Thursday, 2 April 2009
Spotted, last night, dangerous ex-con Jeffrey Archer, Stephen Berkoff and Sir Peter Hall sheltering from the great unwashed in the rather nice St Alban Restaurant in Lower Regent Street. Might they have be discussing turning one of Archer’s books into a play? God help us? Lets hope some marauding anarchists got hold of them on the way home……
Monday, 23 March 2009
'When we heard that the Army was opening a show room in a local shopping centre Hackney Stop the War rapidly moved into action. We called for a protest last Saturday 21 March. About 80 people came. These included people from the Green Party, the Labour Party, three Turkish community organisations, Hackney College (staff and students), London Catholic Workers, CND and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.
The protest itself was brilliant. We forced the closure of one of the entries to the shopping centre and forced the army to shut the show room briefly because it was occupied by protestors chanting jobs not bombs. We got lots of signatures for our petition and dished out publicity for the G20 protests. We aim to have another protest at 1.30pm on Saturday 4 April.'
Friday, 20 March 2009
This week I paid a visit to some environmental squatters occupying Raven’s Ait, a little known island on the Thames. Predictably the local press has been full of stories about wild raves and lazy work-shy hippies sponging off the state.
But the truth is much more mundane. They have health and safety log books and wear fluorescent bibs. There is not a cider bottle in sight and they seem to survive on nothing more exiting than strong tea.
Eventually they plan to turn it into the world’s first eco-parliament by giving space to green groups and charities.
One of group, Pano Kroko, an environmental scientist, told me: ‘We want to turn this place into an eco-parliament so the green movement can discuss what we need to do to tackle climate change. Over 40 organisations have been in touch including Green Peace and Earth First saying they want to use the venue.’
But Lib Dem run Kingston Council, which owns the island, is not impressed. It wants to sell Raven’s Ait off or lease it to a private company.
And the courts agree. This week Kingston County Court ruled in the council’s favour and granted it the power to repossess Ravens Ait.
A council spokesperson told me: ‘Kingston Council is keen to regain full possession of Ravens Ait so that the island can be used to benefit local taxpayers. The court has given the occupiers until Monday 23 March to vacate the island.’
So there you have it. In power the Lib Dem's are just as bad as the Tories. And the free market may be in crisis but the ideology of private good public bad is still alive and well.
Monday, 16 March 2009
Imagine you are a General in the British Army. Recruitment is difficult because those ungrateful Iraqis and Afghanis keep killing your troops. And opinion polls keep showing that the British people want you home and the Iraqi and Afghani population want you out. So what do you do?
The answer is simple and brilliant. Open a recruitment centre in Hackney - one of poorest boroughs in London, where unemployment, particularly among the young, is high and is getting worse because of the economic crisis. Hackney has 37 claimants for every new job.
The army press release for the centre or 'show room' as it puts it declares:
The Army is targeting people eligible to join the Army in the boroughs of Enfield, Newham, Lewisham, Brent, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Hillingdon, Camden, Hackney, Wandsworth, Islington and Bromley. The London target boroughs were identified by looking at those areas with the highest proportion of people eligible to join the Army.The centre, which will be located in Dalston shopping centre on Kingsland Road, promises all sorts of entertainment for the bored and the desperate. Visitors will be able to test-drive a virtual tank, explore a computer generated battlefield and beat up virtual Iraqi civilians (okay I made that last bit up).
As the local Stop the War group, which is planning a protest this Saturday, points out this is an obscene attempt to ‘sanitize the reality of war’.
In Iraq hundreds of thousands of civilians have lost their lives and nearly two hundred British soldiers have been killed - all for a lie about weapons of mass destruction.
And civilians and soldiers continue to die on an almost daily basis in Afghanistan - all to protect a deeply corrupt and unpopular administration.
Just think how many peaceful, useful, civilian jobs the government could create if it diverted money from the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. So far it has spent close to £10 billion.
Friday, 13 March 2009
Never let it be said that we lefties lack a sense of humour...
Enough about me. This, my friends, is the business:
Wednesday, 11 March 2009
This is a Bollywood-style music video made by Israeli arms manufacturer Rafael for a Bangalore arms fair. The singers have clearly never seen a Bollywood film before, the "lyrics" are ridiculously direct and, to cap it all (if you'll excuse the pun), they are dancing between two missiles.
Brilliant. If slightly disturbing.