don’t moralise, don’t judge, don’t take pictures – it’s time for the riot to get some radical politics

Daniel Harvey gives a short personal reflection on the riots.

There exists in England an underclass that does not exist anywhere else in Europe. White, little educated, without any means of social evolution, they are a perfect example of the results of Anglo-Saxon capitalism and its dehumanising program. The English perversion is to make this population proud of their misery and their ignorance. The situation is hopeless. I’ve more hope for the youth of our banlieues.

Jean-Baptiste Clamence; Albert Camus’s ‘The Fall’, 1956.

Someone turned to me this morning and said he thought there was something strange about this country, in the way there has always been this underclass that most other countries in Europe have avoided. I replied about the trouble a few years ago in the banlieues of Paris, but his point was still a true one.  These countries put out this sickly image of sophistication, haute cuisine, high culture, civilised values, tea, and intellectualism, yet in both places the obscene underside erupts to reveal itself to everyone. Continue reading “don’t moralise, don’t judge, don’t take pictures – it’s time for the riot to get some radical politics”

the truth about julian assange and wikileaks

by Adam Ford

Okay, beyond the provocative title, I’m as much in the dark as you are on this one. But I would like to start the article by listing the only things I hold to be self-evident in regards to the Julian Assange story.

One: WikiLeaks is a great thing, providing us with documentary proof of government collusion against the interests of the general public, in favour of the super-rich. Two: we cannot be sure that Julian Assange did not sexually assault either or both of the women at the centre of the allegations against him, because we were not there. Three: the criminal action against Assange is politically motivated, whether he assaulted the women or not. Four: WikiLeaks must be defended from those in positions of power who wish to shut it down and intimidate would-be whistleblowers. Continue reading “the truth about julian assange and wikileaks”

ruling class embarrassed by ian tomlinson charade

Adam Ford writes on the recent inquiry into the police killing of Ian Tomlinson, which resulted in a whitewash of those involved.

For the ruling class, the embarrassment caused by the transparent cover-up of Ian Tomlinson’s police killing was a necessary evil. The alternative was far worse – a very public examination of policing tactics at a time of drastic cutbacks. Continue reading “ruling class embarrassed by ian tomlinson charade”

jon venables, the lynch mob and our ‘broken society’

by Adam Ford

In 1993, two year old James Bulger from Kirkby near Liverpool was abducted, tortured and murdered by two ten year olds, Robert Thompson and Jon Venables. The horrific case provoked understandable revulsion from the general public. Politicians gleefully seized on it to further their own agendas. Then Shadow Home Secretary Tony Blair promised that a Labour government would be “tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime”, marking the beginning of New Labour’s attempts to outflank the Conservatives to the right on ‘law and order’, which had long been considered the Tory Party’s own territory. John Major responded by declaring that Britain should “condemn a little more, and understand a little less”. As we know, once in power, Blair focused on the second clause of his soundbite.

Perhaps for Merseysiders in particular, our horror was not at the killing itself, but that we now lived in a society that could produce such ‘monsters’ (as they were routinely labelled by the media). I was only ten – the same as Thompson and Venables – but I remember that my mum still warned me to be “extra careful” on the streets. Fear stalked the land. Continue reading “jon venables, the lynch mob and our ‘broken society’”

a death in the community

by Joe Thorne

On Friday night, at around 1am and at the bottom of my road in Hackney, Jahmal Mason-Blair was stabbed in the neck and dead within the hour.   He was 17, the ninth teenager murdered this year on the streets of London.  The boy who has been arrested for Jahmal’s killing is 13 years old.

At a nearby  cafe yesterday morning, Jahmal’s murder was still on the minds of locals.  Jahmal was what they call a ‘good kid’.  A talented, ambitious footballer, someone who knew where he was going.  People say he was trying to break up a fight.  But the talk in the cafe is all about punishment; capital punishment, preferably.  I point out that they have capital punishment in the US, and it’s worse there.  Nobody listens.  One guy tries to talk about prison; but others pipe up about not wanting their taxes to go to buy food for the prisoners, let alone Playstations.  “If I could, I’d get a machine gun…” are the last words I hear as I walk out the door.

jahmal-mason-blair-tributes Continue reading “a death in the community”

“thatcher’s children”

By an East London teacher

News of students occupying universities across the UK in protest at Israeli atrocities prompted some on the Left to proclaim young people as a new revolutionary force in Britain. This assessment is in part wishful thinking, since if it was accurate, the disproportionate amount of time the Left spends on recruiting and organising students would have some justification. Continue reading ““thatcher’s children””