Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Westminster Attack. Not Terrorist; Hate-ist

The person who drove his car on the pavement of bridge, killing two and injuring 12+, before fatally stabbing a police officer is officially a terrorist.

Terrorism is defined as "the use of violence against civilians by non-state actors in order to try to secure political gains". That "non-state actors" is important because otherwise many governments could be defined as terrorists, and that would never do.

In fact, terrorists do not really create terror in the general population, they only do that to the few unfortunate people who find themselves in the vicinity of their insane activities. The media do their best to pump up the fear, but only succeed in creating anxiety in their more suggestible readers.

What terrorists manage to do with great success, is to create hate. This is their real aim. Daesh want to create a real fighting war in Europe between "Muslims" and "Christians". Their murderous outrages create hate against the so-called terrorists themselves and this hatred becomes generalised so that some of the more suggestible people begin to hate Islam and Muslims.

Trump, Farage, the alt.right brigade and their followers are obligingly doing the work of Daesh, relaying and amplifying their hatred.

Let's call Daesh "hateists". It is a more accurate description, and will help to identify their aim, and help us to obstruct it.

See also:

13 things we can do to defend ourseives against hate-ists
Social Combat Against hate-ists

Moderate Muslim leaders need to proclaim a Fatwa against Hate-ists

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Poem for Sgt Alexander Blackman

I wrote this 12 years ago. Still applies
Jobbing Squaddie
It's what we're trained to do, it's just our job.
If jumped up Hitlers want to get tooled out
with nukes and gas and germs that they can lob
at us, we'll bring them down, no fuckin doubt.

It wasn't so much warfare  as a rout.
The worst our unit faced was sand and heat.
Talk about open doors - if we got out
to piss, they'd stick their hands up. They were beat.

It wasn't really such a major feat,
it's just our job, it's what we're trained to do.
First they were friendly, nice as you could meet.
We all relaxed. Nobody had a clue

how it would all go sour. Nobody knew
exactly when   we overstayed our leave,
but when a roadside bomb took out our crew
I got the first faint sus we'd been deceived.

We didn't mind the looters and the thieves
we're trained for that, it's all part of the job.
The thing that always makes my stomach heave
is facing down a screaming angry mob.

Stones hurt, bottles can burn, but when they gob
and spit at you, that is  the thing...
we sweated blood   to save the fuckwit yob
who's screaming hate at's that what stings.

We chased and caught them. Some one  brings
them back inside the compound walls.
I heard our sarge say "Make them sing".
We laid in with our toecaps on their balls.

We got court martialled. Told us all to crawl.
Told us what not to say, gave us a gag.
They called it torture. I say we lost our rag.
We'll pay with years for one five minute  brawl.

What stupid bastard sent us to this war?
How is this supposed to help the British nation?
They lied to us - we're here for Bush's oil.
No paddle in a shit-creek situation.

Two years have passed since liberation.
There were no WMD. That lying slob
Blair, he fouled up. This is an occupation.
He should jailed, not us. It's not our job.

(c) Richard Lawson 28.5.05

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Alas, poor (performance from) Corbyn

Alas, Poor Labour. Bye-election results: Copeland gone. That's Corbyn's fault. Nuttall kicked in the nuts. That's nothing to do with Corbyn.

It is true that the media does not give Corbyn a fair hearing. But it is also true that he is a poor performer on the media. His delivery lacks sparkle, to say the least. His media strategy is to deliver a list (the longer the better) of problems that need fixing. He fails to give a direct answer when asked if he actually wants to be PM - to the point that we may wonder if he believes in the Parliamentary road to socialism at all.
Then there is his lack of clarity on PR, and his rejection of the Progressive Alliance.

What does all this mean for the Green Party? We need to learn from Labour's failure to communicate. We have to move beyond just listing Tory failings, beyond listing the nice, apple-pie things that we would do, and we need to be setting out, carefully, methodically and progressively, the precise way that we would improve things.

The number one question that Corbyn and Greens face is this: "How would you pay for your programme? Borrow?" We need to answer this question step-wise. 

First step is to establish the principle of *investment*: putting money into the system today, in the reasonable expectation of getting more money back in the future as a result. We can talk about the jobs-rich nature of the Green economy, showing how a full employment economy is a more equal economy, which means a more healthy society. 

These points needs to be iterated and reiterated until the interviewer says "We know you want to invest in good work, we understand that, but how are you going to get the money to actually do it?" 

We then move towards talking about closing tax havens and tax loopholes.

And so on. We present a coherent, systematic case showing how we make the transition from the present mess to an equitable, sustainable economy and society.

Leave Labour to its wallowing. Our task is to get on with constructing and communicating the plan for healing our human and natural world.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Is Trump a Fascist?

"Is Trump a Fascist?" That's the question.

It's a diagnosis. Making a diagnosis is something that I'm used to. It`s an inductive process, a matter of pattern recognition, and if someone doesn't want to believe that Trump is a fascist, then they are not going to be persuaded. But for the rest of us, it is a matter to be looked into.

Dr Laurence Britt has studied a number of fascist regimes, and here is his list of symptoms, published in 2003.

I have marked the characteristics identified by Britt up as follows:
# = Trump ticks the box.
? = I'm not sure (if you have more knowledge than I, make a comment)
Blank = nothing so far

 1. Nationalism - flags everywhere. America First #
 2. Disdain for Human Rights. Torture OK #
 3. Enemy or scapegoat(s) #
 4. Militarisation # - desire for parades
 5. Sexism, male dominant #
 6. Media control #?
 7. Obsession with National Security - (Terrorism is the threat)  #
 8. Use of religion #
 9. Corporate power #
 10. Labour suppressed ?
 11. Disdain for intellectuals and arts ?#
 12. Obsession with Crime and punishment; police state ?
 13. Cronyism and corruption #
 14. Fraudulent elections

So Trump scores 10/14 already.
Conclusion: he is well on his way to being the first Fascist President of the USA.
This is bad news, but the good news is that whereas in the 1930s they didnt know about WWII, now in 2017 we do, so we will all be out to stop Trump in his tracks.

Plucky John Bercow has made a start, we must support him.
Demonstrations outside Esso stations, and boycott of Esso, will help.
Violence will not help (see 3 and 7 above).
Persuade corporations that they should not advertise in

What else can we do?