Why I bother (a very merry Radically Atheist Christmas)

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For a teetotal halfway-to-vegetarian rejecter of all things consumerist, I actually quite like Christmas

On a good day, my strange lifestyle is a semi-successful attempt to boycott the worst bits of ecocidal consumer capitalism. And at this time of year, more people than usual ask me why I bother.

That’s probably because more people than usual notice it. Normally very much off the radar as far as most people I know are concerned, at Christmas the whole political extremist thing surfaces in polite society like a hippy-communist submarine – “how’s the Christmas shopping going?” “I don’t do any”, et cetera.

So. Why am I so cynical/miserable/judgemental/extreme/anti-fun/generally intent on making life more difficult for myself than it needs to be? Continue reading

Corbyn, Oldham, Syria

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Last week parliament authorised British airstrikes against ISIS in Syria, and the Labour candidate won the Oldham West and Royton by-election. It was, unsurprisingly, a week in which the omni-tentacled neoliberal establishment was especially shameless in its attempts to spin, manipulate and mind-control its way to getting what it wanted.

The Syria vote was spun as a choice between hitting back at the culprits behind the Paris attacks, or doing nothing. Opponents of military action were painted as people who “don’t want Britain to take action”, passive to the point of cowardice – or branded as “terrorist sympathisers” by David Cameron.

The media obviously failed to substantively go into any of the arguments against – let alone question the government’s laughably flimsy case for military intervention. Continue reading

What is ISIS?

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The problem with the bomb-Syria-to-stop-ISIS-attacking-us argument is that is that the United States, the world’s greatest military superpower, has been bombing ISIS in Syria for over a year, and self-proclaimed ISIS-affiliates were still able to murder 130 people in Paris and 14 in San Bernardino.

Perhaps ISIS just needs to be bombed a bit more. But even if that is the case (which it isn’t), there’s nothing that says those bombs need to be dropped by British planes. America’s annual military budget is bigger than the ten next highest spenders combined. Britain getting involved is a bit like showing up to a party at Elton John’s house with a bottle of wine. Continue reading