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  • 12th December, 2007

    Why we must continue writing for freedom

    by Zohra at 9:47 am    

    There are a number of women in the world today who are risking their lives to reveal the violence against women that exists within their communities.

    It is a tragic irony that in writing about violence against women, they themselves become the targets of violence.

    Continue Reading...
    Filed under: Religion,Sex equality
    11th December, 2007

    How to spy on all your friends online

    by Leon at 11:19 pm    

    In a slight digression from the usual current affairs and political debate I thought I’d share this latest find with you. Seeing as us Picklers are on the cutting edge of digital social innovations (stop laughing at the back) I figure this would be of interest.

    Allow me to introduce Spokeo, it’s simply a news feed (think Facebook’s mini feed of what app your mates have added or events they’re attending etc) of all the things you’re friends are doing publicly online…

    Continue Reading...

    Sayeeda Warsi’s speech on race relations

    by Sunny at 4:52 pm    

    Conservative Party peer Sayeeda Warsi will make a speech today at the Guardian race equality conference in London today. Have a read and let us know what you think.

    Continue Reading...
    10th December, 2007

    One cheer for Gordon Brown

    by Rumbold at 7:55 pm    

    Now that the dust has settled, and Gordon Brown’s boycott of the EU-Africa summit has finished, it is time to ask the question: did this gesture achieve anything?

    Continue Reading...
    Filed under: Current affairs,EDL

    Politics and blogs

    by Sunny at 5:54 pm    

    In an article for the Media Guardian today, Spectator magazine editor Matthew D’ancona gives us a plug:

    In Britain, the position is reversed. There are a handful of left-of-centre blogs worth reading, notably the e-despatches of Tom Watson MP, Sunny Hundal’s Pickled Politics and the (officially independent) OpenDemocracy. But the British left has not blossomed online.

    In contrast, the right-of-centre British blogosphere is thriving. No political journalist or politician worth his or her salt fails to pay at least one visit a day to Tim Montgomerie’s ConservativeHome, Iain Dale’s Diary, Guido Fawkes, the Daily Mail’s Ben Brogan or - if I may be allowed to say it - the Spectator’s ground-breaking Coffee House team blog.

    But the question is, do we really want to be on a list alongside Guido Fawkes? There’s no accounting for quality these days eh?

    Filed under: Blog,Media

    Will Labour fail in extending 28 days?

    by Sunny at 12:53 pm    

    Jacqui Smith’s campaign may yet hit some hurdles if this works:

    The former health secretary Frank Dobson is rallying opposition among Labour MPs for a full-scale revolt against Gordon Brown’s proposal to allow suspected terrorists to be detained without charge for up to 42 days. [hat tip: Leon]

    Frank Dobson is leading 49 Labour MPs in revolt; can anyone get us their names? There are still people in the party with a conscience, at least. Even the head of MI5, Jonathan Evans, doesn’t see the need to extend past 28 days. The home secretary can’t get anyone to support her plans and yet she soldiers on. Why is this Labour government hell-bent on generating ill-will with its supporters? Friday’s Indy was spot-on when it called this an “unhealthy obsession with counting the days“.

    The Facebook group we launched on Friday has grown to over 1,300 1,400 1,500 2,000 since the weekend. Use that or this blog to throw out ideas, links or other ways to contribute to this campaign. And if you haven’t already, please sign the Amnesty International petition on the Downing st website and spread the word. Blogger Liam has made some blog buttons which you can see / use from here. If you have more ideas for buttons or raising awareness of this campaign, get in touch or leave a message underneath.

    The campaign homepage for this is on Liberal Conspiracy.

    Filed under: Civil liberties
    8th December, 2007

    The Open Thread

    by Clairwil at 4:58 pm    

    Hello again,
    I can’t believe it’s been a week since the last one. This living in near permanent darkness does throw me off balance something awful. Add torrential rain into the mix with a ton of cold germs and I barely know my own name. Still I’m off to Amsterdam for a few days in a couple of weeks which stops me getting too down.

    How are my fellow picklers coping with the winter blues or are you all too chirpy to plumb such depths?

    Usual stuff below, preferably funny.


    Filed under: Blog
    7th December, 2007


    by Rumbold at 1:01 pm    

    K Singh alerted us to the news that, with elections in Gujarat approaching, the Chief Minister, Narenda Modi, is in trouble. Modi has been implicated in the 2002 massacre of Muslims in Gujarat, yet still retains his post and much of his popularity. This is not the first time that he has been in trouble during these elections either:

    Continue Reading...

    Shocking news: David Abrahams is Jewish!

    by Leon at 12:15 pm    

    It’s incredible that the media coverage of the dealings of David Abrahams has any ethnic angle at all. To be clear, it never occurred to me that he was Jewish and even if it had it wouldn’t have mattered; if someone is a corrupt s.o.b they’re a corrupt s.o.b in my eyes no matter the religion, skin pigment or racial ID.

    Continue Reading...
    6th December, 2007

    Gissa cuddle please!

    by Sunny at 5:12 pm    

    The hugging Amma is in town. BBC Online has this amusing piece on how many devoted followers she has, all of who come just to get a hug.

    So, sexual fantasies aside (try it dammit), who would you like to hug?

    Filed under: Humour

    Campaign against extending detention

    by Sunny at 3:54 pm    

    To raise awareness of government plans to extend the 28-day period police can hold someone without charging them, we’re starting with Facebook. For this I’ve teamed up with Amnesty International, City Circle and the great guys from OurKingdom blog.

    Today the government announced that it has dropped plans for extension to 56/58 days, but still wants 42 days. It’s unacceptable! Join our Facebook group or blog about this on your own site!

    We’ve managed over 200 people since yesterday and Amnesty Int will also be promoting this campaign to their own mailing lists. More on all this soon. Support the campaign!

    Filed under: Civil liberties
    5th December, 2007

    UK bans non-EU ‘unskilled’ workers

    by Rumbold at 3:59 pm    

    Home Secretary Jacqui Smith plans to reduce immigration levels by heavily restricting what she terms ‘unskilled’ workers.

    “Unskilled workers from non-EU countries will be banned from taking jobs in the UK for the “foreseeable future”, the government has announced. Spouses who apply for entry to the UK may also have to sit English language assessments under new proposals.It comes ahead of the launch of an Australian-style points-based immigration system in April next year.”

    Continue Reading...

    No need to extend 28 days

    by Sunny at 12:20 pm    

    The Guardian is reporting today that the home affairs select committee is broadly not in favour of extending pre-charge detention past 28 days either!

    “It’s not going to be supportive of the suggestion of an extension of 28 days,” a source close to the confidential report told Guardian Unlimited. “The general gist is that there is no evidence suggesting we can go beyond 28 days.”

    The Financial Times broke the story. I have I’ll have more updates on this campaign in a day or two. This is great news!

    Filed under: Civil liberties

    Yvonne Ridley and Islam Channel

    by Sunny at 5:37 am    

    According to this week’s Eastern Eye newspaper, Yvonne Ridley is planning to sue the Islam Channel for unfair dismissal. On grounds of her sex and her religion, apparently. I must be missing something here; she’s suing a Muslim channel for discriminating against her on the basis of being Muslim? That. Is. Hilarious.
    I wonder if this had a part to play:

    The Islam Channel has been fined £30,000 by media regulator Ofcom, it announced today, for “serious breaches” of the Brodcasting Code applicable to all television stations.

    The first was former Sunday Express journalist and Muslim convert Yvonne Ridley, a presenter of the current affairs show ‘The Agenda’, who stood as a Respect Party candidate in local elections last year. Shortly after Ofcom began its investigations she was taken off air.

    4th December, 2007

    Are ‘Muslims the new blacks’?

    by Sunny at 4:09 pm    

    Monday’s Media Guardian supplement carried a small piece by me that you can read if you wish. But for reasons of space, they cut my already short piece down further, which made it difficult to see what I was getting at (I think anyway). So I thought I’d publish the whole thing here…

    Continue Reading...

    Every religion has a few

    by Rumbold at 11:53 am    

    A leading Indian businessman could end up in court in India after being charged with insulting Sikhs:

    “Anil Ambani was charged by the police in northern Uttar Pradesh state with “insulting a religion or faith”. Mr Ambani’s Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group is among India’s top three private business houses with interests in communications, financial services, electricity, infrastructure and entertainment.”

    Continue Reading...
    3rd December, 2007

    MCB attending Holocaust day

    by Leon at 11:10 am    

    Common sense has prevailed it seems within the MCB:

    The Muslim Council of Britain will attend next year’s Holocaust Memorial Day after ending its controversial boycott of the event.

    The MCB’s working committee voted by 18 to 8 this weekend to end its six year boycott of the commemoration, the Guardian reports.

    Supporters of the day claimed that the previously held stance was causing accusations of anti-semitism. [Via Totally Jewish]

    Too little too late or should the MCB receive kudos for this latest move?

    2nd December, 2007

    Sri Lankan suicide bomber caught on video

    by Sunny at 11:54 pm    

    An attack by the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) to kill Sri Lankan cabinet minister Douglas Devananda on wednesday last week was caught on CCTV camera there and then released to the media. If you so wish, you can watch it on YouTube. Complete madness.
    [hat tip: James, in the comments]

    Vincemania, and the reality?

    by Rumbold at 8:07 pm    

    Vincent ‘Vince’ Cable’s performance as acting leader of the Lib Dems has impressed many observers, as Aaron Heath chronicles. His quip about Gordon Brown morphing from Stalin to Mr. Bean was merely the icing on the cake. The seemingly lacklustre leadership campaigns of Nick Clegg and Chris Huhne have led to speculation that some Lib Dem activists will try and ‘Draft Vince’. Even Melanie Phillips is supporting him for the leadership.

    Continue Reading...
    1st December, 2007

    It’s The Open Thread Again…..

    by Clairwil at 3:44 pm    

    Hello All,
    Another quiet weekend for me. The downside of living in the city centre at this time of year than it is taken over by shopping maniacs. What I suffered trying to buy a packet of snack a jacks today defies both belief and description. I wouldn’t be surprised if I wake up on Sunday with at least one bruise the size of a small dog.

    If it wasn’t for the hardest working man in retail, Mr Choudry of the High Street branch of Shop Smart I’d be living on bits of cardboard by now. His shop seems to be the only place unaffected by the annual wave of consumer madness.

    This weeks video is topical in so far as it features a bear causing mayhem. Happily the bear who to the best of my knowledge does not have a name doesn’t land anyone in the clink and is a rather funny bear as these things go.

    As usual lets have your plans, jokes and lighthearted stuff below.

    Filed under: Blog
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