Monday, August 29, 2011


The Martin Luther King quote which heads this post was referring to riots in America but is relevant here as well. Stop and think why the riots take place in America overwhelmingly among the underprivileged black population and in this country the same happens with a disproportionate number of the black population involved as well as other underprivileged groups. The people in our country whom we have heard blaming the turmoil on criminal behaviour alone are either in denial or they are lying to themselves, for their claims to be true we would have had to be watching the biggest coincidence in history, one where they claim that disorder in society is caused my criminality and factors like unemployment, poverty and racism etc. play no part in any of it, an absurd position to take. "people riot because they are bad" well at least they don't have to waste time thinking about it once they have reached that deceitful and ludicrous conclusion.

Riots don't start spontaneously which they also seem to think, in this case it was the shooting of a black man called Mark Duggan by the Police who didn't bother to tell his family he had been killed which kicked it off, and an immediate investigation found that the gun they claim was his had not been fired as they had initially claimed. This is an area with a high black population where black youths are stopped and searched 5 times more often than white youths; do we need to go on? Were the Los Angeles riots some years ago started of their own volition or was the incident caught on camera and posted on U Tube of a black man Rodney King being savagely beaten by 6 cops with clubs have something to do with it? There are some allegedly intelligent people who are simply telling lies when they say that it was simply criminality, they are lying because they don't want to admit that society is partly to blame and they are the ones who created this society and they also govern and police it.

The slavering reactionary commentators say they should be shot on the streets which sounds rather like an incitement to violence to me but the authorities seem to ignore it while jailing people for using email etc. to incite riots. The Police who are calling for harsher sentences are the same police who are up to their necks in the Murdoch scandal as well as the sporadic killing of innocent people. The Murdoch press are also calling for tough action against rioters that's when they are not too busy hacking the phones of dead soldier's families and the family of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler etc. and of course the politicians who want to hang and flog were not so long ago doing their own form of looting under a different name. Now I ask you, if you were an unemployed youth living in poverty with no hope of a decent life and being constantly subjected to harassment by the police what would your reaction be if a policeman, Sun Journalist or politician were to tell you to behave? I know what mine would be, I would say something like "I'll behave if you agree to behave as well"

Jailing someone for 6 months for receiving a pair of stolen shorts from a rioter or for 4 years for inciting a riot on facebook is not the answer at least not the long term answer, the long term answer starts by accepting that for far too many in our society there is not much to look forward to and they are condemned to miserable lives while they can always catch the occasional glimpse of great wealth and opulence as it drives past them or appears on their TV screens. Just in case any of you have not heard me say this before I will say it again, this is what you must put up with and indeed expect as long as we live in a dog eat dog capitalist society. Capitalism can do many things but it cannot avoid creating losers and as long as we live in such a system we will have to put up with crime, bursting prisons, no go areas in our cities, feral children, drugs etc. etc. but hey! it doesn't have to be like this there is another way, look up the word Socialism.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


The title heading was Bobby Kennedy's response to those who wanted to destroy the American Civil Rights Movement by brute force,

Months ago after the colossal Trade Union Rally in London and after the Student protests I was telling anyone who would listen that we were in for trouble in the coming summer. I am baffled therefore by professional politicians and journalists who appear to be acting as if the recent riots were a surprise. Nor is it a surprise to see the 'powers that be' launching an immediate campaign to portray events as nothing other than criminal thuggish behaviour which happened without any provocation. To accept that there are reasons and catalysts for such things happening would mean that the establishment would have to look carefully at its self and that could be awkward. The Government and the right wing dominated media in this country consider Oliver Twist's mother who died in the workhouse as a scrounger who should have "got on her bike" and found a bloody job instead of sponging off society.

Prior to the last election the loathsome Nick Clegg stated and I paraphrase "the election of a Tory Government with their proposed savage cuts will lead to civil unrest" he now says words to the effect that "this is criminal behaviour and nothing else" the Americans have a saying for people like Clegg they say he is "blowing smoke up your ass" meaning he is a lying con man. The blogosphere and Twitter etc. went crazy with one upstanding citizen posting
"If London riot police had shotguns this would all be over by now, and London would be a better place due to a sudden drop in the number of unemployed people" a radical thinker right? Big question here: is there a reason for what's happening and if there is should we try to prevent it happening in the future? After the Brixton riots of 19 81 Lord Scarman's report stated that "social conditions did not provide an excuse for disorder" and added the caveat that "social conditions did however create a predisposition toward violent protest" he was no friend of the left but he knew that these things don't just happen without cause. The Government cabinet of 29 members has 27 millionaires some of whom including Cameron and Osborne were members of a university group called the Bullingdon club who thought it a jolly jape to get roaring drunk and smash up bars and restaurants which they patronised, then off they would go back to their rooms smashing whatever they could on the way. All of these mindless upper class thugs are now calling the present rioters nothing but criminals and thugs; perhaps it takes one to know one.

We have of course been here before and I'm sure that some people are fed up hearing me say it but, under a capitalist system this is what you must learn to expect and accept because; like playing poker everyone can't win and when the losers don't even get the chance to sit at the card table trouble of this kind is always just around the corner. Add salt to the wounds by tolerating bent politicians, squalid criminal journalists, avaricious bankers, financial spivs and speculators, dishonest cops etc. all topped off by the shiftless unemployable Lords and Ladies, include the festering boil that is royalty sitting highest of all, consider multi millionaire non worker Prince Harry who is a poster boy for badly behaved youth everywhere: a veritable ill-bred drunken brawler of the highest kind. Let these pillars of society all frown, look down and talk down to the surly disaffected kids on the sink estates and guess what? you have a recipe for a lot of angry resentful mainly young people with no real stake in society who see no way out and only years and years of tedium; petty crime and cynicism which makes their situation incessantly volatile. Some might even think surprise, surprise that getting drunk and setting fire to a building is not a bad idea and having done that smashing shop windows and liberating some TV's and fancy trainers is a bonus. "If a banker can destroy people's hopes and cause jobs and livelihoods to be lost and still walk away with millions why can't I nick a pair of trainers" is possibly what they might say, maybe someone will write and explain that. One commentator made a damning claim today when he said that the rioters would have to be out full time working 3 shifts a day for more than a year without a holiday to do as much damage as rich tax evaders do in a week to the British economy. When the poor get the blame for everything wrong with society you get trouble; when they have to pay for the crimes of rich bankers and speculators you get serious problems. For their crimes bent cops and journalists get away with them; the tax dodger and gambling bank bosses get rewarded for it and the teenage rioter gets the jail, go figure.

I should not have to say what I am about to say but; because I know what some of the people who read this blog are like and what they are capable of I will state that I do not support rioting such as we have witnessed but let me be clear that that is a tactical statement, I say that not because the rioters are wrong but because I believe there are better ways of winning the battle, fighting fire with fire is a reasonable tactic but the establishment has bigger fires and big sticks to beat you with along with proposals to use water cannon, tear gas, rubber bullets, dogs horses etc. etc. peaceful disobedience is far cleverer The Rev. Martin Luther King and Gandhi taught us that, when the British and American public saw the treatment being used on peaceful protesters of all ages on TV the people started to win big time. History teaches us that a great many advances in people's rights and their futures were brought about by those who were prepared to stand and fight against injustice, those who condemn all protests riots etc. are simply wrong and either ignorant of history, in denial or simply liars. When a dedicated doctor earns a £100,000 a year and a footballer earns a £100,000 a week there is something wrong. The Boston Tea Party was a riot, the Russian Revolution started by riots as did the glorious French Revolution and many more great historical events are similar. The scenes of the last couple of days and nights might not be as huge as these past events but in their own way and at the heart of what has been happening they have similar origins.

The answer? It doesn't take long to explain, a fully comprehensive redistribution of wealth guided by a socialist government.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


09/08/11 - 18:30 To Celtic Park to see the game between Celtic and Manchester United Legends being played as the John Kennedy testimonial and to raise funds for the famine in Africa, young Kennedy's football career was lost through injury and last night he donated all the proceeds of the game to the African appeal, there were almost 60,000 people there and they were bursting with pride and rightly so as they sang the praises of this remarkable young man who still to this day: several years after his injury ordeal shows no resentment or self pity, a real gentleman, a credit to his family, his club and Scotland.

The players included old favourites, some younger favourites and a smattering of celebrities, by far the most impressive guy on show was the astonishing Henrik Larsson, at the age of 39 he looked exactly as he always did: like a butchers whippet and just as hungry. He was up against the formidable frame of Dion Dublin and the two of them staged a personal battle which was worth the money to get in on its own, these two: still superbly fit old pros. treated the crowd to every trick in the book as they tried to get the better of each other, it was fun and great entertainment to watch. After about an hour the slightly younger and much lighter and quicker Larsson vanished over the horizon and Dublin never got within ten yards of him after that as the Swede scored a hat trick and ran the Man. U defence ragged.

Patrick Keilty? the Irish comedian was in goal for United and he stunned everyone by putting on a great performance, I actually thought he was an ex pro. Until someone told me who he was, he lost 5 goals but stopped a cricket score. One of United's best players was Ralph Little who plays Joe Royle's son Anthony in the 'Royle family' TV comedy and this guy really can play and he is very fit, another celebrity was Paisley boy and Hollywood star Gerard Butler who for some unfathomable reason was greeted by screaming girls every time he touched the ball he also has played a bit and his level of fitness was good as he tried his heart out, he played with a grin as he is apparently a big Celtic fan. Celtic won 5-2 but the important thing was the hundreds of thousands of pounds raised for a very worthy cause. The game also produced what for me was a collector's item, when any incident happened the giant screens showed the players involved in close up and on one occasion we looked up to see the unmistakeable face of Roy Keane wearing a huge grin and laughing, something that I and I suspect many Man U fans have never seen before, not only that but he didn't commit a single foul or square up to anyone all night, remarkable.

I am not a fan of friendlies but I am so glad that I went to this one, I think everyone involved went home feeling a warm glow for being part of it, the beautiful game came back with a bang last night and it was for the right reasons this time, no fights: no outrageous wage demands: no scandals and a big sum for a great charity. I went with my big cousin from Chicago Arthur Kelly who is here on holiday and whose dad my uncle played for the hoops just after the war and I think he might well need surgery now to get the smile off his face.


Monday, August 08, 2011


I knew that if we waited long enough someone in the SNP would find a backbone and dare to introduce disagreement and debate in the party over something and it has turned out to be Gay Rights, 'De Ja Vu' how are ye! A fraudulent and creepy silence has long hung over the SNP when it comes to dissent in the ranks and their record and behaviour to the Gay community: the idea that a political party can exist with a total absence of debate and never any apparent argument is to say the least implausible. It suggests a cowed membership and a climate of fear generated by a clique at the top which is all powerful and ruthless; this is of course no surprise to those of us who are involved in politics and equally easy to understand when you look at the SNP leader Alex (the spiv) Salmond. Downright unsavoury events have taken place on his watch which would have caused uproar in my own party Labour as well as other parties but in the SNP nothing is said, he can do and say anything he wants without any opposition or argument from his subjugated members. His list of dodgy actions include selling lunches at Holyrood for party funds, his ingratiating behaviour with Trump, his cosying up to religious groups opposed to abortion, taking money from and refusing to condemn his celebrity supporter Sean Connery who advocates violence against women, his praise and closeness to the very rich homophobic bigot Soutar who bankrolls his party, no one ever takes him on, can they all possibly agree with him?

The SNP is once again being exposed for their toleration of homophobic bigotry and it is no more than they deserve SNP MSP John Mason has moved an anti Gay motion in Holyrood and; at long last we have a couple of prominent SNP members who have decided that they have had enough so, here is a collector's item for you I congratulate Alyn Smith SNP MEP, here he is talking about his fellow SNP member and MSP John Mason "What is in the small, mean, angry heads of bigots is a matter for them. I never asked for their approval, but I demand equality." Congrats also go to SNP MP Pete Wishart who described John Mason's move as a "nasty little anti-gay marriage motion" this repellent motion was supported by SNP MSP's Bill Walker, Dave Thompson and Richard Lyle. The SNP's record on Gay rights is appalling. I have attacked them before without managing to get any of them to stand up and be counted; maybe something will happen this time. It rather begs the question, if Soutar spoke about people's race the way he has spoken about Gay people would the SNP still take his money and give him a knighthood? The things I said about them were true then and are still true now it's time to clean these bigots out. Big hairy tough men and women in the SNP can't possibly be Gay can they, how can a brave heart be gay, is that what drives their attitude?

Can anyone in the SNP tell me if they are still doing business with the homophobic Mormons of Brigham Young University of Salt Lake City?