Leveson Inquiry

Light Relief: Talking Cats, Speaking Robert Jay QC And Leveson

Ever felt you have a fair grasp of English and a passable vocabulary? Watch this video clip of Robert Jay QC at the Guardian and think again.

Esther Addley provides a good summary of the Leveson inquiry.

The above is light relief, or just more comedy, depending on how you view David Cameron’s reaction to the Leveson report.

And who said that the Tories weren’t clowns.

Update 1: Leveson report: the speed read is handy.

Tony Blair at Leveson Inquiry

The Guardian’s coverage of the Leveson Inquiry is good and they have allocated a slot for Tony Blair’s contribution.

Update 1: Surprisingly. the Leveson Inquiry doesn’t seem to have an official channel on YouTube, but there are others.

The Leveson Inquiry by ITN News Channel.

YouTube – Leveson Inquiry auto-generated by YouTube.

Update 2: CNN has a good summary:

“The Leveson Inquiry was established after British public anger at Murdoch’s News of the World about the hacking of voice messages of a missing teenage girl who turned out to have been murdered.

The case of Milly Dowler came on top of apologies from the tabloid for the hacking of the phones of celebrities and politicians, and proved to be the last straw for the paper, which was shut down in July.

Cameron set up the Leveson Inquiry to explore press ethics in Britain more widely, alongside a police investigation into phone hacking, e-mail hacking and police bribery by people working for Murdoch’s British newspapers.

More than 50 people have been arrested. Prosecutors this month announced charges against six people, including Rebekah Brooks, a former News of the World and Sun editor who later became chief executive of News International, the British newspaper publishing arm of Murdoch’s News Corp.

She, her husband and four others are charged with interfering with the police investigation.

Blair’s former director of communications said this month that the relationship between the press and the political elite in Britain was too cozy.

“I’ve been arguing for some years (that the relationship) got itself into a very, very bad place, and I hope it can lead to change,” Alastair Campbell told CNNI’s Christiane Amanpour.

“It’s not just about Rupert Murdoch,” he said. “We have a lot of newspapers in a geographically fairly small country. … And I think any political leader has to take account of the role they play in the political debate.”

Campbell, a former newspaper editor who became Blair’s spokesman when the Labour party was in opposition in the 1990s, said he hoped “some form of proper regulation” would arise from the hacking and bribery scandal. “

Update 3: My mistake, the Inquiry’s web site does provide video even if it is not obvious, on their hearings page. Still, a pity you can’t download them without a degree of mucking about, etc etc

Questionable Exam Questions, Syria And The EU

There is some debate as to whether or not it was appropriate for an exam paper to ask:

“Explain briefly why some people are prejudiced against Jews.”

My gut feeling was how inappropriate such a question might be for children, and the result of mainstreaming of anti-Jewish racism within academia. We have seen it manifest before.

But on reflection (and I’m glad that Norm seems to agree with me), I think discussing racism is a good idea, even if the wording is poor.

Opening up the subject, not letting it fester away in the corner, but facing all our prejudices, both individual, collective and societal is a good idea.

It helps us address the question, why is antisemitism still prevalent in western societies?

In Syria, according to the BBC there is continued killing of civilians in Rastan. Not unsurprisingly there is little indignation in the Western media concerning the shelling of the defenceless by Assad’s murderous gang.

Elsewhere, Chris Dillow makes an acute observation on Leveson inquiry:

“Tittle-tattle about whether Hunt should resign or not symbolises an ideology that disfigures our politics – the idea that what’s needed for proper decision-making is men of the right character. But this is not enough. You also need the right systems. And these have not been in place. If Hunt does have to resign – and I can think of nothing I care less about – he will pay the price for a political system which over-rates the role of personality and under-rates the role of structure.

Alfred North Whitehead famously said that “civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking of them.” By this standard, government hasn’t advanced very much. “

Over in Egypt.

I have never much followed the Daily Beast but Hussein Ibish is a must read for anyone serious about understanding the Middle East. His, Stop Settler Violence, is a very necessary post.

How much enrichment is really just for medical purposes? You decide:

“There are civilian uses for 20% enriched uranium, but it is also a significant technical step towards producing weapons-grade uranium.

Iran has told the agency it was a mistake in starting up the cascades of centrifuges, the machines used to enrich uranium.

Nuclear experts say that is plausible. But one senior diplomat in Vienna refused to speculate. “It can happen,” he said, “it needs to be checked”. “

Mystical Politics explains it better.

Apparently, EU to look into antisemitism on continent.

Murdoch, Rev. Sizer And Anti-Fascism

Time away from the media, blogosphere and PCs often results in a shock when you have to digest what has happened and what is happening around the world.

I am catching up and in the process looking at Rupert Murdoch’s ugly mug plastered across most news bulletins.

His recent second day at the Leveson Inquiry was amusing for his bumbling, blame shifting and barely convincing mea culpa.

The Guardian has good coverage and comment.

Reading material for Rupert Murdoch.

Ex-News International employees are not too happy with Murdoch’s attempt to shift of blame.

According to one of his fans, Rev. Stephen Sizer will not be doing porridge, although I think a bowl of humility and sensitivity might be more appropriate, but that’s not going to happen.

Racism in Northern Ireland.

Anti-Fascists Online has details of another racist crank who wants to attack Muslims.

According to Hope NOT Hate the EDL leader, Stephen Lennon, is joining up with another bunch of neo-fascists in the British Freedom Party. The BFP is made up of ex-BNP misfits and assorted racist flakes.

Across the pond, 200 threatening and racist phone calls.

In oil news, Turkey is searching for it.

Martin Bright in JC probes an area not often covered, British PoWs in Auschwitz.

The BNP Organiser & The War Criminal.

Racism in Hockey, North America still has many problems.

Finally, in Syria, the ceasefire is not working.