acquitted sam walton rev daniel woodhouse
Freedom of Religion

Would Muslims have been acquitted for breaking into BAE and trying to disarm Saudi-bound fighter planes?

Methodist minister the Rev’d Daniel Woodhouse and Quaker activist Sam Walton have been acquitted after breaking into a BAE Systems factory in Warton, Lancashire, armed with a hammer inscribed ‘They shall beat their swords into ploughshares‘ (Isa 2:4) and ‘Choose life‘ (Deut 30:19). Their intention had been to disarm Typhoon fighter jets destined for Saudi Arabia, which are being used to pulverise Yemen. The UK has licensed £3.8bn worth of arms to the Saudi regime since the bombing began in March 2015, leading some to accuse HM Government of putting arms sales above human rights.

It isn’t clear what damage such a puny hammer could have done to a mighty Typhoon fighter jet, but the intrepid duo were in any case apprehended by BAE security and prosecuted for trespass with intent to cause criminal damage. According to Bindman’s, their lawyers: “They argued that they had justification for their actions relying on the imminent and immediate use of the aircraft in the Saudi’s conflict in Yemen. The defendants relied heavily on their religious conviction, one a Quaker the other a Methodist, to explain their actions.”

So the pair’s “religious conviction” and arguments for the “greater good” persuaded the judge to acquit them, which he did, explaining:

“They were impressive and eloquent men who held strong views about what they were doing and what they wanted to achieve. They impressed me as being natural in their delivery and honest throughout their evidence…”

“I heard about their belief of BAE’s role in the supply of aircraft to Saudi Arabia. I heard about their beliefs regarding the events in Yemen, that they include the death of civilians and the destruction of civilian property, and the basis for their belief that this amounted to war crimes…”

“However, having considered in full the defence under sec 5 Criminal Damage Act 1971, I find the defendants not guilty.”

It isn’t entirely clear why honest and eloquent (or impressive) pacifists of any religion may not now force entry into any military establishment with the intention of hindering a war effort. Isn’t the pursuit of peace and reconciliation always going to be the ‘greater good’?

Nor is it entirely clear why a pair of Muslims armed with a hammer inscribed ‘Allahu Akbar‘ and ‘Religion of peace’ may not force entry into any military establishment with the intention of hindering UK intervention in any Muslim country. What if two peace-minded Muslims had been trying to save their co-religionists in Yemen from Saudi-Salafist extremism? Since when did an individual’s religious conviction trump the rights of a company like BAE in the lawful (and moral) pursuit of arms sales? You may deem it to be an immoral trade, and that is your right, but who are you?

Would two Muslims have been acquitted of this crime as readily as a Methodist and a Quaker, and to so much public approbation? Or would establishment Islamophobia have ensured that Muslims would have been dealt with rather differently; their religious conviction deemed regressive; their righteous and peaceful motives judged subversive, if not treasonous, and certainly not remotely conducive to the greater good?

That aside, Britain has surely come to a sorry pass when two Christians can be acquitted of admitted trespass with the intention to cause criminal damage, while hundreds of other Christians are about to be imprisoned from praying peacefully outside abortion clinics.

  • Anton

    This is all down to the judge. The prosecution should appeal.

    There are many Muslims in the judiciary, incidentally.

  • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

    Well, it makes a nice change to hear Christians have got off with something…though I am somewhat baffled…clearly a crime was committed and that should be that.

    • Ray Sunshine

      In a joint statement, Sam and Daniel said: “We did not want to take this action, but were compelled to do so …”

      That statement itself sounds like a line from one of your chronicles of Barchester, Mrs Proudie. Unlike poor old District Judge James Clarke of Burnley, however, Constable Knapweed and Inspector Cuffem would at least have had the presence of mind to ask the pair to explain what they meant. Who was doing the compelling, and how? If they had repeated that nonsense under oath, they could even have been sent down for perjury.

    • Inspector General

      “Well, it makes a nice change to hear Christians have got off with something…”

      Hush, my dear woman. It’s that kind of talk that results in judicial reviews

  • Albert

    Hats off to them in a way. But how they got away with it legally is astonishing. And yes, it is astonishing that these chaps got away with unlawful trespass and criminal damage to prevent people being killed by the Saudis, while peacefully protesting against killing babies is illegal. But then, if people thought consistently, they wouldn’t support abortion anyway.

    • carl jacobs

      Hats off to them in a way.

      Why? If they had succeeded, would you have made BAE whole by covering their financial loss?

      • Albert

        I’m not a consequentialist, so I don’t measure the value of an act by its outcome. They think that distributing weapons to the Saudis who use them to kill children is wrong, and they have acted against this.

        • carl jacobs

          I see. So if they had attempted this and in the process managed to kill a security guard, would you still say the same thing? Because their defense would still be the same. “We did it for the greater good.”

          And you didn’t answer my question. Who would make BAE whole? Restoration is a sound biblical principle. The cost to BAE would have been substantial. Substantial. Is that just the cost it must suffer for doing something wrong in your eyes?

          What if the aircraft damaged had not been destined for Saudi Arabia? The odds of these individuals being able to identify a Saudi Jet is non-existent. Would your approval of their exoneration based upon intent extend to an innocent third party?

          You see, I have always heard you say “You can’t do wrong to bring about a good end.” But here you are defending an objectively wrong act because you approve of the ends. You say you aren’t a consequentialist, but your attitude absolutely drips of it.

          • Albert

            I think you’ve not followed what I said. I said Hats off to them in a way. Not simply hats off to them. I.e. there is something admirable and unadmirable in their behaviour.

            I see. So if they had attempted this and in the process managed to kill a security guard, would you still say the same thing? Because their defense would still be the same. “We did it for the greater good.”

            I can’t believe you’ve put that argument to me. It’s clearly consequentialist.

            I’m not bothered by who would make BAE. If they are selling weapons to those who will unjustly use them, why should I care if they incur loss?

            What if the aircraft damaged had not been destined for Saudi Arabia? The probability that these individuals would be able to identify a Saudi Jet is non-existent. Would your approval of their exoneration extend to an innocent third party?

            If someone was making zyklon B for the holocaust and for some other moral course, I would not worry if the other moral course found its product damaged.

            But here you are defending an objectively wrong act because you approve of the ends. You say you aren’t a consequentialist, but your attitude absolutely drips of it.

            Except that that is not what I am saying. From the first, I have indicated that they are morally confused, and as I don’t do such things myself, you can assume I don’t in fact agree with them – for whatever reason. Your problem is that, as an consequentialist yourself, you cannot help seeing it in that light, even when that is not the perspective I am giving.

          • carl jacobs

            I can’t believe you’ve put that argument to me. It’s clearly consequentialist.

            in response to …

            If they had succeeded, would you have made BAE whole by covering their financial loss?

            … you said I’m not a consequentialist, so I don’t measure the value of an act by its outcome

            You stated no concern at all for the consequences to the victim. One concludes the morality of the act is in your view independent of its consequences. Well, there are now two outcomes in view.

            Outcome 1: Laurel & Hardy damage an aircraft inflicting millions of dollars of damage in terms of corporate image, repair, retest, and liability.

            Outcome 2: Laurel & Hardy damage an aircraft inflicting millions of dollars of damage in terms of corporate image, repair, retest, and liability – and also happen to cause someone’s death in the process.

            You clearly approve of Outcome 1 since your posts have been one long rationalization of the act. I know for a fact that you would not justify Outcome 2. So even though you say otherwise you are clearly taking account of the consequences in your argument. You are as much as saying “Well, you can’t hurt someone, but you can destroy their property if you think they are going to do something immoral to it.” And actually you go farther than that. You say “It doesn’t even matter if you destroy the wrong property – just so long as your (self-determined) intent is righteous and sincere in your own eyes. And you don’t even have to make restitution!”

            By what authority do you do this? You may object to the Gov’t selling jets to Saudi Arabia. That’s fine. So do I, as a matter of fact. But it is not my call. Nor yours. There are people in Gov’t who are lawfully empowerred to make that decision. It is a matter of policy. That fact that you disagree doesn’t give you the authority to raise up on your hind legs and become a law unto yourself. Which by the way also puts paid to your Zyklon-B argument. The Gov’t has no lawful authority to massacre people over which it exercises authority. It does have lawful authority to sell Jets to Saudi Arabia. Your policy disagreements do not constitute a moral justification.

            You ought to think about who else would take up this authority you so glibly pass out. It won’t be limited by the nice clean sterile boundaries you imagine. Perhaps the man who would burn his neignbor’s car because he thinks it is too polluting. Or maybe next time it;s some jackass who thinks RAF Jets might be used in Syria to bomb ISIS. And, no, you can’t insert notions of serious threshold into this discussion because you have deliberately made each man a law unto himself. Each man has the power to set his own threshold.

            If you want to disobey the law, you better have clear authority justifying it. And some philosophical construct in a Just War Treatise isn’t going to be sufficient.

          • Albert

            You stated no concern at all for the consequences to the victim.

            Really Carl? Surely we’ve been through this enough for you see what I mean? Clearly the consequences of an act are important for me, but they are not decisive. The point being that an act, evil in itself, cannot be made good because the outcome is good. Similarly (as here) an act cannot be counted wrong because an intended good fails to come to fruition.

            That fact that you disagree doesn’t give you the authority to raise up on your hind legs and become a law unto yourself.

            Except again, that’s not what I’ve said. I think their position is confused – not least by the fact that (as I put it) they are guilty of unlawful trespass and criminal damage. There are grounds for just use of violence, but my point would be that this does not meet them.

            If you want to disobey the law, you better have clear authority justifying it.

            I have not argued for disobeying the law – although there are clearly occasions when it can be done, and you have given one yourself:

            The Gov’t has no lawful authority to massacre people over which it exercises authority.

            It can pass that law as much as it likes, but it will never be able to force anyone to do so. So, if I may, I will borrow from you:

            If Carl wants to argue with Albert, he had better have a better understanding of Albert’s position.

          • carl jacobs

            Maybe Albert should do a better job explaining his position instead of trying to have it both ways. Answer plainly if you please.

            1, Would these two have objectively done wrong if they had succeeded and damaged this aricraft?
            2. If “Yes” then they would be requred to make restitution. How would they make restitution for their actions?
            3. If “No” then go back and answer all the questions you ignored about authority.

            I ask because you said “I’m not bothered by who would make BAE [whole]. If they are selling weapons to those who will unjustly use them, why should I care if they incur loss?” That statement would indicate that you answer “No, they didn’t do anything wrong.” But then you say “There are grounds for just use of violence, but my point would be that this does not meet them.” If there are no grounds, then BAE would deserve to be made whole. So which is it?

          • Albert

            Maybe Albert should do a better job explaining his position instead of trying to have it both ways.

            Just a minute, I’m posting a comment on a blog, not writing a book. By saying “in a way” I was making it clear that I was not giving a clear position of endorsement. Moreover, since my position on moral matters is never esoteric, but widely held, it is downright odd of you to misunderstand me and attribute to me a position which I have not stated, cannot be inferred from what I have said, and is likely to be contrary to what I think.

            1, Would these two have objectively done wrong if they had succeeded and damaged this aricraft?

            Yes. As I said, in my opening comment:

            it is astonishing that these chaps got away with unlawful trespass and criminal damage

            2. If “Yes” then they would be requred to make restitution. How would they make restitution for their actions?

            Yes, they should have been convicted and punished according to the law. However, my issue here is not with the harm done to BAE (who seem to care little about harm done to others), but with the upholding of the law.

            To give you another example. Supposing I know my next door neighbour is a burglar. Now supposing my burglar neighbour is himself burgled, but what is stolen is only what is lawfully his. Do I think the person who burgled him should be punished? Yes, to uphold the law and prevent precedent. Do I care about restitution needed to the burglar himself? No, not personally. He got what he deserved.

          • carl jacobs

            However, my issue here is not with the harm done to BAE (who seem to care little about harm done to others), but with the upholding of the law.

            Who are you to judge BAE in such a manner? This isn’t about right and wrong. It’s a prudential judgment about policy. BAE is the victim of a political act intended to influence political decisions. Your judgments about Gov’t policy are neither here nor there. BAE (unlike your burgler) is not doing anything wrong by selling fighters to Saudi Arabia. They could not do so without explicit permission of your Gov’t. In fact, these kinds of sales are made to facilitate the execution of a Gov’ts foreign policy. Your complaint is not with BAE. Your complaint is with your own Gov’t.

            So you seem concerned to formally defend the law for the sake of a victim that you think would have gotten what it deserved if these two clowns had managed to damage an aircraft. That act would be petty except for the substantial financial damages it would have inflicted. Its punishment must reflect the cost imposed, and should include a judgment to repay that money. Otherwise you end up vindicating the unlawful act.

            If they had damaged an aircraft, what punishment would be sufficuent?

          • Albert

            Who are you to judge BAE in such a manner?

            I offer no more judgement than you did:

            You may object to the Gov’t selling jets to Saudi Arabia. That’s fine. So do I, as a matter of fact.

            Your complaint is not with BAE. Your complaint is with your own Gov’t.

            I am astonished and appalled that you think such a distinction works.

            That act would be petty except for the substantial financial damages it would have inflicted. Its punishment must reflect the cost imposed, and should include a judgment to repay that money. Otherwise you end up vindicating the unlawful act.

            I think you over-estimate British law. Rarely does a victim of a crime receive recompense from the offender. And I refer you to my burglar analogy, which you have so inadequately responded to.

            If they had damaged an aircraft, what punishment would be sufficuent?

            I don’t care about that, I care about the law being broken. If you make weapons to sell to wicked people, then the Lord will punish you. Who are you to demand that he should recompense them then?

          • carl jacobs

            I offer no more judgement than you did

            Well other than whe you said …

            BAE (who seem to care little about harm done to others

            … and …

            I’m not bothered by who would make BAE [whole]. If they are selling weapons to those who will unjustly use them, why should I care if they incur loss?

            That is not judgmental?

            I am astonished and appalled that you think such a distinction works.

            I astonished and amazed that you think it doesn’t. The Left is normally associated with criminalizing policy disagreements.

            And I refer you to my burglar analogy, which you have so inadequately responded to.
            Since you haven’t establuished that BAE has done anything wrong, your analogy doesn’t hold. It doesn’t hold anyways since public acts of foriegn policy are not judged by the same standard as individual acts.

            I don’t care about that, I care about the law being broken.
            Except for the finanicial damge,what is the law protecting? Why does t even exist? You keep coming back to this same basic point “Yes, they would have broken the law, but the victim would have gotten what it deserved so the violation is technical.” If you don’t care aboiut the financial damage inflicted, you can’t credibly say you are concenred about the law being broken. The law exists to protect property owners from financial damage.

            If you make weapons to sell to wicked people, then the Lord will punish you.
            More non-judgmentalism, I see. Is this in your judgment what BAE was doing?

          • Albert

            That is not judgmental?

            What is your problem with making judgement? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? he that is spiritual judgeth all things.

            If a Christian cannot judge selling arms to Saudi Arabia, when Saudi is at war with Yemen, then scripture has been falsifiable.

            I now understand why the judgement was given. They did not break the law, it turns out. Therefore, I have no interest in any of this.

        • Inspector General

          If it helps, Albert, don’t think of them as children. Just ‘little terror(ist)s’. The devout individual who murdered 22 in Manchester this year was only a couple of years past childhood himself. One suggests that short time was insufficient for him to develop his hatred for the kaffir. Most likely it was in fully place not long after puberty…

          • Albert

            But in the OP it says What if two peace-minded Muslims had been trying to save their co-religionists in Yemen from Saudi-Salafist extremism? It’s the Saudis, int his scenario who are Salafist.

          • Inspector General

            Let’s get one thing straight, Albert. In the ultimate, Islam speaks with one voice. Yes, there are differing strains and the two big ones regularly kill the other, but that’s easily explained. They have differences of tactic and much else. The races involved kill in this area of dispute because that is how they always dealt with such. Probably predates Islam.

            What we have is a vicious strain of Islam at large. But the less vicious strain is not exactly protesting at the gains made in the name of Allah.

  • Brenton deed

    There is a difference -not
    enough to allow acquital but a differences nevertheless. Any religiously motivated Muslim would have been acting out the Koran’s command to fight and kill the unbeliever wherever you find them. (E.g 2:191-192 et al)
    Mens rea not only actus reus!
    Why persistent refusal to see Islam for what it is? The established church seems riddled with corruption!

    • Albert

      I think that’s a bit harsh. Readers of this blog will not feel that Cranmer is an apologist for Islam. What he is standing up for is everyone being treated equally under the law. The problems here appear to be (i) the law has not been applied (okay, this is clearly the disputed point, since the judge would presumably defend his decision) (ii) the law would not be unapplied, if the defendants were Muslims (again, this is an assumption). Now your response that Muslims must kill the unbeliever wherever they find them, does not fit with the OP for it says:

      Nor is it entirely clear why a pair of Muslims armed with a hammer inscribed ‘Allahu Akbar‘ and ‘Religion of peace’ may not force entry into any military establishment with the intention of hindering UK intervention in any Muslim country. What if two peace-minded Muslims had been trying to save their co-religionists in Yemen from Saudi-Salafist extremism?

      • Brenton deed

        Yes and my point is that it is glib to ignore the obvious difference in motives between quackers attempting to destroy weapons of war and Muslims striking a blow for jihad. So it is not a question of equal treatment under the law because there are differences.
        In other words the notion of a peace-loving Muslim is a naive fantasy.
        By definition a “moderate Muslim” is not being faithful to the Koran. Read it. It is clear to to see – and before I hear any retorts about the bible let me point out that the violence in the Old Testament is explicitly repudiated by Christ (Matthew 5.38 et al).
        Christianity is about Christ and there are nw verses of hate in the New Testament and the barbarisms in the Old are overturned. Not so the Koran.

        • Albert

          Please don’t tell me what to read. I dare say I have spent more time studying Islam than you have. I am under no illusions about Islam. But the law is not there to judge Islam (perhaps it should, but it doesn’t). It’s no good saying “Islam is violent.” The fact is, not all Muslims are violent, and they should be judged by what they are, not by what we think a faithful Muslim should be.

          • Anton

            Actually they should be judged by what they do, according to the law of the land.

          • Albert

            That’s what I meant: not all Muslims are violent, and they should be judged by what they are, i.e. whether they are or are not violent.

          • Brenton deed

            Yes I agree; the act alone should be judged nevertheless the judge/magistrate evidently took into account their motives and I think he erred. I disagree with the acquital but motives and state of mind do play a role in fixing subsequent penalties and there would be a clear difference between pacifists and jihadis. Claiming an equivalence between jihadis and pacifists is equally muddled.

          • Albert

            Don’t get me wrong. I’m surprised that any Muslim is a pacifist. But finding that he is, I have no interest in convincing him he is wrong. Neither have I any interest in treating other Muslims more harshly than their behaviour requires. Apart from the grave injustice of so behaviour, I would not wish to push them towards (unjust) violence because of their (legitimate) resentment.

          • Brenton deed

            OK after all that I agree with you… I’m just a bit sore about how “politcal correctness” suppresses open discussion about the violence inherent in Islam. Somehow talking negatively about a doctrine makes you a racist (???) and even if you give reasons for your misgivings you are still a bigot (???).
            The points you make are valid but I guess I’m leery-eyed about some common premises that accompany this type of discussion – although that doesn’t mean you hold them.

            There is the issue about how “peaceful Muslims” deal with the violence in the Koran. Indeed, I’ve had discussions with Muslims who initially deny these verses exist and seemed shocked when they are pointed out. You may have a better feel for this than me but: how knowledgeable is the “typical” Muslim of the Koran? Another discussion for another time – thankyou for your comments they have been very rewarding.

          • Albert

            🙂 I think we’re agreed. I think a lot of Muslims don’t know the Qur’an at all well, and are influenced as much by Western liberal values as by the Qur’an. My strategy would be to keep it that way!

          • Brenton deed

            Hmmm not sure about that … I think it’s better to face up to it and have it in the open. I believe the contradictions in the Koran will inevitably become common knowledge and lead to an Islamic crisis of faith. Indeed reports have it that such a crisis (mass silent apostasy) is already occurring in the Middle East -allegedly owing to the actions of ISIS and their (correct) claims that they are following the Koran.

          • Albert

            I believe the contradictions in the Koran will inevitably become common knowledge and lead to an Islamic crisis of faith.

            I doubt it. Islam knows how to deal with this and has a doctrine of abrogation, whereby, the earliest verses are trumped by the later verses. Presumably, on the grounds that the earlier passages come from a period of necessity, while the later come from a period of freedom.

            The trouble is the peaceful verses tend to be earlier and the violent verses later.

          • Brenton deed

            Oh well time will tell … the sad thing is that it is a ticking time bomb.

          • Albert

            No, if anything I fear as you do that it is going the other way (although it is interesting to ask why that should be). My point would be that I do not wish to make a liberalized Muslim illiberal.

          • Jonathan

            However much someone may like this to be the case it most certainly is not in reality, in this country at least mens rea is fundamental to the criminal law and has been for a very very long time.

          • Brenton deed

            Sorry I meant no offence. I’m trying to emphasise that the doctrine is violent. Saying not all Muslims are violent doesn’t help: so what if they’re not violent? Not all navies were violent; does that mean THE DOCTRINE of nazism is OK?

          • Albert

            I’m trying to emphasise that the doctrine is violent. </i.

            The Qur'an is violent. Some Muslims are not violent, it is not my place to prosecute them for what they have not done, on the basis of what I may think they should do.

            There are such people as Muslim pacifists. Would you punish them like terrorists? What would be the effect on Muslims if you did that, do you think?

  • Pounce

    Well with the news that returning ISIS terrorists are to be given full pardons , rushed to the top of the housing list and found work in which to try and turn them away from the path of jihad, it would appear that they would.

    What ever next , banning hymns sung on a Sunday in case it offends non Christians been offended.

  • IanCad

    Quite frankly, the judge should be removed from the bench.
    His purpose is to uphold the law in statute and in harmony with precedent. A crime was committed; the perps knew what they were doing. Admire them, sympathise with their cause, but violence is done to society when our laws are not upheld.

    • Redrose82

      I could not agree more. How can this judge find these individuals not guilty when they readily admit that they were. He is not fit to sit in judgement.

  • James60498 .

    How could he find them “not guilty”?

    If he felt that their reason was good and was impressed etc., then I could understand how he could find them guilty and then choose to fine them £1 each as punishment

    Perhaps the judge is a “progressive”, but unusually one who understands how some of us might feel that certain groups are treated more leniently than others and thinks that this is a way of balancing things out.

  • I thought justice was supposed to be blind, in which case the men’s impressiveness, eloquence, naturalness, honesty and strength of belief should count for nothing. They broke the law and ought to have been punished.

    Perhaps the judge took into account the precedent set by Judge Cherie Booth. A Muslim who, having prayed in a mosque, broke a man’s jaw ‘after a dispute in a bank queue’ was given a suspended sentence by her because he was ‘a religious man’.

  • Royinsouthwest

    I admire the strength of conviction of the two men but, as others have pointed out, even if the judge thought there were extenuating circumstances of sufficient strength to avoid punishing the men he should have found them guilty and then let them off with a warning not to do it again. They can count themselves lucky that they were merely trying to sabotage jet planes and not refusing to bake a “gay cake.”

    Your Grace is probably correct in implying that a pair of Muslims would, in this situation, have been more likely to be convicted but I think that would be partly due to an assumption, possibly subconscious, that they were motivated by anti-western sentiment as well as concern for the people of Yemen.

  • carl jacobs

    A big part of this verdict is the fact that the pair didn’t actually manage to damage anything. This whole episode looks more like a publicity stunt than a serious attempt at vandalism. They painted a bible verse on a hammer. Why would they do that except that it be publicly seen? I wonder if they ever expected to succeed.

    I also wonder if BAE tacitly agreed with this verdict. If it didn’t cost them anything, I wouldn’t be surprised. Anyways. If the happy warriors had actually managed to strike an aircraft with a hammer, the cost to BAE would have been substantial. There would have been a different outcome be a use BAE would have been invested in it.

    But we see two things clearly is this post-Christian world:

    1. We seen the acceptable public role that may be occupied by religion – as a motivator for politically acceptable social activism.

    2. The law is no longer blind. And that means the rule of law is breaking down.

    • Ray Sunshine

      the pair didn’t actually manage to damage anything.
      It’s pretty clear that they took good care not to cause any material damage. They climbed over a fence to get into BAE company premises, but we’re not told whether the fence needed to be repaired afterwards. Presumably not.

    • You need to examine the relevant statute …. it seems they had a legitimate defence.

      • carl jacobs

        Which would be what?

        • Posted above … Lawful excuse : if they sincerely believed that what they were doing was protecting the property of another in damaging these planes then, whether their belief was accurate or not, they have a defence.

          • carl jacobs

            I still believe that damage sustained by BAE would have changed the outcome. The lack of damages was an essential enabler to this verdict. Becuase the damage inflicted on BAE would have been massive.

          • Jack suspects so too. However, the extent of the damage to property doesn’t appear to be a relevant legal factor.

  • Inspector General

    Mr Justice Inspector would take a very dim view of two raiders caught in possession of a hammer. A very dim view indeed…

  • Dolphinfish

    I do love her host’s tacit implication that British justice is somehow impartial. In fact, British judges are well under political control. Just acquaint yourself with the disgraceful way they acquitted themselves over the Skye Bridge fiasco. It’s a classic example of how the British state has learnt to use soft power to hide its nature, a lesson which the Spanish state has obviously yet to learn with reference to Catalonia. In this instance, it appears that judge made a decision that martyrdom would do the state more harm than good. Politically, of course, he was perfectly correct. Trouble is, he’s not supposed to be a politician.

  • not a machine

    A thought provoking post from your grace however the protest was a little miss aimed and I don’t think they should have done it,I mean if you’re in the business of this sort of thing you surely have your protest in London. If you are about damage then the law mediates they did not do damage I think they perhaps should have had a sentence that detered them from thinking you can trespass on defence interests, noting that at some places you may be shot!

  • Chefofsinners

    Muslim extremists have a track record of beating ploughshares into swords, then using them to kill soldiers, policemen, priests and passers by.

    This pair are clearly not a danger to anyone. Just three tools on a night out, two of them probably hammered at the time.

    • Manfarang

      Ploughshares in all that desert.

  • Manfarang

    If I had a hammer,
    I’d hammer in the morning
    I’d hammer in the evening,
    All over this land

    I’d hammer out danger,
    I’d hammer out a warning,
    I’d hammer out love between my brothers and my sisters,
    All over this land.

    If I had a hammer,
    I’d be charged with having an offensive weapon,
    I’d be charged in the morning
    All over this land.

    • Chefofsinners

      Think you’ve hit the nail on the head there, Manf.

      • Anton

        If I had a hammer
        I’d hammer to the church door
        I’d hammer 95 theses
        All over this land.

  • David

    Morally the UK selling powerful arms to Saudi to massacre the civilians of Yemen is indefensible. To that extent I salute these two plucky Christians.
    But surely the law was broken in several ways and the judge should have reflected that in a suitable short sentence ?
    A strange episode indeed !

    • carl jacobs

      So let’s change the scenario slightly and see of you still salute. What if these two heroes of the revolution had decided that Global Warming justified direct action. So they snuck onto the ramp at an airport and threw a hammer at the compressor blades of an engine of a British Airways Commercial Jet? While it was sitting at the gate waiting take on passengers?

      Would that change your evaluation?

      • dannybhoy

        I think breaking into the facility itself was the extent of their ambition Carl..
        And most peaceful Brits would understand that kind of stunt, it being a part of our cultural history. We Brits don’t do extremism..

        • carl jacobs

          It has occurred to me that they might have argued in court that they never really intended to damage anything and perhaps that’s why they got off. But that supposition seems to be contradicted by the court reports.

          • dannybhoy

            Haven’t read those I must admit.
            (see how reasonable we Brits can be? No obfuscation, no aggressive responses, just sweet British reasonableness..)
            Anyway, try answering my question above because it is linked to the post.

          • carl jacobs

            The West has already abandoned its Christian heritage. It’s only cultural inertia that keeps any sense of Christian understanding alive. It’s being progressively replaced by pagan concepts. This was not a choice but a judgment. So it’s not something that you may choose or not choose. It’s already been chosen for you.

            Unless there is another Great Awakening, there is no way to fix this. Things are going to get very dark indeed and the Church is going to have to live (and die) with it.

      • Provided they could make a sincere argument, even though it might be a falsely held belief, that in so doing they were seeking to protect the property of another, they could mount a defence.

        • carl jacobs

          They would lose. Any act of economic violence could be justifed that way but not every act will be justified. This was a political decision. The defense will only work in certain politically approved cases. That’s what makes it so dangerous to the rule of law.

          • You think the magistrate was nobbled? By whom?

          • carl jacobs

            I think the judge allowed his politics to influence his decision because no harm was actually done, and this little stunt was never about damaging an aircraft. It was a political act designed to “raise awareness.” They should have been found guilty and subjected to some nominal punishment. The judge exonerated them for the sake of a perceived “good cause”.

          • Wonder what would have happened if they’d actually caused mega-damage to aircraft.

          • carl jacobs

            It seems to my shock and amazement that the ansawer is … “Nothing”.

          • Yes, Jack saw that post by Clive too.

      • David

        For me there is no equivalence between the two scenarios.
        Whereas I object morally to the destruction of the Yemen by the Saudis and I don’t follow the religion of “man-made global warming”, which having examined the facts I hold to be a scam.

        • It’s irrelevant whether you agree with “man-made-global-warming” or not. If these latter day Don Quixote and Sancho Panza did, then, it seems, they would have a defence in law.

          • David

            Carl’s question was whether I would “salute these two plucky Christians”, although he phrased it somewhat differently So I am not considering in my reply the legal position, regarding a defence in law, but whether there was, in my opinion, an equivalence between the two scenarios of global warming warriors as opposed to those opposed to objecting to the Saudi bombing of Yememis.

          • carl jacobs

            So you are quite OK with a man destroying someone else’s property … so long as you agree with his motivations. But you won’t extend that right to a Global Warming zealot because you say his judgment of moral equivalence is wrong. He of course would not agree. Have I missed something here, or have you made yourself the arbitrator of extra-legal action?

    • bluedog

      But aren’t the Saudis massacring collaborators of Shi’ite Iran? As the Sunni keepers of the holy places, the Saudis probably feel righteous indignation about Iranian encroachment both on their southern, Yemeni, border as well as to the north, in Iraq.

  • dannybhoy

    Interesting..

    At the service we attended this morning we heard someone speak on their involvement in a middle eastern ministry.
    Danny asked a question that he has been mulling over for some time.
    “Considering the plight of the Christian Church in the Middle East and the development of our own multicultural society; how wise would we be in accepting the abandonment of our own Christian inspired heritage for one in which Christianity was but one of a number of religions of equal status, governed by civil laws?”
    Should we (and the Americans) sever our ties with Christianity in order to achieve multicultural harmony in our nations, or would we be abandoning the last bastions of Christian influence in the world?
    I’d love to know what sub

    • Palmoni

      A multicultural nation cannot be Christian, this is the real nature of Globalism {antichrist} destroy the nation state and facilitate mass migration from mostly Islamic lands into exclusively Western Christian countries , to paraphrase Matthew 8/9 ” And showeth Him all the Kingdoms of the World and the glory of them,and saith all these things i will give thee if thou wilt fall down and worship me”

  • carl jacobs

    Btw. A couple of things.

    1. The Scripture verse is being horribly abused. There is no temporal vision of beating swords into plowshares this side of the second coming.

    2. The probability is like 99.99994% that these guys are purveyors of the modern social gospel.

    3. Get a haircut.

    • Ray Sunshine

      Meanwhile, back in the minor prophets …

      Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears; let the weak say, “I am a warrior.” Joel 3:10 (ESV)

      • Anton

        Yes, but that’s God being sarcastic, in context, saying You do that but you will lose because you are up against me.

    • Sarky

      Regarding point 3, you’re right. The jesus look is sooooo 2016.

      • carl jacobs

        At some point, you have to stop trying to look like a doped-up hippee, grow up, and realize those tattoos were a mistake.

    • Chefofsinners

      Dude, long hair is like totally radical for Jesus. And the chicks go wild for it.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Joel talks of beating plowshares into swords. Not often noted or commented on.

      • Anton

        Apart from below!

        • Dominic Stockford

          I did then note that – but twice in the last 40 years of the peace movement mis-using Isaiah is hardly ‘often’!

          Calvin says of Joel: Hence the Prophet says, Turn your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears;’ that is, field labour will cease, and all will strenuously apply themselves to war. And let the weak say, I am strong, for there will then be no exemption from war. Excuses, we know, availed formerly on the ground of age or disease, when soldiers were collected; and if any one could have pleaded disease, he was dismissed; but the Prophet says, that there will be no exemption then; “God”, he says, “will excuse none, he will compel all to become warriors, he will even draw out all the sick from their beds; all will be constrained to put on arms”.

          • Anton

            I can’t tell from that passage alone whether Calvin has grasped the key point, that God is being sarcastic at that point.

          • Dominic Stockford

            He doesn’t, I think, say God is being sarcastic, rather he seems to be saying God is throwing down a challenge – something along the lines of if you oppose me, then you have to demonstrate that, stand up and fight for what you believe in (or don’t believe in).

  • Sarky

    Typical christians.. taking a (metaphorical) knife to a gunfight.

  • Norman Yardy

    As Christians, we are expected to keep the law of the land. Failure to do so sets a bad example and brings disrespect to the christian faith.
    This judge should have found them guilty as charged but given them a suspended sentence if he so chose. There are other ways for a Minister of religion to get over his views.

    • carl jacobs

      we are expected to keep the law of the land.

      So long as the law does not exceed the scope of its proper authority. It was after all the law if the land to worship the idol at the sound of the trumpet.

      But there is no question that this sale is within the lawful scope of authority of the state. This is in fact a question of politics. That state made a policy decision with which these two individuals disagreed. So they took political and not moral action in response.

      Thinking something is wrong is not the same as having the authority to make the decision.

      • “Thinking something is wrong is not the same as having the authority to make the decision.”

        Well …. it is if you happen to believe they have the right to privately interpret and/or apply Holy Scripture and follow their own consciences in the matter.

        • carl jacobs

          Yeah. Good thing Shadrach had the Magisterium to tell him what to do. Otherwise he would never have known.

          • Don’t think the Magisterium was in place then but if it had been it would certainly have approved of Shadrach’s decision.

            The Catechism – you know that summation of Catholic teaching you appear never to refer to – asserts the Church’s yes and no to the state in sections 1897-1904 and in 2234 to 2243. It explains that we are “resident aliens.” Our citizenship is in heaven, and only there is our ultimate loyalty. Hence, if that loyalty conflicts with our loyalty to civic authority, loyalty to God must prevail.

            The Catechism then explicitly talks about the proper role civil disobedience can play, if circumstances warrant. We have to obey authority, it reminds us. But the role of authority “is to ensure as far as possible the common good of the society.” Sometimes authority will fail in doing so.

            http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s1c2a2.htm

            http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a4.htm

          • carl jacobs

            Don’t think the Magisterium was in place then

            That would be my point.

          • It is now.

          • carl jacobs

            And it’s headed up by a heretic. How fortunate that I don’t need it.

          • He may or may not be a heretic. Who is Jack to judge?

            Be honest, as a heretic yourself, you consider all Catholics heretics. You’re just being opportunistic because there’s a media storm over Pope Francis’ ambiguity and poor leadership.

          • carl jacobs

            Who is Jack to judge

            That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you. As a good Roman Catholic, you can’t. You have the Magisterium to judge for you.

            You’re just being opportunistic

            No, i’m just pointing out the obvious. You want me to submit myself to a man who is objectively dismantling the faith you want me to adopt.

            ambiguity and poor leadership.

            Is that what they call heresy these days?

          • He may or may not be a heretic, Carl. Popes can and do personally err. Like us all they are sinners and influenced by the world and others around them. He is too protestant in outlook on some issues for Jack’s taste and to liberally political on others.
            As Jack has said before, Pope Francis has not introduced new doctrine or changed existing doctrine. He has expressed what Jack regards as personal opinion in ambiguous ways and these could be construed as heretical. Should he ever definitively teach something that contradicts existing doctrine by virtue of his supreme authority, or change some hitherto binding teaching in unison with other bishops, and Jack is required to accept this by faith or submit his mind and will to it, then do get to him.

          • Albert

            What’s his heresy?

          • carl jacobs

            Why do you ask me? I’ll just list out all the errors of Rome. But that isn’t the subject. I’m just saying what Catholics say. I’m saying what Jack carefully skirts around with his assertions of “ambiguity and poor leadership” – as if ambiguity wasn’t a settled strategy of subversion. Ask Mundabor. Or Rorate Caeli. Or the 60 people who signed the letter. Better yet, ask the people he has been stuffing into the Magisterium what they think. Jack has admitted that is happeniing as well and he is “concerned”. Maybe you should ask a nice German bishop who is very interested in opening up the Eucharist to divorced people and has the ear of his ally, the Pope. You’ll be living with those guys for a while so you should really get to know them.

          • Albert

            I’m asking what’s his heresy from a Catholic point of view, not yours. I’ve thought long and hard about his position on marriage, it may be imprudent, or misleading, but it is not heretical, and, as far as I am aware the letter against him does not accuse him of heresy. So, I ask again, what’s his heresy – from a Catholic point of view?

      • Albert

        So long as the law does not exceed the scope of its proper authority. It was after all the law if the land to worship the idol at the sound of the trumpet.

        And if someone disagrees with you about the limits of the law? You don’t see a law as legitimate which requires idolatry, but you do see a law as legitimate which sells arms to those who will misuse them. What makes your interpretation of the limits of the law right, theirs wrong?

        • carl jacobs

          The state is within its lawful authority to sell arms. That’s why. The task exists within its scope of authority like taxation and establishing a police force. Do you agree with this or not? To whom the state chooses to sell arms is a matter of policy and prudential judgment. Surely you would not condemn the UK for selling P39 Airacobras to Soviet Union. Would you? The wicked evil Soviets who would certainly have misused those weapons if circumstances warranted?

          http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_P-39_Airacobra_Soviet.html

          “But wait! That’s different! That’s not misuse!” Right. So at last you political admit contingency. You must. One thing you are not is a blind idiot and only a blind idiot would have object to selling arms to the Russians in 1942. Who then has the authority to make that judgment and weigh misuse against other policy factors and act upon it?? Here’s a hint. No private citizen has that authority. If you, private citizen, dislike your Gov’ts policy, then you have the ability to exercise legal means to change the gov’t. You do not have standing to violate the law because you wish to substitute your policy judgment for the judgment of the one legally empowered to exercise it.

          • Albert

            The state is within its lawful authority to sell arms. That’s why. The task exists within its scope of authority like taxation and establishing a police force.

            That does not follow.

            To whom the state chooses to sell arms is a matter of policy and prudential judgment

            If so, it can prudentially be disagreed with. Selling arms to those whom one has fair moral certainty will misuse them is plainly wrong.

            Surely you would not condemn the UK for selling P39 Airacobras to Soviet Union. Would you?

            No, because, under the circumstances (rather than say, 10 years later), I can make the prudential judgement that they would be used for a good purpose.

            No private citizen has that authority. </i.

            I do not understand your idolization of the state and your minimising of the role of individual conscience.

  • Dominic Stockford

    The nonsense in this case is that they effectively admitted their guilt, yet were found not guilty because in what they did they claimed that they had committed a thought-virtue.

  • Dodgy Geezer

    ..“However, having considered in full the defence under sec 5 Criminal Damage Act 1971, I find the defendants not guilty.”….

    Section 5 is the bit that defends you against a criminal damage charge if, for instance, you smash a window to save someone trapped in a sinking car.

    It provides two excuses:

    1 – you damage something because you think, in the circumstances, that this is what the owner would have wanted. Throwing a bucket of water over a burning sofa might come into this category. This is probably not applicable here.

    2 – you damage something to protect your or another’s property, where you think this is necessary and reasonable. Note that this does not necessarily HAVE to be reasonable or necessary – you just have to hold the honest opinion that it is.

    I am not sure whether such an argument would prevail if the ‘other property’ you were protecting was in a country at war with us. If so, an enemy soldier could reasonably shoot a British bomber down on the grounds that the bomber was intending to damage military property belonging to his state.And from there we could argue that flying an aircraft into a major office block, or beheading a soldier in the street, was justified on the grounds of protecting ISIS property….

    • Think you’ll find a set of different set of statutes come into play when life is threatened or people are harmed or killed.

      • Dodgy Geezer

        Nevertheless, it is an interesting flight of fancy. I wonder how far you can go? Lobbing mortar bombs at parked aircraft might well cause no injuries to people…

        • This is true. Fancy a late night raid on Heathrow airport? The planes are certainly causing pollution. We can think up a full justification on the way. Mind you, isn’t possession of such firearms illegal?

          [M15 – if you’re monitoring this, it’s called satire …. honestly]

          • Anton

            M15 is a gun… Freudian slip?

          • Dodgy Geezer

            Yes, they are actually called Security Service, and operate in the UK as secret policemen, as opposed to the Secret Intelligence Service, who operate as external spies. SIS don’t mind being known by their initials, but the other mob….

          • Now corrected. Must be Jack’s Fenian past.

          • Dodgy Geezer

            The nice thing about Climate Change is that you can cite apparently sane scientists and establishment figures who are prepared to state that the whole world is going to burn up in short order.

            Consequently, you can justify pretty much any action against ANY CO2-generating activity with this excuse.

            I suspect that a wire rope with one end tied to a nosewheel and the other to a heavy vehicle like a Fire Monitor would be quite effective…

          • Anton

            You can also find research physicists who deplore the fact that uncertainty in their present conclusions has been turned political, and who are well aware of bias in research due to the sources of funding.

          • Dodgy Geezer

            …You can also find research physicists who deplore the fact that uncertainty in their present conclusions has been turned political…

            Don’t do anything about it, though, do they? Where is Galileo Galilei when you need him…?

          • Dodgy Geezer

            ….Fancy a late night raid on Heathrow airport?..,

            …actually, just tossing a paper-bag full of gravel into the intake fan of a jet turbine would probably require it to be stripped down – whether it was turning or not at the time. Get a pick-up truck with two people on the back airside and you could probably disable 20 planes or so before they caught you…

  • The Law is rather curious in that it offers a lawful excuse for criminal damage which this magistrate accepted:

    (2) A person charged with an offence to which this section applies, shall, whether or not he would be treated for the purposes of this Act as having a lawful excuse apart from this subsection, be treated for those purposes as having a lawful excuse—

    (a) if at the time of the act or acts alleged to constitute the offence he believed that the person or persons whom he believed to be entitled to consent to the destruction of or damage to the property in question had so consented, or would have so consented to it if he or they had known of the destruction or damage and its circumstances; or

    (b) if he destroyed or damaged or threatened to destroy or damage the property in question or, in the case of a charge of an offence under section 3 above, intended to use or cause or permit the use of something to destroy or damage it, in order to protect property belonging to himself or another or a right or interest in property which was or which he believed to be vested in himself or another, and at the time of the act or acts alleged to constitute the offence he believed —

    (i) that the property, right or interest was in immediate need of protection; and

    (ii) that the means of protection adopted or proposed to be adopted were or would be reasonable having regard to all the circumstances.

    (3) For the purposes of this section it is immaterial whether a belief is justified or not if it is honestly held.

    (4) For the purposes of subsection (2) above a right or interest in property includes any right or privilege in or over land, whether created by grant, licence or otherwise.

    (5)This section shall not be construed as casting doubt on any defence recognised by law as a defence to criminal charges.

    https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1971/48/section/5

    It would appear that this magistrate, in order to be consistent, would have to acquit and any social justice warrior, be they Muslim, Christian or Jedi Knight, who sincerely believed what he was doing was protecting the property of another.

    • carl jacobs

      In other words, some idiot judge construed this law to cover an act of political vandalism – which acts I guarantee were never envisioned in the construction of this law.

      First we kill all the lawyers.

      • Er …. Jack thinks such direct action would be illegal, Carl.

        • carl jacobs

          Yes, well. I sincerely believe I’m protecting my property so I have a legal defense.

          • It doesn’t cover killing another person … unless they happen to be children in the womb.

          • carl jacobs

            Are you 100% sure a lawyer is a person? Maybe a lawyer is only a person for 12 or maybe 24 weeks after getting his law degree?

          • Yes, Jack is 100% certain.

          • Albert

            Lawyers are not persons since they lack sufficient intelligence to be considered such:

            Lawyer: “Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?”
            * Witness: “No.”
            * Lawyer: “Did you check for blood pressure?”
            * Witness: “No.”
            * Lawyer: “Did you check for breathing?”
            * Witness: “No.”
            * Lawyer: “So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?”
            * Witness: “No.”
            * Lawyer: “How can you be so sure, Doctor?”
            * Witness: “Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.”
            * Lawyer: “But could the patient have still been alive nevertheless?”
            * Witness: “Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law somewhere.”

          • Anton

            If this actually happened, I’ve love the reference!

          • Albert

            There’s a whole page of them:

            http://www.mattkruse.com/humor/lawyer_quotes.txt

          • Q: “Can you describe the individual?”
            A: “He was about medium height and had a beard.”
            Q: “Was this a male, or a female?”

            A very reasonable question …..

          • Anton

            I particularly liked, “How far apart were the vehicles at the time of the collision?”

          • Anton

            Thank you!

          • Ray Sunshine

            What a magnificent collection, Albert. Thank you!

  • Dreadnaught

    War has been declared on us by ISIS. The Sauds have joined in the Coalition against them by supplying aircraft to that conflict.
    Saudi Arabia has sent warplanes to NATO-member Turkey’s Incirlik air base for the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group, according to a Turkish official.
    ‘Look at us we are Tewwowists for Jesus and we have scary beards too’.
    These two malicious idiots and their Mighty War Hammer have achieved their 15 minutes of ‘fame’ but have exposed the Methodism in their madness. And don’t they look smug; pity they didn’t nip over to Riyadh and pull their stupid stunt there – not that bold eh Chums.
    That they were cleared is a travesty; maybe the military wing of the Methodist Movement were holding the Magistrates families to ransom in the basement of the Glad Tidings Mission Hall.

    • carl jacobs

      And don’t they look smug; pity they didn’t nip over to Riyadh and pull their stupid stunt there – not that bold eh Chums.

      Word.

  • Mike Stallard

    But the Methodist looks the part – straggly beard and wet smile!

    • Chefofsinners

      Surely a slot on Goggle Box beckons for the Rebel Rev and his mighty tool.

      • Mike Stallard

        :0)

  • Politically__Incorrect

    What gets me about this case ism’t the two pseudo-Christians in the picture but the reasoning, if it can be called that, of the judge in reaching a verdict. Since when was eloquence, or strongly-held views, or even honesty, an excuse to commit a crime? The fact that we have to entrust the enforcement of justice on people whose mind works in this way makes me shudder. Contrast his “reasoning” with the case of Mr Ngole, a university student who has just lost his appeal against his expulsion by his college for stating on facebook his support for traditional marriage. Also eloquent, honest, with strongly-held views and not charged with any crime, he has lost his appeal in the High Court because he held the wrong strongly-held views. Our justice system is more bent than EU proto-banana.

    • Anton

      I agree with you about the BAE case. About Felix Ngole, I agree it is a disgrace that he was thrown off his course for this reason, but whether it is actionable under law or not depends on the contract between university and student and this must be studied.

      He was taking a higher degree in social work, that well-known and deeply respected academic subject which stands four-square alongside mathematics, classics, physics, history, molecular biology and English literature, to name but a few.

  • CliveM

    Actually this simply follows legal precedent;

    https://www.opendemocracy.net/paul-rogers/disarming-war-hawk-ploughshares-story

    There was also a similar (if more controversial case, as it didn’t concern a third party), concerning action at Faslane in Scotland about 20 years ago. Can’t find a link for that though.

    • Well researched thou good and faithful social justice warrior.

      • CliveM

        I have never been called that before!

    • carl jacobs

      Did it involve Trident? If some social justice warrior tried to do something like that (interfere with nukes) he would likely die. At least in the US. They aren’t kidding when they say “Use of Deadly Force Authorized”.

      • CliveM

        Yep it was Trident. Acquited by the Procurator Fiscal, on the grounds that Trident broke international law.

    • carl jacobs

      And in this story, you clearly see the political nature of the act. This is all about politics. “My Gov’t has made a decision that I dislike and I can’t do anything about it. Therefore I will take illegal acton in hopes of forcing a policy change.” It has no practical effect on Indonesia, of course. One damaged jet won’t change anything. It’s a futile publicity stunt – and the fact that they called the Media indicates that it was a publicity stunt.

      But it might “raise awareness”. And “raised awareness” might lead to political change. Which of course was the whole point.

  • Chefofsinners

    As I understand it the main point of this article is that while Muslims are prosecuted for acts of violence, Christians are more likely to be prosecuted for praying.
    This reflects the threat which each religion poses. While radical Islam threatens the physical safety of society, Christians threaten cultural Marxism, by standing against its dismantling of traditional morality, the family and nationhood. The apparatus of our increasingly Marxist and totalitarian state is only deployed when and where needed.

    • Albert

      Christians are more likely to be prosecuted for praying.
      This reflects the threat which each religion poses

      Good. Christian prayer is more powerful than violence.

      • Sarky

        I doubt it.

        • Albert

          I don’t care.

        • Chefofsinners

          No, you actively disbelieve it. I will pray for you.

          • bluedog

            Following the excellent points you make above, the logical step for the Marxists is to clear the field of all established Christian churches, with particular emphasis on the Church of Rome. If that falls, they will have won an extraordinary cultural and moral victory, and it does seem to be their objective.

          • Chefofsinners

            The homogenisation of thought is the clear objective of cultural Marxism, particularly the destruction of any perception that one social structure is superior to another. This is the equivalent of Economic Marxism’s objective of equalising wealth distribution.
            A victory for this ideology would be a devastating loss for humanity, just as the Marxist revolution was a disaster for Russia. It is the most immediate threat to Western civilisation.

          • Inspector General

            Super reasoning, Bluedog. We must best ourselves for the following:

            We will become a Sharia complicit nation. But before that, our spirit will be broken by militant LGBT…
            ““““““““““““““““““““““““““`
            jenifer divine • 2 days ago
            i am post-op trans, and i vehemently DISAGREE w/self-identification-
            as it is, many M2F trans are being certified by male doctors who have no idea of ALL mental elements ultimately involved, and this leads to an unfortunately large percentage of certifications for those who are actually fetishists (i.e., transvestites and crossdressers, in other words those who would be listed as only 3 or 4 on the very eminent 6-point Benjamin scale); i feel that only female doctors and therapists should have the final say in certification for M2F trans, and male doctors and therapists should only have the final say in F2M trans
            PS: no comments from TERFs will be tolerated, and ALL abuse WILL be reported to mods

          • TERFs and SWERFs ….

            Trans-exclusionary radical feminism (TERF; also Trans women exclusionary feminism or TWEF) is a subgroup of radical feminism characterized by transphobia, especially transmisogyny, and hostility to the third wave of feminism. They believe that the only real women are those born with a vagina and XX chromosomes. They wish to completely enforce the classic gender binary, supporting gender essentialism ….

            Sex worker exclusionary radical feminism (also known as SWERF) is yet another offshoot of feminism, one that opposes women’s participation in pornography and prostitution. The term was coined to match that of TERF, as their memberships overlap. Their ideology also overlaps as both subgroups follow a prescriptive, normative approach to feminism; i.e., telling women what to do — TERFs with their gender, and SWERFs with their sexuality..

            It makes one’s head spin!!!

          • Inspector General

            It’s so desperately, desperately, sad. Happiness Jack. What the surgeons (or Sturgeons) can’t do is to remove a Tranny’s male sex drive. So the poor things are found lifeless in hotel rooms, car parks, or wasteland, having been discovered by the punter to have not been the ‘woman’ they had paid for.

            All this has your Inspector weeping tears of regret, and so he will sign off tonight before he collapses into a useless heap…

            {Sobs] Goodbye {Sobs}

            {HOWL!!!}

          • Pubcrawler

            TWERPS the lot of ’em.

          • Hi Inspector

            “We will become a Sharia complicit nation. But before that, our spirit will be broken by militant LGBT…”

            If GB became “Sharia complicit” like , say , Saudi or Iran I can’t see how LGBT could be militant or for that matter do anything.

          • Inspector General

            Complicity is already happening, Hannah. Meat is a good example. Can you be sure what’s on your plate was not cruelly killed halal style?

            The homosexuals are increasingly facing a backlash from muslim taxi drivers. Plenty of victim whining on Pink News in the past. Although one has absolutely no proof whatsoever, one suspects the ending of the Uber licence is connected to that. Earlier, an attempt was made to ‘employee-ize’ the traditionally self-employed workforce. Easier to discipline errants that way, you see. If this is the case with the licence, then it’s a rare moment of fightback by the albeit openly queering supporting, political indigenous.

            Militant homosexuals remain a pampered crowd, but up against Islam they have no chance. They are tiny in comparative number, and the votes just aren’t there. Labour intends to keeps its inner city seats by whatever means is necessary and if that means giving muslim taxi drivers ‘religious exemption’ from equality laws, then that is exactly what muslim taxi drivers are going to get. And why not- the CoE enjoys such! The Labour activists in London who have sided with homosexuals will be overruled by Labour’s National Executive. That is very much a given should they ever come to power again…

          • Hi

            Oh I see . That clarifies your position.

          • Sarky

            That’s a tad passive aggressive.

    • Inspector General

      Astonishing insight from you Chief. Have an OBE. Theresa, pull yourself away from your love affair with all things LGBT and see to it. Unfortunately, our PM has attended a gay awards ceremony. and has apparently lent her support…

      http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2017/10/27/jeremy-corbyn-praises-theresa-may-for-pushing-forward-with-transgender-rights-reforms/

      • Chefofsinners

        Lent? Or sold?

        • Inspector General

          If there was ever a case of ‘grubbing for votes’ it’s from that crowd…

          • layreader

            ‘Cultural Marxism’. That’s a phrase to remember. It needs to be publicised more.

          • bluedog

            It’s been around for a while. You don’t read The Guardian, do you? They treat the term with utter contempt and demand detailed criticism, rejecting Cultural Marxism as an empty slogan used by Right-Wing Nut Jobs too stupid to develop a coherent argument. RWNJ is of course a term of abuse used by Leftists too stupid to understand arguments deployed against them by people such as Christians. All Christians are by definition RWNJs, except those CoE clergy and higher who chant ‘Oh Jeremy Corbyn’. One presumes that these folk are awarded the honorific of ‘Useful Idiots’ by those on the Left who seek to discredit and destroy the Churches.

          • layreader

            I must admit that I had heard it before but not, I am pleased to say, from the columns of the Grauniad. If the Right ever needs a rallying cry, something like ‘Stop Cultural Marxism’ would be useful. After all, Marxism (even if democratically arrived at) only ever leads to either dictatorship or bankruptcy, or both.

          • Anton

            I too question the term. Marx wouldn’t recognise it. The correct term for reaching the endpoint sought by Marx and communism by peaceable means is socialism.

          • Chefofsinners

            It is more accurately called the Frankfurt School of critical social theory, but Cultural Marxism is a descriptive shorthand.

          • Anton

            The means of production only ever made sense in an industrialised society, and more significant historically and perhaps ideologically was Mao’s agrarian generalisation of Marxism. The big question is: where lie the roots of the 1960s socio(-sexual) revolution? Rightwingers in the West tend to think that the Left has been hitting them since the war and that this was just another weapon, but the 1960s revolution had as big an effect on the Left as it did on the Right. Your typical working class trade unionist of the Left in the 1950s was socially and sexually conservative, patriotic and racist. Till Death Us Do Part is not about the Right versus the Left as its writer would have us believe. It is about Old left vs New left, Alf Garnett vs his son-in-law. That Alf voted Tory was pushing it.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Or punished in some way for expressing our Biblically based views publicly (Felix Ngole, Richard Page – just two in the last week).

  • Simon Platt

    This isn’t the first time intruders at Warton have been acquitted on similar grounds. The last lot (that I remember) actually caused some damage, too.

    I see that Clive M beat me to it.

  • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

    Apropos the photograph, I do think the reverend has a look of Matthew Hopkins about him…at least something of the 1640s…not that I was around at the time.

    • Chefofsinners

      He has a look of the Honey Monster about him.

    • Father David

      Pull the other one, Matthew Hopkins, be blowed! More like Mary Hopkin! I find with all that long hair, you can’t tell the difference between the boys and the girls nowadays!
      Ma’am, I am puzzled – you say that you were not around in the 1640s yet on another thread you claim to possess DVDs which are well after your time? Methinks you must own some kind of Time Machine. If so, a word of warning – if I were you I would hesitate to use your TARDIS to return to the 1640s as the Witchfinder General did not look favourably upon women, like yourself, who expressed strong opinions! After all – “Those were the days”

      • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

        I am an enigma, but not part of the machine…

        • andrew

          Hopkins mostly went after wart ridden, aged crones. Mrs Proudie, I’ll leave the rest to you.

          • Father David

            I don’t think that Mrs. Proudie has a familiar, apart from, that is, My Lord, the bishop.

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            Certainly not

          • Father David

            Shame, Mrs. Slocombe in AYBS was so very fond of hers.

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            And you are..?

          • andrew

            Andrew of Chester. Privy to a good Catholic conspiracy, and admirer of fine porcelin. For want of simplicity you can refer to me as ‘far right Andy’.
            Nevertheless, at your service.

          • Anton

            Catholic conspirators use your privy? That explains the porcelain anyway.

        • Father David

          Nay, Mrs. Proudie, as Churchill once said of Russia – you are “a riddle wrapped up in a mystery inside and enigma”.

          • Anton

            There’s not much room inside an enigma machine. Have you been to Bletchley Park?

          • Father David

            I have indeed been to Bletchley Park, many years ago on a trip with the Mothers’ Union – fascinating place. One of my current parishioners now aged 95 worked there during the war, all very “Hush, Hush!”

        • Chefofsinners

          Jack is a mystery wrapped in an enema.

      • Anton

        She takes her inspiration from her host.

        • She is a Goa’uld?

          • Anton

            Archbishop Cranmer.

          • He’s a Goa’uld?

          • Anton

            I don’t even know what that is… Ask him!

          • Archbishop Cranmer, Anton suggested Jack asks you whether you are a Goa’uld?

          • Hi

            Goa’uld are an alien race of asexual snake like beings who use human bodies (male or female) as hosts and slaves , ruling half the galaxy as feudal “system lords”, who are named after and consider themselves to be (ancient earth ) deities, especially Egyptian ones. Their eyes glow white and they speak with a gruff guttural voice.

            https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pB_HfRMu8_w

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            Naughty step for you…

    • Chefofsinners

      The haircut is like unto the mullet, from the 1980s. ‘Business on the top, party at the back’. Reinvented for the 21st century and renamed the mallet.

  • Anton

    Would Muslims have been acquitted? Don’t know, but British Muslims returning from fighting ISIS are likely to be given priority in getting council housing and on other waiting lists:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/10/29/extremists-returning-jihadists-offered-council-house-bribes/

    Our culture is truly committing suicide.

    • IanCad

      Government – in this case the Home Office – provides excellent employment opportunities for those who would suffer want in the real world.

      • Dominic Stockford

        We have need of people to hang around street corners looking busy whilst waiting for the next dollop of taxpayers money to land in their laps.

        (I do accept some have genuine need…)

        • IanCad

          Dominic, I was referring to the parasitic officials in the Home Office who have mooted this outrage.
          I was not endorsing ever more funding for layabouts.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Many of them also seem to hang around on street corners doing nothing whilst waiting for the next dollop…

            I think of the pointless ‘consultations’ about the proposed 3rd runway at Heathrow, which seemed to take a small army of ‘officials’, none of whom were actually able to give us answers about anything we really need to know, like where the new flightpaths will be. They were all fed at our expense – even though they would have to eat wherever they were it appears if it is somewhere out of the office then they don’t have to pay for it, whilst in the office they do!

    • Hi

      But, but these poor souls have human rights and should be given free unicorns, housing , full benefits , an automatic place at Cambridge , so they can assist in pulling down statues of imperialists like Rhodes and help in the revolutionary work of de colonizing of English literature. Also maybe the courts should award them compensation and not just some derisory award for psychological trauma, cause the government didn’t stop them from being duped . In addition they can attend “citizenship classes” and get time out for BDS rallies.

      • Anton

        Yes, but let this be a week of celebration – tomorrow is the 500th anniversary of the Reformation which began the ushering in of freedom of conscience in Europe. That freedom started with princes only (cuius regio, eius religio) but gradually widened. Tomorrow is also the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration being finalised in War Cabinet (although the date on the letter to Lord Rothschild is two days later – a Friday – perhaps so that it was received, presumably by courier, in close time for Jewish Sabbath celebrations).

        Here is the same Lord Rothschild driving his carriage pulled by four zebras:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Rothschild,_2nd_Baron_Rothschild#/media/File:WalterRothschildWithZebras.jpg

        • Tomorrow is also Halloween – the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows’ Day. It begins the three-day observance of Allhallowtide, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to praying for the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Christian? I think not – most Christians in the west don’t ‘celebrate’ these things – it is almost unheard of in much of mainland Europe.

        • betteroffoutofit

          You puzzle me, Anton. What is “the ushering in of freedom of conscience in Europe”? Are you talking about our kings being free from papal and euro interference about whether they should marry their brothers’ wives? And, then of course, about any other immorality they preferred to avoid?

          So what date are we supposed to attribute to that? I truly hate the propensity for giving too much credit to Luther, although he certainly gave a boost to ideas we’d been working on for at least a hundred years.

          • Anton

            I’d define freedom of conscience as a legal system that allows one to adhere to any belief system one likes provided that the laws governing interactive behaviour among people are kept.

            I was definitely not attributing it to Luther. I have no idea what his views were on the subject. But it emerged by accident as a consequence of the Reformation. At first it was restricted to princes, who agreed to disagree about protestantism (cuius regio, eius religio).

            Rome continued to be against freedom of conscience far into the 19th century at least; Gregory XVI described it in 1832 as an “absurd and erroneous proposition” (in Mirari Vos, paragraph 14). So it didn’t come from Catholic lands. Nor did it come from secularism, despite much propaganda to that effect today. The pioneering secular revolution was the French Revolution, and it degenerated into terror and totalitarianism.

            It seems to have come from England, where the political doctrine of freedom under the law was developed – as Burke recognised when he surprised everybody by condemning the revolutionaries; he realised that there was no tradition of freedom to draw on in France and that it would end in tears. Religious freedom appears to have come about by accident, when there were so many sects after the English Civil War that any one was far outnumbered by the combination of the others, so they had no choice. It went underground at the Restoration but freedom of protestant conscience, at least, was won at the Glorious Revolution, and Roman Catholicism was legalised in the 19th century. About that, I’d add that any religion which has political pretensions should be treated by government as a political movement as much as religious. That is a problem with a certain non-Christian religion today.

            I hope you don’t think I am simplistically saying that freedom of religious conscience began on October 31st, 1517 !

          • betteroffoutofit

            Thank you for the helpful explanation! Yes – I was afraid that’s what you meant – so glad I was wrong 🙂

            It’s been a while since I read any Burke – but I liked him when I did – and I agree with what you’re saying now, especially: ” . . . any religious sect or denomination which has political pretensions should be treated by government as a political movement as much as religious.”

            On the politics/religion angle, I suppose we do could do well to remember that our earliest-known English laws (Ethelberht’s) required Christian assistance for the writing/publication. And, doubtless, Judaeo-Christianity and the 10 Commandments had their influence on both Roman and English law codes . . . quite logically and practically, I would believe! So I do think that politicians should recognise and admit to the moral code that underlies their claims and behaviour; I wouldn’t say we can take religion out of politics.

            Unfortunately, our problem today seems to lie with religious yoyos who can’t take politics out of their religion(s)!

        • Hi

          yes I shall be celebrating Balfour and think of whomever is seated next to Lady Nugget at the official dinner (as Corbyn unsurprisingly won’t be going)..

      • Dominic Stockford

        Not fair, no-one will even let me know where I can go and buy a unicorn, and they get them free. Take to the streets I say, take to the streets….

  • andrew

    Something about lefty Christian types that I cannot tolerate, and ironically seem utterly anti Christian. One glance @ Daniel Woodhouse twitter and it’s easy to notice the usual Marxist tripe: ‘white male privilege, only whites can be racist, transatlantic slave trade still affects the world today, whites need to apologise because they’re guilty of…well, everything, Farage is Hitler, we need feminism because I’ve just seen a still of a women showing her bra, from a drama about female prisoners’.

    Sigh. Might be far fetched, but the skeptic in me believes pseudo Christians like Daniel posture because they’re fueled by an ill advised ego and a desire to personally gain from an outward alignment with today’s popular anti white racism and leftist virtual signalling.

    I used to live in Bradford, and hardly a month went by without the local rag mentioning rev Chris Howson, another leftist, pseudo Christian of the liberation theology mantra. For me, everything about him screamed mental illness and a severe case of delusions of grandeur.

  • layreader

    This Judge (District Judge James Clarke) has form. In 2014, a man who appeared before him was charged with threatening to burn down a mosque in Blackburn. He had done so, by shouting the threat from the other side of the road. No hammers, no matches, no breaking and entering, only words. He got a six month suspended sentence, ordered to pay £280 costs, and wore a tag for six weeks.

    So somehow, in this judge’s befuddled mind, a shouted threat is far worse than breaking and entering. This is what he said at the time – “Your behaviour went against everything expected of an Englishman – tolerance, understanding and respect for others.” I’m starting to find the hypocrisy of the liberal establishment rather more than just silly – it’s becoming a serious threat. Very little ‘tolerance, understanding and respect for others’ on the part of a couple of pacifists, I see.
    Oh, but they are noble. They are hairy. They are young. They want to be martyrs. They can’t be guilty. Pacifism obviously includes violence, when necessary.

    • Anton

      Would Judge Clarke have said to a Muslim who was a British citizen, “Your behaviour went against everything expected of an Englishman…”?

      • Ray Sunshine

        Anton, how could you possibly doubt it?

        • Anton

          Just asking…

  • CliveM

    Thinking about this further, if these people are being acquited because they were trying to stop a crime ie selling weapons to Saudi, why doesnt someone try a private prosecution and seek s judicial review of these sales in the courts?

    The outcome should be interesting if nothing else, as where would the law be if a court declred the sales legal?

    • CliveM

      In answer to my own question the High Court has declared the sales legal
      https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/10/uk-arms-exports-to-saudi-arabia-can-continue-high-court-rules

      So we have a right muddle. It’s legal the sell the jet, whilst also legal to physically damage the jet in an attempt to stop the sale.

      • dannybhoy

        Selling arms to other nations knowing that they might or will be used to kill innocents is 100% wrong and should be stopped. Better to build an economy based on skills and manufacturing geared towards peaceful development.

        • Anton

          The problem is that a nation wants an indigenous arms industry so as not to be dependent for arms, parts for maintenance, etc, on other nations (who it might end up fighting in the future). Once you have an indigenous arms industry, you have far more supply than your own armed forces demand, and easy profits to be made by running the production line and selling the products overseas.

          • dannybhoy

            But you don’t have to have an inbuilt surplus, you can recycle what you don’t need instead of selling them overseas.

          • Dominic Stockford

            And then your arms industry would collapse, due to under-use.

          • dannybhoy

            A sovereign nation will always need armed forces and efective weaponry. I don’t see how achieving that means you have to sell weapons overseas to unstable regimes under the pretence that they are ‘allies’..

          • Anton

            It’s about what to do in peacetime – hopefully the bulk of the time – when you have an indigenous arms industry for reasons of national security. Unavoidably there is massive spare capacity. You want the production line there ready in case a war breaks out. And it would be good to recoup the investment. Right or wrong, do you see the point?

          • dannybhoy

            No.

          • Anton

            Do you see it the way Dominic put it?

          • dannybhoy

            But it’s not the main point, which is that many of our current military
            flashpoints can be traced to the cynical supply of armaments to nations who use them to subdue or eradicate their enemies. Look at Africa for example, so many of these vicious wars and guerilla movements are dependent on Western arms to deal with their foes.
            The same with the Middle East and dictators like Saddam Hussein or Syria’s Assad, all dependent on foreign arms suppliers.

          • dannybhoy

            But it’s not the main point, which is that many of our current military flashpoints can be traced to the cynical supply of armaments to nations who use them to subdue or eradicate their enemies. Look at Africa for example, so many of these vicious wars and guerilla movements are dependent on Western arms to deal with their foes.
            The same with the Middle East and dictators like Saddam Hussein or Syria’s Assad.

          • Anton

            Surely mainly Russian AK47s?

          • dannybhoy

            Yes, but I’m including USSR/Russia/USA as arms exporters.

          • carl jacobs

            African militaries with very few exceptions do not possess the ability to project significant power beyond their borders. They also do not possess modern weapons. If you think FMS to Africa is a big deal, you are wrong. They don’t have the logistical or financial infrastructure to support a sophisticated force.

            The mission of the typical African military force is not to defend the country but to defend the regime. The Presidential Guard is well trained and well equipped and well paid. In general, nothing else is. Corruption is endemic. Soldiers are often little more than gangs with guns.

            Security Sector Reform is therefore a big topic in Africa. That means trying to professionalize (and therefore depoliticize) the military. Oftentimes, access to help with SSR is purchased through the provision of military aid. It’s an incredibly difficult task but we instill African Military officers with a Western sense of military professionalism and then hope they can survive and help transform the political context. Ignoring Africa won’t make the problem go away. It will make it worse. It isn’t hard to purchase the kinds of weapons that a stereotypical African state needs.

          • Anton

            Imp[rove the military in a typical African country and it will not stay depoliticised for long; it will become the next government.

          • dannybhoy

            Yes I do get it, I just think you’re wrong, because manifestly we (who have a new aircraft carrier but no aircraft to put on it),
            and Europe do NOT have the massive spare capacity/production lines you think are unavoidable.
            That’s why we daren’t respond when Russia attacks in Ukraine.

          • carl jacobs

            The alternative is often sending your own people overseas. Would you prefer that? States have interests. Those interests must be defended. A proxy state with common interests can defend those interests at much lower cost. You may not like the fact that Saudi Arabia gets arms from the West. But you benefit from it because Europe has a HUGE interest in the stable secure flow of oil from the Gulf.

          • dannybhoy

            Explain how oil rich Saudi Arabia needs defending to ensure an oil supply to Europe?
            Saudi Arabia is not an advanced Western nation. Apart from oil what does it export that the West needs? Wahabbi Islam, sponsored Islamic terrorist groups??
            We couldn’t find a better way of ensuring oil supplies other than allowing the supplier to infest the West with madrassas, radical Islam and bought Western stooges pretending that Sari’a law would be really good for us and our women?
            You’re talking garbage Carl.

          • carl jacobs

            Do you honestly think the US Gov’t sent its military half way around the world in 1990 to liberate Kuwait because it gave two ****s about Kuwait? What do you think that war was about? What do you think would have happened if the US hadn’t lead that effort? How would the world be different today?

            Nations have interests. Nations go to war over vital interests. They will seek to defend those vital interests short of war if possible. That means they enlist allies.

            Would you rather have the American army perpetually deployed to Saudi Arabia? No? Well how about we put the British Army there instead. No? But you don’t want the Saudis to be able to defend it either? What do you want?

            Before you answer that question, I suggest you remember Iraq and Kuwait and August 1990.

          • dannybhoy

            Basic principle: You do not give advanced weaponry to nations who might use them against minorities (including Christians).
            What you mean is that Western nations HAVE to give less advanced/tribal nations advanced weaponry in order to secure oil…
            And that’s not really true. If they have rifles that should be enough.
            Your reference to Kuwait and Iraq only proves that they weren’t able to use western weaponry either responsibly or effectively. That’s why Western troops had to intervene.

          • dannybhoy

            If you’re still following this Carl…

            This guy Michael Scheuer talks a lot of sense..

          • not a machine

            I don’t think you can burn them. 🙂

          • dannybhoy

            make ’em into ploughshares and other agricultural implements and send them overseas?

          • dannybhoy

            We didn’t have a surplus in wwI or wwII. We had to build up to supplying demand.

          • Anton

            Of course we didn’t have a surplus when there was a war on! Our weaponry got used up at a high rate. Neither did we sell arms for commercial purposes at that time either.

          • dannybhoy

            I think that is what I was saying. The idea of exporting arms as a part of our economic output didn’t happen until after wwII. So how did states maintain military readiness prior to that time? They developed weaponry for their own armed forces.

          • Anton

            Are you sure of that? Britain had only a small army because it was an island, and maintained a large navy for the same reason. In the days of wooden ships, oak was a scarce resource so that British shipyards would not dream of supplying other nations. Once hulls went metallic, we led the way because of the Industrial Revolution and, when shipyards were not building warships, they were fully occupied building commercial vessels whether for British or other shipping lines. As for continental countries, if they wanted to start a big war they had to build up their armaments industries first, only not so fast as to cause a mobilisation of their enemy’s armed forces. So it’s a post-WW2 phenomenon, as you say.

          • CliveM

            We exported arms prior to the end of WWII. India, Canada, Australia…………..

            We just called it the Empire!

          • dannybhoy

            Shared heritage, shared moral values Clive.
            S’not the same thing.

          • CliveM

            How about Brazil and Italy?

          • dannybhoy

            We shouldn’t have exported to Brazil (think of the indigenous Indian tribes) Dunno what you’re referring to about Italy..

          • carl jacobs

            Very few states have the capacity to develop significant weapon systems. Where for example would Australia get modern fighter jets? Why do you think it buys aircraft from foreign suppliers? It doesn’t have the ability to build those aircraft on its own. Without Arms importation, Australia would have no effective military forces. It would be like Ireland – effectively defenseless. It’s important to realize that if you show up on the battlefield with obsolete weapon systems, you might as well just surrender. So then. Is it OK to export to Australia?

          • dannybhoy

            You mean that technology has moved on to the point where in attempting to maintain the balance of power, we now devote more money to subduing the enemy. In order to meet the cost we may borrow money from oil rich states and promise them some of the ‘fruits’ of our research at a favourable cost.
            We can’t guarantee that these states won’t then allow/mislay these armaments to fall into the hands of other allies/terror groups’ each with their own agenda…

            Just think about it; when the industrially/technologically advanced West allows serious weaponry to fall into the hands of groups who do not fear death and know the value of extreme physical violence (think Nazism); or have tribal disputes to settle, is it any wonder that the chickens are coming home to roost in the USA and Europe?
            As for Australia, well Australia is a recognisable part of Western culture, as is Canada and New Zealand. Even the Falklands.. It is in our interests to share with societies which share a common heritage and values.

          • carl jacobs

            So you are actually OK with arms exports … as long as you approve of the recipient. I might agree if I thought there was more than one or two reliable US allies in the whole of Western Culture.

            And for the record, New Zealand isn’t one.

          • dannybhoy

            Ah, so your real beef is that European nations are not reliable allies..!
            With that I can agree. The Europeans especially ridicule the USA whilst expecting you to protect them.
            No sez I, if they’re not willing to pull their weight then you are quite right to withdraw your forces. You owe them nothing aside from sentimentality.
            I don’t know what it is about New Zealand that has irked you, but I’m willing to listen.
            I’m okay with arms exports to nations that share the same values, but not as a way of cynically building our/your economies. To the nations that do not share that heritage or those values, then rifles should suffice.
            Preferably singler shot.
            Going back to Saudi Arabia, why couldn’t part of the deal be that we guard with our own troops the wells that provides us?

          • CliveM

            See my comment on selling battleships to Anton. The most cutting edge weaponry of the time.

          • dannybhoy

            You sold battleships to Anton??

          • CliveM

            Anton, we were building Dreadnaught class battleships for foreign countries (Italy and Brazil), prior to WWI. Churchill stole them at the start of the war!

          • Anton

            Ah, that would have been because we’d been in a naval race with Germany, who eventually gave up a few years before 1914, and we had dedicated dockyards for that I think with consequently much spare capacity.

          • CliveM

            Have you read Dreadnaught by Robert K Massie?

          • Hi Clive,

            I’ve got it on my book shelf. Interesting that Britain had the aim of the two power standard of battleships , because of the Empire , but the dreadnought ironically meant a massive building programme as it made every other ship obsolete, so Germany and America could catch up on the numbers.

          • CliveM

            Yes. It obsoleted every navy in the world and practically bankrupted us! It also ultimately killed off British navel domination.

          • dannybhoy

            That is what I’m saying Anton!
            The choice is do we research/develop/maintain our own armaments manufacturing capability for defence rather than economic reasons,
            or do we so develop our armaments capability so that it becomes a staple of our economy and we go touting for customers, and turn a blind eye to what they might do with the weaponry?

          • CliveM

            You can’t compare peace time to war. Prior to WWI, we spent 25% of our GDP on the Navy. Do you think we should do the same now?

          • CliveM

            Easy profits! It’s extremely complex and risky.

          • Anton

            Development is. Once you’ve ironed out the bugs at vast expense, further production is easy and you probably would like some of that money back.

          • CliveM

            Do the terms offset and ITAR mean anything to you?

          • Anton

            They mean that the USA wants to beat its commercial rivals in the arms bazaar. End-use certificates are bullshit too. I am not unthinkingly supporting the export of death, I am arguing that motive should be acknowledged and understood and I am against hypocrisy when nations air their motivations.

          • CliveM

            I don’t necessarily disagree, I was simply objecting to the term easy profit.

            Btw I don’t agree with your definitions of offset/ITAR either, but that’s neither here nor there.

          • dannybhoy

            Which means that we should question our own motives in selling weaponry to nations who do not share our values..
            This is where we see the wonderful benefits that Christianity has brought us. The value of human life, the potential of the individual, justice and compassion.
            Not simply destroying our enemies.

        • CliveM

          In all war innocents are killed by weapons. If this is 100% wrong, we shouldn’t have fought WWII.

          • dannybhoy

            Clever but no cigar Clive. There is such a thing as a just war for which you will need weapons and therefore armaments facilities. It is the unethical sale of weaponry overseas as a source of revenue that I am against.

          • CliveM

            I am a bit confused. You say the killing of innocents is a 100% wrong and appear to imply that we should transform our defence industry into some other unrelated industry? How do you fight a just war if you have nothing to fight with?

          • dannybhoy

            No, I’m saying stop relying on the export of armaments as a legitimate part of our economic output, and go back to a domestic market which (as in the two world wars) could be upscaled when needed.

          • CliveM

            Such is the complexity of modern weapons and supply chain, by the time you’ve up scaled the war is lost. A minor bit of adjusting is all that would be achievable.

          • not a machine

            Mmm don’t know where you go with that one CliveM don’t forget it maybe that an aggressor thinks they can defy God?

          • CliveM

            What I am saying is that the only way to avoid the death of innocents, is to avoid all forms of war. Personally I don’t that’s tenable, but it is an option.

          • Sarky

            A weapon never killed anyone, the person using it did.

          • Anton

            Well said.

          • CliveM

            Whilst true, that doesn’t really develope the discussion, or do you have a point to make?

    • David

      To play that game you’d need a few spare hundreds of thousands of £

      • CliveM

        See my own reply below.

  • dannybhoy

    These fellows were acquitted because
    1) They are native British citizens, so their grandparents probably fought for the nation..
    2) They are Christians wanting to make a point rather than a detonation.
    At the end of the day it is extremely devout Muslims born in Britain who are intent on blowing up their fellow citizens,
    Not slightly dorky looking young Brits who were not only born here, they probably have roots deep in our own national history and have a Western mindset.

    • CliveM

      If a), then the Judge could be viewed as racist. I would see it as a delicious irony if they were acquitted on racist grounds.

      Wouldn’t they just love that (not)!

      • dannybhoy

        A democratic nation state is ruled for good or ill by a government elected by the people.
        A house divided against itself cannot stand.
        Hence Leviticus 24: 10>
        “Now the son of an Israelite mother and an Egyptian father went out among the Israelites, and a fight broke out in the camp between him and an Israelite. 11 The son of the Israelite woman used the Name blasphemously with a curse; so they brought him to Moses.
        (His mother’s name was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri the Danite.) 12 They put him in custody until the will of the Lord should be made clear to them.

        13 Then the Lord said to Moses: 14 ‘Take the blasphemer outside the camp. All those who heard him are to lay their hands on his head, and the entire assembly is to stone him. 15 Say to the Israelites: “Anyone who curses their God will be held responsible; 16 anyone who uses the name of the Lord blasphemously is to be put to death. The entire assembly must stone them. Whether foreigner or native-born, when they use the Name blasphemously they are to be put to death.

        17 ‘“Anyone who takes the life of a human being is to be put to death. 18 Anyone who takes the life of someone’s animal must make restitution – life for life. 19 Anyone who injures their neighbour is to be injured in the same manner: 20 fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. The one who has inflicted the injury must suffer the same injury. 21 Whoever kills an animal must make restitution, but whoever kills a human being is to be put to death. 22 You are to have the same law for the foreigner and the native-born. I am the Lord your God.”’

        23 Then Moses spoke to the Israelites, and they took the blasphemer outside the camp and stoned him. The Israelites did as the Lord commanded Moses.

    • Anton

      What does a Western mindset mean today? There is little commitment to the core values of the West among the young and the left, and it is only because we have not faced a major challenge in recent decades that those values survive.

      • dannybhoy

        It’s still there Anton, that’s why thinking young people want a better world, even if they don’t know where that notion of a better, fairer and more compassionate world came from..

        • Anton

          Everybody wants a better world and everybody always has.

          • dannybhoy

            Not so.
            That’s Western mindset thinking Anton.
            Did Atilla the Hun want a better world, or a conquered world?
            Or Napoleon or the Nazis or Muhammed?
            No! They wanted a world controlled by them.

          • Anton

            The peasantry everywhere have always wanted a better world. It’s just that they saw no route to it.

          • dannybhoy

            ‘Peasantry’ uh?

          • Anton

            I mean the people who were tied to toiling in the fields, a class that lasted for millennia. Peasantry is the term used by all historians.

          • Chefofsinners

            You can’t get much more Western than Napoleon and the Nazis.

          • Pubcrawler

            John Wayne.

  • Chefofsinners

    Shame the judge didn’t read the sentencing guidance written on the handle of the hammer.

    • Sarky

      Spookily he looks a bit like Ewan Mcgregor who’s famous for his ‘choose life’ rant.

      • Hi

        You mean the young version of Jedi Obi Wan when Count Dooku (inspector?) thrashed him?

        • Inspector General

          The Inspector is omnipresent, Hannah. Don’t forget now…

          • Chefofsinners

            The doctor said ‘impotent’, Inspector.

          • carl jacobs

            Oh my! That hit was well below the belt! The Referee has stopped the fight, and assessed Chef a one-point deduction. And I believe Chef is being issued with a warning that any further violation will result in an automatic DQ. Chef is back in his corner now, waiting for the referee to restart the fight.

          • Chefofsinners

            I refer my honourable friend to the gentle discursive forms of argument employed by Martin Luther:

            “I was frightened and thought I was dreaming, it was such a thunderclap, such a great horrid fart did you let go here! You certainly pressed with great might to let out such a thunderous fart – it is a wonder that it did not tear your hole and belly apart!”

          • Hi

            Count Dooku (as played by Christopher Lee) was one of the greatest sword fighters in galaxy and formed a breakaway group of states within the galactic republic..a bit like a cosmos wide brexit… okay he’d turned to the” dark side of the force ” , but he was a generally decent chap who chaffed against a corrupt government.

  • Hi

    The guy on the right looks like the archetypal trendy vicar Jesus hippie type. Where are the guitar and sandals? (No offence intended!).

    • Chefofsinners

      You can commit any offence you like, so long as you are impressive and eloquent, apparently.

    • dannybhoy

      Lol, I wonder if trainee ministers are sent to finishing school?

      • Chefofsinners

        I doubt very much whether these two finished school.

      • Hi

        I have a view that clergy and for that matter people in congregation should , at the very least, dress respectable for worship, like not an idolatrous pagan rave concert. Our Rabbis wear top hats, gowns and tallis. Even Tony Blair had to wear a kippah when he attended a service in one of our synagogues as Prime Minister.

        • dannybhoy

          It’s hard to appear cool and with it wearing a top hat..

          • Hi

            Our Rabbis do!

          • dannybhoy

            You’re biased anyway, so your opinion doesn’t count..

          • Hi

            Frankly we’re all biased on this blog. You included.

          • dannybhoy

            Nope,
            I’m not biased, I’m opinionated..

  • Surely these two chaps are simply following their Christian consciences according to their individual interpretation of scripture as Quakers and Methodists. They have been to court and mounted a successful defence. All well and dandy. They are protestant brothers. What’s the big deal?

    • dannybhoy

      There’s no big deal as far as I’m concerned..
      Politicians do it all the time…

    • Chefofsinners

      I’m sure you won’t mind if I use this Jack hammer according to my conscience.

    • Anton

      What’s your Indulgence going to be tomorrow? Mine will probably be chocolate in view of the road driving I have to do, but I note that, Counter-Reformation notwithstanding, the papal granting of Indulgences continued within the last two decades:

      http://www.nytimes.com/1998/11/28/world/urging-millennial-penitence-pope-is-offering-indulgences.html

      • James M

        Indulgences have never stopped being part of the Church’s life, nor should they. Granting them is part of the Pope’s job.

  • Matt A

    Is that Ghandi in the picture behind them?

    • Chefofsinners

      Yep. Famous for non-violent resistance, a point obviously lost on the two morons with the hammer.

    • Anton

      No, it’s Gandhi.

    • dannybhoy

      Ghandi was retaled to Gandhi..

  • Anton

    I’ll take the treat, thanks.

    • Hi

      I shall be a spoil sport and not be answering my door when they knock as I have no intent on celebrating a Celtic pagan festival hyped up by American big business with the worship / veneration / communication with the dead and glorification of ghosts, ghouls , goblins, witches , vampires and demons. Not kosher.

      • Anton

        They can knock as hard as they like as nobody will be in here. Tomorrow night will be a celebration with others of the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration passing through Lloyd George’s War Cabinet. I shall not forget the Reformations’s 500th either.

  • CliveM

    Sarky

    You’ve swollowed American hype, if you’re going to do something go guising. It’s at least traditional to these islands.

    • Sarky

      You say potatoe etc etc…

      • CliveM

        There’s a fundamental differences, there is no ‘trick’ and your required to earn your treat, from wiki

        “In Scotland and Ireland, “guising” — children going from door to door in disguise — is traditional, and a gift in the form of food, coins or “apples or nuts for the Halloween party” (in more recent times chocolate) is given out to the children.[50][51] The tradition is called “guising” because of the disguises or costumes worn by the children.[52] In the West Mid Scots dialect, guising is known as “galoshans”.[53] While guising has been recorded in Scotland in the 16th century, a more contemporary record of guising at Halloween in Scotland is in 1895, where masqueraders in disguise carrying lanterns made out of scooped out turnips, visit homes to be rewarded with cakes, fruit, and money.[23] Guising also involved going to wealthy homes, and in the 1920s, boys went guising at Halloween up to the affluent Thorntonhall, South Lanarkshire.[54] An account of guising in the 1950s in Ardrossan, North Ayrshire, records a child receiving 12 shillings and sixpence having knocked on doors throughout the neighbourhood and performed.[45]
        There is a significant difference from the way the practice has developed in North America with the associated threat. In Scotland and Ireland, the children are only supposed to receive treats if they perform a party trick for the households they go to. This normally takes the form of singing a song or reciting a joke or a funny poem which the child has memorised before setting out.[45] Occasionally a more talented child may do card tricks, play the mouth organ, or something even more impressive, but most children will earn plenty of treats even with something very simple. Often they won’t even need to perform.[50] While going from door to door in disguise has remained popular among Scots and Irish at Halloween, the North American saying “trick-or-treat” has become common.

        • Sarky

          We don’t do a trick either and only go to houses displaying pumpkins. (Which is the unwritten rule)
          We also walk about a mile to make a donation to a house that gets fully decorated to collect for the local hospice.

          • CliveM

            Oh well change your lantern from pumpkin to turnip and you’re nearly there!

  • dannybhoy

    Good Spectator article here that gets to the heart of the matter.
    https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2017/09/multiculturalism-is-europes-new-faith/

  • James M

    I have difficulty seeing Jesus involved in armaments, in any capacity whatever.

  • Demon Teddy Bear

    I wonder whether this misses the point. These two creeps are not released because they are Christians (which they aren’t), but because they are “social justice warriors”, the strongarm boys of the liberal establishment. We need to remember how Blair purged the judiciary, by making support for “diversity” (and other leftist causes) a requirement. Had these unsavoury pair actually been Christians, no mercy would have been shown.