This Blog Has Moved

As of Monday May 17th 2010 this blog (tenpercent.wordpress.com) has moved to tenpercent.org.uk

This wordpress.com site will remain in place but new posts will appear at:-

Posted in Blogging. Tags: . 2 Comments »

MV Rachel Corrie Sets Sail

FreeGaza- 14 May 2010 – At 22:45 local time tonight, the MV Rachel Corrie, a 1200-ton cargo ship, part of the eight-vessel Freedom Flotilla, set sail from Ireland on its way to the Mediterranean Sea. There, ships from Turkey and Greece will join her, then sail to Gaza.

This past week reports from Israel have indicated that the Israeli authorities will not allow the Freedom Flotilla to reach Gaza with its cargo of much-needed reconstruction material, medical equipment, and school supplies. According to Israeli news sources, clear orders have been issued to prevent the ships from reaching Gaza, even if this necessitates military violence.

The Free Gaza Movement, which has launched eight other sea missions to Gaza, confirms that Israel has tried these kinds of threats and intimidation tactics before in order to try to stop the missions before they start. “They have not deterred us before and will not deter us now,” said one of the organizers.

Ship to Gaza — Sweden, a Freedom Flotilla coalition partner, together with parliamentarian Mehmet Kaplan (Green Party) yesterday asked for an audience with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, Carl Bildt, to discuss what measures the Swedish government and the European Union will take to protect the Freedom Flotilla’s peaceful, humanitarian voyage. Earlier this week during a meeting with the European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza – another coalition partner, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyib Erdogan expressed his support for “breaking the oppressive siege on the Gaza Strip…which is at the top of Turkey’s list of priorities.“

Coalition partners, Ship to Gaza – Greece and the Turkish relief organization IHH, stressed that the ships, passengers, and cargo will be checked at each port of departure, making it clear that we constitute no security threat to Israel.

Israel’s threats to attack unarmed civilians aboard vessels carrying reconstruction aid are outrageous and indicative of the cruel and violent nature of Israel’s policies towards Gaza. The Freedom Flotilla is acting in line with universal principals of human rights and justice in defying a blockade identified as illegal by the UN and other humanitarian organizations. Palestinians in Gaza have a right to the thousands of basic supplies that Israel bans from entering, including cement and schoolbooks, as well as a right to access the outside world. The Freedom Flotilla coalition calls on all signatories to the Fourth Geneva Conventions to pressure Israel to adhere to its obligations under international humanitarian law, to end the lethal blockade on Gaza, and to refrain from attacking this peaceful convoy.

Friday! Theme From TenPercent

It’s the last Friday on wordpress.com before the move on Monday to tenpercent.org.uk and just in the nick of time the decision as to the theme of the blog has been reached. It was not easy, there were some long nights, vinyl rummaging and acts of terror. It’s been a hard fought battle and the path here is littered with the very excellent choices that didn’t quite make it, maybe next year. The decision invigilated by an international committee of Nobel laureates and also people who aren’t war criminals, was made infinitely harder by the fact that the blog has two theme tunes…at least. First, it has made a Friday before but it endures, it abides, as I said then-

It forms some of the parameters of my soul.

Karl Hyde’s poetry is so evocative yet pleasingly playful with ambiguity yet you know just what he means, you identify with the experience that is both recounted in the track and is the track itself, the shards of memory, images, thoughts, feelings, flashing through the track resonate (pun!) with my own long memories of eternal summers on Welsh beaches and more contemporary sensations.

walking in the wind at the water’s edge
come closer covering my rubber feet
listening to the barbed wire, hanging

The rhythm and mantra like revelations within the lyric enriching your own understanding of even everyday speech and meaning, the need and frustration to communicate that is both aided and hindered by language.

sugarbox sugarboy handheld candle sugarboy
your rails your thin your thin paper wings

And the reason why wandered-in-from-the-wild-as-a-kitten Mogwai’s middle name is Juanita.

homeless strays gathering outside your window
bootleg babies call to you
lying amongst the mosquitoes
this summer fever’s coming

The music’s a twisting turning epic under the genius of Rick (excellent name, obviously) Smith and grooves wrestled (at the time) by Darren Emerson. At times muscular, then quiet, loud, large having and transcendent, it’s a love song -sometimes- for people, places and feelings as its final movement in the original triptych suggests -Juanita/Kiteless/To Dream of Love, it is music made of the mysterious matter that makes the whole greater than the sum of its parts. There are many versions, this is a live one from the Everything Everything release, each have their differences and all continually reveal new aspects, new collisions of rhythm, melody and language.

resonator resonator resonator resonator

Juanita/Kiteless

And, Everybody Knows by Leonard Cohen, perhaps a controversial choice in light of his non boycotting by playing in Israel, but I can disagree with the decision yet admire the art and after all it is a tactic not an ideology, plus it’s a corking song. Perhaps a theme of ennui for the world weary cynicism of the thwarted romantic and idealist and also maybe holds a special place for those of a certain age when Pump Up The Volume came out. It gets covered quite often and the conceit of the lyric does lend itself to newer iterations as every age finds new lies, hypocrisies and crises that are lied about, which of course is all over now…

OK, now I’ve got it to those two I find that intolerable and want to add loads more, dammit!

Posted in Friday!, Music. Tags: , . 7 Comments »

ConDems Show Vicious Neoliberal Principles In Attack On Welfare

Given they both agree cuts which will entail more unemployment they are then further victimising the people they make unemployed, a searingly middle and upper class attitude that is based in the ‘scrounger’ idea that is demonstrably dishonest, they know full well their ideology depends on and creates a pool of unemployed to maintain ‘flexibility’ of labour and to lower labour costs. Nevertheless they convey through corporate media allies to condition people to think those needing welfare are ripping off taxpayers and are unwilling to work, ensuring the astronomically higher corporate and tax fraud figures of their supporters and compadres are kept out of the discourse. One can reasonably define a characteristic of neoliberalism is the scapegoating, the othering, of victims of the ideology in order to misdirect opposition from the -already rich- benefactors of neoliberalism. I have not seen anyone else focus on this part of the deal which perhaps also demonstrates the effectiveness of the ideology in informing opinions on this subject. For some people to be rich under this system it requires many others to remain poor, apparently a taboo issue for the self absorbed upwardly mobile acquisitive consumer puppets of marketing whose souls are owned by Visa.

From Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition deal
The parties agree to end all existing welfare-to-work programmes and to create a single welfare-to-work programme to help all unemployed people get back into work.

We agree that jobseeker’s allowance claimants facing the most significant barriers to work should be referred to the aforementioned newly created welfare-to-work programme immediately, not after 12 months as is currently the case. We agree that jobseeker’s allowance claimants aged under 25 should be referred to the programme after a maximum of six months.

The parties agree to realign contracts with welfare-to-work service providers to reflect more closely the results they achieve in getting people back into work.

We agree that the funding mechanism used by government to finance welfare-to-work programmes should be reformed to reflect the fact that initial investment delivers later savings in lower benefit expenditure.

We agree that receipt of benefits for those able to work should be conditional on the willingness to work.

Mr. David Eton-Murdoch is Prime Minister

Here comes the 32nd year of neoliberalism, this time in toff(ee?) flavour. Surprisingly I have a Tory acquaintance, one Mister Degby Reardon who when he has sobered up I shall invite for his views on the Blue Reich, last I heard from him he was chanting ‘Cameroooooonnnnnnssss Komandos!’ and urinating on a cowering LibDem. I think he is pleased. This is often a bad sign.

Cowering Before Capital

If this were debt cancellation and stimulus it would be interesting and the details are not out but I somehow doubt this will be much more than doing what the markets want, the level of debt created by financialisation and neoliberal policies is socially unsustainable unless police states become standard. Nowhere in the article are people mentioned, just banks & governments. The quote ‘inability of the Greek government to live within its means‘ is such a poisonous falsehood, as if financial institutions did not for years bribe key people into endless debt restructuring not because it helped them but because it made money for the banks. This is a merry game played by elites with the costs passed onto those not allowed to participate, yet the besuited oligarchs have the chutzpah to project their irresponsibility onto their victims. This is a rescue package within the rules of the game, better than what could have happened but ultimately it prolongs the scam. Neoliberalism, does not work, financialisation in place of actual productivity does not work (excuse the pun), capitalism unregulated and unconstrained does not work, Adam Smith was actually very clear on that despite what Randroids and laissez faire fundamentalists prefer to read into his works (by current standards he’d be labeled a socialist by corporate media). What we are seeing is a rolling breakdown of  systems of human activity because we are serving the economy not making the economy serve us.

Oh and some spurious wonky shit about elections, is it just me or are you sick of the (very masculine) obsession with numbers and deals and very little mention of the consequences to people of the cuts no one seems to want to think about (is this I suspect because they are all convinced of the neoliberal arguments and wouldn’t know a socialised market if they fell over one). Or am I just stupid for hoping just a tiny bit a coalition and public appetite for reform might stymie the cuts agenda of a lib/lab coalition because they can see the tories waiting to profit off the market fetishised ‘austerity’ measures (nice euphemism for class war and shock doctrine beloved by all those who fully expect not to suffer one iota because of them, until maybe that crime spike means it’s their home invaded and they get beaten the shit out of to give up all their valuables, no really I’m trying to feel sympathy for the self absorbed privileged twats).

What? You didn’t order a rant, well you got one anyway. Try the veal, I’ll be here all week… then I’ll be at http://www.tenpercent.org.uk/

Peace out motherfunkers.

This Blog Is Moving Next Week

Yes dear readers, at last it has come to pass, the new site is getting onto its feet and so it is time to do this moving thing. So this Monday 10th May marks the end of the beginning, a week from now (Monday 17th May) new posts will not appear here, they will appear at:-

http://www.tenpercent.org.uk/

Yes you can go and have a look, grimace in horror and carefully ensure you don’t update your blogrolls, or… you could, that would be nice. The plan (such as it is) is that this site remains here, all the posts intact so links etc still work and -clickable- notice of the new site will be in the sidebars to inform casual readers of the move. On the new site the entire blog will be reproduced (just some niggling missing posts and comments to figure out, damn my over 2mb xml file!) and from May 17th it will be the live site where new posts appear. It is hosted in far off lands thanks to an excellent friend of the blog, beyond the easy reach of UK libels laws and if some eejit has a problem with it they can no longer send a lawyers letter/email to WordPress and they immediately defer to that threat rather than think about it and contact me. Over-privileged numpties with an itchy lawyer finger will have to deal with me directly, y’know like in a civilised open way. So even if the new government is not much to look forward to, then there is a least this change you can believe in. Oh and if I can persuade ‘it’ the HAL 9000 supercomputer will be making an appearance in a special video…

Posted in Blogging. Tags: . 17 Comments »
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