December 29, 2010

QUILLIAM SHRINKING

Demos blog

...reducing government funding makes some sense in respect of the review of the Prevent strand of counter-terrorism. With less money to go around, Prevent needs to be more focused on public safety – working primarily to target individuals who have adopted al-Qaeda ideology but have not acted on it. The Quilliam Foundation finds it difficult to access these people, and even more difficult when receiving government money...


UPDATE: new comment freshly laid by a curious "MUSA"

Im soooooo glad the quilliam foundation are almost finished. They was no good n the begining and no good at the end. InshaAllah nooooooooooooo one funds them.

could that be Musa Ahmet rejecting them for a second time? 3 part video of us discussing the launch of Quilliam here. And a press TV report from the launch. They since phoned Musa to see if he could be of any use but he decided against joining up with them. As I have said before, I have no opinion. There always seemed to be confusion about the point of Quilliam. Certainly nothing we saw at the launch seemed geared towards those at risk of turning to extremism. What is a "think tank" in terms of anti-extremism?

(update: Musa's comment is now missing for some reason)

Harry's Place has a perspective:

...In many important ways, Quilliam has won the battle. There is now a broader understanding of the work of Islamist political parties active in the United Kingdom...

There is? What for? And how much did that cost again?

More think tanking or thinking tank from Quilliam- How to Respond to Al-Qaeda ?

...In 2003, the Metropolitan Police evicted Abu Hamza and his followers from the mosque, installing individuals from the Muslim Association of Britain, an Islamist group with links to the Muslim Brotherhood, in their place...

err... oh forget it.
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December 23, 2010

XMAS IS EVIL!

Via Pickled Politics, check out Xmas is Evil here.

In the church I grew up in our pastor used to preach a lot of what Mr Choudhary et al are saying. The same sermon every year- That people had forgotten the real meaning of Christmas. They had taken the "Christ" out of Christmas and now use it as an excuse for, well a lot of the evils mentioned here.

It was only much later that I found out that it was actually Christians who stole the yuletide festivity for their own, and the real meaning of the whole thing was to have a big blow out on the shortest day of the year and hope that what you had left would last you till something grew out of the ground again!

I feel very lucky to be alive now, in the UK. I hope we all enjoy our good fortune over this festive period and find ways to share it beyond these borders in the New Year.
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December 17, 2010

Dead Inspiring

DEAD

Another ominous story, another trawl through forty hours of tapes? As usual this guy looks familiar.

Abdaly spent much of the past decade in Britain and appears to have been radicalised there..

I am glad I decided not to pursue journalism after all. I don't like any of this. Any news connected to this is not going to be good news.

Some of it is interesting news though. Remember Mahmoud Abu Rideh? Held up as an example of misused control orders? (Guardian also).. Said in one interview Bin Laden was a "decent man"? Allegedly killed in Afghanistan fighting alongside the Taliban.

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December 14, 2010

JODY



The debate about what has been happening to Jody McIntyre and this subsequent Ben Brown interview is very interesting. I must admit I am siding with Jody about the F.I.T. squad -not surprisingly but I am siding with this geezer in The Telegraph about the interview.

As a representative of the BBC the guy had to robustly interview Jody. It helps Jody. Put it this way- what would the right wing press be saying about the BBC if he didn't? For Jody to be able to answer questions like this on TV helps his case, should he choose to pursue one.

Obviously I have seen the enthusiasm of the F.I.T. squad before, its not been a secret here that they know who I am and ask silly questions because they think they are leaning on me for something which is DEFINITELY in their own heads. They also do this to people known to be violent. Jody says he believes in revolution. the F.I.T squad should ask him what he means by this. I am sure they will get all the information they need without pulling him out of his wheel chair and dragging him across the street. Or they could read his blog.

They aren't very good at distinguishing actual threats from those they or their bosses perceive are they. Leaning on someone with cerebral palsy like this they have no fucking excuse whatsoever. The anti terror squad asked questions politely and calmly. Mind you that is probably because I am a honky. The F.I.T squad are a bit thick and exceed their remit. They behave like demented paparazzi. Pushing it too far and being caught on camera should be good for them. I hope they learn something for once. Jody can answer, and the way he answers is a lesson to all of us. Tomlinson couldn't.

Personally I have seen a valiant attempt from the Beeb, in a BBC manner of course- to pursue issues of Police brutality and issues of disorder involved in these protests. Maybe I am getting old or something. I have noticed white bits in my beard.

I hope this generation achieve change, and aren't distracted by policemen with these attitudes like so many of my generation were.


Jody's version of events is here

Richard Littlejohn here

Some curiously extensive stuff from The Daily Mail. Including an image of just how frontline Jody was.

...More than 180 people have been arrested by police investigating rioting during the series of protests against rising student tuition fees, it emerged today.

Senior officers said the vast majority of the 182 suspects were aged between 17 and 25 and have never been involved in violence or criminal acts before...



also breakfast news


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December 13, 2010

I read it in The Sun (who owe me money)

JAILED terror fanatic Abu Hamza will today ask to be freed claiming he is "too sick" to remain behind bars.

The hook-handed rabble-rouser's lawyers will produce a doctor's report claiming his stumps have become infected while in jail.

Other medical problems include diabetes, high blood pressure and a skin condition...

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December 08, 2010

Have a read of this..

The path into terrorism in the name of Islam is often described as a process of radicalisation. But to be radical is not necessarily to be violent. Violent radicals are clearly enemies of liberal democracies, but non-violent radicals might sometimes be powerful allies.



This report is a summary of two years of research examining the difference between violent and non-violent radicals in Europe and Canada. It represents a step towards a more nuanced understanding of behaviour across radicalised individuals, the appeal of the al-Qaeda narrative, and the role of governments and communities in responding.


will have a read and get back to you..
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December 04, 2010

KATHY

My old Republican buddy Kathy on Wikileaks:

This post might be the most rebellious of all the posts I've written. Maybe because it came about from a discussion with my oldest son, who in his younger years was known to rebel.

My son's take on Julian Assange is that it doesn't matter who he is, why he is doing this, or his past. What matters is that our leaders are doing things that are wrong, maybe illegal, and exposing them is not a bad thing. He doesn't buy the argument that it puts our soldiers lives in danger. He says that is what they always say, but when has a soldier died because we discovered things like this? He also asked why the administration didn't work with Assange to redact the possible dangerous information? Assange agreed to do that, but they refused. They didn't want any of it published. Which is understandable, but when you know it's going to happen anyway, wouldn't you do what you can to limit the danger to our troops? Also, my son seems to think the media is focusing way too much on Assange and his personal life. Why don't they focus more on what the cables say about how our government and other governments operate?

All good questions that got me to thinking...

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December 03, 2010

Tell it like it is...

Really Sobering Dispatches doco. Tells you what it is like living in a place where there is a terrorist attack every four days or so. This doco follows the Police and the surviving victims and their relatives.

Also- I have never seen it before, but the third series of The Family is excellent. A real lesson for me in documentary story telling.
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November 22, 2010

And More Starting..

An occasional reader and long time enemy of Mohammed Hamid (or Osama Bin London) from Speakers Corner sent me a mail directing me to Al Qaeda's online magazine in english called "Inspire". Don't worry, I'm not going to post a link.

It is definitely directed at the young with whom I think it would be scarily popular. It doesn't actually contain bomb making instructions, not the issue I saw anyway but it does suggest its readers commit acts of terrorism in the west. It suggests killing pedestrians at random with a 4X4 with "butcher blades" attached to it is the righteous work of Allah. It also gives detailed instructions for web encryption. It can't have taken that long to put together, it must be a bitch to track if someone managed to send it to me.

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November 21, 2010

STOPPING part2

Well that's it then, The Impossible is over... or is it?

We were playing boring music. No one was dancing. I think dragging ourselves around abandoned warehouses improvising wasn't exactly inspiring us to make more music and the sequenced trance we started making sounded old before its time for some reason. Its a shame we never recorded the guitar/bass/drums live thing we started out with properly. Maybe London is the wrong place for jam bands. I have heard that Melbourne in Australia and Austin Texas are good.

Anyway endings and beginnings propelled me out into the countryside for a think which was good. I went to an event called Green drinks at The Green Dragon pub in Bungay where a guy called Simon Weeks gave a fascinating talk about the process he has gone through getting a small scale wind farm going. For more of this read Sustainable Bungay here also Cookpole Energy Action here.

It was very interesting for me as a Londoner hearing first hand about the much publicised NIMBY opposition to wind-farms, in an area which used to be well known for windmills. It seemed incredibly obvious to me that someone should start rebuilding classic windmills with updated internal technology. Even if they are less efficient it seems to me that two windmills which become a tourist attraction to the area might be better that one which is being stopped by a small amount of people complaining it is an eyesore.

Back to the music, getting all my equipment home made me realise that I have got a hell of a home studio set up I am itching to get into. Casting wide for inspiration I came across this, which is apparently classed as techno.

[hth001] Riino & Lorisloser - Stop (Original Mix) by Heaven to Hell Records

I have only made one track with this pulsing bass, but I quite like it, and you don't need a bass player to do it eh. I am wondering if I could put some sonic youth style guitaring and some live percussion together around this style of live set. It annoys me that music is so segregated these days, as although I like this, I can't see "minimal" as a genre on its own. I am sure djs used to let music expand and contract and progress over time like breathing. Maybe I am getting old.

hmmmm. Some more pondering is required.

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November 11, 2010

STOPPING



Sorry guys, I just can't see how this is a good thing and it makes me very uneasy seeing supposedly intelligent bloggers justifying "a bit of argy bargy". What killed Mayday in this country? Violence. There is nothing worse than being right and totally negating your argument. I can't see how this is bringing about change and I take a very dim view of wasting Police time. I have seen Police after they were out all night looking for a friend of mine who had become mentally ill, and not through drugs. They left without waiting for a thank you. I have seen Police attending road accidents.

I am surprised how many people my age and older are still dreaming of a day when Police are outnumbered and they think utopia will reign. When Police are outnumbered they will call fucking Blackwater guys. Get a fucking grip. Capitalists are laughing at you.

It all seems really simple to me. To try and draw back from the extremes of capitalism we need to interest the majority. As far as I can see only the top 3% will suffer in their pockets and in comparison to the bottom 50% they will still be living in luxury. As culture changes and the majority are on side, the top 3% who I would imagine are suffering quite badly from human greed might try some funny business so it would really help if the Police were on side. The reaction they had to Climate Camp on black heath was very encouraging. Please don't throw it away.

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November 08, 2010

STARTING AND STOPPING...

Bakri's "Sheikh Google" style self starting in the Telegraph:

...Choudhry said she had been viewing "interesting" life stories of YouTube users describing how they became Muslim when al-Awlaki's sermons appeared as related content on the site. As the impressionable 21-year-old watched she became "surprised at how little I knew about my religion" and "motivated to learn more".

After watching hundreds of hours of extremist propaganda online in just six months, she decided to kill in revenge for Britain's involvement in the Iraq war...

...She told officers that she had decided to put her plan into action just "a few days" after watching a video in which Sheikh Abdullah Azzam spoke of the obligation for Muslims to defend a Muslim land if it is attacked...

...Choudhry said she did not regularly visit a mosque and had no-one to answer questions about her faith or about the material she viewed online, meaning the films were the only interpretation of the Koran she had access to.

She said: "I don't ask anyone, I just listen to his lectures. There's no-one to ask."...

..."I feel like I've ruined the rest of my life. I feel like it's worth it because millions of Iraqis are suffering and I should do what I can to help them and not just be inactive and do nothing while they suffer." ...

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FREE

Terrorists freed from jail to walk the streets: a list
At least 46 convicted terrorists "pose a risk" to the public on the streets, Government documents have disclosed. (Telegraph)

and in The National here:
At least 20 Islamist extremists who may pose a risk to the public have completed their sentences in UK prisons and been released. Another 26 will be eligible for parole in two years.

A classified ministry of justice document revealed yesterday by The Daily Telegraph shows that tight controls are now in place restricting where militants on parole can work and what mosques they can visit. Some have also been banned from using computers and all are forbidden to associate with known criminals.

"There is now a small but significant number of terrorists being held in custody or managed on licence," the document says.

"This instruction ensures that processes to manage offenders who pose a risk of harm to the public, or whose cases pose complex management issues, are effectively configured to meet the challenges of managing terrorist offenders."...

also:
...A legal team led by Birmingham solicitor Phil Shiner claims to have evidence of systematic abuse of detainees. It includes the cases of 59 Iraqi civilians who say they were hooded by British troops. Eleven claim to have been subjected to electric shocks, 122 claim that ear muffs were used for sound deprivation, 131 say they experienced sight deprivation through the use of blackened goggles, 52 say they were deprived of sleep, 39 allege they experienced enforced nakedness, and 18 claim that they were forced to watch pornographic DVDs.

In addition, a number of cases have emerged in which British troops allegedly killed Iraqi civilians. The case of Baha Mousa is one of the few that ever reached court. One soldier was jailed for a year after pleading guilty to inhumane treatment of Baha Mousa, but six other soldiers were acquitted. Most cases have never reached court...

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November 05, 2010

ONE IN ONE OUT

I know I have been watching and listening to them for a while but I honestly have no opinion on whether or not we should let radical clerics into the UK. Its your country, run it how you like. I've got to say that in all my years of Radical news watching hobby this has got to be the best title for a related article..

ONE IN ONE OUT FOR RADICAL MUSLIM CLERICS/

a bit more feather spitting?

What a messed up world we live in when this muppet has to retain British citizenship because the Egyptians were smart enough to disown him first...


Telegraph-The Special Immigration Appeals Commission ruled that Hamza could not be made stateless and if he also succeeds in blocking his extradition to the US, he will be freed to live in Britain next October. David Cameron was said to be "disappointed" with the decision but a Downing Street spokesman said it would not affect the extradition proceedings.

The Home Office said they would consider it closely and added: "British nationality is a privilege and the Home Secretary has the ability to remove it from dual nationals when she believes it to be in the public good.”

The Special Immigration and Appeals Commission (SIAC) ruled that Hamza could not be stripped of his citizenship because the Egyptians had got there first...
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November 04, 2010

MOORE SANITY

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

Website used by woman who stabbed MP encourages further attacks (Telegraph)

A radical website has praised the stabbing of the MP Stephen Timms and published a list of other MPs who voted for the war in Iraq, along with details of where to buy a knife. The website, Revolution Muslim, is hosted in Bellevue, Washington, and includes a disclaimer invoking the first amendment of the US constitution, protecting free speech...

I took a look at this website just recently when I was reading something about Anwar Al Awlaki and I must admit I was surprised that it was featuring talks by Adam Yahiye Gadahn blatantly justifying terrorist attacks in the west and yet it was hosted in the States and on the same blog site I am on. I have noticed in the past that in Sweden and Norway Muslim extremists can get away with saying stuff they would be jailed for over here too but in post 9/11 America?

Looking again at Revolution Muslim they are well up on events over here, more than I am these days anyway featuring Mr Choudharry's writings about his CNN interview where he states he believed he has been entrapped by CNN into making statements supporting terrorism,



They also feature stuff I didn't know existed from Abu Izzadeens speeches upon being released from jail. He doesn't look like he has suffered any..


November 02, 2010

More Fighting Talk...

from Inspector Gadgets blog:

Metcountymounty-

‎...Even with force mobilisation we would have had a problem clearing it, it would have been brilliant but messy, and no good news would come out of it. Back to the days of mass raves now, they’ve tried and won, and we’re now screwed....

This was his response to being present at the Scumoween Rave over the weekend reported in the paper.

Rave hordes in 18-hour spree of destruction at former Royal Mail depot in central London

Illegal Holborn Rave Was A Smokers’ Revolution And Against State Control

I used to read Metcountymounty's blog and I must admit I was disappointed when he stopped blogging. I am very much in favour of Police blogs. It is a sort of accountability which is more realistic than press releases or "on high" officers with no direct experience of what they are talking about making measured statements which mean fuck all.

What's not been mentioned-

This was the third time this building has been partied, there may have been more. The idea that anyone could do any more damage to it isn't very credible.

I've heard various stories of what happened. The ITN piece about raves "coming back" was hilarious.



I think this was the fifth scumtek over the last couple of years, with over thirty rigs at each. Not really my scene. Obviously this one was reported cos it was in the West End and because there was trouble for a while. My band were playing at a fairly large squat party in a slightly more secluded place elsewhere in London.

I make no comment on what I didn't personally witness but I will say-

The sort of squat parties we get booked at charge a fair bit of money and attract a different crowd. They also put a load more money into decor and sound equipment but they are about the same size as skumtek. They are basically everything you could ask for from a professional nightclub (except for bloody toilets) with security who can look after security rather than having to steal peoples drugs from them to give to the council. They never ever have any problem with the Police because they talk to them in a polite and professional manner.

I used to do some of the more hairier Hackney parties where I used to specialise in talking to the cops to convince them not to bust us. I think I might have written about them somewhere. It was just such a damn interesting cultural barrier to cross at whatever level of inebriation I was on at the time.

(Just found one- see POLICE OFFICER NO GIVE ME PRODUCER)

There are loads of comments about the Police throughout this blog.

...Back to the days of mass raves now, they’ve tried and won, and we’re now screwed....

I am sorry Metcountymounty feels this way. For one thing, what is "back to the days"? When have mass raved ever stopped? We have been playing at raves of between 2 and 4 thousand people for years now with no trouble from or given to the Police. How are they screwed? They make the same decisions every weekend all over London. If they get to a party which is setting up they can bust it and stop it. If the building already has thousands of people out of their heads inside, its better to leave it and do what needs doing on Saturday night surely.

See ITS THE SMOKE- the last one a couple of weeks back including a picture of a lone Policeman being taken for a tour of the venue as everything was winding down. I sat eating chips with the TSG in Camden one time when they inexplicably bust the trance party next door and left ours alone.

I am sorry Metcountymounty is so enthusiastic to fight with people. He sounds just like some squatters I used to know.

More interesting comments from Metcountymounty

...What pisses me off is the fact that they had the gall to do it in central london, in the middle of a high residential population KNOWING that our spineless as fuck bosses would ultimately let them. They KNOW that the media hate us and will slate us no matter what, they KNOW that most of the population who will speak up are left wing pussies who will take any opportunity to have a go at us and they KNOW that ultimately they will get away with it....

Obviously I am hoping Scumtek hasn't Castle Mortoned our ventures in London. I am not in favour of rubbing "their" nose in it just because you can. That's how the CJB came about. Wake up. We are a minority. They don't understand us. I don't buy any of this shit about "parties should be free" either. in my experience the people who used to shout this the loudest used to make shit loads from selling drugs.

another retired officer-

..All sounds like a return to the 90′s when I was on the TSG, spent innumerable lare turn commissioner’s reserves dealing with raves and pay parties. Must say though, that the illegal S&M rave in an archway under the railway bridge in Brick La...ne in Bethnal Green was more than compensation for all the aggro. I’ve never seen so many females in leather and rubber in one place in my life…..

The Policeman is right. I was at this party and it was amazing. I forget who the people who organised it were but it's a real shame they don't do stuff any more as they were seriously forward thinking people.

Reality check for anyone who is interested- Why am I against parties in legal venues? A certain huge South London venue which was recently closed down used to have to pass the council a box full of drugs to the value of x pounds every month to keep their license. Do you think they collected this amount of drugs on hardcore drum and bass nights or fluffy trance nights? I got totally sick of getting into a frame of mind where I was enjoying myself and causing no harm to anyone and then suddenly seeing the person next to me assaulted by wankers wearing black. I voted with my feet along with everyone else.

I take a very dim view of causing the Police problems on Saturday night when they have serious stuff to attend to, the law is not their fault and I have no influence on how they enforce it. We just do what we do. My interest is in understanding why we do it.

More on the spot footage from Skum'oween break in



UPDATE: Police bust party as it is setting up. Cheers Scum'oween! Nice one guys! Any more bright ideas?
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October 28, 2010

FIGHTING TALK...

Someone wants to go back to jail. In the Sun (who owe me money) today:

TERROR fanatic Abu Izzadeen was freed from prison today — and shamelessly attacked the poppy as he left.

The al-Qaeda supporter — caged for inciting hatred and raising funds for terrorism — got a hero's welcome from 50 bearded cronies at the gates of Pentonville nick in North London...

...It's believed Izzadeen — formerly known as plain old Trevor Brooks — will now take centre stage as the public face of Muslim extremism in Britain.

His every word was cheered by a flock including sidekick Anjem Choudary and jailed hate cleric Abu Hamza...

Hamza came out and cheered and then went back into solitary confinement? I didn't think he would be allowed to do that but if The Sun say so it must be true.

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October 26, 2010

HOUSE HUNTING

Reported in The Sun (Who owe me money)

HATE preacher Abu Hamza's house has finally been sold — with the £257,000 proceeds going to UK taxpayers.

Jubilant investigators have also clawed back £3,000 from accounts linked to the hook-handed cheat. It means he can at last cough up towards a £300,000 legal bill — four years after his conviction for soliciting murder during hate-filled sermons.

Hamza, 52, tried to thwart the sale of the four-bed home he bought for cash in Greenford, West London, by claiming a sister living in Egypt owned it.Last night Legal Services Commission chairman Sir Bill Callaghan said: "We will not tolerate people attempting to hide assets to get defence costs paid."

A joyful Whitehall source added: "In the end he had to pay."

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October 24, 2010

ANJUM CHOUDHARRY ON CNN



Maybe I was a bit rude about Mr Choudharry in The Age of Extremes film. He was always polite to me. Those of Hamza's followers I have spoken to take a dim view of him because they think "We are going to take over your country" is no way to invite people to Islam- even if ultimately they believe it is true!

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AGE OF EXTREMES



This is the film I ended up in which premiered at The Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn. Ishmahil made the original Blood Diamond doco the DiCaprio film was based on as well as some seminal stuff about Cuba. He is more "anti-media" than I am but then he has had reason to be. Do check it out and tell me what you think. I am at the end of part 4 and a bit more in part 5.

Do check out riceandpeas.com

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October 21, 2010

ABU HAMZA IS OFF THE HOOK


So what happens now?

HOOK-handed mullah Abu Hamza has won a reprieve from deportation after the Home Office’s expert witness changed his mind.

The department wants to be able to boot evil Hamza, 52, out for good after he was found guilty on race hate and terror charges.


But witness General Adel Abdul Maqsoud Afify has decided not to testify to a Special Immigration Appeals Tribunal. It came after he read more evidence about the case.

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October 20, 2010

FROM FATWA TO JIHAD

I though this was in a place called "The Free World Centre" which sounded a bit Bush/Right wing but it turned out to be The Free Word Centre- a quick run in the rain from Farringdon tube.

As I went through the door I thought I had walked into a cult as there were babes in T shirts greeting everyone. When I asked them what it was about they started reading off of the boards around them so I quickly realised they were professional hospitality babes. Nice idea. I think I am going to employ some to greet people at Malung HQ. For my £5, as this event was part of the South Asian Literature Festival I also got a really sizeable book of extracts from books by Asian authors which I am working through.

When things got underway Keenan Malik was joined by Robert Sharp and the event was chaired by Rohan Jayasekera.

I'm not sure what I was expecting, it was all pretty theoretical, and not much about Fatwa or Jihad. A lot of things were said about culture, the culture of government and media over recent years and a desire to challenge the arguments of the main stream. Things I agreed with wholeheartedly but how? Where for example is the forum to debate people with racist views? The only realistic place mentioned was the classroom. I am at a loss for any better answers myself.

I wasn't expecting answers or tablets of stone, and it was good to be around people again for whom the written word holds power, as I haven't felt like that for ages myself. On this journey I haven't been very literary, and what I have read has mainly been factual stuff about Jihadis elsewhere. It is important especially in these times to make links with others who are resisting the push and I must admit talking to Ishmahil and talking at the Riverside has enthused me though I didn't say a lot here. I very much enjoyed the talk and thought the place looked really interesting. I will keep an eye out to see what else is going on there.

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BRITISH


There is a market in Jamaica called British with a history of more than two hundred years. Well it is a clearing anyway. A place where as the Jamaicans told me "Independent man can go sell goat, or cow or pig without any involvement from the government". They also sell weed.

Anyway I digress. I thought it was a done deal a long while back, but Mr Hamza in in court again fighting for his British citizenship this time.

"Stateless" Hamza bids for passport
(Press Association)

'Stateless' extremist preacher Abu Hamza in bid to keep British passport... using Myra Hindley and John Venables' QC (Daily Mail)

Tribunal to rule on Abu Hamza's British citizenship (Telegraph)

UPDATE: Apparently Hamza is actually in court this time not on a video link. Although I haven't been able to get down there I have had some contact with a journalist who has who has told me he looks OK.

Abu Hamza claims removing his British citizenship would leave him stateless

Hamza told the hearing: “It is not the habit of the Egyptian government to respond to anything,” but he added that he was certain he had been stripped of his citizenship.

Hamza said a 2004 article in the government owned Al-Ahram newspaper “gloatingly” confirmed that he was no longer an Egyptian national.

He said: “I was not aware of it at the time it was printed as it was printed when I was in jail. I just saw it as gloating from the government. It was just two days after my arrest. I was arrested on Wednesday May 28, so on the Thursday it will have been all over the newspapers, then the day after there will have been reaction, the sort of Richard and Judy type thing.”

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EQUANIMITY?

Well that was difficult. My fourth time in Vipassana, third time in Hereford for another ten day tangle. Maybe I went at it a bit hard. I think I understood a lot more this time. As far as I can tell, Vipassana is a meditation technique where you go round your body observing the sensations on the skin, and eventually observing internally as well remaining what Goinka (the guru) calls "equanimous"- Not getting off on the pleasant sensations or developing aversion to the painful ones. He believes this is the path to enlightenment. (Equanimity-wkipedia)

My brain was kicking and screaming the whole way through. I didn't realise how much Vipassana I have been doing over the years whilst riding my bike or walking cos I couldn't sit still on a cushion. Going back to Ana-pana, the technique he starts people on to build awareness, which is basically observing the feeling of the breath on the skin below the nostrils for three days just gave me a headache in the left frontal lobe and immense amount of frustration. I had one good day when we finally went on to Vipassana proper but the hard won "equanimity" I managed to muster was fairly much blown the next day.

I haven't blogged about it here cos it was maybe a bit too personal but a friend of mine did Vipassana maybe eight months ago and was in a secure psychiatric ward within a week. After a very long story I am not going to tell she is alright now and I didn't think it would come up for me this time, but when I saw a guy who looked as if he could have been her brother walking round talking to himself with a similar disturbing look in his eye I began to question the whole thing.

I told the teacher of my worries and he seemed a bit narked. So I told him the whole story the next day in no uncertain terms and questioned whether they had the facilities to cope with the fall out of what doing such extreme stuff might provoke in people. I deliberately told him the details up to the moment my friend was closed into a psychiatric ward to watch for his answer.

Being a bit of a rebel I always seem to end up testing the teacher at any of these guru things but I thought in the circumstances this test was pretty valid. I thought to myself that if he had asked how she was, that would have been the compassionate answer. If he just defended his precious technique, that would be wholly different. He failed the test quite conclusively and the rest of my meditation was fairly much shot to pieces by the anger I felt at this.

Looking back I suppose that I don't expect anyone to be the Buddha and when we broke the silence I did hear that he had been calling people to see him who had been seen talking to themselves but I do still worry, especially as the number of students accommodated in Hereford has tripled since last time I was there five or six years ago.

The last day I spent fairly much like the last day I was there before. I tried valiantly to be equanimous with the same pain in the same shoulder blade from the same accident sixteen years ago until such kidding of myself broke and my brain railed against believing an old guru that I could observe my pain and make myself happy. Further more I knew that it was the girl who had been damaged by this process who I would go to for a deep tissue massage to really sort it out afterwards!

When we broke the silence a very strange thing happened though. I spoke to a few new students about my dilemmas and didn't quite get the answers I thought I would. People were basically saying "You are angry- its working."

I spoke to an Australian psychologist who said he was dealing with pain management and encouraging his patients to focus their mind on the physical pain and feel the anger in order to heal it. The whole thing flipped for me in half an hour, and when we went back into the hall I was able to sit there, equanimous as fuck observing the pain in my shoulder, I could have done another ten days. Very weird.

Driving back with the people I came with found on the sites lift-share facility I was as usual on cloud nine, as was everyone in the car. I have crashed a bit as normality hits but I am still practising twice a day and at odd times during the day. Maybe I was expecting more of a change. Maybe its telling me there are more things I need to change myself.

The same things bothered me that always bother me about Vipassana, this ritual that isn't a ritual bowing, the personality led nature of the thing and the worry that it can seriously damage people regardless of what they say, but I will keep up my practice if I can and blog about any results over time hopefully.

Vipassana might not be for everyone, but it is growing steadily worldwide. The website is here.

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October 03, 2010

ITS THE SMOKE

Oh yeah. Mr fastfingers always moans that I never blog about the band so here goes.

I was fucking ill all night at the street party we had here last weekend. I was lying down unable to sleep then I would hear a band I liked and wander outside for a bit until I felt faint. I kept bumping into people I hadn't seen for ages and shouted "I'm ill!" at them which I got totally sick off.

8.30 am we threw everything in a van and went round the corner to play Acid Monkey. I was cursing being booked at this time but it really worked out as people were totally fucked and up for a bit of experimentation. As soon as I was there I felt fine and the gig went great. The building wasn't exactly empty, but I think the Police were aware this was a professional party crew and I saw one officer being escorted round in the morning to make sure nothing went missing. Very nice to see sensible Policing at a squat party. It must have looked like a Doctor Who set at night on acid with all the water bottles everywhere.


I was still unable to sleep when I got home about 12 so I wandered up to The London Tattoo Convention and drunk a lot of alcohol. The tattoo convention was strangely dissapointing. I don't know what I was expecting but if this is the premier tattoo convention in the world maybe I am missing something. There were some nice people there though and judging by the queues at the cash point I think the tattooists made a lot of money. Anyway I woke up the next morning and I didn't feel any worse so I know what to do next time I have the flu.


In hopes of some enhancement to our stage presence one of the dancers pulled out a smoke machine from her attic yesterday. I contacted the first website I came across in hopes of getting it working and they have been very helpful.

Turns out these haven't been made for sixteen years, but they were shit hot in their day. I was a bit stumped as the switch is missing, but having been on the party scene in London for years I called the first person who came to mind and wonder of all wonders they knew exactly which machine I was talking about and had a switch for it so hopefully when I come back from Vipassna we will be smoking!

Beeee Happpeeeeee

OK I have been winding down for the last few days staying off the drink and stuff in a run up to another tangle with the gurgling toad Buddha. Bella has a really good summary of her experiences here. The first time I did Vipassna in Jaipur the experience was so funny I wrote it all down and have always been intending to publish it online but the story is still decomposing paper in a box somewhere. Maybe when I come out. Looking thru Bella's blog she has some other very interesting pictures too.


Anyway Mr Goenka says leave all that behind for ten days. Like Bella I struggle with his view of passion and morality in general but I had better knuckle down now or there is no point in going. I know I am going to struggle locked in with that gurgling again too. I hate Vipassna in loads of ways but it works for silencing the demons for a bit anyway. Nothing else does.

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October 01, 2010

Down by the Riverside

Ishmahil asked me to do the Q and A with Mousah Brown and himself at Riverside Studios so I thought I'd try my newly fixed bike for a night ride. Right. Crawling down the Kings Rd it completely cut out in the middle of the road. The traffic was moving so slowly I didn't bother anyone so once I got it started again I left it running for a bit with the lights off to charge the battery.

I tried a few roads to find The Riverside and ended up having to wheel the bike down a cycle lane. Anyway this is dangerously turning into a bike blog isn't it. My bike blog thankfully has a home of its own now so I'll shut up.

I watched the film for the third time now with a mixture of nerves about answering questions afterwards and nerves about trying to get my bike home. Stomping to the front with my bike boots I was glad Mousah and Ishmahil were there. After the first few questions I thought I was going to get away without saying anything, but someone who later turned out to work for the Islam channel asked me if the guys at Finsbury thought I was a spy.

I thought Mousah answered some of the audience's worries about radical Islam really well and I also got to hear a lot more about Ishmahil's past which I would like to ask him more about. Afterwards I hung around with the guy from the Islam channel and his wife and a few of the Rice and Peas crew. It was the first time I have spoken to a woman wearing a veil. Quite a strange experience as I had just watched a film which covered the topic.

My motorised pessimism was extinguished as my bike came to life with a roar, but it soon turned into a splutter as I headed down through Putney and got totally lost. It seemed to sort itself when I realised where I was again around Brixton. I thought it was quite a successful night and I got home without having to ring the breakdown service. Anyway I am off armed with DVD to see what Hajj and the guys think of the film- and if he is annoyed about appearing in it!

UPDATE:

Well Hajj, who is going on to Hajj (to Mecca) in a few weeks liked it, the others thought that if Muslims are going to speak on film they should only talk referring to Koran and Sunnah and that they shouldn't give their opinions. I ended up in quite a long debate, the same debate as usual. We all agree about problems with the financial system and those few controlling it, and about the gross injustices in the world but there is no way we are going to unite as a majority and do something about it, which is why I have fairly much given up film making or any sort of optimism.

I'm glad Hajj liked the film anyway. That meant a lot to me. The only thing he critisized was one of the girls in the film coming out with the stuff about evil Jihadi recruiters convincing wayward and ignorant Muslims to become suicide bombers. I must admit I thought that was a bit weird too as none of the 7/7 guys fitted this description. They seemed to know exactly what they were doing.

Hajj himself was indirectly accused of "brainwashing kids" by some MI-5 guys who visited a friend of his at his work place recently. They gave the guy the message to pass on as an aside as they were leaving. He is a bit worried about going on Hajj as he has been warned there are thieves who prey on the visitors but he is confident Allah has already written down what is going to happen to him.

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BOLLOTICS

I haven't really been drawn on the new Coalition too much. There seems for a long time to have been little difference with everyone fighting for the centre ground. I'm not on the centre ground so it all at a bit of a distance to me. I was enthused somewhat by Nick Clegg, I was also enthused by the idea of coalitions working in this country. I was very enthused when someone pointed this out to me from Grant Shapps.

...now I am Minister for Housing and Local Government I have the opportunity to transfer power to where it really belongs - local communities...

So I am obviously a bit disappointed to read this, but pleased a Cooperative movement is doing it for themselves. Maybe this is the big society.

...A co-operative movement has stepped in to offer assistance to the 82 communities left stranded by the cancellation of the Community Owned Pubs Support Programme.

Representatives from a variety of co-operative organisations have agreed to provide support to the organisations that expressed interest in the scheme...

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Who is Anderson Cooper?

Reposted from Pickled Politics here

September 24, 2010

AGE OF EXTREMES premiere TRICYCLE THEATRE


Haha well that worked out.

I haven't blogged about this before just in case. Handing over some of my precious one chip footage to someone else to make a film with has been totally out of the question for a long while, but there hasn't been a point at which I didn't like or trust Ishmahil from Rice and Peas who premièred Age of Extremes at the tricycle last night. He is a bit more anti "mainstream media" than I am, but talking to him about his own experiences he's had reason to be.

Over recent years I have seriously doubted I would do anything with my stuff, so it was good for me to let some out to someone with experience and passion to tell a story. Just chatting while we were transferring the tape dusted off a lot of memories, which was how I ended up actually being in the film as well!

I thought Ishmahil was just going to put a tiny section in but he's used a surprising amount. I was so stuttering and nervous when he was filming that later I asked if he wanted to have another go, but its all ended up just fine and it actually made me cry, seeing what I have been doing, or used to do as part of his story. Its obviously been a burden on my heart for a long time and its good to come out. It was very strange watching myself on the big screen without having seen any of it before. I don't think I have said anything I regret.

The "Helping British people not wanting to blow up" doesn't make grammatical sense, but to be included alongside a really good inside look at The Islamic channel, an insight into the debate amongst British Islamic women about the burkah, The BBC coverage of the floilla raid- I thought the whole film was a really good reflection of the UK and the story flowed really well.

Afterwards I had a bit of a chat with Moazzam Begg and Phil Rees. Moazzam seems like a man on a mission. I hope we can continue on a path with all this.

The next showing is at the Riverside Studios next Thursday, do come down.

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September 23, 2010

KEISER REPORT

This guy cracks me up. There was something in the Independent about RT trying to destablise America or something like that. What could be further from the truth?




September 13, 2010

USEFUL

RED RUBBER

Watched this series with utter amazement. Everyone hears about the Nazi holocaust but I was totally ignorant of all this. It beggars belief now how one person could shape the destiny of such a huge group of people without being called to account for such a long period of time.

August 27, 2010

ZERO

I am sure everyone knows pretty much what I would think about this "Ground Zero mosque" thing, I have been debating it a bit with my republican buddies. Here is a debate on the radio which tells both sides pretty good.

PROPA TERR-R

Wow. There are actually some good statistics in this rather alarming article.

...More than 230 people were jailed in the UK over terror plots in the first decade of this century. But of those, just 105 remain in prison...

According to the think tank Jihadist's are working alone and want to bomb large sports events.

There is even more detail in The Independent:

...Britain faces a "new wave" of home-grown terrorist attacks led by up to 800 Muslim ex-prisoners who have been radicalised by jihadists while serving their sentences, a think-tank has warned...

shit..up to eight hundred? Fuck!

...The Ministry of Justice said it did not agree that radicalisation was widespread within the prison system. A spokesman said: "We run a dedicated expert unit to tackle the risk posed by those offenders with violent extremist views and those who may attempt to improperly influence others."...

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August 26, 2010

NORWEIGAN NUTS

I READ IT IN THE SUN

Terror Rant on Extremist Site

A CONVICTED British Muslim terrorist is urging fanatics to train with guns for a holy war in a rant on an internet site.MPs demanded the extremist website - which also features sermons by hate clerics Abu Hamza and Abu Qatada - be shut down. Evil Shah Jalal Hussain is heard slamming "fake jihadis" who do not prepare properly for holy war...

Doesn't mention the site, but it turns out to be Salafimedia.com and here is the terr-r rant. See what you think. I have only listened to part 1 but I can hear a hell of a lot about a covenant of security. He takes the piss out of people who don't believe a covenant of security applies here. Maybe that is just me. I often think a bit different to people who write in The Sun.

UPDATE: Shah Jalal Hussain has responded here
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August 20, 2010

NOT A SURPRISE


I would dispute the shape though. I and some republican buddies worked out a long time ago that this should be a globe and not a square as all these extremes meet up round the other side.

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STOP PRETENDING

August 19, 2010

INFINITY

I don't know how many more times Channel 4 can make documentaries like this with the same decriminalization message over and over, but I am glad they do.

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CHARACTERISATION



I saw this on Madam Miaows blog and thought it was great. This guy gets people he likes into his show then rants on and on while they sit there laughing. A German chick in my house watches RT all the time, she reckons this guy looks like a character from The Simpsons. RT.com is a very interesting mix of government propaganda and really really interesting stuff.

Otherwise I have been having small stabs at working out the electrics on my ailing chop which is making me laugh and cry at the same time, and very much enjoying Sons of Anarchy. The story is great, the acting not so good. It would have been better with less capable actors with more experience of the sort of stuff they are portraying. Which jobbing actor can get their head round the sort of character who would burn someones tattoo off their back? Anyway I just started series two and Henry Rollins has turned up as a white supremacist so things are looking up.

Also worth watching is Channel 4s mission doco series about some Amish kids coming to the UK. Thankfully they have left out the usual wanker presenter voices and let one of the kids narrate the thing themselves. The way these kids and the English kids discuss their differences gives me real hope for the rest of us- and both sides obviously had a lot to learn from each other. I particularly enjoyed the commentary of the Amish kids when spending time in our education system which is based on a lot of abstraction and playing compared to their education system which is based on teaching the to provide for their families.

Amish: The Worlds Squarest Teenagers

Last of all, I haven't watched this yet but am about to Panoramas Death in the Med about the recent attack of the IDF on a boat heading for Gaza
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August 10, 2010

STOP PRESS

The Sun (Who owe me money) apologise. Although not to me for stealing my work off of Youtube.

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August 09, 2010

MORE MAD MUSLIMS

More mad Muslim stuff if anyone is still interested-

About The Quilliam Foundation putting out some kind of document labelling Muslim groups they don't like



this about an anti-terror training camp (no paintballing)

some bad bwoy journalism from Iraq,

some Al-Qaeda stuff from Afghanistan,

Oh and some anti disestablishmetarianist Islam from The Guardian.

I got no comment about any of this, I just got back from France so I'll probably be pissed for the next two weeks.

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July 25, 2010

FINALLY

Almost every extremist Muslim I have ever talked to has said this.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/journalists/andrew-gilligan/7908262/Hizb-ut-Tahrir-is-not-a-gateway-to-terrorism-claims-Whitehall-report.html

also finally out are some realistic logs of the war in Afghanistan

and here is a Channel 4 blog from someone embedded with the Americans on the frontline
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IGNORANT SHIT ONLY TEN PENCE


I usually buy these for a laugh but this one really offends me. How can "Squat holes" be described as "Muslim only loos"? You see these in Thailand, Malaysia, everyone of every religion in India use them. How fucking ridiculous is it to build sewage systems to process paper? When did humans start cutting trees down to wipe their fucking arses with anyway?

How do they get away with this?

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July 18, 2010

ITS HOME!

cross posted from my Chops blog


I have been waking up at five each morning in a panic for the last few days wondering what this would be like. Everyone has been taking the piss out of my trailer hiring ideas so I bit the bullet and grabbed my leathers. We got to Gravesend about lunchtime and once we settled up the guy (Phil) delivered us back onto the A2 on his Harley. My pal Alexa followed in the car.

All my fears of bumps more or less came to nothing. With the springs under the seat I wouldn't notice it was a hard tail- yet. Don't want to speak too soon but yes, for something so low its ridable. It seems to be true that taking all the weight off the back end and the sixteen inch wheels actually make it chuckable, but I'm not going to the one to chuck it!

The style of handlebars and the sideways movement in the seat springs makes it feel a queasy bit snakey when I let go the throttle but it powers through corners great. The small front wheel gives it a bit of a helpful tip, which I hate in sports-bikes but is quite useful when sitting at wheel level.

I turned up at Blue Chalet MOTs opposite Brands Hatch and it sailed straight thru. Really nice people there with some really beautiful old Harleys. A guy there, and a few people since have guessed that the engine as a lot bigger than it is. I think its cos of the small wheels, and the overall scale of the bike making the engine look bigger. Its certainly a lot smaller than it looks in the photographs.

Tax is coming Monday. I got up to about sixty five on the way back to London which is plenty and plenty noisy. It felt fine around town though I'd like a better mirror and will look into some small indicators. I didn't grin when I rode it but once I got safely home, I haven't stopped grinning since. Its leaking a bit of oil and I need to sort the clutch a bit but I am a happy bunny.

Before I picked the bike up I grabbed a lock at a really nice shop in the Kings Road called Gorgeous Bikes. You would think being on the kings Road it would be expensive and snooty but it was neither, the guy who runs it is a real enthusiast about everything he sells. I picked up a cover there as well but its way too big. Hopefully I can change it. I have covered the bike temporarily with ripped ton bags to protect it from the South London haters, should be OK. I'll find out eh.


UPDATE: My first ride outs in London reminded me how much I hate riding in London. Everyone overtaking me on the inside, moody van drivers plus I think I tripped a couple of cameras in those sneaky 20 zones. Riding at dusk I found that the speedo doesn't light up and I ran out of petrol after only 40 miles, luckily I had reached my destination in Highgate where this picture was taken. Riding back this morning I think the bike was overheating. Hard to tell as I have never sat so close to a bike engine before. The riding position is actually really good for London though. I hope I still have my licence by the weekend.

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July 13, 2010

WHAT IS YOUR PURPOSE IN LIFE?

Woke up feeling crap. Really forboding feling most of the morning. I think maybe I should just be awake at night. I felt better when I left the house on a wander through London checking out helmets and locks in motorcycle shops. I just remembered I put a two hundred quid deposit on a Norton in Delhi ten years ago. Shit. Anyway no matter where was I? Right. On my way to Southall to film with Abu Waleed.

We met at Southall station and went to the same restaurant where he greeted the owner.

"Its OK to film out the back?"

"Yes, but no plotting!"

We parked up on a long table next to a huge golden wedding sofa and ordered some food.

I spoke briefly about what I wanted to ask Mr Waleed, which mainly involved films like Four Lions and the Infidel, neither of which he had seen. Thankfully he had a lot he wanted to talk about so we went with that. Waleed shoots from the hip with lots to say. He is easy to talk to but I think he's going to be difficult to edit. No matter. We had done about half an hour when food arrived along with a few more from his study circle.

Over dinner one of the guys was telling me the thousand reasons why I should become a Muslim. I have sort of developed the same answers over time but having been a christian myself I do understand how important it is to take the opportunity to talk when you believe really strongly that hell awaits the unbeliever. None of them could believe that I could listen to Abu Hamza for such a long time without wanting to become a Muslim. I remember he was telling me about things Mohammed said in the Koran which had later been proved by science. He was also pleased that he had a purpose in life and questioned mine. I have a sort of stock answer for that now too.

" I don't know my purpose but my purpose has led me here, I you had told me I would have spent so much time filming Hamza and Atilla even six months before I started I wouldn't have believed it. Post 9/11 news and the invasion of Iraq led me to want to talk to Muslims and communicate with grass root Republicans for myself."

although I don't do either very much these days any more.

Anyway, nice bunch of guys.

"Are you worried about authority at all?" I asked.

"We are totally open about everything we do."

They apparently have a study circle of fourteen or fifteen guys. Hopefully I can film with them in situ some time.

"Were any of you lot with Hamza or Bakri back in the day?" I asked the guy I was talking to the most. (sorry forgot the name)

"No I am seventeen." he answered.

"Wow. Just goes to show what a beard can do for you eh. You wouldn't think I am I am ten years older than him would you?" I said pointing at Mr Waleed.

"I thought you were in your twenties." he answered.

"Just shows you what riotous living does for you. I should be trying to convert you lot eh."

So we have maybe half an hour of film coming. I know I have promised this before, I'll have to look at it first but I think this time it is pretty good. I got a good feeling when we were talking anyway.

On the way home I realised I had forgotten everything which was disturbing me. I got a bit stoned with the gang and listened to Kurdish music on Last FM which was really cosmic.

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July 08, 2010

NOT REALLY A SURPRISE

...The European Court of Human Rights blocked Thursday the extradition from Britain to the United States of radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri and three other men facing terror charges...

I suppose his lawyers will eventually seek his release like Mr Katatda's did.

Abu Hamza is still here, yet we extradite hundreds unfairly (Telegraph)

There is loads more about this online, I can't be arsed to read through it all.

Also- Christ knows why this took three trials with those videos but there you are.

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July 01, 2010

YOU ARE BARKING MATE

Cross posted from my Chopper drooling blog




Beauty maybe somewhere in the eye of the beholder but there are so many fuck ugly attempts at "chopper" on ebay at the moment I am tempted to post a "rogues gallery" blog. Instead here is a Z650 hardtail I am not going to bid on. Really nice lines but its a bit.. how should I put it?

Err.. .. RED!

Still I have a feeling that if I saw this up close in real life it could tempt me as there is a lot to like here. Footrests and handlebars in a normal rideable position for UK roads, forks at a sensible angle and nice low horizontal frame rails (is there a word for them in chopperspeak? fuck knows)... Good job it is in Kent and not quite just round the corner.


***UPDATE***

Well it turns out it is actually me who is barking after all cos I bought it. Bizzare. It wasn't really a decision so much as a realization. I was just staring at it for a coupla days and it dawned on me that I was going to try and buy it. Turned out the auction was half way through the Engerland game which was a relief. My neighbour in whose house I was watching it (an ex motorcycle instructor with a CBR1000 decomposing in the carpark) said

"Watching England is like having six inch nails hammered into your head in slow motion."

We lost and I won! Scoring in the first ten minutes of the second half I was running round with my shirt over my head, doing Roger Miller dances, the lot. Fuck Engerland. No, I will qualify that- commiserations to the guys who made it to the pitch and their support staff, fuck everyone else.

No indicators, no back suspension, no front mudguard- What the hell have I done?

I haven't picked it up yet and it needs Tax and MOT. I am shitting myself. I don't think I am going to ride it very much. I just wanted to own one. I have wanted to own one since I was a spotty eleven year old Motörhead fan. I have been sporadically blogging about them for a year, clicking through ebay in an OCD haze. I suppose I must have thought it was a bit dirty wanking over other peoples motorbikes, so now I can wank over one of my own.

The guy who is selling it has had it for ten years. He loves it, but as in the case of a lot of Jap choppers on ebay I am sure- he has traded up for a Harley. Is that what will happen to me in ten years? I fucking hate Harleys!

One good thing about buying something like this on ebay is that when I see it I can say Wow! as the price has already been agreed by auction. Not every chop has the gift of looking shit hot from every angle- check this out.





Have I missed any out? I am looking forward to Saturday. This song is for me!

REMOTE CATCH UP

I may return to the subject, but as yet no new news from me, just a coupla links-

One of Hamza's son has gone down for violent disorder commited at the Israeli Embassy protest

also Rangzieb Ahmed is being granted leave to appeal and is being represented by the same barrister as Mohammed Hamid.

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