10 January, 2018
When all I needed to do to connect to someone I know was to email them but obviously this is just too simple and obvious. Now, if I don’t have Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, Linkedin, Tinder, and who knows what, I can’t do the simple, direct thing anymore, send him or her an email.
Just now I wanted to send a friend an email and I was directed to his Instagram page, no go. So onto his Tumblr account, still no go, so off to his Twitter account but I don’t have a Twitter account so I can’t message him!
Do you wonder why I’m so disenchanted with all this crap, never mind surveillance, data mining etc, for ultimately, even with the plethora of ‘communication tools’ available to us just makes it even more difficult to actually communicate, simply and directly! In the end I used my phone.
8 January 2018 — investigatingimperialism
Before I began this essay I read through some of my past forays that mentioned climate change and capitalism, the first I think, being in 2006 where I opined in a piece on the ‘War on Terror’:
Perhaps the impending climate catastrophe as well as the genocidal actions of the US will force us to finally start thinking and acting ‘outside of the box’ but without a clear idea of where we are heading or how to get there, currently the situation looks dire. — WOT is to be done? 2 November, 2006
7 January 2018 — investigatingimperialism
At the end of the 1970s, when I first started using and investigating digital media, it quickly became apparent to me, that what became the World Wide Web, was very much a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it afforded independent journalists and investigators, a vehicle for reaching a public outside the control of corporate/state media and whose only parallel lay back in the 17th century, with the invention of the printing press and moveable type, broadsheets and later the so-called Penny Dreadfuls. Sold on street corners and in coffee houses, and produced in literally hundreds of small printing shops, they challenged the status quo in ways previously impossible. Often banned and their writers/publishers thrown in jail under the then new sedition laws, they heralded the arrival of modern capitalism.
22 July 2017 — investigating imperialism
But then I think, no! This can’t be so, how can life be so cruel?
But then I think, we have so little power but so much comprehension, so maybe that’s it;
Comprehend but do nothing.
This is Grenfell Tower, so much comprehension, so much understanding, so little power.
The unpacking begins. The explorations wander through mazes. We catalogue, we classify, we empathise, we explicate, we condemn, but do nothing.
The act of describing is enough. Enough is enough.
And as the days roll by, more explications roll by.
The tests. I laugh!
The tests a sham.
The tests begin – again.
Then bizarrely music fills my brain. Somehow, the music explains.
I hear chords, they strike a chord.
The corpses, they pile up in a strange land. Corpses are the same everywhere. And not surprisingly, the Grenfell corpses are identical to Aleppo corpses, as are Mosul corpses, are the same as the…I can’t go on.
This has to stop!
But then I think, this can’t be so.
But it is.
That woman, blonde she was, well coiffed she was. Beautiful nails, she spoke and out came shit, nothing but empty shit, and so well coiffed, but shit just the same.
How can this be so? So much is known, so little acted on.
They explicate, they analyse, they categorise, they bury us with little truths, piled up like corpses in a stairwell, each one a truth, each truth a little death.
Lots of little deaths don’t make one big death.
Perhaps the causes somehow change the end. The end becomes the beginning and in doing becomes the end.
They bury us with little truths
The truths pile up like corpses
Each corpse a truth, each truth a lie
Each lie a death
Each death a life.
St. Thomas’s Hospital, 22 July 2017
17 July 2017 — Investigating Imperialism
London has become “a desert of wealth“. Comment by a former planning officer for London heard on TV yesterday in a movie made by the BBC that managed to spend an hour on the destruction of London without mentioning capitalism once!
It’s all that ‘surplus’ cash the pirates have stolen from us (trillions) and put into luxury apartments that stand empty, monuments to greed. It’s simply an investment, a way of banking stolen wealth. It’s destroyed the London I grew up in, made a misery of all our lives, forced an estimated 200,000 people out of London, denuded entire neighbourhoods of shops, restaurants and services simply because nobody lives in them anymore, so no customers, no neighbourhood and definitely no community!
And the source of this ‘investment’ is endless, it comes from the global super rich, the 1%. It adds nothing to the wealth of society, in fact masks the reality that we are becoming poorer and poorer whilst these transnational parasites live it up in the city of my birth.
Every day, London grows to look more and more like the old Johannesburg under Apartheid capitalism, with the peons making their daily trudge into the city to serve their masters and then trudging back out again. A trudge by the way, that costs on average £3000 a year if you live outside London! A monthly travel card for bus and tube is now £135 or over £1600 a year.
The average rent for an apartment in London is now £1500 a month. In my neighbourhood, it’s £2500 a month! That’s £30,000 a year without adding in council tax, energy and transportation, or food and clothes, let alone books or movies or any kind of fun.
This is parasitical capitalism. It produces nothing and consumes everything! No wonder people think Corbyn is a Godsend, yet it’s his Labour Party that has contributed directly to this situation. Will we never learn?
July 15 2017 — investigating imperialism
Consider the Grenfell Tower inferno as an expression of a new kind of class war, but not a class war as we have known it–between organised workers, political parties and capital–but between ordinary citizens and the local fiefdoms of the capitalist state as increasingly, big business has taken over the running of what’s left of our public and collective life, through ‘outsourcing’, public-private-partnerships and what have you, where making a profit is the bottom line, not serving the public.
[I’m working on a followup to my previous outings on Corbyn, the Labour Party and the left, to be published shortly. I am still not convinced that Corbyn can so transform the Labour Party as to effectively make a new political formation out of it, that will, in turn lead us out of this nightmare toward real socialism but we’ll see. In the mean time, check this hymn to Corbyn out: ‘Full Corbynism: Constructing a new left Political Economy beyond Neoliberalism’. WB]
‘There are three stages’, Sidney Webb wrote in a Fabian Society pamphlet in 1890, ‘through which every new notion in England has to pass: ‘It is impossible: It is against the Bible: We knew it before’.’ This month’s sensational election result means that Corbynism is now rocketing toward the latter stage, consolidating its position as the new common sense on the left of British politics. Granted, Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour didn’t win. Outright victory on 8 June was never likely given the party’s weak prior standing, and would have required a seismic shift far greater than could reasonably be expected in a landscape fractured and divided by Brexit. Nevertheless, what Corbyn and his team pulled off – against all odds, and in the teeth of an overwhelmingly hostile media and continual sabotage from within – is truly remarkable. The Labour Party is now a government-in-waiting, poised for the next General Election, which could come at any time and could easily carry Corbyn into Downing Street as Prime Minister.
17 June 2017 — investigating Imperialism
‘The Prime Minister, Theresa May, had to [flee] the site of Grenfell Tower yesterday under police guard, BBC News, 17 June 2017
The Abandonment of a Community
Initially, I wasn’t going to write anything on this tragedy, I figured there would be plenty of analysis as to the whys and the wherefores of a building turned into a funeral pyre but I’ve yet to see the word Austerity used once, just once, in connection with this tragedy, which as usual in this world always impacts the most on working class communities, especially the poor, wherever it occurs.
16 June 2017 — investigating imperialism
“From nowhere, a grassroots power base of [60,000] left-wing activists overturned Blair’s 20-year “New Labour” project, which took the party into the Clintonite center ground, and ultimately to three straight general election victories, No.10 Downing Street, and government. As the leader of Britain’s main opposition, Corbyn is technically the next prime minister in waiting. This is not a trivial achievement.
“It has left his party’s establishment stunned.” – ‘Momentum: The Inside story of how Corbyn took control of the Labour Party‘, Business Insider, March 3, 2016