Thursday, 29 June 2017

The Politics of Cruelty

I  currently find it utterly disgusting that the Tories voted against Labour's amendments to stop cuts to police, firefighters, and nurses  and to end the pay cap on hard working  public sector workers.
Labour had proposed an amendment to the Queen's Speech to "end the public sector pay cap and give the emergency and public services a fair pay rise".MPs voted 323-309, a majority of just 14, against. Labour's bid to end the 1% public sector pay cap was the first Commons vote since the general election.
The Tories do this and say there is "no magic money tree", yet the Tories still managed to bung the DUP  over £2 Billion, in a desperate attempt to cling on to power, whilst also managing to give the Queen an 8% pay rise. And repeatedly have taken pay rise after pay rise for themselves, they simply have no shame. I cannot believe their sheer arrogance! Torys actually cheered after blocking Labour's amendment.
Public sector workers have had their pay frozen for two years thanks to Tory austerity. a pay freeze that has seen nurses, firefighters smd other workers subject yo a 14 per cent pay cut over the last seven years. It looks like the it's business as usual as the Tory's inflict their  cruel policies of austerity as they have done previously.Not one Tory had the decency to rebel and  to vote for Labour's amendment - and all 10 DUP MPs voted  with their Tory paymasters against it.
Theresa May is a hypocrite who only  last week  'thanked' the firefighters who worked throughout the night  trying to save people from the Grenfell Tower fire yet yesterday she and her cronies cut firefighters pay,  
Nurses are currently using bloody food banks; to feed their families despite working 12 hour shifts  with such dedication , that we all rely on, and yet they get pay cuts while the Queen sits in her castle and gets an 8% pay rise and the DUP who have done nothing for us get £2 Billion. It's wrong, and many  people are increasingly feeling much justified anger.
It just  proves they don't care about the public or have even learnt from the election let alone listen as Theresa May had promised they now would, and after all their hollow words from them about "our heroic emergency services" and about "learning lessons and having to listen to the public" they jump straight back to being what many of us know they have always been and what they always will be. It shows us the true nature of the Government we have now been left with.  May and the Tories must go.
I will leave you with the words of Nye Bevan to express what I and many millions are currently feeling :-

And here is list of all the M.P's who voted against the amendment, who voted to continue the wage repression of our emergency service workers,  shame on them all :-

Nigel Adams (Conservative - Selby and Ainsty)
Bim Afolami (Conservative - Hitchin and Harpenden)
Adam Afriyie (Conservative - Windsor)
Peter Aldous (Conservative - Waveney)
Lucy Allan (Conservative - Telford)
Heidi Allen (Conservative - South Cambridgeshire)
Stuart Andrew (Conservative - Pudsey)
Edward Argar (Conservative - Charnwood)
Victoria Atkins (Conservative - Louth and Horncastle)
Richard Bacon (Conservative - South Norfolk)
Kemi Badenoch (Conservative - Saffron Walden)
Steve Baker (Conservative - Wycombe)
Harriett Baldwin (Conservative - West Worcestershire)
Stephen Barclay (Conservative - North East Cambridgeshire)
John Baron (Conservative - Basildon and Billericay)
Guto Bebb (Conservative - Aberconwy)
Henry Bellingham (Conservative - North West Norfolk)
Richard Benyon (Conservative - Newbury)
Paul Beresford (Conservative - Mole Valley)
Jake Berry (Conservative - Rossendale and Darwen)
Bob Blackman (Conservative - Harrow East)
Crispin Blunt (Conservative - Reigate)
Nick Boles (Conservative - Grantham and Stamford)
Peter Bone (Conservative - Wellingborough)
Peter Bottomley (Conservative - Worthing West)
Andrew C Bowie (Conservative - West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine)
Ben Bradley (Conservative - Mansfield)
Karen Bradley (Conservative - Staffordshire Moorlands)
Graham Brady (Conservative - Altrincham and Sale West)
Jack Brereton (Conservative - Stoke-on-Trent South)
Andrew Bridgen (Conservative - North West Leicestershire)
Steve Brine (Conservative - Winchester)
James Brokenshire (Conservative - Old Bexley and Sidcup)
Fiona Bruce (Conservative - Congleton)
Robert Buckland (Conservative - South Swindon)
Alex Burghart (Conservative - Brentwood and Ongar)
Conor Burns (Conservative - Bournemouth West)
Alistair Burt (Conservative - North East Bedfordshire)
Alun Cairns (Conservative - Vale of Glamorgan)
James Cartlidge (Conservative - South Suffolk)
William Cash (Conservative - Stone)
Maria Caulfield (Conservative - Lewes)
Alex Chalk (Conservative - Cheltenham)
Rehman Chishti (Conservative - Gillingham and Rainham)
Christopher Chope (Conservative - Christchurch)
Jo Churchill (Conservative - Bury St Edmunds)
Colin Clark (Conservative - Gordon)
Greg Clark (Conservative - Tunbridge Wells)
Kenneth Clarke (Conservative - Rushcliffe)
Simon Clarke (Conservative - Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland)
James Cleverly (Conservative - Braintree)
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (Conservative - The Cotswolds)
Thérèse Coffey (Conservative - Suffolk Coastal)
Damian Collins (Conservative - Folkestone and Hythe)
Alberto Costa (Conservative - South Leicestershire)
Robert Courts (Conservative - Witney)
Geoffrey Cox (Conservative - Torridge and West Devon)
Stephen Crabb (Conservative - Preseli Pembrokeshire)
Tracey Crouch (Conservative - Chatham and Aylesford)
Chris Davies (Conservative - Brecon and Radnorshire)
David T. C. Davies (Conservative - Monmouth)
Glyn Davies (Conservative - Montgomeryshire)
Mims Davies (Conservative - Eastleigh)
Philip Davies (Conservative - Shipley)
David Davis (Conservative - Haltemprice and Howden)
Caroline Dinenage (Conservative - Gosport)
Jonathan Djanogly (Conservative - Huntingdon)
Leo Docherty (Conservative - Aldershot)
Julia Dockerill (Conservative - Hornchurch and Upminster)
Michelle Donelan (Conservative - Chippenham)
Nadine Dorries (Conservative - Mid Bedfordshire)
Steve Double (Conservative - St Austell and Newquay)
Oliver Dowden (Conservative - Hertsmere)
Jackie Doyle-Price (Conservative - Thurrock)
Richard Drax (Conservative - South Dorset)
James Duddridge (Conservative - Rochford and Southend East)
David Duguid (Conservative - Banff and Buchan)
Iain Duncan Smith (Conservative - Chingford and Woodford Green)
Alan Duncan (Conservative - Rutland and Melton)
Philip Dunne (Conservative - Ludlow)
Michael Ellis (Conservative - Northampton North)
Tobias Ellwood (Conservative - Bournemouth East)
Charlie Elphicke (Conservative - Dover)
George Eustice (Conservative - Camborne and Redruth)
Nigel Evans (Conservative - Ribble Valley)
David Evennett (Conservative - Bexleyheath and Crayford)
Michael Fabricant (Conservative - Lichfield)
Michael Fallon (Conservative - Sevenoaks)
Suella Fernandes (Conservative - Fareham)
Mark Field (Conservative - Cities of London and Westminster)
The liar Vicky Ford (Conservative - Chelmsford)
Kevin Foster (Conservative - Torbay)
The disgraced Liam Fox (Conservative - North Somerset)
Mark Francois (Conservative - Rayleigh and Wickford)
Lucy Frazer (Conservative - South East Cambridgeshire)
George Freeman (Conservative - Mid Norfolk)
Mike Freer (Conservative - Finchley and Golders Green)
Marcus Fysh (Conservative - Yeovil)
Roger Gale (Conservative - North Thanet)
Mark Garnier (Conservative - Wyre Forest)
David Gauke (Conservative - South West Hertfordshire)
Nusrat Ghani (Conservative - Wealden)
Nick Gibb (Conservative - Bognor Regis and Littlehampton)
Cheryl Gillan (Conservative - Chesham and Amersham)
John Glen (Conservative - Salisbury)
Zac Goldsmith (Conservative - Richmond Park)
Robert Goodwill (Conservative - Scarborough and Whitby)
Michael Gove (Conservative - Surrey Heath)
Luke Graham (Conservative - Ochil and South Perthshire)
Richard Graham (Conservative - Gloucester)
Bill Grant (Conservative - Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock)
Helen Grant (Conservative - Maidstone and The Weald)
James Gray (Conservative - North Wiltshire)
Chris Grayling (Conservative - Epsom and Ewell)
Chris Green (Conservative - Bolton West)
Damian Green (Conservative - Ashford)
Justine Greening (Conservative - Putney)
Dominic Grieve (Conservative - Beaconsfield)
Sam Gyimah (Conservative - East Surrey)
Kirstene Hair (Conservative - Angus)
Robert Halfon (Conservative - Harlow)
Luke Hall (Conservative - Thornbury and Yate)
Philip Hammond (Conservative - Runnymede and Weybridge)
Stephen Hammond (Conservative - Wimbledon)
Matt Hancock (Conservative - West Suffolk)
Greg Hands (Conservative - Chelsea and Fulham)
Mark Harper (Conservative - Forest of Dean)
Richard Harrington (Conservative - Watford)
Rebecca Harris (Conservative - Castle Point)
Trudy Harrison (Conservative - Copeland)
Simon Hart (Conservative - Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire)
John Hayes (Conservative - South Holland and The Deepings)
Oliver Heald (Conservative - North East Hertfordshire)
James Heappey (Conservative - Wells)
Chris Heaton-Harris (Conservative - Daventry)
Peter Heaton-Jones (Conservative - North Devon)
Gordon Henderson (Conservative - Sittingbourne and Sheppey)
Nick Herbert (Conservative - Arundel and South Downs)
Damian Hinds (Conservative - East Hampshire)
Simon Hoare (Conservative - North Dorset)
George Hollingbery (Conservative - Meon Valley)
Kevin Hollinrake (Conservative - Thirsk and Malton)
Philip Hollobone (Conservative - Kettering)
Adam Holloway (Conservative - Gravesham)
John Howell (Conservative - Henley)
Nigel Huddleston (Conservative - Mid Worcestershire)
Eddie Hughes (Conservative - Walsall North)
Jeremy Hunt (Conservative - South West Surrey)
Nick Hurd (Conservative - Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner)
Alister Jack (Conservative - Dumfries and Galloway)
Margot James (Conservative - Stourbridge)
Sajid Javid (Conservative - Bromsgrove)
Ranil Jayawardena (Conservative - North East Hampshire)
Bernard Jenkin (Conservative - Harwich and North Essex)
Andrea Jenkyns (Conservative - Morley and Outwood)
Robert Jenrick (Conservative - Newark)
Boris "£350 million" Johnson (Conservative - Uxbridge and South Ruislip)
Caroline Johnson (Conservative - Sleaford and North Hykeham)
Gareth Johnson (Conservative - Dartford)
Joseph Johnson (Conservative - Orpington)
Andrew Jones (Conservative - Harrogate and Knaresborough)
David Jones (Conservative - Clwyd West)
Marcus Jones (Conservative - Nuneaton)
Daniel Kawczynski (Conservative - Shrewsbury and Atcham)
Gillian Keegan (Conservative - Chichester)
Seema Kennedy (Conservative - South Ribble)
Stephen Kerr (Conservative - Stirling)
Julian Knight (Conservative - Solihull)
Greg Knight (Conservative - East Yorkshire)
Kwasi Kwarteng (Conservative - Spelthorne)
John Lamont (Conservative - Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk)
Mark Lancaster (Conservative - Milton Keynes North)
Pauline Latham (Conservative - Mid Derbyshire)
Andrea Leadsom (Conservative - South Northamptonshire)
Phillip Lee (Conservative - Bracknell)
Jeremy Lefroy (Conservative - Stafford)
Edward Leigh (Conservative - Gainsborough)
Oliver Letwin (Conservative - West Dorset)
Andrew Lewer (Conservative - Northampton South)
Brandon Lewis (Conservative - Great Yarmouth)
Julian Lewis (Conservative - New Forest East)
Ian Liddell-Grainger (Conservative - Bridgwater and West Somerset)
David Lidington (Conservative - Aylesbury)
Jack Lopresti (Conservative - Filton and Bradley Stoke)
Jonathan Lord (Conservative - Woking)
Tim Loughton (Conservative - East Worthing and Shoreham)
Craig Mackinlay (Conservative - South Thanet)
Rachel Maclean (Conservative - Redditch)
Anne Main (Conservative - St Albans)
Alan Mak (Conservative - Havant)
Kit Malthouse (Conservative - North West Hampshire)
Scott Mann (Conservative - North Cornwall)
Paul Masterton (Conservative - East Renfrewshire)
Theresa May (Conservative - Maidenhead)
Paul Maynard (Conservative - Blackpool North and Cleveleys)
Patrick McLoughlin (Conservative - Derbyshire Dales)
Stephen McPartland (Conservative - Stevenage)
Esther McVey (Conservative - Tatton)
Mark Menzies (Conservative - Fylde)
Johnny Mercer (Conservative - Plymouth, Moor View)
Huw Merriman (Conservative - Bexhill and Battle)
Stephen Metcalfe (Conservative - South Basildon and East Thurrock)
Maria Miller (Conservative - Basingstoke)
Amanda Milling (Conservative - Cannock Chase)
Nigel Mills (Conservative - Amber Valley)
Anne Milton (Conservative - Guildford)
Andrew Mitchell (Conservative - Sutton Coldfield)
Damien Moore (Conservative - Southport)
Penny Mordaunt (Conservative - Portsmouth North)
Nicky Morgan (Conservative - Loughborough)
Anne Marie Morris (Conservative - Newton Abbot)
David Morris (Conservative - Morecambe and Lunesdale)
James Morris (Conservative - Halesowen and Rowley Regis)
Wendy Morton (Conservative - Aldridge-Brownhills)
David Mundell (Conservative - Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale)
Sheryll Murray (Conservative - South East Cornwall)
Andrew Murrison (Conservative - South West Wiltshire)
Robert Neill (Conservative - Bromley and Chislehurst)
Sarah Newton (Conservative - Truro and Falmouth)
Caroline Nokes (Conservative - Romsey and Southampton North)
Jesse Norman (Conservative - Hereford and South Herefordshire)
Neil O'Brien (Conservative - Harborough)
Matthew Offord (Conservative - Hendon)
Guy Opperman (Conservative - Hexham)
Neil Parish (Conservative - Tiverton and Honiton)
Priti Patel (Conservative - Witham)
Owen Paterson (Conservative - North Shropshire)
Mark Pawsey (Conservative - Rugby)
Mike Penning (Conservative - Hemel Hempstead)
John Penrose (Conservative - Weston-super-Mare)
Andrew Percy (Conservative - Brigg and Goole)
Claire Perry (Conservative - Devizes)
Chris Philp (Conservative - Croydon South)
Christopher Pincher (Conservative - Tamworth)
Dan Poulter (Conservative - Central Suffolk and North Ipswich)
Rebecca Pow (Conservative - Taunton Deane)
Victoria Prentis (Conservative - Banbury)
Mark Prisk (Conservative - Hertford and Stortford)
Mark Pritchard (Conservative - The Wrekin)
Tom Pursglove (Conservative - Corby)
Jeremy Quin (Conservative - Horsham)
Will Quince (Conservative - Colchester)
Dominic Raab (Conservative - Esher and Walton)
John Redwood (Conservative - Wokingham)
Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative - North East Somerset)
Laurence Robertson (Conservative - Tewkesbury)
Mary Robinson (Conservative - Cheadle)
Andrew Rosindell (Conservative - Romford)
Douglas Ross (Conservative - Moray)
Lee Rowley (Conservative - North East Derbyshire)
Amber Rudd (Conservative - Hastings and Rye)
David Rutley (Conservative - Macclesfield)
Antoinette Sandbach (Conservative - Eddisbury)
Paul Scully (Conservative - Sutton and Cheam)
Bob Seely (Conservative - Isle of Wight)
Andrew Selous (Conservative - South West Bedfordshire)
Grant Shapps (Conservative - Welwyn Hatfield)
Alok Sharma (Conservative - Reading West)
Alec Shelbrooke (Conservative - Elmet and Rothwell)
Keith Simpson (Conservative - Broadland)
Chris Skidmore (Conservative - Kingswood)
Chloe Smith (Conservative - Norwich North)
Henry Smith (Conservative - Crawley)
Julian Smith (Conservative - Skipton and Ripon)
Royston Smith (Conservative - Southampton, Itchen)
Nicholas Soames (Conservative - Mid Sussex)
Anna Soubry (Conservative - Broxtowe)
Caroline Spelman (Conservative - Meriden)
Mark Spencer (Conservative - Sherwood)
Andrew Stephenson (Conservative - Pendle)
John Stevenson (Conservative - Carlisle)
Bob Stewart (Conservative - Beckenham)
Iain Stewart (Conservative - Milton Keynes South)
Rory Stewart (Conservative - Penrith and The Border)
Gary Streeter (Conservative - South West Devon)
Mel Stride (Conservative - Central Devon)
Graham Stuart (Conservative - Beverley and Holderness)
Julian Sturdy (Conservative - York Outer)
Rishi Sunak (Conservative - Richmond (Yorks))
Desmond Swayne (Conservative - New Forest West)
Hugo Swire (Conservative - East Devon)
Robert Syms (Conservative - Poole)
Derek Thomas (Conservative - St Ives)
Ross Thomson (Conservative - Aberdeen South)
Maggie Throup (Conservative - Erewash)
Kelly Tolhurst (Conservative - Rochester and Strood)
Justin Tomlinson (Conservative - North Swindon)
Michael Tomlinson (Conservative - Mid Dorset and North Poole)
Craig Tracey (Conservative - North Warwickshire)
David Tredinnick (Conservative - Bosworth)
Anne-Marie Trevelyan (Conservative - Berwick-upon-Tweed)
Elizabeth Truss (Conservative - South West Norfolk)
Tom Tugendhat (Conservative - Tonbridge and Malling)
Edward Vaizey (Conservative - Wantage)
Shailesh Vara (Conservative - North West Cambridgeshire)
Martin Vickers (Conservative - Cleethorpes)
Theresa Villiers (Conservative - Chipping Barnet)
Charles Walker (Conservative - Broxbourne)
Robin Walker (Conservative - Worcester)
Ben Wallace (Conservative - Wyre and Preston North)
David Warburton (Conservative - Somerton and Frome)
Matt Warman (Conservative - Boston and Skegness)
Giles Watling (Conservative - Clacton)
Helen Whately (Conservative - Faversham and Mid Kent)
Craig Whittaker (Conservative - Calder Valley)
John Whittingdale (Conservative - Maldon)
Bill Wiggin (Conservative - North Herefordshire)
Gavin Williamson (Conservative - South Staffordshire)
Sarah Wollaston (Conservative - Totnes)
Mike Wood (Conservative - Dudley South)
Mr William Wragg (Conservative - Hazel Grove)
Jeremy Wright (Conservative - Kenilworth and Southam)
Nadhim Zahawi (Conservative - Stratford-on-Avon)
Gregory Campbell (Democratic Unionist Party - East Londonderry)
Nigel Dodds (Democratic Unionist Party - Belfast North)
Jeffrey M. Donaldson (Democratic Unionist Party - Lagan Valley)
Paul Girvan (Democratic Unionist Party - South Antrim)
Ian Paisley (Democratic Unionist Party - North Antrim)
Emma Little Pengelly (Democratic Unionist Party - Belfast South)
Gavin Robinson (Democratic Unionist Party - Belfast East)
Jim Shannon (Democratic Unionist Party - Strangford)
David Simpson (Democratic Unionist Party - Upper Bann)
Sammy Wilson (Democratic Unionist Party - East Antrim)

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Six Bells Colliery Disaster, 28th June 1960

On 28th June 1960, at approximately 10.45, a huge  underground explosion suddenly blasted through the confined roadways of  the West District of the Old Coal Seam at Six Bells Colliery at Aberbeeg, near Abertillery as 48 men were at work..
As the colliery hooter sounded and word of the explosion spread, crowds gathered quickly, as they had at every disaster since mining began. Wives, parents, children waited desperately for news.  Some kept vigil without break for more than twelve hours.
While rescuers tunnelled through tons of fallen rock more than a thousand feet beneath them, people supported one another as best they could: they wept together, prayed together. The Salvation Army poured cups of tea, and ministers of various denominations led a service in Bethany, where many of the men still underground had been in Sunday School as children.
Soon they would be back again , but only because the schoolroom behind the chapel had now been turned into an overflow mortuary. 
Of the 48 men at work in ‘W’ district of the Old Coal Seam, 45 were killed in the explosion, the worst post-war colliery disaster in British coal mining history. .
The tragedy, which a public  inquiry found was caused after a falling rock was thought to have ignited gas and coal dust, left families, friends and the whole Valleys community in shock as the extent of the major mining disaster was slowly revealed throughout the day. Revealing the terrible cost of coal.
On the 50th anniversary of the disaster in 2010, a giant  steel sculpture of a miner standing over 20 m tall, named "Guardian of the Valleys" was unveiled by the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams. Designed by Llangrannog based sculptor Sebastien Boyesen, this beautiful moving  memorial is made from thousands of steel ribbons. Around the plinth are inscribed the names of all the men who died in the disaster. in tribute to those who lost their lives. It is regarded as a Welsh answer to Anthony Gormley's  Angel of the North. It  also serves as a sober reminder of  human losses in the entire South Wales Coalfield.

Sic Bells Colliery Memorial, Abertillery, South Wales

Government: "No cover-up of official #Grenfell death toll"

LABOUR MP David Lammy has made dramatic claims of a cover up recently over the tragic Grenfell Tower fire.
Mr Lammy, who lost his friend, artist Khadija Saye, in the shocking inferno which so far has a death toll of 79 , called on the Prime Minister and Metropolitan Police to immediately seize all relevant Grenfell Tower documents.
Among residents,  trust in the authorities is falling through the floor and suspicion of a cover-up is rising , Theresa May and investigators must now ensure all pertinent documents are protected.
The Prime Minister needs to act immediately to ensure that all evidence is protected so that everyone culpable for what happened at Grenfell Tower is held to account and feels the full force of the law.
A tragic story of Austerity, a culture of neglect  that has resulted in the loss of many thousands over the last years. These are crimes of epic proportions.  Justice must be served.
The Conservatives have said there's no cover-up of the official  # Grenfell Tower fire death toll despite MPs like David Lammy suggesting there might have been. Because there’s no way the government would lie to people or try to cover anything up, that would be just silly.

Monday, 26 June 2017

Not one Day More

The General Election result was devastating for Theresa May and the Conservatives. She called it to gain a bigger majority in Parliament  and despite massive media bias in her favour failed spectacularly to deliver on that. Now the Conservative Party are in chaos, forced to try to prop up a Government with the deeply conservative and regressive DUP in a desperate attempt to cling on to power. Self serving parasites. Even if they can get a Queen’s Speech through Parliament, this arrangement cannot last long.
The Election result represented a rejection of Tory policies. They know they have no mandate; already the Government has suggested they may have to ease their austerity plans because of huge opposition. We need to make sure the full force of that opposition is felt. If we continue to mobilise in huge numbers we can deepen the crisis for the Conservatives and force big concessions on the NHS, education, housing and jobs. There is already talk of another General Election in the next few months which would likely see the Tories loose further support and be unable to form a Government.
Protests have sprung up across the country and there are many more planned. On Saturday 1 July it is hoped , that campaigns and community groups all over the country, from the trade unions, from political parties, and  individuals  to come together in one massive show of strength. We will be marching against another five years of a Tory Government committed to austerity, cuts and privatisation. We’re marching for a decent health service, education system, housing, jobs and living standards for all. We’ll hold a minute’s silence for the victims of Grenfell Tower and a minute’s applause for the emergency services who responded so bravely.
At this time we must also send our deepest condolences and solidarity to our friends at the Finsbury Park Mosque. Now more than ever we need to show unity in such difficult times.Join us, bring your friends and spread the word.
I will be travelling up with Pembrokeshire People's assembly against austerity.No matter how many buses or coaches are put on there will be lots & lots of people who will be physically unable to travel to London, yet still wish to express their condemnation of these murderous Tory scum.May's failure to form a stable government and their inability to respond quickly & efficiently in the aftermath of the Grenfelll Tower fire indicates the weakness of the old Tory militarist establishment. In this context, pressure on the government from outside parliament is critically important.
Friends based here in West Wales and unable to get to London  will urge to to express there  support [bring placards & visual displays] for ‘Not One Day More – Tories Out – No More Austerity - ‘Justice 4 Grenfelll’ support protest outside the Guild Hall, Cardigan from 10,00 a.m. till 2.00 p.m.
Small support protests reported in ALL local newspapers with photo’s, would complement the press coverage of the main event & extend the coverage, beyond the initial one or two days on national media, for many weeks after. This is because the local papers will come out days after the nationals & TV etc wil have finished with the story. Plus local letters pages can keep a story alive for weeks after that. So extending the reach of positive publicity even further.
Saturday's demonstration is the first opportunity since the election to show the scale of national opposition to May's government and kick it on its way. Coaches and people are coming from all over the country. Marchers are asked to assemble by 12 noon, at BBC Broadcasting House, Portland Place, London W1A 1AA. March to Parliament Square Details of the demo are here.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Jeremy Corbyn Rocks Glastonbury

Caught some rather lovely electro pop earlier HMS Morrris, free event at local theatre, in the afternoon, good stuff got home caught up with Jeremy Corbyn at Glastonbury Festival getting a welcome usually received for rock stars as he arrived on stage with Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis and,thousands chanted his name to the tune of The White Stripes 'Seven Nation Army'.
Mr Corbyn appeared at the Pyramid Stage where he pledged his support to refugees, young people and the environment and took a swipe at US president Donald Trump.
He vowed to cheering crowds that his politics would be "put back in a box"  Also saying: "Look, on the wall that surrounds this festival and there is a message on that wall for president Donald Trump... build bridges, not walls.
Ah Jeremy one minor point, you should have urged everyone to jump them. Remember Jeremy some of your new admirers drawn to your vision of fairness can't afford to catch a bus , let alone to get a ticket for an event like this, Hey ho.
Nevertheless he went on to say;-
"What was fascinating about the last seven weeks of election campaigning around Britain is that the commentariat got it wrong, the elites got it wrong.
"Politics is about the lives of all of us and the wonderful campaign that I was proud to lead brought a lot of people back into politics because they believed there was something on offer for them.
Look, on the wall that surrounds this festival and there is a message on that wall for president Donald Trump... build bridges, not walls.
"What was fascinating about the last seven weeks of election campaigning around Britain is that the commentariat got it wrong, the elites got it wrong.
What was even more inspiring was the number of young people who got involved for the very first time because they were fed up with being told they don't matter and that their generation was going to pay more to get less in education, housing, health, pensions and everything else.
"Well, it didn't quite work out like that and that politics that got out of the box, is not going back in any."
He explained that the five-day festival was about "coming together" and symbolised the importance of the environment and peace.Mr Corbyn continued: "Let's stop the denigration of refugees, people looking for a place of safety in a cruel and dangerous world. Let's support them in their hour of need, not see them as a threat and a danger."
Spreading his message across the globe, he added: "Let's tackle the causes of war, the greed for natural resources, the denial of human rights, the irrational imprisonment of political opponents."
The politician shared his own memories of visiting Glastonbury Tor as a child and described it as a "magical area" and a place where "people come together and achieve things".
He paid tribute to suffragettes and other people through history who "laid down their lives" for democracy and justice, as he condemned racism, sexism, homophobia and other forms of because we are there demanding an achievement of something very different in our society.  I confess I've written this somewhat under the influence. Feeling the love though, hope is such a wonderful  thing.  Hey he's not the messiah, but he sure rocked the place. One day in the future I will climb the Tor again.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Glastonbury (a memory)

Been 20 years I guess since I got in for free
Hitch hiked from Wales in search of freedom,
Took some magical substances, still  echoing
Had no tent, but strangers rescued me,
I recovered and climbed  Glastonbury Tor
Inhaled more magic, think I hugged a tree,
Lost my gift for speech, but passed on a smoke
Left my footprints, wandered back to Avalon,
Managed to catch the Levellers, and the Prodigy
Felt kindness that I'd never felt before,
Restored my spirit, before returning to Babylon
Maybe I was dreaming, but felt love in a thousand eyes.

Don't be a creep, Radiohead

Radiohead  a band that I have followed for years, and have long admired, I've  got most of their records, I even have a poster in spare bedroom, are planning to cross the Palestinian picket line and entertain Israeli apartheid on July 19, 2017, helping Israel whitewash its oppression of Palestinians.
In a petition to English rock band Radiohead, Jewish voices for Peace asked the rockers to respect the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign targeting Israel, and cancel a Tel Aviv gig scheduled for July.
Launched by dozens of Palestinian civil society groups in 2005, the BDS campaign aims to isolate Israel in protest against its apartheid policies towards Palestinians .By agreeing to perform in Israel, Radiohead is helping to create the false idea that Israel is a normal country like any other and helping Israel whitewash its oppression of Palestinians.
In a letter to supporters, JVP noted: “The band knows what social justice means, they’ve stood up for Tibet, and against the War on Terror. Yorke even tweeted about not normalizing Trump. And as artists with a conscience, Radiohead should stand in solidarity with Palestine ...
 “They’d be far from alone. Ms. Lauryn Hill, Roger Waters, Brian Eno, Elvis Costello, Bjork and many others have heeded Palestinian civil society’s call. These artists see apartheid Israel for what it is. And most importantly, they’ve embraced their role in making change.
“Palestinians don't have a choice to reject or accept apartheid in Israel. It is a daily, grinding experience. Radiohead has a choice to do the right thing. I still hold out hope that they will.”
Today, Radiohead will headline Glastonbury, Europe’s largest festival. With your help and social media voice, fans will be on hand making sure the message gets through to Radiohead: Don’t endorse apartheid!
Negative publicity has plagued Radiohead’s European tour, where supporters of Palestinian rights have urged the band to cancel the show and respect the call from Palestinian civil society to boycott Israel until it respects Palestinian rights. In London, Radiohead’s corporate offices were picketed.
Palestiniansthousands of Radiohead fans, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Ken Loach, Roger Waters, the Young Fathers and tens of renowned artists have all called on Radiohead to cancel their Israel gig. And during the band’s US tour, Radiohead fans unfurled banners at concerts and published articles in the press to get Radiohead to turn away from playing apartheid.
Radiohead lead singer Thom Yorke recently broke the band's silence in an interview on Rolling Stone, describing calls not to cross the Palestinian picket line as "divisive" and accusing supporters of Palestinian rights of "throwing around" the word apartheid. Roger WatersKen Loach and others have responded to Yorke's comments.  
Take action: Radiohead care a lot about their reputation and their image. Publicly call on Radiohead not to perform in Israel by pressing the button below to send a Tweet: 
.@radiohead doesn't want to hear about Palestinian rights. Let's be loud.

There are other ways you can get involved with the campaign: 
Today, can you tweet messages to @radiohead using the hashtags #Glastonbury2017 and #LoveRadioheadHateApartheid to tell them what you think about crossing the Palestinian picket line?
Here are some sample tweets:
  • Don’t play apartheid Israel, @Radiohead. You don’t belong there.
  • No one regrets boycotting Apartheid South Africa. @Radiohead, cancel Apartheid Israel.
  • Don’t be a creep, @Radiohead. Respect the Palestinian picket line. Cancel Israel gig.
  • It’s #NotOK, @Radiohead, to cross the Palestinian picket line. Cancel show in Apartheid Israel #OKNotOK
  • Hey @Radiohead, if your support for justice isn’t “mere rhetoric”, you’ll cancel gig in Apartheid Israel
  • Hey @Radiohead, during apartheid South Africa, artists stayed away. Time to do the same with Israel.
For more tweets, ideas and social media actions, check out the BDS movement’s page here.
If they continue which I sincerely hope they don't, have some Radiohead cd's going spare.
Here is a link to a previous post ;- 

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Queen's speech leaves Theresa May humiliated

Yesterday's  Queen's speech  revealed a Conservatives  Government  in complete disarray that  they can't simply laugh  off at the moment, leaving Theresa May utterly humiliated.
In written remarks prepared for the first day of Parliament, the troubled Prime Minister began trying to undo some of the key messages from the Conservatives' election campaign, saying that social care would be addressed and that every school should be fairly funded.
But speaking from the House of Lords throne, Her Majesty unveiled 27 Bills and draft bills  in a very scaled down state opening, last witnessed in 1974 without horses, carriages and much of the other ceremonial highlights usually featured on the occasion, including the Sovereign's Escort.
The priorities for the government included Bills concerning Brexit, including the creation of a standalone UK customs regime and limiting immigration of EU nationals.In the Queen's Speech though there was no mention of any of her hated flagship policies: the Dementia Tax, scrapping hot lunches for infants, means-testing the winter fuel allowance for pensioners, ending the triple lock on pension rises, legalising fox hunting, creating more grammar schools. It can at least be celebrated that the Queen's Speech had no mention of Trump visiting Britain.
Jeremy Corbyn observed that the Tory general election manifesto has even disappeared from the Tory Party's website! He savaged Mrs May’s meagre package of 27 Bills for the next two years  branding it as “thin gruel”.He added: “This is a threadbare ­legislative programme from a government that has apparently run out of ideas altogether.“This is a government without a majority, without a mandate, without a serious legislative programme, led by a Prime Minister who has lost her political authority, and is struggling to stitch together a deal to stay in office and declared Labour is prepared to lead Britain instead.
The Queen's Speech comes at a time when May's premiership has been seen to be increasingly vulnerable and our country's future uncertain, with negotiations over Britain's departure from the European Union having only just begun. May's own position has been called into question ever since her decision to call a snap election. Her attempt to secure a larger mandate ahead of the Brexit negotiations backfired with her losing her commanding majority. This is a Government with no purpose, that cannot be trusted  to build  a stronger economy and a fairer society, or committed to keeping our country safe, let alone enhancing our standing in the wider world and bringing the United Kingdom closer together, they are  not putting themselves at the service of millions of ordinary working people for whom they should be working every day for, in the national interest.
Parliament must pass the Queen's Speech in a vote, but with May yet to secure a deal with the DUP, she is aware that failure to get the speech through could be seen as a vote of no confidence.Tory MPs who virtually all applauded May's decision to call the general election have deserted her in droves and placed all the blame on her for the loss of their majority, many have admitted her weakness and conceded there was little chance of getting her most unpopular ­policies voted through. Their dilemma now though is that if they don't support the government's Bills outlined yesterday, they face the prospect of increased instability in the government and it possibly falling, and then them losing their seats in a new election. As they abandon their core policies, reflecting the Conservative's current weak position with there watered down agenda, this minority government is  hanging on by a thread and running on very thin ice, what mandate do they actually have to govern? The general election showed people are completely fed up with  the cruel austerity policies of the Tories. Policies that they are too muddled at moment to deal with. A Government of pure chaos. We have them on the run, we have to keep pushing, surely it wont be long that Maggie May will be able to stay on.

Jeremy Corbyn's  savages "threadbare "Queen's speech ( Full statement)

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

21st June, 1792, Iolo Morganwg founds the Gorsedd of Bards.

Balmy weather in my corner of Wales, so thought on this Summer Solstice thought i'd return to someone I've written of before, who  was undoubtedly one of Wales's most colourful and intriguing sons. to have emerged from the pages of my country's history books, one Edward Williams who is better known by his bardic name of Iolo Morganwg  He's been a personal hero of mine for awhile, I will refer to him as Iolo  throughout this post,. My first post way back in 2009 incidentaly was inspired by him too ;- I've been wading through memories today, it being the eighth anniversary of when I met my departed soul mate and lover, another unique individual,who inspired earlier post today,  I seem to  be drawn to them, hey ho back to Iolo.
He was born in 1747 in  the parish  of Llancarfan in Glamorgan, southern Wales,and bought up in the village of Flemington, Although English was his home language he soon became interested in the Welsh language, its literature and history. He was a stonemason by craft and travelled throughout Wales and to London. There, he came into contact with the Gwyneddigion Society and began to move in cultural and radical circles.
Iolo Morganwg was a genius,,one of the founder members of the Unitarian movement in Wales, a political radical who supported the French Revolution, a pacifist, republican, accomplished flute playing, antiquarian,a hymn-writer and an able lyrical poet who called himself 'The Bard of Liberty'. A political radical, religious dissenter and pacifist  who believed Wales should have its own national institutions celebrating its unique culture and heritage, known as one of founders of Welsh national consciousness..As a young man working as a stonemason in London, he had seen Welsh culture widely disparaged.,Iolo became heavily involved in the political activities of London - Welsh societies in fostering republican views in Gorsedd ceremonies, and in defending the rights of persecuted Dissenters and freeborn Welshmen. He often styled himself 'Jacobin', 'Citizen' and 'Theocrat', and penned dozens of forthright, satirical and subversive essays and poems. He came close to being jailed himself for seditious libel. On his return to the Vale of Glamorgan in 1795 he was kept under surveillance, especially when he used his Cowbridge bookshop and grocery to support anti-slavery, fair trade and Jacobinism.
Iolo denounced 'kingcraft' and 'priestcraft', thundered against war and injustice, and never tired of proclaiming the benefits of 'Breiniau Dyn' (the Rights of Man). A political animal to the core, he played a prominent part in raising the profile of libertarian causes in Wales and in spreading subversive ideas.  He believed the Welsh poets were the direct descendants of the Celtic druids, and he set about writing so glorious a history it would put the English to shame, even if he had to forge it.
In support of this vision, in 1789 he published a collection of poems by 14th-century Welsh bard Dafydd ap Gwilym. Included were many newly-discovered poems Morganwg had “found,” i.e., written himself. He was also a prolific poet in both Welsh and English, but as well as using his own voice, he was more than capable of writing in the guise of others. The book proved to be popular and this  inspired him to return to London to take the next step in promoting Welsh culture.
Apart from being in my opinion as I've said  a genius, Iolo also was in what in today's terms be an addict, like many of his contemporaries of the time his particular foible was Laudanum.
Iolo  had started taking laudanum as a young man to cure a troublesome cough later for a troublesome bad back .Taking laudanum, tincture of opium, was actually both common and fashionable during the eighteenth century, other  notable  opium eaters of Iolo's time include Samuel Taylor Coleridge, George Crabbe and Thomas De Quincey among  many others. It is generally believed that the drug does not enrich a dull imagination but rather enhances one that is already active. Laudanum produced a paradoxical effect on users. On the one hand, it gave them the impression that their ideas were clearer and more original because of the laudanum: it enabled them to create unexpected creative links, and also bolstered their belief in the distinctness of their own visions. It certainly seemed to consolidate Iolo's. and many many people were taken in by him despite his drug fuelled hallucinations. What a man though. here's his actual  poem he wrote about his enabler, some parts  could actually read as an ode to a lover ;--

Ode to Laudanum-
WHILST, crowding on my woful hour,
Fate's deep'ning glooms indignant low'r,
And crush my wearie soul;
Thou, Laudanum, can'st quickly steep
My burning eyes in balmy sleep,
And ev'ry grief controul.
When Reason strives, but strives in vain,
To banish care, to vanquish pain,
And calm sad thoughts to rest;
Thy soothing virtues can impart
A bland sensation to my heart,
And heal my wounded breast.

Whilst fell Disease, with rapid flame
Preys ireful on my feeble frame,
Pervading ev'ry vein;
Thou canst repel the venom'd rage,
The fever'd anguish canst assuage,
And blunt the tooth of Pain.
When wakeful Sensibility
Her wrongs recounts, I fly to thee,
And feel her touch no more;
At painful Memory's loud call,
'Twas she, with fingers dipt in gall,
My rankling bosom tore.
With soul-corroding thought oppress'd
Whilst keen affliction fills my breast,
And swells the tide of grief;
O! shed thy balm into my heart,
And, plucking thence the piercing dart,
Bestow thy kind relief.
Now Comfort shuns my woful sight,
And sad returns the sleepless night,
In sable glooms array'd;
I court thy pow'rs with anxious mind,
And, on the down of rest reclin'd,
I bless thy lenient aid.

.My joyless hours I waste alone,
Unpitied weep, unheeded moan,
Unfriended sigh forlorn;
Consign to grief my crawling years,
The victim of desponding cares,
Existing but to mourn.

Thou faithful friend in all my grief,
In thy soft arms I find relief;
In thee forget my woes:
Unfeeling waste my wint'ry day,
And pass with thee the night away,
Reclin'd in soft repose.

.O! still exert thy soothing pow'r,
Till fate leads on the welcom'd hour,
To bear me hence away;
To where pursues no ruthless foe,
No feeling keen awakens woe,
No faithless friends betray.

Poems, Lyric and Pastoral vol I, pp 1-5 was

Iolo believed that the Welsh bards had inherited the learning and traditions of the Druids of the ancient world. Iolo, however, declared that Druidism had survived in its purest form in Glamorgan, his birthplace. He produced a vast corpus of literary forgeries and Druidic lore  to justify this claim, products  of his own very fertile, laudanum-addicted imagination. So in  1791, he returned to London proclaiming, in both Welsh and English literary circles, that he was heir to all the mysteries of Druidism.
So on this day,  the Summer Solstice of  21st of June, Summer Solstice, 1792, Iolo Morganwg held a ceremony on the nearest mountain he could find,  Primrose Hill , and  founded the Gorsedd of Bardds  (in Welsh the Gorsedd Beirdd Ynys Prydain), a community of Welsh bards dedicated to preserving Welsh language, poetry and music. He developed the ritual for the ceremony from druidic rites described in ancient manuscripts from his own collection that were later found to have been yet again creations of his own. As they say if you've got an idea, you might as well go for it, wish I was capable of pursuing my inner dreams as Iolo did.
Thanks to Iolo's actions on Primrose Hill  it would see  the revival of the Eisteddfod, otherwise known as the national festival of Wales.The Eisteddfod is a folk festival celebrating Welsh language, music, poetry and literature that traces its lineage back to a grand gathering of musicians and poets held by Lord Rhys of my hometown Cardigan/ Aberteifi  in 1176. From that early progenitor, a vast number of provincial gatherings proliferated over the centuries, sponsored by local lords all over Wales.

Iolo returned to Wales in 1795, and began collecting material for his magnum opus, 'The History of the British Bards', a book that would, he believed, explain all the history and learning of the Druids to the world. In 1801 and 1807, a large number of his forgeries were published in the Myvyrian Archaiology, after he had persuaded the editors that they were texts copied from old manuscripts. Iolo and this is why I like him so much, never wandered or wavered from the devotion to his ideals and inner vision.

In 1819 the eisteddfod festivals and the Gorsedd of Bards came together, thanks once again to Iolo Morgannwg, now 72 years old and still with a keen eye towards promoting Welsh civilization. He traveled to the eisteddfod being held at the Ivy Bush Inn in Carmarthen and drew a Gorsedd circle meant to be a sacred circle of standing stones a la Stonehenge, on the lawn using a handful of pebbles  from his pockets. He went on to admit poets and druids, including the local bishop and festival patron, Bishop Thomas Burgess of St. David’s. giving them white, blue and green ribbons according to their rank. During the chairing ceremony a new rite took form as poets stood either side of the chair, sheathing and unsheathing a sword above the winning poet’s head. The sword used by Iolo  during these 1819 ceremonies can still to be seen at St Fagans National History Museum.

                                          Iolo Morganwg's  sword used in the 1819 ceremony

From then on, the Gorsedd and the eisteddfod continued to develop their relationship, and when the National Eisteddfod was established in 1861, the Gorsedd’s Druidic rituals, now considerably more elaborate than they had been at that first Primrose Hill ceremony of 1792, played a central role, providing high drama and pageantry in the medal ceremonies and in the investiture of important political, religious and cultural figures into the Gorsedd in recognition of their contributions to the nation, language and culture of Wales.
Iolo died in 1826, aged 80 leaving an enormous collection of manuscripts. This collection is now at the National Library of Wales. When Welsh scholars discovered the extent of his forgeries at the beginning of last century, he was rejected and reviled but.I try not to forget this maverick genius, I have a picture of this poet and visionary in my bathroom, a romantic juggler of truth yes, but what a man. Lets continue to celebrate him as a scholar who sought about reviving Welsh culture, I think my nation actually owes this rebel druid a lot of debt.
Happy Summer solstice.

Summer Solstice ( Acrostic Poem)

( Dedicated to sweet Jane, who I was fortunate to encountert down the cellar bar Cardigan/Aberteifi June 21 2009 )

Summer has arrived, the Sun's ray's blaze down
Under influence, releases nostalgic feeling,
Memories of dear departed soul now in afterlife
Marvellous star  releasing  beautiful  light,
Essence of warmth, full of grace and power
Releasing thoughts in the here and now.

Sunrise passing, entering new cycle,
Onwards crossing over new threshold,
Love reigns supreme over the earth
Sharing celebration of renewal, fertility and life,
The wheel turning  and time moving on
In changing seasons  rainbowas colors weaving
Clinging on to hope, everlasting and clear
End of day listening to music, I still feel  magic.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Voltaraine de Cleyre (17/11/ 1866 - 20/6/1912) - Poet of Freedom

Voltaraine de Cleyre  was an American  anarchist-feminist , atheist, poet and free thinker.
Cleyre was born on 17 November 1866 in Leslie, Michigan, a small town south of Lansing. Her parents, who were impoverished tailors, left Leslie when Voltairine was about one year old, following the accidental drowning death of another daughter, Marion, at the age of five. The family moved to St. Johns, Michigan, a town on the north side of Lansing . Despite the objections of Voltairine's mother, her father, an atheist and admirer of Voltaire, created her distinctive given name to commemorate his own beliefs. 
She was placed as a teenager into a Catholic convent in Sarnia, Ontario by her father, because he thought it would give her a better education. Of her time in the convent, she said, "it had been like the Valley of the Shadow of Death, and there are white scars on my soul, where ignorance and superstition burnt me with their hell fire in those stifling days" She attempted to run away by swimming to Port Huron, Michigan, and hiking 17 miles but was returned by her father after being found by family friends. This in combination with family ties to the Abolitionist movement and the Underground Railroad, as well as her namesake (the philosopher Voltaire), contributed to the radical rhetoric she developed.
She was a prolific writer and speaker, opposing the State, marriage, and the domination of the Church in sexuality and women's lives. de Cleyre at first subscribed to the individualist school of anarchism, but later called herself only an Anarchist, shunning doctrinal fractiousness. She was a colleague of Emma Goldman's. Goldman called her " the most gifted and brilliant woman anarchist America has ever produced," She differentiated herself from Emma Goldman, however stating, "Miss Goldman is a communist; I am an individualist. She wishes to destroy the right of property, I wish to assert it. I make my war upon privilege and authority, whereby the right of property, the true right in that which is proper to the individual, is annihilated. She believes that co-operation would entirely supplant competition; I hold that competition in one form or another will always exist, and that it is highly desirable it should."
During her time in the freethought movement in the mid and late 1880s, de Cleyre was especially influenced by Thomas Paine, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Clarence Darrow. Other influences were Henry David Thoreau, Big Bill Haywood, and Eugene Debs. After the . execution of four innocent anarchists in 1887 for the Haymarket bombing was the turning point of Voltairine's life and  she became an anarchist. "Till then I believed in the essential justice of the American law of trial by jury," she wrote in an autobiographical essay, "After that I never could".
In 1888, she threw herself into the anarchist movement, dedicating herself passionately and unceasingly to the cause of liberty for the rest of her life.
She was known as an excellent speaker and writer , in the opinion of biographer Paul Avrich, she was "a greater literary talent than any other American anarchist" who was “A brief comet in the anarchist firmament, blazing out quickly and soon forgotten by all but a small circle of comrades whose love and devotion persisted long after her death.” But “her memory,” continues Avrich, “possesses the glow of legend.” and as a tireless advocate for the anarchist cause, whose "religious zeal," according to Goldman, "stamped everything she did."
Voltairine wrote and lectured on such subjects as "Sex Slavery", "Love in Freedom", "Those Who Marry Do Ill", and "The Case of Women vs. Orthodoxy". She advocated for economic independence for women, birth control, sex education, and the right of women to maintain autonomy in relationships , including maintaining a room of one's own so as to keep one's independence, this is something that she did throughout her life, despite poverty. Anarchist women like de Cleyre and Emma Goldman challenged patriarchal power in society and in the anarchist movement.
She was also a prolific writer of poetry of much depth.Throughout her life though she was plagued by illness and depression, attempting suicide on at least two occasions and surviving an assassination attempt on December 19, 1902. Her assailant, Herman Helcher, was a former pupil who had earlier been rendered insane by a fever, and whom she immediately forgave. She wrote, "It would be an outrage against civilization if he were sent to jail for an act which was the product of a diseased brain". The attack left her with chronic ear pain and a throat infection that often adversely affected her ability to speak or concentrate but still managed to get  back on the lecture circuit 3 months later.
Voltairine de Cleyre died prematurely at the age of 45 on June 20, 1912, at St. Mary of Nazareth Hospital in Chicago, Illinois from septic meningitis. remaining as she had lived: a free spirit, an Anarchist, owing no allegiance to rulers, heavenly or earthly.". She was buried near Emma Goldman, the Haymarket defendants, and other social activists at the Waldheim Cemetery (now Forest Home Cemetery), in Forest Park, a suburb west of Chicago. around 2,000 people attended her funeral..An important figure in  history whose ideas are of interest today, particularly as we still suffer from the patriarchy, capitalism and statism she opposed. Her freethought poetry and  her passionate, uncompromising essays are still timely, and provocative to this day.

The Voltairine de Cleyre Reader

Why I am an Anarchist - Voltaraine de Clere

Love's Ghost  - Voltaraine de Cleyre

Among the leaves and the rolls of moonlight,
The moon, which weaves lace on the road-white
Among the winds, and among the flowers,
Our blithe feet wander --life is ours!

Life is ours, and life is loving;
All our powers are locked in loving;
Hearts, and eyeys, and lips are moving
With the ecstasy of loving.

Ah! the roses! they are blooming;
And the June air, throbbing, tuning,
Sings of Love's eternal summer--
Chants of Joy, life's only Comer;
And we clsp our hands together,
Singing in the war, sweet weather;
Kissing, thrilling with caressing,
All the sweet from Love's rose pressing.

Ah, so easy!--Earth is Heaven,--
Darkness, shadows, do not live;
Like the rose our hearts are given,
Like the rose whos blom is given,
To the sun-gold, and the heaven.
Not because it wills or wishes,
But because 'tis life to give.                         

I am - Voltaraine de Cleyre

I am! The ages on the ages roll:
And what I am, I was, and I shall be:
by slow growth filling higher Destiny,
And Widening, ever, to the widening Goal.
I am the Stone that slept; down deep in me
That old, old sleep has left its centurine trace;
I am the plant that dreamed; and lo! still see
That dream-life dwelling on the Human Face.
I slept, I dreamed, I wakened: I am Man!
The hut grows Palaces; the depths breed light;
Still on! Forms pass; but Form yields kinglier
The singer, dying where his song began,
In Me yet lives; and yet again shall he
Unseal the lips of greater songs To Be;
For mine the thousand tongues of Immortality.

The Toast to Despair - Voltaraine de Cleyre

We have cried, – and the Gods are silent;
We have trusted, – and been betrayed;
We have loved, – and the fruit was ashes;
We have given, – the gift was weighed.
We know that the heavens are empty,
That friendship and love are names;
That truth is an ashen cinder,
The end of life’s burnt-out flames.
Vainly and long we have waited,
Through the night of the human roar,
For a single song on the harp of Hope,
Or a ray from a day-lit shore.
Songs aye come floating, marvelous sweet,
And bow-dyed flashes gleam;
But the sweets are Lies, and the weary feet
Run after a marsh-light beam.
In the hour of our need the song departs,
And the sea-moans of sorrow swell;
The siren mocks with a gurgling laugh
That is drowned in teh deep death-knell.
The light we chased with our stumbling feet
As the goal of happier years,
Swings high and low and vanishes, –
The bow-dyes were of our tears.
God is a lie, and Faith is a lie,
And a tenfold lie is Love;
Life is a problem without a why,
And never a thing to prove.
It adds, and subtracts, and multiplies,
And divides without aim or end;
Its answers all false, though false-named true, –
Wife, husband, lover, friend.
We know it now, and we care no more;
What matters life or death?
We tiny insects emerge from earth,
Suffer, and yield our breath.
Like ants we crawl on our brief sand-hill,
Dreaming of ‘mighty things’, –
Lo, they crunch, like shells in the ocean’s wrath,
In the rush of Time’s awful wings.
The sun smiles gold, and the plants white,
And a billion stars smile, still;
Yet fierce as we, each wheels toward death,
And cannot stay his will.
The build, ye fools, your might things,
That Time shall set at naught;
Grow warm with the song the sweet Lie sings,
And the false bow your tears have wrought.
For us, a truce to Gods, loves, and hopes,
And a pledge to fire and wave;
A swifter whirl to the dance of death,
And a loud huzza for the Grave!

Written-In-Red (to Our Living Dead In Mexico's Struggle )  -  Voltaraine de Cleyre    

     Written in red their protest stands,
For the gods of the World to see;
On the dooming wall their bodiless hands
have blazoned 'Upharsin,' and flaring brands
Illumine the message: 'Seize the lands!
Open the prisons and make men free!'
Flame out the living words of the dead

Gods of the World! Their mouths are dumb!
Your guns have spoken and they are dust.
But the shrouded Living, whose hearts were numb,
have felt the beat of a wakening drum
Within them sounding-the Dead men's tongue--
Calling: 'Smite off the ancient rust!'
Have beheld 'Resurrexit,' the word of the Dead,

Bear it aloft, O roaring, flame!
Skyward aloft, where all may see.
Slaves of the World! Our caose is the same;
One is the immemorial shame;
One is the struggle, and in One name--
Manhood--we battle to set men free.
'Uncurse us the Land!' burn the words of the

Life or Death -  Voltaraine de Cleyre

 A Soul, half through the Gate, said unto Life:
'What dos thou offer me?' And Life replied:
'Sorrow, unceasing struggle, disappointment;
after these
Darkness and silence.' The Soul said unto Death:
'What dos thou offer me?' And Death replied:
'In the beginning what Life gives at last.'
Turning to Life: 'And if I live and struggle?'
'Others shall live and struggle after thee
Counting it easier where thou hast passed.'
'And by their struggles?' 'Easier place shall be
For others, still to rise to keener pain
Of conquering Agony!' 'and what have I
To do with all these others? Who are they?'
'Yourself!' 'And all who went before?' 'Yourself.'
'The darkness and the silence, too, have end?'
'They end in light and sound; peace ends in pain,
Death ends in Me, and thou must glide from
To Self, as light to shade and shade to light again.
Choose!' The Soul, sighing, answered: 'I will live.'                                              

World Refugee Day 2017

Following yesterday's post highlighting refugee week, today is World Refugee Day which honors the strength and resilience of refugees ,as well as their contributions to societies that welcome them. World Refugee Day has been marked on 20 June, ever since the UN General Assembly, on 4 December 2000, adopted resolution 55/76 where it noted that 2001 marked the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of  Refugees, and that the Organization of African Unity (OAU) had agreed to have International Refugee Day coincide with Africa Refugee Day on 20 June.
The annual commemoration is marked by a variety of events in over 100 countries, involving government officials, aid workers, celebrities, civilians and the forcibly displaced themselves. Never before have the immediate needs of vulnerable children and their families been so great. Some 20 million refugees half of whom are children, have been forced to flee violence, poverty and persecution from places such as Syria, Somalia, South Sudan and Central African Republic taking perilous sea voyages over the Mediterranean. According to the International Organisation for Migration, over 20,000 migrants have died in their attempts to reach or stay in Europe since 2000, and according to the United Nations, only one per cent have been resettled. It is imperative that they should be given help, protection and long term solutions.
Together, we should be creating an outpouring of compassion and show individual refugees that they are welcome here. but the persecution of refugees continues, whipped up by forces of racism spreading fear and misinformation about security and terrorism. The EU Referendum campaign has recently sadly contributed to this, unleashing some of the most heinious manifestations of racism we have seen in generations. Those on the far right across Europe are eager to use the crisis to further scapegoat immigrants.
It is worth remembering that  there are 65.6 million displaced people around the world – that’s more than the population of the UK. As continuing tragedy unfolds, some of the countries most able to help are shutting their gates to people seeking asylum. Borders are closing, pushbacks are increasing, and hostility is rising. Avenues for legitimate escape are fading away. Since the beginnings of civilization, we have treated refugees as deserving of our protection. Whatever our differences, we have to recognise our fundamental human obligation to shelter those fleeing from war and persecution. It is time to stop hiding behind misleading words. Richer nations must acknowledge refugees for the victims they are, fleeing from wars they were unable to prevent or stop. History has shown that doing the right thing for victims of war and persecution engenders goodwill and prosperity for generations. And it fosters stability in the long run.
The world needs to renew its commitment now to the 1951 Refugee Convention and its principles that made us strong. To offer safe harbor, both in our own countries and in the epicentres of the crises, and to help refugees restore their lives. In a world where violence has forced hundreds of families to flee each day.
The the UN Refugee Agency believes now is the time to show world leaders that the global public stands with refugees, it has set up  the #WithRefugees petition, entreating world leaders to ensure every refugee child gets an education, every refugee family has somewhere safe to live and every refugee can work or learn new skills to support their families. You can sign the petition here.
Several charities work to support the rehabilitation of refugees, including Oxfam,  and Refugee Action; all of which you can donate to. and it will launch its
Those who leave everything behind for the purpose of living in peace need our support and solidarity. Today and tomorrow we must continue to stand up for refugees. We must remember that arms trade helps exacerbate the crisis, plus  poverty and inequality, war and conflict, we need to build bridges not more obstacles and borders. Refugees have suffered unimaginable loss, and yet they are filled with the strength to triumph over adversity. The refugee crisis is a human crisis. Their story is our story. We are all human,and together, we can build a better world.We all have an important role in ensuring that refugees have the support they need. When we work together, we can help even more people feel safe from conflict, stay healthy and forge ahead to a better, stronger future.

Denounced - persecuted - exiled - dispersed - 

Refused - sectioned - detained - certified -

Wherever they seek shelter

They should be able to call home

Having escaped dark shadows

Having travelled through great adversity

Seeking safe harbour,

All should be given warm welcome

Asylum not barbed wire

Protection not bombs

Dignity not criminalisation

Breathe again, beyond pain and grief

No borders are necessary

Monday, 19 June 2017

Refugee Week 19-25 June 2017

Refugee Week takes place every year across the world in the week around World Refugee Day on the 20 June. In the UK, Refugee Week is a nationwide programme of arts, cultural and educational events that celebrate the  positive contribution of refugees and rich diversity that they bring to the UK, and encourages a better understanding between communities.
Refugee Week started in 1998 as a direct reaction to hostility in the media and society in general towards refugees and asylum seekers, to try and look  beyond the stereotypical ‘refugee’ label and work  to counter this negative climate, defending the importance of sanctuary and the benefits it can bring to both refugees and host communities.
Fearmongers talk up the threat of terrorism, but most of the people risking their lives to get to Europe are fleeing the horrors of war in Syria; the brutality of insurgent groups in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia; or the repression of the Eritrean or Iranian governments. Demagogues thunder that asylum seekers just want to steal jobs or bleed the welfare system dry, but almost everyone acknowledges that the EU needs labor migration, and study after study shows that immigration brings net benefits to societies over the long-term.
The aims of Refugee Week are:
1. To encourage a diverse range of events to be held throughout the UK, which facilitate positive encounters between refugees and the general public in order to encourage greater understanding and overcome hostility.
2.To showcase the talent and expertise that refugees bring with them to the UK.
To explore new and creative ways of addressing the relevant issues and reach beyond the refugee sector.
3.To provide information which educates and raises awareness of the reality of refugee experiences
The ultimate aim is to create better understanding between different communities and to encourage successful integration, enabling refugees to live in safety and continue making a valuable contribution.
Refugees are a real, current and terrible problem that we have in our world and possibly one that will get worse as war continues to devastate and uproot people, for instance since the conflict in Syria began more than six years ago, over 4.8m Syrians have fled from their country because of violence, conflict, and a complete collapse of Syria’s economy and infrastructure. Then there are those who have to leaven low lying islands of the world as a consequence of climate change, and  people fleeing for their lives as a consequence of famine, violation of human rights, physical, political or religious persecution.
Many refugees and asylum seekers face severe difficulties once they arrive in the UK. Unable to work or support themselves, many struggle for basics such as food and shelter. Some of the key issues they encounter are the possibility of detention, living in destitution and contending with negative stereotypes.Most of those who are granted asylum are given leave to remain for only five years, making it difficult for them to make decisions about their future, including finding work and making definite plans for their life in the UK while it remains unsafe for them to return to the country they escaped from. As fellow humans we have a responsibility to respond to their specific needs in times of crisis. Many of these asylum seekers come to us as a last resort, having exhausted all alternatives, with nowhere else to turn. We should also remember  all those suffering abuse in detention centres and those facing repatriation despite the dangers that they face.
Refugee Week is an umbrella festival, with events held by a wide range of arts, voluntary, faith and refugee community organisations, schools, student groups and more. Past events have included arts festivals, exhibitions, film screenings, theatre and dance performances, concerts, football tournaments and public talks, as well as creative and educational activities in schools.
Through Refugee Week  the aim is  to provide an important opportunity for asylum seekers and refugees to be seen, listened to and valued. We must continue to offer our love , solidarity, tolerance, warm welcome and friendship  to refugees who daily have to struggle, many of whom left feeling traumatised and marginalised. Refugees are ordinary people to whom extraordinary and often very horrible things have happened. Refugee Week is an opportunity to celebrate that.

Find out more about Refugee Week here :-