Thursday, April 30, 2009

"In this Mesopotamian prescription of a plague on all their houses we must not forget though the opponents of the war back home as well. For while many may feel vindicated by what subsequently happened, it was their hand wringing and magnification of every set back or mis-step that played a key role in undermining the political will to achieve more in southern Iraq."
Mark Urban of the BBC.
This fellow will go far in the corporation.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

On the "not guilty" verdicts on the Beeston trio, Ali, Saleem and Shakil -
What intrigues me about this is how things have changed since the 1970s. Then when an IRA bomb went off all the muskers had to do was grab some handy Paddies, verbal them up, and a jury would do its duty and find them guilty as charged.
This time the jury has chosen not to believe the prosecution's tale. Is it anything to do with the behaviour of the police of late? Jean Charles de Menezes, Ian Tomlinson, the lies the police told, and their ever changing stories as the facts emerged little by little?
Of course back then it was possible to beat a confession out of an innocent person in custody, but it happened too often to be allowed to continue.
Then again it may be the number of convicted "bombers" who were later released and (officially)compensated that could make a jury think twice about taking police statements as reliable.
Who knows? Not me, I expected a guilty verdict regardless of the quality of the evidence. After all these were Muslims, with BEARDS. Perhaps I should have had more faith in the jury system, but a long memory makes that difficult.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Franklin Rosemont, Wobbly and Surrealist, obiit April 12th 2009.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

"My mother died a year ago ...", Lampard plays that dog-eared sympathy card again.

He's rich
He's spoiled
He's selfish
He plays for Chelsea
He's got a look like a kid who carried the can for something someone else did.

What's not to like?

I can't wait to read Marina Hyde's take on this.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Not the worst union general secretary. He appears not to have lined his pockets from members' dues, which makes a pleasant change. Damning with faint praise? Maybe, but any praise for a TU full-timer is a departure for this old grouse.
Fought in Spain; carried on in the class struggle after retirement, unlike his old mucker LORD Scanlon. Not a bad record when all's said and done.
The press has used Jack Jones's passing as an excuse to revive all that cobblers about "the overweening power of the unions" in the seventies. Speaking as a rank and file member of the T&G in the 60s, 70s and 80s, I have to wonder why that power, if it existed, was not used to improve our lot. The power of the unions at grass rooots was minimal, in the construction industry anyway. Because the union bureaucrats were invited to Downing Street for the proverbial "beer and sandwiches" the lying press can portray their organisations as having some influence over government policy. They were going there to make deals with the government and the employers' organisations, deals that gave very little to the people they were supposed to represent. Still the old canard is now firmly established. We were the enemy within, lazy, overpaid, strike-prone.
Lies, lies, lies!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

28th APRIL 2009



Gather 10.30 am at the statue of the unknown
building worker at Tower Hill next to the Tower
of London, Tower Bridge. Rally with speakers.

March from Tower Hill to the Health and Safety
Executive (HSE) headquarters in Southwark St.
Continue the march to City Hall, London, SE1 for
Rally with speakers from 12 noon

CONTACT: 077 477 95954


April 28th 2009


Every year throughout the world more people die from work activity
than die in wars. The International Labour Organisation (ILO), estimated
that, globally, about 2.2 million people die every year from occupational
accidents and diseases, with 270 million workers suffering serious
non-fatal injuries and another 160 million workers suffering from
short or long term illness from work-related causes.

In Britain the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), our safety police, say
in the last 25 years, over 2,800 people have died from injuries received
as a result of construction work. In 2007/8 there were 72 construction
fatalities. Many more have been injured or made ill. The government
say there are currently 4,000 deaths a year from asbestos exposure.

The government, in its drive to de-regulate and cut costs has become
even more business friendly. Cuts to the budget of the HSE mean HSE
inspectors visiting workplaces and enforcing the law has declined
(overall from 1,483 inspectors in 2004 to 1,238 in 2008). The number of
HSE prosecutions is also in decline (overall 1,720 offences prosecuted
in 2003/4 to 1,028 in 2007/8). All of this in a period when accident
rates remain high. The courts still fine some companies a few thousand
pounds following a worker death. The number of jailing following a
worker death is not much more than a dozen.


The Mayor of London has control over two massive public sector projects
– the Olympics site and Crossrail. It is necessary to remind the Mayor
we want these projects built safely with fair employment practices for all.


The Economic Collapse threatens your Health and Safety; it’s the filthy
rich that caused it – It’s not foreign workers, But its workers in all countries
who are being made to pay for it. Resist and get organised join a
Trade Union and establish active workplaces and community committees,
Demand that there is no increase in workplace fatalities and major
injuries. Demand the government not allow our jobs to be lost with
all the poverty and ill heath this will cause. Demand not just the nationalisation
of the banks but also all major industries. Demand the end of
privatisation of all public sector bodies. Demand the reinstatement
and expansion of construction direct labour organisations and all other
public services. End all agency and bogus self-employment by having
workers directly employed.

Workers and trade union safety reps must
be given more rights in law to defend

The government must repeal the anti-
trade union laws.

The government must fund the HSE
properly and change its enforcement
policy to be more “big stick” and less

The courts must jail employers who
negligently kill workers and increase the
level of fines.

Remember the dead – but fight for the

The construction safety campaign is
calling on workers from all the different
industrial backgrounds, Trades Unions,
workplaces and community groups to
support this event

CONTACT: 077 477 95954

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Here's a little fairy tale I've just made up.
Far away in a Labour held constituency a byelection is in the offing. The party members are preparing to cast their votes for their favoured candidate, when - Presto! - another postulant appears as if from nowhere. But no, she is sent from on high, for she is child of the Nomenklatura, Daddy is on the inside.
The electors revolt and decide to give the young lady's arse a skelping to demonstrate their independence.
To no avail; practitioners of the black arts are on hand to frustrate their plan. Behold! A ballot box with a broken seal. The ballot is declared null and void.

On a completely different subject; I think the student Ms. Georgia Gould will be selected as NEW Labour candidate for Erith and Thamesmead. I see she has the blessing of the wife of the perjuror and Berlusconi creature, David Mills, which must be a great help.
She said she pointed to her face and asked the officer: "Do you realise there are three film crews filming you?"
... and when, I wonder, will their footage be shown to the public? They might as well have stayed in bed for all the good they were.

Friday, April 17, 2009

"Haaretz gave considerable space to the BBC's findings yesterday. I'm not surprised. But why is it that Haaretz's top correspondents – Amira Hass and Gideon Levy – write so much more courageously about the human rights abuses of Israeli troops (and war crimes) than the BBC has ever dared to do? Whenever I'm asked by lecture audiences around the world if they should trust the BBC, I tell them to trust Amira and Gideon more than they should ever believe in the wretched broadcasting station. I'm afraid it's the same old story. If you allow yourself to bow down before those who wish you to deviate from the truth, you will stay on your knees forever."
(Robert Fisk)

The BBC Trust upheld a complaint by a Zionist organisation alleging bias on the part of its Middle East editor, Jeremy Bowen. In this case bias = truth. The BBC is expected to broadcast Zionist propaganda, and does so on a regular basis. Jeremy Bowen is a marked man.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

114 individuals who had committed no offence were arrested by the Nottinghamshire police yesterday.
G20 protesters were subjected to collective punishment last week. A passer-by was killed by a masked police officer.
Last month climate change protesters "were threatened with arrest after invoking their right to not to disclose personal details. They were also subjected to repeated searches, and police seized more than 2,000 items, including a clown outfit, cycle helmets, tent pegs and board games. The confiscation of the camp's supply of soap was justified by police 'because protesters might use it to make themselves slippery and evade the grip of police'."

Altogether now -
"Die Fahne hoch! Die Reihen fest geschlossen!
SA marschiert mit mutig-festem Schritt."

We often hear about the desecration of Jewish graves by anti-semites. Are all such desecrations to be condemned? Apparently not.
"... your bosses tell you that you've got an hour to get your coat and go and "we're sorry but haven't you heard about the crisis, we're going bust too, and you can forget about redundancy pay and even the pension you've accrued". The odds are that you'd feel a cross between furious, depressed and scared.
"Also, imagine you find out that last year your boss from the same company that is going bust managed to rustle up some spare change for himself for a total of $1,341,667 as well as a staggering $8,393,607 with shares and bonuses - and that your chief executive too found enough dough to take home: $1.48 million in cash and bonuses."

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Funny thing -
that Channel 4 had video evidence of Mr. Ian Tomlinson being batonned by a riot cop but chose not to air it until the cat had been let out of the bag and proof of an assault was all over the internet. One might suspect Channel 4 of collaborating with the police in a cover-up.
Ken Loach's account of his experiences with TV programme commissioners is pertinent.
I also had a South Bank Show film, Which Side Are You On?, about the miners' strike, withdrawn for political reasons. I was desperate to make a programme about the strike because the news presentation of it showed the opposite of what was actually happening: the brutality of the police, the subterfuge of the government, the power of the state, the fact that the other trade union leaders were turning their backs on the miners. None of this kind of thing was talked about at the time - it was a parallel universe.
But the strike was also a time of cultural explosion in the mining areas. In almost every pit I went to there were creating writing groups. Women were active - suddenly finding that they could stand on their feet and address a couple of hundred people. It was a time when people stood tall. My film was about the miners' songs and poems. I made it in a week, and cut it quickly. Melvyn Bragg came to see it with Nick Elliott, who was a member of the LWT hierarchy. There was the sound of breath being sucked in through teeth, and heads were shaken, and I was told that they wouldn't show it. The film included some amateur footage of police brutality, which hadn't been seen. They told me that if I cut that, it could be shown.
It was screened at a documentary festival in Florence, where it was given a prize, and was eventually shown on Channel 4, but the quid pro quo was that immediately afterwards they screened a programme in which Jimmy Reid, the shipbuilders' union leader, who had become a newspaper columnist, spoke directly to camera, attacking Scargill and the miners' leadership

Saturday, April 11, 2009

If there is anything to feel optimistic about today, perhaps it is the hope that we are witnessing the flowering of an effective inverse surveillance society. Inverse surveillance is a branch of sousveillance, the term coined by University of Toronto professor Steve Mann, and it emphasises "watchful vigilance from underneath", by citizens, of those who survey and control them.

Another good article by Marina Hyde on an important topic, and an addition to my vocabulary, sousveillance.
"This video is not available in your country"
According to one Bobbie Johnson in Guardian IT "Google pulled music videos from YouTube in the UK, complaining that it would cost more to show each video than it got in payment ...". Well tough shit, Google, don't you make a fortune selling the information you garner on our tastes and interests? How much is too much for you money grubbers?
I checked my account to see how many tagged videos were no longer accessible; Five had gone down the pan, 17 remained, mainly at or Foxy Tunes Planet, but five were labelled 'YouTube'. So presumably YouTube videos are still accessible but not via Google. The workings of the internet remain a mystery to me.
One video, I've forgotten which, is the subject of a copyright squabble involving someone called 'Archibuild Ltd'. I'm sure they're great music lovers.
Google had deprived me of a particularly favourite, "Intro and Outro" by the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, but fortunately I was able to hook up to it again on
Up yours, Google!

Friday, April 10, 2009

It’s all happened very fast. Our politicians’ French is getting worse and worse. Advertisers continue to abuse our language with each new billboard. The school system does what little it can ... That’s how low we have sunk - and all things considered, no one really gives a damn. One cuts straight to the point these days, and we simply follow suit while everything around us is falling asunder, seemingly unconscious of the downhill slope that leads from the Princess to the bloody idiot.

I find it difficult to see any progress in that.
( (François Taillandier, L'Humanité, 31st March)

You too, France?

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Listening to the "Today" programme on BBC4 this morning, the Ian Tomlinson video being discussed. It was described as "amateur", "amateurish", "shaky", and "all over the place". Surprisingly the speakers didn't get round to describing it as worthless as evidence, though I'm sure they were dying to do so.
The interviewee described what was to be seen on the video, including the cop striking Mr. Tomlinson with his truncheon on the back of the legs before knocking him to the ground. The interviewer declared that he had not discerned the use of the truncheon. At this point I'd had enough and turned the radio off before I heard it suggested that Mr. Tomlinson was an al-Qua'ida operative - or maybe the BBC is leaving that claim to the (Daily?)Mail.
The Metropolitan Police have lied again about the death of a man at the hands of their officers. Now the story will keep changing until the media get tired of reporting it. The Guardian has a headline suggesting the assailant could face a manslaughter charge - could, but won't, Messrs Guardian. However he can expect a promotion soon.
Blair Peach, now what happened to his killer? Oh yes, I remember now, he was never charged but he WAS promoted.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Caravan buyout creates 100 jobs
This is a headline from my local paper, but when one reads the article it turns out not to be true. One local firm has bought another local firm that was in administration. The buyers have stated that this will create up to 100 jobs, i.e., a number of jobs somewhere between one and 100.
My local paper usually leaves the "up to" bit in when reporting new employment opportunities. It's always a good idea to take the figures with a pinch of salt but the paper never does. "Up to a thousand new jobs will result from these orders" says employer; that kind of thing. No-one ever revisits the story and asks "How many actual jobs were created as a result of that order/that new firm moving in?
The Hull Daily Mail, the Dr. Pangloss of jobsearch.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

"Rules must be binding, violations must be punished, words must mean something."
(President Obama)
So, at last something will be done about Israel's constant flouting of UN resolutions. Oh! - North Korea - right, carry on Israel.
Then maybe this means that the USA will at last stop flouting UN resolution after UN resolution on blockade of Cuba ... or maybe not.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Well played the Scottish FA. Barry Ferguson and Allan McGregor will never play for Scotland again. Well done Rangers (I never thought I'd write those words). Ferguson loses the captaincy and both wasters have been suspended without pay for two weeks.
Now imagine this happening to any of the spoilt millionaires who play for England. Actually I can't. The English FA standing up to the shirt salesmen - never!
Judge McCallum said Cockayne "thoroughly deserved to go to prison" after watching CCTV footage that showed the Robins star repeatedly kick Mr Thompson.

Then he let him walk free. Why? Well, the thug is an investment of the business called Hull KR.
A spokesman for Hull KR said: "As a club, we take the court's decision and Ben's sentence very seriously. We intend to meet with Ben and his representatives to discuss this outcome. We are not in a position to comment until this meeting has taken place."

Translation, "We're not going to do anything".

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

I read on jailhouse lawyer's blog that the broadcaster Nicky Campbell called someone a fascist, but later apologised. I should think so. The BBC term is "far right activist". Fascist, like extremist, can be used at the BBC when referring to left wing organisations, but never of right wingers, fascist or otherwise. I expect Mr. Campbell will be on a warning for this gaffe.
Still, no smoke without fire, eh?