Wednesday, October 24, 2012

YouTube - figures that don't check out

I have read that political satire not agreed with by YouTube mods is dubbed down by reducing the count displayed to make people think the video is shit. Whether this is true I do not know. What I do know is that this cartoon took more than 200 hits on its first day.

Yet when I check the thumbnails a week later my own YouTube account shows a count of 298 while the general thumbnail only shows 103. These photographs were taken within minutes.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Going global on racism

Not having many followers I am pleased to announce that my cartoon on the racist duplicity of Home Secretary, Theresa May, appears to be going global. It has far outstripped any satirical cartoon I have produced to date even those related to the despicable treatment of Julian Assange. In its first day it took more than 200 hits, which by my standards is remarkable. It is too early yet to know where it is getting most support since those figures will not be available for a day or two.

Theresa May is the daughter of a Christian clergyman. You might therefore think she would have some Christian compassion. You might therefore think that she had heard of the parable of the Good Samaritan who helped a foreigner who had been set upon by thieves. Instead, anybody with a non-English sounding name, is temptation to her. She bangs them up in prison for interminably long periods of time, defying the basic tenet of habeas corpus, gets a retiring judge to forgive the police who beat up Babar Ahmad, extradites an Asperger sufferer, Talha Ahsan, to the United States where human rights are almost non-existent today, then to demonstrate just how racist she is, does not extradite a similar sufferer who has a UK-sounding name, Gary McKinnon. I am happy to see that Gary McKinnon was not extradited, but the same law should have been applied to the other Asperger sufferer, UK-born Talha Ahsan.

It is not just me who has noticed this two-faced racist approach to extradition. The Huffington Post and the Independent and probably other quality newspapers noticed these dual standards. And it is not just Theresa May that is racist. Racism is rife throughout the Tory Party. Dominic Grieve did not allow a debate into the Epetition supporting Babar Ahmad which had close to 150,000 signatures. These people bring disgrace on my good name as an Englishman.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The spoils of war

Cameron allots money for the glorification of war. Charity. This is how much Cameron loves charity. In a few years the canal system of the country which had funding removed this year by the prime minister will be in rack and ruin. But he can find money to fund a centenary for a war for which there is not a living person interested in, except Cameron and his followers. It is not about remembering the dead. It is about perpetuating war on the basis of Horace's massive lie which informs people it is good and glorious to die for your country.

Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori

Can someone please kick Cameron up the butt?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Film-maker extraordinaire

Satire has been thrown to the wolves. They tore it to pieces and spat it out in cub-size chunks. Now nobody knows the difference between satire and reality. Today I finished the third of my short cartoons on how Julian Assange was framed. To me the three of them seem so real. There is a kind of sinister humour lurking in the truth of them.

The first is unreal in that the conversation probably took place by telephone rather than face to face. And if XtraNormal catered for a telephone conversation in the version I have that is probably the way I would have proceeded. Anna Ardin was the person who invited Julian Assange to stay at her flat when he went to Sweden. Several days after she claimed sexual  allegations took place, allegations which were illegally leaked to the Swedish press, she accused Julian Assange of rape. This was even though he stayed with her for days after the allegations. In fact the next day after she claimed these outrageous events took place she threw a crayfish party for Assange and friends. After going to the police station with Sofia, and before making a statement herself, she went home and deleted tweets about how she was enjoying the company. She also deleted a paper she wrote on how to get legal revenge on men who dump women. This seems to be based on advice she got at the police station, since she deleted them immediately after her first visit, then made her statement the next day. This is the content of the first cartoon.

The second cartoon covers Anna's friendship with the police interrogator Irmeli Krans and the problem Anna caused by bringing into the police station a torn condom she claimed Assange used when they had consensual sex. It was taken to the police laboratory but neither male nor female DNA could be found on it. That is the substance of the second cartoon.

The final episode (to date) is my idea of why Claes Borgstrom and Marianne Ny are pursuing a witch-hunt against Julian Assange, making a stab at the reason why they do not want to interview Assange in the UK. Marianne Ny has gone on record as saying that she would still pursue a prosecution even if she knew she was in the wrong. Claes Borgstrom is pursuing a case of rape against Assange even though he knows the Kashmir girl (Sofia) says she was not raped. He has virtually said that Sofia does not know whether she was raped or not. The third cartoon.

Finally, although this information has been available for two years it has been kept out of the UK media. The names of people like Irmeli Krans, Anna Ardin and Sofia W. have long been in the public domain but the UK media are banned from mentioning these people by name. But the news you get is not the real news, which is why so many people are turning to the Internet to find out what is going on, while politicians keep us in the dark to wage their disgusting wars that good journalists, and the Wikileaks founder and editor in chief, Julian Assange, tell the truth about.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Two extradited poets - Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan

The poet Babar Ahmad was extradited to New York following an appeal against extradition that had all the hallmarks of a prearranged deal. It takes time to arrange flights to the United States and seems extremely unlikely that the flights that took 5 Muslims to face US injustice were not already scheduled by Theresa May in her 'War on Islam'. On board these flights were the poet Talha Ahsan who I mentioned in a post a few days ago. I have already written about how Babar was beaten by police, awarded £60,000 damages by the Metropolitan Police, but when a criminal case was brought against these policemen, the judge, who was just about to retire, exonerated them. This poem was published on the internet last Friday, the holy day of Islam on which Babar lost his appeal.

One day...
The sun will shine again.
The flowers will blossom again.
The birds will sing again.

One day...
The rain will fall again.
The rivers will flow again.
The gardens will be green again.

One day...
The lips will smile.
The tears will dry.
The prayers will be answered.

One day...
The shackles will break.
The darkness will end.
The doors...
This is powerful poetry. It is not Oscar Wilde, whose Ballad of Reading Gaol was beautifully read yesterday by Alex Jennings on Poetry Please! Wilde had a unique voice, and like Babar, experienced unjust penal incarceration. How fittingly the following lines can be applied to all whose liberty has been removed. 
I know not whether Laws be right,
Or whether Laws be wrong;
All that we know who lie in gaol
Is that the wall is strong;
And that each day is like a year,
A year whose days are long.
Talha Ahsan is also a poet. He suffers from Asperger Syndrome, a form of autism. He has however written for Ceasefire Magazine and published a volume of his poetry entitled This Be The Answer. While Talha still had hope in July 2011 he wrote a great poem Extradition. He was realistic enough to know the nasty nature of Theresa May, 'a feeble servant' to her masters in the US.

Theresa May, a minister at home

though feeble servant to her masters there;

a solitary torture chamber cell,

To put me in, she’ll simply say, ‘Away!’

So let me while I can devote my time

to work for my own justice over here.

(C) Talha Ahsan, HMP Long Lartin, 19 July 2011

And so it proved, Theresa May was that 'feeble servant' of the United States of America. The time has come for righteous people to speak out and get our British citizens back on British soil. Writers, poets artists, these are our brothers. Speak out for them!

Please join this group and get your friends to join too.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Hang your heads in shame if you're British

I wrote to Lambeth Palace, the residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury, this week. My email read:

"It is of real concern to have heard nothing from the A of C's office,
and no directives to the Anglican Church regarding the wrongful
imprisonment of Muslims, accused by the United States as having
infringed the same laws that saw almost 800 people imprisoned in
Guantanamo Bay.  Think of the wrongful imprisonment of St Paul and then
let me know that my church is destined to remain silent on such an abuse
of human rights.

I await your response eagerly,

John Goss"

There was no response.

I have blogged, almost ad nauseum, to try and get justice for these men, who have been in prison for interminably long times without being charged, more than 8 years in the case of Babar Ahmad and 6 in the case of Talha Ahsan. Compare that with the short time it took to charge Mark Bridger of the murder of the little girl, April Jones, in Wales. These men are not suspected of murder but have been imprisoned on the say so of the United States. It is Friday and millions of Muslims have been praying in the mosques while Khateebs have been asked to remember them in Friday prayers.

As well as the corruption of the judiciary it is particularly disturbing and cynical that Theresa May and her friends the justices chose the Muslim holy day to deliver the verdict, which was not arrived at in court. Thank God Julian Assange is safe in the Ecuadorian Embassy, or he would be illegally sent with them. I am ashamed to be British. There is a law for some, and a law against Muslims. Shame on the law-courts. Shame on Theresa May. Shame on Dominic Grieve. It is not a war on terror. It is a war on Islam.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The sycophant

My old friend Ian McMillan was on the telly today announcing that it was national poetry day. I recognised the rich, pit-deep Barnsley accent and turned round. Otherwise I would not have known it was a special day. He was one of the tutors at an Arvon Foundation course I went on at Ted Hughes' old house, Lumb Bank in the last century.

So as well as making a short video in the afternoon I thought I ought to contribute something more in keeping with the special day. I had Shelley's 'Mask of Anarchy' in mind in which he slags off the Lords, Castlereagh (Murder) and Eldon (Fraud). Nothing changes except the date on the calendar.

The sycophant

Justice Phillips in your ermine gown
you really look the part,
establishment’s own sycophant,
a venerable fart.

Justice Phillips in your cloistered world
made only for the rich,
with tightly-knit embroidery
it only takes a stitch,

Justice Phillips, in your toadyness,
to stitch-up a good man,
with tightly-knit embroidery,
regrettably you can.

Justice Phillips, it’s regrettable,
Assange regrets it too,
but sad regrets are coronets
to sycophants like you.

Justice Phillips, you are leaving us
while Julian remains,
it must be really paining you
for all your toady pains.

Justice Phillips, I hope Qatar gets,
right up your beakish nose,
a country full of sheikhs and slaves,
and oil-rich slimy toads.

John Goss

Justice Nicholas Phillips retired at the end of September to take up a post in Qatar for something I suspect more than £300,000 a year. But this was not before he had presided over Julian Assange’s extradition appeal, for trumped-up charges of rape. Assange lost but the decision was not made in the Supreme Court so much as in Whitehall, the gentlemen's clubs and the upper echelons of government. Anybody who thinks otherwise is a blatant fool.

Monday, October 1, 2012

English justice reeks like the cesspool it is − the poet Talha Ahsan

A man has been imprisoned for more than six years without being charged with any crime. His name is Talha Ahsan. He suffers from Asperger syndrome. Despite that he has become something of a celebrity as a recognised poet. The significance of this will soon be apparent. His imprisonment is all due to Tony Blair having removed a piece of English law that has formed one of the mainstays of our legal system for more than 300 years: habeas corpus. My layman's understanding of what habeas corpus means is that a person imprisoned should be brought before the court within a short or reasonable period of time after his, or her, arrest and charged with a crime, or released. It is protection against perpetual imprisonment. The last time habeas corpus was suspended was in the late eighteenth century, partly out of fear of the French Revolution spreading to England and partly in response to social unrest at home. The intellectual corresponding societies were targeted and, like today, many spies and agents provocateurs were deployed to try and trap people into saying or doing something for which they might be taken into custody. This included the interception of mail. The suspension of habeas corpus came on 7 May 1794.

Interestingly, like Talha Ahsan, many of the people targeted in what became known as the Treason Trials were poets and writers who belonged to corresponding societies, and as the name suggests, wrote to one another on radical issues of the day. However this was interpreted by the attorney general, Sir John Scott, as being seditious libel and treason, crimes which carried a rather horrific death penalty. Thomas Holcroft, one who was arrested and imprisoned, was well-known for his then popular plays and novels. Another was the poet and political writer, John Thelwall, and even the novelist William Godwin, father of Mary Shelley, was fortunate not to have been imprisoned under the suspension of this legal protection. Over thirty men were arrested and imprisoned and could have been held until February 1795 without being charged or brought before a court. As it happened all the cases were dropped before that time due to the defence of Thomas Erskine who argued that it was not a violent revolution these intellectuals sought but a revolution of ideas. Erskine was a powerful orator and had previously defended Thomas Paine over his Rights of Man publication in 1792. On that occasion the defence was unsuccessful, leading Paine to seek refuge abroad.

Reading the above it will be noticed that although habeas corpus had been suspended in 1794 these thirty men were not in prison for even a year, though they were still in prison for longer than they should have been. Today, in this enlightened age, the poet Talha Ahsan has been imprisoned for more than six years. Another person arrested under war-crime terrorist Tony Blair’s so-called anti-terrorism laws is Babar Ahmad whose case I blogged about earlier this year. Babar Ahmad has been in prison for more than eight years. This is disgusting. Even a High Court judge has said so.

Arguing the case of these neglected men, like Thomas Erskine, is a very talented defence lawyer, Gareth Peirce, a descendent of the Fabians, Beatrice and Sydney Webb. She puts a very strong case against the USA and in favour of those imprisoned without charge, and includes in her arguments the lack of balance in US and UK extradition laws. I quote from her extremely well-argued article for the London Review of Books entitled America’s Non-Compliance published two years ago, in which she asks two very pertinent questions about the country to which Theresa May wants to extradite UK citizens.

“We read, year after year, obscene details of executions in the US: most are successful, but there are also descriptions of frustrated attempts, hour after hour, to find a vein to inject. For a long time, the UK had no cause for complacency. Capital punishment was abolished here in 1965, but Britain continued to extradite to countries that retained the death penalty, and would have continued to do so had not the European Court determined in 1989 in the case of Soering v. UK that the ‘death row’ phenomenon, in which a person might spend years awaiting execution while the legal process was exhausted, constituted inhuman and degrading treatment according to Article 3 of the Convention. Since then no European state has been permitted to extradite in the absence of an assurance that conviction would not bring the death penalty.

But what of extradition to a future of total isolation? Can we comfortably, and within the law, contemplate sending men to that fate? . .”

Following the attempt to extradite Julian Assange to Sweden on trumped up charges, from a Supreme Court decision presided over by another High Court judge on the point of retirement, my concern is that the legal system in this country has simply become an extension of central government which is in hock to big business party donors. I have therefore set up a Facebook group for poets, writers and artists to oppose extradition for UK citizens. Please show your support.