Thursday, 31 July 2008

Demonstrate the cost of war at Labour Conference in Manchester - 20 September 2008

Written by Stewart Halforthy

Monday, 30 June 2008

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost the lives of more than 200 British soldiers and countless thousands of Iraqi and Afghan civilians. They have also cost billions of pounds - money which could have been spent on houses, healthcare and education in this country.
The war has seen the price of oil escalate, with a knock on effect on the price of food and other essentials. It has been estimated that this war has cost £10 billion so far, without counting the cost of looking after injured soldiers for the rest of their lives. It is time we demanded that Labour spend the money on better services for all, not wars in the Middle East.

Mural artist ordered to remove Karl Marx

Karl Marx may have been the father of communism, but in the eyes of a Winnipeg business group, he's a politically incorrect choice for a mural depicting Winnipeg at the time of the 1919 general strike.

A century ago, Winnipeg made international headlines for its labour unrest and communist sympathies. However, Gloria Cardwell-Hoeppner, executive director of the West End BIZ, admits she ordered an artist working on a public mural to alter the design and erase the image of a person "very much looking like Karl Marx."The 19th-century philosopher simply didn't fit the intended aim of the BIZ-sponsored mural, Cardwell-Hoeppner said. "We were looking to have images of social history, not political history," she added. "That was a time with a lot of things happening and there were a lot of people coming into the city. They were leaving struggles that they were having over in Europe and coming to a new life here. That was what was trying to be depicted here.

"The two-metre by three-metre mural, on the side of a building at Ellice Avenue and Banning Street, was among a series of public murals the West End BIZ has had created in the last several years. The BIZ has sponsored about 50 murals throughout the inner city in an effort to beautify Winnipeg's core. Each year, it hires artists and university arts students to paint two or three such works. Sketching of the mural depicting Winnipeg around 1919 began a few weeks ago, Cardwell-Hoeppner said, but the artists embarked on the design that included Marx "before the research was complete. "The artist had intended to show a man of that period, not to pinpoint Marx himself, Cardwell-Hoeppner said.

The decision to erase the Marx image, made Monday, disappointed at least one passerby. "Walking down Ellice these past few days was a gratifying experience," said Errol Naumko, who wrote to the Free Press to express his dismay.

The mural has also become the subject of at least one local Internet blog.

* Winnipeg Free Press * ? 2008

Winnipeg Free Press. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Looking at Iran and Syria: Aggressors or Victims?

St Mary’s University College

Friday 8th August, 3pm-4.30pm

The West and much of its media have accused Iran and Syria as constituting a major threat to Israel and western interests. But who are the real aggressors? Iran suffered 1 million dead and wounded from Saddam Hussein’s attack when he was a Western client; Iraq is a broken country and Syria has acted as host to the millions of refugees created by war.


Dr Geoffrey King is an authority on Islamic architecture and a media commentator.

Shirvin Zeinalzadeh is an Iranian diplomat, a lecturer and a specialist in Intelligence and International Security.

Dr Sayed Safavi is a prominent Iranian cleric and philosopher. In 2003 he condemned suicidal bombings and called for negotiations as the means to end the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Jihad Makdissi is head of the Press and Media section, Syrian Embassy, London.

Contact Pol for more details

+44 (0)7504522042

facebook: Pol O Geibheannaigh

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Trotsky Tango anyone?

Have you reached the point when you feel like you need to do a bit of exercise but can't face the lycra-clad posers in the gym? Why not come to Tango lessons with a few rusty comrades... Ok, i admit it, it's not techno rave and, as my son asked 'Is that what you old people do then-go Tea dancing on a Friday night?', i do feel a little over the hill but I kid you not, it is actually quite fun.

A couple of months ago I told a close comrade of mine that I fancied going and he gingerly divulged that his partner had dragged him along kicking and screaming but that now he really enjoys it. I did nearly fall off my perch when he told me this; the comrade in question is the most unlikely character but we now all have proper shoes and look forward to our weekly soirees.

I'll add more to this in a mo (just testing the blog functions!)

so, here's a bit more...