legalised oppression & the power of boycott

“There will be people who will have seen scenes of protests and asked, ‘Why aren’t the government doing something?’ The answer, in many cases, may simply be that we live in a democratic, free society.”

Theresa May, House of commons, July 2021

Today’s the anniversary of a crime. A terrible, heinous, unspeakable act that tore at the very fabric, of the society in which it was committed. An apparently lone criminal, in the most brazen way imaginable broke a law and a tradition that had existed for 55 years among the fine, upstanding citizens of Montgomery, Alabama in the good old US of A.

So what was this unspeakable act, this depraved antisocial behaviour that resonates across the miles and the years? Who was the criminal who on this day, December 1st 1955 set in train a series of events that would shake America – well, part of America to it’s bigoted, racist, ignorant core?

The criminal’s name was Rosa Parks and the act that would forever guarantee her fame was simple. Rosa Parks sat on a bus, on a seat reserved for white people – and that was against the law.

Sometimes it’s necessary to break truly unjust laws. Sometimes our very liberty depends upon it.

This session the UK government is taking the new police, crime, sentencing and courts bill through Parliament. It’s currently nearing the end of its passage through the Lords and is likely to become law very soon as there’s little chance of Boris’ sycophantic back-benchers opposing it. Among other erosions of civil liberties it aims to make anti-government demonstration illegal. Really. They’re going after our right to protest now.

This, yet again, is the stuff of dictatorship. The Nazis did the same thing shortly after gaining control of the Reichstag. It’s a blow both to our individual liberties and to our collective democracy.

When debating the bill at it’s second reading last July former Home Secretary and Prime Minister, Theresa May remarked…

“There will be people who will have seen scenes of protests and asked, ‘Why aren’t the government doing something?’ The answer, in many cases, may simply be that we live in a democratic, free society.”

So my question to you is this…

Do you have as much courage as a little woman from Montgomery Alabama whose lone protest on an Alabama bus ride helped bring down a system that had been tolerated for far too long?

Rosa Parks sitting in front of a white passenger on a Montgomery bus

Nazi Britain: a warning from history part 4

If you’re still unconvinced of Boris Johnson’s gradual Nazification of Britain then this final part of the film provides evidence not only of the parallels with Hitler but the way that the Johnson government continues to attack our rights and freedoms. Johnson is a dictator in the making and the nature of that dictatorship is far from benign.

But there is hope. Watch to the end to hear what we can do to change this terrifying trajectory. The Tory party knows nothing of loyalty to leaders once they are seen by the public for what they really are. We can use the Tory party’s own inherent callousness to overthrow this regime before it’s too late.

The government that follows will still be tory but at least it won’t be Nazi. That might not be a perfect solution but it beats what the current government has in store for us.

Nazi Britain: a warning from history part 3 of 4

Now all of these rights are at risk – which of them do you want to lose? Which do you want other people to lose?

Would you like suspected foreign criminals to be deported without conviction in court?

Would you like to go to prison for crimes you were merely suspected of without being found guilty?

If your answers to those questions are different you’re falling for the propaganda.

Home secretary Priti Patel even stands by a system of immigration that would have excluded her own parents who were kicked out of Uganda during Idi Amin’s purges and fled here for their own safety.

She’s also presiding over the mass deportation of EU and other immigrants, many of whom have lived their entire lives, or close to their entire lives here in the UK.

Those granted leave to remain will be forced to do so under new regulations effectively making them second class citizens in the land they have always called home. Swap the word Jew for Muslim and it’s a move that could have been taken straight from Adolf Hitler’s 25 point plan.

Nazi Britain: a warning from history part 2 of 4

I’ve just made a pretty big claim, some might say an extraordinary claim and extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Just what makes me imagine that this society, this land of my birth is becoming the very thing we opposed not only in wartime but on British streets as well?

This is the land of Cable Street, of Brick Lane where thousands of anti-fasciststook to the streets to oppose Mosley’s Blackshirts and Griffin’s National Front.

It’s the land of the Levellers, the Chartists, of Magna Carta and the Battle of Peterloo where working class artesans gathered peacefully to hear speeches against an oppressive British government and were massacred, by order of that government and the king, at swordpoint by local yeomanry and cavalry soldiers.

So, before we get too smug about our anti-fascist national credentials we should also bear in mind that in each of those other famous conflicts the police, the establishment and the government sided with the fash.

The people in power followed the money, as they often do.

And in recent years that money has been in the hands of far right donors, think tanks and agitators from Breitbart to Cambridge Analytica, from Eugenicist Dominic Cummings to disaster capitalists like Arron Banks and Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Nazi Britain: a warning from history part 1 of 4

How did Adolf Hitler and his small band of National Socialists manage to take a sophisticated, developed and educated nation and turn it into a fascist state ready to march roughshod over the rights, the lives and even the existence of others?

This short film aims to answer that question, not only from a historical perspective but from a current affairs point of view too.

For over a decade now I’ve been speaking to anyone who’s prepared to listen about the path we’re on in modern UK – and not just here – across the developed world.

This isn’t about Godwin’s law, the internet trope that claims every disagreement ends with the loser accusing everyone else of Nazism. There are Nazis in UK but they’re pretty few and far between.

This is about the way that ordinary people, people who are far from Nazi are being duped by cynical provocateurs, rabble rousers and even politicians into accepting Nazi principles without even realising it.

It’s an expose – not an accusation. It’s a heartfelt plea to the millions of decent people in my beloved United Kingdom to stop for a moment, to take stock and to see where we’re headed.

Far right bingo card: Sharia law

Have you ever heard of Mosaic law? It’s horrendous. It contains 637 different rules and penalties from death by stoning if you collect fuel on the Sabbath to stoning rape victims for not resisting enough. It supports slavery, including sexual slavery and lets men cast off their wives with nothing but the clothes they stand up in if they’re not sufficiently ‘pleasing’ to him. It’s truly barbaric. It even includes a method for aborting babies if the father suspects he’s been cuckolded and woe betide you if your shirt is made of more than a single type of fabric.

That’s the law that all Christians and Jews are supposed to follow. As Jesus said “Not a single jot or tittle of the law may be removed until the Son of Man comes again in glory”. So unless you think the rapture has already happened…

Of course, very few people know what this God-breathed law contains because it’s not relevant in the modern world but there’s many a Christian, especially far right Christian who would advocate for it because having adopted the identity of Christian they think they should. They’ll quite happily ‘seethe a kid ion its mother’s milk’ should the occasion ever call for it and they would never even think of sacrificing their own first-born child to God on a middle-Eastern mountain top. If you doubt any of this have a look at Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy and then read Christ’s endorsement of the law in Matthew 5:17-19. I promise you, it’ll make your hair curl! It’s a damn site worse than Sharia.

Fortunately, very few people truly follow either.

Just as most Christians cherry pick the good bits from Mosaic law and ignore the nonsense about fabric and picking up sticks, so most Muslims live their lives without once attempting to chop off someone’s hand or throw gay men off rooftops. You should see what Christians are supposed to do to them, by the way.

There are barbaric passages in all three Abrahamic holy books (Torah, Bible and Koran) and there are extremists who would advocate for them all but they’re not the majority. Occasional surveys asking Muslims if they like Shariah law make no distinction between the positive laws (opposing usury for example or providing charity) and the barbaric parts, just as Christians who advocate Mosaic law tend not to want to burn adulterers alive.

Stop claiming all modern Muslims want to live by 7th century rules unless you also want to claim that all Christians want to abide by 1st century travesties too.

Far right fools show their ignorance at every turn – even of the religion they themselves, purport to practise!

Far right bingo card: Islam isn’t a race

British Islamophobes love to point out that since Islam isn’t a race, they can’t be accused of racism when they persecute Muslims.

Congratulations – you’ve stated the obvious. Well done!

However… it’s not quite as simple as that.

The United Nations has defined anti-Islamic sentiment as racism in the same way that it defines anti-Jewish feelings as racism. Both are different forms of anti-Semitism and both are viewed technically as racism in international law.

So yes – you’ve stated the obvious in one sense but missed the point in another.

Then there’s the dog-whistle code used by many European racists, including British racists to equate Muslim with ‘brown people’. They can’t legally criticize black or brown people on the grounds of colour so they use religious adherence and criticise religious practices instead. Quite inconsistently, as it happens.

For example, depending upon their particular prejudices they might criticise Muslim Halal but have no opinion on Jewish Kosher.

They’ll complain about Muslim Hijabs but not Christian head coverings found in Christian cultures across the world – including among European Nuns.

They’ll criticize Sharia councils but ignore Jewish Beth-Din or Christian Fundamentalist ‘courts’ which perform exactly the same function and have just as little weight in public law.

And what does all this amount to? Oh yes – religious discrimination which, by the way is also illegal.

You see it’s OK to criticise ideas, including religious ideas, but people have rights. When you start to persecute the people you’re breaking the law – whether you personally define it as racism or not. You’re also displaying your own mean-spirited, small-minded stupidity for all to see. Now why on earth would you want to show your arse like that?

Far right bingo card: Britain’s a Christian country

I’m a British citizen. I’m also an atheist. I used to be a Christian but I changed my mind in 1993 and have never been tempted to return to Christianity or indeed any religion whatsoever. Does that mean I’m no longer British?

Let’s just think this through, shall we?

I was a Christian because I was brought up to be a Christian. It wasn’t my idea – my parents chose my religion and the Church of England claimed me as a member of their congregation long before I had a chance to think it through for myself. I was a Christian because of somebody else’s choice: Because of somebody else’s rules.

That’s what it means to claim that Britain is a Christian country. Other people used to be Christian and they decided in advance that the rest of us would be Christian too. Some people accepted that label and even fewer accepted the lifestyle and beliefs associated with it but the vast majority did not.

I do not know a single right-winger, let alone far-right winger who follows the religion based upon Jesus Christ. Not a single right-winger that I’ve ever met demonstrates compassion for the poor or concern for those who are disadvantaged. I’ve never come across a single racist who understands empathy or would follow the instructions of the Nazarene to sell all that they own and give the money to the poor.

So far as I can see, those who claim this is a Christian country do so only to justify their hatred of those who follow other beliefs. They show no understanding nor consideration for Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus or anyone else. Theirs is a Christianity of convenience behind which they conceal their hatred and mean-spirited, even murderous stupidity.

As it happens, I do know some perfectly nice, reasonable, charitable and compassionate Christians but none of them are far right. Actually none of them are even just ‘right wing’ in its moderate sense. They may vote tory occasionally but not because they agree with tory policies so much as because they don’t really take an interest in politics and don’t quite understand what conservative ideology is. But I don’t know a single Racist, fascist, neoliberal or neoNazi who has any legitimate claim on the writings of the New Testament.

I’ve come across neo-Nazis who want to machine gun desperate refugees from the whilte cliffs of Dover. I’ve debated with Fascists who want to deny trade to Muslims, thus destroying their livelihoods and forcing them out of UK. I’ve argued with far right thugs who think it’s appropriate to assault hijabi women on the streets or even to throw petrol bombs at shops owned by brown people but I’ve never met a single one of them who knows how to forgive or to turn the other cheek.

So let’s give the far right their way. Let’s give them their entire argument right now.

Let’s say that this really is a Christian country.

And then we can watch them all take their anti-Christian barbarity somewhere else.

If Britain is a Christian country then there’s no room for you here. Off you go – make some space for the real Christians to house more refugees.

Far right bingo card: A different species

This isn’t just ironic, it’s a wonderful illustration of the complete and utter misunderstanding these racists have of the process of natural selection they claim to rely upon. The basic confusion appears to be based in old testament assumptions where the term ‘kind’ is used instead of the more modern ‘species’ (Genesis 7) and where slavery actively is supported along with the purchase and/or capture, absolute ownership and slavery (including sexual slavery) of those who are ‘different’ (Exodus 21). Exodus and Deuteronomy define such enslaved foreigners as ‘property’ or ‘money’ and permit passing them on as chattels to future generations as part of a patriarch’s estate.

These early passages were used as justification for the slave trade which caused so much death, hardship and misery. They were also used to support Plato’s ‘ladder’ of human superiority with black women at the bottom and white, European men at the top. Such primitive notions have no basis in fact and indeed modern scientific consensus clearly shows just how ridiculous these notions actually are.

Modern biology defines speciation in several ways, the strongest and most generally agreed upon is based upon the viability of offspring. To put it another way, if two rabbits can produce offspring that themselves are capable of producing further offspring then they belong to the same species. If their offspring are incapable of producing offspring with earlier generations of rabbits then they would no longer be rabbits. We see this speciation event in modern ring species. For example Salamanders living around the rim of Death valley can all breed with their immediate neighbours, right the way around the rim but those living at the extremes cannot interbreed. Over the immense distance of the valley’s rim selection pressures and remoteness have led to the development of two different, non-interbreeding species of Salamander. This is a process of speciation observed in geographical terms rather than temporal.

No modern human population is unable to produce viable offspring with any other modern human population. Racists understand this very well. That’s why they’re so bothered about miscegenation (racial inter-breeding). What they don’t understand is speciation.

They don’t appear to understand basic humanity either but that’s another story.

The deal is done!

Boris got his deal, the economy is tanking (which is bad news for everyone except Boris, Rees-Mogg, Farage and their disaster capitalist mates). The UK faces major shortages and price rises on imported goods and other goods like medicines.

The financial sector is legging it to Europe, as are several of our remaining manufacturers but at least, for once, we really are in it together… including Tory and Brexit voters, most of whom lack the means to profit from Brexit like Aaron Banks will.

Hopefully, one day we will return.


So let’s face facts, accept the disaster we’re stuck with and pull together to maintain our community. The lesson of history predicts major social division and unrest anytime from mid-January onward. Fuelled by the likes of Farage and co who will be desperate to blame others for their own actions, it’ll be easy for us to collapse into rioting and mutual hatred not seen in UK since the civil wars of the seventeenth century.
And (almost) nobody voted for that!

let’s stick together and come through this disastrous mess as a nation united by adversity, not a people destroyed by self-inflicted misery and the resentment it so often brings in its wake.

UNESCO international Day of solidarity with the Palestinian people

UNESCO, the ‘United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation’ has observed November 29th as the International day of solidarity with the Palestinian people since 1978. There’s a good reason for that. This is the date when, in 1947 the partition plan (Resolution 181) was passed. The plan was to partition Palestine and in so doing create both a Jewish and a Palestinian state.

By 1979 it had become clear that Palestinian people have not been able to secure basic rights as a nation state ever since. Ongoing occupation and annexing of land by Israeli settlers has robbed many Palestinians of their homes and forced them to flee to makeshift and yet cruelly permanent camps.

Some remain there for decades. Some have lived their entire lives in the camps, robbed off their land by Israeli ‘settlers’, beaten and abused by the Israeli occupation forces and treated as though human rights just didn’t apply.

So today, on UNESCO’S International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People I, like many others will be watching to see what our British politicians have to say to mark the occasion.
Both our main political parties claim to oppose oppression and the mistreatment of entire populations. How will they acknowledge this day of solidarity in the face of what has been described an ongoing land grab of monumental proportions in direct contravention of resolution 181? The land claimed by Israeli settlers, often with the aid of Israeli military forces goes far beyond the borders drawn up in the original partition. You can download the original document here.

Will our illustrious leaders comment upon the absolute disregard for the rights of those denied both sovereignty and statehood?

And if they, our elected representatives on the world stage do not, I think we must all ask ourselves one very important question…

Why not?

Far right bingo card: 14 words

David Lane is an American white supremacist. It was Lane who wrote the 14 words, a mantra of white supremacists across the world. The 14 words are…

“We must secure the existence of our people

and a future for white children”

Or…

“Because the beauty of the White Aryan woman

must not perish from the earth.”

Lane himself was a member of the American domestic terrorist organisation known as ‘The order’. Prior to this he had been state organizer for both the Ku Klux Klan and the ‘Aryan nations’ groups. His contribution to white supremacy eventually earned him a 20 year sentence for racketeering, 20 more years for conspiracy and a whopping 150 years for driving the getaway car following the murder of Jewish radio personality, Alan Berg.

Unsurprisingly, he didn’t manage to complete his 190 year sentence and died in prison in 2007 at the age of 68. Some might argue that the world is a better place for his passing although the damage he has done to the human psyche continues. Unfortunately, his reach extends well beyond the grave.

The problem with the 14 words in either version is that they’re based upon a flawed premise. The existence of white people only needs to be secured if it’s under threat – which it demonstrably is not. Neither is the beauty of white women at risk – unless you consider the mere presence on the earth of other races a threat.

We covered the basic misogyny of these tropes about white women in an earlier bingo card. What business is it of David Lane’s or anyone else’s who a Caucasian woman chooses to spend the night with? Who is he to suggest that mixed race children are less beautiful or worthy than Caucasians? The fact is that David Lane was a vicious, vacuous bigot with an unfortunate and ironic gift for communicating the emptiness that resided in him. His 14 words harken after a battle for domination that is already lost against an imagined ideological enemy that doesn’t really exist in a war that ended over 75 years ago.