Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Savage Barred From The UK.

Britain has named 16 individuals who would not be admitted entry to her shores. It's the usual mixture of Islamist preachers and white supremacists, but nestling amongst the names of persons Britain wants nowhere near her borders, is right wing radio shock jock, Michael Savage.

Most of those on the list are foreign Muslim preachers whom the Home Office believes would incite hatred or glorify terrorism if they were allowed in. But the list also includes a number of white supremacists, homophobic preachers and an anti-Arab Jewish militant. Two Slav supremacists on the list have been incarcerated in a Russian jail since October 2007.

American shock jock Michael Savage (real name Michael Weiner) typically spends his three-hour show railing against liberals, homosexuals, Muslims, and illegal immigrants. The author of several best-selling books, he defines his politics as being to the right of the Republican Party, but "to the left of God". News of his inclusion on the Home Office blacklist sparked outrage among listeners and fellow radio hosts, who bombarded the airwaves calling for an organised boycott of Britain because of its "Marxist" attitude towards free speech.

It also prompted Mr Savage to announce that he intended to sue the Home Secretary for defamation. "Darn! And I was just planning a trip to England for their superior dental work and cuisine," he told the right-leaning news website WorldNetDaily yesterday. "Then it sank in ... She's linking me with mass murderers who are in prison for killing Jewish children on buses? For my speech? The country where the Magna Carta was created?"

Noting that UK boasts draconian libel laws in comparison to the US, he said: [I want to sue her] for linking me up with murderers because of my opinions, my writings, my speaking – none of which has advocated any violence, ever." Mr Savage added that he hadn't visited Britain for 20 years, and had no plans to do so. Neither had he recently applied to visit, suggesting that Ms Smith's hypothetical list was published as part of a PR offensive rather than to address any pressing threat.

The government says that Savage is being excluded as someone who promotes hatred, and Savage certainly does that. He recently wondered if the flu epidemic was a "terrorist attack" from Mexico and has accused children of faking autism:
You know what autism is? I'll tell you what autism is. In 99 percent of the cases, it's a brat who hasn't been told to cut the act out. That's what autism is.
Savage can sue all that he likes but I think he'll find that Britain still has the right to say who can and cannot enter her borders.

The U.K.'s law and order chief, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, said she decided to publish the names of 16 of 22 people who have been banned by the government since October so others could better understand what sort of behavior Britain was not prepared to tolerate.

She cited unidentified "public interest" reasons for not disclosing the other six names.

"I think it's important that people understand the sorts of values and sorts of standards that we have here, the fact that it's a privilege to come and the sort of things that mean you won't be welcome in this country," Smith told GMTV.

And the company Savage finds himself in should be sobering. He's linked with people who picket the funerals of soldiers, claiming that their deaths are punishment from God for tolerating homosexuality.

In other words he's been lumped in with the Grade A nutters which we simply do not want anywhere near us.

And Savage can claim that his free speech is being curtailed, just as Shirley Phelps-Roper can claim she is only exercising "free speech" when she pickets families as they try to bury a loved one lost in war, but there are certain ways in which people use free speech where it can also be seen as promoting hatred. Referring to the Quran as "a book of hatred" certainly means that you are likely to cause public disquiet in any country with a sizable Muslim population.

Rather than bemoaning what he perceives as an attack on his free speech, Savage would do better to reflect on the company of utter nutbags he now finds himself lumped beside.

For the truth is that I have no "right" to enter the United States, that is something which the US government either grants me permission to do or it does not. On criteria that it alone decides. In this instance, were I in charge of who can or cannot enter Britain, I would have had Savage's ban issued on video by an autistic child. And, rather than banning him for inciting hatred, I would ban him for being too stupid and cite our fears that his stupidity might somehow be catching, like swine flu.

Click title for full article.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ahh Kel,

You shoud be an Amerikan journalist since you know how to slant and cherrypick! There is no way around it, she stepped in it big time!

Yes, I agree with you that the UK can prevent entry of anyone. Here is where your logic falls apart.

Let's take the analogy that the world is a neighborhood (since y'all are so darn insistent on globalizing!!). In that neighborhood, there are houses that are analogous to individual countries.

Each house owner (govt) has the right to open the door for anyone they want or to say get lost. However, the house owner does not have the right to get a megaphone (or right a letter to the editor of the community newspaper) and defame someone and make up lies about someone. That is where she went wrong. Checkmate!

The proper way would be to have him find out when he arrives at Heathrow and tell him to go back home. If he wants to get on the megaphone and announce why he is banned, that is up to him. But she has no right to spew venomous lies about him and make impications about him by those she associated him with.

Remember, she is talking about someone who conservatives (50% of this country) identify with. Will she ban all of us too? That'll be wonderful for tourism, eh?

I hope you can see the error of your post. Sometimes, I have found that admitting the error of my ways is sooooo cathartic. It's easier than keeping up the charade.

Kel said...

I see you've posted on another thread as well, so if you don't mind, I will stick to replying on this one.

Her reasoning was simple: she described Savage as "someone who has fallen into the category of fomenting hatred, of such extreme views and expressing them in such a way that it is actually likely to cause inter-community tension or even violence if that person were allowed into the country."

And your analogy is wrong. Savage is the one with the magaphone doing the shouting that the Quran is a book of hate and would be extremely unwelcome in this country at this time.

And he thinks he's going to sue the British government for defamation of character in a British court? Not a chance. No British jury would get past his comment on autistic children being brats who are feigning it before agreeing that he is an undesirable.

And no, the other 50% of your country who are Republicans - by the way didn't recent polls put that figure at a lowly 24%? - are still welcome, provided you aren't going on the airwaves of the US and spouting hatred.

Anonymous said...

And your analogy is wrong. Savage is the one with the magaphone doing the shouting No, he is defending himself (with a megaphone. And yes, my analogy is correct. Sorry.

that the Quran is a book of hate And you beg to differ:

http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/

the other 50% of your country who are Republicans Either you are assuming or misrepresenting.... I explicity avoided the word Republicans and used the word conservatives. In our country, sadly, there is a difference.

Kel said...

Oh, and by the way, didn't you say on the other thread that you only support what he says about 1% of the time? If the Republicans want to unite behind people who are so extreme that you can only support them about 1% of the time then I think you might have inadvertently stumbled on to why your party is currently unelectable.

Sensible political parties shy away from extremism, they do not embrace it as a cause.

Kel said...

I explicity avoided the word Republicans and used the word conservatives. In our country, sadly, there is a difference.How do you know that 50% of your country are conservatives? How do you arrive at figure?

Anonymous said...

[from the other thread]"True, I do not agree with 1% of the things he speaks about, but his message rings true with conservative Americans."Oh, and by the way, didn't you say on the other thread that you only support what he says about 1% of the time? See the quote above from the other thread. I disagree with about 1% (hence when he says something stupid like the Autism).

The 50%? Well, where I live, the number is much higher, maybe 75% (and I live in a rather "liberal" county in South Carolina...other parts are 95% conservative..some counties sadly are more liberal).

I originally came from NYC where 95% are liberals. Why do I say 50%? Is it 50%, then, or maybe 45%, or maybe is it 55%. Is it about half, yes.

The one thing for certain is that the way the Demon-cats (Pelosi, Reid, and Nobama) are pushing hard, it is going to wake more and more people up!

Kel said...

Ah, so you pulled that figure from thin air. I thought that might be why you said Conservatives as opposed to Republicans, as the latter can be measured.

And the figure is at an all time low.

Anonymous said...

I would not rely too heavily on your polls. Especially when you own the media. heck, they'll tell you anything you want to hear. That doesn't make it so.

For example, a doctor has a patient who has terminal cancer and really will not last more than a month. If the patient is insistent that the doctor says he has at least six months left, does that make it so. Kel, wouldn't you rather know the truth (prognosis or poll)?

And let's chat about the makeup of the country. It is really more complicated than left-right (and you are smart enough to know that, but let's just simplify it and say it is left-right).

Why is it that conservative talk radio is wildly successful but liberal talk radio flops everytime? If we did not represent a large chunck of the community, how could it be so successful? And if the liberals, according to your polls, are the majority, how can liberal talk radio fail? (And please don't mention NPR which is propped up by govt subsidy and would fail in the free market like Air Amerika).

I suspect your numbers may be wrong.

BTW, do they allow talk radio in the EU? I bet conservatives there would push it through the roof if they did!


And the figure is at an all time low.
And there you are correct. Us cold-hearted fear-mongering morons are leaving the Republican party in droves.

Kel said...

I would not rely too heavily on your polls. Especially when you own the media. Ah, so you are believer in the Librul Media!

heck, they'll tell you anything you want to hear. That doesn't make it so.So you would rather we measure this through hearsay than through polls? That sounds like solid ground.

Why is it that conservative talk radio is wildly successful but liberal talk radio flops everytime?Because Conservative talk radio is based on hate and hate is much more entertaining than people talking common sense. Hence the figures for Limbaugh and the like. And you are making a huge assumption that all of the readers agree with what is being said.

I listen to the right wing shock jock Nick Ferrari over here, but only because he angers me. That still provides me with great entertainment.

And if the liberals, according to your polls, are the majority, how can liberal talk radio fail?I think the election of Obama and the fact that the Democrats have sixty seats is a much better indication than Liberal talk radio wouldn't you say?

So you don't want to measure polls or the fact that the Democrats have just had their second massive win driving the Republicans out of power in both houses but you prefer to measure things by talking about talk radio!?! I suppose you take comfort wherever you can.

Us cold-hearted fear-mongering morons are leaving the Republican party in droves.As a matter of interest, to go where? And will you return to them before the next election? And did you vote for them at the last one?

Anonymous said...

And will you return to them before the next election? And did you vote for them at the last one?Noand
NoAll of my conservative friends:
Probablyand
YesI struggled with weeks of e-mails explaining that the lesser of two evils is still evil, but to no avail.

I think the election of Obama and the fact that the Democrats have sixty seats is a much better indication than Liberal talk radio wouldn't you say?Nooo, I think that was due to voter fraud and voter stupidity. Did you see the video interview of Obama voters demostrating their political knoweldge?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mm1KOBMg1Y8

If it were not so grave a situation, it would be comical.

Kel said...

So who do you vote for?

And every candidate has stupid voters but Obama attracted even Republicans like Scott McClellan, Colin Powell and many others. In fact, I remember writing on here about the record number of Republican newspapers who were siding with a Democrat for the first time in decades.

And claims of voter fraud are simply pathetic, especially as the Republicans were the party in power.

He won with by a 6.1% margin. That's not close enough to be fraud. That's decisive, especially under the American system.

Anonymous said...

I voted for Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution Party. I voted securely in the knowledge that my vote was not wasted. I believe the Framers had it right and we have strayed soooo far.

And claims of voter fraud are simply pathetic, especially as the Republicans were the party in power. Democrats are funny. They engage in voter fraud, butyet on the morning of elections, as early as 7:30, you already hear them cyring foul about "irregularities. They call others racist, but yet they are the racists, the elitists. That is their MO: accuse vehemently the other side of exactly what you are doing. And repeat it ad nauseum. It is Goebbels 101.

In fact, I remember writing on here about the record number of Republican newspapers who were siding with a Democrat for the first time in decadesI am sorry to burst your bubble, Kel, but just because you or any other writer, myself included, says something, doe not make it true.

EVERYTHING I tell you and others, I always give with the caveat, "You are a fool if you believe me (or anyone else) without analyzing for yourself the merits of the argument I (or others) put forth."

nunya said...

I tried to listen to Machael Savage one time. He rattled on and on for ten minutes about how his cleaning lady washed his sheets with scented laundry soap.

We works 3 fucking hours a day, why doesn't he wash his own sheets if it is so important?

My opinion of him?

He's a major league asshole.

Kel said...

Democrats are funny. They engage in voter fraud, butyet on the morning of elections, as early as 7:30, you already hear them cyring foul about "irregularities. They call others racist, but yet they are the racists, the elitists. That is their MO: accuse vehemently the other side of exactly what you are doing. And repeat it ad nauseum. It is Goebbels 101.That's hysterical nonsense. The Republicans were the party in power and were the party running the country and the election. You claim voter fraud and yet offer not one single example of where this "fraud" took place.

Every single opinion poll - and I know how you hate polls - predicted the result that occurred.

In fact, in the last 250 polls before election day, not a single one of them predicted that McCain would win. Not even Fox News thought McCain would do it.

Nunya, major league asshole is a very good description of Savage.

Anonymous said...

The Republicans were the party in power and were the party running the country and the election.First, they were only in power in the executive. Second, the ones who control the elections are the bloated state bureacracies. They are INVARIABLY stocked with liberals. That's why I think liberals will win in the end. Real conservatives despise power and thus shun government positions while liberals (and fake conservatives) love power and gravittate to these positions in government.

In the end, as far as voter fraud goes, the real conservatives (those who abhor power) do what is right, and the power hungry liberals and fake conservatives do what it takes (to get the job done...amass more power).

That is why, sadly, I think conservatism is doomed.

And nunya, maybe his cleaning lady needs to wash your mouth out. Can you have a polite discourse like Kel even if you disagree with me?

Kel, he represents real hate.

Kel said...

I love how you've invented this new type of Conservative, "the real conservatives" and attributed to them all this honour and down to Earth goodness. This way you can distance yourself from the Republicans whilst still admiring 99% of the things that Michael Savage says.

If you admire 99% of the things Michael Savage says, then I wonder if you include any of these as things with which you would concur: (1) To a caller who annoyed him: "Get Aids", (2) Of Mexican immigrants ""I would say, let them fast until they starve to death; then that solves the problem" (3) That Muslims "need deportation" (4) That the Quran is a "book of hate".

Because if you agree with any of those then I would have to conclude that this "new conservatism" doesn't differ greatly from nasty Republicanism.

And I appreciate that you state that I engage in polite discourse with you, but you almost immediately follow that compliment with this: Kel, he represents real hate.Am I misreading something here? You agree with 99% of the bile that comes out of Savage's mouth and I represent "real hate"? That's beyond belief. And coming hot on the heels of a compliment about keeping things polite it strikes me as bizarre. Perhaps I have misread it.

Anonymous said...

And coming hot on the heels of a compliment about keeping things polite it strikes me as bizarre. Perhaps I have misread it.I was referring to Nunya's comment:

And nunya, maybe his cleaning lady needs to wash your mouth out. Can you have a polite discourse like Kel even if you disagree with me?

Kel, he
[NUNYA] represents real hate.See, it was directed at you to point out Nunya's problem with hate.



I wonder if you... would concur: (1) To a caller who annoyed him: "Get Aids", another one of his foot in the mouth "autism-like" comments,(2) Of Mexican immigrants ""I would say, let them fast until they starve to death; then that solves the problem"
taken out of context...[of Mexican immigrants]that were staging a bogus incendiary rally. but yes, I agree. You really needed to hear the whole segment and understand the events that were going outside his door.(3) That Muslims "need deportation"
he says this so many times, but what he is referring to is Radical Muslims... AND YES. Perhaps, the UK should try it...ouch that hurt a little. Let me rephrase that, the UK should "revisit" its immigration policy.(4) That the Quran is a "book of hate". from the passages I have read, YES. But they may have been cherrypicked for me. But, then where do they get all this violence from? If not the Quran.Has he said stupid things, yeah. So have I. Am I to assume that you have never had a moment where, as the words were departing your tongue, alarm bells were ringing and red lights were flashing in your head, but yet were unable to stop the last few syllables? If not, you are amazing. The difference is that, unlike us, he has a microphone and Media Matters scours his every word looking for some way to twist it out of proportion.

I love how you've invented this new type of Conservative, "the real conservatives" and attributed to them all this honour and down to Earth goodnessHonestly, I cannot associate with the Republican party. They do not represent me. So I am a man without a major party. I am not a Republican, not a Demoncat, so what am I? Does the lack of representation by either side of the same coin make me not truly conservative?

If you go to the Constitution Party hompage

http://www.constitutionparty.com/

and read their platforms that is me.

Kel said...

Thanks for clearing up the hate comment.

Am I to assume that you have never had a moment where, as the words were departing your tongue, alarm bells were ringing and red lights were flashing in your head, but yet were unable to stop the last few syllables?No, we've all done that but Savage appears to be making a career out of doing it.

Honestly, I cannot associate with the Republican party. They do not represent me. So I am a man without a major party.I find that really interesting. The Republicans do appear to be losing a remarkable amount of supporters at the moment. What was it that finally made you walk away?

Anonymous said...

What was it that finally made you walk away?
Kel, I would have to say it was a number of things. As we grow our views change. Like I said, I started out as a bleeding hearet liberal and was protecting Clinton's name against my Southern classmates until he finished in office. Then kids came. I don't know if yopu have kids or not, but once I did, your whole viewpoint on life changes (or at least it should). The world was no longer about me. Then your eyes start to open.

Then a professor required my class to read Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. Another eye-opener. I developed critical thinking skills. I opened a business. The way the real world works comes into focus. I started questioning long-held beliefs because they no longer made sense with what I was beginning to understand.

I started to find my views aligned with the Republican party in 2002. Well, like any sheep, I followed blindly. I shut out the things they were doing that didn't reconcile with my internal views. For example, the Bush spending spree. But I still went along. Heck, I remember saying that "I had nothing to hide" when the Bush wiretapping scandal broke. And, I didn't, until I started questioning the behavior of the government. That's when I realized that I did "have something to hide"....my belief that limited government was right.

I think what did it for me was the early Republican Presidential debates when I noticed that "cooky" Ron Paul being excluded and mocked. Sure, the man said some strange things during a "Republican" debate (like pull out of Iraq), but internally I did not think it gentlemanly for Giuliani to mock him. And I did like the rest of his message about limited government. And I was wondering why they were so quick to silence him by marginalizing/ignoring him. So I began to research who he was. The more I read, the more I liked him. I was beginning to get over his foreign policy. I was beginning to realize that our biggest threat was not Radical Muslims, but our own government. Don't get me wrong, those guys are crazy. But they do not affect my life like the government does every day.

Maybe, and this would be heresy amongs my conservative friends, just maybe if we did leave them alone, they would leave us alone (goodness, I feel so foolish saying that!). But maybe it would work. But it would be with the caveat that if we did leave you alone to do whatever you want on the saide of the world (no matter how wrong or violent), you MUST leave us alone from this point foreward, otherwise we will obliterate you.

So, your question, how did I change enough to walk away? It began with Ron Paul, and just went from there. I guess Kel the point of this long drawn out monologue is that I never close off my views to external points of view, always re-examining them whenever new information comes to light, and making the appropriate changes. I can't help but feel that is sound advice for anyone. I urge everyone to always re-examine.

-Sal

Kel said...

Sal,

Thanks for taking the time to give that response. It's very interesting because Ron Paul is one of the few people on the other side who I have any time for. His beliefs and mine are not the same but, unlike so many Republicans, he does not change his essential message and has a uniformity to how he approaches things which I find principled. And there aren't many that I would say that about.

As for al Qaeda leaving us alone if we left them alone, we interfere in so many of their country's that it's hard to know where we would begin.

However, bin Laden did make some specific requests. He asked the US to remove it's troops from Saudi Arabia - which Bush did - and he also demanded that Israel stop her brutal occupation of the Palestinian people; on this Bush was a resounding failure as he was not prepared to take on the Israeli lobby.

Obama has, rightly in my opinion, decided to tackle a two state solution and, even though he will be vigorously opposed by Netantyahu and a sizeable number of US senators who jump when Israel tells them to, he deserves our support as he attempts to bring about this historic peace.

Even Tony Blair is on record as saying that nothing would eradicate terrorism more than a Middle East peace process that worked. I think we have all got to stop standing passively by whilst Israel continues to steal Palestinian land, all the while convincing Americans that she is the victim of this piece. That's why some Muslims hate us.

Ron Paul:

“Bin Laden’s claims are straightforward. The U.S. defiles Islam with military bases on holy land in Saudi Arabia, its initiation of war against Iraq, with 12 years of persistent bombing, and its dollars and weapons being used against the Palestinians as the Palestinian territory shrinks and Israel’s occupation expands. There will be no peace in the world for the next 50 years or longer if we refuse to believe why those who are attacking us do it.”

If we help Obama to do that, and leave Iraq, I see no reason for anyone to hate us any more.

Anonymous said...

Although I agree with most of what you say, I do have an area where I disagree. And that is:

whilst Israel continues to steal Palestinian landThis may be more of an area of semantics, but the Holy Land used to be the land of the Israelites (think back to the time of Caesar, Augustus, Pilate, and most importantly, Jesus). It was "stolen" from them, in as much as you can call the spoils of war as stolen property.

I find it hard that the Islamic people are crying foul when they stole it from Israel first. Although, on their behalf, I would argue the that later case of theft was by fiat with the "creation" of the Jewish state.

It's hard to say who is right. Maybe we should just let them kill eachother and whoever wins will rightfully own the land, be it the Palestinians or the Jews.

We don't get to hear anything from the UK much. Has there been any backlash about the Savage debacle over there in England?

Kel said...

I really don't think there is any historical accuracy in your claim that the Palestinians "stole" the land from the Israelites as there was no Arab presence in the region until the 7th century.

Israel was formed in 1948 under an incredibly unusual decision to grant her land because she once existed 2,000 years before. This caused an outrage amongst the indigenous population which was perfectly understandable as we were handing land (which had been theirs for some thirteen hundred years) to a mostly immigrant population. Would you be willing to cede half of the US to America's native Indian population under that principle? Of course you wouldn't.

And suggesting that we let them kill each other until this is sorted out is not as neutral a position as you might imagine. The US gives Israel $3 billion a year which she uses to build a vast army which then sets about removing Palestinians from their own land and building illegal Israeli settlements. Again, this is one of the principle reasons why people in the Middle East hold the US accountable for Israel's actions. The US finances them and gives them diplomatic cover by vetoing any UN resolutions which criticise them.

As Israel was formed under a UN mandate then she should abide by UN resolutions. Especially UN res 242 which demands that Israel retreats to the 1967 border and stops stealing Palestinian land. Israel agreed in 1948 that there would be both a state of Israel and an Arab state on that land. She has since acted in bad faith and sought to take all of the land as her own.

There is absolutely no truth in your assertion that the Palestinians have ever stolen any Israeli land, quite the opposite is occurring. But I do understand that, in the US, the truth behind this conflict is almost always barred from the public forum. Although I must confess my surprise that a supporter of Ron Paul could hold some of the views which you are expressing. He is certainly not unaware of what is going on and how negatively it affects the US image worldwide that she finances this gross injustice.

And no, there has been no Savage backlash in the UK. Most people here have no idea who he even is.

Anonymous said...

that the Palestinians "stole" the land from the Israelites I didn't mean "steal" in the strict verbal sense. They were conquered by the Arabs, I believe in 638. The Arabs lost control on and off during the Crusades, but had been relatively unmolested from 1291 until the Balfour Declaration in 1917 (that was your country!) Then began the shenanigans.

But did they steal it? No, not really. They won it fair and square as they say. The strongest side one. But who is to say that weaseling it out of the UN in 1948 by fiat was not similar in that they used their "financial/political" strength instead of bullets. Look they are here now. The Arabs have to deal with it. They seem to have a lot of public sympathy. Maybe they can muster some "public opinion" strength.

But, you are right. The US needs to stop its own shenanigans abroad. That includes overt presences as well as "funny money" they give openly and secretly. But they also prop up the Arab regimes they like. They give money to both sides. It's almost like the govt wants perpetual conflict. Even if one support's the War on Terror or any of our other shenanigans, we can no longer afford it (actually we never could).


which she uses to build a vast army which then sets about removing Palestinians from their own land and building illegal Israeli settlementsIt's strange... all I ever see on TV (which I watch infrequently because of the sewage and lies that come out of it) is Israel evicting its own people out of settlements.

And no, there has been no Savage backlash in the UK. Most people here have no idea who he even is.More proof that it was set up here in the US for the purpose of marginalizing Savage in our own country to begin the long road (maybe short?!?!) road to silence free speech by conservatives.

See:

http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=97198

Kel said...

They were conquered by the Arabs, I believe in 638.Yes, but not from the Israelites. It was run by the Romans prior to any Islamic invasion and was to all intents and purposes a Christian nation as opposed to a Jewish one. That was my objection.

It's strange... all I ever see on TV (which I watch infrequently because of the sewage and lies that come out of it) is Israel evicting its own people out of settlements.Ariel Sharon did that ONCE when he gave up the settlements in Gaza. And he did so because of the demographics. Palestinians are reproducing at a much higher rate than Israeli's are and Israel's claim to be "the nearest thing to a democracy in the Middle East" would be fatally undermined if she is controlling more Arab citizens than Jews and allowing those Arabs no democratic voice other than a vote on who is running their prison. And, even then, as we saw with the election of Hamas, Israel reserves the right to refuse to accept the Palestinian people's democratic choice and to starve them for having elected the wrong party.

But the notion that US TV keeps showing images of Israeli settlers being removed from their homes by their own government makes me despair for what passes as fair and balanced coverage over there. As I say, that happened once, and that was four years ago.

I read the article with interest. I don't buy that Obama fears Savage to that extent. I simply think Jacqui Smith needed a non-Muslim to take the look off the thing and he fitted the bill. Plus, he's American which shows how "fair" we are being.