Thursday, 31 January 2019

The Rent Strike To Bloody Friday.

       A date that should be etched in the psyche of Glasgow's working class and its struggles for that better life, January 31st. 1919. 
( That was one of the many times the British state has shown its readiness to turn the military on its own citizens.
     After WW1 there had been a struggle for a 40 hour week, in support of this a large demonstration was held on George Square, for some unknown reason the police started a vicious attack on the crowd, this in turn created outbreaks of violence across the city, at that point the state put troops on the streets of Glasgow.
     However, these events never happen in isolation, they do not pop up from a tranquil environment, they are part of an ongoing connected struggle, a struggle that still continues to this day. Bloody Friday was not "an event" it was part of that chain of struggle between the desires of the ordinary people and the unyielding demands of the wealthy and powerful. It has not been finalised yet, there are more "events" going to happen along the way in this process.  We should learn from our history that the powerful and wealthy elite will do what is necessary to defend their privileged position. Troops on the streets is not a symbolic display, it is a very real statement of intent. The Liverpool strikers during the Transport Strike of 1911 ( ) found this out brutally, as two of the strikers were shot dead on the street by the military.

Glasgow's Bloody Friday 1919
       Like all the events in political struggle it is difficult to trace the thread back to what brought it to this stage, Bloody Friday 1919 is no different. This was not just an attack on a large demonstration in Glasgow, it was the culmination of a series of radical events in Glasgow and the Clydeside area where the state showed its brutality. Perhaps we could even take it back to the 18th century and the radicals like Thomas Muir and others. However we can certainly take it back to the rent strikes of the first world war, the forming of the Labour Withholding Committee, (LWC) The Clyde Workers Committee (CWC) and the political climate of that period.
The Rent Strike
       In pre First World War Glasgow there were a large number of empty houses, by the year 1915 all were occupied by incoming workers to the munitions and allied war industry trades. A shortage of workers and materials saw a lack of maintenance and the housing stock deteriorate rapidly. At the beginning of the war the landlords tried to implement large rent increases, at the receiving end of this were 7,000 pensioners and families whose men were fighting in France. This brought about the formation of the "Glasgow Women's Housing Association" and many other local "Women's Housing Associations" to resist the increases. A variety of peaceful activities were used to prevent evictions and drive out the Sheriff's officers. There were constant meetings in an attempt to be one step ahead of the Sheriff's officers. All manner of communication was used to summon help, everything from drums, bells, trumpets and anything that could be used to create a warning sound to rally supporters, who were mainly women as the men were at work in the yards and factories at these times. They would then indulge in cramming into closes and stairs to prevent the entry of the Sheriff's officers and so prevent them from carrying out their evictions. They also used little paper bags of flour, peasmeal and whiting as missiles directed at the bowler hatted officers. These activities culminated on the 17th of November 1915 with the massive demonstration and march of thousands through the city streets and on to the Glasgow Sheriff's Court. The size of the demonstration caused the Sheriff at the court to phone the Prime Minister of the day, this resulted in the immediate implementation of the "1915 Rent Restriction Act" which benefited tenants across the country.
The Labour Withholding Committee
       This happened in a time of war, so it was obvious that by 1915 Glasgow and Clydeside had a very large class oriented militant grassroots movement and had forced the Government on this occasion to act in their favour. The rent strike was mainly a women’s organisation but the men were proving to be just as militant in the workplaces. Around the same time in 1915 during a prolonged period of considerable economic hardship for most industrial workers, Clydeside engineering employers refused workers demands for a wage increase. The insatiable demand for war munitions had lead to a rapid rise in inflation and a savage attack on the living standards of the working class. Workers were demanding wage increases to offset these repressive conditions. At this time Weir’s of Cathcart was paying workers brought over from their American plant, 6/- shillings a week more than workers in their Glasgow plant.
      The dispute between workers and management at Weir’s rapidly escalated into strike action. The strike was organised by a strike committee named the Labour Withholding Committee (LWC). This committee comprised of rank and file trade union members and shop stewards. It was they who remained in control of the strike rather than the officials from the Amalgamated Society of Engineers (ASE).
The strike started in February 1915 and lasted almost 3 weeks. At its peak 10,000 members of the ASE from 8 separate engineering works were on strike throughout Clydeside. The officials from the ASE denounced the strike and backed the government’s demands to resume work. It was this double pressure from the government and their own trade union that drove the workers from the various engineering works in Glasgow to form the LWC to give the workers a voice and to organise the strike to their wishes.
      Although the strikers demands were not met, its importance is in the fact of it forming the LWC. A committee formed from rank and file union members that determined policy in the work place and refused to follow the directives from union officials when those directives conflicted with the demands of that rank and file.
Continue reading HERE:

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Wednesday, 30 January 2019

There Are Some Anarchists---.

       I post this article in full, knowing it may well cause discussion, argument and even anger, but also may cause some to have a look at, and question their own values. So what is wrong with that?
This from Anarhija:

         There are anarchists who run after uprisings on other continents wherever the spotlights of the media fall. There are anarchists who talk about “fortress Europe” and they don’t even know which States are part of the EU. There are anarchists who struggle against the borders and they don’t even know where the Schengen frontier runs. There are anarchists who, like “good white men”, see in the “dark-skinned” non-EU people potential comrades, and they don’t even notice that there are European non-EU people.
       There are anarchists who talk about internationalism and they don’t even know (or don’t give a fuck) what happens on their own continent. There are anarchists who express solidarity with all prisoners (or all political prisoners), as if the prison is really a correctional facility that automatically turns a human being into a better person (or a comrade/anarchist).
        There are anarchists who think of antifa as their comrades, as if the left-wing/extreme-left movements/parties are the lesser evil in an illusory revolutionary front. There are anarchists who get into the role of victims, just because they are a woman, gay, trans etc.., as if it is not enough to be “simply” a human being to be oppressed by the Power (as if this notion is too tight and therefore it requires some other label to express that someone is more oppressed than others; is it possible that in these times of alienated sexuality where people, including anarchists, obsessively see sexual harassment on every corner, we suppress our femininity/masculinity turning ourselves in a sterile “gender”, in which the democracy is trying to turn us, in accordance with this mechanistic society of mutilated sexuality?).
        There are anarchists who in the 21th century still talk about the “class” struggle (a concept created in 19th century; in fact, marxist), while we live “simply” in a stratified society (like it has always been since civilization). There are anarchists who idolize the “native” people, as if they have already materialized Anarchy (always according to the notion of “the noble savage”), as if the history/time is linear (not circular).
        There are anarchists who say that they seek to decolonize their territory from the State in their struggle for national liberation (“the nation”, this concept born with the modern State), as if the Earth is private property, as if all of us are not colonised by the State. It appears as though anarchists have fetishized the struggle per se, any struggle, regardless of its purpose, background, actors and ideology. So long as there exists any weak minority clashing with a more powerful enemy, it is sure to find attention (and occasionally, fervent support) on the counterinfo sites. It is as if many have forgotten that national liberation struggles are not struggles against power, but struggles for power. (National liberation is an appropriate term for what it is: it is a liberation of the nation, not of human beings).
Likewise, the struggles of native groups do not seek to destroy power, but to take a (greater) share in it. No Kurds, Palestinians, Mapuche, nor any other oppressed ethnic minority or any irredentist/separatist movement seeks to abolish oppression altogether, but merely to abolish oppression against them, so that they may be free to become oppressors themselves and build a national empire of their own, justified by the same myths of ancestry and “the right” to a “fatherland” and to “national self-determination”. These terms are the jargon of the State and have no place on anarchist platforms. All these struggles take place under the cult of the nation-state. How does anyone calling themselves anarchist can find comrades among people reproducing power, authority and submission?
        And there are anarchists who see no problem in being every day watched, registered, filmed…, so they make their own videos/photos to share them online. There are anarchists who use the social networks as if they are places of discussion (with “like”, “followers”, “friends” and all). There are anarchists so devoted to animal liberation, as if anarchy could be achieved (as if by magic) by all becoming vegan, as if liberation is plural, and not just one and total (liberation of the Earth and of everything which composes it).
      “Everything is velocity, moment, instinct. (…) My nature is — opposition; logic — indiscipline; philosophy — subversion” [Janko Polić Kamov, “Sloboda”]
        How do you intend to destroy the existent if you support it with your own struggles? & some comrades
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A Squat, Always A Welcome Spark Of Humanity.

       While this capitalist system is hell-bent on power mongering, death, destruction, exploitation and selfish greed, it is always heart warming to see a spark of humanity illuminate some of its dark corners. Like Azadi, a new squat in Exarchia Athens. As they start their journey of co-operation and mutual aid, they are making a call for support to help them on their journey.
      This from Act For Freedom Now:

        Why we call us Azadi? Azadi is meaning freedom in Farsi and Kurdish language. We took this name because the most of our residents are Iranian and Kurdish Families! Freedom of movement- Freedom of ourselves- Freedom of our minds is what we want. so this is why we meant this gonna be a good name for our house!
     We are in the process of reorganizing ourself. We are a selforganized community of international people who opened this house to give a safe shelter for woman and children!
we have some rules in the House:
No Violence
No Sexism
No Racism
No Drugs
      This is the main consensus of the people who are living in this house. This time we are around 50 people living peacefully together. Most of us are woman and children. We are on the way to set up the house in a good living standard for everyone who is having a room in the building. Currently we are not able to take new people in the Squat. But we are able to take care of those who are living inside!
What we need:
Fridge, Blankets, Pillows, Lamps, Food, Cleaning stuff
Find out the news at our blog:
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Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Glasgow's Autonomous Bookfair.

        A coming event in Glasgow, well worth marking your diary for, The Glasgow Bookfair. Glasgow used to have a pop-up bookfair called RIB, Radical Independent Bookfair, and it was a familiar sight at various events around the city. It stopped a few years ago and since then Glasgow has been denuded of a bookfair. It is a sad city that can't hold its own radical bookfair, so here is a chance to support one and hopefully see it grow, and put itself, with your help on the Radical Bookfair map. 

Glasgow Autonomous Space, Unit 11, 53 Kilbirnie Street, G5, will be hosting a Book Fair on Saturday 2nd March 2019.

        The idea is for the book fair is to reflect the ethos of GAS, fighting capitalism and other forms of oppression, and the diversity of the people and organisations who use GAS and who will use GAS in the future.
        There will be books on anarchism and feminism with radical zine distros and small publishers.
       Info stalls on organising Deliveroo and Uber Eats workers, asylum seeker, migrant and refugee solidarity, the radical history of Glasgow, and veganism.
       Discussions and talks by Go Vegan Scotland, Shy Radicals, Sisters UnCut and Ubuntu Women Shelter with more to be confirmed.
     Workshops include badge making, under 12's cycling, printing, radical songs and trans poetry.
        Plus free food, children's activities, Rattle Library and Stories For Strangers.
      The Book Fair is part of GAS's 3rd Birthday Celebrations with a party in the evening.
Spread the word, share, plan to be there.

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Yellow Vests And False Flags.

        The "Yellow Vests" in France have been an inspiration to the underlying anger of the people against this elitist system that fits a yoke around the shoulders of the people. However, though you may walk under the banner of your true feelings, there are those who march under a false flag, we have to be ever vigilant. The cabal of xenophobic, fascist vermin, will never miss an opportunity to get their bile onto the streets. It seems that the racist scum in Dublin have commandeered the Yellow Vest movement in that city.
      This report from Ireland taken from 325:

The Yellow Vests call for unity, but how can there be unity?
       On Saturday, January 12th the Yellow Vests had another of their weekly marches in Dublin. Anti fascist and anti racist showed up to the march for the second week in a row.
      As soon as the banner and anti fascist flag was took out yellow vesters came out of the crowd looking angry. We received a torrent of abuse and shouts of, “house our own”, “we need more racists”, “Fuck refugees”, “refugees not welcome”, “you’se are paid by George Soros”, and “Ireland for white people”. They gave a very poor attempt to take our banner and flag but couldn’t manage to succeed. We were shouted at to leave, “fuck off”. Not one out of the crowd of about 60 to 70 yellow vests supported the banner for refugees or said anything about the racists shite being spouted. We stayed and followed them in their march and we left before they attempted their joke of a direct action where they attempted to block a road for an hour, the cops moved them on before the yellow vest protest reached their hour long goal to block traffic.
          The Yellow vests in Ireland are not a “leaderless movement”
The Yellow Vest march was led this week by Kevin Molloy, a self confessed debt collector. Kevin even announced this in his speech, not one yellow vester bat an eyelid including the anti refugee people who want to “house our own” and who preached on about “our homeless are sleeping on the streets”.
        His xenophobic, anti muslim mate Glen Miller was busy this week in Wexford organising the Wexford branch of the Yellow Vests. Any talk of a “leaderless movement” is bull shit. There is very much a leadership of key organisers within the yellow vests, the majority of them are either anti Muslim, xenophobes or conspiracy “free men” nut jobs.
      In the core group of leaders they decide what the march will do and where it’ll go. They talk with cops of what their plans are. They control the admin on the facebook pages.
I would imagine a lot of the people attending yellow vest march wouldn’t be racist or necessarily anti refugee/immigration. The dangerous thing is a lot of the leaders and key organizers are. On one hand they call for unity against the government on the other hand they are against refugees/migrants entering Ireland.
Homes for all:
       There is 250,000 of empty/boarded up buildings all over the south of Ireland. There are also 10,0000 people on the housing waiting list? So let’s do the math – if 10,000 of these empty place were turned into homes for the people on the waiting list it means there are still plenty left over.
        Yes there is need for struggle against the state but we also need to look at the Irish elite class, the banks, and further afield at the imperialist proxy wars being waged in the Middle east and the IMF purposely getting countries into severe debt. The struggle is against the whole system that creates poverty, wars and corruption which goes on to create homelessness and refugees.
     Whoever considers unity with this joke would really want to seriously reconsider their position.

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Monday, 28 January 2019

There Will Come A Time!!

         When looking at the subservience by vast swaths of the population, to this brutal and exploitative system, that mires the people in permanent poverty,  I'm reminded of an Oscar Wilde quote: 
       "The difference between the common people and university professors is that the latter have arrived at ignorance after long and painful study"
        Perhaps that is a bit harsh as "The common people", those so mired in poverty, find it hard to do anything except try to survive in this cesspool of greed. However, beneath that subservience lurks a seething anger, not ignorance, and sooner or later that anger will seek answers to its pain. No one knows the spark that will ignite that anger, when it does ignite, we as anarchists had better have our answers on the table or chaos will surely reign, as the false Messiahs will appear eager to lead them back to a new "improved" version of the status-quo, or worse.

There Will Come a Time

There will come a time when the hordes remember,
who bound our grand-parents to the yoke of oppression,
who sentenced our parents to deprivation,
who bid poverty sink its teeth into our heart,
who teach our children, greed is a noble art.
Who sent our sons through the gates of hell
to a litany of cambist brawls,
crammed coffers with blood-stained gold
while laughing in Ares’ halls.
“Who does these terrible things to us?” they will ask,
and when they remember,
they’ll bring an energy that is endless
to drive a fist that is fearless.
Then this merciless market-driven world will crumble
under an insurrection of integrity,
the poor will emerge from the dark husk of capitalism
to live in the light of social justice.
There will come a time when the hordes remember.
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Sunday, 27 January 2019

Money Rules, Insanity Is Normal.

       It is obvious by now that the economic system that covers this world is unsustainable, since it is based on the theory of perpetual growth from a finite source, our planet, which in turn sucks all the wealth into a small cabal of extremely rich and pampered parasites, much to the detriment of the rest of humanity and the planet's ecosystem. Sooner or later the bubble will burst, and the consequences will be catastrophic for humanity. How much longer can we sustain the unsustainable? Financiers and bankers have conquered the world, and their only aim is to increase their wealth and power, financing ever more damaging schemes that are supposed to create greater growth, but in actual fact do nothing but plunder and destroy the Earth's ecosystems. We cannot rely on those who grow fat on this destruction and plunder to mend their ways, and reduce their wealth and power, the answer will have to come from those who suffer most under this insanity, the ordinary people. We should do well to remember, Spaceship Earth has no escape capsule.
        The following is an extract from a very informative, if somewhat depressing article on the extent of the damage that has already been done to the fragile balance of our ecosystem. I feel it is so important that it should be read in full, no matter how depressing it makes you feel, and should also be widely circulated.
        ------The bottom line is this: We are destroying the natural world. And that means that we are destroying ourselves. I know that the mainstream news has relegated this conversation to the back pages (when they covered it at all) and so it's not “front and center” for most people. But it should be. Everything we hold dear is a subset of the ecosphere. If that goes, so does everything else. Nothing else matters in the slightest if we actively destroy the Earth’s carrying capacity. At the same time, we're in the grips of an extremely dangerous delusion that has placed money, finance and the economy at the top spot on our temple of daily worship. Any idea of slowing down or stopping economic growth is “bad for business” and dismissed out of hand as “not practical”, "undesirable" or "unwise". It’s always a bad time to discuss the end of economic growth, apparently. But as today's young people are increasingly discovering, if "conducting business" is just a lame rationale for failed stewardship of our lands and oceans, then it’s a broken idea. One not worth preserving in its current form.
        The parade of terrible ecological breakdowns provided above is there for all willing to see it. Are you willing? Each failing ecosystem is screaming at us in urgent, strident tones that we’ve gone too far in our quest for "more". We might be able to explain away each failure individually. But taken as a whole? The pattern is clear: We’ve got enemy action at work. These are not random coincidences. Nature is warning us loudly that it's past time to change our ways. That our "endless growth" model is no longer valid. In fact, it's now becoming an existential threat. The collapse is underway. It’s just not being televised (yet). Davos As Destiny. And don't expect the cavalry to arrive.
      Our leadership is absolutely not up to the task. If the Davos conference currently underway in Switzerland is a sign of anything at all, it’s that we’re doomed. The world has been taken over by bankers and financiers too smitten by their love of money to notice much else or be of any practical service to the world. By way of illustrative example, here’s the big techno-feel-good idea unveiled on the second day of the conference. The crowds there loved it: Yes, folks, this is what the world most desperately needs at this time! /sarc
       While I’m sure drone-delivered books is a heart warming story, it’s completely diversionary and utterly meaningless in the face of collapsing oceanic and terrestrial food webs. Sadly, this is exactly the sort of inane distraction most admired by the Davos set in large part because it helps them feel a tiny bit better about their ill-gotten wealth. "Look! We're supporting good thngs!" The ugly truth is that big wealth's main pursuit is to distort political processes and rules to assure they get to keep it and even amass more. Drones carrying books to Indonesian children provides the same sort of dopamine rush to a Davos attendee as Facebook 'like' gives to a 14-year-old. Temporary, cheap, superficial and ultimately meaningless.
        The same is true of their other feel-good theme of the day. “Scientists” have discovered an enzyme that eats plastics: That’s swell, but you know what would be even better? Not using the bottles in the first place. Which could be accomplished by providing access to safe, potable water as a basic human right and using re-usable containers. Of course, that would offer less chances for private wealth accumulation so instead the Davos crowd is fixated on the profitable solution vs. doing the right thing. In virtually every instance, the Davos crowd wants to preserve industry and our consumer culture as it is, using technology and gimmicks in attempt to remedy the ills that result. There’s money to be made on both ends of that story. The only thing that approach lacks is a future. Because it’s not-so-subtly based on continued "growth". Infinite exponential growth. The exact same growth that is killing ancient trees, sea birds, insects, amphibians, and phytoplankton.
     Who wants more of that? Insane people.
   In other words, don’t hold out any hope that the Davos set representing the so-called “elite” from every prominent nation on earth are going to somehow bravely offer up real insights on our massive predicaments and solutions to our looming problems. They're too consumed with their own egos and busy preening for prominence to notice the danger or care. As they pointlessly fritter away another expensive gathering, the ecological world is unraveling all around them. The oceans are becoming a barren wasteland. The ancient trees are dying. Heatwaves are melting tar and killing life. The web of life is snapping strand by strand and nobody can predict what happens next. In other words, if you held out any hope that “they” would somehow rally to the cause you’d best set that completely aside. It's no wonder social anger against tone-deaf and plundering elites is breaking out right now.
      From here, there are only two likely paths:
(1) We humans simply cannot self-organize to address these plights and carry on until the bitter end, when something catastrophic happens that collapses our natural support systems.
(2) We see the light, gather our courage, and do what needs to be done. Consumption is widely and steeply curtailed, fossil fuel use is severely restrained, and living standards as measured by the amount of stuff flowing through our daily lives are dropped to sustainable levels.
       Either path means enormous changes are coming, probably for you and definitely for your children and grandchildren. In Part 2: Facing Reality we dive into what developments to expect as our systems continue further along their trophic cascade. Which markers and milestones should we monitor most closely to know when the next breaking point is upon us?
       To reiterate: Massive change is now inevitable and in progress.
Collapse has already begun.
And further READING HERE:
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Saturday, 26 January 2019

A Savage, Callous, Vindictive System.

        Life inside prison is an alien world to those on the outside. Those large buildings, in most cases with their small windows, conceal from the eyes of the general public, a world of vindictive authority, arbitrator violence, and degradation of the individual encased within its inescapable confines. They are an anomaly to civilised living, a scar on the face of humanity, but a necessary tool to the  authoritarian system that governs us all. Prisons are the threat hanging over the head of anyone who would dare to bring an end to this system of injustice, inequality and authority that protects those in power in their ivory towers of opulence. All those who find themselves entrapped within this tool of state repression, deserve our solidarity and support. No civilised society should tolerate, let alone support arbitrary violence and vindictive authority. No one is free while one prison stands.
     The following is an extract from a letter from a prisoner in Italy, that doesn't mean that it isn't happening in these abominations all across the globe. It is what they are designed to do, attempt to break the human spirit.
This from Act For Freedom Now: 
        Well: on 8/11 what I wrote at the beginning takes place; after they handcuff me and continue to mistreat me, they call a doctor and ask him if I’m fit to go to court, and he also, frightened only at looking at the situation, sees lumps and bruises (but he won’t write it down) and asks me “You want to go?” I say yes, especially as I had prepared a declaration to read in court, which I’d changed at that point, and add that they beat me up in prison before the trial; a rather bland declaration, where I wanted to stress the reason why I was asking for a transfer.
      In court, the judge doesn’t allow me to read my declaration as he states that the place is not suitable, but I manage to let the others in court know that the screws beat me up and that I’ve been on hunger strike for 4 days. So they take me out of the court and a zealous screw, which continues to hit me, handcuffs me so tightly that my wrists go purple and I almost faint. They take me to the basement, and after a while they bring me up again, even if only we 3 defendants are left, besides lawyers, judges, cops, and I tell the other 2 that I’d like to stay to show my lawyer the signs [of the beatings] on my body and delay my return to La Spezia as long as possible, as I foresee another beating on the way back. I also try to have the obvious signs [of the beatings] included as evidence but there’s nothing about them. The two following days I try to have that piece of evidence again but “I can’t write about things that cannot be seen”. As the visit ends they put me back in cell1on the ground floor, the one I had slept in the first night here in Spezia. Strict regime, my things had already been prepared and put in the cell by guards. At least the following day they allow me to take the rest of my things and give me a disciplinary report with 15 days’ confinement.
       This is what led me to push the guards and my experience in La Spezia: nothing out of the ordinary, guards who provoke you in a know-it-all way and then smash you with beatings while you are on the floor with kicks and punches to your head and back, a governor who covers the beatings thanks to doctors’ complicity (out of 4 visits to 3 different doctors, maybe one of them wrote down about the aching parts of my body the second time he saw me), and guards who threaten to report you for insult, a judge who doesn’t let you read a declaration relating to this and has you taken out of court.
       Everything is normal. It’s for this reason that I can’t find myself in the normality of society, which justifies authority, abuse, harassment, and which covers them. It’s for this reason that I’ll continue the hunger strike as long as I can, and I’ll continue to demand a transfer to another prison; and if De Andrè says you can’t breathe the same air as that of a screw in the exercise yard [this is a reference to a famous song], I really will always want to avoid sharing it with the guards who beat me up here, with blind and complicit doctors, with a commander who justifies her men by saying I made it all up and with a governor who hides the rot under a carpet of falsity.

Hunger strike: initial weight 5/11: 108.4 kg; weight on11/11: 101.8
       To realise the full extent of the savage brutality within these establishments, please read the FULL LETTER HERE:
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Friday, 25 January 2019

ISDS, No Friendly Society.

        ISDS, a rather innocuous seeming acronym, some may no doubt connect it with International Sheep Dog Society. However, it has another more sinister and undemocratic association connected to the corporate juggernaut and the financial Mafia, that's where the initials stand for Investment-State Dispute Settlement. This is a neat piece of legislation that allows companies to sue governments if the feel that that government has passed legislation that could harm its profits. Supposing a government passes some health and safety regulations and a large company thinks it could harm its profits, it can then sue that government and claim millions/billions in compensation, tax payers money of course.
      Here are some recent cases from Politico:
         In 2011, Australia introduced some of the world’s toughest legislation on tobacco packaging. It obliged manufacturers to remove all branding and sell cigarettes from plain brown packs dominated with grisly health warnings.
       Tobacco companies attempted but failed to overturn the legislation in Australian courts. Then Philip Morris tried another tack. It unearthed an ISDS clause in a 1993 trade agreement between Australia and Hong Kong — where Philip Morris Asia is based — and sued the Australian government.
          The case is still pending, but Australian media estimate taxpayers are having to fork out the equivalent of €34 million in lawyers fees for just the first phase of the litigation.
           In Europe, Swedish energy company Vattenfall is seeking €5 billion compensation from the  German government over its decision to phase out nuclear power following the 2011 Fukushima radiation leak in Japan.
         Canada’s Lone Pine Resources Company is using a U.S. subsidiary to sue its own government for $230 million under ISDS provisions in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). That’s in response to a provincial authority in Quebec calling a moratorium on fracking for natural gas under the St. Lawrence River.
Such cases help explain mounting concern among the public and politicians on both sides of the Atlantic over ISDS provisions in the TTIP negotiations.
         Emotions are particularly strong in Europe, where there’s already widespread unease in some countries over the impact TTIP could have in areas ranging from privacy to labor laws and genetically modified organisms.
Read the full article HERE: 

         More on this pampered, privileged parasites' plan to run roughshod over the health and welfare of the people in their greed fest for profit.
From Roar Magazine:
        Over forty of the corporations listed as WEF “Industry Partners” have been involved in ISDS cases, often intended to undermine or discourage progressive policy, including environmental protections, minimum-wage increases and public health measures.
      ISDS clauses, found within a range of trade and investment agreements including the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), enable multinational companies to sue states via secretive international tribunals if governments take actions which they believe unfairly impede their profits.
       The Stop ISDS coalition, an alliance of over a hundred NGOs, including Greenpeace, ActionAid and Public Services International organized the action as a launch for a petition to the European Union to end the promotion of ISDS and support a Binding UN Treaty on Transnational Corporations to give people and governments the ability to hold the private sector to account.
      Some examples of ISDS cases by WEF corporations include:
  • Cargill sued Mexico in 2005 after the Government implemented a tax on high-fructose corn syrup to address the country’s obesity crisis. Cargill used ISDS under Nafta to extract over $70 million in damages from Mexico’s public budget. Cargill used the WEF in 2018 to launch a Corporate Social Responsibility project, claiming to “address social issues using the power of food.”
  • In 2015, Novartis threatened to use ISDS to successfully discourage the Colombian government from making a life-saving leukemia drug more accessible through compulsory licensing. The drug, which has brought in over €40 billion in revenue for Novartis, sold for over $15,000 per patient per year; twice the average person’s income.
  • In 2008, Dow Chemical sued Canada after Quebec banned the manufacture and sale of harmful pesticides. Dow Agrosciences declared the subsequent settlement a victory, and commentators noted the case may discourage other Governments from moving ahead with their own pesticide bans.
Read the full article HERE:
       So this is how capitalism works, profit above all else, health and welfare, living conditions, etc. don't even appear on the list of priorities of the corporate juggernaut and the financial Mafia. If you rely on governments to sort this one out, you'll have a long wait, governments rely on these bodies and have little to no power over them, and these bodies use governments to protect their interests. It is a relationship that excludes the people, their aims and desires.
      To see to the needs of all our people in a fair and just society, first dismantle capitalism, then work from there.
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Saturday, 19 January 2019

Message from Financial Mafia: Well Done Greece, You Allowed Us To Plunder Your Assets.

      Greece has received its final bailout, and the financial Mafia are saying, "Well done Greece". Of course that doesn't return Greece to a sovereign state, it is still under the hard boot of the financial Mafia. There are stipulations Greece has to adhere to. It has to show a surplus in its budget to the satisfaction of the EU, ECB, and the IMF, that means keep the austerity going. It is also instructed that it will have to "modernise labour relations and working conditions", this of course translates as giving employers the right to keep wages down and for them to attack workers conditions and also to shirk any employer responsibilities. While the financial Mafia applaud themselves for their "success" this "success" is a health service that has virtually collapsed, an education system that is in tatters, they froze hiring in  public schools in 2009, unemployment running at 18.6,  still the highest in the EU. If however your are one of those under 25s, your chance of earning money to survive is reduced considerably, with the unemployment rate at 38.5.
      So while the bankers and the rest of the financial Mafia rejoice, what they are actually saying is, "thank you, the ordinary people of Greece, by suffering more than ten years of deprivation, and allowing us to plunder your assets, you have allowed us to make up most of the money we lost gambling at the billionaires casino, the "market".   
      Like France with the tenth week of Yellow Vest protests, the streets of Greece are not quite. Primary school teachers have been out showing their anger and disgust at the Greek government doing as it was told by the financial Mafia, loosening up employment conditions by changing the hiring process of public sector workers. The protestor deserve our support.

       Over 3,000 primary school teachers clashed with police in the second week of protests over hiring reforms.Teachers in Athens demonstrated on Monday against government plans to change the hiring system for the public sector. Protesters held banners that read: "Permanent hirings now!"
         Police threw tear gas at the gathered crowds in response to some of the protesters letting off fireworks in their direction. Protesters also tried to break a police cordon near parliament.
Teachers argue schools are understaffed and want the creation of more permanent positions. The Greek government froze hiring at public schools after it was hit by an economic crisis in 2009.
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Wednesday, 16 January 2019

In Or Out, Or Half Way In And Half Way Out???

        I made a promise to myself that I would not join in the Brexit pantomime, but at the moment it is difficult to escape the spewing out of a myriad of Brexit scenarios from every avenue of the mainstream media. The views range from greater glory for the wonderful UK, to doom and disaster for this confused and bumbling nation state. After last night's massive defeat of the government by 230 votes, the Westminster Houses of Hypocrisy and Corruption was filled with our political ballerinas indulging in a range of expressions from wringing their hands in despair, to chuckling with glee, and on occasions, that dazed look of confusion. What is clear is that they all state that we, as a country don't know what is going to happen next.
      Perhaps my simple mind can add some clarity to the situation. Leaving with a deal, any deal, or leaving with no deal, to changing the direction and staying in the EU, one thing is certain. We will remain under the yoke of capitalism, the poverty and deprivation will remain, the homeless will still struggle to find shelter, the elderly will continue to die from fuel poverty, our children will still go to school hungry, social services will continue to be decimated. The only real debate is at what rate these injustice will move, certain conditions will accelerate the plundering of the poor, but no conditions under capitalism will alleviate these injustices.
     As long as we accept that our world be driven by the financial mafia and the corporate juggernaut, as long as we accept a world hell bent on profit, as long as we allow ourselves to be governed by "The Market" and the billionaires that control that "Market", we will continue to wade through the swamp of poverty, deprivation, inequality and injustice. In the EU, out the EU, half in and half out, the capitalist system will still control our lives. Until we sort that one out, as far as the ordinary people are concerned, nothing will change.  
     Instead of debating the Brexit, which is just another power struggle among the privileged parasites, we the ordinary people should be debating how we free ourselves from the grip of the capitalist system, how we can take control of our communities and our workplaces. The answers are there, the resources are there, we have the imagination and the intelligence to govern our own lives, creating a society that sees to the needs of all our people, all we need is the will to do so.
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Sunday, 13 January 2019

Stuff = Happiness???

       Consumerism is the pillar of the capitalist system, without mass consumerism the whole capitalist system collapses. The system lives and survives by masses of people buying "stuff" and through well constructed advertising, gets you to come to the false conclusion that your "stuff" is out of date and needs to be replaced. The propaganda machine of the corporate world also weaves this illusion that more "stuff" will bring you more happiness, get the right "stuff" and your life and loves will be transformed, and that this method of living is the only game in town. Of course to get more "stuff" you have to work long hours and do shit jobs. This whole fabricated illusion creates the belief that money is the only thing that governs the quality of your life, so you spend your life on the treadmill of trying to get more money to get more "stuff" and in the end find you have an empty life chasing an illusion.
      As usual a few words of quite wisdom from "Not Buying Anything"

 "Me Grog. Me big caveman - need storage cave for all my extra stuff."
        Is a focus on materialism an instinctive behaviour? Is it human nature? Are we predisposed to want to accumulate things?
       Materialism researchers James Burroughs and Aric Rindfleisch think they have it figured out. I have my doubts.
       "Telling people to be less materialistic", they say, "is like telling people that they shouldn’t enjoy sex or eat fatty foods. People can learn to control their impulses, but this does not remove the underlying desires."
       Sex and eating fatty foods are survival strategies for humans since early times. But until recently, accumulating things as a human would be a very bad idea running counter to effective survival strategies.
        We are the most adaptable and mobile species on Earth. In order to do this, we have, for hundreds of thousands of years of evolution, had to travel light. As nomadic people, extra accumulation of stuff would not be an evolutionary advantage.
      If the researchers are right, where is the evidence of acquisitiveness in the archaeological record? Did cave dwelling humans have off-site storage caves to store all their extra pointy sticks, and rocks and stuff?
      If so, where are they? Where are Grog's Super Self-Storage Caves?
     People don't really want 10 tons of crap. Or the storage caves or lockers to put it all in. They want to be loved, to be content, to be part of a vibrant community of supportive compassionate citizens.
     Those are the real underlying desires, and we have been told that the accumulation of stuff will bring us all of that through the completely artificial construct of consumerism.
       Survival is instinctive. Materialism is a learned behaviour, and one that now runs contrary to our survival. Even a cave dweller could see that.
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Thursday, 10 January 2019

The UK, Abject Poverty In The Midst Of Obscene Wealth.

      A recent report states that the UK government is presiding over “significant and growing” hunger, the report warns that one in five children in the UK live in homes that are severely food insecure, this is the worst level of child hunger in the EU. The same report states that 2.2 million people in the UK are classed as severely food insecure, this translates into the fact that the UK is responsible for one fifth of all severely food insecure people in the EU.
        So the rich UK has an army of adults and children who are classed as severely food insecure. It has another army luring in the shadows of this corrupt exploitative system, the army of homeless. According to Shelter at least 320,000 people in the UK are homeless. The report also states that this is a year-on-year increase of 13,000, up 4%. It puts the national figure at around 1 in 200 people in the UK as homeless. It also states that these figures are probably an under estimate as it doesn't take into account, the sofa-surfers, those sleeping in sheds and cars etc. 
       Another hallmark of this rich UK society is poverty. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation's recent 2018 report states:
 This research reveals that, in our society: 

  • Child poverty has been rising since 2011/12; 
  • 4.1 million children are living in poverty, a rise of 500,000 in the last five years; 
  • Four million workers are living in poverty –a rise of more than half a million over five years; and 
  • In-work poverty has been rising even faster than employment, driven almost entirely by increasing poverty among working parents.
        Then there is that other army of those on benefit being driven to destitution by never ending cuts in social services, a rapidly crumbling health service, and an education system that has vacancies that can't be filled, and a vast number of teachers off with stress.
     All the signs of a poor country, debilitating social conditions that blight the lives of millions, but in this case it is a very rich country and the conditions in the country are created by deliberate choices made by those in power. There is more than sufficient wealth and resources in this country to see to the needs of all our people, the choices are ideologically chosen.
     In the midst of this swamp of poverty and deprivation, our "lords and masters" are spending billions on weaponry. We have had the usual chest thumping and flag waving at the UK's recent acquisition of two monster aircraft carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales. The cost of building these monstrous imperialist weapons of mass destruction is in excess of £6 billion. Of course this is a drop in the bucket to the final cost when completed and fitted out with its fancy super expensive F-35B stealth fighter jets. Each jet comes with an eye-watering price tag of £78 million. The UK with its army of hungry and homeless, is buying 48 of these imperialist testosterone pills to kit out its two mammoth carriers, but is planning to buy a total of 138 to complete its battle group. That would come in somewhere around the £14+ billion, then add a cool  £6+ billion building costs. Thanks Loam for the link. Details of this mad imperialist chest thumping extravaganza here:
         Of course the billions spent on these two brutes of indiscriminate killing machines is just a small fraction the UK spends on weaponry just to be the side-kick of the imperialist USA.
          This shows where the privileged parasites that control this country put their priorities, certainly not in the well being of the people, but in the defence of their power and wealth at the expense of the people.
           In the words of the song, "When will we ever learn---"
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Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Those Pesky Migrants!!

         How many EU citizens live in the UK? How many UK citizens live in the EU? January 2017 figures for the population of EU were 511,522,671, population of UK 65,808,573. If we subtract the population of the UK from the EU figure, giving us a figure of EU population of 445,714,098. Of that vast number of EU citizens, approximately 2.9 million have come to live in the UK. Of our much smaller population of around 65 million, 1.3 million have chosen to live in the EU. 
      The largest portion of UK citizens living in EU have settled in Spain, population wise, a much smaller country than UK, but it has 391,194 UK citizens settled in there.
     The following LINK gives a breakdown of where that UK population have settled in Spain, and you can see that in the chart just how high in certain places the UK migrant population is in relation to the local population. Thanks Loam for the link:
       Populations have always moved around and across borders, some by choice, others by necessity. Borders are imaginary lines drawn by power mongers who wish to hold onto what they see as their territory and their power base. The UK is a broth-pot of Roman, Viking, Norman, Saxon, Irish and a large mix of African, Eastern and Middle Eastern populations. However the racist duped element in this patch of the planet called the UK, see any new migrant as a threat, blind to the fact that their own ancestry is made of of a hotch-potch of migrants over the ages. We are all human and belong to the same family tree, if we really open our eyes we would see that the only real division between us is the one created by those same power mongers that create those imaginary lines/borders, and it is one of class. 

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Monday, 7 January 2019

A Little More On The "Migrant Crisis".

        The vast majority of people living in the UK are far from racists, of course we have a racist element, which is usually fed be fear propaganda spewing from our lords and masters the privileged political ballerinas, mainly the product of the Oxbridge sausage factory, which trains the wealthy in how to rule. As usual our "government" is well out of step with the UK public at large on this matter of racism.
       Just how racist is the UK government? A guide to how our prancing political ballerinas see migrants could be the way they react to the situation of migrants arriving at our shores.
     The recently released figures for migrants reaching Spain state that Spain’s maritime rescue service, in the last two days has rescued almost 550 migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean to Spain. This Saturday the figure was six small boats carrying 350 migrants, and on Sunday the figure was almost 200 migrants. Some of the small dinghies were carrying children. According to the EU’s border agency, Frontex, approximately 57,000 migrants landed in Spain last year, this is double the figure for 2017.
      Here in the UK, according to Home Office figures, in 2018, 504 migrants attempted to cross the English Channel, 228 were intercepted by the French authorities, and a mere 276 managed to reach UK shores/waters. This trickle was sufficient for our racist establishment to call it a “migrant crisis”. In a country of over 63 million of a population, 276 migrants landing on our shores in a year, is deemed a “migrant crisis”. Bearing in mind that almost all migrants who take the desperate chance to cross a dangerous expanse of water in makeshift over crowded craft, are fleeing some or all of the following, poverty, deprivation, violent repression, death and destruction, in most cases caused by Western foreign policy, we have no right to turn our backs on them. Our privileged political ballerinas can pour in extra resources, money being no object to funding racists policies, into funding this illusionary “migrant crisis”, while at the same time social service are cut to the bone, under the mantra, “we need to make savings as we can’t afford the money”. It is obvious where the priorities of this cabal of privileged parasites that lord it over us really lie.
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Thursday, 3 January 2019

"Migrant Crisis", Or Political Cynicism?

         Politicians as a rule are self centred careerists prancing around seeking photo opportunities and spouting how they alone can lead the people to the promised land. However, when they gain power and become part of that cabal called the government, they add another quality to their repertoire, they become experts in cynicism. They will fashion any situation to push their policies and ideology, irrespective of the facts on the ground, or the human suffering involved.

     The "migrant crisis" is just the latest human tragedy to be used cynically by our political ballerinas to raise anti-immigrant fears. Home secretary Sajid Javid, is just the latest in a long line of cynical careerists to turn what is a human tragedy of Western imperialist policies, into a prop for his anti-immigrant ideology.
       The Latest "migrant crisis" is a few hundred desperate people, over several months, risking their lives in small boats, to seek asylum in the UK. The facts are that the UK receives around 28,000 asylum applications a year, the vast majority arrive by plane at airports. They do not "flood" in on boats and lorries. So how does a few hundred arriving in small boats, over several months, suddenly become a "migrant crisis"?
This extract from Freedom News:
      Vox Political speaks of a manufactured ‘migrant crisis’, maybe to create an anti-EU sentiment ahead of the Brexit vote.
          “Make no mistake”, Labour MP David Lammy said, “this is not in response to genuine concern for human life. This is Sajid Javid imitating Donald Trump’s “migrant caravan”manufactured emergency to whip up fear before the Brexit vote. Desperate and cynical.”
        The London Economics also accuses the Conservatives of using the refugees as political pawns ahead of a critical Brexit period.
Read the article in FULL:

      You would think that after 300 years or so of being hoodwink and exploited by a political system, we would have learnt by now that politicians are never on the side of the people.
     People risking their lives fleeing deprivation, death and destruction, in most cases caused by our Western imperialist foreign policies, deserve our fullest compassion and assistance. They should not, under any circumstance, be hounded as criminals, and thrown back to face that same deprivation, death and destruction. However, humanity is not a quality that governments are known for, that particular quality lies with the people.
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