Skip to main content

Regime Changers Anonymous

Spokesman 107
Edited by Ken Coates

'The Security Service was officially launched in 1909 with a staff of two, who were supposed to defend the realm against Germany. Later they made a painless adjustment and began to defend it against Russia. As the two engaged ever larger numbers of accomplices it became clear that the realm which they defended consisted of ever smaller tracts of establishment England, setting its bounds somewhat short of the area occupied by the masses of the British common people …

… What can be done to clip the wings of all these spooks? Well, first of all, as far as the junior members of the team are concerned, substantial cuts can be made in their budgets. What precisely is all this intrigue for? How is it to be justified? It should surely be possible to control the expenditures of this kind of service in such a way as to reduce them to a minimum.

Then we shall be told that we need an intelligence service to apprehend terrorists. There are, unfortunately, numerous problems which the anti-terrorist services closely share with the warriors against subversion ... At the very least, there is a case for a close enquiry into this aspect of intelligence work. To learn the lessons of the wave of student arrests in Lancashire early in 2009 might be to discover some arguments for stringent budgetary controls.

But, disturbing though the activities of junior officials may be, the huge and overriding question which hangs over our political system, is how to get the spooks off the Downing Street sofas and to put politics in command.'

Ken Coates, excerpts from his Editorial. The full text can be read here.


CONTENTS:
Regime Changers Anonymous - Ken Coates

Fixing the Intelligence? - Tony Simpson

Law and War - Lord Goldsmith

The legality of the invasion of Iraq - Lord Steyn

Who killed David Kelly? - David Halpin

****

Haiku - Alexis Lykiard

Gallows - John Arden

The US and Israel - Noam Chomsky

Al Rabweh - John Berger

The Dice Player - Mahmoud Darwish


Reviews: Bruce Kent, Stan Newens, John Daniels,
Michael Barratt Brown, Romy Clark and Abi Rhodes


You can buy this issue or subscribe to The Spokesman from our website.





Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Jeremy Corbyn: Internationalist at Work

Another featured article from the latest issue of The Spokesman comes from the 2011 edition of J. A. Hobson's Imperialism. Jeremy Corbyn penned the book's foreword, which we reprint here under the title 'Internationalist at Work'.
As a separate point of interest, we also include this comparative image of the logo of publication The Week, circa 1960s, and Corbyn's recent campaign logo. Cut from the same cloth? 





Internationalist at Work
J. A. Hobson wrote his great tome at a different age. His thoughts were dominated by the zenith of the British Empire and the Boer War. The outcome of the war demonstrated Britain’s then ability in sustaining global reach, since Elizabethan times, but also its extreme vulnerability. At home the poor physique of working class soldiers led to Haldane’s investigation into working class health and living conditions. The difficulty in containing the rebellious Boers, and the huge opposition to the war, encouraged further doubts about the whol…

'Not as dumb as he looks' - Muhammad Ali on Bertrand Russell

In his autobiography The Greatest: My Own Story, Muhammad Ali recounts how Bertrand Russell got in contact with him, and their ensuing correspondence:


***
For days I was talking to people from a whole new world. People who were not even interested in sports, especially prizefighting. One in particular I will never forget: a remarkable man, seventy years older than me but with a fresh outlook which seemed fairer than that of any white man I had ever met in America.
My brother Rahaman had handed me the phone, saying, ‘Operator says a Mr. Bertrand Russell is calling Mr. Muhammad Ali.’ I took it and heard the crisp accent of an Englishman: ‘Is this Muhammad Ali?’ When I said it was, he asked if I had been quoted correctly.
I acknowledged that I had been, but wondered out loud, ‘Why does everyone want to know what I think about Viet Nam? I’m no politician, no leader. I’m just an athlete.’
‘Well,’ he said, ‘this is a war more barbaric than others, and because a mystique is built up around a cham…

Vanunu update

Dear Friend and Vanunu supporter,

It is a long time since we last sent you any news of Mordechai for which we apologise. It has been a complicated and difficult period particularly with Mordechai not wanting the campaign for his freedom to continue. However, we thought now was the time for an update, because if you hadn't seen the relevant issues of the Morning Star, Scottish Herald or, just this week, The Guardian, you probably wouldn't be fully aware of what Mordechai had been suffering, once again, at the hands of the vindictive and malicious Israeli authorities.

For some while Mordechai has been threatened with a return to prison for speaking with foreigners; including friends, supporters and journalists. For breaking this restriction he was eventually sentenced to six months in prison. He appealed against this and at a hearing of the Supreme Court, some months ago, this sentence was reduced to three months. As an alternative Mordechai was offered to do a period of Community…