YEARLY ARCHIVE: 2016
The Invention of the Jewish People by Shlomo Sand
This Israeli academic has produced a thesis that gets to the very heart of the greater Israel project. In the process of demolishing the ludicrous notion of Israel being God’s promised land to God’s chosen people, Shlomo’s thesis works to deconstruct the whole notion of pure biological races emanating from some misty god inspired times.
The Crown, Netflix TV Series One
Not without a few historical errors but intelligently portrayed and anything but deferential. In one of the early episodes Prince Phillip denounced the entire House of Windsor as a bunch of hyenas with ice cold blood in their veins. Now I can go along with that.
Fidel Castro: An Historical Hero
Arbitrary thuggish state repression is just that, no matter whether it comes from the right or the left particularly if one is on the receiving end. But criticisms of Castro, like any great historical figure, becomes totally devoid of meaning if divorced from the concrete reality from which they emerged.
Trump and the Brexiteers – Exploiting the victims of corporate globalisation
In that pursuance of maximum return, capital has long since slipped its national leash. Capital has long since gone global and so too has the manufacture of goods, services and people both those that are able to profit from the system and those that are desperate to be part of it.
An interview with Tony Blair – Alex Bilmes
Mr Bilmes, the author of the Tony Blair interview, has done a damn good job, neither falling into the trap of blind sycophancy nor shutting the man down without letting him express himself. In the end, I think Bilmes has produced a textured, nuanced interview which presents Blair, I suspect, fairly accurately.
I Daniel Blake, Film Review, Ken Loach, October 2016
Whereas millions of Brits were once shocked by Loachs expose of British homelessness and the heartless bureaucracy that went with it, I Daniel Blake, is going to have to fight tooth and nail to get itself heard in this new multi-channel, multi-media era.
Bob Dylan- Nobel Prize Winner at Last
Mr Zimmerman is a moody sort of guy. But I mean that in the best possible way. For fifty years or more this extraordinary poet and musician, and all round song and dance man, has been exploring the many contradictory moods of the human condition and doing so with the fine skill of a master wordsmith.
Theresa May – Britain is Open for Corporate Plunder
In virtually every decision she has made, she has backed the global corporates over and above the public good. May’s administration is shaping up to be every bit as reactionary as the Thatcherite governments that preceded her.
War Criminals – We need to look closer to home
Russia is declared the war criminal for its actions in the Crimea, Ukraine, and now Syria, but western politicians and commentators should look closer to home for those most culpable for spiralling decent into war and mayhem.
Don’t worry my Liberal friends. President Donald Trump was the best outcome possible… really
This election was about the American people versus American politics, and the people won. Don’t get me wrong. This is going to be the ultimate in Pyrrhic victories.
The GMB – Is this one of the most reactionary organisations in Britain?
I can’t help but thinking, based on a string of recent media pronouncements, that the GMB’s current leadership is a thoroughly reactionary bunch. In a short space of time this lot has come out in support of Trident renewal, fracking and the Hinckley Point nuclear reactor. And all in the name of protecting British Jobs.
Corbynistas – Is it time to revamp the old co-operative movement?
The Co-operative Movement had radical origins and a philosophy that at least challenged the prevailing dog-eat-dog ethos of modern capitalism. So, with millions of people, both young and old, looking to break with the neo-liberal global agenda, now might just be the time to revisit our cooperative past.
John Harris: Does The Left Have A future?
There are no glib conclusions to the fragmentation and demoralisation of the old European working class any more than there are easy conclusions to be drawn from the relentless march of globalisation and automation.
The Rio Olympics: The Usual Unpalatable Truths.
The Rio Olympics are taking place in the middle of a carefully orchestrated domestic political coup against the Brazilian Workers Party, a coup that the world media, including the Brazilian media itself, have singularly refused to comment on.
Angela Eagle – A Bit Part in A Very British Coup
For all of the Tory’s blood-soaked Shakespearean tendencies, at least they managed to get their leadership issues behind them quickly. Labour on the other hand…
Jeremy Corbyn is Winning
I’ve no idea if Mr Corbyn can win a national election. At first glance the political demographics seem stacked against him. The so-called traditional working class vote is fragmented, demoralised and disorientated. And, caught as it in a vice like grip between globalisation and automation, shows every sign of continuing its relentless decline.
Brighton Table Tennis – A club of Sanctuary
First there was Anh. In January 2015 I was introduced to Anh, a Vietnamese 16 year old in foster care in Brighton. He was a victim of trafficking, from Vietnam in the back of a lorry from China. His journey had taken a year and he arrived in November 2014.
Chronicles, Thomas Piketty
The essence of Piketty’s polemic, be it in full academic mode, or the more accessible journalistic mode, is that inequality is increasing across the planet, with the one percent getting an ever larger share of the cake and the ninety-nine percent having to scramble around for the remaining crumbs.
I’m very certain that the Parliamentary Labour Party could find themselves a shiny new Blairite face in a sharp business suit to lead the party and enhance the chances of Labour getting into No 10. But to what purpose?
Post Brexit – Editorial
British political parties are in turmoil as is the British State itself. And the political ramifications go so much further. The entire EU project could unravel. The Front National in France are emboldened. In fact, right wing and openly neo-fascist parties across Europe, already somewhat in the ascendancy, are ready to jump on the anti EU bandwagon.
The Untold History of the United States, Chapter 2, Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick
It’s as if someone has pressed the replay button. All that history we have witnessed with Reagan and the two Bush’s and the Clintons with Trump in the wings, it all seems to have its roots way back in the inter-war period.
Being Dead by Jim Crace
I’m still reeling from the wonder that was Harvest, Jim Crace’s most recent novel, and I was very reluctant to try one of his earlier novels for fear it might disappoint. It didn’t. In fact, in many ways it was the equal to Harvest haunting, compelling and unsettling in equal measure.
All That Man Is by David Szalay
Not so much a novel than a series of short stories, which potentially could have been far less satisfying than a single story. But no need to worry on this score because Szalay has produced a work of fiction that is every bit as absorbing as anything a high quality novel might offer.
Bad Jews, Joshua Harmon, Theatre Royal Haymarket
Cleverly scripted, well acted, and most critically as it turns out, a highly topical polemic. In short, brother and sister are at war with each other. Usual sibling rivalries but with an added ingredient. Jewish brother brings home his blond girlfriend/fiance who just happens not to be Jewish.
Hillsborough: A Case Study in Britain’s Tainted Democracy
Much of the British media, excluding of course the criminal Murdoch Empire, are feigning a moral outrage at how shabbily the victims of the Hillsborough tragedy and their surviving relatives and friends have been treated. Perhaps some of the outrage is genuine but it doesn’t feel so.
The Plague by Albert Camus
For Camus, the Plague is that of human indifference, of a deficit of empathy; of a retreat into ones own selfish needs. As such, the Plague is always with us, lurking in every country, in every community and in the consciousness of every individual.
Purity by Jonathan Franzen
If you’re looking for purity in this world, and I’m pretty damn sure there is only this world, then don’t bother being born. It’s as simple as that. Because, sure enough, the moment you pop your messy head out of that messy womb, you’re bound to compromise your messy arse until the day you die.
Twenty-First Century Feminism
A lot of men will see the title of this article and think, Oh brilliant. The F word. We need further discussion on this? How is that possible when it’s bloody EVERYWHERE?! Women can vote now. Get over it.
Europe – In or out, the corporates will still rule the roost
Post referendum, all the accumulated social problems afflicting the UK will still be there; pollution, congestion, homelessness, low wages, zero hour contracts and chronic indebtedness. And to those that are forced to exist on a day by day basis, the referendum on Europe is really a giant red herring.
Spotlight, a Review
Anything that throws a spotlight on this high level corruption and criminality is to be applauded. But as a piece of film, I wouldn’t recommend rushing off to see the thing and if you do then that don’t be expecting too much. Compared to say the highly charged Magdalene Sisters, this film simply doesn’t rate.
Coffee Shop Reality
“Most of the hatred in this world is of the manufactured kind; created purposely, skilfully and manipulatively to keep the people fighting amongst themselves so the business elite can control the land we live on, the labour we expend and the goods and services we produce.
Thank you dear someone
I’ve been down trodden neglected and I’ve been cast aside, Left on the platform as the train of life passed so quickly by, Invisible to the many, by the few I was never seen, But I saw a great life possible, because someone believed in me