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Political Web Resources

Page history last edited by julian@... 11 years, 2 months ago

On-line systems for your use.  Their appeal comes from being general purpose tools, not specifically concerned with war and peace issues, so they are not placed in an electronic ghetto.

 

 

Freedom of Information Act

 

www.whatdotheyknow.com

 

Use it ask questions in public and create a public archive of official answers. You can also set email alerts on search terms like "nuclear" to see whenever a question or reply shows up on that subject.

 

Leave your contact email or website in an annotation if you want people who are interested in a question you have pursued with government to contact you about it later. 

 

Be creative.  Here is a request regarding SOCPA.   

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/parliament_protest_actions  (and here is my blog about it http://www.freesteel.co.uk/wpblog/2008/02/criminalising-protest-around-parliament/ )

 

 

 

UNdemocracy.com

 

www.undemocracy.com

 

Bill Rammel said to the conference that there were disagreements about the interpretation of whether UN resolution 1441 authorised the invasion of Iraq.  This is false.  But he can say it because he believes that the transcripts of the Security Council meeting are too hard to find. 

 

They are here:

 

http://www.undemocracy.com/securitycouncil/meeting_4644#pg004-bk01-pa06

 

Sir Jeremy Greenstock (UK):  ... Let me be equally clear in response, as a co-sponsor with the United States of the text we have just adopted. There is no "automaticity" in this resolution. If there is a further Iraqi breach of its disarmament obligations, the matter will return to the Council for discussion as required in paragraph 12. We would expect the Security Council then to meet its responsibilities.

 

---- 

The purpose of the whole site will be served if people make him account for this falsehood, now that this information is accessible.  Leave notes here if there is any follow-up.

 

Beyond this, there are many features to help you add references in wikipedia. 

 

 

UK Parliamentary resources

 

Votes and speeches in Parliament can be accessed using www.theyworkforyou.com and www.publicwhip.org.uk where you can compare batches of votes on a particular issue and set email alerts for particular words or MPs. 

 

There are many features in these websites that are too complicated to explain.  But if you want help with any specific ideas, please contact me.  ( julian@publicwhip.org.uk )

 

 

The Election leaflet project

 

Whenever you get delivered a political election leaflet, wherever you are, please upload them to http://www.thestraightchoice.org/ so we can build up a live database of all leaflets across the country before and during the process of the election campaign. 

 

The political parties are masters at targeting for votes they need to win their seats.  The rate of election leaflets in a particular area exposes their tactics.  This is their one and only point of vulnerability in the system.  If you can get people to ask about policies on nuclear war instead of second home expenses and their answers (or lack of a good answer) exposes them to defeat, then things might change.

 

 

Wikipedia articles

 

There are numerous articles concerning peace and war affairs that could be improved with better writing and further information.  Perhaps the polling results about the public popularity of the UK's nuclear weapons could be mentioned (and linked to) from the following article:

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_weapons_and_the_United_Kingdom 

 

Another person mentioned an ILAP booklet referring to:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geneva_Conventions_(Amendment)_Act_1995 

 

The article about this act needs to be expanded to explain its meaning and to provide an explanation for why it was passed then, and why it doesn't represent the full implementation of the geneva conventions in UK law.

 

A small group of enthusiasts could go through many of these articles systematically, improving the writing, and documenting the arguments and authorative points of view from all sides (including links to good articles) as a resource for everyone. 

 

 

Media and Video

 

The full movie for the Fog of War is here: 

 

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8653788864462752804&ei=7W-fSqyGGpKF-Qb4ibT-Cg&q=fog+of+war

 

It's an extended interview with Robert McNamara where he strongly repudiates the possession of nuclear weapons by any nation, especially his own, and reports how nuclear war very nearly broke out 3 times during his 7 year term as Secretary of Defence. 

 

What are these three instances? 

 

On the Today program this morning, at 8:19 they introduced the piece about the outbreak of the second world war, adding that the use of nuclear weapons forced Japan to surrender. 

 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_8235000/8235137.stm

 

This is seriously disputed and is pure PR in favour of nuclear weapons.  This needs to be monitored and systematically challenged because the BBC says it every single time.

 

 

 

Comments (5)

Andrew Lohmann said

at 3:55 pm on Nov 16, 2009

Conference minutes;

The most striking thing that I picked up from the confrence probably was Robbie Manson point that the laws that were used to convict Nazies at Nurmemburg may not stand now. Actually what is more striking when I have said that to a few people subsequently there was no suprise. I can think of why this came about may be the question of which direction the Belgrano was sailing when Mrs Thatcher ordered its sinking, through to Iraq and Afaganistan, and returtibution resulting in million or so killed based on the possibilty of one or two people carried out an act of terorism in may have one or another musim country with a lot of oil or a route for a Russian oil pipeline.

The point I am making is the the question is not only law of conflict and human rights enforcement but also strengthened by popular wish and expectation that that be so. That is change people and the law will follow, works more effectively as changing the law and people following.

My reason for putting this point on the table primarliy is pursue a point in the discussion on the aims of NetLAP.

Robbie Manson said

at 12:24 pm on Dec 3, 2009

Hello. IT SEEMS THAT i AM NOW A PART OF THE FORUM.

With respect to Andrew's comment arising from the minutes I need to make a couple of clarifications. What alas the minutes don't make clear (no criticism intended) is that during the course of the Jones Appeal it was indeed true that the judgement of the Court of Appeal held that in effect because of the ongoing debates in the Assembly of States Party to the ICC about the nature and character of the Crime of Aggression, for the purpose of incorporating it into the juridiction of the ICC, they regarded the definition of the crime as being too uncertain today to satisfy the requirements of the law sufficient so as to be prosecutable in this country today ("principle of legality").

It was this error of judgement which was my principal reason for pressing so hard for the appeal to the House of Lords. In that I succeeded because the Lords Judgement reversed the Court of Appeal on this point. The relevant quote from the opinion of Lord Bingham being the one refered to in the minutes of our conference. see next comment

Robbie Manson said

at 12:25 pm on Dec 3, 2009

"It is true that some states parties to the Rome statute have sought an extended and more specific definition of aggression. It is also true that there has been protracted discussion of whether a finding of aggression against a state by the Security Council should be a necessary pre-condition of the court's exercise of jurisdiction to try a national of that state accused of committing the crime. I do not, however, think that either of these points undermines the appellants' essential proposition that the core elements of the crime of aggression have been understood, at least since 1945, with sufficient clarity to permit the lawful trial (and, on conviction, punishment) of those accused of this most serious crime. It is unhistorical to suppose that the elements of the crime were clear in 1945 but have since become in any way obscure.”

However this is a statement about Lord Bingham's appreciation of the condition or state of customary international law as a source of law. In order to actually put a person on trial for a transgression of that customary law a tribunal of some sort with jurisdiction has to be established. On the domestic plane that means incorporating the crime into our domestic law. The Lords held that could only be done by Act of Parliament, and therefore that since Parliament has never made any such enactment, although this remains a prosecutable crime in customary international law, it is as yet still not a crime in English law. see next comment

Robbie Manson said

at 12:26 pm on Dec 3, 2009

On the international plane this can only be achieved in practice in one of two ways. The victorious states after a war establish an international tribunal which they give jurisdiction to try these crimes. Nuremburg was ofcourse such a case in point. But equally one could cite in more recent times the Security Council tribunals for the prosecution of war crimes in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. The alternative is to give the jurisdiction to a permanent court of International Criminal jurisdiction i.e. the ICC which is how we came to the debate about the proposed amendments to the 1998 Rome statute due for decision in Kampala next year and which will we hope set out both the agreed definition of the crime for the purposes of that court and the conditions for the exercise of its jurisidiction in that regard. I trust this helps to clarify the position ?

Robbie

George Farebrother said

at 6:35 pm on Dec 4, 2009

It's good to see Robbie's clarifications on this issue. As always, we have to deal with the emerging law as it is, not as we would like it to be

George

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