Strictly Prom

July 24, 2016

 

 

 

Strictly Come Dancing comes to the Proms.

Or looked at another way, the dance, the music, without the crap.

Real dance, breath taking, sends shivers down the spine dance, not the dumbed-down garbage of Strictly Come Dancing, that does for dance what X-Factor and Britain Ain’t Got Talent does for music.

Indeed why even link to Strictly Come Dancing, as that gives the impression of dumbing down the Proms. Why not simple call Dance Night at the Proms?

To see full concert, watch on BBC Four, broadcast last Friday, or access via BBC iPlayer.

Adele at Glastonbury

July 24, 2016

Adele live at Glastonbury 2016, 22:15 Saturday 25 Jun 2016 on Pyramid Stage.

Excellent backing line-up.

For the lovely Sophie and Chloe.

Shocking the amount of rubbish that is left behind, the disposable society

Afternoon in Farnham

July 23, 2016
River Wey riverside walk

River Wey riverside walk

A hot afternoon, although not as hot as earlier in the week.

On the way, diverted to look in on Aldershot Live Music Day. As bad as ever.

A few days ago, sun lounger collapsed. It is not possible to get these sun loungers anywhere. Why I do not know simple and elegant. Not even possible to obtain folding chairs. It is even rare to see deckchairs.

The only chairs, are the fisherman chairs. OK.

Phyllis Tuckwell have a warehouse for furniture. Outside, I did not see on my way in, but did  see on my way out, a sun lounger, just what I wanted. I was though surprised they wanted £15, as I expected a fiver. But beggars cannot be choosers.

It put paid to a walk round Bishops Meadow, as I was now lugging a sunbed around all afternoon.

No tea van as I walked through Gostrey Meadwos. I did not see it last time either.

Too hot for a cappuccino in Krema. I had a smoothie. I would rather have had a fruit juice made with fresh. I had a quiche and salad. It was ok, but not great. Not one their strong points. They are good at coffee and cakes, and in the winter soups.

I always thought they closed at five, no, six. Only they are now going to change to five.

Downing Street needs to be pedestrianised. With the door open, noise and pollution of traffic outside.

I looked in Caracoli.

Someone must be listening. Bags of beans now give information on the beans and the roast date, but are still bagged as Caracoli, even though they are not the roaster. And had only been roasted a couple of days ago. Contrast with Caracoli Guildford, where bags with roast date (need a magnifying date to read) of October 2015. The manager cannot see that is a problem, but then Caracoli Guildford the manager is an idiot.

Aldershot Live Music Day

July 23, 2016
Aldershot Live Music Day acoustic set

Aldershot Live Music Day acoustic set

An annual event. usually rubbish, and today no exception. Well to be fair, marginally better than in the past.

Three stages, the bandstand in Princess Gardens, pedestrian street outside Costa, and Wastegate.

Aged rockers at the bandstand, could at least play, guy on acoustic guitar outside Costa could not.

As always, badly organised.

Why are no lessons ever learnt?

No publicity. Nothing in the town, other than at the bandstand to announce the event.

Why three stages, when not enough talent for one?

If three stages, one should be an acoustic set outside Caffe Macchiato, not at Wastegate.

Restrict to bandstand only, or if wish to have s second set, then an acoustic set outside Caffe Macchiato.

People handed out bottled water. A good idea, only not the organisers, a promotion by Specsavers.

Why not have street food in Princes Gardens?

And please not the pink ice cream van belching out toxic fumes at toddler height.

And to empathise further the bad organisation, timed to coincide with a three day event at the West End Centre.

If this festival is to continue, rather than waste public money, hand whatever is the budget to West End Centre and ask them to organise.

Rooted

July 23, 2016
Rooted

Rooted

Rooted, an art exhibition in St Mary’s.

Very much influenced by Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso.

Unfortunate too many of the displayed works covered in glass, making impossible to see.

Afternoon in Guildford

July 23, 2016
Rooted

Rooted

Friday afternoon, a hot afternoon, although not as hot as it had been earlier in the week. Rain was forecast, a few spots, and that was it.

River Wey has dropped a few inches since I last visited two weeks ago. Now slow and sluggish, as I would expect in the summer.

Rooted, an art exhibition in St Mary’s, as a result St Mary’s actually open. Many of the paintings have glass in front, which meant impossible to see due to reflections. I wish artist would learn how to display their works.

Candle lit for Sophie, in hospital for an operation.

Long discussion on religion with lady minding the church. A book I could not think of, then came to me, Love Wins.  I said I would write it in the book, next time I passed by.

Thai green curry at the Thai takeaway at the top of the High Street. It belongs to the Thai restaurant in Jeffries Passage. The main difference is the service is better.

Several businesses have closed top end of the High Street, including Morrisons and Argus.

Looked in Steamer Trading. Shattered glass panes in the Caracoli terrace have not been replaced. But at least the terrace has been closed off, pending survey by structural engineers. In now needs the Caracoli manager to be fired for demonstrating such a cavalier attitude to safety. Plus lacks people skills and is clueless on coffee.

Cappuccino in Surrey Hills coffee. A pity coffee shops do not do fresh juices in the hot weather.

Owen Smith unfit to be Labour leader

July 22, 2016
Owen Smith sinks to new low

Owen Smith sinks to new low

With his comparison of working under Jeremy Corbyn to be akin to working at Sports Direct, Owen Smith has demonstrated why he is unfit to be Labour leader.

But why should we expect any better from Owen Smith?

This is a man whose background is PR (or in other words a paid liar), who worked as a lobbyist for a major US pharmaceutical company.

Conditions at Sports Direct have been compared with a  a Victorian workhouse.

On You and Yours at midday, a former worker was describing how bad it was. She had to sign in using a fingerprint scanner, pay was docked for fifteen minutes if less than a minute late. Had to stay behind after the store closed for anything up to an hour, unpaid time. These are exploited workers who are  on minimum wage, zero hours contracts. The ex-worker described it as being in a prison.

Unlike Owen Smith, Oily Smith as he is known in Wales, Jeremy Corbyn has spent his life fighting for the poor and disenfranchised. His leadership campaign reinforces that.

This evening on Any Questions, similar smears and attacks from Hazel Blears in an anti-Corby rant.

Peter Hichens leapt to the defence of Jeremy Corbyn and said it was appalling the way a decent man was being treated by his enemies.

Hazel Blears was a disaster as a minster. Did she not fiddle her expenses?

Angela Eagle has also joined the smear campaign. This is the woman  who came a poor fourth in election for deputy leader last year, who thought she could challenge Jeremy Corbyn as leader, and yet could not even garner the support of her local party, let alone the party as a whole.

Angela Eagle lied about her office window being bricked, and about cancelling a public appearance at a hotel for fear of violence (the proprietor simply didn’t want a Labour event on his premises). She is now refusing to meet with her constituents. But is that not part of her job description? If she is not prepared to do the job she is paid to do, then should she not resign and a by-election be called?

The local party of Angela Eagle has been suspended. This is the second local party to be suspended. The first was Brighton last week.

Strange how local parties which publicly support Jeremy Corbyn get suspended.

It is politicians like Angela Eagle, Hazel Blears, Owen Smith, why people have nothing but utter contempt for politicians.

They are prepared to destroy the Labour Party, than allow Jeremy Corbyn remain as leader.

They lack any policies. The only thing they have in common is a hatred of Jeremy Corbn and everything he stands for.

Is Owen Smith the best the coup plotters could come up with?

It turns out Oily Smith is himself a very unpleasant nasty little bully.  He bullied a Labour Party member for daring to tell the truth about him, and tried to bully a journalist into not publishing a story.

Liza Van Zyl on remarks Oily Smith made in Wales in the run-up to the 2015 General Election:

I was a Labour Party activist who had no choice but to resign from the party after a very unpleasant encounter with Mr Smith. I am recounting it now because I believe it is very important that his views are robustly challenged if he stands for the Labour leadership.

On Saturday 7th March 2015 I attended a Labour meeting in Pontypridd at which the guest speaker was Owen Smith MP, then shadow secretary of state for Wales. When questions were invited from the floor, I asked Mr Smith why, given that the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) has been responsible for a great many more deaths than the Bedroom Tax, Labour had pledged to scrap the Bedroom Tax but had said nothing about pledging to scrap the WCA. Mr Smith replied that Labour could not pledge to scrap the WCA because this would make Labour appear weak on benefits in the eyes of the media and compromise Labour’s general-election chances.

I posted this on Facebook and a journalist took it up and posted the story online. Subsequently the journalist was threatened with legal action by Mr Smith if he did not take the story down. I was very intimidated by the prospect of defending myself in court, and I had no money for a legal defence. In addition my Labour colleagues were terribly keen to maintain good relations with Mr Smith and would probably have backed Mr Smith and not me if it came to a court case (one of them had even contacted the journalist and briefed against me). So I asked the journalist to pull the story and I deleted references to it on Facebook.

The journalist was Mark Sivier and he refused to pull the story.

But the story, apart from the crude bullying, raises further questions as to the eligibility of Owen Smith to be Labour leader, he refused to oppose Work Capability Assessment. This is the assessment that finds sick people fit to work.  But then this is par for the course for Oily Jones, who claims to be as radical as Jeremy Corbyn, he abstained on Tory Welfare Cuts to the poor.

In light of this bullying, should Oily Jones not be suspended for bringing the Party into disrepute?

We have the coup plotters threatening a war of attrition if Jeremy Corbyn wins and refuses to step down.

They still fail to get their heads around why they lost the last election.

Owen Smith appears to be a student of the Joseph Goebbels Propaganda School, repeat a big enough lie often enough and it will be believed. Jeremy Corbyn is unelectable. Only it flies in the face of the evidence.

  • Jeremy Corbyn around 750,000 followers on facebook
  • Labour Party around 500,000 followers on facebook
  • Owen Jones around 3,000 followers on facebook

People are sick of politicians like Oily Jones. That is why they welcome Jeremy Corbyn for bringing forth a new type of politics, one that acts for the poor and disadvantaged, that appeals to the good in people, not their greed, that encourages participation.

What Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters threaten, is the cosy little world of the elites, of politicians who think they have a sinecure for life and resent having to be accountable to the people they allegedly represent.

That is why establishment newspapers like The Guardian run smear campaigns against Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters.

Their world is about to come crashing down and the more they smear and bully Jeremy Corbyn, the stronger becomes his support, because ordinary people desire change, real change, not politicians who all look the same, liars and automatons, with their snouts in the trough.

Building Communities of Commons in Greece

July 21, 2016

 Sarantaporo area, situated at the North of Greece, is an agricultural and husbandry region, also hit by the crisis. But even prior to the crisis, state’s attention to the area was poor. Youths were migrating to big cities or abroad. There was no Internet connection, and locals were isolated and deprived of basic services, e.g. medical aid.

At 2010 a group of people forms a community wireless network aiming to connect the villages among them and with the rest of the world. In time, and as the project matures, Sarantaporo.grcommunity aims even further. They want to be the catalyst so that the locals (re)organize cooperatives based on the wireless network, (re)enliven their economy, make it sustainable, more extrovert and independent of state and corporative control.

In doing so, they produce knowledge and build bridges between the hi-tech of a wireless network community and the real-life challenges of a rural community.

Other villages expressed an interest in having their own wireless network, and the villages form a network.

The networks gave been built by volunteers, with equipment donated by ….

In October 2015, the media arts collective Personal Cinema which produced the documentary, in collaboration with the Sarantaporo.gr team, launched a crowdfunding campaign at the Spanish crowdfunding platform goteo.org and succeeded to collect an amount of money that facilitated the realization of the documentary.

The soundtrack can be found on bandcamp.

What this points to is the future, building networks of social enterprises, open coops, all cooperating with each other,  contributing to the sharing economy, collaborative commons.

John McDonnell is talking of a post-Brexit future investing in green infrastructure, education, creation of investment banks. Some of this funding should go into establishing social enterprises.

Labour NEC gerrymandering

July 20, 2016

Labour NEC appear to be determined to rig the Labour leadership election

First they disenfranchised over 130,000 members who had joined after 12 January 2016.

Then they made registered supporters pay £25 to register, ensuring many would not be able to afford to register thus lose their right to vote.

They also  restricted the registration period to 48 hours.

Trade Union affiliated members who were entitle to vote, were barred from voting.

A crowd funding scheme, to help those who could not afford the £25 registration fee was ordered to close, with the lady who set it up threatened with expulsion from the Labour Party.

Local Labour parties issued with a  diktat that they could not meet until after the leadership election.

Then when you think it could not get any worse, The Canary has reported blocking of the registration of Corbyn supporters.

New evidence has come to light that suggests the National Executive Committee (NEC) may be stalling registered supporter applications, to prevent Jeremy Corbyn from winning the Labour leadership.

As last year, a box for why you wished to join. If put Vote for Corbyn, was to ask for trouble, on the other hand, leaving blank would arouse suspicion.

The question should never have been asked. Nor should several other questions, which were a trawl for personal information. Why do they need phone number, Facebook profile?

Are they performing background checks on people?

Supporter Naciye Ozbilenler has spoken out on Facebook about her experience of signing up as a registered supporter. She states that she joined as a supporter, stating her reason as Jeremy Corbyn, but did not receive a confirmation.

Many supporters have spoken out about similar experiences, revealing they have had their application stalled or have not received any confirmation if they have detailed their support for Jeremy Corbyn. In comparison those who did not give Corbyn as a reason, have received a confirmation straight away. Similarly, those who gave Corbyn as a reason and did not get a confirmation and who then joined again without a reason, received their confirmation straight away.

Michelle Regan facebook post

Michelle Regan facebook post

Naciye Ozbilenler tried again this time making no mention of her support for Jeremy Corbyn, having been warned Labour head office was full of Blairites.

Naciye Ozbilenler warned of Blairites blocking registrations

Naciye Ozbilenler warned of Blairites blocking registrations

Naciye Ozbilenler has no problem when no mention of Jeremy Corbyn

Naciye Ozbilenler has no problem when no mention of Jeremy Corbyn

The Canary has reported these are not isolated examples

We have been here before. This is a re-run of what happened last year.

Last year, there was a problem getting registered. If accepted, lists wee sent to local parties to purge the leist of any undesrables. Many failed to receive ballot papers.

I had a battle over weeks, registration only accepted an hour before the deadline.  Ballot paper was never received. Thus I never did get to vote, even though I had paid £3 registration fee.

A Brighton political  facebook discussion forum  had many people complaining they were unable to register, and when they did register they never received a ballot paper.  A Pro-Corbyn forum has similar complaints.

At the time, complaints to Labour head office went unanswered, and when hey did answer,  pathetic excuses, went round and round in circles, met with bloody-minded obstruction.

Over 180.000 had registered as party supporters before the deadline. This exceeds the entire membership of the Tory Party.

Unbelievable listening on World Tonight to a member of Saving Labour (We Hate Corbyn group) and former member of Labour head office.

He said any electoral system that leads to the election of Jeremy Corbyn is seriously flawed. That Labour MPs have effectively become disenfranchised and they are the ones with a mandate. That focus on political engagement was wrong and the focus should eb on power.

This one individual illustrated the contempt for the members and all that is rotten and corrupt with Labour, and why change is needed.

The Entirely Fake Owen Smith

July 19, 2016
Owen Smith

Owen Smith more Blairite than Blair

Owen Smith unelectable

Owen Smith unelectable

Even the mainstream media feel compelled to drop hints that Owen Smith is not what he is being promoted as. The Guardian’s words yesterday were unintentionally revealing;

the former shadow work and pensions secretary plans to pitch himself as the soft-left option

Note “to pitch himself”. For PR professional Smith, political stance is nothing to do with personal belief, it is to do with brand positioning. On Channel 4 News last night, an incredulous Michael Crick pointed out that the “soft left” Smith had previously given interviews supporting PFI and privatisation in the health service. He also strongly supported Blair’s city academies.

As chief lobbyist for Pfizer, Smith actively pushed for privatisation of NHS services. This is not something Pfizer did very openly, and you have to search the evidence carefully. Footnotes often tell you what is really happening, as in this press release  in which Owen Smith says of a Pfizer funded “focus group” study:

We believe that choice is a good thing and that patients and healthcare professionals should be at the heart of developing the agenda.

You have to look at the footnotes to see what kind of choice Owen Smith is actually talking about. Note to Editors 3 includes

“The focus groups also explored areas of choice that do not yet exist in the UK – most specifically the use of direct payments and the ability to choose to go directly to a specialist without first having to see the GP.”

Well, at least it is clear – direct payments from the public to doctors replacing current NHS services. Smith was promoting straight privatisation. As Head of Policy and Government Relations for Pfizer, Owen Smith was also directly involved in Pfizer’s funding  of Blairite right wing entryist group Progress. Pfizer gave Progress £53,000. Progress has actively pursued the agenda of PFI and privatisation of NHS services.

Owen Smith went to Pfizer from a Labour Party job, while Labour were in government, and there is no doubt that his hiring was an example of the corrupt relationship between New Labour and big business which is why the Blairites are so hated by the public. It is also beyond any argument that if Pfizer had any doubts about Owen Smith’s willingness to promote the Big Pharma and NHS Privatisation agenda, they would never have hired him.

Owen Smith is a strong supporter of Trident and assiduously courts the arms industry. He is a regular at defence industry events.

Perhaps most crucially of all, Owen Smith  joined his fellow Red Tories in abstaining on the Tory welfare benefit cuts.

I do not doubt Owen Smith’s expertise in brand positioning. I expect that there are indeed a large number of Labour Party members who might vote for a left wing alternative to Corbyn. But I also suspect that Smith has adopted the PR man’s typical contempt for the public, who are not as stupid as he seems to think. There is no evidence whatsoever that Smith is a left winger. There is every evidence that he is another New Labour unprincipled and immoral careerist, adopting a left wing pose that he thinks will win him votes.

People will notice, Owen. They really are not that stupid.

Re-posted from Craig Murray.

Owen Smith claims to be the unity candidate, only he can heal the wounds in the Labour Party, that he is as radical as Jeremy Corbyn.

His record shows anything but. He was one of the coup plotters, thus hardly a unity candidate or someone to heal wounds when it is he and hos coup plotters that have caused the damage to the Labour Party.

To claim  as radical as Jeremy Corbyn, is laughable.

His background is PR, he is a former lobbyist for a major US pharmaceutical company, favours privatisation of the NHS, has obtained funding for Blairites within the Party from a  US drugs company.  A former adviser.. He abstained on damaging Tory welfare cuts. Has contempt for democracy with his call for a second referendum on Brexit.  In Wales he is known as Oily Smith.

A candidate who is as shallow as Tony Blair.

Is this the sort of person suited to lead the Labour Party?

Most would say no.

Owen Smith and Angela Eagle have done a dirty little deal as to who would stand. Labour MPs met to decide who will stand.

Once again contempt for democracy, contempt for the members.

The only thing that ties the coup plotters together, is intense hatred of Jeremy Corbyn and contempt for the members.

Owen Smith is a careerist politician, satiated on his lust for power.

If not already registered to vote in the leadership election, please register before 5pm on Wednesday.


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