Latest posts on Christian Aid

Why 'Christian Hate?'? An introduction to the blog

Places Christians shouldn't go A quick tour of Christian Hate?'s case against Christian Aid

Christians and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict Read all my posts on this topic

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Old Tankies never die...

Whilst still in a more than usually curmudgeonly phase:-

I like to feel that this site takes a balanced view, so please allow me to present someone who is incidentally Jewish (I think my assumption is a fair one) making a complete twat of himself.

88-year-old Hyman Frankel proudly records that he joined the Young Communist League in 1936 and only left the CPGB when it folded up around him in 1991.

Says Mr Frankel:-

'Yes, we made a terrible mistake over Stalin, and we have paid for it.'

Paid for it, comrade? Funny, I thought that was some other fellows. Several million of them, in fact.

Random news items

Grumpy gets to grips with the world again following a bout of flu. So, full-strength grumpiness...

1. Absolutely no comment.

2. That'll teach'em.

3. Who's protesting (apart from the indomitable Peter Tatchell)?

4. Yes, these parents are plainly bonkers. But there are worse things for parents to be than bonkers, and I tend to feel that a five-year-old who gets taken up Scafell Pike probably has brighter prospects in life than one who never gets to walk further than the distance between the front door and the SUV.

Friday, March 09, 2007

The award for...

...Most Revolting Simile of the Year goes to Gerard Baker of the Times:

'Watching them embrace Mr Giuliani is like watching survivors from a shipwreck clinging to a giant turd in the water. It’s no one’s first choice of support from the briny waves but if you hold your nose it’s still better than any of the alternatives.'

But why would there be a giant turd in the water? Do whales produce giant turds? Do they float? Tell me more, Mr Baker.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Wall balls auf Deutsch

It's bad enough when a C of E bishop likens the Israeli security barrier to the Berlin Wall, but at least you can put it down to ignorance. That becomes harder when the parallel is drawn by a group of German bishops, one of them a cardinal. And when their appetite for dodgy historical analogies proves so insatiable that they can't even resist the 'Israelis are Nazis' one, things start to look very worrying indeed.

Read more here and here (the latter with some comments from yours truly, including an evaluation of the Pope's address at Auschwitz last year).

Thank goodness, the Nazi analogy has been pointedly repudiated by Cardinal Lehmann, Chairman of the German Bishops' Conference (in German here).

Cardinal Meisner used to be Bishop of the divided city of Berlin, so he knows perfectly well that the Berlin Wall was never meant to defend anyone or anything other than the communist elite and their bankrupt system. So the force of his analogy is clearly to imply that the Israeli barrier is equally irrelevant to genuine security considerations. Even Baroness Tonge knows better than that - it keeps terrorists out, 'forcing' them to go and do their stuff in Iraq instead.

There's been one suicide bombing in Israel so far this year, claiming three lives in Eilat (it would have been many more but for the presence of mind of the motorist who unwittingly gave the bomber a lift). Eilat is on the border with Jordan. There is no barrier between Israel and Jordan.

If building a wall were a practicable way of preventing things like this from happening, could Cardinal Meisner or anyone else seriously doubt that it would be morally justified?

CPT update

Meaning Christian Peacemaker Teams. Remember them? How could you forget?

Are they still in Iraq? Indeed they are!

'The deteriorating security situation in Baghdad seriously affected CPT's presence. In November 2005, four CPT personnel were taken hostage, resulting in the murder of CPTer Tom Fox and the rescue of the remaining three in March 2006. Following an evaluation phase, CPT relocated its violence reduction work to the Kurdish north of Iraq in late 2006, based in Suleimaniya.'

To resort to Oscar's well-worn but indispensable gag, you'd have to have a heart of stone not to laugh. 'We are peacemakers, our mission is to promote alternatives to violence, we'll go anywhere so long as it's not too, like, violent.'

Please don't think I'm calling them chicken from the safety of my cosy Berlin living-room, though. They're very much in business on the West Bank, and you can read (see 6 November 2006 entry) about their encounter with a (female) Jewish settler who shouted abuse and then, I regret to say, kicked one of them. Truly, it is hard to come to terms with the realization that there is so much hatred and violence in this world.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

With eyes wide open

'Now is the time for Western intellectuals who claim to be antiracists and committed to human rights to stand with these [Muslim] dissidents. To do so requires that we adopt a universal standard of human rights and abandon our loyalty to multicultural relativism, which justifies, even romanticises, indigenous Islamist barbarism, totalitarian terrorism and the persecution of women, religious minorities, homosexuals and intellectuals. Our abject refusal to judge between civilisation and barbarism, and between enlightened rationalism and theocratic fundamentalism, endangers and condemns the victims of Islamic tyranny.'

- Phyllis Chesler writes in the Times, recalling the experience of two years as a bride in Afghanistan. Read it all.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Today I'm more than ever convinced that the secret of happiness in this life is never to believe anything health researchers tell you. 'Coffee "no boost in the morning"' my posterior. I'm giving the demon brew up for Lent, I am. I'm sorry, which mug do you mean? Oh, that one. The one just behind my mouse mat. No, I've no idea what it's doing there.

Frau Grumpy, on the other hand, can't stand the stuff. Which is just as well - or would be if she was a rat. Though how she would get hold of it if she was a rat is more than I can get my brain round just now. Is there any more in the pot?

Monday, March 05, 2007

There's stupid and then there's...

... West Sussex County Council, who are looking to recruit a pair of Racist Incidents Co-ordinators 'to lead the West Sussex Racist Incidents Team into its next exciting phase'. For anyone unclear as to the nature of the work involved, clarification is on hand:-

'You will be responsible for co-ordinating racist incidents across West Sussex'

What could be more jolly?

I'm indebted for this gem to Scott of the Ablution, who helpfully offers a picture of some suitable applicants. This gives me the opportunity to congratulate Scott on a well-deserved first appearance in the Times today. May there be many more - I'm a little worried by the amount of time he seems to spend scanning the Society Guardian job ads, and I really do think he would be wasted on West Sussex County Council.