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Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Posts Tagged ‘kidnapping

Obama From Britain

with 15 comments

After Bush, to my knowledge, the worst US President ever, I was excited about the prospect of Hilary Clinton in the White House.  The election of Barack Obama was simply stunning.  For me, it rejuvenated the whole idea of America – the noble principles of the  Constitution, the idea that anyone can rise to the very top based on merit alone.  It updated that dream by transcending race, prejudice and history.

Ordinary And Extraordinary

As it happened, I  watched his inauguration with my parents.   I  wept at Obama’s words, at the huge symbolism of his achievement, at Jesse Jackson’s overwhelming moment.  My Mum & Dad said that it was like Kennedy was for their generation – the sense of new hope and optimism.  The same idea that makes me think of Churchill’s “broad sunlit uplands”.

So what’s going on now?  I ‘m sure I don’t understand a lot about American politics.  I can only see it from my perspective.  That means I get most of my news from the BBC.  I balance that with a daily trawl through the blogs and online newspapers on the issues that interest me.

In some ways I think the BBC is more British than Britain.  In fact, I trust the BBC more than I trust any politician.  Its standards and independence preserve our national integrity better than any political leader.

Going online gives me a broader view, often composed of ridiculous extremes as well as mainstream media.  There are so many highly literate, super clever bloggers who are completely deluded and beyond any reason.  Going online provides an overall summary of all different points of view and sources of information.

I think Obama is a fundamentally decent man.  There is a coterie of bloggers who believe he is a Chicago politician just the same as when Al Capone was in town.  I think he is bigger than that.

There is also a sisterhood (men and women) of Democrats, bitter supporters of Hilary, who are determined to undermine him.  Republicans say he is un-American and claim that he won the election through fraud.

I still have faith in the man.   In the horribly murky world of American politics I don’t think he would have risen to the top unless he was very special.  I detect authenticity.

The oil spill has been his greatest challenge. I feel that when he speaks for himself, from his heart, he speaks the truth.  When he is confused and manipulated by those around him he fails.  Many will say I am naive but how can anyone triumph without support?  We need leaders who can inspire, who can make us believe in them.

From the very beginning Obama has “extended the hand of friendship” towards Iran but it becomes clearer every day now that the current regime must be condemned without reservation.   He has stood up against Israel better than his predecessors and in the overall moral balance that was well overdue.  I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt on the attempted kidnapping of Gary Mckinnon  It’s probably not high enough in his priorities to have had his proper consideration yet.

No one was more critical of Gordon Brown and his foolhardy, self-serving government than me but the way that some Americans criticise their leader horrifies me.  Some of the conspiracy theories and charges levelled against Obama are worse than those against Hitler or Mengele.  There are are so many complete nutters in America I really do wonder what they put in the water.

After re-consideration, from my British perspective, I still have faith in this extraordinary man.  I urge him to continue to have the courage of his convictions.  I wish he could put aside short term political considerations.  I think, almost whatever happens,  he will win a second term so he can afford to look at least six years in advance and ignore his critics.  I still believe in him.

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Theresa May Must Act On Gary McKinnon And Ian Tomlinson

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It's Decision Time

After defence there can be no higher priority for any government than justice.  The new government’s honeymoon period is over.  The cases of Gary McKinnon and Ian Tomlinson need urgent attention from our new Home Secretary.

A Victim Not A Villain

Gary McKinnon’s case raises profound issues.  He is in danger of “extradition” to the US but any idea that this is some legitimate process is nonsense.  He is actually in danger of illegal rendition or kidnapping which the previous Labour government seemed ready to sanction.  Any alleged crime was committed on British soil so there isn’t even any question of “extradition”.  If he is to be tried he must be tried where the alleged crime was committed.

I understand that Theresa May has already asked for an adjournment of the proceedings.  This is a good start but we need to be certain that she stands up for fundamental principles.  There are many complexities in the McKinnon case but it is crystal clear that he must be tried in Britain.  See here for more information.

There seems though to be no progress at all on the murder of Ian Tomlinson at the G20 protests.  This is a scandal and injustice of the very highest order and those responsible for prevaricating and filibustering over bringing charges are criminals themselves.

Murder

Ian Tomlinson’s family waits helpless while the dilatory DPP, Keir Starmer, and the CPS quibble and procrastinate over facts that the whole country has seen revealed on its TV screens.  Obviously they intend to delay long enough so that the case be consigned to history like the murder of Blair Peach by a police officer in 1979.  It was only last month that the Metropolitan Police came clean on this, 30 years too late.

There is some nonsense excuse being peddled that there is a problem with obtaining expert medical evidence.  This is a dreadful miscarriage of justice.  These are issues for a jury to decide.  Keir Starmer  should be dismissed for gross misconduct and should consider himself lucky if he doesn’t go to jail for perverting the course of justice.

Thug

We have already seen the inexcuseable acquittal of  Sergeant Delroy Smellie, the thug who assaulted Nicola Fisher at the G20 protests (see here).   This must be one of the lowest points ever in the history of British justice.  There can be no other description of this verdict and District Judge Daphne Wickham who made the decision than corrupt.  She deserves to be tarred and feathered for what she has done.

What can be higher in priority on Theresa May’s todo list than these matters of great principle and injustice?  She should put everything else aside.  There can be no more excuses.