"There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in"
(Leonard Cohen)
"Ignore all proffered rules and create your own, suitable for what you want to say"
(Michael Moorcock)
"Look for your own. Do not do what someone else could do as well as you. Do not say, do not write what someone else could say, could write as well as you. Care for nothing in yourself but what you feel exists nowhere else. And, out of yourself create, impatiently or patiently, the most irreplaceable of beings."
(Andre Gide)
"I want my place, my own place, my true place in the world, my proper sphere, my thing which Nature intended me to perform when she fashioned me thus awry, and which I have vainly sought all my life-time."
(Nathaniel Hawthorne)
“A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.”
(Franz Kafka)
"All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated"
(John Donne)
“Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”
(Robert J. Hanlon)
"Life is beautiful, but the world is hell"
(Harold Pinter)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


West's Propaganda War

Right Sector: explanation for Russian separatism
EXTRACT: What has essentially taken place in the Ukraine is a western power grab - with both the EU/Nato and the US attempting to expand their sphere of influence considerably to the east. The sudden and forced removal of the elected president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, represented a direct threat to Moscow’s interests - which were already threatened by the growing western presence in the former Soviet republics to its south. Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Peter Hitchins - brother to the deceased socialist-cum-neocon, Christopher - argued that the “aggressor” in the current war was the EU, “backed by the USA”, as they “sought to bring Ukraine into its orbit” through “violence and illegality”, “an armed mob” and the “overthrow of an elected president” (July 20). Hitchens may be a reactionary British nationalist, but here he does have a point.
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Sunday, July 13, 2014


Balkanising the Web

Keep it uncensored
EXTRACT: Of course, there is a certain truth to this - the internet is essentially free and a form of ‘real-time’ communication, obviously representing a marvellous technological advance. A tool to use. Communists would be the very last people to shun or belittle new technology, especially when it comes to the means of communication: we embrace anything which facilitates a freer and greater circulation of ideas. Alex Callinicos (‘Stalinicos’) of the Socialist Workers Party may mutter about the “dark side” of the internet, but that was just the instinctive reaction of a bureaucratic control-freak when confronted by a seemingly unstoppable flow of dissent. His equivalents throughout history have made similar complaints, whether it was about the seditious Caxton printing press, trains, paperbacks, radios or (in the case of the North Korean dictatorship) photocopiers.

Having said that, what needs to be realised is that the internet is not an astral force that floats above our base and fallen world - gloriously disconnected from the global capitalist system or governments. It is not necessarily indestructible, let alone a magical technology that bypasses the need for ‘old-fashioned’ forms of political organisation. The same old problems of class society and the cash nexus remain. There are various agents that want to tame and subvert the internet’s emancipatory potential - even start closing the gates if it comes to the crunch.
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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Protected by the Establishment

You scratch my back
EXTRACT: Here is the crucial point, of course. Savile had friends in high places - lots of them (maybe Harris did too, albeit on a much smaller scale). He ruthlessly milked and exploited his seemingly endless connections at the top of society. Who invited our Jimmy round for Christmas dinner year after year? Margaret Thatcher. Unbelievably, when the arranged marriage between Charles Windsor and Diana Spencer inevitably hit the rocks, Savile was called in as an intermediary - a sort of informal marriage guidance counsellor. Unsurprisingly, not even Jim could fix that farce of a marriage. Not that this prevented our future king from also asking him to help keep Sarah Ferguson (then married to Prince Andrew) “out of trouble”.

Such behaviour is not so much a condemnation of Savile himself - he was clearly a sociopath - but rather of the institutions that lauded and protected him for so long. Charles, after all, led the tributes to Savile when he died. The obituaries were fulsome. The establishments and its agents (government ministers, senior police officials, top BBC managers, etc) had determinedly refused to see the obvious: that Savile was a sexual predator of the most grotesquely immoral kind. Nobody would investigate. Everybody was in denial. Jimmy Savile was the establishment’s dirty little secret for decades.
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Thursday, July 03, 2014


David Cameron and his nemesis
EXTRACTIn which case, what will happen in 2017, assuming the Tories are still in office? Ed Miliband has repeatedly asked Cameron - if you only get what suspiciously looks like European crumbs, or less, then how exactly are you going to vote in the referendum? Showing the confusion that is Cameron’s approach to Europe, Downing Street in recent days has hinted that Cameron is prepared to threaten EU leaders that he will recommend a ‘no’ vote in 2017 if Juncker gets elected or if they fail to embrace wide-ranging reforms. A No10 spokeswoman on June 23 Delphically stated that the national leaders of the European council “need to think about the fact” that if David Cameron is re-elected “clearly the decisions” taken by the EU in that period from now until the referendum “will affect British voters’ views of the EU” and is “likely to affect the way they vote in any such referendum”. 

But suddenly advocating a ‘no’ vote runs even greater dangers than his present ‘yes, but’ approach - the least of which will be White House disapproval. Hillary Clinton has made her views clear, telling the BBC on June 13 that “Europe needs Britain” and the UK “brings a perspective and an experience that is very important to Europe, especially post-economic crisis” - which you can more or less interpret as a call for a ‘yes’ vote in 2017.
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