samedi 19 septembre 2009

Journalism at its best

OK, it's only from the Telegraph but the last sentence here is a jewel... "The Royal Household currently receives £15million a year to keep up the royal residences, including Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, but needs about an extra £4million a year for the next decade to cover essential works – a rise of almost 30 per cent.
The request for more money for the palaces is likely to be controversial at time of cutbacks in the public sector."

I wonder how long it took for the writer to work that out?

dimanche 13 septembre 2009


The way the rich have money tied up and sussed out is quite sopmething to behold. For many of us, the lack of money might be felt as something of a personal failure. That somehow all these shody cheap goods I am surrounded by, the old clothes and scuffed worn out shoes are a manifestation of one's own personal lack of fit with the best of all possible worlds in which we are fortunate enough to live and breath...if not participate to an optimal degree.

Occassionally though, and more often of late, reality shatters these delusional modes of self-pitying false consciousness. Yesterday in the Observer, we read of tax breaks for rich people and their pensions. So that's where the money goes! Today we read that the Treasury is going to bail out tax haven 'countries' such as Jersey and the Caman Islands so these countries can carry on assisting people to commit fraus on the British tax payer of 25 BILLION pounds - the entire education budget. So we pay to get ripped off.

This whole money scam alone warrants rioting in the streets before one starts on any of the more gross injustices the bastard system revels in.

jeudi 10 septembre 2009

Racism in context

Everyone's heard of the argumentative technique of 'not taking things out of context', 'understand this in its context' and 'no context no understanding' etc. but in the end how much context do you need to understand something, and isn't there, sometimes, an extraordinary amount of context a priori in a situation that the rolling out of the context argument looks like you're apologizing and covering up for the deed in question?

Take Brice Hortefeux, the French Home Secretary, (please do he's a cadaverous creepy bastard you could use as a prop in some amateur dramatic thing) who has sparked off a huge row in France about some racist comments he made at the ruling party' (the UMP's) summer university festival.

The video is quite clear - he says of the gentleman of North African origin, as if the chap isn't there at all, 'This one's ok, it's when there's a lot of them that there's trouble.'
It's as blatant as that. Any form of racism is a punishable offence in France and Hortefeux's job is under threat from this revelation. I say revelation and not 'lapse', because this remark illustrates the crude racial thinking at the centre of the French ruling party. Hortefeux himself is a close friend of Sarkozy (there is no way he could have got so far politically without extensive support) and so far is being backed up by the little posionous bastard. Thus we can legitmately deduce that this 'thinking' is quietly shared, and often overtly applied, by the party itself.

Yet in the media, the context excuse is relied on to support the Interior minister. Usually, one uses this argument to understand an apparently crptic or ambiguous comment by a philosopher say. "What is known is not seen, what is seen is not known." is a strange sounding quote out of its context. If one says , "It's from The Republic." the phrase becomes less 'alien' and one can begin to say things about it. This Hortefeux remark - well, it's happening right now on screen - there is no context fromo which it is being taken and the remark itself is clear - he definitely meant 'Africans' or 'blacks' or some other rancid term that drifts about in the arid stink of his tiny mind.

Sometimes, you have to understand a little less and condemn a lot more with these people. The UMP types, obviously.

lundi 7 septembre 2009


The political terminus in which New Labour is trapped and is slowly rotting away, is the direct summation of all it stood for. The heady days of 1997, which no one really believed in, were a play people joined in with, a collective concealment of what Blairism actuall meant, an unstated anxiety (for those who felt they were on the 'winning side') that nothing was really going to change. The deal Blair struck with the party - I'll win you power, you accept what I say - was always a fool's bargain. By 97 anyone would have defeated the Tories - even Kinnock - and the time since has been a vast wasted opportunity. Maybe that was the point - to show that even after the dreadful Major years that political optimism must be recrushed. That nothing must disturb the 1979 settlement, even when its political dynamic closes down, as it did 12 years ago, and even now, as its economic underpinnings fall apart.
The 2010 general election is already a pointless foregone conclusion. The system will be fortunate to emerge from the debacle looking just hopelessly out of touch with the British electorate. Chances are, the Tories will win a big majority, but with less votes than they received in the 1997 anihilation. How long a political system function in such a context? How long before politics returns...