Tag Archives: Rome

If both Jewish and Muslim representatives have condemned this MPs contact with the far right – why has he not been censured?

Both the Muslim Council of Britain and the Board of Deputies of British Jews have condemned Daniel Kawczynski for attending a conference with far-right European leaders.

But the Conservative government has said nothing.

What does that say about the politics of your cuddly, lovable, bumbling ol’ Boris Johnson?

Doesn’t it suggest that his own leanings are a little further to the right than we have been led to believe?

(That’s for readers who aren’t on benefits, of course. They all know the score.)

A Tory MP has defended his decision to speak at a conference in Rome alongside “some of Europe’s most notorious far-right politicians”.

Daniel Kawczynski has been condemned by the Board of Deputies of British Jews for attending the National Conservatism conference in Rome alongside Hungary’s far-right prime minister Viktor Orban.

Also speaking at the conference was Ryszard Legutko, the Polish Law and Justice MEP who has described homophobia as a “totally fictitious problem”

Misdaad Versie, a spokesperson for the Muslim Council of Britain also criticised Mr Kawczynski – as well as the Tory Chief Whip, whom the MP claims he informed about the conference ahead of time.

Source: Tory MP defends decision to attend conference with Hungary’s far-right leader – Mirror Online

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Is the Coalition government 80,000 times worse than Herod?

shame

You may have noticed that yesterday was Christmas – the day when Christians throughout the world celebrate the birth of Jesus, whose teachings in later life form the basis of their faith.

Jesus was born into a world of politics and political machinations – the Roman world was much the same as our own in this respect – and had an effect on it, right from his birth.

According to one of the Gospels, when King Herod learned that a child had been born who had been named ‘King of the Jews’, he sent spies to find out who this possible usurper was; failing in this attempt, he gave orders for the death of all boys aged two or less in Bethlehem and nearby.

Joseph (husband of Mary, Jesus’ mother) was warned in a dream that Herod intended to kill Jesus, so the family fled to Egypt until after the King’s death – then moved to Nazareth in Galilee to avoid living under Herod’s son Archelaus (the Romans had divided the kingdom into three, and Nazareth was ruled by another of Herod’s sons, Herod Antipas).

Regarding the Massacre of the Innocents, doubt has been cast on whether the event ever took place. No other account of the period makes reference to it. Some have said that this may be because the number of male children of the right age might have been less than 20.

Since the point of this article is to compare what happened then with current events, here in Britain, it seems best to bookmark the disputed event; we’ll come back to it if we must.

The part we are told under no uncertain terms is that Joseph took Mary and Jesus to Egypt until Herod’s rule was over. In modern terms, they were made homeless because of political persecution that was so extreme, they had to flee the country.

The situation in the UK today, as stated by Shelter, is no less than 80,000 times as bad.

The charity told us (in November): “Government figures show that 80,000 children in Britain will be homeless this Christmas.”

Vox Political said then that government policies had caused the dramatic rise: “The bedroom tax; the ‘Pickles Poll Tax’, otherwise known as the Council Tax reduction scheme; the benefit cap that so many people in this country seem to support without understanding any of its implications.” This blog had warned that this would happen, as long ago as January.

In contrast with the Bible story, in which the family fled to safety, most homeless families interviewed by Shelter said they felt more unsafe, witnessing violence, sexual offences, drug use and dealing.

This is more than 2,000 years after the Biblical incident; civilisation is supposed to have improved over that time. Why are we allowing our government to do this to our children on such a massively more widespread scale?

Perhaps we can take some small comfort from Herod’s fate. Modern medicine suggests he had chronic kidney failure, complicated by Fourier’s gangrene – but let us see how it was described at the time. The historian Josephus – in Antiquities, Book 17, Chapter 6, Verse 5 – describes the disease that killed him shortly after he set out to murder Jesus: “a fire glowed in him slowly, which did not so much appear to the touch outwardly, as it augmented his pains inwardly; for it brought upon him a vehement appetite to eating, which he could not avoid to supply with one sort of food or other. His entrails were also ex-ulcerated, and the chief violence of his pain lay on his colon; an aqueous and transparent liquor also had settled itself about his feet, and a like matter afflicted him at the bottom of his belly. Nay, further, his privy-member was putrefied, and produced worms; and when he sat upright, he had a difficulty of breathing, which was very loathsome, on account of the stench of his breath, and the quickness of its returns; he had also convulsions in all parts of his body, which increased his strength to an insufferable degree. It was said by those who pretended to divine, and who were endued with wisdom to foretell such things, that God inflicted this punishment on the king on account of his great impiety.”

Eric Pickles, Iain Duncan Smith, and above all David Cameron, beware.

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History Repeats Itself, or The Decline and Fall of the Tory Empire

A possible future: The city of London is sacked by barbarian hordes. As a priest watches from the steps of St Paul's, a burly Brixtonian drags David Cameron away from his wife Samantha. Or is it the fall of Rome?

A possible future: The city of London is sacked by barbarian hordes. As a priest watches from the steps of St Paul’s, a burly Brixtonian drags David Cameron away from his wife Samantha. Or is it the fall of Rome?

My brother phoned up to inform me that he has passed his PHd and is now a Doctor. This is a terrific achievement for a man who has been on incapacity benefits, of one form or another, for much of his adult life, and will open many doors for him.

During the conversation, he mentioned some very interesting facts.

Did you know that the fall of the Roman Empire began when its richest citizens decided not to pay their taxes anymore and withdrew to their private estates? Public services were divided up and sold off, and the bulk of the tax burden was placed on the poor, who were in no position to pay up.

Neither did I.

Isn’t that similar, though, to the situation in the UK right now? Never mind all the nonsense George Osborne and David Cameron have been talking about getting tough on tax avoidance; the fact is that the richest corporations – the multinationals and those with the ability to follow their example – have been paying far less than their due for many years, sequestering the rest of their money away in foreign tax havens, well away from prying tax inspectors’ eyes.

And David Cameron made it clear as early as 2011 that he wanted to sell of as much of Britain’s public services as he possibly could, retaining only justice and the security services (although we can see that justice is also being broken up, with plans to get lawyers to bid for the privilege of providing “adequate” service to defendants). The NHS is already being carved up; parts of some police forces have been privatised; we have some private prisons. Parts of the civil service are to be sold into private ownership. The list is growing.

The whole situation mirrors that of the Fall of Rome, and begs the question: Is David Cameron trying to engineer the end of British civilisation as we know it?

Just a thought.