Giant arborvitae, Lough Key


George Hook And The Entitlement To An Opinion

Cunning Hired Knaves

Everyone may be ‘entitled to their opinion’, whatever that means, but not everyone is entitled to a national radio slot where they can spout misogynist garbage.
Rosa Luxemburg is often quoted as saying that ‘Freedom is always and exclusively freedom for the one who thinks differently.’ Her preceding sentence was ‘Freedom only for the supporters of the government, only for the members of one party – however numerous they may be – is no freedom at all.’

George Hook is a cheerleader for Ireland’s ruling party Fine Gael in a very literal sense: he does warm-up speeches for them at their conventions. He is one broadcaster on a radio station owned by a billionaire media magnate who got his big break after greasing the palm of the Fine Gael Minister for Communications. On the whole, the radio station itself, as with the rest of the billionaire’s media interests, is anti-worker…

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Neolithic Coding on the Hill of Tara

The Receipt of Magic

What’s REALLY happening in #Venezuela – from someone who knows


deaaiusuaaah-imMike Prysner and Abby Martin recovering from tear gas in Venezuela

Mike Prysner is a former US Army soldier turned documentary-maker, who produces and co-writes The Empire Files for Latin American broadcaster teleSUR English with Abby Martin. He was, until recently, in Venezuela covering the troubles there.

Mike generously gave the SKWAWKBOX his time for a lengthy interview from Los Angeles on the real situation in Venezuela from his first-hand experience. What he related is eye-opening.

And it’s very different from the line we’re being fed by the UK’s press, broadcasters, pundits and right-wing MPs – and it’s startling from the outset.

prysner1You’ve heard about attempts by the UK Establishment to weaponise Venezuela against Jeremy Corbyn?

When I heard that Jeremy Corbyn had condemned violence on both sides in Venezuela, I was angry at first – because 80% or more of the violence is being committed by anti-government protesters. Their…

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Flash Fiction – The Boy in the Bubble


The Boy in the Bubble

by Leona Lee Cully


Today they want me to leave the bubble and crawl through a narrow tunnel and go into the space suit. The Mobile Biologistical Isolation System they call it. I want to try it but I am terrified that there is a germ in there that will kill me.

In my dreams the King of the Germs sends his hundreds of wives to kill me and somehow I manage to kill them before they kill me. But the King just marries more wives and sends them to murder me with their bony, white hands.

Last week they told me one of the Doctors had a heart attack. One by one they all abandon me. I saw purple and got so angry I could hardly breathe. When I could see clearly again the walls of my bubble were brown. The nurses were mad…

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Notes for a story: The Boy in the Bubble




David Vetter: The Boy in the Bubble


Notes for a story:

Can you live without touching the skin of others, the skin of the world?

Ten seconds after he was born they placed him in a sterile cocoon.

He thought the world outside the window was flat and one-dimensional, that trees were just cut-outs in the distance.

The awful sadness in his eyes and in those of his mother. She only got to touch him once, to place her hands on his face. He was twelve years old and their first touch was moments before he died.

The doctors who played God, who enabled his life, and then deserted him one by one to his plastic prison. 

Homo Sacer – a being not allowed to die but also not really allowed to live. Bare life. An accursed man…

Freed from his cocoon to have a bone marrow operation…

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