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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
Back in the late 1980s, I traveled to the old Ayresome Park ground to see Manchester United lose 1-0 at Middlesbrough. The game was awful and the experience miserable - as soon as you left the coach the police forced the visiting fans into the ground, and it actually seemed colder inside than outside. About the only thing I remember of the game was noticing the Falklands War veteran Simon Weston on the terraces with the United fans. I looked over once, and then decided someone who has had severe facial burns probably does not want people staring at him... Continue reading
Hi Matthew - Last from me before I go off and read your book (and we get dizzy going round and round in circles). The clearest description of what a conspiracy is, that I have heard, was from a judge directing the jury in a drugs trial where I was the outdoor clerk. To convict a defendant of conspiracy, they were told, you have to accept that there was an agreement between the defendants. That agreement to do something - or plan to do something - is core to any conspiracy. Conversely, I do not think conspiracy theories pivot on action, but the interpretation and analysis of somebody else's action. Regards Paul
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Matthew - I have your book on order, so am sure it will be reviewed either here or in Notes from the Borderland in due course. I still have concerns about your closing line on the Litvinenko murder "Whatever the case, you cannot help but be a conspiracy theorist when it comes to the death of Alexander Litvinenko: there is no sensible alternative" - if Scotland Yard proves its case (of for that matter the Russian supporters of Lugovoi establish his declared evidence) I would argue they have provided evidence of an event or entity, not taken part in a conspiracy theory. Regards Paul
Toggle Commented Aug 24, 2015 on Litvinenko and Conspiracy Theory at 9/11 CultWatch
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Perhaps the most high profile Islamist organisation on UK campuses in recent years has been iERA, the Islamic Education and Research Academy, headed by Hamza Tzortzis. It was iERA who caused the extremely damaging argument about segregation by Muslim students at universities, when, back in 2013 they attempted to segregate men and women onto separate sides of the room during a public meeting at UCL. In a worrying sign of their attitude, at the time iERA pictured its male rota of speakers on their website, but portrayed the females as faceless hijabs - an indication no doubt, of their role... Continue reading
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Once children were considered to be in poverty - be it absolute or cultural - if they had no access to books. But now, access to books is increasingly considered old fashioned or unnecessary, for both children and adults. It is not cuts which have undermined or destroyed public libraries. Birmingham's new library cost an astonishing £189 million, a project of breathtaking ego and waste. Instead it is the faddish approach to knowledge and naivete towards new technology which have turned library after library into a pale shadow of their former selves. An artists impression of Birmingham's brave new world... Continue reading
The February issue of Fortean Times has a four page article by Matthew Dentith on conspiracy theory entitled "I'm not a conspiracy theorist but......" The first page of this is taken up with the death in London in 2006 of... Continue reading
Posted Aug 19, 2015 at 9/11 CultWatch
Our politics could be about to get really interesting. Today's business section of the Sunday Telegraph has a hit piece against Jeremy Corbyn, alleging 'Corbyn's policies would reduce Britain to 'Zimbabwe-style ruin'. So far, so standard. But the detail is what makes Peter Spence's article worth reading and re-reading. The title of the online version indicates the underlying nature of the subject matter 'Jeremy Corbyn's 'People's QE' would force Britain into three-year battle with the EU' After getting in the immediate dig that Corbyn would turn Britain into Zimbabwe, Spence writes: "Key parts of the Labour leadership frontrunner's plans would... Continue reading
Hi Toby - No worries about your comment being 'late' - the teaching angle is a really interesting one to raise. It is interesting to hear (and I think a little disconcerting) to hear Prevent is really being picked up in schools. One of the things I have argued is that by bringing such programmes into schools, those behind Prevent are mirroring much more long term educational programmes, in particular those designed to challenge racism and negative attitudes to immigration. These were certainly a feature of my Social Studies education at secondary school way back in the 1980s. I would also be interested to see how different, if at all, Prevent packs for schools are from things like those being circulated by groups like Show Racism the Red Card. The issue being tackled may differ, but the approach - of government and those it funds challenging and/or changing young people's views to make them more acceptable - is pretty much the same.
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The new issue of the academic journal Twentieth Century Communism has published my paper on how Class War and Red Action responded to the rise of multi-culturalism and identity politics on the wider left. It appears in a special issue 'The Cultural Turn' which considers the development of cultural politics among revolutionaries. The article is based on a paper I gave to the Communism Specialist Group at the "Communism, Class and the Cultural Turn" conference in Durham in January 2014, and has the very long winded title "For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction: two responses on... Continue reading
I am not a supporter of Jeremy Corbyn. My opposition is due to the deep relationships he has developed with Muslim Brotherhood leaders in north London over the past decade, including running constituency surgeries out of the Ikhwan's Finsbury Park Mosque. A Corbyn Labour Party would give Islamists the greatest boost they have had in this country since the invasion of Iraq. But Corbyn has real strengths. In talking politics, and giving straight answers to straight questions, he has presented a clear alternative to the Tweedledee and Tweedledum candidatures of Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall (who she?). I can't help... Continue reading
Following the murder of Paul Massey, Russia Today had an interesting interview earlier this month with journalist Peter Walsh, author of the book 'Gang War: The Inside Story of the Manchester Gangs". Walsh comes across as quite balanced, if cautious. He is certainly correct to point to the loyalty Massey inspired in others, but he does not dwell on the reality that the Massey family had enemies in the city. For example his cousin, Constance Howarth was convicted of being the lookout in the failed attempt to murder Salford's David Totton in 2006. The man convicted for being at the... Continue reading
I received a lot of positive feedback and support on social media for yesterdays post, on the manipulation of the news in the case of the stabbing of school teacher Vincent Uzomah. A few brief updates. Firstly the Guardian's Helen Pidd confirmed that the judge in the case did NOT order any withholding of the ethnicity of the attacker. This confirms that those news outlets who did not report he is a British teenager of Pakistani heritage, opted to do so of their own volition. @MrPaulStott @chrishanretty the judge specifically allowed reporting of the ethnicity of the offender— Helen Pidd... Continue reading
When reporting on matters of race or racism, we cannot even rely on liberal elites to report basic matters of fact. Yesterday a 14 year old boy was jailed for 11 years for stabbing his teacher, Vincent Uzomah, in the stomach whilst he was teaching at a secondary school in Bradford. Mr Uzomah had told the boy off for playing with his mobile phone. Mr Uzomah, who is black, was racially abused by the boy, who is British of Pakistani heritage, during the incident. The lad later boasted about it on Facebook, receiving 69 'Likes' for his actions. Listening to... Continue reading
I am reliably informed that apart from your examiners, nobody ever reads your PhD. In the unlikely circumstances that someone wants to battle through 99, 000+ words on British jihadism, you can download my doctorate via academia.edu here. The abstract below gives an overview of my arguments, approach and some of the detail which I hope makes the thesis unique. Since the early 1990s British Islamists have been fighting, killing and dying in a succession of conflicts across the world, beginning with the Bosnian Civil War of 1992-95. A decade later this violence reached the United Kingdom, with a series... Continue reading
The Fabian Society has published a pamphlet 'Never Again: Lessons From Labour's Key Seats' which examines constituencies the party either lost, or failed to win despite expectations, at the 2015 general election. As so often in life it is during recriminations that the really interesting facts and argument tend to emerge. Perhaps the most significant lines are from Rowenna Davis, who lost the marginal of Southampton Itchen to the Conservatives. The potentially terminal mess the left has got itself into over race and immigration, and consequent loss of influence to a non-racist alternative in UKIP, is clearly established (I choose... Continue reading
I wrote the small piece below in response to an article on The Guardian website by Emine Samer on 27 July. This reports that the final member of the 'Pompey Lads' believed to be fighting for the Islamic State in Syria, Asad Uzzaman, has been killed. The Guardian, and especially its Comment is Free section, has a tendency to remove my comments, so I thought I would duplicate them here. The most telling thing about Emine Samer's article is part of its title - "How the Pompey Lads Fell into the hands of ISIS." Perhaps the Pompey lads took a... Continue reading
Paul Massey was shot dead at his home in Clifton, Salford on Sunday 26 July, aged 55. Unusually for a figure associated with organised crime, he had a background on the left of politics, and for a time in the Anarchist movement. This article covers some of the political campaigns and activism he was around, and issues which arose from them. Paul Massey was involved in the UK Anarchist movement for some years, most notably in the Ordsall Class War group in Salford in the late 1980s and early 1990s. At the funeral of Salford Anarchist Ken Keating in 2011,... Continue reading
From Frank Field's letter today in The Times about the Labour leadership contest, where he defends endorsing Jeremy Corbyn's nomination: "The other candidates have shied away from confronting the brutal political arithmetic that no government in recent times has been able to raise more than 37-38 per cent of GDP in taxation for more than a single year, and yet these governments spend at least 40 per cent of GDP fulfilling promises made to the electorate". Continue reading
Whatever people's views on David Cameron's speech on extremism on Monday, one element was encouraging. The Prime Minister recognises that conspiracy theories can be important, and that British Islam has been deviled by them. That at least is a positive... Continue reading
Posted Jul 22, 2015 at 9/11 CultWatch
The nonsense of our membership of the European Union has never been better evidenced. Following the latest Greek bailout: "it emerged that the loan would be guaranteed by funds from all 28 EU member states, including Britain. The move contradicts a previous agreement that British taxpayers would never again be exposed to eurozone bail-outs". Matthew Holehouse "Britain faces £1bn bill for Greek bail-out" Daily Telegraph, 14 July 2015. The article, with some differences in the online version, is here. Continue reading
This is my reply to the joint letter from Cage and a series of academics condemning the government's Prevent strategy and the 2015 Counter-Terrorism Security Act. It takes point by point the elements of the open letter published in the Independent on Friday. 1.The latest addition to the United Kingdom’s counter-terrorism framework comes in the form of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 (CTS Act). The CTS Act has placed PREVENT on a statutory footing for public bodies to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism by tackling what is claimed to be ‘extremist ideology’. In practice, this will mean... Continue reading
Reading through the list of signatories on Cage's anti-Prevent statement in the Independent, one prominent name is missing. Where is Bob Lambert of St Andrews and London Metropolitan universities? A self-styled 'progressive academic' he is a prominent supporter of Islamic causes in London, and many of the academics Lambert has worked with - most notably Basia Spalek and David Miller - have signed up. So have some of the Islamists in Muslim Brotherhood related institutions with which Lambert has long associated - for example Ismail Patel of Friends of Al-Aqsa and Mohammed Kozbar of Finsbury Park Mosque. Could it be... Continue reading
The letter Cage and Prof Richard Jackson were promoting on Wednesday opposing Prevent, has now appeared in the Independent. It is actually slightly worse that I expected it to be. After some classic academic hierarchy - Professors to the top - some of the worst names in British Islamism appear. To be lectured on freedom of speech and extremism by Haitham al-Haddad is slightly surreal. Interesting al-Haddad appears here wearing his Fatwa Council Of Europe hat, rather than his controversial role of judge at the Islamic Sharia Council in East London. You may recall his views on the superiority of... Continue reading
What to do if you oppose the 2015 Counter-Terrorism and Security Act's impact on universities, and its potential requirement to monitor students comments, but also oppose Taliban supporters and jihadi fan groups such as Cage? Earlier today, one of the most prominent academics within critical terrorism studies, Richard Jackson, circulated an email to academics looking to obtain signatories for a statement opposing the Act. I consider the CTS Act illiberal, and an attack on the freedom of speech we should be working towards on campus. Unlike some others, I don't see universities today as centres of free speech and progressive... Continue reading
As Greece holds its referendum today, some indications as to the arrogance and scale of the European Union project. Syriza were democratically elected in January, yet this reality is one leaders of the European Union appear capable of overlooking. Despite this mandate, Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, wishes to see Alexis Tsipras' government replaced, not by the will of the Greek people, but by Brussels. To quote from Ambrose Evans-Pritchard and Colin Freeman in today's Sunday Telegraph: "Mr Schulz earlier called for the elected Syriza government to be replaced by 'technocrat' rule until stability is restored. The alarmist... Continue reading