Sunday, March 20, 2011

Just because you can't do everything, doesn't mean you don't do nothing...

Driving up the spectacular Horseshoe Pass in North Wales on Friday lunchtime I was listening to Jeremy Vine on Radio 2.  He was discussing the recent United Nations vote on Military action to save Civilian lives in Libya.  His guests were Professor Michael Clarke from the Royal United Service Institute and the serial apologist for murderers and tyrants, Lindsey German.  

Professor Clarke gave a considered and objective assessment of the situation and eventually a reasoned but reticent (and limited) backing for military action. 

While German, the crank cultist (who last year had to resign before being expelled from the SWP sect and then went on to form the even smaller Real-SWP sect "Counterfire") waffled on in support of doing nothing since we cannot topple all the world's tyrants (and therefore we should just let Gaddafi's war planes, tanks and artillery slaughter the Libyan opposition). 

Professor Clarke rebuked her with "Just because you can't do everything, doesn't mean you don't do nothing..." and reminded us all that timely and appropriate Military invention can and has saved lives.

Remember, even in the UK, we know what Gaddafi and his goons are capable of - from the public machine gunning of an unarmed London Police officer, to blowing up a civilian jet plane over Scotland killing 270 and the supplying of IRA terrorists with tons of explosives and weapons which were then used to murder many, many more innocents

So we should all know exactly what will happen to the civilian population if Gaddafi retakes the rebel held towns and cities.  No Excuses.


Anonymous said...

Robin Wales is no different to many of these middle east dictators. They refuse to go and hold on to power.

They don't like any opposition parties, they have a governing system where people are from the political party and have absolute control.

These dictators waste the public money on lavish buildings like Building 1000 to massage their egos.

P. E. Dantik said...

"Just because you can't do everything, doesn't mean you don't do nothing..."

The credo of Newham Labour Councillors.

If you "don't do nothing" you are doing something. Therefore this quote equates to "Because you cannot do everything it doesn't mean you should do something".

Chris Godwin said...

John is right about Newham opposition being completely useless. They now have gone to a new low comparing the Mayor with Dictators who murder political opponents.

What lowlifes to be making such comparisons. You may not like Robin Wales but he is a democratically elected politician. To compare him to Foreign Dictators who are murdering and torturing their own people is disgusting and an affront to the brave people in Libya risking their lives.

Anonymous ought to be ashamed. No wonder the people of Newham reject you all so decisively time and time again.

John Gray said...

Hi Pedantic

For once you may have a point. It reads better as "you do nothing". I was driving up the pass and shouting at the radio at the time and may have misheard but I thought this was what he said.

Hi Chris

Well said.

Anonymous 14:20 said...

@Chris Godwin

Yawn Yawn. Same old denial, just because someone disagrees with you. You assume they are the opposition and dismiss them. You never answer questions. There is a serious problem with democracy in Newham.

I met a woman who said that she travels two hours each day by bus, because she cannot afford the train fare. So how can Robin Wales justify spending £100million on council offices. Where is the regeneration of this area.

I am angry when I see my Council tax bill and I know how you lot spend my money. You will cut services to prove the a point but still continue to squander my money.

Why don't you go to the Unicef web site and read about another Newham woman

(quote from Unicef web site) :
"I want to make sure as many people as possible understand the difficulties that many parents are facing up and down the country," Janet said. "It’s hard to pay for the basics like rent, transport and giving my 11-year-old son vegetables for his dinner. My hugely stretched household budget will have to go even further come April. There’s just not enough money to give my children what they need."

Chris Godwin said...

if someone disagrees surely they are the opposition? the only problem with "democracy" in Newham is an incompetent, personality obsessed and lazy "opposition".

the women in the bus cannot afford a train fare because we have still an unfair society which needs to be changed. We need a fairer taxation system and redistribution of wealth.

Everyone knows (apart from the lazy incompetents) that Building 1000 will save the Council millions of pounds. Have you never heard of Total Place? Even (real) opposition Politian’s have praised Newham for doing this.

If the 11 year old was still in Primary school then thanks to Newham Labour Council he would still have a free school meal at lunchtime.

Anonymous said...

Hi John,
weird. There I was reading a post on Gaddafi and expecting to find Trots from the SWP attacking you as a tool of Imperialism. Instead its immediately sucked into local politics with some some guy called Robin Wales being compared to Muammar Gadaffi. Politics must have gotten pretty hot in Newham since I lived there.
Leaping from the torture cells of Libya to a woman on a bus in Newham, I must admit left me a bit dizzy. Some of these anon postings clearly only have a tenous contact with reality.

Dave Draycott
PS I don't think Robin Wales cuts it as a name for a murderous dictator.

Anonymous said...

Hi John,

I also see that Jon Rogers over on his blog is in full flow condemning the intervention, whilst overlooking the fact that without it Benghazi would now be a charnel house.

Dave Draycott

John Gray said...

Hi Chris


Hi Dave

Yes, the "opposition" in Newham both trots and tories are pretty weird. They are also completely useless.

The trots are too ashamed to be seen supporting yet another mass murderer to have a go so far. No doubt they are waiting for their CC to tell them what to think.

There is a principled case against the NFZ which I understand and respect but who really, really cares what these fully paid up members of the Gaddifi fan club thinks about anything?

bob smith said...


Chris Godwin says "if someone disagrees surely they are the opposition?"

The answer is no. Debate in Newham is often stifled by anyone who disagrees with a prevailing view being seen as the opposition but sensible policies and actions arise from considered debate, and it is entirely possible to disagree but be on the same side.

I am not for one moment agreeing with the view that the Mayor is no different to "these middle East dictators" That's just plain daft, rude and tragically unfunny, but there is a genuine debate to be had over the efficacy of the no fly zone and its longer term consequences. I personally oppose the decision but that doesn't make me part of the hard left or right. However, by lumping people like myself in with such people simply marginalises us even more, and could lead to people like me feeling that participation in democratic debate is pointless.

It is the lack of genuine debate, listening and accountability that in part led to me leaving the Labour Party after 34 years of loyal membership, and in the 10 months I have been gone I see little to convince me it is worth returning. That doesn't make me a Trot or a Tory, but a concerned individual with legitimate views, hopes and aspirations. It would be nice to think that the Labour Party will start listening again and become a Party that I could once more be proud to support and be a member of.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bob,

there is a debate to be had over the 'efficacy'of the 'no fly' zone. As there is a debate to be had over any militiary action. Problem for me and many others is the response of those on the far left who condemn the action with their usual Leninist formulas.It is also nescessary to consider the 'efficacy' of inaction. The fact is the the democratic revolution in Libya would be dead in the dust if it had not happened. Hence the demo in Benghazi yesterday thanking the West for the air strikes. I even strolled past one in Leeds a few days ago. I went over to wish the presumabley small Leeds Libyan community good luck. The air strikes have massive support amongst people in the Arab world especially in Egypt. Not a suprise given their own recent advances. The Libyan situation is volatile and it is to be hoped it will head in a democratic direction. I'm not that well informed on the nature of the Libyan Opposition. What I have seen and read looks hopefull and you have to stand in awe at people's courage.

Dave Draycott

Anonymous said...

"The trots are too ashamed to be seen supporting yet another mass murderer to have a go so far. No doubt they are waiting for their CC to tell them what to think."

Er...I think you will find that it was a Labour Government that set up oil deals and sold weapons to Libya, not the SWP or any other far-left group for that matter!

Labour - and Newham Labour Cllrs - have blood all over their hands, Cllr Gray, and the sooner you stop piping up on your blog and recognise your own collective hypocrisy, the sooner you might be able to do something about it!

Anonymous said...

No supporter of Robin Wales - but comparing him to middle east dictators is childish stuff.

I'm no supporter either of Lindsey German, but your personal attack on German is of a similar ilk to the mindless comparison of Wales and Gadaffi. Quite why you consistently feel the need to reduce debate to a playground level is beyond me.

I can find no evidence of your previous comment Tony Blair's deals with Libya and Britain's arms supplies to Gaddafi - here is the Timesonline story from Sept 13 2009, Sunday Times:

'Tony Blair helped to secure defence contracts worth £350m and the promise of more as part of the deal with Libya that allowed the Lockerbie bomber to return home.

'The deals were signed during his meeting with Colonel Gadaffi in May 2007, when the then prime minister agreed to a prisoner transfer deal between the two countries. The disclosure has led to renewed accusations that the Labour government entered into a “terrorist for trade” agreement.'

Well at least Bob Smith brings some integrity to the debate here.

Kenneth Taylor said...

I don't think anonymous that the Newham Labour Group were actually consulted on relations with Libya by the UK government - so your "blood on their hands" attack is pretty pathetic even by raving Trot or Tory standards.

Robin Wales is a democratically elected Mayor (with a massive majority) while Linsey German has consistently failed to win any democratic elections whatsoever - she has no mandate whatsoever and never has done.

Therefore John is quite right to point out that she has no mandate and she has consistently supported dictators and murderers. Including those who have slaughtered and imprisoned trade unionists.

Never forget that she and her ilk would want the UK to have a violent revolution and to murder all those who would opposes them. Crazy I know but true.

While I am not a great fan of Tony Blair I recognise that he helped bring about the dismantling of the Libya nuclear programme as well as helping contribute to a liberalisation of the Libyan middle class which no doubt played a part in this revolution.

Unlike the toadies of the far left who have taken millions of pounds from Gaddafi in bribes to do his bidding.

Anonymous said...

Further to my previous comment (27 March 20:25).

It has taken a Tory MP to produce, what I think is the most thoughtful analysis I have seen on Libya.

Writing in the London Review of Books (March 31), Rory Stewart discusses the pros and cons of intervention in the light of Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Vietnam and elsewhere .

A supporter, on balance, of the no-fly zone in Libya, Stewart also cautions:

"But today [18 March, though I am in favour of the no-fly zone, it seems as though the real danger remains not despair but our irrepressible, almost hyperactive actions: that sense of moral obligation; those fears about rogue states, failed states, regions and our own credibility, which threaten to make this decade again a decade of over-intervention."

John Gray manages to compound a discussion about Libyan intervention with a rant against the Trotskyist left. Why? Perhaps he thinks that associating opposition with Lindsey German is a convenient rhetorical cloak for his support of intervention. Perhaps he does not think and is merely ranting.

As a Labour Party member I often find myself in agreement with Gray on policy. But in terms of style his rhetoric seems to have more in common with a Rupert Murdoch tabloid. This is a shame since it tends to obscure the more sensible elements in his writing.

If he wishes to discuss Libyan intervention, then perhaps he should make a more reasoned case for it (including the potential dangers and the unfortunate and hypocritical recent history of UK foreign policy) rather than hiding behind an attack on the Trotskyist left.

Lindsey German is an easy target. The finding of a solution in Libya that secures the peaceful democratic future of that country, and does not turn Arab popular opinion in the region further against the West is far more challenging.

Kenneth Taylor said...

I think that John made it clear that he supports intervention but accepts that many people will have principled opposition to it.

Lindsey German is different. Why is the BBC interviewing someone who holds Parliamentary democracy and the rule of law in utter contempt? Someone who believes in bloody revolution as a means to deal with all our problems. A so called "democratic centralist" which means that she is subject to direct political control by her central committee in any role she plays in any other organisation.