Friday 26 January 2018

Two things

So, here’s the thing.  Well, two things.

1. Jeremy Corbyn Tweeted:
 “Appalling that @AlexSobel has received a stream of antisemitic abuse online after Channel 4 posted a video of his speech to mark Holocaust Memorial Day. We must root out this disgusting prejudice from our society.”

Well, that got an absolute drubbing, but the satisfaction faded a bit when I heard that this is 100% normal for all Corby’s tweets.

2. T’other thing is the long-awaited debate about Jezbollah. Hezbollah.
Long awaited by me, at any rate. I couldn’t find out what time it was due to start, which meant an unhealthy afternoon staring at the parliament channel and taking in a good deal of the previous debate along the way. This was about the ‘joint enterprise’ law and the unintended consequences thereof, and very interesting it was too. 

These parliamentary debates aren’t debates in the true sense. They’re speeches, read out with varying degrees of dramatic interpretation. Not interactive in the normal sense apart from interventions, either supportive or vexatious, as much of the content covers the same ground, rather like the party game, where you have to memorise a list of items, adding your own before passing it on. “My aunt went shopping and she bought….”

The moment finally arrived. (direct link to vid)

Joan Ryan’s delivery was heartfelt and excellent, and I have to say that the most impressive speeches of all came from the Labour benches. Particularly impressive were Ian Austin, Louise Ellman (obvs) and Sharon Hodgson. 
From the other parties, Dr. Matthew Offord and Theresa Villiers stood out. Jim Shannon of the DUP ditto.

Diane Abbott was there too, accompanied her deputy Nick Thomas-Symonds. Diane sat in silence, while Mr. T-S gave one of those Corbynesque “we condemn violence wherever it occurs, but..” speeches on behalf of the Labour leader’s friends. The cameras hadn’t picked up the shadow Home Secretary's presence until  Dr Offord said: “I see the shadow Home Secretary rolling her eyes at some of the comments made by Labour Back Benchers, “

The most remarkable thing was the unanimity of all the speakers with regard to the artificiality of the government’s current position, which accepts the existence of distinctly separate political and military wings of Hezbollah despite the fact that the leader of Hezbollah no less, constantly makes it abundantly clear that Hezbollah is one solid, indivisible, one-winged entity.

So why would the government (and the leader of the opposition) be so determined to maintain the charade? 

Well, the government spokesperson,  The Minister for Security and Economic Crime  Mr. Ben Wallace, was on hand to explain. Proscribing the political wing of Hezbollah, said he, would jeopardise our relationship with Lebanon. 
Well, knock me down with Hassan Nasrallah! Here was me thinking that assassinating a former Lebanese Prime Minister and intimidating and threatening the current one was a pretty good indication that this was a load of nonsense. 
“Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigned on Saturday, plunging the country into a political crisis and raising the spectre of regional conflict. 
Hariri announced his resignation from Saudi Arabia, saying he sensed a "plot to target his life" as he accused Iran and its Lebanese Shiite ally Hezbollah of taking control of the country and destablizing the region. 
"Iran has a grip on the fate of the region's countries... Hezbollah is Iran's arm not just in Lebanon but in other Arab countries too," Hariri said. "Iran's arms in the region will be cut off. The evil that Iran spreads in the region will backfire on it.”

But what do I know?

Talking of delivery, why did it irritate me that Wallace continually pronounced “Huzbullah” and anti-semetic? Because I’m a pronunciation pedant, I suppose.

So here’s the thing. (That’s a kind of ear-worm now, by the way)
How can these good Labour MPs stomach serving under the current leadership? Which reminds me. While the joint enterprise law remains as is, should the government see sense and proscribe Hezbollah in its entirety, Jeremy Corbyn risks being caught up in it himself.  Maybe that’s one reason why he wants to keep things as they are. 

Yesterday in Parliament? Funny thing is, the BBC seems to have missed the whole thing.


  1. The Triumph of Iran is one of the consequences of the stupid policy of fomenting revolt in Syria - policy enthusiastically backed not only by the USA, EU and the UK but surprisingly perhaps as well (surprising because it was also US, albeit Clinton-Obama policy), the BBC which was still trying to convince itself it was right about the Arab Spring...and wanted to see "one more push" to bring in the enlightened Arab democracy it feels the region is ready for.

  2. You can usually find out when things are on in Parliament here
    - includes Select Committees and not just what's in the Chamber.

  3. Di has someone under her? Poor Nick.


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