This morning I narrated an account of how one of the Occupy London activists had come to warn me to “beware”. There wasn’t any logic to it. Briefly, he had begun by asking me if he could organise an idea to democratise the City of London, which I proposed on this blog. Cool. I’ve got no problem with that. Much later I discovered a particular website had scraped all my content from one of the two posts outlining my original idea. I sent a message to the website. Stephen R Moore turned out to be behind the website – the same man who had originally asked if I minded if I organise the plan. He sent me a Facebook message. I replied with a polite request that he take down my content (you can read the entire conversation at the link above, where there are also links to my copied blog post). Stephen R Moore replied with a warning that I should “beware”. He’s a big guy, by the way. I swiftly published this warning and the back story to it. I also sent him a link to it. This is his reply:
Charming. It is difficult to see how such comments, let alone the warning to “beware”, are justified by anything I have done. Here’s someone who has resorted very swiftly to an aggressive approach to a legitimate challenge. Here’s someone who was heavily involved in Occupy, serving on the night watch team. Here’s someone who is unlikely to name friends and influence people. Stephen R Moore, your conduct is unacceptable.
What’s the ethical response to this sort of thing? Should I feel threatened by his warning to “beware”? Luckily for Mr R Moore, I don’t on this occasion. Otherwise, I’d call the police without hesitation. That’s their job right? To gather evidence about thieves who warn people off. Let’s be clear about this, Mr R Moore, who says he us a pro-business Occupy activist, has knowingly stolen text written by someone else, invented the sham excuse that it was not publicly published (it was), warned me to “beware” and now described me as “evil”. Is he still active in Occupy? Does Occupy endorse his actions?
Recently, I discovered that a website called Occupy City of London Corporation had republished the entirety of one of the posts linked to above (I forget which). Sure, they had given me a link, but I did think that copying the entire post was a bit cheeky. So I got in touch with them. Thus Mr R Moore contacted me via Facebook again and we had what I thought was a polite conversation. During that chat, I politely asked him if he would remove my text and made it clear that I was not making an “hard demands”. Next thing I know, he was is warning me to “beware”. Here’s the whole conversation – click on the image below to enlarge it.
Why, exactly, should I “beware”? What sort of person is this, who first scrapes content written by someone else, then claims it wasn’t published (when it was) and, finally, warns off the polite blogger by telling him to beware? I look forward to hearing about whether there will be a mass voter registration scheme made successful in the City of London Corporation. However, I doubt very much that someone with this aggressive attitude can be relied upon to maintain the long term alliances necessary for political action.
Mr R Moore, I just browsed through your Facebook wall, before cancelling our “friendship”. Was a bit surprised with what I found there. You’re no ordinary progressive political activist are you? Certainly, you don’t seem to have a problem with our cultural proclivity for the objectification of women. Here’s a picture you shared.
Stephen R Moore shared this image under the title, "DREAM GIRLFRIEND"
Dream on, buddy. There were various pictures of women on your Facebook Wall. These were not pictures which referred to the awesome role played by the women of Tahrir Square. They were not pictures which showed women in a positive light. Do these pictures reveal your attitude to women, Mr R Moore?
Stephen R Moore says he is an Occupy activist. He shared this image on his Facebook Wall.
Okay, it’s a funny image, perhaps. Actually, I think the humour here is weak. However, taken together with all the images of women shown from a sexual point of view, it rather looks like Mr R Moore posted it on his Facebook wall because he likes images which objectify women. Here’s another one.
Stephen R Moore posted this image on his Facebook wall. He claims to be an Occupy activist.
All of this raises once again, the ugly side of Occupy. Without any form of structure or coherent policies around which they are united, there seems to be no desire to exclude people like Stephen R Moore. People who warn others to “beware”, for no apparent reason. People who routinely post pictures of women which highlight their sexual ‘function’ above all others. Whilst there are a number of estimable individuals involved in Occupy, sadly there are too many people like Stephen R Moore. This is not the first time I’ve been warned off. The trouble is, it isn’t even clear what I’ve been warned off this time!
Yesterday, I asked whether Tony Blair would be arrested to at the Leveson Enquiry today? So far, he has not been. However, a protestor did manage to obtain access to the judicial corridor in the Royal Courts of Justice this morning. He used that corridor to burst into the Enquiry during Blair’s evidence, whereupon he shouted allegations that Tony Blair was a war criminal and had been in the pay of JP Morgan. Mr Blair used the opportunity to deny the allegations and claimed that the media tended to make news out of one heckler out of a crowd of a thousand. No, Mr Blair, it is not 1/999. The proportions of people pursuing you for war crimes is much higher than that. Wherever you go, whatever you do, we are watching you. We are constantly preparing ourselves to catch you. Here’s the protestor, in a white shirt, with Mr Justice Levenson looking like he might be about to shake his hand, which he isn’t. I’d like to though.
Tony Blair Not Being Arrested By Peace Campaigner
During his brief spell in the limelight, this fellow got under Blair’s skin and provoked him into denials. He shouted that Mr Blair, “ought to be arrested”, which isn’t the same thing as attempting to arrest him. I suspect that the fellow wasn’t motivated by money (I’m talking about the protestor, not Mr Blair, obviously) but if he were minded to claim the bounty for attempting to arrest Blair, would he have a viable chance of the reward? I think not. There’s a big difference between saying someone ought to be arrested and actually attempting the arrest. Although the bounty hunters are asked to touch Mr Blair physically, I don’t think that is necessary to perform an attempted arrest. Here’s the whole incident:
Mr Blair must be getting used to this sort of thing by now. He probably half expects it every time he appears in public. Most of the time he can probably rely on wealth barriers to filter these awkward voices out of the room – he charges a reputed £10,000 for a lecture. Not bad for an hour’s ‘work’. Not bad at all. Now it’s competition time.
When was the last public speech when Tony Blair spoke the word, “socialism”.
Does Tony Blair even know what the word means?
Is it legal to bundle someone out of the way if they do attempt to perform a lawful arrest?
When I was a lad, the idea of the Olympic flame being carried across nations and by everyone before marking the opening ceremony of the Games was an inspiring notion. The Olympic Games seemed beyond politics, a force for peaceable cooperation between peoples and a powerful symbol of our collective humanity. Back then, amateurism was rigorously enforced.
These days, all the athletes are professionals. I have no problem with in itself. The problems creep in when they have to give something back to the corporate world in exchange for their financial donations. This isn’t sponsorship, this is purchasing! Consequently we are bombarded with adverts. My routine pedestrian pilgrimage to B&Q, a six mile round trip, is not enhanced by seeing a photograph of Holly Bleasdale promoting a sandwich made by Subway with the words, “TRAIN HARD, EAT FRESH” and “PERSONAL BEST”.
I’m sure that no-one with half a brain really thinks that Ms Bleasdale eats Subway sandwiches as part of her training programme. Doubtless, she is pleased by the money Subway pay her. This sort of advertising encourages feckless people to eat a certain brand of sandwich, not to take up pole vaulting. This isn’t a beautiful way to promote sporting endeavour. It is the ugly way. Time for a video. Here’s Ms Bleasdale in action. No sandwiches in sight.
As the Olympic Flame winds its way around the country, we get urged to go out to visit it. My bestest friend, @ian_bec did precisely that. Ian’s a voracious reader, highly intelligent and a history teacher the kids of Cardiff are lucky to have. He’s also new to twitter but please consider this endorsement a very early #ff! This is his pictorial reportage from the ground that the hallowed Olympic Flame travelled over on 26th May 2012. All images are reproduced with his kind permission – click on them to enlarge. The subtitles are @ian_bec‘s tweets.
First up the Met on motorbikes
Then a bus with some police in it
Then a car with a mascot waving out the window
Samsung bus with loud tinny positive blaring pop music and people on top jumping up and down exhorting
Then Coca Cola doing the same
Hey, thanks for cleaning your emissions Coca Cola
No cheerleaders aboard the vintage Lloyds TSB bus (problems have been reported, unpopular company apparently)
Then more police outriders, a bit of hanging about
This next bus had tracksuited police in branded #Olympics gear and I'd badges on shoulders. Elite unit?
This van had cameras in front "We are filming you" and press hanging out the back
At last the torchbearer! Surrounded by cordon of tracksuited police
Here, I interrupt @ian_bec’s report to note that I had expected the torch bearer to represent the Olympic spirit of healthiness and sporting physique. Not a fatty. Perhaps she’s been feasting on the less healthy menu options from Subway? Can’t see her throwing herself a top a pole to vault over something incredibly high….
And finally, more police. Overall impression was of, well, a police cavalcade. Is Grangetown really so dangerous?
Grangetown is a district of Cardiff. I’ve been there a plenty and have always felt very safe. The last time I visited, there was some kind of teenage fight developing in the street but an older lad, who appeared to working in a nearby takeaway shop, came over and broke it up. He sent the two sides off in different directions. This is a place where all the doors are open, where neighbours know each other and family values are evidently very strong. Given all that, it will come as no surprise to learn that many of the area’s residents are of the Islamic faith.
Of course, it is trite to point out that the whole Olympic torch tradition was started under Hitler’s regime. Let’s take a look at the torch procession from 1936.
Although many people I know and respect are protesting against the corporate cash cow that is the modern Olympics, I hesitate to join them. Some part of the small boy in me, who dreamed of one day carrying that flame, still hopes that the event itself will inspire youngsters and other to take up sporting endeavours. However, these endeavours are now tarnished by the apparent ownership of the games by big corporations. What on earth was an unhealthy soft drinks manufacturer and a bank doing escorting the flame? Are the police there to protect them? All the big sports are now in hock to corporate sponsors, with the result that much of the field and track action has become meaningless. It is much less than ever about the place you come from. It’s more to do with where the money comes from. Football has become like Formula One, albeit with the occasional upsets to the published programme. Olympian pursuits are now similarly absurd, with increasingly small fractions of a second (or a centimetre) being shaved off records and althletes being famous for their personal glory rather than their inspiration.
Although I’m not protesting against the Olympics, I doubt that I will watch any of them. The whole package, draped in private profits, is too unseemly to bear witness to.