Thursday, June 30, 2011

Alexander Vinokourov of Astana is the favorite of the English bookmakers to win the Tour de France...
Alexander Vinokourov of Astana is the favorite of the English bookmakers to win the Tour de France this year, who see a 1 to 3.25 chance that he'll be atop the podium in Paris.
He is followed by Alejandro Valverde at 1 to 5 and teammate Andreas Klöden at 1 to 6, reported Further back are Levi Leipheimer and Carlos Sastre at 1 to 12, Denis Menchov at 1 to 16, and Cadel Evans and Yaroslav Popovych at 1 to 20. The first Italian on the list is Damiano Cunego, who has odds of only 1 to 25.

But William Hill has Contador odds on favourite; Andy Schleck 2/1; Wiggins 20/1; Vinokourov 100/1.

Most of the riders were cheered by the crowd but Alberto Contador was booed loudly as he stepped on to the stage. Earlier his team manager Bjarne Riis had defended the Spaniard’s right to race because his Clenbuterol positive from last year’s Tour de France has still to be considered by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. However, the crowd’s disapproving reaction indicates Contador is not welcomed by many of the French spectators at this year’s race.

"News Corp's BSkyB bid: Jeremy Hunt gives green light for takeover"

Well I'll be hornswaggled!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Public sector workers on strike tomorrow, or members of some unions are*. One day off and it's Armageddon for our media, politicians and a horde of right wing shits. That's how important these people are, they take a day off and the fabric of our society begins to unravel. For Christ's sake, Cameron, get your manicured hands off their pensions, or they might take two days off and we'll all be dead.
One local Conservative MP has accused the teachers of abandoning children, turning them out into the streets to be kidnapped by paedophiles, child traffickers or Tory politicians. I assume that's what leaving children to be looked after by their parents means to him. Admittedly more child abuse takes place in families than in schools (leaving aside the Christian Brothers), so maybe that's his point.

Meanwhile, in Greece, a warning for us all is being played out. Politicians+international bankers+the circling vultures of the kleptocracy = serfdom for the masses. Strikes are what the ruling class fear most of all. petitions, marches, votes for the parcel of rogues in opposition; they can stand all that. Workers can do more damage with their hands in their pockets than any amount of sabotage, as some old Wobbly once noted. That's why the media are pouring out their venom on the public sector workers; that's what all the disinformation and scaremongering is about.

I hope the weather keeps nice for the pickets. If it does I'll get out and give them a bit of support. These are the people we depend upon. MPs will soon be taking a three month holiday (something like that) and nobody will notice their absence. They however, get a £500 a week pension after fifteen years, and nobody's going to steal (recover?) that.

*Members of other unions will be working as usual, or scabbing, as we in the IWW call it.

Monday, June 27, 2011

As seen by my youngest grandson.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Cartoon in the current Private Eye; girl at Glastonbury telling friends, "Everyone I've met so far works for the BBC." Probably a slight exaggeration. I dare say Sir Terry Wonga is making money out of the festival by some devious means.

As Pentangle were playing there yesterday I kept turning to the coverage. I knew I was wasting my time. Hope against experience.

"Six Members of Congress have written to Secretary of State Clinton, urging her to do "everything in her power" to work to ensure the safety of the U.S. citizens on board the U.S. Boat to Gaza, The Audacity of Hope."

"... we do not believe that the flotilla is a necessary or useful effort to try to assist the people of Gaza. Just this week, the Israeli Government approved a significant commitment to housing in Gaza. There will be construction materials entering Gaza and we think that it’s not helpful for there to be flotillas that try to provoke actions by entering into Israeli waters and creating a situation in which the Israelis have the right to defend themselves." (US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton)

Translation: Don't worry about a few dead bleeding hearts, let's have a massacre on the high seas.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

NATO strategy in Libya - "The more innocent civilians we kill the fewer innocent civilians left for Gadhafi to kill."

The rebel leadership's response - "We are grateful to NATO for killing our people. Please kill more."

Rebel leadership, described by As'ad AbuKhalil as " ... a monstrous Islamist council of crooks and semi-crooks (and unknowns) ... set up to represent the aspirations of Western oil companies and of Western Zionists."
From the Angry Arab -
The BBC the other day featured a Syrian officer who a week ago was lionized in Time magazine when he said that he defected with some 30 of his soldiers. That was featured on Aljazeera and every other network. BBC yesterday revisited the guy and admitted that he lied and that he defected on his own. Yet, the report praised his lies and said that this his lies were responsible for delaying the advances of Syrian troops in Jisr Ash-Shughur. So lies on behalf of Western agenda (and the Muslim Brotherhood agenda is part of the Western political agenda--certainly in Syria) are now warmly welcome. The more the better.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A couple of poets reciting their work in Hull accents.

I came across Joe Hakim's work for the first time today. Skipping through a collection of poems by Hull writers I saw a title "Two coppers in a Subaru", and had to read it.
I'm still not completely sold on Joe H's stuff, or Mike Watts' for that matter. Maybe they're just a bit too crude for an elderly gent. Sometimes a frontal assault is needed, but a little goes a long way for me. Still, if the subject is my native heath and its denizens, and the accent is genuine, that's two points in their favour.

More of Joe H's output here
and Mike W's here

Monday, June 20, 2011


Jeremy Corbyn MP says Haw "single-handedly managed to irritate the British establishment simply by his presence in Parliament Square, every day reminding MPs of their preference for lies and deceit regarding Iraq and Afghanistan over the truth that British weapons and arms have destroyed thousands of innocent lives".
Number of job vacancies in Hull - 849
Number of job seekers - 14,425
Ahmadinajad on the nuclear arsenal -
"If it's a good thing, then we should have it too ... If it's bad, why do you have it?"
Makes sense.
Incidentally, I've only just noticed, old Mahmoud sports a wig.

Friday, June 17, 2011

An interesting fact I learned this week; there is only one country in the world in which Killer Cola is not the best selling soft drink. Take a bow, SCOTLAND, and your other national drink.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Why Google Earth Can't Show You Israel (or the occupied territories)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Welcome to Hull

Friday, June 10, 2011

A fellow worker who visited these pages for a look at the 'red card' posting also read the piece on Thomas Aitkenhead (May 20th, below) and left a comment which I reproduce here. This is in order to show the stone referred to, and to gloss a couple of references.

The sheer improbability that God spent millions of years making some marble in Carrara and delivered it for free to Carmarthen just in time for inscribing and mounting in the rock in Pembrey, to be unveiled on the IWW Centenary Day is amazing enough.
And then on the eve of the unveiling, that improbability is capped by the impossibility of a local Carmarthen Councillor, on being told of the next day unveiling of the Carrara Marble, having been to Carrara tells us that "Carrara is the only town in the world that ever had an Anarchist controlled Town Council". Everyone agrees that is an impossibility. Compounded Improbability with an Impossibility!!! The existence of the IWW centennial marble in Pembrey must be a miracle and so prove that God exists. It also proves that God is a fully paid up member of the IWW, and that God is an Anarchist.
Always let the Catholic Workers table at Anarchist and IWW events.

Fellow Worker Judi Bari, whose name appears on the commemorative stone, was a victim of the FBI terrorist organisation called Cointelpro, who planted a bomb under her car. She and her passenger, FW Darryl Cherney, survived the attentat, but were accused of transporting the bomb in her car, contrary to all the evidence. The victims sued the FBI and the local (Oakland, California) cops and won $4 million in damages. But in the meantime Judi had died.
Like my correspondent I have a soft spot for the Catholic Worker movement, whose main enemy seems to be Holy Mother the Church. Some US Catholics have campaigned for the canonisation of Dorothy Day, a leading Catholic Worker. I predict that the Vatican will canonise Adolf Hitler before they raise Ms. Day to the communion of saints.
The town of Carrara in Italy is famous for its marble and its anarchists.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Farewell, Red Card
This week I received my new IWW membership card. The British IWW has gone plastic, and we now have those neat little rectangles that we can stow alongside all the other little rectangles.
As the British Administration grows it must needs become more efficient, more up to date, and we old timers will feel a little saddened by such changes. No more of those dinky little stamps. And what happens to assessment stamps recording voluntary donations to particular campaigns?
When I first joined the OBU (not quite so B) it was explained that the advantage of our method of dues payment was that every Wob would see their delegate regularly, the organisation was always at hand, unlike the way some unions are run.
The deduction of dues from wages is anathema to the IWW, being seen as collaboration with the exploiter.
One good thing about the new cards, they won't attract the '30 day wonders', people who signed up and paid one month's dues just to get their hands on one of those historic artefacts.
Glenn Beck 1, Coldplay 0
(Or should that be "Coldplay, a big zero"?)
"If the song makes it into the UK charts, it is likely to cause a dilemma for the BBC. The corporation ran into controversy last month for masking out the words "free Palestine" from a number recorded by Mic Righteous. It did it in order "to ensure impartiality was maintained", it said. On another recent occasion, the word "Palestine" was excised from a BBC script."

I wonder if the song "Exodus" (not the Bob Marley one) is banned by the BBC on the grounds of impartiality -
"This land is mine
God gave this land to me."

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

I came across this montage on the Austrian IWW website while looking for something else. The original is here.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Well done, Vince Incapable! Using a union conference platform to try and mend fences with Murdoch by issuing threats and menaces. Then you were laughed off the stage. I suppose you get a lot of that nowadays.
I don't think Murdoch will have been impressed.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Ratko Mladić is facing trial accused of of genocide, crimes against humanity and violation of the laws of war. Hashim Thaçi is accused of nothing - by NATO and the International Court of Thingummy.
As I've noted before, there are unacceptable crimes against humanity, and acceptable crimes against humanity. Or maybe Serbs have been downgraded from human status.
War crimes against Serbs are acceptable, as the late, unlamented Franjo Tudjman learned to his relief. People trafficking, drug trafficking, harvesting and trafficking of human organs, OK by NATO.
What's the difference between Mladić and Thaçi? Mladić is a Serb (bad, bad, bad), Thaçi is a Serb-killer (good, good, good).

Meanwhile Pope Ratzi the Nazi is in Croatia bigging up the wartime head of the Croat church, Cardinal Stepinać, under whose guidance Catholic Croats massacred a half-million Serbs, as well as Jews, Roma, and Bosniak Muslims, egged on by bloodthirsty Franciscan monks.

Friday, June 03, 2011

"A 2008 survey by the Jerusalem-based Menachem Begin Heritage Center found that 59 per cent of Israelis had approached or intended to approach a foreign embassy to inquire about or apply for citizenship and a passport. Today it is estimated that the figure is approaching 70 per cent.
" ... more than 100,000 Israelis already hold a German passport, and this figure increases by more than 7,000 every year along an accelerating trajectory. According to German officials, more than 70,000 such passports have been granted since 2000. In addition to Germany, there are more than one million Israelis with other foreign passports at the ready in case life in Israel deteriorates.
"One of the most appealing countries for Israelis contemplating emigration, as well as perhaps the most welcoming, is the United States. Currently more than 500,000 Israelis hold US passports with close to a quarter million pending applications. During the recent meetings in Washington DC between Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s delegation and Israel’s US agents, assurances were reportedly given by AIPAC officials that if and when it becomes necessary, the US government will expeditiously issue American passports to any and all Israeli Jews seeking them. Israeli Arabs need not apply.
"Approximately 200,000 or 22 per cent of Russians coming to Israel since 1990 have so far returned to their country. According to Rabbi Berel Larzar, who has been Russia’s chief Rabbi since 2000, 'It's absolutely extraordinary how many people are returning. When Jews left, there was no community, no Jewish life. People felt that being Jewish was an historical mistake that happened to their family. Now, they know they can live in Russia as part of a community and they don’t need Israel.'"

Such patriotism, such faith in the future of Ersatz Israel. The penny has dropped (English idiom) and saner Israelis know that the pariah state is doomed. The USA, whose leaders encouraged the madness will be left with the bill. Let us hope that the so-called Mizrahim (Musta'ribin), and Ethiopians are given US passports, and not left behind to pay for the crimes of the racists who shanghaied them to Zion.
New to me (courtesy of my elder son) -

Glasgow salad - "a plate of chips"
Glasgow marathon - "running to the shop in your pyjamas". Not sure why anyone would do this. Maybe it's a Glasgow custom.

Just joking. Anyway I imagine that they were thought up by Glaswegians, the same folks who gave us the Glasgow kiss (head butt) and the Glasgow grin (razor scar).

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

According to the cable, Mr Tantawi, who has previously served as the Egyptian Defence Attache to Pakistan, also pointedly noted that "any country where the military became engaged in ‘internal affairs’ was ‘doomed to have lots of problems.’"

This is Mr. Field Marshal Tantawi, military ruler of Egypt, who ousted the President, former Air Chief Marshal Mubarak. Mubarak succeeded President Colonel Sadat, successor of Colonel Abdul-Nasser, successor of General Neguib.