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.

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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/

2019 – Dreams, Hopes and Possibilities!

I don’t have any resolutions. I have hopes.

Wouldn’t it be nice if everything went right this year?

If Brexit is finally reversed.

If Trump is dumped.

If Pete Shelley and Mark E Smith were both found to be alive after all.

If I were to receive a publishing deal for 50 books.

If we travelled the world for months of adventure.

If I were to write 10 new novels from a headful of great ideas.

If the scientists finally crack fusion power and we can look forward to unlimited cheap, clean energy.

If renewable energy sources jump, worldwide to 95% of all energy production.

If there is a breakthrough in electricity storage.

If the whole world agrees to conserve nature and put 50% of the world over to the natural world, for the plants and animals.

If there is no more war.

If we end the year with a huge gathering of friends and family to celebrate the end of a perfect, wondrous year.

Wouldn’t that be nice?

Maybe some of it will actually happen? I can but hope. I can but dream.

Tribalism – the scourge of our times

Tribalism

Tribalism is primitive. I look for something a lot more inclusive. In a world where there is instant communication and multicultural realities tribalism is extremely divisive, fear-ridden and extremely unhelpful. It leads to separation, fear, distrust, aggression, defensiveness, violence and antagonism. It also leads to the kind of thing we are seeing in Britain and America where people are separating into different factions, not engaging, labelling each other and becoming aggressive and violent towards each other.

How can that be a good thing?

If we want a fair and just society we have to include a full range of people. We have to listen to each other and be tolerant of differing views. We have to find a way of accommodating different people with different views.

If we don’t we end up with huge dissatisfaction leading to a sense of injustice and a feeling that they are outsiders.

Racism, sexism and arrogance need to be countered with fairness, justice and equality.

Society is becoming grotesquely unequal. Some have huge amounts and some have nothing and it is getting worse. It is set up to favour the top 1%. They are a tribe unto themselves.

Tribalism stinks. Just caring for your own stinks. We should care for everyone. It is called empathy. There seems very little of it around at the moment. Nobody seems to carry how the other side feels. Nobody is prepared to compromise and find a solution that is acceptable to everyone. They just want to win at all costs and smash the other side to the ground.

I think that is unintelligent and plain stupid. I also think it will end in tragedy.

Trump and Brexit exploited that tribalism for their own ends. they incited fear, violence and division. This lack of rational thought and total intolerant is the result. Now everybody is doing it.

I don’t like it.

I think that we should be able to listen, understand and discuss intelligently.

I want a world based on tolerance, empathy and respect – not winner takes all and sod everyone else!

Days of Decision – Phil Ochs

It is uncanny how Phil Ochs songs resonate with today. This was a song written in the early sixties about the civil rights movement. It was about the murder of the three young civil rights activists –  Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner, also known as the Freedom Summer murders.

Back then the Klan and other White Supremacist fascists were marching on the streets.

Decisions had to be made concerning which side you were on. Were you with the racist scum or were you going to be part of a civilised nation?

Well the fascists are marching again. The nation has to decide which side to support.

As the FBI investigates Kavanaugh – a decision has to be made.

As we tackle global warming and the right-wing deniers there are decisions to be made.

As the inequality soars and the 1% global elite get away with murder there are decisions to be made.

As the Me Too sets about addressing patriarchal society there are decisions to be made.

As the midterm elections loom there are decisions to be made.

As the chaos of Brexit looms there are decisions to be made.

These are the days of decision.

Oh, the shadows of doubt are in many a mind,
Lookin’ for an answer they’re never gonna find,
But they’d better decide ’cause they’re runnin’ out of time,
For these are the days of decision.

Oh, the games of stalling you cannot afford,
Dark is the danger that’s knocking on the door,
And the far-reaching rockets say you can’t wait anymore,
For these are the days of decision.

In the face of the people who know they’re gonna win,
There’s a strength that’s greater than the power od the wind,
And you can’t stand around when the ice is growing thin,
For these are the days of decision.

I’ve seen your heads hinding ‘neath the blankets of fear,
When the paths they are plain and the choices are clear,
But with each passing day, boys, the cost is more dear
For these are the days of decision.

There’s many a cross that burns in the night,
And the fingers of the fire are pointing as they bite,
Oh you can’t let the smoke keep on blinding all your sight,
For these are the days of decision.

Now the mobs of anger are roamin’ the street,
From the rooftops they are aimin’ at the police on the beat,
And in city after city you know they will repeat,
For these are the days of decision.

There’s been warnin’s of fire, warnin’s of flood,
Now there’s the warnin’ of the bullet and the blood,
From the three bodies buried in the mississippi mud,
Sayin’ these are the days of decision.

There’s a change in the wind, and a split in the road,
You can do what’s right or you can do what you are told,
And the prize of the victory will belong to the bold,
Yes, these are the days of decision.

A hope for the future.

I think that we have a tendency to allow big business to run with the benefits of science and they do not act responsibly. They put profit before people or the environment and do not put in sufficient safeguards.

Hopefully the massive leaps that will soon be coming with the harnessing of genetics and biochemistry in the fields of medicine, food production, materials, plastics, fuel and computing will be tightly controlled and regulated and the benefits shared among us all and not simply siphoned off by the wealthy.

An optimistic point of view!

I somehow do remain optimistic in the face of huge political stupidity and gross unfairness.
The harvest of technology and science over the last hundred and fifty years has been enormous. Used wisely it has been sufficient to raise the living standards of every man woman and child on this planet to a high level and solve war, overpopulation and environmental degradation. Instead that wealth has been channelled into the hands of a small elite whose greed is inexhaustible. They have no conscience and do not care what misery they cause or what damage they do to the planet. They manipulate both business and politics to further their own greed and selfishness.
The result of this is that the inequality is enormous. A tiny number own half the world. There is mass poverty and enormous environmental destruction.
My optimism lies in the fact that this inequality has a tipping point. At some time people will wake up to what is really going on and force change towards a fairer system. I believe the internet is a tool that could do this – once we’ve got rid of the extremism and fake conspiracy theories that cast doubt on the facts.

Empires Turn To Dust – a poem about Tory Stupidity.

Empires Turn to Dust

 

Mrs Wibbly Wobbly sits amid the ruins as her empire turns to dust.

Contemplating madness as her government goes bust.

With resignations flying as the frenzy feeds the sharks

While the public hold up zeroes as they go assessing the marks.

Power before people, party before country, ideology before sense;

They are selling us down the river for a pocket full of pence.

Nothing seems to matter to those who climb the tower.

Who cares what happens to anyone so long as they gain power.

They tell us lies; they promise gold and a new shiny dawn.

But the reality is that they offer us the same old dreary morn.

They scare us with their stories of horrors and great fears,

But all of it is just a game and will only end in tears.

So as the government implodes and the rabid nutters reign

Mrs Wibbly Wobbly sells the country down the drain.

She appeases all the lunatics who are now running the circus show.

Clinging on with fingernails as the madness grows and grows.

All the clocks are melting in this silly surreal race

But Mrs Wibbly Wobbly is still doing up her lace.

In or out, hard or soft, they really can’t decide.

All they succeed in doing is widening the divide.

The nation teeters on the brink as stupidity holds court.

While clowns and mad extremists endlessly find fault.

She pressed the button to start the race before she knew where we were going

So where we’ll end up running to – there is no way of knowing!!

 

Opher 17.7.2018

 

 

The stupidity of how this was all carried out is beyond all measure of reason.

A Brexit vote.

Promised by Cameron and Osbourne, to throw meat to the rabid extremist nationalists, who had already brought down governments with their ideological claptrap, to keep them quiet during the election.

A promised vote with expectations of a coalition and not having to deliver.

An unexpected win.

The vote then carried out with complacency. Nobody believed the population would be that stupid as to cut off the hand that feeds them.

The vote and chaos, resignations and dementia!

May seizing control after the blood bath and siding with the extreme Brexiteers in order to hang on to power and stupidly pressing the button without getting any agreement of what sort of Brexit was required. None other than a silly ploy to try to unite her party that failed miserably.

Chaos and infighting in the Tories as they pulled themselves inside out and time flits by with nothing achieved.

What should have been done with something this momentous is a cross-party group to thrash out what was required before pressing the button – followed by a negotiation from strength.

What we have is time running out and a dog’s dinner served up by a bunch of lying lunatic ideologues like Rees-Mogg and Boris and passed off as a banquet.

What an utter mess. The Tories have sold the country down the river in their quest for power!!

They want their arses kicked!!

Automation – A threat or a boon?

In the recent past we needed a large workforce. It took many men to build a ship, mine coal, clear snow, lay railway track, plant crops, harvest crops, build bridges, make steel, work in factories and wage war.

Not any more.

Automation has taken over. All these things are now carried out by machines. Automation has displaced the workforce. AI does things better. Even operations are carried out by robots. Wars are carried out by drones.

So what happens to all those displaced people – you know – the ones who were doing all that well-paid, often dangerous, hard work? What do they do? They are now surplus to requirements.

Presently they are doing low-pay jobs stacking shelves or driving around the country delivering parcels.

What happens when the shelves are stacked by machines and driverless trucks, vans and taxis displace all of those people?

This little video was sent to me by my friend Graham. Thanks Graham.

It appears to me that we are heading for a major change in society. The owners and managers will still be needed and they will be extremely wealthy. There will be a need for a small skilled workforce who will be paid well. Then there will be a huge number of people who are no longer required.

This could be a disaster or a boon.

A Disaster

We have an elite of extremely wealthy multibillionaire owners; a small number of wealthy managers; a larger number of well-paid skilled workers and a mass of people thrown on the dole.

A Boon

We have a progressive tax system so that the wealth created by Automation and AI will be spread more evenly. That surplus workforce is retrained into the caring professions – nurses, social workers, care workers, teachers etc. We can then reduce the working hours and case loads of these people – maybe go to a three day week – and provide more leisure and pleasure centres which will provide even more work for those surplus people.

Alternative Solution

The elite can simply kill off the poor.

What do you think????