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Sunday Open Thread April 22, 2012

Posted by Garibaldy in Open Thread.
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An open thread for people to highlight whatever is interesting/annoying/entertaining them today. Some things that have caught my eye today

Will Hutton on Argentina’s seizing of control of the oil company YPF.

The week Avengers Assemble is out, a profile of its director, Joss Whedon

Judging by the popularity of this weekend I’ll mostly be listening to, I’m sure a few people here were mad for it back in the 1990s the observer has a piece on that whole scene

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Comments»

1. ejh - April 22, 2012

I couldn’t read the Sawyer piece. She has all the bad music-journalism habits of overwriting and of making sure the social significance of everything is overstated.

She’s not as bad as Jon Savage, but she’s bad enough.

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EamonnCork - April 22, 2012

Sawyer is brutal. Her general level of intelligence can be discerned from the fact that she appeared in ‘The Trial Of Gary Glitter,’ one of the worst and most unpleasant things to ever be screened on British TV. It was like an episode of Brass Eye done straight.
And that bloody Manchester article has been written so many times at this stage it nearly has blue mould on it, partial though I am to the bands mentioned.
Reading it reminds me of Andy Beckett’s comment about the equally hackneyed punk rock articles which explain that the rise of Punk in 1976 was a reaction to the Winter of Discontent in 1979.
I like Jon Savage though, he wrote one brilliant book and that’s more than most music journalists manage. England’s Dreaming just seems less impressive now because everyone’s been robbing out of it for years.

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ejh - April 23, 2012

Mmm. I’ve got that book and while it’s an exciting story well told, it suffers from both the bad habits I mention above, plus crowbarring in all sorts of pretentious quotes for no better reason than to impress us with his reading (also see Morley, Paul) as well as a strong dose of “I was there” syndrome.

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EamonnCork - April 23, 2012

I take your point but, well, he WAS there. And the crowbarring didn’t bother me because, as I was saying to Jacques Derrida recently, I’m a bit of a pretentious bastard myself.

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LeftAtTheCross - April 23, 2012

Now that made me laugh on this grey Monday morning. :-)

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sonofstan - April 23, 2012

as I was saying to Jacques Derrida recently, I’m a bit of a pretentious bastard myself.

Any truth in the rumour that your ’80s book will be called ‘What Différance Does it Make?’

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EamonnCork - April 23, 2012

Sos,
Unfortunately I have Foucault to do with picking the title.

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Ed - April 23, 2012

I dunno, I’ve a soft spot for Savage – in the Joy Division box-set they have a glossy booklet that includes articles from Savage and Morley on JD, I always thought they’d make a good example for young journalists of how to do it and how not to do it – Savage’s piece was much less showy and stylised than Morley’s, and told you far more.

And with England’s Dreaming and the highfalutin’ quotes, well, I read it first when I was 15 when I wouldn’t have been in the habit of reading or even thinking about that sort of stuff, same probably goes for a lot of people who read books about pop music, so I don’t think it does any harm really. A lot of the articles collected in Time Travel are very good too.

Now if you want someone bringing high-brow cultural theory to bear on pop music, Simon Reynolds is hard to beat, especially Retromania – he already had a lot of it in Energy Flash, but the new book carries it to unheard-of lengths, long discussions of Fredric Jameson, Walter Benjamin and others alongside diatribes against hipsters and ‘I Love the 80s’ programmes. Not for the faint-hearted …

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EamonnCork - April 23, 2012

Reynolds is great. I haven’t a great deal of interest in a lot of the music he was writing about in Retromania but I kept reading out of sheer love for the intelligence of the insights and stylishness of the writing. He’s one of those critics like Gary Giddins or Alex Ross or Frank Rich who I like to read on anything even if the subject itself isn’t that interesting to me.
I can’t stand Morley’s writing. It reminds me of a quote by a film critic whose name I can’t remember on the late Ken Russell along the lines of, ‘Whether the name of the film is Mahler or Elgar or Debussy, the real subject is always Russell.’ When he’s doing his old routine on The Late Review and Germaine Greer or someone looks at him as if to say, ‘you’re a terrible card Paul,’ and he simultaneously basks and preens I thank God for the remote control.
Mind you, for all the music journalism produced in this country, we haven’t produced one decent book, with the exception of Mark Prednergast’s Irish Rock which isn’t available any more and more or lless stops in the mid seventies. Lots of ephemeral cash-in stuff about U-2 and various hagiographies bbut nothing of any substance.

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EamonnCork - April 23, 2012

The great thing about Englands Dreaming is that shows how ‘Arty’ punk was and nothing like the ‘oi, oi, oi, I love snot, oi, oi, oi, I’m working class,’ cliche which later sprung up. Its main movers were self consciously left-field and quite a few of them had read their Ballard and Burroughs et al. Ten years ago they’d have been involved in the art world, not quite sure what they’d be at now.

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Michael Carley - April 23, 2012

Charles Shaar Murray is often good value: his book on Hendrix is a gem.

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ejh - April 24, 2012

<a href="http://www.mikemarqusee.com/?p=123Marquesee on Marcus makes a lot of point I like to see made.

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anarchaeologist - April 24, 2012

In reply to EamonnCork below(?), has anyone read this yet? ‘Rock and Popular Music in Ireland: Before and After U2′ by Noel McLaughlin and Martin McLoone, IAP, 2012.

http://www.irishacademicireland.com/acatalog/info_1_9780716530763.html

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2. mobfilms - April 22, 2012

Watched this a couple of nights ago: The.Black.Power.Mixtape.1967-1975.

Was a bit disappointed considering the unbelievable reviews it got – but It’s still interesting. Note the VO is in swedish but all interviews are in english. There’s probably an SRT file out there somewhere: http://thepiratebay.se/torrent/6962879

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3. Eamonn McDonagh (@eamonnmcdonagh) - April 22, 2012

The Chinese angle posited by Hutton doesn’t reflect matters as they are seen here. CFK and her new golden boy Kicilof have been undermining Repsol-YPF for months with stories of its iniquity in the state media and by plastering the streets with posters attacking it. More importantly, they strong armed provincial governors into cancelling many of its exploration and production concessions with a view to lowering its share price and hence the amount that will eventually have to be paid in compo.
It’s also noteworthy that the new company will not be a state company, it’ll remain a “sociedad anónima” with a majority state shareholding. In her speech CFK made it clear that the new company will be fully open to joint ventures, offering concessions etc to private sector partners.
Oh and of course it’s only the Spanish that have been expropriated, not the (Argentine) Eskenazi family, the other big shareholder. They were practically gifted their mega slice of the action by Repsol because they thought it would satisfy the Kirchners

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U.P. UPope - April 22, 2012

That’s interesting information Eamonn. ‘here’ is presumably Argentina? I have to say that sounds more like Peronist realpolitik.

What’s the story with Kicilof then? The only detail I could find was in Financial Times Deutschland which went on about his thesis on Keynes and Marx, the fact that he learned German to read Marx in the original. And he’s a buddy of Kirchner fils.

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Eamonn McDonagh (@eamonnmcdonagh) - April 22, 2012

Kicilof is Vice Minister of the Economy, supposedly very clever and definitely has the ear of CFK. Being Jewish and supposedly being well up on Marx he has set a lot of red lights flashing in that part of the traditional right that opposes the govt. Of course the more pragmatic right in the form of our local captains of industry is (largely) delighted with the govt’s move. Fiestonga of contracts for family, friends and contacts of the government, here we come

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U.P. UPope - April 22, 2012

‘Fiestonga’ indeed – love that word!

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4. Twigs - April 22, 2012

May I ask, do any of your contributors know anything about legal things? If so, could any of them answer this: Why are not (or cannot?) the addresses of every single place that is rented out, for rent, leased out, etc., why are these addresses not available at the Local authority offices?
Investors seem to hold sway (and they themselves do network amongst themselves) regarding tenants’ tenure. These investors even liaise with local gurriers, for when they want tenants moved on, (for whatever reason).
The amount of power these meglomaniacs have is shocking; and this is a silent creeping sadism; as this is found to be their most effective approach, when securing the future on-going amalgamation of investor capital.
And yet, over 60 per cent of all private rented accommodation in this State is in some way subsidised by – the State.
Investors: – Subsidised (with tenants and rent); and Shielded, by Local authority insouciance.
I just wonder if: 1. The address of every rent/lease property should be available at the Local authority; and 2. The name and address of the investor be available from the Local authority.
Why is this not the case?

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RosencrantzisDead - April 22, 2012

Excepting certain types (e.g. rent a room scheme), all tenancies have to be registered with the Private Residential Tenancies Board. If a tenant has a problem, they can go there to complain. Like many quasi-governmental, adjudicative bodies in this state, the experiences can be mixed.

As to the reason why they are not openly available, there is no legal impediment to making them public. The flip-side is, of course, that there is arguably no need to make them public given the PRTB.

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Twigs - April 22, 2012

@Rosencrantz

Yes, that ‘flip-side’ is a dark part of this; as it may be like giving air to Vampires.
The part that trips me is, (and where the legal hawks might put forward a case against): 1. If an investor buys shares in a company; do I, the consumer, if the company is with malice aforethought, have the right to bring a case against that/those (and the names known) investors?
2. Yet, as usually to rent a dwelling it is usually a one/one transaction (for the present), investor/tenant; and if neighbouring tenant problems occur, it can take even a year of ‘proving’ to the PRTB that there is a case before they let you know who the neighbouring Investor is;- meantime, that investor may be standing next to you in the supermarket queue, and you would not know. This is how they network.

So should the Local authority offices formally let it be known that there is a Print-Out of the PRTB List of Investors’ houses in that County,directly available to the public. But, additionally, with a corresponding list of the names (and private addresses) of the Owners/Investors; who usually are people in or very near the area?
(Usually though, increasingly, they are hiding behind agents, management companies etc.), as for every dwelling available; it would be obvious that one person owns two dwellings. Or three, four… And to keep that from the area public seems to be the prime pre-occupation of these, local, investors.

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RosencrantzisDead - April 22, 2012

1. Regarding suing investors, the short answer is no.

If you are a neighbour and you have a problem with a property, you can send letters addressed to the owner of the property. You may also serve court summonses and orders on the property.

Aside from that, one can obtain data from the land registry/registry of deeds and determine who is the owner of a given property. It costs about €5/6 but you can search online. Equally, information about companies can be obtained from the Registrar of companies (www.cro.ie)

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RosencrantzisDead - April 22, 2012

WordPress ate my original reply.

1. Regarding investors, the short answer is no.

2. If a neighbouring property is causing problems, you can send letters addressed to the owner of the property to the delinquent property. The PRTB would not be involved in such a dispute.

Also, the land registry and the registry of deeds (www.landregistry.ie) can provide information on who the owner of a property is. Information on all companies in the state can be obtained from the Registrar of Companies (www.cro.ie).

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5. CL - April 22, 2012

“I believe that saying yes to the stability treaty is vital for a stable currency, for investor confidence, for economic recovery, and for a vote of confidence in Ireland’s future.”
-Joan Burton twice uses the word ‘confidence’ in one sentence.
She is a member of the Norman Vincent Peale school of economics-the Power of Positive Thinking is what’s needed for economic recovery, and the anti-Austerity Treaty naysayers prevent this.
Social democracy has sunk to a pathetic, imbecilic level.

http://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/burton-asks-anti-treaty-groups-to-come-up-with-alternative-548574.html

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6. U.P. UPope - April 22, 2012

That’s interesting information Eamonn. ‘here’ is presumably Argentina? I have to say that sounds more like Peronist realpolitik.

What’s the story with Kicilof then? The only detail I could find was in Financial Times Deutschland which went on about his thesis on Keynes and Marx, the fact that he learned German to read Marx in the original. And he’s a buddy of Kirchner fils.

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7. U.P. UPope - April 22, 2012

Interesting signs that the Ordo-Liberal/Neo-classical consensus is breaking down in Germany, it least in academic circles. The Soros-funded INET recently held a conference on non-orthodox economics and there were a suprising number of Germans and Dutch there.

For those interested in intra-capitalist arguments against the Suicide Pact referendum, the following are worth a look if you have time:

Dirk Bezemer on a socially useful financial system (yes, I did say intra-capitalist), Stiglitz on Mercatilism , Michael Hudson on why debts that can’t be payed won’t be payed and the disaster that is the Latvian ‘success story’, Yannis Varoufakis on his and Stuart Hollands plan to, among other things, put the European Investment Bank to work and finally Steve Keen on why economic models without debt that presume stability have no predictive value or policy-making value.

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U.P. UPope - April 22, 2012

I should have said a conference was held in Berlin in an attempt to serve as a laxative to the intellectual constipation.

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crocodileshoes - April 23, 2012

As further proof that politics are very different across the channel, yesterday’s Sunday Times commented that no candidate in the French election, even Sarkozy, has dared to say a word in favour of the free market. Our media would ensure that no one dared say a word against it.

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EWI - April 24, 2012

Where “free market” is PR-speak for untrammelled, rapacious capitalism that spreads like a virus, inevitably killing the host.

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8. sonofstan - April 22, 2012

20% of the French electorate just voted for a fascist. Again.

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Alarm for Europe - April 22, 2012

Again?
She has gone 3% over pappy le Pen. This is a more dangerous result than that. Its a more main stream move for them than the last time

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sonofstan - April 22, 2012

Yeah, sorry, it is worse.

Just found a disgusting op ed piece in the Daily Mail last week bigging her up as a true Brit, only in France.

What’s appalling is the longevity of the FN – they’ve been polling in the high teens for -what? – two decades. I wish I knew how the fuck we’d got to a situation where scum like that are being accepted as a normal part of the electoral landscape. Try and imagine what Britain would be like if the BNP were getting that kind of vote…..

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LeftAtTheCross - April 22, 2012

Or if the CP-B was getting 10% either though. Disappointing result for the further Left all the same. The important election is really Greece on May 6th. While France is clearly more radicalised than here, the cracks in the neoliberal European facade are more likely to establish themselves further south, no?

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Alarm for Europe - April 22, 2012

The scale of this is striking. These are votes for far right parties across what has been called old europe. So called new europe is a different story again.
9.7 million votes. Most of the parties listed below have been around and doing well for many many years. So I dont think its the crisis thats the cause of this.

Whats the answer?

Austria 1,379,962
France about 5,700,000 (20% vote for 2002)
Italy: 3,024,758
Belgium: 506,000
UK 563,000
Holland 1,454,000
Denmark 436,000
Norway 387,000
Sweden 339,000
Switzerland 670,000
Greece 390,000

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Chet Carter - April 23, 2012

Unfortunately, there is a weird dynamic going on. It is the extreme right in Europe who are seen as being defenders of the welfare state. Whereas the Left when in Government, or what most voters perceive to be the Left, are defending the status quo of neo liberalism.

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2012/0423/breaking9.html

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Alarm for Europe - April 23, 2012

@Chet, this is one of the reasons for the strength of the far right across Europe. The right has wholesale taken over the left’s arguments. Are the left now regarded as the party of neo-liberals. No I dont think its that bad. The left is not being very successful in having a dialogue with voters about immigration though. European left is in a pickle – until they start discussing how to tackle the negatives of immigration while highlighting the benefits then its going to be back foot time for a lot longer.

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9. RosencrantzisDead - April 22, 2012

WordPress appears to be blocking my comments. I swear I have been good.

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RosencrantzisDead - April 22, 2012

Alright, here is my reply to twigs above:

1. Regarding investors, the short answer is no.

2. If you are having problems with a neighbouring property, you can simply send letters addressed to the owner/occupier of that property. In addition, information about ownership of properties in the state can be obtained from the land registry/registry of deeds (www.landregistry.ie). The owners name will be on the documents that they hold.

Information about companies can be obtained from the Registrar of Companies (www.cro.ie).

Much of what you seek is available, albeit not in consolidated form. There is not much of an argument for a register of investors – what practical purpose would such a register, given that it would be in addition to the above, serve?

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Twigs - April 23, 2012

Serious. Serious reply; and appreciated.
But business seems to be what these investors are about. The business of knowing the economic make-up of their area – and deciding on tenants mainly on their economic status; and (and this is the dark part) exhorting and abetting those tenants to harass a less economically viable person. Power. Pure and simple. After all, what good is money, if you cannot laud it over the impecunious. And even better if they are smart, and…. impecunious.
Anyhow, you are right about letters. As I remember in my case the reg. letter was returned; so PRTB took this into account.

The registry of deeds seem to be only about the sellers of property.
And the land registry have been recording purchases, in different counties, but only from different years i.e. only since 2011 – Cork and Dublin; whereas since ’08? Clare/Wicklow?; and other different counties, different preceding years.

Is it obvious then that in some counties a future person cannot ascertain an area investor if that investor’s property was bought prior to 2008, 2011 etc.? – that an ordinary civilian, curious about the public/private/investor balance of his area virtually cannot access just how much property in any one area, any one investor holds.
There being disagreements in the locale is bad enough, without even knowing who, really, the disagreement is with (i.e. the owner). Of course, cue management companies, estate agents, now; but all seem to be ranged to quell and thus deflect attention from a clear overview of the area.
I am by no means a fan of all these local authorities; but, darkly, does it seem disjunctive that at this time, their role is being played down; when actually, by having a record of the local investors might actually be a public service.

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Tomboktu - April 22, 2012

I found three in the spam folder and released them

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RosencrantzisDead - April 22, 2012

Spam! Harsh.

You’ll probably want to delete two of them. They are the same post.

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10. Alarm for Europe - April 22, 2012

BBC on its analysis saying that lePen has polled strongly amongst the working class and the young.

She just said on TV the battle for France has started. The BBC saying is Sarko will now be having to follow her agenda more and more and that she will probably do okay in elections in the summer.

So France joins Finland, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Holland, Belgium. Now Greece looks like to be on the fringe of all the above by likely to violently fascist party the new dawn.

Whats the solution cause whatever is currently being done to tackle the far right is clearly inadeqaute.

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sonofstan - April 22, 2012

According to the Guardian election watch, Sarko’s speech to supporters was a fairly blatant appeal to FN voters.

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U.P. UPope - April 22, 2012

Expect a torrent of xenophobia and lumpen nationalism from the little man with the Napoleon complex for the next few weeks. Expect Merkel to make more gestures over Schengen.

And that is precisely why the far right do so well – because the governing ‘centre-right’ parties flirt so consistently with xenophobia and racism, while their meeja cheer them on.

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EWI - April 24, 2012

Merkel and Sarkozy are the last big two from Dubya’s “New Europe” (aped here by all the little Quislings). One down, one to go?

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11. ghandi - April 23, 2012

Any body else sick of getting b/w leaflets from City Councillors telling us nothing, our latest was from Clare O’ Regan (Labour) who tells us she asked the city manager about clearing up dog foul on North Strand. The Country is in crisis, we saw nothing from her or the others during the Household Charge (except for Nial Ring late intervention) and they think people are concerned about crap.

Also I note that Emer’s replacement is one Padraig McLoughlin, who even I have never heard of. How many now sit on DCC that were not elected?

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12. youPope - April 23, 2012

Did anyone read Monbiot’s on the supression of the Mau-Mau rebellion. Grimer than I had realised.

25,000 troops, police and admistrators came back to Britain having been complicit in the atrocities. I wonder what that did for official and popular racism in the UK?

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anarchaeologist - April 24, 2012

The comment thread after Monbiot’s article is particularly interesting if it really represents a cross-section of Guardian-reader opinion. I never understood why in the ’80s so little was known in the UK about the suppression of the Mau Mau. Of the 25,000 who returned, and most to civilian life, many must have been complicit in crimes against the Kenyan people. A few years later in Austria I was struck by the many kindly pensioners returning to education in their 80s. Some, after a few too many regretful drinks, had horrific stories to tell of their own time and experiences in the war. One or two were unreconstructed Nazis, proud and open about their past in Bosnia and Serbia. And fuck them.
I was also teaching refugees from former Yugoslavia who were telling me the same stories again and again, but had said everything they’d had to say by Srebrenica. This was facilitated by the Dutch UN troops and indeed an international community who were little concerned with the fate of some 8000 potential Jihadists in an obscure corner of Bosnia and Herzegovina, close to the Serbian border.
Seems there’ll always be people returning to a ‘normal’ life for as long as we have capitalism and wars.

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Ed - April 24, 2012

Eamonn McCann had a story about working on building sites in London in the 60s, his workmates had all served in the army in Malaya and would happily pass around photos of themselves with “trophies” from the battle, heads cut off, that sort of thing.

It’s strange how little resonance this has in British culture – Vietnam is obviously a huge theme in US movies, pop music etc.; Algeria has a lot of resonance in France (just watch the film “Mesrine”, the first scene with Vincent Cassel’s character has him shoot an Arab prisoner in the head during his military service); but I can’t think of a single British film which has a soldier returning from Kenya / Cyprus / Malaya / Aden / Ireland haunted by what they saw and did.

And “Trainspotting” is the only novel I can think of that engages with it – it’s all left out of the film, but in the book Renton’s brother is in the Paras and gets blown up by the IRA at Crossmaglen – it’s by far the best scene in the novel, Renton whistling “The Foggy Dew” loudly enough for all the soldiers at the graveside to hear while the coffin is being lowered into the ground. Is there anything else like that that I’ve missed?

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Dr. X - April 24, 2012

The protagonist of He Kills Coppers (by Jake Arnott – pretty good, btw) is a Malayan Emergency vet.

But that’s about the only other one I can think of. Also it’s crime fiction, rather than “literary” fiction, which is not a bad thing in and of itself, but does underline the exclusion of this area of history from UK consciousness.

When I taught in Birmingham I was genuinely shocked at how little the English kids knew of history, and my cousins in London feel the same way – how easy it is to encounter people who don’t know some of the basic facts that we take for granted (and I don’t mean just with regard to Irish history).

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ejh - April 24, 2012

I think it’s partly a consequence of not having any kind of Independence Day or anything like that, which would have the effect of meaning that at least some important historical facts about the country’s history would be generally known. As it is, English people tend to know 1066 and 1966 and not always a great deal more.

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GypsyBhoy - April 24, 2012

IIRC there was a film called Queen and Country with Denzel Washington playing a British war hero (originally from the West Indies) returning to inner city life. Vaguely remember his nationality being an issue and he ends up questioning what he had fought for.
Don’t remember it as a classic but it was a bit different from the norm.

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bartholomew - April 24, 2012

Good that Monbiot is drawing attention to Caroline Elkins’ book and also that the Foreign Office has now admitted destroying documentation on the suppression of the Mau Mau. Elkins begins the book with a description of how she researched it, and that, in the normal course of events, there should have been about a quarter of a million separate files on the Mau Mau prisoners. What she found was only a few hundred or perhaps a few thousand (the figures are from memory, it’s a while since I read it). The rest had been burned just before Kenyan independence. So it’s not a post-imperial unconscious amnesia but a deliberate erasure of memory.

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CL - April 24, 2012

See also ‘Histories of the Hanged’ by David Anderson, lecturer in African studies, Oxford University (Norton, 2005)
Anderson documents how the British govt.was responsible for untold atrocities against Kenyans.
The Kikuyu rebels killed only 32 white colonists. The real aggressors in this dirty war were high-ranking members of
the British govenrment.
‘Half a century later, a ‘revisionist’ historian like Ferguson, seeking to rehabilitate the empire after a decent interval, could still blithely ignore the whole affair. This is no longer an option. Anderson and Elkins have seen to that.’-Bernard Porter,

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v27/n05/bernard-porter/how-did-they-get-away-with-it

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CL - April 24, 2012

It should be noted that Frank Kitson, British Military Intelligence, began his long counter-insurgency career as organizer of the anti-Mau Mau ‘pseudo-gangs’.

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Brian Hanley - April 24, 2012

When we were interviewing people for the Lost Revolution I spoke to one internee who was in Long Kesh during 1971-72. Among the prisoners were several ex-British soldiers. One day the internees were being forced to stand in the open for some time, for some obscure reason and this man commented to the fella beside him that the army were treating them like shit. His fellow-internee, who it transpired had served in Kenya remarked ‘you should have seen what we used to do to the Niggers, left them stand in the sun all day until they dropped dead.’

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EWI - April 26, 2012

And continued on the same path in NI.

The discovery that such a massive operation was organised and carried out in such secrecy by the British ought to give pause for thought to those who seek to revisie the Irish history of the early 20th century by focusing on British records.

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13. Mark P - April 24, 2012

I see that one of my favourite clowns in the Labour Party, Aodhan O’Riordain marched his pointy shoes down to a meeting of single mothers against Joan Burton’s attacks on the living standards of single parent families, only to have his pants filled with custard when he got there:

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2012/0424/breaking42.html

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CL - April 24, 2012

Wonder does Aodhan get free advice from the brother?
‘Salaries for Mr Gilmore’s special advisers have been finalised recently, with Mr Garrett being paid €168,000. Colm O’Reardon, Labour’s former policy director and brother of TD Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, earns €155,000.’

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2011/0708/1224300302583.html

This is fairly sophisticated policy-making; re-introducing the Thatcherite doctrine of the eighties, which some had thought debunked and abandoned, is not easy, and requires high salaries to attract the brain power.
“We can safely abandon the doctrine of the eighties, namely that the rich were not working because they had too little money, the poor because they had much.”-John Kenneth Galbraith.

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