Monthly Archives: April 2011

When is a revolution not a revolution?

The people of Egypt took to the streets and Hosni Mubarak left in haste together with his offspring who threatened to carry on a dynasty. Maybe not royalty, but what’s the difference? The problem is, as it will be for Libya and everywhere else where people are expressing their wish for freedom and democracy, what’s next? What will the next establishment look like. The Guardian article by Nawal El Saadhawi poses that question and concludes that the new are “still the President’s men”.
Mubarak had kept close to the US leadership which, as with other “dear leaders”, had groomed the despots, giving them dollars to prop up the corrupt state to do the US (and NATO) bidding. In that respect what has changed?
The US and allies are having problems with consistency. Afghanistan still appears to be unravelling as billions spent makes little difference. The resentment caused of interfering in other nation’s affairs is regarded as the best recruiting sergeant for the “terrorist”. Arguably the more you kill and waste the more opposition you build. So bombing Libya is an answer but in Syria it is not. Appeasement is the watchword here, even though civilians, supposedly the main concern in Libya, has little currency there, and even less if any in Palestinian territories.

Middle Eastern Spring. Promises and sell outs

From this post there is evidence that young people in Israel are not immune from the feeling that their governments don’t represent them and a denial of democracy prevents them from protesting openly. But speak out they will and given the opportunity we need to listen to what they have to say.
The message is also clear that western governments don’t have the solution to the world they inhabit, where as they say Christians, Muslims and Jews have contributed to the vibrant culture they inherit. It is one that is denied by the current divisions being practiced by their oppressive government which treats Palestinians with derision and contempt.
In fact without western governments many of the regimes, including Israel would not function. Their despotic leaders have acceded to the whims and coercive measures of the US and their allies, buying their arms and other implements of oppression and trading with their massively powerful corporations. The young people of the world see through this where the older generation have been blinded by the lies and fictions fed to them by one of those corporate giants, the mass media.

Give peace a chance. Not if there’s Money involved

There will be no peace. Not so long as big business calls the shots. The UK was among those flogging their specialities in killing to Libya and Bahrain up to the wire.
Meanwhile it is revealed sales of death from the US to Israel are revealed.
The revolving door system where retiring politicians, government officials or army staff take up lucrative appointments advising the arms et al industries is well oiled. In the UK there are numerous appointments listed since 1999.

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Cable wants AV to stop Tory dominance.

Perhaps there’s a simpler way of the Lib-Dems preventing Tory dominance. Just stop supporting them and the most Neanderthal of Tory governments imaginable. It’s good that some Lib-Dems. like Vince Cable, are finding their voices against fears of wrecking the sordid alliance. People are going to vote against AV to kick Clegg up the backside. Biting off your nose to spite your face doesn’t come into it.
No one, including Milliband and Cable, claims AV is the goal in restructuring our out-dated political system, but it is the crumbs that are offered on May 5th. The pathetic compromise in return for the Lib Dem fawning agreement to support some of the most unthinkable policies across. Privatisation has never had it so good and even Thatcher never dared to utter thoughts as extensive as prisons or the blood transfusion service. Mind you New Labour went a lot further than she did which makes it difficult for them to put the brakes on too. It’s far from clear where Labour as a whole is on voting with political dinosaurs like John Reid sharing a platform with David Cameron for goodness sake.

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A Day for Reflection

We claim that we are the better for millennia of religious wisdom under our belts yet states and leaders claiming adherence to Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Judaism, and yes even now Buddhism, hitherto seen as the most peaceful of religions in practice. perform the most outrageous barbarities including on their own people. Civilian populations including women and children are nor spared.
I considered going to a performance of the St Matthew Passion in Birmingham, but the unseasonally good weather took me to Worcester instead. A rail ticket from The Hawthorns Park and Ride cost under £4.00 as a pensioner so I arrived in time for lunch at the Wetherspoon Pub next to Worcester Foregate Street. Excellent. I then took a stroll along to Worcester Cathedral. The pedestrian shopping centre was busy not withstanding it being Good Friday. I acquired replacement toothbrush heads in Boots and arrived in good time for the afternoon meditation on the Passion.
The lady at the door of the Cathedral was dissuading at my casual approach. No you can’t wander round, it would be distracting, and no the shop will be closed. It’s Good Friday. Actually I did want to sit down. Was there music? She seemed a little uncertain. Well there would be hymns. In fact there was much more, including a St John Passion by Victoria, who I think was Spanish. It was largely plain song and written well before Bach. Not something I have much knowledge of. In the event it was inspiring and there were the familiar roles of the main characters, including a narrator, a chorus and Christ (a bass). There was more to come, including the questioning why set to music by a former choirmaster and organist at Gloucster, John Sanders and a Motet by Francis Poulenc, both dramatic with reflective interludes. I wish and hope that our world leaders find time to stop, listen and reflect, then act on the messages of peace and goodwill they all say they embrace. As I went in I heard an admirable talk, one of a series throughout the day on the subject of clothing. Here the woman speaker was telling us that while we habitually look for Fair Trade labels on groceries we didn’t pay the same attention to clothes, which are often produced with very little, if any, money going to the producer. If we saw a tee shirt for ¬£2 it was a bargain, we thought, without stopping to consider how it was so.
I had intended to walk back along the bank of the River Severn, but found the steps down blocked off with a sign it is now “a building site”. A detour took me back to where happy children were playing in the stop/go fountains down by the river. Quite a holiday atmosphere. A cup of tea by the railway viaduct across the river finished the trip out. I nearly acquired a plate of sandwiches intended for the disabled gentleman on the next table. His wife mistook me for him until I gently pointed out that he was on the next table and might be quite hungry. I had already eaten more than enough!
As is usual the return journey had a few delays, particularly when the New Street bound train developed a fault when I left it at Droitwich Spa. It was stuck in the platform so I thought it would delay my train bound for Snow Hill. The railway indicator on this platform I find quite impossible to read. I tried all angles. However it arrived quite quickly and all was well!

No Fly Zone over Gaza

If Libya can be a No Fly Zone why can’t Gaza? The international community has its knickers in the twist over Libya and the bombing of civilians by Gadhafi’s forces – hasn’t been specified how many have died by “co-lateral damage” now US and NATO are unleashing weapons. There is no such outcry about the bombing of civilians, including children, in Gaza. Why is the question we ask repeatedly?
It appears that in the latest raids on Gaza white phosphorous is still in use by the Israelis so on 21st April children will make a human chain to spell out NO FLY ZONE. I very much like the idea, although knowing the propensity for Israel to be perverse in matters of humanity it could see this as an invitation for even more bombing!
Difference between Libya and Gaza, Libya is constantly in the news – usually a one sided affair – while Gaza rearly gets a mention. The use of phosphorous was a scandal during Operation Cast Lead, but now it’s not worth mentioning. Israel has proved it can do anything it likes, whether develop the most dangerous weapons imaginable, while the US supplies money and yet more high tech weaponry. France supplied the old, dated and risk-laden nuclear technology, perhaps Britain supplies more although Israel has a well developed arms industry and exports to places like India (shame on its government for dealing with them).

Iraq, Iraq

Secret information has a happy habit of turning up to expose lies and deceit – and this one without the aid of Wikileaks apparently! It’s about the oil companies and its about Blair. Chilcott didn’t get a sniff of it, the oil companies denied it, Blair denied it (it’s absurd) that the oil companies and ministers had their beady eyes on Iraqi oil and discussed it only a year before the invasion of Iraq. If George Bush and his mate gave 710 reasons for invading Iraq, you turn that figure on its head and you get the answer. One reason for invading Iraq – which we always knew anyway, except we’re treated as fools and knaves for daring to suggest the king has no clothes – OIL!
So who is going to be put into solitary confinement for this latest revelation? Mordechai Vanunu spent 18 years in solitary for telling us the details of Israel’s dirty little secret while Bradley Manning is holed up for supplying information to Wikileaks. They’ll do anything to make sure we don’t hear their underhand and dangerous activities which is a threat to our existence. Making money is all as Goldman Sachs continues to show, we come as a very poor second. A Goldman spokesman claimed it is the “work of God” so one thing is made clear. Religions around the world are indeed as Marx declared, opium, since as believers all direct their attention to a deity, others are climbing the altar to the God of Personal Wealth. There are those among our leaders, of course, who cleverly combine the two and hedge their bets. Since we know they can’t take it with them, they must be on to something!

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Mass media chooses where we focus our gaze

Night after night our gaze is fixed on Libya as it was on Egypt. What is going on elsewhere is another matter. These are text messages I received from Gaza where Israel has taken up bombing again on civilian areas:
“The Zeitoun area of Gaza, where the Samouni family lives, is being hit by Israel now (9/4/2011), pure terror for the children continues. I am trying to find out where they are and how they are doing. Israel’s mass-murder is continuing.”
Later there is hope in the air with “I heard UN or NATO is about to ask for A NO FLY ZONE over Gaza.”
I haven\t heard or seen anything in the press or broadcast confirming that. What a great idea which is being taken up in Libya, but whi will bell the Israeli cat.
The Washington Post reports how Pakistan are fed up with increasing CIA missions which seem to be escalating without reference to them. Drone activity is being set up and more agencies are operating in the country. Former Blackwater, now Xe, famed for their murderous activities in Iraq were reported as being present in Pakistan some time ago. Their leader, Erik Prince, was noted for his hatred of Islam. Not for him the symbolic burning of the Quran but action man tactics for real with missions to “eliminate” the enemy by stealth.
Not that we are being told the truth about Libya anyway. The reasons for more bombing, whether ground troops are present, or private agencies are involved. That is the pattern elsewhere and it probably has more to do with the economic interests of Capital US style which engulfs us all.

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Wolverhampton. Don’t try and get justice here.

Justice for Jenny Cooper
We turned up at Wolverhampton Crown Court at 10.00 expecting at last to hear the second part of the charges the police in Wolverhampton have thrown at Jenny Cooper. No such luck. The court case was last Friday and so over the weekend some police officers turned up to arrest her and take her into custody. Luckily Jenny has the letter from the solicitor saying 11th April. It was the solicitor who contacted the police to arrest Jenny for non-attendance! She has been trying to change the solicitor but because it is funded by legal aid she can’t do that. She will have to pay to go elsewhere, but if your representative prefers to support the police what can you do?
Back in February there was a hearing in the Magistrates’ Court about Jenny resisting arrest on June 30th 2010. The magistrate obviously wasn’t in a good mood to start with. As I tried to put in my hearing aid it started to ring. “Turn off you mobile phone now” was the angry response glancing in my direction. Jenny fared no better. He told her she hadn’t been hurt – although she was still using crutches more than 6 months later. Her representative failed to say even that she was taken to New Cross Hospital by the police. Although they thought she may have broken bones and wanted to put plaster on her the police insisted that they needed to question her and needed to take her back to Bilston Street Police Station. A woman ambulance driver had warned her to get further help elsewhere as she believed the hospital and police worked together. A Wolverhampton Mafia indeed! Jenny went to Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley and then to her own GP. None of this was reported to the court with the result that the Malevolent Magistrate told her she was lying. (Her GP had likened her injuries to someone involved in a car crash.)