31 July 2009

Creationalism accredited in Britain

So NARIC at the New Labour government’s behest thinks that religious claptrap about science is of equal value to science itself.

New Labour’s promotion of religion through education is but one aspect of its authoritarianism. The problem for New Labour with real science is that it is value neutral and it allows the individual to create his or her own moral judgments within the realm of fact. Religious mumbo-jumbo in science is always made compatible with divine injunctions which have the effect of restricting personal freedom and limiting knowledge.


Photographs have an ability to create a meaning that brings together the subjectivity of the photographer and the raw material that is “out there” Photographic reality is always photographer dependent.

The freedom of photography is an aspect of the freedom of expression. For that reason the current restrictions on, and intimidation of, photographers by police in the United Kingdom should be a focus of any European meeting of photographers.

No opportunities for the young

Hard working young people will seek to go to university after school, partly for the qualification of having a degree and partly to expand their intellectual grasp of the world. Nothing wrong in that.

The rupture lies in the transition from a world where exam marks count to one governed entirely by capitalist power. There are only a certain number of professional jobs available and these are allocated on the basis of the economic power of the competitors (i.e. high cost further training, internships, connections).

Despite New Labour’s expansion of higher education (and the consequent devaluation of degrees), the level of social mobility in Britain has declined as social inequality has increased to the highest level since 1945

28 July 2009

Proportional Representation for Britain

I am a strong supporter of proportional representation because I believe that a parliament that mirrors how people vote is vastly better than one which doesn’t.

That said, it is utterly hopeless to think about a change to the electoral system right now. We are at the fag end of a much loathed government, and anything which they touch will be fatally stained.

If Cameron wins a working overall majority next year, PR will again be off the agenda. However if the parliament is hung and shows up absurd disproportionalities (e.g. the SNP winning more seats than the Liberal Democrats!), then perhaps we are in with a chance.

24 July 2009

Judging Brown’s economic record

There is no reason at all to praise Gordon Brown’s economic record – neither as chancellor nor as prime minister. The reality is his myth of eternal growth based on market fundamentalism fell apart in the collapse of the credit boom in 2008. Amid a failing economy, Britain today under New Labour is now a more unequal society than at any time since 1945.

The argument that Brown should be applauded because he used public money to bail out collapsing banks in the crash of 2008 just doesn’t add up. It’s rather like praising a man who has defecated on the carpet and then succeeded in cleaning some of it up.

Labour loses Norwich North By_Election

Yet again the cane bites deep into Gordon Brown. Yet it is saddening to see the Conservatives as the beneficiaries because everything which is rotten in New Labour is as bad or worse in the Tories.

23 July 2009

British Army tortures in Iraq

The following fact seems clearly established now: the British occupation army in Basra arrested people and tortured them; and in some cases (e.g. the hotel receptionist, Baha Mousa) tortured them to death.

There are three types of people who are culpable.

First, among the lower ranks of the British army there are sadistic torturers who enjoy the protection of their peers and probably their superiors. Every legal measure must be deployed to find, prosecute and imprison these people for life.

Second, the officers in charge of those units whose soldiers engaged in torture should at the very least be expelled from the army. If it can be established that they colluded in the torture (i.e. by knowing it was happening and doing nothing to prevent it), they too should face imprisonment.

Third, the same test - applied to British army offices - should be applied to the Prime Minister at the time (Tony Blair) and his defence minister (Geoff Hoon). If any government minister knew that torture was taking place and failed to take steps to stop it, they also should face imprisonment.

It’s just possible that a private soldier may be thrown to the wall, but the army top brass and government ministers will almost certainly walk away unscathed. Such is the rotten state of the country we live in.

17 July 2009

Release Biggs

Robbing trains in a serious crime, so Biggs is a type of criminal who should at one time have served a long prison sentence. However today there is no point (not for him or society) in keeping this elderly crippled man in prison. The only beneficiary is Jack Straw’s sadistic ego.

The slow torture of those subject to control orders

One issue is whether these people should be in Britain at all. Some people point out that they have no connection with Britain and in some cases have committed criminal offences. Yet that be as it may, they are here and have nowhere else to go. (Sending somebody to country where they will be tortured and/or killed is not an option)

The second issue is that while they are in Britain, should they be treated in this manner. Here my argument is clear: if they have committed a crime, then they should be prosecuted in open court for it; if not, then they should be free to work and earn money for themselves and their families.

My own hunch is that these are desperate and/or pathetic people who represent a threat to nobody in Britain. Rather than admit there is nothing against these people, a wholly immoral British government is playing secrecy/national security card, merely to hide the lack of evidence; thereby hoping to avoid a loss of face.