Saudi Cleric Tortured to Death!

Local Editor

A detained Saudi cleric, Suleiman al-Doweesh, has been tortured to death during his incarceration, following a crackdown on suspected critics of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, according to reports.

Twitter account ‘prisoners of conscience’ documents those held in Saudi Arabia’s crackdown. In a tweet posted on Tuesday, it said: “We confirm the news that Sheikh Suleiman al-Doweesh HAS BEEN KILLED UNDER TORTURE in prison.”

We apologize that we will not mention further detail about how he was killed “out of respect for him”.

Saudi authorities last week detained three high-profile women’s rights activists, just weeks after more than a dozen women’s right campaigners were detained and accused of undermining national security and collaborating with enemies of the state.

Saudi Arabia has launched a crackdown on dissent since the 2011 uprisings across the Middle East, which has only intensified following a series of reforms pushed by the crown prince.

Last year, the heir to the throne, Crown Prince Mohammed, launched a wide-ranging crackdown on dozens of elites, ostensibly to tackle corruption. Critics say it was also a way of consolidating his grip on power.

Most of those detained struck monetary settlements to be released.

The suspects – who included high-profile princes and billionaires – were held at Riyadh’s luxurious Ritz Carlton hotel since early November and were reportedly told to hand over assets and cash in exchange for their freedom.

Amongst the detainees was billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who was released after he struck a financial settlement with Saudi authorities to secure his release.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

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Saudi Arabia Rejects Human-Rights Criticism, Then Crucifies Someone

Krishnadev Calamur

Even as it excoriated Canada for scolding it over human rights, Saudi Arabia beheaded a man Wednesday in Mecca, then put his body on public display, for allegedly stabbing a woman to death. The method of punishment is known in Saudi Arabia as a crucifixion, which the government says is sanctioned by Islamic law, and is reserved for only the most severe crimes in the kingdom.

The suspect in this case was a man from Myanmar who was accused of breaking into the home of a Burmese woman and repeatedly stabbing her until she died, according to Bloomberg. He was also charged with weapons theft, the attempted murder of another man, and the attempted rape of another woman. King Salman endorsed the execution. The crucifixion practice is a gruesome one and is employed sparingly; most capital crimes in Saudi Arabia are punished through beheadings alone.

But as recently as 2013, Amnesty International reported that Saudi authorities executed and crucified five Yemenis in the city of Jizan after they were found guilty of armed robbery and the murder of a Saudi man.

“Pictures emerged on social media appearing to show five decapitated bodies hanging from a horizontal pole with their heads wrapped in bags,” Amnesty International said in a statement at the time. “In Saudi Arabia, the practice of ‘crucifixion’ refers to the court-ordered public display of the body after execution, along with the separated head if beheaded. It takes place in a public square to allegedly act as a deterrent.”

Saudi Arabia, which became a country in the 1930s, has employed beheading as a means of execution for decades—though the practice itself is centuries old and was once widely employed throughout the Muslim world and beyond…

Saudi Arabia executes more people than any country except China and Iran—and it does so for a variety of crimes.

News of the latest execution came amid a bitter diplomatic dispute between Saudi Arabia and Canada over a Canadian government statement that called on Saudi authorities to “immediately release” civil-society and women’s-rights activists detained in recent days and weeks. As my colleague Sigal Samuel wrote in response, Saudi Arabia declared the Canadian ambassador persona non grata and recalled its envoy to Ottawa. It froze all trade and investment deals, canceled educational-exchange programs, and suspended flights to and from Canada.

The flare-up occurred at a pivotal time for Saudi Arabia. Its crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, or MbS, has cast himself as a reformer who is seeking to wean the Saudi economy away from its long overreliance on cheap oil and foreign labor. There have been other developments as well, which may look normal for the rest of the world but are potentially transformative for the kingdom—most significant among them, the government granting women the right to drive last September; the origins of the ban, as I noted at the time of the announcement, were murky, but the restriction appeared to be more cultural and religious than legal. But, as Samuel noted, “that win has been bookended by losses.” Women’s activists and human-rights campaigners continue to be detained. Torture remains rife in Saudi prisons, and executions continue apace.

The European Saudi Organization for Human Rights, a human-rights group, said 146 people were executed in 2017, slightly less than the 154 executed in 2016. “Such a level of executions has not been witnessed since the mid 1990s,” the group said in a report released this week. The group said that as of April 2018, Saudi authorities had executed 47 people and were on pace to meet last year’s figure. Dozens more, it said, continue to face the death penalty, including some under the age of 18.

Jeffrey Goldberg, now The Atlantic’s editor in chief, wrote about one of these people, Ali al-Nimr, in 2015. Al-Nimr, the nephew of a prominent Shia leader in Sunni Saudi Arabia (who himself was executed), was sentenced to death by beheading and crucifixion, and, despite international appeals, is still awaiting execution for alleged crimes committed when he was a minor during the Arab Spring protests that rocked the region.

Saudi Arabia employs the death penalty, which sometimes is carried out by gunfire, and usually in public, in response to a wide variety of transgressions, including murder, adultery, atheism, and sorcery and witchcraft. Despite this, it has in recent years found itself on various UN panels that oversee human rights and women’s rights around the world. (The country is hardly alone in its punitive practices—or its membership on elite UN panels… The United States is among the few Western nations that conducts executions, though it is mostly carried out by lethal injection.)

Saudi Arabia’s practices have been widely condemned by the international community and human-rights groups, but given its angry response to Canada’s alleged “interference” in its internal affairs, the kingdom looks unlikely to change the way it metes out its punishments. Saad al-Beshi, a Saudi executioner, said in a 2003 interview that he was “very proud to do God’s work.”

“It doesn’t matter to me: two, four, 10—as long as I’m doing God’s will, it doesn’t matter how many people I execute,” he said, according to the BBC. He added: “No one is afraid of me. I have a lot of relatives, and many friends at the mosque, and I live a normal life like everyone else. There are no drawbacks for my social life.”

Source: The Atlantic, Edited by website team

 

Bahraini Authorities Are Killing My Father, I’m On Hunger Strike to Save Him

 

Ali Mushaima

The government of Bahrain is slowly killing my father, Hassan Mushaima. This week I began a hunger strike outside Bahrain’s London embassy to save him.

My father is a leader of the political opposition in our homeland. In 2011 he was at the forefront of Bahrain’s Arab spring protests – a mass movement that peacefully called for human rights and democratic reforms in the authoritarian Gulf kingdom.

Police violently crushed the demonstrations, killing dozens and jailing thousands. Early on the morning of 17 March 2011, security forces broke into our home and arrested my father. Along with other leading human rights defenders and opposition figures – known collectively as the Bahrain 13 – he was tortured and hauled before a military tribunal. After a patently unfair trial, the court sentenced him to life, simply for calling for democracy in Bahrain.

I was part of the same case as my father, but I was convicted in absentia because I was in London at the time; a year later my Bahraini citizenship was revoked. If I return home to see my father, I’ll be jailed along with him.

Throughout this time, Bahrain’s authorities have punished my father by subjecting him to humiliating, inhumane treatment in the kingdom’s notorious Jau prison – a horrific detention center overcrowded with hundreds of political prisoners. The torture my father has endured has caused such severe problems that he has required surgery four times. Jau prison’s abusive and unsanitary conditions have seen his health sharply deteriorate, and authorities are denying him the medical care he needs to survive.

My father is 70 years old and suffers from serious chronic illnesses, including high blood pressure, diabetes, gout and a urinary tract infection. He is in remission from lymphoma. He needs to take many different pills a day to help with these conditions: without them he could die.

Since 2016, however, the government has prevented him from seeing a physician needed to ensure the cancer has not returned, despite the need for screenings every six months. More recently, the authorities have singled out political prisoners for further insulting restrictions on healthcare, forcing them to be strip-searched, chained, shackled, and marched to external facilities if they want to attend medical appointments. Human Rights Watch found that this “degrading” treatment “violates international standards”.

Now my father’s medication is running out, and the government simply doesn’t care. Just last week the UN human rights committee found that Bahrain is failing to meet its treaty obligations under the international covenant on civil and political rights. It cited inhumane prison conditions and denial of medical care for political prisoners.

Despite numerous requests for assistance from my family and international campaigners, Bahrain’s so-called human rights bodies – such as the UK-funded police ombudsman and National Institution for Human Rights – have done nothing but whitewash continued abuses. Earlier this year the NIHR outright denied that my father even had any health problems that required treatment.

Without urgent medication and treatment, my father will die – and Bahrain’s chief western allies in London and Washington are letting this happen.

Since 2012, the UK has provided £5m in “technical assistance” to Bahrain. This was ostensibly meant to facilitate reforms and improve institutions like the ombudsman, but it has had the exact opposite effect: providing diplomatic cover for intensifying repression and police abuse. The UK government is aware of my father’s case, but it has entirely failed to take any action to rectify the situation, merely raising his case “at a senior level”.

Likewise, the Trump administration in the US has signed off on billions of dollars of new arms deals and abandoned human rights conditions altogether. Trump even told Bahrain’s king that there would be no more “strain” between the two countries, effectively green-lighting the kingdom’s bloodiest protest raid in years just days later.

The UK and the US are directly enabling Bahrain’s repression and they’re contributing to the brutal conditions killing my father. But it’s not too late. Leaders in London and Washington can still intervene to save my father and stand up for human rights. I urge them to use their influence to ensure he is immediately provided with the medical treatment he needs to live, and ultimately to secure his release.

Until my father is safe, I have no choice but to follow his commitment to peaceful protest and launch my own hunger strike against oppression. The regime should know that actions against him will not change my political views. The will of the pro-democracy fighters who started the revolution in 2011 against dictatorial rule remains strong, and we are now even more convinced that this regime can’t reformed itself.

Source: The Guardian, Edited by website team

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Silencing Diversity in the Name of Diversity

July 16, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

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By Gilad Atzmon

In my latest book, Being in Time – a Post Political Manifesto, I explored different tactics used by the New Left – a loose collective of Frankfurt School graduates — to destroy political diversity and intellectual exchange.  I concluded that the ‘new order’ is maintained by ensuring that so-called ‘correctness’ dominates our vocabulary.  We are drowning in jargon, slogans and sound bites designed to suppress authentic thinking and more important, to suppress humane intellectual exchange. As I finished writing the book, I understood that this new language is a well-orchestrated attempt to obliterate our Western Athenian ethos in favor of a new Jerusalemite regime of ‘correctness.’

Yesterday I was interviewed  by Pakistani Journalist Tazeen Hasan. She was interested in my take on Islamophobia.  Hasan, I guess, expected me to denounce Islamophobia.  Since I am opposed to any form of bigotry*, hatred of Muslims is no exception. Though I am obviously troubled and strongly disagree with the views that are voiced with the so-called ‘Islamophbes,’  I am also troubled by the notion of ‘Islamophobia’. As opposed to the Identitarian Left, I contend that we humans should seek what unites us as humans. We should refuse to be shoved into biologically oriented (like gender, skin colour, sexual orientation etc.) boxes. I was probably expected to criticise Islamophobia by recycling a few tired slogans, but that was not my approach to the question. Instead of dealing with ‘Islamophobia,’ I decided that we should first dissect the notion of ‘phobia.’ I asked why some activists attribute ‘phobic’ inclinations (Islamophobia, homophobia, Judeophobia, etc.) to those with whom they disagree.

‘Phobia’ is defined as an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something. Accordingly, the notion of ‘Islamophobia,’ attributes irrationality or even madness to those who oppose Muslims and Islam. It suggests that ‘fear of Islam’ is an irrational hatred. This turns Islamophobia into a crazy fear of Islam that doesn’t deserve intellectual scrutiny, let alone an intellectual debate.

But fear of Musilms might be rational. As things stand, we in the West have been actively engaged in the destruction of Muslims and their countries for at least a century. We plunder their resources, we invade their lands, and we even gave some of their land to the so called ‘people of the book,’ and when those people committed a brutal ethnic cleansing, consistent with their ‘book,’ the West turned a blind eye. For the last three decades this genocidal war against Muslims and Arabs has intensified and become an official Western policy. This transition is the achievement of the Neocon school, who have attempted to redefine Zionism as the struggle for a promised planet instead of just a promised land. 

 Within the context of the global war we have declared on Muslims and Arabs on behalf of Zion, in the name of Coca Cola and Gay Rights, it is rational to expect that at some point Muslims may retaliate. So those who fear Muslims are not necessarily crazy or mad, they may even be more ethically aware or even guilt ridden than the progressives who castigate them for having ‘phobias’.’ If we are looking to dismantle ‘Islamic danger’  then we should find a rational and peaceful solution to the war we declared on Muslims. It will be probably more effective not to drop bombs on Arabs than to label fear of Muslims as irrational. Obliterating Israel’s nuclear facilities could also be a reasonable path to peace. A total embargo on Israel would probably be  the most effective way to calm the Middle East. That would certainly induce some deep thinking in the Jewish State that has been the catalyst in this developing global war.

It seems the term ‘phobia’ is routinely attached to anyone who disagrees with the new order. Are all those who oppose gay rights driven by ‘phobia’? Is it really ‘irrational’ for pious people (Christians, Muslims and Jews, etc.) to detect that gay culture may interfere with their churches or family values? Instead of addressing these conservative concerns, the New Left prefers to employ tyrannical abusive language designed to delegitimise the opposition. Similarly, those who look into organised Jewry and its political lobbying are reduced to ‘Judeophobes.’  But given the growing number of studies of the domineering effect of the Jewish Lobby in the USA, Britain and France, is it really ‘irrational’ or an act of ‘madness’ to scrutinise this lobby’s activity and the culture that fuels it?

However, in spite of these Orwellian ‘phobic’ tactics, awareness of its effects has grown. Increasingly, people see that the New Left corrosive agenda is driving these divisive Identitarian tactics. The tyrannical regime of correctness is a Machiavellian operation that in the name of ‘diversity,’ attempts to eliminate diversity all together. It dismisses the concerns of the so called ‘enemy’ by labelling them as irrational fears.

My message here is simple. The war against us is facilitated by cultural means. We are constantly subjected to terminological manipulations. To win this war we must first spot the terminological shifts as they appear. Then we have to identify those who put such manipulative tactics into play.

To support Gilad’s legal costs

The Western Hijacked Democracy

Image result for western democracy

by Ghassan Kadi for the Saker Blog

June 22, 2018

If my previous article (http://thesaker.is/the-lebanese-style-of-democracy-of-no-winners-or-losers/) dissected Lebanese style democracy and mentioned Western style democracy in passing, then we should perhaps have a closer look at Western democracy; or what is left of it.

The word “democracy’ comes from the Greek word demokratia; from demos ‘the people’ and kratia ‘power’. In other words, it means the power of the people.

Different dictionaries give slightly different definitions, but I find the definition given in the Cambridge Dictionary to be closest to the commonly-held understanding of democracy being “the belief in freedom and equality between people, or a system of government based on this belief, in which power is either held by elected representatives or directly by the people themselves.”

According to the Cambridge Dictionary also, this is the definition of the adjective “democratic”: “a person or a group that is democratic believes in, encourages, or supports freedom and equality between people and groups”.

The Constitutions of all Western democracies are based on the above lofty principles, and this should mean that all Western citizens should have equal rights in choosing their leaders and equal opportunity in being elected on their own merits…right? This statement sadly cannot be further from the truth.

The problem is not in the Constitutions, not in the laws, but in the political parties and politicians who colluded to protect each other. This is perhaps one of the biggest travesties against human rights, and to add insult to injury, it is one that is not talked about or even mentioned.

Why?

Because as much as opposing Western political parties hate each other and compete fiercely on parliamentary representation and winning enough votes to win government, when it comes to hijacking democracy, they are all equal partners in crime; and for one party to expose the other to this effect, it would be shooting itself in the foot.

The duopoly that major parties have created in the West is a new form of feudalism; with an onion skin façade camouflaged with slogans of equality and freedom.

Yes, when a Western voter goes to the polling booth, he/she has a choice, but it is a choice that is mainly between party candidates that have been chosen, not by the people, but by party members.

Party members constitute a very small fraction of Western society, and in many instances, nominated candidates are chosen from between a handful of people who are party members from within the electorate.

Yes, Western Parliaments have members who are totally nonpartisan and known as “independents” and others who belong to minor parties (back to those later), but the numbers speak for themselves. If all citizens and candidates had equal rights and power, as democracy stipulates, then this should be reflected in the number of candidates who win; but it doesn’t.

Can we blame the voters for voting for the party candidates? Yes and no. In theory they are to be blamed, but in practice they face a number of difficulties when contemplating voting for an independent candidate. First of all, in many situations they know little about the independent candidate, and in most situations, they are led to believe that to create a change and/or keep the status quo, they shouldn’t “waste” their vote on an independent.Image result for Ralph Nader, Ron Paul and bosh

The American Presidential independent bids of Ralph Nader and Ron Paul did not go very far. In real democratic terms however, the few votes those candidates received have more democratic substance than the mere 537 votes that brought George W. Bush over the line and won him Florida and his first Presidential term.

Unlike Ron Paul, George W. Bush was a party candidate, and voters outside the GOP did not have any say in deciding who the GOP was to nominate, and had the GOP nominated Ron Paul, they would have voted for him. If the GOP could nominate Mickey Mouse, they would vote for him too. Now, did Ron Paul have the same opportunity to be voted for as much as Bush? No.

So what happened to Western democracy then?

The West has the audacity to accuse other nations of being undemocratic and dictatorial when in fact Western political parties have hijacked democracy and unashamedly dictate to voters who to vote for.

The truth of the matter is that when the European feudal systems collapsed and personal freedom and equality were given to citizens to replace their stature of serfdom and slavery, and as surviving European Monarchies gave the executive power to Parliaments and maintained titular roles, a new breed of European power-mongers emerged; the political parties.

Western political parties found a loophole in democracy, a loophole that didn’t exactly give them monopoly of power, but a second best consolation prize; duopoly. Furthermore, this illusion of freedom gave the political parties the “security” they needed for long term survival, because the voters truly believed they were liberated and free and had no grounds for revolt.

With duopoly, the ruling party has one and one concern only, and that is to be re-elected. Certainly, the opposition party has also one and one concern only, and that is to be elected in the next election. However, the opposition party knows that it is a question of time before it is elected, because even if it does precious little, even if it doesn’t come up with policies that are meant to lure in voters, before too long, voters will get disenchanted by the ruling party, demand change, and vote in hoards for the opposition.

Where is democracy here?

And the obsession of Western political parties with election wins makes it very difficult, if not impossible, for the ruling party to make tough decisions of long-term vision and nation-building outlooks. They tend to please voters, even if this leads to economic disasters, the likes of which the West is now deeply entrenched in.

How does this system serve the interests of the people?

An independent candidate with independent non-partisan policies of long-term vision and aspirations therefore can be highly qualified, honest, capable and worthy of being elected, but he/she will miss out because the major parties have nominated uneducated, corrupt and dysfunctional candidates; and how often is this seen in every corner of the West?

How does this represent the will and the power of the people?

And when Churchill boasted about British democracy saying that he was the only leader amongst the Allies who could be replaced at any time by the will of the people, what he really meant was that he could be replaced at any time by the will of his political party (The Conservatives aka Tories). He was having a dig at Stalin, the ‘dictator’, but his own position as Britain’s Prime Minister at that time was actually dictated by his party, not by his people.

And ironically enough, the fact that Russia does not have a party-based duopoly that is akin to the West, Western Russophobes question how democratic Russia is even though President Putin has a very high popularity rate; higher than any Western political leader could ever dream of.

Image result for Putin has a very high popularity

Then come the so-called Western minor parties; those parties were meant to keep the major parties in check and prevent them from abusing their power. Ironically however, in some instances, they ended up in situations in which the balance of power was in their hands. Instead of instituting reform, the minor parties became a part of the problem. They gave themselves the “Western democratic” right to dictate, pass or block motions and bills, based on their own agendas, even though they only represent a fraction of the community at large.

Where is the democracy here?

As a matter of fact, when a ruling Western party has a clear majority that does not need the support of the minor parties, it goes to Parliament to rubber-stamp its decisions; unopposed. And instead of rationally debating their policies with the opposition and vice versa, they end up in a slinging match with each other and exchanging words of ridicule and insults.

How does this enhance freedom and equality?

But perhaps the most ridiculous case scenario however is what some Western systems call a “Hung Parliament”; i.e. a parliament that does not have a political majority. This is the nightmare election outcome of any Western political party, and ironically also, many Western citizens see in it an absolute disaster, and this is because they have been brainwashed and trained to think this way; by the political parties of course. In real democratic terms, an election result that ends up with a “Hung Parliament” is a clear indication of the power of the people and ought to be respected instead of finding ways around it; ways that would serve the objectives of one particular party against another.

What is democratic about political parties refusing to accept the mandate of the people when election results result in a “Hung Parliament”?

What Western political parties have been doing ever since the inception of Western democracy is at the least immoral. Is it illegal? Well, the answer to this question depends on who answers it. In theory, this party-imposed system of duopoly, or triopoly, stands in total contrast to what democracy is meant to uphold and defend. It is taking away the power from people and putting it in the hands of parties and party members. However, this status quo serves the interests of all Western political parties, and none of the parties will be prepared to challenge it, as any such challenge will be self-defeating.

The media play a big role in this, and so do Western political journalists, analysts, commentators, activists and reformers. They take it for granted, accept and propagate the notion that democracy means party rule, when in fact there is nothing in the Constitutions of Western nations, or within the spirit of democracy, to this effect.

However, Western countries do have court systems, and those courts are independent from the states and their politics. If some individual or organization in any given Western nation challenges the Constitutional legality of the modus operandi of Western political parties and wins, this can and should create a precedence that can reverberate in all other Western nations.

What makes such a legal challenge virtually impossible to pursue and win is not necessarily its substance, but its legal cost.

What is democratic about letting democracy down merely because to challenge those who hijacked it is a cost prohibitive exercise? That’s the ultimate irony.

Gilad Atzmon discusses J Power with Patrick Henningsen (21st Century Wire)

June 12, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

 Democracy and freedom is something we remember not something we experience. They belong to Nostalgia.

Democracy and freedom is something we remember not something we experience. They belong to Nostalgia.

http://21stcenturywire.com/2018/06/10/episode-236-parts-unknown-with-guests-gilad-atzmon-and-robert-inlakesh/

Democracy and freedom is something we remember not something we experience. They belong to Nostalgia.  On Patrick Henningsen’s Sunday Wire I spoke about the rapid emergence of authoritarian conditions in Britain and the West in general. We looked into the role of The Lobby, the impact of ID politics and tyranny of correctness.

Gilad Atzmon on Patrick Henningsen’s Sunday Wire

Giant Steps with Sarah Chaplin & Gilad Atzmon: Israel, Syria and the J-word

April 19, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

Had a great time talking with Sarah Chaplin on  Monday (16th April 2018). We covered a lot of topics such as  ID politics, Tyranny of Correctness, the New Left dystopia, Israel, the Lobby, the Attack on Syria, the court case against me and more.

Sarah Chaplin: My guest on Monday is simultaneously one of the greatest living saxophonists and one of the most controversial and vocal figures involved in debates about anti-semitism and Zionism in the world today: Gilad Atzmon.

Gilad has not only taken absolutely gigantic steps in his own life, (which brought him from serving in the IDF and confronting the horrors of how Israel was treating Palestinians, deciding to take up the tenor sax and come to live in the UK, and that’s just for starters), he is also one of Richie Allen’s favourite guests, a very compelling political analyst and philosopher, a brilliant writer, a stand up comedian, a member of legendary British band the Blockheads, and someone who is so familiar with John Coltrane that he could probably if I asked him play Giant Steps inside out, back to front, upside down, and give us a complete low down on why the tune is regarded as quite so innovative.

If you don’t believe me, here are some quotes:

“Atzmon’s fluid lyricism is in full flow on songbook classics and worldly originals. But as sweet romance morphs to modernist uncertainty, the bittersweet balance and rich emotional palette equally impress.” Financial Times

“A formidable improvisational array…a jazz giant steadily drawing himself up to his full height…” The Guardian.

“The best musician living in the world today” Robert Wyatt

Gilad Atzmon is being threatened with court proceedings by the British Zio-Establishment at the moment, and given what’s going on with Syria, Russia, Israeli and UK politics, I can think of no better moment to chew things over with this incredible and fearless jazzman next week! You never know, I might even persuade him to play his sax live on the show.

If they want to burn it, you want to read it!

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Being in Time – A Post Political Manifesto,

Amazon.co.uk , Amazon.com and  here (gilad.co.uk).

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