About Sid

Socialist Inclusivity Diversity

Murder, by May (And a complicit Media)


The Tories do not care. They have never and will never care about the sanctity of human life. Their only aim is to erase the number of Just About Managing families in order to meet targets. When policies created with the aim to ensure positive outcomes for families result in the death of family members, questions must be asked. Why is this not a national scandal? How is it that the Tories are being allowed to get away with the killing and cleansing of vulnerable citizens through the creation of policies which kill? That is what it is, socio-economic manslaughter. 

If they cared, surely they would stop and look into this but oh no, the lust of vampires is mightier than life itself. 

1. Universal Credit and poverty. Look no further:
https://www.thecanary.co/uk/analysis/2018/08/29/one-image-just-annihilated-the-dwps-most-controversial-benefit/

2. Benefit sanctions and suicide:
https://evolvepolitics.com/these-are-the-last-words-of-a-disabled-hero-who-committed-suicide-after-the-tories-stole-20-a-week-from-his-disability-benefit

3. 50 percent of women attempt following fit for work assessments:
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/theresa-may-fit-to-work-assessment-women-suicide-benefits-disability-a8577306.html

4. Death on Benefits to ESA claimants:
https://www.thecanary.co/uk/2018/10/09/the-dwp-is-slammed-after-its-forced-to-reveal-that-10000-esa-claimants-have-died/

5. The Vampire’s apprentice has been released to devour the oxygen supply of benefit claimants:
https://www.thecanary.co/uk/analysis/2018/10/10/the-dwps-new-chief-spin-doctor-used-to-work-for-ids/

6. The Tories have the blood of UK citizens on their hands indeed:
https://welfareweekly.com/tories-will-have-blood-on-their-hands-if-they-press-ahead-with-universal-credit/

7. Oh, just a few more deaths to consider:
https://welfareweekly.com/hundreds-die-every-month-after-being-told-to-find-work/

But it will be okay. Just keep rewarding the henchmen and women for a targeted killing spree and it will just continue:
https://www.thecanary.co/uk/2018/10/08/the-dwps-latest-round-of-staff-bonuses-is-a-disgusting-disgrace/

And after they recieve thier reward, appoint a ‘minister of suicide’ to examine the stare of suicide in the nation. What fuckwit Ted and perverse thinking. Always need to be seen to be doing something but it is always the wrong thing. Address the sham of benefits, decent wage, homes to live address the damaged infrastructure of society if you have any intention of addressing mental health concerns. Bastards. 

And there is much, much more than this. How dare they. How the hell dare they erase human life at a whim. It is time to make a stand and erase this government. How dare they share the same oxygen supply.

(Credit to a fishgirl, aged 23)

Advertisements

Conservatives v Corbyn: How the Tory party’s policy vacuum has left them floundering among the under 45s

David Hencke

1200px-Official_portrait_of_George_Freeman_crop_2 George Freeman, MP – man behind revitalising Tory policies. Pic credit: Wikipedia

CROSS POSTED ON BYLINE.COM

Beyond the  media hype of the Brexit battle between Boris and Theresa May this year’s Conservative Party conference was a heart searching  and navel gazing spectacle.

Clearly still rattled by the result of 2017 election where Theresa May lost them their overall majority – by far the biggest topic on the fringe was how can they woo back droves of people under 45 who have deserted them for Labour.

Unusually for a party in power  there were strident calls to develop new policies to win back these lost voters. Usually parties in government can take the initiative as they have the reins of power  and can produce plenty of fresh ideas.

But the Tories at this conference were behaving like a party in opposition – a huge navel gazing exercise in a desperate search…

View original post 652 more words

Whose History Matters? Students Can Name Columbus, But Most Have Never Heard of the Taíno People

Published on 
by 

Columbus’s treatment of the Taíno people meets the UN definition of genocide. But there has also been a curricular genocide — erasing the memory of the Taíno from our nation’s classrooms

Linguists and then archeologists of the 19th century used Taíno to group together the various Arawak-speaking peoples in the Greater Antilles. (Photo: Smithsonian Exhibits, 2017)

Linguists and then archeologists of the 19th century used Taíno to group together the various Arawak-speaking peoples in the Greater Antilles. (Photo: Smithsonian Exhibits, 2017)

Early in my high school U.S. history classes, I would ask students about “that guy some people say discovered America.” All my students knew that the correct answer was Christopher Columbus, and every time I asked this question, some student would break into the sing-song rhyme, “In Fourteen Hundred and Ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue” — and others would join in.

“Right. So who did he supposedly discover?” I asked.

In almost 30 years of teaching, the best anyone could come up with was: “Indians.”

I brushed that answer away: “Yes, but be specific. What were their names? Which nationality?” I never had a student say, “The Taínos.”

“So what does this tell us?” I asked. “What does it say that we all know Columbus’s name, but none of us knows the nationality of the people who were here first?  And there were millions of them.”

This erasure of huge swaths of humanity is a fundamental feature of the school curriculum, but also of the broader mainstream political discourse. We usually think about the curriculum as what is taught in school. But as important — perhaps more important — is what is nottaught, which includes the lives rendered invisible. Young people, and the rest of us, become inured to the way in which certain people’s lives don’t count, the way in which the world is cleaved in two: between the worthy and the unworthy, those who matter and those who don’t. The “don’t matter” people are the ones the Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano called los nadies, the nobodies — “Who speak no languages, only dialects. Who have no religions, only superstitions. Who have no arts, only crafts.”

My students and I read and talked about this erasure — these horrific attacks on Taínos who might dare “to think of themselves as human beings.” Because Columbus’s policies of enslavement, terrorism, and ultimately, mass murder are so egregious, it’s tempting to focus only on Taíno deaths.

For the Taíno people of the Caribbean, their erasure began almost immediately, with Columbus’s arrival. It was not curricular, it was flesh and blood. “With 50 men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want,” Columbus wrote in his journal on his third day in the Americas. In 1494, Columbus launched the transatlantic slave trade, sending at least two dozen enslaved Taínos to Spain, “men and women, boys and girls,” as he wrote. The next year, 1495, Columbus launched massive slave raids, rounding up 1,600 Taínos, from which the “best” 500, perhaps 550, were selected to be shipped to Spain. Of the hundreds of captives left over, “whoever wanted them could take as many as he pleased,” one eyewitness, a Spanish colonist, Michele de Cuneo, wrote, “and this was done.”

The Spanish priest Bartolomé de las Casas described what he called the “terror” launched by Columbus in his quest for gold and to suppress Taíno resistance:

It was a general rule among Spaniards to be cruel; not just cruel, but extraordinarily cruel so that harsh and bitter treatment would prevent Indians as daring to think of themselves as human beings or having a minute to think at all. So they would cut an Indian’s hands and leave them dangling by a shred of skin and they would send him on saying, “Go now, spread the news to your chiefs.” They would test their swords and their manly strength on captured Indians and place bets on the slicing off of heads or the cutting of bodies in half with one blow. They burned or hanged captured chiefs.

My students and I read and talked about this erasure — these horrific attacks on Taínos who might dare “to think of themselves as human beings.” Because Columbus’s policies of enslavement, terrorism, and ultimately, mass murder are so egregious, it’s tempting to focus only on Taíno deaths. But those deaths can seem abstract and distant, unless we learn something about Taíno lives.

It has always struck me that Columbus himself expressed much more curiosity about the Taínos than one finds in corporate-produced textbooks — although in recent years, no doubt because of Indigenous activism, textbook publishers have discovered the Taínos, if only briefly and superficially. The Taínos were not literate, in the conventional sense, and so wrote nothing about themselves, but Columbus’s journal offers intriguing, if limited, details. In the journal of his first voyage, Columbus wrote about the Taíno people’s homes: “Inside, they were well swept and clean, and their furnishing very well arranged; all were made of very beautiful palm branches.” He said there were “wild birds, tamed, in their houses; there were wonderful outfits of nets and hooks and fishing-tackle.” Columbus writes that it was a “delight” to see Taino canoas (canoes) that were “very beautiful and carved… it was a pleasure to see its workmanship and beauty.” After a little more than three months traveling from island to island, Columbus concluded that the Taíno people are “the best people in the world, and beyond all the mildest… a people so full of love and without greed… They love their neighbors as themselves, and they have the softest and gentlest voices in the world, and they are always smiling.”

Of course, Columbus’s curiosity was grounded in his single-minded quest for gold, and how he might exploit the Taínos to further that mission. As Columbus later wrote King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella: “Gold is a wonderful thing! Whoever owns it is lord of all he wants. With gold it is even possible for souls to open the way to paradise.”

After a little more than three months traveling from island to island, Columbus concluded that the Taíno people are “the best people in the world, and beyond all the mildest… a people so full of love and without greed… They love their neighbors as themselves, and they have the softest and gentlest voices in the world, and they are always smiling.”

Columbus’s portrait of the mild, soft, and gentle Taíno may conceal that they also tenaciously resisted the Columbus regime, once its exploitative and deadly nature became clear. This resistance has been called the first anti-colonial guerrilla war in the Americas. It began as early as Columbus’s first trip back to Spain, when he left 39 Spaniards at his La Navidad settlement, confident that the powerful Spaniards could handle the supposedly timid Taínos. In response to the Spaniards’ rapacity, the Taínos killed all 39 Spaniards, and burned their fort.

If Columbus’s first trip, with three vessels and maybe 100 men, was an exploratory probe, the second trip, with 17 ships and between 1,200 and 1,500 men, was a full-scale invasion. When slavery turned out not to be profitable on la Española (the island that today is Haiti and the Dominican Republic), Columbus instituted a tribute system for the Taínos, demanding quotas of gold and cotton, with sadistic punishments for those who failed to comply. This system was “impossible and intolerable,” wrote Bartolomé de las Casas.

https://www.zinnedproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Taino-Fight-Back-e1538511466343-650x408.jpgThe Taínos continuously resisted the heavily armed Spaniards. 16th-century sketch by Theodor de Bry.

The Taínos fought back, raiding Spanish forts and killing defenders. Taíno caciques, leaders, worked to build alliances throughout the island. The Taínos continuously resisted the heavily armed Spaniards for almost a year, from May 1495 to March 1496, but uprisings and resistance continued through 1503. According to Spanish accounts, Taínos also went on strike and turned to sabotage. One Spanish eyewitness wrote that the Taínos “thought they might expel [the Spaniards] by creating a scarcity of food. They therefore decided not only to plant no more crops, but also to destroy and tear up all the various kinds of cereals used for bread which had already been sown.” Las Casas adds that the Taínos “would hide in the mountains,” but when they “fled the Christians, there went with them disease, death, and misery, and an infinite number of fathers and mothers and children died in anguish.”

Ironically, in their quest for a happy ending to this grim first chapter in European colonialism in the Americas, textbook writers also focus on food — but not on resistance. For example, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s middle school text United States History Early Years concludes its section on Columbus:

The Columbian Exchange benefited people all over the world. Potatoes from the Americas became an important food for most Europeans. Corn became an important crop in Africa. Sweet potatoes were grown as far away as China. Today, tomatoes, peanuts, and American beans and peppers are grown in many lands.

The sole “review” question asks: “How did the Columbian Exchange change the diet of Europeans?”

This is how the textbook story ends: wondering about the eating habits of Europeans. Let’s remember that enslaving Africans and shipping them to the Americas was also a part of the so-called Columbian Exchange. Africa was not only a receptacle for American corn. Columbus was granted the first royal permit to bring enslaved Africans to the Americas in 1501, less than a decade after his arrival.

Despite textbook attempts to conclude the story with a smiley-face, there is no happy ending. But there is a hopeful one — found in the remarkable resilience of the Taíno people. Contrary to some scholarship, the Taínos were not all killed off by Columbus and subsequent occupiers, and today members of the Taíno diaspora along with people in the Caribbean who claim Taíno ancestry are reviving and celebrating their culture. According to Christina M. González, writing in the fall 2018 issue of American Indian, the Taíno revival began around the quincentenary of Columbus’s arrival. The renaissance focuses on language, art, religion, pharmacology, agriculture, fishing, cooking, and, of course, rethinking Taíno history. González writes, “Many in the movement call upon embodied memories of traditions and values disseminated across generations, often by family matriarchs, which espoused mindful relations in a world where all things have life, from plants, stones, rivers, forests, caves, sun and moon, to deceased relatives and disincarnate beings inhabiting their islands.”

In recent years, genetic research has confirmed the ongoing Taíno presence in the Caribbean. According to José Barreiro, a scholar and a member of the Taíno Nation of the Antilles, genetic research in Cuba has found that almost 35 percent of Cubans have Native American mitochondrial DNA, with some regions as high as 59 percent. A University of Puerto Rico study of 800 randomly selected Puerto Ricans found 61.1 percent of individuals surveyed had mitochondrial DNA of Indigenous origin. But as a friend recently reminded me, people with Taíno cultural DNA had no need for scientific confirmation that they are still here — “hidden in plain sight,” as José Barreiro subtitled his National Museum of the American Indian article on “Indigenous Cuba.”

Columbus’s treatment of the Taíno people meets the UN definition of genocide. But there has also been a curricular genocide — erasing the memory of the Taíno from our nation’s classrooms. How else can we explain students’ universal recognition of Columbus and almost total ignorance of the name Taíno? As we work to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day in our communities and schools, let’s work to remember the people who were here first. Their lives mattered 500 years ago, and they matter today.

Actually existing and imaginary anti semitism

21centurymanifesto

by Nick Wright

It was with a sense of relief that caught Jeremy Corbyn’s tweetr marking the tenth anniversary of the financial crash and setting out Labour’s plans to deal with irresponsible speculative banking practices. This is real substantial politics that goes to the core of the choices facing people in Britain and provides a welcome respite from the highly concocted ‘debate’ around alleged antisemitism in the Labour Party.

Such naivety!

But Stephen Pollard, editor of the Jewish Chronicle misses no opportunity. In response to the video he tweeted the following: “Been hesitating to tweet this because (sic) I keep thinking it can’t be, surely it can’t be.

View original post 1,047 more words

Death Stars, fish questionnaires and a thriving lightsabre sector: ERG unveils alternative Chequer’s plan.

Pin Prick

Jacob Rees-Mogg and his 80 strong European Research Group have deemed Theresa May’s Chequer’s Plan “unworkable.” Here is the leaked draft of their more feasible alternative.

death star A British Death Star for a British future

Death Star

Anyone who has seen the documentary series ‘Star Wars’ will be aware of the challenges facing well-intentioned ‘Empires’ wishing to reassert themselves in difficult times. As such, the ERG advocates investing the money we would otherwise send to Brussels in an enormous ‘Death Star.’ This grand project will need skilled workers, IT consultants and – crucially – give a much needed boost to innovative new ray gun and light sabre sectors. The fully costed “Death Star” policy forms a central plank of the ERG proposals. Why should the United Kingdom be tied to the failing “Planet Earth” project when there is a whole galaxy out there to trade with?

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland existed…

View original post 598 more words

Why these liars, cheats and fraudsters should be prosecuted for ripping off taxpayers and cheating London’s firefighters

David Hencke

assetco_3417t John Shannon , former chief executive of Assetco. now exposed as a liar and fraudster, banned for 16 years from practising as an accountant and ordered to pay £550,00 in fines and costs

CROSS POSTED ON BYLINE.COM

This month one of the most devastating reports into a privatisation rip off was published by the Financial Reporting Council, which regulates chartered accountants. It involves a saga much reported on this blog, the failed privatisation of London and Lincoln’s  fire engines, handed over to what are now revealed to be liars and fraudsters who ran Assetco at the time.

The three top directors, chief executive, John Shannon; chief financial officer, Frank Flynn; and group financial controller, Matt Boyle, could not even be bothered to attend a tribunal hearing to defend themselves against 27 allegations of misconduct. Shannon and Boyle are thought to be somewhere in South East Asia Flynn is in Northern…

View original post 825 more words