I'm less quick to believe such right wing propaganda. I don't think that the two graphs are equal, either in terms of the cost-to-the-taxpayer, or in terms of disposable income at the hands of either of them.I'm not defending Choudary, but I am criticising bad information.
Phoney baloney, right wing crap. Is Guido trying to say that soldiers never have children, and therefore never qualify for child benefit? Since he mentions council tax in his comparison, why not show the rebate to soldiers on active service? I don't believe that soldiers have a particularly good deal, but if you decide to earn a living as a hit man for US shareholders then I find my capacity for sympathy rather limited. Nasty racist note creeping into this blog of late, subrosa.
Can't comment on this as I have no idea how the benefit system works in the UK anymore. Would appreciate it if Vronsky, for whom I have the deepest respect, would expand on his "racist" allegation. There is, in my opinion, a common error in the UK of conflating opposition to a universalist and chauvanistic movement (with some really nasty practices - thighing for instance) with racism. Indeed, if any native political movement uttered half the things emanating from Islam the same people would be demanding it be banned.
The soldier's bar only includes the pay he is directly given. It does not include any of the benefits he receives, such as subsiding housing costs.Choudary's bar chart includes mostly cash he never actually sees, such as housing benefit or a council tax rebate. How much council tax does a soldier pay? I don't actually know, off hand.I have no problem with attacking the man's views, but things like this are just wrong. It is not comparing like for like, and just fuels the fires of the extremists on both sides.
Off topic (sorry!): Will Gordon Brown be taken out with the trash this week?
Fair enough Grogipher. It's a reasonable comparison although the soldier exampled obviously doesn't have children.
Ah Vronsky, you mean the 25% rebate? And right enough the soldier doesn't have children in the example, although he is married because a separation allowance has been included.I disagree there's a racist tone in the blog Vronsky. Do I have to write about white, law abiding, lying politicians all the time?I was going to publish a super video with Sammy David Junior singing the blues, but I shan't because I don't want to upset you further.
The graph, to my mind scunnert, is a comparison between two UK citizens.The soldier as well as Choudary, had their education paid for by the UK taxpayer. If that's racist is some people's eyes then so be it.
Erm Grogipher now there's a subject I know rather a lot about. What if the soldier lives with parents? What if the soldier has his own home? Military housing subsidies aren't great. I won't bore you but I have vague memories of paying a lot of money for a house which had oil heating. There was no option for a house with cheaper heating. The rent was the average rent for the area minus a small percentage. In those days the military were not permitted to live in their own properties even though they were within a reasonable distance from work.A soldier pays normal council tax unless deployed out of the country. Then he gets a 25% discount. That applies whether he lives in quarters or his own home.What other subsiding costs do you mean? They receive second class travel to their home addresses upon arriving back in UK. They pay their own food costs during normal activities. Their drink isn't subsidised by the taxpayer. Their basic uniforms are issued 'free' whereas they must buy their No 2s and mess kits which can cost anything between £1000 to £3000 these days I'm told. Thankfully they're no longer restricted to using specific suppliers. It used to be each regiment had their 'own' supplier for such items.
Vigil the answer is NO. Brown will still be there for the general election.
This for Vronsky. Now that I've done my 'panic' shopping and realise we're fortunate here not to have had further serious snowfalls on top of the many inches of hard packed snow/ice, I would like to remind you that the British military is made up of all religions and none.Of course all British military personnel are British citizens.Why then Vronsky do you consider I am being racist? A very easy word to use and easier if the accuser doesn't give a detailed explanation.I refuse to bow to the Righteous and not post about religious issues. So many have a fear of such issues. I do not. But this post is not about race, it's about the differences we have in society.One person has a valuable university degree yet claims benefits. The other (and I'm making a big assumption here) doesn't have a university degree.Neither matters within the benefit system. That's the point.
Bit late to this one, SR, so I don't know if you'll see this comment.Vronsky commits a very common fallacy. There is not just one reason why soldiers go to war. There is the true reason of the politicians, usual unstated, which might well be scurrilous and obscene. And there is the reason of the combatants, themselves.Brown says it is a war to reduce the incidence of terrorist training in Afghanistan. He may well be prosecuting it for reasons unstated, but that does not mean that the soldiers themselves are not fighting the war that Brown CLAIMS they are fighting. They may well be, and probably are.Vronsky also slags you off with the 'r' word: a word that has lost all its meaning, having, for decades, dripped unthinkingly and remorselessly from the tongues of brainwashed lefties.
I believe soldiers go to war in order to protect the people of these islands Edgar. Generally they don't consider the political reasons. If they did many would just resign.Brown is perpetrating the myth that we are safer with our troops fighting half way round the world. I doubt if there are many who believe that anymore.Sadly the events of Iraq and Afghanistan only go to prove war is futile but it makes lots of money for a few.
Hi SRWhy not treat him the same as other benefit claiments, If he can not prove he is complying with the rules,remove his benefits pronto!Reference his other activities, why can we not apply the same rules as the Saudi government,just change the religion to Christianity and apply in this country??D.
I don't see any reason why that couldn't be done Apogee. Others may disagree of course because they believe multiculturalism is good for countries.
Hi SRBegs the question, how many countries are multicultural like here ?
Not too many, I think! But I could be wrong, it has been known !
Many European countries are Apogee, Australia, Canada and the US of course. Help me with the others.
Sorry to post an inflammatory comment and then disappear - had a few chores to attend to.The graph is a blatant and deliberate distortion (unsurprising given its source). Its intention is to prompt the reader to contrast the lot of the poor Tommy fighting for his country with the lazy Muslim extremist living on benefits. It's racist, because it suggests a generalisation about Muslims, just as your earlier post on immigration topped with an image of women in burqas suggested a generalisation on immigrants (to your credit, you removed that image).I replied with a generalisation about British soldiers - do you see now how these generalisations can be hurtful? Unthinking generalisation can turn a reasonable concern into a Daily Mail headline. Please be careful.
Vronsky, I really despair to think that I can't publish a graph without being called racist.As I've said race never crossed my mind. The photo was taken directly from an article and as you say removed first thing in the morning.Our problems in this country aren't so much about race anyway, they're about religion as far as I can see these days. Different issue.
Just for the record I find the Wooten Basset parades obnoxious. And I regard it as a disgrace that our troops should be deployed to act as mercenaries and assassins to suit the venal objectives of the power-mongers.There are times and places for heroism but Afghanistan isn't one of them. Equally, there are people and dissenters who have a level of integrity that implies they're worth listening to - this Choudary fellow isn't one of them.Full stop.
The people of Wootton Bassett started the parades because there was no acknowledgement of the fallen from their arrival at the RAF base and journey to Oxford. Their intentions were honourable and still are.Unfortunately these good folks aren't being left alone to do what they want to do now but I don't think they should stop. It's my understanding that their respectful behaviour comforts the families and friends.I can't remember who said once a politician has the blood of war on their hands they feel empowered to continue their warmongering ways. Blair and Brown are proof of that.
As Guido can't know what benefits Mr Choudary is on unless he told him, which I think a tad unlikely, then he, and we, are speculating about it.An aspect of this that I find offensive is that Choudary appears to assume that anger about the loss of civilian life in Afghanistan is confined to muslims.That is garbage.There is a fabulous letter from the ever reliable Chris Walker in the Herald today. As usual Chris has said what I feel in a more eloquent way than I can.I would recommend that parties interested in the current controversy read it.
Thanks for that Observer.I've put a link below to Chris Walker's Herald letter but I have to say I find his comment about the efforts of the people of Wootton Bassett rather unkind to say the least. 'The procession of bodies through the town has becomes sickeningly formulaic and ritualistic.'These people decided to pay their own quiet tribute to our dead troops. It was not their intention to provide any ritual. Their only intention was to provide some slight comfort to the families and friends of the fallen and pay their own personal respects to those who officially protect us. The families, once the ceremony was over at the RAF base, were left in limbo.I'm making a rather large assumption that Chris Walker hasn't been involved in a repatriation ceremony and his comments are purely from media evidence.Perhaps he would think differently about his words if he that experience.Does he find crowds to gather to see the Queen pass through their town a sickeningly formulaic and ritualistic or those who gather at the side of roadways to acknowledge participants in sporting events? Or are these crowds, because they are honouring those alive?I would also say to Mr Walker that many of us do think. Unfortunately we have had two leaders now who are content to have blood on their hands, not to protect the security of this country, but for purely political reasons.Anyway here's the link to Chris Walker's letter:http://www.heraldscotland.com:80/thursday-7-january-2010-1.996628
For the record Rosa, I don't find the respect shown by the people of Wootton Bassett reprehensible; only that they should have so much cause by such a reprehensible purpose, to show that respect and allow it to be manipulated by the media.My aim is to stop the families from having to grieve - but I think you know that.
I don't know what drives the people of Wootton Bassett to do what they do, but I do feel that their actions are giving comfort to the Government and are being used effectively as propoganda in the battle for hearts and minds in THIS country over the War in Afghanistan.The media depiction of the crowds paying tribute has come to symbolise heroism and courage - qualities which it quite suits the Government to associate with the War.Let's not forget - we are part of the invading force. The Afghan civilian population pose no risk to us. And yet their deaths are never mentioned.And now we have the notion - contained in the link that you posted, that to question all this is somehow traitorous.Traitorous? It might be an emotive and divisive issue, and Mr Choudary is at best a fool, but he is not a traitor.
That is also my aim Crinkly but with the standard we have of politician at the moment, their lack of attention to history and their fanatical desire to be the puppet of the US, I find there is little chance that our troops will be home anytime soon.
What drives the people of Wootton Bassett is similar to what drives others to pay respects as I've already detailed Observer.Unfortunately their quiet respect to the fallen has become a political football, enhanced by the actions of the media and politicians.Truthfully I don't care what image people get from the media about the gathering of townsfolk. I know what their intentions are and I know their efforts are appreciated by those it was intended for - that's what matters to me.Of course we are part of the invading force, the second largest. We shouldn't be there. We have no right to be there supporting a corrupt government. I constantly say that.Unfortunately Observer I don't have time or the knowledge to start a campaign regarding the Afghanis who are killed in this war any more than I had for the Iraq war, but that doesn't mean to say I'm unaware civilians are being killed regularly. That really is for the Afghanis themselves to handle but they won't.I never mentioned traitorous. Choudary's actions are for PR purposes, he's not in the least interested in the poor Afghani civilians who are killed or he'd be doing something about it. He has the legal knowledge to do that but he prefers to use it to abuse our troops and that I must take issue with.Leave the people of Wootton Bassett out of this and our military who are only carrying out the orders of the State. Neither deserve the insults which have been thrown at them. I do wish people would throw their insults in the correct direction - Westminster and Gordon Brown.
I'm no fan of Mr Choudary or his Walter Mitty group. They are, to be frank, diddies, and I suspect this is nothing more than a stunt to try and make them seem more important then they are.But we can't just put the issue of Afghan civilian death to the side by saying that *they* need to sort it out. Although eventually they will, because there is nothing more certain than that the UK forces, along with the US ones, will get kicked out. But how long will that take, and how many more will die.You might not personally care what images the media project, but they matter, and they are a way of showing us, as Chris said in his letter, how others see us.I am sure that many of the people of Wootton Bassett feel just the same as we do, that the troops should not be there, that the killing of innocent Afghans is as wrong as the killing of our troops.But nobody is saying that, there is a vacuum where mainstream politicians are fearing to tread.That's what I don't really understand, and a part of me thinks that it is the convention that you can't attack a military campaign for fear you undermine the morale of the troops that lies behind it.Colin Fox is starting something, and I really hope that it gathers momentum, because I do think it is important that we project a message that no, we do not value Western lives more highly than Afghan ones.Someone needs to say that loud and clear, but it isn't Mr Choudary.
Observer, I wouldn't endlessly post on military matters if I didn't care about how the images the media project.My objection was to the emotive and what I thought completely unjust description of the efforts of the people of Wootton Bassett in Chris Walker's letter.It was his language and seemingly lack of understanding of the people's motives which surprised me.I do hope people understand the difference between supporting our military fighting to protect us from being attacked (which of course will be the opposite for many years to come) and the work the troops do whether deployed overseas or at home.Of course there's a vacuum. Many politicans realise they've voted for a war in which we should have taken no part. Other European countries know that too and are making arrangements to get out asap. None of these politicians has the courage to say they were wrong, so they take the easy way and hide in the shadows.Of course anyone can attack a military campaign. I've been doing exactly that for years since Iraq. It was was motivated me to start this blog.I've stated over and over again one life lost for political reasons is one too many, whether it be civilian or military.You don't have to be an academic to read the history of Afghanistan and know it's a country where people have to live by their wits to survive.Unfortunately their leaders kill their people for reasons we would never tolerate.The deaths of civilians, from what evidence I have gathered, are mainly by the Taliban rather than military.I'm perfectly happy to regularly acknowledge civilian deaths but trying to get figures which are in any way accurate is difficult. The Afghani government refuses to publish them and others vary far too widely.
I'm curious why there are never protests against the Taliban for civilian deaths. It was my rhetorical question this morning. My readers don't appear to appreciate nuance.
I had a conversation with Observer about this yesterday Vigil. Don't know if you read it.I'm fortunate, my readers greatly appreciate nuance. In fact they find it when I am not even aware of it myself!
LOL, Subrosa! Thanks for showing my readers some of your nuance!
Always a pleasure Vigil. :)
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