Thursday, May 30, 2013

There are 60,000 people in my home town living below the poverty line. The demand on food banks throughout our United (but not all in it together) Kingdom is growing too rapidly for them to keep up. Thank you Cameron and Smirks, and a special thank you to Mr. Ed Milliband who couldn't give a shit about the poor. But keep chucking money at the Labour Party, union brothers and sisters, one day they might do something for you. No, I take that back. As long as you're chucking money at them they don't need to do anything for you - do they now?
Here's a little snippet about a food bank in Hull.

The film-maker, who appears in the film is called Sean McAllister, and he's a local gent. I caught the full film from which the clip is excerpted last week. It was worth a look. I did a search for Sean M. and found that he's a prize-winning documentary maker. I'd actually heard of one of his films, "The Liberace of Baghdad". It didn't sound like my kind of thing so I gave it a miss when it was shown on the telly. Too bad.
I asked my elder son if he knew about Sean M. and it turned out he'd been at school with him, though son is a few years younger. Small world, as some of us who prefer a small world are wont to declare.

By the way, Cod City* is still going for the 'city of culture' white elephant. Our elected unrepresentatives are spending £11 million trying to win the competition for it. I reckon about £6 million of that will go on 'consultation fees' and junkets for the bureaucrats who bar the way to the glittering prize.

*The cod are long gone, but the memory lingers on. Especially for the people who have never been here.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

I've placed my partiality to the work of Kad Achouri on record before. I particularly like his treatment of poems. This track is his version of Rimbaud's "Le dormeur du val". I also like his treatment of Boris Vian's "L'Évadé", which he calls "Le temps de vivre". His rap version of Paul Éluard's "Liberté" is a firm favourite of mine, though rap languishes near the bottom of my list of musical preferences.


C'est un trou de verdure où chante une rivière,
Accrochant follement aux herbes des haillons
D'argent ; où le soleil, de la montagne fière,
Luit : c'est un petit val qui mousse de rayons.

Un soldat jeune, bouche ouverte, tête nue,
Et la nuque baignant dans le frais cresson bleu,
Dort ; il est étendu dans l'herbe, sous la nue,
Pâle dans son lit vert où la lumière pleut.

Les pieds dans les glaïeuls, il dort. Souriant comme
Sourirait un enfant malade, il fait un somme :
Nature, berce-le chaudement : il a froid.

Les parfums ne font pas frissonner sa narine ;
Il dort dans le soleil, la main sur sa poitrine,
Tranquille. Il a deux trous rouges au côté droit.


It is a green hollow where a stream gurgles,
Crazily catching silver rags of itself on the grasses;
Where the sun shines from the proud mountain:
It is a little valley bubbling over with light.

A young soldier, open-mouthed, bare-headed,
With the nape of his neck bathed in cool blue cresses,
Sleeps; he is stretched out on the grass, under the sky,
Pale on his green bed where the light falls like rain.

His feet in the yellow flags, he lies sleeping. Smiling as
A sick child might smile, he is having a nap:
Cradle him warmly, Nature: he is cold.

No odour makes his nostrils quiver;
He sleeps in the sun, his hand on his breast
At peace. There are two red holes in his right side.

(English version, Oliver Bernard)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Cartoonist's name is unreadable - Arabic script?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

"I do bitterly resent it when people of any kind are attacked because of something that is no fault of theirs - like who their parents are.
"Why should your background be held against you? It is so short-sighted.
"There are plenty of reasons for disliking people, but this tribal aversion to anyone with a posh voice is very boring."
Alexander Armstrong - chippy sort of cove - what! Yes, there are plenty of reasons for disliking people, for example, their membership of an organisation like the Countryside Alliance. Or their killing animals for pleasure.
Apparently Mr. Armstrong is known as Xander. I take it that familiar forms such as Alec, Alex, or Sandy are too lower class.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

So, it has come to this - the BBC with apartheid Israel against the world. International law be damned, Jerusalem is the capital of Israel according to the zionist fantics who run the British (sic) Broadcasting Corporation.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

This blog is vermin-free

No racist scum; no child-murder fantasists; no cheerleaders for long-distance mass-murder; no apologists for greed, wholesale robbery, or predation.
Some figures from this morning's news -

Amazon UK, sales income £4.3 billion
Amazon UK, tax paid £2.4 million (0.1%*)
Amazon UK , government grants received £2.5 million

Does anyone know what Amazon does to get handouts from the British people?
I suppose we should be grateful that they don't employ neo-nazis to terrorise their British employees as they do with their German workforce.

* I think it's less than that as %age of income, but that was the BBC's figure.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Saturday, May 11, 2013

MAYDAY! MAYDAY! Send reinforcements, there are only four of us to take on this headscarf.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

End Metroline race to the bottom: Reinstate Oscar Alvarez now!

Posted 8 May 2013

We, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) want to express our deep concern and strong condemnation of the unfair dismissal of Oscar Alvarez, Union Representative of the IWW at the West Perivale garage.
Oscar Alvarez has been a London bus driver for 8 1/2 years. He reached the 10th position nationwide in Blackpool Best Bus Driver of the Year 2007 competition, which to date is still unbeaten by any Metroline driver. But Oscar’s sacking is far from being an isolated occurrence. This is part of an escalating wave of sackings on the buses over the last few years, which has seen all London bus companies imposing terrible contracts on new starters, often without union agreement or any serious attempt to fight this ‘race to the bottom’.
Beginning in December 2012 new contracts for all bus drivers began to be rolled out, first Brentford garage and then West Perivale in February. Whereas the Brentford contracts were all accepted, in West Perivale there was a furious rejection by the drivers who refused to sign, apart from a half-dozen or so.
Oscar Alvarez was one of those drivers, bravely opposing these blatant attacks to their terms and conditions, only to be sacked soon after following a minor altercation with a car driver on the road who had cut up his bus.
What is worst, during the disciplinary that resulted in his dismissal there were a number of breaches in procedure which rendered the process unfair and disproportionate, most notably, the withholding of crucial CCTV footage which Oscar could not access prior to the disciplinary. We are certain that, far from constituting gross misconduct, Oscar’s behaviour ought to be construed as an attempt to correct the driving behaviour of a another driver who had not only endangered her own safety, but also that of her baby and other road users. As such, we urge Metroline to reconsider the merits of this case and to reinstate Oscar Alvarez.
Now Oscar needs all the support he can get in order to win reinstatement, as it was already achieved by fellow worker Gerry Downing last Tuesday 30th April following his successful appeal against dismissal. Gerry, from the Cricklewood garage, was also sacked on spurious charges. Gerry Downing is a Unite member and the Chair of Grass Roots left.
Understanding that these gross misconduct verdicts were undoubtedly management revenge for the strong reaction to the attempts to impose new contracts on all drivers, an impressive demonstration of support was gathered in a public meeting that took place last Monday 29th of April, called by the Brent Trade Union Council.
Several sacked bus drivers attended and their stories were similar; harsh dismissal decisions for what were minor incidents. And the reasons were identified by many of the speakers and from the floor; new contracts from January 2012 took on starters on far lower terms and conditions than existing bus drivers.
For these reasons it has now been articulated wide ranging support for a bus driver defence campaign as a rank and file body on the London buses to fight these increasing victimisations.
The Industrial Workers of the World joins forces with this rank and file initiative and demands not only for the immediate reinstatement of our member and union representative Oscar Alvarez, but for all the London bus drivers to keep the resistance going and REFUSE to sign any new contracts.
Whichever union you belong to, we must hold together, because they can’t force us if we ALL refuse.
For Oscar’s case, the IWW are mobilising our members and supporters by encouraging people to send letters and make phone calls this week expressing their dismay at Oscar’s sacking to the Metroline Bus Company. Supporters will also be leafleting outside the Cricklewood Bus Garage.

For all updates on the campaign actions please visit


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

Geography Lesson
(approved by Michael Gove)

Click on image to enlage.

Monday, May 06, 2013

First I've heard of this -

Last week, on the 25th April 2013, the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill was granted royal assent, bringing into law the government’s widely unpopular proposals to scrap employers’ 114-year-old liability for their staff’s health and safety in the workplace.
This means that the burden of proof now falls on the employee to show that the employer had been negligent in their duties towards them, rather than the employer being asked to prove they were following regulations correctly, as has been the case since the Victorian era. This is likely to result in injured workers, and the families of the deceased, being unable to claim compensation for their losses due to accidents at the workplace, seeing as the evidence needed to prove negligence is held by the employer rather than the employee – and employers guilty of negligence are unlikely to willingly hand over the proof.

Not reported by the BBC (surprise, surprise!), but who in a position of influence gives a fiddler's fart about the working clss today? Who in the mainstream media acknowledges the existence of such a class? We are the underclass, but not yet far enough under to suit the accessories to depradation running the British economy (into the ground).

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Another headscarf of terror. Well done, brave warriors!

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Reflecting on the picture I posted to mark International Workers' Day -
There are parts of the world where an open palm directed at someone is an insult.
I remember in Cyprus during the "Emergency" (war of liberation?), sometimes we'd be driving along, and passing some old lady, we'd get the open palm sign with fingers spread. Sometimes the fingers were bent into a clawing shape. The open hand would be pushed towards us, usually accompanied by a facial expression that left no doubt as to the manner in which we were regarded. I don't recall ever seeing the gesture made by anyone but old ladies. Maybe they felt safe from reprisal.
"The five curses" someone once explained, "that's the five curses." No enumeration or further explanation. For years I tried to figure out what those five curses were. Cyprus is a Mediterranean country so I assumed that one would be sterility, perhaps impotence. There couldn't be connection to the five senses unless we ruled out the sexual potency aspect.
It was many years later reading a book on gestures by Desmond Morris that I learned that the gesture did not convey a curse, but a sense of deep hatred.
In old Byzantium when the perpetrator of a heinous crime was captured he would be paraded in chains through the streets of the place in which his offence had been committed. The population would turn out to abuse him in various ways. One favourite method was to rub faeces, always lying to hand, in the villain's face.
That gesture directed at us, the enemy, was a symbolic faceful of shit. We live and learn.
Cheers, ladies!

Wednesday, May 01, 2013