Friday, November 28, 2008

Pottsy the red

I'm gutted. I have yet to reach the giddy heights of the BNP's very own x-factor, Redwatch. I've tried my damnedest to piss off the knuckle-dragging nazi fuckers, but it's all been in vain. The nazi hate site, which is designed to intimidate opponents of racism and facism, posts photographs, names and addresses of those it considers to be "red puppets of the state".

And top of the pops for the North East section? Cleadon and East Boldon Conservative councillor David Potts.

One piece in the Gazette and the wrath of the homophobic monkey blog is all it took Cllr Potts to go to number one. Jammy bastard.

Kudos David. You are now an honorary red. You join other South Tyneside anti facism heroes such as Peter Murray, Merv Butler and Tom Brennan.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Green groans

A few Greens will be spitting their teas out tonight after reading today's Private Eye hatchet job on the Green Party, after it was revealed that two former members, one a parliamentary candidate, turned up on the BNP list. The article, Green Grow the Bigots, tried to construct a picture of a Green Party rife with conspiracy theorists, racists and homophobes. Wow. Heavy shit.

However, despite Private Eye's desperate attempt to discredit, I won't be one of those who regularly write in to the paper to publicly cancel their subscription in offence.

In the real world, I've yet to meet a green racist homophobic conspiracy theorist sun worshipping tree hugger, but I guess whilst some folk with beliefs I don't agree with exist in the Greens they'll be the minority. After all, David Icke started his political career with the Green Party when it was known as the Ecology Party. Not sure that's a great example though...

Talking to Bryan on the phone, he was as usual quietly circumspect about the names on the BNP list:

"Good riddance. I hope the cunts burn in hell."


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

State of the media

Punkscience covered the original article, which has now been removed from the Observer/Guardian website. The article was another example of the media in bed with the state, the piece painting a menacing picture of a 'growing threat from eco-terrorists', despite there being no evidence to back the story.

However, it's unfortunate and telling that the Observer's retraction didn't have the same exposure and sensationalist headline as the offending article.

It's more disquieting than you might at first suppose. By using the brand label 'eco-terrorist', the government has manufactured a framework for the police to arrest demonstrators using the Stalinist laws they've been provided with. Couple that with the issue of taser guns, and you have more ingredients for a police state with not just the laws, but the PR and the weapons with which to control the populace.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Rock, paper, spinners

This is a fine and practical example of how South Tyneside Council's spin machine works in tandem with a supine local newspaper.

Nowhere in the article is it mentioned that the revetment works were needed because of the toxic waste buried at Trow Quarry. Indeed toxic waste and leachates are mysteriously absent. Nor does it mention that courageous whistleblower Peter Collins lost his job with the National Trust because he thought the people of South Tyneside should be made aware of Trow Quarry's toxic legacy, whilst NT and the council wanted it kept quiet.

Also missing is the whitewash inquiry held by South Tyneside Council with 'evidence' from people who walked at Trow sometimes.

This isn't news, it's PR.

Gordon's class bribe

It may be satire, but there's more truth in this twisted insight than anything that will be reported in the mainstream press.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Eagle Eye

I went to see this movie last week, by accident, as I was too late for my intended Burn After Reading. Think of this as a kind of dumb Enemy Of The State meets a dumber The Forbin Project meets needlessly wordy and clumsy 2001.

I love movies. This year, easily the worst and most disappointing movie I've seen is Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the... whatever. Who cares. I'll never get that time back. Perhaps the hype was too much, but for me it's become this year's lowest bar and so far I haven't seen a new release which matches the utter crapness of Indie.


So Eagle Eye is not as bad as Indie. By a long mile. Neither is it excellent. A standard popcorn action thriller with CCTV society paranoia thrown in. The twist is guessed early on and Shia LaBeouf (also in Indie) does what he does. He plays a kind of harmless genius slacker who is pulled into a plot by a nasty supercomputer to kill the president and his cabinet . The female-voiced supercomputer is miffed that the president and his poodles are randomly bombing innocent villagers in foreign lands against the pissed-off pc's advice.

This computer is no ordinary nutty HAL; it uses the US Declaration of Independence as it's moral compass and concludes that killing innocent folk breeds terrorism and attacks on the US so the government is failing its duty to keep its people safe. Realising that the electoral system is ill-placed to resolve the situation, the supercomputer decides to bin them with extreme blowingupedness.

After a lot of running around by LaBeouf and his screen squeeze, I got to a point where I couldn't care less for them. I started rooting for the bady guy. Or girl, computer, whatever.

In the end the computer gets it's plug pulled, the Pres is saved by LaBeouf after a ridiculous chase and everyone was happy. Except me.

I'm not sure if there was supposed to be a message or moral to this story. If there is, it's that governments should be allowed to get away with murder and it's every American citizen's responsibility to defend that right.

It's fast, plenty of action, fun stunts and enough explosions to keep any popcorn muncher happy.

I just wish the too-cute kid got wasted.

Energy: Techno-Fixes

Over at corporatewatch, they've produced an overview report on energy technologies which could see us through a low carbon future called Techno-Fixes. It makes interesting reading, and oddly many of the conclusions match the government's first energy white paper in 2003 which questioned the sustainability of nukes. Here's what Techno-Fixes had to say:
The nuclear industry has jumped on climate change as a last ditch attempt to survive in the face of long-term public opposition, cost escalation and the intractable issue of what to do with nuclear waste. The industry has orchestrated a well-executed spin campaign and has succeeded in putting ‘the nuclear option’ back on the table. However, nuclear power is not carbon neutral, would not be on-stream in time to plug the energy gap or avoid dangerous climate change, and has huge environmental impacts - not least from the huge quantities of radioactive waste created, which no country has yet developed an effective way of dealing with.
On Carbon Capture & Storage, their conclusions are close to mine: too much wishful thinking and corporate (and union) interests driving a technology which would be too late.

You can download the report here.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The blackshirt list

Curly beat me to it, but it looks like a disgruntled BNP stormtrooper has finally released the BNP's membership list to the world. Hosted on a server in the USA, the BNP's attempt to stifle the release through the courts seems in vain, unless the site owner considers the posting inappropriate. Anyhow, the information is now out there.

Although I don't have a copy of the list (having a copy may be considered to breach the injunction and several criminal laws), I've had a quick look through it online and it looks like a few people will be embarrassed and at least one may lose her job. Hilariously, one of those listed is a lecturer on Human Rights/Data Protection. Locally, my suspicions about the affiliations of a number of letter writers to the Shields Gazette have been confirmed.

Given the number of people on the list who registered themselves as pagans druids and cosmic folk line dancers (okay, I made that one up) it seems that odd belief structures coexist happily in the brains of these folk.

There is an irony in this. The BNP uses hate site Redwatch to publish the names, addresses and photos of its opponents in an effort to intimidate. Now many BNP members are pooping themselves that they've been outed.

Not irony, karma. I'm sure the BNP's new-age, tree-hugging members will appreciate the beauty of the cosmic balance.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Burn After Reading

I've long been a fan of the work of the Coen brothers, and find most of their movies hard to fault. Their new movie Burn After Reading is excellent.

Funny, brilliant characters and sudden acts of violence. Typically Coen brothers. They really know how to merge comedy and tragedy.

The film follows a familiar Coen theme: ordinary dumb schmoes (played by Frances McDormand and Brad Pitt) get into a situation way too deep for them. A disc with spook data, a bed hopping bodyguard (George Clooney) and a dirty divorce are ingredients in a recipe for disaster. In an almost Shakespearean prophesy, disaffected spook John Malkovich predicts repercussions the schmoes are unable to comprehend.

Go and see it. After the bleak No Country For Old Men this is a pick me up. If you're a fan of the Coen brothers you won't be disappointed.

Nuclear featherbedding

If any further evidence were needed that our government is a corporate whore, then the get out of jail card provided for the consortium running Sellafield is it.

A private company will run the site and make a hefty profit. If they make a mistake, irradiate Cumbria or the Irish Sea, or kill someone, then the tax payer foots the bill. If the taxpayer wants to find out what's going on, tough, as the government has ruled that as a private company the consortium is exempt from Freedom if Information requests. This is despite the fact they will be carrying out a function of the state.

To hide this public liability this Malcolm Wicks broke parliamentary procedures.

There is no UK plc, just a minor and pliant subsidiary.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Kind heart and Kerr nets coverage

Councillor Alan Kerr must have taken a leaf out of David Miliband's PR book.

There's nothing like a bit of modest charity to help your media profile. Well done Alan!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Heroes on handouts

As everyone knows, tomorrow is the 90th anniversary of Armistice Day. The powerful icon of remembrance for our war dead, the poppy, is used to raise funds for the Royal British Legion for their excellent work for veterans and their families.

This symbol of honour and sacrifice also silently represents a shame upon our nation. Few dare speak of it.

Our heroes rely on charity.

According to the RBL,
"38% of ex-Service pensioners report an income below the minimum required for healthy living"
That's a national disgrace.

Until our governments recognise the sacrifices made by our service men and women and properly support them and their families, the selling of remembrance poppies will be stained by our country's failure to properly honour our heroes.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Bad Company

It's been a busy week for me this week. On Tuesday I went to see Queen featuring Paul Rodgers at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle. I wasn't expecting much to be honest, but apart from a slightly limp middle it was a great gig.

Whilst they only covered a couple from Paul Rodgers' back catalogue it was great to hear him sing live. Brilliant.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Legal rendition

Of all the stupid and pointless screwing over our government has taken from the USA over the War On Terror TM, the tale of computer hacker Gary McKinnon would be funny if he wasn't facing imprisonment by a government which loves to torture and kill people.

The US government, and by poodle extension ours, considers Gary a terrorist and evil genius who cleverly outwitted the mighty US Department of Defense and NASA by accessing their computers in the "the greatest military hack in history". He was trying to find out information on UFOs. When he successfully accessed the computers he left messages saying 'your security is crap'. Hardly public enemy number one.

There's no doubt he's been a very naughty boy and justice must be done. But why not here in the UK, where we don't execute or torture people?

Some MPs want a guarantee from the US that McKinnon will be allowed to serve any sentence imposed in Britain in special consideration that he has been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome. Requiring guarantees from a government which executes people with mental problems seems a little optimistic.

But this is our government. They meekly excuse the human rights abuses of the US.

If only McKinnon had been a Chilean dictator responsible for the death and torture of thousands, instead of a UFO saddo, he would have been laughing.