Thursday, 15 September 2011

Wisconsin - Just Another Day

In another Blog post elsewhere I asked why it was becoming a 'criminal act' to video tape or take stills images of 'public events'. There are those who would question that this is actually happening...

Just for them...


Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Oh how the plot thickens ...

The cosy but dark relationship which existed between Murdoch , Coulson, Cameron and the Tories is not only being daily exposed to the light - but is becoming so bright it threatens to burn them all. The latest to have the Sun shine upon him is Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne. I could wax lyrical for paragraph after paragraph piecing the sordid details together - but this little video below describes events better than I ever could.

I sincerely expect a ministerial resignation within the next seven days. I would like to think the British people as a whole, expect the same thing.


Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Yip - It really was an Inside Job

I'm usually a year late when it comes to movies. Friends look at me kinda funny when I ask 'Hey did you see that movie _________?' (fill in a blockbuster).
"Rory that was out last year."
When I do go to the movies and catch something when it's brand spanking new - it's usually a bomb (I can't believe my wife and I paid money to sit through 'Skyline' or 'Gabriel)'. The last good movie I saw at the cinema was 300 which must have been a couple of years ago now.

I'm even further behind with documentaries. As luck would have it however I caught up with the 2010 documentary 'Inside Job' tonight. And by God I'm glad I did. Narrated by Matt Damon (presumably because he believes in the message the documentary carries), it points the finger at those responsible for the crash of both the American and the world's economy. It shows how utterly irresponsible Wall Street financiers were in their behaviour and more. The worst part for me is the ludicrous bonuses some of the top executives have walked away with for performances which can only be defined as 'catastrophic' and no, it's not company money they are picking up - it's the money you pay in taxes which went to them as bail outs. Billions of dollars in bonuses to be precise. Really, if you haven't seen this incredibly revealing documentary and are interested in why there's only downwardly mobile people in society today, then you must.

There's a bit of a controversial figure who pops his talking head into the frame to make some very telling observations, Dominic Strauss-Kahn. He states that as head of the IMF he saw the crash coming, as did many in Europe, that the correct intervention could have avoided or mitigated it - and as he put it "The world's economic system collapsed, the richest maintained their security and as ever, the poorest in society picked up the bill." Such critical words (and many more) from someone with so much power and influence make him ripe for removing from his position with maybe a sex....oh yeah I missed that too. Been done.

In all honesty, I have no opinion one way or another on the merits of the allegations against Strauss-Kahn, I read today that they have been dropped. If the Chambermaid was indeed a victim then my heart goes out to her and I would have hoped he got the book thrown at him. It does strike me as odd however that the last person to take on Wall Street, New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, suffered a similar fate resulting in removal from position and that's before we get to those who just take on the 'establishment' - Scott Ritter et al. I say this because Obama had the opportunity to name and shame those responsible for the mess the American economy is in, he has the chance to make genuine reforms to ensure such a thing never happens again - disappointingly he's backed off. In fact he doesn't appear to me as an outsider to be laying the blame for the crisis on anyone in particular, just generalisations about previous administrations and bankers. I think this may well be why one commentator, Robert Gnaizda, who was formerly with the Greenlining Institute, a housing advocacy group - says toward the end of the documentary "It's a Wall Street Government".

After watching this documentary - I don't want to believe it, but I do. The evidence is all there.


Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Confronting the Mindless

I watched as a word gathered in clusters on twitter before spreading like riot inspired wildfire - 'Mindless'.
"Those Mindless Bastards"
"Mindless Morons"
"A bunch of mindless thieves"

Using the word 'mindless' to describe the behaviour of rioters and looters serves several purposes, the major one being - it excuses the user of the word from any attempt at understanding events. If it's mindless then there's no reason or logic it can be confronted with, nothing can be done to identify it emerging in the future, so we may as well just lock the 'mindless' up and throw away the key. There's no need to address the cultural, socio-economic or political issues - it's mindless. There are many in Britain who will describe the rioting and looting as mindless because to do otherwise would necessitate them confronting issues they are not comfortable with or which threaten to destabilise their own personal philosophy and view of reality. Nowhere will this become more evident over the forthcoming weeks than with certain politicians - who will undoubtedly litter their sentences with the word 'mindless' given any opportunity.

Let me make it clear that I am not condoning the riots and looting of the last few days - the sight of a young woman leaping from the upstairs of a blazing home, the depressing destruction of so many properties should fill everyone with revulsion - but once so filled do we then write it off as 'mindless', or do we square up to our responsibility where the future is concerned and address the underlying issues, the causes?

No behaviour is truly mindless - the reason, the motive, behind any behaviour, may not be instantly apparent to you or I, but rest assured they exist in the mind of the one carrying out the so called 'mindless' actions. We shouldn't project our own failure to understand their actions onto them.  To do so as I have said, is to shed any responsibility you may have in correcting it. There are those in society who are acutely aware the rioting and looting is not mindless but will continue to describe it as such so long as it serves their political purposes.

We have a choice then - to dismiss the last few days as 'mindless' activity or we can do the responsible thing and try to understand it and offer the hope of preventing it in the future.

Like so many others watching London burn - my heart sank. I felt sorry for those affected and sorry in particular for ordinary people caught up in it, the family owned businesses being looted without hesitation and little discrimination other than discrimination based on the value of their pickings. It struck me then, that the economic policy which promised  'Wealth will trickle down' had failed. All that has trickled down is greed. It's one of the first things we should address if we genuinely want to understand 'Why?' and remove the meaninglessness of the word mindless.


Have some respect for an old West Indian Negro...

I love Darcus Howe. I used to watch and listen to him when he fronted Channel 4's 'Devil's Advocate'. A very wise man. In keeping with the BBC interview conducted with Jody Mcintyre - once again the interviewer adopts a 'we want to speak to you but we don't want to hear what you have to say' approach. I'm glad Darcus referred to her as an idiot. Her attempt to portray him as a former rioter was simply grotesque. I note also that she failed to get his name right - 'Marcus Dowe' she calls him several times...terrific journalism from the BBC (Not).

Looters - They should all be locked up.

They are ripping out and destroying the heart of communities the length of Britain. Their actions, motivated by greed and self gratification, are causing the destruction of long standing family businesses, they've left people homeless and High Streets looking like ghost towns. People who thought they had a job to go to will turn up this morning in London to find their place of employment closed due to the current situation. The cost to the public purse to repair the damage they have caused will be huge. Their criminal activities are serving only to make the poor poorer and push a generation without hope deeper into despair.

They appear to be getting away with it and some would argue they are being rewarded for their outrageous criminal behaviour as the law and politicians stand watching impotently - as whatever can be looted is grabbed.

Bankers - Looters in suits, not masks.


Monday, 8 August 2011

London's Burning - Where are the Met?

The scenes in London are heartbreaking. However, it's pretty pointless trying to draw conclusions at this early stage - if the Brits are good at anything it's setting up inquiries, committees and making reports and doubtless we will see a plethora of them in coming months. The violence is wrong, the looting is wrong, the destruction is wrong but when people are pushed too far they react irrationally - and at first glance that's precisely what appears to have happened. Alienate people and by default they behave in ways alien to accepted norms. A disenchanted youth with no hope or investment in the future will grab whatever immediate gratification they can get.

Lots of political point scoring will be made in the coming days - arguably the rioters are sending a message to the Government, the politicians will send a message to the rioters, the Prime Minister will undoubtedly send a message to the nation when he finally arrives back in the country from his 'hols'. One message already stands out although quite what it means is unclear. London's burning and 1,700 Police Officers have been deployed to tackle the worst social disturbances in London's history - yet the Metropolitan Police managed to put 5,000 Officers on the streets for the recent royal wedding.

What message are they sending and to who?