Monday, May 30, 2011

"Bryan Ferry turns out to sing for Berlusconi's bigots racists & proto-Fascists. Boycott this boor". (George Galloway)


That's Bryan 'Nuremberg Mon Amour' Ferry. I wonder if he knows the words of "Giovinezza". Stiff arm salutes and bunga-bunga - the way to the heart of any right-wing narcissist.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Incredulity - something I never experience when listening to politicians; disgust is another matter.
Yesterday I heard the war criminal Blair express satisfaction at the capture of Ratko Mladić.
One down, thousands to go.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


The name of this blog comes from a song by Alan Klein. Some of the lyrics go like this -

Dad's gone down the dogtrack, Mother's playin' bingo
Grandad's swearin' at the telly, tryin' to make the thing go
No one seems to notice me, isn't it a sin
What a crazy world we're livin' in.
Oh, Dad's gone down the dogtrack, Mother's playin' bingo
Grannie's boozin' in the parlour, you oughta see the gin go
No one seems to notice me, isn't it a sin
What a crazy world we're livin' in.

I remembered the words differently -
Grandad's swearin' at the telly, you should hear the lingo
- conflating two different lines.

I thought the words fitted; me talking back to newsreaders and politicians as if the telly would transmit my words to them:
"Lying twat!"
"Mealy-mouthed bastard!"

Sometimes you just can't hold back.
As my abuse was (is) heard by no-one but my disapproving missus it really was a wasted effort. To a certain extent so is this blog, but I don't care. I've described my efforts as being like that of a demented dosser hurling obscenities at passing traffic, and being studiously ignored by everyone within earshot.
But it's therapeutic.

Now to Alan Klein.
He once stated that he only wrote lyrics about the life he knew, about his own surroundings. Songs like "The Layabout's Lament", and "Crazy World" appear to bear this out. There are other songs that could be described as satirical. His "Going to Bluesville" sounds like a piss-take of the Rolling Sones, then there's his dig at the protest song phase, based on the Barry Maguire money-spinner, "Eve of Destruction".
Alan K.'s career, like so many others, didn't fare well in the aftermath of 'Beatlemania', but he soldiered on as a songwriter and occasional singer and recording artist. A great deal of information on him and on his work can be found here.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

One thing on which I agree with Bob Dylan; people who should know better talk and write an awful lot of crap about Bob Dylan and his product.
A recent article asked some entertainers what present they would give to Dylan for his seventieth birthday. I was thinking a bar of soap and a comb. He's one of those people whose appearance on our television screen causes my missus to remark "I could imagine him to smell".
Joni Mitchell called Dylan a plagiarist and a fake. I have nothing to add to that observation.

Monday, May 23, 2011

STS Bulletin no.38
"The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps ..." (Barack Obama)


The borders of Israel will be defined by Israel. (Baruch Obama to the Association for an Intensified Palestinian Annihilation Campaign)
ORGANIZED RAGE: Paul Kenny GMB head commissioned report which call...: "Below is a guest post from Tony Greenstein: Paul Kenny is the unelected General Secretary of the GMB, a union which has traditionally been ..."

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Now that Strauss-Kahn has removed himself from his post at the IMF I wonder if the charges against him will be dropped.

"In the New York Sofitel are working many black woman from Guinea. Some of them have been violated by the former IMF boss and these attacks have been suppressed by the hotel’s owners... "

So what has happened to change their attitude to the behaviour of this individual?
"You can go off people, you know."

I used to be an admirer of Ryan Giggs: stuck with one club, good disciplinary record, no tantrums, no handbags, no puking up over young ladies.

I don't think much of Twitter, don't see the point.

But if it's Giggs v. Twitter, I'm with Twitter.

Friday, May 20, 2011

In today's Guardian (G2 section) I read of a young fellow named Thomas Aikenhead who was hanged for the offense of blasphemy in 1697. This was in Edinburgh where he was a student at the university.
Young Aikenhead was reported, apparently by a fellow student, as describing the Christian Bible as "a rhapsodie of faigned and ill-invented nonsense". He further described the New Testament as "the history of the impostor Christ", and asserted "that God, the world, and nature are but one thing, and that the world is from eternity".
"In all" writes Michael Hunter*, "Aikenhead was as complete a freethinker as any in early modern Europe, and he went further than most in averring that 'Christianity would soon be utterly extirpat' possibly as early as 1800."
Young Thomas was hanged, probably pour encourager les autres, as Hunter states that "irreligious opinions seemed to be becoming commoner in Edinburgh at this time."
Thomas Aikenhead, an early martyr in the cause of freethought.

*Michael Hunter, DNB, s.v., 'Thomas Aikenhead'.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Robert Fisk on the Obama Middle East speech, already written off by the British media.

"It is time for Americans to free themselves from their fear of Israel's lobbyists – in fact the Likud Party's lobbyists – and their repulsive slurs of anti-Semitism against anyone who dares to criticise Israel. It is time for them to take heart from the immensely brave members of the American-Jewish community who speak out about the injustices that Israel as well as the Arab leaders commit."
"And then comes the weekend when Mr Obama has to address the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the biggest, most powerful lobbyist "friend" of Israel in America. Then it will be all back to the start, security, security, security, little – if any mention – of the Israeli colonies in the West Bank and, I feel sure of this, much mention of terrorism, terrorism, terrorism, terrorism, terrorism, terrorism, terrorism."

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

"A man whose intelligence is destroyed by his own ego"

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Diana Johnstone on Strauss-Kahn -
" ... he has been credited with a style of womanizing that is not so much the Latin lover stereotype as “a chimpanzee in heat”, according to a young journalist who has publicly recounted how she had to fight him off tooth and nail."

"The fact that he was clearly an eager champion of multinational financial capital posing as a socialist was not the problem; the problem was that it showed."

" ... it is strange for a presidential candidate to declare that concern for a foreign country [i.e., Israel] is the primary motivation of his political career."

Monday, May 16, 2011

I don't get it.
A black chambermaid accuses one of the most powerful men in the world of sexual assault and attempted rape and the man is arrested.
Who did she take her complaint to? The hotel management? The police? Did nobody attempt to silence her with threats or bribes?
I'm not alleging that the woman is lying, just expressing surprise that her allegations have been acted upon. In the UK she would have been sent packing at an early stage. This would have been a matter of class; the lower orders don't get anywhere with complaints about their social superiors.
In the US, I suggest it would be a matter of class and RACE. Black against white, no contest, ask Rodney King. So little wonder that some in Europe are crying foul.
Strauss-Kahn, they say, if he declared his intention to run for the French presidency against the odious Sarkozy would win at a canter. No chance of that now.
Strauss-Kahn, they say, has upset the Americans, not to mention the Russians and the Chinese, by pumping IMF money into the Eurozone.
On the other hand, S-K is known as a "chaud lapin", though not as a rapist (hang on! A queue is forming).
To sum up, he may or may not be guilty, but in the land of John F. Kennedy and William J. Clinton you just don't treat well connected sexual predators that way.
Unless ...

Friday, May 13, 2011

A message from a British trade unionist in Cairo -

I have the extraordinary honour of reporting directly from the Invitation Hotel overlooking Tahrir Square in the centre of Cairo, the centre of the revolution in Egypt. The situation here is fantastic and exciting. Everybody is in party mood and the pride in what the people have achieved is palpable. The work is not finished yet and Egypt needs your support. Everybody is saddened by the fact that there are so few of us foreigners here and I have a direct message from the people of Egypt. This was not an Islamic anti western revolution. It was a revolution against the corruption of the ruling classes in Egypt. Westerners have nothing to fear here. The people of Egypt want to be your friends and share in their happiness at their success. This was a revolution by people who were fed up with being suppressed politically and who knew that the ruling elite were stealing the wealth of their country. So the message is 'Come to Egypt, Egypt is your friend. Egypt needs you.'
The Invitation Hotel is a centre of revolutionary activity best personified by Muhammad 'abd Al-latif who prefers to go by the name of Tifa. He is 27 years old and full of the energy required for revolution. I have copied him into this e-mail and I would ask you to e-mail him in person with support from socialists, trade unionists and all who support the revolution against corruption.
Not content with the revolution here Tifa and many of his comrades are going to the border with Gaza on Saturday the 14th of May to demonstrate against the brutal repression by the Israeli regime in Gaza. Their cause celebre in this case is the fishermen of Gaza who are being prevented from making a living and providing basic food for their people. Secondly they are demanding the cessation of Zionist settlements in all the occupied territories and are ultimately aiming for the return to the 1948 border. They are calling for the third Palestinian Intifada. Up to now they are expecting at least 5000 people to demonstrate. At the same time Tifa's wife, Marielle Christiaens is organising a simultaneous demonstration outside the Israeli embassy in Belgium.


Initially just messages of support will mean the world to Tifa. After that those of us who can will support in more practical ways.
The revolution here is gathering in strength BUt your comrades need YOU. Come to Egypt. Come to Tahrir Square. Meet with Tifa and his wonderful comrades. Be inspired just as I have been!
Vive La Revolution de 25 Janvier 2011!
Your Comrade,

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Hodie, matutine, decessit soror mea aetatis LXIV annorum. Unica soror trium fratrum; etiam uxor, mater et avia.
"Casta fuit, domum servavit, lanam fecit."


Sunday, May 08, 2011

Yes it's working, Ehud Barak agrees. But Netanyahu and his mediaeval allies are banking on the US continuing to squander its rapidly disappearing assets propping up the failing apartheid state.
(via Very Angry Arab)

Saturday, May 07, 2011

The night of the 7th May 1941 was the first of two consecutive nights of German bombing raids on the city and port of Hull.

"It is known that upwards of 300 high explosive bombs were dropped,these included parachute mines and 'G' bombs. Some 40 of them failed to explode, though each one was a menace for a considerable time. The incendiaries, from flares to oil bombs, numbered thousands. There were 6,000 wardens on duty each evening, many of them becoming casualties, six, unfortunately, fatal.
"During the two nights hundreds of fires were put out by members of the various services and the general public as soon as the incendiary bombs began their fell work. Even so, the fire brigades had to deal with approximately 800 conflagrations. The city centre, King Edward Street, Jameson Street, Prospect Street became a mass of flames ... Industrial plants in all parts of the city suffered damage, as did the Guildhall, the City Hall, and the Prudential Buildings at the corner of King Edward Street.. The high tower of the Prudential Buildings had to be demolished the next day for the public safety."

"... 3,000 dwellings were either wrecked or seriously damaged, 9,000 had doors and windows torn out of their frames, and 50,000 suffered minor damage from blast , bomb or shrapnel.
"... The casualties on those two nights totalled 1,200 - 400 being fatal. In 36 cases identity could not be established.
"So many were unidentified that on May 12th there was a communal funeral for 200."
(T. Geraghty, "A North-East Coast Town" 1951)

"The crowning tragedy of that single night [8th May] was the destruction of the Prudential Tower ... At least eighty people, many of them girls from the 'Women's Royal Naval Service', or 'Wrens' as they were affectionately known, were immolated in the firestorm unleashed upon those buildings. (Their indecipherable remains still rest irrecoverable to this day, under the charred and compressed rubble of the basement.)
(Clive Ashman, "Mosaic", 2008)

I, being a couple of months short of my third birthday, probably slept through most of that living hell, or sat whining to my mother that I wanted to leave the cold air-raid shelter and go back to bed.
I saw an old schoolmate being interviewed on the local telly yesterday. He was asked if he was scared. No, he said, it was an adventure. Doubtless we were shielded from the worst. My mother-in-law spoke of going to work at the local fire station one morning, and stepping over body parts strewn about the road.
1,258 citizens of Hull were killed in the wartime bombings, several times as many injured. 152,000 were were made homeless. The last bomb to fall on Britain, in 1945, fell on Hull, and took lives.
The site of the Prudential Tower is marked by a plaque set in the ground. There is a movement afoot to commemorate our dead more fittingly with a memorial listing those whose names are known, as was done elsewhere. One mooted site for this is the old "National" picture house, or cinema, which sustained a hit during the showing of a film, resulting in casualties among the patrons. The shell of the building still stands, and has been described as the last remaining wartime bombsite in Britain.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Yesterday I saw "dead man walking" Clegg on the box trying to justify the economic crimes to which he is party. He talked of "taking" difficult decisions. I've heard a lot of decision taking on the news lately. Didn't we used to MAKE decisions? I'm sure we did. I was thinking it might be one of those americanisms that are infiltrated into our speech by media wallahs, but then I remembered the Three Degrees and their song -

"Yes, this is the year
to make your decision."
(I like that record)

Anyway, Yanks do a lot of calling these days: "Good call", "It's your call", etc.
So maybe decision taking is as valid as decision making. It's just that I've only been hearing it in the last year or so.
Leee John - not his real name, which was not ridiculous enough.
Funny thing -
First reports of the raid on the Bin Ladin compound stated that there were no phones or computers, a precaution against electronic tracking. Later reports said that the hit squad took laptops away for examination.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Tariq Ali, "Who told them where he was?"
So the inquest jury's verdict on the unlawful killing of Ian Tomlinson is that he was (wait for it!) unlawfully killed. Now I wonder how long it will take the Crown Prosecution Service to decide that there is not enough evidence to prosecute the killer.

Monday, May 02, 2011

People have complained in the past about the difficulty of terminating a facebook account. Now it's been made easy for British facebook users. Just criticise Cameron-Clegg cuts and you disappear.
The Killing of Bin Ladin

From the people who brought you -
Weapons of Mass Destuction

The Rescue of Private Jessica Lynch

The Heroic Death of Pat Tillman

I've always believed that Bin Ladin died of his wounds some years ago. Did anyone take a photograph of the deceased? DNA samples? Did they cut off his hands for fingerprint confirmation, as they (CIA) did with Che Guevara? The corpse was hurriedly swagged off and dumped in the sea. How inconvient, or convenient.
Lacking both solid evidence and faith in the source of information I now allow my imagination to run free for a while.
Bin Ladin has been living for years in Abbottabad with the connivance of his allies in Pakistani military intelligence (ISI). Meanwhile the Yanks, guided by the same ISI, bomb seven bells out of Waziristan. Then, for some unknown reason, the Pakistanis have a change of heart and turn the Lion of Allah over to the Yanks, who go in like Gangbusters and kill him. Couldn't keep him alive for a spell of waterboarding leading to some useful information; pity really.
They also did for one of Usama's sons and an unnamed woman, who was, allegedly, being used as a "human shield". "Attica, Attica, Attica ..." You see the US forces never kill anyone by accident (back to Pat Tillman). Unless THEY were using her as a shield.
Quid pro quo - what do the Pakistanis get out of this? There must have been something in it for them. Maybe Obama promised to stop bombing them; or to stop his spooks gunning down innocent civilians on the streets of their cities.

Update: I've heard since that DNA tests were done on the body. So the hit squad must have taken samples from Bin Ladin's kin for comparison; someone qualified to perform the tests on site; equipment necessary for testing. Such foresight.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Light the bonfires, today is bealtaine. It's also May Day, but as that festival has fallen on the Sabbath the holiday is tomorrow.
I hear the German workers started celebrating yesterday.