mardi 29 juillet 2008

Doing things with words

It's just another Israeli murder reported with the same indifference in the Western media. Still, it's worth pointing out. The Israeli army shotdead a boy of ten through the forehead - target practice presumably. The Guardian headline reports it as if there were no connection between the two events - "Palestinian boy dies as troops fire". So before the reader gets to the story, they have been manipulated into being persuaded that, in fact, the troops were not really responsible (the boy dies of something else as troops fire a long way off etc.) and that the Israeli Army investigation will clear the 'mystery' up. Duh.

Why can't they just tell it like it is. . .we wonder ironically.

World Trade Talks collapse

The capitalists are falling out amongst themselves as the crisis mounts. Mind you, with this fella in charge what did anyone realistically expect?

Cheer up soon be dead

A while ago I used to work in a fizzy drinks factory. It was worse than it sounds despite the momentary kudos I got when I told people that "I worked in the pop industry." One of the workers who made up the syrupy gunge that is diluted to make the teeth rotting solution was Dave, a miserable bugger, but no one held it against him. He'd been working in the place for 25 of his 45 years, up at five every day to work for a standstill wage for middle managers who treated him like a shit house rat. I was there in 1992 and took a day off to celebrate what I thought was going to be a historical Labour victory. When I returned the day after the night that wasn't, my line manager couldn't keep his sheer delight to himself and provoked a bit of a set to from which I received a written warning. Syrup Dave had little sympathy. He turned a valve on the liquid sugar line and a thick stream poured into one of the huge syrup tanks "Why are you taking it so seriously lad?" he shouted over the mixer engine. "It's all bollocks. Won't make a fucking difference. You'll see." I blathered something in reply and gloomed off splashing through the pools of spilt water, dye and addatives, to carry on my pointless job of checking whether the foul stuff in the clattering bottles on the line downstairs was fit for human consumption. I opened the door to the stairs and over the din I heard him shout "Cheer up soon be dead."

I took it, at the time, to mean "Look you might as well be cheerful and happy because you know, soon you won't be alive anymore." But years later I realised that what he meant was that "Death will soon get me out of here and so I should be cheerful."

Decline and Fall

Directionless so plain to see - a loaded gun won't set you free

so you say

What is terrorism?

A bomb in a bin sure, an explosion on the underground yep but this too . Eating mud pies might not seem that terrifying but when you think about it, it is a terrifying thought. No food because you can't afford it and you have to eat soil. It's more scary than the remote chance of being involved in a terrorist incident but it isn't that spectacular and only involves, for now, people in poor parts of the world.

No political organisation has owned up to this genocidal terrorism, but we know who the fck they are. Their time will come.

lundi 28 juillet 2008


A British militant was killed by Iraqi resistance soldiers in Helmand Province last week. Resistance fighters ambushed the Western mercenaries wounding six others. A spokesmen for the resistance movement spoke of his regret for the loss of human life but said that as long as occupying militants were in Iraq, this is the kind of treatment they would have to expect.

Change the language change the perspective -

"Some Matter More - When 47 Victims Are Worth 43 Words‏"

"The point being that “militant” is a pejorative term used by journalists to suggest illegitimacy. In June 1999, the BBC reported that “Kosovo Albanians have been welcoming the return of armed KLA soldiers.” ( KLA insurgents fighting Serbian forces were supported by the West and were regularly described as “soldiers” rather than “militants” or “insurgents”. The British media have similarly referred to the “Chechen resistance” fighting the Russian army. Ironically, British and American journalists also commonly referred to Afghan forces fighting the 1979-1989 Soviet occupation of Afghanistan as “resistance fighters” and “freedom fighters” (See our media alert: The use of such terms is of course inconceivable in US-UK reporting of the current occupation."

dimanche 27 juillet 2008

I thought I said stupid things

But Nick Cohen's collection of sentences (it's difficult to call it an 'essay') in today's Absurder........"It doesn't know it, but the liberal-left in Europe and North America has been lucky to have Bush." has to be one of the most dumb things I've read in a long time.

His 'argument' - essentially is that the left (or Cohen's idée fixée of what constitutes the left - an outdated picture of a bearded, lentil eating Islamophile or radical CND-ing feminists it seems) has been able to hide behind Bush the "great Satan" and "they have hidden the totalitarian threats of our age from themselves and anyone who listens to them. Bush allowed them to explain away radical Islam as an understandable, even legitimate, response to the hypocrisies and iniquities of American policy." As if the US wasn't ever totalitarian! As if no one protested against US foreign policy before the CIA created jihadidtd kicked off their failed revengefest. All standard Cohen guff.

He drivels on, "In January, Bush will be history, leaving liberals all alone in a frightening world. Little else will change. Radical Islam will still authorise murder without limit, Iran will still want the bomb and the autocracies of China and Russia will still be growing in wealth and confidence. All those who argued that the 'root cause' of the Bush administration lay behind the terror will find that the terror still flourishes when the root cause has retired."

Well yes, "little else will change" - the pretentions of the American ruling elite will remain exactly the same - but who exactly (leaving aside the big bad wolves scare tactic midway through that paragraph) ever believed that "Bush lay behind the terror"? No one, other than the characatures Cohen conjures up to monger his tired old Left-Islam-Terror matrix. True, Bush has been behind a fair bit of terror - lest we forget the Iraq and Afghan carnage but I doubt this is what Nick meant.

The next para is unhinged scare tactics that sounds like a boy crying wolf in Birmingham, or Glasgow or somewhere.

"In their book, After Bush, professors Timothy J Lynch and Robert S Singh highlight the obvious truth that the West is in a new Cold War. Whatever his disagreements with Bush on detail, the new President will have to stop radical Islamist movements and regimes gaining nuclear, chemical or biological weapons because he will know, as we already know, when we are honest with ourselves, that they will use them."

Well it's not really a cold war if your in Iraq. A real cold war though? Thousands of battallions facing eachother grimly preparing to fight to the death? Tank columns moving into position?Two giant empires poised to obliterate humanity in a blaze of mushroom clouds? A slight exaggeration, possibly? And the standard line about Iran getting the bomb etc. comes with the usual 'No evidence' warning.

His conclusion is neat in a twisted kind of way. Liberals love Obama, Obama is going to have to do the same things as Bush therefore the liberals will have to support the war on terror and Nick is vindicated!

It really is an argument dreamt up in the midst of a big-plant smoking session. There are plenty of people without illusions about Obama. I never thought self-delusion was philosophically possible (how can a self deceive itself? How can a self lend money to itself etc?) but Cohen has proved me wrong on this point. He has deceived himself totally. I am truly confounded.

There are thousands of better written blogs out there than this rotten fare - no wonder the Nick is looking sick in his by-line photo. His time is surely, surely up.

Capital versus labour

guess who's winning. . ."Many times, we’ve remarked that wages in the United States have not gone up in a very long time. The latest figures on the subject show no real increase since 1968. Since then, every penny of hourly pay increase has been matched by a cent of consumer price inflation."

Capitalist logic

"Gas rises queried after wholesale price fall
· Producer's profits soar by 92%
· BG denies profiteering from increase in bills"

they must think we studip or somethink?

samedi 26 juillet 2008

Blame the victims

British soldiers liquidated four Afghan citizens in their continuing quest to win 'hearts and minds'. They shot and killed four and wounded three others. The civilians drove through a checkpoint, a line of confrontation where communication lines are not always clear - hand signals are not universal. So, these incidents should be treated with regret by the occupying forces. But of course not.

"The Nato mission in the country issued a statement saying the incident – which it blamed on the "reckless actions" of the driver - took place earlier today in the Sangin district of Helmand province. "The vehicle approached the checkpoint and was directed to stop but it drove on … Soldiers fired warning shots in a safe direction away from the vehicle but were eventually forced to fire at it when it refused to stop, fearing an insurgent attack," the statement said."

It was reckless to fire on it. Shoot first ask not many questions later is a miserable way to handle homicides like this.

Moreover, the way the Guardian article is written shows the priorities of the embedded consciousness that spun/wrote it. Tagged on at the end is the story of a British troop who was killed in a firefight, a story already reported a few days before. There is a description of how brave he was and so on. No mention of any of the characteristics of the Afghans, evidently. The effect is to downplay the army killings, of course, and to beef up the reader's sense of patriotic sentiment at the end. Crude stuff.

On the banking crisis

"It is becoming increasingly obvious to citizens that the situation is rapidly deteriorating. . ."

Remarks on the class war in France

The phoney war is over. Talk of pouvior d'achat, (standard of living) 'Traivailler plus pour gagne plus.' ('Work more to earn more.') and talk of the Sarkozy being (somehow) populist have been dropped and a fresh bombardment shatters the faltering peace that has held still outright conflict for quite some time. The UMP (the right wing party in office) have recently introduced a number of reforms aimed at increasing the level of exploitation of the French working class. (Incidentally, there are no qualms about using the term 'class'. Those affected by these reforms are is the very class of people even Sarkozy acknowledged as exisitng during the 2006 Presidential campaign, when talking of 'those who have to get up early in the morning' ie those who have to work for their living).

These reforms, briefly lengthen the legal limits on the duration of the working week, "cutting unemployment compensation, changing laws governing trade unions and strikes, and giving large handouts to big business and finance." [ibid]

The latter point alludes to the fifteen (15) billion Euro tax handout to the upper 300 000 richest people in France every year, one of the first reforms the French President introduced.

The minimum wage is also under attack. A Government commission has concluded a report into the SMIC by arguing that the minimum wage keeps the poor in poverty. The government have also passed laws that will criminalise any political organisation that is deemed to threaten the state, and a round of constitutional change that concentrates power in Sarkozy's office and entourage (disgracefully Jack Lang a ghostly figure from the Socialist Party's past, asummoned up the front and voted with the UMP) and a foreign policy that has seen France join NATO (it left under De Gaul in 1966 and relations have passed well betonf the 'Freedom Fries" furore into a cooperative ally to Washington), increased rhetoric about 'Western civilisation' (a recent Le Monde Diplomatique noted that in a recnt speech, the small one who must be obeyed refered to "The West" no fewer than eighteen times in a speech in March, a major break with previous discourse), Islam and terrorism. And there has also been an attack on immigrants' right to stay in France with the Minister of the Interior setting targets of 28000 expulsions per year.

The offensive is on many front deliberately and openly, one of the government's ministers said a few weeks ago, that the aim was to disorientate and exhaust the opposition (no longer called 'social partners' as they once were so described) and to have changed the terms of the debates by Autumn when the significant number of functionaires and other workers on holiday return to work and find out things have altered. And to ensure the continuation of the upper class get rich quick scheme - currently undergoing some turbulence as we read.

The social partners (the unions) themselves? What can one say. Either they are harding working but outplayed class fighters or they are part of the establishment and actively assist the government and wider upper class political interests, which is WSWS's line.

On a subjective level as one person trying to get to grips with French and French politics it is an relatively ambiguous combination of both. Either way, those in the front line of these attacks (for that is the word, having to work harder and longer is a direct theft of a part of your life that could be spent doing something other than toil) already have enough to manage, economically. No further remarks are needed on the current economic crisis and being forced to work for more 16% more time for, essentially, less compensation can only be interpreted as the actions of someone who really wants you to make do with the minimum. This sounds Epicurean but it is not done for anyone's benefit but the upper elements of the bourgeoisie - the tax giveaway is the glistening piece of evidence in that argument.

The battle lines have been breached. The unions retreat the people move backwards, leaders betray and surrender (see above) -

The air is running out, but at least it's getting clearer.

vendredi 25 juillet 2008

A rainy day

This is the 'rainy day' you were meant to save for, all this economic turbulence and financial strife yet a third of British have enough savings to last eleven days . That much. Rich bastards.


Even Gordon Brown can't believe these words he found himself uttering at a 'morale boosting' speech at Warwick University....."Have confidence that not only do we have the right policies but that when the time comes we will be able to persuade the British people."

The 'right policies' have fckd everything up why would they 'persuade' just as they're starting to bite them, too?

He must live in a permanent dream state.


"Given the total dominance of unhindered and unregulated ‘free market’ ideology among all the leading political parties and within the executive, legislative and administrative branches of government, there are no institutional political vehicles through which the consumers can act to arrest their declining living standards, their decreasing capacity to meet basic needs and in many regions avoid growing malnutrition and hunger. Because of the all-pervasive and powerful stranglehold of free market capitalism among all national and international decision makers, all the meetings convoked by international organizations to deal with the ‘food crisis’ (narrowly defined as ‘hunger’ induced by scarcity and exorbitant food prices) have repeatedly failed to come up with practical and workable solutions."


"Governments that use torture intend to intimidate their citizens in order to maintain control; those who are tortured become examples of the consequences of dissent."

Socialist Worker? Monthly Review? Radical Death to Capitlists Magazine?

no.... a representative of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


Vote Labour Vote Nuclear bomb

Remember when nuclear disarmament was debated, those marches and campaigns and better dead than red - a lot of up and coming Labour activists in CND in the late seventies and early eighties made it to the top of the Party and have decided to upgrade Britain's nuclear warheads (a snip at 3 billion pounds). It's a decision only about 30 people in the entire country agree with, it goes against International non-proliferation treaties, will encourage other countries to build nuclear arms (and make Britain look even less convincing in its approach to a 'nuclear' Iran), is a decision that has been taken without Parliamentary approval (yeh, big deal, but it illustates the contempt the ruling elite has for democracy again) and diverts money away from the country's proper needs. Plus the rotten stupid things will be under American control.

If a section of the ruling elite wanted, actually wanted, to lose power, could they do it more effectively than this current batch of no marks? The British establishment requires the illusion of democracy and that voting changes things. That notion of change has shrunk down to the idea that one party must not stay in power seemingly indefinitely. The 200 seat majority in 1997 must have sent a flicker of alarm through some sections of the oligarchy. Sure, their stooge was in place, but maybe even Blair couldn't kep a lid on the desire for real, real change. You know, gulp, a progressive taxation system or something. But Operation "Lower Expectations" and Operation "We're corrupt and stupid too" sorted things out. The pendelum swings one way then the other as the electorate is revolted by each of the two (business) parties in turn. Meanwhile the real governing goes on in boardrooms, at conferences, in deals and job promises all impervious to the demands of the mob.

Guy Fawkes was right.

This is the end

The loss of Glasgow East with a 22% swing to the SNP is a terrible night for the abstention Fck all Parties slate. Although an improvement on the disasterous 48% in 2005, the apathy militants were hoping for a much lower turnout. "After all", Anthony Non spokesman for the shadowy group of unactivists said "Why on earth would anyone in an area like Glasgow East, or anyone in Northern England or any inner city anywhere for that matter, vote for any of the podgy middle class arseholes that stand anyway? The parties, all of them, only represent big business and even the SNP is in the pocket of that Stagecoach fcker, and all the others. . .well do I need to elaborate? The only way is to abstain and undermine the system's legitimacy that way. And in others ways too, but that's secret for the mo.... But anyway I guess our message has got through to the 58% of people who turned their backs on the whole pathetic charade last night and we hope to keep up this momentum til the election and the end of the Labour Party."
Asked whether he thought Gordon Brown would resign he replied "What am I? A medium?" and slipped away into the night.

jeudi 24 juillet 2008

The present is well out of hand

Beyond all this good is the terror - the grip of the mercenary hand

French Military prepare for future bother

France's army chiefs warn of the danger of ". . .a world-wide strategic upset.” and so get tooled up. They warn, "“Individual European countries can no longer master every technology and capability at a national level. France must retain its [...] capability necessary for the maintenance of the strategic and political autonomy of the nation: nuclear deterrence, ballistic missiles, SSNs [nuclear submarines], and cyber-security.” On the other hand, “France believes that the European framework must be privileged [for] combat aircraft, drones, cruise missiles, satellites, electronic components, etc., although procurement policy must include acquisitions on the world market.”
It calls for “an operational ground force of 88,000 men, enabling a force-projection capability of 30,000 troops with 6 months’ notice, 5,000 soldiers on permanent operational alert and the capability to mobilize 10,000 soldiers on the national territory to support civilian authorities in case of a major crisis.”

Cyber-security? Major crisis? This crisis is mutli-faceted as well as global.

mercredi 23 juillet 2008

What is to be done?

Petras makes the point that

"The revolts of the mass of vulnerable consumers are directed at retailers, wholesalers and the government, which are held responsible for the higher prices. Governments are charged with deregulating the economy, subsidizing the profiteers, promoting profiteering, complicity with monopolies, imposing wages and salary constraints without commensurate control over prices and basic necessities. Where some subsidies or price controls are decreed they are not consistently implemented or enforced. Worse still, widespread evasion, hoarding and black-marketeering is rife because of official complicity and corruption. According to regime bureaucrats it is ‘easier’ to control wages than prices – hence the uneven and unjust enforcement. Moreover capitalist producers frequently dis-invest or withhold products especially necessities from the market as an effective weapon against price controls, forcing scarcity and inducing popular discontent with the incumbent regime. Reformist policies and regimes then are forced to choose between ‘lifting controls’ to increase profits and prices or maintaining controls and facing the wrath of masses confronting empty shelves. Few if any contemporary regimes are willing to make credible threats to intervene in economic sectors or even enterprises, withholding goods or investments. Even less likely are regimes willing to actually mobilize workers, farmers and consumers to take over strategic economic sectors vital to popular consumption. " [my emphasis].

Like the story below, the 'renationalised' Northern Rock has only been natioalised in name and money. The elites still rule it, the same free market rules will be applied, the little people will be fleeced. Instead of nationalisation, then, the term should be a 'People's Take Over'. Petras is right to say that reformist regimes are doomed. Reform and socialism are two entirely different entities - you are one or the other, there is, evidently, no third way. The masses will take over or perish.

No shame Capitalism

Reuters March 2008 - Speaking on the financial sector contributing to socialcapitalism, Gary Hoffman, Vice Chairman, Barclays Bank Plc, UK saidthat clear, sustainable & accessible alternatives have to be made available. "The bottom line is to make an accessible financial system." Concluding the discussion, Mr. Hoffman reiterated that developing responsible business is not about philanthropy but an opportunity for the financial industry, the government and the social sector to meet the needs of the masses together.

Those masses and their damned needs. Still the elites are doing a great job at meeting the masses' needs, as long as the idea of 'need' is kept to a strict minimum, of course. But no such epicurean levels of self-denial are invoked by the government when it came to apponting the author of such thin ideological gruel as New chief executive of Northern Crock . This CambridgeUniversity trougher's, "annual salary will be £700,000, plus any entitlements from a new incentive scheme due later in the year.
He will also be compensated for the loss of various Barclays long-term incentive programmes. As a result, he will receive three separate payments of £400,000 each, the first on the commencement of his new job in October."

So business is not about philanthropy? If the definition of which is 'love of one's fellow man' somebody in the governance machine loves this idle fucker very much. The fact that Barclay's Bank's shares have practically halved over the lst five months doesn't seem to bother the GhostLabour Government. Wouldn't we all like to be compensated for the perks in our previous job after you land a cush like that?

Well, no perhaps not. Because socialism never has been about a mere replication of capitalism but (somehow) just the personnel rearranged. Socialism is not the idea that after a revolution, the foreman gets to drive in the boss' old car whilst all the capitalists work in sweat shops. The theoretical difficulties are that obvious in this idea as to not even bother refuting. It is, basically, the plot of that piece of pupil brainwashing lit. 'Animal Farm'. However it is a useful plank in the argument against the idea that socialists are merely 'jealous' of the rich and the capitalist class and sublimate this rancour into a system of dicourse. Socialism is, of course, about reorganising the very structure of the social world we inhabit, a process which is playing out at this moment in diverse places all over the world. It is not some empty psychological failing of the excluded, but an alternative to the 'free market gone mad' system that have rendered us unto this paddless pass.

So let the Hoffman's of this world wallow in their blood soaked starvation fuelling excesses. The collective wealth addiction of the reeking class he festers in along with the political turbulence roaming and haunting the entire world, will topple the whole rotten fossilised dung heap him and his type occupy.

Crisis: Day 360

Some people in America have launched a 'Save our Starbucks' campaign. Starbucks, the monger of substandard expensive coffee, is to close 600 stores under pressure from rising prices and buffeting from the general economic storm. This story has only become news because it fits the stereotype of moronic blinkered American, but even so, the media itself propagates guff like this to obscure the depth of the ongoing crisis what we are all in. Eg:

"In Asia, particularly Pakistan, India, Indonesia, South Korea, Philippines, Nepal, Mongolia and China, hundreds of millions of workers, peasants, artisans and low-paid self employed workers, as well as house-wives and pensioners have engaged in sustained mass protests as they experience a decline in the quality and quantity of food purchases as prices skyrocket. In Africa, hunger stalks the land and major food riots have occurred from Egypt through Sub-Saharan Africa to South Africa. In the Caribbean, Central and South America, food riots have led to the overthrow of regimes, mass protests, road blockages from Argentina, Bolivia, through Colombia, Venezuela and Haiti."

The article's point is that free markets do more to ferment revolution than thousands of leftie groups and academics. But hey you idle Trot slackers - that doesn't get you out of selling the paper of a Saturday morning. Or tramping along the high street with two hundred others next strike day. The next few months and years will provide opportunities for deep political change. We'd better work it so it's going to be our type of politics and not the usual right wing stuff implemented in times of economic strife that sees the likes of us herded off to camps. So get arising ye masses and awake form thy slumber. For feck's sake.

lundi 21 juillet 2008

Risks have been socialised. Any rewards will go to capitalists.

A quote from the Socialist Worker? New Left Review? Lenin's Tomb? Obviously the remark is correct, but it's from The Telegraph. Confusion.

dimanche 20 juillet 2008

Thatcher is dead

Those words would have once filled the streets with cheering hordes, set off street parties and wild celebration throughout much of the land. Now she has faded away into a gin-soaked waking coma, Thatcher is an irrelevance a living waxwork everybody is embarassed and/or appalled by. Thus the plan to give her shrivelled remains a state funeral has met with cringe and indifference.

Michael White's cap doffing style is a sign, though, of just how much the ruling elite are gearing up for a big celebratory send off for the wizzened class warrior. Cue endless TV programs, biops, discussions, rehashings of rehashed biography pieces, polemics, critiques, putting into context and all that academic flybuzz. I imagine even the newspresenters will be forced to wear black ties. It will be awful. We already had Son of Thatcher in Blair and we've had a bollock full of zombie politics to last a deathtime since '97; the thought of a Maggie nostalgiafest deadens the spirit.

Which is the intended effect of course. The dominant motifs of the gruesome charade will be how revolutionary the old hag was (mustn't get misogynistic here of course!) what a profound influence blah blah winter of discontent love her or loath her nyah nyah but most importantly how her reforms made the country better for everyone. It's absolute shyte of course was is and will be but that's in the MSM nozzle feedlines awaitng the signal from Darkness Towers when the crooked old crone shuffles off her mortal coil.

Even though no one even on the right of the left of the right gives a toss about the status of State Funerals (but why stop there - why not blast her into the sky in a golden rocket and have two minutes silence every month when the space ship orbits this sceptered isle?) it still grates. She was the upper class's tool and they'll pack her off as one of the best of their own - and try to convince the rest of us that all that shit in the 80's was worth it. For me - yes do give her a state funeral - just nail her up in her box before she kicks the bucket is all.

vendredi 18 juillet 2008

Get some in

A ridiculous and badly argued article by Deborah Orr in The Independent. Concerned by all the knife crime and gang violence (which 'progreesives can't refute and which governments have done their best, apparently) and convinced that 'throwing money at the problem' hasn't helped she turns on the marginalised themselves. See, she's read a book from the IPPR by Julia Margo that argues the lower order just aren't developing "good character" these days. So the solution is to enforce good character bt wait! These lower order types you know, are either pushed out of the way of good character forming places and groups and more greviously are suspicious of the state's attempts to make them better.

There is a lot of theoretical work that could be done on the reasons for the 'lower order's' (justified) suspicion of state meddling in their lives, but Orr, incredibly, uses it as a reason for introducing national service.

When a country threatens to become 'ungovernable' (ie levels of inequality create crime waves, wage demands, strikes...some people actually start to stand up for themselves), the upper classes have to reinject a bit of 'discipline discourse' into what passes for intellectual debate within liberal to middle class. In the current crisis, the repressed and the excluded can no longer be ignored as they were when economic times were good. Commentators, the secular priests of our time, are instructed (by order or by instinct who knows) to toughen up and help brace the well to do for the measures that will be taken against the hordes gathering at the gates. Even if their extreme ideas and stupidness (like national service, I mean can anyone really see that being reintroduced??) don't make it to actual policy, it changes the tone, lowers expectations and helps poison public discourse that little bit more.

But even so, it is a sign of a hack decaying into right wing mould when you start spouting up about national service. Bring back national service! Next breath bring back caning in schools and capital punishment Ian Botham. Why stop there? Bring back witch burning, the stocks and the black death while you're at it. The by line was "Don't dismiss the idea of national service - at least it could give them pride." The 'at least' is as meely mouthed as it gets but it's the 'them' that says it all. I only read this particular day's Indy because a firend got it free on her plane. Who the fck buys it these days?

jeudi 17 juillet 2008


Public services have been on strike in the UK. The government is requiring that they accept cuts in their living standards so as not to start an inflationary spiral. That this inflationary upsurge has nothing to do with wages but instead is due to speculation and increased capitalist competition is not mentioned. How long will the working class put up with this kind of derisory treatment? Strikes ought not to be a unionist ploy to get the workers to let off steam, but opportunities to organise and prepare for the coming blows directed at us. There are strikes all over the world. The crisis is global.

jeudi 10 juillet 2008

Red Exile League

Going through the secular purgatory of moving house. We'll be back next week. . .

mercredi 9 juillet 2008

But is there a plot?

A writer over at Spiked! bemoans people's tendency to believe in conspiracies. Fair enough. He argues that relying on conspiracy theories diminishes subjectivity increases fatalism and causes agent panic - the belief that all government agencies are out to get you. However, he remarks reasonably enough, that "The feeling of being subject to manipulation and external control – the very stuff of conspiracy theory – springs from the contemporary perception of powerlessness. " which is, of course, the biggest conspiracy of all.

Black in a built up area

Your on the train listening to your ipod thinking about the evening ahead. Your station stops at the train you get off thinking about nothing in particular, then suddenly people are shouting and pointing, there are coppers everywhere but this time it's you whose the centre of all the attention. You're ordered to the floor, told to lie still with your arms spread whilst an armed officer yells at you and points his real horribly real pistol at your ear.

Then you wake up and it's all been a dream right, the innocent have nothing to fear. Alas, for Nzube Udezue, a 21-year-old recent graduate from Oxford University, this dream came thuddingly to life last weekend. It was all a case of mistaken identity but after the Stockwell De Menzes shooting (and the high number of people the police have shot since) these incidents should be taken seriously.

Not by the Independent Police Complaints Committee though. "In a statement, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said yesterday it deemed the actions of Dorset police "appropriate and proportionate to the circumstances".
Rather than mount a full investigation, the IPCC decided it would merely "supervise" Dorset police's internal inquiry. No other action would be taken and there had been no official complaint made, a spokesman said."

"appropriate and proportionate"- we have been warned, again.

Pouvoir d'achat

The cost of living. What a phrase. Even just getting by breath to breath comes with bill attached. And the bill got higher last year "A study released this week by Ernst and Young shows that an average UK household is now 15 percent worse off than five years ago. " And that wasn't taking the price rises in food into account.

Also, "Graham Turner of GFC economics points out in the Independent that wage settlements are falling: “Many workers cannot afford to go on strike and are fearful of losing their homes should they get behind with their repayments. Real incomes are being squeezed hard.”

But both main parties in Britain support below inflation pay 'rises', cuts in public spending, privatisation and the erosion of workers' rights. So can't strike, voting doesn't make a difference and your standard of living is going down. If the Tories had won, by some collective fluke in 1997, could the outcome upto now have been any worse? Speaking of which,

The by-election in Haltemprice and Howden is being contested by the Tories, the Greens and the. . .Socialist Equality Party. Whilst it's a foregone conclusion about the actual result, the moral victory is already with the SEP. It's contender Chris Talbot (who works at Huddersfield Uni - hurrah!) writes accurately that the Tories' "concern is that Labour has gone too far and too fast, to the point where the government is undermining the legitimacy of parliament and creating the conditions for explosive political struggles in defence of democratic rights. [They] want to confine this to a limited protest under [their] tutelage that will not get out of control and threaten the dominance of big business and its parties."

mardi 8 juillet 2008


'CNN’s Ed Lavendera reports that Congress is giving $100 million to pay security expenses for this summer’s political conventions. Denver and St. Paul officials have said that the types of weapons being purchased are “top secret". '

". . .But confirmed one report several hundred thousands of high powered pepper ball rifles will be used to disperse crowds.
FLEENER: When that hits, the ball breaks, powder expels. the same reaction as pepper spray. Except it’s powder.
LAVENERA: Congressional testimony revealed there will be specialized gas detection equipment and biohazard equipment. Then there are the science fiction-like weapons that may or may not be part of the arsenal, like the goo gun.
SECURITY CONSULTANT: It shoots a rubbery gelatin mass when it strikes the body and comes out in a stream it wraps around limbs and the torso and the person can’t move.
LAVENERA: It can make a Humvee have spin in place. Then there are the weapons that would make unruly crowds run for cover like a sonic ray gun, a device which emits an ear piercing sound and a microwave device that can be focused on an area and can make you feel like your skin is on fire. The ACLU has sued the city of Denver to find out if these weapons are in the arsenal.
SILVERSTEIN: Instead of asking the public, “How come you want to know?” Maybe the question should posed to the government, “Why are you interested in keeping this secret?”
NEWMAN: Rational people are not concerned. Those concerned are the ones causing problems. "

You think I'm making this up don't you? Reading it, I think I just made it up, but these are the weapons real weapons stored in wharehouses all over the US, that the American government has ready to deploy against its own citizens. We've seen the inhuman contempt the American military machine has for foreign civilians. That sentiment extends to those brave American people who would dare to stand up to the regime in the belly of the beast itself.

But Nil Desperandum - nothing can stop the people.

More war

Just because it's the most stupid suicidal and criminal thing anyone could ever do, it does not mean that Bush would not attack Iran. That said, surely he won't? The blogiverse is alive with reports that Iran has said it will strike back if attacked, that US warships are positioning themelves and we know that "all options are on the table". The US is in dire staights money wise at the moment. Iran is not Iraq and would respond more effectively than Saddam did. But a rat in a corner.........


What to make of statements like these "Waterboarding is something of which every American should be proud.Waterboarding makes tight-lipped terrorists talk. At least three major al-Qaeda leaders reportedly have been waterboarded, most notably Khalid Sheik Mohammed."

OK, Deroy Murdock's material is conspiracy theory wing nut stuff in the National Review, but all the same people read his stumpy little sentences and might actually come round to his way of thinking. A scary thought. His argument is no more sophisticated than an episode of 24. There are terror suspects who know things - torture 'em till they squeal. "In short, there is nothing “repugnant” about waterboarding."

Waterboarding is a ancient Chinese form of torture that, as Murdock says, leaves no physical trace. One is tied to a table, one's mouth covered with a towel and water poured over your face. Sounds bearable almost theraputic only the sensation is akin to drowning and suffocating at the same time. No one can take more than two minutes. The psychological damage stays, as Hitchens reports (see below) and the information gathered subject to the qualification that people will say anything, anything to make it stop.

Further, Murdock has no proof for what he says. His argument centres on this "KSM’s revelations helped authorities identify and incarcerate at least six major terrorists:"

Now, 'helped' identify really isn't any good there at all. This modality reduces the impact whatever information the CIA got out of the terror suspect. It did not pinpoint the bomb just in time à la TV mini-series and as for the list of terrorists that follow, the only reference he gives to substantiate his claim, is a link to one of his own oped pieces. Hardly credible journalism.

The aim of torture is not primarily about information gathering, if at all, (and has been rejected by specialists in the field as an unreliable means of finding things out) but is about intimidating, frightening and humiliating a target population - Muslims - preparing the ground for future outrages and softening up the rest of the population by coarsening political practice and discourse. For once they have come for the Muslims and you have not spoken out, a chain of political narrative is set in motion that has at the end of it that 'when they came for you, there was no one left to speak out'.

Murdock's piece is a viscious glob of words unfit for publication outside a Right wing hate sheet.

Snouts tuck in as billions starve

You're not going to find much photographic evidence of the nosebag and banquet our great leaders had to make do with in Japan this week. Type "G8" into google and you get some flash car. Type 3g8 banquet" and nothing. On TV, there's no prying into OGL's noshing their greedy mushes for the cameras. It'd be bad for publicity given the current circumstances.

According to Patrick Wintour in the Guardian, though, it was a right royal knees up. Even here at the New labour rag, a bit of criticism had to be aired, us proles have got to let off steam some how. Even so, the article isn't that hard hitting. Sure there's this, "The most powerful bellies in the world were last night compelled to stave off the great Hokkaido Hunger by fortifying themselves with an eight-course, 19-dish dinner prepared by 25 chefs. This multi-pronged attack was launched after earlier emergency lunch measures - four courses washed down with Château-Grillet 2005 - had failed to quell appetites enlarged by agonising over feeding the world's poor."

But yuk Château-Grillet 2005, I mean 2005. . .quelle horreur. The whole trough set us all back just the 238 million quid for what, a whole week is it? They must be working up quite an appetite, what with all that bullshit they have to keep repeating. So we musn't begrudge them the "[h]airy crab Kegani bisque-style soup was another treat in a meal prepared by the Michelin-starred chef Katsuhiro Nakamura, the grand chef at Hotel Metropolitan Edmont in Tokyo, alongside salt-grilled bighand thornyhead (a small, red Pacific fish) with a vinegary water pepper sauce." (Fckng what - "hairy crab"? Sounds like something you might pick up after an unedifying episode in a Yorkshire alleyway of a Saturday night).

Whilst the poor of the world are advised to sit tight, be patient and starve quietly, Gordo, Sarko, the chimp and his gang of lice slobbered up ". . . dishes including milk-fed lamb, roasted lamb with cepes, and black truffle with emulsion sauce. Finally there was a "fantasy" dessert, a special cheese selection accompanied by lavender honey and caramelised nuts, while coffee came with candied fruits and vegetables." (Yeh me too but once you'd burnt Bush's testicles and caramelised the nuts of all the other blokes there - what to do with merkel in these PC times?)

You have to ask, what is the point of all this vulgarity and bad taste? Have these tools never heard of the phone, skype, video conference technology? Clearly, the purpose of it all is to rub it in to the dispossesed, to be role models to the business class morons who support them and to live it up at the taxpayers' expense whilst they can. because they're not in the slightest bit concerned about the world's problems, about the millions sliding to hell in a handcart in the 'developing' parts of the world or the recently and soon-to-be homeless in the west. It really is all about them. This is their Cannes, their World Cup, their beauty parade - and they have won and they want us to know it. They have gulled, lied and burrowed their way to the top of the festering compost heap and they're not going to let anyone spoil their pleasure. In an update of Marie Antionette, they're going to all eat the cake too.

But not so harsh not so harsh! They are entombed in a parasitic universe, as much prisoners of it as those at the opposite end of the spectrum dying of hunger by a dusty roadside in Africa somewhere and need social change to rescue what parts of them are still human. Smash capitalism for their sakes too. The food they eat, like that of Damocles, will taste of dust given the magnitude of their crimes that haunt their nightmares, the sights they see will be blank spectacle emptied of meaning by guilt and the fear of retribution and the fawning journalists, business mogols and other slobbering sychophants that swarm and hover about them will appear as puppeted clowns given the dread that gnaws at their collective G8 guts.

But, what am I saying? Sorry. Look, I've just got back from seeing some freinds and I'm in a too good a mood, a too goddamned liberal mood - - what's this, " rescue them"?" resuce them? "...for their sakes too"? "human"? human? Am I blind? What I meant to say of course was "Hang 'em! Hang the wretched lot of them!"

After constructing a socialist and peaceful world of course.

lundi 7 juillet 2008


The G8 have their yearly conflab in the face of disintegrating economic conditions and have no solutions. The G1 - the rest of the seething mass of humanity, grits its teeth and bides its time.

Baa baa black sheep

It's usually only at Christmas when stories like this get the MSM treatment. The headline usually begins with "Now. . ." as in "Now Loony Left bans Christmas"... (actually when was the last time you heard 'Loony Left'?) "Now Councils deem Easter offensive" or "Now public caning of slaves outlawed"usually in the Cattraily Mail. The 'Now' obviously to give the impression that 'They', the Stalinist Mind controllers snooping about all over the country never rest in their fiendish quest to destroy everything sacred in this blighty of ours.

This one's from its slightly more intelligent sister paper the Telegraph that blares the shock, horror, probe headline "Toddlers who dislike spicy food 'racist' ". Of course, it's not true. Like all the baa baa black sheep black binbag banning christmas bollocks, it's merely the usual kneejerk right wing guff to top up the welly brigade's prejudice tanks.

The actual story is practically bland. The NCB - that den of revolutionary Marxist thought? That hotbed of loonyism? That crazed bunch of transregendered tree hugging PC terrorists - er, no "The National Children's Bureau, which receives £12 million a year, mainly from Government funded organisations." Get that "mainly from the government". There's your first step in the conspiracy. 'Its those facking socialist types at it again.'

The second - this twisted band of freaks have bladdy hell! "issued guidance to play leaders and nursery teachers advising them to be alert for racist incidents among youngsters in their care."
Repeat in exasperated tone - then
"Really Lucinda in God's awful name what in the blighters is going on in this country!?"

Then the climax "This could include a child of as young as three who says "yuk" in response to being served unfamiliar foreign food." Apoplexy!

Clearly the "could" there is doing a hell of a lot of work. The conspiracy theorist who beaver away in the dungeons of Telegraph house are doing their best to squeeze a sensation out of this one. Their failure quickly becomes apparent in the next breath,

"The 366-page guide for staff in charge of pre-school children, called Young Children and Racial Justice, warns: "Racist incidents among children in early years settings tend to be around name-calling, casual thoughtless comments and peer group relationships." "

366 pages condensed to that shrill headline followed by the advice to watch out for racist behaviour. "Now NCB advises carers to stop children saying racist things" doesn't have that 1984 connotation does it?

Yet the poison has been administered and the 'story' sinks to the bottom of the sea, to form another tiny layer of racist anti-PC bedrock in some toff's ferbrile imagination.

The story does draw attention, though, to the relationship between food and politics. Are the culinarily conservative usually Conservative in outlook too? Are socialists more open to different foods from across the world and how does this tie in with the ecological decroissance/degrowth pressures to eat local?

In the end, it is not "Political Correctness gone mad". If a work colleague with Pakistani anscestry brings in a national dish and people openly say "Yuk! That's awful." it would be a form of humiliation, presque, racism. If the manager brought in a duff quiche, practically everyone would eat it and stay schtum. I haven't done a survey but I'm betting that would happen. Somewhere.

Besides, the anti-PC brigade fall quiet when you ask them "Do you say 'I'm just off to the P- shop' do you want anything?'" or "Do you think the Black and White Minstrel Show should be brought back to the BBC?" or "Would you use the 'n' word to a black police officer?".

Like all conspiracies - it looks like something planned and dasardly ('They're taking over our kids' minds, Sir Guffton no doubt!!') but ultimately the plot has no legs. It's no more scary than getting your offspring to say 'Thank you' or 'Merci' or 'Bon Nuit' or 'Vive la revolution' every now and then.

Update 8 July: see Peter Osborne's Independent piece.

Colombia calling

"The president and his closest supporters are deeply implicated in the so-called parapolitica scandal, which has exposed ties between them and the rightist paramilitary organizations responsible for massacres and thousands of killings. At least 33 members of Colombia’s Congress are currently under arrest and some 60 more under investigation—nearly all of them Uribe’s backers—for such connections. The president himself has been implicated in one of the most savage massacres of the 1990s."

And it's these people that swear, swear Betancourt's release was a bloodless coup. The point here is not that any of this vindicates FARC - hostage taking, drug trafficking, bombing towns are not exactly emphasised in The Communist Manifesto - but it reshows the fact that the media are complicit in propagating the lies of the political elite. Overall, this episode is just a passing fête but it's all part of the wider media and state onslaught to create a passive compliant electorate fatalistic in the face of the economic crisis and reluctant to mobilise in the face of the coming blows. Don't let it succeed.

dimanche 6 juillet 2008

Spot on

This from a top left wing counter balance the the MSM lie machine - a propo the Betancourt liberation/ransom pay off, "Nor, it should be noted, have the many hundreds of political prisoners languishing in Colombian jails or abducted by the right-wing paramilitary organizations that are intimately tied to the government and the armed forces, received any similar attention. Their social backgrounds are generally quite dissimilar from that of the French-educated Ingrid Betancourt, the daughter of a former government minister and product of the Colombian oligarchy."

One of the many irritating features of this story is just that. Thousands of civil right activists, trades unionists and dissenters that have been rotting in jail unjustly held in inhumane conditions continue to be ignored in this orgy of self-congratualtion and empty spectacle. The hurrahdom should boost Sarko's opinion poll ratings by a point or two for a while but it has left the whole politico-media machine looking desperate and fake.

The wsws article reamarks,

"Between 2002 and 2007, human rights groups documented the extrajudicial killing of nearly 1,000 civilians by the country’s military, as well as another 3,500 murders and disappearances carried out by the right-wing paramilitary units—routinely operating with military support. It was in December 2002 that the Colombian government concluded a ceasefire agreement with the paramilitaries, essentially exonerating them for their crimes, which accounted for the bulk of civilian casualties in the country’s protracted civil war. Nonetheless, the assassinations and massacres have continued."

Think about that next time you see Sarko, Betancourt and Vilepan [sic] kneeling and thanking god.

Zombie politics

Dripping gore and slime, Gordon Brown lumbers forth to try to resue some sort of credibility from the upcoming Scottish by-election defeat. It is no surprise, of course, that he groans and bellows forth neolib rhetoric, grunting not that the greedy bosses need to be sorted out and that the workers must be given the means to defend themselves (thereby guaranteeing that Labour win the seat) but, continuing the self-destruction of what's left of the party by coming out with, globs like this, "There will be no return to the 70s, 80s or even 90s when it comes to union rights, no retreat from continued modernisation, and there can be no question of any reintroduction of secondary picketing rights."

No 'return' to the 90's - what that golden age of union strength and workers benefiting equally from the global boom? Wages (in real terms and in relation to profit) actually fell. Return to the 80's - beating up the NUM? What has turdy Brown got in store - special camps and workhouses? The capitalist lackey running pig dog. Just in case the reader might think I am inflicting all ire on Sarkozy. Brown is already dead. He is rotting in full public view. His political caretaking function is a holding operation to get the Tories back in office. The purpose is to preserve the myth that democracy and elections work - they give a change of party, one party should not be in power for an overlengthy period of time - but the real politics does not change. The Business Party gives way to the Business as Usual Party and the dead system can perpetuate and self legitimise. This zombie interregnum is the long drawn out death rattle of the Labour Party. Another waste of time for the people. But the greedfest intensifies for the lice at the top of the seething rotten pyramid.

Watch for Gordo's right eye slowly disengaging from its socket and, as he drools incomprehensibilities to the other G8 spectres, the flesh from his lower jaw gradually slide down his neck like boiled turnip mush and a pool of reddy green slime trickle from his nose. The rest of the G8 fiends rise up in recognition of the final stage of their diabolic mission chanting "Kill kill KILL! Must kill the poor. Kill the poor!" If you see one of these zombie politicians the only way to deal with them is to organise a truly representative revolutionary socialist party and agitate for a just distribution of the world's goods and the destruction of the profit system that is responsible for making these zombies in the first place.

Either that or stove their heads in with something heavy.

Strike what strike?

Sarkozy pops up on the telly prancing about weirdely infront of a UMP cheerfest. He remarks that France is now a different country that it is a country in the midst blah of a profound radical change and that "When there's a strike on - you don't even see it."

Strange words - even for the malformed little crotte de chien. The news is prevented from mentioning what he really means. On the report the unions are drafted in to give their usual limp bluster - it's all a provocation the CGT opines - fck me, really! - its not sensible whinges the FO - yawnsville - what none of them admit but what even every half awake French person knows, is that THE STRIKES DON'T GET REPORTED BECAUSE THE SARKO CLIQUE CONTROLS THE MEDIA.

It's not rocket science.


A student says, "Can I ask you a question?"
To my shame I reply, "You just have."

Age and time

A freind sees a photo of me and notes kindly that I look ninety. As Baudrillard remarks, it's not our own faces that disappoint and betray us, our faces to ourselves always look reassuringly normal (he evidently had never woken up with a mush full of UDI of a morning...) and that it's those of others that mark out the passage of time.
Cosmologically though - everything and everyone is the same age. Everything is made up of atoms that came into existence at exactly the same time. Everything and everyone is made up of these basic unchanging elements. Thus, time and age are human creations designed in part, to help us take the piss out of eachother every now and then.

Dead Afghans not news

It made the footnotes of the New York Times, but otherwise newscorp propaganda network blotted this story out or where it did get an airing it was dismissed as just one of those things guys, with a hint of "Well they will loiter around being human sheilds....". 140 Afghans were either wounded or killed by an American air strike. The occupation of their country, like others before it, is disintegrating and the U-SUK forces are in trouble. That explains the recent almost laughable opinion poll that revealed some 40% of people in the country support the troops. The good news was meant for public consumption and a feely good for the fourth of July. Doubtless, those affected by this latest outrage will have to be asked the question in a different way in order to illict the appropriate response next time. If there is a next time.


Trapped in a senseless economy that condemns millions to agonising death by starvation yet that at the same time produces millions of millionaires, that supports dictators and repressive regimes, erodes democracy, represses dissent and unleashes unprovoked wars of aggression and threatens atomic warfare on its strategic rivals, a system that controls debate through the concentration of news resources, smothers critical thought in a fog of publicity masquarading as investigative news, camoflages embedded propaganda and calls it truth, exploits the working people more and more each year whilst charging us more and more for life's basics, creates speculative bubbles to generate profits for a tiny strata of parasites and calls the losers feckless layabouts, supports goverments that deliberately starve beseiged populations, murder children and bomb civilians, that creates tons upon tons of pointless merchandise that are shipped around the world in search of profit if not then are dumped at sea, that creates inequality by design that revels in the destruction it engenders.

And its grinning supporters have the termierity to ask, "Well what would you do? This is the best system we've got. There is no alternative. You're a dreamer."

Three things - two practical one theoretical. 1. Once installed in power, seize all funds from speculation and divert to producing clean running water for those who need it. 2. A world wide conference on agriculture to plan a livable World agricultural policy based on local need not distant profit. 3. Don't change yourself - change those around you to a new socialist way of thinking.

It's got to be better than this endless fuck up.

Housing crisis

It's good to see New Labour arsewipe The Observer taking an interest in the housing crisis. With around 100 000 'houselholds' effectively homeless and thousands of others out on the streets amidst a free market housing disaster it's a topic that needs the publicity. So hats off to the Absurder for some good old fashioned social reporting. But soft! The headline reads 'Homebuilder face £3 bilion landslide...government scrambles to stem growing crisis". But of course, this crisis is a financial crisis that according to "Figures calculated by broker Panmure Gordon on behalf of The Observer suggest that if, as expected, the housing market falls by 17.5 per cent - seen as a conservative estimate - land values will deteriorate by £3bn."

The bubble's burst. But just like at the time it was being inflated, those at the bottom of the housing heap will not get the government scrambling to help out with their housing crises.

War, corruption and lies

Israeli companies are opening up shop in Iraq. Fifty five companies from Israeli are exporting 300 million dollars worth of goods to shattered country. Amongst other things, wars are about grabbing foreign markets. The deals are all corrupt by definition and large parts of the western public was fooled for most of the time before, during (but not so much after?) the war.

samedi 5 juillet 2008

sarko losing it?

As far as tantrums go - it wasn't that spectacular. But the five minutes or so before a televised interview on national telly French President Nicholas Sarkozy got quite irritated after a technician failed to say 'Bonjour' to the increasingly unpopular media tart presidenté. He scowled, accused the technicain of lacking education and got hot and bothered for a minute or so before having a pop at a journalist.

He's lashing out at everyone this week. He (quelle horreur) failed to salute the head of the Army at a meeting where the former was sacked, criticised the head of the ECB and had a go at the head of the French TV. To top it all infront of a UMP audience he quipped that "when there's a strike in France no one notices it anymore". A provocative statement and presumably a reference to the bollock grip he has on the French press and broadcasters. The theme that links these items is the more and more unstable body language of the poison gnome. He twitches and stares in a quasi comic fashion and his shoulder twitch about like he's got a rat up his arse. He's got another four years but my bets on him being relieved from office on medical grounds in the not so distant. Put it this way, he makes Gordon Brown look statesman-like.

Even the class struggle

Even the class struggle is a conspiracy. The reality is hidden from view and lies (all that stuff about a fair day's wage for a fair day's work bollocks that your line manager tells you, of course is lies) - one side wins and the other gets the blame and if you speak out about it you're a nut. Even the etymology of the word, is, er probably a conspiracy thus:

"Inflected forms: pl. con·spir·a·cies1. An agreement to perform together an illegal, wrongful, or subversive act. 2. A group of conspirators. 3. Law An agreement between two or more persons to commit a crime or accomplish a legal purpose through illegal action. 4. A joining or acting together, as if by sinister design: a conspiracy of wind and tide that devastated coastal areas.
Middle English conspiracie, from Anglo-Norman, probably alteration of Old French conspiration, from Latin cnsprti, cnsprtin-, from cnsprtus, past participle of cnsprre, to conspire."

Well, that's what they WANT you to think it means.....

arf. But sometimes, there really are plots. Go to It's a site that gathers news items from all over the world and gives an 'alternative' perspective on current events with added commentary. Some of its political views are shit. It's author is opposed to Mexican migration to the US, it's economically right-wing and it defends the right to deny the holocaust. But despite these flaws it's a useful resource. The last few days, though it's been unavailable - as has, a controversial anti-western site devoted to the overthrow of all things occidental and capitalist. One shrugs, and pays no real heed. The people are updating their site, having a break, there's been a storm. When the former site return, though, its main story is that its site has been hacked by agents unknown.
The internet is a differnt and free space that exists in spite of people who dislike the dissemation of views and points of view. It's one of the good things about globalisation. That there are agents working to close it down is a warning for the future. When Lenin's tomb goes down, there really is a conspiracy.

Well put

From Marxmail "Being held as a hostage for six years for any individual must be one of the most traumatic and difficult experiences imaginable. That said, for every individual the Farc have taken into capitivity, they have liberated thousands of the poorest and exploited in that wretched country. Unfortunately, their constituents are not rich and privileged enough to be the focus of the world's media and will forever remain faceless and anonymous. That Betancourt has been the focus of the world's media is not a reflection of her humanity, but instead a reflection of the social relations which obtain in Colombia and throughout the western world - i.e., the domination of the rich and their progeny."

vendredi 4 juillet 2008

A big enough lie

You sit, you watch you don't believe but decide not to show your disbelief. The machine has done its little work again. The coverage is total. Even the tennis - the tennis - is cancelled. It's a full beam spectacle. But still. The story seems too pat, too just so, too James Bond - they even describe it like that 'It was very James Bond!" - you think "Are they taking the piss? But everyone seems so happy. It can't not be untrue! And no bloodshed too. How, er unlike James Bond er..." And most of the people you know don't talk about it. Those that do give it ironic reference. It grows dull. The intrusion into the re-encounterings becomes embarassing and - what's this - the first hint of fakery thought: the soldiers waving too enthusiastically, the presenters smiling that bit too much, the woman herself holding hands with the sinister clown himself for just that bit too long (and her looking really really well). Sarko revels in it. Smiling. Rocking backwards with pleasure. The Publicity. At the edges, it starts to appear faintly desperate.

Then . The first hint that it's all been a scam.

What gives the accusations legs, (legs that's all for the moment) is that "As the General Commander of the [Colombian] Armed Forces and on my military honour, I deny that the Colombian Government has paid a single peso, a single cent," [General Freddy Padilla] said. I mean, what's that worth? Plus his account is consistent with the fact that someone paid a ransom - plus the source for all this is steel plated copper bottomed uranium tipped reliable.

And if this is mere spectacle 'Freedom' itself has been consumed by it.

Happy death day Mr. President

The World Bank report on the relationship between the production of biofuel and the food crisis that kills tens of thousands every day, had been held up from publication so as to not embarass President Bush.

Dead people - Oh how, how embarassing.

Conspiracy saw us

Two French students are brutally murdered in London. They've been stabbed over a hundred times each and the bedsit they were in torched. Police have no clues and no witnesses. What happened? Certainly only the culpably well informed or the clueless and oblivious speculators would get it right. But no, people over at crank site whatdoesitmean have a lead!

Sorcha ('frazzled') Faal informs us "Most interesting about these reports, however, is not just the brutal murder of Mr. Bonomo, but the area of study he was embarked upon at London’s Imperial Collage, one of the World’s premier institutions investigating the deadly H5N1 Avian Flu Virus, and which is being reported to be the claim made by the Indonesian Government that this deadly virus has been ‘engineered’ by the United States." [My emphasis]

(France’s General Directorate for External Security (DGSE) is reporting today that one of their top avian flu researchers, Laurent Bonomo, and his French roommate Gabriel Ferez [both pictured top left], have been brutally murdered in London, and as we can read as reported by Britain’s Times Online News Service:
“As two talented biochemistry students and close friends, Laurent Bonomo and Gabriel Ferez had come to London to develop their skills as specialists in infectious disease and environmental engineering. ). Bad things happen, even to researchers. But. . .

Hold on - hold on"...not just the brutal murder..."? - that's NOT the most interesting aspect of this story? It's the only aspect of this story so far. What else do we have? Well, the unfortunate men were French...bof...the copper at the press conference said it was the most horrible thing he'd ever seen...hmm ...they'd been bound and their flat burnt out. There are quite a lot of interesting things there - at least intersting to someone, er investigating things.

But, and this is one way CT's germinate, something connected to or associated with the incident has something sinister going on in its vaults (eek the H5N1 virus!!) involving wider networks of money, plot and coercion, backgound, twisted channels secret codewords, chapters and interconnected disappearances related criminals serving long sentences, all to be worked out in the near future after the initial incident has receded into the background noise, its links severed and its memory-significance shrunk down to pratically nothing and then after long investigation, dead ends and faux-conclusions, the truth is revealed in all its astonishing surprise!

I know I know, this is real crank stuff - but my point is that conspiracy theorists are really deep down thwarted novelists. But then again . . .

Just say No - update

There has been a lot of shite spoken since the fantastic Irish "No!" vote last month. The European elites just don't like it up 'em. First up is Germany’s former foreign minister, Joschka Fischer gargling off in the Die Zeit newspaper that what Europe needs is “Vive l’Avant garde!” which turns out to be guff for ignoring what the people say and going ahead with the drive towards a neo-liberal Europe based on aggressive foreign policy. Then on FranceInter radio station some gimp from the UMP announces that the Irish only voted no because they all thought it would mean abortion for all. Finally this from the Irish equivalent of the CBI "A yes vote for the Lisbon Treaty creates the potential for increased opportunities for Irish business particularly in areas subject to increasing liberalisation such as Health, Education, Transport, Energy and the Environment." and this on top of the recent Irish Times story that the average Irish worker donates 44 thousand euros profit for their ungrateful employer parasites.

In Britain, the elites don't want a debate, don't want you to know and, of course, certainly don't want a referendum on the whole sorry troughzone Europe. The more is known about the entire bosses circus envisaged by the corruptelites [sic] the less it is accepted by the demos.

One can be a European without believing in thei Europe, a bankrupt, unaccountable greedfest all at the working class' expense.

jeudi 3 juillet 2008

Drive or eat

It's official. What a lot of people feared and what looked a coherent truth has been empirically verified. If you can believe the World Bank that is. The biofuel turn of the last few years has driven food costs up 75% around the world. Petrol prices are the most telling piece of evidence that there is a crisis going on for most of us. But since the cost of driving in Britain has fallen 10% in the past ten years (whilst the cost of public transport has risen by 6% in the same period) one should look further afeild for the real structural nature of this latest tremor in world capitalism.

"Political leaders seem intent on suppressing and ignoring the strong evidence that biofuels are a major factor in recent food price rises," said Robert Bailey, policy adviser at Oxfam. "It is imperative that we have the full picture. While politicians concentrate on keeping industry lobbies happy, people in poor countries cannot afford enough to eat."

Nearly a billion people are going hungry right now - not because of some easy Malthusian reasons for because of our dear leaders' deliberate political choices - of which this biofuel bollocks is but the most appalling of all.


What makes someone go bezerk and drive their bulldozer into a crowded street? A hatred of freedom, anti-semitism or an urge to kill innocent people? You would be forgiven for thinking a mixture of all three, especially since three Palestinian orgainisations 'claimed responsibility' for his desperate act. It all fits into the picture of revenge and terror but the reality that is emerging, not scrutinised by the MSM that much but slipped quietly into the backpages, is not that satisfying for the avengers and racists.

The individual responsible Hussam Dwaith a 30 year old construction worker acted alone whilst not in a sound frame of mind at all. That is, he did not act from political motives of nihilistic revenge against the Israeli people. He was depressed and ". . .he ha[d] no link with Hamas or any group." One of his neighbours remarked that "I am against his doings, I denounce it, I do not know why he did it. He died and his secret died with him."

This didn't stop security forces from cold bloodly executing him or from Olmert, that savage maniac, from threatening to bulldoze the dead man's entire neighbourhood to the ground. Just the kind of calm response one needs. Meanwhile the bulldozing of Palestinain neighbourhoods and the repression of Palestinian civilians carries on without too much being said about it.

On the very idea of balance

The media is often keen to expouse it's balance and fairness. One of the ways it does this is to present 'both sides of the story'. These seems fair enough on the face of it. If all is opinion and you have someone arguing for X, then if you wish to preserve some sense of fairness and 'objectivity' then you must have someone on your show who stands for (Not-X).

However, chances are you'll only ever see this when it comes to left leaning subjects or subjects that the right contest. Other 'opinions' are meant to be taken one side only. If the subject is global warming - there'll be someone 'to balance things up' who is a sceptic and stands in defiance of every scientist on the planet, near enough. If there is a debate on the minimum wage, there will be some gonk from the bosses' association dishing out the gargle as to why it's not a good idea - similarly for the 42 days. It's a duff idea but there will be 'two' sides presented and the show will end in a paralysis of indecision and vagueness. Even slavery has its apolgists these days and in the name of objectivity must have their rancid views exposed to the nation. There will be no conclusion reached by the makers, who daren't take sides for fear of any 'bias'.

Things are different when it comes to other subjects. The official line is strictly followed in all areas of economics, the war on terror and the war in Iraq and Afghanistan for example. There will be nobody there to argue that economic growth per se might not be a good thing, that there may be other ways to run the economic show or that the economy's booms are bound up with its busts - there are no programs that give the 'other' side to the Iraq war a fair hearing (i.e. the real side that would say it was about oil, Isreal and military bases) or a view that would question any aspect of 9/11 or 7/7. Here there is only ever one side allowed.

Philosophically at least this view has the merit of not falling into the epistemological relativist trap - A: I believe that there are two sides to every story. B: So there aren't two sides to every story. A: Eh? No I said there are two sides. B: In a way I am agreeing with you. Your story is there are two sides to every story. A: Hmmm B: Well, if your story is true, then the other side to your story is that - there is only one side to every story. Maybe more I guess, but just one, let's not be greedy. A: Well ok, one story for you one for me. B: That's your story. A: No you said it was yours. B: You relativist A: You totalitarian.....[fall to fighting]

Not so Big Bang

Scientists have called into question the Big Bang theory recently (see the New Scientist June 15). On the face of it, the whole theory does seem like a God replacement. But the universe can't have come out of nothing at all - since energy can neither be created nor destroyed. And no one could have 'made it' since they would have to have been something material in the first place to make anything at all. The mystery is of a universe infinite and thus not 'created' (or else how could it be infinite in time and space). Just like the universe is not 'indifferent' or 'cold' (but of course, neither is it 'warm' and 'friendly'!). Only anthropomorphically inclined thinking could lead to such banalities.

Super Thursday

It's 'Super Thursday' today, as I'm sure you were aware. No neither do I - but I guess it's something to do with a load of economic decisions being taken (the ECB interest rate) and data coming out (the US unemployment figures) and UK service sector figures - - still awake?
Here it is condensed a bit:

Inflation is going up. To stop this interest rates in Europe must rise.

If interest rates rise, the Euro becomes more attractive to savers.

Savers sell dollars and buy Euros.

The Euro appreciates in value against the dollar.

Thus the dollar falls in value.

Commodities priced in dollars therefore rise in price.

Oil is priced in dollars, thus the price of oil rises.

If the oil price rises then the price of everything else also rises.

If the price rises almost by definition inflation rises.

Thus, er, raise interest rates. (Continue ad unemploymentum).

But cheer up Kylie Minogue's won an OBE for her 'Services to Music' (what's that "Because she's not releasing an album this year or something?" - shame on you for thinking something so cruel), well if Henry Kissinger can win a Nobel Peace Prize, Tony Blair become a Middle East envoy why not. . . .

Military Keynesianism

With millions starving througout the world, unemployment and homelessness on the increase in the West, tensions mounting in the middle east and the price of oil pushing the cost of everything up - what the country really needs is.....two more aircraft carriers! Going just for you for four billion pounds! Twenty times the money we promised to Africa three years ago and didn't get round to paying but hey don't look at that look at this - ten thousand jobs safe-guarded!! That's, ok, 400 000 pound each job and we could have spent it on oooo the NHS, solving the ten pence tax rate fiasco or giving knackered soldiers from Iraq a proper house to live in... . . .but we've got slender majorities to defend.

Sarah McCarthy-Fry is the Blairite MP for Porstmouth North, where these wretched, useless war-machines are to be built. She is the full on corrupt corporate cash hound - public school old tie network creepy slimely pole climber. The party needs dog's bodies like this and so the MoD wrangles the deal. If you can ram your nose up as far as it will go, you will be rewarded for it eventually. Though, given the national mood at the moment, the good people of Portsmouth will probably kick her out in 2010 anyway.

Still, four billion quid on two boats. I feel safer already. It's been done so that Britain can 'project its power in any part of the world' and - o no not this again - 'can punch above its weight'. It's just corruption - all military spending is.

Hitchens waterboarded

Christopher Hitchens is so immersed in the Western propaganda machine, so indictrinated with his own indoctrinational activities that he has to experience waterboarding for himself to settle once and for all whether the practice can be described as torture. After six seconds of it, he caves in, which is longer than most people read his articles for I guess, and we minnows of the public so easily led and dumb can now officially believe that the simulation of drowning and suffocation can, in fact to our surprise given how much we trust our civilising leaders in Paris, London and Washington, we can now safely say it is, indeed, torture. Gee thanks Chris, wow. We wouldn't like to think you were trying to distance yourself from your earlier support for the crazed war on terror and the resourcee grab in Iraq. You are REL's wanker of the week.

For farcs sake

The French media are in celebratory mode today. Ingrid Betancourt, the Franco-Colombian held hostage by the rebel 'Marxist' army in Colombia has been released. The story is that the Colombian army infiltrated Farc and released Betancourt and fifteen other hostages/political prisoners without firing a shot. . . .

The story does not really warrant all the fireworks. Sarkozy, revelling in the reflected glory, and the rest of his media stooges aren't interested in Colombia of course. Sure, Sarkozy intervened with wise words this morning calling on the Farc "to end its stupid struggle"- what a grasp of political history the clown has - but these media events and festivals really only serve ideological purposes. Betancourt like stories are needed for internal political consumption. There is no hint of the French telelvision (and certainly not British TV) doing any actual investigative work into what is going on in Colombia. Thus the spectator of this Betancourt saga, periodically dredged up with the usual fanfare and faux-outrage by the tired political elite, witnesses only the top few molecules of the iceberg of Colmbian politics.

For Betancourt is one fortunate celebrity hostage that the media have kept focused on and thereby have sustained her existence. For the thousands of other poverty stricken and marginalised Colombians arbitrarily detained by the country's farce government, there is no outcry, no candlelit vigil and no presidential offers to come to get them. They are the postmodren disappeared.

The hostage situation was a useful ideological spectacle for the French state. Firstly, it has allowed Sarkozy periodically to strengthen his weak political position when needs be - quite a lot as it happens. By siding with Betancourt and putting a lot of his credibility on the line, he appears the hero, the hard man and, importantly, at one with the Big Bosses in Washington. This distracts from the far more serious problems he faces and quells dissent in the UMP ranks, for a time.
Secondly, the one sided reportage of the hostage saga, the continual appearance of video footage showing Beatncourt sat on a chair looking frail, the squads of Farc militia trooping through jungle icily committed and fierce looking and the political/ideological vacuum the story was served up in - all reinforced the idea that these people holding this poor defenceless, innocent young woman are nothing other than violent criminals and Marxists too. The nod and the wink is that - look all the left are like this - this is the left this is what they do.
Thirdly, the charged term 'hostage' serves an ideological role too, of course. A hostage is somethone held illegally. A 'prisoner of war' has a different meaning. The Colombian government is described as holding 3000 political prisoners whereas, in reality, these are just as much hostages as the fifteen released earlier today. More closer to home, the subtle psychological affinity that has been built up over the word hostage, Betancourt and French politics, is perhaps nowhere better revealed than in the midst of a strike. It is no coincidence that the last bout of Betancourt fever came just around Christmas at the time of the train drivers' strike here in France. The state media message, constantly regurgitated over the air waves by politicians and (some misguided) commuters was that the unions were holding the public 'hostage'. Cut from the strike story to the (a priori unrelated) Betancourt story and the association is shown, inferred, cynically manipulating its audience, but never explicitly stated.

When the detumescence that follows this media orgasm has set in, Sarkozy will need another convenient little win-win saga to bolster his flagging political fortunes and Colombia will vanish from the French airwaves altogether.

("Data gathered by the Observatory confirm the advent of a new era. According to these figures, an exceptional increase in arbitrary detentions came into sight immediately after 2002, the presidential election year that brought Álvaro Uribe Vélez to power. From August 7th, 2002, to August 6th, 2004, at least 6332 people were detained arbitrarily in Colombia, while in the six years going back from June 2002 to July 1996 only 2896 citizens were held under arrest without any substantial evidence. From these figures it is possible to conclude there is a direct link between Uribe's political activity, which promotes itself through a program known as "Democratic security", and the violations of human rights in terms of arbitrary detentions.")

mercredi 2 juillet 2008

Blood for Oil

The Iraq war was about oil or the control of the region where most of the oil is. It was a given of the anti-war movement in the months before the crime of 2003 was committed. Now the scumbags are finally letting their supporters know . The New York Times reports that "Four western companies are in the final stages of negotiations this month on contracts that will return them to Iraq, 36 years after losing their oil concession to nationalization as Saddam Hussein rose to power."

Now the busted neo-cons are, in true media manipulation mode, saying that 'everyone knew' the war was about oil and that this is hardly news. The MSM goes along with the shame because of its criminal complicity in the illegal war and the truth has its argument erased for the second time. First time as 'conspiracy' the second time as 'old news'. It's a sham. But they got away with it - - so far.

mardi 1 juillet 2008

Crash news

Critics of Marxism are keen to point out that lefties have predicted seventeen of the last three recessions. It's a cliché to even say it's a cliché but when the snouts themselves start to get nervous it's another thing altogether. This story hasn't got much exposure in the Anglo-Saxon press but in Holland it's created a bit of a stir. The basiscs are that a top Dutch bank, Fortis, is about to go bust and trying to raise billions of dollars in the US. The bank's 'big in Belgium' and the Belgian papers are full of disaster front pages that say the institution is about to run out of cash.

What's more worrying for savers is that, like a Prime Minister saying 'I fully support the honourable gentleman', "the national oversight commission CFBA felt compelled to issue a statement of reassurance to the desperate savers. “The emergency measure by Fortis is no reason to run to the bank and withdraw your savings”, said a CFBA spokesman.

Which is as good as saying 'Run on the bank. It's everyone for themselves.'. With the European stock markets deeply in the red so far this morning, this isn't proof that Marx got it totally wrong.

Also this, "Bank for International Settlements: annual report The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) says global markets may still be set for severe economic downturn. Last year, when inflation was low and the world economy was still strong and stable, BIS gave a a prescient warning about the growing risks that could bring it all undone. In its latest annual report, released last night in Basel Switzerland, BIS gives a grim and candid assessment. "The facts suggest that the magnitude of problems to be faced could be much greater than many now perceive... while difficult to predict, their interaction does appear to point to a deeper and more protracted global downturn than the consensus view seems to expect," the report says in part. Despite this, it cautions against using rate cuts to bail out the world economy, arguing that loose monetary policy helped create the mess in the first place. Satyajit Das is a risk analyst who tipped the global credit crisis. "It's an extraordinary statement of just how close the world economy is to a total financial meltdown" he said. Associate Professor Dick Bryan, an economist from the University of Sydney, uses the same adjective. "It's a quite extraordinary message," he said. "It's a big statement that the world economy could potentially be facing one of the biggest crises for the last 150 years." "

Again, try not to gloat just keep away from sky-scrapers for the next couple of days.