The impact of government policy on free speech in universities: Once you hear the jackboots, it’s too late

Politics and Insights

protest picFreedom of speech is generally considered an integral part of a functioning democracy. In 2014, I wrote abouthow the process of dismantling democracy started in earnest from May 2010 here in the UK, and has been advancing by almost inscrutable degrees ever since, because of pervasive government secrecy and a partly complicit, dominant right wing media.

In order to “protect democracy” governments are subverting the law. This is a fundamental paradox, of course and Edward Snowden saw this could lead to the collapse of democracy and critically endanger our freedom of speech. Snowden reminded us that what no individual conscience can change, a free press can. It has to be one that is free enough to allow a diverse range of political commentaries, rather than a stranglehold of right wing propaganda from the Murdoch empire and its ideological stablemates.

Between July and August 2013, The Guardian newspaper was subject…

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A few billionaires own more wealth than 4.6 billion people, says report ahead of Davos

Politics and Insights

Bootstraps

The age of endless growth in prosperity for everyone is now a distant memory of a rather more hopeful era. Despite what the government tells us, inequality is growing. And this is damaging to the economy, and to ordinary citizens who are struggling to get by on ever-diminishing incomes and ever-rising living costs. It’s highly unlikely that Brexit will help matters, too

Rising inequality coincided with a profound shift in economic policy throughout much of the developed nations of the world – neoliberalism. Political parties got elected from the end of the seventies by promising to cut tax rates, ‘free up’ markets, and reduce government intervention in the economy. The change was most pronounced in Britain and the United States, after Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan took office. But it also occurred to varying degrees in Continental Europe, Canada, Australia, and Japan. 

Those countries with largest tax cuts also…

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Netanyahu Rages as Eire Passes Pro-BDS Legislation

Beastrabban\'s Weblog

Last week the Israel lobby was on the warpath again. We had the Blairites and Likud sycophants in the Labour demanding that Jenny Formby show them what’s being done to root out all the anti-Semites they claim are in the party, the Jewish Labour Movement, formerly Paole Zion, and the recidivist liars and Fascist shills the Jewish Chronicle hysterically proclaiming that there was a culture of anti-Semitism within Labour. And Rachel Riley, Frances Barber and their army of trolls tried attacking Mike and Owen Jones as anti-Semites, and got their rear ends royally handed to them. And Wes Streeting decided that he could combat Jew hatred by falsely accusing a 70-year old woman of it and doxing her.

This video below from the Middle East Monitor might explain why some of that rage and fear suddenly erupted. The Dail – the Irish parliament – a fortnight ago passed legislation banning…

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Interview with the bringer of Art Battle to Bristol – Douglas Karson – Next round Tuesday 2 October 7pm

Auntie G

I had a chat with the lovely Douglas Karson organiser if Bristol’s Art Battle.
For people who don’t know Art Battle what is the history?
Art Battle International has been going for 15 years now!  Started as a sideline at another event, it was so amazing and well received that they decided to do it again and again.  It has been growing due to popularity and demand!  Its now in over 16 countries with over 300 events a year.
How did you get involved and what is your role?
One day a friend of mine popped up on Facebook as having won “Art Battle” in the States (I am from the US).  I was curious so looked into it.  I know Sven through poetry and as we are both crossover artists, we wanted to do something amazing for artists in Bristol together.  I brought him the idea and we decided…

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Vote Leave and Cambridge Analytica: A stench enveloping Downing Street and the Cabinet’s hard Brexiteers

Westminster Confidential

250px-Stephen_Parkinson Stephen Parkinson, Now political secretary to Theresa May, previously national organiser Vote Leave Pic credit: Powerhouse

CROSS POSTED ON BYLINE.COM

The growing and completely unpredictable coverage following the exposure of Cambridge Analytica, the data analytics firm, for data harvesting is  fast turning into a scandal that  will seriously damage the reputation of the government or eventually could even bring it down.

From past experience of Westminster and Whitehall scandals once the genie is out of the bottle there is precious little those in power can do to put the stopper back. And from this weekend due to a crass and vile statement from Stephen Parkinson, Theresa May’s political secretary, about  the private life of the latest whistleblower, Shahmir Sanni, it has drawn Downing Street into the fray.

For the ordinary voter the row over data analytics  and how it may have been misused may sound a trifle arcane – since…

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Stella Creasy, An Indie Band And A Lazy Hack

Guy Debord's Cat

I don’t often mention Stella Creasy, because I usually have no reason to do so. I’m aware, however, that she used to work in public relations, an industry that tells lies for money – and she’s lost none of the talents she employed in her previous occupation. Creasy has recently been the focus of the Twitter furore for attending a gig with Tory MP, Thérèse Coffey. Her complaint? She’s the victim of “sinister bullying”. By implication, she means the so-called “hard left” are the bullies in question.

Earlier today, I took a swipe at Creasy, whom I call ‘Greasy’ for fairly obvious reasons.

It is most revealing that many current MPs on both sides of the House of Commons have either worked for the PR industry or as lobbyists before entering Parliament. Worryingly, the fields of politics and PR have overlapped to such an extent that it is scarcely possible to…

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