Faint Hearts 70


I hope that some of the sentencing overreactions to the looting will be corrected. But I saw one hilarious overreaction last night as Spurs supporters were herded past our flat here from Tynecastle after their match. There was the kind of massed phalanx of police that I haven’t seen since the miners’ strike, with armoured helmets and horses much in evidence. In the middle of this mass, much outnumbered by police, was a tiny little knot of Tottenham Hotspurs supporters, being herded towards Haymarket station.

Having seen Spurs hammer Hearts 5-0, I suspect the Spurs fans were too ecstatic to be annoyed. But it looked really extraordinary, so on going down to the chippie I asked a policeman why the huge escort – Hearts supporters aren’t known for violence against visitors. He replied very gravely that the looting had started in Tottenham, and they didn’t want that kind of nonsense here. So either the police had no intelligence on how many Spurs fans were expected, or they had decided to escort them three policemen to every fan. Scottish fear of the barbarian English is quite a wry concept.


70 thoughts on “Faint Hearts

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  • Courtenay Barnett

    @ John,

    No it was not a secret court.

    I belive that some civic minded lawyer, or better yet a human rights group is perfectly able to frame a specific issue, within the right case, and decide to challenge on the question from the first instance court all the way to the House of Lords and to the ECHR.

    There is a very real and important issue here.
    CB

  • John Goss

    Courtenay, you’re right. The problem, as I see it, is secrecy makes it difficult to decide the “right case” with which to make a challenge, since all the details are known only to those privy to the secret knowledge. The Human Rights’ Group most appropriate ought to be Liberty, I suggest. Do you know any lawyer, or human rights’ group, perhaps with a team of lawyers, who might mount this challenge? I’m sure the serious press would get behind the challenge.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    @ John,

    Not able to recommend anyone right off the top of my head.

    I think the way to go is that the issue gets mainstream journalists asking the right questions out loud in public, the fringe press and alternative media also expressing itself – then with one good documentary or news item on the topic – it will take off with its own traction.

    Some bright spark of a lawyer will take it up eventually – only needs exposure.
    CB

  • Clark

    Lawyers in the secret Family Courts are known as “professional losers”. John Hemming’s blog has various cases and links, though not conveniently laid out:
    .
    http://johnhemming.blogspot.com/2011/01/human-misery-behind-statistics.html
    .
    Councils make lots of money by finding children for adoption. It was Blair’s scheme originally. It also seems likely that social services are influencing young women away from abortion by only employing staff that are ideologically opposed.

  • Scouse Billy

    Courtney, funnily enough the mainstream media are cowed by super-injunctions on this very topic. Brian Gerrish of UK Column was on Edge Media TV earlier this evening – I recorded some of it and will try to catch up in the next day or so.
    .
    But yes, you are right it needs exposure.
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    One of the secretive organisations that riddles our public bodies, media and Liberty is Common Purpose – see uk column, stopcp.com etc.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Courtenay, allow me to offer my profound thanks – yours was a considered, detailed, nuanced and very helpful response, as John pointed out, given gratis. You have helped to make a difficult area comprehensible. Much appreciated indeed, sir.
    .
    Scouse Billy, interesting that super-injunctions seem to be gagging the media, which seems a bizarre situation and suggests yet again that the law wrt these ‘super-injunctions’ really does require urgent reform.

    ‘Common Purpose’ is an NGO, so would fit in with the broader role of NGOs – something we’ve discussed earlier/elsewhere vis a vis, eg. the NED, liberal foundations, etc. I don’t think it’s a secret cabal – though it did face criticism for not being open about the content of its courses. I know people who’ve been on them and the courses seem like the stuff one does at post-graduate education meetings. You know, discuss a topic, say, ‘drug abuse’ or ‘domestic violence’, and ‘now we will break into smaller groups and then choose someone to feed back the discussion from each group’, etc., etc. ‘Chatham House rules’, blah blah blah, is something that needs to be questioned across the board. Reactionary think-tank. But what one ought to realise is that the power of such organisations resides not so much in secrecy (in the sense of, say, the CIA, MI5, BOSS, MOSSAD, SAVAK et al) as in the unremitting normalisation of what is a subtle psychological manipulation of ‘civil society’ and the constant infusion, into especially people working in the social sector, of (for want of a better term) what might be termed Ancillary Capitalist Ideologies. If one searches for secrecy, one comes up with very little. One has to view such organisations as social engineering operations, propaganda outfits, ostensibly ‘benign’ bodies which (malevolently) co-opt and divert potential foci of opposition to the core aim – to maximise profits for offshore corporations and take money off of ordinary people.
    .
    “How about a workshop entitled, ‘How precisely do we overthrow Capitalism?'”
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    Silence.
    .
    Such bodies/tendencies all have similar-sounding names, drawn from PR-think: ‘Big Society’, ‘Social Cohesion’, ‘Unity in Diversity’, ‘Common Purpose’, etc. No-one ever seems to call their organisation, ‘Friends of Capitalist Fat-Cats’ (good name for an Edinburgh Fringe act!) or ‘Social Engineering Project Mark VII’, or ‘We Are Not Spies – Honest!’. No-one, in other words, seems to have a sense of humour, a lack which seems ‘common’ to all managerialist ideologies.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    You see, this approach is typical of liberal foundation-funded NGOs. They see a camp of starving people. They will not discuss ‘Why are these people starving?’, they will discuss ‘What is the role of patriarchy as determinant social inequality within the camps for displaced persons?’. Now, the latter may indeed be an important subject in the society we are examining. But it is secondary and focusing on it succeeds in allowing us – ‘facilitating’ us, to use the speak – never to get to the heart of the matter.
    .
    And that is their fundamental tactic.
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    Wherever you look, you will see this tactic deployed.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    The other numbskull assumption is that those working in the social sector – transport, health, whatever – always must have a lot to learn from those in the private sector, that ‘if only’ the former they could adopt the modus operandum of the latter, everything would be wonderful. If capitalism were so wonderful, how come the world economy is in such a crap state, largely as a direct consequence of precisely the attributes which constantly are being sold – like faulty used cars – to those in public service?

  • John Goss

    Clarke, the first link about the paralysed mum is heartbreaking. All credit to John Hemming. who appears to be trying address this big issue.

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