Tag Archives: uk

Liam Burns (NUS UK President):

One thing we’ve got to understand and get better at is our campaigning techniques. Don’t get me wrong, I do not deride what Quebec students managed to pull off, I’m not saying that the actions in Chile weren’t powerful and inspirational but they are in very, very different political and economic climates. … We are not going to deride those tactics but we need to have 21st-century campaigning when dealing with 21st-century problems …

Patrick Kingsley:

The Chilean movement only became so radical through a similarly lengthy debate, she says. “2011 was the product of 10 years of debate,” adds Paul Floor Pilquil, Vallejo’s colleague at the University of Chile student union (Fech). A decade ago, he says, Chile’s main student bodies were as bogged down in the smaller issues as they are now in Britain. “But then we started to connect all the specific problems.”

Liam Burns essentially says that Chilean students only saw success because they’re living in some backwards state. Leaders of the Chilean student movement say we’re basically playing catch up with how the NUS is attempting to deal with the issues students in the UK are facing.
I know who I’d rather pay attention to (not the one from the organisation that’s leaving UK students out to dangle over access to free education but the one that’s actually forcing ministerial resignations.)
Quotes taken from: http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2012/nov/21/student-march-eggs-anger and http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/nov/20/chile-student-rebel-camila-vallejo respectively.


“The Battle of Stokes Croft”

The eviction of our anti-Tesco occupation was dubbed “The Battle of Stokes Croft” by the local newspaper, The Evening Post Pest. We even made it to the national news!

You can see a full rundown of the press coverage here.

Today is the day the people who send people to die in wars to bolster their failing economies, get to tell everyone they think wars are awful and horrid and they care very deeply about “our” soldiers who die in them.

Labour politicians who sent troops to die and kill in Iraq and Afghanistan, Conservative politicians who have sent Cameron off to support arms sales to Arab states in the midst of civil wars for the last two years. Today they get to wear a poppy, go to a church service and convince us that their conscience is clean, that there’s no blood on their hands.

Lets also take a moment to consider why it is we need charity to support the wounded servicemen and their families. The NHS is being hacked to pieces, social worker’s loads are being increased tenfold, and care homes are being closed. But at least the politicians responsible can rest assured that they’ve made a minuscule donation so that they can publicly declare their very grave concern and support for the people they’ve sent to die and be wounded in a war they have no part in.

If you think the best way to remember the war dead is by buying a paper flower then please have a pleasant day. If you think the best way to do that is to stop sending people to war and build a society which cares for everybody then we still have some ways to go.

No war but class war.

Here’s the thing about the London Olympics opening ceremony (re. the bang on commentary criticising Piers Morgan’s racist shitty comparison with the Beijing opening ceremony.)

It was never going to be about proving to the rest of the world how awesome Britain is and how great its achievements are.  It’s purely about creating a spectacle for the beeb to push on British citizens so that they start huffing and panting about how great we are.  It was an internal display to make people forget that the NHS is being privatised, care homes for the elderly and severely disabled are being closed, benefits for the disabled are being cut, people are being expected to work for less than minimum wage to be able to claim job benefits, working class kids are being cut out of being able to go to university and even college or sixth form, funding for community centres are being cut, unemployment is on a high, police are threatening water canons and rubber bullets to deal with demonstrations and public unrest, the use of CS spray is already on the rise, pensions are being cut back, the age of retirement is being raised … need I go on?

I absolutely agree with the commentary about Eurocentrism and that’s why I didn’t bash this in as an additional commentary directly to the post as it reblogs around.  But I think it’s also worth remembering that the Olympics in the UK aren’t about foreign policy or international relations in the same way they were presented in China.  Here they’re the panem et circenses, the nationalist populism.  Morgan’s commentary was about reinforcing how good it is to be British precisely because of his class position and precisely because, these days, being British and working class means you’re in the process of being roundly fucked by the Conservative/Lib Dem government.  The Eurocentrism is a tool to suppress unrest, the racism and orientalism that breeds is the repugnant by-product.

Interesting things from the past:

This letter appears to be a recommendation for a job that Clement Attlee gave to my great, great grandfather.  From what I know, he was born in Glasgow to a single mother and moved to Wales to be raised by … possibly godparents? I don’t think he was incredibly well educated, but in the 20s he moved from South Wales to the Putney area in London and got involved in building the labour movement and Labour Party.  Which, while I have lots of criticisms of them today, was the fucking bang on thing to be doing.

So this is quite a nice thing to have in the family today.  And because I’m feeling a bit proud of having recently discovered this I figured I’d share it.

28 April 1928

Mr M. Horsburgh has been my agent at the last two elections and has been my secretary and party agent since the election of 1924.  He has done extremely well in a very difficult constituency.  He organised a system of weekly collections which has much improved the financial situation and has also got the ward organisation on a sound basis as is shown by the results of the last election.  He has dealt most efficently with the large number of cases which come to me and has establised excellent personal relations with government officials and has scored many successes.  He has a good knowledge of election law and organising methods.  He is a very capable propagandist.

His integrity and character have made him widely respected among all classes in the constituency and I can strongly recommend him for the position for which he is now applying.

Clement Attlee

M.P. Limehouse […]

(Deciphering help from hanguknamja and interruptions


Senior jobcentre executives have warned staff of the risk of benefit claimants attempting suicide as controversial changes to sicknessbenefits are being pushed through.

The warning, contained in an internal email sent to staff by three senior managers of the government-run jobcentres, warns staff that ill-handling of benefit changes for vulnerable claimants could have “profound results” and highlights the case of one suicide attempt this year.

It emphasises the need for the “utmost care and sensitivity” when dealing with customers, as a result of “difficult changes which some of our more vulnerable customers may take some time to accept and adjust to”.

The email, adds: “Very sadly, only last week a customer of DWP [Department for Work and Pensions] attempted suicide” – which it adds is “said to be the result of receiving a letter” informing him that his sickness benefit would be cut off.

And yet the Tories label us the violent thugs …

Jobcentre bosses warn of suicide risk among benefit claimants


A teenager was taken to hospital when his hair was set alight by English Defence League supporters who attacked an anti-Jubilee party in Newcastle.

The 18-year-old, who does not wish to be identified, was hit by a burning firework thrown during the clash at Grey’s Monument between more than 100 English Defence League and National Front members and anti-Jubliee protestors.

“Stuff the Jubilee” Party Attacked By EDL

Awesome meeting in Bristol this friday, please reblog and spread the word!

John Carlos, famous as one of the athletes who gave black power salutes at the 1968 Olympics, recently said “My life has not been about winning medals, it’s about being a freedom fighter.”

John Carlos is coming to Bristol to speak out against the English Defence League who want to bring their message of hate and to march in Bristol on July 14th.

John Carlos has spoken spoken out against racism and prejudice at many forums around the world.  Come and hear what he has to say and join the campaign to oppose the EDL in Bristol.

Friday 1st June, 7pm

@ the Malcolm X centre, St Pauls.  141 City Road, BS2 8YH.



LONDON — Some 12,500 officers will be deployed daily during the Olympic Games in the country’s largest ever pre-planned policing operation, according to the Metropolitan force.

With 67 days to go until the event begins, police revealed that 52 forces from around Britain will provide officers for the operation, which will run from June 4 until September 16, after the close of the Paralympic Games.

There will be around 12,500 officers on duty during peak days with 9,500 operating in London, according to a statement released by police.

Specialist officers trained in search techniques, marine, public order and firearms will be on call along with the mounted sections, dog units and motorcycle escorts.

“Every force is playing its part in delivering a fantastic summer of celebration,” said National Olympic Security Coordinator Chris Allison.

“The summer of 2012 will be a busy and challenging time for the British police service, but with confidence and pride I can say we have the officers we need to keep the Games and our wider communities safe and secure,” he added.

A security force of more than 40,000 people, backed by a huge intelligence operation, is to guard the Games — which start on July 27 — at a cost of £553 million ($877 million, 662 million euros).

Some 13,500 of the security personnel will be from the Ministry of Defence and armed forces, working alongside police and more than 16,000 private security guards and unpaid volunteers.

Security chiefs are believed to be preparing for a range of threats including a “lone wolf” terrorist, riots or cyber-attacks.

In February thousands of emergency personnel held a two-day exercise simulating a terror attack on the Underground train network during the Olympics.

London to deploy security force of 40,000 during Olympics

Edinburgh Forum for the Furtherment of Workers’ Interests and Betterment of Opinion


Edinburgh Forum for the Furtherment of Workers’ Interests and Betterment of Opinion – Edinburgh’s finest ultraleft design collective


Actual Full Communism

I think I’ve found my new favourite facebook page.

Edit: Marxandsparks posted this as well but my internet is being slow and bugging out so I didn’t see it, otherwise I would’ve just reblogged that.  Alas.


London, UK. 08/04/2012.

Roma lay flowers at the Holocaust memorial in Hyde Park to commemorate Roma killed during the Holocaust and to protest anti-Roma racism.


Colin Offler, despite being perfectly happy to enhance the democratic decrepitude of UWESU, thinks he should be on the NUS Block of 15, the national executive of the NUS. Somehow he seems to think that a spectre of suspicious electoral activity, a complete lack of any real activity and simply kowtowing to anything that the UWE board of governors asks is the sort of CV that makes him good for the position.

I urge anybody who follows me to contact delegates from their respective institutions and urge them not to support this careerist in his bid to take his tragic incompetence to a national level.

He’s held UWESU back for 2 years, don’t let him hold back the NUS as well.

“Oh hey!  What are you up to?”

“Nothing, just policing a union demonstration for the NHS.”

“Oh with a machine gun?”

“Yeah man.  Those nurses can get real bitey if you’re not careful with how you punch them.”

I suppose for a lot of nations the upfront imagery of a cop with a gun isn’t that unusual.  Obviously, as state repression goes, the UK isn’t anywhere near the same scale as, say, Bahrain or Syria.  But considering back in … November I think it was?  And I was pretty shocked to see a sniper on the roof top outside the Conservative Conference.  The idea of “public disorder” (lawful protest) policing having foot-cops with guns is a really unpleasant direction for things to be going.

I suppose they decided riot cops in full body armour was dehumanising and intimidating, which riled people up more, so waving a gun in their faces is obviously the logical next step for de-escalation …

More on this page.

Whoever thought that the Special Police Group being renamed the Territorial Support Group would make them sound friendlier was a fucking idiot.


Or how about the neoliberal iteration, McDonald’s Peace Theory. I’m pretty sure that theory’s been busted a few times already (doesn’t Georgia have McDonald’s? how about Lebanon circa 2006?), but the Fridemanites are still pushing it.

How does this shit actually make it to print!?

Democratic peace theory – the idea that democratic nation-states won’t go to war because the people would vote against governments that would do that.  Nobody really likes wars, nobody wants to send their family off to die in war.  If every state is a democracy they wouldn’t go to war with each other because no government would risk their electoral career on it.

Reality – some of the most thorough liberal democratic states go to war under the claim that they’re spreading democracy.  Economic interests are very apparent.  Media cultures opinion towards accepting and normalising war.  Representative democratic systems lead to monolithic party structures who initiate war and still get elected for second/third terms.

Bourgie political philosophers – do not use their brain (singular was a typo but I’m happy with how that comes off).  Just talk about shit and hope it sticks.


The Guardian’s poll in their Comment is Free section.

Or as I like to phrase it, “do transport workers deserve fair recompense for working overtime during the Olympic Games, or should we shaft them and tell them they need to take this one on the chin so that business owners can maximise their profit out of the games, while the workers who make it all happen get paid a pittance?”

“The UK got the games because it brings new jobs and excellent business opportunities to our shores” aka “our mates who run building firms, hotels etc are going to make a killing out of this lads.  Good thing I bought that hotel for Mayfair last turn!”

Coming up next week in “loaded questions” …

Should unions use London 2012 as a bargaining tool?

The Daily Mail, The Sun, The Telegraph.  What did we do to upset them 😦

Work for us! We won’t pay you for your labour, and you can’t join a union to defend your interests, and it’s not a secure job to get you kick-started on a career, but it will look good on your CV!

Capitalists and Tories will never understand why Workfare is a repulsive idea.

CVs so long Rapunzel could use them to descend from her tower still ain’t gonna put food on your plate.