Every Cloud

Hedge funds have made large profits from Greek debt and providing insurance to overexposed European banks, it emerged on Sunday.

France signalled that private banks were likely to help in any rescue plan for Athens.

The hedge funds have been successful as traders anticipated that over-exposed European banks would drive a wave of selling against Greece, industry insiders told the Financial Times.

“There are a group of funds, perhaps three or four, that have played this as a huge sovereign basis trade, and made a lot,” said a strategist at one of London’s biggest hedge funds.

But as we know the wonder of the financiers is they can make money from a crisis, thus the Greeks will be safe knowing they will be ok as the hedge funds will use these profits to ensure human welfare…Oh no wait, the other thing, fuck the people over completely so they can buy themselves a third yacht. I knew it was one of the two!

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Friday! The Bible (1966) film trailer

Wherein we learn Hollywood marketing, film ‘criticism’ and religion make a heady brew of AWESOME! I challenge you not to laugh, also only 4 out of 10 in the US accept the theory of evolution and they say Avatar was successful, it’s got nothing on this ‘Bible’ franchise!

Surging On

(AFP) – The United States plans a major offensive this year in the Taliban bastion of Kandahar in southern Afghanistan, a senior official said Friday, calling a hard-fought ongoing operation a mere prelude. The remarks were the latest sign that President Barack Obama’s administration plans to step up the fight against the Taliban as part of its strategy of pouring thousands more troops into Afghanistan.

PS.

Kabul – The United Nations said Wednesday that 346 children were killed in Afghanistan last year, more than half of them by NATO forces, mostly in airstrikes. “In 2009, 346 children were killed,” Radhika Coomaraswamy, the special representative of the UN secretary general for children and armed conflict, said in Kabul after a seven-day visit the country. She said 131 children were killed in airstrikes, while 22 were killed in nighttime raids by international special forces. Taliban militants were responsible for the deaths of 128 children last year, with seven of the children used by militants as suicide bombers, she said. In 38 cases, it was not possible to determine who had killed the children. More than 2,400 civilians were killed last year, the deadliest for Afghan civilians since the fall of the Taliban regime in late 2001, according to the UN.

Coomaraswamy said she met with NATO commander in Afghanistan US General Stanley McChrystal, who assured her that troops “will work with the UN to ensure better protection for children.” But she noted that “recent events in the past months are cause of concern.” About 50 civilians have been killed since the NATO forces began their biggest-ever operation in the southern province of Helmand nearly two weeks ago. At least 27 of the casualties were caused by a NATO airstrike, and 12 others were killed by NATO rockets. McChrystal said he has put protecting civilians at centre of his war strategy and has ordered the 113,000 international troops to limit the use of airstrikes. Attacks by Taliban on schools reached their highest level in 2009, with more than 600 incidents recorded, Coomaraswamy said.

Posted in Afghanistan, Imperialism. Tags: . Comments Off on Surging On

MI5 Cover Up Continues To Crumble

“[The record of security service officials] regrettably, but inevitably, must raise the question of whether any statement in the certificates on an issue concerning such treatment can be relied on … Not only is there an obvious reason for distrusting any UK government assurance based on SyS [security service] advice and information, because of previous ‘form’, but the Foreign Office and the SyS have an interest in the suppression of such information.”

Original unredacted judgement

Read the rest of this entry »

Support The Troops- Support Joe Glenton

I got a press release today from some video sharing site called winkball (hmmm) which announced Gordon Brown was the latest ‘celeb’ to video a message of support ‘faces for the Forces campaign aims to collect a million messages of support for the troops serving in Afghanistan‘ there was also a list of celebs who had already done this, winkball also proclaim with a Union Jack ‘Made in Britain’, I can’t wait for their videos supporting UK oil exploration in Las Malvinas… Anyway this is some mischievous PR for war, it is not for example campaigning for better pay and conditions, or for lifelong aftercare for people who are tricked into killing by military training and then left to rot when the inevitable consequences of that play out over the rest of their lives. If you want to support a soldier who is both brave and takes his moral obligations seriously support Joe Glenton who will face a court martial on Friday the 5th of March-

Lance Corporal Joe Glenton was locked up in a military prison since 9th November until his release on the 9th December because of his stand against the war in Afghanistan.

At the last hearing Joe gave an undertaking: Not to contact any media agency directly or indirectly. If contacted directly or indirectly, must decline to comment, other than to say he may not by order of the Court Martial Not to appear at or lend support to any political meeting.

Joe gave this undertaking as since being locked up he has been diagnosed as suffering from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He needs to be able to get proper treatment as it is evident that the Army have clearly not shown Joe a duty of care. It is therefore up to Joe to seek treatment for his PTSD if he is to be fit enough to face his Court Martial. Despite his request for treatment he has never been given any help from the Army.

The Ministry of Defence are worried about what Joe is saying and doing.They are determined to shut him up. The messages of support that Joe received when he was in Colchester Military jail inspired him and did not go unnoticed by the powers that be.

It is not possible for the court to stop other speaking out in favour of Joe’s stand against the war. Joe has made his position clear: The war in Afghanistan is illegal the methods employed in conducting the war are unlawful and he is not prepared to return to fight it. It is up to his supporters, which are many, to keep up the pressure and ensure that Joe’s stand against this war is raised as an important part of the resistance to Brown and his warmongers.

While Stop The War have called for a demo outside the court-

SUPPORT L/CPL JOE GLENTON
FRIDAY 5 MARCH 9.30AM
MILITARY COURT CENTRE
MERVILLE BARRACKS, OFF BUTT RD
COLCHESTER C027UT

I believe some useful action could be taken by writing to the Judge Advocate General regarding Joe and his case and telling them you support his stand and support a military that actually is as it professes to be- allows soldiers to refuse unlawful, unjust or immoral orders. This is the essence of a military that cannot be used for massive politically directed war crimes, following orders regardless is what allows any and all of the historic genocides, a democracy should not need mindlessly obedient troops, that is the characteristic of a tyranny. Do not fall for the military discipline red herring, this is not about the need for structure and effective action, this is about judging the serious issue of a war of aggression and soldiers being able to refuse to follow such orders thus starving political war criminals of the means to prosecute illegal wars. So, write a message and send a copy to each of the following addresses (you can also copy the message to the support address for Joe defendjoeglenton@gmail.com)-

The Office of the Judge Advocate General
9th Floor
Thomas More Building
London WC2A 2LL
Email

The Military Court Service
Building 59
Trenchard Lines
Upavon
Pewsey
Wilts SN9 6BE
Email

Secretary of State for Defence Bob Ainsworth
Floor 5, Main Building,
Whitehall, London,
SW1A 2HB
Email or Email

Write what you like, here are some ideas, mine is in comments-

War Resistors– I am very concerned about the arrest of Lance Corporal Joe Glenton on charges of “disobeying a lawful order” for speaking at an anti-war demonstration and to the media, expressing his opposition to the war in Afghanistan.

The human rights to freedom of peaceful assembly, freedom of association, and freedom of expression are protected both under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and under the European Convention on Human Rights, both of which have been ratified by the United Kingdom. When speaking at an anti-war demonstration in London on 24 October, and to the media, Joe Glenton made use of his right to freedom of peaceful assembly, and freedom of expression.

The restrictions of these rights as enshrined in the UK Armed Forces Act 2008 are in violation of both, the ICCPR and the ECHR, in as much as they are not “necessary in a democratic society”. In expressing his opposition to the war in Afghanistan, Joe Glenton did not reveal “operational secrets” or any other sensitive information – he expressed his personal political opinion, which is his protected human right. Not Joe Glenton’s actions were unlawful, but the orders given to him.

I therefore call on you to drop all charges against Joe Glenton, and to immediately release him from prison. I urge you to respect human rights.
Lance/Corporal, Royal Logistics Corps.

Joe’s letter to Gordon Brown-

I am writing to you as a serving soldier in the British Army to express my views and concerns on the current conflict in Afghanistan.

It is my primary concern that the courage and tenacity of my fellow soldiers has become a tool of American foreign policy.

I believe this unethical short-changing of such proud men and women has caused immeasurable suffering not only to families of British service personnel who have been killed and injured, but also to the noble people of Afghanistan.

I have seen qualities in the Afghan people which have also been for so long apparent and admired in the British soldier. Qualities of robustness, humour, utter determination and unwillingness to take a step backwards.

However, it is these qualities, on both sides, which I fear will continue to cause a state of attrition. These will only lead to more heartbreak within both our societies.

I am not a general nor am I a politician and I cannot claim any mastery of strategy. However, I am a soldier who has served in Afghanistan, which has given me some small insight.

I believe that when British military personnel submit themselves to the service of the nation and put their bodies into harm’s way, the government that sends them into battle is obliged to ensure that the cause is just and right, i.e. for the protection of life and liberty.

The war in Afghanistan is not reducing the terrorist risk, far from improving Afghan lives it is bringing death and devastation to their country. Britain has no business there.

I do not believe that our cause in Afghanistan is just or right. I implore you, Sir, to bring our soldiers home.

Yours sincerely,

Joe Glenton

Gangster- Cameron & Murdoch’s Rat Fucker Coulson

The reason that this story is not a big as it deserves to be is because of gangsterism, that is Coulson is a bully, he and/or Cameron and/or Murdoch will have a great deal of dirt on very powerful people, Coulson works for a man who might become PM, he did work for Rupert Murdoch. This dirt is capital in power games, people who might report on this will be made aware of the dirt these rich scumbags have on them and will stay silent rather than have Coulson, Cameron, Murdoch’s media ruin them or leak it to police (who have also cooperated in protecting the principals of this spying and blackmail operation probably both because it hides their failings and also the operation will have got dirt on them). It is pure nationalist ego to think only other countries have gangster problems in their governance. Scumbags like power, they will do anything to get more of it, they live everywhere. We already torture, kill and invade other countries, this to be honest is a very minor aspect of our corruption, nevertheless it is a dirty signpost towards a very unpleasant future if the Tories win power.

David Cameron’s communications director, Andy Coulson, will come under fresh pressure to defend his editorship of the News of the World and his knowledge about the illegal activities of his journalists amid new allegations about the paper’s involvement with private detectives who broke the law.

The Guardian has learned that while Coulson was still editor of the tabloid, the newspaper employed a freelance private investigator even though he had been accused of corrupting police officers and had just been released from a seven-year prison sentence for blackmail.

The private eye was well known to the News of the World, having worked for the paper for several years before he was jailed, when Coulson was deputy editor. He was rehired when he was freed.

Evidence seen by the Guardian shows that Mr A, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was blagging bank accounts, bribing police officers, procuring confidential data from the DVLA and phone companies, and trading sensitive material from live police inquiries.

Coulson has always insisted he knew nothing about the illegal activity which took place in the News of the World newsroom, telling MPs last year: “I have never had any involvement in it at all.”

Mr A cannot be named now because he is facing trial for a violent crime, but his details will emerge once he has been dealt with by the courts. Coulson tonight refused to say whether he was aware of Mr A’s criminal background, or of his return to the paper following his prison term. He said: “I have nothing to add to the evidence I gave to the select committee.”

The latest disclosures bring to four the number of investigators known to have worked for the NoW while Coulson was either editor or deputy editor of the paper. All four have since received or had criminal convictions. All four are known to have used illegal methods to gather information.

Posted in Media, Politics. Tags: . 4 Comments »

Yarl’s Wood Hunger Strikers Health At Risk, UK is Abusing Rights Say HRW

This is from a report in the Guardian on Sunday, so this is a good three days old-

Doctors warned that around 20 detainees, who say they have not eaten for 17 days, are entering a critical phase of their protest and risk doing long-term damage to their health.

The strike goes on and now John McDonnell & Jeremy Corbyn are calling for the inspector of prisons to launch an inquiry into the abuses the women are protesting about-

Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington John McDonnell has tabled a House of Commons motion, calling on the Inspector of Prisons to hold an investigation.

Mr McDonnell wants an inquiry into reports of violence, mistreatment and “racist abuse” which the centre denies.

He claims some of the women involved in the protest were held in a hallway for more than five hours, denied access to toilets and water, and locked out in the cold.

Fellow Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn, who represents Islington North, has called for a halt to any removals and deportations of the women involved while an inquiry is carried out.

He has also signed the House of Commons motion.

I am not quoting any of what the government or Border Agency say because they are proven liars, 20 women do not starve themselves for three weeks to the point where it damages them permanently because of imaginary abuses as the government agencies would have us believe. So can we just be clear on this- 20 women who are guilty of no crime are in jail, they have been physically and psychologically abused, often involving racist abuse. And it is ongoing.

EDM 919: Hunger Strike At Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre
That this House notes that women detained in Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre have been on hunger strike since 5 February 2010 in protest against being detained for up to two years; condemns the detention of victims of rape and other torture, of mothers separated from their children and anyone who does not face imminent removal; believes that such detention flouts international conventions and UK immigration rules; requests that HM Inspector of Prisons urgently carries out an independent investigation into reports of violence, mistreatment and racist abuse from guards, being kettled for over five hours in a hallway, denied access to toilets and water and locked out in the freezing cold, which women have made to their lawyers, the media and supporters, including the All African Women’s Group and Black Women’s Rape Action Project; and calls for a moratorium on all removals and deportations of the women who took part in the hunger strike pending the results of that investigation.
Tabled by John McDonnell
http://tinyurl.com/EDM-919

Put your MP to work request they sign EDM 919
Early Day Motions are very good ways of raising issues in parliament, which may not get debated in normal sittings of parliament.
You can contact your MP for free, through:
WriteToThem.Com

Also see No Borders

The system is so vicious this what a new report by Human Rights Watch says-

Women who fear severe human rights abuses if returned to their home countries are not getting fair consideration of their asylum claims under the United Kingdom’s “detained fast track” asylum system, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.

The 69-page report, “Fast-Tracked Unfairness: Detention and Denial of Women Asylum Seekers in the UK” documents how women asylum seekers with complex claims are being routed into a system designed for much simpler claims. The women are held in detention largely for the UK’s administrative convenience, have very little time to prepare a legal case, and have only a few days to appeal if refused. But the claims often involve such sensitive and difficult issues as sexual violence, female genital mutilation, trafficking, and domestic abuse. There is little time for lawyers or other representatives to build the trust with their clients needed for them to explain their claims or to obtain medical or other evidence needed to verify them.

“The ‘detained fast track’ system doesn’t meet even the basic standards of fairness,” said Gauri van Gulik, women’s rights researcher at Human Rights Watch. “It is simply not equipped to handle rape, slavery, the threat of ‘honor killings,’ or other complex claims, and yet such cases are handed to it regularly.”

And interviews with some of the hunger strikers done for an article in The Friend, the Quaker magazine (ht2 Earwicga)-

Denise seemed very weak and tired. She told me she was ‘so depressed’ and hadn’t been outside for two weeks. Sanitary conditions are ‘disgusting’ she said. ‘No water in the tap’, and the toilets were ‘not flushing’. She had been placed on suicide watch. As we spoke a male officer stood at the door.

Verna Joseph, originally from St Lucia is thirty-five and says she won her case with the Home Office on Article 3 – she cannot go back ‘because of things that happened’. She had been kidnapped and tortured and suffers from post traumatic stress syndrome and bad nightmares. She told me she has been at Yarl’s Wood for six months and is illegally detained. Verna described how she can’t walk around without observation. ‘They open my letters and hold mail back’. She said ‘they wouldn’t normally do that but they are now doing it with everyone who was on the corridor when the hunger strike started’. Verna has children. They are not here in the UK.

Shaunice had more news about Denise on Sunday afternoon: ‘Today at 8 o’clock I could hear screams… coming from the isolation unit… where they were still holding another person that was abused by officers. Denise… about ten minutes to nine I received a text from Denise. In the text she said that they had beaten her… they cuffed her and they had dragged her into a van.’ She was told she was being moved to Colnbrook for an interview and ‘she said she was in a lot of pain’. Shaunice confirmed there has been a ‘backlash’ and repercussions. Denise McNeill was not answering her phone.

Shaunice said: ‘the home secretary was here – Alan Johnson on the fourth of February, they had a “freeze” [where no-one is allowed to move around the facility as] they didn’t want us to speak to him. I have lived in England for nine years… I was in prison for three years. This is like a Nazi camp… that’s how bad the torture is…”

A fourth hunger striker I spoke to on the telephone had also tried to hang herself. She did not wish to be named. Extremely distressed and crying about the ‘lies that were being told,’ she told me about the mobile phones and food at Yarl’s Wood. Serco charges on a daily basis for mobile phones. ‘10p a day is a lot of money to detainees’, she said. ‘Food is very expensive. You earn just one pound an hour for a cleaning session. A carton of juice costs £1.29. You are not allowed to have food brought in from outside’.

And a piece by Denise McNeil on why she is on hunger strike from the Guardian. This is systematic and severe system of human rights abuse operating here and now in the UK, it is a national shame and it is our responsibility to end it. See-

No Borders

National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns

(via Harpymarx) You can help:
a) Write to Minister of State Phil Woolas MP
woolasp@parliament.ukorPrivateoffice.external@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk to condemn the detention of victims of rape and other torture, of mothers separated from their children and anyone who does not face imminent removal. Such detention flouts international conventions and UK immigration rules.

b) Write to women inside. Contact us if you can write to women who want to receive letters. Remember, the first people killed in the concentration camps were those that got no mail.  Help ensure the guards and the government know that women are not forgotten.

c) Help find legal representation for women to lodge or appeal an asylum claim.  Most women don’t have lawyers or their lawyers do nothing. Some demand extortionate fees. Most women’s cases are not “straightforward” so many lawyers won’t take them.  Legal aid cuts have reduced the paid time that lawyers can spend on each case.

d) Money to pay for phone calls to keep in touch with lawyers and supporters. We are sending £10 in to a limited number of women to pay for phone costs.

The All African Women’s Group (AAWG) and Black Women’s Rape Action Project (BWRAP) need help.  With Women Against Rape, we are now working flat out to try to stop women being removed.  For two weeks we have been taking and returning calls to over 20 women a day (calling out from Yarl’s Wood is very expensive).  We are regularly posting updates, and faxing legal and other information in to women. AAWG is unfunded and BWRAP operates on a shoestring budget.  Any help to cover the costs of these expenses will be gratefully received.

Email: AAWG: aawg02@gmail.com BWRAP: bwrap@dircon.co.uk
Crossroads Women’s Centre
230a Kentish Town Rd
London NW5 2AB
020 7482 2496 / 07980659831

All women have compelling cases to be released because they are: mothers separated from their children; survivors of rape and other torture, detained contrary to Home Office rules; not facing imminent removal.


Posted in Authoritarianism, Human Rights. Tags: . Comments Off on Yarl’s Wood Hunger Strikers Health At Risk, UK is Abusing Rights Say HRW