Why we should vote Labour – a post copied from Proper Gander News

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I agree 100% with this article. I shall be voting Labour. The elite are running scared of Corbyn and the media have done a job on him but he stands for a decent set of values.
Meanwhile the Tories have got away with murder and destroyed our public services while giving tax cuts to their wealthy friends.


After being promised that we’d be out of the EU by now, we’re not.
And after being promised that we were not going to get a general election, that’s now exactly what we are getting.

Anyone who has ever spoken to me for longer than ten minutes will know that I’m an avid Remainer.
So, ultimately, yes, I’m glad that Brexit didn’t go ahead on October 31st.

But I’m much more glad that we’ve been offered the election.

I’m so glad.

But I am not glad because of Brexit.
I’m not glad because of a better deal, or a second referendum – even though I want both of those things.
I’m not glad because I’m an unpatriotic remoaner.

I’m glad because we now have the chance to oust the Tories.
We have a chance to save this country.

For the last three years, all we’ve done is argue.
We’ve had our little factions and bickered over Brexit whilst our politicians have lied and played games and had meaningless vote after meaningless vote.
And whilst we’ve been bickering over Brexit, austerity has tightened its grip.

Since the Tories came into power, they’ve cut basically every public service they can get their hands on.
They’ve given massive tax breaks to the rich, whilst cutting benefits to the poor and the needy.
They’ve hit us with VAT hikes, and stagnated public sector wages, whilst the super rich get richer.
It’s costing us more to live, but our incomes are going down.
They’ve cut free school meals to needy children.
They’ve forced cancer sufferers back to work.
They’ve caused an increase in homelessness but, instead of giving them aid, they’ve given them spikes to sleep on.
They’ve cut our schools so much that our education system is failing and our kids are struggling.
Our police force are so underfunded that they just don’t have the staffing levels to keep up with the crimes being reported.
Firemen are having to work second jobs just to keep food on the table.
Nurses are using food banks.
Our NHS, envy of the world, is being intentionally cut and sold off to make way for private healthcare companies to make money out of our illnesses.

Yet we just sit about wittering about Brexit.
We keep voting for parties who promise to deliver Brexit, instead of the parties that promise to deliver safety, security, a good quality of life.

They point the finger and we look the other way.

Brexit isn’t going to be the answer to all our problems because, despite what the media would have you believe, it’s isn’t Europe who has caused the mess in this country.
It’s us.
We did.
By voting for a government that consistently undermines our needs and treats us like nothing.
That laughs about there not being a “money tree”, yet hoards vast amounts of money in off-shore bank accounts so they don’t have to pay their taxes.

Tell me again why we’ve voted them in.

Because we don’t want “extremist” Jeremy Corbyn, right?
And why the hell not?

Genuinely, we must have spent the last few decades moaning about how everyone in Westminster is cut from the same cloth, and how there is never any real choice yet, when we finally get someone different, we run scared and refuse to vote for him.

Since he first made an appearance in the Labour leadership contest, Jeremy Corbyn has been a victim of a horrendous smear campaign and I would urge anyone to fact check anything and everything you read about him.
The media hate him with a passion.

And that, in a nutshell, is precisely why I’ll be voting for him.
He’s a danger to the establishment.
And that’s exactly what we need.

People have been sucked into this idea that he’s a terrorist-sympathising communist who hates Jews.

But he’s not.

He’s a man who was instrumental in negotiating peace in Northern Ireland, and even got awarded two international peace prizes for his efforts.
He’s a socialist who believes in decent public services and wants to renationalise our railways and NHS and repair our education system.
He doesn’t believe that people should be billionaires when others are starving to death.
He isn’t anti-Semitic, he’s against some of Israel’s policies – and he’s not wrong.
He’s spent his entire political career fighting for the rights of groups that he isn’t even a part of; women, disabled people, ethnic minorities.
He’s pro-animal rights and is an advocate of green environmental policies.
His policy regarding Brexit is to negotiate a sensible deal and let us vote on it – far removed from Boris Johnson’s gung ho “lets just drop out and hope for the best” attitude.

But he’s “unelectable”?
How is a man like that deemed “unelectable”?

Because the media tell us he is.
The media moguls who would be forced to pay more tax under a labour government, seek to scapegoat him and make you vote for the Tories.
Tories, who benefit them, not you.

The media isn’t unbiased.
The media is owned by people with an agenda.
And those people aren’t your friends.

They don’t care about you.
They care about money and profit margins.

Jeremy Corbyn is a danger to those profit margins, so they tell you he’s a danger to you.
He’s not.

The real danger isn’t the man with an allotment, who rides a bike and who wants an end to poverty.
The real danger are the people who will leave thousands in poverty to protect their billions.

We’ve been given a chance to change the course of this country, and we need to take it.
The NHS cannot survive another 5 years of Tory cuts.
It can’t.
It’s either going to collapse, or be sold off.
We’re going to lose everything.
And for what?
To line another fat cat’s pocket?

Wake up.
Please wake up.
This isn’t about Europe, or immigrants, or Brexit.
This is about a greedy, selfish government using public funds to line their own pockets.
Please don’t let them.

No more cuts.
No more deaths.
No more apathy.

For goodness sake, wake up.
For once in our lifetime we have someone with policies worth voting for, and we’re running the other way.

The Tories are pulling this country apart at the seams and we’re just letting them.

Now we have a chance to change that.

If you care about this country.
If you care about other people.
Our children, our elderly, our social workers and our teachers.
If you care about universal healthcare.
If you care about the rights and safety of others.
If you care about our animals and don’t support badger culling or fox hunting.
If you care about anything other than money.
Please don’t vote Tory.
Vote Labour.
Or Lib Dems or Green on SNP if you need to, but not Tory.

I’m voting Labour.
I’m voting Labour because they have the best chance of beating the Conservatives.
And I’m voting Labour because I stand with Jeremy Corbyn.

Not because I’m an extremist or a hippie or a snowflake, but because I want a better future for everyone, not just for myself.
And I think a Labour government has the best chance of doing that.

I think they’d be hard pressed to do much worse than what we’ve had this past decade.

So my plea to everyone who wants a better future is this.
If, like me, you are a moderate misfit who wants better than this, then put your X on your ballot paper and make a stand.

No excuses about being powerless.
You want change, then you vote for it.
On our own we won’t make much of a difference, but together we can make waves.

Philip Davies is the MP in my constituency.
He won last term by just 5000 votes.
Let’s oust the anti-feminist, anti-LGBT+, pro-hunt up-skirting advocate and replace him with someone who actually gives a shit.
Let’s have an MP actually worth sending to Parliament.

Moderate, decent people too often spend their lives being quiet.
But we’ve been quiet too long and we’ve let this happen.
We can’t let it happen anymore.

December 12th.
Vote for what is right.
Vote for change.
Vote Labour.

Don’t give the Tories another term to take more of what is ours.
Don’t do what the media tells you.

Don’t be the turkey that votes for

December 12th.

Get the Tories out.

Our lives are not currency.
Our futures will not be gambled.
Keep your hands off our NHS!


The decisions I make when deciding who to vote for.

I don’t find it at all difficult deciding who to vote for. I merely ask a number of questions to myself and answer them.

  1. Which party would support public services? Who would properly fund our schools, hospitals, police, armed forces and councils?
  2. Which party would address the gross inequality? Who would plug the tax loopholes, curb excessive pay and bonuses and look after the poorer members of society?
  3. Which party would look after the environment? Who would put money into sustainable energy, conservation and help nature?
  4. Which party would create a fairer society? Who would change the ethos away from greed and exploitation and towards a more caring society?
  5. Which party would produce a Brexit that worked for ordinary people? Who would bring in a type of Brexit that did not result in massive job losses and damage to the economy which would impact on poor people?
  6. Which party would produce a dynamic outward looking economy? Who would introduce investment for infrastructure that would create jobs and make us more efficient?

The answer to all my questions is LABOUR.

We have already seen that ten years of Tory rule has resulted in massive cuts to public services, a decade of bitter austerity for the poor, big increases in the wealth at the top creating massive inequality, an increase in greed, exploitation and a lowering of environmental and workers standards.

The Tories, via Tory media, use scare stories and lies to misrepresent what Labour would do. They cover up the huge amount of damage they have done to the structure of this country and they are planning a hard Brexit that will favour the wealthy and do great damage to jobs and our economy.

Killed by multinational capitalism – corporations that murder.

Killed by multinational capitalism – corporations that murder.

What I believe about Multinational Capitalism


This is what I believe:

  • I believe Multinational Corporations are destroying the planet
  • I believe they hold no allegiance to any country, people or ethics.
  • They exist entirely to make profit.
  • They are unscrupulous.
  • They pay their executives exorbitant amounts.
  • They control governments and nations through bribery, lobbying and threats of taking their business elsewhere.
  • The buy votes and politicians.
  • They use an army of lawyers to avoid paying taxes, avoid compensating victims, to flout laws and to avoid criticism.
  • They are responsible for the world’s inequality.
  • They control the media.
  • They do not care about people.
  • They do not care about the environment.
  • They will circumvent any law they can to increase their profits.
  • The profit they make goes to the shareholders and executives.
  • They like instability – they had profit from it.
  • They like war – they can profit from it.
  • They like poverty – they can profit from it.
  • They use politicians and governments to protect their interests.
  • There can be no democracy while they have power to control media and government.
  • The only people who can be elected have the support of Big Business billions. Poor people cannot get elected. So all governments represent the interests of big business.
  • They will pollute, destroy and pillage in order to make more profit.
  • They will use poverty as a means of reducing operating costs.
  • They will cut corners without concern for the impact on people or the environment.
  • They have created a monster that is presently eating up resources, causing immense pollution, changing the environment, creating inequality, fundamentalism and war, and destroying the planet.
  • The profits they are making goes to the top 0.01%. 99.9% of us are not profiting from this multinational corporative take-over. Half the world is starving.
  • We have created a monster that is going to destroy us in a mad rush to make more money for the few – at all costs.
  • This is the worst tyranny humans have invented.
  • Wild-life is being mindlessly sacrificed in the name of progress, expansion and growth.
  • We do not need growth. We need fairness, equality and justice.
  • This system cannot offer that. It is evil.

Poetry – You Breathe My Breath – a love poem for old love.

Poetry – You Breathe My Breath – a love poem for old love.


You Breathe My Breath

When you live with someone for nearly fifty years it is as though you are one. Everything about you has been affected, adjusted and adapted as you learn to rub along.

You have, not only a shared past, but share visions for the future.

Everything we do has been refined as we learn from each other. Both of us would be the less if the other were not there.

We have someone to share stories, bounce ideas off, to lean on and gain perspective, to share wisdom and see more objectively.

Two heads are always better than one. We see things from different angles. We have different strengths, different weaknesses.

Together we are stronger, more confident and better.

You cannot reach so high when you haven’t got a steady shoulder to lean on.

I am a better person.


You Breathe My Breath

You breathe my breath.

You read my mind.

You share my dreams

And all we find.

You wonder with me

And are safe and sound.

In the flood of life

We’re on higher ground.


You’re my safety line

Whenever I fall

That voice of sense

For me to recall.

You’re my compass

And my steering wheel

My fulcrum point

That makes life real.


All I am

Is because of you

All I am

Is because of you

All I am

All I am


Opher 5.12.2015

The Universe in Shorts – A book of short stories

My new book of short stories – The Universe in Shorts – is now available in digital form on Amazon.

This book is a collection of my short stories and anecdotes dating from way back in the 1970s. The first section is Maslow’s Stranger, first written circa 1980 as The Stranger. This is followed by a selection of my Sci-fi short stories, then a range of other short stories and finished off with a few anecdotes. I decided it was time to bring them all together in one collection and put them out.I hope you find them interesting.

In the UK:

In the USA:

In India:

Thank you for looking!


The Universe in Shorts

The Universe in Shorts is my new book of short stories.

The main story is Maslow’s Stranger which is an allegorical story I first wrote in the 1980s. It also contains a number of Science Fiction short stories, a number of other short stories and some anecdotes.

It has been nice putting these together into a collection. I hope you will enjoy them.

The collection will be out in both digital form and paperback over the next few days.

Thank you for your interest.


Five more essential reads – Opher’s favourites

Five more essential reads – Opher’s favourites

36. D H Lawrence – Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Although this book is most notorious for its sex scenes I felt it was probably the book that was closest to Lawrence’s philosophy. It was set in the post-war Britain and was in many ways an anti-war book. The injured officer deprived of his manhood through injury. It was also about the class system and the purity of love. A lot of things going on.

37. Ken Kesey – Sometimes a Great Notion

This was the second masterpiece of Ken’s. A totally different book in a different setting. Unlike Cuckoo’s nest this was set in the big outdoors and logging. The story was captivating. I liked the was he depicted the same scene from different viewpoints in the same paragraph. It was very Faulknerish.

38. Salman Rushdie – Midnight’s Children

This is the second of Rushdie’s masterpieces. I read this at the same time as Gunter Grass’s Tin Drum and felt that they both carried that same multitextured, multilayered wonder. It was a tale to get lost in and one of those books you did not want to end.

39. John Steinbeck – East of Eden

The second work of genius from John Steinbeck. This told the tale of brothers and a big ranch. It was another sprawling tale that sucked you in. One of my all-time favourites.

40. Iain Banks – Whit

This seems quite topical when we’ve got cults like ISIS running amok in the world and a Marxist cult leader imprisoned for rape and imprisoning his own daughter. Iain is a brilliant story teller in both Sci-fi and mainstream. This is the story of a religious cult done brilliantly. I love all his books. They were all so varied. It’s a sad loss.

Well these five selections went against my original plan to try to stick to one book per author.

Rules? There are no rules!

Anecdote – My first kiss.

Anecdote – My first kiss.


My first kiss

I’m going to cheat here. To start with I’m going to discount all those parental smackers, and embarrassing smackeroos from salivary grandmas and aunties. They simply do not count.

For the first nine years of my life the thought of kissing girls was absolutely horrifying. Indeed you looked at older boys and shuddered. What on earth were they doing?

Technically my first kiss was during ‘kiss chase’. The girls loved it, and so did we, but I suspect for totally different reasons. To the girls it was about kissing boys. To the boys it was all about escaping from this most terrible fate. If you got caught and kissed that was horrendous. It made it exciting.

So I’ll rule out kiss chase as well. That was a game.

By ten my hormones were kicking in. Suddenly girls were not to be run away from; they were alluring.

But I’m still going to cheat – because I’m going to separate my first kiss into two types.

The first girl I kissed was Liz Staines. She was ten, like me, and in my class. She was sweet on me and I liked her. We would play together. I kissed her on the mouth.

It was a worrying thing. How were you going to manage it? Where did you put your nose?

I remember being concerned. In the event it was sweet and noses weren’t too much of a problem.

But tough I liked Liz, and that kiss was experimental and OK, it was a long way from the real thing. That came shortly after.

Glenys was a Welsh beauty. I was ten and a half and very innocent. She was the older vixen with the wanton ways who led me astray. She was eleven. I think maturity had arrived early for both of us.

I feel for her dark sultry looks and flashing eyes. She was my first love. She made my stomach churn and sent me into a whirly spin. I loved her.

I have no doubt that her hormones were just as active as mine, if not more so.

We spent a lot of time together that summer. I even gave up playing cricket in the street. We built dens and lay down in the long grass in the fields staring into each other’s eyes.

In her garage, my garage and those dens we kissed. It was just like in the films and went on for ten minutes or more. We called them real lover’s kisses. We shared twenty seven of these blood boiling embraces.

They were the hottest.

I count those as my first real kisses.

Photography – A few More San Francisco – Coit Tower & the art

Photography – A few More San Francisco – Coit Tower & the art





I love Coit Tower. Not only do you get a great view over San Francisco but the art (painted by a bunch of local artists) is superb.



Global Warming and a punch on the nose!

Global Warming and a punch on the nose!


The next time I bump into a global warming denier I am going to punch them very hard on the nose.

I have just completed mowing my lawn. It was luxuriant, damp and muddy. I had to do that because the grass had become so long.

Mowing grass in November is bad enough but I had to do it in December last year – in the North of England!!!   That is absurd!!  The only time I’ve ever done that before was when I was living in Los Angeles!

Perhaps the deniers will start to believe now? One too many ‘once in a hundred years’ events. Perhaps they have to be flooded, blown away or burnt out before they start to see the obvious!