Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Before Katrina
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New Orleons Before Katrina (Satellite)
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New Orleons Now (Satellite)
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Quick News

I am currently rebuilding my operating environment from scratch so updating this blog has taken a back seat for now. Allow me a week or so for normal service to be resumed.

The latest links are always still here.

Our sympathies to everyone in New Orleans and the Mississippi delta.


Saturday, August 20, 2005

The late Mo Mowlam was also an outspoken opponent of the British participation in the invasion of Iraq. She, like most other intelligent people, accurately predicted that the action would serve as a further recruitment tool for extremist reaction and terror tactics.
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Farewells to Mo Mowlam

This LINK takes you to a selction of tributes to Mo Mowlam who passed on yesterday.

At least two blogs here have gone missing in the last week including my own tribute to Mo yesterday morning. Her passing was not unexpected (she had been seriously ill for some weeks and unwell for some years) but coming so soon after that of her colleague Robin Cook it seems all the more pertinent. She will be remembered most for her relaxed and open-minded attitude to politics and iniating the Northern Ireland peace process in a way that only she could have done. She was also brave enough top publicly admit smoking marijuana and most famously said that unlike Bill Clinton, she did inhale. Her sense of humour and fondness for life remained undiminished by rise to official office and her later ostracisation by the Blair government was something she accepted without obviously bitterness.

Her demise reminds us just how far the political arena has changed since the pioneering days of the new labour project and the present government's betrayal of its roots. She will be sorely missed by both her fellow parliamentarians (most of them) and a grateful public alike.


Friday, August 19, 2005

Mo Mowlam, who died early this morning. See article below. Photo detail from a painting courtesy National Portrait Gallery, London.
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Al Qaeda Claims Jordan Rocket Attacks | August 19, 2005

Latest News ...

Press Here for CBS news

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Reaction on Autopilot

I'm not actually on holiday but you may be forgiven for thinking so. The August siesta season is taking over and the blog pays the price.

It's the same all over. World leaders are vacationing and Blair has wisely decided to bury himself underwater while events on the surface can take care of themselves. Yours truely has too much news on the mind to decide what to write about and political comment is relegated to junior ministers and spokesmen who seem intent on delivering empty-headed soundbites designed to re-iterate policies of the absent supremos.

This link is simply to download the cure for the worm currently plaguing the web.


Monday, August 15, 2005

A short history of the London bombers

London Bomb Suspects Stood Out as Radicals - Los Angeles Times

A very quick link to start the week. This story at the Los Angeles Times offers a glimpse into the background of those who attacked us here in London recently.


Sunday, August 14, 2005

Burnsite Moves


Not your usual blog I'm afraid, but this link leads to the new location for my site, "burnsite". is no longer online but I hope it will be re-launched early next year as a studio-only portal.

Starting in September, the main news pages for burnsite will be published in blog format at so check it out.


Saturday, August 13, 2005

The author is currently slouching off. Normal service will resume shortly.
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Sunday, August 07, 2005

Robin Cook, who died yesterday. Photo: The Scotsman.
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RIP: Robin Cook

Robin Cook dies at age 59

I was sad to learn of the death (at only 59) of the former foreign secretary Robin Cook yesterday. For those who have forgotten, he was a major voice against Britain's participation in the Iraq invasion and resigned from office over the affair. A distinguished statesman, he was always both highly intelligent and down to earth in his approach to politics and will be sorely missed. This link goes, appropriately, to a tribute in the Scotsman.

As Blair prepares to deport himself to a vacation location, we can be fairly certain he will return to these shores in due course. Such luxury will not be extended to others who may now be kicked out of the country for holding equally extreme views as the fundamental christianity to which he himself subscribes. A little more education, coupled with freedom of opportunity and expression, will do more to ease growing cultural polarisation than the new draconian measures which will force the forces of dissent even further underground.

On the optimistic side, maybe an extended holiday will help Blair relax long enough to extract himself from the Bush coupling and listen to the more common sense views of his wife. But that's probably wishful thinking.


Saturday, August 06, 2005

Nitin Sawhney - headling at today's Fruitstock fstival in London
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Sign on sign
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Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Talking of islands and geography (see below) here is a quick reminder of the Britain the next generation of children will inherit unless global energy greed stops RIGHT NOW!
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Hi-jack of the United Nations

Ambassador Bolton - New York Times

When emporer Bush finally appointed the human bulldozer John Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations yesterday, it was done sneakily amid great reservations from Democrats and Republicans alike. Surely this is final proof that Bush is simply following his own warped agenda without consideration for the greater elected government. This link to the New York Times tells more.

Recent reports have indicated that the UN is falling apart. I don't mean the organisation (although there is certainly an arguement about that too) but the building. Essentially - it's just too old to function. The New York Times also reports that the Bush strategy to reshape the UN has been going on behind the scenes for months - working well ahead of yesterday's official appointment. This doesn't bode well for the institution, remaining as it does, headquartered on Amerikan territory. This must severely affect its impartiality and freedom.

Now is the time for the UN itself to re-shape its own destiny. Moving its operations to neutral ground would help a lot. With the growing power of India and China and the need to co-operate with the Arab league, surely there is still an unused island somewhere that can have geographical proximity to the cultues of both east and west. One day it will probably need its own international space station, but if it is to survive the coming decades with its global respect intact, a revision of the security council membership and a wholly independent viewpoint is essential.


Monday, August 01, 2005

Subterranean Homeclick News

Alternative Media Portal to Underground News and Conspiracy

If you'll excuse that awful play on words, today's link is to a list of other links. They are part of an excellent site called "Underground Gateway" which is only a one-man show and barely a year old. Yet impressive.

Artist and activist Caroline Coon sent me this earlier and has kindly given me permission to reproduce it.

No to 'Faith and religion.

If you tolerate those who in the name of faith and religion
ban art, music, dancing and free speech,
If you tolerate those who in the name of faith and religion
spew murderous hatred at 'unbelievers' and others,
If you tolerate those who in the name of faith and religion
demand the genital mutilation of children,
If you tolerate those who in the name of faith and religion
stone women to death for 'adultery',
If you tolerate those who in the name of faith and religion
call same sex love a sin,
If you tolerate those who in the name of faith and religion
refuse women equal rights,
If you tolerate those who in the name of faith and religion
refuse to ordain women bishops,
If you tolerate those who in the name of faith and religion
control the way women dress,
If you tolerate those who in the name of faith and religion
demand that women are 'modest',
If you tolerate those who in the name of faith and religion
refuse women control of their bodies and reproduction,
If you tolerate those who in the name of faith and religion
refuse the poor birth control and family planning,
If you tolerate any
gender apartheid,
If you tolerate
"honour killing" women,
If you tolerate
the execution of homosexual and lesbians,
Then do not be surprised when they no longer tolerate you
And you find that they murder and bomb you to death
in the name of 'faith' and religion.

Caroline Coon/Cunst Art

Thanks to Leilani Horton for this one - if you are feeling bored try googling the word "failure" and then choosing "I feel lucky".