Russell Brand on Revolution

Well worth reading and I will adopt and adapt some of his suggestions.

Cameron, Osborne, Boris, all of them lot, they went to the same schools and the same universities that have the same decor as the old buildings from which they now govern us. It’s not that they’re malevolent; it’s just that they’re irrelevant. Relics of an old notion, like Old Spice: it’s fine that it exists but no one should actually use it.

We are still led by blithering chimps, in razor-sharp suits, with razor-sharp lines, pimped and crimped by spin doctors and speech-writers. Well-groomed ape-men, superficially altered by post-Clintonian trends.

We are mammals on a planet, who now face a struggle for survival if our species is to avoid expiry. We can’t be led by people who have never struggled, who are a dusty oak-brown echo of a system dreamed up by Whigs and old Dutch racists.

We now must live in reality, inner and outer. Consciousness itself must change. My optimism comes entirely from the knowledge that this total social shift is actually the shared responsibility of six billion individuals who ultimately have the same interests. Self-preservation and the survival of the planet. This is a better idea than the sustenance of an elite. The Indian teacher Yogananda said: “It doesn’t matter if a cave has been in darkness for 10,000 years or half an hour, once you light a match it is illuminated.” Like a tanker way off course due to an imperceptible navigational error at the offset we need only alter our inner longitude.

Capitalism is not real; it is an idea. America is not real; it is an idea that someone had ages ago. Britain, Christianity, Islam, karate, Wednesdays are all just ideas that we choose to believe in and very nice ideas they are, too, when they serve a purpose. These concepts, though, cannot be served to the detriment of actual reality.

The reality is we have a spherical ecosystem, suspended in, as far as we know, infinite space upon which there are billions of carbon-based life forms, of which we presume ourselves to be the most important, and a limited amount of resources.

The only systems we can afford to employ are those that rationally serve the planet first, then all humanity. Not out of some woolly, bullshit tree-hugging piffle but because we live on it, currently without alternatives. This is why I believe we need a unifying and in – clusive spiritual ideology: atheism and materialism atomise us and anchor us to one frequency of consciousness and inhibit necessary co-operation.

[7.30pm edit: I don’t want anyone thinking that I intend to be some political or spiritual leader. There were suggestions of this in the Jerusalem Post articles of 7 & 8th July 2005 which were the script to be followed in the July 7 bombings and investigation.

Brand acknowledges the role of materialism and self-interest in his article. From a personal perspective, many years ago I had a young man and a young woman presenting themselves to be used and I have the different odd nod of acknowledgment [1/11/13 and respect which is appreciated] every now and again. Apart from that it’s been a real pain and nothing but a real pain. Granted while I am occasionally successful in my endeavours, I don’t personally benefit from it and it does take some effort. ]

Continue ReadingRussell Brand on Revolution

Google and Yahoo furious at reports NSA secretly taps data centres

Files obtained from Edward Snowden suggest NSA can collect information sent by fibre optic cable between Google and Yahoo data hubs ‘at will’

Google and Yahoo, two of the world’s biggest tech companies, reacted angrily to a report on Wednesday that the National Security Agency has secretly intercepted the main communication links that carry their users’ data around the world.

Citing documents obtained from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and interviews with officials, the Washington Post claimed the agency could collect information “at will” from among hundreds of millions of user accounts.

The documents suggest that the NSA, in partnership with its British counterpart GCHQ, is copying large amounts of data as it flows across fiber-optic cables that carry information between the worldwide data centers of the Silicon Valley giants. The intelligence activities of the NSA outside the US are subject to fewer legal constraints than its domestic actions.

The story is likely to put further strain on the already difficult relations between the tech firms and Washington. The internet giants are furious about the damage done to their reputation in the wake of Snowden’s revelations.


According to a top-secret document cited by the Post dated 9 January 2013, millions of records a day are sent from Yahoo and Google internal networks to NSA data warehouses at the agency’s headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland. The types of information sent ranged from “metadata”, indicating who sent or received emails, the subject line and where and when, to content such as text, audio and video. [edit:  This is discussing data knowingly sent by Google and Yahoo to NSA under the Prism system.]

The Post’s documents state that in the preceding 30 days, field collectors had processed and sent on 181,280,466 new records.

Internet firms go to great lengths to protect their data. But the NSA documents published by the Post appear to boast about their ability to circumvent those protections. In one presentation slide on “Google Cloud Exploitation,” published by the Post, an artist has added a smiley face, in apparent celebration of the NSA’s victory over Google security systems.

The Post said that the interception took place on the cables that connect the internet giants’ data centers. The New York Times reported on Wednesday evening that one of the companies that provides such cables for Google was Level 3. It said in a statement provided to the Times: “We comply with the laws in each country where we operate. In general, governments that seek assistance in law enforcement or security investigations prohibit disclosure of the assistance provided.

The Post said that by collecting the data overseas, the NSA was able to circumvent the legal restrictions that prevent it from accessing the communications of people who live in the United States, and that it fell instead under an executive order, signed by the president, that authorised foreign intelligence operations.

In response, the NSA specifically denied that it used the presidential order to circumvent the restrictions on domestic spying, though the agency said nothing about the rest of the story.

The Independent reports that: The infiltration is striking because the NSA, under a separate programme known as Prism, has front-door access to Google and Yahoo user accounts through a court-approved process.

27/11/13 Having received a takedown notice from the Independent newspaper for a different posting, I have reviewed this article which links to an article at the Independent’s website in order to attempt to ensure conformance with copyright laws.

I consider this posting to comply with copyright laws since
a. Only a small portion of the original article has been quoted satisfying the fair use criteria, and / or
b. This posting satisfies the requirements of a derivative work.

Please be assured that this blog is a non-commercial blog (weblog) which does not feature advertising and has not ever produced any income.


Continue ReadingGoogle and Yahoo furious at reports NSA secretly taps data centres

News of the World editors ‘must have approved hacker’s contract’

Image of Rebekah Brooks

News of the World bosses must have approved the contract of a private investigator who later admitted phone hacking, the Old Bailey has heard.

Prosecutor Andrew Edis QC said senior figures would have been involved in the decision to give Glenn Mulcaire a written contract in September 2001.

Former NoW editors Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson are among eight defendants facing trial.

They deny charges including conspiracy to intercept communications.

The jury heard Mulcaire was paid a weekly fee until September 2001 when he moved onto a written contract.

The court heard on Wednesday that the private investigator was paid around £100,000 a year for his services.

“It is if course part of the prosecution case that a contract like that, a big contract, involves the senior management, in this case the editor, the deputy editor and the managing editor, the three defendants whom you have to try for phone hacking in addition to Mr Edmondson [former NoW head of news Ian Edmondson] – that is Rebekah Brooks, Andrew Coulson and Stuart Kuttner,” Mr Edis said.

Continue ReadingNews of the World editors ‘must have approved hacker’s contract’

HS2: MPs to vote on releasing money for preparation

MPs will vote later on whether to let the government start spending money on preparations for the HS2 rail project.

Money released by the vote would pay for surveys, buying property and compensating evicted residents.

Some Conservatives are expected to vote against the plans amid continued uncertainty over Labour’s support.

In June the government revised the estimated cost of building the high-speed link between London and the North of England from £32.7bn to £42.6bn.

HS2 would see lines built between Birmingham and London, followed by a V-shaped second phase building separate tracks from Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds.

[HS2 is a total waste of time and money. Instead of being a part of an integrated transport policy it simply replicates already existing train routes.]


Continue ReadingHS2: MPs to vote on releasing money for preparation

Hinkley Point: nuclear power plant gamble worries economic analysts

Liberum Capital analysts flabbergasted by UK government’s deal with EDF and decision to underwrite nuclear power station

Image of Hinkley PointThe government’s agreement to underwrite the Hinkley Point nuclear power station could turn out to be economically insane and hugely costly to consumers, City analysts have warned.

Analysts at Liberum Capital said the government’s deal with France’s EDF will make Hinkley Point the most expensive power station in the world with the longest construction period in the world.

The government gave the go-ahead last week for EDF to build the Hinkley Point C plant in Somerset. Its two reactors will cost £8bn each and will provide power for about 60 years once it starts operating in 2023.

The energy secretary, Ed Davey, has made a huge bet that fossil fuel prices will rocket by the time Hinkley Point starts operating in [2023], Liberum’s Peter Atherton and Mulu Sun said in a report published on Wednesday.

They said: “The UK government is taking a massive bet that fossil fuel prices will be extremely high in the future. If that bet proves to be wrong then this contract will look economically insane when HPC commissions. We are frankly staggered that the UK government thinks it is appropriate to take such a bet and underwrite the economics of any power station that costs £5m per MW and takes nine years to build.”


Continue ReadingHinkley Point: nuclear power plant gamble worries economic analysts

Single parents ‘biggest losers’ from IDS’ welfare reforms

Iain Duncan Smith’s flagship universal credit reforms will make life for working single parents harder rather than easier, according to a report out today.

The Gingerbread charity suggested there would be very little financial incentive for those in or out of work to take on anything more than ‘mini-jobs’.

Its findings are a setback to the Department for Work and Pensions, which is aiming to simplify a raft of existing benefits and roll them into the single universal credit in a bid to make the shift to employment a financially attractive one.

“The simple fact is that universal credit won’t deliver on its promise to make work pay,” Gingerbread chief executive Fiona Weird said.

Continue ReadingSingle parents ‘biggest losers’ from IDS’ welfare reforms

David Cameron urged not to water down the freedom of information act

Seventy-six organisations have written to the prime minister urging him to drop proposals to restrict the freedom of information (FoI) act.

Various campaign groups, charities and press bodies have signed the letter to David Cameron, arguing against the watering down of the act.

They say the proposals are not compatible with Cameron’s stated aim of making Britain “the most open and transparent government in the world”.

The sending of the letter has been timed to coincide with an international summit on open government, hosted by the British government in London tomorrow.

The event will be attended by representatives from more than 60 countries. Each government – including the UK – is expected to announce new commitments towards greater openness, drawn up in partnership with non-governmental organisations from their own countries.

It was in November last year that the government announced that it was considering a series of proposals to make it easier for public authorities to refuse FoI requests on cost grounds. Those proposals are still under consideration.

The government says the changes are intended to address the “disproportionate burdens” caused by those people or bodies who are said who make “industrial use” of the FoI act.

But the 76 organisations say “the proposals would restrict access by all users, including those making occasional requests of modest scope.”

FoI requests can already be refused if the cost of finding the requested information exceeds certain limits. The government says it is considering reducing these limits, which would lead to many more requests being refused.

Continue ReadingDavid Cameron urged not to water down the freedom of information act

Inheritance figures reveal the stark inequality of Great Britain

Image of Victorian LondonOfficial figures for inheritance paint a depressing and completely unsurprising portrait of Great Britain – a place where the rich get richer and the poor get stigmatised.

The UK remains a country where those who least need it receive the most.

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) figures show 1.6 million adults (3.6% of the population) received an inheritance worth over £1,000 between 2008 and 2010. Half received less than £10,000, but one in ten received £125,000 or more.

In fact, the luckiest fifth recieved a total of £57 billion – that accounts for 76% of all inherited wealth during the period.

Who did it go to? No prizes for guessing.

Rates of inheritance were higher for individuals living in households which already had the highest levels of wealth, according to the ONS.

Those in the wealthiest fifth of households had an increased chance of receiving inheritance. Those in managerial – rather than routine – occupations had an increased chance of receiving inheritance. Those who owned their main property outright, rather than holding a mortgage, had an increased chance. White Brits had an increased chance compared to non-white Brits. Those whose parents were mortgage owners, rather than renters, had an increased chance.

Continue ReadingInheritance figures reveal the stark inequality of Great Britain

Socialist Revolution

Sounds like Russel Brand’s on the right lines there. [29/10/13 Apologies, that should be Russell Brand.]

I used to call for revo ….

I had considerations for democracy ~ and after contemplation decided that contemporary UK democracy is an illusion. There is the illusion of three main parties while they are all PPE scum.

Edit: I should perhaps at least explain myself better. Let’s start with ~ There is absolutely no difference between the leaders of the three main UK political parties – David Cameron of the Conservatives, Nick Clegg of the Conservative Liberal Democrats and Ed Miliband of the Conservative Labour Party. There is no difference between them – they are all Tory Scum.

Now I can fully understand and appreciate Russel Brand suggesting that voters should not participate in such a farce and even that a revo is called for.

[Later edit: I used to have reservations about calling for revo – it was about the assumed democratic process. How could I call for revo when there was a democratic process? The answer – of course – is that there is not a democratic process.

[Later later edit: Where is the democratic process in govenments’ spying? Where is the democratic process?

I’ll answer you: It is absolutely absent. There is no democratic process here because democracy does not apply …

The problem is that – isn’t democracy paramount? So who are these fakirs to say that they can spy on us? and that we shouldn’t know about it? and that nobody can report it? Where is democracy then?

Apparently it’s democracy that I can vote for some siht or other that can then spy on whole populations without any reason but I shouldn’t know about it. And that’s demokracy?

[Later tater edit: You’re full of siht, just like the full of sihter you so adore


Continue ReadingSocialist Revolution

David Cameron makes veiled threat to media over NSA and GCHQ leaks

Prime minister alludes to courts and D notices and singles out the Guardian over coverage of Edward Snowden saga

Image of David CameronDavid Cameron has called on the Guardian and other newspapers to show “social responsibility” in the reporting of the leaked NSA files to avoid high court injunctions or the use of D notices to prevent the publication of information that could damage national security.

In a statement to MPs on Monday about last week’s European summit in Brussels, where he warned of the dangers of a “lah-di-dah, airy-fairy view” about the dangers of leaks, the prime minister said his preference was to talk to newspapers rather than resort to the courts. But he said it would be difficult to avoid acting if newspapers declined to heed government advice.

The prime minister issued the warning after the Tory MP Julian Smith quoted a report in Monday’s edition of the Sun that said Britain’s intelligence agencies believe details from the NSA files leaked by the US whistleblower Edward Snowden have hampered their work.

The Sun quoted a “top surveillance source” as saying that terrorists have “gone quiet” after the publication of details about NSA and GCHQ operations.

Cameron told MPs: “We have a free press, it’s very important the press feels it is not pre-censored from what it writes and all the rest of it.

“I don’t want to have to use injunctions or D notices or the other tougher measures. I think it’s much better to appeal to newspapers’ sense of social responsibility. But if they don’t demonstrate some social responsibility it would be very difficult for government to stand back and not to act.”

Guardian: The NSA files

[I’m surprised that Cameron thinks that censoring the press on these issues is wise. Surely it’s too late for that now? I find it strange that Cameron prefers to pretend that this wholesale and unwarranted spying on whole populations is not happening.]

Continue ReadingDavid Cameron makes veiled threat to media over NSA and GCHQ leaks