Archive for November, 2007

Public Service Announcement

November 28th, 2007

If you’re visiting this page after following the link from this post and in search of the Chris Lightfoot Memorial Melanie Phillips Naziometer, it’s on the sidebar about two thirds of the way down the page.

It’s currently reading “zero”, though a manual check reveals that there’s also one “Goebbels”, one “Munich”, one “Hitler” and three “Auschwitz”es.

DSW, #241

November 28th, 2007

Emma Brooke (no relation, as far as I know), “New Woman” novelist (under the pseudonym E. Fairfax Byrne, she wrote A Superfluous Woman, Life the Accuser, and others) and Fabian socialist, who criticised H. G. Wells’s analysis of “the Sex-Question” as being from “an entirely middle-class point of view” and helped to draft the Fabians’ first statement in support of equal citizenship rights for women; born in Macclesfield, Cheshire, 22 December 1844, died in Weybridge, Surrey, 28 November 1926.

How to Dye your Sheep

November 28th, 2007

From the Guardian:

If you are considering dyeing a sheep, first ensure that it is your own sheep and never use household paint or a chemical-based fabric dye such as Dylon. “The dye would need to be a non-toxic vegetable dye,” says the RSPCA, “and applied with a sponge or silent spray.” On one website, a seasoned sheep-dyer recommends food colouring (NB, you’ll need a lot of bottles) and advises that you dye only long-wool breeds, “as they tend to dry faster and not mat up like the finer wools”.

In other sheep-related news, I saw a copy of Henry Moore’s sheep sketchbook in the window of Waterstone’s this morning, which I last spotted at the Moore exhibit in Rotterdam about this time last year. I really should buy a copy. It’s very good.

Oxford Voices

November 26th, 2007

Mike: “These privileged and stupid people have shown their contempt for the whole of the rest of society, with the sole exception of those few fascists who want to destroy it. They may be assured that the whole of the rest of society has nothing but contempt for them.”

Antonia: “It’s not even as if Irving and Griffin get to expound their vile views and be challenged: they have been invited to speak instead on freedom of speech. And even if they were to, is it not breathtakingly arrogant that Oxford undergraduates believe that in a five minute debating speech they could somehow defeat either, when it took a Cambridge Professor of Modern History weeks on the stand to rebut Irving’s assertions?”

loneraven: “Maybe I’ve as little chance of getting attacked on the street tomorrow as I do any day. But here I am, thinking about it. Here I am, going to sleep at night thinking, there are far-right groups in Oxford tomorrow, oh dear. And why should I have to think that? Why? See above where I’m a human being, where I deserve to feel safe every second of the time in my home city, where white people don’t have to worry about visual indicators and I do. How dare the Union blithely invite RACISTS into my city, so safe in their straight white male privilege that they don’t have to think about the consequences of what they’re doing? I am not straight, white or male, and I have no uncomplicated identity, no simplicity or belonging – but I am an Oxford student. No one is allowed to contest the basis upon which I’m here, at this place and at this time. How dare they take the one thing that I have all of my own, my home, and compromise that?”

Thoughts on an Impending Riot (or not, as the case may be)

November 26th, 2007

I wish people would stop referring to the Oxford Union as providing, for example, “a prestigious public platform.” It’s neither public (being a private members’ club) nor prestigious (being run for as long as I can remember by a bunch of contemptuous contemptible attention-seeking clowns).

Iraqi Employees: Letting Them Die

November 26th, 2007

Dan Hardie writes: I’ve had emails from three people who claim to be – and who almost certainly are- Iraqi former employees of the British Government. All three say that they and their former colleagues are still at risk of death for their ‘collaboration’.

We’ll call the first man Employee One. He worked for the British for three years: ‘I started in the beginning of the war with Commandos (in 30 of March 2003) then continued with 23 Pioneer Regt, and in 08 / 07 / 2003 I have joined the Labour Support Unit (LSU)’. His British friends knew him as Chris. The British Government has announced that he can apply for help if he can transport himself to the British base outside Basra, or to the Embassies in Syria or Jordan. It doesn’t seem to occur to anyone that there might be problems with this. I can email and telephone this man: so can any Foreign Office official. It should not be impossible to verify his story and then send him the funds he needs to get to a less unsafe Arab country. But that is not happening.

Go over the fold for Dan’s email exchange with Employee One, details of two more cases, and information about what you — what we — can be doing about this.


Darling, my penis is a mountain

November 25th, 2007

Well, not really. But I’m terribly pleased to see that England have drawn Croatia again for their World Cup qualifying campaign. (And Andorra, too.) The BBC seem to have produced the best subtitled version of Tony Henry’s notorious performance of the Croatian national anthem the other night; the video link is from this page.

DSW, #239

November 25th, 2007

Simon Bernard, Fourierist socialist, briefly Inspecteur général de l’économie after the 1848 Revolution, founder of the Club Bonne-Nouvelle, in and out of prison at various times, and kicked out of Spain, Belgium and Germany. He lived in exile in Britain, 1851-62, he is most famous for his participation in the 1858 Orsini plot to kill Napoleon III. The political and diplomatic fall-out from the plot prompted Lord Palmerston’s resignation as Prime Minister after the Conspiracy to Murder Bill failed in the Commons. Bernard was prosecuted as an accessory to murder and acquitted by an Old Bailey jury on 17 April 1858. Born in Carcassonne on 28 January 1817, died in the Brooke House lunatic asylum, Upper Clapton, London, on 25 November 1862.

DSW, #238

November 25th, 2007

Louie Bennett, suffragist (founder and first secretary of the Irishwomen’s Suffrage Federation), co-operative socialist (founder of the Irish Women’s Reform League) and pacifist (founder member of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom); born in Temple Hill, near Dublin, 1870, died in  Killiney, also near Dublin, 25 November 1956.

Saturday Puccini Blogging

November 24th, 2007

Tosca also exists in a Lego version.

Act One, part one:

Act One, part two:

Act Two:

Act Three [a particularly fine firing squad]:

Marxism – God’s favored coffee!

November 24th, 2007

Over here [thanks, SC].

DSW, #4

November 24th, 2007

Mexican muralist Diego Rivera, born 13 December 1886, died 24 November 1957.

[The Dead Socialist Watch, incidentally, has now been going for just over five years, having kicked off with Robert Owen on 17 November 2002.]