Hazem Abu Ismail, the latest Presidential candidate put forward by the Islamic Brotherhood in Egypt – has as his not entirely original election slogan, ‘Islam is the Solution’. But Islam doesn’t have the solution to Hazem’s mum. A TV Kor’aan-waving imam, Ismail was the ultra-conservative Salafists’ candidate for the Egyptian presidency. But now his candidacy is over, because it has emerged that his mother – gone to meet Allah these many years since – once applied for a green card to live and work in the United States.
Here we see Islamism hoist by its own painful hook of intolerance. But what with this development (alongside many others that followed ‘The Arab Spring’ in Egypt) this unfortunate country is descending into chaos.
The UK’s budget deficit ballooned by 50% in March, to £18.2bn from £12.bn in February. Year-on-year, it is still very slightly up. In the fiscal year through March, spending rose by 2% thanks to the government’s alleged “programme of cuts”.
The deadly trio of Sir Humphrey sabotage, EU commitments, and having started 5 years too late, continues to mean that the Coalition is walking earnestly down underwater steps on this one.
This afternoon it has become increasingly clear that Jeremy Hunt illegally abused his office as Culture Minister in order to help his Party leader’s mates in Newscorp.
What follows is going to sound like “I told you so”, but bear with me: I have an important point to make here that has nothing to do with YRIHF. I’ve made the point before, but this time I intend to be far more focused about it.
The Slog said last February, very early on, exactly what the ‘Arab Spring’ would turn into.
The Slog said, soon after the cuts programme got under way, why it wouldn’t succeed.
And The Slog said, the day Jeremy Rhyming-Slange was appointed Culture Minister last March, that he would be the Murdochs’ bum-boy.
All these said sooths have come to pass, and I could list – very easily – another twenty no-brainers that this and thousands of other sites predicted after 2008: bank lessons not learned, EU smugness, Murdoch lies, Greek default, Credit swap obligations, banks v citizens, Lansley’s NHS proposals, mutuality in the socio-economic mix…on and on and on the issues go.
Now believe me, it would be a piece of cake for me from here on to just sit back on the regular daily 12-18,000 hits The Slog gets, keep on observing the blindingly obvious, take lots of ads on the site, and sell books to the readers called things like The Wit & Wisdom of The Slog. (All of which I may well do, because I need to amortise some costs here).
But the time has come, finally and irrevocably, when I want to be more than just right more often than not. It is very easy – and this applies as much to Sloggers as to The Slog – to run up and down the touchline waving flags for offside, or giving advice to lemmings about the ongoing dangers of cliff-jumping as a sport. We are getting near to the next stage of historic step-change I first outlined in 2006, and being a wiseass while that cataclysm unfolds is going to be both useless and irritating for most folk if it isn’t complemented with some practical help.
I’d like more sensible discussion now about what to do beyond “String the f**kers up”. Violence isn’t going to get us anywhere apart from The Reign of Terror Mark XVIII.
And I’d like more input from you lot about ways we can annoy the bastards by surviving the mess they created….and then living to fight another day.
But as always, the fundamentals here will stay the same: I’m not interested in fine lines of Left and Right, I’m interested in radical realism, equality before the law, and the creation of a liberal democracy prepared to face the need for substance rather than spin.
There may even be more philosophy and spirituality than there was before. But I wasn’t made to be either a preacher or a Judge: as the immortal Peter Cook once said, “I could’ve become a Judge, but you need the Latin for the judging….so I became a miner”.
I’d like to mine a rich seam of hope, ethics, common sense, practicality, peaceful defeat of the enemy, and helpful advice.
I hope you’ll stick with me on this voyage. But either way, stand ready for changes.