Friday, 27 February 2015

Banksy leaves his mark on Gaza!

The anonymous but eminent British artist known as Banksy  has again taken aim at Israel's policies regarding the Palestinians, and the daily injustices that they face. Sneaking into the Gaza strip and filming the devastation in the wake  of last summers IDF Operation Protective Edge. The two minute video is entitled "Make this the year you discover a new destination". Showing us what the mainstream media do not want us  to know or see. Depicting for us the lives of the ordinary Palestinian . The destruction that he witnesses was the result of the 50 day conflict which saw 539 Palestinian children dead, and close to 3,000 injured. In total more than 2,000 Palestinians were killed according to United Nations figures.l
Utilising the  language of a low budget tourist video, with the footage of the Palestinians quarantined within. A brilliant charged combination  of art and politics in a place  now devoid of beauty.
And we should remember that today and tomorrow, children like the ones portrayed in the video, will continue to  play amid the rubble and destroyed  building, and that resistance is existence, that existence is resistance.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Dear David Cameron

Last week I talked about Margaret Thatcher's legacy, now I turn on her heir. With  his slicked back hair, Mr Cameron always seems to be willing  to  pose for a photo. Always with his friends keen to castigate  poor people on benefits, with their 'culture of entitlement ' jibe, a man who  stands next to the likes  of Malcolm Rifkind and his ilk, people who  seem to think they are entitled to more as they try to defend themselves after recent  'cash for access scandal.
David Cameron sure keeps delivering, giving us pain, pain and pain, he does not seem to want to give us any hope.
So David Cameron, is this your vision,  to scapegoat the poorest and the most vulnerable  in our land.  Your Big Society initiative, is largely seen as a failure, those at the bottom are clearly  bearing the brunt of austerity. People living daily in fuel and food poverty, the escalating costs  of lifes' basics, please  don't get me started on our beloved N.H.S. Remember  the state provision that we paid for, you have demolished purely for ideological  reasons. You and your party clearly believe  that society should be founded on inequality - that the poor deserve poverty, whilst the wealthy deserve incentives. I am sorry to dissapoint you, but the people are growing tired, and will not  tolerate your hands of unfairness anymore.
We have noticed  that you are nothing  but a slave-owning descendent who has never worked a single day  of your life. With your inherited wealth and all the vestiges of privilege that has been bestowed on you, it is clear that you do not have much  understanding of the real world.
Oh and delivering speeches that threaten to throw teenagers  out onto the freezing streets, it does however reveal something heartless, a person devoid of compassion. Your ideas  reek of arrogance, toxic, the whiff of inequality stalks your foul breath, as you keep cosying up to your friends and crony's the super rich.
As your friends dodge   and fail to answer questions on their tax avoiding  millionaire friends, your party has decided to stigmatise benefit claimants who are deemed  overweight with the threat of punitive sanctions. Picking on the vulnerable again, is your way of life, your creed.
So out of touch you are verging on the ridiculous, cheap and nasty is your cloth. We have not got time  to go,  but I sincerely hope you are soon kicked out of No 10, as well as your rabble of right wing wreckers. Yes I hope we do without you, as support  for anti-austerity policies grow, it is time to create an economy that works for everone, based on fairness,  not just for the privileged few and those nesting at the top. So Mr Cameron I believe your time is up,  it is time  that you and the rest of  your nasty party are kicked out of power.

( oh and remember)

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Journey of Sound

( for sapientia, she who knows)

Some haunting blues
sounds of the desert,
the holler of liberation
breezy kora  leaping,
reggae bass, middle eastern oud drifting 
ragas and  dub mutation,
tabla and djembe's rhythms mixing
percussive beats soaring,
releasing chords of souls simplicity.
I love the wind, when  it blows on through
breathe in rhymes, messages of freedom,
a familiar dance, moving through spaces
coming down easy, on a sunday afternoon,
the revolution is right here
the groove is in my heart,
got that high time feeling
it don't hurt at all,
releasing pressure 
respites of musical pleasure,
here on the edges of time.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Miriam Makeba - Malcolm X

Miriam Makebas song for Malcolm X  on the  anniversary of his death. The prescient words  of brother Malcolm X, still  today  slice  today through our lives,  slicing through  the rhetoric of politicians and pundits alike as if he still walked among us. His opinions, his work, his deeds, still matter, strike a chord, as we  still work  towards  goals of social justice  and continue to remember his transformative power. we continue to make a stand against racism wherever it may raise its ugly head.

Everybody seems to be preaching revolution
Though no one ever seems to show appreciation
To that man  over there who  bought about a  new generation
To that man  over there who  bought about  a new black  nation

Do you remember Malcolm
Do you remember him, Malcolm
Yeah brother  Malcolm
Don't you know he was  a great man

He tried to keep the people away from oppression
From day to day M lived for liberation
Until that man with a man  took away his devotion
He and his wife and kids without protection

Do you remember Malcolm
Do you, remember him, Malcolm
Yeah brother Malcolm
Don't you know he was a  great man
Oh yeah

It seems  life  and death  seem to go  together
For me in my heart. Malcolm will live forever
Especially when I think about the blackness he reflected
I said especially when I think  about the one he represented

Do you remember Malcolm
Do you remember him, Malcolm
Oh yeah brother Malcolm
Don't you know he was a great man
Oh yeah

Thursday, 19 February 2015

No to Margaret Thatcher Memorial Library and museum.

There are plans afoot to build a memorial to Margaret Thatcher, but lets  not forget their is already a memorial to her, they are called food banks.
Personally I feel  neither should ever exist, nor should they be  pitted against each other as either/ or option.
Thatchers legacy  is as one of the most divisive political figures that this country has ever known, who is still universally hated  by the majority of the citizens who lived  under her brutally destructive  policies.
To spend a single penny in her memory, whilst her dark  shadow lingers among foodbanks,  the growing number of homeless and continuing N.H.S cuts would be an absolute disgrace.
Thatcher is dead but  Thatcherism lives on. No public money should be spent on idolising this ugly spirit, it should be noted that her poisonous policies helped shape the policies of all our current mainstream policies.
I have searched deep, but have been  unable  to find anything good about her to remember. This was a woman ( can I even call her that) that  unleashed so much damage to our country, lets not forget  that because of her  our manufacturing industries were destroyed which led to mass  unemployment. She also precipitated the social housing crisis that is still felt today. Her whole manta was the destruction of peoples way of life. We are still struggling because of her, and the legacy that she left is a very bitter  pill to swallow.
She also  supported Pinochet, Saddam, Suharto, Botha and the House  of Saud, that speaks volumes about the kind of demon she was.
There was something  heartless about her,  her complete lack of compassion and blatant disregard for peoples feelings. It always seemed that she hated us all, this is what defined her twisted ideology. Miners, steelworkers, trade unionists, local councils, benefit recipients, single mothers, gay people, the Irish, the Scots, the Welsh, the entire North of England - all were in her sights.
Yes I hated all she stood for and years after her death these feelings do not rescind. Yep I still hate Thatcher  and everything she spawned, and always will
We need to bury Thatcherism and her memory now more than ever , please consider signing the following petition.

Two earlier posts you might be interested in



Monday, 16 February 2015

John Davies (b 1938 -16/2/15) The Welsh nations historian. R.I.P

Sad to hear the news earlier that I heard of the passing of John Davies, one of  Wales's most eminent historians. His book " History of Wales" I consider to be an essential read, a story of two milliennia , a masterful account  that traces  the political, social and cultural  history  of my land and country,that he weaved with much articulateness, and humor. Alongside being  a historian he contributed largely  to the fortunes of the Welsh language. He is remembered as one of the founders of the Welsh language society/Cymdeithas Y Iaith. He was also regular broadcaster here in Wales on television and the radio. It was from him and the late Gwyn Alf Williams that I rediscovered my peoples history, not the English history that was forced down our throats when we were at school. A huge loss to the nation of Wales. R.I.P
Here is a poem that I have just written in his and Gwyn's  memory.


As pages turned, they helped us remember,
what had lay forlorn, almost forgotten,
allowed us to search for the past again,
to capture memories, tales of yesterday,
the hiraeth of longing of byegone time.
In our nations soil, buried deep,
ancient shadows, greeting today and tomorrow,
reflecting what has been, what will continue to grow,
as our nation drowns in the tears of history
we hold on now, waiting for the continuance of our journey,
forever unfolding, what began so long ago.         

700 British artists have signed a pledge to boycott Israel

Good news 700 British Artists have signed a pledge to boycott Israel, as  long as it  " continues to deny  basic Palestinian rights," This is the latest major success for the Global Boycott Divestment and  Sanctions of Israel Movement.
It is a response to the call from Palestinians artists and cultural  boycott of Israel. The artists include Roger Waters, Brian Eno, Ken Loach, Mike Leigh and many others.
The call reads, according to the Group Artists for Palestine |UK which organised the pledge as follows :_

"Along with  more than 600 other fellow artists, we are announcing today, we will not engage in  business as usual cultural relations with Israel. We will accept  neither  professional  invitations to Israel, nor funding, from any institutions, linked to its government. Since  the Summer war in Gaza, Palestinians have enjoyed no respite  from Israels unrelenting attack on their land, their livelihood, their right to political existence. "2014" says the Israeli human rights organisation B'Tselem was " one of the cruellest and deadliest in the history of the occupation." The Palestinian catastrophe goes on.

More here

The initiative comes from Artists for Palestine. A full list of other cultural figures who signed can be found here :-

The cultural boycott against Israel it seems  to be on the rise and will do  as long as Israel continues to deny basic human rights to the Palestinian people  combined with discriminatory laws like those of Apartheid South Africa. It is good to know that  modern artists have not  thrown their moral compasses away, and choose not to engage with Israel, until the time that the Palestinian people are free once more. Personally I reject  all forms  of bigotry and discrimination, including anti-Semitism, but proudly  support a moral and inclusive movement  that is struggling against the oppressive policies of a country, that defines  in religious exclusive terms, that seeks to deny  the Palestinian their most basic human rights simply because they do not share the same religion.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Arhundati Roy(24/12/61) - How civilisation works

" To slow a beast, you break its limbs. To slow a nation, you break its people. You rob them of volition. You demonstrate your absolute command over their destiny. You make it clear that ultimately it falls to  you to decide, who lives, who dies, who prospers, who doesn't. To exhibit your capability, you show of all that you can do, and how easily you can do it. How easily you could press a button and annihilate the earth. How you can snatch a river away from one gift to another. How you can green a desert, or fell a forest and plant one somewhere else. you use caprice to fracture a people's faith in ancient things - earth, forest, water, air?

Reprinted from; Cost of Living, 1999

Friday, 13 February 2015

Steve Strange ( 28/5/59 -12/2/15) - Fade To Grey R. I .P

Sad to hear that Steve Strange, lead singer from 1980's New Romantic band Visage  has passed away , as a result of a heart attack in Egypt. His life was not a masquerade, he could never be capable  of conforming to the logic of order, consensus reality was  very far from the pavements he walked.
In the post punk years remember his presence, the electronic pulses, danceable with shades of Bowie and Roxy, krautrock and disco, a shapeshifter of the 80's,  blitzing through it's shadows. He himself emerged from the working class mining community of Caerphilly,  liberated by punk, he saw the Sex Pistols on his home turf in 1976, he escaped to London, abandoning all hope of a conventional career. In his day, with echoes of social deprivation on a par with today, his only real options, if he had stayed at home, was life on the dole, the factory, building site. or the pit. He sought  refuge in the bright lights of London town, where he would go and look for some kind of irreverent freedom.Treated appallingly by the music industry that championed him. Chewed  up and spat out. He decamped back to South Wales,where he kept planning for his return to centre stage, a life lived full,with fantasy and wild abandon and the whiff of hedonism  never a far distance behind.
It's all a matter of taste, but being outrageous was his reality.
Steve Strange .R.I.P

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Dont Buy Israel Blood Diamonds for Valentines Day 14 Feb 2015

This Valentines Day help expose the global trade in Israel's blood diamonds  - Israel's No 1 export commodity and major source of funding for the illegal occupation of Palestine. Diamond exports from Israel  generate revenue that are used to fund the Israeli military, please help raise awareness about this jewellery industry scam that facilitates  and sustains this belligerent apartheid regime.
It is worth noting that evidence given to the Russell Tribune on Palestine in 2010 indicated that the Israeli Diamond industry generated over $1billion a year  in funding the Israeli military/security complex.
Blood diamonds from Israel are often mixed with diamonds from other countries making it impossible for consumers or jewellers to identify them. The latest revelations concerning the operations of the bank H.S.B.C  reveal that a number  of Israeli Diamond dealers held accounts containing billions that were out of reach of tax authorities in the UK and Israel, dealers of a currency of broken bones and shattered lives in Gaza.
Despite claims  of honesty, openness, transparency and accountability, this  industry continues to con the public by claiming diamonds are conflict free and ethically sourced while facilitating and profiting  from the trade in blood diamonds  from Israel that bankrolls a criminal regime guilty of gross human rights violations on a daily basis. Remember too that diamond exports that generate revenue
Please do not insult your loved ones by buying a blood diamond from Israel, your hard earned money may go towards funding the next IDF massacre in Palestine.
Remember a glittering diamond that pays for oppression is not necessarily a girl or a boys' best friend.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Raise Your Voice for Shaker Aamer ; Newport, February 14th 2015

A quick  advertisement  for this event, a day of action taking place in Newport, Pembrokeshire, Wales  next Saturday 14th February, marking  the 13th anniversary of Shaker Aamers arrival at Guantanamo  its last British resident and the birthday of his youngest son. This man has faced  no charge and  has been cleared for release in 2007  and again in 2009, and over the years has had to endure all manners of torture and abuse.
We will be calling for his release, and his safe return to his family.

I hope to  read the following  poem

For Shaker

Far from home, torn from  family and friends,
no place to run, no place to hide,
imprisoned in a man made hell,
in a cage of suffering, and isolation,
held without trial or charge,
Shaker's voice reaches us from afar,
from his prison cell, his shadow dances,
against the branches of iniquity,
we light candles to shine against the darkness that contain,
in the name of peace and justice,
our messages  keep calling for his freedom.

As days trickle  over captive thought,
it is time to restore some life and dignity,
as the world continues to recognise his plight,
we remember Shaker now,
his  hungry thirst for liberty,
between the sky and land,
fleeing into the future.
Every story hinges on a dream of change,
against  oppression and persecution,
with unflinching determination.
We wait for the walls of Guantanamo,
and its gates to crumble forever,
for voices within to wander freely once more.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

"Let Them Freeze!" – Politicians in Frozen the Musical

Thousands will die from living in cold homes. Millions have to  make the desperate  choice between heating and eating. It is a national scandal. It is time to take action to help end  this cold home crisis.
1 person every  7 minutes freezes to death of related illnesses  as a result of being cold.
Here is a song  for our disgusting government. It is time to wake them up. In 2000 political parties promised  to end this scandal. 15 years later it is cleared they  failed. They  must be forced to commit the money to end this home crisis once and for all.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Royal Family : Stop pushing weapons to dictators

The Times newspaper reports today that Prince Charles " doesn't  like being used to market weapons and now sidesteps such activities where possible. " He has a funny way of showing it, at the end of the day he is nothing but a hypocrite.He is  about to go on  another little jaunt to the Middle East made at the request of the government. After  he recently  visiting Saudi Arabia, the arms company BAE systems  announced it had finished their latest multi-billion  pounds weapon deal.
Yes it's business as usual for members of the Royal family often seen dancing for autocratic rulers,  to be seen at sumptious dinner parties, where the Queen  entertains despots, torturers, dictators and murdering tyrants across the globe.
Daily they release their nauseating displays of wealth, power and privilege,  they are not powerless and  are certainly not harmless. The royal family also profits from  uranium and other components of the war machine through Royal Ordnance sales and exports.Instead of prancing around the international stage acting like arms dealers, toadying up to Friends of oppressors, perhaps they should start promoting human rights. At the moment I do not understand at all, why we offer them any respect at all.  It is time to start making peace profitable too. 

Inheritance - Heathcotte Williams, montage -Alex Cox

Palestine is not your Charity case

Palestine is not your charity case, your charity will not stop his bullets. There is only one side here. The beast  with the gun  and all his ilk must go.  The lioness has courage  and full rights, the west simply does not understand.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Langston Hughes (1/2/02 -22/5/67) - Dream Deferred

Happy birthday James Mercer Langston Hughes, pioneering African-American  social activist, novelist, playwright and Harlem Renaissance poet. He confronted racial stereotypes, and protested social conditions, he supported the Scottsboro boys, stood proudly with the anti fascists in the Spanish Civil War, and strongly opposed the McCarthy witchhunts,   and was to become known as a peoples poet. He was also one  of the earliest innovators, of the then new literary art form called jazz poetry,  the following poem of his was written 1951.

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore-
And then run
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over-
like a sugary sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like  a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

here's an animated google doodle celebrating his birthday and his poem ' I dream a word.'