Friday, January 30, 2015

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Snobbery and Hypocrisy

According to the BBC
"Scores of England's top private secondaries expect to be at the bottom of the school league tables, following confusion over International GCSEs.

"School leaders dismissed this year's tables as a "nonsense", with many schools "caught unawares" by a shift in which qualifications are recognised."

Well welcome to our world! You can be branded failures because the government has moved the goalposts. This happens to thousands of working class pupils all over the country on a regular basis. And did the private schools kick up a fuss about it? No. Did they protest? No. Did they say anything at all when the "nonsense" league tables made them look good. No.

It seems the main item on their curriculum is hypocrisy.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Beheadings and torture make Blair "uncomfortable."

Tony Blair eulogised the autocratic dictator King Abdullah, one of the world's richest monarchs. Although he made the Taliban look like liberals and he had a taste for beheading to rival that of ISIS, he supported the ambitions of Bush and his poodle Blair in the Iraq war.

Blair brought euphemism to a new high when interviewed by BBC Television News.He said that the beheadings and torture in Saudi Arabia were "uncomfortable." I imagine they were, but not for Teflon Tony of course.

Building snowmen or "driving a car without a penis" are criminal offences in Saudi Arabia as is any criticism of the regime. Raif Badawi has been the centre of a worldwide campaign after being sentenced to a thousand lashes for speaking his mind. "Uncomfortable," Mr Blair?
The beheadings take place in public and some victims are provided with painkillers beforehand. A woman accused of killing her daughter was beheaded without the aid of painkillers so she was able to protest her innocence to the end. It took three attempts to behead her. "Uncomfortable," Mr Blair?

Saudi Arabia enjoys the support of American Imperialism and of the British government. The same people who hypocritically denounce the barbarity of ISIS turn a blind eye to the barbarity of the "progressive" monarch Abdullah.

Abdullah and his ilk belong in the trash can of history. Workers who resist the regime deserve all the support the working class movement in the UK can give them. The very fact that the likes of Blair, to give him his full title, mass-murdering war criminal Tony Blair, support the Saudi dictatorship should be enough to convince socialists that there is nothing progressive about them.


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Fracking Tories dirtying the waters

In 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimated that 70 to 140 billion gallons of water are used to fracture 35,000 wells in the United States each year. Have you considered the possible consequences for the water supply in West Sussex of allowing Fracking companies to use vast quantities of water when we have already experienced hosepipe bans because of a water shortages?

I have written to my MP for what it is worth. He tends either to fail to respond to letters or to complain about his workload rather than answering the question. However he cannot claim nobody has written to him about this.

With an election in the offing, pressure on MPs might slow down the fracking oil companies. However, a more permanent solution would be to take them into public ownership under workers' management to ensure that environmental concerns are not ignored.

The picture shows fracking brine. A pint or two might change Bottomley's mind :)

Islamophobia is the anti-terrorism of an idiot

Pickles letter to Muslims is a finely crafted insult. Consider the following.

"Your parents were perhaps married in church. You know a church when you see one. If asked you could probably recite The Lord's Prayer with 60 percent accuracy. This makes you a Christian. Mass-murdering war criminal Tony Blair claims to be a Christian. So in a way it is all your fault. Be more British!"

The demonisation of the Muslim community is part of the ongoing campaign by the Nasty Party to show they can out-UKIP the kippers.

Islamophobia is the anti-terrorism of an idiot.

If you want to "do something" about terrorism, do something about poverty. Or do something about slurs like Pickles'. To attack a whole community while claiming loudly that you do not want to do so is what we call "a lie" - Pickles could look it up in a dictionary.

People who want a real change will be voting Socialist. The rest are scarcely worth a cross on the ballot paper.


Monday, January 19, 2015

Dentists breaking the rules.

I have often wondered about the anatomical knowledge of dentists who examine your teeth and then charge you an arm and a leg.

Now the i newspaper has drawn attention to a problem I am familiar with. Dentists refuse NHS treatment and then ask patients to pay private charges. A survey by "Which" apparently found that 51 percent of people who visited a dentist in the last six monghts did not see a price list. One in five patents said they were not clear about the exact charges. This makes it impossible to compare private and NHS charges.

Patients requiring treatment should never be asked to pay for it privately. Seeking NHS treatment at a Worthing dentist is like telling someone you have leprosy and would like to come to tea!

Still best not to p*ss off the person with the drill in their hand perhaps!


Today marks MLK day as people all over the world remember Martin Luther King. Socialists also remember Rosa Parks and the thousands of working class people who made the civil rights movement possible.
Responding to the victimisation of Rosa Parks for sitting down on a bus (when she was supposed to stand so a white passenger could sit down) 90 percent of  Montgomery's black citizens supported a boycott of the bus company. The Montgomery Bus Boycott is a model of solidarity.

The vicious assassination of Martin Luther King for speaking his mind in the land of the free was evidence of how far civil rights had to go in 1968

And the shooting of Michael Brown last year showed how far they still have to go.

American socialists "Socialist Alternative" commemorate MLK Day and discuss the way forward from here.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The nasty party in full spate

Paymaster General Francis Maude went on an anti-union rant which shocked his audience in Barnham, West Sussex for Any Questions on 16 January. The Conservatives got 36.1 percent of the vote in the election and Frances Maude himself only got 38 percent of the eligible vote in Horsham. However they intend to impose a quota of 40% on trade union ballots.

Maude raged about trade unions “endangering public safety” and “inconveniencing millions”. This is so even when unions strike over safety issues – at least in the doublespeak of the Conservatives. Even Liberal Norman Baker had to demur at Maude's union-bashing pose. He reasserted the right to strike, something Maude is not so keen on.
Sadiq Khan observed, “the nasty party is back.” They have never been away, Sadiq! 

He did however categorically reject the Tories' proposals and defended the role played by trade unions in bringing about health and safety laws, equal pay, maternity rights, part time workers having rights and improvements in pensions. This is what we wanted to hear but we will have to see if a Labour government takes the same attitude to the trade unions.
Maude and Dia Chakravarty from the Taxpayers Alliance argued that the cuts were 'eliminating waste' which is fine until you fall ill and need a hospital bed or you lose your job and need help.
Conservatives seldom talk about class war, they are too busy fighting it. It was instructive to hear the nasty party in full spate. Workers need a party to fight their corner as fiercely as Maude and his ilk fight for the bosses.


Socialist Alternative mark Martin Luther King Day

MLK Day Rally and March:
Fight racism, police brutality, and poverty!
This Monday, January 19th
Garfield High School
23rd Ave and Jefferson St
9:30 am: Workshops
10:00 am: Rally
12 noon: March

Mike Brown, Eric Garner and the countless other victims of racist police violence did not die in vain. Beginning in Ferguson, black youth, joined by thousands of others, have built a movement to honor their memory under the banner #BlackLivesMatter which has become the most significant challenge to racism in the US in 40 years. We must continue building this movement through massive protests, student walkouts and strikes that disrupt "business as usual" and challenge racism and poverty.

Alongside police murders, Black communities across the country face higher unemployment, worse schools, less good jobs and decreased services compared to white counterparts. This is built into the overall system of exploitation and oppression rooted in American capitalism. To build a sustained mass movement that most effectively asserts that "Black Lives Matter," we need to struggle for economic justice, a $15 an hour minimum wage, fully-funded quality schools and a jobs program to put the unemployed to work.

March with Kshama Sawant and Socialist Alternative to demand an end to racism, police brutality and poverty!
*Socialist Alternative will be hosting a workshop at 9:30 am entitled "Fight for your Right to Affordable Housing Now! How to build a movement to stop rent hikes, win rent control, and massively expand affordable housing in Seattle." with speakers Ubah Warsame (East African Community Activist and Housing Justice Advocate) and Carlos Hernandez (Fast Food Worker Activist and Organizer).  The workshop will discuss the lessons from the victory in defeating "Stepping Forward" and how we can spread the grassroots movement to win affordable housing and rent control.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Miranda Revolution

If the workers' parties abandon their historic mission, it will be taken up by others. #socialistreviews

Monday, January 12, 2015

by Percy Bysshe Shelley

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter'd visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamp'd on these lifeless things,
The hand that mock'd them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains: round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

 And the sculptor's art shows what a heartless brute Ozymandias was and the inscription makes a boast comparable to Hitler's "Thousand Year Reich". You can no doubt think of other examples of arrogant rulers of today and yesterday. Shelley points out that the high and mighty of today can be brought to nothing tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Safe in Jeremy Hunt's hands

Hunt has dealt with the crisis caused by five hospitals declaring a "major incidents only" shutdown of A and E. He has redefined the word "crisis" and instructed us plebs to "Accentuate the positive. Eliminate the negative. Latch on to the affirmative and don't mess with Mr Miliband".

This is the new politics. Cameron redefined the deficit so he could claim the Tories have halved it. The US went one better. They redefined torture so they could claim they did not torture anybody. Surely the next thing will be for Cameron to redefine all problems out of existence. And George Orwell predicted this in 1984. "Newspeak" redefined everything so that War was peace, ignorance is strength and freedom was slavery.

And speaking of ignorance, the Faragists have decided that we can solve the shortage of doctors by deporting the foreign ones because they "can't talk English proper like what we does."

Cameron claimed on the Andrew Marr show that local authorities should make "efficiency savings" or "cuts" as we might say in oldspeak, year on year. There can be no let up. He did not suggest efficiency savings for MPs expenses, you will be relieved to hear.

One of the many problems in the NHS over and above the cuts is the government setting daft targets and managers finding ingenious ways around them. Insist every patient should be "seen" within 18 weeks and sure enough they will be "seen" - and then have a six month wait before the hospital will actually do anything!

And as for Miliband? Well he is speaking through his Balls as ever, "nice Labour cuts" are beginning to look a lot like the nasty Tory cuts. Never mind the Westminster canaille setting targets for us, we should be setting targets for them.
We need a party of the working class.


Saturday, January 03, 2015

Politician lies - shock?

Politician lies... not exactly news is it?

How do you know Cameron is lying? His lips are moving.

Unbelievably, the Spectator drew attention to it: "It’s a relatively small deception ... but this poster makes a more important, and more depressing point: the Tory leadership is prepared to use dishonesty as a weapon in this election campaign.”

Most people understood the word “deficit” to mean the amount, in cash, between what is spent, and what is raised.
But the Tories claim that the deficit had been halved was based on saying the word “deficit” has another meaning: the ratio of deficit to GDP.

So what he said was true. from a certain point of view!