Saturday, July 30, 2005

The U.K is now a Police State.

The U.K is a Police State now.

It became crystal clear to me this morning listening to the Today programme debate, that the U.K. has now become a Police State. The killing of a young Brazilian by armed police marked a transition from a civilized society to one where the police shape our social relations.

When the decision to take human life is made not by the rule of Law but as an operational decision by police forces acting alone we have a police state. The decision to issue orders to shoot suspected suicide bombers in the head, without the necessity of a clear warning, was not a matter of law made by Parliament but of an operational decision by senior police officers. It was followed up by a bald statement by Mr Blair the head of the London Police Force that others may be killed in the same way.

We are not told what Mr Blair, the politician, said to Moslem leaders, when he met with them the other day, but it seems likely they were told to get into line with him. He issued a very scary warning to judges who might stand in his way that the mood has changed in the country. He is not likely to have been softer with less powerful people.

It is true that there is to be an independent inquiry into the killing. This “Independent Inquiry by the Police Complaints Authority” is as likely to be independent as was Lord Hutton’s.

I made a joking post recently about our wonderful policemen, after one of them managed to knock George W Bush off his bike at Gleneagles. If Mr Bush is not safe from them, what chance a black person carrying a bag or wearing a coat? A Jamaican born Guardian reporter tells of being harassed by London police recently because of his colour. His final comment on the quality of the detaining officer was observing the police man’s note on the reporter’s ethnicity. He was judged as Asian!

It seems to be a crime of association to live in the same block as a bomb suspect. But then it is OK for the suspect to board a bus, but not a tube. It is a crime, apparently, to run from police in plain clothes. It is apparently OK for them to shoot you in the head, when they have you lying on the floor.

Well, we are supposed to wait for the inquiry before coming to conclusions. But we cannot have confidence in any inquiry under this Government. John Humphries said to the prime minister something like, “No one will believe you now when you tell us that you have intelligence……..and if you cannot hold our confidence then you cannot be Prime Minister, can you?” Except he can and he is, and the terrified majority will back his police state.

It is a fairytale world we live in now, it seems. Four bombers blow themselves up, causing chaos and panic in central London. The police know nothing about it. But a TV crew is working on a programme on exactly this scenario at the same time. A couple of weeks later we have four bombers who have bombs that don’t go off, whom the police know about immediately and whom the police catch within days. If one reality is unpalatable let’s give you a better more reassuring one. Our policemen are wonderful again. Apart from a little reassuring killing in cold blood of an innocent man that is.

Mr Blair tells us that we mostly went back to sleep again after 911 woke people like him up. This London bombing will give him the momentum he needs to push on with his Police State and make every non white person in the land unable to sleep soundly. I have to tell him that many people are finally waking up to the reality that 911 was an inside job. In education his Government puts enormous emphasis on evidence based learning. In the National Health Service it puts enormous emphasis on evidence based medicine. There is no evidence that an airliner ever crashed into the Pentagon. All video recordings of the scene have been confiscated by the authorities. There is a vast amount of evidence varying from seismic recordings of below ground activity, to visual signals of a series of co-ordinated explosions inside the lower sections of the twin towers, as well as scientific study of the melting temperature of steel, all of which are conclusive in demonstrating that the towers were brought down by controlled demolition explosions, and not by airplane fuel. There are no other examples of fires in similar tall buildings leading to their collapse even after burning for 17 hours. A significant majority of New Yorkers have woken up to the official lies over 911. It is time we woke up over here.

Sadly the great majority of mainstream media will continue to try to maintain Mr Blair’s fairytale version of reality as the one we officially live in.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

BBC NEWS | Americas | New name for 'war on terror' Neo colonialism is the new name of the game

I believe we need a society of passionate humanists prepared to confront
the extremists of both religions with rational values

Please consider joining:

We can build a platform for debating values to unite and transcend the
bigotry of revealed religion.

Today there is a new name for 'war on terror': Yes, it is neo-colonialism

"Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld spoke in the new language on Friday,
praising a retiring Navy officer who had served as 'our country wages the
global struggle against the enemies of freedom, the enemies of civilization'."

Private enterprise is to be added to diplomacy in the war on terror.
Is this referring to private security death squads or to corporate pirates
with their economic slavery, or both.

What is needed is a society of passionate humanists ready to confront both
the neo-conservative evangelical crusaders like Blair and Bush as well as
the Muslim Fundamentalists with their Jihad.

Mc-culture is not civilisation any more than young men killing themselves
in hope of 72 virgins to serve them in an after life is civilisation.

As for the friends of Liberty and Freedom, Muslims are no threat to the
statue of Liberty in New York. It is the Bush administration who closed it

It is Bush who has created a Patriot Act which erodes freedom.
It is Blair whose anti terror legislation is destroying what remains of the
pillars of our democracy.

We won't let them change our way of life! What utter hypocrisy. Mr Blair,
you are radically changing the values of our civilisation with your wars of
aggression and your restrictions on our freedom to live our lives without
constraints and severe restrictions. I have never seen you as rattled as
you were on television yesterday. Your chickens are coming home to roost
now, Mr Blair.

It is perhaps no surprise that Mr Blair's own wife has spoken out this
morning about the attacks on civil liberties that her husband is bringing
forward. It is no surprise your daughter is depressed abd your loutish son
knocks down a cyclist on his way to collect his degree. Let us hope that
this house divided against itself will not stand much longer. But I have
more support for them than I do for the politicians who are busy cosying up
to each other instead of facing up to the ideological debate we need to
have about values in our society.

Our politicians no longer stand for vaues other than short term marketing
and management of the details. History is not over. Capitalism has not
triumphed and must not triumph or there will be no future for the planet.

The claim is that Iraq is proceding towards freedom and democracy.

Very funny. In a country that was successfully secular and with a great
deal of freedom for women, we have a situation developing where a woman's
voice will soon be measured as worth half that of a man in law.

It seems that the world is fast going beyond the values of freedom and
dignity to a state where we are controlled by marketeers in the west and
mullahs in Muslim countries

May your Dog go with you.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Gifted and talented

C has started on his summer school for the gifted and talented. He and his best friend O are the only ones from his class to be chosen. Today they studied Plato and Aristotle. Great!

Tomorrow they go to the Ashmoleum.

Today R was offered a place on a 6 day residential in Polish theatre next week. She had to be interviewed, as she was officially too young to go. But naturally she passed the test.

J has started to come into his own as well. He has just had his still life of tulips picked out as best in class. His parent's talents in art are coming through. In fact he is better at art than his big brother. R scoffed at C being picked for the art course this week. She is much better than him. But it is clearly less arty and more broad based than her equivalent week two summers ago. C merits his place on it.

I have been tidying up H’s admin for Cambridge and rewriting the play today. I am quite pleased with the way I am making the new start and ending. I just have not set the words down yet.
Curiously H herself is involved teaching two courses for gifted and talented children in London and Bristol over the summer. Naturally she was chosen to work with this group of secondary school children.

In terms of my ambitions to earn my living as a writer I feel hugely depressed. Yet I should not be feeling so down hearted. I am not doing all that badly. I am at least doing things. I shall start to build things up again now.

G has decided to slow down and then stop drinking. This will not be easy. She drinks far too much. But she really seems to be making a good start. She did stop smoking after a false start. This is a vital part of our making progress together as a family. She has cleared up the last of the marking of exams.

I have set up a programme of things for us to do to move forward together. What I don’t seem to be achieving is a real focus and business plan to take me forward.

The world may not have much of a future. But I have started to believe that I have at least a short term future. I am not going to die any time soon. I must develop a strategy for success. Though the height of my immediate ambition is to cartch that big wave and surf properly just one time.

G is at least contemplating the possibility of teaching again. The children are all looking good for the autumn and can look forward to a deserved holiday.

I think it may be time to put behind me the shame and degradation of last autumn when we were supposed to start our new working life and nothing happened but persecution. But it is the head of the local school who is gone under a big cloud. It is our family that is still standing proudly.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

The after Downing Street rap

Gonna tell you a story about the Ukay

We were dragged into bed with the US of A

They said come on along

If you want to be strong

But you’ll do it our way

Yeah man, you'll do it our way

I’m gonna rap

I’m gonna rap

Let out the crap

I’m gonna rap

It’s the Downing Street memos I’m quoting today

Leaked from on high, and brought out into play

And I’m not being seditious

And I’m not being officious

I’m just telling you it straight

So you appreciate

That Blair and Bush were lying

Bout Iraqi people crying

From our sanctions they were dying

Did their best to keep complying

Had no weapons mass destruction

Not enough to start a ruction

Tried to follow our instruction

Gonna rap

Gonna rap

Let out the crap

I’m gonna rap

It was a year before the war

Bush had told the Brits the score

Taken charge of British bases

Hiding plans with smiling faces

All his minions are disgraces

But the Brits have left us traces

Of deception in high places

Gonna rap

I’m gonna rap

Let out the crap

Just gotta rap

All Saddam’s weapons were badly eroded

Bush, Blair and Cheney;

Yes, all of them knowed it.

They did not have the weapons like Pakistan

Libya, Korea or even Iran

But they wanted their oil

So this was their invasion plan.

Gonna rap

I’m gonna rap

Let out the crap

Just gotta rap

Bribe a few Iraq defectors

Send around weapon inspectors

Make it seem like they refused

Hang it out in all the news

Policy decides the facts

Plagiarising student tracts

Intelligence was fiddled too

That’s what they agreed to do

Putting down the BBC

When it dared to disagree.

Gonna rap

I’m gonna rap

Let out the crap

I’ve gotta rap

Blair said to Bush that he needed it legal

But that didn’t scare the American eagle

When the United Nations weren’t willing to play

Let’s have Pax Americana.

Our Republican banana

Says that it’s okay to fight

911 makes it right.

Opposition is so slight

We can hit them with our might.

So Blair called for his attorney

Said you have to be the turn key

C’os this project must not fail

Gotta get me out of jail

Gonna rap

I’m gonna rap

Let out the crap

Just gotta rap

Says, “You promise they’re a threat?”

Mr Blair answers, “You bet.”

So the lawyer says okay

And the war gets under way.

This is a rap

This is a rap

Denouncing crap

The planet is threatened by a clash of religious ideologies once again. We are on the verge of a global blood bath with suicide bombing Fundamentalist Muslims fighting crusading Armaggedonist Christians and their Jewish allies.

Should we sit fiddling while our Rome goes down in flames?

We need to see some passion and strength from those of us who do not believe in resolution to our problems in an after life, but want to restore some kind of hope and joy to this one.

I have set up an e-group to explore a challenge to faiths which claim that they alone have the answers to life.

Please join me. Maybe we can contribute something.

Graduation Day

Graduation Day

Finally it is graduation day. It is the day when almost 20 years of preparation for life culminates in a short ceremony. I am painfully aware that is her dead mother’s wealth that has supported her though university, while Gill and I have merely done our best to help her learn to play the Academic English Literature game. It saddens me that she should not be given the first class honours she is worthy of, because she is not master of her tutors’ schema. I must agree with her that psychology is empty and boring as a subject and English has more interest. But she was a complete master of that game scoring 100% in some A level psychology papers. This degree, though more important, cannot match the acclaim of the Psychology A level prize at the British Association for the Advancement of Science. Odd that my daughter should be feted by the British Psychological Society, with us both its guests of honour for aweek, when I would not even join it, despite a life’s work in psychological matters. I found it even more odd returning to Keele University on the way home the other day, to see the subject has grown into an accredited natural science. It makes me shudder.

I was as nervous as the father of the bride. Yet somehow we managed to fit in a stop at the primary school first, to see J in Mr Skellybones. He was in the front row, not quite at the perimeter. That spot was reserved for A, who was not just off the end of the bench but on a different planet. I wondered to what extent J’s learning difficulties this year have been to do with a friendship pairing with someone so handicapped. J is very easily distracted, and A is not capable of being other than a distraction in class. It was lovely to see J following all the hand movements correctly and singing his little heart out. There was a special hippo nose for mum. He was so pleased to have his grandparents there too. I suddenly became morose, realising just how many of the parents also watching this performance are school governors, complicit in the condemnation by Stanley of our parenting. I am so glad G is strong enough to attend these school events now.

We set off to Bristol in plenty of time. H wanted me to hear songs that are special to her from the radio. It did not want to produce them. Instead, “Here’s to you, Mrs Robinson, heaven has a place for those who pray; hay, hay, hay,” boomed out of it. My generation were all horrified of having to return home again after university. “The graduate” was a warning to us of what was likely to happen if you did. But at least for a while H is going to be based with us here. The place is awash with her belongings. Mine is really her home address for the first time since Buckingham, fifteen years ago. The truth is that her living here disturbs me. It brings my life together in a way I don’t seem to be able to cope with. The baronet has not been captured in Bristol. The Rah’s saw her as a courtesan rather than a suitable wife, I guess. We will wait to see what Cambridge has to offer.

Though the drive over was very pleasant, parking in Bristol was another matter. We hit road diversions. Police swarmed everywhere. The Blairs were in town to share this graduation day with us. I had no news of Euan’s knocking down a cyclist on his journey from Gloucestershire. But we knew the Prime Minister would be there. It took acute awareness to spot a hidden parking space near H’s old flat. I thought of Tony Benn drinking tea in our flat at Keele on my graduation day. He writes to tell me son Stephen works for the Society of Chemistry and is married with two children. Poor June. Of course it is his younger brother who is the Minister in the African Aid spotlight. It is Euan who will go off to do the intern thing in America as Stephen did thirty years ago. I don’t expect him to follow on from his father either. Will frumpy Katherine though? It is H who was voted most likely to be prime Minister by her peers. Pity she has no grasp of real politics. She is likely to achieve more with her life than I have though.

Maybe now I will always associate Bristol with rain. After many days of hot sunshine it started to pour as we entered the city, just as it had when I came to the power seminar a few weeks ago, and just as it has done on so many other occasions. Sometimes the sky has turned quite black as I have approached the place, leading to a deluge hard enough to bring motor way traffic to a standstill. Today we were thoroughly soaked in minutes. H was unperturbed. She just wanted to have her photos before her hair dried all curly. Rain may become an ever scarcer and more valuable commodity as this country dries out. This day will stay connected with the repercussions of Blair’s war crimes in Iraq. Last week London was bombed. The University speaker told us of the time in the second world war when this hall was last destroyed by bombs. They were very concerned about a repetition.

As we reached the grand Wills Building, Blair’s security was melting away with him. Their session had been 90 minutes before ours. As G and I stood in the vast entrance hall, which mimics King’s College Cambridge’s chapel, we could watch the morning’s video of Euan’s moment on the university stage, looking like a young Greek God, with blondish spiked hair instead of a laurel crown. No footage of mum and dad, though. I took snaps of H’s presentation in her gown. Afterwards in the restaurant H told us of being introduced to Euan. “This is H”, said her friend to the young man. She was half drunk and took little notice of this not very good looking boy. Only later did she twig who it was. Then it was too late. Besides, he did not go to public school, so he was non-you, as far as H is concerned.

For 3 years H has been Dancing Queen of the Lizard Lounge. She wanted to take us there to share her world, but we had to return home for the little ones. Instead she showed me Moulin Rouge, on DVD, which she says is a bit similar. Today she has left behind her white faced gothic look and has become tanned for the first time in her life. She is very slim, having shed a few pounds from her tummy recently. Her heavy make up is warm and friendly. Remains of red streaks still shine in her dark straight hair. She is as beautiful as any father’s daughter could be. She wears a very chick black skirt and a very simple white blouse below her gown. It is a piece of good fortune that her robe sash matches her lip stick.

She struts her stuff on the stage with all the others. I am stunned that there are so many firsts in English. 60 places from thousands of applicants. Perhaps it is not too surprising 25% won top honours. We sit next to Sophie’s parents who are very chatty. She has a first. I refrain from competing by explaining how H was first out of 30,000 Psychology A level students.

Alone together for a few minutes after the ceremony I can tell H how very proud I am of her and all her achievements. We affirm our love for each other. It was perhaps the most important moment of the day. She even comments how good I look with my hair wet and swept back like one of her public school boys. I look forward to seeing the photos.

Government Health Warning

Department of Health guidelines issued on 20 June 2005 for staff attempting
to protect us from terror.

Risk factors for the spread of terror when interviewing patients or guiding
the public are:

Being Brazilian
Being an electrician
Carrying wires
Looking foreign
Running away from threatening people

We are confidently informed by the best intelligence at our disposal that
these measures will protect the general public effectively.

24 July

We are delighted to inform all staff that security services have reduced
the risk significantly,
However we need to make preparations for incoming casualties from a new
front on the war on terror opening in Brazil

The Blair Government is apparently sending a task force. Santos has been
declared head of a terrorist regime which has occupied the British pub in

Be ever vigilante

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Iraq's descent into bombing quagmire

"I visit Baghdad at least four times a year, to see how things are developing. Since the fall of Saddam in May 2003, and the capture of Baghdad, after which major operations were declared over, I have been here eleven times.

Each time the security situation has been markedly worse than the time before.

'Endless' bombers

Briefly, after the election in January, which brought an Iraqi government to power, things seemed to improve; then, after some weeks of fewer bombs and fewer deaths, the level of attacks rose again.

Now it is higher than it has been at any time since May 2003. The supply of suicide bombers seems endless."

While Donald Rumpsfeld briefs the Pentagon how things are getting better in Iraq, John Snow updates us on the true situation from his latest trip to Iraq.

There are also more sane forces at work among the Americans calling the Bremmer administration the "illusionists".

Meanwhile we have unleashed our own specially trained death squads on innocent bystanders in London, using more of that wonderful intelligence we have all grown to rely on with unwavering confidence.

Blair's bombs

Terror and the UK - The senseless repercussions of interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine demand that we renew our anger at our leaders. Our troops must come home. We owe it to all those who died in London on 7 July. By John Pilger"

Have you not noticed? The world is falling apart.

Among those I admire on the public stage perhaps the most important is John Humphries of the BBC Today Programme.

After telling us it was April in the first hour he told us it was October in the second. At nine o-clock as the programme closed he explained it to us. "It's because I am going mad" he said.

If the voice of reason and sanity and intelligence is becomming mad, what hope is there for the rest of us.

This country is collapsing rapidly into a police state run by a war criminal.

But we submit meekly. Only a few voices like Pilger's continue to tell the story as it is.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

The Sun Online - News: Euan Blair cyclist prang

"TONY Blair’s son Euan was quizzed by cops after a car accident with a 64-year-old cyclist.

Euan was driving to his university graduation when he collided with the man."

I am still working on my graduation day piece for Blairy England. I found it a wonderful and stressful day going to H's graduation ceremony in Bristol.

It seems it must have been much more stressful for the Blairs.

Son Euan knocked down a cyclist setting off there in his ford Ka.

I am glad I was able to drive H there in my Picasso.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Our policemen are wonderful

Gleneagles may not have done enough to please everyone, but for once I am happy to offer praises to Tony Blair. He managed something for Africa and he persuaded George W Bush that the world's climate needs urgent attention. Giving it that attention is something Bush is not committted to doing however. So it is half a cheer for Mr Blair and one doomed planet.

But was it really Mr Blair who did the impossible, making George pause for thought?

I put it down to Mr Bush's arrest by a security policeman.

Yes one of our noble defendors managed to block the path of the small mad monkey peddling through the grounds of the hotel effectively enough to knock him off his bike. He was later treated in hospital. Mr Bush seems to have his faculties unaffected....

and yet ... and yet ..... he accepted something the rest of the world has long known to be true.

So I say that our policemen are wonderful. They stopped a runaway despotic mad tyrant in his tracks, if only for a moment .

Now is the time to defend our liberty, not diminish it - Sunday Times - Times Online

"The concern I have about the law is that a minister takes the decision to detain a person without charge. The judges have a role but it excludes any consideration of the evidence. In the days ahead politicians may be under pressure to show that they are doing something. For that very reason they should not have the authority to imprison or confine. Political expediency is the enemy of justice.

In truth, the events of Thursday have changed none of the arguments. Everyone who debated the bill in the spring knew that an attack was on the cards. There is no suggestion that the perpetrators are terrorists who escaped the authorities’ control due to the lack of a sufficient power to detain.

Blair has consistently demonstrated that his instincts are authoritarian. If he is as shocked as he seemed by events that the rest of us have long grimly anticipated, he may be tempted to re-open the issue of control orders. He may hope that a new parliament in new circumstances will be more malleable than the last.

I hope not. I wish he would reflect on this. We expect terrorists to attack our way of life. Our government must not." Michael Portillo

I am very worried that we are now falling fast into a police state.

Portillo notes Blair's authotritarianism. He hopes we will keep our way of life.

In spite of brave statements and an apparent consensus among politicians about carrying on as usual, I suspect that the social world we have known for the last 50 years is about to fall apart.

As mandelson is quoted as saying the era of representative democracy is coming to an end.

I met Ghandi's personal assistant this morning and sat on a wall in the village sunshine debating the fate of the planet.

Ben Kingsley lives locally, when he is around. He needs a PA because he is not arounfd much.

Luke is an American who has hopes that England can stoically resist the fascist dictatorship that he thinks is now ruling in America.

The story will be different here. But I do not share his optimism.

Post the London bombs there are plans to police the internet.

How much longer will I be allowed to publish Blairy England?

:: :: An Iraqi woman responds to the London bombings

"The Prime Minister of your country, Tony Blair, said that those who carried out the explosions did so in the name of Islam. The Secretary of State of the United States, Condaleezza Rice, described the bombings as an act of barbarism. The United Nations Security Council met and unanimously condemned the event.

I would like to ask you, the free British people, to allow me to inquire: in whose name was our country blockaded for 12 years? In whose name were our cities bombed using internationally prohibited weapons? In whose name did the British army kill Iraqis and torture them? Was that in your name? Or in the name of religion? Or humanity? Or freedom? Or democracy?"

This comment comes from a Muslim group's web site. I have no sympathy for their Islamic agenda at all. They are at least as big a problem for humanity as the evangelical Christians.

But this is the voice of balance. It holds up a mirror to the barbarity of our leaders and their soldiers, on a day where an American General accepted humiliating and degrading treatment of the captives in American custody but would not censure the commanders who allowed it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Resident Dubya

This is what used to be called agitprop or agitation propaganda. These briedf animations are some of the hardest hitting and persuasive assaults on the Blair Bush regime that I have met.
They are full of emotive imagery.
If you need encouraging in standing up to the new fascist state, go play a few.

RESPECT - The Unity Coalition - Selective empathy

"many Members of Parliament find it easy to feel empathy with people killed in explosions by razor-sharp red-hot steel and splintering flying glass when they are in London, but they can blank out of their mind entirely the fact that a person killed in exactly the same way in Falluja died exactly the same death. When the US armed forces, their backs guarded, as a result of a decision by our politicians, by our armed forces, systematically reduced Falluja, a city the size of Coventry, brick by brick and killed an unknown number of people—probably the number runs to thousands, if not tens of thousands—not a whisper found its way into the Chamber. I have grown used to that. I know that for many people in the House and in power in this country the blood of some people is worth more than the blood of others." George Galloway.

This is a cue to reprint my Falluja poems.

This author stands against violence in the name of state or religion. He condemns wars of aggression, whether by 4 soldiers or 150.000.

The destruction of Falluja was a monstrous war crime against a whole city, which dared to defy invaders just as London now defies bombers who have recently murdered some of its people.

members of Parliament may not be able to identify with the people of Falluja. Some of us can and will continue to do so.

Falluja-in-Charlbury, a trilogy in search of a quartet.

I first heard of Falluja a little time after the illegal invasion of Iraq by the United States of America and its satellite states. I read of a small town 70 miles north west of Baghdad, and equated it with our town 70 miles north west of London. Iraq had not put up much of a fight against western "Shock and Awe" tactics, a modern day version of the German Blitz Krieg 65 years ago. Fallujans had not resisted the Americans entering their town. But when the troops occupied their primary school the people gathered peacefully to protest. It seemed like the Civil Rights movement in Northern Ireland that led to Bloody Sunday, the murder 15 unarmed protesters. There were claims someone fired a gun.

The news story was incorrect in many ways. But I think these poems tell an important symbolic truth. I have watched the story of Falluja unfold from more or less peaceful aquiesance, to violent resistance and brutal suppression and ultimate devastation. I look forward to the day the city is rebuilt by and for its own people, when I can turn this trilogy into a celebratory quartet. As I write today the Americans have begun the process of exploring war crimes committed in Iraq and elsewhere. Proceedings have already begun against the Blair regime in Europe.


Dazzle-blue dragonflies
A dance of delight
Among yellow flag iris
Soft haze of summer by the waters edge
Arcadian Oxfordshire
Cool waters slipping silently through Cotswold stone

A moment away
In cyberspace
Cavalier copters clash and crash
An unholy mating
Death in the desert

Closer still
Not even a breath away
In a parallel universe
The copters have landed
Safely on our playing close

These young missionaries
Schooled in a games-of- war Arcadea
Chew gum
And slither through the streets

A base they make of our primary school
A place of safety

Big boys, fearsome toys
Uncertain of their liberator status
Settling in
They don't seem to understand
We want our school back for our children
As yet uneducated
Into politicians death squads
Into weapons of your war

Charlbury folk
Famous in the County
A dash of colour splattered on the uniformity
Of Oxfordshire's dull Tory blue
March in protest to our school

Fifteen dead today
In this parallel universe
We wanted our school back
For our children's future.

A vast peaceful army of protesters marched through London to protest the illegal war of aggression. It made no difference. The war went ahead. Many of us felt disenfranchised. By the autumn the occupation was a fait-accompli. Our local anti-war group had disbanded. But the Fallujans refused to submit. An American helicopter was shot down. 15 Americans were killed. I wrote a second poem.

Falluja-in-Charlbury Revisited

The old man
Twisted stumps of steel into the sky
Abuzz with whirring mosquito men

Agitated Americans
Flash by in their copters
Trigger unhappy

A big one is down

This bird will no longer fly
This eagle will not command
Their skies again

The Fallujans have brought down a big helicopter
15 Americans are dead
Revenge is sweet for some
A strange poetic justice

In Charlbury
The Kingfisher dives into the stream
The swallows have fled
War seems to be over
The rebels have disbanded
The banner that stood before Parliament is gone

We wave nothing
Either in anger or in greeting
At the American planes flying in from the gulf

We place no masks of Bush or Blair
On our bonfire festival effigies
We are more successfully oppressed
Than our angry Arab brothers

Guy Fawkes is an immigrant burned on the cricket ground

We will keep on burning
His impiety
Full of shallow good cheer
His fight for freedom
Burnt out
Like our indignation

It has taken months to find a way to write this poem. This was the Guernica of our own time. In quiet rural Britain it is almost incomprehensible, unimaginable. The destruction of the city of Falluja, and the removal of its 300,000 people in November 2004 is the equivalent of emptying Oxfordshire and destroying Oxford. At the centre of Oxford is a memorial to protestant Christian martyrs. One day there will be a memorial in Falluja to the martyrs who stood against the American tyrant, George W. Bush, and his invasion force.

Falluja 3

Led bellied blackness
Heavy rain
Clouds rushing westward
Bombing through my lovely countryside

They are born out of the eye
Of a most savage storm
How they oppress

My life
My world
My Wychwood forest
A dreadful mess

This is no battlefield
Only fox and pheasant are slaughtered here
I am
And we are all
Among the fallen

With faltering steps, Gill and I stumble forward

The forces of a vengeful biosphere
Like an evil empires army
Have swept with awesome power through these trees
Now the storm has left us
We struggle through this smashed-down landscape
Sycamores, like unarmed soldiers,
Hacked off at the knees.

We can find our way safe homeward
This is not Falluja
This was not the will of Man

I try to comprehend
The annihilation of a city
And the suffering of its people
I witness
What I can.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

t r u t h o u t - John Pilger | These Were Blair's Bombs

John Pilger | These Were Blair's Bombs: "Sunday 10 July 2005

In all the coverage of last week's bombing of London, a basic truth is struggling to be heard. It is this: no one doubts the atrocious inhumanity of those who planted the bombs, but no one should also doubt that this has been coming since the day Tony Blair joined George Bush in their bloody invasion and occupation of Iraq. They are 'Blair's bombs', and he ought not be allowed to evade culpability with yet another unctuous speech about 'our way of life', which his own rapacious violence in other countries has despoiled.

Indeed, the only reliable warning from British intelligence in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq was that which predicted a sharp increase in terrorism 'with Britain and Britons a target'. A House of Commons committee has since verified this warning. Had Blair heeded it instead of conspiring to deceive the nation that Iraq offered a threat the Londoners who died on Thursday might be alive today, along with tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis.

Three weeks ago, a classified CIA report revealed that the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq had turned that country into a focal point of terrorism. None of the intelligence agencies regarded Iraq as such a flashpoint before the invasion, however tyrannical the regime. On the contrary, in 2003, the CIA reported that Iraq 'exported no terrorist threat to his neighbours' and that Saddam Hussein was 'implacably hostile to Al-Qaeda'."

what is striking to me is how strong the anti-Blair voice has been after the bombs. The media has not stifled this voice. Indeed the papers are calling for a full debate of the reasons we have become a target for bombers.

Would this have brought down the Blair Government if it had come before the election as the Spanish bombs toppled the right wingers there.

We will never know.

I look forqward eagerly to the opinion polls that must be coming on the subject soon.

There has been much talk of the spirit of the Blitz and stoic National character. But the messages I am receiving from the Londoners I know are full of fear. At a dep level there is a terrorising that has happened. People who were not really close to the bombs felt very close to them.

I wonder if this reality will come out.

Friday, July 08, 2005

BBC NEWS | UK | Eco-village 'is model for us all'

We really should have gone to join the eco protesters here

They are showing us a realistic way forward for humanity

All we did was joina bunch of old style predominantly Christian groups offering a renewal of the old strategies for helping Africa that have not done much good yet.

I am jaundiced perhaps.

We will need to go greener

I suspect we are still part of the eco problem here instead of part of the solution.

BBC NEWS | UK | G8 protests: UK panellist's video diary

I was very pleased to see this BBC account of a young Oxford man on the march in Edinburgh on Saturday.

He was there at the start at 11.00 but did not move off the meadows till 3.00

Our experience was similar in that a bifg crowd was assembled and still not moving off at 2.30

It was interersting to note that the circle had been made into a white ring by lunch time.

As yet I have not seen a single photo of that ring.

I call that poor coverage of the event.

It seems that the event Geldof wanted us to attend was not Saturday but Wednesday.

I feel a fool for not having established that. I was inclined to think we had come to the wrong event. Advertised as familt friendly it was too noisy and scary for little J.

We did not stay to march round Edinburgh, and never even found the exit onto the march route.

At least we joined in with the protestors for a couple of hours watched the big screens for encouragement and speeches.

The children enjoyed the festival spirit and the holiday time in Scotland.

I am still revcovering from the exhaustion of getting us there and back, camping in a cloud of midges.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

"Its imperialism, stupid" Noam Chomski

In the nineteen seventies Chomski demonstrated that the human capacity for speech was fundamentally creative and could not be subjected to the kind of conditioning that Behavioural psychologists supposed to be the base of our psychological life.

For telling the truth he is public enemy number one for the corporate elite of American society.

Today he is still fighting for freedom, but less optimistically. He speaks to us about the way our language is constrained by media manipulation. Our freedom to think and speak may be innate, but it can be incredibly warped by what corporate media offers us instead of balanced and truthful information.

The Iraq war is a typical case. It shows that if you tell a big lie often enough to a receptive audience they will believe it.

"For US-UK planners, invading Iraq was a far higher priority than the 'war on terror.' That much is revealed by the reports of their own intelligence agencies. On the eve of the allied invasion, a classified report by the National Intelligence Council, the intelligence community's center for strategic thinking, 'predicted that an American-led invasion of Iraq would increase support for political Islam and would result in a deeply divided Iraqi society prone to violent internal conflict,'"

Monday, July 04, 2005

mparent7777: UK MP George Galloway Calls for Bush, Blair, Koizumi, and Berlusconi to Stand Trial:Video/Transcript

We are back from an 860 mile round trip to Edinburgh to be part of the campaign to make piverty history.

If it was me without the children I would have been with the anti war protesters who are challengingthe G8 more directly.

It was all too loud and disturbing for little J. We were marched into a corner and were stuck there for too long next to a big drum.

However, We had a great time travelling and seeing the colourful protesters and the beautiful countryside.

But was it justifiable?

Will we want to tell our grandchildren we were there?

I doubt it. the G8 will probably ignore us as they did the anti war marches. The pop stars got all the coverage. Why was Geldof not in Edinburgh.
It was amazing how quiet it was driving into Edinburgh. No traffic jams. Only the march itself got clogged up and disfunctional.
There were no stewards visible anywhere. Lots of different groups with their own separate agendas.

We missed George Galloway speaking in the Edinburgh Meadows, so here is some of him for you to consider.

UK MP George Galloway Calls for Bush, Blair, Koizumi, and Berlusconi to Stand Trial:Video/Transcript: "Bush, and Blair, and the prime minister of Japan, and Berlusconi, these people are criminals, and they are responsible for mass murder in the world, for the war, and for the occupation, through their support for Israel, and through their support for a globalized capitalist economic system, which is the biggest killer the world has ever known. It has killed far more people than Adolph Hitler. It has killed far more people than George Bush. The economic system which these people support, which leaves most of the people in the world hungry, and without clean water to drink. So we're going to put them on trial, the leaders, when they come. They think they're coming for a holiday in a beautiful country called Scotland; in fact, they're coming to their trial."