Ukip candidate wonders “what happens when renewable energy runs out?”

A second look-in for UKIP today: What happens when renewable energy runs out? Well, that will happen in about 4 billion years when the sun runs out of fissionable materials.

Incidentally, UKIP persons, that’s the sun in the sky, not the newspaper of the same name.

Ukip candidate wonders “what happens when renewable energy runs out?” – Mirror Online.

The person pondering this big question was not the UKIP and Chelsea fan on the Paris Metro, but Victoria Ayling, UKIP candidate for Great Grimsby.

Chelsea fan in Paris Métro video posed in picture with Nigel Farage | Politics | The Guardian

One of the Chelsea fans in the Paris Metro racism incident in which supporters stopped a black guy from getting on the train while making racist chants turns out to be a big fan of UKIP’s Nigel Farage. The linked article includes a photo of the two together.

Chelsea fan in Paris Métro video posed in picture with Nigel Farage | Politics | The Guardian.

It has also become apparent that the Chelsea supporter, named as Josh Parsons, went to £30,000-per-year Millfield private school.

What is it they say? Birds of a wotsit do wot together?

Paying to protest: the commodification of free speech

It was reported last week that a coalition of climate change protesters has been told to pay for a planned protest, or permission to hold it will not be granted.

When The Campaign Against Climate Change (CACC) approached the London Metropolitan Police (MPS) to arrange the event, the police force declined to help, telling the group to hire their own private marshals to close the roads on the march route.

This would be enormously expensive but without the marshals and a traffic plan, Westminster council (Conservative) were not going to grant permission.

The cost and the bureaucracy raise doubts about whether the march will go ahead.

What is behind this decision by the police? The MPS claims budget cuts — £600m in the last four years and another £800m to come — have forced a review and contraction of their ‘services’ (their word, not mine) and this is a convincing explanation. Refusing to go along with a peaceful, uncontroversial and potentially popular march such as this climate protest will highlight the extent and effect of cuts on their own budget and perhaps muster a bit of public support for the poor, hard-done-by force.

It is a conspicuously passive-aggressive tactic, effectively hijacking someone else’s protest to make their own, but it will get a message out.

However, the police do not operate in a vacuum (and no cruel jokes about the vacuum being under the bobby’s helmet, please) and the decision has more than a little of the neoliberal stench about it.

Successive UK governments, from Thatcher, through Blair to the current ConDems, have dismantled the public infrastructure of the country, transferring assets owned by everyone into the hands of the few: water, electricity, the trains, the phone system, the post office, data management; prisons, the NHS, education, welfare services and on and on.

This government and its forebears are turning health and wellbeing, security and our future into commodities to sell back to us.  This decision to charge marchers is a logical step in this process. And if you can’t afford to protest, well, tough. Like big homes, foreign holidays,  and nice cars, protest will belong only to those who can afford it.

Just as with all the other public services, the shortfall in police functions will be offered to the market, forcing yet more money from our pockets and into private coffers.

Whether a simple result of belt tightening by the MPS or a more insidious and deliberate policy of privatising law and order, charging people to protest is not only a restriction on rights, it is the commodification of free speech.

The disease isn’t just Islam, you know

Chris Page

It is at times like this after the murder of Japanese hostage Kenji Goto by ISIS, in the wake of the killing of his friend Haruna Yukawa and the Paris attacks, that even the most liberal of us are inclined to see Islam as a specially violent and brutal religion.

This would be a mistake. To single out Islam would be to divert us from a more basic and urgent truth: all religion is poisonous. No distinction should be drawn between Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, animism, Wicca, whatever.

We habitually make a distinction between mild, innocuous religion — the church-going lady in a hat — and the extremist, the masked RPG-wielding nutter or the Koran-burning pastor in Hicksville, USA.

This distinction is false.

The mild and personal religion and the violent oppressive version exist on the same continuum and they are bound together by faith.

Faith is the willing…

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