Letters to my sons.

Trying to explain the world to two very small children.

Archive for August, 2006

Nottinghill is here again

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Dear Son,

Nottinghill Carnival is upon us yet again. Before I met your mother I had never been as I didn’t see the attraction. Watching people in costumes dance past whilst being crushed by the crowds seemed like a bad idea. I still think the same thing but since 2001 I have taken part and been one of the people behind a float, dancing past.

We play Chocolate Mas with Pure Lime and for the last couple of years have been on the committee that organises the whole event. Not that either myself or your mother would take credit, that belongs to the people who have worked hard over the years. Pure Lime is now the biggest group in Nottinghill Carnival and we get a lot of jealous people because of our success. We also have certain people trying to copy us as well.

Pure Lime’s Chocolate Mas is based on Jouvert celebrations in Trinidad. The differences are small: for Jouvert the start time is the early hours of the morning. My favourite Jouvert Band, Mudders International, start around 3am. For Nottinghill we start around 11am. You covered in mud, paint and grease at Jouvert in Trinidad, Pure Lime use chocolate instead. Chocolate was chosen because finding mud that could be added to hot water and smeared on a body was impossible to find. Also you can have more fun with chocolate than you can with mud.

You are still far too young to take part in carnival although you followed a float around the streets of Trinidad while still in the womb, I have the pictures of your mother to prove it – at the Mas Camp and then on Tragrete Road.

I suppose the moral of the story is this: taking part is usually more fun than watching.

Written by Administrator

August 25th, 2006 at 4:31 pm

Posted in Culture

Nationalism – idiocy in huge doses.

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Dear Son,

I was being a bit vain today. I did a Google search to see if my post on Tommy the Grass had been indexed as my WordPress installation has become mangled and the fantastic “Counterize” is not working properly. I’m going to fix it eventually.

I came across a site by Kevin Williamson, he even has a Wiki entry. There is a graphic on his web site that contains the following text:

For so long as 100 of us remain alive we shall never accept subjection to the domination of the English. For we fight not for glory, or riches or honour, but for freedom alone which no good man will consent to loose but his life.

The quote comes from the 1320 Declaration of Arbroath. A group of Scottish Noblemen and clerics wrote to the Pope on behalf of the King (Robert the Bruce) asking him to intervene and tell the English King to leave Scotland alone.

What I find strange is that a self confessed “libertarian socialist” would quote from a bunch of reactionary landowners and clerics. He must have his reasons; maybe he likes the words irrespective of who said them. A failing of mine is that I cannot divorce the words from the actions of the speaker. Noble men and clerics complaining about the murder of their fellow Scots sticks in my throat – these same men would quite happily let the same people starve while they stayed fat. And I won’t get started on the crimes committed by the Catholic Church – crimes they were committing way back in 1320.

Nationalism is a dangerous thing. I warned you about Political Correctness in the past and I’ll extend this warning. The same rubbish regarding “all whites are racists” is extended to nationalism. In the shadowy liberal white middle class inspired world of political correctness loving your country and hating people from other countries is bad thing unless that is, there is some sort of liberation struggle involved. And then it’s good thing. But not always. When oppressed minorities use nationalism it’s okay – unless it’s Israel of course. Then it’s not. Zionism started off as form of national liberation for an oppressed people without a state and morphed into a terrorist state but this is no surprise as this is the only direction nationalism can ever take.

Nationalism is a love one’s country, it means the interests of the county come before the interest of individuals. The only thing is; countries are an artificial invention. The borders between different countries have moved over the years and in some places are still very fluid and ill defined. So on one day a person should be loving certain people but when the border moves a little they should be hating the very same people. We have people swearing allegiance to flags – how people can align themselves with a piece of cloth is beyond me. But exponents of the practise say that when you swear allegiance to a flag it is a symbolic act where you affirm you allegiance to your country. Which is just as silly as pledging yourself to a piece of cloth (even if it is superior flag material) – a country is a human invention just like a hair dryer or a washing machine just not as useful.

Others argue that what binds a country together is a shared culture. Cultures are in a constant state of flux, always changing. The change comes from immigrants bringing new forms of music, art, food e.t.c. or from people looking beyond their borders. Nationalists claim some sort of “National Identity” which is nothing more than certain cultural elements stuck in time i.e. traditions. All traditions are invented. At some point in history an event or way of doing something is done for the first time and some people think “what a good idea, let’s do that again next week/next month/next year”. Nationalism attempts to make these “traditions” entrenched – not because they are necessarily the best way of doing something but because if things change then the whole idea of “National Identity” crumbles. The very idea that x million people likes exactly the same thing is utter rubbish.

Nationalism, like any irrational belief system (religion for example), puts the basic needs of human beings into at least second place. That’s because the non-existent “national need” comes first. Who decides what is and isn’t in the national interest? I can’t answer that question, son. But what I do know is that the national interest is invoked whenever basic human rights are to be removed, whenever the poorest people are to made poorer or a country needs people to sacrifice themselves in a war for the benefit of the rich. The three things usually happen around the same time.

Swearing allegiance to a country is another part of nationalism. The idea is quite simply; a person swears that they will put their country first. It doesn’t really matter if the country in question commits atrocities – you have sworn an oath, so you are duty bound to join in. Many oaths invoke god, something Christians should never ever do:

Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’ But I say to you, do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.

The reported words of Jesus in Mathew, Chapter 5, verses 33 to 37.

Nationalism throws up some very irrational beliefs. Image someone firing rockets at you but with the power of Nationalism the blame for the bombing goes not to the people who are firing the rockets but other people. This scenario is being played out in Israel where Israeli Arabs are blaming the Jews for the Hezbollah rockets killing them. The bombs are targeted, armed and fired by Hezbollah and they are to blame for every death they cause. The people firing the bombs have a choice about whether they fire the rockets or not. The Jewish population is not forcing them to fire off these rockets – the individual members of Hezbollah do that. The same is also true for the people of Lebanon. They are not responsible for the Israeli army killing them either. But we have a Jewish man on the TV saying that for each Jew killed a thousand of “theirs” should be killed.

Many people argue that “national liberation” enhances democracy. If Scotland, for example, were to get independence it would be more democratic because the 5 million people of Scotland would be closer to their elected representatives. But the fallacy of nationalism being benign is shown with a quick look at a Scottish Independence web site that contains the following quote:

My own son, a member of Independence First, says that he is Scottish first, and British second. In fact, a huge percentage of the population of Scotland would say that.

I personally consider myself Scottish, full stop.

So neither the son, nor the father actually considers themselves human beings. The father is “Scottish” full stop. What exactly does that mean? It takes a lot of self-deluded nonsense to ignore and dismiss the fact that one is a human being, a member of a family that encompasses 6 billion other human beings in an unbroken line that stretches back 100,000 years, give or take a few millennia.

“Them” and “Us” is the product of nationalism. But there is no “them”, only “us”, all six billion of us.

Written by Administrator

August 15th, 2006 at 7:32 pm

Posted in Politics

Terror raids – my predictions.

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Dear Son,

I’m going to stick my neck out and make some predictions regarding the terrors raids last Thursday.

  • The “terror” raid information came from a person (or people) tourtured in Pakistan.
  • The information gained under duress was fiction, the guy just wanted them to stop hurting him and made up a fantastic story.

One of the people arrested in the terror raids has alrady been released without charge – how many more to follow?

It will be interesting to see if I’m right or way off the money. Only time will tell.

Written by Administrator

August 13th, 2006 at 9:28 am

Posted in Politics

Emergency at Heathrow.

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Dear Son,

early this morning about 21 people were arrested under anti-terror legislation regarding a plot to blow up airplanes flying from the UK to the USA. Restrictions are in place regarding hand baggage, the new regulations ban anything being taken on the plane except tickets and a passport.

The idea being floated is that the people arrested were trying to get some sort of liquid bomb on board.

I am having difficulty swallowing this one. When a Brazillian was shot on the tube the police claimed that the man shot was involved in attempting bombings the day before. This turned out to be rubbish. We have had the ricin plot that never was, the raid in Forest Gate and the Red Mercury nuke in a suitcase that turned out to be tosh.

The government is busy pushing the line that those suspected of terrorist offences should be held for upto 90 days and that they should be able to issue control orders – effective house arrest.

The term “better safe than sorry” is doing the rounds at the moment. Some people are ready to accept the loss of basic freedoms in return for security. The sinister threat of an unseen hand is how fascism has traditionally gained supporters – until there are no freedoms left. By then it is too late for people to affect change.

The way to ensure we keep our freedoms is not to give them up. Not a single one, for any reason, ever.

Written by Administrator

August 10th, 2006 at 8:59 pm

Posted in Politics

Some people never forget.

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Dear Son,

Tommy Sheridan has been in the news recently and if he hadn’t opened his stupid mouth I wouldn’t be writing about this hypocritical Trotskyite streak of urine. But he did, so I am.

Where to start? Well let’s start with recent events. The News of the World, allegedly a newspaper, printed many “stories” claiming that Sheridan had taken part in orgies and extra-marital affairs. A member of the Scottish parliament and former leader of the Scottish Socialist Party, Sheridan sued and the jury decided that these “stories” were just that: made up tosh. Sheridan got a 200k pay out and his name cleared.

Sheridan co-founded the Scottish Socialist Party a few years ago. He stepped down as leader to fight his case against the News of the World. He was miffed that three members of the Scottish Socialist Party, including the new leader, gave evidence against him in the court case.

The BBC reports today that Sheridan has branded the people who gave evidence against him as “scabs”. He likened the three to men who broke the miners strike of 1984-85. It would seem that crossing Tommy Sheridan is the same as crossing the whole of the working class, in his own mind anyway.
He is quick to evoke the Miners strike of 1984-85, the main feature of which was the Police attacking striking miners and the miners defending themselves. The act of self-defence was then portrayed by the media as “violent miners” not worthy of support.

During the late 1980’s the Conservative government of Margaret Thatcher decided on a new way of funding local government – the Community Charge. It would take hours for me to write up the different reasons why this Poll tax was unfair and I was not the only person to refuse to pay. Up and down the country groups sprang up opposing the tax. Being good opportunistic and parasitic Trotskyites, Militant (recently kicked out of the Labour Party) jumped in and claimed “leadership” of the anti-Poll tax movement. After appointing themselves leaders of the anti-Poll tax movement they then appointed Tommy Sheridan as the head.

On the 31st March 1990 mass protests were organised in London and Glasgow against the unpopular and unfair Poll Tax. At the London demonstration the Police blocked demonstrators from leaving one street and then forced those behind into a tight corner. When demonstrators complained, they were attacked by the police and some of them decided to defend themselves – just like the miners in 1984/85. A full-scale riot ensued.

You would image that Tommy Sheridan would be on the side of people defending themselves against a violent attack by the state. But you would be wrong. He condemned the people defending themselves and stated his organisation would investigate to find the culprits – other “leaders” stated that they would name names. They quickly bought into the principle that it was the work of a few mindless violent extremists and said as much to the press.

Sheridan and his crew were worried that the riot would generate bad press for him and his paper selling party – he and his ilk have no care for the issues or the people affected, they just want to sell papers and join the political gravy train. So it is no surprise that he sold out all and sundry to try and keep his position and influence.

In the matter of his Party comrades testifying against him, Sheridan is quoted as saying:

I’ll never forgive, no chance.

I haven’t forgotten Tommy that you are a “grass”. I will not forgive either.

Written by Administrator

August 8th, 2006 at 2:20 pm

Posted in Politics