If you heard that Drummer Lee Rigby was attacked with a machete, and also beheaded, then you heard wrong. If you had an outraged and emotional reaction to that news then that’s understandable, I’m sure we all did to varying extents.
However, to some extent, you were made to feel like that by the either deliberate, or sloppy, reporting from the mainstream media who originated those ideas… It will have echoed memories of videoed beheadings, designed to be barbaric. Language such as machete and beheading is inflammatory, especially to do with a murder in broad daylight.
A soldier is still dead of course, and dead from incised wounds, by cutting with the weapons identified as knife and a meat cleaver. And yet by using those words, and being wrong, was there an aim by the media to be as inflammatory as possible…? Another attack, earlier in the month, was also headlined as by machete,…the killing of a 75 year old Muslim man in Small Heath. He was stabbed 4 times in the back in a seeming random racial slaying. Again it wasn’t a machete but some type of long knife. A Muslim man dead.
This may seem like nit-picking but hang in there. Details are important. At trial they can mean innocence or guilt. An untruth, like ‘beheading’, can travel the length of the land, whereas the true extent of MI5 involvement with the Woolwich killers and their families, while running the risk of people’s eyes glazing over, may actually go a long way to explaining more fully the motivation behind what happened.
Is MI5 foiling terror plots of its own hatching?
British intelligence services facilitating activities of UK Islamist extremists
What we know (includes killer’s statement)
Often forgotten over Iraq is the death toll of sanctions. This is estimated at between 1 and 2 million over the 13 years from 1990 to 2013. By 2000, sanctions were killing 5000 infants a month (children under 5)… Two top UN men resigned, calling it genocide… Sanctions were kept in place, indeed tightened, chiefly by the US and UK. When we weren’t killing the children we were killing their parents or grandparents… Deliberate policy.
The debacle in Brighton and Hove continues over some proposed pay cuts to CityClean staff.
A wildcat strike yesterday saw Caroline Lucas MP firmly take sides and was on the picket line with staff. Here she is addressing them.
I‘m unsure how official these pay proposals are at this stage. I understand it was given to council officers to work out the detail and most of it seems to be pretty good and beneficial to workers, but for some staff, the GMB has worked out it will mean cuts from £5 to £95 a week, hence the dispute.
The GMB (who donate £2m to Labour) have reacted very quickly as whatever proposals are decided come in in September. Nevertheless, it remains party policy to reject cuts and I hope the B&H Green Group find a way to do the right thing.
In Hull, it’s not just pay cuts – it’s huge job losses we’ve had to weather. We had the LibDems slash 1400 jobs with no wildcat strike – though they did lose the next election… We’ve now had Labour slash 600 jobs – and no strike day – though there is now a new LRC, Labour Representation Committee. This is a shot over the bows to Labour to come down firmly on the side of the poeple and reject austerity and cuts. As Greens already do.
Greens in Brighton & Hove have worked really hard to avoid major cuts, refused the government bribe, even raising money to do it (through tax). Greens are essentially for people, for services and for taxing major wealth (including what’s hidden abroad).
But like councils everywhere, the minority Greens there are in the invidious position of having to implement government diktats. They’ve worked extremely hard with major and numerous budget consultations to safeguard as much as possible.
However, as the link shows, the local party has had to act as a check over the recent leak of pay proposals. As far as I know these aren’t approved policies (many of the terms are beneficial to workers) so the Green Group would have debated these anyway.
Unfortunately their website is out-of-date and doesn’t cover this major issue and one shouldn’t really judge things by a Twitter feed!
The B&H Green Party recently voted for the Green Group to change direction on this issue. I hope B&H Greens can rescue this situation.
Stephen Hawking boycotts Israel
Stephen Hawking has decided to boycott Israel in agreement with the pro-Palestinian academic boycott. The two articles (1) (2) both say Hawking decided to back the boycott this time, despite previous visits, and despite Cambridge probably trying to dig themselves out of a hole! I vaguely remember emailing Prof. Hawking a few years ago on the same subject. It’s kind of him to say Israel’s policy would “likely lead to disaster” but then, if one goes, there is some duty to be kind to one’s host. And that’s partly the problem… The issue is not how angry some Israelis may get at some scientist – but the next policy that finds ways to dispossess Palestinians of the remaining 12% of their land… or the next child, woman, man or journalist shot down by a sniper on the Wall… the next death at a checkpoint… the next Israeli military incursion. That’s why the Green Party wants to see a fair solution with fair territories for each people. This includes the evacuation of Israeli settlements and the dismantling of the Apartheid Wall. It’s not rocket science.
Lord Lawson: Let’s leave the EU.
Lawson: It will be good for the economy and create jobs.
Radio: Really? Where?
Lawson: In the financial sector – a very important one.
Radio: Didn’t the banks go bust in 2008? Didn’t we pay about a trillion quid to bail them out?
Lawson: … Europe is full of bureaucracy, taxes and policies that mean it’s bad for business.
Radio: Ah, you don’t mean the Robin Hood tax, do you? The one that 11 EU states, like France and Germany, have signed up to, to ensure the banks give something back?
Lawson: Leaving Europe will mean we can create more jobs.
Radio: In the financial sector?
Lord Lawson, Thatcher’s chancellor back in the day, is doing the banks’ bidding today. The jobs he refers too aren’t particularly real. Rather he’s trying to strengthen the argument for leaving the EU – because the EU ios going to bring in a Robin Hood Tax – a fractional tax on banking transactions. The banks, recipients of about £1 trillion in the UK alone, couldn’t possibly pay a 0.05% tax… So let’s keep them out of Europe and safeguard the ‘jobs’.
Craig Murray, former ambassador, is less polite. –