Iran

We Will Not Forget the Iranian People

Excellent news from The Times. We knew about this:

Nick Ferrari, a leading British radio presenter, quit his show on Press TV yesterday in protest at the regime crushing dissent after the Iranian elections, but Press TV continues to employ plenty of other Britons — including MPs and Cherie Blair’s sister.

Press TV also employs Cherie Blair’s sister Lauren Booth, the MPs Derek Conway and George Galloway, and the journalists Andrew Gilligan and Yvonne Ridley.

Booth told The Times that her weekly programme, Remember the Children of Palestine, was “too important for me not to make it”.

Gilligan, Ridley and Mr Galloway said that their shows were not subject to political interference, and they would quit if they were.

Galloway openly supports Ahmadinejad’s coup. The others have said nothing about it, as far as I know. Law Haw Haws, the lot of them.

But there is one Member of Parliament with at least a shred of decency:

Another MP, Jeremy Corbyn, said that he had withdrawn from a forthcoming Press TV programme about Western media coverage of the election, fearing bias.

Let’s hear Corbyn promise not to return to Press TV until democracy comes to Iran.

There’s more:

Ofcom, the broadcast regulator, is investigating a complaint that Press TV has breached its duty to be accurate and impartial, and many Iranians living in Britain are appalled that it can operate so freely.

It goes without saying that this is a test of Ofcom’s effectiveness as a regulator.

And finally:

A spokesman for Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, said: “The advertisements for Press TV [on London buses] are due to conclude this Sunday. Should they seek further advertising space, Transport for London will seek advice from the Committee for Advertising Practice.”

Press TV is a vicious Holocaust denial promulgating propaganda operation, run by the pernicious theocratic regime which has imprisoned Mansour Osanloo, the President of the Executive Committee of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company. He is losing his sight, in Evin prison, on trumped up charges. The campaign to ensure that he is not left to rot, forgotten, is being run by the International Transport Workers’ Federation.

This man is a true working class hero. He is a giant. His crime was to organise bus workers for better pay and conditions, for childcare allowances for women. He, and his imprisoned trade union comrades, are the Tolpuddle Martyrs of Iran, and we should be humbled by his example.

Now, here’s the thing. I can find only four mentions of Osanloo on the website of Unite, which I believe is the bus workers’ trade union. I do not know whether they took a position on the Press TV advertising campaign that their members were carting around London. If they did not, then is it not slightly shaming that the only warning shots over this affair have been fired by a Tory Mayor?

And who is campaigning for Iranians in Britain today?

My impression is that, by and large, they stand alone.

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