thumping the tub
Tub-Thumper - 1. A speaker or preacher who for emphasis thumps the pulpit; a violent or declamatory preacher or orator; a ranter. (from This blog will be a combination of reasoned posting somedays and an occasional rant.
Friday, March 30, 2007
One time, they let ME into the houses of parliament. The fools! Just about every other time I have been down there I have been protesting outside it, nevertheless, this time I was in there.

I won't tell you why I was there other than to say we were meeting a Member of Parliament about something in order to be not listened to in the way that only those people can not listen to you.

After arguing with her for a while, we got a little tour. There were some Japanese tourists taking the tour with us. After having the various rooms explained to us we got to the statue of Winston Churchill. It was shortly after this that I nearly got thrown out.

The tour guide was going on about what a great man he was and every point she said in his favour I interjected with one against him...these included...

  • Rather bad treatment of the suffragettes
  • saying that he was "strongly in favor of using poisoned gas" against "uncivilized tribes" and "recalcitrant arabs"
  • saying this "I do not agree that the dog in a manger has the final right to the manger even though he may have lain there for a very long time. I do not admit that right. I do not admit for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly wise race to put it that way, has come in and taken their place.". He was referring to the Palestinian conflict.
  • Being at least partly responsible for the pointless slaughter at Gallipoli in World War 1
  • Using the army against British protestors who were marching because they didn't have any food.
  • Denying the fire brigade access to a beseiged building so the protestors had to choose surrender or death
  • It wasn't actually him that was speaking during those snippets of speeches you have heard. They were recorded by an actor to be broadcast on the radio.
There is a lot more I could have mentioned too. The whole time I was saying all of this the tour guide was getting more and more agitated. It was rather funny actually.

All in all, I would just like to point out that not all people in the UK think he was a hero. In fact, a lot of us are quite pleased he is dead.

On the news and things over here people still like to invoke the spirit of Churchill. Well I for one don't like invoking the spirit of bigoted imperialist thugs.

Oh, and we managed to smuggle a bottle of vodka in too which I thought was good at the time but knowing what most of them are like you probably get funny looks if you DON'T have a bottle of vodka.

Also also, a wee reminder that all the films are available for download on you right.

For some info about Churchill Mickey Z's old article on the subject is a reasonable starting place.

History Forgave Churchill Why Not Blair And Bush?

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posted by michael the tubthumper @ 3:55 pm   8 comments
This is just a little update for the previous post. I am ratherbusy today. There will be a proper post lates this afternoon but for the moment i just want to say there are lots more new links and a "it's all gone Scottish" section has been added too....

In the meantime, here are some titsand an ass...and I know it is a very old joke but I wanted to see if it really does affect your hit counter.


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posted by michael the tubthumper @ 8:58 am   3 comments
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
OK, I did a bit of a long overdue revamp.


1. No more do we have the never-popular opinion poll feature. I hadn't changed it more than a year and only about 80 of you people had bothered to vote in a year so out it goes.

2. A couple of dead links

3. The "Warmonger of the week" section. Rummy held it for a long time but not anymore. It is gone.


1. In comes some permanent links to the movies I made. On your right below my profile you will see the section. These are all available for free download. The first one will take you to and the rest will just give you a straight download option - I hope you enjoy. I know, I know - they are windows media (wmv) files. Boo boo hiss hiss etc.

2. As a replacement for 'Warmonger of the week' we now have 'Arse of the month'. The section is on the right below the links to other blogs.

3. Some new links. Flimsy Sanity, Culture Ghost, Frederick, CV Rick and Aaron A. all have new links. There is also a new essay in the 'Want to Swot?" section called 'Beyond hope'.

If you haven't seen any of the movies and don't know whether you should download them then here is a twenty second one I did...

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posted by michael the tubthumper @ 2:23 pm   10 comments
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
This is a repost but it so scary and important a story I am putting it up again...

Psy-ops propaganda goes mainstream, First Published in Slate

By Sharon Weinberger

September 19, 2005

LONDON - Over the past 24 hours, seven people have checked into hospitals here with telltale symptoms. Rashes, vomiting, high temperature, and cramps: the classic signs of smallpox. Once thought wiped out, the disease is back and threatening a pandemic of epic proportions.

The government faces a dilemma: It needs people to stay home, but if the news breaks, mass panic might ensue as people flee the city, carrying the virus with them.

A shadowy media firm steps in to help orchestrate a sophisticated campaign of mass deception. Rather than alert the public to the smallpox threat, the company sets up a high-tech "ops center" to convince the public that an accident at a chemical plant threatens London. As the fictitious toxic cloud approaches the city, TV news outlets are provided graphic visuals charting the path of the invisible toxins. Londoners stay indoors, glued to the telly, convinced that even a short walk into the streets could be fatal.

This scenario may sound like a rejected plot twist from a mediocre Bond flick, but one company is dead set on making this fantasy come to life.

Strategic Communication Laboratories, a small U.K. firm specializing in "influence operations" made a very public debut this week with a glitzy exhibit occupying prime real estate at Defense Systems & Equipment International, or DSEi, the United Kingdom's largest showcase for military technology. The main attraction was a full-scale mock-up of its ops center, running simulations ranging from natural disasters to political coups.

Just to the right of the ops center, a dark-suited man with a wireless microphone paces like a carnival barker, narrating the scenarios. Above him a screen flashes among scenes of disaster, while to his right, behind thick glass, workers sit attentively before banks of computer screens, busily scrolling through data. The play actors pause only to look up at a big board that flashes ominously between "hot spots" like North Korea and Congo.

While Londoners fret over fictitious toxins, the government works to contain the smallpox outbreak. The final result, according to SCL's calculations, is that only thousands perish, rather than the 10 million originally projected. Another success.

Of course, the idea of deluding an entire city seems, well, a bit like propaganda.

"If your definition of propaganda is framing communications to do something that's going to save lives, that's fine," says Mark Broughton, SCL's public affairs director. "That's not a word I would use for that."

Then again, it's hard to know exactly what else to call it. (Company literature describes SCL's niche specialties as "psychological warfare," "public diplomacy," and "influence operations.") The smallpox scenario plays out in excruciating detail how reporters would be tapped to receive disinformation, with TV and radio stations dedicated to around-the-clock coverage. Even the eventual disclosure is carefully scripted.

In another doomsday scenario, the company assists a newly democratic country in South Asia as it struggles with corrupt politicians and a rising insurgency that threatens to bubble over into bloody revolution. SCL steps in to assist the benevolent king of "Manpurea" to temporarily seize power.

Oh, wait, that sounds a lot like Nepal, where the monarchy earlier this year ousted a corrupt government to stave off a rising Maoist movement. The problem is, the SCL scenario also sounds a lot like using a private company to help overthrow a democratically elected government. Another problem, at least in Nepal, is that the king now shows few signs of returning to democracy.

The company, which describes itself as the first private-sector provider of psychological operations, has been around since 1993. But its previous work was limited to civil operations, and it now wants to expand to military customers.

If SCL weren't so earnest, it might actually seem to be mocking itself, or perhaps George Orwell. As the end of the smallpox scenario, dramatic music fades out to a taped message urging people to "embrace" strategic communications, which it describes as "the most powerful weapon in the world." And the company Web page offers some decidedly creepy asides. "The [ops center] can override all national radio and TV broadcasts in time of crisis," it says, alluding to work the company has done in an unspecified Asian country.

The government's use of deception in the service of national security is not new. During World War II, for example, Allied forces conducted a massive misinformation campaign, called Operation Fortitude, designed to hide plans for the Normandy invasion. More recent efforts have met with controversy, however. In 2002, the Pentagon shuttered its brand new Office of Strategic Influence after public outcry over its purported plans to spread deceptive information to the foreign press.

Government deception may even be justified in some cases, according to Michael Schrage, a senior adviser to the security-studies program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "If you tell the population that there's been a bio-warfare attack, hospital emergency rooms will be overwhelmed with people who sincerely believe they have all the symptoms and require immediate attention," Schrage says.

The problem, he adds, is that in a democracy, a large-scale ruse would work just once.

The U.S. government has generally sought to limit disinformation; some agencies?such as the CIA?are explicitly prohibited by law from misleading domestic press. And while the CIA is fond of concealment, it takes pride in the belief that truth is necessary for an open government, a sentiment chiseled into the agency's lobby.

What makes SCL's strategy so unusual is that it proposes to propagate its campaign domestically, at least some of the time, and rather than influence just opinion, it wants people to take a particular course of action. Is SCL simply hawking a flashier version of propaganda?

The spokesman's answer: "We save lives."

Yes, Broughton acknowledges, the ops center is not exactly giving the truth, but he adds, "Is it not worth giving an untruth for 48 hours to save x million people's lives? Sometimes the means to an end has to be recognized."

Who buys this stuff? Broughton declined to mention many specific clients, noting that disclosing SCL's involvement?particularly in countries with a free and open media?could make its campaigns less effective. However, he says that post-apartheid South Africa has employed SCL. So has the United Nations, he says.

The company's Web site is even vaguer, mentioning international organizations and foreign governments. A Google search produces only a handful of hits, mostly linked to the company's Web site. The company's work is based on something that even the spokesman admits you "won't find on the Web": the Behavioral Dynamics Institute, a virtual lab led by Professor Phil Taylor of Leeds University.

But the company, which is funded by private investors, is now taking on a higher profile, and visitors flocked to the flashy setup here at the show. "Basically, we're launching ourselves this week on the defense market and homeland security market at the same time," Broughton explained.

If SCL has its way, its vision of strategic communications?which involves complex psychological and scientific data?could be used to shape public response to tsunamis, epidemics, or even the next Hurricane Katrina.

Well aware that the company may face controversy, particularly with its push into the defense market, Broughton emphasizes the company's role in saving lives.

"It sounds altruistic," he said. "There is some altruism in it, but we also want to earn money."

Sharon Weinberger, a writer based in Washington, is working on a book about the Pentagon and fringe science.

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posted by michael the tubthumper @ 9:28 pm   4 comments
Monday, March 26, 2007
I know that we all know that he is a lying bastard but year or so ago I posted something about his first election leaflet when he was running to be an MP for the first time.

You can look at it here.

At a time when the UK is at war in a few places and is currently trying to spend billions of pounds on revamping its nuclear weaponry it is interesting to look at some of the things on the leaflet.

In one section entitled "DEFENCE MADNESS" there are two little comments..

"The incompetent Tories got us into the Falklands War -now the Falklands Fortress Policy is costing us billions."


"The Tories would rather spend £10 billion on trident missiles, than try to stop the growing nuclear arms race."
In response to these charges against the Tories, in a section entitled "Labour's Sensible Answers" there is a prescription for "A MORE SANE DEFENCE POLICY" (when I wrote about this before I pointed out that they only seem to want a more sane defence policy, rather than actually having a sane defence policy) which says...

"Labour believes in Defence and in membership of N.A.T.O. but we don't need dangerous and costly Trident and Cruise missiles, which just escalate the arms race."


Finally, in the personal message section we have this...

"The Tories say there is no new money to create jobs. But they spend billions of pounds each year on dangerous nuclear weapons. They spend billions on keeping people on the dole [for American readers 'the dole' is slang for being on welfare]. They encourage the rich to invest billions abroad each year. This isn't sense - it's insanity."
Oh and I just wanted to post this cartoon, because I like it.

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posted by michael the tubthumper @ 1:33 pm   8 comments
Friday, March 23, 2007
As I intimated a couple of posts previously I am recently back from a year away from home.

One thing that bugged me was that I wasn’t able to get any books when I was away. Well, I could have, but I am not interested in the Da Vinci Code or where men and women are supposedly from (I always thought they were both from earth) or any of that sort of bollocks.

Consequently, for the first time I got into audio books (downloadable) because I hate reading full books on the computer – it is just not the same.

I started to find it quite enjoyable to stick one on while I was pottering about the house doing housework and so on.

I have kept the habit since I returned and I was on my way to the shops listening to ‘The letters of Oscar Wilde’ yesterday and this little quote really made me laugh…

“It was a fatal day when the public discovered that the pen is mightier than the paving stone and could be made as offensive as the brickbat. They at once sought for the journalist, found him, developed him and made him their industrious and well-paid servant.

In the old days men had the rack, now they have the press. That is an improvement certainly but still it is very bad and wrong and demoralizing. Somebody (was it Burke?), called journalism the fourth estate – that was true at the time no doubt but at the present moment it really is the only estate – it has eaten up the other three.

The ‘Lords Temporal’ say nothing, the ‘Lords Spiritual’ have nothing to say and the House of Commons has nothing to say…and says it.

We are dominated by journalism. The tyranny that it proposes to exercise over peoples private lives seems to me quite extraordinary. The fact is that the public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything, except what is worth knowing.

Journalism, conscious of this and having tradesman-like habits, supplies their demands.

In centuries before ours the public nailed journalists ears to the pump - that was quite hideous. In this century journalists have nailed their own ears to the keyhole – that is much worse. The private lives of men and women should not be told to the public, the public have nothing to do with them at all."

If you change the references to "the public" and "men" in general in the first and second paragraphs to "rulers" I think he makes a tremendous point and I couldn't agree more.

It is also a rather good comment on the celebrity culture we have now.

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posted by michael the tubthumper @ 11:40 am   14 comments
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Well, actually I have been to several. The highest up I ever got was about 14,500 feet which is about 4,500 metres. I don't normally post photos of myself on here but a photo from the back is ok... here is me in himalaya-ville...

I just absolutely love it. It is my favourite thing in the world bar none (well, maybe one - but you can do that one up there anyway if yo uknow the right person). For me, being up there is the one place of truly forgetting it all. For some people it is music which works for me sometimes but a lot of music is situational and therefore either

A - you tailor what you are listening to to what is going on in your life


B - what you are listening to drags your mood or outlook to whatever the situation in the song is.

For some people it is reading or yoga or watching a movie. Not for me. Mountains.

There are so many reasons. For example, the clean air, the fitness thing, the feeling when you get to the top, obviously there are the incredible views. But I think the most important for me is going to a place that hasn't been fucked up yet. But even MORE than that it's the feeling that I don't even think in that way when I am in these places. I just get on with it. I do it in different kinds of weather too, it doesn't have to be sunny.

For good measure, here are a couple from various places in Scotland...What makes you forget about all horrible stuff???

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posted by michael the tubthumper @ 1:56 pm   7 comments
Monday, March 19, 2007
Here is a good little 2 minute short about the debt trap and how it works, or rather doesn't, for the poorest nations on earth.

After it is an advert that the charity Christian aid made that most networks refused to show because, well, decide for yourself.

posted by michael the tubthumper @ 5:07 pm   6 comments
Sunday, March 11, 2007

Guess the covered letters...


posted by michael the tubthumper @ 12:48 am   4 comments
Thursday, March 01, 2007
A grand title I know. Nevertheless... I think a certain Ms Arundhati Roy has convincingly managed to condense it to about 30 seconds...

Do you have any quotes, links, articles, videos or pictures that you think sum it all up very well?

Serious or comedy suggestions are fine.


posted by michael the tubthumper @ 8:45 am   7 comments
U.S. MONETARY Cost of the War in Iraq - other people are spending too, and the human cost is much higher
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What is Tubthumping and who is doing it?

Name: michael the tubthumper
Home: Glasgow, Scotland
About Me: Tub-Thumper - 1. A speaker or preacher who for emphasis thumps the pulpit; a violent or declamatory preacher or orator; a ranter. This blog will be a combination of reasoned posting somedays and an occasional rant. 28 years old, I write and research for a couple of websites and also do my own stuff.
See my complete profile

Thumping The Tub Video

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I have made a few short movies. Here are links to free downloads for them all in the order that I made them (as far as I can remember). Please feel free to use, distribute, disagree with, shout at etc etc

  • Praise The Lord and Pass The Ammunition
  • This was a REAL song from World War 2. I was so stunned by it I had to make a movie

  • How Far Is It From Here to Nuremberg
  • This is my attempt at a video for the excellent, if worrying, David Rovics (see links) song

  • What You Like
  • I believe the word for this is "splenetic". Only 20 seconds long.

  • Imperial Measures
  • What is going on in Iraq? Some things you knew, some you didn't. A couple of bits of info are out of date now.

  • Wish You Were Here
  • Wish You Were Here is a 6 minute film about the unprecendted rate of animal extinction we are currently experiencing

  • Gorillas and us
  • I don't like creationism, neither did Douglas Adams

    Recent Thumping
    Older Thumping

  • spinwatch
  • adbusters
  • internet archive
  • art not oil
  • blairwatch
  • bushflash
  • camcorder guerillas
  • corporate watch
  • campaign for press freedom
  • noam chomsky
  • common dreams
  • counterpunch
  • cost of war
  • david rovics
  • democracy now
  • dissident voice
  • the dossier
  • downing street says
  • etims
  • robert fisk
  • food not bombs
  • global research
  • gmwatch
  • impeach blair
  • indybay video
  • killing hope
  • lobbywatch
  • mediachannel
  • medialens
  • mickey z
  • mixed up records
  • george monbiot
  • mark thomas
  • john pilger
  • radio 4 all
  • schnews
  • snow shoe films
  • sourcewatch
  • tom englehardt
  • ukwatch
  • video activist network
  • howard zinn
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    some of the blogs I look at
    Arse of the month

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    The inaugural 'Arse of the month' award goes to our very own Scottish First Minister Jack (Joke) McConnell. He seems to spend a lot of his time sucking up to english politicians and yet it appears they don't even know his name. Follow the link to see..

    It's All Gone Scottish

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    A list of some other Scottish sites and blogs most of which, if not all, are pro-independence. I don't agree with content on all of them obviously. Some are Scots at home, others abroad.

  • The Scottish Patient
  • Kim Ayres
  • Our Scotland
  • average tosser
  • 1820
  • big stick small carrot
  • J. Arthur MacNumpty
  • World of Jack McConnell
  • The Firefox Chronicles
  • Independence 1st
  • Radio Free Scotland
  • Scots and independent
  • Scottish Independence Guide
  • Small Nation
  • Inveresk Street Ingrate
  • Radical Glasgow
  • Want to Swot?

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    If you like this site and think it is time to start getting informed here are a few real favourites of mine that will help you blow away the corporate and government propaganda you are constantly bombarded with. It is added to every so often.

  • politics and the english language
  • Beyond Hope
  • the gore exception
  • your tax dollars at work
  • a cultural chernobyl
  • choose life (not trainspotting)
  • shooting an elephant
  • a war crime within a war crime...
  • the menace of liberal scholarship
  • the modern era of law
  • naming the problem
  • the four ages of sand
  • a news revolution has begun
  • come september
  • money is the cause of poverty
  • countering corporate power
  • Other Stuff

    Who links to me?

    For a DotSCOT Domain!

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