Friday, 21 November 2014

Paddy Hill and the Birmingham Six

Today, it is 40 years since the Birmingham pub bombings and the wrongful arrest of the Birmingham six.

40 years later Paddy Hill is still seeking justice of the 21 who lost their lives, the 182 injured and the families of all those affected. We remember the death of innocents, but also  the death of justice, where people are gaoled,  not because they are guilty, but because the police needed a conviction, . Victims left dehumanised, spending their lives, seeking some form of justice.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

NHS final Faith

Good  film from  the People's NHS. We must save the NHS from the corporations  and the vultures in power . As Private health  firms are on course  to win more  than £9bn of NHS contracts to look after patients as a result of  the coalitions ramping  up of competition  in the health service.Private contractors ares damaging our beloved NHS  and simply wasting money, as they cherry pick the most profitable treatments.We urgently need to protect the NHS's services, we must  keep faith, in only 3 years the Tory's and their friends have given us cuts, queues and chaos, only ramping up I guess what New Labour began, lest we forget. If it carries  down on this road to privatisation, it will cease to exist as we know it.The NHS cannot be sold. It belongs to us all.
We have no time to waste this is an emergency.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Joe Hill (7/10/1879 -19/11/15) - An Injury to one is an injury to all.

Today I offer a poem in rememberance of Joe Hill, on the anniversary of the murder by the state of this itinerant worker, labour activist and singer songwriter of the Industrial Workers of the world, who gave rise to the labour motto ' An injury to one is an injury to all.'
Born Joel Haggland  in Sweden, he came to  the U.S.A  on 1902. Active in the Labour movement  throughout his live,  in January 1914, he was arrested in Salt Lake City and accused of murder. He died proclaiming  his innocence. From his conviction  to his death he became an icon for workers everywhere,  and his subsequent  execution sent echoes around the world. For many his spirit and his legacy lives on.
Two earlier posts of mine can be found here :-

Through the dusty ages,
the earth creaks and moans,
dark shadows try to break people bones,
the air still cloudy, thick with mire,
daily each border, delivers human shame,
parasites create  walls of oppression,
build bloodstained monuments that try to
                                                  thwart hope,
but the human spirit, carries taverns of memory,
within us all, harbours rivers of resistance,
standing together we are worth more than
                                                    the weight of gold,
in our palms,  another world glows,
with unity's strength, we can set people free,
no tyrant can stop us, we serve the weak and
protecting and defending with dignity and defiance,
on November 19th, 1915, Joe Hill was shot down,
yet his enduring dream survives, gives us strength,
shoulder to shoulder, solidarity lives forever,
we remember, an injury to one, is an injury to all.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Revealed : How the Coalition has helped rich by hitting the poor.

In a  landmark study of the coalition's tax and welfare policies  6 months before a general election,  it has been revealed how money has been transferred   from the poorest to the better off,  apparently refuting the chancellor of exchequer's claims that the country has been 'all in it together.'
According to  independent research published today, and seen by the Observer Newspaper George Osborne has been engaged in a significant transfer  of income from the least well off half of the population to the more affluent in the past four years. Those  with the lowest incomes have  been hit hardest.
In an intervention that will  come as a major blow to the government's  claim to have shared out the burden of austerity equally, the report by economists at  the London School of Economics and the institute for Social and Economic Research at the  University of Essex, finding that :-

1. Sweeping changes to benefits and income tax  have had the effect of switching income from the  poorer half of households  to most of the richer half, with the poorest 5% in  in the country in terms of income loosing nearly 3% of what they would  have earned if Britain's tax and welfare system of May 2010 had been retained.

2. With the exception of the top 5% who lost 1% of their potential  income. It is the better half of the country that has gained financially from the changes, with an increase of between 1.2% and 2% in their disposable income.

3. The top 1% in terms of income have also been small net gainers from the changes bought in by David Cameron's government since May 2010, which includes a cut in the top rate of income tax.

4. Two-earner households, and those with elderly family members, were the most favourably treated, as a result  of direct tax changes and state pensions respectively.

5. Lone-parent families have done worse, losing much   more through cuts in benefits  and tax credits and higher council tax than they ever gained through higher income tax allowances. Families with children in general. and largefamilies in particular, also did much worse than the average.

6. A quarter of  the lowest paid 10% have shouldered a particularly heavy burden, losing more than 5%  of what would have  been their income without the coalitions's reforms.

For more on this see here:-

and more here
Not that any of the above surprises too much, this is what the tories and their friends do, look after the rich, lie to the people, persecute the sick, diabled and vulnerable. Surely they are not fit to represent the people of this country. It is is time to destroy this nasty coalition.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Henry Miller (26/12/1891 - 7/6/1980) - Utopian Speculations.

An American writer I admire, Henry Miller, is known for breaking existing  literary forms, who sought to reestablish the freedom to live  without  the constraints and  restraints of civilization.
His works often reflected   hos own personal experiences, measured with  a humanism that often shocked and outraged. Writing about all phases of his life, everything that happened  to him struck  him as being of equal and monumental importance.His total  surrender  to life without meaning has resonated with me for a while,  and despite succumbing  to what some people have referred to as 'existential despair' he never  completely  surrendered reason. He has become one of the worlds forbidden writers, forbidden because   he dared to speak from his dark passionate heart, of some place beyond ideology , where the shadows of the soul  know no time.The perception of Henry Miller as a writer and literary outlaw remains today.
Th following paragraph was quoted in  Normal O. Brown's Life against death and  he comments on  Millers's text as follows:' Utopian speculations such as these of Henry Miller must come back into fashion. They are a way of affirming faith in  the possibility of solving problems that seem at the moment insoluable. Today even the survival of humanity is a utopian hope.'
Here's to Henry Miller spiritual Anarchist.

' The cultural era is past. The new civilization, which my take centuries or a few thousand years to usher in,  will not be another civilization - it will be the open stretch of realization which all the past civilizations have pointed to. The city, which was the birth place of  civilization, such as we know it to be, will exist no more. There will be nuclei of course, but they will be mobile and fluid. The peoples of the earth  will no longer be sent off from one another within states but will flow freely over the surface of the earth and intermingle. There will be no fixed constellations of human aggregates. Governments will give way to management, using the  word in a broad sense. The politician  will become as superannuated as the dodo bird. The machine will never be dominated, as some imagine; it will be scrapped, eventually, but not before men have understood  the nature of the mystery which binds them to  their creation. The worship,  investigation and subjugation of the machine  will give  way to the larger one of power - and of possession. Man will be forced to realize that power must be kept open, fluid and free. His aim will be not to possess power but to radiate it.'

Friday, 14 November 2014

Africa Stop Ebola

There's already a song about Ebola by high profile Francophone West African musicians. Why doesn't Mr Bob Geldof simply promote this song? Or even acknowledge  its existence? 'Africa stop Ebola' features a number of international  stars :- Tiken Jah Faloky, Amadou and Marian, Salif Keita, Ounu Sangare, Kandina Kora, Mory Kante, Sia Tolno, Barbara Kana and rappers Didire Awadi and Markus and Mokoke, so why another rehash of the grotesque ' Do they know its Christmas'. We should remember that this crisis is part of a long colonial disengagement, Geldof just compliant in  glossing neo-liberal policies  towards the continent with a humanitarian/ anti poverty sheen of respectivitety, gathering together in my humble opinion a worthless pile of toss,  which ignores the richness of Africa's own musical voice that is already out there.
The Ebola crisis is tragic and devastating, a crisis for humanity,the fight against it, is a fight well  worth supporting but we should not ignore or erase the efforts of those that come fromAfrica  while making it appear that western actions  are what saved the poor diseased Africans once again. We should not either forget  that the aid industry that has emerged from efforts like Band Aid, have themselves  fuelled human rights abuses, and corruption across the African continent and missed the Ebola crisis in its entirety. Ebola is a pestilance but we  must carry on treating  sufferers and  the people from country's effected with dignity and respect.

Please share and support the above project , all profits of which go to Medecins Sans Frontiers/Doctors without borders 

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

" We will kill you. We will break your bones.".

Torture is an everyday reality in Tibet yet survivor accounts are rare, used by China as a weapon against political dissent, since the Chinese forcefully took over Tibet in 1959.Harsh treatment is common at the prisons where diissidents are held, with prisoners routinely subjected to torture,  beatings, and forms  of abuse.

Ex-political prisoners are closely monitored by Chinese authorities, their families often under threat if they speak out and escape into exile  overseas is increasingly difficult. When Tibetans  do share information they are risking everything.

Hear from  torture testimonies read  by the actors Dominic West, Alan Rickman, Juliet Stevenson and David Threlfall. 
As many as 133 Tibetans have also set themselves ablaze in self-immolation protests calling for Tibetan freedom, opposing Beijing's rule and calling  for the return  of their exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama. As others have also resisted their actions represent the wishes and  aspirations of  countless Tibetans living under  repressive Chinese rule.
You can also read about recent incidents and learn how you can join the campaign to stop torture in Tibet.
Please  share the testimonies widely,  lets show the Chinese that the world is watching, and continue to help global Tibetan groups who campaign to secure the release of courageous individuals who symbolise the enduring resistance  of Tibetans inside Tibet.

Free Tibet.