Thursday, 30 July 2009

Me: a clarification

During the recent byelection in Norwich North I was subjected to having my
views misrepresented and my character viciously attacked in a number of areas.
These depictions are both baseless and (in a number of cases) libelous.

Lest there be any misunderstanding let me for the record state my position on the areas and issues in question quite

I abhor violence and I abhor racism and discrimination in all its forms.

I condemn any person who commits violence against scientists and others
in the name of animal rights. (I also condemn those who perpetrate vile
experiments against animals for the purposes of testing cosmetics etc.)

I condemn any terrorist attacks on civilians. With regard to the
response of Islamic-fundamentalist militants to Western intervention in
Iraq, I don't believe that we can be surprised if we are subjected to attack by those
who oppose the presence of Western troops, given that our attack
on Iraq was unprovoked and internationally-illegal.
But that is of course not in the least saying that
we _deserve_ to be attacked back. Any government needs take into account the
backlash that may be directed at its citizens as a result of its
military operations. To say this, as I have done, and have been attacked as
an 'extremist' for so doing, is to say nothing more than what our
intelligence services have gone on record as saying (and as many others such
as Tony Benn and Charles Kennedy have also said).

I support the right of Israel to exist in a state of peaceful and mutual
respect with its neighbours.  But I condemn the actions of the Israeli
government while Israeli settlements continue to be founded within the West
Bank in contravention of international law and Israel's military action
in response to militant attacks is more often than not suffered by
civilians and not Palestinian paramilitaries.  Condemning these actions
of the Israeli government is not a condemnation of the Israeli people, still
less of Jewish people. I abhor discrimination of any kind.  I support every
fair minded attempt to usher in a future where both sides can enjoy what
we in Britain take for granted.

Thus as regards the charge of anti-Semitism I find this particularly
vile.  Like all Greens I am wholly aware of the particular suffering of
the Jewish people through hundreds of years of European history and
their being subject to a myriad of lies and prejudices culminating in
the Holocaust. Anti-semitism is as a result an especially vile attitude, and
one which I have absolutely no truck with whatsoever. I reserve my right
to criticise the foreign policy of the state of Israel without being smeared as 'anti-Semitic'.

I am innocent of the 'charges' that have been laid upon me by those seeking
to gain short-term political advantage against the Green Party, and I trust that these
charges will now no longer be repeated in the 'echo-chamber' of the

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