UK Newswire Archive
17-05-2013 17:14I was just about the perfect witness for Leveson because I had been grossly abused by the press twice, failed utterly by the PCC and had evidence of corrupt practices involving the police and the mainstream press. Yet Leveson not only refused to call me as a witness, refused to allow me to be a core participant and failed to use any of the evidence I had supplied, he was so desperate to write me out of the script that I was omitted from the list of those who had supplied information to the Inquiry when he published his report.
17-05-2013 16:48In January 2013 I supplied Operation Elveden with a letter from Piers Morgan when editor of the Mirror to the PCC in which he admitted receiving information from the police in circumstances which can only have been illegal.I also provided other information about Morgan's perjury before the Leveson Inquiry. Four months after the supply of the information there has been no action by Operation Elveden.
Poking fun at the establishment.
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‘We won’t reduce the rent … We’ll kick them out’: Research Reveals Landlord’s Response to Housing Benefit Reform
A report published by the DWP gives a glimpse of the horrific future hundreds of thousands of people are set to face due to housing benefit reforms.
The report is part of an ongoing piece of ‘independent’ research commissioned by the DWP to look at the impact of the first raft of welfare reforms – the vicious cuts to housing benefits. These included the caps on the amount of benefit available to pay for housing and a reduction in local housing allowance rates from the bottom 50% to 30% of the local rental market. Another change meant that those aged under 35 are no longer entitled to a self-contained property, but can only claim the Shared Accommodation Rate (SAR).
16-05-2013 07:48Abdul scheduled for deportation next Wednesday. Step up the action. Abdul must stay!
15-05-2013 23:21Theresa May yesterday proposed a new law stating police killers should be sentenced to whole life sentence.
15-05-2013 09:10Call out Hunger Strike Song clip (3 mins)
Let em know you have joined the solidarity fast at
Is street art devaluing Nottingham, or rather enhancing the city's culture? Despite the council's efforts to clean up Nottingham and bring an end to graffiti, the urban phenomenon lives on. The question is, should this form of cultural and political expression really be deemed illegal? Or should a difference be made between creative street art and mindless tagging and vandalism?
Despite Nottingham City Council's efforts to clean up the city and end graffiti, the urban phenomenon lives on. Local authorities associate street art with antisocial behaviour, gang culture and vandalism. The consequence of this unlawful activity is usually a hefty fine or imprisonment. But what about graffiti as a growing, modern art form? When done tastefully, street artists are capable of creating masterpieces. Large-scale wall paintings, or murals, can also be of great cultural and political significance too.
A form of expression
Banksy, the infamous British street artist, once said, "if graffiti changed anything, it would be illegal". He believes that street art can potentially challenge the social order which is why it is deemed unlawful. The anonymous artist focuses on controversial themes, such as war, capitalism and poverty, but his work is usually painted over by authorities quickly after it's discovered.
Nottingham based street artist, Questionmarc (or The Phantom Piddler), also creates politicised art forms. The ‘public urination permitted' prank that appeared with a fake letter from the council was directed at local MPs. It tried to address the issue that there are so many pubs open late but no toilets after close. With Nottingham's vibrant nightlife, public urination is a major problem and offenders face prosecution (even though the issue really lies with the local government). This stunt lasted between six hours and seven days.
Street art has evolved into a subculture and movement. If it wasn't illegal, it would have the potential to be a means of communication between the masses and the elites.
Graffiti possesses cultural significance too. Local political activist, Adrian Abbott (23), argues, "younger generations emphasise more with Banksy images rather than a piece hanging in the Louvre... it's art for the people, and people define culture".
The Nottingham Contemporary Gallery is one of the largest modern art spaces in the UK. After opening in 2009, it has welcomed street artists, such as tribes and mrthebeef, and embraced their work as part of Nottingham's art culture.
Mansfield based artist, Olly Mooney, from High Impact Custom Graffiti believes, "street art contains as much culture (if not more) than most cities and establishments - it dates back to the fourth century BC and is merely a misunderstood art form that is slowly breaking into day-to-day life".
It can be argued that street art is misinterpreted. Especially here, the government are not as accepting of it as other countries in Europe (for example, Germany and the Netherlands). UK law states that anyone caught graffiting can be arrested and prosecuted under the Criminal Damage Act 1971.
Nottingham Council in particular has no tolerance for graffiti. Sam Webster, councillor for Wollaton and Lenton Abbey, stated, "graffiti can raise the fear of crime and give the impression of an uncared environment". Those caught defacing public property can be fined up to £5,000 or imprisoned for up to ten years. Local authorities can also issue £75 fines and ASBOs on the spot.
Local resident, Fiona McDonaghue (47), feels similarly that, "the level of graffiti on both on public and private locations does impact the aesthetics of Nottingham and is an on-going problem". Improving the city's image was part of the reason why Nottingham council banned legal graffiti art sites (also called free walls) in 2010. It was also because they felt it encouraged illegal graffiti. This differs from most UK councils that allow street artists to work on certain spaces. Surely the outlawing of free walls in Nottingham will result in more illegal artwork?
Obviously, no one wants to see the streets of Nottingham plastered with abusive or extremist graffiti that spread hate messages. For example, the racist attack on the local Muslim family in Bingham was unacceptable. The offensive messages attacking Islam and Allah spray-painted outside their home was a form of vandalism, not art. It would have been performed by uneducated youths and completely misrepresents street art. Without a doubt, crude graffiti should be removed immediately by the council.
It is important here to distinguish between street art and vandalism. Mindless scribbles, tagging, and messages that attack cultures or religions represent antisocial behaviour. Such behaviour undermines the true value of meaningful graffiti.
Tagging is usually associated with gang culture. Tags are stylised signatures that indicate that an area is a gangs territory. Cameron Bain, a street artist who is part of Nottingham's underground music scene ‘Rubberdub' stated, "graffiti isn't just writing your name on a wall to get noticed, it is about giving people something to look at and even change the way they think".
Offering an alternative point of view is exactly what street art should be about. The graffiti photographed across Nottingham is in no way unpleasant or abusive. Street art adds colour to blank industrial spaces and derelict areas, and enhances a city's culture. It can say something about society, change the way someone thinks, and highlight political issues that may be ignored by local residents, authorities or the media. The question is, should Nottingham be imprisoning these artists, or rejoicing their work?
EDL splinter group, the East Anglian Patriots (not to be confused with the East Anglian Patriotic Front or the People’s Front of East Anglia), have announced that they will hold a demonstration in Lincoln on Saturday 8th June at 1pm. They are protesting the building of a mosque on the site of a disused dairy because they don’t believe in freedom of religion.
Just in case there’s any dispute about whether or not the organisers of the demo are EDL or not, here’s what they are saying on Facebook: [see pic]
Unsurprisingly, the promotional material for their event is littered with factual errors and half-truths. To start with they state that the mosque will cost £0.5m to build whereas the actual figure is close to £1m (and it’s going to be paid by the local Muslim community anyway, so why do they care?) The former EDL members twist the truth mercilessly by saying that “Local residents have objected but as usual their pleas have been ignored.” In actual fact, local residents group Boultham Residents’ Association initially objected to the plans on the basis of the increased traffic that would be brought to the area, but came out in support of the final plan, which included 68 parking spaces for worshippers. Lincoln Council only received five letters of objection, “mostly about concerns over traffic congestion”, while six letters were sent in which backed the project.
Chair of the Boultham Residents’ Association, Jean Flannery had some very positive things to say about the scheme that seem to demonstrate that local people are accepting and welcoming of the mosque and the Muslims who use it:
We need to move forward together. Now, our joint task is to foster understanding and acceptance of one another.
Misunderstandings may cause difficulties and anxieties but they can be corrected.
We already live and work alongside one another.
Individual and working relationships are the norm for many. We have our differences but we also share more similarities.
By far the majority of us surely wish to live in harmony. To my mind the way to accomplish this is to develop and expand relationships to fully include the wider community, in which we all share.
It seems that it’s the far right protesters who are riding roughshod over the desires of the local community and trying to impose their own agenda.
“Our way of life, our faith, our very existence is under threat from this Islamic encroachment” the East Anglian Patriots’ poster shrieks hysterically, although it’s not at all clear how turning a derelict wasteland into a mosque is going to do that. The Lincoln Islamic Association has compelling reasons for needing a larger mosque, saying “We now have approximately 2000 Muslims in Lincoln and surrounding areas. Our current Mosque capacity is only 60.” The truth of the matter is the demonstrators are mostly anti-Muslim and racist people from out of town (Lincoln is not in East Anglia) who want to divide communities along lines of race and religion.
This demonstration and its politics of intercommunal violence should be resisted.
14-05-2013 16:09The Plug for Boris Johnson via BIg Biz agenda hype Xrail 2 has got to be seen in
the context of the severe economic hardship that so many people across London and the South East are experiencing.
14-05-2013 15:54Tuesday, May 21st will see the first 'People's Kitchen' at The Runcible Spoon (3 Ninetree Hill, Bristol).