Saturday, December 24, 2011

A very Merry Christmas!



A very Merry Christmas to everyone.


Keep in mind the fact that the Son of Man, the Christ who lived and was executed by the government of His day, was a great leader, and leader of the common people. It was his great message of Love and Brotherhood which brought him to his death. He knew the poor of the earth were oppressed by the rich and wealthy, and in scathing terms denounced the money changers and all those who defiled the Temple and brought suffering to starving humanity.


George Lansbury, 1926.





Friday, December 23, 2011

How Conan Doyle's detective destroyed Jeremy Brett


 This piece of mine on the late, great Jeremy Brett, appears in the Sunday Express.

With a movie and TV series based on Sherlock Holmes out soon, Neil Clark recalls Jeremy Brett and the sacrifices he made to be the greatest Baker Street detective.

This weekend the latest Sherlock Holmes film, ‘A Game of Shadows’, starring Robert Downey Jnr in the title role, opened in cinemas across Britain.  The New Year meanwhile sees the return of Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC‘s series ‘Sherlock’.  Overall, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s legendary detective has been played by more than 70 actors on the big and small screens but for Sherlockians-the hardcore fans of the pipe-smoking Victorian sleuth, one stands out from all the rest for his portrayal: Jeremy Brett. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Let's hear it for Ed Miliband (and not just because it's Christmas)


This piece of mine appears in The First Post/The Week.

Neil Clark: Ed has become the equivalent of Stoke City – we're told they have no style but they keep winning

HE'S A 'WASHOUT'.  His prospects are "bleak". He's the man "with the word 'Loser' printed on his forehead". He's the geek "who can't even get being a geek right".


Reading newspaper commentators opine about Ed Miliband and his leadership of the Labour Party you'd think that the party had actually lost last week's Feltham and Heston by-election.


In fact Labour won it with an 8.56 per cent swing from the Conservatives. The party's share of the vote increased from 43.6 to 54.4 per cent and its majority rose from 4,658 to 6,203.



You can read the whole of the piece here.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Vaclav Havel: Another side to the story



This piece of mine appears on the Guardian's Comment is Free website.

Neil Clark: The Czech leader was a brave man, but the voices of those who lost out after communism's demise are seldom heard


He was the symbol of 1989, the anti-communist playwright who helped free his country – and the rest of eastern Europe – from Stalinist tyranny and who put the countries that lay behind the iron curtain on the road to democracy.



So goes the dominant narrative of the life of Václav Havel, the former Czech president, who died on Sunday aged 75. Havel, we are told, was a hero and one of the greatest Europeans of our age.


But, as with the recent consecration of Christopher Hitchens, another "progressive" opponent of the communist regimes of eastern Europe who found favour with Washington's neocons, there is another side to the story.

You can read the whole piece here.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Iraq: The Supreme International Crime that remains unpunished


 So the last US troops are leaving Iraq. Supporters of the war would like us to ‘move on’ and forget the illegal invasion- the porkies told about Iraqi WMDs to justify it- and the death and destruction it caused. 
But until those responsible for this great crime are brought to justice we must never do so.

It’s timely to remember the words of Robert H. Jackson, Chief U.S. Prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials.

To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Europe needs an FDR to break the mould and bring prosperity


This article of mine appears in the First Post/The Week.

Neil Clark: Under Sarkozy and Merkel, all Europe can look forward to is years of unemployment and falling living standards.


WHILE most of the attention in Britain has been focused on the domestic political implications of the Cameron-Clegg split over Europe, the bigger, more important story is what the EU leaders actually signed up to last week.


You can read the whole piece here.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

How I'd stop neoliberalism in its tracks



This piece of mine appears on the Guardian's Comment is Free website:

Neil Clark: If I had a Tardis, I'd save the world from the relentless march of neoliberal capitalism by going back to the 1970s



So, we're heading back to the 1970s. Well, at least that what some respected economic pundits are saying.



Of course, they're speaking metaphorically, and in fact the nearest we're going to get to the 70s is watching the regular Thursday night repeats of Top of the Pops on BBC4 and the Saturday night reruns of Dad's Army. But if it were possible to travel back in time to the decade of flared trousers, Opportunity Knocks and Fawlty Towers, I'd set the controls of my Tardis to 1 March 1973.


Here's why.

You can read the whole of the piece here.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Aung San Suu Kyi: It Ain't Half Hot Mum fan


I’ve always had enormous admiration for Aung San Suu Kyi. (you can watch a great John Pilger interview with her here). But she’s gone up even more in my estimation now….

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Don't Attack Iran: Please sign the Stop the War petition



We are extremely concerned at reports that plans are being drawn up for an attack on Iran. The case being made for war on Iran is based on a series of speculations about 'undisclosed nuclear-related activities' reminiscent of the disproven 'intelligence' about weapons of mass destruction used to justify the disastrous attack on Iraq.



The West's attitude to Iran's nuclear weapons is hypocritical and contradictory. The US and its allies remain silent about Israel's covert nuclear arsenal, the only one in the Middle East, while they are tightening the campaign of sanctions against Iran without real evidence......

You can read the whole of the Stop the War petition (which also calls for the lifting of sanctions against Iran), here. Please spend a moment or so to sign the petition, and tell your friends about it too. We can't allow the serial warmongers to initiate yet another war of aggression against an independent sovereign state.
UPDATE: Great piece by Seumas Milne in today’s Guardian: The war on Iran has already begun. Act before it threatens all of us.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

The west has Iran in its sights



Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya.... and now Iran.

William Hague has denounced the action of the students as a violation of international law. But Iran itself has been targeted for many years by a series of western and UK policies that are gross violations of international law. Repeatedly threatening Iran with a military attack, thinly disguised under the phrase "all options are on the table" and publicly announcing that the west must use covert operations to sabotage Iran's nuclear programme (as John Sawers, the head of MI6, demanded two years ago), are only two examples of the UK's disrespect for the UN charter. It is no wonder that many Iranians believe the UK must have been involved in the assassination of two prominent Iranian nuclear physicists in the past two years.



You can read the whole of Abbas Edalat’s great article on the west’s increasingly aggressive stance towards Iran, and what it is building up to, here.

Abbas is the founder of the Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran.
Do try and lend your support to their campaign.