Sunday, March 31, 2013

Clancy Sigal has a website -
Four churches have joined forces to accuse the government of welfare payment cuts they say are unjust and target society's most vulnerable.
The Easter criticism has come from the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Methodist and United Reformed Churches, and the Church of Scotland.
Earlier this month, the Archbishop of Canterbury backed an open letter, signed by 43 of his bishops, criticising plans to limit rises in working-age benefits and some tax credits to 1% for three years.
He said the current system recognised rising costs of food, fuel and housing by giving benefit rises in line with inflation.
"These changes will mean it is children and families who will pay the price for high inflation, rather than the government," he said.
(BBC News)

Spot the missing church.
Yes, the church whose newly chosen capo di tutti capi cares so much for the poor.
As in the Thatcher years, the Catholic church adheres to the code of omertà while other Christian bodies condemn the ideology of class hate and the destruction of the welfare system.

Friday, March 29, 2013

160 - the number of prisoners held in Guantanamo
100+ - the number on hunger strike
86 - the number of prisoners cleared for release
52 - the number of days on hunger strike
31 - the number of prisoners on hunger strike according to their
jailers , revised up from

200,000,000 - the number of dollars allocated to upgrading the prison Obama is going to close

Thursday, March 28, 2013

"Clearly Rachel Corrie was one of the casualties of what happened that day - and I know Israeli soldiers died too - but has this meant there’s a rethink of the policy of what was happening at that time - bulldozing Palestinian houses?”

That was the lie spoken by Martha Kearney on the BBC. No Israeli soldiers were killed on the day Rachel Corrie was killed. It is likely, in my opinion, that she knew that her words were a lie, but, working for the BBC, she knows how to play the game.
In spite of demands that the lie be withdrawn the BBC refused to do so. Now, at last, it has admitted the falsehood of the claim, but labels it a mistake. The lies, and the deception of the British public, continue.

In the course of seven months of correspondence, the BBC repeatedly said Kearney was right to mention the non-existent deaths of Israeli soldiers as this provided ‘context for the incident’ and for the ‘overall situation’. When questioned on why Kearney hadn’t mentioned Palestinians being killed, including Palestinian children killed on the same day Corrie was killed, the BBC said:
‘The fact that other [Palestinian] deaths occurred on the same day as hers is incidental to that topic, and I therefore don’t agree that the omission of that information rendered the report inaccurate or misleading.’
Amena Saleem, of Palestine Solidarity Campaign, said: ‘The hypocrisy of the BBC is breathtaking. In the same breath it is saying that Kearney’s fabrication of the deaths of Israeli soldiers on the day Rachel Corrie was killed provides ‘context’ for what happened, but to mention the deaths of Palestinians, including children, who were actually killed on that day is irrelevant.’
Saleem added: ‘While the BBC has admitted that one of its star presenters was not ‘duly accurate’ when she claimed to know that Israeli soldiers died on the same day as Corrie, it cannot just come out and say she was wrong and shouldn’t have said this at all. For seven months, the BBC has done its utmost to justify Kearney’s false statement and has made itself look ridiculous in the process.’
In total, 11 complainants took the case to the BBC Trust. Saleem said she hoped this would show the BBC that it could not take its misreporting lightly. She added: ‘In the week Rachel Corrie was killed, 27 Palestinians, including seven children, were killed by Israeli forces. If you listened to the World at One on 28th August 2012, you would think Rachel Corrie and some Israeli soldiers were killed in related incidents. You would be completely misinformed, and you would have no idea of the scale of the slaughter by Israel against the Palestinians. This, unfortunately, is par for the course with BBC reporting on Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land.’
(Palestine Solidarity Campaign)

Note the BBC's term "other deaths". The rule is, try not to use the word 'Palestinian' and NEVER use the word ''.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

(copyleft Dylan Jeavons)
"He's been offered more money, hasn't he?" said David Oley, selling copies of the Shields Gazette on Ocean Road in the town centre. "You don't leave a good job for another unless you're getting paid more, do you?" Quite right, said a customer, Gordon Haslop. "It's obvious he is going to be handsomely paid in New York – and you already get a lot as an MP."
The South Shields Gazette splashed on the departure of its local MP to head International Rescue in the US, revealing that the constituency Labour party would prefer him to be replaced by "a local candidate, rather than a prospective MP 'parachuted' in by head office."

Yep! The charity racket's the one to be in. I haven't seen any reference to his salary, not to mention the expense account.
This caring individual is the man who was Foreign Secretary when British citizens, including Nobel laureate Mairead Maguire, were kidnapped on the high seas by a foreign power, and there wasn't a peep out of him.
The chances of any safe labour seat getting a representative of local origin are slim to nil. Such seats are reserved for the nomenklatura, or the public school educated and well connected metropolitan. Stand by for another Tony or Mandy or Milly.

Addendum, 28th March
"The new chief executive of one of the world's leading disaster relief charities will have on tap the former UN general secretary Kofi Annan and a trio of US secretaries of state, Colin Powell, Madeleine Albright and Henry Kissinger, who sit on the charity's overseeing committee. The board of directors includes executives from Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and JP Morgan while Pepsi and Pfizer are backers."
Robert Booth, The Guardian
Disaster Capitalism? Or US imperialism in moth-eaten sheep's clothing?
Day 50 of the Guantanamo Gulag hunger strike. Over 100 prisoners are refusing food, taking only water. a handful are hospitalised and are being force-fed. A large number of the strikers have been cleared for release for some years, being recognised as no threat, but their captors just can't let go.
Originally the the US authorities denied that there was a hunger strike; they now admit to 28 strikers, others they claim, are sneakily scoffing snacks when their backs are turned. Should one of the strikers die the jailers have a press release prepared stating that the prisoner is only feigning death. You just can't trust these sneaky Muslims.

Meanwhile Samer Issawi, Palestinian hostage of apartheid Israel, is on the 248th day of his diet of salt and water. He is said to be close to death, so his kidnappers had better release him soon. Usually the régime holds a hunger striker until his or her health is completely ruined. Then the human wreck is released and dumped somewhere where the various travel restrictions on Palestinians ensure that the victim cannot return home.
Samer has never been tried for any offence, never accused of any offence apart from the heinous crime of being Palestinian. No need to bother; who but others guilty of the same crime, and a scattering of bleeding hearts, gives a fiddler's fart?

Sunday, March 24, 2013

It's a sort of game, I suppose.

The Missus and me are arguing about tastes in music, on which we seldom agree. She will listen to Waylon Jennings and Emmylou Harris from my records; I can tolerate Simon and Garfunkel and the Beach Boys from hers. That's about it.
So as we're talking over various artists and kicking them into touch something hits me.
"You haven't got one record by a black artist" I tell her, "That must be deliberate discrimination". She tries to think of one, she searches, and finds one Johnny Mathis CD. A pathetic haul, but I'm proved wrong.
"Well you haven't got any Jewish artists." she says. I ought to mention here that she is a massive Neil Diamond fan. It's possible that she's got more Neil Diamond records than Neil Diamond. Then there's Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler, Billy Joel, and I don't know how many others.
I rack my brains, can't think of one. There must be one or two. I go to the shelves, nobody leaps out at me. There must be some among the jazzmen. AHA! Stan Getz, maybe Lee Konitz. Then, among the classic stuff, Glenn Gould, maybe Ándrás Schiff. Then there's Bob Dylan. My bacon's saved (bad metaphor).

Today she hit me with another one - musical homophobia.
I'm giving out on the subject of Elton John, can't stand the man, or his music. "That's 'cos he's gay", says my Missus. Not so, I reply.
"Freddie Mercury, you don't like him".
"Course I don't, prancing bloody mountebank."
"You don't like anybody gay. You're prejudiced"
"Dusty Springfield!" (I worship her)
"You don't like gay men."
"Pasolini, Jean-Claude Brialy" (clutching at straws).
"Never heard of them."
"Gore Vidal, youve heard of him."
"But no records by gay men."
Back to the shelves, I can't find one, not a damn one. There must be dozens but they aren't out and proud, not to my knowledge.
Jazz, Blues, Country, maybe they're musical environments where it's difficult to be openly gay. And they're the genres that are most prominent among my stuff. Then there's the lady singers but I'm not allowed to count them. The folk stuff should be more productive; a pretty tolerant bunch on the whole, but no, I come up empty. World music, not a hope.
The search goes on. There's a big box of CDs upstairs to scrutinise, then its on to cassette tapes.
Even if I don't find anything I won't lose any sleep. Except that I've got to prove the Missus wrong, or it'll come up everytime we talk about music.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Another dangerous headscarf de-activated.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

From the current Private Eye -
The government has spoken and the BBC has heard and obeyed. Since the 7th March the phrase 'bedroom tax' will no longer be heard on the BBC. It has been replaced by the words 'housing benefit changes'.
Bias, Bigotry, Cowardice.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Standard Letter to appeal against the bedroom tax. Personalise or simply use as a guide. It is lifted from
If every victim of the bedroom tax lodges an appeal the bureaucracy will not be able to cope. Remember Thatcher's poll tax, consigned to oblivion by mass resistance and widespread non-cooperation? And the old witch's political career went with it.

Dear Sirs,
I received your decision letter dated INSERT DATE and referenced above that
imposed an under occupation charge, or bedroom tax of 14% / 25% (delete as
appropriate) on my existing award of Housing Benefit.
I consider this unwarranted yet in order to challenge this in the correct way and
potentially by way of formal appeal I require further information to be sent to
me within 7 days of this letter and the urgency of that is to ensure I have
enough time to formulate any such appeal and in full knowledge of the facts of
my case within the time allowed; OR in the alternative I request the deadline
for any such formal appeal be moved to 21 days after I receive the request
information below:
1. A written copy of the Council’s policy and decision-making procedures in
relation to referring a socially housed claimant decision to the Rent Officer
2. A full explanation of how the council decided that (INSERT ADDRESS) was
determined to be a 3 bed property for the under occupation charge and this to
include what involvement if any of my landlord, (INSERT LANDLORD NAME) in
this process.
Please state by way of covering letter with the requested information any
changed deadline date from above with regard to a formal appeal.
Yours etc.
London IWW: Bring SOAS Outsourced Cleaning Staff Back In-House!

Posted 19 Mar 2013 at

London IWW Press Release - For Immediate Release (PDF attached below): We, the Industrial Workers of the World London General Membership Branch wish to express our unconditional solidarity with our fellow workers from SOAS [School of Oriental and African Studies] UNISON who have been campaigning tirelessly since 2006 to have the currently outsourced cleaning contract brought back in-house.
As staunch supporters and campaigners for the London Living Wage within our own union, we welcomed SOAS' decision in June 2008 to introduce the London Living Wage as the minimum wage for all SOAS outsourced contract staff. However, we are fully aware that this measure alone does not resolve the issues related to the two tier workforce system that prevails in your institution.
An important section of our IWW members are also students and workers at the University of London and other Higher Education institutions in the UK. We therefore know full well that outsourced staff working for SOAS' contractors still face significantly worse terms and conditions of employment, which in our view is an unacceptable situation.
The London IWW also expresses its full support for the SOAS UCU branch representing SOAS Academic and senior support staff, who have overwhelmingly backed the Justice for Cleaners Campaign.
1,294 SOAS staff and students were consulted about this matter in a referendum on December 7th, 2012. An impressive 98% of the participants backed up the call for the SOAS cleaning services and staff to be brought back in-house.
We call on the Governing Body Working Group to recognise this overwhelming majority sentiment within SOAS by recommending to the Governing Body that it immediately bring SOAS cleaning services staff back in-house, and also, in light of its broader remit, that it look at the practicalities of returning other outsourced services in-house. Where specific issues can be identified that would make the in-sourcing of some of these other services impracticable, we would urge the working group to make recommendations to the Governing Body to ensure that any remaining outsourced staff receive broadly similar terms and conditions as directly employed SOAS staff, particularly in the areas of sick pay, annual leave and pension entitlements.
SOAS is a unique institution in many ways, and we at the IWW know first hand that your students are rightly proud of its reputation for supporting social justice and equality across the disciplines and regions the School covers.
Failing to rectify this situation of unjust and unequal employment conditions for outsourced cleaning staff would be very detrimental to SOAS' reputed ethos of community, inclusivity and social justice.
Furthermore, it should be underlined that other academic institutions in London have recognised the many benefits of returning such services in house, including the good business sense of doing so (Queen Mary University, January 2009.Report available at: )
Universities cannot be critical in theory but indifferent in practice. We urge the Governing Body Working Group to pledge to move in favour of the demands made by the Justice for Cleaners Campaign and the SOAS community.

London General Membership Branch
Britain and Ireland Regional Administration of the IWW

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

I watched a documentary on the BBC last night about the illegal war. It turns out that the politicians lied to us. Who could have known that? Well, everybody, and that includes everybody at the BBC. As they disseminated those lies without hesitation, I am of the opinion that the top people at the BBC were accessories to war crimes. They can add that felony to their protection of paedophiles and the facilitation of the crimes of paedophiles.
This morning I got some information through the post from the Hull City Council about how the Council Tax they collect is spent. One of their boasts, "Over 1 million people visit Hull Libraries each year". What they forgot to add was, "We intend to cut this figure drastically". They have already said that they are going to close one library, and, if they get away with that, no doubt they'll get a taste for the procedure.
Council taxpayers in the library's area say that there should have been a twelve week consultation period before the decision was made to close. There was one, according to to the council, but it seems that they forgot to tell anybody about it.

Monday, March 18, 2013

A letter in today's Hull Daily Mail:

Dear Editor,

On Saturday, it was a privilege to be part of a good crowd at Hull’s Bedroom Tax demo, near the BBC. Ours was one of 50 demos that day in cities across the country, with more to come.

It’s a horrible, penny-pinching move by the ConDems – not on their friends in high places or rich mansions – but on some of the poorest in society, affecting the poorest areas across the country.

At a time when people are losing jobs – with another 600 axed at Hull City Council under Labour, to add to the 1400 lost under the LibDems before they lost power - an attack on people in council housing and on benefits is not what’s needed.

I hope Hull City Council take note from the Greens on Brighton and Hove Council – and look seriously at their pledge that not one person will be evicted due to the so-called Bedroom Tax.

Yours sincerely,

Martin Deane
Hull and East Riding Green Party

Note the words "50 demos across the country". According to the BBC there were at least ten. Doesn't have quite the same ring, does it? Then the Hull Daily Mail numbered our gathering at "More than 60 people". It wasn't a lie, because c.350 is, as reported, more than 60. But it doesn't have the same ring, does it?
Brighton Council, controlled by the Green Party, has vowed not to evict families that fall into arrears as a result of this vindictive, anti-family tax.
Dundee Council, controlled by the Scottish Nationalists, has promised the same. If all councils agreed not to make their tenants homeless this act of class warfare would fail.
They won't.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Some thoughts on the name Patrick -

First a yarn.
A new worker turned up on a job I was working on. His name was Sullivan*. It turned out that he had relatives all over the construction industry and most of the blokes had worked with one or other of these Sullivans.
Anyway somebody asked, "What's your name then?" "My names Ignatius*" he said, "but I prefer Paddy." OK, Paddy it was. When we started work I walked to the job with Big Jack*. "Why does he want to be called Paddy?" he asked me.
"If you were called Ignatius wouldn't you want to be called something else?"
"Yeah, but why Paddy?"
"I'm guessing his middle name's Patrick."
"Yeah, but why Paddy?"
Now I'm stumped. What was it the big fellow didn't get?
"He can call himself what he likes" was my last throw of the dice, and the exchange ended on that unsatisfactory note.

I puzzled about Big Jack's continued inability to understand Paddy's choice of name. Finally I got it. He didn't recognise Paddy as a diminutive of Patrick, he thought it was just a generic nickname for an Irishman. Probably all the Paddies he'd ever met were Irish, while this lad was English-born. Big Jack probably thought the lad was assuming a fake identity.
Sometimes the gaps in people's knowledge takes us by surprise.

Now and then someone would ask me why one of my sons was called Patrick, "That's an Irish name." They'd say, sometimes with indignation during the bomb-happy 1970s. "No it's not", was my reply, "it's a Scots name." They thought I was talking through my tóin (Irish word), but history is on my side.
Before the beginning of the 18th century very few Irishmen bore the name of their patron saint. A couple of so-called 'Norman' families used the name - Fitzmaurices and Sarsfields. Others might use a Gaelic construct, Giolla Phadraig, 'Servant of Patrick'. English records would often translate this name as Patrick.
Meanwhile, over in Scotland the place was crawling with Patricks. The Scots believed that the saint was a native of Dumbartonshire, Alcluyd in his day. Paterson is a common Scots surname and there are plenty of others denoting descent from a Patrick or Padruig; Paton, Pate, Patrick, McFadyean and McFadden, McFetridge.
With the arrival of Calvinism baptismal names from Celtic saints were discouraged, as they were associated with feast days, holy relics, holy wells, and other popish frippery. Names like Mungo, Duthac, Fillan virtually disappeared. Only the Episcopalians and the remaining Catholics continued to use them, and among such families the name Patrick survived.

Why did the name became popular among the Irish as it was losing its grip on the Scots?
One suggestion, by Edward MacLysaght, is that the death of Patrick Sarsfield, "Ireland's darling", in France brought the name to their attention, and it was in his memory that they embraced the name.
George Fraser Black, however has another suggestion. The settlers who came to Ireland during the Scottish Plantation of Ulster brought the name over, and the Irish adopted it as the Scots were discarding it.
My own opinion is that the process was helped by the gradual transition from Irish to English as the majority language. It became acceptable in English to give a child a saint's name without preceding it with Giolla literally 'servant', but more loosely 'disciple, devotee'.

Anyway, today is Saint Patrick's Day.

*Name changed to avoid identification.

... or not, I'm still union.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

(Carlos Latuff pinxit)

"Night and the Jesuits always return." (old saying)
"Écrasez l'Infâme!" (Voltaire)

Gay marriage is a "machination of the Father of Lies." Adoption by gay people is discrimination against children. Words of wisdom from the new Pope who distanced himself from the liberation theology movement (the priests and nuns who actively opposed dictators and took risks for social justice). The woman president of Argentina said the Catholic Church under his leadership in the country was reminiscent of "medieval times and the inquisition."
(Vlaudin Vega)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Funny thing -
I've been searching the net for information about my maternal grandfather's action-packed and varied military career, with little success. I decided to look at his old regiment's website, searched the archive under his name, and found a reference.
According to regimental records my grandfather was killed in action in South Africa in 1900.
Old grandad died in 1924. He was seriously wounded in a Boer ambush in February 1900, invalided out and pensioned off. But that was not the end of his military exploits. He signed up in 1914, passing the medical, and forfeiting his meagre pension. According to my late Aunt Kate he only joined up because he was blacklisted and couldn't get work in Civvy Street.
It's the 1914-1918 part of his army service that interests me, as he appears to have got into big trouble by refusing to obey an order. I imagine that was a serious offence during wartime and could have resulted in a court-martial. However it may have been a simpler solution to send him where he could be shot or gassed to death or physical ruin. Certainly he began the war in a home posting away from the gunplay, and ended it in a military hospital recovering from wounds sustained in action.
The regimental archive record also mentioned some item, a gift to the regimental museum, connected to the old fellow.
Much to learn.

I was moved to start this search by an advert I saw on the net. Some outfit boasting of the millions of service personnel records going back to the 17th century, and coming forward almost to the present. "Try us", was the challenge. I tried them and they failed miserably. Grandad, who served in three theatres of conflict, wounded and decorated in all three - nothing. My old man's service in World War II - nothing. My own service "with the colours" - nothing. Various uncles, regular and conscript; 21 years service or just 39-45; army, navy, plus a cousin in the air force and a cousin in the ladies' army (WAAFs?): not forgetting a merchant seaman uncle on minesweepers - not a word.
Maybe if I knew of an ancestor who fought in Cromwell's New Model Army, they'd have something on him.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

More arms for Israel, please Washington, there are millions of dangerous headscarves out there.

Friday, March 08, 2013

Innocent people killed by Marian Price, the late Dolours Price, et al. - 1 (heart attack)
Innocent people killed by Anders Breivik - 77
Innocent people killed by Timothy McVeigh - 168
Innocent people killed by Barack Obama - Nobody's counting.

My American correspondents find the Price Sisters the most reprehensible.
Of course Breivik's victims were socialists of some description and some people consider that a capital offence. So no problem with Breivik.
McVeigh was executed for the outrage he perpetrated. But there are plenty more of the same where he came from.

Our unelected government wants to cut taxes for business. That's so they can't be accused of cheating us out of figures this big.

Two men walk into a tailor's and are measured for suits to be paid for on the instalment plan. After being told the cost one man begins to dicker with the tailor and manages to obtain a 20% discount. When they leave the other man asks, "Why did you bargain the price down? You know you're not going to pay for the suit."
"Well", replied his mate,"He seemed such a nice fellow I didn't want him to lose so much money."

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Public Service Announcement

Monday, March 04, 2013

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Another example of zionist heroism in the face of overwhelming odds.

Friday, March 01, 2013

"The use of these powers as a way to clamp down on non violent activists from Palestine and Britain is not acceptable, what is the British government afraid of? Maybe the fact the activists, returning home from Palestine, work with Corporate Watch and have helped reveal the continued supply of weaponry from Britain to the Israeli army has made them a target. This is despite the current British arms export policy stating it won’t deliver weapons to any countries breaking UN treaties."