Oct. 8th, 2016 12:33 pm
keresaspa: (Gus Goose)
Such is the regularity with which I go to Edinburgh these days that it hardly seems worth mentioning.

But let's anyway )
keresaspa: (Starry Plough)
Lest we forget

keresaspa: (Starry Plough)
There are few characteristics more becoming in humanity than compassion. One of the side-effects of Thatcherism has been the gradual elimination of compassion in many people, leaving behind a bunch of warmongering nimbys, turning their hatred on the poor and the immigrant simply because they're weak and can't fight back, the sort of people who will say with a straight face that an odious little bastard like Nigel Farage "seems like a good bloke". One of the very few people in public life to demonstrate compassion as a matter of course was Tony Benn and as such his death is a huge blow to the increasingly quaint notion that it is possible to enter politics without being a total piece of vermin. We may not have agreed on everything (his ideal of democratic socialism would never have been an end in itself to my mind, rather a staging point on the way to proper communism) but I can think of no figure in British politics that I admired more, a man of the utmost principle, a tireless friend of the republican community at a time when many of his countrymen viewed us as untermensch to be repressed as brutally as possible and above all somebody whose thought processes were always informed, not by concerns for himself or his powerful chums, but by what would help the people most.

Driven by principle above all, Benn sacrificed the easy life of the House of Lords for the simple reason that he didn't agree with its existence. There are plenty of posh boys who like to play at being lefties but fall into line when the time comes but not Wedgie, who told them where they could shove it and devoted much of his energies to attacking patronage, the monarchy and the whole corrupt lot of them. A tireless opponent of monetarism, which he rightly warned would lead not to greater freedom but to greater authoritarianism from the right, it's just a crying shame that his warnings were ignored and instead petty selfishness and an anti-humanity outlook was adopted as the norm. Equally shameful has been the increasing lurch towards militarism but that didn't for a second stop Benn from opposing war and the suffering it engenders with all his might. As the man so rightly said "if you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people".

That the very fact he was a man of principle was used against him during his life (and no doubt will be in the right-wing press tomorrow) is a sure sign of just how cancerous British society has become. That someone should ever face criticism for putting the welfare of the people, not one group, not certain sections, but ALL the people, above money and capitalism is a revolting reality to have to face. The passing of one of the true greats and I look around and see no one even close to him who can take his place. Rest in peace Tony, we'll never see your like again and that's the greatest shame of all.
keresaspa: (Starry Plough)
Lest We Forget )


Nov. 9th, 2011 06:01 pm
keresaspa: (Ivy the Terrible)
Isn't it interesting that as soon as the wondrous David Cameron decided to get involved in this whole England football team poppy débâcle that suddenly the militaristic hordes that make up the English electorate suddenly forgot all about his hottie-in-chief Teresa May making such a balls-up over the super-tight no welcome borders that the Tories promised? Yup, knocked that off the front pages good and proper with a little bit of jingoism, despite the fact that England made no bones about playing without poppies for the last nine years, given that the rule was brought in ten years ago. Still, I suppose the FA hadn't been told to get stuffed in England's bid to corner the market in hosting the world's sports events and so didn't have to look for any excuse to grind an axe with FIFA. After all if a bunch of multi-millionaires running about a field, including one under investigation for racial abuse, hadn't worn poppies it would have been a greater slur to our brave heroes than taking a crop on the Cenotaph. And now that baby has his bottle I expect Dave will welcome the Argentinian national team to Wembley and encourage then to display symbols commemorating those killed in the Falklands. Meanwhile I see the police have been stoving heads in at yet another protest. Still our exalted leader won our boys the right to wear a bit of plastic and we all know you can't have a football match without having the army and wars rammed down your throat these days. Smokescreen of the worst kind.
keresaspa: (Communism)
Just doing my usual duty in commemorating the forgotten act of terrorism on this day. I am not seeking any sort of "our terror attacks were worse than yours" rather remembering a great man and calling to mind the fact that terrorism didn't begin in 2001 and that some who are quick to condemn it now were happy to spend the Cold War endorsing it across the world. In terms of ten years ago obviously my sympathies lie with those who lost loved ones but the effect on the rest of the world has been enormous. We have seen imperialism reborn in Afghanistan, Iraq and more recently Libya with the rule of sovereignty replaced with a world where the strongest can go where they want and do what they like leaving the United Nations as an emasculated afterthought whilst for the Muslims we have seen the growth of a culture of suspicion and insidious bigotry where the very act of practising one's religion has made a people a target for abuse and attack. Put it this way, could you imagine the English Defence League existing before 2001? Possibly a fringe group of four or five lunatics but not leading mass rallies endorsing extreme militarism and Islamophobia. Meanwhile scaremongering has become the order of the day with repressive governments announcing a sudden rise in "terror alerts" with no explanation whatsoever and introducing more and more unnecessarily draconian measures as a consequence. We had a couple of aeroplane attacks ten years ago and yet attempting to travel by air remains a huge ordeal for us all and God knows what sort of Hell it must be for bearded Middle Eastern men. I would not seek to deny for a second the horror of what happened ten years ago but equally there can be no denying that the attacks have been used by governments to tighten their control on their citizens in order to make things a lot less free. Quite simply anything a government doesn't like now can be stamped out on the grounds that it might include a terrorist threat, as evidenced by the banning of protests near 10 Downing Street. No question about it the human condition has become worse as a consequence of the attacks and the blame for that must be shared by the Americans and their allies who, in the name of democracy, have inflicted untold suffering on the people of Afghanistan and Iraq. The war on terror has been a grubby conflict in which all too often the innocent have suffered and people should not become blind to that just because of the date in the calendar.

I really stuck to the script about Allende there didn't I?! But the message should be remember all the innocent dead whatever their nationality and oppose terrorism in all its forms, be it from the bogeymen "terrists" that Fox News show us or from superpower governments and their stooges claiming to be working for the mythical "freedom".
keresaspa: (J Wellington Wimpy)
Scary times coming. First we have the wonderful plan to evict rioters and stop their benefits, thus leaving them with no alternative but crime but now we have the solution in curfews. Presumably those made homeless by the government will be sent to prison for breaking curfew, prompting another round of complaining about prisons being overcrowded. To think of all the hot air expelled by our "progressive" government about how it was to be the libertarian alternative to the nannying of New Labour. Libertarian economics certainly but the same old authoritarianism as before, only with a mission of crushing the poor into the dirt added, with more and more power heaped on the unelected and bigoted police to ensure that aim is carried out.

And in other, if slightly related news, I noticed something on a brief trip to Sainsbury's today (besides their ridiculously high prices that is) - you can now buy bacon for our brave boys. Yup, Help for Heroes now has its own line of bacon. So it seems you can't even get high cholesterol now without militarism being dragged into it. Did I miss something or has Augusto Pinochet come back from the dead and taken control of Britain with his poor-despising and military-loving ways? Scary times indeed.
keresaspa: (Piggy Banks)
I'm not going to waste too many of my words on the riots going on over the puddle. After all when Belfast breaks out in its annual carnage session nobody over there bats an eyelid so why should I worry myself when the reverse is true? I will just say that it is truly shocking what has happened over there? I mean who would ever have thought that if you spend years treating people like worthless animals that they might then turn round and act like animals? Mind-boggling. And by all means send the army in against them as it is the duty of a government to turn its killing machine on its own citizens rather than listen to any grievances they might have. It's not the revolution either unfortunately - no proper cause or a figureheads to provide direction, too many hoods turning against their own rather than the government and filth and too many wannabe bourgeoisie tut-tutting at these "yobs" and supporting the establishment that is screwing them too. And one other thing - will the papers stop using the headline "Anarchy" for all this. I'm not an anarchist but the punks have a lot to answer for by ensuring that the unrelated concepts of anarchy and chaos have now become synonymous in the "minds" of tabloid hacks. True anarchy would be a utopian paradise where law and domination are not needed rather than chaos. Still, just as well the powers that be only read Shitter and Facepoop and don't bother with Livejournal or else I might be arrested for inciting violence through this post. You've gotta love our masters and it's disgusting that anybody should dare disobey them. And yes hoods are bad eggs before any Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells decides to hurl their ire in my direction (assuming anybody reads this crap any more).

In more important news (for me anyway, unless that bonfire I saw on Divis Street was the start of conflagrations here too and I could use a new cooker come to think of it) I see that Albion have signed Shane Long. He's not a player I know a lot about to be honest but I suppose we do need somebody to take the pressure off Odemwingie a bit. Mind you defence was the problem last season and there is still no sign of anybody coming in there. Woy's still the man at this stage but I really hope he has something lined up on that score as some of the goals Albion let in last season were just awful and as the Tatters will testify bringing in a forward from Reading is no guarantee you wont struggle. Unless of course the whole season has to be cancelled because of a few riots and then the entire issue will be moot anyway. Nowhere copes with a crisis quite like England!


Mar. 21st, 2011 05:26 pm
keresaspa: (Default)
Having to poke my head into Tesco today I was "lucky" enough to catch a glimpse of the front cover of The Sun and their measured response to the latest bit of post-colonial imperialism in Libya - "Top Guns 1 Mad Dog 0" over a picture of a virtual mushroom cloud of destruction raged by one of Obama's stooge countries. Yes, isn't wonderful that an air force is able to kill a bunch of people with its bombs, that's certainly the sort of thing a national newspaper should be making "jokes" about. Filth. Intersting to note too that The Sun seems to be under the impression that the war machine is actually a defunct Dundonian football club that has been subsumed into the Dark Blues. Well what other explanation can there be for rechristening the killbot factory "Our Boys", complete with capitalisation? Nothing like the loss of human life in a faraway land that has nothing to do with Britain to bring out the rabid jingoistic nationalism is there?

Day 21 )
keresaspa: (Starry Plough)
Remembrance Day - I would rather remember Pat Doherty, Gerald Donaghy, Jack Duddy, Hugh Gilmour, John Johnston, Michael Kelly, Michael McDaid, Kevin McElhinney, Barney McGuigan, Gerald McKinney, William McKinney, William Nash, James Wray and John Young or the people of Ballymurphy, Springhill, Hola and Amritsar. I would sooner remember the people of Afghanistan and Iraq suffering under the yoke of an illegal occupation. A bloody legacy of imperialism, of bravely facing the spears and clubs of the Zulus with only guns and heavy artillery for protection, of wiping the Tasmanian Aborigines from the face of the earth, and of doing the bidding of war-mongers who sit on their arses in Whitehall whilst the cream of a country's young manhood butchers and is butchered by the cream of another country's young manhood over ten yards of dirt in France might be something to remember but let's not pretend that the British military has only ever been a great force for right and truth. I have always avoided saying any of this until now as I know some of you might have family who were in the British armed forces (you're not alone - my grandfather and great-uncle both served in the First World War and were rewarded with internment on HMS Argenta for their trouble), but the militarism that is increasingly taking over British society needs to challenged. There are no heroes in war - only those who kill, those who are killed and the rich and powerful who order the sheep to do the killing and end up the only ones to profit from it.
keresaspa: (Trotsky)
It seems like only yesterday that the damp squib of the millennium was the whole fuss. Now in the blink of an eye we are faced with the end of another ten years with a name (rather than the end of a decade as I'm not a believer in the notion that there was ever a Year Zero in anywhere but Cambodia and so reckon decades to end when the year ends in 0). Obviously you can't blame the supposed decade for events that took place during it but when I sit down and think about we have lived through a grim ten years on many levels.

It is astounding to think that the UK has had a nominally left wing government for the entire decade and yet the lurch to the right has continued apace with more privatisation, poverty and inequality being heaped on us by a ruling class who now seem to treat corruption as a matter of course. Meanwhile the extreme right has prospered at levels not seen in decades as we have been force-fed a diet of blaming immigration for all society's ills. Perhaps most worryingly of all this decade has been one in which society has been overtaken by the pervasive sickness of militarism. There was a time when Britain prided itself on its sense of irony but where "our brave boys" are concerned this has now died a death. To criticise the army is now beyond the pale and instead people are happy to participate in mini-Nuremberg rallies where not only is the army paraded through city streets after coming back from their illegal wars but they are paraded on TV, at football matches and even in the frigging charts. Even during the Second World War people had a laugh at the army but now the notion that they are all unquestionably heroic and should be adored at all times is treated as fact rather than just an extremist position. This, after all, is the decade where we started hearing murmurs about an "Armed Forces Day" in a deliberately concerted attempt to further fuel the cult of the soldier as archetype. Chilling stuff and no mistake! Meanwhile for almost the entire decade the so called free world has put itself at a state of war with Islam and the UK has happily made itself the lapdog of a regime that tortures people held without charge in its concentration camp in Guantanamo Bay. If the end of the Cold War in the 1990s was supposed to be a great new age this decade has certainly put paid to that daft notion by finding a new enemy and waging constant violence and degradation upon it.

Had there been one good thing to come out of the decade it would have been the collapse of the banking system. Finally an opportunity existed to tear down capitalism and start all over again. What did we get? A brief dose of corporatism intended only to weather the storm and ensure that capitalism could continue unfettered as ever. Meanwhile the vanguard of the revolution in the working classes were replaced with the new chav stereotype and led to believe that as long as they had their bread and circuses of alloy wheels, Big Brother, sovereign rings and pit bull terriers then there was no need to agitate for change or develop consciousness. Effectively the so-called Labour Party has oversaw the decimation of the working class and its replacement by a castrated, unmotivated and virtually shit-canned lumpenproletariat happy to roll over and have its belly scratched by Ant & Dec. OK, I'm seriously oversimplifying things there but the emergence of the chav and the effective death of the old working class has been a seriously depressing aspect of this decade and one that has helped to ensure the continuing survival of a system that has been clearly shown up as rancid. And how much must the masters be rubbing their hands with glee at the growth of gangs and knife crime and the young working classes taking out their frustrations on their own kind rather than the leaders who deserve their anger? Put it this way - twenty years ago the working classes would have had far too much dignity for tripe like The Jeremy Kyle Show but the chavs trip over themselves to appear on it and tell their leader what colour their last bowel movement was. Horrible!

Of course tied in with emergence of the chav as a means of keeping the proles down has been the explosion of reality TV. The promise of cheap fame has led deluded idiots to forsake true reality in favour of thinking that they will become a sensation based on their ability to sing Mariah Carey songs at karaoke or their ability to shout loudly whilst sitting on a settee. Gone are the days when you actually had to accomplish something in order to achieve notoriety as now all you have to do is be filmed on a pointless television show taking a crap and your fifteen minutes are guaranteed. Of course, the whole thing is self-perpetuating as once you have been on one you are now a "celebrity" and so you can appear on all the various celebrity spin-offs. Meanwhile all those who have taken on the chav mantle are kept further in their place by taking their minds away from important things like why bankers continue to get massive bonuses despite being crooks and instead focusing them on wholly unimportant trash like whether or not Jedward are better than the guy with the afro.

One of the side effects of the whole reality TV boom has been the effective death of the music charts as a thing of any significance. Of course it is undeniable that the charts as a whole always tended to represent the middle of the road a tad but in the past it also consistently threw up some good or at least different stuff. Even if you compare this decade to the previous one it was perfectly possible for acts like Iron Maiden and Blondie to go to number one and for groups like Oasis, Blur and the Manic Street Preachers to gradually build huge followings for themselves from humble beginnings. Whatever your personal opinions of them they were at least real bands who made it the hard way. Goodbye to that this decade! It has either been the onslaught hype of reality TV fame that convinces people that they can't live without some middle-aged Scottish bint warbling dreadful show tunes or the contrived "overnight sensations" that are actually being driven by massive marketing budgets like the Arctic Monkeys, Lily Allen and Sandi Thom. As entries passim have indicated I would not suggest that this decade has had no good music but, for the first time since popular music became the biggest selling style, little if any of it has featured in the hit parade.

But of course, reality TV didn't stop there in its bid for world domination. There can be little doubt that the whole thing started with a certain Diana Spencer in the 1990s but the ridiculous hyperbole surrounding the deaths of very ordinary people has been another rotten aspect of this decade. The culmination of this public grief fest of course came when Jade Goody, a woman whom the new cathedral had shown to be unequivocally a bully and to my mind a racist, died of cancer. For the people who knew her I'm sure it was a tragedy but for everybody else it was completely meaningless. She was someone known for precisely nothing and for people to go into wantonly Pharisaic displays of mourning was more than a little disturbing. It's not like you can even say that there will never be another - take your pick from Kerry Katona and Nikki Grahame for a ready made replacement. Even Michael Jackson, who at least was known for something other than existing, was treated as a saint when he died despite all the extremely shady aspects of his life that had been played out in public. Yes somebody died whose music you enjoyed but it has little real bearing on your day to day life as you did not know him on a human level. Mourn your own by all means but so called celebrities are not your own. This decade we seem to have entered a phase where death equates to redemption and where one's sins are immediately forgotten and one's non-existent achievements are lauded as soon as the Grim Reaper takes a shine to you. Would I be flogging a dead horse if I suggested that we were looking at another easy way to keep the lumpen in their place? Sorry, Desert Orchid but another whipping is coming!

As if all that was not enough we have been hit with the growth of such rubbish as text messaging, Twitter and Facebook. This really has been the decade where every tiny event that takes place in somebody's life, no matter how insignificant, has had to be shared with as many people as possible. To an extent I am walking a tightrope here as I am sometimes guilty of it myself but it really has gone too far. There was a time when we were promised super technology that could cure all diseases and make life so much better but instead all we have got is the ability to tell people that we are doing a piss whilst taking that self same piss. It's surreal that we now communicate so much yet in a real sense we are more alienated from each other than ever. Community is virtually dead and has been replaced by nasty atavism and indeed much of the communication that goes on now is less about staying in touch and more about feeling self-important. I won't deny that technology has made getting in contact easier but equally it has made it impersonal and cheap and somehow less real.

So that's the decade then. Corruption ignored because a retired news reader is eating a wombat's nadgers on the telly and even the footy has been ruined by the bloody big four. Not only that, but the whole decade has been so cruddy that it doesn't even have a proper name. The "noughties", I ask you! Good sodding riddance I say and let’s hope that whatever this next ten years is to be called (the tens, the teens?) it is a darn sight better than the ten we have just live through.

And relax....


keresaspa: (Default)

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