Devizes Melting Pot

“Protection. Conservation. Restriction. Deep ecology. Give me deep technology any day. They don't scare me. "I'm damned if I'll crawl, my children's children crawl on the earth in some kind a fuckin' harmony with the environment. Yeah, till the next ice age or the next asteroid impact." (Moh Kohn, The Star Fraction)/ "This is the fight between God and the Devil. If His Grace is with God, he must join me, if he is for the Devil he must fight me. There is no third way" King Gustavus Adolphus

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Location: Devizes, Wiltshire, United Kingdom

University graduate, currently working as an Information Assistant for the NHS. Interested in politics, history, sci fi etc.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Some Random Thoughts

I should stop scrolling down UK Political Blog Feeds because a lot of what I read makes me so angry especially by those at the LGF/Malkin/HP/Melanie Phillips/Eustonites end. I find Tories less annoying than this lot.

I really can't stand those types who recant their left position, former communists who become reactionary windbags for example people like Peter Hitchens (Christopher Hitchen's elder brother).

For a lot of these ex-Stalinist, trots n' Tankies (members of the official UK Communist party who supported the Soviet Unions repression of the Hungarian uprising) they are looking for a Soviet Union substitute which they have sort of found in the US after WW2 and the growth of the the military industrial complex.

They have authoritarian personalities.

Another source of irritation is the made up word 'Islmofascism', makes me so mad, its a complete propaganda term used to make excuses for illegal invasion and the deaths of Iraqis, the locking up of suspects without trial and the gradual erosion of civil liberties.

The right wingers seem to lack a systemic analysis, they can't see the wider picture which is what the left has a gift for.

I find many left wingers annoy me however here in the UK - democratic centralist Trots...a la the SWP, Social Democracts, bit too wishy washy for my taste, not as mental as the HP crowd though.

Mainstream political thinking is very stale in this country, its either a choice between state socialism or state capitalism.

Two posts worth checking out - The future of Trotskyism and The Myth Of Socialism As Statism

Thursday Ballet

Swan Lake

Princess Odette & Prince Siegfried pas de deux.

Music by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
American Ballet Theatre in John F. Kennedy's Center of the Performing Arts.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Palestinian Poetry Blogging

When The Martyrs Go To Sleep

When the martyrs go to sleep, I wake to protect them from professional
I say: Have a good morning at home, a home of clouds and trees, a mirage of water
I congratulate them on their safety from injury, and the generosity of
the slaughterhouse.
I take time so they can take me from time. Are we all martyrs?
I whisper: Friends, at least save us one wall for our laundry lines, and
one night for songs.

I hang your names wherever you may wish, so go to sleep. Sleep on the trellis of
that sour vine.
I protect your dreams from your guards' knives, from the revolt
of the scriptures themselves against the prophets.
When you go to sleep tonight, be a song for those who have no songs.
I say: Have a good morning, a home carried on the back of a wild horse.
Then I whisper: Friends never be like us, a gallows in disguise.

From Fewer Roses (1986) by Mahmoud Darwish

Translated by Munir Akash and Carolyn Forché

Monday, November 27, 2006

The Slippery Slope part 2

Tony's Minority Report

Police want power to crack down on offensive demo chants and slogans

· Present curbs are too light, Met chief to tell Goldsmith
· Rights groups say officers would be 'censors in chief'
Police are to demand new powers to arrest protesters for causing offence through the words they chant and the slogans on their placards and even headbands.

The country's biggest force, the Metropolitan police, is to lobby the attorney general, Lord Goldsmith, because officers believe that large sections of the population have become increasingly politicised, and there is a growing sense that the current restrictions on demonstrations are too light.

Trouble at recent protests involving Islamic extremists has galvanised the Met's assistant commissioner, Tarique Ghaffur, into planning a crackdown. His proposals are due to be sent to Lord Goldsmith, who is reviewing how effective the current laws are in tackling extremists.
How soon till we see the Thought Police?

Fascism will have an easier time taking root here than in the US, and we don't have one codified constitution, none of our rights are guaranteed, basically we have a gentleman's agreement only the gentlemen have left the room.

The organizational Leninists of ‘new’ Labour are no friends of liberty.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Friday Opera

Placido Domingo sings "La fleur que tu m´avais jetée" from Bizet's Carmen

Friday Cat Blogging



Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thursday Ballet

La Bayadére

India Temple Pas de deux
Elisabeth Platel, Laurnet Hilaire
Choregraphy and Staging Ruloph Nureyev
Ballet de Opera Paris

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Palestinian Poetry Blogging

Wind Shifts Against Us

Winds shift against us. The southern wind blows with our enemies.
The passage narrows.
We flash victory signs in the darkness, so that the darkness may glitter.
We fly as if riding the trees of a dream. O ends of the earth! O difficult
dream! Will you go on?
For the thousandth time we write on the last breath of fresh air. We die so they do not prevail!
We run after the echo of our voices. May we find a moon there.
We sing for the rocks. May the rocks be startled.
We engrave our bodies with iron for a river to billow up.
Winds shift against us. North wind with southern wind, and we shout:
Where can we settle?
We ask mythical women for relatives who would rather see us dead.
An eagle settles on our bodies, and we chase after dreams. May we find them.
They soar behind us to find us here. There is no escape!

We live our death. This half-death is our triumph.

From Fewer Roses (1986) by Mahmoud Darwish

Translated by Munir Akash and Carolyn Forché

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Sunday Niece Blogging

My niece the lil Devil

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Movie Review - Casino Royale

"The Names Bond, James Bond"

A nice jolt to the Bond franchise, gritty, action packed and refreshingly gadget free. It has successfully manage to reinvent itself for the 21st century, after the 2 Bourne movies and 24, James Bond was starting to look more sillier than usual and quite tired, James Bond really lost his edge and seemed a pale reflection of Jason Bourne and Jack Bauer. It was helped by amazing action sequences and death defying stunts and even the Bond Girls were more rounded.

You were made to care for Bond, he was given human emotions and really suffered, he became flesh and blood rather than a cardboard cutout. Daniel Craig made for a tougher and meaner Bond not to mention also being very fit, nice body too.

So go see this movie and reappraise what you think Bond is and you will come out with a different perspective.


Friday, November 17, 2006

Friday Cat Blogging

George and Heidi



Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Slippery Slope

Blair pushes for 90-day detention
Tony Blair says he still backs plans to allow police to hold terror suspects for up to 90 days, adding there were "hundreds" of such people in the UK.

He said he believed the evidence backed 90-day detention and said he had not changed his mind since losing a Commons vote on the issue last year.

But the prime minister, answering questions e-mailed to Downing Street, still hopes to "proceed by consensus".
Why am I not surprised that the British government wants to have another go locking people up without trial for 90 days, no wonder they have been hyping terror scares lately, try and frighten the populace enough so they'll meekly accept 90 days detention without trial and its no good saying 'if you have nothing to hide then you should support this', because that won't protect you when you are arrested on conspiracy charges, you have to realize this law will effect everyone, not just those 'brown people', stop thinking that this law does not apply to you.

Its quite simple, if you have evidence of wrong doing then prosecute and lock the terrorist up, if you don't let them go, it makes no sense to hold them in limbo with no trial and not telling them what they are charged with.

In fact the only buffer between us and total NuLab authoritarianism is the Human Rights Act.

We must never surrender our civil liberties. I'd rather live in a slightly dangerous country with freedoms than some perfect police state where every move is monitored.

More Photos From The Beer Race





An elephant

a Boxing Match outside Time

At the end of the night the stewards were allowed free entry into Time and a free drink.

Me and Emma (in our Head Steward t-shirts)

Katie and Me

Fellow stewards

More Photos From The Beer Race



The Welsh Dragon

Chimney Sweeps



Swansea University RAG Beer Race

Every year the Swansea University RAG (Raising and Giving) Society holds an annual Beer Race, I was there stewarding. Over a 1000 students took part.

Students came dressed up in all sorts of costumes and they got extremely drunk, so the stewards job was to keep the flow going and trying to get people to move on once they had their one pint to prevent bottlenecks from happening, and to make sure the beer racers did not buy anymore drink.

Even though it was tiring and got quite frustrating at times, it was fun and I got to meet new people, so that was interesting.

Photos from the Beer Race (taken outside Que Pasa, one of the Beer Race venues, which I was stewarding)

Students in Fancy Dress (all part of the fun)



Top Gun

Roman soldiers


Old ladies

Palestinian Poetry Blogging

The Last Train Has Stopped

The last train has stopped at the last platform. No one is there
to save the roses, no doves to align on a woman made of words.
Time has ended. The ode fares no better than the foam.
Don't put faith in our trains, love. Don't wait for anyone in the crowd.
The last train has stopped at the last platform. But no one
can cast the reflection of Narcissus back on the mirrors of night.
Where can I write my latest account of the body's incarnation.?
It's the end of what was bound to end! Where is what which ends?
Where can I free myself of the homeland of my body?
Don't put faith in our trains, love. The last dove flew away.
The last train has stopped at the last platform. And no one was there.

From Fewer Roses (1986) by Mahmoud Darwish

Translated by Munir Akash and Carolyn Forché

Monday, November 13, 2006

Iraq Clusterfuck

Fresh Iraq violence claims 135 lives

Probe as four die in Basra blast
Weapons experts are to analyze in "minute detail" an improvised bomb attack on a patrol boat that killed four UK servicemen in southern Iraq.
Another three were seriously hurt on the Shatt al-Arab in Basra on Sunday.

The dead were from the Royal Signals, the Intelligence Corps, and two from 539 Assault Squadron Royal Marines, one of them attached from 45 Commando.

The Ministry of Defence had earlier said both marines were from 45 Commando Royal Marines.
Basically the British and American armies are defending themselves, it has nothing to do with 'defeating terrorism' or 'bringing peace'.

They are currently inbetween a local fight, Shi'ite militias vs Sunni militias, so they are getting attacked from both sides.

Pulling out now would hardly make the situation any more worse and no doubt Iraq would split up anyway, Iraq itself is an Imperial artifical construct, the result of Britain drawing lines in the sand regardless of history or culture. I don't see the point of propping up an unstable artifical creation.

On the media front Sky News (which is owned by the Dirty Digger and yet is nothing like its bonkers sister channel Fox News) has had better coverage of Iraq and better analysis than the Beeb.

Ever since Hutton, the Beeb has been kowtowing to the government, which is very depressing.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Friday Cat Blogging

Miss Heidi

Gorgeous George.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

USA - Mid Term Elections

Democrats may spell trouble for Labour on free trade and Iraq

Michael White assesses how the US-UK relationship might change if the Democrats manage to gain the Senate as well as the House

Bush Whacked In Polls
Democrats have struck a blow to George Bush's presidency by winning control of the House of Representatives.

And they are just one seat away from controlling the Senate after winning Montana.

Control now hinges on Virginia.

The party rode to mid-term election victory on a wave of public anger over the war in Iraq.

It also reclaimed governors' offices throughout the country, giving them a majority for the first time in 12 years.
Its nice to see the Bush Junta in dire straits but whether this will mean things will get better in the long term I remain skeptical.

I still think Iran is going to be bombed soon, then they will respond by blocking the Strait of Hormuz which will then stop the oil supplies getting out, which will have a knock on effect around the world, realpolitiks will demand that the US responds and so the remorseless logic of war will take over.

We are fast approaching a 1914 moment, a major war is bound to break out sooner or later.

Rummy To Go

Rumsfeld resigns as Democrats triumph

· Defence secretary first top casualty
· Republicans lose control of House
· Senate hangs in balance

The Democrats today claimed the first scalp following their victorious US midterm elections with the resignation of the US defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld.

The US president, George Bush, confirmed he had accepted Mr Rumsfeld's resignation and said he had nominated Robert Gates, a former CIA director, to replace him.

Speaking for the first time since midterm elections widely seen as a voter backlash
against the handling of the increasingly unpopular war in Iraq, Mr Bush said Mr Rumsfeld had agreed a "fresh perspective" was needed.
Goodbye Rummy, though I would not be surprised if he ends up getting some cushy job at a big corporation.

Palestinian Poetry Blogging

In This Hymn

In this hymn we lay a dream in the horseman's heart.
We raise his last shirt, a victory sign, and hold a key to the last door.
We enter first the sea. Peace be unto you, brother of this place that is no place.
Peace be upon your feet - shepherds won't notice your eyes twinkling in the soil.
Peace be upon your arms - the sand grouse will flutter here again.
Peace be upon your lips - prayers will flower in the field
What can we say to the embers of your eyes?
What will absence tell your mother? He slept well? What will the invaders say?
We conquered the cloud speaking in August.
What does life say to Mahmoud Darwish?
You lived, fell in love, learned, and all you will finally love are dead?
In this hymn we lay a dream, we raise a victory sign, we hold the key to the last door,
to lock ourselves in a dream. But we will survive because life is life.

From Fewer Roses (1986) by Mahmoud Darwish

Translated by Munir Akash and Carolyn Forché

Sunday, November 05, 2006

March for Global Climate Justice

Grosvenor Square

Yesterday I went on my first protest march, it was a very fine day, weather was simply gorgeous if a little bit cold. There was a cross section of society, which was good to see, climate change is one of the hot issues of the moment.

We marched from Grosvenor Square (where a rally was held outside the US embassy featuring guest speakers such as George Monbiot, Caroline Lucas MEP and Tory green advisor Zac Goldsmith) to Trafalgar Square (a crowd of 20,000) where music was being performed by Razorlight and KT Tunstall.

Whether it will make a major different I don't know, its nice to see that people care but is that really enough?

I myself am in two minds about environmental campaigns, I do understand that we need to stop being wasteful and that we should think more but then again I think not all technology is evil, I personally believe we need to get into space, that will solve many of our problems like relieving population pressure. Space could provide us a change to escape from the Planet of the Apes.

Some photos from the march

Grosvenor Square

Grosvenor Square

Grosvenor Square

The contingent from Swansea

The US Embassy

the rest of the photos can be seen here

Friday, November 03, 2006

Friday Cat Blogging

George yawning after a hard day of eating, sleeping and being cuddled.

Heidi on the prowl

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Palestinian Poetry Blogging

Adresses for the soul, outside This Place

I love to travel...
to a village that never hangs my last evening on its cypresses. I love the trees
that witness how two birds suffered at our hands, how we raised the stones.
Wouldn't it be better if we raised our days
to grow slowly and embrace this greeness? I love the rainfall
on the women of distant meadows. I love the glittering water and the scent
of stone.
Wouldn't it be better if we defied our ages
and gazed much longer at the sky before moonset?
Adresses for the soul, outside this place. I love to travel
to any wind...But I don't love to arrive.

From Fewer Roses (1986) by Mahmoud Darwish

Translated by Munir Akash and Carolyn Forché