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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
For those who use social media sites, the former NSA contractor turned whistle blower Edward Snowden appears to have opened a twitter account. Within four hours of his first tweet earlier today, he had 488,000 followers, but was following just one account himself - the US National Security Agency. When I did a twitter search under the single word 'Snowden' the first account which came up, was not that of Edward Snowden, but the account of the NSA. Big brother works in mysterious ways..... Continue reading
Having been left all dressed up with nowhere to go last week when the Corby Cube's showing of Death of a Gentleman was cancelled, I am delighted to report that the excellent Errol Flynn playhouse in Northampton stepped in to offer me a complimentary ticket for their showing. This review comes courtesy of their generosity. Death of a Gentleman opens, deliberately, in as cliched a manner as possible, with the sound of bird song and the sight of cricket on the village green. The opening words stress, correctly, that cricket is about values, and those being interviewed throughout the film... Continue reading
Of of all the Russian writers in the last fifty years, few can have been as well read in Britain as Alexander Solzhenitsyn. His critiques of the Soviet system, which brought the Nobel Prize in 1970, must surely mean hardly anyone in Britain's political elite will not have read him. And yet for all those copies of The Gulag Archipelago and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, few seem to have grasped how Solzhenistyn viewed post-Soviet Russia. Perhaps the primary source for this is his 1990 'Rebuilding Russia'. Whilst there is much to say about that book, I... Continue reading
Ben - I am not sure the bad debts are always shipped out - the 2008 crisis saw those bad debts being taken on board by the taxpayer in the US and UK. The rules of capitalism were seen not to apply to institutions such as the Royal Bank of Scotland or General Motors - the shock of that will reverberate for a long time yet. The problem with seeing capitalism as the sole (or perhaps even predominant) cause of instability in marginal economies is that it risks playing down indigenous factors. I do not believe any economic system could address the frightening demographic shifts in the Middle East, Africa pr parts of Asia - its no coincidence the countries that have perhaps coped better with such shifts, India and China, have major economies. And both have tried to control their population growth. As well as population increases in excess of resources, we have the conflict between authoritarian nationalism and Islamism. In some countries I would argue Islamism has frequently been a cause of, not a response to instability. Was or is there a neo-Con plan? As we saw with the invasion of Iraq, there were broad brush strokes, but little more detailed than hoping it would all work out for the best if you overthrew Saddam. I also think there is a danger in talking *now* in terms like 'imperial' of the relationship between western powers and marginal economies. Companies may still be exploitative, but in terms of states, contrary evidence emerges. Britain makes nothing from its relationship with some former colonies. On the contrary we subsidise Pakistan (the worst example) to the tune of millions each year, mostly to fund its education system and parts of its security system. This merely allows a country where some struggle to eat, to be a nuclear power, and its ruling elites to avoid paying tax. When Britain's poor are subsiding Pakistan's rich, that is not imperialism.
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Ben - I think I am now going to see the Death of a A Gentleman next week, so may still get to have my say. Simon Heffer's article shows one of the classic paradoxes for conservatives - that the dynamism of the market ends up undermining or destroying established practices, and the values those practices sustain. In this case, test cricket. How often have we seen this played out in football in recent decades? There is also a particular background within world cricket which has allowed Australia/England/India to act in this way - the fading of the game in the West Indies, and the inability of Pakistan to host many matches due to its problems with terrorism. Two of the historically leading nations in the game have been incommunicado.
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I had set aside some time today to write a review and comment on the cricket film, Death of a Gentleman, which I was due to see yesterday at the Corby Cube. Events intervened - shortly before I was due to leave home, the Corby Cube phoned to tell me they had not received the film (!) had been unable to download a copy in time, and they were very sorry but I could have my money back. It was all very professionally done, but did rather leave an empty void. For the uninitiated, Death of a Gentleman tells the... Continue reading
Dr Paul Stott of 9/11 Cultwatch takes a look at some of the associates of John McDonnell and Jeremy Corbyn. Recent weeks have seen a lot of critical coverage of the associations of both Jeremy Corbyn and more recently John... Continue reading
Posted Sep 16, 2015 at 9/11 CultWatch
I have spent a lot of time this summer reading some of the burgeoning literature of feminist critiques of Islamism - writers such as Meredith Tax, Melinda Cooper and Karima Bennoune. My paper to the 2015 Critical Terrorism Studies conference "Feminism or Islamism: Critical Terrorism Studies Develops a Blind Spot" largely covered their interventions. You might not think much humour emerges in such circles, but it does. Consider Bennoune's 'Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here' and its report of a 2009 protest in Sudan against the flogging of journalist Lubna Hussein for the crime of wearing trousers in public: "One... Continue reading
One of the cultural highlights of the Labour election campaign has been the emergence of the Corbyn Jokes twitter feed - sample joke "I'm not saying my mother in law talks too much, but last week I read the first... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2015 at 9/11 CultWatch
Hi Darren - I have long thought the left is dead. It has had no real answer to the question of what it is for, if it is not for the workers controlling the means of production (and it has not seriously been about that for decades). The obsession with identity politics and Muslims is simply a sign of this weakness. But Corbyn, to my astonishment, is performing some surgery on the parrot. He has something to say on economics, Europe and involving big numbers of people. It might not fly - I think we need a smaller state not a bigger one - but at least we now have a debate. I guess Richard Seymour prefers holding his own dead parrot.....
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John - I feel the world has gone mad about 20 times a day. Part of the problem is the left's physical distance from the working and indeed lower middle class, especially from the millions of people in those categories who live outside of London. In the bubble Richard Seymour resides and works in, he is as likely to meet, and to get on with, a Briton who ended up in Guantanamo Bay than a Briton who served in the Falklands, Iraq or Afghanistan. The odd thing is that Seymour will know all the academic buzz words and analysis such as 'demonising' and 'othering', and at the drop of a hat could write a piece for the Guardian if Richard Littlejohn or Katie Hopkins was slagging off Muslim extremists. He can't see that he does something very similar himself every day - when talking about squaddies, or UKIP voters or in this case Simon Weston. We have lived to see how the revolutionary left looks when it has no interest in or adherence to the working class. It ain't pretty....
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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
Toggle Commented Aug 25, 2015 on Litvinenko and Conspiracy Theory at 9/11 CultWatch
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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
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 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