‘Could Rio Games Come to London?’ taunts the front page of the London Evening Standard, 9/5/14. Given the slow progress in the infrastructure preparations for both Brazil’s 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Rio Olympics, it is hardly surprising that this sort of provocative headline should start to appear. It transpires that Rio is only at 10% readiness as opposed to Athens’ 40% and London’s 60% at comparable points in the timetable. The IOC is starting to sweat, and there is growing whispers for the need for a Plan B and even a Plan C. But all such talk reeks of European colonialism and is the very antithesis of what the Olympic movement is supposedly all about.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 11 May 2014 15:24 )

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Gerry Adams Need Offer No Explanations to the Remnants of British Imperialism

Fact: The British Empire once spread across the planet and was held together by the use of extreme force including genocide, slavery, state sanctioned torture, endemic racism, ethnic cleansing and mass internment. Fact: the island of Ireland was the first of the British colonial occupations and will most likely be its last. Fact: the remnants of the British Empire are still occupying six counties of the Irish nation. Fact: under the United Nations Charter every country has the right to self-determination.

Last Updated ( Monday, 05 May 2014 10:29 )

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The Observer Magazine ran a feature on ‘The New Brazil’ which was ok as far as it went, but failed dismally to explain how the new Brazil was, like most developing countries, trapped in the global capitalist economy.  What was produced was little more than an eclectic mix of post card sized portraits that, when removed from their wider economic circumstances, could mean just about anything to anyone, and nothing much in particular. There were some revealing quotes and the journalists went out of their way to try and present a Brazil far removed from the usual stereotypes of beach parties and free flowing football. But without reference to Brazil’s dependence on the global capital markets, it all ends up, despite the best intentions of the journalists, as hopelessly superficial.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 18 February 2014 10:44 )

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Capitalism is teeming with contradictions. Every now and then the rabid Tory press comes out with a delightful surprise. Going back about eight years, Murdoch’s Sun, in response to the increasing ghettoization of Britain’s ethnic minorities, produced a stunning front page with a collage of children’s faces of differing ethnic complexion with the proud headline, ‘We’re All British’. Whatever the intention, that single front page probably did more to counteract deeply entrenched racist views in this country than a thousand well-meaning editorials in the progressive press.  Similarly, in response to the injustice of the racist thugs that murdered Steven Lawrence, the Daily Mail published the mug shots of the murderous gang with the banner heading, ‘MURDERERS’. They then challenged the thugs to sue them, which of course they dared not do. The result of this defiant action probably played a huge part in getting successful convictions against two of the thugs.

Last Updated ( Monday, 13 January 2014 20:18 )

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Gove versus Hunt: Two Sides Of The Same Imperialist Coin.

Two men slugging it out in the British press. One, a rabid Tory education minister, makes the plea for national patriotism when commemorating the First World War.  And patriotism, as we have learned at great cost, is the last refuge of the scoundrel.  Bob Dylan said that, or was he merely quoting someone else?)  The other, his shadow Labour Party minister, dons his ‘professional historian’ hat and calls for ‘a moment of national reflection and respectful debate.’ We know all we need to know about the Tory minister. Gove is an arch reactionary masquerading under the banner of raising educational standards. Hunt we know less about, but judging from his mealy mouthed reply, he is as gutless an apologist for British imperialism as his Tory counterpart. Not once in his ‘respectful’ response did he actually name and shame British Imperialism. Instead he skirted all around the houses, citing this and that historian and throwing in to his article the notion of ‘heroism’ arising from the First World War. For god sake man, call the damn thing by its correct name; an inter imperialist war that led to the brutal slaughter of countless millions of gullible young men.

Last Updated ( Monday, 13 January 2014 20:14 )

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