Saturday, February 24, 2007

Action stations - 24 Feb Stop the War March

Damn it, I was going to cry off the march against the war because I have so much work to do, and too little time, but it is too important and I can't live with myself if I don't do things I believe in, so I am going. There's always excuses. Editing can wait, wedding invitations can wait, I'll just have to go flat out tomorrow and Monday.

I need to indulge my innate leftie simmering anti-Americanism. That's a joke. I am marching because I want to send a clear signal that I am opposed to bombing yet more people and I object to my taxes being wasted on purchasing huge Trident bombs which could kill even more people, if deployed, which they won't be, so why not build some hospitals instead? Or prisons. Or schools. Simple, hmmm?

Whilst we're at it, what's with the 18 DS Left = anti-American canards? I assume that is the point of this ad, because it isn't clear at all. It is in fact, daft, patronising, pointlessly insulting, and it is a straw man and thus a waste of time. Although apparently it got on Fox News. Woopie-doo. I've been on Fox News. I subverted the live breakfast show on July 7th 2006 by saying no I wasn't terrified of Muslims, in fact, I liked living in London because it was so buzzy and vibrant and there were loads of different nationalities and faiths living together. And London had dealt with terrorism and bombs for over a hundred years, so we just got on with it. That foxed the rent-a-rant blonde presenter. No wonder my taxi home mysteriously disappeared.

I honestly can't see any positives about putting out sneery little 'attack ads'. This is not 'politics for adults'. This is the politics of the playground.

Over to a succinct Hamster.

1. I am opposed to the foreign policies of Anthony Charles Lynton Blair.
2. I am not opposed to the existence of the United Kingdom.

There's a difference, you see. I strongly suspect I'm not the only person on the left who realises this

Anyway, I am off to text back Davide and see who else is going to join me in shuffling for peace. 12pm kick off, Speakers Corner. Fancy it? I'll bring the hipflask and the paracetamol.

UPDATE: Piccies via my mobile, at Blairwatch!
BBC report , another BBC report, more BBC reportage, Independent
My feet hurt.

UPDATE UPDATE: Davide has blogged it with speeches and photos - over at Netherworld

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Blogger Geoff said...

Well said Rachel, I love the bit about your disappearing taxi :-)

February 24, 2007 9:38 am  
Blogger jailhouselawyer said...

I was with you right up to the point that you suggested building more prisons. This would only be acceptable if the Victorian ones were pulled down and the new ones to replace them were built. Too many are in prison who do not need to be there, and still too many are being sent there who do not pose a risk to the public. We need to be embarking upon a policy of reductionism.

February 24, 2007 9:52 am  
Blogger Rachel said...

I say build better prisons, ones where people can be treated and trained and educated and get exercise. The prisons we have at the moment are mostly Victorian and unsuitable. Prison should be a place for rehabiliatation and if we had better prisons now, we might need fewer in the future

February 24, 2007 9:55 am  
Blogger jailhouselawyer said...

I'm with that. I have had my taxi disappear at the BBC in Hull, and wait for another which took 45 minutes to arrive and I could have walked home in half an hour! Also, I am against the American-style attack ads. Sorry I cannot join you on the march. Perhaps, some day we will get together on one?

February 24, 2007 10:01 am  
Blogger Arthurian Legend said...

I agree with you Rachel that it is too simplistic to equate being a socialist or on the liberal left either with intrinsic anti-americanism or as somehow necessarily an attack on Great Britain.

However, many on the left ARE very favourably disposed to the European Union, which over the past twenty years has increasingly become to be seen as a genuine threat to representative democracy, our traditions and liberties, and a real drain on our wealth.

I would be very grateful for your considered response to this piece of mine here.

February 24, 2007 10:44 am  
Anonymous leon said...

Yep, it seems that after a gently gently start 18DS' true colours are showing it to be Tory TV and little more...

Rachel, will you be raising your views on the ad and their ads in general next time you're on?

February 24, 2007 5:00 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...


February 24, 2007 5:40 pm  
Anonymous leon said...

Excellent, look forward to seeing how that one pans out.

February 24, 2007 6:39 pm  
Anonymous imajoebob said...

It's really amazing how the right wingnuts can even screw up the most simplistic ideas, in this case "A World Without America." I almost end up arguing against their premise, and I'm an American!!"

What a clumsy, simplistic, transparent, facile bit of rubbish. Of course the world is better off (generally) with America's contribution. But just think how much better it would be with all that, and without George W. Bush.

February 25, 2007 2:55 am  
Anonymous Andy Ramblings said...

Just had a look at the world without America video. Well, Ok, some point would have been factually incorrect.
well for one, Saddam wouldn't have been a problem for starters.
2, the State of Israel wouldn't have exist.
3: Stalin wouldn't have been walking up the Champs Élysées, It would have been Hitler.
As for the US being the land for freedom, if anyone watched Top Gear the other week, when the three presenters drove from Florida to New Orleans, via Alabama, would know, that in some places in the US, freedom of speech is not on the cards at all. In some cases, they will shoot you... That's not the Police, that's the locals...

Then I'm not anti-American, a long way from it. I'm just Anti-Bush and the Neo-con cause.

February 25, 2007 8:53 am  
Blogger Man in a shed said...

Andy - I thought the Top Gear piece was just the sort of anti-Americanism that the Socialist Broadcasting Corporation excels at .... The 18DT ad was mild in comparison - and made some points that people need to remember.

There are plenty of things you could put on a car in the UK which would lead to trouble - try England on a car parked in Glasgow, or Paedophile or something insulting in a religious tone with many religions other than Christianity or Judaism (there may be others that don't work also).

Going to disagree with you Rachel on the principle of Nuclear weapons - as has now transpired the Soviets were all for a Nuclear war in Europe, but expected to leave the UK and France out. You don't need to be a card carrying Tory to work out why.

February 28, 2007 4:25 pm  
Blogger Debi said...

To my shame I didn't make the march this time round. Last time I went with my kids who took a home-made banner. (OK - it was an old sheet splattered with paint but it was bloody creative!)

I'm trying hard not to get depressed but when an attack on Iran is so obviously imminent, I'm also battling large-scale FEAR!

Came here via BWBD forum by the way. What took me so long???

March 01, 2007 3:10 pm  
Blogger Robert Newsom said...

Greetings Rachel! It has been a while since I had a chance to comment, so I will try to make up for my absence.

First, I bet your taxi DID disappear!

Second, the "World without America" video played here IN America to decidedly mixed reviews. Andy's points about historical inaccuracies are well taken, AND, frankly, it was so "over the top" as to be embarassing. America didn't win WWII all by itself. If family lore is to be trusted, it was the Royal Navy, not the US Navy, that fished my Dad out of the North Atlantic after the U-Boat dumped him in there.

Still, this is an interesting question. Just how "involved" should the US be in the world? I presume that, unless we continue to elect presidents who listen only to voices in their heads or "noble lie" platonist neo-con advisors, most of the rest of the world does NOT want to see an America as self-absorbed, isolationist and protectionist as it was before WWII.

On the other hand, most of the rest of the world does NOT want to be reduced to "client state" status either, getting dragged into senseless conflicts that America helped to create in the first place.

With a son just back from Afghanistan in one piece, I hope debi is wrong about Iran.

March 07, 2007 10:40 pm  

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