Murdoch should go. But not alone.

BREAKING: Rupert Murdoch admits that he regrets hiring David Cameron as Prime Minister.

This recent tweet summed up the News International revelations so far. The role of Murdoch as kingmaker goes back decades. Make that queenmaker too, after Thatcher. There is evidence that Murdoch was effectively running   a private intelligence service even to the extent of actually having a “black ops” section.

The extent of the collusion between media and police and politicians is alarming. Moreso for its apparent everyday-ness. Transparency is clearly strictly for us bottom-feeders! You’d think they all belonged to their own secret society or something…

The scale of elite corruption being uncovered means there will be heads on plates – and not just Rebekah Brooks’.

But we’re not just talking about a few hacked phones. We’re talking about the sort of collusion that led to a war costing over a million lives. We’re talking about the easy relationships between the powerful that led to de-regulation and a banking fiasco bar none, which has cost Britain billions and maybe a million lost jobs this year – and even to the point of sacrificing economies of countries while bankers still get their millions in bonuses.

This must not continue.  A sea change is needed in British politics and in international politics, of which we are a key part. But the people who may lead us there seem few and far between. So who’s going to do it?


Welcome home! John Lynes, deported by Israel

john lynes

Excellent news that John is back  safe!

I spoke to his brother earlier today and he was put on a plane late last night and arrived back about midnight. He’s  in good health and spent the night in Golders Green. He’s returning home today to St Leonard’s.

Of course, John wasn’t planning on being home so soon! John’s intention was to travel to the West Bank Palestinian area to a camp near Bethlehem – to where he was invited to by Palestinian friends. This was part of an international movement with hundreds of people travelling to visit similar areas. John has been to Hebron many times with the Christian Peacemaker Teams.

But just by informing the Israeli authorities of  his true intentions was enough to get him and others detained and deported. Routinely people have to lie just to get through to visit Palestinian friends or to work with them.

John will also be dismayed to hear, too, that just today Israel has a new law forbidding its citizens from supporting any boycott against the state. This is a further attack on civil rights there especially for those, who like John, want to see Israel make progress in relations with Palestinians.

But to John, welcome back!

Retired Hull lecturer’s arrest in Israel

John Lynes, a retired lecturer from the University of Lincoln’s School of architecture in Hull and a longterm activist on Palestinian issues, has been held  since Friday and it is unclear when his release by Israel can be expected.

It is believed he and others are being held in a detention center near Tel Aviv.

Mr Lynes, aged 83, was detained, handcuffed and shackled, by Israeli authorities as part of a group of 12 Britons arrested after landing at Ben Gurion Airport on Friday. They were taking part with hundreds of other international campaigners determined to highlight the conditions suffered by Palestinians under occupation by the Israeli military.

In a statement before his departure, John Lynes, a Quaker of 50 years, said: “I have chosen this step without bitterness or antagonism. I wish for the Israelis what I wish for my own children: a life free from fear and hatred.”

“On Friday 8th July hundreds of people from all over the world, who feel like me, will be flying into Ben Gurion airport, with written invitations to visit a Bethlehem refugee camp in the West Bank. Normally the Israeli authorities would deport us, unless we go through the tiresome ritual of persuading them that we are innocent pilgrims or tourists. This time we are going to tell the truth. And we will refuse to be deported.”

Martin Deane, of Hull and East Riding Green Party comments, “I know both John Lynes and Pippa Bartolotti. They are people of the utmost credibility and commitment. They have broken no laws and want to visit with Palestinian friends who have invited them.

“The Israeli authorities are deliberately acting in a heavy handed manner to stop this demonstration of international solidarity.”

Arrested in the same group as Ms Pippa Bartolotti, the Deputy Leader of the Wales Green Party, it is likely that John Lynes and the group will be deported over the next few days.
Martin Deane
Chair, Hull and East Riding Green Party

  • John Lynes, 83, is a retired lecturer of the University of Lincoln’s School of architecture in Hull, Quaker and a member of JFJFP, Jews for Justice for Palestinians, and CPT, the Christian Peacemaker Teams, APJP, Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine, Christian CND, World Development Movement and the UCU, University and College Union. (Click on Support UK citizens’ right to visit Palestine).

John Lynes, video talk, on Palestine

CPT – Palestine, on Facebook!/pages/Christian-Peacemaker-Teams-Palestine/119528801443578

The “Single Issue” Party

A frightening number of left-leaning progressives dismiss the Green Party as a single issue party. By this, of course, they mean the environment – surely one of the most complex “single issues” ever!

The left is also known for being highly ideological and to split frequently on ideological lines. (It’s easier on the right; when ideology hinges on market advantage and material profit, life is much simpler). But the main leftist division, that of workers and bosses, leaves important things out of the equation such as the exploitation of the Earth (which we call “resources”) and the exploitation of labour abroad, which is often not given due weight and seen as another resource.

Hence the importance of internationalism, but where better to start than to adopt a global perspective in the first place?

Many leftists remain unaware of Marx’s writings on capitalist agriculture and soil ecology or on the changing human relationship with nature. Were he writing today I have no doubt he would be writing about species, oceans, air, rivers and forests under human-capitalist assault; let alone the human species itself with the capital-driven 16 million who die a year in a world of plenty. Just from greed.

The three major parties have all well and truly sold out to international capital and are determined to make our education, forests, pensions and health, its victims. Maybe the left should look more closely at Britain’s fourth biggest party.

In a way, we are all a single issue party. It’s called Life. It means living and allowing to live; it means looking after the balance which once we inherited and soon we will pass on. Or neglect it at our peril.