if you are not sympathetic to the plight of people escaping bombs the uk drops on other countries
then you are a cunt.
@ Thursday, Sep. 03, 2015 – 11:46:25
if you are not sympathetic to the plight of people escaping bombs the uk drops on other countries
@ Wednesday, Sep. 02, 2015 – 01:32:14
@ Tuesday, Sep. 01, 2015 – 11:58:55
@ Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015 – 15:12:36
...I do not know.
I do know to attack his alleged victim and the police investigation is unprecedented.
And of real concern.
@ Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015 – 15:57:34
A prefect at an elite US boarding school is accused of raping a 15-year-old girl as part of a competition among sixth-form boys to take the virginity of younger female students in their final days before graduation.
The trial of Owen Labrie, a 19-year-old who was bound for Harvard, has cast a harsh light on hidden traditions and sexual escapades at St Paul's, a $56,000 (£35,543) a year school whose alumni include John Kerry, the US secretary of state.
Labrie allegedly told police after his arrest last year that he was "trying to be number one" in the competition and prosecutors said he made a list of girls he was interested in, and capitalised the name of his alleged victim.
Both prosecution and defence agree that Labrie emailed the girl and asked her to take part in "a senior salute", a custom where graduating boys try to spend time with younger students before they leave.
The case has confronted the school with questions on whether teachers knew about the "senior salute", a tradition that has been passed down for years among older students, but did nothing to stop it.
Labrie said in the email he had gained access to a secluded room in the campus's multi-million dollar science building, which offered views of the sprawling St Paul's campus sometimes referred to as "Millville".
"I want to invite you to come with me to climb these hidden steps and bask in the nicest view Millville has to offer," he wrote.
The girl initially said no but later changed her mind and agreed to meet him after Labrie enlisted one of her classmates to help persuade her.
What happened next is a matter for the jury. The alleged victim told the court through tears last week that Labrie forced himself on her even though she told him she did not want to have sex. "I was raped," she said.
The defence team says the pair did not have sex and Labrie himself is expected to take the stand to give his version of the story.
Both sides have relied on emails and Facebook messages between the teenagers as well as testimony from Labrie's friends, many of whom are now at Ivy League universities.
In one message after the alleged incident, the girl joked to Labrie: "I also lost my earring up there. haha." Labrie's lawyers said it was unlikely someone who had just been raped would type out the light-hearted message.
But several of Labrie's friends testified that he told them he had sex with the girl, undermining his claim there was no sexual intercourse. In one message after the meeting, the girl asked if he wore a condom and he responded by asking if she was on the Pill.
Photo: AP Photo/Jim Cole, Pool
The court heard how boys would try to "slay" girls, a term that could mean anything from kissing to sex. Labrie was part of a small Facebook group called "Slaymakers Anonymous" and boys would allegedly map out their conquests in a diagram on a school wall before it was painted over.
Students walking through the dining hall would rub the engraved name of an alumni called "Slaymaker", hoping his suggestive surname would give them luck in their sexual exploits.
Photo: AP Photo/Jim Cole, Pool
St Paul's has declined to comment in detail on the case but Michael Hirschfeld, the rector, said the school would crack down on students taking part in "any game, 'tradition,' or practice of sexual solicitation or sexual conquest under any name".
The trial continues.
The rape case at St Paul's is not the first alleged incident to rock an elite New England prep school. In 2005, five boys from Milton Academy were expelled after they received oral sex from a 15-year-old in a changing room. Two boys pleaded guilty to statutory rape.
@ Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015 – 10:58:13
Marion Mary Wills.
I loved you for 8 years.
I have been disappointed in you for many more.
I wonder if you righted some of the wrongs ?
Fly high, marion.
@ Friday, Aug. 21, 2015 – 20:45:16
In fury at the popularity of Jeremy Corbyn's Labour leadership campaign, right wing politicians and media alike have been referring to 'infiltration' of the Labour Party byMilitant supporters. Militant was the predecessor of the Socialist Party - whose supporters in the past were members of the Labour Party. This has not been the case for decades.
In the 1980s and early 1990s some of our members were witch-hunted out of the Labour Party and Militant became a banned organisation. Labour's structures were changed to try to prevent the influence of socialist ideas.
Militant supporters led the heroic struggle of LiverpoolCity Council, which won millions of pounds of funding back from the Thatcher government and built 5,000 homes, six nursery schools and created more than 6,000 jobs. It was Militant supporters who organised the anti-poll tax movement, through the mass non-payment of 18 million people, which defeated that tax and brought down Thatcher.
In a whole number of other campaigns - from forcing the shutdown of the headquarters of the racist British National Party, to leading a strike of 250,000 school students which defeated the threat to remove benefits from 16 and 17 year olds - Militant worked both within and beyond the structures of the Labour Party to organise fighting working class campaigns.
These re-printed articles look back at some aspects of this history.
What was the Labour Party and how did it change?
Extracts from a Socialist Party pamphlet written in 2001
Historically the Labour Party was a 'capitalist-workers' party'. The leaders at the top reflected the outlook and interests of the capitalist class. And the capitalists relied on them to keep the profit system safe for themselves.
But at the bottom of the party, workers were pulling in a different direction.
They had taken the initiative, through trade unions andsocialist organisations, in forming the Labour Party so that they could have their own independent political voice. This had meant breaking with the Liberal Party which, for many years, claimed to be a 'broad church' representing both bosses and workers.
In the course of strikes and social struggles, workers discovered that the Liberals always came down on the side of the bosses. They drew the conclusion that they needed an independent party to represent their specific class interests.
The Militant newspaper, now The Socialist
The Militant newspaper, now The Socialist
Having set the party up, workers demanded that the Labour leaders implement policies which put their interests first. A constant struggle took place between the two, but workers were always able to make their voices heard and have an influence over the policies and direction of the party.
Until the early 1990s the Socialist Partly (then called Militant) campaigned for socialist ideas inside the Labour Party.
At the same time however, we argued that to achieve socialism it was necessary to have a cohesive party with a clear programme for fundamentally changing society. Workers and young people in
or around a mass capitalist-workers' party, as the Labour Party was, could, we argued, be won over to the idea of a fundamental transformation of society.
The Labour Party provided a mass forum for debating and comparing the ideas of fundamental socialist change with those of gradual reform of capitalism.
But New Labour sold its soul to the capitalist free market in the 1990s. And it was not alone. Leaders of the Labour, Social Democratic and Communist parties throughout the world abandoned any idea of fighting for fundamental change in the capitalist system or even for reforms in favour of working class people.
Instead they swallowed the dominant ideology, reinforced by the 1990s boom, that there was no alternative to the capitalist market and neo-liberal policies such as privatisation and deregulation. The disintegration and eventual collapse of the Stalinist regimes in the Soviet Union and eastern Europe played a decisive part in this process. Socialism, the capitalists declared, was dead.
Labour ditched the historic Clause Four of its constitution, which committed the Labour Party to the "common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange". In its place the party embraced 'the rigour of competition', 'enterprise' and free market forces. (See below)
Tony Blair's aim when he became leader was to end socialism as the aim of the Labour Party and, as part of that, to sever the historic ties between Labour and thetrade unions. He wanted to transform the Labour Party from a 'capitalist-worker's' party into an openly capitalist one.
Trade union link
Formally the link between the trade unions and the Labour Party remains in place. But the nature of that relationship has fundamentally changed. In the past workers could make their voices heard through the party structures. They could pass resolutions at the annual party conference and have a decisive influence over policy.
Now Blair's 'modernising reforms' have closed those democratic structures off. Prospective candidates, democratically elected by Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs), have been undemocratically removed by a leadership clique at the top of the party.
The trade union vote at the annual party conference has been reduced from 90% to 49%. More importantly, the power that conference had to democratically decide policy has been removed and replaced by ineffectual 'policy forums'.
It's clear that the leadership want to further undermine the links with the unions by abolishing the general management committees to which local unions can send delegates.
This process of attacking the link between the unions and the Labour Party was taken to a whole new level by Ed Miliband and the Collins Review which, as the Socialist Party commented at the time of its adoption in 2014, meant "the destruction of the last remnants of the trade unions' organised presence within the Labour Party."
Clause IV Part 4 (1918)
"To secure for the workers by hand or by brain the full fruits of their industry and the most equitable distribution thereof that may be possible upon the basis of the common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange, and the best obtainable system of popular administration and control of each industry or service."
In 1995 Tony Blair replaced the Labour Party's 1918 socialist Clause IV Part 4 with a clause IV Part 2A containing a commitment to capitalist market forces:
Clause IV Part 2A (1995)
"A dynamic economy, serving the public interest, in which the enterprise of the market and the rigour of competition are joined with the forces of partnership and co-operation to produce the wealth the nation needs and the opportunity for all to work and prosper with a thriving private sector and high-quality public services where those undertakings essential to the common good are either owned by the public or accountable to them."
The battle inside Labour in the 1980s
Here we re-publish extracts of an article by the late Andrew Price looking back at the witch-hunt of Militant from the Labour Party. The original article ('The Road to New Labour') appeared in Socialism Today in 2010 and can be found at www.socialismtoday.org
The 1970s was a decade of class struggle that radicalised growing sections of the working class.
This in turn affected the Labour Party, as Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) and party conferences endorsed a number of left-wing policies. The decade ended with the defeat of Callaghan's right-wing Labour government and the coming to power of Margaret Thatcher whose brutal brand of Toryism was unique in post-war Britain.
During the 1980s, support for Militant grew considerably in both the CLPs and the Labour Party Young Socialists.
Thatcherism accelerated the radicalisation of the working class and the shift to the left. Coupled with this was an organised campaign led by Tony Benn and Eric Heffer to democratise the party and ensure that future Labour governments did not drift into right-wing policies.
These developments were viewed with consternation by the ruling class which, through the mass media, expressed concern at the growth in support for socialism in the party. They urged their shadows in the Labour Party to take action to reverse these trends.
The demand was raised for disciplinary action against Militant supporters, branded as 'infiltrators' into the Labour Party.
This was an outright lie. From Labour's inception, Marxists had been party members. And, as a relatively democratic party, Labour had always allowed like-minded individuals to organise. What irked our opponents was our capacity to be better organised than most.
In 1983 party leader Michael Foot buckled to pressure and initiated the expulsion from the party of the then editorial board of Militant: Peter Taaffe, Ted Grant, Lynn Walsh, Clare Doyle and Keith Dickinson. Foolishly, Foot and others believed that by cutting off the head of Militant its growth in the Labour Party would stop.
Labour fought the 1983 election with its most left-wing manifesto since 1918. It called for the reversal of all Tory cuts, scrapping Britain's nuclear weapons, repealing anti-union laws, and the restoration to public ownership of all industries and services privatised by the Tories.
The Labour Party lost the election, with the Tories securing a massive parliamentary majority (albeit losing 685,000 votes). The ruling class and its shadows in the Labour Party argued that Labour's defeat resulted from a left-wing manifesto with too much emphasis on socialism.
None of the proponents of this view were able to explain the results in Liverpool. Given a big national swing to the Tories, Liverpool, where Labour was clearly identified with the left, recorded a swing to Labour which, if repeated nationally, would have been sufficient to form a Labour government. The same was repeated in 1987 when Labour received 57% - its highest ever share of the vote in the city.
Such details were ignored as Labour was urged by its political enemies to 'modernise', including a purge of Marxists from its ranks. This was the key issue in the leadership election following Foot's resignation in 1983, where Neil Kinnock was elected leader.
Kinnock's efforts to 'modernise' the Labour Party were frustrated by two major developments.
In March 1984, the provocative behaviour of the Tories led to the epic miners' strike, which lasted until March 1985. At grassroots level most Labour members saw the Tories determined to smash the miners and their union, and expected Kinnock to support them.
But Kinnock regarded the strike as the last thing he wanted given his modernisation agenda. In private, he attacked the strike. In public, he maintained a craven silence.
The other development was the election of a Labour council in Liverpool led by a number of Militant supporters. Liverpool Labour council was determined to lead a fightback on behalf of a city whose people had been brought to their knees by poverty, unemployment and bad housing.
From the outset of the struggle, Kinnock was implacably opposed to the strategy of Liverpool Labour council, and attacked it in a disgraceful speech to Labour Party conference.
This speech was the green light for a mass purge of Marxists from the party. Quietly the word went out: where witch-hunters were in the majority, expel; where not, as in Liverpool, Labour's National Executive Committee would do the dirty work.
Kinnock turned from purging Militant to purging party policy. Every one of the gains made by the left was removed.
The major problem with Kinnock's plan to make the Labour Party more 'electable' was that it failed to impress the voters. In 1987 Thatcher was returned with a majority only slightly less than the Tories had in 1983.
In the dying years of her premiership, however, Thatcher scored a spectacular own goal with the introduction of the poll tax.
Throughout Britain millions of working people could not, or refused to pay this iniquitous tax. On the ground, Militant supporters responded by organising anti-poll tax unions, giving support to non-payers.
A Sun editorial referred to the advocates of non-payment as 'Toy Town Trots'. Following their lead, as ever, Kinnock employed the same term in a speech attacking non-payment with far more force than the poll tax itself.
At the height of the non-payment campaign, the Tories dropped Thatcher as leader. Militant - certainly not Kinnock and the Labour Party - deserves the credit for her downfall.
@ Monday, Aug. 10, 2015 – 17:27:20
But South Yorkshire Police have refused to reveal what bonuses were paid between 2002 and 2008 on the grounds it would be too ‘time-consuming’ to retrieve the information.
@ Thursday, Jul. 30, 2015 – 19:57:16
Watching planes leave trails that form clouds.
(I do not live by an airport.)
@ Thursday, Jul. 30, 2015 – 11:48:03
BCUK has been my blogging home for 10 years.
I began a personal diary that has become more a critique of our society.
#DanielMorgan murder, phone hacking, corruption and VIP paedophiles the main themes.
I hoped to fan the flames and publicise what #MediaLies wont.
Many people have shared, informed and supported me and I thank you all.
I have been slandered and also had false allegations made against me.
This blog and others, hacked and trolled.
My online communications intercepted and recorded.
By clandestine government agencies ? No. By two individuals.
One who was arrested for possession of child rape images - but no charges bought.
Another who sits on a current #ChildAbuse inquiry.
#Abusive friends doing what they do best - #Abuse ?
Or something more sinister ? #Leaks #Sabotage
Early warning system ?
Who is watching the watchers ?