The Unsuitablog

Exposing Ethical Hypocrites Everywhere!

Archive for March, 2009

Barack Obama: The Cracks Are Already Showing

Posted by keith on 31st March 2009

You Have Owners, You Have No Choice

I really don’t want to say “I was right”, this being about things that really matter, but considering how much I and, I am sure, you know about the way the Culture of Maximum Harm operates, it comes as no surprise at all that just three months into his presidency, Barack Obama is showing every sign of being crushed between the cogs of The Machine.

Here’s what I wrote back in November:

I’m going to make a prediction, and you can hold me to this: within a year of taking office, Barack Obama will seem like just another President of the United States. I feel sorry for him because — having an instinct for these things — I think he really does want to make change happen, at least in a social context, yet he has but one choice: toe the line or face the consequences…the President operates within a context of continuing to expand Industrial Civilization. The President has no choice but to work with the system. The President will do the bidding of the system because he represents the system, in all its toxic glory.

That is why Barack Obama will become a greenwasher — it’s his job, whether he likes it or not.

Notice the italicised phrase above – it seems even I was being too optimistic:

Barack Obama may be forced to delay signing up to a new international agreement on climate change in Copenhagen at the end of the year because of the scale of opposition in the US Congress, it emerged today.

Senior figures in the Obama administration have been warning Labour counterparts that the president may need at least another six months to win domestic support for any proposal.

Such a delay could derail the securing of a tough global agreement in time for countries and markets to adopt it before the Kyoto treaty runs out in 2012.

American officials would prefer to have the approval of Congress for any international agreement and fear that if the US signed up without it there would be a serious domestic backlash.

He still talks the talk: of the 80% cut by 2050 (abjectly useless, based on current predictions of atmospheric carbon growth); of a Cap and Trade scheme (using money to mask a lack of real reductions) and of a “New Kyoto” (as though the old one had any impact). Talking the talk of the machine, and walking the walk like a puppy on a lead.

How apt that his first “action” upon entering the White House was to discuss getting a family pet. Time to take a look in the mirror, Mr Obama, and see who is behind you.

Posted in Government Policies, Political Hypocrisy | No Comments »

Stop Being Symbolic: Have An Earth Hour Every Hour

Posted by keith on 28th March 2009

Thanks to Plane Stupid for this article: make your feelings about the pointless, corporate-friendly symbolism of Earth Hour wherever you can.


Sometimes I get sent things that really piss me off. This video (and Earth Hour) is one of them. Earth Hour, for those of you who didn’t get the memo, is a coming together of lots of people who will all turn their lights off for an hour. And then turn them back on again afterwards. Or something.

Now some of us at the coal face of climate change campaigning might choose to describe such an activity as a collosal waste of time that puts forward false solutions that tell people you can stop climate change while keeping all those existing power structures, lifestyles and consumerist nonsenses going. But while we roll our eyes and try to ignore it, the organisers go and put out videos like the one above, which seem to be saying that taking direct action is less effective than sitting in the dark for an hour.

Earth Hour: The Huge Turn Off- Alanis Morissette PSA

Of course they don’t stop there: how about the idea that you can keep flying everywhere so long as you use a freshly-bought green lightbulb? Popstrel Alanis Morrisette thinks that’s the case, and no one at the Earth Hour HQ thought it a bit weird that she’s giving her message of inaction from the inside of a plane.

Don’t get me wrong: if the organisers of Earth Hour want to pretend we can solve climate change by getting “millions of people” to turn their lights off only to turn them back on again an hour later then fine. Just stop polluting the airwaves with your ill-thought out, partisan bullshit.

Posted in NGO Hypocrisy, Promotions, Should Know Better | 1 Comment »

If You Don’t Trust Governments Then You’re In Good Company, Part 2

Posted by keith on 27th March 2009


I cannot say this enough: Governments and Business have no part to play in the solution to the environmental crisis. This is part of the “Eco Meme” in Time’s Up! for a very good reason – the primary role of government is to grow the economy, regardless of the consequences. This is exemplified perfectly in an article from todays Guardian, which I will reprint in full, given that it is such an indictment of the political system.

You will notice that Greenpeace have done something good: they have performed an undermining activity in exposing the machinations of the corrupt system, thus working against one of the Tools Of Disconnection – namely “Seven: Lie To Us”. For this they must be congratulated – they are using their high profile to get this information out to the widest possible audience: this is the kind of thing groups like Greenpeace should be concentrating on.

Bear in mind, anyone can file a Freedom of Information request, where the relevant laws exist; alternatively, if you are in a privileged position, or know someone who is, then you can bypass this bureaucratic system and simply leak the information

Department for Transport civil servants repeatedly met aviation industry chiefs in advance of the decision to back a third runway at Heathrow, even though they told environmental groups that there was a blanket ban on meetings with any external bodies.

The disclosure comes in documents the civil service was directed to release to Greenpeace by the information commissioner after nearly nine months of stonewalling by civil servants.

The documents, in the form of a risk register produced by the DfT last year, also disclose that the communications directorate at the department saw it as its job to “monitor protest groups continuously and brief staff and police accordingly”.

The risk register is a document listing everything that could go wrong with the project, the likelihood of something going wrong and how much of a problem such an event would be.

Ministers regarded losing the economic and environmental arguments as “high” impact and “medium” likelihood, combining to give a “high” exposure to risk for the government. The threat of disruption was seen as one of the highest risk threats to the third runway.

The documents also disclose that at one point the department thought it would only be able to meet the noise reduction demands by introducing a congestion charge for the area.

Civil servants also advised that they continue high-level and frequent engagement with industry stakeholders, including at ministerial level, as necessary to keep abreast of developments and strategies.

At the same time an environmental organisation was being emailed by transport department civil servants: “In advance of the meeting I would like to make clear that discussion of Heathrow expansion will not be possible. This is for reasons of propriety as the consultation has now closed and ministers are considering the submissions that have been made.

“This condition applies to all meetings that the secretary of state is holding with external groups. Wider issues around aviation and the environment may, of course, be discussed with the ministers.”

The document also shows that civil servants thought it right to contact the Competition Commission so it did not create “uncertainty over BAA capacity/drive to take forward LHR expansion”.

Meanwhile, the government has indicated that BAA cannot lodge a planning application for a third runway before the next general election – an admission that ensures a Conservative government could block a new landing strip at the airport.

According to a presentation by the DfT, seen by the Guardian, BAA is not expected to seek planning permission for a third runway until 2012. The last possible date for a general election is 3 June 2010. Executives at the airport group have conceded that it will be impossible to compile the plans and data necessary by that date.


Posted in Government Policies, Political Hypocrisy, Sabotage | No Comments »

Sabotaging Television With A Click

Posted by keith on 25th March 2009

Imagine The Fun You Could Have!

I think I can truthfully say that television is the means by which greenwash, and other forms of anti-environmental propaganda, reaches people most effectively: magazines, newspapers and billboards are certainly grevious offenders, but as we subvert more and more of our lives to the great glass teat in the sitting room (the bedroom, the kitchen, the dining room, the pub, the car…) we become ever more receptive to what is coming out of it, even though we may not think we do.

Television is where the greenwashers go if they really want to get their message over to the maximum number of people in the most insidious way possible — which makes television, public television in particular, an obvious target for sabotage. You might not be able to get into peoples’ homes (although, as this article suggests, it would make a fine project) but, as this article from The Sietch Blog shows, everyone can have a go at freeing peoples’ minds…

I have had some interesting discussions with people who don’t like what I say in my book about sabotage. In a nutshell, sabotage, or probably more accurately, “undermining” is a vital activity in allowing a sizeable number of people to regain control of their lives that are otherwise being controlled by the forces that ensure we follow our current, destructive path. Sabotage of the things that control us is therefore, fundamental to creating large-scale change.

The way we have been taught, especially in recent years, to view anyone interfering with the workings of civilization as “terrorists” is a travesty. Sabotage for the sake of creating something better, no less than in order to ensure humans have a future on Earth, is no more negative than growing your own food or refusing to buy new goods; and is a lot more positive an action than, say, voting, which changes nothing except the superficial appearance of the political system.

And in case you think sabotage in order to give people their minds back is going to be difficult, here’s an example of something that everyone can do easily, quickly and without getting caught – and if you do get caught then what’s the worse that can happen? “Officer, I caught this individual switching my bank of televisions off!” Clearly a capital offence.

TV-B-Gone — and I make no excuses for advertising a product, because it’s one that could really change things — switches televisions and other remote controlled screens off. Simple. And it does it brilliantly…

This turns 17 off in 2 minutes at an electronics fair:

This clip shows how to use it through windows:

And this one, which I think is the best of all, shows how to use it in places where, surely you would get caught, but are not!

You can buy TV-B-Gone directly from the or on your local eBay site.

I’ve just ordered one, and It’ll be attached to my house keys, so it’s always there when I get the urge. Go on, you know you want to do it!

You would be amazed how many times, and in how many different places, I have used mine…

Posted in Advice, Media Hypocrisy, Sabotage | 3 Comments »

Supermarket Vouchers: The Brainwashing Continues, But We Can Stop It

Posted by keith on 23rd March 2009

Active Kids Banner School Fence

People aren’t listening: this is the season of supermarket voucher collecting in schools around the UK, and the exortations to “Collect! Collect! Collect!” are coming thick and fast, in every newsletter sent home with students, on every school website, and on posters liberally pasted and hung on the walls of a school near you.

I have tried my best to be analytical and instructive. The Unsuitablog published a series of three articles last year giving details about the operation of, the commercial incentives and the brainwashing imposed by such schemes. Here they are, in case you missed them:

The schemes are back with a vengeance – most prominently the newly rebranded Tesco for Schools & Clubs and the Sainsbury Active Kids 2009 schemes: both designed to teach children and their parents that supermarkets are a force for social good, and not the commercial resource-sucking, community-killing, globalization machines that anyone who pauses for even a short moment would realise they really are.

In the last article I tried to suggest ways of stopping these schemes, and tried a number of them myself, to little effect – all except for one, which worked wonderfully!

All you need is a pair of these:

Wire Cutters / Snips

Take a look at the photo at the top of this article, paying particular attention to how the incidious banners — which provide supermarkets with wonderful free advertising on public land — are attached. Not very securely, are they?

Now, with your wire cutters to hand, pay a visit to any school which has one of these banners, preferably when it is dark, and with just four quiet snips, you can cut down this brainwashing tool, stuff it into a bag (why not use a Tesco or a Sainsbury’s one, for extra irony) and then put it in a bin a few streets away. It’s not illegal, by the way: you are doing a public service, and the banner was a “gift”, rather than part of a contractual arrangement.

Once you have done it once, then you’ll want to do it again: and maybe in a short while, we will have together, given the supermarkets a good kick in the balls, which is the least they deserve.

Posted in Advice, Corporate Hypocrisy, Promotions, Public Sector Hypocrisy, Sabotage | 2 Comments »

UK Minister: You Have No Choice But To Accept GM Crops

Posted by keith on 18th March 2009

chainedYou have to hand it to the UK Government; time after time they have pretended to care about greenhouse gas emissions, world peace, deforestation, toxic dumping, overfishing, human right abuses and all sorts of other things that a truly “caring government” would normally do positive things about (ok, some of you will have spotted the contradiction in terms), and time after time they have been exposed as brutal hypocrites, slavishly obeying the wishes of their corporate masters. Yet they keep coming back with ever more extraordinary claims about how they are just doing things because “it’s the right thing to do”.

Top of the list at the moment is carbon capture and storage, which is a way of ensuring we can keep burning coal — feeding the machine we have to remain tied to — while pretending all the emissions are going to be safely locked away and really won’t ever escape, no they won’t, no way, honest.

Coming up close on the heels of CCS is the unremitting desire to get genetically modified organisms into the food chain, thus satisfying the demands of many of the largest corporations on Earth: Cargill, BASF, Syngenta, Dow Chemicals and Monsanto — to name a few. The Canadian and US governments rolled over long ago, and the power of these corporations has ensured that South America is awash with GMOs, making it difficult to ensure that the food we eat isn’t contaminated in some way (Hint: grow your own). And that’s where The Independent takes up the story:

Jane Kennedy, the minister for Farming and the Environment, told The Independent yesterday that the [world food study] group’s work would include the potential for GM crops and food.

She said that she was “cautious” about allowing GM products in Britain, but added: “My own opinion is less important than what John Beddington might come up with. When the public are deeply concerned and hold strong views, they tend not to listen when ministers express a view. But they will listen to those who have the experience and knowledge to be able to offer solid advice.”

Ms Kennedy said that she would welcome GM crop trials in Britain. None is currently taking place because all projects have been vandalised by opponents but the Government may fund an experiment at a “secure” location.

The minister said another reason why the issue had to be addressed was that animal feed, such as soya, was increasingly made using GM products. “The options for those countries which want to stay GM-free are reducing, therefore the price of non-GM animal feed is going up. If that trend continues, it means meat products in countries which choose not to use GM becoming more and more expensive. There are clear implications for the UK,” she said.

Let’s get this right: the reason that the UK (and, by implication, every other nation that currently debarrs GMO growing) should embrace genetically modified crops is because it is too difficult and too expensive to avoid it. Which is like saying that the reason factories should continue to pour toxic chemicals into rivers is because it costs money to do something else with the toxins, and therefore the price of the factory’s goods would go up! Notice that she is referring only to meat, because animal feed production is by far the most profitable and powerful sector of the agricultural farming system, and to suggest we should not eat meat to reduce global food demand would be to defy her owners.

So she speaks from the mouth of the machine, like all good politicians.

Posted in Government Policies, Political Hypocrisy, Techno Fixes | No Comments »

Earth Hour Huge Turn Off: Hypocrisy On A Plane

Posted by keith on 16th March 2009

Apparently, on March 28, millions of people will be turning off their lights for an hour, for Earth Hour. Yes, a whole hour when all sorts of really green places, like Las Vegas, New York and San Francisco, will be flicking off the lights in symbolic venues and, an hour later, turning them all on again, just to show that Industrial Civilization doesn’t really give a f*** about the planet, but likes a good joke: like the joke of Alanis Morrisette flicking her toenails in the tumbler of her fellow airline passenger.

Like the joke that you can be an airline passenger and, at the same time, talk about saving energy.

Like the joke that trivial, symbolic activities, such as Earth Hour do anything other than make people think they have done something worthwhile.

Stop messing about with trivia and do something real.

Earth Hour: The Huge Turn Off- Alanis Morissette PSA

Posted in Adverts, NGO Hypocrisy, Should Know Better | 16 Comments »

A Great Little Film

Posted by keith on 15th March 2009

I put this in because it’s a great little film, by a group of German university students, who want to make a lot of very important points in a very short time – we don’t have much left, you see.

Our Little World – The Climate Movie from Josef Buchner on Vimeo.

See how many things you can spot that have been greenwashed by corporations and politicians, and think about the number of different ways you could present this information in a skewed, twisted way to keep people brainwashed about the consumer economy…it’s quite surprising how little effort it takes. How horribly indoctrinated we have let ourselves become.

Posted in Advice | No Comments »

Green Custard And The Sins Of The Symbolic Protester

Posted by keith on 10th March 2009

Mandelson Leila Deen Slimed

I must admit to a wry grin when I heard that UK Business Secretary (a very important minister of state) Peter Mandelson had been “slimed” with green custard prior to entering a conference in London to discuss “green” industry, on Friday 6 March. The protagonist, Leila Deen, certainly made a good shot, and not surprisingly, the incident was covered not just nationally, but internationally. The usual splits between the pro-environmental and anti-environmental press showed through, and many of the tabloids took the chance to make fun of one of the least popular British politicians of the last 20 years.

So what was the point of this? Superficially, Leila Deen, acting on behalf of the campaign group Plane Stupid, was making the point that they do not welcome the current pro-business stance of the UK government, in particular the decision to build a 3rd runway at London Heathrow Airport. At a slightly deeper level, it was a reflection on the state of politics in general – as Leila states:

Peter Mandelson epitomises all that is wrong with our democratic system. His CV is a reason for us to give up on democracy and take direct action. After several disgraces and resignations, Mandelson is back from exile in Europe to be shoe-horned into government as an unelected minister, via an archaic loophole which allows the Prime Minister to create peers and place them in power for his own political ends. This is what democracy in the UK looks like.

So the incident leaves a clear message that Mandelson and his ilk are not safe from environmental protestors and the watchfulness of the public in general — or does it? I’m not convinced: despite my immediate glee, the feeling I get from this is one of superficiality. The action, which Plane Stupid will accept was symbolic in all sorts of ways, went as well as it could possibly have done, yet all that is being discussed in the media now is the incident itself, not the reason for it. This is not surprising: the press are notoriously fickle about what makes a good story, and the nefarious goings-on between the UK Government and various industry lobbyists is not news, sadly. So we are left with a story about a woman who threw green custard at a government minister and is now on police bail. Furthermore, such opportunities for mischief-making — potentially a very effective thing, if you are able to make a public figure genuinely look bad — will now be curtailed even further because of this incident.

The lesson here is: don’t expect the media to do your work for you; you must keep on pushing and pushing, exposing the catalogue of corruption and never letting go on your key message. More important, though, it would be far better to concentrate your efforts on getting at the real villains of the piece: the lobbyists and the PR people themselves, without whom such corruption would be far less likely to take place. Target the PR machine and the channels though which the lobbyists are able to brainwash not just governments, but the public in general, and you can get away with a lot more than just an opportunistic custard lob: you can do some serious sabotage without anyone being any the wiser.

Which do you think is the more effective action?

Posted in Advice, Sabotage | 1 Comment »

Coal Industry Spokesman “Doesn’t Know” If Coal Causes Global Warming

Posted by keith on 6th March 2009

Thanks to The Reality Blog for this superb link to a CNN item that showed how much horseshit the coal industry is spewing. Note: I am not the kind of “environmentalist” who supports carbon capture and storage or carbon trading in any way, shape or form…

Joe Lucas, the spokesman for the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) was just interviewed for a piece exploring the myth of “clean” coal. (You may remember ACCCE as the folks who spent over $10.5 million on energy lobbying.)

It seems that the spokesman who represents the industry that puts out more than one third of our CO2 emissions — the leading cause of global warming — is having some trouble grasping reality.

(full video at

Transcript of Lucas bit:

Still the industry refuses to say its plants contribute to global warming.
[Question:] Can you just answer that yes or no? If you believe that burning coal causes global warming?
[Joe Lucas:] I don’t know, I’m not a scientist.

You don’t have to be a scientist to know that burning coal is a leading source of global warming pollution. (”GHG Emissions and Sinks 1990–2006,” US EPA 2008.)

But it certainly is hard to believe that while the industry has spent $10.5 million on lobbying, their spokesman isn’t better informed.

Now, open your minds and allow this extraordinary piece of propaganda to enter your psyche: you know you want to believe…

Do you enjoy your place in the machine?

Posted in Adverts, Company Policies, Corporate Hypocrisy, Techno Fixes | No Comments »