Nedderbury

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 )

Lon-done

Jul. 17th, 2015 09:43 pm
keresaspa: (Reiko Ike)
Is this thing still on? Only one way to find out I suppose:

London )
keresaspa: (Heckle and Jeckle)
Before I start I should go on record as saying I'm no fan of Vladimir Putin. A little nationalistic megalomaniac, he is to me about as welcome as Spy Wednesday's leftover haslet on Good Friday. But really the coverage being given to the whole Russia-Ukraine business by the BBC is getting a bit much to take.

Whilst waiting on Match of the Day last night I happened to catch a bit of their news report and was gobsmacked by what I witnessed. The policy of "embedding" reporters has always been a controversial one as impartiality is bound to go out the window. After all, who would see both sides when all they see is one group coming under attack from another, rather than the effects of the actions of the group you are with? But with whom was a BBC reporter embedded? Only the bloody Azov Battalion! They mentioned at the very start of the report that this was a far-right group but from then on it was more or less "look at these bunch of great lads fighting for freedom, aren't they wonderful?". Well, no, they aren't wonderful at all and, whilst I've long since given up expecting impartiality from the BBC, has it really sunk so low that it is now endorsing neo-Nazi groups? Fox News was rightly taken to task for calling the National Socialist Movement a civil rights organisation in the aftermath of the murder of Trayvon Martin and yet I've heard nary a whimper about the publicly funded state broadcaster of a supposed liberal democracy glorifying the actions of a bunch of Holocaust-denying fanatics.

A report in their most recent bulletin about the killing of Boris Nemtsov stated that he had been silenced by the Kremlin. Quite probably but as yet completely unproven although, as I said, the sort of extreme editorialising we have long since come to expect from BBC News, which these days is little more than the Daily telegraph in televisual form. But the Azov Battalion? Good God. I've defended the Beeb for years but increasingly it's starting to look like this organ of state propaganda should be done away with. If it's only purpose is to reflect the opinions of the government (and post-Hutton, that's all it is) then I for one have no desire to pay to keep it in existence.
keresaspa: (Giant Haystacks pissed as a frt!)
Let's not go buck mad about Greece. Syriza are hardly the ultra left party that sections of the media in this part of the world are making them out to be (the same media that seems determined to paint the extreme right Marine LePen as a sensible conservative) and their new government is to involve a coalition with a right-wing rabble in the Greek Independents who spent the entire election making the usual noises about immigration, multiculturalism and Greek identity politics. Still, you have to take comfort where you can find it and the decision by such a sizeable section of the Greek electorate to show their displeasure with the existing political order by going to the left rather than the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn is a heartening one. If only the British left could stop wasting so much time attacking each other and organise they might present a genuine alternative to Farage's rabble but I've been saying that for years and it still hasn't happened. Given that their government is relying on the right for its existence and given that they are within the EU and the Euro it's unlikely that Syriza will be able to deliver very much in the way of change but neo-liberal monetarism has brought Greece to its knees so any alternative will be better than the present crap. Good luck to them either way and I hope they can somehow affect real change but I suspect a combination of the EU and NATO will smoosh them down and ensure they can go no further than the standard "ethical capitalism" crap that seems to be the order of the day for modern social democracy. Still, who knows, it might all turn out great in the end so let's at least try to be positive.

Still, whilst Greece is facing a potential new dawn (and thankfully not a golden one) there is a definite sadness in the air with the other big news out the country: the death of Demis Roussos. Inevitably he's remembered now as a big hairy fat man in a kaftan singing uber-cheesey pop songs in a strangely falsetto voice but as vocalist and bassist of the mighty Aphrodite's Child Demis played a leading role in one of the most creative and original bands to emerge from the psychedelic and progressive rock scenes in Europe. Inevitably Vangelis was the maestro behind their work but for me it was the very peculiar vocals that Roussos delivered which helped to mark them out as distinct from the other bands to emerge around that time. And, whisper it, but I reckoned some of his 70s solo stuff was fine too, despite its undoubted kitsch-ness. Let's enjoy the legend one last time:

keresaspa: (Colonel Blink)
When you actually think about it, the riddle of the Sphinx was pretty obvious really. It makes you wonder what sort of hicks must have lived in Thebes that so many of them died due to that and they made Oedipus king for something that simple. There again, perhaps the sight of a giant winged lion with a woman's face and boobs swooping down asking them about what walks on three at night scrambled their brains, who can say?

Perhaps the Thebans would feel at home amongst the UKIP-voting helots that are coming to dominate Britain these days. From the party that told us the National Front was left of centre in the late 70s* we now have secret plans to destroy the NHS from their oleaginous leader. Given that a lot of their voters are working class people, quite possibly with long-term illnesses, such information should be an anathema to them but unfortunately it will be ignored yet again. The stubborn idiocy of the lumpenproletariat who seem determined to vote in these chancers will not be altered by appeals to logic and indeed UKIP could announce that all people who earn less than £50,000 a year are to be executed and they would still vote for them. After all a lot of these people are the same ones who voted National Front and BNP in the past so sense is not something we can expect from them.

Nevertheless as somebody who suffers from a condition that needs regular treatment and which is not caused by anything I've done I am up in arms at the thought of these thick English oiks forcing me and my kind into crippling debt in order to avoid being poisoned by our own blood. That people who could never afford long-term treatments are fast becoming the backbone of this hateful party is the real tragedy. New IRA - get us away from these bastards whilst there's still time. Heck, I'm coming to the bit where even Ulster nationalism is seeming a more attractive prospect than life under a UKIP coalition.

* Sample quotes from the NF in the late 70s include: "The National Front completely opposes majority rule in Rhodesia and supports the present position of the White Rhodesians" (Britain: World Power or Pauper State?) and "The NF advocates the repeal of the Race Relations Act on the grounds that it is an infringement of our traditional rights of free free speech and free association and that it treats immigrants as a privileged class" (National Front Statement of Policy)

This was also a time when John Tyndall was Chairman of the NF, a man whose earlier words include: "The Greater Britain Movement will uphold, and preach, pure National Socialism" (National Socialist Movement internal bulletin, 1964). "Only those of British and kindred Aryan blood should be members of the nation....The removal of the Jews from Britain must be a cardinal aim of the new order" (Official Programme of the Greater Britain Movement). Tyndall's personal organ Spearhead continued to give vent to his biological racism and rabid anti-Semitism throughout the 1970s and beyond. Not to mention the fact that Spearhead was edited by Richard Verrall in the late 70s who, as well as serving as NF Deputy Chairman at the time, also wrote a bunch of pseudo-academic claptrap comparing "negros" to orang-utans biologically and denying the Holocaust (Verrall, under the name of Richard E. Harwood, was author of the historical revisionist "classic" Did Six Million Really Die? in 1974). So the UKIP definition of "left-of-centre" is legalising racism, apartheid, Holocaust denial and comparing Black people to monkeys? Still, you'll vote for them anyway, won't you?

Rebel songs

Jul. 7th, 2014 08:36 pm
keresaspa: (Maurice Bishop)
One story that did catch my eye during my barely noticed extended absence was the minor fuss locally over the Ku Klux Klan. For those unfamiliar, Island Street is a back street off a back street off the lower Newtownards Road. Made up of 80s style redeveloped Housing Executive houses, it is one of the more soul-destroying parts of east Belfast, saying something given what a bigoted little dump that side of town is. The walls proclaim allegiance to the UDA although, as is the case throughout the east, it is the UVF that largely holds sway with the UDA only existing with their permission and fulfilling little role beyond dealing drugs.

For years 81 Island Street has been a particular carbuncle in the gloom. With a front door festooned with racist and Islamophobic stickers, not to mention a bunch of stuff about Rangers, a Confederate flag flying on a pole and a window filled with KKK memorabilia, as well as UDA flags, it stands as a beacon of hatred. Action taken to address this? None. In an area of low-grade housing, towards which immigrants are likely to gravitate, a public display of racial hatred and xenophobia has for years been ignored. So recently a KKK flag went on a nearby lamppost and a fuss was kicked up but Belfast's own Braunes Haus continues happily in a part of the town already notorious for its racism. The flag was subsequently taken down "following discussions" (rather than torn down with its owner prosecuted under the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006) but when I passed that way today it had been replaced by a pair of Southern crosses. Well, that's much better as the flag of a racist state is a lot less offensive than the flag of a racist organisation.

Radio Ulster's decision to interview the local KKK boss-cocky is a dodgy one as it gives him much more importance than he deserves (although is very much in keeping with the ever rightwards drift of the BBC as whole). Given that we have a strongly anti-Catholic organisation in which members are expected to dress like prats and take part in bizarre rites in the Orange Order then it hardly seems surprising that the KKK could come here (although to be fair a few token Africans have found their way into the Orange Order) but it's also probably the main reason that they are an irrelevance. Extreme right organisations have found their openings within loyalism locally but they have never fully taken off nor are they likely to unless the loyalist paramilitaries ever come out unequivocally against racism and start punishing the racists in their own community. However the fuss over the flying of the flag is a little like suddenly becoming appalled about the Cerne Abbas Giant's tumescence - it's been that way years and nobody has batted an eyelid. To think that they're actually sinking money into promoting east Belfast as a tourist destination. God help any tourist who goes over that way and God help even more any poor immigrant who gets housed in Island Street. What an absolute shithole this place really is sometimes.
keresaspa: (Cartman)
I've been desperately trying to take some crumb of comfort from these election but I can't. Swept on by the biased "reporting" of the BBC and all the tabloids bar the Mirror, those hateful shits of the UK Independence Party have come top in the European elections and done fairly well in the council elections (although their head cheerleader Nick Robinson is talking shite by calling 163 councillors out of 2,101 an "earthquake"). If there's any justice they will follow the lead of the now virtually irrelevant (outside Pendle at least) BNP and become victims of their own success. After all the BNP's brief period of success in the early to mid 00s led to to them splitting into several little factions and saw their thuggish, frequently barely literate, councillors make total prats of themselves at every opportunity. Mind you, the BNP were fighting against a cordon sanitaire, something UKIP won't have to worry about given that they had the sense to get in some tokens in advance. I swear if I see Nigel Farage's hateful, smug, buck-toothed, squinty-eyed, batrachian face once more I'm a gonna kick this screen in! And an especial boo to all the Rangers-supporting knuckle draggers in Scotland and all the forelock tuggers in AndWales for following their English masters in electing that rabble too. Pish on the lot of you.

Elsewhere Little Miss Le Pen has come top in France to show that the British lurch to the extreme right is not unique. Given France's unusual history with right-wing extremists (along with Italy, it's the only Western European country where being a self-declared neo-fascist is no bar to a leading role in public life, as the likes of Alain de Benoist and Dominique Venner have demonstrated) and the mess both major parties have made of government it's no surprise but still a real shame. Meanwhile in Finland the rightist Finns Party have added an extra seat, the Poles have returned their usual quota of hardcore Catholic racists who claim the label "centre-right" with straight faces and even in Greece a left-wing victory has tempered by three seats for the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn. Stygian gloom the continent over.

Locally we are still waiting on the final results of an election held last Thursday but so far, as I predicted, Sinn Fein have topped the poll and Anderson is back in, with Diane Dodds likely to follow soon. Ho-hum. beyond that it's pick-a-dick between Jim Nicholson, Alex Attwood and Jim Allister for third place with Anna Lo not in the running and bloody UKIP even managing twenty odd thousand votes here. In the local elections the Sinn Fein vote pretty much held and, whilst the DUP shed support, it all seems to have gone to the Ulster Unionists (for reasons unknown) or rewarded the bigoted Strasserism of the Progressive Unionist Party or the reactionary High Toryism of the Traditional Unionist Voice. In among all that the dissident republican campaign got nowhere, with Eirigi, Republican Network for Unity and various independents getting almost nothing (OK, one exception but I'm not much of a 32 County Sovereignty Movement fan personally). Hell even bloody UKIP managed to get three seats here and the total mess that is NI21 took one. If I am to finally take that one crumb of comfort I spoke of earlier it will be from the good people of Black Mountain electing Gerry Carroll, a man I very vaguely know, to Belfast City Council instead of yet another faceless Sinn Fein nobody. On his own and stacked up against the cabal of the big five I can't see him being able to make any real impact on the new council when it finally splutters into life next year (that's right, the old council is continuing for another year in a colossal waste of money) but the fact that somebody, somewhere was prepared to vote against oppression and for the people is heartening anyway.

Now if you'll excuse me I think I'd like to find a pile of coats to hide under for a while.
keresaspa: (Cow)
There's one thing we can probably say without fear of contradiction - Yulia Tymoshenko has quite nice hair. Generally the notion that conventionally pretty women don't belong in prison (venomous harridans are fine, but not babes) and as such the outpouring of bollocks about the woman is perhaps understandable. Let's call it Eva Peron syndrome, as I'm at a loss to explain why otherwise sensible people are reacting with orgasmic fervour to the news that an admittedly corrupt President is about to be replaced by a billionaire oligarch whose political stock in trade has always been populist conservatism. That this woman, who made billions by buying up precious natural gas reserves that could have served the people rather than the individual, worked closely with Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko to increase her fortune, a man subsequently convicted in the United States for his corruption and who happily collaborated with Viktor Yushchenko in the Orange Revolution despite the leading role played by the anti-Semitic extreme right and who in 2009 signed a gas deal with Russia without consulting the elected government, is now being hailed as a wonderful heroine, a shining angel in the holy war against Russia, is laughable. I expect the inevitable fawning tone from the BBC, who have been the organ of state since Hutton and who now trumpet the NATO apologist line of William Hague as if it were gospel but seeing more considered people anointing this witch as some latter day Joan of Arc is a real disappointment. She's a right-wing populist and will no more benefit the Ukrainian workers than Russophile predecessor. And clearly she's happy to jump into bed with the extremists too:



So that's what the new Ukraine will be like is it? A historic statue of Lenin tore down and replaced by the symbols and slogans of the SS. Nearly 4 million Ukrainians, Jewish and otherwise, killed by the SS and their Einsatzgruppen during the Second World War and the return of their symbolism is hailed by the West as a great dawn for democracy. Despicable.

I'm certainly no fan of Viktor Yanukovych but he and Tymoshenko are two sides of the one coin; the bureaucrat being ousted and replaced by the monopoly capitalist. That people are giving their lives to replace dominance by one crook with dominance by another is the real tragedy here, not that some blonde-headed bint had to do a bit of stir. Being dictated to by Yanukovych and cosying up to Russia or being dictated to by Tymoshenko and cosying up to NATO - what's the sodding difference? As usual it will be the people who suffer whatever happens whilst those in charge fill their boots. Really not worth dying over, no matter how long somebody's plaits are.
keresaspa: (Edwige Fenech)
William Frederick McCoy was one of the rabble of hard-faced old bigots who sat for the old Ulster Unionist Party in the Parliament of Northern Ireland during the post-war years. Most of these old codgers were completely faceless old nobodies, reminiscent of the pre-Reform Act MPs in Westminster who came streaming in from the rotten boroughs and in some ways McCoy was no exception, being elected unopposed as member for South Tyrone in four of the six elections he "contested". Probably the only thing worth mentioning about McCoy was that, in contrast to his fellow partymen who were happy for the "Protestant parliament for a Protestant people" to continue as ever, he wanted a stronger guarantee for the continuance of one-sided dominance by virtue of Northern Ireland being granted Dominion status. Former National Front activist and publisher of Ulster Nation David Kerr subsequently seized upon the otherwise forgotten McCoy and used him as an archetype for his own pro-independence rhetoric and, in Kerr's defence, the pamphlet he produced on him is, if one ignores the very obvious polemical aspects, a reasonable bit of work. Long since out of print, given that Kerr's Glenwood Publishing bit the dust years ago, his Ulster Souvenirs shop on the Shankill is now very much a pro-British affair and the last I heard of Ulster Nation somebody up the country was running it and it was being supported by the neo-Nazi British People's Party (no idea if that was Kerr's doing or not, although given his history I wouldn't be surprised), but interesting nevertheless, it must be conceded.

Why is it whenever I see Alex Salmond I always think of WF McCoy? I am on record several times as being a supporter of Scottish independence and I'm not going to rake over old ground by reiterating my reasons but the SNP in general and Salmond in particular leave me cold. The Snips have some reasonable ideas but they've always struck me as a bit too wishy-washy for their own good and I still remember the sectarian anti-Catholic campaign that Kay Ullrich undertook in her failed attempt to win the Monklands East by-election in 1994 at a time when the UVF in Scotland declared the SNP their preferred political party. As for Salmond, the man has always made my flesh my crawl, a greasy, down-market snake oil salesman, happy to flog his own granny for a quick fiver. The current form of "independence" on offer is very much a reflection of the man, crying freedom but happy to continue being ruled by the English monarch, happy to give up economic freedom to keep English currency and breaking from his party's traditions by declaring for NATO. I doubt he can spell principle much less have one. The wheels have, of course, come off now that the Westminster government and their New Labour stooges have warned no union, no quids but that was inevitable, a side effect of Salmond's chronic lack of ambition for Scotland. For what he's offering is not independence but Dominion status, and a watered down one at that. His new Scotland, far from being a revolutionary new dawn, would simply be devolution in all but words, with Scotland still answerable to the Bank of England and the House of Lords and with thousands of British soldiers still based on their soil in the name of helping NATO.

I have encountered many Englishmen and women, both politician and otherwise, trumpeting how much they are opposed to Scotland's independence, apparently completely ignorant of the fact that being told what to do by Englishmen for so long is the reason so many Scots want independence in the first place. As Parnell so rightly said "no man shall have the right to fix the boundary to the march of a nation" and nor should they, so in that respect the opinion of the English is irrelevant. However, as usual, it looks as if the masters are to have their way regardless as all evidence indicates that Salmond has a snowball in Hell's chance of winning the referendum. I guess the majority of Scots are more than happy to be regularly ruled by the Conservative Party despite not voting for them. Strange people. But on the other hand would it even be worthwhile voting for Salmond's Scotland in the first place? He talks a good game about something approaching social democracy but if he wants Scotland tied to the Bank of England does he really think they will have no input into fiscal policy? And if they are to have an input into Scotland's fiscal policy does he really think that monetarist England will be happy for Scotland to go off on a social democratic trip on their coin? If he does then he has his tam o'shanter on too tight. Restoring the old Pund Scottis or even taking on the Euro would have been more radical solutions but the big bluffer had to take the wimp's option and leave himself at the mercy of Cameron, Miliband and the rest of the unionist rabble.

Frankly it's all a bit shitty really. The referendum has come at a time when Scotland is under the command of a leader who has no guts (apart from the ever-expanding one above his belt) and is being put to an electorate who apparently do not have the guts to break from a government that has being treating them shabbily for centuries. I would love to see the day when Scotland takes its rightful place amongst the states of the world but it now seems almost certain that this opportunity will remain untaken and, most likely, the last chance for me to see a free Scotland in my lifetime will go with it. For the SNP a period of chronic opposition and soul-searching will beckon whilst for Scotland a future of being at London's beck and call will await and all that will be achieved will be a final end to the political career of Alex Salmond (although knowing that eel he might still slip his way out of that). What a shame.
keresaspa: (Anti-Nazi)
So the parade of foolishness that is the Olympics is but a day old and already it has its first big controversy with Greece being forced to send home thrice leaper Voula Papachristou after she took to idiot magnet Twitter to trot out some hackneyed racist joke. What a classy bird. For me the bigger controversy is not so much a very poor taste joke but rather the fact that the Greek Olympic selectors decided to pick somebody who had publicly declared her support for the Golden Dawn, a party which until recently made no bones about being neo-Nazi and which, despite its growth into a major force in Greek politics, still contains a significant Nazi element. Imagine a self-declared November 9th Society supporter in "Team GB", much less a BNP supporter - it would never happen.

Nice also to see a measured response from the Daily Mail - never mind that she's a racist (well, they all are too so why worry?) let's illustrate it with twelve pictures of the cow in various Perfumed Garden poses because she's totty. Well, if you're into giant ladies with washboard stomachs I suppose she is but I'll pass thanks and instead roll my eyes at the Daily Mail being ridiculous yet again. God, when is this Olympics crap over, I'm bored of it already!
keresaspa: (Trotsky)
I've kept my counsel on the whole Trayvon Martin issue for a number of reasons, but the main ones being (a) it's one of those issues that the dogs on the street probably already know my opinions on so I have no need to waste a bunch of words; and (b) I try to not to write about American news on here as, to be honest, I reckon it already gets an inordinate amount of coverage in this part of the world as it is. However one thing about the coverage did catch my eye, specifically from those doyens of good taste at Fox News. And I thought the Simpsons were exaggerating about them for comedic effect.



"Civil rights group...the National Socialist Movement". Oh God. I knew they were right wing but an unashamedly neo-Nazi organisation that happily flies the swastika gets characterised as a civil rights group by a major news outlet. I know the Daily Star gives positive coverage to the mouth-breathers that make up the English Defence League but this is tantamount to ITN calling the November 9th Society a civil rights group. The story was quickly taken down after publication but the fact that this appeared in the first place is one of the most frightening things I have heard in ages.
keresaspa: (Arthur Atkinson)
So it seems that Theresa May is at it again, this time handing out a ban to some mob calling itself Muslims Against Crusades. Their only activities seem to have been staging rallies, fighting members of the English Defence League and burning pieces of red plastic that they made themselves but I seem to be in a minority of one on the whole poppy and the disrespecting of the heroes of Bloody Sunday/Springhill/Ballymurphy/New Lodge issue so I'll say no more on that.

The reason I actually mentioned this was not so much to do with the group banned today but rather the slightly unusual list of groups already banned. They certainly have a theme going there, something along the lines of: big beard + no booze + circumcised = illegal. Plus me las in N17, the ETA and the DHKP/C, all of which have a whiff of a Cold War hangover about them. It's all about them darn Islamofascists now, let the past go. I notice on the list that there is no place for Combat 18, not to mention the National Socialist Group, Anti-Communist Commando, Column 88, National Socialist Action Party, National Democratic Freedom Movement, White Wolves, Wolf's Hook White Brotherhood, Racial Volunteer Force or any of the other myriad extreme right terrorist groups that have sprung up down the years. Does the government believe that terrorism can only be based on Islam and communism and that racial hatred and neo-Nazism are perfectly valid reasons for violence? Alan Clark and Enoch Powell may be dead but their spirits remain at the black heart of the Tories apparently.

The Northern Ireland section also makes for an interesting read. There can of course be few bigger threats to our lives and freedom to express our beliefs (as long as that doesn't involve criticising our troops) than a couple of hefty birds from Wicklow wearing berets, knee-length green skirts and sensible walking brogues so obviously the ultra-dangerous Cumann na mBan belongs on the list but Saor Eire and the IPLO? What, seriously? It's nigh on twenty years since the IPLO were blown out of existence by the Provies and as for Saor Eire they robbed a couple of banks in the early seventies, briefly counted Tariq Ali among their supporters and then quietly disappeared after the Sticks killed their leader. Still we can all rest easy in our beds, safe in the knowledge that our government is there to protect us from non-existent terrorist groups.

Does this also mean that the most recent claimant to the Óglaigh na hÉireann name is legal as I don't see them on the list and, as has been covered, translating it as "Irish Republican Army" is not strictly correct? Come to think of it I don't see the long defunct Ulster Resistance on there either but given how much they were controlled by the security forces I suppose that's no big surprise. But their absence changes everything. When I knew that the no members of Saor Eire and the IPLO were being held in check I felt happy but now that I know the assembled no-one of Ulster Resistance are allowed to not operate legally the terror has returned. Theresa if you are reading this I suggest a blanket ban on any and every group not directly connected to the British government or the Conservative Party. After all they might use names like the Jubilee Sailing Trust or Send a Cow but it is obvious to all that these are terrorist fronts operated by Óglaigh na hÉireann and Ulster Resistance. They're under the bed I tell you!
keresaspa: (Trotsky)
One thing those horrific attacks in Norway have proven is that those who claim the Islamophobic nationalism espoused by the likes of Geert Wilders should be considered as a separate phenomenon to the naked racial hatred of neo-Nazism are talking out of their hats. Anders Behring Breivik is being widely reported as a neo-Nazi but that wasn't the case. He was a member of the anti-immigration monetarist Progress Party until 2007 and he has only recently praised Wilders and declared his support for Israel as well as his hatred for Islam. Not this time are we faced with a Varg Vikernes-style bogeyman, the sort that could never happen here, but rather a follower of the "respectable" radical right, the sort of man who would not look out of place in our own UKIP. As long as people continue to legitimise hatred against one group the danger that things like will happen will always be present. The next time somebody claims that there is no hatred in the English Defence League, remember that this psychopath shares their views.

And what about Amy Winehouse joining the 27 Club? In a way it's a shock but in another way it's no surprise, although perhaps because she has been out of the limelight a bit recently it was more unexpected. She only has herself to blame, of course, but I must admit I rather enjoyed her music and found her to be a surprisingly engaging personality so it is a bit of a shame that we'll never hear from her again. RIP you crazy cow.
keresaspa: (Reiko Ike)
One of the many crazy rumours attached to the name of Sa Majesté Impériale Bokassa Premier was that he instituted as punishment for theft in the Central African Empire the severing of the perpetrator's ears by police. Of course you don't know what is true and what are lies where Marie Yokowo's wee lad is concerned but it does give you a little insight into the mentality of the police who enforce these laws. The police here may not yet have the power of ear-removal but it seems that once again they have been handed a licence to kill. First they got away with killing Jean Charles de Menezes because he looked a bit foreign and now Ian Tomlinson is written off as another statistic. Good to see that the grand libertarian coalition has made so much difference to shielding brutal police from punishment. Hardly a shock, of course, but the forlorn hope always remains that justice might be done just once. No hope!

Meanwhile such murderous abandon is virtually ignored for the non-event that it is Nick Griffin and Buckingham Palace. It seems to sum up Britain in a nutshell that something as incongruously patrician could be the focus of such a lot of fuss. I really don't care one way or the other whether or not old one-eye gets to see Lizzie Windsor scoffing cucumber sandwiches but when fellow racists like Enoch Powell and Alan Clark were welcome regulars at these things should anybody care? Besides, let's face it, if Griffin got talking to the Duke of Edinburgh he would probably come away after fifteen minutes, sidle up to Diane Dodds and say "that bloke's a bit racist, isn't he?". Apart from anything, Andrew Brons is still welcome and he was the one in the group that unashamedly backed Hitler (the National Socialist Movement) whilst Griffin preferred to scramble around latching on to Julius Evola, Walther Darré, Corneliu Codreanu, Harold Massingham, Arthur Penty, Denis Fahey or whoever else made him look vaguely intellectual. All in all I'm not bothered one way or the other whether they ban him but let's not dress it up by pretending that there have never been mountebanks at Buck House before. Hell, an out and out Nazi was in possession of the front door key for a while in 1936.

And it would be remiss of me not to say a big well done to Cliftonville on their win over HNK Cibalia. Admittedly a bunch of part-timers from North Belfast taking on Vinkovci's finest is hardly likely to rival Reiko Ike vs. Miki Sugimoto as either a titanic struggle or a wonderful source of cheap thrills but when your European record is one of abject poo then you have to take triumphs wherever you can. Not only that but with Portadown knocked out by the mighty FK Qarabag, Glentoran out in the last round to the celebrated KR Reykjavik and Linfield out of the European Cup to the admittedly none too shabby Rosenborg Cliftonville are the last team from this dump left in Europe. You Reds, you Reds!
keresaspa: (Communism)
Well, all in all the European elections produced a fairly inevitable series of results. The humiliation handed to Gordon Brown was in many ways deserved although turning votes over to the Tories hardly makes much sense given their own close involvement in the claims scandal. Of course it was equally inevitable that the UK Independence Party would profit, although despite their hot air it was hardly that great a leap forward. They remain the Tories' bitches and indeed this may become more the case now that the Tories are setting up a Eurosceptic group of their own whilst UKIP still have no chance in any other election. Still at least the anti-EU rabble will get a step closer to their wish now as it is the European Parliament that determines Britain's EU membership. Whoops!

Equally inevitable was the success of the BNP, although I must admit that I had hoped they would be restricted to one seat rather than two. Still, the diseased minds of people blinded by hate have spoken and in order to teach one one-eyed tosspot in Gordon Brown a lesson another one-eyed tosspot in Nick Griffin has been elected. Nice to see too that, for all the fuss the BNP makes about not being neo-Nazi, they had Andrew Brons elected, a veteran of Colin Jordan's unashamed National Socialist Movement and John Tyndall's Greater Britain Movement during their synagogue burning and Jomo Kenyatta arresting days. The self same Andrew Brons who, as leader of the National Front, sought to turn them to Strasserism before splitting from the "Political Solider", Italian and Romanian obsessed wing of Griffin etc. "Left wing" Nazism is still Nazism, Andy old son! Given that Patrick Harrington is already back in the fold with the BNP's joke of a union I'm left to wonder which of Griffin's former enemies will he dig up next? Happen he'll recall Joe Pearce from his cushy number at a Catholic fundamentalist university or dig Martin Webster out of whatever gay knocking shop he is holed up in these days. I mean it is bad enough them winning county council seats but now this. Plus Griffin is already on record as saying that he only wants MEPs to use their salaries and expenses to fund the BNP (and his own pocket no doubt) so anybody voting for them due to dodgy claims is in for a shock as they put in a slew of bogus expenses claims to prop up production of the ailing Voice of Freedom. Nice work again voters!

On the wider European stage it was equally depressing, if not more so. Given the trouble that unfettered capitalism has caused I fail to see why people seem to think that voting for its standard bearers is a good idea. Equally how badly does it reflect on France and Italy that they seem to think so highly of their corrupt, megalomaniac, short-arse leaders, especially now that the latter's knob has become public property (NSFW). A big "boo" to the Dutch as well for voting for bouffant aficionado Geert Wilders but I suppose a country based on the twin, highly contradictory pillars of rampant libertarian secularism and fundamentalist Calvinism is always going to drink up Wilders' brand of Islamophobia like so much cheap wine. Bad decision nonetheless and one that reflects badly on a significant section of the Dutch electorate.

The biggest boo of all however belongs to Hungary for giving seats to those bastards Jobbik. Close mates with the BNP, their leader Krisztina Morvai makes no bones about her extremism with her ranting about "gypsy criminality", "Jewish Bolsheviks" and "ZOG". This is a group that happily runs its own private army, the Hungarian Guard, and, in case the obvious Nazi connotations of such a fact were lost on anyone, this fascist thug battalion bases its symbol on that of the collaborationist Arrow Cross. There are certainly obvious parallels between Jobbik's attempts to build up its own storm troopers and Ferenc Szálasi's mass movement in the Arrow Cross and the readiness of some people to still back such violent reactionary nonsense, even after the death and destruction caused by Hungary's quite embarrassing war record as stooges of Nazi Germany, shows that idiocy never goes out of fashion. The character of the Hungarian Guard was summed up on January 17th when their leader Gabor Vona said that a court ruling banning them meant nothing. Nice guy! Above all however I can't be alone in being worried by the fact that a significant number of people are prepared to say "we hate our fellow human beings so much that we are prepared to vote for a return to the politics of the 1930s". A black day for Hungary, a country I have hitherto respected for its strong culture that has only ever been enriched by being a melting-pot of Ugrian, Slavic, Roma, German and even French identities, and a worrying trend for Europe as a whole.

So all in all a pretty horrific round of results that have demonstrated how fundamentally stupid a lot of people are and how a significant minority are prepared to instigate a new shame for Europe in the name of invented group loyalties and prejudices. It's all such a pain in the arse really, isn't it?! Well, I'm off to crawl under the duvet and await World War Three.
keresaspa: (Idi Amin)
From the good riddance file: Colin Jordan is dead! Admittedly Jordan and his Nazi 'Hinduism' was too weird even for most of the neo-Nazi shitters to the right of the BNP but it's good riddance to a man whom I suspect really did believe that he was Hitler reborn (despite the fact that they lived concurrently). Having had the misfortune of reading Merrie England and some copies of Gothic Ripples I firmly believe that Colin's paranoia should have led to him being certified. Still, he doesn't have to worry about that now does he? I wonder will it be him or John Tyndall who gets Francoise Dior in Hell?!

From the fond farewell file: Dave Arneson has died. I haven't played an RPG in God knows how long but when I was a late preteen I enjoyed nothing better than a game of AD&D and it was a credit to good old Dave that his joint creation was such a success. He'll be catching up with Gary Gygax in Elysium as we speak.

From the meh file: Lennie Bennett has died (as usual). Erm...his perm was nice. Actually I only know him from Lucky Ladders and the only reason I cared about it was because its half nine start time meant that you had wangled a day off school. And just who was Jerry Stevens?

Well, that's my lot and I notice from Jeff Stelling that Younes Kaboul has just put Portsmouth 1-0 against Albion. Looks like it could be four deaths today with Albion's season at number four.
keresaspa: (Edwige Fenech)
Haider does Top Gear stunt and carks it. Good riddance to bad rubbish. We've heard a lot now about his comments on Nazi employment policies and a little about his support for former Waffen SS operatives but the measure of Haider was best summed up by the high esteem in which AIDS death Nazi nutjob Michael Kuhnen held nobody's favourite Lothar Matthaus lookalike. Indeed it was the same serial movement founder who told his supporters in Austria that Haider was a good lad and that joining the FPO would be a decent path to his dream of a Fourth Reich. In all, Haider was the typical European extreme right arsehole, with the populist gibberish, the permatan and big hair, the links to shady people and the tendency to split parties in twain when things don't go his way. No loss!

Anyways I had better run. A meeting with the honcho confirmed things so the faffing around can begin in earnest.
keresaspa: (Piggy Banks)
The sun is out and, as is always the case, the news starts to get a bit daft as they scratch around for something happening. With that in mind, it seems that files have been released regarding UFO sightings. Personally I've always been pretty sceptical about UFO sightings, despite my own brief brush with one a few years back (check the tags but friends only). Being the paranoid leftist that I am, I have always been more inclined to believe that such sightings are actually secret government projects and that the hysteria is encouraged as a smokescreen. Furthermore the calibre of slightly odd misfits that always seem to make these sightings have left me thinking "aye right". Surely if there was a race of beings able to master the difficulties of intergalactic travel they would have more sense than to nab random dirt farmers from Arkansas or visit ruddy Wallasey! Can it also be a coincidence that we hear of a lot fewer UFO sightings these days just as there is an explosion in shows like Britain's/America's/Australia's/Uzbekistan's Got Talent and so cheap fame is a lot easier to come by for people with very little to offer. After all, you can get on these shows telling crap pub jokes or even whistling so why bother wasting your time inventing a whole story about big-eyed nudies gang-probing you! Life on other planets there may be but is it going to be little green men in ships travelling to Woodbridge? I think not!

Elsewhere, of course, it is the mighty Rangers in action tonight in the UEFA Cup final. It sure is grand to see such an open and expansive team doing so well in Europe. They'll be cheered on by some of the nicest and most tolerant fans in the world with their lovely songs. And ignore those horrid rumours about Blues Brothers hooligans! I wonder if Johnny Adair has a ticket seeing as he is Manchester-based now. Or to put it another way - come on you Zenit Saint Petersburg!
keresaspa: (Trotsky)
So it seems the most pointless election in years has come to an end and, as expected Dmitry Medvedev has been elected new President of Russia. As shocks go it is right up there with the time Jimmy Edwards admitted that he had a moustache. Looking at the field there was hardly much in the way of serious choice. Bogdanov was essentially a filler candidate designed to give the whole thing the sheen of a contest, whilst even most Russians must have tired of Zhirinovsky and his "I'm a hard case despite looking like James Whitaker" shtick. Any man who makes a song and dance about how great Hitler was despite being part Jewish needs a good slap in the mouth and no mistake. Zyuganov, on the other hand, may wear the mantle of the communist but he bangs on about nationalism so much that he can only ever be seen as a national Bolshevik, a label all the more relevant given that it was beardy-weirdy Aleksandr Dugin who helped him to write his party's constitution in the first place. So as things stand we can now look forward to another spell of Putinism as the little man who can clearly feels that he can run Medvedev as his puppet. Of course that may not turn out to be the case - after all Franz von Papen thought the same about Hitler and we all know how that worked out. Overall however, I'm left wondering what the purpose of this election was in the first place. Putin could easily have bended the constitution to allow himself to carry on and surely even Bush would not be daft enough to get a war going with Russia. Waste of time defined methinks, unless Medvedev suddenly gets ideas above his station. As for Putin - you know, I might even miss the little guy!

Well, all for today. I am participating in some weird hearing and brain research session tomorrow in return for twenty of your pounds so I may not get in to see you all, depending on how big a headfeck it turns out to be. Still twenty nicker for sitting on my arse for an hour and a half is not to be sneezed at. Until next time then, cheerio.

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