Change The World This Saturday!

March Route
Stop The War

Why should you march this Saturday in London? Here’s a message from a veteran marcher:

A Message from Tony Benn
Dear All Stop the War Members and Affiliates,

I am writing to you to urge to you attend the demonstration on March 19th. It is clear that not only was the war illegal but that one of the results of us going shoulder to shoulder with Bush on the “war on terror” is an unprecedented attack on our civil liberties. The government are desperately trying to push through new legislation for house arrest and soon it will be illegal to demonstrate outside government buildings.

We are expecting this demonstration to be big, but that of course all depends on you. Please make sure you are on the streets of central London on March 19th calling for the troops to be brought home, No More Bush Wars, No House Arrests, No bombs on Iran, No Terror Laws, and No Attack on Syria. Encourage your friends, family and colleagues to come along.

The demonstration is gathering at 12pm at Speakers Corner, Hyde Park. It will be passing the US embassy for, Parliament Sq and Downing Street linking the axes of evil. It will be the first time a mass demonstration passes the US Embassy since 1968 so the atmosphere will be electric.

Please make sure you attend the march. We must carry on demonstrating until we achieve our objectives, an end to the occupation of Iraq, and that no leader ever takes us to war illegally and unnecessarily ever again.

See you on Saturday.
Tony Benn
President of the Stop the War Coalition
(Source: Stop The War)

As I’ve said before, I measure people by their attitude to the Iraq invasion. If you support the invasion and the murder of over 100,000 Iraqis, you’re either evil or stupid. Evil, in that you don’t care about all those lives lost in a crusade for oil or perhaps stupid in that you’ve swallowed Bush and Blair’s propaganda unthinkingly. No intelligent person of good conscience could support the bloody atrocity of the Iraq invasion.

The hate email I get from the US is mostly from racists, neo-fascists/PNACists, general jingoistic Republicans and utter loonies. This spans the gamut of evil —> stupid.

But at least the Randian crackheads who email me have done something.

What have you done?

Read Benn’s words above. Do you value your civil liberties? Do you want Britain to be turned into a police state? Do you care that the US is now menacing Iran and Syria? Do you think it’s okay that, if they wanted, the government could imprison you in your own house with no trial, no jury of peers? Do you want British troops to keep occupying Iraq following an illegal invasion and as part of an illegal war?

If you care at all about any of the above questions, then you must march on Saturday. We have to show Butcher Blair that we haven’t forgotten Iraq.

This weekend, we’ll be marching all around the world:

Courtesy of add event to

We can change the world, we will change the world!

Bless Playlist 14/3/2005

The eagle-eyed amongst you may notice that tonight’s playlist contains a lot more oldies than usual (as well as fabby new tunes by M-Sixteen, Black Mountain and Sleater-Kinney). And the reason for that is that tonight was my last night DJing at the Bless.

It’s been fun but all good things must come to an end. Plus, it’ll free up a lot of time for me to get on with finishing my new album. There is the possibility I may return to the Bless later in the year, if there’s enough demand.

Thank you all for listening.

Tonight, you heard:

John Doe – Hwy 5
A+P – Kontrolle
La Famille 2004 – Pour Le Maniement Du Mic
Yacht – I Love A Computer
Limblifter – Fiercely Co-Dependent
Max Greger & His Orchestra – Big Train
OMC – Right On
Remembering Never – The Glutton
The Undertones – Jimmy Jimmy
Venetian Snares – Masodik Galamb
Sage Francis – Gunz Yo
The Delgados – Everybody Come Down
Wintersleep – Jaws Of Life
Adam Green – Emily
OOO – Group Heartbeat
Swollen Members – Lady Venom
Biffy Clyro – Strung To Your Ribcage
Man Parrish – Hip Hop Be Bop
The Red Chord – L Formation
Rilo Kiley – Portions For Foxes
Sweatshop Union – Union Dues
Perspects – Desire And Efficency
Some Girls – The Prettiest Girl
Say Hi To Your Mom – Pop Music Of The Future
Godchild – La Tete Qui Bout
M-Sixteen – Understress
Black Mountain – Druganaut
The Roots – Don’t Say Nuthin’
Sleater-Kinney – The Fox
The Cars – Just What I Needed
Computor Rockers – Galaxy Defenders
Sonic Youth – Kool Thing
De Puta Madre – Vandal
Stereo Total – I Am Naked
Supercilious – Give Us Back To The Witches
Fugazi – Waiting Room
Minor Threat – Straight Edge
Gorilla Biscuits – Start Today
Throwdown – Raise Your Fist
Ben Folds Five – Where’s Summer B.?
Seven Ark – Sixteen
Wu-Tang Clan – Shame On A Nigga
Camper Van Beethoven – Take The Skinheads Bowling
Paul Williams – You Give A Little Love

Revealed: No Full Advice For War

Britain went to war on the basis of a single piece of paper setting out the legality of invading Iraq, the country’s most senior civil servant has revealed.

The Government’s case for war appeared to be in tatters last night after the Cabinet Secretary admitted that a parliamentary answer from Lord Goldsmith, the Attorney General, was the final legal opinion on the case for war. In an astonishing admission, Sir Andrew Turnbull disclosed that no “full” legal advice on an invasion of Iraq has ever existed.
(Source: The Independent)

Butcher Blair wants it all to fade away. He wants us to forget he said that Britain was 45 minutes from attack by Iraq. 45 minutes? More like 45 years from the lack of any WMDs or even WMD programs found.

He wants us to forget about the 100,000+ Iraqi dead, about the cities bombed flat, about the cluster bombs used, the torture, the massacres and, most of all, he wants us to forget that he took Britain into an illegal war under false pretences.

You would think that a man planning to throw an entire country into an attack on a non-agressor nation would want to protect his back. At least build up an impressively large legal dossier to wave at all the critics?

Not Blair.

He needs no proper legal advice: God speaks to him directly. Just like he does to Dubya and Osama.

But hold on, there must have a been a fuller report, surely?

The Attorney General did prepare a longer piece of legal advice which he presented to Mr Blair on 7 March. But that advice, believed to be a 13-page paper, is thought not to have given a definitive view on whether war would be legal.
(Source: The Independent)

Ahh, I see! The proper report didn’t say what he wanted so, being a good little Bush poodle, Blair just ignored it and ploughed ahead with his own unique version of “legal.”

After all, we’d all do the same, wouldn’t we? I’m sure you’d buy a house based on nothing more than an A4 piece of paper which said ‘Yep, house is great!’ Why have all the legal hassle? Blair and Bush don’t follow the law they are the law. Two Judge Dredds on a quest for oil and money.

Clare Short, a member of the Cabinet at the time, said the absence of a longer legal opinion meant Mr Blair had taken Britain to war “by deception”.

She said: “The more one scrutinises what took place the more shocking it is.

“The fact that there was no further legal document is astonishing. Then there is the fact that all the to-ings and fro-ings on the legal advice were kept from the Cabinet and Parliament. That means the war was by deception.”
(Source: The Independent)

Yep. What the antiwar movement has said all along. There were no WMDs, there was zero threat to Britain from Iraq, Butcher Blair pushed this country into taking part in the slaughter of innocents. All for Bush, all for money, oil and power.

And I’ve been made part of that murder by Blair. Part of the money I’ve paid as taxes has gone to massacre Iraqis. Everyone in Britain has got their blood on their hands, thanks to Blair and his insane cocksucking of Bush.

All the more reason to make your voice heard here:

Stop The War

USA Withdraws From Its Own Convention

The United States has withdrawn from an accord that lets an international court decide disputes over foreign inmates, an agreement U.S. death penalty opponents have been using to fight death row cases.

The decision followed an International Court of Justice ruling last year that ordered new hearings for 51 Mexican death row inmates because U.S. authorities did not tell them they could consult diplomats from their own country right after their arrests.
(Source: Reuters)

Kyoto, the ICC and now this part of the Vienna Convention. It seems the USA only cares about international law when the wind blows a certain way. Kidnapping children, invading non-agressor countries, torturing prisoners, shooting wounded civilians dead (on TV!), what next for the US government?

Peter Spiro, a law professor at the University of Georgia, said the withdrawal was lame.

“It’s a sore-loser kind of move,” Spiro said.”If we can’t win, we’re not going to play.”

The United States itself proposed the protocol in 1963 and ratified it along with the rest of the Vienna Convention in 1969.
(Source: New Kerala)

The current US government respects only one thing: power. It even trashes humane conventions previous US governments fought for!

The US government is acting exactly like the totalitarian brutes of the Stalinist USSR used to. It displays precisely the same arrogance and contempt for international law.

Laura Veirs & Gina Villalobos

Laura Veirs - 9

On Tuesday, I was lucky enough to see both Laura Veirs and Gina Villalobos play at an in-store thingy at Reveal Records in Derby.

Unlike a lot of quiet gigs, the audience was pin-drop silent. I hate it when people turn up to acoustic shows just to yammer all the way through. Cue fistfight from me.

My day was made when Laura Veirs played ‘Icebound Stream,’ from her latest new album, ‘Carbon Glacier.’ This is such a wonderful pop song, with its stop-startiness and ruminative meandering. She sang it beautifully.

I’ve not heard much Gina Villalobos before but I enjoyed her set too. Her stuff is much more gutsy and rocky so it was a good contrast to Veir’s plaintive European folkiness.

Thank you to Reveal Records for getting such cool artists to play and not even charging admission!

Click here for the piccies!

Bless Playlist 7/3/2005


This week’s top new tune was by Swedish funsters Logh. The track is ‘Destinymanifesto’ from their new album A Sunset Panorama. There are elements of Sonic Youth in what Logh do, coupled with a kind of off-kilter poppiness that hesitates and then lunges ahead. Want to know what the fuck I’m on about? Have a listen for yourself at their website by clicking here.

Charlie Christian

The best old track was Charlie Christian’s ‘Seven Come Eleven.’ There’s something about Christian’s soloing that, all these years later, still sounds wild and free, something that just cuts loose. I’ve heard a lot of guitar solos in my life and, sadly, precious few come anywhere remotely near Christian’s emotion and deftness.

Tonight, you heard:

Kante – Die Summe Der Einzelnen Teile
Volume – Libretto
Madison – Gang Fights With Irish Accent
Aberfeldy – Summer’s Gone
Dinosaur Jr. – Start Choppin’
Fila Brazillia – Sidearms & Parsnips
Lamb Of God – Purified
The Laurie Johnson Orchestra- The Shake
Proof – Bring It 2 Me Feat. Killa Khan
Venetian Snares – Masodik Galamb
Rilo Kiley – Portions For Foxes
Limblifter – Fiercely Co-Dependent
DJ Shadow – Six Days (Remix) Feat. Mos Def
Taking Back Sunday – Timberwolves At New Jersey
Robag Wruhme – Hugendubel
Sleater-Kinney – Wilderness
Adam Green – Chubby Princess
Opio – The Grassy Knoll Feat. Planet
Biffy Clyro – A Day Of……
Rosko – Peacemaker
Country Teasers – Black Change
Camera Obscura – Keep It Clean
Atreyu – Deanne The Arsonist
Perspects – Desire And Efficency
Department S – Is Vic There?
John Doe – Hwy 5
Lali Puna – Faking The Books
Theodore Unit – Daily Routine (Ft. Shawn Wigs)
I Am Kloot – Over My Shoulder
Apparat (Feat Marit Posh) – Riding
The Matthew Herbert Big Band – Fiction
Sage Francis – Gunz Yo
Logh – Destinymanifesto
Letroset – Appliance
Pavement – Grave Architecture
Nightrage – Poems
Robert Mellin & Gian Pieri Reverberi – Main Theme
Digable Planets – Pacifics
Elliott Smith – A Fond Farewell
Seven Ark – Sixteen
Charlie Christian – Seven Come Eleven
The Decemberists – The Engine Driver
Wintersleep – Nerves Normal, Breath Normal

US Soldiers Murder Italian Agent

Nicola Calipari
Nicola Calipari, shot dead by US troops

ROME – The companion of freed Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena on Saturday leveled serious accusations at US troops who fired at her convoy as it was nearing Baghdad airport, saying the shooting had been deliberate.

“The Americans and Italians knew about (her) car coming,” Pier Scolari said on leaving Rome’s Celio military hospital where Sgrena is to undergo surgery following her return home.

“They were 700 meters (yards) from the airport, which means that they had passed all checkpoints.”

The shooting late Friday was witnessed by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s office which was on the phone with one of the secret service agents, said Scolari. “Then the US military silenced the cellphones,” he charged.

“Giuliana had information, and the US military did not want her to survive,” he added.
(Source: Common Dreams)

Sgrena survived this vicious, premeditated attack but Nicola Calipari didn’t. The US has one version of events. They say that the car was going too fast and ignored orders to stop. The same bullshit they used in this slaughter and countless other murders.

Here’s what Sgrena says happened:

Italian reconstruction of the incident is significantly different. Sgrena told colleagues the vehicle was not travelling fast and had already passed several checkpoints on its way to the airport. The Americans shone a flashlight at the car and then fired between 300 and 400 bullets at if from an armoured vehicle. Rather than calling immediately for assistance for the wounded Italians, the soldiers’ first move was to confiscate their weapons and mobile phones and they were prevented from resuming contact with Rome for more than an hour.
(Source: The Guardian)

Note that last sentence: the priority for the US attackers was not the preservation of life, it was to block any communication. If the attack was just a random mistake, as the US is claiming, why was this the first thing done? If you’d attacked a car, presuming it to be hostile, and then discovered your error and that you’d injured and killed innocent civilians, what would you do first: order an ambulance or seize their mobile phones?


I don’t think so.

Main Centre Demolition

Main Centre Demolition - 5
Yep, just when you thought the building work in Derby was calming down… BOOM! Down comes Main Centre like it’s been stomped by Gojira. I only hope the buildings that replace it are of a higher quality than the carbuncle now squatting on the Cockpit. That frenzied lump has already got damp damage and looks older than the Bus Station.

In a civic-minded spirit, I’ve knocked-up the following slogan and logo for Derby City Council to use, free of charge:

Derby! It'll Be Nice When It's Done!

Click the top pic for more!

Derby At Night (Lensbaby)


The final load of Lensbaby pics from yesterday. I’ve never tried using it at night before but I love the way it smears lights. Lovely!

Obviously, low-light + handheld camera + wiggly hand-focussing isn’t the best of combinations but I think some of the shots have come out quite well.

Everytime I use the Lensbaby, it surprises me. It can range from insanely blurry to pin-sharp in the one picture, still maintaing high contrast and saturation. I’ve got to do more Lensbaby portraits, it’s perfect for that subject matter.

Click here for the pics!