Street scene double-take

Julian Banksy will you sign my chest?

Banksy is always jacking my steez

We’re big fans of street art around these parts, and in fact we’d love to show these parts to Banksy or Jules any time they’re ready (it may take a few whiskies), and we are not so big fans of the late Margaret Thatcher, may she burn in Hell forever, so it is only right and natural that when we saw this glorious and righteous work of street art, we wanted to blog it immediately, but we are also hella lazy, so we got only as far as sticking it on Tumblr to use later. Well, it’s like Joni said, maaaaan, you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone, for lo, it is gone entirely. Behold the creation, and the desecration, and realize this all happened over the span of three days.

Burn in Hell, Maggie

Burn in Hell, Maggie

That was then, almost 20 hours ago. This is now.

Burn in Hell Maggie, Leake Street, London, UK. 12th April 2013. The 'Burn in Hell Maggie' graffiti has been painted over by British Rail as it was deemed to cause offence, which is against their guidelines for the graffiti on Leake Street.

Burn in Hell Maggie, Leake Street, London, UK. 12th April 2013. The ‘Burn in Hell Maggie’ graffiti has been painted over by British Rail as it was deemed to cause offence, which is against their guidelines for the graffiti on Leake Street.

Even in death, Margaret Thatcher is an enemy of art, an opponent of free speech, and a brittle opportunist who, despite her Iron Lady facade, could not endure the free voices of the people she purportedly served.  It’s bizarre that Toby Young, a supporter of hers, says, apropos of the “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead” furor, “One of the costs of living in a free society is that you’re going to be offended from time to time by your fellow citizens and it would be an insult to the memory of Margaret Thatcher, a warrior in the cause of liberty, if the BBC banned the song on grounds of “taste” or “decency”.”

Um. Actually, no.

It would be exactly what she would have demanded. Am I truly the only one that remembers that she banned this song from the nation, a perfectly-crafted song from a chart-topping star which would surely have done well had it not been banned for being nothing more nor less than a scathing, and perfectly accurate, critique of Margaret Thatcher. She forced broadcasters to dub in the voice of the Sinn Fein leader, lest they hear his true voice and be somehow enchanted into sympathizing with The Enemy (one thinks she read too many Irish fairy stories as a child)? This is no champion of artistic freedom. This is no Iron Lady. This is a person who can’t bear to hear from others the things that she knows to be true about herself.

Ding.

Dong.

Here’s a better song.

The Day That Margaret Thatcher Dies
original lyrics via Pete Wylie’s Myspace

THE DAY THAT MARGARET THATCHER DIES[a party song]

WHEN MARGARET THATCHER DIES
THERE WILL BE NO TEARS
SAVE YOUR SORROW FOR THE PEOPLE THAT SHE STOMPED FOR YEARS
SHE TORTURED NORTH OF WATFORD WITH A VICIOUS HATE
SO WHEN MARGARET THATCHER DIES
LET’S CELEBRATE
and i say

HEY HO
HERE WE GO
TELL EVERYBODY THAT WE KNOW
SHE’S GONE!
COLOUR ME WITH LOVE
BUILD A BONFIRE
PAINT THE SKY
COME ON DOWN
I’LL TELL YOU WHY.
SHE’S GONE!
AND NOBODY CRIES…

THE DAY THAT MARGARET THATCHER DIES
THE DAY THAT MARGARET THATCHER DIES

YOU WANNA GIVE HER A STATE FUNERAL?
WELL THAT’S JUST GREAT.
IRONIC,COS SHE LEFT US IN A SORRY STATE
I PROTEST!
IT’S MONEY WASTED
BUILD A SCHOOL INSTEAD
THE ONLY REASON THAT I’LL GO IS TO MAKE SURE SHE’S DEAD…

HEY HO
HERE WE GO
TELL EVERYBODY THAT WE KNOW
SHE’S GONE!
COLOUR ME WITH LOVE
BUILD A BONFIRE
PAINT THE SKY
COME ON DOWN
I’LL TELL YOU WHY.
SHE’S GONE!
AND NOBODY CRIES…

THE DAY THAT MARGARET THATCHER DIES
THE DAY THAT MARGARET THATCHER DIES
THE DAY THAT MARGARET THATCHER DIES
THE DAY THAT MARGARET THATCHER DIES

IF YOU SAY MONEY’S ALL THAT MATTERS
THEN YOU’LL PAY A PRICE
DOESN’T MATTER WHAT YOU DO
YOU’LL KILL TO GET A SLICE
COS THE WICKED WITCH OF WESTMINSTER
LEFT AN EVIL CURSE.
NOW IT’S DOWN TO THATCHER’S CHILDREN
AND IT’S GETTING WORSE!

HEY HO
HERE WE GO
TELL EVERYBODY THAT WE KNOW
SHE’S GONE!
COLOUR ME WITH LOVE

BUILD A BONFIRE
PAINT THE SKY
COME ON DOWN
I’LL TELL YOU WHY.
SHE’S GONE!
AND NOBODY CRIES…

THE DAY THAT MARGARET THATCHER DIES
THE DAY THAT MARGARET THATCHER DIES
THE DAY THAT MARGARET THATCHER DIES
THE DAY THAT MARGARET THATCHER DIES

SO DIE,DIE,DIE,DIE,DIE DIE,
DIE,DIE,DIE,DIE,DIE DIE

YEAH DIE,DIE,DIE,DIE,DIE DIE
DIE,DIE,DIE,DIE,DIE DIE

THE DAY THAT MARGARET THATCHER DIES…

hat tip to Mobilizing Mouse

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On Margaret Thatcher

boudicca

boudicca

I haven’t exactly been circumspect on social media, but at last I put it all together in one  big, impassioned rant, so here it is. And it’s on Boris’s site, as is only fitting after he wrote an elegy suitable to any PR agency in the Midlands.

She was brave, principled, electric, greedy, malevolent, and destructive. So what does that net us? Damage that is still being repaired, or indeed glossed over, by governments on boths sides of the Atlantic.

Margaret Thatcher was not, like Ronald Reagan, an amiable person who could be pushed around. She was indeed the Iron Lady, but sometimes iron can be miscast. The future she fashioned for her country was one of increasing servitude to global, free-floating wealth. By now we know the only thing that trickles down is the blame, and I for one am not entire sure Thatcher wasn’t smart enough to know that all along.

Boris, I miss the days when you’d post something so partisan it was a simple straw dog, and I’d whack at it with all the strength I had. It was fun. Politically, it was good exercise.

But the ultimate fate of Thatcher is so much more important, for both sides, than any of those recreational battles, and yet you are not here. Enjoy the ivory tower, or the glass scrotum as it may be. But we both know that the reason she’s being cremated is so that the body won’t be dragged through the streets.

Mutant Elk caught in the wilds of Britain

Yes, “the wilds of Britain.” See what I did there?

The Guardian captions this "An elk." Time to stop hiring inbred photo interns, no matter how dazzling their connections.

The Guardian captions this “An elk.” Time to stop hiring inbred photo interns, no matter how dazzling their connections.

According to the UK paper of record for Ecologically Sensitive Courtesy Titles, the UK is harbouring a fugitive and desperate band of elk rustlers.

PC Jackie Poole, who is leading the hunt, said: “This is an unusual theft and would have required a vehicle, and probably quite a bit of time, to complete. I would ask people in the area at the time to cast their mind back and see if they remember seeing anything suspicious.

Under “Anything suspicious” we must list the above, a moose impersonating an elk in the Guardian. Could the paper have a vested interest in confusing the issue and preventing innocent Somersettians from recognizing an actual elk when they see one?

Hmmm, one wonders…what are they serving in the executive dining room at the Grauniad this week, eh?

Dear United Kingdom, this is what elks look like:

Real Elks, duh

Real Elks, duh

Julian Assange, Ecuador, Chevron, and the greasy world of Big Oil

Whatchoolookinat?

Whatchoolookinat?


This is what you call a Storify, and I’m not at all sure it will embed in a WordPress.com blog, even with all my tricks, so bear with me if I’m constantly editing this mofo.

Long story short: Heather Marsh, head of The Global Square, who is one of the most brilliant people I’ve ever met in my life, has come up with a possible link between the US pressure on the UK to invade the Ecuadorian Embassy and the economic interests of American oil companies in Latin America, including a possible debt for votes swap.

Okay, now that I’ve posted it I see it’s ugly as hell. I encourage you to read it on the Storify Site, where you can get an embed code to put it on your own blog, as long as it’s not a WordPress.com blog.
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Action for Assange: UPDATED

Action for Assange poster by AusFoWL

Action for Assange poster by AusFoWL

Being the smart, well-informed engaged citizens that readers of the ol’ raincoaster blog tend to be, you’ll no doubt be aware that at literally any moment Julian Assange’s fate is to be decided. The Supreme Court of the UK will either send him to Sweden (which will presumably roll over obediently and hand him over to the US for a lifetime of confinement and probable torture) or they will set him free after more than a year under house arrest. For review: he has not been charged with a crime in any country, although the US has a Grand Jury inquiry ongoing that leaks like a sieve. If it doesn’t, how’d I find out about it? I’ve got better things to do than hang around streetcorners in Alexandria, Virginia.

Above is a poster from the Australian branch of Friends of Wikileaks. If you’re at all inclined to support WL, go ahead and sign up for this interesting new activist network, but expect it to be significantly more IRL than most. Below, I’m posting a link to Christine Assange‘s 60 (yes, 60) talking points, as well as the full text of a letter to British MP’s Nick Clegg and Teresa May. Initially I said those letters wouldn’t have an effect, but I stand corrected; as the author reminded me, things are indeed different now. Politicians may be no less self-interested than ever, but their self-interest now lies in listening to the Will of the People; they can hear the tumbrils approaching.

Christine Assange’s 60 Talking Points: a sample:

Christine Assange, mother of WikiLeaks founder and Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange, has spent many long months reaching out to supporters and urging them to contact their local political representatives. Recognising that many politicians do not even know the true story behind WikiLeaks and her son’s legal battles, she asks supporters to give them the facts as well as requesting their assistance.

Christine today used her Twitter account and the #fact4mp hashtag to post 60 important talking points for supporters to disseminate:

1. Wikileaks and Assange have not been charged with any crime in any country in the world. See http://justice4assange.com

2. WikiLeaks and Assange have been recognized for quality investigative journalism with many prestigious awards. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julian_Assange

3. WikiLeaks has a perfect record regarding information reliability. No government has denied the authenticity of any documents.

4. WikiLeaks redacts its documents, so to date not one person has been physically harmed by its publications.

5. WikiLeaks exposes government and corporate corruption, fraud, shady deals, war crimes, torture, and kidnapping. It is in the public interest to know these things.

6. WikiLeaks partnered with The Guardian, New York Times, Der Spiegal, Le Monde, and El Pais to publish Cablegate. Why target only WikiLeaks?

7. WikiLeaks acts in accordance with traditional journalism. It publishes information given by various sources.

8. WikiLeaks acts like traditional media but protects its sources with a secure anonymous Drop Box.

9. WikiLeaks is a legal, legitimate, online news publisher, recognized as such by other journalist organizations worldwide.

10. WikiLeaks is a non-profit independent publisher funded by donations from ordinary citizens from around the world.

You can view the whole list by clicking on the link above.

I Am FREE

I Am FREE

If you’d like to poster or protest outside your friendly neighborhood Australian embassy for their abandonment of a citizen abroad, here is a handy-dandy roundup thereof, worldwide.

If you’d like to do it anonymously, we’ve already featured some instructions on making an Anonymous mask, but here is a great roundup of more, complete with security features eg telling you to wear gloves when sculpting clay, so you don’t leave fingerprints.

There is an Avaaz petition up to support Julian and tell Australian politicians that they have a duty to their citizens abroad. A duty they have noticeably not performed in this case.

and now, the Letter to MPs:

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