ID Yachts

On the BBC story-Will you sign up for a new ID card? the comments are mostly- No! But one stands out for it’s elegance-

I have nothing to hide so why would I not want to have an ID card.

Now as spEak You’re bRanes makes clear the HYS threads are notoriously fuckwit rich but I’d like to think this was some neat conceptual wit at play.

Posted in BBC. Tags: , . 10 Comments »

Capitalism- the Gift That Keeps on Taking

Capitalism- the Gift That Keeps on Taking by Michael Gene Sullivan is an easy, entertaining and quick read worth passing on. It makes the very good point (amongst others) that workers are convinced by corporate media that they are capitalists and so think -erroneously- the system is working for them. It is written for a US audience so uses that history but it’s applicable in its description of what capitalism really is to any neoliberalised society. Full text of piece below (ht2 left i on the news)-

Read the rest of this entry »

100 Dead Civilians Today in Obama’s War

Up to 100 Afghan civilians may have been killed during an air raid by US forces during a joint operation targeting suspected fighters, a regional administrator says. Rohul Amin, the governor of Farah province, said on Wednesday that he feared that 100 civilians had been killed in the Bala Baluk district, about 600km west of Kabul, the capital. Amin said that Taliban fighters were reportedly using civilian homes to take shelter during the fighting. If the claims are verified, the deaths in Farah would be the largest loss of civilian life in a single incident since US-led forces invaded Afghanistan in 2001.

Hillary Rodham Clinton, US secretary of state, said that the Obama administration “deeply, deeply” regrets the loss of innocent life apparently caused by the US bombing in Afghanistan. Clinton also said that any loss of innocent life is “particularly painful.” Hamid Karzai, Afghanistan’s president, thanked Clinton for “showing concern and regret” and said he hoped they would work together completely to reduce civilian casualties in the struggle against terrorism.’

Jessica Barry, a spokesperson for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), said that the organisation sent a team to the region after concerned tribal leaders had contacted them seeking help. “When [our team] went to the first two villages where these incidents took place they saw dozens of bodies. They saw graves and they saw people being buried,” she told Al Jazeera. Barry said that an ICRC community-based first aid volunteer and his extended family, including his five daughters and three sons, were among the dead.

Get The Fuck Away From Manchester You New Labour Scum!

Manchester will be the first city where people can voluntarily sign up for an ID card, ministers are set to confirm. Anyone over 16 in the city who holds a UK passport will be able to apply for a card from the autumn at a cost of £60.

“ID cards will deliver real benefits to everyone, including increased protection against criminals, illegal immigrants and terrorists,” the home secretary will say.

Whoa there you racist numpty, you just slipped, nay sandwiched ‘illegal immigrants‘ between ‘criminals‘ & ‘terrorists‘. So it’s not enough to use bullshit fear mongering to sell your stupid authoritarian scheme you have to trawl for votes from BNP possibles. Protection ‘against… illegal immigrants‘? What, they might break down your door at night, kidnap you, imprison you for months then beat you up in the back of a van and fly you to a hostile regime, oh no wait that would be the Border Agency. Which um answers to er…you, so who protects us, citizen’s and migrants, from them? And thank you for that linguistic tribalism, that we might, as one, be protected against illegal immigrants as if we all naturally agree that people who are here without all the due paperwork are dangerous and to be shunned. Of course bigots often do that, assume everyone else is just as retarded as they are. Way to take the high ground against the fascists, jump in the shit with them and argue over who can be the most hateful.

And we’ll just leave the ‘voluntarily‘ bit, fish in a barrel really that level of witless fibbing especially after y’know, the million dead on war lies, just par for the course for these grifters.

And then there’s Manchester, my home city, Manchester and you think using it as a guinea pig for ID cards is a smart move? Tooling up the plod for Peterloo II are we? We ain’t going out like that. Let it be your stupid scheme’s graveyard. Take it away Percy

‘Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number –
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you –
Ye are many – they are few.’

Update: Oh for the love of crumpets it gets farcically worse, in time they want Snappy Snaps taking our fingerprints! In other words with the scheme not even in operation it is already being privatised. Welcome to the neoliberal Big Brother-

High Street retailers have rejected security fears about giving them the job of fingerprinting and photographing people applying for identity cards. The Home Office has axed plans to set up ID card enrolment centres and instead wants pharmacies, post offices and photographic shops to do the work. Trade bodies representing chains such as Boots and Snappy Snaps told the BBC they can be trusted with the data. It came as it was confirmed that ID cards would be piloted in Manchester.

During the pilot Manchester residents who want an ID card will be able to apply for it online and then attend the city’s passport office for fingerprinting, photograph and possible interview. During the two year pilot phase they will not be able to register for cards at local shops and post offices.

Campaign group NO2ID dismissed the Manchester pilot as a “publicity stunt” aimed at distracting attention from what it claims is a £250m increase in the cost of the project.

Posted in Authoritarianism, NuLabour, Surveillance State. Tags: , . Comments Off on Get The Fuck Away From Manchester You New Labour Scum!

UK Used Torture As Recruitment Incentive

MI5 secretly tried to hire British men held in Guantanamo Bay and other US prison camps by promising to protect them from their American captors and help secure their return home to the United Kingdom, The Independent has learnt. One of the men, Richard Belmar, was told he would be paid “well” for his services if he was willing to work undercover for MI5. A second detainee, Bisher Al Rawi, was told that if he agreed to work for the security service he would be “freed within months”. Three other detainees were threatened with rendition and harsh detention regimes if they did not co-operate with their British and American interrogators.But MI5 failed to honour the promises made by its agents, a former agent has told The Independent.

The source, who is close to the MI5 officers who conducted the interviews, has confirmed that “assurances” had been given to the British men while they were held in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay. But he said that senior officers in London had cleared the actions of its own officers but later reneged on the promises. This is backed up by sworn testimony lodged in the High Court from the former detainees.

Bisher Al Rawi was one of the attempted recruits and it has been known for a while even if it is not talked about much in the media, what this reveals is after the spooks set him up-

al-Rawi, 39, was only held after MI5 sent the CIA a telegram, stating he was an ‘Islamic extremist’ who had a timer for an improvised bomb in his luggage. In reality, before al-Rawi left London, police confirmed the device was a battery charger from Argos.

They then took advantage of the torture at Gitmo to make him a pliant recruit-

Bisher Al Rawi claims that MI5 officers visited him at the US naval base in Cuba to offer him a job working for the security services after his release. The two officers, who called themselves “Martin and Matt”, told him they had “specifically come to see you”. The court case alleges: “Mr Al Rawi’s shackles and handcuffs were completely removed during this meeting and Martin and Matt brought Mr Al Rawi a McDonald’s meal. They asked Mr Al Rawi a number of questions, showed him photographs of individuals they were interested in, and had a lengthy discussion with him. During the meeting a request was made by the men to Mr Al Rawi that he would work for the security services upon being released. They promised that if he agreed he would be released within a few months. Mr Al Rawi agreed to these terms.”

An old scam, torture is used to create agents by repressive regimes. That the superiors reneged on the deals probably owes something to internal politics after Gitmo as an issue didn’t go away and a lot to HMG doing whatever it was told to do by the Whitehouse. And one could also ask, did all these schemes end up like this, or are turned damaged people now working as agents for our ever so noble governments?

The People Don’t Get What The People Want

AMY GOODMAN: Why can’t it happen, since polls show most people are for it?

SEN. RUSS FEINGOLD: I guarantee you. I know the members of Congress, and it’s not going to pass in this Congress. So, there are certain things that can’t happen right away, and this is one of them. But I do support a single-payer idea.

Um, democracy anyone? Anyway the fix is in, single payer healthcare is being kept off the ‘table’ (crowded out by nukes earmarked for bombing Iran or not prosecuting war criminals, there’s only so much room on ‘the table’ and we must look forward dontcha know)

Health care activists disrupted a Senate Finance Committee hearing Tuesday, standing up one after the other as Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) tried to restore order. As soon as police escorted one protester out of the room, another would stand up, criticizing the committee for convening a panel of 15 experts and excluding witnesses who support creating a Medicare system for all Americans. About eight were led out of the hearing.

Baucus’ response? “We need more police.”

Baucus eventually quieted the crowd, and said, “I want you to know I care deeply about your views.”

Is it getting boring putting the regulation sardonic Change after every example of continuity of corporate empire? Still, I guess they had to use that as- Suckers! would have blown the whole caper. Whatevs.

PS. Report from the scene-

It has finally happened right here in the United States. Citizens who believe healthcare is a human right have been arrested and are being processed like criminals through the Southeast District of Columbia police station. Their crime? Asking for single payer healthcare reform – publicly funded, privately delivered healthcare – to be discussed during the Congressional hearings on reform.

Doctors and other single payer activists were handcuffed and went to jail today speaking up for single payer to be at the table in the Senate finance Committee’s roundtable discussion on healthcare access and coverage. In stark contrast, Karen Ignagni, head of the industry lobby group American Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) was escorted into the room like royalty by staff members of the Senate committee. Clearly, the position of the United States Senate is not with the majority of Americans who support a national, public insurance system.

It made me physically ill to see Maryland pediatrician Margaret Flowers cuffed like a criminal and pushed out the door as the Senators waited to begin their staged roundtable discussion. It made me want to scream. It made me proud of them for being bold but ashamed that not one Senator spoke up for their own citizen-protestors and asked that they at least be allowed to speak. But the insistence that the citizens rising in protest be arrested continued from the chair with each incident.