There are more young people of working age out of work than at any time in recorded British history according to the latest government figures.
I started the current version of my online presence as it were in March of 2003 and have managed somehow to continue writing ever since, though I’ve had my share of blank spots along the way.
Writing on a regular basis used to be fairly easy for me but as the years have worn on and no doubt me wearing out, it gets more and more difficult for me to face up to a world that has gone from bad to worse to downright dire in the course of my lifetime.
My last piece clearly touched a nerve at least judging by the readership it’s gotten so I thought it worth exploring the issue a little further, especially in light of the comments I’ve read.
Generally speaking the response has been favourable though one Website that carried it prefaced it by saying that it ‘overstated the argument’. Elsewhere comments ranged from ‘why the hell do you watch television anyway?’ to ‘you’re stating the obvious’, but if so, why so many readers? Continue reading →
I don’t remember much about my high school years. Some of the highs (few in number) come back to me but it was mostly lows which probably explains why I don’t remember much. It’s not that I was dumb, I just had no motivation, but I was interested in history, jazz and politics (thanks to my parents) and even won a prize for a history essay as well as starting up the school’s first jazz appreciation society (not appreciated by the school I might add, the head of music tore down my posters).
Well 2011 has been nothing if not eventful but frankly, in spite of all the #Occupy this and #Occupy that, it’s not been a good year for us progresssives or the planet. The Empire acts with increasing, not decreasing impunity, desperate now to try and keep ahead of events lest events take control of it.
Are we living in a fool’s paradise?
A question keeps nagging at me: Are all of us, including the left, reacting to an entirely engineered reality, fed to us via an all-embracing media? Continue reading →
“I had to leave my dog in Iran.” – UK ambassador, BBC News, 2 December 2011
If I remember correctly, my mother told me that it was the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936 that prompted her to join the British Communist Party. The parallels with Libya today are not lost on me. Spain was the place that Hitler used to perfect aerial bombardment with Guernica as our testament to that particular piece of barbarity, just as today the Empire uses entire countries as target practice and to try out new weapons systems on ‘them’.
Something has to be done about a world rapidly filling up with the (often poisonous) rubbish that capitalism produces in vast abundance. Rubbish that will be with us for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Even the middle of the Atlantic Ocean is carpeted with the stuff, mostly plastic waste of all kinds. Even the remotest corners of our once, largely pristine planet are now poisoned with the excreta of capitalism’s insane and so far, unstoppable and largely arbitrary productive capacity.
Four years ago in a Ministry of Defence Review, the Whitehall Mandarins, more astutely than any so-called Lefty, determined the following:
“The Middle Class Proletariat — The middle classes could become a revolutionary class, taking the role envisaged for the proletariat by Marx. The globalization of labour markets and reducing levels of national welfare provision and employment could reduce peoples’ attachment to particular states. The growing gap between themselves and a small number of highly visible super-rich individuals might fuel disillusion with meritocracy, while the growing urban under-classes are likely to pose an increasing threat to social order and stability, as the burden of acquired debt and the failure of pension provision begins to bite. Faced by these twin challenges, the world’s middle-classes might unite, using access to knowledge, resources and skills to shape transnational processes in their own class interest.” — ‘UK Ministry of Defence report, The DCDC Global Strategic Trends Programme 2007-2036’ (Third Edition) p.96, March 2007
Nothing could illustrate the paradox better than ‘the party of labour’, financially supported largely by Britain’s biggest trade unions (representing around five million public employees) bankrolling the party which has led the way in attacking what’s left of the gains made since 1945. In a word, a traitorous political party that once again, faces the task of reinventing itself.
In case you hadn’t noticed, especially if you get your news from the MSM, there is the mother of all capitalist crises unfolding around us. A crisis that appears to be far deeper even than the Crash of ’29 and given the global nature of corporate capitalism, nobody (except the rich) can escape its awful destructive power, short of revolution of course.
It’s fashionable to call them the ‘underclass’ that the state has buried away, out of sight–out of mind on ‘sink estates’ or trapped and invisible in the poorest neighborhoods of our cities. Demonized and/or sentimentalized by the state/corporate media (‘Shameless’ and ‘East Enders’ come to mind), exactly as in Victorian times, an entire section of the working class have been reduced to some inferior, sub-human species by the political class and its media partners-in-crime. Continue reading →
Image by Mohammad A. Hamama, A reflected version! via Flickr
“Nato has attacked a Libyan state broadcaster in the capital, bombing three satellite dishes in Tripoli, saying the channel instils hatred.” — ‘Libya unrest: Nato bombs state broadcaster‘, BBC News 30 July 2011
At first when I heard this I couldn’t believe my ears. What a pathetic excuse for killing people but then desperate times demand desperate measures. The Empire is in disarray!
Over the past days BBC news coverage of the famine in Somalia has been saturating the airwaves and it’s always like this whenever ‘natural disasters’ strike. Fundamentally it’s little more than a fund-raising promo paid for with our taxes as endlessly repeated shots of emaciated babies and dying people serves no informative purpose except to tug covetously at our purse strings. And of course it has the added benefit of distracting us from our own condition – until the next crisis comes our way.
From the middle of the nineteenth century to the middle of the twentieth imperialism was the dominant national ideology, transcending class and party divisions. Britain was saturated in the ethos and attitudes of empire. They infused plays and books and, later, films. They informed school textbooks. They inspired paintings, prints and engravings. They filled newspapers and magazines. They figured in advertisements and packaging. The impact was arguably greater than that of any previous dominant ideology because its pre-eminence coincided with the rise of the mass market and the mass media. — ‘Imperialism and juvenile literature’ edited By Jeffrey Richards. Manchester University Press, 1989