Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Posts Tagged ‘violence

Horrible Pictures From Hyde Park Cause Dreadful Damage To Cannabis Campaign.

with one comment

Yesterday, the annual Hyde Park 420 event took place.  420 is an American term for cannabis and these events take place all over the world on 20th April.  Why?  For very obscure and esoteric reasons! They are variously described as celebrations of cannabis or protests for legalisation.  Yesterday in Hyde Park was a disaster.

Violent arrests, open dealing of cannabis, hash cookies decorated to appeal to children – these are terrible images that will cause immense harm to the way that cannabis and cannabis users are seen.  CLEAR will not be publishing any of these pictures.

It matters not that these arrests were fundamentally unjust.  The police officers concerned were only doing their job.  The Daily Telegraph and other media are ramping up hysteria over two deaths in Colorado associated with ‘edibles’; so cannabis cookies in kids style was a spectacular own goal. Close-ups of bags of weed being sold alongside the names of the organisers is not just stupid, it is crazy.

We will never win the support of the public by behaving this way.  Inevitably, of the hundreds there, many seemed barely out of their teens.  The images and messages this sends through the media and to our political leaders are destructive of all the positive work that is being done towards reform. These demos, protests,  ‘smoke ups’ and ‘smoke outs’ have never had any positive effect so what makes anyone think they will now?

I know that many involved with the organisers are sincere but if I wanted to plan how to subvert and undermine the campaign, yesterday in Hyde Park would be a good model.

We have MPs, opinion leaders and powerful people on our side but unsurprisingly they will not be associated with such events.  Let’s move on and put this as far behind us as we can. The key to winning this war is to demonstrate that we can behave responsibily, to win hearts and minds which have been subject to propaganda for nearly a century.  Reform in the US has been achieved despite, not because of such events.

So what can you do? Write to your MP, arrange to meet your MP, ask your MP to arrange a meeting with a minister. This is what works. This is what is actually making progress. Let’s not mess it up.

The Truth Behind The Peter Reynolds Hate Campaign.

with 2 comments

I am delighted to announce that a new website is in the process of construction which will set out all the facts and evidence about the hate campaign that I have been subject to since I was elected as leader of CLEAR.  Two people have volunteered to run this on my behalf and I am most grateful to them.  Stringent security precautions will be taken to protect them as those who run the campaign against me have shown that they are prepared to use abuse,  harassment, blackmail, intimidation and all sorts of threats including violence.

Chris Bovey

Chris Bovey

The principal ringleader, Chris Bovey of Totnes, succeeded in having my claim for defamation struck out in the High Court last month.  In essence, he has spent about £50,000 with his lawyers to have my Claim struck out without any of the evidence or issues being heard.  Of course, this was his only hope because the evidence against him is impossible to defeat.  It is by his own hand and shows unequivocally that he is a liar and was acting out of malice in everything that he published about me and paid others to publish.  All the evidence will shortly be published on the new website.

My appeal against the Order striking out my claim is being prepared.  The Order is in direct conflict with Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights, incorporated into the Human Rights Act 1998, which states:

“In the determination of [my] civil rights [I am] entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law.”

There has, of course, been no hearing at all on any of the evidence or issues which my Claim concerns.

Sarah McCulloch

Sarah McCulloch

Another leader of the hate campaign is Sarah McCulloch, who has written a whole series of defamatory articles about me making all sorts of false and quite ridiculous accusations.  I discovered when she filed a defence that she suffers from two diagnosed mental health conditions. I therefore made very generous offers to her to settle which would have avoided her paying me any damages at all. All I asked was that she remove the lies about me that she has published on her website.

However, in response she has perjured herself in an application to the Court which she failed to give me notice of.  A hearing will be held shortly at which the Court will consider her perjury and the deception she used in making an application which I knew nothing about.  Just yesterday I received a long pleading document from her in which she admits she has made a ‘mistake’.  I do not know what the consequences will be for her but my offer of settlement remains open.

Greg De Hoedt

Greg De Hoedt

Greg ‘Cure Ukay’ De Hoedt spent six months publishing the disgusting lie that I am a paedophile.  He has now spent more than a year hiding from me and trying to evade service of my Claim, using both his mother and Bovey to provide false information to the Court.  However, a hearing was held on 5th November 2013 giving him a final opportunity to accept service which he has failed to do.  A further hearing is now due at which judgment will be entered against him.

There are of course a few other footsoldiers involved who continue to stalk me and post abuse wherever I or my work with CLEAR are mentioned.  Full details of their identities and evidence of their activities will also be published on the new website.

Stuart Wyatt

Stuart Wyatt

Probably the most prolific is the severely disabled Stuart Wyatt of Plymouth.  He already has a terrible reputation as an internet troll and for violent attacks on people using his wheelchair.  Sadly, he has little else to do with his life. He deluges me with emails on at least a weekly basis and has spent years stalking me and trying to stir up hatred against me.  All his vile abuse will be published on the new website.

Also there is the hilarious Peter Reynolds Watch website, funded by Bovey and based offshore in Iceland where it is out of reach of the Court.  At first this caused me great worry and distress.  However, in the last year or so it has descended so far into absurdity that it has become a parody of itself, so ridiculous that it shows very clearly how dishonest and malicious are those responsible for it.

As soon as the new website goes live I will post the link here.

Appeal For Help – Did you attend Hyde Park 420?

with 9 comments

There was an outbreak of violence in the early evening and the police are appealing for witnesses.  We should do all that we can to help them.

DC Tony Esmond contacted me today and he is looking for witnesses to the violence to whom he can show some photographs of suspects.  He is not interested in why you were in Hyde Park or anything to with cannabis. He wants to catch the thugs who inflicted serious injury on several people. I would count it as a personal favour from anyone who is prepared to do the right thing and step forward.

Contact DC Esmond on 020 7321 9315 or 020 7321 9364. Leave a message if he’s not there.

If you did witness the trouble then you should step forward.  It is the right thing to do.  Any society needs law and order and police to enforce it. Although we may use cannabis, we are still entitled to the protection of the law and we should support the police, particularly when violence is involved.

This is also an opportunity to demonstrate that we are reasonable, responsible and respectable citizens.  Co-operating with the police over this strengthens our argument for the change in the law that we all want to see.

My understanding of what happened is that it was a perfect demonstration of why a regulated system for cannabis is a safer and more responsible approach.  It was a turf war between two groups of dealers – the inevitable result of prohibition.

What is really ironic is that CLEAR had intended to organise an event in Hyde Park tomorrow, 7th May, to coincide with the international Million Marijuana March. We invested considerable time, effort and money in applying to the Royal Parks for permission.  We agreed to pay a substantial bond, take out insurance, provide stewards at a ratio of 1:20 and undertake to clear up all litter.  They didn’t actually deny us permission but they refused to allow us to use a stage or a PA – even though we pointed out that this would enhance public safety and order.  Consequently we decided not to go ahead and instead we are running an event in Cardiff tomorrow where we have received constructive and positive co-operation from the authorities.

So the unofficial, unregulated and un-stewarded event at Hyde Park went ahead on 20th April with its own PA and look what happened. I left at around 5.30pm when the atmosphere was still peaceful but it was evident that a massive clean up operation was going to be needed.  I hope that the Royal Parks will learn a lesson from this. I shall be writing to them pointing out what a foolish mistake they made.

So I urge you to contact DC Esmond if you have any information or if you witnessed any of the trouble. Now it should be obvious but If you go to the police station to look at photographs, don’t go there stinking of weed and check your pockets to make sure you aren’t carrying anything you shouldn’t be. You don’t want to put any of the officers or yourself in a difficult position!

(Yes, I did have a little chat with DC Esmond about cannabis. I sent him a copy of the medicinal cannabis leaflet and a link to the LEAP website. Well you’ve got to try,  haven’t you!)

Anti-Social Police Behaviour

with 23 comments

Out Of Control

The British police are out of control.  Far from becoming a politically correct “service”, they’re moving more and more towards the “force” ethos, promoting their own self-interest and resisting all attempts to be subject to democratic control.  The sooner we get elected police commissioners the better.  Those presently in charge of the police increasingly place themselves above the law and regard the public as the opposition, not the people they are paid to protect and serve.

They’re even trying to frighten us over the spending cuts, suggesting that any reduction in police budgets will lead to increased crime and disorder.  What other public service with its budget under threat uses direct fear of violence as its response?  I call that scaremongering.  I call it precious close to a protection racket, to blackmail and extortion.

The police are very, very good at road accidents.  There are brave and clever men and women in anti-terrorism and serious crime.  But we lost the British bobby sometime ago now.  I’d say it was in the 1990s.  Dixon Of Dock Green had retired to the other side of the world.  Jack Regan was supposed to have gone but he returned disguised as Gene Hunt.  The TSG continued its long tradition of brutality providing a career path for violent thugs.  The term “institutionalised racism” was coined.  The cars got faster.  The uniforms got sexier in a Nazi stormtrooper sort of way.   Meanwhile, in parallel,  the gay rights, politically correct, sociology graduates and new Labour bureaucrats gained influence and these two factions, fundamentally incompatible, consumed huge quantities of police time and procedure,  and eventually created a perfect storm of bureaucracy, corruption and laziness.  The police lost touch with the people completely.

The police don’t want to be accountable to anybody.   Even when they assault members of the public, even when innocent bystanders die at the hands of police officers in disguise, they close ranks, obstruct justice, lie, cheat and dissemble to avoid the consequences.  Now,  Sir Paul Stephenson, not content with the way his officers pervert the criminal justice system, wants some sort of immunity from the civil courts.  His secret letter to Theresa May, seeking protection against officers being sued for brutality or wrongful arrest is a disgrace.  See here. It reveals his true intentions only too clearly.  He even wants to charge for requests under the Freedom Of Information Act, further tightening the police culture of secrecy and concealment.   It is truly terrifying that Britain’s most senior police officer should even contemplate such ideas.  It is the very opposite of responsibility and conclusive proof that he is not a fit and proper person to be any sort of policeman, let alone commissioner of the Metropolitan police.  Theresa May should dismiss him immediately.   He is a power hungry, manipulative, enemy of justice.  No sort of protector or champion or servant of the public at all.

When it comes to the brutal assault by Sergeant Delroy Smellie on Nicola Fisher or the death of Ian Tomlinson, clearly caused by PC Simon Harwood, most of us would be prepared to accept the “bad apple” argument.   Yet somehow, in the Nicola Fisher case, District Judge Daphne Wickham was persuaded to refuse to hear Ms Fisher’s statement in court.  Somehow,  over a year and a half after Ian Tomlinson was killed, PC Harwood has still not been called to account for his actions and is still suspended on full pay.  Neither have his colleagues who blatantly lied and tried to cover up what had happened.  The truth is these men are not bad apples.  They are the deliberate product of the Met’s Territorial Support Group (TSG).  In hiding their identification and using brutal, disproportionate violence, they are entirely consistent with the culture and training that their senior officers have designed.

Hero

Of course, there are still good cops, selfless, conscientious heroes like PC Bill Barker who genuinely seek to serve the public.  He gave his life while protecting people during the Cumbrian floods.  See here.   He deserves every honour that we can bestow on him.  He shames all those corrupt, cowardly bullies that infect our country, that hide in their offices and cars, that display their vile and despicable attitudes on the Inspector Gadget website.   Officers like PC Barker are now in the minority, in full scale retreat, ridiculed and excluded by a wannabe Gene Hunt culture that has attracted more and more borderline psychopaths to the paramilitary uniform and fast car culture.

Role Model

Now they don’t even think that anti-social behaviour is police work.  It’s not exciting or glamorous enough.  In the early noughties in North Kensington, I saw how the police completely lost control of the Avenues, the terraced houses between the Harrow Road and Queens Park.  The police from Kilburn and Paddington Green stations were in full scale retreat, absolutely impotent and useless in the face of gangs of kids aged 10 – 16, on the streets at all hours, abusing people, keying cars, throwing eggs and laughing at any authority or discipline.   Those hooligans and yobs are now breeding and the police are reaping what they’ve sown.  I expect their solution will be violence and “fit-ups”.  They’re no different from the lowlife,  layabouts themselves.  They’re just two sides of the same coin.

Illegal Weapon

The Raoul Moat affair revealed how the police have lost the plot.   While some officers proved their courage and worth, others indulged in an orgy of technology, expense, hiding behind their procedures and precautions.  Others used banned super-Tasers, illegally obtained from their cronies in the arms industry and undoubtedly caused the death of the mad nutter.  Not a bad result but achieved in a dreadful way.  It was a dismal and demeaning epsiode for all concerned.  See here.

Corruption is endemic in the police.  It starts at the beginning of every shift and continues off duty.  At its worst, it’s the disgusting spectacle of PC Stephen Mitchell in Newcastle, who inflicted his sexual desires and drug appetite on those he arrested.  See here.  At the everyday, commonplace level, it’s the copper who confiscates a bag of weed and takes it home to smoke himself, or who brutalises a wheelchair bound medicinal cannabis user.  It’s the thugs who think it’s acceptable to terrorise and batter an old man over a motoring offence.  See here.

Elected police commissioners are our only hope.  I applaud the coalition government for bringing forward this proposal and acting on it.  I see no other way of rolling back the  Stasi-like culture that the Labour party has allowed to flourish.  Beware though, those that put themselves forward for election as a commissioners are in the front line.  They risk the attention of the police establishment in ways that we cannot yet know.  I wonder how many candidates will have their personal lives investigated and possibly fabricated?  Any prospective commissioner who wants to disrupt the comfortable life of the police may find himself in the firing line.   All sorts of inconveniences,  stops and searches, investigations and embarrassments may be just around the corner.

The police want us to believe that if they are squeezed in the spending review we will face danger, disorder and violence in the streets.  Instead, what we must do is paralyse the police bureaucracy, starve it of the resources it needs to promote its self-fulfilling prophecies and force officers back onto the streets. We will pay for shoe leather but not for air conditioned limousines.  We will support bobbies on the beat but not poseurs in flashy SUVs.   We will not tolerate any sort of discrimination or favouritism.  No officer may be a freemason or belong to any secret organsation.  We must fight for the soul and integrity of our police service against the corrupt thugs that have infiltrated it.

The British people deserve police officers they can be proud of.

My MP, Richard Drax, To Write To David Cameron On Drugs Policy

with 21 comments

The Honourable Member For Dorset South

Today I met with my MP, Richard Drax.  He was just as sickeningly handsome and charming as I expected him to be!   So I showed him no mercy and bombarded him with my opinions for a good half an hour.

I realised afterwards that my favourite maxim “less is more” would have been a better strategy.  Nevertheless,  he did offer to write to David Cameron on my behalf on drugs policy and seemed genuinely sympathetic to some of the points I made.

I have just sent him a lengthy email in confirmation which I reproduce below.  If anyone wishes to use this as a template for a letter or email to their own MP, please feel free to do so.

******

Dear Richard,

Thank you so much for your time today.  I very much enjoyed meeting you.  As I said, I came with opinions not problems.  I am grateful to you for listening to me.

I realise that I made the classic mistake of bombarding you with far too much information and not giving you time to absorb any.  I hope I may correct that error by summarising here what we talked about.

1. Gary McKinnon. Thank heavens that progress seems to have been made on this. The idea of an “extradition” treaty that provides for someone to be sent to the USA for trial on an alleged crime committed here is iniquitous.  It’s particularly unfair in McKinnon’s case as he suffers from Asperger’s syndrome.  You pointed out to me that similar dangers exist with the new European arrest warrant.

I would urge you to do everything possible to ensure that if Gary McKinnon is to be tried, it should take place in the UK.

2. Ian Tomlinson. In my view the failure to prosecute the policeman who assaulted him is an outrage and Keir Starmer’s reasons entirely inadequate.  Now that the credibility of the pathologist in the case has been destroyed by a GMC panel, Starmer should at least reconsider and hopefully reverse his decision.

References here:

http://pjroldblog.wordpress.com/2010/08/31/killer-cop-harwood-must-be-charged/

http://pjroldblog.wordpress.com/2010/07/24/keir-starmer-the-next-lord-widgery/

I would urge you to press for a re-consideration of the decision not to bring charges.  If no criminal charges are brought, at the very least the disciplinary hearing should be held in public as the rules allow.  The Tomlinson family are entitled to justice.

3. Drugs policy. You very kindly agreed to write to David Cameron on my behalf.  I am very concerned at the conduct of the Home Office at present and particularly James Brokenshire, the Minister for Crime Prevention who is causing great damage to both the coalition governemnt and the Tory party by promoting ideas and policies that contradict virtually all expert opinion, including the government’s own scientific advisers.  He also seems to be completely at odds with the calls for drug law reform which both David Cameron and Nick Clegg have made consistently over the last 10 years.

This is not a peripheral or secondary issue.  According to Baroness Meacher in the House of Lords on 15th June 2010, “There is no more obvious waste than the £19 billion annual cost of the UK’s war on drugs”.

There is a huge amount of reference material on this subject on my blog:

http://pjroldblog.wordpress.com/?s=drugs

I would also refer you to the Transform Drug Policy Foundation which has highly detailed and almost universally acclaimed proposals for drug regulation:

http://www.tdpf.org.uk

Virtually all experts agree that the “war on drugs” has failed. In exactly the same way as alcohol prohibition in the US led to a massive increase in crime and violence, so drug prohibition has created an illegal market said to be worth £350 billion per year. It has also financed civil war in Latin America for 25 years and is the principal source of finance for Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. Our soldiers are dying every day because of the illegal trade in opiates.  Why don’t we just buy up the whole crop for the next 10 years?  It would be much cheaper in both cash and lives than the Afghan war.

Virtually all experts agree that regulation would be a better solution.  I have distilled the following five point plan from everything that I have read and learned over more than 30 years:

1. An end to oppression of drug users (at least 10 million UK citizens)
2. Removal from the criminal law of any offence for possession and/or social supply
3. Fact and evidence-based policy, information and regulation
4. Re-direction of law enforcement resources against real criminals
5. Treat problematic drug use as a health issue

Five years ago, while campaigning for the Tory party leadership, David Cameron called for “fresh thinking and a new approach” towards drugs policy and said that it would be “disappointing if radical options on the law on cannabis were not looked at”. Nick Clegg has promised to repeal “illiberal, intrusive and unnecessary” laws and to stop “making ordinary people criminals”. There can be no better example of this than the laws against personal use and cultivation of cannabis, particularly for medicinal reasons. The coalition government’s new Your Freedom website has been inundated with proposals to legalise cannabis and to end the futile war on drugs.   In July a poll carried out for the LibDems showed 70% of people in favour of legalising cannabis.

The Home Office and James Brokenshire are completely out of touch with expert and public opinion as well as the declared views of both the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister.

In my view, regulation means tighter control on the most dangerous drugs such as heroin, cocaine and alcohol and lighter regulation on relatively harmless substances like cannabis and ecstasy.

There is also the very important question of medicinal cannabis.  The discovery of the endocannabinoid system in 1998 has led to an ever-escalating volume of evidence of the medicinal value of cannabis.  In June the MHRA approved Sativex as an MS medicine in the UK.  It is a whole plant extract yet presently, the Home Office refuses to consider a regulated system of the plant itself for medicinal purposes.  This is completely irrational and absurd.  The House Of Lords scientific committee recommended such a system should be introduced 12 years ago.  Medicinal cannabis is available and regulated throughout almost all of Europe, Israel and 14 states in the USA (with 12 more in the planning stage).  The UK stands almost alone in its obstinate refusal even to consider such a system.

Already this is leading to quite obscene injustices where patients have been prescribed Sativex by their doctor but their health authority has refused to fund it and patients are then facing criminal prosecution for cultivating their own plants.  There is a case of exactly this going on in the Dorchester Crown Court at present and the CPS insists it is in the public interest to prosecute!

Thank you once again for listening to me Richard. I hope these notes are useful in composing your letter to David Cameron and I look forward to hearing from you in due course.

Kind regards,

Peter Reynolds

British Justice On Trial

with one comment

Thugs, Slimeballs And Grunts

At last, four of the Metropolitan Police’s Territorial Support Group are to stand in the dock charged with assault causing actual bodily harm and a jury is to decide their fate.   They are PC Nigel Cowley, PC Mark Jones, PC Roderick James-Bowen and DC John Donohue.

He's Got To Go

Perhaps Keir Starmer, Director Of Public Prosecutions, thinks he will win back some credibility through this after his catastrophically bad judgement in the Ian Tomlinson case.   Not a bit of it.  In fact, the decision to prosecute now after a successful civil claim against these thugs, proves how negligent the original decision was.  The CPS is charged to uphold the public interest by statute.   It should not have to be harried to the Court reluctantly by civil action.  Yet again, Keir Starmer should hang his head in shame.  In fact, he should resign

These officers have already been proven on the balance of probabilities to have illegally assaulted Babar Ahmad in 2003.  Last year the High Court heard that he  was subject to “serious, gratuitous, prolonged, unjustified violence” and “religious abuse”.   Now the criminal courts will seek to extend that proof to beyond a reasonable doubt.   Meanwhile, the Met, which decided against any disciplinary action, chooses not even to suspend these proven thugs and bullies.  Sir Paul Stephenson should join them in the dock.  His disrespect for due process is astounding.  How can he have such men under his command?  The IPCC also failed in this case – yet again.  In 2007, it decided to take no action against any of the officers.

Keeping Mum

Almost every day now, new horror stories of illegal, brutal or simply dumb police behaviour are revealed.  This is the reward we have reaped from the massive investment and huge increase in salaries we gave to the police in the 80s.  According to my contact with inside knowledge it is due to a “collapse in supervision…and an arrogance due to few cops having much other work experience”.  The police service is no such thing for the average British citizen.  It is a self-serving bureaucracy with an aggressive sub-culture, acting as a revenue generating workforce for the state.  It is institutionalised racism, brutality, prejudice, bullying, corruption, cowardice, freemasonry, all dressed up in a jack-the-lad, paramilitary uniform.   It isn’t even any good at what it does.    Aside from dealing with road accidents and high-level anti-terrorism, I know of little good work done by the British police.  It has become an out of control monster that avoids doing what the public wants and picks and chooses what to devote its resources to.

PC Simon Harwood

If Keir Starmer can reverse his decsion on these thugs who beat up a suspected terrorist, he can also reverse his decison on the fatal assault on Ian Tomlinson, an entirely innocent bystander.   Meanwhile we await impatiently the coroner’s inquest on his death and the disciplinary hearing against PC Simon Harwood, which must be held in public in accordance with the statutory provisions.

Every time that a police officer breaks the law or exceeds his powers he breaches our trust.   It is the same as a bank employee stealing from his bank.  It must be punished particularly severely.  This must be the standard that British police adhere to.  We must never relent from calling the corrupt and incompetent to account.

We Wait For Justice

Whether a conviction is possible in this latest case, seven years after the events took place, I don’t know.  On the basis of its own rules the CPS must believe a conviction is more likely than not or it wouldn’t be proceeding .  Justice delayed though, is justice denied for Babar Ahmad and the policemen.  This repeated and continuing incompetence by the prosecution and regulatory authorities is every bid as dangerous as the deterioration in the police.   Suspicions of corruption, collusion and conspiracy are inevitable and must be answered.  These are serious threats to British justice.

Thug Smellie Gets Away With It

with 37 comments

Fugitive From Justice

Another miserable day for British justice.  Another scandalous triumph for police brutality.  Another incompetent, unforgiveable failure by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.  “Independent” my ****.   Weak, corrupt and pointless more like!

Sergeant Delroy Smellie, who should be languishing in jail for several years, in segregation for his own safety, has got away with his brutal assault on Nicola Fisher at the G20 protest.  See the full story here.

This is a licence for British police officers to use violence and brutality whenever they wish, even when they are being filmed.  Whatever the evidence they will get away with it.

It took the Metropolitan Police 30 years to admit they murdered Blair Peach.  Somehow, in the face of the crystal clear facts they have been able to get Smellie off the hook.  This failure of the Courts and the IPCC to call him to account can only be corrupt.  There can be no other explanation.

What about the assault on Ian Tomlinson?  He died after another Metropolitan Police thug assaulted him at the G20 protest.  More than a year later we are still waiting for the officer concerned to be charged.  What hope is there for justice for him?

Israel Must Stop

with 32 comments

Be The Great Nation That You Can!

I have had an overwhelming response to many things that I have written about Israel.  It has reached a crescendo with the views I have expressed about the attack on the Gaza flotilla.  It polarises opinion.  You either agree with me or you want me put to death by the slowest and most painful means.

I’m just an ordinary Brit of proud Welsh descent from a family that was at the bottom of the heap (the slag heaps of South Wales) but has dragged itself upwards, entirely through its own efforts.  I’m not an anti-semite. I’m not a natural ally or an enemy of Arab, Jew, Muslim or anyone.  What I care about is truth, justice, freedom, beauty, love and my dogs!

I cannot stand by though and see the way that Israel behaves without shouting my protest and disgust.

Israel and its supporters must understand that many intelligent, considered men of principle throughout the world believe that the way you are now behaving is just as bad as the Nazis did against you!!

I condemn the great evil that Islam has become in the world but you give them so many excuses!   Gaza is now the biggest concentration camp ever and Israel oppresses, bullies, brutalises, starves and denies the rights of the Palestinian people.  It is shameful!

My country fought to create the state of Israel so that the Jews could have a homeland after the holocaust, the greatest tragedy in human history.  Israel has betrayed those who fought for it.  You are now as bad as those that offended against you.

I know that there are millions of ordinary Israelis and Palestinians, people just like me, who abhor violence and prejudice and oppression.  We must stand up against the zealots and the fanatics.  Justice must prevail!

There is much that is wrong on both sides but first, most urgently, Israel must draw back from Gaza, from the settlements, from oppression.  These are grave wrongs that must stop now!  You must not be surprised that retaliation is made against you but these are fireworks against your tanks and F16s.  You must stop first.

I am just an ordinary man with no particular interest but I know what justice is.

Israel must stop.

Facebook – It’s A Snide, Snide World

with 9 comments

I don’t know the name of the geek from Facebook who said that he wanted everyone on the planet to become a member of his website but he follows Adolf, Joseph, Benito, Francisco and other tyrants in having ambitions that must be thwarted at all costs.

Let me be clear, yes, you can find me on Facebook.  It’s true, with nearly half a billion members it is difficult to ignore it.  I use it to publicise this blog to as wide an audience as possible.  You can call me a hypocrite if you want but I don’t and won’t participate in the snide, puerile and thoroughly unhealthy relationships and lifestyle that it promotes.

Is This The Real Life Or Is It Just Fantasy?

If there are nearly a half a billion members on the site there must be at least a billion virtually identical photographs that consist of two or three faces (usually inane blondes at a party) pressed together cheek to cheek with vile grimaces or smiles.   If it’s supposed to be about individuals why does everyone look exactly the same, talk exactly the same and behave exactly the same?

There are now an extraordinary number of sad, dysfunctional people who live their life, vicariously and actually, on Facebook.  This, I believe, should be of great concern to all of us.  More than that, the site encourages behaviour that is dishonest, underhand and snide.  It’s not a force for good.  It’s a force for evil.  It’s a perversion and abuse of the internet, probably mankind’s greatest ever invention.

You know the sort of person who’d rather text than make a phone call?  It’s often very dishonest communication, the ideal way for a coward to make excuses, lie or deceive.  It’s said that 80% of communication is non-verbal and you certainly get a lot of that extra meaning over the phone.  You get none at all by text.  It’s just the bare, badly, carelessly or deceptively chosen words. Facebook goes even further, it encourages members to post messages and pictures so that they’re seen by third parties as well.  In fact, often the message or picture is posted mainly for their benefit, to embarass or annoy.  This is the real wickedness.  It’s already led to murders and countless, countless, arguments and disputes which have ended in violence.  Of course, it depends on you.   You or your friends can behave badly through any medium or face to face.  The point is Facebook encourages you to be snide.  It’s not nice.

I don’t know what the answer is.  I certainly wouldn’t be encouraging children to use it.  For many it’s already become a substitute for real life.  Its most well known deficiency is the way it makes you collect an ever greater quantity of friends with no regard whatsoever for quality.  My sons and all their real world friends have in excess of 1,000 Facebook friends.  I have 24 so that must make me – what?

There’s no doubt that there are business opportunities presented by Facebook. With that many members there’s bound to be.  In that context it’s not surprising that Cheryl Cole has 1,698,477 friends.  Mind you, Paul Macartney only has 11!

So I’ll be staying on Facebook but I won’t be participating in it.  I think it should have a big warning flash up on the screen every time you log in: “GET A LIFE”

The Pacific

with 2 comments

Until more than three-quarters of the way through, I was so, so disappointed in “The Pacific”.  Of course, it had an awful lot to live up to.  “Band Of Brothers”, its forerunner, although produced as  a TV series, has to be one of the very best war movies of all time.  “The Pacific” doesn’t even come close.   That’s not to say that it isn’t excellent in its own right because it is but it isn’t in the same league, battalion or regiment as “Band Of Brothers”.

It’s a ten part series and until epsiode five I was bored.   That’s not just because there’s a lack of action – there is – but there’s also very little characterisation or story.  In “Band Of Brothers” you feel like you’re part of the platoon yourself. You grow to know and love each individual and you experience fear, grief, tension, terror alongside all of them.  It wasn’t until epsiode eight of “The Pacific” when Sergeant Basilone falls in love with Lena, marries her and is then shipped to Iwo Jima that I felt the same searing emotional intensity.  I remember when I first watched “Band Of Brothers”, each epsiode was like experiencing an intense personal tragedy.  I would feel drained, exhausted and traumatised.  It was almost too much but although it finishes well, “The Pacific” is not quite enough.  Perhaps the most moving scene of all is in epsiode nine when Eugene comforts a dying Japanese woman.  This is magnificent film making.

I think war is the ultimate movie genre.  It describes the human condition at the very edge. Like all men, I am fascinated with horror, doubt and uncertainty about how I would behave in combat.  I deplore violent films but when the story requires it, realism is essential.  A war movie should make you understand the reality in detail, explicitly and make you turn away from violence.

My old friend Bruce won an Emmy and a Golden Globe working as a producer on “Band Of Brothers” and I remember talking to him about the sound of gunfire.  He explained the effort involved in achieving a more realistic sound than ever before.  You can hear how in every movie thereafter it’s been picked up and enhanced.

“The Pacific” does take realism even further.  The spray of blood that bursts from a soldier’s body as he is hit, the red mist that appears around a group of soldiers as shrapnel lacerates them is horrifying.  The graphic dismemberment and vile, grotesque injury that nowadays we see soldiers survive is beyond words.  At times the cast is wading through a sea of body parts, of arms, legs, hands, feet.  I think we now accept the shocking reality of this because today we see the survivors of such injury. At last, in the battle for Iwo Jima, “The Pacific” begins to communicate the deeply distressing heroism, the humbling, horrifying courage that these young men, our forefathers, summoned up to free the world from tyranny and allow us to enjoy the freedom that we do today.

There is a real mistake in some of the earlier episodes when many of the scenes are just too dark.  There isn’t even the excuse of it being made for the big screen.  It’s just wrong.  Also some of the CGI, particularly in wide shots of amphibious landings for instance, doesn’t work.  It’s not as convincing as the more primitive, model based effects in “Band Of Brothers”

There is one part of “The Pacific” that deserves the very highest praise.  The titles are quite simply one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen on television or at the cinema.  They consist of extreme close ups of an artist drawing battle scenes with charcoal.  As the charcoal disintegrates into dust and splinters on the page it mixes through to become the detritus of battle, the dirt, dust and shrapnel of combat.  The backgrounds merge with finely textured, laid paper, with live action, graphics and animation.  It really is quite breathtakingly, achingly beautiful.  All the more so so because its subject is precisely the opposite.  The wonderful, haunting theme music is the same as “Band Of Brothers”.  At least that’s the way I hear it.  If it isn’t then it’s been composed to be so similar that they might as well have stuck with the original.

All in all, I did, eventually, greatly enjoy “The Pacific”.  Most of all though it shows just how bloody marvellous  “Band Of Brothers” is.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 130 other followers