Monday, April 30, 2007

This explains why the proposed restrictions on underage drinking are purely absurd. The logical conclusion of it would be to employ State inspectors to attend people's houses and have people prosecuted for, umm, putting too much sugar in their cake?

Again the puritans show their nasty police State mentality, calling for State intervention into every aspect of people's lives. It is the same type of logic displayed by do gooders both of the right and the left who support the drug laws and any other piece of legislation which determines what people can and cannot do with their personal time.

Friday, April 27, 2007

While browsing I came across this. Now I have not yet mentioned that I now live in Bournemouth. The reasons for it are a bit drawn out. But it does seem necessary to mention it now it appears relevant politically.

I have noticed, having known the town quite well for a while, that it does appear to have a climate where racists feel relatively welcome. The hostile (and sometimes racist) remarks the journalist received say quite a lot. Bear in mind that the Echo is owned by News West (who also own the Mail, not exactly a bastion of liberalism). She seems to get accused of being a 'wet liberal' simply for writing a straightforward report on the issue. It also appears that she has a point - I can imagine the council would hesitate to allow them there due to fear over the activities of anti fascists, a large proportion of them being communists of some stripe.

I am a believer in freedom of speech and believe the BNP should be entitled to air their views, no matter how obnoxious they may be. I have come to realise that such is the price you pay in a democracy. If you silence one group - the question remains of who will be next. It would not be logical to suppose that those who wish to silence the far right would stop there. There are no doubt some among them who would ideally like the 'no platform' principle applied to anybody who questioned their views, even those from the left as well as from the right.

I was for a time an activist on the far left and did have my reservations about the tactics of 'anti fascism'. I always suspected that it may have had the potential of being the mirror image of what it claimed to oppose. Fascists support the use of force - does this mean I must become like them and get involved in breaking up the meetings? Breaking up the meetings of opponents by force seems to imply that you cannot handle opposition. This is a tool which fascists have in fact used against the left in order to prove it's undemocratic nature. It can be a gift to them.

I believe in counteracting racist propaganda by challenging it. Challenging the BNP by exposing who they are. There is nothing wrong in standing outside a hall with leaflets and banners, but to physically stop a meeting? Count me out.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Human Rights Abuses in China.......

Forced abortions appear to still be continuing in China. No matter what you think about abortion you must agree that this is a travesty of human rights and of reproductive freedom. Please help draw attention to the issue by circulating this story.

A far too sympathetic obituary of the late Boris Yeltsin. The Western media tend to be soft on Yeltsin due to the fact he helped end the communist tyranny. All he did however, was replace one form of dictatorship with another. This man was no democrat.

In 1993 Yeltsin sent tanks against parliament when it disagreed with him. There is little evidence to prove his re-election was fair. He brutally crushed the drive for independence Chechnya. Putin's war in the region is a mere extension of Yeltsin's prior policy there.

Putin, who is often criticised by the West, was Yeltsin's appointed sucessor. The system seen today in Russia is Yeltsin's system.

Yeltsin's shock therapy of the early 1990s consigned many Russians to lives of unemployment, hunger, homelessness and despair. Freedom of speech means relatively little to those who have no food or no home. And besides, how deep goes freedom of speech in Russia?

Putin long ago passed anti trade union laws (i.e a curb on the right of the masses to democratically self organise for their own einterests). Journalists are afraid to speak their minds lest they um, get killed. The State controls a very large proportion of the media. What kind of democracy is this?

Monday, April 16, 2007

God, I have not updated this blog in ages - partly because I have been too busy, secondly because I have only just recently re-acquirred a reliable internet connection.

Meanwhile I saw this in relation to the topic of blogging. Some may put the guy's dislike of the medium down to the snobbery of the professional elite towards the amateurs, although he does point out the fact that many professional journalists do also have blogs. He does make a few very valid points though on the nature of much online debating. Much of it is little more substantial than the antics of a playground, and you even find the same kind of hierarchy developing on many boards - i.e the cliques, the bullies, the losers who are their victims and the cool and popular. The Graun's own talkboard, Unlimited Talk, is very much of this nature. If anything it was the most unfriendly and hostile site I had ever come accross. But perhaps much of that is due to the nature of internet debate itself. The fact that being behind a computer screen enables one to say things they would not have the audacity to say to somebody in person leaves plenty of scope for abuse. This makes the internet an ideal refuge for immature cowards and bullies. People tend to be less likely to monitor and think over comments they make online than they would be with a more traditional debating forum, so the nature of the comments is far more likely to be flippant. What tends to annoy me more than anything is the way that people tend to make dogmatic statements without thinking them over properly.