Friday, 29 January 2010

Santa's Workshop

SANTA'S WORKSHOP takes you to the real world of China's toy factories. Workers tell us about long working hours, low wages, and dangerous work places. Those who protest or try to organize trade unions risk imprisonment. Low labour costs attract more and more companies to China. Today more than 75% of our toys are made in China. But this industry takes its toll on the workers and on the environment. The European (and American) buyers blame bad conditions on the Chinese suppliers. But they say that increasingly hard competition gives them no option. Who should we believe? And what can you do to bring about a fairer and more humane toy trade? [PLEASE WATCH THIS INCREDIBLY INFORMATIVE DOCUMENTARY REGARDING SLAVERY OVERSEAS]


Wednesday, 27 January 2010

The Road to Guantanamo

Winner of the Silver Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival, Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross? "The Road to Guantanamo" is the terrifying first-hand account of three British citizens who were held for two years without charges in the U.S: military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Known as the ?Tipton Three,? in reference to their home town in Britain, the three were eventually returned to Britain and released, still no formal charges were made against them at any time during their ordeal.

The film has already engendered significant controversy due to its critical stance towards the American and British governments. Part documentary, part dramatization, the film chronicles the sequence of events that led from the trio setting out from Tipton in the British Midlands for a wedding in Pakistan, to their crossing the Afghanistan border just as the U.S. began its bombing campaign, to their eventual capture by the Northern Alliance and their imprisonment in Camp X-Ray and later at Camp Delta in Guantanamo.

Starring: Farhad Harun, Arfan Usman, Rizwan Ahmed, Waqar Siddiqi, Shahid Iqbal Directed by: Michael Winterbottom, Mat Whitecross 95 minutes, UK (2006), In this compelling docudrama by Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross, the 'Tipton Three' narrate their own experiences in America's controversial offshore detention camp The Road To Guantánamo opens with archive footage of George W Bush, flanked by a stern-faced Tony Blair, declaring his certain knowledge that all the detainees held in Guantánamo are "bad people". Everything that follows is designed to turn these words inside out, as three young British Muslims tell the story of how they came to be in US custody at Guantánamo for over two years, and discuss the Kafkaesque horrors that awaited them there, until finally they were released without charge or apology. The title may evoke the Bing Crosby and Bob Hope 'Road' movies of the 1940s, travel-themed musical comedies with a vaguely racist depiction of non-Americans, but the exotic journey embarked upon by the so-called 'Tipton Three' was to take them into areas that were politically incorrect in an altogether different way.

It would be easy to criticise The Road to Guantánamo for being one-sided (it is), and for failing to contextualise the conduct of the US (there is not even a passing mention of 9/11), but such objections miss the point. Many times Bush, Blair and other politicians have used their considerable public platforms to present a similarly partisan, at times even subsequently discredited justification for different aspects of their 'War on Terror', including the unlimited detention without trial of men like the Tipton Three. The trio, and the more than 800 prisoners who remain at America's Cuban base, were not able to communicate their version of events to a lawyer or judge, let alone to the outside world. The Road To Guantánamo gives them their day in court, and the story these "bad people" tell is one that well deserves a hearing.

Monday, 25 January 2010

History of Oil - Robert Newman

As shown on Ch4 and repeated several times on More4, available at IndyBay on the web and many other places, now on google video (not great video quality) Robert's stand-up act examines the history of the last 100 years or so but putting oil center-stage.

Thursday, 21 January 2010


A modern day version of the famous
War is a Racket speech by Major General Smedley D Butler.

From the Youtube slot that hosted this video: "Our real enemies are not those living in a distant land whose names or policies we don't understand; The real enemy is a system that wages war when it's profitable, the CEOs who lay us off our jobs when it's profitable, the Insurance Companies who deny us Health care when it's profitable, the Banks who take away our homes when it's profitable. Our enemies are not several hundred thousands away. They are right here in front of us."

Monday, 11 January 2010

Simple Mind Control

Have you ever wondered why otherwise intelligent people can't see what's right in front of their own faces?

Fascists and other liars know that if they can just make enough noise, they can start a stampede of public opinion which will become very hard for the average person to questio

For further info on this experiment, click here

Orwell Rolls in his Grave

Orwell Rolls in His Grave "Could a media system, controlled by a few global corporations with the ability to overwhelm all competing voices, be able to turn lies into truth?..." This chilling documentary film examines the relationship between the media, corporate America, and government. In a country where the "top 1% control 90% of the wealth", the film argues that the media system is nothing but a "subsidiary of corporate America." Director: Robert Kane Pappas - Run Time 1 Hour 46 Minutes

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

War is a Racket: The real speech re-created by an actor

If you know your history, you know that in 1934 there was an attempted coup in the United States that was thwarted largely due to the efforts of U.S. Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler (ret.). Look it up.

Among other things, Butler was only one of 19 people ever awarded the Medal of Honor twice and the only person to be awarded a Marine Corps Brevet Medal and a Medal of Honor for two different actions. After it dawned on him how his heroism and the heroism of the troops under his command had been misused, he wrote a book called "War is a Racket" which is certainly not to be found on the curriculum in US schools.

The patriotic overtones aside, this is a worth watching video.

John Pilger: Obama and Empire

Author, journalist, film maker John Pilger speaks at Socialism 2009. (Nothing at all do do with the World Socialist Movement).Filmed by Paul Hubbard at the Womens Building in San Francisco 7-4-09.