Thursday, April 19, 2012
'I was appalled by the killing of Osama bin Laden': British far-Leftist says terror leader should never have been shot
Ken Livingstone waded into further controversy yesterday by claiming U.S. special forces were wrong to kill Osama Bin Laden.
To the surprise of observers at a Westminster lunch, the Labour veteran declared that the death of the world’s most notorious terrorist had ‘appalled’ him.
Mr Livingstone – who is trailing Tory Boris Johnson in the London mayoral race – has previously caused anger over terrorism with his outspoken support for Irish republicans and Palestinian militants.
But his comments on the death of a man who masterminded the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians around the world are likely to raise further doubts about his suitability for high office in London, where Al Qaeda bombings killed 52 in July 2005.
He told a lunch for political journalists: ‘I was appalled to see Osama Bin Laden in his pyjamas shot in front of his kid. ‘The best way to demonstrate the values of a Western democracy is you put Osama Bin Laden on trial and challenge what he says.’
Mr Livingstone, whose Left-wing views saw him ostracised by Labour under Tony Blair, also hailed Ed Miliband’s ‘genuine Labour values’ and suggested that next month’s mayoral contest was a dress rehearsal for the general election expected in 2015.
He said: ‘For the first time in my life I’ve been invited for dinner with the leader of the Labour Party, so there’s a shift there. Ed represents genuine Labour values – that’s why I voted for him and believe he will make a real change if we win.
A wise Scotswoman
Grabbing a coat as I dash out of the door to collect my 11-year-old daughter from school, I catch sight of myself in the hall mirror. It’s never a joy to behold.
Inevitably, the remnants of mascara hastily applied in the morning have all but gone, my cheeks are flushed and there’s the double chin I know will disappear only with surgery.
And, as I look down, I realise I haven’t bothered to change out of the Lidl fleece and supermarket jeans I flung on when I walked the dog in the morning.
At the playground gates, I stand like a thorn between the roses. I know I’ll never win any awards for my looks - except perhaps for Most Frumpy Mummy.
While I wouldn’t belittle myself so much as to say I’m the definition of ugly - although the mirror on a Sunday morning might disagree - I’m definitely more ‘plain Jane’ than Jane Birkin.
While some people have their imperfections, and when put together still look stunning, mine just make me look imperfect.
But far from being disheartened or disappointed by my image, I’m delighted - because there are many upsides to being the ugly duckling.
My suspicion that it’s to my advantage was confirmed when I read Samantha Brick’s recent account in the Mail of the problems she’d encountered for being too attractive.
While Samantha says she has struggled to make female friends because women are jealous of her beauty, I think the opposite is true for me. The fact I’m no threat in the looks league means I’ve always had lots of pals.
All my life I have gathered beautiful women around me like a Victorian butterfly collector. My current friends - the women with whom I gossip over coffee, walk the dog and go to parties - tend to be stunning, toned and well-groomed.
But it was the same even when I was a girl. Growing up on a farm in rural Scotland, fashion and appearance weren’t things that were important to me. I spent my life in jodhpurs or clothes that wouldn’t show the mud. What was the point of a pretty dress when there was a saddle to buy?
While the other teenage girls would be scouring Jackie for make-up tips, I’d be drooling over a new rug for my pony in Horse & Hound.
I certainly didn’t have any pressure at home to try to glam myself up. My mother, who in her youth was a stunner, had taken to rural life like a duck to a grimy pond.
Her favourite daughter, from the four she had produced, wasn’t the one in the prettiest dress, but rather the one who could make her clothes last longest between washes.
However, despite my lack of interest in what I looked like, even at 15 my friends were the prettiest girls in the school.
There was Vicky - slim, blonde and with a smile that could light up the geography room. Two decades later, I was still comforting male friends pining over her.
Then there was Vivien - petite, brunette and slightly mysterious - the polar opposite of me, who was plump, blonde and loud.
Another was Ann, who oozed sex appeal before any of us knew what it meant, but you knew the moment she entered any room, even without seeing her, because of the sound of boys’ jaws hitting the ground.
But even though I was wearing knitted socks while these girls preferred sexier 20 denier tights, the friendships worked. I wasn’t competing against them to become the alpha girl, or vying for the attentions of the coolest boys.
In fact, what I did was make them look good when standing beside me. Of course, at first I’d wonder why they were always dancing with boys, but I didn’t lose sleep about it and was a good lesson to learn.
And, for my part, having the best looking friends in the year meant I was part of the package when it came to inviting the in-crowd to parties.
It’s not as though my love life has been as dry as the Sahara - I’ve even managed to get married twice.
It’s just if you don’t look good, it’s very easy for men to overlook you in that first instance. You have to develop other ways to attract them.
My first husband fell for me because I told him some salacious gossip that intrigued him more than any model looks I might have had, or designer top I might have been wearing.
My second husband - I live in Edinburgh with him and my three children - works in agriculture, so any well-groomed woman has him running for the hills.
Much more HERE
Are our street names sexist?
A tiny proportion of streets in Rome are named after women, while nearly half are named after men - and it is a similar story in other major cities around the world. Outrageous sexism, a simple fact of history, or both?
Place your finger on a street map and it's far more likely to land on a road named after a man than one named after a woman. You may not have given it much thought, but Maria Pia Ercolini has. The geography teacher in Rome says her city's landscape is dominated by men and wants that to change.
It all began when she wrote a cultural guide to Rome, celebrating the role of women in the city's history.
"During the research I realised that you never see traces of women. History just cancelled the women - they're not here," she says.
Ercolini and a team of 26 women painstakingly went through every one of Rome's 16,550 streets to determine the gender balance. They found that 7,575 (45.7%) of the city's streets were named after men and just 580 (3.5%) were named after women. "That's proof of the discrimination," she says.
"Men made the history - the known history. In Italy it is very strong because we have so many [male] saints and religious people like the Pope. Religion is so full of men."
Of Rome's eight main streets, two are named after men - the Via Cavour, referring to Camillo Cavour, a leader of Italy's 19th Century unification struggle, and Via Giulia, named after "Fearsome" Pope Julius II.
The other six are named after inanimate things, from the Via del Corso, which alludes to a medieval horse race, to the Via Sacra, so-called because it passes key religious sites in the ancient Roman Forum.
Local authorities, which have the final say over street names, are now being urged to redress the balance.
Australia: Must not express conservative views about male/female differences
(The LNP is the major conservative party in my home State of Queensland. It has just won a landslide election -- JR)
An LNP staffer has resigned after sending an email to a Queensland feminist about the superiority of men, telling her to "get a life" and calling her a "sourpuss" for writing an opinion piece about the need for more women in parliament.
Max Tomlinson, the then media adviser to Liberal National Party Senator Ian Macdonald, wrote to Dr Carole Ford after she penned a newspaper column criticising the lack of female representation in Queensland's parliament.
In his email, Mr Tomlinson tells Dr Ford "like most women, you probably don't possess the necessary drive, determination and decisiveness that men innately possess. "It's not a personal criticism; it's a fact of biology.
"That was part of nature's grand design to enable men to be stronger, more fearless and more determined than their sisters. Sorry, Carole, fact not fiction."
This morning, Mr Tomlinson told brisbanetimes.com.au that he had resigned from his job with Senator Macdonald because of the publication of what he described as a private email. He said he had no further comment on the matter.
At the beginning of the email, Mr Tomlinson said while he usually ignored "sourpusses" like Dr Ford, he was compelled to write to her after reading her "pathetic" piece about the drop of women's representation in Queensland parliament from 49 per cent to 18 per cent.
Mr Tomlinson argued history had shown it was men who are naturally equipped to succeed above women. "Where, for example, are the great female explorers, mountaineers, warriors, inventors, chefs?" he said. "Blokes dominate most areas of human endeavour because nature equipped them with something called testosterone."
He goes on to write about his "wonderful wife" who suffered judgment from women such as Dr Ford because they chose to be homemakers.
"Women like my wife are the life-givers, the embodiment of sacrificial love [the purest form of love], the primary keepers of the flame of civilisation that separates us from the animal world, and yet the Sisterhood frowns on them for not joining the anti-male club that you so typify," he said.
"The anti-male world of conspiracy theories in which you and the Sisterhood inhabit is the complete antithesis of the world in which positive women thrive."
He signed off the email "I repeat: Get a Life. Kind Regards, Max".
Dr Ford said the email was insulting and she had found it overly aggressive for what she had considered was a fairly tame piece published by The Courier-Mail.
"It's just extremely disappointing that any man in 2012 would think that way," she said. "It surprised me that in this day and age people would get angry about a request for women to have better representation in parliament. It's astounding that people would be angry that we make that request."
Dr Ford said she had been married for 43 years and had three children and in her first lecture she talked about the work women did "both paid and unpaid" and was a supporter of stay-at-home mothers.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.