This was first posted on Facebook on 20th January 2021, with support from my Ko-Fi network.
Brexit has no benefits.
Two days ago, a fleet of lorries, employed in the pre-Brexit days to transport live shellfish from Scotland to buyers in the EU, travelled to London to protest the effects of Brexit on the fishing industry. Brexiters had told the fishing industry that leaving the EU would mean an end to Brussels “red tape” about catching fish, people employed in the fishing industry had believed them and voted for Brexit, – of course what it meant was, that live shellfish, needing to be transported fast in refrigerated lorries to their overseas markets, were being held up too long by the terms of the trade deal, to be worth buying.
Yesterday, Boris Johnson only just won a government vote on a Lords amendment to the Trade Bill – the amendment passed, by a majority of only 11 votes. Given the Tories have a majority of 80 MPs, how did this happen?
There are two general things happening through this election.
One of them is that the Conservatives keep getting caught doing very public, very stupidly bad, disinformation actions.
During the BBC Question Time leaders special, the CCQH Twitter account – which is a blue-tick verified account and therefore is not allowed to change its display name without informing Twitter – changed its display name/header image to appear at first glance to be a fact-checking account and proceded to tweet support of Boris Johnson.
Google is probably one of the most powerful corporations in the world – certainly it has an ability to communicate across the Internet that’s second to none.
Cindy Lee Garcia is not powerful. She’s an American actor, who in the summer of 2011 accepted a small job with a director who said he was making a film called Desert Warrior, “an HD 24P historical Arabian Desert adventure film”. The shooting started in August 2011. The script made no reference to Muhammad or to Islam: the movie should have been about two hours long.
The footage was then edited and overdubbed to create a 14-minute video with an entirely different purpose: to cause offense to Muslims by depicting Muhammed as a stupid, child-molesting thug. It was uploaded on Youtube in 2012, and sparked protests in the Middle East: it was claimed to have been made by Sam Bacile, an Israeli living in the US.
The film that’s thrown the Middle East into turmoil is a 14-minute trailer for the film “Innocence of Muslims” (or the “Life of Muhammed,” or “Muslim Innocence, depending on reports). It depicts Muhammed as pedophile and doofus, and is filled with slapstick insults at Muslims. The movie is almost hilariously amateurish, like a Muslim version of Life of Brian shot by second-year film students. The trailer was posted to Youtube back in July, but was recently translated into Arabic and broadcast on Egyptian TV by a popular Cairo television host, Sheikh Khaled Abdallah, according to the Guardian. Hence the new protests.
The 80 people who’d been involved in what they were told would be the action movie “Desert Warrior” issued a public statement:
The entire cast and crew are extremely upset and feel taken advantage of by the producer. We are 100% not behind this film and were grossly misled about its intent and purpose. We are shocked by the drastic re-writes of the script and lies that were told to all involved. We are deeply saddened by the tragedies that have occurred.
Please sign this petition, on the Downing Street site from Leyla Hussein, Daughters of Eve, and Efua Dorkenoo OBE, Equality Now:
Over 66,000 women in the UK have already undergone female genital mutilation (FGM) and more than 24,000 girls are at risk. FGM is a very British problem. Despite increased activities around FGM recently, it is not enough – we are still failing to stop the abuse.
[The petition has reached 100,000 signatures – 100,412 as of Sunday 26th January – and is therefore eligible for debate by the House of Commons. Important that if FGM is debated in the Commons it does not descend into a farago of Islamophobia: real solutions needed.]
The Guardian is running a consultation on how to eradicate FGM forever: closes 8th January.
In 2011, the Tory/LibDem government cut the funding for the only Whitehall post devoted to work preventing women and girls from the UK being subjected to FGM.
“This is a real step backwards,” said Diana Nammi, director of the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation. “We feel it speaks about a real lack of commitment from the government and a marginalisation of this hugely important issue The new guidelines were an important step forward but efforts are now needed to ensure that they are actually read and acted on, and the government should also be working to change attitudes towards FGM within communities.
“Without a dedicated person in government to drive efforts forward, it’s hard to see how this will happen. The coordinator was a link between all the organisations working in this area and now that’s been lost.”
Filed under Racism, Women