Russia Today is Here

Today a new news service is available in the United Kingdom. The Russian state sponsored news channel “Russia Today” has started broadcasting, amid grumbles by organisations such as the BBC as to whether Russia Today could present a fair and unbiased news service, as opposed to a propaganda service. Continue reading

Northern Voices

I miss northern voices. For four years I lived in Manchester and Birkenhead and almost every voice I heard was accented with the sounds of the North, or at least what Londoners regard as the North. there is a sincerity in the tine of Northern voices; I cannot describe the sounds- concepts of flat vowels, buried word endings, glottal reinforced consonants and similar attempts to describe sounds are without much meaning to the likes of me. Continue reading

Power in Winter

I cannot but enjoy this autumn in London. the temperatures are hot and there is none of the equinoctial wind which blows London dust into my eyes this time of year.  I expect it will end soon, and this warm October will give way to a cold November, which will start to freeze the tips of my fingers and pour cold dust into my lungs, to join the accumulation of much other dust.  Continue reading

Does It Yet Wave?

I picked up my guitar. It is something that I do less frequently these days. I set up my book of music with simple chords and many songs, some of which I can play. Turning the pages I came across “the Star Spangled Banner” and strummed it singing along with my poor singing voice until I reached the end of the first verse. Then I realised the true meaning of the song. The last two lines ask a question and do not make a statement.

“Oh say, does that star spangled banner yet wave

O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?”

Today, the question is answered in the negative. The banner waves over a land where freedom is oppressed, and people locked up in Guantanamo without trial, and wars are fought like cowards, and the nation shivers with fear at the damage that a handful of criminals with bombs and planes can foist upon a scared nation.

Where the star spangled banner waves it does not signify freedom and bravery, but where oppression and cowardice reign.

 

Vote For the Official Monster Raving Looney Party

No one wants a government that they did not vote for to run the country. The Scots who voted for independence recently used as a main plank of their argument for independence that Scotland had had to “suffer” a government which the Scots did not elect and by independence they would be able to enjoy a government that they did elect.
That argument is hopeless. Of course, a majority of people in Scotland did not vote for the same government (or coalition) that a majority of people in the whole United Kingdom elected. That is the nature of democracy. In the referendum the people of Glasgow did not vote to stay in the United Kingdom. The people who live in the house where I lived have during the last twenty five years voted for all sorts of political parties including the Green Party and on one desperate occasion when the candidates were all disgusting, the Official Monster Raving Looney Party. Perhaps I should declare my home to be independent of the United Kingdom. I could then set up my own government, my own tax regime and ensure that those who governed me always met with my approval.

Silent as the days draw close

Silent as the days draw close
Cooling the earth, shielding the sun
Time turning around the world
That quick thief has us on the run

Stealing what we cannot touch
Coughing our blood, taking our breath
Time turning and laughing at us
Laughing at us and laughing at death.

A Gross Domestic Mistake

The Gross Domestic Product of the United Kingdom has risen by 0.7% in the three months to 30 September 2014. GDP figures are closely scrutinised. Governments regard a growing GDP as an important indicator of the economic success of the nation, and they boast when it rises and they are criticised when it falls. But GDP is just one measure and is not a proper indicator of the economic position of the people who live in a nation, only (usually) a minority of people and some big businesses. Continue reading

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