Friday, 31 December 2021

Tutu called a rampant antisemite and bigot

THE PROBLEM WITH WHITE EUROPEANS - they get everywhere (from N America to outer space); they take everything; they want the lot, with no compunction but lots of warfare.  Domination and, most regrettable, one-sided WMD arming of one country that just happened to be our top friend and ally in the Middle East.

John Major said in 1992 to Albert Reynolds, "that the IRA could possibly not be beaten."  He began the peace process that Tony Blair took to fruition.

The file says that Mr Reynolds asked Mr Major directly: "Do you think we can defeat the IRA?"

The PM responded: "Militarily that would be very difficult: I would not say this in public, of course, but, in private, I would say, possibly no."   The Mirror, 28 December 2021

In the 1990s, Major must be the first UK Prime Minister to have it officially recorded that he could envisage defeat for the British armed forces by a start-up group of rebels forming themselves into a terrorist organisation.

The next two decades saw defeat for the Western Powers after initial victories in so easily overrunning Afghanistan and Iraq.  Rather than diplomacy, diplomacy was militarised.  We failed to give military aid to the Syrians who were trying to overthrow their government and Russia did the job, instead to maintain the UN recognised and official government of the land.

All this empire building, under the guise of exploring/visiting new places to trade, started with our exploration/invasion of our near island neighbour and the wish to extend our sphere of influence - the euphemism for grabbing land and resources for our own benefit.

We are convinced that we can only keep the peace by preparing for war by modernising weapon systems and accumulating 40% more nuclear warheads in the face of Russian and Chinese aggression.  These two enemies keep us on our toes, to make us have to so reluctantly re-arm and forcing us to accumulate a few more WMD.  It is so good for economic growth.  It now makes for a more serious climate emergency to sound off about and to help us to maintain our leadership role in the world, as an even Greater Global Than Ever Brexit Britain.

Never mind about our "disgraceful Opium Wars" that gave us Hong Kong for 100 years.  Never mind our Jupiter rockets in Turkey near to their border with the USSR.  Never mind, how this perhaps, gave Krushchev the idea to follow our bad example and to do the same with his missiles in Cuba.  Never mind our depth charging of Soviet subs at the height of the Cuban missile crisis.  Never mind the senior Soviet submarine officer who decided not to launch what he feared was an American attack on his vessel.

800 years of English invasion, interference and domination still bring division, disunity, and the two communities at each other's throats in violence from time to time.  A legacy of misery and suffering from an inability of the English to stop invading, stealing, exploiting and killing.

It led to more colonialism/imperialism by the whites, coinciding with over three hundred years of white/Christian slavery that encouraged Arab/Muslim slavery, too.  It finally resulted in the Western Great Powers, minus the USA, with their 19th-century scramble for Africa - and this:

Tutu said:

His wry assessment of the impact of their arrival in South Africa was: “We had the land and they had the Bible. Then they said, ‘Let us pray,’ and we closed our eyes. When we opened them again, they had the land and we had the Bible.”  from the Guardian obituary, 26 December 2021


It's a pity that this fine obituary makes no mention of Desmond Tutu's stand on Israel and Palestine, perhaps because its authors died some years ago Archbishop Tutu was uniquely well-placed to judge whether Israel's policies in the OPT amounted to apartheid. The fact that he said they did make an important contribution to the struggle for justice in Palestine.  (pykebel)


It's a pity that this fine obituary makes no mention of Desmond Tutu's stand on Israel and Palestine. He was uniquely well-place to judge whether Israel's policies in the OPT amounted to apartheid. The fact that he said they did made an important contribution to the struggle for justice in Palestine.


Tutu made me think again about Israel; my sister-in-law, from a Lithuanian Jewish background, made me think some more. I don't believe that Israel is an apartheid state in terms of intention - but perhaps that makes little difference in terms of effect. Apartheid was a deliberate policy, whereas Israel's policy towards Arabs may in part be rooted in prejudice, but is also rooted in fear of and defensiveness towards the palpable aggression and violence from Arab states from the very beginning of its life. I have not resolved this issues in my own mind, and it's a matter of great regret to me that the political party I support has made rational and honest discussion of the issue so very difficult, even now sending letters of investigation to some who have expressed similar views - particularly, in fairness, if they are seen to be supporting patently anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic organizations. Even so - I doubt we can resolve these things if we cannot freely speak of them.

After visits to Israel and Palestine, Tutu used his moral authority to speak out and, despite abuse, refused to back down. He wanted liberation for everyone

  • Chris McGreal is the former Guardian correspondent in Jerusalem and Johannesburg

Even amid the torrent of praise for the revered former archbishop Desmond Tutu in the days since his death, the anti-apartheid champion is not being universally mourned. Alan Dershowitz, the renowned US constitutional lawyer and ardent defender of Israel, took a moment to brand Tutu as “evil” and “the most influential antisemite of our time”.

“The world is mourning Bishop Tutu, who just died the other day. Can I remind the world that although he did some good things, a lot of good things on apartheid, the man was a rampant antisemite and bigot?” he told Fox News.

Dershowitz accused Tutu of minimising the Holocaust and of comparing Israel to Nazi Germany – an extreme interpretation of the former archbishop’s statements that takes some convolutions to reach.

But Tutu’s real crime in the eyes of Israel’s most unrelenting supporters was to liken its rule over the Palestinians to apartheid and then refuse to back off in the face of an onslaught of abuse.  On his visits to Israel and Palestine, Tutu would have immediately recognised echoes of his homeland in the forced removals, the house demolitions, the humiliations of checkpoints and systems of control on movement, the confiscation of land for Jewish settlements, and the confining of Palestinians to blobs of territory, reminiscent of the Bantustan black homelands. Above all he saw one people controlling another who, like black South Africans until 1994, had little say in their governance.

Tutu was not alone in his view. Former US president Jimmy Carter drew similarly vitriolic accusations from Dershowitz and others when he published his bestselling book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, in 2006. But Tutu was harder to attack. He not only had the authority of a Nobel peace prize awarded for his courageous stand against white rule in South Africa but he knew apartheid when he saw it.

Extract from the Guardian's obituary

The entertaining, excitable, impish little man was an old-style prophet, but also one with a dry sense of humour. White people, he observed, saw him as a politician trying hard to be a bishop, with “horns under my funny bishop’s hat and my tail tucked away under my trailing cape”. His wry assessment of the impact of their arrival in South Africa was: “We had the land and they had the Bible. Then they said, ‘Let us pray,’ and we closed our eyes. When we opened them again, they had the land and we had the Bible.”

At times, Tutu was the despair of his friends. Once he said that if the Russians came to South Africa, they would be welcomed as liberators. An associate sighed, “He had this habit of going over the top.” Tutu’s support of international sanctions against South Africa caused a huge eruption among white people and also in his own church. Some liberal white South Africans classified Tutu’s Nobel peace prize in 1984 as foreign interference.

Tutu could never execute the politician’s soft-shoe shuffle. He spoke his mind, was always his own man, never trendy or fully in the political mainstream. Initially, he had been drawn to the Black Consciousness Movement and to American ideas of “black theology”, but he shifted closer to the United Democratic Front (UDF), the exiled ANC’s internal surrogate.

Insulate Britain - what a brilliant slogan!

Drivers will spend hours in traffic jams on the M25 due to road works, accidents and too many of them.  But, when it comes to Insulate Britain having to contribute to the motorway mayhem for only a short period one autumn to tell us all the bleeding obvious, all hell breaks loose.  And they sacrifice their money, their freedom and their jobs, too!

from Bob Whitehead - stop burning fossil fuels, now

Good morning Tim,

We can argue with each other about the level of emissions, but we cannot argue with the laws of nature of of physics. Even if all CO2 (and other GHG emissions) were stopped now, the amount already in the atmosphere will be causing warming for years, if not decades to come. Yet, the goal of keeping below the 1.5 degree limit would be attainable, and that is the important point. That is the reason for having zero carbon policies and opposing the still increasing level of emissions.

Let us be specific, the use of fossil fuels for burning should be rapidly ended. A certain amount of oil could be used for lubrication, non-single-use-plastic  or pharmaceuticals, for example, but as an energy source its time is over. That would also end leaks of gas (methane) leaks from refinery and delivery systems and would be allied to the shift from cattle rearing and landfill in further reducing methane emissions.

This would entail turning the economy upside down, producing a lot less and only producing things which are strictly necessary, useful and and sustainable. In particular, the largest polluters on the planet, the rich, should be targeted. Hence the need for a just transition - ecosocialism.


Wednesday, 29 December 2021

We are all capitalists, now.

"We are all big users of capitalism.  Overthrowing capitalism means overthrowing ourselves, doesn't it?"

Explain, please. Capitalism was an advance on Feudalism, but it is an exploitative and oppressive socio-economic system that needs overthrowing. Natural resources are not Capital.

Very many thanks, Bob.  Lovely to hear from you.

All I know about business is that you are supposed to survive by depending on income/sales and not on your capital reserves/savings/assets.  We humans do not survive like that, although we once did before we started ripping into our capital reserves of finite fossil fuels (fff) and every other mineral deposit.

I feel I have benefitted - and guiltily - from my 73 years of capitalism in the sense of living it up with all the finite fossil fuels I have burnt, brought to me by the big oil/gas companies.  They have grown rich and powerful but I, too have grown rich and done things undreamt of before we started exploiting fff so enthusiastically from the start of the industrial revolution in merry England and, Ironbridge (1779), in particular.

We are, in the rich North of the planet, living infinitely on a finite planet and unnaturally on a natural planet.  Very foolish and dangerous behaviour.  Hence, the urgent need for ecosocialism that is about social justice and much more sustainable and light footed lifestyles on the planet, in order to postpone extinction of all life.

Remember, successful business practice I am told is living off income and not capital reserves.
Successful living is not relying on something that is slipping through our fingers and, as we burn them all up, is very likely to be slowly turning earth into venus that has its own runaway greenhouse effect - as we are getting on earth or, now have.

Happy new year to you and yours

Railways neglected in favour of trams reintroduced

Many thanks for this, Donald.  As you wrote, Wolverhampton to NE England via Walsall railway hub instead of Brum is one way of raising the importance of the full 120 Kms Black Country Bypass Brum Railway between Worcester and Derby.

Since the correctness of Beeching sensibly closing loss making railway lines but, the utter stupidity of everyone in the railway industry and every train enthusiast then selling every single one of them for homes, offices and shops, we have been turning our railways into other purposes - turning them into anything but the kitchen sink.  A terrible tragedy that only we brilliant Brexit Brits could possibly contemplate and then achieve.

Manchester led the way by neglecting (as W Mids did) their northern railway network and, instead, from the 1980s, used their many hundreds of millions of pounds for turning roads into railway tracks for trams and many of their vital railways into tram lines.  Others, for freight only when our descendants used them for passenger and freight trains.  After decades of this weird and wonderful priority, they now want to modernise their much left behind railways in northern England with HS(too fast to stop)2.  Another climate escalating calamity to worsen our already bleak prospects.  Hopeless!

Best wishes


On Tue, 28 Dec 2021 at 15:21, Don Payne <> wrote:

Hello Tim,

            Thanks for this. I won't add a lot as what you write is essentially correct. Network Rail identified this route many years ago as a potential freight corridor and I have had assurances from them the the bridge replacement work is being carried out to heavy rail standards in order to future-proof the line for these developments. The view that the route is only a "potential light rail corridor" is parochial and does not look at the bigger picture. Birmingham New Street station is running at capacity and cannot cope with any more NE/SW traffic. The Camp Hill line is being developed for passnger use so this route will also be severely constrained for future freight use.

    This route has also been identified by Railfuture for future development as a freight route.

    I would also add the with the imminent re-opening of rail services between Wolverhampton and Walsall that there is now an improved potential for direct links between Wolverhampton and NE England, by-passing Birmingham and giving considerable time savings.

    I would say as a general rule that trams should run on strets and be complimentary torail services on the exisiting heavy rail routes. This has been continental practice for many years but, of course, we never look to see what other countries are doing. We could learn so much - HS2 included!

    Best wishes,


Tuesday, 28 December 2021


 ---------- Forwarded message ---------

From: <>
Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2021 at 10:47
Subject: Light News round up November 2021
To: <>

Hi Steve - my comments in blue.  Thanks very much for writing.  Much appreciated when I get so little interest or concern!!

Hi Tim,

Thank you for your email of the 13 November.  I shall respond on behalf of this company only.  PPM is a separate and unrelated entity.

I do not agree with your interpretation of the rail route which we have identified as a potential light rail corridor.
This very important railway route that is being turned into three different kinds of tram lines was, for 100 years, a successful mainline railway from Derby, through Dudley to Devon or, from Burton on Trent, through Brierley Hill to Bristol.  It is called the 120 Kms Black Country Mainline Railway.  The 120 Kms is the section between Worcester and Derby that is fully built, including every motorway crossing, would you believe!
This route has great local potential but bypasses the main Cities of the region and is therefore not part of the strategic passenger network.
It is part of the strategic passenger and freight network.  See the letter from DfT of the 8 March 2018, below.
This currently applies to freight movements as well. Thus the route is not included in Network Rail's plans this side of 2040.
The forgotten mainline railway does bypass Birmingham but that city for decades has needed a relief or bypass railway because of its chronic train and road congestion.  That relief railway, that you say "bypasses the main Cities" runs SW to NE from Worcester to Derby.  It runs through three of the four towns of the Black Country with a population that is similar to Brum's.  Yet, you dismiss the one million population of the Black Country as of no significance.

Network Rail and DfT both agree that it is a railway "of national strategic significance".  SEE
"I have sought clarification on the situation from Network Rail, who inform me
that this is a section of railway of national strategic significance. Investment in
the corridor would allow for continued freight growth given that the other SW-
NE route (via Bromsgrove) is already at full daytime capacity. From a
passenger perspective, safeguarding a heavy rail corridor across the Round
Oak-Bescot route is of value as this is the only corridor which could accept
freight traffic displaced by further passenger flows into central Birmingham. I
understand from Network Rail that recent discussion on the project has
therefore focused around how best to balance the interests of freight and
passenger rail traffic."  8 March 2018

Two or three years ago I had one email from Tim Martin of TfWM/WMCA that only some of the existing road and canal bridges are being replaced or strengthened for the coming of freight trains on the line "in the 2040s, at the earliest." (quote from Network Rail email repeating its intentions from the 1990s).  How absurd is all that, Steve?

However, what we would achieve (as does the WM Metro) is protecting and using a valuable corridor for rail.
We are therefore future proofing for possible growth, green developments and regional economic betterment.
If patronage grows then so will the case for traditional heavy rail operations.
Once the trams are on this former, mothballed but principal mainline, you will never get the trams off to reinstate the freight, commuter, regional and inter-city service we had for 100 years.  Once we are all used to the trams, you can't then take them off, can you?
For far too long there has been a belief that it is all or nothing.  This has wasted valuable resources as infrastructure has rotted away.
Decision makers have been brow beaten into a do nothing position.
Far from being browbeaten into doing nothing, they have been active for 40 years in replacing the closed railway network with trams.  But mainly in thinking that railway lines were meant to have homes, offices, shops and roads running down them.  I exaggerate not!

I agree with heavy rail reinstatement for everything eventually, but when we end up with nothing until budgets allow, what have we all missed?
Budgets have always allowed preferential treatment for London and the SE.  And, always for prestigious, highly expensive, grossly extravagant schemes like tram extensions, HS2, Crossrail, Thames Link ...
Billions of pounds for 40 years into Manchester Metrolink expansion at the expense of trains and buses.  It has brought/bought a much poorer heavy rail service in Northern England, as that has declined.

How many people suffer because of the postponing of reopening’s whilst budgets are found?
Expanding budgets for the military and arms trading; for space exploration; for the wealthy to prosper and the poor to suffer; austerity to hit the poor with tax rises for them; public spending slashed from 2010 to the present to make them suffer even more.
Perhaps we should get some revenue in for 20 years as VLR and then convert as opposed to mothballing everything.
Please name one place in the world where conversion back to trains has occurred.  Our Black Country Mainline has been mothballed for 50 years.  50 years of negligence, scandal and the most weird and wonderful priorities, as trams have prospered and the railway network has diminished and fallen well behind comparable countries in Europe.
Your other queries:
  • We currently support different options for different sections of this transport corridor.​  "Different options" mean more changes and delays between this absurd multi-modal transport provision.
  • Pre Metro Operations Ltd have no business relationship with WM Metro.​  I was a strong supporter of John Parry who eventually succeeded in getting the PPM on the world's shortest branch line.  Since then, I have asked for it to be extended in a circular route connecting the main car park and Stourbridge shopping centre, to enable the pedestrianisation of High St and Market St
  • VLR is not appropriate for the whole route - Worcester to Derby.​  I'm VERY glad we agree on that!
  • The Borders Railway does not constitute a valid comparator - It is not an urban system.​  It is another mainline railway between Edinburgh and Carlise.  A very good and fair comparison.
  • Your references to 16 Summer Lane are not understood. There are numerous organisation located therein.​  It is the HQ of WMCA/TfWM and UK Tram Ltd, the UK's national lobbying organisation for LR, VLR and ULR.  Vested interests, far too cosy a relationship, an improper influence are all resulting in Dudley's 7th and very last railway being broken up, this time, into HR, LR, VLR and, possibly, even ULR!
  • We have no information on the costs or processes associated with any type of rail or tram track.​  SEE my ​​
  • We have no information on coking coal​.​  Cumbrian coking coal, I believe, is needed to make the steel for the tram tracks that are turning roads into railways in the Black Country and Brum.  £15 billion is being spent to 2040 for 150 miles of tram tracks on roads and under roads for Metro LR extensions.  This is a shocking escalation of the climate emergency that is bringing about the ultimate downfall of all life on earth, IF we don't quickly mend our ways to mend an ailing and breaking planet.
​Best wishes and thanks for replying.

​Tim Weller

Steve Jasper
Operations Director
+44 (0) 7778 375304

Conservative cllr accepts Corbyn does not support terrorist violence

Nickerson’s apology said: “On 15 November 2021 a defamatory tweet, for which I accept full responsibility, was published on my Twitter account. The tweet targeted Jeremy Corbyn and included a fake photograph of him laying a poppy wreath at the site of a burning taxi outside the Liverpool Women’s hospital where a terror attack had taken place on Remembrance Sunday killing a suicide bomber and injuring others.

“The false photograph, captioned by the word ‘unsurprisingly’, gave the completely untrue impression that Jeremy Corbyn supports terrorist violence including suicide bombings, which without any hesitation I wholly accept he does not. Without reservation I fully withdraw any suggestion or inference that Jeremy Corbyn is a supporter of terrorist violence.”

Monday, 27 December 2021

Tweet to Ian Ward

Thank you, Ian for the free transport service. How about extending it to regional train, bus, tram to end the discrimination against the young, middle-aged? And, as a reward, the carrot, the antidote to CAZ. Use that money and from cancelling tram extensions that make things worse, eg, Five Ways underpass only for trams and only some buses in Broad Street.

Worldwide, Metro construction is the second most expensive per Km after HS2, the most expensive. See the evidence, here: like for like comparison

Sunday, 26 December 2021


NOTES ON THOUGHTS FROM OUR A1 poster, 'Ecosocialism not Extinction'

”We live in a world dominated by greed. We have allowed the interests of capital to outweigh the interests of human beings and our Earth.” Article by the brilliant Desmond Tutu, from 2014.

SELF:  I think, we are all capitalists and all part of "capitalism's relentless pursuit of private profit".  All part of capitalism's relentless pursuit of public profit, too, aren't we?

We are all big users of capitalism.  Overthrowing capitalism means overthrowing ourselves, doesn't it?

Natural capital = oil, gas and coal and every other precious mineral.  We are living off all of them as if they are income.  All a quick, thoughtless take and an unsustainable consuming of our one-off geological inheritance we will never see again.

Not only the market system is creating the problem of climate change but we are each responsible.  Calling for a massive programme of public works means supporting £100 bill HS2, £15 bill Metro extensions and Sprint to boost tCO2e (tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents or, all greenhouse gas emissions)

I think, an anti-finite fossil fuel (fff) stance is a more helpful and practical slogan than an anti-capitalist one.  But, obviously we can't be totally anti-fossil fuels when our very lifestyle depends on them.  Hence our predicament in drinking so deeply and enthusiastically from the poisoned chalice of fff.

Even the left wing trade unions and their leaders and staff, over the last 70 years, have all supported the transport disasters, blunders and follies I have outlined here.  Not one has shown the slightest interest:


ALLAN TODD wrote: 'Extinction Rebellion gets political'

I do think XR has been more truly political and magnificent from the outset, than the trade union movement that seems to have always had, as its top priority, getting as much money out of the hated bosses as possible.  And, being so disappointing in being up to their necks in their complicity with the horrors of my 'Horrible History of Terrible Transport' essay.  I've never had any interest, let alone support, because they all agree with HS2, Metro and Sprint and the destruction of about 100 Kms of our urban railway network in the Black Country and Brum.

XR has acted bravely and sacrificially in being political and outspoken with non-violent deeds and words with too, the most clever, intelligent and well-thought-out sketches and demos - as we saw on the 6 Nov march in Brum.

XR has shown real leadership and courage and self-sacrifice with their offshoot, Insulate Britain, adding to the slow crawl that already exists with congestion, road works and accidents on the M25. The left-wing trade union/socialist movement needs to get similarly active.  CAAT is also brilliant with their non-violent direct action.  The TUC needs to similarly up its game.

Thursday, 23 December 2021

to Moto Hospitality

D​ear friend

This autumn, you had an overzealous and, I think, an unnecessary pruning of brambles that damaged and sliced through young trees and shrubs I had planted. Since the 1990s, the manager​s​ had ​tolerated or, even welcomed my landscaping enhancement scheme of trees and shrubs on the western side of the northbound service area along the post and rail fence.​

I do hope you will continue to let me manage and maintain the trees and shrubs to beautify the view across to the 1,000 feet high Clent Hill that are seen from the restaurant and so impress visitors.

With best wishes and many thanks

Wednesday, 22 December 2021

Still in denial


Greta Thunberg
We're now 2 yrs into the decisive decade. Emissions should be in an unprecedented fall. Instead, we're seeing the 2nd biggest rise ever recorded. We're wasting invaluable time pretending we can solve this crisis without treating it like a crisis. World leaders are still in denial.