Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Iraq Trap II

I had written previously about how there are good indicators that the now dead Al-Zarqawi realised that the U$ would go into Iraq and so set a trap for them, as the U$ has done to the USSR in Afganistan..more evidence of this emerges;

"A senior al-Qaida operative deliberately planted information to encourage the US to invade Iraq, a double agent who infiltrated the network and spied for western intelligence agencies claimed last night."

Makes the whole Iraq thing even more of a genocidal cock-up than it is now.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Bash the Rich

Well I've just finished reading 'Bash the Rich' by Class War co-founder Ian Bone. Bone was touted by the Sunday People as 'the most dangerous man in Britain'. Wow! Nice accolade. Bone has also been a major character in the Bristol political scene. I was going to write a short prece about what he has been up to, but I was beaten to it by the discovery that he has a wikipedia entry!

In 2001 Bone started the Vote Nobody campaign which encouraged residents in Easton, Bristol to turn out for the local election and vote for 'Nobody'...In that same year he started The Bristolian, a scandal-sheet that purported to give "independent news from Bristol that the other papers won't touch". Freely distributed throughout the bars and pubs of Bristol -- and by Bone himself in Bristol's Corn Street -- the newssheet gained a weekly circulation of over 15000. ...The Bristolian gave way to the Bristolian Party, which stood in the local elections in an attempt to mobilise widespread discontent with Bristol City Council's policies...On 1 May 2003 a total of 2560 people voted for the Bristolian Party, which gained an 8% share of the vote within the 12 wards they contested. The Bristolian was runner-up for the Paul Foot Award for investigative journalism in 2005....

Unfortunately the book only goes up to the mid/late 80s and does not cover his time in Bristol. 'Bash the Rich' is his account of his radicalisation in the 60s up to the end of the miners strike in the 80s. The book draws on Bone's considerable experience of street level politics and while a trawl through history, always sounds current. For example while describing the momentous events of '68 during protests against the Vietnam war, he remarks;

Indeed 35 years later the same Oxbridge crowd – Tariq, Pinter, the redgraves, Ken Loach – have led the anti-Iraq war movement into the same cul-de-sac of mind-numbingly boring rallies in Hyde Park instead of direct action on the streets to bring effective opposition to the war. The new generation of anti-war activists have had themselves saddled with the very same movement leaders so effectively bottled it in Grosvenor Square in 1968.

Many have critisised Bone for a lack of 'theory' to his politics. I think the book, while an easy read and very funny, does offer a pretty sharp political insight. Take this example, from his days in Swansea in the 1970s;

What we discovered with the Swansea Mafia pamphlet [about council corruption] was that it was possible to engage the political attention of the punters by concentrating on local issues but not presenting it in an overtly political way. People told us that the pamphlet wasn't political because it was 'the truth' what was needed was something that wouldn't just gain their interest in a passive way but would encourage them to organise and act now for themselves...

Bone also spends the last chapter on a jaunt through history to expalin his personal ideology. This is, I think, the best section of the book. Take this example as Bone describes a pivital moment from the Putney Debates:

Cromwell and Fairfax are increasingly exasperated by the leveller's demands for equality – not apparently made with any reference to religion, Christ, or god, as was the custom.
“By what right or power do you make these demands?” Inquires Fairfax. After a pause the reply came.
“By the power of the sword, Master Fairfax, by the power of the sword.” Whoops! Jesus Christ! What did he fucking say? Stick that up your warty old nose master Master Cromwell!

As you can see, the book is full of swearing. Would you expect otherwise? No! The book is a funny, brutal honest, often self-critical and absorbing account of Bone life from birth to the mid 80s. Once I got going with it, the momentum of his tale takes over and before you know it, it's all over. The book claims not to be a 'dry tome destined to gather dust in leftie bookshops' – an opinion I would concur with. A great read and I hope Bone writes a volume two. And some kids books too!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A Personal History of Breakcore Part 1

Inspired by a fellow blogger Love and Rage's list of all time favorite punk tracks, I wanted to take a trawl through the Breakcore scene looking some of my favorite tracks and in the process compile my tale on a 'must have' list of breakcore.

Delete Yourself! - Atari Teenage Riot (1995)

I don't really listed to Atari Teenage Riot (ATR) much these days, but back in the day – they were rarely of the stereo. I tended to listed to more bootlegs of band member Alec Empire's DJ sets that their studio albums, but their first album, Delete Yourself! Is great. The opening track 'Start the Riot!' with its totally OTT super-fast drum sample was a clear announcement that this sound was going to take no prisoners. The album was a tour-de-force for it's time, and while it sounds a little tame by todays standards, it set a benchmark of mashup that would, for me, open the story of breakcore. It was not just the sound I identified with, I was also taken with their strident anti-Nazi stance and the mixture of punk/metal/techno sounds. It was punk with electronics and I liked it and wanted more. When I finally got the see them play live (in the Bristol Bierkeller supported by Lolita Storm) it was amazing. The band gave it their all and the gig was not only loud and proud, but was as full on as I had imagined. My ears were ringing for days afterwards. I now have tinatus – thanks ATR!

Bomb20 – Field Manual (1998)

This is a definitive album in the evolution of the breakcore sound. Keeping with the punk vibe, its young, angry and rough around the edges. More that rough around the edges, its rough through and through. At the time of creation, Bomb20 was 19, angry and it shows in his sound. A lurching mishmash of samples, beats, breaks and turns - great stuff! I feel it began to define the breakcore sound by establishing the broken beat structure, the frenetic jumping from one break to another that is at the center of true breakcore. Its a great album and an essential part of any breakcore collection.

Parasite – Baby 9mm (2001)

Ok, so the guy is a mate of mine, but that does not diminish the impact of his sound. I pick this on it's quality and nothing else. Period. This was Parasite's first 'proper' album (as in not a CDR) and was released by Peace Off. Until now, the breakcore sound was quite a blunt instrument - it was a big sound that came at you pretty fast. What Baby 9mm shows is that it can be subtle, yet distorted. It can sound almost laidback while still being broken. Parasite brought a lot of hip-hop and jungle influences into the mix while aided the evolution of the sound.

Venetian Snares – Higgins Ultra Low Track Glue Funk Hits 1972-2006 (2002)

So I was listening to breakcore and pretty much exclusively listening to DHR to get my fix. But after a while it stopped giving me the same buzz. It was as if the sound, while dynamic and exciting had stopped moving forward. Then I heard Snares – and boy, was it a revelation. Track one of Higgins Ultra Low Funk... begins with an opera singer effusing, "Junglist!" while the breaks crash and smash around her. This sound was a revelation. It took breakcore to a new level. Set it fully apart from other forms of dance music. It also meant that the sound was still alive and had plenty of places left to go.

Various Artists – Ballroom Blitz (2003)

Not the work of one artist, but a compilation of many. There is a tendency to look down on compilation albums as a lesser work than the original setting. Not so here. The whole was definably greater that the sum of the parts. Death$ucker (Parasite's label) gather together some amazing performers – some know and some unknown, and crammed them together. Its got lots of different styles, the anthemic sound of Parasite's own 'Strong Like a Lion' to the irreverent and wonderfully OTT 'Bohemian Crapsody' by Sickboy. I think it set a strong standard for the scene that, as a result, forced to to rise higher in response. Plus it's great to masup to!

PS - Parasite has set up his own blog, that covers him and his projects - - plus he's also setup the Bristol Breakcore blog for the local scene - - check 'em out!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

US Elections - A Warning...

Well the US elections have come and given Bu$h a kicking he so richly deserves. However I think we do need a note of caution. Firstly elections are not good places for radical change. In a recent talk on Iraq, Scott Ritter says that the reason the US public is turning against Iraq is not because of the death, torture, violence, bombings etc, but is because the US military is loosing – that if they were winning it would all be ok. Scary assessment. His talk (delvered before the elections) also talked about war with Iran; If we go to war with Iran, the US will not be able to win without troops on the ground. And troops on the ground will not win it, as Iran are smart and canny. So Bu$h will order the use of nukes to break the back of the Iranian army (the Bu$h regime has changed the doctrine to allow nukes to be used in a non-nuke setting to aid US forces) When nukes are used – the gene is out of the bottle and it's not going back in until a US (my note, or UK?) city has been leveled by an Islamic nuke. Is that where we want to go? Scary assessment.

And we are still in for more of the same. The US occupation of Iraq will not end now. Climate Change will still be an uphill struggle. The Palestinians are still going to get a kicking from Israel.

Pelosi, [the new Democrat house leader] like so many other Democrats and Republicans in D.C., does not appreciate the asymmetry of the conflict. She cannot understand that Palestinians are faced with violence every day as their livelihoods and homes are uprooted to make way for new Israeli settlements. Never mind that the farm collective where Pelosi landed in her fancy helicopter was at one time operated by Palestinian farmers. For the land, according to Pelosi, has always belonged to the state of Israel.

"One thing, however is unchanged," Pelosi added. "America's commitment to the safety and security of the state of Israel is unwavering. America and Israel share an unbreakable bond: in peace and war; and in prosperity and in hardship."

On another point, to get a bit tin-foil hat...

And Now, Martial Law

About a week ago some left-wing bloggers began circulating rumors that Bush had secretly signed something called the "John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007" that "allows the president to declare a 'public emergency' and station troops anywhere in America and take control of state-based National Guard units without the consent of the governor or local authorities, in order to 'suppress public disorder.'" I couldn't find the text of the law at the time, formerly H.R. 5122, or a reliable media account, so I decided not to report on it.

I can now confirm the bloggers' account. Bush signed the JWDAA hours after the MCA, in a furtive closed-door White House ceremony. There is, buried deep down in Title V, Subtitle B, Part II, Section 525(a) of the JWDAA, a coup. The Bush Administration has quietly stolen the National Guard away from the states.


Thursday, November 09, 2006

Bristol Neo-Labour MPs and the War in Iraq

Following up from the article on how Bristol MPs voted on the recent push by parliment to inquire into the Iraq War, I was Looking a bit further into the subject. I searched the excellent site to see what some of them had to say on the subject of Iraq, as all of the MPs featured in this article supported the government in blocking the inquiry.

Bristol East's Kerry McCarthy is a good little Neo-Labour trooper, she has never rebeled against Neo-Labour in this parliament and Hansard (the record of who says what in parliament) has no record of her ever saying a word on Iraq. Nor is there a positive search result for Doug Naysmith, Labour Bristol North West for speeches on Iraq. He did vote on 18th March to say that the case for the war was not proven. However when the statement about WMDs was put to the vote asking MPs to find out why we were told that,
"..Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction capable of being used at 45 minutes' notice; further recalls the Government's contention that these weapons posed an imminent danger to the United Kingdom...notes that to date no such weapons have been found; and calls for an independent inquiry into the handling of the intelligence received.."
He voted to support Bliar. He also voted against the publishing of the Attorney-General's advice on the Iraq war. But on the killer vote: the declaration of war - he was absent. Nice one, Doug.

Then there is Dawn Primarolo, who was aka 'Red Dawn' but is now a fully signed up a Neo-Labour loyalist. Needless to say she voted for the war and has totally supported the government though and though. I guess she had faith in Bu$h and crew that a new Iraq would 'dawn'. She also has no words in the offical record on Iraq.

Mind you, Iraq is going so well, that they don't need to say much on the subject. I mean who would want to pipe up in parliment to ask about the between 46,863 civilain dead (minimum from and 665,000 (Lancet study, 200,000 of these due to coalition forces). We don't want to talk about that. We don't need to talk about Basra, the main city in the Brit-zone of Iraq, "Basra is now the most corrupt city in Iraq." (says Ed Harriman in the London Review of Books) That's a top acolade! Anything else? "As a centre of oil smuggling, the British-occupied area around Basra is rivalled only by the Niger delta." Number one in corruption in Iraq and number two for oil sumggling in the world!!

It would appear that our local trio of Neo-Labour stooges all want to keep quiet about Iraq and want to keep us quiet about it too.

This makes it the more vital for people to speak out, to say the names of the dead. (Supporters of Bristol Stop The War Coalition will be gathering in the Centre opposite the Hippodrome on Saturday 11th November at 2pm to read the names of the dead of all nations in the illegal war in Iraq.)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Rebel Yell

I found this little snippit in the paper the other day:

Rebels and guerrillas attend Santiago summit

A gathering of 300 Latin American revolutionaries has brought together guerrilla fighters from around the continent for a three-day conference in the Chilean capital, Santiago, to coordinate its fight against US military intervention and celebrate "the US defeat" in Iraq. "If the US loses in Iraq, they will not have the same political capabilities ... to intervene in Latin America," said Chilean guerrilla Jorge Galvez. The three-day summit, which began on Friday, hosted members of the Colombian group Farc and groups from Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela and Argentina.

I have tried to find out a bit more on the summit. I could not find anything else on the issue; I googled, checked the FARC's website, checked Narco News - nothing. Perhaps the summit attendees should head down to Oaxaca to help out?