GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – The non-vote vote


How the democratic and legal checks and balances that were set up after WWII to prevent genocide failed.

“The Executioner’s hand is always well hidden.” So wrote Bob Dylan




….control of an organization or group by the majority of its members

Western establishment institutions, including the World Court, including the British Parliament, support the genocide in Gaza, but they don’t want to be seen to support the Genocide in Gaza. The members of these ‘hallowed’ establishment institutions especially don’t want to be seen to be supporting the genocide in Gaza. In particular they don’t want their individual names and faces associated with being in support of the genocide in Gaza

So how do we get over this conundrum?

The rise of the non-vote vote

The ICJ rules against ordering a ceasefire in Gaza

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The ICJ found it plausible that Israel’s acts could amount to genocide and issued six provisional measures
On the 31st of January 2024, the International Court of Justice, commonly known as the World Court, by a vote of fourteen to one, found it plausible that Israel’s acts in Gaza could amount to genocide and issued six provisional measures which were also voted on and passed by all but one of the current 15 sitting judges elected to the World Court by the U.N
But the 15 World Court judges ruled against South Africa’s application for a provisional ceasefire in Gaza, without a vote, How this happened is unclear.
ICJ rules against South Africa’s application against Israel’s planned assault on Rafah
On the 16th of February, the World Court ruled against South Africa’s further application for urgent action to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in Rafah, resulting from a planned Israeli assault on this previously declared “Safe Area”. This ruling was again made without a vote of the judges.
The World Court denied South Africa’s application to issue an order against Israel’s planned assault on the 1.5 million Palestinians that Israel have herded up against the Rafah barrier with out a vote of the judges. Again we don’t know which judges supported the genocide in Gaza and which judges don’t.
Protecting the guilty
Usually, the orders of the World Court are decided by a majority vote of the15 sitting judges.
Which way each judge votes on a ruling of the Court is recorded and published in the public record of the World Court. But not this time.
The deliberations of the World Court are usually completely transparent, we are let know how the judges voted, on each decision of the World Court. But not when South Africa’s application for a provisional ceasefire order was rejected. And not this time either. This time, again no vote was taken on denying South Africa’s application to order Israel to halt their planned assault on Rafah. Again no judges names were put beside this decision.

There is very strong evidence that the judges on the ICJ vote in line with the country that appoints them.

To anticipate which way the 15 judges of the ICJ would vote on South Africa’s application for an interim ceasefire order, I looked at which way the countries that had appointed each judge had voted on a ceasefire order in the UN General Assembly.
Based on this record, if the judges of the World Court had voted on South Africa’s application for a preliminary order for a ceasefire, in the way their countries had voted in the UN General Assembly, the vote would have been narrowly carried, possibly by only one vote, possibly two votes. But carried it would have been. Based on the almost unanimous vote by the judges that there is a plausible case that genocide is being committed by Israel in Gaza, there can be little doubt that if South Africa’s application for a ceasefire had been put to a vote it would have been passed.
I followed both Court Cases, Ukraine vs Russian and South Africa vs Israel.
In both cases the plaintiffs Ukraine and South Africa, sought an interim ceasefire order from the Court.
The judges of the World Court, unlike South Africa’s application, voted on Ukraine’s application for a interim ceasefire order, (which was passed).
The World Court did not vote on South Africa’s application for a provisional ceasefire order, (which I believe had been voted on, would also have been passed).

Instead the15 UN elected judges of the World Court voted on 6 lesser orders and passed them all, almost unanimously, bar one vote.

The judges of the World Court did not vote South Africa’s application for a ceasefire, the World Court did not vote on South Africa’s application for an order against Israel to halt their planned assault on Rafah.
Based on their record of how the World Court judges voted almost unanimously on the 6 lesser orders against Israel, Ii is my estimation that if they had been put on the spot, and their names and reputations were at stake, the judges of the World Court would have voted for South Africa’s application to order Israel to stop their assault on Rafah. This vote if it had been held would have passed, maybe narrowly, but it would have passed, and all those judges who voted against would have their shame recorded.
The evidence of genocide is so overwhelming that if South Africa’s application to the Court for an interim ceasefire order had been put to the vote, it would have had to be carried, there is no question about it.
By avoiding putting the vote the ICJ spared the US the embarrassment of using its veto to overrule the World Court.
The cowardice of the ICJ judges in protecting their own reputations also let the US off the hook.

Even If am wrong and the vote had been lost, the judges who voted against the ceasefire order would have faced the troubling prospect of having their names recorded in the history as having voted in favour of an alleged genocide. Even if the vote had been passed in favour of a ceasefire order, those judges who voted against it would still would not want their names recorded as having voting for an alleged genocide.

Best for the judges peace of mind not to vote on South Africa’s application at all.

The rise of the non-vote vote in the British Parliament.
“….the Labour leadership decided not to channel that growing public anger and instead just to sing the same tune.

There is little doubt in my mind that if the SNP vote had been put, both Labour and the Tories would have united to vote it down. But would prefer it if their names were not recorded for history, in how they voted in favour of a genocide.

Like the World Court judges who decided it was better for their reputations not to vote on South Africa’s application for a ceasefire.
Best for the Labour and Conservative MPs not to vote on the SNP vote at all, even if they have to break the rules of the British Parliament to avoid it.

Breaking News:

The SNP may get their motion tabled after all.

SNP to propose fresh Gaza ceasefire motion after Commons chaos

Last Wednesday’s angry scenes in the Commons meant an SNP motion calling for a ceasefire and accusing Israel of subjecting Gaza to “collective punishment”, a war crime, was not voted on….

….“While the appalling spectacle at Westminster has been deeply unedifying, some progress has been made. Public and SNP pressure has forced the next prime minister, Sir Keir Starmer, into a U-turn – now we need to work together to force the UK Government to change its position too.”

The SNP said it will publish details of its new motion following discussions with the Speaker on the specific terms of the debate and the vote.


Pat O’Dea is a staunch unionist and activist 


  1. That nails it. Western politicians (90% of them give or take 5%) want carry out acts of unspeakable evil but do not want to allow a process by which they may be held morally accountable. This means that western democracy on the Westminster model has absolutely and abjectly failed us. It has become a satanic mess. For us rangatiratanga is no longer the best way forward, it is the only way forward.

    • I agree.
      It is an absolute disgrace that Israel has been able to get away with it.

      Their genocidal campaign is worse than the Rwandan one ever was for its malevolence and the blind eye being turned by the USA and UK who are held hostage by the Zionists lobby.

  2. When committing genocide, democracy is a danger, and is endangered.

    George Galloway’s by-election win in the seat of Rochdale, has sent a shockwave through the British political establishment.

    The UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, took a military flight from Edinburgh to London so that he could deliver an urgent statement from the steps of No. 10 to denounce Galloway’s electoral win as an act of extremism, “Beyond Alarming”. For good measure the PM used the opportunity to accuse the massive antiwar protests attended by millions of British people of being dominated by Muslim extremists.
    As well as denouncing Galloway’s electoral win, Sunak threatened measures restricting the right to protest, on the grounds that they posed a danger to MPs.
    These protests have been overwhelming peaceful. As Galloway pointed out, there have been less arrests at these protests attended by millions than there was at the Glastonbury festival.
    Galloway rightly pointed out. that the extremists are the MPs like the Prime Minister and the leader of the Labour opposition who support the genocide in Gaza, not the protesters and not MPs like himself who oppose it.
    Galloway stated that if these two parties run the general election campaigning to outdo each other in restricting the right to protest and demonising antiwar MPs and activists, they will wreck the political system.

    The truth is, you can’t be complicit in committing a genocide, without undermining legal and ethical rules and attacking democratic political rights, even the right to vote for the candidate of your choice.

    George Galloway

    @7:20 minutes
    ….the Chancellor of the British Exchequer, when asked who are these Muslim organizations that you say are hijacking the demonstrations against the war on the people of Gaza, every single weekend in this country. Hunt [the Exchequer] was unable to answer. For of course extremist organizations are there, none the vast majority 99.9% of the people on these Marchers are entirely peaceful and Democratic people. And the notion that by voting for the wrong candidate in a democratic election, that people have sabotaged democracy, endangered democracy is of course a perversity only possible within the British political class.
    Voting for the wrong person now appears to be an act of extremism….

    @10:21 minutes
    …..[if] it’s an election in which Starmer and Sunak are vying as to who can be more vile about the Muslims, then we will pick up the votes, Starmer will fail to win seats he had banked on winning, And Sunak might, Against All Odds, emerge as the Prime Minister again. But in so doing they will scar the face of British politics, they will scar the face of British Society, they will risk social peace in this country, and they’ll make Britain as degraded and diminished as the two leaders of the main parties have become….

  3. It is sickening to see the various establishments sucking up to Israel & the USA while ignoring the suffering of the people in Palestine. What annoys me also is the many people who consider themself good who act the same way within NZ, it’s like if they had half a brain it would be lonely as they are totally indifferent to the actual real events happening & live in some dream world where Arab’s are bad & Jews are good regardless of the evidence.


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