An award-winning Aberdonian film-maker is celebrating the success of her crowdfunding campaign after receiving an endorsement from BBC wildlife personality Chris Packham. With thanks to Lisa Marley Press.
Filmmaker Lisa Marley’s film Project Wolf will follow an experimental ‘human wolf pack’ through the Scottish Highlands.
Lisa Marley (26), from Westhill, Aberdeenshire, is crowdfunding the film – Project Wolf – which will follow charity Trees for Life’s experimental ‘human wolf pack’ through the Scottish Highlands as it examines how mimicking the disturbance effects of missing large predators would affect red deer populations in the Caledonian Forest, in an effort to limit their impact on new growth while grazing.
BBC personality Chris Packham, who is vocal in his support for conservation projects, is a fan of Lisa’s last film – Red Sky on the Black Isle – and has leant his support to her new venture.
“These grass roots, real and reactive films come straight from the hearts of creatives who not only care but motivate their skills to take action; action at a time when we are desperate for people to stop musing and moaning and actually stand up and be counted.
“It’s time to shout above the noise – Red Sky on the Black Isle did this – so please help Lisa turn her talents onto the exciting subject of rewilding.”
Passing her initial target after just two weeks and ensuring the film will be made, Lisa is now working towards her second goal which will allow for an extended shoot in the Highlands. Wildlife and conservation enthusiasts who wish to donate to Lisa’s campaign can do so at www.indiegogo.com/at/projectwolf until April 19, in exchange for perks ranging from guide books and gift cards to production credits and invitations to film festivals.
“I’ve been overwhelmed by the support for Project Wolf. Now that I have passed my first funding goal, the film will definitely be made.
“But there is still some way to go – I’ve now set a second target which will allow me to spend longer in the Highlands with the ‘human wolf pack’ and with my interview subjects. I’ll also be able to use more advanced equipment to better tell the story of rewilding in Scotland.
“When I first heard about Trees for Life’s work, I was instantly hooked. It’s an incredible project that has the potential to make a real impact on the regeneration of the Caledonian Forest, and I can’t wait to get out into the wilderness to experience it for myself.”
Alan Watson Featherstone, founder of Trees for Life, adds,
“This film will give vital and significant publicity to our Project Wolf, which seeks to demonstrate an innovative approach to helping a new generation of native trees to grow in the Caledonian Forest. By using volunteers to patrol the edge of existing woodlands at unpredictable hours in the night we will be replicating the natural disturbance effect of missing top predators such as the wolf, thereby enabling young trees to grow successfully without being overgrazed by deer.
“The project has potential significance for many other areas in Scotland, and Lisa’s film will be an essential means of communicating this message to a wide audience. I urge everyone to support this very worthy project – your donation will make a real difference to the restoration of the Caledonian Forest in the Highlands. “
Lisa’s last film, Red Sky on the Black Isle, also continues to make waves both in the film and wildlife communities. Translated into multiple languages and screened around the world, it picked up the Little Audience Prize at the Raptor Filmz Short Scottish Film Festival last year. It will be shown at the Wildlife Conservation Film Festival in New York this October.
Award-winning director Anthony Baxter tells Aberdeen Voice’s Suzanne Kelly of an upcoming BBC screening of ‘Dark Side Of The Greens’ that is an absolute must for Trump-watchers.
The BBC is broadcasting an hour long version of Montrose Picture’s latest film (originally called A Dangerous Game in the cinema release) this Wednesday 30 September at 9pm.
Over the weekend the national papers gave the programme universally favourable reviews and it’s Mark Kermode’s TV film of the week.
Given the fact that Donald Trump is currently frontrunner as the Republican nomination for the Presidential race, it may have additional relevance obviously.
And there’s plenty of Scottish material in it too of course.
Baxter and his partner fellow journalist Richard Phinney were infamously arrested on the Menie Estate for having the temerity to ask Trump staff when the Forbes family were likely to have running water restored (Trump’s construction team ‘accidentally’ broke the pipes and didn’t fix them for a week).
The issue of reliable running water remains problematic – as does the once unquestionable freedom of the press in Scotland, and the former absolute legal protection that SSSI sites like the Menie Estate’s moving sand dune system had.
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Plebgate may be over for now, but Clarksongate is just on a cusp. By Duncan Harley.
Sickipedia comments such as “I would like to point out to Jeremy Clarkson that not all lorry drivers murder prostitutes. Some of us are too busy mowing down Pakis” and “Jeremy Clarkson has been suspended. He must have done something that even the BBC find inexcusable. So that rules out child abuse then” now haunt the internet.
What can the man have been thinking? Even if the press comments about him striking a fellow worker turn out to be untrue, his comment about going to the Job Centre is unlikely to gain much sympathy amongst the unemployed of Woking.
He is after all a multi-millionaire.
Marina Hyde’s piece about Clarksonia in this weeks Guardian resonates. In fact it rings bells if truth be tolled.
“Peter Morgan, screenwriter of The Queen” she says is “already working on a dramatisation.”
Rumours abound that US president Barack Obama is on a watching brief as is Cobra, the nation’s emergency response committee.
The BBC is of course, yet again, verging on being completely out of public control.
The dated Corporation has funding issues and sells the likes of Top Gear globally. Sometimes, cash makes more sense than ideological values. Money, to fund the next round of payoff payments, is king. A long-drawn-out Savile enquiry looks unlikely, but Clarkson-wise a shortly to-be-announced reinstatement might be in view, lest the man attract the likes of Channel 4 or Sky.
Despite the proposed digital licence fee ‘poll tax’ designed to ensnare anyone with a tablet, the accountants, producers and bankers at Auntie Beeb are running scared and in fear of their jobs, and who could blame them. They have families to feed and careers to protect after all. Hitler’s Germany was built on such foundations.
Even the Fat Controller has this week appeared powerless in the face of a public petition signed by half a million TV fans to bring Jeremy Clarkson back on stream.
An old star in a car brings Beeb-corp to its knees, and the nation votes to have him reinstated. Savile is no doubt laughing from the grave.
The scandal-ridden national broadcasting resource has of course funded some brilliant entertainment. Fawlty Towers and those Likely Lads spring immediately to mind. That popular Corrie drama and those two old scrap merchants with a knackered horse come a close second.
As for Clarkson, he is of course the butt of many jokes up and down the land.
Prime Minister David Cameron joked:
“I don’t know exactly what happened. He’s a constituent of mine, a friend of mine. He’s a huge talent.”
BBC Director-General Tony Hall quipped that an investigation was going on to “gather the facts” about the incident.
“We do not have the facts at the moment,” he said. “I am a fan of Jeremy Clarkson but this is a serious thing that is alleged to have taken place.”
“I think he’s been involved in a bit of a dust-up and I don’t think it’s that serious” joked co-presenter James May.
Hedging his bets, former BBC Trust chairman Michael Lyons said:
“I think the BBC’s learnt that actually it can replace even the biggest names, even if needs to, and I’m not saying it needs to.”
Joking aside, Top Gear is one of the BBC’s most popular and profitable TV shows, with Clarkson appearing on it since 1988. The programme has an estimated global audience of 350 million; except, of course, in Argentina.
A lawyer for Mr Tymon, the workmate who Mr Clarkson allegedly assaulted following a possible but so far unfounded allegation of a food dispute, said his client:
“intends to await the outcome of the BBC investigation and will make no comment until that investigation is complete”.
In the Savile days, Auntie Beeb made a complete fool of us all. Let’s not allow it to happen again.
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[Aberdeen Voice accepts and welcomes contributions from all sides/angles pertaining to any issue. Views and opinions expressed in any article are entirely those of the writer/contributor, and inclusion in our publication does not constitute support or endorsement of these by Aberdeen Voice as an organisation or any of its team members.]
In a fit of pique Duncan Harley rages against the machine for what its worth.
Big Brother, Corrie and now Benefits Street are at odds with much of normality in the UK.
Following the revelations about Saville using Auntie Beeb’s dressing rooms to groom over one thousand vulnerable children for sexual purposes it’s really quite surprising that anyone even watches terrestrial TV in the land of Logie Baird.
With the advent of Roku and Netflix, who really wants to be confronted with folk at the front door demanding money with menace.
– Hello sir or madam, I am a licensing authority enforcer. How are you tonight?
– Mainly fine, why do you ask?
– It’s just a courtesy really.
– Good. I have corns due to my age and a problem with my eyes.
– Yes, we have the power to destroy your credit rating.
– Oh, is that good? I don’t watch TV much.
– Why is that?
– I am blind and deaf.
– Can I come in to your house please to discus this delicate matter?
– Actually, under the terms of my moral obligation to be disgusted by the BBC’s failure to safeguard my childhood fantasies regarding Top of the Pops, veteran broadcaster Stuart Hall and those Daleks who turned out to be just plastic studio props with toilet plunger’s sticking out the front, I think not.
– OK, that’s all right then. Good day sir or madam. We have the power to destroy your credit rating.
You pays your money and you get what you pay for though and at €170.28 a pop, the licence fee raises some £3.6bn per year for those such as Mark Byford, the former deputy director general of the BBC, who defended a controversial pay-off package that saw him leave the BBC with £949,000 in his bank account.
Byford left the BBC in 2011 after being made redundant as part of a drive to cut the number of highly-paid senior executives at the BBC. He told BBC Radio 5 live’s Victoria Derbyshire:
“I absolutely don’t think it was greed on my part at all”.
He said the pay-off was “properly approved” and added:
“I absolutely think I’ve done no wrong.”
A report by the National Audit Office released in July 2013 criticised the BBC for paying out £25m in severance pay to 150 outgoing senior BBC managers which was some £2m more than their contracts stipulated.
Mr Byford’s payment was revealed to be the highest at £949,000, after 32 years of service at the BBC. That’s around 65 thousand licence fees. Good money indeed!
In contrast the Albanian licence fee is 800 Lekë (€5.81) per year and in Bosnia and Herzegovina where the civil war and the associated collapse of infrastructure caused very high evasion rates it is around €46 per year. Seemingly the somewhat desperate Bosnian authorities collect the fee via telephone bills. BT with a vengeance perhaps?
Mind you Albanian State TV was until quite recently mainly showing Norman Wisdom movies from the 1960’s and Bosnia has yet to recover from the effects of the international outrage following the ethnic cleansing of the country during the Balkan genocide.
As for Coronation Strasse, lips may well be sealed until the result of an upcoming court case involving street TV star Bill Roach is settled.
According to the Guardian:
“a woman alleges she was led to men’s toilets and made to perform sex act during studio visit at the age of 14.”
“The court were told by two women that Coronation Street actor Bill Roach sexually assaulted them in the toilets at the programme’s television studios when they were teenagers. The now 63 year old complainant told Preston crown court that Mr Roach “pulled her into the men’s toilets and forced her to masturbate him.””
If indeed true, this is disturbing testimony.
Then there’s that case unfolding against Mr Rolf Harris of Tie Me Kangaroo down fame plus something about It’s a Knockout host Stuart Hall who is currently in jail after finally admitting 14 counts of indecent assault on girls as young as nine between 1967 and 1987
With Lord McAlpines untimely death the national press may wonder whether to publish and be damned or to stay silent and appear uncertain.
Somewhat famously, Lord McAlpine was completely and wrongly accused of sexual misconduct. Various bodies such as the BBC wrongly implied that the now dead peer was a paedophile. Some of his friends attribute his demise entirely to the completely unfounded allegations. Many will feel sorry for the peers sad last days.
The BBC will be plunged into a major crisis with the publication of a damning review, expected next month, that will reveal its staff turned a blind eye to the rape and sexual assault of up to 1,000 girls and boys by long time disc jockey Jimmy Savile in the corporation’s changing rooms and studios.
Dame Janet Smith, a former court of appeal judge, who previously led the inquiry into the mass murders by local GP Dr Harold Shipman will seemingly say in her final report that the true number of victims of Savile’s sexual proclivities may never be known but that his behaviour had been recognised by BBC executives who took no action.
Many in the UK currently wonder why they are paying a licence fee to fund a shameful publicly funded system which appears to ignore not only the law but also morality.
The UK requirement for a dog licence was abolished in 1987. Prior to this dog licences were mandatory but the requirement was widely ignored with only about fifty percent of owners having one. The final rate for a dog licence was a meagre 37 pence.
The TV licence should perhaps follow suit very soon.
A YouGov poll for The Telegraph recently found that almost two thirds of those surveyed agreed that the licence fee should be abolished because so many households had satellite or cable television.
The “Stop BBC Bias” campaign is encouraging “refuseniks” to register with it by phoning 09012 702 414 or by visiting its website – www.bbcbias.org although as of the time of writing the site is unavailable due to “technical problems.” It’s on error 404 seemingly.
A BBC spokesman recently said:
“Our policy is and always has been clear. If you don’t have a licence and are using televisual equipment, you’re breaking the law.”
There perhaps lies self interest.
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The Donald wis on Panorama Spikkin tae BBC’s John Sweeney Aboot aa the gyaans on At his placie ower at Menie . The Sweeney hints tae Mr Trump 6000 jobs hinna cum tae fruition The Trumpie lot war fair pit oot An treated aa iss wi derision . Donald roared – Git rid o aat hoose Tae the “P&J” editor’s wife Says she it micht cause a stir An reap ye lots o strife . Faa cares the mannie gabbit A sure can dee fit a wint It’s on ma lan quoth Donald Tae the puir dementit bint . The hoose belangs tae David Milne A chiel Trump disna much like Bit David stuck twa fingers up An said Trumpie tak a hike
A billie fae the Royal Toon Plannin Thocht Trumpie’s case it wis unique In aa his ‘ears in the plannin game He’d seen nithing tae cause sic pique . Oor First Minister an The Donald War eence on spikkin terms They’ve hid a bit o a faa oot Ower the plans aboot winfairms . Trump wis qizzed aboot his dealins Wi a mannie fae the Mafia mob Syne he up’s an leaves the interview Hintin The Sweeney didna ken his job . Noo in the pages o “P&J” we read Business pallies tae his rescue hiv rode Eence mair tryin tae kid us aa In the Nor’east the mannie is loed. . Birds o a feather flock tigither A mynd aboot iss auld sayin Bit maist o us chiels ken they’re aa feels Faa dunce tae the tune Trumpie’s playin
Bob Smith “The Poetry Mannie” 2013
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Award winning documentary film You’ve Been Trumped, branded a “failure” by Donald Trump, has been scheduled for prime time television.
The filmmaker who was put in jail by Scottish police and had hours of footage impounded while making a documentary about the environmental and human toll of Donald Trump’s luxury golf course development north of Aberdeen, will see his feature length documentary shown across the UK on BBC Two and BBC HD on October 21 at 10pm.
“After all that we have gone through I can’t quite believe its happening,” says Anthony Baxter, director of You’ve Been Trumped. “It’s been an amazing journey.”
Baxter and his Producer Richard Phinney faced criminal charges when Grampian police arrested them and confiscated their camera equipment after Baxter interviewed Donald Trump’s green keeper about the cutting off of water supplies to local residents, including an 86 year old woman.
The National Union of Journalists backed the filmmakers and called the arrest of Baxter a “violent” and “blatant example of police interference aimed at stopping bona fide journalists from doing their job.” The charges were finally dropped and an apology made by Grampian police following an internal investigation.
You’ve Been Trumpedtells the story of the extraordinary confrontation between the tycoon Donald Trump and a proud and tightly knit community of Scottish residents, following the controversial approval of the Trump development by the Scottish Government of First Minister Alex Salmond.
The Trump golf course has been built on a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) after the Scottish Government decided the ‘economic benefits outweighed any environmental concerns.’
Baxter, who was initially turned down for production funding by broadcasters and Scottish cultural agencies, shot, directed and edited the documentary, and raised money on the internet to finish the film. Since then, You’ve Been Trumped has won 10 awards; played in 17 countries; been translated into Chinese, Romanian, Finnish, Czech, Polish and Greek; and has found its way into classrooms in Scotland, Canada and Italy.
Rarely does a film do such a masterful job of taking one small place to reveal how the world works
Though Donald Trump has called the film “a failure” You’ve Been Trumpedhas received widespread critical acclaim. Michael Moore said he was “blown away by the film” and invited it to his Traverse City Film Festival where it won the Special Jury Prize.
Alec Baldwin, the Chairman of the Hamptons International Film Festival in New York, awarded the film the prestigious Victor Rabinowitz Social Justice Award, named after one of America’s leading civil rights lawyers.
Speaking from New York after hearing of the BBC Two transmission, Mr Baldwin said,
“Anthony Baxter’s You’ve Been Trumped is my favorite kind of documentary. Comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable. I encourage anyone to see this film.”
“Rarely does a film do such a masterful job of taking one small place to reveal how the world works. By putting a face on the One Percent – and the face of Donald Trump, at that – Anthony Baxter has given us an unforgettable portrait of capitalism run amok at the expense of the 99. It’s a remarkable, revealing and very moving and important film. Don’t miss it!”
While You’ve Been Trumped was widely released in Scotland, playing in 15 towns and cities, including sold out showings in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow, the BBC Two broadcast on October 21 will be the best chance for many in the rest of the United Kingdom to see the film.
“As the response to You’ve Been Trumped around the world shows, this is not just a Scottish story,” said Baxter.
“The land sacrificed for this development was part of Britain’s natural heritage, and I believe the issues raised in the film are critically important to environmental and planning debates across the UK. I would like to thank the BBC for recognising the film needed to reach a broader public.”
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Dave Macdermid tells Voice: One of Aberdeen Sports Village’s longest standing members has been presented with an outstanding achievement award. David Cheshire, a member since the Sports Village opened in 2009, was presented with his plaque by personal trainer, choreographer to the stars and face of the BBC’s Athens 2004 Olympic campaign, Steve Agyei.
The award recognises all the hard work David has put in to achieve an incredible 1 million Fitlinxx points through use of the gym and exercise classes.
Unbelievably, this equates to over 150,000 minutes of cardio vascular exercise and lifting almost 10 million kilos, equivalent to lifting more than 1500 elephants!
Fitlinxx is a sophisticated fitness management system, which is directly linked to fitness equipment and is designed to guide users through workouts to maximise the gym experience. It adds an extraordinary intelligent dimension to workouts.
Steve Agyei has a very impressive background, working with Beyonce, JLo and Mariah Carey. Sports-wise he has worked with David Beckham, Chelsea FC and Olympic legend Daley Thompson.
Children 1st Fun Runs
Steve will be helping rally the runners at the Children 1st Spring Prom Series Fun Runs, sponsored by Aberdeen Sports Village and Metro Running Club, this April.
These events are open to anyone over 11, regardless of ability, and comprise two 3km runs and one 5km run along the beach prom in aid of Children 1st.
Steve will be attending the runs to motivate and advise runners before the race. He believes this is a great springboard for the summer running season and said, “With local events such as the Baker Hughes 10k and Run Balmoral coming up, it is a great way to help you prepare physically and mentally. Equally for those new to running, a 3k is a great introduction and an ideal target distance to aim for”.
The Fun Runs cost only £2 per race and applications forms are available at Aberdeen Sports Village website www.aberdeensportsvillage.com
This is my third article on Libya over the seven month period of the ‘revolution’.
The reason that I have written these articles is the general silence and passive acceptance that has taken place on developments in Libya as they have unfolded, and my wish to raise awareness.
I am also greatly concerned in a period when we should have learnt from world wars and numerous conflicts across the world that war is not the solution and leads to untold misery.
Yet war has become our most favoured form of foreign intervention. My intention had been to leave writing a further article until a new government was formed however the atrocities that have taken place at the end revolution have led me to writing the present article. I realise much of what I report goes against what many people have come to believe, but feel it essential to report on what I have read.
My previous arguments have been that rather than relying solely on military intervention, negotiations should have taken place with the prerequisite that elections were held under the auspices of the United Nations. Everyone could have had a say regarding the future of Libya: including those who supported Qaddafi’s green movement who have been effectively disenfranchised.
The African Union and Venezuela offered to broker negotiations and Qaddafi and the then Libyan government on frequent occasions wanted to have a cease fire and negotiations. I also argued that all those responsible for torture and war crimes whether Qaddafi’s regime, NATO or the revolutionary militias should be put before an international court for their crimes.
On the 4th February following International pressure the International Criminal Court have stated that they will be investigating war crimes perpetuated by Qaddafi Loyalists, the National Transitional Government and NATO. Interestingly this has not been reported in the British media but is whatever a significant step forward in terms of justice
If you do nothing else please watch the following video.
Journalist Lizzie Phelan was in Tripoli before during and after its fall. She explains the support for Qaddafi including a 1.7 million demonstration in Tripoli in support of Qaddafi in July, of an entire population of around five million in Libya.
She also reports on how the media was falsely reporting, the democratic nature of Qaddafi’s regime, how many women took up arms and of mass murder by NATO. Have a look on You Tube and compare footage of the numbers demonstrating for Qaddafi and those for the revolutionary fighters.
Seamus Milne in the Guardian has argued that intervention by the West rather than saving public lives has in fact increased deaths at least tenfold. Off course we can never know what might have happened if the then Libyan Government tanks had reached Benghazi. What we do know is that in towns that Qaddafi’s troops did retake, reprisals if any were minimal.
We also know that that Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch that there have been considerable reprisals by the Revolutionary militias as well as the deaths inflicted by NATO bombing. Estimates of those killed range from 10,000 to 50,00 with many more injured in a population of around five million.
Amnesty International has evidence of mass abduction and detention, beating and routine torture, killings and atrocities carried out by the revolutionary militias. Human rights watch have identified a number of mass graves and discovered 53 bodies with hands tied of Qaddafi fighter’s, some who had clearly been in hospital, near to the hotel used by Qaddafi loyalists just before he was he was murdered. In Sirte over 500 fighters and civilians were killed in the last ten days
There was knowledge by the revolutionary militia and NATO, as evidenced by militia fighters speaking on the BBC that Qaddafi was in Sirte in the last few days of fighting.
Two weeks after the death of Qaddafi the British Government is already planning to send a delegation to Libya to sell arms.
The statement by NATO that they did not now that Gaddafi was in the 80 strong convoy that was bombed while trying to escape Sirte was almost certainly untrue, as was the assertion that the bombings and drone attacks was done to protect civilians as they were fleeing not attacking anyone.
A reporter on the BBC said the carnage was horrific.
What I believe has happened has been a concerted attempt by the revolutionary militias and NATO to destroy Qaddafi’s Green movement supporters in Libya so that they cannot become a force in a future Libya. Mustafa Abdel Jalil the National Transitional Council Chairman and previously Qaddafi’s Justice Minister tried to put the blame of Qaddafi’s death onto Qaddafi’s own snipers despite the horrendous mobile footage that was published on the net all over the world.
Peter Boukaret the head of Human Rights Watch in Libya has seen revolutionary militias burning homes in Tawerga where the majority of people were black Libyans who were seen as supporters of the Qaddafi regime, so that they can never return to their home town.
Under International law combatants should be released at the end of a civil war but the Washington Post has reported that 1,000 Qaddafi loyalists are packed in dingy jails and have faced abuse and even torture. Amnesty International have criticised the EU for leaving 5,000 Sub-Saharan refugees camped in appalling conditions on Libya’s border
Will Self on the BBC has pointed out that arms are still being sold to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Algeria, Egypt and Morocco who have equally poor human rights records. He also pointed out that arms on both sides of the Libyan conflict were supplied by Britain. Two weeks after the death of Qaddafi the British Government is already planning to send a delegation to Libya to sell arms.
It could be suggested that it was in the interests of Western Leaders for Qaddafi not to live as at any court hearing he could have informed the world of the arms and human rights deals brokered with the likes of Sarkozy and Blair.
The future of Libya is most certainly in the balance. Abel Hakim Belhaj kidnapped by MI6 and tortured in Libya is threatening legal action against the UK Government, and who is the leader of the militias in Tripoli, has already warned that they will not be taking orders from the National Transitional Council.
Mustafa Abdel Jalil Chairperson of the National Transitional council’s attempts to mollify the Islamic militias is to say that a future state will be based in Shariah law and that polygamy not allowed previously in Libya would be allowed.
The intervention in Libya was never about saving civilians.
This in itself would suggest that women’s role in Libya will take a considerable backward step. Kevin Rudd the Australian Foreign minister has warned that Libya could become another Iraq. There could well be further conflict before any elections take place.
What I would conjecture is that though there will be on-going violence, it is more likely that what will happen is that elections will eventually take place and the winners will be those that are sympathetic to the west. However as corruption increases as in Afghanistan and many people’s living standards fall, that within ten years the Islamic parties as the only alternative will gain electoral or even military victory.
One factor not reported in our media is that Qaddafi through the African Union and with other Middle Eastern states had been pushing for a new currency – the Gold Dinar. This would have been a threat to the Euro and the Dollar. This would have soon come into effect and would have enriched African countries and had a negative effect on western countries. This in itself was a major reason as to why they wanted to get rid of Qaddafi as he had large stocks of gold.
Britain’s new defence secretary Philip Hammond told the BBC:
“I would expect British Companies to be packing their suitcases for Libya”
UK trade and Investment a British Government body has estimated that oil, gas and reconstruction works will be worth over 320 billion dollars over the next ten years.
Daniel Kaczynski a conservative MP and Chair of the parliamentary Libyan committee who has written extensively on Qaddafi and who has been a major influence on British Policy on Libya has suggested that Libya pay back the costs of British military intervention. Previous to the revolution the majority of contracts were going to Russia and China.
There are already significant land and property claims being made by Libyans who lost their property under Qaddafi this will have a significant knock on effect pushing those who have lived in the property and land into poverty
The intervention in Libya was never about saving civilians. It has been about regime change and a grab for lucrative resources and ending Qaddafi’s nearly met aim of creating a Gold Dinar as an alternative currency to threaten the Euro and the Dollar.
In carrying out this policy the revolutionary militias aided extensively by NATO have carried out and continue to carry out genocide of ideological nature against those many Libyans who continued to support Qaddafi.
Dr David Kennedy, former Principal of The Robert Gordon University, is a man of many interests, experiences and opinions. Voice’s Suzanne Kelly was eager to get his views on contemporary local and global topics and they conversed, among other topics, about life, the planet, greed, oil, fish and Wood. This is the first extract from that conversation.
David Kennedy was not short of words, opinions or facts.
He had recently been interviewed in-depth by the mainstream media in connection with the proposed New Town development at Elsick, but in the end all that was reported was the well-publicised return of his own honorary RGU degree in protest over RGU’s decision to award a similar honour to Donald Trump.
This simple act of defiance was eloquently accomplished and captured beautifully in Anthony Baxter’s and Richard Phinney’s film, You’ve Been Trumped.
For those who mainly get their news from Aberdeen Journals, the rest of the world has been writing about this award-winning documentary for months, and it is hitting cinemas in Scotland again now – see details elsewhere in Voice.
I asked first about his son Peter’s concern over the development of a massive housing estate at Elsick and Peter’s subsequent article in Voice and wondered if Dr Kennedy himself was keeping up with the issues around this or other planned housing developments?
“There‘s a lull at the moment other than the application that went for approval last week. The BBC spent just under an hour with me. Despite taping a long video interview when the report of the development was eventually aired, virtually nothing of what I said was used, just a reference to my handing back my degree some 12 months ago to RGU.
“The arguments that I put during the interview were about farmland. Human beings have a few basic requirements. One is food; another is warmth. As a prime requirement, humans must be able to feed themselves. We were cautioned by Winston Churchill during WWII that we should NEVER allow ourselves to be dependent on other countries for our food. If our country is unable to do this, then we must depend on trade with other countries.
“How is Scotland going to feed its people if it hasn’t any farmland? Therein lies the problem. We’ve seen here in the North East the decline of all the indigenous industries that have been with us for hundreds of years – textiles, paper, agriculture, fishing, that sort of thing. They’ve all been virtually destroyed by the growth of the oil industry, which sucked skilled people away from these industries.
“Oil is a finite resource, therefore we know from the start it’s not sustainable. It is a short-term gain for a long-term loss. I was on a few committees debating the future of Aberdeen when the oil was gone. Tourism was the only answer they came up with. However, tourism is like taking in one another’s washing – our tourists go out, theirs come in. Where is the gain? The future of Scotland certainly depends on its being able to either produce its own food in sufficient quantities to feed its people, or otherwise manufacture and export goods other countries want.”
This led us to discuss red tape and over-regulation in the farming sector.
“That of course largely comes from what is happening in Brussels. I know one or two larger farmers in the area, one of whom told me he’d never been as well off in his life. Thanks to me and other taxpayers, he was being paid so many subsidies from Brussels for set-aside, tree-planting and so on, as Europe wanted to control where food is and isn’t produced and thereby avoid overproduction.”
Suzanne’s fascinating conversation with Dr Kennedy will continue in future issues of Aberdeen Voice. We are grateful for his input.