Am I British or European?

Am I British or European?

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2400 year ago Britain was inhabited by the Celtic tribes who came across from Europe in 300 BC. So the first Britons were European.

The Angles and Saxons came across from Germany, Netherlands and Denmark to displace the Celts.

Then the Romans came across from Italy, the Vikings (mainly in the north) from Norway, Denmark and Sweden and the Normans from France.

Then there were the major mass immigrations – the Huguenots from France and Jews from Russia and Eastern Europe.

The trade links of the British Empire opened up trade routes and there was an influx of people from further afield – Arabs, Indians, Africans, Chinese and hosts of others.

In the 20th century we had further waves of immigration from Jamaica, Pakistan, India, Africa, Turkey, Greece and the Middle East.

The stand out thing about the British is that we are mongrels, full of hybrid vigour. All these people have contributed greatly to our culture. Our language is the best example. It is basically German/Danish but with much French, Italian, Indian, Jewish, Arabic and Dutch imports. This provides the richness of language that enables nuance and an array of subtleties that most other languages do not have. It is this richness that gives us writers like Shakespeare.

To be British is truly to be European in every sense of the word.

Leon Rosselson – Palaces of Gold – Meaningful lyrics.

Leon Rosselson – Palaces of Gold – Meaningful lyrics.

 

I love Leon Rosselson. I think he is one of Britain’s greatest song writers, perceptive, astute and intelligent.
In this age where the Tories are intent on bringing their dogma to bear and using austerity as an excuse to slash public services (While giving tax hand-outs to the rich) we desperately need people like Leon to point out the inequality and what it means.
Leon and I stand for fairness.
I saw what the Tory cuts did to education first hand as both a teacher and Headteacher.
They are heartless and uncaring when it comes to ordinary people. As far as they are concerned the money could be better spent on larger profits for business.
Their own sons and daughters have the privilege of Public schools, private health-care and gated communities. They have no need for the public services and despise the majority who do. They resent every penny spent on them. If they had to use the same public services the rest of us do there would be a miraculous improvement.
Leon says it better in his song.

Palaces of Gold

If the sons of company directors,
And judges’ private daughters,
Had to got to school in a slum school,
Dumped by some joker in a damp back alley,
Had to herd into classrooms cramped with worry,
With a view onto slagheaps and stagnant pools,
Had to file through corridors grey with age,
And play in a crackpot concrete cage.
Chorus (after each verse):Buttons would be pressed,
Rules would be broken.
Strings would be pulled
And magic words spoken.
Invisible fingers would mould
Palaces of gold.
If prime ministers and advertising executives,
Royal personages and bank managers’ wives
Had to live out their lives in dank rooms,
Blinded by smoke and the foul air of sewers.
Rot on the walls and rats in the cellars,
In rows of dumb houses like mouldering tombs.
Had to bring up their children and watch them grow
In a wasteland of dead streets where nothing will grow.

I’m not suggesting any kind of a plot,
Everyone knows there’s not,
But you unborn millions might like to be warned
That if you don’t want to be buried alive by slagheaps,
Pit-falls and damp walls and rat-traps and dead streets,
Arrange to be democratically born
The son of a company director
Or a judge’s fine and private daughter.

Roy Harper – The Tallest Tree – a homage to Chico Mendes

Roy Harpers tribute to Chico Mendes – The Brazilian conservationist who was murdered trying to save the Amazon rainforest.

He stood against the destruction and died for it.

The earth is possessed
By the curse of the west
Who devour
Newpaper furniture
Paparazzia by the hour
But a man with a vision
Believed
That tomorrow’s begun
And has to be won
And nobody here is reprieved
O Chico, Chico Mendes
The man in a million
Stood in the way
Stood his ground
For the earth
For the coming of day
The chorus of dawn
On the perch of each morning
Receives
A forest of tears
As the joy reappears
On their leaves
And believes
Sings his name
And the tallest tree
Forever stands
Beyond the flame
North south east and west
We can all reach the rest
Every day
Now is the chance
To set out together
For a beautiful day
Whoever saw it
A different way
Was a man in a nightmare
Too numb to the future
Of brilliant possibles
Ever to share
The same air
As the men in the clay
O Chico, Chico Mendes
There are men who are more than just men

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! I wish you all a fantastic year! Let’s make 2020 a special year!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! I wish you all a fantastic year! Let’s make 2020 a special year!!

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Well as 2019 draws to a close I think we can all say GOOD RIDDANCE!!!!

A year of populist fear, Brexit chaos, right-wing extremism, environmental catastrophe and nationalistic isolationism.

GOOD RIDDANCE!!!

Here’s to a world of outward looking cooperation, love, bridges, compassion, environmental sanity, tolerance and hope!!

I WISH YOU ALL A YEAR OF LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP!!!

I thought I’d share the wisdom of the Christmas crackers we have just pulled!!

 

Why does Santa have three gardens?

So he can ‘Ho Ho Ho’.

 

What do mice do in the daytime?

Mousework.

 

What do you get if you cross a snowman and a shark?

Frostbite

 

Where do you take sick horses?

The horsepital.

 

OK – that sums up the frivolity – the kids loved them!

Have a great New Year!

 

All the best

Much Love

Opher

Let’s change the world for the better!!

An inspired quote by Michael Collins, Apollo 11 Astronaut.

As we move out of 2019 with all its problems of populist leaders, right-wing extremism, environmental destruction and nationalism I am looking towards a brighter future.

Dewin sent me this inspired quote by Michael Collins, Apollo 11 Astronaut.

“I really believe that if the political leaders of the world could see their planet from a distance of, let’s say 100,000 miles, their outlook would be fundamentally changed. The all-important border would be invisible, that noisy argument suddenly silenced. The tiny globe would continue to turn, serenely ignoring its subdivisions, presenting a unified façade that would cry out for unified understanding, for homogeneous treatment. The earth must become as it appears: blue and white, not capitalist or communist; blue and white, not rich or poor; blue and white, not envious or envied.”

Hopefully the world will wake up from its folly and start building towards a better future!!

Thank you Dewin!!

Thank you Michael Collins!!

Here’s to a better world!!

Love and Peace – Opher

Hope – I thought it was worth circulating this. We all need a bit of hope.

Hope – I thought it was worth circulating this. We all need a bit of hope.

Dear amazing Avaazers,If you ever doubt that our efforts together are worth it, or if you’re just needing a bit of hope and light in your day, read on.

Bet you won’t be able to stop :).

Avaaz Movement Wins 2016 (So Far!!)

Fin whales swim free

For years, Icelandic millionaire badboy Kristjan Loftsson has massacred hundreds of endangered giant fin whales. But no more!! Working with allies, a million of us pressed the Dutch government to close their ports to him, then German Avaazers helped to block ports there too. Then we caused a media and political storm in the Caribbean where Loftsson’s ship was registered. After years of pressure, he’s called off the hunt!

“The global pressure brought by the Avaaz community has no doubt played a big role in Loftsson’s welcome decision.”
– Vanessa Williams-Grey, Whale and Dolphin Conservation.
Saudi Arabia: No More Weapons For You

Saudi Arabia is a human rights nightmare, but after they bombed schools and hospitals in Yemen, calls rose in Europe for an arms embargo. When EU politicians started to waver under the pressure of powerful Saudi lobbyists, 740,000 Avaazers weighed in, flooding members of parliament with messages and calls. And we won — for the first time in history, a Western parliament voted to ban arms sales to Saudi Arabia! Now the pressure is on for governments to follow the European lead.

“We’ve received calls from Scotland to France to Yemen calling for action, Avaaz played a major role to bring this message to the European Parliament.”
– Alyn Smith, Member of European Parliament
Blocking Monsanto's most profitable poison

Monsanto’s glyphosate weedkiller is everywhere, providing much of the mega-corporation’s revenue. So when UN experts said it likely causes cancer, 1.5 million of us called to ban it! With Europe set to re-approve its licence for 15 years, Avaaz delivered our petition and thousands of us sent urgent messages to our governments. In the final hour, support collapsed, and the EU commission was forced to postpone the vote! We’ll keep the pressure up until we get the ban our planet needs.

“The Avaaz campaign helped to raise awareness and concern of the general public about glyphosate. This helped me as a parliamentarian to work on this issue… Stay with us in this fight”
– Pavel Poc, MEP and Vice Chair of the Environment, Health and Food Safety Committee for the European Parliament.
Winning for Palestine

After horrendous civilian death in Gaza, almost 2 million of us called on 6 major companies to stop profiting from the Israeli military occupation of Palestine. Our movement sent messages to CEOs, held rallies from London to Ramallah, met with government and corporate officials, and lobbied other countries to cut ties with those companies. And as of last month, 3 of the 6 have pulled out!! It’s a tactic that’s having impact in the struggle for freedom and peace.

“The 1.8 million signature Avaaz petition was powerful, and we hope that Avaaz members will continue campaigning.”
– Mahmoud Nawajaa, BDS Civil Society Coordinator in Palestine
Saving the lost Refugee Children

Thousands of Syrian children seeking refuge are lost in Europe, without their parents and preyed upon by child traffickers. That’s why 40,000 of us donated to fund lawyers to find them, provide legal support, and get them to safety. Dozens of children are already being helped. And just this week, three boys arrived in London and were reunited with their families for the first time in months!

“Nothing I could say could convey how grateful I truly am to all of you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
– One of the boys on arriving in the UK
Somalia ban FGM

The Prime Minister of Somalia just joined over a million of us by signing our petition to support a full ban on female genital mutilation! Somali women’s rights experts told us that global pressure could help them outlaw female genital mutilation — but we never imagined that the Somali Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, and dynamic Minister for Women and Human Rights would respond by signing the petition, too! Working with these leaders, UNICEF and survivors, it’s now likely that FGM, done to 98% of Somali women, will become illegal!

“I am committed to outlaw FGM in Somalia through legislation, advocacy, education, and community engagement.”
– Somali Prime Minister, Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmark, as he signed our petition.

Shining Our Light in 2016

These battles are part of deeper struggles — between forces of love and fear, hope and despair, ignorance and understanding. Sometimes Avaaz campaigns are about shining our movement’s light into these struggles, to help shift our culture and politics. Here’s some awesome light-shining examples from the last few months:

Celebrating Greek Heros

Inspired by Greek fishermen and pensioners who have saved and cared for thousands of desperate refugee families, Avaaz member, Alkmini, started a petition to nominate these unsung heroes for the Nobel Peace Prize. Then more than 600,000 of us backed the request, and Desmond Tutu endorsed an official submission by 230 academics to the Nobel Committee.This moving story of humanity triumphing over fear captured the world’s media from CNN to the BBC.

“In times when fear and racism are threatening our societies and Europe is raising fences, the big mobilisation of Avaaz members made the voice of humanity echo loudly around the world.”
– Co-Founder of the Leros Solidarity Network, Matina Katsiveli
Guatemala Slavery

After decades of silence, 14 brave women just went to court to confront the Guatemalan generals who kept them as sex slaves. As they entered the courtroom we surrounded them with love, delivering messages from over 40,000 Avaaz members across Latin America. The women’s courage prevailed and for the first time ever these generals were convicted of crimes against humanity!

“I was happy to hear the messages of support. I know I’m not alone, and I wanted to uncover my face when I heard that there are people all around the world that support me.”
– One of the women, Doña Rosa
Cologne

After women were attacked on New Year’s Eve in Germany, a flood of racism and xenophobia spread. Refugee men responded by handing out flowers to women on the streets as a show of respect. To return the gesture and show solidarity and welcome, a hundred female Avaaz members went out to hand flowers back to refugees in Cologne, the site of the attacks. Their video went viral!

“Refugee men handed out flowers to women as a sign of peace. As Avaaz members we wanted to reciprocate this courageous gesture to show that we counter hate with humanity.”
– Maresa, Avaaz member

Achh, that stuff just lifts your heart doesn’t it?

The really crazy part is, those stories are a small fraction of our movement’s work together over the last few months!

What we’re doing matters, we’re winning, and we’re winning in a way that is building the kind of world we dream of for our children. There is much to do, but this is a moment for gratitude for the 43 million scrumptiously wonderful people in this beautiful movement. What a joy it is to do this together.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

With love and gratitude,

Ricken, Alice, Ben, Maria Paz, Emily, Risalat, Mike, Lisa, and the whole Avaaz team.

PS — a big reason Avaaz can do all this is we are 100% funded by small individual donations — no corporate, government, foundation, or large donor money. To keep it all going, click here:
https://secure.avaaz.org/en/reportback_fr_16mar/?bCAwEjb&v=74381&cl=9707409141

Masculinity in crisis? What is a man? One man’s view!

Masculinity in crisis? What is a man? One man’s view!

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Men – what use are they? Some women would happily do away with them.

They are big, smelly, violent, aggressive, silent, unemotional, twerps.

The problem as I perceive it is that we are such a new species, and civilisation is so recent, that the habits we have are stone-age. We haven’t had time to adapt to this new concept of society. Men are still living in the tribal mentality – fighting on behalf of the community to ensure we have enough territory to provide the food we need – being aggressive and terrifying to warn off other clans and predators – gaining status through brave, aggressive acts – being strong and violent to foreigners and lions.

The trouble is that we live in towns and cities now. We get our food from supermarkets. The foreigners live down our street. There are no lions.

Men have become superfluous.

We don’t need big muscles when we have power tools that children and females can control.

We don’t need tattoos and short hairstyles that look aggressive because there isn’t any territory to protect. We all live together in big communities. There is plenty of food.

We don’t need to produce smells to warn off predators. There aren’t any predators in cities.

We do not need to be aggressive and violent anymore.

Once the aggressive, violent, courageous nutters were a valued part of the community. They protected us all. Now they are a throwback. They are out of date.

In a modern society it is not about brutality; it is about intelligence, empathy, partnership and responsibility.

It is alright to be emotional.

Women and foreigners are on an equal footing. We can all contribute equally. Society, global travel, and technology have levelled the playing field.

Men need to adapt to the modern world and move out of the jungle.

We can love, cry, empathise, feel, cuddle, laugh, reach out and relax.

This is the modern world – there’s no room for the violent cave-man. We’ve moved on!

Grow your hair! Be soft! Be open and friendly! Be kind! Be welcoming!

The new, modern man must learn to compete with women.

(Likewise, the modern woman has to stop pandering to the Neanderthals. Worshipping that smelly, violent monster of the past is only encouraging them!)

These are my six books of poetry. They are available as paperback or on Kindle from Amazon – all for under £5 for a paperback. You could buy the whole lot for just £27.62!!

They are not conventional poetry books. They are like you find on my blog with a page of explanatory prose followed by the poem. The prose is as important as the poem to me.

 

Codas, Cadence and Clues – £4.97

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Codas-Cadence-Clues-Opher-Goodwin/dp/1530754453/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1460847766&sr=1-4&keywords=opher+goodwin

Stanzas and Stances – £5.59

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Stanzas-Stances-Opher-Goodwin/dp/1518708080/ref=sr_1_9?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1460882298&sr=1-9&keywords=opher+goodwin

Poems and Peons – £4.33

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Poems-Peons-Opher-Goodwin/dp/1519640110/ref=sr_1_25?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1460882335&sr=1-25&keywords=opher+goodwin

Rhymes and Reasons – £3.98

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rhymes-Reason-Opher-Goodwin/dp/1516991184/ref=sr_1_28?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1460882443&sr=1-28&keywords=opher+goodwin

Prose, Cons and Poetry – £4.60

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Prose-Cons-Poetry-Opher-Goodwin/dp/1512376566/ref=sr_1_35?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1460882506&sr=1-35&keywords=opher+goodwin

Vice and Verse – £4.15

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Vice-Verse-Opher-Goodwin/dp/1514792079/ref=sr_1_36?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1460882560&sr=1-36&keywords=opher+goodwin

 

 

Science Fiction books:

 

Ebola in the Garden of Eden – paperback £6.95 Kindle £2.56 (or free on unlimited)

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ebola-Garden-Eden-Opher-Goodwin/dp/1514878216/ref=sr_1_11?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1461831172&sr=1-11&keywords=opher+goodwin

 

Green – paperback £9.98 Kindle £2.56 (or free on unlimited)

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Green-Opher-Goodwin/dp/1514122294/ref=sr_1_17?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1461831333&sr=1-17&keywords=opher+goodwin

 

Rock Music books

 

In Search of Captain Beefheart – paperback £6.91 Kindle £1.99 (or free on unlimited)

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Search-Captain-Beefheart-Opher-Goodwin/dp/1502820455/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=146183144

3&sr=1-1&keywords=opher+Goodwin

 

Other selected books and novels:

 

Anecdotes-Weird-Science-Writing-Ramblings – a book of anecdotes mainly from the sixties and other writing.

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Anecdotes-Weird-Science-Writing-Ramblings/dp/1519675631/ref=sr_1_9?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1461832001&sr=1-9&keywords=opher+goodwin

 

More Anecdotes – following the immense popularity of the first volume I produced a second

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/More-Anecdotes-Essays-Beliefs-flotsam/dp/1530770262/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1461832001&sr=1-5&keywords=opher+goodwin

 

Goofin’ with the cosmic freaks – a kind of On the Road for the sixties

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Goofin-Cosmic-Freaks-Opher-Goodwin/dp/1500860247/ref=sr_1_13?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1461832001&sr=1-13&keywords=opher+goodwin

The book of Ginny – a novel

 

 

In Britain :

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Opher-Goodwin/e/B00MSHUX6Y/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1461306850&sr=1-2-ent

 

In America:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=opher+goodwin

In all other countries around the world check out your regional Amazon site and Opher Goodwin books.

Looters – Leon Rosselson

Leon is the Ken Loach of music. Nobody else puts their finger on the political pulse of how the actions of politicians and the wealthy impact on the poor in anywhere near a degree of effectiveness as Leon. With a rare mixture of humour, pathos and social comment he is constant in his championing of the needy.

Leon is now in his 80s, still gigging every now and again, and is an inspiration to anyone who wants social justice! Nobody comes close!

Why aren’t there others? In this time of desperate need why are there not young people protesting about the gross inequality?? Why aren’t people up in arms at the enforced austerity? Why aren’t they screaming about the greedy bankers and executives who are creaming off the top while the poor suffer!! Why???

As for the looters – well – what’s revered for the rich is damned for the poor!!

According to Leon it’s because they’ve got their football and Strictly Come Dancing and can’t be bothered!!

This album has some brilliant thought-provoking stuff.

Everyone should buy it and start putting up barricades.

Merry Solstice – Good Day Sunshine!!

Today is the longest day – the Summer Solstice!!!

I wish you all a happy day! I feel good in a special way!

“Good Day Sunshine”

Good day sunshine, good day sunshine, good day sunshine

I need to laugh and when the sun is out
I’ve got something I can laugh about
I feel good in a special way
I’m in love and it’s a sunny day

Good day sunshine, good day sunshine, good day sunshine

We take a walk, the sun is shining down
Burns my feet as they touch the ground

Good day sunshine, good day sunshine, good day sunshine

Then we’d lie beneath the shady tree
I love her and she’s loving me
She feels good, she knows she’s looking fine
I’m so proud to know that she is mine.

Good day sunshine, good day sunshine, good day sunshine
Good day sunshine, good day sunshine, good day sunshine
Good day sunshine, good day sunshine, good day sunshine
Good day…

The human mind is very fragile

The human mind is very fragile

Contrary to our perceptions of ourselves, we are extremely fragile. War, bereavement and fear can play havoc with our delicate psyche. The world is consumed by hatred and violence because so many of us have been desensitised and traumatised by the terrible things that have happened to us and the ones we love.

We have to find a way of healing our mentally wounded and prevent others from becoming traumatised.

In places such as Sudan, Gaza, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Egypt, and Ireland people have been, or are being, incredibly damaged by their experience.

Opher’s World has the answer. Build a new Zeitgeist. Visit Opher’s World :

https://opherworld.wordpress.com/