Another heinous crime

The White House has condemned the murders in Munich of 10 people by an as yet unidentified gunman as: ‘a heinous act [that] has killed and injured multiple individuals in the heart of one of Europe’s most vibrant cities’. It is a “horrific situation” which they are “monitoring”. [1]

A few days ago the US killed dozens of civilians in an air-strike (an illegal one) in Syria. [2] This is according to both the Syrian government and multiple opposition groups – thus making the claims very likely to be substantially true.

The usual sickening comments followed. [3] That is, whenever the US murders dozens of civilians including women and children (e.g. with a stray cruise missile strike on an air raid shelter in Baghdad or when they mistake a column of Kosovan refuges for an armed column) during the course of one of their many illegal wars they never miss the opportunity to remind us of how ‘civilised’ they are. They try their darnedest not to kill so many civilians. They just keep doing it…

The civilian deaths they caused in Manbij  in Syria (far more it seems than this single gunman in Munich) are barely acknowledged. The matter may be ‘investigated’ – which is how they always kick these matters into the long grass (a game with which the ‘free’ press in the main plays along).  The death of ten people in Europe is ‘heinous’ and ‘horrific’. It requires real time monitoring and immediate condemnation. Killing dozens of children in Syria hardly causes them to bat an eyelid.


The Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin has commented on the US silence on this matter. Incidentally we now can begin to understand why the Western media (the propaganda sheets for Western capital and the State Department) are so keen to discredit Russia. It means that any criticism of the US war games can be brushed aside as coming from a discredited source. It gives them carte blanche to commit crimes with impunity.






Howard League statement on G4S decision to exit UK child jails market

G4S has announced that it is trying to exit the UK child jails market. This follows the recent Panorama expose of child abuse by staff at one of their facilities – which we commented on here.

This is a statement from the Howard League concerning the decision of global prisons firm G4S to exit from the UK child jail market

Read the statement here.

Ideally the whole notion that providing ‘discipline and punishment’ can be something that can be delivered by the market could be ditched at the same time.

See here for our report on the killing of Gareth Myatt in a GSL run child jail in the UK in 2004. GSL was later acquired by G4S.

Why has G4S taken this decision? Here is one possible answer. To run these child jails – and the childrens’ homes which form part of the same portfolio – it is necessary to hire cheap labour. The usual problem for capitalists: to make a venture profitable they need to get high labour productivity – that means in effect more for less. For G4S this means hiring people with limited experience of working with young people, with low levels of qualifications – and then giving them a limited amount of training. For example; the guard who initiated the restraint after which Gareth Myatt lay dead in 2004 had previously worked as a leisure centre assistant. He had just a few weeks training for his new role – dealing with some of the most disturbed and troubled young people in the country. Not surprisingly perhaps these people sometimes appear to ‘lose it’ when faced with the challenges that troubled young people can pose. The guard who in the recent Panorama programme appears to place his thumb on the windpipe of a challenging young man perhaps has little empathy for troubled young people and a limited repertoire of skilled responses. In effect perhaps he was responding like a thug in the street might to a challenge from a roguish teenager. Hiring skilled and experienced staff who would understand and respond in a balanced way to challenging behaviour might perhaps quadruple the staff bill. Perhaps that is the problem. G4S thought they’d give it a try – Â the usual recipe for profit was applied – drive down your labour costs. But the consequences of that – a series of abuse scandals – are unfortunate and bad PR for their wider business. So they’ve decided to cut their losses. In the background is the horrible decision – taken by a New Labour government – to put some of the country’s most troubled young people into a ‘prison’ type environment – and to offer the contracts at a hard-nose price.

All of which should be a lesson in what happens when market economics are applied to matters of social welfare. But probably won’t be.

The rule of international law…

Power v. the rule of law.

Of course you can say (as Churchill did of the Palestinians) that it is the underdog who calls for the rule of law – and that power is right.

But the common experience of most people is that some sort of rule of law is the only alternative to barbarism.

The American representatives were left sitting guiltily on their seats like the gangsters they are.

In 100 years time let’s hope that it is Russia’s call for the rule of law and not American “freedom” (=their business interests) which will have prevailed.

Jeremy Corbyn wins the Labour party election

He wins with the message that it is time to stop the focus on individualisation and start thinking about the collective.

Go Jeremy.

Socialism is the future of the human race. Not petty individualism.

His acceptance speech:

Corbyn clearly articulates a view based on historical analysis that social justice and decency in society is built by collective efforts by ordinary people. He is the only leading parliamentary politician in this country to actually talk about achieving a decent and just society.


The Labour party leader contest

Jeremy Corbyn interviewed on RT.

Could he be the next leader of the Labour party? A candidate in a general election for Prime Minister? Someone who coolly says “public ownership of or participation in the banks is no bad thing”?

That would certainly mean that there was something to discuss at the election.