Peace Will Soon Be at Hand

Somebody notify Glen Beck. As he could have predicted, with more and more protesters taking to the streets, the powers-that-be have started their crack down. In the latest outrage, two separate grassroots protest groups are suing over harassments and defamations. These loyal Americans had taken to the streets to bravely and loudly advance their vision of a viable political agenda for our times, only to be mocked by the media and harassed by the man.

Same joke as last week, I am NOT talking about the lynch mob-like crowd scene on the National Mall that was literally choreographed by and for Fox “News” last week on Sept. 12, but the current, equally valid, environmental protesters being pre-harassed by the Pittsburgh PD in advance of this Thursday’s G20 Summit.

Quick reminder: This week economically devastated working class Pittsburgh hosts this year’s annual “G20 Summit.” Leaders of the world will dine on fine foods, couch their agendas in terms that sound magnanimous, size up the new American president, and, if possible, discern the best way to be on America’s best side. Let’s face it, even though China and India are doing blockbuster business in the way of catching up, the US is still the driving economy of the planet. For now.

The G20 Summit is the US’s turn to hang with the best of the rest. The G20 are the countries with the 19 biggest economies in the world plus the European Union en bloc. Long ago and far away, the group used to be a much more exclusive “G6,” also the even luckier sounding “G7,”and, after some entourage adjustment, the more sporty “G8.” Full disclosure: in an earlier feverish bid for inclusiveness back in ’99 they shot all the way up to the sonorous “The G33,” but backed off down to awkward sounding “G22,” which didn’t quite have the ring to it, so two more nations were jettisoned, and there you have it.

Working together, these nations’ economies control about 85% of all the money in the entire world. And their meetings have long attracted world class protests, but not in Rustbelt Pittsburgh, thus the crackdown. Racist posturing, propagandist pandering and mounds of trash on the National Mall to denigrate the president in as vulgar terms as possible = good clean fun for loyal Americans. Groups of environmentalist protesters staging street theater to try to draw attention to the catastrophe unfolding as we ignore Global Warming = clearly anti-American who thus need to be surveilled, and have their vans unlawfully searched and seized.

A lot of environmentalists hope to set the stage at the Summit for the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. It’ll be the first time in a long time that the rest of the world could possibly look to an American president in hopes of leadership in dealing with the pollutions that are poisoning the planet. Previously the Bush presidency played the bad boy and had scorned calls for stricter regulations on carbon emissions. At one point, in typical Bush fashion, he even mocked the assembled body and laughingly called himself, “the world’s polluter.”

Much of the world is wondering, with the rightwing holding Obama to the ropes, will there be hope for any environmental progress? The cultural warfare we’re engaged in as a nation over health care is just the warm-up for the battle we’ll see the Right put up when America tries to adjust our self-destructive addiction to pollution. Already the rightwing/Big Oil cabals are engineering the next set of protests Tea Party type Americans will be suckered into. Already they are working to challenge the president in so many ways that he can’t accomplish much beyond working to defend himself. As Yogi Berra once said, it’s déjà vu all over again.

Just as had happened in 1993 when Clinton came to power, like they had successfully done to Carter over a decade earlier, the right wing organized an all-out assault on the democratic president’s agenda in health care and energy. In Clinton’s case the onslaught took down both his plans for universal health care and energy consumption tax to regulate us off of fossil fuels.

The rest of the world has been waiting for us to join in the effort to keep the planet from choking itself to death. But they could be waiting a long time more if the Right has anything to do with it and it looks like they do. Just as the rest of the civilized world realized long ago that, as Tory MP Tony Benn so delightfully phrased in the Michael Moore movie, Sicko, “If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people.” It’s such a basic principle of human, one could even say Christian dignity, and still, look how not-far health care reform has gotten since the Right kicked up the noise machine. Here’s what’s next.

Oil corporations have already practiced staging Astroturf fake energy protests, in Houston no less, where oil company workers were shipped in for the protests, paid their company wages for being there and actual protesting citizens were kept out; and then the event was billed as a spontaneous citizens’ uprising at the American Petroleum Institute’s Energy Citizen event.

And as phony as that is, I just imagine Glen Beck will soon be leading the charge for a December 7th Club or something like that to ‘drop the bomb’ on Obama’s energy policies. And the rest of the world will keep watching while America continues to over-pollute, over-consume, underfund our education, over-fill our prisons, over-export war and weapons, undercut our own health care and overly congratulate ourselves for our freedom.

Meanwhile, while we weren’t looking, we’re losing another war. As of Monday, Sept. 21, 2009, TV news anchors and commentators talk about Afghanistan as if America’s chances are already over. The Taliban have virtually regained control of the country and if we want the control back, it’s going to take four times the manpower and four decades to do it. The president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, had heartily concurred in the call for more troops. You remember Karzai, the former Unocal employee we installed in power within months of Sept. 11th 2001? The guy who recently claimed a reelection victory in an election widely recalled as a fraud. That Karzai. Well, Karzai still has that all that Unocal pipeline project to protect; so you can bet when it comes to getting an army to fight off Taliban, he would much rather borrow ours than create his own.

Currently the best estimates say that if we had the political will to send in 600,000 troops and to have generations of them stay there for 40, count ‘em, 40 years, then we might make some headway. Sounds like a mighty big amount of political will. But these days, most Americans barely have the political will to get out of bed in the morning, unless, of course, they’re being fueled on hatred of all things Obama. So, here’s the silver lining in all this:

That Afghanistan War is likely to go down the tubes too, once the Right Realize they can hate him for that as well. Iraq was Bush’s war to lose, and lose it he did, but Obama is likely to have Afghanistan taken away from him. When right-wingers can claim to be patriotic by calling for an end to “the Awful President’s Illegal War,” then you’ll know peace will soon be at hand.

Mikel Weisser teaches social studies and poetry on the left coast of Arizona. He can be reached at weisser@frontiernet.net. Read other articles by Mikel.

18 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Michael Dawson said on September 23rd, 2009 at 11:16am #

    It’s Glenn Beck, and crackdown.

    The right will never oppose a US war, either.

    Get real, dude.

  2. bozhidar balkas vancouver said on September 23rd, 2009 at 11:28am #

    one way to succeed in afgh’n wld be to sow all over poppy fields dandelion, morning glory, spearmint, parsley seeds.
    Some of these seeds sprout even in sidewalk cracks. Monsanto cld make them even more adaptable for survival and propagation.

    Poppies cld not compete with the invaders. People also can’t cope with bipedic invasions or the weeds they bring along.

    I can sell to nato 2ks of parsley and dand’n seeeds; enough to strangle 10 sq kms of poppy fields.
    Now if we cld totally strangle poppies, we cld obtain a revolution in US that just might topple any US gov’t and represent a spirit of change. tnx

  3. Don Hawkins said on September 23rd, 2009 at 12:34pm #

    SYDNEY (Sept. 23) — Australia’s worst dust storm in 70 years blanketed the heavily populated east coast Wednesday in a cloud of red Outback grit, nearly closed the country’s largest airport and left millions of people coughing and sputtering in the streets.
    No one was hurt as a result of the pall that swept in overnight, bringing an eerie orange dawn to Sydney, but ambulance services reported a spike in emergency calls from people with breathing difficulties, and police warned drivers to take it easy on the roads.
    Dust clouds blowing east from Australia’s dry interior — parched even further by the worst drought on record — covered dozens of towns and cities in two states as strong winds snatched up tons of topsoil, threw it high into the sky and carried it hundreds of miles (kilometers).

    “It did feel like Armageddon because when I was in the kitchen looking out the skylight, there was this red glow coming through,” Sydney resident Karen told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio. AP

    Is this climate change? No just listen to the media and our so called leaders and here in the States Fox New’s is good Glenn Beck heck he got his picture on Time. See all is well it’s all under control. Go shopping.

  4. Don Hawkins said on September 23rd, 2009 at 12:42pm #

    It could just work Bozh heck I think many people are open to any new idea at this point on the third one from the Sun that even has a glimmer of knowledge, reason, the truth.

  5. Don Hawkins said on September 23rd, 2009 at 12:45pm #

    I see now on the media they are calling the speechs at the UN rants.
    I have to walk the dogs maybe I can think of a rant.

  6. Don Hawkins said on September 23rd, 2009 at 1:46pm #

    Pre-harassed by the Pittsburgh PD in advance of this Thursday’s G20 Summit. I guess they had the wrong signs. Did they have weapons like at the tea Party’s. Are the people protesting in Pittsburgh hypnotized, addicted, and brainwashed like the Americans Fox style, freedom work’s style, the club, the group we saw at the tea party’s and sure to see again for the climate change bill and well funded by who? It look’s like if you are not , hypnotized, addicted, and brainwashed and listen to the club, group well you get Pre-harassed by the Pittsburgh PD and just where does the orders come from to do this? There is more than meets the eye at play here.

    Groups of environmentalist protesters staging street theater to try to draw attention to the catastrophe unfolding as we ignore Global Warming = clearly anti-American who thus need to be surveilled, and have their vans unlawfully searched and seized.

    You see if it’s real and makes sense using knowledge the truth you get surveilled unlike the tea party’s where ignorance is strength did you see those signs. Think of this as kind of a war we have the truth the knowledge they don’t. Well it’s almost time for the Glenn Beck Show where ignorance is strength. Oh that’s not true, oh yes it is 100% true. Street theater is good and very sure the hypnotized, addicted, and brainwashed might have a hard time doing. Calm at peace. In the speech’s at the UN it looks like the truth in any form is called a rant by the media in clowntown USA.

  7. lichen said on September 23rd, 2009 at 2:50pm #

    “In Clinton’s case the onslaught took down both his plans for universal health care and energy consumption tax to regulate us off of fossil fuels.”

    Clinton had no good plans, no sincere ones; neither does obama, so we should not pretend that these are noble democrats who have their ambitious, progressive plans foiled due to the disgusting, ignorant, ugly far-right (whom clinton and obama are a part of.)

    Why do you think strangling poppy plants is your business or right, bozh? And mansanto is scum, worse then heroin.

  8. mikel weisser said on September 23rd, 2009 at 6:15pm #

    Just to note i don’t think either Obama or Clinton were/are noble. In my very first political piece back in ’89 i made some quip about our government paying big bucks for people to fail at solving problems by design. Back then i thought that sort of thing was funny; now i see it is one of the planks of the democratic platform. As for Clinton, while i never played much with the Lewinsky-gate crowd, i somewhat bought into the whole Mina, Ark./Iran-Contra/Gov. Clinton/ Arkansas Mafia deal:
    http://www.prorev.com/connex.htm

  9. MEBOSA RITCHIE said on September 24th, 2009 at 3:53am #

    well done annie l
    at least you have original thought
    i find mary’s copy and paste much more offensive

  10. Don Hawkins said on September 24th, 2009 at 4:39am #

    Am watching CNBC this morning and a man named Carl is live from Pittsburgh and I have seen him before on the Nightly News. He just showed a tent compound oops he might want to be careful as The Bilderberg Group, Bilderberg conference, or Bilderberg Club just might watch CNBC too and a phone call to the head office you know do you like your job how’s that golf game what the hell are you people doing this is not the way the World work’s. I wonder this coverage from CNBC at the G-20 in Pittsburgh is that street theater and then showing the tent city are they now under surveillance from the Pittsburgh PD and a few other groups. Well he did say the G-20 is going to address this tent city phenomenon there probably ok. From what I hear some people in these tent city’s have these special glasses that show you the real World and can give you a headache if worn to long and not the Pittsburgh PD but another group is trying to find the people with the glasses because we can’t have people watching while America continues to over-pollute, over-consume, underfund our education, over-fill our prisons, over-export war and weapons, undercut our own health care and overly congratulate ourselves for our freedom no we can’t have that. On the other hand people who do this.

    Oil corporations have already practiced staging Astroturf fake energy protests, in Houston no less, where oil company workers were shipped in for the protests, paid their company wages for being there and actual protesting citizens were kept out; and then the event was billed as a spontaneous citizens’ uprising at the American Petroleum Institute’s Energy Citizen event.

    They will be protected by those very people who now are on crackdown mode in Pittsburgh. It’s a little more than over-pollute, over-consume, underfund our education, over-fill our prisons, over-export war and weapons, undercut our own health care and overly congratulate ourselves for our freedom with this group a little more than that. Get ready as strange, ignorance is strength the big push is on well even more than it already is. Calm at peace and think of this as kind of a war.

  11. mary said on September 24th, 2009 at 5:20am #

    MR I do not have an anal fixation the possession of which you so clearly demonstrated in a recent post. Both vile and puerile. Perhaps you and your friend (who found the extermination and incineration of Japanese people by A-bombs worthy of his admiration) do NOT like seeing the truth in print.

    Here is another piece for study. Read and learn.
    http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/ops/hiroshima3.htm

  12. Don Hawkins said on September 24th, 2009 at 5:34am #

    It’s a little more than over-pollute, over-consume a little more than that. Much witting on the Mid East on DV. The mid East is in deep do do as water and food in twenty years and that could be pushing it in short supply. Same with Central Europe and the Mediterranean and part’s of the US and on and on. So far the fix from so called leaders is no fix and many changes to late to fix. Many places will be unlivable there is time to save the human race maybe with total focus a Herculean effort. So far it look’s like plans for just a few people and there kid’s but maybe not even that. We don’t even need the science anymore to see what is coming just open our eye’s a little it’s right there. I think Mulga just put it rather well.

    The people who prosper in market capitalism are psychopaths, and their characteristics, egotism, cruelty, mendacity, lack of human empathy, are rewarded by the system. In a sane society they would be kept far from power, but in market capitalism, where life and all the good things are denigrated and replaced by the dead matter of money and capital, these are the elect. But as they have severed their links to the life-force that once suffused this planet, they are, zombie-like, consuming the very fabric of the planet’s life support systems, probably in a vain, pathological, attempt to compensate for inner emptiness and inauthenticity.

    They control the media the policy the bank’s and thought in many way’s we have the truth the knowledge and we outnumber them and after Copenhagen and the climate bill in the States a joke I got to see how the thought control play’s out. We are making some progress and the time is NOW we are out of time. Red sky in the morning Australia take warning. This winter Worldwide will be a little different and tomorrow is only a day away.

  13. bozhidar balkas vancouver said on September 24th, 2009 at 6:47am #

    lichen,
    everything that happens on this planet is my business. Sorry, to hear u say that i have no right to mind my business.

    I can’t always cry. Now and then i joke. There are, tho, some aims in that joke.
    Perhaps, nothing can change the course on which US is on, save massive passsing resistance to the ruling class or, when deprived of drugs, amers may militarily revolt to get back their drugs and country.
    Mind u, amers never had a country; they just thought they had one. And they still think they have one.
    And they also thought [or saw]] that there was no slavery, lynchings, segregation, 180 wars, racism.

    World wld benefit immensely, if people wld grow beans, peas, oats, etc., instead of cocca and poppa.
    And pashtuns wld cease with military resistance which leads to nowhere.
    Nato can for decades or even centuries simply keep missiling and bombing villages from safety.

    And US can always make amers work harder to pay for all its military ventures. And US is supported in this by world plutos who also can force their own serfs to work harder and pay higher taxes.
    Oh, my devil! Help! [i used to say: Oh my god, but she's not listening] the wars can go on for millennia longer!!!
    As long as there are drugs and viagra [viagra was invented on orders of hillary because she had been starving] uncle sam has nothing to worry about.
    hey, hey, hey; serfdom’s here to stay! tnx

  14. MEBOSA RITCHIE said on September 24th, 2009 at 1:53pm #

    for you mary–the words of a statesman warning the world about the danger of islamo-fascism and ahmedinejad
    ignore it at your peril

    Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Thursday spoke before the United Nations General Assembly, calling to task the nations of the world on the international body’s responsibility and criticizing them for not standing up to it.

    “The UN was founded after the carnage of World War II,” Netanyahu said, adding the organization was “charged with preventing the reoccurrence of such horrendous events.

    “Nothing has impeded” the work of the UN, he said, “more than the systematic assault on the truth.

    “Yesterday the president of Iran stood at this podium spewing anti-Semitic rants… Just a few days earlier he claimed the Holocaust is a lie.

    Hinting at Iran, PM urges world to avoid Shoah-era apathy
    “Last month I went to a villa in a suburb of Berlin called Wannsee,” Netanyahu recalled a visit to the pastoral villa, where over just a few hours on January 20 1942 the Nazis devised the Final Solution – the decision to exterminate the Jews from Europe.

    Netanyahu then dramatically showed a facsimile copy of Final Solution documents drafted in Wannsee.

    “Is this protocol a lie?” he asked. “Is the German government lying?”

    “The day before I was in Wannsee,” Netanyahu continued, “I was given in Berlin the original construction plans for the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.

    “These plans I now hold in my hand,” he said, as he was showing the worn-out blueprints to the assembly. “They contain a signature by Heinrich Himmler, Hitler’s deputy.

    “Are these plans of the camp where one million Jews were murdered a lie too?” he asked.

    Netanyahu then turned to attacking Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, saying “Yesterday, the man who called the Holocaust a lie spoke from this podium. For those who refused to come, and those who left in protest – I commend you, you stood up for moral clarity.

    “But for those who stayed – I say on behalf of the Jewish people, my people and decent people everywhere – have you no shame? No decency? What a disgrace, what a mockery of the charter of the UN.”

    Netanyahu then told the assembly “perhaps some of you think that this man and his regime threaten only the Jews – well, if you think that – you’re wrong, dead wrong.

    “In the past 30 years, this fanaticism spread across the globe with a murderous violence that knows no bounds,” he said, noting that Islamic terrorism hurt Muslims, Christian and Hindus as well as Jews.

    “Wherever they can,” the prime minister said of Islamic fanatics, “they enforce a backward system of government.” He called the struggle between the modern world and extremist Islamism a struggle between “the 21st Century and the 9th Century.”

    But, he noted, “Ultimately, the past cannot triumph over the future. And our future promises magnificent bounties of hope.”

    Naming some of the technological achievements of the last hundred years, Netanyahu finished “We will find an alternative to fossil fuel, and yes, we will clean up the planet. But if the most primitive fanaticism can acquire the most deadly weapons, the march of history can be reversed” for a lengthy period of time, he warned.

    “This is why the greatest threat facing the world today is the marriage between religious fanaticism and weapons of mass destruction.”

    “Is the UN up to that?” Netanyahu asked. “Will the international community stand up to the despotism of a government against its own people?” he asked, referring to the recent elections in Iran. “The jury is still out on the UN. Recent signs are not encouraging.”

    The prime minister then went on to criticize the recently published UN-commissioned report claiming both Israel and Hamas committed war crimes during Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip in January.

    “Not one UN resolution was passed condemning Hamas rocket attacks on Israel,” Netanyahu said, “We heard nothing, absolutely nothing from the UN Human Rights Council.”

    Netanyahu went on to describe the disengagement from the Gaza Strip, telling the UN General Assembly that “Israel unilaterally withdrew from every inch of Gaza, uprooting over 8,000 Israelis from their homes… because many in Israel believed that this would get peace.”

    But Israel didn’t get peace, Netanyahu said, “Instead we got an Iranian-backed terror base 50 miles from Tel Aviv, and life in the Israeli towns and cities near Gaza became nothing less than a nightmare. Hamas attacks increased ten-fold after we withdrew, and again, the UN was silent, absolutely silent.”

    The prime minister told the assembly that “after 8 years of unremitting assault Israel was forced to respond,” and said the only other example in history was the German bombing of British cities in WWII, to which the allies responded by leveling German cities, causing hundreds of thousands of casualties.

    “I’m not passing judgment,” Netanyahu stressed, “I’m stating a fact that is the product of decisions of just and great leaders fighting an evil enemy,” he said.

    “Faced with an enemy committing double war crimes – firing at civilians while hiding behind civilians – Israel sought to carry out surgical attacks on terrorists, not an easy task when fighting squads in a densely populated area,” he said.

    “Israel tried to minimize civilian casualties…We dropped countless flyers over Gazans’ homes, sent text messages to Palestinian residents, made cellular phone calls urging them to vacate, to leave,” the prime minister said, stating that “never has a country gone to such length to remove the enemy’s civilian population away from harm’s way.”

    Netanyahu went on to slam the Goldstone report, saying that “the UN Human Rights Council decided to condemn Israel, we were morally hanged, given an unfair trial to boot… What a perversion of truth and justice.”

    The prime minister urged the international community to reject the report, and warned that if the claims of Israeli war crimes are accepted “the UN would revert to its darkest age – when Zionism was equated with racism,” referring to a UN resolution adopted by the general assembly in 1975.

    The prime minister said that “If the report is not rejected, the UN will go into a process of vitiating itself from relevance,” adding that by accepting the report “the world will be sending a message to terrorists that terrorism pays – you will win immunity of you launch your attacks from densely populated areas.”

    “What a travesty!” Netanyahu said of the Goldstone report. “The biased and unjust report provided a clear-cut test to all governments – will you stand with Israel or with the terrorists? We must know the answer to that question now – not later. If Israel is asked to take more risks for peace we must know today that you will stand with us tomorrow,” said Netanyahu. “We can take further risks for peace only if we have confidence that we can defend ourselves.”

    The prime minister stressed that “All of Israel wants peace,” noting that Israel made peace with Egypt and Jordan, and vowing that “If the Palestinians truly want peace, we will make peace. But we want a defensible peace, permanent peace.”

    “We ask the Palestinians to say yes to a Jewish state, as simple, as clear, as elementary as that. We are not foreign conquerors in the land of Israel. We are not strangers to this land – this is our homeland, but as deeply connected as we are to this place, we recognize that the Palestinians also live here and they want a home, we want to live side by side in peace, prosperity and dignity.”

    Netanyahu explained that Israel must also have security, and therefore insisted that the Palestinian state not be a militarized state.

    “The Palestinian state must be affectively demilitarized because we don’t want another Gaza, or south Lebanon, another Iranian-backed terror base near Jerusalem. We want peace and I believe that with goodwill and hard work such a peace can be achieved, but it requires from all of us to roll back the forces of terror backed by Iran that seek to eliminate Israel and overthrow world order,” he said.

    Netanyahu concluded his speech with a quote from the book of Joshua: “Let us be strong and of good courage let us confront the peril… let us forge an enduring peace for generations to come.”

  15. lichen said on September 24th, 2009 at 2:28pm #

    Bozh, no, it is not your right to destroy other people’s crops via invasive, genetically modified plants; in fact, doing so would only make it more difficult for them to grow oats, peas, and heirloom tomatoes, apricots, dates, figs, and olive trees. The reason people grow heroin poppy’s is because the economic policy in their countries makes it easier to make a living off such things than it does by growing food. Further, the agricultural policies also make it more difficult to grow organic, makes it more difficult to grow heirlooms than frankenfoods.

    So, as always, the solution is real justice for those people–give them schools and healthcare and good AG policies that favor small-scale subsistence farming and, further, institute global social welfare so there are less despairing drug addicts in the west, and there will be no heroin poppies taking up arable land. Some new tactic in the ‘war on drugs’ that will actually devastate and perhaps kill the poor poppy farmers is not the solution.

  16. bozhidar balkas vancouver said on September 24th, 2009 at 2:58pm #

    lichen,
    i was joking.
    However, it wld be nice to pay farmers to grow beans, rye, millet, peas, etc., instead of poppies.
    I don’t think US wld allow that. As long as americans have their drugs and viagra, uncle samuel- who’s not yet uncle shamuel or uncle shlomo- has nothing to worry about.

    If americans wld be deprived of their drugs, we just might see mother of all revolutions.
    Thus my wishful thinking or joking about suffocating poppies with other seeds.
    Joke or no joke, that might be the only way to awaken americans so that they wld once again get their heroine but this time from peaceful afgh’n.
    tnx for ur comment!

  17. lichen said on September 24th, 2009 at 4:21pm #

    Ok then, Bozh. And yeah, the US has no interest in that, and has forced really destructive, chemicalized agriculture policy on many countries; causing tens of thousands of Indian farmers to kill themselves. In a bigger way, that is why I see ‘growth’ and ‘development’ as a lie. The past fifty years of ‘growth’ and ‘development’ have made lives for MOST people in India and China so much worse, so that a few could lounge in skyscrapers with their cocaine mirrors and delusions. One thinks of the foreign-funded dams (also scams) that flooded hundreds of villages with good arable land in China and India–leaving thousands of people stranded, homeless, piling into slums. To improve people’s quality of life, you don’t really need oil and toxic cities. Growth is cancer. Lol at ‘uncle shamuel/shlomo.’

  18. KC said on September 25th, 2009 at 10:41am #

    Don’t mean to be a stickler or anything but Tony Benn is a Lifelong member of the Labour Party – Old Labour that is ( Beware of the imitation New Labour as created by Tony Blair ) the true Labour party – He was never a member of the Tory Party nor a Tory MP.