Vote Shock Doctrine

The Neoliberal consensus lack of democratic choice is in, all parties are rejecting social democracy and embracing an agenda of Neoliberal cuts, not really news but today they all made it clear, so that no voter can say oops, I really didn’t realise this was going to happen. So with no alternative -it is merely whose style of managerialism do you prefer- the election is a non event democratically speaking and for those facing unemployment or the assault on welfare the issue is one simple thing- Survival. The wags on twitter who have coined Labservative should know that is a misnomer, the correct term is Neoliberalism, because it is not a lack of change they face, there is great change, there is just no choice, it will be cuts, privatisation, deregulation and rising inequality. That is radical change, an apolitical ‘government is bad’ ‘there is no change’ reaction is in fact precisely what is wanted from you, as corporations will be handed greater unaccountable power to run our lives as apathy gives them the room for this slip into the authoritarian end stage. A radical lack of choice, an anti democratic movement is upon this country, a movement began by Thatcher in 1979 and continued by New Labour. Not recognising your enemy is a fatal mistake that leaves you open to the attacks to come. Rather than waste a minute watching television election coverage start your survival preparations with reading The Shock Doctrine, you’ll be surprised (or perhaps not) to find it predicts precisely what is now happening. And for your viewing pleasure I would throw in Adam Curtis’ trilogy- Century of the Self, The Power of Nightmares and The Trap, a dash of Manufacturing Consent would be good, as it is, as all of these are- A Primer In Intellectual Self-Defense.  The 10’s (will we call then that?) are going to be about self-defence to survive and perchance to make something better. At the moment we needed eco-socialism, social democracy and liberty our elites -of course- screwed us in their rush to serve themselves.

Courts Use Tory Law, Under New Labour Government To Fight Class War

As with BA corporations now turn to the courts to delegitimise strike action using the anti-union Trade Union and Labour Relations Act of 1992 brought in by the Conservatives and left on the books by New Labour, 30 years of neoliberal rule-

A high court judge today granted Network Rail a temporary injunction to block next week’s planned four-day rail strike by signal workers. Mrs Justice Sharp made the temporary order after being told that the planned walkout, called by the Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) union, was unlawful because of the way a strike ballot was conducted. Network Rail argued that there were scores of inaccuracies and discrepancies in the vote by signal workers, who backed a walkout with a majority of 54%. It does not affect a separate dispute involving maintenance workers, who still plan to go ahead with strikes next week, although this is expected to cause only minor disruption. The strike was due start on Tuesday, the day Gordon Brown is expected to call a general election.

The TUC general secretary, Brendan Barber, said: “It’s becoming increasingly easy for employers, unhappy at the prospect of a dispute, to rely on the courts to intervene and nullify a democratic ballot for industrial action on a mere technicality. Disputes between employers and unions should be settled by negotiation. Today’s decision in the court will simply drag the dispute out and make it more difficult to solve.”

Makes Fools Of Us All

An April Fool’s really needs a veneer of possibility, of plausibility. Who is going to believe that a violent act caught on video tape and seen by multiple witnesses, many of them police officers, that led to a man’s death and that the perpetrator is known… Who is going to believe that an entire year after that killing absolutely no charges whatsoever have been brought before a court of law. I mean really what kind of immature prank minded joker is going to bother to create an April Fool’s when reality trumps any such malarkey hands down, even a day earlier a trial without a jury found another police officer not guilty of assault, the message being sent is loud and clear- Just when you though video cameras might constrain state violence we are telling you NO, perpetrators shall go free you unwashed serfs. The Establishment and its agents shall not be constrained by the laws we inflict on those beneath us (again with the photography), after all when the cuts come (and they will, one party or another or another) we shall need every weapon available to subdue the population and defend our privilege. Welcome to the Authoritarian End Stage of Neoliberalism you credulous chumps!

Actually one great prank has been perpetrated upon us, Democracy, enjoy that election ‘consensus‘ fans.

UK Taser Use More Than Doubles

…new statistics record the use of the devices for the third quarter of 2009 and show they were used 402 times by specially trained units from July to September, up from 169 in the previous quarter. Officers discharged them 67 times over the period, compared to 36 for the preceding period. Units have now used Tasers 1,669 times since the trial began in September 2007 and discharged them 293 times.

According to the press release

The rise in the use of Tasers this quarter is largely down to updated figures of around 200 deployments by the Metropolitan Police going back over previous quarters. This also accounts for the rise in Taser discharges.

But please note-

We cannot be certain that historically all forces have recorded Taser usage in the same way, although this has been mitigated by ACPO issuing clear instructions to forces on reporting procedures

I think it is always worth remembering ACPO is a private company run by the country’s senior police chiefs and as such beyond the normal remit of freedom of information laws, it means our police forces are part privatised already. They share intelligence with other corporations and government and consider environmental, human rights & left wing activists as worthy of  spying upon as NeoNazis, which tells us something about their ideological -corporate- centre of gravity.

PDF showing quarterly statistics up to 30 September 2009 for Taser use –

  • in England and Wales
  • by authorised firearms officers outside of a firearms authority
  • by specially trained units.

Also the terms of Taser use-

  • Taser ‘use’ includes any time a Taser is drawn, aimed, red-dotted, arced, drive-stunned, or discharged.
  • Drawn: Officer draws Taser which a person could perceive as a ‘use of force’ whether or not accompanied by a verbal warning.
  • Aimed: The Taser is aimed at a person but the safety is not removed (i.e. the red dot laser sight is not activated).
  • Red dot: The safety is removed and the red dot laser sight is activated and placed on a subject, but the Taser is not fired.
  • Arced: The Taser is sparked without a cartridge being fired.
  • Drive Stun: The Taser is pressed against a person and cycled — this imparts a shock without firing the probes/barbs.
  • Discharge: The Taser is fired and the probes/barbs are discharged towards the subject.

Meanwhile even specially trained officers kill their own colleagues, albeit with a shotgun –taken off the safety catch on his gun, acted “instinctively” and pulled the trigger – given the known lethality of the ‘nonlethal‘ Taser this is not reassuring especially as Tasers are now routinely issued to non expert officers. Yes, better to be instinctively shot with a Taser than a firearm but in truth neither are in practice non-lethal. The evidence of use shows what Tasers do is not replace firearms, but create whole new categories of use where previously no weapon would have been used and they mainstream into everyday civil policing the concept of pain compliance. It becomes a shoot first ask questions later paradigm because the ‘shoot’ is perceived and promoted as a harmless use of stun technology. There is a good article- The soft-kill solution: New frontiers in pain compliance By Ando Arike, unfortunately behind Harper’s pay wall about the normalisation of pain compliance to deal with the social breakdown incurred due to Neoliberal ‘consensus’ politics, some excerpts via Digby

As communications advances in the years since have increasingly exposed such violence, governments have realized that the public’s perception of injury and bloodshed must be carefully managed. “Even the lawful application of force can be misrepresented to or misunderstood by the public,” warns a 1997 joint report from the Pentagon and the Justice Department.

“More than ever, the police and the military must be highly discreet when applying force.” It is a need for discretion rooted in one of the oldest fears of the ruling class—the volatility of the mob—and speaks to rising anxieties about crowd control at a time when global capitalism begins to run up against long-predicted limits to growth. Each year, some 76 million people join our current 6.7 billion in a world of looming resource scarcities, ecological collapse, and glaring inequalities of wealth; and elites are preparing to defend their power and profits. In this new era of triage, as democratic institutions and social safety nets are increasingly considered dispensable luxuries, the task of governance will be to lower the political and economic expectations of the masses without inciting fullfledged revolt. Non-lethal weapons promise to enhance what military theorists call “the political utility of force,” allowing dissent to be suppressed inconspicuously.

The next hurdle for non-lethality, as Colonel Hymes’s comments suggest,will be the introduction of socalled second-generation non-lethal weapons into everyday policing and crowd control. Although “first-generation” weapons like rubber bullets and pepper spray have gained a certain acceptance, despite their many drawbacks, exotic technologies like the Active Denial System invariably cause public alarm. Nevertheless, the trend is now away from chemical and “kinetic” weapons that rely on physical trauma and toward post-kinetic weapons that, as researchers put it, “induce behavioral modification” more discreetly. One indication that the public may come to accept these new weapons has been the successful introduction of the Taser—apparently, even the taboo on electroshock can be overcome given the proper political climate…

Originally sold as an alternative to firearms, the Taser today has become an all-purpose tool for what police call “pain compliance.” Mounting evidence shows that the weapon is routinely used on people who pose little threat: those in handcuffs, in jail cells, in wheelchairs and hospital beds; schoolchildren, pregnant women, the mentally disturbed, the elderly; irate shoppers, obnoxious lawyers, argumentative drivers, nonviolent protesters—in fact, YouTube now has an entire category of videos in which people are Tasered for dubious reasons. In late 2007, public outrage flared briefly over the two most famous such videos—those of college student Andrew Meyer “drivestunned” at a John Kerry speech, and of a distraught Polish immigrant, Robert Dziekanski, dying after repeated Taser jolts at Vancouver airport—but police and weapon were found blameless in both incidents. Strangely, YouTube’s videos may be promoting wider acceptance of the Taser; it appears that many viewers watch them for entertainment.

The technology now exists for drone launched multiple Taser cartridges, protest is already ‘kettled’ or restricted to ‘free speech zones’ police assaults and murders even when caught on tape do not result in a change of policy by government, sooner or later these ‘nonlethal’ techs will be applied to demonstrations and protests. They have already been tested in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, note what that indicates about the attitude of the government to the governed, domestic extremists, insurgents & enemy combatants the lot of us.

Not Quite Short Enough To Go On Twitter

Which may or may not be a regular posting type thingy, anyways…

I do wonder if the vitriol against Kucinich by Kos & co. was also indulged in to distract from the Afghanistan debate, this being the good Obama war etc.

Questions from Scotland Against Criminalising Communities in regard to the triple suicide of the Serykh family-

1. What level of cooperation does the YMCA afford to the UKBA enforcement removal team seeking to remove asylum seekers from the YMCA flats?

2. How much money does the YMCA receive per asylum seeker for its UKBA contract at the Red Road flats?

3. We suspect many asylum seekers are being driven to desperation by the combination of inhumane practices being perpetrated by the UKBA and the YMCA to the point they have said firsthand that they fully understand why the Serkhi family threw themselves from the 15th floor of one of your flats. Will the YMCA be evicting any more asylum seekers during this troubled time at the Red Road when so many people are in the depths of despair and hopelessness?

Joe Glenton was sentenced to 9 months, please show your support by writing to him-

Lance Corporal Joe Glenton
Military Corrective Training Centre, Berechurch Hall Camp
Colchester CO2 9NU, UK
Email:
defendjoeglenton@gmail.com

Nick Clegg leader of the LibDems decides outflanking to the Right is a good progressive idea with his praise for Thacther and savage cuts, so no big surprise neoliberalism retains its hold on all 3 parties leadership…was that the sound of thousands of voters now binning ideas they were entertaining of voting for them (ht2 LC)-

Not only does the Lib Dem leader say he’ll end the structural deficit with 100 percent spending cuts (not the 20 percent tax rises, 80 percent cuts combo that the Tories advocate), but he even heaps praise in Lady Thatcher. More, he describes her as something of an inspiration: just as she took on vested interests in the 1980s, so he will take on the banks now.

He equates unions with banks, no really, he does! Which means to wee Nick he thinks millions of working people working together to improve their lives and raise themselves out of poverty and oppression is comparable to bankers destroying society with their gambling and greed. Bless his little middle class socks. Wanker.

Richard Murphy daily uncovers evidence of the Class War waged by Capital, today’s little wheeze-

Finance chiefs at two of the UK’s most powerful companies have called for corporation tax to be slashed to 15% in what would represent one of the most sweeping changes to the UK tax system since VAT was introduced 30 years ago.

How do I know 15% corporation tax is the aim of the Oxford Centre? because Chris Wales – who was instrumental in setting it up – told me that was the case, in person when I was at Oxford two or three years ago before Prof Mike Devereux, the head of the centre, contrary to all UK academic ethics, withdrew my invitation to all events there.

And let’s be clear what this call is. It’s another blatant attempt at re-engineering the social structure of the UK so that the rich get richer and the rest fall further behind.

Glaxo and Vodafone and their friends at Oxford want to increase the gap between rich and poor in this country. It’s the only explanation for their proposal there is.

So in the absence of any politician’s standing up to corporations Defend The Welfare State which among full union support is also supported by the British Medical Association, good to see medical opinion recognises the threat to human wellbeing that neoliberal dogma represents. This also important because global capital has conspired with far right tories to bring the Tea Party astro turf corporate lobby to the UK.

Since 1948, Britain has supported the idea that state pensions, health care, education and other public services are best provided by society as whole. But this idea is now under threat.

  • The state pension is totally inadequate, leaving at least 1 in 4 older people to live in poverty
  • 7m households have a child living in poverty and existing benefits provide a very limited safety net
  • Unemployment now stands at over 2m and workfare offers no solution
  • 10m adults are disabled and face huge barriers to escaping financial hardship
  • The NHS is slowly being privatised behind a smokescreen of choice and competition, and patients are suffering as a result
  • Our public services are now facing massive cuts and further privatisation

The welfare state and public services are an essential part of any civilised society – pooling the risk across the population and providing support and services to us all.

Whoever wins the next general election will be looking at the welfare state and public services as a way of cutting public expenditure. This demonstration must therefore send a clear message to all the political parties that the majority of people do not want to see further cuts and privatisation.

Defending the Welfare State & Public Services

March & Rally
Sat 10 April 2010
Assemble 12 noon for 1pm
Temple Place, Embankment
Rally 2pm
Trafalgar Square
Speakers, Music & Entertainment

Also sign the petition here.

Robin Hood Goes Postal- Support The Posties!

The postmen & women who are being forced to defend their careers against a dishonest and rapacious management & government are to be applauded. What has become clear is the corporatist Neoliberals of New Labour and the bullying management have conspired to continue a backdoor process of privatisation despite public opposition and official denials. This coming strike will be a watershed moment that either successfully stalls their plans or leads to the destruction of a postal service that serves the British people rather than profits off them. What will be crucial in keeping the postal service in our hands will be the public’s support of the strikers, when the government and management see their ‘customer base’ reject their plans for exploitation it will create greater pressure for them to return and negotiate with the union.

Check out local CWU branches here. Show your support.

Check out Roy Mayall’s Blog Going Postal (ht2 Soul of a Man Under Capitalism)

As Dave Semple says-

Now it is a fight, alea iacta est. The working class, and all socialists, labourites and everyone on the Left, should stand behind the posties. Turn up to their picket lines and wish them well. As one young pluck did, bring them homebaked goods. Donate some money to the strike fund. Attend solidarity group meetings. The bottom line is this; the posties are the men and women who deliver a service we all take advantage of.

If, in our own jobs, we know about mismanagement or the government neo-liberal ideology getting in the way of efficiency, if we’re sick of being lectured at and told things which are blatantly untrue, of being bullied and cajoled into overtime we’re not getting paid for, and we ever want the support of other workers, now is our time to shine.

PS. I think it is crucial to pass on information that gives the context to the strike action, psychologically there is a tendency for people to assume all is well until something different happens or there is a change, when the event occurs and it has negative effects for the observer they will, in the absence of knowledge and context, make a judgement that the party that is presented as causing the change is to be blamed. So when a strike occurs the corporate media have an easy job making people annoyed at the strikers because people have not had the ongoing situation within the industry reported in as prominent a way, they have not read of bullying management, false statements and fraudulent negotiating stances. This combined with the false notions of balance corporate news uses as a fig leaf excuse for giving undue emphasis to the views of the powerful makes the media aspect of a strike very difficult. Or short version- if someone moans about the strike do make them read this from the London Review of Books then point out people do not like striking, it is anxious and worrying experience that costs them money, they do so because management have committed such serious abuses against them and all other means of redress have failed. The blame lies with management and the government and particularly millionaire Baron Peter Mandelson, the striking posties are the heros coming to the rescue of our postal service.

Like many businesses, the Royal Mail has a pet name for its customers. The name is ‘Granny Smith’. It’s a deeply affectionate term. Granny Smith is everyone, but particularly every old lady who lives alone and for whom the mail service is a lifeline. When an old lady gives me a Christmas card with a fiver slipped in with it and writes, ‘Thank you for thinking of me every day,’ she means it. I might be the only person in the world who thinks about her every day, even if it’s only for long enough to read her name on an envelope and then put it through her letterbox. There is a tension between the Royal Mail as a profit-making business and the Royal Mail as a public service. For most of the Royal Mail management – who rarely, if ever, come across the public – it is the first. To the delivery officer – to me, and people like me, the postmen who bring the mail to your door – it is more than likely the second.

We had a meeting a while back at which all the proposed changes to the business were laid out. Changes in our hours and working practices. Changes to our priorities. Changes that have led to the current chaos. We were told that the emphasis these days should be on the corporate customer. It was what the corporations wanted that mattered. We were effectively being told that quality of service to the average customer was less important than satisfying the requirements of the big businesses.

Someone piped up in the middle of it. ‘What about Granny Smith?’ he said. He’s an old-fashioned sort of postman, the kind who cares about these things.

‘Granny Smith is not important,’ was the reply. ‘Granny Smith doesn’t matter any more.’

So now you know.

Posted in Class War, Shock Doctrine. Tags: , . Comments Off on Robin Hood Goes Postal- Support The Posties!

Island March

WHEN: 12pm, Saturday, 19th September 2009
WHERE: Holyhead Town Hall, Newry Street, LL65

Hundreds of Unite members, along with people from across Anglesey will hold a demonstration tomorrow (Saturday, 19th September) against the proposed closure of the Anglesey Aluminium smelting plant by Rio Tinto.

Demonstrators will carry placards demanding Rio Tinto ‘put people before profit’ to show their anger and disappointment over its decision to close Anglesey Aluminium, one of the largest employers in North Wales.

Anglesey Aluminium, jointly owned by Rio Tinto Alcan (51 per cent) and Kaiser Aluminium (49 per cent), was unwilling to commit to the long term future of the plant therefore condemning the 500 highly skilled workers. This decision has deeply affected the lives of families associated to the smelter and will kill-off Holyhead and its surrounding communities.

Unite found it astonishing that Anglesey Aluminium has refused to accept a rescue package of £48 million, given by the national government and the Welsh Assembly government, which would’ve seen the site remain open for at least another two years.

The site is currently continuing its smelting operations and is extremely busy in meeting customer demands. However, Unite believes it is in essence squeezing every last drop of aluminium prior to the closure which will be on the 30th September.

Unite national officer for metals, Terry Pye, said: “This is a disgraceful decision by Rio Tinto. We believe the only reason for the closure is one of greed. We have been angered further by the plant’s refusal to accept a rescue package which would’ve kept the site open for a further two years.”

Unite regional officer, Graham Rogers, said: “This is a clear case of a multinational company putting profit before people. This rally will demonstrate the strength of feeling the community has towards this closure. Hundreds of families’ livelihoods hang in the balance and we will not give up on them without a fight.”

Posted in Recession, Resistance, Shock Doctrine. Tags: . Comments Off on Island March

When All You’ve Got Is A Hammer

Every problem looks like a nail-

A police decision to use a Taser gun on an 89-year-old man who was threatening to cut his own throat has been upheld by a watchdog. The Independent Police Complaints Commission(IPCC) said North Wales Police officers were protecting the public and the man’s life. The retired carpenter and World War II veteran walked out of a residential home in Llandudno, Conwy in January.

He smashed a window and ran off clutching a piece of glass. Police said at the time that they used the 50,000-volt stun gun to control the man, who has not been named, because they thought he might kill himself. The IPCC has now upheld the decision of an internal North Wales Police inquiry in to the incident. Relatives had disagreed with the decision and said the Taser could have killed him, that handcuffs were unnecessary and that the officers should have used other ways to calm him down.

This is the IPCC that has now been revealed to be complicit in attempting to cover up the killing of Ian Tomlinson

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) planned to announce that it had completed its assessment into Tomlinson’s death on 1 April and discovered nothing suspicious. At 11.30am on 4 April, investigators prepared a document announcing Tomlinson died of a heart attack after being caught up among protesters “dressed entirely in black” who, it said, were charging police.

“It was during this charge and retreat that Mr Tomlinson has seemed to have been caught up in the crowds and a number of people describe seeing him ‘collapse and fall to the ground’.”

The statement went on to say the IPCC had examined CCTV of the incident, police records and statements from independent witnesses, and been “satisfied that there is no evidence that the actions of those officers present on Cornhill contributed in any way to the sudden and untimely death of an innocent bystander”.

Their premature conclusions were read over the phone to Tomlinson’s family, but then appear to have been shelved at the last minute.

The logs also reveal the family were told by police there were “no marks” on Tomlinson’s face, a claim they contested after viewing his body. In their first interview, on Thursday, the family said City of London police, the Met and the IPCC discouraged them from talking to the media and said they believed there were attempts to cover up details about the death.

They said they were only given a selective account of a postmortem which found Tomlinson died of a heart attack.

The logs appear to confirm they were not told that the pathologist also discovered large amounts of blood in Tomlinson’s stomach and other injuries.

“Looking back, it is obvious we were misled by police in the hours and days after Ian died,” Paul King, Tomlinson’s son, said.

“There is still a lot to come out about how we were prevented from knowing the truth about Ian’s death.” He added that the family had been in shock when police family liaison officers were appointed and, he said, “trusted them too much”.

(ht2 Harpymarx)

The IPCC is a sham, they are too close to the police to fulfil the role of police oversight and investigation of criminal activity by the police. Their continued existence tells you all you need to know of authoritarian desires for police control of the population amongst the establishment, all wrapped in the shiny false pretences of accountability.

Ian Tomlison’s widow Julia and son Paul King, were interviewed in the Guardian (I wonder if the Guardian had not decided to take this stance would the killing be swept under the carpet despite coverage in independent media, because clearly the IPCC were part of the scam and citizen media is not that powerful)-

Julia Tomlinson criticised the IPCC failing to properly investigate her husband’s death until after the video was broadcast – almost a week after his death.

“The IPCC should have been there from day one – definitely – not left it five days later,” she said.

King added: “We’ve asked to see the evidence that [the IPCC] passed to the CPS. We’re still waiting for it … we haven’t seen it.

“Everyone knows that there was a lot of cover-up in the beginning. The truth will come out in the end.”

The family believe police misled them over Tomlinson’s death from the outset.

“It was half past four in the morning – a knock at the door and Stephanie, the second youngest daughter, answered the door,” Julia Tomlinson said.

“There were two police officers standing there and they asked to speak to Sam, my eldest daughter. I came down the stairs and they asked if I was Mrs Tomlinson, and I said yes.

“They said: ‘Have you heard about the G20? I said: ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about.’

“They said: ‘If you’d like to sit down, then we’ll explain to you. And they said: ‘Your husband was caught up in the G20 riots, and he suddenly collapsed and died of a heart attack.”

Police then refused to allow her to see his body in the Royal London Hospital, she added.

“Six days later, I wasn’t allowed to go and see him,” she said. “I didn’t understand why they didn’t want me to go and see him – if someone dies of a heart attack, you get to go and see him. But they weren’t letting me.”

They also disclosed that, when a post-mortem examination was completed three days after Tomlinson died, police gave them an edited version of the results.

The family were not told that a forensic pathologist had found large amounts of blood in his stomach, a suspected dog bite on his leg and a number of other injuries.

“Now we know that it wasn’t a heart attack … that he died of internal bleeding.”

King said: “We’ve been confused by the City police, Metropolitan police, IPCC to not say anything: ‘Don’t say anything, because you’ll jeopardise the case’.

“I think we’ve been so confused with all that – don’t say this, don’t say that, even down to don’t talk to the media – they’ve made us quite scared to talk.

“The IPCC have finished their investigation, we haven’t been able to talk, and we just want to let people know how we feel. We are grieving.”

Posted in Establishment, Neoliberalism, Shock Doctrine. Tags: , , . Comments Off on When All You’ve Got Is A Hammer

Rape Doctrine

flyer front

Click image for more @HarpyMarx

One might reflect that the crisis of capitalism is allowing those who abhor the public good but worship private profit to reveal their true selves and agendas. Of course there is the gender bias too, so we now find Rape Crisis Centres are under threat not just in North Wales but nationwide. Who does this favour? Well, neoliberals and rapists. Who does this hurt? All who object to rape and those who have experienced it, you might think that would pretty well much cover everyone, but clearly there is a sizeable number of people  (rich and/or men mostly) who are not that concerned with the prevalence of rape in our society. Boris Johnson the Conservative Mayor (really well done there London) gets a quarter of a million pounds a year to write a rubbish weekly column, an amount he referred to as chicken feed. In a just society that money would be taken immediately from him and given to Rape Crisis much as the bonuses paid to financiers should be seized and used to support those made unemployed by City irresponsibility.

Update: This story Capital D mentions also points out the conservative attempts to normalise rape, the Telegraph took an academic paper work in progress titled “Promiscuous men more likely to rape” and totally misrepresented it capping it with the headline “Women who dress provocatively more likely to be raped, claim scientists”, more @Bad Science. Clearly this is no mere lazy journalism, there is an agenda at work here, a counter movement by misogynists and given the prevalence in society, statistically some rapists (and the British Psychological Society don’t exactly cover themselves in glory either, try and act surprised). The research by the Women’s Resource Centre is very disturbing-

Key findings from this research include:

  • The combined annual income for Rape Crisis centres in 2006-07 was just over £3.5m. The government spent more than twice this amount on advertising and public relations each week in 2004-05.
  • The average annual income for Rape Crisis centres was £81,598, only marginally more than the cost, to the state, of one rape.
  • 69% of centres identified that they were unsustainable in the future.
  • 79% of grants they received were for one year or less.
  • Only 21% of services provided by Rape Crisis are fully funded.
  • The total number of average days spent on waiting lists equals 1,929 days – or 5.3 years.
  • Rape Crisis is a crucial support service for women with historic experiences of sexual violence (such as childhood sexual abuse), with over three-quarters of service users having experiences of sexual violence that occurred in the past.

So Whose Job Is The Council Doing?

A business plan to save a town’s swimming pool from closure has been supported by councillors. Gwynedd Council had wanted to close Harlech pool to save money, but local people submitted a business plan to run it with a community trust. The Friends of Harlech swimming pool want to invest in a climbing wall and cafe to attract more paying customers. If their plans had been rejected the council would have closed the pool at the end of July. The move to try and get the pool under community ownership is being followed with interest in other parts of Wales, which have already lost their pools.

Essentially the council have abrogated their responsibility to provide and run a pool, the people are going to do it, so what exactly is the council’s function then? If they do not run things on behalf of the people?

  1. what are they for?
  2. who are they actually serving?

Gwynedd council leader Dyfed Edwards said there was a need to look at ways to cut £15m from the budget over the next three years. “Can we sustain these assets and the buildings that we have across a large rural county such as Gwynedd for the future with the finance that we’re provided? The answer is no. “It’s all very well having a policy and an agenda from a national government – how do we deliver it locally is the question,” he said.

For the Friends of Harlech swimming pool’s plan to work they needed to be given the freehold of the building. On Tuesday the board of Gwynedd council discussed the pros and cons of the plan.

Other parts of the UK have already set up community trusts to run swimming pools. Alan Joyce has successfully run a community owned pool in Sheffield for the past 16 years.

Why cut £15 million, there are many times that in bonuses being paid to a few hundred sociopathic parasites in the City of London. Whose need is greater? A shiny suited already wealthy person or an area with large coastlines where children need to be taught how to swim? The crisis of capitalism is not an abstract, it is a class war with casualties and none of the people meant to represent us (and paid by us) are actually fighting for us.

UPDATE: In comments Earwicga informs me that the swimming pool was in competition with North Wales Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre [RASA], ie. these basic service have to compete for funding while government refuses to tax the untaxed capital of the ultra rich. The LABOUR government. Oh yeah, I am back I am fucking pissed off.

Connecting Oily Dots…

shellnazilogo1

Having avoided their crimes in Nigeria coming out in open court Shell have looked elsewhere to ply their business model perchance…Abiding in Bolivia sums up 

Branco Marinkovic, Argentine fascists, and US Embassy security personel, our buddies at the Human Rights Foundation were also involved by partially funding the mercenary group. Apparently the faux human rights organization doesn’t just hire mentally unstable bloggers like Alek Boyd, they now also have criminal fugitives from Bolivia on their roster, Hugo Acha.

So what of Shell?

2008- The Shell oil company is under great pressure from the Bolivian government to reduce its presence in the country, or even to withdraw completely. President Evo Morales issued an ultimatum at the end of March, giving the company till 30 April to agree to sell off its activities to the Bolivian state.

Ok, they must have been upset. Now imagine, people trying to kill Evo Morales just so happened to have a history working security for Shell, oh coincidences!

It has emerged that members of the Szekler Legion, a paramilitary group which recruits among young ethnic Hungarians in Romania, have worked as security guards at the Shell Corrib Gas Project construction sites in recent months.

Among them the Szekler Legion’s leader 32-year-old Romanian Hungarian Tibor Revesz who worked for Integrated Risk Management Security (I-RMS) at the Mayo sites. There are indications other Szekler Legion members have worked in Ireland, with the organisation’s internet site selling patches associated with the Corrib project.

One patch, with a skull and Celtic motif carries the slogan “OSS — Operation Solitaire Shield 2008 Corrib Gas Project”, believed to refer to the Solitaire ship which was to be used for pipe-laying at the site.

The Szekler Legion have been implicated in violent incidents in Romania. The group openly promotes neo-fascism and race hate.

Among the Szekler Legion’s members were Magyarosi Arpak and Elot Toazo. Arpak, 28, was shot dead by Bolivian security forces alongside Tipperary native Michael Dwyer, 24 in Bolivia. In the same operation Toazo was arrested.

The Bolivian government has accused the Tipperary man and his companions of planning terrorist attacks, including the assassination of the country’s socialist President Evo Morales. The gang’s leader Eduardo Rozsa Flores, 48, was also killed in the raid. Flores was a neo-fascist activist and an “honorary member” of the Szekler Legion.

Five skinheads formed a guard of honour at the Tipperary man’s grave in Tullyglass cemetery just a few hours after he was buried last Thursday. A Garda source said they were members of Hungarian right-wing group, the Szekler Legion. Cops believe Dwyer forged links with the fascist group on the internet before flying to Bolivia to take a security job.

Of course it’s entirely possible such lovely individuals found other benefactors and left all ties to Shell behind, it would just be a happy accident of fate their objective would have alleviated the problems their former employer Shell was having in Bolivia. It’s nice when friends and colleagues, current and former share interests, innit?

At the end of 2007 I-RMS ‘security operatives’ replaced the majority of security guards employed by Shell. A substantial number of these ‘operatives’ have military backgrounds and dubious far-right political links. I-RMS have faced numerous complaints from protestors, having been accused of assault, heavy handedness and failure to wear or present their Private Security Authority licences. They have also routinely filmed protestors and indeed Dwyer himself was involved in this gathering of intelligence for Shell. On their website, offline and ‘under construction’ in the wake of Dwyer’s death, I-RMS had advertised their services, specialising in “international armed and unarmed security”, “customised security solutions” and “special services”, unquestionably all euphemisms for mercenary work. I-RMS have also been used by Fianna Fáil at their last few ardfheiseanna. So not only does I-RMS protect the nefarious multinational Shell in their robbery of Irish gas, they also defend the politicians who facilitated this grand theft. Who said three’s a crowd? Maura Harrington, the courageous veteran Shell to Sea campaigner, castigated I-RMS as “Shell’s private army in North Mayo”. This hired muscle for capitalism has been doing the state’s dirty work, while Gardaí turn a blind eye. They are no more than a hired gang of thugs and fascists.

District Attorney Involved In Majaz Torture Gets Off

It’s not just corrupt US and UK elites who get away with torture, when a public prosecutor is caught on film at a mass kidnapping and torture he has all the charges dropped for lack of evidence. This is the Monterrico Metal’s Majaz mining camp incident (covered previously here, here and here) where 29 protesters assured a meeting to have their grievances heard, instead were held and tortured under the auspices of corporate officers with police and state approval. A planned ambush to torture protesters and silence them, a terrorist tactic by state and corporate forces, not to mention the UK ambassador Richard Ralph who helped cover it up and then became chairman of the company!

Piura region district attorney Sofía Milla has dropped all charges against her colleague, former DA Félix Toledo Leiva, who was accused of witnessing the torture and kidnapping of 29 anti-mining protesters in 2005, but doing nothing, daily El Comercio reported Tuesday.

Milla cleared her colleague, currently jailed in a Piura prison on charges of corruption in an unrelated case, arguing that the plaintiffs offered insufficient evidence. But, according to the National Human Rights Coordinator, or CNDDHH, there are four photos in which Toledo can be seen in the mining camp when the torture took place, standing nearby some of the victims. And, several victims have testified that while in the camp, they told Toledo that they had been tortured.

As Otto @ Inca Kola News makes clear-

  • all 29 victims testified he was there
  • all 29 victims said he was an eyewitness to the brutality
  • there is photographic evidence that shows, without a shadow of a doubt, that he saw what was going on
  • the photos show him in the presence of injured and tortured individuals
  • various of the tortured individuals, including the women victims, testify that he shouted insults, made physical threats and even violently pulled the hair of one of the women
Posted in Class War, Neoliberalism, Shock Doctrine. Tags: , , , . Comments Off on District Attorney Involved In Majaz Torture Gets Off

Succinct

My real concern is — has been my concern from day one — is that the crisis on Wall Street, created by deregulated capitalism, is not actually being solved,” continued Klein. “It’s being moved. A private sector crisis is being turned into a public sector crisis.”

Ian Tomlinson Had Head Injury

Tomlinson Head Wound

I don’t think a matter of great public interest means Sky can claim this picture as an exclusive for themselves, but there it is, big red Murdochian ‘Exclusive’ all over it.

Guardian:- A photograph emerged today apparently showing the newspaper vendor Ian Tomlinson with a head injury before his death during the G20 protests. The latest blurred image, broadcast on Sky News, showed what appeared to be large bruising on the right of Mr Tomlinson’s forehead, said Sky.

It was consistent with video footage that has already revealed how his head hit the ground after being pushed over by a police officer. The footage showed he was walking away from police with his hands in his pockets when he was hit from behind by the Metropolitan police officer.

Asked today if it would form part of an investigation, an IPCC spokesman said: “We’re looking at lots of CCTV and images from various places, but we’re not going to give a running commentary on an ongoing criminal investigation.” The home affairs select committee member David Winnick told Sky News: “It is coming out in dribs and drabs. It must be very disturbing for his immediate family.

“And therefore I would have hoped that as much information could have been given initially, instead of what is happening at the moment.”

I think Winnick has a good point, this must be hell for the family but it seems it is the only way because the police, most media and establishment were intent on covering up or downplaying the killing. And…how did the first post mortem ‘miss‘ it? The importance to all citizens is if we are intimidated from protesting on our own streets by a police force that can get away with murder then there is little to protect us from anything the government might choose to do, it is that simple. And bear in mind this is a government currently covering up torture and has committed an aggressive invasion (facilitated with lies), the “supreme crime” as it was called at Nuremberg.

Posted in Authoritarianism, Neoliberalism, Shock Doctrine. Tags: , , . Comments Off on Ian Tomlinson Had Head Injury

ACPO Reveal Their Fascist Heart

pans

The police service’s handling of the G20 protests has been defended by the Association of Chief Police Officers. Its president, Sir Ken Jones, said that policing of protests in the UK was “proportionate” and recent criticisms had lacked objectivity and perspective. “We need to make sure we don’t condemn the many for the problems created by a few,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has had almost 90 complaints relating to the London protests.

“I can’t find any other country which doesn’t use water cannon, CS gas, rubber bullets. Our approach is proportionate and, in fact, has delivered on many other occasions,” he said

So 90 complaints, numerous assaults, officers routinely with malice aforethought covering up their identity numbers and one dead resulting in a false autopsy and false police statements to cover up the attack. Action only being taken after video evidence by citizens is widely seen. Yep, nothing to see here, move on.

And the Chiefs are excusing this, so what in effect they have done is…us a favour. They have shown the culture of British policing is corrupted from the top on down. Just read that last bit again-

“I can’t find any other country which doesn’t use water cannon, CS gas, rubber bullets. Our approach is proportionate and, in fact, has delivered on many other occasions,” he said

Sounds like a little glee and a threat, shut up or we get medieval on your ass. That is an authoritarian mindset, do what we say or we use violence. Oh the hubris!