The Cabal – A Sci-fi novel of social intrigue

I felt I had to share this. I have just completed the second rewrite of this new Sci-fi novel. I then wrote this blurb for the back cover. All comments are gratefully received.

I’m going to catch my breath before looking to publish. Before I do I’d be glad of any feedback.

I don’t do space opera or action stuff. I work at exploring social situations. This novel is as relevant today as any book even though it’s based in the future.

I’ll put up some extracts for comment over the next few days.

Thank you!

The Cabal Blurb

It is the year 3960 of the System – a sprawling confederation of planets spanning hundreds of thousands of worlds.

Human beings have come a long way through space and time but nothing much changes.

This is a tale of war, political intrigue, greed, power and conspiracy.

The Cabal are a ruthless group of the wealthiest people that have ever lived. They have everything but they want more and are prepared to do anything to achieve their goal, even destroy worlds.

The President is equally selfish and greedy and is in their pay.

A young hacker is all that stands between the might of the evil establishment, who are busy plotting a war that would kill billions, and a brighter, fairer future.

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 Choice for Truss!

The Tory Party look on in horror at what they have done. They voted Truss in and she revealed what they are all about in one crazed swoop – naked greed.

She was so arrogant that she thought she could do anything. Egged on by the rabid ultra-rich Tory membership she revealed their hand. The Party of the Rich were planning to give even more to the rich. But it was too blatant. This is what they have stealthily been doing forever but Truss didn’t even bother to cover it up!

The markets turned.

Seizing back control seems to mean giving control to billionaires from abroad.

She’s a monstrous liability. But they are stuck. If they try to kick her out she could force a vote of no confidence and trigger a general election and they’d all lose their seats! On the other hand, the pressure is mounting and she might crack.

Once upon a time (a poem from my new poetry book ‘Broken Britain’ – Out Soon!)

Once upon a time

Once upon a time

                There was a mutation in an ape;

                                A tiny change in sequences

                                                Leading to murder and rape.

On a beautiful planet

                With a myriad of life

                                The arrogant apes are kings

                                                Creating kingdoms full of strife.

Inventing gun and bombs

                To protect their ivory towers

                                They set about subjugating

                                                All beneath their power.

They thought they were above

                All other animals

                                By building torture chambers

                                                Safe behind castle walls.

Such a small mutation

                In a strand of DNA

                                Is now threatening all life

                                                With a burst of gamma ray.

Opher 2.10.2022

It feels as if there are always two forces at play in human nature: the side that is for creating, helping and building and the side that is for violence, destruction and death.

The planet is either heading for a slow decay into polluted ruin or a fast meltdown into a nuclear pit.

Everything is run by greed and the lust for power. The world is soaked in fear and hate.

We’ve created religion and politics and use both to destroy each other.

What hope is there for these psychotic apes. On a positive thought – the planet will eventually recover from our brief custodianship. It might take a few million years, a lot of mutations, but evolution will plug the many holes we’ve created!

Life will prevail!

Look out your back door! (A poem from my new poetry book ‘Broken Britain’ – Out Soon!)

Look out your back door!

Hey! Look out the back door!

                Can you see the start of a nuclear war?

Thousands of missiles darkening the skies?

                A future lost to greed, brinkmanship and lies?

Or is that a dark cloud or flock of crows?

                Only Putin knows!

In a world of madness

                The unthinkable becomes real.

                                An inevitable path

                                                That started with the invention of the wheel.

Flawed human behaviour

                Creates a world of pain.

                                A bunch of mutated psychotic apes

                                                With an endless pursuit of gain.

A tsunami of madness.

Never learning from history.

                Rational behaviour

                                Still a mystery.

Hey! Look out your back door!

                Is that the start of a nuclear war?

Opher 3.10.2022

When I look back through the history of ALL mankind all I see is violence, greed, exploitation and abuse.

Nothing changes.

Everywhere we go we destroy, kill, maim and torture.

The world is full of castles, fortresses and torture chambers.

We pervert every scientific invention to create weapons of destruction.

In the terrible destruction of Ukraine, we find mass graves, wanton killing, torture chambers and terror.

Why am I not surprised?

This is the species that thought baiting bears, bull baiting, Badger baiting, ripping live animals to pieces, dog fights and cock fights were family entertainment.

We are a sick species.

Rubble to Rubble

Rubble to Rubble

Rubble to rubble,

Dust to dust,

Nothing survives,

Especially the just.

When the man decides

To clench his fist

It becomes impossible

To resist.

Rubble and dust

Rubble and dust.

The whole world runs on greed and lust.

A game of power;

Flex of meat;

Callously cruel;

Shrapnel and heat

Putin’s gamble;

Existential threat;

Where’s it going?

Place your bet!!

Rubble and dust

Rubble and dust.

The whole world runs on greed and lust.

Opher 5.3.2022

Power is corruption.

Putin lives in his palace with full control of millions. His generals quake before him. The Czars of the past would have recognised him as one of theirs.

Yet power and greed have no limits.

Paranoia builds.

There is always a threat. Lots of similar psychotic minds want what he has.

Do not fool yourself that it is any different where you live. Trump, Johnson, Modi or Erdogan, Bolsonaro or Macron; they are part of the same elite, tools and puppets with power.

Power corrupts.

They want more!!

Landscape in my Head

Landscape in my Head

There’s a landscape in my head

It comes from the national zeitgeist.

The combined will of everyone

How every last sentiment is priced.

I’d like it to be compassionate,

Outward looking, caring and true.

But Brexit unleashed the nastiness

The racism just grew and grew.

Now we’re isolated on our own

With the ‘Little Englander’ mentality.

Blaming all the foreigners

For the blunder that is our reality.

It empowered all the nationalists

Who crawled out from every crevice.

Snarling their xenophobic slogans

Like bulldogs full of menace.

It’s not just the wealth we’ve squandered,

Greedily snatched by profiteers;

It’s the friendships that we’ve shat on

Built up through many years.

The landscape that I now live in

Is made by ugly bullying pigs.

Created by arrogant Brexiteers

And a bunch of Tory prigs.

The England that I crave

Is tolerant, outward and true.

The one that welcomed the Huguenots,

And stood up for the Jew.

An England worth fighting for

Not narrow-minded arrogance.

I’ll strive for a better vision

Worthy of taking a stance!

Opher – 11.4.2021

For me it isn’t just the money that’s been wasted or the nasty little profiteers who saw an opportunity to make millions. It’s not even the monetary costs that will throw millions into poverty and cause decades of austerity. It’s not the loss of jobs or the firms going bust or fleeing into Europe. It’s not the masses of red tape and the curtailing of my liberties.

No.

For me it is the emotional impact – the change from an outward looking country full of tolerance, cooperation and friendship to an isolated nation viewing the ‘foreigner’ as the enemy. The rise of xenophobia and racism is just the expression of this unpleasant nationalistic fervour. It’s empowered the fascists, racists and scum.

I’m not suggesting that all Brexiteers are racist fascists. But by voting for such a damaging outcome they have unleashed and empowered the worst slimy breed.

It’s going to take decades to undo the harm.

England is so much the less.