Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Cassetteboy - Cameron's Conference Rap

Applause please for Cassette Boy , with another fantastic satirical mashup.
Cassette Boy has made him speak the truth for once. Seriously though Dave thanks for legalising parody videos.

For the People of Hong Kong

As Pro-Democracy protestors in Hong Kong  take to the street, waiting today  for a response from  the Chinese government to meet their demands let us remember  the words  of   Liu Xiaobo  who was a paricipant in the Tinanamen Square protests  who has campaigned hor Human rights in China ever since. He was sentenced  to eleven years imprisonment in  2009  for organising and signing Charter 08. He is currently still incarcenated, despite international outrage and numerous calls to release him. This says a lot about how China really treats its people. He said ' in terms  of objective effect, it is more dangerous to stop people's  mouths than to dam a river. The tall prison walls cannot hold back free expression. A regime cannot establish its legitimacy  by suppressing different political views.'
Today is  a holiday  for China's National  Day, and even larger crowds are expected to flood the streets, the people are not scared or frightened any more, and activists and students  have bravely been standing up with resiliance and defiance,  despite tear gas attacks, and being hit with pepper spray and many being injured as  they demand universal suffrage, it's people are no longer afraid to raise their voices  Remaining on the streets,  already incensed by the Police's heavy manner, staging sit downs and occupations in several neighbourhoods now, outside the original protest area,  I wish  their desires well in their campaign of civil-disobedience  based on principles of non-violence. As people unite young old rich and poor in what is being  called the 'umbrella revolution with protestors using  umbrellas to protect themselves from rain sun and the effects of tear gas they fight a non-democratic regime, for their rights,  relying on their enduring will and spirit. In a beautiful open  peaceful display of defiance. A responsible government would  heed to its peoples demands.
Meanwhile our own  prime minister David Cameron's  response  has been  disgracefully feeble and ineffective, business as usual then.


Tuesday, 30 September 2014

poets for change - Cellar bards - watch out theirs a teifidancer about

Here's  the cellar bards and friends reading out their  poems on the theme of change in Cardigan West Wales UK at 4pm Saturday September 27th 2014 on the Quay on the banks of the Teifi. Oh and a rare  look at teifidancer  out in the wild.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Dannie Abse - Poet Doctor R.I.P (22/9/23 - 28/9/14)

' The human race is the only one that knows it must die and it knows this only through its experience. A child bought up alone and transported to a desert island would have no more idea of death than a cat or a plant .'  - Voltaire

It is with sadness that I  have heard of the passing of poet, playwright, doctor  and novelist Dannie Abse at the age of 91.
Born and  bought up in Cardiff, he  drew on his career as a doctor, his Welsh roots and his proud jewish inheritance to establish himself as one of Britains most popular poets. Many of his themes  were international  in outlook,  combining  elements  of loss, love, the passing of time, his rich medical understanding and its moral implications. This  gave him a compassion for  the suffering of the world. His awareness and humanity gave him  a conscious awareness.
The brother of Labour M.P Leo Abse, much  of his life was spent in loving devotion with his wife, Joan who tragically died in a car accident in 2005, and like many of us he struggled to deal with his grief, but managed to write elonquently a lovely collection called the  'the Presence' which won the Welsh book of the year award in 2008.
His two autobiographies 'Ash  on a Young Man's sleeve'  and 'Poet in the Family' are now rightly  considered to be classics. I recognised his account of his medical training  through my own fathers who was to become a G.P. Alongside a deep understanding of the world, ran an overwhelming sense of humour, awash  with  an experience of thought.. Like Dannie Abse I also undersood some  of his themes of exile, he moving from Cardiff to London  and personally me having at a very young age moved from Cardiff to here in West Wales.
There is a richness at the heart of his work  that  I will forever  cherish, which I also know will continue to endure.I have been fortunate to hear him read  on a few  memorable occassions.
He died surrounded by his family after a short illness. The Welsh  nation and the world  has lost a truly great poet of real conviction.
Dannie Abse R.I.P

from Anniversary

' What happens to a flame blown out?
What persists? Only the view,
never my  my magified hand  in yours.'

Dannie Abse's life and passions reflected in his work

Dannie Abse reading poems for Oxfam

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Specks of hope

Yesterday  I was  one of thousands of poets around the world  who participated  in 100-Thousands  Poets for Change day. I took part in a reading  organised by my local  live literature group, the cellar bards, in conjunction with   our local  community bookshop, Leafed Through   in an event   that took place between 4 pm and 5pm, at  Prince Charles Quay here in Cardigan, West Wales.In an inspiring event  we gathered to celebrate and promote peace and sustainability  and call for much needed serious social environmental and political change with poems written on postcards. It was good to be involved in something so positive, with hundreds of cities representing and  over 100 countries signed up to the 100 TPC global initiative.More details here :-
The poem I read is included below.

Specks of hope

With this pen,
no walls are drawn,
unity's breath spins,
cancels out division,
removes all orders,
strangers' comfort lifts,
and a strong flame burns,
showering the earth with reason,
releasing leaves of hope,
gently  painting the sky,
in rivers of language,
opposing injustice,
in whirling devotion,
planting smiles on an ugly world,
spreading seeds of peace.


Friday, 26 September 2014

Why the UK parliament should say no to bombing Iraq

David Cameron  will ask MPs in the UK parliament to vote to join the US bombing campaign against Iraq, Chris Nineham from Stop the War coalition, interviewed by the BBC on 24 September 2014, asks, has nothing been learnt from the disasters of wetern inttervention in Iraq, Afghanistan  and Libya. He urges MPs to vote  no,  like they did last  year, when Cameron wanted a bombing  campaign against Syria. To save lives  and protect human rights the genocidal fundamentalists  of Isis must be stopped, whose barbarity shows no limits but surely there are other ways. Do we  repeat past mistakes, do we all become complicit in the end. Ultimately war is  not civilised, war is failure.
There are no  easy answers. But there is this certainty, killing people rarely kills peoples ideas.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

The illusion of choice

The above chart that I found on shows that most products  we buy are controlled by just a few companies. Despite a wide array of brands to choose from, it all  comes back to the big guys.
Ten mega corporations control the output  of almost everything you buy ; from household products to pet food to jeans. These corporations create an illusion of choice,  a chain that begins at one of  10 super  companies. Lets not forget  that 90% of the media is now controlled  by just six companies,  down from 50 in 1983. Yes it is indeed a funny old world. Globalisation just another word for monopolisation. Do we actually have a choice in choosing , or is it just the case of free market capitalism destroying any  real sense of freedom?