Sunday, 28 December 2014

Humberside Police corruption and the Goole mafia

Update: Colin Andrews has been convicted of harassment, stalking, common assault and witness intimidation and has been imprisoned for 12 months.

Is it stated that Ch Supt Andrews was part of a group of senior officers and managers in Humberside Police that the victim referred to as the "Goole mafia", Goole being one of the East Yorkshire towns that Humberside Police's C-Division operates, and where Andrews lived and worked.

Incidentally, it turns out that other senior officers "were concerned about the dirt Mr Andrews would raise if he was prosecuted", with chief superintendent and divisional commander of C-Division, Judith Heaton, being "worried about the reputation of Humberside Police and worried specifically about salacious details that Colin Andrews knew and whether they would be used as mud-slinging to defend himself." In plain English, senior officers in Humberside Police sought to obstruct an investigation into Andrews in order to cover-up their own misconduct and/or to preserve the force's public image, placing these corrupt vested interests and damage controls above the danger to society and corrupting influence imposed by Andrews.

Predecessor to Heaton as C-Division's divisional commander, was Patrick Geenty, who worked alongside Colin Andrews and is now the chief constable at Wiltshire Police. The same Geenty is currently under IPCC investigation for gross misconduct in regards to how he and other Wiltshire Police officers handed reports of historical child sexual abuse.

Concerningly, while C-Division commander, Geenty worked with the East Riding of Yorkshire Council and its chief executive Nigel Pearson and other senior public officials in the region to decide policies regarding children and young people, including the council's approach to child protection policy. From the council's 2006 to 2008 Children and Young People's Single Plan:




As previously stated, the same ERYC appointed Pam Allen to its safeguarding children board after she aided the cover-up of the sexual slavery of children in Rotherham and retains this post despite her being under investigation by South Yorkshire Police for her role in the cover-up, so this exemplifies the council's ethical and political credibility in regards to protecting children from abuse. Ch Supt Heaton, who was apparently willing to cover-up Andrews's misconduct in the same of protecting the force's reputation and the interests of other crooked senior police officers, sits on the same safeguarding children board. With cases such as Rotherham, Jimmy Savile and Cyril Smith in mind, this holds extremely worrying implications in regards to the well-being of children and other vulnerable people in East Yorkshire whom the local authority holds responsibility to provide care for, given that the ethos and attitude of these officials displays a willingness to cover-up nefarious behaviour in the name of protecting vested interests instead of transparently investigating or counteracting it.

The same safeguarding children both holds responsibility for investigating institutional abuse within East Yorkshire, such as that committed against 170 complainants by a paedophile ring at the St William's children's home the council ran in conjunction with the Roman Catholic Church's De La Selle Brotherhood. Operation Yewtree and Humberside Police have investigated reported offending by Jimmy Savile at the former De La Pole psychiatric hospital in Willerby on the outskirts of Hull; the ERYC and local NHS authorities decided that the serial sex offender Savile had committed no offences at De La Pole after a self-investigation, detailed in its June 2014 report, based upon the statements of only one potential victim.




Humberside Police were investigated by the IPCC in 2012 for its treatment of a woman who came forward regarding a sexual assault by a police community support officer who had previously been reported for the same offence by another woman; the officer's file was never referred to the Crown Prosecution Service and the force closed its criminal investigation under the excuse of the PCSO leaving Humberside Police. The same year, detective Mike Johnson was convicted for sexually assaulting a female colleague. The IPCC has made inquiries regarding a number of officers in Humberside Police abusing their authority to target women and vulnerable people for sexual abuse.

In 2005, leader of Hull City Council and Humberside Police chairman Colin Inglis was tried, but acquitted, for sexually abusing two boys in Hull and in North Wales whilst he was a social worker in the 1980s. The same Inglis defied the Home Secretary in refusing to take action against then-chief constable David Westwood in the aftermath of the Soham murders. Ian Huntley, who was reported and investigated for multiple sex offences in the Humberside Police area, murdered two ten-year-old girls in 2002 whilst working as a school caretaker in Cambridgeshire. Humberside Police failed to disclose or inform authorities in Cambridgeshire about Huntley's prior offending, and were found to have destroyed records about his criminal history following the murders.

Whilst Inglis was under criminal investigation for his own reported sexual abuse offences, he organised a dinner attended by senior Humberside Police officers and social workers from Hull City Council,  who were comfortable with dining with the Inglis who could have turned out to be a convicted paedophile, to commemorate the police career of Ch Supt Paul Cheeseman. Council funds paid the bill (but the authority still attempted to obstruct the Freedom of Information request by Sky News to discover the details of the soiree).

Here's Inglis in 2004 with Stephen Parnaby, leader of the East Riding of Yorkshire Council: 


The same Ch Supt Cheeseman has been named in the Andrews trial as one of the senior officers Ch Supt Andrews was fraternising with on the evening the alleged rape he is being tried for took place in December 2003, with Cheeseman playing a "practical joke" that led to the circumstances of the reported rape. Before working as a strategic development manager until his retirement from Humberside Police in 2009, Cheeseman worked as a detective constable and sergeant in Goole.

In summary, the following must be considered: 1) What role did Geenty play in covering up the misconduct of his colleague Andrews and to what extent would he have been effected by the "dirt" that other senior officers also intended to cover-up? 2) Which other senior officers were involved in the seemingly corrupt and potentially criminal "Goole mafia" within Humberside Police, and how senior were they? 3) How did the conduct and attitude of Andrews, Geenty and other senior officers potentially including the "Goole mafia" influence police and local authority approaches to sex crimes including those against children, such as those under the care of the East Riding of Yorkshire Council that Geenty played a pivotal role in deciding the child protection policy of? 4) How many other victims of police or other abuses may have had their criminal complaints ignored by Humberside Police or been intimidated when attempting to come forward, including regarding criminal offences committed by police officers, due to the obstruction of justice resulting from these factors?

Friday, 19 December 2014

Why North Korea isn't funny

Satire, the perfect antidote to the pious self-righteousness that all authoritarian ideologies rely upon to perpetuate themselves, is undoubtedly a crucial weapon of political dissident. Chaplin's caricature of Hitler, which he timelessly used as a platform to promote a humanistic and universalist worldview in The Great Dictator, is a prime example of this fact. This is the precise reason why North Korea, or at least its ideological adherents, have reacted ballistically to the relatively mediocre Hollywood production The Interview, as the North Korean regime is domestically reliant to extreme proportions upon a self-reverence that is self-evidently absurd under the gaze and deconstruction of its justifiable mockery. However, we should be mindful that, unlike North Koreans, we have the privilege to observe the North Korean state and the ideology it propagates as a bemusing spectacle from afar.

Quoting Marx, we refer to tragedies that turn into farce, but in the case of North Korea we seem to only focus on the farce of the spectacle of its cult of personality and propaganda narrative without any reflection on the material reality that is the tragedy. Staggeringly, the Hollywood-centric story about the hacking of Sony and the withdrawal of The Interview has received significantly more media coverage than the United Nations report which implicated the North Korean government and military in crimes against humanity including mass murder, rape, torture, enslavement and involuntary medical experimentation, including within a network of concentration camps established for the punishment of the smallest political dissident, which by any estimation are the closest in the modern world to those that existed in Nazi Europe. Elimination of freedom of expression is not only enforced through terror in North Korea, but easily maintained through its embedding into a social order where the state's ideology and the psyche of its subjects are indistinguishable, which is exactly how Orwell described the totalitarian regime in 1984 asserting its absolute domination; through the draconian regulation of all language and thought in order to abolish any diversity within it.

Despite the useful idiocy of North Korea's so-called leftist apologists in the West, the humanistic and egalitarian ideals of Marxism and socialism have been long eradicated from all state-sanctioned literature and political discourse. Society is instead indoctrinated into the Juche ideology which, as described in B.R. Myers's The Cleanest Race, promotes the values of jingoism, militarism and racial supremacy, within a society that represses all political dissident against a hierarchical and regimented social order that is headed by a cult of personality which propagates the literal divinity of the Kim dynasty. The Kims, who like most dictators are satisfied by a self-entitled lifestyle of gluttony and luxury, occupy an elite class that presides over a majority living standard which is defined by poverty and malnutrition. Although there are insurgent political movements in Europe which adhere to fascism and neo-Nazism in explicit terms, in practical terms North Korea and the racist, militarist, and fundamentalist ideology it upholds is most powerful fascist regime in the world today.

The grotesquely absurd spectacle of the North Korean regime we satirize is simply a reflection of its inherent nature.  The Interview debacle should ground us to reality into focusing on the criminality and misery the regime actually imposes on its people.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Ruthin School abuse cover-up and Freemasonry in North Wales Police

In August this year, I placed an advertisement in Private Eye asking for cases of abuse covered up by public institutions such as local authorities and school, motivated by my personal experience of these corrupt activities. One of the people who replied described to an institutional abuse case at Ruthin School, an established public school in North Wales.

They described the sexual abuse of multiple boys by one of the teachers of the school, a paedophile who took boys of the dormitory at night and into the spare room to sexually abuse them, often plying them with drink and drugs to facilitate this. He was not the only paedophile abusing boys at the school.

A thirteen year old boy at the school committed suicide, but the school's management were unmoved to take any action. It took the boy's parents to make relevant inquires, which is how the extent of the sexual abuse at the school was discovered. They reported the matter to North Wales Police, who proceeded to raid the paedophile teacher's home; they discovered child pornography on his computer and he was charged for the child sex offences.

Shortly before his trial began, the paedophile teacher joined the Freemasons, and to the bewilderment of the police his trial was thrown out of court before it began by the presiding judge. Freemasons apparently saturate the establishment in North Wales, including the police and legal system; among them are paedophiles involved in the institutional sexual abuse of children. A retired senior police officer and Freemason was arrested in January by Operation Pallial, the National Crime Agency and North Wales Police investigation into abuse at North Wales schools and children's homes.

I sent a summary of the emails about the Ruthin School abuse to Operation Paillal, suspecting that obvious perversion of justice motivated by conflict of interest had taken place in regards to the paedophile teacher. I only received a one line response which stated that it was not in Operation's remit to investigate, which I find odd given that such corruption could have compromised adequate investigation into this child sex abuse in potentially multiple other cases and historically facilitated further abuse in the process. It would be irrational to uniformly equate Freemasonry with paedophilia, but secret societies in their inherent nature, as observed in numerous other countries and throughout history, can easily be manipulated as a front to perpetrate criminality. Hopefully making this information public will incite the authorities to respond otherwise.


Monday, 15 December 2014

Mundane American atrocities

Nobody should be logically fazed by the new revelations of torture ordered and committed by the American government and Central Intelligence Agency, even though they are morally repulsive. This lack of surprise should guided by 1) the historical conduct of the CIA and 2) the attitude and track record of the U.S. government officials involved in perpetrating the torture. As previously stated, it was Deputy Assistant U.S. Attorney General John Yoo who, directly on behalf of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, concocted the legal excuses for the CIA detainees and (at very least alleged) enemy combatants held in the blacksite dungeons where the torture took place to not have the human rights of the Geneva Conventions applied to them during the War on Terror. (Willfully violating the Geneva Conventions is inherently and obviously a war crime). It was Yoo who stated that threatening to crush the testicles of a detainee's child would be a justifiable form of psychological torture for the president to authorize.

The torture employed by the CIA, directly facilitated through the sanction of the war criminal Bush administration, included forcing medical instruments into the anuses of detainees in order to pump foodstuffs into their rectums as a form of "hydration" (an antiquated method of forced feeding which can cause anal fissures and prolapses and apparently did on one occasion), and leaving detainees chained in freezing cold temperatures, which led to the death of at least one detainee, Gul Rahman (whose hashtagged name deserves to trend on social media as much as the black victims of domestic American police brutality). Furthermore, children were actually raped in front of their parents. The definition of torture is the calculated infliction of physical and psychological suffering as punishment or as a (clearly erroneous and fruitless) form of intelligence gathering. It cannot be said that these atrocities were limited to torture if systematic rape, child abuse and murder took place as well. It is self-evidently in kind with the child testicle-crushing school of ethics. How can America, along with nations such as Britain and Poland who aided and abetted these crimes, take the moral high ground above the likes of al-Qaeda and ISIL if it makes excuses and rejects the prosecution of those responsible for this?

The brazen arrogance publicly displayed by the war criminals behind this barbarism, such as John Brennan and Dick Cheney, indicates a self-assured understanding that they will never be brought to justice. Like all professional criminals, they exhibit a shameless contempt for basic justice and civility. Other war criminals, such as Henry Kissinger (never prosecuted for, in criminal partnership with the CIA, supplanting democratically elected governments in Latin America with far-right military juntas or authorizing the use of chemical weapons against civilians in Vietnam), are well-acquainted with this corruptly untouchable impunity. The cowardly administration of Barack Obama (whom Malcolm X would undoubtedly identify as a "House Negro" for his white masters) has reasserted that Bush administration and CIA officials will face no criminal prosecution for their war crimes, reinforcing America's complete moral bankruptcy and hypocrisy.

It is thus the duty of human rights organizations and campaigners in general to lobby for these war criminals to face justice by other means. The International Criminal Court should be appealed to assert its universal jurisdiction and issue arrest warrants. If the U.S. government and law enforcement agencies refuse to comply with the warrants, this would at least exhibit America's status as a nation in contempt of human rights and international criminal law (as always shown by its servility to war criminal Israel). Even if the war criminals are never practically brought to justice, they should at least live in the knowlege of being known as such until their destructive and wretched existences end, and in the posterity of history.


Tuesday, 2 December 2014

On the UK's absurd sexual ethics

Keith Bristow, the head of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre that is part of the UK's National Crime Agency, recently stated that his organisation did not have adequate resources from the government to bring over fifty thousand paedophiles to justice for downloading images of the sexual abuse of children. Among them was Myles Bradbury, the doctor who has been convicted for abusing dozens of boys in his care. One would assume that protecting children from abuse and exploitation would be one of the utmost priorities of a supposedly civilised society, but evidently not.

In contrast to this apathy, a group of lawyers acting on behalf of the UK government have decided behind closed doors to criminalise the pornographic portrayal of legal sexual acts between consenting adults. And this is supported by a government which claims to defend civil liberties. Adhering to Victorian levels of backwards prudishness, this includes portrayals of BDSM, watersports (urination), spanking, facesitting, and female ejaculation.

Of course, the concept of stuffy judges pontificating on the merits of allowing the portrayal of fetishised spanking and urination may be amusing and titillating to some due to its inherent ridiculousness, but it sets dangerous and destructive precedents in the puritanical and authoritarian values it represents. 

It reminds one of Orwell's Nineteen-Eighty Four, in which Agent O'Brien, the torturer of dissident Winston Smith, informs Winston of the ruling Party's agenda to abolish human sexuality and the orgasm following his illegal affair with Julia, a member of the regime-supported Anti-Sex League. There is a reason why the fundamentalists and fascists of the past and present are so neurotically fixated on human sexuality, represented by its perception of "deviancy", a literal example of the Orwellian thoughtcrime, and resulting in anti-sexual barbarism such as corrective rape and female genital mutilation. The bodily repression of sexuality encapsulates and facilitates tyranny over our minds and identities by authoritarian ideologues and their stone age mentalities.

A particularly repulsive detail of these laws are their bizarre fixation on female ejaculation, which is seemingly included because it could be constructed as or resemble urine fetishism, which is in itself a completely harmless sexual act involving consenting adults in the first place. This naive teenage boy-like presumption of female ejaculate being urine also contradicts established medical science on the subject. The same standard does not apply to male ejaculation, so presumably indicates a belief that part of female sexuality is inherently unacceptable and obscene. Will girls be indoctrinated in school in the style of the homophobic Section 47 that their bodies and sexuality are innately shameful, abnormal and disgusting because they could ejaculate on orgasm? That is the psychologically harmful anti-women logic of this criminalisation.

Another point, presumably identified by others, is that these laws are formulated on the basis of a one-dimensional gender binary that essentially ignores the existence of transgender and intersex people, further emphasising how inapplicable and far removed they are from encompassing 21st century values and legal standards.

These dinosaur laws should therefore be opposed by anyone concerned with the erosion of civil liberties and bigoted assaults on sexuality and womanhood. Perhaps the establishment should devote its draconian attention to those involved in the sexual abuse of children instead, including those in its midst.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

The East Riding of Yorkshire Cover-up?

Pam Allen, the head of the East Riding of Yorkshire Council's children and young people's support and safeguarding children services since 2009, was the director of child safeguarding at Rotherham Council. She faces a probe by South Yorkshire Police regarding her role in the organised cover-up of the failure to prevent mass child sexual exploitation in the town; as are two of her former Rotherham colleagues who are also now employed by the ERYC.

Although the ERYC claimed that it would "review" Ms Allen's position, it is evident that they retain confidence in her as she remains on their safeguarding children board, whose November 2014 newsletter (http://www.erscb.org.uk/news/newsletter/) notes her participation in a seminar on the history of social work:

"Pam Allen provided a whistle stop history of Social Work practice. It was a helpful reflection on how the profession has developed from the first Social Workers called hospital almoners right through to the recent publication of the Jay Report."

It is the same Jay Report in which Ms Allen is implicated in being involved in Rotherham Council's systematic cover-up of the mass rape, trafficking, sexual enslavement, and torture of hundreds of young people by paedophile grooming gangs; including children under the care of the institutions that she presided over. At least one was murdered. Perhaps the "whistle stop" referred to could be interpreted as techniques relayed to ERYC staff by Ms Allen with which to repressively bully and intimidate whistleblowers, as occurred in Rotherham Council?

Her department failed to act, despite multiple governmental and police reports detailing the extent of the abuse; the council staff who tried to speak out have reported being harassed and ignored by their superiors, and one researcher had her office broken into and her research papers detailing the council's failures stolen and presumably destroyed in an effort to pervert the course of justice.

How can the public possibly have any trust in the East Riding of Yorkshire Council to safeguard children when those employed to do so by the ERYC display such brazen shamelessness and hypocrisy, even when they are under investigation for negligence and corruption of[potentially criminal proportions? It certainly incites concern for the welfare of children in East Yorkshire if these are the standards of ethics and accountability the ERYC is comfortable with.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Tear down this wall

To mark the 25th anniversary of the Berlin Wall's falling, a group of Palestinians  activists punctured a symbolic hole in one of the separation barriers that segregates their country's borders from that of Israel's. The Israeli-Palestinian division is relatively similar to the divided Germany, but international recognition of the Palestinian state is limited in comparison to that granted to East Germany. The consensus of the "international community" (usually a euphemism for the United States government that obstructs any attempt to hold the Israeli government accountable for its violations of international law) advocates a two-state "solution" that would only slightly modify the borders defined by Israel militarism and annexation of Palestinian territory, while doing nothing to address the human rights violations the Palestinians are subjected to, which is in many ways identical to South African apartheid both practically and geopolitically. A bill proposed by Israeli MPs in the Knesset proposes an Israeli state officially defined as a "Jewish" one, that would abolish the cultural, linguistic and religious recognition of Arabs in the country. This one-dimensional racism is presumably motivated by a mentality in which "Arab" is interchangeable with "Muslim", when the country is in actuality also populated by minorities such as Christians and Druze from Jewish, Arab and other ethnic backgrounds. The moral mediocrity of the two-state solution will do nothing to counteract the militarism and racism of the Zionist far-right, which chants "Death to Arabs!" in the streets and is supported by an intelligentsia including MPs, rabbis and journalists who are openly enthused by the prospect of a Palestinian genocide.

In a geographical and logistic sense, the segregation between the Israeli and Palestinian states is equatable to the quasi-enclaves in apartheid South Africa that were the designated territories of the abused and suppressed blacks.

The real solution would be the one-state solution: constitutionally ratifying a unified, secular Israeli-Palestinian state in which basic human rights, including religious freedom, are enshrined into law rather than repressed by it.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

The need for space travel

The explosion of the Antares and Virgin Galactic rockets might make us reconsider utility of space travel. Is it worth using so many resources and even endangering lives for a cause that is viewed by some as ultimately conceptually quixotic and practically superfluous? NASA has already abandoned its manned space flights and has been stripped of much of its spending while China increasingly overtakes it in terms of ambition. Since the height of the Space Race and the Apollo Program, humanity has massively regressed from the vision of the likes of Robert Goddard and Jack Parsons. But there is indeed a justification for civilian space travel and exploration in the most profound terms:

Even if we cease destroying the Earth's habitation with climate change, overpopulation or nuclear holocaust, its viability for supporting life is ultimately finite. The same thing can be said about the universe, but the planet will be destroyed by a Red Dwarfed Sun in around 7.5 billion years, whereas the entire lifespan of our known universe is estimated in the hundreds of billions. Ethical concerns about extraterrestrial life notwithstanding, with space travel humanity could be able to populate other planets, either through terraforming providing them with the correct acclimatization or that preexisting in them. Thus if our scientific knowledge and advancement keeps persisting over billions of years, then we could possibly manage to transcend the dimensions of our physical universe and find a home in alternate ones. If we really care about posterity and self-preservation, then it should be in our sights. 

Saturday, 1 November 2014

The capitalist malignancy

The ongoing catastrophic Ebola crisis in West Africa perfectly encapsulates the moral and practical pitfalls of our prevailing economic system. In the West, we usually react to human suffering in the alien lands we have plundered and devastated for centuries apathetically. It is probably most often referred in patronizing comparison to that which exists in our own societies, i.e. the implication that the millions living in relative poverty should be grateful for not living in absolute poverty. The asylum seekers fleeing to our shores from the social breakdown, war and environmental degradation of our making can always be condemned to death by drowning or suffocation or injury, or hatefully scapegoated if they otherwise succeed. But in the case of Ebola such selfishness is presumably, at least logically, not an option. Maybe I'm not alright, Jack? Even though our healthcare and outbreak prevention is comparatively robust, we know from much media fanfare that Ebola can effect us, and fatally. One is reminded of Joseph Stalin's remark of one death being a tragedy and a million being a statistic, a sense which is perhaps multiplied if those sparing deaths are Caucasian.

And yet (and yet!), despite all such circumstantial and existential leeway being granted to our racial and socioeconomic solipsism, we are faced with the grotesquely pitiful spectacle of international aid agencies effectively begging for charitable donations from the public to combat the ongoing outbreak and scientifically develop a vaccine to cure the disease, because the resources provided by governments and pharmaceutical conglomerates are inadequate. A fraction of the multi-billions in capital our elites hoard, or of the multi-trillions they have stashed in offshore tax havens, would suffice to meet these ends. Which addresses the central point, in this case represented by the rotting piles of Ebola-infected caresses in the room: that the disease and poverty that causes the unnecessary suffering of our species is, as Nelson Mandela stated, entirely preventable and man-made.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Misogynist terrorism

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai was shot in the face by morally and intellectually primitive thugs from the Taliban because she dared speak in favour of the cause of equality for women and girls. The gangsters from ISIL and their African allies Boko Haram employ rape, torture and sexual slavery against those who dare to stray from the ideology of women's subordination in their occupied territories.

The so-called "Gamergate" fiasco, for the most part, has only occupied my attention as a farcical and pathetic exercise in feeble-minded cultural backwardness: a backlash against diversity and political insight contradicting it daring to be present in the general hobby and industry of video gaming. But these indignant temper tantrums have mutated into a much uglier exercise in intimidation and bigotry. Women are being threatened with bombings, mass shootings, rape and murder for merely exerting their right to freedom of expression by defending the presence of persons and opinions within this one realm of society's commerce and artistry. This thus reflects a misogynist terrorist ideology beholden to a seemingly limitless extent of violence; a sickness that it revels in. It is no exaggeration to refer to it as such, given that it and its apologists engage in virulent ideological misogyny comparable to that of the worst Islamic terrorist groups.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Lord Freud and the rhetoric of disability hate

The odious remarks of welfare reform minister Lord Freud, who implied that disabled people were "not worth" the minimum wage and should be paid below it when employed, have justifiably incited public and political outrage. But there is nothing new in terms of the sentiments of Freud's remarks. They are merely a reflection, or a consistent continuation, of the prejudiced, discriminatory hate-driven attitudes towards people with disabilities, chronic illnesses and mental health conditions that are ubiquitous and normalised within our society and political and media discourse, in which the scapegoating of disabled people in receipt of state benefits as "shrikers" and "scroungers" who are emblematic of the "something for nothing culture" is viewed as fair game. Such is the depth of the hate in this venal propaganda that comparisons to dehumanisation of disabled people in Nazi Germany cannot be cited as a superficial example of Godwin's law, but rather a legitimate historical comparison.

Labour have sought to make political capital from the backlash of Lord Freud's remarks. But it was Labour, during the Blair and Brown administrations, who brought Freud into government in the first place. Their neo-Thatcherite New Labour ideology is responsible for facilitating his influence. It was Labour, following Lord Freud's advice, who introduced private sector contracting into assessment for incapacity benefits, which led to the creation of Employment Support Allowance and a Work Capability Assessment administered by the profit-driven Atos Healthcare, which began to strip severely disabled and chronically sick people, including terminal cancer patients, of their welfare benefits, in total contempt of the medical evidence and facts about their conditions. Under Lord Freud's guidance, Labour introduced a regime of benefit sanctioning blackmailing the same incapacitated people with financial deprivation, even destitution, if they failed to pursue or partake in employment (including unpaid workfare) after being deemed "fit for work" by this non-medical and pseudoscientific assessment system.

Despite the destructive nature of this regime, which could easily be described as a grave human rights violation as defined by international law, it has been vastly expanded and accelerated under David Cameron's government since 2010, with Lord Freud staying put in the Department of Work and Pensions led by Iain Duncan Smith. As well as innumerable mental health crises, there have since been dozens of anecdotal cases of deaths directly caused by the sanctioning and stripping of severely disabled people's benefits by the system designed by Lord Freud. There are potentially hundreds if not thousands of deaths it is responsible for. The technical term for murder by government is democide.

Under the Cameron government, Lord Freud's next contribution to society has been the bedroom tax (or under-occupancy penalty), a policy that financially sanctions social housing tenants (invariably people on low incomes) for rooms that are deemed to be "spare", and which hundreds of thousands of disabled people (including disabled children) have been effected by, including for "spare" rooms meant for overnight carers or storage of mobility and medical equipment. Many also have homes with special adaptions for their impairments. Despite the chronic housing shortage that makes downsizing into a new property impossible for most, the only relief for the disabled people impacted are discretionary payments from local authorities which are themselves rationed, so frequently unavailable to them. Many have gone without food and heating to pay the bedroom tax and face the threat of being evicted into homelessness by bailiffs when unable to pay. Lord Freud, country mansion resident, is unrepentant.

As well as remorselessly and enthusiastically imposing Lord Freud's brutal sanctioning and assessment system and bedroom tax, it is the same Cameron government (Tory, but aided and abetted by the moral non-entity Liberal Democrats) that has inflicted a wholesale assault on disabled people including: below inflation freezes to benefit increases, the replacement of Disability Living Allowance with Personal Independence Payments that have new claimant terms resulting in real term benefit cuts for thousands, cuts to social care and mobility support, the closure of Remploy services providing employment opportunities, cuts to council tax support creating a new poll tax additionally diminishing impoverished disabled people's incomes, as well as a general pandering to the aforementioned media propaganda which has, likely beyond a reasonable doubt, contributed to a statistical influx in disability hate crimes being reported to police forces across the country.

Thus one vacuous remark from Lord Freud regarding disabled people in paid employment incites indignation, yet the reaction to these state-sanctioned human rights abuses against disabled people seems tame in comparison. The dehumanisation of this "life unworthy of life" and the resulting injury and death is evidently viewed as morally legitimate by our political and media establishment.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Rotherham, child abuse, racism and cover-ups

The political and media establishment must not be allowed to twist a matter of establishment corruption into one of race and immigration. The Rotherham child abuse case, in which hundreds of children were raped, sexually enslaved and tortured on a mass scale, is emblematic of a society that blames the victims of abuse and turns a blind eye to it to suit its own vested interests. A society in which the children victim to this institutionalised neglect and maltreatment are viewed as collateral damage in the establishment's self-serving damage control cover-up agenda.

Granted, it is possible "political correctness", or facetious concerns about "race relations", were used a tool with which to conveniently ignore the abuse of children in Rotherham. The authorities (council, police and social services) also opted for the victim blaming standpoint that the girls being abused were "promiscuous" and from "troubled" families; that they only had themselves to blame. These bureaucrats were opportunistic liars and abettors of the child abusers.

The Jimmy Savile and Cyril Smith cases are no different in practice; the difference in both being that the perpetrators of the child abuse were white men in positions of authority and influence, with both men abusing this power in order to cover-up their rape and paedophilia; with dozens in positions of power and authority acting in their favour. Government, council, medical and social services authorities were institutionally, ubiquitously and deliberately complicit to Savile and Smith's abuse of hundreds of children. Public relations and financial interests were priority to these criminal obstructors of justice and accomplices to child abusers. Rotherham, Rochdale and Jimmy Savile are certainly not isolated cases. The active covering up of the abuse of children on a mass scale by the establishment, especially social care authorities, is a phenomenon that has and continues to ruin the lives of thousands of children in the UK. It is an atrocity that must be revealed.


Thursday, 2 October 2014

John Whiteside "Jack" Parsons (1914-1952)



October 2, 2014 marks the one hundredth birthday of one of the most revolutionary and ingenious scientists of the 20th century; yet his public profile can be described as modest, if not negligible at worst. There are many scientists from modern history whose legacies and identities are imprinted in the public consciousness. Among them are Albert Einstein in physics, Alan Turing in computing, Tim-Berners Lee in information technology, and Marie Curie in chemistry. John Whiteside Parsons, who is usually referred to as Jack Parsons, was easily on par with these greats in both terms of his genius and his contributions in his own field: rocketry. Wernher von Braun, the Operation Paperclip recruit responsible for Apollo 11's Saturn V, is said to have credited Parsons as being more important than himself to the American space program.

Parsons is notable, if not notorious, as being the cultural spectacle of being both a rocket scientist and an occultist follower of Aleister Crowley's Thelema belief system. I began researching Parsons for this very reason (with credit to John Carter, George Pendle, Robert Anton Wilson and Susan Pile): the concept of a pioneering rocket engineer and prophetic advocate for human space travel being commitedly involved in neopaganism is an immediately fascinating idea within itself. At face value his story sounds like a cross-over between The Big Bang Theory and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The more I have learned about Parsons through acquiring as much biographical information about him as possible, however, transcends this novelty. I came to appreciate not only a scientist who provided both the practical and visionary means for present day rocket-based space travel and research, and that in the Space Race before it, but also a political, religious and philosophical thinker of immense moral principle, creativity, and cultural foresight.

Parsons was one of the main scientists responsible for the foundation of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, which is today as a primary subdivision of NASA controlling space exploration missions such as the Mars rover program. Beside his contemporaries he spearheaded its establishment as part of the original Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory Rocket Research Group at the California Institute of Technology (GACLIT) in the 1930s. Much like Issac Newton, Parsons was a prodigal autodidact. He began constructing rockets with his friend Edward Forman at the age of 16, resulting in the primordial basis of his groundbreaking inventions at Caltech. Jack was the child of privilege, but the loss of the family fortune during the Depression meant that he could not afford to attain a university degree (even though tuition fees at American universities were then a few hundred bucks, in contrast to the many thousands of today).

Unabated, Parsons and Forman basically walked into Caltech one day and approached the great aerodynamicist Theodore von Karman, who referred them to his PhD student Frank Malina (who was the first director of JPL and built one of the first rockets used for non-military means). Parsons, Forman and Malina formed the GALCIT Group at Caltech, which was known as "The Suicide Squad" for its usually explosive rocket experiments and subject to mockery from the Caltech establishment.  

Their idealism was pragmatically reliant upon the military-industrial complex during World War II: the U.S. government and military providing subsidy for their development of Jet-Assisted Takeoff units that were vital to the Allied war effort against fascism. But it was these funds that led to Parsons' invention of the first solid-fuel rocket units that were the technological blueprint for the realization of space travel (via Apollo and the Space Shuttle) that Parsons' first envisioned in his teenage days, along with liquid-fuel formulations which were just as vital to the same technologies; both remaining intrinsic to (albeit more limited) space science in the modern age.

Parsons' career, however, was stifled by his personal and political life. As a Thelemite and individualist (the two are interchangeable) who advocated for racial equality, feminism and sexual liberation in 1930s-40s and then Cold War America, he was prey to the bigotry and McCarthyism that the scientific establishment was beholden to. In this context, Parsons can be compared to William S. Burroughs (also born in 1914) as a precipitating elder statesman of 20th century counterculture. Because of this he was forced to resort to work far beneath his abilities, including pyrotechnic and chemical engineering contracting which stockpiled the materials that tragically ignited the explosion that killed him at age 37. 

Another reason Parsons fell upon this misfortune is that he was made broke by L. Ron Hubbard, a one-time friend and occult associate who participated in his Babalon Working (which aimed to conjure Thelema's Sophia-like goddess of freethought and individual liberation into our mortal plain). Hubbard swindled him of his money through a fraudulent investment scheme, and used appropriation of both Parsons' funds and philosophical ideas to found Dianetics and Scientology, which are among the most destructive and extensive con tricks in modern history. It is an intellectual and cultural disgrace that an unscrupulous and venomous huckster like Hubbard could have a reputation so expansive in comparison to Parsons, the former being among most successful snakeoil salesmen of the modern age and the latter one of the most under-appreciated actual scientists.

Like George Orwell, there is a sparse amount of images and video of Parsons, and no recordings of his voice. Yet according to his contemporaries, he was an orator with the skill to induce strong emotions in his religious followers. One can imagine Parsons, if he had lived, as a countercultural and scientific public speaker similar to Richard Feynman and Alan Watts with an extensive Californian-accented charisma to very effectively relay his ideas. In other words, L. Ron without the snakeoil.

When we see the footage of the Moon landings (where a crater is named after Parsons), or spot the International Space Station above our orbit in the sky, we can appreciate that these are feats of human accomplishment that Jack Parsons was integral to the achievement of, and which were originally relegated to the supposedly impossible words of his mystical and sci-fi enthusiasms. For posterity, we should hope that he is recognized as one of the giants of 20th century scientific achievement.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Umbrella Revolution

This blog frequently receives page visits from China. Given that it frequently discusses political dissent and protest movements, including the Tienanmen square incident, it somewhat surprises me that it could be accessible on the mainland. Thus I hope that those Chinese readers can receive this direct message to them.

I hope that you will support the movement for universal suffrage and democratic self-determination in Hong Kong. Hong Kongers have the fundamental human right to be free from the hegemony and diktat of Beijing and the Communist Party. This does not mean that your country, its culture and people are held in contempt: the corruption and inequality imposed upon you by your ruthlessly elitist and repressive political order impacts the entirety of China. The socialism that the Communist Party claims to stand for is contradicted by the vast iniquity and ubiquitous corruption and economic exploitation it sanctions, which is no different to the economic and social injustice being revolted against in the West. I hope that Hong Kong will inspire you to stand up for human rights in China just the same.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Redefining jihad

In the West, the Islamic term jihad is almost ubiquitously associated with the extremism and fundamentalism that is a microcosm of the religion's diverse, global population, such as that perpetrated by the sadists and gangsters of Islamic State. Thus in this context jihad is uniformly associated with beheadings, suicide bombings, violent misogyny, and ethno-religious persecution. But this is morally a gross misnomer. Jihad in Islamic terms means struggle: the struggle for truth and justice, and ultimately peace. The brave Kurdish Muslims of the PKK aiming to defend themselves, alongside the Yazidis, from Islamic State genocide and barbarism, can therefore be described as jihadis in the true and honourable sense. As can the participants of the Arab Spring who have resisted authoritarian repression and corruption.

There is no sense jihad in the ideology of salafi-fascists who justify their brutality and hatred with propaganda of deceit, and who are committed to denying humanity, including Muslims, their basic civil and human rights. These thugs therefore must not be permitted to such a linguistic monopoly. In being granted it we portray their crimes in the terms they would prefer.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Richard Dawkins and abortion









Words matter. When I was nine years old, I was victim to a disability hate crime that was so traumatic it took me over a decade until I reported it to the police. The person who committed this offence knew that I had a disability, developmental coordination disorder (dyspraxia). In a public place, they stated, in mind of self-care, social and mobility difficulties: "That child should have been abortion."

Disabled people regularly face, perhaps usually in more subtle and subliminal forms, the implication of their inherently burdensome presence, or facetiously, sympathy for the supposedly inherently unbearable nature of this existence. In their most extreme form, these ethos motivated the "mercy killing" of Nazi Germany's Action T4 regime (which is a relevant historical observation rather than a mere example of Godwin's law).

Of course, childbearers should not be shamed or stigmatised by their decision to medically end a pregnancy. This could indeed be because of a child's disability; severe mutations causing immense suffering within a very short lifespan. But persons with Down's syndrome are unlike these cases, given that many of them lead fulfilling lives in the shelter of relatives and friends who love and cherish them. They chosen and valued, with the implication that they are uniformly, innately shameful or defective being the most damaging influence on their quality of life. The greatest suffering they face is probably such ignorance and prejudice, which is why Richard Dawkins, if he is a humanist, should rethink the ethical basis for his remarks.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

I am not white

I am not white. I may be primarily Caucasian, but from my mother's side I am partially Roma, and from my father's I am partially Cook Island Māori. Thus I am mixed racedefinitely the Other. I am ashamed to have presented myself as "white" by default in the past, but perhaps the pain of the shame of my childhood was too much to confront.

My skin is darkly-toned, my nose is slightly wide, my forehead is slightly high. I therefore do not doubt that racism, at least subconsciously, singled me out for victimhood from the adults abusing their authority to perpetrate their other forms of institutional abuse and discrimination, all trauma which responsible for my mental health condition. "Jacob looks unwashed", they told my mother, who was literally described as "swarthy" by them. "He has dark rings under his eyes" was an issue. One attempted to scrub my "dirty", brown-skinned little hands.

I am Jacob Richardson. I am not white. I will fight for justice and shame you for your white supremacy instead.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Obama protects the torturers

"We tortured some folks", was Barack Obama's folksy admission that officials within the Bush administration and CIA sanctioned and orchestrated these systematically perpetrated international law violations and human rights abuses of their detainees. A similarly folksy response can be given to the question of whether they will be prosecuted for these felonies: Nope.

Shortly after banning the use of "enhanced interrogation methods" (one of the most fatuous and contemptibly evasive propaganda euphemisms even linguistically constructed) in 2009, the Obama administration outright refused to prosecute those who permitted and ordered barbarism such as potentially lethal waterboarding, stress positions, sensory deprivation, and threats of violence and death against detainees and their family members, despite the use of torture most often resulting in false intelligence being provided by those subjected to them. To paraphrase former Navy SEAL Jesse Ventura: "Give me Dick Cheney and a waterboard and I'll get him to confess to the Charles Manson murders."

In 2009, Spain levelled (but then dropped) criminal charges against six figures from the Defense and Justice (how Orwellian) departments responsible for organizing the Bush administration's torture human rights abuses and war crimes. To me the vilest of them all is John Yoo, the Attorney General who through technicalities and legalese constructed the internal justifications that torture methods such as waterboarding were not implicitly constitutionally "cruel and unusual punishment", or illegal. It was Yoo who stated that threatening to crush the testicles of a detainee's child was fair game in the name of military intelligence gathering. But the UN Convention Against Torture says otherwise.

In refusing to prosecute these international criminals, the Obama administration abandoned any pretension that it would take the moral high ground regarding the contempt of international law seen in the Bush era. Patronizing, self-serving promises of "reform" or "resolution" will not do. Anyone who cares about the idealized basic ethical values of modern civilization should fight for the Bush administration torturers to be behind the dock at the International Criminal Court.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Assisted dying and the meaning of dignity

Here is a boringly unprovocative suggestion: both sides of the assisted dying debate have good moral arguments and are more than often motivated by an ethical sense of empathy and compassion. Some on either side may be misguided to mutually accuse each other of representing extreme viewpoints to the contrary, with the proponents of assisted dying being painted as nihilistic eugenicists who seek vulnerable and chronically sick people's lives to be treated as burdensome and disposable, and the opponents viewed as religious fundamentalists committed to the perpetuation of aimless mortal suffering being imposed on the dying for the dogmatic and/or God-fearing sake of it.

In truth, it seems that the united concern of both sides, overwhelmingly, is the safeguarding of existential human dignity, a concern which is an extremely sound basis to have any moral or political debate about. In this paradigm, there is concern that allowing assisted dying will contribute to the social conditions that already victimize, dehumanize and neglect the well-being of the elderly and people with disabilities -- and on the other side objection to terminally dying people being paternalistically forced to bear excruciating pain and indignity at the end of life with no conscious self-determination to the contrary.

I come to the conclusion that the onus is on wider society to resolve these dilemmas. There would be small concern about vulnerable people being pressurized into death if defending the basic welfare and dignity of every human being was embedded into the fabric of life, as opposed to the selfishness and cruelty that frequently disposes elderly people into care homes that are often run for-profit, leaves disabled people languishing in poverty, and cattle manages mental health patients with sedation and institutional brutalization. To assure dignity in dying we must also ensure dignity in living.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Nazism and Israel

Nazi Germany's Holocaust of Jews provides a historical model of precedence with which to reticently observe the State of Israel's state-sanctioned racism, exiling and war crimes against the Palestinians. I make no apology for this standpoint. As Holocaust survivor Suzanne Weiss states:

" The tragic experience of my family and community under Hitler makes me alert to the suffering of other peoples denied their human rights today -- including the Palestinians."

 "The Palestinians are victims of ethnic cleansing and apartheid. Hitler started with that, but went on to extermination...
"Yet for me, the Israeli government's actions toward the Palestinians awaken horrific memories of my family's experiences under Hitlerism: the inhuman walls, the checkpoints, the daily humiliations, killings, diseases, the systematic deprivation. There's no escaping the fact that Israel has occupied the entire country of Palestine, and taken most of the land, while the Palestinians have been expelled, walled off, and deprived of human rights and human dignity."

It is true that there has yet to have been an industrial mass murder of Palestinians comparable to the Holocaust. But a systematic and cultural dehumanisation of the Palestinians (including Jews in the Palestinian territories!), which has motivated the murder, torture, rape and deposing of tens of thousands of men, women and children over decades is, in the practice of ethno-religious hatred it represents, wholly similar to Kristallnacht and Lebensraum. A second Holocaust could happen; the Balkan crimes of the 1990s has been the closest thing to it. The instruments of murder are hypothetical, but it is a willfully naive historical and sociological illiteracy to not comprehend how the enormity of the preexisting and historical crimes against the Palestinians could incite precise and observational comparisons to Nazi antisemitism, along with concerns that they could lead to atrocities even more unspeakable.

A Jewish man abused like an animal by the Nazis and a Palestinian girl abused like an animal by the IDF.
Or, if we prefer, we can give free reign to fascistic Israeli war criminals to defile and manipulate Nazi Germany's crimes against humanity, its victims and survivors, to facilitate their own.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Tory NHS privatisation plan comes to fruition

Oliver Letwin infamously stated in 2004 that the National Health Service would not exist within five years of a Conservative government coming to power. He is being proven right, and his own proposed model with which to privatise the NHS is being used to ensure it.

In 1988 Letwin advocated the replacement of the NHS with a "National Health Insurance Scheme". This NHIS would transform the NHS from a single-payer universal healthcare system into one in which patients, or "consumers", would select provision of healthcare service from within an internal market via individual health insurance accounts, thereby making it function as a voucher system. In other words, the NHS would be privatised and transformed into a for-profit operation, no long a public service, with terms overwhelmingly dictated by private healthcare companies regardless of the impact on patient care.

In 2014 it is being proposed that millions of NHS patients should "select" their healthcare services using a voucher system from within an NHS which is being rapidly fragmented to the benefit of private healthcare companies taking over NHS services and running them for-profit following the passage of the Health and Social Care Bill. Aren't the healthcare services you truly need covered by your health vouchers? Then pay.

Oliver Letwin's plan to privatise the NHS to coming to fruition: it is falling into place precisely. That has and always will be the Tory plan.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Vindication regarding child abuse cover-ups

The issue of organised child abuse being systematically cover up by those with establishment political authority is a scandal which only now is coming to fore in the mass media. This is vindicating. Since I was sadistically sexually abused within institutions (experiences which you can read some of the detail of here) entrusted to educate and care for me over a decade ago, I have spoken out against the injustice and corruption that facilitated these crimes. Equally on a multitude of occasions, even as a desperate and mentally disturbed child, I was shut-down and dismissed by those influenced or outright controlled by the local authority when I tried to discuss my trauma and get help for the metastasized mental illness caused by it, which plagues me constantly. The scars on my wrists mark their moral depravity and lies, and the psychiatric injuries that will never heal.

Nonetheless, I am determined for the crimes against children that have been perpetrated and covered up on an institutional scale to be revealed, and for the victims to have justice. There can be no limitations on police or governmental inquiries and those who engineered the cover-up of child abuse should be prosecuted for their multi-decade criminal conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. The modus operandi of institutionalised victim blaming and concealment I have no doubt has facilitated the abuse of thousands of children, and equally the cover-up of these crimes.

Monday, 2 June 2014

One-dimensional video gaming

Video gaming software and the creations arising from it are more advanced than ever; imaging them would seem fanciful to young minds of generations used to them. Titles such as Grand Theft Auto V dazzle us with their expansive, realistically-textured and epic (forgive the term) inventiveness. A title enjoying a major marketing campaign is Ubisoft's Watch Dogs, one of the first products in general for the new Playstation 4 platform.


I will get straight to the point about my source of contention. I predicted before Watch Dogs was released that its protagonist would be a probably heterosexual white Caucasian male in his twenties or thirties with a very uninspiring personality type, with the main interest for the player derived from his convenient, almost superhuman ability to easily interact with the preexisting gameplay mechanics. I was right!

To be fair, a lot of major game developers will be more daring than Ubisoft in this case. They may write a protagonist who is a probably heterosexual white Caucasian male in his twenties or thirties...with some five o'clock shadow.

I am obviously not implying that this problem is uniform among all major developing studios. I'm sure that there are plenty of games with dynamic and creative storylines and mechanics which delve into the complexity and diversity of the human condition. So maybe given the advent of new generation tools at their disposal, more studios could take upon themselves to aspire to the same rather than focusing on the white dude shoots at and messes with stuff formula?

Thursday, 29 May 2014

The rise of UKIP

Forgive me for sounding like a political hipster, but I predicted or even assumed years ago that the UK Independence Party's effective populist operation would eventually result in its massive influx in popular support.  Many in the media and political class have attempted to continue the narrative that UKIP is a vent for hard right Tories frustrated with David Cameron's Conservative Party. Despite the fact that Cameron has imposed the most economically right-wing extremist programme since the Thatcher era, he may nevertheless may be considered as too cosmopolitan (his support for equal marriage being a primary example) and inadequately xenophobic for some. But given that UKIP is also significantly eating into the vote of traditional Labour voters, this notion is defunct. But why?

The overwhelming majority of the UK public are non-voters, entirely disillusioned or even outright repulsed by an entirely non-representative and rotten political order; support of former non-voters is from where a substantial proportion of UKIP's surge has arisen. The UKIP surge may may indeed be a so-called "protest vote". But what against? Living standards perpetually diminish while wealth inequality following the financial crisis and publicly-subsidised rescue of the economic elite deepens. Investment in social housing is scant while the parasite landlord and property developer classes profit from extorting wider society for the land and properties available. And migrants, who are overwhelmingly the victims of the same exploitation, are an easy scapegoat.

The Tories, as I mention, continue their tradition of maintaining and accelerating these inequalities and exploitation. The Lib Dems, needless to say, also facilitate it. Labour provides a weak opposition and consolidates to the ideological austerity narrative. Perhaps only the Green Party, whose media attention is minuscule compared to UKIP's, presents an alternative platform of substance. So no wonder UKIP, which claims to stand against the vested interests of elite corporatism as often as it rabble-rouses against the racially and ethno-religiously stereotyped Others, has collected so much support within the democratic vacuum's despondency and alienation.

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Natalie Bennett must debate Nigel Farage

UKIP are a party whose rapid influx in electoral success can be attributed to its effective anti-establishment and populist rhetoric, which portrays itself as standing for public opinion in the face of mass disillusionment and economic malaise amid the perpetual economic crisis.

There is no evidence to suggest, however, that a majority of public opinion would favour large budget cuts to the National Health Service and state pension, as Nigel Farage has said he does. I do not believe that the UK public would be receptive to the wholesale privatisation of the NHS and public services, the abolition of the minimum wage and the right to paid holiday and maternity leave, or an increase in income tax for poor and middle income households and a cut for the richest through the introduction of a flat-tax system. All of these proposals are UKIP policies.

The Conservatives and Lib Dems are committedly destroying the social and economic democracy and justice remaining in the UK in government. UKIP would destroy it even more rapidly and radically. The Labour Party have failed and abandoned it.

The Green Party led by Natalie Bennett, conversely, would provide adequate investment in public services and reverse their privatisation, restore a progressive tax system to deal with inequality, protect human and economic rights and the environment, combat the international climate change crisis, be welcoming to the positive contributions of immigrants and ensure a humane rather than institutionally racist treatment of refugees, and introduce a guaranteed basic income as a universal economic safety net while providing support for disabled and vulnerable people unconditionally. I am not claiming that the Greens are a perfect organisation; I contend with a dogmatic opposition to the genetic modification of crops, and dislike the treatment of council workers by Greens in Brighton as much as anyone. But I believe that the Green Party manifesto overwhelmingly stands, as the party's election tagline says, for the Common Good, unlike the faux populist pro-elite vested interests agenda of UKIP.

Natalie Bennett would have nothing to lose from public challenging Nigel Farage to a televised debate to reveal UKIP's right-wing extremism and hypocrisy. And it would be of benefit to the social good in the UK generally.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Targeted by TERFs

I only recently became aware of this article in which I am accused by whomever the author was of "harassing lesbian feminists". So I will take a moment to refute this pitiful hackjob.

In reality, I have never "harassed" anyone in the manner implied. My comments, which I unapologetically stand by, referred to the notorious transphobic hate campaigner Cathy Brennan: 1) actually harassing and criminally disseminating the personal information of transgender teenagers, whom she has a track record of committedly victimising, and 2) Brennan's threats to sue the New Statesman for Laurie Penny's planned exposé of her transphobic hate campaigns, these literal and moral crimes, and their consequences.

So yes, Cathy Brennan bullying children to satisfy her twisted prejudices, and engaging in financial blackmail in an effort to censor her string of hate crimes, does indeed make her an awful human being in all dimensions.

It says a lot that her defenders would use gaslighting tactics so effectively utilised by a variety of bigots, such as similarly misogynist MRAs. It is a wretched hypocrisy to smear opponents of abuse in the name of opposing it.

For anyone's information: I will stand against bigotry and discrimination by whomever it is perpetrated by, whether this be TERFs, Louis Farrakhan, or the KKK.

Friday, 25 April 2014

New URL

I recently changed the URL of this blog from jjarichardson.blogspot.com to jacobjangelo.blogspot.com

This unfortunately means, as Google apparently isn't advanced enough to index redirects of URL, I have received zero hits in the past couple of days... Hopefully this post will indicate where to look from now on.

Update: despite my new preferred title I've begrudgingly shifted back to the old one on here. Thanks Google for apparently not being as advanced in the art of redirecting URLs as Tumblr is.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

"Benefit scroungers" and the "undeserving poor"

John Keane's historical biography Thomas Paine: A Political Life provides an insightful portrayal of the ruthless state and church-sanctioned cruelty levelled against the hapless poor of the Georgian era in 18th century England. Within the context of Paine's birthplace, Thetford, Keane accounts how those accused of petty criminality, or "crimes" such as a failure to pay stipends from meager incomes to the national church, would be imprisoned in dungeons upon arrest by sheriffs. Then facing trial from the crown's magistrates, they would face flogging, hanging, or deportation to the Empire's penal colonies.

There was a designated segregation of the paupers which easily reflects present political rhetoric. The "deserving poor" (read "hardworking people"), such as those of a certain level of disability, old age, or perceived work ethic, would be granted a rationing from local funds of monetary provision to sustain themselves. But the "undeserving poor" (read "workshy benefit scroungers"), those considered to able to work despite an impairment causing difficulty to engage in labours demanded of them, would either be banished to destitution or to other communities in organisational social cleansing. Informed by religious fundamentalism deferent to patriarchal aristocracy, women who became pregnant out of wedlock (the hated single mother) would be similarly driven out of town and stigmatised.

This is why it is fundamentally misguided for left-wing commentators to cite dehumanisation of social welfare claimants as a phenomena engineered in recent decades by mass-market tabloid newspapers or political campaigns, when it has been culturally embedded in the social narrative for centuries. Indeed, Beveridge's welfare state was founded upon the notion of a contributory ethos to distinguish the deserving impoverished from the feckless, which the right-wing intelligentsia are keen to make note of. Iain Duncan Smith's agenda, on behalf of the Conservative Party, is to primarily deepen the poverty of those non-"hardworking" undeserving plebeians in a regime of institutional punishment, as opposed to addressing the structural economic malaise that perpetuates poverty for the employed, unemployed and vulnerable alike.

There is no doubt that Paine's sense of social and economic injustice was informed by the torture and execution of the "undeserving poor" in Thetford, who lived under the jackboot of landowning aristocratic families, who much like today's multinational corporations hoarded wealth and corruptly influenced government and local political orders to act in their favour. Paine, of course, was the first to moot the concept of a guaranteed basic income in his Agrarian Justice. In the true spirit of philosophical liberalism, a universal basic income would provide a fixed sum of money to every citizen as a human right, regardless of their preexisting income level or socioeconomic status. In an act of truly libertarian anti-statism, it would abolish the need for a government-controlled welfare state that implicitly sustains class divisions and impoverishment through the rationing of resources that are sparse in the grand scheme of national capitalist wealth.


Thursday, 27 March 2014

Savile and institutional complicity

How exactly was paedophile Jimmy Savile, the serial rapist and molester of many dozens of children and vulnerable people, never held accountable for his crimes? How was he never arrested and brought to prosecution when he was alive, despite multiple corroborating historical (from the 1950s) and recent (from 2009) police complaints from his victims from across the UK's legal jurisdiction?

Are we to believe that Savile was simply conniving enough to be able to conceal his actions and character effectively at every turn? And that the simple tragedy of human error within institutions, such as care homes, the BBC, schools and hospitals, facilitated him? To me such presumptions are a patent absurdity. Savile, in his twisted way, was logically intelligent. His psychological profile indicates a clinical psychopathy capable of limitless and ruthless manipulation of external conditions. He understood, in summary, that institutional authorities are frequently more concerned about their own reputations and personal interests than protecting children from harm. His amoral accessories were more than willing to cover-up for a rapist and paedophile destroying and violating the innocence of vulnerable people in the name of PR and salaries. They hushed up the victims. They had psychiatric patients abused by Savile interred in solitary confinement and branded as delusional when they spoke out. They ignored complaints and destroyed documents. Their Kafkaesque "investigations" referred to self-referring documentation which met the preconceived conclusion of their being no abuse or culpability. 
Savile as legacy of sexual criminality was not simply a product of his own monstrous id. He was fundamentally protected and empowered by a culture of victim blaming and selfishness that abusers thrive upon at every level of our society.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

United in diversity: the case for Israel in the EU

A 2011 opinion poll accounted that 81% of Israelis favoured the concept of their country becoming a member of the European Union. This is on par with the country on the European mainland with the highest level of enthusiasm for the EU, Belgium, where some of the EU's primary institutions are situated.

Like EU member Cyprus, Israel is not geographically European; but as a multicultural nation of primarily European immigrants in its relative infancy, with these various cultures mutually cohabiting, it is arguably the most European country in the world.

But I will get straight to the elephant in the room: Israel in the present is inhibited from joining the EU, in contradiction to the overwhelming desire of its citizens, due to violations of international law, and thereby the European Convention on Human Rights, by its government.

Inherent to the EU applications of countries such as Turkey and Serbia is that the governments of these countries resolve their human rights issues; Israel would be required to cease its illegal occupation of Palestinian territory, and its human rights violations against the Palestinian (and Black African) populations within and outside of Israeli territory. Upon Israel's adherence to policies conforming to the conventions of the ECHR, the EU could effectively facilitate and bolster UN negotiations towards a peaceful settlement between Israel and Palestine.

The EU is an imperfect institution: its enforcement of barbaric austerity onto its Southern European member states most significantly attributes to this. But perhaps, pragmatically, a united Israeli-Palestinian state abiding to the human, social and economic rights criteria of EU membership, a cause which Israelis overwhelmingly support, would be the greatest lever for peace, justice and stability in the region.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

"Progressive" antisemitism

The poison of antisemitism is an age old but insurgent disease in Europe. The French "comedian" Dieudonné manipulates populist causes to promote his own overt anti-Jewish prejudices, while the unabashed fascism and neo-Nazism of parties such as Golden Dawn and Jobbik, propagating Holocaust denial and the old canards about Jewish economic and media control, are consistently gaining popularity in Greece and Hungary.

Despite its persistence for literally millenia, we seem to have taken for granted antisemitism as form of bigotry which holds a seemingly archaic veneer.

This is perhaps due to the insurgence of Islamophobia, which in its own regard is often described as being the "new" antisemitism. Islamophobia is often included in reference to opposition to general forms of hatred: racism, homophobia, misogyny etc. 

In reality, antisemitism remains a cultural and political malevolence. And it is a parasite which has begun to grow thanks to this neglect of its combating.

Much like Islamophobia, antisemitism is not reserved to any ideological standpoint. Of course, its takes a pure and overt form in the far-right. But otherwise I have observed it manifesting in a way which is particularly more pernicious and covert. 

An example I refer to is the University and College Union's refusal to relate opposition to Israeli state policy to anti-Jewish hatred in any circumstance, as if alliances with this hatred is an ends justifying the means, even though antisemitic hatred denigrates the campaign against racial segregation and ethic cleansing of the Palestinians comparable to that of the Jews by Nazism.

I have observed antisemitic hatred and propaganda on social media sites that would make Joesph Goebbels proud. And it not propagated by hardcore neo-Nazism, but by persons supposedly involved in causes of social justice, with this hatred seemingly being passively accepted as a morally innocent or legitimate interpretation of narratives relating to economic inequality and elitism. 

The stand against the poison of antisemitism is a cause that must be brought to our moral forefront. The growing persistence of this malignancy must be eliminated.