Not News

Each day, the same:
News that tweaks before it checks;
Assumes, skims over, grooms, neglects –
Like all good servants, un-sees, covers, cleans, forgets.

What day is it? What year, this week
But yesterday’s rehashed receipt?

Wash; condition; rinse; repeat;
Reset the gloss, that it may speak as scrutiny it did not seek
‘Til time and topic loyally meet to mete the minuted worksheet
And mock the poor pips as they squeak.

Which way is up? What’s going down
Behind the clowns who spin in rounds
Stale bread and circus tedium of stenographic medium?

Priority: free access to monotony of Overton variety
In twenty-four-seven society, quieted so quietly;
Cuckolded, entirely.



Phfft… What?
Mild and fair?
Within Reason?


No great shakes
Middling (to diddly squat)
Controlled (for hire)
Decent (liar)



Are we so stunned by the grotesque
That all we do is dumbly watch
Our needy leaders crest and botch?

Fie Foe!

Fee! Fie! Foe! Fum!
We smell the dread of Establishment
Be it cold and be it sick
We’ll change its blood and break its fix.


Have the eclectic quirks
In people’s online heads
Replaced the curiosity shops
Wherein, among
The bits and bobs
Of whimsy and antiquity,
We browse, instead,
For random gems to spot?


How quickly has it had its day,
The fine idea, whose time has come,
When misdirection leads the way
And its potential is undone.

How many messages are lost
In narrow frames of information,
Making truth and faith the cost
Of cynical manipulation.

Messengers as beacons, thought
More vital than the substance shared;
Projection cracks the vessel sought
To carry more than s/he can bear.

How readily a bridge is burned
When crowds turn on their expectations;
Slower, though, the lessons learned
In reaping failed imagination…

How easily can vision slip
When purchase hires fragile means
And possible becomes unpicked
From opportunity’s bright seams.

Post Colonial

If Cecil had rocked up in Calais
he would have been let through –
safe haven is a trophy, too.

[‘Calais crisis: Anger online over reaction to the death of a migrant compared to the killing of Cecil the Lion‘]


The Centre! The Centre! Everyone thinks s/he knows where it is and none more so than the right-wing political class and its supporters. All opposition to its groupthink is painted as the naive work of upstarts who want to go on some nostalgic trip to another era where it failed to make intellectual arguments that resonated. The prevailing nonsense in Mainstream is that the middle ground has been identified and fixed and that where it has been anchored is correct and reasonable. It’s a given. Job done. Any view; any evidence, experiential, academic or data-sourced that contradicts the groupthink is framed as some regressive, tedious, even dangerous, militant red blight. No wonder people are becoming polarised in their efforts to attack and defend positions.

Groupthink likes to imagine that, because it won the socio-political arguments of thirty, forty years ago, it doesn’t need to win them again. And yet, both tangible and experiential evidence is gradually shifting the collective consciousness to a place of critical mass, where it wants and needs to have the arguments again. Now, not only does this consciousness have a more sophisticated collective with more coherent narratives but it also has that “see, we’ve tried doing it all your way…”

The centre is a point equidistant from the outermost edge(s). Democratically,┬áthis implies a place of reconciliation, balance, general consensus, with the potential to expand or shrink its middle by moving, evenly, all ways. The last few decades have seen a steamrollering of consensus without any attention to balance. See how the world wobbles under its asymmetry of power and belief. Move any further to the right and we’ll all fall over the edge. To get back to balance; to find a more representative centre; to reconcile the needs of all people with their individual desires, leftwards is the only shift possible.

What currently passes for commonly accepted socio-economic philosophy in British politics is not the ‘centre ground’. It is merely the core from which crony authority radiates. It’s a self-centre in a bubble. The Right-wing mindset won’t admit quite how much trouble it has caused the world nor how much it, itself, is in but, really, it is just a tatty old flag on a crumbling spire, dying of its own conviction.