dimanche 30 novembre 2008

BNP list - for what it's worth

I can't be bothered tidying this list up. It would mean coming into further contact with them. Anyway as promised but a little late, here is an instalement of that yawn BNP list. Write to them, drop them a line - let them know there's hope - that or put their windows through. I know where you facking well live.

MrAnthonyYardley22 Draycote CloseDamson WoodSolihullWest MidlandsB92 9PT0121 603 9443Activist. Family: David YardleyMrsChristineYardley22 Draycote CloseDamson WoodSolihullWest MidlandsB92 9PT0121 603 9443MrDavidYardley22 Draycote CloseDamson WoodSolihullWest MidlandsB92 9PT0121 603 9443MsLauraYardley23 Greencraig AvenueShieldhillFalkirkFK1 2ES01324 633891Aged 24 (07)MissLeanneYardley22 Draycote Close WoodSolihullWest MidlandsB92 9PT0121 603 9443Aged 17 (06)Damson MsLindaYardley23 Greencraig AvenueShieldhillFalkirkFK1 2ES01324 633891lindantabby@yahoo.co.ukActivist. Family: Robert Brown & Laura Yardley. Under 16s Comps slip/Not eligible Comps slipMrMarcYardley22 Draycote CloseDamson WoodSolihullWest MidlandsB92 9PT0121 603 9443MrStephen H.Yare1 Mount AvenueHeckmondwikeWest YorkshireWF16 9PF07957 148205stephen.vare@tesco.netActivistMissEmmaYarwood3 Riversmeet CourtStony Lane SouthChristchurchDorsetBH23 1HW01202 250735emmayarwood@hotmail.comMrLionelYarwood40 Rushton AvenueKingswoodWatfordHertfordshireWD25 OAR07880 574547LYarwood1@aol.comWas 12205 (03)MrAlanYates44 Brybank RoadHaverhillSuffolkCB9 7WD07760 143322hav.orgbnp@btinternet.comActivist. Change of address 23/07/06. Family: Miss S LisherMrsJenniferYates52 Hillview GardenHendonLondonNW4 2JH0208 203 4952Proof of entitlement seenMrJohn B.Yates52 Sandmore RoadNew MarskeRedcarClevelandTS11 8DJ01642 474242johnpat31@ntlworld.comWas 16961 (04)MrKevin S.Yates203 Upper Temple WalkBeaumont LeysLeicesterLeicestershireLE4 0QH07899 662892ActivistMrMichaelYates15 WellparkDaviotInverurieAberdeenshireAB51 0NF01467 671657rowdyyates@btinternet.comActivistMrMichaelYates27 Southdown CloseHeaton NorrisStockportCheshireSK4 1LB0161 476 231207900 276901mike.tfs@btconnect.comCompany director - activistMrPhilYatesNewtonfieldKiddemore GreenBrewood, StaffordStaffordshireST19 9BH07974 092742MrRonaldYates16 WestgateHemsworthWest YorkshireWF9 4NJ01977 610952ronald@ronaldyates.wanadoo.co.ukMrRichardYates-SmithDouglas House19 Yorkshire StreetBlackpoolLancashireFY1 5BG01253 620734Was 9841 (04). Change of address 12/6/06MrStefanYaxleyAwaiting forwarding address07812 432455Activist. Was 9 North Parade, York BD23 2SSMrAndrewYeadonStds Flat, Headingley Golf ClubBack Church Lane, AdelLeedsWest YorkshireLS16 8DWMrMarkYearby12 Briarsdale HeightsLeedsWest YorkshireLS9 6SS07990 881688MrRobertYerby31 Croxley RoadLondonW9 3HH07956 471695MrChristopherYonts517 Chesterton AvenueBelmontCalifornia 94002USAchrisyonts1965i@yahoo.comMrGeoffrey C.York39 Dorian RoadHornchurchEssexRM12 4AL01708 44513207956 360998Former GMB shop steward

Get the last guy - a GMB shop steward........What a wanker.

Tory MP arrested and/or not

One is torn between the pleasure of seeing Tories getting arrested and the suspicion of an incompetent yet dangerously powerful government. The real interest in the story is just what was leaked by taupe in the first place. But we'll never get to know about that, now that the mole has been insulated somewhere by Home Office officials or not. Or sacked or not.

And an amusing, perhaps revealing error, in the BBC report of this nonevent. Repeating the Home Secretary's claim that she herself knew nothing about what was going on, the arrest, the mole, the taps etc. the BBC states " Ms Smith said that she had signed any warrant to approve the bugging of Mr Green."

Now, for consistency's sake, to accord this sentence with the rest of the piece, there should be a "not" before the "any" in that phrase. Otherwise, the indirect speech statement says that any old warrant approving the bugging of Mr.Green would have been signed. A proposition at odds with Smith's claim that she was in the dark about this whole thing - (a lie obviously but a lie which is outside of the text here, at the moment). Presumably the 'not' has been unintentionally left out, because the run of the sentence sounds odd, almost comical. 'I knew nothing about this whole affair but I signed anything to bug that bugger - er- . . . doh!' In that case someone at the BBC is either very slack, it is the weekend after all, or someone is trying to tell us something - that the Home Secretary did know all about this and the government is in a stalinist mood so watch the fuck out. But, on the balance of probabilities, probably. ['not'].

It's interesting to note the furore that this brief arrest has created, when, as 'The Antagonist' pertinently points out, if it was someone of an 'unfashionable' skin colour being nicked, few would even notice let alone bother to get whipped up about it.


Interesting cultural, literary and philosophical site but which has gone quiet of late. The silences in a blog's output say something too.

Spectacle's aftermath

The deaths are secondary - after all hunreds die in far off places from preventable diseases and preventable allied bombing raids - it is the spectacle, the glare of the lights the incessant insect click of camera, the roll of video film, the chatter and the endless speculation that really counts. The Mumbai terrorists [fill in description here?] had all this in mind when they embarked on their rampage. But we mute spectators, who have seen this type of thing before, the killings, the shock, the instapolitico outrage must remain sceptical of the authority's versions of events. Especially when all seems certain and the media speak with one voice.

samedi 29 novembre 2008

Prospects for revolution

Those who have lived through the collapse of the Soviet Union, the triumph of capitalism, the end of history, the classless society and the age of 'sunny upland' capitalism, yet never believed in the system but were mocked by their contemporaries for their anachronistic and eccentric earnestness and their 'idealism', are feeling the gatherings of a intellectual optimism now that the word 'revolution', 'collapse' 'social unrest 'mass unemployment' and other terms from their well learnt lexicon, have made their reappearance in social discourse. The bourgeois scribblers, hacks and spouting mugs on the telly have lost their confidence and swagger and now the crisis is affecting more and more sectors of the real economy, their unreal world has started to look increasingly tenuous and temporary as they have started to sound more and more depressed and anxious. MFI, Woolworths, car manufacturers, Iceland, Ireland (?) and now, even perhaps the UK, are all running out of money. And what will everyone do when the shortages get like those on the shelves at Woolworth's, whose bosses say they willrun the shops down until all the stock has gone. Iceland has seen how this plays out, but on a bigger scale. People get angry, make demands, socialise politically, start to protest and then fight the state and in less than a month, start talking about revolution. These are serious developments. Welcome them and fan the flames where ever you are, you, those that have been patient and too reticent all these years. You were right all along.

jeudi 27 novembre 2008

The undead fighting eachother

The socialist party in France - of course, neither 'socialist' nor a 'party' - has been in the headlines again in France. But nowhere else. After all, few French people are interested in the bitter presidential election contest between Royale and the mayor of Lille, Martine Aubry, let alone anyone else in the world. The latter won the contest by 42 votes but Royale wouldn't accept the result and demanded a recount - which she lost this time by 140 votes. For an analysis of this .

The media have loved the story and are the real winners along with the UMP which by just keeping quiet manages to gain political credibility from the noisy disintegration of its main political opponent. Only a party like the PS could do this at a time like now when people might think about changing their minds left ward. True, a revolutionary party mass based would be good, but in the short to medium term you need to change people's minds but when they see the word 'socialist' associated with this rancid bunch of careerists zombies - they'll grit their teeth and think "Well we'd best get used to Sarkozy." Until. . .

mercredi 26 novembre 2008

Poor List - fragment 2

The Poor List No. 82. Day 65. - Once we'd got past the down and outs - fucking thousands of them - the list started to make some kind of sense. The old, the sick and the out of work. It wasn't rocket science. In fact, it wasn't even science. It was like shooting shit on a shovel. 'They' were everywhere. I say 'they' in shudder quotes, because really they don't exist do they, really. I mean no one is poor in the west this day and age. The study I'm on relies on the subjective analysis of this sort of thing. Since everyone says they don't realy exist, well, they don't then, really do they? And it's not as if they're on a dollar a day or something. Take Frank Hanson here for instance. I met this guy down the Work Station in Luton. I was 'looking' for a job in the miscelaneous section of the well planned and quite pleasant centre. Some 'China Crisis' was playing in the background which drowned out the sound of the rain falling on the glass roof. Studds had instructed me to talk to all and sundry. It was all part of the programme. That morning I'd caught the bus from the hotel and made the Work Stop, as they are called these days, by nine. I noticed Frank as he was rolling a cigarette in front of the one of the boards for general labourers next to the one I was idly scrutinising. Smoking, even in the vicinity of the place was strictly prohibited. "It's a bit early for a smoke ain't it?" I ventured. He looked over. I could have come across like I was queering him up, but he was a good thirty years older than I with a tatty beard, cast-off looking clothes and yellow tinted eyes. "Fuck off." He drawled back. He smelt pungent even from the safe distance I was encountering him. "Well I could see you right for some cheap baccy." He perked up at this news, looked about him then started to shuffle over. I looked down at his busted trainers and frayed track suit bottoms. "So, what you got?" He whispers. His breath reeked of stale cider or sherry, I couldn't make out which. In fact I did have a kilo or so of Old Holborn in my pocket from a deal I'd made with Pud last week. "Two packets for a fiver?" He looked sceptically at me, his tanned thick looking skin on his face creasing around his eyes, forehaead and mouth. "Serious?" I said I was and that all he had to do was answer a few questions. That was a mistake and his shouting drew the attention of a few of the brown suited security guards. They looked over and spoke into chunky looking phones. Once I'd backed off and calmed the trampy sod down and explained what I was up to (the social enquirer, the do-gooder on the side of the undredog and all that), he agreed to let me buy him a coffee in the run down gaff down the next street. He sneered at me but snorted some form of acquiesence. We walked through the automatic doors under the sceptical eyes of a couple of suits guarding the place and made our way across the busy main road. We shook the rain of our clothes and found a table. It turned out that Frank was ex-army but definitely still an alcoholic. He hadn't worked since he's got discharged on medical grounds from the army twenty years ago. He showed his face at the Work Centre for form's sake and to ensure that his mugshot was on the surveillance camera for when he had to swear he'd been looking for work. "Though what's the fucking point eh? Well part from getting dole and that?" he said staring at me over his cup of milky coffee. I handed him the old Holborn and his glinty little eyes lit up. "Yeah. That'll do nice." he said as he stuffed the packets into his shapeless and ageless looking duffle coat. I asked him a few questions, how he got by, the local footabll team, how he managed to eat and so on, all the questions Studds made sure that we asked. I was not exactly amazed. By now, I'd got used to these sob stories. But this guy really did have nothing. He lived in a council protection area out of town. Lived on his own, divorced (long story out of which I don't think he came out smelling even of shit, let alone roses) children he's never seen for years, cold, pay meters, intentional disconnection that kind of stuff. I invited myself round the next day and verified pretty much all he had said (see document A/PL:56 for verification F.S.). I bought the poor bastard some gunge and chips and watched him wolf it down like the Russians were coming or something, beans getting all tangled in his white beard and sauce dripping on his coat. But there was a look in his eyes that I'd learned to recognise. Something to do with being watched, patronised maybe and slightly affronted. The people around us looked a bit too long in our direction and at one point I could have sworn some had even laughed at us. It was something that was becoming apparent to me slowly, all too slowly and at first unconsciously. There might not be poverty in the strict sense of people in a sub Saharan African situation of living on an Amero a day and watching their bairns die of hunger, but there was something about the humiliation of the situation these other people found themselves in was still shit somehow. But it was their choice in the long run, wasn't it. But, I thought as he pushed his plate towards me and belched, if every one is like you on an Amero a day then you can look most people in the eye. But when you're 'relatively' poor and living in a modern set up like the UK, you're pretty much gone from the social life that might be around you. I gave him a tenner and he said that he would only spend it on booze. "Have you never brought a stranger a drink?" I asked him as he stood up. He laughed, shook my hand and shuffled off. He stopped half way up the crowded aisle and turned to look at me and started to say something. But a crowd of people stood up from a nearby table and when they'd gone to the counter, he'd gone.

That American election agian

"There will be a continuation of the same policies, with tactical shifts." We agree, but think that the subliminal optimism in that 'tactical shifts' should be heavily toned down.

mardi 25 novembre 2008

New new Labour

Polly Toynbee over at the Guardian is ecstatic about Darling's crumbs and giveaways in yesterday's budget. It isn't an article so much as a desperate gush of hope and wishful thinking. Labour has shown its true roots and the Tories have been revealed for what they truly are. Hardly. The points she makes are as if the crisis had little or nothing to do with the policies that New Labour have followed the last decade or so but had suddenly erupted onto the scene ex nihilo. Now social democracy can come to the rescue since "... in a crisis social democracy is what works." But what we are seeing certainly isn't anything like social democracy.

For a start, the sums involved ( depending on which figures you consult, amounting to about 20 billion pounds or so) are small with respect to the enormous amounts of cash being sprayed at the banks. And it's a poor social democracy that only means throwing cash out of a sack in the middle of town and hoping for the best. Which in effect are what all the measures tot up to. Because this is nothing about helping the poor - which is what social democracy is at least partly about - as even Toynbee herself concedes. Commenting that a 'sense of rightness of things being restored' (wuh?) she trills "Of course low earners deserve a fairer share of rewards - the cleaners, caterers and carers who earn too little to keep their families above the poverty line - though they didn't get it this time. "

Though they didn't get it this time. Well, as the party's cheerleader (hmm not so nice a thought and a bit sexist image, perhaps), at least she recognises that, but it doesn't seem to prevent her from holding the contradictory ideas in her head simultaneously- that the budget helps the poor and will be good for the system as a whole too. (ie the system is there for the sole benefit of the rich). As to the latter point, she breathlessly says that the stock market loved it, thus Darling had got it right.

So everyone's a winner. Except the poor, who won't benefit from the VAT cut because what's 2% on the things they buy - it only stacks up to anything on big arsed purchases obviously. And who makes them?

It would be a curious philosophy that got everything wrong though. There are some interesting points and stats. But it's the, well, the philosophy of her approach that if not appalls, then irritates. it's the fact that when this budget fudget goes buttocks up, then she'll be in line for laying into Darling and lamenting why anyone listened to him in the first place. The former point is perhaps best illustrated when she says "When markets zigzag between exuberance and despair, confidence is the only currency. The language, the mirage, the smoke and mirrors, it all matters as much as the substance. No one alive has ever lived through such a crisis or faced the danger of a slump so deep, so if enough people say that the right thing was done yesterday, then it was. The stock market rewarded Alistair Darling with the biggest ever one-day rise - so for now, it worked. " The latter point was superbly constructed in a recent Private Eye.

I did a PhD long long ago which defended a dusty old idea that truth is something independent and objective from our epistemological conceptions and conversations. Part of the problem I had in actually finishing the bastard thing was trying to defend a demarcation line between truths that are, somehow, made and those that are just bloody well there whatever your discursive fecking constructs say about it.(1) Now does the anti-realist point that whatever enough people say is right, is actually right hold good? Is it even the place to apply 'ethical' thinking at all? How is Toynbee using the term 'right' here. It's all as vague and ephermeral as the party she supports a party that is in continual flux, open to any opportunity and willing to drop any 'principle' in order to hold on to power. Fair enough, that's politics of course, but why then even bring up the notion of 'right'. Unless it means right in the sense of right for the Labour Party's electoral prospects. Certainly not 'right' for those at the bottom of the shit heap they've made - since they didn't get anything this time.

1. I did eventually finish the wretched thing. If anyone wants a copy.....

dimanche 23 novembre 2008

Trickle down

Their distant noise filled the sky. Their reedy calls and soft regular rhythm. About thirty or so wild geese about two hundred feet up, flying south for the winter. They were in near perfect V formation silouhetted against the sunset blue sky and moving with astonishing speed . Five or ten minutes later after the air had slowed down, I saw something floating and swirling to the ground. It was a complex thing and warm to the touch, still. It had fallen all that way, its precise time and angle, in order to land here at my feet. A feather and not snow after all.


"Local shopper, Arthur Benson said, "That's why it is a buyers market. And that is why more money will be spent from now until the end of the year because of all the deals and that will stimulate the economy."

It's too hard to know where to begin with reasoning like that. Business are closing down and so are clearing their stocks at huge discounts. The economy won't be stimulated by loss making deals like this. This poor sap sees the end of the supply chain. It looks good, temporarily. But when the stores have gone and so has his money - how will that stimulate the economy?

Next up, there might not be an economy left to stimulate.

The Poor List - fragment

After the fourth set of knocks I decided I had to answer the door. The hammering must have attracted the attention of the various next door neighbours because there was a unusual upsurge in activity and raised voices, for that time of the day, early morning around half eleven. I heard someone through the wall behind me hurl some abuse and a series of thuds and curses from the other house that abutted the gaff I was lodged in.

I sighed and decided to abandon the wank I was having trouble gettitng going anyway, and face whatever music was tuning up outside. I stumbled into stained jeans and tucked my t-shirt (Rich's slogan today 'Foot the Shook up') and made my way down stairs. I had problems finding the key after last night's crash landing and whoever it was outside was getting very impatient as well as piss wet through.

"Mr. McCabe!", a ribald regional voice shot through the suddenly extended letter box flap. "I know you're in there. No use hiding. Got some things we need to sort out."

For the uninitiated in living BTPL, the letter, the knock on the door and certainly the phone are not the usual sources of pleasurable social intercourse you're probably used to. There's a part of the study that should probably look at the amount of unopened mail, ignored phone and unanswered cold calls to premises of people under say, twelve shanks a year. I could run it past Studds but he or she would be bound to veto it due to lack of resource.

Thing is, once your cover is blown - the bletch must have seen my form ghost by the other side of the glass - you can't cower under the window ledge as I was doing for very much longer. The thought crosses your mind, well it would if you were in my sorry arsed boots, as it did mine, that it could be the police. This is a plausible opening ponder. Given the geography and history and all. For you or at least for a fair spread of the UK population, though, this would present no problem. 'Hello officer what seems to be the problem?' Then 'Yes I'd love to join I have always considered myself to be an active citizen' and so on and so forth or some other such nonsense. However, as the sharp eyed might have deduced by now, that encounters with knacker are to be avoided at all costs and anyway, there are things in the hutch I'm renting that I don't really want rozzer to start sniffing and asking questions about. So I decided on the Enamled Pig tactic.

Try it out on the cops and things could go one of two ways. Either you diffuse the situation, they leave and everything returns to normal or you make things very much worse for yourself and are invited down the shop for a more penetrating series of questions. But fuck it, I was in a gambling kind of mood. I pushed myself up, strode into the tiny hall opened the door and turned on the charm.

"Good morning. I'm terribly sorry I've kept you I'm afraid I had some urgent business to attend to. How can I help you?"

The bloke was in his mid twenties and in a cheap looking suit. More importantly he was alone. I had already looked furtively round for the squad car, the van or even a bike were his mates might be congregated, but there was just him, looking dank and wretched in the mist. He squinted up at me through his silver framed glasses and glanced down at the form. What the fuck was this? For a moment I hallucinated that he was a lawyer representative who had scoured the country looking for me to tell me that a long lost uncle had bequeathed me several hundred thousand pounds and this whole spiralling out of control study could be escaped from.

I was right with the first point. "I am Alan Marsh and I represent a firm of lawyers who are working for a debt recovery agency." He says. "They have instructed me to inform you that since the sum of three hundred and forty one pounds ninety six pence outstanding Local Council tax has not been paid, then the council will place your account in the hands of a firm of bailiffs who will remove items of value up to and exceeding the amounts owed from your place of domicile and charge you for the labour and costs incurred unless the said sum is paid in full withinn the next five working days."

It was quite a speil. I was always amused by the scrag ends of the amounts these people and their anaologues in the works station down town used. The dole mulla that came to sixty eight pounds and forty five pence, the housing sub that ended in nineteen pence, as if forty four pence or eighteen would just be fuck me too little to keep bollock and cock together. Time for the Enamled Pig. The history of this conversational tactic is rich in splendor, tradition and ceremony. That it has come down to this shamed and saddened me for a moment. What would the cheps think. But it didn't look like I was playing at living BTPL any more.

"I'm sorry. Who are you looking for?"

"A Mister Brendan McCabe. You are Mister Brendan McCabe?"

Ah. I'm afraid not. I'm sorry, you've got the wrong man. That bastard moved out last month without paying his share of the bills."

"Oh. I see." A look of unhappiness reached across the debt recovery man's face for a second and he seemed to deflate. I almost felt sorry for him. And a sensation of worthlessness spread through me like someone crossing my grave.

"Do you know where he's moved to by any chance?" I relaxed a fraction.

"No. Bloody hell. But look. If you catch up with the cheating fucker, could you come back and give me his fucking address n I'll see you right. Cash wise?" It was a rash offer in many ways.

"Don't know if I can do that. But. " Puzzled, he looked at his documentation again as if aghast that it had betrayed him. "Anyway sorry for disturbing you sir." He even smiled. And that was that.

"No problem." We exchanged scincere farewells and he turned and walked off up the street struggling with the plastic cover of his his little clip board that he was scrutinising.

Clearly, the fella hadn't been cut out for the debt collecting world. In fact, he hadn't even been cut out for any kind of occupation that involved slight to mild intimidation of the general public, like Park Attendant, traffic warden or supermarket security guard. You needed some kind of front you could rely on to get by in the debt world. Believe me. Some kind of dark threat you could put over without actually saying so in so many words, the slightly wild eyed glance that looked psychotically natural and spoke rendolently of pub carpark beatings, regular acustomisation to the receiving and doling out of physical violence and muscly inquisitions that put the terror into interrogation.

If Grabbit and Run were employing no marks like this Mister Marsh, the world of debt must be getting very big indeed.

BNP membership list

Glancing every now and then at the list. Haven't had time as yet to publish any of it. Will do tomorrow.

The response of the left to this little story has been a bit disappointing. Too much caring about the law and the private lives of BNP scum. If the latter get their windows boshed in - well it's money for the glaziers isn't it - look on the brigt side. Imagine if the emergency window fixer was an 'Asian'. What would the poor BNP nonce do then I wonder?

Brown rides again

There's talk in the British press, still, about the Lazarus-like comeback of the once dead British PM. After his brilliant work handling the crisis (what , has it gone away?) and drafting in the twice disgraced Peter Mandleson into his doomed regime, his chancellor is about to undertake one of the biggest u-turns in recent British political history. The government is about to cut VAT by two percent and introduce spending measures (though not in the public sector) to spend their way out of recession. The Observer breathlessly ejaculates the whole boring tale.

After eleven wasted years the government finally wakes up to the calls for injections of cash the other way than to the pampered idle rich - whose representatives have caused this immense disaster in the first place. ('Though in defence of the consistency of New Labour's policies, the poor will not do well out of this desperate splurge). Yet it takes a crisis as big as the 1930's for them to actually do something. Clearly, as we will all find out, these measures won't make any difference. Further, they don't get to the root of the problem - which has been that for three decades, the earning power of the working class has been in absolute decline compared to wealth givento/stolen by capital. It is this, and the classic crisis of overproduction (all those useless gadgets from China) that have caused the slump. (Economics is only a dismal science because it has to be dressed up by dickheads like Freidman and the other Chicago wansksters into something that requires computers and PhD's in advanced mathematics to "understand" what's supposed to be going on).

It is the pressure on wages that have made housing THE problem for millions of people around the world. Unable to afford a decent place to live, the choice was stark. Either sign up to a liar loan and hope for the best or fuck off somewhere else. Believe me, I saw it in Southern England a few years ago and the figures are all there naked in the breeze. Fearing some calamity or other, I chose the latter option. Millions had no other choice and autographed the bottom of the page. It's no use blaming them for this train crash, as some commentators have done. With the entire system rigged against us, this Hobson's choice, that was so cynically thrown our way, helped in a big way to make the depression happen. That, of course, and the pointless politicians who made all the failed and bankrupt decisions in the past thirty years or so.

Go on strike, take to the streets and take on the state - or we all go down.

jeudi 20 novembre 2008

Brutal logic of an inhuman system

Is there a link between material conditions and likelihood of breaking the law. Decents don't like to think so - we are born evil or good, we have free choice, we are rational beings and all that two dimensional cartoon thinking - the real insights come from within the system itself. For it is here, really, that all questions concerning freedom and determinacy begin and end. The lower orders are bound to break the law at some point, the upper class judges are, likewise, destined to convict them.

" And one leading academic told me: "We are likely to see rates of imprisonment rise as unemployment rises. "Courts tend to favour custodial sentences because unemployment [sic] people will have more free time and therefore be more inclined to commit further offences."

(Presumably, the paper meant to say "unemployed" people). So, if you commit a crime and you have a job, you have a fairish chance of escaping jail. If you're unemployed, then your freedom from wrok is held against you. The idea that the more free time you have 'inclines' you to commit crime is an academic sleight of hand. These academics are the state's jokers in suits. This 'leading (leading!) academic's interpretation simply leaves the courts prejudice unexamined. Faced with an upper class lounger abouter caught with his knob in the jam - the courts would take his fortune into account, be duly influenced by his lizardy lawyer and dismiss the case.

(Pure speculation on my part, of course, but from years of experience - come on are you seriously doubting it?). The courts do not assess someone's free time and multiply it by the nature of the offence and divide by six. They give their anti-poor prejudices free reign.

The fear this article expresses is that the looming slump will cause people to act more 'dishonestly' - there will be more robberies, bulgalries and heists and so on. Of course, the people who write about these developments won't be affected. The leading academics, judges and journalists will be safely cocooned in their gated communities enjoying their free time to be all that concerned.

And, obviously, all around us, every day, in the ether that transmits the digital information, deep within the cables that send the billion billions of ones and noughts of computer money language back and forth and the unseen wavelengths of profit and loss that speed across contients - the biggest 'dishonesty' crime of them all - described as a bailout then excised from the media domain - comes to save us all.

mercredi 19 novembre 2008


What would be the BNP position on the deportation - no say it like it is - expulsion of 54 Afghan ex-pats from Britain and France back to their homeland? By accounts in L'Humanité the British ethnic cleansing went off all boots and handcuffs and the asylum seekers are now safe and happy back in down town Kabul. The French part of te deal, the Anglo-French operation was meant to be a coordinated effort to cleanse these chaps altogether, fell through because of concerted action by groups helping immigrants/ex-pats over here in France.
The, frankly, racist Minister for Immigration was forced to concede that since the United Nations Commission for Human Rights had stipulated that the conditions in Afghanistan were so far from safe (like, no shit!) that he and the French government would not countenance such a barbaric act. That's quite something coming from this minister. He's got an expulsion target of 29000 to reach.
The BNP position on this is shamefully, pretty much the same as the British Government's. In effect, both support the deaths of these people, whose only crime is to wish to stay alive and live a half-decent life. That's right. Because the fate of the returnees is horrendous. Twenty Afghans were expelled in similar brutal fashion from Australia (surely a country that can't really say 'There's no room for you guys!' like the other dumb cleansers love to mouth) back to Afghanistan, where they were found ten days later - tortured and dead.
So it would be more honest, if the British Government simply executed these ex-pats on the spot. From an efficiency argument it make sperfect sense, cuts down all that tense waiting and ferrying people about too and saves on aviation fuel in these difficult economic times. Course, given all the cowardly whinging and whining about the BNP membership list ("OOW snot fair! I'm on the list. I'm soo scared that I might lose my job!") they wouldn't dare express their deepest political desires to do that very thing. Plus, give the British regime enough time and it will regretfully be forced into taking what some on the wishy washy left may consider to be anti-humanitarian measures, but that on deeper reflection are necessary in order to counter the growth of the BNP.
Which only has 12000 members or so. And which has no real political force. It has no economic grounding, no union base and no concentrated area of support. Its membership is disperate, geographically and socially and it can only win when it garners all its force in single areas where it feels it can stoke up racial hatred. The race card is the only one it can play. But it will continue to do better than its measly support base would suggest until the government stops acting to outdo it on the right. For when a Labout government...a Labour Government! ... acts more to the right than the French UMP, then democratic representation is truly extinct in Britain. Somebody do something. It is a regime asking for it.

Language and exclusion

It can't be a coincidence that the British (and the European I guess) who move abroad are termed 'ex-pats', whilst people fleeing persecution, economic despair and war who end up in the UK are called 'immigrants'.

Next time you see the word 'immigrant', subsitute it with 'ex-pat'. Suddenly, the individual is reconceived.

BNP membership list

To those readers in Nottingham, Burnley and London who have just dropped by "Hello". I say this, because no one in the UK reads my site, as a rule. But by coincidence, just after mentioning the BNP thing, there's a sudden spike of interest in my incisive views on contemporary politics, society and economics from this green and pleasant land. Yes, I will be publishing the list quite soon, in installments.

I have been informed that for some reason, doing so is somehow against the law; Well, one thing - the idea of the a besuited BNP official going crying to the law given what their party is, makes my want to simultaneously laugh, cry and vomit. They say they've changed, but apart from the "don't come to the meetings in a bomber jacket" stuff, of course they haven't. They remain a fascist, racist party with a violent almost paramilitary wing (witness the hushed up story of one of they brood caught red handed with a kilo or so of explosive and other weapons with intent) whose history is steeped in hatred, pointlessness and despair. They deserve any misfortune and inconvenience anyone can throw at them.

Secondly, once you join such an organisation then you effectively cut yourself off from all the mainstream benefits of society - things like 'respect', 'duty' and 'consideration', and so on, no longer apply to this aspect of your life. And the more you remian in the organisation, the more that lack of consideration applies to more and more of your life. Griffin himself has none at all. He is the lowest of the low - any opportunity to inconvenience, humiliate or ruin him financially, politically or socially should be duty bound on anyone who gets the chance.

Finally - it'll do some of the people on the list some good. Upon being exposed to the fresh, cleansing light of day, they can confess, repent and do whatever else wayward people do to get back to the half-normal world of real people. It will play a small role in getting their lives back. Like an adulterer, a porn user or a flasher getting caught - there will be ridicule but then a chance to heal, forgive and forget and move on.

Hey, come on - I'm being half serious here. . . .

Plus this caught my eye whilst intertrawling "We were all very similar. We were often the youngest in the family, most had suffered some great trauma in their childhood, some had been beaten by a violent parent, most of them were illiterate. They didn't fit in and had no sense of identity. Most of them had been expelled from school at some stage. So I fitted into all that quite nicely."

Yep, the story of a BNP/NF high ranking 'official' who defected and leaked tons of stuff to www.searchlight.org. Those people on the list - do they feel a sense of recognition I wonder?

BNP membership list

We here at the REL offices got our hands on a copy of the BNP membership list and have just copied and pasted it. And what a sociological treat it is. There are few real surprises. It's mainly lone nutters and saddos, but taken en masse it just about becomes interesting. The data will be used to embarass many of those individuals on the list, of course, but the research department here at the revolutionary Marxist offices will be concerned in the more interesting geo-political aspects that this tiny little mine of human bitterness and waste reveals.

Hypotheses raised - 'There are more working class BNP supporters than middle class", "There is more BNP support in the North of England than in the South of England" "The main hobbies of the typical BNP supporter are hunting, combat sports and masturbation".

A spin off feature from this list, here at REL, will be the occassional attempt at correspondence with some of these deeply misguided souls, either by phone or e-mail. I recognise that all but the most retarded of BNP supporter must have changed their details in the last twenty four hours, but let's face it, that still leaves a good three quarters of those on the list.

After we've finally finished copying and pasting the sorry list of worms and duffers, feel free to ask for a copy of the document. I'm sure most people interested have laready got their copy and are busy planning their antics, but for those a bit slower on the uptake of this story there's copies available, since the blogspot they originated from has been closed down.

More to follow.


mardi 18 novembre 2008

BNP membershit list leaked

Sometimes news happens that makes you sad, some times shit happens that makes you burn with resentment but sometimes news happens that makes you think, "Good and ho ho". And rightly so too, occassionally. Take the news that the whole BNP party membership list has been leaked to the press (anyone know where we can get a puruse of its content on the net?). All the scum who have joined up in secret are now busted! It is only fair and proper. And get this, the publication has scared the shyte of the BNP members - ""I'm also on the list, what the fuck is going on? I could lose my job," posted one member on a north-west England BNP forum.
Another wrote: "God help anyone who is in the army, the prison service, health care, police officer or a teacher."

What a bunch of soft, inauthentic whinging cowards. If you have political beliefs - even if they are as putrid as to make you join organised scum like the BNP - at least stand up for them. My take on it, though, is that each member represents a loss for the left - the BNP cohort has a large working class base. I say that, but I don't really have the proof since the BNP refuses to publish its membership - oh hold on.. . .

This, amongst other things, illustrates just how ideological and mistaken the tired old liberal quip that the far left and the far right are pretty much the same in their totalitarian designs. For who, on the leaking of, say, an SWP membership list would say the same things as the tools and knuckle draggers above?

(For our American reader, the BNP is the nearest the UK gets to the KKK : it stands for British National Party. Boneheaded Nasty Party - Politically, it is small, brutish and thick).

Update - There is too much legal squeamishness amongst the people on the left who came across this list. Piously, they are remaining 'within the law'. The leader of the BNP one Mr.Griffin has even had the unironic gobsmacking idea to invoke the Human Rights act to prevent the list from going totally public. For God's sake you soft 'lefty' bastards - fucking publish the fucking list and be damned you snivelling cowards. Or send it to me and I fucking will.

I'm sorry for swearing so much but, bloody hell, these people on the list are fascists AND SHOULD BE EXPOSED TO THE FULL PUBLIC GLARE AS SUCH.

Don't miss a golden open goal opportunity like this over something as flimsy as the data protection act for christ's sake. Only the innocent have anything to fear. Get it fucking published you soft bastards.


“I remember that his eyes were closed and I remember that he had ... you know, it’s a hard thing to try to explain but his eyes were closed and he looked almost calm, which again I hesitate to say that, but ... I guess he had a gun pressed, and there wasn’t very much he could do about it.”

- Anne Dunwoodie's eye-witness to the state murder of Jean Charles de Menezes

samedi 15 novembre 2008


A brilliant analysis of political treachery at the NLR, but since they ask, outrageously for three quid per article, it's free at the above link. He's talking about the toads like BHL who were once 'revolutionaries' back in the 60's and 70's, but quit all that and crop up these days on the TV as spokes for Sarkozy and American invasions of far away lands. Their conversion, Badiou argues convincingly, has nothing to do with ideological or, even less, philosophical reasons but a tawdry 'will to power'. Thus, why did they betray the 'movement'? Because of,

". . . a mistaken understanding of the conjuncture, leading either to a blocked ambition, or to the realization that it was going to take a great deal of trouble and hard work in a situation that was not all that promising. You could see them in Balzacian terms as ambitious young men who imagined they were going to take Paris by dint of revolutionary enthusiasm, but then came to understand that things were a bit more complicated. The proof of this is that a large number of these people have found positions of power elsewhere, in psychoanalysis, in the media, as philosophical commentators, and so on. Their renunciation did not take place along the lines of: ‘I’ll go back to being anonymous’, but rather: ‘That wasn’t the right card, so I’ll play a different one.’ "

Sabotuer update 1

I know it's in France, and so not that 'fashionable' in Anglo-Saxon land - but the 'anarcho-communist' group that was arrested, virtually en masse, in a village in Northern France during the week is turning into a vraie scandale - a real fcking stitch up.

We here at REL are always sceptical about these kind of sweeps, as I'm sure you good people are. There's always something fishy about them. First, the people they arrest or shot or worse, tend to come from the least powerful sections of society. Evidence at random - those unfortunate postmen in London, crime, presumably 'Asian and in a built up area' - shot by armed police for no reason, the dreadful scandal of the De Mezenes affair and further back in history the Birmingham six etc.

Here in France, things are no different. Plus, the state can detain people with no 'due process' for up to six months. Second, the arrests always happen at times of social tension. The UK arrests over the plane plots in 2006 (another load of baloney) came when the illegal Israeli war against the Palestianian people was going wrong (ha ha!), the Stockwell shooting when the war on terror just wasn't being believed. This swoop comes at a time when the capitalist sytem is in huge trouble. The link is not a conspiritorial one. The state is just badly rattled at the moment and will react unpredictably.

Finally, the fishiest thing about the background to these arrests, is the manifest paranoia displayed by all levels of the state apparatus involved. "There are groups out there devoted to armed rising, terror plots by the thousand, mass death everywhere..... aaargh! Just do it! Nick him!! Shoot, christ, just shoot!!!" is either the justification for the occurences, the planks involved are so incompetent that these things will 'just happen' (in which case our great leaders are in more trouble than even we thought) or they are just trying to hoodwink, divert and spook us (in which case, that would be more acceptable - at least there is a semblance of rationality, there, on behalf of OGL's).

What these tales all have in common, apart from the major one of disrupting and ruining innocent people's lives (the innocent, of course; those with nothing to fear!) is that the state always gets it wrong. That is, assuming the aim of the pigs involved is indeed to get something (legally) right. All the cases above were 'mistakes', disasters, plain old fck ups. More sinisterly they may even have been instigated by state actors precisely for political and psychological effect. The idea being that arresting innocent looking people for little more than appearing a bit different, (in the latest French case, they were ideologically separate in that they believe in the overthrow of capitalist social relations), serves as a subtle subconscious lesson to everyone else watching that this is what happens when you stand out of line, when you think outside the parallel lines and when you dare to do anything out of the ordinary. So, think again, snuggle up to your state familiar and remain calm.

In the end, the innocent will be shown to be innocent. But by then, of course, it's far too late. No one is interested anympre. The current case, getting a favourable airing in the MSM, is already starting to unravel. The cops have no evidence whatsoever, I mean absolute zilch. But this hasn't stopped the dreadful state rag Le Monde form faithfully towing the line that 'the people arrested had links with people who once might have known someone who could have been a terrorist'. The citizenry in the village concerned, Le Goutailloux, à Tarnac, en Corrèze, have begun to organise a defense of the 'invisible cell'. The filth arrested ten of the group involved last week with the excuse that they had been seen near train lines, had some sabotagey looking tools and a copy of 'The coming uprising' an 'underground' book with a cult following apparently. Post to follow on that.

So if you have a wire cutter, a copy of the Communist Manifesto and live near a train track - watch out.

The terrible thing is, these people (who Le Monde snidely points out come from 'comfortable families') could remain in jail until they are proven no longer useful to the French propaganda machine/forgotten about. It's a truly frightening thought. Especially given the government's latest idea to set up an organisation that is to keep tabs on people's web site viewing and their own blogs. In the unlikely event that one of them ever reads this, I would like to say something articulate and reasonable to them - but really, considering the cesspits they've dragged themselves up from, I can only find the botheration to tell them to go fuck themselves royally with some sabotage tools.

jeudi 13 novembre 2008

Work til you die

The MEDEF CBI and other bosses' associations won't rest until they have their minion governments force through changes to working practices that drag working people in the west down to the level of those in the 'developing' world or China. Sarko is happy to do their work. He's made pensions more expensive for workers to earn, scrapped the 35 hours a week working limit, cut restrictions on overtime, allowed Sunday work (yes, things really are that different in France...!) and now he's pushing for a law to allow workers to carry on working up until they're 70.

This is really quite something. The law itself began in the French Parliament on a Friday night and was introduced by the ruling party when they knew few people would be paying attention. That fetid bit of management aside, the ruling itself, if it comes to force, will be a major attack on the lives of ordinary working people. At the moment, it is being described in the MSM as creating freedom for people to decide if they want to work that late in their lives. In reality, of course, it is a wedge to get everyone used to the idea that working until you're 70 is to be the norm. For a vast swathe of the French population this could mean that the very idea of a pension has been abolished.

The talking turd was elected on the strength of the appeal of his hollow slogan 'Work more to get more.' This is was he meant. You work more, your boss and his upper tax bracket friends get more. It stinks and so do they.

Paulson's U turn S bend

Paulson really is a wretched man. His bailout TARP idea was rammed through the American system like a hot ball bearing enema. Dressed up turd that it was, it calmed the markets a little for a day or two. It is a looting of the American treasury by a desperate bunch of pirates. Now, with the sage nods of the talking stiffs on the MSM, the whole thing is scrapped. There really is no pilot on the plane. The passengers had better take over.

mercredi 12 novembre 2008

Nationalization under workers' control in a world of nothing

There should be another word for 'nationalisation' in the socialist lexicon. The ongoing crisis has created the conditions for examining every economic nostrum that was taken for granted, the last three decades. Neo-liberalism, privatisation, competition, market values and all the other goblins of laissez faire economics that have died. The fat controllers are plotting further doomed attacks, (the Gordon Brown Paulson IMF rejeuvenated IMF package is one plan) but their schemes are being out run by the pace of the accelerating economic collapse we are witnessing. Despite the media forced grins and the show must go on sentiment, nothing can hide the unprescedented nature of what is going on at the moment. The crisis, which last week suffered something of a relapse, is back on form.

From a Marxist perspective, there is nothing too surprsing as to what is going on. Our problem is to put forward convincing alternatives and encourage resistance and disruption of the capitalist order, an order that is fast breaking down. What means can help create a world where economic chaos and war do not structure relations between peoples? What kind of society would lead to the maximum fulfilment of well being?

As to the first question, mass action huge demonstrations and confrontations with the state will have to take place all over the world in, at first, a disorderly way. Non-violence is always preferable, but it is not the people who have been spending billions of dollars on riot gear, tear gas, tazers and crowd control training - or preparing army divisions for the supression of social discontent. We're going to have to face it. Some of us are going to get hurt. Some of us are going to die, even. Things really are going to get that drastic. We need to be psychologically prepared. We liked to think that somehow, we had 'gone beyond' all that. That despite the inequalities, the sometimes war and people dying of starvation off stage in far away countries, that we would be spared. Wealth was being generated in huge quantities after all. We would be left alone. There was work if you wanted it, food on the supermarket shelves and pensions for the future. Be grateful. The social services could have been better but you got what you paid for and besides, if you took care of yourself and worked hard, you wouldn't need to be so dependent. No one was starving in the streets, for God's sake, and poverty, absolute poverty, was a thing of the past. There had been wars, but they had been based on honest mistakes and would eventually come to an end once the natives had been given enough training and help. The struggles of the past, the trouble, the revolutions and the wars, lived now only in books and the minds of wrinkled professors. History had essentially come to an end. This was it. This was as good as it got and the point to which all endeavour, from Plato to Nato had been headed all along. Two thousand years' dialectical struggle between all sorts of ideas and material conditions, hopes, experience and work had culminated in a technological utopia of steady growth, explosive wealth creation and, for a fair proportion of a third of humanity, western humanity that is, of course, an epoch of peace and prosperity.

But all along, as many critics perceived, the system was founded on unsustainable yet unquestioned principles. These principles were manifest in the very way of life people lived. From the food they consumed, to the jobs they had, from the houses they 'bought' to the shares the dealt in and the media they watched, the games they played and the aspirations they shared. The principles of free trade, value for money, globalisation, privatisation created the wealth, the illusory wealth, that sustained people and kept them in a loose kind of order kept them working, kept them busy. Work is discipline after all. Their way of life was incompatible with any form of questioning of these assumptions. It was not that questioning them was ostesibly prohibited, but more that the modern day priests of the system, its Deacons and arch Deacons, papal representatives and medicine men were incapable of seeing the intractable problems inherent in the order they inested thier lives in. The unsaid was too profound even to be thought of as taboo let alone brought into the open as politcal questions. And, anyway, for a long while any critics were in the galactical equivalent of deep space. Their alternative universes had been destroyed by the USS Enterprise. There was no alternative.

These critics, and their rag tag representatives, though - the activists, the militants, the misfits and malcontents, the morally outraged, outcasts, excluded, the ranters and rioters - occaisonally organised and appeared on the streets outside the gatherings of the other wordly leaders and swapped addresses and tactics, globalised their ideas marched, sometimes fought and rioted against the state's mercenary uniformed workers. The leaders would arrive in shining black limos, helicopters and personal jet liners, and for all it was worth, yes, they may well have well have been six foot lizards from another dimension. The showdowns, Genoa 2001, the Seattles, the Frankfurts and a host of other lesser battles were reminders of just what the system really meant and what it was really doing. They had to be supressed to maintain the illusion that the GDP figures, the wages, the goods, the pensions, the inequality, the wars and the whole way of life were real and really did have a purpose - that of lifting everyone's boats, of being the only show in town of being the least bad alternative. The marchers were battoned, shot at and teargassed because their actions could only disrupt the system's smooth operation. The time it actually took to organise the damned marches, the wasted commuters' time, the disruption to consumption, these demos always took place in city centres for God's sake, the cleaning up, the overtime, the bad publicity. And the reminders to the little people out there. The sheer insolence, stupidity and, yes, evilness, of those long haired lesbo-islmao-fascist dog on string cider drinking McJob fodder slackers that thought they had anything to do with the way the world is and shall be run was an affront. A dangerous affront. Because these events did effect the little people. The gnomes and micropeople who live on the edges of the great prosperity, on the edges of getting that ok job and on the edges of better places to live, but also on the edges of precarity, unemployment and street corners, these millions saw the marches and, without knowing it at first, perhaps, were effected by the movement, the defiance and the anger that these events generated. The leaders' representatives were always aware of the bad PR these displays created. They made sure, over the intervening years, that the Economic gathering would be held in far off places impossible to reach for the ordinary joes and in countries whose police had experience in the proper crushing of dissent. In the end, the final one would be held on the moon.

So, the era of the huge public confrontations came to an end. Nobody noticed at first, there were a few further minor outbreaks, but it seemed that all opposition had been silenced, surrounded dispirited and extinguished. The system was safe from open confrontation. For the time being. Its opponents had been pushed back further into the cold corners of obscurity, where few would hear their forthed mouthed predictions of turbulence, collapse and chaos. The media could now safely ignore the dissident voices as the ranting of lone losers. The money machine, huge and sprawling in its extent, all encompassing and penetrative into the lives of its subjects kept breathing and dividing, mutating and growing. Graphs pointed skyward, figures grew exponentionally, the minions' minion created moutains of merchandise, debts were run up and sold and sold on again at geometric profit rates. But it wasn't enough. The wider conflicts and instabilities that were being created througout the global machine festered and threatened. Deep down in its recesses and secretive control nodes, there were those who knew and foresaw. They, paradoxically, they listened to the show's doomsayers. They paid attention to their diagnoses and predictions whilst, all the same, poring scorn on them publically, closing down their domains, departments and sources of government cash. But the voices of scepticism cannot be entirely silenced. The public confrontation, the strikes and the outrage all might be gone, but its all teporary and they might all just as easily be camoflaged, hidden in the mists and submerged and waiting patiently for their time to come.

The uprising, potential, fermenting ever threatening, it must be silenced, shocked and numbed into consent. It, the event, started and yet did not start with that urge that it felt and yet did not feel and left unarticulated. Anonimously in the cold heart of the system the plan came into being, spectral at first but namelessly expanding in scope and ambition. If the full spectrum media was not sufficient to do silence the voices from below, if the technology that the system had created, was counterproductively, providing outlets for the viral spreading of counterpropaganda, support and even truth, then the system would have to create monstrous short-circuits of socially, politically and psychologically emmense proportions to dissolve and disperse them and render them harmless. A chain of events would have to be triggered that would leave no time or opportunity for scepticism, disobedience or opposition and that would keep moving in more and more violent directions until the contradictions hitherto were blotted out, forgotten and buried.

There was no plan in the orthodox way that plans were made. There was no secret convention of sleek suited sponsors, representatives and/or deal makers. There couldn't even have been any hooded evil doers, sitting down round tables smoking or meetings in bedsits, caves, or dungeons. The plan was postmodern in it designlessness. There was no leader no control no conspiracy where all knew and were sworn to secrey on pain of death. The fragments assembled without a guiding all seeing mind, for God had been dead a long time. There was no pilot in the plane.

For a long time after, it seemed that the horrorism had worked. War, social cohesion and economic growth coalesced. There were marches against the coming conflicts, but huge as they were they were just funeral processions in advance and had scant effect. There was never any hint of trouble or of serious opposition. They were mere reminders of what was to come.

The system was in the process of falling and was lashing out. The critics were right to scoff at the reasons given for the war but assumed, wrongly, that there was some ulterior motive, another more sinister reason but a rational reason nonetheless. In the either/or democracy/oil debate the fundamental irrationality of the unspeakably gigantic economic mayhem that had been created was left unexamined. The billions upon billions of economic transactions, political decisions, movements, transfers and cancellations that flowed through the system's craw each day produced their own vertiginous, diabolical illogic within an unsustainable and gargantuan financial and exploitative leviathan that all and any may disavow but in whose tumultuous operations all had been inescapably bound. This world of nothing, creator of creationless self-generated final self-contradiction hurtles to its non-destination, its wings tilting, in a crescendo of incoherence. It is unthinkingly ushering in its final negation and will welcome its assassins with open arms.

Pincer movement

The banks don't pass on the interest rate cuts to the people and the fall in the price of oil doesn't translate into falling prices in the petrol stations because the pound is falling against the dollar.
Which ever way up - the rich always have to win.

To help get round this, cue more programs about the starving in the 'third world'. Not that they're concerned about it, or are prepared to do anything about it - but theydo it to prompt just enough people to think 'Well we don't have it so bad really even though we are unemployed and on ten quid a day at least we're not like these poor sods.'


There's an excellent, and quite scary, timeline of the American economic fiasco at marketoracle. We're still in the phoney war of the economic slump at the moment. This morning, the Bank of England warned of 'plunging inflation'. I had to read that twice. If the BoE is warning against too low inflation, what the fck is going on? The Bank's whole raison d'etre, was to control and combat inflation. That's what all the wage restraint was all about. Now, reading what the chairman of the bank says, it's pretty clear that they don't know wtf is going on, "The world has changed since August, and so we have changed our forecasts. We have seen the biggest banking crisis since the outbreak of the first world war, and arguably bigger than that." He also denied that the Bank had lost touch with reality."

Even the kindest commentator would have to query what King is doing in such an elevated position if he couldn't have foreseen "the biggest banking crisis" in 90 years, despite all the signs and warnings since 2005. His most revealing comments, though, are about future inflation projections. "There's obviously a risk that [deflation] could happen, as there's always a risk that inflation will be high or low," [?!] King said, when asked about the risk of deflation. "It's highly likely that the retail prices index will go negative next year, but that's because we cut rates this year."

Now I'm really confused. Deflation is a problem, THE problem, and deflation is a bad thing, since we read early on in the article that there "was a risk of the economy suffering deflation during the next two years." Deflation means a contraction in demand, a fall off in economic activity and rising unemployment. All the grim things that we are starting to see.

So, in the terms of the BoE's remit - which naively put, is to guide the economy as best as it can for the best of everyone...ho - retail prices will go negative this year (deflation) because "we cut rates this year." The BoE creates deflation by cutting interest rates in order to stimulate the economy and get inflation back to 2%. King says that he is willing to "to move interest rates to "whatever level is necessary" to ensure that consumer price inflation returned to the 2% target in the medium term. "It will take time to get it back there, but we will do that in the medium term." Especially since what the bank has just done will actually cause retail prices to go negative. (This was from the Guardian, so it could be a typo. . .?)

That 'whatever level is necessary' is an admission, really, that the whole BoE's policy since 1997 at least has been a facade and/or a failure. They don't know what they're doing or what's on the horizon. But, hey, Gordon Brown gave them carte blanche to do it all and help bring all this trouble down on our heads. The ruse, though, was all about keeping wages in the public sector down of course, and to restrain index linked State payments. Now, if there is a 'threat' of deflation, who is going to be doing the suffering? No prizes, of course. So when inflation is higher than the two percent limit (a fraudulent figure anyway in lots of ways) or living essentials rise quicker than wages, people have to accept it. Yet when prices fall, they may well have to accept pay cuts. It's win-win all round.

Further "Sterling has now fallen by almost a quarter against the US dollar since July. King said that the sharp fall in the value of the pound, if it continues, will be "a concern" and will have an effect on inflation."

Can we believe him here though? When interest rates are cut, the value of the home currency falls. The costs of imports go up and so, inflation rises - that's what the 'will have an effect on inflation' means. But that is a 'concern'. It's either too hot or too cold, but whatever the bath temperature is, it's not going to be perfect, the water's awful but you're going to have to get in.

So the pilots haven't a bearing or a clue as to what is even going, let alone what to do about it. They can't get their story straight but as long as the political and social parametres are all calm, they'll be alright.

As for the rest of us, is degrowth all that bad? Yes and no. Another post for those considerations.

mardi 11 novembre 2008

Sarko bounce

The media have done their best to contain the ideological disruption the ongoing crisis is causing. Thay have to distract, lie and conceal a lot. Alas up to a point it seems to be working. The leaders Brown and Sarkozy are, incredibly, enjoying a burst of popularity. Witness, "Voters also approved of measures announced by Mr Sarkozy to rescue the French banking system, support small and medium companies and protect domestic industry with a new sovereign fund, the pollsters said.", and the recent Labour by-election win in Scotland.

How to explain this? The standard notion is that in times of economic downturn, the electorate turns against the government and its popularity falls. It seems unobjectionable enough reasoning. It's not a clear and distinct relation, remember the astonishing Conservative victory in 1992, but generally when spending power shrinks, unemployment rises and there is stark and radically unjust redistribution of money from the poor to the rich, a backlash against incumbent parties would be expected to follow.

There is reason to think that this recovery, though, is to be shortlived. The crisis is only in its formative stages and the full effects will not be felt until well into next year. The thesis that economics has the final say in political motiviation still holds. Further, people's political thinking is effected not only by bad news that is unfolds but also by the alternatives that are available to them. In Britain, there is the Conservatives and Liberal parties, both objectionable and obnoxious to the vast majority of people. Over here in France, there is an ineffectual and divided Socialist Party and a miniscule Communist Party. People become accustomed to the status quo's status quo. Resigned. Despirited. Passive aggressive even. Finally, the media does play an important role. The crisis has slipped off the agenda lately. Feel good items about what the government is doing (cosmetic and shorterm as they are) help to calm worries.

Now the novelty of the crisis is starting to wear off, the real work of the left must continue. The conversation must not be allowed to drift away - there is a class war raging around us.

plunge protection team

I'm no economic expert, but this share price graph of today's DOW looks, er, a bit suspicious. A plunge until midday then a steady uninterrupted rise for the next four hours. There is a lot in the blogosphere written about the 'Plunge Protection Team', a group of shadowy politicians and financiers who manipulte the markets to protect the system and make billions for themselves. I've never really known what to think of the explanation. There is evidence out there from 'serious' sources, that it does indeed exist. This graph doesn't, at least, seem to be evidence that it doesn't.


French anti-terrorist police have arrested a group of anarchist 'ultraleftisits' in a small town in Northern France. Their alleged crime is to have dropped conrete blocks onto passing TGV trains between Paris and Lille, thus causing huge delays throughout the rail system. The French media are pleased about this story as is the French Home Secretary (more sinisterly yet more honestly called the Interior Ministry here in France). The police have been following this group of 'militants since April and have linked them with other such groups in the UK and Germany. So far, no evidence has been presented to the public, yet the case seems done and dusted as far as the reporting goes. Even many on the left are pleased, since for the time these attacks were going on, the carrot of blame was pointing in their direction.

Seasoned watchers of State anti-terrorist actions ought to be on their guard though. If the State has been watching them so intently, why weren't they caught in the act of sabotaging the trains? By the accounts of the locals in the village where the anarcho commune was situated, they were quiet and polite people. Of course, there is no correlation between politeness and lack of sabotage intent, yet the group itself had no name and was no more than twenty in number.

The interesting thing about this case, is that these (misguided) acts of 'resistance' have been met with the full wrath of the state in full anti-terror guise. The media also showed footage from anti-globalisation and anti-CPE riots from the last few years, presumably to form the association in our minds between acting against capitalism and 'mindless vandalism'.

My suspicion, worth not very much I know, is that these supposed saboteurs will be quietly released once their function has been exhausted. That of distraction and ideological dripfeed. Either that, or they have been snatched by mistake. Given previous arrests (and worse) by European anti-terror forces, this seems a likely outcome. But what of the actions themselves? In their place, they are useful ways of disrupting the flow of social order. In pre-revolutionary times they would be minor actions amongst wholesale and widespread uprising and disorder. On their own, they are little more than doomed cries for help and for capture by the gleeful over -equipped and underemployed terror squads.

Surely we can do better than this. . .

The illusion of depth


I never wore poppies when I lived in England. I would occasionally be queried on this and reply that teaching twentieth century history, you're never likely to forget the fact that millions dies in Northern Europe to liberate France/stand up for little Belgium/defeat the beastly hun, etc. But of course, the commemoration ceremonies, monuments and two minutes silences are not about memory at all, but conditioning and control. The media process has for years presented the 14-18 war as an exercise in heroic suffereing, innocence lost and national sacrifice.

In reality, the war is not remembered at all. It's causes, course and consequences are never touched upon - there is enough time available - and instead the news items concentrate on the last few remaining survivors, hunched and impossibly wrinkled in their wheelchairs and under their blankets, in order to try to humanise the story or concentrate on the poetry or the (ahistorical) tragic nature of the collosal loss of British life in the mindless charges into the machine guns. Sure, these very old comrades will have memories of their time, but it's not that kind of memory the elites have in mind. The memory that is to be continually reconstructed is that war is an inevitable part of human social and political relations and that to die for your country is a superb fate. It's not that obviously done, but how else can one square the pious calls to remembrance of Brown, Sarkozy etal. and their frowning sincerity of their vows to spread the war for democracy further and deeper into Afghanistan and the silence, longer than that at eleven o' clock by far, over the innocent civilians killed in coalition airstrikes. The dredging up of the great war, here, in its sheer numbing numbers also serves to relativise the losses that our conteporary armed heroes are inflicting in the middle east in general. Lenin, resistance and revolution are forgotten from media accounts of the war to be replaced by the sheer scale of loss - 60000 here 55000 there all in an afternoon's work, don't you know. If we can take that, they are telling us, and go on to run the empire for a few more years, the message is, these Afghanis are just going to have to lump it when it comes to a piffling little 'massacre' of forty or so.

War? Just forget it.

vendredi 7 novembre 2008

That famous election win

Labour won a by-election in Scotland. Rejoice rejoice. It's unbelievable that not only is Grodon Brown still in one piece after the bailout, but is actually being heralded as the saviour of western capitalism!

This from the comrades at www.wsws.org : "... most voting today appears to be against someone else rather than a positive endorsement of any party."

Crisis of the crisis

The crisis itself is, again, going through one of its crises. Will it pull through? There have been signs that the crisis' could be losing its identity, now that the taxpayer has so obligingly handed over the cash. The banks had money again and the markets steadied, then recovered. Plus the local elections in the US boosted people's optimism. All this sent the crisis into remission. Perhaps the landing will be soft, the recession short and shallow.

More recently, though, the crisis has shown some resilience and determination to pull through this uncomfortable patch. Profits have slumped, IMF bailouts have been flown in and stocks have slid - things are returning to normal for the crisis. The doctors are still uncertain as to what will happen.

This particular subset of the crisis, the crisis' crisis, is also subject to crises. These crises themselves are subject to further crises. And so on. Until

Forget it all for another four years

"Leon Panetta, former chief of staff to Bill Clinton, said, "He's got to lower some expectations, indicate the limits he's confronting."

It's clear, though the result was great, that Obama either through conviction or 'realities', is not going to change anything for the people on the ground. His transistional team is the usual crew of elite reptiles and there won't be any moves anytime soon on the Iraq fiasco.

The outpouring of hope and idealism must be dampened, though. The victory of the liberal part of the ruling clique in any election is the most dangerous phase of the democratic charade. After all, it is possible, during the campaign, that people will actually realise important political truths and then go onto act upon them in unpredictable ways. Any moves in that direction must be quelled as soon as possible so elite rule can continue unpeturbed. Obama is just the man. Go along with him and be absorbed into the 'realist' excuses that we'll hear so much of in the next eighteen months. Criticise him and sound like a bitter redneck from Klansville Arizona. Or just forget about it all for the next four years. . .

mercredi 5 novembre 2008

The myth reinforced

Somewhere in Obama's winning speech, he mentions something about his victory shows that the American dream is still alive. He means, of course, that by application and sheer hard work anyone can get to the top of their chosen field. The corollary is that if you don't succeed, it's your fault. I want to believe the hype - change you can believe in belief you can change etc. but soon, his real mission will become clear. He's there to let the American public that do want fundamental change down gently. There will be a brief honeymoon period, but the 'tough' decisions that will have to be made once the full extent of Bush's economic catastrophe becomes clear, will be bourne by the same people that have voted for him so enthusiastically last night. The parallels with Blair's victory in the UK in 1997 are stark. A backdrop of economic crisis, war, unemployment. A despised conservative administration steeped in sleaze, corruption and lies suffers a humiliating landslide. A new young and untested leader gets voted in on a promise of change, unity and promise. People throng the streets in near rapture. There are tears and parties and talk of history being made. Hopes are raised to giddy heights, this timethings will get better.

It was all bollocks then and in all likelihood is bollocks now. Obama and the Democrats are not going to be able to do anything for those at point in US society - the poor, sick and old, even if they wanted to. Obama will probably even draft in Republicans into his cabinet, just like Blair did, in order to dampen down this dangerous outburst of political sentiment on behalf of the electorate. After all, the voters are supposed to be little more than bit players for the elites and their hopes will have to be dealt with - just as Blair managed - by betrayals, continuation of previous economic policies and with the wars.

But like in 1997, it was good to see the incumbent party ripped to shreds. McCain's speech conceding defeat was revealing. On his words that Obama would be President, his audience booed and jeered. Irritated, he held his hands out and said 'Please'. He looked tired, defeated and out of it. It also showed that the Republican party has a problem with its 'base'.

They are all wankers.

Enjoy the sugary hype but don't let it fool you. Obviously.

Time for change

The election of senator Obama is historical for its election of a black person as president. But in his time as president in waiting he has failed to deliver on his promises. It's time for change.

mardi 4 novembre 2008

The creation of illusions

The US election is but a larger manifestation of the illusion of democracy in the west. There is only the administration of the profit system by a single party with a dual aspect. Crudely put, it is a good cop/bad cop routine. The Conservative 'front' are usually in power and in reality it is their ideas that most closely represent the true power dynamics of the system. These parties (the Tories, the Republicans, the UMP etc.) dispense the orthodox medicene; the tepid soup and broth and privatisations for the lumpen, the easy money and fat for their upper class whore supporters. They pour nationalism/war, individualism and bread and circuses to fill up the gaps that their policies deliberately create.

Eventually, when these parties exhaust themselves, steeped in corruption and sated with luxuries and power, they become so loathed that they are anihilated at the polls by a hurt and vengeful electorate. People eharbour expectations of reform and change. But the system cannot allow any disruption to its operation of removing wealth from the poor and donating it to the rich. So, in the meantime, it has been grooming the alternative that will counter-act the excesses of the previous administration. Vague motifs and promises are made. The big day arrives. And passes. The bread tepid soup and broth are doled out in the name of unity. War and circuses are broadcast and the operation of removing money from the poor and donating it to the rich continues.

Lock out

Peugeot car factory in France, the bosses have locked the workers out of the factory. Demand has fallen and costs have to be cut. The workers are on 'technical uneployment' rates. When the workers do this, when they picket factories as in the coal dispute in the UK in 1984, all the state's forces are brought into guarantee the right to work for the scabs/people who aren't on strike. Heads are coshed, people are arrested and civil war conditions are imposed. Thatcher described picketers as the 'enemy within'. When the bosses do it, it is sound economics and normalised in the wretched media. These methods were used by mine owners in the north of England in the nineteenth century. Capitalism is such an old fashioned out dated way of doing things.


"The greatest casualty of today's unfolding crisis is the belief that bankers are performing a needed function in today's world"

I have not been following the US election that closely. I merely reiterate the fact that Obama is going to win easily and that the Republicans will be wiped out. I have been a bit slack over the last few days, blog wise, because the US election will soak up the only reader I have's time, and we've been travelling up and down France the last few days.

Anyway, I came here, really, to say something unconnected to the elections. In the latest 'Private Eye', a reader sent in a photo of part of the rules of the board game 'Monopoly'. I like board games, on the whole, but there is something gross about Monopoly. I'm sure you know the format. A board whose edges are divided into ten squares that represent places in London (or more recently anywhere else). These places are ranked in order of socio-economic status. Old kent road is the first square on the round and is the poor areas, and one can 'buy' these places cheaply but they don't generate much rent. Plus, for some reason, this part of London is represented by the colour brown. The rest of London's districts are represented in different colours culminating in the royal blue of Mayfair, coming in at a whopping £400. The aim of the game is to buy places and by luck of dice and cunning to bankrupt all the other players.

The game was banned in the USSR. During the cold war, one thought of this as further evidence of the madness of Soviet-style communism. Now, it's time to rethink. The game does encourage greed, individualism and to win at all costs competiveness. True, I've played games when, people have subverted the ethos of the game and lent money to eachother and so on, but mainly the game is been played out in an atmosphere of increasing hostility and mistrust. It is a training for tomorrow's thrusting capitalists; if the system is around that long of course.
In the current crisis, the game's rules look eerily quaint.

The photo in Private Eye is of a question in the rule book that asks 'What happens if the bank goes bankrupt?' The reply is apt. It reads 'The bank never goes bankrupt. To continue playing use slips of paper to keep track of each player's banking transactions - until the bank has enough paper money to operate again.'

The hidden moral of that point is that one can play without banks. Since real World finance is just a game as well, why not let them all go bust in real life? "The producers, savers, entrepreneurs who had previously accepted the banker's credit based money as legitimate are now discovering they were but suckers in an opaque and cleverly constructed street game, sic Wall Street's, designed to defraud the unsuspecting and vulnerable onlookers and players. "

But Obama will carry on the Republicans' work. Nothing will change. Expectations will be raised briefly but the loaded dice will be rolled again and people will be forced to play the same old game. Unless. . .