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Monthly Archives: November 2013

Guantanamo bay – a fate worse than death?

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Shaker Aamer has been in detention for eleven years now, having been arrested in Afghanistan, 2001, due to accusations that Mr.Aamer was part of a high profile British Taliban extremist group. Since capture, Aamer has denied any association with the Taliban and insists he was in Afghanistan with his family commencing charity work. Aamer has been held in Guantanamo, Cuba, for 11 years, but never been charged with an offence, as the last British inhabitant of the high profile centre, requests for his bale and cleared for release, yet, despite all this, Aamer remains on lock down. With no knowledge as to why he is still enslaved:

 “I wish someone official would give me an explanation and they won’t. No one will say why they won’t let him go.”

 A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: “Mr Aamer’s case remains a high priority for the UK government and we continue to make clear to the US that we want him released and returned to the UK as a matter of urgency.”

 This exclusive recording of Aamer from his cell in Guantanamo was aired on US televisions highest ranked channel, CBS, the recording and the pleading from the  163 inmates at this prison, begs the question, how humane is this place?

 

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 The bay itself is known as: a detention centre, a place in which people are retained, encapsulated…no, enslaved for indefinite detention without trial. The men have had their hope taken away from them, and the phrase ‘innocent until proven guilty’ bears no echo on the walls of the detention camp. The camp, was opened in Cuba, 2002, yes, 2002, THIS side of the millennium, THIS side of advanced civilisation. The camp was created after the horrific 9/11 attack. However, and said with the deepest sympathy, it seems that America under panic, lead to erratic, and, extremely irrational behaviour. In fact, a file released from the bay suggested possible terrorist signs, one to watch out for being Islamic men who wore a specific Casio watch. It seems Guantanamo bay is a result of panic, which is now in desperate need to be forgotten.

 Agreeably, I do not suggest that dangerous men are left to run the earth because they have not officially been convicted of evil, nor have they been charged. However, to enslave someone, to banish their human rights without an official trial is inhumane. To fight evil, with evil, makes the government worse than the inmates themselves, (assuming the inmates are what the US government suspects them to be.) Western civilisation prides itself of empathy and a fair justice system, surly Guantanamo is the epitome of hypocrisy.

Barrack Obama, has often talked of closing Guantanamo and many, thousands, of civil rights campaign have begged for this to be followed through. It seems ridiculous that it remains as four walls, despite it’s obvious breach of humanity, as though slavery has broken the time barrier and remains under US supervision. “Please colonel, act with us like a human being, not like slaves.” “You cannot walk even half a metre without being chained. Is that a human being? That’s the treatment of an animal… It is very sad what is happening in this place.” (Shaker Aamer, from his cell room in Guantanamo.)

 

See more: Life in Gitmo – EX resident 

Shaker Aamer in Gitmo

secret diaries

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Poppy People

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Remembrance Sunday marks the armistice day of the First World War, people wear poppies as a sign of respect to the brave people that gave their lives for their country. Since World War 1, the brutal fact is, more wars have come, and more lives have gone. During the 2 minute silence on Sunday, people remember the lives of everyone who has fought for their country since 1914.   The paper poppy that pins to chests symbolise sympathy and respect for the people who lay down their lives so that we can carry on.

Some people go out of their way to let people know that they are not wearing a poppy out of choice, (Omar Brooks climbed a 9ft building to preach to others to not wear a poppy). This, I think, is insensitive and totally disrespectful. If you do not want to wear a poppy, then this is fair enough, I am no poppy Fascist! Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, after all we are British and we pride ourselves in our freedom. However, if you choose not to wear a poppy and then become a diva about it. That then, to me, is wrong. If you must have a negative opinion on such traditions as respecting the dead, then please do not voice them when people are in the process of anniversary mourning.

On the other hand, why do people need to be so fascist towards the people who choose not to wear one? yes, I said not to publicly preach your opinions in an unnecessary way, but two wrongs do not make a right. I read yesterday that the news reporter Charlene White, chooses not to wear a poppy on TV.  Charlene doesn’t like to wear one on the television because she would rather support the cause privately and discreetly, rather than wearing the poppy live on a politically independent news channel: “I prefer to be neutral and impartial on-screen”. The news reporter was faced with violent racist hatred from social networking sites such as twitter and Facebook because she was not wearing a poppy.

Poppy’s are worn out of a sign of respect, remembrance sunday is supposed to be about the troops who have fought for our country, it should not be tainted with such debates as who is and isn’t conforming to society. The egotistical people that preach about not wearing poppy’s should be quiet and have some respect. The ignorant groups that choose to threaten and abuse those who chose not to display a poppy quietly should appreciate the soldiers lives rather than make a hullabaloo out of something so irrelevant to the bigger picture.

The poppy debate –

Poppycock

Preposterous

Why the poppy?

Imagine if David Cameron was a ‘Twerker’?

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Take Miley Cyrus, Russell Brand, Lady Gaga and Robert Webb, put them all in one room together and observe.

Immediately you’d think you’d have provided Brand and Webb with enough material to last them a world tour. The total sexualisation of the crazy, bi-polar, ‘twerking’ sensations that are Gaga and Cyrus would be vented and satirised at the drop of the hat by any intelligent comedian.

But in all seriousness, these four characters have a lot more in common than we think. Brand and Webb make profit out of (pardon my French) not giving a flying Fuck about the impact of their impact. In fact, the more opinionated these comedians can be, the more attention they will probably get from the young sponges of Britain that soak up any eloquently put opinion and retweet it through support. (For example every member of OneDirection, followed by Ed Sheeran came up as the most influential celebrities on twitter, all before David Cameron. Click here to see more.)

Similarly, the craziness of the two women mentioned has sat them at the top of the charts, it probably wouldn’t be an absurd statement to suggest that without the psychotic sexually absurd music videos, and crazy ‘papped’ pictures, these girls would not be making the money they do. okay okay, Cyrus and Gaga are not an individual per say, they have an immense team of PR, managers, script writers that create this shocking persona. But, at the end of the day, they make money out of the publics desperation to follow something thats rebellious. Wether you love to ‘twerk’ or mock these money making booty shakers, I can guarantee their names will have been on your lips.

So are these great influential ‘stars’ a help or a hinderance upon society? Russell Brand has now stepped into the world of politics, writing for the NewStatesman. After an interview with Jeremy Paxman on news night, Brand urges people that a revolution is nigh, that the British public should not be voting.  (To see Brand in action click here). Webb replied to Brand’s written editorial in the NewStatesman from a very saintly perspective, and it’s fair to say I think Webb’s liberal, take on Brand’s agendas is pretty spot on. (To read Webb’s input click here)

The truth is, these comedians as political spokesmen are dangerous to society. I am the young twitter obsessed generation, and to be honest with you, if Ricky Gervais told me to vote labour, I probably would be inclined to sway that way. Just like when Rihanna dyes her hair, so do hundreds of obsessed fans. Without any actual visual responsibility these celebrity characters can do what they want. David Cameron on the other hand, well he has responsibility. You might think that the first responsibility that falls under his job title is to be hated by anyone and everyone, but secondly he has a responsibility to better the nation. He cant say or do what he wants because he would get publicly annihilated. Imagine if David Cameron was a ‘twerker’? admittedly, the popularity of twerking would probably take a massive hit, but, I don’t think his Tory supporters would be ticking his box in the next election, wether his policies are good or not.

What I’m trying to say is, celebrities do not realise the impact they have on people, because they don’t really get any comeuppance. Miley Cyrus papped smoking a ‘naughty cigarette’ does not really show kids a role model that parents would appreciate. But, Miley Cyrus papped smoking a ‘naughty cigarette’ would in fact boost public attention, she would be in the limelight, which is right where she wants to be, popularity makes money.

Brand encouraging people not to vote for example, I’m not patronising my generation, but, a lot of people would not think any further into the debate, other than “Brand said don’t vote, I’m not going to.” I do have faith in my age group, but i don’t have faith in the vulnerability of us media obsessed zombies. we are too greatly influenced, and these comedians preaching a political agenda could be very dangerous.