Showing posts from August, 2012


The smell of streets is of stale beer, decaying cooked chicken and moldering bread and paper. The odor lasts a day or two as the carnival atmosphere evaporates, is washed away by pressurized water driving debris into the gutter as stalls, stages and barbecues are dismantled, and wooden boarding removed from the shop windows.

The carnival is now only a dream, people once part of a dancing throng are now scattered, isolated individuals again; they wake wondering was it all true, did I really dance in the streets, were the people really that happy and friendly, people from every conceivable race and background jostling together, laughing, singing, blowing whistles? The carnival is dangerous and those in positions of authority have never been at ease with it, smacking too much of spontaneity, a little taste of revolution; the people taking control of the streets, defying attempts to cajole and coral, bursting into side streets, overflowing into gardens, dancing on the roofs and window ledge…


American Republican Congressman Todd Aiken: "It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors,[pregnancy resulting from rape] that's really rare," Akin replied. "If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let's assume that maybe that didn't work or something:[1]I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child."
British ‘Respect’ MP George Galloway: “Let me tell you, I think that Julian Assange's personal sexual behaviour is something sordid, disgusting, and I condemn it. But even taken at its worst, the allegations made against him by the two women – and I'm not even going into their political connections, I'm going to leave that for others and for another day. I'm going to leave the fact that one, maybe both, of his accusers have the strangest of links to the strangest of people, organisations and states, I'm go…


Russell Brand: From Addiction to Recovery BBC 3 Thursday 16th August 2012

All recovering addicts and alcoholics imagine that their own recovery is unique, which is true, and that their own drinking, using and recovery is uniquely interesting, which is not. Moreover every drug user and alcoholic in recovery also believes that their own life experience makes them an expert on addiction, bearing a weight of knowledge that no mere professional could hope to possess. This in turn can produce the phenomenon of ‘recovery evangelism,’ a phenomenon manifested particularly, though not exclusively, by those who are in the early phase of recovery. Thus we have the spectacle of the over-excited Russell Brand taunting a doctor with what he believes to be the killer question/statement, “but you’ve never taken drugs have you?”[1] Whilst on Newsnight we are subjected to the Brand/Hitchens circus, one unbalanced comedian challenging an equally unbalanced journalist.[2] That such a serious subject as dr…


Watching the trial of Pussy Riot, the wonderful punk feminist group/activists, in a Moscow court room, arraigned and sentenced for the crime of Les-majesty one sees once again the poisonious marriage that has retarded the development of Russian society across the centuries, the marriage of church and state. Orwell chose the raven, Moses, to represent the Russian Orthodox Church in his classic novella Animal Farm. The raven, dripping honey coloured toxins into Russian life, always willing to serve  the interests of the prevailing Tsar.


When providing non lethal assistance to the Syrian resistance the Foreign Secretary insisted, very appropriately, that they must follow human rights norms. Not something we have ever insisted upon when selling Saudi Arabia extremely lethal armaments to the theocratic regime there. They can subjugate women and chop of hands and feet to their hearts content.

“Things come apart so easily when they have been held together with lies.”[1]
Chris Grayling is lying again in an attempt to hide the brutality at the heart of the government welfare reforms. ‘When asked in a parliamentary question on 10 July by the former Labour Treasury minister Stephen Timms why the DWP had sought to remove the video, Grayling replied: "The department did not direct that the Ministry of Justice video about employment and support allowance appeals be removed from the website YouTube.’[2] ‘ "We sought to correct factual inaccuracies within the video which we brought to the attention of MoJ officials…


The games now over, already starting to turn cold, memories always of faces, Mo Farah’s extraordinary facial expressions as he approached the finishing line, the astonished look on the face of the young female rower, hugging her team mate whilst intoning “we’ve won, we’ll be on a stamp,” the young female boxer Nicola Adams grinning broadly after winning gold, the broken faces of the rowers who had failed to win. The winners and losers so ordinary, so very young, like the three cyclists giggling like tipsy schoolgirls after winning gold, and sometimes so gloriously working class, like Nicola Adams saying that winning the Gold medal hade “made my day,” rather as if she had found £5 on the pavement rather than reached the pinnacle of her career. Here was working class understatement. The extraordinary charm of the games did not pass me by.

All this said the Olympics existed only at the periphery of my vision and I suspect this was true of the majority of Londoners. I was pleased when memb…


Forgive them Lord they know not what they do! I must admit that I have a strong, possibly unhealthy reaction to Nick Clegg. It has existed in me from the first time he registered on my radar and never abated, even during the period of so called Clegg mania. For a very brief period prior to the last election, sickened by Labour’s record on civil liberties, I toyed with the idea of voting Lib Dem; one look at Nick Clegg convinced me that this would be a terrible mistake. Those mournful eyes, that strangely depleted look, the innocent abroad in this wicked world demeanour, the sickly scent of martyrdom, all were present even then. There was a time in the 1980’s when Transactional Analysis, TA, was all the rage, even seen as something of a panacea. I myself went on to use elements of TA in my own work in addiction and mental health. One of the interesting aspects of TA was the concept of life-scripts, roles that get hard wired into the psyche during childhood to be acted out ever after duri…


On a TV television debate that took place last year Mr Mehdi Hassan, until recently contributing editor to the New Statesman, declared that he believed the Quran was the ‘literal word of God.’Thus statements such as,

‘Sura 5.38 “As for the thief, male or female, cut off his or hands; a punishment by way of example from God, for the crime; and God is exaltedin [sic]power……………The punishment of those who wage war against God and His Apostle, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the hereafter.”[1]

Are for Mr Hasan God’s words, the literal truth.[2]
But surely he writes for the New Statesman, supports the Labour Party, is a bit of a leftie, let’s cut him some slack here. Anyhow isn't it a bit inappropriate to criticise a man for his religious beliefs, surely these are a private aff…