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Posted in Music. Tags: , . 7 Comments »

The Thin End

The idiot slogan British jobs for British workers is doing just what the ruling class wants, divide and rule schmucks. Phil adds some nuance but it does come down to that nationalist slogan is a poisonous and self defeating one. Lenin said a lot but Dave says it best, (he tells me it is the SWP statement, so anyway, it says it best) here’s a taste-

The slogan accepted by many of the strikers is “British jobs for British workers”. That comes directly from Gordon Brown’s speech to the Labour Party conference in 2007.

Update: Gordon has just reiterated it, utterly shameful.

And it has been encouraged by many in the higher levels of the Unite union. Derek Simpson and others at the top of Unite have done nothing to encourage resistance to job losses, or a fightback against repossessions or against the anti-union laws. Instead they go along with a campaign that can divide workers.

But it lets the bosses off the hook and it threatens murderous division at a time when we need unity in action to fight back.

It’s not Italians or Poles or Portuguese workers who are to blame for the attacks on British workers’ conditions.

Construction workers have always been forced to move far from home for jobs, whether inside a country or between countries. How many British workers (or their fathers or brothers) have been forced to work abroad from Dubai to Dusseldorf?

When workers are divided it’s the bosses who gain. Total Oil, who manage the Immingham refinery, make £5 billion every three months! Jacobs, the main contractor which has then sub-contracted to an Italian firm, made £250 million in 2007.

These are the people workers should be hitting, not turning on one another.

Those who urge on these strikes are playing with fire. Once the argument is raised it can open the door to racism against individuals. Already in some supermarket warehouses the racists are calling for action against workers from abroad.

We all know what will happen if the idea spreads that it’s foreigners, or immigrants or black or Asian people who are to blame for the crisis. It will be a disaster for the whole working class, will encourage every racist and fascist and make it easier for the bosses to ram through pay and job cuts. Already the BNP are pumping out racist propaganda supporting the strikes.

Everyone should ask themselves why Tory papers like the Express and the Sun and Mail – which hate union power and urge on privatisation – are sympathetic to the strikes.

Secret Database Reveals Truth Of Israeli Settlement Agenda

Bottom line, 75% of settlements are illegal under Israeli laws, (and as Pulse points out Haaretz who reported this and the BBC who also cover it neglect to mention that 100% of settlements have been declared illegal by the World Court) and while publicly taking a stance against illegal settlements the government in fact is fully aware and complicit in their construction as this database reveals. The ‘Middle East conflict’ is an ongoing colonisation meeting resistance, until that is out in the open and challenged the ‘conflict ‘ will continue as Palestinians are killed in order to take their land and Israelis are killed for occupying the stolen land. Short excerpt of the Haaretz story

Just four years ago, the defense establishment decided to carry out a seemingly elementary task: establish a comprehensive database on the settlements. Brigadier General (res.) Baruch Spiegel, aide to then defense minister Shaul Mofaz, was put in charge of the project. For over two years, Spiegel and his staff, who all signed a special confidentiality agreement, went about systematically collecting data, primarily from the Civil Administration.

One of the main reasons for this effort was the need to have credible and accessible information at the ready to contend with legal actions brought by Palestinian residents, human rights organizations and leftist movements challenging the legality of construction in the settlements and the use of private lands to establish or expand them. The painstakingly amassed data was labeled political dynamite.

The defense establishment, led by Defense Minister Ehud Barak, steadfastly refused to publicize the figures, arguing, for one thing, that publication could endanger state security or harm Israel’s foreign relations.

The official database, the most comprehensive one of its kind ever compiled in Israel about the territories, was recently obtained by Haaretz. Here, for the first time, information the state has been hiding for years is revealed. An analysis of the data reveals that, in the vast majority of the settlements – about 75 percent – construction, sometimes on a large scale, has been carried out without the appropriate permits or contrary to the permits that were issued. The database also shows that, in more than 30 settlements, extensive construction of buildings and infrastructure (roads, schools, synagogues, yeshivas and even police stations) has been carried out on private lands belonging to Palestinian West Bank residents.

The information contained in the database does not conform to the state’s official position, as presented, for instance, on the Foreign Ministry Web site, which states: “Israel’s actions relating to the use and allocation of land under its administration are all taken with strict regard to the rules and norms of international law – Israel does not requisition private land for the establishment of settlements.” Since in many of the settlements, it was the government itself, primarily through the Ministry of Construction and Housing, that was responsible for construction, and since many of the building violations involve infrastructure, roads, public buildings and so on, the official data also demonstrate government responsibility for the unrestrained planning and lack of enforcement of regulations in the territories. The extent of building violations also attests to the poor functioning of the Civil Administration, the body in charge of permits and supervision of construction in the territories.

If He’d Called Them Terrorists First

CIA Station Chief accused of multiple rapes

He’d get a medal & Obama would be equivocating over whether it was a crime or not. Oops, I think I just described his lawyer’s defence strategy.

Write To The BBC Trust

Well after getting the form reply from the Beeb I wrote back and firstly got an hilarious reply by accident reassuring me about some program called ‘Hunter'(Nah, me either) then I got a proper reply-

[This first bit is about the ‘Hunter’ mix up) Further to our most recent email, we would ask you to disregard that response as it was sent in error.  Our intended response is as follows:

Thank you for your further email about the BBC’s decision concerning the DEC Gaza Appeal.

The Director-General has explained the BBC’s position and is the BBC’s Editor-in-Chief so this cannot be considered at a higher level by the BBC’s Executive.  We cannot therefore add more to our previous response but if you wish to take the matter further you can contact the BBC Trust about the decision.  For details of how to do this please see the information on the BBC Trust’s website at:

www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/appeals/dec_gaza_appeal.html

Thank you again for your email.

BBC Complaints

Click that link and you get this at the BBC trust-

Arrangements for handling appeals against the Director-General’s decision not to broadcast the Disasters Emergency Committee Gaza Crisis Appeal
28 January 2009
The BBC Trust is responsible for setting standards for the BBC and ensuring that they are upheld. We ensure that BBC management has appropriate frameworks in place to deal properly with complaints from those who feel these standards have not been met. We also act as the final court of appeal if complainants are unhappy with the way their initial complaints have been dealt with by management. One of our overriding principles is that the BBC Trust must act independently of the BBC management in dealing with complaints.
The Trust published a complaints framework which came into operation on 1 August 2008. It applies to all complaints handling within the BBC and sets the principles to which complaints procedures and participants in those procedures must adhere. It allows the BBC to vary the procedures to ensure that complaints covering more than one subject can be dealt with efficiently and effectively. Further information about the new framework and procedures is available on the Trust website.
In the case of appeals against the Director-General’s decision not to broadcast the Disaster Emergency Committee Gaza Crisis Appeal on the BBC, appeals to the Trust will be considered in the first instance by an ad hoc committee consisting of Richard Tait (Chairman of the Trust Editorial Standards Committee), Chitra Bharucha (Vice-Chairman of the BBC Trust and Chairman of the Trust General Appeals Panel), and Sir Michael Lyons (Chairman of the BBC Trust). Richard Tait will chair the committee, which will make recommendations to the full Trust for final decision. The decision to hear these appeals via an hoc committee reflects the probability that appellants will raise a range of issues, which may cut across the Trust’s usual complaints handling boundaries.
The Trust will deal with this matter speedily – while also ensuring that those who wish to appeal have an opportunity to do so and that all sides, including the Executive, are given a fair hearing.
The appeals process involves a number of steps. These are:

  • Receiving the appeals
  • Summarising their contents to ensure that all relevant issues raised are considered by the Trust
  • Receiving a response from the Executive to the points raised by appellants
  • Presenting this with appropriate legal advice to the committee
  • Final consideration by the full Trust.

The decision of the Trust will be posted on the Trust website.
The email address to send appeals (on the DEC Gaza crisis appeal issue only) is: dec.complaintsappeals@bbc.co.uk

So get that, this is beyond the complaints procedure which they allege cannot compete with Mark Thompson’s authority so the Trust is now the place to go.

Posted in BBC. Tags: , . 6 Comments »

Mark Steel’s Missing Independent Column

His column this week was not published you can read it at his website, or below the jump. Update: It’s turned up, a day late.
Read the rest of this entry »

High Finance

Revolter @ BoRev [click for original post with links] sez-

The top guy at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) let slip in some Austrian paper that drug money is basically the only thing keeping us all from the bread lines. The Vienna-based UN agency has discovered evidence that, “interbank loans were funded by money that originated from drug trade and other illegal activities,” and that there were “signs that some banks were rescued in that way.” According to the UN, illegal narcotics generate $400-$500 billion a year…

Posted in Earth. Tags: . 5 Comments »