The Extremes of Woolwich

May 23, 2013

The horrendous murder of a British soldier – Lee Rigby – savaged on the streets of south east London yesterday, sparked an outcry across social media that I don’t think I’ve quite seen before in this country. A backlash that threatened to spill over into violent clashes on the streets. This is the dark side of social media. And it came from two extremes, with equally as repugnant statements.

The far right Nationalists used the attack, to highlight their hate for all Muslims, and in fact, anyone with slightly darker skin, as a group. They, in their ignorance, seem to be under the impression that a fringe Al-Shabaab supporting maniac, is somehow a perfect representation of British Muslims as a whole. They took to the streets, disgustingly attacking Mosques and shouting abuse at anyone who doesn’t fit their narrow band of what is deemed correct. Upon social media, they issued thinly veiled, as well as quite blatant threats, alongside vicious racism, that in my mind, can only be described as inflicting terror also:

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But it wasn’t just the far right Nationalists who vented their propaganda, and hate. Then came the apologists, and their predictable attempts to deflect blame from the guilty, onto the West in general. Unwilling to accept or even acknowledge that Al-Shabaab are responsible for murdering innocent Muslims also. They instead choose to over simplify the World, into two camps: Islam v Enemies of Islam – much the same way that the EDL do, only a little more subtle with their tactics. As if believing in the same God as people you’ve never met, in a country thousands of miles away, is some sort of justification for senseless murder. The victim mentality:

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Thankfully, the majority of social media remarks upon the murder in Woolwich, were both respectful and decent, from Muslims and non-Muslims alike, focusing on the murdered soldier. This marked the difference between moderates, and extremes quite intensely. The moderates seemed entirely focused on expressing shock and sorrow at the loss of a life in such a brutal manner. Those on the extremes, did not seem too interested in the loss of life, and the unthinkable tragedy his family have just had inflicted upon them, choosing instead to focus on either how much they dislike all Muslims, or how things like this only happen, because of British foreign policy. It seemed an easy way for the extremes to score very cheap and easy points.

No doubt the motives will be discussed, there will be those who claim Islamic extremism is fostered entirely by Western foreign policy, being as they tend to be, so naively unable to accept that negative and wholly unacceptable interpretations of their own faith might shoulder some blame. There will be those who claim to be “defending” England, without accepting that the terror they apparently deplore, they themselves are guilty of handing out, frightening decent Muslim men, women and children who have done nothing wrong. But it is important to remember that at the heart of this entire situation, is a family who have lost a loved one, in such a horrendous manner. I feel for the Muslim community of Woolwich over the next few days and weeks. The possible violent and completely unjustified retribution against an innocent community, is shocking to the rest of us, but terrifying to the people living it.

“An extremely popular and witty soldier, Drummer Rigby was a larger than life personality within the Corps of Drums and was well known, liked and respected across the Second Fusiliers”

– MoD statement.

I feel for the family of Lee Rigby, of 2nd Battalion the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, who so heartbreakingly leaves behind a 2 year old son, and who, in the most tragic circumstances, lost his life yesterday.


The Great British Holiday.

October 1, 2011

It is the end of September, and here in England, it is filled with blue sky and sun shine. We felt the hottest September 30th, for over 100 years yesterday. I spent this hot day, at Weston-Super-Mare on the South West coast of England.

Every English man and woman cannot help but have an unbreakable love for the great British holiday. Blackpool, Weston, Camber Sands, Torquay, Skegness, Weymouth, the list goes on, and the truly iconic names that you associate with these holidays; Haven, Butlins, Pontins, make it something of a nostalgia for those of us who lived it as children year on year. They are an entirely different variety of holiday, from the typical hotel and beach get-away on the Costa-del-sol.

Thankfully, I was still a kid before Butlins introduced all its updates, so I remember the retro style. The old redcoats, and the glamorous granny competitions. The nobbly knees and the talent shows. The entertainment teams in the club house performing Grease. Punch and Judy on the beach. I would wake up in the caravan, to the smell of mum cooking bacon and sausage, sit on the patterned velvet sofas for breakfast, loaded with excitement for the day. The beach shops that had cheap multicoloured footballs and long inflatable dingy’s, with their buckets and spades and their flip flops on sale on the racks outside the shop, as you walked around them with an 99-er in your hand, had the unique ability to make a kid think they were at the end of a rainbow.

The club house would put on productions of musicals every night, but one night a week you’d be treated to a magician, or a comedian. Even by the 1990s, the comedians weren’t the comedians that Butlins and Pontin’s were famed for putting up; there was no slightly risky comedian telling subtle blue jokes. No Bernard Manning’s. But it offered something different. Cheesy posters would be up around the camp site a few nights before, advertising some overly tanned slick back grey haired, sparkly golden waist coated singer gracing us with his presence in a few nights. It came around once a year, and you loved it when it did.

It all started in the 1940s, because air travel, and holidaying abroad was the luxury of the super rich. And so an entire industry grew up on the most popular beaches in the UK. They developed an aura of their own, that has never died. The Grand Pier at Weston has stood since 1904. For over 100 years, the Great British Holiday has triumphed.

And we’d have no Bobby Davro or Shane Richie without the Pontin’s blue coats……. think about a World without Bobby Davro and Shane Richie. Hell, isn’t it.

As a kid you’d learn to fall in love with the music from the 2p machines, and the horse racing machine. Put 10p on red. Red wins. Win 20p. Run and tell mum that you’re now incredibly rich. Turn 20p into ten 2p’s. Put 2p’s in 2p machine. Watch 2p’s balance right on the tip. Push them over. You’ve now spent 18p of your 20p’s worth of 2p’s, but you’ve wont 4p back. Score!

By the look of Weston Super Mare yesterday, the Great British Holiday, with all the memories for years past, is still thriving. This is great to see.

A few of my photos from Weston-Super-Mare can be seen here.

Here are my memories from the Great British Holidays of the later 1980s and 1990s.

I believe here, i’m waiting for Punch and Judy to start on Weymouth beach.

My dad and sister. Weymouth.

Me, my mother, and Penny. I’m sure this is Devon. 1987?

This is definitely Devon, because that Sooty machine is still there.

My dad (whom I clearly get my lack of hair now, from), Alf (whom I still have. He’s treasured) and me in my damn cool shades, chilling.

70s dad!

Me and my dad.

Weymouth beach would not be the same, without donkey rides. When I was the age I am in the photo, I thought the donkeys were huge. Yesterday, at Weston, they were tiny. How perspectives change.

Me and my mother, watching Punch and Judy. 1990? Possibly 1989. Why did all women in the 1980s insist on having perms?

Me and my dad. 1986. He still has that horseshoe hair. 25 years later.

Weston-Super-Mare, yesterday. Me and my friend Lucy.


A Neoliberal Attack…

July 13, 2011

Religious people are far more likely to engage in conversation about religion with me, after I mention that I have studied Philosophy and take an interest in Theology. I think they presume I will agree with their thoughts and perhaps provide reasoning to their illogical beliefs. I think they imagine that one can only speak with conviction on matters of religion, if one is religious in an academic sense. The same is true of many walks of life, not least the public sector in England. Because Tory MPs are essentially a part of the public sector, they seem to believe they have the right to talk of all public sector workers, as if they’re the official spokespeople for the public sector.

On Question Time last week, John Redwood, Tory MP for Wokingham appeared delighted as he informed the audience that as a public sector worker, he would be working longer and putting more money into his pension pot as a result of his Government’s reforms, and he was proud of it. The reason John Redwood can seem so pleased with himself that he is accepting the changes to his pension and retirement age, is because on top of the £65,000 a year he earns as an MP, he also claimed a hell of a lot of money, that regular public sector workers could only dream of. Yet, Mr Redwood seems to think his claims were perfectly reasonable, as suggested on his own personal blog:

In 2007-8 I claimed a total of £105,917. This made me the 19th cheapest MP, claiming around £40,000 less than the average. One fifth of that claim was the mortgage interest costs, the Council Tax and service charge and maintenance on a bedsit flat in Pimlico. It is entirely used to enable me to work longer days in London when there is important Parliamentary business. During my ownership it has only been slept in by myself. I do not need it for any other purpose. The deposit and repayments of capital are of course paid for out of my taxed income.

– We should be thanking him, for claiming in one year, more than a teacher is likely to earn in five years. We should be happy that tax payers money is going to fund the “maintenance” on his Pimlico flat. We should be grateful that the money spent on his mortgage interest (tax payers money) will go to buying a flat he can then sell when he retires, making a handsome profit, and giving nothing back to the public, whilst his party continue to force harsh austerity. One does wonder what the purpose of his 2004/5 claim of £13,305 for his luxurious house in Berkshire (a £1,000,000 estate which he fully owns), including £168 and £112 for his lawn to be reseeded, and how that is “entirely used to enable me to work longer days in London when there is important Parliamentary business” was needed for, but nevertheless, i’m sure it’s just as noble as the necessity of “maintenance” claims on the MILLIONAIRE’S flat in London. Thank you John “Jesus Christ” Redwood. You are a hero.

A man in the audience pointed out that the Private Sector has forced through harsh pension reforms, and so the Public Sector should do the same and “modernise”. The audience were alive with cheer! But it got me thinking; why is it always the public sector that is made to look as though it is in the wrong, like a Soviet leftover, trailing behind the private sector. People seem happy to accept the notion that if the private sector is screwing people over, then so should the public sector! Why is no one arguing that the private sector should be actively forced to lift itself up to the level of the public sector? As far as I can discern, over the past twenty five years it has been an out of control short-term wealth obsessed private sector that has been so majestically out of control, that when the bubble finally cracked, the public sector had to take the hit.

Let’s look at examples of the private sector providing a “modernising” model that the public sector ought to apparently follow:

Lloyds TSB is currently 43.4% owned by the taxpayer. Yet, its new Chief Executive, Antonio Horta-Osorio received a signing on fee of £4.1mn in shares, £516,000 in money, and an annual salary of £1.6mn with a yearly bonus of £2.5mn.

A wonderful company named Trafigura, in 2010 leased a ship called the Probo Koala to a company called Compagnie Tommy, with the intent to dump toxic waste at a waste disposal sight in Amsterdam. The site raised their prices by 20 times that quoted, because the toxic waste was deemed to be far more dangerous that Compagnie Tommy and Trafigura first suggested. So, a new company set up on the Ivory Coast agreed to take the waste, for a very cheap sum. Trafigura did not investigate just why this new company was offering to take the waste for such a cheap price. After the waste was dumped, ten people died from poisoning, and over 100,000 became ill. Trafigura said they’d tested the waste, and it wasn’t toxic, and that they had no idea why so many people became ill. The Dutch tested the waste and found it contained two tonnes of Hydrogen Sulfide. A killer gas. Trafigura spent three years publicly denying the waste they dumped in a poverty stricken area of Africa, was not enough to kill people. Suddenly, Trafigura offered to pay a massive amount of compensation of Euro152,000,000 to the Ivory Coast (which didn’t go to the victims) with the instruction that on acceptance of the compensation, they couldn’t be prosecuted or causing death in the courts. The reason they did this, is because The Guardian obtained – through Wikileaks – private company emails from Trafigura in which they quite plainly accept, as early as 2006 before they’d even chosen the Ivory Coast to dump the waste, that the waste was indeed dangerous.

According to the Guardian, Diageo PLC, the company that makes Guiness, in 2009 paid as little as 2% tax on its profits, despite racking in £2bn in profits. Diageo pays its Chief Executive £3.6mn salary. To fill this gap, it takes 20,000 ordinary British households per year.

The term “Modernising” has come to mean subtle privatising of key services in recent years. An economic laissez faire that apparently promised to solve all of our problems. The outsourcing of cleaning from NHS to private companies with £94mn worth of contacts, led to such declining standards between ’83-’00, that an extra emergency £31mn was injected into cleaning in the NHS, with the a Patient Environment Action Team (PEAT), set up to visit hospitals to ensure standards were being met; the Private sector had failed. By 2000, only 20% of NHS Trusts had achieved an acceptable level of cleanliness.

The banks aren’t the only sector that have required government bail outs in recent history. In 2002, British Energy (privatised under the Tories) had to approach the government for a £410mn bail out to finance its debts.

News of the World. I believe this doesn’t need elaborating on.

Private sector bonuses and high CEO pay, is more harmful to you and I, than highly paid private sector bosses. When money accumulates in the hands of very few people within the private sector (we spend more in the private sector, than on taxes), the cost gets passed on to us. The Bush tax cuts, along with the deregulation of the financial sector didn’t go toward greater investment, it went to increasing the pay and bonuses of those at the top, and the cost was passed on to us, through the creation of a very easy credit system. We all know how that turned out.

British Airways, under the incompetent management of Willie Walsh faced massive fines (record breaking fine actually) for price fixing, long drawn out industrial disputes with the cabin crew which the media helped by describing the cabin crew as greedy, despite 2000 of their workmates being laid off, the company making huge losses, and Willie Walsh taking in a 6% inflation busting pay rise, taking it to £743,000 and £1.1mn in deferred share bonuses. Enough to keep at least ten people on at BA, who otherwise lost their job. The media will never paint the boss as the greedy incompetent bastard in this kind of dispute. It will always find a child at Heathrow, crying, because the cabin crew strike means he wont see his mummy this Christmas. The media do not tend to side with the unions, they never will, and so neither will the ill-informed public.

Do we need to even mention the banking system? A particularly ironic take on this whole new “private good public bad” era of austerity we are living in.

Thankfully we have the Government’s new corporate team, who will help him “stand up to business”. On the panel, inevitably, is Philip Green, Topshop mogul who owns Taveta Investments, which he put in his wife’s name, who happens to live in Monaco, thus avoiding £285mn in tax. He also paid his family £1.2bn, taken from a loan in the name of his company, thus cutting Corporation tax because the loan’s interest charges were offset against profit. Oh and he also uses sweatshops in Mauritius, whilst claiming his obscene bonuses are justified because he “takes risks”. Another on the panel, is Justin King, Chairman of Sainsbury’s. In his first year, he received free shares worth over £500,000, whilst axing the £120 christmas bonus for his staff. After his staff didn’t receive their christmas bonus, King awarded his wealthy finance director £357,000 worth of shares. King was also offered 1,000,000 free shares, if he met specific targets the year before. He didn’t meet the targets, the company’s profits fell 2.9% and yet he still took home 86% of the promised shares. He will be given the same year on year, on top of his £500,000+ a year salary.

We all know that the private sector has the potential to deliver fantastic opportunities, despite the fact that its raison d’etre is unjustifiable power and wealth in the hands of people who simply injected the first dose of capital required to kick start the specific business, as if that initial injection of capital somehow creates a universal, unbreakable law, like gravity, that requires the majority of the subsequent profit and the decisions required to move the business forward, be placed in the hands of the person who injected that capital. It’s a bit of a flawed and odd concept that people just tend to accept. But, it does create opportunity (though it doesn’t necessarily have to be the only way of creating opportunity). The downside, is unregulated greed. The public sector is a constant target of abuse from the source of that greed, and the politicians that the greed of the private sector can buy. Corportocracy at its finest and most dangerous.

Isn’t it about time a Politician had the balls to stand up and say the Private Sector over the past thirty years has spiraled disastrously out of control, and perhaps needs to be able to pay people a decent living wage, as opposed to bringing the public sector down to the unacceptable level of the private sector?


This could be 1983

May 13, 2011

The Conservatives haven’t changed. It is true that they are the epitome of what it means to be wealthy, privileged, and have an in-built mechanism of contempt for anybody who isn’t wealthy and privileged. I find their politics to be vicious and nasty, and their economics to be self serving and hypocritical. They are typical of the type who wish to use a system to climb to the heights they have, and then burn the ladder up which they or their family before them, climbed.

They will always use the “deficit” (which isn’t that bad) to justify the unjustifiable, simply because no one except a tiny band of elite scumbags will ever accept their economic principles. Libertarianism is dangerous and unhealthy to a civilised society. It is built on the premise of judging a nation by how rich its most wealthy have become, how concentrated that wealth has become, rather than how society protects its most vulnerable.

Their language is arrogant, vicious, dirty, and out dated, to match their political stance. Here is a few examples of Tories being Tories.

  • Wandsworth Council today announced plans for the Autumn, to charge children £2.50 to use the local park. It is in response to the £55mn it needs to find in spending cuts. Instead of fighting the obvious manipulation of figures from the Treasury which suggest we’re on the verge of becoming Greece (which we aren’t), and instead of pointing out that the Treasury is in worse shape now than it was when Labour left office, and expected to get worse, with regard to inflation and unemployment……… the Council has just accepted the bullshit, and decided that along with the disabled and the unemployed, children should be the next to be hit. We now have more property millionaires than anywhere in Europe – creating an horrendous property apartheid especially in the South, we have a banking system that has managed to get away with causing chaos, and we have a mass of Corporate tax avoiders costing the system £25bn a year….. and yet Wandsworth Council think the way to go is to make children aware that from now on, any ounce of fun, is going to cost them money. The excuse? The same typical excuse Libertarians use all the time, the same tired, nasty excuse Tories have been using for decades:

    “Why should Wandsworth taxpayers subsidise children from other boroughs?”

    – Who thinks like that? It makes me squirm.
    If that’s the case, why should the majority of left leaning voters (over 57% at the 2010 election) subsidise the jobs of a right wing government? I don’t want our family tax money to pay for our Tory MP to live so comfortably. I don’t want our tax money to go to paying a National debt whilst the very wealthy manage to pump their money into offshore accounts, and be allowed to claim expenses on running those offshore companies, against the UK tax they don’t pay. We are subsidising their ability to pay nothing. They couldn’t run a successful business in the UK, and offshore its profits, without functioning roads, a decent healthcare system, a property protection system like the police force, an education system to prepare their future workforce. And yet, their right to offshore, is supported by our Government who instead choose to attack children’s parks. Great.

    The Tories main campaign poster in 2010 was this:
    – So imagine our surprise when Mark Britnell, who made it into the Top Ten of the most influential people when it comes to healthcare in the country by the HSJ, former Director-General for Commissioning and System Management for the NHS and now “health policy expert” on David Cameron’s personal NHS advisory group said this to a group of Private Healthcare lobbies, organised by private equity firm Apax:

    “In future, the NHS will be a state insurance provider not a state deliverer. The NHS will be shown no mercy and the best time to take advantage of this will be in the next couple of years.”

    Minister for Health Andrew Lansley, who is worth an estimated £700,000, and spent the Labour years flipping his second home, claiming expenses for renovating a cottage designated his second home, before selling it for a tidy profit, before claiming for furniture for his flat in London now designated his second home, insists that he isn’t considering NHS privatisation. One wonders what his most charitable donor, John Nash, of Private Health company Care UK thinks about that. Nash donated £21,000 to Lansley’s private office, whilst they continue to make 96% of their profit from the NHS. Care UK stand to make a great deal more from increased involvement of the private sector in the NHS.

  • Cameron promised that front line jobs would not be cut from the NHS, before the election. Vowing to protect the NHS is a big vote winner in the UK. Cameron knew that. He then didn’t win the election, didn’t get a mandate, and so decided to rip the NHS to shreds. According to Unison, 500 jobs at St George’s Hospital in South London are to go, along with three wards and 100 beds. Similarly, Kingston Hospital in South West London announced that around 20% of its workforce will need to go, to meet the governments cost saving demands. The government repeatedly claims it is increasing spending on the NHS in real terms. Another lie. NHS spending is set to grow by less than under the Thatcher years, which is when the NHS was gutted almost to complete meltdown. Here’s how that “increase” looks on a graph:
    Between 1997 and 2010, the number of doctors increased by 57% and nurses by 31%. Funding rose from around £1bn a year (less than Philip Green paid his family in dividends in 2009, which he financed by taking out a loan, which in turn reduced his Corporate tax rate as the interest on the loan could be offset against Corporate profits of his firm Arcadia) under the Tories, to £4.3bn under Labour, which increased the activity of the NHS by over 40%. It worked. We are healthier now than we were in the 1980s, we are living longer, and morale in the NHS was higher than the 1980s. Increases in spending this year, when adjusted for inflation, will be 0.024% from April 2011. Great. In fact, Sir David Nicholson, Chief executive of the NHS said this about the new spending plans for the NHS:

    there has never been a time where we have had four years of flat real growth. It is unprecedented.

    – There are many Tories that will argue consistently and poorly, that Osborne and the Tories are championing the NHS and funding it amazingly well beyond all recognition. Listening to them, is perilous.
    Waiting lists are already sky rocketing. In Coventry, it was reported that there would be a 13 week waiting list for Hernia repair at Walsgrove University hospital. That has now increased to 26 weeks and should be considered “just a guideline” as lists are likely to increase again this year.
    According to County Durham & Darlington NHS Foundation Trust:

    Trust is undertaking a £60m cost cutting exercise to be delivered by 2014, including £20m in 2010/11. The trust is also cutting 300 beds. 300 nursing jobs will be lost through natural wastage Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust: equivalent cost savings of around 200 fewer jobs are required to meet financial targets. In cash terms, the trust is making cost efficiencies of £25m over 3 years. City Hospitals Sunderland: The Trust undertook a £22.5m cost cutting exercise for financial year just gone. NHS County Durham and Darlington : The NHS service providers in County Durham and Darlington are undertaking a £200m cost cutting exercise over the next 3 years. The trust is cutting 62 senior nurse posts and replacing them with 78 more junior posts. In addition, County Durham PCT has identified 110 management posts for redundancy.

    The managerial posts are “in addition” to front line nursing.

  • Cameron told a female Labour MP in the House of Commons – the NATIONAL LEGISLATURE – to “calm down dear”. One wonders what Tory MP for Loughborough Nicky Morgan thought of this childish, sexist outburst from our Prime Minister, given that she was seen visibly laughing in the House of Commons at that pathetic remark, yet accused ME of being sexist when I simply asked if she had asked a planted question a few weeks back.
    This comes a few weeks after Cameron took a swipe at ethnic minorities in his attack on multiculturalism, in which he mentioned Islam and Muslims 36 times in twenty minutes, and Sikh, Hindu, Jewish, Taoist, Buddhist not a single time. It was an attack on Islam, to the point where even Nick Griffin called the speech “provocative” and members of the EDL said that Cameron “understands us”.
    That came about a week after Osborne referred to an openly Labour MP in the Commons as the “pantomime dame”. It isn’t surprising, their stance on homosexuality, given that whilst 100% of Lib Dems, and 99% of Labour MPs voted to repeal the nasty little Section 28 law that banned anything positive being said about homosexuality in schools, only 24% of Tories voted to repeal it. And whilst 100% of Lib Dems, and 95% of Labour MPs voted in favour of allowing gay adoption……. only 6% of Tories voted for it. So that’s homophobia, sexism, and racism all within a year. What else is left? Ah yes, class.
    David Shakespeare, leaders of the Tory Councillor for Buckinghamshire Council said that poor northerners who are losing their jobs due to the cuts, should go down to London and pick the fruit of the land owners down south, instead of seeking job seekers allowance. He also said:

    ‘The North may replace the Romanians in the cherry orchards, that may be a good thing’

    – Not even a necessary thing? Not even a regretful thing? A GOOD thing? He doesn’t mind kicking people out of their work and their jobs, he thinks it’s a great thing, because they’ll come to the south and work on his land for next to no money! He’s happy that the North is about to be gutted, again, of all funding whilst the south thrives, again, like the 1980s. Luckily I am from the Midlands, so I’m not sure i’d have to pick this overweight Tory prick’s fields, but i’m not sure if I have to bow as he drives past in his luxurious horse and cart.

  • Osborne announced this week that he was going to make it easier for companies to cut pay, cut pensions, dismiss people, and be allowed to get away with being discriminatory. In essence, he plans to make job security as unsafe as possible. It will be golden news to people like my boss. It is an attack on the workforce again. Presumably he will moan about Unions trying to hold the country to ransom whilst he attacks the rights of as many workers as possible, expecting us all to just bend over and take it. I hope the Unions unite and fight, I hope for a period of industrial action on a scale never seen before, and I hope a general strike is called as soon as possible If it is going to be a case of a very wealthy minority making life as miserable and difficult as possible for the many, then I hope the many fight back. Osborne claims employment rules are holding back job creation. He of course, is wrong. Job creation is held back significantly by a vast majority of big bosses plundering money into dodgy stocks or increasing their salaries beyond recognition. Why not cap private sector managerial wealth to a percentage of the lowest paid? Therefore when the lowest paid gets an increase, so does the highest paid. The extra-profit to be used to employ new people. Why attack the right of the workforce to a decent level of job security and working conditions? Why is that the only solution? Do you know what else creates job losses? It is happening on a smaller scale across the country, cuts are having affects on jobs and livelihoods. Cuts….
  • Derby’s Historic Industrial museum has had to close, 9 job losses.
  • Bishop Aukland College – 179 jobs losses.
  • South Tyneside College – 200 jobs to go.
  • Tyne Metropolitan College – 66 jobs to go.
  • Stockton Riverside College – 23 jobs to go.
  • City of sunderland College – 69 jobs to go.
  • Newcastle College – 171 jobs to go.
  • East durham college – 76 jobs to go.
  • New Cross library, Crofton Park library, Sydenham library, Grove Park library, Blackheath library all to close.
  • Oxford Brookes University – 400 support staff received “at risk” letters.
  • Diss weekly Youth Centre praised by police for helping troubled children, to close, and staff to lose their jobs.
  • Taunton Primary School – no more music teacher, no more music lessons.
  • A Big Society initiative – new volunteers to help out at museums in Hampshire – to replace 25 staff who have lost their jobs. Unpaid staff to replace paid staff. Great.
  • Five libraries in Lewisham to close.
  • Cuts to NHS disabled transport in Dumfries – jobs losses expected.
  • 50% of pupil support assistants assigned to children with special needs, to be cut in Aberdeen.
  • 21,000 job losses at Lloyds……..
  • ….. former Lloyds boss Eric Daniels takes home a bonus of £1.45mn…..
  • ….. new Lloyds boss António Horta-Osório takes a signing on fee of £6mn and a salary of £1.6mn.

    In short, the poor need jobs to live. The rich need the poor to be as close to slaves as possible, reliant entirely on them to be able to eat, to be called lazy and scroungers and attacked as greedy if they unionise or refuse to work for a piss poor boss in piss poor conditions for piss poor pay. It is not a plan to increase job creation, it is a plan to enable the very wealthy, to get even more wealthy – to buy an extra yacht to fill the void in their soul – by asking more and more of their staff for as little as possible, and it’s always been the case. The project is designed to make people believe their tax money is wrongly being used, not just by people who claim to have a physical disability whilst they play tennis and golf 24 hours a day, but also by children playing on swings in the town next to yours, as opposed to the fact that your tax money is actually used to make sure that the wealthiest get massively insane tax cuts with Corporation tax expected to drop from 28% in 2010….. to 15% in 2020. That is what your tax money is funding. Make sure the man in the expensive house in Notting Hill thanks you for his lovely new Mercedes….. but don’t let your kids play on the park next to his house, you scrounging scumbag.

    The progress the country has made since the hell of the 1980s, is about to be burnt to the ground. Do not be fooled into thinking this “has to be done”, it is Conservative party ideology, they have waited over a decade to have this chance.

    They are attempting to replace compassion, with greed, and it’s working.


  • The Royal Summary….

    April 29, 2011

    It is nice to see that William and Kate chose to get married 66 years to the day that Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun tied the knot. And as Australian Geoff pointed out, William is a relative of Henry VIII. We can expect Kate to be his first wife, and for William to try to invade France at any point. James Hewitt’s son, Harry is not dressed like a Nazi.

    It amused me greatly that the Ambassador of Syria was uninvited from the wedding. An ambassador of an anti-democratic regime banned from the wedding of the epitome of anti-democracy who are where they are through centuries of fear and violence, for being too un-democratic. It is almost poetic.

    Elton John and partner David Furnish arrived at the Abbey. He always gets called “…partner David Furnish“. When we see the neighbour, we say “There’s John, with his dog Max“. Partner David Furnish is spoke of like Elton’s pet. Partner David Furnish mustn’t like that.

    “The first ray of sunshine shone over buckingham palace, literally the exact moment Kate walked into the room” – Fox News. Brilliant. The land of make belief is very very prominent within the four walls of Fox.

    Here is me. Look at me smile. Look how happy I am. Look how bright the room is. That isn’t the sun. That is the light of the Monarchy brightening my otherwise dark day.

    – Incase you’re wondering, the midget on the mantlepiece is Elf Ash.

    A woman being interviewed on ITV just said “Oh they’re a lovely couple. They’re so down to Earth”. I’m not too sure how that woman knows the couple so well, but apparently she does.

    Why do we still have a monarchy? Why? I don’t understand.

    Fox News, in its typical brilliant way, showed a montage of Diana’s face fading out and Kate’s smilie face fading in. I wanted to be sick. I still do. To their credit, they stopped short of blaming Obama for Diana’s death.

    Cleggs missus looks like she has JFK’s assassinated head on the side of her face. Perhaps her choice of hat was an unconscious decision, a symbolic attempt to let us all know how it feels to be married to the most hated man in British politics. Like being assassinated….

    Speaking of assassinations, Obama is in Alabama today. Or as the rest of the World calls it, the 1800s.

    Blair and Brown have not been invited. Major and Thatcher have. The official line is that Blair and Brown are not Knights of the Garter. Though why Boris and Douglas Hurd have been invited is a little bit bemusing. Perhaps Boris is about to become Sir Boris for services to being a massive twat. Blair won three elections. He also managed to pull the Royals out of the shit after Diana died. Thatcher was thrown out by her own party. Major was the most boring man in history.

    I like that William is balding. I feel relieved.

    There is a man in the crowd with a very funny moustache. It has no relevance to this blog or to the wedding in general, but the moustache looks like a small woodland creature attacking his face. If that isn’t worth a mention, I don’t know what is.

    It is nice to see The Met managed to be next to young people, without smashing their faces in.

    I hope Prince Andrew turns up at any moment, drunk, with a 16 year old girl on his arm, and announcing that he has sold Westminster Abbey to a consortium of Bahraini business men and that everyone needs to leave immediately because it is being bulldozed to make way for a car park.

    David Cameron thinks the hundreds of thousands of people lining the streets of Whitehall and the Mall are there for the wedding. Actually, they’re the people he is in the process of making homeless, for the sake of big business.

    President Obama was far smarter than Prime Minister Gillard. Obama clearly knew that this was all just a ploy to get the leaders of former colonial nations in one place, whilst we secretly take back our old possessions. Australia will be ours again. We will forget about this silly independence thing.

    The priest said “William and Catherine, you have chosen to be married in front of a generous God”. Yes, he’s generous! Yeah but, what about all the killing in the old testament by God?…… forget that. But what about all the wars in the name of that God?….. yeah forget that too. But what about all the people in Africa who were told by the Pope that condoms actually spread AIDS?…….. can you please just forget that and listen to the Priest! He’s never wrong! Oh and then an attack on secularism. Nice.

    In the build up to the wedding, BBC and SKY kept telling us how wonderful Kate is. “Look at her walking around and shaking hands. Isn’t she amazing. It’s like she’s been doing this for years.” No one can walk like she can. Is there anything she can’t do? I see her walk and think “My god……. what a woman!

    Prince Harry is dressed like a curtain. It has given me ideas for our kitchen windows. I am still annoyed that he isn’t dressed as Goering. Prince William is dressed like Pete Doherty in the ‘Don’t look Back into the sun’ video.

    Princess Eugenie has a butterfly splatted on her forehead.

    The Dean of Westminster is dressed like a Jedi.

    Apparently the Middleton family really annoyed the Royals when they first met. They did something horrific. Something beyond repulsive. Something that makes me heave. They said “Pleased to meet you” as opposed to “how do you do“. Scum.

    They have been described as a typical middle class family. You know, those typical families that own multi million pound businesses and live in a five bedroom estate, and a full private education for your kids and a £750,000 flat in London. Ah yes, I know it well.

    Is it wrong that when I saw Kate in her dress, my instant reaction was “Miss Havisham”. And just in case you’re interested, Kate is wearing, erm, a dress. It’s white. It’s a white dress. A white wedding dress, actually.

    BBC described her as “she looks, behind that veil, a picture of contentment“. I had to sit and wonder for a second whether they said “contemptment“. Having checked my dictionary, and discovering that contemptment isn’t actually a word, I figure that Kate Middleton isn’t full of contempt, with hate behind her veil.

    The Queen is taking the time in her bulletproof car to wave to commoners. Remarkable. Those people are mere scum, and she has such love for them, as she waves to the poor, working class feces that line the street outside her home, drenched in ignorant patriotism.

    Interestingly, the last King William was William III. He went to war with Catholicism and the French. Before him, William II went to war with France. William I took on Brittany in France. Is this a trend? Is William going to dress like a Knight and single handedly invade France. I once dreamt that David Beckham single handedly invaded France dressed as a Knight. David Beckham is in the Abbey today. Coincidence?

    With David Cameron, Nick Clegg, and the Royal Family all in Westminster Abbey, could I potentially stage a coup? Emperor Jamie?

    It is history being made. I dislike the symbol of the history being made. It’s a big game in pomp. It isn’t real. It is actually quite disturbing when you consider the amount of homeless people living in London, to see the biggest benefit claimants in the Country have a wedding so lavish, at the expense of the people. But it is history. So it goes…


    Like life

    April 15, 2011

    Sometimes I just want to write.
    I don’t know why, but it becomes a sort of irreproachable desire that overwhelms whatever it is I am doing at the particular moment and I want to write. I have hundreds of drafts of random blogs I’ve started when the propensity to sit down at my laptop and arrange thought patterns into words massacres all other modes of thought. And then I get frustrated with the direction the blog takes, knowing it has no real ending, and so I just give up and wallow in languid self pity. I am told this is common for people who enjoy writing. Perfectionism is a fucking bitch. So I thought i’d just write, and see where it leads, and when it ends it ends. And like life It has no overwhelming purpose or meaning, and just imposes itself on those it chooses without aim, quickly forgotten. Bits and pieces imprint themselves on the memory of the back of the darkest reaches of the consciousness, but its essence is always there contributing to what it is (even in the smallest and seemingly insignificant ways) that makes you, you.

    I was five when we moved away from Cavendish Road, just off of Saffron Lane. I vividly remember a significant amount of enlightening episodes from before the move. Here are a few:

    I remember the fucking horrendous accents – I hate the Leicester accent. I have made a conscious effort over the years to eradicate it from my own speech. If being beaten up badly, and then being spat on as you lay crying in a wrecked ball in a shit filled gutter could be conveyed through an accent, it would be the Leicester accent. It does however provide some beautifully crafted sentences I over hear a lot. Today, in Tesco, a boy on his mobile phone, said “yeah well Josh can suck the fucking piss out of my dirty black nips”. I have never in my life wanted to kill someone for raping the English language, whilst at the same time wanting to worship him as the God of beautiful sentences, so much.

    I remember a man being kicked in the face by two other men and then being chased away.

    I remember drawing a picture of a boat and my teacher pinning it up on the door of the classroom. I was so proud. But we lived in the social darkness and backwardness of Tory England then, as we do now, and no one told me that pursuing art for art sake is irrelevant in Tory England, we should aim for a life in a call centre instead. Beauty is the destitute office with the distinct smell of printer ink, in Tory England.

    I remember adorning myself in Leicester City blue and white and walking down to Filbert Street with my dad, past the rows of cars with Leicester City badges in the windows, and drifting into the wind with the same fans week after week. I was born one year after Gary Lineker moved to Everton from Leicester. The early 90s weren’t the greatest years for Leicester. Though I saw them play in the most exciting Wembley play off final i’ve ever seen, when Swindon Town beat us 4-3 after we went from 3-0 down to 3-3. Steve Thompson was the man on the back of my Leicester shirt that year. The walk to Filbert Street down Saffron Lane was one of the highlights of my childhood. I once saw a man push a grown woman down a flight of stairs of the double decker stand at Filbert Street, she smacked her head and passed out. That wasn’t such a highlight.

    I remember my dad and I watching a sunday league football match on Nelson Mandela park, when the ball was manically kicked out of play, and smashed me in the face. The guilty player (who I am adamant even now, should be shot) came over deeply apologetic, and is now one of my dads good mates. My dad befriended my abuser. Thanks dad.

    I remember walking downstairs one morning to find our shop had been broken into, the windows smashed, and police talking to my dad. This is pretty normal when you live a few doors in from Saffron Lane. The terraced houses all look the same; the towering army of Edwardian brick chimney tops, street after street. England. But the street is usually full of kids kicking a ball, and old women with nets over their hair for some uninspiring reason. Mrs Spick lived opposite us. I always thought ‘Spick’ was a name that conveyed the feeling of living in cramped streets. She was about 50. I vividly remember the awful smell that emanated from her. She spat when she spoke. Missus Spick spat when she spoke. Oh how the structure of language can disguise the vile essence it is trying to convey. Which leads me onto the next memory.

    I remember the day I learnt the word “cunt”. I was 5. I overheard a man on my street call his girlfriend a cunt. We Leicestarians know how to treat our ladies. I didn’t know what it meant, so I thought i’d put this wonderful new addition to my vocabulary to use immediately. My friend who was over with his mum, and I were playing with our wrestling figures. I was Brett Hart, he was Crush. Crush attacked Brett and kicked him across the room. I didn’t hesitate any longer, “you cunt”, I yelled as loud as I could. The helper at our shop overheard me and went insane at me. So I called her a cunt too. I didn’t know what it meant, but the reaction was amazing. One single word could cause an atomic bomb to explode around me? This was like gold dust! Thus began my fascination with the power of language. Word became both exciting, yet largely meaningless and empty. My year 7 English teacher told my parents I would never be a reader and i’d never be a writer. I’ve told this story to a lot of people, because it explains exactly why I struggle at times with my confidence. She used language to convey her stupidity and ignorance and I knew it even back then. Just because I didn’t like Shakespeare, nor her, I was doomed to sit dribbling on myself and getting fat in a dark room with nothing but a TV for entertainment. What a cunt.

    I remember cricket. I come from a cricket background. My dad played cricket. He now coaches cricket. He loves cricket. My mum catered for cricket testimonial matches. I could often be found in a hired out old pub, surrounded by people in grey suits talking about who should and shouldn’t make the team. Cricket is an odd game. It is played by kids, coached by the kids grown up, and watched by snobs. The pub rooms and the snobs always smelled of real ale. I can remember the smell so distinctly. Sometimes I miss it. Real ale, and old leather from the seats in the pub rooms. I played cricket for the school for a few years. I was pretty good too. But my god, it’s a boring sport.

    I remember being told by our school that we should be careful because there is a man roaming the area trying to take kids by offering them sweets. I have only just learnt that all schools do this every year to teach kids about the risk of paedophiles. But when I was younger, it sounded to me like they were warning us against taking sweets from people. Why would they do that? If someone is offering me sweets, I should say no? Only people who offer kids sweets, want to kill me? All of them? This confusion led me at the age of seven to accuse the shop keeper at the end of the road of trying to take kids, because he sells Snickers. In a shop full of people, me, a kid, accused the shop keeper of being a child molester. Great. Thanks school! Not only did you make me believe I could be Fritzled at any moment, you also ruined the life of the nice corner shop owner. I hope you’re happy with yourselves.

    I remember a man a few doors down from us, who was in his 90s and had one leg, the other had been blown off when Saffron Lane was bombed during the war. On the BBC war website, a writer who was eight years old during the war writes:

    The worst bomb damage that I saw was in Cavendish Road, on August 21st 1940. I was with my dad in his lorry on the coal wharf at Danvers Road. The air raid siren sounded, it was just after ten o’clock. Dad made me go into an air raid shelter near by, when the all clear sounded, I came out of the shelter and we could see the smoke rising. Dad was worried as it looked to be in the direction of where we lived. He said “come on son we had better go and see if mum is OK”. As we came up the Saffron Lane past the end of Cavendish Road the gas main was blazing and I could see lots of bomb damage, many buildings were in ruins, people were just being rescued with ambulance’s and fire engines all around. This was less than half an hour after the raid. Six people were killed

    All I knew from the history of my street, was that it had been destroyed during the war. This one guy in his 90s used to say this his knee in his one remaining leg hurt, and he’s lucky he doesn’t have to deal with pain in the other one. He was fascinating. Here is a picture of the building that got hit. Our place was a few doors up from here:


    The houses are pretty much exactly as they were back then. Though, minus that massive gaping hole on the corner.

    I remember my primary school teacher had some sort of odd mental breakdown whilst reading a book with me one day, and started to sing “the wheels on the bus” whilst stood on a table. She then collapsed and was taken away by the school nurse and a few teachers. It’s funny because I worried about her. We never saw her at school again. Years later I saw her driving.

    End.


    Multiculturalism in England

    February 5, 2011

    At the Student protest rally in London last November, I saw a group of people marching together; laughing and joking, holding a sign saying “Jewish and Muslim Students Unite“. A Jewish guy was holding the hand of a Muslim girl. Sadly, I didn’t manage to take a photo of those two. But I got a photo of the banner. I cannot think of a better symbol of the success of multiculturalism in this country, than that group of young people. Whilst the older generation (and a few crazed extremists) likes to cling on to some oddly indefinable nostalgic sense of “Britishness”, the rest of us are getting on with each other, just fine.

    David Cameron today has claimed that Britain has become too tolerant of extreme Muslims. It is an unfortunate speech because it comes on the same day as the biggest EDL rally in its history in Luton, later today. Cameron’s mistake is that he mentioned Muslim extremism particularly, and not English Nationalism too.

    Both are intolerable thugs, yet both are just not important. They should be ridiculed and ignored.

    Cameron makes this speech a year after Merkal of Germany made pretty much the same speech in which she argued that German Multiculturalism had failed, and argued for a strong German national identity……… a strong……. German…. national identity…………. I wont point out the obvious flaw there.

    He claimed that too many Muslim organisations are showered with public money, without doing anything to combat extremism. The question is, are the extremists part of these groups showered with public money? If they are, then of course they should be trying to combat the extreme element. But if they aren’t, then why should they? It’s like claiming that all middle aged men should be using their time and influence to combat the fact that a large number of paedophiles, tend to be middle aged men.

    It would be terribly ignorant to suggest that there isn’t an extreme element of Islam in the UK. There is. Is it a threat? No. It is a fringe group of fundamentalists, just like the EDL, or should not be acknowledged or given a platform whatsoever. When either EDL or Muslim groups start to propagate violence, then it is up to the security services to make sure they don’t make good on their pathetic threats. But whilst they keep talking about “the word of God”, we should shake our heads, wondering how humanity hasn’t managed to progress past the middle ages, philosophically.

    There are many many English Nationalist bloggers who blog exclusively concerning Islamic fundamentalism. They never mention violence and racial discourse by English Nationalism, because they are a part of that propaganda machine intended to imagine Englanders as the great victims. It is of course nonsense, but it isn’t just English Nationalists who play that card….

    The Islamic Standard takes fairy tale delusions to the next level. It is religious folk like he, that I despise. They are the cancer of the Earth. He states of a soldier who has recently died in combat:

    The family said in a statement: “Martin was proud to be in the Parachute Regiment and serving his country. He served three years as a Police Community Support Officer in West Yorkshire Police before joining the PARAs.”

    So not only was he in it for the money like many soldiers, but actually believed in this war against Islam and though anyone can change whilst still alive and become a better person, I can’t help feeling the world is a better place without this nationalistic enemy of Muslims on the planet.

    One wonders why he thinks we should be a “friend” of his brand of Islam, when he preaches the total overthrow of our entire culture, and replacement by his.
    It’s an ugly sentiment. It makes me angry to read it. But knee-jerk reactions, to Religious Fascism is what leads to the rise of National Fascism, and that’s fucking horrendous too.
    It is ironic that he uses the term “nationalistic”. Nationalism is the mirror image of Religious fundamentalism. Both are fighting for a silly little concept, an outdated, human invention. A non-divine, delusion. He lives in a Country that allows him the freedom to wish death upon anyone who isn’t the biggest fan of his fairy tale delusion, and yet he condemns it. As an Atheist, I do not condemn him to death, I do not want to impose my ways on him. I’m sure he can be a nice, civilised, loving person, when he isn’t being a massively racist thug. Whether the man who died was a soldier or not, is irrelevant to Islamic Standard, because in his “about” section, he states:

    We also don’t condemn our brethren who do violent acts in the UK, they have their evidence, we have our’s and we love them for the sake of Allah, they are our brothers and sisters and we would never agree to hand them over to the kufr Taghoot authorities and believe to side with the Kuffar, aid them in their war against Islam by either spying on the Muslims or joining their crusading armies and police forces are acts of Kufr Akbar (major disbelief).

    – He does not condemn terrorism. He loves them, actually. For the sake of a fairy man in the sky, he loves terrorists. But he doesn’t love Western terrorism. The terrorists have to be Muslims. Violence and murder is perfectly acceptable, as long as you’re slightly Arabic. Because his God apparently differentiates between the skin colour or culture of his murderers. He condemns Western aggression throughout the World (which I do too), but he does not condemn Muslim extremism, when its aim is to install its punitive religious bullshit on those of us who would rather drink our own piss than submit to religious “values”. What if his “brethren” (a word that always makes me laugh, a product of religious delusion) who “do violent acts” kill a child? Is that not condemnable? What about an innocent old lady (I know extremists like to try to justify their inherently violent nature, by suggesting that no one is “innocent”, but that’s a cop out)? is that okay too, because it’s a fight for a massively overrated religion?
    He, in short, is a thug.
    But he is entitled to his bullshit, in this country. I entirely disagree with him. I find him a virus that the immune system of humanity should be intent on weeding out with logic and reason. But I will always defend his right to be a Fascist, in the same way that his mirror image – the EDL have the right to believe the bullshit that they believe. They are a very small minority who do not condemn violence against those who entirely disagree with them, but want others to understand, believe and treat them like our superiors. It isn’t ever going to happen from me. He condemns me for who I am. He condemns me, because I am not a Muslim.

    Cameron argues that Multiculturalism has failed.
    He’s wrong.
    It hasn’t failed.
    Thirty years ago, the Tories ran a campaign in Birmingham with a leaflet stating “If you want a nigger as a neighbour, vote Labour”. Thankfully, that sort of far right Nationalist bullshit is past us. Now, your kids could be white and Christian, playing football in the street with their black, Muslim and Sikh friends. My dad coaches youth cricket teams; the young players are all very very good friends, and are all mixed culturally. Cultural integration is a slow process that takes a generation or two to take hold. This new generation of children are far more culturally aware and integrated that we ever were. Cameron’s speech is inflaming a culture of suspicion of the “other” that until now has been left to the idiots on the far right. He is giving a credible face to that intolerance, especially by not referencing the anti-British values of the EDL.

    That being said, I am no fan of organised religion, and if I had my way, no religious organisation would be receiving public funds, and I absolutely wouldn’t tolerate religious schools. I do not want Christian influence on politics and law, just like I don’t want Islamic influence on politics and law. I do not want fairy tales to influence reality. Cameron would do us all a credit, if he is taking a swipe at Islam, to also take a swipe at extreme Christians. Contrary to Christian belief, Western law is not based on Christian reasoning. It is based on social evolution and common sense. Law should be based on irrefutable fact, not on largely discredited miserable fairy tales from 1500-2000 years ago, in the desert. Whilst religious people like to suggest that homosexuality is unnatural, I would suggest that religious belief, is the most unnatural and vicious pessimistic invention humanity has ever had the misfortune to invent. The moment we no longer need such bullshit, is the day when we have evolved to the level that we can truly call ourselves civilised. Fundamentalist Islam, like Nationalists in the EDL are not civilised. They are barbaric thugs and nothing else. Do not let them convince you otherwise.

    Multiculturalism has not failed.
    The experiment of Nation States has failed. The experiment of one overriding National identity has failed. The experiment of organised religion has failed.
    Nation States are a left over from Colonial days. They have nothing but a violent history. They are like a market place, always looking for resources to plunder. It doesn’t matter if it is Western Nations or Middle Eastern Nations; the rich ones always want more. It isn’t Islam vs Christianity. It is the rich vs the poor. Always will be. Religion is used as a way to separate the poor Westerners from the poor Easterners, when actually they have more in common with each other than they think. They should be joining hands and fighting back. Racism has always been used as a divisive tool to stop popular uprisings.

    We are all a product of multiculturalism. A British identity has always been a little bit obscure. For most of our history, since the year 0, we were a Catholic country, in which the majority of our citizens considered themselves loyal to Rome before loyalty to the Nation. Protestants and Catholics fought for their vision of what it meant to be British. The English fought the Scots. The Royalists fought the Republicans. The Enlightenment thinkers struggled against the “traditionalists” of the elites. Darwin struggled to find a time to reveal the greatest discovery in the history of mankind, in the face of religious fundamentalists, so backward in their thinking, so dogmatic in their delusions, who would have liked him to have been silenced. We are a land of multiculturalism. I guarantee my idea of what it means to be British is far away from what David Cameron thinks it means to be British. Perhaps, in a very broad sense, we can deduce that to be British, is to believe in Democracy, the rule of secular law, and socially liberal values of acceptance. And tea drinking. Lots of tea drinking.

    I have always argued that mass migration is linked entirely to global inequality. We, as a Western State had a foot up the ladder of global Capitalism long before Middle Eastern countries started to climb. We used our days of Empire to secure great wealth, that has kept us relatively privileged ever since. We pillaged the World and then blocked our borders to them. We stole resources and labour supplies, and gave nothing back. Now we are complaining that the people we left behind, want a better life for themselves and their families in the UK. That to me, is irrational. The balance has to be tipped toward the centre economically. Flooding the World with American and British multinational companies, is not fair. It is perpetuating the problem, it results in war and in hatred. Always will do. Especially when mixed with religion.

    Fundamentalism in religion, is built on a bedrock of intolerance, hate, violence, delusion, anger, and whilst their mindset is undoubtedly influenced by their religious beliefs; they also must have psychological issues in the first place, to allow themselves to condemn large sections of humanity, who have done nothing personally to upset or hurt them, to a violent, miserable death. This is the legacy of religion. To call any religion, the “religion of peace and love” is a contradiction in terms.

    George Bush said he had heard the voice of the Christian God, who told him to go to war in Iraq. Absolute madness. And very very worrying, that a man who has such strong delusions can acquire the position of the most powerful man in the World. It is the 21st Century and our leaders are no different from the 16th Century European leaders who were raging wars based entirely on religions. It is almost beyond comprehension that our history for the past 2000 years has been plagued by the dictatorship of a work of fiction. Christian fundamentalism has been the driving force behind the power of the Catholic Church for decades.

    If those of us who are sensibly minded, and optimistic for the future of humanity, those of us who are not infected with the disease of organised religion, all accept that it isn’t Islam itself or Christianity itself that are the problems, that they are just systems for spirituality; and we accept that it is indoctrination into extreme tendencies that are the problem, throughout the World of organised religion, we are sure to prevail. Logic, reason, and fact always prevails.

    Moderate Christians, Muslims, Jews, English, Middle Eastern etc should be banding together, and enjoying each others company, learning from each other, and progressing. We should not be suspicious of each other, and we should not be condemning each other, purely for the beliefs one has.

    Be black, be white, be gay, be straight, be Muslim, be Christian, be Jewish, be Atheist, be female, be male, be fat, be thin, be happy, be miserable, be sporty, be artistic, be eccentric, be philosophical, be left, be right, and live together.

    I do not want to see people as being Muslim first. David Cameron is pointing and saying “look, a Muslim, be suspicious“.


    Render unto Caesar…

    January 22, 2011

    As you walk down the Rue de Souffle in the Latin Quarter of Paris, looking straight ahead of you, it is impossible to ignore the pure beauty of the Pantheon as it towers above everything else surrounding it. The road, named after the Architect of the Pantheon; Jacques-Germain Soufflot, is at first glance a fitting tribute to the French master of Neoclassical architecture. Voltaire, who is buried in the Crypt at the Pantheon, is said to have been taken in the funeral procession to the Pantheon, alongside a crowd on the Rue de Souffle, of over a million people.

    Inside the Pantheon, you will have already past the huge columns forcefully holding up the entrance. You are then greeted by an amazing inner dome, which reaches to the sky, and is just as wide as it is tall. In the centre, is a giant piece of scientific brilliance, by the scientist Léon Foucault, erected in 1851 with the intention of being the first to demonstrate the rotation of the Earth on its axis. I cannot explain the experiment, because it hurts my head to think about it too much; needless to say, it is a work of beauty.

    An equally as beautiful work of art stands at the back of the main hall. I stood in awe for a while at the incessantly attractive sculpture, depicting the “heroes” of the French revolution. The realism is romanticism at its finest, surrounded by neoclassicalism at its finest.

    The Crypt is now the resting place of some of the greatest French artists, writers, philosophers, poets and politicians that ever lived. Voltaire, Mirabeau, Victor Hugo, Rousseau, Soufflot, Braille, Curie, Dumas; are all buried in the Crypt at the Pantheon.

    And yet, despite all of this, there is a sign within the crypt at the Pantheon, letting people know, that actually, the structure is in constant need of restoration because its falling apart.

    The successful failure, as i’m naming the beautiful yet slightly shoddy craftsmanship of the Pantheon in its attempt to resurrect the architectural genius of the Pantheon still standing strongly in the centre of Rome, is mirrored in 19th Century France when it comes to the death of the Monarchy, an attempt at Republic, and the falling into Empire. Rome experienced much the same structure of governance.

    The last King of Rome; Lucius Tarquinius was driven to exile by Lucius Brutus in 509bc, and the Roman Republic era began. The end of the Roman Republic arguably ended with Julius Caesar being proclaimed Dictator for life in around late 45bc. Caesar was considered the hero of the common people. His face was stamped on coins, he sat on a throne-like seat in the Senate which had no one had dared to do since the fall of the Kingdom, he then had a statue of himself erected. This aroused suspicion that he intended to overthrow the beloved Republic and establish himself as King (which is probably true), and so a group of Senators lead by Brutus (an apparent ancestor of the Brutus who established the Republic 450 years previous, though it isn’t provable) murdered Caesar in the Theatre of Pompey (not in the Senate house, as most people think), underneath the statue of Pompey; Caesar’s old friend turned enemy. In killing the people’s hero Julius Caesar, his adopted son Octavian soon became the people’s hero, and used his popularity to hunt down and kill all of Caesar’s killers, to do away with Marc Anthony and to establish himself, cunningly, as the first Emperor of Rome; Augustus.

    Similarly, as King Louis XVI was killed off by revolutionaries set to form a Republic, the aspirations of a young general who had visions of expanding the territory of France, as Caesar had done as General of the Roman Legions during his expanding of the Roman territory into Gaul (modern day France, Austria, Switzerland); Napoleon Bonaparte. After his success as a General, Bonaparte became First Consulate of the French Senate in 1799. Effectively, granting himself the right of Dictator for life, as Caesar had done. Following Caesar’s lead, Bonaparte started to wear the crown of laurel leaves. Caesar took the idea of wearing a laurel wreath from the old Greek tales of the God Apollo, who was always depicted wearing one. Caesar was putting himself on a par with the Gods. Napoleon was trying to emulate Caesar. It is almost scientific. The violent change from Kingdom to Republic to Empire is almost the necessary result of socio-historical processes that have been seen in Rome, France, and to some extent, the USA. Whilst personal characteristics of people like Caesar and Napoleon, and their lust and arrogance for absolute power are important in the narrative, they are merely one part in a much larger narrative of history that leads from Kingdom to Empire. When Republic is faltering, it is amazing to see, throughout history, an overbearing and maniacal personality appears on the scene almost right on cue, to force his way into the seat of power. Empire is inevitable at that point, and Empire is necessarily imperialist by nature. Napoleon and Caesar were both not popular with the nobility of their respective Country’s before in their younger days. Napoleon felt he was of social inferiority in comparison to the French nobility, he was an introvert and a loner by nature. Caesar’s family had very little political influence and he was a bit of an outcast. Napoleon saw, as did Caesar, that the State was falling, and a strong political and military mind could quite easily fill the gap. Napoleon once remarked:

    “What a great people were these Romans, especially down to the Second Punic War. But Caesar! Ah Caesar! That was the great man!”

    Napoleon, had himself crowned Emperor, emulating Caesar’s adopted son, Octavian (Augustus) in 1804. The French Empire expanded at first, but soon crumbled under his leadership. He successfully defeated coalition partners of Europe five times, before tempting fate with an ill conceived invasion of Russia in 1812, and was forced to abdicate and exiled in 1813. The strong and mystifying exterior of Napoleon, soon crumbled, like the walls of the Pantheon.

    One could argue that Napoleon is actually not at all the personified mirror of the Pantheon, and actually far more successful than Julius Caesar given that Caesar was murdered before he could become Emperor, whereas Napoleon was successful in turning France into an Empire, taking control of most of Western and Central Europe in less than twelve years, and lasted a decade more than Caesar after taking power. Napoleon was a genius. Although, one would have to take into consideration the lasting legacy of both Caesar and Napoleon. For example, every Emperor of Rome was referred to as Caesar, for over 400 years after his death. The name Napoleon has long since died, other than Orwell’s use of the name for a horse in Animal Farm. After the fall of the Roman Empire, Europe was plunged into centuries of the Dark Ages; a truly regressive era in our history. When Napoleon fell, France thrived. The people adored Caesar. The people did not adore Napoleon. Caesar was proclaimed a God, and worshipped as such for the next half a millennium. Napoleon never came close to such accolade. The model of Rome during the Empire has been the inspiration for great artists, architects (such as Souffle’s Pantheon, and even as far as the Capitol building in Washington D.C), sculptors, writers, and people like Napoleon have tried to copy the system of governance for centuries since the final collapse of Rome in the fifth century. I cannot imagine the short phase of French Empire is going to be the inspiration for any such renaissance. The greatest poets during the Renaissance in Florence and Milan were crowned with a laurel wreath, in the style of Caesar to show that they were the masters of the poets. The legacy of the Roman Empire is far stronger and has a greater romance attached to it, than Bonaparte’s France.

    The brief revival of the French Empire under Napoleon III was arguably more successful in terms of policy successes and the modernisation of France as an industrial power. And yet Napoleon III is often overlooked as a key figure in French history. His taking of power from the 2nd Republic which was established after the fall of his uncle, Napoleon, was largely a result of the fact that the new Republic was not a Republic at all, having abolished Universal Suffrage and a left over from the political upheaval of the fifty years previous. Stable government had not been known in France by the time Napoleon III took control, for around sixty years.

    By the time Octavian became Emperor Augustus in Rome, the Republic had been dead for a long time. Whilst Augustus’ reign was far superior to Caesar’s and Napoleon’s and most Emperors with perhaps the exception of Trajan, he only managed to become Emperor – albeit cleverly and shrewdly – by building on the groundwork laid by his adoptive father, Julius Caesar. The political instability and the uncertain population was crying out for leadership; Octavian provided it.

    Rome has a proud tradition. It, along with Ancient Greece certainly spawned Western Neoclassical art and architecture that has produced, with inspiration from the Ancient World, some spectacular works of art. The library in Helsinki is a great example of a Neoclassical building with a modern twist. Le Petit Trianon at Versailles in Paris, has a White House-esque look to it, fundamentally Neoclassical, but modern in feel. St Peter’s in Vatican City, is beautifully designed, and looks back across the Tiber and across history, to its Roman and Pagan ancestry for inspiration. Rome is the father of such brilliance. As it is politically….

    If the line of history is to play out again and again, then surely it is not a coincidence that the Republic of the United States of America, which emerged as a result of the violent revolution against Kingdom, is often considered to now be an Empire. But, why is there no Emperor? Why has the Republic not collapsed as History would proscribe? Is America a new kind of Empire? A purely economic Empire, that is a product of advanced Capitalism? A Capitalist American Empire that requires a Napoleon-esque strategic mind, not for Statism and the old conception of Empire, but for ruthless business, coupled with aggressive foreign policy; the new Empire. And so no longer requiring of an overbearing, too powerful Centralised State with a single powerful person at its helm, because that would be contradictory to its “free market” economic purposes and so does it transcend the part of history that would proscribe the fall into the hands of a single person, because the Emperor, is no longer a human being, but instead the excessive power of capital? Or is it destined, after a period of prolonged success, to follow an inevitable path of history?


    On this day…

    January 21, 2011

    I am 25 today.
    It’s rather old.
    A quarter of a century.
    I dropped Ash off at Gatwick this morning and have just got home.
    She has now gone home.
    I have to wait five and a half months to have her back.
    I don’t like that at all.
    Up until about an hour ago my day was particularly dull.
    I bought a lovely Redbull at Watford Gap.
    That was a little bit of an up point.
    Can you imagine the up point of your day being a can of Redbull?
    It’s been a pretty average January 21st.
    Not the worse ever.
    I think King Louis XVI off of France had the worst January 21st given that he had his head cut off.
    George Orwell’s January 21st wasn’t too much fun either back in 1950, given that he died.
    Emma Bunton, Baby Spice has to live with the fact that she was in the Spice Girls, her entire life.
    It’s a cross I wouldn’t like to bear.
    She was born on January 21st too.
    I have managed to reach 25, in Leicester, without yet having at least three kids by three different women, and without having stabbed anyone or contracted a nasty drug habit.
    I am impressed by my record.
    But still, the day was starting off very boring indeed.

    So imagine my joy when my entirely dull day turned to brightness when I turned on my TV screen to see that Tory Director of Communications and ex-News of the World editor/King of illegal Phone Hacking Andy Coulson has “resigned”. It’s certainly not a surprise. What is a surprise is that he still insists he knew nothing of phone hacking whilst he was editor of the News of the World. Which means one of two things…. 1) He’s lying (I suspect this is the case) or 2) He was an incredibly bad and out of touch editor. He resigned from the N.O.T.W because he claimed he knew nothing about any wrongdoing and insisted he’d done nothing wrong, and now he’s resigned from the Government….. because he claims he knew nothing about any wrongdoing and insisted he’d done no wrong. How odd. He also claimed he was not a despicable bully. He insisted it. And yet, in 2008 he was taken to an Employment Tribunal and the claim of bullying, against him, was upheld. The defendant was awarded £800,000 as a result. Which begs the question, if Coulson was involved in bullying, and was editor of a Paper in the middle of a phone hacking scandal, why would the Prime Minister employ him? Why is tax money (££140,000 a year as of May 2010) going to pay his wages whilst local council care budgets are being slashed?

    Coulson’s resignation comes a day after Labour’s massively incompetent and useless leader Ed Miliband announced that Alan Johnson, the shadow Chancellor was to resign for family reasons. It was a little bit of a media blunder for Johnson to have resigned on January 20th, because the papers and the TV news were bound to run with it, rather than the story that was grabbing headlines on January 19th, suggesting that David Cameron’s latest target is set on severely disabled children. The media repainting the Tories as the Nasty Party is exactly the wake up call people need. The harsh and unnecessary cuts to services like those that support the families of severely disabled children, whilst Vodafone have a tax bill written off by the Treasury, of close to £6bn. It could have lingered in the media and put pressure on the Government.

    The mainstream media reported that David Cameron, pre-election, promised to protect the rules for Councils providing care for disabled children. He made that promise to the parents of Holly Vincent, whom suffers from quadriplegia, has severe cerebral palsy and epilepsy, and is blind.

    They applied for respite care to Gloucestershire County Council. They were denied. This is because the wondrous Big-Society, We’re all in this together brigade of selfish rich economic thugs have not ringfenced spending for respite care. They have provided £800mn over four years to the County Council but it isn’t ringfenced. They have lifted the rules. Councils now are not obliged, legally, to spend funds protecting the most vulnerable. Cameron, pre-election told the parents of Holly Vincent that he “would never do anything that would hurt disabled children”.

    As a result of the lack of funds spent on Holly Vincent, her parents have signalled their intention to put her into a care home, because they simply cannot afford to look after her any more. They currently only get five to six hours respite a week.

    Riven Vincent, Holly’s mum said:

    “…..there’s nothing to stop cash-strapped local authorities from using the money elsewhere. I have no wish to put my daughter into a home. We want to look after her, all I am asking for is a little more support.
    Without this, we simply cannot cope and nor can families up and down the country just like ours. We are crumbling

    I don’t want her in a residential care home – it would destroy me. But without extra help, I find it hard to see how we can meet her needs at home.”

    If a politician had promised to help my struggling family, if we had a child who was so severely disabled and getting worse as she gets older, and then he cut the funding to the local authority and didn’t ring fence the remaining funds…… I’d get all the publicity possible to make that politician out to be the absolute scum bag liar hellbent on destroying hard pressed families up and down the Country for the sake of tax cuts for the wealthiest. The Prime Minister is a disgrace. The Tory Party and all of their heartless supporters, are a disagrace.

    Alan Johnson should have let this story linger for a while, so it has a chance to sink into the minds of the British Public that we have elected Thatcher-on-speed. Absolutely every promise they made, they appear to be backing down on. No one voted for backdoor privatisation of the NHS. No one voted for such a massive Tuition fee rise. No one voted for the releasing of rules surrounding respite care ringfencing. I can’t imagine many people would have voted for such a shit Party, had they expressed their desire to be the bringers of Neoliberal hell to Britain.

    Although, the Tories were kind enough to give me the birthday present of Coulson’s resignation. Perhaps next year they will try and top it by sacking Cameron, Osborne and Clegg.
    That would be amazing.


    England idealised

    October 26, 2010

    I don’t really have a great deal of Nationalism built into me. I feel privileged to have been born in a Country that still takes care of it’s sick and injured, that doesn’t just throw its most vulnerable and poor onto the scrap heap to rot, and that has such a plethora of cultural differences from North to South; and I feel privileged to have been born into a Country with such a rich history.

    Sometimes I need reminding of what it is I expressively love about England. Our southern coast is perhaps top of my list of what I love. It feels entirely different to any other coast I’ve visited. It has, almost a nostalgic heritage about it. I am reminded of the old Hovis adverts we used to get on TV years ago. The idealistic small villages with the cobblestone roads and small streams. The kid on the bike with the basket at the front. The old Georgian style cottages with broken autumn leaves covering them. Everyone knowing each other. Everyone having a Yorkshire accent, or perhaps a Somerset accent. They’re very similar accents, at entirely opposite ends of the country. We should move Somerset up by Yorkshire. That is my idealistic view of England. The reality is obviously far different; and whilst villages like that idealistic model do certainly exist across the country; we have spent the past fifty years being shoved into high rise flats so that the very wealthy can buy the beautiful Georgian cottages, price everyone else out the market, and slowly destroy the villages (see Beadnell in Northumberland).

    Anyway, before this turns into a rant, I thought I would play you the song that evokes such a strong sense of nostalgia and English heritage, in me. I have this song on my iPod in my car. It is a nice relaxing way to drive home from work, and it manages to take me away from the miserable work I just left, and puts me briefly in a kind of time warp; an utterly different time and a completely different place. It sparks memories of my childhood, when I actually had no worries whatsoever, despite thinking I had every worry in the World at the time. It captures 20th Century middle class England beautifully. The song is Symphony No 9, 2nd movement, from The New World’ by Antonin Dvorák.


    Diego Garcia

    October 8, 2010

    “When the final time came and the ships were chartered, they weren’t allowed to take anything with them except a suitcase of their clothes. The ships were small and they could take nothing else, no furniture, nothing.”
    – Marcel Moulinie, owner of a crop plantation on Diego Garcia.

    Quite amusingly, in a story full of unamusing anecdotes, is the name of an American military base on the island of Diego Garcia, in the Chagos Islands of the Indian Ocean named ‘Camp Justice’. The irony of this name becomes apparent as you learn of the history of the island.

    In the murky depths of British foreign policy and international relations lies a story that quite frankly shames the Country I call home.

    Diego Garcia sounds like an Argentinian Football player. No one knows what it is. We haven’t heard of it. It isn’t in the news. It’s whereabouts are not known, and yet it is the sight of one of the most undemocratic, and anti-freedom forceful exiles, by the UK and US in a very very long time.

    During the 1960s the US Government was searching islands throughout the Chagos for a potential military base that could be used in it’s ongoing non-war with the Soviets. They scouted many islands, and Diego Garcia was their eventual proposed location. The problem was, it was inhabited by a population that since it’s colonisation by the British; had developed its own sense of self including a unique culture and a unique language.

    The inhabitants of Diego Garcia originated from around 1800, when the French owned Mauritius and the surrounding islands, including the Chagos Islands. The islands were surrendered to the British in 1814, the slave trade to and from the islands continued until around the mid 1830s, when all slaves became freed men. Their ancestors lived on Diego Garcia for about 150 years after the abolition of slavery, as free men. The island was a mixing pot of Indian, Mauritian, Somalia and Seychellois cultures, and it worked. A military film shot by US military personnell investigating the Island in the early 1960s, shows a local population who are more than happy with their lives, and are at home. Far away from Britain, far away from the United States. Far away from Western privilege, and people who know little if anything about this island, the people who inhabited it, considered it their home.

    When Mauritius gained its independence from Britain in the 1960s, plans were already underway to lease Diego Garcia to the U.S and so Britain could not afford to let the Island find its independence. To counter this, the “British Indian Ocean Territory” was created especially to keep Diego Garcia under the control of the British. When Mauritius gained its independence, the Mauritian Prime Minister agreed to sell any link Mauritius had to Diego Garcia and all the islands in the area, for a measely £3,000,000. Quite ridiculously, the same Prime Minister was then given a Knighthood.

    By 1966, work had begun to rid the island of its inhabitants, in order to make way for a Military base for the U.S. Firstly, all plantations were closed down so work was very scarce. The idea was to make the inhabitants leave the island voluntarily to find work. As was food, which the British stopped from being shipped to the Island. Secondly, anyone from Diego Garcia who had travelled to Mauritius for work, or to use the hospital or other health facilities were refused entry back to their homes. Their houses were left, their possessions now belonged to Britain. They were not allowed to even contact family on the Island. Thirdly, the local population had developed a sense of family that included two children, a wife, a husband, and a dog. Every family had and cherished their pet dog. Sir Bruce Greatbatch MBE, Governor of the Seychelles ordered all dogs were to be killed. John Pilger in “Stealing a Nation” notes that families of the islanders he had spoken to, had said they remember as children watching the British walk away with their dogs, and throwing them into a room to be gassed. The dog deaths was used as a warning to let the locals know that they had to leave, or they would suffer the consequences. It was a Western imperial intimidation technique.

    One lady from the Island recalls:

    American soldiers had already started building the base.They backed several of their big vehicles against the brick shed where the coconuts were prepared; hundreds of dogs had been rounded up and imprisoned there. Then they gassed with a tube from the truck’s exhaust. You could hear them crying.

    A Mauritian lawyer acting on behalf of those evacuated, said:

    They were absolutely destroyed by the fate reserved to their dogs, and many of them told me it was clear to them that if they offered any objection to the depopulation they would suffer the same fate.

    A Colonial Office Memo from the time reads:

    They wish to avoid using the phrase ‘permanent inhabitants’ in relation to any of the islands in the territory because to recognise that there are any permanent inhabitants will imply that there is a population whose democratic rights will have to be safeguarded and which will therefore be deemed by the UN to come within its purlieu. The solution proposed is to issue them with documents making it clear that they are ‘belongers’ of Mauritius and the Seychelles and only temporary residents of BIOT. This devise, [sic] although rather transparent, would at least give us a defensible position to take up at the UN.

    A lady who had been removed from the Island told Pilger recently:

    I left in 1967. My husband was very ill and I decided to take him to Port Louis to get the special treatment he needed. When we were ready to return, we went to Rogers and Company – they ran the boats – and asked for our tickets. They said they had instructions not to let us go back. They told us Diego had been sold. Diego was my bird in the sky that was taken from me. I was sent to live in a slum, in rooms previously inhabited by goats and pigs.

    Clearly people inhabited the islands, and called the island of Diego Garcia; home. But to get around the UN’s Special Committee on Decolonization rules, the British had to suggest that those islanders did not live on Diego Garcia, and were actually just working there, and were from Mauritius. The Head of the Indian Ocean Department in the 1960s, Eleanor Emery sent a memo to colleagues in Government stating:

    We would not wish it to become general knowledge that some of the inhabitants have lived on Diego Garcia for several generations and could, therefore, be regarded as ‘belongers’.
    We shall advise ministers in handling supplementary questions to say that there is only a small number of contract workers from the Seychelles and Mauritius, engaged to work on the copra plantations.

    In the 1960s, the British Government used, through dodgy dealings, dog murders, and underhanded techniques to manoeuvre away from scrutiny by the UN’s Special Committee on Decolonization; leased the Island of Diego Garcia to the U.S in exchange for a huge reduction on the cost of nuclear subs. The decolonisation of Diego Garcia was not known to both Parliament in the UK and Congress in the US. In 1975 the Defence Department in the UK said:

    “there is nothing in our files about inhabitants or about an evacuation”.

    A blatant lie to cover up the entire episode.
    Throughout the 1980s, 90s and 00s, the ex-islanders brought lawsuits against the British government and that of Mauritius, demanding compensation and the right to return to their homes. All lawsuits have ended in failure for them. The House of Lords and Blair when he was PM denied any wrongdoing and stated that the islanders do not have the right to return. In April 2010, the British government set up the MPA (Marine Protected Area) around Diego Garcia, meaning that commercial fishing and other extractive industries are prohibited in the area, a clear attempt to limit any kind of commerce islanders may have restarted had they moved back, in the hope that it would convince them not to keep brining lawsuits.

    British foreign secretary Michael Stewart and the US secretary of state Dean Rusk in the mid-1960s came up with the plan to lie to the World that the inhabitants of the island were merely labourers and not inhabitants, in order to advance the deal between the two Countries.

    Whilst the UK directed the deportations (many who were sent away on the British boats, had to sleep in cabins full of bird shit), the US is also massively responsible. A UK 1965 Foreign Office file reads that Washington made full deportation:

    virtually a condition of the agreement when we negotiated it

    And Stewart himself did not do too well in covering up what he knew. In 1968 he wrote:

    by any stretch of the English language, there was an indigenous population, and the Foreign Office knew it

    He then advised the PM (Wilson) that to get around the UN, they should lie, with:

    by present[ing] any move as a change of employment for contract workers . . . rather than as a population resettlement

    In 1970, a civil servant travelled to Diego Garcia to oversee the expulsion of the last few inhabitants. When they asked him if they would receive help resettling in Mauritius and compensation, the civil servant told them that they would. Yet, the only compensation paid, was £650,000 to the Mauritius Government to offset the cost of resettlement. About £3000 per person. The Mauritius government did not use it to resettle and has said it is not their responsibility. Hence most of the inhabitants of Diego Garcia ended up in overcrowded slums, sleeping in sheds with pigs and goats.

    The economy of Mauritius had no place for the inhabitants of the newly proclaimed “Camp Justice”. Their trade was copra farming, which had no room in Mauritius. Nor did the language of the new crowd, or their culture. Unemployment in Mauritius was already standing above 20%. For all intents and purposes the depopulation of Diego Garcia is surely considered a crime against humanity; and yet legally, apparently it isn’t. When America and Britain do it, it’s legal. When two Congressional Committees attempted to delve further into the matter, they were told it was all considered classified and they couldn’t look further into it.

    A terrible stain on the history of Britain and America. We continually act like victims, because others “hate our freedom“. What utter shit. We aren’t victims. We are the instigators. We plant the seeds and then complain when the plant grows. There should be no military base on Diego Garcia and the people should be back home, without any American or British person in sight. There is no Cold War any more. It’s over. We should act like the apparent advocates of freedom that we apparently like to suggest we are, and get out of the area. The Bush Administration said that Diego Garcia as a base played a vital role in the war on terror. What this translates to is; We need it because we have delusions of imperialist grandeur. It is a human rights issue, and the human rights of the people of Diego Garcia were vastly undermined. There is no two sides to this story. There are those on the right side and those on the wrong side, and the wrong side happens to include the UK and US. It is not subjective because it is not justifiable, what happened on that island.

    Why haven’t the media had any say on the matter? Surely this should be a bit of a scandal? I can guarantee if a Muslim country did the same, the national newspapers would be outraged. Fox News would say it is clear that Islam is dangerous, and the overly protective pro-American/British media would treat us in the West like the heroes.

    Jeanette Alexis lived on the island as a child. She says:

    “We were crying, we were hanging onto our mothers’ skirts crying, because although we were very young we understood that we were leaving something very valuable behind, and that was our home.”

    I wonder how America would react if the British tried to tell everyone on Rhode Island that they had to all leave their homes, their dogs would be killed, they would be resettled 2000 miles away, and they would be compensation about $2000 for it. I can’t imagine it’d be so easy.


    The Pope in Britain

    September 16, 2010

    The Pope is in the UK for less than 24 hours, and he’s already calling the majority of us Nazis. The ex-Nazi Youth member, who brought back into Catholicism a bishop who claims the holocaust never happened and Jews are the enemy of Christ; the Pope turned leader of a mass child sex cover up, said:

    Even in our own lifetime, we can recall how Britain and her leaders stood against a Nazi tyranny that wished to eradicate God from society and denied our common humanity to many, especially the Jews, who were thought unfit to live.
    I also recall the regime’s attitude to Christian pastors and religious who spoke the truth in love, opposed the Nazis and paid for that opposition with their lives. As we reflect on the sobering lessons of the atheist extremism of the twentieth century, let us never forget how the exclusion of God, religion and virtue from public life leads ultimately to a truncated vision of man and of society and thus to a reductive vision of the person and his destiny.

    It’s an often repeated manipulation, that Hitler was Atheist. He wasn’t. Nor did he wish to strip the State of religious influence. I’d go further, and suggest that centuries of anti-Jewish sentiment spewed by the Catholic Church, had far more influence on the anti semitic sentiment in Germany of the time, than non-belief ever had.

    Hitler in 1922, said this:

    My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. .. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison.

    Hitler in 1933, said this:

    “Today they say that Christianity is in danger, that the Catholic faith is threatened. My reply to them is: for the time being, Christians and not international atheists are now standing at Germany’s fore. I am not merely talking about Christianity; I confess that I will never ally myself with the parties which aim to destroy Christianity.”

    Hitler, also in 1933, said this:

    “We were convinced that the people needs and requires this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: we have stamped it out.”

    Hitler in 1934, said this:

    “National Socialism neither opposes the Church nor is it anti-religious, but on the contrary, it stands on the ground of a real Christianity.”

    In 1939, Cardinal Orsenigo was sent by Rome to celebrate Hitler’s birthday. Pope Pius XII started an annual birthday celebration tradition for Hitler in fact. The Catholic Church each year would send “warmest congratulations to the Fuhrer in the name of the bishops and the dioceses in Germany”.

    Here are some lovely Catholic Bishops, showing their love for The Nazis.

    – You can tell they’re not Atheists, because we wouldn’t wear such pathetically elaborate costumes.

    Here is a page from a German kids book, made by the Nazis:

    It reads:
    When you see a cross, then think of the horrible murder by the Jews on Golgotha..
    Anti-Jewish propaganda, pointing out that Christians have a duty to hate Jews. Atheists didn’t say this. We didn’t want this.

    In 1933, the Vatican and the Nazis signed the ‘Reich Concordat’ which in exchange for the Pope’s power over Catholics in Germany, meant that the Vatican would encourage Catholics in Germany to leave politics (at that time, they were very powerful) and allow the Nazis to centralise power, with no opposition. This allowed the Nazis to take full control of the Country, and progress to the next level, and we all know how that turned out. The Vatican said nothing on the issue. According to writer John Cornwell:

    “On July 14, 1933, after the initialing of the treaty, the Cabinet minutes record Hitler as saying that the concordat had created an atmosphere of confidence that would be “especially significant in the struggle against international Jewry.” He was claiming that the Catholic Church had publicly given its blessing, at home and abroad, to the policies of National Socialism, including its anti-Semitic stand.”

    In 2009, the Pope lifted an excommunication on a Bishop who is an out of the closet Holocaust denier. Bishop Richard Williamson, whom this Pope brought back into the fold of Catholicism, the same Pope who tells we Atheists that we are Nazis, claimed that Jews were the “enemies of Christ“. He blames Catholic Church corruption, on Jews. He claims Jews are fighting for World domination. He claims there is no evidence that 6 million Jews died in gas chambers in Nazi Germany. The Pope brought him back into the Catholic fold.

    Perhaps the Pope should spend less time referring to Atheists as Nazis, and more time trying to rid his Church of systematic sex abuse, anti-semitic bishops, and changing its horrific stance on AIDS in Africa.


    A Social Retardation

    September 5, 2010

    In Melbourne, Ash bought me a beautiful leather covered notebook with such thick and elegant pages, and an amazing fountain pen. In it, I will be writing any simple thoughts or observations I have; a sort of book of my own social commentary, in the hope that it’ll require me to try to understand the World I live in, a little better and develop my own way of perceiving certain situations that may arise. I then intend to expand on my thoughts, in blog entries on here. Today, I wrote a few lines in it, in my rather unique yet inapt handwriting, about how annoyed I am with what I have heard from a few English people since being back in the UK. The picture above shows my first page.

    I have been back in the UK now for four days and already I’m starting to dislike many of the people who inhabit this otherwise beautiful island. I have heard the word ‘paki’ used to describe anyone with a slightly darker skin complexion, three times already.

    The word ‘paki’ offends me. I am not Pakistani nor do I have a dark skin complexion, so it isn’t that which offends me. It is the level of profound ignorance required to imagine that using such a derogatory term, is a sensible idea. I have faith in humanity, but when such archaic bullshit is uttered, my faith in humanity takes a knock back, and that offends me. I am embarrassed to be part of a species that can be so flippantly abusive and illogical. It has no merit, there is no intelligent argument, it isn’t making a point or arguing a case, it is simply racist ignorance and for a society that is no longer living in the dark ages, and for a society that more often than not, refers to itself, quite comically, as ‘civilised’ the term ‘paki’ runs so contrary to that, it only proves to me that humanity is still at a plainly uncivilised stage of development, almost a nascent stage of evolution, still needing to grow up before certain social ills can ever be addressed. Quite paradoxically, children in a nascent stage of human development do not have these negative stereotypical preconceptions clouding their World view. They will pay cars with anyone, regardless of Nationality and skin colour. Children are at a progressive stage of social interaction, far beyond that of their parents and the adults who run their World. They are then taught quite severe regression when it comes to social interaction between cultures and Nations. They are taught superiority and exclusion. For humanity to progress to the next stage of social evolution, this has to change.

    These prejudices run so deep, and provoke such anger, that they actually produce nothing of value, and only add to the misery from which they came. They are pointless. They are easy to use, when the alternative requires deeper thought and inquiry. They are the reason I wish to become a teacher, to try to infuse into the minds of the young, that they do not need to follow the path left by the older generations, and that the only way humanity can progress in their hands, is through thought and cooperation and throwing away the silly and worthless prejudices of the past, and move forward a decent way. I want to teach kids to think for themselves, and to question absolutely everything.

    Those who use the term, are racist. It is doubtless that many use the term, and think it’s okay. They are ignorant to the fact that by using such terms, the meaning behind it aimlessly finds it way to the next generation of very suggestible idiots. And so the cycle of hate, distrust and suspicion continues. It would appear self evident, that the word ‘Paki’, which implies a sense of superiority of ones own culture, Nation and heritage, is a product of a 17th Century social construct known as Nation States and with it, the lugubriously abstract concept of Nationalism. It doesn’t really exist. Humanity created it. ‘Paki’ and ‘Brit’ and ‘Spanish’ and ‘Chinese’ don’t really exist. We created the concepts. There is no biological basis for defining someone by a Nationality. It is senseless. The only thing that most certainly is a biological actuality, is that we are all human, and nothing else. Not a religion, not a Nationality, and not a Race. Defining people solely on the basis of their apparent National heritage is what I consider to be a social retardation, but so strong a social retardation, that it also acts as a barrier to progress. A barrier, whose only by-product is an inevitable mix of anger, hate, oppression, superiority complexes, and inter-generational ignorance.

    The negative connotations around the word ‘Paki’ wrongly educates our children to associate negativity with a particular group of people based solely on their skin colour (I wont say it is based on Nationality, because the word ‘Paki’ isn’t necessarily used to describe those born in Pakistan; it is used by the ignorant to describe anyone who looks slightly Middle Eastern or North African). Some will argue that they are simply using a term of Nationality, much like calling me a ‘Brit’. It is weak minded and a rather nonsensical and fatuous argument. The term ‘Brit’ or ‘Spanish’ or ‘American’ is used almost exclusively as a term of National identity, whilst ‘Paki’ is used entirely exclusively as a term of abuse. It has no positive connotations. It is not used as a term of endearment. It is used to express hate. And so the different motives around how the words ‘Brit’ and ‘Paki’ are used suggest that they are in no way similar.

    It offends me that people can be so feckless, and weak. It offends me that a species that has so much potential and has already achieved a great deal in its short history, can stoop so low. It offends me that a social retardation, like rain water in a broken pipe, can not be contained, and will merely leak down onto the next generation and continue the cycle uninterrupted. Society, is in no way ‘civilised’.


    Seven Months.

    July 30, 2010

    Me and Ash are seven months old today. And as most of the people who read this are aware, I (being from England) am staying with Ash (being from Australia) over here on the over side of the World, for ten weeks. I absolutely adore waking up next to her each morning, hearing about her day, learning to cook from her, exploring the World she knows with her. These 6 weeks so far, have reaffirmed my initial reaction upon meeting her back in December, that I want to spend my life with this girl. Completely one in a billion.

    I have met all of her family now, and they have been amazingly welcoming. I already feel at home here. I have met the people she hangs out with; Gianna; a rather cool carefree Aussie who should have been this age during the 1980s (Aussies seem to love the 1980s, as opposed to us Brits, who like to pretend it didn’t happen), she seems to have a magnetism that people appear drawn too, which intrigues me. Kerry; a friend of Ash’s with an awesome sense of humour and gets TV rage at bad mums on awful yet strangely mesmerising reality TV shows. Mark; a kind of gentle giant who happens to be able to cook pretty fantastic food. And Kerry’s boyfriend (I forget his name, Ged, I think); very knowledgeable chap which is great for political discussions, with a quick wit, a very friendly aura, and a camera buff for all my photographic needs.

    Ash now needs to meet my friends.

    For our One year anniversary, Ash will be over in England. We plan to spend New Years in Paris, and then onto Florence, Venice and Rome. I know Rome pretty well, and Ash knows and adores Paris, so it’ll be an exciting few days, and a particularly spectacular way to spend a one year anniversary.

    Anyway, here are a few photos of Ash, me, and a few people who have made my trip a happy one

    This first one, is us in Surrey in December 2009.

    This second one, in eerily similar fashion to the one above, is in Melbourne, July 2010.

    This is me and Ash in my bedroom back home in Leicester, in December 2009, complete with my Abbey Road picture, Vettriano and Doisneau works languishing pointlessly in the background.

    This is a rather awesome photo of Mark, Ash and me, at a bar in Melbourne. We should be a band. Except, I can’t sing or play any form of instrument.

    This is me and Kerry’s boyfriend (I still forget his name, Gene, I think).

    This is me teaching REAL football to Ash’s little brother, on their land in Tasmania.
    .

    This is us on a rather beautiful beach, on the South coast of Australia, last weekend.

    This is Ash’s dad and her step mum, at their BBQ in June.

    Kerry, drinking an ENTIRE jug of alcohol to herself. Okay that might be an exaggeration.

    A KOALA!!! IN THE WILD!!! A FUCKING KOALA!!!!!

    In a little over five months time, I will be posting a similar blog, full of photos of Ash, my friends, and European exploring, entitled “One year”.
    Fun times.

    GEOFF!!!! That’s the one!!!


    The London Bombings

    July 22, 2010

    I am not one for conspiracy theories. I don’t buy the theories that the 9/11 attacks were inside jobs; I merely think the Bush administration were incredibly weak and moronic and did not bother to read up on the intelligence they were getting. They then needed to appear strong, and made the international terrorism problem 100 times worse, by waging illegal wars on the basis of lies, for which both Bush and Blair should be in prison for right about now.

    I do not want to come across as a sensationalist, when it comes to theories. I should let it be known, that I have no theory of my own on this particular subject, merely that I find certain pieces of the official story to be somewhat contradictory and inaccurate. The Government’s refusal to accept calls for an independent inquiry into this subject, is dubious in itself.

    That being said, i’ve been reading up on the profiles of the men responsible for the London 7/7 bombings, and in particular, the apparent ring leader, Mohammad Sidique Khan, whom exploded the bomb on the Tube train that had just departed Edgeware Road Station, and I can’t quite seem to accept the official line that he was a crazed Muslim extremist hell bent on destroying the West. I know that the video shows him denouncing the West and our atrocities across the World, and that we deserve to be punished. But it still doesn’t seem to add up. Across his community, he was considered a role model, and didn’t seem to care too much about his religion. And yet, the Home Office described him as “serious” about his religion.

    The official line, from the Government inquiry is that the bombers boarded the 7:40am train from Luton to London on 7/7/05. The problem was that the 7:40 was cancelled that day. The Government inquiry clearly didn’t inquire very substantially. After concerns about the timings were raised, the official line changed, and the Government then said the bombers caught the 7:25am train. This caused a new issue, because they had just released the CCTV footage showing the bombers with heavy back packs outside Luton station with the time frame saying 7:22am. This means that for the report to be accurate, the bombers, with heavy back packs, casually strolled through Luton Station unaware that their later train was cancelled, then when they realised it was cancelled, ran to the ticket desk, bought all of their tickets, and got onto the train, all within about two minutes. Having done that same thing at Leicester station, which is considerably smaller than Luton, I can promise, it’s not a plausible scenario. The only other train from Luton to London on that morning, was the 7:30, which arrived in London, according to Luton Station reports, at 8:39 because of massive delays, by which time the Tube trains that were to be bombed, according to the Tube reports, had left the stations. The timings of the train, is one of the most intriguing parts of this entire story. The Home Secretary at the time, John Reid had to admit the official report was wrong in front of the entire House of Commons, and revise its original findings to this new set of just as implausible timings, which sees the bombers enter the station, buy tickets, cross the platforms and board the train, all within two minutes. Either way, it’s all we have, so we have to assume it is correct.

    They then made it into London at 8:23am, and made it through hoards of commuters at Kings Cross from the Thameslink line station within three minutes to arrive at King’s Cross at 8:26am. A group calling for an independent inquiry has noted that on a clear day with very little people, it takes at least seven minutes to get from Thameslink to King’s Cross. No CCTV has been released to prove the Government line is the correct one. We just have to accept it.

    In fact, the only CCTV image of the bombers, is a hazy screenshot, in which the bombers are all wearing baseball caps, you can’t make out it is them, entering Luton Station earlier that morning. Given that London is the most watched city in the World, I would have expected at least one CCTV image or video to have been released showing they were exactly where the inquiry tells us they were. But no, no CCTV footage from London has ever been released, even though it remains one of the most horrendous attacks on British soil. I am not going to give any credit to the suggestion made by conspiracy theorists that the bombers were not on the tube, and that they were tricked and part of a larger conspiracy, and killed later that day; although I still can’t figure out why the bombers all bought return tickets to London, when they didn’t plan on coming home. What I will say is that if such easy mistakes were made by the official Government line, it suggests the inquiry was flawed, and the public deserve a full clear and honest account of the day’s events. Why are the Government refusing to allow an independent inquiry?

    The Luton Station CCTV footage, here, shows the four bombers outside the station. It also shows the bomber with the white cap, apparently with the third bar down, of the railing behind him, cutting through his mid-section.

    And here is a zoomed in version.
    Now whilst I’m clearly suggesting the picture could have been tampered with, I don’t necessarily believe that to be the case. I accept that that pictures like this, go through a lot of compression and processing before they are released. The image may have been touched up to help identify the suspects. I accept that. My main issue, is that this is the only CCTV picture of the bombers on that day. Given that anyone can be tracked throughout their day in London, from the shop, to their front door, it strikes me as amazing that this is the only image of the bombers, and that it isn’t even in London. Their is a slight curiosity to that, which I’d like to have cleared up.

    One theory I quite like, but have no proof for, is intriguing whilst pretty far fetched. A year before the attacks, almost a year to the day in fact, the BBC showed a documentary about what would happen if London were attacked, and bombs exploded on the Tube and on an above ground vehicle. They used Muslims who were well known in their communities, to advise them on how they’d cope with the aftermath within Muslim communities. The documentary showed a post-bombed London, and the panic on the streets. A year later, it came true. Almost identically. The theory says that the four bombers were told another documentary was to be made, and they were to be enlisted as helpers and advisors for the day. The credit behind this theory, is that Peter Power, the former Scotland Yard detective, said that there were plans being made for a mock terrorist attack on London………. on that very day, 7/7/05. What are the chances of that? Power himself is a little bemused by the situation, stating:

    ‘At half-past nine this morning we were running an exercise for a company of over a thousand people in London based on simultaneous bombs going off precisely at the railway stations where it happened this morning, so I still have the hairs on the back of my neck standing up.’

    The theory then continues. The anti-Western video that Khan was on, so the theory goes, was made for the documentary they were told about, to make it seem real. The BBC had just shown a similar documentary about the day George Bush was assassinated. It included very realistic videos. The theory states that all of this, was done so that the bombers thought they were part of a documentary. Hence the return tickets. In fact, it wasn’t a drill or a documentary, it was the real thing. The problem is, the theory doesn’t suggest who then might have been behind the attacks if it wasn’t the Khan clan. There is no evidence, except the very circumstantial. And so whilst I like the theory, and whilst it is filled with holes; so is the Government’s line. I take neither seriously.

    The apparent ring leader, Mohammed Siddique Khan is a very intriguing man. On the day of 7/7/05, Khan’s wife stated that he did not seem any different from any other day. He didn’t bid her and their daughter a fond farewell, he didn’t wish them well, he didn’t cry or do anything out of the ordinary. He said he was just going out with his friends for the day. For all intents and purposes, he acted like he would be home later. He then bought a train ticket, to be home later that day.

    According to documents released recently, Khan was on an MI5 watch list, as early as 2003. American intelligence apparently thought he was planning to blow up Synagogues on US soil, and FBI banned him from entering America because they were worried he actually might carry out his threat. Not only that, but they suspected he had traveled to Israel and planned attacks there too. That is the media line, and that’s the story were all know. Sidique Khan in this version of his life, was a maniac, that America thought too dangerous to let enter the USA, yet the UK just kind of ignored. Surely if he was that great a threat, the UK would have monitored him a little?

    However, that wasn’t Mohammad Sidique Khan. All of that intelligence, all of that worry and paranoia, all of that scare tactics actually turned out to be against a man named Mohammad Ajmal Khan; a British born Muslim involved with a Jihad movement in the USA, and whom is currently in prison in the UK. There was suggestion that Sidique Khan’s movements and correspondents had been traced to a Jihad movement in the USA. Again, it turned out to be Ajmal Khan, who admitted that he provided funding and weapons to a group called Lashkar-i-Toiba, whom were fighting against India in Kashmir.

    There is absolutely no evidence, that links Sidique Khan to any Muslim extremist organisation. He was not banned from America. He was not on an MI5 watch list, and he had not planned attacks in Israel.

    On Radio 4, a few months after the attacks on London, Khan’s friends were interviewed. Both of them were White Brits and considered good friends of Khan. They told Radio 4 that Khan was a half-arsed Muslim, who didn’t really frequent his Mosque, and was obsessed with all things American; music, film, TV, dress etc. They told Radio 4 that Khan actually liked to be called by a Western name; Sid. His friend Ian Barret said:

    “The other Pakistani lads would have to go mosque because their families would say ‘You’re going to mosque.’ But Sid didn’t go,” says Ian. “He didn’t seem interested in Islam and I don’t ever remember him mentioning religion.””

    Another friend, Rob Cardiss said:

    “He was very English. Some of the other Pakistani guys used to talk about Muslim suffering around the world but with Sidique you’d never really know what religion he was from.”

    It doesn’t sound like a man who suddenly decided, out of the blue, that he was going to blow up 53 people and injure hundreds more in a senseless act of extreme violence. Khan worked for Youth programs, helping young people with problems get back on the right track. His job application for a Youth program was published by the Independent regarding a potentially dangerous situation, it read:

    “I have an excellent rapport with the youth community so … I targeted the ringleaders and spoke to them, calming them down and offering sympathy as well as empathy. We then approached the teachers and as a large group casually walked together up Beeston Hill which defused the situation.”

    According to The Times, the head teacher at a school at which Khan volunteered as a mentor, said:

    “He was great with the children and they loved him. He did so much for them, helping and supporting them and running extra clubs and activities.”

    Whilst at that school, Khan produced a leaflet on the dangers of drug use. According to a few friends who helped with the project, Khan had insisted that, and they quote: “The British flag must be part of it. I was born here and I am proud to be British.

    When Khan and his wife moved house, they became friends with their local MP. This happened, because Khan started working at a new school, and the head teacher was married to the local MP. They were invited around the Houses of Parliament as a guest of the MP John Trickett. Whilst living here, Khan made a positive impact. The Guardian states:

    “Few men were more popular on the streets of Beeston than the 30-year-old family man. Recognised by his sensible sweaters and neat, coiffeured hairstyle, Khan’s respectability peaked nine months ago when he visited Parliament as the guest of a local MP. There he was praised for his teaching work. Even now, those who hang about Cross Flatt’s Park describe him as their mentor. He remains the man who coaxed them back into the education system; the bloke who took them on canoeing and camping trips to the nearby Yorkshire Dales; the man who bought them ‘loads of extra bullets’ when he took them paint-balling. Hussain and Tanweer were among those who idolised Khan from his days as a youth worker in Beeston when he had nurtured their love of cricket and football.”

    After the attacks the Home Office reported that Khan had worked at the school, but had not been reliable in the slightest. They say:

    “More problematic was his increasingly poor attendance record. ”

    Yet, the head teacher of the school, after the 7/7 attacks said of Khan:

    “Sidique was a real asset to the school and always showed 100% commitment.”

    A Freedom of Information request recently showed that between early 2001 and mid 2003, Khan’s attendance was perfect. He later resigned because he had taken an unauthorised absence in December 2004, but between mid September 2004 and November 2004, he took sick leave and provided adequate documents as to why. He seems to have resigned, because he didn’t know when he’d be able to be back 100%.

    Khan handed in his resignation, in writing, to the school, on December 7th 2004. That is what the headteacher, and the school have reported. Yet, the Home Office, in paragraph 43 of its report stated that Khan left the country on November 19th, returning to the UK on February 8th 2005. So, whilst Khan was apparently in Pakistan receiving crazed Jihad training, and also being monitored by US intelligence agents who were in fact actually monitoring a totally different Khan, he was also in the UK penning his resignation letter. What is clear, is that the week following his resignation, Khan traveled to Pakistan, citing family reasons. The Home Office report has absolutely no proof, and offers absolutely no evidence to suggest he was receiving militant training. The report simply states that they “assume” and “we have no firm evidence” before suggesting reasons why Khan was in Pakistan. The report does admit that trips to Pakistan among British Muslims, to where extended family live, is very very common. Khan had family in Pakistan.

    The BBC then reported, after a lenghty investigation apparently, that Khan had traveled to Malaysia and the Philipines, and had met with high ranking Muslim terrorists responsible for the Bali bombings, and received training along the way. They suggest that his work as a care assistant was merely a “strong cover” for his extreme activities elsewhere. The problem is, the Home Office report stated that:

    “There were media reports soon after the attacks that Khan had visited Malaysia and the Philippines to meet Al Qaida operatives. These stories were investigated and found to have no basis.”

    According to a man named Martin Gilbertson, who worked with Khan, and had also worked with Muslims who are very radicalised, in the area he lives, Khan was:

    ……..the one who had to be ‘re-converted’ or ‘reverted’ – as they say – back to Islam first….. he wasn’t the ranting type; what he seemed to want was kudos within the group, and among people on the street outside. Khan’s way was to be a ‘cool dude’; it was all about kudos in the Muslim community”

    In another interview, with the Guardian, Gilbertson appears to reveal new information, and totally ignores the suggestion, that Khan was actually a well respected man in his community, by saying that he first met Khan in 2001, at a “at a party in Beeston to celebrate the September 11 attacks.” Gilbertson then claims he was forced to make anti-Western literature and videos for extremists including Khan, when they all worked at a book store together. Not only that, but Gilbertson claims that a 16 year old boy named Tyrone Clarke was stabbed to death because he insulted islam, by one of the bookstore associates and fellow 7/7 bomber Shehzad Tanweer who was then questioned by police in 2004 over the killing. However, Tanweer’s father absolutely denies 100% that his son was questioned, and sources within the police force told the Yorkshire post, that neither Tanweer or Khan were questioned nor even suspected of the killing. Out of nowhere, and totally contradictory to everything his friends had said about him, and totally contradictory to his mannerisms and his actions over the years preceding 7/7, Khan is now being painted as very religious, very anti-western, and a Jihadist. It just doesn’t add up. It seems like a bit of a smear campaign, backed up by absolutely no evidence.

    It is amazing, that this man, who apparently traveled to Pakistan for sinister reasons, was partying to celebrate 9/11, and was hanging around with known crazed anti-Western Muslims, was not so much as glanced at by the security services. In fact, the Yorkshire Post discovered in June 2006, that whilst security services were trying to convince us that Khan was actually known to them, Khan’s car had been bugged by security services…..after 7/7. Khan’s family, according to the Telegraph wanted a second post mortem on his body, by an independent pathologist. The request was turned down, on the basis that tests have already been done to establish how he died, and what kind of explosives he used, and no new information could possibly be found now. Yet, the Home Office is still, to this day, five years later, clueless as to what explosives the bombers used, still believing them to be cheap homemade explosives.

    The two conclusions I’m lead to come to, are either:
    1) Khan and the others were part of something far larger, and given that they brought return tickets that day, and given that Khan especially seemed a very Westernised man; thought they were all going to come home again that day. They did not give their families one last goodbye, and they all bought return tickets from Luton. They were easy targets, because they were Muslim.
    2) Khan was a very very clever terrorist agent. He had a brilliant cover working for disadvantaged youths. He used his money to fund this attack, which would have had to have been planned years in advance, given the expense needed for the training and the equipment. He deceived his closest friends and family. He adopted Western mannerisms, and acted as if he loved our culture, whilst all the time plotting an horrendous and grotesque attack against Britain. If that were the case though, why did he use shit home made devices? And why not a bigger target? If you have spent years planning, traveling between continents training, spending every last penny you have, and you’re a muslim extremist who wishes to cause as much damage and casualty and panic as possible, surely you would aim higher than less than 100 deaths? You would aim for a 9/11 of your own, or even bigger, surely?

    What I would like to see, is an independent inquiry that focuses on the exact movement of the bombers, that interviews people they knew, family, friends and associates, that tracks their movements on CCTV, that unearths incompetencies within the security services and the mistakes made by the government inquiry. Only that way will the public be satisfied, and only that way can steps be made to tighten security around those who are suspected of terrorist involvement. The inconsistencies and the unanswered questions should have been a priority to answer. They weren’t, and that is overwhelmingly shaming for the previous government.