Wednesday, June 30, 2010

All this fuss about the book "to Kill a Mocking Bird", a novel I've never read, a film I've never seen, and probably never will.
An allegation I once read somewhere which doesn't seem to have made much impact - Ms. Harper Lee didn't write the book, it was the work of her friend Truman Capote, who gave it to her to publish under her name. If true, it would explain why Ms. Lee has never written another book.
The main weakness with this claim is the idea of Capote keeping his mouth shut about it all those years. Who could believe that?

If you read an interview with one of those "world-famous nonentities" who dominate our media, and they claim that their favourite book is "To Kill a Mocking Bird", you know that they haven't read a book since leaving school. I believe it was a set work at one time. The same is true of "Lord of the Flies" for slightly older nonentities.
Alleged Russian spy to FBI interrogators: "OK, I put my hands up. Now let me go, as you do with all the Israeli spies you catch."

Monday, June 28, 2010

In case any book reading Tynesiders happen to be passing through -

At 7pm on Tuesday 6th July at The Irish Centre, Newcastle (opposite St James Metro) Dave Douglass introduces GHOST DANCERS, the final volume his mining trilogy, launched to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the end of the miners’ strike. Dave Douglass is a long-standing and well-known member of the National Union of Mineworkers in the Durham and Doncaster coalfields and was a coalminer for 40-plus years Hence this is a first-person, insider's view, of, probably, the last generation of miners and their union. It explores the great coal strike of 1984/85 and the background to it and explodes the prevailing myths around that epic period, and corrects the inaccuracies in dozens of previous books on the subject. It also uniquely deals with the post strike period.In relating these events Dave has not sought to exclude those smaller, more personal aspects that intersect this trajectory and link the personal to the political, the major to the minor.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Some unspoken quotes on the Germany-England game -
"Nice to be booed by your own fans, much nicer than walking off to a stunned silence."
(Mr. Potatohead)

"You stupid Inglesi pay me £2 million per anno. Me ne frega niente."
(Il Duce)

"We wuz robbed. We should have been beaten 4-2."
(Whining English journalist)

Come to think of it, that last comment may yet be spoken, or written.

Spoken before, during, and after any match involving Argentina -
"Hand of God - Hand of God - Hand of God" ad nauseam.
(Any English commentator)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

While we're waiting for the wealth to trickle down here's a little peek into the future under our "tough but fair" Tories. fleming is advised to avoid it at all costs.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Alan Plater died this morning, struck down by the Bengal Lancer at age 75.
Playwright, raconteur, jazz fan, Hull City supporter (through thick and mostly thin) and champion of northern working class values. One of the old school, as we of the old school are wont to say.
Born in Jarrow, but raised in Hull, he was proud of his roots and loyal to them. Several of his works were set in Hull, or about Hull people. Others were set in the North-East. But he wasn't parochial in his outlook. I remember one play about Lester Young's hard time in the US army in World War 2.
My favourite from his output for television was his adaptation of Chris Mullin's novel "A Very British Coup", about a Labour Prime Minister far removed from any of the genuine article.
Many people remember his Beiderbecke Trilogy with affection, as do I. Somebody referred to it today as "the gold standard" of television writing.

Here's a bit of Alan, not too serious. I think it's a lyric to a song. It's about the people who play his kind of music, starting with the less celebrated and ending with the ones recognisable by a single name or nickname (there's a lot more I've left out).

Trading fours on Giant steps
Ulysses Livingson, George Van Epps
Vincent Herring and Bobby Few
Do the same on Tea for Two
Playing changes on Midnight Sun
Hannibal Peterson and Teddy Bunn
Putney Dandridge Dardanelle Hadley,
want you to know they love you madly
Round about midnight the legends show
Lester, Billie, Earl and Joe
Ella, Louis, Bix and Bill
Ben and Dizzy, Miles and Gil
Ornette, Django, Slim and Slam
Big Syd, Ray, and Roy and Sam
Bubber, Jelly Roll and Duke
Bean and Bud and Sweets and Klook
Big Tea, Sweet Pea, Teddy and Bunk
Big Joe, Big Mo, Eddy and Monk.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Addio Azzuri
Addio Calciopoli
Al cazzo Berlusconi
Forza Slovacchia!
"Tough but fair" was the slogan of the Tories Cameron and Clegg. What they meant was tough on the wage-slaves and the casualties of capitalism, but fair to the point of albinism to their own kind, the millionaires.
It didn't take long for featherbedded fatcats to decide to have some fun at our expense. "I think I'll award myself a well-earned £641,000 bonus out of your money" said one Iain Coucher, "after all without it I would only be (ahem!) earning £614,000 per annum. Of course one excludes expenses and the pension pot from these calculations."
Peter Henderson, who manages the company's assets, to great personal advantage, is lifting a £453,000 bonus to supplement his meagre £440,000 salary.

And so on; but before accusations of profligacy start to fly let us consider the savings these gentlemen have made. They have frozen the salaries and cancelled bonuses of those who don't put their feet up in the boardroom. Such painful sacrifices are necessary for a company that has seen its pre-tax profits fall by by more than half.
The government, we learn, is "very disappointed" in Messrs Coucher, Henderson, et al.
Unfortunately it can't do anything about it because, though the money is ours, the company isn't. Say good-bye to your money, taxpayers, and await a blistering attack from the Taxpayers Alliance.
Wait a minute - does the Taxpayers Alliance do blistering attacks on a Tory government?

Killer Cola strikes again
The corporation that finances death squads in Colombia is at it again in Pakistan.
Since forming a union at Coca-Cola's bottling plant in the southern Pakistan city of Multan in June 2009, members have met with death threats, abduction,firings, extortion, forgery and fraud. Management's vicious response to the workers' fight for a union is a story drenched with violence, corruption, sleaze and escalating criminality.
The Multan workers need your support. Despite all these illegal acts theunion officers and their supporters remain steadfast in their determinationto win union recognition and become the IUF’s newest members in theCoca-Cola system.

Send a message to Coca-Cola

Learn more

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I had to recycle this comment, made by one Zehmkeria, in today's Guardian -

The England soccer team visited an orphanage in Soweto on Saturday.
“It’s heartbreaking to see their sad little faces with no hope”, said Sipho, aged 6.

We'll see. I'm not looking forward to it, but there's some things a man's gotta do.

Update: they're through to the playoffs, and in 93 minutes they went from a bunch of no-hopers to the greatest team in the world. Oh fickle fandom!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Well, the first of my World Cup predictions has gone for a burton. The host nation has gone out in the first round. Even the obliging French couldn't help them, though they tried their best - Quelle politesse.
"How fitting that even England's mutiny should lack movement in the attack."
(Marina Hyde)


Sunday, June 20, 2010

“I have always believed that music inhabits a world set apart from politics, religious differences or prejudice of any kind,” (Elton John)
Money too, eh?
Wake up, mountebank, and smell the putrefying corpses.
Sunny on "pickled Politics" reports that HMV are removing 'ANYONE BUT ENGLAND' merchandise from their Scottish stores, fearing accusations of racism (?).
I suggest that just adding '... OR FRANCE' would make it a statement of fact rather than an impious hope.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I Read in the paper that that strange individual, Sebastian Horsley, has died.
His autobiography, "Dandy in the Underworld", was quite funny in places, but spiced with a large dose of fabrication in my opinion.
I did, however, make a note of his comment on the sculpture in Hull's Queen's Gardens, commissioned by his grandfather and knocked together by his alleged boyfriend, the ex-gangster Jimmy Boyle. Young Horsley wrote, "You wouldn't have had it in your garden - even if you loved gnomes." Probably correct, though you never know with gnome-fanciers. According to Horsley he and Boyle, rotten drunk, went down to the gardens the night before the unveiling of the work with a couple of hammers to try to demolish it. It survived the attack.
Boyle is another imaginative autobiographer, presenting himself as a working-class hero. He was no such thing. He was a moneylender who battened on the poorest, and battered them too if they couldn't keep up with his demands for repayment with criminal rates of interest. He also ran shebeens in order to wring more out of the most vulnerable. He exploited the poor as much as any gombeen man or sweat-shop owner.

Addendum - "The producers of the stage adaptation of Dandy in the Underworld, which opened two days ago, said: 'We are of course reeling from the shock and deeply saddened by the news of Sebastian Horsley's death. We're working out the most appropriate and respectful course of action.'"
Why, exploit the publicity and make more money of course. Did they even consider an alternative?
The British consulate did not come and see me. I did not see a lawyer.
The only reason I believe I was released was because the Turkish prisoners refused to leave until and unless the other nationalities (those whose consulates had not come and released them) were set free.
The British government did not lift a finger to help me, till this day I have not seen or heard from a British official.
The Israeli government stole my passport.
The Israeli government stole my lap top, two cameras, 3 phones, $1500 and all my possessions.
My government, the British government has not even acknowledged my existence.
I was kidnapped by Israel. I was forsaken by my country
(Jamal Elshayyal)

The reason is, Jamal, that our government secretly endorses all that the Israelis have done, and hopes that you and others will leave it to get on with the ethnic cleansing.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Clearly a sadistic psychopath - I wonder if he committed further murders after his return to civvy street. He may be dead, the British establishment usually waits till the guilty are dead or otherwise out of reach before pointing the finger at its own.
The following exchange took place in 2003.
On Thursday last week, Christopher Clarke QC, told Soldier F that the evidence was that he had opened fire on Michael Kelly, Patrick Doherty and Bernard McGuigan, and William McKinney entirely "without justification". In each case, the soldier admitted to the inquiry that, despite his many previous claims to the contrary, he was in fact responsible for all of the shootings.
This admission, however, only came after two days of intense questioning by both Clarke and the lawyers representing the families. For most of that time, the former Lance Corporal in the Anti-Tank Platoon had made every effort, possibly under instruction, to obstruct the inquiry by claiming to have what Seamus Treacy termed as "total amnesia" about the events of Bloody Sunday. But as the evidence against him mounted up, he was left with no place to hide.
"You killed up to four people, possibly even more," said Clarke in a dramatic series of questions, summing up the raft of charges against him. "Firstly Michael Kelly, and we know that you killed him because of the forensic evidence that a bullet from your gun was found in his body."
"That is correct," replied F.
"Secondly," Clarke continued, "you have accepted that you shot Barney McGuigan, whose photograph, in a pool of blood, you have seen; do you remember that?" Soldier F: "Yes." Clarke: "Do you also accept that you shot Patrick Doherty?" Soldier F: "Yes." Clarke: "There is evidence that you shot William McKinney in Glenfada Park; do you follow?" Soldier F: "Yes." Clarke: "What is alleged in relation to each of those four people is that you shot them without justification, that is to say, that you murdered them; do you follow?" Soldier F "I follow, it is not correct, but I follow, yes."
Soldier F was also accused of wounding at least three other people in Glenfada Park and at the Rossville Flats. Clarke then told F that, further, he was accused of lying when he made each of his numerous statements, and of perjuring himself, both a the Widgery Tribunal and at the current inquiry "both as to what you have said and as to what you have not revealed". The reason for this, said Clarke, is because "you have needed to conceal unlawful activities on your part and on the part of your colleagues".
Finally, the former Para, also identified as 'Dave', was accused of "appalling brutality", amounting to torture, of the detainees at Fort George, people who he had, quite deliberately, falsely accused of being rioters.
During Soldier F's evidence, the inquiry heard that he had been "great mates" with Soldier G and that the two had worked together on Bloody Sunday. Between them, they are accused of the killings of upwards of seven people and of attempting to kill several others. In this respect, the inquiry was reminded of the evidence of Soldier 027, also a member of the Anti-Tank Platoon. 027 recalled that the night before Bloody Sunday, the platoon was urged to "get some kills" by their lieutenant, known as 119.
"I cannot now remember whether these events were first voiced by the lieutenant, but I do remember the comment being repeated by the soldier sitting next to me to my left. I have a clear memory of him nodding his head in acknowledgment and repeating what was said, as if he had made his mind up. Because he was the first individual I noticed from our platoon who fired a shot on the day, the memory of his reaction during the discussion the previous evening stayed in my memory.
"That individual, from my personal point of view, was more than any other individual, responsible for instigating and perpetrating what occurred on Bloody Sunday."
That individual was, of course, Soldier F.
Soldier 027 also recalled the moment when F opened fire. "We ran towards a small wall surrounding a garden in front of Kells Walk - a crowd of people were facing us. As F reached the pavement by the end of the small wall, he went down into a kneeling position beside it, raised his rifle to his shoulder and, without pause or hesitation, commenced firing towards the centre of the crowd.
"Within seconds, other soldiers came on the scene, some kneeling and some standing, joining in the firing. I could see strikes on the barricade. Two people towards the centre of the barricade, who had been facing us, fell within a few seconds of each other in the opening burst of firing.
"I had the distinct impression that this was a case of some soldiers realising this was an opportunity to fire their weapon and they did not want to miss the chance.
"My impression has always been that the two of them, Lance Corporal F and Soldier G, had a preconceived idea of what they were going to do that day and set about doing it as a pair of oppos."
The inquiry was also reminded of the evidence of a priest, Father O'Keefe, who had been detained at Fort George. Soldier G was described by Father O'Keefe as "very blond, almost whitish hair. He had very scary eyes and had a frightening, almost psychotic look about him". Soldier F was described as smaller, "about 5'7" or 5'8" with a thin face and a regional accent, maybe Scottish".
In his evidence, Father O'Keefe vividly described the behaviour of the two men. "I distinctly remember these two soldiers roaming around and subjecting people in the room to more idle brutality," he said. "They would stamp on people's feet or knee people in the groin for no apparent reason. They appeared to be targeting younger lads, 15- to 17-year olds.
"I remember one soldier coming into the room and ordering that heaters should be brought in. Heaters duly arrived and the two soldiers I have described made two young fellows stand with their faces very close to the heaters for a long time.
"One of these two young fellows was clearly distressed by this treatment. I remember F saying to him 'Do you want a drink?' The young fellow said Yes' and was told to open his mouth. F spat in it."
At one point, Fr O'Keefe said, "F came up to me and said 'You were throwing stones, were you not?' I said, 'No, I am a Roman Catholic priest and a lecturer in philosophy and I do not throw stones'. F stepped back, paused for a moment and then kicked me very hard in the groin."
Over the course of his time in the witness box, the inquiry heard how Soldier F, along with his friend Soldier G, has been the subject of sustained and detailed allegations of brutality in Derry and in Belfast by both civilians and other soldiers. However, his actions, observed Treacy, both on Bloody Sunday and elsewhere, had never harmed his career. He had been promoted and had remained in the army until 1988. The implication was therefore, said Treacy, that not only did the army authorities not disapprove of his actions, they positively endorsed them.
His career progressed despite the fact that the British Army at one point had to settle out of court after F and G severely beat Francis Creagh and Roman Muldoon, before dumping them on the Shankill Road. Soldier F blithely denied being involved and claimed that, in his two years in the Six Counties, he had never, as Treacy put it, lifted his hand to anybody, nor had he seen any other British soldier do so. He also claimed to have "scrupulously" adhered to the Yellow Card rules on discharging his weapon at all times, an assertion dismissed as "rubbish" by Treacy after the inquiry heard how Soldier F admitted that he had cocked his weapon with a round in the breech before advancing into the Bogside - an action expressly forbidden in the Yellow Card.
"You have a casual disregard for life [and] you also have a casual disregard for the truth," Treacy told him.
At one point, as the soldier continued with his increasingly ludicrous and implausible inability to remember anything at all, even Lord Saville appeared to become increasingly frustrated. "I am beginning to wonder about the utility of this," he commented.
During questioning by Eilis McDermott QC, for the family of Patrick Doherty, Soldier F was accused of using a "hunting shot" to kill Doherty. "The sort of shot that you take if you can get no other kind of shot - a cheap shot.
"I want to suggest to you on behalf of the Doherty family," she said, "that you murdered Mr Doherty and that as you sit there, you have got away with murder and that you have no intention of alleviating the suffering that they have endured over all these years by even attempting explain to them your role and what went on."
Lord Anthony Gifford QC, representing the family of James Wray, suggested to Soldier F that "you personally relished the prospect of going into the no-go areas and getting to grips with the people of the Bogside. You were sent in like a school of piranha fish into a public swimming pool to create mayhem - and you drew blood wherever you went."
"The idea we lost the 2010 election because of Iraq simply does not add up to the conversations I have had around the country." (Miliband major). That sounds to me very close to "I'd do it again".
No, David, it wasn't because of the Iraq war, it was because you are the kind of people who take us to war after war, and tell us lie after lie.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

John Crace reads the books you can't be bothered to read and pares them down for you. He also, as in this case, reads the books you wouldn't want to touch, leave aside read. This one is by Mad Mel Phillips who probably thinks Avigdor Lieberman is a Hamas stooge. Only the Daily Mail and the BBC regard her rants as worth dissemination. Oh, and Encounter Books, whoever they are.
No doubt we'll soon be hearing that Mr. Crace is an anti-semite, a holocaust denier and a cossack pogromchik. Meantime here's a paragraph from his digested read of Mad Mel's work.
"The anti-Semitic lies proliferate at a terrifying speed. The most pernicious is that Israel has no sense of humour. What's not to laugh about Mossad agents flying in to Dubai and taking out an Arab? All I can say is thank God there are still some fearless media outlets, such as Fox News and the Daily Mail, who are prepared to stand up for the truth. Hey? What's with the strait-jacket? Where are you taking me?"

Monday, June 14, 2010

"U2? Pat Boone (ask your granny) was more rock and roll." (Éamonn McCann)
"As British commentators have rushed to point out, we did not burn US executives in effigy after Occidental's Piper Alpha rig exploded, killing 167 men, in 1988. And Union Carbide's shamefully evasive performance before, during and since the Bhopal disaster in 1984 was highlighted in an Indian court again only last week. That killed 3,000 people directly, and many more since." (Michael White)

One 'BarlieChrooker' comments -
"Another big company that caused lots of collateral damage recently is Lehman Brothers, their greed-fueled implosion has cost Britain billions.
Therefore, BP should compensate the U.S. govt. once the U.S govt. has compensated the UK for Lehman's."

Sunday, June 13, 2010

(NOT from Professor Ferguson's set texts)

They say that they are new, they christen themselves by acronyms: G8, IMF, WB, WTO, NAFTA, FTAA… They cannot fool us, they are the same as those who have come before them: the écorcheurs that plundered our villages, the oligarchs that reconquered Florence, the court of Emperor Sigismund that beguiled Ian Hus, the diet of Tuebingen that obeyed Ulrich and refused to admit Poor Konrad, the princes that sent the lansquenets to Frankenhausen, the impious that roasted Dozsa, the landlords that tormented the Diggers, the autocrats that defeated Pugachev, the government whom Byron cursed, the old world that stopped our assaults and destroyed all stairways to heaven.
Nowadays they have a new empire, they impose new servitudes on the whole globe, they still play the lords and masters of the land and the sea.
Once again, we the multitudes rise up against them.

(Wu Ming)
One consolation I expected from the election of a Conservative government was the likely disappearance from the current affairs discussion roster of the annoying little creep Michael Gove. Perhaps my relief was misplaced, for the man once known as 'Red Mike' is now our education secretary, and teachers and students won't be able to switch him off.

"Last week", writes Seumas Milne, "the new education secretary publicly appealed to pro-empire TV historian Niall Ferguson to help rewrite the history curriculum for English schools. Considering this is a man who has unashamedly championed British colonialism and declared that "empire is more necessary in the 21st century than ever before", letting him loose on some of the most sensitive parts of the school syllabus in multicultural Britain might have been expected to provoke uproar."

The professor favours a less than liberal interpretation of the duties of empire's servants. "Ferguson demanded that the US learn from the British empire and crush resistance in Falluja with 'severity'."

It seems that there is nostalgia for the white man's burden in certain government circles. Let's hope that Baroness Warsi doesn't end up as Minister for Babus, Punkah-wallahs and Chai-wallahs.

Friday, June 11, 2010

30% increase in trade unionists killed world-wide

"The annual survey of trade union rights was released today -- and I'm sorry to say that the news is not good.
According to the International Trade Union Confederation, 101 trade unionists were killed last year.
And that represents a 30% increase on the year before.
That even a single human being dies because they are members of a trade union is a tragedy.
That 101 are killed in a single year is a moral outrage."
(Eric Lee, Labourstart)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Some World Cup predictions (based on past events) -

The host nation team will qualify from its group. The host nation always makes it past the first round, no matter how bad the team. Imagine the riots if it went straight out.

England will qualify from group C. There will be some scares on the way because the overpaid, overindulged ponces never try too hard. You see teams like the USA and Algeria are just there to make up the numbers, and there are two chances of getting through.

At least one England team member will let the side down, either on or off the field of play.

The refereeing will be atrocious, especially the refereeing of games England lose.

In any refereeing decision that could go either way it will go the way of the bigger team. For example, if Portugal score against Ivory Coast and there's an appeal for offside that's a close call, the goal will stand. If Ivory coast score against Portugal and there's an appeal for offside that's a close call, the goal will be disallowed. Unless, of course Portugal are winning 4-0 in the 87th minute.

Some English fan will be arrested and held for an act of violence, possibly murder. We will then read in the British press that, according to those who know him, he's as gentle as a lamb and a loving son and father. He will also have no chance of a fair trial under this (i.e., any foreign) country's corrupt legal system. British consular officials will chase around like blue-arsed flies trying to get him released.
Whenever anyone said "It's time we gave the Liberals/Lib Dems a chance", I had a stock reply. "Yes, let them show us how 'realistic' they'll be in power. Let them stick their noses in the trough."

Before the election (six weeks ago?) the Liberal-Democrats were bent on scrapping Trident. Now they want to keep it.
Before the election the Liberal-Democrats were going to get rid of university tuition fees. Now not only are they going to keep them, they're going to raise them.
Before the election Vince Cable was going to introduce strict regulation of the market and stop bankers' superbonuses. After the election Vince addressed a cluster of fatcats and told them that, when it comes to the city, he's a deep-blue tory.
Before the election Nick Clegg was sick of Israel's treatment of the Palestinian people and intended to do something about it if he won office. What he's done since becoming deputy prime minister is declare his undying love for Israel. On British subservience to the USA, which he deplored before rising in the world, he has yet to pronounce. I predict a change of heart.

"What a difference a day makes." Dinah Washington

"A week is a long time in politics." Harold Wilson

"The road to Hell is a journey of five weeks." Jemmy Hope

"Consummatum est. This bill is ended
And Faustus has bequeathed his soul to Lucifer."
Christopher Marlowe

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Is that supposed to be you?" asked my lady wife on seeing the photograph on the blog.
"Yeah, like me, isn't he?"
"Not at all."
"Apart from the facial hair."
"What? The high forehead, long nose, hostile stare?"
"Nothing like you."

Wad the Lord the giftie gie us
Tae see oorsels as ithers see us.
Something like that.

The first image I had to represent me was a character out of the Simpsons just known as "old man". That lasted a while until the people who police the blog removed it. Something to do with copyright.
So I looked around for an elderly male, not exactly ugly, but ... you know. I ended up with a photograph of an IWW organiser from long ago named Michael Sheehan. It came off the IWW website, no copyright there, eh fellow workers?
Then I managed to get a photograph of myself without grandkids; their presence seems to be the only thing that turns camera lenses in my direction. When TGIA wrote that the photograph looked like Jean-Pierre Cassel I knew it wasn't truly representative, so back to the drawing board.
Along came Gavin Maxwell, author and otter-fancier and no matinee idol. My double I thought, but it seems I got it wrong again.
In the words of Sam Cooke, "A change is gonna come."

Sunday, June 06, 2010

The martyrs of the Mavi Marmara -

Cengiz Akyüz
Ali Heyder Bengi
Ibrahim Bilgen
Celdet Kiliçlar
Cengiz Songür
Çetin Topçuoglu
Fahri Yaldiz
Necdet Yildirim
(all Turkish nationals)

Furkan Doğan
(US national)

"Nine Turkish men on board the Mavi Marmara were shot a total of 30 times and five were killed by gunshot wounds to the head, according to the vice-chairman of the Turkish council of forensic medicine, which carried out the autopsies for the Turkish ministry of justice today.
"The results revealed that a 60-year-old man, Ibrahim Bilgen, was shot four times in the temple, chest, hip and back. A 19-year-old, named as Fulkan Dogan, who also has US citizenship, was shot five times from less that 45cm, in the face, in the back of the head, twice in the leg and once in the back. Two other men were shot four times, and five of the victims were shot either in the back of the head or in the back, said Yalcin Buyuk, vice-chairman of the council of forensic medicine.
"The findings emerged as more survivors gave their accounts of the raids. Ismail Patel, the chairman of Leicester-based pro-Palestinian group Friends of al-Aqsa, who returned to Britain today, told how he witnessed some of the fatal shootings and claimed that Israel had operated a 'shoot to kill policy'.
"He calculated that during the bloodiest part of the assault, Israeli commandos shot one person every minute. One man was fatally shot in the back of the head just two feet in front him and another was shot once between the eyes. He added that as well as the fatally wounded, 48 others were suffering from gunshot wounds and six activists remained missing, suggesting the death toll may increase."
(Guardian, 4th June, emphasis added)

Apparently six of the fatalities were the victims of one man, who is to be decorated for his heroism. Presumably he's one of those professional killers the Israelis send out to murder Palestinians worldwide. As these killing took place in international waters this individual didn't need to adopt a stolen British identity.
"The myth of the brave and utterly infallible Israeli soldier is shattered. Now we can add: they are common thieves. For I was not the only one to be robbed of my money, credit card, clothes, MP3 player, laptop; the same happened to many others on the same ship as me, which was attacked early one morning by masked Israeli soldiers, who were thus in fact nothing other than lying pirates."

Henning Mankell, author, witness, victim of piracy, abductee, victim of looters.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Further to my last post and the helpful comments it elicited -

I hope the the Rachel Corrie has not gone to Cyprus (Famagusta?) for the equipment. It's clear from what happened to the other ships that the Cypriot government is in cahoots with the rogue state. The sabotage of some of the flotilla, which the Israelis are hinting at, will almost certainly have taken place there. Could it have been done without Cypriot facilitation?
Then there's the removal and detention of the EU politicians. Why, if not at Israel's request?
The likelihood of any equipment installed in a Cypriot port having been doctored by Mossad strikes me as very high. The possibility of its failure just as it's most needed should be considered.
Nor can one rule out the possibility that the Cypriots would prevent the Rachel C. from leaving port, ostensibly for the safety of the crew and passengers.
Cyprus is no friend of Turkey, and with good reason, but cosying up to a state that is rapidly becoming a pariah makes no sense in the long term. It may feel comforting to be on good terms with the local bully, but it just means having more enemies than friends. Compare the United Kingdom, Little Satan to the US's Great Satan. How much international goodwill have we sacrificed in order to maintain that abusive, exploitative relationship?

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Is there a news blackout of the M.V. Rachel Corrie? I can't find anything anywhere.
STS Bulletin no.26

"Israel's legitimate security concerns"
means Israel's carte blanche to kill anyone anywhere at any time.

means hmanitarian aid volunteers.

"Hamas terrorists"
means the democratically elected administration in the Gaza Gulag.

Why do we put up with this shit?

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Give the apartheid state a taste of its own medicine, an immediate embargo. It's up to a right-minded public. The politicians refuse to act just as they did with apartheid South Africa. It was people power which effected change then.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

“Not another nickel, not another dime, no more money for Israel’s crimes.”

Sometimes we have to remind ourselves that not all Americans are foaming-at-the-mouth, gun-toting, flag-wagging nutters who think that bombing and occupying third world countries is the way to conduct business on the international stage.
From Craig Murray on yesterday's BBC damage limitation exercise on behalf of the Israeli rogue state -

I Just Can't Believe This Is Happening
In two and a half hours of coverage BBC News has interviewed the Israeli government spokesman and covered live an Israeli government press conference, while reporters have set out at length the Israeli government view of events nine times. There has been no attempt to interview anyone from the convoy organisers, from the Turkish government, or from the Palestinians, and no expression of scepticism or even reserve by any reporter about the Israeli version of events.
A BBC journalist has stated - quite wrongly - that the blockade of Gaza is legal, and there has been no mention of the fact that it is illegal to board a foreign ship in international waters.
UPDATE BBC producres refuse to put up any interviewee except from the Israeli propaganda regime. The Israeli command on the 10am news was the worst example yet. But my warm congratulations to the female anchor who, despite this backroom manipulation, cut across his mendacity. I fear her career may be damaged.

Well, I was gobsmacked by one little example of BBC 'balance' on yesterday's 24 hour news. A newsreader interviewing Nabil Shaath said that there might have been cement among the flotilla's cargo. If this was so, she said, then the Israeli assault would have been justified. She was talking about an act of piracy on the high seas culminating in a massacre.
Her career prospects at the BBC are probably enhanced.