Monday, September 29, 2003

The Land of Milk and Money
The faceless management drones behind BAE Systems, partly based at Filton, must really hate democracy. In common with the Taliban, they must really detest and loathe the democratic process. That’s not to say they don’t love the state – because they do. The state is the cow from which they suckle. They love the money the state has to spend on guns and the subsidies it offers for the sale of more guns. What they don’t love is the idea that the same people whose labour that produces the milk from which they suckle should have a say in where the milk goes. Revelations have come to light that BAE has been spending thousands and thousands of pounds on covert surveillance of anti-arms trade activists. They been employing people to infiltrate and evaluate; gather bank details, private correspondence, addresses, phone numbers and personal dairies on hundred and hundreds of peace activists, environmentalists, pacifists and anyone else who was interested in the stupid notion that we can have a say in where our taxes go.

So if you’re a peace activist you get the pleasure of being spied on twice. Once by BAE Systems and once by the police forward intelligence teams. What gets worrying then is the thought that the two then collaborate with one another thus creating a mergers of corporate and state interested, which is the very essence of what Benito Mussolini defined as fascism; or maybe that is exactly what BAE would prefer?

You see BAE Systems loves dictatorships. In common with the Taliban, they love people who rule with the iron fist. They love 'em because firstly they can sell them more iron fists and secondly because they don’t have to worry about the pesky involvement of the ordinary people. Ordinary people, if left without a regular pounding from a BAE supplied iron fist, end up taking an interest in thier country and then force the BAE to spend its valuable profits on spying. You name a brutal regime and BAE are there wining a dining the killers, dictators, tortures and despots. All subsidised by our taxes. You see its also come to light that BAE operated a slush fund to purchase houses and other perks for corrupt despots to ensure the milk flowed freely. Dictatorships like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Indonesia are to BAE Systems, lands of milk and honey.

In fact BAE Systems; the arms dealer, peeping tom, slush fund operator and all round opponent of democracy is a fitting sponsor of @Bristol, proudly standing alongside fellow dodgy companies; baby killers Neslte and earth rapers Rio Tinto Zinc.

However it should be pointed out that not everything is going BAE's way. The war in Iraq, which was supposed to be paid for from the oil revenue, is not going according to plan. As such the US has demanded Britain stump-up more cash – which has squeezed the military budget and so is causing the MOD to review a number of proposed contracts with BAE.

PS. A big-up to the courageous Israeli pilots who have refused to fly 'Targeted Killing ' missions (i.e assassinations via air-to-ground missile) because to the civilian deaths that have resulted from such missions. A humane action in a world gone mad.

Monday, September 15, 2003

The Material Guru
Madonna of singing pop-tunes fame has written a kids book aimed at passing on her superior moral vision to us plebs. Thanks Madonna! Thanks for providing us with the moral vision we so desperately need to move forward towards a state of peace and harmony…NOT.

C’mon Madonna you’ve just done adverts for the fucking Gap for crying out loud! Here you are preaching moral values while hooking up with a corporation who submits its sweatshop workers to beatings, verbal abuse, sexual harassment, and harsh repression of union organizing. Should we turn a blind eye to this or is this moral? Help us O great celebrity guru see the wisdom in your all-knowing vision! Help us see that the Fisher family (who own the Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy Stores) are not being immoral as they busy themselves destroying the last of the ancient redwood forest in northern California and are driving endangered species to extinction, including the Coho Salmon, the steelhead trout, the marbled murelet and the spotted owl. Guide us O guru!

Madonna spake and said thus: "I'm not interested in being recognised as a writer, I'm interested in getting the message out there. The book deals with jealousy, envy and being covet of what other people have and what a waste of time that is." So wise guru, what you are saying is that we should not be jealous of the vast wealth that you and the Fisher family have accrued, for to do so is morally wrong? Yes? That we should be content with what we have, even if we are an impoverished Gap contract worker who’d have to work for weeks to buy your £12.99 book? Will your next book deal with the other moral values your business deals support? Profit over people and the environment. Or the spiritual superiority of your past advertising deals with Max Factor owned by the moral-beacon that is Procter & Gamble. By your example we should not consider their polluting, animal testing, low pay scandals, working with the military dictatorship of Burma and other activities as wrong. No, no no! If we look closer we see they have rewarded their CEO with pay (in 2001) of $1.14 Million….ah there is the moral lesson – we should not covert his wealth. Yes? I feel spiritually refreshed already! Thanks material guru!

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

The Harvesters of Skulls: A Reflection on S11 and Beyond

Two years ago tomorrow, on September 11th 2001, fired by religious fanaticism, Osama Bin Laden’s group laid 2807 skulls at the altar of their God. In response to this gruesome offering, the leaders of the 'civilized' world promptly arranged another sacrifice of around 3,400 Afghani skulls at the altar of their God. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.

Bin Laden and his protégés were not to be outdone and responded by the offering of more skulls harvested from Bali, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and North Africa. Pushing the toll ever higher, Bush and Blair arranged the sacrifice of around another 7000 skulls in Iraq. I say approximately because they never received word from their God that they should bother to stop and count the bones, just to keep piling them high. Bush's religious henchmen obviously considered themselves the biblical word made flesh, the Alpha and the Omega. Bin Laden also sees the end-time coming; the first and the last, the beginning and the end.

Pile the skulls high, high enough so that the shadow cast by the offering of skulls is a monolith to their God of War. A gruesome tower of Babel who's shadow eclipses the sun so casting the world into a perpetual darkness. A darkness under which they can both muster their troops and bombs for the coming armageddon. Amen.

Bush, Blair and Osama are no doubt planning new alters of sacrifice for their respective Gods. We know that both are, theoretically, are piling their altars of bone high to the same God. The same God of Abraham and Jesus, a God presumably who has no compunction about their killing? At least that seems to be the jist of what Blair, Bush and Bin Laden think. They alone have discovered hidden clauses in the sacred words that apply only them as the forces of the righteous. The angels of death. The three share many believes in common; they are driven by their unshakable faith, see conflict as the solution, they all claim to be the real voice of their peoples, believe in authoritarian state rule and they all bow down to capitalism as their preferred method of exchange.

They might disagree of whom to bomb, but they don’t disagree on bombing.

So what has this got to do with wherever you live? If you live in New York, quite a lot, but then you already know that. If you live elsewhere within the borders of Pax Americana, quite a lot too but you might not have thought about that. However, we need to start thinking about it. The wealth of your region, in my case the South West is to be leached away to pay for the perpetual darkness of the War-Without-End. Schools in the region will suffer to pay for ever more elaborate methods of harvesting skulls. Social services will be slashed to pay private mercenary firms to pick clean the flesh from the bones. Everyday and in every way thay aim to take our labour, our resources and our land to pay for their wars. The war on terror will never be won, because it IS terrorism. The trinity of Bush, Blair and Bin Laden are a snake biting it's own tail - a perpetual cycle of misery and death to build the skull throne higher and higher. If left to build their monoliths unchecked they will eventually collapse and the whole world will be consumed in the rubble.

But there is hope.

Here in Bristol we've seen a highly effective grass roots anti-war campaign. We've seen the growth in community groups opposing the asset stripping. We’ve seen people with their moral compass intact point to the local arms dealers and saying; "These are the providers of the skull harvesters. These are the makes of the grinders for the corpse machine."

No more. We have borne witness time after time, since and before September 11th to the cost of the skull harvesters and the corpse machine. We'll feed it no more. The fight back continues. Here in Bristol, the resistance pledges by its organising and actions, to continue to build for a just and sustainable world. One day, and soon I hope, we'll dismantle the arms factories, the nuclear plants, the corpse machine and their sacrificial altars. We'll give the bones of the harvested a proper burial. In place of their thrones of skulls we'll erect a monument to the unknown human. The everyman/woman and child who've perished in the name of their gods and their mammon.

Then we'll start to build; "We are going to inherit the earth. There is not the slightest doubt about that. The rich might blast and ruin their own world before they leave the stage of history. We carry a new world here, in our hearts and that world is growing in this minute."

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Protecting the Protection Racket

You gotta laugh, because it you didn't you'd cry. Here's snippets from a mainstream media report about the Disarm DSEi protests upcoming (6th till 10th Sept). Lots of people from my stomping ground of Bristol will be attending the protests and the South West is home to lots of arms companies. Even the moral vacuum that is @Bristol gets money from an arms company! My comments are also included for the sake of being fair and balanced:

More than 3,000 security guards and police officers will be deployed in London next week to protect Europe's biggest arms fair amid warnings of potentially violent protests.

Protect an arms fair! Haha, the irony. Life imitates art. For those who’ve seen Dr.Stangelove it's a repeat of the scene where the President berates squabbling generals with the rebuke; You can't fight in here, this is the War Room!

The Met said: "It's a big event, very high-profile and seen as controversial, so we expect it to attract a large number of demonstrators…."

SEEN AS CONTROVERSIAL? It's not seen as controversial, it IS fucking controversial. This is where people buy weapons to fuel conflict. Still you’d expect the police to be seen as having no moral compass.

"… We have been planning this for a year because of the high level of protest expected, including plans for a day of direct action."

Pity you could not have spent all that time doing something about the drugs problem that ripping our inner cities apart. But then the police do have to be seen as having priorities. Anyhow, who pays for all this policing?

An MoD spokesman said its involvement in the exhibition was part of its support for the legitimate British arms industry.

Is it seen as legitimate? And if so by whom? The arms industry is nothing more that a massively public subsidised protection racket. Strange how the normal rules of capitalism will apply to the workers in Dyson factories but don’t apply to the arms industry.

A spokesman for the organiser of the arms fair, Spearhead Exhibitions, based in Surrey, said it was "100 per cent" confident that police would ensure the security of the exhibitors and visitors.

So who's going to ensure the safety of the civilians in Sierra Leone or any other Warzone where these arms will end up? The Met? No. We live in a society where the sellers of weapons are legitimate and those trying to stop them are labelled as violent.

World turned upside down.