This Blog Has Moved

As of Monday May 17th 2010 this blog (tenpercent.wordpress.com) has moved to tenpercent.org.uk

This wordpress.com site will remain in place but new posts will appear at:-

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Posted in Blogging. Tags: . 2 Comments »

Of Badgers & Men (& Censorship)

The reason for my blog being censored by WordPress was because of a post about ‘Sir’ Howard Newby, I have not been told this in an email or any such civilised notification but I found the post had been altered by WP admin and was the source of me being barred from my own blog. If you want some background on ‘Sir’ Howard check out Derek Wall, Ecologics & Bristle’s Blog from the BunKRS. It appears he is very sensitive about his time as vice-chancellor of the University of the West of England and the firm Carter & Carter of which he was a non-executive director, all of which is in the public sphere in various publications, for example this is from the Guardian

The use of management consultancy firms linked to both Sir Howard and his wife, assistant vice-chancellor Lady Sheila Newby, also caused concern.

“They were private companies with no idea about university or academe telling us how to do things and what to do. People got upset because he was running the university life a little fiefdom and giving very big contracts to his mates,” said one academic, who preferred not to be named.

Such big publications with deep pockets were apparently not troubled but he had the University of Liverpool’s (where he is now Vice-Chancellor) legal department in the guise of one Mr. Kevan Ryan, Director of Legal Services go after the low lying blog fruit, which also caught the attention of Index on Censorship. This pushed my anti-censorship button and I made a humorous post that largely concerned itself with how trustworthy ‘Sir’ Howard was in regards to his moral conduct with badgers. But apparently WordPress err on the side of extreme caution when a lawyer and the UK’s libel laws hove into view (or maybe it was something to do with badgers, you never can tell). Consequently I realised I had to find other hosting arrangements for my blog if I am to be independent of people that do not value free speech or my own brand of what we shall loosely call ‘wit’. This has taken some time which is all down to my own procrastination but as we speak, thanks to the generous help of a friend of the blog, a new site is being prepared that is hosted in a far off land, details to come soon. If this post causes another act of censorship please refer to my Twitter feed for updates.

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.

MORE

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…

The Re-Activation, Return & Relocation of The Mask of Anarchy!

After a fallow period The Mask of Anarchy blog, formerly of blogspot has returned, but like a Time Lord or franchise reboot it has changed, it has moved! The Mask is now calling WordPress its home (and to reassure his readers, yes already he is laying into Mad Mel P.), so amend your records, put on your link clicking shoes and head over to-

maskofanarchy.wordpress.com

Welcome back!

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.

Hell Is Round The Corner Where I Shelter

Posted in Neoliberalism, War on Terror Scam. Tags: . Comments Off on Hell Is Round The Corner Where I Shelter

Sir Howard Newby Does Not Have Carnal Relations With Badgers

Just to make it abundantly clear to legal action averse WordPress.com and ‘Sir’ Howard I wish to state categorically that he does not in any way have carnal relations with badgers. And nor does his fragrant wife Lady Sheila Newby. If, for example, one were to leave him (or her) alone with several nubile young badgers, a tube of KY, a bottle of wine and a DVD of ‘Badger Watch’ no untoward activity would take place. Badgers, not to put too fine a point on it, are entirely safe from moral danger and lasciviousness while in the company of the Newbys. Running universities and personal ethics however are another matter.