Saturday, 31 December 2016

Home - Warsan Shire ( b;1/8/88)



The following powerful poem which brings home the stark reality of the horrifying decisions refugee parents must make, is from the Kenyan-born Somali poet Warsan Shire who emigrated to the United Kingdom at the age of one. She became London’s  first ever Young Poet Laureate, and became a voice for its marginalised people. Her verse forms the backbone of  queen of pop Beyoncé’s  recent album Lemonade.
I hope that  2017 will be a year of justice, a year of change, and that humanity keeps giving a warm welcome to all people depicted in the following poem. Let us not forget the many millions displaced, either as refugees, asylum seekers, migrants or internally displaced persons whose  daily existence is one of struggle. Remember no one chooses the country they are born in to and no one deserves to be persecuted because of it, especially if the country they happen to be born into has been torn apart and become unsafe to live in  because of war that is funded by our own governments.
As another year turns and the refugee crisis and this human tragedy continues unabated, let's keep commemorating the strength, courage and resilience of millions of refugees the world over.

Home

no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well


your neighbors running faster than you
breath bloody in their throats
the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
is holding a gun bigger than his body
you only leave home
when home won’t let you stay

no one leaves home unless home chases you
fire under feet
hot blood in your belly
it’s not something you ever thought of doing
until the blade burnt threats into
your neck
and even then you carried the anthem under
your breath
only tearing up your passport in an airport toilets
sobbing as each mouthful of paper
made it clear that you wouldn’t be going back

you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land
no one burns their palms
under trains
beneath carriages
no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck
feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled
means something more than journey.
no one crawls under fences
no one wants to be beaten
pitied

no one chooses refugee camps
or strip searches where your
body is left aching
or prison,
because prison is safer
than a city of fire
and one prison guard
in the night
is better than a truckload
of men who look like your father
no one could take it
no one could stomach it
no one skin would be tough enough

the
go home blacks
refugees
dirty immigrants
asylum seekers
sucking our country dry
niggers with their hands out
they smell strange
savage
messed up their country and now they want
to mess ours up
how do the words
the dirty looks
roll off your backs
maybe because the blow is softer
than a limb torn off

or the words are more tender
than fourteen men between
your legs
or the insults are easier
to swallow
than rubble
than bone
than your child body
in pieces.
i want to go home,
but home is the mouth of a shark
home is the barrel of the gun
and no one would leave home
unless home chased you to the shore
unless home told you
to quicken your legs
leave your clothes behind
crawl through the desert
wade through the oceans
drown
save
be hunger
beg
forget pride
your survival is more important

no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear
saying-
leave,
run away from me now
i dont know what i’ve become
but i know that anywhere
is safer than here

Friday, 30 December 2016

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. " - Albert Einstein (14/3/1879 -18/4/55)




"A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
- Albert Einstein

As 2016 draws to a close  I feel sadness at the passing of people I didn't know but who made my life brighter. And sadness too for people I didn't know whose awful and undeserved deaths made me question what world we're living in. No human should be bombed or drowned seeking safety.
Ultimately we are all an intrinsic part of this universe. We are all interconnected, and even though each of us separate individuals.We should appreciate the slender threads that hold us together.Through compassion we can share the ultimate and most meaningful embodiment of our emotional maturity. If we stop feeling for strangers we lose the energy to make the world better.
People were created to be loved. Things were created to be used. The reason the world is in chaos, is things are being loved and people are being used.
Happy New Year/flwyddyn newydd da

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Cassetteboy remix the news: 2016 review special


Mashup artist Cassetteboy presents his take on one of the biggest news stories of the year, shining a humorous light on Brexit. The video lampoons a host of Conservative MPs – David Cameron, Boris Johnson, George Osborne, Michael Gove, Theresa May as well as Ukip’s Nigel Farage – all of whom played a major role in the EU referendum.

Monday, 26 December 2016

Careless Whispers


( For George, for anyone
an evening doodle. )


We pause, slip and flounder

worry about paradoxical situations

some  of us even  consider turning back

but it's far too late now

eternity's drunken power

keeps on  returning

to sanctify thirsty lips

liberate the throat

circle the pulse of reason

allow careless whispers to ripple

fill the earth with love 

until outstretched fingers

reach their limit

stumble into another  light

stretch out among the stars 

on dance floors of time

where the music never dies.


Sunday, 25 December 2016

A Subliminal Christmas Tree


Dear Governments of the world... Your doing a shit fucking job and you should all be disbanded immediately. We are all fed  up of cleaning up your shit and in no other work place should incompetence be rewarded like you reward yourself. Now fuck off.

An injury to one is an injury to all.

Solidarity Greetings, happy holidays.

If we want it

Philosophy Football's 2016 Christmas message.



 

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Eek A Mouse - Christmas A Come


Eek A Mouse - Christmas A Come - 12" / Greensleeves Most Wanted - 1981 / 2008 - Produced by: Linval Thompson - Backed by: Roots Radics - Mixed by: Scientist - At: Channel One (Kingston, JA)

The Tories simply have no shame. Hypocrite Theresa May has delivered a Christmas message calling for unity in the UK as the country prepares for Brexit. Invoking her upbringing in a vicarage, the Prime Minister also paid tribute to those with family who are working away from home over the festive period.https://www.facebook.com/notes/theresa-may/wherever-you-are-this-christmas-i-wish-you-joy-and-peace-in-this-season-of-celeb/1548015965215171
Yet the way this government currently treats working people is disgusting, and as for the poor, sick, disabled and unemployed, it's inhuman.Their chosen path of conscious cruelty needs to be stopped.I wish May and all Tory MPs the Christmas they deserve and the same care and compassion they have shown to the homeless, disabled and those living in poverty..
Meanwhile if you find yourself struggling over Christmas you can pick up the phone and speak to people who really care. Ring 116 123. It's free and open 24 hours a day. Alternatively email: jo@samaritans.org.
Wishing each and everyone of you who celebrate, a Merry Christmas/Nadolig Llawen, and a season of good will.  Heddwch/peace.

Friday, 23 December 2016

Make Apartheid history


Palestinians should have the same rights and freedoms as anyone else. But right now they don’t.I believe no one should have their rights denied or be treated differently because of their ethnicity or religion. But this is happening to the Palestinian people at the hands of the Israeli government right now.
Currently tens of thousands of Palestinian workers are forced to seek a living by working in Israel due to crippling unemployment in the West Bank, as the growth of an independent Palestinian economy has been stifled under the ongoing Israeli military occupation, according to rights groups.http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=774222
Israel’s flouting of international law, continued military occupation of Palestine, and systematic discrimination against Palestinians is unacceptable; I believe there can be a peaceful and just end to the decades of occupation and oppression, one that respects the rights and dignity of Palestinians and Israelis. But until this happens, we have a responsibility to stand up for Palestinian rights.Israel has carried out an unprecedented number of demolitions of Palestinian homes and structures in the West Bank this year, leaving entire families facing a cold and uncertain winter. In Gaza the blockade continues to stifle livelihoods and 60,000 remain homeless, still awaiting the reconstruction of homes destroyed in the 2014 attacks.Palestinians also continue to suffer the consequences of Syria’s civil war. Bombs, torture, the besieging of Yarmouk, and perilous migration routes to Europe have claimed over 3,400 Palestinian lives. The tens of thousands who have settled in Lebanon now share the same poverty and exclusion as the country’s existing Palestinian refugee population.Plus Israel  continued the ethnic cleansing of whole Palestinian communities in Jerusalem, the Naqab (Negev) and the Jordan Valley and continued its indiscriminate killing of Palestinians.No surprise then, that international support for the BDS movement is growing in parallel. Students and academics are creating Israeli-apartheid free zones on campuses; and the recent Hewlett Packard Boycott Week of Action saw over 125 actions targeted HP across the globe.
For more information about the success of the BDS movement in 2016, read this brilliant impact round-up https://bdsmovement.net/news/2016-bds-impact-round-up
It’s time to Make Apartheid History once and for all. And to dismantle the walls that maintain it
https://makeapartheidhistory.org/…/apartheid-wall-animation/'


Make Apartheid History
 

O Little town of Bethlehem

O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie
Above thy deep and restless sleep, a missile glideth by
And over dark streets soundeth the mortar's deadly roar
While children weep in shallow sleep for friends who are no more 


How silently, how silently their hope has gone away
No laughter rings; no choir sings in shepherds' fields this day
The angels in the heavens are hushed in sad lament
Back in exile - the Holy Child - finds Herod won't relent

O Holy Child of Bethlehem, descend on us we pray
Your love bring down on David's town, drive fear and hate away
Awake the ire of nations, let justice be restored
Rebuild the peace in silent streets where once your love was born
 

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Musical highlights of the year: 2016



Another surreal year, not popped to local record  shops as much as I've wanted too, due to partner and fathers illness, nevertheless, here are a few musical highlights  that have managed to pick me up throughout the last year. In no particular order.

1; Leonard Cohen  - You Want it darker



2;Radiohead - Moon shaped pool




3;Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - Skeleton Tree


4; David Bowie - Blackstar


5; Shirley Collins - lodestar


6;Cate le bon - Crab Day



7; Afro Celt Sound System  - The  Source




8;Yorkstone -Thorne - Khan- Everything Sacred


9; P J Harvey - Hope 6 Demolition Project




10;Rory McLeod and the Familiar Strangers - The Glee and the Spark

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Renewal

( Happy Winter Solstice, seasons greetings.
heddwch/peace)

Tonight we surrender to silence
celebrate the joy and  essence of life,
the radical act of giving
fabrics of truth released,
fragile beauty lingering
revealing the depths of reason,
cushioning and protecting
in simple acts of believing. 

Mother nature we thank
for giving touch and eyes to see,
the wonder of every sound magnified
the safety of companionship,
as the breeze gently touches cheek
and shadows play hide and seek,
wide eyes cruising with intent
passing tideless waves of time, 
in touch with the flames
allows fingers to burn.

From sky above and adjoining stream
mystic rovers journey on,
touch the world with smiles
beyond despair and hours forlorn,
pour forth spirits of peace,sparks of reality
pass rivers, lakes and mountains,
offer gifts of  rejuvenation
carried on rainbow wings.

United in the ritual of believing
across the clouds we ride,
in the morning to rise again
reconstruct roots, supplement need, 
clasping hands in devotion
woven like tapestry a New Year sings,
love continues to be born
repetitive but so necessary,
contains all the infinite wonder we need
allows the touch of magic to haunt eternity.
.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

So Long Lionel Blue ( 6/2/30 - 19/12/16)


So sad to hear hat Lionel Blue has passed away aged 86. He made people more open and less fearful of their sexuality. Taught us to ignore the haters, Lionel Blue, was the UK’s first openly gay rabbi who appeared on BBC Radio 4 for 30 years during the Today show’s Thought for the Day segment, died yesterday morning.
Lionel Blue was born in London's East End on 6 January 1930, the son of a master tailor of Russian descent.He was evacuated to a variety of places during the war and later went to grammar school in north London and then to Balliol College, Oxford, where he gained a degree in history.He abandoned an early interest in theology for communism after hearing horrific stories from fellow Jews who had fled Hitler's persecution.While at university, the realisation that he was homosexual drove him to a nervous breakdown, during which he tried to take his own life. He became attached to the idea of becoming an Anglican monk but rediscovered his own faith at a service in 1950.After much agonising , he decided to become a rabbi, promptinge his mother to remark hat she had spent all her time trying to ge him out of the ghetto and he was now jumping back in.
 Rabbi Lionel Blue was different, he was  not a proselytiser for his own religion, or even for religion in general, he talked about his doubts and failures with warmth, humanity and gentle, self-deprecating humour. He said, more than once, that his only aim when he broadcast, was to make life more bearable for people getting out of bed on a Monday morning and facing the everyday worries and problems of life, am glad that he for me managed to achieve this aim.Thank you Lionel Blue for sharing his humour, honesty and wisdom and his simple gentle home-spun faith who at last   managed to take the pompousness out of religious broadcasting.
The London synagoge Beit Klal Yisrael announced Blue’s death on Facebook yesterday:
 "It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Rabbi Lionel Blue OBE, who died in the early hours of this morning.
Lionel was a wonderful & inspirational man, who spoke with such wisdom and humour and whose words reached out far beyond the Jewish Community.He was a friend and mentor to many and his courage in coming out as gay in the 1970s paved the way for many other Jews, including many Rabbis.
As part of Rainbow Jews he was interviewed about his life, the interview and a transcript can be found at: http://www.rainbowjews.com/rabbi-lionel-blue-a-pioneer-and-legend/
We will not see his like again. May his memory be for a blessing."

Monday, 19 December 2016

Miguel Piñero (December 19, 1946 – June 16, 1988) - Outlaw Poet

 
Miguel Piñero was born in Gurabo, Puerto Rico on this day December 19th 1946. With his parents he arrived in New York at the age of 4 and following the desertion of his father in 1954, Manuel and his mother moved into a basement and had to live off welfare. At school, Piñero was a troubled child. He was transferred to three different schools because of truancy. He learned how to survive in the tough streets as the hip youth, “Mickey.”
 Piñero’s early influences included his mother was a novice fiction writer and like his father, loved to tell stories. Piñero also wrote small pieces of fiction during his youth. However, his passion for fiction did not keep him from crime and drugs.He gained the first of what would be many criminal convictions for theft. This was at the age of eleven. He was sent to the Juvenile Detention Center in the Bronx. Subsequently Piñero joined a street gang called "The Dragons" and by the time he was 14 he was hustling in the streets. Piñero was a drug addict before he reached his 20s and had a long criminal record. By 1972 when Piñero was 25 he was incarcerated in the notorious Sing Sing Prison. This was for armed robbery. Ir was while serving time in prison that he wrote the powerful play Short Eyes as part of a playwriting workshop for inmates. The play is based on his experiences in prison and portrays life and death among prison inmates.Two years later, this play would catapult him into literary fame with it winning the New York Critics Circle Award and was subsequently made into a film.
Piñero continued to write after he left prison and he also began to act with small film roles.Piñero turned his attention to mentoring young Puerto Rican youth. He turned his apartment into an informal outreach center for at-risk youths. He mentored them in writing and was determined to increase their self-confidence as “Nuyoricans,” or Puerto Ricans living as racialized and impoverished minorities in New York. In the 1970s, Piñero co-founded the Nuyorican ("New York-Puerto Rican") Poets Cafe with a group of artists including Miguel Algarin, who became one of his best friends. The Poets Cafe is a place for performance of poetry based on the experience of being a Puerto Rican in New York, where poets who recited their fierce, streetwise verses from the tiny stage of the Nuyorican cafe on the lower East Side in a gritty, urban style that is said to have been a precursor to rap and hip hop.
 Pinero was by now considered a talented writer who could describe the evils of society. This was despite his continued drug addiction.A poet as well as a playwright, his influence as a pioneering voice for Latino artistic expression ran parallel to his unrepentent relish for narcotics, impulsive crime, transgressive sex and other forms of bad behaviour.
He stood his marginalised ground to unmask the hypocricy of mainstream society to attack the basis of Capitalism and American imperialism.His poems were composed and performed for his people, his neighbours, often to educate and connect the dots from capitalism, to racism and labor exploitation. For the irreverent Piñero, God created all that is ugly in the world. God is the greatest Capitalist of them all, and arch hypocrite.
He also wrote a bunch of TV scripts, and had supporting roles in a number of films, most notably the must-see Fort Apache, The Bronx (1981), alongside Paul Newman. He also played the part of drug lord Esteban Calderone in several episodes of TV series Miami Vice in 1984, as well as writing the episode “Smuggler’s Blues” in the same year, for a time embraced and welcomed by the American establishment. But through it all, Miquel remained a junky, and continuously trolled the streets of the Lower East Side on an endless search for dope.
Unable to fit in and labelled a criminal, in his life and art he lashed back as an outlaw. It was from this stance that he embarked on attacking and protesting injustice, racial and economic oppression and hypocricy as an outlaw poet situated outside of societal norm. He was before his time, and his work has a special quality because he wrote about real people that other writers can only imagine, because of his knowledge of the street, he was able to get within the human psyche and bring that information to the page. A poet who was a product of this real cruel world, who  blessed us with an insider  view of a life hat many people could only imagine.
Piñero  died on 16th June 1988 in New York City aged 41 of cirrhosis of the liver, still seeking he cause and his ashes were scattered across the Lower East Side of Manhattan. His life was made into a movie (Pinero) in 2001 and the part of Miguel Piñero was portrayed by Benjamin Bratt. The film was directed by Leon Ichaso.To many, the film commemorated the lifelong accomplishments of one of most important of Puerto Rican American writers.

The Records of Time

Two hundred fifty million years ago, long before the recorded history
of man, someone sat down and recorded it; And this man's name was
Time, and so it was only right that he should call his writings
"records" and add his name to history.Time, a young and ambitious
energy, lived in the summer hills of the Antarctic. He lived near a wise
old gentleman named His Story and his wife Truth, and their two sons
Hypocricy and Reality. Truth was a very blunt woman who always
tried her best to please all her family and friends, and being such a
pleasing woman, she always ended up on the bottom of the list and
was chosen by His Story to be in the kitchen doing dirty dishes.At
places she would try to get away from the kichen cand take Reality
for a day at the amusement center. Though she loved her family
equally, she had a certain affection for Reality, because everyone
in the community was afraid of him ( for reasons known only to
Unknown, a distant uncle) and she always tried her most to be with
him to comfort his loneliness. But that was only once in three
lifecycles that she would enjoy taking Reality in hand and walk on
the beaches of the North Lifeantic ocean and the earth would shake
with pleasure, as well as pain for both of them - Pain was there only
because Earth had some wildnotion that ther's a pain in pleasure and
so on, Once Truth and Reality were abot to leave the house to
buy a new set of garments of the spring. His Story caught them at
the door with faithfull Hypocricy at his right side ( they were more like
brothers under the skin than like Father and son). They began to
accuse them of not loving them enough, and to give foundation
to their argumented, they enlisted the aid of the poker-playing buddies,
Shame, Guilt, and Complexes. Reality ran out of the door, and Truth
stayed behind after much verbal abuse. She succumbed to their will
and hid the dirty laundry.That night, feeling very relieved of a
heavy burden, His Story and Hypocricy spent the night at Coward's
Bar and Grill where they celebrated their chained freedom, drinking lies
and making passionate love to the whore Cheat. This is where His
Story met Time. With the fumes of lies in their head, Time and His
Story became pretty good companions. They all sat around listening
to Hypocricy tell tales. Greed and Opportunity, two men who shared
the work of the lower forty's had stepped through the door and,
picking up the good vibes surrounding the table of His Story,
bought a round of lies for the group and stood drugged at the words
of Hypocrisy, a heavy rapper-in fact his nickname was Quibber with
the Jibbers. Opportunity hit upon an idea on how to become immortal
and ran it to Greed, who told His Story and Hypocricy, and Time was
jotting it all down for his records. Simultaneously they saw Reality
passing by the front of Coward's window dispay and fought among
each other for the richness of it all. His Story, having the most
intelligence and just plain goog old game, told them that he had the
secret of immortality and that their was only room for one more in
the zone of immortality. Being a fair man, he declared that whoever
came to his house with the largest number of followers would share
the bed with the secret of immortalit, his wife Truth. Greed,
Opportunity, and Hypocricy jumped out of their chairs and raced out
the door in a mad dash for followes, circling the globr a million ways
in charades. Hypocricy crawled, Greed took to the winds, Opportunity
sailed the seas, while His Story laughed at the tears his wife Truth
would shed, and time- well Time, he just stood still...

La Bodega Sold Dreams

dreamt i was a poet
and
writin' silver sailin' songs
words
strong and powerful crashin' thru
walls of steel and concrete
erected in minds weak
and
those asleep
replacin' a hobby of paper candy
wrappin', collectin'
potent to ' pregnate sterile young
thoughts

i dreamt i was this poet
words glitterin' brite and bold
strikin' a new rush for god
in las bodegas

wher our poets' words and songs
are sung
but
sunlite stealin' thru venetian
blinds
eyes hatin', workin' off time
clock
sweatin'
and swearin'
and
slavin'
for the final dime
runnin' a maze
a token ride
perspiration insultin' poets'
pride
words stoppin' on red
goin' on green
poets' dreams
endin' in a factory as one
in a million
unseen

buyin' bodega sold dreams ...

Seekin' The Cause

he was Dead
he never Lived
died
died
he died seekin' a Cause
seekin' the Cause
because
he said
he never saw the cause
but he heard
the cause
heard the cryin' of hungry ghetto children
heard the warnin' from Malcolm
heard the tractors pave new routes to new prisons
died seekin' the Cause
seekin' a Cause
he was dead on arrival
he never really Lived
uptown . . . downtown . . . crosstown
body was round all over town
seekin' the Cause
thinkin' the Cause was 75 dollars & gator shoes
thinkin' the Cause was sellin' the white lady to black
children
thinkin' the cause is to be found in gypsy rose or j. b.
or dealin' wacky weed
and singin' du-wops in the park after some chi-chiba
he died seekin' the Cause
died seekin' a Cause
and the Cause was dyin' seekin' him
and the Cause was dyin' seekin' him
and the Cause was dyin' seekin' him
he wanted a color t. v.
wanted a silk on silk suit

Seeking the cause (2001)



A Lower Eastside Poem

Just once before I die
I want to climb up on a
tenement sky
to dream my lungs out till
I cry
then scatter my ashes thru
the Lower East Side.

So let me sing my song tonight
let me feel out of sight
and let all eyes be dry
when they scatter my ashes thru
the Lower East Side.

From Houston to 14th Street
from Second Avenue to the mighty D
here the hustlers & suckers meet
the ****s & freaks will all get
high
on the ashes that have been scattered
thru the Lower East Side.

There's no other place for me to be
there's no other place that I can see
there's no other town around that
brings you up or keeps you down
no food little heat sweeps by
fancy cars & pimps' bars & juke saloons
& greasy spoons make my spirits fly
with my ashes scattered thru the
Lower East Side . . .

A thief, a junkie I've been
committed every known sin
Jews and Gentiles . . . Bums & Men
of style . . . run away child
police shooting wild . . .
mother's futile wails . . . pushers
making sales . . . dope wheelers
& cocaine dealers . . . smoking pot
streets are hot & feed off those who bleed to death . . .

all that's true
all that's true
all that is true
but this ain't no lie
when I ask that my ashes be scattered thru
the Lower East Side.

So here I am, look at me
I stand proud as you can see
pleased to be from the Lower East
a street fighting man
a problem of this land
I am the Philosopher of the Criminal Mind
a dweller of prison time
a cancer of Rockefeller's ghettocide
this concrete tomb is my home
to belong to survive you gotta be strong
you can't be shy less without request
someone will scatter your ashes thru
the Lower East Side.

I don't wanna be buried in Puerto Rico
I don't wanna rest in Long Island Cemetery
I wanna be near the stabbing shooting
gambling fighting & unnatural dying
& new birth crying
so please when I die . . .
don't take me far away
keep me near by
take my ashes and scatter them thru out
the Lower East Side . . .

The Book of Genesis According to St. Miguelito

Before the beginning
God created God
In the beginning
God created the ghettos & slums
and God saw this was good.
So God said,
"Let there be more ghettos & slums"
and there were more ghettos & slums.
But God saw this was plain
so
to decorate it
God created leadbase paint and then
God commanded the rivers of garbage & filth
to flow gracefully through the ghettos.
On the third day
because on the second day God was out of town
On the third day
God's nose was running
& his jones was coming down and God
in his all knowing wisdom
knew he was sick
he needed a fix
so God
created the backyards of the ghettos
& the alleys of the slums
in heroin & cocaine
and
with his divine wisdom & grace
God created hepatitis
who begat lockjaw
who begat malaria
who begat degradation
who begat
GENOCIDE
and God knew this was good
in fact God knew things couldn't git better
but he decided to try anyway
On the fourth day
God was riding around Harlem in a gypsy cab
when he created the people
and he created these beings in ethnic proportion
but he saw the people lonely & hungry
and from his eminent rectum
he created a companion for these people
and he called this companion
capitalism
who begat racism
who begat exploitation
who begat male chauvinism
who begat machismo
who begat imperialism
who begat colonialism
who begat wall street
who begat foreign wars
and God knew
and God saw
and God felt this was extra good
and God said
VAYAAAAAAA
On the fifth day
the people kneeled
the people prayed
the people begged
and this manifested itself in a petition
a letter to the editor
to know why? WHY? WHY? qué pasa babyyyyy?????
and God said,
"My fellow subjects
let me make one thing perfectly clear
by saying this about that:
NO . . .. . .. . ..COMMENT!"
but on the sixth day God spoke to the people
he said . . . "PEOPLE!!!
the ghettos & the slums
& all the other great things I've created
will have dominion over thee
and then
he commanded the ghettos & slums
and all the other great things he created
to multiply
and they multiplied
On the seventh day God was tired
so he called in sick
collected his overtime pay
a paid vacation included
But before God got on that t. w. a.
for the sunny beaches of Puerto Rico
He noticed his main man Satan
planting the learning trees of consciousness
around his ghetto edens
so God called a news conference
on a state of the heavens address
on a coast to coast national t. v. hook up
and God told the people
to be
COOL
and the people were cool
and the people kept cool
and the people are cool
and the people stay cool
and God said
Vaya . .…


 Pinero (2001)


Sunday, 18 December 2016

A fantastic and sadly prophetic speech from Michael Sheen on Nye Bevan and the National Health Service.

.


"In 1945 Aneurin Bevan said: ‘We have been the dreamers, we have been the sufferers, and now, we are the builders.’ And my God, how they built. And what they built. Every bit as much a wonder of the world as any architectural marvel, or any natural miracle … The National Health Service. A truly monumental vision. The result of true representation. Of real advocacy. A symbol of equality, of fairness, and of compassion.
The nation that swept the postwar  Labour government into power was made up of people who had faced the horrors and the hardships of the second world war. And had bound together as one community to overcome them. They had been sustained and inspired by their feeling of comradeship, and their sense of responsibility for their fellow man and woman. Compelled to help those in need and those struggling in the face of hardship.
These were the experiences that shaped them, and this was the vision of life that the welfare state was born out of. Faced with an enemy that sought only to divide, the National Health Service strove for unity. Where they traded in fear-mongering, and blame, and exploitation of the vulnerable, the NHS represented compassion, and generosity, and acceptance. Where they slavered with voracious self-interest, the NHS symbolised courageous self-sacrifice for the good of all.
In his book In Place of Fear, Bevan said: ‘The collective principle asserts that no society can legitimately call itself civilised if a sick person is denied medical aid because of lack of means.’
‘No society can legitimately call itself civilised’: now that begs the question, what sort of society do we want to be? What is our vision for ourselves? What are the qualities and the principles that we aspire towards, and choose to defend?
Because it is a choice. Do we want to be a society that is fractured, divided, disconnected? Do we want to be a society that is suspicious and mistrustful of its own people? A society that is exploitative, that sees people as commodities, as numbers. Mere instruments of profit, to be used while they have use, drained of whatever they can offer, and when they are seen as no longer useful, just abandoned, cut adrift. Preferably unseen and never again heard from.
Or … or … do we want to be a society where each person is recognised? Where all are equal in worth and value. And where that value is not purely a monetary one. A society that is supportive, that is inclusive and compassionate. Where it is acknowledged that not all can prosper. Where those who are most vulnerable, most in need of help, are not seen as lazy, or scrounging, or robbing the rest of us for whatever they can get. Where we … we do not turn our backs on those facing hard times. We do not abandon them or exploit their weakness. Because they are us. If not now, then at some point, and inevitably, they are us.
We are not afraid to acknowledge that we can be ailing, that we can find ourselves weak, that we can be infirm, and that we all at some point need help. We don’t shy away from this hard truth, we embrace it. Because in that way, together, we are always strong. We leave no one behind. We only say we’ve crossed the finish line when the last of us does. Because no one is alone. And there is such a thing as society.
This is what I believe to be Aneurin Bevan’s vision of a living tapestry of a mixed community, as he said.
At a time now, when people mistrust politicians as being too professional, too disconnected, no longer representing the voice of the people they have been elected to serve but more likely to represent the voice of wherever the money is. No longer standing for anything meaningful, or inspired by strongly held beliefs.
At a time like this a man like Aneurin Bevan seems like a mythical creature. Like a unicorn perhaps. Or perhaps more fittingly, a dragon. He didn’t care what the polls were saying. He didn’t worry about his PR, or what the current popular trends might be. His vision was long term. It was far-reaching, visionary in its scope and revolutionary in its effects. He had cast iron integrity and a raging passion.
This was a man who had no fear in standing up for what he believed in. And he made no bones about how he felt. This was a man who publicly stated: ‘No amount of cajolery, and no attempts at ethical, or social seduction, can eradicate from my heart a deep, burning hatred for the Tory party.’
In today’s political climate, where politicians are careful, tentative, scared of saying what they feel for fear of alienating a part of the electorate; where under the excuse of trying to appear electable, all parties drift into a morass of bland neutrality; and the real deals, the real values we suspect, are kept behind closed doors – is it any wonder that people feel there is very little to choose between? Bevan said: ‘We know what happens to people who stay in the middle of the road. They get run down.’
So when people are too scared to say what they really mean, when they’re too careful to speak from their hearts, when integrity is too much of a risk, it’s no surprise that people feel disengaged with politics.
There is never an excuse to not speak up for what you think is right. You must stand up for what you believe. But first of all – by God, believe in something.
Because there are plenty out there who believe in grabbing as much as they can for themselves. "Constantly sniffing around for markets to exploit, for weakness to expose. They won’t say it, of course – they’re too smart for that.
No one says they want to get rid of the NHS. Everyone praises it, across all parties. It is about as powerful a symbol of goodness that we have, so it would be too dangerous not to. But for decades now, there has nevertheless been a systematic undermining of its core values.
This is beyond party politics. The Labour government arguably did as much damage to the NHS as any Tory or coalition-led one.
This is about who we want to be as a nation, and what we believe is worth fighting for. Too many people have given too much, and fought too hard, for us to give away what they achieved and to be left with so very little.
To those across the whole party political spectrum, and to anyone in any position of power or authority, I ask you to search your heart, and look at who and what you serve.
To those who have discarded all principles, save that of profit before all else; to those who have turned their backs on the very idea of a truly democratic society, and aligned themselves to nothing but self-interest; to those who have betrayed the vision of equality, and justice, and compassion for all – that vision that provided the crucible from which came forth the National Health Service – I say to you, as Aneurin Bevan said in Trafalgar Square in 1956: you have besmirched the name of Britain; you have made us ashamed of the things of which formerly we were proud; you have offended against every principle of decency and there is only way in which you can even begin to restore your tarnished reputation. Get out. Get out! Get ... out! "

Tredegar, March 1, 2016

A  brilliant passionate speech  from Michael Sheen earlier this year,who has announced that he's to quit acting in favour of becoming a full-time activist.
His decision was inspired by the disturbing rise of far-right populism and will see him uproot his life in Los Angeles to combat the wave of "demagogic, fascistic" politics he believes has engulfed the West over the past decade.So good to hear someone actually standing up to be counted while our electoral representatives daily do nothing.
"The collective principle asserts that no society can legitimately call itself civilised if a sick person is denied medical aid because of lack of means"   There is simply no answer to that. Pure unadalturated  truth.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Happy Birthday Chelsea Manning ( b; 17/12/87)

 

Happy birthday today to Chelsea Manning as she spends her 29th birthday and seventh year in prison in a row as Christmas fast approahes..
Manning is a trans woman, ex-military analyst, who leaked hundreds of thousands of documents to Wikileaks exposing the truth about US, UK and other governments’ war crimes and corruption in Afghanistan, Haiti, Iraq, Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Peru, Venezuela who received a 35 year prison sentence in July 2013 for violations of the Espionage Act, after making public, the largest set of classified documents ever leaked.
Chelsea's mother, Susan Fox, was from Haverfordwest and met his American serviceman father while he was stationed at the nearby Cawdor Barracks. Chelsea returned to Wales with his mother, after his parents were divorced and attended the Tasker Millward secondary school in Haverfordwest.
Chelsea needs our support urgently,she has twice tried to commit suicide in prison, the second time after being thrown into solitary confinement for her first suicide attempt.  One of her lawyers, Chase Strangio said: “She has repeatedly been punished for trying to survive and now is being repeatedly punished for trying to die.”
We must send a strong message to the US military and Obama that their torture of Chelsea must stop. We must get her out. Chelsea is part pf a great movement of thousands of whistleblowers who have  revealed abuses and demanded their rights. In the face of everything, Chelsea engages with the world, models accountability, transparency and camaraderie, and imagines a more just future. Even as she is punished when she fights to live or chooses to try to die — Chelsea dares to claim her truth. She does not give up or give in and we are all better for it.From prison Chelsea has written against police killing young people of colour in the US and in support of immigrants and refugess, including queer and trans people.
For the past  6 years , every times she has come under threat , people in many countries have come together and organised vigils and protests.Petitions have reached over 100,000 signatures in a matter of days. Chelsea is now appealing to Obama  "to  commute her sentence to time served." https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/commute-chelsea-mannings-sentence-time-served-1 
A surge of tens of thousands of supporters pushed this WhiteHouse.gov petition for Chelsea over the 100,000 finish line as the December 14th deadline neared. Now, we're waiting for the White House to respond to our petition.  In just over a month, President Obama will leave office turning over the government to a Trump administration. Before he does, he has a chance to free Chelsea, to commute her sentence, and to,in her own words, give her “a first chance to live … life outside the USDB as the person [she] was born to be.”
Read Chelsea's moving statement and the letters of support from Daniel Ellberg, Glen Greenwald, and David Morris here:-
.https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3217536-Chelsea-Manning-Commutation-Application.html

Donations to her legal fund are also needed :- https://www.chelseamanning.org/press/chelsea-manning-defense-fund

And you can write to Chelsea here :-

Chelsea E.Manning 89289
1300 North Warehouse Road
Fort Leavenworth,
Kansas
66027-2304

Her fight is ours, because she has helped us wake up to stand up for our rights and justice.Join me in wishing Chelsea a happy birthday and calling on President Obama to free her.



Thursday, 15 December 2016

Amazon the new Scrooge: Can they ever be stopped?


Ia Amazon  the new scrooge? Am only asking after having read the shocking news this week that wage slaves at the mail order monopolist's distribution  centre, workers in Fife,  were seen camping in woods near to the gigantic warehouse who according to the Unite Trade Union were forced to camp there because of distances they had to travel to work and in order to save money on commuting. 
Such a tragic image. After picking and packing useless consumer items, walking up and down the aisles ,slaving for hours at end of day have to face conditions like this." The safety and wellbeng of our permaneny and temporary associates is our number one prority," Amazon said,
The Fife warehouse workers allegedly have to pay £10 per day to take company-arranged buses to work, and receive hourly pay of £7.35 ($9.33), according to an Amazon spokesperson quoted by the Courier, with overtime of £11 ($13.95) an hour. In an eight-hour shift without overtime, that means 17% of their daily wages go to transportation.
Workers are also given only one break of 15 minutes and another of 20 minutes per eight-hour shift and told they had to notify staff when going to the toilet. Amazon said workers wanted the shorter breaks in exchange for shorter shift.Workers have two lunch options though: Bring your own, or buy a meal from one of dozens of vending machines stocked with mediocre microwavable meals like burgers and hot dogs. And good luck heating up the food. The warehouses are  hot stuffy places,where it is also claimed that staff are made to wear digital terminals on their arms which track their movements and there are no regular breaks combined with the  low wages. This follows previous warnings by the GMB Union that Staff at Amazon’s UK operation have developed physical and mental illnesses because of the “regimes” they work under, treating their employees like automatons in a pure thirst for profit driven basis.
Employees are braving sub-zero temperatures to save money on travel costs so they can continue working for the company, which does not pay staff a living wage.


                                         Workers sleeping in woods near the warehouse

Have the lessons of a more Dickensian world not been learned. As amazon like to go on about its fairness,  many of us increasingly recognise it as one of the biggest slave drivers of our time .
But in using their services, it makes us all complicit, and in the end only have ourselves to blame. We have helped it amass its enormous power,  and havesimply sat by as it destroys bookshops, our language, in a morality-free zone.Because of the sake of so called convenience, all who use its services , support and help too with their continuing dubious moral practices.
The prices on Amazon’s website may seem amazingly cheap, but these savings come primarily from publishers, who are squeezed for every penny, as Amazon forces them to supply them at rates so low that it leaves authors and publishers out of pocket – particularly damaging smaller publishing houses. Amazon a long running tax avoider's dominance of the market means that publishers have little choice but to comply with their demands.
Amazon are a company on a mission: to completely dominate the online shopping marketplace. Not content with selling books, DVDs, music, DIY tools, electronic equipment and clothes, Amazon have also recently started selling groceries in bulk. But that’s not all - Amazon has also taken on online payment companies such as PayPal with its ‘Amazon Payments’ service, further extending its attempt to control all aspects of online retail. Monopolies are always a dangerous thing – the more power they have, the more they will use it get their own way at the expense of workers rights. To continue its  ruthless intention  to undercut as much as possible, in order to protect its  monopoly, as best as possible..
Can this new scrooge, ever be stopped in its tracks?

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Aleppo: The nightmare continues


Yesterday’s deal to evacuate the remaining civilians trapped in East Aleppo has collapsed.
Civilians stayed up all night awaiting evacuation but buses stood and idle and returned empty on Wednesday morning. Iran-backed militias reportedly prevented civilians and opposition fighters from leaving the besieged city. Shelling and airstrikes by pro-regime militias and Russia have resumed.
Journalists are reporting that cluster bombs and vacuum bombs are targeting civilian homes. Medics that had been preparing for hours to get badly injured patients ready for departure are now trapped under heavy fire and are struggling to deal with new casualties.
Terrified residents who had hoped that their nightmare had come to an end are now desperately seeking shelter amid airstrikes. It is still unclear if residents will be allowed to leave and whether the deal will hold. According to Syrian Journalist Zouhir Al Shimale, regime media is reporting that it will resume its attacks until all of Eastern Aleppo is taken.
Unless there is a safe and secure evacuation out of Aleppo, there is a risk that the remaining trapped civilians will be killed or detained. 
This is an emergency. Please do everything in your power to take action for the safe passage of these civilians. Make a call now and demand life saving action.

AUSTRALIA: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 1300 555 135 // Russian Embassy +61 2 6295 9033

CANADA: Department of Foreign Affairs +1 800 267 8376 // Russian Embassy +1 613 235 43 41

FRANCE: Ministry of Foreign Affairs +33 1 43 17 53 53 // Russian Embassy +33 3 8824 2015

GERMANY: Foreign Ministry +49 3018 17 0 // Russian Embassy +49 30 226 51 183

IRELAND: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade + 353 (0) 1 408 2000 // Russian Embassy +353 (0) 1 492 2048

ITALY: Ministry of Foreign Affairs +39 06 36911 // Russian Embassy +39 06 494 1680

THE NETHERLANDS: Ministry of Foreign Affairs +31 77 465 67 67 // Russian Embassy +31 070 364 64 73

SWEDEN: Ministry for Foreign Affairs +46 8 405 10 00 // Russian Embassy +46 8 13 04 41

UNITED KINGDOM: Foreign and Commonwealth Office +44 20 7008 1500 // Russian Embassy +44 20 7229 6412

UNITED STATES: State Department +1 202 647 9572 // Russian Embassy +1 202 298 5700
   
The following is is a message from Raed Saleh, head of the Syria Civil Defense, published in The Guardian today :-

As a White helmet I ask for one thing: safe passage for those trapped in Aleppo.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/dec/14/white-helmet-aleppo-civilians-safe-passage-city 


The Morning Star newspaper had reported yesterday that acts taking place in Aleppo yesterday as liberation with a headline announcing :- "Final liberation off Aleppo is in sight." These efforts at 'liberation' have now extended to pro-government forces " entering homes in eastern Aleppo and killing those inside, including women and children according to the UN. Its human rights office says it has evidence at least 82 civilians have been shot on the spot, with a spokesman declaring it " a complete meltdown of humanity in Aleppo." While Assad claims to be liberating Aleppo from terrorists, he is, in fact, slaughtering not only armed rebels fighting government forces, but untold numbers of civilians. This a deeply complicated war and in this particular conflict it is hard to throw ones hat with any of the opposing sides, at the end of the day the guilty can be found on all sides. Our newsfeeds are filled with the most horrific stories of death, torture, rape, annilihation and atrocities, the misery in Syria continues. We have to stand with the people of Syria  against the tyrants ,whether from the East or the West.We must support calls for a ceasefire and an immediate stop to bombing and shelling. We should be attempting at reaching a political solution to ending the war, towards alleviating immediate suffering. Further intervention in this war-torn country will only make things worse. The task ahead sadly is not an easy one.
The following statement has been issued by Geert Cappelaere, Unicef's regional director:

" As violence continues to escalate in Aleppo today, thousands of children are suffering in silence, and coming under brutal attack on our watch.It is time for the world to stand up for the children of Aleppo and bring their living nightmare to an end.
According to alarming reports from a doctor in the city, many children, possibly more than 100, unaccompanied or separated from their families, are trapped in a building, under heavy attack in east Aleppo.
We urge all parties to the conflict to allow the safe and immediate evacuation of all children. Unaccompanied and separated children have the right to be registered by a neutral humanitarian organisation and be reunified with their families  wherever they may be. 
Unicef is deeply concerned by reports of extra judicial killings of civilians including children and reminds all parties of their responsibilities under international law.
Unicef calls on all warring parties to immediately reach a truce in Aleppo and allow humanitarian organisations to deliver urgent assistance to families and children in need wherever they are, and without conditions.
Civilians who wish to leave east Aleppo must be allowed to do so in safety and in dignity.
Unicef's team in Aleppo and stands ready to provide assistance, including facilitating the evacuation of children.
The children of Aleppo are our responsibility and must be helped now. There are no more excuses."

 Britain has failed to stand by a vision of an open, tolerant Syria. But,we can give urgent help to those fleeing Aleppo, and those left behind. We can give sanctuary to more refugees and we can properly invest in reconstruction.It is the least we can do.
Right now, people in East Aleppo are posting their final goodbyes online as government forces gain full control of the city. Instead of being given a safe path out, they face being trapped, tortured or executed. We can at least continue to demand the safe  evacuation of  the people trapped there now and that UN monitors are deployed to monitor evacuations and protect people from harm.To try and provide them with the safety, justice and dignity that some seek to steal from them.
I am currently hearing reports that another ceasefire has been brokered and a second attempt to evacuate civilians could take place in Aleppo.Let's hope that this is not another taunt and that those in the Eastern part of Aleppo will be taken to areas not under siege.

Stare not at the stars, nor at the bright moon, cry our for the children, dying in Aleppo's gloom.

John Lewis Christmas 2016 Fox Hunt Parody : Keep the fox hunting ban



A parody of the heart warming John Lewis Christmas advert 2016 to highlight the importance of keeping the fox hunting ban.
It's a sad fact that up and down the country many foxes have lost their lives due to illegal hunting activities. See the following two links for instance :-
http://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/man-49-arrested-after-foxes-killed-by-hunt-hounds/story-29971820-detail/story.html
 http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/police-probe-footage-heartbreaking-footage-9395384
Hunting is still going on. We still have a lot to do to protect our wildlife.We need tougher legislation to stop fox hunting completely. Wouldn't  it be nice if the police actually enforced the law but the continuing support for hunting by people in positions of power make that unlikely but well done to the brave Sabs and hunt monitors who stand between the hunters and our wildlife,stopping hunts in the fields, thank you each and every one, those of us who want to live in a civilised 21st century society are grateful for your efforts. What an unsavoury axis the pro-hunt lobby present. Those who consider themselves superior to the rest of society, determined to carry on hunting because these sick proponents actually  enjoy killing and the feeling of power watching a fox being torn apart by a pack of dogs gives them. Then there are the Terrier men and the rest of the slavish lackeys who are just along for beer money and the chance of a bit of violence, often setting their own dogs on the fox if it has managed to go to ground, while toadying to the squirearcy. And most contemptable of all the nouveau riche wanabee gentry, who are no doubt despised by lord and lackey alike.
believe that chasing and killing live animals with dogs is barbaric, outdated and has no place in modern Britain. The vast majority of the British public support the Hunting Act (typically 70 - 80 per cent) and the UK has some of the most progressive animal welfare laws in the world. This reflects the public consciousness of compassion towards animals.In 2004 the 'Hunting Act' was put in place to prevent people from hunting wild animals with Hounds. The main 'pest' being Foxes.Recently, rumblings seem to be stirring from certain areas of government that suggest a lift, lighten or watering down of these laws. Andrea Leadsom is one such person responsible for the re-opening of this upper-class wound.

Tell Theresa May keep Fox hunting banned,
please sign following petitions :-

Call on Andrea Leadsom not to hold a vote to repeal the hunting Act 2004

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/161635/signatures/new

https://www.change.org/p/rt-hon-theresa-may-mp-keep-fox-hunting-banned 

 

Monday, 12 December 2016

Counting down the days to Christmas


                                                ( a prison window of consumerism)

It's a wonderful time of the year
for  many  now trapped and living in fear
caught by a malicious system
drowning in debt,facing struggle alone,
benefits cut, holding on as best they can
spending many days with heads in hands,
hearts aching, tears rolling down cheeks
counting down the days to Christmas.

Have you seen the alternative news
that exposes this conscious cruelty?
Government robbing people of self respect
left in sullen days of  abandonment,
people with no heating, sitting around freezing,
listening to reality blues, life in gloom
trying to fight, pick up the pieces
counting down the days to Christmas.

Its difficult to find any hope
or feel the presence of any holy spirit,
in this season when things fall apart
people caught up in war zones,
refugees fleeing for their lives
lovers slowly dying of terminal disease,
refusing to surrender, releasing resistance
counting down the days to  Christmas.

I can't handle another bloody Christmas song
my will is already being pinched and broken,
by adverts spreading the disease of capitalism
tinsel,glitter and fairy lights masking crisis,
at a time of the year many now come to dread
too difficult to contemplate, let alone celebrate;
scrambling our way through the fog
counting down the days to Christmas.

A time for peace,goodwill and generosity
but the world's stage makes this  difficult,
leaving many facing sleepless nights
long drawn out days of thrift,
so try not to forget,the cheated, the old
the poor and the sick, the weak
cast aside, forced to tighten their belts
counting down the days to Christmas.

https://iamnotasilentpoet.wordpress.com/2016/12/16/counting-down-the-days-to-christmas-by-dave-rendle/

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Llewellyn ap Gruffyd, the last Prince of Wales ( 1232-1282)


 Llewellyn ap Gruffydd couldn’t have known it during his tumultuous life, but he would become known to posterity as Llewellyn the Last. He was the last native born Welshman recognised as the sovereign Prince of Wales, before Wales was finally conquered by Edward the 1st in 1282. I am no fan of titles and now is  little more than an honorific bestowed upon the eldest son of the King or Queen of England, a final insult dreamt up by King Edward to make certain that Wales knew its place in the new order. But in Llewellyn’s day, it was not something that came by birth right, but something he took by force of arms, strategic alliances, and breath-taking diplomacy.
Llewelyn was the second son of Gruffydd and his wife, Senena. Following his father's death, Llewelyn joined forces with his uncle, Dafydd, and effectively became Dafydd's heir as Dafydd had no sons. Llewelyn helped to re-unite North Wales.In 1247 Llywelyn and his brother Owain signed the Treaty of Woodstock with King Henry III. The treaty restricted the brothers' rule to parts of Gwynedd west of the River Conwy, while the remainder of Conwy, the Perfeddwlad, remained under English control.Within two years, however, Llywelyn had gained control of the Perfeddwlad and most of the Pura Wallia, parts of Wales under native Welsh rule. By early 1258 he was using the title Prince of Wales, although the English crown refused to acknowledge him as such.
When Henry was temporarily deposed by Baron Simon de Montfort after the Battle of Lewes in 1264, Llywelyn allied himself to the new ruler. The Treaty of Pipton, signed the following year, set out the terms Llywelyn had desired for several years: formal recognition as Prince of Wales and overlord of the other Welsh rulers.De Montfort died at the Battle of Evesham in 1265, and the resulting English power vacuum allowed Llywelyn to consolidate his control of Welsh territory. He was formally recognised as Prince of Wales by Henry III with the signing of the Treaty of Montgomery on 29 September 1267.
De Montfort died at the Battle of Evesham in 1265, and the resulting English power vacuum allowed Llywelyn to consolidate his control of Welsh territory. He was formally recognised as Prince of Wales by Henry III with the signing of the Treaty of Montgomery on 29 September 1267. However with the advent of a new English King, Edward I, relations deteriorated as Llewelyn refused to pay homage or make the money payments due under the Treaty of Montgomery. In 1277 Llewelyn was forced to submit to the King and was stripped of his hard won overlordship.Edward embarked on a unprecedented building programme across Wales, including the enormous sastles at Caernarfon, Conway and Harlech , showing of his military strength and acting as signals to the Welsh about the futility of opposing his might.
However in 1282, Dafydd ap Gruffydd, Llewelyn's brother, attacked Hawarden Castle. Llewellyn  was faced with an impossible choice; he was called on to crush the rebellion, instead he joined it, sided with his brother against the English.Now engaged in a bitter struggle with Edward I of England, leading the Welsh resistance to Edward, with an ambition to create a permanent, independent Welsh principality and to keep Wales independent.  Edward continued to send armies into Wales and one consisting of 2000 infantrymen and 200 cavalrymen succeeded in capturing Anglesey. However the routing of this army by Llywelyn on 6th November 1282, boosted Welsh morale and when Edward turned his hand to diplomacy, offering Llywelyn a large estate in England if he would surrender, Llywelyn defiantly  refused, stating that he would not abandon the people whom his ancestors had previously protected.
Llywelyn was then deceived into attending a meeting with Edmund Mortimer at Aberedw, who  claimed that he wished give homage to Llywelyn. In Llywelyn's absence, the English army advanced on the Welsh position at Orewin Bridge.The full force of the English  army now crossed and engaged the leaderless Welsh army.As the Welsh turned to confront the archers they left the bridge undefended. The English seized the moment to attack. Mounted soldiers charged across Orewin Bridge, causing the leaderless and disorganised Welsh army to flee. Upon hearing the noise of the battle, Llywelyn realised that he had been tricked and immediately headed back with his entourage to assume command yet was ambushed and overwhelmed. Llywelyn lay mortally wounded and asked for a priest, but was recognized, and was instantly killed and his head cut off and sent to Edward at Rhuddlan, who then took it to London, put on it an ivory crown and placed it on the gate of the Tower of London, where it stayed for 15 years.
The death of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd marked the end of an independent Wales. Resistance continued for a while under Dafydd, but by June of the following year, he too had been captured and executed, with his head displayed next to that of Llywelyn.The beheading of Llywelyn, the imprisonment of his family, the melting down of the crown jewels and the destruction of the royal mausoleums, and the symbolic display of their decapitated  heads would all have been designed to oppress the Welsh people, the end result being that Edward's conquest of Wales being complete.
Llewellyn dominated Wales for more than 40 years, and was one of only two Welsh rulers to be called "the Great", the other being his ancestor Rhodri the Great. The first person to give Llywelyn the title "the Great" seems to have been his near-contemporary, the English chronicler Matthew Paris.
 Llewellyn was  the last  prince of an united independent ,Wales until that is  Owain Glyndŵr rebel  prince came along to leave  his mark in the 14th century .with his fight against English oppression , his fight that nearly won Welsh independence and his threshold plan for a Welsh Parliament, an independent church and university which would turn him into a potent symbol of Welsh nationalism in the 20th Century.This is  another story from the pages of our history.
There is much uncertainty as to Llywelyn's final resting place, with the Cistercian Abbey at Abbeycwmhir the site suggested by most historians,it is known that he killed in battle not far from Llanfair in Buellt now known as Builth Wells.

Memorial stone to Llewellyn the last at Cilmeri
 



Saturday, 10 December 2016

World Human Rights Day



Today marks Human Rights Day,it is observed every year on 10 December to commemorates the day on which, in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In 1950, the Assembly passed resolution 423 (V), inviting all States and interested organizations to observe 10 December of each year as Human Rights Day.
This year, Human Rights Day calls on everyone to stand up for someone's rights! Disrespect for basic human rights continues to be wide-spread in all parts of the globe. Extremist movements subject people to horrific violence. Messages of intolerance and hatred prey on our fears. Humane values are under attack.Today we must  take a stand for others who are oppressed by their societies or regimes, or have in some way had their rights taken from them.
"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights," Article One of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights reads. "They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood."
We must reaffirm our common humanity. Wherever we are, we can make a real difference. In the street, in school, at work, in public transport; in the voting booth, on social media.
The time for this is now. “We the peoples” can take a stand for rights. And together, we can take a stand for more humanity.
World Human Rights Day reminds us that there is much to be done  and around to world to protect those who cannot voice or respond to perpetrated discrimination and violence caused by governments, vigilantes, and individual actors. In many instances, those who seek to divide people for subjective means and for totalitarian reasons do so around the globe without fear of retribution. Violence, or the threat of violence, perpetrated because of differences in a host of physical and demographic contrasts and dissimilarities is a blight on our collective humanity now and a danger for our human future.
Recenly after displaying a  rare display of lucidity Boris Johnson, British Foreign Secretary was severely reprimanded for his remarks that Saudi Arabia is involved in a proxy war in the Middle East. His statements broke on of the cardinal rules of British foreign policy, do not critisice a hideous dictatorship if it is allied with Britain.The UK government is only to well aware of the fact that Saudi Arabia has provided financial support to Isis and other terrorist groups in Syria and elsewehere in a proxy war in the Middle East. His statement broke one of the cardinal rules of British foreign policy, do not critisise a hideous dictatorship if is allied with Britain.So it continues to support the Saudi dictatorship, one of the greatest violaters of human rights in the world. This serves to expose the British establishment's extreme cynicism and hypocrisy. In the name of human  rights we must continue to challenge this shameful narrative.
For millions of people, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is still just a dream. December 10th is a symbolic date that reminds us of that fact, but we must keep this commitment 365 days a year. In all the EU's external actions every day must be Human Rights Day, as every person in the world is entitled to the full and indivisible range of human rights every day of his or her life.Global human rights are not selective in their value or meaning, nor are they limited to a day or time of year.

Human Rights Day