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Month: December, 2018

Ev’rybody’s talking ’bout…

Their favourite tv shows, well that’s not what this post’s title song is talking about. Copyright is owned by Apple Corps, Universal Music and YouTube and is presented here for your enjoyment, apologies if it doesn’t work in whichever country you are in because it is still the biggest anthem to diversity and love that has ever been put out by a musician.

I was saddened by the news on Christmas Day that another child has died while in the care of ICE for trying to escape violence. That is two children’s deaths too many for me and many others. There is also a video doing the rounds of a man who was shouting at a woman for talking in Arabic to her friend. There were staff at Macy’s and other shoppers who came to the rescue of the ladies and shouted the racist down and got him to leave them alone. His passing shot was to call them all liberal Democrats.

I’m not a Democrat, I don’t live in the USA, but if this is what the GOP stands for (racism, bigotry and complete small mindedness) then I’m just so pleased that I am not an American. There is a story that was doing the rounds a few decades ago, that when the Beatles played the USA they specified their audiences could not be segregated or they wouldn’t play. This integration led to a strong civil rights movement, and white kids stood shoulder to shoulder with black kids outside the theatres as well.

We need to see that kind of mentality back in the USA, people are people and should be respected for being unique. Inclusion and diversity is everyone’s right as a human being. If I don’t speak your language so what? If you don’t speak mine, so what? We have to break down barriers, don’t try to raise new ones higher than those already there. We should be welcoming everyone because by doing so we make our humanity stronger. Stronger humanity leads to stronger bonds between people. It will also mean an end to war. I know a lot of people will consider me an old hippy and they’re right. I was proud to be a hippy in the 1960’s and 1970’s, and I’m still proud of my hippy beliefs today.

Showing others how welcome they are, how loved they are, and how special they are doesn’t take anything away from us – it adds something to us. Human rights are for everyone, they are the rights we all believe are necessary for us to exist in peace. It’s not pie, people, so showing someone respect for their lives isn’t taking anything away from us. Showing others that you care what happens to them doesn’t make you less human, it shows how strong your humanity is. Anyone trying to take away the dignity someone has, shows how threatened and weak they are.

Of course the biggest threat of all is the hatred and division being spread by the hate monger who is head of the greatest Western Nation of them all. He has no decency, no humanity and he knows that if all those who hate him for his lack of empathy were to get together and vote for his Democrat rival in 2020 he would stand no chance of getting a second term. That’s why he is already threatening to cancel the 2020 elections, with his support at 44% he doesn’t have a majority who will allow him to get away with anything. He has committed so many crimes and lied about them all as well as blaming the Democrats (and Hillary as well as Barrack) for doing the things he has done he no longer knows where the lies stop and, truth be told, he is frightened of being found out. That is why he is doing everything he can to stop the Mueller investigation into his involvement with Russia and Putin.

The man has no feelings for anyone except himself, he used division to get into the White House, he will use division to further his own agenda as long as he can. He is still at the Helm of his business empire and using Government money to make himself richer, as well as his billionaire friends. He is a much bigger crook than Richard Nixon ever was, like Nixon he has to be stopped but cannot be allowed to choose his replacement, that has to be handed over to the American People to do so there is no danger of him getting away with his crimes without spending time in jail.

I really hate myself for this post but the truth is out there if you want to look at it, he has contracted himself so often even the blind know he lies every time he tweets and opens his mouth. I only hope that he is no longer president when I next travel to the USA.

You can hide your face behind a smile

Music for this post is provided by my favourite Beatle from his most poignant 5th album (2nd without Yoko) courtesy of YouTube, Universal Music and Apple Corps. Apologies if it doesn’t play where you are but I hope you enjoyed your Christmas holidays 2018 and here’s hoping we can catch up again soon.

I received a few presents for Christmas but those which mean the most are the ultimate edition of Imagine, Imagine John Yoko (the making of the album and film) and Gimme Some Truth on blu ray disc. I have read the book of the making of the album and film (and also the making of Fly) in 1971. Seems such a long time ago and yet it was only yesterday that I thought about how the world would have been if John Lennon had not been killed on that fateful December morning in 1980. He and Yoko were the most prominent speakers for world peace that it seems strange he died in such a violent manner.

Mark Chapman will be appealing for parole again next year but, as he has never apologised for his crime, I think he should remain locked up and told not to ask for parole again until he reaches 199 years of age. Shame we can’t have a people’s vote on that jail term being implemented. I don’t for a minute believe Yoko will be in danger but I fear for Sean and Julian as they both take after their dad in more than just looks. Because of that alone, he deserves to spend time in jail until they and their families are no longer at risk from him.

If you have a dream and don’t act on it then it is just a dream. If you have a dream and do something to bring it about then it becomes possible. John and Yoko were very much in love throughout their fourteen years together. Yoko is still keeping his memory alive today, while those of us who remember him still have his music, she has memories of their time together. It couldn’t have been easy for either of them in the beginning, she was accused of splitting the Beatles up (she didn’t that was all John), he was accused of being manipulated (he wasn’t he was in love).

The book makes it clear from the narrative (not just by Yoko but by others who were there when the album and film were being put together) how much John meant to Yoko and how much Yoko meant to John. They were madly in love and they completed each other. John was an artist before he became a musician, as a successful musician he had everything he thought he wanted but had to live his life locked into hotel rooms, a palace and a marriage he entered when Cynthia became pregnant to give his child a name. He felt trapped by his fame and his marriage to Cyn. This cost him to lose a lot of the artist he was, although in 1966 he found a way out of the prison when he met Yoko.

If people had understood how the fame was affecting all four of the Beatles from 1964 onwards, then the group announcement in 1970 would not have come as such a shock. Had the others wanted to continue as a group then they would have replaced John (Eric Clapton was in the frame for that gig) and not announced that they were all going their separate ways. Paul was not the first to release a solo album, that was George in 1968, he released 2 albums in the 1960’s and All Things Must Pass was his third album but his first rock album. John had already issued 3 albums with the Plastic Ono Band in the 1960’s before John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band came out in 1970. McCartney was the first album by Paul, and it was released the same day as Let It Be, although it shouldn’t have been.

The two albums only came out on the same day as the Let It Be album release was pushed back several times due to no one wanting to produce it until Phil Spector stepped into the picture. The album was released with none of the Beatles happy with the finished result. Had it been held back and polished up it would have ended up more like Let It Be Naked. Anyway, the point is, John wanted to spend time with Yoko, George was fed up being told what chords to play by Paul and Ringo was happy to go along with everyone and play what he was asked to.

When Paul and George announced they had albums in the pipeline and the Beatles were at an end, John was worried about what would happen to Richie, after all, he didn’t compose many songs, he was given songs by both John and Paul to sing. How would he be able to continue as a drummer without a group to play with? John was very pleased that not only did Richie continue making music and releasing albums and singles but he was also given opportunities to do other things, starring in films and directing others.

I think John might have been able to get the Beatles back together in 1985 for a one-off concert at Live Aid, he may have been the first one and put the group together around himself but he was the one the others respected and looked up to. Paul has said he was very glad that he and John had made up before John was shot and killed, it would have been horrible if they had still been arguing. Paul turned up to ask John if they could bury the hatchet and get the group back together in Los Angeles in 1974, but had been given a message from Yoko to relay to John which would probably mean the group wouldn’t get back together. Rather than ask John what he wanted he relayed the message from Yoko which led to John and Yoko getting back together later that year.

Who knows if John would have agreed to get the group together to see what would happen, as he himself put it to interviewers, there never seems to be a time when all 4 wanted to get back together at the same time. At various times George was interested, Paul was interested and John was interested but never all 3 at the same time and Ringo would have loved to have them all play together, after all he had all 3 play on his albums in the early 1970’s but never all on the same tracks. John had George at his sessions and would have loved to have Ringo on some of his albums. Truth be known he would probably have been happy to have Paul play as well.

I hope this has been fun for you to read as much as it was fun for me to write. Anyway, enjoy the remainder of the holidays and wishing you a very happy New Year and good health in 2019.

Well life ain’t no joke

I wish you a very Merry Xmas, dear reader, and a prosperous and healthy 2019. Music to accompany this post is from an Australian group you may have heard of, called INXS, the video is provided courtesy of YouTube and I hope you can watch it and enjoy the music. I cannot guarantee that it will play wherever you are, but you can always do a search if it won’t.

Today, I just want to write a few words to you, dear reader, thanking you for all the support and good wishes you have sent to me throughout the past few years while I’ve been blogging on here. I wish for you all, an enjoyable end to the year, good health and good fortune to come in the New Year and throughout 2019. I have seen a lot of things in my lifetime, most good but some terrible.

I have seen people being victimised for who they are, because their skin is a different colour, their beliefs are different, or their sexual partners are different from the norm. I came to realise early on in my life that none of this matters. We are, each and every one of us, human beings and no matter what differences we have, visible or invisible, we are all special and deserving of love.

In this life, however long or short it is, no one deserves to be hated for being who they are, not even POTUS45. However, no one deserves to be cruel to others and get away with it forever. If someone denigrates my brother, they denigrate me, if someone hates my brother, they hate me. My brother is every male person on this planet, black, brown, yellow, red or blue with purple spots. My sister is every female on this planet, same rules apply. If you were born in the wrong body you are still my family, regardless of which gender you occupy or want to occupy (trans male, trans female, non-binary, gender fluid or none of the above).

We are all in this together, and if anyone denigrates any of you and threatens you, know that I have your back and will do everything I can to protect you. If you are ill, I will do everything I can to make you better. When you feel under threat my brother or sister know that I will not support them. I want you to know how much I respect you and will do anything I can to give you a safe haven when the haters get too much.

The important thing is that we are all linked, everyone is never more than 6 links away from us. I hope you get to know a world where everyone is accepted for who they are, no one is made to feel ashamed because of who they love. I thought I might live to see these things come to pass, but there are still too many around too eager to put others down, too prejudiced to know love, too eager to hate because they are hateful. I have no room in my life for hate, prejudice is wasted energy like hate.

If you take anyone at random and cut them, their blood will be red, it will clot and go black when it congeals. I don’t know why this upsets some people, I don’t care whether or not you know me, if you like me or not. Only know that sometimes I am here and others I am there. If you find someone who makes you happy and gives meaning to your life then don’t ever give that up. You need something to get you out of bed in the mornings feeling glad to be alive for another day.

I hope you find peace, love (if you’re still single) and that reason to be happy to face each new day. Once upon a time there were men taken in war to be slaves, today there is still slavery. Today we can fight to end racism, slavery and poverty, using every means at our disposal. In the past there was no social media to make things easier to expose, with social media we can spend time keeping in touch with friends (some of whom we have never met). With the internet no-one can keep their illegal, unlawful or disgusting habits secret. We can expose their lies and hypocrisy and keep them honest, or at least try.

To close this, probably my last post of 2018, certainly the last this side of Xmas, have a very happy time this holiday season and embrace the New Year with hope for the future, hopefully we will see the end of the darkness and the beginning of the light.

I got a song that I can sing

I discovered a box-set of recordings by Sister Rosetta Tharpe yesterday while in HMV waiting for my wife to finish work. I would like to share a song with you from that box-set, if the video plays where you are please let me know what you think. The copyright is not owned by me and the song itself is quite old so may no longer be subject to copyright.

I know it may seem strange for an atheist like me to post a gospel song but I have recently discovered Sister Rosetta and she was an amazing guitarist, with a beautiful voice and she lifted my spirits this morning when I was listening to this song.

I was introduced to her music by a very reliable source for me of new music, Jools Holland. He knows more about R&B and blues than anyone else I know and when he recommends someone I listen. So far I have not been disappointed.

I will leave you with the video, if it doesn’t play where you are, I’m very sorry but you could try doing a search on your version of YouTube for Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Nobody’s Fault But Mine. Enjoy until we meet again in the New Year I wish you all a very happy Christmas, a joyful New Year and hope that 2019 sees us all get the things which matter most, peace and love for everyone. After all, there are too many out there willing to hate without provocation so let’s try and love that hate away.

Nothing is real and nothing to get hung about

As promised here is the video for the title of my last post. Copyright is owned by Universal Music, Apple Corps and the video is provided courtesy of YouTube, apologies if it doesn’t work where you are.

As mentioned in passing in my last post, there is now talk of treason in the American courts, documents have been passed to the Mueller enquiry into Russian involvement in the 2016 election of tRump. I think that, following the discovery that his foundation was using funds illegally and has been closed down, if I were POTUS45 I’d be looking to leave the country permanently now and go somewhere without extradition to the USA.

Sitting in an English garden, waiting for the sun, wondering why our PM is so adamant she will ask Parliament to accept her deal or reject it without going back to the country who elected her to get the best deal possible for the common man in this once great nation. She has probably signed her own death warrant and I hope we can get a Government for the people who will put the question back into the hands of the electorate to decide whether we accept the proposed deal which will cripple this country, leave the EU with no deal which will cripple this country, or Remain in the EU and withdraw Article 50 which is the only sensible option left.

Theresa May wants Brexit at any cost and that makes me wonder what has happened to change her mind since she was promoting that we remain within the EU during the referendum campaign. Has someone offered her a lot of money for her about face? In the words of another female in a position of power “The lady is not for turning.” so if she was prepared to ruin this country in order to promote her own self interests and agenda why hasn’t Theresa May followed her example?

Can we please have some sense restored in politics for all our sakes? America has a crook for an unPresident, we have a PM in the pockets of the 1% who own the most. We need to let these people know that we have had enough of lying, cheating and crooked politicians in a position of power and we need to get back to honest politics for the benefit of an entire nation. On the discussion of honest politicians, it seems that only Canada out of the quad (USA, UK, AUS and CAN) that has elected a PM who will do what is necessary for the benefit of everyone.

Australia seem to be going through the same mire that the USA is beginning to disentangle and the hatred that tRump has spread over the last 3 years is almost at an end. We are all human, I’ve said it before and I’ll continue to say it until everyone wakes up to this. The human rights agreed by the UN doesn’t apply to some individuals but not others. We are all human and we all have the same rights as everyone else. Anyone who tries to remove these rights from some, removes them from all of us. It’s not pie to be shared out, it is the basic rights we all have to be treated equally.

When I see someone escape jail for rape because it would harm his future career to do jail time, I see a rich white man getting away with a crime to commit it again and again. Next time he will be more careful and use a condom to avoid leaving DNA to catch him. Meanwhile, a black teen, who was underage, used her rapists gun to kill him while he was in the process of raping her. He will now not be able to rape any other child, her reward for removing someone so despicable from this world and protecting herself? Life in jail, she’s black and poor so this sends a message to the rest of America that white folks with the means can get away with any crime but anyone acting in self defence to protect herself and others will be punished to the maximum effect of the law.

Here’s the other side of the racist coin which DJT is very proud to leave as his legacy, along with a bankrupt USA, hatred and increased domestic terrorism by the alt-right he promotes. Do we really need this message to be sent to the poor and disaffected youth of any nation in the 21st century? I say not, I say we accept people are the same regardless of wealth and influence, in fact people with wealth and influence should be punished harder because they have that wealth at the expense of those they have trodden roughshod over for generations. Poverty is not a crime, poverty does not make us criminals. Injustice makes us criminals, and we need to redress the balance and treat everyone the same, anyone found guilty of a crime of abuse should receive a heavy jail sentence. No one is above the law and no one deserves to get out of jail time just because they are friends with the judge, or anyone else in power.

Thank you for reading the last part of my earlier post. Music for this post is here courtesy of Universal Music and Apple Corps, video courtesy of YouTube.

Boy you been a naughty girl

It’s been a while since I last posted, sorry for that. I read the news today that the T word was used in an American Court yesterday. One of tRump’s advisors has been told, contrary to the deal he struck with the FBI he will be doing hard time. This can’t bode well for the most egotistical unPresident the USA has ever had forced on them.

So where does that leave the rest of us who don’t live in the USA? Here in the UK, at long last, there’s a motion of No Confidence tabled. We can’t trust our Government to do what needs to be done for the country so the leader of the Opposition has decided it’s time to act in the nation’s interests. About time, we need to be asked, now that the cost of Brexit is known, what we want to do. The agreement favours the Eurocrats to the detriment of the UK, a no deal Brexit will cripple our economy, we need to have a say in withdrawing A50 and Remaining inside the EU with a voice over their actions.

I don’t accept that it’s too late to change our minds, after all the American people have suffered 2 years of tRump and we have undergone a vicious and hateful campaign at the hands of a nonGovernment who can’t agree on anything.

Music for this post will be included on the next one, apologies for that.

Well here we are, ladies and gentlemen

Music today is from someone we lost in 2016, his presence was a blinding light and I’m so pleased to have been to see him live. Courtesy of YouTube and apologies if the video doesn’t play for you, copyright is owned by Paisley Park and Warner Brothers so please enjoy the music.

There is a post going the rounds on twitter at the moment from someone called Mando, responding to a tweet from @thehill regarding a rape. The victim was an unconscious virgin who had blacked out for reason(s) unknown. The rapist is an ex-frat president and he will serve no jail time as part of his plea deal. Mando (@WarriorSix11B) tweeted and this is a quote:

“Let this be a lesson, teach your daughters not to become victims, they are not men, men can pass out drunk/drug and typically don’t get raped, some may, but guess what, that man will accept responsibility for his actions and live life accordingly. Women are not men!”

I responded telling him that anyone here would do jail time but I think it’s about time we all started standing up for each other again. If I saw a woman passed out I wouldn’t rape her or leave her lying where she could be raped. I would try to help her and, if I knew where she lived, would help her home.

We need to ensure anyone who rapes a woman does not get off without jail time no matter the plea deal struck. This is assault pure and simple and we cannot allow the perpetrator to get away with it. Enough is enough and women have suffered more than enough. I think that rapists should be tried in a court presided over by a woman, the jury pool should be all female and the DA (in the USA) or CPS prosecutor (in the UK) should be a woman. That way victims will not feel intimidated by her attacker as much and has a much better chance of seeing him locked up so he can’t repeat his crime with someone else.

Letting him off without jail time is an insult to his victims he has already assaulted and also to the victims he will go on to assault in the future. Jail time is the only deterrent currently available and if he doesn’t do jail time then what message does this send to women? They may be believed but if their attacker pleads down he can get away with the attack with only a slap on the wrist.

Assault is wrong, we cannot condone this and be seen to condone it. It is unacceptable in a civilised country to think that you can get away with assault and rape. A message needs to be sent telling anyone that if they take advantage of a woman they will do jail time for it, in the general population, with fathers of girls and deserve everything that happens to them in there.

I have said it before and I will say it again, if a woman says no it means NO. If a woman has passed out that means NO, unless she absolutely says YES then having sex with her is rape, pure and simple. Married to her or living with her makes no difference, NO means NO and if you ignore that then you are guilty of rape and deserve jail time. The only thing that means it is consensual is when she tells you YES, verbally or in writing if she can’t speak. Anything else is rape, rape is assault, assault is illegal (rightly so) and when the victim was a virgin then jail time is the only logical course of action.

Not even the POTUS should be above the law and he should do jail time for all the rapes and misogynistic comments he has made during his life time. Never before has someone so full of hate for everyone except himself, who openly uses drugs, been in such a position of power. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Anyway, to finish up this post, I am definitely not the only one who feels that rapists should be punished, nor am I the only male who feels justice should be seen to be carried out especially when it comes to rape of a woman. Let me know whether you agree with me that every one who rapes another human being deserves to serve jail time for his crime, whether he pleads guilty or not. Thank you for reading.

All the colors of the world should be lovin’ each other wholeheartedly

Here we are, less than 3 weeks left in 2018 and hate is all around us still. Here is an uplifting song (apologies if the video doesn’t play in your neck of the woods but I don’t have any influence over YouTube or Google). The Jacksons with a very uplifting message for everyone. Copyright is owned by Universal Music not me and the video is courtesy of YouTube.

I have noticed politicians come in for a lot of hate, some of them deserve to feel this but, friends and colleagues, do we have to drop to their level? There are a lot of people, like myself, who don’t trust politicians to do what is best for anyone except themselves. That is the nature of the world at the moment, when you see the leader of the free world colluding with a foreign power to grab power and then try to hold on to it any way he can, even if it means acting illegally, it does not bode well for anyone except him.

Politics and politicians in recent years have come under increasing scrutiny and rightly so. Those with nothing to hide have been completely above board and open in everything they do. Those who lie and cheat their way to the top don’t want anything they do to come into the public domain so they keep everything locked up and hidden. An innocent man welcomes an investigation into his dealings because he has nothing to hide, the guilty are the ones who try to stop the investigation any way they can. Even down to criticising those carrying out the investigation.

The ones who yell “Witch hunt” loudest are the ones who have the most to hide and they are the ones who will lose the most if their illegal activities are discovered. When tRump shouts that the investigation into his dealings with Russia won’t find anything he knows they will if they keep digging. If he said those responsible for ensuring that American politics are on the up and up and no collusion took place to influence the voters by a foreign government, which he won’t do, you would know he has nothing to hide as it is all out there for anyone to see.

Here in the UK we have a Prime Minister who is hell bent on holding onto power regardless, knowing the Brexit negotiations only benefit the top 1% she wants this pushed through and accepted to stamp her mark on history. During the referendum she pushed for Remain, now she has done an about face, the referendum was too close to accept any deal and the people should be given the chance to decide whether or not to accept the deal on offer, leave without a deal (and bankrupt the country) or withdraw Article 50 and Remain at the heart of a united Europe. Sovereignty and keeping control of our borders doesn’t enter the equation at all. The truth is we are a middling economy with no hope of standing in the modern world on our own.

You know how bad things are when a former deputy Prime Minister who was all for pulling out of Europe in the 1980’s tells the country we will fall on our own in the modern world there is something to be gained by remaining part of a united Europe and a whole lot to be lost by leaving. The parliamentary vote to accept or decline the agreement for Brexit was postponed indefinitely, but we only have until March to decide whether or not to accept the offer, decline the offer and leave anyway, or withdraw Article 50 and Remain part of something which is needed in the modern world. This has to be passed back to the people and we can decide now that we are better informed of what Brexit will actually cost this country in jobs, economic importance and standing in the modern world. You know tRump won’t back his promises of a free trade agreement with the USA because he has enough problems at home.

We deserve a better Government, one which will unite the people, and equalise society so that 99% of the wealth is no longer controlled by 1% of the population. As long as we maintain the status quo of a Conservative Government bowing down to the 1% we can not have a fair and just society. America is no longer the outstanding country it once was, it has become a joke thanks to POTUS45, he has been bankrupted more often than any other president before him. He was a draft dodger during the Vietnam War, yet talks of patriotism, he has never shown any signs of patriotism. He shouts and bullies anyone who stands in his way of holding onto power, he is completely paranoid and is, supposedly, the leader of the free world yet he allows Russia and China (the modern Axis of what is wrong in the world) to listen in to every conversation he has about security in the US.

We need to get rid of the current Government in the UK at the next General Election and the US has to change the current regime as soon as they can, either by impeachment and indicting the POTUS and forcing him and his VP out of office, or in 2020 by electing whoever stands for the Democrats. GOP won because the opposition was divided in 2016, the opposition has to unite in 2020 if tRump is not going to get a second bite of the cherry and completely bankrupt America and destroy the planet once and for all.

On a much lighter note, I feel that today is the first day in a long time that I can relax, take some time for me and not feel guilty doing it. I have some really good friends and even though I don’t always tell you, dear reader, I do appreciate all the love that comes pouring back to me from you. I feel blessed to have such a positive and loving family on here, most of whom I won’t meet, but really you all help me to get by and take each day as it comes. No need to worry about what is happening around me when I have friends in every corner of this planet we all call home. If I can help someone to survive these troubled times it is because of all of you helping me.

Please share the love with those around you, we are all travellers on this small insignificant rock revolving around and circling the sun. I thank each and everyone of you for making me who I am, reminding me what I can achieve and looking out for each other is the most important thing we can do. There was a video I saw this morning of an elephant stuck in a trough upside down, his mother was panicking as there were lions around but a nearby herd came and distracted the lions long enough that the baby elephant was saved. That is what makes a society, and a neighbourhood, helping one another to survive and live to tell the tale of our struggle.

There was also something yesterday which struck me as a human being and it was from someone ordinary, not a celebrity, he said that if you get a flat tyre and end up missing an important meeting that is going to spoil your day. If asked how your day was you will probably mention the flat tyre, you may also mention how things turned out because of that flat tyre but the flat will come up as it was what affected your day.

If asked when you are 90 what your life was like, you know that flat tyre won’t come up because it was only one day out of a lifetime. Why worry about the little things? We make them important at the time but learn how to get over things and you will lead a much happier and more fruitful life than you currently do. I am trying to learn that lesson and focus on the positives which happen every day and drown out the little upsets from my day so I don’t end up back in the blackness of my mind, listening to that bull snorting and scraping its legs because I can’t do things. One day at a time and one victory at a time, that’s really all any of us can do.

Hate has been winning for far too long, love is the new power in the universe and we can achieve more with love than anyone has ever done with hate. Please let me know what you think, what you feel and what you love, together we can survive and thrive. Do something for someone else and let’s make a difference in one life at a time. Once again, thank you for listening, reading, and making a difference in my life. Here’s to the next 12 months and hopefully we can all make a difference every month to turn someone around.

No sense in sitting there hating everyone

Music today is from the kings of prog rock, Jethro Tull, and the song Teacher. I don’t own the copyright to this song and the video may not play in every country, for that I apologise if it doesn’t play in your neck of the woods. If you can watch it then please enjoy.

I have almost finished the book I was sent to critique and will be reviewing it on Amazon and iBooks once I have finished but thought I would share with you my thoughts on the author, before getting into a discussion (if people respond then we can get a dialogue going) on the demise of democracy.

The book is Ascent by Morgan Rice, she is a wonderful teller of stories and writes over a few genres, I know what you think Jack of all trades master of none but you’d be wrong. Her writing is powerful and her characters are full of honesty, even the bad ones. I have read a lot of different authors and Morgan is definitely up there with the best of them all. While other authors have based most of their stories in one distinct genre of writing they can all write in other genres as story-telling at its best is universal.

Morgan Rice always makes her characters seem 3 dimensional, it is too easy to leave things to the imagination in regards to a characters descriptions and back story. Morgan doesn’t give the back story in full at the beginning of a series but adds to it as the tale goes on. Most of her stories are not limited to one book but will form a series, indeed Ascent is Book 3 in The Invasion Chronicles but is the first of this series I have read.

Having read a few of Morgan Rice’s books I have begun to appreciate the depth to her characters. You know that all of the main characters in her series will be given more of the back story as the tale unfolds and that means you can become invested in them, their trials, tribulations and suffer with them when things go wrong as well as celebrating with them when things go well. If you want to read her books they are widely available through book-stores in paperback and online in e-readers format from Amazon and Apple.

I currently have two books on the go, the one mentioned above, Ascent, and Harry’s last stand mentioned earlier this week. To return to Harry’s Last Stand, he has said that democracy demands that we all use our vote to make our voices heard. Americans learned that lesson in 2016, when POTUS elect 45 turned out to be Donald tRump. Since then there have been allegations of voter fraud, some of which have now proven to be correct, sour grapes actions to limit the teeth available to incoming senators and representatives who are Democrats by the displaced Republicans.

Like America, Britain has a first past the post system for elections which means that we also have a 2 horse race for control of Parliament. Labour have now returned to their origins under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, while New Labour were elected for promising more of the same old Tory mis-management of the country to favour the 1%-ers who seem to control the current Government.

For democracy to work it seems so obvious that people have to use their vote and create the change they want to see. Yet to most of the people able to vote they sit at home and refuse to use their vote. This leaves our Parliament run by a party which may not be the best one for the country as a whole, but they are the one who got the most votes through the ballot box. It seems strange to Harry Smith, and myself, that with online banking we still have not got the option for online voting from home. There are ways to ensure the system is kept secure and this would give everyone the opportunity to vote when they have time rather than having to go out in person, either to vote or else to post a ballot paper back when they have a postal vote. Postal votes would become a thing of the past if there was the opportunity to vote online.

I know we have several parties here in the UK but there is not a chance that the smaller parties or independents will be given enough votes to form a Government. In times of trouble we have ended up with coalition Governments which do not work in the best interests of anyone as Government is strained. We had austerity measures put in place following the introduction of the coalition Governments in 1929 and 2010, these made the poor poorer while the wealthy increased their profit margins or went to the wall. Who missed the companies who were destroyed? The poor, as the ones which didn’t survive the Great Depression or the Credit Crunch were those offering quality goods at reasonable prices with very low profit margins.

If we continue to sit at home without voting then big business will continue to influence Governments in order to avoid paying their way. Avoiding paying the taxation businesses are able to pay but only what they want to pay is legal but wrong. Government should be taking higher taxation payments from those able to pay and less from those who have less disposable income. Unfortunately, at the moment, this is not the case. The rich who earn billions of pounds every year will send most of their earnings to offshore countries offering tax relief rather than pay tax on their earnings.

Anyone with savings doesn’t want their savings taxed, quite rightly if they have less than £1m, however, if they have more than £1m why not agree to pay tax of 10 or 15 per cent on this to help the Government to balance the books? After all they will get interest of more than that on their savings. They are not subject to the same constraints as the poorest in society. The reason they don’t want to pay tax on their savings is because they pay tax on the interest, however, it is not fair that they have savings when the poor don’t manage from pay day to pay day on zero hour contracts.

There is so much injustice today I can understand why people don’t want to vote for either of the main parties because there was nothing to choose between them. Both Tory and New Labour were listening to big business and the 1% and made laws and passed bills to protect their profits. Jeremy Corbyn wants to return to the Labour practices which levelled the playing field by sharing the wealth around among everyone in the UK. Why shouldn’t everyone pay according to ability in order to promote the ideals of society as a whole?

Is democracy finished as a force in the modern world? Can we not do anything to promote our leaders to consider everyone and not just the elite when passing laws and gaining revenue from all to pay for the services to benefit everyone? Please add your voice to the discussion by commenting or linking this post to a post of your own. Let’s see how the majority feel in the UK, the USA, Australia and NZ about democracy in their countries. Thank you for reading.

Be nice and have fun in the sun

Music today is from the Small Faces in 1967, copyright isn’t owned by me and the video is shared courtesy of YouTube from a German tv show, hope you like it.

There are a few petitions taking off on regarding the Brexit agreement, most call for a peoples vote on the proposals because the electorate in the UK now know the Leave campaign lied to them about the savings to be made if we left the EU. However, there are also some calling for Brexit at any cost because “That is what was decided in 2016 when there were only 4% more in favour of Brexit than Remain.”

Democracy has to be seen to be effective and the Tories, under Theresa May, have not negotiated a package we should be happy with. The Tories have never been the party of the common man, and they are trying to sell us out by taking us out of the EU while leaving us in. The proposal on the table will leave us subject to the laws passed by the EU, and paying for the privilege, while not having a say in what those laws are. This will continue until the EU decide we can leave, the end date will not be set in stone so it could go on for decades, or longer.

Now the facts have become clear we need a peoples vote with 3 options on the referendum:

1 – To accept the current proposal which is not in our best interests as a Nation,

2 – To opt to leave with no agreement with the EU, and

3 – To Remain inside the EU giving us the power to decide which laws get passed by the EU to become law inside the member states.

While I have no wish to go against the referendum result from 2016, much has been discovered since then to negate that referendum decision. We were told that we would be stronger outside the EU – false. We would have more to spend on our welfare state, neither recent Tory Governments or Labour have agreed to this and they have both tried to destroy the safety net of the welfare state since 1979, this also is false. We were told that immigration is an issue and we should take back control of our borders, the biggest issue facing the working class in this once great country of ours isn’t immigration but rather the ruling and upper class. Wages have stagnated, zero hour contracts are now the norm in retail, poverty is on the rise and more people than ever face the prospect of going cold and hungry because they haven’t got enough money to cover their bills never mind feed their families.

The Great Depression following the crash of 1929 should have showed us that austerity didn’t work. Profits rose among the companies who pressed their workforce to accept reductions in staffing and wages, other companies who tried to weather the storm went to the wall throwing millions onto the scrap heap. The recession caused by the so-called Credit Crunch in 2008 has shown the same things happening today. Luckily we had the Welfare State to soften the blow, but it is no longer fit for purpose as successive Governments since 1979 have watered it down.

Benefit cheats are not costing the country billions, no matter what the media want you to believe, the few people who cheat the system are not millionaires, no the millionaires are now billionaires because they still generate wealth on the backs of the poor. Benefit cheats are not trying to make a buck, they are trying to survive by milking the system. The system would not be there at all if Thatcher had had her way, she wanted a return to the days of her past when the middle and upper classes were the only ones who could save money, the working class “knew their proper place – on their knees” and only the wealthy could afford health care, food and somewhere decent to live.

You don’t have to believe me, take a look at the people using food banks, they are those who should receive benefits but have had sanctions placed against them for not following the rules. They are working people on zero hour contracts who have not been given any work, or reduced working hours, and can no longer pay their way. People are becoming homeless because they can’t afford their rent. Prescriptions are uncollected in England because people can’t afford to pay for them.

This is not the England I signed up for. I want to see a return to the England which cared about people, shared the wealth around and didn’t use scare tactics to keep the working class down trodden and feeling grateful for any work at any price. I want to belong in a country which is fair and just. Feeding its people as a matter of course, the current Labour leadership may be weak, but it is the only alternative open to many of the working class, retired people from my generation who didn’t have the money to pay for private pension pots to keep them in luxury.

Jeremy Corbyn is a good man and he is trying to keep the Government in check and responsible for everyone’s welfare. I urge the working class to get behind him and remember that they have been lied to by successive Governments since 1979, all we want is a fair days wage for a fair days work. No more, and certainly no less. We need to let Parliament know that the politicians are there to do our bidding, if they won’t they need to feel the wrath of the electorate and be out of a job come the next election. My MP is Labour and she is doing everything she can to protect this country from the Theresa May’s and David Cameron’s who want to build on the work started by Margaret Thatcher to destroy the welfare state and divide the working classes. After all it is easier to subdue a divided working class than it is to control a united one.

We were destroying the old class structure through the 1950’s and 1960’s, unions were strong and wanted to promote the welfare of their members, then in the 1970’s that started to go awry, not because the unions were too strong but because they tried to use the strike as the means of first resort rather than the last resort it should have been. The unions were not the enemy of the people, the enemy of the people were the faceless corporations which sought to keep their high profit margins and wanted Thatcher to take on the unions and get the working class back on their knees in their proper place.

We need strong leadership to get back on track with the reduction of the class system in this country. We need to be allied with the rest of Europe to give us a strong voice in the world. Without Europe we will be nothing, ignored, forgotten and downtrodden. This nation has to be rebuilt from the bottom and the best man to do that is Jeremy Corbyn. We need, as working people, to get behind him and make him stronger. We have to have the courage to back our principles for a fairer society. When David Cameron said we were all in this together, what he meant was the poor had to suffer hardship because there were too many who wanted to preserve their profit margins and even increase these.

We are not all equal any longer, education is once again being placed fairly and squarely in the hands of the elite, if you can afford to pay for it then you can get it and get on, if you can’t then you will be left behind. This is the 21st century, welcome to the politics and realities of the 18th. Wake up Britain before it’s too late and take control of your future before you end up unable to get health care unless you can pay, dental care is only available now to those who can afford it. Benefits will be phased out in the coming decades because the Government will tell you there are too many trying to take more of a reducing pot. If the welfare state went back to the initial ideals of everyone paying what they can afford so that those in need could receive the benefit there would be no shortage of funds available for doctors, nurses, dentists and teachers. Education should be open to everyone not just the elite who can afford it. Education feeds us all into the same system and encourages more people to become better citizens because it levels the playing fields, that’s why the elite want to stop the working class having access to education.