‘You see, in this world there are two types of people, my friend – those with loaded guns, and those who dig. You dig.’
‘You see, in this world there are two types of people, my friend – those with loaded guns, and those who dig. You dig.’
The Great Reset; ‘No pasarán’ ~ article by Ghassan and Intibah Kadi
”Did the pre-COVID world need a reset ? Definitely. Many of its founding determinants have been based on injustice, shortsightedness, divisiveness, lack of good old values, the inability of being sustainable; just to name a few.When millions cannot find food to eat and clean water to drink yet others fly half the way across the world to attend a baby shower, something must be amiss and a reset is way overdue.
But what is it that the vision of the World Economic Forum (WEF) and its ‘Bible’ (COVID-19 The Great Reset) have to offer in order to provide the world and future generations with a brighter new direction?
It doesn’t take long to see that within the WEF “Great Reset” … there are clear indications that what it is attempting to do is to create more compliant robotic individuals and draw the world and its population deeper into the abyss.”
Full Article : The Great Reset; ‘No pasarán’
The magical voice of Roy Orbison, and a dreamlike, surreal video with scenes from David Lynch’s 1986 film ‘Blue Velvet’.
This great song has a unique structure, with seven discrete musical movements in which Orbison sings through two octaves.
And ”I remember that you said Goodbye’‘ must be one of the saddest lines in any sad song….
Starmer’s removal of the party whip from Jeremy Corbyn for ”antisemitism” is scandalous, unjustified and unforgivable.
It is also an unmistakable indicator of the extent to which the Israel Lobby has penetrated English politics, and demonstrates its ultimate success in conflating anti-Zionism and the support of Palestinian rights with the bogus slur of antisemitism.
Bear in mind that the occupation of Palestinian territory and human rights violations by the Israeli State are illegal under international law. To shield a terrorist state by punishing criticism of it is , frankly, frightening for the future of morality and free speech in the UK.
Mass resignation from the Labour Party is the least that is now required.
Time to Stand Up and Be Counted :
~ article by historian and former UK Ambassador Craig Murray
Today, nothing is more important than to say that we will not be silent on the dreadful oppression of the Palestinian people; the daily beatings, killings, humiliations, demolitions, expropriations and destruction of groves that are the concomitant of Israeli illegal occupation.
We will never be browbeaten into silence on the slow genocide of the Palestinian people.
Nobody with any grasp on the location of their right mind believes Jeremy Corbyn to be an anti-Semite. Nobody with any grasp on their right mind believes the Labour Party is now anything but the substitutes’ bench for the Neoconservative team. Under Keir Starmer, the Labour Party has failed to oppose the granting of legal powers to the security services to kill, torture, entrap, forge and fake with impunity. It has failed to oppose the limitation of prosecution of British soldiers for war crimes. The Labour Party now seeks to erase all trace that it might once have been a party that offered an alternative to the right wing security state.
As Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer pressurised Swedish prosecutors who wished to drop the case against Julian Assange, to persist in order that he might be rendered to the USA. He further persuaded them not to interview Julian here, which is standard practice when he was never charged but only wanted for questioning, and which would have reduced Julian’s ordeal by four years.
Starmer received £50.000 in personal donations from lobbyist Sir Trevor Chinn to fund his leadership bid.
It is perfectly plain that Starmer’s aim in suspending Corbyn is to drive the mass membership that Corbyn attracted out of the Labour Party, and make it a reliable arm of the right wing security state. He wants the Labour Party to be financially dependent not on its members, who have annoying principles, but on donors like Chinn.
The media and political elite have attained their aim; there is no longer any point in voting in Westminster elections. A right wing government supporting the neo-con status quo and the ever tightening security state is now firmly guaranteed and cannot be influenced by a Westminster election.
“It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons…. My own feeling is that in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages…. I was not taught to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children” ~ Admiral William D. Leahy, (President Truman’s Chief of Staff and the most senior U.S. military officer during the war)
Although the cowardly and vindictive attack on a densely-packed, defenceless civilian population is still not acknowledged as a War Crime, even the current leadership of the USA would be hard pressed to deny the grotesque horror of Hiroshima, 75 years ago today. That would be impossible, yet the hypocrisy and cynicism of its ruling elite, who retain delusions of exceptionalism and infallibility, and demand the exclusive use of devastating force to impose its will, remain essentially unchanged.
“In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.” ~ Confucius (551 –479 BC)
I have been prepared to give Keir Starmer the benefit of my doubt that he could provide effective opposition to the appalling current UK government, but in the space of 24 hours all hope has been dissipated.
First the new Labour leader bowed down to the rampant Zionist lobby in the media – and all the main political parties – by issuing an ”unreserved apology” to former Labour staff members and to the fanatical anti-Corbyn campaigner John Ware, the journalist who presented the evidence-free Panorama programme on Labour’s alleged ‘anti-semitism’. He even agreed to pay “substantial damages” to Ware and to seven so-called ‘whistleblowers’ over “defamatory and false allegations” made following the programme.
(By the way, how often must it be repeated that criticism of Israel’s worst excesses is NOT anti-semitism ? )
Now, at PMQs today, Starmer has called for the news channel RT to be banned (it is already refused air-time by Richard Branson’s Virgin Media, which tells its own story). ‘Sir’ Keir told the Commons: “One way the Government can seek to clamp down on Russian influence is to prevent the spread of Kremlin backed disinformation.”
But RT is the UK’s most informative TV news channel, providing truthful, objective coverage of events and offering a platform to dissident voices like George Galloway, Ken Livingstone, Alex Salmond and others whose anti-neoliberal stance effectively disqualifies them from corporate media and that now abject government propaganda tool, the BBC.
There are even reports that Starmer is considering the removal of the Labour whip from Jeremy Corbyn, meaning that he would be booted out of the parliamentary party and become an independent MP.
I would hope for (and expect) a mass exodus of true radicals and socialists from the Party if he goes ahead with this, and Labour would deserve its subsequent marginalisation.
It’s apparent that Labour is now firmly in the grip of the Blairites and the Zionist lobby. Sad to say, as a vehicle for the progressive change and the new policies the UK so urgently needs, the once great Labour Party is now finished.
The perpetual occupation of Afghanistan has become so normalized that for most people it serves as mere background noise. A soldier dies now and again, a couple of dozen civilians get blown to pieces occasionally, but nothing is ever enough to stir western populations to demand an end to the shamelessly imperialist project.
This exceptional new documentary by Abby Martin reveals the reality of the United States’ involvement in Afghanistan, from the CIA’s duplicity in the 1980s, through to today’s senseless stalemate.
I will not sign.
Sadly, there is no Palestinian state to recognize, within the 1967 or any other borders. These petitions achieve nothing and merely serve to delay the long-overdue death of the so-called ”two-state solution”, the illusion of which has guaranteed Israel’s survival as a Jewish racist state for decades.
Crucially, such resolutions would guarantee Israel’s survival in its present racist form within the 1948 boundaries, and actually aim to impose an arrangement that prevented Israel’s collapse.
Well-meaning liberals and progressives, inside Israel and outside, who advocate a ”Two-State” solution are choosing to ignore an alternative, based on the principle of equality for all, on the separation of state from religion, and on an end to discrimination and racial apartheid ;- a One-State Solution : Liberated Palestine !
Among other things, my old mate Mike was founder and Editor-in-Chief of Fitzrovia News, reputedly the longest-running community newspaper in London. Here’s a link to the front page of the June edition, published today :https://towerarchive.files.wordpress.com/2020/06/fn-157-lowres.pdf?fbclid=IwAR3m9A_z4L0JueUeG7TV5UxyRTLgMFjeUt2EsYp94vAo44CIclHVMCJSFlY
And some tributes from colleagues and friends :
The ‘Grauniad’ has also published this obituary (written by our mutual friend Peter Kirker).
My friend Mike Pentelow, who has died aged 73, was a journalist whose work and actions were instrumental in the preservation of the unique character of Fitzrovia, the London district north of Oxford Street from Soho in which he lived for 50 years.
His book Characters of Fitzrovia (2001) – a pantheon of artists, murderers, musicians and revolutionaries who had peopled that bohemian area – came to print after he squeezed his manuscript through the letterbox of a neighbour who was also a multi-millionaire publisher. Felix Dennis had been a defendant in the notorious Oz trial, and may have been persuaded by Mike’s scrawled note: “You’re on page 242.” Dennis’s friend Marsha Rowe wrote an introduction for the book.
Mike had been involved in the revival of the term Fitzrovia to describe the area many years before. In 1973 he and some local friends launched a festival for the then nameless community. They decided to call it the Fitzrovia festival, bringing back a name that had been used whimsically in the 1940s and 50s in the literary coterie around Dylan Thomas’s local, the Wheatsheaf in Rathbone Place, but that had fallen out of use in the 60s. A few years later the community newspaper, the Tower, which Mike went on to edit until his death, was relaunched as the Fitzrovia News.
Other books Mike authored included a walks guide, Freedom Pass London (2014), and A Pub Crawl Through History: The Ultimate Boozers’ Who’s Who (2010). He shared the credit for both with his long-term collaborator the photographer Peter Arkell.
Born in Sheffield but soon to move with his family to Staines, Surrey, and then Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, Mike was the elder son of Joan (nee Topham) and Jack Pentelow, an accountant with Smiths Clocks and Watches.
Bashful about his private schooling at University College school, in Hampstead, Mike initially bypassed university and went straight to work in journalism with the Thurrock Gazette. This was in the late 60s, when the docklands were riven with industrial strife. As always thereafter, Mike’s sympathies were with the workers, but his copy was objective.
In his spare time he helped run a yearly rock festival in Grays, Essex (1969-71), giving amateur bands chances to play to sizeable beach audiences.
He was able to combine his love of football with his socialism when in 1970 he joined the Morning Star as a sports reporter. He took leave to study economics at Central London Polytechnic (now the University of Westminster) and discovered, when he returned with a degree in 1979, that he had assumed the industry brief and alarming political responsibilities. But he was soon a much-loved character in the industrial lobby, and took inspiration, perhaps in more ways than one, from two hard-drinking and erudite NUM leaders, Lawrence Daley and Mick McGahey. In 1983 he went on to a colourful 20-year stint on T&G and Unite in-house titles, where he was known for his show-stopping dancing at work parties. As Unite’s chief of staff Andrew Murray wrote in the Morning Star: “Mike put the social in Socialism.”
Mike had a wonderfully kind temperament; he applied his journalism to the common good and was renowned for his sparkling repartee. He had no immediate family of his own, but developed wonderfully supportive friendships with the children of his friends.
Mike is survived by his brother, Guy, and a nephew and niece.
…. at the King and Queen pub, Foley Street, Fitzrovia, September 2018.
by Clive Jennings
The death of Mike Pentelow is very sad — I still can’t believe he’s gone. I have lost a friend and colleague on Fitzrovia News, and the Fitzrovia community has lost its chronicler, historian, archivist and activist.
The extent of his knowledge of Fitzrovia and its history was encyclopaedic. Mike was a lovely man, always very friendly and open with everyone he met, and he loved to socialise He had so much stored in his head, but was always ready to add more, eagerly showing interest in any new information, whipping out his little notebook and jotting it down, like the old school journalist he was.
He loved nothing more than a pint with friends in a local pub, and the talk would often be about Fitzrovia past and present — particularly poignant at the moment as I walk around the neighbourhood, and see all his favourite watering holes shuttered up.
He was enormously supportive to me when I first started writing for Fitzrovia News and continued to be so. He always thanked me profusely for my copy and was so good-natured when I filed it late, which was nearly always. I remember when I first realised that he was the co-author of Characters of Fitzrovia, which I had originally borrowed from the library. Typically self-effacing, he explained that I could get a cut-price copy from the discount bookshop on Tottenham Court Road.
Mike had assiduously applied himself to the life and times of Fitzrovia, be it a scandal from the 1850s or dodgy building practice in the twenty first century. His forensic and detailed research combined with a fluent inclusive style of writing resulted in many fascinating articles in Fitzrovia News, and he was no slouch when it came to ‘sticking it to the Man’ in his campaigning journalism.
He was a stalwart of The Sohemian Society: the combination of a Club devoted to great stories about Soho and Fitzrovia, books and beer, that actually met in a pub, was just made for him. He met my two younger sons there.
His generosity, and generosity of spirit, always came through. Two examples spring to mind: chipping in to finance having the Fitzrovia News delivered by post and making a large contribution to the cost of Fiona Green’s leaving Fitzrovia party.
I shall miss him very much indeed, and so shall Fitzrovia
Above : Mike Pentelow with Lemar and Jean Sveinsson, London, 2010
Above : Mike Pentelow and John Fisher. Bologna 2012
Michael Bond , John Fisher, and Mike Pentelow. London, 2011.
Michael John Pentelow : 26 May 1946 – 1 April 2020
”Well done team” ~ Mike Pentelow 😊
Some of the most vociferous proponents of ‘woke’ identitarianism are the most privileged beneficiaries of the neoliberal status quo : corporations, the political, cultural and media elites – even (give me strength) the Royal Family.
Far from challenging the establishment, wokeness has become a means through which the establishment is able to reinvent itself. Corporations and public figures are falling over themselves to gain ‘woke’ points by engaging in empty, superficial gestures which win social validation – and accumulate capital – while real, urgent, systemic social injustices remain unaddressed and unsolved.
”Divide and Rule” has rarely been more subtle, or more effective.
~ article by Inaya Folarin Iman ☑️
”Contrary to past anti-racist arguments, many today argue that we should judge people by their race, emphasise racial difference and think along racial lines. And no, this isn’t just the far right – this is what is being put forward by a toxic strand of the new left, woke identitarianism. This illiberal, intolerant ideology is at odds with the universalist, humanist goal of a colour-blind society. It is a disempowering, backward-looking movement….
The current obsession with race often means we are missing the true dynamics in society. Class, for instance, plays a major role in social outcomes, but discussion of it is rare. There are many white working-class people, particularly in the provinces, who do not feel they have benefited from ‘white privilege’. Indeed, they would argue that they are far from privileged. Do their ‘lived experiences’ count?”
Wokeness and Neoliberalism
”We really should stop seeing ‘Wokeness’ or ‘Political Correctness’, or any other aspect of the so-called New Left as being left-wing at all.
‘Wokeness’ is a key part of the neoliberal drive against social solidarity. Wokeness makes a virtue of the atomisation that is a key feature of life in capitalist society.
Wokeness doesn’t challenge the individuation and corrosion of social solidarity that neoliberal society brings about. It simply repackages it as PC and celebrates it. It commodifies our atomisation and sells it back to us as right-on politics.
Far from being a new kind of leftism, the woke ideology is really the militant wing of neoliberalism. It is a campaigning arm of the neoliberal outlook. This is why woke activists and big business make such comfortable bedfellows. Banks and hedge funds and other capitalist outfits love to adorn their buildings in the Pride flag. These days there are really only two places where you see woke nonsense in action : among the trendy, supposedly leftist political class, and in the capitalist class. These people profess to hate each other, but in truth they have a shared outlook…
The bravest and most ambitious political parties today will completely oppose the anti-community, anti-democratic, anti-solidarity, anti-freedom outlook of the woke elites and the business elites. and seek to provide people with that sense of collective belonging and collective influence that they are crying out for. A free and democratic and connected society – that is what we need now.”
~ extract from a speech by Brendan O’Neill at the annual party conference of the SDP, 28/09/2019, (edited).