March 31, 2009


A FOREST Gate minicab driver is among three men who deny being part of an alleged arson attack on the home of a businessman who published a controversial novel about the prophet Mohammed.

Abbas Taj, 30, of Field Road; Ali Beheshti, 40, and Abrar Mirza, 22, all denied claims put to them at a brief hearing. They will go before a jury at Croydon Crown Court on April 21.

They are accused of various conspiracy and arson charges in relation to an alleged attack in September last year at the Islington home of publisher Martin Rynja.

Ali Beheshti, or Abu Jihad as he sometimes called himself is the only ex Finsbury park attendee that I have seen since with the ex-Al Muj/Bakri crew. He was always one of the friendliest people to me in Finsbury park. I will pop down to his trial if I can.



Here you go this is a guy called Abu Abdullah (I think) bringing us up to date on Hamza's arrest and incarceration. I have heard parts of the arrest story previously from Hajj.

March 29, 2009


The Islam4UK meeting reported in some papers as cancelled, was moved from The Hilton hotel round the corner to the Quaker meeting house. The Quakers are quite well known for letting anyone hire a room. I was once told by a Quaker part of what sounded like a huge untold story about the importance of their meeting house in Belfast during "The Troubles".

As usual we were accomodated to film really politely without fuss. As usual also when I seem to film these things interesting things happen after the batteries run out.

A few speakers, most of whom I have seen before outlined the conditions for Muslims who spoke out being tortured around the world and languishing in British jails. They also told us Islam was going to take over, whether we liked it or not. Mr Choudhary is convinced that Muslims who stick out in the media are the ones who are going in the right direction. He reasons that the Koran isn't written about Muslims who kept quiet.

He finnished his talk putting straight the recent stories about him in the media, which we unfortunately missed filming. His relationships with journalists as they cast him on the border of acceptable free speech is one of the main things that interests me. Afterwards a happy looking Somali stood up to question, stating that he was proud to be British. He didn't have very good English and started telling more of a story than asking a question, but it was obvious he was a Muslim trying to challenge the platforms concept of Islam.

Afterwards he came over to me and took my phone number with an idea of using my tapes, and further explained his disatisfaction with how Islam was being presented by these people. I didn't really say anything as it isn't my religion and my problems would probably extend as much to his version of Islam as these guys. People often ask to use my tapes for this or that, I have had people approach me- people from the National Front, the BBC, various Islamic film makers all of whom I have had to turn down. It would be useless for me to spend such a long time gaining peoples confidence just to give my footage to a stranger to say what they like with.

I try and film what is. They certainly preach controversial things, yet they also preach clearly against terrorism, usually toward the end every time I have been to these meetings. Islam is coming. It is going to dominate whether we like it or not. Maybe it will come through violence. We don't know but the flag of Islam will fly over Downing street. This is a sort of Islamic revival meeting.

Afterwards journalists of all description ask futher questions, everyone conducts themselves in a calm manner and food is served. There was a very minimal Police presence outside at the beginning and when I left. They were obviously aware of what was going on but didn't want to be seen to be taking too much of an interest.

The day after I got a call from the Somali guy, claiming he had been spoken to in a bit of a hostile manner by some of the gathered Muslims, telling him not to come back.

This is unsurprising in environments which split the sexes, I saw this sort of thing in Finsbury but nevertheless I do find it dissapointing in that if Mr Choudhary makes a point of saying how The Quilliam Foundation had turned down his challenge to a debate in this country of free speech, I would hope he would welcome challenges to his own position within his meeting and allow those challengers to move unmolested.

I'd like to see how much control he has over his people, if he encourages this sort of thing or if he can nip it in the bud. It is this sort of thing which has the media and the Police comparing these controversial Muslim groups to paler groups of the far right. As I have said, everyone treats me OK. Lets see what happens. There were sobber looking real journalists there in the room so if they didn't go around screaming I am fucked if I am going to.

They talk about wanting to dominate but I can't imagine anyone in the room walking out dead set to dominate England tomorow. As far as a threat I feel much more threatened out on a typical saturday night often by people I would call my personal friends so work that one out. On our planet we have these people called news editors who cherry pick words from a distance and are paid to present these words to millions of people. I have some more film which will be up on my Youtube site soon as.


March 28, 2009


I must admit that as much as I like Chris Knight and some of his real world anthropological theories I was pretty offended by the interview he gave Channel 4 News. He just looked like a sixty year old talking like a fucking teenager. I have serious things to protest about CAPITALISM. I am not getting sidetracked into any twatish focus on idiots who happen to turn up in uniform with truncheons. This isn't fucking Greece Chris. It isn't even France or Germany or Italy. As such I have to totally dissasociate myself from what Chris Knight has said here and say that his protest is nothing to do with me.

The Guardian add a bit more colour to the Chris Knight mindset which resides in a bubble apparently-

...Knight told the Guardian last night that he was doing everything possible to make sure there was no violence next week. He said he had set up the protest group with theatrical rather than violent aims.

"I'm doing everything possible to make sure that all the anger of the middle classes doesn't turn into violence. That's why we do all this play-acting. We're being nice to the bankers - we're burning them as effigies. Of course we don't want violence. If there's a huge ruck, the press will photograph it, and our vision about a different planet will not get reported."

He added: "But it's going to be hard. The message to police is 'if you press your nuclear button, I'll press mine'. It sounds like a threat? Well, yeah - don't do it. If you want violence, you'll get it.

"I know I'm in my own bubble. But in my bubble I'm predicting we'll have a velvet revolution in the next week or so ...The police, backed up by the army, will try to hold the ExCel centre. While they hold that, they will lose London. Then I think Gordon Brown will go...

and then what happens in your bubble Chris? Anarchy breaks out? Seriously, there is a journalist in front of you.

UPDATE: Nice to see the Police have someone equally as stupid talking to journalists

... senior commanders have insisted that they are "up for it, and up to it", should there be any trouble...


March 24, 2009


I hadn't been following the continued tangling between Tim Ireland (who contacted me once and was nice enough to support Musa) and Glen Jenvey (who I had a brief email conversation with once). It seems this has got really serious.



Really strange turn of events. I remember when I was first filming with Hamza et al they painted the MCB as enemies and government stooges. Now the MCB themselves are supposed to be extremists. Brian Whitaker makes some interesting points in The Guardian here, everyone is discussing on Pickled Politics here.

I don't really give a shit either way. MCB, JCB, PCP, whatever I just film people from time to time. I don't give a fuck about government money. Society is suffering because people don't talk to each other. Its really suffering. Talk to people.

I have been reading a lot about Nick Cohen says the left should "take a stance against" these people or some other person is "taking a stance" against Fingus McMuslim who says stuff I disagree with- I don't even understand what this means. I think these writers have a seriously overinflated idea about what the fuck effect "their stance" has on jibbering shit- probably because they are paid for writing stuff a lot of people who aren't tempted by extwemism read.

If I "Take a Stance" will it pwevent extwemism? Will it fuck. I am going to stick to just talking to people. It might make a difference, who knows?


March 23, 2009


And ways to prevent it from the government via Pickled Poilitics here


March 21, 2009


Police officers involved in a "serious, gratuitous and prolonged" attack on a British Muslim man that led the Metropolitan police to pay £60,000 in damages this week have been accused of dozens of previous assaults against black or Asian men...

...After six years of denials from Scotland Yard, lawyers acting for the Metropolitan police commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson, were forced to admit in the high court that Ahmad had been the victim of sustained and gratuitous violence during his arrest and agreed to pay £60,000 in damages.

But the Guardian can reveal that the Met was aware for years that the six officers involved were the subject of repeated complaints. According to documents submitted to the court, four of the officers who carried out the raid on Ahmad's home had 60 allegations of assault against them - of which at least 37 were made by black or Asian men. One of the officers had 26 separate allegations of assault against him - 17 against black or Asian men..

We used to regularly be talking these guys out of raiding our squat parties. Never had a problem with them. Is it cos I is white?


Press Conference

Anjum Choudharry set up a press conference in Chingford, East London. He broacast a message to the assembled media. I wasn't there, this is from The Daily Mail who were:

Anjem Choudary, the firebrand cleric who wants to see Britain ruled by Sharia law, said such a regime was the only way to fix the country's ills.

Under it, adulterers and homosexuals would be killed by stoning. Asked if that would include anybody - even a Cabinet minister such as Business Secretary Lord Mandelson - Choudary responded with an astonishing diatribe.

He said: 'If a man likes another man, it can happen, but if you go on to fulfil your desire, if it is proved, then there is a punishment to follow. You don't stone to death unless there are four eyewitnesses. It is a very stringent procedure.

'There are some people who are attracted to donkeys but that does not mean it is right.'

Choudary was speaking at a press conference in London arranged by Muslim extremists to justify their protest in Luton last week against soldiers returning home from Iraq...

UPDATE: The Sun (Who owe me money) have some video

March 20, 2009


Kids: If George Galloway tells you to stop the country when war starts he won't help you. If Ken Livingstone stands up and says "We support the kids" he will be lying to you. I stopped him when he came off stage after saying that and told him you were there, he ran from me. He was lying to you.


March 17, 2009


The other day I was speaking to a ten year old I last met when he was two or three. He said he wanted to be a soldier and fight the Taliban. This made me remember being ten. One of our teachers asked us to please stop writing war stories, as we all wrote war stories all the time and he wanted to read something different. Todays classrooms here and in Muslim countries. What effect is this media focus on our limited wars having on children and the ambitions they have? Are we breeding enemies? I may have been a bit gonzo some times, but if there was ever any reason I started filming it was the question- How do we avert this?



From Platinum786 on Pickledpolitics here

Islamic finance may be cure for crisis, Vatican suggests as world markets suffer under the weight of the ongoing global financial crisis, the Vatican has put forward a new suggestion, arguing that the principles of Islamic finance may represent a possible cure for ailing markets.

The Vatican's official newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, recently published an article titled "Islamic finance proposals and ideas for the West in crisis," prepared by Italian economists Loretta Napoleoni and Claudia Segre, in which it was suggested that the basic rules of Islamic finance could relieve suffering markets and particularly international financial systems. Noting that Islam prohibits "riba," Arabic for the usurious loaning of money, the article argued that "sukuk bonds," securities that comply with Islamic law, may be an alternative to interest...


Global Domination

Anjum Choudharry talking about Islam dominating the world.
Harrow, March 1st.
I need to get a tripod.


March 16, 2009


This could have been me when we celebrated pancake day recently in the UK. For some reason I found myself looking forward to it for weeks and when it came I was eating pancakes all day and didn't eat anything else. It was better than Christmas.

...Witnesses described Mr Isayev as "the most active participant in the contest" adding that he "ate all the types of pancakes on offer and won fairly".

The witness added: "He had really enjoyed the pancakes but then he started foaming at the mouth and went down like a sack of stones."

"People have fainted during the contests before."

Medics tried to revive Mr Isayev after he collapsed while collecting his prize on stage. The exact cause of death is not clear but doctors believe he choked after a piece of pancake got lodged in his throat. Celebrations are said to have continued after Mr Isayev's body was taken away in an ambulance...



From the Frontline club:

Live tonight: Somalia - From Bad to Worse?

Colin Freeman, who was kidnapped in Somalia in November 2008 and held for six weeks, is at the club tonight - Monday, March 16 - to discuss his experience and the future for the "failed state" in the Horn of Africa. He's joined by Mary Harper, a BBC Africa correspondent and Mike Thomson, chief foreign correspondent for the BBC Today programme. We start at 7pm GMT/11am PST and as usual we'll be streaming the event live on the Frontline Club events page


March 15, 2009

Choudhary News

Mr Choudhary is still in the news, in The Daily Mail who are featuring an expose by someone with whom he went to college and in an article by Abul Taher and Daniel Foggo in The Telegraph claiming that

...Anjem Choudary is now considered by many politicians and religious leaders as the most dangerous Islamist extremist in Britain...


March 14, 2009


Recently I've blogged about The Sun lying about a British Muslim and they have stolen from me personally but they have quoted a source here so I feel that I should put this up. Cheers to Mike for the link.

EVIL al-Qaeda chiefs are raping young male converts to shame them into becoming suicide bombers, it emerged yesterday.

The intense social stigma and fear of more gay sex attacks leaves Muslims prepared to die.

The warped new tactic was revealed by a reformed Algerian militant. Abu Ba├žir El Assimi said: “The sexual act on young recruits aged between 16 to 19 was a means to urge them to commit suicide operations.” ...

Lets see if Al Qaeda sue now.


March 13, 2009


According to evidence heard at the high court during proceedings brought on behalf of Binyam Mohamed, an interrogation policy that subsequently led to detainees being tortured in Pakistan was devised by MI5 lawyers and figures in government. The Guardian has learned from other sources that the interrogation policy was directed at a high level in Whitehall, and that it has been further developed since Mohamed's detention in 2002.

Last year Manchester crown court heard that MI5 and Greater Manchester police passed questions to officers of Pakistan's notorious Inter-Services Intelligence directorate (ISI) to be put to Rangzieb Ahmed, 35, from Rochdale, Greater Manchester, after he was detained in that country in August 2006. A judge later ruled that Ahmed was being illegally detained in inhumane conditions...


March 12, 2009


I didn't blog about it at the time but Atilla and Hamid both appealed their sentences and lost last week. A few of those who were sent down with them are now out, and turned up at the hearing. They aren't allowed to talk to the meida, and in some cases they aren't actually allowed to go home. They are staying in hostels under curfew. I wasn't there, and didn't hear any of this from them.

So Atilla has another year or so to serve, and there is every chance that when he does come out I wont be able to complete a film with him, assuming he even wants to of course. Obviously this is alarming but time passes, shit happens. Lets see.

Mr Choudhary turned up in the news over the last few days again defending some people waving placards at returning British troops. Mr Waleed sent me a link to his new website. It is all "In Islamic" which makes it a bit difficult for me to wade through. I've found a page which lists the different types of Kaffir you can be and I don't think I fit into any of them.

1. Kufrul-'Inaad:

Disbelief out of stubborness. This applies to someone who knows the truth and admits to knowing the truth and admits to knowing it with his tongue, but refuses to accept it and refrains from making a declaration. Allah(swt) says: Throw into Hell every stubborn disbeliever [Surah Qaaf (50), Ayah 24]

I'm not one of these, I don't "Know the Truth". Hajj says sometimes that "I know the truth". I don't get it. If I knew the truth I would tell him what it was. I don't.

2. Kufrul-Inkaar:

Disbelief out of denial. This applies to someone who denies with both heart and tongue.

Allah(swt) says: They recognize the favors of Allah, yet they deny them. Most of them are disbelievers. [Surah Nahl(16), Ayah 83]

I don't deny or afirm. How the fuck do I know if there is or isn't an Allah?

3. Kufrul-Kibr:

Disbelief out of arrogance and pride. The disbelief by the devils (Iblis) is an example of this type of Kufr.

That would imply an "I know better" attitude. I don't. I have no idea.

4. Kufrul-Juhood:

Disbebelief out of rejection. This applies to someone who aknowledges the truth in his heart, but rejects it with his tongue. This types of kufr is applicable to those who calls themselves Muslims but who reject any necessary and accepted norms of Islam such as Salaat and Zakat.

Allah (swt) says: They denied them (OUR SIGNS) even though their hearts believed in them , out of spite and arrogance. [Surah Naml(27), Ayah 14]

Not applicable.

5. Kufrul-Nifaaq:

Disbelief out of hypocrisy.This applies to someone who pretends to be a believer but conceals his disbelief. Such a person is called a MUNAFIQ or hypocrite.

Allah( swt) says: Verily the hypocrites will be in the lowest depths of Hell. You will find no one to help them. [Surah An Nisaa (4), Ayah 145]

As above. Not applicable.

6. Kufrul-Istihaal:

Disbelief out of trying to make HARAM into HALAL. This applies to someone who accepts as lawful (Halal) that which Allah has made unlawful(Haram) like alcohol or adultery.Only Allah(swt) has the prerogative to make things Halal and Haram and those who seek to interfere with His right are like rivals to Him and therefore fall outside the boundries of faith.

Accept as lawful? I suppose I accept Alcohol as"lawful" in as much as I drink the stuff sometimes. Adultery? That is a whole different can of worms isn't it. If someone is beaten by or neglected by their partner and is it any of my buisness? I don't really go by what is and isn't lawful. There are lots of "Man made laws" I don't agree with. I'm not into what is and isn't lawful in a way maybe a judge or a copper would be. Not my bag.

7. Kufrul-Kurh:

Disbelief out of detesting any of Allah's(swt) commands. Allah(swt) says: Perdition (destruction) has been consigned to those who disbelieve and He will render their actions void. This is because they are averse to that which Allah has revealed so He has made their actions fruitless. [Surah Muhammed (47), Ayah 8-9]

Detesting commands? I don't agree with stoning people or chopping hands off. I think a barbarous legal system would encourage barbarity in society. I don't agree with violence of any sort except for in self defence. The rest of it I don't really understand. Allah is making my actions fruitless? That would just give me someone to blame. So far if there is one thing in life I have learnt it is that I can fuck things up all on my own.

8. Kufrul-Istihzaha:

Disbelief due to mockery and derision.

Allah (swt) says: Say: Was it at Allah, His signs and His apostles that you were mocking? Make no excuses. You have disbelieved after you have believed. [Surah Taubah (9), ayah 65-66]

I have been polite to Mr Hamza. I have been polite to Atilla. I didn't offend anyone in Finsbury in two years or so. I can still talk to some of them, those that aren't in jail anyway. They still seem pleased to hear from me. If I have mocked them in any way it has been meant with no offence.

It is easy to mock, vilify and objectify someone you don't know isn't it. I have been thinking that over the last few days looking at the reaction to the Luton placard wavers. I don't know who they are or if they mean me any harm. I would assume if they were dangerous the Police would arrest them. I totally fail to get excited about thse people. I am fascinated by them and that they exist in 21st centrury Britain. I want to film them for some reason. Ask them what they are about.

9. Kufrul-I'raadh:

Disbelief due to avoidance. This applies to those who turn away and avoid the truth.

Allah(swt) says: And who is more unjust than he who is reminded of his Lord's signs but then turns away from them. Then he forgets what he has sent forward (for the Day of Judgement) [Surah Kahf(18), Ayah 57]

Turn away? I look all this full in the face and question. Is this truth? There are thousands upon thousands of religions in the world. I question them too. Are any of them true? You have to know "The truth" if there is such a thing for yourself don't you.


10. Kufrul-Istibdaal:

Disbelief because of trying to substitute Allah's Laws. This could take the form of: (a) Rejection of Allah's law(Shariah) without denying it (b) Denial of Allah's law and therefore rejecting it, or (c) Substituting Allah's laws with man-made laws.

Allah (swt) says: Or have they partners with Allah who have instituted for them a religion which Allah has not allowed. [Surah Shuraa(42), Ayah 8]

Allah(swt) says: Say not concerning that which your tongues put forth falsely (that) is lawful and this is forbidden so as to invent a lie against Allah. Verily, those who invent a lie against Allah will never prosper. [Surah Nahl (16), Ayah 116]

Rejection of Allah's law(Shariah) without denying it- Ah. I suppose you got me.

Except that I don't think these two verses are necessarily saying this. The first is saying someone has partnered with someone else for a new religion-(not me). The second is simply about telling a lie. Anyway I hope to talk further about all this with Mr Choudhary and Mr Waleed.



March 11, 2009

Rory Stewart

I read the book about his long walk but I never thought he would look like this. I imagined someone much older. This is fascinating.

Rory Stewart at the Frontline Club


March 10, 2009


An excellent chronological documentary of The Rushdie affair is on the iPlayer. History is a great teacher and in the case of this doco, and the recent stuff the BBC have gathered about Iran facts arranged in order are enlightening in themselves.

I somehow got round to reading The Satanic verses in India, where the book is banned. I can't remember if someone lent it to me or if I bought it under the counter in Pushkar. In my long tradition now of refusing to take a standpoint, I wont take a standpoint on the Rushdie affair either. Yes I agree with freedom of speech, yet if I was a politician in India where riots are spontaneous, dangerous and regular occurances it would be very hard to think the publishing of a book to be worth some random strangers life.

As a work of fiction, the Satanic verses is one of the best stories I have read. It is rooted in the imagination. A truly psychedelic tale. I totally missed the prostitutes dressing as the prophets wives until I was involved in a discussion about all this on Pickled Politics somewhere and someone said

"Muslims take the prophets wives to be their own mothers. How would you feel if someone called your mother a whore?"

Hmmm.. You're mother's a whore is a common playground insult isn't it. In a squat I lived in around 94 a friend of mine launched himself at another random squatter who kept saying "You're mothers a whore". I thought this hilarious. I had absolutely no sympathy for either of them. I didn't have that good a time in the playground growing up either. I am not going back there for anyone.

When I see Rushdie speak I don't warm to him, in a way that I do to Hanif Kureshi talking about smoking dope in front of Rushdie's secret service protectors at their dinner parties for instance. More irksome is the jealousy I probably feel to Rushdie for the type of dolly birds he attracts. He's an ugly fucker what the story? Is he in league with Satan or something?


March 08, 2009

US Foreign Policy- Talking to People?

..."If you talk to General Petraeus, I think he would argue that part of the success in Iraq involved reaching out to people that we would consider to be Islamic fundamentalists, but who were willing to work with us because they had been completely alienated by the tactics of al-Qaida in Iraq," President Obama said.

"The situation in Afghanistan is, if anything, more complex.

"You have a less governed region, a history of fierce independence among tribes. Those tribes are multiple and sometimes operate at cross purposes, and so figuring all that out is going to be much more of a challenge."...


March 05, 2009

Last day of Ecobuild

I passed through again, and got the hang of why I was there. Firstly who the hell is Leo Johnson? He had all the body language of ...Boris? and turned out to be his brother. All the entertainment and eloquence of his brother- but this Johnson actually knows what he is talking about. Most people in the room wonder how come this Johnson isn't London mayor. He totally wiped the floor with Nigel Lawson, a climate change skeptic who had likened all this "eco-ness" to a religion.

"You were the Sun god, the High Priest of Laissez faire capitalism".

He painted Lawson as part of the old economics, of times past. It was a gentle and good natured decimation, in front of an "on-side" audience who clapped at the end.

Michael Meacher, Tim Yeo, Hesletine, the whole day was fascinating, leading up to the guy from Grand Designs introducing the new Climate Change minister Joan Ruddock. I thought she was great. I had no idea she was my local MP.


March 04, 2009


A really good documentary about the history and the success of the road protest movement is on the iPlayer here. I was only ever involved in the fun parts of Reclaim the Streets. Seeing what these people went through is really quite humbling.

Also: Camping in the City of London? Must be April Fools day...

I found a couple fo videos from "The Protest era" on Youtube. I thought it was funny that the BBC only interviewed ex-protesters who had developed into respectable citizens. I only know those who are still crazy. Its not over you know. People are still diving in front of diggers. They have moved to Ireland.



...I have to say, more in sadness than in anger, that many have been complicit in my own horrors over the past seven years. For myself, the very worst moment came when I realised in Morocco that the people who were torturing me were receiving questions and materials from British intelligence. I had met with British intelligence in Pakistan. I had been open with them. Yet the very people who I had hoped would come to my rescue, I later realised, had allied themselves with my abusers.

I am not asking for vengeance; only that the truth should be made known, so that nobody in the future should have to endure what I have endured...


March 03, 2009

More from Ecobuild

Swedish Axe Makers

Use Hemcrete win a car...


Went to the first day of Ecobuild in Earls Court. It is definitely worth going, tickets are free. Register online and pick up your ticket on the door.

I arrived about 10 to find a lot of people waiting for the place to open. Once inside I made straight past all the stands for the main “Arena” which turned out to be space for about 600? (I am crap with numbers) with the constant murmur of the surrounding exhibition in the background. This was quite nice actually. It felt like the “Theory connected to the practice” if you get my drift.

There was some pre-Boris debate with the Danish author of The Skeptical Environmentalist Bjorn Lomborg talking about painting all the tarmac in London white. He also spoke about claims that the sea would rise in the Maldives causing a “132% reduction in GDP.” I don't get this. GDP is Gross Domestic product no? Surely if 100% of GDP goes, then your country isn't producing anything. Where is the other32%? I didn't dare ask. I'm sure he would have some long winded answer.

I had jumped out of bed on autopilot and steered myself coffee-less to catch Boris and he was very entertaining. I stuck my hand up to ask a question from my scribbled notes but I don't think the chairman saw me. I wanted to ask him what he thought about squat parties and if he had ever been to one.

Boris was quite positive actually I thought. What can the Mayor of London seriously do? He was big into “Retrofitting” and wanted dugareed people of all ages to be involved in this.

Video of Boris at Ecobuild 2009

I hung around for Roy Hattersley who I actually got to question. He used to be my local MP in Sparkhill Birmingham in the early nineties. He was refreshingly Old Labour, a very strange guy to watch in real life after seeing him on TV and on Spitting Image in particular. He spoke a lot of sense. He said not-for profit landlords- co operatives, housing associations etc is a really good idea for social housing.

I was a bit daunted to start the crawl around the exhibition, but felt that after hearing the talkers I should have a look at the do-ers. It was all a bit bewildering to me. I was trying to look at all these strange devices, shapes, walls covered in ivy and sloping roofs covered in plants with an eye for how they might fit into my life. My head was swimming with shapes.

I don't get this suited people selling ivy and trays of succulents to other suited people. Surely if I want to grow ivy I can plant the bloody stuff, same as planting a grass roof.

Talking about Coporate bolloxdom my personal low point had to be this.

Who told Ferolli they needed a lit "Think outside the box"?

There was some dreamy college led stuff about Hurricaine proof "Woven Concrete" and some really nice experimental building.

There was a stall advertising some beautiful natural pools, probably the sexiest thing in the exhibition. The most real thing to me was the Amazonails stand, these chicks just make beautiful houses out of straw.

I didn't know what I would make of Alistair Campbell, why he would be invited to, or what he would be speaking about at this sort of event.

When he took to the stand at 4 in the afternoon he spoke about what he knew best- campaigning and I am surprised to say I was impressed. He started on Obama's successful sloganeering, and pointed us to the fact that Al Gore was more influential out of office than he was in.

He was raving about a coming film, The Age of Stupid . He hadn't seen it, but was excited to have been invited to see it by the producer via Twitter. He thought that this would be a film that would have a huge influenece over everyone that saw it. He then went on to tell how he had interviewed Clinton during a series of TV interviews of famous people he undertook when he became an "Unemployed AntiChrist".

This turned into another anecdote about campaigning.

Know your objective,
Be clear about your strategy.
Work out your tactics.

He was applying all this to the object of "Greening the world". He defended Tony's record on all this which was quite sweet. He mentioned the film Milk (about gay rights politician Harvey Milk) again in relation to campaigning. He seemed to be preaching people power, consumer power. He said that in his time if you captured a front page in a couple of newspapers and the lead on the BBC news, you dictated the agenda. He didn't believe this was the case anymore, and thought that this was largely due to new media and he told all the politicians who still spoke to him about this at every opportunity.

There was a merger between political and consumer culture, people expected and drove standards through participatory media. We can all be campaigners and no one dominates the agenda as people consume media in different ways. They want to think for themselves. Information is infinity.

He said the fuel crisis was the worst thing to happen whilst he was in power. He was impressed that it was led by people power, a campaign by a relatively small number of people totally dominated the agenda in an era of 24 hour media. Groups could co ordinate as they watched themselves on TV.

During the questions the host (environmental journalist Roger Harrabin from the BBC) said that if Campbell was against people dominating the agenda he must have had a change of heart as this was exaclty what he used to do. Campbell didn't agree. I think he was thinking outside the box a bit there, but overall he was very good. Very inspiring to people who want to orchestrate change.

Video of Alistair Campbell at Ecobuild 2009

Where I live we are struggling with all this technology. We have wood chip burners, Solar Hot water, Cavity wall insulation, recycled glass worktops, all that. Some of it we are happy with, some not so happy but with nine people per house and occupants moving in and out all the time we are a really tough use environment. We have yet to reach our C60 targets. All of this is technology which consumer demand will push. Just get stuff which works.


March 02, 2009


Here you go, from the Telegraph-Banned cleric Omar Bakri addresses conference at London primary school.

Says it is by Richard Edwards although fuck knows why as whoever he is he wasn't there. There was some staff reporter who looked like she was about 19 although looking at the article it seems she left before the interesting new developments concerning Omar Bakri were mentioned. Strange.


"I still care despite all that other bullshit"

To balance what I have just posted about our experiences with the Police today here is a bit of Metcountymounty-

...We, the people on the ground did everything right. We do it all the time and we are good at what we do, we work well together and don't have to ask each other to help out, we all know what needs doing and we crack on and do it. We don't like getting other people involved as we can deal with the vast majority of jobs ourselves, and we can deal with them quickly. The problems come when we have to get other people involved who aren't there and who don't really give a shit - to them it's just another call to make, another list to check, another CAD to update.

They can't see the childs tears. They aren't talking to the next of kin and hearing the distress as every possible outcome is running through their mind and ripping it apart by the second. They haven't seen the worlds best paramedics and frontline trauma teams doing everything they can to stop the person they've never met from passing. They can't see the once feeling and loving eyes glass over to nothing, to emptiness, to pain for those they will never see again. They don't care.

To us thirty seconds is a lifetime in a situation like that. To them thirty minutes just is another step closer to going home on time, and it can't pass quickly enough...



Well that was eventful. Passed through Wembley on the way to the Islam4UK meet at the same time as the whole of Manchester and Tottenham converged on the place beer can in hand. We were herded over one side of the street and back, everyone singing at the top of their voices. As we tried to get through some Policemen on horseback rode their horses onto the pavement pushing people up against the glass of the shops. To us it was just like the London tribe in yellow jackets and blue helmets vs the Manchester tribe in Red.

Because I had a fairly well built monopod sticking out of my bag I got pulled out by one of the coppers.

"Whats this" etc.

I began to tell him and his friend started shouting at me- "If you just cut out the chat we can deal with this blah blah blah.."

You know, the guy just asked me a question and I was trying to answer it. The guy has exactly the same attitude as the football supporters he is coralling only if he decides to hit me over the head he gets away with it.

I am just too middle class for all this.

The bus was crazy. I suppose I was a bit irked by our experiences with the Police, but it just felt like the whole of wembley was about to kick off. We crawled past a pub which had obviously just been shut, with the manager outside arguing with drunk football suporters.

"Its OK. " I said to my friend who came with "We will be safe with all the fundamentalists soon."

We went past a huge Police station. "Copland avenue" said the recorded voice on the bus.

Bloody Surreal.

Anyway we got to the meeting, I bumped into Mr Waleed again which was nice as I haven't seen him in a while. Mr. Bakri turned up again over the phone. Just before we left I got to talk to Mr Choudhary about what we could concievably film in future. No one blew up, and no one gave us any hassle at all. I am going to write more about all this tomorow as I have loads of notes and some film I am going to put up.