Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Yesterday's article by Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone magazine says it all and more for the Occupy Wall Street protestors.
When you take into consideration all the theft and fraud and market manipulation and other evil shit Wall Street bankers have been guilty of in the last ten-fifteen years, you have to have balls like church bells to trot out a propaganda line that says the protesters are just jealous of their hard-earned money.
And then he goes on to detail what the protestors have reason to protest about. Truly a tour de force.
Please use the link above, or copy and paste this into your browser: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/owss-beef-wall-street-isnt-winning-its-cheating-20111025
Monday, October 24, 2011
Open your ears; for which of you will stop
The vent of hearing when loud Rumour speaks?
I, from the orient to the drooping west,
Making the wind my post-horse, still unfold
The acts commenced on this ball of earth.
Upon my tongues continual slanders ride,
The which in every language I pronounce,
Stuffing the ears of men with false reports.
I speak of peace while covert enmity,
Under the smile of safety, wounds the world...
"St Paul's Cathedral, seat of the Bishop of London and the site of state funerals and other national celebrations, is a powerful top-down organisation. A tourist attraction charging an adult entry fee of £14.50, it takes around £16,000 a day from visitors. It has a hierarchy of clerical and non clerical staff and its trustees are a roll call of what are so often called 'the great and the good'. That many of them are bankers and financiers might be seen as more than a little unfortunate in the present stand-off."
This site gives details of the Chairman and Board of Trustees. It also gives a link to the 2010 accounts, where we find two further individuals who resigned last December: Barry Bateman, vice-chairman of Fidelity International Limited and a benefactor of Exeter University; and a Nigel Kirkup, who has moved on to the St George's Chapel at the royal castle of Windsor and about whom it is proving intriguingly difficult to find out much more.
The land on which the protestors have erected their tents belongs to St Paul's and in an interesting display of Christian anti-authoritarianism, Canon Giles Fraser told the police to move on. The Dean (who is on the Board of Trustees) felt forced "with a heavy heart" to close the Cathedral on Friday, and Canon Fraser seems to concur, while still maintaining that "financial justice is a gospel imperative."
This business of closing a world landmark because of "health and safety" considerations may be, on the face of it, not necessarily entirely apolitical - from either side.
I should like to see the protestors call that bluff - putting up red velvet ropes so that visitors could pass safely in and out of the Cathedral, which survived the Blitz and surely cannot be seriously threatened by the proximity of a few polythene tents.
In addition, perhaps the members of the Board of Trustees could be approached individually, to give their views on modern capitalism and how it has, or has not, benefited the community?There's a smell about this, and it's not coming from the unwashed in their tepees.
Why am I reminded of Brian Haw, who spent the last 10 years of his life shaming Parliament with his anti-war protest. Even more shamefully, the authorities tried various dodges in retaliation: Westminster Council claimed he was an obstruction, and the Speaker of the House tried to invoke mediaeval laws guaranteeing the "safe" passage of MPs. The then Home Secretary David Blunkett announced he would outlaw "permanent encampments" outside Parliament as well as the use of megaphones.
So the - may I call them swine? - attempted to get him under the fresh draconian legislation of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005, only to find that it didn't apply to Haw since his protest had started before that Act. But it does apply to any of us who might try the same kind of protest. Anything, anything is fair to spare those in power the slightest embarrassment.
This thing is the tip of an iceberg. There is a great battle joined for democracy against corrupt, wealthy tyrants, and these protestors are, perhaps, among the first of our "contemptible little army".
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Am I alone in thinking that the West has just done things illegal and immoral in Libya, on the basis of lies and and half-truths told to us? Last night's BBC News had Jeremy Bowen and I-forget-who chatting away comfortably on location and the only question seemed to be whether getting Gadaffi killed had been (a) a good thing or (b) a very good thing.
These two gossiped agreeably like a latter-day Huntley and Brinkley. It would have been good to see the BBC fulfil its brief on balance and impartiality, for example by having one question the other's assertion that Lockerbie had been a Libya plot, rather than (say) an Iranian one, and asking why victim-father Jim Swire and Professor Emeritus of Scots Law Robert Black QC FRSE both feel that Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al-Megrahi is innocent and his trial a travesty of justice. Also, how a UN resolution to protect rebels in Misrata developed into NATO bombing raids on Sirte.
And why we got involved. EU empire-building? Securing Western oil supplies? Scaring the Saudis into withdrawing their support of Wahabi terrorism?
And what's going to happen next. Democracy? That's what Iranian students thought they'd get when they helped overthrow the Shah; instead they got a far harsher, fundamentalist government and Teheran's blood-fountain.
And why are we pretending to foster democracy abroad, in a week when all three major UK political parties are planning to instruct our Parliamentary representatives to vote against holding a referendum on the EU?
Saturday, October 01, 2011
The more system dynamics are repressed, the more likely it becomes that "improbable" events occur and "highly probable" trends dissolve or reverse.
What are the chances of frozen peas being embedded in your kitchen ceiling? Vanishingly small - unless one of them gets stuck in the escape valve of your pressure cooker, as happened to a neighbour of ours, years ago.