Monthly Archives: May 2006

bugged by PMs and Corporate Uni types


The first few sunny days of summer and I am bugged. I mean bugged as in plagued by small flying things – slap, and a smear of some sand-fly type thing crushed against my arm, cheek, thigh. Itchy, scratch scratch, and a strange buzzing in my ear. Flying things all over the place and a creepy crawly feeling. Not that I would complain about summer ever – bring on a real one – but is this what global warming means for us, an England full of wasps and other annoying critters.

Of course this is symbolica as well – w.a.s.p.s – and it reminded me of the major thing that bugged me about Australia on my recent visit home (as also mentioned in the pages of TNT in interview a few issues back). Which bug? – the snivelling continuing precence of the nasty scuzzbag John Howard as prime-minister-for-life in the land of the Magic Pudding (so it seems – no credible parliamentary alternative in ‘opposition’ leader Beazley). The pie has truly turned rotten, though not significantly more rotten than the Maggie-in-a-nicer-dress version that we still have as PM here (he also wants it to be for life it seems).

The poster in the accompanying gloomy picture was for a Socialist Alternative public meeting. Worth noting as you look closely – after pondering the universal relevance of the slogan – is that the picture is from a worker-student solidarity rally, the sort of thing we might need in the current university dispute here, instead of defence of scabs and limited debate about what education might be, as we lurch even more into a degraded teaching factory system. Slap.
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CrapEmploye adventures in the left-wing of capital

Hi Ben – over the top then, with gusto. J

CrapEmployee�� adventures in the left-wing of capital: “finally! mission accomplished
Well, yeah!
Sacked via e-mail, on a work account that they then cancelled so fast that I cannot even include the priceless text on this blog until I get the hard copy that I assume has been mailed to me: suffice to say I am accused of ‘terrifying’ and ‘harassing’ my manager, the President and the Treasurer (well, nihil humani a me alienum puto etcetera). However, they did send out an e-mail to all MSA staff, office-bearers and MSA representatives concerning my good self, which is here:
1. Effective as of Monday the 24th of April, the employment of our Policy Planning Officer, Benjamin Ross, ended.
Management has advised Mr. Ross that subsequent to the collection of his personal affects, we expect that he will not enter the premises (specifically all MSA space) as he will neither be a staff member nor student of this University.
We ask that all staff and OBs report any attempts by Mr. Ross to enter the premises and pass on any and all communication with Mr. Ross to their Manager or preferably a member of the Executive.
Kane Wishart
Treasurer
Though neither the Treasurer nor my manager would actually have a conversation with me, my manager, Gerry, did take the time to remove (what he falsely claimed to be) all of my possessions from my office and also to tell me that if I didn�t get out of the MSA space that he would call security.
They make a desolation and they call it peace: Happy days are here again.
On to the next adventure.”

I recommend perusal of the rest of this blog, even after its avowed mission has terminated.

proud as punch


On 5/8/06, Ned Rossiter> wrote:


> btw, your blog is blocked by the china firewall.

Really – wow. I am so impressed, why would anyone bother?
John

I was thinking if there were ways to set up applets that generate pictures of Mao on ever new spam blogger sites – if only to annoy the mechanised censors I guess, and of course slow down this entire automated search system world – which also reminds me, just a few hundred hits to go till we hit 10k on here. No doubt many of them bots rather than real – thanks for stopping by comrades.
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Imogen Bunting 2


Imogen Bunting was a very close friend and her death is an injustice I cannot reconcile (there is no god, no reason, no meaning, nothing fair – etc etc). An astonishing (and yet no surprise) number of people came to the commemoration, and folks from Goldsmiths, from peace boats (Hannah), from the TUC, from the New School spoke eloquently and beautifully. Many many tears were shed.

I am keen to see something of this energy tapped (Duchamp wanted to measure the untapped energy of falling tears – IB would have laughed right here) and I want to see that depth of feeling translated into an ongoing activism that befits the revolutionary politics that Imogen herself espoused. However smilingly she did so, she was totally consistent. I will post soon more of her writing, and I hope there will be further publications from others, but in the meantime you can check a piece that was published in the journal Left Curve a few years ago.
http://www.leftcurve.org/LC27WebPages/FolkDevils.html

The picture is of the quilt made of Imogen’s garments – I would be embarrassed to call this trinketization, but the way it captures a deeper sentiment and echoes with the book we were doing (that will be done) itself catches me in the throat.

(added later – there will also be a memorial in NYC, see here)
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Shareholders join Rio protest


Shareholders join Rio protest
From: AAP
May 04, 2006

SHAREHOLDERS have joined protesters outside the annual general meeting of mining giant Rio Tinto in Melbourne, concerned about the company’s mining practices in Papua New Guinea.
Organised by the Mineral Policy Institute (MPI) and Free West Papua campaign, the protest – outside the Sofitel hotel in busy Collins Street – was against alleged corruption and human rights abuses at the giant Freeport mine in Indonesia’s Papua province.
MPI said the Freeport mine was engaging in similar irresponsible conduct to that at the Rio Tinto-owned mine in Bougainville, which led to a 10-year civil war.
It follows the release of a report by the Indonesian Environment Forum which alleged that Rio Tinto was releasing copper tailings from its Freeport mine into a nearby river.
Shareholder John Poppins said he was concerned about the report and was there to support the protest as well as voice his opinion at the AGM.
“I have a growing level of concern as I grow older in the way in which my dividends are earned, and the impacts on the other people, particularly in countries where the law is not as strong as it is here,” Mr Poppins said.
Mr Poppins said he was concerned about the report which was released this week by the Indonesian Environment Forum.
“Deeply, yes. It seems in my youth I invested all my savings in the bad guys,” he said.
“There are really only two alternatives: you can sell in disgust or you can hold on to the shares and start to question the company.”
Some shareholders had given their proxy votes to Papuan and environmental activists, allowing them to attend the meeting.
Herman Wanggai, one of the Papuan asylum seekers recently given visas to stay in Australia, was at the protest and said there was one thing he wanted to ask at the AGM.
“The question I ask is why are we suffering for the rich resources?” Mr Arumisore said.
Moses Havini, who described himself as the international representative for Bougainville, said Rio Tinto should be held accountable for what it was doing to the environment in Papua.
“There seems to be two rules: one for Rio Tinto in other countries; and the other one is in other countries such as Bougainville and Papua New Guinea where it is fine to pump mine tailings directly into the water systems and the sea,” Mr Havini said.
Rio Tinto has invested $2.2 billion in the mine.
http://finance.news.com.au/story/0,10166,19022917-31037,00.html
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