Rise of the filth

December 15, 2010

When we were kids, the police were known by their more mellifluous title of “the filth“. They managed to gain this nickname, by insisting on turning up and supervising any group of teenagers standing around doing nothing. The result was not only a bunch of teenagers standing around doing nothing, but a bunch of police standing around doing nothing, and both groups inherently disliking and mistrusting each other. The difference between the two groups standing around doing nothing, was that the taxpayer didn’t fund teenagers to stand around doing nothing. If public funds were directed more at the kids, maybe we wouldn’t have been so bored we ended up standing around doing nothing, and maybe the police could concentrate on, you know, their job.

As we grow up, we learn to respect the police a little more. You note that they protect your property rights and at times, it must be difficult for them. And, we all love Gene Hunt. We suddenly respect what they do a little more, because we know we’d need their support if our house was broken into. Granted, that support would turn up 45 minutes after the actual brake in, take notes, and then spend the rest of the evening not actually finding your stolen stuff and instead supervising the next generation of bored teenagers in case they light up a spliff; but it’s nice to know they exist. But the respect we have for the police, does not give them the freedom to be vicious thugs.

The Metropolitan Police in London seem to have gained even more reason for the public to refer to them as “filth” recently. They are a formidable force of filth. Whenever they are on TV explaining themselves, I find I am more and more inclined to dismiss everything they say, as a crock of shit.

This tendency toward my absolute dismissal of everything the Met say (so that’s The Met, The CBI, and The IMF), stems entirely from the fact that they are, in fact, a crock of shit. First, the shooting in the head seven times, of Jean Charles de Menezes at Stockwell Tube Station, by the Met, because he looked a bit like a terrorist. Despite an IPCC investigation, which found that not only did the Met kill an unarmed innocent man, in the most violent of ways, but they tried to cover it up. It stated the Met:

made or concurred with inaccurate public statements concerning the circumstances of the death. The alleged inaccurate information included statements that Mr de Menezes had been wearing clothing and behaving in a manner which aroused suspicions.

The Chief of the Met at the time, Sir Ian Blair even tried to suppress an investigation, wishing instead to conduct an internal inquiry. Internal inquiries always clear the party involved. It is the equivalent of being your own judge at your murder trial. You’re not likely to send yourself down. Later, it became known that Metropolitan police surveillance officer codenamed “Owen” had deleted files off his computer, that involved a recording of deputy assistant commissioner Cressida Dick saying that de Menezes was not a threat at all.

The Crown Prosecution Service decided it would not press charges against anyone in the shooting of de Menezes. Shooting an innocent man seven times in the head apparently doesn’t even come under manslaughter.

And then we move onto the infamous G20 protest in London in 2009. The Met used the kettling technique to contain the crowd. A bystander on his way home named Ian Tomlinson had a heart attack and died during the kettle. First, the Met denied they had anything to do with his death. Suddenly, a youtube video appeared, showing PC Simon Harwood hit Ian Tomlinson with a baton, and then push him to the ground with ridiculous force, about a minute before Tomlinson had a heart attack and died. The police do not help him off the ground, instead they stand there, smug, doing nothing. A fellow bystander helps Tomlinson back to his feet.
Again, the Crown Prosecution Service said that they were unable to bring any charges against PC Simon Harwood. Harwood was known to have taken his police number off, and covered his face, to avoid detection. In 2009, a second and third postmortem on Ian Tomlinson revealed that he had died as a result of massive internal bleeding caused by a shock to the abdomen. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to point out that Harwood first hit Tomlinson with a baton, to the abdomen, and then shoved him to the floor…… a pretty closed case.

This is where the Met tend to act like great saviours in a land of crazed Anarchists, just trying to protect us all. They released a statement four hours after Tomlinson had died, stating that the police had noticed a man collapse, and had tried to rush in and help him but were bombarded by missiles from protesters. Those damn protesters. The only problem was, another youtube video surfaced, minutes later, after Tomlinson had collapsed. It shows police surrounded him, but not actually helping. It shows a female protester trying to help and saying “these are the bastards that did it“, and curiously, absolutely no “missiles” at all. This video surfaced just after The Sun, in its vast attempt to insult all protesters whilst masturbating furiously over the wonders of The Met, lead with:

“Man dies as bottles lobbed at rescuers.

POLICE were battered with beer bottles and cans as they desperately tried to save a dying man at the height of the G20 riots in London last night. But when cops struggled through the crowd to reach him, they were pelted with missiles. They finally got to him and set up a cordon as two ambulances rushed to the scene. ”

It’s amazing “journalism“. The Sun appear to have received a press statement from the IPCC, and manufactured a story around it. What is even more amazing, is that Harwood was hired by the Met, even though he had previous disciplinary action taken against him over the past decade. The Met are hiring lunatics.

Skip forward to the Student Protest in London last week.
Alfie Meadows, a Philosophy Student from Middlesex University is found wandering in a dazed state covered in blood, by his Philosophy Professor also at the protest. Meadows had been struck on the head by a police baton, with such force that he required brain surgery. The Met were kettling again at this point, and when the Professor begged them to let him and Alfie out of the kettle, they only allow Meadows to leave….. on his own……. in the middle of London……. needing brain surgery. Despite students and reputable professors from across the Country all claiming the violence started after kettling began, and after several unprovoked horse back charges by police took place, the media and the government still seem intent on keeping quiet on the subject of police brutality, instead choosing to focus their crocodile tears on a bit of paint on Charles’ armoured car.

This monday night, the BBC conducted a shameful interview of a man named Jody McIntyre. They asked him if he’d been throwing rocks at the police and if he were a “revolutionary” attempting to paint him as violent. The reason for this, is a video surfaced showing a Met officer pull Jody McIntyre ……. from his wheelchair…… which he can’t operate without the help of his brother, because of his celebral palsy, and dragged across the street. The BBC interviewer asked him if he’d provoked the attack….. by wheeling toward the police…. the muscular, trained, armed police. The BBC surely shouldn’t be acting as a mouthpiece for the angry right wing who are stuck in a tornado of shouting “omg it’s political correctness gone mad” arguing for “sanity” whenever it suits them, but claiming rather outlandishly that they’re second class citizens whenever someone with slightly darken skin complexion gets a job ahead of them? They aren’t the Daily Mail. Although The Daily Mail took it one step further, by comparing McIntyre to Andy from Little Britain, with the quite insufferable turd Richard Littlejohn stating:

“…he should have kept a safe distance.

Jody Mcintyre is like Andy from Little Britain.
‘Where do you want to go today, Jody?’
‘Riot.’
‘Are you sure? Wouldn’t you rather go to hear Bob Crow speak at the Methodist Central Hall. You like Bob Crow.’
‘Yeah, I know.’
‘So, we’ll go there, eh?’
‘Riot!’
‘Ken Livingstone will be there, too. He’s your favourite.’
‘Riot!’
‘All right, then.’
Five minutes later at the riot . . .
‘Don’t like it.’ ”

Littlejohn apparently thinks disabled people should not stand up for what they believe in, and if they dare to, they apparently shouldn’t complain when police drag them out of their wheelchair.

The Tory Party aren’t exactly the friends of disabled people, what with cutting adult social care funding for those suffering a disability. But Tory Councillor Phil Taylor took it one step further, when, on his blog, he said:

” Although he presents himself as a cerebral palsy victim in a wheelchair he does not mention that by his own account he walked up the 9 stories of stairs of the 30 Millbank building during the student riots of 10th November.”

– How utterly irrelevant. Even if he did an elegant handstand, all the way up the stairs, with a cartwheel finish, into a double somersault….. it still doesn’t justify police dragging a kid from a wheelchair and throwing him into the street.
Taylor posts a quote from McIntyre’s website, in which Taylor highlights certain areas of the text, that in Taylor’s odd opinion, paint a picture of a disabled kid who deserves to be pulled from his wheelchair by The Met. Let’s take the sections of McIntyre’s blog that Taylor highlighted one by one:

The sun was shining on the morning of November 10th, and our blood was boiling.

– Yup. That was the feeling among all 50,000 of us. I was there too. We didn’t go down to show how happy we are with the Coalition. Absolutely no reason to highlight this. Also, John Major, the former Tory Prime Minister, and a man who lost his personality in the 1970s, told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, that Labour’s attacks on Coalition policy……. “makes my blood boil“. The violent bastard. The Met need to be kicking the shit out of the ex Tory PM for that. They can count on Phil Taylor’s support too!

We passed Trafalger Square, and half way down Whitehall found ourselves approaching the main bulk of the demonstration, which had assembled there. It was an endless sea of people, but unfortunately, they had been corralled by police and NUS stewards into one lane of the dual carriageway. Me and Finlay immediately set to work, tearing down the metal barriers which separated the two lanes.

– Good! I’m glad someone did. We were squeezed in. For a guy in a wheelchair, it couldn’t have been easy. Even if he were stood up and walking, it couldn’t have been easy. I moved a barrier twice, to make a bit more space. There was no reason for the divide whatsoever. Taylor wasn’t in the mesh of people being held together like sheep.

A group of 200 followed, including me in my wheelchair, and Finlay pushing at full speed.

– Erm, okay. So he quite likes to go fast. I’d hate to see how angry Taylor gets at the Paralympics. “THEY AREN’T DISABLED!!! THEY’RE GOING TOO FAST TO BE DISABLED!!!” presumably.

We continued down the sixty stone steps at the other end of the Treasury road without so much as a pause for breath. We were on the rampage.

– It’s a figure of speech. He wasn’t literally on a rampage, shooting innocent bystanders (or pushing them over inducing a heart attack). It is a figure of speech, and its a soundbite. Like when Taylor himself refers to a man in his constituency who said “I see broken windows as being totally justified compared with the damage being done to the public sector. This is just the beginning“, as a “Leftie, nutter headbanger“…….. he isn’t literally saying that the man quite likes to bang his head, nor is he even suggesting that the man in question listens to music one might “headbang” to. Figure of speech, Phil. The same sort of figure of speech that he used, when in his latest blog about a rather useless cowboy builder, with the phrase “It took a lot of kicking and screaming from local councillors to get this site sorted out“……. if we are to go by Phil’s new found literal approach to sentences that quite clearly, aren’t meant that way, we must presume that local councillors Taylor is speaking of, literally did kick and scream……. the violent thugs.

It was an epic mission to the top. Nine floors; eighteen flights of stairs. Two friends carried my wheelchair, and I walked.

– Having just spoken to my lovely girlfriend Ashlee about the effects of cerebral palsy (she is a physio at a disabled kids school, and deals with this everyday), she has informed me, after watching the BBC interview herself, that of course McIntyre can walk, but judging from his posture, and the way he spoke and his twitching, he would find it difficult to get too far without help. It would take him a long time to get to where he was heading, he wouldn’t be able to balance himself properly for very long at any one time, and he’d get overly tired very very quickly. So, he should be commended for fighting for what he believes in, at the same time as going through the trouble it must have been to achieve it. But, the fact remains, the police considered it perfectly okay to pull a man from a wheelchair and drag him across the street. Phil Taylor, is a tremendous scrotum. His entire blog is drivel. Right winged, miserable, vicious drivel in which anyone slightly left of Reagan is considered a thug. It is people like Taylor that make me proud to wear the badge of the Left Wing, with pride.

Tory Blogger Guido Fawkes waded in on the subject, stating on his blog:

“Jody Macinytre, radical pro-Palestine supporter and sufferer from cerebral palsy”

– They are his only two attributes apparently. He also isn’t “radical” pro-Palestine supporter, although even if he was, i’m not sure why that’s a bad thing. Fawkes continues:

“However he has revelled in, and incited, violence on his website……”

“Macintyre can’t hide behind his disability when the police treat him like any other violent trespassing thug. It’s called equality…”

– Yes he can. Because he’s disabled. And the police are fully armed, trained guards. And also, because 1) he wasn’t trespassing, and 2) he wasn’t being violent. What a horrible sense of equality Tory bloggers have. Disabled people causing no problems are apparently just as equal as the rest of us causing no problems, in being beaten by the Met. We should all be thankful for that little gem of equality.

The point is, despite the talk of violence from protesters…. the only serious injury, was caused by the police, and the only shameful attack on a disabled man, was caused by police. The media tend to tread carefully with the issue, because criticising an institution like The Met, who they clearly still consider to be a reputable source, could provoke anger amongst right winged commentators like Phil Taylor and Guido Fawkes, who would inevitably refer to the BBC as “left wing” if they dared to criticise the police. The Government keep telling us that the “full force of the law” will come down on violent student protesters, but never mention any such repercussion for Police. The Met are not on a higher moral plateau. They are dangerous, provocative, murdering, violent, lying…………. filth.


London’s burning

December 9, 2010

I’m all for violent direct action; but I draw the line when those damn students made the future King of England ejaculate out of his eye. That’s too far.

London is burning again. The protesters have spoken. I genuinely hope this is a sign of things to come. I hope the Unions get a backbone too. The middle classes certainly wont. They need to watch Coronation Street’s live episode and complain about students. I am a strong supporter of violent direct action, when Government’s quite clearly piss on the very people who elected them. It gets the message across. Always has. Shock Capitalism has been tried on Countries in the past, with shocking consequences. We should not allow it to happen here, we don’t want it here. We will not be peaceful about it either.

So the Tuition Fee debate lasted five hours. The biggest decision on higher education in decades, was decided in less time than it takes to drive from Manchester to Devon. Nick Clegg and Vince Cable didn’t stay for the debate.

The Government won by 323 votes to 302. Their majority of 86, swiftly cut to 21. A number of Lib Dems showed the had to courage to vote against the rise, and surprisingly, a few Tories voted against it too.

Still, here is the list of Lib Dem MPs who voted for the rise in tuition fees, despite pledging to vote against any such proposal.

Let’s make sure this is the last Parliament they ever sit through.

Danny Alexander (Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey)
Norman Baker (Lewes)
Sir Alan Beith (Berwick-upon-Tweed)
Gordon Birtwistle (Burnley)
Tom Brake (Carshalton & Wallington)
Jeremy Browne (Taunton Deane)
Malcolm Bruce (Gordon)
Paul Burstow (Sutton & Cheam)
Vince Cable (Twickenham)
Alistair Carmichael (Orkney & Shetland)
Nick Clegg (Sheffield Hallam)
Edward Davey (Kingston & Surbiton)
Lynne Featherstone (Hornsey & Wood Green)
Don Foster (Bath)
Stephen Gilbert (St Austell and Newquay)
Duncan Hames (Chippenham)
Nick Harvey (Devon North)
David Heath (Somerton & Frome)
John Hemming (Birmingham Yardley)
Norman Lamb (Norfolk North)
David Laws (Yeovil)
Michael Moore (Berwickshire, Roxburgh & Selkirk)
Andrew Stunell (Hazel Grove)
Jo Swinson (Dunbartonshire East)
Sarah Teather (Brent Central)
David Ward (Bradford East)
Steve Webb (Thornbury and Yate).

If any of these are your MP, and you voted partly due to their stance on tuition fees; email them. Let them know that they are a disgrace. Let them know that they have absolutely forfeited their right to be known as Progressives. Let them know that they are Tories.


The Student Union

December 2, 2010

I wrote an article for our University newspaper this week. I haven’t really read the paper before, but with my article in this edition, I thought I would.

I hated it.
Literally hated it.
That’s unfair actually, because I had decided I hated it from the moment I looked at the front cover. I didn’t read the articles on media, or art, or anything other than the articles surrounding the student protests. And they annoyed me.
A photo of burning placards from the Student Protest, outside Millbank, accompanied by the title: “What went wrong“.

The problem here is so rudimentary, it’s annoying. It’s a simple title. It follows the lines of other pretty badly put together tabloids. It gets peoples attention. It isn’t being daring. It is attempting to suggest objectivity, through weak bias subjectivity. It suggests immediately that something went wrong. As if that’s the objective truth. When it quite clearly isn’t. You would expect to see “What went wrong” on the front cover of a story covering the explosion of a Space Shuttle in mid-air. Clearly, something went wrong. Asking “what went wrong” in regard to the student protest, is not objective. The paper is supposed to represent us students as part of the Student Union. It certainly does not represent me. I choose to distance myself, and condemn it, for its self righteous, weak journalistic position. I have a problem with journalists as it is. They are too institutionalised. They are the mouthpiece of businessmen. It annoys me to note that the next generation of journalists, aims to be just like the last lot; unquestioning microphones for the horrendously hypocritical middle classes.

The article shows a number of boxes with quotes from students questioned. All of whom, one way or another, back up the viewpoint of the paper. One refers to the students as “anarchists“. The paper here, in not questioning the idea that the protesters were just crazed anarchists, have simply read a couple of tabloids, noticed it gets a reaction and the word “anarchist” even makes TV news, and so decided to run with it. Had they actually used their initiative, they would have investigated the claim that the people who stormed Millbank were anarchists, and found quite the opposite. I was stood at Millbank and I noticed no one shouting anarchic slogans, I saw no Bakunin or Kroptkin tshirts or placards. I saw one young girl with a backpack look scared, but determined to make a stand. I saw a skinny guy with a placard simply saying “Mr Clegg, stand by your pledge” storm the building. In what way were they anarchists? Is it just easy for journalists to get out of doing any actual digging, and simply acquiescing to the status quo, by suggesting anyone who might indulge in direct action, is actually an anarcho-syndicalist who want to abolish government and Nation States, and establish a society built on the co-operation of the Unions in trade agreements? Because that is not what I saw.

The paper doesn’t challenge the idea that they were anarchists. Which is slightly annoying, given that none of them were at Millbank, or asking the students involved what their political beliefs are. I certainly didn’t notice the majority of students saying “Well this contravenes the concept of modern democracy and the right to protest, for I will not stand for it! Damn Anarchists!” What the University Paper has chosen to do (including our Student Union President) is repeat what the tabloids have said, because it’s all they can do, given that they weren’t there. They are not reporting first hand news. They are reporting second hand news that has travelled through the great media filter system, and came out with a nice biased, subjective opinion, which in no way challenges any mainstream belief. They are regurgitating the opinion of the popular media. How brave.

There is, for example, no menton of a letter signed by academics, professors, experts, lecturers and economists give their full support to the direct action at Millbank. The letter with all the signitures can be seenhere. They are absolutely correct when they say:

We also wish to condemn and distance ourselves from the divisive and, in our view, counterproductive statements issued by the UCU and NUS leadership concerning the occupation of the Conservative Party HQ. The real violence in this situation relates not to a smashed window but to the destructive impact of the cuts and privatisation that will follow if tuition fees are increased and if massive reductions in HE funding are
implemented.

Our Student Union President is quoted a few times in the article in our Student Paper. Which is interesting, because he left about an hour before any rioting actually kicked off. So I am not sure how he has any authority whatsoever. He was that dedicated, he was there for about ten minutes. In that time, I didn’t see him ask anyone around Millbank if they were anarchists, or how they felt in general. He certainly never asked me how I felt about direct action. I am going to hedge my bets and suggest he didn’t ask anyone at the protest, how they felt about direct action. Which renders his opinion that:

“It’s such a shame a minority of protesters engaged in violent action”

…..absolutely useless. If he’d have been there, which I was, he would have seen thousands more heading toward Millbank, but suddenly being blocked by police, and many turning away and running when they saw about five riot vans filled with riot police turn up. He goes on:

“It’s hugely disappointing to see all our hard work undone by a minority.”

One wonders what hard work that is? Peaceful protest, as noted with the Iraq war demonstrations absolutely never works (unless you have a Gandhi figure, and whilst our SU President talks in articles, like he’s the next Gandhi, be assured, he really isn’t). It is the equivalent of writing a strongly worded letter. But with no swearing. Because swearing is naughty, and puts a disappointed look on the faces of those who seem to think they are somehow superior.

Your “hard work” would have achieved nothing. You’d have been lucky to get a front page mention.

Our SU President talks with a paternal like arrogance and self assurance:

“I’m proud of the protesters we took down who took our message and made their point in a peaceful manner.”

Thanks dad!
I’m 25 in a little over a month. I am not concerned with making an SU President, who is so ridiculously institutionalised (i’d guess in order to pave a way into politics – doesn’t want to say anything controversial), proud of me. I couldn’t care any less. In fact, if he isn’t proud, then i’m proud of myself for upsetting that narrow institutionalised vision of what is decent and correct.

“We, along with NUS condemn the actions taken.”

Two problems. Comments like this make the idea that direct action is a great evil, seem legitimate because an apparent legitimate authoritative voice says so. A bit like when a newspaper of TV news program interview a member of the CBI on economic matters. CBI members have no business talking on economic matters, any more than a Union member. They are not economists. There are not an authority on the situation.

Secondly, the NUS now doesn’t “condemn the actions taken”. The National Union of Students, President Aaaron Porter, did at first condemn the actions. But in the past week, he changed his mind, stating:

“For too long the NUS has perhaps been too cautious and too spineless about being committed to supporting student activism.
Perhaps I spent too long over the last few days doing the same.”

Porter did however refer to Millbank as mindless violence. One wonders where he draws the line. He is now in favour of occupying private property, but not smashing a window. So, breaking (bad) and entering (fine) is his new stance. Well it’s something I suppose. It’s more than our SU President is happy to commit to. He has apparently fully committed himself to ENTIRELY peaceful protest.

Direct Action has a beautiful history, and the thing to note is, it works. Poll tax is the obvious one. Civil Rights is also obvious. But it goes back further. The right of women to vote, turned ugly on many occasions. The American Revolution was a form of direct action. Indian farmers burnt down many fields of GM crops because their futures were at risk from big business in agriculture. People in Latin America rose up against corrupt regimes. In Indonesia too. They would have got nowhere with simply reasoned argument. When the owners of large sums of capital are protected by new terms of property protection, at the expense and exploitation of those without large sums of capital, it doesn’t matter what the issue is; whether it be GM crops, or the right to vote, or tuition fees, it is always going to result in direct action. James Madison referred to the people as a “great beast” that needed taming. The framers of the Constitution worried that if you gave the people without great wealth a say over the democratic process, they would always try to take some of that wealth, and so shouldn’t be given too much of a say, and should be punished if they tried. Hence, the electoral college system. When people are massively disregarded by the political elite of the time, and punished with economic or political violence, then direct action is bound to ensue. It is a product of democracy, not the antithesis of democracy.

The second thing to point out, is that we aren’t exactly living in a democracy. We have no say over the economic sphere. Our politicians are funded by big business. The very same big business who control the economic sphere. We rely on our information from media outlets, all of which are owned by the owners of large sums of capital, and tied to political interests. Of 70 million people, only two parties, of the same people, ever have power. They represent the same Corporate interests. They aren’t labourers, or local farmers, or small shop owners. The media will use those with wealth, as credible sources, regardless of their expertise. Those without wealth are considered unimportant. When the BA Cabin Crew strike ensued, all effort was made to paint the strikers as greedy staff intent on bringing the company down. I did not see anyone mention the utter mismanagement of Willie Walsh and the fact that he single handedly made the company pay out the biggest fine in Corporate history. It certainly wasn’t raised in Parliament. There is a systematic effort to ensure that those with wealth, and power, or with important positions of authority, are represented as the bearers of great truth. The only way I could ever see this changing, is through direct action. Unless you believe we are in fact living in a true democracy now, to suggest that direct action is some great evil antithesis of democracy, is frankly ludicrous.

People don’t enjoy being trampled by horses, or beaten by men dressed as Robocop with batons. They don’t enjoy being arrested or tear gassed. They are protesting for a better World. And violence often worked. I bring you back to Civil Rights (Our SU President, to be consistent in his condemnation, would have to condemn civil rights rioting); without the violence, if it were all kum-by-yah singing and pot smoking peace, it would have achieved nothing. I say that with conviction. It would have absolutely achieved nothing. 2,000,000 people went on peaceful anti-iraq war demonstrations in London throughout 2003 and 2004. The war ended in 2010. Thousands more died. I wonder what would have happened, had there been mass riots on the streets of London. I cannot imagine the voices of 2,000,000 people would have been ignored then.

I would go further, and say contrary to our SU President’s short sighted opinion; direct action of the violent and non-violent variety have been the catalysts for the social and economic changes we have all come to appreciate. Direct action has enhanced democracy. It has encouraged debate. Peaceful protest has not had anywhere near the same level of success. It gets ignored. By politicians, by the mindless middle classes (which our SU President is well on his way to representing, should he take up a career in Parliament), and by the media who cater to their celebrity news needs.

The SU President says:

“Students are now left with the burden of looking like yobs”

To who? Who are we apparently trying to impress? The Government? Do we really believe that the Government are going to take any notice of a peaceful march? Do we really believe had it been entirely peaceful, maybe a flower laid outside Parliament with a love note attached to it, that they would say “hey, maybe those students are right, let’s debate with them”. Of course not. They didn’t even mention in Parliament on the day, that 50,000 students were marching past the Houses they were all sat in. It was only when direct action ensued, that any politician made a statement of any kind. The question still remains, who are we trying to impress? I’d suggest it’s the middle classes, the main bulk of the population. Because to “look” a certain way in public, means getting negative publicity, and that happens to be the niche of the popular press, who all aim their product at the middle class market. The question is, do we actually care what the middle class thinks of us? They are riddled with hypocrisies and contradictions.

What seems apparent is that issues that matter, but which show the upset middle classes in a negative and rather hypocritical light, will not be brought up. They wont be propagated by the mainstream press mainly because the mainstream press needs the hypocritical middle classes on their side in order to sell papers and stay in business. This is a middle class that needs to be kept smiling. Any bad news that might affect them, is at all times to be kept at bay. Don’t tell them that the clothes they buy from Primark and Gap might have involved the labour of an over worked exploited child. Or Tesco, who pay the workers who make the clothes, £0.13p an hour in Sri Lanka (Way below a living wage in Sri Lanka). Instead, make them feel utterly disgusted by a few students burning placards. That’s where their misplaced and hypocritical anger apparently ought to be. They are happy to shop in Tesco clothes, whilst wearing their clothes from Primark, and eating food that from big business that is undermining small local farmers; as long as they can be angry at a student smashing a window in London. Our SU President, for me, embodies that.

It is ridiculous to suggest that marching peacefully, means you’re getting your voice heard. It means nothing. It means you’re shouting. It doesn’t mean anyone is listening to that voice. You are shouting at a man in a suit wearing headphones. To get noticed, you have to take those headphones off, and smash them.

Peaceful protest” is a nice little phrase, that makes people like our SU President seem all Messiah-like, but in reality, mean nothing. Acting and speaking as if you are an oddity in our species, that you have evolved beyond any form of aggression, in your quest for universal peace is great, if it were true. But until the World has caught up and humanity has evolved beyond self interest and violent exploitative economics, you are living in a dream World. I genuinely believe our SU President is institutionalised. He’s robotic in his opinion. He may aswell skip university and go straight into Parliament. He certainly doesn’t represent me.


The fight back begins

November 12, 2010

A letter of congratulations to the students and the EVIL ANARCHIST RIOTERS (who I happen to fully support, and whom were not Anarchists at all) has emerged, signed by some of the Nation’s most intellectual researchers and Professors.

Here is the letter:

Dear Sir/Madam,
We the undersigned wish to congratulate staff and students on the magnificent anti-cuts demonstration on Wednesday (‘Riot marks end of era of consensus’, Independent, 11 November). At least 50,000 people took to the streets to oppose the coalition government’s devastating proposals for education.

We also wish to condemn and distance ourselves from the divisive and, in our view, counterproductive statements issued by the UCU and NUS leadership concerning the occupation of the Conservative Party HQ. The real violence in this situation relates not to a smashed window but to the destructive impact of the cuts and privatisation that will follow if tuition fees are increased and if massive reductions in HE funding are
implemented.

Wednesday’s events demonstrate the deep hostility in the UK towards the cuts proposed in the Comprehensive Spending Review. We hope that this marks the beginning of a sustained defence of public services and welfare provision as well as higher education.

Signed:
Emma Dowling, Queen Mary, University of London,
Dr. Matteo Mandarini, Queen Mary, University of London,
Liam Campling, Queen Mary, University of London
Dr. Alberto Toscano, Goldsmiths, University of London
Dr. John Wadworth, Goldsmiths, University of London
Dr. Des Freedman, Goldsmiths, University of London
Dr. Nina Power, Roehampton University
Clare Solomon, President University of London Union
Dr. Peter Thomas, Brunel University
Dr. Alex Anievas, University of Cambridge
Matilda Woulfe, Queen Mary, University of London
Dr. Victoria Sentas, King’s College London
Toni Prug, Queen Mary, University of London
Prof David Miller, Strathclyde University
Matthew Woodcraft, Goldsmiths, University of London
Richard Iveson, Goldsmiths, Goldsmiths, University of London
Dr. Carrie Hamilton, Roehampton University
Dr. Nicole Wolf, Goldsmiths, University of London
Dr. Gavin Butt, Goldsmiths, University of London
Marsha Bradfield, University of the Arts London
Manuela Zechner, Queen Mary University of London
Dr. Matthew Fuller, Goldsmiths, University of London
Prof. John Hutnyk, Goldsmiths, University of London
Dr. Luciana Parisi, Goldsmiths, University of London
Dr. Maud Anne Bracke, University of Glasgow
Janna Graham, Goldsmiths, University of London
Heidi Hasbrouck, Goldsmiths, University of London
Gordon Asher, University of Glasgow
Dr. Goetz Bachmann, Goldsmiths, University of London
Gerry Mooney, Open University
Dr. Catherine Eschle, University of Strathclyde
Dr. Filippo Del Lucchese, Brunel University
Dr David Lowe, Liverpool John Moores University
Tom Bunyard, Goldsmiths, University of London
Danai Konstanta, Goldsmiths, University of London
Bue Ruebner Hanssen, Queen Mary, University of London
Dr Alana Lentin, University of Sussex
Dr. Armin Beverungen, University of the West of England
Bipasha Ahmed, University of East London
Dr T L Akehurst, University of Sussex and Open University
Alex Anievas, University of Cambridge
Gordon Asher, University of Glasgow
Dr Maurizio Atzeni, Loughborough University
Camille Barbagallo, Queen Mary, University of London
Dr Armin Beverungen, University of the West of England
Dr. Maud Anne Bracke, University of Glasgow
Liam Campling, Queen Mary, University of London
Dr Svetlana Cicmil, University of the West of England
Dr Caroline Clarke, University of the West of England
Dr Chris Cocking, London Metropolitan University
Katherine Corbett, Middlesex University
Dr. Michael P. Craven, University of Nottingham
Dr John Cromby, Loughborough University
Dr Dimitrios Dalakoglou, University of Sussex
Prof Massimo De Angelis, University of East London
Filippo Del Lucchese, Brunel University
Prof Marie-Bénédicte Dembour, University of Sussex
Dr John Drury, University of Sussex
Benoit Dutilleul, University of the West of England
Leigh French, Glasgow, editor Varient magazine
Dr Fabian Frenzel, University of the West of England
Dr Matthew Fuller, Goldsmiths, University of London
Dr Rachel Fyson, University of Nottingham
Dr Sara Gonzalez, University of Leeds
Hugo Gorringe, University of Edinburgh
Janna Graham, Goldsmiths University of London
Prof Peter Hallward, Kingston University,
Dr Kate Hardy, University of Leeds
Dr. Carrie Hamilton, Roehampton University
Georgia Harrison, Goldsmiths, University of London
Dr Kaveri Harriss, University of Sussex
Prof Stefano Harney, Queen Mary University of London
Dr David Harvie, University of Leicester
Dr Stuart Hodkinson, University of Leeds
Dr John Hutnyk, Goldsmiths, University of London
Daniel Jewesbury, Belfast, editor, Variant magazine
Dr. Daniel Kane, University of Sussex
Jeanne Kay, Goldsmiths, University of London
Koehler-Ridley, Coventry University
Danai Konstanta, Goldsmiths, University of London
Dr Les Levidow, Open University
Dr Simon Lewis, University of Leeds
Gwyneth Lonergan, University of Manchester
Dr Rob Lutton, University of Nottingham
Luke Martell, University of Sussex
Conal McStravick, Artist, Glasgow, member of Scottish Artists Union
Dr Shamira Meghani, University of Sussex
Dr Eugene Michail, University of Sussex
Keir Milburn, University of Leeds
Dr. Filippo Osella, University of Sussex
Dr Dimitris Papadopoulos, University of Leicester
Dr Luciana Parisi, Goldsmiths, University of London
Kathleen Poley, Goldsmiths University of London
Dr. Maria Puig de la Bellacasa, University of Leicester
Andre Pusey, University of Leeds
Prof Susannah Radstone, University of East London
Dr Olivier Ratle, University of the West of England
Dr Gavin Reid, University of Leeds & Vice-President Leeds University UCU
Bue Rübner Hansen, Queen Mary, University of London
Bert Russell, University of Leeds
Dr Lee Salter, University of the West of England
Jordan Savage, University of Essex
Dr Laura Schwatz, St Hugh’s College Oxford University
Jon K. Shaw, Goldsmiths, University of London
Dr Stevphen Shukaitis, University of Essex
Dr Anna Stavriasnakis, University of Sussex.
Stephanie Tan, Glasgow School of Art
Dr Claire Taylor, University of Nottingham
Dr Amal Treacher Kabesh, University of Nottingham
Jeroen Veldman, University of Leicester
Dr Paul Waley, University of Leeds
Dr Kenneth Weir, University of Leicester
Matthew Woodcraft, Goldsmiths, University of London
Hélène Samanci, Queen Mary, University of London
Dr Clément Mouhot, University of Cambridge

The picture on the left, is Nick Clegg holding a pledge which read “I pledge to vote against any increase in fees“. He has just voted to increase fees from £3,300 to £9000.
I hope more names can be added to that list of Professors any time soon.
Support for direct action, when it is in the face of the needless and harshest shock capitalism thrown at us in years, is what we need. To sit back and take it, is a waste of time, and my generation will regret refusing to act, or acting ‘peacefully’, as we watch homeless rates shoot up and misery ensue. Tuition fees is the start. When the cuts hits, when there are no jobs and yet the Government start making people work for the £1 an hour benefit; there will be mass rioting; it is inevitable. The young people are not the apathetic lifeless drones, the older generation like to suggest.

Students at Manchester University kept the momentum going, and took over a main room at their University, refusing to move. They issued the following statement:

“Students at Manchester University have peacefully occupied the John Owens building and are lobbying the finance board over the coalition attack on higher education.
We are demanding that the university opens its books so that we know where the cuts will fall, how many voluntary redundancies have already been made and to highlight the fact that the vice chancellor is paid 20 times the average salary. The financial director has denied any cuts are planned despite the fact that voluntary redundancies have been announced and the combined studies department has already been cut.
We are here to support lecturers and administrative staff who will be losing there jobs. To oppose the rise in tuition fees that will price out most working class students. And to oppose the privatisation of our universities.”

The more grey haired fat businessmen and politicians who masturbate furiously over them complain about direct action, the more I support it. The more Tories tell me it is entirely “unacceptable” the more I will promote it. The more Nick Clegg insists that raising tuition fees to £9000 a year, is in some way “progressive” and a “good deal for students”, the more I will protest, and demand my vote back.

I look forward to the many protests I will take part in over the coming years.


The Spirit of England

November 11, 2010

Try as I might, I cannot condemn the violence at the protest in London yesterday. The public fight back.
It is easy for Journalists to talk about it as if it is the end of the World. It sells papers. Middle Class England doesn’t particularly like disorder, because it might upset their consumer paradise. They don’t want disruption. They speak about how awful it is for about 1% of a student protest to end up breaking into a building, whilst they do their clothes shopping at Primark; famed for it’s awful record on using sweatshops and child labour. Journalists are happy to post pictures of a student or two smashing a window, but seem wholly reluctant to show any images of Afghan children dead at the hands of the pointless British war machine. Middle Class England doesn’t want to see that, they want to go to HMV and Starbucks and moan about the Left Wing. Middle Class England has a new Call of Duty game to rush home and play. Middle Class England wants to refer to all striking workforces as greedy, simply because it might interrupt their day. How dare anyone want better pay and working conditions whilst you’re rushing home to watch Neighbours? The bastard lefties. Middle Class England, is a hypocritical, mindless robot. The media know it, and they make a lot of money from it. Do we really believe that suddenly The Sun and The Telegraph and The Mail have a new found sense of morality? compass? Their morality is entirely market based.

It is easy for the media to tell us that a bunch of crazed Anarchists took over the protest. This just isn’t true. I am not an anarchist, and I fully support them.
The New Statesman agrees:

Not all of those smashing through the foyer are in any way kitted out like your standard anarchist black-mask gang. These are kids making it up as they go along. A shy looking girl in a nice tweed coat and bobble hat ducks out of the way of some flying glass, squeaks in fright, but sets her lips determinedly and walks forward, not back, towards the line of riot cops.

Most of them, were students who think like me. One post graduate student echoes my thoughts, when he told the New Statesman:

“Look, we all saw what happened at the big anti-war protest back in 2003, bugger all, that’s what happened. Everyone turned up, listened to some speeches and then went home. It’s sad that it’s come to this, but…” he gestures behind him to the bonfires burning in front of the shattered windows of Tory HQ. “What else can we do?”

Students and Unions should now unite.

There is something poetically beautiful about standing by Conservative Party Headquarters, whilst thousands of Socialist leaflets float aimlessly to the group from above. It made me a little bit proud. I hope it’s a sign of things to come. When a Government introduces life destroying aggressive policies, it will also provoke aggressive reactions. Simple protests do not work. They “make a point“. A large majority of the students yesterday voted Liberal Democrat to avoid these kinds of measures. The violence was not anti-democratic; the Liberal Democrats are wholly responsible for the anti-democratic nature of England, and a lot of people are not likely to stand for it. You cannot destroy education; destroy job prospects and dreams; destroy 500,000 jobs in less than a day in Parliament, and expect people to simply “make a point”. Poll tax riots defeated the Thatcher government and brought her down. Civil rights riots defeated the awful program of segregation. 2,000,000 people marched in London against the Iraq War in 2003…… and yet the war carried on for 7 more years and thousands more dead. Civil disobedience works.

The great Australian journalist, John Pilger sums it up perfectly, with:

The BA workers, the firefighters, the council workers, the post office workers, the NHS workers, the London Underground staff, the teachers, the lecturers, the students can more than match the French if they are resolute and imaginative, forging, with the wider social justice movement, potentially the greatest popular resistance ever. Look at the web; listen to the public’s support at fire stations. There is no other way now. Direct action. Civil disobedience. Unerring. Read Shelley and do it.

Here are a few of my photos from yesterday in London:


Why I will protest next Wednesday

November 6, 2010

Protest against the raising of tuition fees to £9000. Protest against the cancelling of Educational Maintenance Allowance. Protest against the 35 business leaders who signed the letter of support for Cameron and Osborne. Protest against the cut to childcare credits. Protest against the loss of an estimated 500,000 thousand jobs. Protest against David Cameron using £80,000 of taxpayers money on his second home mortgage interest repayments. Protest against cuts to surestart. Protest against the Liberal Democrats becoming Tories. Protest against David Cameron putting his stylist, his wife’s stylist, and his photographer on Parliamentary payroll. Protest against the CBI supporting public service cuts whilst saying nothing about the FTSE 100 directors giving themselves a massive pay increase. Protest against David Davis’ hopelessly moronic idea that transport workers, firefighters, gas and electric workers, and NHS shouldn’t be allowed to strike. Protest against the empty rhetoric of “We’re all in this together“. Protest against the idea that business leaders are a credible source on economic matters and actually give a shit about any of us; they don’t. Protest against the “big society” bullshit. Protest Baroness Warsi stating that this government “does God“. Protest against Osborne’s £4mn offshore trustfund he stands to inherit yet did fuck all to earn. Protest against big business getting away with obscene tax avoidance whilst benefit fraud is treated like a crime worthy of capital punishment. Protest against the immigration cap. Protest against the jubilant Tory backbenches who jumped up with joy and swung their Parliamentary papers in the air filled with glee the moment Osborne had finished condemning millions to the dole queue. Protest against the constant “Due to the legacy left to us by Labour” bullshit in an attempt to justify every piece of disastrous legislation and cuts they introduce. Protest against a culture of debt. Protest the fact that for some odd reason, Boris Johnson is Mayor of London…… still. Protest against Vince Cable, Danny Alexander, and Nick Clegg. Protest against the cuts to policing and fire protection. Protest the obvious attempt to part privatise the NHS. Protest against the miserable private sector that has reduced our lives to big business bitches and brain dead consumers. Protest against the cuts to the BBC. Protest against the cosying up to the Murdoch family. Protest against the appointment of Philip Green. Protest against the Tories. Protest in support of widespread union action. Protest to get noticed. Protest for common human decency. Protest for everything……