Monday, 11 December 2017

In our winters of discontentment


In our winters of discontentment
carry on lookin out for one another,
release some hope and kindness
a bit of passion to friends in need,
lets light this old world with happinness
some charms to stop the pain,
lift hearts that might be currently lost
all together, fused brightly,
in all our differences,
sharing solidarity, the gift of laughter,
let music rise, like the dance of growth
weaving magic to always awaken,
some simple loving touch
to try and heal and stop the aching.

Drummer Boy of War / What I Will



What if we say we mean it when we say Peace on Earth?

Let us spread the sounds of peace and connection and hope.

Here is Palestinian American  poet and political activist  Suheir Hammadd's beautiful poem What I Will

What I Will

I will not
dance to your war
drum. I will
not lend my soul nor
my bones to your war
drum, I will
not dance to your
beating. I know that beat.
It is lifeless. I know
intimately that skin
you are hitting. It
was alie once
hunted stolen
stretched. I will
not dance to your drummed
up war. I will not pop
spin break for you. I 
will not hate for you or
een hate you. I will
not kill for you. Especially
I will not die
for you. I will not mourn
the dead with murder nor
cuicide. I will not side
with you nor dance to bombs
because everyone else is
dancing. Everyone can be 
wrong. Life is a right not
collateral or casual. I 
will not forget where
I come from, I
will craft my own drum. Gather my beloved
near and our chanting
will be dancing. Our
humming will be drumming. I
will not e played. I 
will not lnd my name
nor my rhythm to your
beat. I will dance
and resist and dance and
persist and dance. This heartbeat is louder than
death. Your war drum ain't
louder than this breath.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Comfort Zone



My home is my castle
one day you must see,
my books, like friends
sincere and dear,
they tell me of love
and all kinds of things,
feed me daily influence
take me to a world of dreams,
some are dangerous
to be treated with care,
others cast spells of wisdom
messages of another world,
constantly supplying need
nourishment when wreckless,
allowing freedom to grow
and much food for thought.


Saturday, 9 December 2017

Happy Birthday Pyotr Alexeyevich Kropotkin (9/12/1842 - 8/2/21) - The Spirit Of Revolt


 On this day in Moscow 1822, the son of a prince was born, one, Peter Kropotkin,he would later renounce his aristocratic heritage in 1871. He abandoned material success and spent his life in The Spirit of Revolt that is the title of one of his famous essays, republished here. Among many things he was a zoologist, evolutionary theorist, philosopher, revolutionary, economist, geographer, writer and one of the most foremost practioners of anarchism.
He is considered  one of the founders of contemporary communist anarchism.He believed that capitalism and authoritarianism creates artificial scarcity, which leads to privilege and inequality..
Imprisoned on political charges (1874/76) he  managed to escape, and fled to Western Europe, where he was again imprisoned in France on trumped up charges. He eventually settled in England in 1886, where he remained untill the Russian Revolution of 1917.
Through his many writings he attempted to put anarchism on a scientific basis, and pointed out the economical and social value of the human being, and the failure of Capitalism to reach this objective.He saw human co-opeartion as ultimately being driven not by government, but by groups of individuals spotaneous unity to do good, whatever its' cost, in order to make the world a better place. He combined the qualities of a scientist and moralist with those of a revolutionary organiser and propogandist. He lived completely by his words and deeds, and was also known for his kindliness and towering intellect.
He died in 1921 in the city of Dimitrov in Russia, with thousands of people gathering at his funeral, with the full approval of Lenin, such was the respect that he had earned.
His legacy still lives on, in his many writings, and the actions of those who were inspired by him, as does his Spirit of Revolt. Like him there are many who want to see in this world and end to privilege and inequality, a world based on cooperation and mutual aid.
So on this day I say happy birthday to comrade Peter Kropotkin and reprint one of his fine essays from the 1880's.
Oh and incidentally this bearded philosopher also shares a birthday with a later hirsute rebel, the lizard king himself the late Jim Morrison. There are  still enough of us out there, too turn the world upside down and break on through to the other side, living side by side among the spirit of revolt.


The Spirit of Revolt

' There are periods in the life of human society when revolution becomes an imperative necessity, when it proclaims itself as inevitable. New ideas germinate everywhere, seeking to force their way into the light, to find an application in life. These ideas are opposed by the inertia of those whose interest it is to maintain the old order; they suffocate in the stifling atmosphere of prejudice and tradititions. The accepted ideas of the constitution of the state, of the laws of social equilibriam, of the political and economic interrelations of citizens, can hold out no longer against the implaceable criticism which is daily undermining them. Political and economic institutions are crumbling. The social structure, having become uninhabitable, is hindering, even preventing, the development of seeds which are being propogated within its damaged walls and being brought forth around them.

The need for a new life becomes apparent. The code of established morality, which governs the greater number of people in their daily life, no longer seems sufficient. What formerly seems just is now felt to be crying injustice. The morality of yesterday is today recognised as revolting immorality. The conflicy between new ideas and old traditions flames up in every class of society, in every possible  environment, in the very bosom of the family. The son struggles against his father, he finds revolting what his father  has all his life found natural; the daughter rebels against the principles which her mother has handed down to her as a result of long experience. Daily, the popular conscience rises up against the scandals which breed amidst the privileged and the leisured, against the crimes committed in the name of the law of the stronger, or in order to maintain these privileges. Those who long for the triumph of justice, those who would put new ideas into practice are soon forced to recognize that the realization of their generous, humanitarian and regenerating ideas cannot take place in a society thus constituted; they percieve the necessity of a revolutionary whirlwind which will sweep away all this rotteness, revive sluggish hearts with its breath, and bring to mankind that spirit of devotion, self-denial, and heroism, without which society sinks through degradation and vileness into complete disintegration.

In periods of frenzied haste towards wealth, of feverish speculation and of crisis, of the sudden downfall of great industries and the ephemeral expansion of other branches of production, of scandulous fortunes amassed in a few years and dissipated as quickly, it becomes evident that the economic institutions which control production and exchange are far from giving to society the prosperity which they are supposed to guarantee; they produce precisely the opposite result. Instead of order they bring forth chaos; instead of prosperity, poverty and insecurity, instead of reconciled interests, war, a perpetual war of the exploiter against the worker, of exploiters and of workers among themselves. Human society is seeen to be splitting more and more into two hostile camps, and at tthe same time to be subdividing into thousands of small groups waging merciless war against each other. Weary of these wars, weary of the miseries which they cause, society rushes to seek a new organisation. it clamours loudly for a complete remodelling of the system of property ownership, of production, of exchange all economic relations which spring from it.

The machinery of government, entrusted with the maintenance of the existing order, continues to function, but at every turn of its deteriorated gears it slips and stops. Its working becomes more and more difficult, and the dissatifaction caused by its defects grows continuously. Every day gives rise to a new demand. "Reform this," "reform that," is heard from all sides. "War, finance, taxes, courts, police, everything must be remodelled, reorganised, established on a new basis." say the reformers. And yet all know that it is impossible to make things over, to remodel anything at all because everything is interrelated; everything would have to be remade at once; and how can society be remodeled when it is divided into two openly hostile camps? To satify the discontented would be only to create new malcontents.

Incapable of undertaking reforms, since this would mean payiing the way for revolution, and at the same time too impotent to be frankly reactionary, the governing bodies apply themselves to halfmeasures which can satisfy nobody, and only cause dissatisfaction. The mediocrities who, in such transition periods, undertake to steer the ship of State, think of but one thing: to enrich themselves against the coming debacle. Attacked from all sides they defend themselves awkwardly, they evade, they commit blunder upon blunder, and they soon succedd in cutting the last rope of salvation; they drown the prestige of the government in ridicule, caused by their own incapacity.

Such periods demand revolution. It becomes a social necessity; this situation itself is revolutionary.

When we study in the works of our greatest historians the genesis and development of vast revolutionary convulsions, we generally find under the heading, " The Cause of the Revolution," a gripping picture of the situation on the eve of events. The misery of the people, the general insecurity, the vexatious measures of the government, the odious scandals laying bare the immense vices of society, the new ideas struggling to come to the surface and repulsed by theincapacity of the supporters of the former regime- nothing is omitted. Examining this picture, one arrives at the conviction that the revolution was indeed inevitable, and that there was no other way out than by the road of insurrection.

Take for example, the situation before 1789 as the historians picture it. You cn almost hear the peasant complaining of the salt tax, of the tithe, of the feudal payments, and vowing in his heart an implacable hatred towards the feudal baron, the monk, the monopolist, the baliff. You can almost see the citizen bewailing the loss of his municipal liberties, and showering maledictions upon the king. The people censure the queen; they are revolted by the reports of ministerial action, and they cry out continually that the taxes are intolerable and revenue payments exorbiant, that crops are bad and winters hard, that provisions are too dear and the monopolists too grasping, that the village lawyer devours the peasant's crops and the village constable tries to play the role of a petty king, that even the mail service is badly organised and the emplyers too lazy. In short, nothing works well, everybody complains. " It can last no longer, it will come to a bad end'" they cry everywhere.

But, between this pacific arguing and insurrection or revolt, there is a wide abyss - that abyss which for the greatest part of humanity, lies between reasoning and action, thought and will - the urge to act. How has this abyss been bridged? How is is it that men who only yesterday were complaining quietly of their lot as they smoked their pipes, and the next moment were humbly saluting the local guard and the gendarme whome they had just been abusing - how is it that these same men a few days later were capable of seizing their scythes and their iron-shod pikes and attacking in his castle the lord who only yesterday was so formidable? By what miracle were these men, whose wives justly called them cowards, transformed in a day into  heroes marching through bullts and cannon balls to the conquest of their rights? How was it that words, so often spoken and lost in the air like emty chiming of bells, were changed into actions.

The answer is easy.

Action, the continuous action, ceaselessly renewed, or minorities brings about this transformation. Courage, devotion, the spirit of sacrifice, are as corageous as cowardice, submission and panic.

What forms will this action take? All forms - indeed, the most varied forms, dictated by circumstances, temperament, and the means at disposal. Sometimes tragic, sometimes humorous,
but always daring; sometimes collective, sometimes purely individual, this policy of action will neglect none of the means at hand, no event of public life, in order to keep the spirit alive, to propogate and find expression for dissatisfaction, to excite hatred against exploiters, to ridicule the government and exopose its weakness, and above all and always, by actual example, to awken courage and fan the spirit of revolt.

When a revolutionary situation arises in a country, before the spirit of revolt is sufficiently awakened in the masses to express itself in violent demonstrations in the streets or by rebellions and uprisings, it is through action that minorities succeed in awakening that feeling of Independence and that spirit of audacity without which no revolution can come to a head.

Men of courage, not satisfied with words, but ever searching for the means to transform them into action - men of integrity for whom the act is one with the idea, for whom prison, exile, and death are preferable to a life contrary to their principles - intrepid souls who know that it is necessary to dare in order to succeed - these are the lonely sentinels who enter the battle long before the masses are sufficiently roused to raise openly the banner of insurrection and to march, arm in hand, to the conquest of their rights.

In the midst of discontent, talk, theoretical discussions, an individual or collective act of revolt supervenes, symbolizing the dominant aspirations. It is possible that at the beginning the masses will remain indifferent. It is possible that while admiring the corage of the individual or the group which takes the initiative, the masses will at first follow those who are prudent and cautious, who will immediately decribe this act as "insanity" and say that " those madmen, those fanatics will endanger everything."

They have calculated so well, those prudent cautious men, that their party, slowly pursuing its work would, in a hundred years, two hundred years, three hundred years perhaps, succeed in conquering the whole world, - and now the unexpected intrudes! The unexpected, of course, is whatever has not been expected of them, those prudent and cautiousones! Whoever has a slight knowledge of history and a fairly clear head knows perfectly well from the beginning that theoretical propoganda for revolutiob will necessarily express itself in action long before the theoreticians have decided that the moment to act has come. Nevertheless, the cautious theoreticians are angry at these madmen, they excommunicate them, they anathematize them. But the madmen win sympathy, the mass of the people secretely applaud their courage, and they find imitators. In proportion as the pioneers go to fill the jails and the penal colonies, others continue their work; acts of illegal protest, of revolt, of vengeance, multiply.

Indifference from this point on is impossible. Those who at the beginning never so much as asked what the "madmen" wanted, are compelled to think about them, to discuss their ideas, to take sides for or against. By actions which compel general attention, the new idea seeps into people's minds and wins converts. One such act may, in a few days, make more propoganda than thousands of pamphlets.

Above all, it awakens the spirit of revolt: it breeds daring. The old order, supported by the police, tha magistrates, the gendarmes and the soldiers, appeared unshakeable, like the old fortress of the Bastille, which also appeared impregnable to the eyes of the unarmed people gathered beneath its high walls equipped witl loaded cannon. But soon it became apparent that the established order has not  the force one had supposed. One courageous act has sufficed to upset in a few days the entire governmental machinery, to make the colossus tremble, another revolt has stirred a whole province into turmoil, and the army, till now always so imposing, has retreated from a handful of peasants armed with sticks and stones. The people observe that the monster is not so terrible as they thought they begin dily to percieve that a few energetic efforts will be sufficient to throw it down Hope is born in their hearts, and let us remember that if exasperation often drives men to revolt, it is always hope, the hope of victory, which makes revolutions.

The government resists; it is savage in its repressions. But though formerly persecution killed the energy pf the oppressed, now, in periods of excitement, it produces the opposite result. It provokes new acts of revolt, individual and collective, it drives the rebels to heroism; and in rapid succession these acts spread, become general, develop. The revolutionary party is  strenghthened by elements which up to this time  were hostile or indifferent to it. The general disintegration penetrates into the government, the ruling classes, the privileged, some of them advocate resistance to the limit; others are in favour of concessions; others, again, go so far as to declare themselves ready to renounce their privileges for the moment, in order to appease the spirit of revolt, hoping to dominate again later on. The unity of government and the privileged class is broken.

The ruling classes may also try to find safety in safety reaction. But it is now too late; the battle becomes more bitter, more terrible, and the revolution which is looming will only be more bloody. On the other hand, the smallest concession of the governing classes, since it comes to late' since it has been snatched in struggle, only awakes the revolutionary spirit still more. The common people, who formerly would have been satisfied with the smallest concession, observe now that the enemy is wavering; they foresee victory, they feel their courage growing and the same men who were formerly crushed by misery and were content to sigh in secret, now lift their heads and march proudly to the conquest of a better future.

Finally the revoluition breaks out, the more terrible as the preceding struggles were bitter.

The direction which the revolution will take take depends, no doubt, upon the sum total of the various circumstances that determine the coming of the catclysm. But it can be predicted in advance, according to the vigor of revolutionary action displaced in the prepatory period by the different progressive parties. 

One party may have developed more clearly the theories which it defines and the program which it desires to realize; it may have made propoganda actively, by speech and in print. But it may not have sufficiently expressed its aspirations in the open, on the street, by actions which embody the thought it represents; it has done little, or it has done nothing against those who are its principal enemies; it has not attacked institutions which it wants to demolish; its strength has been in theory, not in action; it has contributed little to awaken the spirit of revolt, or it has neglected to direct that spirit against conditions which it particularly desires to attack at the time of revolution. As a result, this party is less known; its aspirations have not been daily and continuously affirmed by actions, the glamor of which could reach even the remotest hut, they have not sufficiently penetrated into the consciousness of the people; they have not identified themselves with the crowd and the street; they have never found simple expression in a popular slogan.

The most active writers of such a party are known by their readers as thinkers of great merit, but they have neither the reputation nor the capacities of men of action; and on the day when the mobs pour through the streets they will prefer to follow the advice of those who have less precise theoretical ideas and not such great aspirations, but whom they know better because they have seen them act.

The party which has made most revolutionary propoganda and which has shown more spirit and daring will be listened to on the day when it is necessary to act, to march in order to realize the revolution. But that party which has not had the daring to affirm itself by revolutionary acts in the prepatory periods nor has a driving force strong enough to inspire men and groups to the sentiment of abnegation, to the irresistable desire to put their ideas into practice, - (if this desire had existed it would have expressed itself in action long before the mass of the people had joined the revolt) - and which did not know how to make its flag popular and its aspirations tangible and comprhensive, that party will have only a small chance of realizing even the least part of its program. It will be pushed aside by the parties of action.

These things we learn from the history of the periods which precede great revolutions. The revolutionary bourgeoisie understood this perfectly, it neglected no means of agitation to awaken the spirit of revolt when it tried to demolish the monarchical order. The French peasant of the eighteenth century understood it instictively when it was a question of aboloshing feudal rights; and the International acted in accordance with the same principles when it tried to awaken the spirit of revolt among the workers of the cities and to direct it against the natural enemy of the wage earner - the monopolizer of the means of production and of raw materials.

From Le Revolte 1880
Geneva

Further Reading

Pyotr Kropotkin- Memoirs of a Revolutionist (1899)/ Mutual Aid (1902)

George Woodcock & Ivaan Avakumovic - The Anarchist Prince (Black Rose Press,1996)
pp

Passing Christmas lights


Passing colors glowing, tinsel hung high 
Christmas lights, shimmering and sparkling
the smell of food, enticing on tongue
another world lingers though
a different reality resides
in the corner of our eyes
beyond the tragedy of hunger
the waste of consumerism
austerity that daily bites.

For some now the air drips with sadness
as the cold season blows again
people on long and tiresome journeys 
drifting among thrift stores
food banks and charity shops
as the sky above turns dark and grey
citizens left wanting, running on empty
struggling on, feeding on misery and decay.

Perhaps some small acts of kindness
will be sufficient to keep some gladness alight
against buffeting winds, strength can grow
allow people to decorate hearts with hope
fill glasses full of reason and some cheer
with little things, perhaps time will heal
abandon the past, infiltrate the future 
share some sustenance of survival.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Trump: Hands of Jerusalem



Today  a lot of us are  absorbing the  outrageous news  to declare Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Far right organisations  that oppose the two state solution  will now congratulate the retard, this dangerous sower of division, and most pro- IsraeL President in American history.
A consequence of this will be the American embassy being relocated from Tel Aviv to the Holy City. This is the first time that a president of the United States has gone against precedence of American foreign policy on the Palestinian - Israeli issue.According to the United Nations, Jerusalem, one of the most oldest and fought over cities in the world, has international status; no peoples has full legal authority over it. This has been respected until now.
Trump has claimed the move is part of the Middle East peace process; a series of failed talks facilitated by the United States that have left the Palestinians disappointed. Recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital will be disastrous to any mediation talks between the Palestinians and Israelis. Not only does Trump's decision legitimise the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian land and disregards Israel's violations of international law, but it also endangers the Palestinian's right to self determination. Creating more blood in the process which will cost many lives, exposing te lie tat he wants peace in our times. This change in policy not only flaunts international law  but is a barrer to peace that  flouts an international consensus that a future  that a future Palestinian state  would have its capital in East Jerusalem.
Nikolay Mladenov, United Nations Special Coordinator he Middle East Peace Process, had argued in the past that Jerusalem should be negotiated between both the Israelis and Palestinians. However, Trump's decision, which is based solely on Israel's national interests, implies that the Palestinians are not allowed to decide or have a say on their own affairs, and that they have no other choice than to watch the further disintegration of their land and their fundamental human rights.
This move will not help Israel or ultimately the Palestinian people, just another reckless sprouting of a very dangerous individual. It just has to be stopped as he inflames tensions in the region and provoke anger among radical groups across the world.
As I write , travel warnings for Jerusalem from the State Department are in place, and embassies across the globe are on alert because of this politically motivated announcement., violence is erupting in the West Bank and Gaza.
Hands of Jerusalem, it is imperative now to work fast to reach a final status solution and work fast to reach a final status solution  and a peace solution between Palestinians and Israelis that Trump  has now recklessly damaged, that allows the Palestinians to establish an independent state  side by side . with Israel  and its capital in East Jerusalem. Please write to your MP's urging them to sign Early Day motion 665 protesting the US recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2017-19/665
Evil triumphs when good people do nothing.

Monday, 4 December 2017

Counting ones blessings


The poor man counts his blessings
the rich man counts his gold,
comforts and privilege  he has many
while the poor shiver in the cold,
looking for a brighter tomorrow
for some good health, good friends and cheer
that's surely better than the rich mans crock of gold,
they say that everyone is born equal
but that's not a true reflection of society,
the gap between rich and poor gets bigger every day
but a  just and fair society  must surely be on its way,'
we must always appreciate the blessings in life
yet  should take nothing ever for granted
keep on fighting for justice, a better world for all.
.


Sunday, 3 December 2017

Please share if you think the Tories should be tried at the court in the Hague for human rights abuses within Great Britain.


Then hung.

" It  was once said that the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children, those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly. and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick , the needy and the handicapped."

-  Hubert H.Humphrey

Since all the Brexit chaos, the plight of the most vulnerble members in our society, including disabled people and the low paid seems to be increasingly overlooked. This is one of the greatest social injustices of our time, which  has meant an additional 400,000 children in the UK being pushed into benefit changes, including the roll out of Unversal Credit.( earlier post on this can be found here https://teifidancer-teifidancer.blogspot.co.uk/2017/12/stop-roll-out-of-universal-credit-day.html )  Since the Conservatives have been in power with their ideological policies of austerity we have seen them intentionally diminish the rights of its own citizens. Their policies such as the bedroom tax, benefit sanctions and now UC have also  diproportianally affected the disabled.
Research commissioned by Salford Council suggests that a sudden loss of income by removing benefits could damage mental health, create tensions within family relationships and cause individuals to commit crimes. This clearly has implications for claimants’ human rights, especially as the Government has admitted sanctions were applied wrongly in 30% of cases.
The United Nations have recently slammed the government too over its treatment of migrant workers, in tems of exploitation, low pay and health care access, specifically citing the fact that the Tories ignored its last set of recommendations. The Tories have also faced a barrage of criticism about their policies that have directly impacted on the vulnerable, disadvantaged and marginalsed that do not respect their rights. Concerning the treatment of disabled people the UN inguiry stated  that the UK government have committed "grave"  and "systematic" violations of human rights.
https://www.thecanary.co/uk/2017/08/24/breaking-un-just-accused-tories-creating-human-catastrophe-uk/
The inquiry was triggered by the grassroots campaigning organisation Disabled People Against Cuts ,https://dpac.uk.net/ which had grown increasingly concerned by the disproportionate impact of the coalition’s cuts on disabled people. Surely If you have mental health conditions and legitimate physical disabilities, you should be looked after not made to feel like you're worthless. What has this country become?
The Government of the UK is  currently now in chaos and its future leadership is uncertain. Sadly it is unlikely that any immediate change in leadership will lead to the recognition of the UK's human rights obligations.With increased reliance on foodbanks, unemployment rates, the housing crisis, mental health care austerity cuts to welfare and services which are causing unnecessary deaths and misery. and discrimination against migrants,  it is more than time for something to change and for to the heartless Tories to be held account for their shameful flagrant abuses , mistreatment  and their systematic violations of peoples human rights.We must continue to seek an end to Austerity and to the mounting injustice we've been seen over the past six years or so  and  continue to work with groups or organisations who seek to advance justice, human rights and respect for all human beings - in all our diversity.
In the meantime I would urge you to take action at least on Universal Credit

Pause the roll out of Universal Credit

https://speakout.38degrees.org.uk/campaigns/2687


 

Friday, 1 December 2017

Stop the roll out of Universal Credit day of action


Deep concerns about the roll out and impact of Universal Credit will be highlighted this coming weekend, because this Christmas will be cancelled  for thousands of families claiming the new benefit UC. Despite knowng UC causes serious problems for claimants. Theresa May's toxic Tory government is pressing ahead and rolling it out to thousands of people who will have to wait weeks to receive any money.
Claimants are descending into debt,relying on food banks, getting into rent arrears and in many cases getting evicted from their homes because of in-built problems with UC. People with disabilities will be among the hardest hit of these cruel welfare reforms.
UC replaces five benefits - child tax credit, housing benefit, income support, income based jobseekers allowance, income related employment and support allowance and working tax credit. Seven million households will be affected, including one million low paid part-time workers. For the first time ever people actually in work could face being sanctioned, having their benefits stopped if they are unable to prove to the job centre that there searching for better paid work or more hours, in a completely illogical measure by our current out of control government.
The government is imposing UC, despite losing a parliamentary vote on its extension to millions more people. On October 18, Parliament voted by 299 votes to zeros to temporarily halt the introduction of UC. Opposition  parties in Parliament led by Labour, passed a motion calling for the government to pause the rollout of UC. The vote was allowed as part of an Opposition Day Debate.
In the face  of mounting anger in the population, Theresa May's crisis ridden government instructed its ministers and MPs to abstain. This was due to their fear of a rebellion by at least 12 Tories as well as MPS from its governing partner, the DUP, who were prepared to back Labour. The government responded to the vote by declaring it was not binding, and with no regard to the mounting anger will continue to roll out UC regardless. For fucks sake.
This is why tomorrow Saturday 2 December 2017 I will be supporting Unite Community's national day of action against it, to send a message to the Tory government that they must stop and fix UC before rolling it out to thousands of families who will face a cold hungry Christmas and the threat of losing their homes.
Personally do not believe it can be fixed, or modified it needs to be stopped and scrapped completely. It is crucial that we carry on campaigning against its implementation to defend those on the receiving end of brutal cuts and to push for the complete abolition of these policies that will hurt those who are already the most disadvantaged in our society who are merely being treated as collateral damage. We must continue to resist these devastating policies, an end to this cruel austerity measure and give support to all those that currently need it. Remember no one is immune to becoming ill or losing their jobs.I will be tomorrow joining a demo in my home town of Cardigan, at 1 o clock outside the Guildhall,lets make our voices be heard and tell the government that we wont simply stand back and let this happen. Many , more events will be happening across the country the following story gives more reasons if needed why everybody should be protesting against Universal Credit this Saturday.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/long_reads/universal-credit-single-parent-stories-a8060451.html

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Yesterday was hell, still searching for heaven


Yesterday I searched for something
some hope I guess, but could not find it,
what  else was  bloody needed
so I begged ,prayed and pleaded,
mind in array, how could I actually tell
no answers came all seemed like hell,
as politicians pillaged and clouds turned dark
left their truly horrible inedible mark,
I searched for solutions ever so far away
but lacked religion a God that could rearrange,
found some power on the streets instead
friends like me still hungry for change,
fighting, struggling for an end to this mess
releasing  thoughts of another world instead,
as this planet whirled on the path of destruction
searching for that elusive place called heaven,
a place where we could all find salvation
a kinder place that can't be broken or stolen.


This can now also be found now here :- https://iamnotasilentpoet.wordpress.com/2017/12/01/yesterday-was-hell-still-searching-for-heaven-by-dave-rendle/

Some musical respite :Celt Islam ft.Masala - Revolution Inside Me


All the best, hope you feel it to, its the things we can't change that should worry us the most, stop a while  reflect on what is right, build and build, move all obstacles in sight, to let things simply be can just become a haunting echo.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Desolation can be completed.


Hungry bellied
magnetic undulations of the wind,
our flowers are growing again as winter approaches
freedom has no ending, inside or outside,
whisked in the air ,a force beyond control
in all our wildness, the whiff of escapes radiant smile,
the animating power of expression
manifestations of delight in unknown,
open wounds can be closed by time itself
in moments of kindness, generate warmth,
where surge of spirit is keenly felt
remorse, regret can be abandoned,
distance can be covered without recall
with compassion  and love on our lips,
desolation can be completed.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Another Royal wedding announced, lets not get too distracted :Welfare not fanfare


The nation woke up yesterday to the news that Prince Harry and the American actress Megan Markhle were engaged after a whirlwind romance. It is always  nice to hear of couples falling in love, but before we get carried away, lets not forget that the last Royal Wedding cost the taxpayer a whopping £20-39 million for security alone. This one i'm sure is going to be a truly extravagent opulent affair too  at at time when millions of peoples benefits are being frozen for another year,being pushed into poverty, cannot afford to eat and are forced to resort to using food banks in order to survive.
We are supposed to be living  in an age of austerity where the poorest among us have to make sacrifice after sacrifice,  yet Prince Harry and his relations  are still able live out their lives in royal palaces, surrounded by servants and all their vestiges of privilege.
Somehow in the 21st Century they are still celebrated as being somehow more superior than mere commoners, who  living through hard times have to struggle every day simply to make ends meet, and somehow express gratitude to the royals for lording it over them.
Harry's dad Charles, it has been reported is likely to pick up most of the bill for what is said to be a Spring 2018 wedding and reception, even if custom dictates otherwise, but where does he get his money from, mostly from the Duchy and Cornwall estate, where he does not have to pay corporation tax or capital gains tax, and  effectively this  royal tax dodger gets the rest of his money from the British taxpayer, so not really going to cost him a penny. 
Who knows it all might actually lead  to a shift in direction, good old harry boy might choose to give up his Royal privileges and entitlements and choose to live with his future wife as an ordinary person, now  if that happened, I would actually applaud and truly consider that to be a noble thing. In the meantime however please forgive me for my lack of enthusiasm for the royal wedding that has just been announced, I am not a complete killjoy, I hope even as a committed republican that their love lasts , and they  have a nice time together, but I simply don't think their  wedding should come to the cost of ordinary people across the land, while many are facing such hardship. The news  I would prefer to see is  how the Tories are going to address inequality and anger over austerity after seven years of austerity and cuts instead.
I really do believe that we  should all be paying more attention  to things like the diastrous roll out of universal credit, the poverty that is facing many at the present time, instead of focussing on what seems to me, call me a cynic, to be a classic distraction excercise, when the hardest hit are paying the price for the excesses of a few. So I say instead  welfare not fanfare and Tories out for Christmas, now that is something I truly would celebrate.
At end of day the British monarchy, despite its great wealth, and long traditions based on elitism, has little  real power now, there is a rise in people who have simply had enough, and want to seek to transform society for the better, and would actually like to see the end of the monarchy, this tired old institution once for all. Here is a link to  Republic, the anti-monarchy campaign group for an elected head of state, who at least had the tenacity to issue a one worded statement : "Congratulations."

https://www.republic.org.uk/


Monday, 27 November 2017

Travelling light


I trust never knowing
But  Love keeps floating,
Besides dreams ever flowing
Tideless waves of time growing,
Sparks of reality,that rekindle fire
Releasing the thirst of desire,
Not empty figments of imagination
Mind staying free, still burning bright,
Finding courage not despair
No good will be found there;
Clinging on am  still afloat
Travelling light, gaze remains fixed,
Carried by powerful forces
Flowing onwards, gaining momentum,
While nature awakens, freedom echoes
Waiting only for a new tomorrow.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

I never spoke up


We must keep speaking out for all those currently under attack, we know that  disabled people face prejudice and hatred on a daily basis. In a recent survey, 4% of disabled people said they had been physically attacked and 16% of disabled people had had people act aggressively or in a hostile way towards them. We also know that hardly anyone ever reports such crimes to the police.
Meanwhile our Government  which we should all be ashamed off  are carrying on with policies and cuts that are taking away support to those that need it most . Insane immoral policies  that are pushing many to the brink, as the Government plunges to new depths. Lets not forget that over 10,000 sick and disabled people have already died as a direct result of the Governments welfare reforms. The tories will not  stop they are simply out of control, the suffering they continue to cause is immeasurable,  after the disabled and the unemployed  now they are coming for the doctors,the nurses, firefighters, domestic abuse workers,rape crisis centres, childrens centres etc etc
This is how it works they will take away peoples support, break peoples will for resistance, leave people broken without the means to fight back. So together we must stop them in their tracks.If we never speak out against  their cruelty and injustice , then we are all just as bad.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Animals have no emotions or feelings according to British Government!

                   
                                        Photo by wildlife photographer Richard Bowler    
   
Animals apparently have no feelings or emotions according to  Michael Gove and 312 Members of Parliament , who voted in favour of  rejecting a clause this week that would have enshrined into UK law the recognition that animals are sentient, an admission currently covered by EU law.
Green MP Caroline Lucas submitted the clause as part of the EU withdrawal bill. Some 80% of animal welfare legislation currently comes from the EU but after March 2019 European law will no longer apply in the UK.
The move has been criticised by animal rights activists, who say the vote undermines environment secretary Michael Gove’s pledge to prioritise animal rights during Brexit. One of the arguments put forward by the Government during the debate was that animal sentience is covered by the Animal Welfare Act 2006.The RSPCA, however, said this is not the case; the term sentience or sentient being doesn’t appear once in that Act, and, the animal welfare charity said, doesn’t cover all animals.
The majority of animal welfare legislation comes from the EU. The UK Government is tasked with adopting EU laws directly after March 2019 but has now dismissed animal sentience.
Prominent wildlife photographer Richard Bowler  also disagrees, and in  a Facebook post, which has already been shared hundreds of times, Bowler says: “MP’s have voted and in their wisdom, animals can no longer feel pain or emotions.
“It really beggars belief that in this day and age, this shower of a government no longer recognises animals as sentient beings. None of them could have had a pet dog, greet them when they come home.“But it’s not just domestic animals that show love and affection.”
Bowler posted the above photo of a fox in a heartfelt plea to his Facebook audience:
"So MP's have voted and in their wisdom, animals can no longer feel pain or emotions. It really beggars belief that in this day and age, this shower of a government no longer recognises animals as sentient beings. None of them could have had a pet dog, greet them when they come home. But it's not just domestic animals that show love and affection. The photograph shows Rosie and how she greets me, every time I visit her. Are you telling me there's no emotion there, what you can...'t see is the wagging tail and the squeals of excitement as well. All three foxes I care for have built a bond with Maddy our terrier, she is greeted in exactly the same way. It's not hard to imagine that if bonds like this can be formed inter species, that the same bonds can be formed between a dog fox and a vixen and their cubs. In fact so called pest controllers use this to their advantage, after shooting the vixen they will often wait, knowing the dog fox will show up, to mourn if you like. Anyone who's seen elephant documentaries when families visit the bones of their dead can not fail to see that there are emotions going on there. Science is showing more and more animal intelligence and emotions and yet our government has yet again ignored it. There can only be one reason to deny animal sentient status, and that is to exploit them.Here's a link to an article about it
https://www.farminguk.com/…/MPs-vote-to-reject-inclusion-of… 

He continued:
“The photograph shows Rosie and how she greets me, every time I visit her. Are you telling me there’s no emotion there, what you can’t see is the wagging tale and the squeals of excitement as well.
“All three foxes I care for have built a bond with Maddy our terrier, she is greeted in exactly the same way. It’s not hard to imagine that if bonds like this can be formed inter species, that the same bonds can be formed between a dog fox and a vixen and their cubs.
“In fact so called pest controllers use this to their advantage, after shooting the vixen they will often wait, knowing the dog fox will show up, to mourn if you like. Anyone who’s seen elephant documentaries when families visit the bones of their dead can not fail to see that there are emotions going on there.
“Science is showing more and more animal intelligence and emotions and yet our government has yet again ignored it. There can only be one reason to deny animal sentient status, and that is to exploit them.”

Thousands have since signed a petition on campaigning website 38 degrees urging the Tories to reverse this decision.
It states: “Animals have long held the status of being sentient beings in the UK, through legislation created in the EU.
“This means they are recognised as being capable of feeling emotions such as joy and compassion, but also fear, suffering and terror.
“The vote in parliament, narrowly won by the government, removes this status from all animals in the UK, and is a massive blow for the welfare of wildlife, pets and livestock alike.”
One signatory said: “Anyone who has had a pet or worked with livestock clearly understand that these animals are sentient and deserve the best standards of welfare.”
Another commented: “It is inconceivable to deny animals recognition of their completely obvious sentience. This must be repealed.”
However it does not really come as to much a surprise though, because  it is a well known fact that  the Tories themselves that have proven time and time again to be devoid of any compassion to humans let alone animals. But serves to remind us  of how short sighted and heartless they all bloody are.
These by the way are MPs who voted down legislation on animals feeilning pain and emotion as part of Brexit Bill . https://www.indy100.com/article/animal-rights-vote-mps-list-eu-brexit-voted-animals-not-feel-no-emotions-313-conservative-party-tory-8068691

Monday, 20 November 2017

If you've bought any of these 11 things, you've helped fund the Tories


Here are eleven  well-known brands and products where shareholders of the company - or the company itself - has donated to the Tories, the party of the few, the rich and the privileged in this country.
They aren't the biggest donors by any means , fat cat donors, bankers , business tycoons are also pumping loads of cash into the Tory Party war chest. As the tories continue to court wealthy donors and businesses meanwhile ordinary people everyday are finding life increasingly more difficult to manage, facing challenging times.. Buying the following 11 things means you have sent money to the Conservatives. If you don't support the Tories and have inadvertantly bought any of the following, please reconsider your habits, stop helping the Tories out, their certainly not helping us out.

1. Melton Mowbray Pork Pies and Ginster Pies



The popular pies are owned by Samworth Brothers Ltd.
Director Mark Samworth has donated £585,000 to the Tories since 2010. Additionally, Samworth Brothers Ltd, the company itself, donated £32,000 to the party in 2002 and 2003.
Life President of the company, David Samworth, has donated just over £26,000.
In total, Samworth and those involved in the company have donated nearly £650,000 to the Tories.
Think about that next time you sit down alone and microwave yourself a depressingly limp cornish pasty.

2. Next clothing and accessories




Next CEO lord Wolfson has donated more than £400,000 to the tories since 2006. He was made a Conservative party peer by David Cameron in 2010.
Next made record £695m profits last year and is facing a trade union campaign by the GMB trade union to pay a living wage to staff.

3. Autotrader magazine



Autotrader is owned by Apax the private equity firm run by Tory Donor Adrian Beercroft, after it was bought from the owners of the Guardian newspaper through a controversial offshore deal in the Cayman Islands.
Beecroft, who has donated £593,000 to the Tories, wrote a notorious report for Downing Street recommending that a string of workers rights be scrapped so bosses can sack workers at will.

4. The Wombles


Mike Batt wrote six Wombles albums between 1973 and 1978. Batt has donated £112,500 to the Tories since 2001. If you've bought any Womble music (who hasn't) or listened to "Remember You're a Womble" in order to remind yourself that you're a Womble, you have inadvertently given money to the tories.

5. Woking football club



Owned by Surrey businessman Chris Ingram. He's donated nearly £175,000 to the tories since 2008. So if you support Woking you also support the Tories

6. Warbutons



This well-known bakery gave the Tories a £25,000 donation in the run up to the 2010 election, after David Cameron held a press conference at the firm's Bolton HQ and was pictured in front of a wall of Warburtons loaves.

7.Crombie coats




Owned by former Tory vice-chairman Alan Lewis, who has donated £246,000 to the Conservative Party. Part of Crombie's parent company Hartley Investment Trust is owned offshore on the Isle of Man. Most people I see wearing a Crombie I avoid anyway because I have suspicions their probably Tories.

8. Soreen Meat Loaf


Soreen is also owned by Samworth Brothers who donated £650,000 to the Conservatives. The search continues for a non-politically aligned malt-loaf.

9. Lycamobile



lycamobile is a virtual phone network set up in 2006. They sell international Sim cards to consumers who want to make international phone calls /
The company donated a massive £827,562 to the Tory party between 2011 and December 2015..


10. Bet Fair




Bet Fair founder and shareholder Edward Wray has donated just under £210,000 to the tories since 2010. If you've ever gambled using Betfair and lost, your loss has been the Tories gain.

11.Karl Liegerfield clothes



If you've ever bought any Karl Lagerfeld clothes  you have inadvertently donated to the Tories. The label is also owned by Apax, who have donated £593,000 to the Tories.Not the 81 year old fashion designer, but the fashion label itself.

This data was found by the Mirror, who drew their data from the Electoral Commission and Searchthemoney


Friday, 17 November 2017

Audre Lorde (18/2/34 - 17/11/ 92) - Litany for Survival / Love Poem


On this date in 1992 (Nov. 17th), Audre Lorde died of breast cancer.  Feminist, Womanist.Poet. Civil rights activist. Anti-war activist. Gay rights activist. Novelist. Librarian. Harlemite. In her own words, she was: "Black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet."  Audre Lorde dedicated both her life and her creative talent to confronting and addressing the injustices of racism, sexism, and homophobia. Her poetry, and “indeed all of her writing,” according to contributor Joan Martin in Black Women Writers (1950-1980): A Critical Evaluation, “rings with passion, sincerity, perception, and depth of feeling.” Concerned with modern society’s tendency to categorize groups of people, Lorde fought the marginalization of such categories as “lesbian” and “black woman,” thereby empowering her readers to react to the prejudice in their own lives.
Starting to write at an early age, Lorde was first published in Seventeen magazine while in high school.As society progressed with the anti-war, feminist and civil rights movements, Audre moved from themes of love to more political and personal matters. She used her platform as a writer to spread ideas and experiences about the intersecting oppressions faced by many people.  Her poetry developed an angry aura as she became more involved in activism but developed into an emotionally-supportive outlet and connected her to the world of politics with well-known figures like Langston Hughes.
Author of the controversial essay "The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House." In 1980 she co-founded (with Barbara Smith and Cherrie Moraga) a feminist publishing company called "Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press," the first publisher for women of color in the United States.
Lorde died in St. Croix, Virgin Islands, at the age of 58. She was cremated and her ashes scattered at sea. Throughout her battle, she found inspiration through her struggle as she documented in the 1980 special edition issue of the Cancer Journals. Her story included a feminist analysis of her experience with the disease and mastectomy. Before passing away, Audre changed her name to Gambda Adisa which means “Warrior” or “she who makes her meaning known.”


" There is no such thing as a single issue struggle because we do not live single issue lives " - Audre Lorde


Poetry is not only a dream and vision; it is the skeleton architecture of our lives. It lays the foundations for a future of change, a bridge across our fears of what has never been before.”- Audre Lorde 

Litany for Survival  - Audre Lorde

'For those of us who live at the shoreline
standing upon the constant edges of decision
crucial and alone
for those of us who cannot indulge
the passing dreams of choice
who love in doorways coming and going
in the hours between dawns
looking inward and outward
at once before and after
seeking a now that can breed
futures
like bread in our children's mouths
so their dreams will not reflect
the death of ours:

For those of us
who were imprinted with fear
like a faint line in the center of our foreheads
learning to be afraid with our mother's milk
for by this weapon
this illusion of some safety to be found
the heavy-footed hoped to silence us
For all of us
this instant and this triumph
We were never meant to survive.

And when the sun rises we are afraid
it might not remain
when the sun sets we are afraid
it might not rise in the morning
when our stomachs are full we are afraid
of indigestion
when our stomachs are empty we are afraid
we may never eat again
when we are loved we are afraid
love will vanish
when we are alone we are afraid
love will never return
and when we speak we are afraid
our words will not be heard
nor welcomed
but when we are silent
we are still afraid

So it is better to speak
remembering
we were never meant to survive


Audre Lorde - Love Poem

Speak earth and bless me with what is richest
make sky flow honey out of my hips
rigis mountains
spread over a valley
carved out by the mouth of rain.

And I knew when I entered her I was
high wind in her forests hollow
fingers whispering sound
honey flowed
from the split cup
impaled on a lance of tongues
on the tips of her breasts on her navel
and my breath
howling into her entrances
through lungs of pain.

Greedy as herring-gulls
or a child
I swing out over the earth
over and over
again.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

DWP hang your heads in shame


For those unable to read images, it says:

‘I’m a doctor. This is a real conversation I had with the Job Centre:

“Hi, I don’t think Miss X is well enough to come to your appointment…”

“It’s a term of her benefits that she has to come.”

“I know, but I don’t think she’s well enough. Can you rearrange it?”

“So she came to your appointment?”

“Yes, but…”

“Then she can come to ours.”

“But she’s not well and I’m her doctor.”

“And she wants benefits and so she has to come here.”

“So you’re saying that she has to either jeopardise her health by coming to your meeting, or not receive any money.”

“If you’re trying to make me feel guilty you’re speaking to the wrong person.”‘

Just to add perspective to this dialogue, it might be useful to remember that a woman was afraid to leave a DWP meeting while she was having a heart attack because she thought she would be sanctioned off-benefit.

This sad state of affairs currently happening in a supposed civilised country, and completely legal too, we need a change in government as soon as possible to put and end this shameful policy. It is simply outrageous that some people are actually punished simply for being ill.


Image Black triangle campign

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Lest we forget


repost from last year

Millions of Britons will observe  two minutes of silence this weekend as the nation marks Armistice  Day and Rememberance Sunday and pay respect to those killed in war.
The Peace Pledge Union  though wants to promote the idea that there are better ways to resolve conflict than through war and violence. They also want to curb the attitude towards commemoration of war, which painrs the picture that war is noble and worth celebrating. They promote the idea of wearing a white poppy around the same time you would wear the red poppy, for Armistice Day and Rememberance Sundayaround November 11 each year with a committment to peace and a refusal to celebrate or glamourise war itself:
http://www.ppu.org.uk/.
Remembrance Day was originally intended to remind us of the futility of war. The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month which marked the time the Armistice was signed at the end of WWI, or, as it was known at the time, The Great War, the war to end all wars. Such was  the scale of death and suffering between 1914-18 it was believed to be inconceivable that nations would again engage in such wasteful and destructive confrontation. In fact, The Great War instead turned out to be  the opening chapter of the most destructive and murderous century in the history of the human race. War became mechanized, industrial, and all consuming. No longer did armies simply face each other across a battlefield in ordered rows to slog it out until one side was victorious, entire cities and nations would be left in ruins and generation after generation of young men would be wiped out of existence. 
 Let is all remember what we do not seem to learn, that it is Politicians that send men and women to die, to go to war, so  that they can try and win unwinnable battles for them. We should remember never to be intimidated by the media which sees the wearing of a red poppy as a definition of loyalty. Let us acknowledge all those people looking for alternative ways of marking and remembering the  dead, working for peace, day by day.
Let us remind ourselves how the wearing or not wearing of the poppy has been used to shame people who make the conscious decision not to wear one, or how to criticise, is to be bandied a traitor, as we are told  told time and again  that soldiers died for our freedoms. Lets not forget  either the families of the wounded or dead who are left abandoned, and the many ex servicemen who are left homeless to fend for themselves.
It's time to expose the hypocrites who sanction wars, arms sales and state repression while wearing a red poppy and uttering platitudes on this Day.
Let us fall silent to mourn the loss of ordinary men  and women who have died when they need not have. Let us fall silent  in  the hope that remembering  will prevent the tragedies of war and  and loss and work towards a time when it does not happen again. Let us fall silent to recognise and commemorate the victims of all wars, such as civilians killed in the bombings of Dresden, Hiroshima, Baghdad, Kabul, etc.
Let us reclaim the poppy as a symbol of peace not as a symbol of war.This is why I choose to wear a white poppy only, for peace and try to remember the dead of all sides, both military and civilian.The white poppy pays tributes to victims of all wars, including those which are still ongoing.War is mass murder, and we should remember  the  politicians of all sides that  should be held responsible and tried for murder. Lest we forget. Heddwch/Peace.

Also

" Peace cannot be kept  by force, it can only be achieved by understanding. You cannot subjegate a nation forcibly unless you wipe out every man, woman and child. Unless you wish to use drastic measures, you must find a way of settling your disputes without resort to arms."

- Albert Einstein ( from Militant Pacifist, 1931)


Futility - Wilfred Owen 

Move him into the sun -
Gently its touch awoke him once,
At home, whispering of fields unsown.
Always it woke him, even in France,
Until this morning and this snow.
If anything might rouse him now
The kind old sun will know.

Think how it wakes the seeds, -
Woke, once, the clays of a cold star.
Are limbs, so dear-achieved, are sides,
Full-nerved - still warm - too hard to stir?
Was it for this the clay grew tall?
- O what made fatuous sunbeams toil
To break earth's sleep at all?

Friday, 10 November 2017

Lowkey – The Redistribution of Power (Live in London, 2017)


Love this, absolutely awesone, Lowkey performs an acapella of ' The Redistrution of Power.' at his headline show at the Coronet in London. We need a massive radical redistribution of powerthat could help societies current disenchantment. We have nothing to lose and all to gain.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Looking for answers



I've been listing my A to Zeds
from Alpha to Zion,
sometimes it all adds up
life gets better, start understanding,
but often things will arrive that confuse
as I try to remember to resurge, rejoice,.
the sound of  blues arrives in my head
I escape the chorus, and return to bed,
darkness envelopes, the sky gets a little lost
makes the near seem so very far away,
still seek familiar faces, swimming with light
resist a world full of cruel injustice,
remember all those still struggling
as world spins, political corruption exposed,
somehow some hope floods within
answers seeking, keep on arriving.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Anais Nin - Restless heart




Said this before, but having a break from blogging, looking for some inspiration... be back sooner than  later in all probability, in the meantime some thoughts from the inimitable Anais Nin. Thanks to all who have listened. Keep on keeping on, solidarity.

" You live like this, sheltered, in a delicate world, and you believe you are living. Then you read a book, or take a trip, and you discover that you are not living, that you are hibernating. The symptoms of hibernating are easily detectable:first, restlessness. The second symptom ( when hibernating becomes dangerous and might degenerate into death) :absence of pleasure. That is all. It appears like an innocuous illness. Monotony, boredom, death. Millions live like this (or die like this) without knowing it. They work in offices. They drive a car. They picnic with their families. And then some shock treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song, and it awakens them from death. Some never awaken. "






...

Thursday, 2 November 2017

100th Anniversary of Balfour Declaration, a time for reflection not celebration.


                                                Lord Arthur James Balfour

The 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration marks one of Great Britain's betrayals. A shameful part of history that I have written about many times before. It refers to a letter dated 2 November 1917 from the United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary Lord Arthur James Balfour to Walter Rothschild 2nd Baron Rothschild for the supporters of the Zionist cause which had no legal authority where the indigenous Palestinians at the time of the letter amounted to 90% of the total population which paved the way for the creation of  Israel in 1948.
This cursed declaration is considered to be the first political recognition of the Zionist aims by a foreign government. It meant that those who had no ownership (Britain) permitted those who had no right to establish a national homeland on a established country Palestine with no moral or legal framework to do so.


Rothschild replied to Balfour's letter saying that 'the British government has opened up, by their message. a prospct of safety and comfort to large masses of prople who are in need of it.' But it also opened up the prospect and reality of abject misery for millions of Palestinianss who certainly did not deserve it.
The letter made it clear that the British government backed the establishment of a 'national home for the Jewish people; in Palestine. Three years later, in 1920, Britain was mandated to implement the resolution through the League of Nations.
However Palestinians were not represented in the discussions that led to the declaration, nor were they cited by name in the letter. Indeed, they were defined by what they are not ("non-Jewish"), which set the pattern for their " invisibility " in later official discussions about their future.The letter marks a pivotal moment in the history of Palestine, laying the groundwork for the eventual loss of their land, years of dispossesion, conflict and displacement affecting millions of Palestnian lives and their subsequent occupaton with ramifications that are so clearly felt today..
The Palestinian conflict does not begin in 1948 but in 1917, with this declaration. It is necessary that we go back to this crucial watershed in the history of the Middle East and the roots of the continuing betrayal of the Palestinian people, expelled from their ancestral homeland to refugee camps, to live in exile across the globe, to this present day. The continuing seperation of the prople of the West Bank and the open prison that is Gaza.
The content of the declaration seems no less distant or downright baffling. The prominent Jewish intellectual Arthur Koestler, repeating a frequent mantra, would call it “one the most improbable political documents of all time,” in which “one nation solemnly promised to a second nation the country of a third.” The fact that it included no explicit rationale for itself has also fuelled the suspicion that its authors had darker motives. After all, it was issued in the name of the largest empire in history, the Balfour Declaration is considered to be by many one of the greatest mistakes in our imperial history.
Palestinian leaders over the years have strongly urged British officials to apologise and diavow the Declaration as well as acknowledge their responsibility in the plight of the Palestinian people. The British government has refued. The writer Arundhati Roy was right to describe the Palestine tragedy as one of " imperial Britain's festering, blood-drenched gifts to the modern world.' It is also a product of a history of racism and empire that extended across most of the West. On this centennial of the Balfour Declaration, reflection on this shared culpability should serve as a reminder of the responsibility for the political action that comes with it.
Israeli officials say it is right to celebrate the centenary, and have accused those demanding and seeking an apology of being atisemitic.But I reject that and believe the British government politicians should apologise unreservedly for having turned a blind eye to Israel's breaches of international law, offences against humanitarian law which has seen the massacre of Palestinians. Because of this tainted promise, Britain bares responsibility for setting the stage for the conflict that currently exists and the legacy of deceit, injustice and oppression that exists to this day.
In pursuit of justice this ocassion  could be marked by a long adherence to the rules of international law, with an immediate apology from the Government of Great Britain. This task would take courage but is urgent.Millions of Palestinians are still marooned in refugee camps. West Bank citizens have endured 50 years of military occupation and Palestinian homes are continuing to be destroyed and replaced by thousands of new Israeli settlements.
Ahead of the 100th anniversary pro-Palestinian groups launched the following petition
 https://petition.parliament.uk/archived/petitions/184398  
calling on the British government  to crap plans to celebrate. They argued Prime Minister Theresa May should instead use the occasion to issue an apology. Responding to the petition in April this year, the Foreign Office said: “The Balfour Declaration is an historic statement for which Her Majesty’s Government does not intend to apologize. We are proud of our role in creating the State of Israel. The task now is to encourage moves towards peace.”
It is really sad to witness Theresa May's blinkered ability to further shame the British people by ingulging in overt celebrations on the occasion of the centenary of the signing. She has also said the declaration was a "source of great pride" for Great Britain. Surely Theresa May and her cabinet cannot be simply unaware of the 100 year suffering this infamous agreement has caused.
Well done to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn  though who has refused to attend Balour Centenary Celebration dinner that is taking place, I believe he is right to avoid it. He's not snubbing Israel per say, but a celebratory dinner that is exremely controversial  and inflammatory to celebrate this .to the  Palestinians it would be seen as celebrating their ethnic cleansing, the continuing denial of a viable Palestinian State, and the fact  that 2017 also marks the 50th anniversary of the occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza and other Arab land and Israel’s refusal to end this, any celebration would be a complete mockery to the Palestinian peoples collective memory and a continuing violation of their rights..
Simon Johnson, chief executive of the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC), says British Jews should feel proud of the UK’s role in the creation of Israel, today a key regional trade and security partner. But it is worth pointing out that that all British Jews consider the declaration worth  celebrating. For instance Jews for Justice for Palestinians, offered the following perspective.The group’s parliamentary and diplomatic liaison officer, Arthur Goodman, says the government’s response to the Balfour apology petition is a skew on British history.
In reality the British government shouldn’t be particularly proud because, more than the Balfour Declaration itself, the way they ran it, in the Mandate, was very detrimental to the Palestinians,” he said.“If it had been to create a homeland on an equal basis with the already existing indigenous population, that would have been different. But that’s not what the British Mandate did. They created a state for the Zionists, who were Jews, and they excluded the possibility of the Palestinians having a state or having an equal part in a binational state.”
What would an apology actually achieve?
“Very little. In fact, if that’s all the government did, but didn’t actually help the Palestinians create a state, then it would just make Palestinians and Arabs even more convinced that the British government, among others, was being very hypocritical,” said Goodman.
“I think the correct response would be not to celebrate it, not to mark it, except to say that it’s now time for Israel to accept that it already has 78 percent of British Mandate Palestine and that should be enough for it. And the other 22 percent, i.e. the Occupied Territories, rightly belong to the Palestinians.”
 I do aknowledge though that Balfour was not unique in history in giving what he did not own to those that were not entitled to it.With Israel currently entrenching its military occupation of Palestine and senior politicians articulating there rejection of a Palestinian state, Britain should not be inflaming the situation ny marking Balfour in the way that they are, which will create barriers to the ongoing peace process.100 years after Balfour it is more than time for Britain to now apologise for this declaration that has caused so much pain, a  the time for reflection , not celebration, for us to consider on the profoundly negative consequences of the declaration by the colonial actions of Great Britain, and its continuing global consequences and think about the ongoing tragedy of the Palestinian people that my country owes a moral responsibility to.
Despite the consequences  of Balfour the Palestinians commitment to fight for freedom also remains unchanged, and neither Balfour nor all of Britain's foreign secretaries since then have managed to break the will  of the Palestinian nation.Let us also remember that the leaders of Israel were never satified with what they eventually got in 1948. They unfortunately set their sights much wider. And to this day carry out policies of expansion and domination in acts of provocation. Until measures  are made by Israel to improve the standard of living and bring economic prosperity to the Palestinians living in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Bringing some chord of social justice, and reconition of the Palestinians identity and stolen land given back to them. and an end to their continuing use of apartheid practices, their will be no peace. This is Balfours tragic legacy.