Thursday, August 29, 2013

Free Socialist Reviews 1 - 5 September

Socialist Reviews free to Socialists from 1 - 5 September for Kindle, Ipad and PC (There is a free PC viewer for Kindle books)

Click here

Insane options in Syria

War is insane at the best of times. However the war options floated by the BBC for Syria beggar belief.

One is to "bomb the chemical weapon factories." Assuming the intelligence is accurate and in Iraq you will remember the weapons of mass destruction did not even exist so intelligence is not a strong point, what happens when you bomb a chemical weapon factory?

Could it for example release masses of deadly gases into the atmosphere? And that would help the people of Syria would it? Or would they be collateral damage as the Iraqi civilians and the Afghan civilians have been?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Blair baying for blood in Syria

Tony Blair has jumped into the Syrian conflict with both boots. Blair is remembered as the man who redefined the sixties term "running dog of imperialism" as 'Bush's poodle' because of his slavish obedience to American imperialism.

Britain and America have massive stockpiles of chemical weapons. They are now on their moral high horse over the alleged use of such weapons by the hated Assad regime.

And their solution?

Well what do the British taxpayers want more than yet another bloody war when we cannot feed our own poor?

What do the people of Syria need more than American carpet bombing? Some 'shock and awe'. You would think they had enough of that.

And what on earth makes Cameron and his canaille think they can run Syria when they are making such a mess of running the United Kingdom?

This is a planned imperialist war. Pure and simple.

In the Middle East he is called the mass murdering war criminal.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Return of the Means Test

Edinburgh City Council has decided to crack down on smokers and
drinkers. Anyone who smokes or drinks will lose benefit. They are the
first council to admit this openly but one wonders how many others are
taking similar decisions behind closed doors.

They are clearly the "undeserving poor" so this SNP/Labour Council
feels free to punish them. What next, I wonder. Will bankers who drink
not receive their bonuses? Will MPs who smoke have their expenses
withheld? Apparently not. Apparently it is only the poor who are

This is arguably more intrusive than the means test which precipitated
the hunger marches and it is just one more stick to beat the poor.
Setting smokers against non-smokers, drinkers against non-drinkers, it
is the age-old tactic of divide and rule. People who are struggling to
make ends meet are encouraged to demonise people who receive benefits
but have the temerity to drink and smoke. Some even watch TV and read
books. Horror!

People who are unemployed, disabled or retired deserve to be treated
with respect. Instead every opportunity is taken to humiliate them.
To take a small example, the Job Centre in Horsham expects people to
attend meetings of up to an hour and a half but there are no toilet
facilities for the general public. They do not even provide water -
presumably this is a precaution because they don't provide toilets. It
is tempting to say they are taking the piss.

Only the trade unions have any interest in helping the poor. The
political elite are otherwise engaged. We could do with a party of the
working class, open to smokers and drinkers!


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Academy for Homophobia

Homophobia, particularly name-calling and bullying, is an issue which all teachers are aware of. For example even OFSTED objected that name-calling is “commonplace” at the Hope Academy in St Helens and teachers need to be trained in how to deal with derogatory language appropriately.

Those were the findings of Ofsted inspectors who visited the multi-faith secondary school.
Inspectors who held meetings with 40 students from different age groups were told that homophobic language was the norm.

The problem with academies, it seems is not just a matter of rogue pupils mouthing off. The problem would seem to go right to the top.

An investigation by The Independent refers to a return of Section 28, Margaret Thatcher's disgusting attack on gay community which prevented "the promotion of homosexuality" which could include such things as treating gay people with respect.

The Grace Academy chain based in Coventry, Darlaston and Solihull, all of which opened after section 28’s repeal. Their policy, dated from last November, says ‘Objective discussion of homosexuality may take place in the classroom, including discussion of homophobic behaviour.  The Governing Body will not permit the promotion of homosexuality.’

Tasker Milward VC School in Pembrokeshire. Their policy dates from 2008 but says ‘Section 28 of the Local Government Action does not prevent teachers from addressing issues of homosexuality in the classroom in a neutral and unbiased manner, however, the LA shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material which actively promotes homosexuality.’

Northumberland Church of England Academy, which opened in 2009 and most recently reviewed their policy in November last year. The school is a Stonewall School Champion and staff spoke on faith schools and homophobia at this year’s Education for All conference. They say ‘The Northumberland Church of England Academy and the Governing Body will not permit the promotion of homosexuality.’

The same language as is used by the Kremlin to justify its witch-hunt against the gay community is being promoted by Gove's flagship academies. He can hardly deny all knowledge or responsibility for the disgraceful behaviour of academies.

And of course, let's not forget that academies do not have to employ qualified teachers so any Tom Dick or Harriet without any training in dealing with homophobia could be in charge of your children.

The website of the anti academies alliance is


Monday, August 19, 2013

Kremlin scapegoats gay community

Tilda Swinton  has appeared in a number of films, including Burn After Reading, The Beach, The Chronicles of Narnia, and was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performances in The Deep End and We Need to Talk About Kevin. She won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Michael Clayton in 2007.

She risked arrest waving a rainbow flag in front of the Kremlin in violation of Russia’s new homosexual propaganda bill. And she wants everyone who can to share it in solidarity.

In the Chronicles of Narnia, she played Jadis, the snow queen. Her willingness to defy the Kremlin is to be applauded when the Olympic Committee seems to be dragging its feet over a clear violation of human rights.

The targeting of the gay community by the Kremlin might be a way of diverting attention from the shortcomings of the regime. I wonder.


I sometimes lie awake at night wondering what I would do if I had insomnia.”

And sometimes I wake from a nitrate-lucid dream to find this:

I woke up but I didn’t yet open my eyes. My hands were still gripping the hilt of my sword from the dream. From experience I knew it would fade in my grasp and I would be holding nothing and all the beauty of the dream would fade into the grey of reality. The green forest, the sunshine, the women in improbable dresses and the knights in improbable armour would vanish and I would be back in Real Life and it would be time for work.

So I held fast to the hilt of the sword. And it didn’t fade and dwindle..

And thus began a strange adventure in the dreamscape of Arthurian legend.

It is just one of the stories in "The Mirror of Eternity"



Sunday, August 18, 2013

Guilt App

Guilt App "The rich think they can buy everything. They would even buy poverty if they thought they could get it on the cheap." was CP Snow's observation in "The Conscience of the Rich"

The guilt app is the thing you should buy for the man who has everything. It confirms his superiority to the rest of the human race. If you find the behaviour of the super-rich disgusting, you don't know the half of it!

It is just one of the stories in "The Mirror of Eternity"



Sunday, August 11, 2013

The great gas gala in Balcombe

If you want to help this protest the information is in this communique. One small thought. We have been plagued by water shortages in this country. Fracking will take thousands of gallons of water out of the system and pollute it beyond belief. And as for us, we will have higher water bills and of course the obligatory hosepipe ban. The hosepipe ban does not apply to those who can get the servants to do the watering for them. Francis Maude MP for example - fracking Tory extraordinaire.
Since 7am on Thursday (25th) the community in Balcombe, Sussex has been resisting attempts by fracking company Cuadrilla Resources to start drilling in their village. They need your help!
The camp now has a postal address (you want to send letters of support etc.): Balcombe Community Protection Camp, London Road, Balcobme, W.Sussex, RH17 6JH
All are warmly invited to join Balcombe Village in a clear demonstration of front-line protection against those that threaten us and our environment.
If you’re driving and have space, please contact to offer a lift!
Things to bring:
Essential – water, food and warm/waterproof clothes, sun protection.
Recommended –
 Picnics, cakes, water, tea-making facilities, warm/waterproof clothes, friends, banners, games, music, instruments, Knitting (yellow and black – gasfield free community colours!), blankets, chairs, tables, Gazebos, small tents, plastic cutlery/plates. You get the picture.
Things not to bring:
Alcohol, drugs, anything which could be construed as a weapon, glass etc.
Take Note!:
The Great Gas Gala! will be a clear demonstration of community protection against the threat of harm to our health and environment posed by the fracking industry. The industry is supported by the state and therefore there will almost certainly be a police presence. Know your rights and don’t be intimidated. The Gala will be an inclusive, friendly space. We won’t be bullied.
More info:
See you at the Gala, it’ll be a gas!


Friday, August 09, 2013

Apartheid in Switzerland

According to The Independent, "Switzerland's local authorities have introduced draconian restrictions which ban asylum-seekers from frequenting public places such as school playgrounds, swimming pools and libraries in a move angrily denounced by human rights groups as intolerable and racist. "

Such draconian measures have not been introduced against a racial minority since the days of the Yellow Star introduced by the Nazis to restrict the freedom of the Jews. Switzerland is famous for its cheese, Toblerone and the vast quantities of Nazi gold which ended up there after the Second World War.

In the UK we face a "dutch auction" over immigration with the political elite vying with each other to out-UKIP the racists. Apart from anything else, they are on a hiding to nothing. UKIP can always counter by sliding further into the gutter.

A party of the working class would cut across this nonsense and seek to unite the working class. No sign of the Labour leaders taking up that role any time soon. That is why the role of TUSC

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Fracking Tories

It is ironic that the scenes in Balcombe resemble on a small scale the miners' strike. It was the same Tories who closed the mines who have now discovered an energy shortage. After fracking has polluted a significant amount of water these wiseacres will probably notice a water shortage too.

I wonder if Cabinet Secretary Francis Maude will end up with a nice sinecure with Cuadrilla.

Monday, August 05, 2013

Iain Duncan Smith pimping for lap-dancing club

Iain Duncan Smith has been called many things. However he can now add "pimp" to his CV. The government has gone out of its way to humiliate the unemployed. It is harder and harder to claim Job-Seekers' Allowance and one of the requirements is that if you are unemployed you have to use their website to look for work. And among the work available? Lap dancing in a club which offers "topless to fully nude dances" according to the i newspaper this morning. And of course if you turn down a job you lose your benefit

I will not be applying myself. I wonder if IDS would be happy for his wife to work in a lapdancing club. Or perhaps he fancies his own chances.

If you think you have heard this story before you are right. The last time this sordid business came to light in 2010 all the politicians swore on their mothers' graves (even the ones whose mothers were still alive!) that it would never happen again. A fat lot of use they are.

 IDS attracted attention for his insistence that he should get a handout from the state to pay for his rather expensive £39 breakfasts. A scrounger and a pimp it would seem.

When Labour was elected in  1945 one of its first acts was to insist that the unemployed be treated with respect. The present canaille of politicians, Lab Lib and Con, could not care less. We deserve better.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

C of E vicar miles ahead of the Labour leaders

This is utterly ludicrous. According to the Daily Mirror, retired C of E vicar Paul Nicolson is prepared to go to jail for non-payment of council tax in protest over the bedroom tax.

'He will tell the court he will not pay a penny of this money – until Haringey Council restores 100% council tax benefit for benefit claimants and the Government stops the Benefit Cap he believes is destroying his community.
'“Civil disobedience is morally defensible,” he will say, “when the laws being highlighted are morally indefensible.”
'The father of five, who has nine grandchildren, says he is prepared to go to jail for his beliefs.

The link is here

Are the political elite listening? Are the union leaders listening? An 82-year-old is putting the lot of you to shame. This is in marked contrast to the Bishop of London whose eulogy to Thatcher even had staunch Tories reaching for the sick bag. (There are apocryphal rumours that he wears a bracelet saying "What would Judas do?")

It is a sign of the times that the Churches are having to step in where the politicians fear to tread. There is no party of the working class. Nobody stands up for the poor so there are even elements of the Churches who are in advance of the politicians. It is not good enough. The people who are prepared to stand up and be counted in fighting the bedroom tax, the people in TUSC who are prepared to stand against the Labour Traitors in elections are to be applauded.

Friday, August 02, 2013

May tries to outdo UKIP racism

Trumping the race card 

Home office officials have been harassing anyone who 'looks foreign' at railway stations in a high profile crackdown on illegal immigration. In a conscious sop to the far right they have organised 'immigrants go home' vans.

Liberal Democrats were caught on the hop as nobody thought to tell them about this dramatic lurch to the right (or lurch into the gutter) of government policy. 
Could it be that May wants to attract the criticism of Labour and Liberals so she can label them as 'soft on immigration' and attract the applause of Tory backwoods men?
She has a long way to go to prove she can be a disgusting racist to rival UKIP so we can anticipate more vicious attacks on ethnic minorities from the supposed representative of law and order

Click here to try Socialist Reviews before you buy