Remember Heather Heyer

IMG_0787ab0504h trent bridge bollards
These are bollards, installed along the length of the Trent Bridge in July, for the first time ever, because we now have to protect crowds from terrorists using motor vehicles as weapons.
Similar costs and inconvenience will be imposed on events staged on Victoria Embankment.
ct-ptb-davich-charlottesville-attack-st-0816-20170815Such an attack has now taken place in the United States of America.
White supremacists started a campaign against the removal of a statue celebrating General Lee (who led the Confederate Army in the American Civil War).
Their march included people carrying Nazi flags – even though the USA fought to destroy the Nazis in World War 2.
Protestors against the white supremacists counter-protested.
One man, pictured earlier on the march,  took exception and drove a high powered car into the crowd of counter-protestors.
19 people were injured; one was killed.
Her name was Heather Heyer.  A 32-year-old civil rights activist.  A campaigner, including on social media.  She used the phrase “if you aren’t outraged, you ain’t paying attention”.
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There is no moral equivalence between fascists / racists / white supremacists – shouting slogans like “Jews will not be replace us” – and their opponents.
Further, BBC News reports that some counter-protestors were organised for fighting, most of them were not, and they were facing marchers who carried protection and weapons.
The people of the United States are now having to come to terms with their President sympathising with people who take the side of the Nazis, people who take the side of white supremacists and people who drive cars into opponents.  The late night shows are delivering whithering ridicule, more Republican politicians are distancing themselves from the President, business people drawn into helping the President out have resigned other countries are condemning his statements.
From what I can tell, his popularity rating remains low but stable.  Michael Moore is calling people who remain Trump supporters racist, and I wonder if that will work.

What we need to see from Americnas are clear signs that more of them get it, and are not prepared to support Donald Trump.

Meanwhile, the rest of us should take opportunities to tell the story of Heather Heyer – a civil rights activist iwho was killed for her beliefs in 2017.

Colonial mentality news

Happy Independence Day, India!
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Bit disappointed that the focus of 70th anniversary in some BBC programmes is the partition rather than the end of British colonial rule in the Indian sub-continent.
Even if the canals, irrigation, railways and much else was good for the people, those assets were not mobilised to prevent massive famines; self-rule had to happen.

I saw the news coverage and it took one sentence for the story to become about the killings at partition.
It’s as if the story was – these people couldn’t cope without ‘the calming hand of we British’.
I don’t know enough about what happened, but a lot of people died in the famine of 1943, for which more should have been done; and I’m not clear about to what extent we British didn’t play up tensions between different religious groups in the years before.
So for me, the story should have been – ‘we British should have got out cos it was right and cos we got some things terribly wrong.’

One other thought – if people in the ‘south’ of the USA are tearing down statues representing an oppressive and unjust past, just what should we be doing with statues of people like Clive of India?

Track 8: “Things can only get better”, D:Ream

Famous for being the New Labour campaign tune for 1997, and marking the end of 18 wasted years – all that North Sea oil, and what did we do with it?
My personal pleasure was buying the CD with 6 different versions (I’d bought 4 track editions of Happy Mondays songs before) and playing it time and again on the train down to London.

“Things can only get better”, D:Ream did not win us the General Election as some have claimed, but as an anthem, it captured the feeling for 1997.
For some it captured the election night – although we in Nottingham were still in the count until 6:30 in the morning.
We did go on and we got a lot done, although it ran out of steam with the bankers’ betrayal and with Gordon Brown.

The song has also become – with the rise of Professor Brian Cox – a reminder of my physics degree which I approached as a way of getting a degree without the fullest appreciation of the value of the subject; a mild regret.  The TV documentaries have become much better and some of the books have been excellent.
Track 7: Billy Bragg

Track 7: “Lovers Town Revisited”, Billy Bragg

“Fighting on the dance floor happens anyway …”
If there’s a shadow over life for boys and young men, it’s violence.  Something that went away when you were perceived to be too old.
Useless and the uselessness is captured by

“Lovers Town Revisited”, Billy Bragg.
Words that are meant to be heard, in a short and sharp format.
“Sometimes [he’s] makes me stop and think.”
Like The Smiths, Billy writes songs that tell more realistic stories of love and life.
More political songs too – from a more traditional labour movement perspective.
Pleased to meet him recently at the Rough Trade shop in Hockley (on the day of the Pentrich revolution 200th anniversary march) when he was pushing his book on skiffle.

Track 6: The Smiths

Track 6: “Girl Afraid”, The Smiths

“… you and me,
“we can ride on a star
“If you stay with me, girl
“We can rule the world”
Take that.  Dross.  Implerialistic dross.


The Smiths were such a breath of fresh air when they arrived in 1983.  Big fans of pop, but discerning.  Morrissey well read (see the “England is mine” movie); Johnny Marr highly-skilled on guitar.  Deliberating choosing a plain name for their band.
For the BBC Radio Nottm show wanting to know about songs that change your lives, “Rubber Ring” even has the lyric.  But the track I’ve chosen is –

“Girl Afraid”, The Smiths.
Nice jangling; and just listen to the lyrics.
And value difference.

Track 5: Joy Division.

A 34 year wait

I’d wanted to say “Shrewsbury boys are back in town again” but we’ve never played Forest in a game that mattered, ever.
I’ve waited 34 years for Salop at Forest.
Then Forest have put out a reserve side – 11 changes.
To add to the anti-climax came the rain which had been incessant all-day, and a below 8,000 attendance
Forest began on top, with chances on the break, but from 15 minutes, Town played better as a team and started to dominate.
Brave changes have been made during the summer break and the team’s average age is 23, with many of the signings from the fifth tier of league football.  Surprising the oldest players play on the wing.  A stronger emphasis on attacking this season.  But the pressure was not creating chances.
Then a couple of mishaps when a full-back pranged his ankle in a challenge on a breaking forward and a slip by a midfielder bringing down the player in the box.  Forest converted the penalty, and for Salop it was to be all uphill.
The rain was stronger in the second-half and some of the basics for playing on a sodden pitch were forgotten, like don’t dawdle on the ball when preparing to clear it and don’t take short corners.  Worse was the “final ball” – a kind of axiomatic description for a poor ball into the box – but Salop belted the ball over their attacking line 5 times – so often, I was reminded of Harry Kane playing for England in Euro ’16, including that 90th minute free kick against Iceland that was mimicked by Shaun Whalley.
By then, Forest had a got a second – this time direct from the break, whilst Salop had also converted a penalty, although I’d like to see the rejected appeal for a penalty 10 minutes earlier.
These are early days for a new set-up, but given Salop have a recent track record of winning at tier 2 clubs in the second round, it’s worth reminding ourselves that Salop were pitched against Forest reserves; or that tier 2 club budgets means their reserves are better paid than tier 3 first team players, and that this time, the opposition manager had properly drilled the reserves.