Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Monday, September 08, 2008
Most of my heroes don't appear on no stamps
Chen is a blind, self-taught lawyer who has devoted his career to resisting tyranny and fighting for the little people.
In 2006 he was preparing a class action lawsuit against the Chinese government for human rights abuses perpertrated as part of its one-child policy. The Chinese policy is, of course, the most notorious example of state anti-natalism around today. Chen uncovered cases of forced abortions of foetuses up to 8 months gestation. But launching class action lawsuits against the government isn't the done thing in a one-party state. Chen was arrested, beaten up and following a farce of a trial, during which he vomited, he was convicted of damaging public property and gathering people to block traffic.
Chen is still in jail. A week ago British paralympic athlete, Kristina Veasey added her voice to the many others calling for him to be released. That didn't cut much ice with the Chinese government (surprise, surprise).
“When she said she didn't know, they beat her up. We heard from inside sources that the beatings were very severe. We also heard that they beat one woman to death a few years ago, so we are all very worried about her," the woman told RFA.
“If you run away, they will detain a member of your family and smash up your home. People here are terribly fearful these days. I really couldn’t tell you the real reason for this. To be honest with you, things got a whole lot more relaxed in 2005 after Chen Guangcheng exposed these practices, and pretty much nobody was getting beaten up at that time. The really nasty practices lingered on in some places, however. But this year it has all started up again.”
Marie Stopes may be a hero to you but she doesn't mean sh*t to me
"Dear Herr Hitler, Love is the greatest thing in the world: so will you accept from me these (poems) that you may allow the young people of your nation to have them?"
Marie Stopes was an ardent racist eugenicist who disowned her own son because he married a woman who wore glasses. By Stopes' extreme standards this was pretty restrained. She was an advocate of compulsory sterilisation of the "unfit" which as this entry in the invaluable Eugenics Watch makes clear, included anyone who wasn't a perfect Aryan specimen: the "C3 population", "half-castes" and revolutionaries.
It was in furtherance of Stopes' aims that her Society for Constructive Birth Control opened dozens of clinics in working class areas to reduce the number of undesirables by persuasion if force was politically impossible.
Oswald Mosley and Lord Haw Haw have been rightly consigned to the historical scrapheap for their nazi sympathies but Stopes' face will adorn 50p stamps in a month's time. That's not just because she's a birth control pioneer but because the anti-natalist movement was and is so soaked in the dodgy politics of misanthropic population control and eugenics that it can't be too choosy about its heroes. Just pity the poor mugs who, lacking all self respect, play along with the reactionary farce.
Thursday, September 04, 2008
For Gord's Sake!
Charles Clarke's carefully timed salvo against Brown grabbed headlines earlier in the day but is arguably of far less significance to the government's fortunes than its misguided rejection of the windfall tax and fuel payment.
This blog started off as a fan of Gordon Brown but in just over a year it has revised its opinion. Brown is many things, politician, intellectual and commanding party figure but he doesn't have the temperament for leadership.
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
"We hope the suspicion is never proven true that Fascism is re-emerging among us under other forms"
The Roma have been the victims of racism many times during their long, melancholy history. They were the second largest group targeted by the nazis for extermination - the Romani word for Holocaust is ‘porraimos’, or devouring - and in cases ranging from the 1970s to as recently as 2004 Czech and Slovak Roma women were forcibly sterilised.
The Italian government is ignoring the stream of condemnation issuing from the likes of Unicef to these plans, fatuously claiming that they are for Roma's own good. A well-0rganised campaign of civil disobediance could make them think again. That is what is urgently needed. Italy's honour is at stake here.