Friday 29 June 2007

Outside the realm of sanity

As the joy of Bliar being forced out ebbs away, I now face the prospect of life under Brown.

I never had any illusions in him - he is a right wing bastard who, as Chancellor, abolished the 10p tax rate and in doing so made poor people pay more tax so the middle class could pay less tax. He also supported Bliar on most issues, notably the murderous Iraq war. So I am not disappointed by his latest move - ie bringing "outsiders" into his government, rather than give an inch to the left within his own party.

The most sickening of these appointment is to award the job of Trade minister - the head of the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform - to former CBI chief Sir Digby Jones.

In case you don't already know, the CBI - Confederation of British Industry (or should that be Capitalist Bastards Inc?) - is the organisation of the bosses of big business, the capitalist exploiters in the UK. Not that New Labour has ever given a $h!t about regulating the worst excesses of big business, allowing them to sack workers and move jobs abroad while giving themselves obscene pay rises and bonuses. But now the capitalist Establishment have one of their own in charge of them - er, not to mention a former CBI boss overseeing them - there's no chance of this government doing anything for the increasingly exploited workers.

If you ask me, "outsiders" is perhaps a misleading term. Rather than seeing them as outside the Labour Party, it proves how much the Labour Party is now inside the Capitalist Establishment of which Digby et al are fully paid up members!

The reasons for New Labore (typo) being so in bed with the Capitalist Establishment were made clearer than ever by an article in last week's Socialist Worker. An article about Private Equity Firms (the politically correct expression for Asset Strippers) describes how such firms and their current and former bosses have donated millions of pounds to New Labour. No wonder Brown reckons the Labour Farty can afford to reduce yet forther the (already pathetic) influence of the Trade Union bureaucracy within the party.

Financially, he probably can, with New Labour getting millions of pounds from capitalists - including those with the morals of a Great White. However, in terms of activism, and votes, he may yet regret dissing the millions of workers who put Labour into power in the first place.

The Respect Coalition is attracting an ever increasing number of workers disenchanted with the fake workers party that is New Labour, and has already unseated numerous Labour councillors - and at least one Labour MP - in working class areas. With your help, we can unseat more of these sell-outs!

What the working class needs is a party which will not sell out to a right-wing agenda to gain middle and ruling class votes.

What the working class needs is a party which will not kow tow to the bosses and the capitalist class.

What the working class needs is a party which is run by and for the working class.

The Respect Coalition is that party !!!!!

Monday 11 June 2007

Lost in translation

So Ruth Kelly, the Blairite communities secretary, wants to cut translation (BBC News: Translation help 'should be cut'). This is touted as part of a drive to make all immigrants learn English, but it will in fact mean immigrants who do not speak good English are likely to be effectively denied help and access to many services. Especially when you consider that the funding for ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) classes has been cut (Socialist Worker: "Demonstrating for Esol: out to stop language cuts")

One area in which translation is especially valuable is in legal proceedings, such as police interviews and court cases. Coupled with institutionalised Islamophobia and institutional racism in general, a lack of translation facilities - and foreign defendants not properly understanding the proceedings - is likely to lead to more miscarriages of justice. Ah well, I suppose it means the Establishment can lock up more innocent people without having to extend the period of detention without trial ...

Forcing the English language on people, through international imperialism and by repressive behaviour at home, is not new. The whole push for immigrants to speak English (it has been suggested they even speak English, rather than their native language, at home!), has echoes of the hated Welsh Not which was common in 19th Century Wales. The Welsh Not was hung round the neck of school kids who spoke Welsh, and the last kid to still speak Welsh was beaten. (I sure hope the Establishment today don't go as far as using child abuse to force people to speak English ...). Personally, I'd love to see a Welsh "Knot" around the necks of Ruth Kelly and all the other xenophobic bastards in the government and in the Establishment in general!

As I've said before, if the Establishment really want us all to start using English, they can start using it themselves. Instead of confusing us all with jargon and soundbites - such as "modernisation" to mean "selling out", "rationalisation" to mean mass redundancies and cutbacks, and "integration" to mean cloning!

Thursday 7 June 2007

Register of emotion

I see the Home Secretary John Reid wants to bring in a Terrorist Offenders Register, similar to the Sex Offenders Register (BBC News: Terror detention to be reviewed).

This isn't the only link between sex offences (notably paedophilia) and terrorism (notably terrorist bombings). Both are terrible crimes which horrify the vast majority of people, of all races and religions. At the same time, both are the subject of a moral panic, which in its wake has brought legislation and other measures which are rather more controversial.

Last week's Socialist Worker had on its front page, an article about an Asian muslim who was arrested in London for taking a photo which the Police thought was connected to terrorism ... a photo of Tower Bridge! (Socialist Worker: I took a picture of tower bridge and was arrested for terrorism). This has stark parallels with the moral panic over innocent photos of children (my views can be found on this web page).

As for the Offenders Register, the problems - as with the Sex Offenders Register - are not so much with the idea itself, as how it is likely to be implemented. Miscarriages of justice have occurred with the Sex Offenders Register, the Birmingham Sunday Mercury in 2004 reported the case of a 14 year old girl being forced to sign the Sex Offenders Register for a crime which she was later cleared of in court (Sunday Mercury: Little girl forced to sign sex offenders' register). In addition, a Liberty report from 2002 notes that "Only a fraction of the 18,500 names currently on it pose a real threat to children or the wider public. The Register should be cleared of (for example) people involved in consensual gay sex, so that the Register is properly focussed on people who pose a real danger, and so the authorities who use the Register and monitor those on it can concentrate on real dangers." (Sex Offences White Paper: Liberty Initial Response).

I have also heard about people being encouraged to accept Police cautions for offences such as child pornography, on rather flimsy evidence, and ending up on the Sex Offences Register, rather than see the alleged offence go to court. Not sure how true this is, but the worrying thing is, in these days when civil liberties are under constant attack, it sounds believable.

Would a Terrorist Offenders Register be much better? Well, we can really trust the same Police who killed the Brazilian electrician Jean Charles de Menzes on the London Underground, to never make a mistake in their identification of a terrorist, can't we?

Then again, some people really do deserve to be on the Terrorist Offences Register. Such as the British politician who took us into an illegal war in 2003 and masterminded the illegal bombing of Iraq. (Not that we need a register to know his whereabouts right now - his every movement and action, no matter how trivial, seems to be all over the media, >yawn<).

Also, why should it only be sex offenders and terrorists who are on a register? Just as the Sex Offenders Register and the Terrorist Offenders Register are to protect innocent people from sickos, I think there should also be a Hate Crime Offences Register. This would detail people convicted of hate offences such as racism, sexism, disablism and homophobia. In addition, people cautioned for crimes which would not necessarily reach court, such as verbal abuse or "making fun", would also be forced to sign the register so their activities would be monitored and they could be prevented from working where they may abuse members of minority groups. After all, it could be argued that racist language and name-calling leads in the end to racist murders.