Unbalanced reporting is feeding our ignorance

I overheard one of my colleagues at work the other day. He was listening to a news report about the prospect of British jets bombing Isis targets in Syria. “Let’s bomb them,” he said. I often hear him saying such things. He’s not a right wing bigot or a racist, although he might be Islamophobic. Many people are Islamophobic these days. I said, “that’s exactly what they are saying about you right now.” He turned from his frame and looked at me sceptically. “So what would you do?” Unfortunately my answer was a lot less succinct than the three words … Continue reading Unbalanced reporting is feeding our ignorance

Christmas Eve: we must stop wars for the sake of our children

Christmas Eve. It’s like a pause – isn’t it? – between the preparations that went before and the festivities that are to follow. The presents are bought and wrapped, the turkey is in the fridge, the drink is in the cupboard. The carpets are clean. We have everything we need. Everyone is waiting. It’s like the whole world is holding its breath. Me, I’m excited and nervous at the same time. I’m spending Christmas with my new grandchild, meeting the in-laws. I’m sure we’ll get on. The baby will be the centre of attention and the subject of most of … Continue reading Christmas Eve: we must stop wars for the sake of our children

Neoliberalism and the New World Order

  Everyone knows there’s something wrong with the world but nobody can say what it is. We’ve got people going hungry in the UK for the first time in nearly a century; wages are falling and living standards are in decline; our schools are failing and our National Health Service is being privatised; the retirement age is rising, child benefit is means tested and large numbers of our young people are finishing their education massively in debt. Meanwhile the rich are getting richer and we’re involved in our sixth war since 1990. There’s always enough money for wars it seems, … Continue reading Neoliberalism and the New World Order

Nice to know we’re on the side of progress

So we’re at war again. Because all the previous wars have worked out really well haven’t they? We bombed Afghanistan and the Taliban grew stronger. We bombed Libya and the terrorist armies spread throughout the Middle East. We bombed Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. So – remind me –  which of these countries is now safe from terrorism? This is the fourth time we’ve bombed Iraq. The Iraqis must have got used to it by now. We’ve been bombing them, on and off, since 1990. Islamic State (IS) used to be known as Al Qaeda in Iraq. When we first bombed … Continue reading Nice to know we’re on the side of progress

Not one shall be forgotten: the lies that take us to war

War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it. George Orwell For the past weeks I’ve been delivering British Legion letters to the people of Whitstable. You will have seen them. The envelope shows a picture of a bunch of First World War British Tommies, kitted out ready for war, with their helmets and their rifles, smiling and carefree, on their way to the front. It’s obvious that none of them have seen any action as yet or they wouldn’t be smiling. By the end of the war most of them … Continue reading Not one shall be forgotten: the lies that take us to war