Marching against austerity

Anti Austerity march, London, June 20th 2015

So yesterday, a few of us from Salford Green Party, and at least 400 people from Manchester, went down to London to join the big anti-austerity march. A few of the photos I took are in this Flickr gallery. Not all the banners were as amusingly blunt as the one above, and, even on a demo, I couldn’t keep myself from taking the occasional architectural photo. There are a lot of clocks on Fleet Street.

Turnout was estimated to be as high as 250,000. It’s the Tory conference in Manchester in October, so expect to see something similar here then.

There’s a Salford Greens group on Flickr now, which we’ll fill up with pictures from events and campaigns. So far, only my pictures are on it, but I did just create it ten minutes ago.

And God Created Brixton 2

Far too much of what I know of London comes from Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine lyrics. It’s been odd listening to them and flicking over to Twitter to read of riots in the capital. I don’t know where all these places are, absolutely or in relation to each other, and, apart from Croydon, I haven’t been to any of them. So I don’t know how big the riots are and how dangerous they are.

Anyone I know in London- hell, anyone in London- I hope you’re safe.

I walked from my baby’s Brixton flat
Into a riot
I thought of maybe turning back
Till things were quiet
When all the buildings to be burned
Had been burned
And all the cars to overturn
Were overturned

Outside the prison they were screen testing the free
Open auditions for closed circuit T.V.
Your baby brother would be there outside the jail
Throwing bottles as the police sirens wailed
And a love song might not be suitable
But you look beautiful tonight

Death and disaster only make me love you more
The morning after the night that went before
When the brains of Brixton with conflicting points of views
Are outside The Ritzy on the local TV news

A love song might not be suitable
But you look beautiful tonight
And if you feel the same way as I feel
Everything will be alright

I was thinking,
Let’s forget about the car
And do some late night drinking
In a late night drinking bar
It isn’t far, well it’s my local anyway
I know the barman
And there’s a small vocal P.A.

Now the insurance man has left you with the news
That your third party fire and theft would be no use
And I know a love song isn’t suitable or right
But you look beautiful, beautiful tonight

And if you feel the same was as I feel
Everything will be alright

Tonight, Big Brother is watching you
And I am watching too
I will watch over you
Like a thunderbolt out of the blue
Something told me it was true
God created me and you
And God created Brixton too
Praise the Lord!
Tonight you can rest assured
The Father, Son, The Holy Ghost and I
Will love you more than most

Buy your own bit of Heathrow

Airplot is a scheme dreamt up by Greenpeace to scupper plans for a third runway at Heathrow. They’ve bought up land on the planned site (not quite on the runway itself, but near) and will refuse to sell it. I think the idea is that everyone named as a co-tenant/owner of the land will have to be approached by the Government when it comes time to start buying up the land, making the job particularly hard.

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There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life

That’s one of the slogans proposed for the Atheist Bus camapign, a counter to increasing religious advertising on buses. I’d love to see a few of these on Manchester buses. The increasing number of King’s Church adverts have been annoying me lately. Even as an atheist I’m insulted by their slogan “Making Jesus famous”. The sheer arrogance of believing they can improve the profile of the most famous imaginary Jewish person ever tells you all you need to know about what King’s Church is really about. It’s about feeding the ego of whoever runs King’s Church, not spreading any of the more positive aspects of Christian teaching or helping in any way the vulnerable people who will most likely respond to the ads.

Man shot for wearing Barack Obama T-shirt

The scary thing is, this happened in London. A man wearing a Barack Obama t-shirt was harassed whilst shopping by a man who later came back with an airgun and shot him. The attacker was obviously an unhinged racist looking for a reason to attack someone, but the Obama-hate is the sort of thing I expect to see more of from the right wing nuts in the US. All the morons currently going all Godwin and equating him to Hitler will go into full on armed uprising fantasies if (when? please make it when) he wins the election.

The chaplain of the Stock Exchange want homosexuals tattooed

Rev Peter Mullen, chaplain of the Stock Exchange and rector of St Michael’s Cornhill and St Sepulchre without Newgate in the City, has “joked” that homosexual men should be tattoed with messages such as SODOMY CAN SERIOUSLY DAMAGE YOUR HEALTH and FELLATIO KILLS. And Jews should wear yellow stars, gypsies should be rounded up and shot, Communists……

Update I forgot to mention that the link is to a Daily Mail article, so if you do read the comments be prepared for a lot of frothing “political correctness gone mad”, “homosexual agenda!” type stuff. Apparently it’s good that he has stood up and chosen to counter all the homosexual propaganda that’s out there. Where is this homosexual propaganda exactly? I’d love to see some, just to find out what it looks like. I guess those perfume adverts with David Beckham could be guerilla gay propaganda- it can claim to be about something else, but smelly stuff is a bit gay isn’t it?

I can’t believe that I’m so much less aware than the average Daily Mail reader that I can’t see the great big billboards that must be out there emblazoned with catchy mesages like “Become a poof- it’s good clean fun”. I assume that’s what they mean by homosexual propaganda, because they can’t possibly mean calls to treat homosexuals equally when they go on about it. Can they?

NY:LON – Battle of the cities

Telegraph blogs are doing a series on New York vs London and all of their contributors have been invited to join in. I’ve yet to visit New York and I’ve probably spent less time in London than any of the Americans I’ve met. (Staines doesn’t count as London, it’s just a rather dire place tauntingly close to the capital.)

With luck I’ll get to visit both cities this year. I could try out my accent over the pond to see who’s impressed, but I’m sure it will be less of a novelty in New York than elsewhere in the US.

2 Wheels Guardian
The troubles of finding a second hand bike in London.  My local bike shop (Withington Cycles) has a sign on the door saying they don’t take second hand bikes, probably because they get so many scallies coming in trying to pass on stolen rides.  For a very short period last year the Ride Manchester scheme was probably the best place to go to get a second hand bike, but they’re gone now.,,2026740,00.html
An alternative highway code for urban cyclist’s, and route notes for London.  Tomorrow they cover Manchester and Liverpool.

Lots o' links
American industry groups are calling on George Bush to introduce mandatory emission standards in his State of the Union address.  He’s not going to, but the sentiment is appreciated.
Australians take to their bikes.
2012 Olympics to be the "greenest ever".,,1996493,00.html
Tony Blair takes the credit.
Beachcomber pictures.  Locals scavenge what they can from the wreck of the MSC Napoli.  It’s like Whisky Galore, only with Pampers.
More pictures. “Barrels of wine, shoes, hair care products, beauty cream, steering wheels, exhaust pipes, gearboxes, nappies, foreign language bibles and BMW motorbikes have all been washed up on the pebbled beach.”
Smuggler’s Britain.  Branscombe used to be a popular beach for landing smuggled goods.
Can you keep what you find on the beach?  (No, you’ve got to report it and you may then get a reward.),,1996505,00.html
Does anyone really believe the supermarkets talk of going Green?  Much like George Monbiot, I’m convinced it’s all PR and the very nature of their business makes them unsustainable.