Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Peter Ryley reflects on his leaving the magnificent work of nurturing adult education

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

hellish moments in the sun

you might think this Colin Freeman piece from a couple of weeks ago, about the Dadis Show, drugs, and Guinea, could do with less viewing of the country through the prism of European coke, and maybe you'd be right, but Freeman does not minimise the desperately sad details he notches

while there is a railway for bauxite, no trains for people have run since 1995..."We appreciate his approach against drug trafficking and corruption, but we all want a civilian to come to power and for free and fair elections, not a soldier, because we know the international community will only support a civilian," said Mr Ibrahim.
Diallo Abdullah, 30, who bears a bullet wound in his stomach from the 2007 crackdown, added: "If he doesn't hold elections as he promised, people will take to the streets again, and I fear it will be bloody."

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Penone says about time and matter: "In my opinion the elements are fluid, even stone is fluid, a mountain crumbles and becomes sand, it's just a matter of time. The duration of our life allows us to ascribe values of 'hard' and 'soft' to certain things, while time annuls them."

Friday, 25 September 2009

You're sorry, but my ID's at reception.

Let us never talk of this again

k-punk on the splendid Burial debut album

that magnificent cover photo! apparently it's "an aerial view of south London around the area of Wandsworth Prison and the intersection of Trinity Road and Windmill Road"

Thursday, 24 September 2009

'Members of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), army, military police and police unlawfully arrested and detained suspected opponents of the government. Among those unlawfully held were human rights defenders, journalists, former security personnel and opposition leaders. At least two journalists were forced to flee the country. Three judges were unconstitutionally removed by the President and then later reinstated. The government ignored a ruling by a regional court to release the missing journalist, Chief Ebrima Manneh.


In July the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice (CCJ) ordered the Gambian government to release Chief Ebrima Manneh, a former reporter from the Daily Observer arrested in 2006, and pay him US$100,000. The government ignored the ruling and continued to deny that he was in their custody.
The fate of Kanyiba Kanyie, an opposition supporter arrested in September 2006, remained unknown as the government continued to deny knowledge of his whereabouts. A former detainee who was held with Kanyiba Kanyie in Mile 2 prison in 2007 stated that he was released in early 2007, but there was no further news of him.
Six other people remained disappeared, and it was feared that they may have been extrajudicially executed. They were Momodou Lamin Nyassi, Ndongo Mboob and Buba Sanyang, arrested in 2006, and Marcia Jammeh, Haruna Jammeh and Jisacha Kujabi, arrested in 2005.
"...President Yahya Jammeh threatened to expel or kill lesbian and gay people..."
There was no investigation during 2008 into the fate of five men, including former NIA Director General Daba Marena, initially arrested in connection with the March 2006 foiled coup plot. The men were alleged to have escaped during a prison transfer in April 2006. It was suspected that they had been extrajudicially executed.
ECOWAS and the UN formed a team to investigate the deaths of 55 foreigners allegedly killed unlawfully by Gambian security forces in 2005. The victims were 40 Ghanaians, 10 Nigerians, two Senegalese, one Togolese, one Congolese and one Ivorian. No results emerged by the end of 2008 and no suspects were brought to justice.'

- from the introduction and first section of the same publication's Republic of the Gambia section


The Gambia
GDP - per capita (PPP):

$1,300 (2008 est.)

The UK
GDP - per capita (PPP):

$36,500 (2008 est.)

(source for both figures above: CIA World Factbook)
Restrictions on humanitarian assistance to the Somali Region (known as the Ogaden) continued. The government engaged in sporadic armed conflict against the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) and both forces perpetrated human rights abuses against civilians. Ethiopian troops fighting insurgents in Somalia in support of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) committed human rights abuses and were reported to have committed war crimes. Security forces arrested members of the Oromo ethnic group in Addis Ababa and in the Oromo Region towards the end of the year. Independent journalists continued to face harassment and arrest. A number of political prisoners were believed to remain in detention and opposition party leader Birtukan Mideksa, who was pardoned in 2007, was rearrested. A draft law restricting the activities of Ethiopian and international organizations working on human rights was expected to be passed by parliament in 2009. Ethiopia remained one of the world’s poorest countries with some 6.4 million people suffering acute food insecurity, including 1.9 million in the Somali Region.

- from the introduction to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia section in Amnesty's 2009 world report
Eritrea is a small country whose government inflicts extraordinary horror on its people. A report yesterday from Human Rights Watch, describing this 21st-century African form of fascism, deserves quoting at length:

"There is no freedom of speech, no freedom of movement, no freedom of worship, and much of the adult male and female population is conscripted into indefinite national service where they receive a token wage. Dissent is not tolerated. Any criticism or questioning of government policy is ruthlessly punished. Detention, torture and forced labour await anyone who disagrees with the government, anyone who attempts to avoid military service or flee the country without permission, and anyone found practising or suspected of practising faiths the government does not sanction."

This is a tragedy not just for the 4 million people who live in Eritrea (and the many who have fled, because despite its size it is a leading source of refugees) but for everyone who championed the Eritrean cause during its great struggle for freedom.

- from The Guardian editorial,
Eritrea: The world's biggest prison
, Friday 17 April 2009
Michael J. Totten: In the Land of the Brother Leader
'EIGHT illegal immigrants arrested at the MediaCity building site in Salford have been jailed.

The group of Africans had been working as labourers at the Salford Quays project.

They were charged with using false documents, thought to be passports, which they used to deceive their employer.

The men were arrested this month during a UK Border Agency operation carried out with the co-operation of Connolly Construction, which employed the men.

The firm will face no further action.

The group consisted of one Gambian, four Ethiopians and three Eritreans.

They are: Abdulie Maki Mbye, 48, of Horstead Walk, Levenshulme; Alemseged Gebremeskel, 49, of Tyldesley Street, Moss Side; Seifu Wondeyohannes, 28, of Waterloo Road, Cheetham Hill; Abdoo Rashid Shuukuur, 33, of St George's Court, Hulme; Johnson Ogbazghi, 38, of Romney Street, Salford; and Bahta Haile, 43, Zelalem Asebha, 23, and Elias Fithamik, 28, all of no fixed address.'

"Why has the MEN printed their names when they have no way of proving who these men actually are? I know local lads who are out of work and couldnt get on this site. Its disgusting that companies like this are getting away with it, on a JIB site aswell. TUT TUT TUT."

"Theowolfe is obviously a member of NuLabour or some other International Socialist group of Communists.....why else would be write such nonsense as make illegal immigration legal? Tip of the iceberg just to kid Brits on that the Government is acting 'tough'!"

"This is the project that boasted it was creating thousands of jobs for local people. I know they say the world is shrinking but Ethiopia is not on the Metro route as far as I know."

"yawn! yet more wasting of tax payers money! why cant we adopt a stricter policy on illegals? they are a drain on our system. watching the news on the french jungle camp all the refugees want to come here because we have human rights laws that protect them more than they protect the actual people from that country! if we keep on allowing this we'll end up in a third world country ourselves."

"Just get them out of the country that way it won't cost us anything and then start checking other sites and establishments in the city. Or better still just have spot checks on the 219 bus route."

"Why imprison them in the UK at the tax payers expense and THEN deport them. deport them no, straight away"

Connolly Group was established in 1981 and has developed from the demolition and reclamation experience.
Key Projects are divided by region. Dark blue regions show where Connolly CF have been working. Use the map to navigate your way around the various regions of the UK.

England North West

Media City

Client: Bovis Lend Lease

Scope: Site Logistics, Waste Management, Delivery Management, Operative Supply and Security

Abito 2

Client: Carillion Building

Scope: Waste Management

Blackpool Football Club

Client: Blackpool Football Club

Scope: Demolition

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

Cient: Shepherd Construction

Scope: Waste Management

Liverpool St Paul's Square

Client: Shepherd Construction

Scope: Waste Management

Liverpool Airport

Client: Peel Holdings

Scope: Demolition

Manchester United Football Ground

Client: Birse Construction

Scope: Demolition

Manchester Olives Paper Mill

Client: Persimmon Homes

Scope: Demolition

Rawtenstall ASDA

Client: Laing O'Rourke

Scope: Demolition

Oldham - Rose Mill

Scope: Demolition

Manchester Green Quarter

Client: Shepherd Construction

Scope: Operative Supply and Waste Management

three of the blokes no fixed abode.

no fixed abode.

Europe 1 Africa nil.

CCF are constantly on the look out for talented professionals.
Coalition deaths in Afghanistan

                              FORCE SIZE                                FATALITIES 

USA 103,000 835

UK 9,000 217

Canada 2,800 130

Germany 4,050 38

France 3,160 31

Denmark 700 27

Spain 780 25

Italy 2,795 21

Netherlands 1,770 21

Poland 2,000 13

Australia 1,090 11

Romania 1,025 11

Estonia 150 6

Norway 485 4

Czech Republic 340 3

Latvia 165 3

Hungary 310 2

Portugal 90 2

Sweden 430 2

Turkey 730 2

Other nations 820 5

TOTAL 135,690 1,409

(source: the Daily Express, 24th Sept '09 morning edition, so obviously only as current as its publication date)

i shouldn't have to say this but just to make it patently plain that i am not an utter cock, yes, the above figures don't include ISAF troops who have been injured (appalling injuries that may affect people for the rest of their lives and entirely alter the nature of the rest of their life), the above figures don't include ANA troops, indeed and verily the above figures don't include insurgents, the above figures don't include Afghan authority figures and employees such as police officers (i realise i may now be sounding like the worst kind of obvious dullard, some bizarre sixth-form moralist or such), the above figures don't include civilians or contractors working to build up Afghan institutions, be they locals or foreigners, the above table most importantly doesn't include any reckoning of all the humanitarians and Afghan people who have been killed, injured, affected, since the invasion of Afghanistan and overthrow of you know who, but, it is a table of - at time of writing - the amount of ISAF troops who have died in that mission, and that is what it is, an unadorned list of the numbers of human beings who have been killed because they signed up to ISAF, including a cursory 'other nations' reference that does not tell you anything about the, at time of posting, two South Korean troop deaths, the one Belgian soldier dead, the one Finn dead and the one Lithuanian national dead

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

"Q: Do the family have Irish citizenship?
A: In 1990, Khalid Bin Mahfouz availed himself of the opportunity under the laws of the Republic of Ireland to obtain Irish citizenship for himself and other members of his family."

from the Other Issues section of the FAQs of the Bin Mahfouz Information website: This Bin Mahfouz information site is designed to provide accurate information for accredited journalists, governments and NGOs about Khalid Bin Mahfouz and his immediate family.

(page accessed 14:26 GMT 23 September 2009 *)

'Though Bin Mahfouz sought to protect his "reputation" in the English courts, he was not English. Nor was he a Saudi. In 1990 he had bought Irish passports for himself and 10 members of his family over lunch at the Shelbourne hotel in Dublin with the then Irish Taoiseach Charles Haughey.'

from the 'Ratbiter' column in Private Eye, no. 1245, 18 September - 1 Oct. 2009

* Blogger time-stamps the publishing time of a post as when that post was started, not when it is actually finished and uploaded onto the blogger's site

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Benny B kicking it with the '96-'97 speed garage mix, absolutely monster

1. Do me baby (Sixty Brown mix) - New Horizons (500 Rekords)
2. Deeper part 1 - Abstrac & Lady P (Confetti)
3. Let it on (Mystery mix) - Lady Penelope & Abstrac (Emitta Sounds)
4. Over Here - M-Dubs (Babyshack)
5. Come into my heart - G.I. Sly (Zest 4 Life)
6. Ripped in 2 - Unknown white label
7. Watch your bass bins - G.O.D. (Nice & Ripe)
8. All of the girls (All Ai-Di Girl Dem) (R.I.P. Club mix) - Carnival Feat. R.I.P. vs. Red Rat.
9. This is it > pt. 1 (Nu Birth Never Dub) - State of Mind (Ministry of Sound)
10. Electric Runnings - Groove in Motion (DFL)
11. Wake Up (Banana Republic Dub mix) - Maximum Style (Vital Essence)
12. Just 4 U London - Unknown White Label
13. Anytime (Tuff & Jam’s Kick Dub) - Nu-Birth (Locked On)
14. Boom - D.C. Sensation (Nice & Ripe)
15. Pressure On (Sixty Four 2 Da Floor Mix) - Sixty Brown (Sunday Morning Music)
16. Play with voices - Alias (V.I.P.)
17. Rumours - Fabulous Baker Boys (White Label)
18. Deep Inspiration - R.I.P. (Ice Cream Records)
19. Freak Me (Sly & Poolio’s Cut Up Dub) - Another Level (Maximum Productions)

number 12 is gorgeous, and 17 is outstanding

love it love it love it
my lovely, gorgeous friend Ollie was telling me recently about people moving to London back in the day just for the pirate radio stations.

out to the pirates.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

one of those 2-step mixes i keep listening to, listed

god bless (insert what you want before 'bless') Benny B of that fine city of Newcastle (Benny B wot mixed it)

1. Telefunkin (First Steps remix) -
2. Street Life (London's Unique 3 dub) - Daryl B & Mark Yardley (Planet Phat)
3. Freaky (Chris Mack’s Freakin Dub) - Another Level (Maximum)
4. Fire in my heart - Pied Piper (Fifty First recordings)
5. I know you got soul - ?
6. Wake Up (Templeton Peck dub) - Maximum Style (Vital Essence)
7. The Rain (Breakbeat mix) - Ray Hurley feat. Simone (Quench)
8. Saturday (Dubaholics Smasher remix) - Joey Negro feat. Taka Boom (Yola records)
9. Get Out (Wideboys Wider Still mix) - Felon (Serious)
10. Loverboy (MJ Cole’s London Dub) - Mariah Carey (Virgin)
11. Think About Me (United Grooves Collective Straight out of Stratford Dub) - Artful Dodger feat. Michelle Escoffery (Public Demand)
12. Out of the Rain (Dubaholics vocal dub) - Aora (W10)

11 into 12 is lovely, and just lovely, deeply so

Alesha Anjanette Dixon and friends

and much love to gremino of Helsinki for

01. hard stepz part 1 - people hold on
02. feet first productions - pushing dope
03. groovebug feat. louise renae - take me away (original vocal mix)
04. j.k. size - runaround
05. shadow kabinet feat. champagne bubblee - southern freeze (vocal mix)
06. chris mack feat. mc nuts - baby gonna rock dis (2 step dub)
07. slip'n'slide vol.1 - trigger finger
08. sixty brown - pressure on (ron pressure mix)
09. hard stepz part 1 - he is the joy (jam hot dub mix)
10. leee john - your mind, your body, your soul (sas 2 step remix)
11. greg stainer - understand this (501 two step mix)
Bee Wilson's chocolate 101

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

The other way Darling proposes to raise money is also an accounting fiddle. "We need to look at what non-essential public sector assets we can sell, so that we can free up capital for key projects," he told the suits in Cardiff as if he were off to a car boot sale with some tat the nation no longer needed.

In fact the assets lined up for sale are pretty essential. They include British Waterways, the Land Registry, the Defence Storage Agency, the Met Office and the Royal Mint. Privatising them would bring in a few quid, making a small dent in government debt. But in the long run the sales would cost the taxpayer far more as their services would have to be bought back, in the same way that PFI costs well over the odds while initially flattering the government balance sheet.

Eye 1245, 18 Sept - 1 Oct 2009
Nomad hitting boundary after boundary in this thread
“As human rights violations by the FARDC are so significant, failure at the political and operational levels to act to remedy the situation in and of itself constitutes a serious human rights violation,” the publication said.
A report published recently by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine shows that under President Niyazov the health system in Turkmenistan deterioriated, but there are signs that it could improve under the new president

Monday, 14 September 2009

Simon Ungers, Column (in Light), 2005; perspex, fluorescent light bulbs

Sunday, 13 September 2009

the porteño women, who party until sunrise, live on a diet of red meat, redder wine and strong cigarettes, and look like goddesses.

- writer Declan McGarvey has an affection for the ladies of Buenos Aires

Saturday, 12 September 2009

over at Max Dunbar's blog during a discussion of Question Time, the BNP, etc, there are a couple of sentences i want to quote that are extremely, incredibly good and to-the-point on the yeah but-type contextualising of its subject you often get (something i have done plenty of myself, i admit, the whole 'protest vote for some aye yes fair enough')

"There is significant electoral support for racist and fascist politics in this country. You can make excuses about immigration and multiculturalism and political correctness and the victimhood of the white male as much as you like, the fact is that there is support for racist and fascist policies in the UK electorate and you have to face that."

what i wrote about Mark Steyn. politically, he is, of course, for the most part, ridiculous (to be kind), but you know what i mean.

Friday, 4 September 2009

"The government sees no problem with suspending operations as of 9 pm Friday evening (1800 GMT)," a spokesman of the Supreme Security Committee said in a statement on the ruling party website "September 26"...U.N. aid agencies say more than 100,000 people, many of them children, have fled their homes during the surge in fighting.
one must say clearly, an equivalence between Nazism and Stalinism.

one is right to do so.

one must say it repeatedly.

big up your chest

We set sail from the sweet cove of Cork
We were sailing away with a cargo of bricks
For the grand city hall in New York
that scene in Battlestar Galactica (2004) where the lawyer (surely named for the world's first genocide scholar?) asks the cylon woman - after describing, in quite poetic language, about his broken heart - whether her love hurts like his, and she looks very upset, and says "yes".

and the President watching says words to the effect of she feels a part of their world has just collapsed.

fuck me.
i have a new-found respect for Mark Steyn. he wrote something along the lines of 'this may not have been brilliant for Afghan women and babies, but'.

he is being honest.

that is better than most.
The war’s over, the bells ring
Memories fading, soldiers slaying
Looks like geezers raving
The hazy fog over the Bullring,
The lazy ways the birds sing
A new baby's born every day
Few men may be scorned today
But look at things the other way
Cause it may well be your final day
"¡Pobre México! ¡Tan lejos de Dios y tan cerca de los Estados Unidos!"

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote an epitaph for one neighbour in the cemetery, Alice Cottrell, who died aged one in 1849:
'And here, among the English tombs,/ In Tuscan ground we lay her,/ While the blue Tuscan sky endomes/ Our English words of prayer.'


Like many in the cemetery, Clough died young, in 1861 at the age of 42, long before his poem 'Say not the struggle naught Availeth' had found fame. The Italian climate, supposedly so good for dying Englishmen, was fatal, with its searing summers and River Arno damps. Not far from Clough is Fanny Hunt, dead at 33 after a blissful single year of marriage to the painter Holman Hunt. Hunt designed the pleasant, swelling lines of her sarcophagus.

I spent several happy hours trawling through the cemetery, digging up, as it were, splendid figures: Charles and Thomas Otley who, with Charles's son 'il biondo Enrico', founded Florence's jockey club in the mid-19th century. Princess Laura Pandolfina di Temple (died 1877), a British woman who married a Sicilian prince, lies near the poet Walter Savage Landor (1775-1864).


The pomegranates she has planted next to the three poets are flourishing, as does the papyrus grown to recall the Egyptian theme on Clough's tombstone.
...Playing on their surname, she is planting giglio - or lilium regale - which appears on the family stemma. She is also keen on using iris pallida - the three-stemmed purple iris that is the symbol of Florence - to line the cemetery's central path...Wild strawberries will grow alongside Roman camomile; forget-me-not and rosemary for remembrance next to golden thyme.

Miss Salt has also brought over a mixed bunch of English daffodil bulbs to recall the faraway home of many of those lying in this giardino Inglese-Italiano, so redolent with the air of both countries.

-Harry Mount, in the Spectator, some years ago

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Christian Aid was shocked and saddened at the death of Gayle Williams, 34, killed on her way to work for UK-based charity SERVE in Kabul in October. The Taliban claimed responsibility for her death...Christian Aid is aware that the security situation in the country has deteriorated over the past six months, with a growing number of Afghans working for both national and international non-governmental organisations being abducted and killed.

from Christian Aid News, Issue 42, Winter 2008