Friday, August 31, 2007

Fash bastards

OK, two bits of fash news.

First, from Spain - today's Guardian reports that a monument to British International Brigaders has been stolen by the Falange, read about it here.
A monument to the British dead at one of the bloodiest encounters of the Spanish civil war has been torn down and carried away by rightwing extremists.
The monument is a huge stone plaque to 90 British volunteers in the International Brigades who were killed during the Battle of the Ebro.
And in foreign parts, the fash have managed to close a regular political venue in Manchester, see here - the Hare and hounds has been a regular haunt of SPGB Manchester branch for many years, but as a result of an Anarchist meeting being threatened by the fascists, the owners have discontinued holding political meetings. This is a bad turn, and it symbolises more that politics is seen as an irrelevence, rather than the strength of the Manchester fascists.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007


A surprise strike by prison officers says The Guardian.

This is thoroughly illegal - whereas prison officers (workers in uniform, natch) have in the past organised sick outs, this is direct industrial action (and will probably see their Association hammered, pass the hat, comrades). Things must be sharp for prison officers to start considering a strike.

Although they'd been balloted, it looks like they didn't give proper notice of the strike.

This looks like the first strike against the paycut by inflation the government is trying to inflict.

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Fuehrer principle

Over at Theo Blackwell's, he's giggling away at the spat in the Greens over abolishing the position of Principle Speaker - as a good Labour Leader Wannabe he obvious backs the move for the Greens to get themselves a leader, with glee and gusto. I think its a sad state of affairs when a leader is seen as a necessity of a political party - there was a time when there was a widespread movement to strip leaders of powers and instill collegiate decision making.

I heard Caroline Lucas and Derek Wall tearing lumps out of each other over this issue on the radio - it strikes me that some prominent members of the Green Party may well have ambitions in the leadership direction. The simple question is, is the leadership principle compoatable with democratic organisation. The short answer is "No!".

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Luke the Nuke rides again.

Cold warriors never die, they just hibernate, and wait for the moment to begin their deluded blood thirsty cries of antagonism, opposition and rearmament.

Luke the Nuke is back

Well, it seems that the Russian stakes are rising:

According to the BBC :
Two new RAF Typhoon jets shadowed a Russian bomber heading for Britain, the Ministry of Defence has said.
The jets were scrambled on Friday 17 August to identify the Russian aircraft, which turned back before it reached UK skies.


The old firm say

Last Thursday a Russian mini-submarine descended to the seabed two-and-a-half miles under the North Pole. But this was not just a scientific expedition and achievement. The main aim was to plant a Russia flag there. In other words, to claim the sovereignty of the Russian State over the area.

Other recent stories include the Czechs discovering that their pipeline to Norway is actually pumping them Russian oil (so they are totally dependent on Russia), and of course the recent spate of murder campaigns by Russia in cutting off oil during the middle fo winters.

Cold warriors are wetting themselves about a return to the good old days, and the continuing justification it gives to massive military budgets. Of course, the fact taht NATO has continued to harrass and encircle Russia - the clear intent is to have Western military domination over former Rsussian spheres of influence.

What with the recent Radio 4 series about China's military build up: Shadow of the Dragon it does seem that the so-called peace dividend is coming to an end - that is, if we listen to, and let the cold war dingbat hawks get their way. Now is the time to start talking serious disarmament in order to put a stop to a nasty cycle - after all, if the stock market correction continues, we'll all be hearing how the Great Depression led to WWII...

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Trial of Danton

Last night I was watching Danton starring a weirdly young looking Gerad Depardieu. I was struck by its portrayal of a perverted judicial process being used to political ends - the resigned Danton, author of the machine that was to destroy him railing until he was hoarse, desperate for the people to rally to him against the terror of the committee of public safety and the scheming Robespierre.

The French revolution substituted judicial relations for political (and therefore personal) relations - the film shows the strain on the former friends as the decision to go through with the trial comes before them.

Robespierre observes that their processes are not justice, but necessity - he persuades the reluctant committee of public safety that they have no choice but to go on with a trial in which they are damned if they do and if they don't. The iron weight of procedure is deployed with a deft and controlling hand, and ignored when it goes against them (when they can't find enough men to pack the Jury, they pick a smaller jury).

In the film, Danton's fall is produced by his expectation of sympathy, as against the rules of the rulers.

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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Kautsky lives

Kautsky's materialist work on Foundations of christianisty is now back in dead-tree format. Well worth a read at a reasonable price - I think some of the scholarship is dated, but it's a worthwile romp at Christianity.

Hat tip Ken Macleod.

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