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Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Militarisation and Privatisation of British Police

G4S and TAU in Manchester

The above photograph was taken by me less than a day ago. It was captured near Town Hall (Manchester). I could not help taking it because it was such a poetic illustration of what had gone wrong with UK policing, especially in recent years.

In British newspapers, not to mention blogs, one dominant theme this week is a massive round of layoffs, potentially affecting over 20,000 cops. It smacks of austerity. There are no police cutbacks, however, just privatisation. Tories want to do to the public sector, police included, what they have already done (to some degree) to the NHS. Enriching already-rich private companies like G4S and Serco seems to be the goal here.

For the uninitiated, TAU is like militarised police in Manchester (here they are beating up nonviolent teenagers), so seeing them parked right next to the G4S van was just priceless.

Singapore is Not a Success Story

Against the myth and against lionisation of autocrats like King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia or Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore

Last week the so-called founder of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, died. He did not build Singapore, it was workers (usually foreigners) who built Singapore, but he liked taking credit for everything, not just controlling everyone. He was somewhat of a tyrant, but nobody is allowed to say it. It’s not politically-correct to say it in the West and it is dangerous to say it if you live in Singapore, where trigger-happy censorship is common and people can be ‘disappeared’. Even in his so-called ‘retirement’, despite not being elected, Lee Kuan Yew continued to manage everything (albeit behind the scenes).

I have written dozens of things (maybe between 50 to 100 tweets for example) in various places online in an effort to debunk the myth, especially when the myth expanded upon the death of the founder. This baffled some who did not understand why I was chastising a country that I had only just returned from.

More than 2 years ago I spent a lot of time studying Singapore. I spent many hours in Google StreetView, Google Maps, etc. and I inquired about houses there (crazy prices) and routinely spoke to my sister in law who lives there. Later on I found some blogs which explained to me more about the hidden side of Singapore and then I learned the breaking story of Shane Todd with much interest. It seems likely that he was ‘suicided’. Since there is no free press in Singapore, don’t expect Singaporeans to know much about it (or to know the important facts about it).

Singapore, as it turns out, is somewhat of a sham. I saw the negative things when I was there; poverty, exploitation, you name it…

Singapore is not the success story that Western leaders try to tell us about as means of selling autocracy (decisions from above without consent). They want to justify autocracy in Western nations (it’s already happening under the auspices of corporations). Singapore is in many ways a failure with pressured children (low birth rates and super-high expectations) who turn suicidal rather early (like in South Korea or Japan) and it puts a deceiving face to the outside world by means of oppressive censorship (gagging or misinforming outsiders). Singapore has a high level of investment (maybe even debt) in a tourism ‘ghetto’ which it still invests a lot of money in. The priority is image, not happiness.

My wife and I stepped outside this tourism ‘ghetto’ in an effort to study the real Singapore — the one that anonymous blogs (afraid of their regime) write about. We saw unpleasant things and should have taken more photos to document them (but didn’t). People work hard in physical jobs at a very old age (maybe over 80), people sleeping on the floor, an enforcer with a Star Wars-inspired stick telling me not to eat peanuts outside the train… those are not the images Singapore wants you to see. But that’s Singapore; rock the boat a little or step out of the boundaries and you will see it.

Strictness over location of hotels in Singapore helps one understand how the founder of the country helps control the image so as to show all tourists only the ‘Disneyland’ but not slums. All hotels in Singapore (plenty of them) are mapped below, buffered by fancy malls, banks, and shallow entertainment for those who love consumerism.

singapore-hotels

Don’t fall for the myth of Singapore; sure, it’s nicer than China (never mind the vast wealth gap between rich and poor), but it is built by foreign ‘slaves’ (foreign workers who are not even protected by minimum wage laws and suffer from deadly, lax safety regulations) and it is even somewhat of a hellhole to many of the local residents who have Singaporean nationality and are forced to joint the Army (Singapore does a good job hiding its weapons apparatus, including that which exported poisons to Iraq). A lot of this military aspect of Singapore turned its business/industry into borderline inhumane, much like in Israel, which is also tiny and surrounded by hostile nations.

Maybe there are those who seek to justify oppressive authority in Singapore. But please, don’t use the ‘Singapore model’ to sell us the Singapore-inspired autocracy here in the West. The same can be said about Saudi Arabia, but that’s slightly older news (Abdullah’s death), except if we consider how it uses US-exported weapons to bomb the Hell out of Yemen right now.

Better Late Than Never? Home Office Waits Half a Year to Comply With Records Request

home-office-1

TODAY I begin a series which I was eager to start a long time ago but did not because there was a pending case. I decided to split it into many parts so as to highlight many different ordeals and mistreatments.

What heralds the beginning of this series is the document head shown above. It was sent to us only days ago, more than 6 months after we had requested information as per the law permits us (British law is generally fairly good when it comes to information disclosures in the public sector).

There is a stamp at the very top, stating August. That was 6 months ago.

In this post we wish to highlight the following points:

  • The papers, which weigh at 166 pages, were necessary in order for us to make our case
  • These papers were sent to us half a year (or more) after the request was made
  • The page above (click to zoom) serves to show that the papers could probably be sent about a month after the request had been made
  • The papers which we needed were sent to us about 4 months after the case was very much over (as we had won it, proving that were the subject of injustice)

What we can deduce, politely and cautiously, is that Home Office was perhaps not interested in providing us with material evidence that would support our case. This is just the tip of the iceberg as in future parts we shall show a lot more.

It is not entirely impossible that our solicitors, whom we paid a lot of money, just ‘sat’ on these documents for 5 months or so, but based on what was told to us, that’s definitely not the case. We were told this explicitly.

There are far more serious procedural lapses and supposed ‘oopsies’ (never in our favour), as future parts shall reveal.

Unrest in Ukraine

JUST under a year ago I protested in this blog against Obama’s intent to invade Syria and officially start another dirty war. It is now evident that the US teaches Syrian terrorists how to fight their government and also provides heavy weaponry, essentially promoting peace/calm by advancing profitable war at the expense of Syrian lives (cannon fodder and civilian casualties). In the United States, attention is being shifted away from the role of a US facility in Libya, which was being attacked while/after it had been funneling weapons (through Turkey) to Syrian terrorists. So much for peace, eh?

Less than a day ago a report surfaced in the German media (it is now in the French, Danish, and Russian press, to name just few examples, but the British and American media ignore it) saying that Blackwater, which is famously linked to the CIA, is now running things around the Ukraine (hundreds of mercenaries on the ground), only weeks after the CIA’s head visited the country, followed by — reportedly — several FBI and CIA agents. For those who don’t know, neo-Nazis gained power in Ukraine with much help from NATO and the US. These are the people responsible for the burning (while alive) dozens of nonviolent people in Odessa. The Western media is so fanatic about propaganda right now that it is lying to readers and viewers, mostly by omission.

Based on actions of NATO member nations in Ukraine, peace is clearly not a goal and calm won’t be restored any time soon. It is just yet another proxy war among several others. I feel sorry for the Ukrainian people, some of whom were my childhood friends.

For Sale: War on Syria

Faked (staged) Kuwaiti girl testimony in run-up to the 1991 Gulf War

Syria is hardly the world’s biggest problem. Iraq wasn’t, either. None of the 9/11 hijackers came from there; in fact, they were mostly from US allies like Egypt and Saudi Arabia, which points to the real motivation of the attacks: imperialism. Osama Bin Laden even said so himself, referring to he violation of the sovereignty in his home nation, where he was raised by a very affluent family. Bush, like Obama and Osama, pretended to be down-to-earth (dumb) and average because he knew his target audience. He didn’t get his position and his academic background by mere chance. He grew up in very a affluent environment, but his campaign showed an image of Bush that — much like Obama — helps sell foreign policy which is cruel and unjust. Obama even got a Nobel peace prize as if it was predicted, without evidence, that he would be good for peace. What utter nonsense. Bush, Obama, and Osama are all violent cowards. They have that in common.

Syria is said to have had many weapons funnelled into it by the CIA, based on leaks (the corporate press was forced to cover this top maintain some credibility). A long-established Zionist aspiration was to eliminate a regime in Syria which is not headed puppets like in Egypt (before the uprising). Iraq too was a concern and we know this because of Israeli bombings there decades ago. Iraq was confronted by Bush senior using false (staged) testimonies and the US had given Sadden a go-ahead to enter Kuwait, as revealed by some cables from Wikileaks. So there is a lot more to this story than we once knew. Recently, as the CIA declassifies material, we also got confirmation that the US supported Saddam’s use of chemical weapons against Iran, which it had derailed using a coup (against a democratically-elected government) decades earlier.

Many of the citizens who watch the corporate press do not know the facts and even have contempt for the facts, so selling a US-led war in Syria to them would just be too easy. As for the chemical attack in the centre of Syria, is seems like media propaganda spearheaded by the BBC. Back in January there was a report in the corporate press about a plot by the US to manufacture a chemical attack on the population and then blame it on Assad. What a strange coincidence. “Red lines” from Obama almost predict what’s likely a false-flag operation, one among many before it.

New Zealand institutions Work for the Empire

There are reports right now about New Zealand residents taking action (e.g. protests) against illegal actions by their secret agencies and government, which include — quite famously — the illegal raid of a mansion. Here is a good reports about it.

Here is Kim telling his side of the story in a challenging interview.

Moving Away From Civility

1st confederate flag

I COULD not help noticing that society is moving away from civility, attaining the exact opposite of progress because plutocrats took over the government and are now occupying entire nations.

We oughtn’t assume that society always moves forward. Just look at the Middle Ages, Islamisation, the rise of Nazism in Germany and so on. Civil rights are relative, but they are not very subjective. There is a yardstick for comparatively assessing human values.

The United States has been the world’s unchallenged empire for a few decades now (after parity with the Soviet empire) and it is conspiring with several other nations where degradation of human rights is closely correlated (the UK is no exception). Consider collaboration on surveillance by the NSA, drone strikes (the UK and Australia help with those), indefinite detention (with abductions outside the US), and even torture cells in several unmarked sites across Europe (for the CIA to aggressively “interrogate” people). These are just a few examples among many more. This post is not an exhaustive summary of what I have in mind.

In the age of Facebook as an online distraction (people posting photos of their family and friends, i.e. unwittingly act as informants) I remain quite pessimistic. Those of us who try to warn others about the loss of civility in the digitised and increasingly-automated world (where spying and assassination too are being automated) just perpetually remain a niche, so the forces of plutocracy carry on, largely unchallenged and scarcely feared by the public. The corporate media helps keep it that way and independent sites keep imploding in an age of austerity and other types of pressure against the population at large.

I realise that protests — while they’re in principle considered legal here — are practically impossible. For a protest to be effective it needs to be disruptive but authorities limit the effect by ensuring no protest disrupts anything (otherwise there are mass arrests to serve as intimidation measures). Online protests are being suppressed and journalism too (see Barrett Brown), so even those of us who engage in peaceful activism and no civil disobedience are coming under unprecedented pressure.

Defeatism would be premature because leaks such as the ones from Manning and Snowden show everyone that we, the people, still have ways to counter human suffering.

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