Friday, February 22, 2008

Neo-Labour's CONsultation (again, again).

You can't read about the actions of this government without a strong surge of anger each time a minster opens their mouth. Conforming to the stereotype of a politician in that they say whatever and ignore the people;

Another big recent consultation concerned changes to the planning laws now going through parliament. Here too the ghost of Ambrose Bierce hovers: it is widely believed among those consulted that the bill was drafted before their responses were analysed. The bill was inspired by the public inquiry into Heathrow terminal five, which lasted five years - too long, to the government's mind. The terminal, which opens next month, was authorised by that inquiry on condition it is the final expansion of Heathrow, a condition accepted by the government and now rather forgotten about. The bill severely curtails the right to object to planning applications, and it will become law before the British Airports Authority submits its application to build a third runway.

Yes, it's a stitch-up of colossal proportions. The way is being cleared for BAA, a Spanish-owned private company, to displace thousands of people; to flatten the historic village of Sipson (no consultation roadshow has been held there, owing to lack of a "suitable location") - all in order to build a runway generating annual carbon emissions equivalent to those of Kenya.

This government claims to care about what 'the people' say, but clearly does not. It claims to care about climate change, but clearly does not. Do I think any other government would act differently? No, they are addicted to the growth model and nothing, not climate-chaos or democracy, will change the government. And don't think it is just here, this government and now. Recently released papers in the U$A show how the government there turned a blind eye to terrorism;

Cuban exiles based in the United States – during George H.W. Bush’s year in charge of the CIA – outpaced Palestinian terrorists in terms of a total body count... After the 9/11 terror attacks in 2001, the U.S. government presented itself as the innocent victim of international terrorism with a moral right not only to pursue the “bad guys” across the globe but to subject some captives to torture, to lock others up indefinitely without trial, and to launch attacks that have killed many thousands of innocents.

In the years that have followed, there were few recollections of the days under the current president’s father when the bloodiest terrorists were 'our guys.'


Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Media Have Failed

Well, I think that much was apparent from when the Neo-Cons first started their propaganda campaign and beat the drums of war. The coverage of the US elections seems to me to have totally missed the Iraq-factor. As did the media is the last British elections and in the last US elections. But he politicians have also missed the Iraq-factor; wanting to keep the pretence of progress and that the original decision was correct, without really acknowledging the total cluster-fuck that it is.

Video talk on this at

At the same time the blanket and fawning coverage of the media to the 'War of Terror' without really getting to the root of things is also shameful. For example;

New figures from Europol, the European police agency, reveal that Islamist terror attacks in Europe constituted 0.2% of all 'terrorism' throughout the continent in 2006.

Don't look like that if you read The Sun....

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Neo-Labour: A New Low

So we have got used to genocidal wars, wars of terror, privatisation and being cosy with big business - the sign of the once people's champion party, the party of the unions, of organised labour, of grass-rrots issues like health and housing and now it comes to this. The Neo-Labour minister Kim Howells has his photo taken in Colombia with a group of troops linked to the murder of trade union and human rights activists;

Surrounding the smiling face of the Foreign Office minister Kim Howells in a picture taken in the Colombian region of Sumapaz are a general linked to paramilitary death squads and soldiers of a notorious unit of the Colombian army accused, including by Amnesty International, of torturing and killing trade unionists.

Here's the photo;

That's Kim in the middle with his hand resting cosily on the shoulder of one of the soldiers from the High Mountain Battalion. Just behind him to the left is General Mario Montoya, a man linked to the terrorist bombing of a newspaper and who was in charge of a special police unit operation when 40 people were 'disappeared'.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Pick of the Day, 4th Feb 08

A few links and articles that might be of interest...

First, Welcome to the Petrocalypse:

The economic bubble that lifted the stock market to dizzying heights was sustained as much by cheap oil as by cheap (often fraudulent) mortgages. Likewise, the collapse of the bubble was caused as much by costly (often imported) oil as by record defaults on those improvident mortgages. Oil, in fact, has played a critical, if little commented upon, role in America’s current economic enfeeblement — and it will continue to drain the economy of wealth and vigor for years to come.

Second, air-power in Iraq; How the U$A can drop a staggering 100,000 lbs of bombs on a small community and the media relegate it to a footnote:

But the major bombing story of these last days - those 100,000 pounds of explosives that U.S. planes dropped in a small area south of Baghdad - simply dangled unexplained off the far end of the Los Angeles Times piece; while, in the New York Times, it was buried inside a single sentence....For those who know something about the history of air power, which, since World War II, has been lodged at the heart of the American Way of War, that 100,000 figure might have rung a small bell...On April 27, 1937, in the midst of the Spanish Civil War (a prelude to World War II), the planes of the German Condor Legion attacked the ancient Basque town of Guernica...The Germans reputedly dropped about 50 tons or 100,000 pounds of explosives on the town.

Third, U$A vs U$A as the CIA takes on the Drug Enforcement Agency:

The DEA and its predecessor federal drug law enforcement organizations have always been infiltrated and, to varying degrees, managed by America's intelligence agencies. The reason is simple enough: the US Government has been protecting its drug smuggling allies, especially in organized crime, since trafficking was first criminalized in 1914.

Finally, the Bristol Indymedia site has been re-vamped! Check it out...

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Failure in Afghanistan

Following on from looking at the colossal cluster-fu*k that is Iraq, it seems Afghanistan is also on the side. NATO are arguing about who should send troops to die in the doomed enterprise and three (yes THREE) recent reports have sounded the alarm;

Three independent reports have concluded this month that a major new effort is needed to succeed in Afghanistan. These reports – by the Afghanistan Study Group, established by the Center for the Study of the Presidency following the Iraq Study Group; the Strategic Advisors Group of the Atlantic Council of the United States; and the National Defense University – concur that without prompt actions by the U.S. and its allies, the mission in Afghanistan may fail – causing severe consequences to U.S. strategic interests worldwide, including the war on terrorism and the future of NATO. The U.S. cannot afford to let Afghanistan continue to be the neglected, or forgotten, war.

But for me, the real sign of failure is the continued human-wreckage that strews this so-called democratic project; death sentences for journalists, clamping down on media freedom and starving Afghans selling girl as young as eight as brides.

PS. In the midst of the chaos of Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine - where is one of the architects of this misery? Bliar is busy trying to get more power.
Why the hell would anyone consider this man to run anything beyond a defence in his own war crimes trial is beyond me.