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Saturday, January 03, 2009 

Weekend links.

The main story remains, quite rightly, the assault on Gaza, with ground troops now apparently entering the Strip. Reports on the demonstration on London are coming in, with Lenin being quick off the mark as usual, followed by Socialist Unity. Some after the end of the main rally split off to protest outside the Israeli embassy, where it appears that they were charged at least once by riot police, with the Stop the War Coalition claiming three times and that they intend to register a strong complaint. Karma Nabulsi in the Graun paints a picture of a society under siege, burying its dead while trying to continue with everyday life, in one of the strongest and most vivid pieces yet published. Howard Jacobson in the Indie writes a somewhat conflicted piece, as if he doesn't know whether he's against the attack on Gaza or for it, feeling the pain of Palestinians and mocking the overreactions while saying that Israel had to do it even while its action is neither right nor wise. Sitting on the fence, plague on both your houses type thinking is all very well, but achieves even less than taking sides does.

Elsewhere various bloggers respond to the latest conclusive study that shows
the white working class feel betrayed by politicians over immigration. Few bother to mention that the report for Hazel Blears' community cohesion government department interviewed just 43 people, or if they do, don't make much of such a ludicrously small sample, but thankfully Dave Osler, the Daily Quail and Anton Vowl all do have a say.

In general miscellany, Tom Freemania notes
that inflation no longer exists, Marina Hyde mocks the latest idea for the great unwashed to get involved with active citizenship by rating their doctors like a book on Amazon, Clive Stafford Smith says we owe the men in Guantanamo a reprieve from hell, which is quite right when we ourselves have been involved in their detention, but for the most part it should be the US itself which takes in those it has imprisoned and held without charge for up to 7 years, and Matthew Parris writes of how Obama will handle a declining superpower, namely his own. Paul Linford asks whether Brown can survive 2009, which is what many were asking at the beginning of 2008, while Stephen Garrett puts in a contender for worst tabloid article of the weekend even though he's writing in the Indie, demanding new laws now to protect his cash inflow from the likes of Spooks, threatened by the hordes of illegal downloaders.

The worst award though must go to this lionisation in the Daily Mail of the loathsome Liz Longhurst, successful in her campaign to make the viewing of "dangerous pictures" a criminal offence which carries a potential 3-year prison sentence. It's instructive to learn this of Longhurst:

Until her daughter's untimely death, Liz knew little about pornography. She didn't even watch TV soap operas, thinking they were too violent.

Not because they're shit then; because they were "too violent". Who could possibly be surprised that such small-mindedness and already established resistance to anything "different" would go hand in hand with the "ban it!" tendency, regardless of the impact it will have on the lives on others?

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re: Stephen Garrett, just as well his company's main source of revenue is selling his wares to the BBC, ain't it?

What a silly man. Is he going to pay back record companies for all the tunes he copied onto mix tapes back when he was a teenager?

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