Metta Bhavana Great Britain

March 31, 2011

I once had a work-mate who went to school at Eton. We used to talk about the culture of our respective schools. He said that at Eton, popularity and happiness are absolutely essential. There was a constant pressure to be outwardly happy, regardless of whether your mood was good or bad, at any given moment.

I found this interesting because at my school, Stepney Green, in the east end of London, everything was about being hard or at least the illusion of being hard. The glamorous kids were the ones with problems. Miserable and angry was cool.
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Sonny’s Lettah

March 30, 2011

On the evening of 11th April, 1981, Brixton, south London, exploded in riots.

I think it’s probably difficult for young people to comprehend why the black community exploded with such rage over those three days, resulting in 279 injured police officers and 100 vehicles burned. The Sus Law gave police the power to arrest people on suspicion, with little or no justification for that suspicion.

In a couple of weeks time, it will be thirty years since the events. Expect there to be much coverage. I’m writing this now to give people younger than me a idea of why it was important. I’m not using my personal experience; east London was quiet and we were too young to be angry. I’m using someone else’s words here today.

Linton Kwesi Johnson was an Afro-Caribbean poet during the late 70s and early 80s. He was so unusual, and so good, that he became a television celebrity, but he was never mainstream, far from it.

In his classic, Sonny’s Lettah, he gives us an touching insight into the world of racism. The story is told through a letter that Sonny writes from his cell in Brixton prison, to his mother in Jamaica, where he gives her the news of the death of his brother at the hands of the police, and his own arrest for murder.
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A Dangerous Precedent – Libya

March 28, 2011

The West didn’t intervene in the peaceful uprising in Tunisia or Egypt, but did intervene when violence flared between Benghazi and Tripoli. This is a dangerous message to send the world: that peaceful protest will be ignored, but violence will be supported.

NATO Headquarters in Brussels Credit:

The West portrays the intervention as a humanitarian mission to defend the democracy protesters against a violent dictator, but the truth is different. On the first day of the uprising, mobs set fire to police stations across the country and called for “the end of the regime” rather than the introduction of democracy. It was always a tribal uprising rather than a democratic movement.
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Sky Defames Ed Miliband?

March 26, 2011

Ed Miliband had to think long and hard before he agreed to speak at the TUC March for Alternative yesterday for fear that his reputation would be damaged. Why? Doesn’t that sound a bit weird?

My photo of the rally.

What kind of a free world do we live in, when democracy has become so corrupted by the tabloid sensationalism of the TV News, that political leaders are regarded as brave for speaking at an ordinary political rally?

Brave because the leader is at risk of damaging his reputation, due to the utterly unrepresentative manner that these tabloid TV broadcasters, such as the BBC and Sky, choose to represent the event.

Brave because of how they distort the truth, associating the actions of a single criminal gang, with every legitimate political or campaigning organisation, that seeks to promote their cause through peaceful demonstration.
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What’s the Exit Strategy, Dave?

March 24, 2011

Overnight he was transformed from Mr Bean to Stalin. In the same way that Thatcher had her Falklands, Cameron had his Libya. But then it didn’t go according to plan.

At the first site of a cruise missile, Gaddafi didn’t throw down his weapons and put his hands in the air. Nor did he try to surrender to the F16s that were circling above him at 30,000 feet. He didn’t rush down to the beach and swim out into the Mediterranean in search of a British Polaris submarine, so that he could beg to be taken prisoner. No. He just sat tight and waited for it to pass.
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Miliband Slaughters Osborne in Budget Response

March 23, 2011

This is probably the best performance Ed Miliband has shown us so far. He absolutely tears into Osborne following the budget today. The jokes are good too. “Delboy economics” is my favourite.

The West should Respect the Arab League

March 22, 2011

Understanding international law is vital to understanding the pitfalls of the Libya policy.

Criminal Law is based on wisdom, while International Law is based on consensus or horse-trading.
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