Sunday, 29 June 2008

Not so funny, not so noble, not so proud!

It is funny how we Brits think of ourselves as being so perfect and everyone else so awful! That might explain your anti-foreigner letters. Let me put the other, rarely heard, side of the story.

For many centuries, the good, clean living Brits have been exploring foreign lands and taking home the booty, eg the piracy of the Elizabethans, Sir Francis Drake and Sir John Hawkins. Both men were knighted for their noble efforts and for making their own personal fortune on the backs of the foreigner. Some of their wealth – and ours - came from human trafficking with the iniquitous slave trade. This was a lucrative activity in the organised abuse of black Africans. Our whole nation allowed either one or two million to die or killed them, out of the 12 million carried off as prisoners. It lasted from the 16th to the 19th centuries. The foreigner well and truly got it in the neck at the hands of the whites and the church-going, good Christians of the UK.

When the Quakers started pointing out the sheer immorality of this systematic, large-scale abuse of our fellow humans, the Christians and the small minority who were not, argued that the British economy would so seriously suffer that we could not possibly afford to give up enslaving the foreigner!

Eventually, the Church and Parliament abolished the trafficking of Africans but it took another 25 years to end slavery in our glorious and civilising Empire. Much to their credit, the Church of England did acknowledge their major role in slavery, repented and apologised to today's descendants of the slaves.

For many more centuries than the British slave trade lasted, our numerous wars around the world – 7 or 8 against France alone – have killed many more foreigners than British slavery. Certainly, since 1945, 16,000 Brits have died on foreign battlefields but, very many more than 16,000 foreigners have been bumped off by our so beautiful bombs and bullets and righteous rockets. For example, in our war in Vietnam from 1959 to 1975, our good friends and compatriots, the Americans suffered 58,000 deaths in the process of killing an unknown number of Vietnamese whom we labeled as evil, godless Communists. Different encyclopaedias put the figure between 2-4 million. This is genocide of foreigners for which our side is wholly responsible. Both during our war in Korea and during the Cuban missile crisis, the hawks on our side were urging the use of nuclear weapons. Our General Macarthur wanted to nuke a 30 mile wide zone between China and Korea to make it de-militarised (and pulverised and barren!)

The tumultuous end of our Empire in India resulted in the slaughter of over one million Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs and over two million who fled their homes.

Our present major wars in Iraq and Afghanistan always give the fatalities on our side but, rarely, any indication of the casualties amongst Iraqis and Afghans. It appears that their casualties are many times more than ours. But, then of course, the lives of our soldiers are far more valuable, as they have always been, than that of the foreigner.

Having made Iraq and Afghanistan not the most congenial of places in which to live, we then get all hot and bothered when a few of these foreigners finish up our shores. Most of the two millions who have fled are taken in by the rather more welcoming Jordan, Pakistan, Iran and Syria.

Indeed, I think, after centuries of not so noble British history, too many remain as racist, prejudiced and as anti-foreigner as ever. We can war on their shores but we don't like it when these foreigners come to our shores. We can go where we like but they can't come here!

Our enslaving, our imperial ways and our warfare against foreigners is a shocking stain on British history. We remain shameless, unapologetic and unmoved. That is not so funny.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Christianity began in non-aggression, non-violence, of loving even 'enemies' ... and ended in ... see the end, below!

Christianity began in Galilee as 12 disciples of Jesus and then by many more as Followers of the Way. Only later were they called Christians - as a taunt.

Saul was converted and interpreted the death of Christ as atoning for the sins of the world, rather than the ultimate act of non-aggression and non-violence. A crucifixion that spoke volumes of the iniquity of capital punishment and, indeed of corporal punishment that was also used on this good man. Yet, both punishments are so beloved of the righteous of the Lord - and has been for centuries. They certainly don’t believe in sparing the rod, because the Bible tells them so.

The Apostle Paul took Christianity to Asia Minor and Greece but it never became a philosophy, even though the intellectual Greeks loved to debate religion.

It went to Rome and it changed from being almost unheard of for Followers of the Way to enter the army, to it becoming acceptable to do so - and ever since.

It went to Europe and the rot really did set in. Non-aggression and non-violence became not just unheard of but completely non-existent amongst the supposedly faithful of the Lord. The words even, were never used such was the popularity of the soldiers of the Cross being literally warring crusaders against evil Islam and, even the wrong kind of Christianity! No longer were they faithful followers of the way of the Lord who taught and practised loving enemies rather than aggression and violence.

It came to America and that most devout nation; indeed, the nation with the mostest - the most of absolutely everything, including Bible believing, born again Christians. Yet, for the last six decades, along with its best buddy, the UK those most righteous nations have warred, have attacked, have invaded, have occupied nations with their godless and evil Communism. Only the tiny, barely Christian sects and branches of Christendom have been noted for their non-aggression and non-violence. Only they have remained true to the roots of Christianity and its Founder's 'unsuccessful' Way of non-aggression, non-violent direct action and of, literally loving those who have come to war, attack, invade and occupy.

The worst heresy, the ultimate irony and the final insult is the Bible reading and prayerful duo who launched the War of Terrorism against two Muslim nations who had done nothing to deserve the judgement of the righteous of the Lord from the US/UK. This Christian war or crusade against evil shows just how far the supposed disciples of the King of Love and the Prince of Peace have departed the Faith. They, who talk the most about defeating evil, need to first repent of their own much greater evil, methinks! There is the Jesus parable of the mote and the beam or, the splinter and the plank. Judgement begins in the House of the Lord - and, indeed on all who take the sword and the rod to punish the evil, sinful, rogue and failed nations of the world. Except, the US/UK/Israeli hegemony gets away with it. There is no judgement for their injustice, aggression and violence because they are all powerful - unlike their founder, Jesus Christ; all powerless, non aggressive and all failing!

Friday, 13 June 2008

Open letter on living it up for ever and a day!

WARNING! This is my green propaganda, green economics coming out as I
munch my lunch!

Thanks for the thoughts, Colin, from Newsnight.

I have not heard that speculators and the work of OPEC are responsible for
the 12p/litre price difference between petrol and diesel. I have heard
that it is due to the greater demand for diesel than petrol and greater
difficulties in processing diesel compared with petrol. As regards oil in
general, experts on Radio 4 news programmes have mentioned speculators as
being partly to blame, as well as supply/demand problems.

Far safer to take home the message of rising prices that the more we
conserve the stuff through keeping to speed limits, cycling and
driving/flying less, the more we will keep prices down and preserve the
planet's wealth.

Far more sensible to assume that we may be approaching peak oil plateau and
take the green message that money and energy do not grow on trees, more
seriously. The problem is that none of us want to change our lifestyles
and patterns of behaviour until we are forced to! I certainly don't want
to give up my Scottish car camping holidays in Scotland in April and May
every year. But, as you so rightly put it at Llanrug, fuel rationing must
be introduced for the good of all of us and future generations.

I am now writing about fuel rationing being more important than congestion
charging and, rationing as an essential part of making all life last that
little bit longer.

All the best


PS The first law of capitalism and of conventional economic wisdom is that
we must rip into all finite resources as if they are infinite.
The second law is that you live only for the present and pay no regard over
our future prospects.
The third law is that you don't cost in anything like the full or complete
or external costs of our exploitation of our one off cornucopia of

It is a live now pay later economics where the message of ever rising
prices for food, fuel and everything else has no bearing on our over
consumption, over population, over reaching of ourselves. We just carry on
over doing it without any acknowledgement that the complacent and careless, "You've never
had it so good" bonanza may have something to do with it!

Our leaders and the people are all in denial, I think!