Friday, April 03, 2009

G20 protests

I regret not taking the last couple of days off work and getting onvolved in the G20 demos. I didn;t feel confident that I could bring anything to them. I felt old, out of touch, superseded.

I realise now I was wrong. the arguments are just the same as they were as the world has just sat on its hands for the 15 years since I was an activist. If anything - the urgency is greater, and the arguments are stronger, backed up with better evidence. But we weren't wrong.

I nipped down to the City and watched the protesters on Wednesday afternoon - the police still being nasty fuckers taking some sort of personal violent revenge on people who are more intelligent, braver and will be remembered by history as heroes who only tried to make the world a better place. The police however are scared, intellectually dull violent emotional retards who believe the state's propaganda and have nothing but contempt for anyone who tries to make a change for the good.

And that is it - they are scared. For them that's enough to justify wading in to a crowd of good humoured unharmed people and start knocking seven shades of shit out of them.

They also don;t realise that this just makes the protesters stronger. And that they outmoded relics from the past, while we are the future.

The protesters were saying the same thing I said 15 years ago, especially about the police. And some were answering back - not very professional - cynical and nasty, seemingly intent on provoking hatred and violence. But they didn;t get what they wanted. Even the Express struggled to make Wednesday's protests look violent, using a shot of a protester being punched in the face by a senior officer exclaimed "the ugly face of protest". Actually the photo showed the ugly face of the law as far as I could tell.

Jeremy Paxman seemed sympathetic calling the protests good humoured and witty.

Anyway I've decided - I'll be there next time, and with the current crisis that might be sooner than we think.

Very few papers are making this point

Johann Hari: The protesters are the ones we should listen to at this summit

The way out of the credit and the climate crunch is the same - a Green New Deal

Friday, 3 April 2009

"the government needs to spend large sums of money, financed by borrowing, to get all the workers waiting idle back into action. This form of government spending brings consumer demand back – and reverses the downward trend. Then, once you've recovered, you pay off the debt. Keynes stressed you can spend this money on anything: at one point he proposed burying wads of cash and paying people to dig them up. But today, we face an incredible coincidence. At the same moment, we need to spend lots of money on something, anything – and we need an immediate transition to a low-carbon economy. And it gets better: it turns out a green stimulus is best for the economy. A major study by the University of Massachusetts compared the effects of an old-style stimulus that simply gives people more cash to a green stimulus.
They found that a green stimulus creates four times more jobs, and three times more "good jobs", defined as those that pay more than $16 per hour. Why? Because a green stimulus is labour-intensive: you spend more money on people and less on machines. And the money you spend stays at home, making it easier to sell: you can only insulate a loft in Hull in Hull; you can only build a wind farm in the Mid-West in the Mid-West.
But it's not happening. A study by HSBC has found that only 6 per cent of Britain's stimulus so far has gone to green projects. In the US, it is just 16 per cent. It is nonsense to claim there aren't enough green projects "shovel-ready": during World War Two, the industrial capacities of our countries was transformed from making consumer goods to making tanks and weaponry in less than sixty days. We could do the same.
But this alacrity shouldn't surprise us. The weight of conventional wisdoms and the sway of powerful corporations with vested interests in the old sickening world holds back even the better leaders."

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From today's Indie :)

Putin's dog eats Russian party bosses' food


Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's pet dog gobbled up a special tea prepared for bosses of Russia's ruling party today.

While Putin discussed ways to help the local food industry, his favourite black Labrador Koni slinked into a room at his residence and tucked into delicacies prepared for leaders of his United Russia party.

"Koni ate everything," said one of Putin's astounded bodyguards.

Putin's spokesman said Koni, who has the run of Putin's Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, had eaten some pastries, biscuits and jellied desserts.

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forgot to Blog in March...

And yet again – I leave a long gap between blogging. I've had another stressful period, but think I'm just coming through it.


Part of the problem is my personal health which is not that bad, but I'm used to be healthy and pretty fit. Since last July my cycle fitness has declined. After knocking myself out on 250 mile ride round Suffolk and Essex, I allowed my daily cycling to reduce, and finally in December, gave up completely for over a month.


Then I moved to Welling, and could barely cope with just one journey into central London and back, let alone 5 a week. In that time I've been building up – this week I have finally reached my goal of 5 journeys cycled into work in a week, and have got that high which I always associated with cycling – instead of that awful worn out feeling I'd started to expect.


That and some mystery sinus complaint I've had since December, which only this week have I managed to shake off. I think it's linked to the temperature somehow, but can't begin to think what is causing it.


I've decided to concentrate my organisational efforts on getting involved with Bexley LCC. I've agreed to organise bike rides – the first one being a Dickens themed ride from Graves End through Rochester, along the Medway – about 35  miles and mainly on the flat, planned for May 3rd.


I've been watching The Rockford Files on DVD. I remember it as my favourite programme as a kid, watching it in my room on the refurbed black and white tv I had in my room. It's a bit formulaic, some old flame usually walks in and hires him, he refuses to take the job but then when accosted by thugs a couple of days later, realises he needs to take the job to get himself off the hook of whatever he's got himself involved in, which is a mystery to him for the first half of the show. Finally, he confronts the person following him, gets hired by the person he's been following, and at the end of the programme, there's no buried money and he doesn't get paid.


But what an excellent programme, just because of James Garner, and Jim Rockford's character. He's very believable, doesn't like carrying a gun, reluctant to do anything dangerous, insists on getting paid, keeps getting bogged down with petty domestic issues, his living arrangements, his car, a nagging dad,  debts, bounced cheques, unhelpful cops, bickering former lovers.


I also managed to get through the first series of Starsky and Hutch, enjoyable, but a bit tedious and much less well made than Rockford Files, although to some extent built on the idea of a vulnerable cop with real problems.


Music wise, there's a great new Franz Ferdinand CD out, keep hearing tracks on the radio, haven't got the album yet, but want it. The new Decemberists CD sounds good too. Sparks' new single – Lighten Up Morrissey is amusing – there last is another album I need at some point. Mozza himself has a new one out which I haven't bought yet.

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