic landmark whose prominence and stature will be enhanced by its proximity to the Olympic site. When television viewers around the world see aerial views of the stadium during the opening ceremony in six years' time, the most prominent religious building in the camera shot will not be one of the city's iconic churches that have shaped the nation's history, such as St Paul's Cathedral or Westminster Abbey, but the mega-mosque.
Its backers are the Tablighi Jamaat, a missionary organisation that says it is non-political and peaceful. Yet a senior FBI anti-terrorism official has called it a recruiting ground for al-Qa'eda, and the French secret services described it as "an antechamber for fundamentalism". Its current European headquarters are in Dewsbury, home town of Mohammed Siddique Khan, leader of the July 7 suicide bombers, who attended the local mosque.I haven't made my mind up whether this is kerb-painting on a grand scale or a welcome sign of cultural confidence. That determination will be suspended until the memory fades of so-called Muslim areas.
Sunday, September 24, 2006
Let me know how you get on.
Keep your Euro, your pretend diplomatic service, your constitution and your stately ambitions all I want is a Europe of stroke play golfers. Hell, if the Turks can play let them join in!
I just want to know can we opt out of everything except the slacks and tank tops?
Friday, September 22, 2006
At least Gloustershire Police have had the good grace to apologise for the "distress caused" to those it discriminated against. I wait with baited breath the apology from the Police Service of Northern Ireland to those similarly disadvantaged by the aberation that is 50/50 recruitment.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Blog shall speak peace unto Blog
the DUP's blog presence is largely limited with the "We Perish If We Yield" blog espousing the party's viewsDo I espouse?
"I would like a deal to help my campaign to be Deputy PM"- what Peter Hain was thinking on "Hearts & Minds" when questioned about a November deal.
This man is ghastly. Blotting his CV and blighting his advancement is reason enough to stymie his bogus timetable. Nevermind the bigger issues of potential ministers refusing to endorse policing whilst their organisation still dabbles in criminality and the anti-democratic and sectarian assembly structures. So his final televised "threat" that the in the week after 24th November he will introduce legislation disolving that assembly is a matter for celebration not quaking.
Pity we have to wait 'till then.
Harsh But Fair?
Maybe, but if his media agent (yes media agent) is to believed
Lembit is a seasoned regular on many television programmes including This Morning, Have I Got News for You, Newsnight, and the Wright Stuff on five. Lembit is also a popular choice for many corporate speaking engagements.I'll reserve comment on Lembits' foolishness or otherwise until I see his stand up routine.
His interests include Astronomy (he has been actively promoting awareness of the threat to earth from asteroids and meteors), flying (particular interest in gliders), motorbikes, and has even turned his hand to stand up comedy. He speaks fluent Estonian and is learning Welsh.
Former Minister Joins NI Tories
Mr Leslie said the main reason for his decision to leave was his strong support for Conservative values.I know James Leslie, I canvassed for him in North Antrim and was impressed that someone of his background and ability was willing to put up for Westminster against Dr Paisley. That ability was put into sharp relief when he was in the company of most of the UUP North Antrim machine- the same association that thought deselecting James and replacing him with James Currie for the 2003 Assembly elections was a good move. The seat was lost to Sinn Fein.
"To get serious policy development you need the resources of a national party.
"You can see that clearly in all the political parties in Northern Ireland, there is no serious or fresh thinking."
I wish James well in whatever direction his new party takes him. I understand the desire to be involved in national politics and have to admit to being very tempted by the NI Tories. However, experience of the last Tory government and their stewardship of the process before Labour arrived in 1997 make me wary.
Readers may recall that the Belfast Agreement came from a Talks process where the delegates were elected. The NI Tories stood in that election but were hampered somewhat by Sir Patrick Mayhews' assertion that should any of their candidates (Mr Shipley-Dalton included) be elected they would not need to attend the talks as the Conservative SoS would represent both the party and government interest. Unsurprisingly, no local Tories were returned.
I am a unionist who believes that unionist success will arrive when the Union is secure and unionist parties are therefore redundant. At that point I will happily offer my services to Smith Square. Until then any support for the local Tories will only be forthcoming if they can show a real input into the national partys' NI policy. It may be that only once a Tory SoS is back in Hillsborough can this influence be demonstrated.
I might have been a Young Unionist but I may yet be an old Tory.
UPDATE: Belfast Telegraph interview here.