let the light pour through

Progress ~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Let there be many windows in your soul
That all the glory of the universe
May beautify it. Not the narrow pane
Of one poor creed can catch the radiant rays
That shine from countless sources. Tear away
The blinds of superstition; let the light
Pour through fair windows broad as truth itself
And high as God.

Why should the spirit peer
Through some priest-curtained orifice, and grope
Along dim corridors of doubt, when all
The splendour from unfathomed seas of space
Might bathe it with their golden waves of love?
Sweep up the debris of decaying faiths,
Sweep down the cobwebs of worn-out beliefs,
And throw your soul wide open to the light
Of reason and of knowledge. Tune your ear
To all the wordless music of the stars,
And to the voice of nature, and your heart
Shall turn to truth and goodness, as the plant
Turns to the sun. A thousand unseen hands
Reach down to help you from their peace-crowned heights,
And all the forces of the firmament
Shall fortify your strength. Be not afraid
To thrust aside half-truths and grasp the whole.

                                        *

Merry Solstice xXx 🌻

Labour is, at least, a doorway to better alternatives

Jeremy Corbyn is having a pretty good campaign. Of course, this is the bit he does best so I imagine that, for all that I have criticised Jeremy Corbyn, I shall continue to do so. Still, he and his party have much reason to be pleased with this interactive media performance and the national resonance with his general narrative. Away from his truly dreadful social media fan base, his campaign has been warm, sporting, humorous, relevant and refreshing. It’s good to see some unapologetic confidence without the arrogance of the Tory disposition.

I haven’t changed my mind about what I like and don’t like about him and his team but I still hope for a Labour government. I’m really angry about his lacklustre EU referendum campaign effort and his blind alignment with the government. I worry about his ‘pacifist’ record: I wonder who he would confront and how far he would appease in international matters. I really dislike his us and them-framed punishment populism. I have a natural suspicion of all utopianists. I think there are some massive flaws in some his socio-economic intentions. I’d be anxious about his dithering managerial style and some of the people and advice with which he surrounds himself. But. But, but, but

I could live with Corbyn as the PM (for little while, anyway) because, 1) this binary choice is relative, isn’t it? And Theresa May is having a laugh: she makes Jeremy Corbyn look almost statesmanlike, let alone competent. And 2) as him winning would take a miracle in the first place, I am reassured that his administration would be tempered by the parliamentary make-up of other parties’ numbers.

What Conservatives like to describe as a “coalition of chaos” looks, to me, like several parties who, potentially, have much more in common than divides them. I’d much rather a potentially malleable Labour minority government, bolstered by a load of softBrexit/remainer parties than Theresa May’s Cons.

And if this miracle does not come to pass? I would hope for a hung parliament in which every party but Conservative/UKIP held the weight. Failing that, then May being returned with the smallest possible majority and facing a mighty, multiparty opposition.

As regular readers know, I hate Brexit and I can’t stand this tory government. They also know that, contrary to what’s being framed as popular opinion, I think that having a second referendum reflects my personal sovereignty and is a democratic right. Things I thought Brexit said it wanted more of.

I’m in the south-west and I shall be voting Liberal Democrat – even though I dislike the candidate – because I’m a remainer, wanting a second referendum and it is the best, probably only way that I can do my bit to rid a marginal seat of a Con man, whom I like, even less. If I lived in a different marginal, I’d vote for any party except UKIP that stood the best chance of defeating the Conservatives.

All domestic agendas are hopium until the shape of Brexit is known and in effect. Tories and right-wing press pretending otherwise is insulting and irresponsible and, for all the infuriating muddle-headedness of Labour, at least, even if Corbyn is indifferent, his Brexit team does seem to get the complexity and the potential for harm in a Toryfied deal/no deal.

Anyway, we can’t achieve or sustain a strong economy with an insecure, impoverished, paranoid and divided population and May would continue to inflict damage on the country whether Brexit was happening or not. She and her party have to go. Labour is, now, at least a doorway to better alternatives.

 

Ergot ergo…

Greased slopes
Long rope
Peak poise: ergot
And enough is enough, right?
Vote human, not bot.

 

When is enough?

When is enough enough?
When will it give?
When ornamental plans
And the dead hand of hubris
Berate the precipice?
When is too much?
When the State is who hates?
When fake is the real news
And theocracy an economic startup?
When the individual and collective
Are mutually exclusive?
When is enough enough?
When Overton is the squeaky wheel
And emotion is its grease?
When it takes police with guns
to protect Democracy? And Gina
To remind us who and what it is for?
When the greater mass has barest weight
Yet bears it all
And snake-oil is imposed as fate?
When the coiled springs
Of claustrophobic souls take leap?
Too late.

got rote right down

wash, rinse, repeat
time and rhyme
our story beats

got rote right down
in lines
in rounds

the past unlearned
returns to reach

tomorrow bound
the earworms burn our dancing feet

 

 

We’ve got ourselves a good old-fashioned revival, folks.

Forehindsight

All of human history slaps us in the face. Screams

look at me! Witness: I did not end. I am born again and again to grow and shed infinite skins. Potential does not die but can be bound by the drawing of a line.

You, who crossed a thousand Rubicons of shame and hope, for love of my gifts: built walls and prayed for unicorns; slew dragons and mended fences.

The sum of all human consciousness is here, now. Who can contain its conscience? Where shall it be comprehended?

Witness. Else, why are you?

Every age knows fools and visionaries. Filter your vicarious indulgences but all is revealed, eventually. Each, to their unspeakable acts and heroic deeds, be true. By your own lines, rise or fall.

New cans; old worms

Global or local, big or small picture, humans are politically riven with both justifiable and manufactured agendas. Whether as bolsters to old conflicts or newly perceived correlations, contemporary symptoms become the causes of tomorrow, especially when they are misunderstood and mishandled. There and here brews a god almighty convergence of violent complaint. New cans; old worms. History’s harvest.

Some people are still actively relishing the disturbing fragility of our times; they have waited so long, worked so hard for the potential of such days as these. They are the nihilists and the dispossessed, seeking retribution for the state of their lives, real, imagined and relative.

So they pour scorn and claim betrayal as a means to myriad, dissonant ends and invest in the cathartic revenge pictures and nebulous promises of restitution painted by charlatans and incompetents who take the righteous, justifiable indignation of the Commons and genetically modify it with conspiracies, ideological wishes and expedient scapegoats. Free-market patriotism.

Their default strategy is blanket blame by demographic whack-a-mole. They lump together all the characters, functions and effects of establishment, class and information in much the same paranoid, misinformed way as people who think that all drugs are all the same – just BAD, man. Their solution, the Brexit/Trump effect, is no better reasoned than cutting off your right arm because it might make the left one stronger. They turn creative destruction into throwing out, not just the proverbial baby, along with the scummy recycled bath water but also the actual bath.

They became those for whom no proof was either possible or necessary, even in the face of indisputable facts. Until, suddenly, it is. All that certainty was merely prologue to their next sense of betrayal, delivered, wholly predictably, by the capriciousness and ineptitude of their own brokers. And Hell on Earth hath no fury like a co-saboteur scorned.

The sane world watches, nervously, holding its breath.

Do do re-run

“Let’s not re-run the referendum campaign” – Those that say this might have a vaguely reasonable point if a rational and more honest campaign had been run. The reason that arguments still need to be had is because they were not actually had at the appropriate time; because politicians and journalists did not know or understand the substance requiring consideration nor their various consequences, any better than voters. And because some simply did not care. But the electorate needed to know all manner of what questions to ask and precious few people ever asked them.

If you think about it, every plebiscite re-runs arguments. It’s part of the messy, ongoing nature of Democracy. Politicians do it all the time – and social media, too, now. Hell, people are re-running arguments from decades, even centuries ago. Whether or not they are helpful or even relevant, still. This one is.

I don’t particularly want to want another referendum, either. Certainly not several (Scotland and Ireland.. Wales..?) You know I always thought the first EU ref was reckless and unnecessary and that the result was swung by a misdirected hissy fit. But, seriously, Brexit: what the heck did you expect? That Remain would cave and go quietly into catastrophic but preventable repercussions?

And it is foolish and weak to cry voter fatigue when, short of Parliament coming to its senses and riskily circumventing the People’s much-fêted Will, another public vote is the best available solution to settling something properly. Anyway, it serves ‘us’ right for not doing it properly, in the first place. We could have had a double majority. Cameron said no. We could have had a minimum differential. Cameron said no. We could have let 16/17ers vote on their futures. Cameron said no.

That cross in the box: it was just the start. Now comes the hard bit. A healthy democracy requires ongoing engagement and active participation. What a sorry lot we are if voters can’t take some responsibility for the “will of the people” and the downside of political choices and show keenness for a better understanding and a sharper attention to detail. After years of voters protesting that politicians don’t listen, it is surreal to imagine people preferring to make sure they don’t.

If all things now have a Brexity lens and if Brexit suddenly looks and sounds more complicated than sold, well, too bad. It always was going to be and if clarifying “the will of the people” sounds like too much effort, too threatening, too divisive or patience-testing, especially after having actively supplied the need, then, tough shit. Can’t willingly open cans of worms and then complain about the tangled fallout because “people are tired of elections”. Another tedious plebiscite is surely more sensible than simply rushing into a permanent mistake.

And it has to be a referendum rather than a general election, not just because the choice needs to be clear of party promises but because the latter option gives us no viable, electorally palatable alternative. No matter the demonstrable tunnel-vision and incompetence of the Tories, Labour offers a demonstrably incompetent ideologue. Both have bought into Brexit. Faced with yet another least-worst-option choice, the Conservatives would likely get another mandate. And then they will be Brexit on Viagra.

[PS: If any anti-Brexit moderates of the Conservative and Labour parties should conclude that their party is a democratic dud and decide to stand up for the best interests of a United Kingdom by giving their numbers to the Lib Dem benches – and voters a real choice, thereby – I reckon I could live with that.]