Declan Curry’s declanbizblog: The Basic Question”

I’m Chris L of South London, by the way. (What, you thought my parents named me Kit?)

I’m tuned in, let’s see what he says.

EDIT: Of course, he pays people a ‘livable wage’. Of course, he’s raking it in, so he doesn’t give a rats ass.

‘Ethical’ capitalism is still capitalism nonetheless.


A sporting class?

July 31, 2006

EMC World of Sport: The Sporting Class by Glenn Aylett

Glenn Aylett’s latest column on Sport, Television and class division in society misses the point.

The assumption Glenn works on is that class divisions are eroding away in society. This premise is an absolute false one. Unless the socialist revolution has passed me by, we are still living in a class based society. It is from that basis that, if Glenn is going to make a class based analysis of sporting media, or the media in general, that we need to start from.

Glenn claims that the class barriers have been broken down in football, and that you see company CEOs alongside their workers in the terraces up and down the land. It’s as if to say that the bourgeoisie were never involved in football! What has happened is that the rich hands have always been involved in football. To set up any kind of football team, especially a major league one, requires a huge amount of start up capital. The rich have always been in football, but with the rise of people like Roman Abramovich and Malcolm Glazier have we seen them come to the fore. But the businessmen with the deep pockets have always been there.

To move onto the class divide between BBC’s Grandstand and ITV’s World of Sport; again, it relates to a question of agency. Both the BBC and ITV are controlled by the ruling class. Both, in that sense, are ruling class. Grandstand is there for the public interest, but the ‘public interest’ in a capitalist society means the interest of those who control the institutions. So, it’s natural that the BBC will follow the sports of toffs.

However, we don’t live in a society of toffs, no matter what they might like to think. ITV might appear to be the working man’s channel – indeed, it has spend the past 50+ years of building an image of being the ‘people’s channel’ but this is just a mirage, a front they put up. ITV only appeals to the common man because of simple capitalist economics; there are more working men than richies, so we must appeal to them. More viewers = more advertising revenue.

The Scum: Putting the GREAT in Great BRITAIN

Rebekah Wade wants to put the BIG into BIG BROTHER… but she needs YOUR help.

The linked story above gives The Sun’s helpful hints to obey and serve Furher Blair’s new totalitarianism. Unfortunatly, some sly Sun hack edited down the original article. Here is the (un)original version:

1. Teachers, cops and doctors are battling to do tough jobs against a growing tide of cynicism and abuse.

RESPECT these vital authority figures so they can work effectively. Do not ask questions. WHERE ARE YOUR PAPERS, CITIZEN?

2. Britain is a great country with a history that is the envy of the world.

Have the guts to display PATRIOTISM about living here and speak up in public about our nation’s remarkable qualities. Celebrate our history. Our Empire. Our mandate of Palestine and Messopotania…

3. Yobs routinely spread fear among vulnerable pensioners and young kids.

Yet millions of us turn a blind eye to their thuggery.

Together, we must CONFRONT teenage hoodies if we see them taunting, abusing or spitting at passers-by.

Every troublemaking lout is somebody’s child.

So KEEP TABS on your own kids and make sure you know what they are up to.

Your vigilance will safeguard their welfare as well as strengthening your community.

And, if they misbehave, slap an ASBO on them. And electronic tagging never hurt anyone.

4. Britain is a nation at war — we can no longer worry about being labelled a “grass”.

Don’t hesitate to REPORT suspicious activity or anti-social behaviour.

Call your local police or phone the anti-terror hotline on 0800 789 321 if you have important information or suspicions.

Remember, a tip-off from a member of the public led Spanish police to the Madrid bombers.

We are watching you, citizen. We have cameras everywhere.

5. Ranting clerics are free to spit hatred thanks to the Human Rights Act, which prevents their deportation.

WRITE to your MP demanding that this crazy law is repealed.

Do not resist arrest when you critizise Furher Blair and Furher Murdoch.

6. Many of us no longer know the names of our neighbours, even though we have sometimes lived side by side for years.

Take the trouble to CHAT to those who live close by to revive close-knit communities of the past.

It may also save you from being burgled next week.

Even though your neighbour won’t be as stupid to burgle their neighbour.

7. New York police commissioner Bill Bratton helped to reform the city by highlighting basic crime prevention measures including the “broken window” theory.

This showed that a chain of crimes could be prevented just by repairing a smashed window, foiling an obvious opportunity for a crook who could then be tempted into escalating villainy.

By the same token, we must TACKLE anti-social behaviour such as littering or vandalising.

More ASBOs!

8. Security and police services face a huge challenge in overcoming the alarming new terrorist threat.

Help cops by ensuring you CO-OPERATE fully if you are ever stopped and searched.

Avoid triggering needless security alerts by leaving bags unattended.

Don’t worry about the racist nature of stop & search. If you’re black, tough shit, you’re fair game.

9. Communication while travelling on public transport has almost broken down, fuelled recently by an atmosphere of mutual suspicion.

Don’t be afraid to challenge the climate of fear by making CONVERSATION.

But, if they look either Arabic, Pakistani, or Brazilian, then report them to the police STRAIGHT AWAY. Or, pump them full of lead if you’re on the tube.

Open doors and give up your seat for mums-to-be or the elderly.

Yer tight bastards.

10. Soaring levels of apathy have made voting and neighbourhood initiatives unfashionable.

Don’t be afraid to PARTICIPATE in them — or even launch them.

And report on anyone who’s even shifty looking.

Sorry for the lack of updates, but that’s because there hasn’t been much to write about, really. Work goes on.

It was my birthday yesterday (21 – argh!), and apart from the cash I got from my parents and Grandmother, I got an gift certificate from my sister and brother. This is what I bought:

  “Armed Madhouse: Who’s Afraid of Osama Wolf?, The Best Legal Whorehouse in Texas, No Child’s Behind Left and Other Tales of Class Combat in a Dying Regime”


“The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: An Investigative Reporter Exposes the Truth About Globalization, Corporate Cons and High Finance Fraudsters”
both by Greg Palast.

Greg Palast was taught economics by arch-neo liberal Milton Friedman, and he’s been dedicated to exposing the true horrors of it ever since. For some bizzare reason, as Greg himself will tell you, secret documents just somehow, mysteriously, land on his desks at the BBC and The Guardian, and he gets right in there. He exposed the Florida votes scandal where thousands of Black Floridians were denied their right to vote by the Republican state administration and a company called DBT, lead by… Republican backers. He exposed the “Lobbygate” scandal, where key Blairite aides gave access to Greg, undercover as an American businessman, to key ministers and MPs high up in the New Labour machine.

“The Best Democracy Money Can Buy” is his old book. The UK launch of his new book, “Armed Madhouse”, was at Ideas for Freedom, a conference organised and hosted by the Alliance for Workers Liberty last weekend. Greg’s a brilliant writer, but to hear him in the flesh is a much better experience. By his own admission, Greg didn’t prepare for his speech, but it was still interesting to hear the hard evidence about the true reasons for the War in Iraq (oil, if you haven’t have guessed) and a bit more about Hugo Chavez. I can’t say I’m a big a fan of Chavez as Greg is, but both books are essential reading.

  “Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About”

by Mil Millington.

I first came across Mil Millington, but I didn’t know it at the time, when I used to have a Commodore Amiga and an avid reader of Amiga Power. Mil has a fantastic way with words, and a highly sarcastic (but not vicious) sense of humour. His ability to take the mundane into the absurd is something I deeply envy, and I am a mailing-lister too.

“Is It Just Me or Is Everything Shit?: The Encyclopedia of Modern Life”
by Alan McArthur

Alan is a former deputy editor of Solidarity, the AWL’s newspaper, but this book is not so much an acedemic critique of late capitalism, but a cry of dispair at how shit everything has become. Very sarcastic, but also very true, too. And, unlike the Grumpy Old Men, there is a dash of hope there, too.

“The State and Revolution (Penguin Twentieth Century Classics S.)”

“Essential Works”
both by Vladimir Lenin.

Essentials that needed to be replaced.

Ever heard of the phase “jack of all trades, master of none”?

The BBC’s news website could, somewhat justifiably, win the competition for “best news website ever”. However, what it does lack is experience in print media, so it still doesn’t do that great a job in the subbing department. Also, look at the BBC News homepage. Everything is squished together. Naturally, this leads to some bizzare headlines.

For example:

German volunteers make fans enjoy their World Cup stay

“For you, Tommy, ze bordem is over.” How do you make someone enjoy something? Not trying to play on Germany’s somewhat dubious history at making people do things against their will, but it’s wrong. Perhaps a better word would have been “helped fans enjoy” or even, if they were feeling really posh, “facilitated fans to enjoy”.

Hamas gives aid guarded welcome

Because they would have all of the aid cash stacked up in piles with an armed guard. What?

Pupils turned away from World Cup

In England? I thought it was in Germany. Never trust those ticket touts, eh?

‘Resolve Blair affair’ says Davis

Who? What? Is Tony cheating on Cherie? (It’s actually David Davis talking about Sir Ian Blair.)

Seriously, guys, you need to step up on the game a little. I know you might think times are tough finiancially (well, you are moving to Salford; a desperate act if ever I saw one) but would it kill you to employ some half-decent subs?