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Category Archives: JOHN PILGER

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Beat Yourself Up – Save The Police Time

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For most of my adult life, maybe the past 45 years or more, I’ve been hearing the same phrases repeated endlessly

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Things have never been as bad as they are now

Things are getting worse … there’s no hope for the future

This is the worst government we’ve ever had to deal with

The last government created the problems

The next government will solve the problems

We’re heading for economic collapse

We’re heading for a nuclear war

The apocalypse is predicted to be imminent

The majority of people in this country are selfish, greedy, and stupid.

The majority of people in other countries are selfish, greedy, and stupid.

The majority of people in the World we live in are selfish, greedy, and stupid.

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YOU have never met and have no real knowledge of the majority of people in this country. 

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YOU have never met and have no real knowledge of the entire population of seven billion people who comprise the Earth’s population, so you must be basing this negative deduction on your knowledge of yourself, and on your knowledge of your immediate friends and associates … therefore, YOU and everyone you know must be selfish, greedy, and stupid.

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Right?

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Wrong.

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Armageddon, in one form or another, has been predicted, on a yearly basis, for almost every single one of the sixty-two years of my life.

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Like the boy who cried wolf, or the chicken who predicted that the sky was falling, eventually anyone with sense eventually stops listening to such fear-ridden blather.  I stopped worrying that the sky was falling many years back, and have noticed that the downfall of civilisation, the rise of fascism, the erosion of all our civil liberties, the creation of new concentration-camps, the round-up of liberals hasn’t happened as expected and foretold …  and the runaway train that is civilisation hasn’t crashed yet either.

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On the other hand, over the past 40 years I’ve witnessed an astonishing change in the levels of social responsibility and political awareness around me, the rise of a highly effective and powerful environmental movement, the liberation of women both in politics and everyday life, the decriminalisation of homosexuality and a level of social acceptance of gay lifestyle that I never expected to see in my lifetime, the denunciation of everyday racism, sexism and homophobia in the media, in government, the workplace, and on the street, a level of social interaction and communication on a global level that wasn’t predicted in even the most prescient of science fiction, and a potential for positive change within the Global Village that I never even dreamed possible when I went on my first ever street-demos back in the 60’s & 70’s.

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In many ways, as far as I can see, things have never been better, as the potential for change has never more eminently possible, and the tools of change ie. Mass communication, and education as a product thereof, have never been more readily available and accessible.

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So stop succumbing to the fear, the hype, the bullshit, the propaganda, the fairy-tales and horror stories designed to make you fear the worst, expect the worst, and give up trying because there ain’t no point … because resistance is futile.

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In my early days as a political activist, our mass communications were limited to Roneo and Xerox leaflets, screen-printed posters, underground magazines and newspapers, and cheaply produced button badges … simple, but effective forms of spreading our doctrines, and a far-cry from the easy access of emails, Youtube, Facebook and Twitter.

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One very popular button badge wryly proclaimed the slogan:

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BEAT YOURSELF UP – SAVE THE POLICE TIME

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That, my friends, is what you and your negativity are doing.  You’re doing The Power’s job for them.   That is the tactic that seems to be working highly successfully at present with the wave of rampant negativity I see on so many articles, and blogs, and vids and Facebook postings: …..

“The Future is Hopeless”

No, my friends … Your attitude is what is Hopeless … The Future is just fine.

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Fight The Power … Free The Future
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Thanx to my Facebook buddy Brian Spencer for the motivation to write this … one of the many Good Americans I know
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Mr Fry constantly amazes me as he seems to be the only person I ever hear nowadays whose pronouncements, wisdom, humour and outright common sense  constantly makes me nod in agreement, and occasionally sit upright in shocked awareness , as I learn something that I’d never before realised … and at my age, that really is a surprise

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Stephen Fry … nearest thing I have to a hero … makes me smile when I imagine what a dinner party with Stephen Fry, Frank Zappa, Emilie du Chatelet, George Carlin, John Pilger, Charlie Chaplin, and Maya Angelou would be like .

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Me? … I’d be the waiter!!

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Noam Chomsky on how Climate Change

became considered to be a ‘liberal hoax’.

 


This song was recorded in the 80’s, with the original ITAI ITAI, at Barclay Tower Studios in Edinburgh, by the fantastic Tony Pilley … an absolute gem of a man, who taught me a wealth of knowledge on recording and tape-editing during the lengthy process of creating this track.

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Robert Moffat did some stunning guitar over Frank Anson’s bass, with Rab Buchanan on keyboards, while Kowboy’s first ever session produced a blistering rythm track

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I played guitar, a bit of bass, smacked floorboards with Kowboy to get that snare sound, and did all the vocals

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Still one of my favourite recordings

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And a big thanx to Kowboy for persuading me to dig out the recording, and renew acquaintance with some of my old songs

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Voting in Britain for war. Take your pick

JOHN PILGER

http://www.johnpilger.com/page.asp?partid=575


4 May 2010

In his latest column for the New Statesman, John Pilger describes how Edwardian notions of war are again being promoted in western democracies, along with the militarising of history, journalism and parliamentary politics. In Britain, the three main candidiates for prime minister are declared warmakers; and yet popular feeling is very different.

Staring at the vast military history section in the airport shop, I had a choice: the derring-do of psychopaths or scholarly tomes with their illicit devotion to the cult of organised killing. There was nothing I recognised from reporting war. Nothing on the spectacle of children’s limbs hanging in trees and nothing on the burden of shit in your trousers. War is a good read. War is fun. More war please.

The day before I flew out of Australia, 25 April, I sat in a bar beneath the great sails of the Sydney Opera House. It was Anzac Day, the 95th anniversary of the invasion of Ottoman Turkey by Australian and New Zealand troops at the behest of British imperialism. The landing was an incompetent stunt of blood sacrifice conjured by Winston Churchill; yet it is celebrated in Australia as an unofficial national day. The ABC evening news always comes live from the sacred shore at Gallipoli, in Turkey, where this year some 8000 flag-wrapped Antipodeans listened, dewy-eyed, to the Australian governor-general Quentin Bryce, who is the Queen’s viceroy, describe the point of pointless mass killing. It was, she said, all about a “love of nation, of service, of family, the love we give and the love we receive and the love we allow ourselves to receive. [It is a love that] rejoices in the truth, it bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. And it never fails”.

Of all the attempts at justifying state murder I can recall, this drivel of DIY therapy, clearly aimed at the young, takes the blue riband. Not once did Bryce honour the fallen with the two words that the survivors of 1915 brought home with them: “Never again”. Not once did she refer to a truly heroic anti-conscription campaign, led by women, that stemmed the flow of Australian blood in the first world war, the product not of a gormlessness that “believes all things” but of anger in defence of life.

The next item on the TV news was an Australian government minister, John Faulkner, with the troops in Afghanistan. Bathed in the light of a perfect sunrise, he made the Anzac connection to the illegal invasion of Afghanistan in which, on 13 February last year, Australian soldiers killed five children. No mention was made of them. On cue, this was followed by an item that a war memorial in Sydney had been “defaced by men of Middle Eastern appearance”. More war please.

In the Opera House bar a young man wore campaign medals which were not his. That is the fashion now. Smashing his beer glass on the floor, he stepped over the mess which was cleaned up another young man whom the TV newsreader would say was of Middle Eastern appearance. Once again, war is a fashionable extremism for those suckered by the Edwardian notion that a man needs to prove himself “under fire” in a country whose people he derides as “gooks” or “rag-heads” or simply “scum”. (The current public inquiry in London into the torture and murder of an Iraqi hotel receptionist, Baha Mousa, by British troops has heard that “the attitude held” was that “all Iraqis were scum”).

There is a hitch. In the ninth year of the thoroughly Edwardian invasion of Afghanistan, more than two thirds of the home populations of the invaders want their troops to get out of where they have no right to be. This is true of Australia, the United States, Britain, Canada and Germany. What this says is that, behind the media façade of politicised ritual – such as the parade of military coffins through the English town of Wootton Bassett — millions of people are trusting their own critical and moral intelligence and ignoring propaganda that has militarised contemporary history, journalism and parliamentary politics – Australia’s Labor prime minister, Kevin Rudd, for instance, describes the military as his country’s “highest calling”.

Here in Britain, the war criminal Tony Blair is anointed by the Guardian’s Polly Toynbee as “the perfect emblem for his people’s own contradictory whims”. No, he was the perfect emblem for a liberal intelligentsia prepared cynically to indulge his crime. That is the unsaid of the British election campaign, along with the fact that 77 per cent of the British people want the troops home. In Iraq, duly forgotten, what has been done is a holocaust. More than a million people are dead and four million have been driven from their homes. Not a single mention has been made of them in the entire campaign. Rather, the news is that Blair is Labour’s “secret weapon”.

All three party leaders are warmongers. Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrats leader and darling of former Blair lovers, says that as prime minister he will “participate” in another invasion of a “failed state” provided there is “the right equipment, the right resources”. His one condition is the standard genuflection towards a military now scandalised by a colonial cruelty of which the Baha Mousa case is but one of many.

For Clegg, as for Gordon Brown and David Cameron, the horrific weapons used by British forces, such as clusters, depleted uranium and the Hellfire missile, which sucks the air out of its victims’ lungs, do not exist. The limbs of children in trees do not exist. This year alone Britain will spend £4 billion on the war in Afghanistan, and that is what Brown and Cameron almost certainly intend to cut from the National Health Service.

Edward S Herman explained this genteel extremism in his essay, The Banality of Evil. There is a strict division of labour, ranging from the scientists working in the laboratories of the weapons industry, to the intelligence and “national security” personnel who supply the paranoia and “strategies”, to the politicians who approve them. As for journalists, our task is to censor by omission and make the crime seem normal for you, the public. For it is your understanding and your awakening that are feared, above all.


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