Japanese protest against militarist government


This music video is called John Coltrane – Peace on Earth – Live in Japan.

It says about itself:

10 June 2012

John Coltrane – soprano, alto and tenor saxophones, bass clarinet, percussion
Alice Coltrane – piano
Pharaoh Sanders – alto and tenor saxophones, bass clarinet, percussion
Jimmy Garrison – bass
Rashied Ali – drums

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Japan: Thousands protest against military change

Monday 30th June 2014

THOUSANDS of people protested outside Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s office today in protest at his government’s intention of reinterpreting the constitution to allow the military a larger international role.

They demanded that the plan to allow the Japanese military to help defend other nations be scrapped.

The constitution renounces war and permits the use of arms only for Japanese self-defence and critics say that the change undermines the charter.

Beating drums and carrying placards and banners, the protesters demanded that Mr Abe resign, expressing outrage that the constitution could be changed by interpretation rather than by democratic process through a referendum.

Communist MP Yoshiki Yamashita accused the government of turning a deaf ear to the people’s voices.

“Can we really keep peace by sending young people to a distant battlefield? We must stop the cabinet decision,” he declared.

The Cabinet is expected to announce its decision tomorrow.

See also here.

Polish workers at anti-fascist music festival in London


This punk rock music video from England is called Clash – Live at Rock Against Racism, Victoria Park, London – 30 April 1978.

By Luke James in Britain:

Unite Against Fascism organises festival at stabbing site

Saturday 28th June 2014

A COMMUNITY music festival is to be staged today at the site of a racist stabbing in north London amid concerns over reprisals.

Unite Against Fascism (UAF) organised the cultural event at Markfield Park in Tottenham, where a mass brawl was sparked last Saturday when Polish skinheads attacked another free musical event.

But the community is coming together to reclaim the park from the gang, which has used it as a recruiting ground in recent months.

Speaking ahead of the festival, factory worker Jacek Szymanski said the Polish community felt “angry and ashamed” by last week’s violence.

“Ashamed because they are Poles and brought disgrace on the whole Polish community in London,” he told the Star.

“And angry because we are afraid that this case will be used as a pretext for further attacks on the Polish community and the wider eastern European community.”

The attack had seen one man rushed to hospital with stab wounds and two Jewish men also targeted, with one having his kipah cap swept from his head.

Rocks, bottles and a flare were thrown in violent scenes as partygoers repelled the attack by the Zjednoczeni Emigranci (Immigrants Together) group of exiled Polish football thugs.

The group has since plastered the community in far-right stickers that show a crossed out hammer and sickle symbol.

UAF national secretary Weymann Bennett said the police were investigating but added that “the most important thing is that the community deals with it on the ground.”

Mr Szymanski said the fascist group represented a tiny minority and hoped “solidarity will emerge between the different local communities” after today.

He said: “It’s not about division between Poles and British people or Poles and Muslims. The man who was stabbed by the fascists in Markfield Park was a Pole himself.

“So the real division is about fascists and anti-fascists and we need to be united in the common good.”

The festival is being put on after more than 200 local people joined a display of unity organised by UAF at Tottenham Town Hall on Monday.

Mick Jagger a bad psychic on World Cup football


This video is called Brazil World Cup 2014 Psychic Animals: Get ready for beastly prediction.

The ‘psychic’ abilities of humans to predict the future most often turn out not to work. Similarly so with ‘psychic’ animals predicting results of football matches. With one exception: Paul the octopus, with 11 out of 13 predictions correct (it is mathematically predictable that among so many failures there would be one animal getting most match results right). Chicito the fortune-telling toucan so far in the 2014 World Cup got two results right, one wrong.

This music video is called The Rolling Stones – Satisfaction (live).

From Associated Press:

Brazil Mocks Mick Jagger‘s World Cup Flop Picks

RIO DE JANEIRO — Jun 24, 2014, 8:01 PM ET

By JOSHUA GOODMAN

The Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger can’t get no soccer satisfaction.

In what’s becoming something of a modern World Cup tradition, Brazilians are closely following every team the 70-year-old rock star supports with an eye at mocking him for apparently casting bad spells on his picks.

Italy was the latest victim of what local media have taken to calling Jagger’s “pe frio” — a term describing the bad luck that he brings teams that translates literally as “cold foot.”

At a concert in Rome on Saturday night, Jagger predicted to 70,000 fans that four-time World Cup champion Italy would pull off a clutch victory over Uruguay to advance to the knockout phase. The Italians lost 1-0 Tuesday and were headed home after the tournament’s first round.

At a show in Lisbon in May, the singer predicted that Portugal, led by Cristiano Ronaldo, the game’s top player heading into the World Cup, would win it all at the monthlong tournament in Brazil. Portugal is on the brink of elimination after failing to win in its first two group matches.

Earlier in the World Cup, Jagger suffered some good-hearted ridicule after taking to Twitter on June 19 to urge on his native England in a game, also with Uruguay. “Let’s go England! This is the one to win!!,” he wrote. England lost.

While Brazilians may laugh at Jagger, they love his music. The Stones’ 2006 concert on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro drew an estimated 1 million people, a lot more than the 20,000 or so that pack the beach now to watch World Cup games on a giant screen.

Jagger also loves Brazilians, having fathered one 15 years ago with former Brazilian model Luciana Gimenez.

Brazilians’ obsession with Jagger’s soccer insights, or lack thereof, began four years ago at the World Cup in South Africa. Searching for an explanation for their country’s stunning quarterfinal loss to the Netherlands, Brazil’s fans settled on Jagger, who showed up at the stadium accompanying his son dressed in a Brazilian jersey.

Earlier in that tournament, he had already earned a reputation for losing picks by showing up in the stands with Bill Clinton to cheer on the United States, which lost to Ghana in the second round, and then a day later watched as England was trounced by Germany 4-1.

Whether Jagger tempts fate and offers up another prediction this World Cup is anyone’s guess.

But if he does, Brazilians are begging it’s not for them. Within hours of Italy’s defeat Tuesday, social media was buzzing with pleas for the rocker to keep quiet, or better yet, lend his reverse rabbit’s foot to the country’s despised rival, Argentina.

———

Associated Press writer Ana Santos contributed to this report.

Ku Klux Klan murder in Mississippi, USA, fifty years ago


This music video from the USA is called 12-string Guitar: Goodman Schwerner And Chaney (Including lyrics and chords). Written by Tom Paxton.

By Peter Frost in Britain:

Murder in Mississippi

Saturday 21st June 2014

PETER FROST recounts a triple murder of civil rights activists in the US Deep South 50 years ago today

HALF a century ago this week on the night of June 21 1964 three brave young civil rights’ workers, James Earl Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Mickey Schwerner, were shot dead at close range by a police-led lynch mob.

Many of the murderers were members of the Mississippi White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in the little town of Philadelphia, Mississippi.

So who were these murder victims and why did they die?

Chaney was born in Meridian, Mississippi in 1943. At the age of 15, he and other black high-school students started wearing NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People) badges. It was a brave act. His segregated school suspended him.

In late 1963, he signed up with the Congress of Racial Equality (Core) in Meridian. He organised voter education classes, introduced Core workers to local church leaders and used his local knowledge and contacts to help visiting Core volunteers.

In 1964 he organised a meeting between Mickey Schwerner, local leader of Core, with leaders of the Mt Nebo Baptist Church. Schwerner talked to the church members and encouraged them to use the church for voter education and registration.

Schwerner was white and Jewish. Born in New York in 1939, he studied sociology at Columbia University where he became involved in the struggle for civil rights.

He joined and later led a Core group on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. With his wife Rita he volunteered to work for National Core in Mississippi.

As soon as they reached Mississippi the Schwerners were targeted by the Ku Klux Klan.

This didn’t stop them establishing a Core community centre in Meridian.

Goodman was also white, Jewish and from New York. He too was born in 1939. His family and community had a long tradition of social justice. After college and a brief career as an actor, he switched to anthropology and his political awareness grew.

In 1964, Goodman volunteered to work on the Core Freedom Summer project to register blacks to vote in Mississippi.

By mid-June, Goodman joined Schwerner and Chaney in Mississippi, but already some unsavoury southern folk had their eye on these three young men.

The Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission was strongly opposed to integration and civil rights. It paid agents to spy on anyone, especially northerners, suspected of activism.

Records, kept secret until opened by court order in 1998, revealed the state’s deep complicity in the murders of Goodman, Schwerner and Chaney.

State investigator AL Hopkins passed on information about the three men, including car registration numbers, on to the local sheriff who was deeply implicated in the murders.

On the morning of June 21, 1964, the three men set out for the little Mississippi town of Philadelphia where they were to investigate the recent burning of a black church helping with voter registration.

By the end of the day the three men would be cut down by a police-led Klan lynch mob.

Their murders sparked national outrage which forced the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), itself racked by racism and close to many of the white supremist organisations in the southern states, to reluctantly start an investigation.

J Edgar Hoover had no sympathy with civil rights groups and activists. President Lyndon Johnson had to use indirect threats of political reprisal to force Hoover to investigate.

It took FBI agents 44 days to find the three bodies in an earthen dam near the murder site.

In the early 1960s, Mississippi along with most of the US south was virtually an apartheid state with total segregation and no rights or democracy for black citizens.

Local politicians defied and ignored Supreme Court rulings. The white Mississippi establishment used bombings, murders, vandalism and intimidation to discourage local blacks demanding civil rights.

One of the most powerful racist groups was the 10,000-strong White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. The Klan was determined that blacks should not get votes, equality in education or anything else.

Schwerner and Chaney spoke to the congregation at Mount Zion Methodist church in Longdale, Mississippi. Their speech was about setting up a freedom school and encouraging blacks to register to vote.

The Klan’s angry response was to burn down the church and beat up members of the congregation.

So it was that on that fateful day Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner set off to investigate the destruction of the church. They understood the dangers and warned comrades “if we’re not back by 4pm start looking for us.”

Their decision would prove to be fatal. As they entered the Philadelphia city limits their station wagon had a flat tyre.

Deputy Sheriff Cecil Ray Price called up the highway patrol. When they arrived they promptly arrested the three civil rights campaigners.

It was 10pm before the three were released. As they drove off they realised they were being followed by a sheriff’s vehicle, a highway patrol car and other packed vehicles.

While they were in jail a lynch mob had been assembled and three murders had been planned.

Just two weeks before the murders nearly 300 White Knights gathered near Raleigh, Mississippi, to hear Imperial Wizard Bowers warn Klan members about the “nigger-communist invasion of Mississippi.”

Goodman and Schwerner were shot at point-blank range by Klan member Alton W Roberts. Roberts also shot Chaney in the head after another man James Jordan shot him in the stomach.

After the three men were killed, their bodies were loaded into their station wagon and were driven to an earth dam where Herman Tucker was waiting for the arrival of the lynch mob. He buried the bodies using a bulldozer. It had all been planned earlier in the day.

After the bodies were buried, Sherriff Price told the group: “Well boys, you’ve done a good job. You’ve struck a blow for the white man. Mississippi can be proud of you. You’ve let those agitating outsiders know where this state stands. Go home now and forget it.”

FBI director Hoover initially ordered a small local search but Attorney General Robert Kennedy had other ideas. He sent in 150 federal agents from New Orleans. The FBI eventually offered a $25,000 reward — worth about $190,000 today.

Mississippi officials resented the outside attention and continued the cover-up. County Sheriff Lawrence Rainey told the media: “They’re just hiding and trying to cause a lot of bad publicity for this part of the state.”

The Mississippi governor Paul Johnson threw in a red herring by suggesting that “they could be in Cuba.”

Finally five months later the FBI accused 21 Mississippi men of conspiracy to injure, oppress, threaten and intimidate Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner.

Still the Mississippi state officials refused to prosecute the killers for murder. The federal government charged 18 of the accused — not with murder but the much lesser crime of conspiring to deprive the three of their civil rights.

Those found guilty on October 20, 1967 were Cecil Price, Klan Imperial Wizard Samuel Bowers, Alton Wayne Roberts, Jimmy Snowden, Billey Wayne Posey, Horace Barnett and Jimmy Arledge.

Less than harsh sentences ranged from three to 10 years. Exhaustive appeals meant the seven did not go to jail until March 1970. All were out by 1976.

Sheriff Rainey was acquitted. Two of the defendants, EG Barnett, a candidate for sheriff, and Baptist minister Edgar Ray Killen, had been strongly implicated in the murders by witnesses but the jury came to a hung verdict — a lone juror stating she “could never convict a preacher.” The federal prosecutor decided not to retry them.

In 1989, on the 25th anniversary of the murders, the US Congress honoured the three murdered men. Senator Trent Lott and the rest of the Mississippi delegation refused to vote for it.

In 2005, over 40 years after the murder, a Mississippi grand jury finally indicted Killen on three counts of manslaughter, not murder. He was sentenced to three consecutive terms of 20 years.

It was the first and only time the state of Mississippi, rather than the federal authorities, took action against any of the racists involved in the killings.

National outrage over the murders swayed public opinion and this was an important factor in the introduction of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Today in the southern states of the US as well as here in Europe racist ideas are still to be heard. Brave people are still fighting racism in all its forms, and wherever those battles are fought the names of Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner live on as an inspiring example to us all.

This Saturday marked the 50th anniversary of one of the most heinous crimes carried out during the long struggle to destroy the barriers of Jim Crow segregation in the American South. On the night of June 21, 1964, James Chaney, Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman, participants in the Freedom Summer campaign that aimed to add tens of thousands of disenfranchised African Americans to the voter rolls in the state of Mississippi, were murdered by a gang of Ku Klux Klansmen: here.

Bush’s Iraq invasion caused present bloodshed, Chelsea Manning writes


This music video by David Rovics in the USA is called Song for Chelsea Manning.

By Bill Van Auken in the USA:

The US media and the debacle in Iraq

17 June 2014

A column written by Chelsea (Bradley) Manning from his cell in the military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas has done more to illuminate the real sources of the present debacle for US imperialism in Iraq than all of the lying and self-serving pieces produced by the well-paid pundits of the New York Times, the Washington Post and the other major news outlets combined.

The column by the imprisoned US soldier, published in Sunday’s New York Times, is directed at exposing the role of government secrecy and control of the media in foisting onto the American public a war of aggression launched on the basis of lies.

Manning insists that the sudden collapse of the US-trained and funded Iraqi army and the descent of the country toward a full-blown sectarian civil war only demonstrate that the concerns that motivated him to pass some 700,000 secret documents on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars as well as US foreign policy skullduggery around the globe to WikiLeaks “have not been resolved.”

Breaking the wall of secrecy and misinformation maintained by the government and the media provoked the wrath of the US ruling establishment. The soldier and former intelligence analyst is now serving a 35-year prison term. In April, an army general rejected a motion for clemency.

Manning examines the US reaction to the 2010 election of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who had been installed by the US occupation four years earlier. The American press, the imprisoned soldier recalls, “was flooded with stories declaring the elections a success,” aimed at creating the image of the US war having “succeeded in creating a stable and democratic Iraq.”

During this same period, he writes, he and other military analysts in Baghdad were receiving continuous reports of “a brutal crackdown on political dissidents by Iraq’s Ministry of the Interior and federal police,” acting on behalf of Maliki. Opponents of the US-backed prime minister “were often tortured, or even killed,” he notes.

Manning exposes the direct complicity of the US military in these crimes, reporting that he informed the US officer in command of eastern Baghdad that 15 individuals arrested for publishing a critique of Maliki’s government “had absolutely no ties to terrorism.” The commander responded that “he didn’t need this information; instead, I should assist the federal police in locating more ‘anti-Iraqi’ print shops.”

“I was shocked by our military’s complicity in the corruption of that election. Yet these deeply troubling details flew under the American media’s radar,” he writes.

This account gives the lie to the US media chorus that the present debacle in Iraq is “all Maliki’s fault.”

Manning attributes the sharp divergence between the developments in Iraq and the media’s portrayal of them in part to the Pentagon’s censorship of coverage of the war through the system of “embedded” journalists. Reporters who had good relations with the military and provided favorable coverage got access, while those who exposed scandals, crimes and lies faced blacklisting, he writes.

There is no doubt that this system of military censorship played a major role in concealing from the American people the grisly and criminal character of a war that claimed the lives of upward of a million Iraqis, while killing nearly 4,500 US troops and leaving tens of thousands more wounded.

However, the process of “embedding” began well before Bush ordered “shock and awe” to be unleashed on Baghdad, and included not just war correspondents, but the top columnists, editors and publishers of the major newspapers and other media outlets.

People like Times publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr. and Bill Keller, who in 2003 rose from senior writer and leading war advocate to Times executive editor, lent themselves and their newspapers unreservedly to a massive campaign to pressure the American public to support a war of aggression against Iraq. They decided to parrot the government’s lies about Iraqi “weapons of mass destruction” and ties between Baghdad and Al Qaeda—both non-existent—and to eschew any critical investigation of the Bush administration’s war propaganda. On the contrary, through the sinister efforts of the Times and its correspondent Judith Miller, they embellished upon this propaganda, piling on their own lies.

Now, as the full extent of the debacle created by the wanton destruction of Iraqi society is revealed, those who served as media propagandists for the war are circling the wagons, looking to protect their own backsides. Columnists like the TimesThomas Friedman—who more than a decade ago wrote that he had “no problem with a war for oil”—and Nicholas Kristof have published pieces insisting that Maliki is solely to blame for Iraq’s disintegration, and the US had nothing to do with it.

They were followed Monday by a particularly foul column by Times columnist Roger Cohen entitled “Take Mosul back,” calling for US intervention to “drive back the fanatics of the ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria).”

Cohen uses the column to ridicule those playing “the blame game,” a breathtakingly cynical denunciation of any attempt to assign responsibility for a war that killed over a million people and destroyed an entire society.

“The facts are plain enough,” he writes “The United States invaded Iraq in 2003 because of its weapons of mass destruction. However, Iraq did not have any weapons of mass destruction.” Plain enough indeed—the war was based upon a lie, which Cohen helped disseminate.

He goes on: “There was no Al Qaeda in Saddam’s Iraq. The United States birthed it through the invasion.” Thus, another lie was used to justify the war, whose catastrophic consequences include the strengthening of extreme Islamist and sectarian tendencies in Iraq and throughout the region.

In his piece, Cohen demands that the Obama administration unleash “targeted military force” against the “fanatics” of ISIS. But he enthusiastically supported Washington’s use of these same “fanatics” in wars for regime-change first in Libya and then Syria. He waves aside any questions about the logic of such policies: “A logical approach in the Middle East is seldom a feasible approach.” The only “logic” is the use of whatever instrument is at hand to assert US hegemony and plunder the region’s resources.

“The blame game misses the point,” Cohen repeats. Both Iraq and Syria were “ripe for dismemberment” before “America’s hapless intervention.”

Whom is he kidding? The US intervention was anything but “hapless,” employing all of the firepower at the Pentagon’s command in a campaign that saw some 1,700 bombing sorties—including 504 using cruise missiles—in the space of three days.

One might just as well describe 1939 Europe as “ripe for dismemberment” and Hitler’s blitzkrieg as “hapless,” or dismiss the Nuremberg tribunals as a futile exercise in “the blame game.”

The reality is that real apportioning of blame has yet to take place. That requires that those responsible for planning and executing the war of aggression against Iraq—from Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice and Powell to the top military commanders—be placed on trial as war criminals.

At Nuremberg, it bears recalling, standing in the dock—and ultimately on the gallows—with the surviving leaders of the Third Reich was Julius Streicher, the editor of the vile, anti-Semitic weekly Der Stürmer and later the daily Fränkische Tageszeitung. While the tribunal found that Streicher had no direct part in formulating war policy, he nonetheless played a vital role in poisoning the consciousness of the German people. Without Streicher’s propaganda efforts, the prosecution argued, the German generals “would have had no one to follow orders.”

In any genuine accounting for the crimes of the Iraq war, Cohen, Friedman, Keller and those like them, who enthusiastically served the Pentagon’s propaganda machine, would have to similarly be tried for their criminal promotion of aggressive war.

Under conditions in which US imperialism is planning a new military intervention in Iraq, while preparing far more terrible wars across the planet, the unrelenting struggle against the lies of the media becomes all the more urgent in developing a struggle against militarism and war.

British hate crimes, also against punks and goths


This punk rock music video from England is called The Clash – Capital Radio / Janie Jones / What’s My Name / Garageland – Oct 1977.

From daily The Independent on Sunday in Britain:

Police told to beef up reports of hate crime

Not only is there under-reporting, but attacks on groups such as goths and punks should be included

Jonathan Owen

Sunday 15 June 2014

Only one in seven hate crimes is recorded by police forces and they need to drive up the number of cases they are dealing with, according to new guidance to officers.

Too many hate crimes go unreported, says the report by the College of Policing. Of the 278,000 hate crimes that occur annually in England and Wales, just 43,927 were recorded by police in 2012-13, it states. Forces need to “improve recognition of those crimes that are reported” and “close the gap of under-reporting”.

Police record hate crimes against people on the grounds of disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or gender-identity. But the new operational guidance states that there are “many other groups in society who have been targeted with hostility and crime” and it is “essential” that the focus on the five main groups “is not used to deny the existence of other hate crimes”.

The report comes as an academic study warns that attacks on “alternative” groups such as goths bear close similarities to those on established victims of hate crimes. The study warns that the targeting of goths, among others, “is a bigger problem than people think” and creates a “climate of fear” among those affected.

The College of Policing guidance, the first for a decade, states: “Every effort should be made to increase reporting and recording of hate crimes. Increased reporting will help to identify serial offenders, bring more offenders to justice and improve community confidence in the police.”

Hate crimes are “far more prevalent than official statistics suggest. Proportionately, they are more likely to be directed against the person than non-hate crimes, and they tend to be experienced repeatedly,” according to Dr Nathan Hall, of Portsmouth University‘s Institute of Criminal Justice Studies, in a foreward to the guidance. “Hate crimes can have a greater emotional impact on the victim than comparable non-hate crimes, and can cause increased levels of fear and anxiety that can also permeate through wider communities.”

Last year, Greater Manchester Police became the first force in the country to treat attacks on goths and other “alternative subcultures” as hate crime – in response to a campaign by the Sophie Lancaster Foundation, set up in memory of a young girl murdered in Bacup, Lancashire, in 2007. Sophie and her boyfriend were targeted for being goths and brutally attacked on their way home one night. The 20-year-old suffered horrific head injuries and never regained consciousness.

Amid mounting pressure on forces to take a wider approach, Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police recently announced that their definition of hate crime now includes goths, punks, emos and others who live an alternative lifestyle and are victimised because of the way they look.

Verbal abuse, intimidation, threats and violent assaults are suffered by goths, according to a new study. The research, published in the British Journal of Criminology next month, draws on in-depth interviews with victims across England.

“The nature and impact of such experiences, we argue, bear comparison with key facets of hate crime. Such evidence informs and underlines the importance of conceptual arguments about whether hate crime can or should be extended beyond recognised minority groups,” says the study by researchers from the University of Surrey. Victims are “targeted primarily on the basis of what they appear to represent”.

But researchers cite the fear factor upon hearing of attacks on others as the “most striking” similarity with other hate-crime victims, with a “sense among participants that the victim could have been them… They may potentially be at risk in the future.”

They conclude that “the targeting of goths and alternatives show[s] a number of similarities with the experiences of established hate-crime victim groups”.

Dr Jon Garland, co-author of the study and a criminologist at the University of Surrey, told The IoS: “It’s a bigger problem than people think, it affects people’s lives more than people think, and it also affects the community as well.”

Superintendent Paul Giannasi, the Association of Chief Police Officers’ hate-crime spokesperson, said: “We would welcome a broader approach to hate crime where appropriate.”

He added: “Some forces choose to include attacks on the elderly as a hate crime, while others have identified local hostility towards ‘alternative subcultures’ such as goths and punks.”

British police uphold just 1% of 7,963 public complaints of racism. IPCC chair says it would be wrong to conclude from the figures that police forces no longer have a problem with racism: here.

Teletubbies comeback on TV


This music video is the Teletubbies theme song.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain today:

TV: Parents braced themselves for earache yesterday after it was announced that the Teletubbies are to say “eh-oh” to a new generation of viewers with a comeback more than a decade after the series ended.

The pre-school show, featuring Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa Laa and Po, will return for a further 60 episodes on BBC digital channel CBeebies.

The new series will feature the same characters on replica sets, but programme-makers say it will be “visually enhanced, bringing a refreshed and contemporary look and feel,” and there will also be some CGI animation.

Now that the Teletubbies will be back, will bigots in Poland and elsewhere claiming the series is supposedly ‘gay propaganda‘ be back as well?