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Pope Adolf's Xmas Hate Message

Humanity is doomed by the spreading evil of Homosexuality. This work of Satan is slashing European birth rates and, since we are all living longer, Benedict the Batty reasons that Mankind is 'dying'. He would prefer African birth rates and, presumably, African life-expectancy.
This is all wrapped up in a monstrous jumble of pseudo-scientific bullshit about the organic nature of male and female and something called 'the ecology of Man' which he just invented, and is as chillingly reminiscent of Hitler's brand of nature-worship as this speech is of Hitler's terror and treatment of homosexuals. It refuses to accept sex without reproduction, thereby poisoning any pleasure with the bill of pregnancy, and in turn poisoning the connection between the person and their body, claiming ownership of it for Divine purposes which must not be denied. Controlling sexuality is a deeply effective means of mind control. As utterly evil and spiritually vandalistic as the notion, common to most religions, that love can be demanded with threats of eternal punishment.
The end product of this new attack on homosexuality is the same as ever, to serve the ancient Vatican need to keep women tied to the birthbed and the kitchen, devoting their energies to the glory of god, which is the highest calling a woman can aspire to...etc etc. While men are reduced to either toiling peasants or Mediterranean chancers, idling their lives away in a fug of local cheap alcohol and petty political feuding. The fact that persecution also cripples the emotional growth of millions of gays and lesbians, producing mopnsters such as Peter Sutcliffe, is just a bonus.
A society in which women did not do most of the work, and were able to contribute more fully to the improvement of the societies they lived in would be one which was able to draw on a much wider range of talent and experience and sheer intelligence. The cream of all society, not the cream of half. And such a society would be much more likely to eradicate the primitive standards of living which keep driving people into religious belief.
And so the Vatican must desperately stoke the level of hate and confusion, no matter how ridiculous is makes itself look. Politically, it has no choice if it to retain its African congregation. But what business is it of the Pope's to interfere in the political and economic choice to have children? Or veto the European text intended for the United Nations aimed at de-criminalising homosexuality - as it did last week? His priests are supposed to be celibate, and he has enough trouble enforcing that ruling. So what hope does he stand with normal people such as Tony Blair (to be seasonally charitable)?
As a Catholic who has recently come out of the closet, does Tony Blair agree that homosexuality is evil and is causing the death of humanity? How did he work so closely with Peter Mandelson all those years, and how will he look him in the eyes again? Does he agree that Britian needs to increase its birth rate to African levels and that his wife should renounce her ambitions and produce more children? Hardly, and the same is true with the vast majority of catholics who have the choice of controlling the size of their families. So what Herr Joseph Ratzinger (alias Pope Benedict XVI) has done by declaring war on sexual pleasure is actually to further alienate the Vatican from its sheep.
At present, it seems very difficult to estimate exactly how much the Catholic church earns per year (mostly tax-free of course). Most estimates seem pathetically low for an organisatiuon as powerful, and the Vatican itself will not disclose. But however large the actual income, The Vatican and the Italian state have been shown the intruments of torture by the European Union, and are squealing very loudly indeed. No wonder. Without their scandalous subsidies by almost every taxpayer in the world, and its enforced indoctrination in schools, this Bronze Age Re-enactment Society would wither away to a rump of nerds in less than a generation - as would most of its competitors.
All that would be left would be for them and their deranged billionaire patrons, to buy an extinct volcanic island in the Pacific, create their shared temple in the magma chamber, and leave the Humanity to get on with the business of human needs rather than meeting the exorbitant costs of maintaining the global Jurassic Park which is religious faith.


'N'- word Sighting In School

A ten year old boy was called a ‘n***er’ several times by a classmate. The teacher responded by makimg him read the poem 'Niggah' in front of the class.
“I was completely dumbfounded after my son told me that he was made to recite a poem called ‘Niggah’ in front of his class. The boy was then subjected to further humiliation after his teacher, questioned him as to
"why black people could used the word ‘n***er’ and white people could not.”
Louis Armstrong's account of his relationship with his manager Joe Glaser is interesting. After Armstrong he had made his name in Chicago and New York, mobsters were facing up to own him. There was a real risk that he would be hurt, and so he chose a manager with enough muscle to protect him, and paid him very handsomely. Armstrong put it this way.
"I needed him because everywhere we went he could say 'That's my nigger.' And I was OK."
That is the heritage which gives the word its particular poison, and the reason why it is being turned inside out and pointed back at the people who invented it by a new generation of black people. The message to white people is 'we have reclaimed this word for ourselves, and we can use it when you can't.'
That's all. It is a minor act of petty linguistic theft, in part to make up for the appalling crimes of history. In part to annoy. The fact that it's 'not fair' is the whole point. So there isn’t any hypocrisy, as the teacher in this case implies, merely a chance taken to make white people feel uncomfortable. This new street usage may not be a productive or rational tactic, and many black leaders condemn it. But it probably feels good.
And another thing. Its' use requires consent, which requires contact and communication. In other words, you need to have some form of relationship with the recipient before using it. This again reinforces a sense of identity and kinship and places the emphasis on human contact.. And who can argue with that in a society in which the sense of community is all but dead?
A world in which a black person gave a white person permission to call him a nigger, would be a world without racism.
When Barack Obama uses it, something will have changed.

'They Call Me MISTER Nigger!'

The Royal Institute for Chartered Surveyors Makeover Show

The Royal Institute for Chartered Surveyors urges the government to fund the renovation of empty properties to house local authority waiting lists.

So all the time we were borrowing to build new houses, there were thousands lying empty.
This is the benign market working intelligently, again.
Shame a few more of these homes couldn't have been renovated in the last ten years to reduce the amount of dodgy debt, and perhaps mitigate the crash we've just experienced. Even better, councils could have been allowed to spend some of their Right To Buy cash on building new stock, which would have provided rented accomodation for those who cared more about living than about their place on the 'property ladder'. That would have reduced the scramble for credit too, and softeneed the recent bump. But all that would have taken politicians with some guts and ideas.
The RICS can't say they didn't warn us 12 months ago.
"The warning is just one of the "priority" risks it has identified for the next 18 months. The others include customers losing confidence in another financial firm, in the way they did with Northern Rock; concerns about the business models of some banks since the credit markets tightened; and a potential increase in finance crime caused by the downturn."
Shame they didn't make the same recommendations then that they are making now.


Jeremy Clarkson. This Year's Hitler.

Since the uninvited assistance from 'Godwin's Law' it is now an internet taboo to refer to Hitler and the Nazis as epitomies of Evil and a world gone mad - which was the one benefit of their legacy. So someone else had to fill the rhetorical gap. Step forward Jeremy Clarkson - the arrogant, feckless, petrified adolescent who has managed to make himself a symbol of all that's wrong with a society sticking its head in the sand over its responsibilities to future generations of people. It's a lousy job, but someone has to do it, and Clarkson will do fine. He won't mind.
It's a good thing that, unlike Hitler, Clarkson is not a real person. But nevertheless, how he, and his armies of disciples, will cope with the death of the car industry is still matter of real concern. The millions of addicts to petro-porn who tune in every day to Top Gear on BBC or Dave will notice that their regular fix isn't hitting the spot as it used to. It will be cut with more and more low-octane features on diesel and hybrids and convoying technology, when what they want is a big red Fasterati Fallus Stigging through 'Hammerhead' on its way to a record time which Little Big Teeth won't be able to stick at the top of the table.
With hilarious consequences.
Top Gear has drooled over the possibilities of hydrogen power for a while. James May insists over and over that the technology is clean and harmless and fun and fast. 'All it produces is water'.
Unfortunately, he doesn't tend to talk about the carbon cost of producing the hydrogen fuel in the first place. Which leaves our credulous petrolheads imagining a future which is reassuringly the same as today, only without the guilt. When they finally begin to realise the damage done by the car to the cities it now owns, and the lives of the generations forced off the streeets and into their bedrooms in front of their fattening screens, they might realise that there is still some damage which the hydrogen cell will not cure. Carbonisation is not the only crime of the car.
And as any viable hydrogen car is still at least a decade away from mass production, it is all a bit academic. It will be too late by then for the car industry to retool itself to undo much of the environmental damage it has already caused.


Car Industry Dies Intestate

As the The The implosion of the global auto-motive industry continues, Vauxhall workers at Ellesmere Port have just been offered a degree of job security in exchange for a layoff at 30% pay. This is a grim echo of Bruce Forsyth's incredible 1968 propaganda single 'I'm Backing Britain', which urged patriotic Britons to work for nothing.
The demands of market economics on the industry, forcing it to produce ever more conspicuously wasteful models, have proved too much. As profit-making businesses, they are now almost worthless. Their immense investment in machinery and property is just so much scrap iron. The only asset which now matters is the workforce, and the lives which depend on it, including those dependent on the huge small business sector which would die if the car production line workforce stopped spending.
So the duty of the state is to the people, not the corporations, whose custody of the economy has proved to be a mistake. So before the proposal even arises - why should the state buy defunct car companies? They are worth nothing except the people who kept them working, so by any common law morality, the asset reverts to the ownership of society - the people. The short-termism of the corporations hasn't worked, they've had they chance and they blew it. In effect, the car industry has died without leaving a will. Its estate would, in a family situation, revert to the next of kin; in this case, the workers as represented by the state. Its assets are now the state's. Its workforce was only ever rented out anyway.
The industry wants the state to sponsor it through what it sees as 'hard times'. So that it can keep as many people in work until the 'good times' return, as they surely must.Then, they can carry on much as before. Not this time. A future auto-motive industry has to try its best to set back the clock and make the sort of machines they should have started making at least ten years ago. Ironically enough, Formula One racing has finally decided to provide an incentive to efficiency in their sport by barring refuelling from 2010 - one of several measures forced on F1 by the Crash. Perhaps this represents a start to whatever it is that Barack Obama is proposing, and whatever the common sense demands of the future dictate.


Bernard Madoff With $50 Billion.

Former Nasdaq stock chairman Bernard Madoff has had it away on his toes with 50 billion big ones from accounts of New York's rich and gullible - the FBI alleges after allegedly hearing a confession from the 70 year old. It is the largest investor swindle ever blamed on a single individual.
At any other time, this would seem exceptional. But now it just seems like more dust from under the rug. And this on the same day that U.S. republicans refused to bail out the car industry for roughly the same amount.
If that provides any sense of scale.
The millions of jobs on the one hand, and one man's avarice on the other. There may well be no direct relationship in that an honest Bernard Madoff would still see Detroit in the sewer, but as an example of the entrepreneurship versus society, it is a bit of a classic, happening when it does.

This is a vast scandal of Albanian crudeness which suckered the most
the most sophisticated clients on the planet - allegedly - and was only uncovered becaus the market crashed. So how many other squalid pyramid cons and other frauds can we expect to see emerge over the next few months? Who will be found to be wearing trunks when the tide finally goes out?
And will someone please explain the moral and legal differences between these illegal activites and those of Our Friends in organised crime? This sounds very organised, and very profitable. More so, possibly, than even the Mafia's drug market in the US. Who knows?
What is the difference between Capitalists and Gangsters? The public are less and less clear about which thieves are respectable and which are despicable. And that is a very dangerous situation indeed.

Christmas Eve Extra.
Victim of Madoff swindle slashes wrists.

In Praise of the Amish

One of the biggest worries of religious believers seems to be that they fear mockery. Which doesn't display much depth of faith, to be honest.
On a recent routine God Vs Science internet dead end, one believer was urged to defend (and express) his religion through the recommended medium of prayer for the welfare of the unholy. Which seemed totally in keeping with the spirit of the Sermon on the Mount, as I remember it. His first reaction was:
jobi258 - 04:34am Dec 12, 2008 GMT (#406 of 420)
'I would be happy to pray for you, but if I was to do so, wouldn't you just laugh at me and ridicule my prayers?'
Why should we? It's a perfectly serious solution, seeing as the biggest worry non-believers have about religion is how it relates to the physical world, not the metaphysical.
The biggest threat to religious faith doesn't come from atheists putting the mockers on, but from its political exploitation and the mobilisation of its believers. That not only increases tension between religions and between the religious and non-religious, but also insults religion itself. Political activism is not religious. But naturally, religions can fuel political action. Nowadays they do little else.
I don't notice the Aimish, for instance, complaining of being persecuted or having their rights abused or being offended by contraventions of their own code. And this doesn't mean they don't have fun. I was once privileged to sit on the next table to a bevy of teenage Aimish girls on a night out at the local village community centre in Kent, watching a performance by a travelling flamenco company retailing some of the sexiest dance and music in the world. They absorbed it with every appearance of relish and applauded as wildly as all the other villagers.
They seem to see the world through genuinely faithful eyes, with its sins and stupidities as a total and utter irrelevance compared with the immensity and perfect bliss of eternity. And therefore the scurryings and pettiness of wars and depressions must seem a bit pathetic and pointless to them. 'They also serve who only stand and wait.' And that must be a nice way to live. They mean it, and they keep their noses clean.
They don't presume to judge for god. As Karen in 'Outnumbered' says:
'God could blow up the planes Himself, if that's what he wanted..'


The Muddled Middle Class Who Don't Know What They Are

It seems the bewildered casualties of the post-Tatcher education system still believe that class means talking proper and not naming your children after brands of champagne. People who still need to ask:
'Are there such things as upper, middle and working class, or whatever, culture, and, if so, what do they consist of, and does it matter?'.
Let's try explaining again how it works.
The bigger the factory you own, the more middle class you are. The less you control the means of your survival, the more working class you are.
So a collier's factory. his capital, are his muscles and his pick, if lucky. He is therefore more middle class than someone who only 'owns' his muscles. It is the sum of his capital assets which can be used to directly create productive work. His pick is his production line and distribution system in one. His 'factory's' orders for labour come from the mine owner, just as his orders for coal come from the wholesalers and the market forces beyond.

But the miner is less middle class than the grocer who sells him his food from his own shop, however modest. He is also less middle class than the tradesman with a highly marketable skill (and his own tools, ideally) who has a lot of time invested in learning his trade. A lawyer is a tradesman, what makes him more middle class than a carpenter is his clientelle - and the fact that like most of the so-called 'professional classes'* he is also paid to tell lies.
The bigger the capital investment, the more insulated the individual from the whims of the market, and the higher up the social scale the individual progresses. The less the individual can invest, the less he 'has to show' for his work, the more he is vulnerable to the needs of others, and the more he needs to work with others to defend what few rights he does enjoy and try to secure whatever advances for his class are achievable.
And so on and so forth, Mr Rockefeller. Surely even trained journalists at the Sun could understand that, inasmuch as they can read, that is.
How depressing after more than a century of state education and one of the most dramatic, publicised and illuminating economic crashes of all time to still have to explain that money means power, and that the strong are more powerful than the weak. I blame the parents.

* 'The Professions' - as in a specialist craft or skill which often comes with a uniform and often consists of being 'economical with the truth'.
Lawyers, the clergy, the military, politicians, the press, and even doctors.

Boris Johnson LaLaLaLaLa!

The man is cracking up. Asked to make a statement on his latest bungled appointment, which again revealed his infantile grasp of political reality, his panicked flight from baffled BBC man Tim Donovan must have sent shivers down the spine of every Londoner aware that the world is watching.

  • BJ: ‘Hi matey how are you how are you I’m going going whatever it is I’m not going to tell you now no no no no no’
  • Reporter: ‘What are you going to do about David Ross?’
  • BJ: ‘Nothing nothing nothing nothing la la la la bye bye bye’
  • Reporter: ‘Have you got no comment about David Ross?’
  • BJ: ‘I’ve got no comment now, thank you’
  • Reporter: ‘If his conduct’s… not good enough for the city, is it good enough for you?’
  • BJ : la la la la
And then he vanished in a huge blonde huff, trailing clouds of buffonery in his wake. I hope he managed to regather his morale at yesterday's PMQ's when the tories almost hyenaed themselves into a collective hernia at Gordon Brown's hilarious slip of the tongue: 'He said he rescued the world'! Oh how they laughed. They still seem to be good at cheering themselves up at the slighest provocation, at least. Good to know the tories have lost none of their incompetence or their public school sense of humour. With all the employment to come, they will be very busy, and very merry.
Boris Johnson only needs the beard to get a really fulfilling job. I'm sure Mohamed 'Al' Fayed could help. Ho Ho Ho.

In Memory Of The Gas Buggy. Here's To You, Mrs Robinson.

At The Exhibition
In what must have been 1930 at the latest, Mrs Robinson, one of James Thurber's 'aged coloured washerwomen' prophesied:
"... the oil supplies of the world are being dried up in order to prevent future wars. This will also put and end forever to pleasure driving, but that is alright because, if people kept on riding in cars, they would soon lose the use of both legs, and the life of man would pass from the earth."
Which put her several decades in front of most of the politicians, technocrats and businessmen of the last 80 years. Ignoring those words in that little New Yorker sketch is now costing the US taxpayer $34,000,000,000 - at the latest count. And has, to do full justice to Mrs Robinson, cost millions of US people their health - if the alarming obesity statistics are to be believed. And as to the future of the 'life of man on earth', her instinct is as eloquent as David Attenborough and all his gorillas. The car is a bit of an environmental and social culprit all round, in spite of its many short term benefits. And the US dependency on cars makes it one of the culprits of global warming and the global economic crash - which oversold credit on car purchases just as it did on the property market.
Obama's proposals for a green, revolutionary automotive industry, with its hi-tech holy grail of cheap, sustainable mobility, are only a possibility and are primarily a means of preventing mass unemployment rather than a long-term environmental strategy, but they are a step to satisfying the historical inevitability of Mrs Robinson's wisdom while at the same time giving Jeremy Clarkson time to finish his memoirs in peace. I can hardly wait.


Greece Returns To Martial Law? Sunset over the Acropolis.

Let's get it out of the way. Yes, it is ironical that the birthplace of democracy is the first country to descend into dictatorship in the wake of the economic crisis...
Alexis Papachelas' words from today's Ekathimerini are far more than routine newspaper cliche or even journalistic outrage. For him, the spectre of 1974 is obviously a very personal matter.
'It is difficult to discern any logic in such a situation. This is a country with a state that is in shambles, a police force in disarray, mediocre universities that serve as hotbeds for rage instead of knowledge and a shattered healthcare system. It is also on the brink of financial ruin. And now, here we are, debating whether we have a police state, turning back to 1974 and having the same conversations again and again.'
In the same newspaper Nikos Konstandaras wrote that:
"Mr Grioropoulos' blood would be "used to bind together every disparate protest and complaint into a platform of righteous rage against all the ills of our society.
"It will quickly become a flag of convenience for anyone who has a grudge against the state, the government, the economic system, foreign powers, capitalism and so on."
"If Greece had already appeared difficult to govern, it will now be out of control."
The Greeks know all too well the kinds of regime which tend to emerge when a society loses faith in elected government and yearns for a strong leader to embody all its hopes, and assume all its responsibilities, and know what to expect from such unequivocal leadership, having enjoyed it within living memory. The doctrine of Might Is Right is one legacy of that time, and the young are now adapting it for their purposes. 'The same conversation.'
As Alexis Papachelas puts it:
"They are also getting the message that right now, anything goes."
"... the young have run out of patience."
Which is hardly surprising since the Greek police have an unfortunate record of ricochets which went wrong, and arrests of cartoonists and other social undesirables, such as Antonis Tsipropoulos, of '', who was arrested for offending a public figure through the satirical blog Funel. The status of online pamphleteers is shaky under Greek law, putting Greece in the same bracket as Iran, China and Vietnam. Perhaps they could all take time out to celebrate Milton's 400th birthday by also reading the Areopagitica.

In a way, Greece has been preparing for this showdown for years. It is one European country which has retained an almost vintage brand of ' non-parliamentary' militancy in its students and unions, while at the same time preserving a healthy balance of corruption and incompetence in its leaders and nurturing one of the most hated police forces in europe. Another debt to the Generals. It was always going to be a candidate for 'events' if the global economy suffered from 'events'.

So which country will be next? The Greek alliance between students and workers is historically tempting to consider on this, the anniversary year of the 1968 risings. And globally, there are now more students than ever, suddenly facing long-term unemployment - as are their working class allies. And to help them through this period, all are facing the promise of cuts in social welfare payments - as a reward for their decade of obedience to consumerism. But the parallels with 1968 are as much a warning as a hope. Any serious assessment of that time cannot ignore the factionalism which has traditionally plagued progressive action. So the repeated use of the Greek word 'anarchist' to describe the politics of student unrest must raise some awkward memories.
The anarchist condemnation of socialism:
'Same cage - different bars.'
Will prove to be no help in solving the problems all working people will face in the next few years, when harnessing the flow of work will need more regulation, not less.
And the traditional socialist commitment to the centralised state - now obsolete anyway - must likewise be reassessed. The mistakes of the Vietnam generation must not be repeated by Generation Obama. 'The same conversation' must not happen again.

The Register


Milton versus the Daily Mail

This year is John Milton's Quatercentenary. There are a number of celebrations and events to commemorate the 400th anniversary of his birth. But nothing could really mark him better than some evidence of his relevance today. And for that, the easiest place to look is in the Areopagitica, his defence of freedom of speech.

Milton would certainly have been appalled by the grotesque foppery of the likes of Jonathan Ross or Russell Brand. And if he had been a better shot, might have accounted for a few of their kind on the battlefields of the Civil War, but nevertheless, he defends their right to foppery on both moral and practical grounds.
"If we think to regulate printing, thereby to rectify manners, we must regulate all recreation and pastimes, all that is delightful to man. No music must be heard, no song be set or sung, but what is grave and Doric. There must be licensing dancers, that no gesture, motion, or deportment be taught our youth but what by their allowance shall be thought honest; for such Plato was provided of. It will ask more than the work of twenty licensers to examine all the lutes, the violins, and the guitars in every house; they must not be suffered to prattle as they do, but must be licensed what they may say. And who shall silence all the airs and madrigals that whisper softness in chambers? The windows also, and the balconies must be thought on; there are shrewd books, with dangerous frontispieces, set to sale; who shall prohibit them, shall twenty licensers? The villages also must have their visitors to inquire what lectures the bagpipe and the rebeck reads, even to the ballatry and the gamut of every municipal fiddler, for these are the countryman's Arcadias, and his Monte Mayors."
Russ'n'Ross may not be the Daily Mail's idea of 'Arcadias and Monte Mayors', but they are 'the countryman's', or enough of them that matter. And the suppression of them and by implication all spontaneous humour would certainly ask 'more than the work of twenty licensers' to examine all the outpourings of every TV and radio broadcast and remove every heresy.
It is ironic that the media which Milton defends in his famous pamphlet are using that liberty to suppress the words of others. It believes we are too stupid and infantile to be able to cope with adult language heard on every street corner. Or as Milton puts it:
Nor is it [censorship] to the common people less than a reproach; for if we be so jealous over them, as that we dare not trust them with an English pamphlet, what do we but censure them for a giddy, vicious, and ungrounded people; in such a sick and weak state of faith and discretion, as to be able to take nothing down but through the pipe of a licenser?
Do the readers of the Daily Mail really trust it to be their Ministry Of Fun? Tragically, they might just. and Milton will weep for them. But one thing he will celebrate, and be dancing with Ray Charles round the celestial piano about, is the ability of almost anyone now to publish pamphlets to the world. Milton would have been a blogger, and The Areopagitica would have been first published online - not in the the Daily Mail.

Milton has a warning for Ross'n'Russ, too. It has to be quoted in full :
When I consider how my light is spent
E're half my days, in this dark world and wide,
And that one Talent which is death to hide,
Lodg'd with me useless, though my Soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide,
Doth God exact day-labour, light deny'd,
I fondly ask; But patience to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, God doth not need
Either man's work or his own gifts, who best
Bear his milde yoak, they serve him best, his State
Is Kingly. Thousands at his bidding speed
And post o're Land and Ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and waite.
A little modesty goes a long way.

African Technological Revolution Update

Enabling people, and children in particular, to become the global TV journalists of their own lives is surely one of the most radical implications of the One Laptop Per Child project. This wave of undeniable testimony would make Africa a place of real people with real preventable problems, not the starving or bloated stereotypes allowed by the constraints of C20th news media.

Self-serving ex popstar or not, Peter Gabriel, among others, has been promoting this kind of independent Witness programme since the internet became a mass media. And to celebrate the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is launching a twin project in The Hub, an
...interactive community for human rights, where you can upload videos, audio or photos, or simply watch, comment on and share what’s on the site. You can use each media item on the site to encourage individuals to learn more and to get involved by providing direct links to resources, advocacy groups, campaigns and actions that they can take to make a difference. Additionally, you can connect with groups or create one of your own to feature your work on the Hub.
An uncensored YouTube which cannot be interfered with by business interests or governments. This is not going to change the world alone, but it will increase pressure on the market leader to stand up to obnoxious regimes, and allow more footage which reveal their depravity.

In turn, the increased significance of this kind of new people's media will increase the pressure to treat access to digital publishing as a right, not a privilege derived from wealth. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights must be key in achieving this.


Cockamamie Little Protests in London & Athens

The weekend's blockade of Stansted Airport by 'Plane Stupid' has ended with 57 arrests and 50 flights cancelled. So far, nobody has actually used the immortal words 'Cockamie Little Protest', but a BBC newswonk came close when he wearily droned:
"Actions like this only delay people getting on with their lives."
What he still fails to realise is that this kind of inconvenience is just a taste of a future which will see everyone's lives drastically interfered with, whatever happens. It is a fact of Life as we have contrived it since the invention of the steam engine.

The Bangkok airport protests by the so-called 'People's Alliance for Democracy' showed how enough people acting together can achieve their goals. It just so happens that the PAD's goals are squalid and backward, But they are real enough, and their effects even more so.

The respectable suburbians living under the Heathrow flightpath are vowing to take direct action should their objections to new runway be ignored. Some of them may well be more concerned with the already plumetting value of their homes, but there is no doubt that their objections are valid, and many are now citing global warming as a case against airport expansion.

The ongoing riots in Greece show just how angry young people can get at the kind of police we can expect from a state determined to defend a destructive economic system from the consequences of itself. It just so happens that the goals of some Pixie anarchists are more vendetta than Declaration of Human Rights, but their actions are indisputably real, and are also a vision of future clashes when tensions between state and society will be much greater.

These are all actions of people working together to achieve their goals, however debased or misguided. Acting in a shared spirit of fellow-feeling, so how much more successful and attractive should goals be which are in everyone's long-term interest, and that of their descendants?
Governments should therefore take time to inspect the The Universal Declaration of Human Rights they signed up to, with its intention that people should be encouraged to co-operate with each other, a not merely delegate governments to do so on their behalf - with other governments and bureaucracies.
Article 1. But how will governments understand what they have committed themselves to if they do not know what 'brotherhood' means? And how will they find out what brotherhood means if they are unable to realise that ending the ruinous consumer orgy will take more mass 'brotherhood' than at any time in history? And how will they prevent more cities from burning if they cannot demonstrate that they are acting in the interest of the people, not profiteers? That they know what brotherhood means - however unfashionable the word is to the sneering sophisticates who have cleverly engineered our current economic and environmental crisis. If it at convinces some of them that the rest of the world matters, Global Warming might almost be worthwhile.
As for the most interesting definition of brotherhood, it is best left, as usual, to George Orwell, writing in 1943, when the world was just as uncertain as it is now.
Men use up their lives in heart-breaking political struggles, or get themselves killed in civil wars, or tortured in the secret prisons of the Gestapo, not in order to establish some central-heated, air-conditioned, strip-lighted Paradise, but because they want a world in which human beings love one another instead of swindling and murdering one another. And they want that world as a first step. Where they go from there is not so certain, and the attempt to foresee it in detail merely confuses the issue.


Nye's Judgement on Mick Martin

From a lampost in Trafalgar Square in 1956, Aneurin Bevan famously demolished Anthony Eden, and his handling of the Suez farce, by simply revealing to the crowd that Eden's behaviour could only be explained in terms of villainy or stupidity, both of which disqualified him from public office.
"If he is sincere in what he is saying, then, he is too stewpid to be a prime minister!"
Sadly, the same is true of Speaker Michael Martin's handling of the illegal police raid on tory shadow minister Damien Green's office. If he knew that the police were going to raid without a warrant, he is complicit in an illegal action, and should resign. If he did not know, he is too stupid to be speaker. If he knew but couldn't be bothered to ask, he just doesn't care.
In any case, he has to go.
Meanwhile, the police are more politicised than ever, especially after Idiot Mayor Boris Johnson's flagrant pre-judgement of the police investigation, declaring that 'Nothing would come of it.'
Now if he is sincere in that belief, and he may be....

Lancet Report On The Abuse of Childhood

This is the latest of several horrifying reports on the appalling treatment of children in this country, and the general lack of concern over their needs.
"Some 5-10% of girls and 1-5% of boys have been subjected to penetrative sex, usually by a family friend or relative. If sexual abuse is defined more widely - as anything from being shown pornographic magazines to rape - it is estimated that it will include at least 15% of girls and 5% of boys."
"What this report does emphasise is the extent of the risk factors and consequences of child maltreatment, which are of such complexity that any reflex attempt to apportion blame or think there is a simple solution to this issue is to completely misrepresent the extent and depth of the problem."
"Child abuse is grossly under-reported - even by the schools and community health services that have continuous contact with children - another study says."
One in 10 children suffer abuse, say experts
He added: "What this report does emphasise is the extent of the risk factors and consequences of child maltreatment, which are of such complexity that any reflex attempt to apportion blame or think there is a simple solution to this issue is to completely misrepresent the extent and depth of the problem."
Child abuse is grossly under-reported - even by the schools and community health services that have continuous contact with children - The Lancet says.
The fact that this is taking place in affluent countries reveals either the fraud of that affluence - its reliance on an underclass as debased and marginal as any peasant living in a mud village in the Caucasus - or the pernicious objectification of childhood by affluence. Children as the prized possessions of their parents, pets rather than people.