Saturday, 24 June 2017

Protest June 29th. at The Scottish Parliament.

        Lots of groups and individuals are coming together to protest outside the Scottish parliament this coming Thursday June 29th.. This will be the culmination of a week of  lobbying and protests, June 23rd. to June 30th. regarding the introduction of PIP and its assessment system, I hope it is a massive turnout. I'm all in favour of protesting and lobbying at the seat of power, but we should never lose sight of the fact that tinkering around the edges of this corrupt and exploitative system, will not end the struggles of the ordinary people, nor stop the plundering of the public resources. We have attack the root cause of our problems, capitalism, the need is to organise to bring the system down. We need to by-pass it, circumvent it, short circuit it, strive for control of our communities and workplaces. We don't need the boss class and their politicians, but they need us. 
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Death At The Hands Of The Police.

          I suppose there are some naive people out there who still believe that the police are there to protect us from "bad guys", to make sure you don't steal something from your neighbour, or become drunk and disorderly. This is the wonderful illusion created by the propaganda spewed out from our babbling brook of bullshit, the mainstream media. Make no mistake, the police are there to protect the established order of power and wealth, the main line of defence before the army takes to the streets, if need be. Yes they lock up the odd abuser, and rapist, but this is a spin-off not their main purpose. Killings by law enforcement officers in the UK from 1920 to 2000 is listed as 27, but that number rockets after the year 2000, from 2000 to March 2017 there are listed 42 such deaths. They act with impunity, and literally, "get away with murder".
       We now have another killing by those who pose as the protectors of the public, to add to those horrifying statistics, this report from Libcom, the details speak for themselves.

         Twenty five year old Edir Frederico Da Costa, known as Edson, died yesterday having sustained multiple injuries during a police stop in Beckton, East London. Update 23rd June - there will be a #JusticeForEdson demonstration this Sunday at Forest Gate station at 2pm.
       [content note: police violence, description of injuries]
        Edson was one of three people in a vehicle stopped by police in Beckton around 10pm on June 16th. Police used force to arrest him and pepper sprayed him at the scene, he had a heart attack and was pronounced dead. Edson was revived by paramedics on scene who put him into an induced coma, but he was brain dead. After being kept on life support, this was turned off Tuesday.
       The Newham Recorder reported that a post mortem has concluded there were no injuries to suggest severe force was used on Edson.
       In a statement on Facebook however, a family member wrote that his injuries included a fractured skull, fallen voice box and ruptured bladder amongst other injuries.
        A friend of the family on twitter mentioned that Edson's vertebrae had been snapped, and that while he was foaming at the mouth police had said he was 'OK'.
       Family have not been told the name of the officer involved. The case has parallels to the police killing of Freddie Gray in a police van in Baltimore in 2015, leading to mass protests over his death. Prosecutions of the officers involved in Freddie Gray's death did not result in convictions.
       Julian Cole was left in a vegetative state after being carried to a police car in Bedford in 2013. The CPS announced it would not be charging the police involved in Julian Cole's arrest earlier this year.
        Police brutality is a regular occurrence in the UK as well as in the US. The IPCC and CPS rarely prosecute police officers and there has been no conviction for a death in custody since 1969. This requires mass protests and organisation in order to gain even basic accountability of the police, but in the end the only accountable police force may be no police force. Movements towards complete police abolition are gaining pace as the limits of reform become increasingly stark.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Rising Homelessness In A Rich Civilised Society???

           There is something rotten at the heart of UK, and it is the economic system. While the babbling brook of bullshit, our mainstream media, attempts to get us all into a lather over Brexit spewing out how we must get a good deal for businesses, a smooth path for our corporate lords and masters, here in the lives of ordinary people we have seen conditions rapidly deteriorate. And that has nothing to do with Brexit, it is all down to ideological choices within the capitalist system. Apart from wages being ten years behind, social care disappearing, our health service cracking under the strain of under funding, homelessness is rocketing.
         A country that is the sixth richest on the planet and doesn't house its citizens adequately is obviously involved in a failed system, or is waging class war, or both. It is not by accident, nor is it inevitable, that thousands of people in this country are homeless, it is by economic choices. By deliberate government policy, the number of council houses in the UK has fallen by 165,000 since 2010, and while in the year 2014-15 the number of millionaires in the UK has grown by 12%, the number of homeless has grown by 34% since 2010. In capitalism, we live under a system of extreme inequality and injustice, it can't be remedy to improve the lives of all, it can't be modified to be compassionate and fair, it has to be destroyed for justice and equality to flower. 

        The number of families being declared homeless has rocketed by more a third since the Conservatives took power in 2010, analysis of new official statistics by The Independent has revealed.
      Between April 2016 and March 2017, 59,100 families were declared homeless by local authorities in England – a rise of 34 per cent on the same period in 2010-11.
        The statistics paint a bleak picture of the UK housing crisis and the impact a lack of decent, affordable homes is having on thousands of families.
        Obviously in a capitalist society, as opposed to a civilised society, a safe place to lay your head and raise a family, is not a right or even a priority. Your safety and comfort is solely dependent on the wealth you accumulate, and the system is loaded against the ordinary people. 
     Conservative housing policy since 2010 has prioritised the privatisation of social housing, both by extending the Right to Buy scheme and by forcing councils to sell off their most valuable council homes to private individuals and companies.
      At the same time, ministers have mandated that social homes available at heavily discounted rents should be replaced by a new type of affordable housing that has more expensive rents much closer to market rates.
      The newly released data shows a huge rise in the number of people being made homeless as a result of losing their social home. In the past 12 months, 4,010 families were declared homeless after losing a home rented in the social sector – a 56 per cent increase in six years.
Read the full article HERE: 
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Thursday, 22 June 2017

The Mediterranean Graveyard Is Overflowing.

         We claim that we humans are "civilised" and have brought advanced civilisation to the world. Of course in the developed world it can be easier to swallow that illusion, than in vast swaths of the planets surface. However in this "civilised" world we have created more than 65 million displaced individuals, that is approximately the entire population of the UK being moved out and told to move on. Most of these displaced persons are fleeing raging wars perpetrated by those "civilised" human beings. Of that 65+ million displaced persons, approximately 12 million of them are from just five areas: Syria, Afghanistan, the Lake Chad basin, South Sudan, and Somalia. 
      Of course "displaced person" is a very sanitised way of expressing what that means, it almost sounds like somebody being moved from their home to an apartment that they don't particularly like. The true picture is very different, it is one of desperation, savagery, brutality, misery, trauma, death and destruction. In the year 2016, more than 5,000 of those "displaced persons" trying to flee the raging wars, ended their lives in the water grave that is the Mediterranean. They were fleeing lives that were so horrifying that death seemed a reasonable option. The reason for such death and destruction fades into the fog of propaganda and misinformation. Can anybody really say why we are in Syria, tearing the country apart, destroying its infrastructure, killing its people? Or how we can justify the 4.9 million "displaced persons" that have fled that country? Our babbling brook of bullshit, the mainstream media, will record the various battles, heroically and fairly fought by "our" boys, and other battles fought with inhuman savagery by the "bad" guys, but why we are there, not much on that subject, probably we'll get some shit about a bad guy we are trying to get rid of, to save the Syrian people from misery. It is obvious, for the Syrian people, the cure is much worse than the illness.
       We can take it that practically all today's wars and the ensuing trauma, death and destruction, are about wealth, power and resources, and capitalism is the driving force, none of them are being waged for the benefit of the people. As long as we tolerate this system of capitalist greed, we will be mired in wars, death, destruction, fleeing refugees, "displaced persons" poverty and deprivation. Unity among all people's is the necessary prerequisite to ending this capitalist "civilisation", and creating a world free from borders, exploitation and wars, a world that sees to the needs of all our people, free from the profit motive.
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Wednesday, 21 June 2017

"Austerity", Just One Trick In Their Box.

       An excellent video that highlights the brutal effects of "austerity" on the most vulnerable in our society. It also points out that it is a class policy, since it favours the rich at the expense of the poor, it is an ideological choice and not a necessity. However, in attacking "austerity" and calling for an end to that particular ideology, they fail to grasp that any such change will still leave the same exploitative system in place, wealth generation by the many, and wealth grabbing by the few. Yes, "austerity" is a savage brutal attack on the poor, but it is just one trick in their box, just one method of wealth plundering employed by the capitalist system. Capitalism is by it very nature, an exploitative system with little or no place for compassion if it gets in the way of profit. Tinkering with the methodology of capitalism still leaves the beast alive to savage the poor and vulnerable, it still leaves us all at the mercy of the corporate juggernaut and the financial Mafia. It is not its methodology that we have to change, it is the capitalist system itself we have to destroy.  

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Tuesday, 20 June 2017



        Another beautiful day, 20 degrees, practically no wind, a clear blue sky, and that wonderful short term Scottish memory, after a couple of days like this we start to think, what a fantastic climate.

     So I set off to complete what I didn't the last time out on the bike, go to Balmaha. It is a beautiful spot, if the weather is kind, it was today, very kind indeed. It is another spot I used to take the kids to, though in those days it wasn't quite so popular, just a place for some walkers, cyclists and a few cars. Today it was awash with walkers, lots of parked cars, though I seemed to be the only cyclist there today. 
      It was also the place, in my younger days, we walked through heading for Rowardennan and then up Ben Lomond. Lots of wonderful pleasant memories as I sat in the sun.
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£125 Lunch Or A Food Bank!

       My fair city of Glasgow was once a city of skilled industrial workers, who built ships, locomotives, and other products of heavy industry, it had miners and steel workers. Now it is a city of low wage workers in the service industries, who exist on on part-time or zero hours contracts, or "self-employed" cyclist scratching out a living delivering bits and pieces. Our city has been turned into a playpen for tourist, a city of shopping malls, caf├ęs, restaurants, hotels and expensive "events", a place for those with too much money and not enough common sense. The city's latest plaything for the rich is the idiotic eating experience of "The Event in the Sky".  George Square, which was once a green and pleasant square in the city centre with trees and grass, in good weather it would be covered by people sitting around, mums with their kids, or people having lunch on the grass, now it is a tarmac rentable space for the corporate juggernaut. The latest one of these events is the afore mentioned "Event in the Sky", they have dumped an large industrial crane on the square and attached to it is what looks like one of those large contraptions you see at some fairgrounds, where you get swung and twirled around in, for a couple of pounds. Only this one has seats around its outer edge an island in the middle where chefs will serve you food. So for £50 you can sit there and be lifted to approximately 60 feet or so and enjoy your breakfast. Lunch comes in at £125, I have no idea what the idiots pay for an al a carte dinner floating above the exhaust fumes of the city centre. This event attracted some many idiots that its stay was prolonged for a few days more than planned. 

        This is a glaring example of the inequality endemic in our city, and others across the planet. Glasgow is a city with areas of high deprivation, low life expectancy, child poverty and food banks, but we have brainless idiots happy to pay £125 for lunch swinging above the city centre, on the end of a crane. This is the shape of the world that this economic system of capitalism has built, frivolous and fancy expensive experiences on which the rich can spend their ill gotten gains, while the ordinary citizens struggle from day to day to scratch out a meagre living at best. Of course they can only live this phoney life of excess with our complicity, despite the fact that we create all that wealth, we serve the rich exploiters for a few crumbs off their table. We built that crane and that swinging basket, we grew their food and delivered it to them, and then went home to poverty and deprivation, what are we thinking of??
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Monday, 19 June 2017

Roads Festooned With Colour.

       Sunday was another warm but very humid day with a light wind, obviously my thoughts turned to those winding roads around my patch. This time my dream machine took me to Drymen, (Billy Connolly stayed there for a spell.) I had thought of going on a few more miles to Balmaha, but a late start and having to get home early as I was being treated to a father's day dinner at my daughter's family home, that idea was shelved.
      The weather certainly brought out the Lycra brigade, the roads were festoon with brightly coloured bikes and people, all seemed to be pushing hard, obviously trying to improve their times. Not like me, just delighted to be able to cover some miles, I've done all that trying to beat the clock.
      Tuesday is forecast to be a scorcher, so perhaps that visit to Balmaha might happen then.
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The UK's Crime Of The Century.

         In Glasgow on Saturday 17th June a demonstration in support of the victims of the Grenfell Tower man-made disaster took place. There were similar demos and protests in cities and towns across the country, the entire population is moved by both compassion and anger, we should not let either of these emotions fade. Showing support and solidarity with the victims of this crime is not only important, but necessary. However, we must direct and increase our anger, not just at the "strong and stable" May's and wealthy Oxbridge educated Hammond's, who has fingers in the private health business, but at a system, that for as far back as you care to go, has provided rabbit warrens for the "plebs" and mansions for the wealthy. The entire distress, trauma, misery and deaths of Grenfell Tower, is the direct fallout of a deliberate policy of scrimping on money being spent on the people who create all the wealth in this country. It is not as if the Kensington and Chelsea council was short of a bob or two, as far as I know, this bunch of money orientated sharks, had built up a surplus of £240 million, but it never crossed their sick thick skulls to listen to the citizens and sort out their fears and needs.
       Forget treating the Grenfell Tower inferno as an accident, treat it as a crime, not just of greed driven power hungry individuals, but the inevitable consequences of a system driven by profit. We will be fobbed off with inquiries and meaningless phrases such as "lessons will be learnt", "we will follow the findings of the inquiry", "those responsible will be held to account", which by the way, is government speak for "finding a scapegoat" The entire capitalist system is a festering cancer that grows on the misery and deaths of millions across this planet. It is not a system of compassion, it is a system of greed, where money is more important than the lives of people. Until we sort that problem, we will face ever increasing numbers of Grenfell Towers of larger or smaller proportions.
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Friday, 16 June 2017

Let's Talk World Wide.

        Information is valuable, the more we talk to each other, the more we can show solidarity. Bad News, a new world wide anarchist radio network started its broadcasts on June 15th.. If you can set up podcasts you can have your struggles broadcast to the anarchists and others, across the globe, learning from each other and showing solidarity when possible.

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Crap Dangerous Housing For The Plebs.

       I have avoided mentioning the Grenfell disaster until now, the horror is overwhelming and it is difficult to grasp the horror and agony of the last few minutes of those ordinary people who were caught up in that inferno, through no fault of their own. On seeing the videos of this tragic incident, the first reaction is on outpouring of horror and a welling up of compassion and a desire to do something to help. Then rationalism creeps in, and anger rises, a righteous anger at an unjust system that allows such an avoidable tragedy to happen, and knowing the root cause was money. All across this country incidents of this nature happen, though on a much smaller scale, all down to putting cost and profit before human life. Our babbling brook of bullshit, the mainstream media usually ignores them, they are not big enough to be classed as news. Grenfell was different, it could not be ignored. On seeing the disaster unfold the 9/11 tragedy flashed through my mind, we could point the finger at terrorists for that event, but this towering inferno of the Grenfeell Tower, where do we point the finger, at money, it was not an unavoidable accident. Both these incidents have a human element in their cause, one was hatred, the other was ideology of profit.
        I have no doubt, somewhere along the line in the building and maintenance of these tower blocks, scrimping and money, shaped the decisions, rather than human safety. This is symptomatic of this economic system we tolerate. Those who work to create all the wealth, see it lavished on others, while they scratch out a living in damp, dangerous, substandard, lousy accommodation. The UK, the sixth richest country in the world, can afford to house its population in decent safe accommodation, but chooses not to, in accordance with its ideology. Those who legislate and enforce the legislation on health and safety, are the very ones who profit from cutting corners, your MP's are made up of people who have investments in property, letting agencies, building contractors, and maintenance firms, and they are in it for the money. Until we sort that problem, there is another Grenfell tragedy waiting in the wings.
     Lousy unsafe housing conditions for the ordinary people is nothing new, it is part and parcel of this corrupt economic system, as far back as you wish to go, and it is still with us. It is not the lack of skill or resources that keeps us in crap unsafe housing, it is the economic system that festers all around us, profit first and foremost, human life a poor second.
     This video of the Kirby rent strike back in 1972, tells you nothing has changed, we are still struggling for decent homes to live in, and bring up our kids. As the woman in the video says, nothing will change unless we change it ourselves.

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Thursday, 15 June 2017

Kirkie Main Street.

         I have been doing my best to keep out of the way of our babbling brook of bullshit, the mainstream media, and their popcorn and bubble gum crap they call politics. So I have been out on the bike a few times recently, but only short runs round the Campsie area, but not bothering to stop for the odd photo. I think I have covered that area enough. Yesterday again round the Campsie area, but this time went via Lenzie and Kirkintilloch. I wanted to see the new pedestrianised main street in "Kirkie", the last time I visited that wee toon, the main street, called Cowgate, was in upheaval. It is now completed, and in spite of my mate Roger, a Kikrie local, saying it was a disaster, I found it a great improvement. The pavements are much wider, no place to park on the main road, lots of marked pedestrian crossings where the cars have to give way, plus nice big 20mph signs. I cycled through with hardly a vehicle in sight. That's how the town centre should be, safe for people to wander around at leisure. Sorry Roger, the new design wins. Of course no matter how they re-model the main street of any town, the success or otherwise will depend on the money to spare in the public's pocket, and as that shrinks, I afraid the new Cowgate will not get much wear and tear, from shuffling shoe traffic.
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Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Bicycle Wins.

        Away from the hypocrisy, lies, deceit, farce, illusions and downright insanity  of the party political scene, This from Not Buying Anything, is obviously created by a man after my own heart. Like the writer, I learnt to drive before the legal age, I could drive before I left school, thanks to my ol' man.

        I read once that a bicycle is the most efficient form of transportation in the known universe. I am sure it is not far from the truth. I have always thought that bicycles were magic machines.
Riding a bicycle can be up to 5 times more efficient than walking, and can produce the equivalent of about 950 miles per gallon. Number crunchers carefully calculate such things with wonderful equations such as:

P = gmVg(K1+s) + K2VaVg
E = 1/2mv2 + 1/4mv2 = 3/4mv2

Oooo, it's science. Here is some more:

One hundred calories can power a cyclist for three miles,
but would only power a car 280 feet (85 meters)

         I have always been impressed with sensible cycling peoples in India, China, and many European countries. As a kid I saw photographs of large Indian and Chinese cities teeming with bicycles, while private vehicles were as rare as persistent killing smog events.
In recent years China has been making the shift from being a 'bicycle kingdom' to one dominated by cars. How sad it is to see former cycling nations make the shift from a sustainable source of transportation to one completely unsustainable.
  Member of Environment's Angels bicycle gang
        I started out on unsustainable transportation quite early. I bought my first car before I was old enough to drive it legally. The day I got my driver's licence I ceased to walk or cycle if I could drive instead.
That was a big mistake because I came to miss the freedom, enjoyment, and simplicity of walking and biking. But I was destined to return to my beloved cycling eventually.
Part of the problem has been that the auto industry has us sucked right in to the whole car mystique. We feel like we can't live without them, that we are somehow incomplete without hauling our two tons of glass, metal, and rubber around with us everywhere we go.
However, increasingly aware recent generations are not as enthusiastic about car ownership, and the sales of cars is projected to fall in some markets in the future.

        I am also increasingly unenthusiastic about driving. While we still own a vehicle, we only drive it about 3000 km a year, well below the average of 20,000 km.
I find driving less enjoyable than I used to, and instead of being a 'freedom machine' it is beginning to feel more like an anchor.
 Bicycle cargo carrier from Denmark hauls up to 100kg of freight
        For shorter trips (below about 20 kms return), I usually ride my bicycle. It keeps me fit, saves money, and is more sustainable. And it is fun.
        Based on the principles of energy efficiency and sustainability, there is no contest. No car can deliver 950 miles per gallon. Nor will you burn much fat while driving.
The bicycle wins.
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Saturday, 10 June 2017

UK, Defender Of --What??

       The UK establishment always spout how they are the defenders of freedom and human rights, but words are cheap, and actions always speak louder than words. So I suppose we should look at how the UK interacts with other countries, who it chooses as its friends, and who it chooses as its enemies. One of our dear friends and staunch allies is that citadel to medieval barbarism, Saudi Arabia. A country that still carries out pubic be-headings, public floggings, and stoning to death, where women are denied all accepted 21st. century rights, the right to drive, to go into mixed company unaccompanied, where if she is raped and reports it, she will in all probability, be charged with having sex outside marriage, and is likely to have a public flogging. At the head of this barbaric blot on the face of humanity, is a cabal of unbelievably rich religious fundamentalist fanatics, blind to compassion and anything resembling human rights, but an eye for making money and gathering power around themselves.  So the UK in its defence of human rights sells this cesspool of religious extremists, billions of pounds worth of military hardware, sends in special military advisers to assist them in retaining and expanding their power. I think you have to admit, it kind of blots the UK's human rights mantra.
       Now let's look at one of the UK's enemies, one that the UK played a major part in destroying, Libya. I am not, and never have been, a cheer leader for Gaddafi, but he did carry out a program of social benefits that would shock must people who read about them. Libya was a country of free health care, free electricity,  and interest free loans. Mothers received the equivalent of $5,000 for every child born, on getting married each couple were give the equivalent of $ 50,000 to find a home. Naturally, the UK as one of the world's defenders of human rights and of freedom, saw this abomination, and in a welling up of good will to all men, had to step in and destroy such a misuse of wealth. Now that Libya is a land of tribal feuds, blood letting, religious extremism, and dire poverty, the UK pumps up its chest with pride and points to Libya as a success story.

     As I keep saying, don't listen to their words, look at their actions.
Photos courtesy of arrezafe. 
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Let's Roar.

      The farce of pretend change, the general election, is over, but the people still want real change, and it will come, but from outside that edifice to corporate capitalism and British imperialism, The Westminster Houses of Hypocrisy and Corruption. Those who want real change to this unjust, unequal, exploitative society, have to be that change, it will never come through delegating that desire for change to a bunch of overpaid, over privileged, political ballerinas.
A post election message from Libcom:

       Whatever the result of the general election, we need to be building a movement capable of creating a better world.
Whether it's to wrest reforms from a minority Labour government, or defend ourselves against the onslaught of an increased majority for Theresa May, politics happens in our everyday lives through the wage relationship at work and the state outside it. Organising in our workplaces and communities is essential to building a movement that can transform society, regardless of the electoral cycle.
There are groups already doing that in the UK, right now. Local solidarity groups, national campaigns, radical media and archival projects, anarcho-syndicalist and revolutionary unions all exist and welcome new members and volunteers.
We list some of these below, pick one and figure out how to join or support them.
     Libcom's list HERE so why not, if you haven't already, seek out a local group and become part of that change. Libcom's list is not the definitive list, I'm sure that if you look and ask around you'll find one you feel you can slot into, and change that whisper to a roar.
Let's Roar.

The problem's to big
The perpetrators unknown
you can't beat the system
all on your own.
So it's easy to withdraw
find your own little cage
turn a blind eye to the suffering
stifle your rage,
but the greed goes on
the poverty's still there,
you can't just leave it
for your children to bear.
Others feel as you do
eager to put things right
but lock in isolation
it's a hopeless fight,
so don't sit in silence
behind a closed door,
your voice can help raise
a whisper to a roar. 
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