If there is any life form in the universe wondering if an entire planet can become insane, then they need look no further than this planet – Earth.

It may be possible that a form of life has appeared on Earth which has nothing to do with any natural order within the universe and which is capable of planet wide destruction and democide for self serving reasons, if so then science has a job on its hands.

If, however, we accept that the Tories and the corporate fuckwits who are running the world for profit are made of the same stuff of this universe as the rest of matter and life, then one can only conclude that nature contains within itself the seeds of its own destruction which has nothing to do with the natural forces of entropy and decay, but rather a propensity for insanity and ultimately suicide.

People like George Osborne or former CEO of the Nestlé Group Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, who said “access to water is not a public right” and nor is it a human right, by their very existence, beg the question, is nature, in fact, senseless or even bonkers? If nature, and, by definition, life, is senseless, then what on Earth is the point of human sense, common sense, reason or rationality?

Asking such questions is the place of mind warping corporate, elitist, rapaciously greedy, planet buggering insanity we’ve come to.

Here’s more from Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, “Water is of course the most important raw material we have today in the world. It’s a question of whether we should privatise the normal water supply for the population. And there are two different opinions on the matter. The one opinion, which I think is extreme, is represented by the NGOs, who bang on about declaring water a public right. That means that as a human being you should have a right to water. That’s an extreme solution. And the other view says, that water is a foodstuff like any other, and like any other foodstuff it should have a market value.”

Let’s just remind ourselves of what an NGO is: an NGO is ‘a non-profit organization that operates independently of any government, typically one whose purpose is to address a social or political issue’. So, essentially, socialist, not corporatist nor political or market/profit oriented.

And to remind ourselves of what a CEO is: A CEO is ‘a chief executive officer, the highest-ranking person in a company or other institution, ultimately responsible for taking managerial decisions’. Note: CEOs have no right or responsibility for making planet wide decisions which affect all life on Earth, like the privatisation of water (the stuff of life).

George Osborne described his little adventures in politics and austerity to Carole Walker, who is leaving the BBC after 37 years, as fiascos, (fiasco: complete failure, especially a ludicrous or humiliating one). It says much of Osborne that he is such a self focused shit, he has no regard for the millions of people affected, including those dead and dying, by his narcissistic psychopathy and his fiascos.

Nature is always true to itself, sadly we are not, and anthropomorphising and diminishing nature to the level of our humanity is not remotely helpful, but the point remains that those with the power and resources to embrace life, humanity, sense and reason do not, whilst those who lack that power are aghast at the monumental enormity of the psychopathy of those in power. It is entirely unreasonable to blame nature or to suggest that nature is itself insane, but that’s the kind of stuff any human with a lick of sense must wonder in these times.

Above all, these people are not lizards from another dimension, they are in every way like us and made of the same stuff as us, but their nature has become perverted by power and greed. As such they are without excuse, as they are neither stupid nor uneducated, and we are in a fight of our lives for life, all life, against the enemies of life. Nature can be described as the ultimate NGO, it is the organisation underpinning all life, and Peter Brabeck-Letmathe might think that’s extreme, but ultimately he’ll answer to it and the world can breath a sigh of relief when he does.

It is to be hoped that when those in power finally surrender to their inevitable demise, they do not take the rest of us with them.

KOG. 31 March 2017


Terrorist isn’t anything other than a sobriquet, a meaningless, but convenient, nickname for anyone who does something, or might do something, against society or the state. It exists on a par with yob, layabout and hooligan. It is a lazy and deceitful term brought into play by George W Bush in his bogus ‘war on terror’ who first used it on 20 September 2001 after 9/11.

Terrorist means anyone and no one, and has been used ever since 9/11 for indiscriminate killing absent of any evidence. A drone strike on a terrorist cell tells us absolutely nothing other than it is a group so labelled by politicians with deceitful intent. It means huge profits for the military industrial complex and misery for everyone else at an estimated cost (over a decade) of ‘$4.4 trillion to western tax payers’ and has not made a single person safer but has made the entire world less safe.

The war on terror is a war against an enemy or enemies unknown who may or may not represent a threat to western interests and who may or may not commit acts of terror, it is a war without end because it has no meaning in real terms. lacking entirely in specifics.

Terrorism is a political ideology, like austerity, and both serve a dishonest political agenda.

The recent incident in London was called a terrorist attack within minutes, which was all that was required to set the world ablaze. The Police have since reported that ‘Khalid Masood (now named but unknown at the time) acted entirely alone for reasons that may never be known’.

Anyone who uses the term terrorist is participating in a monstrous public relations scam, it is a triumph of public manipulation by unscrupulous politicians and specifically George W Bush and the hawks who surrounded him.

The war on terror is primarily a war for profits, and arms and security industries have flourished since 9/11 and they are just the tip of an enormous iceberg of rapacious corporate greed for global resources.

But the war on terror is first and foremost an ideological war of words, of public manipulation and psychological distortion. It is an aggressive war prosecuted by the powerful, including the media, over the lives of ordinary people. Our best weapon in this war is resistance and calling it for what it is, a scam perpetrated by corrupt politicians and liars with vested interests in its continuation.

KOG. 26 March 2017

How the front pages of newspapers are reporting the London terror attack


I’ve just come across an AlterNet article entitled ‘5 Ways Trump Is Mentally Torturing Us Now’.

UK readers might struggle a bit with this as this is America wearing its heart on its sleeve, something which in Britain is culturally alien to us. But before dismissing this with any of the usual cynical, and frankly smug, hauteur with which many this side of the Atlantic view America, this is a very serious matter and one that, not only should we pay attention to, is something we are also grappling with, albeit in a less overt way, but at the cost of thousands of lives.

The western world and significant developed countries across the world have been privileged to enjoy a relatively peaceful existence since WWII, and we have also been fortunate enough, in the process, to take that for granted, despite living in a world in which less privileged nations have suffered dictatorships, warfare and invasion ever since the second world war, much of that at the hands of the greedy west.

The rise of economic colonialism, which we call Neoliberalism, has seen the rapacious corporate greed which has torn so many countries apart turn inwards on those countries which have reaped the most benefit from advancing technology and capitalism. In the UK this began with Thatcherism, but which, on the back of the bankers criminal global crisis and financial robbery, has seen, since 2010, a gloves off attack on our entire way of life. They began with poor, sick and disabled people and have been ramping it up ever since to cover more and more social groups; those who live less fragile and precarious lives, one such group being junior doctors.

It remains, though, that we are not yet experiencing anything like the terror of the apartheid regime in South Africa, Chile under Augusto Pinochet, the genocide in East Timor, the horror of the wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Palestine, to name but a few in which there has been and is untold suffering which westerners generally have quite comfortably ignored, including the many wars of aggression for which the west is entirely responsible for prosecuting in the name of democracy.

David Cameron said in 2013, “For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens ‘as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone.” Of course he did not tell us what plans he had in place to attack us and our way of life, we had to wait for their imposition and at every stage people have been driven to despair, poverty, deprived of the means of survival, causing death and countless suicides and we were entirely unprepared for the onslaught.

To be clear, although so many other nations have, and are, experiencing very much worse, the situation we are in is no less serious and, as so many are discovering to their great cost, we ignore it at our own peril.

What we are having to learn in the UK is that we are, in the current climate, in this for the long haul. Despite the many cries that we should, ought or must do something, what those cries ignore is that right now there are no ready solutions available, and we all need to learn to toughen up and go the distance, to fight and never give up fighting and, frankly, we are unprepared and out of practice. Relatively speaking, we’ve had it easy, notwithstanding that those who have suffered the violence of poverty over the years are a little better prepared for the war on the poor and the escalation of right wing oppression.

We are, perhaps, just slightly ahead of America in this, again, not withstanding the millions in poverty, without health care, living in tents, abandoned by capitalism, but still America was not prepared for Trump and many in middle class America are shocked and traumatised newcomers to the internal war of neoliberalism and last gasp vulture capitalism.

This is not the time to gloat, this is the time when we need to find common cause across the globe, this is the time to stop segregating people by nationality, race, colour or creed, and finally accept that we are neighbours, sisters and brothers.

We have a common enemy, the corporatised world of global greed in which our governments are fully complicit and it is, in fact, time to grow up, if we can, if we are willing, if we are able and if we have the courage to go the distance. Every death and every suicide is a tragedy and many of us have already lost friends and family and our grief is yet more of the burden that we must carry. Whatever happens, the solution is not going to come from above and there are no pills that will cure this, if people need therapy and can get it, so much the better, but this is the fight of our lives and for our children’s lives and our common future.

KOG. 25 March 2017


This is a difficult one, what I am about to do is like going on stage and having a shit. As a writer, that’s not something you ever want to do and then something happens and you have to write something because if you don’t it’s just going to be in there tearing your head and heart apart.

What the fuck happened in London? People have died because someone for reasons unknown decided to drive a car through pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, killing four people and injuring 40 others, and attack parliament with a knife, stabbing a copper to death. I don’t care who the guy was and I care even less about why he did it and I am deeply sorry for the harm he caused and those he killed and I cannot help but be affected by that, especially in ways that are not obvious until you start to think about it.

It headlined all around the world… Latest terrorist attack, usual racist, xenophobic, shit from the Sun and others, hate spreading. Heroes of the hour. Statements from Theresa May and parliament. Endless talking heads talking bollocks and meaningless conjecture.

We are living in extraordinary times, but certain things have not changed and parliament is still the home to the worst, terrorist, government in UK history, and Theresa May, whatever she may say, doesn’t give a shit about ordinary people and what this fucking idiot has done is hand her a golden chalice to continue to oppress us, invade our privacy, destroy lives and steal from us all that makes life good and meaningful. All the stuff that day by day does not make any headlines, all those who have died due to Tory austerity policies, the violence of increasing poverty, the suicides, the hunger that drives people to food banks in shame and despair.

Every fucking day. Every day.

Parliament was in lock down on Wednesday, Theresa May was whisked away to safety, safe in the knowledge that she will probably never have to answer for her crimes against humanity, just like David Cameron and a Tory party which is robbing all of us blind: the most corrupt government in UK history and entirely corrupt financial markets which have also robbed us blind and are protected by government as they continue to do so.

On that day, Wednesday 22 March 2017, the world reacted in horror and Britain joined the club of nations subjected to a very public, so called, ‘terrorist’ attack – by a bloke with a knife.

Knife crime in the UK is rising, the Office for National Statistics reveals that there were 13,613 offences of “assault with injury or intent to cause serious harm” in the year to the end of June 2015, a rise of 1,788 from the previous year.

Disability hate crimes recorded by police rose to 2,765 incidents in 2014-15 compared to 1,955 incidents in 2013-14, up 41 per cent. A UN report revealed evidence of “grave or systematic violations of rights of people with disabilities” by the UK government. Work and Pensions Secretary Damian Green rejected the report’s findings and said the document demonstrated “an outdated view of disability which is patronising and offensive”.

Damian Green also criticised as “monstrously unfair” the portrayal of Job Centre staff (who are, by government dictat, destroying people’s lives on a daily basis) in ‘I, Daniel Blake’, despite admitting he had not watched the film.

Ken Loach, the films director, said of the government, “If they don’t know what they are doing to people they are incompetent and shouldn’t be in Government. If they do know what they are doing then they are not fit to be in Government.”

When is the world media going to report on the systematic brutality and cruelty of the UK government towards ordinary people, when will we see the outrage, the shock, the horror of what goes on every day in Britain by the terrorist actions of the UK government?

KOG. 24 March 2017


It all began when his mates Isla and Jeb moved house and in the midst of chaos Jeb had set up his computer system. After a day of lunking boxes he’d emerged from beneath his desk, wrestling with the usual spaghetti, to note the time on his digital clock was 9h:9. Too knackered to even begin to make sense of it, he’d given it the finger and hit the sack, but not before Isla had grabbed a shot on her phone and texted it to her mate KOG, quoting Jeb, “Now what the hell is wrong with that clock?”

For KOG it had been a Damascus moment, he’d nearly wet himself with joy, the ultimate victory, an anarchist’s wet dream.

Recently retired, KOG was in the process of reclaiming his life from all that time represents, the orderliness of work, appointments, schedules and a slavish obedience to order which was none of his own. Now 66 he resented every external routine that had ever controlled his life. What use was time to an ageing hippy with anarchist pretensions? Time was now his own, but that was a misconception, still ruled by rules he despised. Fuck time, it was his own life he wanted. And Jeb, friend and computer genius, had cracked it in one moment of knackered inattention and ramped himself up to inadvertent hero status in KOG’s life.

Time, KOG mused, is the orthodoxy of our time and has been since the Industrial Revolution and the rise of the factory, the machine and thus enslavement to time. Time has all the characteristics of the blind unquestioning following of a religious cult to which KOG now aspired to become an apostate.

In response to Isla’s email KOG had immediately turned his digital alarm clock upside down to thus enjoy its now meaningless symbols of his once enslavement. Glancing up he noticed that it was just past midnight 50:0, or SOD. Perfect in its meaninglessness. Every time he glanced at it he was presented with an ever changing display of linear nonsense which delighted him.

Years ago KOG had discovered that the human experience of time is not an orderly linear progression. Our experience of time speeds up over time. A newborn of course has no concept of time, but in her first year experiences an infinite extent of time. By her second birthday a year represents 50% of the entirety of her experience. But at 66 KOG’s 67th year only represented a 66th of the entirety of his lived experience and the years were racing by at an ever increasing rate. That’s where time goes as we grow older, it truncates as Christmases come and go with what feels like ever decreasing time in between.

If he was ever reduced by age and no longer capable of looking after himself, KOG might find himself in a care home, something he contemplated with horror, imagining some well meaning member of staff asking him if he knew what day it was. As if days mattered to him, or even weeks or months. The passing seasons impressed themselves upon him as the wholly natural cycle of nature, in which the surest clock was a window or simply opening a door and stepping outside. No longer a marketable commodity, he had not much use for time, other than for visits to the doctors or hospital. Time was function for others in which he fitted when he had to.

In latter years KOG had turned to political activism, though he disliked the term. He had no time for television or whiling away his time in sedentary meaninglessness. Retirement did not mean an end to work, it just meant an end to work within the silly constraints of political polemic, at which the current government excelled and therefore got up his nose enough to write to the pointless incumbent of number 10 Downing Street about policies aimed at ridding the world of useless eaters like himself.

He saw David Cameron (for it was he), an over privileged, badly educated, fool in life, as an affront to human dignity. KOG was, by disposition, sanguine about fools as long as they kept their foolishness to themselves, Cameron was not one of those fools and the Internet had opened up a whole new world as a platform for the voices of ordinary people and KOG used it with alacrity. History, as they say, belongs to the victors, or to quote Braveheart, “history is written by those who have hanged heroes”, but the present now belongs to ordinary people, something despised by the rattled ruling elites who leave no stone unturned in their denigration of ordinary people in their attempts to silence them through division and derision and policies of attrition.

His time his own, KOG went on the attack, burning himself out in the process. He found himself leaning ever further towards anarchy, the democratised self and the exercise of inalienable human rights to speak, to think and express creatively, a social bottom up order of being instead of the oppression of top down feudal throwbacks and the inventors of the clocking in machine, a heinous affliction on the lives of workers.

So with boundless gratitude, KOG raised a delighted toast to Jeb and a life in which 9h:9 was a fitting symbol of liberation and contempt for those who are hounding and killing the living for profit.

What does 9h:9 mean? Nothing, glorious nothing. And everything.

KOG. 21 March 1027

(Any resemblance to persons living or dead is entirely gratuitous.)



The Tories have decided to play skittles with 3 million lives, assisted in their bastardy by ‘UKIP, the DUP and a few Eurosceptic Labour rebels’.

These are peoples lives and livelihoods, families and children. It involves their life choices and endeavours, legally and legitimately strived for and achieved. All cast aside by a vote of 335-287 by politicians who demonstrate nothing but contempt for real people and their lives.

This is the Lords amendment that they have cast aside like an old chip wrapper: “Within three months of exercising the power under section 1(1), ministers of the crown must bring forward proposals to ensure that citizens of another European Union or European Economic Area country and their family members, who are legally resident in the United Kingdom on the day on which this act is passed, continue to be treated in the same way with regards to their EU derived-rights and, in the case of residency, their potential to acquire such rights in the future.”

And for what? To use as fodder for blackmail to grab the best trade deals and market freedoms, once again, on the backs of people’s lives and well being.

The Tories could not make it any clearer that they are willing to sacrifice the living for private gain and personal profit. From a public perspective their crimes should rightly be regarded as hate crimes and yet the even more brutal reality is that they are malicious crimes of complete indifference.

Theresa May is prepared to sacrifice the livelihoods and well being of 3 million EU residents who have legitimately settled in Britain, using them as little more than casino chips, gambling with their lives.

They began with the poor, which remains to this day in their ongoing ‘war on the poor’, but their contempt and indifference is for everyone who is not a member of their corporate club and the elitism of wealth.

These are the vilest human beings imaginable without a shred of human decency for whom no lie is too egregious, no deception too despicable, no depth too low to which they will not stoop.

Theresa May, like Cameron before her, and her government are impervious to reason or entreaty, an enemy of the people at the heart of Westminster. They appear on the media and are accorded respect and dignity which they in no way deserve. It falls to us to call them out at every opportunity, to treat their every word with the deepest suspicion, as we would any cheap chiseler and fraudster. We cannot afford to accord them any room for doubt, the evidence is entirely against them and too many lives have been lost, it is not our place to make any allowance or room for manoeuvre, they simply cannot be trusted.

The notion of innocence until proven guilty in law no longer applies to this government, the empirical evidence is overwhelmingly against them, even as they demonstrate utter contempt for the rule of law, supreme court rulings and the findings of the United Nations for “systematic and grave violations” of disabled people’s human rights. Words like disgrace, shameful, shocking, no longer apply to the outrage that is this Tory government. This is a rogue government and should be treated as such without mercy. They have abandoned the right to any consideration of human decency and respect.

KOG. 15 March 2017



Where do you start with something like this?

Let’s start with the context. Jeremy Corbyn was asking Theresa May, “Did she actually know what arrangement was made with Surrey County Council?” This relates to the still unfolding scandal of a sweetheart deal being struck with Surrey Council ‘to persuade one of the richest councils in England to cancel a planned referendum on a huge council tax rise’ of 15%, which May categorically denied to parliament, despite leaks of emails and texts proving that, in fact, the government had intervened, which included her own Chancellor, Philip Hammond.

I am very sure that readers of this do not require me to explain the reason for an outburst of mocking hilarity in such a moment, after all if you have to explain a joke, it inevitably fails like a damp squid. The best response you’ll get in such a situation is, ‘Oh yeah, I get it’. And you’ll have to forgive me if I do indeed get it and consider it is not in the least funny.

The range of thoughts that went through my mind were impossible to capture and it has taken some days for me to get to a place where I can even write about it.

I am a retired community and youth worker and as such I was a public servant. I have served on and made representations to many committees in my time. In one of my more personally pleasing moments I took it upon myself to drive a career politician, seeking the office of mayor, from a youth committee in which she made it abundantly clear that youth, as far as she was concerned, should do as they are told by their superiors and betters, meaning her. I took it upon myself to discredit her before the committee from which she silently disappeared without notice or trace. What I did not do at any time was bray like a jackal at her obvious absurdities, absurdities which were entirely absent in Jeremy Corbyn’s questions to Theresa May in parliament.

What Theresa May did in parliament that day was mock the nation, flanked by two laughing sycophants. There are no circumstances in which such a hideous display of mockery is appropriate in the highest office in Britain and within the confines of the seat of parliament in the, supposed, mother of all parliaments.

I was a display of unrestrained arrogance, mocking the many lives that have passed, shattered and ruined by government dictat. What Corbyn was addressing was the issue of social care budgets slashed by this government and Surrey, a Tory stronghold, was shamefully seeking preferential treatment despite being one of the wealthiest councils in England. May even accused Corbyn of presenting “alternative facts” which, along with ‘fake news’, is the latest right wing ploy in its inexcusable murderous intentions of depriving ordinary people of life and the means of survival.

The chief thought going through my mind as I watched this obscene display was that she was mocking, above all, the poor and, specifically, the most vulnerable people in Britain in the last, waning, years of their lives.

But, worse, many times worse, is the arrogant presumption, which has marked Tory misrule since 2010, that they act with impunity, that they can and will get away with it and see fit to mock the entire nation. That is what Theresa May did, and that is what makes this so utterly obscene. And what is also abundantly clear is that redress is never going to come from the top, were that so then ample time has passed for it to have done so. It falls to us, ordinary people, to hold them, these abysmal excuses for humanity, to account by any means at our disposal, to be the gad fly to power, to bite and keep biting at every opportunity. It is too obvious that they should be drummed out of power, shamed and humiliated, and it we who must raise and continue to raise the kind of stink that will drive them and their filthy, corrupt, policies out. Clearly, no one is going to do it for us. That, at least, should be obvious by now.

In 2011 David Cameron introduced the fixed term parliament and they still plan to gerrymander electoral boundaries which will effectively see them in power for a very long time and preferably, they hope, forever. They do not like democracy in any form, and they have no interest in accountability, which was also what May was mocking apart from anything else. Any movement of the people is something they fear and, as we’ve so often seen, will attempt to brutally suppress. If Theresa May is reduced to hysterical displays of mockery in parliament, and it looked nothing if not hysterically contrived, then it falls to us to turn her into a gibbering wreck, it is the least she deserves.

KOG. 11 March 2017

#Smokinggun – email proves May lied re Surrey #sweetheartdeal

What’s #SurreySweetheart deal fuss all about? This video makes it all crystal in 2.5mins


Many years ago, after some years of hard work and building trust with a wonderful therapist, Del (now amongst the dearly departed in my life), she helped me get to a place where primal terror lived in me and prevented me from having any real sense of identity and self.

She asked me if I could see it, which I could, and asked me to describe it. This was indescribably hard, it was repelling me with incredible power, such that I did not want to see it, only the love and trust I had for Del enabled me to withstand the waves of darkness that were pushing against me. I stood in the storm and looked and saw that the terror guarded a room, and that room had a door. The whole thing was not just black it seethed darkness, This was pre Jackson’s ‘Lord of the Rings’, but Gandalf’s , “You shall not pass!” would not have been out of place there.

I visited it many times over several weeks and became familiar with it and it is as visually clear to me today as then. I knew what had to happen, but building towards it was slow, yet the day inevitably arrived. I think we both knew, I sat looking at Del and she kept silent as I closed my eyes and stepped towards the room. The darkness parted around me, no longer terror, and I entered the room and described what I could see. It was entirely bare and light coloured, not white, just light. On the far wall was a box of muted colour, unremarkable in every way and Del asked me if I could open it. I approached it carefully, uncertainly, but I really wanted to know what was inside.

As I lifted the lid, clouds of colours poured out of it and I could see nothing for a while, but peering into the colour I saw the shape of a small child. I reached down and lifted the child up and cradling it in my arms I just looked at it, I don’t know how long for, but all the colours were coming from the child. I remember opening my eyes and looking at Del and saying, “It’s me”.

It is hard to describe the sense of knowing that filled me. This was the child I had hidden a very long time ago in my childhood. The child I had made safe, protected by terror that I had used to seal him away from harm and now I was scared, afraid that I might not be up to the task of caring for him. But it was the start, what I call ‘big Keith and little Keith, back together again, home to myself. That was the beginning.

I remember a conversation with Del and realising that the mind is kind, in its way, it protects us from trauma, something we have no control over. My life is full of holes, even now, where I have no idea what’s there or what happened. That used to really mess me up, but I am more comfortable with it now.

Last week, in therapy with ‘H’, I realised I had some unfinished business to do with little Keith. As I walked away from my session, I thought I was ready to take back some of the stuff that little Keith has carried for me. This was a new thought, a new development, something I’d not seen before. I’d just had a tearful session, revisiting old pain. Driving home I was leaking tears, not least from the awareness that I was ready, big enough, to take back some of the burdens of little Keith, like picking up pebbles from his soul. As I neared home, another thought entirely came. He had something he wanted to give me, a gift. This was not a one way street.

I have always been a serious guy, over the years I have tried to learn to play, but it doesn’t come easy to me. I have kites and a camera, I’ve learnt to mess on, joke and banter, but I do not just let rip playfully. Over the years I’ve been fascinated by children playing, the sheer abandonment with which they can attack a pile of leaves, and of envying them that exuberance for life, free of care. I think it is a mark of profound adult ignorance that the primary place of play is not well understood, respected and protected. In educating children we risk depriving them of their primary source of learning about the world they have been born into, play, and adulthood without play is pretty dull really.

If I am to emerge from my many years of isolation and cave dwelling reclusiveness, I am very sure that play is absolutely central and essential to this. Even the thought of play contains, for me, thoughts of joyful abandon, letting go, release, loosening the grip of too heavily applied control over my own life, easing up, learning to just be. And I think I have done enough work, in preparation, to learn some new tricks, even if I am an old dog now. Depression is oppression, it feels like pushing a boulder uphill with my forehead. I’d kinda like to get rid of that bloody boulder, I’ve been shoving the damned thing a long time now and it has never done me a bit of good. But I like hills well enough, even if I puff quite a bit these days.

KOG. 09 March 2017


When I was a lad I had an idea, a dream, a dream I shared in common with my sister, in particular, our two brothers may have been on it as well, but it has persisted with my sister to this day and, in fact, we were talking about it today, this day of writing.

What we wanted was a space, a 24 hour space, where we could go and be, together with others who needed or wanted a safe space, a coffee bar space, a shared space. I remember the loneliness that drove the idea, I also remember walking the streets at night, being there but also yearning for somewhere to go and be, of being followed by Police vehicles and of having to vanish into alleys and parkland to avoid them.

There was something wonderful about the night, when the world slept and all the space was mine to wander at will, subject to no other human presence, to no other will, nor interference (though I kept a wary eye out for cops). The night was, and is, a beautiful space, the sounds were the sounds of nature and the sensations those that nature imposed, where the wild things are, in the absence of human hustle and busy-ness.

Over the years our dream changed and we yearned for a creative space, somewhere we, along with others, could pool our energy and be supportive and supported in our creativity. Maybe a farm or a barn, a community space, where we could live and work together.

Back then we only applied social significance in as much as we felt alienated from the world around us and wanted be away from that. Today I see it as something else entirely, in that we were on the right track but a long way from seeing it.

I have been wondering for a long time now, why protest is not working as it once did and why is there, in me, a sense that protest is not enough?

Reading George Monbiot’s article in the Dorset eye today (“To be truly radical is to make hope possible, rather than despair convincing” – see link below), I felt I had something to add, if we are to find a way forward in these incredibly dark times.

Protest is not necessarily progress, it may contain the seeds of progress but it is essentially reactive, as such it doesn’t go far enough and perhaps that is what people feel, that hope is still absent no matter the courage and sincerity of those protesting and the results they do achieve. Please understand, I am not denigrating protest, it’s necessary, laudable and positive, but it has been weakened and brutally attacked by successive governments.

But I am witnessing the seeds of something else growing around protest, in every food bank and street cafe, in every support group and network for those oppressed beyond endurance, in clothing banks and street projects supporting others. It is what Monbiot refers to as ‘the commons’, ‘an asset over which a community has shared and equal rights’.

What he is talking about is being pro-active, something which is 180 degrees the opposite of reactive. It is about working in projects which are not concerned with the rejection of bad ideas and disastrous ideologies, or the exclusive world of neoliberalism in which we are neither welcome nor invited, projects which by their existence and out-working are inclusive and creative and which are working forward, not just offering the dream of hope, but being that hope in doing. As welcoming as a warm cafe and a hot meal to a frozen homeless person, where the door is open and the company wholesome.

Rosa Monkton was reported by the BBC as saying her daughter, who has Down’s Syndrome and whose godmother was Princess Diana, should be allowed to work for less than the minimum wage, and that to most parents in her position a “therapeutic exemption” from the minimum wage would have a “transformative effect”. I find it hard to imagine a worse world to expose vulnerable people to than the exploitative world of work in which even the most able bodied are struggling to survive.

Monkton said, “The rules are there to prevent people from being exploited (no they aren’t) but… there should be separate rules for people with learning disabilities… based on self-worth, on the feeling that you have got somewhere to go to when you get out of bed in the morning.”

I would suggest that the last place anyone would choose to go, based on issues of self worth, is the exploitative world of work in which ‘7.4 million people, including 2.6 million children, are in poverty despite being in a working family’.

Voluntary or paid a fraction of the minimum wage, I would not even consider for a moment exposing my disabled child (if I had a disabled child) to that world which is predicated on profit, not social care, which puts profits before people. That is what is wrong with Monkton’s idea, work is not a health outcome, neither mentally nor physically. It’s just more of the same empty rhetoric of exploitation. That is where those charities who brought in to Workfare got it so wrong, Workfare isn’t voluntarism, it is opportunistic exploitation, just as working even on the minimum wage is opportunistic exploitation.

If the world of work, which the government is so avid to force us all into, even if we are dying, was the only possible work available, then maybe Monkton might have a case, but it is not and she does not.

Working in common within our communities is an establishment of our rights as people, that is what community projects have in common. The government is hell bent on destroying self worth, it is we who can, and have the power to, give it back to ourselves. If dignity and respect mean anything to us, then it behoves us to prevent those who would steal them from us from doing so and to jealously guard them from the abuses being heaped upon us by the government. Every suicide is an act of despair, even those who despair of mental or physical pain beyond suffering, it is the ultimate loss of all that it means to be human.

That requires a proactive response. I require a proactive response. I have chosen to go into therapy, having lived under the oppression of social phobia for too long, indeed most of my life. My sister and I, had we but known it, already had the solution all those years ago and I have not been paying attention. I am socially phobic for a very good reason, I should have been paying attention to what it was saying to me, instead of hiding in terror.

Those who exploit us tell us we can all aspire to be rich like them (absurd nonsense!), but I have no desire for their kind of riches, I have riches of a whole other kind in mind. They choose to sell their souls for a handful of gold, my soul is too precious to be measured in gold. I would rather walk hand in hand in common with my sisters and brothers, nothing in life has given me greater satisfaction or love or riches, and nothing ever will.

KOG. 03 March 2017