Poetry – The Future – Where are womens’ voices?

Vice and Verse cover

The Future

I was feeling rather despondent last night. Perhaps I was merely tired?

In among all the environmental destruction, the wars, planes being shot down, fundamentalism, torture and barbaric deaths, I was looking for a glimmer of hope.

It was hard to see.

I was looking at the applied misogyny of Sudan where the women were walking around in their full body coverings and gang-rape was a weapon of war – even against children – and I was appalled.

Sometimes it appears that the future looks grim.

We live in a bubble in the West. Our women have not yet achieved full equality in many respects but compared to the rest of the world they are valued.

It seems to me that the world needs to hear the oestrogen driven voices. They are softer than more caring than the testosterone belligerence that seems to drive most of the globe.

Perhaps females are that shard of light I was hoping to glimpse?

The Future

Within the gloom of the future

Is there a shard of light?

Something to hold on to?

To fix our sight?

For all I see is control.


It looks so dark ahead

Within the minds of men.

Where are the women’s voices?

As the stone-faced, glazed

Armies patrol.


Opher 30.10.2015

50 thoughts on “Poetry – The Future – Where are womens’ voices?

    1. That is interesting. What are you experiencing there? The programme I just saw made it look grim and hopeless.

  1. Thank you Opher what you had to say was so important. I have said for so long that if more women were raised their voices perhaps they would be listened to. We need more strong women wars that need not have happened because there was no proof of “mass destruction weapons”. Saying that I will never forget that here in UK we had a strong woman in charge who gave the orders, over 30 years ago, for “The Belgrano” to be blown up despite it was flying the White Flag.
    Women who have had children who will understand that so many wars achieve nothing only more deep resentment. Yes we need more women to raise their voices, we give birth to those that create wars, those that die in wars, but we now live in a world where do many women in the west really care, look to those women who are suffering they need more womens’ voices.

    1. In both males and females there is a range of psychology and terstostyerone that overlaps. I think Thatcher had more testosterone than most men. She wasn’t really the voice of females.
      I long to hear that gentler voice of caring reason and moderation. It’s a strong voice.

    2. Would you change your mind about Thatcher’s decision if that white flag was a false flag? Had the ship been a hospital ship there could be no argument, however, it was full of heavy artillery and many combatant troops. It was sailing around the sea territory perimeter for it’s own temporary safety, (but certainly was not en route back home) so be it in what could be construed as a retreating manoeuvre, but could have turned around to reek havoc at any given moment. And let’s face it, they were the aggressors – so fair game.

      Interesting to see the good Mrs. Hillary Clinton recently shaking up the Argentinians with off the cuff proposition that they should have another shot at reclaiming “their” territory. Of course this is all part of USA’s next phase of strategic endeavours to make as many friends as possible in South America, and as a starter lifting the trade embargo with Cuba. They blew their chances in SE Asia and Middle East and know all too well that both China and Russia have these areas covered, so where else is there to go? She’s just another dangerous hard boiled Hawk, that we really don’t need.

      1. Andrew – I think there’s a difference. The ship was sailing away. They could easily have tracked it and taken it out if it displayed aggression. I don’t think it was fair game.
        Clinton is, as you point out, playing politics. They’re all Hawks. I don’t trust any of them. It’s like Ed Sanders said – ‘How come you always end up voting for the lesser of two evils?’

  2. That’s just too very decent and stiff upper lip, considering the Argies government were a nest of slippery snake despots. White flag? – what about it? Nelson failed to see one too, but he’s a hero. Is that because he was a man?
    What happened was that initially the Belgrano was their naval HQ. They never bargained for UK’s swift and forceful reaction, so they took her out the way of danger as she was indeed a sitting duck. That cargo could very easily have been reconfigured amongst any number of smaller vessels, which is believed to be their plan, however, we 2nd guessed them and saved them all that effort. That action did potentially save a lot of Brit soldiers lives.

    This argument is almost replication of UK’s destruction of Dresden, where a lot of complaints were subsequently raised. However, 100,000 people living there were actively engaged in full scale manufacture of weapons.

    1. No. Dresden wasn’t a major arms manufacturer. They bombed it because it was an easy target and they could make a point. The whole thing is very debatable. As a pacifist who accepts war as a very last resort I think both the Belgrano and Dresden were beyond the pale. Though I can see the argument. I just don’t agree with it.

      1. It was indeed, loads of ammunitions factories and heavy water. If they wanted an easy target why fly so far east? They could have gone to Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Hanover or Munich. It didn’t even hold Germany’s largest population sectors. It was an industrial hot spot on a grand scale.

        I’m not disagreeing with any of that – it’s all hell as far as I’m concerned, too.
        Of course it’s debatable. There’s also people who today believe the Nazi’s didn’t have any death camps. But I’ll take the testament of those that entered Buchenwald and Alfred Hitchcock’s filming.

      2. Are you sure? That doesn’t sit with my understanding. I’ve read that there was no major military importance for Dresden. That is why I hold my opinion of it being tantamount to a war crime.
        I am certain about the concentration camps – I visited Dachau. It was a very sobering experience.

      3. Although I am always confident of my WW2 stuff I did some delving into my library and here’s a brief summary of why Dresden was a target.
        7th largest city
        Primary communications centre
        Initial US reports – at least 110 factories & industrial plants
        Employed at least 50,000 just in arms plants, plus all the others.
        Factories included those dedicated to manufacture of aircraft, chemicals, optical, electrical, x-ray, mechanical gears & electric gauges (some of which was for the production of heavy water, at other locations) & an anti-aircraft & field gun factory.
        Barracks, camps and munitions storage depots.

        1942 issue of The Dresden Yearbook, written & printed by the Third Reich, stated,
        “extensive & versatile industrial activity – one of the foremost industrial locations of the Reich”.

        The German high command had listed 127 factories crucial to the war effort.

        Despite all the above, the allies main target were it’s rail yards.

        Death tally:-
        David Irving had stated a figure of 250,000, but actually he had no evidence at all of such a figure and had simply quoted verbatim a figure accredited to Colonel Grosse.
        Meanwhile, contrary to Grosse’s, within Berlin Chief of Police reports of spring 1945, these state a figure of 25,000. These figures via official Reich documents first surfaced in May 1966.

        Plus the absolute fact that Bomber Harris was not a man to dick around wasting vital resources “making a point”. Every action he ordered had to muster crucial results and target selection was of tantamount importance. He could ill afford any wastage.

  3. In response to Andrew, no one believed that The Belgrano was going to bomb us, Thatcher had the info to say it was sailing away, but smart arse british giving the info knew better, as for Clinton she needs to keep her nose out of our business all she is interested in is being President at any cost, she is one woman the USA does not need. Sorry Opher for putting my opinion in.

    1. Put it this way – the UK set the 200 mile radius perimeter, basically stating don’t enter. That was set before the UK fleet had even arrived. So, it was really just a warning. On 1st May, the Argies make a failure of their attack and the Belgrano was instructed to get out of the way 6 hours after. It sailed to just 36 miles outside that initial 200 mile line. That’s no distance at all in combatant naval terms. Just 11 hours after their failed attack it was spotted by a sub and 2 of 4 torpedoes hit it.
      The Argies navy was such a shambles that the 2 destroyers guarding the Belgrano (a cruiser) didn’t even know it had been hit and sailed off into the dark of night.
      I think UK was very much at liberty to review it’s protection line at any given time, considering it had just managed to stave off their aggressive although failed attack.

      1. I think Thatcher was playing politics and the Belgrano was no danger. The Belgrano was heading away. There was no need to sink it and certainly no need to glory in the recorded screams of the sailors being burnt to death inside. The fact that they played the tapes to the crew of the sub displays the mentality.
        The fact was that the Falklands were left defenceless due to policy and When the Argentinians landed on Georgia mixed messages were sent. A bit of decisiveness then might not have gone amiss.

    2. Opinions are what are needed. You can’t have a debate if everybody agrees and it is always good to examine your own views and see if they stand up. We’re all big enough to disagree on some things without falling out.
      I welcome all views whether I agree with them or not. Who’s to say who’s right?

  4. I hear you, Opher. We need that gentler voice. That voice that comes from true Heart. It is only through Love that we will find peace. There is no way to find peace through testosterone driven (male or female) war. The feminine is more receptive, more community oriented, more peace oriented. Love is the answer, but not in the way that most people think of it. Not personal love, although that is good too, but tends to have strings and baggage attached. I am talking about a broader Love consciousness. I do see people moving in that direction, and that makes me believe in miracles even though it looks completely bleak worldwide.

  5. Sorry Opher may I make a comment again. Dresden will always be a matter that many say should not have happened, one man had the blame for it all put on him, others kept quiet. How many died and died being burnt to death. Germany, we here always say lost the War yet I remember the fifties and sixties and bomb sites still existed in this country, where was Germany you know damn well up and running and who heads Europe, Germany – War!! As for The Belgrano, Thatcher was a liar and a force she believed could never be broken, what she did to the miners in this Country should be remembered by us, well she was broken, and broken by HER OWN.

    1. I’m sorry Anna, I think you misunderstand just why Germany is heading Europe at this moment, today. Basically, every country in the EU gets to take a turn. The UK had their turn some time ago with Blair, and I think it was France who followed. It will be another countries turn again quite soon.

      Would you rather have a lot of men dying young with lung disease just because of some dirty coal – coal that we should never have been burning. That’s crazy – and she led the world to rethink it’s coal burning strategy. We have much cleaner fuel resources than dirty coal.

      1. I despise the woman and the callous way she treated communities.
        The futility of war is clearly demonstrated by the Second World War. Europe has destroyed itself time and time again. It is power mad lunacy. We build cities up and knock them down. We waste billions of pounds and destroy lives. It’s happening all over the world. Humans have a power flaw.

      2. I don’t care who is heading Europe. It matters little. All I want is a more global perspective and unified position without all this nationalism getting in the way. The politicians and all their power madness can go screw themselves. I want a global perspective.
        I don’t defend coal as a fuel. It is dirty and mining was a nasty, dangerous profession. It is the callous, lying way that it was shut down for purely political motives that I despise. Thatcher wasn’t thinking about the health of the miners or the environmental implications of coal; she was thinking about smashing the Trade Union movement. It was all laid out in the Ridley report. They figured they had to break one of the big three (Power, Transport or Miners) and they would suceed. They carefully chose the Miners and prepared well before launching in. It was callous, calculated and vicious. What she did went against the law of the land and common decency.
        The Mining industry needed to be shut down because of health and environment but that should have happened over time with proper planning to accommodate the unemployed and maintain their communities. The way it was done was not good economic or social policy. It was cynical politics.
        The Tories showed themselves to be socially divisive, in favour of the establishment, wealthy elite and derisive of working people. They treated them like shit. It’s a wonder there wasn’t a revolution. That’s the British for you.
        Owen Jones, in his fabulous book Chavs – the demonisation of the Working Class – lays it all out. The Working Class used to have respected, well-paid jobs in Mining, Steel, Ship-Building, Fishing, Car Manufacture and the like. Those jobs were hard, dirty but respected. They are now offered low paid work in supermarkets.
        I hate everything the Tories stand for and I’m probably someone who has benefitted from some of their policies..

  6. Andrew, forgive me I was being sarcastic Germany is the strong one ask people who runs Europe and they will tell you German. As for the young men dying of lung cancer do you honestly think those miners thought of that, they thought of their jobs, the unions and Thatcher hell bent on getting revenge,destroying the unions she was one vindictive woman look what she did to the North. She divided this Country, of course we had that bastard Blair who came along and look at us now. So much good about this Country, still some bad for a start the Class system still exists something I have voiced opinions on for as long as I can remember, those of us from working class and proud of it are still not accepted in many quarters.

    1. Thatcher was a bastard. The class system is still doing very nicely. I have some personal experience. The establishment still runs the show and they are very picky about who they let up the greasy pole.

      1. How right you are she was the biggest bitch alive. I will always fight against the class system in this country. No matter how friendly this lot appear to Southern Ireland they still look down their nose at the Irish. Even my own late husband on his first visit to Ireland had enough to say, on his second he wore his RAF tie (served with the RAF during the last War) would not listen to me when I told him not to, after all I was 30 years younger with no sense, then my cousin’s Husband warned him, he listened then.

  7. We’ve been her before. You said the same thing then – which I can’t get my head around as it’s almost tantamount to an imposed government sanctioned early death sentence – such as you readily express utter dismay over with regards wanton waging of war. I see no difference between an unnecessary passive death and that of an aggressive violent death.

    Have you forgotten all these strikes and power cuts throughout the 70’s, imposed on the entire population by a few zealot minded militant union type people. Stupid little semi-educated toe rags such as Arthur Scargill? I would have shot that f***wit myself without batting an eye lid.
    Have you not noticed just how clean the buildings are in our cities?
    For years and years fair warning was given that we’d be doing something to greatly reduce coal production. The nation was choking to death on the shit.
    Quite how you can despise someone for saving us all from quite simply an awful death is remarkable. I don’t care that she was Conservative as opposed to Labourite or whatever – that’s irrelevant in real terms. Take a look at death by lung disease (including miner’s wives and children)statistics and then tell me she did the wrong thing.
    The only reason it wasn’t the Labour party to make such changes was 100% political – they were in fear in losing support. What scheisters, how weak minded were they? How dare they place their political supporting votes above priority of the nations general health. Which goes to prove that in fact they were not fit for government.
    Go to Newcastle or Ayrshire and ask any young man – do you regret not having the opportunity to get down t’pit – and they will laugh at you and some.
    Nobody misses that disgusting job as it was except those immediately affected by having to do something else – those that would be deemed fit enough. And the funny thing is, nobody was forced to go work down these pits (except during WW1 & 2), it was an inherited life choice, one that ultimately was unsustainable, not just for men’s health and welfare, but our immediate environment.
    I know Ayrshire like the back of my hand and today it is a beautiful county, so green and clean. Back then it was a filthy hell hole and the only visible scenery (that you so love to photograph and appreciate as much as I do, too) were disgusting slag heaps.

    There still are coal mines operating today under private concern, but very sensibly managed and safety precautions and controls are extremely good.
    Nobody dies from rotten lung disease.

    Answer me this one – you were a Head Master at a secondary school, right? Therefore, you would know something about careers advice, at least I was given said lessons at my school.
    Are you going to tell me that you sat there in front of that 30 or so young person classroom and actively advocated on the merits of becoming a coal miner? That it was a good wholesome career choice? I really don’t think so!

    1. Quite agree – coal is nasty, dirty stuff; the job was dangerous and unhealthy. We’re all better off without it and I would never have advocated anyone doing that job.
      But that is not the point.
      The whole focus was not on health and the environment; it was on breaking the unions and that created shit for everyone down the line in all types of work.
      Having said that – and I’ve always been a staunch union man – NUT rep for twenty odd years – there were a lot of extremely outdated union practices that were in need of reform. I was all in favour of getting rid of restrictive practices, closed shops and such like. They were stupid. The unions needed overhauling – not destroying.
      I believe the unions were crucial in achieving fairness and justice. They’d grown too daft. It was counter-productive. But what Thatcher did was about power and the establishment. She wanted power for herself and the bosses at the expense of working people.
      Coal should have been phased out. It is archaic fuel. But those communities were based around those industries – whole communities. They had pride. It should have been done with compassion and planning. What happened was despicable.

      1. If you were to say that what she did to the Traveller community was about power etc., I’d completely agree. But there comes a point that when a union actively and effectively brings the country to a standstill – what needs doing?
        Neither do I remotely think that it was all Thatcher’s will either. The House of Lords had a great deal to say about it (long before any pit closures) and considering it’s home to a plethora of Labour peers, there’s some form of double standard at play – if taken purely on terms of political power play. It was not and to state otherwise is propagating an insidious myth. The sort of crap the Sun, Star and NOTW printed. Bullshit straight aimed at the working class. They bought it, in spades.
        Your NUT lot were namby pamby’s – educated people with the ability to negotiate within civilised terms. A good example of the other side of things could be say, Billy Connolly’s stories about the activity of his shipyard union and you’d get a very different perspective. It was wholesale corrupt. His supervisor (also union rep) spent his life sitting in the loo reading the paper, drinking tea, and the boy’s sole responsibility was not how to learn to build ships, but keeping the loo warm enough for the sup. Any complaints resulted in a good kicking. Any management concerns expressed were met with all out threat to strike action. These union people were their own worst enemy.
        I’ll fly the flag anyday in support of working class – I would never have had my career with them, so I very much appreciate what’s right and wrong. But a yobbo is a yobbo, regardless of title, responsibility etc. Therefore, abuse of power exists every which way one turns. It’s a case of what’s considered a popular cause that gains credible merit, not so those that are not so popular.

        When I was 19, I was approached by a union man asking if I’d like to join the TWU (or whatever it was called, I was training with a subsidiary of British Rail). When I told him that might not be too good an idea as one day I might be the manager here, he was off like a rat up a drain pipe.

      2. Andrew you make some valid points. The unions did get too big for their boots. There was corruption and bad practice. I’ve encountered all that myself. They needed overhauling and those practices dealing with. You’re a hundred percent right.
        My only disagreement is in the way that was done and the reason behind it.
        There were better ways.
        I also blame the Labour government before who should have tackled the bad practice. They let it slide.
        The Tories strategy was to lay waste and destroy. They created class warfare. That was worse.
        And the NUT were and still are namby pamby. When we were fighting for a fair wage in the 80s I led the strike action in my school and was on the local federation advocating real action. Instead of silly one day strikes we should have pulled all the Maths teachers out indefinitely until we got justice. We were being shafted.
        If we had done what I suggested we would have won.

    2. Andrew apologies for butting in when you clearly refer to Opher, but this I must say I bloody detest people like you who refer to “stupid little semi- educated toe rags such as Arthur Scargill” you mean people like him working class, what were you private education? When I was leaving school regards finding a job, girls were told “Hairdresser/shop assistant or if you were lucky in an office. I wanted to be a Professional Nanny (a real nanny) how dare I, well as it was I was given the opportunity when I was 18 but my Mother put a stop to it as I was earning money working at The Prudential. Boys were told car mechanic, carpenter/plumber etc. Class system you can bet your f…..g life it existed and opinions like yours. I had a good education in fact a better education from the state than my two Sons had, and when they were preparing to leave school they were given the same working class jobs to take. Nothing changes in this country, upper class individuals in high positions, working class kids not accepted and if they are they had to crawl, I never would neither would my Sons.

      Miners and no jobs, I shall just say this YES I remember the power strikes and feeling so cold, yes I remember the trains striking and the bloody underground going out in sympathy. Yes I remember when Fords where my Father worked calling strikes, for all that I would not support the Tories. We had a labour government here some years back run by a Tory Bastard by the name of Blair a man that went to War with no proof behind him, a man with USA President who are responsible for what is now going on in the middle east and don’t get me started on Syria, Cameron and USA Pres. sat back on their arses and now start trouble when the Russians go in.

      How dare you insult the Working Class as though we are uneducated, speak for yourself. I am bloody proud to be working class. Your site Opher apologies for my butting in.

      1. I think you touched a nerve there Andrew.
        I personally don’t think Scargill had any option. They set him up and he had to fight. The way they changed the laws, stoked up the coke stores at the power stations, bought off police and transport and planned it out laid it all out. Scargill either meekly accepted and capitulated and saw the Miners humiliated or he fought. He came close to winning. That would have been interesting. The Tory media did a job on Scargill. But then they always do. They’re busy plotting against Corbyn.
        There were far better ways of bringing about the necessary changes. Thatcher was brutal and thuggish.

      2. No Anna, I went to a normal comprehensive school. It was a good one though and voted UK’s best in 1970, shortly after it opened in `68. It’s facilities for academics and sports were fantastic. It catered for both those whom were academic achievers and those whom would be leaving school with no qualifications at all. It was situated in a huge country park a couple of miles from my house, so we were bused back and forth.
        I did nor come from a wealthy home, nor spoiled. I was not naturally academically gifted and had to work hard and push myself to pass exams. You can tell that from my atrocious grammar, right? My dad was a science boffin and mum had been an elocution teacher for the BBC and later on an estate agent. She taught both her sons how to speak English properly, but without all that unnecessary posh stuff expressionism preferred by a lot of stuffy English posh people. You get me?

        I cannot stand Communists, and Skargill was such. He bleated on about an 18th century designed industry as we could see the horizon of the 21st. He was a balloon. He bleated on about the working man, yet far too many of his congregation were actually only semi-skilled. He was on a loser.

        When I left school I wanted to become an hotelier. I wanted a job that would enable world travel.
        My company employed 32 trainee managers every 2 years, with 90% coming from all the posh private schools. I was one of the 10% whom did not and was probably accepted because I could speak the Queen’s English. That factor has stood me very well throughout my life.
        The training period was on average 56 months, depending upon quarterly management assessment. The dropout rate was heavy, hence the greater number at the start. Unsuitable candidates for future management were dismissed from the programme at any time during that 56 month training period.
        I needed to have my act together all the time as many prying eyes were always on me – and did they make me aware of that, or what!
        I learned to detest slackers, moaners and non-achievers. These people are utterly useless to any good going concern. I’m sorry if you can’t agree.

        You mentioned Germany earlier and it’s strengths. How right you are.
        In 1981 my company sent me for one year’s cross-exposure training at the Inter Continental Hotel, in what was then West Berlin.
        It was unbelievable in comparison to what I only knew of then in UK. It was 20 years ahead of our stuff. There was a very strong Union presence but they worked hand-in-hand with the management. There were never the remotest threat of strikes or down tools stuff over any dispute. I couldn’t help but notice and made inquiries as to what made things this way.
        My German colleagues told me it all stemmed from the war. Their country was so badly wrecked that everybody had to pull together in order to get the country back together, so there wasn’t any room or tolerance of anything or anybody, regardless of who you were or where you came from, if in opposite direction in order to achieve this. And that mentality stuck hard and fast into their society at large. As a body of people they realised their only strength was as a whole. You can’t do it as fractured bits and pieces. Same goes in the natural world – look at the behaviour of Bees. It’s all for one and one for all – regardless of position. Positions are cogs in a giant wheel, not positions of power. That’s where we fall flat in this country. We are greedy, selfish and insular. Too many of us have no concept of the greater good and that’s because of huge differences in education standards between the working class (in general, but certainly not all) and those others lucky enough to receive the best.

        I’ve told many a union bloke that I could do their job any day, but they wouldn’t know where to start with mine. They never argued with me because they knew the truth, too.
        It’s all about the bigger picture, not just what’s visible in front of you.

      3. Now Andrew – If I can just butt in. I agree with a lot you say. But not all.
        I have no problem with communism in principle. In fact I would probably say that my philosophy of fairness and equality is verging on communism. I’ve yet to see it work. Where-ever it has been put into practice it descended into fascistic tyranny (China, Russia, Cuba, Cambodia, Vietnam, Korea), but the principle is OK.. I think that Nicaragua might have been OK.
        I’ve met my share of slackers and corrupt thieves in both management and the workforce and despise both. But I’ve met far more hard working, caring people who do more than a fair days work for a fair days pay. They outnumber the slackers many times.
        The type of union action you describe in Germany is what I strived to achieve, with some success, in my school. I believe an institution should run as an effective, harmonised, open arrangement between management and workforce for the good of the institution (in a school – for the good of the students). I hold no truck with laziness or slackers – but I also hold no truck with overbearing management and arrogant bosses who think they are superior and deserve more.
        I had a comprehensive school whose intake was spot on the national average. We catered for the full ability range and every one of my students was equally important. Nobody, not even the damaged, left my school without qualifications. They were happy and with self-esteem. The low ability and Oxbridge students were treated the same. They were judged on effort, supported and carefully monitored. Each one was valued. And not merely for academic but creative, social and personal skills. They all had a future.
        Of course we failed with some – but hardly any.
        I like your vision of union and management working together. I think you are too hard on Scargill. I don’t like the man but he was representing his men and his whole industry against a full-on attack. What did you want him to do? – Roll over? There is nobody who could have done anything different. He and the miners were royally shafted.

  8. What part of Ireland. My Father was born in Blarney Village, little house facing Blarney Castle grounds. My Mother in a tiny hamlet called “Kippagh” pronounced “Kip pork” mostly people say “Kipper”, its in West Cork. Boys and myself love Killarney, it is where all going to plan I will be scattered in my favourite place with my late Cross Border Collie.

    1. I’m not sure. I’ll check. She was a very stern lady!
      I had a cross border collie too. He was lovely. I miss him lots!

  9. Skargill lived in the dark ages. Best forgotten. I’m sure I saw some striking miners throw rocks at the heads of policemen. That too was thuggish.

    Corbyn – why on earth has he put that dangerous lunatic Diane Abbott (whatever her name) on his front bench. She’s a nut job. No wonder he’s taking some flack. Here was a golden opportunity for him to wipe the slate clean of all those whom couldn’t run a bath and back up she pops. Incredibly bad decision and just who has twisted his arm here?

    1. I don’t mind Dianne Abbott. I thought she was OK.
      But did you see the Channel 4 film of the Orgreave picket? They filmed it in long shot uncut. It was horrendous. It also shook my faith in the BBC as an unbiased reporting institution. They were deliberately and inexcusably biased.
      The miners were in the field in the sun eating lunch. Police lines opened and police cavalry charged out through the miners trampling them and smashing their heads wiuth great long wooden truncheons. It was unprovoked and like something out of a medieval battle. The miners scattered, regrouped and came back at the police with rocks.
      If I had been there and seen my mates trampled by great hulking horses and having their heads staved in with clubs I would have got myself some rocks.
      The BBC deliberately reversed the order to make the miners look responsible.
      The provocation and violence dished out by the State was as bad as anything I’ve ever heard. They were animals. I support the miners. The police were pigs.

      1. Without annoying anyone any further, the way the Police charged those miners no one could forget, I lost all respect for the police. Did you ever think you would see the Police turn on their own people, that was the first time but not the last. They are pigs, we have a police station at the top of my road, do they come out not any more, they park their cars down this road but are a real lazy lot of ……………… Yes sympathy with the miners they did not deserve that.

      2. I was merely pointing out that violence came from both sides, having given the police thug aspect as a given that we all witnessed. Yes, I saw a good doc on that, maybe a year back?, and of course what we didn’t know the truth of back then was the true order of events.
        Nobody looked good, tempers were at boiling point. And we know that some police really enjoy giving out kickings.

      3. There was violence on both sides. But what I saw was that the police initiated it and provoked it. They are supposed to be the ones keeping law and order and calming things down. They were used and deployed as an arm of the government and clearly took sides. That is not their role. They should not be political. I was disgusted.

  10. Andrew, I apologise if I offended you and I am pleased to see that you went to a Comprehensive, I did too my school was a brand new Comprehensive when I went there and I often say to my Sons I had a better education than they did. I remember the music lessons, the art not that I was good at it much to my regrets, the science lab etc etc, that school taught me a lot but as I said when we were due to leave the career advice was as I said earlier. My School was situated in a working class area, majority of us from Irish backgrounds, and it was a Roman Catholic School so you can imagine what was ground into you. Both my parents spoke with a very fine Irish accent, my Father actually coming from money and having been taught by the Monks, or should I say as he told me “it was beaten into him” but he found work where he could and was asked to come over to England where he met my Mother who was working in Richmond for a Dr and his wife. As I said previously I am very proud to be from working class background but coming from Irish stock it was made perfectly clear to me I was not English, even though I was born here. My Father taught me not to hate anyone, to be tolerant I don’t think that worked and to accept people for what they were.

    I do not like injustice where ever I see it and I am opinionated. I know The InterContinental in Berlin and when I first visited I was amazed as to the room so advanced on any hotel here I had stayed at. When I was growing up one of the most beautiful women I had ever seen lived next door to us, her name was Jeannie or Auntie Jeannie as I called her, she was German and this was the fifties, I was born 1949. Jeannie had taken a lot of abuse as you can imagine coming over here, we won the war remember. Her husband Jim had been saved by her parents they hid him at great risk to themselves, he obviously fell in love with Jeannie and thats how after the war he went back for her. I used to climb the garden wall, making sure my mother never saw, and would play with Peter her son who taught me cricket, football and rugby, not that I was good at any so you can see I had a love for Germany stemming from my love for Jeannie. Jeannie used to say after the war everyone back in Germany worked together to rebuild the Country while the British sat around drinking tea, I know what she meant we are good at talking rather slow elsewhere. I remember having an argument with a Harvard Professor who told me to my face “the bombs were going off and all you brits did was drink tea, we did the work for you”, to which I quickly informed him “the RAF have to fly at night because you lot could not see to fly in the dark”, that is true my late Husband was in the RAF during the last war.

    Thatcher divided this Country and it was never the same again, whatever opinions on the coal mines and the miners it was not about all that Thatcher was determined to teach Scargill a lesson no matter what happened, he was going to pay for Ted Heath even though she hated Heath herself. What I thought I would never see was when the Police turned on their own people, that was an utter disgrace, my feelings and respect I had for the Police vanished. I have seen myself how they protect their own, having had criminal damage done to my own property by a neighbours son who was not only drunk but high on drugs, it is easy to pick on widows believe me. When the Police were called they went to interview this neighbours son, 3am this took place, and they came back and told me “nothing we can do, take it up with the council” and that was that. Why, well it so happens this Neighbour was in the Fraud squad at Scotland Yard, did I receive justice, like hell I did. Some time later this very same neighbour had the police call on me because my youngest Son was playing golf in the garden and one of the balls went over two gardens and nearly hit his grandson he claimed. Bearing in mind David had purchased a professional golf net to prevent such a thing, he never played golf again. When I took the policeman out into the garden he had no more to say, except I reminded him the neighbour was one of their own, to which I was told to be careful. Any wonder I have such strong views.

    I apologise Andrew if I have offended you in any way, I do have strong views and I guess no matter what my age I will still do battle albeit from my office chair. I have enjoyed our debates, well you may not agree and it was rude of me to take over when it is Opher’s site. No offence intended, put it down to the Irish temper in me, but I soon forgive, (I don’t forget) – I hope you do too.

    1. Not at all Anna – I’m a big boy (but very skinny!) from Glasgow. I’m not in the least bit offended by anything – what did you say that was? Nothing at all.
      And I don’t think Opher for one second would think that you’re “butting in” – isn’t that what we’re supposed to do here, you know, chat about stuff, exchange points of view between each other.
      My dad lost his older brother at the invasion of Scicily in `43, he was a glider pilot, rank of Sgt, RAF, shot down over the sea at 23 years old. I remember my Gran showing me the letter she had received from his commander, saying he was missing in action. Her face said it all. I now possess all his letters that he’d sent home – not that they said very much because of loose talk precautions.
      She also lost her 19 year old daughter to Diphtheria, shortly after. The combination of both losses killed my grandfather so I never got to meet him.
      I did get to meet my mother’s dad – he had been a policeman! Had spent a lot of working years throwing Chinese sailor opium addicts back onto their ships at Glasgow docks, and when he was older he did control room duties. Nothing very exciting although during the war years in Glasgow, the bombing was terrible, so he was busy dragging people out of burning buildings and so forth.

      Again, absolutely no offence taken. Cheers.

  11. I too was directly affected by Thatcher’s policies of selling off all the BTHotels to some right scurrilous chancers. She sold some amazing buildings for a song. Effectively she sold me out of the job I’d worked so hard for. I remember the day when some cowboy Ugandan company, Gomba Trucking (yes, these world famous hoteliers, not) took over the Welcombe Hotel in Stratford-upon-Avon, when I had just qualified as a junior assistant manager. Their MD said to me “you please look after the penny’s and I’ll look after the pounds”. I looked him in the eye and replied “I’ve a better idea, I’m just going to fuck off and you can and all”. I’ll never forget that day. I moved myself to Hilton International in quick style.
    So there’s absolutely no love from me to her. But I stand back a bit with a view point and avoid my own personal beef that would only discolour things.
    I was shafted by every one of my UK employers (4 in total) for non payment of overtime – there wasn’t ever any payment, bank holiday payment etc. But that never happened abroad, where in a couple of countries I would more or less expect that, especially when they find out you’re leaving them. But I was always paid for that last month’s work.

    If I’d have my time again I’d give the UK a complete body swerve at the soonest opportunity.
    I would go to mainland China (not Hong Kong – horrible place that robs you of on average 73% of your salary just for accommodation rental costs). That’s why I had chosen Jakarta over Kuala Lumpur (boring, shuts down at midnight and full of religious police) or Singapore (very boring and so expensive). Jakarta was not quite as cultured as Kuala or Sing, but a total rock ‘ rolling party city. I loved the place and it’s people.

    1. I think I would probably have gone to Australia. I loved it over there. I haven’t been to Jakarta. Sounds good.
      Right guys – I’m off to catch some shut-eye. Thanks for all the neurone stimulation. Enjoyed it.
      Good night!

  12. Opher, Goodnight and enjoy the Rugby when you finally get to watch it. Thanks again for a great afternoon, had this old brain working. Great fun, thanks very much. Anna.

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