Saturday, 31 December 2016

The Gospel of Gerry Adams

Cefalù Pantocrator retouched.jpg
Photo: By Andreas Wahra

The depths to which which some people are prepared to sink in their blind hatred of Israel and the Jews never fails to amaze me. On one Sunday morning discussion programme I heard that idiot and so-called poet (I hate poetry at the best of times)  Benjamin Zephaniah claim that "Jesus was a Palestinian". What utter nonsense. But it seems he is not alone.

The Sinn Fein/IRA leader Gerry Adams has now joined the fray. On his blog he writes:

And Jesus was not blue eyed or blond haired. Jesus is a Palestinian. So, he probably was a little swarthy skinned black haired wee lad......

We need more Joseph’s. And Mary’s. Like many Irish mammies Mary thought her son was God. And maybe she was right. She suffered in his coming and his going. It could not have been easy.

All the talk. The gossip. The rumours. Along with the teething, bedwetting, the tantrums, terrible twos and the other joys of baby rearing. But she survived. Like most women. She reared a good son despite it all. Like many Palestinian mammies....

So pilgrims, especially Christians remember: Jesus is a Palestinian.

I'm not a Christian but have read the stories about Jesus often called "Rabbi" and his followers who practiced Judaism, not Christianity since the new religion was not established until after his death. Jesus was lauded as "King of the Jews" somewhere in the Gospels I believe. Still don't let theology get in the way of Adam's "hate on" for the Jewish heritage in Judea/Israel.

Nor actual history. The Arabs didn't conquer the area until hundreds of years later. At the time of Jesus Israel was actually a province of the Roman Empire.

There is a drive to disconnect the historical links of Jews to the land of Israel. Promoted by the dictatorships of the Arab and Muslim world and supported by the "anti-imperialist" (ie anti-Western regimes) which Adams deludes himself he is part of.

Meanwhile as Adams and Sinn Fein support the attacks on the Jewish state Christians are persecuted and murdered across most of the Muslim world. 

I don't believe Jesus was the "son of God", but then I am an atheist. I do believe that the historical figure Jesus was a Jew. That Gerry Adams, happens to be a fact, not that the truth is something you ever respect.

Friday, 30 December 2016

2016: The year the left died

Photo: By Bundesarchiv, Bild

The year is nearly done and everywhere I look on social media there are so many who have described this year as having been the worst of years. The reason for this seems to be the large number of celebrities and musicians who have passed away. David Bowie, George Michael, Prince and Debbie Reynolds. Some, like Carrie Fisher have died so young whilst others such as Zsa Zsa Gabor pushed the limits of the human lifespan.

Undoubtedly other events such as Brexit and the election of Donald Trump as the President of the most powerful country in the world have disturbed many. However frankly it is easy with even a modest grasp of history to think of far worse years. 1914 to 1918 and 1939 to 1945 come to mind. Years in which millions suffered and died. There are still those alive today who remember those dark years.

In fact unless you were an inhabitant of Aleppo or under the rule of ISIS, most do not not have reason to complain.

It is the latter which remains a clear stain on humanity.

And the left.

During the Vietnam conflict the so-called left marched against the war. There was even a march against the more recent Iraq war and protests continue to abound whenever the state of Israel dares defend itself against the terrorist attacks from Gaza. The left turn out with what turns out to be fausx outrage.

Why the accusation of falsehood?

Where was the "left" throughout the five years of the Syrian civil war. There is  a (albeit mis-named) Stop the War Coalition who remained inactive and mostly silent as the people of Aleppo cried for help as Russian bombs, Syrian shells and Hezbollah bullets mowed them down.

Not a single demonstration. No pickets of the Russian, Syrian or Iranian embassies.

Just silence.

And the former Chair of this "peace" movement was re-elected to to leadership of the Labour Party. Corbyn had to be reminded publically by a handful of protestors about the tragedy of Syria. Corbyn's credentials as a "man of peace" only applied to his own country and it's allies in the West. His friends in Syria, Russia, Iran and its terrorist lackeys in Hezbollah is well documented.

The promise of "new, kinder politics" was exposed as a fraud.

Those who called for humanitarian intervention the left called warmongers whilst their anti-imperialist allies maimed & murdered at will.

The bile, misogyny and anti-Semitism inherent amongst the Corbynistas came to the fore.

2016 was the year that the "left" died.

There is a new politics, but it's not kinder, it's blood red. The new black shirts have emerged.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Gerry Downing turns to the far right

No longer even bothering to hide behind "anti-Zionism". 

Important report on strength of Jewish bourgeoisie abroad. Media Blacks Out Jewish Lobby-EU Report via @NewObOnline
7:35 am - 28 Dec 2016
A member of "Momentum" no less.

Downing and his Socialist Fight group do not belong in the Labour & Trade Union movement.

World of the Weird: Cryptozoology

Hoaxed photo of the Loch Ness monster.jpg
Photo: By Source, Fair use

It had been my intention to produce a few non-politically related blogs over Christmas just for a bit of fun. However events overtook any planning and I ended up publishing no less than three tributes to celebrities that sadly passed away one after another over the holiday period. I still don't feel like returning to politics for a little longer (though inevitably I will) so thought it was time for another dip into the "World of the Weird".

Previously I've covered UFO's from outer space and the inner Earth, Nazi one's in fact from Antarctica and examined newly discovered Pyramids from Bosnia to Antarctica. All tosh of course, but entertaining enough. Next up I thought a look at the "undiscovered" animals of this world was in order.

For us Brits of course there is the Loch Ness monster up in bonny Scotland first brought to our attention in 1933 and made famous by the photo above which is now known to be a hoax, not that this has put "Nessie" hunters off. Of course these days there are also "sonar readings" that remain unexplained but is "Nessie" real? I doubt it.

For starter there cannot be just one "monster". No living creature is immortal and for any such animal there would need to be a sustainable breeding colony of the things. If that was the case sightings should be far more frequent and given the attention given to the Loch by scientists, enthusiasts and, let's face it just plain cranks there should be sufficient evidence by now to prove the "monsters" existence.

But there isn't.

"Nessie" is not alone in the Cryptozoologists eyes. There are others equally as famous in the public eye such as "Bigfoot" and the Yeti.

Patterson–Gimlin film frame 352.jpg Yeti by Philippe Semeria.jpg
Photo: By Patterson-Gimlin                                           Art: By Philippe Semeria

Bigfoot allegedly lives in North America, one of the most developed parts of the world and to date has managed to evade capture, even on photograph despite this. The Yeti on the other hand exists in highly uninhabitable areas of the Himalayas where such a creature could easily hide. However it too eludes scientists and cranks alike. One hypothesis is that what people see may be a rare type of Polar Bear from a previous age. Who knows? More likely than the creature of modern myth.

However my current "favourite" is a "dinosaur" allegedly found in the Congo and "known" to the natives as Mokele-mbembe. First described by a Frenchman but not actually seen in 1776, this creature has been the "holy grail" of cryptozoologists and explorers alike. Alas it too evades capture or photography.

And there's more.

Undoubtedly there are creatures on our world remaining to be "discovered"  but most I suspect will be small except perhaps in the sea. Given that 90% of the worlds oceans remain unexplored and somewhat inaccessible with our current technology, there may be creatures of some size there. After all we thought the giant squid was a myth until someone actually found the things.

I'll leave the last word to this video where the author deconstructs the cryptozoologists and exposes the connections of some with the creationists:

"In Louisiana, there is a curriculum known as Accelerated Christian Education, that says that the Loch Ness Monster proves evolution is false. Absurd, to say the least." 

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Tribute to Carrie Fisher


In yet more tragic news it has just been announced that Carrie Fisher, the actress who played Princess Leia in Star Wars has died. Only recently we heard of her heart attack on an aeroplane from which Carrie sadly never recovered.

Carrie will be remembered by so many people due to her central role in the three iconic Star Wars movies which whilst highly successful saw her sidelined for other roles and in later life battled her demons in particular alcohol. Carrie also had a difficult relationship with her mother, the actress Debbie Reynolds but in later life reprised her career with the launch of new Star Wars movies.

RIP Carrie, you were a real princess to your fans.

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Musical Tribute - George Michael

This year is turning into a nightmare for the British music scene as George Michael passed away today the BBC has just announced.

A talented singer/song-writer who seemed to have so many demons but was always generous to charity.

This is my favourite song from George Michael, the video for which was so expensive the song did not generate a profit apparently.

RIP George.

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Musical Tribute - Rick Parfitt

Photo: By Håkan Henriksson

Rick Parfitt, the lead guitarist with Status Quo has passed away aged 68. One of Britain's best known musicians he performed with the band for no less than five decades, an amazing achievement.

Rick will be best remembered for his music so here's a couple of songs from Status Quo.

Rest in Peace Rick.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Musical Interlude: Laibach

The countdown to the holidays is nearly over. Just a day to go and it's then pens down until the new year.

So to start getting ready to wind down here's a song I hadn't listened to in years, well this version of it anyway from Laibach way back in 1989. Odd band and mostly an acquired taste but this song isn't .

It's just a very beautiful version of Across the Universe.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Students tear down Lord Carey

Archbishop george carey1.jpg
Photo: By

The student desire to remove sight of everything with which they disagree or triggers some kind of emotional breakdown took another bizarre turn as an image of former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey was taken down from a wall of fame at Kings College London.

This move was apparently initiated by a small of students who according to The Times (no link£) because his views on gay marriage and homosexuality "did not capture the diversity of the "university community".

Now I happen to disagree with the former Archbishop on not just gay rights but a whole range of other issues, but this does seem to be taking things somewhat too far. More to the point where does this sort of thing stop?

Will the next attack be on the library? Will they demand the removal of books by Karl Marx because he was a wife beater or the burning of Trotsky's works as he was a supporter of blood sports. Then there's the Greek philosophers who were slave owners.


Other students have banned Germaine Greer from speaking because she's no longer feminist or is it non-binary enough. I lose track of all these self-indulgent brats latest navel gazing fads.

Censorship is never right.

I wonder what is on King Colleges Islamic Society's agenda over the academic year?

Just asking...

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

A Christmas of discontent

Back in the heady days of the late seventies we had the "Winter of Discontent" as trade unions rallied against the the then Labour government. Like many long haired & bearded youths of the time I marched with my comrades around the streets calling for the downfall of Callaghan. We all honestly thought that the road to socialism was beginning.

We got Margaret Thatcher.

The came the rise of the Labour left. like may Labour members I backed Michael Foot and called for Tony Benn for deputy leader, rallied against the witch-hunt of Militant and campaigned for a Socialist alternative.

We still got Margaret Thatcher.

Arthur Scargill led the miners in a great year long strike against the Tory government's policies on the mining industry. Like others I had miners staying in my home, ran collections. The struggle continued.

We were left with...well you get the picture.

Being radical when you are young is probably a fact of life. I always thought that the term young conservative was a contradiction in terms and yet there many such young conservatives toasting Thatcher.

Then came the fall of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of Communism not only across Eastern Europe but in the Soviet Union itself. The masses overthrew not capitalism but socialism or at least what passed for it in the Stalinist countries.

The left called for renewed struggle but after the demise of the socialist countries still used the same Marxist jargon rejected so decisively by so many.

My years of being influenced by the left were coming to an end and a great weight was seemingly lifted off my shoulders as the world and my perception of it changed.

I like many of my contemporaries left socialism behind.

But that never me me a Tory, even Liberal. A lot of us dallied with the Greens but soon got bored as that party got corrupted by the left of a different and then similar sort.

The lessons of these times had to be learnt.

I changed from being a trade union militant to a trade union moderate recognising that the vanguardism of previous times was not just not wanted by either our members nor by the "class" in general. Unions had a role to play in the never ending conflict with both management & the government of the day, but the real desire of our members for a better deal and fair play as some employers and managers just took advantage.

Revolution? No thanks. We have families, mortgages and don't mind people making money as such just make sure they don't walk over others to do it. A better place in society yes, overthrowing capitalism. Leave it out.

Trade unions have changed since those times. I remain a trade unionist though my role has declined as I head towards retirement but in some small ways have made a small difference in some peoples lives. Without unions we would all be much more at risk.

As Christmas approaches disputes have broken out on the railways, in the Post Office and at airports. Each of these conflicts does have a legitimacy: safety, jobs and pay and rightly the people who work there should be supported. Workers do not generally want to strike and it's not as easy as it used to be no matter what the press tell you.

Yes some unions such as the civil service PCS have been hijacked by the far left but they have never managed to even get half their members out. Others like Unite are used more to back the failing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

However it is up to the members themselves without undue pressure from either the activist caste or the Tory press to decide their actions. Turnouts are low in votes that needs to change but even the current government seems reticent about changing union law given the fluctuating situation.

However we need not just strong unions but responsible ones that actually represent members negotiate and act responsibly. Sometimes their actions will effect the general public. That is the nature of the beast.

But lessons must be learnt from the past. We do not want another Thatcher.

That means change in the Labour Party too. The new generation are idealistic but misguided. They must grow up quicker than my generation did. Our futures depend on it. 

Monday, 19 December 2016

A shot heard around the world


The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand on 28th June 1914 is seen as the catalyst that started the first world war and the continuing conflicts that rocked the world for the rest of the twentieth century. With this in mind it was disturbing to see the Russian Ambassador to Turkey being gunned down by an assassin. The BBC reports:

A Turkish policeman has shot dead Russia's ambassador to Turkey, Andrei Karlov, apparently in protest at Russia's involvement in Aleppo.

The killer has been identified as Mevlut Mert Aydintas, 22, a member of the Ankara riot police. It was not clear if he had links to any group.

The incident happened a day after protests in Turkey over Russian support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Turkey's relationship with Moscow has always been strained, especially since the Turks shot down a Russian plane on their border with Syria. A member of NATO, Turkey has become isolated even from it's own formal allies as Erdogan purges his army and establishes an Islamist dictatorship.

Seen as the "ailing man of Europe" in former times history seems to be repeating itself as the country destabilises itself once more.

Meanwhile in further tragic news a lorry has driven through a Christmas market in a Berlin market, the kind of attack that western intelligence had been warning about. Nine people are known to be dead at the time of writing with over 50 injured. One eye witness interviewed by phone on Sky News made it clear this was not an accident. 

Whilst it's too early to attribute blame, it appears two men were involved with the alleged driver being arrested and the passenger killed the suspicion of who is behind this latest atrocity is on tthe tip of everyone's lips. Somehow I doubt it's angry Buddhists and the involvement of the usual suspects is expected.

As if that wasn't enough for one evening the BBC also reports an attack in Zurich:

Three people have been hurt in a gun attack near a Muslim prayer centre in the Swiss city of Zurich.

Police confirmed an operation was under way in a street close to the city's main station.

Swiss reports said the three wounded were all adults who had been found in Eisgasse, a small street where an Islamic centre is based.

There was no indication who carried out the shooting but local media said the attacker had fled the scene.

This year has been one in which terror and fear have haunted the streets of Europe as religious extremists and neo fascist movements have risen to threaten our democratic way of life.

We must not these dangerous people get the upper hand. It's time to stand up to their violence and hate. 

The men of hate must not win.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Wonder Woman removed as "UN Ambassador"

 Wonder Woman (2017 film).jpg
                                                               Photo: By Source

Just as I was surprised to hear that the United Nations had picked the fictional character Wonder Woman as  their "Ambassador for the empowerment of women and girls". I was just as surprised to hear she had been removed. According to a report by Rod Liddle in today's Sunday Times (no link £)
Diana was considered "too fit". by some bunch of "harridans" who prefer to be represented by "a grimacing hag with cropped hair in boiler suit".

A little extreme perhaps, but funny all the same. No sense of proportion some people as a group of feminists did object to Wonder Woman and managed to raise a petition of some 45,000 signature world wide to get her removed. Impressive given that there are over 6 Billion bloody people on this planet of ours. Not.

The petition whinged:

Wonder Woman was created 75 years ago. Although the original creators may have intended Wonder Woman to represent a strong and independent “warrior” woman with a feminist message, the reality is that the character’s current iteration is that of a large breasted, white woman of impossible proportions, scantily clad in a shimmery, thigh-baring body suit with an American flag motif and knee high boots –the epitome of a “pin-up” girl. This is the character that the United Nations has decided to represent a globally important issue – that of gender equality and empowerment of women and girls. It appears that this character will be promoted as the face of sustainable development goal 5 for the United Nations at large.

Wonder Woman writer Greg Ruka responded:

We live in a time of such acrimony. Diana is many things, she’s not acrimonious. She’s the antithesis of that. She is an open hand, always reaching out. Always asking for the opportunity to make a friend and to ease the pain and to make things better. God! How can you not be aching for somebody like that right now?

She is tireless, and she is undefeated. She’s never going to bow her head. I think that is so important. We need heroes like that. We spend a lot of time looking at our superheroes and trying to darken them up. That ain’t her.

Never going to bow her head. Just the role model women need to stand up to the terrible cultural and religious misogyny that dominates so much of our world. 

Wonder Woman  Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman as a character has been around for 75 years now and is one of just three superheroes to have had their own comic books published continuously since the forties and the only female character to do so.

Other than comic book readers lots of people will remember Wonder Woman as portrayed by Linda Carter and a whole new generation have seen Gal Gadot pick up the role in the new Superman Batman movie and next year she gets her first solo movie. 

Wonder Woman has changed over the years as have her male counterparts Superman & Batman. The characters have adjusted to the times in which they are published, but at heart Wonder Woman or the Princess Diana (her real name) is a strong warrior woman who sought to bring a message of peace to man's world. 

Wonder Woman comes from a nation of Amazons who swore they would never wear chains placed on them by men ever again.

If such a message was ever needed it is now with so many women oppressed by backward thinking.

Perhaps the protestors should have instead aimed their ire at real oppressors like Saudi Arabia which sits on the laughably named UN Human Rights Commission whilst banning women from driving, travelling without a guardian and forcing them into near slavery under their Islamic fundamentalist system

The "feminists" who protested got this one so wrong. Still they are the privileged ones in the West who always know best for their oppressed sisters in Africa, the Middle East and never.

Wonder Woman is published twice monthly by DC Comics. 

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Stop the prosecutions of former soldiers in Ulster

British Army roadblock 1988.jpg
Photo: By IWM Collections.

When the peace agreement was finally reached in Northern Ireland after all the "troubles" hundreds of suspected IRA members and even a suspected bomber involved in the Hyde Park atrocity were given amnesty. This helped secure the deal.

The news that two former soldiers are to be prosecuted for their part in the death of IRA terrorist Joe McCann has rightly caused outrage across the country as these two veterans now in their sixties could face jail. McCann was a known hard line member of a terror organisation that would not hesitate to kill and often did. The soldiers who were sent to Northern Ireland to keep the peace and defend the country against such criminals deserve better treatment.

Disturbingly it appears the man behind the prosecutions is a man who has worked with Sinn Fein leaders gerry Adams and Martin Guinness in the past and himself had a role in securing the deal for former IRA members to avoid prosecution. This reeks of double standards and hypocrisy.

The Daily Mail reports

In his role as Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr McGrory is the man behind the decision to bring charges against the pair.

Since taking on the public position, he has already stood down from at least six cases due to a 'conflict of interest', according to The Telegraph.

While practicing privately, he represented Mr McGuinness during the Bloody Sunday inquiry, when it was wrongly alleged the Northern Irish Deputy First Minister was the IRA gunman. 

The fact that McGrory has previously had "conflicts of interests" is very telling. One rule for for the IRA another for our soldiers it would seem.

I cannot imagine what it would be like to be sent as a young man to a difficult and long running conflict between two entrenched communities where the IRA has bombed and murdered so many people. Now that at least peace has been achieved with just a handful of recalcitrants holding out surely the time has come to move on for all.

Our soldiers have too often been let down by the state not just in Ulster but also over Iraq where a law firm was found guilty of hiding evidence and  making bogus claims to line it's pockets. This is just not good enough.

According to the report in the Mail some 278 more security personnel still face possible prosecution. This should end now.

British soldiers risk their lives for our country and it's freedoms. They deserve better.

Stop the prosecutions now!

For Christmas Number One: Chip Pan by Everly Pregnant Brothers

It seems the Jeremy Corbyn single has failed to even chart (there's a relief) so instead readers might like to purchase/down load the following single by the Pregnant Everly Brothers and Red Watch from South Yorkshire Fire Brigade.

All proceeds go to charity and the song also doubles as a public service announcement.

Watch those chip pans (no really watch them). They're the cause of so many house fires.

Friday, 16 December 2016

Musical Interlude: Amadeus Electric Quartet

OK it's Friday night and time to chill with a beautiful piece of music from four very beautiful ladies who cover Robbie Williams song She's The One in their unique style.

Just sit back and relax.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Corbyn: Sinn Fein, Hamas and Hezbollah

Jayne Fisher
"London Based Socialist"

The decision of Jeremy Corbyn to appoint Sinn Fein activist caused great consternation not just amongst Labour MP's but amongst a growing number of party members as the news became public. It's not as if Corbyn's connections with Sinn Fein or his sympathy for the IRA's "armed struggle" or terrorism as the rest of us call it is new but this is more than just the man shooting himself in the foot to use a well known phrase.

Jayne Fisher has deleted thousands of "tweets" from the public domain which is a worrying development. What is she hiding? Would it be her singing republican songs with known terrorists or her Israel bashing.

Sinn Fein is one of those organisations that revels in "anti-imperialism" and supports the Palestinian armed struggle.

Fisher once delivered Adams call for the Israeli ambassador to be expelled from the UK. Yet as part of Corbyn's team she will be engaging in Labour's orientation to "minorities", which supposedly includes a rapprochement with the Jewish community.

What is this woman doing in the Labour Party? She appears to be a member of Sinn Fein. The Labour Party should expel her, not appoint the woman to their leaders office.

Not sure Team Corbyn will get much of a reception with this woman around let alone his other rabid advisors leke Seumas Milne.

This man who would be Prime Minister has such dodgy friends. Gerry Adams, Jayne Fisher and of course those well known mates of his in the terrorist organisations Hamas & Hezbollah. Those groups that seek the destruction of the world's only Jewish state.

Lest anyone forgets, here's old Corby in his own words....

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Aleppo: The day the left died

The Syrian civil war has been raging for four long years with over 400,000 known deaths as those who opposed the murderer dictator Assad attempted to free their country which was then pounced on by genocidal Islamists in ISIS and Al-Qaeda making a dangerous situation even more deadly.

The democratic world hesitated, ignored and turned it's backs on those fighting for freedom. Only the Kurds have managed to liberate themselves despite the efforts of Erdogan's Turkey.  Only with help from allied air forces of the USA, UK and others did they manage to hang on and push back ISIS.

At the forefront of the war has been the battle for the city of Aleppo. Civilians trapped in a long nightmare facing first the barrel bombs of the Syrian air force then indiscriminate attacks by Russian aircraft. Civilian casualties are of no concern to either Assad or Putin.

As all this went on the left in this country remained (with very few exceptions) silent. Where was the Stop the War Campaign, Momentum, the Communist Party or the new messiah Jeremy Corbyn? Where were the demonstrations, the pickets or the protests?

The Morning Star gives the game away with it's headline "Final Liberation in Sight". All along the mealy mouthed "anti-imperialists" had maintained a distance, always blaming the West, the democracies, the free world within which they live as villains. It suits them not that actions take place from the countries they sympathise with on the ideological grounds that their enemies enemy is their friend.

As the Baathists (Syrian Fascists) conquer the remains of Aleppo reports of disappearances have now been replaced by tales of massacres. Assad and Putin's victory will be a bloody one which given the nature of their regimes is not surprising.

There was a time when the left saw Russia either as a "socialist" state (Communist Parties) or a "degenerated workers state (Trotskyists) but the USSR collapsed at the end of the eighties. Russia is now another capitalist state with growing nationalist fever and developing it's own imperialist ambitions in competition with the rest of the world.

Why do the comrades still defend it. More to the point why do they defend Assad whose brutal regime employed torture and murder of all political opponents as government policy? Why do the left treat these regimes (and other fascist regimes such as Iran) with kid gloves.

Their twisted ideology sees the Western democracies as a barrier to their political ambitions. Their feting and support for dictatorships should serve as a warning of what will happen under their rule should they get their chance.

The left died on the streets of Aleppo today.

Monday, 12 December 2016

Musical Interlude: Thundermother

Had a busy day and have left it a wee bit too late to blog tonight so here is a track from a terrific Swedish band, Thundermother.

Normal service tomorrow...... hopefully!!

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Attempted stitch-up in Unite?

Unite the union's General Secretary election took a new twist today as The Sunday Times (no link£) reported that "dirty tricks" were at play as Gerard Coyne prepares to launch his campaign to replace McCluskey:

Earlier this year Coyne, Unite's regional secretary in the West Midlands was threatened with dismissal for addressing a meeting with Labour MPs according to insiders.

He received a written final warning for speaking at the event , which was deemed to be against the aims and objectives of Unite, union sources said. The disciplinary procedures however were an attempt by McCluskey to get rid of a potential rival, allies have suggested.

Such a move can only mean McCluskey has been planning a long term strategy to hang on on to power in Unite which goes against his previously stated position.

Ian Allison, a member of Unite's National Executive writes on his blog

Once again Len McCluskey has decided to force a snap General Secretary election, in which he intends to stand for re-election. The announcement is here and the official Unite information is here.

Calling the election now, a year early, with nominations 16 January - 17 February 2017, is clearly intended to slant the election even further in favour of the incumbent.

Many will remember that when Len re-stood early last time, he said he wouldn't standing again. Last time there was much criticism of the cost of the unnecessary election. This time the cost is being used to justify bringing the election forward to coincide with the Executive Council elections.

The decision of his fixer aide Andrew Murray to defect from the Communist Party to Labour is obviously no coincidence. McCluskey is intent on keeping power in Unite a-la-Scargill and will use his position to keep the far-left in control of the direction of Labour under Corbyn or his possible successor in 12 months John McDonnell.

The idea that a Unite official can be disciplined for speaking to a group of Labour MPs to which the Unite union is affiliated goes beyond belief, Further supporting Corbyn hardly furthers the "aims & interests" of Unite's members many of whom would have their jobs put at risk through Corbyn's desire to scrap Trident and run down the defence industry.

The forthcoming contest will be central to the future of Labour. Getting rid of the Marxist McCluskey would be a major step forward to reclaiming the Party from the far-left.

This blog will be supporting Gerard Coyne's campaign. watch this space.

In the meantime you follow Coyne on Twitter: 

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Communist veteran joins Labour

Andrew Murray, life-long member of the Communist of Britain and aide to Len McCluskey in Unite has finally taken the plunge and joined the Labour Party. This surprising decision was reported in the Guardian today:

Andrew Murray, who last year said communism represented “a society worth working towards”, joined Labour’s ranks recently, a Unite spokesman said.

But as the paper notes, his conversion to "democratic socialism" seems a little suspect:

Murray, a former Morning Star journalist and longtime chair of Stop the War, said in a Guardian interview last year that his adherence to communism prevented him from joining Labour.

“All my children are in the Labour party,” he said. “One has been in the Labour party a long time; the other three are all there as a result of Jeremy’s surge. But no, I’m a member of the Communist party. That’s where I am. Communism still represents, in my view, a society worth working towards – albeit not by the methods of the 20th century, which failed.”

Murray is also currently Chair of the pro-Putin/Assad Stop the War Coalition so will have similar views of international politics to Labour's "Dear leader" Jeremy Corbyn.

The entry of a staunch Stalinist into Labour will simply add to the "potpourri" of extreme left activists that have come to dominate the Party. He will find an ally in Shameless Milne but will find himself at loggerheads with the Trots in Momentum as there is no love lost between him and the AWL, though his daughter is currently engaged in a fight with those dastardly followers of Leon Trotsky.

Another follower of lost causes joining the throng. Is faction fighting inside Momentum is about to become a family affair?

Friday, 9 December 2016

Friday night interlude with Radio Luxemburg!

Growing up in the sixties and seventies one of my main sources of music was none other than Radio Luxembourg which I, like many of my peers would listen to on a small transistor radio under the bedclothes.

The English language service of Radio Luxembourg actually began broadcasting in 1933 and ran until 1992.

The only problem with listening to this station was the fading in and out which always seemed to happen when listening to my favourite tracks. Didn't stop me or anyone else tuning in.

There were some good Disc Jockeys that I remember like Stuart Henry, Tony Prince, Kid Jensen and Emperor Roscoe.

For those of you who are of a certain generation will hopefully enjoy this trip down memory lane!

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Round and about the far-left

  The Socialist issue 928 front page - NHS: stop the Tory vandals

The current crisis in Momentum has been the main talk on left-wing media over the last week and the left's papers are no exception but the Socialist Party (Militant) makes no mention of it's now obviously failed appeal to be re-admitted to the Labour Party.

However they have have allies in the tiny Communist Party of Great Britain who write in a report of their "aggregate that:

In the discussion that followed Vernon Price pointed out that SPEW was now making the correct demand that all working class organisations should be allowed to affiliate to Labour, so it does seem to have rethought things.

In reply to this, comrade Conrad said that SPEW had not engaged in any re-examination of its position on Labour - it had gradually “rowed back” into a “not so stupid” position. But for SPEW it was all about preserving its own organisation, not arriving at the truth. I added that for almost 20 years SPEW had insisted that Labour was now a bourgeois party, just like the Tories and Liberal Democrats, and it still refuses to admit it was wrong on that.

One interesting point to note about this meeting that it was a joint affair between the CPGB and the "Labour Party Marxists". The connection should be quite clear to the powers that be within Labour Party who are responsible for ensuring entryists of this type are kept out.

However their guru Jack Conrad (aka John Chamberlain) told the meeting:

...a Labour defeat would see renewed attacks by the right, who would blame it all on Corbyn, and there could possibly be a good number of trade unions withdrawing their support from him. As for Theresa May, she is looking for an excuse to call an early election - she knows full well that a general election in a few months’ time would almost certainly see the Tories re-elected with a hugely increased majority.

But most of the left, inside and outside the party, is in denial over this. Furthermore, the left groups have responded to Corbyn’s victory in a totally un-theorised manner. The Socialist Workers Party and Communist Party of Britain claim that the real battle is ‘on the streets’, not inside Labour, while the Socialist Party in England and Wales and Socialist Resistance have refused to engage in any self-criticism over their previous writing off of Labour as a site for struggle.

For the uninitiated Socialist Resistance are yet another tiny Trot faction that originated out of the implosion of the International Marxist group in the eighties. The IMG's most famous member was one Tariq Ali.

Socialist Resistance is an affiliate of the United Secretariat of the Fourth International, the largest of such groups claiming to be the continuation Trotsky's Fourth International. Oddly there is a second group that is part of the USFI known as Socialist Action and was infamous for providing Ken Livingstone with his "lieutenants" when he became Mayor of London.

Socialist Action has been buried in the Labour Party for years whilst Socialist Resistance was once part of Galloway's mis-named Respect party before briefly wandering into the Socialist Party/RMT led Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition. Now they too are burying themselves in Labour....

Meanwhile the media's current villains, the Alliance for Workers Liberty have issued a statement in which they openly admit their political orientation:

Yes, we are Trotskyists. We say what we think, and we organise openly for our ideas. We believe Momentum is a tremendous opportunity for the left.

Not that this should be news to anyone.

There are other groups "quietly" enconsed in Labour like Red Flag, the new name for the Workers Power group which is part of (believe it or not) The Fifth International. Then there is Socialist Appeal a 300 or so strong group who split from Militant and stayed in the Labour Party. They have their own "International" called the International Marxist Tendency.

All of these groups (and any I might have neglected to mention) have one thing in common. They seek to use the rise of "Corbynism" for their own benefit. All they are interested in is building their party. What happens to Labour is ultimately of no concern to them as they seek to supplant it and democracy in favour of a Leninist style "dictatorship of the proletariat" or to be more precise the dictatorship of the Party of the proletariat which means them.

Trotskyism is a threat to democracy let alone the Labour Party. The younger Corbynites seem to have finally got wind of this although whether they learn anything from this is doubtful since many of them are just as intolerant, just in a different way.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

World of the Weird on a Wednesday

After a week of uncertainty in the politics I thought it was time to once more delve into the "world of the weird" once more after watching a couple of quite laughable videos on You Tube tonight.

The first from our friends at UFOmania tells us that at bottom of a Lake Vostok in Antarctica which has been isolated from the rest of the world for millions of years has a "large swastika" on its floor. Yeah right.

No evidence and just throwing in the theories of Nazi redoubts in Antarctica and the wacky observations of Admiral Byrd (who claims he saw "mammoth type creatures" in Antarctica) doesn't exactly impress.

Why do I watch this stuff? I'm fascinated by the bizarre theories that some people either believe or in this just make up. UFOmania is frankly the latter. They did a feature on anti-aircraft missiles being fired at a UFO over London. Living in a tower block I'm sure I'd have noticed...... mind you I'm told I can sleep through anything!

Then there's Tyler at Secureteam. He actually believes the stuff he puts out and the "Towers of Mars" sounds like something that could be found in John Carter stories. Sorry to hear about his cat though.

One of Tylers other videos features a chap who claims that US & Russian militaries have been at war with aliens since 1979. You know I'm sure we'd have noticed somehow or is ISIS just a cover? The jihadists are not human that's for sure, but aliens....

Still as the conspiracists would say: "that's what they want you to think".

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

The forgotten by-election

While a lot of attention was focused on the Richmond by-election because of it's high-profile incumbent MP Zac Goldsmith, virtually nothing has been heard about the forthcoming contest in Sleaford & North Hykham.

At the last general election this was a safe Tory seat with a majority of over 24,000 and  56.2% of the vote. Labour came in second place with just 17.3% with UKIP close behind on 15.7%. The Liberal Democrats just about saved their deposit with 5.7%.

Labour's vote collapsed badly in Richmond with the party not only losing it's deposit but getting less votes than the number of members it claims in the constituency. Factional eyes will be watching the result with interest. Most party members have focused their attention of Momentum's growing internal squabble as the comrades fall out with each other unable to agree on a simple notion of each of their members having a vote.

It's not rocket science "comrades".

Meanwhile back in the world of real politics this by-election id wide open with both UKIP and the Liberal Democrats likely to squeeze the Labour vote. The seat (just like Richmond) is not good territory for Labour but the party cannot afford yet another humiliating performance.

UKIP's candidate is Victoria Ayling a local County Councillor whilst the Lib-Dems are fielding Ross Pepper whose views can be found on his blog A Pinch of Pepper.

Labour have put up Jim Clarke a local trade unionist and refuse collector who says:

“People here in Sleaford and North Hykeham need a local representative that is going to stand up for them and be their voice in Parliament.

“It is not right that in 2016 working people here in Sleaford and North Hykeham are having to choose between heating and eating.

“It is not right that Grantham hospital hasn’t enough doctors to keep the hospital A&E open overnight. I will fight for the resources to protect our local NHS and I will stand side by side with local people campaigning to keep Grantham A&E open 24 hours a day.

“We have a Tory Government with no plan for Brexit. Here in Sleaford and North Hykeham 62 per cent of people voted for Brexit. But they didn’t vote to put their jobs at risk, they didn’t vote to lose their rights at work and they didn’t vote for price rises on everyday essentials.

“Immigration played a big part in the Brexit result and I will not ignore that. We need to earn people’s trust and show that we respect will of the people, but will also hold the government to account on ensuring the best deal for Britain, which protects our local jobs.

“I will be a campaigning candidate, and I will be out on the doors from tomorrow, standing up for local people showing them that only Labour will put Sleaford and North Hykeham first.

“I am ready for the challenge to be Sleaford and North Hykeham’s next MP.”

The election result is awaited in the early hours of Friday morning.

Monday, 5 December 2016

A warning from the Workers Revolutionary Party

Workers Revolutionary Party

With all the attention being given to the petty bourgeois revisionists inside Momentum the working class fails to heed the continued warnings of the Workers Revolutionary Party, British Section of the International Committee of the Fourth International.

Their paper The News Line warns us that:

THE European Union is like a huge powder magazine that started to smoulder even before the Brexit vote in the UK on June 23rd, and is now about to be blown apart as its inner contradictions become white hot and completely unbearable.

and concludes with gusto that:

British capitalism has no future except to plan to smash the NHS and all workers rights. The UK working class must act accordingly. It must take action to force parliament to withdraw from the EU and to defend the NHS. The way to do this is through the organisation of the British socialist revolution. This will be emulated all over Europe and replace the EU with the Socialist United States of Europe.

Oh dear. Even poor old Gerry Healy must be turning in his grave if he isn't roasting in Hell for his crimes.

Healy of course was expelled by the party he created for sexual abuse of young socialists, though despite this many of their members stuck with him including Vanessa and the late Corin Redgrave. Like all Trotskyist groups they too fell apart and the WRP that exists today is so small it is surprising they manage to keep publishing The News Line daily.

It's membership is unknown and the circulation of it's paper a mystery, but here it is perpetuating the tired old politics of paranoia and imaginary threats, though no longer in receipt of funding from Gaddafi.

However they have no time for the false messiah Jeremy Corbyn and write:

Corbyn has no stomach for any fight against the right-wing or Blair; instead he is content to act as a safety valve for the hatred of workers towards this bankrupt capitalist system. He deliberately ducked out of a fight to break decisively with Blair and the right-wing just as he has ducked out of any real fight over the attacks by the Tories on wages, jobs, the NHS and the smashing up of the welfare state.

What is required today is not a leadership that talks ‘left’ but then runs away from a real fight, but a leadership that will call for and lead a struggle to bring down this Tory government and bring in a workers government and socialism. Only the WRP is building this leadership. Join today!

Perhaps those unhappy with the Tory-lite Jon Lansman should heed their call.

And then the rest of can get on with the task of getting Labour and the trade unions out of the current madness and actually help people.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Momentum's Divided National Committee

Although Momentum and it's supporters are far from all being traditional "Trotskyists" (there are some like the AWL inside) it seems the old adage that "if you put three Trots in a room you get two parties and a faction" still applies.

Their long awaited and disputed National Committee took place yesterday and what a confusing and disorganised meeting it turned out to be with Matt Wrack the FBU General Secretary querying who actually had voting rig rights since a lot of "poorly" identified people and volunteers packing the room out.

The Clarion reports:

At the start of the meeting there was controversy about the new delegates from the regions and equalities groups, elected by online ballot of members, with uncertainty who had the right to vote. Delegates also questioned the representatives from left groups (CPLD, Compass, LRC, Labour Briefing Coop, Open Labour, Labour Assembly Against Austerity, Labour CND; it’s not clear if anyone was there this time from the blog Left Futures which previously “delegated” Jon Lansman). These organisations have not chosen to affiliate; Open Labour refused to back Jeremy Corbyn’s re-election – so why are they represented on the Momentum NC?!

It turns out that there is a "conservative wing" of momentum:

In summary: the left, more radical, pro-democracy wing of the NC won on some democracy issues including the structure and powers of the upcoming national conference, passing policy for a conference of delegates from local groups that can meaningful decide Momentum’s policy and plans; as well as on some other issues (eg defending freedom of movement and migrants’ rights, and fighting expulsions and suspensions). But the more conservative wing managed, by one vote, to block holding a new election for the Steering Committee, even though it was elected seven months ago, before many events, debates and controversies.
Who knew? 

Momentum Tories. That'll be a new on-line insult for the more deranged wing of the Corbynista movement.....

The comrades apparently held some "key votes":

• That this conference should make policy and establish a constitution.

• We voted down the proposal from the SC majority that we could only discuss three key areas.

• We voted that the conference would be on 18 February, 25 February or 4 March (25 February clashes with Scottish Labour conference).

• We voted for a composite from the Northern, London and Midlands regions advocating motions can be submitted one each from local groups, liberation groups, students and youth, affiliated unions, the NC and regional networks; three weeks before conference; with compositing, an e-forum to discuss motions and an online priorities ballot.

• Two delegates for every 100 members or part thereof (at least gender balanced and groups sending more than four must send at least one young person).

• Those not covered by a group can send at same rate elected by ballot.
• If not covered by a group 30 people can submit a motion.

• Liberation groups and students and youth can send delegates, to be agreed by NC in consultation with these groups subject to verification of structures and elections.

• We elected a Conference Arrangements Committee of seven people: Alec Price, Huda Elmi, Josie Runswick, Delia Mattis, Lotte Boumelha, Jackie Walker, James Elliott.

• We voted against complicated formulas for voting and instead for simple delegate voting at conference.

• We voted that group delegates should be elected at face-to-face local Momentum group meetings.

According to the author of this report he does not trust the Momentum leadership to not "void" these issues, by which he probably means they'll ignore it. After all Momentum remains a private company with Jon Lansman as it's proprietor.

Momentum are and remain a bloody mess. If these people represent the future of Labour the party is truly doomed.

Corbyn the false messiah has not chosen his disciples very well.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Corbyn's hypocrisy on the far-right

Gays being executed in Iran. Photo: By Source

Jeremy Corbyn has been attending a meeting of European Socialists and is reported as saying that the "left" must "stand up" to the growing threat of the far-right across the world.  In theory we should all support his stance, but there is a real problem with what Corbyn says and what he does.

Jeremy Corbyn is a man who sees the anti-Semites of Hamas and Hezbollah as "friends" despite the fact they themselves are extreme right-wing Islamists, mourns the loss of Castro despite the persecution of gays, execution of opponents and suppression of democracy.

Corbyn appeared on Press TV and has never apologised for giving credence to the fascist clerics who fund the channel and suppress Baha'is, Christians, gays, women, want to commit genocide on Israel, the worlds only Jewish state. Refused to condemn the terrorism committed by the IRA and has shared platforms with the extreme nationalists of Sinn Fein.

This is a man who despite the problems of anti-Zionism morphing into outright anti-Semitism in sections of the Labour Party amongst his own supporters who then refused to visit the Holocaust Museum when invited by his socialist counterpart in Israel. He was "too busy" apparently.

Jeremy Corbyn and his far-left supporters are just as much part of the problem as the far-right is.  For those of us fighting the rise of anti-Semitism, the far-left is as much an enemy as not just the alt-right/neo-Nazi's  but also the Islamists.

Corbyn cannot be trusted. No wonder Labour is losing deposits.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Music interlude to start the weekend with Billy Idol

The weekends here at last and time to party and rest for a couple of days. I noticed that eighties star Billy Idol was 61 today. My how time flies.

So here's a little number to start the party!

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Unite members need to ditch McCluskey

Unite logo   

The fight for the control of the Labour Party took a new twist as The Times (no link£) reported today:

Figures across Unite believe that Len McCluskey, it's general secretary is considering a snap election early next year. A win would keep him in control of Britain's biggest union until 2022.

The reason for this is simply that Unite is central to keeping Corbyn in control of the Labour Party especially with the union having several seats on Labour's NEC. According to The Times:

One Labour Source said the union bosses future was the "absolute central feature of Labour politics for 2017.

McCluskey is of course notorious for suggesting that the secret services had a hand in the rebellion by Labour MP's. Utter bollocks of course but the far-left is paranoid to the extreme. Some have even suggested that the Israeli Embassy had a hand in the attempted coup, certainly a lot of the comrades see the "Zionist Lobby" behind Labour's woes over the exposure of anti-Semitism inside the party.

Meanwhile Unite's  members are put at risk because support for Corbyn is a conflict of interests over the security of their jobs as the Labour leader opposes Trident, Heathrow expansion and the defence sector.

Unite members also may recognise the need for a Labour Party that can actually get elected, if so not only Corbyn has to go but McCluskey too. Unite members in the threatened sectors are already waking up to this fact.

The far-left has to be beaten, but the fight cannot take place just inside the Labour Party. It also has to be taken up inside the trade unions.

Our futures cannot be left in the hands of deluded Corbynistas who prefer their ideological purity to actually achieving real, if limited gains that a modern, democratic and broad based Labour Party could bring.