Friday, 21 July 2017

Politics is broken

Every morning as I make a cup of coffee and look out the window the sight of Grenfell Tower just down the road reminds me of how broken our political system has become. The richest borough in the country put a few measly quid before safety.

The fallout from the fire showed how incompetent our politicians have become. A wealthy council couldn't cope with the problems faced with it's poorest tenants.

It's failure all round as we have a Prime Minister that's not up to the job leading a divided party that barely won the last election against an opposition led by a useless buffoon that should never be allowed to be in charge of anything. As for the other parties the Lib-Dems remain in disgrace and the rest are just maladjusted nationalists of various sorts.

None have anything to offer.

Yet this country faces a difficult future as the UK extricates itself from the European Union. Only the first to go, others may follow to different degrees. Merkel's decision to open Germany's borders has caused a migrant crisis that will have an effect for decades to come. Eastern Europe has closed their borders and Italy struggles to cope with boatloads from Africa.

Poland has rebelled against the EU over the appointment of judges and other countries refuse to take the supposed share of Germany's folly. Even Austria has sent troops to its borders.

Meanwhile the United Nations continues to be a body representing the worst of governments with Saudi Arabia, the world's true apartheid state which remains the only country in the world  where women are denied the right to drive. Their Grand Mufti wants to destroy all churches in the gulf and christians are persecuted across the Middle East in Pakistan, Indonesia and Burenie by intolerant and supremacist Islamist regimes and currents.

A woman is threatened with being burnt to death by conservative clerics for daring to have a photo taken of herself dressed in a mini-skirt. Public caning becomes acceptable in one Indonesian province and history itself is bent to the Islamist agenda as Jewish cultural centres are declared part of Palestinian heritage even though these places existed and were inhabited by Jews long before Arabs and Muslims came along.

The UK government & Opposition is a joke. The Eu is a joke. The Islamic world is beyond parody and the "United Nations" is a failure.

No wonder I despair when I look out the window. The world is broken. The environment polluted, the minds of men seemingly devolving back to barbarity.

That's why I have not blogged regularly for a while, but the time for despair must end. Those who wish to reclaim the middle ground with reason rather than those with ideology and theology must organise, must rally against the growing darkness at home and abroad.

I don't have the answers but those that rule over us or would try to do so must be challenged. Their politics their religions cannot be forced down our throats. The time for the rights of the individual, for free speech and freedom from fear must take centre stage.

The men (and women) of violence exist on the far-left, the far-right and particularly amongst the followers of barbaric medieval religions. Stand up to them now.

Our futures are at stake.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Remembering Martin Landau

Martin Landau-Mission-1968.jpg

Martin Landau the well known star of two iconic TV shows, Mission Impossible and Space 1999 and more sadly passed away at the age of 89.

These two shows were at the centre of many of my generations television viewing. They spawned comics in both Britain and the USA. Landau was critical of Space 1999's scripts apparently. He was married to co-star Barbara Bain from 1957 until they divorced in 1993.

  

Thanks for the memories Martin. Rest In Peace




Sunday, 16 July 2017

Ambisexual fiction

Front cover of the first edition, with art by the Dillons. Cover depicts two faces against an abstract background.
Photo: By Source,

The announcement of Jodie Whittaker as the new Doctor caused some surprise across social media. Most people will have been warned to the possibility of the next or a future Doctor changing gender by the transformation of The Master into the much loved Missy.

Some people have attacked her appointment as "PC gone mad" and there are the usual crowd who do not like change. The only surprise as far as I am concerned is that Jodie is not an actress I am familiar with not having seen Broadchurch or the new St Trinians films.

However this should not come as a shock to hardcore science fiction fans. One famous novel The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K Le Guin sees an Earthman serving as an ambassador on a planet of "ambisexuals". Wikipedia explains:

The inhabitants of Gethen are ambisexual humans; for twenty-four days (somer) of each twenty-six-day lunar cycle, they are sexually latent androgynes. They only adopt sexual attributes once a month, during a period of sexual receptiveness and high fertility, called kemmer. During kemmer they become sexually male or female, with no predisposition towards either, although which sex they adopt can depend on context and relationships.

I read this book (originally published in 1969) in the early seventies when I was still at school and think it just might be time to pick up a copy again if it is still in print.

The point is that critics should not see the Doctors sex change as "PC" but as part of a wider tapestry of possibilities within creation that can be explored by science fiction

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

FBU attack Ex-Muslims as "Islamophobic"

CEMB.png

The presence of members of the Council of Ex Muslims in Britain on the recent Pride march has not just caused a reaction from the usual Islamist suspects including some very nasty and misogynistic comments posted on Maryam Namazie's Facebook page. 

However it seems even amongst the trade unions supposed bastions of freedom there are those who seek to misrepresent not just the CEMB but also the positions of atheists, secularists and those with legitimate criticisms of Islam.

A certain Lucy Masoud of the FBU (Fire Brigades Union) writes:

Union members who attended this year’s London Pride parade on Saturday were shocked to find out that they would be marching alongside an Islamophobic group.

The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB), who claim to be gay former Muslims, carried offensive signs such as ‘F**K Islam’ and ‘East London Mosque Incites Murder of Homosexuals’. Their inclusion in the Pride parade caused much concern amongst other participants, including union members who were marching with the London Fire Brigade and were positioned alongside the anti-Islamic group.

The CEMB have written to Matt Wrack with the following response:

Dear Mr Wrack, FBU General Secretary,

It has been drawn to our attention that Ms Lucy Masoud, treasurer of the Fire Brigades Union in London, has written a blog on The FBU website stating that the presence of Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB) at Pride was “hate on display” and that the group is “islamophobic” (https://www.fbu.org.uk/blog/hate-display-pride). CEMB has responded to the post and would like to know whether this is the FBU’s official position (https://www.ex-muslim.org.uk/fbu-we-are-combating-hate-not…/).

As we have mentioned in our response to Ms Masoud, there is a clear distinction between criticism of religion and the religious-Right versus bigotry against people. Charges of islamophobia erroneously conflate the two. In fact, CEMB’s presence at Pride aimed to combat the hate perpetrated against ex-Muslims and LGBT and to defend the right to reject and criticise religion without fear. This was political protest at its best. Had the FBU not recently backed calls to reclaim Pride as political protest?

Given that apostasy, blasphemy and homosexuality are punishable by death in many countries under Islamic rule, our being at Pride was an important moment for our members, many of whom are refugees. It would be unfortunate if the FBU officially defended the vilification of a minority within a minority providing further justification for our persecution by implying that “offence” is more important than murder.

We look forward to hearing from you on your union’s position.

Thank you for your response in advance. We attach a copy of a photo with FBU members and two of ours taken at Pride.

Sincerely

Maryam Namazie, CEMB Spokesperson
Daniel Fitzgerald CEMB Pride Organiser
Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
BM Box 1919, London WC1N 3XX, UK

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Mind Your Language

A Tory MPs career lies in tatters tonight as the row over her use of a very outdated and frankly racist phrase "n****r in the woodpile". Totally unacceptable in this day and age even if it wasn't used in any "racist context" the use of the "n" word (unless it's by a rapper and even then...) is no longer acceptable.

Times and language have changed as have tastes and humour. This is not the first time, nor will it be the last that someone will get into trouble over their use of language. Carol Thatcher had her career wrecked for telling someone they looked like a golliwog. Rula Lenska caused outrage when she used the phrase "dirty lying arab" on Big Brother.

The argument over whether a golliwog is itself racist continues. Many people grew up with them and a West Indian friend of mine collected those badges issued by Robertson's Jam and didn't think much of it even now.

I'm no fan of political correctness but there are limits. Some language should rightly be condemned to the dustbin of history though I do not believe like some that literature should be revised from the time they were written in and there are both artistic and political reasons for their use within films and literature to express bigotry, but for general use no more.

Why Anne Marie Morris couldn't think of a more suitable phrase such as "fly in the ointment" for example is a mystery especially as she had to distance herself from words used by her husband on immigrants children. Some people are their own worst enemies.....


Sunday, 9 July 2017

More Pointless Anarchist Violence




Every time the G20 meets there is a riot. So often in fact that despite the rampant violence orchestrated by hardline anarchists that it barely makes a mark on the news anymore. Just another riot consisting of masked, black clothed youths smashing windows, burning cars and rucking with the police.

Its happened so often one wonders if anyone, the participants included actually remember what they are protesting about.  Looks like sheer nihilism to me rather than any polical statement.

The German Anarchist Federation website refers to the event as "the big event of the left-radical scene in 2017".  
The Black Rose published a statement which included:

In Hamburg and in every village, an infinite number of targets are suitable for destruction, so we should start now with it. So that in July 2017 the alienation between the world of the G - 20 and the rest has become so great, that we no longer need summits to come together. The militant campaign against the G8 in Heiligendamm 2007 could serve as a model, because it also gave, apart from pointless preliminary proceedings, a new generation of activists through self-determined clandestine actions and the fleeing cops from the hail of stones in Rostock, a Feeling of their own strength and the possibilities of horizontal organization.

In addition we also call for a theoretical deepening of our practice, in which the presence or absence of anarchy should be tested for revolts, as recently as France, spectacles such as Frankfurt in March 2015, rituals such as on May 1, or in The everyday neighborhood policy and in the fight against the Nazis.

Because everywhere we are, we can not complain about the dominance of reformists. And where there are only empty phrases with an available, it makes the superficial chattering of the "consensus of actions" heard with following distancing. Such a discourse would have to go beyond the hitherto (welcome) brief G - 20 references in the responsibility claims.

Attack G-20 summit! Throw Hamburg into chaos! Destroy the European fortress!

Insurrection News reports of their "victories" on behalf of the people.
During the early morning of the summit on Saturday, we torched a diplomatic vehicle (license plate beginning with ‘0’) parked in the Dohrnweg in Hamburg-Sternschanze. The minibus used for transportation of government members was completely destroyed, a friendly welcome to the political riots that took place in the neighborhood.

We would like to document this action as one of many that took place during the insurgent days in Hamburg that cannot be condemned as either ‘senseless’ or ‘randomly targeted.’ We stand in complete solidarity with the looting and the rioting of the summit nights that some are currently condemning as ‘counterproductive’. 

So there you have it. This minor piece of destruction is seen as some kind of major move forward for the workers. 

Having witnessed small groups of anarchists riot on our pensions march a few years ago these morons have nothing to offer anyone. Making a country "ungovernable" as their slogan on the cover of GaiDo suggests won't liberate anyone. If anything those that would suffer the most would be the weakest and most vulnerable in society.

Political violence is a sign of failure and those that indulge in it usually become the oppressors themselves.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Momentum on the March


Mao Zedong


If there is one thing that Theresa May will never be forgiven for it is her incompetence in dealing with the rise of Corbyn and his movement. From a position of seemingly overwhelming strength she had the ability to route the most useless and dangerous Labour Party leader that this country has ever seen. From dominating the polls May went on to barely hanging on to power having to go to the religiously motivated DUP in order to survive.

The consequences of the last election will reverberate for some time.

Already the far-left or hard-left whatever you want to call them are on the move with attacks already being made on Jewish MP Luciana Berger being told she must apologise for criticising the Dear Leader by the Momentum thought police. Big Brother is here and they are about to launch an assault on parliamentary democracy.

According to The Times (no link £):

A fifth of Labour MPs have appeared on a deselection hitlist drawn up by left-wing activists emboldened by Jeremy Corbyn's election success.....

A grassroots Momentum group in South Tyneside published a list of 49 prominent Labour figures including Chuka Umunna, Chris Leslie and Jess Phillips suggesting they should "join the Liberals". 

Apparently:

Mr Corbyn's office claimed to be neutral on the question of reselections.

Meanwhile:

Momentum is not campaigning for the deselection of individual MPs but a spokesman said it "supports local initiatives that make sure members have a say in how their party works and who represents them.

In other words the purge is on. The new "Red Guard" has already found these MPs guilty of not toeing the party line as they see it and the whole nature of the Labour Party is being set to change, not to the future but to the past as "democratic centralism", a Leninist concept of authority is imposed on the party.

This is not a new phenomenon. One of the arguments that took place when the left took over the PCS union was over their concept that the union should be activist led rather than a representative body. One, now former NEC member Bev Laidlaw once told me it was "in the members interests " to back Corbyn when I queried why they were not consulting their membership. Glad I'm out of it. There was for me an alternative union to join, but when it comes to the Labour Party there is currently no alternative.

The Corbynistas dominate the Labour Party and whilst Momentum may only represent a fraction of that pro-Corbyn membership their use of social media will allow them to ram home the new politics of the intolerant left.

Thousands of moderates or mainstream activists have left Labour since Corbyn's ascendency. Others are seemingly just capitulating to the comrades demands. There is no organised fightback. No mainstream equivalent of Momentum.

There remains talk of an alternative party but because the seeming success of Corbyn and Labour's continuing growth of Labours fortunes in the poll the prospects for any kind of realignment seem bleak.

If Momentum continue to pick off MPs over the next five years then there will be little hope for the mainstream to regain the party.

For the time being it seems those of us in the political centre are homeless. Joining Labour is not an attractive prospect for any of us. The thought of constant battles in meetings with rabid Corbyn supporters does not appeal.

They don't listen.

The problem remains. The thought of a Corbyn led Labour government literally frightens the hell out of me.  The question needs to be asked. What next?

I do not pretend to know the answer.......