The UK, 2009 Rundown: A Year of Fire and Ice

What is the future of the Western democracy? A look at Britain over the last 12 months seems to provide some clues. In one way or another Islamism was a constant theme, though party politics were volatile by almost any standards. Having long ignored the will of the people in every area – from law and order to immigration – and demonizing those brave enough to raise uncomfortable, but important issues, the political class began to feel the heat of the nation’s boiling anger. Pressure from the top had kept a lid on things, but in 2009 politics began to spill onto the streets, with “anti-Islamization” protests emerging up and down the country. The response was to give more money to tackling the “far-Right.” However, most of the protestors appear to have been ordinary citizens.

Anti-Israel protests have been held over the last few years, though these exploded across Britain in January. In September a London march in support of terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah attracted a few thousand, though it did not attract any condemnation from the political class or mainstream media. But, then, double standards and contradiction was a theme in itself in 2009. David Miliband condemned Geert Wilders’ film Fitna as “hate-filled,” but he had not seen it. The Chancellor of the Exchequer – responsible for the nation’s taxes – claimed for assistance with his tax return. Sir John Chilcot said the legality of the Iraq war would be central to his investigation, though the investigating committee would have no legal expert. And so on, and so on.

Truth itself seems a casualty of modern Britain. Instead an ideology, a zeitgeist, is apparent, with politicians and the cultural “elite” seeming merely to repackage, in more sober language, the prejudices of a fascistic-Left: Take, for example, the support for Hamas by socialist street protestors, and the interview of Hamas’ leader in the New Statesman; or George Galloway’s call for protestors to “shut down Israel shops” and the Department of Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs new labeling guidelines for Israeli products that would make them easier to boycott, and the open political propaganda that accompanied its labeling advice.

Below we have listed some of the most important events of the year, with particular attention paid to Islamism (and the backlash against it) and to party politics. Although I have listed events by month, some, such as protests, naturally reemerge at different time.

January:

Mass “pro-Palestinian” protests are organized in several British cities, including London ostensibly in response to Israel’s assault on Hamas. The protests are organized by the far-Left Socialist Workers Party in conjunction with various Islamic organizations. Many of these descend into chaos, with protestors amassing outside the Israeli embassy (held back by police), at least two Starbucks cafes being vandalized and ransacked. Several Jews are also attacked by Muslim youths during the same period. Speakers at one Hyde Park rally includes Labour MP Martin Linton, far-Left Respect MP George Galloway, pop singer Annie Lennox, and terrorism apologist Azzam Tamimi.

A ten-minute-long video showing riot police running from a mob of “pro-Palestinian” protestors circulates the net, appearing briefly on the Daily Mail’s website. Protestors shout “Allah Akbar,” “free, free Palestine,” and “run you poofs,” “run you cowards,” “run you swine,” and “kafir” as they chase the police. The police appear to have no control over the situation.

The Labour Friends of Palestine is inaugurated. The main speaker at the event was due to be Cherie Blair, wife of former prime minister Tony Blair, but she is unavailable to attend. Labour MP Martin Linton is the organization’s chairman.

The Conservative Party’s Conservative Muslim Forum issues as statement on the Israel-Hamas conflict. The statement says that, “Israel’s actions are extreme, totally disproportionate and inhuman;” “The Israeli government has blocked the international media from entering Gaza; we feel this is because they have something to hide;” and that the CFM “is deeply concerned that Israel’s action […] may provoke people to take extreme actions [in Britain] whose [sic] repercussions can last for years.”

February:

Dutch MP Geert Wilders is due to visit Britain. He has been invited by United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) peer Lord Pearson of Rannoch and cross-bencher Baroness Cox to show his controversial movie Fitna in a private screening in the House of Lords. (The movie, approximately 17 minutes long, is composed of documentary footage of hate preachers, various terrorist attacks, including 9/11, and spoken extracts from the Koran. No actors are used.) Learning of this, Lord Ahmed threatens to amass 10,000 Muslims outside the House of Lords if Wilders is allowed inside, and writes a letter of complaint to the Home Office. The Home Office decides to ban Wilders from entering Britain, claiming that he is a threat to public security. The ban is publicly supported by Foreign Secretary David Miliband, who says that there are limits to free speech, and who describes Fitna as “hate-filled,” although he admits not having seen it.

Geert Wilders is expelled from Britain after landing at Heathrow airport. Melanie Phillips remarks that, “[i]f anyone had doubted the extent to which Britain has capitulated to Islamic terror, the banning of Geert Wilders[…] should surely open their eyes.” Wilders calls the British government “the biggest bunch of cowards in Europe.”

The CIA informs president Obama that Pakistani-born extremists in the UK pose the most significant terrorist threat to the… read more.

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