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Showing posts from July, 2012

ON THE BEACH/НА БРЕГА НА МОРЕТО

Despite considerable over development the beach at Sinemoretz is still one of the finest beaches on the BulgarianBlack SeaCoast, stretching in a golden arch at the northern end of the little village, close to the Turkish border. The first time I visited Sinemoretz in 2001 there was a mere scattering of guest houses and a couple of small hotels. Now it has been infected with much of the overdevelopment and ill designed hotel complexes that have blighted so much of the BulgarianBlack SeaCoast. The Bella Vista hotel complex that now overshadows the beach itself being a prime example of such development, illegally constructed and funded by, how can I put it, dubious sources. There is also another hotel in Sinemoretz and that is the Family Hotel Gogov. During the summer of 2002 I spent a good deal of my time on Sinemoretz’s main beach, there are two; drinking cold beer in the beach bar, listening to music on my MP3 player, stretched out, soaking up the sun, wading into the sea to cool down.…

LONDON LETTER 25TH JULY 2012

All things being equal the scaffolding comes down today. As a consequence I have just taken my life in my hands and climbed out onto caffolding to clean the windows; living on the top floor it is the last time for I don’t know how long before I will be able to clean them properly again.
This monstrous metal plaster cast has been placed around the building for over two months, blocking out the light and blighting my life. It reminded me of a parable told by James Hillman, a great hero of mine, who delivering one of his priceless lectures on the state of psychotherapy told of a man who suddenly finds the view he has enjoyed for years obliterated by the erection of a large brick wall. He is sent spiraling into depression and goes off to see his therapist to explore the meaning the view had for him, the fact that it provided a feeling of freedom and open space, senses he was denied as a child. Hillman remarks that his energy would be better spent writing to the local authority, i.e. engag…

VOLINE AND TROTSKY

Волин и Троцкого

A Footnote in Russian History
In April 1917 the Russian anarchist revolutionary Voline* and Leon Trotsky were both stranded in New York as the Russian revolution broke out in Petrograd, inevitably coming into contact with one another. Voline stated that he felt that the Bolsheviks, given their ruthlessness and single minded determination, would ultimately come to power. They would then begin eliminating their opponents, amongst whom of course were the anarchists; this persecution would end with the Bolsheviks shooting the anarchists “like partridges.” Trotsky was dismissive, they might have their differences but they were comrades in arms, they had different interpretations of the revolutionary process but shared the same goals. It was nonsense to speak of Bolsheviks shooting revolutionary comrades, “we are socialists, comrade Voline! So we are not your enemies….”[1] In December of 1919, whilst gravely wounded Voline was captured by the Bolsheviks. As an anarchist of some…

THE GHOST IN THE MACHINE

'By anarchist spirit I mean that deeply human sentiment, which aims at the good of all, freedom and justice for all, solidarity and love among the people; which is not an exclusive characteristic only of self-declared anarchists, but inspires all people who have a generous heart and an open mind...’*
*Errico Malatesta Umanita Nova (13 April 1922)
‘Never follow leaders’Bob Dylan

I have been doing battle with bureaucracy, involved in a dispute with contractors and ultimately the housing association of which I am a tenant. It has been an interesting exercise and unfortunately an exercise in re-learning what I have long known, that most officials can handle no end of anger and even abuse, since the latter immediately puts the complainant in the wrong and enables your average jobsworth to retain the high moral ground. What they cannot handle is mockery, to have their pomposity pricked and their self importance subject to ridicule. In the face of such a reaction there is no end to the shee…

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? *

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‘The police officer who was cleared on Thursday of killing Ian Tomlinson at the G20 protests has been repeatedly accused of using excessive force against members of the public, it can be reported following the end of his trial.[1]

So PC Simon Harwood has been cleared of the manslaughter of Ian Tomlinson. Reading his testimony in today's Guardian:-
‘………could he [ Harwood] name the methods open to police during a hypothetical public order situation if they wanted to move someone, such as Ian Tomlinson, who was seen to be an obstruction? Harwood, dressed as throughout the trial in a crisp, dark suit, paused briefly and leaned slightly forward in the witness box. You could use a baton strike to the arm or leg, he began, going on to list, in order, a push, a kick or punch, CS spray, or handcuffs. As Tomlinson's family bristled, he finally gave the option of a vocal request.’[2]

I was reminded of an old Not the Nine O Clock News sketch concerning one PC Savage, played I think by Gryff …

STOP THE WAR AND THE SHADOW OVER DOUGLAS HURD

‘(Reuters) - The moderate National Forces Alliance of wartime prime minister Mahmoud Jibril scored a landslide victory over rival Islamist parties in Libya's first free national election in a generation, partial tallies showed on Thursday.[1]

So there will be the uncorking of champagne bottles and partying into the night at The Stop the War Coalition with John Pilger and Noam Chomsky dropping by to clink a glass or two. Despite all their misgivings western intervention has led to a successful transition to democracy, “three cheers for the Libyan liberation.” Well then again perhaps not.
This week also saw the 17th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre, a ‘victory’ for the non interventionists, the most prominent of whom was our then foreign secretary Douglas Hurd. Hurd’s role during this period remains a stain on the man, the colour of congealed blood. Following the StW style prescriptions, ‘intervening would make things worse, complex situation, Serbian history etc,’ combined wit…

LONDON LETTER 4TH JULY 2012

London is wet, windy and displaying to the best of its ability all the worst aspects of an English summer. Whilst I, having suffered building contractors for the last couple of weeks, am now my self engaged in a concerted programme of redecoration, everything is in a state of extreme disorder. Whatever else decorating does it performs a remarkable job of blotting out all else, you become possessed of tunnel vision, thinking only of shelving and colour schemes. On top of this I am involved in a dispute with the roofing contractors, all of which takes time and emotional energy.

That said, between an endless stream of ‘golden greats’ supplied by Capital Gold Radio, I have followed the latest banking scandal with wry amusement. What surprises me is that people seem surprised that bankers are such mendacious, greedy, unscrupulous bastards. Again we are seeing the fruits of the ‘greed is good,’ Thatcher revolution. What did people imagine would emerge from the ‘lodsamoney,’ culture? As for …