New year, same story: No justice, no peace

I recently undertook a self-imposed sabbatical during the month of December, not because it was needed but just to take a step back and look at things from the outside in. With the new year approaching I decided to give it a week to see what we would see. Did I learn anything? Yes and no. What is sure however is that you quite literally could not make this shit up.

Firstly Nelson Mandela died, the world mourned and so did those who would have previously hung him for being a terrorist. Being on my sabbatical it was easy to focus on Mandela for his life, what he stood for – what he still stands for in death, and his achievements in the face of great adversity. Not getting sucked into comments highlighting how these people, who climbed out from under their rocks to shower praise on him, had previously turned their backs on him or how they took pointless ‘selfies’ with pretty blondes at his funeral and claiming that he helped shaped not only their politics but the politics for the generations. Even wet Ed Miliband saw fit to use the same words he used to eulogise Margaret Thatcher to capture his feelings on Mandela.

The man who shaped politics for generations they said and to “never forget.”

Never forget; the words used when discussing the Holocaust but of course we did forget, which is why apartheid happened in the first place. Never forget; used after Mandela was released from prison after almost 30 years and yet still we forgot which is why we have the Israel/Palestine apartheid happening, why Sudan and Syria is happening. Here in the UK we have let poverty and austerity take hold, strangling the working poor and watching, as our liberties get siphoned away – because we have forgotten the lessons of the past. “There is never a final victory” said Mandela, the fight is eternal.

Then came the new year, 2014 and I witnessed posts claiming it would be the ‘year of love’ but we have seen the sale of chemicals from the UK that form the basis for the very agents we almost went to war over in Syria, Fallujah has fallen into full-blown civil war and there was the announcement that 2013 was the bloodiest in Iraq for almost 10 years with nearly 30 people a day dying. Not a single name reported however, just a body count. Just yesterday, we saw the confirmation that being shot dead whilst unarmed, in the case of Mark Duggan, will be ruled lawful, setting dangerous precedents for the rest of us. The police have now stated in light of this incident that they intend to consider the use of cameras for armed police units to film events. We will of course of clamour for the additional security this will provide us as citizens, there is no risk whatsoever that anything will go wrong with the footage is there? There is also the new Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill being rushed through effectively making it illegal to protest or to be a nuisance. This will result in spot fines and bans from “localities” what ever a locality means, the definition has not been set yet.

So we are a week into 2014 and the story seems much the same, focus on benefits streets and scroungers whilst we are quietly dismantled from the inside but there is a change in the atmosphere. More people are awakening, sharing information and importantly talking to each other about these injustices. The next step is to get active and move beyond the confines of the social media and on to the streets, peacefully connecting these dots – making art, questioning everything, before the law makes it illegal and try to take our ability away from us to stand up for our rights and freedom. In doing so we will gain something much more worthy, unity and the realisation that there is no justice, there is just us.

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Newell News-round up, week 16

This weeks round up is quite simply a shocker.

We have had great sporting distraction completed, the British and Irish Lions won their first series for 16 years in Australia, the BBC told that Murray was the first Brit to win Wimbledon for 70 plus years, totally ignoring the achievements of Virginia Wade, the Aussies are taking a pasting in the cricket and David Moyes lost his first game in charge of Manchester United. T.V is god.

Health/Welfare

If the attack of the NHS was not obvious before it is now as the home of health care is being forced to shut by the Tories. Trafford General where the first ever NHS patient was treated is about to have its A&E department closed down as the grim reaper of health care Jeremy Hunt said patients could go to neighbouring hospitals.

The Daily Mail who makes its name in bashing immigrants and benefits scroungers is backing a call from the confused public for the Royal spawn to have a stay at home mum and dad. It is alleged that Wills is thinking of quitting his job to be with his child. They are lucky they have the choice! Most parents are having to work one or two jobs just to make ends meet and their ends are meeting as Eddie Murphy would say “Like a mother f**ker!” I believe that children need to have a stable environment with parents/guardians or whatever they are called these days, to help shape them but unfortunately for you and I we do not have that luxury with the cost of living and yet we are going to support these people in quitting their jobs to look after their children. If the BBC or Sky ran a story about a benefits scrounger you would be up in arms about it.

More UK service men and women took their lives last year than in the total number killed in action in Afghanistan during the same period. I have been asking for some time what the real damage of this war will be on the personnel deployed to fight the illegal wars. The Falklands war lasted a fraction of the time these illegal wars have and the post traumatic stress that came about as a result of the horrors they witnessed was astronomical.

Today the government continues its attack on the less fortunate as the £500 cap on benefits rolls out. MPs are on the verge of getting pay rises worth £6000, claim for their children to get more for themselves, come from families of millionaires (and are pretty well off themselves), are entitled to £450 a month food allowance and tell us about the need to tighten belts because we are all in this together. You couldn’t make it up but Iain Duncan Smith has decided he believes he is right so it must be true.

Politics/Human Rights

Theresa May finally got her man and Abu Qatada spent his first week back in Jordan awaiting trial. Sky News in particular pushed both May and PM David Cameron on whether the delay in his deportation will now mean tht they make moves to change or withdraw from the European Court of Human Rights. Neither of them said yes but then they did not say no either. These may be troubling and worrying times for the rest of us.

Nelson Mandela is said to be stable and may return home soon. We should be mindful when the time comes and the tributes pour in that there are Conservatives who once viewed him as a terrorist and there was a very real belief he should have been hung. This is not to say that people cannot change, but the surrounding evidence does not support that idea.

Economics

The Chinese economy is in the news again with the statistics showing that it has slowed between the period of April to June. Trade wars loom.

Mark Carney (head of the Bank of england) is to get a house costing us £11,000 a week. Another pig at the trough.

Rent in the UK is unaffordable for the low income families in a third of the UK. Wage deflation continues, cost of living increases and house prices are still floating in the bubble created at the turn of the century. Of course housing is unaffordable in over a third of the country.

Technology

NASA have tested a 3D printed engine part for the first time. 3D printing made a more controversial entrance into the mainstream media earlier this year when the blue print for a 3d printable gun went online.

With the announcement of a new Terminator trilogy Arnold Schwarzenegger could be replaced by a real life military robot. Built and design by an American Defense Department the drone wars are not as far away as we might think and at over 6ft tall and 23 stone with the ability to mimic human movements it might be a better actor than Arnie too.

World

Trayvon Martin, aged 17, shot and killed by a neighbourhood watchman George Zimmerman. Zimmerman was found not guilty by the jury and Barack Obama has appealed for calm as a sense of anger and injustice rose across the States. Much has been written, some in haste, over the events that led to the death of Trayvon Martin the end result is a young boy has lost his life and his family’s life ruined. Some will say George Zimmerman has a life now in pieces too but he made the decision to pursue a young boy, believing him to be up to no good based purely on the colour of his skin. Zimmerman made the decision to disregard the advice of police control not to pursue what may have been a dangerous assailant and the consequences of his decisions that night lead to Trayvon’s murder, yet somehow Zimmerman has been found not guilty and walked free from court. If a young white boy had been shot by a black man I wonder would the result have been the same? To put the curious law of stand your ground into some kind of context, an African American woman who lived with a man with a history of domestic violence used a side arm to fire a warning shot after a row broke out in the family home, the judge decided that she had not feared for her life and due to a slight variance in testimonies sentenced her to 20 years in prison. America and the world are divided. Some believe the acquittal was the only verdict, believing Trayvon to be the aggressor, others believe at the very least a man slaughter charge should have been awarded. Twitter has seen the various attacks, lead by none more so than Louise Mensch.