Welcome

diskant is an independent music community based in Glasgow, Scotland and we have a whole team of people from all over the UK and beyond writing about independent music and culture, from interviews with new and established bands and labels to record and fanzine reviews and articles on art, festivals and politics. There's over ten years of content here so dig in!

 Subscribe in a reader

Recent Interviews

diskant Staff Sites

More Sites We Like

Archive for the 'politics' Category

Vote Bean

Posted: May 5th, 2005, by Simon Proffitt

The first candidate on my ballot paper this afternoon was Captain Beany, representing the New Millenium Bean Party. Because this is a secret ballot, I reserve the right to tell you whether I did or did not vote him. But check out the manifesto – it actually makes a hell of a lot of sense. Especially the bit about giving Prince William a bachelor pad in Cardiff Castle so he can date Charlotte Church.

The best is yet to come – for some strange, mesmerising reason I think this page is possibly the funniest thing I’ve seen in weeks: The Wales Yearboook General Election Guide

Update: Beany received 159 votes, just 17,833 short of what would have been a fantastic victory for Cardiff, baked beans and Prince William. Meanwhile, in nearby Cardiff North, the Vote For Yourself Party candidate received 1 vote. Presumably from herself.

Quote of the year

Posted: December 21st, 2004, by Chris H

From the head of the Hollywood film studios association: “These people are parasites leeching off the creativity of others.” (No, he’s talking about bittorrent users.)

Note to self

Posted: December 7th, 2004, by Dave Stockwell

When entertaining eight drunken libertarian musicians/madmen from Massachusetts, don’t take them to a takeaway run by Turkish and Iraqi Kurds and let the two parties commence debating the merits of the USA’s 2004 Presidential Election candidates. It’s waaaaay more complicated than you could ever imagine.

(However, the encouragement of purchasing copious amounts of food in this situation is still recommended)

GOD HELP US

Posted: November 4th, 2004, by Chris Summerlin

GOD HELP US

Tchai Ovna

Posted: July 7th, 2004, by Chris H

People are stupid and greedy and weird. My favourite cafe Tchai Ovna, is under threat from someone wanting to build flats on the half-wild spot between their garden and the river. This will wreck the feel of the place and I’m baffled that anyone would want to do that.

There’s been a visit from the developer and work could start as soon as next week.

There’s a meeting about it there at 10 tonight and I’ll post more stuff about the campaign to stop this when I know more.

Ladies and Gentlemen, We got him

Posted: December 18th, 2003, by Simon Minter

Marceline’s having internet problems at the moment, which explains the lack of recent content on the site – and believe me there’s some exciting new content on the way when everything’s up and running again!

For now, I thought I’d put onto this blog a column which I received from Ross McGivern yesterday, as it’s particularly timely. I’m hoping that he’s not the only person out there who’s been more than a little concerned about the recent reactions to Saddam’s capture… here it is:

“Ladies and Gentlemen, We got him”

These were the words that I awoke to on Sunday 13th December, I was as surprised as anyone as I was expecting to awake to the dulcet tones of John Craven on Countryfile discussing the intricacies of unsustainable farming policies. Admittedly we had it on the wrong channel but watched to see what was going on in Iraq.

My first reaction when I heard that US forces had captured a suspicious bearded man this close to Christmas was that they had in their wisdom captured Father Christmas,or, the 2 of Clubs as he is known to GI’s around Tikrit. Maybe they had mistaken “my first Chemistry set” as a mobile bio weapons lab capable of launching a strip of magnesium sulphate on British citizens within 45 minutes, only if the budding scientist had a meths Bunsen burner and a pair of crappy plastic goggles.

What I’ve picked up over the course of the week are mixed messages from our ‘leaders’ and media, such as where he will stand trial, what’s his punishment will be and WHERE ARE THE WMD?

So far we’ve heard that its likely that Saddam Hussein will face trial in Iraq and not in an international war crimes tribunal or other type of International Court. This maybe because the US do not want to sign up to the idea of an International Court as it will leave their military actions open to account, such as killing 15 children in less than week in two separate raids in Afghanistan. And given that there was no UN mandate to go to war anywhere there could be a counter claim, and I think there should be! Presumably in the consumer friendly Iraq where smuggling and Sky dish installation are now the number one occupations, this case will be handled by a British No Win No fee solicitors advertising in Iraq (shortly before offshoring to Baghdad to open a call centre). “Have you been injured in an accident at work or been hit a Daisy Cutter? Then call Claims Direct” They then cut to a little kid saying how claims direct helped him as he was hit in the face by a football and now needs to wear glasses for the rest of his life.

Today, 15/12/03 Bush came out and said that Saddam should face the death penalty, now this is where I get confused. In a news report during the week I had heard how in the new Iraq, the death penalty had been abolished, yet Bush wants him to face it in the Iraq. Is this another example of the US president trying to dictate someone else’s policy? It does to this cynic. In the speeches made, you can’t help but hear the undertones of revenge, such as “facing the treatment he gave his people”. If, post saddam, this is a better world why are still hankering after revengeful acts such as the death penalty, however coming from Bush, who as Governor of Texas oversaw the executions of many prisoners, including those with severe mental illness, it isn’t surprising. Yet our leaders and media trumpet that we have won a victory for civilised society.

It does amaze me at what short memories some people have, when justifying the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Human Rights abuses and specifically public executions were highlighted as atrocities which needed resolution by dropping a vast amount of explosives on them and installing a US friendly administration, but by allowing the execution of Saddam Hussein, or even encouraging it, aren’t our world leaders being hypocrites once more? Surely if we have turned the corner, we should be making sure that everything is done properly and fairly, not as Tony Blair has said “seen” to be a fair trial. Even though he is undeniably an evil dictator who should be held account for his murderous reign, what is wrong with making sure no short cuts are made?

After all, if short cuts are made and he faces a public execution, which will probably be shown on Sky Pay Per View, what signal will this send to supporters and citizens already resentful of the occupation of Iraq? By showing footage of him being manhandled by a US doctor, they have already enflamed many across the Middle East by humiliating and degrading him; and this is the reaction from those are pleased that he is gone.

Finally they have found Saddam Hussein, less than 6ft tall, but they haven’t been able to locate 20ft rockets, whats going on? I maybe exaggerating but if they found a couple of screws they’d claim it comes from a rocket launcher which is set to hit Skegness in less than an hour. But still no sign of them I find this interesting, maybe that’s because there aren’t any? I had initially thought that once they had captured him, and with such ease it won’t be long before a deal is struck and Saddam avoids death by either telling them where the WMD are, or allowing them to be planted etc, however it appears he is now not talking so that might have scuppered that theory.

All I’m suggesting is that before demanding that the only course of action is the death penalty, or a fixed trial or an illegal stay in Camp X-ray that a bit of common sense is applied and serious consideration is given to the consequences of an imperialistic vendetta.

I have however thought of some “hilarious” punishments

1. Replacement for Bertie Vogts as Manager of Scotland.

2. Leader of the Conservatives, a torturous affair no less

and finally…

3. Take my place for the horrors that await my Christmas; not only has my mad mother in law invited herself to Christmas lunch (I’ll be the one cooking), thus spoiling plans already made, I’ve also been volunteered to drive her and her new chap to Gatwick (they better not canoodle on my backseat). They have to be there for 4.00 am I’ll probably get home around 06.00 Boxing Day. Sleep Deprevation and White Noise must pale into insignificance.

Ugh. Edinburgh, what are they doing to you?

Posted: October 30th, 2003, by Chris H

As if handing over a fat chunk of the regeneration budget to the cloth-eared fuckwads at MTV wasn’t enough (‘cos the capital’s coke dealers need the extra trade now there’s a bit of a banking recession, presumably), at the same time, NATO is invading:

“‘After Iraq – a new transatlantic consensus? NATO at a crossroads!’ As well as high ranking military chiefs and political leaders, the 49th meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Association will also be attended by top executives of the world’s largest arms manufacturers including BAe and Lockheed Martin. Among those attending will be Supreme Allied Commander of Europe: General James L Jones (USA); Geoff Hoon, MP Secretary of State for Defence (United Kingdom); US Ambassador to the UK: Ambassador Nicholas Burns; Rt Hon Lord Robertson of Port Ellen, PC, Secretary General, NATO and Russian Ambassador to the UK: Ambassador Yuri B. Kashlev. Events will also include a Royal reception at Holyrood Palace, an evening on the Royal Yacht Britannia, a trip to see the Scottish Crown Jewels and a visit to Stirling Castle”

This is from the 4th-8th November and the schedule is up on Indymedia. Go spoil their party.

If I hadn’t spent half my life in the town, I’d advocate nuking the EICC.

I need a shower after thinking about this. And don’t get me started on this Musicworks pish either.

I should maybe follow Simon’s example….

War

Posted: March 26th, 2003, by Dave Stockwell

You might have noticed things have been quiet around diskant towers again, for fairly obvious reasons. There’s little I feel I can say to make any kind of worthwhile point, but something was brought to my attention tonight:

16 May, 1918 – The U.S. Sedition Act

United States, Statutes at Large, Washington, D.C., 1918, Vol. XL, pp 553 ff. A portion of the amendment to Section 3 of the Espionage Act of June 15, 1917.SECTION 3.

Whoever, when the United States is at war, shall willfully make or convey false reports or false statements with intent to interfere with the operation or success of the military or naval forces of the United States, or to promote the success of its enemies, or shall willfully make or convey false reports, or false statements, . . . or incite insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty, in the military or naval forces of the United States, or shall willfully obstruct . . . the recruiting or enlistment service of the United States, or . . . shall willfully utter, print, write, or publish any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language about the form of government of the United States, or the Constitution of the United States, or the military or naval forces of the United States . . . or shall willfully display the flag of any foreign enemy, or shall willfully . . . urge, incite, or advocate any curtailment of production . . . or advocate, teach, defend, or suggest the doing of any of the acts or things in this section enumerated and whoever shall by word or act support or favor the cause of any country with which the United States is at war or by word or act oppose the cause of the United States therein, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than twenty years, or both.

To anyone in the United States of America opposing this ‘war’, you have my sympathy.

I write to you from the Room of Boxes

Posted: March 10th, 2003, by Marceline Smith

Yes, I am moving house again, which means diskant is moving too since we don’t really all work in a big castle. The broadband is being a bit tricksy so there may be some delays in getting things updated. It’s also highly possible that this might cause delays in me replying to emails but even if it doesn’t I’ll be using that excuse for at least two months. And, hey, if you’re ever in Glasgow come visit us [unless you are a psycho].

I did wade through the boxes and leave the house over the weekend though, thanks to the major ego boost of being asked to be part of the panel at one of the workshops at Frock On. I had a really great time and met lots of nice people. I’ve always been a little wary of GURLfests, despite being initially radicalised via Riot Girl. Never been too keen on all the vegan, anarchist, new age stuff that goes along with the music and the feminism. But I had a jolly nice free lunch and a couple of hours discussion about self-publishing and zine making with a cool crowd of girls. As I say, I was on the panel along with Lucy from Chica, Marie from No, I’m A Veronica and Pat from Vesuvius and they were all lovely and much more interesting than me. Good discussion from panel and ‘audience’ and lots of networking of the nice kind. Sadly, my head was still full of boxes so I never made it to the evening gigs but I’m sure it was all good. Big thanks to Heather for asking me along.

Right, I better get back to my boxes. Maybe fit in a THINGS I LIKE though:

YAY:

– Mojave Three and Ligament. Covering all bases at present

– New house!

BOO:

– Soil gnats! They may not be damaging my plants but they are damn irritating.

– all the crap, boring, tiring parts of moving house

Finally, I am selling some indie/Britpop stuff on eBay so have a look if you might possibly be interested. It’s all ending in the next day or so though.

Stop the War

Posted: February 17th, 2003, by Marceline Smith

So, as I was saying before Blogger went mental and ate my post [we hates it, we hates it! etc], it was the Anti War protests on Saturday and I hope you were all present and correct. We took lots of small children with us so spent a fun Friday night making our own placards out of cardboard boxes, brightly coloured paint, plaited wool and shoogly eyes. They were rather fantastic and the press kept taking photos of us. Sadly the interview Indymedia Scotland did with two of the kids isn’t on the website [interviewer: “why are you here?” kids: “umm” interviewer: “are you against the war?” kids: “YES!”] but there are lots of photos. The Glasgow demo was brilliant I thought, filling Glasgow Green at the beginning and the SECC car park at the end. Walking up St Vincent Street with people ahead and behind as far as we could see was exciting enough. Going off for chips halfway through and returning to just as many people was amazing. Also great to see so many ‘normal ordinary’ people instead of recognising 80% of the demonstrators. Tony Blair nipped in early to do his speech at the Labour Party conference and then wussed off home to hide so there was little to do once we arrived at the SECC except be continually amazed at how many people were there, try and find a space where you could be one of the twelve people able to hear the speeches and consider occupying the Tall Ship. Then the police closed the nearest bridge over the motorway so I had to walk some more miles to get home. Best anecdote of the day: when we were watching the march going past and looking for a handy gap to slide into, one of the kids with us asked, “is that the war?”. Aww.

Also on the Scottish front, some good news and some bad. The good news is that there is finally an official website for the Yummy Fur [only about five years late eh?] which has a long and very good interview with singer John McKeown and lots of other info. The bad news is that bis have confirmed that they’ve split up. But there will be a few farewell live dates and a final record before they go and they’re all involved in new projects. Crossover news of the day as John and Steven bis’ new band Dirty Hospital will be playing Stereo in Glasgow on the 24th of March [supporting the ace EU] followed by John McKeown’s new band The Mars Hotel the day after [and my birthday, yay!]. We just need a gig by Amanda’s band The Kitchen and we’ll have the full set.