Last weeks online poll asked whether police officers who were members of the British National Party should be sacked - to which the answer, from 51%, was no. This weeks question is "Would Tasers damage public confidence in the police if issued to all officers?".
Sophie was cruelly murdered, by idiots, simply for dressing differently. It is good to hear that The Damned will headline a memorial event to her in Manchester. I have always liked Captain Sensible, indeed somewhere in the Movement Against the Monarchy's files there is a letter from the great man offering his support, and aplogising for 'Happy Talk' - it seems he only did it because he needed the money badly at the time.
Keep up the good work Captain - you'll soon be forgiven!
Full marks to Sir Geoffrey for his superb analysis of England's sorry cricketing surrender in India.
4-0 down in the 50 over series, Kevin Pieterson, Andrew Flintoff et al have come up with the bizarre excuse that their failure is due to them not being allowed to play in the 20/20 Indian Premier League.
"What a load of bollocks" Sir Geoffrey told an astonished host on Radio 5 Live last night. What a load of bollocks indeed..............
George Bernard Shaw made the famous comment that horse racing is a conspiracy between the working classes and the upper classes, against the middle class.
At a chilly Ascot yesterday, I was reflecting on how few Anarchists have any interest in the turf - Class War founder Martin Wright is the only exception that springs to mind. An example of the middle class nature of British Anarchism?
Interesting then to note that yesterdays Coral Ascot Hurdle at 1.55pm was won by the beautifully named Chumbawamba, and in good style too. Sadly, the jockeys colours were not red and black, but there's always next time..............
I have lived in Hackney a long time, but I can't say I have ever heard of Councillor Tom Price.
And how does Mr Price introduce himself to many Hackney residents for the first time? No selfless community action for Queensbridge wards most low key resident. Instead we are treated to Cllr Price applauding from the back of the stalls one of the most pointless Metropolitan Police actions in recent years - the huge operation to prevent the annual Class War bonfire in London Fields on 5th November.
The enforced police closure of an important community resource - the Pub in the Park, the deployment of specialist riot officers, the sight of police vans driving over the London Fields cricket pitch - all would once have provoked some opposition in even the most sedate of Labour Councillors. Not, sadly in the world of Hackney Labour circa 2008.
In fact all Tom Price appears capable of doing is writing letters to the Hackney Gazette slagging off Anarchists. In Hackney Labour - he'll go far.............
"Money is the root of all evil. It's he reason we're facing this current financial crisis. The heads of the Wall Street banks who took multi-million dollar golden parachutes need to go to prison for the mess they've left behind."
David Cassidy (yes the 70s singer!) gets all radical in Telegraph Money.
There is much to admire in Wetherspoons. They have played a major role in promoting the cause of real ale in the UK, their pubs open early and serve food all day and some of their developments have revitalised dead or decaying buildings into vibrant venues. That of course is not quite the full story.
As Class War has covered in various issues (and issue 2 of the Touch of Class magazine) Wetherspoons is at best a curates egg. Its dominance of the pub trade allows it to act like any dominant player in the marketplace, with all the unpleasant realities this entails. Of all the pub chains, they are perhaps the worst for petty rules (no tracksuit bottoms being the most ludicrous) CCTV surveillance of customers and for ramming the views of their Chairman, Tim Martin, down customers throats. When you buy a pint, the last thing you need to know is the Chairman's views on the European Union!
Of all the issues with Wetherspoons however, the most worrying is its relationship with CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale. Representing Britain's real ale drinkers since 1971, CAMRA has a vital role to play if the cause of good beer is to be promoted in our pubs and clubs. It is probably no surprise that CAMRA has chosen to work closely with Wetherspoons, (given Wetherspoons work in this field) but it is crystal clear that the relationship clouds both CAMRA's independence and judgement.
CAMRA's Chief Executive, Mike Benner, has a page to himself in the Wetherspoons programme 'Festival News', promoting their International Real Ale Festival. Again, nothing wrong with that, except that it clearly comes at a price. Check these comments out:
"With nearly 60 pubs closing permanently every month, I am delighted to see that J D Wetherspoons is organising yet another real-ale festival which expects to sell over 3 million pints in just 18 days. Many British pubs are struggling, owing to the UK's ridiculously high rates of beer tax (the highest in the EU), the fall-out of the smoking ban and the difficulties of competing with ludicrously low supermarket prices for beer and other drinks."
I can think of at least one other problem many small landlords face. How about the problem of a large corporate competitor that aggressively opens up new pubs, often in areas well staffed with establishments selling real ale, and uses its economic power to undercut the prices of its smaller competitors?
That sounds rather like Wetherspoons. The question is do CAMRA not realise this, or do they know it full well, but dare not say so because they are in bed with the very company forcing many of Britain's small landlords out of business?
Four of the 'Chicago martyrs' were executed in Illinois.
August Spies, Albert Parsons, Adolph Fischer and George Engel were executed for allegedly throwing a bomb at police during a demonstration demanding the 8 hour day.
Spies last words were:
"The time will come when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you strangle today."
Six years later all original eight defendants were declared innocent, a 'reprieve' that came too late for Spies, Parsons, Fischer and Engel, and also Louis Lingg, who had cheated the hangman by poisoning himself.
I have rather taken a break from blogging over the past week or two, in large part motivated by my absence from a computer screen - I have been up in Scotland addressing Glasgow University students on the dangers of 9/11 'truth' theories.
At last years Bash the Rich march in Notting Hill, I think Ian Bone and I were probably the only people wearing Poppies.
I can't see anything wrong with supporting ex-servicemen's charities, so make no apologies for mentioning this years Poppy Appeal.
Earlier this year Ian got a very mixed response when he argued in favour of the old fashioned red poppy on his blog. When you think of some of the shit people on the left and in the Anarchist movement support - from the Al- Sadr Brigade to Hezbollah or even the Unabomber - wearing a poppy is hardly a crime.