Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Freedom, if it means anything ...

Perhaps a little OT, but I think we're going to be bombarded with wankery regarding this: Wootton Basset Demo Group Challenges PM.

Islam4UK has said it would apply to police "in the next few days" for permission to protest in the Wiltshire town famous for honouring repatriated British troops.
The plan for the demonstration, which would see dozens of symbolic coffins representing Afghan civilians killed in the conflict, has caused widespread public anger.
More than 250,000 people have signed an online petition calling for it to be banned.

A Downing Street spokesman said Mr Brown had already made known his views on the planned march, which he described as "abhorrent and offensive".
Home Secretary Alan Johnson said he would have "no hesitation" in supporting a ban on the march if police or the council requested one.


As described, and this is from Sky News, this sounds to be not only a peaceful protest, but one, with the 'symbolic coffins,' to be very like environmental or anti-nuclear demonstrations. As David Aaronovitch has said (see last post), "There are no undiscriminating suicide bombers among the world’s many environmental activists..." This may be because they're given other options.

What kind of democracy are we supposed to be defending?

94 Comments:

Blogger ejh said...

Bloody stupid to do it in Wootton Bassett, mind.

1/05/2010 02:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course one source of confusion is whether the issue is having the demo in Wootton Bassett (rather than, say, in Bradford, Tunbridge Wells or a garrison town like Aldershot) or the fact that it's this bunch wanting an anti-war demo rather than CND.

[redpesto]

1/05/2010 02:45:00 PM  
Anonymous gastro george said...

Aren't they just aiming to get a lot of publicity (and succeeding) - they haven't actually made an application yet AFAIK?

1/05/2010 03:10:00 PM  
Blogger Chardonnay Chap said...

Index on Censorship blog: FROM CABLE STREET TO WOOTTON BASSETT. Interesting comparison.

1/05/2010 03:11:00 PM  
Blogger Chardonnay Chap said...

GG - yes, you're right, of course. And this is a democratic thing to do. It doesn't matter if it's a bloody stupid choice of venue. It's a lot better than planting bombs, which is where you go when you're denied the right to speak.

1/05/2010 03:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Darius Jedburgh said...

They're not being denied the right to speak, CC. They look like they're going to be denied the right to march in Wootton Bassett. Maybe they shouldn't be denied that either, but your position does sound a teeny bit like, "If they then go off and blow a bunch of people up, we'll only have ourselves to blame." This in turn reminds us that Decency didn't come out of nowhere.

1/05/2010 03:56:00 PM  
Blogger Chardonnay Chap said...

Darius, I accept that criticism. They haven't been denied the right to speak yet. But the political rhetoric reported in that article from both Brown and Alan 'The Home Secretary' Johnson isn't conducive to dialogue. I'd argue that banning marches is undemocratic, and that Brown's lost some potential Labour votes there. Our government's getting a little too close the Iranian position of only allowing demonstrations against its enemies.

1/05/2010 04:03:00 PM  
Anonymous saucy jack said...

"It's a lot better than planting bombs, which is where you go when you're denied the right to speak."
Is that really where you go when you are denied the right to speak? Would blowing people up really be an appropriate and understandable response to laws against blasphemy, or censorship in the theatre? More seriously, if anybody is denied the right to speak the far right could claim it was them, through an array of laws against incitement to racial hatred. You would hardly indulge any claim that they therefore had no alternative but to plant bombs.

1/05/2010 04:15:00 PM  
Blogger Bruschettaboy said...

I am very suspicious indeed of the implied special status of Wootton Basset. It isn't a military cemetery or anything like that; it's a town through which the repatriation convoys (which are not the same thing as funeral corteges, although they do take place in hearses) pass. Presumably families of dead servicemen won't be present on the day scheduled for the march, and equally obviously the local people won't all turn out in the same way they do for the repatriations.

In other words, the "special status" of Wootton Bassett is entirely the result of a media circus that the town didn't ask for and apparently doesn't want, and I am very nervous indeed about ruling it (either legally or by social sanction) to be a place where only one political viewpoint can be expressed, at any time of the day.

1/05/2010 04:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Darius Jedburgh said...

Hey! Surreptitious edit makes saucy jack and me look like we're hallucinating.

1/05/2010 07:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Darius Jedburgh said...

Oh sorry -- the saucy jack quote is from a CC comment, not the original post -- I guess I'm the one hallucinating -- it's been that kind of holiday...

1/05/2010 07:58:00 PM  
Blogger Chardonnay Chap said...

OK, I expressed myself particularly badly. Planting bombs isn't the first thing one does when denied the right to speak, nor of course, should one. But it is something disenfranchised groups have resorted to.

If what I said came across as a sort of threat: let them march, or there will be consequences! I didn't mean it that way.

I still think it's undemocratic of Alan Johnson to consider banning a protest just because it might upset people. Many peaceful protests have upset people: the anti-apartheid campaign (Peter Hain digging up cricket pitches for example); the suffragettes. Tolerance should be one of the virtues of a liberal-left government, but, contrary to the Mail etc, we don't see enough of it.

1/05/2010 08:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Phil said...

In my not-very-expert opinion, a major driver of public order legislation is the perceived threat to public order from the people who might react against a provocation. The rhetoric around the 1936 Public Order Act was more about the danger of inflaming the passions of the Jews than the danger of Fascism per se (and see also Olympia, two years earlier, where the fash had had things their way and the night had gone off quite quietly, from the point of view of the police). See also the banning of the IRA in 1974, which was very much about the reaction to the Michael Gaughan funeral march in Kilburn.

What this suggests about the government's over-reaction to the Wootton Bassett provocation is that (a) the government may be more scared than they let on, but (b) not of Anjem Choudhary. Not that anyone really thinks the good burghers of Wootton B. are going to turn into a lynch mob, just that government nerviness, authoritarianism and a lack of positive support go together - or feed on one another.

1/05/2010 09:20:00 PM  
OpenID splinteredsunrise said...

Of course, this may all be academic, and Alan (THS) Johnson may not need to ban anything.

The essential point about Anjem Choudary is that he's a media troll, and IMO he's a stone fucking genius of a troll. Half of the things he says he's going to do he never bothers doing - generating media outrage being the point of the exercise - and he's suckered the tabs to the point where they're running screaming front pages based on whatever wind-up he puts on the Islam4UK website this week. Then he gets invited on the news, then the papers get even more outraged by what he says on the news. Compare the media coverage Anjem, a man with a couple of dozen followers, gets compared with someone rational like Salma Yaqoob or Osama Saeed. And what that tells us about what messages the media are looking for about Muslims.

Anjem, you'll also remember, learned his trade from that master media troll Omar Bakri. As did Ed Husain, although Ed has found it more profitable, what with government ministers' willingness to write him cheques.

1/05/2010 09:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Ben said...

I'm not sure which of these two comments is more unintentionally amusing:

"I'd argue that banning marches is undemocratic, and that Brown's lost some potential Labour votes there."

or

"Our government's getting a little too close the Iranian position of only allowing demonstrations against its enemies."

Now, it will come as no surprise to you gentlemen to hear that this particular horrid authoritarian Blairite is of the opinion that the march should be banned and the organisation proscribed (though I would not in principle be averse to a similar march not organised by Al-Muhajiroun occuring elsewhere - see, I'm not that bad, really), but quite apart from that, I am fairly sure that if you stepped into the Real World(tm) that the votes Labour would gain from normal people if it took a strong lead on handling this issue with toughness would rather dwarf the small number of "concerned liberal" types who might jump ship. Surely most of your ilk have deserted already, in any case?

The other contention is bizarre as well as revealing of world-view assumptions. "Gordon, meet Mahmoud, your new best buddy." How delightfully off-piste. Almost charmingly quirky.

1/05/2010 11:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

More on Oliver Kamm's part in the forged Iranian nuclear documents published by The Times:

http://original.antiwar.com/porter/2010/01/05/new-revelations-tear-holes/

The Kamm Scam: Fake ‘Journalist’ Defends a Forgery

http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2010/01/03/the-kamm-scam/

johnf

1/06/2010 07:58:00 AM  
Blogger angrysoba said...

Didn't George Orwell say that the reason why the British army don't goosestep through the streets is not because the officers are against it (rather, a few Colonel Blimps would like them to) but because people would line the streets not to cheer but to laugh at them.

So, maybe the best antidote to this bunch of clowns is for people to piss their pants with derisive laughter when they turn up (rather than for the tabloids to piss their pants with fear).

Anjem Choudry should simply be a laughing stock.

1/06/2010 09:00:00 AM  
Blogger angrysoba said...

It's a lot better than planting bombs, which is where you go when you're denied the right to speak.

Oh my lord!

Anjem Choudary's position is "Waaaaaaah! I wanna be the King and you won't let me it's like so unfaaaaaaaair!"

Your position is: "Ooooh concede to their demands to spout their loony nonsense or they'll start blowing us up!"

Get a grip!

If I organized a political rally which sought to block access to a public street with my demands to make blancmange the staple food of the UK you would think I was a nut and my right to march would be withheld. What makes Anjem Choudary any different? Where does he derive his legitimacy?

1/06/2010 09:25:00 AM  
Blogger ejh said...

I'm not sure why a march demanding compulsory blancmange would be banned. As I recall The Monster Raving Loony Party used to inspire a good deal of public affection for thinking up that sort of thing.

1/06/2010 10:37:00 AM  
Blogger ejh said...

Incidentally, there's a discussion to be had about the ethical merits of banning marches or organisations with a few to whether or not such a move would gain votes, and what would happen to politics in the real world if such criteria were commonly employed.

It certainly strikes me as a very New Labour conception.

1/06/2010 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger Bruschettaboy said...

angrysoba: first, please read the full thread before responding. Second, your "blancmange" point comes from the Norman Geras school of incomprehensible non-analogies. Please revise it to make it clear what your point is; ie, whether what you are attempting to characterise as ridiculous is a) anti-war marches per se b) anti-war marches in Wootton Bassett specifically, c) anti-war marches led by Anjem Choudary d) any marches led by Anjem Choudary, e) something else.

I also disagree that "Waaaaaaah! I wanna be the King and you won't let me it's like so unfaaaaaaaair!" is a sensible or helpful summary of the views of anyone involved. You presumably meant it to be satirical but it didn't really work.

1/06/2010 01:01:00 PM  
Blogger angrysoba said...

I'm not sure why a march demanding compulsory blancmange would be banned.

Indeed. As long as it was on a quiet day when not too much traffic was expected otherwise people marching for all sorts of stuff could become tedious.

As I recall The Monster Raving Loony Party used to inspire a good deal of public affection for thinking up that sort of thing.

Well, it sounds like I may have a calling after all.

Incidentally, I just noticed in your profile you are a "defrocked librarian". Does this mean you ever had to tell visitors, "No talking please!"? And if you did, did they ever come back the next day with bombs strapped to them?

1/06/2010 01:44:00 PM  
Blogger angrysoba said...

angrysoba: first, please read the full thread before responding.

Okay, well I see you have backtracked from those comments you made both in the thread and on the main page. But I find it odd that you even made them in the first place. If what you're saying now is that all Anjem Choudary and co are doing is a peaceful march through Wootton Bassett to demonstrate against the war then your comment about setting of bombs appear apropos of nothing. I can't see anyone else talking about bombs other than you, so perhaps you could explain that...

Second, your "blancmange" point comes from the Norman Geras school of incomprehensible non-analogies.

What I mean is, all credit to them that they are going through the proper channels to get this march accepted but they can't (nor can anyone else) assume it should be a formality. The authorities presumably have to decide whether or not the march is worth allowing to go ahead for various reasons, one of which could be whether this is a serious and well-intentioned march (which we know it's not) and whether it is worth closing down the road to public transport (i.e whether accommodating Choudary and co.'s liberties is worth sacrificing the liberties of others) and whether or not this march is meant purely as as incitement.

If you thought my example was facetious well, maybe it is. But that's just to illustrate the point.

Finally, Anjem Choudary has a rather uneven concern for the deaths of civilians, as I'm sure you are aware. Asked to condemn the London underground bombings he said he would never condemn another Muslim and that those killed who weren't Muslims can't be considered innocent. So much for his "anti-war" stance.

Would you have written a post like this if the BNP were planning a similar march?

I would hope not. So what makes Anjem Choudary different?

1/06/2010 02:00:00 PM  
Blogger ejh said...

Would you have written a post like this if the BNP were planning a similar march?

Ding!

1/06/2010 02:12:00 PM  
Blogger angrysoba said...

ejh: "Ding!"

Just to be sure, is that "Ding!" as in "good point" or "Ding!" as in in-joke for "That's so Decent!"

1/06/2010 02:19:00 PM  
Blogger ejh said...

Sort of a Decentometer thing.

1/06/2010 02:27:00 PM  
Blogger ejh said...

(It sometimes goes off when I've anticipated somebody making a certain sort of tedious rhetorical intervention involving a wholly hypothetical situation, and they proceed to make it. Also see "trope", "rolling of eyeballs", etc.)

1/06/2010 03:09:00 PM  
Blogger Chardonnay Chap said...

You make several points, which I shall attempt to address.

Would you have written a post like this if the BNP were planning a similar march?

First, I don't believe that the police should decide which causes are 'valid' for want of a better term. I've been told enough times in my life that marching against nuclear weapons was self-defeating: if we didn't have them, we'd be under the Russian heel, and then where could we protest? And I've been asked why I should care who gets voting rights in a country on the other side of the world (ie South Africa). The authorities may well feel that the things I have protested about were foolish, or naive, or otherwise wrong. I can't accept that some chief constable or judge should get to say "Yes, this is a real issue; let them march" or "That's quite ridiculous! what a waste of time."

However, I am, as you guess, somewhat ambivalent about the BNP. There's only one kind of 'demonstration' I'm unequivocally against: and that's the "right" of the Orange Order to march through Catholic areas. That's because those sort of marches aren't the expression of an opinion so much as a show of force, and are intended to intimidate. My problem with the right of the BNP to demonstrate is whether they're expressing views which they don't feel MPs/the establishment/liberals like myself even take seriously or whether they're hoping to break skulls and scare people. If they want a voice, I support their right; I don't think you have a right to intimidate - and the decision as to which the BNP/EDL are likely to be I do trust to the police. I don't feel that Anjem Choudary or his followers present a credible threat to anyone, therefore I can only support his right to protest.

1/06/2010 03:15:00 PM  
Blogger angrysoba said...

(It sometimes goes off when I've anticipated somebody making a certain sort of tedious rhetorical intervention involving a wholly hypothetical situation, and they proceed to make it. Also see "trope", "rolling of eyeballs", etc.)

Well, I was told the blancmange one was too silly so I tried something a bit more conventional.

Apparently that one's so predictable and tedious that it makes your Decentometer go "Ding!"

And there were a few questions that preceded that. Are they invalidated by the chiming of the D-o-M?

1/06/2010 03:19:00 PM  
Blogger Bruschettaboy said...

Okay, well I see you have backtracked from those comments you made both in the thread and on the main page. But I find it odd that you even made them in the first place.

Angrysoba, can you read the thread again, please, including the headers which identify who posted what? With respect to your BNP analogy I am happy to confirm that I also support free speech for them too.

I don't agree with your revised point at all - although the permission to march is not a formality, it's a pretty basic principle of public law that the right of the authorities to withhold permits isn't to be used capriciously or politically.

1/06/2010 03:19:00 PM  
Blogger ejh said...

And there were a few questions that preceded that. Are they invalidated by the chiming of the D-o-M?

You mean the ones in the post that preceded it?

1/06/2010 03:26:00 PM  
Blogger Chardonnay Chap said...

I'd also feel a lot better arguing that states with Sha'ria law (and not the limited kind you get in the West which concerns the terms of mutually agreed contracts) wouldn't permit protest if this country did. "You couldn't do this in Saudi Arabia" carries less weight if you can't do it here, either.

1/06/2010 03:28:00 PM  
Blogger Chardonnay Chap said...

Angrysoba:

If I organized a political rally which sought to block access to a public street with my demands to make blancmange the staple food of the UK you would think I was a nut and my right to march would be withheld.

I feel a better argument against this is the existence of Gillian McKeith and the sad fat that she doesn't need to march to spread her batty opinions; she gets a programme on Channel 4, and paid for it.

1/06/2010 03:49:00 PM  
Blogger Chardonnay Chap said...

You know, someone did try to block Oxford Street with his weird dietary ideas. And when he died a museum bought all the protein man's placards. Had he any followers, and had there been enough of them to block a street, I think the police would have given permission.

1/06/2010 03:53:00 PM  
Blogger angrysoba said...

CC: First, I don't believe that the police should decide which causes are 'valid' for want of a better term. I've been told enough times in my life that marching against nuclear weapons was self-defeating: if we didn't have them, we'd be under the Russian heel, and then where could we protest? And I've been asked why I should care who gets voting rights in a country on the other side of the world (ie South Africa).

Well, in this case I wouldn't expect the police to say, "This is frivolous. You'll never eradicate war so what's the point?"

However, they may say, "We don't think your stated intentions are your real ones. We think you're more interested in inciting violence or otherwise winding up local residents." And I don't think that's something so easily dismissed particularly given that Anjem Choudary specializes in that kind of thing and isn't exactly "anti-war".

"There's only one kind of 'demonstration' I'm unequivocally against: and that's the "right" of the Orange Order to march through Catholic areas."

Well, that would be an example of incitement. Presumably it would be okay for them to march through Protestant areas, so you would agree the choice of venue is important, marching in some areas is more inflammatory than in others.

"I don't feel that Anjem Choudary or his followers present a credible threat to anyone."

Yes, well I wouldn't have either except that when you slipped out that thing about setting off bombs it seemed to suggest otherwise.

1/06/2010 04:09:00 PM  
Blogger angrysoba said...

I feel a better argument against this is the existence of Gillian McKeith and the sad fat that she doesn't need to march to spread her batty opinions; she gets a programme on Channel 4, and paid for it.

Okay, fair enough. That and the Protein Man have convinced me that nothing is insane enough not to get me marching permission.

1/06/2010 04:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is a puzzle , really, how to deal with Islam4UK - banning the march would not only offend against freedom of speech, it would also not hurt Anjem one bit. He wouldn't have to actually turn up to Wootton Bassett, or organise any fellow marchers (all of which would be a bit of a pain for a media performing stuntmaster like himself), and he could play the victim and get to say "ha ! liberalism is just a veneer". An angry counter demonstration would also help him play the martyr - and give various EDL/BNP types a day out as well. I can only think a massive, friendly demonstration of people with signs saying "you are very silly - have a cup of tea" would take the wind out of his sails, but that would be difficult to organise. (perhaps wearing comedy pants of death also)
Ann On

1/06/2010 04:27:00 PM  
Blogger cian said...

Well, that would be an example of incitement. Presumably it would be okay for them to march through Protestant areas, so you would agree the choice of venue is important, marching in some areas is more inflammatory than in others.

No its the intimidation. Anjem Choudary is less intimidating than a man who inflicts 2nd degree burns on his testicles.

1/06/2010 06:00:00 PM  
Anonymous magistra said...

There's a difference in principle between inciting violence and winding up local residents. Suppose you want a Gay Pride march which goes past Westminster Cathedral or through some rather homophobic town or village? That might well wind lots of people up, but its not intimidating them or encouraging violence. If you start saying you're not allowed to do such marches if it might upset people, you are going to get an awful lot of entirely peaceful marches prohibited. I would like to be able to go on a Good Friday procession without some local atheist claiming it's distasteful and should be banned (and equally, I wouldn't want athiest marches banned).

1/06/2010 06:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Phil said...

However, they may say, "We don't think your stated intentions are your real ones. We think you're more interested in inciting violence or otherwise winding up local residents."

The police do very often attribute the worst possible motives to political demonstrators, and have done for some time. Letting them ban demonstrations on that basis doesn't sound to me like a good idea.

1/06/2010 06:10:00 PM  
Blogger ejh said...

I think there is a case for saying that some marches are planned as provocations and that therefore are deliberately intended to bring about a breach of the piece. I don't take an absolutist approach to the freedom to assemble any more than I do to an other freedom, but there are surely certain circumstances where the authorities may have reasonable suspicion that a proposed march will, and is intended to, bring about disorder.

At the same time it's plainly open to abuse, and it's equally plainly open to unfair and unbalanced implementation. For instance - the Danish cartoons were, in my view, deliberately designed to provoke a reaction amounting to public disorder: how many people who want the Wootton Bassett march banned took a similar view of the cartoons?

I really don't know on this. I would be very disturbed if people weren't allowed to march to protest against the killing of Afghan civilians. I am deeply sceptical of the motives (and likely outcome) of choosing Wootton Bassett as the site for such a march. What's the point? Why there?

1/06/2010 06:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Ben said...

I would like to annexe all of angrysoba's very sensible comments to my own.

I'm not sure whether it's your reading comprehension that's markedly poor, ejh, or whether you are merely going through the motions of being obviously disingenuous. In any case, I agree entirely with the first and third paragraphs of your last comment.

What a break-out of peace, harmony and love.

1/06/2010 06:58:00 PM  
Blogger Bruschettaboy said...

At the same time it's plainly open to abuse, and it's equally plainly open to unfair and unbalanced implementation.

... which is why the law regulating the marching season in Northern Ireland was and IIRC still is a NI-specific piece of legislation not applicable in the mainland, precisely because it was recognised to be an unusual restriction of liberty which could only be justified by the equally unusual circumstances.

What's the point? Why there?

presumably because it's become symbolic of the seriousness and reverence with which UK military casualties are regarded, and thus a fairly obvious (and not entirely invalid) political point can be made from the fact that so many people absolutely and explicitly don't want Afghan civilian casualties to be treated with the same sort of seriousness and reverence. (That is, that would be the reason why one might have an anti-war protest there specifically; I certainly reserve judgement on the good faith of Anjem Choudhary and his march).

As I said earlier I'm very uncomfortable with treating the town of Wootton Bassett as per se a sort of sacred space to particular political views. I'd be wholly against doing anything which directly caused distress to specific beareaved relatives, but if someone's raising questions about whether there isn't an Afghan equivalent of Wootton Bassett in which the locals care just as much about their relatives and fellow citizens as we do about ours, then I don't think that's necessarily a trivial or pointless thing at all - I'm in favour of more or less anything that reduces this horrible public atmosphere of consequence-free war and I think that in an odd way, the mythologising of Wootton Bassett is contributing to making the cost in terms of British casualties seem a lot less real and erasing the cost in terms of Afghan casualties altogether.

Another bunch about whose good faith I am also under no illusions is the Murdoch press, but I couldn't help thinking during the whole Jamie Janes affair that what turned everyone against the Sun was really just a desire to make this whole embarrasing thing disappear, and to get rid of the sight of all these people failing to maintain the quiet dignity and resolve in the meaningfulness of sacrifice that was their assigned role.

1/06/2010 06:59:00 PM  
Blogger Bruschettaboy said...

I mean, seriously, it's worth thinking about what the logistics might be if we were going to give the same treatment that Wootton Bassett gives to repatriated dead soldiers, to as many people as a proportion of the population as the Afghans are losing. How many towns would need to give up their main streets? How many hours of the day would every one of us need to be standing at attention? Isn't it a bit incongruous that we can't possibly be in this war on any other basis than valuing some human lives at thousands of multiples of others? If we actually took deaths in war as seriously as we like to look at Wootton Bassett and pretend we do, what kind of a total change in our foreign policy would that mean?

1/06/2010 07:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Phil said...

in an odd way, the mythologising of Wootton Bassett is contributing to making the cost in terms of British casualties seem a lot less real and erasing the cost in terms of Afghan casualties altogether

Yes. Sacralising the dead & ritualising their return is one way of repressing the human reality of their death.

1/06/2010 07:29:00 PM  
Blogger ejh said...

I do agree about Wootton Bassett. I find the whole thing - as well as all the "heroes" stuff - quite worrying and potentially worse than that - there's a sort of militaristic-sentimentalism being stoked, and invoked, that I think has the effect of stigmatising people who are not prepared to accept that soldiers are heroes. Remembrance Sunday has part-played this role for as long as I can remember (which is why I've not worn a red poppy for many, many years) very much narrowing down the range of acceptable views relating to wars both general and specific, and to soldiers and soldiering.

I came into politics, as a youth, through CND, and I've never liked guns, soliders, missiles and armies, and I don't think any of these things are off limits for criticism: I think it's perfectly in order, indeed healthy, to "despise the army as something that takes everybody away and leaves them dead somewhere" : so I don't think that the only questions we should ask about Afghanistan are

(a) why we're there ; and
(b) are we giving the army all the equipment they want

which seems to me to be the limits of acceptable political discussion. Never been one for the limits of acceptable political discussion, anyway.

But I also think it's a dickheaded thing to do, organsing such a march in a place which people have only heard of because dead British soldiers are returned there. And it's really hard to esacpe the feeling that it's designed to being out the dickheads on the other side, the BNP/EDL set. I know this is an argument more easily (and more often) laid that demonstrated, but you can see why I think that. And would there not be a genuine threat to public order in a march whose purpose was to summon forth the dickheads? I think there might be.

1/06/2010 09:10:00 PM  
Anonymous bubby said...

it's become symbolic of the seriousness and reverence with which UK military casualties are regarded, and thus a fairly obvious (and not entirely invalid) political point can be made from the fact that so many people absolutely and explicitly don't want Afghan civilian casualties to be treated with the same sort of seriousness and reverence.

Spot on. There have been numerous examples of the USAF levelling villages and killing their entire populations in order to make sure they take out someone who they claim is linked to Al Qaeda. The Western media without the ability or will to independently fact check these events pretty much parrots the military line that top AQ members were hit and virtually never highlights the fact that these strikes are really large scale civilian massacres.

The ever excellent Glen Greenwald has written a lot about this.

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/12/26/airstrikes/index.html

Perhaps we shouldn't be too surprised by all this. Wars and the blind tribalism they tend to engender have always led people to glorify their own dead and ignore the suffering experienced by the other side. Sometimes this strikes me as the key defining characteristic of Decency.

1/06/2010 09:11:00 PM  
Blogger Tim Wilkinson said...

the British army don't goosestep through the streets... people would line the streets not to cheer but to laugh at them. So, maybe the best antidote to this bunch of clowns is for people to piss their pants with derisive laughter when they turn up

Trouble is, coffins are not as funny as silly walks.

1/06/2010 09:38:00 PM  
Blogger FlyingRodent said...

At least we can have faith that the government will carefully weigh up these complex issues of free speech, public order and individual liberty before banning the shit out of everything.

As a mature democracy, I'm sure we're more than capable of dealing with Choudary's idiotic, tabloid baiting freak show without a mass pant-shitting incident.

Oh no, wait a minute - I was thinking of somewhere else.

1/06/2010 10:19:00 PM  
Blogger FlyingRodent said...

Oh, and as I was saying elsewhere yesterday, God forbid Choudary gets hammered on alcopops and takes a piss on a war memorial or something. We'd be back to guarding our vegetable patches with shotguns for survival in about twenty minutes.

1/06/2010 10:28:00 PM  
Blogger angrysoba said...

I'm in favour of more or less anything that reduces this horrible public atmosphere of consequence-free war and I think that in an odd way, the mythologising of Wootton Bassett is contributing to making the cost in terms of British casualties seem a lot less real and erasing the cost in terms of Afghan casualties altogether.


I don't know how you come to the conclusion that Wootton Basset in any way contributes to the public atmosphere of consequence-free war. Contrary to this view, isn't it a place where at least some of the consequences get weighed pretty heavily? Y'know all of those dead soldiers? I doubt the people there simply make a patriotic shrug and then head home for tea and "hurrahs!".

1/07/2010 03:07:00 AM  
Blogger Bruschettaboy said...

I don't know how you come to the conclusion that Wootton Basset in any way contributes to the public atmosphere of consequence-free war.

is your attempt to participate in this thread without reading it some sort of conceptual art project?

1/07/2010 08:09:00 AM  
Blogger Matthew said...

I'd never heard of Wootton Bassett until I read this comment thread. I'm still (post-Wikipedia)not quite sure what it is - is it a town with a big Army base or is it the case that a lot of soldiers from that town have died in Afghanistan?

1/07/2010 08:32:00 AM  
Blogger angrysoba said...

"is your attempt to participate in this thread without reading it some sort of conceptual art project?"

Well, only if yours is to make your meaning completely opaque.

For example, could you explain what you mean when you say:

"I'm in favour of more or less anything that reduces this horrible public atmosphere of consequence-free war and I think that in an odd way, the mythologising of Wootton Bassett is contributing to making the cost in terms of British casualties seem a lot less real and erasing the cost in terms of Afghan casualties altogether."

From what I can understand, the "mythologising" of Wootton Basset doesn't make the British casulaties seem less real. Quite the opposite given the criticism that, say, the Bush administration received for not allowing coffins to be shown, how on Earth does showing coffins make the casualites seem less real?

Now, you could say that the Afghan casualties are not mourned (at least not overtly) at Wootton Basset, and that would be true. But I think it is wrong to say that the purpose is to expunge them. Surely you cannot mean that.

You could say that you would like to see Anjem Choudary's march on the grounds of:

a) freedom to protest being upheld.

and/or

b) some necessary recognition of Afghan civilian casualties.

Okay, as far as b) is concerned I think this is completely the wrong way to do it. It is a farcical and ill-intentioned self-publicising gimmick and quite the opposite way to highlight the plight of Afghan civilian casualities. A more respectful and dignified march through London with a less overtly partisan theme I would support.

As far as a) is concerned, it is obviously less clear and yet the right to march still has to be weighed up against other factors I mentioned earlier. They range from simply inconveniencing others (and therefore those others' rights) to fears about deliberate provokation.

If I had to weigh it up and I looked into Anjem Choudary's past behaviour and concerns of local residents particularly Muslim residents who don't want to be associated with an organization whose primary agenda is one they despise then I'd probably say, "Sorry but no."

I think I'd also be willing to make my case to an appeals court or whatever other process through which Islam4UK could turn to and state my reasons.

I say this to point out that the comparisons with Saudi Arabia and Iran are false. There are processes which such groups can turn to and if one person denies the right of Anjem Choudary to march someone else could overturn that. There is no "Guardian Council" or "Muttawa" whose say is final.

1/07/2010 08:42:00 AM  
Blogger angrysoba said...

If I had to weigh it up and I looked into Anjem Choudary's past behaviour and concerns of local residents particularly Muslim residents who don't want to be associated with an organization whose primary agenda is one they despise then I'd probably say, "Sorry but no."


Without "bigging myself up" I'm giving the hypothetical situation of "If I were in charge of granting or denying the march." I'm not in charge though so please don't write to me.

:)

1/07/2010 08:47:00 AM  
Blogger angrysoba said...

I'd never heard of Wootton Bassett until I read this comment thread. I'm still (post-Wikipedia)not quite sure what it is - is it a town with a big Army base or is it the case that a lot of soldiers from that town have died in Afghanistan?

It's a town very close to RAF Lyneham, which is whether C-130 "Hercules" transport planes fly in and out of. These planes repatriate corpses of soldiers who have died overseas and their coffins are taken through the nearby town.

1/07/2010 08:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"There is no "Guardian Council" or "Muttawa" whose say is final."

Instead we have a Chief Constable, appointed by an unelected Police Authority, whose say is final. HTH.

Chris Williams

1/07/2010 09:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My impression is that Wootton Bassett started out as an emotional show of support for those who have been sent out to fight a meaningless and probably corrupt war and have died. It was always covertly an anti-government and even an anti-war demonstration.

Anti-war people are as much of the right as they are of the left, at least in the country. On the trains up to the anti-war demos before the Iraq War, there were as many people in tweeds reading the Torygraph as people reading The Guardian.

Admittedly, Wootton Bassett has changed a lot since the meeja became aware of it.

johnf

1/07/2010 09:35:00 AM  
Blogger cian said...

Johnf: I don't think there's anything terribly antiwar about it. There has been no indication of that in the couple of (Guardian) articles I've seen written about the place. It was simply meant as a private sign of respect which got picked up by the media and became something else.

1/07/2010 10:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Phil said...

"how on Earth does showing coffins make the casualites seem less real?"

I've addressed that one already (yesterday's comment at 07:29:00 PM); as ejh said, there's an atmosphere of "militaristic sentimentalism", in which (I'd argue) the public display of the coffins acts to repress any consideration of what a dreadful thing each individual death is.

1/07/2010 11:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Phil said...

Off-topically, is Martin Bright a Decent? I've never quite been able to place him (or cared enough to try, if I'm honest). In any case, he's come out as a supporter of... Hoon/Hewitt! Along with Charles Clarke and... er... that's it.

Prat.

1/07/2010 11:04:00 AM  
Blogger ejh said...

I thiought he was a Freind of Decents, which would make him indistinguishable from a Decent if I were to use standard Decent techniques of association, but as I'm not, doesn't.

Continung the not-realy-on-topic theme, what's with the Ollie Kamm stuff higher up the comments box? I saw that stuff in the Times as I happened to be in England when it was published, and I had two thoughts: first, "I wonder if Ollie has anything to do with this" and second, when to my surprise it didn't seem to get followed up elsewhere, "well well well".

1/07/2010 11:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

cian,

I think it started mainly as a cloaked protest by the families of soldiers and ex-servicemen.

Families are in a terrible position because they have to support their children in Afghanistan - who, by the nature of their jobs, have to believe, at least on the surface, in what they're doing - but simultaneously the families are outraged that their childrens' lives are being put at risk for a war without any coherent meaning and for which their children are being provided with inadequate equipment.

I have yet to meet an ex-serviceman who believes in the war.

The vigils at Wootton Bassett started before the present prominence of Afghanistan, and were, I think, largely motivated by service families who wanted to remind their fellow Britons that men were dying in this largely forgotten war, with the implicit addendum that maybe it was time to end it.

Since then Afghanistan has become very topical and the press use Wootton Bassett for their own ends. In the case of the Murdoch rags and parts of the Telegraph, those ends are neo-con. But in the rest of the press I think the coverage is more there to hang the coffins round Gordon's neck.

johnf

1/07/2010 11:38:00 AM  
Blogger FlyingRodent said...

The Kamm hoax stuff is coming from Antiwar.com, which I'd say is a reasonable source of opinion and commentary, but susceptable to hysteria and wild speculation. That's not to say the Times hasn't been suckered, since it has form in this area.

Funnily enough, Ollie has responded to Antiwar by calling everyone who doubts his story a Nazi. Who knows, maybe they are, maybe they aren't, but I'll wait 'til I hear it from a second source before I decide.

1/07/2010 11:44:00 AM  
Blogger ejh said...

Just as a note - don't soldiers always complain that they're not being supplied with the proper equipment? Are they actually:

(a) under-supplied more than most other people in public service jobs;

(b) under-supplied more than other soliders in other wars?

1/07/2010 11:48:00 AM  
Anonymous organic cheeseboard said...

bright is a close mate of our nick from new statesman days. Despite what bright says in print, he thinks he lost his job there cos he made an anti-ken film prior to the mayoral elections which made charlie whelan pressure the ns into sacking him, or something. This means that bright has a big chip on his shoulder about gordon and has spun on behalf of the blairite "rebels" wherever possible. This in turn has been followed by nick cohen which is pretty funny given how anti blairite nick used to be. Of course it also goes down well with the other blairite decents like a lot of the hp sauce lot.

1/07/2010 11:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ejh

Kamm's attacks on various Americans for daring to question the authenticity of Rupert's Iranian documents:

http://timesonline.typepad.com/oliver_kamm/2009/12/irans-nuclear-deceit-the-apologists-respond.html

And Philip Giraldi - the ex-CIA officer's - response to him, with a long list of The Times's dodgy Iranian documents:

http://original.antiwar.com/giraldi/2010/01/06/wheres-the-beef-mr-murdoch/

johnf

1/07/2010 11:52:00 AM  
Blogger ejh said...

On Kamm - I have to say I couldn't really follow the Antiwar stories provided, because they weren't very coherently written. One general point I picked up is that the Times has a lot of form in this area, people with good intelligence contacts writing good stories - with material that turns out to be duff. I can't know whether that's been the case here, but as I said above, it did strike me as odd that the story, which on the face of it was really big news, didn't seem to get much coverage elsewhere. Maybe caution after the dodgy dossier and Powell's UN presentation? Maybe.

1/07/2010 11:52:00 AM  
Blogger FlyingRodent said...

One military story I did notice this week that strikes me as a far bigger scandal than some jumped-up Islamist twat shouting Boo! at a gaggle of Mail journalists...

http://bit.ly/8GqS4D

Now, if some stories in the Times should be taken with a pinch of salt, stories in the Torygraph should be taken with enough salt to grit southern Scotland. Still, if that many veterans really are in prison, that's a huge national disgrace.

1/07/2010 11:59:00 AM  
Blogger ejh said...

Also see

1/07/2010 12:02:00 PM  
Anonymous gastro george said...

... don't soldiers always complain that they're not being supplied with the proper equipment? Are they actually:

(a) under-supplied more than most other people in public service jobs;

(b) under-supplied more than other soldiers in other wars?


They always complain, but then who wouldn't want to be tooled up to the maximum when you're afraid that the other side might be.

But isn't war inevitably largely about logistics.

It's always struck me that complaints about "kit" always become more prominent (i.e. from the colonels) when the forces think they might be going to lose and don't want the blame.

It's also risible to think that our army doesn't have enough kit when you compare their equipment to the Afghans'.

1/07/2010 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger angrysoba said...

angrysoba: "how on Earth does showing coffins make the casualites seem less real?"

Phil: "I've addressed that one already (yesterday's comment at 07:29:00 PM); as ejh said, there's an atmosphere of "militaristic sentimentalism", in which (I'd argue) the public display of the coffins acts to repress any consideration of what a dreadful thing each individual death is."

What do you suggest, then?

Obviously not a media blackout of coffins returning because that would be hiding the casualties.

But not having them marched solemnly through the streets in coffins because it's an inauthentic anti-Heideggerian refusal to accept the ending of Dasein or our Being-toward-death, or rather, "Sacralising the dead & ritualising their return is one way of repressing the human reality of their death."

Would you prefer their corpses to be paraded through the streets sans coffins?

1/07/2010 12:31:00 PM  
Blogger angrysoba said...

Flying Rodent: "Funnily enough, Ollie has responded to Antiwar by calling everyone who doubts his story a Nazi."

Oliver Kamm is the Grand Ayatollah of Decency and he has issued a number of Decent fatwas on those who write at Anti-war.com in the past.

But as you say some of them do appear to be pretty dodgy such as Pat Buchanan.

1/07/2010 12:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Phil said...

What do you suggest, then?

I wasn't aware that I had to have a worked-out alternative policy before I passed any comment on current affairs. It would seem like a rather wasteful stipulation, considering that nobody is going to implement any policy I do come up with.

But the Wootton Bassett thing arose spontaneously and more or less by accident - W. B. isn't a big forces town (or a big town of any sort), it just happens to be right next to the airbase where the bodies are currently being returned. I would therefore suggest leaving the people of Wootton Bassett to get on with it - or not, as they wish. I don't believe there's any need for a spectacle of national grieving, & think what's actually being made of W. B. is more like a spectacle of national resolve to triumph over grief. Repression, in other words.

1/07/2010 12:55:00 PM  
Blogger Bruschettaboy said...

how on Earth does showing coffins make the casualites seem less real?"

because each one is accompanied by a soothing sermon about how he died in a noble cause and his death must not be in vain. Thus making it more or less impossible to express the opposite point of view without causing needless hurt to families.

1/07/2010 01:21:00 PM  
Anonymous gastro george said...

... & think what's actually being made of W. B. is more like a spectacle of national resolve to triumph over grief. Repression, in other words.

This is how it plays in the World of Murdoch. Instead of talking about of role in the war and what we are trying to achieve, we are diverted into cliches like the nobility of sacrifice. To discuss the former is formulated as abuse of the latter.

1/07/2010 01:21:00 PM  
Blogger Chardonnay Chap said...

To come back to some points I should have clarified earlier. @angrysoba: you're right, liberals like me have left the Labour Party. When I said, "Brown's lost some potential Labour votes there," I was talking about votes by Muslims.

I don't really want to get into counterfactuals, but I am sure that if the Tories had taken us into Iraq, Labour would happily recruiting Muslims to the party and counting on their votes. It used to be well known that Tony Blair carried a copy of the Koran; I really don't believe that he ever wanted a war on Muslims (which is the sort of thing that Anjem Choudary is claiming). But I think the Labour Party has articulated its case very poorly to Muslims. I think the dissolution of the Taliban would be in the interests of most Afghans (in the senses at least that they'd have access to education, health care, etc, and wouldn't be supporting a layer of mafiosi type young men who aren't productive beyond carrying guns about), and to that extent Muslims concerned about the welfare of their co-religionists should support our armed forces there. However, there are plenty of legitimate criticisms of the way the war is being conducted. We've been told before that the Taliban has been defeated, yet they're still around; we haven't made much progress with establishing a non-corrupt, widely trusted government in Afghanistan; and most damningly, our troops now seem to be part of the problem.

1/07/2010 01:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re the high figure for ex-serivce prisoners, I would bet a fiver that any over-representation there (from the baseline rate of young lower-working class men in prison) can be explained entirely by the 'care'/army/homelessness/prison revolving door.

[I have no proof for the above]

PTSD gets cited in some prominent cases, but doesn't seem to have been a significant contributory factor to higher rates of offending after WW1 or WW2.

[I have some proof for the above]

Chris Williams

1/07/2010 03:27:00 PM  
Anonymous bubby said...

'care'/army/homelessness/prison revolving door.

I am always amazed that this doesn't prompt more liberal hand wringing. The army largely recruits very damaged and vulnerable working class males. For these young men the army fulfills the role of surrogate family. After the army is finished with them most have great difficulties reintergrating into civilian life - the rates of spousal abuse and homelessness for ex-soldiers is astronomical.

I was interested in your claim to have evidence that PTSD wasn't a factor in WW1/WW2 since I wasn't aware that any serious research had been done in that area.

1/07/2010 05:23:00 PM  
Blogger FlyingRodent said...

@ Chris W.

Some mixture of options 1 and 2 does seem pretty plausible, now you mention it. That said, I would've thought that if kids who grow up in care are more likely to offend in their later years (and I've no idea whether that's true) they would probably be more likely to offend as teenagers. Surely that would bar a lot of kids from joining the army?

Either way, it's idle speculation from a position of ignorance on my part*, but I still think that the number of soldiers who end up in prison is a more pressing issue than some fundamentalist chump who likes to see himself on the news.

@Bubby: You know those liberals - always more interested in their ethnic foodstuffs and transgressive theatre than they are in the honest, hard-working British (x).

*(open goal)

1/07/2010 05:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

bubby: some of the research I know about is published here:

Emsley, Clive (2008). Violent crime in England in 1919: post-war anxieties and press narratives. Continuity and Change, 23(1), pp. 173–195.

But there's more that Clive's in the process of writing up. Should be out soon.

Chris Williams

1/07/2010 08:08:00 PM  
Blogger Bruschettaboy said...

I think I would query "largely" and "most" there.

1/07/2010 09:13:00 PM  
Blogger cian said...

JohnF:
I don't think there's a strong service family component to Wootton Bassett. Too expensive for one thing. Anyway, there was a fairly good Guardian article which had lots of interviews with residents, and there was no hint of a political agenda. Even those who might have had one, were at pains to point out that it had nothing to do with the vigil. It was just a private mark of respect that sort of spontaneously happened. None of the people interviewed seemed terribly happy about the attention, which again suggests there was no political intention there.

I'm not sure that many service families are angry about this war. I think there are parents from families with no army tradition who are, but service families tend (in my personal, and non-scientific sampled, experience) to be more stoic about it. And some of the anger was about equipment, some of which was fair enough (body armour?).

1/07/2010 11:55:00 PM  
Blogger angrysoba said...

Chardonnay Chap: @angrysoba: you're right, liberals like me have left the Labour Party. When I said, "Brown's lost some potential Labour votes there," I was talking about votes by Muslims.


Well, okay but I'm not sure I even brought that up.

I think you're replying to Ben rather to me but don't worry I won't make any smug remarks about how you should probably read the thread (particularly the Headers) before responding. I'm magnanimous like that.

One final point I would like to make, however, is that it seems a bit of a contradiction to say that coffins and solemn marches somehow detract from the reality of war when applied to soldiers (in this case I am talking about comments made by Phil, ejh and I think BB nodded along to it) and then say that having symbolic coffins of Afghan civilians has the opposite effect.

No, I think that symbolic coffins at one of the few places where some kind of sacrifice is taken seriously is mocking all loss of life. Anjem Choudary can't claim to be serious about the deaths of civilians with a cheap publicity stunt which really seeks only to mock the deaths of soldiers.

It makes a mockery of all death whether Afghan or British.

I also have to disagree with the claim that refusing to allow them to march is undemocratic.

Choudary has all kinds of public outlets for his rantings. He's certainly on the telly enough and he's not forbidden from saying what he does, so what's the problem if the local residents don't want him coming and making a public nuisance of himself?

Anyway, I'm probably sounding like a broken record so I'll bugger off now.

Bye

1/08/2010 06:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kamm is now certain that The Times propaganda has worked. He claims that because of these stories President Obama's now convinced that the 2007 American National Intelligence Estimate is wrong and that Iran actually is develooing nuclear weapons.

http://timesonline.typepad.com/oliver_kamm/2010/01/obama-and-iran.html

johnf

1/08/2010 08:11:00 AM  
Blogger ejh said...

in this case I am talking about comments made by...ejh

Which ones were you thinking of?

1/08/2010 08:18:00 AM  
Anonymous bubby said...

That's for that citation Chris I will check it out.

BB in my defence of my claims I would cite an Amnesty International Report which argued that:

Recruiting campaigns tend to target the most vulnerable young people. According to At
Ease, the army concentrates its recruitment efforts on “areas where educational levels are low,
unemployment is high and poverty is advancing” The army is the primary recruiter within the
armed forces of under-18s, mainly to low-skilled jobs...What the
MoD claims to be the offer of a career opportunity looks more like the exploitation of the limited
contractual power of children with very few, if any, choices. This concern is strengthened by
the fact that only three percent of soldiers who joined as children have become officers.


The article also cited 'reports of officers targeting young homeless
and also of talks with the prison service to approach offenders'.

http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/EUR45/057/2000/en/1fa690b9-dd1e-11dd-8595-5f956bd70248/eur450572000en.pdf

1/08/2010 11:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BTW - I'd love to know what percentage of those 2,500 ex-service people inside were in (a) the lower-skilled end* of the Army (b) everywhere else.

*NB I actually think that being an infantryman is a skilled occupation, but it's taught in ways that are very different from those that make a good fitter, gunner, etc.

Chris Williams

1/08/2010 01:49:00 PM  
Anonymous bubby said...

I know this is strictly OT but if this guardian report is true then its a terrible day for British journalism.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/jan/08/rod-liddle-edit-independent

1/08/2010 07:21:00 PM  
Blogger cian said...

Anecdotally (I worked briefly for the MoD), a lot of infantry also come from economically depressed areas such as Cornwall and Wales.

1/08/2010 11:07:00 PM  
Blogger Tim Wilkinson said...

ejh - people with good intelligence contacts writing good stories - with material that turns out to be duff - who'd a thought it?

BB: a soothing sermon about how he died in a noble cause and his death must not be in vain. Thus making it more or less impossible to express the opposite point of view without causing needless hurt to families.

Sermons like this one, perhaps:

"Now it's also important to understand that many of those who are in the armed forces, including those who have lost their loved ones in Afghanistan or in Iraq, they also are very often proud of what their child has done and proud of the cause they fought in.

"So you've got to be - you know there are parents who feel very very deeply angry and resentful, and believe that the war was not worth it,but there are also those others who don't want to feel, as it were, that their view is ignored."

1/08/2010 11:32:00 PM  
OpenID yorksranter said...

Of course, the various ex-footy hooligan turned BNP-style product groups would be only too delighted to turn up to "protect" the mourners by starting a ruck with AC's six students and a dog, which is probably why the police are involved.

1/09/2010 12:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Phil said...

Which pretty much fits with what I was saying earlier, on the 5th at 9:20:00. Some governments cultivate, or at least welcome, a certain level of popular engagement with politics; others prefer apathy, & I think New Labour is very much on that side of the scale. And the big fear of those governments which don't mobilise the voters is that somebody else will - once it all starts kicking off, who knows where it will end?

1/09/2010 02:55:00 PM  
Anonymous skidmarx said...

Someimes they whine even when better supplied:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOcONq_0V4A

1/09/2010 02:57:00 PM  

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