Saturday, August 30, 2014

You're speling Isreali baad

Phone box. Botantic Avenue. Belfast. Note to local BDS activists: learn how to spell the name of the country you intend to boycott.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Back to the way it was

I told you he wouldn't go away.
 
Since standing down as BNP chairman and assuming the role of party president, Nick Griffin has taken to Twitter where he has - in 140 characters or less - been offering his opinions on everything from bee colonies to Ebola.  He has also been doing a spot of travelling recently and - surprise, surprise - appears to have struck up quite a friendship with those jolly neo-Nazi chaps from Greece's Golden Dawn party.
 
Now, as I recall, not so long ago the former MEP for North West England was styling himself as the 'moderniser' of the British National Party.  While the word 'moderniser' might not exactly go hand-in-hand with 'fascist', there certainly was a change in who the BNP directed their fury at.  Of course, the whole thing was purely cosmetic.  Rather than wakening up one morning and suddenly arriving at the conclusion that the Jews were (to borrow a phrase from Father Ted Crilly) a great bunch of lads, Griffin recognised that if his organisation was going to attract any significant degree of support at the ballot box he would need to change the public perception of them as an antisemitic, Holocaust-denying rabble obsessed with global Jewish conspiracies to... well, an Islamophobic, Muslim-hating rabble obsessed with global Jihadist conspiracies. 
 
While the masses might not have flocked to Griffin and his gang for national salvation, the 'modernised' BNP was able to pick up a couple of seats in the European Parliament and a few dozen others at local government level.  Now, following an election in May that witnessed them lose almost every single councillor and MEP they had gained under the leadership of Griffin, the party finds itself back at square one both electorally and ideologically. 
 
And with all of those hard-earned seats gone and the organisation back in the wilderness, the decision seems to have been made that banging on about Zionist conspiracies and Jewish lobbies is once again totally fine with the powers that be.  Add to this Griffin's recent love-in with the Assad regime plus his tweeting of hashtags such as #FreePalestine and we get an image of a remarkable about-turn on a U-turn.
 
In the video below Griffin has a chinwag with Artemis Matthaiopoulos about the 'persecution' of the Golden Dawn party and the power of those dastardly Jews.  Incidentally, Matthaiopoulos used to be the bassist in a Nazi punk band called Pogrom, an act responsible for such hits as Speak Greek or Die and Auschwitz (the latter of which contains the lyric, "Fuck Wiesenthal.  Fuck Anne Frank.  Fuck the whole tribe of Abraham.  The Star of David makes me vomit.").  In June 2012, Artemis Matthaiopoulos was elected to the Greek Parliament as the MP for Serres:

Friday, July 25, 2014

Exit stage far right

So, Nicholas John Griffin has resigned as leader of the BNP.  In the wake of the party's recent performance at the European and local elections, this was not an entirely unexpected decision (though given the organisation's lack of talent I imagine Griffin will not be disappearing off the scene completely).  Slightly more surprising in his farewell statement was this strange tribute to the Russian Federation:
I am following up my successful and historic intervention in Cameron's attempt to drag Britain into war in Syria, with a very much harder campaign to expose and resist the latest neo-con campaign to herd the public into confrontation and conflict with Russia.  During my term as your British National Party MEP, I made many contacts at an international level, connections with whom I am now working to build a pan-European campaign for peace and to resist the utter evil of those who seem hell-bent on plunging us into another world war, against the last bastion of our race on the planet.
 
How intriguing.  Where once it was the far left that looked to Moscow for leadership, it would now appear that it is the fascists that cast their eyes to the east for inspiration.  The "last bastion of our race on the planet"; one wonders how Vladimir Putin would view such a characterisation of Mother Russia.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

#PrayForBloggers

Though you might not have realised it, a truly momentous event occurred at the weekend: I started using Twitter.  Well, maybe not 'started'.  That would be a tad inaccurate.  I had made an attempt to join the ranks of the Twitterati when I first registered an account back in August 2009 but, like an SWP front organisation or Nadine Coyle's solo career, it didn't quite work out the way it was meant to.  Nevertheless, I decided a few days back to give it a second chance.  All those millions of tweeters couldn't be wrong, could they?

One thing that certainly is clear is the fact that the blogosphere is not in the best of health at this moment in time.  I started this particular website in the mid-noughties, the peak of the blogging boom, but since around the start of this decade it is a phenomenon that has been in sharp decline.  Sites which five or ten years ago were being updated on a daily basis (or at the very least weekly) have now either disappeared completely or else are only getting new posts once in a blue moon.  There is also a third and somewhat tragic fate which may befall a blog; that is whereby the blog is left float around in the mists of cyberspace, long forgotten even by the person who used to write for it.

The blog you are looking at right now falls into the second of those categories.  Indeed, 'infrequent' would be a mild way to describe the level of activity around here in recent years.  But I'm not the only one.  It seems the vast majority of blogs that were around ten years ago on the Northern Irish blog scene have bitten the dust.  Much the same is true south of the border as well as in the GB, plus the bulk of my old list of favourite Stateside bloggers also seem to be missing in action.  It is probably fair to say that the reason for this lies largely with Twitter.

Now, please don't get me wrong on this, I am in no way whatsoever being critical of Twitter.  I find Twitter infinitely more useful than, say, that utterly vacuous creation of Mr Zuckerberg's (140 characters might not be a lot but it is preferable to 140 mundane photographs of someone's night out at the M Club).  I am merely noting that it surely cannot be a coincidence that the decline of blogosphere appears to have started around the same time as Twitter was beginning to take off.  I suppose what I am trying to say, in an admittedly verbose manner that could never be accommodated on Twitter, is this: can't our favourite microblog and those good old fashioned traditional blogs coexist peacefully and thrive together?  Only time will tell.

For now, I intend to open up a second front on Twitter.  We shall see if the war on this new front is fought with the same pathetic intensity as the campaign on this site has been waged in recent times.  My latest text message sized thoughts will be available for the world to see at the following: @yfitnblog

And now that I've embraced Twitter?  The possibilities are endless.  Perhaps an Instagram account full to the brim of photos of me doing duckface poses in my bathroom mirror is just around the corner.  How on earth I would ever link it to the struggle for democratic socialism though might prove problematic.