Grotesque inequality is not a natural part of being human – Owen Jones

November 25, 2014

“But all the evidence should bring a sense of optimism to those, like myself, who want a rather different world. We are malleable creatures, crafted in part by our environment. Margaret Thatcher recognised this: just after assuming power sheannounced that her mission was to “change the way we look at things, to create a wholly new attitude of mind”. Her crusade certainly achieved many stunning successes, promoting greed and breaking down the bonds of solidarity that tied us together.”

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Freya Newman To Appear For Sentencing In Sydney Tuesday Morning

November 25, 2014

Freya Newman is a hero: a Digger, a Battler, a True Blue Aussie. She will go down in history as a conscientious objector to class privilege, exercised by a class with no class at all.

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Media ‘gagged over bid to report MP child sex cases’

November 22, 2014

“The reporter was told that there were a number of high-profile people involved and they were getting boys from a care home in the Richmond area. So I put someone on to it, the chief reporter I think, to make enquiries. It was the following day that we had a D-notice slapped on us; the reporter came over and told me. It was the only time in my career.”

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If social mobility is the problem, grammar schools are not the solution – Gaby Hinsliff

November 15, 2014

“The sociologist Leon Feinstein’s study  children’s developmental abilities at 22 months and then tracked their progress to adulthood will by now be wearily familiar to many, but it bears repeating. The surprise was that children from wealthy families who were deemed low ability as toddlers didn’t just catch up: by the age of six or seven they had overtaken even the brightest children from the poorest backgrounds. By 11 it’s asking an awful lot of one exam to unpick the complex mix of parenting, schooling, lobbying for extra resources and attention, and who knows what else, that stops these children falling through the glass floor.”

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John Pilger on ISIS:

Only When We See the War Criminals In Our Midst Will the Blood Begin to Dry

November 14, 2014

“In order to facilitate the action of liberative [sic] forces… a special effort should be made to eliminate certain key individuals [and] to proceed with internal disturbances in Syria. CIA is prepared, and SIS (MI6) will attempt to mount minor sabotage and coup de main [sic] incidents within Syria, working through contacts with individuals… a necessary degree of fear… frontier and [staged] border clashes [will] provide a pretext for intervention… the CIA and SIS should use… capabilities in both psychological and action fields to augment tension.”

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The right has won control of the English-speaking world – thanks to the weakness of the left – Jason Wilson

November 14, 2014

“Elsewhere, and particularly in Latin America, it’s evident that democratic socialism is still a possibility, and a field of experimentation. Their leaders’ commitment to basic economic justice is not only something that the Anglosphere’s left ought to take on, but which may be necessary for its survival. Those who say we have nothing to learn from still-developing economies have not paid enough attention to regressive developments closer to home. The millions who have been and soon will be immiserated by the machinery of liberal capitalism will have little time for the morality tales of neoliberalism. If existing centre left parties do not speak to their demands, who will?”

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This year, I will wear a poppy for the last time – Harry Leslie Smith

November 6, 2014

“My uncle and many of my relatives died in that war and they weren’t officers or NCOs; they were simple Tommies. They were like the hundreds of thousands of other boys who were sent to their slaughter by a government that didn’t care to represent their citizens if they were working poor and under-educated. My family members took the king’s shilling because they had little choice, whereas many others from similar economic backgrounds were strong-armed into enlisting by war propaganda or press-ganged into military service by their employers.”

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Scandalously low pay should not be the new normal – Polly Toynbee

November 4, 2014

“Where is Labour, which should be driving the push for fair pay? Fumbling and mumbling, with an air of uncertainty. Its cautious conference promise to raise the minimum wage to £8 an hour by 2020 was rapidly punctured: this doesn’t reach the poverty threshold, and is barely more than an inflation rise. Better than the Tories, but unimpressive and it’s no answer to Miliband’s thoughtful early words about the dysfunctions of modern capitalism.”

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Britain Slides Towards Ever More Selfishness.

November 4, 2014

“If your country has a public health system that ensures that everyone who needs treatment receives it, without payment, it helps instil the belief that it is normal to care for strangers, and abnormal and wrong to neglect them. If you live in a country where people are left to die, this embeds the idea that you have no responsibility towards the poor and weak. The existence of these traits is supported by a vast body of experimental and observational research, of which Labour and the US Democrats appear determined to know nothing.”

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Power and the inconvenience of truth

November 3, 2014

Although this is an article from an Australian newspaper, it’s relevant right across the democratic world.

 

“After each election, one or other oligarchy rules for a period, during which its power, including power to advance the interests of its adherents and supporters at the expense of the general community, is effectively unlimited.

 

It’s “not nepotism, .. just the way the world works.” The arrogant, the ignorant and bullies thrive in the absence of enforceable rules.”

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The People vs the Political Class – Richard Cooke

June 10, 2014
 

“…once you account for the preferences of ‘affluent’ citizens, ‘the apparent connection between public policy and the preferences of the average citizen may indeed be largely or entirely spurious’.”