Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Notes From a Slow Wednesday
A fair bit of discussion I have seen around an article by Mark Curtis (author of Unpeople: Britain's Secret Human Rights Abuses) about the G8 and how (surprise, surprise) they totally failed to deliver on the promises. I am waiting for Sir Bob to hold them to account as he rubbished those of us radical who said that the G8 were the problem and now it seems we are correct. Here a couple of choice quotes:

FIB 1 >> Blair's assertion that aid will come with no conditions is contradicted by Hilary Benn, his development secretary, who told a parliamentary committee on July 19 that "around half" of World Bank aid programmes have privatisation conditions….et in the G8 press conference Blair refuted the suggestion that privatisation would be a condition for aid.

FIB 2 >> recent evidence to the Treasury committee, Gordon Brown made the astonishing admission that the aid increase includes money put aside for debt relief. So the funds rich countries devote to writing off poor countries' debts will be counted as aid..The debt deal is not "in addition" to the aid increase, as Blair claimed, but part of it.

There is a reason Tony's name is often written Bliar.

Am checking out the site as it seems to offer a chance to offset some of your imact by flying and all that. A good friend who is far more in the know that me is looking at it so will post findings here.

Finally – quote for the day:
"...the first task of government [is to] to establish a monopoly on violence."

A US columnist tells it like it is. It not that Bliar and Bu$h don’t believe in violence, for all their protestations on peace and against violent political change, what they mean is that they should be the only ones to wield it as a tool; "As to Blair's credentials as one who rejects violence for politic ends, Britain's participation in the almost daily bombing of Iraq, it too illegal under international law, and its ardent seconding of the air war against Yugoslavia, leaves no room for doubt. He hardly rejects violence, or respects the law. Not him, not George W. Bush, and not one of the leaders of the G-8."

Monday, August 22, 2005

DISARM DSEi 2005: Protests Win Economic Battle
It looks like round one of the protests to stop DESi arms fair have been won by those fighting for life rather than fueling war. This particular battle has been won by the determined resistance of those who have protested the event over the last few years, building it into a major event. The victory is an economic one: Its now costs the police £4 million to police it and they are not happy about it at all, telling the Independent; "It is going to cost £4m with no money coming from the exhibition because the protests are taking place outside. There is a substantial public order threat, but the law does not allow us to charge for that. It's not dissimilar for people in football who are charged for policing inside the ground but not in the surrounding streets." The article also talks of a row over who should pay this bill; "The Metropolitan Police is planning to ask the Home Office to change the regulations to force exhibitors to pay for the external policing, or ask the Ministry of Defence, which jointly organises the event, to pay the costs." If the cops can pass the bill to Spearhead, the organisers, even partly then it stands a chance of making the whole event economically unsustainable and so close it. And that would be good news!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Further Down the Spiral
Its getting darker and darker in this world; "A Sunday Herald investigation has discovered that coalition forces are holding more than 100 children in jails such as Abu Ghraib....Witnesses claim that the detainees – some as young as 10 – are also being subjected to rape and torture." Blair, Bush, Bin Laden and the global capital-system are all dragging us down and down into a trail spin of extreme violence that can only end in mutual destruction.