Wednesday, September 30, 2009

BNP members interviewed on the Newsbeat website

The F-Word have blogged about an interview of two BNP members on the Newsbeat website and they comment:

While the BNP members don’t come across as the most intelligent human beings and the interviewer does get a couple of gentle digs in towards the end, the BBC’s decision to run this interview without at least giving a bit of context about the party’s violent, racist and sexist history and policies on a website designed for young people who are assumed to have little political awareness is hugely irresponsible.

I know people are divided on the ‘no platform’ policy - personally, I think Griffin’s appearance on Question Time won’t necessarily be a bad thing providing he faces suitable scrutiny and condemnation from the other participants and audience members - but providing an uncritical platform for BNP members to spout their racist views (couched in pseudo-logic and reason, as ever) to generally apolitical young people is dangerous and completely unnecessary.

The F-Word also gives some background on one of the interviewees :

UPDATE: One of the interviewees is Mark Collett, who was exposed in this Channel 4 documentary, in which he proclaimed that 1930s Germany was a better place to live than Britain today. “Hitler will live on forever and maybe I will too”, said Collett. He said that he considered AIDS a “friendly disease because blacks, drug users and gays have it.” He also made this sexist little speech which I blogged last year.

The Newsbeat website makes no mention of this and it is, as stated , a pretty uncritical platform for the BNP.

If you want to complain, here is the link.

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Catholic Church on the defensive about abuse

The Catholic Church has come out fighting over the issue of abuse by their Priests and Nuns . I would expect most people would feel a smidgen of guilt, especially Catholics , rather than try to downplay the issue or play the look over there game, but no:

The Vatican has lashed out at criticism over its handling of its paedophilia crisis by saying the Catholic church was "busy cleaning its own house" and that the problems with clerical sex abuse in other churches were as big, if not bigger.

In a defiant and provocative statement, issued following a meeting of the UN human rights council in Geneva, the Holy See said the majority of Catholic clergy who committed such acts were not paedophiles but homosexuals attracted to sex with adolescent males.

The statement, read out by Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican's permanent observer to the UN, defended its record by claiming that "available research" showed that only 1.5%-5% of Catholic clergy were involved in child sex abuse.

He also quoted statistics from the Christian Scientist Monitor newspaper to show that most US churches being hit by child sex abuse allegations were Protestant and that sexual abuse within Jewish communities was common.

He added that sexual abuse was far more likely to be committed by family members, babysitters, friends, relatives or neighbours, and male children were quite often guilty of sexual molestation of other children.

The statement said that rather than paedophilia, it would "be more correct" to speak of ephebophilia, a homosexual attraction to adolescent males.

"Of all priests involved in the abuses, 80 to 90% belong to this sexual orientation minority which is sexually engaged with adolescent boys between the ages of 11 and 17."

Where to start with this?? Well yes, abuse happens in lots of places but that does not detract from the issue of it in the Catholic Church. Glad to see though they note abuse in families, yep even good old heterosexual married ones.

Quibbling about percentage points, well any abuse and especially hypocritical by people who profess to care and preach morals to others is too much, whether that is 1.5% or 5%.

There is the nit picking about terminology, that its not really paedophilia if the child is over 11, its something some gay men do .Glad to see they don't miss the chance to make a link with those sinful homosexuals.
Well , lets cut to the chase, its abuse whatever other label is attached. Its abuse as the children were children, whether that is 5 or 15.
It wasn't just sexual, it was physical by Nuns as well as priests. It was cruelty by people professing to be moral.

Its abuse by people in a position of power , trust and authority . They took advantage and were often protected , something the Church did not always accord the victims . And lets not forget its the children who are the victims, not the Church now bleating that they are being picked on, trying to deflect attention elsewhere. Its those now grown up who have had to fight to be heard, to have what happened acknowledged , they are the victims who have been further traumatised by the excuses of the Church, who have often fought rather than say sorry and compensate.

The Catholic Church is not being picked on and its certainly bigger and more powerful than the children it silenced . It is privileged and now is not happy to be called on its hypocrisy .

This is not an individual incident, google abuse and priests to see the extent. This is an organisation that preaches to others, who tells others in consensual relationships they are sinful, yet still seems to want to minimise the abuse in their own ranks.

As the article goes on to point out :

The Ryan Report, published last May, revealed that beatings and humiliation by nuns and priests were common at institutions that held up to 30,000 children. A nine-year investigation found that Catholic priests and nuns for decades terrorised thousands of boys and girls, while government inspectors failed to stop the abuse.

Yes, abuse happens and not just in the Catholic Church, but accept when it happens to be criticised and called to account .

Hat Tip Shiraz .


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Mandelson sent packing ? If only .

Following on from Mandy saying 'giss a job to the Tories ,' I see he was refused entry to Labour Party Conference today.
Ah, a smile crept over my face, he has been sent packing in the direction of Tory HQ . Sadly , no :

Business Secretary Lord Mandelson was initially refused entry to the Labour Party conference in Brighton because of a problem with his security pass.
A security guard called a police sergeant to verify his credentials, BBC political correspondent Laura Kuenssberg said.

What about his 'credentials' to be in the Labour Party? Verify that I say!

Lord Mandelson had to wait 10 minutes at the conference's security entrance before he was allowed to enter.

OK, he was let in, but I bet he was fuming. Did he utter the words 'don't you know who I am ?' I wonder ?

Yep, that has cheered me up:-)


Meeting : Minorities and Faith Schools

Meeting hosted by Jewish Socialists' Group :


Speakers will be looking at who is demanding faith schools and why;
whether the state should be funding them; and what attitudes
educational progressives should take towards them.

They will also be looking at the controversy that erupted earlier this
year around the Jews Free School (JFS), a comprehensive which refused
to enrol a child because the school did not recognise the conversion to
Judaism of the mother. The law courts found the school guilty of
racial discrimination. This has raised discussion both about entry
criteria and the content of education at Jewish schools.

Speakers are
Julia Bard (active in the Jewish Socialists' Group and Women Against
Simon Rocker (a regular Jewish Chronicle writer who also writes for The
Guardian on issues relating to the Jewish community)

The meeting is at 7.30pm, Sunday October 4th at the Indian YMCA, 41
Fitzroy Square, London W1 (nearest tube Warren Street)

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Mandelson would work for the Tories

Rat preparing to leave sinking ship:

LORD Mandelson has disclosed that he is ready to accept a job under a future Conservative government.
In an interview with The Sunday Times magazine, the business secretary said he would be willing to put his “experience at the disposal of the country”, if Labour lost power. “As I grow older, I can imagine more ways of serving my country than simply being a party politician,” he said.
Asked whether he might use his experience in business and world trade under a future government, he said: “If I was asked to do something for my country using that asset base, of course, I would consider it.”
On the specific point of whether he would consider requests from a Conservative government, he said: “Of course, it wouldn’t be serving the government, it would be serving the country and I wouldn’t be doing it by becoming a member of that government.”
Mandelson, who will be 56 next month, said he was “too tribal” ever to become a Tory minister and insisted he was focused on helping Labour win the election.

Far be it for me to offer a suggestion to the Prince of Darkness, but surely one way to help Labour win the election is not by talking of a willingness to work for the Tories, even if dressed up as serving his country. Serving his need to cling on to any scrap of power more like.
I'm sure he would find the transition smooth, not exactly a great leap in politics .

A less disloyal response :

Speaking to The Sunday Times, Peter Hain, the Welsh secretary, said he would never accept a job under the Conservatives.“I would be working to get them out as soon as possible,” he said.


Perhaps the Tories can learn to love Mandy, they are welcome to him.


Friday, September 25, 2009

Fact or Opinion?

Decent news reporting is supposed to report facts, and include opinions clearly flagged as such. And we're probably entitled to expect this more from a public service broadcaster than from, say, a tabloid newspaper.

I'm not naive anough to believe that this principle is rigorously upheld, but two bits of BBC reporting have got up my nose this week.

Firstly, the repeated mantra that "Everyone now accepts that there must be cuts in public spending." Excuse me, but I don't. If you mean "Every leader of a mainstream political party, plus a great chunk of rent-a-quote bourgeois hacks and economists now agree that there must be cuts in public spending", then say so.

Secondly, the constant reference to "Britain's nuclear deterrent" in reports about Gordon Brown announcing a reduction in nuclear-armed submarines from four to three. Whether Britain's nuclear weapons are in fact a deterrent is a matter of opinion not of fact. The appropriate noun in this context is "missiles", "weapons" or perhaps "arsenal".

I'm happy to confess to being a pedantic nerd about matters of words, but this is not just semantics but politics.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Support RMT Eurostar Cleaners

Watch the video, read the press release, sign up to the campaign ...

RAIL UNION RMT today launched a global campaign in support of Eurostar cleaners who are locked in a bitter dispute with their employers - the Carlisle Group - over pay, threatened redundancies, the introduction of finger printing machines and the victimisation of a union representative.

At the end of last week the Eurostar cleaners took part in a rock-solid 48 hour strike with a noisy picket line taking their message of respect and justice out to the travelling public.

Today, RMT have linked up with international website Labour Start to launch a global email campaign targeted at Eurostar and calling on the company to intervene in the dispute and demand that their cleaning contractors pay their staff the London Living Wage, scrap the Orwellian finger printing machines and start treating the cleaners with the respect that they deserve.

The global Eurostar cleaners campaign can be reached here.

Bob Crow, RMT general secretary, said:

“Eurostar is a global brand and it makes perfect sense for us to launch a global trade union campaign in support of our members here in London fighting for justice.

“Eurostar cannot ignore the actions of their cleaning contractors, the Carlisle Group, which have forced our members into a campaign of industrial action. The cleaners voted 100% to strike which is a measure of how angry they are.

“RMT is determined to use every means at our disposal to win the fight for justice and respect for the Eurostar cleaners including a global cyber-picket to shine a spotlight on the appalling way that this group of workers is being treated.”


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Convention of the Left and LRC events

As last year, the LRC is supporting the Convention of the Left conference :

Saturday 26th September 2009
10:30am to 5:00pm

The 2009 Convention of the Left will be held at the Brighthelm Centre, North Road, Brighton, BN1 1YD.

This is a free one-day conference, with contributors including Jeremy Corbyn MP, Robert Griffiths (Communist Party of Britain), John Haylett (Morning Star), Caroline Lucas MEP (Green Party), John Maguire (Unite Belfast Visteon Convenor), John McDonnell MP (LRC), Pete Murray (NUJ), Kay Phillips (Respect), Martin Smith (SWP), Matt Wrack (FBU) to discuss how we make the green, left, socialist and radical alternative a reality.

See for more details. Download the Convention of the Left 2009 flyer.

Last year the Convention ran successfully as the alternative to New Labour’s conference in Manchester. This year’s Convention event will continue the debates on the crisis of capitalism and Westminster politics and develop our ideas in response.

The wealth exists in society to pay for our essential needs - and the way the governments of the UK, EU and US have found trillions of Pounds, Dollars and Euros at the drop of a hat for the bankers proves what we have been saying all along.

And, as the continuing bloodshed in Afghanistan shows, there is still a limitless coffer for war and destruction.

The trouble is that our rulers want to use the wealth in society to prop up capitalism - which will inevitably lead to the same results all over again. They are buying themselves out of their crisis, but expecting the rest of us pay the price.

Recessions lead scape-goating, racism and the rise of the far right. The election of two BNP members to the European Parliament should be warning to us all.

Don’t blame the victims. The poor should not be punished for the crisis of capitalism. We must provide the alternative. We look forward to seeing you in Brighton on September 26th to discuss how we make the green, left, socialist and radical alternative a reality.

I plan to be there and probably report back. I have to admit I'm not sure what it will has achieved since last year , but those involved do please comment and let me know . I do think left unity is needed, so perhaps this has helped ?

LRC events during conference :

Sun 27 Sep: A coalition of trade unions and pressure groups – so far including PCS, UCU, NUT, NUJ, Right to Work, Stop the War and Unite Against Fascism – have teamed up to lobby the Labour Party conference on Sunday 27 September and call for a change in direction over proposals to cut public expenditure. Assemble at Madeira Drive, Brighton seafront (east of Palace Pier) from 12:30pm. For more details, see the PCS website.

I am assuming this is part of the Rage against Labour demo? Or is this one where we tut a lot and are miffed ?

And in the evening, everyone is welcome at the Labour Against the War fringe meeting: War - New Labour’s legacy at Friends Meeting House, Ship Street, Brighton from 7pm.

Mon 28 Sep: The LRC is hosting a fringe meeting – open to all socialists – Not the Labour Party Conference at the Ramada Jarvis Hotel, Kings Road, Brighton from 7pm til late. Speakers include: Tony Benn, Katy Clark MP, Jeremy Corbyn MP, John McDonnell MP, Mark Serwotka (PCS). There will also be live entertainment, including from Steve Gribbin.

CWU members are also organising a rally outside conference on Tue 29 Sep. Check the LRC website for details soon.

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Ahmadinejad's holocaust denial

So is anyone on the left going to excuse this :

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told worshippers at Friday prayers at Tehran University the state of Israel was founded on "a false and mythical claim" and expressed doubts over whether the Nazi murder of around six million Jews during the Second World War was "a real event".

Speaking on Iran's national Quds Day - staged to show sympathy for the Palestinians and named after the Arabic word for Jerusalem - Mr Ahmadinejad asked: "If the Holocaust was a real event, why don't they allow research on it to clear up facts?"

It doesn't matter how much he hates the US, how wrong the actions of Israel are or even that Chavez hugs him , NOTHING justifies or excuses , whatever the 'context,' denying the holocaust .

On a much more positive note see this story here. Hat tip to Charlie Pottins on Facebook .


Friday, September 18, 2009

Lap dancing and pornography in the workplace undermines women's equality at work

Harriet Harman QC MP, Minster for Women gave a keynote speech as a report by the Fawcett Society, that demonstrated that the
use of lap dancing clubs and display of pornography in a work context is a major new threat to women's equality at work. The report is called "Corporate Sexism: the sex industry's infiltration of the modern workplace".

The report’s findings include:

• 41% of UK lap dancing clubs directly target employers through marketing on their websites (4)
• 86% of lap dancing clubs in London provide ‘discrete receipts’ which enable employees to claim back expenses from their employer without it being evident the money was spent in a lap dancing club (5)
• Lads’ mags are displayed for sale purposes in over 50,000 workplaces. A content analysis of leading titles revealed all contained pornographic imagery. Yet there are no independent, compulsory guidelines regarding the display and sale of pornography, and no major retailer has a policy of covering up lads’ mags or putting them on the top shelf
• 26% of trade unions have received enquiries from members who have been exposed to the sex industry – including pornography - at work (6). Existing research has also revealed that 20% of men admit accessing pornography at work (7).

The Fawcett Society's research reveals that the use of lap dancing clubs and display of pornography in a work context is seriously undermining women’s status at work and is in violation of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975.

Recommendations in the report include:
• Implementing independent regulation of sexually explicit print media
• Covering up lads’ mags and putting them on the top shelf when displayed in shops
• Implementing robust workplace policies and procedures to prevent pornography and lap dancing clubs being used in a work context

Kat Banyard, Campaigns Officer at the Fawcett Society and co-author of the report, said:
Despite relative silence on the issue within employer circles, our research shows that the sex industry is a major threat to women’s equality at work. For too long, employers have engaged with the sex industry without due regard for the impact on female employees, and have failed to prevent the illicit use of the sex industry by employees in a work context. But this is an issue that employer’s cannot afford to ignore.

The sex industry is increasingly targeting the corporate market, with lap dancing clubs marketing themselves as ideal venues to host meetings and client entertaining. Yet lap dancing clubs are a form of commercial sexual exploitation and fuel sexist attitudes towards women. Their use in a work context discriminates against female employees and undermines women’s status at work.

While the days when it was deemed acceptable to hang ‘girly calendars’ on office walls may be long gone, the presence of degrading imagery of women in UK workplaces has never been more endemic. Pornographic lads’ mags are openly displayed in over 50,000 retail shops – each one of them somebody’s workplace. But displaying these magazines in this way is in violation of the Sex Discrimination Act, so it is crucial that retail employers cover up pornographic newspapers and lads’ mags and place them on the top shelf.”

I once complained when a calenders from the local lap dancing bar was handed into my workplace, I made the union and my senior manager organise a meeting witht he councillor for the licencing committee. I was quite clear that as my employer ( I was a council worker) it was his responsibility to ensure that the Sex Discrimination Act was upheld and that he should not licence properties that undermine mine and the other women in the workplace equality.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Another Win in the Fight to Defend Arab Rail Workers in Israel

Regular readers will know about the campaign to stop Israel Railways discriminating against Arab workers. Here is the latest from the campaign ... and it's good news!

09/09/2009 17:04:00
CAMPAIGN UPDATE: Arab railway workers keep guarding Israels level crossings!

Tel Aviv Labour Court issues interim injunction against firing Arab employees of Israel Railways

Today is a day of great success for the Arab railway workers struggle. This morning, Tel Aviv Labour Court ruled that until a final court decision, Israel Railways cannot lay off any Arab railway crossing guard as a consequence of its new employment policy.

Though only an interim injunction and not a final decision, the ruling is extremely important. First of all, the court ruled that military service as an employment condition discriminates against Arab workers. It further noted that there is no relation between the employment conditions required by Israel Railways and the qualifications needed for a job as railway crossing guard. It specifically stated that military service is not a relevant requirement for such a job. Finally, the judge addressed another crucial aspect namely the alternative criteria (1) proposed by Israel Railways - and ruled that also the new employment conditions are discriminatory because they automatically qualify anyone who served in the army and have virtually the same effect as the original policy.

The workers and their lawyers from Sawt el-Amel, Adalah The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, and the Tel Aviv University Law Clinics are very pleased with todays ruling.

The struggle continues.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The C word

Take your pick; Labour , Tory or LibDem cuts .

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Wild Horses - SuBo does the Stones, arghhhh

Pop Idol, X Factor, Britain's got Talent , they all seem to lead to blandness when they get hold of songs . First there was Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah," now the Stone's Wild Horses with Susan Boyle giving it the Andrew Lloyd Webber treatment . Arghh woman, stick to bland songs sung by Elaine Page who you admire . Please , steer clear of the Stones .

I'm sure there will be lots of air time to the SuBo version, so to counter that in my little way , here is how it should be sung:


Friday, September 11, 2009

Republican into spanking resigns

Ooh I love it when those hypocritical family values types get caught out. Yep, another Republican with a do as I say not as I do attitude and this one is into spanking .

Yep, he has been a very bad boy :

In a now-eerily-familiar scenario, a rising star of the party's conservative wing has been forced to resign – amid allegations that he fails to practise the lifestyle he so dutifully preaches.

Mike Duvall, a California state assemblyman who has strongly championed traditional values, quit after a TV station broadcast footage of him telling colleagues about his extra-marital trysts with not one, but two, female lobbyists.

The graphic account, heavily bleeped-out in evening news bulletins, saw 54-year-old Duvall talk a colleague through his bondage sessions with the women, one of whom is 18 years his junior.

Not realising that a microphone at his desk was switched on, the longstanding crusader for the family decided to pass time in a Sacramento debating chamber by recalling a liaison that had occurred the previous day.

Yeah good old fashioned family values. Boast with the good old boys , yet lie and lecture the rest of us.

"So, I am getting into spanking her," he told a male colleague. "Yeah, I like it. I like spanking her. She goes, 'I know you like spanking me.' I said, 'Yeah! Because you're such a bad girl!'"

Duvall is married with two children and sat on the Assembly's ethics committee. In another part of the conversation he admitted failing to wear a condom during the hotel room encounter.

"She wears little eye-patch underwear," he added. "Her birthday was Monday... I said, 'now, you're getting old. I am going to have to trade you in.' She is 18 years younger than me."

No condom, stupid as well.

Still even after the tape recorded evidence he still seemed to think the public would be gullible :

Yesterday, he attempted to repair his reputation, optimistically claiming on his website: "I want to make it clear that my decision to resign is in no way an admission that I had an affair or affairs. My offense was engaging in inappropriate story-telling and I regret my language and choice of words."

According to Wikipedia :

Prior to being elected to the City Council, Duvall served as President of the Yorba Linda Chamber of Commerce, as chairman of the Yorba Linda General Plan Steering Committee, and as co-chair of "Safe Streets Are for Everyone." Chapman University awarded Duvall the Ethics in America Award in 2000 for his "demonstration of the highest standards of ethical integrity" while a member of the Chamber team. As legislator, Duvall has "blasted" efforts to promote gay marriage. The conservative Capitol Resource Institute gave him a 100% rating, calling him "a consistent trooper for the conservative causes" who "voted time and time again to protect and preserve family values in California"

As long as its consensual between adults, there is honesty between partners, then I really don't care how politicians get their kicks. Just stop lecturing the rest of us about family values, which seems to consist of lying and appearances , whilst spanking young women !


Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Teachers judge a child by their name

A survey has shown :

Teachers in the UK say they can identify which children are likely to be troublemakers by their names.A poll of 3000 teachers run by the parenting club, found the names Jack, Kyle, Courtney and Brooke were among those thought to denote a naughty child.

More than one-in-three of the teachers surveyed "expect" children with certain names to cause more trouble than others, The Sun newspaper reported.

The survey also asked teachers which names they thought indicated bright pupils.More traditional names topped that list, with monikers like Elizabeth, Charlotte, William and Alexander among the top ten.However the name Daniel got a mention on both lists, coming in at number four on the naughty boys list and number seven on the bright list.

Hmm, lets look at those lists in full and see if there is any clue as to why these teachers are forming judgements on a child's intelligence and behaviour before they have even met them :



1. Callum
2. Connor
3. Jack
4. Daniel
5. Brandon
6. Charlie
7. Kyle
8. Liam
9. Jake
10. Brooklyn


1. Chelsea
2. Courtney
3. Chardonnay
4. Aleisha
5. Casey
6. Crystal
7. Jessica
8. Brooke
9. Demi
10. Aisha



1. Alexander
2. Adam
3. Christopher
4. Benjamin
5. Edward
6. Matthew
7. Daniel
8. James
9. Harry
10. William


1. Elisabeth
2. Charlotte
3. Emma
4. Hannah
5. Rebecca
6. Abigail
7. Grace
8. Alice
9. Anna
10. Sophie

Just innocent assumptions ,looks more like prejudice to judge a child purely on their name . So what is it about them that creates these impressions in supposedly educated teachers ?Well this is not based on stats (but then I doubt the teachers were rigorous either in their rush to label a child), but some names in the "naughty" camp seem to be more popular for working class parents, in the Black or Irish in origin. Good solid middle class or 'royal' ones in the "nice" section.

Does this prejudice cloud how a teacher might view the same behaviour exhibited by different children? Little Alexander is a bright boy that asks questions, little Liam is rude and disrespectful?

Of course I could be reading much to much into this. Thoughts or experiences anyone ?


Monday, September 07, 2009

Its not Friday, but how about Monday evening Fuckwit !

Without in any way associating with the mayor I have no quarrel with the Taliban, things are generally acknowledged to have been better under their watch than they are now. They are indisputably a lot more popular than they have ever been and have the imperialist invaders on their knees which they are only able to do precisely because their support is increasing.
I really wish that there was a better organisation to support in Afganistan but at the moment the Taliban seem to be the only game in town and while some of you may be troubled by the fact that they aren't exactly a gender obsessed discussion group they should be supported until something better comes along.

My response :No they aren't a gender obsessed discussion group, they are about action. Violence against women, killing teachers who teach girls, throwing acid in girls faces for daring to get an education, beating women who do not cover themselves etc etc.

You really are a shit...but then you're not a woman or girl facing that are you ? Ra ra the anti imperialists and tough if you're female and want to work, get an education and be an equal citizen and not the property of men .

With people like you no wonder many people are turned away from the left, when they see them defend such barbaric practices against women , never mind LGBT people.

I don't support their more reactionary elements. The primary aim is the military defeat of imperialism, fluffy issues can be sorted later when the conditions on the ground would be more conducive than they are at the moment.
What about having your weddings, homes, schools, hospitals and villages free from savage attacks from the occupying forces.
Ill bet they have murdered more innocent people than the Taliban ever have.
We can't be picky who to support here. You either support the resistance, of which the Taliban area part but not the only people involved or you side with imperialism, there is no sitting on the fence here.

My response :*****, you can't seperate the 'more reactionary elements".

Read this

and tell me what is fluffy ?

What is fluffy about a woman being able to leave the house without permission from a man, a girl to get an education? What is fluffy about not having acid throw in your face for going to schools? You talk about abuse of children, does this include girls under the Taliban?

The very fact that you dismiss the lives of these women and girls and the abuse , violence and oppression they face under the Taliban as fluffy shows underneath it all , you don't really care.

You really cannot imagine what life is like for these women, both under the Taliban and occupation, that you dismiss it as 'fluffy'.

You think the Taliban can be persuaded if they gain power?? Naive in the extreme.

My enemies enemy is not my friend of women in Afghanistan.

The left, or those that give a damn about women rather than macho posturing from the comfort of ******, should support those women facing oppression under the occupation. Should highlight the fact that the invasion has not liberated them , support them in their fight and be critical of the Taliban.

Guess who the fuckwit is .


The end of the traditional election night ?

In light of this , I'm being lazy and re posting something I wrote a few years back:

I read with dismay that the traditional election night may come to an end. I love elections. Sometimes I have spent all election day at polling stations, getting people out to vote vote, running committee rooms. The day normally starts at 6 in the morning and ends at the count in the early hours of the next day, exhausted but still buzzing as the votes are counted and results declared. Everyone is tired from the day but keeping going on sheer adrenalin. I have been to counts where it ends in disappointment, elation or sometimes a fight even (not me, honest !). When not at a count I have spent the night either at the labour Club or in front of the TV until the early hours, and just at that point where tiredness kicks in there may be the excitement of a 'Portillo' moment ! I love the drama. I love working out what the results mean.

So I am saddened by news that the traditional count may be a thing of the past. I know its probably sensible , the need for checks on postal votes and officials very tired, but its not as much fun. Everyone goes off and comes back. Not the same buzz. But then I am an anorak and find elections fascinating . Hey its my idea of entertainment. Hmmm, perhaps shouldn't admit to that !


No-Visa Fee

So, when you need a visa to visit a country, you pay a fee, right? And if you don't, you don't, right? Wrong actually, if a US senator gets his way. He wants to charge people who don't need a visa to enter the USA.

This got me thinking about other charges government could think about levying on people who don't actually need things. Perhaps if you visit the doctor but don't actually need any medication, you could pay a non-prescription charge. Or if you don't go anywhere, you could pay a non-bus ticket. The homeless could pay non-rent, maybe.

Still, the USA obviously needs the money, as the proposers of the bill intend the government to pay $100,000,000 to a company to adminster the scheme!


Friday, September 04, 2009

Friday Fuckwit - Mayor of Doncaster

Yep, apparently we could all learn from the Taliban :

Peter Davies, who has made it his personal mission to rid Doncaster of political correctness, said that under the Taliban, Afghanistan had an "ordered system of family life".

By contrast he said social policies which disregarded the importance of the traditional family had "created mayhem" in Britain.

Under the Taliban, women were banned from working outside the home, studying in schools or universities, from talking to men who were not family members, and from wearing cosmetics, high heels, or clothes made in "sexually attracting colours".

They were stoned to death if caught having sex outside marriage, and whipped for not covering their ankles in public or being unaccompanied by a suitable male relative in public.

Despite these shortcomings – which Amnesty International concluded "virtually confined women to the home" – Mr Davies said the Taliban's rule did have some advantages.

WTF, it is like saying the trains ran on time under the Nazi's, so lets not worry about concentration camps. Sometimes a regime is so oppressive that nothing can be added to the equation as an 'advantage.'

But what does the Mayor consider makes up for girls and women living as less than second class citizens, where they risk physical attacks or death by going to school or clawing back the bare minimum of control of their own lives and bodies:

He said: "The one thing to be said about the Taliban is that they do have an ordered society of some sort and that they don't have hundreds of cases of children under threat of abuse from violent parents, as we have in Doncaster."

Err, women and girls DO face abuse . It is abuse to treat them as the Taliban does , to be controlled through violence by men , including their fathers.

Of course he doesn't like the Taliban, but :

He stressed that he "detested" the Taliban, but added: "The point I was making was that even a regime as hideous as the Taliban at least appear to have sort of decent sort of family affairs. In fact probably...they have an ordered society.

"We in this country have created mayhem through lax social policies of disregard for marriage and the family and we have created mayhem in society."

Now before some of you get your knickers in a twist and say that I'm supporting the invasion of Afghanistan, think the situation is great for women etc etc , I'm not. I'm talking about the Taliban because that is what the nasty little fuckwit in Doncaster is talking about. I'm addressing his points , its not a post about the general oppressive way women are treated , whether by the Karzai administration or the Taliban. Clear?

Here are some posts that look at how women are not better off under the invasion.

Anyway, this man is a fuckwit. See here for a campaign against him.

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