Of Lights and Mirrors

The still and rushing Light resides inside the hearts and minds of those who seek it.

Be not enslaved therefore, to your emotions: use them as the sign posts of your psyche;

Measure them against your conscience; justify them if you can.

Use your intellect to reason out position and direction

Consciously and honestly, without excessive flagellation.

Be observer and companion; always walk among your Selves.

What does your heart ‘tell’ you that you should discard or most desire?

Is it for your path or pack; do you aspire to do harm or carelessly affect another

By eschewing or by domination of a Will you do not own?

Can you love yourself and have sufficient self awareness; self-respect –

To see yourself reflected in the thoughts and actions of your fellow earthly travellers –

To nourish and absorb without the sense of loss in your own worth;

Without surrendering your principles in favour of acceptance by a fashioned crowd?

As you perceive yourself in others, which is mirrored more:

Your empathy or instinct to recoil?


Of raucous, baying mobs

Sickness splits the land
and grips the eager;
powers up the all-expectant,
coiled and ready –
heady with psychosis,
loses latency.

So waking to their call,
enlists the sheep
and keeps the dumb

bids clarions to sing their path
as light absenting
from an unrelenting dark;

begets misguided prophets
seeking self-regard and carrion
with shares and calling cards.

The raucous, baying mobs
of Britain’s isles, with putrid voice
lift up as pryoclasts of toxic resin;
all at once cacophonous in heat
and straining from the common
lanes and finest streets, do crack
the hairline fractures open;
thicken up the air with words
of biting hate and clichéd phrases;
all Time’s labels are unleashed –

and thus it is
they must be swallowed.
What fragility! How easily
is unity so hollowed!

Steady On

Oh save us from that X-factor style of insidious herding (other Reality TV shows are available): the madness of crowds that seeks to ensure and enforce overt demonstrations of conformity. Another type of bullying born of mass hysteria, fear and paranoia which is compounded in those who suffer from them by their absence in others. These people demand that you immediately match their motive and equal their outrage. If you don’t you risk being mentally or physically accosted by some blind-with-fury, superficially horrified stranger, determined to seek you out in order to demand you prove your reasonableness and your humanity quick sharp. These self-righteously indignant fools require your explicitly expressed horror to validate and measure their own consciences and prevent them frothing from their orifices. What?? Horror at a frenzied, mediaeval murder of a soldier, in the UK, in broad daylight, in front of a school, next to a barracks? Hardly difficult! Who in their right mind would actually view such an attack as acceptable, let alone express it? Wasn’t every decent person naturally shocked and repulsed?

There’s a lot of this suppressive tone about nowadays coming from people who feel the need to question your character and morality if you dare to grasp a bigger picture and hold a more dimensionally rich view. Somehow they feel outraged and threatened out of their tiny minds and it must be your fault because you’re drawing their attention to the man-made complexities of life. In fact, they seem to become more enraged at your lateral thinking than at the original event! In their minds it is because of people like you – Lefties and Commies – that the globe is in such a wrecked state in the first place. I know… deep sigh. You can’t say anything even slightly controversial without first clarifying that yes, you too found the act heinous, shocking and disgusting. Well:

  • Believing your government’s foreign policies have caused or at least contributed to disaffection and ‘terrorism’ does not equal approval of the act.
  • Being somewhat unable to agree that the event was an act of political terrorism does not equal approval of the act.
  • Expressing anger over the imparity of attention and outrage with like and similar events does not equal approval of the act.
  • Feeling disturbed at the racheting up of rhetoric from the media, leaders and the public does not equal approval of the act.
  • Concern at the excuse for an authoritarian backlash of surveillance and dodgy laws does not equal approval for the act.

This really shouldn’t be difficult to understand – unless, of course, you’re trying really hard not to.

That’s oppression for you.

Some are panic-stricken, knee-jerk reactionary sheep; some are that type who relish and actively look for opportunities to spout vitriolic argument. Both suffer from deep seated fear. But understanding this psychology doesn’t make it go away and I’m not sure I’m under any particular obligation to venture into their realms if all it does is humour, destroy or feed their egos. You can’t reason with people whose definition of reasonable is to avoid any real depth of thought or appreciation for context. That way lies madness and I’m not prepared to join them. If people shed their bigotry at all it is likely through their own experiences rather than persuasive reasoning. It’s a waste of time unless you have a masochistic tendency.

Oh – and there’s evidently little point in expecting better from our media and politicians: they might be more subtle but it’s oxygen to their moneyed veins. Their win-win approach means such atmospheres rarely go unused: never waste the opportunities offered by a good crisis, so they serve as a convenient distraction and excuse for doing something shady.

This tribal, herding tactic reminds me of that other rather successful cheap shot from back in 2002/3 when, if you expressed your distress and disapproval of the invading of Iraq, you were accused of being a Sadd-an-Insane Sympathiser. If you had any counter-argument, you had to précis it with something like obviously Saddam Hussein is an abominable dictator before you could get anywhere near passing ‘Go’.

Since last year it has become more difficult to say you appreciate and support the work of Julian Assange without someone waiting in the wings, all too ready and willing to charge you with being a rape apologist.

I wonder: do I have to confirm that, yes; I do indeed feel revolted and horrified by paedophilia; that I believe it’s an abominable crime before I’m allowed to tell you that my favourite Michael Jackson song is ‘Billie Jean’?

Well… do I?

In whose name?

I do not consent to the
Entrenched and misdirected blame.
I do not consent; did not select
These choices, nor enforce their courses.
But perpetual shame: that is mine.
I cannot shake it off. It’s held aloft
In heavy hanging-over; walks before me.

Grab the world and scream: “this is not in my name!”
Murderous invasion takes no part from me; I am no thief;
No parasite nor profane spectre. Hear me!
For my Will is lighter; wiser; means no ill.

And still… needs must protest:
They do not speak for me.
This isn’t in my interest.

Labour is hard work

In 2010 I became sick of always being cynical and decided to opt for healthy scepticism to coincide with the formation of a Coalition Government. It was a new day: exciting unchartered territory. I’ve always supported the concept of proportional representation so I thought this would be an enlightening adventure. And anyway, wasn’t it all Labour’s fault? And wasn’t this an emergency?

I’ve never had much time for labelling and categorisations. I never cared whether my opinions were to the left or right. Hey, if it’s correct and it works, who cares, I mused. I thought I was above that kind of restrictive, pigeon-holing crap. In my mind I still am. But in my heart? Well, now…

That was three years ago. Now, through getting to grips with the 3 Ms of modern finance: Machination, Manipulation and Malfeasance, I find that my search for solutions, insofar as they fit my personal philosophies, rather neatly consigns me to lean left in most socio-political issues. But that doesn’t mean I support Labour. It doesn’t mean that I trust Labour. It just confirms for me that there’s no viable alternative. It actually makes me feel a bit sick to think that, unless I decide to spoil my ballot, I will have to settle for this party that merely sits slightly to the left of the right – just to ensure the absence of the actual Right. And oh my, do I need some reassurance!

I’m afraid they will still compromise principle for trade, resources and territory, like this present government and all predecessors. I’m not convinced they know how to construct an economy which serves the people. All the people, rather than just some on the backs of others. I’m almost certain they will happily exploit other countries and peoples through neo-primitive accumulation, war and broken window policies.

I’ve come to recognise that, contrary to media and Tory propaganda, Labour in fact has a better handle on finance and what constitutes a healthy economic climate than either part of the Coalition of Conservatives but I don’t trust them to fully take the City on. I fear that Labour will still be more afraid of the banksters, corporations and foreign investors than the party will be of its electorate and I’m worried that they’ll bow to idiotic economists – you know the types: the ones who wish they were real scientists.

And I’m concerned about this fixation on the ‘centre ground’ for it is a relative notion with no real meaning. Calling something the centre doesn’t make it so. It doesn’t mean moderate either – Blair taught me that. I’m worried that Labour’s thinking is still too keen on measuring and projecting itself in order to fit with the mainstream. You see, the mainstream is a large part of our problem: its default setting being the status quo. Mainstream doesn’t stretch itself. It doesn’t question assumptions or readily imagine alternative views and those with vested interests, particularly politicians, take full and cynical advantage of this. I need my leaders to have the courage to be the exception. I’ve no problem with concepts becoming mainstream – that’s a measure of success in my book. But I don’t want to live there permanently. It’s stale and boring and anyway, look! It doesn’t sustain or even guarantee stability and security. It’s just holding fear or complacency in suspended animation until all manner of crazy starts oozing out of the appearing cracks.

For instance, take this borrowing malarkey. If Labour understands the economic argument and the method then they should have the courage – this much-heralded conviction – and advocate and explain it. Not in pre-fabricated chunks but properly, on a level that everyone can understand. They need to give us their economic lesson; demonstrate their theory. Don’t be shy or apologetic. Prove to the mainstreamers that they really do have a better financial grasp than the Conservatives. I’m all ears and I’m waiting…

Oh… and, as for proportional representation – this Coalition has rather put me off.

Right Ridiculous

You’re ridiculous. It’s over. Lost the plot. You’ve had it and you know it, for the whole world watches on while you make of us a global laughing stock. The lunatics have taken over, broken though your weak façade; made you so demented that you’re hoisted by your own petard. Yes, it is pathetic how you twizzle to the swivel-eyed and brainless drivel ceeping from the fringes of your tragic narrow troupe. Look how you stoop to the level of the dinosaurs, the bigots and the petty, fretting loons – How soon you joined their circus and how readily you rushed to be all-singing and all-dancing to a myriad of wild and crazy tunes.

What on Earth’s the matter with you? Is there any type you’ll stand that isn’t in your special band of empty headed fools? Are you so blind; so absolutely asinine you’ll let yourself be bossed around and tossed about by any useless tool?

Why yes, you are! Stop banging on and just piss off or raise the bar!

How much longer?

I look to the mainstream media for some honest reporting and perspective – Ha!

I look to the Opposition for some counter-arguments, some persuasive alternatives – Hmm…

And I look to the Government – yeah, that body of representatives whose wages we pay to manage our common affairs and interests on our behalf. That bunch of cretins who fought tooth and nail for the chance to be in charge and will no doubt convince themselves to try again in 2015. Ha!

For how much longer do the good people of this country have to bang on about the need for repairs and new infrastructure? I shan’t patronise with a list, for it is endless – and the number of people ready, willing and able to participate in such large and essential projects is also becoming endless. But you don’t need me to explain about the scourge of unemployment, the reasons for underemployment, the plight of our untrained and despondent youth, the complete and utter waste of brain and brawn…

For how long can two or three generations live peacefully in accommodation that would be cramped enough for just one? How many people need to be made homeless before it’s acknowledged that there is not enough affordable housing? That the market value of property, for both sale or rent, is ridiculous? That the landlords are the rentiers? That we need state investment in social housing? How much longer will the Government get away with this bedroom tax abomination, given that for many, that bedroom is not an extra room at all and in light of there being no alternative housing for those who would be happy to downsize?

For how much longer are the lucky employers of this country going to have their wages bill subsidised by the government in the form of top-up benefits? For how much longer will the taxpayers put up with their hard-earned contributions going to this curious and very uncapitalist subsidisation of wages?

When is someone going to say that paying some poor sop a pittance to look after someone else’s kid so the parent can go and work for another pittance is just plain crazy and mostly serves a cold and futile ideology? Where on earth did this obsession come from that every single adult must work in some governmentally recognised capacity for it to even be considered a worthwhile occupation?

When is someone going to tell that Iain Dontcare Smith that a few disabled people aren’t going to save the economy by being made to work at some meaningless job which still requires loads of government subsidy because employers tend to have to be blackmailed into employing them? Whose needs is IDS serving?

When is someone going to ram this empty but plainly loaded “make work pay” phrase up the ivory towers of these disingenuous MPs? We all know it’s not about getting a wage you can live on, but about reducing benefits to a level on which you obviously can’t. Given the magnificent economic incompetence of this Coalition, this is a nasty attitude at best.

But then, when is the good British public going to tell this government that all their welfare reforms are cruel, given the economic climate? That if you want to weed out the genuinely feckless or lazy, you have to provide a climate in which they become self-evident rather than merely accused as such by carping government ministers and high-horsed media stenographers. Apparently “welfare’ shouldn’t be a lifestyle choice” but who is in charge and who hasn’t provided any real alternatives? When will the public ask whose “choice” it actually is?

When will the good people remind this government and media that Brits are perfectly happy to do the jobs immigrants do, that it’s not the nature of the job but the deliberately low wages these jobs come with? When will the public realise that it’s only possible to live on such poor wages when you’re single and prepared to share your accommodation with 20 other people because you imagine and hope that this will be temporary? When will government and media acknowledge that it is policy and slack stewardship which create the climate possible for both immigrants and British citizens to be exploited and undercut in their wages, working conditions and accommodation?

And when, oh when will the good people of this country stop blaming immigrants and Europe for all the ills which plague this nation? When will it realise that Europe doesn’t just hand down some edict which can’t be questioned or modified – that governments are largely free to interpret most EU guidelines in their own ways and that that is exactly what they do. It’s called expedient political gaming when a government claims its hands are tied by Europe.

When are the good people going to tell this government that they know who makes the rules by which HMRC must operate? The likes of Amazon and Google are doing what any business would be sensible to do: maximising their profits and paying out as little in tax and other overheads as they can get away with. Who sets the rules? Who decides what ‘evasion’ is and what is ‘avoidance’?

When are the good people of this country going to rail at the government for its bigotry and ineptitude? When are the rational citizens going to declare war on short-sighted, ignorant, crass and divisive policies?

I’m not looking for answers here. This is just a rhetorical rant. Like you, I already know what I want most of the solutions to look like.

The ‘Conviction Politician’

The ‘conviction politician’ doesn’t mess with compromise
Though the lies are still forthcoming when they see the chance
Of running is at risk of unbecoming
Should they then be called upon
To elaborate on detail and thus see their grand idea fail
And the path on which they travel subsequently would unravel
Thus they spin upon the pin of dogma’s song.

The conviction politician has no given to be wise
As the blind support of dumb accord is riven by the distance
From reality’s insistence,
Demonstrated by repeat:
That a powerful belief cannot guarantee relief by the virtue
Of its certainty – deludeds have them too
And it’s what the despots do.

The conviction politician isn’t missing or passé, but careers
Get in the way and their courage is reduced as their principles
Come loose and like puppets acquiesce to the panic
And the flavour of the day. They are afraid
To use persuasion and reveal their motivation
So conspire to subvert the faith of those they should convert
So that nobody is served and,


Anyone can have conviction, be they hero, fool or villain
It’s the merit that needs testing, I would say.

State Shoots Liberty

Just as a golem wrecks at its own pace
And self-indulgent power learns to thrive;
There, at ground level Mercy yearns
To drive Humanity upon a wheel of Grace
And Tyranny’s obsessions to displace unto
Eternity. From lack derives a paranoia
Willed; Fear kept alive by misery as great
As ever faced. Swap Honour for dogmatic
Spin as slick as oil. Give us your lies, your
Metaphors; your huddled, clichéd, empty
Rhetoric; the grasping garbage of your
scheming jaws. Bring on the vague but
Weighted, wordsome tricks, and skim
The Truth beyond the darkened shore.


Inspired by ‘The New Colossus’ by American poet Emma Lazarus (1849–87), a sonnet written in 1883. “In 1903, the poem was engraved on a bronze plaque and mounted inside the lower level of the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty


I’m tired of this myth of ‘choice’

I’m tired of this myth of ‘choice’ that says

We have to voice our preference for a school

Or shop around for fuel to heat our homes

And cook our meals. And I don’t want to deal with

Competition, guile and clout or frustration fed on doubt

For my children’s education or well-being. I just

Want my nearest school to be as good as all the rest

For no child to be betrayed nor any parent left bereft

Because they can’t afford to buy a private ‘best’.

And you can ditch that empty pitch of ‘switching’

As the glitch of penalties inhibits changes

Of supplier –

And the competition bit you hail:

Your holy grail,

Propels the billing ever higher.

Surely for the Common Good,

There are some services that should be owned

By everyone and deemed as assets to have pride in

Not on loan to profiteers. Lord, when you think of all

The years, the wasted money and resources and

Imagine how much better off we’d be now if

The stinking troughs of Thatcher and the PFIs of Blatcher

Had just never been begun…