Archive for July, 2014

Israeli propaganda and mainstream media bias

July 27, 2014

This little cartoon produced by Zionists and Judeo-Fascists could be a caricature of coverage of Gaza by the BBC, Israel under threat from Palestinians, forced to fight back, but condemned by world opinion.

Black Magic Woman

July 27, 2014

Amazing jazz rendition of the Carlos Santana classic Black Magic Woman.

I had never heard of Patricia Barber, until I popped into Ben’s Record Fair and picked up a copy of The Cole Porter Mix.

Someone worth seeing live.

Aldershot Live Music Day

July 27, 2014
Aldershot Live Music Day

Aldershot Live Music Day

Aldershot Live Music Day or Guildford farmers market. No contest, Guildford farmers market it was.

The last couple of years, Aldershot Live Music Day has been dire to say the least. Far, far better music to be found on the High Street in Guildford.

No lessons have been learnt. As previous years, zilch publicity, nothing in the street. Contrast with Guilfest, three day music festival in Guildford last weekend, posters plastered on all the empty shop fronts (of which there are a lot in Aldershot).

I passed by the bandstand in the little park a little after half past four. A female rock group was playing. They were quite good. But, the crowds to say the least were thin on the ground.

For lovers of music next weekend Staycation Live in Godalming. It is unfortunate it also clashes with Westival at the West End Centre.

Lunch at The Keystone

July 26, 2014
fish cakes and salad

fish cakes and salad

As yesterday, excellent lunch at The Keystone, but unlike yesterday, not raining.

I gave the soup a miss. Leek and potato is a winter soup. Summer soups: pea and mint, watercress, tomato, courgette, to name but a few.

Fish cakes and salad as main course. Excellent.

The Keystone are participants in Guildford Independent’s Day, and I forgot to get my card stamped.

The Keystone is located at the bottom of the High Street over the bridge, behind St Nicolas Church.

Ben’s Record Fair

July 26, 2014
Ben's Record Fair in Old Town Hall

Ben’s Record Fair in Old Town Hall

I had forgotten Ben had his record fair today, until I walked past the Old Town Hall and saw the garish posters.

I would not normally go, as on a Saturday and Guildford, as most town centres, a place to avoid on a Saturday, but I was there for the farmers market.

I popped in.

My initial impression, apart from one stall at the back, overpriced rubbish. Albums that had sold millions, dirty, dog-eared covers (I hate to think the condition of the LP and what played on), £20. My record collection, pristine condition, played on expensive equipment, must be worth a small fortune.

The guy at the back, a former record dealer in Reading, had much more interesting stock.

He had a lot of promo CDs, many of which were individually numbered, with warnings that were watermarked, and we can trace you.

If nothing else, indicates how paranoid are the mainstream labels and how out of touch, and why they are failing businesses.

I had a long chat with the guy who had the stall. He told me how he once had three indie record stores in Reading but was now retired as the businesses was unsustainable. The record labels were offering him one price, supermarkets another price, which simply undercut him (it was cheaper for him to buy from the supermarkets than from the record labels). Or in other words, the major record labels not only shaft music lovers and artists, they also shaft the indie record shops. Incredibly short sighted, as all the indie record shops close and we are left with rubbish like HMV. Exactly the same is happening with books and publishing.

I picked up a promo album The Cole Porter Mix by Patricia Barber, I said I would have two. He then found me the actual CD as released with artwork, notes etc in a jewel case, still a promo. He suggested something else, I may like. I wish now I had taken him up on it. It was like talking to Ben, knows his music, knows his customers. More than can be said for HMV.

I suggested he may like to check out bandcamp, which he had not heard of.

I asked what difference did it make, being on the same day as the farmers market. He said he did not know, as this was his first time.

Ben’s Record Fair was worth attending for this one stall.

The numbers attending the record fair, those leaving with something physical in their hand, exposes the myth that people prefer lo-fi mp3 downloads, or even lower lo-fi digital streaming. Transient, lo-fi streaming services like Spotify, apart from offering poor quality, and racking up your data bill, also rip off artists big time.

Ben’s Record Fair happened to tally with Guildford farmers market, which was the only reason I was there. It would be a good idea to tally with the regular farmers market (first Tuesday of the month), then two attractions to bring people into Guildford midweek.

It would be great if during the summer months, Ben had a stall at the farmers market.

Staycation Live – Godalming – Saturday 2 August and Sunday 3 August 2014.

Guildford farmers market

July 26, 2014
Town Bridge

Town Bridge

boat passing under Town Bridge

boat passing under Town Bridge







infused oil seed rape oil

infused oil seed rape oil



English wine

English wine

Hazy Hog from Hogs Back Brewery

Hazy Hog from Hogs Back Brewery



Live Music Day in Aldershot or Guildford farmers market. No contest. Guildford farmers market it was.

Usually on the first Tuesday of the month, a Saturday market as part of the Guildford Summer Festival.

Loaf of Celtic baker, sweetcorn off one stall, strawberries and broad beans off Secretts.

Sweetcorn has to be very fresh. Ideally picked and straight in the pot. I was thus shocked the sweetcorn on Secretts stall, the green dried, white and papery. Very unusual for Secretts as they usually have very high standards.

The sweetcorn I had for tea. Delicious. As was the ham from The Joint in Jeffries Passage (I also got sausages for Sunday lunch). The ham was in a sandwich with the bread from Celtic baker. The strawberries were delicious with Greek yoghurt (far better than cream).

Lemonade off the paella stall was not as strong as last time (when it almost blew your head off), a little too watery. The man admitted, it was very difficult to get the balance right. A Spanish lady sampled the paella and said she was impressed.

The lemonade was served in a polystyrene cup. Yuk. Cannot be recycled, goes to landfill or incineration. But, the man said he is looking to source paper cups, which can be recycled or composted.

Ben’s Record Fair was taking place in the Old Town Hall. Mainly overpriced rubbish, but the stall at the back was interesting.

It would be a good idea to hold Ben’s Record Fair at the same time as the farmers market, as an additional attraction in the High Street.

It would be great if during the summer months, Ben had a stall at the farmers market.

I would suggest scrap the farmers market and instead for the summer festival have a Guildford Food Festival. The Godalming Food Festival a couple of weeks ago was very successful. Invite the farmers, but aslo invite a wider range, for example Hobo Co coffee van, the butcher who did the hog roast in Godalming, whoever did the paella. Local chefs could have cookery demonstrations in Tunsgate, with audience in the High Street. Local chefs and restaurants I have spoken to have already expressed an interest. Invite a couple of writers with their cook books. And run until five o’clock.

A successful Guildford Food Festival would stretch along the High Street and into and along Tunsgate.

The support is there, everyone I spoke to was in favour. It is a question of the local council getting its act together and providing support and leadership.

Experience Guildford are looking for projects to fund or kick-start that will leave a lasting legacy. What better than a food festival?

Other projects Experience Guildford may like to consider would be a Guildford Pound and a Fringe Book Festival.

Only a few days left of Guildford Independent’s Day. I was curious why was the excellent Thai restaurant in Jeffries Passage not listed. I asked. They had not been asked. Until I told them, they knew nothing of Guildford Independent’s Day. They also did not know there was an extra farmers market today. Had they known, they would have had a stall. Had they known of Guildford Independent’s Day, they would have been listed. Lack of communication.

I have since learnt, there are many independent businesses, who knew nothing about Guildford Independent’s Day, hence their lack of listing. There are also some, who knew, but perversely chose not to be listed.

Excellent lunch at The Keystone.

Lunch at The Keystone

July 25, 2014
fish cakes and salad

fish cakes and salad

Dark clouds, a thunderstorm. That had scuppered eating outside at The Keystone, thought I. Luckily not, I was able to sit under one of the umbrellas.

Eating my lunch, fish cakes and salad, the sun cam back out.

Whilst I was there, a band was setting up for later. I think part of the Guildford Fringe, for which The Keystone is one of the venues.

The Keystone is also a participant in Guildford Independent’s Day.

The Keystone is located at the bottom of the High Street over the bridge, behind St Nicolas Church.

Music in the High Street

July 25, 2014
Nigel James playing Guildford High Street

Nigel James playing Guildford High Street

Guildford is rapidly acquiring a name for itself for good music comparable with Brighton.

Today, bottom end of the High Street (a favourite spot), Nigel James playing. He was good.

Too many street musicians want a tenner for a CD. Too much, a fiver is far more sensible price.

I bought a CD, and was told, take two.

I said a must was be on bandcamp. I suggested Harris + Hoole and The Keystone would be good venues to play. Cafe Mila in Godalming would also be a good venue.

He played Knocking on Heavens Door for me. A rather nice thing to do. Never had anyone play music for me before. Well actually not quite true, my lovely friend Annie wrote and played.

Afternoon in Guildford

July 25, 2014
Nigel James playing Guildford High Street

Nigel James playing Guildford High Street

What was I doing in Guildford, it was a very hot afternoon, too hot to be in Guildford.

I thought, have lunch at the Guildford Institute before they close for their summer recess.

I found I was one week too late. I was not the only one who thought to find them open. It begs the question, why did the lady serving the food two weeks ago not have the courtesy to say the next week would be the last week. Similarly why, two weeks before, did she not say she would not be there the following week, thus saving a wasted trip.

Looking up at the sky, very black, thunderstorm about to hit.

I finished off on the street market, walked though Angel’s Gate to the Tourist Information in the High Street.

I had thought of popping back to Coffee Culture in Angel’s gate. Why everywhere outside covered over? It makes it very dark and uninviting.

The rain had arrived. Walking back down the High Street, getting wet, but drying off almost as quick, as still hot.

The rain had put paid sitting outside The Keystone, but I find it was dry under their umbrellas (to keep the sun out).

Whilst having lunch, it stopped raining and the sun came out.

Walking back up the High Street, I thought maybe have a coffee and a cookie in Coffee Culture. They were closed.

Why? Why does everywhere close so early when there are people about? The people then have no choice other than to go somewhere like Starbucks or Costa, then get into the habit.

Going down one of the side streets, a little indie record shop, maybe been there a couple of years. Was it a participant in Guildford Independent’s Day, if not why not, especially as free to be listed? Was not. Got little sense out of the owner. Did not have what I was looking for either. Owner said he had his regular customers. No one all the time I was there. And how does anyone know exists of hidden down a side street?

I walked up to the Castle Grounds and popped in Ben’s Records on the way, catching before they closed.

Guildford is becoming like Brighton with excellent musicians on the street. Nigel James was playing at the bottom of the High Street. I picked up a CD, and he said take two. Too many musicians sell for a tenner then wonder why they do not sell. Sell for a fiver, and people will buy. I suggested be on bandcamp. I also said Harris + Hoole and The Keystone would be good places to play.

I walked into the town centre along the River Wey. Very slow moving. Contrast with the winter when running very high and flowing very fast.

‘Cowardly’ BBC tells comedian Israel’s attack on Gaza is out of bounds for satire

July 24, 2014

Frankie Boyle, the comedian, has written an open letter criticising the BBC governing body’s ”cowardly rebuke” of his jokes about the Palestinian territories.

A woman in Zanna is overcome by the destruction in the village following heavy Israeli tank fire and air strikes over almost a week.

A woman in Zanna is overcome by the destruction in the village following heavy Israeli tank fire and air strikes over almost a week.

Obviously, it feels strange to be on the moral high ground but I feel a response is required to the BBC Trust’s cowardly rebuke of my jokes about Palestine.

As always, I heard nothing from the BBC but read in a newspaper that editorial procedures would be tightened further to stop jokes with anything at all to say getting past the censors.

In case you missed it, the jokes in question are:

“I’ve been studying Israeli Army Martial Arts. I now know 16 ways to kick a Palestinian woman in the back.”

“People think that the Middle East is very complex but I have an analogy that sums it up quite well. If you imagine that Palestine is a big cake, well… that cake is being punched to pieces by a very angry Jew.”

I think the problem here is that the show’s producers will have thought that Israel, an aggressive, terrorist state with a nuclear arsenal, was an appropriate target for satire.

The Trust’s ruling is essentially a note from their line managers. It says that if you imagine that a state busily going about the destruction of an entire people is fair game, you are mistaken. Israel is out of bounds.

The BBC refused to broadcast a humanitarian appeal in 2009 to help residents of Gaza rebuild their homes.

It’s tragic for such a great institution but it is now cravenly afraid of giving offence and vulnerable to any kind of well drilled lobbying.

I told the jokes on a Radio 4 show called “Political Animal”. That title seems to promise provocative comedy with a point of view.

In practice the BBC wish to deliver the flavour of political comedy with none of the content. The most recent offering I saw was BBC2’s “The Bubble”. It looked exactly like a show where funny people sat around and did jokes about the news. Except the thrust of the format was that nobody had read the papers.

I can only imagine how the head of the BBC Trust must have looked watching that, grinning like Gordon Brown having his prostate examined.

The situation in Palestine seems to be, in essence, apartheid. I grew up with the anti apartheid thing being a huge focus of debate. It really seemed to matter to everybody that other human beings were being treated in that way. We didn’t just talk about it, we did things, I remember boycotts and marches and demos all being held because we couldn’t bear that people were being treated like that.

A few years ago I watched a documentary about life in Palestine. There’s a section where a UN dignitary of some kind comes to do a photo opportunity outside a new hospital.

The staff know that it communicates nothing of the real desperation of their position, so they trick her into a side ward on her way out. She ends up in a room with a child who the doctors explain is in a critical condition because they don’t have the supplies to keep treating him.

She flounders, awkwardly caught in the bleak reality of the room, mouthing platitudes over a dying boy.

The filmmaker asks one of the doctors what they think the stunt will have achieved.

He is suddenly angry, perhaps having just felt at first hand something he knew in the abstract. The indifference of the world.

“She will do nothing,” he says to the filmmaker. Then he looks into the camera and says: “Neither will you”.

I cried at that and promised myself that I would do something. Other than write a few stupid jokes I have not done anything. Neither have you.

— Frankie Boyle

Reposted from Stop the War Coalition.

BBC is becoming a national disgrace. They keep repeating the myth Israel is under threat and is acting in self defence.

When airlines cancelled flights to Israel, the Prime Minister complained to the US, and asked that the airlines be forced to fly as there was no risk.

Comment posted on facebook:

It’s an irony that a group left here last week for vacation and tour in Israel. So far not one word of sirens or rockets on FB. Just nightclub life and sunbathing.

Today a school was hit. A UN school, a place of ‘alleged’ safety. The UN had given coordinates. Not the first school to be hit.

BBC duly reported the Israeli line, it was a Hamas rocket. Those on the ground dispute this, and say no evidence it was Hamas (not reported by BBC).

The World at Ten had an interesting interview with an analyst at the Washington based Brookings Institute. The analyst took the side of Hamas, pointing out Israel had failed to keep to terms of previous ceasefire, and that it was rationale of Hamas to demand lifting of blockade (which was agreed in previous ceasefire). No surprise, the interview was cut short.

The World at Ten then had a much longer piece on the rise of anti-Semitism in France.

This is what the BBC calls balance. Only it is not balance, it is a contrived balance.

Jon Snow, veteran Channel 4 journalist, and currently in Gaza, has produce far higher quality reports, and noted what Gilad Sharon (son of war criminal Ariel Sharon) had to say in a prominent front-page article in the Jerusalem Post:

“We need to flatten entire neighbourhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza. The Americans didn’t stop with Hiroshima – the Japanese weren’t surrendering fast enough, so they hit Nagasaki, too”.

Which is exactly what we are seeing as the policy pursued by Israel in Gaza.

Passing through the Gaza checkpoint back into Israel, Jon Snow had a destructive electronic signature on his MacAir. It would not do, after all, to have journalists coming out of Gaza with evidence of Israeli war crimes.

Another myth repeated endlessly by BBC, is that Hamas is using civilians as human shields. This is disputed by those on the ground, and has ironically been disputed by Jeremy Bowens, veteran BBC reporter, but not on BBC instead writing in New Statesman.

Another myth endlessly repeated by the BBC is that civilians are not being targeted. This is disputed by those on the ground.

It is not only BBC with pro-Israeli media bias.

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