Thursday, June 25, 2009

Learn the buggers...

On a coach going through Manchester I saw a blue plaque, once. It told the world that it marked the site of St. peter's field, the scene of the infamous (to anyon immersed in labopur movement culture) Peterloo. My heart skipped a beat, there, in what is now basically downtown Manchester was the place where 15 people were killed and hundreds injured. I'd read about it so often, thanks to the poetry of the radicals laureate Percy Bysshe Shelley.

One. Small. Massacre - nearly two hundred years ago, now. Still remembered, still an animating force. It spurred on the chartists, it burned in the hearts of the labourites and the socialists. Castlreagh and King George didn't fall that day, nor shortly afterwards, but it created a cultural bond for the workers' movement that has since gone on t hound the likes of Castlereagh et al.

In Iran the dead will not be forgotten - the Ayatollahs will not fall this week, nor, I suspect, even this year, but the memory of this month will remain, and may even be remembered in Persian verse. It might read something like this:

'And these words shall then become
Like Oppression's thundered doom
Ringing through each heart and brain,
Heard again - again - again -'

'Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number -
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you -
Ye are many - they are few.'

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Because they're worth it

The British Chiropractic Association v. Simon Singh (a relatively well reported news event) takes a new turn, the BCA have now released a list of citation showing evidence for chiropractic treatment.

This list is torn to shreds here, here, and particularly here.

To add my small contribution, as a librarian I looked to see what I could find of the journals cited - Journal of Manipulative Physiological therapy (the most frequently cited) is not held by any major research university in the UK (so far as I can see). Spine (another cited) appears to be published by chiropractors, and the reputable sources, as other bloggers have noted, appear to be irrelevant.

Chaff is the only way to describe that list. The BCA have exposed themselves, pass the word, let the world know, and if your friend is contemplating chiropractic treatment, just remember - the BCA had the chance to put up solid evidence, and demonstrably failed to do so.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sarky again...

M'Lord Rogers is an interesting man, with interesting things to say:
"I think that anyone who uses his power due to birth [like Prince Charles', whose views on the Chelsea Barracks redevelopment saw it stopped] breaks a constitutional understanding - it's not a law, it's a constitutional understanding - and a trust we have within our society about the role of people who have received power in that manner."
Again, we find replicated the debates of yesteryear, a true bourgeois finding arbitrary authority of a Royal getting in his way.

To say I'm no fan of M'Lord Rogers is an understatement. His best achievement is his remuneration package, which, according to Private Eye is calculated on a post tax basis (i.e. his gross pay increases when direct taxation goes up to protect his net/take home pay). he's an inspiration to us workers on how to avoid the burden of taxation falling upon us.

Nonetheless, he is but one bourgeois, but we still see the old class struggle, and its root causes played out in this merry little drama. Prince Charles did stop a development, when so many other individuals who object to schemes are overridden or ignored by the planning process. Doubtless, he had a quiet word with the Qatari royal family, but it's enough to show aristocratic power still remains.

Should we celebrate M'Lord Rogers' stance? No, we just laugh that the constitutional lash up once again shows creaking signs, and hope that the end to both rulers and robbers is at hand.

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