Wednesday, 31 July 2013

How Queen Elizabeth II profits from the arms trade



Queen Elizabeth II is one of the worlds richest women, worth £17 billion. Her investments in the arms trade includes firms that produce the uranium used in depleted uranium (DU) shells. The deployment of these shells by the US military in its attack on the Iraqi city of Fallujah in 2004, is believed to be the cause of a huge increase in cases of cancer and birth defects.

Monday, 29 July 2013

Mick Farren (3/10/34 -27/7/13) R.I.P Street Fighting Man

Sad to hear of the passing of Mick Farren, who died after collapsing at the Borderline on Saturday  night. Forever associated with the counterculture, frequently getting arrested, and being at the heart of the struggle, he  was an anarchist and singer with the band the Deviants (a new line up, of which  he was playing with when he met his final curtain), white panthers from south London in the late 1960's.
Up to his final moments he was still attacking authority, agitating and spreading subversion as militant as ever. His blog was always a pleasure to look at. A rock n'roller in the truest sense of the world, releasing a number of garage infused records, that still stand the test of time, sounding as fresh as ever, his 1978 album Vampires Stole My lunch a personal favourite, a right derailing of the senses, a demented classic.
He was also a fine writer of fantasy/horror writing, as well as being a critic, and cultural journalist , having witten for the N.M.E  and the International Times back in the day.
His autobiographical book  'Give the Anarchist a Cigarette '  is well worth checking out.
A truly iconic character, who lived his life to the full. He will be missed.

Mick Farren - The Battle for Grovenor Square

The Deviants - Let's loot the Supermarkets

The Deviants -Screwed Up

Mick Farren - I want a drink

Sunday, 28 July 2013

G4S Profiteers of Palestinian Suffering

A British Company with it's fingers in wars everywhere. A London demonstration July 22 2013.

'After extracting confessions under torture, five of the Hares boys were charged with 25 counts of attempted murder even though there were only four people in the car. Apparently the military court had decided that 25 stones were thrown, each with an 'intent to kill'. The five boys - Ali Shmlawi, Mohammed Klieib, Mohammed Sileman, Tamer Souf and Ammar Souf are currently locked up in another G4S security facility - Magiddo prison where G4S provides the entire central command room.

If you look above you will catch a rare glimpse of teifidancer,out in the wild, who is at least free.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Ursula K. Le Guin (b.21/10/29) - The Dispossessed and some poems.

                                 Picture by Benjamin Reed

American. One of my favourite writers  A daughter of an anthropologist and a writer. Organised and took part in non-violent demonstrations against atomic bomb testing and the war in Vietnam.Over the years her frequent critiques of  state  power, coupled with her rejection of capitalism and a fascination with alternative systems of political economy, place her within the anarchist tradition. An imaginative, questioning mind, now in her  eighties , still creating and pushing boundaries,battling the system, a fine writer of poetry too,which she has been writing since 1959. Her poems are both earthy and transcendent, humourous too with a bite, the fruits of of over a half century writing.
Ther following is  from one of her many science- fiction novels, The Dispossessed,  a very interesting book that explores how an anarchist society would work. A vivid portrait of an anarchist utopia. A society without  government, laws police, courts , corporations, money, salaries, profit, organised religion or private property. Shrevek is the first traveller from Anarres, a moon settled 200 years previously by anarchist exiles, to visit Urras, the mother planet. Atro is a physicist on Urras.
Following this I have included three fine poems from her.

Click on image to enlarge

' Atro had once explained too him how this was managed, how the sergeants could give the privates orders, how the lieutenants could, give the privates and the sergeants orders, how the liutenants could, give the privates and the sergeants orders, how the captains . . . and so on and so on up to the generals, who could give everyone else orders and need take them from none, except the Commander in Chief. Shevek had listenened with incredulous disgusr ' You call that organisation? he had inquired. ' Yu even call it discipline? But it is neither. It is a coercive mechanism of extraordinary inefficiency - a kind of seventh millenium steam engine! With such a rigid and fragile structure what could be done that was worth doing? This had given Atro a chance to argue the worth of warfarevas the breeder of courage and manliness and the weeder out of the unfit; but the very line of his argument had forced him to concede the effectivesness of guerillas, organised from below, self-disiplined. ' But that only works bwhen the people think they're fighting for something of their own, you know, their homes, or some notion or other,' the old man had said. Shrevek had dropped the argument. He now continued it, in the darkening basement among the stacked crates of unlabelled chemicals. He explained to Atro that he now understood why the army was organised as it was. It was indded quite necessary. No rational form of organisation would serve the purpose. He simply had not understood the purpose was to enable men with machine guns to kill unarmed men and women easily and in great quantities when told to do so. Only he could not see where courage, or manliness, or fitness, entered in.'

Reprinted from: The Dispossesed (1974)

High Desert

Out there, there is another way to be.
There is a rising brightness in the rock,
a singing in the silence of the tree.
Something is always moving, running free,
as quick and still as quail move in a flock.
The hills out here know a hard way to be.
I habve to listen for it patiently:
a drumming vcanter slowing to a walk,
a flutter in the silence of a tree.
The  owl's call from the rimrock changes key.
What door will open to the flicker's knock?
Out here there is another way to be,
described by the high circles of a hawk
above what hides in silence in the tree.
The cottonwoods in their simplicity
talk softly on, as hidden waters  talk
an almost silent singing in the tree
that says, here is another way to be.


I will grow fingernails
to scratch the scab
that stops the sore's lips on  the scream
the pusty whistle of escape
EEEEEeeeoooooo steamboat annie  comin roun the bend
I will grow fingernails
ten feet long and walk on them like stilts
& breathe steam out of my nostrils
& split boards with my eye
don't get near me with your martial arts
unless you want to get split right down between the balls
neat as a colone's chicken
                  I got Real Bad Vibes
I have neen talking to my father
who died in 1960
he's 101 years old not feeling very perky
he get's left out of things
locked out.
                I will grow fingernails
and claw down the Lubyanka
stone by stone by stone.
                                     Yeah. Sure.
Listen, my vibrations areso bad
they're Richter  8-7
look out there in Daly City.
My toenails are growing too.
i can dig up graveyards with them
and dance on the burning ground.
I use the urns for footballs
& my tongue hangs out a yard.
I am WUMMUN, ta doody boo-bah,
but even worse than that I'm me
and feeling mean
                           God's stomach
rumbles like a drum
when I jump on it
when I dance on his chest he snores
when I dance on his giut he farts,
when I dance on his cock he comes
when I dance on his eyes he wakes and all the stones fall down
                    ashes, ashes

all fall down.

                    Get up and dance, creation!


In bed in the fist salt light
with the east ear I hear birds
waking and with the right
Ocean breaking inward from the night.

image by Clifford Harper

poems can be found in:-

Finding my Elegy - New and Selected Poems
- Ursula  K. Le Guin

Saturday, 20 July 2013


Where are we?
Are we moving forwards or back
a bottle of red or white,
get off here, or follow the crooked lines
go faster or stop.
Simplicity versus complexity
a long night, or a longer day,
are sounds outside stronger
than those within?
Is it time time to smile or cry
get drunk on words 
or high on sighs?
Wishes of  future promise
or abandonment in the past,
do you remain silent, and afraid 
or seize the day, carry on,
speak of things, or leave unsaid 
turn the keys or lose the locks?

Friday, 19 July 2013

Stuff the Banks

The sun at least is smiling, but despite everything people have achieved throughout our history, society is more unequal now than it has ever been before. 
Whilst hundreds of thousands of people in the UK rely on foodbanks, and millions around the world starve, the wealthiest millionaires (& billionaires) continue to accumulate yet more wealth  - and mostly avoid giving any of it back in tax.While most of the country continues to tighten its belts bankers continue to recieve bonuses and subsidies. It is definitely a case of us not being in it all together.
There are now over half a million people in the UK going hungry, foced by the government's brutal and unnecessary cuts to make the choice between paying the bills or eating, feeding themselves or feeding their children. 
Tomorrow Saturday 20th July, UK Uncut invites you to help them transform  branches  of the big tax-dodger HSBC into a food banks, setting up UK Uncut style food banks inside branches of HSBC - shutting down hopefully the UK's biggest, bonus-munching, crisis-causing, tax dodging bank.
Am down in London at moment so will probably pop down to 133 Regent Street from 12pm, in an act of solidarity. Whilst people on benefits, and immigrants are daily attacked , it seems obvious to me who is reponsible, capitalism allowed to run amok, ruining peoples lifes. The Government smiles as it shifts the blame, does not direct it to any of their friends.
It's going to be hot tomorrow, but please try participating or in the least support the various Uncut actions across the country .Put on your shorts and  demand  that the government stops propping up the people who caused  this crisis of capitalism in the first place.
And if you can't get to a city,  wherever you are , try and  keep on pushing........

More  details and  of London action here:


Thursday, 18 July 2013

Robert MacFarlane (Travel writer b.15/8/1978) - A Road of One's Own.

                                   map of London , 1860.

' Psychogeography: a beginners guide. Unfold a street map of London, place a glass, rim down, anywhere on the map, and draw around its edge. Pick up the map, go out into the city, and walk the circle, keeping as close as you can to the curve. Record the experience as you go, in whatever medium you favour: film, photograph, manuscript, tape. Catch the textual run-off of the streets; the graffiti, the branded litter, the snatches of conversation. Cut for sign. Log the data-steam. Be alert to the happenstance of metaphors, watch for visual rhymes, coincidences, analogies, family resemblances, the changing moods of the street, and the record ends. Walking makes for content, footage for footage.'

Reprinted  from: Time Literary Supplement


Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Melting Pot

Dedicated to the streets of London town,
which I'm visiting at the moment.

Sitting outside on the pavement,
still looking for the future,
as life's wild unstoppability,
hurries by in the air.
People walking on filters,
of time and memory,
on corners tapestries are woven,
seamless threads stitch together,
while new languages are formed,
under hot baking sun. 
On the edge, the lost and abandoned
the hungry and the thirsty,
paths carved, with fear and danger
warm energies releasing chains,
ignitions turning on another logic
as wild petals blow in all direction, 
the sunlight following free blades of grass
while this city drips in every corner,
trailing the rhythms of different beats
the heat moves people steadily together,
embracing passion's kiss,  labourers of love
cancel out divisions, keep planting kisses
flaming in firmaments, a new day dawns.


Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Anonymous - A message to Humanity

A very powerful message to all the people of the world.

United we stand. . .

Together we can fight for a better world.

No man, women, or children should be in-salve for the greed of the few.

No human life should ever be sacrifice!

Monday, 15 July 2013

Stop the Prawer Plan

On June 24th the Israeli knesset approved the discriminatory Prawer-Begin bill, with 43 votes for and 40 against, for the mass expulsion of the Arab Bedouin community in the Nageb (Negev) desert in the south of Israel. If fully implemented the Prawer-Begin plan will result in the destruction of 35 (unrecognised) Arab Bedouin villages, the forced displacement of up to 70,000 Palestinian Bedouins citizens of Israel, and dispossession of their historical lands in the Nageb.
Despite the Palestinian Bedouin Community's complete rejection of the plan and strong dissaproval from the international community and human rights groups.
The Prawer Plan is happening now. Protests have been taking place all through Israel and Palestine today, where Israel Police have been attacking demonstrators.
The Palestinian Bedouin have lived in  the Nageb since the 7th century - long before the state of Israel was created. This plan was completed wthhout consultation of the local community is a gross violation of basic rights, and can be seen as Israel's determination to escalate the dispossession of these  people, a process that has been ongoing for 63 years now,and if forced to abandon their long historical  existence and forced into towns it would spell disaster for the Bedouin community. It must be rejected and suspended immediately, it is not just an attack on the Bedouin people it is also an attack on universal human rights. 

Their is a petition you could sign here,
please consider adding your voice  if you have not already done so.


Poster by Palestinian graphic designer
Mohammed Hassona

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Arthur Machen (3/3/1863 -15/12/47) - An Enchanted Land

Arthur Machen, Welsh writer and mystic, best known for his wonderful supernatural, fantasy and horror fiction.

' I shall always esteem it as the greatest piece of fortune that has fallen to me that I was born in that noble, fallen Caerleon-on-Usk in the heart of Gwent . . . .
The older I grow, the more firmly am I convinced that anything I may have accomplished in literature is due to the fact that when my eyes were first opened in early childhood they had before them the vision of an enchanted land. As soon as I saw anything I saw Twm Barlwm, that mystic tumulus, the memorial of peoples that dwelt in the region before the Celts left the Land of Summer. This guarded the southern limit of the great mountain wall in the west; a little northward was Mynydd Maen - The Mountain of the Stone - a giant, rounded billow; and still to the north mountains, and on fair, clear days one could see the pointed summit of the Holy Mountain by Abergavenny. It would shine, I remember, a pure blue in the far sunshine; it was a mountain peak in a fairy tale. And then to eastward the bedroom window of Llandewi Rectory looked over hill and valley, over high woods quivering with leafage like the beloved Zacynthus of Ulysses, away to the forest of Wentwood, to the church tower on the hill above Caerleon. Through a cleft one might see now and again a bright yellow glint of the Severn Sea, and the cliffs of Somerset beyond. And hardly a house in sight in all the landscape, look where you would. Here the gable of a barn, here a glint of a whitewashed farmhouse, here blue wood smoke rising from an orchard grove, where an old cottage was snugly hidden: but only so much if you knew where to look. And of nights, when the dusk fell and the farmer went his rounds, you might chance to see his lantern glimmering, a very spark on the hillside. This was all that showed in a vaque, dark world; and the only sounds were the faint distant barking of the sheepdog, and the melancholy cry of the owls from the border of the brake.'
Reprinted from 'Autobiography -Arthur Machen

Friday, 12 July 2013

5 year old Palestinian boy detained in Hebron.

The above five year old Palestinian boy was caught after allegedly throwing a stone at a tyre belonging to a settler. throwing a stone in Hebron. The soldiers detained, blindfolded and hancuffed his father. Imagine what the father thinks? Imagine what the boy feels? Remember that the age of criminal responsibility is 12. Imagine if this was a European child and the outrage that this would stir. After  the incident, the boy was taken into an I.D.F jeep and taken to his parents house where his father joined them. The soldiers took the father and son to an I.D.F base from which they were eventually transferred to a Palestinian Police Station.  B'Tselem released a video capturing the moments of his apprehension.
For many a daily occurence under occupation. This the latest in a number of similar detentions. But Israel we should remember has a long list of human rights violations , including it's siege of Gaza, demolition of Palestinian homes, to name just a few.

For more on this story go here

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Free Shaker Aamer

At 6.30 today hundreds of us will simultaneously share the same message to Cameron and Obama.

Free Shaker Aamer.

There's still time to add your voice.

Head here now

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def) force fed under standard Guantánamo Bay procedure

Yasmin Bey (aka Mos Def) force fed under standard Guantanamo Bay procedure.

As Ramadan gets underway, more than 100 hunger strikers in Guantanamo Bay continue their protest. More than 40 of them are being foce-fed. A leaked documen sets out the military instructions, or standard operating procedure, for force-feeding detainees. In this four minute film made by Human Rights organisation Reprieve and Bafta award winning director Asif Kapadia, US actor and rapper Yasmin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def), experiences the procedure.

Warning some viewers may find these images disturbing.

Read more about Ramadan force-feeding AT Guantanamo Bay

Link to article on Reprieve website:

Judge : Obama  has power to address "Painful degrading Guantamo hunger strike.

Thanks Mona

Happy Ramadan Mubarak

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Matthew Arnold ( 24/12/1822 -15/4/88) - Celtic Magic

In Matthew Arnold's lifetime only a quarter of his productive life was given to writing poetry, his reputation rests equally on his prose and critical essays, especially the relationship of man and nature. Ideas that W.B Yeats himself would later develop. Both attracted to the secrets of natural beauty and natural magic.
Here is a famous essay where he draws on these themes, which he brings alive with much eloquence..

'The Celt's quick feeling for what is noble and distinguished gave his poetry style; his indomitable personality gave it pride and passion; his sensibility and nervous exaltation gave it a better gift still, the gift of rendering with wonderful felicity the magical charm of nature. The forest solitude, the bubbling spring, the wild flowers, are everywhere in romance. They have a mysterious life and grace there; they are Nature's own children, and utter her secret in a way which makes them something quite different from the woods, waters and plants of Greek and Latin poetry.  Now of this delicate magic, Celtic romance is so pre-eminent a mistress, that it seems impossible to believe the power did not come into romance from the Celts. Magic is just the word for it, - the magic of nature; not merely the beauty of nature,-  that the Greeks and Latins had; not merely an honest smack of the soil, a faithful realism - that the Germans had; but the intimate life of Nature, her weird power and her fairy charm . . . Gwydion wants a wife for his pupil: "Well." says Math, " we will seek, I and thou, by charms and illusions, to form a wife for him out of flowers." So they took the blossoms of the oak, and the blossoms of the broom, and the blossoms of the meadow-sweet, and produced from them a maiden, the fairest and most graceful that man ever saw. And they baptized her, and gave her the name of Flower-Aspect." Celtic romance is full of exquisite touches like that, showing the delicacy of the Celt's feeling in these matters, and how deeply Nature lets him come into her secrets. The quick dropping of blood is called "faster than the fall of the dewdrop from the blade of red-grass upon the earth, when the dew of June is at the heaviest." And this is Olwen described:
"More yellow was her hair than the flower of the broom, and her skin was whiter than the foam of the wave, and fairer were her hands and her fingers than the blossoms of the wood-anemony amidst the spray of the meadow fountains."

For loveliness it would be hard to beat that; and for magical clearness and nearness take the following:

"And in the evening Peredur entered a valley, and at the head of the valley he came to a hermit's cell, and the hermit welcomed him gladly, and there he spent the night. And in the morning he arose, and when he went forth, behold a shower of snow had fallen the niight before, and a hawk had killed a wild-fowl in front of the cell. And the noise of the horse scared the hawk away, and a raven alighted upon the bird. And Peredur stood and compared the blacknness of the raven, and the whiteness of the snow, and the redness of the blood, to the hair of the lady whom best he loved, which was blacker than the raven, and to her skin, which was whiter than the snow, and to her two cheeks, which were redder than the blood upon the  snow appeared to be."

And this, which is perhaps less striking, is not less beautiful:

"And early in the day Geraint and Enid left the wood, and they came to an open country, with meadows on one hand and mowers mowing the meadows. And there was a river before them, and the horses bent down and drank the water. And they went up out of the river by a steep bank, and there they met a slender stripling with a satchel about his neck; and he had a small pitcher in his hand, and
a bowl on the mouth of the pitcher."

And here the landscape, up to this point so Greek in its clear beauty, is suddenly magicalised by the romance touch:

"And  they saw a tall tree by the side of the river, one-half of which was in flames from the root to the top and the other half was green and in full leaf."

Magic is the word to insist upon, - a magically vivid and near interpretation of nature; since it is this which constitutes the special charm and poer of the effect I am calling attention to, and it is for this that the Celt's sensibility gives him a peculiar aptitude.

Matthew Arnold - On the Study of Celtic Literature

For those interested in Celtic themes and narratives, I will also refer you to The Mabinogion a rich collection of texts relating to the mythological past of the British isles. A collection that I return to again and again.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Getting there

Poem written after my grandsons tentative first steps.

It takes time for many  of us to master long journeys,

a while before we can bathe in shadows cast by steepness,

fall among grasses deep,

follow patterns,

conjour magic,

to walk steadily to the edge.

It only takes a moment though,

to see lights flicker upon a July morning,

footprints slowly leaving a trace,

one day at a time,

following the merryground of adventure,

step, step, then leap,

soon running like sunlight through the garden,

and as every day grows,

consider it done,

we will continue to do our best  to protect you,

as  new paths are found to explore.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Pay Rise for M.Ps,The Mind Boggles!

Britains 650 M.Ps are in line for a hefty pay rise. The Independent Parliamentary Authority is expected to unveil plans to increase the basic British Parlamentarian Salary from £65,738 to £75,000. At a time when the rest of the U.K is experiencing one of its worst economic periods, I see no justification at all in this news, and it's simply beyond contempt.
They are already paid nearly 3 times the average U.K full time salary. In Parliament, the 3 main parties, their policies  more the less the same, as they divide us even more, punishing the poor, protecting the rich. It's not as if their  planning a route out of the problems that they were responsible for in the first place. Their apparent solution, workfare and poverty for us and a pay rise for them.
At the moment  we are being led by a Coalition of Millionaires, most of whom went to private schools, inheriting  their wealth from their parents. With many other M.Ps  fom all parties also coming from privileged backgrounds , do they really need an extra leg up in this time of austerity. They already have  substantial discounts on food, drink, and transport than the rest of us, in addition to many of them getting hefty back-handers from their secondary corporate employers.
They might say we're all in it together, but in this, it's definitely a case of  no we're ******* not.
If people are deterred from becoming M.Ps  because  they don't think  they get paid enough. Do we really need them? I personally remember a time when certain M.Ps only took a workers age, more of them would be fine, people who recognise the real needs of the people, people who really understand  the social problemss of inequality and exploitation.
At a time when millions of people across the globe are making a stand against their own governments, why do we as a people, allow ourselves to be ruled by such a pack of greedy and malicious so and so's, besides a few brave loose  cannons, not an ounce of integrity between the rest.

Enough is enough.

If you've got time please sign this e.petition.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Pablo Neruda (12/7/04 - 23/9/73) - Love

Because of you, in gardens of blossoming
Flowers I ache from the perfumes of spring.
I have forgotten your face, I no longer
Remember your hands,
how did your lips
feel on mine?

Because of you, I love the white statues
Drowsing in the parks, the winter statues that
Have neither voice nor sight.

I have forgotten your voice, your happy voice;
I have forgotten your eyes.

Like a flower to its perfume, I am bound to
My vaque memory of you, I live with pain
That is like a wound, if you touch me, you will
Make to me an irreperable harm.

Your caresses enfold me, like climbing
Vines on melancholy walls.

I have forgotten your love, yet I seem to
Glimpse you in every window.

Because of you, the heady perfumes of
Summer pain me, because of you, I again
Seek out the signs that precipitate desires:
Shooting stars, falling objects.

From the pen of one my favourite poets. Born Ricardo Reyes Basaolto, this Chilean poet adopted legally in 1945 the pen name of Pablo Neruda.
From the 1940's on his work reflected the political struggle of the left and social developments in South America, his poetry ranging from Surrealism to political manifestos, but he was also a poet of love, never ambiguous but very open about his feelings.

Earlier post on Pablo here.
Pablo Neruda - Poet of Love