Tuesday 26 May 2009

Rebuking Dick Cheney on Torture


If you oppose the continued existence of the Guantanamo detention camp, then there is another reason not to buy your overpriced coffee at Stabucks.

Starbucks have an outlet at the Guantanamo base - providing lattes and espressos to thirsty waterboarders, guards, and other Guantanamo staff.

See this from the National Guantanamo Coalition.

Monday 25 May 2009

(Not Quite) Kettling Scotland Yard

Photos from Saturday's United Campaign Against Police Violence protest, which with around 500 people didn't quite manage to kettle Scotland Yard.

Tuesday 19 May 2009

MPs Expenses - West Ham's Guilty Secret

The MPs expenses scandal rumbles on, but things seem strangely quiet on this front back home in Newham in east London, where I live.

Which is very strange. For how is it remotely possible that one of Newham’s three Labour MPs, Lyn Brown, claimed £15,889 in second home allowances in 2007-2008, whilst the other two claimed absolutely nothing?

Fifteen grand. A massive contrast with many other east London MPs. Those representing Walthamstow, Hackney North & Stoke Newington, Hackney South & Shoreditch, Bethnal Green & Bow, Barking, Greenwich & Woolwich, Chingford & Woodford Green and Ilford North all claimed nothing for second homes.

So what's so different about the constituency of West Ham? Does Lyn Brown not like it here?

Indeed, how can a second home allowance possibly be justified for an MP representing a constituency in Oystercard zone 3, just 8 miles from Westminster, when the Labour MPs for Hove (53 miles from Westminster) and Reading West (44 miles from Westminster) managed to make it into Parliament regularly and yet, like Lyn Brown's parliamentary colleagues in Newham, also claimed precisely nothing in second home allowances?

There has been nothing about this in the local rag, the Newham Recorder. Why the silence?

Others who must be named and shamed: Harry Cohen (Leyton & Wanstead) - £23,083 and Mike Gapes (Ilford South) - £22,291. As close to the maximum as they could get.

And they wonder why people are angry...

MPs expenses for 2007-2008 are available online on the BBC News website.

Sunday 17 May 2009

Photos from Yesterday's Palestine Rally

Wednesday 6 May 2009

Wikileaks Publishes UAF's E-mail List

One of my favourite websites is Wikileaks. This is the site that released the BNP's membership list and is a source of some fascinating secret material.

Now it has released Unite Against Fascism's email contacts list - which, for the lack of security that this represents, may cause some serious recriminations within UAF.

More helpfully, in April Wikileaks published a document from the CIA's Open Source Center that translated a 186 page secret Israeli Ministry of Defense database, which showed the full extent of illegal Israeli settlements in Gaza and the West Bank. According to Haaretz, "an analysis of the data reveals that, in the vast majority of the settlements - about 75 percent - construction, sometimes on a large scale, has been carried out without the appropriate permits or contrary to the permits that were issued,", and "the database also shows that, in more than 30 settlements, extensive construction of buildings and infrastructure (roads, schools, synagogues, yeshivas and even police stations) has been carried out on private lands belonging to Palestinian West Bank residents."

Take a look: a PDF of the document is available here.

Sunday 3 May 2009

Evangelicals "more likely to support torture"

The more often Americans go to church, the more likely they are to support the torture of suspected terrorists, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center for CNN. Or more precisely, if they attend white evangelical protestant churches.

People unaffiliated with any religious group were least likely to back torture. Bless 'em.

This could be an easy opportunity to mock white evangelicals, but isn't this just more evidence that right-wing Christians are more... well, right wing, with a morally flexible interpretation of loving thy neighbour?

I'm not sure that after eight years of a Bush presiudency, this survey is telling us anything new.

Random Blowe | Original articles licensed under a Creative Commons License.