lundi 30 juin 2008

Get You

A.C. Grayling galaxial bore and philosopher has a pop at cultural critics in the shape of wild person of the left Slavoj Zizek. Who are the happiest people on earth? Grayling asks, painters the rich, the recluse and critics " the cultural critics, as they are called, the self-selected radical quasi-philosophers (usually trained as sociologists or literary theorists) who enjoy the unaccountable, responsibility-free luxury of being able to criticise everything and everyone, to sneer and accuse, to blame and complain, to analyse, anatomise, judge and condemn, without fear of being asked to do better themselves." So there.

Grayling's target is Zizek's latest book 'Violence' in which the author essentially argues that the capitalist system is inherently violent (uncontroversial enough) but that the appropriate response to it is ... inaction a fairly controversail idea and one with which Grayling takes exception to. Grayling does quote the famous dictum on Marx's tomb against this recipe for inactivity which seems conclusive enough, but given the 'action' of the unions (especially in France) and the Labour party in Britain - maybe a period of inaction from them would be helpful.

It's true that the retort given by the right, "Well what you going to do about it." is infuriating and "Nothing." would be a disarming reply but Zizek'll have to do better than this. In any case, why didn't he follow his own maxim and not bother with his book. Though, perhaps he did and this was a different one.

Union weakness

Union power has always been a myth. They weren't that powerful in the 70's, alas, and couldn't even stand up to the Tories back in 1984, the miners and all that. So when they find themselves poised over New Labour's financial juglular for once they could have actually done something for their members and said - "Look - pay rise or you don't get paid.". Instead they cave in before they're even pushed and only call for ". . ."lifelong learning in the workplace, better protection for young workers, helping parents and carers to balance their home and working lives, and tackling crime..." because "They fear that if they push an agenda focusing exclusively on improved rights for unions, the main beneficiaries will be the Tories."

What the...? How...? whu...? eh?

dimanche 29 juin 2008

Soldier fires on civilians

There are strict regulations determining when and where live rounds are distributed. So how the hell can this happen? The thirds prachute regimeny in Carcassonne were giving a demonstration when a soldier fired a round into a crowd. 16 people are seriously wounded. An accident? Really?

The predictable death of Labour England

Who cares about the New Labour Party - but at least if it's coming into being was nothing to do with the grass roots and the actual people it was meant to represent, let its demise be determined by those same, neglected people. But no, the ruling elite is calling the shots still, and pulling the plug on the whole sickening facade. "Sir Gerry [Robinson], a businessman who last gave money to Labour in 2005, told BBC News Mr Brown had put it in "probably an impossible position to come back from". That may well be but these rich fuckers should stay out of it.

"Sir Gerry, a former chairman of Granada television and drinks giant Allied Domecq who last year star starred in BBC TV series "Can Gerry Robinson Fix The NHS?", was among four party backers to speak out against Mr Brown's leadership in the Sunday Times.
They included businessman Sir Maurice Hitter, who told the newspaper Mr Brown did not have the "charisma" to lead the party and Sir Christopher Ondaatje, who attacked Mr Brown over his handling of the Northern Rock crisis.
Another donor, Everton chairman Bill Kenwright, told the newspaper the party had suffered an "energy bypass" and the leadership needed a "quantum change".
On Friday, Lord Levy, Mr Blair's former chief fundraiser, also suggested the party should change its leader, in an interview with BBC2's Newsnight.
But Alan Johnson, who will announce plans to end the "postcode lottery" for drugs in the NHS on Monday, insisted Mr Brown was still the right man to lead the country. "

It's scum like this who infected the party right at the time they knew Labour, anyone, could defeat the Tories. They got fat off the proceeds and now are shifting their ugly snouts and sniffing the Tories arses by distancing themselves from the Labour cadavre. It is a sign, all the same, that the ruling elite are, pleasingly, falling out amongst themselves as their cherished system splits at its bloated seams. Ho ho.

But, honestly, theses unelected upper class bastards almost make you want to support Gordon Brown if you didn't already hate the damned lot of them. It's a sorry terminus for the party but it brought the whole shit shower down on its own head. The illusion of British politics must continue - the people must be given the illusion of democratic change, and hence the Labour Party must be once again consigned to political oblivion. Until the Tories fuck it all up again and the sorry cycle repeats itself. Roll on the revolution.

samedi 28 juin 2008

Unknown riots

"Au milieu de la nuit, déjà, les mêmes adultes avaient essayé d'intervenir alors que le quartier était "en feu". Sans succès. "C'était de la rage, de la haine. Un énorme sentiment d'injustice par rapport à leur copain mort", raconte Mourad Bougueraira, un colosse de 30 ans, pilier du quartier. Une "éruption de colère comme un volcan qui explose", dit le maire, Jean-Pierre Bouquet (PS) : "Il s'agissait d'un déchaînement de violence, extrêmement brutal, très difficile à contrôler. Le signe, aussi, qu'on fait face, en France, dans notre société, à une violence latente qui peut surgir n'importe quand." "

[Surely you can translate this? - REL editorial team]

It's a familiar story. The member of a 'minority' group in society gets killed (this time by an drug dealing ex-soldier). The man, Mohamed D was in the wrong place at the wrong time (according to reports cited in Humanité) and gets shot in the head. Immediately, riots break out throughout Rome-Saint-Charles. The neighbourhood itself is disadvantaged, isolated from the rest of Vitry-le-François, with a 32% unemployment and 33% poverty rate and the local political situation is described as one of a "social and ethnic apartheid".

Three things about this episode stand out. Firstly, that social tensions in France remain extremely high. True, this was a horrible incident and people are right to be angry about it. However, the scale and ferocity of the rioting reveals the profound political, social and economic problems of inner-city life, not just in France but in the rest of Europe (riots and shootings have been part of the English social landscape for a number of years now, for example - eg the riots in Oldham and Bradford, and the recent bout of poor working class people gunning down other poor working class people in London this year). People are bitter about deeply entrenched inequalities that grind into their faces every minute of every day. They get harassed by the police, they feel they have failed in advance for that job interview and get bored and frustrated. It's not rocket science. Add to that the glitzy showbiz politics continuum that surrounds them/us, with its emphasis its boring boring emphasis on 'success' 'profit' winning money wealth all epitomised by the lizard politicians and their corporate backers and its relatively straightforward to see from whence the nihilism originates. For these lonely deaths in roads and streets and ambulances are definite signs of the political nihilism that has grown and festered in the mechanism of neoliberal politics for the last thirty years.

Secondly, and relatedly, the media response to this incident shows where its true concerns lie. Sure, if you get your car torched you're going to be upset, even taking into account the price of petrol these days. However, the standard response in the news articles, radio pieces and (rare) TV analysis concentrated exclusively on the damage to cars and police. Poperty is important. The police serve and protect. Supermarket shouldn't get smashed up. What's the problem there you might think. Well you fucking shouldn't. Notice the picture below. That's the image the MSM wants to enforce and reinforce in people's minds. That's what the Interior minister wants to reduce this affair to. She gets to look hard and tough and can mouth off about voyous and yobbos to her glassy heart's content. In doing so, she can minimise the story and criminalise the area (and the social explanations of it) and hence, (in her mind at least) absolve the state's role in producing the toxic social circumstances that create the riot conditions in the first place. Waving the pictures of burnt out cars and trashed trucks (they're only fucking cars for fucks sake - it's not that bloody tragic) is pure diversionary politics. Even (even?!) Humanité got sucked in or tried to suck its readership in with this tactic.

The aftermath and destruction take on an unduly prominent place in the narrative. There is no picture of the Mohamed D. (whose name wasn't even mentioned on the BFM TV bulletin coverning the story) who is erased from the scene for a second time. All that remains for the average viewer is that some yobbos attacked the police and burnt some cars - no story. The media's role is so embedded in the state's political projection that we might have to start studying Sovietology.
Finally, the story contrasts markedly with the fate of another youth on the receiving end of some violence recently.

"A Jewish teenager savagely beaten by a gang wielding metal bars in an apparently anti-Semitic attack in Paris came out of a coma Monday, hospital officials said. The 17-year-old had been in a coma after the attack Saturday evening by youths in Paris' multi-ethnic 19th district. The hospital treating him said Monday his condition was "improving." President Nicolas Sarkozy, in Israel for a state visit, led condemnation of the attack, expressing his "profound indignation" and reaffirming his "total determination to combat all forms of racism and anti-Semitism." Anti-Semitism is a sensitive issue in France, where the 600,000-strong Jewish community is western Europe's largest, and which is also home to a five-million strong Muslim population."

This story has received a lot of coverage over the last ten days or so even as it became clear that the anti-semitic element was not as clear cut as first appeared and when it came to light that the youth himself was known to police for racial violence himself. What is important though, is that the President himself condemned this act whilst remained silent on the murder of Mohamed D. It is interesting to note too, the nod and the hint contained in the last line of the AFP report and the fact (ok not at all sceintific) that if you hunt fot the Mohamed D story you get about 12000 hits on google but for the anti'semitic beatng, twice as many. This would be true if it was a 'white' boy getting a kicking of Chinese youth or a 'white' gang getting beaten up by 'black' gangs. The reporting shows the hierarchy and the types of social and ethnic apartheid that, as London celebrates Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday, (still) characterise our own inner cities.

vendredi 27 juin 2008


Private Eye makes the analogy that the in "largely free and fair election" [BBC Today program] in March in Zimbabwe the opposition party only received 47% of the vote and, er, lost. The international condemnation and attacks on the country have been constant ever since - but that in Ireland were the Irish people clearly voted against the despised Lisbon treaty (53%), the people are being urged to vote again and get it right this time. Funny thing democracy. . . .

Our Royals are a bargian!

Stories like this make one sick to one' foi gras and champagne lined stomach. One's heasehold statisticians have found that one only costs the nasty little tax payers 66 pence each. Forfend, what do they complain about? Personally one is not amused about only being the cost of two cigarettes to the heaving masses and frankly the arz I put in one finds that a pay rise would be necessary. If we didn't own half the country in the first place hawahawahaw neigh brrr.

All the money's gone

"Consumers are also running down their savings, with the household saving ratio falling to 1.1%, the lowest since 1959."

Savings ah yes. Those little piles of ten, five and two pences that gradually accumulate and coalesce into thiry and forty pound piles, money gouged up from within ancient sofas, money found in trouser pockets, long forgotten Premium Bonds in dusty coffee pots, pseatas and little bundles of liras that you'd forgotten you'd kept and give you a little surprise of excitement when you dig them up from the miscellaneous draw only to disappoint when you realise, unknown currencies found in old film containers that might be worth something you never know, a stamp! a stamp! hold on look at this it's a gold coin with something French written on it must be worth a fortune oh wait chocolate. fuck what's this...a bank book! bankk book Hallelujah! Northern Rock one hang on.... bollocks I don't remember spending that o well, fiver innit nah.
Savings? Don't talk to me about savings

"...couple of pay cheques away from destitution."

The credit crunch - face it 'the recession' - is forcing middle class people to live in their cars. We're all homeless now. Or is that all 'middle class now'. The questions are - Who sets to gain from all this reposession and what is the American working class going to do this time?

jeudi 26 juin 2008

A (Labour!) government

After eleven years of power when they could have done so much to energise and democratise Britain, they end up with this ----> Another fat complacent looking Tory smug bastzrd licking his slobbering trough smeared lips at the prospect of a Ministerial post in two year's time. Even the BNP beat the government candidate. It was Henley - one of the poshest constituencies in the UK, but all the same - it's a dismal terminus for all that (albeit misplaced) hope that sprung up back in '97. I for one couldn't stand an election night dominated by pictures like these - horsey no-marks haw-hawing it up about how sooper it is to be in power again. Still, it's all one big political vile party of governance so it's not that important a story in the end.

the worst June since the Great Depression

is how have described the 9% DJIA fall this month.

Market data FTSE 100 -147.9 5518.2//DAX-158.24 6459.6//Dow Jones -358.41 11453.42// Nikkei -277.96 13544.36.

One shouldn't read too much into these figures or gloat. But "hah it's the end of capitalism as we know it - die you banker shareholder scum!!!"

Why blogger

Roy Greenslade faces up to the inevitable and acknowledges that the MSM is under threat from the blogiverse. He says "We [journos] have spent our lives dominating conversations. No, that's wrong of course. We did not converse at all. We lectured. We provided the information that people feasted on in order to hold their own conversations."

Once things started to change he came to believe that "In other words, us pros will still run the show." But soon after he questioned even this so that now "It is entirely conceivable that the digital revolution may, in the fullness of time, sweep the media mogul aside. "

The blogiverse is not an alternative to political action, but it makes it all the more effective when people all round the world can be inspired by it. And it's frightening the 'right' [like Greensdale] people.....

All that is solid melts into air - and a good thing to o. . . . .

Conspiracy Night

"Experience has proven that the simplest method of securing a silent weapon and gaining control of the public is to keep the public undisciplined and ignorant of basic systems principles on the one hand, while keeping them confused, disorganized, and distracted with matters of no real importance on the other hand.
This is achieved by:
(1) Disengaging their minds, sabotaging their mental activities, by providing a low quality program of public education in mathematics, logic, systems design, and economics, and by discouraging technical creativity.
(2) Engaging their emotions, increasing their self-indulgence and their indulgence in emotional and physical activities, by:
(a) unrelenting emotional affrontations and attacks (mental and emotional rape) by way of a constant barrage of sex, violence, and wars in the media - especially the T.V. and the newspapers.
(b) giving them what they desire - in excess - "junk food for thought" and depriving them of what they really need."

the site quoting this document has it down as ". . .Another very insightful document of questionable origin. . ." Quite. Mwahaha


Great blog from the Tomb

“The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.”

A quote from Antonio Gramsci’s Prison Notebooks: he applied it to Italy in the 1930s. I think it sheds some light on our situation today.

For me, since 1997 politics has felt precisely like this.

UK corruption plc

"The LSE said that the trading platform, named Baikal, will offer a dark liquidity pool, which will allows banks, hedge funds and institutional investors
to trade large blocks shares in secret to minimise market impact."

They really are taking the piss.

....Fascist terror not news move along nothing to see

It's easy to pour scorn on the sad nutters that join far right groups. Oops, there I go again. The case of the delightful looking chep above, though, is instructive. You may well have heard that Rozzer nicked Martin Gilleard a working class bloke from Goole, for the minor infraction of having an ammunition dump under his bed, a pile of racist literature in his possession and a list of Muslim targets. Cue, one would think in these volatile times, for an orgy of media fear mongering, tortured inquiry into these "white people with short hair" and the fate of men everywhere and how racism, Christianity, competitive games...are vile and dangerous things and should be banned and sent back from whence they came. Well, no, there was no reaction at all, of course.
Why is this? Embarassment perhaps. He we are fully braced for a Islamist act of terror - (someone writing an offensive poem or someone insisting on wearing their veil or carrying suspicious looking drinks in bottles, or getting honeytrapped in to saying "Bomb the planes bomb the planes!", walking down stairs in front of armed cops in an agressive manner etc.) andbut what do we get? An honest cheeky looking chappy saying some bad things and with some bad things in his shed. They're only nail bombs and he did say he had become 'less racist in the last few weeks' (?). So the MSM have to cringe and hope no one really notices. Fortunately a few have. See Yorkshire Ranter and the Tomb frinstance.
Or perhaps the MSM think the story would offend their core audience. They fear that villifying this type of terror would offend or frighten the wwc who watch and read their products.
From the dark pool - it could be that the media and the pols just expect or actively seek this kind of response from the fringe activists it (secretly) promotes and is getting us used to the idea that, in the future, this kind of thing will come to actual fruition (this is the second such case in little over a year) and we will have to take sides.
Whatever, things like this should be remembered and used in evidence against those who argue the toss about 'home grown' Islamic terrorism. I am waiting for the Martin Amis horrorism response.. . .
Finally, it has to be said that indirectly, the story is another way that the left's weakness is revealed. Politically misguided as he was, this nut was political and could have had his energy directed at the real enemy. Mind you, it also seems that he was some kind of sex offender. Are some people irrevocably lost? h o p e n o t

mercredi 25 juin 2008

The next bubble will be water

The news that people in Northants. will have to boil their drinking water for the next few days is but another sign of capitalism's increasing inability or reluctance to put the needs of people before profit. After the housing bubble, the oil bubble and the food bubble - next there will be a water bubble as the greedy stinking speculators (who Lenin had shot, bless him) seek further profits from their ailing system of death.


The Guardian assumes the position

"Rebuilding global trust will be the major task of the next US president." a recent Guardian editorial ended.

Either they are hopelessly naive. They really believe America is run by a aberrant President and that come January 2008 all will be well,

or they are committed to pulling the wool over their readers' eyes and playing a role in the propaganda machine

or they just forget and have to fill the page up so some guff or other.

I hope it's the latter but fear it is the second.

We are the enemy

"The problem is, what territories are being conquered and reorganized, and who is the enemy? Given that the previous enemy has disappeared, we are saying that humanity is now the enemy. The Fourth World War is destroying humanity as globalization is universalizing the market, and everything human which opposes the logic of the market is an enemy and must be destroyed. In this sense, we are all the enemy to be vanquished: indigenous, non-indigenous, human rights observers, teachers, intellectuals, artists. Anyone who believes themselves to be free and is not."

Face it - Marx was right. It is easy to say "But where are the revolutions?" They are fermenting everywhere. Lazier to say "But why aren't the people angry". They are, everywhere. Simplistic to say "Nothing will happen. Nothing will change." when change is eating everything up.

Patience comrades, patience. . . patience and preparation. . . .

Intellectual top ten

Lists are great and suspect at the same time. But over at suspect paki a really interesting one and one that hasn't had enough publicity in the MSM - we wonder why:

Top Ten World Intellectuals:

1. Fethullah Gulen
2. Muhammad Yunus
3. Yusuf al-Qaradawi
4. Orhan Pamuk
5. Aitzaz Ahsan
6. Amr Khaled
7. Abdolkarim Soroush
8. Tariq Ramadan
9. Mahmood Mamdani
10. Shirin Ebadi

A sooth sayer speaks

Interesting economic site called market oracle that is pretty sceptical about the reassuring pronouncements the governance puppets keep coughing up. Michael Swanson writes that in effect with inflation a major concern, banks in trouble and a major stock market correction in progress, we are at the same point as we were last year economically. In other words, there is a lot more bigger trouble ahead, he reckons.

"I think we are likely to see a Fall shock hit the market. Last year we saw the Fed do a 180 degree turn from talking about inflation to cutting rates like a mad hatter. This year I believe we will see the Fed abandon its talk of fighting inflation to once again intervening to bail out some bank, patch up the leaky economy, or in response to a stock market mini-crash. I think the situation right now is like it was a year ago - everyone is worried about inflation, but the bigger problems lurk in the cooked books the banks are carrying. In fact we are more likely to see more problems emerge and the stock market go lower as that is the primary trend right now. "

Sell your BAT shares comrades and buy gold. Teeth that is.


Up at dawn I put BBC World on and am regaled by the news that there are now 10 million millionaires in the world. The video accompanying the slot is of hundreds of ten pound notes floating down against a red backdrop. The announcer tells me that the estimated wealth of all these individulas is about 30 trillion pounds. He then bobs back up on the screen and cheerily says "Well, it's good to have some good economic news for a change." First reaction is that the geezer must be being ironic. With news like this and this (that strapped British people are trading down and shopping at lowcost stores and that in the US even middle class people are getting their utilities cut off) even the puppets presenting the news must be aware that all is not going well for a lot of their viewers. How can it be good news? It's not, therefore it is a subtle joke. But then again, this is the BBC. We were meant to believe in the WMD legend, that terror and Iraq were linked. So maybe we're meant to believe that the rich getting richer just IS good news - and good news for everyone. This thought pissed me off. I swapped to the French Business channel - where they reported the same news in an even more hysterically happy (and therefore false) way. Then in an economic report - they noted that the Fed has to raise rates but at the same time lower them to stop inflation so as to inflate the economy and to dampen demand so that- what - the millionaires get richer, we suppose.

When will the anger turn political?

mardi 24 juin 2008

Terrorist camps

Ever felt you missed something important? We like to think we're pretty much au currant with the actualité here at the REL offices, but sometimes snippits of news create surprise. Thus a story in the Telegraph, that embalming sheet of the upper clarses, has some guff on terror experts (whoever tf they are) warning the governance about the danger of rented planes being turned into 911 high speed flying suicide bombs. So far so - yawn - predictable. You'd have thought that if there were any self-respecting crank terrorist out there, s/he'd have done precisely this years ago by now. No matter. The arresting point comes further down in the slag report ". . .

• The European Court of Human Rights announced it would investigate the Government's plans to hold terror suspects for up to 42 days;
• The Government announced it is to build a specialist detention centre for terror suspects."

Specialist dentention centre for terror suspects????? wtf?

Cease ceasefire

When the Palestinians respond it's terrorism, when the Israelis respond it's justified action. The by-line reads "Ceasefire threatened by Palestinian mortar attack on Israel". Further on in the guff report we read "The rocket attacks followed a clash in which Israeli forces killed two Palestinians, including an Islamic Jihad commander, in the West Bank city of Nablus, in the first fatal raid since the ceasefire."
(Yes, it's obvious and unsurprising, but it still needs to be said every so often).

'Israel threatens ceasefire with raid into West Bank' - why not put that - we wonder ironically.

See how they run

As Tzarcozy was leaving Israel after his shameful and arselicking trip to see the butchers in Tel Aviv, some crank Mossad agent either tried to top himself and missed or just felt like trying his gun out. Either way, it caused an amusing Theatre of Panic on the runway. The shot rang out. Bodyguards ran around in confusion and the gnome's wife was off up the plane's steps like shit through a goose. El presidenté, himself, almost paralysed with fear, was helped up the stairs and onto the plane where he shat himself near to death by the looks of film of him later on pontificating some garbage about Palestine - a load of pledges and aspirations that will all be soon forgotten about.

A something-nearly-happened-day.

Kill the Rich

Really the time has come for someone somewhere to exact a bit of revenge on the parasite rich who are getting richer and richer at everyone else's expense by the second. They are the scum of the earth and they float on the surface in their boats, buy art they don't understand, waste their wasted lives wasting avion fuel and buy teams they don't care about and feel nothing for. They are the zombies of the earth and ought to be put out of their and the poor's misery. For their own sakes.

The Guardian provoking somebody somewhere writes nonchalantly and dreamily "The combined wealth of the millionaires, defined by Merrill Lynch as "high net worth individuals', grew by 9.4% to $40.7 trillion, demonstrating once again, the truism that the wealthy are getting wealthier all the time."

Yes, it's a truism, face it accept it learn to love it. Not something to be angry about now. There there. Once, when the left said it, we were resentful losers - but now it's open and putrifyingly so in everyone's face - including those starving on the streets - it's a truism - like "BORING come on. You know, say something we don't know! It's just a fact - the rich get richer the poor get poorer."

The rich get richer of course because the poor get poorer was Marx's insight and one day the rest of the argument will unfurl its boots on the stinking faces of the greedy viscious ignorant rich filth of the world.

"The report suggest that global wealth of high net worth individuals will grow to $59.1tn by 2012, advancing at a rate of 7.7% a year." This must not be allowed to happen. Enough defeat. Fuck the fucking fuckers.

Next stop Tehran. . .?

I was googling for a picture of somewhere in Iran, a street, a café something normal but all I could find was a load of hanged people photos, pictures of missiles and scared-up pics of the president. The point was meant to be - this is just another country leave it the fuck alone. Let the Iranian people do any régime changing, get rid of your own nuclear missiles and if you do invade, say "Yeah, we want their oil ok"- at least be honest for a change. Not that you'd get away with it so easily, though, this time. Which there won't be. . . .will there?

It has to be said - just because an idea is absolutely insane that is insufficient for the American government not to go ahead and do it. Think not? Well read on....

"“If the president thought John McCain was going to be the next president, he would think it more appropriate to let the next president make that decision than do it on his way out,” said Kristol.
However, he warned, “if President Bush thinks Senator Obama’s going to win, does he somehow think—does he worry that Obama won’t follow through on that policy.”"

So if Obama looks good for the Presidency come the end of Summer - Bush'll give the Israelis the green light and sabotage Obama? Or even get the elections cancelled....


Everything in moderation - including moderation.

The word on the streets

To be democratic, really democratic, listen to the people not the ""elected"" politicians. It's not a complicated thought at all - sorry. Here is Xavier on the streets of Paris during the demo against the attack on French working conditions, June 17

"The left is not acting to bring down the government either; it’s taking a soft line to get people behind it. The attacks we’re suffering in France are international. In general the world is in a bad way, but the more things are bad the more some people are doing fine. Sarkozy’s policies are international, we need an international struggle.”

Even allowing for translational ambiguities, this is crystal and spot on. As for the politicians, see what fuckAshdown is vomiting up (below).

Who are the terrorists?

A campaign manager was asked whether a terrorist attack would help McCain's (floundering) electoral chances. . .What kind of question IS that exactly? And what kind of chilling response is this:
"Certainly it would be a big advantage to him," . . .

. . . but not to the people who end up maimed and dead presumably.

("Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, who during a Long Island bookstore appearance stated, "The more successful they've been at intercepting and stopping bad guys, the less proof there is that we're in danger. And therefore, the better they've done at making sure there isn't an attack, the easier it is to say, 'Well, there never was going to be an attack anyway.' And it's almost like they should every once in a while have allowed an attack to get through just to remind us.").

With politicians like these, who needs terrorists?

Recolonise now!

Mugabe is not one of our comrades here at REL but statements like this "The Times has learnt that the Ministry of Defence already has two contingency plans, one involving the deployment of troops into Zimbabwe. " bodes even worse for the working classes of his country. With the piteous figure of Ashdown slobbering for military action, it looks like the psyops to get the British public behind another fucked up armed intervention has just ratcheted up a notch. Mugabe must go, but the Gordon Brown and his caged reptiles are not the people to do it.

Whatever happens, western military intervention is the worst case possible. Doing nothing is better than the wretched something they have to offer - the doing must be owned by the Zimbabwean people - no matter how tumultuous and painful that transition is. British troops on the ground will make a bad situation unbearable. It must not happen.

It's all the bloody public's fault

A lot of people are pissed off with the way things are going in Britain. A complex issue with multiple facets, causes and consequences that would involve serious research and thinking. So it is certainly not a topic for a New Labour Minister to shed any light on. Thus. . .

" The roads minister Tom Harris had pointed out that living standards have risen, crime is down, people live longer and they enjoy more pleasures and entertainments of every kind. "So why is everyone so bloody miserable?" he asked. Are "crippling levels of cynicism and pessimism part of the human condition ... Were we always like this? What happened to that postwar optimism and commitment to common values? Are they gone for ever, and if so, why? If not, how can we bring them back?"

Firstly, are people so "bloody miserable" - or are they just sick of this particular government? It's a nice trick if you can pull it off, to blame the people for being just downright unpleasant and so bloody ungrateful - after all, then the status quo can elect a new people. But if the people are generally ok, (that is, we are not starving in the streets, huddled in cellars whilst mortars rain down or being herded into camps. . .) but see through the rottenness of the Labour party then the government is in serious trouble. Which is the more likely explanation. . .?

Secondly, it's actions that are cynical - and there has been no other government as cynical as this one. Think Iraq think 'A good day to bury bad news'.

Thirdly - yes, that postwar optimism (presumably this tool isn't talking about the Iraq war) the Labour Party squandered that too and lost the election in '51.

Finally, how "can we bring them back" - how can we get rid of "them" more like.

Sure, it's all a pop at the Daily Mail, but really blaming the audience is a sure sign that the show is over.

lundi 23 juin 2008

Once upon a time

I used to like Martin Amis - 'Money', 'Rachel Papers' even 'Dead Babies'. Now, I realise that the feminists at the time who berated us for reading his stuff, were in fact correct. 'Money' might be half decent but the rest of his output trailed off to pure shite a long time ago. Plus he's a racist cunt - get what he said last year -

"There’s a definite urge - don’t you have it? - to say… the Muslim community will have to suffer until it gets its house in order. What sort of suffering? Not let them travel. Deportation - further down the road. Curtailing of freedoms. Strip-searching people who look like they’re from the Middle East or from Pakistan … Discriminatory stuff, until it hurts the whole community and they start getting tough with their children."

How the shitey have fallen. . .


An undocumented member of the working class being held in a concentration camp in Vincennes, France died after "having a heart attack", according to police sources - duh - This sparked off an eruption of inmate rage and anger. The subsequent fire destroyed the abject place. The conditions in the holding centre had degenerated since the begining of the year and the detainees were left to asphyxiate slowly for up to 40 minutes before the firepeople arrived. All the French media could worry about, though, was the fact that a few captees had escaped amid all the confusion.

Class war

the anarchist paper Class War, that is, used to do a page three 'Slapped Copper' or some such like, where readers sent in photos of bashed up police from demos etc. It shows just how far things have swung the wrong way, just how cocky the forces of law and order feel, when the police can set up a facebook site called 'Look I've had a pocol' - pocol being rozzer slang for a collision with a pedestrian/member of the public, of course - and have a good laugh about the mayhem they cause when they speed through red lights, run over 'drunks' and brag about the number of collisions they've had.

Watch out, rozzer's about.

Signs of resistance # 4

Council workers have finally stood up for themselves and voted to go on strike. What's interesting is the clear mandate the action received. Don't let the unions defuse it all this time. . .

Life is impossible

[Hand held camera shaky focus - Downtown Anywhere US - police siren in background - recording hiss - female interveiwee c.55 outside supermarket]
"There's no dreams".
There's no dreams - That's good and bad. It sounds bad at first - no dreams of holidays abroad or swimming pools - life is just too expensive, but (politically and only politically) it is 'good'. Without dreams to obscure it, there is anger and movement.

The video needs time to download - but the three minutes or so say ten times more than the media is doing at the moment about the current crisis.

Atoms and void - get used to it

The letter below was sold at auction for 404 000 dollars. (nearly all of) It is reproduced here for free...

"... The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this. These subtilised interpretations are highly manifold according to their nature and have almost nothing to do with the original text. For me the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions. And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people.

As far as my experience goes, they are also no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything ‘chosen’ about them.

In general I find it painful that you claim a privileged position and try to defend it by two walls of pride, an external one as a man and an internal one as a Jew. As a man you claim, so to speak, a dispensation from causality otherwise accepted, as a Jew the privilege of monotheism. But a limited causality is no longer a causality at all, as our wonderful Spinoza recognized with all incision, probably as the first one. And the animistic interpretations of the religions of nature are in principle not annulled by monopolisation. With such walls we can only attain a certain self-deception, but our moral efforts are not furthered by them. On the contrary.
Now that I have quite openly stated our differences in intellectual convictions it is still clear to me that we are quite close to each other in essential things, i.e. in our evalutations [sic] of human behaviour. What separates us are only intellectual ‘props’ and ‘rationalisation’ in Freud’s language. Therefore I think that we would understand each other quite well if we talked about concrete things.
With friendly thanks and best wishes
Yours, A. Einstein."

Do people still believe these days? Not in god or gods, but "believe". Either you know or you don't. Why bother with the middle person?

dimanche 22 juin 2008

Feed the popstars

The French government has introduced a law giving a three strikes and you're barred from the interenet if you're caught downloading songs. The reasoning is that it's theft and popstars just aren't getting enough money these days. This calls for a concert on their behalf - organised by 'developing countries' - with choirs of starving children singing at concerts to rustle up much needed cash so dicks like above can afford that second swimming pool in their third homes.

Say terrible

With almost blanket fawning from the media towards the French septic gnome presidenté, it's easy to actually overlook the nonsense he comes out with. Thursday, he was trying to cover up some military budget cuts by arguing that the biggest threat to France came from terrorism.
This is either some racist nod to the gallery - "We all know terror is equated with Muslims and, well, vous pouvez comprendre le rest." - or some acknowledgement that France's recent rapproachment with the US will, he fears, make the country more likely to experience an attack. If he genuinley believed this, why did he ally France with the Washington terrorists? More conspiratorily, it may be a coded warning that now Paris has signed up to the Western assault on the rest of the world - there may have to be little false flag incidents to control the population in times of controversy. With Tzarko, you never know. Neither does he.

Financially bankrupt as well

It's long been known that New Labour has been intellectually bankrupt for most of its existence. After Iraq, it went morally so and now, at last, it could very well go the whole hog and end up financially bust too. A fitting end for the Labour narrative - I'm sure we're all going to send sizable cheques to the Treasurer (if they can find someone who wants the wretched job).

It's about time, comrades

Britain could be in for a load of strikes this Summer. . .we wonder why.

samedi 21 juin 2008

Britain is good at something!

Arms exports - hey we're top of the league. It's good for jobs and if we didn't do it - somebody else would.

Which just about sanctions every crime there is really. Some facts -

"The figure amounts to a third of all worldwide export orders for military equipment, ministers and arms companies reported."

"The Ministry of Defence says the terms of the contract - called Salam, Arabic for peace - and the total expenditure involved are confidential."

"Over the past five years the top arms exporters have been the US, with $63bn worth of sales, UK ($53bn), Russia ($33bn), France ($17bn) and Germany and Israel ($9bn each), according to government figures. " [This after the reprehensible anullation of all those 2005 poverty pledges]

"halving arms exports would lead to the loss of about 49,000 jobs but this would be offset by the creation over a five-year period of 67,000 new jobs in non-arms employment." - GOOD

The UK is the most corrupt country in the entire world.

vendredi 20 juin 2008

Attacking Iran

Mark Tran writes that Israel is really in the process of thinking about bombing Iran. It is interesting, though, that the comments below his article are more informed and better written than his piece. Doubtless, this type of remark is as clichéd as the 'insight' that "Duh. The adverts are better than the programs on telly these days!" but one comment from someone called 'Bigfacedog' irritated me a little. Writing about the supposed assualt on Iran s/he scribbles,

"I am sure most of posts that follow will be the usual de rigour Israel/US bashing perhaps some sane posters can address the strategic issues (i.e. remove their own irrelevant value judgements as neither Iran nor Israel nor US actually care if some sandle wearing ex-anthropology lecturer in Islington is up in arms about the "neo conservative conspiracy") Please try to understand - your dinner party grandstanding is totally and utterly and completely irrelevant to the question posed by the author."

So please remove your "irrelevant value judgements"! - It is difficult to extrapolate to who these people are, but I hope they don't share the same insoussiance towards condemnation when it comes to valuing the actions of those who vandalise cemetries and deny holocausts and so on. And why the ire towards London social sceince lecturers I wonder? The blazing anger towards the end, really shows how much the author of this comment actually wants some kind of violence to take place.
BlogWeirdo of the week.

jeudi 19 juin 2008

Education by humiliation

It's good to see someone else cheesed off by the government's latest lurch to the Daily Mail right. The idea of getting offenders to wear special jackets and have 'Wanted' style posters of frequent fliers all over the place is a risible idea more at home in some Little Britain spin-off. But desperate politicians do desperte things and as the latest governance configuration slowly and humiliatingly disintegrates, we can expect more of these tawdry and wretched unideas to bob up in the papers - only to sink into oblivion where they, and their septic originators belong.
Still, it would be fitting if Blair and the rest of the war brigade were forced to wear this uniform in honour of their crimes against humanity. Though they would have to scrub for years to get the filth off themselves....

Bean counter replaced by Bean

Some upper class moron has resigned as deputy chairman of the financial politburo that's meant to keep inflation and wages down. Not so much analysis of why the previous snout left this particular sty, the story in the Guardian (why do I keep reading this shyte paper?) reads like some guff from Pravda c.1973 ("In a statement, Bean said he was "committed to ensuring that the MPC is properly equipped to steer the economy through the challenging times ahead". He will lead the MPC in King's absence." - what a critical enquiring press we don't have in this economic zone/country.) and sheds only darkness on why Lomax jumped ship. Presumably these 'challenging times ahead' are going to be really challenging, she's seen what's coming and has trotted off to troughs anew.

the story ends, "The Bank has two deputy governors, with the second - currently Sir John Gieve - being responsible for financial stability. Gieve last night dramatically quit after Darling announced that he will create a Financial Stability Committee (FSC) to sit alongside the MPC.", it makes you wonder why these rats, in a sudden change of metaphor, are jumping ship. . . . .

Shut up and spend

The monthly presentation of retail sales are disgusting - more so at Christmas, when even the hardened atheist has to feel queasy about the importance given over to how much has been spent and consumed - because it is at the root of what our society is. A 24/7-consumerfest. As long as shit is getting shut of the shelves, then ministers can recline complacently on their lazyboys and kid themselves that all is well. That the things being bought are worthless trash and the cash being spent loaned from an about to go bust bank is repressed. Until the next load of terrible figures on inflation, inbalance of payment of unemployment jolts the reality back into focus. Enjoy.

Double think double onions

The Guardian is a Labour rag and reports Labour contradictions without complaint (see below). Sometimes the paper's double thinking is so blatant, though, that it's enough to make you smile of a morning. It's only a small thing but on the website today there is a worthy piece about the need to go vegetarian by John Harris, above a blatant PR guff attack on behalf of Burger King who have introduced a 95 quid but-its-ok-it's-for-charity burger. But if you can swallow these two articles and agree with them both, you can mentally prepare yourself to accept the government's economic rhetoric so eargerly foistered on its readership by the damned paper.

Thank you darling

The creepy looking CoE Alistair Darling puked some froth up for his Mansion House Speech about pay restraint. It was a wildly contradictory speech. The basic message seemed to be that unions should not get pay rises because that would only make their members worse off.

"Continued restraint on pay is required from both the public and private sector. We must recognise the need to reward efforts of people who work hard. But to return now to inflationary pay settlements would undermine rather than raise people's living standards with a damaging circle of wage increases eroded by steadily rising prices. We must never return to those days."
Mr Darling rejected suggestions that the UK was heading for a 1970s-style period of stagflation, with stagnant growth and spiralling inflation fuelled by large pay increases.

The key point here is that a 'damaging circle' would 'materialise' (like it's not already here) if the little people got more money because then, prices would go up (because the bosses, er, want to keep their profit margins high). So instead prices will rise ('. . . "today's turbulence is caused by international pressures from oil and food prices, being felt by every economy in the world", he said.') and workers will have their living standards undermined - that can be the only inference from the drivel he was coming out with. Sure, as I argue below, poverty is ok so long as it's not a debilitating poverty and an equitable one, but Darling's approach is one guaranteed to continue the social conflict already bubbling along at the moment. His preaching is aimed at the public sector workers mainly and not at the slobbering snouts he was talking to, who will enjoy massive bonuses and huge pay rises. Perhaps he is a deep revolutionary mole sent into the system to bring about its violent demise by exposing capitalism's insoluble contradictions in terrible speeches like this. Wanker.

mercredi 18 juin 2008

Wealth cap

Poverty is not the problem - one can live a frugal fulfilled life without luxuries as long as you have food, necessities and friendship. Like Epicurus said. The real problem is luxury, infinite wealth and dreams of avarice. No one needs multi-million dollar bonuses and the rest of the world should not pay for a tiny minority to laud it over the rest of us. There should be a maximum wealth limit. If people really want incentives, there could be revolutionary guards who could provide death threats for those who need urging to work - not the (fictional) idle poor but the parasite rich.

Other minds

This year's Bac Philosophy paper, pored over by the French media religiously every year had amongst its questions this "Est-ce qu'il est plus facile de connaître autrui que de se connaître soi-même?"

The expected (?) Cartesian response would run along the lines that one can doubt the existence of other minds in a way one cannot possibly doubt the existence of one's own. Thus, 'the' 'answer' would be "No". Nietzsche was right, though, Descartes was superficial. What kind of doubt would it take - a very doubtful doubt, yet a void opens up between l'autre and soi-même.

The unexamined life would answer - one knows them equally well.

What would a communist answer look like? The beginning might be that others know you better than you do yourself and you only know what little you know of yourself due to them.

Eco 101 Theory and History Paper June 17 9.00 am 2050

Q.1 Solve the following economic dilemma.

"US unemployment rose 0.5 per cent last month; US home sales and house prices are in free fall, and not expected to bottom for 18 months; high energy prices are dampening consumer spending and axing confidence levels. If Bernanke raised interest rates in this environment Americans would send out a lynching party. More seriously any increase in interest rates would crash the bond and stock markets.
Indeed, it is far more likely that the pressure will come in the other direction, either this autumn or early next year. Bond prices look expensive against surging inflation, while corporate profits are being squeezed by inflation threatening stock valuations. Both the stock and bond markets are set up for a crash, and that would mean lower and not higher interest rates."

What really went on there?

We only have this excerpt. . .

". . .This problem struck at the centre of what made capitalism a distinctive economic system. Its inherent competitiveness, whilst a motor of innovation and productivity, dooomed its macroeconomic workings to insoluble contradictions resulting ultimately in the catastrophic events of that famous Summer. . ."

Home is where the repo man is

Excellent article over at the Tomb about capitalism's failure to provide enough housing whilst producing too many luxury flats that are now being reposessed and left, er, empty.

The American Dream

"...a record number of Americans are now getting food stamps..." - The American dream, you have to be asleep to believe it.

Tin hatters

Conspiracyology, the study of why some people are attracted to conspiracy theories, would be an interesting subject. The official accounts of the 2001 attacks in New York, the Kennedy assassination even the bombs in London 2005 have just enough gaps to allow a whisp of doubt to creep in. Always, though, in the background is the psychological fear of self-exclusion through wing-nuttery and the governance Fat Controller's chastisement if one dare question any aspect of the media narratives, even bearing in double-mind their rewrites and rethinks. Occassionally, however, some tiny insignificant story emerges that does nothing to reassure those who uncritically assume that the ruling elite are always honest and above board. The fact that Northern Rock bosses had a secret plan to shut up shop on "a Friday afternoon" if all plans to find a buyer and hopes of nationalisation failed, illustrates that there are furtive plans hatched behind closed doors and plans that are at the expense of the common people. Yes, ok, this is hardly terror, explosions and death, but it's hardly evidence either that the people with power are squaeky clean and trustworthy either. "The Treasury confirmed the scheme, which the Daily Mail published yesterday. The paper had the outline of the contingency plan in January but was lent on by the chancellor, Alistair Darling, not to publish it until now."
What moutains of information are being kept from us because some roach in governance is leaning on some toady hack?

mardi 17 juin 2008

Low turnout. . .

The media report strikes and manifestations 'best' when there's a perceived failure in the worker action. Today 'only' 500 000 people demonstrated across France against the government imposed increase in the rate of exploitation and the news gleefully reported it as a defeat. It was nothing of the sort of course. These demos - like the ones in the UK against the Iraq fiasco - work on many more levels than those that the cameras can see. Links are forged, ideas exchanged and tactics planned and compared and most importantly - one's anger is confirmed and socialised. Your political anger on a demo is suddenly not just confined to your four walls or your workplace where it feels incongruous and hemmed in, but out with others who feel the same and who can add substance to your grievance and confirm and strengthen the conviction it emanates from. True, they can be frustrating, police littered rainfests but to stop going on them is to be absorbed into the silent mass of happy willing slaves. This is why the governance's propaganda machine must continually battle against the expression of such political resistance either by the (by now laughable) ruse of lying about the numbers or just ignoring or misrepresenting them. . . .

Isolated, demoralised and depressed - don't let them (and their union lackeys) do it to you

Permanent crisis

The economic consequences of thirty years of neo-liberal economics are now manifesting themselves in their place of origin. Neo-liberalism, unfettered capitalism, free markets - give it the ideological cover you want - has long since made the poor, the working poor and the working classes pay for the hi-tech machinery, the communication systems, the riot gear, the armaments, the monumental piles of wealth ie the conditions of its own exploitation. Now like a dying sun eating up its own heavier fuel, the system is turning on the European population as profit rates start to seriously decline elsewhere in the world and prices begin to rise. (Here's some of what we are going to hear a lot of in the not too distant future - "Workers may have to accept pay rises that do not keep pace with inflation, Alistair Darling suggested today.Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme this morning, the chancellor said it would be "disastrous" for Britain if employers started making pay awards that fuelled inflationary pressures in the economy")

Here in France, there is a general(ish) strike today over pensions and the increase in the working week. The bosses can only do one thing, the workers the other. The ruling class and their governance clique have to continue the pressure on the 'little people', ("In New Labour's Britain, the working poor are taking the hit for a free-falling economy, while the rich get richer. Already reeling from below-inflation deals and privatisation, public service workers face an unjust pay policy - a 2% limit, not just last year, but this year, next year and the year after. Six million workers are enduring four years of a draconian pay policy that applies only to them.") reduce the amount of pensions, real wages and 'pension time' whilst the workers can only respond by withdrawing their labour, generate solidarity across the field of exploitation and, eventually, form an independent revolutionary party.

The number of wars in the world has decreased in the past decade - the real war has only increased in intensity.

President pours praise on Brown

Just when Brown's popularity hits a new low, fresh downward pressure from the gimp in the Whitehouse who says Gordon's tongue is just as good as his predecessor's.

lundi 16 juin 2008

ARise ye masses

Boris Johnson has dropped the anti-racist message from the Rise concert in London. OK, music festivals don't change the world, but with the world the way it is right now, in a tiny but symbolic way, this move helps the nasty rightward drift of European politics. Think of Berlusconi's and Sarkozy's racist ideas and policies. Johnson's tactic is to eradicate the overt political message of the festival (hence, " The Cuba Solidarity Campaign (CSC) has also been told that its annual Big Cuba Fiesta stage is barred. . .") and turn the event into a bland 'celebration of what we share in common'. In other words a beige corporate cashfest which aims to lower consciousness rather than remind people that music has a political content and that racism, helas, is alive and kicking.

Upper class wanker.

dimanche 15 juin 2008


Everyone likes a good conspiracy. Even the soberest of Marxists and the squeaky clean war-liberals get an illicit thrill out of secret plans hatched in high places, double agents infiltrating violent cells with connections to corrupt politicians or top secret documents being leaked to credulous journalists to gradually build up a credible narrative for a surgical hit on a foreign power....... . Honestly, these top secret files getting left on trains just looks so Carry On or Junior 007 that it forces the conclusion that the secret 'material' is, in reality, just PR guff, something to give the tired old war justifications a new life - this is how the Guardian puts it " The latest incident involved papers on how trade and banking systems could be manipulated to finance illicit weapons of mass destruction in Iran."
The hint is so lame but its a drip in the steady stream of piss designed to habituate us to an attack on Iran. It's a bit like saying 'Don't think about fried eggs' to someone with a hangover - the documents' purpose is to reinforce the link Iran-terror-WMD-inevitable-war. Fortunately no one believes it, so crappy stunts like this have to be dreamt up. Or are the governance really as inept enough to leave real top secret stuff lying about on trains? Whatever, there isn't going to be any military action against Iran - apart form being an insane move, the west just can't afford the consequences.

All strikes are justified

In any dispute, the default position is to support the strikers. Old Leon once said "...what is a strike but a mini-crisis of capitalism?". And quite right he was too, of course. Thus is it with the tanker drivers. OK as the news harps on incessantly they have the nerve to take home 32k a year - and many of us are on little more than half that - but the principle remains, as Milne points out, they are workers and their living standards are falling with the rest of us whilst the greedy fat bastard bosses - the ones who are really holding the country to ransom - are troughing up a billion pound profit per effing month. If you don't like it and feel agrieved -


samedi 14 juin 2008

Red exile and now some 'league'

"Great Britain's amateur rugby league under-23s friendly against a France Select in Italy was abandoned after 60 minutes following a mass brawl.
Britain were leading 22-4 in Padova, Italy, when violence erupted.
GB manager Mick Turner said: "This competition is an absolute disgrace. We'll have to think hard about taking part in events like this in future."
Claude Oabolu, coach of the French side, said: "I am desolate. Some of our players are crazy." "

Ah yes. A hooligan's game played by and for hooligans. Still, this would have been a better game than any Rugby Union stuffn nonsense.

Your votes do not count

European elites have no intention of letting the people interefere with their plans for a neo-liberal Europe. Honestly, what do you think all those workers in WWII died for eh? So that the ordinary people got a say in how their lives were run?! Just have a little fun in the voting games and don't worry your pretty heads about all the serious politics stuff, they're saying, you don't count, your votes don't count we are running the show - now just vote Y-E-S this time you silly little chumps!

vendredi 13 juin 2008

Top of the morning to youse

A modicum of good news. The Irish no vote to Lisbon is one KMRHA to the Mandelsons and Blairs of this Europe.

mercredi 11 juin 2008

Whose side are you on?

Segolene Royal the busted flush and spectral semi-leader of the Socialist Party in France is worried about the plunging popularity of France's clown President Sarkozy. Rather than fermenting the opposition to all Sarkozy stands for and profit from his premature demise (35% in the polls and falling) she is, instead, concerned that, ". . .Today, despair about these promises [of Sarkozy to solve France's problems] risks discrediting, if we are not careful, all forms of political power.”. . .".

All forms of bourgeois political power of course. Royal reveals here the true nature of the Socialist party's purpose - not to challenge but to cooperate with governance, not to stir up the anger against the status quo's policies but to divert and pacify it. To break out of the current stultifying impasse, the 'despair' of which she speaks (and speaks accurately) needs to be directed, inflamed and politicised. But yesterday's unstrike action, as directed by the coopted Unions, play their role in demotivating the poplace and allowing governance to carry on gradually and systematically reducing people's living standards. That is its only possible response to the ongoing economic failure we are seeing.

By cutting wages, benefits and pensions it protects the ruling elite's profits, but, of course, at the expense of political support and, eventually, the system's own legitimacy. Just how soon is the 'eventually' is the question - but patience, comrades, patience. . .

mardi 10 juin 2008

Bush flies in

Sunday June 15th. - be there in London to warmly welcome the biggest terrorist of them all. Don't fall for the medai hype that it's all 'half-hearted' [quote from the BBC today] because he's a lame duck presidency - get out there and protest against the entire institution of the US presidency - not just the present criminal - because, face it, when Novemeber's come and gone there isn't going to be any policy change. So be there!
George W. Bush is coming to the UK... and we'll be waiting for him.

lundi 9 juin 2008

"The worst is over"

From the same people who didn't foresee the current glitch in free market heaven, "While much of the rise in factory gate inflation is likely to be absorbed in retailers' profit margins, Loynes believes the increases are now so large that "at least some portion of them looks likely to work its way into the high street, even if retail sales slump".

Which means companies've been making such gigantic profits over the past thirty years or so, that they can spare a dime for the 'little people' - at least for a while.

Another way to look at this current bout of turbulence, is not to think of prices going up so much as currencies being devalued. One often has dreams of a financially secure future, but the reality gets clearer every day - a lot of us are going to be sitting on street corners chewing on raw turnips.

Barring a political upturn, of course. . .

samedi 7 juin 2008

Freeze market

"According to recent European Union statistics, only pensioners in Latvia, Spain and Cyprus are more likely to fall into poverty than those in the UK. 'The huge rise in the cost of living recently is hitting many of the poorest pensioners particularly hard,' said Gordon Lishman, director general of Age Concern. 'Hikes in food, water and energy bills have been a heavy blow to older people on low fixed incomes already struggling to make ends meet, and many will be cutting back to reduce their bills.' "

Even Age Concern try to lull people by calm words and worn cliché - "hikes" "heavy blow" "make ends meet" "cutting back" If you put it thus, "The free market takes so much from the poor to give to the rich that old poor people freeze to death." then there is no 'heavy blow' the arbitrary nature of which makes the 'hikes' (i.e. profit taking speculation price rises) look like random events, no 'make ends meet' which is so clichéd that it ceased to have any meaning decades ago and no 'cutting back' which makes turning the fire off appear as a choice rather than an enforced rationing.

There comes a time when you have to ask whether these organisations, and by extension the unions, advice bureaus and many of the NGO's are not in the end doing the governance's work for them.

I remember when Neil Kinnock just before te election in '92 said words to the effect that if you vote Tory tomorrow "don't get sick, don't lose your job don't get old" - well we all voted Labour the next time but it all worked out the same in the end. Yeh, cheers.

Yee haaar

Two top airforce commanders got fired on Wednesday because of 'mistakes' they'd been responsible for. Not the kind of mistakes you or I would make - leaving the iron on, forgetting to turn up, being late, sending emails to the wrong address, that sort of thing. These guys (or their representatives) accidentally sent ballistic missile fuses to Taiwan (a country in dispute with, er, China) and allowed six nuclear missiles à la Dr. Strangelove, to go awol over the USA itself. The details of the episode are classified due to 'national security' reasons, ironically enough.

There are two traditional ways to approach these types of strange stories. The cock up or the conspiracy. Yet these are more postmodern times and these dualisms don't give anymore. The cock-up explanation has been on the internet since the missiles went astray lasy Autumn. Someone called "V/rSSgt" (they wanted to remain anonymous) laughed it all of as just one of those things. It's a longish mail, that dismisses the conspiracy stories surrounding the story (the idea that the awol bombs were part of a plot hatched by rogue elements in the US high command to bomb Iran, the idea that there is still yet a bomb missing. . .) but who knows perhaps he/she is telling the truth:

"Hello there,I’m a Staff Sergeant in the US Air Force. I do network security, so, that’s why I’m emailing anonymously, even though I really don’t feel it’s necessary. I’m just paranoid like that, which is why I’m pretty good at my job. ;) Also, parts of what I’m putting in here are probably classified, which is the primary reason I’m sending this anonymously."

1. This sounds plausible enough. 'Staff Sargeant' 'network security' - but why say you're emailing anonymously if it wasn't really necessary and then say ". . .parts of what I'm putting in here are probably classified. . .". And the emoticon - why put one there? You'd put one if you were tryng to convince someone of the opposite of what was the case - but then again the writer may just be like that :-). So let us assume, for the moment, the writer is what they say they are.

"Anyway, I see a lot of people posting on Reddit about government conspiracies about nukes and things like this. It’s frustrating for me because it’s really very silly. Please, let me explain some background, to help you all understand what’s going on in the background for the Air Force:"

2. "Frustrating" and "very silly". Would someone in an organisation who'd just fckd up royally want to come out with something that? There are safeguards after safeguards to prevent this type of thing from happening - saying, in effect, "Don't worry your pretty head about it. . ." rather than "You're right to be worried this is a major lapse. . . " it suggests something of a covering up exercise on behalf of somebody - an ambiguous sign but not an unamiguously clear sign of something being honeslty dealt with.

The next section of the article presents the idea that the Minot base is being decomissioned and, so, everyone who works there just doesn't give a damn. Plus there's a load of nuclear missiles that need moving - since there is no Soviet enemy anymore to drop them on - but no one wants the responsibility (the Dept. of Energy, Congress, the Air Force. . .) and that people just got careless.

3. Again, plausible enough. It hardly reassures that people in charge of nuclear weapons are so lackadaisical but ok, one might think. The key point is "The mistake, and the reason everyone now knows about this, is that the warheads weren’t removed from the missiles being moved to Barksdale. I bet the guys on the ground in Barksdale were sure as shit surprised when they cracked the payload open and saw a warhead. ;)" Again, for me, this second emoticon doesn't give the impression of someone taking the reader that seriously. It's hardly proof of a conspiracy, but for me it's just about enough, taken together with the attempted humour "Sorry to kill your confidence in the military."

The next section further undermines confidence that this email is authentic. "I’ve seen too much crazy stuff to believe in some massive conspiracy, there’s too many people involved. You’d have to kill like 50 people to “cover up” moving nukes to Barksdale. Plus, what would it achieve? There’s already more than enough nukes at Barksdale to blow the world up 3x over. Who needs 6 more? Seriously? Plus, more accidents occur with conventional than nukes, since nukes are computerized and designed to be super-duper safe. Conventional weapons are built by the lowest bidder. [Yikes!] I’d be more worried about a fully-loaded F16 flying around NYC after 9/11 sucking up a bird than a B52 with nukes flying around without anyone knowing it was loaded with nukes. The pilots couldn’t "secretly" be in on it and launch them, the interface wouldn’t be installed, the COMSEC material wouldn’t be available, etc. You’d have to kill half the base to hide the paper trail necessary to give the pilots the ability to launch."

4. Ah yes, the mysterious deaths. There have been 12 deaths associated with this incident. Pilots and staff have been dying in accidents etc. Part of a conspiracy or just coincidence. . . As for the interface not being installed - hmm... would that really matter if you wanted to get your hands on a usable warhead? "crazy stuff happens"

So, to conclude, just chill out a bit about the conspiracy, it’s kinda silly. Plus, again, what would be the point? It’s not a big deal to authorize a nuke mission. After 9/11 the entire Barksdale arsenal was loaded and on the flightline ready to fly. I wouldn’t sweat 6 who someone forgot to unload.
Feel free to republish, maybe it'll educate a few people.

5. I wouldn't be worried about six going missing?!? The conspiracies centre on the thought that there is more to this episode than just a simple mistake. Right at the top - there's the idea that this was a foiled plot by a faction within the US military to export six nuclear weapons to Iraq so to nuke Iran and plunge the US into a military dictatorship thus cancelling the election. Second, there's the idea that this was part of a plan to accidentally on purpose smuggle out nuclear warheads to 'terror' organisations and given the lax security at the base that doesn't seem totally ridiculous. Third - there's the idea that this was part of a plot to oust the Air Force command in revenge for their criticisms of the Iraq fiasco.

As put it,"Was there more to the unauthorized flight of a nuclear-armed bomber last August than the government dares reveal to the American people?
Are the Air Force chiefs being sacked in preparation for using America’s airpower in another criminal war of aggression, potentially against Iran, under conditions in which the Pentagon’s uniformed command is already deeply dissatisfied with the over-extension of US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan?
Had the near mutiny over military procurements, which apparently enjoyed the backing of powerful financial interests, gone further than has been revealed? Were they forced out to avoid a more open challenge to the civilian control of the military?
The answers to these and other crucial questions remained hidden behind a veil of “national security.” Clearly, however, under conditions of a protracted decay of basic institutions of bourgeois democracy in America, the ever-increasing power of the military poses the most fundamental threat to the basic democratic rights of American working people."

It was a cocked up conspiracy stemming from a lot of genuine and conspiratorial cock ups. Given that a day after this incident Israel bombed a bunker in Syria, these dark thoughts are not all that tinhatty.

P.S. - Why are these nuclear weapons still around? They were always unnecessary and mad during the cold war - now they're just accidents waiting to happen.

Government plan to halve child poverty failing.

Get away. . .

vendredi 6 juin 2008


We don't need 55 different types of breakfast ceareals 250 alternative animal accessories mobile phones a new car every other year, luxury flights to tropical zones, out of season fruits, remote controlled toy helicopters, supermarkets, insurance, widescreen tv's, GPS's pda's, one million pixel digital camers, five bladed razors, 250euro trainers, Gucci handbags Yves Saint Laurent socks, gold tipped condoms, heated swimming pools, SUV's, champagne truffels, the IMF, Martin Amis articles, superjets, cctvs, Henley regata, rocket trains, diamond bikinis, designer shoes, five star hotels, food porn, Big Brother, limousines, stretch limousines, Doo.Ri Dsquared2 Emilio Pucci Fendi Gerard Yosca Giuseppe Zanotti, Goldenbleu Gryson, Hollywould, Isabella Fiore, J Brand , James Perse Jean Paul Gaultier Juicy Couture Just Cavalli Karta L.A.M.B. LOVA , the Luxury Institute, GDP, Human Resources, millions of stupid little flags, people who write "Like every reader of Lusso, I can tell the difference between a Pouilly Fuissé and a Pouilly Fumé without inhaling. I can distinguish between Gucci and Pucci with my eyes closed. I am, in other words, so profoundly sophisticated and so preternaturally cool that it sometimes gives me a headache", Zak Posen’s pink satin handbag, spitfire training, the Olympic games, thirty eight styles of ipod cases, designer golf accessories, diamond studded dog collars, luxury towels, Juggernaut plastic toys, PS games, Made in China by slaves toys, more technology, faster food, microwavable corn on the cob, bottled water from Australia, more vacuum cleaners, mini-cars we don't need all this stuff - the people at Décroissance have a point. Economic growth is destroying everything - and producing totally stupid things and is based on totally inefficient methods. Britain exports twenty tons of mineral water to Australia, for instance, but imports twenty one tons from the same place - what the fck for? When capitalism's little supporters crow on about how their's is the best system in the best possible of worlds, they must be, by now, just taking the diamond studded, gold gilded, luxury hand rolled Pucci piss.


Sky News announced the Network Rail's 'profits' of just over a billion pounds with great fanfare and much repitition this morning. At last a business success story! It's bollocks of course. Notwithstanding all the egineering hold-ups and delays the 'company' has imposed 7% pay increases and its punctuality figures are products of creative accounting. [see Private Eye].

Reuters notes that" Network Rail took over the running of Britain's railways following the collapse of Railtrack in 2002. Part funded by government subsidies, it must reinvest all profits into the network or reduce debt.
The 26 billion pound figure, down from 28.1 billion earmarked for investment in the five years through 2009, is included in a document of preliminary findings published by the ORR ahead of final price settings in October.
The regulator also said Network Rail should cut operating, maintenance and renewals costs by 21 percent by March 2014."

Below this state backed company (State capitalism?) lurk all the crummy little rail companies that leech out a profit from the public. And these parasites are hungry - Virgin fares up on some lines by 150% National Express fares up 63%Arriva 10%. The evidence is plain as the profits are unjust - the rail privatisation was a last minute piece of Tory revenge/sabotage that the Labour Party hasn't the guts or political nouse to remedy. The whole network should be renationalised with compensation - for the passengers, that is, in the shape of the redistribution of the illgotten gains of the CEO's and shareholders' goods and property.

jeudi 5 juin 2008

Is this a dagger I see before me?

The news that poor working class people are stabbing and killing each other in larger numbers than usual would tend to make you think that young people these days need a strong dose of discipline, a week in the stocks or a year in the army if your only source of information was Sky News and the Today programme, that is.

The 'reality' is more complex and ambiguous, of course. In fact, there is no major increase in knife crime.

"According to the British Crime Survey, knife-enabled crime (any crime involving a knife) over the past decade has remained stable at around 6-7% of all crime, comprising 30% of all homicides.
In fact, the most recent crime survey by the Metropolitan police showed that knife crime has actually dropped by 15.7% over the past two years, from 12,122 to 10,220 incidents"

That's no consolation for those affected by the nasty events that can well happen in Britain's towns and estates, but is a distance from the doom mongering in the media. This has all the characterstics of a media scare - perhaps to distract from the ugly economic situation, perhaps to just fill up the air time. Whatever it is, the meeja always fail to give any context to these crimes. There was a brief appearance by Lord Ouseley, the Former Chief Executive of the Commission for Racial Equality in Britain, on Hard Talk on the BBC who dared dared to mention the p word in relation to this problem. For once, the presenter did get 'hard' on a guest and forced Ouseley to back down by saying that even if people existed in alienated, fractured and poverty filled backgrounds this didn't excuse them from personal responsibility. Personal responsibility.

Another feature of the political context of this latest scare is the governance's emphasis on increasing police harassment of young people and minorities. ". . .civil rights campaigners in the capital have urged caution instead of this knee-jerk and heavy-handed response to the recent incidents. They have called attention to the fact that historically the use of “stop and search” has discriminated against black minorities and, more recently, Asian and Middle-Eastern ethnic minorities. Government figures suggest black people are six times more likely to be stopped and searched than white people, while Asians are almost twice as likely."

The wider political context is one of living in a country that has launched an illegal attack on two other countries - using far more dealy weapons than a puny knife in order to rob them - and getting away with it. So what kind of fucking example is that? If we're looking for role models for the UK youth, you wouldn't look for them in Westminster.

And historically, Britain is a very violent place. Everybody loves Shakespeare (yeh) - but have you seen MacBeth? There's a knife crime every ten minutes or so and I imagine some politician somewhere pontificating on the need to tighten up the laws get the government's message out loud and clear and convene a press conference or two, defend the occupation of Iraq, deny the existence of poverty in the UK and then sit through the Scottish gore fest and find it really entertaining.

Poor people's violence is haphazard and tragic - rich people's violence is truly sadistic, planned and psychotic. The former is used in the media to help cover up the latter.

And it's only motor racing

Tanya Gold - a "Jewish princess" - springs to the defence of Maxwell Mosley the sad old bstrd at the centre of the orgy scandal where he said "...." then she ....spank....and spanked he ...then she...ended with a cup of tea. etc.

She reckons that even if Mosley's antics had Nazi connotations it doesn't matter because it was all consensual. What does have Nazi connotations is the genocide in Darfur, she argues, which we are all ignoring because of concentrating on this purile story. And his private life is private. She also has a dig at BMW for their denunciation of Mosley since their major shareholders supported the use of Jewish slave labour.

Our private life is private. It's funny that when upper class arseholes like this get caught with their knob in the jam, the word 'privacy' gets flung about like a piece of shit - but when you are I are unlucky enough to get gripped by rozzer and every orifice lit up and inspected - then it's 'The innocent have nothing to hide'. So fck ff with that bogery - if you're in the public sphere and you're caught troughing it up- you deserve all you get. Sure - everyone's bedrooms their own, like Tan says, but even then - if you invite five paid ladies into your boudoir what the hell do you expect? This guy has got a degree from Oxford - (not that that has much indication of the probity of a chep's character I guess) - so you think he'd have worked it all out. But his crumbly old todger was doing the thinking for him at the time.

Also, it is possible to think that a 68 year old bloke should be helping the deserving of his parish with the fortune and experience he has amassed over a lifetime instead of spunking it all away like this. Sure, it's reassuring to think that sex still figures in the lives of seventy year old and no one likes a prude but to butch this thing out like he has (what with his vote of confidence from his positioned and paid off cronies in his sad little organisation) shows a contempt for all that.

It is strange, too, that anyone would want to defend this pathetic man - all that education and money and what do you end up doing ...paying women to have sex with you and dress up in Nazi uniforms. Is prostitution consensual? I doubt it. Does the debate mean people don't talk about Darfur? This type of subject changing tactic is revealing. Why not say 'Oh lovely weather we're having'? Gold's chiding here is disingenuous - I've looked through the archives and she hasn't written about the subject at all herself, she likes to talk about shopaholicism, Carry On films and Big Brother - the more serious stuff.

The Mosley episode, small and tawdry as it is, shows the base corruption of the British social order. Mosley is a corrupt name - his organisation is corrupt, the sport is corrupt and the government he corruptly supported is corrupt. Where does all this corruption come from? The system this grim little worm wriggles about in. So no, its not only motor racing.