Friday, 24 August 2007

enemy of democracy or liberator ?

If any one deserves credit and acknowledgement for exposing the real enemies of democracy John Pilger journalist and film maker must be a prime candidate. I have admired his measured and eloquent works for many years. I can’t say I have enjoyed his work but that is not the intention. I watched his film The War On Democracy on ITV a couple of evenings ago. This looked back at American intervention in the affairs of South American countries since 1950. The usual ex CIA boss suspects were interviewed and none saw any thing wrong with trying to overturn democratically elected governments in fact one Pentagon pig tried to say that the stories of thousands being tortured and killed in El Salvador were propaganda. “ Name me 200” he challenged. Interestingly one of the CIA filth interviewed by Pilger actually said that his brief was “ to co-ordinate the terrorising of any family member or supporter of Salvador Allende who later was ousted by Pinochet’s fascists in Chile. All of the interviewed US criminals waged a war of terror on democratically elected government. Most of us have grown up with this piratical style of US foreign policy The most disturbing case of US intervention cited in Pilger’s chronology of these crimes is US support and collusion with opponents of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela right now. Bush has denounced Hugo Chavez “ in the interests of national security”. On the other hand London mayor Ken Livingstone has negotiated a deal for oil for London buses which will allow people at the bottom end of the income scale to travel half price. The oil will come from Venezuela and provide them with 75 million a year. Nice one Ken! It might be a small thing but it is an intelligent one. It might be a while before we can fairly evaluate Hugo Chavez's performance. This will be especially true if the US continue to actively support his opponents but in the mean time we know that Bush is the most dangerous man on the planet.

The recent ride by shooting of the eleven-year old has evoked an increasingly familiar horror in all of us. Tonight the police are mystified as to why so few people have come forward to give information. They should know it is because they promise much but offer little or no protection to witnesses. In my opinion no amount of government tinkering can address the issues around gun crime and the wasting of so many of our youth. Tinkering is what governments do. It is time for a new way forward. Enough is enough. This is not a policing budget issue, a judicial sentencing review issue or an adjustment in the way agencies like Connexions or Social Services operate. It is about healing a deep wound at the heart of the culture of our society. This society does not love it’s children half as much as it professes and we have to begin the exploration and adjustment of that. Every week a child is killed by a parent or parents. A record number of children was murdered in Britain last year. New Home Office figures show a total of 143 children and teenagers were unlawfully killed, a rise of more than 40 per cent on the previous 12 months.

I have been enjoying my new job and meeting new young people I will be working with after the summer holidays. I’m planning some IT, audio / visual media work shops and guitar tuition as well as work shops around working with boys and young men. It should be a decent menu of activities after a week or so of planning. We took a group to see Stomp in the west end yesterday. It was one hour and forty five minutes long and too long by forty five minutes in my opinion. It is very clever but sonically tiring after a while. Still worth a look if you have never seen it. Luke and his girl friend have headed off for the Leeds incarnation of Reading festival so we hope the weather holds. They were well kitted out so all should be well.

Still on the subject of being well kitted out my hot tip for an advance family Christmas present is - a family size rubber boat with electric engine, two sets of paddles, water purifying tablets, twenty pounds of dried foods, fishing tackle, and a wind up torch and radio. The overground and underground resevoirs are at bursting point and the weather gurus are forecasting a wet Autumn and Winter.

On a more positive note I have been learning my songs in readiness for upcoming rehearsals. I do forget them. Luke finds it surprising and tedious at times but he can always put me right when I forget a part. Art is quite good at this also. So, I have decided to hone up especially on the newer songs hoping to show you a couple of new things in the next shows. It has been a while since the German festival in the rain so it will be good to get back together with the guys and get on the road for a few days.

Copyright e d g a r b r o u g h t o n 2007


Anonymous said...

The Police themselves have created a situation where witnesses do not feel sufficiently protected to 'come forward'. I have personal experience of this. Intimidation is ignored. You ring them up and get a taped message ! Witnesses at court are expected to use the same facilities as the defendants. After the case, 'you're on your own mate'. They seem more interested in 'news management' than true visibility where it matters.

What a tragedy for Rhys's parents (and ultimately all of us).


Anonymous said...

Ken is cool over this. Brings attention to the Chavez governments plight. USA OUT - OUT
- OUT.


Anonymous said...

The USA have bombed 19 countries since 1945. They think they're the worlds policemen - in fact they're the worlds worst aggressor.
Their claim that they gave Iraq a free democratic election is nonsense too - the USA selected the candidates for the Iraqi people to vote for. Free? Democratic? It's this kind of 'democracy' that brings about civil war, by denying a large group of people a voice.
The American Government have no respect for human life yet we blindly back them. Why, therefore are our politicians so surprised that individuals adopt the same disrespect for human life? Why is a drive by shooting unacceptable to the same leaders who are backing fly by bombings ?