Democracy – The long and often bloody fight for freedom – The Peterloo Massacre.

Struggle


You can only have real democracy when you have transparency, fair representation and a vote for every man and woman. That was far from the case two hundred years ago.
Women were denied the vote. Only landowners could vote. Some towns with only a handful of voters were electing two MPs. Two towns electing two MPs each had only 1 eligible voter. Half of the MPs in the House were elected by a mere 154 votes. Cities with hundreds of thousands were grossly underrepresented.
The economic and employment situation in the North was dire and people felt they had no recourse to justice. They had no vote and no representation.
At St. Peter’s field near Manchester between 60,000 and 80,000 gathered to hold a peaceful public meeting and protest. The establishment was rattled. They thought it might develop into a riot, ferment general unrest and lead to a revolution. They banned it. But the protesters still met.
The cavalry were called to charge. People were trampled and slashed with sabres. The crowd was eventually dispersed. They left 11 to 15 dead and over 600 to 700 badly injured – 168 of which were women. The first to be killed was a baby knocked out of his mother’s arms by a charging cavalryman. Witnesses claimed the cavalrymen slashed out indiscriminately at anyone they could. The area was sodden with blood.
It became known as the Peterloo massacre in ironic contrast to the recent battle of Waterloo.

It led to renewed impetus for justice and the Chartist Movement who fought for the right to vote.

Freedoms and rights are not freely given. They are paid for with lives and blood and can so easily be stripped away again.

Poetry – The Winter of Democracy

The Winter of Democracy

Living in the winter

                Of democracy

As factions stifle voices.

Dead leaves

                Of hope

Blow among the garbage.

Fascism erupts

                From the

Rotting corpse.

Conspiracy replaces truth.

Certainty replaces quest.

Fundamentalism

                Emerges

                                As a black

And white scripture.

Those not with us

                Are always wrong.

Education

                Comes with a gun.

                                Intolerance

                                                With a fist.

Freedom is a prison

                Whose walls

                                Are closing in.

It’s the winter of democracy

                Lies and fake news

                                Spin

For the fools.

17.1.2022

Watching the news as the Tories desperately spin the story. Red meat is thrown to the gullible. Throats are cut. Scapegoats selected.

Careers are ruined.

Anything but the truth.

The lust for power rules.

Operation Save The Big Dog is in full swing – Lie, obfuscate, cover, lie some more.

All singing from the same script.

If you say it often enough……..

Over in the States Trump trots out the same lies, holds the same rallies, cons the same people.

He spills his lies, conspiracy and spin and the fools lap it up.

Democracy??

Who cares for democracy??

This is the business of money and power.

There are no rules.

There is not a shred of truth.

Democracy – The long and often bloody fight for freedom – The Chartists. Please sign the petition!

https://chng.it/x9QhJJFj

Posted on  by Opher


The Chartist aims were simple; they wanted one man one vote for all men over the age of twenty one who were sane and not criminals and payment for MPs (So that those other than the extremely wealthy could stand).
That sounds very reasonable to me. I mean it wasn’t as if they were asking for votes for women. Heaven help us if anyone thought that women might be intelligent, knowledgeable or able to exercise the right to vote.
But no. Even this step was thought a step too far. The establishment believed that if you allowed the poor to vote they might vote for things that would stop them being poor. The only way they could be richer was by taking money out of the pockets of the wealthy. The idea was preposterous. Equality!! Freedom!!! Once one lot had it the rest would follow!! Before you knew it the eighteen year olds and women would be after the vote!! And then what??? The country would go to the dogs!!
Giving the vote to ordinary people was asking for trouble it threatened the status quo and had to be resisted.
We are only talking about the mid nineteenth century here. It’s not a thousand years ago. This was the time when only the wealthy were allowed to vote. Strangely they always voted to protect their own interests and keep ordinary people down. Inequality was rampant.
The Chartists did not believe in revolution or violence. They wanted to exert their power by sheer force of numbers. Their idea was to hold mass meetings and sign petitions. These petitions were signed by millions or ordinary people.
They demanded justice and empowerment
They wanted the right for all men to have a vote. For that to be made in secret and for the representation through the country to be fair.
It became a mass movement, particularly in the North, Midlands and South Wales.
Rejection of their demands by government led to strikes. There were some outbreaks of violence. The State hit back by imprisoning hundreds.
The Church, to its discredit, stayed out of the argument.
In 1848 the Chartists held a protest rally on Kennington Common attended by upwards of 150,000. A petition of an incredible 6 Million was handed in demanding the right to vote. It was ignored. The government ordered the deployment of troops and was prepared for an uprising. They feared a revolution along the lines of the continental revolutions.
It looked like the Peterloo massacre on a larger scale!
In the event it passed peacefully.
The Chartists did not achieve reform but they set a tone.
It wasn’t until 1867 that urban working men were given the vote and not until 1918 that we achieved one man one vote. We haven’t yet had a hundred years of power!

The rights of women took a lot more struggle and effort.

The rights we have are the result of the efforts of millions!! We should exercise them with great care. They are easily removed.

The Winter of Democracy

The Winter of Democracy

Living in the winter

                Of democracy

As factions stifle voices.

Dead leaves

                Of hope

Blow among the garbage.

Fascism erupts

                From the

Rotting corpse.

Conspiracy replaces truth.

Certainty replaces quest.

Fundamentalism

                Emerges

                                As a black

And white scripture.

Those not with us

                Are always wrong.

Education

                Comes with a gun.

                                Intolerance

                                                With a fist.

Freedom is a prison

                Whose walls

                                Are closing in.

It’s the winter of democracy

                Lies and fake news

                                Spin

For the fools.

17.1.2022

Watching the news as the Tories desperately spin the story. Red meat is thrown to the gullible. Throats are cut. Scapegoats selected.

Careers are ruined.

Anything but the truth.

The lust for power rules.

Operation Save The Big Dog is in full swing – Lie, obfuscate, cover, lie some more.

All singing from the same script.

If you say it often enough……..

Over in the States Trump trots out the same lies, holds the same rallies, cons the same people.

He spills his lies, conspiracy and spin and the fools lap it up.

Democracy??

Who cares for democracy??

This is the business of money and power.

There are no rules.

There is not a shred of truth.

Poetry – Who Rules the UK?

Who Rules the UK?

Who rules the UK?

‘Not I’ said the poor man

Struggling to get by,

‘I live out my days

Until the day I die.’

Who rules the UK?

‘Not I’, said the comfortable

Investing all their shares,

‘I’m doing alright

I have no need to care.’

Who rules the UK?

‘Not I,’ said the politician

Who is bought and sold,

‘I just get to vote

The way that I am told.’

Who rules the UK?

‘Not I,’ said the Queen.

‘I am just a figurehead.

Of power

I do not have a shred.’

Who rules the UK?

‘Brussels!’ shout the Brexiteers,

Snarling as they speak.

‘We want that power back

We haven’t got all week!’

Who really rules the UK?

Silence from those who do;

Who own the press

And buy the power;

Who quietly smile

As they watch it go sour.

‘There’s profit to be made

From this pantomime charade!

Opher 17.8.2018

The people who have financed Brexit have done so for their own selfish reasons. They don’t care about the country or the people. They only care about themselves.

Some of them are ideologues. Some of them are speculators. Some of them are mad.

We’ve all been used!

Poetry – Militia

Militia

Guys in masks,

With rifles,

On the streets

Subverting democracy.

Called to the polling stations

To intimidate you and me.

Called by their President

To subvert

The process of election.

Spreading fake news

About fraudulent voting

Without foundation.

Can this be happening

In the 21st Century?

That a President

Unleashes militia

In complete anarchy?

Opher – 30.9.2020

If ever there was a blatant attempt to subvert democracy, this was it.

What Trump has been doing is scandalous, yet they let him get away with it!

The man pours out fake news and lies.

He actively calls armed militia out on to the streets.

He’s inviting intimidation and violence.

He is trying to set an agenda that is as false as the stripper’s boobs.

This is unprecedented or should that be unpresidented?

Yet so many are falling for it.

That says reams about them.

Poetry – The Death of Democracy

The Death of Democracy

So on this New Year’s Day

I’ll raise a cup to democracy

And drink to its death.

For the whole idea

Was strangled

Ere it could ever draw a breath.

Even as the midwives struggled

To get the babe to breathe

There were those who lurked,

In shadows, seeking to deceive.

For in the grubby grasp of fake news

Where the media holds sway.

Those who own that message

Control who has a say.

With cunning, guile and transparency

They throw lies into the fray

To ensure that in this day and age

It’s them that gets their way!

When money talks

It buys the truth

That everybody believes.

Those who own the media

Set out the case

For the robber thieves.

Democracy never stood a chance –

Fingers tightened round its throat.

Now we watch the bloated bankers

Sit around and gloat.

Without the truth there is no chance

For wise choices to be made.

The wealthy used their gold

And the assassins were all paid.

Opher – 1.1.2020

Well my first poem of a new decade proved to be a bit dark.

I cannot help thinking that we are all being manipulated and lied to by the media. The wealthy own the papers and control TV and radio too. They run the world for profit. Their motives are transparent.

If you are not given the facts you cannot make an informed decision.

If you are consistently lied to you may start to believe what you are told.

Fake news is undermining the entire fabric of our society.

Real news is called fake by populist leaders.

Experts are side-lined and conveniently ignored.

Profit is the key word.

How can you have a free election when people are being blatantly lied to and manipulated?

How can any democracy work when the elite control the media?

Democracy does not stand a chance until we have unbiased news!!