Naivety and my friend Bali – Extract from ‘Farther from the Sun’.

I had been naïve and ignorant. My eyes were opened when I walked around town with my friend Bali – Mohamed Iqbal to give him his full title. I saw the rudeness first hand. I saw the way he could not get served in some shops. I saw the way a shopkeeper would put the money down on the counter in case they might touch his hand. Even when nothing was said you could see the loathing and hatred in their eyes.

He lived with that on a daily basis. He was intelligent and sensitive with a great sense of humour.

“How do you put up with it?” I asked.

“You just have to laugh,” he said. “If you let it get to you you’d become twisted. Not everybody is like it.”

“But doesn’t it make you angry? It’d make me feel like punching them! I’d want to get a gun and shoot the bastards.”

“I don’t know if that would solve the problem,” he laughed.

For all my ideals he is a better man than I am. I couldn’t put up with that level of abuse every day. I’d explode!


Racism in London Schools in the 1980s – Extract from ‘Father from the Sun’.

I see a world without war or terrorism, where art, poetry, drama and dance are valued and appreciated.



We lived in a predominantly white area. I wanted to widen the experience of the students I taught. I figured that getting to know black and brown people as real people and not mere stereotypes, would alter attitudes. My first attempt was to organise a cultural exchange with Asian kids from Bradford. I went on a few multicultural courses to see if I could get it arranged.

One course had these two Headteachers talking about racism and the effect it had on students in their schools. This was in the early 80s with the National Front, British Movement Nazi Skinhead running on the streets.

One Asian girl had moved into the area with her family. She was twelve and extremely intelligent. In the tests, she was flying high. She seemed happy and socially well adapted.

In her second term, things started to tail off. She wasn’t completing homeworks. She was absent a lot and often late to class. Her test results were tumbling.

The school followed the normal procedures and wrote home but received no response. They talked to the girl but she was quiet and sullen and wouldn’t open up. Then she went absent for over a month. They visited her address but it was empty and the address appeared burnt out.

When she returned to school they questioned her again. “Had she moved?”

No. They were still living there but she told her teachers that nobody would answer if anybody called. They were scared. If they wanted she could take them home with her to meet with her parents.

They took her home. The downstairs was completely burnt out. The family lived in two rooms upstairs. The council refused to house them because they accused the family of deliberately burning the house out in order to be rehoused.

The family had a different tale.

Shortly after they’d moved in, they claimed to have been subjected to racial taunting, threats and abuse. Gangs of youths would appear outside and throw stones at their windows. They had reported it to the police but nothing had happened. In the end, they’d had to board up all the windows.

Then one night, while they were all asleep, petrol had been poured through the front and back door and the house set alight. They’d been lucky to get out but all the downstairs was gutted.

Yes, of course, it was affecting their daughter’s education. She had nowhere to work. She was frightened all the time. She kept expecting another firebombing and thought they were all going to be killed. She was often late because she had to be taken to school otherwise she was attacked and beaten up on the way to school. She’d just been off school for a long period because her mother had been attacked while taking her to school, and had been kicked and stamped on. She’d been in hospital and couldn’t so take her daughter to school. The father had also been attacked and hospitalised. He had suffered a fractured skull when he had opened the door to be smashed around the head with a cricket bat.

It all sounded too terrible.

The school sent someone round to stay the night and verify the attacks.

Sure enough, at two a.m. a gang of youths appeared outside and began shouting up at them and throwing bricks at the boarded-up windows. The police were phoned and half an hour later a police car came and parked up the road. The police watched the youths throwing stones for half an hour and then drove off.

The result of the school’s greater understanding of what was going on with their student was that they banned the police from coming on site. In their view, the people who were meant to the there to protect people were part of the problem.

This is England in the 1980s. This is a bastion of civilisation. This is freedom.



I see a world where architecture and human culture respects the environment and is in harmony with it. Where there is no habitat destruction or pollution and other life is sanctified and protected.



So what o the British Movement and National Front hope to achieve? To make it horrible enough for anyone with a different coloured skin that they decide to pack up and go home?

Not according to my friends with the adopted black children. The black community was not moved to move away. The attacks merely created anger and frustration. It created hatred. It also created revenge and vigilante action. Gangs of Asian youths organised and set about attacking whites, lying in wait for the white gangs, but attacking anyone who fitted the description. Areas rapidly became no-go areas.

My friends moved to Leeds and set up home in Whitechapel. They were accepted by the black community. When we visited we were told to park elsewhere and they’d meet us and escort us in, otherwise, we might get attacked.

Is this the type of country we want to build?


My DNA testing for Heredity and Race.

I have just received the results of my genetic testing. I am a little surprised!

I think everybody should have one of these tests. It can blow all the racist attitudes to pieces.

Our genetics reveals our history. We are not easily identified as any particular race or nationality. It is quite clear that our ancestors migrated, moved around and intermarried. That is human nature. We fall in love with people from other races and nationalities. The vast majority of us are hybrids.

I think some of those racists, nationalists and white supremacists might get a shock or two if they were to look into their genetic history.

I am British. I was born in the South of England. I know I have some Scottish and Irish ancestry. I also know that, as a Brit, my distance ancestors came from all over Europe – mainly Germany, France, Italy and Scandinavia. There were no British people. We are all immigrants. We displaced the Celts, who retreated to Scotland, Cornwall, Wales and Ireland.

I expected all that to be reflected in my genetic make-up.

I was disappointed with my profile. I was hoping for some Asian and African but nope.

What was interesting was that being English (with parents and grandparents born in England), I might expect a high proportion of my genes to be English. They weren’t.

My profile is :

81.2% – North West European (German, Austrian, French)

15.6% – Celtic (Scottish, Irish, Welsh)

1.8% – Iberian (Spanish, Portuguese)

1.4% – English

No wonder I oppose Brexit. I know I am (like most white British people) European.

I think it might do racists and extreme nationalist good to know that their genetics might show that they are not as ‘limited’ as they think they are.

It would have been nice to have a wider base but I guess I’d have to go back a bit further from that. After all, we all came out of Africa.

BLM – Ritchie Havens – What You Gonna Do About Me?

In this time of social change with a big surge of hope for greater equality as Black Lives Matter and George Floyd provides momentum this song from the late Ritchie Havens takes on greater poignancy.

My Favourite Protest Songs – Ritchie Havens – What You Gonna Do About Me?

This is another one for the environmental vandal Trump and in support of Black Lives Matter.

This is a song off the great album The Blind Degree.  I used to play this a lot.

When things are wrong it is incumbent on all right-minded people to stand up and protest. We cannot allow the greedy and selfish to trash the planet. We cannot allow inequality to poison our society.

It is time the environmental movement, the Black Lives Matter movement and the anti-fascist movements combined. We are all opposing the same greedy minority.

What you gonna do about us? We are gonna stick up for what we believe in and we’re prepared to be shot down.

What You Gonna Do About Me? – Ritchie Havens

You poison my sweet waters; you chop down my green trees
And the food you feed my children is the cause of that ill disease
My world is slowly falling down and the air is not fit to breathe
And those of us who care enough, we have to do something
Oh, what you gonna do about me
Oh, what you gonna do about me

Your newspapers – they just put you on
They never tell you the whole story
They just put your young ideas down
I was wondering if this was the end of their pride and glory?
Oh, what you gonna do about me
Oh, what you gonna do about me

I work in your factories and I study in your schools
I fill your penitentiaries and your military too
I can feel the future trembling as the word is passed around
If you stick up for what you do believe in, be prepared to be shot down
Oh, what you gonna do about me
Oh, what you gonna do about me

I feel just like a stranger in the land where I was born
And I live just like an outlaw; I’m always on the run
Always on the run, they got me always on the run

Oh, your soldiers smoke marijuana, you can’t put them behind your walls
Because most of what you taught them to do is against most of your laws
We’re all fugitives from injustice now but we’re going to be free
Because your rules and regulations don’t do the things for me
Oh, what you gonna do about me
Oh, what you gonna do about me

You may be the stronger now, but my time will come around
You keep adding to my numbers as you shoot my people down
I can feel the future trembling as the word is passed around
We are going to stick up for what we do believe in, and we’re prepared to be shot down
Oh, what you gonna do about me
Oh, what you gonna do about me

I feel just like a stranger in the land where I was born
And I live just like an outlaw; I’m always on the run
Always on the run, they got me always on the run

Is Trump at the D-Day Landings an oxymoron?

Is the fact that Trump is presiding over the celebration of the D-Day landings an oxymoron?

The D-Day landings were when our brave soldiers, from Britain, America and a host of other countries, landed in France to drive the Nazis back and defeat Hitler. They were fighting to free the world of Fascist tyranny. In the face of machine guns and shells they stormed the Normandy beaches and risked their lives. Many died.

They were fighting to rid the world of the scourge of racism, tyranny, intolerance and brutality represented by the extreme right-wing fascism of the Nazi Party.

They stood for the values of freedom, equality and a more caring world.

It seems strange to me that 75 years later we see a world leader, like Trump, who is lauded by every fascist group going, presiding over this celebration of the defeat of fascism.

That is what I call an oxymoron!


Xenophobia – a fear of people from other countries – is a natural part of human nature right across the world. Often it tips over into racism – prejudice, discrimination and dislike of other races based on the principle that ‘our’ race is superior – which is even worse.

While both of these attributes are common, even natural, they are not to be considered desirable.

In previous times different races and cultures were kept apart by natural barriers – oceans, mountains, huge rivers and deserts. Only the more adventurous would get to travel and interact. Nowadays we live in multicultural societies and mix with people from other cultures and races on a daily basis. That creates tensions.

Over time we have, in Britain, been exposed to waves of immigration. As a great sea-faring nation who set up a huge trading culture that developed into an Empire and then Commonwealth we were exposed to many cultures – African, Asian, Chinese and Russians all came as sailors or traders and set up home here where they were absorbed and integrated. We provided home for many persecuted races and immigrants – Huguenots, Jews, Jamaicans, Sikhs, Pakistanis, Turks, Greeks, Arabs, Indians, Gurkhas, Kurds and many more have all come and settled. London in particular is a cosmopolitan city. Just walking down the streets one can see the array of clothes, colours and foods that have come with the different cultures. Most gradually integrate through the generations and become more British than the British. A minority keep apart and maintain their traditions.

Just recently we have had large numbers of Muslims coming to this country as refugees from the wars in the Middle East and as economic migrants. They see Britain as a place of sanctuary and a place where they can have opportunities and a better standard of living.

Because these immigrants have arrived in large numbers and have costumes and ways that make them stand out they have drawn attention to themselves and evoked both xenophobic and racist responses.

Back in the sixties these responses were aimed at the Black and Pakistani immigrants. We can look back to Enoch Powell’s speech of ‘Rivers of Blood’. We can look back at the skinheads and ‘Paki Bashing’. The white community was fearful that they were being taken over by a flood of coloured immigrants from our crumbling Empire. They were taking our jobs and marrying our girls. It was outrageous. Our culture would be lost, our values overturned and we would be swamped. There would be civil war.

Well fortunately little of the paranoia of those times came to fruition. There have been the odd race riot and numerous racist incidents but largely we have all come to terms with each other and black and brown faces are now received with little consternation. The paranoia has subsided and people integrated. We live harmoniously. Racism has declined and black and brown faces are largely welcome in all strata of society.

However, the present paranoia associated with Muslims has caused a resurgence of xenophobia and racism. So let us talk openly and see what this is all about.

What are the issues? Here are some of the things that have come up on my blog:

Muslims wear Burqas and Hijabs – these are misogynistic and unBritish.

Women are subjugated and separated – this is misogynistic and undemocratic.

The build mosques and have a call to prayer – this is displacing Christianity.

They indoctrinate their children in madrassas – this is against the children’s rights and is not right.

They are associated with terrorism – ISIS and Al Qaeda are infiltrating the country to carry out atrocities.

They are congregating in large numbers and displacing the endemic population – soon we will be overrun and our culture displaced.

They want to replace British law with sharia law – they do not accept democracy or common law. They want to set up a theocracy.

They are involved with crime – they use knives and have gangs.

They are raping our girls – the courts are full of Muslim gangs that have targeted young girls – abusing and raping them.

They are breeding like rabbits – they are going to take over by outbreeding us.

It seems to me that all these things are fuelling the fears and paranoia that exists and are seized upon by right-wing fascist groups, such as Tommy Robinson and the English Defence League, and exaggerated in order to stir up more fear and hatred. It isn’t helped by the more extreme Muslim fundamentalists who do call for sharia law and vow to take over the country or the minority who are, or support, terrorists who commit atrocities.

In America the right-wingers talk about Europe being swamped and lost under a tide of Islam. It reminds me of Enoch all over again. Many in Britain feel the same.

But does it have foundation?

Well I have a great distaste for all religion and see the Catholics, Protestants, Hindus, Jews and Muslims all as bad as each other. Fundamentalism of all hues is equally distasteful and destructive. I’d junk the lot of them. Especially the ones who turn to violence to achieve their aims. I take the view that if you’ve got to have a religion at least make it a personal experience and don’t foist it on others.

I don’t like the way women are treated as second-class people and I can’t stand the indoctrination of children.

All immigrant populations display a higher level of fertility than the endemic population. That will soon settle.

So is there any basis to all this Islamophobia?

I think not. It is paranoia created by having too much immigration too quickly. It will take time for them to adjust to our customs but most of the Muslims are law-abiding and want to integrate into society and make a go of things. They accept British values even if they keep up their traditions.

I don’t think Islam is about to take over the country. I don’t think the 95.4% of the non-Muslims need to be unduly worried by the 4.6% of Muslims just yet. The hysteria is created by their high-profile customs, the terrorism and the way they have congregated in high numbers in various areas.

Let the police and courts deal with the minority that are rapists, terrorists and criminals. They all need locking up.

The authorities need to get on the ball to sort out the schools and mosques so that we integrate better into British values, adhere to British law and do not have indoctrination and radicalisation.

I think that all this extreme religiosity is a passing phase. Back in the sixties my Muslim friends were all very Westernised. They did not go around in medieval costume. They liked the same thing as everyone else and weren’t on their knees praying or down the mosque. It was the same in Pakistan. I saw a documentary of Islamabad University in the early seventies and it was all jeans and t-shirts without a hijab in sight. It is the wars and unrest in the Muslim world that has created this extremism. They feel under threat and have responded by becoming more extreme in their culture. It will pass.

I predict that in forty years time most of the Muslims will have integrated. If the mess in the Middle East is sorted there will not be the extremism and we will see the mosques emptying and barely a burqa in sight.

British culture is a hybrid culture. We have the blood of Celts, Britons, Norman French, Norse from Scandinavia, German Angles and Saxons, Italian Romans, Africans, Chinese, Asians, Arabs, Turks and Uncle Tom Cobley and all, and we are all the stronger for it.

What is needed is love, understanding and integration. That requires systems, dialogue and good will on all sides. The onus is on the Muslim community as much as the endemic population. They have to speak out more and reach out more.

So I say, put aside your fears and paranoia, on both sides. We are all people. Embrace the differences, tolerate each other and grow together.

We will all be stronger together.

Nazi Punks Fuck Off!!

Hey this is fun!!

Here’s the Dead Kennedys coming at you!!

“Nazi Punks Fuck Off”

Punk ain’t no religious cult
Punk means thinking for yourself
You ain’t hardcore cos you spike your hair
When a jock still lives inside your head

Nazi punks
Nazi punks
Nazi punks-Fuck Off!

Nazi punks
Nazi punks
Nazi punks-Fuck Off!

If you’ve come to fight, get outa here
You ain’t no better than the bouncers
We ain’t trying to be police
When you ape the cops it ain’t anarchy

[Repeat chorus]

Ten guys jump one, what a man
You fight each other, the police state wins
Stab your backs when you trash our halls
Trash a bank if you’ve got real balls

You still think swastikas look cool
The real nazis run your schools
They’re coaches, businessmen and cops
In a real fourth reich you’ll be the first to go

[Repeat chorus]

You’ll be the first to go
You’ll be the first to go
You’ll be the first to go
Unless you think

Is the attack on Corbyn claiming Anti-Semetism in the Labour Party just a clamour from Right-wing Jews?

It seems to me that anyone who criticises Israel, and its hardline policies, is accused of Anti-Semitic views. It seems to me that there are valid criticisms to be levelled at Israel and that criticising certain policies and actions cannot be anti-Semitic.

What is needed in the Middle East is a solution to the Palestinian situation, the recognition of Israel, the formation of a Palestinian State, the end of all threats and violence and reparation for those harmed.

Jeremy Corbyn has been active in trying to find a solution to the problem. To that end he has met with people from all sides just as the British government met with the IRA during the troubles. I would support sharing platforms with dubious people in the search for a lasting peace. That is not anti-Semitic.

Jeremy Corbyn is the least likely racist or anti-Semite I can imagine.

I heard the interview with Ken Livingston which has caused such controversy and saw nothing wrong with it. He claimed that Hitler was a Zionist in that he was after shipping the Jews to a nation in the Middle East before turning to an even worse policy of extermination. He did not suggest Hitler was right to do this or support Hitler’s insane anti-Semitic views. The Haavara agreement of 1933, where Hitler negotiated with Zionist Jews, seems to support Ken Livingston’s statement. What is anti-Semitic about that?

It seems to me that all this is a storm in a tea-cup and an excuse by Corbyn opponents and right-wingers to try to undermine him.

Perhaps someone could explain to me where I am wrong?

Hate Abuse on Social Media – Sadiq Khan reads the abuse he has received.

There is no room for hatred on the net. Kick it out.

The type of offensive personal abuse that Sadiq has received is shocking. Unfortunately he is not alone. There is far too much abuse on the net.