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Is MP Alistair Burt advocating breaches of international law?

david halpinIn a letter to the Standards and Privileges Committee of the House of Commons, retired surgeon David Halpin writes:

“I have been greatly disturbed by the words of Mr Alistair Burt MP, and most recently Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office”.

Ignore this embarrassment and hope that it will go away in time?

The office is not acknowledging receipt of my letter or a reminder. A copy has now been sent by recorded delivery.

Burt’s advice on deterrence

Mr Halpin quoted a paragraph from the Guardian in which Mr Burt (left) was advocating the barbaric treatment and murder of Colonel Gaddafi as the right course of action for President Assad and his political allies – a shorter account may be seen in the Independent.

alistair burt mpThis MP, a former officer of the Conservative Friends of Israel, was advocating a contravention of international law which demands that a prisoner of war is treated with customary humanity and that a head of state or government figure of a defeated nation is treated with respect. Again, regardless of his legal education, Burt advocated a ‘strike against Assad’ which would have required a negation of the Nuremberg Protocols and the Charter of the United Nations.

And he describes himself as a Christian

He is on record as saying “I believe that there is a God. Among other things, I believe that his plan for his universe holds life to be dear and sacred” – his other words, in the Guardian and elsewhere, reveal that his belief extends only to a certain category of lives – the chosen, not ‘you lot’?

Martin Bright of the Jewish Chronicle paints a very different picture of this MP

After his recent demotion: “Labour Shadow Minister Chris Bryant described him as “the nicest, warmest and most generally fantabulous MP there is”. He noted that 18 MPs, including Labour’s Glenda Jackson and Tory Rory Stewart, had paid tribute to him during Tuesday’s statement to Parliament by Foreign Secretary William Hague”.

“ ‘The Revolution is coming, Mr Cameron’ some shouted. Not from you lot, it isn’t.” Alistair Burt’s words encapsulate the contempt of entrenched power for unpolished protest – and the sad truth is that he is probably right.



Nelson Mandela: Clinton, Obama, Bush, Blair, Cameron, tributes of shameful hypocrisy

george bush etc felicity

Felicity Arbuthnot opens:

Nelson Mandela’s life included violence and controversy but he “walked the walk” paying the price of twenty seven years in jail for the racial equality he fought for South Africa. For all the country’s complexities, imperfections and astonishing betrayals, the concept of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission surely averted a cycle of vengeance which would have dwarfed the country’s continuing turbulence.

In death, however, he has uniquely highlighted the monumental paucity of integrity, intelligence, introspection and vision of a swathe of Western politicians.

Prime Minister David Cameron led the session reminding all: 

“We must never forget the evil of apartheid and its effect on every day life . . .”

He might ponder on his words when he, his Foreign Secretary or party members next jet off on a Conservative Friends of Israel junket to that apartheid state, which behaves as he described, additionally seizing lands, demolishing homes . . .

President Obama’s address was a masterpiece of oiled humbug:

” … while I will always fall short of Madiba’s example, he makes me want to be better.  He speaks to what is best inside us . . . We can choose to live in… a world defined not by conflict, but by peace and justice … ”

The previous day, missiles fired from a U.S. drone killed at least three people travelling in a car in eastern Yemen. Two days later, seventeen people in a convoy heading for a wedding party were killed, ten instantly, seven dying shortly afterwards and in differing reports, between five and twenty two remain seriously injured. The President, it is reported, personally signs off on these obscenities, weekly.

On hearing of the death of Mandela, Bill Clinton tweeted: “I will never forget my friend Madiba.” 

An instant response was: “Then why was he on the US Terrorist Watch List during your Presidency?” 

George W. Bush said: “President Mandela was one of the great forces for freedom and equality of our time … our world is better off because of his example”

But Nelson Mandela condemned George Bush as: “. . . a president who has no foresight, who cannot think properly, is now wanting to plunge the world into a holocaust. … If there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America. They don’t care.” (30th January 2003.)

For Tony Blair, the Memorial was, as ever, a business opportunity . . .

(added) before the ceremony he said: “Nelson Mandela was someone who brought out the best in people”

But it is reported that Nelson Mandela felt so betrayed by Tony Blair’s decision to join the US-led invasion of Iraq that he launched a tirade against him in a phone call to Peter Hain, who was a government minister. Hain said Mandela was “breathing fire” down the line in protest at the 2003 military action. The trenchant criticisms were made in a formal call to the minister’s office, not in a private capacity, and Blair was informed of what had been said.#