The Ghost of Watt Tyler

Watt Tyler was one of the leaders of the 1381 Peasants’ Revolt. He was a slain by the King’s supporters after drinking a jug of beer “in a very rude and disgusting fashion before the King's face.”

Friday, June 06, 2008

Obama: false hope?

They did publish this one.

Barack Obama and John McCain are not as different as Jonathan Freedland suggests (McCain's attack lines against Obama have already been written by Clinton, June 4). They would both be loyal servants of corporate America. The top five contributors to Obama's campaign are registered corporate lobbyists. His backers include Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase and Citigroup. Obama claims Iran is a threat and so does McCain. Obama would attack Pakistan in pursuit of terrorists and McCain doesn't disagree. Obama has reserved the right to change his mind on withdrawal from Iraq and says he will listen to the advice of commanders on the ground. Obama has also voted to fund the Iraqi occupation and called for more troops to be sent to Afghanistan. His campaign theme may be "change" but he represents more of the same.

(I should add that I would love to see an African American in the White House and the Republicans defeated because of what it would represent: a rejection of racism and war. But my point is that in reality the Obama would toe the corporate line like every other democratic president.)

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Mugabe v US & UK

This letter was sent to the Guardian yesterday but it was not published.

Robert Mugabe is clearly a despicable, undemocratic leader who will stop at nothing to ensure his odious regime remains in power (‘This is like inviting Pol Pot to a human rights conference’). But it’s hard to take the denouncements of the British and American governments seriously because they stay silent when their friends commit crimes. There will, for instance, be no criticism of Western allies like Egypt which has brutally suppressed food riots and demonstrations in recent months. Or the Israeli government’s blockade of the Gaza Strip which has brought water and sewage systems close to collapse. But then the UK and US are in no position to judge other countries as the Iraq war has killed an estimated 600,000 civilians according to the Lancet.