Archives for posts with tag: Dorset Eye

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On March 17th 2012 I chose to enter the political ‘arena’ in a pro-active way by writing ‘a letter a day to number 10’. It was a personal decision because I had passed the tipping point in what I could stomach from a government which continues to have a callous disregard for the lives and well being of ordinary people.

The irony was not wasted on me that I was writing to the Prime Minister of a government which was implementing the final solution, the eradication of the lives of all those considered to be useless eaters, of whom I was one.

It was a refusal, on my part, to slip silently into the grave without protest. In limited circumstances the one thing I could exercise was my voice, as protest, and if the letters proved anything, it was in the lack of a single reply from the man responsible for what we now know was the implementation of a pogrom of genocide on the most vulnerable people in society.

Prior to Theresa May’s snap election in 2017 Disability activist and writer Fiona Robertson wrote, “Voting Tory in #GE17 is a vote to kill people like me, and you need to know why.” She went on to say that following the 2015 General Election, “Amid the elation so many in Scotland felt at the sweep of SNP seats, we disabled people also felt utterly betrayed and hopeless, because the population of the UK had voted to enforce extreme, frequently lethal, damage to our health.”

I watched on the Internet in the early hours of 8 May 2015 as the results of the General Election came in with the growing realisation that either through ignorance or callous disregard, the voting public had committed us to another five years of Tory misrule and the brutal destruction of our lives. I shall never forget the overwhelming feelings of despair and hopelessness that crushed me for days afterwards.

I wrote to Cameron on the 10 May, “For those who rely on help from society for whatever reason, another five years of you and your government is going to be an unmitigated disaster, striking terror in their hearts and facing the very real possibility of literally being driven to death. Austerity is merely the deceit of transferring financial risk to the poor. Capitalising on people who Iain Duncan Smith refers to as ‘stock’ and treated as expendable, after all suicide is good for business, getting rid of the high cost elements and concentrating on the stock you can manipulate, not the dead end stock, like the disabled.”

As the facts have emerged out of the Grenfell Tower disaster, it is clear that it was an act of genocide, a disaster that was waiting to happen for which warnings had been consistently given and ignored and even silenced, but worse, far worse, was the arrogant disregard for safety by those responsible. Cost cutting, corner cutting, disregard for safety regulations, meant that the disaster happened with all the inevitability of a killing ground by those who cared nothing for those who lived and died there. Grenfell Tower was social murder because, quite simply, the lives of those who lived there did not matter and everything that has happened since only serves to reinforce that simple but catastrophic fact.

So why write this, what can possibly be the point in writing about genocide whilst it is happening and will continue to happen whilst the perpetrators do everything to evade and avoid any form of accountability?

It is quite simply that, when representative democracy dies, killed by those who have set themselves above the law, only the people can resurrect democracy. When our lives become forfeit for the sake of profit and greed and the doors of the privileged and powerful in government are slammed in our faces, then we are the last and only bastion of democracy and its only hope.

I have lost count of the number of times I have been told to be silent, criticised for penning a letter a day to David Cameron, I was even offered a proper rewrite of one of my letters in the appropriate language to use to those in power, to which I have said every time, ‘I am not a democracy’. I did not seek anyone’s permission to speak out, nor offer anyone a vote on the matter, because I am exercising a right, as now, which is not subject to permit. Rights are sovereign, inaccessible to democracy, and yet are the heart, soul and expression of democracy. The absolute right of ordinary people is the exercise of democracy, and anyone who stands against that is a despot, a tin pot dictator, and, above all, a fool because they are seeking to destroy their own rights and their own freedoms by attempting to curtail mine.

Are we a ship of fools to stand silent whilst the boat is scuttled? Is that not absurd? The residents of Grenfell Tower were not listened to and are still not being listened to. Is the answer, then, to be silent? To give up? Surely the answer is to make such a noise and clamour that those who ignore us quake in their boots and if they are inconvenienced by that, good, so they damned well ought to be.

The powers that be, including Theresa May, have said there will be an investigation into the Grenfell Tower disaster. Should the survivors of genocide be silent whilst its perpetrators investigate it? Is that a joke?

Several people have resigned in the wake of the Grenfell disaster, each of them to golden handshakes and doubtless gold plated pensions as well, just as David Cameron resigned as Prime Minister to a life of greater privilege and wealth, just as May will when she finally resigns or is driven out. Poor people can be sanctioned and deprived of the means of survival for being a minute late for an appointment at the Jobcentre, whilst those at the top are rewarded for the policies that kill poor people or cause them to take their lives.

Excuse me if I get above myself in saying that’s not right. They can call us all the names under the sun, rabble, ‘stock’, extremists, yobs, malcontents, Marxists, Communists, Corbynistas, socialists… Socialists!?! Is that meant to be an insult?

Writing in the Dorset Eye, Eddy Abs offered ‘A quick explanation of socialism’. “You know the way you love your family? The way you’d do anything to protect them? Extend that feeling to everyone else and that’s socialism. In a nutshell.”

If you want to know what democracy is, if your child is being bullied at school and you decide to do something about it to protect her, that’s democracy, in action. The exercise of an inalienable right when it is threatened is the expression of democracy. There are a million ways to express democracy, but few that suppress it and always by illegitimate force by those who pretend to legitimacy through the imposition of intimidation and fear.

Do I fear the government? Yes. They are horrifying and despicable. Should I be silent? No. Should I be cowed? No. Should I respect them because they are in a position of power? No. Should I do what I am told? Should I submit to their power? Should I forsake my own life in silence because they have the power to kill me? Isn’t it obvious? Do you need my answers? Are you a democracy? Or do you already know your own answers and your own mind because you are not a democracy? You, dear reader, are a sovereign being, just as I am and being a sovereign being can be very, very scary, but we are worth fighting for and we are worth fighting for our selves.

These are truly bad times and yet more and more people are waking up and realising that we are the people we have been waiting for. It has always been so. Whatever Jeremy Corbyn has to offer us, he cannot do it without us. The Tories have made it very clear that they can do without us and our inconvenient lives, whatever Jeremy Corbyn has to offer he needs us because we are the people who will make it happen. Who built the NHS that the Tories are stealing from us? Who teaches our children, who operates our frontline services, who make the wealth of the nation? It has always been us, even though we have been despised for doing so.

We may not have been consulted, but we bailed the banks out and saved the corrupt financial system. Did anyone hear a thank you?

KOG. 06 July 2017

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/social-care-scandal-tory-cuts-9836261

https://www.commonspace.scot/articles/10803/fiona-robertson-voting-tory-ge17-vote-kill-people-me-and-you-need-know-why

http://www.lbc.co.uk/radio/presenters/matt-stadlen/grenfell-tower-a-ghastly-monument-to-england-2017/

http://www.neonnettle.com/news/2280-grenfell-tower-fire-blogger-silenced-by-government-for-exposing-dangers

https://thepoorsideoflife.wordpress.com/2017/03/23/1824/

http://www.dorseteye.com/north/articles/a-quick-explanation-of-socialism

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Last week a parliamentary candidate was censored and silenced at a hustings by Amber Rudd. Following the attack in London Theresa May once again blamed cyberspace as a safe space for terrorists to breed and a former Metropolitan Police Senior Investigating Officer, Peter Kirkham, stated on Sky News that Theresa May was lying about Police numbers.

There are plenty of other examples I could have used, like the dementia tax, the right wing media attacks on Jeremy Corbyn, but what all these highlight about the Conservatives and the establishment ruling elites is, just who do they think they are?

At the hustings, Amber Rudd was not the first among equals, nor even someone in an especial position of power which gave her any authority to silence fellow candidate Nicholas Wilson, she relied on an assumed and presumptuous position of privilege which was only carried out by the chairman because he deferred his democratic authority to her. This highlights the enormous problem of inequality we have in Britain. It is so normalised that many ordinary people (probably the majority) cannot even see it and still others become incensed by the ‘presumption’ of those who dare raise any challenge to their ‘betters’.

Just as the poor are blamed for poverty, so the democratic space for ordinary people, the Internet, is blamed as a breeding ground for terrorism. Anyone who suggests, as Jeremy Corbyn has, that western wars in the Middle East create a breeding ground for extremists which in no way condones the actions of those extremists, is vilified as a terrorist sympathiser. We might just as well rewrite history and call the French Resistance in WWII terrorists, indeed, they were doubtless regarded as such by Hitler, regardless of whether they struck out against Germany or the German occupation forces in France.

Were the boot on the other foot, and Iraq, Afghanistan or Syria were striking against Britain and sending in occupying forces I would expect to be a part of the resistance and would also expect them to consider me a terrorist. I would consider it my moral duty to resist, but, and here’s the question, would it be morally right to strike like for like in revenge attacks against civilians? I would hope not, but then I am not in a war zone and have no concept of what effect the widespread devastation of my country would have on me. Without living it I cannot know how radicalised I might become.

Cyberspace is neutral, just as phones are neutral, as is writing paper, as is language itself. The vast majority of people are not using methods of communication for radical or extreme purposes, although clearly the media and government do just that, as is all too clear in the current election campaign. Theresa May is pointing the finger and calling for allied governments to “regulate cyberspace”, whilst avoiding any hint of responsibility for her and her governments role in domestic and world events herself.

What was shocking about Peter Kirkham speaking out and doing it on the mainstream media is that he was speaking to power and highly critical of it, calling Theresa May a liar, and Sky News actually had the courage to broadcast it. To put it simply and perhaps tritely, that’s just not the done thing. It bloody well ought to be, but Britain is so riddled with deference and cap doffing, such a thing, whilst refreshing, is rare.

The Amber Rudd incident sums it up. She was effectively saying to Nicholas Wilson, ‘Who do you think you are?’ What the chairman failed to do when Rudd passed a note to him to silence Wilson was demand of Rudd, ‘Who do you think YOU are?’

This normative state of deference is exactly what the Conservatives rely on to hold power. It is not the rich and powerful who keep the Conservatives as a credible main party, but the deference of those they seek to dominate and rule. This hide bound, deeply entrenched, historic deference will, I would argue, be the single most decisive factor in this election.

Interestingly, the Dorset Eye, to which I am a contributor, received a Tweet today which said, “I’ve unfollowed you I am only interested in promoting Dorset & hardworking people & businesses not lending my support to plebs”.

Well, quite. We can’t have people getting above themselves, now can we? Just who do we think we are?

‘We’, ‘they’, ‘people’, ‘some’, talk about equality… but as Mohandas Gandhi is reputed to have said when asked, “What do you think of western civilization?”, I can only say, “I think it would be a good idea.”

I doff my cap to you, dear reader, and thank you for your time, and lovingly ask only this, who do YOU think you are?

KOG. 04 June 2017

https://skwawkbox.org/2017/06/04/explosive-rudd-tries-to-censor-election-opponent-to-hide-saudi-terror-allegations-ge17/

http://www.ctvnews.ca/world/internet-bristles-after-may-blames-unregulated-cyberspace-following-attack-1.3443199

http://nicholaswilson.com/18-second-dismissal-by-hsbc-of-my-10-years-of-work/

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/jan/20/whistleblower-wins-13-year-campaign-hsbc-excessive-credit-card-charges-nicholas-wilson

http://www.dorseteye.com/north/articles/boris-johnson-supporter-s-tweet-takes-the-breath-away

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I have received a message from Jason Cridland, co producer of Dorset Eye:

“We must have a plan for both a win and a defeat mate. Many, many people will be distraught if Tories get a majority so we must prepare for it now. Many will need a vanguard and we must be part of it. Whatever happens the next stage is vital. xxx”

He’s right, whatever happens on the 8th, we must go on, either into a new beginning or dealing with what, for me right now (or up till now), is the unthinkable.

I’ve been intensely campaigning for a long time, beginning on March 17th 2012 with ‘A Letter a Day to Number 10’, since then I have gained a modest following and become a part of citizen media though Jason and Debbie, who are now personal friends, and Dorset Eye.

Unlike the mainstream media, we have a moral and ethical care for what we do. Call it conviction politics, or something wider like social responsibility, but whatever we might call it, it comes from a profound personal inner conviction in social justice in which politics plays a central role.

Media outlets are in the vanguard of news and public debate and none more so now than citizen media, which plays a vital role in the furtherance of democracy and democratic engagement and, for want of a better term, social ethics.

So what’s going to happen?

Personally, June 9th is either going to be agony or ecstasy, celebration or profound pain and despair. I’ve pinned my colours to the mast, a nautical term for a determination to fight on even if half your rigging is blown away: to keep going until the end becomes inescapable reality. No one enters a fight to lose, not if they have half a grain of sense, but, and it’s a biggy, losing is therefore all the more devastating for the conviction that preceded it.

I have deliberately not thought about losing, I can’t function as a writer or as an activist by borrowing trouble from tomorrow. I can’t deal in ‘What if’s?’ Conviction is in the now, and conviction also determines my future, which conviction must survive under the best and worst conditions.

So here it is, if we lose I am going to be flat on my arse! Mentally, physically, emotionally and in any other way you can think of. I remember how I felt in 2015 with the awful knowledge that we had another five years of Cameron. This is going to be much worse than that.

The first day will be when the shock hits and the next day(s) may be even worse as the realisation really sinks in. That is not the time to do anything precipitous, like killing ourselves. That’s the time to let it out, scream and shout, break stuff, get help, have someone hold you, phone Samaritans (116 123 on any phone, at any time, in the UK) maybe more than once, or rest, curl up, hug yourself, read a book, watch a film if you can, do something to get your attention away from the distress and the pain, walk, stomp, run, garden, swim, whatever it takes.

Believe this, you and I and millions of others will be going through it. Put something on social media or just browse social media, it’s going to be full of it, you won’t miss it, but as the saying goes, ‘This too shall pass’.

But what if we win after seven long gruelling years of oppression? I am not sure how I am going to react although there will be tears. It will feel like I’ve been holding my breath for seven years and suddenly I can dare to breath again. The feelings I will have will be just as dramatic but in a very different way, they’ll be a cathartic expression of hope held and suddenly realised and that’s going to take a great deal of adjusting to.

I have thought about this, if we have a Labour government on June 9th, ‘What will I do now?’ I am not sure how to describe it, but I guess it’ll feel like I’ve lost my job overnight, just like that. I’ll need an adjustment period at least as long as if we lose.

I’d like to think that there might be a spontaneous mass street party to give us all a chance to give vent to a great collective sigh of relief, not to mention cheers.

Whatever the result there’s no escaping that either way it’s a big deal. Winning will mean, at some point, knuckling down to rebuilding what the Conservatives have so determinedly torn apart. That’s not going to happen overnight, they planned too well and oh too deceitfully to inflict as must damage as they possibly could in their filthy greed for privatisation. The wounds to us, our NHS, education, housing, welfare, front line services, earnings, personal financial security, care services in the widest sense, alienation and divisions are deep.

Whatever happens, we’ll need to pull together, watch out for the vulnerable, those on the sharpest end of society. Life will go on, that’s not so obvious today, but it will and must and every lesson learnt, applied, to fight on or heal and grow. Are we not people, in all our wonderful diversity?

In the end, nothing changes in the need for kindness, care, consideration, love and togetherness. Despite their best efforts, the Conservatives, and the wider neoliberal agenda, have failed to kill those essential human qualities off and always will fail because those are the very same qualities we’ve been using all along to resist abuse and oppression and to fight for the better life we all so very richly deserve.

KOG. 01 June 2017

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This week in therapy I said, ‘I dream of living in a small cottage where I can walk outside and feel the grass under my bare feet.’ For me that is a dream of liberation, of peace and contentment.

As I sat here writing this, I was suddenly bathed in sunlight as the sun dropped below the clouds for one last glorious outburst. I grabbed my camera, put the SD card in and had to quickly change batteries then hasten out the door and down the garden to grab a couple of shots as the sun dropped below the horizon.

I’d been sitting installing a new router as my old one died a few days ago, by the time I’d grabbed the shots I was able to upload a picture of the sunset to Facebook then get browsing to find out what was happening.

Having been out of the loop for a few days, getting back online I discovered Corbyn everywhere. In just a few days the mood has changed, everywhere I looked there was enthusiasm and hope.

The Conservative manifesto is out and it’s brutal, but the responses are eloquent and vocal, even in the mainstream media, though not the BBC which continues its relentless anti Corbyn propaganda crusade, but people are getting it and, more importantly, calling the shots.

I had been tagged on Twitter to a report in the Dorset Eye (citizen media) which found that social media is dominating the election and that “Of the top 20 most-shared stories on the UK general election over the past month, according to web analysts Buzzsumo, nine are either pro-Labour or anti-Tory, while the remaining 11 are politically neutral”.

Twitter was dominated by BBC Question Time and one of the snippets that was being shared was of an audience member complaining about Labours proposed VAT on private schools denying the ‘brightest and the best the bursaries…’ but he never finished the sentence as he was stopped by the sounds of shock and outrage from the audience. He did go on to say that private school education would have less money going in, they (the brightest and best) couldn’t get the education they deserve and it would make the education of the state sector worse. He was clearly outraged, but as an example of the brightest and the best, he clearly wasn’t and the audience were not impressed.

A 2014 report in the Telegraph showed, overwhelmingly, that universities are dominated by state school applicants with the exception of just two, the Royal College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music. In 2015 Times Higher Education reported that ‘State school students outperform those from private schools at university’, and that ‘Students who went to a state school are more likely to leave university with a first or a 2:1 than graduates who went to a private school’.

Clearly the outraged young man on Question Time would do well to pay more attention to his studies. Unwittingly, he was merely putting forward his own perceptual distortion, something that dominates Tory rhetoric in denigrating the unwashed and uncouth masses, when nothing could be further from the truth.

What is losing the Tories this election is their fundamental belief in the righteousness of injustice, imposed by the worthy few on the unworthy masses. They are wrong, as ever, and yet too arrogant to accept their error and learn a bit of humility and we, the people, are not amused.

The simple fact is they positively enjoy attacking us, they believe, as an article of faith, that we must pay for the wealthy and powerful, even if we starve.

What has become abundantly clear is that the privileged believe that privilege, not aptitude, is the basis of their superior worth in their own eyes. It comes down to a very simple format, the privileged should be rewarded and the rest of us should be penalised to pay for them.

The relentless campaign against Jeremy Corbyn is a campaign of the privileged, by the privileged, for the privileged because he is a threat to centuries of ingrained superiority and the self assumed right of the few to lord it over the many. Whatever else Theresa May’s campaign is, it is a campaign driven by an almost phobic response to ordinary people, which resembles little more than a pathological horror of the great unwashed, the humble, industrial, proletariat. We are the hands that feed them and the thought of rewarding us for our largesse fills them with rage and indignation.

Jeremy Richard Streynsham Hunt, apparently a cousin to the Queen, is busily dismantling our NHS to turn it into a private profit making scheme for all his pals. When my router died I called my neighbour to ask him if I could log in to his broadband and if so could I have his password, “Of course,” he said, “no worries mate.” Spot the difference.

Jeremy Corbyn is the kind of bloke who would share his last sandwich with you, Theresa May would cross the street to avoid you. I live in Corbyn’s world, it’s as simple as that.

KOG. 19 May 20017

http://www.dorseteye.com/north/articles/most-shared-general-election-stories-on-social-media-overwhelmingly-anti-tory-with-no-sign-yet-of-fake-news

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/universityeducation/10728091/The-universities-with-the-most-and-least-state-school-students.html

https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/state-school-students-outperform-those-from-private-schools-at-university#survey-answer

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The right wing media, the Telegraph, Sun, Mail, Express, etc. are celebrating the hiring of Lynton Crosby to run Theresa May’s election campaign. They describe Crosby in such terms as ‘mastermind behind 2015 win’, ‘political guru Sir Lynton Crosby’, ‘the architect of David Cameron’s victory’, but he’s also known as ‘master of the dark political arts’.

Psychological manipulation and perception management, better known as propaganda or PR, lie at the heart of much of what we are going to be assaulted with in the following weeks.

This is a real time information war, a media onslaught against the best interests of ordinary people. The elites (very much the Tories) are for the elites and no matter how wealthy they get, they always want more and the source of their wealth is always ordinary people.

Every time they foul up, create a financial crash, boom and bust, they expect the victims, the ordinary tax payers, to pick up the tab regardless of the cost in the lives and well being of the people. And the media is fully complicit in this, telling ordinary people that the rich and powerful are the only people we can trust, even whilst sucking us dry, and demonising socialists and anyone calling for a fair and just society.

Anyone wanting a clearer picture of what is going on has to make an effort to find sources of information other than the main stream media. But in order to do that, it first requires that people begin to suspect that they might not be getting the full story. Even then it is not easy to gather information, it takes practice.

Alternative media sites are ranked lower than the mainstream media (MSM) by Google and other search engines. Type any trending headline and the MSN is top of the list. Information is sifted in favour of the dominant narrative of those in power including those who own the media.

What you will see are news articles from the Guardian, Telegraph, Sun, Mail, Express, etc. What you will not see are independent sites like Vox Political, Dorset Eye, Skwawkbox, The Canary, Evolve Politics and so on. Any reputable news site will source their information enabling readers to check what they are reporting for themselves, rags that the Sun, Mail and Express, the more extreme right, don’t bother to do so because they are in the business of manipulating their readers, not informing them.

Even the least curious, least media savvy, people will have heard how awful or useless Jeremy Corbyn is, and indeed, are likely to be the most vocal in their denunciation of him. They have likely never heard him make a speech, other then the soundbites offered by the mainstream media in discrediting him, never looked at his policies, never questioned what socialism is and perhaps strongly suspect it is really just the western face of communism, a wolf in sheeps clothing, and that Corbyn eats babies for breakfast (I think I am jesting there, but who knows?).

Theresa May would not have called this general election if she were not very confident of winning and she certainly wouldn’t be refusing to appear in debates or accepting any media presence (even those loyal to her) at her staged rallies or any questions from anyone about her policies. And she’s ahead in the polls. In fact she is supremely confident that she will get an overwhelming majority.

In front of us, then, is a battle royal.

I was raised in a dirt poor royalist Tory household and I learnt my politics in the school of hard knocks and I am now a socialist to my bones and I am certain of one thing, we have to take the Tories down. It’s been said again and again, we must get rid of the Tories, too many have already died at their hands.

We are faced with an opportunity, we have at our fingertips a means of mass communication unlike anything previously seen of the planet. If we are to be victorious then it falls to each one of us to use it and exploit it to challenge the propaganda that will be filling the airwaves over the next few weeks.

This is not the time for hopelessness, especially amongst those who are suffering the most under the Tory jack boots and who have my every sympathy. This is the time to fight, this is the time for vengeance, this is the time to direct all the pain and suffering, the fear and desperate anxiety, at taking out the enemy within. This is the time to use our fury and bring the Tories down.

For every moment of fear of the dreaded brown envelope falling though the door, hit back! For David Cameron saying, “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.” Let’s give it right back and hound them out of office.

Those who know me will know I never argue or debate. I share information to the best of my creative ability and care nothing for trolls and shills and Theresa May is nothing if not a troll and a plague on our lives.

I am not a democracy, I am a sovereign human being and do not agree or submit to being subjugated by anyone, least of all by the likes of Cameron and May, but Theresa May is the subject of democracy, she is seeking to remain in office as Prime Minister and she has a duty to the people, to the democratic power of the people and the people have a right to be informed. If she will not do it, and she won’t, we can and must. She wishes to rule by deceit, that is what she has employed Lynton Crosby to do. We have to call the shots and challenge every lie and they come up with, every deceit, every rotten ploy to deceive the public, using all our intelligence and creativity and the tools at our disposal.

And above all, set our teeth, our minds and hearts, to WIN! It is time to commit the nasty party to history. Whatever the result on the 8th of June, that is for then, this is now. Fight to wipe the smiles of their arrogant faces and eat their mockery of us. Fight to win back our lives!

KOG. 22 April 2017

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/britain-is-too-tolerant-and-should-interfere-more-in-peoples-lives-says-david-cameron-10246517.html