Holocaust Memorial Day

Today sees the commemoration of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp. Much has been written on this subject but words cannot convey the feeling when actually visiting the camp.

Liverpool, in its European Capital of Culture year, is hosting this year's Holcaust Memorial Day.

I thought it appropriate to leave today's comment to the Irish singer Christy Moore (see also his Viva La Quinta Brigada about the Spanish Civil War and Nazism) and his song, Yellow Triangle based on the words attributed to Pastor Niemoller.

My, my, my Britannia: The Value of Nothing

I did not want to post this today because I felt it inappropriate to give publicity to the barking mad patriots on Holocaust Memorial Day; a time when intolerance is one of the matters to be remembered.

The Daily Mail (in its online version at least) gave little or no mention to this commemoration. Perhaps the fact that the Muslim Association of Britain had reversed its boycott this year, there was no mileage in the story. Such an omission merely gives strength to the argument that the Mail continues to march along an anti-semitic, anti-immigrant, anti-gypsy and anti-liberal track.
In my main post, I have inserted a Youtube performance of Christy Moore singing Yellow Triangle based on the poem by Martin Niemoller. The words seem apposite given the Mail's slant on life. I looked out for mention of Holocaust Memorial Day in the Mail but came there none. Then I looked for comments to warm the soul, but again, came there none.

One of the interesting aspects of subjecting oneself to daily perusal of ill-informed comments on the DM site, is that whilst there are people with too much time on their hands (pots, kettles I know) who regularly post the same old garbage (step forward John, Tendring; Jacqui Weems, Olderbird, Karen ex-pat, USA) some stories attract larger amounts of comments. Sometimes, it is not what is commented on, but what isn't commented on. For instance, if an immigrant is assaulted (and unusually it makes the paper) there is likely to be no comments.

Yet, on HMD, the Mail is leading a campaign to fight the fascism of............changing the 50p design! How many people could possibly be interested in this? Five, Seven, the inhabitants of Barking? At this time there are 342 comments. So what's this Brown chappie up to now to cause so much distress to the intellectual readers? Still have the will to live? Then, read on....

Brown banishes 300-year-old tradition by removing Britannia from our 50p coin

By Jove, as Ken Dodd would say, he's really gone and done it now! Let's explore more.

(Whilst researching this I noticed that the article had also been pasted onto Stormfront's site (I won't link to the neanderthals of white supremacy but to give a flavour - one Mensa member said, "Just had a bet with my missus that we,ll have a black streak in the union flag within five years if Labour stay in . Any takers ?"
Nice. Cannot even find the apostrophe key on his keyboard!
The title is based on the fact that Stoke City sing Delilah by Tom Jones! and play at the Britannia Stadium. I envisage site hits from BNP and Stoke City supporters)

  • The move is a personal embarrassment to Mr Brown, because at the time he made the decision, he was emphasising his sense of "Britishness" as part of efforts to appear a fitting occupant of Downing Street.

Notice that 'Britishness' means (to a Mail reader) anything non-foreign, yet here they are rallying to the cause of a Roman symbol from 2000 years ago which took about 1700 years to appear on coins. This is the standard hypocrisy of Mail Land residents: despise everything foreign yet holiday, reside, buy goods from abroad.

A Treasury spokesman said: "As people will see when the new Mint run is issued, the chosen designs represent the best traditions of British coinage and are totally in line with the Government's desire to celebrate our British heritage, including our historic national and heraldic emblems.

"The traditional Britannia design and other traditional designs will return in future mint runs.

So there we have the usual spolier to the headline; not that our usual suspects read more than the headline. Witness the amount of comments about the Queen not being informed. Not to mention the barmy logic of criticising Brown for being unelected whilst worshiping a hereditary head of state and talking of democracy without the slightest understanding of the British Constitution. Ho hum.

Also, by stating that the design will return, this seems to call into question the suitability of the use of the word banish unless it is meant in the Napoleonic sense. Further on the story uses the phrase, abolition of Britannia. Can't have it both ways. Pastor Niemoller's words are ingrained on me; perhaps they may (with a little re-working) help us here.

First they came for the ex-pats:

Refuse to accept the 'revised' (devalued) 50p coin in your change...insist on using only the 50p with Britannia.

Is there nothing this government won't destroy.

Is there no way of protesting about this - or is it a case of 'we know what's best'....Pity they didn't lose the discs containing this 'improved' design.

- Anne Smith, Lot-et-Garonne, France

Then they came for the racists:

The Nu Labor Socialist Dictatorship has nearly destroyed this country completely, so I guess they might as well take all traces of Britishness out of our coins too! Soon the indigenous white people will be put in concentration camps so our homes can be vacated for the immigrants!

- David Browning, Bolton, Lancashire, England

How deranged and twisted do you have to be to equate a non-permanent change of design on a low denomination coin to a Socialist dictatorship and Nazism. Given the day on which this was posted, this makes the comment even more emetic. What's the betting our Notlob friend is a BNP knuckle-scraper?

Why am I not surprised? What will they replace it with, A Gypsy Caravan?

- Ian, Whitby, England

Then they came for the stupid:

Get rid of Brown now. What right does a Scot or any one person have to alter our English currency?

- B.C., Steyning, West Sussex

So the 50p is not legal tender in Scotland then? B.C. perhaps indicative of the last time this person had a rational thought worth sharing with someone other than their budgie.

I have sat here 10 minutes but still cannot find the words that describe (or you could print) what I think of this unelected idiot of a PM he makes me feel ashamed that I have Scottish ancestors in fact for the first time in my life (67years) I feel ashamed to be English when abroad.

- David., Rushden. U.K.

The Nu-Lab communists destroyed our culture, and replaced it with a multicultural nightmare, where half the people don't even speak English! So I guess they might as well destroy our coins also!

- Ingrid Ribe, Essex, England

Then they came for the downright irritating, usual suspects:

Brown is an unelected PM and therefore anything he approves HAS TO BE illegal. Get rid of the man Britain, please get rid of him - he and his fools are destroying my once Great Country.

- Karen, ex pat USA

McBean-The-Unelected's project to destroy this country will be complete when President Bliar's face replaces our Monarch's on coins and paper money.

- Lickyalips, Richmond, Surrey

"People fight for symbols, for flags, because they represent in a small way the big things that matter to us".

But not Gordon Mc Bean apparently. Each action and decision he takes confirms that he is a traitor. Get him out.

- Peter Pan, Great Britain

As we can see the most important matter on this significant day is a trivial non-story cloaked in the usual Mail smoke-and-mirrors quotes. I'd like to be in the queue when the idiot from France tries to demand a real 50p coin in change. Of course, as we all know, the 50p is regularly altered and Britannia is replaced by a commemorative feature (see here)

I noticed that a giant of the academic world on the racist Stormfront site found it funny that his friend asked for a replacement for the £2 coin commemorating the abolition of slavery. Kinda gives a true sense of where the DM's heart lies. Cunningly, it allows its members to fire the bullets, but it supplies the arms. Not all Mail readers are extreme; some just buy it for the TV and crossword.

However, in closing for the prosecution, I submit that the Mail allows its commenters to provide the finishing touches to the make-up of its public face. As we know that they filter comments made to suit their agenda, they have to take full responsibility for the general views seen on Planet Mail.

Esther McVey's Great Charitable Gift

It won't take much of a swing for the Conservatives to capture Wirral West at the next election. It used to be the seat of David Hunt and it was perhaps surprising that it stayed Labour at the last 2 elections. The Tories have as their candidate, media giant and former Madeleine Esther McVey. So what's she been doing recently? Well, utilising her knowledge of law against barrister and sitting MP Stephen Hesford and taking Daily Mail stories as gospel. The Daily Post is on the case.

Wirral Tory to pay MP £6,500 damages and costs over cricket ‘junket’ slur
Jan 22 2008 by Liam Murphy, Liverpool Daily Post

WIRRAL West Tory candidate Esther McVey has agreed to pay her Labour rival £6,500 in damages and costs after a year-long libel case by him.
Mr Hesford sued Ms McVey after she wrote on her blog that the MP was planning to take part in what was described as a cricket “junket” to Australia and New Zealand.
He said he believed the case would make “people start to wonder” about his opponent.
The legal battle over the cricket tour has rumbled on for more than a year since Ms McVey first posted the offending article on her political blog.
But before the case was heard by the High Court in Chester yesterday, the two opponents agreed the settlement.
Ms McVey has agreed to pay £1,000 in damages and £5,500 in legal costs.
She must also display an apology on her blog www.esther 2009wordpress.com for seven days.
The apology says she accepts Mr Hesford was “never intending to participate in the entirety of the tour” and had decided to withdraw from it before she wrote her blog entry about it.
It continues: “My reference to him attending the full tour was therefore inaccurate. I therefore regret any distress caused to Mr Hesford and his family by the article.”
The agreement also makes clear Ms McVey should not repeat any of the allegations referred to in the blog.
Mr Hesford said: “The last year has been a real strain on myself and my family because of this case.
“I think that people will start to wonder about my Tory opponent. Not only was she willing to publish false material, she was unwilling to make proper amends until forced to do so. I am very relieved that it is over.
“The one good thing to come out of this is that I will donate the £1,000 damage to St John’s Hospice, one of our most important local charities.”
Mr Hesford defends the slimmest majority of all constituencies in Wirral, holding his Wirral West seat against a major onslaught by Ms McVey at the last election by 1,097 votes.
Ms McVey said: “There was no court hearing and there was no court victory, instead a settlement was reached last Friday afternoon by way of a consent order. I decided to settle this case the most practical and pragmatic way I could.
“There are far more important issues to be dealing with rather than scrapping with the sitting Labour MP over what was essentially a technical, and some might consider in relation to all the issues affecting us at the moment, a trivial matter, and, after a year the only people winning were the lawyers.”

The apology on the McVey blog. It may shortly disappear from there so click on the screenshot for a clearer view.


I'm still awaiting the extra photos I took at Auschwitz to be developed. (Note to younger readers - in the olden days a little man at the chemist's poured chemicals on a film to produce prints)

My trusty Digi's battery charger packed in on holiday so I had to rely on the mobile phone and a disposable one. Have just finished reading Auschwitz by Lawrence Rees and would recommend this to everyone; it manages to shed light on a well-documented area of history.

I hope to visit the Holocaust Exhibition in Liverpool this weekend. One of the most startling items is an artwork by Philip Parr called Respectacles which recreates the pile of glasses housed at the Museum at Auschwitz.

More information can be seen at the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust site here. You can light a virtual candle too.

The Wirral Globe, a local freesheet not known for its outstanding standards of cutting edge journalism (this week's headline concerns an 11 year old boy who received a credit card application form.) To be balanced, its competitor The Wirral News is no better. Both are glorified advert sheets. One of the papers had a Xmas headline about a missing cat turning up.

Anyway, praise where it's due. The Wirral Globe photographer, David Gennard accompanied students from NW England to Auschwitz and made a video which can be viewed here. The piece has apparently received high praise from the Museum itself.

It is requested by the museum authorities that out of respect, no photos are taken indoors (apart from one of the latrine units). Therefore, the heartbreaking piles of glasses, hair, spectacles, artificial limbs and suitcases are not here. I did discover a 360 degree site here.

Eastern Germany 2003-4