Saturday, 30 July 2011

War Veterans encouraged to 'spend a 1p'

'Veterans to be offered 1p Labour (Party) membership' (Guardian 30.07.2011)

It is reported that the British Labour Party is to offer veterans from the British armed forces membership of the Party for just 1p.

This gives a whole new meaning to the phrase 'to spend a penny' - for those of you not from the UK - this means to urinate, or more colloquially - take a piss. Is this what the Labour Party is doing - taking the piss?

Some of these veterans have fought in recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Not to put too fine point on it the reasons for the war in Iraq are contentious. What is not contentious is that the British Labour Party under the leadership of Tony Blair took the UK and its forces into a war that some believe was all about oil and little about democracy and freedom.

It might be argued that the Labour Party would be better spending its time developing policies that seek to create peace and equality rather than offering soldiers, sailors, airmen and airwomen the opportunity to spend a 1p of their pensions on joining a party that sent them to be maimed and killed in the cause of American and British capitalism. But ... come to think about it, it makes perfect sense coming from a party that has abandoned socialism.

The Labour Party Conference in September will decide if the 'spend a 1p' strategy is made policy. Come on, comrades, flush it down the pan and treat veterans with a little more respect.

What is to be done?

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Ed Miliband's nose

What is to be done?

What a relief now that we've been told - 'as research has shown the sound of a voice is worth more votes to politicians than the content of their speeches ...' (Patrick Wintour Guardian front page July 28th 2011) whose research and where was it published? Leaving that aside.

In case you missed the world shattering front page news that Ed Miliband (the leader of the Labour Party in the UK) has had a one hour operation to cure his sleep apnoea and that his voice is just the same. Whoopee! Leaving that aside.

First question: are his ideas just the same? Leaving that aside.

So ... what the politicos say is not as important as the quality of their voices - really? Who does this include? Hitler, Stalin, Reagan, the Bushes (Snr & Jnr), Thatcher, Blair? I must say it's a huge relief to now understand how the world works.

Let me try a little research of my own - I want you to imagine my voice - okay - ready? Gentle but firm. Urbane but not supercilious. Warm but not fawning. Entrancing but not mesmeric. Knowing but not pompous. Confident but not overbearing. Certain but not somehow - how can my voice put it? ever so slightly uncertain. Conclusive but not intolerant. Inclusive but not sycophantic. Statesmanlike - no - that's wrong - statespersonlike - and yet of the common (sic) people. Democratic but realistic.

Can you hear me. Is the sound of my voice fixed in your mind? Okay now listen to the content of what I have to say to you as, well, one of the governed, one of those who don't give a jot for content just the mellifluous meanderings of our rulers (sic).

Wnmnh dhjuoen afge lpi and eth! Fiuiuien lqofn nmyuns . nn giggsm. Yes, jgjge nnmsihr nnt ns n.

Thank you. I'm expecting your vote at the next election.

What is to be done?

Saturday, 23 July 2011

It's a sad day and not just for Norway

I wanted to talk about News International, News Corp and Murdoch's Sky but that'll have to wait for a moment.

It's sad to think that the first reaction to the tragedy in Norway with 91 dead was that it was an Islamist induced outrage. It looks as if the atrocity has been committed by a white male Norwegian in his early thirties. It's alleged that he's a Christian fundamentalist and right wing fanatic. It's probably better that we wait and see before falling into the same pit of prejudice.
I feel the utmost sympathy for the parents of the young people and the families of all the others killed yesterday. Why can someone feel the necessity to do this? The Norwegian Foreign Minister said on the radio that the perpetuator must be mentally ill - it's hard not to agree with such a sentiment but ... Norway is described as an 'open and free society' and everyone wants to keep it that way - let's hope they can. Just a small question of slight importance in the circumstances: can a capitalist society be 'open and free'?

Just a brief thought on SKY TV in the UK.
I'm disgusted but not surprised by the illegal behaviour, lying and obfuscation perpetuated by Murdoch's media. The question is 'what is to be done?' I like watching sport on TV and it's pretty much a given that if I want to do that I have to pay Sky for the privilege. I've just stopped, cancelled my subscription to SKY and BSkyB as I'm damned if I'm giving Murdoch any of my money.
So what else is to be done? Stop buying Murdoch's products? Go on, I dare you!
It's a forlorn hope but what the hell - one drop in the ocean is more than nothing at all.