Support The BA Strikers

The strange part is that BA cabin crews don’t generally come across as the selfish wrecking thugs they’re now portrayed as. They mostly smile and bring you stuff, so why would 80 per cent of them vote twice for a strike? Perhaps it’s because the company wants to bring in new staff on inferior terms to those offered to current employees, with less security and lower wages than the current basic rate of £18,000.

The anti-union rage takes some splendidly imaginative forms. The Conservatives are demanding that Gordon Brown refuses to take funding from Unite. This seems reasonable, as Unite have never shuffled their assets to Belize, never lied about bringing them back, have open votes about political donations and represent the interests of one-and-a-half-million people instead of one person, so they clearly know nothing about how to run a modern business.

Mark Steel

Also I think it is worth remembering BA management are an enthusiastic ally in the UKBA’s migrant abuse policies. Also see Lenin.

In Speaking, To Listen

Or- Too Long for Twitter again. So to this absolute must read, and I mean that, you must read it, there will be a written test and all those failing will be barred from the interwebs for a week! Yes, I have that power… A progressive left blog from Pakistan who say this about themselves-

We call for a Pakistan grounded in principles of justice and fairness which includes a commitment to federalism and respect for the rights of provinces, and of minorities as equal citizens of the state. This requires that there be no discrimination on the basis of sex/gender, class, province/ethnicity, religion/sect, or sexual orientation. This is only possible if and when there is a clear separation between religion and state, when there are strong independent democratic institutions such as the judiciary and media , when the army’s role is confined to defence and when it is under the complete control of a civilian government which truly represents the people of Pakistan, and when there is a genuine effort to improve people’s quality of life through the provision of universal adult literacy, universal healthcare, and people-centered development.

Writes on the Sahgal/Amnesty affair, an excerpt but again, this is a must read!-

The larger issue, however, is this: why do our so-called allies constantly demand that we articulate our disavowal of the Taliban? Do they perhaps believe that in some deep dark religious corner of our lefty Pakistani hearts, we nurture a secret love for the ruthless brutish bearded circus called the Taliban?  Why are we being constantly asked to prove our bona fides as secularists and as humanists (in the sense that we believe in the dignity of *all* humanity)?  And that too by those who appear to have little qualms about retracting dignity from a man whose words and appearance unsettle us but who has done nothing – in terms of his actions – but run a girls’ school in Afghanistan and, now, defend the rights of precisely those that the American empire has reduced to ‘bare life.’ [1]  Does the problem lie in the fact that he “has championed the rights of jailed Al-Qaeda members and hate preachers…” as the Sunday Times puts it? But isn’t the selective granting of rights precisely what the Left is critical of in general?  Or is it that he stated in his memoirs that the Taliban were “better than anything Afghanistan has had in the past twenty-five years.” Yes, these views are abhorrent, but by no means unique. I heard much the same thing from the Afghans I met when I traveled to the Afghanistan-Pakistan border town of Chaman (in Balochistan) over a month ago.  These were Afghans who all hated the Taliban now (among them were ex-Taliban fighters).  To them, the Taliban had seemed like an answer to the corruption, chaos and random murders that had afflicted Afghanistan for decades when they first rose to power. They left when they realized that this was not the case or that the price they were being asked to pay was too high.


It’s ok, I’ll wait until you’ve clicked over and read it all, tum ti tum, doobie doo, ooh is that a cobweb in that corner….hmmm…mmmm…mmmm, um chocolate croissant…mm…hmuph….mm, ggr…. slurp, crumbs….nice glass of water…ahhh. Ok good, excellent wasn’t it? Now in what you might call related affairs-

Daily Beast Female Elites Denounce Global Human Rights Violations While Ignoring U.S. Crimes- Promising solutions for international women’s rights problems, the Daily Beast’s ‘Women in the World’ conference ended up supporting the status quo for US foreign policy.

Eikenberry was not the only spouse of a major player in current U.S. military misadventures to speak at the conference. “Morning Joe” host Mike Brezenski interviewed Cherie Blair, “Founder of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women,” who also happens to be married to former Prime Minister Tony Blair, our great ally in invading Iraq on false pretenses. (Another infamous Iraq war cheerleader, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, was a featured lunchtime speaker.)

Taken as a whole, the Women in the World conference was itself, ironically, a microcosm of the systemic reasons women are in dire straights across the globe. Just as its most high-profile featured speakers have been inextricably linked to war crimes and deadly foreign policy, its corporate sponsors have been inextricably linked to the suffering of women — from the victimization of women in oil-rich nations (sponsored by Exxon), predatory lenders and families losing their homes (sponsored by Bank of America) and the ever-widening gap between rich and poor, even as corporate bonuses are doled out (sponsored by Goldman Sachs). The aggressively pro-market message of much of the weekend — empowering women through entrepreneurship — made it clear that the “solutions” for women in the world are more neo-liberal economic policies and unchallenged U.S. military dominance.

Another good read that requires thinking about the entitlements and privileges of the Anglosphere elite (ht’s2 Earwicga who also is now contributing to Pickled Politics). A shiny world view that is helped by ignoring the domestic abuses-

A group of detainees who claim they suffered ‘inhumane and degrading treatment’ while at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre are suing the Home Office. The 11 women have employed Leigh Day & Co solicitors to seek damages from the government and Serco, the private security company which runs the Clapham detention centre. The women, who are still detained and are on hunger strike, allege that their rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and their rights not to be tortured, suffer inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment were all breached by employees of Serco.

Medialens continues the exposure of the execution of men, women & child civilians by NATO forces. Another role of media is to not report the successes of citizen direct action against the war machinery, lest the masses get ideas to do take our responsibility for war crimes (our tax money, our govts, our families feeding the recruiters targets) and reject it with activism-

Three activists from Swords into Ploughshares have been found NOT GUILTY of all charges laid against them in a New Zealand court for their action breaking into the Waihopai spybase in Blenheim in April 2008, and deflating one of the two domes covering the satellite dishes which capture intelligence data.

The jury heard that the Waihopai Echelon spy base is New Zealand’s largest contribution to the US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq. The ongoing war has resulted in horrific war crimes, including more than one million dead Iraqi civilians, torture, and permanent poisoning of parts of Iraq by the use of depleted uranium munitions.

The jury also heard evidence from a former British Echelon intelligence analyst, Katherine Gunn. She blew the whistle on secret Echelon spying operations when she was instructed by the US National Security Agency to spy on United Nations Security Council members leading up to the US invasion in 2003.

“Evidence presented in the court confirmed that the ongoing war in Iraq is illegal, and causing massive human suffering”, said Adrian. “As an outcome of this trial, we hope that New Zealanders will insist on an enquiry into the activities of the spy base and its links to US-led illegal wars”.

Father Peter, Sam and Adrian expressed gratitude for all the support they have received from family, friends and the New Zealand public.

Anniversaries – Happy St. Pat’s especially to all LGBTQ people (I’d like to think I’m saucy enough to figure in there somewhere), fuck bigots who make parades their private reich. Bad anniversaries- 1000 Days of the siege of Gaza, and a story about the difficulties and resourcefulness needed to get a laptop into Gaza. Andy Worthington on Vindictive judge gives Muslims prison sentences for Gaza protest.

Also the Swiss Banks, y’know those secretive Nazi moolah hiding, global tax evading troughs of evil are so sure of banks supremacy (and to be honest, they are probably right on that) they propose a global flat tax at rates they will set! Also at the excellent Richard Murphy’s blog- How Lehman fiddled the books and a great new acronym-

Prem Sikka– Accountants disarm journalists, critics, regulators and the general public by claiming that the accounts are fairly presented in accordance with some generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), but the Lehman report shows that they are based in carefully rejigged accounting practices (CRAP).

And finally this great meme, the theme for your blog, as I am also slowly getting the stuff together for Ten Percent to go to its own hosts and thus be free of accidental or otherwise WordPress bans this could be an ongoing process to find the definitive theme together with votes and prizes possibly. More on that soon…

Good Riddance

Purnell sliming off to more lucrative neoliberal concerns,  the BBC political correspondent Louise Stewart, hilariously writes-

James Purnell was a rising star within the Labour party: an innovative thinker and committed politician with real ability.

I think she must have him confused to someone who is not a conniving tory shit. No of course she doesn’t, yuppies flock together (ooh blast from the past, funny how you don’t hear that much now everyone is expected to be a careerist corporate shill).

Posted in Neo Liberals. Tags: . 2 Comments »


Because a hotel and shopping mall will have so much richer a cultural value…(and they say Britons don’t value the arts, some small irony that if the de-polticised strain of artists had not been so successfully neutered by the likes of Tory Saatchi this might not be happening, still you pays your money and you get fucked, capital is always scheming)

Beloved centre of London’s alternative art scene for a decade is set for demolition, but six-metre Banksy mural to be preserved

Pete Doherty used to host its poetry nights, the band Hot Chip formed there, and artists from Banksy to Gavin Turk have adorned its walls and propped up its bar.

But now the Foundry, an east London gallery and pub that for more than a decade has served as a focal point for the area’s alternative art scene, seems set to be demolished after the site’s owners drew up plans for an 18-storey hotel and retail complex.

Hackney council was today expected to approve plans to pull down the building which houses the much-loved if rather ramshackle space in Shoreditch close to the edge of the City, despite protests from the gallery’s founders that it performs a vital artistic function in the London borough.

In what its supporters regard as a particularly ironic twist, the council intends to salvage a wall painted with one of the biggest Banksy murals in Britain, even as the remainder of the building is demolished. The planned redevelopment, part of the Art’otel chain, will also incorporate gallery and retail space and a spa.

Foundry founders Tracey and Jonathan Moberly expect to be evicted by April, when the site will be cleared for the construction of a circular tower block by award-winning architects Squire and Partners. The Moberlys said they were “pretty resigned” to the fact that the art space would close, and had no objections to the conduct of the architects or the developers, Park Plaza hotels. “That’s fair enough. This isn’t our building, we’ve been renting, and they have been supportive in helping us look for another premises,” said Tracey Moberly.

But the couple are angry with Hackney council, which they accused of refusing to designate the Foundry as an artistic space, which they say would require the council to seek to resettle it in other premises, preferring to refer to it in planning documents only as a pub.

The council has also specified its intention in the planning officer’s report for the “safe removal and retention of ‘Banksy’ art work” – a six-metre high painting of a rat with a knife and fork over which the building’s owners have constructed a protective wooden covering. A spokeswoman for Squire and Partners said: “The aim of the client and design team is to permanently locate the artworks on site, in one of the public galleries at ground floor – this is to be agreed with Hackney council.”

Posted in Art, Capitalism, Culture(!), Neo Liberals. Tags: . Comments Off on Regenerated

Lost Compass

No sense of direction…

Labour is in serious danger of drifting into opposition, influential backbench MP Jon Cruddas has warned the party.

He was joined on the platform by the former work and pensions secretary, James Purnell,

While talk of the pair forming a “dream ticket” in any future Labour leadership contest may be overdone, members of Cruddas’s team think he might run in any contest to become Labour leader

Yeah that’s what will do it, New Labour Lite, what a dream. Cruddas is full of nice talk, his actions… not so courageous.

Posted in Neo Liberals. Tags: . 8 Comments »

Vestas Repossessed By Bailiffs

Workers who staged a sit-in protest at a wind turbine blade factory on the Isle of Wight have left the building. Bailiffs entered the offices of Vestas in Newport at 1200 BST after the firm was granted a possession order. One man jumped from a balcony and was taken to hospital as a precaution and two abseiled from a wall.

Workers had occupied an office inside the plant since 20 July in protest at plans to axe 625 jobs, which the firm said was due to a fall in demand. Bailiffs were told they could use “reasonable force” to remove the remaining six workers after a court order was issued on Thursday.

Crowds of supporters lined the site cheering on the men before they were were spoken to by police. They had raised a sign from a balcony outside which said “Vestas, this is only the start, you will lose.” One of the workers told the BBC: “It was all a bit bewildering to get out but a big relief. I hugged my daughter who shed a few tears and saw my family. We feel that we have won a moral victory.”

A rooftop demonstration at a second Vestas site in East Cowes, by climate change protesters, is set to continue for “as long” as the workers want it to, a spokesman said.

The fight goes on meanwhile…fucking bailiffs, the thugs of capital, collaborators, cowards and betrayers, as usual.

Narco Terrorist & Death Squad Leader Changes Constitution To Hold On To Power

Oops, sorry, my mistake. As it’s an ally and right wing neoliberal instead it’s all fine, nothing to see here, Álvaro Uribe Vélez forever!

Google English lang. news count- um, 9.

PS. and his sons are crooks too!

But hey maybe I’m being too harsh, perhaps Colombia’s suddenly become a really ace democracy and Uribe is great and everything-

An official opinion poll carried out by the National Statistics Office of Colombia, known as the DANE by its Spanish initials, has found that only 34 out of every 100 Colombians consider Colombia to be a proper democracy.

Oh, um…

In Caucasia, Antioquia, medics are complaining about the heavier that normal workload of autopsies. In the period Jan 1st to April 25th there were “just” 46 murders in an otherwise sleepy old town, but this year it’s got up to a pesky 102 in the same lapse. “Here we only have one autopsy table and two old storage compartments, and on average we’re doing two autopsies a day”, said the doc.

Yeah, but-

Three men have been massacred in the Colombian department of Arauca just days after the release of a new human rights report focusing on the region that accuses the Colombian Army of carrying out widespread killings of civilians in the area.

  • That around 90% of the murdered civilians were killed by two units – the 5th Mobile Brigade and the 18th Brigade – of the Colombian Army, whilst the remainder were murdered by members of the police;
  • That in several cases Army units operate together with paramilitary death squads in the region as was the case when a joint group of soldiers of the 18th ‘Pizarro’ Battalion and local paramilitaries killed community leader Alirio Sepulveda Jaimes;
  • That it is common for the Army to subsequently dress the bodies of their victims in guerrilla uniforms and claim that they were guerrilla fighters killed in combat;
  • That a high proportion of the victims are trade unionists or community leaders

But if it was so bad, they’d be like outrage, like when Cavez farts or picks his nose, it’s not like the govenrment is remaning in power through tyranny-

Democrat Congressman James McGovern has called for US aid to Colombia’s Prosecutor General’s Office to be frozen because, he says, the Colombian authorities are pursuing politically-motivated and baseless investigations into government critics. McGovern specifically highlighted the plight of human rights activists who have spoken out about abuses by the Colombian state security forces. Many of them, along with critical journalists and opposition politicians, have had spurious legal proceedings opened against them after accusations by the authorities that they are supporters of the FARC guerrilla insurgency. The accusations, which are made on the flimsiest of pretexts, put those on the receiving end in great danger. “Unfounded charges are often widely publicised, undermining the credibility of defenders and marking them as targets for physical attack, often by paramilitary groups” said McGovern.

But the UK quietly cut off open military aid, although…

The Foreign Office spokesman acknowledged it would continue to work with “some members of the armed forces” on anti-drug programmes. The UK does not reveal the financial value of that assistance due to “security concerns”, he said. The UK will also continue to fund landmine clearance projects through the UN office in Colombia, as well as more than £1m for civilian human rights projects, £900,000 to support UN drugs projects, and £250,000 to fight what has been described as rampant impunity from prosecution enjoyed by some Colombians.

Well I suppose they had to do something after UK Members of Parliament after going to Colombia said-

...the Colombian government of Alvaro Uribe, and the security forces, are complicit in human rights crimes.

And now he’s going to use his power and murderous forces to get the law changed so he can stay in power…nah, why would the English speaking press be interested in that, he is after all, our -right wing- bastard.

Posted in Establishment, Neo Liberals. Tags: , , . Comments Off on Narco Terrorist & Death Squad Leader Changes Constitution To Hold On To Power

Met Commissioner Tries Stand Up

It’s really the most absurdist lacerating satire-

“Part of the headlines should be … astonishing operation pulled off by the Met who did a first-class job,” he said.

Please stop, oh my aching sides, is this a new method of delivering police brutality?

“The overwhelming majority of officers, whatever the stress or provocation, carried out their duties in a professional manner and I want to give them credit for what they achieved.”

The provocation of doing their job without thumping people? Oh you cheeky monkey.

Stephenson said the Met had never misled anyone in the aftermath of Tomlinson’s death.

Now this one I think needs an extra line maybe- except with a fake post mortem! Ta-da!

Picking out the territorial support group (TSG) – which is at the centre of two IPCC investigations into Ian Tomlinson’s death and an assault on a woman protester – Stephenson said it was a specialist unit the Met relied on.

…to kill people!

Stephenson said he had received acknowledgment from police forces internationally for what the Met achieved during the G20.

I think they cut this one short, I’m sure he goes on to say, forces in Zimbabwe, North Korea and Burma!

Well don’t give up the day job ‘Sir’ Paulie but there is hope, even a fascist buffoon can be mayor nowadays! Meanwhile the Manchester force are staging a farce showing terrorists are so cunning these days they escape punishment by not being terrorists, the blighters!

Stress Test Sham Scam

The full interview is worth reading here, but a digested read offers-

The bank stress tests currently underway are “a complete sham,” says William Black, a former senior bank regulator and S&L prosecutor, and currently an Associate Professor of Economics and Law at the University of Missouri – Kansas City. “It’s a Potemkin model. Built to fool people.” Like many others, Black believes the “worst case scenario” used in the stress test don’t go far enough.

He detailed these and related concerns in a recent interview with Naked Capitalism. But Black, who was counsel to the Federal Home Loan Bank Board during the S&L Crisis, says the program’s failings go way beyond such technical issues. “There is no real purpose [of the stress test] other than to fool us. To make us chumps,” Black says. Noting policymakers have long stated the problem is a lack of confidence, Black says Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is now essentially saying: “’If we lie and they believe us, all will be well.’ It’s Orwellian.”

The former regulator is extremely critical of Geithner, calling him a “failed regulator” now “adding to failed policy” by not allowing “banks that really need desperately to be closed” to fail. (On Saturday, Geithner said on Face the Nation, if banks need “exceptional assistance” in the future “then we’ll make sure that assistance comes with conditions,” including potentially changing management and the board, but did not say they’d be shut down.)

Black says the stress test must also be viewed in the context of Geithner’s toxic debt plan, which he calls “an enormous taxpayer subsidy for people who caused the problem.” The fact bank stocks have been rising since Geithner unveiled his plan is “bad news for taxpayers,” he says. “It’s the subsidy of all history.”

Money Transfer, Wealth Transfer

What clearer lesson do you want that government has been colonised by a plutocracy and used as a means to siphon off public money into the private sector and at every stage generating private profits at public expense. So here we go-

Britain’s public finances took a big hit in December from the government’s recapitalisation of Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS).

So public money going to a private bank, then-

A scheme to renovate England’s secondary schools could grind to a halt because banks are not lending money, the building industry has warned.

Oh dear the bailout has not encouraged the banks to behave for the common good, how strange it’s not like they are explicitly profit making corporations with zero moral accountability, oh wait…but you see it’s far funnier than that-

Speaking to the committee of MPs later, Schools Minister Jim Knight said the current problems with lending could have an effect on Building Schools for the Future (BSF) because the scheme used private finance initiatives (PFI). Under PFI, private companies fund the building of schools, typically with the local authority repaying the costs over the next 25 to 30 years.

But Mr Knight added: “It is not the case that the money has dried up.” He said there was still interest from banks wanting to take part in the scheme, and there were alternative sources of funding. The feedback we are getting is that this aspect of investment, in public sector projects, is the lowest risk of them all, and probably the last to feel some of the difficulty and heightened risk attached to it.”

Get it? See the government could have used our money to build our schools but…no it used our money to keep the financial sector going with few reforms, so the PFI schemes would keep going, so private corporations would profit off safe investments in public projects, investments made with, er…our money (well they will be when they start lending). Exactly how including a third party who must take a certain amount in profit is ‘more efficient’ remains a Holy Mystery that must never be discussed… Of course PFI’s are disastrous for value and public accountability but what they do do is provide long term sources of revenue to private corporations with cosy relationships with government, who also benefit by appearing to be doing stuff and hoping no one notices the decades long bill future generations will be paying. So at the end of all this banks & politician’s who helped cause the crisis under the guise of neoliberal zealotry are rewarded while ….well some schools will get built, maybe, and end up costing us far more so PFI’s remain a good source of profit. It’s all down to who our representatives really work for and just how democratic we are, can we really have a say in how and by whom the country is run? Or are we just running occasional popularity contests for middle management, and let’s face it, an awful lot of people let themselves be lied to, as long as the living was good. Yeah, that worked out.

Hell In A Handbasket

An interesting lengthy Bloomberg (!) article about how the Chicago School are reacting to the failure of the idiotic, cruel & inhuman beliefs. Some are moderating their fundamentalism, some retain it even while continuing to sweep under the rug their demonstrable failure and their role in torture and murder around the world. But this small paragraph is rather funny and suggests the huge breadth of debate being permitted amongst the ruling class-

Barack Obama, who will referee the laissez-faire versus free- market debate as U.S. president, has pledged the largest spending on infrastructure since the 1950s to save or create 3 million jobs.

It goes on to repeat what we already know, Obama’s team is full of Chicago drones, but really, they are vacillating between laissez-faire versus free- market? So the free market and the French phrase meaning…the free market. Whom does Bloomberg think their audience are?

So Friedmanite fundmentalist vs. Friedmanite pragmatists, oh yeah everythings gonna work out just fine. Democratic -party- debate at its finest. And you thought Rick Warren was bad.

Utter Scum, Loan Shark Purnell

WP ate my post apparently, not happy, unless it pops up again, in its absence see HarpyMarx for the Loan Shark disgrace.

Virgin is Sicko

GPs who work in Sir Richard Branson’s planned network of Virgin health centres will be given a percentage of the profits made by the private dentists, therapists and laser-eye surgeons working under the same roof, the Guardian has learned.

The first Virgin polyclinic will open in Swindon this summer, in an experiment that could change the face of the NHS. Within five years Branson hopes to have 20 clinics around the country.

Family doctors would still work for the NHS and be paid by the state, but their practices would be transformed into commercial magnets, pulling patients in to buy services from Virgin Healthcare, Branson’s medical offshoot.

The practices, where receptionists will wear red Virgin uniforms, will be a one-stop shop offering a range of treatments including pharmacy, acupuncture, eye care, dentistry, nutrition advice and help with long-term conditions.

On top of their NHS salary, GPs will get 10% of the profits earned by the entire polyclinic. Under General Medical Council rules the GPs will not be allowed to refer patients to the Virgin therapists in the building unless they make it clear that they have a financial stake in the profits.

A poll of GPs showed 85% believed the polyclinics would damage patient care.

A former employee of Virgin Healthcare, John Spencer, raised concerns about potential conflicts of interest with the company and has passed internal documents to the Guardian. Spencer, who was head of therapies, in charge of recruiting the new private staff, voiced his concerns about potential conflicts of interest within days of starting his job.

“My feeling is that this was being led by people who were commercially driven and rewarded by how much profit they made,” he said. “But they weren’t fully willing to listen when it came to the importance of not undermining patient trust.”

Earlier this year Spencer emailed Adams, raising his concern that GPs might be in difficulties with the GMC if they referred patients to Virgin’s private therapists. Adams replied that he thought “this is a typical NHS grey area”.

Dr Richard Vautrey, deputy chairman of the BMA’s GPs committee, said: “The intention really is that Virgin will make money out of private elements within the centre. Our concern is that doctors working within the centre may be coerced or encouraged to make referrals or encourage patients to attend these private facilities. The real risk is the opening of Pandora’s box, which once it is opened will be very difficult to close.”

Watch Sicko if you haven’t (here for free! or watch below),

This is how it happens, until we have what the neoliberal worshippers of the Church of the Free Market want- healthcare for profit, people going untreated when it threatens revenue ie. being killed in order for a corporation to make greater profits.