Wednesday 31 August 2011

Toady of the month

Couldn't let August pass without highlighting this. Apparently Bullingdon Dave was leading the revolution!

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Tuesday 30 August 2011

Abortion - the dishonesty of Dorries....and Field

The anti-choice lobby don't give up do they?

Having failed to get changes through the front door in Parliamentary debate, they are now trying to sneak changes in through proposing "independent advice". The beauty of this is that this can brought in without even a Parliamentary debate.

Apparently, existing charities giving abortion advice, BPAS and Marie Stopes, have a "vested interest" in promoting abortion. Strangely, Dorries supports a Bill which will give a host of private companies a "vested interest" in healthcare but only in the field of abortion is this a problem.

But in any case, at the root of this campaign is s pernicious lie. BPAS and Marie Stopes are not-for-profit organisations. They have no vested interest in abortions. Contrast this with the organisations which Dorries and Field want to force women to turn to. A Guardian undercover investigation has revealed factually incorrect advice and scaremongering from the anti-abortion groups which Dorries wants to hand power to.

These changes are unlikely to stop many abortions but will delay them, to the detriment of the health and well-being of women. But since when has that ever bothered the anti-abortion bigots?

Hopefully now the cat is well and truly out of the bag, they can be forced to retreat again.

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Wednesday 17 August 2011

Riots : the hypocrisy of ruling class "morality"

One abiding image in the aftermath of the riots was that of Cameron glad-handing some firefighters who had worked all night trying to save homes and businesses. Cameron was quite happy to be getting a good photo-op and strangely there was apparently no mention of "gold-plated pensions" or "restrictive practices".

"Things got a bit out of hand. We smashed the place up and Boris set fire to the toilets"
Cameron recollects happy Bullingdon days.....

Since the riots we have seen the judicial system being used as a weapon of political vengeance. The nadir has been reached with 4-year jail sentences for posting a message on Facebook and criminal charges for organising a water fight on a Blackberry.

But there is no punishment for those other looters - the bankers, the corporate tax dodgers, the senior police officers who took "hospitality" in return for feeding information to the gutter press, the politicians who enriched themselves through "expenses". One of the most odious sights of that festival of sanctimonious moralising in the Commons last week was Hazel Blears, one of the chief offenders, clearly hoping that we had all forgotten.

This was summarised quite well (surprisingly) by Peter Oborne

We also have other sanctions being proposed - loss of council housing and of benefits - sanctions which will impact directly on the poorest in society, and any many cases will impact on people who had no part in any rioting. Tabloid editors who authorised the theft of the private messages of a murdered girl won't be losing their homes.

A fish rots from the head down. Time to get rid of this rotten government and the system of corruption and privilege which supports it.

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Sunday 7 August 2011

Interview with Tottenham activist Stafford Scott

This interview gives some of the background to events in Tottenham. We don't get much background in the establishment media.

[This is a transcript of a live interview conducted on Sky News earlier today with Stafford Scott, a community activist in Tottenham.]

Martin Brunt: "Stafford Scott, you're a leading member the community. You were here last night and watched things develop. What's your view of why and how it happened?"
Stafford Scott: "The reason I believe that it happened is that police paid disregard to the feelings of the family of the young man that was killed on Thursday evening. Up until now they haven't come and helped them or advised them. They haven't met with any family liaison officers at all. We were absolutely disgusted by that, so we decided that we needed come to Tottenham police station, because they may not be aware that a murder has been committed.
"We know that if they were aware that a murder has been committed, then their process, their legislation, their guideline, says they have to set up and send out a family liaison officer. And because they didn't, we came to the station. We came to the station to have a peaceful demonstration, and it was largely peaceful. And what we explained to the police is that we wanted someone senior from the police service to come and explain to us what was happening.
"They kept on prevaricating. The most senior person they gave us was a chief inspector. We said that person wasn't senior enough - we wanted a senior ranking officer of superintendent or above. Eventually they sent for a superintendent, but by then it was too late. We'd told them: don't prevaricate, we wanted to hear what was happening so we could explain to the community what was taking place."
Martin Brunt: "You said 'by then it was too late'. But are you suggesting that's why the violence erupted as it did?"
Stafford Scott: "I'm telling you that had they dealt with us earlier in the day, we would have removed ourselves from this area, we would have gone back to Broadwater Farm. I specifically told a chief inspector that we didn't want to be out here when nightfall came, we wanted to take it back to the Farm. And I warned him that if he kept on prevaricating and forced us to stay till nighttime - because we were intent on staying until a senior officer came - then it would have to be on the police's head what happened."
Martin Brunt: "You're almost suggesting that no lessons have been learned since 1985, although a lot people today tell us here that this isn't the same as 1985. What's your view?"
Stafford Scott: "Those people who tell you it's not the same as 1985 were not here in 1985. This is absolutely the same as 1985. 1985 was sparked by the death of a black woman and the police trying to cover up that death. The police were trying to suggest that she died because of her weight.
"Today they're trying to cover up Mark's killing as well. We do not believe that Mark was bad enough or mad enough to come out of a car and want to shoot at armed police officers. Our evidence, our information, is telling us that the gun that was found there was actually found in a sock, meaning that it wasn't prepared for action. So we can't believe that anyone would think they were going to shoot at somebody through a sock - it's absolute craziness."
Martin Brunt: "Those are the kind of answers you're asking for. Do you not accept though that sometimes it's difficult to be precise within 48 hours about exactly what happened?"
Stafford Scott: "Let me be absolutely clear. This is the borough where we have seen the deaths of Mrs Cynthia Jarrett, Joy Gardner and Roger Sylvester. Roger Sylvester's inquest took about four years to be held. So we know that nothing happens quickly.
"But, by God, don't our parents deserve the same as any parent? It doesn't matter what people want to say Mark was, when you talk about the army on TV, or a death that's happened in Afghanistan, it always says that you're not going to name the person until their parents have been informed. In this case here, their parents are reading about everything in the newspaper, they're seeing it all on the media. Nobody from officialdom has gone to them and said to them, 'Your child was killed on Ferry Lane.' Nobody has done that."
Martin Brunt: "If that damage has been done, how do you repair that damage now? Because the great fear is that there will be violent scenes again tonight. What can be done in the next few hours?"
Stafford Scott: "I do not believe that there's going to be any violent scenes here tonight. What happened yesterday was a combustion, a spontaneous outburst, because people saw we've been here for four hours. Women were leading the demonstration. The women said, 'Look, four hours - our kids are now tired, we're going home.'
"When the guys saw the women leaving, that's when they said, 'Wow. We've been here for four hours and nothing's happened. Nothing's changed. They haven't come to speak to us.' And then when they saw some police cars, which for some reason were just parked up unmanned, that was like a red rag to a bull, and they just had a go.
"I think that (a) if the police had been more responsive to us as a community, we would have gone and it wouldn't have happened, and (b) if the police had been more responsive at the first onset of violence, it may not have happened.
"But people need to realise a lot of things have been said. It's not the same as 1985? In this community, for these kids, everything is the same as 1985. If you look at all the stats, they're all the same as 1985.
"How often they get stopped and searched has actually gone up. Unemployment against young people has actually gone up since 1985. Getting kicked out of school is the same or similarly high to 1985. Nothing has improved for the livelihoods of young black people who happen to find themselves growing up on estates like Broadwater Farm."

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