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  1. Quite a bit of food for thought in the following, assuming folk would like to be informed, rather than pontificate. 🤔 All the blue links below should take you somewhere useful, and hopefully informative. Try section 7.8 of the explanatory notes, re where excess money goes; EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM TO THE CLEAN AIR ZONES CENTRAL SERVICES (FEES) (ENGLAND) REGULATIONS 2020 The ability for charging authorities to introduce a CAZ is set out in the Transport Act 2000. Part 3 of the Act empowers local authorities (as “charging authorities”) to make a local charging scheme in respect of the use or keeping of motor vehicles on roads. Schedule 12 of the Transport Act 2000 requires any excess revenue that may arise from local authority revenue above the costs of operation to be reinvested to facilitate the achievement of local transport. Local authorities should not set the level of charge as a revenue raising measure. Schedule 12 is here, but when you read it, you'll understand why the explanatory notes are helpful. Some answers can be looked up in the legislation, rather than speculating. Sheffield Clean Air Zone Charging Order 2023 See also The Gazette For those who claim there was no consultation, see Agenda Item 9, but it was going on long before 2018 Such as The Air Quality Action Plan from 2015 And last but not least, a briefing from Client Earth What do Client Earth’s legal cases mean for local authority plans to deliver nitrogen dioxide compliance in England and Wales?
  2. I would think that the HNH survey mentioned was extracted from the much larger survey for the State of Hate 2023 report; a survey of about 20,000 people There's 130+ pages; I've not yet read it all, but Section 3 seems pertinent to the anti-Islam rhetoric being shown here Corridors of Power Exposing The Secret Anti-Muslim Group In The Heart Of Westminster See Page 18/19 on A HOPE not hate investigation has exposed a secret anti-Muslim group at the heart of the British establishment. The New Issues Group A huge cache of documents was subsequently acquired by HNH that show that members of the House of Lords have been meeting with well-known far-right extremists and representatives of prominent Christian organisations, with the objective of opposing Islam through legislation but also on the streets of the UK. The documents even suggest that known far-right figures have written and edited questions to be asked in the House of Lords. There is also evidence of funding from US evangelicals being funnelled into the UK to support the group and to help push legislation through the British Parliament. Perhaps most concerning, however, is that Baroness Cox broke the Lords Code of Conduct by failing to declare that she is a Director of a company called Equal and Free which the documents suggest is closely linked this secretive organisation. The group has formulated questions to be asked and run a series of events in the House of Lords, introduced private members bills, lobbied ministers and senior members of the clergy and provided support and guidance to anti-Muslim organisations. Most worrying, however, is that the documents we’ve received appear to show that the NIG has set up a series of charities and had a hand in the creation of a number of anti-Muslim and far-right organisations. Note also the references to evangelical Christianity amongst other things. Remember when the AoC (who sits in the Lords) refused to meet a Christian pastor from Palestine, as he'd previously shared a stage with Corbyn. Baroness Cox herself is a high-profile figure within the conservative wing of the Church of England. A member of the Christian community, Cox has been able to open doors for the NIG members to engage with highprofile Christian figures. Certainly not the version of Christianity in which I was raised. Archbishop of Canterbury refuses to meet Palestinian pastor who spoke alongside Corbyn? Munther Isaac, a Christian pastor from Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, said he was disappointed to be told by Justin Welby's aides that the leader of the Anglican Church would not meet with him if he shared the platform with Corbyn. "It’s shameful. It’s not my type of Christianity not to be willing to meet another pastor because you don’t want to explain why you met him," the Palestinian pastor said in an interview with the Guardian.
  3. Did you follow the links in Post 53 of this thread?
  4. Since I highlighted both William & Jacob in the previous post, This Grauniad article is worth a read. How to explain Jacob Rees-Mogg? Start with his father's books Campbells initial review and the story behind how he was given a copy, is here; I'm not AC's greatest fan, but this is about W R-M's book(s), not the reviewer. The most important book you have never heard of, may explain Rees-Mogg love of hard Brexit See also his New European piece; whether you agree with Campbell or not, the article makes an interesting read. Resist Jacob Rees-Mogg’s vision of a brave new world
  5. It genuinely worries me that some, within our current government, and other far right extremists, seek to instigate racial and religious riots as a means of holding on to power. Another interesting article out from Peter Oborne; himself a long standing Tory for many years, though fair to say not this bunch. These ruthless, bigoted Tories would have Enoch Powell smiling from his grave A few excerpts from the piece follow, for those without the time or inclination to read the linked article. The recent spate of vile anti-Muslim rhetoric from the Tories shows they have decided that stoking hatred against minorities is their only way to avoid electoral annihilation There has always been a racist element in Britain, as in most societies. Powell’s speech went down well with his Conservative audience and it electrified the far right, to whom he remains a hero. But it horrified mainstream opinion. The Times, then edited by William Rees-Mogg, whose son Jacob became a cabinet minister in the Boris Johnson government, called it "an evil speech", adding: "This is the first time that a serious British politician has appealed to racial hatred in this direct way in our postwar history." Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson told that year’s Labour conference that "the struggle against racialism is a worldwide fight. It is the dignity of man for which we are fighting”. Heath, like almost all serious politicians at the time, understood the grave dangers of Powell’s putrid and inflammatory oratory. For many decades most people, myself included, took it for granted that the removal of Powell marked the moment when racism ceased to be acceptable within the Conservative Party. I am afraid that we have to accept that we were wrong. Racism is back, big time and centre stage, in Rishi Sunak's Tory party. Serious politicians have always understood the dangers of populism. They know there are always votes to be won by stirring up sectarian resentment and hatred, and that it is much easier to win elections by stoking up division. But they also know the dangers. You only need to look around the world today to understand that this is the case. Narendra Modi in India, Donald Trump in the United States, Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel, Giorgia Meloni in Italy and Viktor Orban in Hungary are all examples. They win power, but at a terrible cost to social cohesion. This strategy became apparent when, in an episode mysteriously under-reported in the British press, the British prime minister flew to Italy on 13 December to speak at a political event hosted by Italian premier Meloni’s far-right Brothers of Italy. Previous speakers at this event included Trump’s former adviser Steve Bannon and well as Orban. Sunak warned that immigration would “overwhelm” Europe. He was talking something close to the language of Powell.
  6. Note that the survey was of Conservative Party Members, not Tory voters; There may be a significant difference. The latter will have been included in UK Voters totals Combine the HnH survey with this excellent thread by Dr Russ Jackson All helpfully rolled up on Threadreader Here, for those without a Twitter account Intro to thread; Over the last week, Suella Braverman, Robert Jenrick & Lee Anderson have all mobilised vile anti-Muslim hatred rhetoric. This thread is focused on the @Conservatives' refusal to accept the definition of #Islamophobia offered by the APPG on British Muslims back in 2017.
  7. Broadly speaking, I'd normally largely agree with you, but a couple of time recently I do think he's been correct, though it's been more on constitutional issues than party politics. 1) That Hoyle was right to allow all the amendments, and that by implication, many politicians behaved shamefully. 2) That the recent appeal court decision on Begum was correct, but that Javid should never have removed her citizenship in the first place.
  8. Scarlet Blake -Why Are The Media Calling This Murderer A She? I would suggest that it's because the media were reporting on a trial in a UK court of law. The legal advice to the courts is pretty clear. Trans Equality Statement Prosecutors should address Trans victims, witnesses and defendants according to their affirmed gender and name, using that gender and related pronouns in all documentation and in the courtroom. I would suggest that to do otherwise would encourage further demonization of a small section of society; many people of course are currently encouraged to contribute to culture wars, and would seek to (mis)use horrific cases such as this as ammunition against a wider community. The Judges sentencing remarks are however publicly available; The King-v -Scarlet Blake Sentencing Remarks of Mr Justice Chamberlain Oxford Crown Court Monday 26th February 2024 Even the defendant's lawyer suggests it unlikely they will ever be released Scarlet Blake sent to all-male prison as own lawyer warns no parole board will free her
  9. It astounds me that supposed civilised people actively support the direct targeting of women and children, hospitals, medics, journalists and their families etc. Some folk should at least come out in the open and say they support war crimes, so long as they get to approve of the victims' ethnicity. Whist Israel, like any other country, should be able to defend itself, there is no moral high ground to claim for those who support documented war crimes; some are filmed and uploaded to Telegram channels set up/funded by The IDF. Because one side commits war crimes, never gives authority for the other side to commit them as well; this has been made clear by the ICJ Israeli Army Admits Running Unauthorized Graphic Gaza Influence Op An IDF psychological warfare unit ran a Telegram channel targeting Israeli audience without approval. The army initially denied involvement, but an internal investigation following Haaretz exposé revealed its involvement; An October 11 post read: "Burning their mother… You won't believe the video we got! You can hear their bones crunch. We'll post it right away, get ready." Photos of Palestinian men captured by the IDF in the Strip and the bodies of terrorists were captioned: "Exterminating the roaches… exterminating the Hamas rats… Share this beauty." A video of a soldier allegedly dipping machine gun bullets in pork fat is captioned: "What a man!!!!! Greases bullets with lard. You won't get your virgins." Another caption was: "Garbage juice!!!! Another dead terrorist!! You have to watch it with the sound, you'll die laughing." Is there any need to shoot doctors in the head with armed drones, or shooting nurses whilst they are working at a hospital.?? We started a group chat to help fellow doctors in Gaza. Then it went quiet The last series of messages in the group detailed an onslaught of patients injured on hospital grounds, including a video sent by the surgeon to our chat of an operating room nurse who was shot in the chest while working in the surgical wing of the hospital. A subsequent attack by an armed drone shot one of the doctors we had been supporting in the head. While this doctor should experience a good recovery, the bullet was centimeters from killing him.
  10. Despite claims to the contrary, it is very much a UK issue, albeit relating to our foreign policy. Rightly or wrongly Israel stands accused that they may be committing war crimes and/or genocide; this is entirely separate as to whether Hamas have committed war crimes themselves. The UK government continue to allow arms exports to Israel, which seems to be against foreign policy of not arming those accused of war crimes/genocide. Rather than posting a clearly inflammatory newspaper article, wouldn't it be more appropriate to link to the actual report, so readers can decide for themselves. Policing of protests Undoubtedly there is a rise in hate crimes, which should surely be condemned by all civilised people, regardless who is the target. Rise in reported antisemitism 79. Between 7 October 2023 and 13 December 2023, the Community Security Trust recorded at least 2,093 reported antisemitic incidents across the UK, which is a five-fold rise from cases recorded across the same period in 2022 The Community Security Trust said this is the highest ever total reported across a 68-day period Of the 2,093 incidents, 1,468 occurred offline and 625 were online. There were: • 95 cases of assaults, • 127 cases of damage & desecration to Jewish property, • 165 cases of direct threats, • 1,699 cases of abusive behaviour, including verbal abuse, graffiti on non-Jewish property, hate mail and online abuse, and • 7 instances of mass-produced antisemitic literature. Rise in reported islamophobia / anti-Muslim hate crimes 83. Between 7 October 2023 and 13 December 2023, Tell MAMA recorded 1,432 reported cases of anti-Muslim attacks, which is a seven-fold rise from reported cases recorded across the same period in 2022. Tell MAMA said this represents the “the largest rise in reports to our service across 68 days”. Of the 1,432 reported cases, 613 of these were offline.185 These were: • 387 cases of abusive behaviour, • 52 cases of threats, • 49 cases of assaults, • 46 cases of acts of vandalism, • 40 cases of discrimination, • 28 cases of acts of hate speech, and • 11 examples of anti-Muslim literature Now if we accept the premise that the rise in anti Islamic hate is unlikely to be coming from the Jewish population in the UK, then who is it from? Probably not the political left; we know that the far right like to target Muslim folk. They are also known to target Jewish people in the UK; there's some wild conspiracy theories out there. Undoubtedly some antisemitism does originate from Palestinian supporters, not all of whom are Muslim, and that should be condemned in the strongest terms; not least because it detracts from their case. The Pro Israel rallies have seen abuse towards Orthodox Jews from pro Israeli demonstrators. This doesn't show it but is an interview with some demonstrators on a Pro Palestine march a couple of years ago Orthodox Jews show solidarity with Palestinians None of this is a simple as those who seek to divide us would have you believe.
  11. You make the assumption that people there were wearing masks to protect themselves. Many folk in SE Asia have a high sense of social responsibility, so wear masks when they feel unwell to help protect others. Covid conspiracy theorists please take note. Guess what Japan did rather better than us, OK, this is about Japan, but the practice is common in several cultures and countries. Why Japanese wear masks: a look behind health, etiquette, and culture Head to Japan and you’ll notice that many Japanese people wear face masks. Even before the time of COVID-19, it wasn’t unusual to see people donning white masks while waiting for their trains, or out with their friends. The first and foremost reason that Japanese people wear face masks is health. Oftentimes, it’s to prevent one’s own germs or sickness from spreading in public places; a critical point in the often extremely densely populated cities of Japan.
  12. To follow on from my previous post, a chap I've been reading on Twitter Ahmed Fouad Alkhatib @afalkhatib Describes himself as; Proud American from Gaza City; pro-Palestine, anti-Hamas & violence; pro-peace & coexistence; lost 31 family members in the Gaza war; Pragmatic realist Peace of the Brave? When I was 11 years old in Gaza, I remember a particularly deadly Hamas suicide bombing in Israel in 2001. Soon after, a news conference was held by Yasser Arafat in which he called for de-escalation and asked Hamas to stop undermining the Palestinian Authority through its violence against Israelis. He ended his conference calling for a mutual ceasefire and renewing his commitment to bolster the “peace of the brave,” a phrase that grew in prominence during the 1990s at the height of the Oslo Peace process. This phrase (سلام الشُجعان) was always mocked by anti-peace Palestinian factions and their mouthpieces. Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and a few small militant groups would instead refer to it as the peace of the cowardly, the treacherous and the weak. There was so much anti-Arafat propaganda which specifically condemned him for believing that peace with Israel was courageous, saying instead that armed resistance was the only possible courageous act for the Palestinian national movement. I remember wondering about who was right: was peace indeed cowardly or was it actually courageous and brave? Unfortunately, Hamas created so much confusion, uncertainty and doubt among Palestinians about peace, making the word itself sound radioactive, toxic, unsavory and inherently treasonous. As time went on, and I learned so much more about history, the peace process, Hamas, conflict resolution, and even some Muslim teachings and scholarly interpretations, I realized that for all of his faults and shortcomings, Arafat was absolutely right. Peace does require brave courage to wage, promote, adopt, embrace and act upon. It is so much easier to be consumed by hate, incitement, violence and vengeance. Tribalism, entrenched narratives, lack of pragmatism and blind rage cause many nations and societies to walk away from peace and perpetuate a vicious cycle of violence and enmity. Again and for all his faults and horrendous leadership mistakes during the 1970s and 1980s, Arafat made an incredibly courageous decision to renounce violence and recognize Israel and its right to exist — he would still go on to make detrimental and disastrous mistakes after this brave decision. Nevertheless, he set a precedent within the Palestinian national movement to acknowledge that there will be no full liberation of Palestine from the river to the sea and that recognizing Israel and working with the Jewish State is necessary and inevitable for peace and the well-being of the Palestinian people. Brave and courageous Palestinians and Israelis must wage peace and find the slightest of common ground to give their people a chance at a better future. This will start with engagement, dialogue, conversations, and discussions. Yes, the disagreements are vast, and emotions are running high; yet I truly believe that cross-aisle gestures of goodwill based upon mutual respect, acknowledging our common humanity, and embracing that neither side is going anywhere can help break the entrenched narratives and start the slow healing journey. Peace requires courage to challenge dominant narratives and withstand reactionary accusations of disloyalty or treason. And yes, political decisions are ultimately what will bring about a transformation of conditions on the ground. However, that will be useless if people-to-people connections are not made. Governments make political agreements, but people make true and lasting peace. My own suffering and hardships, the death of so many family members, and the continued horror that my folks in Gaza are experiencing is precisely what motivates me to seek a different path forward. I’ve talked to former Israel hostages released by Hamas and to families of hostages who have an incredible capacity for compassion, and also want to use their suffering/awful experiences to push for a different reality. Inshallah in our lifetime, and with some courageous individual acts and steps, we will have true and lasting peace of the brave.
  13. There will of course be lots of different interpretations based on the same historical record; it really does make it difficult for the outsider to understand who to believe. One thing for sure though, we do not get the full picture reported in this country. To that end, this article is also worth reading. For years, Netanyahu propped up Hamas. Now it’s blown up in our faces Times of Israel The premier’s policy of treating the terror group as a partner, at the expense of Abbas and Palestinian statehood, has resulted in wounds that will take Israel years to heal from For years, the various governments led by Benjamin Netanyahu took an approach that divided power between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank — bringing Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to his knees while making moves that propped up the Hamas terror group. The idea was to prevent Abbas — or anyone else in the Palestinian Authority’s West Bank government — from advancing toward the establishment of a Palestinian state. Thus, amid this bid to impair Abbas, Hamas was upgraded from a mere terror group to an organization with which Israel held indirect negotiations via Egypt, and one that was allowed to receive infusions of cash from abroad. See Also Why Netanyahu Bolstered Hamas The Nation The Israeli prime minister followed a decades-old divide-and-rule strategy that fuels endless war. Wars help hide political scandals. The ongoing Israeli assault on Gaza has been singularly useful to prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu in sidelining popular anger at his government’s numerous failings. The massive protests against Netanyahu’s authoritarian attempts to weaken the courts dwindled after Hamas October 7 attack, although there are signs they are resuming force. The intelligence failures that allowed the October 7 attack to take place have received some press attention—but have yet to be the focus of sustained political ire. The same is true of Netanyahu’s longstanding policy of bolstering Hamas rule in Gaza, including encouraging Israel’s de facto ally Qatar to finance the terrorist organization. While the much-respected Israeli newspaper Haaretz has covered this issue, it has been largely ignored by the international press.
  14. Here you go, this makes interesting reading. N.B. Don't make the mistake of thinking I support Hamas; I don't. All the Times Israel Has Rejected Peace With Palestinians Israel prefers endless conflict to a Palestinian state. However, there have long been clear signs that factions within Hamas were moderating and open to long-term agreements with Israel. In 1997, Khaled Mashal, then the top Hamas leader, offered a 30-year ceasefire to Israel. Israel did not respond — but did immediately try to assassinate Mashal in Jordan. In 2004, Sheik Ahmed Yassin, Hamas’s chief religious leader, called for a 10-year truce with Israel if it returned to its pre-1967 borders. Israel assassinated him two months later. In 2012, according to an Israeli peace activist, the head of Hamas’s military wing had become convinced that Palestinians should negotiate a long-term truce with Israel. On the same day Ahmed Jabari, Hamas’s military chief, was reviewing a draft proposal for such a truce, Israel assassinated him.
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