Posts Tagged ‘Internet Petition’

Petition Against the UK Supporting or Participating in Torture

March 1, 2017

I got this message today from the human rights organisation, Reprieve, asking if I would like to sign a petition from them calling on Theresa May to stop Britain collaborating with Donald Trump in his support of torture and ‘enhanced interrogation’:

Donald Trump and I share an obsession – torture.

He believes it works. I have spent years working with people who have been tortured and I know that it doesn’t.

He thinks ‘even if it does work, they deserve it anyway’. I think torture is an affront to human decency and can never be justified.

He wants to bring back waterboarding ‘and a hell of a lot worse’. I want to stop torture for good.

Let’s start at home. Trump’s fondness for torture means that we in the UK need to unequivocally reject it. But Britain’s “torture policy” is weak and full of holes.

Will you join me in calling on the British government to close the torture loopholes now?

Stop Torture

Theresa May is telling us that the existing torture policy is good enough – but in reality it leaves us open to repeating the grave mistakes of our recent past.

We can never again allow torture to be ushered in under a different name. The CIA’s ‘enhanced interrogation’ techniques included horrific abuses like waterboarding, keeping prisoners in small boxes, and so-called “rectal rehydration”. Our torture regulations are still all too vulnerable to this sinister sleight of hand.

And we cannot simply allow others to do our dirty work – all the while sticking our fingers in our ears and insisting we can’t hear the screams coming from the interrogation room. Our torture regulations rely heavily on the vague assurances of torturers that our agencies could be all too tempted to accept.

Theresa May can fix this by updating Britain’s torture guidance. Will you support our call on the UK government to unequivocally reject torture?

Stop Torture

Last time, British agencies shamefully followed the US into a dark world of secret prisons and appalling abuses.

This time, we have to say no.

Thanks for being part of it.

Clive Stafford Smith
Founder
Reprieve

I’ve signed the petition as not only does torture not work, it is an affront to humanity, as Mr Smith has said. And all too often it has been inflicted on innocents, who have been subjected to barbarities too horrific to be described, by the extreme right-wing collaborators and agents of American foreign policy.

If you want to sign the petition, you can find it at

https://reprieve.bsd.net/page/s/end-uk-torture?utm_medium=email&utm_source=reprieve&utm_content=1+-+Stop+Torture&utm_campaign=uktorture1a&source=uktorture1a

Hillary Clinton, Laura Kuenssberg and ‘Mobying’

May 11, 2016

Kuenssberg Trollface

Laura Kuenssberg and Trollface: Have her supporters been posting misogynist remarks as her opponents, in order to get them silenced?

Yesterday, Mike over at Vox Political reported that the internet petition to get the BBC to sack their political editor, Laura Kuenssberg, for her egregious Conservative bias, had been taken down. It was removed by the man, who had put it up, who did so out of his strong distaste for misogynist comments put their by trolls. The former politics editor at the Independent also mentioned the sexist comments put up on the petition in an interview published in the Guardian. The comments were supposed to have been put up there by supporters of Jeremy Corbyn. Mike was sceptical about this, pointing out that it’s very easy for opponents of the petition to post disgusting comments on it, and then complain to the internet hosts or the petition organisers about its content.

Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-NY, waves to supporters after speaking at a campaign stop in McAllen, Texas, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2008. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-NY, waves to supporters after speaking at a campaign stop in McAllen, Texas, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2008. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

I share Mike’s scepticism, as this seems to be exactly what Hillary Clinton did in her campaign against her rival for the Democratic nomination, Bernie Saunders. First of all she accused Sanders’ supporters of sexism, because some of them threw money at her in protest of her taking funds from Wall Street. And then about 12 or 25 pro-Bernie Sanders newsgroups and forums were removed from the web in a single evening by the net hosts, because of complaints about disgusting misogynist comments on them. To some, like Kyle Kulinski on Secular Talk, it looked very much like Shrillary and her supporters had been engaging in cyber-sabotage, as the sheer numbers of the groups taken down in such a short space of time makes it highly unlikely that it was an accident.

And Shrillary does have previous in this. She was caught hiring an internet firm, Correct the Record, to go on-line and argue with Sanders’ supporters. Correct the Record is a purely commercial firm, and this was a straightforward business transaction. They were paid to argue with Sanders’ supporters under the guise of Shrillary supporters, despite the fact that they were nothing of the sort, just a company of internet mercenaries carrying out a contract.

According to a website that Is Best Not Mentioned, the tactic of going onto someone else’s political site and posting unpleasant and inflammatory material there in the guise of being that site’s supporters, is known as ‘mobying’. It’s a term from the Conservative part of the Net, used on sites like Little Green Footballs, Red State and Free Republic. The terms supposed to come from the following Moby quote about wrecking George Bush’s chances with his supporters.

No one’s talking about how to keep the other side home on Election Day. It’s a lot easier than you think and it doesn’t cost that much. This election can be won by 200,000 votes. You target (Bush’s) natural constituencies. For example, you can go on all the pro-life chat rooms and say you’re an outraged right-wing voter and that you know that George Bush drove an ex-girlfriend to an abortion clinic and paid for her to get an abortion.

The site Best Not Mentioned seems to believe that it’s a purely Right-wing phenomenon used by various Conservative groups against each other in the Republican party’s own internal feuds. But looking at the highly suspicious behaviour of Shrillary’s paid trolls on the Net, it looks like it could be used by professed American liberals, and Kuenssberg’s defenders over on this side of the Pond too.

The Canary on Lambeth Council Using Psychiatry to Evict Elderly Tenant

March 13, 2016

The Canary has published a piece about how Lambeth council had an elderly resident sectioning an elderly artist, Tony Healy, so they could evict him from his home. This was despite protests from all four parliamentary candidates against moves to remove him. The sectioning was carried out without the knowledge or support of Mr Healy’s own GP.

The Canary writes

An 81-year-old social housing tenant has been forcibly removed from his home in South London, despite public and political opposition. Artist Tony Healy had been fighting against the eviction from his housing co-op, where he has lived for more than 30 years. Until, that is, Lambeth council made an unexpected move: sectioning him under the Mental Health Act.

Lambeth council began eviction proceedings against Healy in 2012. His ‘short-life‘ property is owned by the council, which lets them to tenants for fixed-term periods. However, in 2015 all four Vauxhall parliamentary candidates fought against the eviction of vulnerable tenants from these properties.

Despite this unified political opposition, Healy received another eviction notice dated 5 February 2016. The council then visited him on 2 March to persuade him to move voluntarily. According to Lambeth United Housing Co-op, the council were accompanied by medical health professionals.

On 3 March, Healy received a note saying he would be sectioned. Around 1am on the morning of 4 March he was taken to hospital, reportedly as a result of a second section order. He has also sustained a broken arm and hip for which he is being treated. Neighbours who have visited Healy say “these injuries appeared to have happened accidentally”. Campaigners against Healy’s eviction claim that Lambeth Council officers and bailiffs then tried to seize his house on 4 March, after he was removed. This effort was thwarted by his supporters.

For further information, see http://www.thecanary.co/2016/03/10/council-found-despicable-way-forcibly-remove-elderly-tenants/

The article also has links to a petition against Mr Healy’s eviction. There was also to be a demonstration today on the Housing and Social Care bill, which threatens to exacerbate the shortage of social housing.

This is chilling, because it so closely resembles the political abuse of psychiatry in the former Soviet Union to imprison dissidents in psychiatric wards. It was described by Solzhenitsyn. It’s victims included not just Christians, but also Communists, who genuinely believed that Socialism should represent the poor and ministers and public servants should be accountable to those they govern. It’s another way the politics of the 21st century is becoming more authoritarian as Britain becomes a Thatcherite police state.

Vox Political on Petition Against Cuts to ESA

March 13, 2016

Mike over at Vox Political has posted a piece urging people to sign an internet petition against the government’s decision to cut ESA by 30 per cent. He writes

A petition demanding that the Conservative Government reverse its cruel and unwarranted £30-per-week cut in Employment and Support Allowance has gained nearly two-thirds of the number of signatures needed for a Parliamentary debate – in just three days.

ESA is the main income-replacement benefit for people with long-term illnesses and/or disabilities, and the cut affects people in the Work-Related Activity Group of claimants.

The petition text states: “The House of Lords has been unable to stop a planned £30-a-week cut to disability benefits forced through by Government MPs. This will cripple those in receipt of these benefits, leaving many in literal poverty.

“The government must reverse this decision. Lives are at risk.”

If you wish to sign, go to Mike’s article at:http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2016/03/12/heres-how-you-can-help-the-reverse-esa-cut-petition/

I also include the petition’s internet address here.
https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/124016.
a debate in Parliament. At the time of writing, the total stands at 63,037.

Internet Petition to Save Winterbourne Library, Bristol

February 15, 2016

Here’s another internet petition peeps in Bristol might like to sign. The public library in Winterbourne is being threatened with having its opening days cut to just two a week, or being closed altogether under the government’s austerity programme. If you wish to read more or sign it, go to: https://www.change.org/p/jack-lopresti-mp-save-winterbourne-library?recruiter=75092145&utm_campaign=signature_receipt&utm_medium=email&utm_source=share_petition

I’ve signed it, because I am a user of the library facilities in Bristol. These have suffered some savage cuts over the years, from both New Labour and the Tories. This is disgusting. Even in the age of the E-book and Amazon, libraries provide a vital role entertaining and educating us. Through libraries, hundreds of thousands if not millions of people have access to books they could not possibly afford on their own, or which would otherwise be difficult to acquire or borrow. Literature and reading are fundamentals of civilisation, even if it only starts with children reading The Gruffalo, and adults reading Wilbur Smith and so on.