Last week, the peace campaigner Brian Haw died. This fact got a bit of attention in the mainstream press. Meanwhile, unnoticed by the media, another thorn in the side of the state passed away: Bob from Manchester Anarchist Federation. I don’t really know what to say about Bob, because it seems impossible to sum his life up in any remotely meaningful way in a few sentences, so I’ll just point you to the libcom thread on the subject. RIP Bob, we are all poorer for your loss.
Anyway, some other stuff’s also happened: On the international front, things are heating up in Belarus, repression continues in Italy, and new pieces of writing have come out looking at new developments in Wisconsin and Egypt (two different ones about Egypt, in fact). Meanwhile, the Spanish movement called for an international day of action to mark its one-month anniversary, which was observed in London, Manchester, Edinburgh and elsewhere, and it’s just been confirmed that there’s going to be a two-day general strike in Greece on the 28th and 29th of this month. The general assembly in Syntagma Square had already called for 48 hours of action on those dates. The timing’s particularly interesting, because, as you may be aware, the day after is the first serious strike action against the cuts that we’ve seen so far. You’ve also probably seen the J30 strike website, but if you haven’t, check it out, it’s pretty impressive. (I was going to do a rant here about how much I hate that hypocritical sack of shit Dave Prentice, but I’m running late as it is.) There’s going to be a claimants’ feeder march in Bristol, which is an encouraging sign of the ongoing development of self-organisation among claimants. The World Socialist Website have an interesting piece analysing the limitations of this action and the way it’s been manipulated by the left and the union leaderships, and the Deterritorial Support Group are considering the possibility that it might turn into Britain’s first cyber strike. Speaking of the internet, the whole lulzsec thing is another issue I really don’t have time to go into here, but I agree with this article on the need for defence campaigns for internet-related offences – both for the more obviously political ones like the members of lulzsec, and those folk who end up facing extradition for the crime of providing free entertainment in a way that’s considered to damage the interests of capital. Of course, it’s also important to support those facing hassle from the state for IRL activity as well, like the Stokes Croft prisoners.
To conclude my whirlwind round-up of recent events, there’s also been an attempted attack by the EDL on an anti-racist gig in Leeds, a deportation successfully prevented by a blockade, and the RMT will now no longer be striking on June 30th after the threat of strike action turned out to be enough to win their dispute. Finally, SolFed report on the ongoing struggle to save Shorefields College from being turned into an academy, and Paul Dacre is an absolute cunt – more specifically, he’s trying to censor the following piece of writing into non-existence:
The Daily Mail are a fucking disgrace of a newspaper. I hope Paul Dacre dies a slow and painful death and that people queue up to shit on his grave. The current top story on the Mail Website (betting it will be front page news tomorrow with a special defecation from Littlejohn who must be drooling reading this one) is this: ‘Mapping out the strain on your NHS: 243 sick babies treated in one London hospital ward…. and just 18 mothers were born in the UK‘. Naturally this story has already found its way onto the Stormfront forums and will no doubt be picked up by the BNP and other racist organisations gathering ‘evidence’ of how the poor white child is neglected in favour of the ethnically diverse child.
I’ve scouted the website of the hospital involved – London’s Chelsea and Westminster – and cannot find a copy of this map or any press release relating to it so I cannot verify any information or put it into any real context – exactly what the Daily Mail wants. The whole article concerns a map made to celebrate the diversity of mothers that give birth in the hospital. It seems to involve mothers being asked to put a pin on a map to show their original birth place. The Mail does not specify the timescale over which the data is collected, nor does it specify whether all mothers were asked or whether the hospital went out of the way to collect data only from foreign mothers.
The whole article is just whinging at the fact that people from other countries have given birth to children in a British hospital. We don’t get given any further information than that because the Mail knows that the headline is enough to get the usual idiots foaming at the mouth about ‘immigration’ and ‘loony-left madness’ etc.
As for those wankstains moaning about the cost to the taxpayer – £1400 a day according to the Mail, not a figure they provide a link for – I may complain about paying taxes as much as the next guy, but you know what, I get a warm feeling when I see this map. I pretend that all of the tax I’ve paid this year has gone on just saving one child’s life and it somehow makes it all worthwhile. A fellow human being has given birth to a child and thanks to the NHS it has survived. It is a triumph for humanity over arbitrary borders, of compassion over hateful ‘not in my country’ types who would pull up the drawbridge and say ‘fuck you’ to the rest of humanity even if they were sick children who would die without our assistance.
When you read this Daily Mail headline – and if you dare, the whole article and comments – it is easy to forget that Sue Reid – the author of this disgusting piece of hatred journalism – is actually talking about the lives of sick babies – something supposedly sacred. Here they are described as a ‘strain’ and used as an example of ‘the changing face of Britain’.
Personally I celebrate the fact that ‘The 243 mothers are from 72 different nations. They include Mongolia, the remotest regions of Russia, Japan, Africa, South America, swathes of Asia, Australasia and even Papua New Guinea’. I think it speaks volume about the value that we as a nation place on human life; that we are in the majority a nation who doesn’t worry about the nationality of a child that might die but instead save it – regardless of whether we can wring the money out of the parent.
I just pretend that none of my taxes go to treating a single sick Mail reader. And I consider them all to be sick for wanting to enrage themselves with such hateful bullshit each day, and for treating the lives of a few sick children as a burden which we must get rid off.
Thankfully Five Chinese Crackers has had the patience (and past experience with Sue Reid) to properly look into this story and has an excellent post on this, please go read it because Sue Reid really is a piece of shit. He also includes the following press release issued by the hospital that demonstrates just what a complete farce the story is, although I suspect the damage has already been done. If Littlejohn uses this story tomorrow (if he can even be arsed to shit out a column that is) then he really will demonstrate that he is never about ‘reporting the facts’ as he so laughably puts it. Here is the press release (massive hat-tip to 5CC for this):
‘Chelsea and Westminster Hospital is a specialist referral centre and cares for patients of many different backgrounds, reflecting London’s very diverse population.
‘Of the 550 babies admitted to our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) every year, a very small number of these are overseas patients. In 2009, there have been just two overseas admissions.
‘The map was placed in the NICU nearly four years ago to provide the families of the babies we care for, as well as staff, with an opportunity to indicate their background if they wished. It is not an indication of country of residence or citizenship.
‘It was intended to illustrate the diversity of staff working on the unit and the families of the babies we care for, to encourage everyone to reflect on different cultures, in a fun and informal way.
‘Chelsea and Westminster Hospital’s NICU provides intensive care, high dependency and special care facilities for babies and is a specialist referral centre for neonatal surgery.
Spread it everywhere.