Sunday, 24 January 2010

Mistaking liberties

I’m afraid me and the UK’s best known civil liberties group have had it.
Shami Chakrabarti – charming lass but you’re ‘Liberty-lite’ these days, and after some soul-searching I’ve just torn up my membership. In fact, not content with that I’ve just told the Times readership why I did it.
It was that did the damage. Shami writing to explain why Liberty were taking BA back to the high court to protect the precious liberties of their infamous voodoo bling merchant.
In her piece she reveals that Liberty even paid for an opinion poll, but only bothered to ask Christian opinion. This (gosh what a surprise) revealed that Christians who have only been blasted with one side of the argument from the pulpit agreed with the sanctimonious, self-pitying woman who started the row.
But it’s not just that case. It’s also things like the deal with UK government over detaining terrorist suspects without trial for long periods on the basis of CIA folk-tales and tittle-tattle, or the treatment of the veteran gay rights group CHE, who were summarily kicked out of Liberty in mid-2009 without (this is the best bit) even a chance to answer charges made about them by Liberty’s executive.
CHE say that all the evidence is that most historical abuse cases are brought by chancers looking for big compensation pay-outs, but an accused man being gay can damage his chances of acquittal due to homophobia and confusion between homosexuality and paedophilia. On that basis they were worried by plans to extend the time allowed to bring such cases, plans which Liberty were so supportive of that they booted out CHE for daring to disagree. You can read more on that at July 16 2009.
It’s only my latest parting of ways with groups who used to be some sort of civilised front against barbarism, but now perpetuate misery and cut deals with superstitious or anti-democratic forces to save their sorry index-linked pensionable arses instead.
I cancelled my OXFAM debit because they spent more money on tele-marketing ten-per-centers than I was sending them in the first place. I never support any DEC appeal, partly because of at least five openly superstitious groups with discriminatory policies amongst the 13-strong consortium, partly because, as I understand it, the cash doesn’t go direct to the emergency but is paid into a pot only divvied up later amongst all 13 to recover any outlay individual groups might have (and, logically, most won’t have).
It’s not a bad thing to re-examine your values and your commitments regularly. It’s caused me to look for better ideas, groups and solutions. So I wouldn’t feel guilty even if I was superstitious and accepted such daft concepts .
Oh, and if Liberty win that case I hope the selfish spook-chasing twit gets her crucifix caught in a fast-track luggage conveyor.
Just call it comical karma.

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