Friday! Waiting For The Great Leap Forwards

Billy Bragg- Waiting For The Great Leap Forwards, anticipation? Or if you need some cynicism try Futurama remixed by a Cynthia McKinney supporter, clone politics-

Or let Chomsky clear your head: Vote Obama in swing states but without illusions-

…and if McPalin is announced the ‘winner‘, time for that velvet revolution.

PS. Super Bonus grooves: Via kwiebusch this flash mixer- lets you remix Dark+Long (Dark Train) by Underworld to your hearts content, you see you don’t just get music to listen to here, you can make it too! If you are unfamiliar with the track (for shame!) check it below. Then get mixing!
Underworld Dark+Long (Dark Train) live-

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Not The Brightest

Police officers put vehicles out of action 26 times in the space of a year by filling them with petrol instead of diesel, a force has admitted. North Wales Police say officers made the mistake even though the majority of its new vehicles have bright yellow filler caps marked “diesel”.

Repairing the vehicles cost the tax payer more than £2,700. The figures, released under the Freedom of Information Act, cover the period from April 2007 to March 2008.

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Barclays Bankers

Obviously you are not going to find a paragon of ethical socially minded banking in any of the banks, but one corporation du moolah has consistently delighted in pursuing profit at the expense of basic morality, apartheid South Africa? Yep. Arms sales with added depleted uranium? You betcha. Mugabe? kerching! War profiteering & looting in the Congo? Why certainly. Now once again Barclays have proved themselves far and away the bestest ever at being total bankers. Rather than take government bailouts they eschew what little control that process entailed and instead royalty from Abu Dahbi and Qatar have filled their coffers in a deal giving them preferential treatment over any government package. They prefer rich princes who won’t baulk at their shenanigans to govt with a nod to regulation and some social/ethical aspect to their operations. After all royalty understand it’s important keeping ones subjects…er..subjugated in order to enrich oneself (as they do in Bush favourite ‘Teh Emirates’) and Barclays certainly hate their average high street customer, branch closures, ridiculously excessive account charges and penalties. Also I just love to hear ‘Royal family’ (sorry sovereign wealth funds, gosh nope even with that newspeak it’s still ridiculous) it’s like being a wee child again and reading fairy tales, after all who but a child would accept people having great wealth and power due to an accident of birth (has anyone studied how fairy tales impact adult attitudes to Royalty/class? or for that matter bridge related trolls).

Really we should be sort of pleased Barclays remains the biggest bankers on the block, at least they have the courage of their convictions- greed is good, evil is fun, total class war- even if that’s as near to any ‘convictions’ they will get. They clearly are not about to change how they do things-

Barclays has said it should gain a competitive advantage by not having government as an investor, and will also avoid the scrutiny that its rivals may face, analysts said.

Should though we be happy they are not getting public capital? Which I think is the wrong question, while regulation should of come without a price tag it is better to have some oversight than none at all, as this crisis of capitalism demonstrates. What’s noticeable is Barclays prefer worse deals from ideological allies than regulation, which gives the lie to business being only about the bottom line, it is about irrational greed now-

A large chunk of the £5.8bn investment will buy “reserve capital instruments”, similar to the preference shares which the UK government is taking in RBS and Lloyds TSB-HBOS. They will pay a dividend of 14% a year, compared with the UK government’s 12% a year. The new shareholders will also own warrants allowing them to buy shares in Barclays at 197.775p any time in the next five years.

“We have to ask why Barclays it is willing to offer a better deal to foreign investors than the British taxpayer,” Cable said. “The answer is simple: they don’t want the British government stopping them from paying massive bonuses to their executives.

“More than the other banks, Barclays operate a high-risk casino operation which makes the bank particularly unstable but which gives very rich pickings to the top executives. The British government must not simply let this pass.”

Marcus Agius, Barclays chairman, insisted the ability to keep paying bonuses “had nothing to do with this at all”.

“It’s to do with self-determination,” he said.

As their record clearly shows they are all about supporting democracy…no wait the other thing, being rich and fuck everyone else. And for all the talk of self-determination, which I’m sure is getting libertarians engorged (bless their simple little socks) even as I write, they are in fact being subsidised by the tax payer-

What’s more Barclays is paying a whacking coupon, loads of income, to Abu Dhabi and Qatar. They get 9.75% on the convertible notes, and 14% (oh so loverly, a time of falling interest rates) on the reserve capital instruments. And the 14% coupon is tax deductible (and, before you ask, the coupon on the prefs being sold by HBOS, Lloyds TSB and RBS to the Treasury is not tax deductible). That means we as British taxpayers are subsidising the payment to these oil-rich states to the tune of £120m per annum…

I’ve already been rung this morning by sore investors and bankers who allege that Barclays has tapped Abu Dhabi and Qatar because it doesn’t want Gordon Brown and Darling putting a ceiling on what it can pay its top execs.

What did they pay themselves last time?

Bob Diamond, head of investment banking at Barclays received pay and shares worth over 21 million pounds last year, just down on 2006 but putting him among Europe’s highest-paid bankers.

Chief Executive John Varley, whose 2007 pay and shares could reach 4.2 million pounds

Investment banker Marcus Agius [chariman] will be paid a salary of £750,000


A fraudster posing as the chairman of Barclays stole £10,000 from the bank after tricking a member of staff into sending him a credit card, it emerged today. The conman duped call centre staff into issuing a credit card in the name of banking boss Marcus Agius and then used it to withdraw funds at a high street branch.

It is believed that the thief, working alone or as part of a gang, used the internet to find out details concerning Agius, such as his date of birth and address. He then contacted a Barclaycard employee and requested that a new card be sent out. Armed with the information and the card, the conman entered a branch of the bank and walked away with £10,000 of Agius’s cash.

Although their excessive charges meant the customers paid to replace moneybags stolen 10 grand I suppose. Agius is the lowest paid, £10,000 was a loss of one and a third percent of his salary, how did he ever survive the poor lamb?

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Chris Morris Gets Funding

Via email:

We’ve had some good funding news which means we won’t be asking you to back your generous offer with hard cash.

The huge surge in online support may even have helped cause this shift in fortune. Either way your encouragement has been a spur to action and hugely inspiring.

And of course you will still have a chance to be in the film.

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Jacqui Smith Shocked To Find Gambling In The Casino

Call me cynical but this looks like CYA now the torture cat is exiting the bag, especially with a Bush regime in its dotage and as Mohamed’s lawyer says it’s really an obligation under the convention against torture now. And Baroness Scotland… well former Home office minister who has performed odious work for Smith previously.

Jacqui Smith, the home secretary, has asked the attorney general to investigate possible “criminal wrongdoing” by the MI5 and the CIA over its treatment of a British resident held in Guantanamo Bay, it was revealed tonight.

The dramatic development over allegations of collusion in torture and inhuman treatment follows a high court judgment which found that an MI5 officer participated in the unlawful interrogation of Binyam Mohamed. The MI5 officer interrogated Mohamed while he was being held in Pakistan in 2002.

It emerged tonight that lawyers acting for Smith have sent the attorney general, Baroness Scotland, evidence about MI5 and CIA involvement in the case, which was heard behind closed doors in high court hearings. In a letter seen by the Guardian, they have asked Scotland – as an independent law officer – to investigate “possible criminal wrongdoing”. The move could lead to a criminal prosecution.

The evidence was suppressed following gagging orders demanded by David Miliband, the foreign secretary, and the US authorities. The action by Smith, the minister responsible for MI5 activities, is believed to be unprecedented.

A Home Office spokesman confirmed tonight that the letter and closed evidence had been sent to the attorney. It had no further comment.

Tonight Clive Stafford Smith, director of the legal charity Reprieve, which represents Guantanamo detainees, welcomed the move. He said: “This is a welcome recognition that the CIA cannot just go rendering British residents to secret torture chambers without any consequences, and British agents cannot take part in American crimes without facing the music”.

He added: “Reprieve will be making submissions to the attorney general to ensure that those involved in these crimes – from the US, Pakistan, Morocco, Britain, and elsewhere – are held responsible.”

Richard Stein of Leigh Day, which is acting for Mohamed in the British courts, said: “Ultimately the British government had little choice in the matter, once they conceded that a case had been made out that Binyam Mohamed was tortured.”

“The Convention Against Torture rightly imposes an obligation on signatory states to investigate cases of torture, and we look forward to a full and open airing of the crimes committed against Mr Mohamed and a thorough investigation by the Police and Crown Prosecution Service into this case.”

Reprieve has argued that the case against Mohamed should be dropped by the US government, and that he should be returned to the UK, as the British Government requested in August 2007. It says Mohamed is a victim of “extraordinary rendition” and torture.

De Menezes: Non Police Witnesses Are Finally Heard

The PDF at the coroner’s inquest site is here. Interesting reading, at this point those who believe the police warned Jean Charles and that he made a move towards them can pretty well much twin themselves with the flat Earth society. The Independent has a good summation of two witnesses-

Ralph Livock said he had no idea that it was anything more serious until one of the armed men fired at Mr de Menezes at point blank range.

Mr Livock and his girlfriend Rachel Wilson were sitting in a Tube carriage opposite the 27-year-old Brazilian on the morning of 22 July 2005, the inquest heard.

The passenger recalled that their train was held up for longer than usual at Stockwell station in south London – and then four casually-dressed men armed with guns got on board.

Nicholas Hilliard QC, counsel to the inquest, asked him: “Did you have any idea who they were?”

Mr Livock said: “Absolutely not.”

He went on: “One of my initial thoughts was it was all a game and they were a group of lads who were just having a laugh – a very bad taste laugh but just having a game on the Tube, because they were just dressed in jeans and t-shirts but with firearms.”

Mr Hilliard went on to ask: “Had you heard anything said about police?”

Mr Livock replied: “No, certainly not.

“And I remember that specifically because one of the conversations that Rachel and I had afterwards was that we had no idea whether these were police, whether they were terrorists, whether they were somebody else. We just had no idea.”

He added: “The thing that made me realise it wasn’t a group of lads playing around or something else happening was when the first shot was fired.”

Mr de Menezes was shot seven times in the head at point-blank range after being mistaken for failed suicide bomber Hussain Osman.

That morning, Mr Livock got on to a northbound Northern Line train at Clapham North station with Ms Wilson, the inquest heard.

While they were waiting at Stockwell station, he heard shouts from outside the train saying something like, “he’s here”.

A few seconds later a man holding a pistol entered their carriage and levelled it at Mr de Menezes, who was sitting opposite Ms Wilson, the hearing was told.

Mr Hilliard asked the witness: “Did you hear him saying anything to Mr de Menezes?”

Mr Livock said: “Absolutely not.”

Mr Hilliard continued: “Did you hear Mr de Menezes say anything to him?”

The passenger replied: “No, absolutely not at all.

“If anything, Mr de Menezes looked as if he was – I hesitate to say confused, confused isn’t really the right adjective.

“He looked as if he was expecting somebody to say something but he didn’t look frightened.

“He looked as if he was waiting for somebody to tell him what was going on.”

None of the passengers in the Tube train were called to give evidence at the Metropolitan Police’s Health and Safety trial over the shooting last year.

This is the first time they have spoken in public about what they saw.

Firearms officers involved in the operation have told the inquest they shouted “armed police” at Mr de Menezes before shooting him.

But giving evidence today, Ms Wilson also insisted she did not hear this and had no idea who the men who killed the Brazilian were.

Mr Hilliard asked her: “Was anything said at any time during the incident to give you a clue as to who they were?”

She replied: “No, and I know this because similar to Ralph’s statement, first I thought they were messing around.

“Then I thought they were terrorists and it was only when I left the carriage and somebody moved me gently out of the way that I figured they must be good guys.

“Apart from that, I just didn’t know who they were.”

Mr Hilliard went on: “Specifically, did you ever hear anybody shout ‘armed police’?”

Ms Wilson answered: “If I had heard that, I would have thought they were police, so no.”

She said it was only after the shooting, when she saw she had blood on her hands, that she realised how serious the incident was.

From reading the transcript though you also find the police were described as not panicked, but ‘authoritative’ that witness statements were tampered with by the police (dates wrong, language changed ‘policified’ Rachel Wilson described it, the usual bureaucratic cock ups or something else, we don’t know) and the representatives for the police constantly -slyly- prefacing questions with reference to ‘perceptual distortion’ by saying ‘your brain selected to remember’. It being 3 years ago as well helps cloud the issue, see how handy it is to fight an inquest to clock up some years until the accounting? 2 witnesses recall he was not held down, one thinks he was, but all agree- no warning. Nothing Jean Charles could have done would have prevented them shooting, that is the core horror story that must be denied, because once understood people will ask what protects me from the same fate? This inquest is part of the answer to that.

Spot The Odd One Out

  • Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell today joined the profits bonanza from record prices with a 71 per cent jump in third-quarter earnings. The firm made a mammoth 10.9 billion US dollars (£6.6 billion) between July and September – a period when oil prices hit a peak above 147 dollars a barrel.
  • U.S. banks getting more than $163 billion from the Treasury Department for new lending are on pace to pay more than half of that sum to their shareholders, with government permission, over the next three years. The government said it was giving banks more money so they could make more loans. Dollars paid to shareholders don’t serve that purpose, but Treasury officials say that suspending quarterly dividend payments would have deterred banks from participating in the voluntary program.
  • Economy shrinks as consumers cut back on spending…the Labor Department reported Thursday that applications for unemployment benefits remained at an elevated level last week, another sign of the economy’s struggles.

We’re being strip-mined.

Salma Yaqoob Lays Down Some Righteous Truth

By Salma Yaqoob

The tide has certainly turned. For decades, ideas that were once were a reference point for social progress have been derided and marginalised. Now the neo-liberal consensus, which was certain of its own invincibility, has been swept aside by what could well be the greatest financial crisis in history. Millions can now see with their own eyes that the emperor has no clothes.

It is an opportunity, certainly, for the left to reassert a vision of a new world. Already, practical and common-sense arguments of the left are being rehabilitated: that we should be the masters of the economy rather than its servants, that the state should direct investment to meet the needs of society, and that those who are most able to pay should make the greatest contribution through their taxes.

Ironically, in its own way the scale and swiftness of the bank bail-out has vindicated the slogan of the global justice movement that “another world is possible”. It would only cost £2.7bn to save the lives of 6 million children who die due to poverty. Yet in one week governments have come up with more than £400bn to shore up a failing financial system. Clearly the demands of campaigners and aspirations of whole swathes of humanity are utterly achievable – if the political will is there.

The challenge “after New Labour” is to hold on to this truth, as a sea of dangers will also need to be navigated. The casualties of the coming recession will be counted in their millions. Jobs will be lost, homes will be repossessed, poverty will grow.

Martin Luther King said that, “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” His words remain as powerful now as they ever were. For the collapse of the old orthodoxy by no means guarantees the emergence of a new human solidarity. A wave of racism and xenophobia could easily engulf a fearful and insecure society.

Already disillusionment with the establishment has lead to an alarming rise in the far right. A critical factor in their growth has been the way large sections of the white working class have been taken for granted, their needs effectively ignored by cynical politicians fixated with triangulation. The first-past-the-post system means that all the mainstream parties compete to woo the middle-class voters of a few marginal seats. The sense of abandonment and anger is easily exploited by extremists who wish to ferment racial tension. The answer is not for parties to pander to such simplistic scapegoating by competing to be the toughest on immigration and multiculturalism, but to highlight the need for a more just redistribution of wealth and resources.

Other significant sections of the voting population also feel the political system has failed them. It is simply too unresponsive to popular will. I regularly come across young people disillusioned with any concept of engagement in the democratic process because their experience is one in which they have seen millions participate in anti-war protests, yet be ignored by government.

Just as our financial system needs an overhaul, so too does our political system. A vigorous campaign for proportional representation could well be one platform around which the diverse groups committed to peace and social justice could unite. Time after time the British public has shown itself to be more progressive than its supposed representatives – whether on foreign policy, climate change or public services. The democratic deficit between the British public and their political institutions demands urgent attention.

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Media Repeat Met’s Warning Story

Menezes police ‘shouted warnings’ trumpets a BBC headline and bingo, the spin is out there, but read on, what does the copper carefully say-

The issue over whether the officers had warned the Brazilian they were armed police has been hotly contested during the hearing at the Oval cricket ground, south London. But C5, a member of Scotland Yard’s elite CO19 Specialist Firearms Unit, said: “I heard shouts of ‘armed police’, I can’t say when the shouts were made.

“There was more than one shout and I know there were shouts as they were forcing Mr de Menezes back.”Asked if he could recall if either C2 or C12 had shouted a warning, he said: “I really can’t say even that. The likelihood was that it was from them,” he added.

C5 was challenged by Michael Mansfield QC, for the de Menezes family, over whether the warning had actually been issued before the fatal shooting or had been added at a later date.

I can’t say when the shouts were made’, oh lordy how asses are covered with that phrase, the spin escapes into the newsosphere but the testimony does not in fact prove warnings were shouted before the killing and the vagueness excuses the witness a multitudede of legal jeopardies, not to mention the other witnesses who heard no warnings. This is a crucial media assisted victory for the Mets’ narrative management strategies, as today Mansfield boldly accused the witness of lying-

But Michael Mansfield QC, for the de Menezes family, claimed C2’s evidence that he heard Mr de Menezes was “definitely our man” had been fabricated.

Mr de Menezes died on July 22 2005 after being shot seven times in the head by C2 and his colleague, C12, who both mistook him for failed suicide bomber Hussain Osman.

Evidence from C2 marked an end to a lengthy wait for the de Menezes family and the Justice4Jean group, who have campaigned to hear evidence from the gunmen since he was shot dead.

Both C2 and C12 spoke of their sorrow for the family and revealed they think about the tragedy “every day” as they came face to face with his mother, brother and cousins for the first time. But, speaking outside court, the Brazilian’s mother, Maria Otone de Menezes, 63, accused C2 of being “very cold”, adding: “He may have apologised but it certainly didn’t seem like he meant it.”

C2, who said he was convinced Mr de Menezes was a terrorist about to set off a bomb, told how he never heard the instruction to go to “state red”, meaning the firearms teams should intervene to detain the suspect. And he said his Glock pistol “malfunctioned” at the critical moment he opened fire at Stockwell Tube station, south London.

C2, who also revealed he only shouted “armed police” after deciding to shoot, said: “At the time I fired I believed that I, and everyone else, was about to die. From my position I knew that I could not access the brain stem. I could not be certain that of immediate incapacitation. I had to ensure that life was extinct also because of the fact I had a stoppage. I could not be certain if I had lost rounds in the process.”

I worry about the dusty old shotguns around here when these hi-tech Glock pistols handled by apparently trained and qualified police marksmen (persons?) which presumably would be cleaned and checked very regularly suddenly go all malfunction-y. What I see is panic, fear and tooled up cops exemplifying the adage- when all you got is a hammer every problem looks like a nail.

The apology to Jean Charle’s mother –“very cold”, adding: “He may have apologised but it certainly didn’t seem like he meant it.”- I think can indicate a couple of possibilities, that there was no real contrition and/or the shooter is unable to fully experience emotions and convey them because of trauma or, such personality traits were pre-existing leading them into this line of work. Thus the question becomes one of the structural problems of the Met and policing in general, uniforms attract authoritarians.

From the evidence it seems it could have been any one of us who was executed, well not any, not pasty white me, but any men of colour in the wrong place at the wrong time. The terror of living with that possibility is absent for members of the white majority just as awareness of it is lacking from the Mets understanding of why this killing was such an atrocity. And manufactured narratives informing rehearsed testimony does not inspire confidence the institution that perpetrated it is really much changed from how it was a decade ago.

Again and again the police over this entire affair vacillate between incompetence and criminal intent, at best they are the Keystone cops crossed with a Contra death squad, at worst the most dangerous armed gang in London who respond to ‘accountability’ with cover ups and witness intimidation.

And as always, remember the officers are allowed to work together after the incident to craft their version of events. And dead men tell no tales.

American Military ‘Analyst’ Provides The Rationale To Attack America Itself

Jotman caught this in the Washington Post regarding the Empire’s attack on Syria-

The military’s argument is that “you can only claim sovereignty if you enforce it,” said Anthony Cordesman, a military analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“When you are dealing with states that do not maintain their sovereignty and become a de facto sanctuary, the only way you have to deal with them is this kind of operation,” he said.

One word- Kissinger. Gear up people, we leave at dawn! Hey, they started it.

FreeGaza- They Done it Again LARNACA – The Free Gaza Movement is delighted to announce that their third boat, the SS Dignity carrying 27 crew and passengers arrived in Gaza at 8:10 Gaza time, in spite of Israeli threats to stop them. In the pouring rain, the boat pulled into port amid cheers from the people of Gaza and tears from the passengers.

David Schermerhorn, one of the crew members called an hour before the boat entered the waters of Gaza and said, “There is a rainbow stretching across the Mediterranean from where we are right now.”

Yesterday, The Israel Navy said they would stop the stop our vessel once it reached Israel’s territorial waters. Apparently to save face, they said they would harm our boat, arrest us and tow us IF we entered Israeli waters. The problem for Israel is that the SS Dignity had no intention of getting anywhere near those waters.

One of the organizers, Huwaida Arraf cheered, “Once again we’ve been able to defy an unjust and illegal policy while the rest of the world is too intimidated to do anything. Our small boat is a huge cry to the international community to follow in our footsteps and open a lifeline to the people of Gaza.”

For the second time, the Free Gaza Movement has demonstrated that the might of the Israeli navy is no match for a small boat of human rights activists determined to call to the attention of the world the occupation of the people of Gaza.

Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, member of the Palestinian Legislative Council added, “Despite the injustice against the Palestinian people, we believe in justice and will keep on trying to break Israel’s siege. The occupation has divided the Palestinians, but our nonviolent resistance has united us.”

Osama Qashoo, one of the organizers of the Free Gaza Movement, overjoyed for the second time in three months, “We are all capable of leading a nonviolent and effective movement to end the Israeli Apartheid and expose the injustice that has been meted out to the Palestinians. We in the FG movement have provided the new dictionary, it’s up to the Palestinians and the Israelis and the Internationals to add the words.”

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It’s Called A Strike

No one called it that in case it frightens the horses but…

Some three dozen workers at a telemarketing call center in Indiana walked off the job rather than read an incendiary McCain campaign script attacking Barack Obama, according to two workers at the center and one of their parents.

Nina Williams, a stay-at-home mom in Lake County, Indiana, tells us that her daughter recently called her from her job at the center, upset that she had been asked to read a script attacking Obama for being “dangerously weak on crime,” “coddling criminals,” and for voting against “protecting children from danger.”

Williams’ daughter told her that up to 40 of her co-workers had refused to read the script, and had left the call center after supervisors told them that they would have to either read the call or leave, Williams says. The call center is called Americall, and it’s located in Hobart, IN.

“They walked out,” Williams says of her daughter and her co-workers, adding that they weren’t fired but willingly sacrificed pay rather than read the lines. “They were told [by supervisors], `If you all leave, you’re not gonna get paid for the rest of the day.”

Spontaneous walkout on a matter of principle…money can’t buy you smears, imagine if that spread, imagine people learned they had the power…Not just to put Obama in the Whitehouse, but to hold him to account, to govern for people, not the elite, not the Empire’s military nightmares, imagine democracy.

Via The Unapologetic Mexican this is a great Chomsky summation of the situation, vote Obama in swing states but without illusions-

Free Gaza Ahoy!

They’re doing it again, the SS Dignity is about to sail-

Please come and say ‘farewell’ to the passengers and crew who are leaving for Gaza to, once again, break the blockade and challenge Israel’s claim that they no longer occupy 1.5 million Palestinians.

The media is invited to come into the port Tuesday, October 28 at 15:00 (3:00 pm) to interview the people on board and take pictures of the boat leaving.

Contact details here.

Predictably the Israeli government have launched a pre-emptive ‘warning’

Israel plans to interdict a boatfull of far-left wing protesters if it crosses into Israeli territorial waters on its way to Gaza to “break” Israel’s blockade, senior government officials said Monday. The Free Gaza movement is planning to set sail Tuesday from Cyprus to Gaza, for the second such demonstration since August. Israel, eager to avoid a well-publicized incident on the high seas and believing the protesters were just seeking a provocation, allowed the protesters in two boats to make their way to Gaza then, but has no plans to tolerate a repeat performance this time, the officials said.

‘far-left wing protesters’? Can you feel the Fox News-ism, will John McCain  or Bill O’Reilly pop up and call them Marxists next? So just what rabble are on board this boat-

26 passengers from 12 countries, including Palestine and Israel. On board is Mairead Maguire, the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Dr. Mustapha Barghouti, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, and several other doctors from Europe. Gideon Sprio, an Israeli journalist and long-time activist against the Israeli occupation is also coming.

Doctors, a Nobel Prize winner, a Palestinian politician, a journalist!!! Saints preserve us!

The 27 unarmed civilians sailing aboard the SS Dignity represent 13 different countries. We are doctors, lawyers, teachers, and human rights advocates. We are Christians, Muslims, Jews, and agnostics.

Shit, the Saints can’t help, they’ve got agnostics! And what devilry do they bring with them?

We are carrying 6 cubic meters of urgently needed medical supplies in sealed boxes, cleared by customs at the Larnaca International Airport. There will be a total of 26 passengers and crew on board, among them several physicians.  Our boat and cargo will also have received security clearance from the Port Authorities in Cyprus before we depart.

We will be sailing from Cypriot waters into international waters, then directly into the territorial waters of the Gaza Strip without entering or nearing Israeli territorial waters.

Run for the hills! It’s that most deadly of adversaries- humanitarians! And when I say adversaries, they have invited top Israeli ministers-

We invited Aharon Abramovitz, Minister of Foreign Affairs and/or Ehud Barak, Minister of Defense, to join the voyage to witness first hand the devastating effects of Israel’s illegal policies on the occupied civilian population of the Gaza Strip (Please leave your weapons at home, we are nonviolent).

Which is quite friendly for a gang of far-left wing protesters with their sinister plot to deliver medicine to people, via their own coastline! The cheek!

Bon Voyage to the SS Dignity, for more.

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‘Everything I thought sadly proved to be wrong’

Mansfield got to cross examine C12 today for the family-

The officer, codenamed C12, claimed he shouted “armed police” and only opened fire after Mr deMenezes moved towards him looking like he was about to blow himself up. But none of six other police officers who were within yards of the shooting heard the marksman issue any warning, an inquest heard.

C12 admitted that a series of errors and mistaken “assumptions” led to the shooting and that he himself had been in a position to detain Mr de Menezes before he got into the station. He described sitting in an unmarked car within “striking distance”, less than 100 metres away, when Mr de Menezes got off a bus near the station entrance. But he failed to receive a series of instructions from commanders because radio communications were “awful”.

His superiors did not even know he was there and he had failed to tell them, the inquest heard. C12 said: “Why I did not tell them where I was I just cannot tell you. I was trying to listen to the radio, I had a lot going on, and if that is an error then I apologise for it.”

The officer said he did not have with him a picture of the suspect and he didn’t know definitely what he looked like. He also didn’t know that surveillance officers had already gone in to the Tube or where they were. He had picked up snippets of information from his malfunctioning radio and by mobile phone from colleagues. One of those was that firearms units were “moving though” and that indicated to him that the suspect had been positively identified as a suspected suicide bomber, he said.

He said three surveillance officers codenamed Ivor, Geoff and Ken and three firearms officers codenamed C2, C5 and D9 had all entered the carriage when the shooting happened. Mr Mansfield said: “None of these remembers you shouting ‘Armed police’. No civilian in a position to see it suggests that this happened.” He also accused C12 of “embellishing ” his story by suggesting that Mr de Menezes was wearing a “bulky” denim jacket.

C12 accepted he had been fearful when approaching De Menezes. “Fear was certainly there, but as regard to controlling my actions it is possible it had some impact, yes. I cannot deny that. I thought I was going to die and I took action to stop that,” he said.

He was “so consumed” with what had happened the day before on July 21 2005, when four suicide bombers had failed to detonate bombs on the London transport system, that the only thought in his mind as he chased Mr de Menezes was to deliver a critical shot to his head, it was claimed.

Michael Mansfield, QC, for the family, said that the officer, a member of Scotland Yard’s elite CO19 specialist firearms unit, never really properly assessed the situation.

When he was asked by Mr Mansfield why he thought things went wrong, the firearms officer said: “From the information I have received, from briefings, through positive identification given to me by surveillance officers, by Mr de Menezes’s actions both on getting on the Tube and challenging him. Everything I thought sadly proved to be wrong.”

However the picture of C12 suggest he is not a person who often questions why he thinks in such ways, the Met’s entire approach has not shown any willingness to examine their institutional culture and the groupthink it demands. Not least because such structural omerta has been used to escape censure and allow those in charge to be promoted.

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Life, Death, Prizes!

So how did you spend International Mend Your Bathroom Window Day? If truth be told I was hopelessly unoriginal and spent it mending my bathroom window, wait what was that? …There’s no such thing as International Mend Your Bathroom Window Day? …Dammit I’ve been lied to! Still, it needed doing. And hey if you need parts/windows/hinges/catches etc look no further than Window Medic in Menai, they were most splendid- small, local, helpful (and not even paying for this plug, they just be good). Anyway it meant I was unable to attack Syria but luckily America was available and did the honours, setting up Obama to have to act pretty well much as they would act if the GOP weren’t about to kark it,

According to Denver police chief Gerry Whitman, “well over” 100,000 people attended the rally at Civic Center Park, at which Obama also chanted “si se puede,” or “yes we can,” in Spanish, with the attendees. Campaign spokesperson Jen Psaki said that the turnout was the Senator’s largest in the United States, in contrast to a Friday McCain appearance which drew 3,000.

…even if this horrifying Biden appearence suggests not much will change bloody imperialism- wise (frying pan or fire?). Still as a picture is worth a thousand words, overall Monday is best conveyed in today’s Pulp of the Day

Well ok two pictures, snapped this by the checkout in Morrisons-

Indeed- life, death, prizes not to mention HIV burglar rape, castration and underage marriage announced via text. Like a fool though I did not come across with the cash necessary to take this volume of grisly wonder home for further ethnographic perusal. But interesting to see pulp mags continue (albeit this for women and probably today’s male versions are The Sun & The Star) and do the job of keeping some people distracted while they are made poorer still, especially stateside-

(AP) First, the $700 billion rescue for the economy was about buying devalued mortgage-backed securities from tottering banks to unclog frozen credit markets. Then it was about using $250 billion of it to buy stakes in banks. The idea was that banks would use the money to start making loans again.

But reports surfaced that bankers might instead use the money to buy other banks, pay dividends, give employees a raise and executives a bonus, or just sit on it. Insurance companies now want a piece; maybe automakers, too, even though Congress has approved $25 billion in low-interest loans for them.

Three weeks after becoming law, and with the first dollar of the $700 billion yet to go out, officials are just beginning to talk about helping a few strapped homeowners keep the foreclosure wolf from the door. (ht2 James)

And I read a synopsis of Spooks-

Drama series about the British Security Service. An Al Qaeda cell kidnap a British soldier and demand that Remembrance Sunday be cancelled as it is an affront to all dead Muslim soldiers. MI5 hunt the cell but when they secure the release of former MI5 officer Lucas North in a secret spy swap, the team realise Al Qaeda have a new sponsor – the emerging super power Russia, and there’s a bomb.

So the fevered tabloid war-on-terror dream gains greater credence via action adventure teevee (and Russia? talk about an old standby…it’s so great retards have so much choice in tv product to choose from), watch the zombie thing by Charlie Brooker instead (and better yet be like me and be half way through a Buñuel movie on DVD just in case all else fails).