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Against the dying of the Light

A world facing catastrophic climate change cannot afford the nonsense of war. We cannot afford to be governed by thieves, liars and killers. If we remain complacent and complient, inert and silent, as the leering wolves of war again and again contemptuously invite us to eat from the trough of their regurgitated lies, then we are co-conspirators, complicit again and again in the murder of countries, communities and children. Ultimately, and soon, we become the co-authors of our own extinction.

I remember a poem I learned at school:

‘Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light.’

It always seemed silly to me to rage so much at one’s own death, at any individual death. I have no fonder wish for myself and those I love than that we should, “go gentle … at close of day”.

But together against a night that yet need never fall, 
Rave, rage and burn, old age and youth and all, 
Rave against the betrayal of the true and the right, 
Rage against the cruel predators of the night,
Burn against the silent dying of the light.

Standing with Iran

No person with good sense and decency could for one second think that a war against Iran is in any way justified. However the governments of the US and its cronies, particularly the UK, France, Israel, the KSA and the UAE but also all of the NATO countries, lack a truly moral compass and operate on a logic based on their own predatory interests as ruling elites rather than on the common interests and perceptions of the rational world or even of their own citizens.

These countries and their mainstream media will support or offer only token resistance to a US narrative that every honest and informed person knows to be carefully constructed in order to secure the continued dominance of their elites.

Evidence that Iran carried out the attacks on the two tankers is slight and the narrative spun about the attacks has been contradicted by the Japanese owner of one of the tankers:


The owner of the Japanese tanker attacked on Thursday said US reports have provided “false” information about what happened in the Gulf of Oman. The ship operator said “flying objects” that may have been bullets were the cause of damage to the vessel, rather than mines used by Iranian forces, as the US has suggested. Yutaka Katada, chief executive of the Japanese company operating the ship called Kokuka Courageous, one of two vessels attacked near the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday, said the damage could not have been caused by mines or torpedos that are shot underwater, since the damage was reportedly above the ship’s waterline.

Independent.co.uk

The likelihood is that this was a false flag attack by the US or by its Israel or the KSA, impatient that Iran has not responded to US provocation. Iran has effectively been under seige by the US which has forbidden other countries, its so called ‘international community’, from trading with Iran. Without trade the Iranian people will starve thus their government, in the absence of just international law, would have clear motive and justification in making a calibrated military response of this sort as a warning that they are capable of shutting down shipping routes and starving America’s allies of oil. However while the Iranians have such motive, justification and capability to carry out this attack there is no evidence that they did nor any reason why such an attack would be covert. Other players have clearer motives for this kind of attack. The EU has been opposed to Trump’s pulling out of the deal with Iran and I believe that Trump himself is not sold on the war that his neocon dominated administration want. Trump likely sees his sanctions as a ‘clever’ bullying tactic, a ‘genius’ ruse to get a better deal than the one Obama negotiated. This attack preemptively scuttles or tries to scuttle any such deal which would involve the EU and Russia, parties to the previous deal. It is not insignificant to this thesis that Japan’s Prime Minister Abe was in Iran at the same time as the two tankers were attacked.

War would be an unmitigated disaster for the Iranian people and their leaders and they will do everything to avoid it while doing their best to ensure their own safety and to ensure that they are not militarily castrated. The Iranians are open to diplomacy because it remains the best option for their survival. But if diplomacy is war by other means it makes sense that the Iranians should take military action. They, and their Shia allies in Iraq and Lebanon and elsewhere, have the capabability to set the region aflame. The Sampson option, bringing down the temple on your enemies even as you die yourself, is never a desirable one, for anyone, but it is an understandable and honourable one, and for all their flaws, as a religious people, understand the concept of honour.

If we have honour and wish to avoid war we should not simply dismiss the incidents in the Gulf of Oman as probable false flags but understand the context in which the US and its allies are bullying a nation as proud as our own and with a longer history of peace than our own and stand not ‘shoulder to shoulder’ with the US, but with Iran.

Is Truth Antisemitic?

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/labour-party-backlash-after-peterborough-byelection-winner-lisa-forbes-liked-antisemitic-posts-on-a4161821.html

It was revealed this week that Ms Forbes had liked a post saying Theresa May had a “Zionist Slave Masters agenda” alongside a video of children praying after the New Zealand terrorist attack.

I don’t know what bearing the comment about Zionist slave masters had on the video but this sort of hyperbolic comment is hardly unusual in today’s political discourse and it’s well known that Israeli lobbying has a tremendous influence on both the Conservative Party and the Labour Party.

By 2009, according to the Channel 4 documentary Dispatches – Inside Britain’s Israel Lobby, around 80% of Conservative MPs were members of the CFI.[3] In 2013, the Daily Telegraph’s chief political commentator, Peter Oborne, called CFI “by far Britain’s most powerful pro-Israel lobbying group.”

Wikipedia article:

The Standard article continues:

In another comment she said she had “enjoyed reading” a thread claiming Islamic extremism was created “by the CIA and Mossad.”

There is no doubt whatsoever that the CIA and Mossad and MI5 have sponsored Islamic extremism.

“Hamas, to my great regret, is Israel’s creation,” a former Israeli government official told the Wall Street Journal in a 2009 article titled “How Israel Helped to Spawn Hamas.”

salon article:

It seems to me that Lisa Forbes has been accused of antisemitism and forced to apologise on the grounds that she did not express outrage rather than sympathy. It seems too that it is antisemitic to enjoy reading a thread that discusses assertions widely recognised as true.

It is mystifying that Ms Forbes should be accused of being antisemitic because she enjoyed reading assertions that are accepted to be true. It is worrying and it is an attack not only on Ms Forbes and the Labour Party but also on freedom of thought, freedom of dialogue and on truth.

However, as worrying as these accusations are, what is more worrying is their endorsement by figures with the Labour party itself:

We read:

Labour former minister Dame Margaret Hodge, who has clashed with Jeremy Corbyn over anti-Semitism, wrote on Twitter: “Seriously mixed feelings about the Peterborough result. I never want to see Nigel Farage’s party in Parliament.
“But Lisa Forbes & the Labour Party have a lot to answer for. We must learn lessons & never have a repeat of this. Have formally raised concerns with party leadership.”

Shadow policing minister Louise Haigh, who worked on Lisa Forbes’ campaign, wrote that it was “extremely upsetting for all of us involved when the posts that Lisa had mistakenly engaged in came to light.

“They were thoroughly unacceptable and I know she sees that and is truly sorry.”

This is a response that would be easy to characterise as ‘slavish’. It is a response that shows a shocking lack of courage and a wholesale disregard for the truth.

Extinction Rebellion

Wednesday 24th April. I joined the Extinction Rebellion at the Marble Arch corner of Hyde Park. They have been there since 15th April. The atmosphere was very good and the protest has been peaceful. I joined Drum Master Tom Morley who with his customary style led a group in exuberant drumming at the corners of the ER encampment. And I after joined those supporting the ‘arrestables’ – those taking the protest further by disobeying police instructions to vacate the road where they had set up tents. Though arrested no one appeared to be harmed. I’m happy and grateful for all the people who are doing this as it’s clear that most of us don’t really understand the gravity of the situation. If we did we would, as Greta Thunberg says, panic .. and transform our societies, systems and ourselves.

Related FB Posts.

Hair and Mozart

Mozart will never seem old.

On Monday evening we saw the musical ‘Hair’ at the New Wimbledon Theatre. I liked the energy of the cast. The dancing was fine and there were the two songs – Age of Aquarius and Good Morning Starshine – but it seemed so dated, and the nudity moment, presumably shocking once, seemed twee and irrelevant.

Climate Crisis

This is an extremely important contribution to the most extremely important and urgent conversation we need to have now.

The video is 40 minutes long. It is urgent that we listen what Dr. Peter Carter has to say, that we continue the conversation and make sure that it is continued in all forums we have access to. In addition to ensuring that this becomes the predominant conversation, we all neeed to push for systemic change, that is change at government and international levels. This is not a change that individuals, or companies or communities can make, there are things we can do at these levels but there need to be huge political changes, disengaging governments from dependency on and support of the fossil fuel industries and their obsession with environmentally destructive economic growth.

Climate change cannot be reversed and there will be disasterous consequences. As Peter Carter indicates there are disasterous consequences happening now. The question is can climate change be slowed and can we ameliorate the consequences. I don’t know the answer to that and I don’t believe anyone does. There is no question that we will suffer hugely. The question is will we survive. Will the planet survive. We don’t know if it is possible to survive given the unprecedented challenge, we do know without a shadow of a doubt that unless we make changes on an unprecedented scale life on this planet will not persist beyond the end of this century.

These are a few of the points made by Carter in the video:

  1. Yearly increase in atmospheric co2 is unprecedented in Earth history. That is geological history not human history.
  2. All indicators for climate change increasing.
  3. More heatwaves, forest fires, droughts are inevitable. All food producing regions will see decline in crop yields. This is absolute social chaos.
  4. Co2 is forever. co2 cannot be removed from the atmosphere. its dependent on formation of fossil carbon which takes millions of years. it will take 100k years for all the co2 we’ve produced to be removed from the atmosphere. So what has already been done cannot be undone.
  5. The survival of humanity is in question because of extent of greenhouse gas pollution. We have to act on an emergency immediate basis but there are huge powers working in government and the fossil fuel industry to prevent this.
  6. We are wiping out life in this planet at a terrible rate. The yearly rate of species extinction is more than 1000 times greater than the natural background rate.
  7. We can’t save the planet anymore. The planet is drastically different from the one older people grew up in.
  8. There is no sense out there of how huge this is.
  9. Catastrophic climate change is now unavoidable.
  10. We have lost half of the Great Barrier Reef.
  11. The Paris Agreement December 2015 was an agreement to do nothing. The climate justice groups had it right. Friends of the Earth International described the Agreement as a sham. It is a PR success. Nothing in the agreement was legally binding. The US under Obama said that it could not be binding as the Republicans could stop it being ratified. The entire world is being deceived.
  12. The planet is being fracked to death. It is global suicide.
  13. We need to stop subsidising the fossil fuel industry. trillions of dollars a year subsidise fossile fuel industries. We are paying for our own death.
  14. There is no allowable amount of carbon we can still burn

I want you to panic

“I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act.”

Greta Thunberg

The Coming Catastrophy

Jimmy Dore’s short presentation provides a good introduction to the issue of the climate change catastrophy. As a human species and as individuals we need to change our ways. Here are some of my suggestions for political and personal action:

1. If you’re in the west consume less. Don’t manufacture or buy unnecessary stuff.
2. Share more. Make sure no one starves even if it means you eat less. Make sure everyone has a home even if it means your home is smaller.
3. Phase out meat and dairy farming. We all need to move to veganism. Is eating fish sustainable? I like eating fish but we have to ask the question.
4. Dont buy plastic toys, plastic bags or plastic water bottles.
5. Reduce the use of fossil fuels through sustainable green energy use and a drastic reduction in energy consumption.
6. Don’t even think about fracking. Stop it now.
7. Don’t be a frequent flier. You may be able to afford it but the planet cannot. Focus on making your local environment more appealing.
8. Don’t deforest. Reforest.
9. Rationalise production by taking essential industries into public ownership
10. Learn to repair stuff rather than replace it.
11. Don’t think going to nuclear power is going to help. Disasterous weather conditions and degraded supply infrastructures can lead to Fukashima type incidents.
12. Move globally, nationally and personally from a competition mindset to a cooperation mindset
13. Work for global disarmament and repurpose the military to disaster relief and environment protection forces.
14. Work for change in your own local communities but communicate and coordinate with other communities regionally and globally.
15. Meditate and pray. Things are going to get very rough and we’re going to need acceptance, faith and love to get us through
16. Don’t have more than two children.

A Man For all Seasons

“William Roper: “So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!”

Sir Thomas More: “Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?”

William Roper: “Yes, I’d cut down every law in England to do that!”

Sir Thomas More: “Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!”

― Robert Bolt, A Man for All Seasons

A Certain Perception

I wrote the following as a comment elsewhere and (as is my wont) I’m reposting here:

The IHRA ‘definition’ has it that:

“Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non- Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

The proposition here is that antisemitism is not equivalent to antipathy towards Jews (though it may be expressed as such) it is a ‘certain perception of Jews’ but that perception is not described and therefore has no gives no information and therefore cannot define anything.

Nevertheless this ‘definition’ has been adopted by the Labour party. Since it is empty of meaning examples were necessary to give it any utility. I understand that the NEC found four of the eleven IHRA examples problematic and made ammendments. The four examples are: “Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.”“Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.” “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.” “Applying double standards by requiring of it [Israel] a behaviour not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.” “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.” “Applying double standards by requiring of it [Israel] a behaviour not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.” “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.”

To take just one of these examples: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.” This is problematic because it could be taken to deny expression of a legitimate interpretation that the founding of the state of Israel, by priveliging one ethnic group over another and through its implementation was a racist endeavour. It could also be taken to deny expression of the thought that the current policies and practices of the state of Israel are racist. It might be argued that the wording does not deny these expressions as it concerns itself with the existence of the State of Israel not with its founding or its policies and practices but what expression does it then deny? Mere existence cannot be said to be an endeavour at all let alone a ‘racist endeavour’; existence is a precondition to any endeavour. Phrasing such as this can be taken to mean very little or very much. It is correct to say that the definition with its examples is not fit for purpose if that purpose is sanctioning antisemitic racism while protecting the right to speak freely against oppression and injustice wherever and by whomever it is perpetrated.

It is the right of any autonymous organisation or community to determine how, subject to national laws, it is governed internally. It is the duty of such organisations to apply due diligence to the adoption of guidelines. To abrogate that responsibility to outside bodies would be a dereliction of duty on the part of elected officers.

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