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Mosquito Mental Swamp

Police Minister Nick Herbert wrote in a Commons reply on Monday that this was not an issue on which ministers should intervene, and it was for local authorities dealing with anti-social behaviour to decide whether or not to use the Mosquito.
Or leave it to the good ol' boys, in other words.
Leaving aside the brutal redneck stupidity of the Cameron government in endorsing these spiteful litte machines, there is a wider issue to address, which is the mental contortions required to maintain the current British level of Paedophobia.
It is amazing how the meaning of 'anti-social' is dependent on the age of the subject, rather than their actual behaviour. This is truly an example of our disregard for language and basic 'cause and effect'. For the rational world as we know it. A person is not judged by their deeds but their age. And the term 'anti-social' has now almost come to mean 'young'. Say the word to most people,  and the image they will see in their head will be of a teenager.
Create a taboo or bogeyman or monster of any kind, and primitive superstition automatically kicks in. This is fine in books and other entertainments, but when it becomes an everyday means of dealing with reality by inverting it, we are in serious trouble.
Is there any legal obligation to reveal where these Hate-Screamers are located, as with speed cameras? Jeremy Clarkson would know what to do with them. Then they wouldn't need to be banned.


Thought for the Day: Toy Story Religion.

Another sad vicar on Today today trying to catch a ride for her dying job on the coat-tails of popular culture. Toy Story 3 makes men cry,  and therefore is simply repeating the great truths and lessons of religion, which got there first, and which cannot really be improved on.
In spite of the desperate attempt of religion to exploit the success of fiction, in this case a cartoon, religion is not fiction, it is a lie. The fact that religion cannot understand the difference between willing suspension of disbelief and the coercion of belief, of the freedom to interpret a story and being made to believe its literal, historic truth, is the ultimate demonstration of its lack of moral understanding. Religion is the least repository of moral truth.

The Nearness of History

Coming to grips with the scale of historic periods before you were born is naturally difficult.
Here's a little trick.
Choose an event you remember as a mature adult, or late teenager. Something which still seems a prominent part of your existence. Calculate the number of years to the present day. Call it 30 years.
This is the roughly same period between the death of the Old Queen and the Great Depression. Apart from placing your life precisely in context, it also tends to undermine the historic stereotypes which are the raw material of the false, 'pageant' of history, in which be-whigged sophisticates speaking in perfect sentences are transformed into top-hatted cotton-barons at the chimes of the C19th.
It is also very scary.
I can remember 30 years fairly clearly, and that means I am only the same distance now from the boycotted 1980 Olympics as I was then from the election of the Churchill government in 1950.

The more time you've got to play with, the chillier it gets.

An Absolute Shower

Never mind the giant Murdoch vulture tearing the liver from the national game, the obvious culprit in this catastrophe is the scandalous demise of the grammar schools, which relegated suitable lower class types to a future of toil or football, created a degree of due deference in them, and concentrated their blind loyalty on their national duty.
The idea that playing in the most demanding schedule in the world under the endless scrutiny of the most invasive media in the world could produce the most under-achieving team in the world is wishy washy liberalism of the most debilitating kind, and incipient socialism more pernicious than even the BBC.
The last time England won the world cup, they had a proper manager who sounded as if he'd been to public school and who brought the vital element of military discipline to the job from his years of honourable service in defence of his Queen and country. And also, the team was notably free of pollution by non-English, alien temperaments,  with their inevitable tendency to panic under fire. The result was the kind of gritty, winning teamwork which is inherent in the English genius.
Until the national slide into the pit of wooly inclusiveness and insolence towards elders and betters is reversed, we can expect no better from our sporting representatives. Until then, they will remain a shower, and absolute shower. Demoralised, sullen and useless.

Mind you, those damn Bolshies do seem to have sorted out the Yanks and their mini-rugby game.
'NFL - The Socialist Game in the Land of the Free'
England players are are in the most competitive league in the most bitterly competitive society in europe. The result is that they do not know how to play the game, only to do it to others. 'It's not just about the winning, it's the taking them apart.'
Until they can redress the balance between co-operating with each other and competing against the opposition they will always be intimidated by less inhibited opposition, who take pleasure from what they do.
Watching England play is like watching Subutteo. Not playing football, but doing it by numbers.


Lord of the Ring-Fence Lies

This is a political Black Sunday for the Condems. The real bug-eyed, malformed nocturnal tory reptiles surface through the PR scum on the swamp.
Ian Duncan Smith does a Tebbit, and orders the ethnic cleansing of the unemployed from their communities, and in the process releasing a tide of internal immigration of Northrons to swamp leafy, industrial Roehampton and St Albans. Exactly what's needed to keep the southern workforce on their toes. Where else is he going to get enough aliens to keep people fighting amongst themselves? Without this competition for jobs and homes and services,  they might begin to know their own value, and with it their strength,  and that would be fatal to Cameron's doctrine of People Power.

Within an hour of Smith, Nigel Lawson admits Tories lied to the electorate on NHS 'Ring-Fencing'. The NHS is to be slashed like everything else. And in an ultra-Stalinist proposal which will see more riots than the SPG, SUS Law, Miners' Strike and the Polltax combined, Tory Ferret-in-Chief, Michael Gove also wants to evict the single and childless from council housing to make room for families.  
And all on the day on which England were eliminated from/gloriously triumphed in the World Cup.



The revelation that Jon Venables, the killer with Robert Thompson of toddler James Bulger, has breached the terms of his parole has unleashed the usual howl of redneck hate, including the predictable demands for capital punishment for children. So we're hanging children now. But from what age? That is what the barbarians never make clear.
People have written on the internet that Jon Venables has evil eyes, and that he's the devil. He did devilish things, but in fact he's not The Devil. There is no such thing as EVIL. It is a primitive concept which identifies the cause of all crimes in a Supreme Malevolent force. A mythical external entity which inhabits the individual and can only be overcome by massive doses of the antidote, The Supreme Force for Good - or by the ritual purging of the individual concerned, often with fatal consequences. This cartoon morality neatly avoids any real causes of criminal behaviour, and therefore spares us any responsibilty for altering reality so as to eliminate them. It is a destructive, obsolete, poisonous, dead-end word, and the sooner we stop relying on it to explain our own failings as a society the better.
The adult trial of John Venables obviously didn't work, so we have to think again. But the main problem with telling children that 7 year olds are as culpable as adults and that they can all make adult judgements is that theybelieve it, and will then use that power to inflict Kids Justice as and when they feel it necessary.
So if two ten year old boys decide that a four year old is, as they've been told, 'evil', they might well decide to use their new-found adult judgement, and punish the child, saving the grown-ups the trouble. How they did this would depend entirely on their existing moral framework, but one now empowered and licensed to judge others of the same age and immaturity as 'evil'. And hearing adults baying for the blood of Jon Venables could well influence the severity of their sentencing policy.
If a child of 8 or 7 is held to be mature enough to be judged as an adult , then it must therefore be mature enough to judge as one. So where does this new-found faith in the judgement of children end?
And telling them that all children are capable of adult levels of evil will merely make them more judgemental, without being able to make adult judgements. And more children will be abused. We need to give children back their childhoods, not demonise them even further.
All the barbarians want to know where they can find Jon Venables, so that they can exercise their primitive fantasies and relish the stench of their decaying minds. Well:

Dr Howard Martin and the Good Old Days

The case of ex-Dr Howard Martin, who pleads humanitarian motives for his personal euthanasia initiative, will raise memories and suspicions in many people of a certain age and class background.
It is a matter of accepted family history that our venerable family doctor, Dr Llewellyn, ended the life of my grandmother with a shot of heroin. This was in the early 50's, and my mother, a wartime nurse and St John's veteran, gratefully accepted the practice as humane and practical, as did the rest of the family. This is not to excuse the practise, but simply to register the level of expectancy within the social class we occupied.
Like most of the Professional Classes, doctors like ours - a dead ringer for Dr Cameron from Doctor Finlay's Casebook, with a three piece suit and gold watch chain - were held in great reverence. Their decisions were not questioned since the solutions they offered were often the most economical to a family which simply did not have the personnel or time to provide the care its old and infirm members needed at the end of their lives.
Not a million miles from the nomadic tribes who abandon their ailing members to die at the banks of whichever river they are finally unable to cross.


Will The England Bus Be Stoned On Wednesday?

If I'd spent over £20,000 to watch England sulk, I would be furious.
We have seen in the past how little provocation it takes to cause trouble amongst England fans. In Germany, it was merely the comic book past which roused their fury.
It would therefore be timely to consider what might happen if they are given real offence, and by their own team no less. And at a time when football players are the last people on George Osborne's Cutback Hitlist.
A truly degraded performance by England against Slovenia might leave a nasty taste in a lot of people's mouths about football in general. After such an abject surrender, who could justify the absurd extravagance of a season ticket to a Premiership club against the escalating cost of running a family?
The Premier League clubs will look like Robin Hood turned tax-collector for the Sheriff of Nottingham.


Fiona Bruce's Arse

Fiona Bruce Fiona Bruce Fiona Bruce.
That's taken care of three or four hundred hits in the next month or so.
It seems that the internet and its users are so stupid that the mere mention of this Bimbo will continue to draw the drooling multitudes on their hands and knees, if need be.
And now her most intelligent feature, her arse, has won an award. So let the good times roll.
This dreary child of Thatcher actually wrote a book in 2008 in which she delivered the startling revelation that women are routinely sexually molested and that in fact, they don't like it, and don't ask for it, and that it is the fault of men - not the women themselves! Who'd'a'thunkit?
Women everywhere breathed a sigh of admiration and wonder, and prepared to live new, liberated lives courtesy of Ms Bruce. Now they can also marvel at the liberating influence of her arse, and everything she says through it.
And naturally, the Fragrant Fiona is no more to blame than this lot. I don't have a clue who most of them are, but apparently they are the best people on the planet. If I've left out any household gods please correct me. We wouldn't want to displease them.

The Best People On the Planet List
Michael Jackson, Jordan, Sting, Bono, Adam Sandler,  Aishwarya Rai,  Alana De La Garza,  Ali Landry,  Ali Larter,  Alicia Silverstone,  Alyson Hannigan, Alyssa Milano, Amanda Bynes, Amanda Peet, Amy Adams, Amy Jo Johnson, Amy Lee, Amy Poehler, Amy Smart, Angelina Jolie, Angie Harmon, Anna Faris, Anna Kournikova,  Arielle Kebbel. Ashlee Simpson, Ashley Judd. Ashley Scott, Ashley Tisdale, Autumn Reeser, Avril Lavigne, Beyonce Knowles, Brad Pitt, Brea Grant, Bridget Fonda, Bridgette Wilson, Britney Spears, Brittany Murphy, Brittany Snow, Brooke Burns, Brooke Shields, Cameron Diaz, Carrie Anne Moss, Cassie Ventura, Catherine Zeta Jones, Chandra Wilson, Charisma Carpenter, Charlize Theron, Christina Aguilera, Christina Applegate, Christina Ricci, Claire Forlani, Claudia Schiffer, Colleen Haskell, Constance Marie, Courteney Cox, Dakota Fanning, Deanna Russo, Demi Moore, Denise Richards, Diane Lane, Diora Baird, Drea De Matteo, Drew Barrymore, Elisha Cuthbert, Eliza Dushku, Elizabeth Hurley, Elizabeth Shue, Ellen Pompeo,   Elsa Benitez, Emily Procter, Emma Watson, mmy Rossum, Eric Dane, Erica Durance, Estella Warren, Eva Longoria, Eva Mendes, Evangeline Lilly, Faith Hill, Felicity Huffman,  Fergie,  Gabrielle Union, Gena Lee Nolin, Gillian Anderson, Goldie Hawn, Gwyneth Paltrow, Halle Berry, Hayden Panettiere, Heather Graham, Heather Locklear, Heidi Klum, Helen Hunt, Hilary Duff, Hilary Swank, Isaiah Washington, Jaime Pressly, James Pickens Jr, Jenna Fischer,  Jennie Finch, Jennie Garth, Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Connelly, Jennifer Garner, Jennifer Lopez, Jennifer Love Hewitt,  Jennifer Morrison, Jenny McCarthy, Jeri Ryan, Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel,  Jessica Simpson, Jordana Brewster, Josie Maran, Jude Law, Jules Asner, Julia Roberts, Julia Stiles, Justin Chambers, Kate Beckinsale, Kate Hudson, Kate Walsh, Kate Winslet, Katee Sackhoff, Katherine Heigl, Katie Holmes, Keira Knightley, Kelly Carlson, Kelly Clarkson, Kelly Preston, Kelly Ripa, Keri Russell, Kiley Dean, Kim Basinger, Kirsten Dunst, Krista Allen, Kristanna Loken, Kristen Bell, Kristin Kreuk, Kurt Russell, Lacey Chabert, Laetitia Casta, Laura Linney, Lea Thompson, Leah Remini, Leelee Sobieski, Leila Arcieri, Lindsay Lohan, Lucy Lawless, Lucy Liu, Madonna, Majandra Delfino, Mandy Moore, Marcy Rylan, Marg Helgenberger, Mariah Carey, Marisa Miller, Masi Oka, Masiela Lusha, Meg Ryan, Megan Fox, Melissa Hart, Mena Suvari, Michelle Pfeiffer, Michelle Rodriguez, Michelle Ryan, Mike Myers,   Miley Ray Cyrus, Minka Kelly, Mischa Barton, Missy Peregrym, Molly Sims, Monica Keena, Nadine Velazquez, Natalie ,  Natascha McElhone, Neve Campbell, Nicolas Cage, Nicole Eggert, Nicole Kidman, Nicollette Sheridan, Nikki Cox, Pamela Anderson, Paris Hilton, Patricia Arquette, Patricia Heaton, Patrick Dempsey, Penelope Cruz, Petra Nemcova, Phoebe Cates, Piper Perabo, Rachael Leigh Cook, Rachel Bilson, Raquel Alessi, Rashida Jones, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, Rebecca Saint James, Reese Witherspoon, Renee Zellweger, Robin Williams, Roselyn Sanchez, Russell Crowe,  Salma Hayek, Sandra Bullock, Sandra Oh, Sara Paxton, Sara Ramirez, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Sarah Silverman, Scarlett Johansson,   Shakira, Shannon Elizabeth, Sharon Stone, Sigourney Weaver,   Steve Martin, T.R. Knight, Tara Reid, Tea Leoni, Teri Hatcher, Thora Birch, Tiffani Amber Thiessen, Tim Allen, Tina Fey,   Tobey Maguire,  Tom Cruise, Tommy Lee Jones, Tori Spelling, Tricia Helfer, Uma Thurman, Valerie Bertinelli, Vanessa Angel, Vanessa Anne Hudgens, Vanessa Ferlito, Vanessa , Vanessa Williams, Victoria Beckham, Vin Diesel, Virginia Madsen, Will Smith, William Shatner, Yasmine Bleeth, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Bell, Zooey Deschanel.
And Uncle Tom Cobbley and all.


Player Infiltrates England Dressing Room

News of this appalling breach of security will send a shiver up the spines of all aficionados of England at the World Cup. If this level of incompetence continues, how can England hope to maintain its glorious record of success?


Vuvuzela! The Drone of the Blatt-o-Phone

Football, like other forms of crowd theatre, is a collective experience. The performance partly relies on the reactions of the crowd to create the drama. By smothering them, the monotone Blatt-o-Phone drone smothers the drama.
During the last Six Nations rugby on BBC, I tried out the red-button audio options for the first time. The choice was between the standard TV broadcast commentary, two different radio commentaries, and nothing but pure stadium noise plus the referee. Without the commentary what I quickly remembered after many years of being priced out of a ticket for international matches, was the almost sexual character of the responses of the crowd to the twists and turns of the spectacle. And it also became clear that the oohs and aahs weren't just triumphalism at gaining advantage or relief at denying it to the opposition, but sheer spontaneous admiration for the skills and prowess on display. Anyone who's been to a live event of this size will understand the rhythm of a crowd being entertained till it hurts.
Drowning out that essential feedback to the play is almost an act of sabotage. It's certainly a ridiculous dampening of the experience. Like being the only member of an audience at an opera. Or like being inflicted with a chronic inner-ear problem.
The Music of the Stadium


Bloody Sunday Truth at Last. Where Next?

The Saville Report has finally exonerated the dead of Bloody Sunday. The list of war-crimes and shameful lies are exposed, David Cameron apologises in Parliament to the bereaved and to the community.
But even as the families of the murdered were offering their thanks for the truth, and their forgiveness and reconciliation in a heartfelt attempt to achieve peace for their community, the press and police helicopters delivered a chattering heckle of disrespect overhead.
They just won't let go. Even after all the time wasted and money spent wringing the triuth out, and clearing the names of the innocent, they insist on the last word. On spoiling the party.
But the question remains. If British soldiers can do that to British citizens, what can they do to less familiar prey, and when under less intensive scrutiny?
Heroes? Don't make me laugh.
The slaughterhouse of competing nationalisms which is Northern Ireland only accentuates the absurdity and futility of fighting for lines on a map. A random, irrelevant commonality which can only divide to rule.
This is the trap of nationalism, of any kind.The disputed land and heritage doesn't go away, and so the crimes of each generation are justification for the crimes of the next generation, and until they all
"Go to their graves like beds, fight for a plot whereon the numbers cannot try the cause, which is not tomb enough and continent to hide the slain."
The religious slaughterhouse is even more absurd and archaic. When the people of northern Ireland discover the real things they have in common, there will be progress, as eveywhere else.
The other interesting aspect of this report was the fact that evidence was provided by the Sunday Times Insight team, raising questions of press confidentiality. My question is, how much more incriminating evidence of other state crimes is still hidden in the vaults of Wapping or Canary Wharf? The case of Blair Peach might be a lot more clear-cut if we knew everything the reporters and photographers on the day saw and recorded. Not to mention the killings at Ballymurphy, which preceded Bloody Sunday,  and seem to have been at least as cold-blooded.
'Unequivocal', 'unjustified', 'clear', 'wrong'.
It was magnificent to hear the silence from all the usual suspects in Parliament as the true horror sunk in. All the vindictive, moaning, penny-pinching apologists and quibblers who were primed to launch into their usual whines about the burden on the taxpayer of the enquiry,  and the 'hypocrisy' of subjecting the British Army to such persistent scrutiny. 'Whatabout the soldiers who were killed? Whatabout their rights?' they were about to ask. But they didn't. They were dumbstruck by what all the eye-witnesses had confirmed all along. And all Diddy Cameron had to do was read the perfect script. 'Unequivocal', 'unjustified', 'clear', 'wrong'.
The ultimate confirmation of the Saville report was of the truthfulness and decency of ordinary human nature. Anyone who shared and had faith in  people always believed the testimonies of those who were there, testimonies which were vindicated by Saville. We believed, but we simply couldn't prove what we believed in the face of the most disgraceful Vuvuzela of media collusion with the state to overwhelm the truth with noise.
Even Saville, for all its clarity, still decided that the fault lay in a 'serious loss of fire discipline.' This is to fall into the trap of applying military dialect to a human crime. This many 'rotten apples' do not happen to all be in the same place at the same time. The problem was, and is, systemic and cultural, and the loss was one of Humanity, not discipline. The troops in Northern Ireland, as everywhere still, were trained to regard all other human beings with suspicion. They were dehumanised towards their fellow creatures. And there is no evidence that this desensitising regime  is any different today. It is part of every soldier's weaponry - what makes it possible for them to use their weapons and kill on demand in the first place.
There are some hard-line sectarian complaints about the lack of a Saville Enquiry into unionists killed in the Troubles, which is of course a totally seperate issue and shows their usual lack of political vision.  How many Unionists were killed by British soldiers or the RUC? At least PIRA had the honesty and far-sightedness to take responsibility for its actions at the time, however horrific and inhuman. The British State persistently and continually lied about its murders, and so did the gutter press on its behalf.
So if these were murders, when are those responsible to face justice? The key is surely in the legal defintion of responsibility. If I were 'private F' on trial for my actions on the day, my lawyer would simply plead that I was temporarily not of sound mind, and proceed to a rigorous examination of exhibit A, the process of desensitisation all soldiers are subjected to in order to do their jobs. No jury would convict, and I would probably be liable for some level of compensation.


Lots of Lovely War

Extract from Diary of a Masher. 1902?
" I had been to see Trooping the Colour at the Queen's Birthday Parade and, as everyone said at a very jolly Army lunch afterwards, it seemed to sum up so much of what was good about this country. Here were soldiers just seven weeks back from Afghanistan, performing manoeuvres with the precision of rhythmic gymnasts, boots sparkling like magnesium, busbies rippling like dominoes as they turned their heads this way and that...
UK politics review of the year 2008 The Ashes: England v Australia live, fifth Test day one Wimbledon 2009: top 50 champions If you took it all together – the happy crowds, the Red Arrows streaking overhead, the beaming Queen, the balmy weather, the London parks generally surging and sprouting with the joy of mid-June – you came away with a sense that God, or someone very like Him, was in His heaven and that all was more or less tickety-boo."
Or was it Boris Johnson in Today's Telegraph drifting off into a Strand Magazine reverie about the World Cup? Either that or HG Wells did invent the time machine. What other explanation is there for gloop like this today?
Apart from the obvious, well-snuffled political opportunities of any major sporting event, this cosy, computer-game vision Britain and the world, where the same certainties are endlessly replayed to a packed, devoted audience, like an eternal Ken Dodd show, reinforces every privilegious delusion of the grand tory vision.
Whether or not the tory party trusts a latter-day Bertie Wooster to mould its image will confirm whether it too has totally lost its marbles.
The other effect of this passage is, obviously, to glorify war. The casual, decorative 'boots sparkling like magnesium, busbies rippling like dominoes' - the leisurely association of war and sport - the mundane presence of war planes over London, as normal and patriotic as Red Routemaster buses.. all designed to perpetuate the myth of Gallant Little Britain. Always ready to see of the bosche, or whichever Johnny Foreigner cuts up rough - what? In other words, the state of permanent war we are in now, and were in at the mental time of Johnson's prose, during the height of empire.
How could anyone reading Johnson's Chronicles ever be fully aware of the reality of the war we are in? One in which war itself is the objective, not victory.
We are now in Orwell's 1984 world of a few almost identical mega-powers, scraping tectonic plates and generating wars like earthquakes and volcanic eruptions and tsunami along their edges. This is essential to the Earth as a living planet, but disastrous for those crushed and drowned in the process.
But an ecconomic system created by humans is not a geological inevitability. It is something we should change for the better. Only those who benefit from the suffering would complain.


Cameron Says Love B.P. Or Else.

Britain's head corporate poodle David Cameron says: 'Say nice things about BP and Railtrack for their trail of destruction or the pensioners sleep with the fishes.' Nice to see he's found his vocation as a gangster's Heavy so readily. 'You've got a nice pension plan here. Shame if it was to get all devalued. Never take sides against the family.'
It's important that the image of The Organisation stays clean. If Union Carbide rubs out a town it isn't very good for public relations. And business suffers, and that means someone has to pay. Namely us. Whatever crimes business commits, we mustn't complain and we must always pay the price. In fact, we must adore the monster all the more. Unquestioning worship is the only solution to the inscrutible workings of the market. The Market Works in Mysterious Ways its Wonders to Perform, and it is not the place of miserable creatures like us to question its works, it knows best.
Fuck BP. Fuck Cameron. Fuck Pensions. Fuck Business.

Blood on the Tracks

Shed no more tears shed for the music industry, says chief Radiohead scruffbag Thom Yorke.
If the mass-music industry had never been invented,  we would still have had our own local Beatles, as people did before Edison,  and we would have loved them just as much. In spite of what it likes to think, the industrialised mass-media didn't invent music.
True, the technology and commercial constraints formed the music of the C20th, but that was an artistic price we had to pay, and which was often a bargain. But compared with the real price of popular culture, it was nothing. The real price being the endless parade of tortured and destroyed lives required to feed the class-driven ShowBiz machine.
Before Minstrelsy and since, Showbiz has always been an escape from poverty, and many of its most memorable stars were performing out of fear, more than anything else. What we call talent is not much more than a neurosis. A horror of descent into the pit of poverty and abuse whicih always gaped under the feet of a Judy Garland or Charlie Parker or Billie Holiday or Richard Pryor... The Art of  Desperation.
It is important,  when popular culture has become so trivialised and devalued by the advertising industry (especially) to hear the  real stories in the music. The stories of the little children afraid of hunger and sickness and desperate for security. When the real story is heard, the false barrier between art and showbiz tends to disappear.


Gaza - The Human Protest

June 5th. 2010.
Downing Street. Piccadilly. Kensington Road. Kensington Barracks. Israeli Embassy.
Speakers included:
Alf FilerSarah Colborne (flotilla survivor)Shahrar Ali • Ken Loach • Garth Hewitt • Caroline Lucas MP • Jody McIntyre • George Galloway • Glyn SeckerKevin Ovenden (flotilla survivor) • Kate HudsonTony BennLowkey • Ismail Patel (flotilla survivor) • Salma YaqoobJohn Rees • Baboo Zanghar • Daud Abdullah • Lindsey German • Tariq Ali Jeremy Corbyn MPJohn RoseYvonne RidleyMaryam Abu DayaMohammed KosbarEwa Jasiewicz and Alex HarrisonLauren BoothMartin Linton • Keith Sonnett • Afif SafiehSally Hunt...

I've just been accused of racism again for objecting to Israel's siege of Gaza. I wish some people would buy a dictionary.
There was no racism on display at the demonstration on saturday in London. Only justifiable outrage, sadness, and concern about the security of people of the entire region, Israelis included. The only thing the anti-zionist movement wants is justice.
Anti-Zionism is not racist, as everyone who respects language accepts. Zionism is just another squalid ultra-nationalism. Politically unidentifiable from Slobodan Milosevic' mythical prophesies of the return of an exiled people to its ancient tribal Homeland.
An increasing number of Jews now realise the monstrous folly of mangling Bronze Age cosmology to modern industrialised society. It isn't just jews like Glyn Secker who oppose Zionism. Even some of the most orthodox jewish groups reject the state of Israel on theological grounds. Notably, Neturei Karta.

The Clash Of Civilisations Handshake
Lebanon Solidarity. Parliament Square. 2006.

The international reaction to the Siege of Gaza is entirely human. And has created a battlefield which the IDF cannot control without totally alienating itself from world opinion. The murders on the Marmara represent a 'Sharpeville' moment, when world opinion decided that Gaza should be allowed its Weapons of Mass Construction. Israel cannot win this one by force. And it has no moral or intellectual arguments for stealing the cargoes of the inbound flotillas.
If it wants security it has to first reveal a humanity which deserves security. But hitherto, the political face of Nuclear Israel is the only one visible to the world. And it is not a pretty sight.
The event on Saturday in London was the most moving demonstration I remember seeing in over 30 years of witnessing such events. And represented a shift from Activist campaigning to something much more popular. Hence the lack of trouble, hence the lack of news coverage.
There was a tiny breakaway march by about 20 young people who looked really cool. But their ritual flag-burning after the day had ended was the most defused display of outrage I've ever seen. Their teeth had been drawn by the force of the emotions on display. After that much sheer humanity, they had no real alternative but to dispersed peacefully, which everyone was very relieved at. Surely, if that force can forge ploughshares from the swords of their anger, it can rouse a massive moderate international community to action.

I seem to remember hearing that there were Kurdish representatives on the march. If true, it should be made much more visible in order to try to pacify the wave of Whataboutery, which is the only thing threatening to drive the campaign off-course.
Nick Cohen is the prime Neptune of this storm. Whatabout the Kurds? he asks. How can anyone support a Turkish-backed attempt to break the siege when their actions against the Kurds are almost indistinguishable from the treatment of the Gazans by the Israelis? No doubt he also asks the same question of the Kurdish supporters now that Israel is supporting them.
Whatabout all the other injustices and inhumanities committed by members of alliances all over the world since the dawn of time? Should Churchill have refused to co-operate with Stalin or Nixon with Mao?
Is that a genuine answer to the charge of hypocrisy and short-sighted opportunism? That all governments have always been gangsters and that until we come up with something better, all alliances will continue to be compromised? Pragmatism?
Many speakers on the day, and there were a lot, argued for more pressure on elected officials and governments. Perhaps it is time that we all ignored governments for the obsolete, corrupted, compromised machines of steam age tax-gathering that they are.
This could be one of the great humanitarian alliances of history. But everyone involved must realise that they have to trim their individual ambitions and ideologies to achieve the collective goals. This means no barbaric treatment of people in the name of any ideology, religious or commercial.
Each will know what their personal incompatibilities are, women in particular, but there can be no real success unless the human feeling expressed towards Gaza rubs off on all the regimes and ideologies involved. Including Hamas and Turkey. Human Rights For Gaza cannot happen in isolation. It has to be Human Rights for All, Israelis included.
When that agenda becomes credible, the campaign for peace in the middle east will stand a chance - assuming no commercial interference.


Death and Taxes And Derrick Bird

It emerges that Cumbrian mass-killer Derrick Bird was inflamed by money-problems. A combination of an inheritance vendetta which wouldn't look out of place in Shakespeare or Dickens, and a resulting tax situation which threatened to land him in jail, not unlike Al Capone. He killed his twin brother... Any critic reading that or seeing it on stage would harrumph about cliches and sharpen his pen for the critical slaughter. But it happened, like mashup of the book of Genesis, King Lear and Bleak House.
This surely teaches us that the main reason people still go nuts and kill everyone in sight is because of money. And the more central money becomes to our lives, and all the status and power and 'respect' it delivers, the more deranged we are likely to become when we feel cheated of it.
And when we have a gun under the bed, we will use it, just to prove to the world that we deserve respect, as we understand it - namely as a direct result of the amount of money we possess. Which is a reversion of cause and effect and retreat to primitive superstition, or borderline madness, as it's also known. Such is the talismanic power of money, and of course, guns. The two go together like bacon and eggs or the Stock Market and BAE systems.
If we'd had a nuclear arsenal under the bed, we would use that to destroy the world. But luckily, at the moment, we don't consider that the individual possession of atom bombs is helpful to anyone's protection. They are considered unneccessary. The same is true of guns, especially in Derrick Bird's case. And the burden of proof for would-be gunsters should be on them to demonstrate need in order to be granted a licence. Derrick Bird did not need a gun, and if he hadn't had one, he would not have killed as many people - no matter what his crazed mind had press-ganged to its use.
The alternative is simply too close to a police state. The applicant of every licence to be investigated down to their toenails, and their psychological profile analysed and computer-projected to reveal the forehead-tattooed crack-head lurking in the future - (where applicable, naturally, only ten percent of gun owners will ever suffer any form of serious clinical mental illness). It is the current burden of paperwork in the application procedure which enabled Bird to slip through the net. This is because policy still panders to a microscopic minority of gun-fetishists and fossilised adolescents who cannot live without their regular dose of action at-a-distance. Without the magic wand of ballistic power. The so-called 'sportsmen' (and women).
Screw them all. Their arguments are infantile and brutally callous, a real revelation of how the power of fire-power corrupts, just as political power does. An insight into how a troubled mind like Derrick Bird's can be distorted even further by the House of Parliament he had under his bed. Owning a gun can help make you into a killer, if that's what you want. It also allows you to bi-pass all democratic social conventions with a simple wave of the hand. If you don't like democracy, or paying taxes, or persuading people you are right by force of argument, simply blow them away because they would do the same to you. Money can help with all those annoying interventions of other people's lives on our own too, but guns help get money. And money gets more guns. It's a harmonious, organic, symbiotic relationship in the capitalist ecology. Isn't that nice?
Derrick Bird was a very sick man. But not necessarily much more so than most of us today. We live in a very sick society indeed, in case anyone had forgotten. We need people to be ill enough to make the wheels go round. Which means that even the clergyman's daughter peddling home to her cup of tea after evensong could perpetrate a massacre like this, given a gun. Nobody can guarantee their future sanity. So nobody should have gun to go crazy with unless they can demonstrate that they actually need it for their living.
That would eliminate acres of paperwork, and save money all round, Mr Clegg.


Foxes Versus People. Cumbrian Catch-22.

Just how many foxes did Cumbrian farmers shoot last year? Apart from that use, I can't see any other need for guns in the area. I wouldn't mind betting that the fox fatality figures weren't vastly greater than yesterday's death-toll. So how many dead foxes are a human life worth? How many have to die in our war to defend sheep against the ruthless Reynard Bin-Raider?
Less than 2% of applications for firearms certificates are rejected. This figure is a scandal. Taxi drivers don't need to own guns. Not as long as everyone else doesn't. Criminals and chronic psychotics will always find their weapons of choice, given time, but Derrick Bird's sudden rage was not given that time to cool as he had the weapons to hand. And now 14 people are dead and a community traumatised.
The gun lobby is already making the case that the death toll would have been drastically reduced if everyone had guns. Some public-spirited citizen, or the nearest available police officer, would have wasted Bird somewhere along the route of his 'killing-spree', as the TV is describing it. There is no Road-rage in Texas, we are told, because the petulant toot of a horn might get your head blown off. All society is bathed in the warm embrace of citizen-policing and individual empowerment.
This wisdom ignores the inconvenient fact that in those cordite utopias a Cumbria will happen far more often, not less. And one reason for that is that the constant fear of death at the expression of mild irritation will naturally cause most people to suppress that anger. And the results of suppressed anger and emotion are no secret to anyone.
If we really do need to repel the attack of the evil Reynard on our civilisation and way of life, then let sheep farmers own shotguns. Personally, I worked on a farm for ten years and the creaky old single barrel must have been fired at least five times. Mainly to scare away roaming dogs from the local village. But nobody else should have legal access to guns, especially during a period of history which is creating so much psychosis in so many 'ordinary' people. And nobody over the age of ten should want to own a gun. To do so is not a sign of a mature mind. And therefore any application can be confidently and responsibly rejected. Catch 22 doesn't always work on the side of the devil, it seems.
As for the War Against Sparrows, and their evil plans to undermine civilisation by ravaging the nation's gooseberries, Gardener's Question Time does not recommend military grade hardware. An airgun or even a water pistol will do the job. And won't cost any massacres of human life at all. Everyone's happy except the neurotics with their inferiority complexes. They will have to find another way to over-compensate for their personal lack of emotional growth and indulge their penis extension fantasies. And the arms manufacturers will be upset of course. God forbid we should ever upset them.
The truth is that if Bird had not had any guns, he probably wouldn't have snapped at all. The nearness of the shortcut solution to his problems was too irresistible. It made it easier for him to snap, because he knew he had the means at his disposal to make a point that no one would forget.
We are taught every day that we are defined by what we own. That our carefully chosen possessions provide us with an 'image', and are a positive addition to our armoury in the battle of life. You know. Sex and the City. And the truth is that as an object, a gun is a very beautiful, sensual, compelling thing. It is almost the ultimate conceptual sculpture.
But as such it has does have more of an effect on the owner than most consumer durables. So it is hardly surprising that in the vulnerable, or at the most challenging times, the role inherent in the design comes to the fore,. and the tool controls the user. Just as a beautifully tailored suit will make most people stand up straight.
Why should a taxi-driver in a sleepy Cumbrian town need two guns? That's all any application process has to consider. There are about 37 million adults in Britain. Statistically, if we all applied for a shotgun or semi-automatic, only about 74,000 of us would be rejected, leaving well over 36 million guns in legal circulation.
While violence among the mentally ill is no greater than in the general public, neither is it any less. And that figure is much bigger than the paltry 2% rejection figure for gun ownership. And anyone can go insane as Derrick Bird did. Owning a gun might even have caused his problem, as well as seeming to solve it.
There but for the grace of god go I.


Gaza Weapons of Mass Construction Flotilla 2

At the beginning of next week a new flotilla ariives. One of the main ships is Irish owned.
Naturally there will be more to follow. In its demented state, Israel has chosen the wrong battlefield and the wrong weapons. The apologists for Zionism will now have a massive task on their hands as the body of world opinion exploits this weakspot in the armour of the Nuclear Israeli apartheid state.
While stereotypes are the work of the devil, the Frankie Boyle in me is relishing the idea of shelelaghs drawn at dawn. Not to mention the prospect of an Israeli ministry robot on Newsnight seriously trying to label a peace laureate as a terrorist. Go Kirsty!
Now that Egypt has blinked first, and decided to open its border with Gaza, the days of the siege are numbered anyway. Israel's moral blindness has lost it two of its remaining allies in the region, and branded it as a rogue state throughout the world. Proving yet again that the wars of an Information Age are not won with bombs and tanks.

Cheap Booze Ban? (Condem Watch)

The ridiculous arguments on both sides are fluttering up the bandwidth, and will be repeated when other similar Neo-Nanny State actions are considered. More interesting is the fact that if adopted, this will be just another measure which will be justified by The War on Deficit, just as NuLab used The War on Terror to justify its policies.
As time goes by, it will become clearer and clearer that the Condems are not as different from NuLab as the Daily Mail and those who put their faith in the Westminster Fairy Godmother would like to believe. Just like their predecessors, they will exploit the threat of a common enemy to impose unpleasant policies. In some ways, the Condems will need TWOD even more than Blair needed TWOT. And their original plans will be even more distorted and blown by their storm of events than NuLabs' were by war. Their 9/11 has still to happen (unless you count Lehmann Brothers) but when it does it will destroy as many hopes and delay just as many good intentions.


Gas, Gaza, And Weapons of Mass Construction

On the anniversary of Dunkirk, with TVs flickering to the Pathe News footage of a heroic rescue mission, Israel has attacked a cockleshell convoy delivering cement and windows to the victims of the Blitzed Gaza strip. The Israeli army's murderous act of thuggery at the weekend is being justified on the grounds of 'provocation'. Crack commando units, armed to the teeth with the Uzis were 'provoked' by a few activists with sticks. And so they killed them. They deserved it.
If you have the temerity to knock over the local thug's drink, it will provoke him, and he will beat your brains out in the car-park. And you will, by the street laws he lives by, deserve all you get. Why he is the local thug is the question. What made him that way? And it isn't difficult to answer in the case of Israel. We know the family history well. But his abusive parentage still leaves him subject to criminal law.
Moral law condemns his actions but is compassionate to his condition.
When he will see through his blind sociopathic paranoia and return that compassion is a matter of nurture, but as every shrink knows, the patient has to want to be healed.
The object of the attack on the Marmara is quite clear. To scare away any further attempts to break Israel's illegal stranglehold on the Gazan people. It will fail, and there will be more and better prepared convoys, with even more committed people, bearing equally innocuous cargoes.
And each time Israel will need to choose between repeating its atrocities, or be forced to back down and lose face. It has chosen to fight on the wrong battlefield this time.
You have to worry about the collective mental health of Zionist nationalism. The paranoia is reaching Stalinist levels, which is understandable in a state under seige, but only when that state is truly vulnerable, as Stalin's was.
When that country is armed to the teeeth with nuclear weapons, and backed by the most powerful country on earth, the need to invert reality becomes less defensible.
Piracy is generally committed for wealth and power. And one reason this Zionist piracy of the high seas is destined to continue is the presence of carbon fuel off the Gazan shore.
"Discovered in 2000, there are extensive gas reserves off the Gaza coastline." 
Naturally, no Gazan authority, elected or not, will be allowed its full rights to these deposits, and the people of Gaza will not benefit from them. Just as the West Bank Palestinians are being deprived of water and land.
The tragedy of Israel is the confusion of religion and land. But the sincerely religious, those to whom worldy politics are as irrelevant and petty as they should be to anyone truly in awe of a Divine Onmipotent Being, go by the motto: Keep Politics Out of Religion and Religion Out Of Politics..
I think everyone of good will could agree on that. Afterwards, the sky's the limit, really. Once belief isn't threatened by the state and the state not threatened by belief, the problem of Jerusalem disappears like morning mist in the sun.
Neturei Karta is a prime example of such clear thinking, believing that the Talmud actually proscribes the creation of nation states. It seems a prime candidate to promote a new religious realism, especially in the faiths of the middle east.
It's useful also to remember that Israel was directly instrumental in establishing Hamas. The idea being to divide Palestinian solidarity and undermine the PLO. But since then, Zionism has become even more demented, and its current wave of paranoia looks more like an invitation to Tehran to build its atom bombs - if it thinks it's hard enough.