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Dr Paul Stott
East Midlands
Academic researching British Jihadism. A libertarian and family man.
Interests: Terrorism, Islamism, Jihadism, Conspiracy Theory, the political fringe, Boxing, Manchester United, Cricket, Lancashire CCC
Recent Activity
On this day in 1948, Witold Pilecki was executed by the Communist government in Poland. Pilecki is probably the only man to have entered Auschwitz voluntarily, in order to afford the Secret Polish Army with information on just what was happening inside the concentration camp. "In this great mortuary of the half-living - where nearby someone was wheezing his final breath; someone else was dying; another was struggling out of bed only to fall over onto the floor; another was throwing off his blankets; or talking in a fever to his dear mother and shouting or cursing someone out; {while... Continue reading
The current issue of the New Humanist has a short article "Opium of the Masses" where I reply to moral philosopher Peter Singer, and his desire to work with religious groups to achieve social justice. You can read 'Opium of the Masses' online here, or download it as a pdf below: Download Stott New Humanist Summer 2016 Vol 131 No 2 pp 14-15. Continue reading
Simple electoral mathematics demand it. Labour can only have an inquiry into anti-Semitism if it scratches the surface. Its relations with the British Muslim community will not survive a thorough examination of anti-Semitism in towns like Luton or Bradford. The methodology being used by the Jewish Chronicle in its story about Naz Shah MP, and Guido Fawkes in a series of recent cases to break stories of extremism and racism involving prominent British Muslims, is not revolutionary. It is that Conservative Campaign Headquarters and Hope Not Hate used against UKIP candidates in the 2014 European elections and 2015 UK elections.... Continue reading
Turkey is to have its application to join the European Union fast-tracked, despite its pitiful human rights record. Worse, Turkish pressure is having a negative effect on political freedoms in Europe, where, under pressure from Ankara, the German comedian Jan Böhmermann is being prosecuted for reciting a rude poem about President Erdogan. The best way to respond to such nonsense is of course to join in. I am delighted to read that the Spectator has launched the 'President Erdogan Offensive Poetry Competition' with a prize of £1000 to the winner. Here is my entry: There is a leader with a... Continue reading
It is hard to imagine how the Chilcot Inquiry into Iraq could be any further delayed. But it seems it might be, in order to assist those arguing to keep Britain in the European Union. Ben Barry, of the Institute for Strategic Studies comments: “If Chilcot is doing his job, I suspect many key New Labour figures will be criticised. Whilst many of them are not as active in politics as they once were, they are still figures who could make a positive contribution to Cameron’s campaign to remain in Europe. So delaying a report that might damage or even... Continue reading
My Blogging for Leave contribution today concerns the consistent ability of the EU to make us less safe. The EU is far more than a mere trading bloc, but a political player with a completely unnecessary security role. Whilst the definitive history of the EU's engagement with Syria's 'rebels' is still to be written, this snippet on their relationship is indicative, with the declaration Brussels should arm those in the field: "The call by the Syrian National Coalition followed EU's decision earlier this week to let the Syrian arms embargo expire, paving way for individual countries in the 27-member union... Continue reading
Today's quote in my Blogging for Leave series comes courtesy of Douglas Carswell, the UKIP MP for Clacton. Having encouraged sustained borrowing in Greece, the EU abrogated all responsibility: "In response to the inevitable crash, though, only Greece was expected to pay the price. Instead of making the lenders who made bad investments in Greece bear the full cost of their bad decisions, the EU Troika has forced Greece into a vicious circle of economic contraction and debt expansion that creates a constant crisis." Brussels may or may not succeed in postponing the next Greek crisis until after the UK's... Continue reading
The annual risk analysis by the European Union's border force, Frontex, makes for sober reading. The European Union often does not know who it is letting in, nor who it allows to cross its territory: "the identification issue concerns the potential threat to internal security. With large numbers of arrivals remaining essentially unclassified for a variety of reasons, there is clearly a risk that persons representing a security threat may be entering the EU." (p.61) The danger this poses was evidenced last year: "The Paris attacks in November 2015 clearly demonstrated that irregular migratory flows could be used by terrorists... Continue reading
You need to check your paperwork, and speak to your bank. Back in 2008, one of the ways I sought to finance my PhD was by taking out a career development loan. It was probably not a good decision - I had no face to face advice, and reliant only on what I could find online rather rushed the application. I applied for too small a sum, and did not really take in the fact you had to pay it back after three years - regardless of whether you were still studying or not. Paying it off was grim -... Continue reading
Hi Ray - Thanks for alerting me to this. The argument in the book (or variants of it) has been knocking around for a little while. I remember seeing Richard English of St Andrews University make the point that N Ireland terrorism was rooted in working class communities, yet other variants seem much more middle class. Islamist terrorism has looked that way - lots of graduates and postgraduates, and lots of wealthy Saudis. I suspect Engineers of Jihad takes up the high number of students from technical backgrounds in jihadist groups - a point Jason Burke made in his book on Al-Qaeda. The picture with Islamists does look a little more complicated since the rise of IS - a lot of those involved from continental Europe seem to come from much poorer backgrounds, even from what our Marxist friends used to refer to as the lumpen proletariat. I am not convinced that's the case in the UK, but I don't have the data either way. When I asked UK Universities how many British students have left their courses to fight in Syria they ignored me, and when I asked the Federation of Student Islamic Societes, people took umbrage and started implying I was racist. Obviously I should have asked the dungeons and dragons society instead! I look forward to getting the book, and yes, I need to start doing some reviews on here. Paul
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You might not have seen it debated, and American taxpayers might never have voted for it, but it seems that over the past 13 years, the US government has repeated the Marshall Plan, but in Afghanistan. It was the Marshall plan which helped to rebuild and reconstruct a battered Europe after WW2. It now emerges that US spending in Afghanistan this century exceeds that spent in Europe from the late 1940s onwards: "Some $113bn (£79bn) has already been spent by the US government on reconstruction in Afghanistan in 13 years. That's more than the $103bn (in today's money) it spent... Continue reading
I am going to try and post a regular series of quotes, comments and snippets here, over the next few months, in order to try and encourage a leave vote in the EU referendum on Thursday 23 June. I am quite possibly the only academic in the country campaigning for the UK to leave the European Union, so if I am going to commit career suicide, I may as well do it thoroughly. Here's the first of many such examples: "On the night of the 2005 French referendum on the proposed EU constitution, Jean-Claude Junckner (then Prime Minister of Luxembourg... Continue reading
Last night I was able to find an online stream of the WBA Heavyweight title fight from Grozny, where the champion Ruslan Chagaev, an Uzbek now based in Germany, fought Australian Lucas Browne. To my knowledge, it was the first world class sporting event to be held in Chechnya, certainly in its period as an independent state within Russia. Given where Chechnya was twenty five years ago, that is some achievement. In terms of the fight itself, few gave Browne a prayer. Although Chagaev is clearly past his best at 37, he has always been a class act, and was... Continue reading
Don't worry, this blog is hibernating rather than deceased. It seems timely for me stir from my slumbers at the instigation of a colleague - Larry O'Hara of Notes from the Borderland magazine. Larry has penned a detailed analysis of why he argues Green party members, and indeed greens generally, should Vote Leave in the 23 June referendum. This is a summary of that more detailed piece, courtesy of the Green Left blog, "Why Greens Should Vote to Leave the EU". Continue reading
On this day in 1989 the Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for the death of Salman Rushdie for blasphemy, due to his book The Satanic Verses. Rushdie's work had already produced furious protests from some British Muslims who called... Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2016 at 9/11 CultWatch
This morning BBC Radio 4's Start the Week was a discussion centering on the Egyptian novelist Alaa Al Aswany, and his new work. What I found remarkable about this was less Al Aswany, or even the panel discussion, but the issues redolent in Tom Sutcliffe's introduction. Sutcliffe stated: "The greatness of Islamic societies in the past has led Muslims of all kinds to dream about and plan for equally glorious Islamic societies in the future. How can they get past the disappointing compromised and sometimes violent present though? Must an Islamic state necessarily be at odds with modern secular democracy?... Continue reading
I am now the proud owner of a Micro-Pro 'hot water bottle with designer cover' - pictured below in all its glory. There is just one, small snag. According to the label, it seems you can't put any water in it. The 'Care Instructions' state: "Do not fill using water from the domestic hot water system as this can considerably shorten the life of the hot water bottle". What exactly are you supposed to put in, Evian? How can they not be filled using domestic water? Inexperienced as I am such matters, filling a hot water bottle has normally involved... Continue reading
No I am not. My children's school has decided to take today and tomorrow as an INSET day. Conveniently (for them) they also closed for the Christmas break half a day early, at 1330 on Friday 18th December. That gave my wife and I the choice of taking an unpaid afternoon off work to collect and look after the children, or paying a childminder to do it. Thousands of other parents have that same choice. I have no idea who schools are run for in England and Wales - the teachers, or the children. Let no one say it is... Continue reading
A Happy New Year to all readers of this blog. Let us start the year as we mean to go on, with some proper culture. This is The Ethiopians, and Last Train to Skaville. Continue reading
How terrified some have become of causing offence. So terrified that it even precludes the development of a rational argument. I have been reading the book "Double Jeopardy: Police Abuse of Women in Pakistan" by Dorothy Q Thomas. This was jointly published in 1992 by Women's Rights Project and Asia Watch, divisions of Human Rights Watch. I apologise for using a somewhat obscure title to make a broader political point, but even if the book itself is hard to pick-up now, the text is available online here. Following the introduction of Islamic law in 1979 by General Zia, the number... Continue reading
All of the writers and researchers behind 9/11 Cultwatch would like to wish our readers a very merry Christmas. Thank you to the wesbite It Goes to 11 for providing all conspiracists with the essential item of clothing for the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 24, 2015 at 9/11 CultWatch
Following their role in the 1984-5 miners strike, demonstrators took to mocking police officers with the sarcastic song "We're not political, we're only doing our jobs" whenever a group of uniformed police officers appeared anywhere in significant numbers. In 2015, it seems little has changed. Flicking through the current issue of the Docklands and East London Advertiser, there is a small report on a demonstration held outside East London Mosque on 11 December, following Friday prayers. Its purpose was to condemn US Presidential challenger Donald Trump, who responded to the San Bernadino terrorist attack by calling for a moratorium on... Continue reading
Today marks the one hundredth anniversary of the withdrawal of Australian and New Zealand troops from the coast of Ottoman Turkey on 19-20 December 1915. British troops were to follow suit on 8-9 January 1916. As a resource on WW1, and certainly in terms of suggestions for further reading, I have found the Independent/the i's "A History of the Great War in 100 Moments" - easily the best series I have seen in a British newspaper in years. I have the book version, and the small section on Gallipoli - number 27, pp.80-83, is evocatively written by Kathy Marks. The... Continue reading