January 30, 2005


Jamal from Finsbury Park mosque has been round my new home twice now and I feel that things will hopefully get back on track in documentaryville, thanks to him only. Hajj and Abdullah are the two pillars of this documentary and Jamal is probably the only person at Finsbury Park mosque who can "translate" between them and myself. He understands the world that I live in and would definitely be able to communicate his views to the "generation X" malung audience. I still hope to persuade go on camera himself.

He went outside my house to pray twice because he wasn't allowed to pray in a room with pictures on the walls. One of the girls I live with was just arriving as he bent down in front of her bicycle. She thought he was trying to steal it and was about to accuse him until she saw him prostrate himself on the floor in front of it.

He told me of his conversion (or reversion as they call it) to Islam, how he used to put on raves in South london, and how he used to be a fan of Rage against the Machine. His wife used to be a rapper. If I could put him in the dark, or find some way of not showing his face it would be great to get his words into this doc somehow.

Jamal has also lent me a couple of CD's and a DVD relating to what the brothers believe. The CD's were made by a company called Halaqah Media.The DVD was made by the power hour radio show and details some 9/11 conspiracy theories. The first time I met Mr. Abdullah he was preaching Alex Jones theory that George Bush, Donald Rumsfeld and co sacrificed children to an Owl God in Bohemian grove.

I've worried about how to deal with this, as to me my documentary has always been about what I can find out for myself. My impressions of Abu Hamza and friends from the street and as such these theories are beyond my scope. I couldn't prove or disprove them. It all depends on budget I suppose. It'd be nice to interview the people who put them forward. I wonder what Alex Jones would make of Abu Hamza's friends quoting him.

weapon of my distraction

January 29, 2005


Jon Snow:

Guantanamo Four back in UK

The violation of the rule of law in respect of four British citizens is
almost at an end. They have landed in Britain after their long flight
from what the Law Lords have officially described as a 'legal black

They have been held in contravention of all international norms on Cuba
at the Guantanamo Bay naval base for three years. They say they have
been abused and tortured. They have certainly been held in, at times,
uncertain and isolated conditions.

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So, four more released without charge after a day or so's questioning. I hope I get to speak to them. I wonder what they will add to Mr. Gurdul's story?

It's interesting to see the news coverage. The Sun obviously see's this as a blow against the war on terror, The Independent and suchlike are seeing it as a victory for human rights.

The Sun want the guys to be terrorists. The Independent and people like myself want them to be innocent and everyone writes accordingly. I wonder how their own story will break.

ps. Just had a butchers at the Quality Control Alliance blog. They point to an interesting story about the Aussie's ex-Guantanamo guest.


The BBC repeated Adam Curtis' amazing "Power of Nightmares" series. Should be on every week. The BBC online debate features some great Q&A's including:

I have sat through your documentary tonight. I hope your programme is shown again following the next terrorist attack. You sound like the hedgehog who claims that cars won't hurt you!!!! I'm amazed!!!!!!!

Iain Foster, Portsmouth

In the face of much more tangible threats in the past - like the IRA, the Soviet Union and even Nazi Germany - British governments did not encourage the people to behave like hedgehogs.

Why roll up into a ball now in the face of what is a serious but in no way an overwhelming threat to our nation and our freedoms?

thanks to skrufff's newsletter for drawing my atention to this link.

January 26, 2005

self portrait with borrowed camera

January 25, 2005


Another right wing blogger I read from time to time is The Scrutinator. Here he points out some right wingers views about news reporting in Iraq. In the interests of journalistic balance this is Salon.com's version...


Nice to see greg palast is still going for it:

Because if 59 million Americans agreed with George Bush that every millionaire's son, like him, shouldn't have to pay inheritance taxes; that sucking up to Saudi petrocrats constitutes a foreign policy; that killing Muslims in Mesopotamia will make them less inclined to kill us in Manhattan; that turning over social security to the casino operators that gave us Enron, WorldCom and world depression is smart economics; then, fine, Mr. Bush deserves the job. But most Americans, bless'm, don't actually believe any of that hokum. YET MOST STILL VOTED FOR HIM!

What we witnessed on November 2, 2004 was a 59-million strong army of pinheads on parade ready to gamble away their social security so long as George Bush makes sure that boys kill each other, not kiss each other; who feel right proud that our uniformed services can kick some scrawny brown people in the ass in some far off place when we're mad and can't find Osama; who can't bring themselves to vote for a guy with a snooty Boston accent who's never been to a NASCAR tractor pull and who certainly thinks anyone who does is a low-Q beer-burping blockhead. And they are.

full text here

January 23, 2005


When I say "malung" I'm not really in the strictest sense a "Malung" anymore because I'm trying my hardest to stop smoking dope. It's amazing how regular drug taking seeps into your whole personality, and how living without is like staring into an abyss. One of the main reasons I ended up at Finsbury park was because I was trying to give up drugs and needed something to involve myself with to fill the gap and distract me from the bong.

Cycling around exploring my new home in South london I spied a head shop. As I said, I've been trying to give up but I still parked up outside to have a look. In the doorway was a great big Turkish looking dude with a moustache and slicked back hair smoking a skunk spliff. The shop's owner came over to ask him to smoke it outside.

"Where do I know you from?" he asked me.

I couldn't judge if he was angry or pleased so I sort of umm-ed and ahh-ed a bit.

"You're a newspaperman innit?" he said.

"I'm a fim maker...have you passed through Finsbury park?" I answered.

It was then that I recognised him from way back when I first started filming in Finsbury park. He didn't have a moustache then but he was one of Mr. Hamza's "security" guys who pushed the camera's (including mine) away.

I hadn't seen him in ages but told him a bit about the problems I've been having and that I still hoped to get the film finnished one day. Nice guy. I'm going to drop a cd of my clips in for him next time I pass by.

January 22, 2005


This from John Snow at channel 4:

Money walks
From Iraq, a story of missing millions: we look into allegations that
$300 million sent to purchase weapons for the fledgling Iraqi Army has
disappeared. Accusations of corruption and embezzlement fly between
ministers and rivals.

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January 20, 2005


This from skrufff.com:

London Clubs Face 'Terrifying' Al Qaeda Bomb Threat

London cops said this week that they're so worried that al Qaeda
terrorists might attack nightclubs in the capital that they've placed
intelligence teams inside several leading venues.

"If you have 2,000 'decadent' Western youngsters in a dance club on a
Saturday night; drinking, drugs and sex are all in there," said Chief
Superintendent Bill Tillbrook in an interview with Janes Magazine. "If
some sort of organisation wants to target a location, what better place
to put a bomb?"

The Superintendent's warning came less than a year after Metropolitan
Commissioner Sir John Stevens issued a similar alert specifically about

"We are not just talking about the Tube and the rail system, we are
talking about buses and anything seen of suspicion in clubs," Sir John
said in March.

"We know from experience in Bali that Al Qaeda attack clubs," he
pointed out.

-------------------------------- ------- -------

The only thing I would like to add to this is Jason Burke's (author of Al Quaida book)comment:

" Al- Queda as an organised terrorist network simply does not exist."

and what Hajj (One of Abu Hamza's friends) said to me on camera:

"No Muslim would set a bomb in this country unless he was a nutter."

January 19, 2005


Those crazy anarchists are taking up golf for the G8 Summit.


The week after Abu Hamza was arrested Barry came down to review the situation regarding the Islamists street protest. The united british alliance were in Finsbury park protesting. This sequence contains 12 images. Mpg coming soon on socialistwanker.com

Barry and Abdullah arrange to discuss how the protest might be resolved.

More delicate negotiations between Police and Muslims..

This protest will end by negotiation, not confrontation-explains Barry

the uba sing "Hamza's gonna fry"

some uba sympathisers debate with Muslims

Non-existant scuffle, reported in the paper as "Far right clash with Muslims"

more non-existant scuffling...

Right. You lot over this side... explains Policeman.

dumplings media control..

leaves everyone smiling as usual

fellow regulars at infidels corner

when you have faith you only fear Allah

January 18, 2005


An interesting debate about squatting has broken out on Birmingham City Council's forum.

(Thank's to stuffit.org)


The world isn't black and white, and in my view it is people who think it is who cause most of the problems. Groups get entrenched in their positions, only talking to people who agree with them to the point where they actually generate their own patterns of language no one else can understand.

The right wing press love stories of "Firebrand Islamists on benefits preaching hatred." I'm sure they would be really disappointed when Hajj said to me on camera

"No one would set a bomb in this country unless he was a nutter."

Hajj is one of Mr. Hamza's closest people, so whose is the most realistic depiction of Fundamental Islam? I came to Finsbury park because it was billed as a centre of "Radical Islam" in a threatening sense. I like to go as far as possible to the other side in an attempt to find common ground much more than I like talking to people who agree with me. It's much more interesting and how else can anything get sorted?

In the same way, to depict all US soldiers or republicans as evil wouldn't be the whole picture either. Looking through blogsville you can find soldiers who genuinely want to free Iraq from Saddam and give its people back a stable country.

There are also genuinely caring conservatives. In the run up to the US elections I was really pleased to find Jejus Khans attrocity commiting death machine written by a Texan called Chris. Now he wasn't a caring conservative, but he was hilarious and easy to wind up.

During our debates he drew the attention of a blogger called "Rightwingsparkle." A Republican, a fan of Ronald Regan, but also a staunch supporter of racial equality. Reading her stuff I can tell that she is a caring conservative, who genuinely believes the west is under threat from "Radical Islamists."

For anyone of "leftwing" tendencies who may be bored of talking to people they agree with I would definately recommend rightwingsparkle. not only does she seem to be a genuinely caring conservative, she's also got a blinding set of gnashers.

January 15, 2005


I don't know if its middle class angst. I know I want to get this doc to TV and it probably is wrapped up in the urge to "achieve" in terms the society around me accepts. I don't accept society. I've never felt good about what I see around me since I came back from Asia 5 years ago. I don't blame anyone, or hate politicians or media of any creed. It all seems too serious to do that. And a solution seems achievable.

I do understand that The Finsbury Muslim community must be totally paranoid of the media and the government, especially now Mr. Hamza is in Belmarsh. I do question their thesis that the media and government are linked though, and I question it from my own experience over two years in Finsbury Park. Yeah, sure ITV London and such like bigged up the rough and tumble mask wearing Muslims, but that was probably because they translated such behaviour as protecting a terrorist. I didn't. I noticed when Mr. Hamza was arrested, on extradition charges brought by the US Channel 4 news put Mr. Abdullah's

"Kissing America's backside" comment went up.

I wondered when I first started this how controlled the media was, Finsbury park seemed like the ideal place to find out for myself as I could see what was happening, and watch how it went up on TV afterwards. Most journalists I have met in Finsbury Park have been really encouraging, even from those who disagreed with my position. There were some arseholes doing arsehole stories but A Zionist controlled media? I don't know. I'm certainly not scared, but I suppose it's not my friend in Belmarsh, or my religion accused of harbouring terrorists.

I'm not going to be a sensationalist hack living off other peoples lives, which was why I started filming with the kids.I still look at the first interviews I did with them in awe. I wish things were this easy with Abdullah and co but I can understand why they are not, and why I have been taring my hair out. I think I should revise my ideas and present something with as little of me in it as possible. I wish I wasn't so depressed. Giving up drugs is so hard without going into Vippasna

January 14, 2005


And amazingly the Huygens European space probe has landed safely on
Titan, one of Saturn's moons. By seven we may indeed know whether the moon
has tangerine seas. No, I haven't just dropped a tab of acid.

See you, tab free at seven.

Best wishes as ever, Jon Snow

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there is also a great article on Falluja on the C4 site.


Below is a picture I really treasure. I had a really hard time in Pakistan because how I looked signified my beliefs to Muslims, and to them this made me an "infidel." When I found the Kallash tribe they welcomed me like a brother.

I arrived just in time for their annual fertility festival. I couldn't believe that I had found an intact dance culture which had survived the bight of the inquisition surrounded by probably the most Fundamental Islamic state in the world.

The festival was three days long. The kids always danced but the only other male to dance for the three days was the guy on the right. The tribes local nutter. He wasn't right in the head and was the butt of a lot of peoples jokes, but he was one of the most uninhibitted dancers I've seen away from my culture. As all the other men of the village shuffled from foot to foot we danced together like motherfuckers.

They had abandoned their tribal dress to "fit in" with the surrounding Islamists and it was easy to see the finacial and cultural presure the tribe were under to convert. I hope they are all OK. They are an amazing people with an amazing culture.

dancing with Kallash in Pakistan


Wow. Ten years of squatting is finaly over. It feels wierd. What do I get for my rent? A much smaller room, in a house where the skyline is dominated by an incinerator. Nice people though, and I get to move on when I want to rather than waiting for the ballifs. All my "North London Village" friends were moaning about how far away South london is and how they never go down there.

I just said "Fine. Don't visit me."

Peru is far away. Cyprus is far away. Cornwall is far away but South London? I made it on the tube from Archway in half an hour.

January 13, 2005


I don't know why anyone complains about British TV. I switched on last night to find that Mark Thatcher was admitting to his involvement with the coup plot in Equatorial Guinea, or OIL RICH Equatorial Guinea as the news pointed out. Of course he's getting a fucking suspended sentence in exchange for a quarter of a million but its nice to see one Thatcher arms dealer brought to justice. There is going to be such a party when his mother dies and people under 30 are going to be scratching their heads wondering why.

I switched over to the BBC to watch the ground breaking IF docudrama which put forward both sides of the drug legalisation debate (which no one in government will touch) in a fantastic if slightly over the top "future shock" dramatisation followed by an equally fantastic debate. Docudrama seems to be the in thing on TV. I wonder how could I make Finsbury park into a docudrama? Would hajj and Abdullah star as themselves? Maybe we could recreate Belmarsh complete with Abu Hamza and his too long toenails.

In between all this was the news which went on and on about the US finally giving up their search for WMD and the COLLOSAL INTELLIGENCE FAILURE which was the MAIN REASON for the war in Iraq where over a thousand American soldiers have already lost their lives. It's pretty easy to see from the news in the UK what is happening in the world eh?

January 04, 2005


Happy new year and all that. I saw the new year in at theliquid connective squat party. They were trying to charge £15 for a squat party where the toilets didn't work which I found pretty hilarious. I love my fellow London trance people.

By morning I heard rumours of screens in Trafalgar square and other major cities anouncing that Britain was going to lead the way in a campaign to make poverty history by the end of the year. Apparently this is being lead by such people as Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Bob Geldof and Bono.

Following this trend of unlikely aliances I found that Bono and Bill Gates have teamed up in the Telegraph on the same issue. I'm sure everyone on indymedia will be scoffing but I say all the best to them. The article seems to be covering all bases including putting the evil WTO in the spotlight.