February 27, 2010 § Leave a Comment
It is morning, Senlin says, and in the morning
When the light drips through the shutters like the dew,
I arise, I face the sunrise,
And do the things my fathers learned to do.
Stars in the purple dusk above the rooftops
Pale in a saffron mist and seem to die,
And I myself on a swiftly tilting planet
Stand before a glass and tie my tie.
Vine leaves tap my window,
Dew-drops sing to the garden stones,
The robin chirps in the chinaberry tree
Repeating three clear tones.
It is morning. I stand by the mirror
And tie my tie once more.
While waves far off in a pale rose twilight
Crash on a white sand shore.
I stand by a mirror and comb my hair:
How small and white my face! —
The green earth tilts through a sphere of air
And bathes in a flame of space.
There are houses hanging above the stars
And stars hung under a sea …
And a sun far off in a shell of silence
Dapples my walls for me …
It is morning, Senlin says, and in the morning
Should I not pause in the light to remember God?
Upright and firm I stand on a star unstable,
He is immense and lonely as a cloud.
I will dedicate this moment before my mirror
To him alone, for him I will comb my hair.
Accept these humble offerings, cloud of silence!
I will think of you as I descend the stair.
Vine leaves tap my window,
The snail-track shines on the stones,
Dew-drops flash from the chinaberry tree
Repeating two clear tones.
It is morning, I awake from a bed of silence,
Shining I rise from the starless waters of sleep.
The walls are about me still as in the evening,
I am the same, and the same name still I keep.
The earth revolves with me, yet makes no motion,
The stars pale silently in a coral sky.
In a whistling void I stand before my mirror,
Unconcerned, and tie my tie.
There are horses neighing on far-off hills
Tossing their long white manes,
And mountains flash in the rose-white dusk,
Their shoulders black with rains …
It is morning. I stand by the mirror
And surprise my soul once more;
The blue air rushes above my ceiling,
There are suns beneath my floor …
… It is morning, Senlin says, I ascend from darkness
And depart on the winds of space for I know not where,
My watch is wound, a key is in my pocket,
And the sky is darkened as I descend the stair.
There are shadows across the windows, clouds in heaven,
And a god among the stars; and I will go
Thinking of him as I might think of daybreak
And humming a tune I know …
Vine-leaves tap at the window,
Dew-drops sing to the garden stones,
The robin chirps in the chinaberry tree
Repeating three clear tones.
By Conrad Aiken.
February 25, 2010 § 2 Comments
It’s Wednesday night down the boxing gym. The coach is out having dinner. Miscellaneous old men shout garbled instructions at their charges shadow boxing in front of the long scratched mirror.
The door slides open. A blast of cold air. Two men, one tall, one short stand there looking around for someone in charge. No one’s in charge, no one even looks at them. I’m taping up my hands. I nod to them and they come to me.
They’re from Kazakhstan. The small one is dapper and ebullient, all charm, mangled English and nice suit. He works in the embassy and his friend wants to box.
His friend is tall and hard looking. He glances dead-eyed at the people training. He grimaces a half smile of solid gold teeth and shakes my hand with a paw like a brick. Stands back, inscrutable behind his beetlebrow. Dapper man gushes:
“Oh, so yes! My friend here! He very like boxing. He want box. He come Korea. Does no speak Korean no English. He want to spar. Yes. Very good. You spar here?”
I don’t have time usually. Sparring’s in the mornings and I train late. Besides, this guy looks like he’d chew me up and spit me out with 18 carrot gold gnasher marks in me. Thanks but no thanks. I’ll pass.
We shake hands again and exchange business cards anyway. The coach is back and I introduce dapper man and gold gnasher. I tape up my hands and start hitting the heavy bags.
My knuckles are raw again. Gold tooth is half-watching.
The next morning I get the following email.
“Hello J. My name is ***** from Kazakhstan we met at the sports hall. Having not too much time I didn’t indroduce you the friend of mine, he is a boxing coach with a huge experience was a yunior champion of our country…He asked me -why there is no a coach who will be able to teach you. My friend mentioned that you did a lots of crude mistakes while punching the sack And nobody even shows you the proper way, he also said that it is not necessary to practice misstakes ,doing that you are improoving in a wrong way.
“J, my friend said that there is an ethicall moment that if a person so much interesting in boxing a coach should not ignore that.my friend has got a suggestion, offering you lessons of boxing for some English from your side, he also said that the boxing is not a punching a sack in a wet stinky jam but more a philosophy wich could be practice at nature, there are many parks, river sides in Seoul ,and nowerdays whether is good for that , my friend do not need any money, he wants to have practice and a partner, wishing have an English teacher and a friend ,he stongly asked me to suggest you to try his offer:)
“He also said that in a month he will fix a strong blow ,just let you try You will fill it. You might know that Kazakhstan is good in boxing. I hope to recive an answer.”
So I can’t box for shit. The gym is wet and stinky and my coach is a lazy bastard who doesn’t give his students enough attention. Tell me something I don’t already know, yunior champ.
But Gold Teeth is right: boxing should be more than punching a sack. The offer’s tempting. One-to-one tuition from a former national champion sounds good. And I guess I’d like to have my “blow fixed strong so I can fill it”.
On the other hand I’m not sure if I fancy teaching English in a riverside park while a Kazakh thug with a penchant for “ethicall moments” but none of his own teeth left beats the shit out of me in the name of philosophy…
Given the offer is so attractively phrased, however, I’m inclined to take up the invitation. Life is strange.
February 22, 2010 § Leave a Comment
Israeli artist Tanya Preminger, writes one critic, “disrupts our rational vision and inspires us to look obliquely at the world to discover, along with her, what we might have missed.”
For me there is nothing oblique about the way in which the eye encounters these images; they abruptly and starkly reflect both the power of the human hand and of the material on which it works.
They do disrupt however. They disrupt the landscape itself, the usual artificially smooth gradient between the fierceness of nature and the accessibility that we sometimes impart to it, the delicate balance between giver and taker.They hint at chaos and the imbalance our relationship to nature can often cause but also the bounty of an earth that is rich, malleable and strangely forgiving of our tinkering, our shovels, ribbons or chainsaws.
February 19, 2010 § 5 Comments
“The strategic adversary is fascism… the fascism in us all, in our heads and in our everyday behavior, the fascism that causes us to love power, to desire the very thing that dominates and exploits us.” Michel Foucault
A strange half-light seems to have settled over Britain. Our cars are to be monitored everywhere they go. Our public spaces and protests are violated by drones intended for military espionage. Our citizens are detained without trial and tortured by the intelligence services. Our police can kill the innocent with impunity and without shame. Our dissent is dismantled under the gaze of their cameras.
We, as citizens, are largely silent. Perhaps these things crept into the fabric of our public life too quietly, too alluringly, at a time when we were distracted and distraught; politically cynical and personally craven. They gained life as legislative arcana passed unheeded by a hidebound parliament of self-interested technocrats with an eye on ever-larger televisions bought on the expenses account. They were dust in Hansard’s transcripts. They did not relate to us.
These infringements, these tasteless, odorless Gestapo of the cyber age came as our waking lives were riddled with the daydream of property prices ploughing ever onwards, leaving a rich furrow of unearned income to pick over in their wake; our sleeping lives haunted by nightmares of bearded terrorists with a thanatotic fervour so nihilistic that torture and black site prisons seemed a small price to pay for our freedom from fear.
And so we slept as they came for those we wouldn’t speak up for and have woken in a world some of us do not and some of us refuse to recognize. It is very quiet.
To speak like this in polite society is to sound hysterical, shrill, or even paranoid. Why the self-indulgent, tinfoil-hat ranting?
After all it takes more than the vaguely comical introduction of a police drone over pagan revellers at Stonehenge’s summer solstice celebrations to rouse your average punter. And when the police killed, they killed with if not good reason, good excuses; the Brazilian electrician whose life ended abruptly on a London tube carriage after being executed at point-blank range by 12 shots to the head with expanding hollow-point bullets looked like a terrorist. There were intelligence failures. It was an honest mistake.
And when a pudgy, alcoholic newspaper vendor with nine kids found himself caught up in Operation Glencoe, a policing operation named after a massacre against protestors decrying the unrestrained venality of the nation’s banks, he was putting himself in harm’s way; if you wander insouciantly and with a lack of urgency in front of security officials intent on preventing a riot, you can expect to be repeatedly slammed to the ground as the Alsatians snarl and your abdominal walls begin to haemorrhage while you remonstrate feebly from a sitting position on the cold pavement, your skin turning grey. These things happen. No great loss in the grand scheme of things.
But the devil steps lightly over your threshold when invited, as the old superstition has it, although you will find it harder to get him to leave.
“Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” queried Roman poet Juvenal: “Who guards the guards?” Largely quoted by those commenting on totalitarianism (or illustrating the notion of infinite regress), few know that Juvenal was actually lamenting the licentious behavior of his wife.
“I hear always the admonishment of my friends: “Bolt her in, constrain her!” But who will guard the guardians? The wife plans ahead and begins with them!”
For offer a temptation to a guard, whether it be a poet’s wife, legislative sanction or merely the technological capabilities to take what they want, and they will take it. And what we in Britain have now offered our “guardians” in the police and intelligence services is the knowledge of our movement on every road of the land in the form of a “panopticon highway“, a network of automatic number plate recognition cameras tracking each car. This, naturally, like shooting Brazilians and punching protestors, is for our own good:
“This development forms the basis of a 24/7 vehicle movement database that will revolutionise arrest, intelligence and crime investigation opportunities on a national basis”
Proclaim those behind the strategy rousingly. And Frank Whiteley, Chief Constable of Hertfordshire and chairman of the Association of Chief Police Officers’ steering committee on automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) is ebullient on the move, telling the Independent that:
“Clearly there are values for this in counter-terrorism… The security services will use it for purposes that I frankly don’t have access to. It’s part of public protection. If the security services did not have access to this, we’d be negligent.”
But stop for a moment and consider the function creep. Anti-terrorism laws have been used widely on protestors. Drones used not just on Iraqi “insurgents” but druids peacefully observing the summer solstice. And ACPO note that:
“In addition to cross-checking each number plate against stolen and suspect vehicles held on the Police National Computer, the national data centre will also check whether each vehicle is lawfully licensed, insured and has a valid MoT test certificate.”
So if my car has a minor oil leak or a chipped windscreen and I have deferred getting it MOTd, the policing apparatus will know, they will be alerted by the eyes and ears of the database and stop and charge me.
When the reach and response of the police is this minute, this penetrating, it is time to wake up and begin questioning what, if this is the thin end of the wedge, the thick end might look like.
We’ve had a few pointers already and they disturb immensely: protestors whose vehicles were clocked by ANPR cameras at or near demonstrations have had their car details added to the database (under “subversive”?) and have been stopped and repeatedly harassed as they go about their business entirely legally.
Police have even been accused of effectively stopping people groundlessly merely to milk them for their DNA to add to another growing database. Being obstructive and failing the “attitude test” is likely to result in arrest sanctioned under anti-terrorism legislation.
Refuse to open your mouth and have a latex-gloved thug swab your gums and take your DNA after busting you for your pathetic, failing old car and you’re going to be called a security threat.
With security forces effectively being given whatever they want, as those who should watch them — our elected representatives — sit supine, how long will it be before, like every male Iraqi, we are having our retinas scanned by police with handheld biometrics devices for our protection? (U.S. officials are already pressing for the use of the technology back home in America). Ten years? Twenty?
And how long before not just our cars but our very bodies are tracked via implanted computer chips? After all, the arguments for such procedures are as impeccable as the need to track the movement of vehicles: medical records can be made easily and life-savingly accessible to medics; crimes will become that much easier to solve for people will be easy to place; and, timelessly, those of us who have nothing to hide would have nothing to fear.
Dystopian and far from possible? No, technology already more than six years old. In 2004 broadcaster MSNBC reported on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval for Applied Digital Solutions of Delray Beach, Fla., to market the VeriChip, an implantable computer chip about the size of a grain of rice, for medical purposes.
With the pinch of a syringe, the microchip is inserted under the skin in a procedure that takes less than 20 minutes and leaves no stitches. Silently and invisibly, the dormant chip stores a code that releases patient-specific information when a scanner passes over it.
It is telling that the human body, to our “guardians”, is just information needed on the database: on the battlefields of the Middle East, for example, a man’s eye is no longer the window to his soul; it is the information that reads “insurgent”, “enemy”, “wanted”, “combatant”, “suspect”, “collaborator”, or merely “unregistered adult male”. It is the IP address of the originator of a virus; it is the tattoo on the inner side of the upper left forearm; it is empty data. The scanner recognises no soul, no causes, just data to be logged.
Strikingly, given the bare facts, or “truth” that such technology reveals, we unleashed these machines and the soldiers holding them in dusty cities overseas, with a lie. It is a lie that has grown and mutated; a lie that sits, ignoble and unopposed among our elite. It is a lie that no longer needs a single liar to speak it, but one that has taken on its own form and returned home hungry; a lie that rots the heart of our body politic; a lie that cannot be refuted with simple, legalistic logic for it is no longer spoken in words but in actions. The lie is this: it is for your protection; it is for your own good; we watch over you and you need not watch over us in turn. You are free.
- The title of this blog post is a reference to Plato’s “gennaion pseudos” or noble lie:
“Everyone sees to it that the Guardian’s pursuit of truth can go on. But notoriously, that truth-seeking activity is a superstructure founded on mendacity… In a telling metaphor, Plato says that the rulers will need to administer some potent “drugs” in order to make this truth-seeking activity possible. The strongest drugs he has in mind are “falsehood and deception.” (Plato 1981, p. 459)
- For a provocative take on VeriChip and news of their recent merger with a credit rating agency, Wired wrote a good piece detailing the company’s ambitions:
VeriChip and its former owner Applied Digital have been drawing fire since 2004, when the FDA approved the rice-sized injectable RFID for human use. While the company primarily pushed the chip as part of a system to index medical records, Richard Sullivan, then-CEO of Applied Digital, had a penchant for wantonly confirming every nightmare of cybernetic social control.After 9/11, it was Sullivan who announced the VeriChip would be perfect as a universal ID to distinguish safe people from the dangerous ones. He dreamed of GPS-equipped chips being injected into foreigners entering the United States, prisoners, children, the elderly. He thought the VeriChip would be used as a built-in credit or ATM card.
- For more on the moral and philosophical issues behind the biotechnological reach of the police, Giorgio Agamben’s “No to bio-political tattooing” is thought-provoking and disturbing.
- And for further reading on Britain’s surveillance state, Henry Porter is always excellent.
February 18, 2010 § Leave a Comment
It’s all about the late night runs under cold city streetlights, kicking back hard
against the asphalt’s cupped hands while the lungs, roaring, share willing air
with the aromas that covet my path; the acrid smoke that segues into the kick
of grilled mackerel or the carcinogenic caugh of a night bus, the asthmatic
wheeze of the homeless bums tipping back booze in the night air; my feet
a’ skitter between bottles dotted as upright as slalom markers on
this sharp descent; the heavy sky, not falling, but ceding
to a silver moon over this cradle of countless tired souls
while just one pair of legs, scissoring, cuts urgent
patterns from these flowing streets, lest this
fierce track fade into drab grey
with the coming morning’s
February 13, 2010 § 2 Comments
The news has been full of talk of Google challenging Facebook and Twitter in the social networking realm. Thinking of the fragmented, incoherent chatter of voices that tends to emerge on such platforms, it struck me that the above make a pretty radical or even frightening contrast with the other genuine news stories of the day.
Below I’ve pulled some updates from my Facebook feed, a mishmash of current affairs articles, book reviews and a poem by Auden (about secrets leaking out, which is happening — tritely — on Facebook and far more seriously with the MI5 torture allegations) to make a little 10-point vignette on social networking soma and the fucked-up state of the world. Enjoy. Or Weep.
1] “Behind the corpse in the reservoir, behind the ghost on the links, behind the lady who dances and the man who madly drinks, under the look of fatigue the attack of migraine and the sigh there is always another story, there is more than meets the eye”.
2] Ella has a savage hangover; Ben joined the group ‘I secretly want to punch slow walking people in the back of the head’; Gloria is tired; Steve has joined the group ‘I bet I can find 1,000,000 people who hate the new Facebook layout’.
3] “In that Empire, the Art of Cartography attained such Perfection that the map of a single Province occupied the entirety of a City, and the map of the Empire, the entirety of a Province. In time, those Unconscionable Maps no longer satisfied, and the Cartographers Guilds struck a Map of the Empire whose size was that of the Empire, and which coincided point for point with it.”
4] Jane was tagged in a photo. Anjie became a fan of ‘I am wearing headphones. Do not talk to me.’ Ben > Tom: When you comin down then mate? Weather gettin nicer down here man gonna soon be another summer of fun. Yes bruv!
5] “Facebook’s most recent round of funding was led by a company called Greylock Venture Capital, who put in the sum of $27.5m. One of Greylock’s senior partners is called Howard Cox, another former chairman of the NVCA, who is also on the board of In-Q-Tel. What’s In-Q-Tel? Well, believe it or not (and check out their website), this is the venture-capital wing of the CIA.”
5] Ed has changed his profile picture. David likes Jessica’s status. Alice and James are now friends. Sam Is so tired!!!!! Should have def not gone out on a school nite!!! Kieran – Religious Views: “Cause Fights”. Political Views: “Apathetic.”
6] “Henry Porter’s new novel, “The Bell Ringers” is a dark counterpoint to that previously optimistic vision. This superb political thriller depicts England in the near future as a place where fabricated security threats, state surveillance, and antiterrorist legislation advance political ambitions and control.”
7] Olly Is Back online after a week of messing around with different internet fings. Finally ended up with three. Whats going on with the layout of this, great another thing to get used to. Apart from that I love you all, Ha Ha.x
8] “Clegg demanded to know if ministers were told the US had changed its rules on torture after the 9/11 attacks. Either the government knew, or the Security Service was engaged in a cover-up, he claimed. He said: “We must know who in Britain knew the US had changed the rules on torture, when they knew and what action they took. We can only conclude that the Security Services either kept the information to themselves, or they informed ministers who failed to act immediately. “Both of these would suggest at best a cover-up and at worst collusion in torture. Knowledge of Britain’s potential complicity in torture looks likely to have gone to the very top of government,” he said.”
8] Google Inc is tapping its huge network of Gmail users and Web surfers to create a Buzz that it hopes will help it catch up with online social networking leaders Facebook and Twitter… Also, a new arsenal of products make the new social networking features compatible with mobile devices such as smartphones based on Google’s Android operating system.
9] “Ignoring Torture Claims and Questionable Evidence, New York Jury Convicts Pakistani Scientist Aafia Siddiqui. “Siddiqui’s family said that she does not have any connections to al-Qaeda and that the U.S. secretly detained her in Afghanistan after she disappeared in Pakistan in March 2003 with her three children. They point to comments by former Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, detainees who say they believe a woman held at the prison while they were there was Siddiqui. Her sister said that she had been raped, and tortured for five years.”
10] Google Buzz, torture, Picasa, iPhone, rape, android, Gmail, corruption, MSN Messenger, detention without trial, you have been invited to join Yahoo!’s new network; netbook; compassion fatigue; new media; ADHD; WordPress; ritalin; bank bonuses; Twitter; Microsoft Blooger; success; tax; Ian Tomlinson; murder; Myspace; revolution;apathy; revolution; revolution; apathy; apathy; revolution…
At last the secret is out,
as it always must come in the end,
the delicious story is ripe to tell
to tell to the intimate friend;
over the tea-cups and into the square
the tongues has its desire;
still waters run deep, my dear,
there’s never smoke without fire.
W. H. Auden. At last the secret is out.
February 12, 2010 § 2 Comments
A photo from South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency of a crowd in Pyongyang “celebrating” Dear Leader Kim Jong-il’s birthday, which falls on February the 16th, is unintentionally revealing.
Look at every single face. Not one smile among them. This is a grim-faced crowd who look, to a man/woman, like they would like to cut off Kim’s head and eat his brains with a spoon on his most happy of birthdays.
Photo’s sanctioned by North Korea usually show a smiley-smiley world of brightly clad women holding Kimjongilia.* But this crowd looks, at best, like angry unionists about to smash some shit up and at worst like a people who have pretty much run out of hope.
Methinks the North’s botched currency reform has truly almost been the straw that broke the camel’s back in that benighted nation. The Prime Minister of the North has even had to issue an unprecedented public apology and reports burgeon of social unrest.
As Seoul’s Chosun Ilbo writes, “If the rumors coming out of North Korea are accurate, then the country is a ticking time bomb.” Admittedly South Korea’s right have hardly ever thought otherwise and a few malnourished and angry market traders are hardly likely to be a match for the most repressive state on earth.
But given that the currency reform was initially attributed to Kim’s son, who has apparently been tagged as next leader in the world’s only hereditary “communist” state, the hand over of power looks like it could be pretty ugly as-and-when the Dear Leader finally kicks the bucket.
As the Ye Olde Chosun notes, it’s always worth remembering that in January 1989, the West German government said there were no unusual signs coming out of East Germany: within the year the Berlin wall had fallen…
*The red flowers that are blossoming over our land
Are like hearts: full of love for the leader
Our hearts follow the young buds of Kimjongilia
Oh! The flower of our loyalty!
February 11, 2010 § 3 Comments
It’s not often you find a British professor of business studies advocating massive and forcible land confiscation from the “individuals and families who won the state lottery at various stages over the last 600 years in a series of land grabs, in some cases going back to the Norman Conquest.”
And to find the proposal couched as a “new revenue policy that helps to significantly cut the deficit” in the pages of a paper owned by the right-leaning Trinity Mirror — who admittedly know a thing or two about rapacious grabs of others’ property – only heightens the incongruity and for me at least, hilarity.
But Professor David Bailey, whose praises I sung here for his eloquent and informed opposition to Kraft’s takeover of Cadbury, has sparked a compelling internecine battle between bloggers at the Birmingham Post with his attack on Britain’s landed aristocracy. The man has class, if you’ll excuse the pun.
Bailey and co-writer John Clancy think state appropriation of land might be plausible because “the crown” granted such landowners the property to begin with; the policy itself has historical roots.
It’s called crowning. Over the centuries, kings and queens awarded land in return not for money but for past and (more importantly) future services like raising an army and gave the grantees of the land fancy titles as part of the lottery win, like Viscount, Earl, Duke, Marquess and Baron.
Alternatively, they simply stole the land, grabbed it out of opportunity, or fenced it off and enclosed it; possession, in reality, being 9 tenths of the law when it came to land, historically speaking.
So far, so uncontroversial for those with a passing knowledge of our history. But this is a business professor here and he also has his mind on the here-and-now and not just historical injustice of the enclosure movement et al.
The government’s budget deficit, as most without their heads in the sand will no doubt be aware, has ballooned in part to bail out a bust banking system and the professor is unhappy that the little guy has to take the fall.
The fact [is] that the government’s budget deficit has ballooned… Now public sector workers and public services users have to pay the price. The private sector substantially caused this recession and deficit. Now the public sector alone is being called in to pay for it.
The reality that will still have to dawn on all of us (and probably after the election) is that [public sector cuts] will not be enough on their own. The bad news is that the government will have to raise more revenue.
Where could the government possibly turn?
Not, surely, those historically responsible for the destruction of the commons?
Our research estimates that some £100 billion at least is available in asset value, currently in the hands of about 100 men (an almost exclusively male club, by the way), consisting of a sizeable chunk of the land surface of the UK, including much of the commercial property in the hearts of our towns and cities. This land simply has been handed down generation after generation from eldest son to eldest son.
As these eldest sons actually made the laws of the land up to 1999 (and some still do in part) in the House of Lords and younger sons in the House of Commons, the political will to do anything about the ownership of this vast sector of the nation’s real assets was always stymied. It is an astonishing, untouched political fossil.
To cut a long story short, he suggests confiscating the land back, then flogging it to sovereign wealth funds, Middle Eastern investors or the Chinese at fair market prices and using the proceeds to plug the gaping deficit. OK, he is a business professor after all.
But the whole conversation is fascinating and most ticklish, not least the suggestion by collaborator John Clancy in a comment to the post that:
As most of the Aristocracy started off as military tenants under feudalism, we could insist the aristocrat is ordered into a war zone on behalf of the UK, since refusal to do so would enable forfeiture of the lord’s lands. Taking up arms on behalf of the monarch is the basis of the feudal system and refusal to do so means the land falls back to the crown!
Read here and enjoy! For more on “The Enclosure of the Commons” Vandana Shiva penned a compelling and informed essay on the pre-modern and contemporary manifestations of “enclosure” including of intellectual property rights for the Third World Network here. (A must-read!)
* As Terrierman notes:
With the Enclosure Movement, came restrictions on hunting on lands that had once been part of “the commons.” The Game Laws of 1816 limited the hunting of game to landowners: pheasant, partridge, hares and rabbits. The penalty for poaching was “transportation” for 7 years. i.e. you were sent overseas, and if convicted a second time you were never allowed to return.
February 5, 2010 § 4 Comments
“Britain must launch GM food revolution, says chief scientist” screamed the Guardian early in January.
“Oh no I fucking didn’t say anything of the sort you lying journalist scum” screamed the chief scientist back in a letter.
Or more specifically:
Your article (Britain must launch GM food revolution, says chief scientist, 6 January), misrepresents my position and my paper at the Oxford Farming Conference.
The paper makes no mention of GM and I have not said that Britain must launch a GM food revolution.
Oh. Dear. God. What in the name of fucking world-class hackery happened there? The Institute of Science in Society can only speculate…