Author Archives: Admin

Buildaburger Conference 3rd April 2015 – Having your cake and eating it too – politicians, pundits and players

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Don’t you just love a General Election? It’s such a feeding frenzy for the media people and political pundits, it’s like watching sharks and wolves masturbating whilst eating each other’s vomit.

I know there are many exceptions to the rule, but my own disdain for politicians and Members of Parliament is fed primarily by the corruption that is so universal and familiar in the UK that it has almost become an institutional orthodoxy. By corruption, I mean mortgage-flipping, employing relatives and fiddling expenses amongst many other commonly exercised indiscretions.

However, I recently worked in a technical support role at the 2015 Political Studies Association conference and this experience provided me with a novel perspective on politics.
I was present as a subcontracted technician and, as is often the case, I didn’t even know the subject of the conference before I got there. This is not unusual and not in anyway a problem as my role is purely technical. I have worked on many scientific, medical or academic conferences where I have no clue whatsoever what they are talking about, but I do know how to fix their technical problems.

As a rule, academic conferences are good to work on because, despite the boredom that is an inherent duty of the job, the delegates are almost always polite, well-educated and undemanding, and this event was no exception.

Surprisingly, political scientists are nowhere the top of the list of people I would prefer not to work with. Not all of them, of course, but media people generally, and television people specifically are some of the most aggressive and sociopathic narcissists on the planet. I suppose it comes with the territory, but academics like to show off their brains rather than their penises.
I didn’t see much of the lectures at this conference, but what I did see was fascinating and shed a very different light on subjects such as immigration that the supposedly flagship television news programmes treat as sensational propaganda.

Academia is just another self-sustaining bubble, but by no means an extravagant one, and this was one of the only conferences I have ever worked where I had to provide my own lunch. We all know there’s no such thing as a free lunch, and maybe the symbolic purity of this conscious omission was such that we can all claim to be no more corrupted by the experience of attending #PSA2015.

What you see here is a selection of cakes bought and shared by the volunteers performing the front-of-house duties, all of them either currently of recently having studied politics at the University of Sheffield. It was a real pleasure to work alongside them and the selection of cakes reflects the diversity and quality of our interactions. Such a shame that for us at least, just like the cake, nothing lasts forever.

As a nascent activist, I am getting increasingly interested and increasingly active in politics, although possibly more pessimistic the more I find out about the state of the world.
As the UK General Election approaches, it’s only going to get worse, or better if you work in the media. The tv people love it and they’ll get paid whatever happens, regurgitating the event into vox pops, panel discussions and exposés for months or even years to come, and they’ll get paid whatever bullshit they come up with.

That’s having your cake and eating it too.

However, when all said and done, the media is just broadcast opinion and can be switched off or ignored, and the same goes for the academics. They are not the people making dubiously-motivated legislation that might have a material affect on your life.

In the end, it seem that only government gives politics a bad name.

Buildaburger Conference 3rd March 2015 – British P.I.E Week – Fish Lasagne #CSA #JimmySavile

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Today David Cameron announced that workers who are found to have failed to report child sexual abuse or exploitation that they are aware of, will be prosecuted with up to five years in jail. This is, of course, the recognized tactic of attack being the best for of defence, and in order to move the attention from the institutionalized sexual abuse of children by senior members of parliament and the civil service, speculative, future action is used to divert attention from historic inaction.

It was used to talk about “failing teachers” and “failing schools” instead of acknowledging the mess that uninformed career-politicians had made of the education system. It was also used to to brand “failing doctors” to cover up the underfunding and excessive workloads in NHS GP’s surgeries.

After many months of delays and two chairs being removed due to existing cosy relationships with some of the alleged and proven perpetrators, the Independent Panel Inquiry info Child Sexual Abuse now has a new chair but zero credibility.

I suppose Lynton Crosby told poor Cameron he had to do something, it didn’t matter what, just do something that looks like doing something but don’t do anything about all the somethings that have already been done.

In the 1980s, the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) was a legal (at the time) organization of people promoting, and campaigning for the legalization of sex with children, and it’s very unfortunate timing that David Cameron announces this new initiative in the middle of British Pie Week, prompting an obvious association.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paedophile_Information_Exchange

The purpose of the misdirection is to divert away from some of those people still alive and some of them still in senior government offices, who were either complicit in illegal activities, or were active in covering it up, or simply did nothing about it.

Margaret Thatcher was big mates with Jimmy Savile and it’s hard to picture, I guess, but you don’t need to. Here is it in black and white, pictured for you.

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A friend of mine (a very attractive woman friend) once met Rolf Harris and said he was a repulsive, dirty old man after only one meeting. However, colleagues of his who worked with him for twenty years or more claim that they never saw any instances of inappropriate behaviour.

John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) is recorded referencing “all kinds of seediness… that we all know about but we’re not allowed to talk about”. This recording circulated on social media a year or so ago after Savile’s death, but I recall hearing it many years before.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rjy8oLVOvi4

I think harris is just a dirty old man who abused his position of trust, and should not necessarily to be compared directly with Savile. However, it is impossible to be around people for any length of time without gathering something of their proclivities and there will be many more people who possibly didn’t have proof of wrongdoing, but would have been in a position to question the appropriateness of Savile’s presence.

David Cameron and his cabal of spin doctors, “speech writers” and advertising consultants are doing their best to divert attention forwards, onto future implied misdeeds of other people, but there are some much more searching questions that the mainstream media, at least, is continually failing to ask. And the one question I would like to ask members of parliament, trustees of hospitals, governors of prisons and the boards of care institutions is:-

Under which circumstances would it be appropriate to give a television personality, no matter how much work they have done for charity, unsupervised access to hospitals, prisons, children’s homes and mortuaries?

Within every governing body or staff of every institution where acts of sexual abuse or necrophilia have taken place, some people will have known about it.

However, after all this pontificating I must admit to being a bit of a fraud myself, and not merely because of the bad pun. As you can see from the photo, this is not a pie at all, it’s a fish lasagne, which is a kind of Italian pie (I suppose), but I beg your indulgence of my rather far-fetched contribution to day two of British PIE Week. After all, every layer gets fishier and fishier the deeper you go, no matter how much you attempt to cover it up with the pasta.

Buildaburger Conference 2nd March 2015 – British Pie Week – The long egg of limitless growth

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It’s British Pie Week 2015, or at least that’s what Jus-Rol want us to think. As you will be fully aware by now, I am not above jumping on the coattails of a commercial promotion in order to push my own message, so here is my first post of British Pie Week 2-8 March 2015. After my previous two failures to produce seven coherent (or even incoherent) posts for British Sausage Week 2013 and 2014, I am not going to promise a post every day, we’ll just see what comes out of the oven.
http://www.britishpieweek.co.uk/
http://www.jusrol.co.uk/default.aspx

Having just been in Sainsbury’s looking for some Indian sundries, the most obvious thing was staring me in the face from the chilled area of the deli counter. Yes, I’m sure you’ve already guessed, the pork and egg gala pie!

If you have never had one of these, you might be intrigued as to how it is made. The pies are normally made in oversized “loaves” a foot or more long. So how does every slice have a regularly-sized slice of egg, featuring both white and yolk?

The answer is the “long egg” and it’s not an egg. Well, it is egg, but it’s not an egg, it’s a reconstituted roll of egg whites and egg yolks, cooked hard and baked into a pork pie aka the “gala” pie. There is a video of the making of long eggs here.

I can’t help being reminded of the myth of limitless growth, the mantra of capitalists. The long egg is a manufactured fake, designed to fulfill an aesthetic ideology, but its genesis requires a Ponzi-esque re-imagining of reality in order to meet the requirements of it projected economy of scale.

I bought this single slice of gala pork pie (top), and in isolation, the beauty of its symmetry is undeniable, but common sense tells you that eventually, you are either going to get a narrow, yolkless end of a real egg, which might prepare you for a change in the economy, or else the sudden and unyielding bulwark of animal gelatin and pastry.

Buildaburger Conference 16 December 2014 – Strategic vs Tactical

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First Christmas dinner of the year, dining on a flight case.

Regular readers will know that I do not like to miss a meal, but the work I do for a living often presents me with variable hours, irregular breaks and meal times that are movable feasts. Also, I sometimes have long periods of enforced idleness in locations where I might or might not be able to leave in order to seek sustenance.

Consequently, I favour both a strategic and tactical feeding strategy, although I prefer not to take it anally. Those of you in the United States military or Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) might be unaware of my own definition of strategic and tactical. They are not the same as yours.

I can’t speak for Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) or MI6, but as a rule we British don’t euphemise as much as the Americans. We prefer understatement and sarcasm in a knowing and witheringly ironic fashion. Voila.

My own “core interests” mostly comprise of getting enough sleep and not going more than four hours without eating. And when I say eating, I don’t mean snacking on chocolate and crisps.

This is the strategic bit.

As I am a diurnal mammal, and my working day was due to start at 3pm and probably finishing no less than 12 hours later, I decided on a substantial lunch at 13.30 with a packed meal to last me for the rest of an unnatural working day.

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This is a “Mini-Fish Special” from my local chip shop, and I must say, there is nothing miniature about it. The only thing that makes it “mini” is by comparing with the whale, chips and peas that is deemed a full-sized portion.

Moving forward.

Although I knew the event I was about to work on was a Christmas dinner and awards ceremony, there was no guarantee that us workers would get fed on the job. My employer for this particular event is notorious for not feeding his staff and also not communicating all of the details about when the working day will finish. As a result, I had to insert myself into the event zone with incomplete intel.

Torture is not a method I would normally employ in the workplace, and for good reason. According to the recently published report on the CIA by the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI), it turns out “tactical questioning” and “enhanced interrogation” are unreliable methods for gaining intelligence. Another priority for me is to attract repeat business from the source, a situation that would not normally be a priority for the spooks of the CIA. So, as a jobbing professional, torture is always a last resort.

As a result, it was important for me to take whatever precautions to safeguard my food-security without resorting to any “extraordinary” methods. However, What you see here is a variation on my favoured packed lunch for such a situation.

This is the tactical bit.

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Whereas I generally favour a multi-layered, deli-style sandwich including meat and/or cheese, salad, pickles and relish, such a sandwich does not survive well once battle-stressed by sitting, unrefrigerated, for 10-12 hours. What you see here is a plain cheese sandwich with sweet pickle on a sliced, seeded batch loaf, accompanied by McCoy’s crisps and undressed carrot and celery sticks. This can be picked at over a long period without getting too sad. Also, it can easily be rescued the following day by toasting any leftover sandwiches and dressing the salad.

All that said, we did get fed with some leftover main courses (no starter and no dessert), but the portion was meagre (see above) and we didn’t get it until 8pm.

Just as well I had my strategic fish and chips earlier in the day, and my tactical butty box to supplement it at 2am.

Buildaburger Conference 21st November 2014 – Costapacket (my other limo is a tank)

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In the UK, we have a tradition amongst the older generation or giving our houses slightly cynical puns such as Costaplenty or Dunroamin’. I have inherited the more cynical humour of my Grandfather who used to joke about calling his mortgaged home Halifax House. There is a large, private house near where I grew up called Nirvana and there is a Soviet-era missile launcher in the garden.

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You might have noticed that I have a deeply cynical but fertile imagination, but even I don’t know what to make of that.

Anyway, yesterday I drove to Newcastle to work an event and promised myself a break on the way for a refreshing beverage.

Foolishly, I had decided against buying a bag of crisps to go with my homemade sandwiches when I had refuelled my car in the Cooperative garage the previous night. At the time I thought 85p was excessive for a bag of deep-fried potato slices, even if they are ridge-cut and generously seasoned. Silly me, I still wanted a packet after three hours driving and was left at Washington Services with Hobson’s Choice.

Whereas I do not object to paying a little extra for the convenience of not having to leave the motorway, £3.35 for a medium latté and £1.20 for a bag of McCoy’s is just taking the piss.

On a long journey such as this, I often listen to BBC Radio 4 despite my reservations about their right-wing bias, and yesterday one of the news items was about how Tony Blair has just been given a Global Legacy Award by the UK charity Save The Children.

This kind of Double-Think would not seem out of place in George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four”. Henry Kissinger authorises the carpet-bombing of Cambodia, which in turn leads to the radicalisation of Cambodians, the rise of the Khmer Rouge and ultimately two million corpses in crowded corners of foreign killing fields, that will be forever Kampuchea.

And he gets the Nobel Peace Prize.

US President Barack Obama similarly sanctions the indiscriminate and distant bombing of Jihadi Johnny Foreigner.

And he gets the Nobel Peace Prize.

Tony Blair, in cahoots with the United States government, either through design, or negligence, or maybe just sheer incompetence, contributes to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians, including tens of thousands of children.

And he gets the Save The Children Global Legacy Award.

To be fair on Save the Children, he certainly has established a global legacy, but I think it’s justified to assume that they consider the award an affirmation. He was also awarded “Philanthropist of the Year” by GQ magazine, but that’s just an upmarket Daily Mail so it doesn’t really count despite the irony of Blair earning shitloads as an advisor or lobbyist to foreign dictators.

It’s only a matter of time before he gets a Nobel too.

At the age of fifty, many of my peers are thinking of retirement, but not I. I am destined to be traveling the motorways of England, Scotland and Wales for some time yet, only occasionally indulging myself in the grotesquely over-priced treats, and my own Costapacket will have to wait. However, I couldn’t help thinking “Where do war criminals go when they retire?”.

I guess Kissinger must have a portrait in the attic, although he is no oil painting in real life, but I am surprised he is still alive. If he ever does decide to retire, I think it’s pretty obvious he will call his pied-à-terre (geddit?) in Cambodia called Dunbombin’.

Obama could have an “extraordinary” retirement home in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, called Dunrenderin’.

And Tony Blair will end up somewhere in the Middle East, what’s left of it, in an English colonial-style cottage called Dunlobbyin’.

Bulidaburger Conference 9th November 2014 – “Advisors” #buildaburgerconference #bilderberg #bilderberger

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It is reassuring, ironically, when you realise you are not the only one who sees war and money in every move by the government of the United States. However, it is a shame to be bolstered in your opinions by Trevor Timm’s article in The Guardian “The American fear-mongering machine is about to scare us back into war again”.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/10/american-fear-mongering-war-again-isis

As he observes “Of course, there are already ground troops in Iraq, fighting alongside the Kurds – we just call them “advisors”, which is another innocuous euphemism for special forces.”

This has got to be my new favourite euphemism, “advisors” – it could mean anything. In this context it means highly-motivated, well-equipped and well-trained individuals that are seeking to appeal to your heart and mind.

With extreme prejudice.

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On Remembrance Sunday, my “advice” is to say no to the hot dog and say yes to the sausage butty.

Bulidaburger Conference 6th November 2014 – “Extraordinary Rendition” #bildaburgerconference #bilderberg #bilderberger

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Rather like last year, I have set the bar a little too high with concept vs available time. I am rarely short of ideas but everything takes time and yesterday’s departure was something of a surprise.

Anyway, back to the euphemisms used by the United States government, and the so-called military-industrial complex.

One of my all-time favourites is “extraordinary rendition” which actually means kidnapping, torture and murder, although the “extraordinary” part of it is that it is a term used for political and legal prudence. It is a term used for when the United States captures individuals and takes them to foreign countries where their “enhanced interrogation” is not necessarily illegal in that country, therefore allowing Donald Rumsfeld to claim that it is not torture.

It’s all in the definition and here is a glossary of euphemisms used during the Iraq War. That is, the most recent Iraq War.
http://vizettes.com/kt/american_empire/pages/euphemisms-glossary.htm

My favourite by far is “protective custody” which means, in any other words, imprisonment without charge or evidence.

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Anyway, here is a rendition of meat that I considered to be quite extraordinary, two videos of hot dog eating contests at Guantanamo Bay.
http://www.dvidshub.net/video/295740/hot-dogs-heroes#.VFwCto1_vLs
http://www.dvidshub.net/video/embed/71159