Socialist Worker

Queen’s love of horses and torturers knows no bounds

Issue No. 2744

The queen on her way to parliament

The queen on her way to parliament (Pic: Robert Sharp on Flickr)


New evidence has emerged of Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed holding his adult daughters hostage.

We should remember that queen Elizabeth has met the repressive leader on at least ten occasions since the 2011 “Arab Spring”.

The Declassified UK website says she gave him a horse racing award a year after one daughter, Princess Latifa, had fled Dubai and been forcibly returned.

The following year the queen hosted a state visit from Sheikh Mohammed’s colleague, the UAE’s president and ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa.

He was treated to a lavish lunch and stayed as a guest of the queen in Windsor Castle.

The queen’s “love of horses” has seen her foster close ties with several other vicious Gulf monarchs.

She visited Oman’s Sultan Qaboos shortly before the Arab Spring in November 2010 as part of her trip to the UAE.

She took £364,000 for the flights. Tory foreign secretary William Hague accompanied her.

In Oman, Qaboos presented the Queen with a gold Faberge-style egg and put on a cavalry display involving 700 horses.

In return, she honoured him with a Royal Victorian Chain, an award “conferred only upon the highest dignitaries”.

Sultan Qaboos sent 110 horses to a pageant at Windsor Castle that accompanied the queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

When one of his subjects, the activist Khalfan al-Badwawi, ­protested at the cost of transporting so many live animals to Britain by air, he was arrested and tortured.


Keir was less a flag waving fan than Keir 

Labour right wingers thought they had a moment of triumph last week when a picture emerged of early Labour leader Keir Hardie with a Union Jack behind him.

Look, they chortled, today’s Keir is following in the footsteps of the man he was named after.

They don’t know their history. Whatever the weaknesses of his politics, Hardie’s flag was not a celebration of empire.

It was a trophy grabbed from a South African crowd that sought to lynch him for his remarks attacking the British during the Boer War and British rule in India.

Author Martin Plaut has written, “Hardie’s remarks in India, critical of British rule, were widely reported in the UK as well as South Africa.

“When he arrived in Durban in 1908, he faced a storm of controversy. Although Hardie attempted to reassure the journalists who came to interview him that he was not in the country to stir up a revolution, he had little success.

“Hardie’s South African journey was dogged by bitter criticism and violent demonstrations, from which he was lucky to escape without serious injury.

“In Pretoria a white mob, 3,000-strong effectively ran him out of town, singing ‘We’ll hang Keir Hardie from a sour apple tree’.”

He took the flag from that crowd. Not quite why Labour’s Keir today is pictured with the Union Jack.


More black people have been victims of murder or manslaughter in England and Wales than at any time in nearly two decades.

Office for National Statistics figures showed 105 black victims were recorded in the 12 months to March 2020. It’s the highest figure since the 12 months to March 2002. Black people made up around 15 percent of all homicide victims in the latest figures, yet just 3 percent of the general population are black. Nearly half of black victims were aged between 16 and 24.


On 11 January Tory London Assembly Member Tony Devonish tweeted “very good piece” when the Times denounced low traffic neighbourhoods as part of the woke culture war. But “Great Work” was the call by Devonish by February when Tory Westminster council announced plans for blocking roads to make more street space for restaurants. Eat out to stop the snowflakes?


No rows here, but ‘a nest of singing birds’

It’s reasonable to question whether “they should be running Number 10 during a deadly pandemic,” a friend of Dominic Cummings told the Mail on Sunday last weekend.

The “they” in question were Boris Johnson’s partner Carrie Symonds and their dog, Dilyn.

The rows among the Tories have escalated to the degree that a dog now stands accused of secretly running the government.

The Bow Group Tory think tank wants an investigation into Symonds’ influence on government.

She is said to have briefed the media against leading female civil servants, an allegation that a Number 10 source called “total bollocks”.

Carrie is said to be at war with Johnson’s press secretary Allegra Stratton and chief of staff Dan Rosenfield.

“I love Carrie and would do anything for her,” responded Stratton. “We are all a nest of singing birds.”


Will no one think of the poor hedge funds?

A bad year for humanity was a wonderful year for the hedge fund elite.” That’s the verdict of Institutional Investor magazine as it published its annual Rich List of the top 25 hedge fund managers.

It showed that this super-wealthy elite grabbed £23 billion last year.

That’s an increase of 50 percent compared to 2019. The editors add, “When volatility increases and stock markets soar—regardless of their connection to the real economy—a select group of men (and yes, it is all men on the 2020 Rich List) stand to make bank.”

These sort of hedge funds were among those who ultimately won out from the GameStop episode. The magazine concludes, “Will the £23billion in earnings across the top 25 managers grate on those who watched tens of millions lose their jobs while global GDP cratered? Most certainly.”


Things they say

‘A gloomy submission to a new world of excessive safety’

Right wing columnist Peter Hitchens on getting the coronavirus vaccine

‘We gave up real freedom for the illusion of safety’

Hitchens continues

‘A spiteful war on our glorious snowdrops’

The Mail on Sunday on the latest crime of the European Union

‘The parliamentary wing of the public sector unions’

Janet Daley has a strange view of Keir Starmer’s Labour Party in the Telegraph

‘New low in the current vogue for the denigration of Churchill’s memory’

Sir Nicholas Soames, grandson of Winston Churchill, isn’t happy at Churchill’s racism being called out

‘White supremacist philosophy’

How Cambridge University’s Churchill College had described Churchill

‘Smear’

Soames responds


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