1.5.16

Undying Benefactor be generous

Lightened up and t shirtified
White supremacist Neoliberalism strikes again with ironic splendour.

A Queer universal chord
Struck across developmentshire
From core to semiperiphery,
Universal exclusivity.
Tormenting the other men and women put in their graves, pyres and asylums
By this regime of epic homocide.

We mourn and mark
With prayer and resolve.
For all souls and hopes
In His way.
Keep those selfies for Benazir.

Shaytan,
Ustad of hypocrisy
Laughs his head off.
"What do you know about justice?"

The death of two shall outweigh that of the hundreds thought massacred in Dhaka just three years ago at Shapla Chottor .
Two human bodies over hundreds invisible subhuman bodies

Monitoring & Evaluation report
Their value
multiplied by white
to the power three.
Upper middle class,
foreign embassy staff,
lgbt.

Shaytan,
Ustad of misdirecting rage
Laughing his head off again,
begins to fill in a very important
Socio-spiritual Impact Self Assessment form.
And abandons his tools to their fate.

27.4.16

Murders in Bangladesh, conditions of danger.

The fact of violence and death on the streets of Bangladesh is sadly not new.  Adolescents, opposition activists and business people regularly disappeared, killed and their bodies not registered on the white archive of pain. With the power to represent being as it is, an argument is being arranged whereby the sole victims of violence crime in the country are minorities, religious, atheist and sexual.

It is a greasy and sleazily maintained narrative, fed by scoundrels in internal and external corporate news agencies. What they should be doing is owning up to producing the current conditions of oppression, confusion and fear, and seeking to make amends, not visa applications.

23.2.16

The 2016 London Elections. More Greens Please.

On May 5th this year, less than half of registered voters in London will vote in the GLA elections. For many commentators it is the opportunity to crucify the new Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, or whitemail people into voting for Sadiq Khan. However, this election is more interesting than the two main contenders, the media game and business as usual. We could be politically creative for a change.




The London Mayor is responsible for a £150 million annual budget, and has fingers in a great many pies which shape our movement, living, breathing and working. Check out the London Elects site for the full regional democracy propaganda.  There will be a new mayor and 25 assembly members, 14  chosen on a constituency basis, and the others by a proportional-representation-based second vote system. Assembly membership is a great opportunity for up-and-coming politicians to get known, get stuff done and prove themselves. 

[May 5th is also a sad day, the third anniversary of the 2013 Dhaka Massacre, ordered by the Labour MP for Hampstead and Kilburn's aunt, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh.  ]

Sadiq Goldaway and the Politics of Life

I remember spending a few afternoons of my misspent youth plastering Tooting High Street with pro-Sadiq posters.  He does have a good chance of making it to City Hall,  London is 'naturally' a Labour kinda space and he has the keys to their machine. However, his opportunistic behaviour and the conditions around him do not permit many principles to survive for long, and the Islamophobia industry is likely to skewer him, and prompt him to skewer himself more and more as polling day draws nearer. It is going to be cringesome.  

Conservative candidate Zak Goldsmith used to edit the Ecologist magazine, and is the ex brother-in-law of Imran Khan. These two facts have an uncomfortably magnetic effect on my political affections, but there isn't much social justice about him, at least that is apparent. He'd block a third runway at Heathrow, and thats about it. He might just get in on big money, whiteness and Islamophobia alone. 

Fresh from losing his Bradford constituency to the Quilliam-busting Naz Shah, political entrepreneur George Galloway is also running. Watching him arrive at a Stop The War Coalition meeting last year, I felt that he had aged a lot since I first encountered him a decade and a half ago, and didn't seem as fearless as he used to. The savage beating he received from former BBC manager Neil Masterton in 2014 probably had a lot to do with that. Remembering Ken Livingstone's narrow misses in 2008 and 2012, it is hard to be pro Palestine in Britain these days, it does your career and your sanity no real favours.  But I guess in the scheme of things,  Galloway's strategic mistake was pissing off a lot of white feminists with his defence of Julian Assange against rape claims. 

GG is not the only figure in public life for whom a principled stand against the demolition of Iraq and Afghanistan has born some political fruit. What is  educative however, is how Jeremy Corbyn is able to combine an anti-imperialist standpoint with being great constituency MP, the butt of establishment derision and yet carry himself with impeccably middle-class manners. As Corbyn's star has risen, it would be easy to conclude that the Labour position in London would naturally get stronger, with Momentum and everything. However, Sadiq Khan has spend most of his time alienating this movement, and it would probably be fair to say that the Labour list reflected the pre-Corbyn era of vanilla careerists.

 Post Labour politics has a number of threads in the UK today, none of which are doing particularly well, but they could use a shot in the arm that is your vote and support. I think that the Green Party, for all the stupidity and blinkeredness of the Tower Hamlets Branch during last years coup, has the closest offering to Octarine, and the Politics of Life.

Drink The Green Potion 

Their Mayoral Candidate, Sian Berry along with Party leader Caroline Lucas, was a consistent supporter of the Free Talha Ahsan campaign, and has been building her campaign's profile in recent months. See articles by Dave Hill in the Guardian and Rosamun Urwin, Evening Standard

As mayor, she would support the London Renter's Union, which would voice, support and represent 2.3 million people living in that tenure. Housing in general is a strong point of policy platform,  from enabling community building and supporting community defence from estate demolition. Transport ideas are pretty visionary too, from a fairer system of Tube fares, turning TfL into a renewable energy producer and the plan to replace London City Airport with homes and businesses.

This last idea will irk a few people, but I am sure they will survive a longer taxi journey home or to work. I think it will go down well in the one party state of Newham. Dusting of my Dhaka hat for a moment, I have always dreamed of replacing the elite golf courses of Dhaka with beautiful social housing landscaping for the urban poor, because that is what smiles are made of, and thats what Bhashani would do.

Here's Ma Berry talking to The Artist Taxi Driver a few months ago, from this interview you can tell she has solidarity with the most marginalised and is a fair person with a hunger for justice and a sense of humour.




Electorology




The ugly table above, pinched off an LSE blog, shows the state of play in 2012. Note the Greens slipping into third place just ahead of the Lib Dems. You only really need 1 million votes to win it, I don't see what the fuss is all about, you just need a turning-on and turning-out machine.  

It is worth reflecting on how the situation differs from  2012. It seems like another world, but its probably much the same.

The Olympic Bread and Circuses are over, nobody really knows much about any of the main vanilla contenders, Russell Brand made some videos and now everybody is at it, the Lib-dems were routed last year, there has been 4 more years of social cleansing,  the far right are on the rise, Jeremy Corbyn won the Labour leadership campaign and survives, and this government's malevolence is being understood even better now that those nice junior doctors are protesting.

Historical London voting data can be found here. With linear growth goggles on there are a few boroughs where the Greens should pass 10% vote share, unless they've been Corbynated, and if campaigns are targeted, systematic and Labour beating they will do much better. 

Who are these people that I've never even heard of?

The Londonwide ad constituency candidates are is as follows. 
Last time around they got 2 London-wide assembly members, this time hopefully more.

London List

1. Sian Berry
2. Caroline Russell
3. Shahrar Ali
4. Jonathan Bartley
5. Noel Lynch
6. Rashid Nix
7. Dee Searle
8. Benali Hamdache
9. Andrea Carey Fuller
10. RoseMary Warrington

11. Peter Underwood


ConstituencyName
Barnet and CamdenStephen Taylor
Bexley and BromleyRoisin Robertson
Brent and HarrowJafar Hassan
City and EastRachel Collinson
Croydon and SuttonTracey Hague
Ealing and HillingdonMeena Hans
Enfield and HaringeyRonald Stewart
Greenwich and LewishamImogen Solly
Havering and RedbridgeLee Burkwood
Lambeth and SouthwarkRashid Nix
Merton and WandsworthEsther Obiri-Darko
North EastSamir Jeraj
South WestAndree Frieze
West CentralJennifer Nadel

22.2.16

Poor Poor Mahfuz what'cha gonna do?

Inequality of knowledge production, publishing and reception being what they are, there is an image being painted of Bangladeshi news baron Mahfuz Anam, father of author Tahmima Anam, as a liberal martyr. It is an image worth exploring.

Both father and daughter are influential media gatekeepers in the international sphere on Bangladesh, the former has edited Dhaka's English Daily Star for a number of years, and the latter written novels on Bangladesh.  In my opinion, they have blood on their fingers regarding the Dhaka Massacre of 2013 and bear some responsibility for the conditions of oppression afflicting the people of the country.

For example, Mahfuz Anam published critical disinformation for the government just days after it committed the worst massacre in Bangladesh's peacetime history, a massacre that people are still too cared to speak about in public in Bangladesh.  Continuing the family business Tahmima Anam's stoking of ultra nationalism and her defence of this Awami League government's rigged 2014 general elections are a matter of record, and UK establishment supported.

The hunter becoming the hunted

The one party state of Bangladesh has kicked up a fuss, and a truck load of cases, concerning a comment Mahfuz Anam made on a chat show admitting to printing a dubious secret service planted story about the present prime minister's corruption.

As my chosen example of the Dhaka Massacre shows, it is standard practice for the Daily Star news organisation. This is something which I say as someone who knows people who have worked there and admired the founding editor, S M Ali. As a powerful voice tuned to the outside ear, disinformation from the Daily Star hurts far more than others.

For calibration's sake, we can observe that Mir Quasem Ali and Mahmudur Rahman too are prominent media figures in Bangladesh, with important audiences in the non-secular liberal political space. They are under death-sentence-upon-kangaroo-court-trial and torture-upon-indefinite-detention-without-trial respectively. J

Just two examples of the inequality of violence and silence in Bangladesh



29.1.16

[New move] Resolutionary Political Islam

The movement of Love to address problems at their structural, epistemological and spiritual roots.

Not to be mistaken for mislamism, elite maneuvering, nationally enclosed/enclothed neoliberalistan and fossilised fiqhitude.

3.12.15

Sixty odd electoral decapitations, or something more creative?

MPs in the British Labour Party voting for government proposals to bomb Syria.

I advocate reverse doorstepping to give them the respect they deserve.

Heidi Alexander (Lewisham East), Ian Austin (Dudley North), Adrian Bailey (West Bromwich West), Kevin Barron (Rother Valley), Margaret Beckett (Derby South), Hilary Benn (Leeds Central), Luciana Berger (Liverpool Wavertree), Tom Blenkinsop (Middlesbrough South & Cleveland East), Ben Bradshaw (Exeter), Chris Bryant (Rhondda), Alan Campbell (Tynemouth), Jenny Chapman (Darlington), Vernon Coaker (Gedling), Ann Coffey (Stockport), Yvette Cooper (Normanton, Pontefract & Castleford), Neil Coyle (Bermondsey & Old Southwark), Mary Creagh (Wakefield), Stella Creasy (Walthamstow), Simon Danczuk (Rochdale), Wayne David (Caerphilly), Gloria De Piero (Ashfield), Stephen Doughty (Cardiff South & Penarth), Jim Dowd (Lewisham West & Penge), Michael Dugher (Barnsley East), Angela Eagle (Wallasey), Maria Eagle (Garston & Halewood), Louise Ellman (Liverpool Riverside), Frank Field (Birkenhead), Jim Fitzpatrick (Poplar & Limehouse), Colleen Fletcher (Coventry North East), Caroline Flint (Don Valley), Harriet Harman (Camberwell & Peckham), Margaret Hodge (Barking), George Howarth (Knowsley), Tristram Hunt (Stoke-on-Trent Central), Dan Jarvis (Barnsley Central), Alan Johnson (Hull West & Hessle), Graham Jones (Hyndburn), Helen Jones (Warrington North), Kevan Jones (Durham North), Susan Elan Jones (Clwyd South), Liz Kendall (Leicester West), Dr Peter Kyle (Hove), Chris Leslie (Nottingham East), Holly Lynch (Halifax), Siobhain McDonagh (Mitcham & Morden), Pat McFadden (Wolverhampton South East), Conor McGinn (St Helens North), Alison McGovern (Wirral South), Bridget Phillipson (Houghton & Sunderland South), Jamie Reed (Copeland), Emma Reynolds (Wolverhampton North East), Geoffrey Robinson (Coventry North West), Joan Ryan (Enfield North), Lucy Powell (Manchester Central), Ruth Smeeth (Stoke-on-Trent North), Angela Smith (Penistone & Stocksbridge), John Spellar (Warley), Gisela Stuart (Birmingham Edgbaston), Gareth Thomas (Harrow West), Anna Turley (Redcar), Chuka Umunna (Streatham), Keith Vaz (Leicester East), Tom Watson (West Bromwich East), Phil Wilson (Sedgefield) and John Woodcock (Barrow & Furness).

BuT

Of course a post industrial white party in the opposition of a fading imperial power was always going to have a problem stopping western revenge attacks after the pre climate conference violence in France.

And

Turkey and Iran, and your respective social constellations are the keys.

May your elites interbreed, interests align, hearts bond strongly and skills grow masterfully together.

1.12.15

Tony's 99

There aren't enough cards in a pack,
Or violence with which to attack,
Blair's line of defence to Assad,
Through Tony Benn's son's revenge bombing charade.

For what it's worth I wish Momentum good LUCK,
This tradition's destroying the earth,
Boiling grannies alive on sustainable jive,
Pouring bombs on the darker nation's hurt.

What to do, what to do, what to do,
From all we have learnt since 2002,
Assemblage & rhizome, let's transform this biome,
Not (further) poison those dear Syrian's stew.

17.11.15

Remembering Bhashani, Bhola and Political Possibilities

37 solar cycles ago Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani returned to his maker after a long political career struggling for social justice through British Occupied India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

45 years and 5 days ago the south of what is now Bangladesh was struck by a Cyclone which devastated communities and killed hundreds of thousands of people.

Allahumma grant them high station and us the collective wisdom and resources to fortify our communities with justice.

The 24 minute UK documentary below centres a team of British Army Engineers as they arrive without much of a clue of what is going on around them.

The film does feature a moving prayer, a rescue story, the long wait for a Pakistani Officer to arrive and some telling banter with East and West Pakistani officials.


The following 13 months is, as they say, history, though that period could have unfolded in any number of ways.

Maulana Bhashani was an elderly and unwell man at the time of the cyclone, receiving treatment in Dhaka. Awaking miraculously the next day he propelled himself to the disaster zone to greet, console and understand what had happened. Returning to Dhaka he delivered a galvanising call and a tremendous bollocking to central government.

His cry of Long Live Independent East Pakistan came from these gatherings and many say this speech act was critical to what happened afterwards even though Bhashani spent most of the Bangladesh War being sat upon by the Indian Government. There will be prayers and conferences in Tangail, provided the ruling party doesn't ban them like they have in the past, the 'secular' left will celebrate him as their totem, unreconstructed Muslim nationalists and (m)islamists will generally dismiss him.

Alternatively, many of believers will smile, sit and marvel at the oath Bhashani's spiritual-political disciples would utter upon and how understanding him unwinds the deceptive secular-religious elite politics of these unpleasant times.

“I give an undertaking that in Allah the Supreme I profess firm belief. 
I will believe with certainty that Rasulullah is the sent messenger. 
I will abide by all the regulations pertaining to the permitted and disallowed, as propagated by the Messenger.   
I will not bow my head to anyone besides Allah.  
I will endeavour tirelessly  to establish socialism, the only way to relieve all forms of human extortion and embezzlement.   
I will join the volunteers corps of the peasantry to eradicate from society all forms of imperialism, capitalism, feudalism,  usury and corruption. 
I will perform litanies, contemplation, meditation,  prayers and fasting… according to the tariqah of Qadria,  Naqshbandiya,  Chistiyyah. 
Every year on the 19/20th January 5 Magh I will attend the large seminar at Santos, Tangail and assist in the advancement and progression of the Islamic University.”
There is a university named after Maulana, primarily dedicated to Science and Technology, but like all institutions in Bangladesh, hardly free to flourish.  Still, it is really important to imagine the possibilities for learning, research and training at such an outfit, unwashed by flags for counter-tyranical, spiritual, social, physical and ecological learning.

7.11.15

Hasina takes a Dutch Trip

The ruler of Bangladesh arrived home in Dhaka from the Netherlands after a three day visit during which she went to vegetable markets, and discussed collaboration over national security and the Delta 2100 Plan.

As far as I can tell, she wasn't greeted with street protests as Egypt's ruler Sisi was in London this Thursday. I hear that European refrain, that she was praised for Bangladesh's development gains.  Which is rather odd, given that her regime has massacred civilians and continues to torture, kill and deny political rights to its opposition.

DELTA, FOXTROT, INDIA, DELTA

The Bangladeshi (Shapla Chottor) and Egypt (Rab'aa) state crime scenarios bear more than just a passing resemblance. They happened just a few months apart, on the back of the mass manipulation movements of Shahbag and Tammarod respectively. They tell the story of Muslims marshalling War on Terror production values, to turn other Muslims into dead meat.

There is crucial difference though. Whereas the Egyptian State massacred protesters in broad daylight, the Bangladesh State could only do it in darkness.

[Incidentally, Egypt and Bangladesh are linked by the 1973 war. Basically, Mujib sent the Arabs some tea and Anwar Sadat decided to send him some tanks in return. These tanks, which didn't have shells in at the time, were instrumental in Col Faruq and Rashid's 1975 coup against Mujib.]

Back in the UK, and I am yet to detect that Corbynistas have been able or willing to join the dots between Sisi, Hasina and trouble. The generally Bangladeshi Labour vote doesn't appear to be in jeopardy, at least now that things have gone post Lutfur Rahman, and we should know by now not to await deliverance from the white left.  In fact, the Bangladesh Awami League has an actual MP in the UK Parliament. Here's an Awami League produced and uploaded video of freshly elected Tulip Siddiq introducing herself and giving a shout out to her aunt, who has left hundreds of widows and mourning mothers in her wake. Didn't she do well?

Somewhere in a parallel universe there is a Begum Rokeya writing a short story about this called Sultana's Nightmare.

WITHOUT OPPOSITION

An important Bangladeshi political truth is the shitness of the opposition.  Last Eid, a visibly ageing Khaleda Zia visited London and clearly radically changed the world with her speech and entourage. Her party has never been so useless, with leaders either jailed, bought off, good for nothing or surrounded by bigger idiots than themselves. Her son is lucky enough to exhibit all of these great qualities.


Meanwhile, the principle local representatives of Islamism 1.0, Jamaat are keeping a low profile. Without a structure to nurture creative leadership/membership or support independent thinking they are pretty much crippled by internal constraints, as well as external oppression and 1971 ishoos

So given the Business As Usual case of depoliticisation, developmentia and determinism, I was wondering what kind of future the people at Delta 2100 were imaging for Bangladesh.

BANGLADESH VISION 2050

The year is 2050, and Bangladesh is a middle income country running on Adaptation Hush Money, Remittances and the back breaking sweat of 200 million brows. In light of the 2040 climate refugee crisis and India giving them the finger, the country was turned into an NGO and the capital renamed to Bracottabad. Monsanto and Syngenta have innovated genetically modified khichuri that glows in the dark, making all Bangladeshi's predisposed to chetona or visible to India's Border Security Force. The universities still churn out studies gloating that religiosity is an impediment to development whilst barring religiously educated people from competitive entry exams. That Dutch land reclamation project is still going slow and nowhere, and all the Bangladeshi engineers finally got those high skilled visas to leave, but don't worry, Bangladesh has finally got that Ministry for Intersectionality Chelsea Clinton was campaigning for.

15.10.15

Climate Change, the Protection of Life and the need for Decolonial, not neoliberal, intervention.


This week the Bolivian city of Tiquipaya hosted the World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Protection of Life.

A much needed counterpoint to the UN framework, this was the second meeting of its kind, five years after the first in 2010. If the attendance of UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and a French Foreign Minister (Chair of the forthcoming Paris talks) is anything to go by, the global power establishment is making  greater efforts to ignore/coopt/defang it.

Here are a few videos about it, one from Telesur, a Pan Latin American news channel, and another by a pretty dismissive White American journalist.

 


An English translation of the declaration coming out of this gathering can be found here, and will act as an important reference point, just like The Universal Declaration of Rights of Mother Earth. It elaborates on issues that the previous Declaration mentioned and develops some new threads; from the social values (not) built into Climate Science, spirituality in Socio-Ecological relations, the commercialisation of nature and the formation of some kind of International Earth Rights Legislature.

Its a great read and learning resource, like the current Pope's Laudato Si. Critique is centred on capitalism, though colonialism does feature to some extent, racism gets a single passing reference but unfortunately white supremacy is unmentioned, yet without it is Climate Change even possible?


***

Back in London, OpenDemocracy, a political blog site, is beginning to host voices articulating the colonial continuities that express themselves through climate change, and a Climate Change-themed Friday prayer service(stunt) by Muslim NGOs in Parliament Square reassured some, and inflames neocon Islamophobia industry ( not going to link to that odious website).