by Sunny Hundal

Tuesday was a hard day to absorb the news. All year I’ve seen some really horrible videos, mostly by ISIS, showing men being shot in the back of their heads, throats slit or being buried in mass graves. But that day… maybe it was the pictures that came out of Peshawar, the Facebook updates from friends or just the nature of the massacre… I was nearly in tears. You can try but you can’t always remain emotionless in the face of such news.

I wanted to wait at least a couple of days to collect my thoughts and write something about the politics surrounding this issue.

by Sunny Hundal

If the general election in May 2015 is fought on who is best placed to deal with the deficit, then the Labour party will lose. Both Labour and the Tories know this. Miliband will focus on living standards, the NHS and inequality. So why a major speech on the deficit today, six months before an election? And why a pledge to cut spending and the debt?

Both the politics of what’s going on, and the numbers that underline it, are important.

The Labour leadership feel, quite rightly, that George Osborne wants to push public services off a cliff with unprecedented cuts. They lost the first fight on austerity, for reasons I outline here. But they recognise that if they don’t fight Osborne back this time, he will once away get away with having the media debate on his own terms.

Which is why Miliband’s speech is important today.

by Sunny Hundal

I was invited this week to speak at Cambridge University, with the topic title: “Does Britain need more positive discrimination?“. We would interpret this however we liked.

Below is roughly what I said.

In the 1940s, When Vera Rubin told her school physics professor that she’d been accepted into Vassar, an arts college near New York City, he said, “That’s great. As long as you stay away from science, it should be okay.”

Predictably, she didn’t. Rubin went on prove there was vastly more dark matter in the universe than previously thought, and overturned some basic laws of Newtonian physics.

And yet, she was turned down from the astronomy program at Princeton because they didn’t allow women. For years the scientific community ignored her work, only accepting it later after her male colleagues validated it. She didn’t get a Nobel prize for her work.

by Sunny Hundal

UKIP have unveiled this poster as a PR stunt for a by-election

The response by the usual UKIP-faithful has been that I should be more outraged about child sexual abuse than the poster.

But…

by Sunny Hundal

The comedian Russell Brand was interviewed on Newsnight last night about his book, which you can watch above.

One headline is that Brand casually implies 9/11 was an inside job because George Bush had links to the Saudis, before half-heartedly back-tracking.

But I was more depressed by the first 10 minutes of conversation, and I want to explain why because I think this matters in a wider context.

by Sunny Hundal

We are back to the news cycle whereby Westminster freaks out over how to deal with the threat from UKIP. The political parties will respond with the same promises, soundbites and narratives. Then they’ll go back to existing plans until the next ‘crisis’. Thrown in this debate are two academics – Rob Ford and Matthew […]

by Sunny Hundal

I’ve not waded that much into the debate on Scotland’s future, partly because I’ve been focusing on ISIS and partly because its not my fight. I support the Union but its up to the people of Scotland to decide and they’re unlikely to be persuaded by this random guy from London. But I’m perplexed by […]

by Sunny Hundal

Last night President Obama delivered a speech on how the United States would tackle the threat of ISIS. It rightly deserves a lot of parsing and discussion.

There have broadly been two types of responses:
“Oh no, the USA is back to fighting a war in Iraq again! This won’t end well!” … or…
“Oh god, this won’t do anything to destroy ISIS. The President isn’t doing enough!”

Both are wrong and exaggerated. Here are a few thoughts.

by Sunny Hundal

The Independent’s Partrick Cockburn writes: “West poised to join forces with President Assad in face of Islamic State”.

This is absolute rubbish. Not one British official is quoted saying they would work with Assad against ISIS. Not even anonymously.

When the British Foreign Secretary was asked on Friday by the BBC if the UK was planning to work with Assad against ISIS, he said “No” outright. He added that working with Assad would “poison what we are trying to achieve”. And said it was not “practical or sensible”.

The UK’s sole role in the Iraqi crisis so far has been to provide humanitarian aid. Military involvement would lead to demands for a vote in Parliament, and that’s not happened yet (and unlikely it will happen soon). So far, we are even refraining from air-strikes, let alone working with Assad.

by Sunny Hundal

Let’s get two caveats out of the way first: I’m neither a Muslim and nor am I religious in my daily life. I come from a Sikh family. Secondly, anyone who’s read my writing knows I have zero sympathy for religiously motivated terrorists. In fact I even supported the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 to take out the Taliban. Now to the main point.

Yesterday the Evening Standard said in its Editorial Comment: “Muslim communities must be far more outspoken about this: we look to them, for instance, to organise protests against the Islamic State.”

It’s racist, and ridiculous.

Important note:
Liberal Conspiracy is no longer a group blog. Read this post

COMMENTS
»  EdificationOfTheIgnorant posted on The Peshawar massacre: Pakistan's problems with the Taliban didn't start with 9/11

»  Oliver Beck posted on The main aim of Miliband's speech today: expose the extent of Osborne's planned spending cuts

»  Rebecca Devitt posted on The main aim of Miliband's speech today: expose the extent of Osborne's planned spending cuts

»  Dave Roberts. posted on I oppose positive discrimination because white men have run the most successful positive discrimination scheme of all time

»  Unliked posted on I oppose positive discrimination because white men have run the most successful positive discrimination scheme of all time

»  Jim Blane posted on I oppose positive discrimination because white men have run the most successful positive discrimination scheme of all time

»  Jim Blane posted on I oppose positive discrimination because white men have run the most successful positive discrimination scheme of all time

»  British Blogging | Longrider posted on I oppose positive discrimination because white men have run the most successful positive discrimination scheme of all time

»  Amy Fry posted on I oppose positive discrimination because white men have run the most successful positive discrimination scheme of all time

»  Jennette Arnold OBE AM posted on I oppose positive discrimination because white men have run the most successful positive discrimination scheme of all time


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