Weather in Brum Where The Sun Always Shines On The Blues.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017


The following article is taken from Counterpunch ( see sidebar - The uncensored truth from within the USA ) which I invite any readers to view and, if possible to make a voluntary donation to, as it is one of the most remarkable and informative daily journals left surviving.

Trump’s Jerusalem Ploy

Photo by Kristoffer Trolle | CC BY 2.0
President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is not only a clear violation of international law, but a moral outrage when it comes to its acquiescence in apartheid, ethnic cleansing and the violation of the rights of the Palestinian people.
Delivered with the insouciance of a mafia don parcelling out territory to one of his capos, in this instance Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump’s announcement did not so much signal the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as it did provide confirmation that the US and Israel are rogue states.
Under the stewardship of Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel has embraced with unfailing ardour a rejectionist stance when it comes to a Palestinian state. He knows that peace, a viable peace, cannot exist and will never exist unless justice for the Palestinians is placed at its heart. Hitherto the Israeli prime minister had stood isolated in his obduracy – even if opposition to it had been more sotto voce than meaningful on the part of a supine international community – but now in Trump his greatest dream has come true, providing him with a willing partner in his refusal to depart as much as an inch from his embrace of Israeli exceptionalism and belief that Israel’s right to the land of Palestine is inviolate.
In truth, of course, Israel has never and will never have any right to Palestinian land – unless, that is, religious and biblical obscurantism, buttressed by settler colonialism, is the kernel of international law and diplomacy in the 21st century.
Jerusalem is unequivocally and indisputably a part of occupied Palestine, adjudged such by both the General Assembly and Security Council of the United Nations. Its ooccupation also constitutes a breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention, specifically Article 49 concerning forced transfer and deportations of civilians out of an occupied territory, and the transfer of its own civilians into said territory.
Thus the violation of international law reflected in the assumption of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is clear and inarguable, just as it has been over its decades-long occupation. What has been lacking, and grievously, throughout this time is the requisite will on the part of the international community to take serious measures by which to compel Israel to conform to its obligations under international law as a UN member state.
The only reason Israel has been able to continue to flout those obligations is its longstanding alliance with Washington, providing it with unparalleled military, financial, and military support. The bond which the political establishments of both countries share is long and, in the inimitable words of the 44th President of the United States Barack Obama, “unbreakable.”
The point surely, though, is that no one is asking or expecting it to be broken. All people who are of goodwill expect, and are entitled to expect, is that Washington – with the extirpation of its own indigenous population as part of its own shameful history – stand on the side of international law (the operative word here being ‘international’) instead of being complicit in its breach, as it has been and continues to be when it comes to its support for Israel’s occupation of Palestine.
Trump’s recklessness and disregard for the craft of diplomacy has once again thrown a metaphoric hand grenade into the midst of an issue and region that needs another incendiary development like a malnourished man needs to go on a crash diet. Does the current US president think this is a game? Does he understand that he’s supposed to be the leader of the most powerful country in the world and not a recurring character in The Sopranos?
The barrage of criticism that has met this development from across the world tells its own story. It is a development which constitutes the final nail in the coffin of the Middle East  peace process, pushing the Palestinians down the path towards physical resistance in the form of a third intifada as a consequence.
Who could possibly blame them? Decades spent existing under the brute heel of occupation in the West Bank – where Jewish only illegal settlements have expanded and continue to spread, where hundreds of checkpoints are a daily reminder of their subjugation and degradation, occupied land the natural resources of which have and continue to be expropriated – can only but leave a sour taste.  Meanwhile, Gaza continues to exist under a siege that amounts to collective punishment, one that evinces no sign of abating anytime soon. Taken together, the ‘only democracy in the Middle East’ has been engaged in a mass experiment in human despair.
Ironically, such a brazen move by Trump can only weaken rather than increase Israel’s security. It will serve to marginalize moderate Palestinian voices and allow more radical ones to come to the fore, able to point to this measure as irrefutable evidence of the futility of a diplomatic solution to the crisis, attracting support for their belief in resistance by any means necessary, including, as mentioned, physical resistance. Increasingly, it seems this is the only language these thugs in tailored suits understand.
That Trump’s understanding of the Middle East, with all its complexities, is of insufficient breadth to fit on the back of a postage stamp, is not in dispute. Indeed it is tempting to ascribe to the 45th president the withering verdict of one of his predecessors, Lyndon Johnson – “so dumb he can’t fart and chew gum at the same time.”
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John Wight is the author of a politically incorrect and irreverent Hollywood memoir – Dreams That Die – published by Zero Books. He’s also written five novels, which are available as Kindle eBooks. You can follow him on Twitter at @JohnWight1

Monday, 6 November 2017

Ed Murrow

 One of the greatest radio and tv reporters of all time in a prophetic speach on how destructive the lights and wires in the box could become. Please sit back, turn up the volume and concentrate.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

May's car crash.

Frida Kahlo, Self-Portrait, 1940. See discussi...
Frida Kahlo, Self-Portrait, 1940. See discussion of her works below. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  1. Notwithstanding the P45, the broken voice and the falling F her clever new director of publicity had hit on the idea of plagiarising the "American dream" by trying to pronounce her ideas on the "British dream" which was dropped into her speech to replace the, "strong and stable" farce, on every possible occasion. Sadly the dream turned into a nightmare and to add to the theatre this clever advisor was obviously completely unaware that her showy bracelet contained self portraits of her antithesis, the Mexican communist activist and girlfriend of Trotsky Frida Kahlo. You couldn't make it up

 This caring camouflage contrasts strongly with what is happening at the  street level battlefield where the cuts are damaging all aspects of our lives from food banks to patients lying on hospital beds. Caring my arse as Jim Royle would say.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Be very, very frightened if Boris Johnson

the ranting right wing extremist, working in a terrorist coalition, ever, ever gets his finger on the nuclear button.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Why I shall be voting for the Labour Party on Thursday June the 8th.

Clement Attlee meeting with King George VI in ...
Clement Attlee meeting with King George VI in the grounds of Buckingham Palace, following the Labour victory in the 1945 general election. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  I am old enough to remember, just after WW II, being ill as a child and how proud my mother was that a Labour government had established the National Health Service and that she could call a GP in to examine me, in our home, for free.
 I can also remember standing, in 1951, on a busy railway station at Wootton Bassett Junction ( shut down many, many years ago now, by the Conservatives ) with a few pals to meet the train carrying people home from work with home made placards with "VOTE LABOUR"  painted on them. I was seven years old and we did this on our own initiative with the wording dripping with runny paint which I had found in my father's shed. Clement Attlee had long been canonised in my home along with Aneurin Bevan who had fought so hard against a reluctant BMA to give birth to the NHS.
 Despite having the majority of the popular vote Labour lost that election and although young I felt the hurt then that I have felt many times since when decency, justice and fairness are rejected and evil triumphs.
English: Iraq War Protesters in Parliament Square
English: Iraq War Protesters in Parliament Square (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
 Many years later I felt that same hurt when, of all things, a Labour government, led by Tony Blair, illegally invaded Iraq and set of a chain of murder and destruction, bombing killing, hunger and dreadful terrorist vengeance that is happening on our streets to this day.
 That Attlee government created the foundations of the welfare state, nationalised the railways, steel and coal and ensured that  cheap gas, electricity and water were provided by the public sector.
 The troops, who had returned from the second World War, and the hundreds of thousands still overseas were determined to end the scourge of poverty and unemployment that had haunted the 1930s and unexpectedly rejected Churchill in favour of change for a better and more compassionate Britain.
President Kennedy and Prime Minister MacMillia...
President Kennedy and Prime Minister MacMillian meeting at the Key West Naval Station on March 27, 1961. Photo by Don Pinder. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
 Although the Tories returned to power in the 1950s and early 1960s theirs was a patrician party led by honourable men like Harold Macmillan, who too had seen the horrors of the pre war days, and ruled on a consensus basis labelled "Butskillism" which was a term used in British politics to refer to the political consensus formed in the 1950s and associated with the exercise of office as Chancellor of the Exchequer by Rab Butler of the Conservative Party and Hugh Gaitskell of the Labour Party.
 Then after a long period of Tory rule Harold Wilson won the 1964 election. He has become the forgotten man of 20th century politics but his government introduced far-reaching social reforms which included:-

the foundation of the Open University;

the decriminalisation of sex between men in private; 

the liberalisation of laws affecting obscene publications;

extending the franchise with the reduction of the voting age from twenty-one to eighteen:

the ending of capital punishment;

the equal pay act;

the abolishment of censorship in the theatre;

despite tremendous pressure from the Americans he refused to send British troops to Vietnam; 

he held the first referendum on membership of the EU;

he was the first Prime Minister, since WW2, to proudly be able to tell the House of Commons that not a single British soldier had died in action anywhere in the world during the previous twelve months.

He also gave us a national holiday to celebrate May Day and his coming to power in 1964 heralded the birth of the swinging sixties and in 1966 we won The World Cup.

 When Thatcher came to power in 1979 she tried to  took a wrecking ball to much of this ruining whole communities and the  livelihoods of many. She and Reagan and successive government  in the words of Harold Macmillan, "sold off the family silver" in an orgy for the rich and powerful which Shamus Cooke defined succinctly as follows, "The essence of neoliberalism can be reduced to the following: government should be used exclusively to help big business and the wealthy with tax cuts, subsidies, privatizations, anti-labour laws, etc., while all government programs that help working and poor people should be eliminated. It’s really that simple.”   
 Now once again I have the opportunity, probably for the last time in my life, to vote in a truly reforming Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn who will transform this country from a divided and shoddy land of terrorism, cuts and food banks. Not only will they invest in our outdated roads,  rail system and infrastructure, and in so doing create millions of jobs and opportunities for British companies, but they have carefully costed the following programme (to be paid for by the richest 5% and an increase in corporation tax) which will give people hope and opportunity for the future, and dignity in old age:-

 1. Schools: increasing funding and providing free school meals and arts pupils premium.

2. Skills: introducing free further education tuition, equalising 16-19 funding and restoring EMA childcare and early years including more money for sure start. Removing university tuition fees and restoring maintenance grants.

 3.  Health and Social Care: Improve NHS spending and the provision for social care. Restore nurses' bursaries.

4. Work & Pensions: increase ESA by £30 pw for those in the work related activity group, scrap bedroom tax, implement the PiP legal ruling, restore Housing Benefit for under 21s, scrap Bereavement Support Payment reforms, £2 billion of additional funding for Universal Credit, uprate Carers' Allowance to the level of JSA.
 Double paternity pay and leave.
 Guarantee pensions tri[le lock, extend Pension Credit to those affected by changes to their state pension age since the 1995 Pensions Act.

5. Lift public sector pay cap. Introduce a Real Living Wage of at least £10 by 2020 with net scale benefits ringfenced to provide support to small businesses.

6. Recruit an additional 10,ooo police officers and provide additional border guards.