Writing on the Wall

Submitted by AWL on 12 September, 2005 - 12:53

Political-Christianists, against the teapot religion, Daily conspiracy, BBC bais, Transco in the dock

Political-Christianists?

It’s not just political Islam that produces fascist terrorism. In case anyone should forget this, Pat Robertson, the well-known veteran of the US loony right, has helpfully reminded us by calling for the assassination of President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. “Political-Christianists” have already firebombed abortion clinics and murdered workers in the US — now it seems they’re growing in ambition.

Against the teapot religion

Malaysia is officially an Islamic state. Muslims, though not non-Muslims, are subject to a form of sharia law and the government “Islamic Department” has police powers to enforce it. Nevertheless, the government is under pressure both from secular and progressive Muslims and, from the other side, from the right-wing Islamic Party.
The government and the Islamists feel vulnerable and are hitting out, recently, against a giant teapot.

The teapot is the centrepiece of the “Sky Kingdom” cult centre, headed by Ayah Pin, an old man who thinks he is divinely inspired and has started his own religion. In this religion, God pours out blessings on mankind from a giant teapot in the sky — hence the concrete version here on Earth.

The group has existed in peace for thirty years. But their troubles started when a mob of Islamists armed with petrol bombs attacked their centre. Now the government “Islamic Department” is trying to get Ayah Pin and his wives imprisoned, and the Trengganu provincial administration has had several of the group's buildings demolished.

That Malaysia’s Islamists are afraid enough of an old man and a teapot to go to all this trouble seems absurd. But such are the politics of religion!

Daily conspiracy

The Daily Mail has given a very favourable extended review to the latest 9/11 conspiracy book, 9/11 Revealed: Challenging The Facts Behind The War On Terror, by Ian Henshall and Rowland Morgan. The Mail says there really might be something in it! From the review
“In [this book the authors] examine various conspiracy theories that suggest the Bush administration connived in the devastating aerial attacks on New York and Washington four years ago.

“The reason? To give Bush the excuse he wanted to push ahead with his secret, long-held plane to invade Iraq and capture its oilfields...

“With public trust one of the major casualties of the war, can any of us be absolutely sure we have not been caught up in a lie and perhaps a bigger one even than we ever though possible?”

Apparently that paper’s predilection for the screamingly loony has come into conflict, for once, with its slavish attachment to the hard-right war drive and the madness has prevailed.

BBC bias

BBC London interviewed an (ultra-Blairite) Labour London Assembly Member last week about the tragic shooting of Jean-Charles de Menezes. Amazingly, this Blairite proceeded to lay into those who have supported the Menezes family in their quest for justice by demanding answers from the police. Comments like “known to have been involved in the anti-war movement” and “known to have opposed the anti-terror laws” were helpfully backed up by the BBC with footage of riots. This has been just one of a number of BBC reports (including Newsnight) which have “exposed” the links between the Menezes family campaigners and other political campaigning. Who’s really pulling strings here?

Transco in the dock

Well done to the judge who fined Transco £15 million. The company, which is responsible for building and maintaining gas pipes, was found to be responsbile for an explosion which killed a family of four in Scotland in 1999.

Transco was convicted of failing to maintain the iron gas main which ran through the Findlay familiy's garden when it was extensively corroded and leaking. Transco had failed to keep accurate records of its pipelines.

Perhaps in anticipation of the conviction, Transco has sold out in Scotland — the gas network is now owned by Scotia Gas Networks.
The conviction is an indication that juries, rightly, want to see companies which put profits before safety, punished. But it is time that the bosses responsible for lax and dangerous attitudes to health and safety can no longer hide behind corporate anonymity. The Governments new corporate manslaughter law will still let company directors avoid criminal liability. That also is a disgrace!