Fred Karger the American political strategist is Dan Owens‘ potential contender for the Republican presidential nomination. Read the rest of this entry »
Archive for the ‘Dan Owens’ Category
Daniel Owens on the Dispatches programme about cousins marrying. Read the rest of this entry »
By Daniel Owens
Standing at her podium from the State Department in Washington DC, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that Israeli-Palestinian Peace talks would resume in September after years of political stalemate. Read the rest of this entry »
By Daniel Owens
Blogging. A very 21st century idea. So, here I am, having just finished my degree in Politics and International Relations from the University of Lancaster and I am waiting for my new job to begin; it has me wondering why more people don’t blog. I wrote my very first article for Political Promise in the run up to the General Election, sometime around the start of April 2010 and to be honest – it is one of the best things I have ever done. Read the rest of this entry »
By Daniel Owens
David Cameron yesterday agreed that British intelligence would release all files on the release of the Lockerbie bomber, Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, after a day of meetings with President Barack Obama and senior US politicians. Read the rest of this entry »
By Daniel Owens
Leading conservatives in the United States will launch a new pro-Israel group this week, directly opposed to the Obama administration’s policy within the region. The Emergency Committee for Israel’s Leadership combines two of the major strands of pro-Israel support; firstly, the neo-conservative aspect of the Republican Party of which many are Jewish, and secondly, the right-wing Evangelical Christians who have become increasingly supporting of a Jewish state. The executive committee is made up of Noah Pollak, William Kristol of the Weekly Standard, Gary Bauer (former Rep. Presidential candidate) and conservative writer Rachel Abrams. Read the rest of this entry »
By Daniel Owens
THIS IS A FOLLOW UP PIECE TO YESTERDAY’s NEWS ON THE GAZA-BOUND FLOTILLA
It appears that the response that the majority of the intellectual world expected (ie those outside of the Israel Lobby and the US government) has become a reality. Early on Monday 31st May 2010, Israeli’s military confirmed that navy forces intercepted the fleet, carrying aid and over 600 pro-Palestinian activists, killing more than 10 of the passengers. Israeli forces opened fire on at least one of the ships with the death toll reportedly as high as 16, with over 30 wounded.
The Israeli military reported that the activists attacked Israeli forces with knives, axes, metal pipes and rocks (on a ship, in the middle of the sea?). However, television footage broadcast by al-Jazeera and Turkish television clearly shows the activists fighting hand to hand, wearing life jackets and using sticks only.
Israeli sources have said that as least four soldiers were wounded. Meanwhile, the Turkish Foreign Ministry has condemned the raid as “unacceptable,” highlighting that “By targeting civilians, Israel has once again shown its disregard for human life and peaceful initiatives,” and warned Israel of the consequences of attacking a peaceful convoy.
A spokeswoman for the organisation behind the mission, Greta Berlin, accused Israeli troops of indiscriminately shooting at “unarmed civilians”. “How could the Israeli military attack civilians like this?” Ms Berlin said. “Do they think that because they can attack Palestinians indiscriminately they can attack anyone?… We have two more boats, this isn’t going to stop us”
The confrontation took place approximately 80 miles off the Gaza coast, in international waters which are under siege from Israeli forces, despite the Geneva Convention preventing anyone from controlling the high seas. The latest strike against peace activists follows a series of attempts to break the illegal and immoral Gaza blockade which was put in place nearly 3 years ago. Israeli forces allow 15,000 tonnes of food and aid into Gaza every week, only a quarter of the UNs recommended 60,000.
The latest attack on civilians was attacked by the Hamas leader in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh. He said “We call on the Secretary-General of the U.N., Ban Ki-moon, to shoulder his responsibilities to protect the safety of the solidarity groups who were on board these ships and to secure their way to Gaza”
This incident will be particularly damaging for Israel’s relations with its Arab neighbours and its western allies such as the US and UK. This act, which took place on the high seas constitutes a blatant breach of international law and it is hoped that international pressure will lead to a change in Israeli policy towards Palestinians in Gaza.
By Daniel Owens
A flotilla of nine boats, carrying over 10,000 tonnes of humanitarian aid and over 700 pro-Palestinian activists, is expected to arrive in Gaza on Sunday 30th May 2010, if it manages to break through the armed Israeli blockade.
Israeli authorities have vowed to prevent the convoy from reaching Gaza, claiming that there is no humanitarian crisis in the Palestinian territories. However, organisers have protested against the Israeli ‘misinformation campaign’ and have claimed that “for over four years, Israel has subjected the civilian population of Gaza to an increasingly severe blockade, resulting in a manmade humanitarian catastrophe of epic proportions.” The organisers have stated that all the cargo on board is designed to make life better for those living within Gaza, including building materials, medical supplies, dental equipment and chocolate for the children.
The Israeli blockade of Gaza has been in place since the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas took control after a battle with rival Palestinian group Fatah – following the election of Hamas in 2006. Nearly all exports and imports are banned under the terms of the blockage and only a limited supply of humanitarian aid is allowed in (15,000 tonnes per week). The United Nations has stated that this is less than a quarter of what is needed to sustain those within the strip. The Israeli navy also enforces a 23 mile closure of the sea around Gaza which has devastated its fishing industry and has vowed to use limited force to prevent the flotilla from making ground in Gaza. Read the rest of this entry »
And so it begins. After a short trip to Buckingham Palace this morning, Gordon Brown has announced the election date as May 6th 2010, launching the month long campaign that will be dominated by issues surrounding the economy, foreign affairs and finally, who is the most likable leader.
Fears of a hung parliament are gripping the economic heart of the country, with the financial markets praying for a conclusive outcome to the election, and a promise to tackle the ever increasing budget deficit; currently standing at almost 12% of GDP. The most recent polls highlight the volatile nature of the electorate with the Conservatives having between a 4 and 10 point lead; the Conservatives need a 6.9% majority to secure an outright win, something which hasn’t been achieved at a general election since 1950 (save for Labours landslide victory in 1997).
With what is shaping up to be the most contested election since 1992, David Cameron cried that “you don’t have to put up with another five years of Gordon Brown” whilst the economy is recovering from the worst recession since World War II. Election fever is well underway with Facebook, Twitter and the Blogosphere expected to have an unprecedented impact on the result of the election. Whilst the traditional forms of media still carry considerable weight, the electorate are no longer susceptible to the charms of the spin doctors that were an integral part to the 1997 Labour victory. The importance of social networking platforms is epitomised by the 2008 US election where Senator Barack Obama, a once rank outsider, emerged victorious through his use of ‘new’ media platforms. He revolutionised campaign financing through the online donations system, where supporters across the world could donate as little as possible to support the campaign.
The Tories have taken note of Obamas success and currently dominate online with myconservatives.com, the BlueBlog, Cameron Direct and a large Facebook presence. However, as the polls have suggested in recent weeks, Labour’s online campaign is gaining momentum and it is now vital for all parties to step away from the computer and mobilise those grassroots movements that were so essential in Obamas campaign. Whilst the apathetic electorate of the 18-25’s have the greatest online presence, it is not the flashy campaign slogans and the cheap pot-shot posters that are going to motivate them to participate in the electoral process – it is the policies. Unless all the parties start to advocate policies that capture the minds of young voters, then these fancy campaigns will do nothing to increase voter participation; but will instead increase the number of users who partake in photo-editing, creating satirical mock-ups of official campaign posters.