Attila the Stockbroker poem on Jeremy Corbyn

This video from London, England says about itself:

Jeremy Corbyn victory celebrations

12 September 2015

Thousands of Jeremy Corbyn supporters celebrate in Hyde Park the moment he is announced Labour leader, drinking champagne, hugging and chanting Jez We Did.

By poet Attila the Stockbroker from England:

Devil of a time with Jeremy

Saturday 19th September 2015

On the road with Attila the Stockbrocker

LAST Saturday was, quite simply, one of the happiest days of my life. I was driving out of Harlow after an absolutely fantastic book-launch gig in the town where I had been based for much of the ’80s and done all my early gigs when I heard the leadership election result.

I found a lay-by, stopped the car and listened with joy to Jeremy’s acceptance speech, immediately deciding to rejoin the Labour Party — which I’ve now done.

And, later that day, Brighton won to go four points clear at the top of the Championship.

Pretty much perfect, I’d say.

I know there are going to be some long, hard battles ahead and they’ve already started as right-wing journalists descend on Jeremy like a slavering pack.

“Freedom of the press,” my arse — it’s the freedom of three media billionaires to employ a bunch of abjectly contemptible and brown-nosing sycophants to vomit their propaganda more like.

Which is why the Morning Star is so important. It is our voice in this unequal battle and that means that people need to be able to buy it.

It pains me to say that in the first week of my tour I have searched for copies in at least ten different shops in Harlow and Lincoln and not found one copy anywhere.

As I travel round the country I shall continue my research and report back in this column. PLEASE get the distribution better!

Five gigs on the autobiography tour this week: Mitcheldean, Wolverhampton, Walthamstow, Worcester and Stroud. All details at

And here’s my response to the brainless tabloid frenzy. Let’s take the piss out of them.

Corbyn Supporters from Hell!

Just look at us – we’re the scourge of the land
We’re Jeremy Corbyn’s favourite band
We all eat babies and we’re Commies too
And we’ve all got Aids and we’ll give it to you
With scaly tails and horns and hooves
We undermine everything that moves
You can read about us in the right-wing press
The Sun, the Mail and the Express
So don’t mess with us ’cos we’re Lefties and we smell –
We’re the Corbyn Supporters from Hell!

If your telly goes wrong or your car won’t start
You can bet your life we played our part
If your team doesn’t win or you miss the bus
Then ten to one it’s all down to us
If a dog runs off with your copy of the Sun
And brings it back with the crossword done
If your best mate becomes a Red
Or you find a squatter in your bed
We did it — and everything else as well
’Cos we’re Corbyn Supporters from Hell!

We make your pub sell proper beer
We banned the broadcast of Top Gear
We’re all pacifists, bi and gay
And members of the IRA
We love all asylum seekers
And make you pay for their posh sneakers
We won’t sing songs for the Queen
We think X Factor is obscene
So don’t mess with us, ’cos we’re Lefties and we smell
— We’re the Corbyn Supporters from Hell!

A Nobel Prize winner and a best-selling author are among the economists Jeremy Corbyn has selected to advise him. Joseph Stiglitz and Capital in the 21st Century author Thomas Piketty will develop ideas for the Labour leader and shadow chancellor John McDonnell: here.

Thailand dictatorship banned Orwell’s 1984, now New York Times

King of Thailand in Bangkok hospital on 1 September 2015, while employees kneel for him, photo by EPA

After censorship, self-censorship …

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Thai edition of New York Times not published because of article about royal family

Today, 11:42

The publisher of The International New York Times in Thailand did not print today’s edition, because there was an article in it about the future of the Thai royal family. “The article is too sensitive to publish,” said the printer. In Thailand there are strict rules for public discussion about the royal family.

The article discussed the deteriorating health of the 87-year-old King Bhumibol and uncertainty about the survival of the monarchy. It says that the crown prince is known as a playboy and that it will be a chore for him to equal the prestige and status of his father. The newspaper writes that many Thai hope that the daughter of the king, who is much more popular among the population, will succeed the king, but that the law forbids women on the throne.

Lese majeste

Thai subscribers received an email from the newspaper stating that it was the decision of the local publisher to not let the newspaper appear today. “The decision is not supported by The New York Times,” the email says, and readers are refered to the online version of the newspaper.

Overt criticism of the royal family or the monarchy in Thailand can lead to imprisonment up to 15 years for treason. The number of convictions has increased considerably since a military junta in May last year has taken power in Thailand. According to human rights organizations this is part of a larger campaign to silence critics.

See also here.

Donald Trump and United States media, animated cartoon

This satiric animated cartoon video by Mark Fiore from the USA says about itself:

21 September 2015

Now that the media sun revolves around the Trump, we all must become accustomed to seeing everything as it relates to The Donald. People, particularly cable news, just can’t avoid the delicious catnip that is Donald Trump. He’s a ratings bonanza in the form of a strange, entertaining billionaire demagogue. But, hey, he makes for good teevee— although he doesn’t make for good Democracy, but who cares, this is about ratings and fun!

Methinks this is what happens when the two predetermined “frontrunners” are from rehashed old political dynasties. People want new and different fun, entertainment, and off-the-cuff jokes and jabs. Now if only we could find someone who had all that AND good solid policy positions on foreign policy, the economy and global warming.

Mostly missed while we watch the Trump spectacle are things like Bernie Sanders‘ twenty-two (22!) points lead over Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire. (I guess the Trump distraction might come in handy for some people.) It used to be that the presidential campaign was covered like a horse race, now it seems to be covered like a wrestling match on the hood of a greased NASCAR covered in Trump and/or Koch logos. Enjoy the cartoon, pass it along to your favorite Trump fan and check out the news behind the ‘toon.

SCOTT WALKER DROPS OUT OF THE RACE The once-prominent GOP contender suspended his campaign indefinitely Monday amid polling and fundraising woes, and called for other candidates to do the same. Other campaigns were quick to court his donors, and a former top aide explained how his campaign went south so fast. [Marina Fang and Igor Bobic, HuffPost]

Stop cooperation with Bahraini, Saudi dictatorships

This video from Sweden says about itself:

Human Rights Defender Maryam Alkhawaja Talks about Scandinavian Prisoners in Bahrain
12 November 2013

I filmed Maryam Alkhawaja being interviewed by Gothenburg Post newspaper last week, as part of Maryam’s participation in a talk done later by Amnesty International – Gothenburg office.

According to the Rupert Murdoch empire, phone hacking of murdered schoolgirls and of thousands of others is journalism. And war is peace. And the absolute monarchy Bahrain is a free country.

Well … Bahrain is so obviously unfree, that even some parts of the Murdoch empire have trouble conforming to propaganda lies all the time.

From The Times in London, England, part of the Murdoch empire:

Exam board attacked for making deal with Bahrain

Billy Briggs

Published at 12:01AM, September 21 2015

A human rights activist from the Middle East has condemned the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) for entering into contracts with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain despite their record on human rights.

Maryam Al-Khawaja, the director of the Gulf Centre for Human Rights, also criticised the UK government saying “Britain is the largest obstacle to human rights being upheld in Bahrain.”

Before a visit to Scotland this week for the human rights film festival Take One Action, she told The Times that the human rights situation was deteriorating in Bahrain and that teachers who spoke out against the government had been detained.

Bahrain’s public prosecutor has charged a high school student and two teachers with insulting Islam in connection with a video showing the student reciting verses from the Koran to musical accompaniment, state news agency BNA reported on Wednesday: here.

British Labour’s Corbyn, smeared as ‘ISIS’ and ‘sexist’

Jeremy Corbyn, a threat

Earlier this month, a right-winger within the British Labour Party smeared Jeremy Corbyn, then a candidate for that party’s leadership, by comparing him to the ISIS terrorist organisation.

This smear was intended to stop Corbyn from being elected. Like other smears by Tony Blair himself, who equated Corbyn and United States presidential candidate Bernie Sanders as well, to French neo-fascist Fuehrer Marine Le Pen.

There were more smears by Tony Blair‘s supporters, describing Corbyn supporters as, eg, ‘morons’.

The invective did not manage to stop the voters from supporting Corbyn: Corbyn won, with nearly 60% of the vote.

After Corbyn was elected came a new Labour Party shadow cabinet.

Suddenly, all kinds of corporate media bigwigs and politicians who had never cared about discrimination against women and/or had actively contributed to it, started accusing Corbyn and Labour of sexism.

By Bernadette Horton in Britain:

Jeremy Corbyn and the blatant sexism lies

Saturday 19th September 2015

The furore over Corbyn’s shadow cabinet choices is a right-wing media storm in a teacup, says BERNADETTE HORTON

THE whole world it seems has waded into a media-led frenzied lather over Jeremy Corbyn and the gender balance of his shadow cabinet.

Forget looking calmly and matter of factly at the stats, as soon as it is mentioned on Twitter or on the front page of the Daily Mail it has to be fact — “Jeremy Corbyn is a sexist Labour leader who thinks women should be in the kitchen and coincidentally he eats babies for breakfast!”

Maybe I went a little far above, but the storm and controversy surrounding the choosing of Corbyn’s first ever shadow cabinet was absolutely devoid of fact at all.

Jeremy was put up against the right-wing press wall and shot — something no doubt he will get used to over the next five years.

The facts are that he appointed 16 women and 15 men to the shadow cabinet and actually it is the very first time more women than men have been appointed — something Blair didn’t do, for the record.

So we have 52 per cent of the JC shadow cabinet female, compared with 33 per cent in David Cameron’s current Tory Cabinet, and he had to reshuffle that to even get this amount after stinging criticism.

Angela Eagle is appointed as shadow business secretary and will deputise for Corbyn at PMQs on occasion.

The new shadow energy secretary is the inspirational Lisa Nandy, and Lucy Powell who had considerable experience as children’s minister under Ed Miliband is the new shadow education secretary. Talented women all.

Could Corbyn possibly have appointed people on talent and ability?

Why should Parliament not want the best person in the best possible role for their talents? …

So the whole furore is a right-wing media storm in a teacup, dreamt up by reporters like those at the Daily Mail who criticised Jeremy at the infamous war memorial service for “wearing a non-matching jacket and trousers.” Oh, the impudence of our Labour leader!

Come on, people. Let the right-wing press get carried away on their complete raft of downright lies on gender but let Labour members like us and our trade union comrades stand up and report the facts.

Corbyn, more than most male MPs, has an enviable track record of speaking out on female representation, campaigning for funding for women’s refuges and intrinsically knowing that women are bearing the brunt of austerity in caring and work-related roles.

Is he sexist as the right-wing media portray him? Never!

Working-class people who are coming back to the party in droves — 40,000-plus so far since last Saturday — want our party to look like the people who they represent.

Of course we want to see more female MPs in the party and of course we want to see them gain promotion to the shadow cabinet. But the bottom line is that they have. And I for one will be looking forward to seeing how the 16 women in the shadow cabinet shape our future party policies, but I will also be equally watching the 15 men too.

Bernadette Horton is a Labour Party and trade union activist.

ISIS leader Omar al-Shishani fought under U.S. umbrella as late as 2013: here.

United States Republican Donald Trump and the media

This video says about itself:

Media Review – Donald Trump

17 September 2015

Richard Seymour [from Britain] reviews recent coverage of Donald Trump and his bid to run as presidential candidate for the Republican party.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, once considered a co-frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination, announced Monday that he was quitting the contest. His withdrawal came only 70 days after he formally joined the campaign in early July. Walker’s three-minute statement mirrored his campaign—brief and lacking in substance. He gave little explanation for his pullout, which follows a plunge in national polls of likely Republican voters, from 13 percent to an asterisk (i.e., zero), a decline that coincided with his appearances in two televised debates, August 6 and September 16, to dismal reviews: here.

Ukrainian government bans BBC, other journalists

This video from the USA says about itself:

Princeton University professor Stephen Cohen on Ukraine and media blackout / censorship – 10.10.2014

From Associated Press news agency:

Ukraine Bars 3 BBC Journalists From Entering Ukraine

By Nataliya Vasilyeva

Sep 17, 2015, 6:00 AM ET

Ukraine has barred a few dozen reporters, including three BBC journalists, from entering the country as an unspecified security threat.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko late on Wednesday signed a sanctions list barring nearly 400 individuals from entering Ukraine, including BBC correspondent Steve Rosenberg and producer Emma Wells, both British, and Russian cameraman Anton Chicherov.

This is the first sanctions list against Russia and foreign individuals that Kiev has introduced since a conflict broke out in April 2014 in eastern Ukraine, claiming more than 8,000 lives so far.

The decree which was published on the president’s website said the reporters and media executives on the list presented an unspecified “threat to national interests, national security, sovereignty or territorial integrity.”

It did not specify why the long-serving Moscow-based BBC journalists were singled out but a spokesman for the presidential administration said late Wednesday night that the Ukrainian Security Service would give an explanation on Thursday.

The BBC’s foreign editor, Andrew Roy, described the ban as “a shameful attack on media freedom.”

“These sanctions are completely inappropriate and inexplicable measures to take against BBC journalists who are reporting the situation in Ukraine impartially and objectively, and we call on the Ukrainian government to remove their names from this list immediately,” he said in emailed comments.

Also on the list of the banned journalists are Antonio Pampliega and Angel Sastre, two Spanish reporters who disappeared in Syria in July and are believed to have been kidnapped by the Islamic State group, and two reporters for Russian news agencies in South Africa and Turkey with no clear links to Ukraine.

The Russian news agency Tass on Thursday described the decision to blacklist three of its reporters, one based in Washington, D.C., one in South Africa and one in Moscow, as “odd” since two of the three journalists do not even cover Ukraine. …

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said in a statement that it is “dismayed” by Poroshenko’s actions.

“While the government may not like or agree with the coverage, labeling journalists a potential threat to national security is not an appropriate response,” said the committee’s Europe and Central Asia program coordinator, Nina Ognianova.