Monday, February 15, 2010

This seems apt

Harry's Place: The Guardian Picks Its Heroes by Lucy Lips.

The Guardian appears rather fond of the failed jihadist, Moazzam Begg.
Although a storm has been raging for two weeks now about the criticism of his partnership, and that of his organisation Cageprisoners, with Amnesty, the Guardian newspaper hasn’t reported on it. Perhaps they couldn’t find the space.
Strangely, they did manage to find a slot for Begg to talk, once again, about his own detention in Guantanamo. As it is a first person piece, unfortunately no journalist asks him any of the really interesting questions. Such as “how come you were allowed to build a girls’ school just at the time that the Taliban was shutting them down and chucking aid workers out of Afghanistan”.
In fact, Begg is a very prolific contributor to the Guardian’s Comment is Free. They evidently really like him.

The Guardian ad above seems apt because I know that I've argued before[1] that Moazzam Begg has written for the Guardian several times, and he has stuck to the subject of his detention and treatment; he hasn't promoted violence or tried to convert Guardian readers to Islam. I don't see any reason why he should do either when he's on stage with Amnesty. 'Lucy Lips' manages to see things differently.

'doodlelogic' in the first comment points out that the Guardian did indeed give "house room" to the Gita Sahgal 'storm' here.

And 'Zin' makes a further observation:

If one single Cif piece (written before his conviction) means the Guardian “really likes” Ali Disaei, then the five pieces than a certain Mr David Toube has written must mean that the Guardian is positively IN LOVE with Harry’s Place.
The Guardian’s story on Disaei’s conviction was a straightforward news report! What on earth is your problem? They quoted all interested parties: the victim, the judge, the CPS, the Met Police commissioner, and the IPCC, as well reporting the reaction from Disaei.
Get a grip, Lucy Lips, cos you’re coming across as a bit of a green-ink obsessive.

What is Cageprisoners 'collaboration' with Amnesty like? you ask. Like this:

Moazzam Begg, Omar Deghayes and Andy Worthington will attend a screening of “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” at Amnesty International’s Human Rights Action Centre in London on Tuesday February 16, at 6.30 pm, and will take part in a Q&A session following the screening, moderated by Sara MacNeice, Amnesty’s Campaign Manager for Terrorism, Security and Human Rights. For further details, see here. Tickets are free, but booking is required. Please visit Amnesty’s site for booking details, and see here for details of other UK tour dates for the film.

Cageprisoners: Defending Moazzam Begg and Amnesty International.

Nick Cohen keeps us up to date with Gita Sahgal with his post: Amnesty International & Megagreed Plc.

Far from listening to her wise objections, Megagreed's bosses suspend her for exercising her right to free speech on matters of public importance; it is a very evil corporation as I said. Our brave whistleblower tours the streets looking for a human rights lawyer to represent her. But none will because they are all so frightened of incurring the wrath of Megagreed plc they would rather allow an injustice to pass than run the risk of taking up her cause. ...
If there are any principled human rights lawyers left in England, contact me and I will pass on your details.

As Matthew says in the comments, Ms Saghal wants an employment lawyer, not a human rights one. Nick replied:

@matthew. I think the point is she phoned all the lawyers she knew and none of them would help her. @ Frankie V standing up for women's rights is standing up for human rights and to accuse me of not doing it is going it somewhat even for a man so cowardly he will make accusations against others without using his real name.

I think that brings us back to 'Lucy Lips'...

Ms Sahgal explains her concerns on Radio 4's Today programme 10 February.
Amnesty supports 'every human' Widney Brown, senior director for international law and policy at Amnesty International interviewed on the same programme 11 February. (These may only work in the UK and until Wednesday and Thursday respectively. My apologies for not putting them up sooner.)

[1] It wasn't on here. It was in the comments on Harry's Place, where I also asked whether 'Lucy Lips' and David Toube were one and the same.


Blogger ejh said...

I have a Paypal account.

2/16/2010 12:29:00 PM  
Anonymous bubby said...

I know that others have made the same point but how can you be a 'whistleblower' about something that's in the public domain?

As for the claim that Begg is a Guardian 'hero' based on him appearing at CIF does Lucy Toube (kerching!) realise that CIF contributors also include Ron Prossor and the head of the Settler Movement. Would he argue on this basis that such people are Guardian 'heros'?

One of the reasons I really like the Guardian is that it features by far the widest political spectrum of any national newpaper. I may consider many of the articles written by Tories like Simon Jenkins and Max Hastings as being pretty daft - and frequently offensive- but I still like to read them to see how my opponents think about issues.

2/16/2010 01:39:00 PM  
Anonymous organic cheeseboard said...

Begg's now dropped out of an AI event; this has all worked, I guess.

Kerching-P Sauce is at its very worst when trying to engage in 'media analysis' - but what do you expect form a website that likes CiF-Watch.

2/16/2010 02:27:00 PM  
Blogger Robin said...

Sorry, what's the Kerching in Kerching-P Sauce a reference to? I'm lost.

2/16/2010 03:39:00 PM  
Anonymous gastro george said...

CiF Watch reminds me of little children sniggering in the corner of the playground saying "Johnny said bum", "yeh and Mark said poo".

Kerching is the sound of the till receiving Justin's HP-mentioning tax.

2/16/2010 04:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Der Bruno Stroszek said...

Is Nick making a habit now of ducking the quest - err, making a principled stand against engaging with individuals who use screen names? He seems to have been doing it a lot recently. As has been pointed out, it's pretty hypocritical coming from someone so close to HP and Private Eye, not to mention his editing of his own Wikipedia page.

He really needs to get to grips with this internet thing, it might turn out to be quite important, you know. Aside from anything else, I can imagine many people being quite happy that the unhinged, disproportionate, mean-spirited slander merchants who make up so much of the 'decent' left don't have their personal details.

2/17/2010 03:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are transcripts of both the BBC interviews on my blog and also another one with CBC. The Newshour interview is also available on a YouTube video. I don't know if anybody put the Today video onto mp3 or video though so that may be gone.

2/21/2010 08:12:00 PM  

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