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kOMrade

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PETER TATCHELL M.I.A. MARGARET THATCHER JACK BUCKBY

23/04/2013 02:21


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ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or part without written premission from the publishers. The

views expressed in KOMRADE are those of respective contrubutors and are not necassarily shared by the publish or KOMRADE magazine. These parties cannot be held resposible for them.

Š Copyright 2013 KOMRADE magazine Issue 1. 23/04/2013 02:21


1. The activities associated with the governance of a country or area. 2. The activities of governments concerning the political relations between countries.

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komrade belives Politics:

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23/04/2013 02:21


Editor’s Letter Politics magazines are considered elitist, inaccessible and a chore to read. But why should that be the accepted state of affairs? Did I miss a meeting where politics was denounced as uninteresting? Politics announces its proverbial head in every topic of human interest: drugs, gambling, music. Politics is everywhere, and it is fascinating. Society’s supposedly become depoliticized, well it shouldn’t have. The problem is politicians have become depoliticized, not us. Party politics is dead. Every party has aligned in the centre, UKIP are supposedly the only viable political alternative; a bunch or right wing cranks and racists. We are that print alternative. We are not partial, we are openly left wing and if you don’t agree politically, politely put the magazine back on the shelf and pick up Spectator. The views expressed here will be more akin to Karl Marx opposed to Tony Blair, we are not centre left we are LEFT. So read on out of anger or out of agreement, if you wish that is. Either way, welcome to Komrade.

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Contents pLEASE VOTE blETTER TO gEORGE oBORNE zThatcher pwho's your friend pm qpeter adoug stanhope cmarxist or moron em.i.a. =Left wing bbc mjack buckby gcrack cocaine gambling jarmando iannucci

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y Produced by Liam Collins. liamjcollins1991@gmail.com/07913554789 Special thanks to Rob de Niet, Emily Forester, James Anderson

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E S A E

L P

The general understanding through political theorists such as Chomsky and others is that the New World Order is implemented. It’s controlling you and the government and its here to stay, so don’t bother voting. But that’s America, and this is England. The electorate is annoyed and has due reason to be: the Labour government failed, the Con Dem government are failing us and people are in disarray at the ineptitude of modern-day politicians. So, if you believe all parties have failed you, your country and your family, vote NO VOTE. Cross out the ballot, but do something. Sitting at home isn’t a protest. If everyone votes No Vote, or crosses out their ballot paper we could be faced with a whole different geopolitical set up, creating a massive revolt and revolution. It’ll never happen without YOU. You are as important as anyone

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else. YOU are as important as politicians. YOU and I, everyone needs his or her voice to be heard, and that voice is to vote. If we don’t start taking the democratic electoral process more seriously governments can and will carry on ruling and running amok on our lives, lives that YOU have a chance of controlling, with a simple tick or cross of a blue biro. A vote is your voice, your chance to say something. People have fought and died for that right, what on earth made you so jaded as to believe that doesn’t matter? If you think all politicians are liars and crooks let them know, in 2015 cross out your ballot. A No Vote is still a vote. We’re the doomed generation but let’s do something, let’s try and get our voices heard, even it is only a cross on a piece of paper.

23/04/2013 02:22


Dear George Osbourne, Why, just why? Why George are you so intent on steering Great Britain into further financial despair. The blame Labour window is now closed - indefinitely, get your act together it’s time for your partitioning party to come up with the answers, or fuck off. The constant rhetoric that pours out of every orifice is now so blatantly obvious, it has become to both bemuse and infuriate your people, your voters. It’s time a change happened - it’s time it happened now. To clear up I know the difference between the debt and deficit, they are not the same thing. When you and your cronies declare in PM Questions that they’ve cut the deficit, you’ve cut the interest of the debt, not the debt itself; it’s a positive step in the right direction, of course - but more needs to be done to stop this disorderly talk from politicians clearly intent on confusing its people. The people need a new party; Labour, Lib Doom and the Conservatives with a small c, are not a step in the right direction, and neither are UKIP or BNP for that matter. You need to make with haste, and leave right away. Calamity George your partner in crime, and you, need to exit parliament now. These hard times, “we are not all is this together,” you know it, your colleague David knows it, hell, even Boris knows it.

It’s time you depart. v1 early.indd 12-13

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Dead

On the 8th April 2013 the first female Prime Minister of Great Britain passed away of a stroke at the age of 87. In light of her death, many took to the streets to party at her passing. Despite it being slightly repugnant to celebrate the death of an elderly woman, the destruction she wreaked on lives throughout parts of northern England, Wales and Scotland and parts of London was so great that it is impossible for certain communities to forget. She divided families, people were made homeless, two protestors were killed for their cause, and the attempted implementation into society of the awful poll tax, which targeted the poor, was dreadful. Her backing of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet and Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein also won her no allies, both responsible for abuse of human rights and terrible atrocities against their own people. Looking back through Britain’s political history, it’s impossible to find a PM who was as divisive as Margaret Thatcher, despite her three victories at the ballot. Even in death, Thatcher is still creating disputes up and down the country; with a selection of society happy for the funeral to be paid for by taxes and others furious due to the amount of harsh and extreme cuts David Cameron and George Osborne are currently undertaking. Socialist film director Ken Loach called for her funeral to be “privatised” in accordance with her legacy, of what he perceives as “the most divisive and destructive Prime Minister of modern times.” As the ex-PM once said, “there’s no such thing as society.” If this wasn’t the case previously, Thatcherism certainly made it the case today. Britain has a a hostile environment

and an ever-present North-South divide. Through supply-side economics and shock doctrine tactics, Margaret Thatcher was able to implement her idea of a free market; destabilising the Keynesian thought process of the previous government. Before Thatcher arrived at Downing Street, the majority of important businesses, such as gas, electricity and oil were state-owned and regulated. This was not the socialist utopia like some would hope; before Margaret Thatcher made history with both her policies and her appointment as the first female politician, England was in the depths of a disastrous period: The Winter of Discontent saw a very dark time in British history. England was ravaged with poverty; there were even stories of unburied bodies as people simply couldn’t afford funerals. In 1976, Britain asked the IMF for a £2.4bn bail out, outlining the fact that unemployment and inflation were at exceptional levels. Britain was not ‘Great’ as it had been; it was in an era of national disgrace. People saw the Iron Lady as Britain’s escape route. She gave those in council houses the chance to buy their own homes and converted several loyal Labour voters on account of her proposed ideology of a Great Britain where anyone could prosper. Despite this being the case, the true working classes of this country were exempt from this promise. The steel industry had plateaued, the coalmines were haemorrhaging money; they were at breaking point. The industries that suffered the consequences were steel and coal, as she waged war against the miners. She closed mines throughout parts of Wales, Scotland and England and destabilised the National Union of

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miners, therefore removing the workers’ ability to protest. Many people across the country were not against closing the mines, as they were clearly not prospering as they once had. It was the viciousness of her approach that caused the problems, along with the subsequent lack of job opportunities. The quote: “There’s us and them,” evidences her callous attitude towards the plight of working people. The violent dispute with national unions and miners, along with the Falklands War, both acted as distractions from the true intentions of the first female Prime Minister. One of Margaret Thatcher’s key economic aids was Alan Walters: Walters has worked with Milton Friedman at the Chicago School of Economics, where they, along with others including Arnold Harberger, came up with an alternative move towards the free-market and attempts at shock doctrine tactics in the UK. The key manoeuvres of the shock doctrine are to destabilise the economy and allow a move towards the free-market and ownership of state-owned businesses. For this action to take place there needs to be a distraction for the public, normally war, but England was considered to be too developed for civil war to take place. Hence the UK’s

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distraction was the war on the miners and the war in the Falklands. This was the way in which Thatcher and her cabinet were later able to implement Thatcherism and see the end of Keynesian economics. This led to the eventual Big Bang in 1986 the deregulation of the banking sector which, it’s possible to argue, led to the financial meltdown of 2008. One can easily blame Thatcher as being the cause of many of the problems Britain is facing today. But there have been many Prime Ministers, both Labour and Conservative, who had absolutely no desire to move away from Thatcherism. Thatcher herself even once said that Tony Blair was her greatest achievement. To say Thatcher’s death affects our generation’s death is probably wrong, it’s fair enough to have an opinion on the topic, but celebration is most probably misguided. Until we see the end of Thatcherism in an economic and social sense, our generation’s jubilation is premature. We need to put pressure on the left, be it Ed’s Labour or another party, if we want to see change. Thatcher’s death does not represent the end of social injustice.

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FRIEND PM? With the run up to the 2014 election now starting to gather momentum and political campaigning on the visible horizon, the inevitable name-dropping from politicians and endorsements from celebrities is surely not far away. Something we should be asking ourselves is this: Instead of a-list endorsements, how about a-list policies? Celebrity endorsements can and do make political campaigning more exciting, but it can also make party politics distorted. Politics shouldn’t be exciting. The decisions these potentially hapless politicians make will change your life and mine. The potential risk is that actors or musicians, who don’t have a particular in-depth knowledge of politics, could be endorsing parties for the positive PR. The public should be wary of these endorsements and ignore them. Political parties’ acceptance of support from celebrities is a way for them to distract voters, and to gain support when their manifestos are lacking. Example A: Eddie Izzard’s backing of the Labour party is good-natured, this is obvious; but at a time

Who’s your friend Tony?

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“The ghastly moments when politicians admit to liking R.E.M or The Killers, makes spines crawl. Cameron likes The Smiths? Well he most definitely shouldn’t.” v1 early.indd 20-21

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when the Labour party’s current manifesto is full of gaping holes and terrible policies, maybe it’s best if he just stayed out for the meantime to let people decide on policies, not their favourite comedian.

Along with celebrity endorsements, another area on which an analytical eye needs to be cast is upon politicians confessing to like bands in parliament. The ghastly moments when politicians admit to liking R.E.M or The Killers, makes spines crawl. Cameron likes The Smiths? Well he most definitely shouldn’t. Everything the band stood for is what his party has always been against. Morrissey produced the finest fuck you Thatcher song by the name of, Margaret on the Guillotine, about Cameron’s treasured icon. Morrissey and Marr hate Conservatives and they most definitely hate Cameron. What was the most worrying point of the whole Smiths debacle was this: if our PMs lack of contextualizing and understanding of music is as bad as his decision-making, then this country is truly destined for catastrophe. If he can’t even

interpret the message of an 80s indie band, how can he understand his voters? It is a travesty that is both perplexing and worrying. I’m not suggesting for a second that famous people should be deprived of the ability to express their opinion on politics; of course not, if you and I can, why can’t they? The distraction from political parties policies is the problem, not the viewpoints themselves. For instance, Joanna Lumley’s firm and persistent fighting for the Ghurkhas in the UK put pressure on politicians to allow them to stay. George Clooney has also done amicable work in regards to the plight of Syrians. I’m also not saying politicians can’t choose what music they like to listen to, even if it is as ridiculous as members of the Tory cabinet liking The Smiths. Just that what we need is for politicians to do their job properly and not let good-natured celebrities do it for them; or hope their public confession that they’re ‘fond’ of the Artic Monkeys is going to win them substantial votes. Politics and celebrity is a relationship that is best left untapped.

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Ex-Labour party candidate and now Green party member, Australian-born British hero, Peter Tatchell, is a politician from a bygone era. Living in the multicultural area of Elephant and Castle, in a deprived and rough council estate, which Peter informs me; “has been very useful in keeping me on my toes. I find it to be a great boon.” Peter is a politician who in the past was considered a political eccentric, whose views were often considered as slightly deranged. Yet, as society has progressed, so did its views on homosexuality and human rights, issues Peter has been outspoken on since his entrance into the public domain. Even today, the Peter Tathcell Foundation is still tirelessly fighting the war on all fronts against tyrants and dictators to stop the abuse of human rights laws and to help get equality for those of all sexualities. At the age of 61, Peter is as pertinent as he has ever been. With a track record that includes two attempts at a citizens arrested on President Mugabe in 1999 and 2001; along with an attack on his life by neo-Nazis in Moscow, as he campaigned for gay rights - Peter is a political icon.

How did you get into politics? There were two very big influences on me, first: in 1963 at the age of 11, I read a newspaper report about a bombing by a white racist of a black church in Birmingham, Alabama, where 4 young girls my own age were killed, that really shocked me. It provoked my interest and inspiration in the civil rights movement in America. Second: in 1967 Ronald Ryan, an escaped convict, was due to be hanged for allegedly shooting dead a prison warden. At the age of 15, I read the autopsy report and worked out that it would have been physically impossible for him to have fired the fatal bullet. Nevertheless, he was hanged. That destroyed my trust in the government, police and judiciary. It provoked a lifelong scepticism of authority; I began to question other things, like Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War and the mistreatment of the Aborigine people. Why did you change political allegiances to the Green party? Well, I still stand by the same values that I had when I was a member of the Labour party, but Labour has changed. In the action of Thatcherism, since the 1980s Labour has drifted progressively further and further right. Labour is no longer the party of social justice and civil liberties that it once was. The two factors that finally pushed me to leave in 2000 after twenty two years of membership were: firstly Labour’s insulting 75 pence pension increase, at a time when the National Insurance budget had a surplus of 7.5 billion pounds. Secondly, Labour’s rigging of the selection process for the London Mayoral candidate in a naked bid to stop Ken Livingstone from being elected. I thought to myself: this party is no longer socialist and it’s not even democratic. The Green party includes many ideas and policies that Labour once stood for only improved, refined, developed and expanded.

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Has the current government implemented any polices that you deem to be positive? The government is giving a very positive lead by legislating marriage equality. To end the ban on same-sex marriage is the right thing to do, given that in a democratic society we should all be equal before the law. Disappointingly the government is refusing to legalise opposite sex civil partnerships, the legislation before parliament is not true equality. Civil partnerships are not good enough. For two reasons: first of all, they ban gay people from getting married; they also ban straight people having a civil partnership, so it’s two wrongs. If people support love and marriage, surely they should welcome the fact that two gay people love each other and want to get married. That doesn’t undermine marriage, that strengths it. Regardless of peoples’ personal views, no one has the right to say laws should discriminate against other citizens and that’s what the gay marriage ban does. There’s no other government polices that strike me as being positive. Are there any MP or MPs from any other parties who you don’t agree with, but respect? No. How do you feel the current government’s policies are affecting the youth of today? The end of the Educational Maintenance Grant has made educational prospects for young people from poorer backgrounds tougher. When it existed, EMA allowed people from poor backgrounds to remain in further education, and now that option has been taken away. A lot of young people in the future, who may have been able to get an education through the support of EMA will no longer have that possibility. The austerity programme is dramatically cutting the job prospects of many young people, and also driving down wages and salaries. Young people today have much less opportunities than I had.

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How so? Their options are narrowing; not only options for jobs, but options for housing. The uncontrolled rocketing of house prices, means that fewer and fewer people have the prospect of ever being able to own their own home. One of the core problems is the private ownership of land and speculation in land value. There are ideas like the land value tax as a way of tackling this. It would dampen the raising house prices, encouraging land and property owners to put them to productive use and a penalty for those that don’t. Is that an official Green party policy? We’re looking at it. Do you feel that young people need to be doing more to create a change? Yes. It’s vital that young people take a stand to protect their own futures. If people are not engaged in the political process and not protesting against unjust policies things will just carry on the way they are. Politics of change happens when people are prepared to get up and fight for their rights. Each new generation has battles to fight. The idea that we can leave it to someone else usually means no one does anything, and then injustice prevails. What lasting impact will the current government have? The coalition government is in many ways a continuation of Thatcherism. In fact, the austerity programme and cuts being imposed by David Cameron and George Osborne are far more extreme than even Margaret Thatcher contemplated. The legacy will be a lost generation. It looks like the recession may will continue for close to another decade; that will blight the prospect of hundreds of thousands of young people for years to come. I’m certain historians will look back and say, and as many prominent encomiasts have said; the austerity programme is fundamentally flawed and misguided. That cutting back in times of recession prolongs and exacerbates the recession, it does not remedy it.

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Do you think we’ll eventually reach a tipping point where society just says no? I’d like to think so but I’m also conscious that we live in a society where most people are turned off by politics and don’t believe protest can achieve anything. The vast majority were against the Iraq War, but the government went to war anyway. Right now there’s huge disaffection with the government’s austerity programme, but the government intends to carry on regardless. I think we need a revival of the student protests of the 1960s to challenge the government and other key social institutions that are leading the country in which is fundamentally the wrong direction. Do we need more protesting? Protest is the lifeblood of democracy. We should value the fact that people care enough about issues to protest. Protest is a way of holding governments to account, democracy is about more than just voting once every five years. It’s about a constant process of progression and challenging those in power. Negotiating between the people and the government. You mention people feel turned off by politics, is this due to the end of party politics? There’s very little of any significance to distinguish between the big three parties. They are all occupying the same centre ground, the differences between them are marginal because of the way the media tends to focus on the parties, the smaller radical parties like the Greens don’t get much media coverage or public awareness.

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In light of Thatcher’s death, do you think the media portrayed her accurately? Overall I’d say more sympathetic to Margaret Thatcher than is justified. If she had been the leader of any other country, there’d be much, much more criticism given the very many bad and damaging things she did during her time in power. From a human rights perspective she was colluding with many human rights abusers, such as: Saddam Hussein, in Iraq; Augosto Pinochet, Chile; P.W Botha in South Africa; General Satoe, Indonesia and King Saud, of Saudi Arabia. Margaret Thatcher’s policy on foreign policy was predicated on the principle that opposing communism and making business deals trumped everything else. She was a Cold War warrior who was prepared to lie down with regimes on the basis that they were anti-communist even when their own human rights records were as bad as the human rights records she opposed. Would you say she was a feminist icon? Margaret Thatcher did break through the sexist glass ceiling in politics. It was an extraordinary achievement, for her to become Prime Minister, particularly in the late 1970s where Britain was a much more macho society. However, her feminism was all about her personal advancement not about the advancement of women in general. She did nothing to close the gender pay gap, or to improve provisional nursery places for working mothers. She had hardly any women in her government. Do you feel Margaret Thatcher had a problem with the gay community? Indeed, at a 1987 Tory party conference, she attacked the right to be gay, insinuating there was no such right. The following year her government passed Section 28, which prohibited so called ‘promotion’ of homosexuality by local authorities. This meant for example, that gay teenagers’ groups were evicted from meeting on council premises and had their funding cut. It also led to huge amounts of self-censorship. Some schools took gay themed books, or books by gay authors out of their libraries. Plays were scrapped from the school curriculum. Her government polices and rhetoric created a climate of extreme anti-gay intolerance.

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Is the impact of Section 28 still being felt today? It was repealed in 2003 but the mentality still lingers in some sections of our society. How would a young Margaret Thatcher react to the gay marriage bill that was passed earlier this year? During her premiership there was absolutely no progress on any gay law reform – she blocked it all. If a gay marriage bill had been introduced during her time in office, she would have almost certainly voted against it. She never said a single good word about gay people in all her 11 years in office. She has the notoriety of being the Prime Minister of the government who legislated the first new anti-gay law in 100 years – Section 28. Does more need to be done to stop tax evasion? UK Uncut do great work exposing tax avoidance by exposing big companies like Amazon and Starbucks. The campaign to expose tax havens and rich people who use various technical means to pay their full tax is truly commendable. Those loopholes need to be changed. Would Green party do more to stop tax evasion? Absolutely. It’s totally wrong when the overall tax burden on the average person has been rising over the past decade. That very rich are being giving get-outs Most big businesses don’t pay full corporation tax; they use various schemes to transfer money to avoid paying. How would Green party take this country forward? The Green alternative to Cameron and Osborne is what we call the Green New Deal. We’re saying that under the Green New Deal the government should be investing in new green policies for energy conservation and renewable energy, to make Britain a world leader. This policy would create hundreds of thousands of new unskilled, semiskilled and skilled jobs, particularly in the engineering sector which

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has been badly hit by the recession. Plus, the introduction of financial transaction tax, which if it was set at 0.0.5% on currency bond and commodity and share transactions, it would raise close to hundred billion pounds every year. The idea that austerity is the only option is simply not true. Nuclear War? The Greens are also in favour of scrapping the Trident nuclear missile programme, which would save one hundred billion pounds over 30-40 years. These are quite practical alternative economics. Does more need to be done to get more Green party candidates in constituencies? The media doesn’t give them a fair chance to set out their policies, many people aren’t aware of what they stand for. The other big problem is the electoral system, which is set up to favour the other big parties. In Britain from the early 1950s to 2010 we have never had a government with majority public support, every single one was a minority one. Tony Blair won the 2005 election with less than 36% of the vote, but he won 55% of the seats. That’s not democracy, under the electoral system smaller parties like the Greens constantly get squeezed out. We need a new system, where everyone’s vote counts and people who support the smaller parties still have a voice that counts. If we had a fairer electoral system, I suspect that the Greens would probably get 10% or more of the vote. How far away are we from equal rights for everyone? We’re getting pretty close. The ban on same sex marriage was the last major legal discrimination. However, all equality laws have built, limited qualified exemptions for religious organization into them, which allows them to discriminate against LGBTP in certain circumstances. I don’t see why religious organisations should be exempt from the law that applies to everyone else. Allowing them to discriminate is a step too far; there are still unjustified restrictions on gay and bisexual men donating blood. LGBTP asylum seekers are still being refused refuge after fleeing from viciously homophobic regimes. Homophobic bullying is also miles too prevalent in our schools. There is still a lot of work that needs to be done.

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CO2 EMISSIONS million metric tons caRBON DIOXIDE Britain 586 America 5,903 Germany 858 Australia 417 Russia 1,704 China 6,018 Italy 46

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a

G U o D

LY G N I ED E C X E E HOPE, H T OR STAN NOW F S ND DOUG , HAS U O B F- DRUNK EDIAN DY. F O GLY RENT UP COM COME N I EM LLIGE ANDAL E C I S T T I T E JEC TEN B ICAN S OF POL B U O S ND OF AMER FACE N H WIT IOUS A ERSIAL G NEW With endorsements flooding in from Louis C.K, R N Sarah Silverman, a spot on Charlie Brooker’s HILA ONTROV NWILLI Weekly Screenwipe; along with Ricky Gervais U C E E going as far as saying, “Doug Stanhope might H H T T E be the most important stand-up working M today.” BECO In the past, politics and comedy have produced combinations so deadly, they have caused ripples through popular culture for years to come: George Carlin, Bill Hicks, Jeremy Hardy and Mark Thomas to name but a few. But in modern times its the ramblings of one ranting alcoholic that’s snatching headlines; he’s not a household name, not a surprising fact, due to the explicit and often provocative material he tends to favour for his acts. To anyone who has seen his satirical analysis on the 2008 Presidential Election campaign, they will be able to comprehend what I mean, a

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performance that will both command your attention, and simultaneously disgust you. We live in an age where a person can be imprisoned for something they post on Twitter, meaning freespeech – or what we believe to be free-speech – may well be in jeopardy. If it wasn’t for comedians like Stanhope, who aim to cross the line and challenge pre-meditated ideas, artistic free speech may well have played out its final act. Comedy is just that: comedy. Its there to make you laugh, but its also there to make you think – well, the majority of quality comedic material does. That’s what Doug’s act does, it makes you think and it’ll make you laugh – on occasions it will make you gasp –

but he will never fail to provoke some sort of instinctive reaction from the viewer. Doug’s act, on the surface, can seem as though its improvised and unintentional, but its not. Every single revolting metaphor or analogy has been handcrafted to make you think. Much to the displeasure of the Daily Telegraph journalist Allison Pearson, who believes Doug Stanhope to be a “common internet troll.” Stand up comedy is the last area of art and culture where artistic free speech can be expressed without censorship. Saturday starlets McIntyre and Bishop have nothing to say - boycott the Roadshow.

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MARXIST OR

N O R MO

Arriving at university you quickly have to decide what political allegiance you are now going to align yourself with – right, or left? Picking the right wing can often leave people ostracised, what with the ‘liberals, ‘freethinkers’ and future ‘academics’ of this country finding it unfathomable to consider right wing politics an option for anyone below the age of 40. If you don’t believe in left wing politics, and consider yourself more of a Conservative than a revolutionary, surely you should be able to have these views in a free society where opinion and belief is not oppressed? Wrong. You will have abuse hurled at you from all directions: “fascist”, “Nazi”, “Tory Scum” and many more. But not everyone who is right of the centre adores Mein Kampf or crushing the poor, they truly don’t. Well, Nick Griffin does like Mein Kampf, but that’s a separate issue. The centre right, small c Conservative party, are far closer to the Labour party than the British National party. A Che Guevara t-shirt doesn’t make you a socialist; neither does your love of Chomsky. If you do feel

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really passionate about left wing politics, go out and do something. Stop lecturing people in pubs; enough is enough. Start a band; write some songs; produce a poem or novel; produce a manifesto; a satirical stand up routine or fanzine - produce something, anything, that isn’t your drunken ramblings in a Shoreditch smoking area. Whilst reminding people of the current battles this country faces is both a pleasure and a form of enjoyment for you, it is not your job to try and persuade a Conservative supporter on a night out with their friends to change their political allegiance - save that for a political debate. Us bloody ‘reds’ need to keep our opinions to ourselves once in a while, after all, they’re not the

home truths that we like to think they are. Its as if we’ve has forgotten the particularly prevalent role the Labour party played in the financial collapse, y’know…what with them being in power 13 years prior. Not every wrongdoing this country is currently staring in the face stems from Margaret Thatcher’s reign. The tuition fees that we like to constantly yammer on about; “it’s creating a social divide. It’s the Tories pricing the poor out of education, all they care about is money.” That may well be true, but we all seem to be forgetting is this: who originally voted them in the first place? Was it the Liberal Democrats? No. Was it the Conservative party? No. It was who? The Labour party: the party of the working classes, the party of the poor and the unfortunate. The left created their own wrongdoing; they created the catalyst that priced the poor out of education. The Tory party just followed in their footsteps. So remember that no party is perfect,

few politicians know any other language other than rhetoric and few have the interest of the people at heart.

c

Now, no one is saying you have to distil your opinions, no, not at all. Just asking that you save your views for the people that want to listen to your constant, occasionally pugnacious, rarely profound views. You may have a degree of knowledge about politics, but just save it for the right platform: Question Time, at a Labour conference, or with people who want to discuss politics. Please remember this: everyone can’t share the same political view. It is both impossible and implausible. A Tory is a person too, most probably not too dissimilar to you.

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One of the fundamental components of the BBC is that it must be impartial in terms of its political agenda. Yet, at this particular moment in time, there are a number of MPs that are disgruntled by the supposed bias of the BBC: Maria Miller, Culture Secretary; Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary and Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary, are all outraged by the political bias they perceive to be taking place at the BBC. The Prime Minister, David Cameron, also recently brandished the BBC’s coverage of the Eastleigh by-election as “stupid.” "Buggers Broadcasting Communism," is what the BBC has now been coined by certain backbenchers in the Conservative party. A lot of people believe the corporation to be proLabour and left leaning. It is widely considered to be unacceptable for an establishment funded by licence fees to have any bias. After all, everybody in the possession of a television is legally obliged to pay a licence fee, regardless of whether they’re a UKIP supporter or a follower of the Green Party. The calls of bias at the BBC aren’t startling by any means. The British Broadcasting Corporation that was founded in 1922 has been brandished as a left wing affiliate numerous times throughout its long and prosperous reign. In the year 2013, it appears these calls are getting significantly rowdier once again. The shouts of a left wing bias not just coming from politicians; one person commented on the Daily Telegraph website that they are no longer paying the licence fee, as a “protest,” to what they perceive as a prejudiced broadcasting network. The claims of a bias standpoint at the BBC are plausible to a certain extent, but if one was to watch the documentary, Boris: The Irresistible Rise, about fellow

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THE LEFT WING

THE LEFT WING

=

Tory peer Boris Johnson, it would be clear that it is anything but biased. Rather, it was a balanced depiction of the history of the Conservative party member. Surely if the BBC was left leaning it would use it as a platform to attack the Mayor?

But the day before the show was aired, Eddie Mair outright attacked Boris when filling in on The Andrew Marr show. This particular interview made a substantial claim regarding the antiTory agenda at the BBC; few politicians had experienced an onslaught of that kind on The Andrew Marr Show in recent times. The unrelenting grilling left Boris like a wounded lamb. But Boris did reply in good spirits, explaining that Eddie did a “splendid job” as Boris believed it Mair’s job to confront politicians. Boris, the peoples’ champ may well have been in good spirits, but I am rather sceptical as to whether the rest of the Tory cabinet was. At one point Eddie even begged of Boris, “why can’t you just say the words? You want to be Prime Minister. Say it.” Rather confrontational it does have to be agreed, but Mair was searching for some clarity a lot of people feel was needed. So impartial probably, but a question the public wanted answering. The last time a politician was left so bruised and bloodied on the BBC was when BNP party leader Nick Griffin was attacked on their political flagship show Question Time, after the format was specifically changed for his arrival. The format normally consists of a discussion of current topical issues, what featured instead was: subsequent changes to feature solely around the ideology surrounding the British National Party. But in regards to Nick Griffin’s case, I don’t think you could say the BBC was

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anti-BNP, as the majority of the press and those in politics do seem to have the same judgement on the BNP: which is to give them absolutely no positive press whatsoever. Bias from the BBC? Yes; but, bias from everyone in the media? A resounding yes also. In November last year the New Statesman publication conducted a survey to see whether or not QT did have a biased political agenda. What it found was that over the two-year period, Labour MPs on the show did marginally outweigh the Conservative party by 51 to 47. But where the Conservative party did come up trumps was on the journalist front; where 27 would be considered right-leaning journalists, outweighing the liberal/left who were a minimal 13. So if the Conservatives were to use the BBC’s flagship political show as evidence, the hypothesis would show up as absolute absurdity. Another example: in the recent passing of the Iron Lady (Margaret Thatcher), the BBC refused to play the song Ding Dong the Witch is Dead, in its full entirety, after it reached number two in the charts. Certain members of the left who had distain for Thatcher tried to get it to number one, reappropriating the song from the Wizard of Oz to represent the Baronesses passing. If the BBC was truly biased, as certain members of the right like to constantly express, surely they would have ignored the pockets of outrage and played it in full? If anything, this could make the BBC seem right leaning. Whenever a party is in power it is always going to come under siege from the prominent and most powerful political power heads. Whether that’s the BBC, The New Statesman or Spectator, the party in power is always easiest to dissect. The current Tory party, it seems, does have a credible argument, but so do every party in the history

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of politics and the BBC. What it does seem is that the Conservative party are fabricating a story, to distract from their horrendous press coverage as of late. If they want to talk about press bias we need not look any further than Murdoch’s The Sun, the watchword of the news. The BBC is licence pay funded, but the degree of its supposed bias is fairly minimal. As the statistics from Question Time truly suggest. If one was to have watched the coverage on Thatcher’s passing (how could you bloody miss it), you would see as partial a broadcasting channel as you could possibly imagine. How does this alleged bias affect you? Well, it doesn’t, not really anyway. The BBC will always be the most reliable source of news to stand by, despite the alleged bias. Take the BBC with a pinch of salt just like you would with any form of media – but instead of a mountain of salt like you would with the Daily Mail – take a pinch, it may possibly be biased, but its the closest thing we have to honest, truthful news. With the biggest papers in the country The Sun and The Daily Mail being so blatantly right wing they might as well be called The Daily Tory or The Conservative. Let the left [us] - own up here, maybe its good the BBC is biased. The left may have The Guardian, but who sadly has the time to read that mammoth publication everyday. The left should maybe embrace the bias at the BBC and make it our own, instead of defending it like a cornered animal. After all, in the political ring, do you get anyone more lethal with a knockout blow than the goliath British Broadcasting Corporation? No. If you’re, young and interested in the news and current events, the BBC is still the most apt place for you. Especially if you’re a ‘red’ or ‘lefty’ - or whatever those reactionary right like to brandish us. ‘Broadcasting Brilliant Communism’ might well be a more fitting mantra.

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The Discography of politics

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photographer

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Coined the ‘poster boy’ of the far right, Jack Buckby is a rarity: young, articulate, good looking and a supporter of right wing politics. Jack is the chairman of the new political organisation founded last year, the National Culturists. To be a believer in extreme right wing politics at any age can make you a proverbial walking target for the left wing; Jack’s Twitter account is attacked on a regular basis branding him a ‘fascist’ and ‘racist’. Unfortunately for Jack, there is no area of society where you are judged more so for your political beliefs than in the world of university. So it’s reasonable to suggest, that for one person at a ‘red’ university to try and introduce people to a new world of right wing politics they may not have known existed – or chosen to stay away from – is a brave act. But are the National Culturists a new right wing movement with new ideas and a new ethos? Or, as they are branded by some, fascists embodied in a well-dressed youngster? Komrade caught up with Jack Buckby to find out. Arriving on the National Culturists website the first thing the eye is drawn to is the slogan, “Love Culture, Hate Racism.” Jack explains that being a member of National Culturists means “the right choose what cultures we want be involved in, without being called a racist.” He confides in me how he founded the idea: “I initially saw the founder of the Brooklyn Tea Party in New York, I saw his videos online, bought his book, Culturism: A Word, A Value, Our Future; and using it as a public discourse, makes sense.” Jack proceeded to talk about the “discourse.” “Discourse” being a word he used constantly throughout the interview. Along with how, “right wing parties, including

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the Tories have been stupid not to use the word in the past” and how he thought, “we needed an organisation to push the word if anyone is going to acknowledge it.” The more he begins to digress, it seems the name is predominantly a method of manipulation, as opposed to a political belief or standpoint that he feels passionately about: “The reason why, is because it helps with public discourse. The minute you talk about multiculturalism and regarding it is a negative thing, the media slurs against you a racist, so we are using the world Culturist. Jack is confident his congregation of right-wingers are not the only ones in Europe feeling disenfranchised, outlining the potential for a political uprising: “It’s happening in Europe right now. The Nationalist Conservative party in Hungary, Yobik. There are a lot of students in the UK that I have met in person who do agree with us, but are too scared to come out, because the minute you do as a student you get attacked by people on campus and can even be ostracised by the universities.” Jack begins to delve further into that topic, but stops due to fear of disciplinary measures from his university. How does someone of the tender age of 21, get involved in such a radical political agenda? After being introduced to Nationalist parties such as the BNP, Jack began to get involved in political debate and became “notorious” in college for his contrarian attitude to the majority of his fellow pupils. He claims his political beliefs have not been influenced by

any family members, “I can’t think of anyone in my family who’s been politically involved. My dad doesn’t even talk about who he votes for. He refuses to even talk politics in the house. He’s not interested; he hates politicians.” Which makes his political agenda all the more surprising.

an interesting edge – a Nationalist who is accepting of gay marriage, a rare thing – but he doesn’t bite: “I believe that gay people should have the same rights that any human should have. But in terms of gay marriage, I think that’s infringing the rights of religious Christians; it’s essentially outlawing faith.”

Although the National Culturists’ stance on a lot of political issues is very anti-Labour, Jack has voted for the party in the past; “I voted Labour once, it was purely tactical to stick two fingers up to Cameron. In my area, the only people that normally stand are: Labour, Conservative and Green. And I won’t vote Green because they’re Communists.” For someone who has voted Labour in the past, a word often spilling out of his at mouth is the term ‘reds’; due to the manner, tone and snarl with which he says the word, it’s clearly meant to be perceived as a derogatory term. So if Jack, a self-confessed Nationalist as he says he is, and such an avid opponent of the ‘evil reds’, surely the Conservative party would be a more plausible affiliate? It seems not, “if we went back 50 years or so, I’d probably be a Conservative myself, big c Conservative. The most recent thing is with gay marriage; legalizing is not a Conservative stance, so I think in that essence I think the Conservative party are an utter joke.”

Jack has never considered the positives of a multi-cultured society, not ever: “Can’t see any benefit from it at all.” A viewpoint that for someone who doesn’t consider himself to be a ‘racist’ screams ignorance and old fashioned Nationalism. His view of what diversity is, is an ideology that juxtaposes the masses of Britain; “I don’t like to talk about one country,” he explains: “Diversity in an international sense, is assuring all countries have the right to self-determination, which would range from a whole amount of separate cultures and institutions across the world, instead of amalgamating them all into one, which people often think diversity is.” I think a vast congregation of people would beg to differ with Jack, his definition adheres more to an old fashioned form of Nationalism, not the revolutionary form he believes his group to be.

The Gay Marriage bill that was passed earlier this year was not without its critics on both sides of the benches, so it comes as no surprise to hear a devout Nationalist against the bill. Part of me was secretly hoping that Jack was in fact for gay marriage, to give this interview

It’s Jack’s job to oppose a multi-cultured society, and he does: “British culture largely to me, is the influence of democracy and the influence of Judeo-Christian values as well. If you condense it, I suppose; you’ve got to look at the architecture of a country, traditions of a country; religion, banking systems, education system and

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government. It’s the whole infrastructure of the country that is deemed as culture as well: the schooling systems, parliamentary democracy, our Monarchy.” He also informed me members within the BNP are antiMonarchy; “It’s a working class party and they hate seeing people who get everything given to them.” One of the crucial points that the National Culturists are really trying to hit home is the supposed danger to Western rights caused by multiculturalism: “When I talk about Western rights, I’m referring to human rights, I don’t like the term human rights, it is to suggest that every country in the world should have the same set of ideals, which isn’t true. That’s an expansionist’s idea, that you think the way you do things in your country is right and other

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countries should do it, that’s wrong. The idea of human rights is rubbish. What they’re talking about is Western rights: rights for women, women being equal and giving gay people the respect that they deserve.” Along with his fear for Western rights, Jack also worries for democracy, the religion of Islam being the foundation for his fears: “Islam ultimately wants the UK to become a Sharia state, that’s what the book tells them to do. You can’t incorporate Western democracy that’s open and accepting, with a fascist ideology, that treats women like subspecies and stones gay people to death, and tells you how to run the state.” Another area of Islam that Jack has distain for is their paedophile rings: “The reason why I focus on paedophile rings, is largely because

JACK HAS NEVER CONSIDERED THE POSITIVES OF A MULTICULTURED SOCIETY, NOT EVER: “CAN’T SEE ANY BENEFIT FROM IT AT ALL.”

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it can be solved through Culturism, and the dead cause of it, which is the Quran.” To have such views in the year 2013 is deemed not only offensive, also downright intolerable. So when he explains he’s been attacked and threatened in the past it can come as no surprise: “I was threatened in the street whilst handing out leaflets, I got surrounded by about 20 people or something, and I ended up having to lead them out of the area, while they followed me shouting abuse. The guy who threatened me was from the UAF (Unite Against Fascism), he was an old man and he threatened to shoot me. It’s just the way they are.” The explicit nature of Jack’s views are so extreme, that it’s no shock to hear such violent attitudes have been thrust his way. UKIP is another party that is deemed incompetent in Jack’s book, feeling that they have “been totally infiltrated by left wing libertarians.” To the non-supporter of UKIP it would seem plain to see that UKIP are antiimmigration. But Jack informs me, in a slightly paranoid tone, that there “are left wing libertarians in UKIP circles. There are many of them that don’t even oppose immigration.” How true that is is yet to be proven, the political party rarely being depicted as left wing. But Jack outlines where his dismay for the party stems from: “I had a lot of respect for UKIP back when Lord Pearson was in charge. But ever since Nigel Farrage has taken over, it’s gone drastically a different way.” The BBC are not known for being loved by the right, so it comes as absolutely no surprise to hear Jack not abstaining from the notion of there being a left wing bias at the BBC,

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using Nick Griffin’s now infamous appearance on Question Time as an example; when they changed their structure to what he believes was, “to attack and watch Nick Griffin defend himself.” Jack brings light to the fact that Nick Griffin puts 20% of his earnings towards funding English charities, making the point that “all the other MEPs put it straight into their pockets.” He’s right in that you don’t see that in the media, but when Nick Griffin has conversed with members of the Ku Klux Klan, he is making it harder for himself and his party. Jack also enlightens me to the so far forgotten truth, that it was in fact a member of the “BNP that ousted the expenses scandal in the first place.” I imagine Will Lewis, former editor-in-chief of the Daily Telegraph, would detest that assertion, as he claims it was in fact him, not the BNP who broke that story. As austerity levels in Britain hit unprecedented levels, biting harder and deeper at the working classes – and a death of party politics with Labour, Conservative and the Liberal Democrats all intent on providing the same economical and political system, it’s no surprise to see those pointing blame at immigration. It’s inevitable that young, middle-aged and the old alike would seek refuge in the arms of Nationalists or other radical groups, whether that’s UKIP or National Culturists. What Jack seems to be trying to achieve is an alternative, a hope of a brighter future, which at this point in time, seems far beyond sight. Jack Buckby admitted to me that he does want a career in politics and he may well get the opportunity, but unless he alters his ideology it’s hard see him achieving anything beyond other Nationalist groups. He might be the next Oswald Mosley or he might fade into the abyss. Only time will tell for Jack.

Nick Grifin with members of the Ku Klux Klan

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What has caused these particular machines to cause outrage is that the facts suggest that those most affected by them are the poor - the wealthy and middle classes, seemingly disinterested in the machines. In the prosperous area of Richmond there are just 14 bookmakers and 51 FOBT machines. Now, contrast that to the worse-off Borough of Hackney, and you have a staggering 36 bookmakers and 132 FOBTs, quite an astounding difference. "It's a business model which sucks money from the poorest communities," Diane Abbott, MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington. But this is not the only. In the affluent area of Fulham and Chelsea there are 20 bookmakers and 73 FOBTs; in the borough of Camberwell and Peckham, it stands at 35 bookmakers and 128 FOBTs. A trend clearly emerging here: an area in the poverty bracket, clearly susceptible to an influx of these ‘crack cocaine’ betting machines in low-income areas and Labour constituencies, not Tory strongholds.

With the new influx of ‘crack cocaine’ gambling machines now swamping bookies, Britain has a potentially crippling problem on its hands. With more and more people facing tough times, who are the real losers of gambling? The poor? Or affluent?

If one was to walk down a high street in the year 2013, it’s rather evident that the average town is now overwhelmed with bookies. Last year £5 billion was spent on gambling in areas of high unemployment in northern England cities and London boroughs; four times the amount spent in rural, southern towns. “Now is the time for action to prevent these shops from blighting our high streets and the lives of the most deprived people in our communities.” Harriet Harman was quoted in the year 2011; now two years on, and still nothing has been done to eradicate or even slightly help a problem as prevalent in this country as gambling addiction. There are plenty of hotlines that can be called such as Gam-Anon and GamCare, but only one NHS clinic tackling gambling addiction exists in the entirety of the UK. Gambling is not a new phenomenon, but Fixed Odds Betting Terminals are. The FOBT machines are the roulette and casino machines any bystander can find in a high street gambling spot. Due to the detrimental effect these machines are having on working class communities, they have now been dubbed the ‘crack cocaine’ of betting, due to the speed of which the bet is placed and the stake at hand being so great – it’s possible to bet £100 every twenty seconds. It’s estimated that these machines in a single week can provide £900 in profit. Bookies are limited to 4 machines per premises, hence the possible reasoning behind the increasing amount of branches flooding British high streets.

"I put it down to the fact that poor people believe there's one shot to get rich. They put getting rich down to luck and think they can take a gamble”

"I put it down to the fact that poor people believe there's one shot to get rich. They put getting rich down to luck and think they can take a gamble,” John Redwood the Conservative MP for prosperous area Wokingham in Berkshire. He explains that he feels, “they also have time on their hands. My voters are too busy working hard to make a reasonable income." In the year 2011, it was estimated that 1/100, around half a million Britons were suffering with gambling problems. Those statistics suggest that it would be impossible for there not be a selection of John Redwood’s constituents who are gambling addicts. Making his statement somewhat incorrect. It is the minority that struggle with quashing their gambling addictions, 99/100 people to be precise. The majority of people gamble responsibly. “I allow for around £2000 a month to spend on gambling nights.” John Leech, successful businessman from the Conservative stronghold of Braintree. He also explains that, he has “never felt the need to stop gambling.” In some peoples’ eyes, spending over £2000 pounds a month could have alarm bells ringing, but to a successful man, such as John Leech, that is not the case: “without being flash, I can afford to spend a lot, so I do.” Despite there being many cases like John’s, there are still very loud calls from a selection of society calling for tighter regulations to be implemented. In a survey conducted on the outskirts of London, over 80% of the public believed those most susceptible to gambling are those in precarious financial situations. With 60% also agreeing that tighter regulation is needed in the UK; 90% also believed that gambling addiction is as bad a problem as alcohol addiction. Over 80%, explained that they felt more needed to be done to help those who suffer with gambling problems. Yet, still no action has been taken by the government. Does more regulation need to take place? “I believe that more needs to be done in terms of the amount of bookies there are on the High Street, it appears to be that once a shop has closed down a bookies opens in replace in its place.” NSO Press Officer for Gam-Anon. When

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asked whether gambling companies are targeting the poor she replies; “yes, research that I have read does suggest that there is an influx of bookies and cash generating shops in low income areas.” Mary Portas who is a government adviser also agrees: "The influx of betting shops, often in more deprived areas, is blighting our high streets." Whether a certain social class is most affected by gambling addiction, the Gam-Anon representative quashes that hypothesis: “addiction does not choose its victims.” She explains that gambling hits all areas of society; being wealthy, “is just a tool to gamble with for longer.” Well the NSO Press Officer has someone who disputes these calls: “I don't think there should be a limit, no. If someone travels to Las Vegas with the intent of spending thousands of pounds of their own money they should be allowed

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to.” A representative for Jennings Bet who prefers not be named. Stating that, he also feels the suggestion that the problem comes largely from impoverished backgrounds is false: “I've worked at various shops across the country and to say any social class uses a bookies most often is very hard to do. We have customers who can afford to spend hundreds at a time while we also have customers who set themselves a £10 limit for the day, knowing they can't afford to spend more than that.” But what if people do come in and spend more than they can afford, what does he do? “Unfortunately people do come in and spend money they can't afford. It's our duty to aid them in anyway we

can, whether it’s someone to talk to or point them towards a Gamcare programme. This isn't only a problem with gambling though, as the same thing can happen to people who are addicted to drinking, smoking etc.” Whether his company’s recent expansion of chains in the North would have the potential to increase the amount of people with gambling problems, the Jennings Bet representative replied: “No. There are already thousands of people with gambling problems in the North - our company entering it will not affect that. There are also millions

in the North who gamble responsibly; they are the clientele we are looking to do business with.” The real question is, are the FOBTs largely a working class problem? “No.” he instinctively replies, “It is impossible to say. People from all different financial brackets have gambling problems. To say the problem of FOBTs affects those within a working class community is factually unproven.” The person in charge of regulating and thwarting gambling problems in the UK is both the Chairman of Responsible Gambling Trust and Association of British Bookmakers’ Chairman - the two roles

that could possibly have contradictory goals. That man is Dirk Vennix, who has stated not so long ago that he feels there is; “no imperial link from FOBT machines and addiction.” For someone who is the Chairman of the British Bookmakers, to be giving direction to politicians in how to halt gambling addiction is a potentially dangerous oxymoron, considering Dirk Vennix’s potential ties to the bookmakers on the high streets. Government officials have so far refused to act on this problem affecting those in need until a report comes back from Responsible Gambling Trust. That means no funding for research, education or treatment. Instead, money to help problem gamblers comes from

the industry itself, from a voluntary donation. In the year 2010, that donation amounted to 0.001% of the industry’s takings. “Not enough money is put into treatment, research or education,” Professor Mark Griffiths, Nottingham Trent University. With a plethora of bookies now flooding the market, gambling addiction is not a problem we can see being deceased in the near future. It is currently impossible to say gambling addiction is a problem that affects the poor more so than the rich, without more conclusive evidence. Yet, the blanketing from bookies of Fixed Odds Betting Terminals in working class communities does appear to be troubling totally unsurprising to see local MPs and gambling addiction charities concerned. Whether tighter regulations are implemented or not, we’ll just have to wait and see.

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Iannucci

Half-Italian and half-Scottish, OBE awardee Armando Iannucci’s shows have been subject to much discussion. With his omnipotent influence now being felt in both America and the UK, with Veep and The Thick of It receiving plaudits by the truckload, it’s time more people knew about Armando. His shows would resonate with the majority of television lovers, with work ranging from The Day Today, Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle, and even the iconic Alan Partridge. But his work that has the most poignancy and satirical edge is on the show The Thick of It. A television show commentating on politics is no easy feat; to make it funny is even trickier. The Glaswegian born Iannucci has been working tirelessly in the comedy field for over

20 years, his tenacity rewarded by the British establishment with an OBE earlier this year. In a career that has spanned two decades, he’s worked with Chris Morris, Richard Herring, Stewart Lee, Steve Coogan, Peter Baynham and numerous others. But The Thick of It was where Armando Iannucci’s unparalleled social commentary and finesse in the field of political satire really excelled. The Thick of It, arguably one of the greatest television shows of all time – certainly one of the most remarkable if not best examples of political satire – is a show that he co-wrote, directed and produced. The Thick of It’s commitment to accuracy in showing political truths had predicted future events that would mirror real life politics - much to the hilarity and dismay of the viewer. The Satanic spin-doctor Malcolm Tucker is a character said to be based on

“A Television show commentating on politics is no east feat; to make it funny is even trickier.” Alastair Campbell – once the Labour party’s spin-doctor. Resonating with the callings from Westminster, Malcolm had audiences crying with laughter and wincing with sympathy for the characters unfortunate enough to cross his destructive warpath – wincing, but always laughing at his rants at inept politicians. Its here on this show, that Iannucci’s writing is at its finest and sharpest.

The Thick of It adaptation, Iannucci is due once again to try his hand at the big screen, with Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa set for release in the summer of 2013. Along with Alan Partridge,

When he transferred the hit show to the big screen for In The Loop, he encapsulated the brilliance again, with stunning performances from the original cast as well as inspired performances from James Gandolfini amongst others. The film was subsequently nominated for an Oscar for best screenplay. Along with

Armando Iannucci’s a busy man, and one can easily see why. Due to the sheer amount of viewing excellence he’s produced for television, it’s clear that Iannucci has already cemented his position as one of the greatest satirists of all time. Be sure to catch Veep, as it airs later this year.

more material is set for release from Armando Iannucci with a new series of Veep also airing this year. Veep is a notch short of the dizzy heights of The Thick of It, but is still a show worthy of your attention.

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TO BE HOPEFUL in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in the complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places – and there are so many – where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live in the now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvellous victory. - HOWARD ZIMM

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