Fertility and the constitution.

So once again we have the royal distraction being placed at the base of British politics, with Kate  Windsor now being pregnant with the heir to the throne. Like most distractions it has little real relevance to real life, other than to remind us of how little power we have. Yet it is also worth looking at how basing the British constitution on something that was considered out of date in 1812 demeans everyone.

Kate Middleton is no longer considered a person, only a barer of the next in line for the throne. She becomes symbolic of the widely held mistake that the only importance of a person is to produce children and ensure the next generation, giving up your life for something yet to come. Just as a person is looked down on if they don’t produce children. Kate and any real love they might have is secondary to her fertility. Only the production of a new generation is important, only her womb is important. A system, that of the family, is all that matters once again, the system of the family. Months of speculation are finally put to rest and Kate is now a worthy member of the royal family because she has now guaranteed its future. Her life is no longer her life, it is the life of the next generation and we are meant to celebrate this.

The hereditary principle reinforces the idea that life should be based upon children at all costs and those without children should give up their lives and are less important than those with a family. it is based upon the idea that institutions and systems are more important than any individual life. What matters is giving yourself up for its survivial, your role in reproduction of any system is your role in life and you don’t matter. A woman is basically a womb and is selfish if she doesn’t use it. The fetishism of the royal family and the adoration of Kate and William is based upon this and we stupidly let our state and politics be formed around this!

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In Sussex 3% of voters actively reject all candidates.

Just over 3% of voters, 5,982 people actively spoilt their ballot papers in the Sussex Police Commissioner elections. This was on top of the fact that the election had a record low turnout, with it nationally being the lowest turnout ever for an election.

Some politicians have previously argued that low turnouts stop an election’s legitimacy. Priti Patel, MP for Witham, has previously said that “any election in which more than half of those eligible to vote do so, should be ruled invalid. Damien Green MP and Matthew Hancock MP have said similar things. Of course they were talking about union ballots, not ballots concerning the legitimacy of the police to police us or for them to rule over us. Things work differently for them. They will continue to rule us whatever we vote for or don’t vote for!

Some right wing bloggers, journalists and political cops have interpreted the result as being a victory for those who argue we don’t need more say in our lives. Political policemen in particular, who hate the fact that the people they police might ever have a say in what they do, have been ecstatic at the result. yet the result was a rejection of the choices, not a rejection of choice. It was a rejection of pretending that three identical political parties tell us what to think, not a rejection of being consulted on important matters. The high number of spoilt ballot papers are specifically a sign that people did care, but did not care for the choice or how the election had been run!

It also opens up the possibility of the use of this tactic to undermine politicians messages in the future. While the three main parties monopoly on pushing only their message continues, an organised refusal to blindly support it is suddenly a viable tactic. If they continue to not even vaguely represent us we can just not support them. Spoilt ballot papers are more powerful than boycotts, but either way it allows new politics to thrive in the vacuum created by the loss of faith in the ruling parties. Instead of hoping that labour will finally stop supporting the interests of the rich and pushing capitalism, we can start giving an alternative message backed by the simple statement that we should not support politicians we hate at election. If there is an alternative vote for it, but if there is not, don’t vote or spoil your ballot paper!

For the record, in Sussex the conservative candidate Katy Bourne won, beating Geoffrey Daniel (Labour) on second choice votes. David Rogers (Liberal Democrat) came last with only 11% of the vote! I could not really make out any difference between their policy statements, other than Katy Bourne promises to attach a PCSO to every Sussex village (as if that will have any impact on anti-social crime or actually build up community spirit.) The 3% who, like me, spoilt our ballot papers would have had no effect on the election outcome, but made a powerful statement that can be built on.

The full results can be seen here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-20346180

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Police Commissioners, voting and Martin Wright on the accountability process.

In a moment I’m going to go out and spoil my ballot paper for the ‘Police commissioner’ election. The reason I’m going to spoil my ballot paper is because I have not been asked which issues concern me, informed about the election or given a choice. Like a South American dictatorship I am being told what the issues are and expected to get out there and support them. I have a choice between the three main parties saying the same thing, UKIP basically saying the same as the three main parties and a right-wing christian who amazingly says basically the same as the other parties.

It is of course questionable about whether I should bother voting at all, however in this case, not voting shows two things. Firstly a low turn out allows the government to argue people are not interested in more democracy, despite having avoided publicising and debating issues around this election or having allowed the free standing of candidates. It also supports the police argument that they should be allowed to police as they want without being answerable to the public. In a way the election is a missed opportunity and so by spoiling my ballot paper, I’m registering an interest but also making the point that I will not blindly vote for the political oligarchy’s prefered choice of candidate. A quick look back through the posts on this blog shows that I have an interest in issues around policing. However I have not even had a chance to raise them in this election, let alone find a candidate who supports them. If this is the case, then I’m not going to support any of the candidates. If they can’t be bothered to represent me or even talk about the things that effect my life, then they are not going to claim either legitimacy by getting my vote or my disinterest.

OF course, today should provide an opportunity to discuss policing and the way a community should be policed (or as I would argue, should be able to police it’s self). This has not happened with the media simply not even bothering to debate the issues and the government refusing to promote what the candidates claim to represent. As a result, I thought I would try to promote such a debate by putting this link from veteran Anarchist Martin Wright. In it he discusses the accountability process and basically what a community should do in order to police its self. He is attacking one possible model, seen as an answer to sexual violence. I have to say I agree with his criticism, although I think the problem  stems from both the dream world that some (although by no means all) anarchists live in, cut off from the real world. His criticism also shows the problem with anarchists, in that they think the way they organise, which is separate from the rest of the world, somehow magically represents the whole class and the debates with in anarchist groups will some how magically reach across to the rest of the working class. The anarchist and squatting scene is small and a subculture with in the working class. Wether someone is expelled from it or made to take part in the ‘accountability process’ has no relation on the real world (although it can plant a seed  for change in the real world). Any predatory scum can then just move on to prey on people outside of the anarchist scene, making any solution theoretical at best. Yet it does, as I mentioned, provide seeds for how we can work problems out in the future, once the separation and individualism that is a necessary bi-product of capitalist society is overcome.

Martin Wright can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_3UeRXvHGU

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Anti-squatter MP finally meets the public!

Reports are coming in that Hove and Portslade MP, Mike Weatherly, was confronted by an angry demonstration at Sussex University. Although accounts are varying, it is reported that he was pelted with missiles and Mike Weatherly is claiming that his entourage was pelted with rocks!


While any MP who feels they need bring an entourage to speak on a university campus is deserving of protest (although not necessarily deserving of being pelted with missiles) it is his role in introducing the criminalization of squatting residential property’s that has earned him the anger of protesters. While there is roughly 950,000 empty homes in Britain and 500,000 homeless people, the locking up of people for occupying property left lying empty is sickening. people have already been sent to prison as a result of this law which is aimed at protecting property prices and ownership by making those who can’t afford homes continue to support the housing market and the wealth of landlords and multiple home owners.

A real solution to the housing crisis, people dependent on housing benefit and the over expensive rents imposed by greedy landlords and parasites getting rich through by to let schemes, would be the passing of a law that any property left empty automatically becomes public property and is allowed to be used by people with no home or those struggling to afford local rents. Not only would it remove dependence on housing benefit (and undermining the overpriced renting market) it would mark the beginnings of a change in attitude to property, making property something belonging to community’s and one of their assets, rather than it belonging to individuals.

I should also mention that Mike Weatherly also deserved confrontation and challenging for his attitude to democracy. He has regularly attacked people’s right to protest and called for violent breaking up of gatherings such as the ‘Occupy’ protest, stating that such attempts to get opinions across should be criminalised (or more criminalised…) and that they have nothing to do with democratic change. He has consistently refused to engage with anyone who has attempted to challenge such views and refused to give replies to private emails on the matter. Maybe he should visit the history department next time he is at Sussex University.

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Politics wins, victims forgotten.

This weekend the slowly surfacing scandal over paedophilia took a new turn. I outlined my views concerning the role of institutions and how they are greater than any individuals below. With this in mind, it came as no surprise that the scandal became a political weapon used between  institutions to gain the upper hand, where the victims of child abuse are completely forgotten and in one case now face a smear campaign from a right-wing newspaper.

It is perhaps worth going through what the events of the past few days to get an understanding of the political posturing and reactions which have shifted not only the emphasis of the scandal, but allowed the government to use the suggestion that leading politicians were involved in the abuse of children to their advantage.

It all started with Philip Schofield. Well Ok it didn’t, but Philip Schofield’s attempt to ambush David Cameron on Thursday morning. On the face of it Cameron was put onto the back foot, with Philip Schofield, a former childrens’ TV presenter who worked while Saville was still a BBC asset in childrens’ TV, presenting a list of politicians who had allegations against them to Cameron. The point was that the allegations were out there, true or false, and the government doing nothing, except call inquires into already failed inquires, was not changing anything. Confidence was low and the government was beginning to look stupid. Cameron, bizarrely, attempted to deflect by mention that he did not a gay witch hunt, despite the fact that no one was engaging in a gay witch hunt or a heterosexual witch hunt. They were simply saying that they were sick of institutions allowing people’s lives to be wrecked because one person was more important to the BBC or Thatcher’s government (for example!) than many peoples’ lives. They were restating that child abuse is wrong.

Cameron seemed to be saying that gay people were more likely to be paedophiles and so gay people would become the victims of any witch hunt. At best this was clumsy concern, mixed with a failure to understand the issues. Concern from the leader of the party that brought you ‘clause 28’ and on successive occasions (with the support of labour) refused to allow people to sleep with who they wanted by having an unequal age of consent. At worst this was cynical deflecting by a man put on the spot by Philip Schofield. I’m guessing the Pri-Minister couldn’t get an interview from John Snow or Jeremy Paxman that day so had to settle for Philip Schofield holding him to account on his policies. And even then he was caught out and couldn’t hold his own.

That evening on BBC Question Time the outrage from the politicians was obvious. How dare the media not play their game. They decided not to look at the real point of the list (that allegations are out there, the public don’t have confidence and inquiry after inquiry won’t alter this fact!) Instead they decided to moan about journalists refusing to play their game.

By the next day the story had become how the person who alleged he was raped by a senior conservative minister had mistaken the person’s identity. The journalistic team who had dared give a voice to a child abuse victim had not properly checked their facts. The other bits of the story were quietly forgotten (in the space of two days!) Details about how the original inquiry had protected some people and refused to look at certain allegations were no longer mentioned. The big story was wrong and there for the BBC were at fault. They had even encouraged Philip Schofield to question the Pri-Minister. A suitably meek Philip Schofield apologised and the Tory press were full of talk of damaged reputations.

One wrong allegation had enabled the government to target the BBC and investigative journalism in general. The top COnservative in charge of the BBC upped the pressure and demanded blood which then came on saturday night. The Director General, George Entwistle, resigned because of the mistake. What had started as a questioning of institutions was turned, through the BBC’s failing and eagerness to impress, into a battle of institutions with the government gaining a bit of power over the slightly weakened BBC. From a completely detached perspective, it was a skillful bit of politics on behalf of the government. Machiavelli’s ideas being put into practice.

Yet just incase people got ideas that the whole scandal was bigger than one allegation, the governments allies decided to put the boot in. A smear campaign was started against the person who falsely named the ’80s politician as his abuser. The Mail on Sunday wrote a despicable article outlining how he was unreliable and had no integrity, including emphasising how he lost his temper with a barrister who questioned his honesty about being abused. While it would be extremely surprising if anybody lived through a childhood of abuse to become a well-balanced individual, David Rose, a known repeater of state misinformation, and his article basically set out to destroy a victim of child abuse.

Meanwhile Chris Patten, a former Conservative Party Chairman, is doing his best to neuter what is left of the already weak investigative side of BBC reporting and ensure that the next chairman will be someone who will not attempt to go up against the government or use the institution to question politicians to harshly. (I can’t see David Cameron being asked why he wastes his time being interviewed by Philip Schofield instead of by journalists who are able to tear his policy’s apart while highlighting his record of failure).

The victims of child abuse, whether they are Saville’s victims who the BBC turned a blind eye to, or victims from Welsh children’s homes who were not even listened to, let alone believed, when they mentioned that they were being abused and some of the abusers were the rich and powerful. These stories are being quietly pushed underground while the political balance gets its new bearings. These people are the true losers.

I think that the story might still flare into life in the next week and cause more problems for either the government or the BBC, but it is more likely it will die off. Any one who wants a story of abuse to be heard has now got an even more uphill battle thanks to the incompetence of BBC journalists and the protective walls based around character assassination that are being built up. It is in part the fault of the public too. The thirst for sensational stories in the wake of Saville’s posthumous outing as a paedophile has enabled the government and BBC to cast doubt on anyone who comes forward. Any story of childhood abuse needs to be heard and tested outside of the glare of publicity to enable the truth to be found out before reputations are destroyed or inconsistencies are used to destroy the reputation of the victim and all future victims. The past few weeks and the playing of politics has ensured that this has once again not happened.

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“Which side of the road do anarchists’ drive on?”

The slightly strange question, “which side of the road do anarchists’ drive on?”, was originally asked by Judge Blackshaw at the end of June 2011. It was his attempt at being clever and came at the end of my trial for ‘conspiracy to commit violent disorder’. Judge Blackshaw had spent the trial trying to support the prosecution while pretending the trial was had no politics involved at all. He had done this through the asking of additional questions about things he thought the prosecution had missed (and which, in at least one case, the prosecution missed it because the evidence just wasn’t there!) Despite the fact that the majority of people had explained that they weren’t anarchists, although anarchism made up part of their politics, Blackshaw was following the line that we were all anarchists and there for guilty since we must be planning to break the law. The fact that we were accused of planning to attack fascists had, in his eyes, no relevance.

Like most people who are in positions of authority, the question was not one that he wanted us to give an answer to. he already had an answer and was going to make a point with it. He basically said that anarchists had to obey the law and could not drive on which ever side of the road they wanted to. HE, despite hearing that anarchism was seen as a form of direct democracy, wanted to make the point that anarchists believed in chaos and that the law was a means of bringing them into line. Any direct action, wether it was protesting and self-defence against fascists, through to simply walking (or driving) where you weren’t supposed to, was wrong and the law created order by stopping this. The law had to be enforced. Little facts, such as the fact that we hadn’t broken the law but were accused of planning to break the law, were irrelevant.

If I was allowed to reply, instead of having to follow the law and let the judge have the final word, I would have pointed out that he had missed the point. The law is simply a written agreement to do things according to a certain way. THis is then enforced and if you break the agreement you are punished. at the moment the law is made by the rich, by the state to keep the order of capitalism. The law does not give permission on enable things to happen, it simply allows things. Property laws don’t give ownership, they simply give exclusive use. The law has to be like this to allow an unequal state to happen.

Anarchists don’t want the law (which is different from not believing in the law). They want mutual co-operation. There would still be agreements and common arrangements to allow a society to function. In some ways this can be seen as the voluntary giving up of freedom. An agreement to start work together at a certain time should not need armed thugs and courts’ to enforce it. It would be just that, a common agreement. The law is simply writing down of these agreements, with some one else deciding which agreements are allowed or not allowed. In an anarchist (or any other society) the question of which side of the road you drive on is by common agreement. It is how society works. you don’t need it written on statute books, you just need everyone to know what is decided.

In Britain people drive on the left. Cars are made this way. The continuance of this is not because of the courts or acts of parliament, but by common agreement. If someone wants to argue against this,they are not an anarchist. They are also not a supporter of law as the only thing that keeps society civilised if they want to keep get common agreement before changing things.

And in a nutshell that is the thing the judge and people who generally argue about the law can’t, or more to the point they refuse to understand. Society is kept together by mutual co-operation and agreement, not by writing things down and then enforcing them with varying levels of violence. Capitalism continues to function because people continue to have a belief in it, not because of the numerous laws on the statute books. Having written laws is simply an expression of co-operation that already exists. Only things that threaten a community can threaten society and things that might at times be illegal, at other times don’t necessarily threaten society. At the moment laws are made in the interest of one class and this why there is conflict. The ruling  class has to increasingly enforce their laws against a class who increasingly does not believe in the reason for them. If this was an equal society, based on true mutual co-operation, this would not be a problem. The law would not be needed and people would simply adjust behaviour as society changed. Instead the law has to bring people in line and make sure the myth of society actually functioning according to capitalist ideology continues.

Of course I never got to explain this. I imagine, if I did, Judge Blackshaw would have been puzzled before continuing with the theatre that is a trial which pretends that laws written by people like him are supreme and actually keep society together.

Of course, I call the trial theatre, because that is all it was. The wigs and gowns, the standing and sitting while legal matters are explained, had no relation to anything real, let alone the offence that was committed. Yet that is simply how society functions, as the incarnation of a fantasy of a class that has outlived its usefulness. It is only through the belief in such theatre that it can continue to function, yet reality, in the form of financial crisis and community organising for their real interests is catching up with it and their society is slowly cracking. yet in the meantime, this theatre found seven of us guilty and sent six of them to prison. The myth of the law ruling, rather than mutual co-operation, everything won’t go without a fight!

As a final note for those in doubt that a society based on agreement can work, ask yourself this; do you drive on the left hand side of the road because of the law or because that is the side eveyone else drives on?

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Anonymous march on parliament!

I want to give a quick congratulations to everyone who was involved in the march on parliament last night. It managed to be symbolic and inspiring in its simplicity. It also managed, for most people including me, to come completely out of the blue. This added to its power and sent the message that not everyone believes the dominant story anymore.

There are several reports around the internet, although mainstream media seem to be playing down or ignoring it completely. I have pt a link to the Indymedia report below. I don’t normally like Indymedia, but I find the comments of the troll’s very telling. When people try to persuade you after a success that your nothing and you’ve failed, then you know you’ve got them rattled!


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