Friday, 31 March 2017

Brexit and a Medieval Psychopath

So the British government is set to employ powers created by Henry Vlll as part of the process of brexit http://www.politico.eu/article/uk-to-use-henry-viii-powers-to-change-eu-laws-brexit-theresa-may/

Er hang on a moment weren't we repeatedly told by leavers during the referendum campaign that the EU was undemocratic and unaccountable to the people and so people in the UK should vote leave to 'take back control'. Just how using powers created by a 16th century absolute monarch is taking back control i'm not sure. Furthermore the monarch in question wasn't the cuddly comical 'Henery' Herman's Hermits sang about in their dreadful 1960s song - Henry Vlll was a mass murdering tyrant! He authorised the killing of tens of thousands of people he disagreed with during his bloody tyrannical reign and engineered the torture and execution of some of his wives just to get rid of them. Indeed when it came to beheading, burning and boiling people Henry Vlll could have taught ISIS a thing or two. Oh and he annexed Wales with the 1536 Act of Union, effectively making it a part of England and introducing laws which tried to exterminate the welsh language.


It's bad enough this clueless British government have invoked powers created by an unaccountable monarch as part of their so called 'great repeal bill' but in 'Henery' the Eigth they could not a have a chosen a more repulsive figure from British history.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

More terrible consequences of a disastrous invasion

Well there's only one story today and that story is the awful events in London yesterday. Must say i've never seen so many people who haven't been in a church in years and who wouldn't know one end of the bible from the other sending 'prayers' - well you'll get no such hypocritical bunkum from me. I'm deeply saddened that 4 people lost their lives in london yesterday but i wont be invoking the support of any supernatural entities as a result of it.

Sad but entirely predictable to see however that british far right groups - and their fellow travellers in ukip - are already seizing on the event and trying to use it for their own repugnant agenda,and this is despite the fact we don't yet know the identity of the suspect or what his motives were.http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/tommy-robinson-london-terror-attack-islamic-extremism-westminster-bridge-a7644676.html

One thing i will say is that if it should turn out the attacker was linked to a group like ISIS or influenced by them we need to remember that ISIS emerged from a split in Al Qaeda in Iraq, and that Al Qaeda in Iraq itself emerged from the illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003 - an invasion which resulted in the deaths of over 1 million Iraqis.The fact is if there had been no invasion of Iraq there would be no ISIS murdering people today, and if we care about all the victims of ISIS we should never allow those who backed the disastrous invasion to forget this  http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/30164-report-shows-us-invasion-occupation-of-iraq-left-1-million-dead

  
Update: So called 'Islamic State' have indeed claimed responsibility for yesterday's attack in London. Meanwhile over 200 Iraqi civilians died today as a result of US airstrikes in Mosul http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/us-air-strikes-mosul-230-civilians-killed-dead-isis-held-iraq-battle-islamic-state-a7646011.html?cmpid=facebook-post

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Here's hoping Scotland 'Takes back control'

The phrase 'take back control' will no doubt be reasonably familiar to people - even if it's not remembered fondly by some of us. It was a key slogan of the leave campaign in last years referendum on EU membership. And though i was on the opposing side in that campaign i certainly wouldn't try to deny the effectiveness of that slogan in garnering support for the leave side.I'm not sure if it was the somewhat sinister Dominic Cummings or former Taxpayer Alliance luminary Matthew Elliott who dreamt the slogan up but as political slogans go it's surely got to be up there with Saatchi's infamous 1979 'labour isnt working' poster for simplicity and impact. It's not easy to encapsulate an entire political movement's aim in just 3 simple words but that's what 'take back control' did (the fact it was all bollox and the last thing many of those involved in the leave campaign wanted was ordinary people having more 'control' over their everyday lives is alas now neither here nor there).

Wouldn't it be a delicious irony however if the Yes campaign in the forthcoming indie referendum in Scotland pinched the leavers slogan for themselves and asked the scottish people to 'take back control' when Theresa May permits the people of Scotland to decide their own future. It would mean a slogan created with the express aim of enabling Britannia to 'rule the waves' again would be being used to help consign the very same 'Great Britain' to the dustbin of history. Think without the Cross of St Andrew emblazoned on it the flag so beloved by Tories and british neo fascists alike - the union jack - would be rendered redundant overnight (mind you my country Wales has never been represented on it anyway). And it would surely mean the last Night of the proms - with all its 'pomp and circumstance' - would have to be cancelled as the Proms groupies would have nothing to wave.

I'm not sure the people who have masterminded the surge in support for Scottish self government in recent times need any advice from people like me incidentally but it's fun to speculate all the same.


But what we do already know is that there wont be a repeat of the 2014 'Better Together' campaign, which successfully hoodwinked enough people in Scotland into voting NO three years ago. It seems that the bitter divisions which have since opened up between the respective parties in the intervening years has made working together to thwart those pesky scot nats this time round an impossibility http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/nicola-sturgeon-scottish-independence-referendum-jeremy-corbyn-labour-better-together-a7630291.html

Obviously from the standpoint of those of us hoping for a yes vote this time the fact the opposition will be fragmented and disorganised can only be a good thing. And it's also likely to mean that anyone hoping for a repeat of the kind of dramatic late interventions we saw in 2014 is likely to be disappointed. Unless maybe messrs Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson and Ian Duncan Smith could stand in for Cameron, Clegg and Miliband? (remember them). Given that Farage, Johnson and Smith are held in utter contempt by most people in Scotland lets hope they do. I'm not sure who could double up for the 'son of the manse' aka Gordon Brown next time but i understand UKIP financier Arron Banks has some time on his hands  https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/mar/14/ukip-donor-arron-banks-says-he-has-quit-party-to-set-up-ukip-20

But what's been most staggering about Nicola Sturgeon's Monday morning announcement is the wider impact it's had. The first consequence was that Theresa May had to cancel plans to begin the process of brexit this week. But perhaps of even more significance has been the impact the announcement has had in Wales and the north of Ireland http://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/778670/Nicola-Sturgeon-independence-referendum-Wales-Northern-Ireland-vote. Already this week there have been two calls from leading figures in Sinn Fein for a referendum on Irish reunification. Only a few years ago a referendum on uniting Ireland would have seemed a pipe dream but now - as a consequence of brexit - it's being widely discussed and taken seriously across the 6 counties.

And in Wales too this week there have been calls for a 'national conversation' about independence. But such calls haven't come from the obvious candidates - like the Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood - they have even come from someone like the respected and labour leaning welsh journalist Martin Shipton http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/politics/what-another-scottish-independence-referendum-12736430.amp. And during a radio programme on BBC Wales on Monday the host - well known Broadcaster Jason Mohammed - commented his show had never received so many texts from listeners saying it was now time for Wales to consider Independence. It's clear then from the events of this week that the Brexit vote last June has unleashed a genie - a genie which the British state can't control and which shows no sign of going back in its bottle. And it would again surely be a delicious irony if a campaign - the leave campaign - which was seemingly all about restoring Britain's past 'imperial glories' and ruling the world's seas could well end up leading to the break up of dear old blighty.

Speaking of 'Rule Britannia' i'll conclude with a performance from the aforementioned and now gravely endangered 'Last Night of the Proms. All i will say is that if watching vommit inducing stuff like this doesn't convince a majority of people in Scotland to vote yes next time round then i dont know what will.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Charities involved in deportations

One night last week while walking through my locality in south wales i was somewhat surprised to see an 'Immigration Compliance and Enforcement' van parked along the street (see pic). I was a bit taken aback as i've never seen one of these vehicles in the area before, but a report recently released by Corporate Watch may help explain what it was doing there https://corporatewatch.org/news/2017/mar/05/rough-sleeper-immigration-raids-charity-collaboration-st-mungos-thames-reach


The report reveals the extent to which local authorities, employers, landlords and - quite shockingly - charities for the homeless are working with the UK home office and Immigration Services to get people deported. St Mungo's are one of the homelessness charities reported to be passing information about homeless people to the Home Office, information which has resulted in their removal from the UK. While outreach teams from St Mungo's and another charity 'Change, Grow, Live' are carrying out 'joint patrols' with Immigration enforcement squads. A recently disclosed document from St Mungo’s entitled 'Enforcement policy for EU and non-EU nationals' states that if the rough sleepers are deemed to have no right to remain in the UK and do not agree to return home voluntarily “these individuals details will be passed onto the ICE (Immigration Compliance and Enforcement) by the outreach team”.

Civil liberty campaigners have understandably been horrified by these revelations and have accused the UK government of adopting a 'border on every street' policy. Martha Spurrier director of Liberty commented “Using homeless charities to spy on the homeless is a new low, even for a government bent on bringing border controls into every corner of our lives.Turning unaccountable citizens into immigration officers can only lead to racial profiling, discrimination and alienation, raising tensions in already divided communities".

Corporate Watch is rightly calling on workers with homelessness charities to stop acting as an arm of the UK immigration services and to stop passing on information about rough sleepers to the Home Office. And later this morning from 10am there will be an online protest in the form of a twitter and email 'storm' against homelessness charities that are cooperating with the Home Office on forced removals. For more details of the online protest and how to participate visit this link https://nelmacampaigns.wordpress.com/2017/03/02/homelessness-charities-and-local-authorities-complicit-in-detention-and-deportation-of-rough-sleeping-eu-nationals/

And given the reported difficulties EU nationals are apparently going to face to remain in the UK following Brexit - like filling in forms nearly 100 pages long - Van's like the one pictured above are likely to become a common feature on UK streets http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/eu-citizens-rights-uk-brexit-application-permanent-residency-form-85-pages-european-union-a7613991.html 

Monday, 6 March 2017

Ricky Tomlinson's claims should be taken seriously

In truth no one should be surprised by Ricky Tomlinson's claim last week that the broadcaster Richard Whiteley was an asset of british intelligence,and that Whiteley was part of the british state's campaign against striking building workers in the early 1970s. A wave of industrial action on building sites prompted by the terrible wage levels and the appalling and dangerous working conditions people employed in the building industry faced. Whiteley presented a documentary - Red Under the Bed - broadcast at the height of the trial against the striking building workers which was subsequently found to have been produced and financed by British intelligence http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/richard-whiteley-mi5-spy-ricky-tomlinson-claims-a7606441.html


In relation to Whiteley it's worth noting the intelligence services have always placed great store on infiltrating and controlling the mass media. Documents which surfaced following the collapse of BCCI in 1991 revealed that nearly 100 british journalists were working for british intelligence while the earlier investigations of the Church committee in the US revealed that hundreds of journalists and broadcaster's were on the CIA's payroll. And for decades a secret department at the BBC and controlled by MI5 vetted people applying for jobs with the corporation https://informscotland.com/mi5-political-vetting-recruits-bbc/

Doubtless most people will be unfamiliar with the events of the early 1970s and which would result in Ricky Tomlinson's imprisonment but in a speech (see video below) which he recently gave to the 'Those Who Are Spied Upon' conference Ricky illustrated the trumped up nature of the 'case' against him and fellow strikers like Des Warren. And he highlighted the extent of collusion between the british government, employers in the building industry and british intelligence during the building workers strikes of the period.Collusion between government, employers and the intelligence services which would be repeated during the 1980s miners strike and which we can be sure has continued https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/dec/07/shrewsbury-trials-1970s-trade-unionists-ricky-tomlinson-edward-heath.


Of course companies involved in the building industry - like McAlpine's and Balfour Beatty - have always been prominent supporters of the Conservative party and also helped fund the infamous Economic League, a shadowy right wing organisation which drew up blacklists of people with so called 'subversive' ie left wing views - blacklists which over the decades have resulted in tens of thousands of people losing their jobs or being denied employment.

http://www.thecanary.co/2016/08/12/ricky-tomlinson-produces-economic-league-blacklist-channel-4-news-listed-asks/

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/feb/27/on-the-blacklist-building-firms-secret-information-on-workers