Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

My favourite videos from The Onion


OnionLogoUse of ‘N-Word’ May End Porn Star’s Career

One day pornography will be respectful, mainstream and earnestly discussed on nightly news programmes and this video will cease to be funny.  Until that day…

College Basketball Star Heroically Overcomes Tragic Rape He Committed

This was not CNN’s coverage of the Steubenville Rape Trial, but you wouldn’t know it if you compared the two.

Rare Pornographic Movie Shot At Vatican For First Time Since 1982’s ‘Pope Fisters IV’

The Pope’s residence has actually been a prime porn movie location for the past 30 years.

Full article.

What Is Your Amateur Porn Telling Future Employers About You?

Americans Observing 9/11 By Trying Not To Masturbate

With all the tragedies unfolding around the World and thanks to modern 24 hour media, when is a good time to choke the bishop or stroke the budgie’s tongue?

I know that I probably shouldn’t masturbate today.  But, I dunno.  Should I not masturbate on Pearl Harbour Day too?

Right on, brother!

DNA Evidence Frees Black Man Convicted of Bear Attack

Issues of racial discrimination in the United States have clearly progressed so far since the abolition of slavery that the difference between a brutal killing carried out by an African-American and a grizzly bear is a distinction without a difference.

Live From Congress: Representative Wants To See, Meet More Kids Online

Rep. Gelinas proposes an educational bill to increase the number of young people he meets in under-13 chat rooms.

Eewwwwooooh.  I mean, just… Eewwwwoooh!

Prague’s Kafka International Named Most Alienating Airport

Up there with Camus’ The Outsider as one the best potted existentialist nightmares.

Prison Economy Spirals As Price Of Pack Of Cigarettes Surpasses Two Hand Jobs

If there is a funnier, more succinct demonstration of how humans are natural capitalists, I would like to see it.

Police Say That School Shooter Had History Of School Shootings

With America’s approach to gun laws clearly not fucking working, they may as well let the perpetrators roam free to commit further massacres.

Victim In Fatal Car Accident Tragically Not Glenn Beck

Fox News hard-right reactionary hack gets the epitaph he deserves.

Justin Bieber Found To Be Cleverly Disguised 51 Year Old Pedophile

The Onion predicts Operation Yewtree two years early and 30 years younger.

Pedophiles Upset at Girls Field Hockey Team Uniform Change

Best read alongside this missive from the head of a local paedophile action group:

So please.  Speak up.  Pedophiles alone cannot change the tide of pedophile-unfriendly behavior at girl’s field hockey and girl’s diving and co-ed wrestling and boys fencing.  Call up your school board and demand change, or else call, breathe heavily into the phone and emit a high-pitched cackle. Together we can make a difference.

Together, we are all pedophiles

Well, quite.

Scientists Find Skeleton Of Nature’s First Sexual Predator

Darwin would be proud.

Premier Christian Radio Debate 13/08/11: MSP –v- Peter Harris – “Hitler’s & Stalin’s regimes”



manicstreetpreacher goes for Round 2.

The second of my two recently recorded debates for Justin Brierley at Premier Christian Radio for his sceptics debate show, Unbelievable?, was whether atheism or Christianity was responsible for the so-called secular atrocities of the mid-20th century.

My opponent was Peter Harris, a teacher and a doctorate student of theology and apologetics who has a page on BeThinking.

Web access

Listen on demand from the Unbelievable? homepage

Download MP3 podcast

Richard Dawkins on David Berlinski



manicstreetpreacher presents the damning verdict on a pseudo-intellectual by a genuine one.

Further to my recent series of posts on the Intelligent Design creationist propaganda piece Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, Mike Godfrey over at God3’s Blog quotes one of the film’s participants, David Berlinski.  In his response to the New Atheism, The Devil’s Delusion, Berlinski, a supposedly secular Jew, writes on the crimes of so-called atheist totalitarianisms in the 20th century:

Dawkins is prepared to acknowledge the facts while denying their significance.  Neither the Nazis nor the Communists, he affirms, acted because of their atheism. They were simply keen to kill a great many people. Atheism had nothing to do with it.  They might well have been Christian Scientists.

In the early days of the German advance into Eastern Europe, before the possibility of Soviet retribution even entered their untroubled imagination, Nazi extermination squads would sweep into villages, and after forcing the villagers to dig their own graves, murder their victims with machine guns.  On one such occasion somewhere in Eastern Europe, an SS officer watched languidly, his machine gun cradled, as an elderly and bearded Hasidic Jew laboriously dug what he knew to be his grave.

Standing up straight, he addressed his executioner.  “God is watching what you are doing,” he said.

And then he was shot dead.

What Hitler did not believe and what Stalin did not believe and what Mao did not believe and what the SS did not believe and what the Gestapo did not believe and what the NKVD did not believe and what the commissars, functionaries, swaggering executioners, Nazi doctors, Communist Party theoreticians, intellectuals, Brown Shirts, Black Shirts, gauleiters, and a thousand party hacks did not believe was that God was watching what they were doing.

And as far as we can tell, very few of those carrying out the horrors of the twentieth century worried overmuch that God was watching what they were doing either.

That is, after all, the meaning of a secular society.

I can only assume that Berlinski had forgotten about the events of September 11, 2001 when he was writing this passage.  This was an outrage carried out by people who were thinking only too much of what heaven would think of them.  Hopefully, the more recent events on the Moscow tube will jog his memory.

Appealing to authority and credential inflation are common tactics of creationists and Intelligent Design proponents.  Expelled’s host, Ben Stein, went to great lengths to hold out Berlinski as an example of a smart guy who believed in Intelligent Design in order to give it some credibility.  However, all Berlinski succeeded in doing was to be a particularly obnoxious and unlikeable character, saying that Richard Dawkins is “a crummy philosopher” and “a little bit of a reptile”.

In an article reminiscing on an infamous book review for The New York Times in 1989 where he wrote, “It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I’d rather not consider that),” Dawkins had this to say about Berlinski:

Are there, then, any examples of anti-evolution poseurs who are not ignorant, stupid or insane, and who might be genuine candidates for the wicked category?  I once shared a platform with someone called David Berlinski, who is certainly not ignorant, stupid or insane.  He denies that he is a creationist, but claims strong scientific arguments against evolution (which disappointingly turn out to be the same old creationist arguments).  Together with the great John Maynard Smith and others, he and I were guest speakers at a debate organized by a prominent Oxford rabbi.  Maynard Smith spoke after Berlinski and, not surprisingly, he soon had the audience roaring with laughter as he lampooned Berlinski’s bad arguments.  But what amused me was Berlinski’s tactic for dealing with this mocking laughter.  He sprang to his feet, held up a reproachful open palm towards the audience, and said (approximately of course, I can’t remember the exact words): “No no!  Don’t laugh.  Let Maynard Smith have his say!  It’s only fair!”  Happily, the Oxford audience saw through this tactic of pretending to think the audience were laughing at Maynard Smith rather than with him.  And the rabbi, himself a devout creationist, afterwards told me he had been shocked at Berlinski’s duplicity.  By itself, this is too trivial an example to deserve the name wicked.  But it did make me wonder about Berlinski’s motives.  As I said, he is certainly not ignorant, stupid or insane.

After witnessing his performance in Expelled, Dawkins’ assessment of Berlinski is borne out all too well.

Richard Dawkins and P Z Myers versus Pope Pius XII


Following recent comments by two of the World’s most outspoken atheists, manicstreetpreacher thinks a reassessment of the silent Pope is in order.

I have a morbid fascination with the figure of Eugenio Pacelli, Pope Pius XII.  I confess that the only full-length biography I have read is John Cornwell’s controversial Hitler’s Pope, which has been so heavily criticised that even the author no longer stands by all of its claims.

I am currently researching and writing an epic post about the role of the Church and religion in the rise of fascism (so epic, that it might have to be an entire book!), and I really need to read a more sympathetic account of Pacelli.  I have read Sacred Causes by Christian historian Michael Burleigh which references a few Pius defenders such as Mississippi law professor Ronald Rychlak and Rabbi David Dalin.

The best defence anyone has been able to advance is that Pacelli’s scope for action was severely limited.  Hindsight is the cheapest form of wisdom.  Perhaps Pius XII would have inspired a mass uprising against the forces of darkness that had overwhelmed Europe by publically opposing Hitler.  By the same token, his actions could have backfired with the consequences for Europe’s population better left imagined than described.

Here is Richard Dawkins referring to Pius XII as “Pope… Nazi” at the 2010 Global Atheist Convention held in Melbourne, Australia earlier this month while commenting on the Vatican’s procedure of canonising saints.

The press widely construed Dawkins as referring to the current holder of St Peter’s keys, Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI.  While growing up in Germany, Ratzinger was drafted into the Hitler Youth along with practically all other German boys when he was too young to understand the full implications of what he was being ordered to do.  Even the most virulent opponent of the Vatican would be punching below the belt to take this as evidence that Ratzinger supported Nazism.  Although the next photo is hardly something you want left on your Facebook profile.

In fact, Dawkins was referencing Pius XII, the man who while the Vatican’s Secretary of State concluded concordats with practically every fascist regime in Europe, including the 1929 Lateran Pact with Benito Mussolini of Italy and the 1933 Reichskonkordat with Adolf Hitler’s German Wehrmacht Republic.  These treaties, which incidentally were the first agreements signed respectively by both dictators upon taking power, guaranteed the Church’s total withdrawal from politics, embodied by the dissolution of the German Catholic Centre Party, a source of effective opposition to National Socialism, in return for control of state education and other ameliorations.

As if that wasn’t enough, Pius XII notoriously remained silence in public about the Holocaust, despite constant and reliable intelligence of the atrocities committed against the Jews.  This was only one in a whole litany of sins for which atonement was begged by the former pontiff, John Paul II, during a papacy largely defined by repeated requests for forgiveness.

Perhaps sceptics are being too hard on Pacelli.  Perhaps they are using him as a pawn in their private war against the parties of God.  Perhaps his back really was up against a wall.  Perhaps public condemnation of Hitler would have been foolhardy and lead only to Nazi aggression being redirected towards Catholics.  Perhaps he achieved more by remaining silent in public and while waging a “secret war” against the Führer.  The figures I’ve read for the number of Jews that the Vatican saved during the War range from half a million to 800,000.  I am quite prepared to accept the higher figure.

But while the Pope’s rural retreat of Castel Gandolfo and indeed the Vatican itself was used to hide Jews escaping the German occupation of Rome in 1943, the same “safe houses” were used to harbour escaping Nazi war criminals, not least of who was Adolf Eichmann, the architect of the “Final Solution”.  After the war Eichmann, along with many other Nazi war criminals, was spirited away to South America on an illegally acquired Red Cross humanitarian passport via a “Ratline”, before finally being kidnapped by Mossad agents in Argentina, standing trial in Israel and executed for crimes against humanity in 1962.

It is not proven that Pacelli had personal knowledge of the Ratlines, their chief architect being Austrian Bishop Alois Hudal, author of the Hitler-fawning tract, The Foundations of National Socialism But since Pacelli clearly turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to the death camps during the war, it is not unreasonable to draw negative inferences.

The Vatican could always exonerate Pacelli once and for all by releasing the wartime documents from their archives which would prove the Pontiff’s defence, surely?  So far, they have declined to do this, making the utterly lame excuse that the copious documents have not yet been properly catalogued.

Ratzinger’s recent drive to canonise Pius XII has been discouraged by the Church’s own theologians as likely to cause grave damage to relations between the Catholic Church and Jews and that he had become a de facto “symbol of Christian anti-Judaism and anti-Semitism”.

One very eloquent reviewer of Dalin’s book, The Myth of Hitler’s Pope, on Amazon US described the Church’s stance thus:

As long as Pope Pius XII allowed Hitler to remain a Catholic, the Pope supported his actions, period, and end of story.  There was no conspiracy, just failed responsibility, and lack of action.  David Dalin’s book, The Myth of Hitler’s Pope demonstrates very little except to try and defend the ridiculous.

That is about as reasonable and balanced an assessment as I have read from a sceptic.  The verdict of biologist and blogger P Z Myers was worded somewhat more strongly…

Oh, and Pope Pius XII really was a sniveling rat bastard who should have been held accountable for contributing to the evil perpetrated against the Jews.

The Pius Wars will not cease until the day Daniel Dennett’s dream of the Vatican being converted into the “International Museum of Roman Catholicism” becomes a reality.

Edmund Standing on The British Labour Government’s Ruinous Approach to Combating Islamic Extremism


Prolific secular and anti-fascist blogger Edmund Standing has a new article published on Butterflies & Wheels, which can be accessed here.  The clue is in the title.

The approach taken by the Labour Government has been ruinous for community relations and for the integration of immigrant groups. A formula for a successful and cohesive society is found in the promotion of patriotism, individual responsibility within a framework of individual rights, and the entrepreneurial spirit. Instead of this, the Government’s approach has resulted in a disjointed society, collectivism and communalism, demands for a parallel legal system, and the empowerment of a particularly belligerent element in the British Muslim community.

With a prime minister claiming post-9/11 that the Koran is “remarkable, progressive and inclusive… extols science and knowledge and abhors superstition… practical and far ahead of its time in attitudes toward marriage, women, and governance”, you begin to wonder whether our elected politicians appreciate the gravity of the problem they are facing.  Or whether they just need to sack their spin doctors.

Hitchens delivers the Daniel Pearl Memorial Lecture


Do not rejoice in his defeat, you men.  For though the world has stood up and stopped the bastard, the bitch that bore him is in heat again

Berthold Brecht, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui

This is a superb lecture by Christopher Hitchens given on 3 March 2010 at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in memory of the journalist Daniel Pearl who reported for The Wall Street Journal and was murdered on camera in Pakistan by the Taliban in 2002, aged 38.

Hitchens lectures on the history and effects of anti-Semitism with his usual wit and irony delivered in his grizzled Richard Burton tones.  Watch out for that disturbing interview with Mel Gibson where the interviewer dares to mention his drunken anti-Semitic outburst.

Main lecture

Q & A

New report into militant neo-Nazi group


manicstreetpreacher is pleased to present the latest salvo in a friend’s war against fascism in the UK.

My good friend, Edmund Standing, a prolific secular and anti-fascist blogger, has co-researched and authored with Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens a report into the activities of the far right extremist group, Blood & Honour (B&H), for Douglas Murray’s conservative think-tank, The Centre for Social Cohesion (CSC) and There Is Nothing British About The BNP.

The report is entitled “Blood & Honour: Britain’s Far-Right Militants”  (download PDF).   The News of the World carried a story on the report, Harry’s Place has done a guest post and Standing has also published an executive summary on his blog:

B&H is an international neo-Nazi network that has evolved from its original incarnation as a neo-Nazi music scene into a far-right franchise.  Through music CDs and ideological texts, the B&H network reinforces and disseminates a violent ‘white power’ supremacist ideology, encourages terrorism and spreads racial hatred. This ideology derives from Third Reich Nazism and B&H seeks the creation of a ‘Fourth Reich’.  While it is not an organisation with official membership, B&H acts as an effective international network through which to spread violent neo-Nazism.

A number of B&H texts glorify and encourage acts of terror against minorities, and also provide followers with detailed information about how to carry out a successful attack…

B&H’s largest source of income is the sale of neo-Nazi rock music CDs, many of which incite racial hatred and violence, and glorify neo-Nazi terrorism.  Two key UK B&H merchandising operations are Highlander East Coast and Rune and Sword Productions, both of which sell ‘white power’ music and other neo-Nazi material that contravenes UK legislation on racial and religious hatred.

Standing writes his own blog, regularly contributes to Harry’s Place and has written a number of excellent pieces for Ophelia Benson’s website, Butterflies & Wheels, which can be accessed in the articles section.

Standing’s previous report for the CSC, “The BNP and The Online Fascist Network” (download PDF), published in July 2009, exposed the shambolic attempts by the British National Party to clean up their politics in the public eye while secretly maintaining links with Nazis, anti-Semites, Holocaust deniers and all-round nasty racist scum.  Make sure you search Google as well as reading the report itself to get a whiff of the stink it kicked up!

Campaign to reform UK libel law may well be symbolic only


manicstreetpreacher thinks that the law is an ass!

In recent months, I have been following The Libel Reform Campaign.  I signed the online petition to Parliament to have the scope of the public interest defence widened in order to make it harder for “libel tourists” to bring actions against writers and journalists in London where they feel relatively more assured of success, since the legal costs of defending such actions can bring about financial ruin for a defendant.  The campaign has also received a fair amount of coverage on and there is a page on Sense About Science.

The campaign was initiated following science journalist and author Simon Singh being sued by the British Chiropractic Association for publishing a highly critical piece about chiropractic on The Guardian Comment Is Free on 19 April 2008.  Singh compared spine manipulation to a drug that had “such serious adverse effects and so little demonstrable benefit, it would almost certainly have been taken off the market”.

After losing the preliminary ruling, Singh won his right to appeal in October 2009.  However, his case has highlighted the strangling effect that the UK’s libel laws have on critical writing.  As Singh wrote following his successful application to appeal:

One of the main fears… [is] the sheer cost of a libel case.  Although the damages at stake might be just £10,000, going to trial can mean risking more than £1m.  This means that a blogger has to ask whether he or she can afford the possibility of bankruptcy.  Even if a blogger is 90% confident of victory, there is still a 10% chance of failure, which is why bloggers often back down, withdraw and apologise for material they believe is true, fair and important to the public.

I received permission [from the Court of Appeal] to appeal against an earlier ruling on the meaning of my article.  The original article was published 18 months ago, the case has cost me £100,000 and there is still a long way to go.  My reason for not backing down is that I believe my article is accurate, important and a matter of public interest, as it relates to the use of chiropractic in treating various childhood conditions, such as asthma and ear infections.

Although my article was published in The Guardian, I am being sued personally. Fortunately, thanks to the success of my books, Fermat’s Last Theorem and The Code Book, I have the resources to fund my own defence. The case might seriously damage me but it will not bankrupt me.  For bloggers, such a case could lead to financial ruin.

As a lover of free thought, free speech and free inquiry, I signed the online petition and forwarded a message to my local MP.  I received a letter from the MP’s office saying that while he supported the campaign in principle, he did not put his name to Early Day Motion 423 because they are a waste of Parliamentary time and taxpayers’ money.  Apparently “they are seldom debated, rarely brought to a vote and require neither recognition nor response from the government”.  They are known in Westminster as “parliamentary graffiti” and can cost in excess of £627,000.

Talk about Catch-22.  Attempting to reform a bad law and being scuppered by the bad law-making process.  Oh, the irony!  So much for democracy in action, power to the people etc.  Time for strategic re-think, perhaps?

Charlie Brooker’s Newswipe on pointless UK terror alert


manicstreetpreacher is RAOTFL at Charlie Brooker’s latest successful aim at the nail’s head.

The UK government’s recent pointless upgrading of its terror threat monitor status to “severe” was an inexplicable and bizarre episode to put it mildly.  I am wondering what they were trying to spin out of the headlines.  Fortunately, Charlie Brooker’s inspired Newswipe gave it the treatment it deserved in a segment aptly titled “The Week in Bullshit”.

Brooker’s superb takedown of prime time news and comment shows has also produced this inspired dissection of pro-forma news reports.

Why is this show relegated to BBC Four?

Of Walking Abortion


manicstreetpreacher hopes he’ll be forgiven for spitting his dummy out for a brief moment.

I knew that someday I was going to die.  And I knew before I died, two things would happen to me.  That number one, I would regret my entire life.  And number two, I would want to live my life over again.

– Hubert Selby Jnr in an interview sampled at the beginning of “Of Walking Abortion”, Manic Street Preachers, The Holy Bible.

The following is the extract of a comment by Edmund Standing on his post about Rage Against The Machine winning the UK Christmas Number One:

I hate the middle class SWP pseudo-revolutionaries who have lived a nice life thanks to capitalism – and most often their parents’ bank accounts – then wank on about class struggle, the proletariat, Marx, Guevara, etc.

RATM are posterboys for that kind of shit.  Would they want to live in a ‘revolutionary’ Communist State?  In their minds I think yes.  Doubtful if it became a reality.

I don’t pretend to be some working class hero – I know I’m not. I don’t pretend to want to live in some Communist ‘utopia’ – I don’t want to.

I believe in social justice and a capitalist society that is more fair.  My pay is frankly a disgrace for the work I do (I mean my ‘real world’ work, not writing on the internet), but I’m not going to start pretending to be part of a revolutionary cadre and droning on about Marx.  I’m especially not going to think ‘fuck you I won’t do what you tell me’ is anything but stroppy teenage sentiment.

I just hate the fact that a whole load of Facebook junkies are feeling all smug for sticking a group of people who promote an ideology that resulted in the death of millions at the number one spot for Christmas.

This is my response, which I was originally going to post in direct reply to Standing, but I thought it was unfair to scar his blog with such a self righteous whine from a white middle class boy:

My pay is frankly a disgrace for the work I do

So is mine!  I probably get paid nearly twice as much as Standing, but I’ve had to spend tens of thousands in obtaining my qualifications with a university degree and a postgraduate professional skills diploma (£8K for what was a nine month course, plus living expenses while being out of work!).

I’m 27 years old.  I’ve recently qualified as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales.  And thanks to the recession and my former employers being a load of ungrateful, callous, twats, I’ve had to up sticks and move to the sticks because it was the only place in the country where I could get a job.  It’s about 250 miles and a nine hour coach trip home to see friends and family.

I’m renting a room in a shared house with a thirty-something electrician who has already bought and sold his own houses, runs a Land Rover and goes on holiday abroad about five times a year.

I can’t even afford to run a car and will have to inherit a lot of money or sell internal organs before I can get on the property ladder.

I had a horrible epiphany in the gym a few weeks ago that I am a product of Blair’s Britain: this buy-now-pay-back-whenever culture that has caused the credit crunch.

I feel that I was mis-sold my higher education.  “They” all said that you had to have a university education to get anywhere in the world.  “They” all said that your earning potential skyrockets if you have a degree that you’ll be able to pay it back no problem.

“They” also said that you had to have few months travelling on your CV, so I racked up £3K on a credit card during my gap year.

No one realises quite what a burden debt is until you have to start paying it back.  I now envy some of my former school colleagues who went straight into work after finishing their A Levels or even GCSEs and now have their own houses and cars.  Perhaps their earning potential is not as high as mine, but the difference is easily made up by them not having hundreds of pounds coming out of their bank accounts paying off student debts.

And don’t even get me started on the 750 quid that Gordon Brown steals from my pay cheque every month to fund his colleague’s expenses claims, red tape for doctors, teachers and policemen and allowing the NEETs to have as many children as they want free of charge.

I do at least have a private pension which is 5% of my salary after tax of course, and will then be taxed further.

Borrowing money makes you a slave to The Man.  The first loan I took out was my student loan for university when I was 18.  I accumulated £11,000 over three years to go towards my university tuition fees (another unwelcome invention of the Blair government) and some of my living costs.  The remainder was funded by taking crap summer jobs like waiting on tables and packing boxes in factories 8 – 12 hours at a time.  That debt didn’t seem to matter because I didn’t have to start paying it back until I was earning over £15,000 per annum.

I then borrowed £5,000 at the start of 2004 to buy a car because I needed one in order to commute to a new job in a location that was inaccessible to public transport.  I had worked hard during my third year at university and obtained a 2:1 overall when it looked like I would have to make do with a Desmond Tutu.  I felt that I had deserved it.  I actually left the job after less than a week after a run-in with another member of staff who is probably the most evil and disgusting person I have every met in my life.  The firm were a bunch of cowboys working for the dregs of society at any rate.  I was better off without them and found a job with a much more respectable firm shortly afterwards.

But the car loan met I was tied to The Man for good and stayed in jobs I did not enjoy simply because I needed money to keep up the repayments.

Being a male under 25 years old, car insurance was a rip off.  The car, a V-reg 1.0 litre Vauxhall Corsa was a bag of shite.  It would have been ok for a housewife to go to the shops a few times a week.  Practically every service and MOT something had gone on it that needed replacing for hundreds of pounds.  Not enough to send it to the knackers yard though.  And again, thanks to Blair and Brown, the petrol costs were obscene thanks to all the fuel duty lumped on it.

I was trying to save up for a gap year abroad.  I would have been able to travel around the world five star more than once on the amount I wasted on that horrible bucket of bolts.

I did my Legal Practice Course at The Factory of Law which entailed borrowing another £12,000.  I was rather hoping that it would be a re-run of university, except this time I would do it the way that I wanted to do it.  I would have a proper work/life balance and I would score top marks throughout the year.  My fellow-students would be mature and professional and I would have much in common with them.

It didn’t work out like that.

The tutors at the Factory did not care a hoot about you.  You were there to fill a seat, pay your fees and get through the course as quickly as possible.  I dubbed it the “Factory” of Law because they sat you on a conveyor belt, opened up your cranium and poured as much legal information as humanly possibly within 9 months and moved you on.  I was appalled by the attitude of my fellow-students.  It was the first time since leaving secondary school that I had to put up with snide comments about my dulcet English tones.  There were a few good individuals there, as long as you went out of your way to find them.

During the Legal Practice Course I acquired a training contract with a firm, but it was not due to start for a year after finishing the course.  I went travelling to New Zealand and Australia.  I had some good times.  I came home with a lot of impressive photos of snow capped peaks and red oceans of scrub.  I also had to face some of the worst shit that I have ever happened to me in my life.  Was it worth the expense and the tribulation?  The jury is still out.

Now, just over two years away from thirty I have realised that you are nobody to your employers.  A number on a balance sheet.  Someone for them to exploit.  A slave to the system.  Working for your retirement (if I can even save up enough of a decent pension before I’m 70) and then I won’t have to work anymore.   That is what the education system prepares you for; not to excel, not to stand  on your own two feet.  All in all, you’re just another brick in the wall.

Little people in little houses
Like maggots small blind and worthless
The massacred innocents’ blood stains us all

Who’s responsible – you fucking are
Who’s responsible – you fucking are
Who’s responsible – you fucking are
Who’s responsible – you fucking are
Who’s responsible