The European Referendum

The EU referendum is probably the most dangerous of times that we as a nation have ever lived through since the Second World War. The result may mean if we leave, that we then become isolated, unheard, lacking global influence and inconsequential on the world stage, both politically and economically.

Firstly, lets be honest, this referendum has nothing to do with Europe. This is much more to do with the machinations of our internal political parties and the lack of leadership and honesty around their pursuit of power in government.

The debate has been toxic and dominated by old white men of a certain class overall. Where are the voices of ordinary people throughout this debate? Why would a certain elite wish to return to the days of warm beer and skittles, deference and class, them and us, the haves and the have not’s? I suspect they hanker for the days when everyone knew their place did not question their “betters” and the rich got richer and the poor did what they were told and asked nothing because “That’s just the way it is”.

However we are now saddled with this referendum and it is important that our national decision is the correct one, not just for some sections of the public but also for the greater good of all, now and in the future. The long term future of our country hangs in the balance like never before and it is not the foreign jackboot and gunfire which is the threat but the jingoism, isolationism and xenophobia of our own citizens which may cause the greatest damage to our country ever.

The “LEAVE” camp conflates EU membership constantly with immigration and at every opportunity. Why? Clearly to pander to the fears of ordinary people that immigration is the root cause of all our national problems. Conveniently, they ignore the greed and endemic, culturally, unethical behaviour of the bankers who caused a global financial crisis which led to a government which ripped the heart out of our public services in the name of “austerity”, causing more and more suffering to disabled people, reducing the income of the working poor and made housing the aspiration and investment cachet of rich, tax avoiding/evading oligarchs.

Let us deal with trade. It is quite right we have always been a trading nation. Most of that trade has been founded on our Empire, which we no longer have and we need to trade on equal terms with the rest of the world. Do we want to trade with a common market of 500 million people who set standards about working conditions, pay, workers rights and manufacturing standards or do we want to trade with people who employ 58 million children in child slavery and 200 million children forced to work and not be educated because they are the main breadwinners in families who are desperately poor. Do we want to trade with countries where there are factories run like sweatshops and degrading conditions just so we can have the latest must have “designer gear” at rock bottom prices?

I do not want to do that!

Let us also examine “Unelected bureaucrats”.

The complaint put forward by the “LEAVE” camp is that we (interestingly, who exactly are “we”, is it the politicians and business mandarins or “we” the public?) have no say in how laws are made in our own country.

The EU Commission is a body of experts who are authorised to environmentally scan the global environment and devise legislation to be put to the European parliament for acceptance. No laws are passed without the authority of the MEPs. That is democracy.

I heard Michael Gove recently answer, when this point was put to him by an interviewer “Yes, but we keep getting defeated in the votes and overlooked” You can’t have it both ways Gove, that is democracy. Work with our European partners, form coalitions and get our point across in Parliament, that is the role of our MEPs! Maybe our national parliament should work with our European MEPs more closely?

Who devises our legislation?

I do not believe that our MPs sit up all night reading and writing new laws, guess what, it may actually be the faceless bureaucrats called “Civil Servants” who do all the donkey work. Are they elected? No!

This system is no different to the European system. What our political classes really dislike is being held to account by the Human Rights Act and the European Court of Human Rights. Are you really happy to trust your Human Rights solely to a minority elected British Parliament elite, which is in thrall to big business?

I for one do not want that either.


What is clear overall is the lack of leadership displayed by all our political parties over the last 40 years in engaging with the European political system to get adequate reform of the things we don’t like and support the things we do, to get the best deal for the citizens of this country. They have let us down and now blame the European Parliament for their failure. Disgraceful!

“REMAIN” is the only option if we want to be secure, economically stable, kept safe as individuals from government and big business and part of a club which commands the world stage, setting standards for business, public office and individuals.

Action or Apathy?

When I am asked, as I often am by people discussing politics and the state of humankind generally “Why are you so angry?’ my reply is “Why are you not?”

I find it astounding the acceptance by others of inequality and injustice and just general unfairness in our and other societies as greeted with “It’s just the way things are and we cannot change it”.

If we can’t, who can?

The lack of quality of leadership and gravitas exhibited by people in the institutions and the business world is breathtakingly arrogant and exudes entitlement and privilege. There is currently in recent times a litany of this as demonstrated in;

MP’s expenses, with very few prosecuted for what is theft, the referendum on Europe, prompted only by the internal machinations of the Tories and UKIP and which if BREXIT happens, to use the current parlance, will result in an inability of ordinary people to take their case to a higher European Court, thus reducing individual Human Rights even further. The LIBOR rate fixing scandal for which no-one has ever been prosecuted except a minor player but none of the big Bank bosses who organized it, the lack of accountability exacted against the instigators of the Iraq war, Blair and Bush, who in any other realm would be facing charges at the Hague Court, (perhaps that is why the Chilcott report is taking so long to produce) the current Investigatory Powers bill being whooshed through parliament which will invade our privacy beyond belief in the name of “Security” , The shrinking of the Freedom of Information Act which will prevent us from knowing more and more about what our elected leaders do and hold them accountable for it. Further afield, the FIFA fiasco in which millions of dollars have been illegally appropriated by a few corrupt people and again no prosecutions yet, the IOC debacle where the Deputy Seb Coe has now been elected to oversee a reform when he originally did not want the extensive doping revelations publicised by The Sunday Times and insists he knew nothing about them, tax evasion and fraud on an industrial scale by the rich and corporations, depriving ordinary hard working and tax paying citizens of their right to good healthcare, education, infrastructure and security The litany goes on and on and still the privileged elite continue to dominate our societies, impervious to any sanctions either legal or imposed by their peers.

Furthermore, the unelected in this country deciding on new legislation and having access to government to lobby policy decisions, as endemic in the Business Corporations, the House of Lords and the Monarchy.

Why wouldn’t one be angry?

Clearly the only non-violent way for this to be overturned and to increase the accountability of the elite is more transparency not less. 25 per cent of people voted for this Government, which is not 25 per cent of the country but only 25 per cent of those who voted, which was 66 per cent. How can this be democratic?

7 per cent of the people attend public schools and then go on to populate by over 50 per cent the best universities and then through their networks occupy all the best and elitist positions in society across all the public and private institutions. How can that be democratic and demonstrate equality?

So, how do we answer this? Perhaps the people of Iceland most recently have answered, by causing their Prime Minister to resign due to the overwhelming demonstrations against him in light of his family involvement in the Panama tax evasion/avoidance scandal currently rocking the international media.

We need more internationally agreed transparency in all business dealings so that no longer will people and corporations be able to move money around anonymously and avoid the tax in the country in which they earn their money.

All countries should legislate a form of the Freedom of Information Act to cover all public services and businesses.

Genuine democracy in the form of Proportional Representation, which causes politicians to work together, and not against each other for the benefit of all people should be the norm.

And so nationally in Great Britain: –

  1. Give wider powers to the Freedom of Information Act and include companies.
  2. Bring in proportional representation now.
  3. Reduce Government spying on it’s own citizens.
  4. Hold the Police and Intelligence agencies accountable for their actions.
  5. Get rid of the Monarchy and House of Lords.
  6. Set up an open business register for all companies showing all associated companies and locations and the Directors.



We are sick and tired of the lack of leadership, which puts self interest before ethics as constantly demonstrated by the rich and powerful of the world. We can only change things by holding them to account. That can only happen if we insist our politicians enact legislation, which allows that to happen, and wrongdoers are punished in the courts, either nationally or internationally.

We can only ensure this happens if we hold politicians to these principles in their manifestos and what they do in office and if they do not then vote them out. As demonstrated in Iceland, the people can be very powerful without violence.

A Time for Strategic Leadership to Defeat the Threat to World Peace

I watched Question Time this week as I always do on Thursday nights but it had more poignancy than usual because it was solely devoted to the issue of the French Terrorist attacks last week and the bigger issue surrounding the safety and security of World Peace. The panellists were Evgeny Lebedev, the Russian owner of The Independent, Medhi Hasan the journalist from Al Jazeera, Anna Soubry the Business Minister, Natalie Nougayrède the editor of Le Monde and one time editor of the Guardian and Max Hastings the respected journalist and war historian. This was a considerably high profile panel to produce some clear and succinct answers to the threat the world faces.

With exception of Anna Soubry, all panellists offered some tactical answers but none offered global strategic solutions to the problems we as humankind face. Unfortunately for Soubry she demonstrated a clear lack of understanding of the nuances and subtleties of the interconnected issues we are facing and in a quite one-dimensional and non-intellectual way offered very simple solutions to a very complex problem. This, from a Minister, who sits, and has influence at the Cabinet table. Most worrying.


I suggest that this particular threat even more than the conventional inter- state problems faced by the world in the Second World War is very different and requires strong international alliances, which are unbreakable and determined.

My strategic solution initiated and sanctioned by the UN is fourfold: –

  1. Defeat ISIS by use of conventional force.
  2. A pan-European solution to the refugee egress.
  3. Intelligence to defeat the instigators of Civil War
  4. Deny Funding.


Defeat ISIS by conventional force.

I would advocate that through diplomacy we ensure a UN Security Council determination to facilitate a conventional military defeat of ISIS. The command and control should belong to those states most affected by the threat in the region but fully supported by hardware, materials and personnel by those nations most able to supply the necessary expertise in these areas.

The tactical application of military strategy to be determined by the conventional forces involved in the conflict.

So, should ISIS dissipate themselves into a non conventional guerrilla force which is most likely when confronted, the strategic response maybe formulated and assisted by others, but the tactical and operational application should be determined by the ground commanders. A sound post conflict response is probably the most important aspect of this part of the strategy and is too big to be dealt with here. 

A pan-European solution to the refugee egress.

At a time of threat of this magnitude, it is important that Europe responds cohesively and this is almost certainly not a time to be questioning the bonds, which have kept European peace for over 70 years. We must be in Europe, not breaking a treaty, which has clearly stood the test of time. This is a European problem and all member states must fully shoulder the burden of responsibility and not leave the issue to a few guardian Border States.

Close the external European borders. All refugees presenting themselves at the borders must be given entry and then detained in order to be biometrically assessed. Then an assessment of their status to determine whether they are genuine asylum seekers under international law. If so all European countries must take a proportion of those refugees based on a pro-rata basis. This is the international law but nobody must expect only a few member states to shoulder a disproportionate burden irrespective of the internal political fallout.

All economic migrants should be denied entry post assessment and returned to the country of origin to apply to enter the country of their choice in the normal way.

Intelligence to defeat the instigators of Civil War.

The terrorist threat we face as individual states is in fact a Civil War. People who are of the country in which the acts are carried out perpetrate all of the terrorist acts. I recognise that this is often as result of training and hardening of attitudes in other countries but the radicalisation of people starts in the home countries and so I would define this as Civil War. To combat Civil War requires the gathering, analysis, dissemination and operational actions based on intelligence. It is a civil problem not a military one.

Combatting our own countrymen who would commit Civil War against us depends on our ability to act on the whole of the CONTEST strategy, which has to date been very effective, by community, the police and intelligence agencies and the rest of the public services. If not properly supported, it will inevitably fail. We will never have complete security and so the whole population needs to be educated as to the content of the threat.

I was on a train recently and spotted a bag lying between seats unattended. I was the only person who questioned why it was there and who it belonged to. This, only 2 days after Paris. Astounding.

The current government has a problem, aspiring to small state and low taxes. Now is the time to park some of those aspirations and keep us safe and secure. If that means raising taxes and increasing the size of the state, then so be it. Better to have our state that not!

Deny Funding.

It is clear that the people who would harm us whether internally or externally receive huge amounts of money to fund their infrastructure and subsequent actions. They are a sophisticated enemy who require a sophisticated response. This means unfettered neo-liberal markets provide the oxygen of both publicity and the means of making huge amounts of money. Money never has an intrinsic value only an instrumental value and allows the enemy to purchase expertise and ordnance. There must be a coordinated global response through the business world and real legal action must be taken against those who supply or assist the enemy in any way through materials both hard and soft.

That justice against perpetrators must be seen to be done and the International Court is the place for that to happen.


Many more informed and influential thinkers have written many more words than I have on this subject, and I am not proposing this as the only set of solutions, but it seems to me that at the moment when we most need it, a strategy needs to be put in place that we can all recognise and act upon, at an international, national, community and individual level. It will require international co-operation not seen in our lifetime, but I believe that is what is required and it is now time for the International institutions to play a world role.


Nuclear Deterrence or not?

As a professional soldier for over two decades, soldiering through the Cold War of the sixties, seventies and eighties, I was briefed and learnt the principles of nuclear deterrence which I never really questioned as they seemed to make so much sense to me. Surely, it was sensible that if the enemy had nuclear weapons then so should we, in order to deter them from using them. It also seemed to work, Europe had over 70 years of relative peace and even though the political philosophies of East and Western Europe were completely at odds, it never manifested itself in all out European war and we enjoyed the most peaceful period across the continent since time began.

Business flourished as a result, borders became open and European countries drew ever closer to each other despite their differences. Then in 1989 the unthinkable happened and the Cold War ended with the symbolic destruction of the Berlin wall. What can be wrong with nuclear deterrence if it can achieve all that?

The primary principle of nuclear deterrence, I was taught, was based upon the theory of “Graduated Response”. This means that we never resort to the ultimate destructive nuclear weapons we possess but in fact gradually increase our response to the threat posed. So, in any conflict situation we respond initially with conventional weapons, and then escalate to tactical battlefield nuclear weapons and finally intercontinental nuclear weapons whilst constantly keeping all diplomatic channels open to resolve the political issues before the conflict is escalated. Deterrence is based on the fact that the enemy never knows or can guess our level of response and so by keeping them guessing we never enter into a nuclear response and peace is maintained. Ultimately, we always keep the option of any of these responses as a first strike option. I therefore ignored the CND marchers, passing them off as naïve do-gooders and never voted for Foot and the Labour party during this time of my militancy.

And then a funny thing happened. Corbyn got elected to lead the Labour party and he again espoused what I believed to be a dead dogma of nuclear disarmament once again and this got me thinking about the subject once more and my conclusions surprised me completely.

To replace Trident will cost upwards of £50Bn and we know from past experience how these costs can often spiral out of control and so the cost maybe a lot more than that. The current government is adamant we need this deterrence in light of how dangerous the world is at the moment with the threats posed by Putin (now also in Syria militarily and Ukraine) Islamic State and the threat that poses in the Middle East, the turmoil in the Levant, mostly caused by our illegal war in Iraq and the constant thorn in the side of peace in the region caused by the military autonomy of the Israelis and their persecution of the Palestinians with complete impunity and lack of action and in fact subliminal support by the West.

Whether any of these threats will ever require the ultimate nuclear response is very doubtful.

So the use of our nuclear weapons to be effective will either require a pre-emptive strike or a retaliatory strike. It is upon this basis that we maintain the peace. No state will contemplate the use of nuclear weapons because the opposition hold the ultimate response of complete destruction of our enemies either pre-emptively or retaliatory.

Let us then examine the pre-emptive strike option.

Can anybody ever imagine the circumstances in which we will use a pre-emptive strike against our enemies? Throughout all the wars, which have happened throughout the world since the end of the Second World War, no nuclear weapon has ever been deployed. I believe this is because the response would be so catastrophic to us that the benefit of deploying it to bring the enemy to heel would be lost in military, political and economic terms.

It would effectively be like shooting ourselves in the foot. When engaged in conflict with enemies who did not possess nuclear weapons, the end clearly did not justify the means, and so we have never used them, again for the reasons given.

A pre-emptive strike is a game changer bringing about Armageddon and no military benefits.

Let us now examine the retaliatory strike option.

The only circumstance in which this could happen would be in response to an incoming nuclear strike, but the same rules apply to our enemies as to us and so when would an enemy use the nuclear pre-emptive strike option when trying to exercise political will against us? That’s the first question. My next question is, even if they did use a nuclear strike against us what benefits do we achieve militarily by a retaliatory strike. If it means we then stop the conflict, that’s fine but we don’t know and never will know that.

So this leads me to the question, how effective is nuclear deterrence?

I now believe that there is no justification for spending huge amounts of public money on a tool, which will never be used and does nothing to keep us safe and secure. I now believe, like Corbyn and many other people over the years like him, who advocated using that public money, particularly in todays economic climate, to bolster public services and improve the capability of our Armed Services, where I believe our primary and ultimate deterrent lays.

I am not a pacifist and firmly believe in national self defence and that military action is the ultimate extrapolation of political policy. What I cannot believe is the huge cost, which this government tries to dupe us into believing is required to preserve our national safety, whilst ignoring the plight of the poor and underprivileged in our society during these very difficult economic times.

£50Bn would go a long long way.

Benefit Entitlement or Charitable Patronage

This government has demonised benefit claimants and now reduces benefits on the back of a political mantra which portrays all benefits claimants as scroungers and feckless wasters. Much of the electorate have clearly swallowed this lie (even the previous Labour Party administration under Harriet Harman) and support government moves to cap benefits for all including working people by reducing working tax benefits whilst allowing employers to continue to exploit “hard working aspirational” people (the governments words) to work on zero hours contracts at a minimum wage, which it is recognised has fallen far below the level of a living wage, thus further increasing working and non- working poverty.

In any civilised society where a huge amount of wealth is created such as ours, (The 4th largest economy in the world) there is a recognition that not everybody can be financially successful as everybody else. This is due to the intrinsic difficulties in creating a fair society where the rich get richer through their elite networks and establishment power and the less advantaged have less access and opportunity. Therefore the government through taxation wishes to equalise this difference by creating a welfare system which prevents people going hungry, homeless, and without the opportunity to progress through education and training. It is not based on subjective factors but objectively assesses individual need and distributes on that basis. (There maybe a good case to means test therefore and eliminate universal benefits).

Cameron recently, in political terms, espoused a political philosophy called the “Big Society”, this was actually a wish to return to the Victorian era of philanthropy where business guilds and crafts would set up financial trusts which subjectively gave monies and help to people who applied for it and who they believed “deserved” their help. This was a value driven basis for giving and inevitably some applicants did not reach the required level of “acceptance” by the Boards dishing out the money. A great example is JB Priestley’s play – An Inspector Calls.

The Labour government in 1945 recognised that this was fundamentally wrong and that the state had a role to play in ensuring that citizens in need should be looked after by government and not the subjective wishes and values of well meaning but unenlightened interventionists. This fundamentally and still does oppose the Tory political philosophy of self determination and the fact that it is not the role of state to help individual citizens. Unfortunately with a Tory majority and a certain five years in government we can expect much more of the same. The rich will inevitably get richer and the poor will inevitably get poorer under this austere regime.

That does not detract from the fact that we have created a society where people do have entitlements and that includes the entitlement to benefits when needed and those should not be subject to the whims and vagaries of people imposing their values and beliefs on the recipients, which is ostensibly how this government is transforming the benefits system and encouraging people to believe that it is their money that they are giving away, to people who do not deserve it.

In the recent book The Great Tax Robbery by Richard Brooks, he demonstrates the lie perpetrated by this government by emphasising the facts. For every £1Bn of tax/benefit fraud there are 9000 prosecutions for benefit fraud and only 5 for tax evasion by the big companies and rich individuals, but only £1Bn represents benefit fraud whereas over £30Bn is represented by tax avoidance/evasion. Therefore, this incumbent government bring the full force of the law to bear on the poorest in society whilst ignoring the richest and their criminality.

To summarise, when a person says I am entitled to the benefits provided, then, they are and we should not be hankering for a return to where people stood in line to beg from rich benefactors who often would say No! based on prejudice and discrimination.

The “Great Trek” to Freedom

We now see huge swathes of humanity trekking across Europe to seek freedom. Freedom from oppression, freedom from persecution, freedom from totalitarianism and lastly freedom from lack of hope. The power of people to exercise their innate freedom is expressed in the determination of the “little trek” from Budapest’s Keleti rail station to the Austrian Border. People are fleeing the wars we in the West, either directly or indirectly started and then did not deal with in terms of the post conflict construction, both economic and political.
We then see the political leaders of Europe, with the exception of Angela Merkel (who will be the next recipient of the Nobel peace prize?) like rabbits in the headlights, as no longer are people just grainy images on our TV screens and people we can ignore whilst collecting money to salve our consciences to send to the refugee camps where they are incarcerated for years, but now sleeping on the streets of the great European cultural centres’ such as Vienna, Berlin, Budapest et al. Meanwhile, I am deeply ashamed at the xenophobic and selfish attitude of my own country. A country that I fought for and thought, believed in democracy, freedom, justice and social equality. I am deeply ashamed that we elect a Prime Minister who unlike Angela Merkel, washes his hands in public, much like Pontius Pilate did over 2000 years ago and says “This is not our problem”, purely for such transparent and narrow political interests.
Of course it is our problem, it is also the problem of the rest of Europe in which Germany is taking the lead. The world is no longer defined by national borders or narrow nationalistic interests. These things no longer define our world; it is defined by all of humanity irrespective of colour, religion, faith, gender and all those other characteristics, which define us as individuals.
People define it. People, who wish to be safe, work and be treated as equals, care for their family, get educated and make their way in this life, irrespective of their socio-economic background. People are curious, innovative, creative and determined and so no matter how much the European politicians rail against the sea of humanity seeking a better life, then they had better deal with them and not ignore them.
Surely it is not beyond the wit of a sophisticated and developed Western Europe to recognise that now is the time for leadership not prevarication and blame transference. Take responsibility and recognise that the problem is twofold.
Deal with the wars and unrest in the Arab region, this must include the Israeli-Palestinian problem and surely the answer is a two-state solution, and secondly, set up reception centres in Europe, process people as either Asylum seekers or economic migrants and then allocate to individual countries based on a system of land mass, GDP and familial association. There is also the thorny question of what is America’s role in this humanitarian crisis, which they are also in part responsible for. Obama appears to be very quiet on the whole issue and needs to lead the United Nations towards a pan global solution
This will not go away, the “Great Trek” has begun and once again the world is changing.

7/7 – The Aftermath

If God exists and is omniscient and omnipotent, was he present on this day?

Did he guide the hand of those wishing to create mayhem and destruction in his name or did he decide for those who died, it was their time? Did he decide that those who were injured would be stronger and more courageous to bear the pain of their injuries? Did he decide that the families and friends of those who were injured and killed should also bear the loss and hurt?

Maybe he was present but did not intervene in the affairs of humankind, merely creating the environment in which we are all independent agents. Does God exist and is he present in all human tragedy both historically and forever in the future?

Ten years on as all people effected by these tragic events seek solace in their God, if he exists, do they feel less pain and hurt as a result of the trappings of monuments, symbolism and public outpouring of sympathy and grief to their God? Is the same God, if he exists, present for the parents, brothers, sisters, family and friends of those who created the mayhem and is he present in their grief and unbearable loss?

So if God exists and does nothing, why would he be omniscient and omnipotent, all seeing all powerful and all doing and still remain a bystander?

It is mysterious and his mystery moves in many ways according to those who believe, but it is also illogical and baffling to us mere humans.

If God exists for you, then I hope he cares, because he does not exist for us all and please remember that when you speak with your God and maybe the question should be not, “Does God exist? But why do we need a God?”

Mrs Justice Pauffley and Rachel Dolezal- Opposite ends of the Spectrum

There is a clear link I believe between the recent case of the judge Mrs Justice Pauffley’s comments relating to the way she dismissed the case against an Indian man beating his 7-year-old son, in UK, in which she maintained that “ proper allowance must be made for what is, almost certainly a different cultural context” and the parallel case in the USA of the white woman Rachel Dolezal claiming to be black and leading the Spokane Washington branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured (Black) people, (NAACP) America’s oldest civil rights group. A black British female novelist being interviewed on the subject on Channel 4 News on Friday 13th June said, “It should only be a black person leading a civil rights organisation”.

In the first case both white and black people are up in arms about Pauffley’s comments and yet in Dolezal’s case it is mainly black people who are not happy about her claim to a black identity. (Excepting of course the NAACP, who is still not sure how to deal with being hoodwinked by someone who has done such great work for the civil rights movement in USA).

So what is the link?

In the end it is down to our own individual worldview. If we agree that any discrimination is an exercise of power in some form or another then Racism is also a demonstration of power against another based on colour, race or nationality.


Let us take the case of Pauffley. When one examines the case it is clear that on the “Balance of Probabilities” she found the man not guilty of using a belt to chastise his son. Therefore he used reasonable punishment, which is legal.

She also found that the man had abused his wife violently, but this was never reported in the popular media.

It is however her world view which brings into question her judgement as a High Court Judge.

She has used her power and not a legal basis on which to make mitigation in favour of the Indian accused. If she had not mentioned the man’s ethnicity and only a made a judgement based on the facts, the findings would have been seen to be just and fair, irrespective if people had disagreed with her findings. What came first, her worldview and then her findings or her findings and then her worldview?

By adding the comments she made she may have effectively ‘positively discriminated’ in favour of the accused, therefore using her power inappropriately.


Let us take the second case. Rachel Dolezal has undoubtedly been a great advocate of Civil Rights as the President of the Spokane branch of NAACP in Washington. (I am personally not in favour of the use of the word ‘Coloured” when referring to Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) people), however, her excellent work in this arena goes without saying. She may have broken the law in declaring her ethnicity as African American in any application for work. It is also true that she has been dishonest in stating she is black when clearly she is not. That is not the issue, the issue is her mind set at the time of entering the world of civil rights and wishing to do good work in that field and maybe feeling, look if I am not black will I be accepted? and clearly listening to the backlash from the black community on this subject she may well have been right. Is it racist to exclude somebody on the basis of the colour of his or her skin? Of course it is.

Any exercise of power to exclude people based on the factor of colour is wrong.


The link is that racism is much more nuanced, subtle and multi-faceted and layered than ever before and we all need to look at it differently, both from the law and our own individual worldview.

There is racism between white and black, and within the black community.

I have personally experienced the racism in the Caribbean of racism between Africans and Indians; I have observed the racism within tribes in Africa, and also in the Middle East between Arabic sects. I have also observed the racism between these groups in our own society. We need to stop looking at colour and start looking at behaviour and the reasons for that behaviour, so that people cannot hide behind the old adage of “I’m not racist but”!

Actions or lack of action determines racism and all other forms of discrimination together with, not just colour, race, nationality, gender, gender reassignment, age, sexual orientation, faith and religion.

This is a monumental shift in view, which society and the politicians need to understand. It is not just good enough to reflect society because we immediately get drawn into a numbers game of this amount of these people and this amount of those people. Big picture thinking means we create opportunity for everyone through education, training, a level playing field in terms of advancement in the workplace, pay, contracts of work and the access to the law, housing and safety and security for all. Only in that way will we create a society capable of true integration. A society where actually it’s OK for someone who is white to be accepted enough to lead a civil rights group and where an Indian boy who is beaten by his father receives the justice he deserves.

The “Establishment” is Back!

As a result of the recent election are we now firmly back in an Establishment led society which will now reinforce the hold of the rich and powerful on society and create further inequality through a neo liberal approach to the free market allowing more wealth to be accumulated by the few?

I suggest that we are and that the ramifications of the Tory majority will be exactly that.

Does the Establishment even exist? I would suggest it does, although defining it and the demarcation of its boundaries is notoriously difficult.


So, what is the “Establishment”?

I define it as: –

The “Establishment” is a portal within which ultimate power exists and from which others are excluded access. It resides in the accumulation of wealth through select networks and the activities of its members’ are hidden from the scrutiny of the rest of us.


Evidence of this “activity” crosses the boundaries of politics, business, the media, law, the police (who are unwitting guardians of it), the Church, the Armed Services and many major institutions. Members of this select coterie are bound together by the most nebulous of societal factors but the overwhelming common denominator is wealth and the accumulation of it and protecting that activity from scrutiny.

One of the ordinary person’s direct challenges to this discrete power was the Human Rights Act through Europe. The Tories now intend to rid themselves of this piece of International legislation which may hold the establishment to account and even to rid us of the opportunity eventually to redress through Europe at all by hiding behind Europe constituting a threat to our national democracy and leaving it through the “will of the people” in a referendum.

I guess we all know instinctively the spin that will be placed through the media barrage leading up to the referendum on whether we should vote Yes or No to staying in Europe. The question of course is how well informed we will be at the point of voting.

Our democracy of course is a nonsense. Since time immemorial, From Lord Salisbury as Prime Minister questioning the opening of the voting franchise to the whole of society, the Establishment has only ever tried to maintain the balance of its power against the ordinary people feeling so angry as to resort to revolution and overthrow them.

25% of people voted for the current government-is that really democracy? Then we are fed the spin that this is the best way to achieve stable government. It is also the best way for a minority of people to maintain power over the majority and use legislation enacted by them to continue to help their cronies accumulate more power and wealth which they will have access to when they leave government or even whilst they are in government through “outside interests”. They will do this by boundary changes thus getting re-elected next time and also ensuring that the state continues to support businesses by subsidising wages in the form of benefits to workers and allowing workers to be a flexible and accessible commodity through zero hours contracts. Nice work if you can get it, so vote Tory.


If you voted Tory and in the future you cannot get a GP’s appointment, or the medicines for yours or a member of your family’s illness, or your operation which you need to prevent yourself dying in the near future is months away, or the council charge you to collect your rubbish, or you are unable to either rent or buy a house, or the police will not come to help you if you are a victim of crime or any of the things which you expect in a free and democratic country, then don’t complain, because that’s what you voted for and the rich and powerful who are being supported by the government you voted for have no need to worry about these things because they have the wealth to pay for them as individuals.

This is not the politics of envy but of justice and equality. My daughter sometime ago asked me “Can you be a rich Socialist”? And on closer discussion it was clear that she was struggling with the idea of being a socialist and owning a business or accumulating wealth.

My answer was “Yes, you can, if you build a business and create wealth which is shared with the people who create the wealth for you in the shape of a living wage, pensions, sick pay and you pay the taxes due, albeit less profit for yourself, then why not”?


The Monarchy is probably the biggest and most powerful member of the “Establishment” exercising subtle but provocative power over all of us. The Monarchy after the 17th century was meant to be nothing more than a ceremonial tradition of our unwritten constitution. Then why is Prince Charles, the future king, first of all, writing to various powerful figures in society to share his views on government policy and then being openly shielded by the very people he has written to, post the judicial decision to publish his “private” letters? Even his own son defended him and so clearly he doesn’t understand the role of Monarchy in today’s society and if they do not understand, that they are our public servants, should they continue?


If we do not question and challenge the “Establishment” how will we ever achieve justice and equality? Because they would have us believe that they have our best interest at heart. If you believe that, then don’t cry when it becomes untrue for you and there is no redress.

Why Wage War?

War is not merely a political act but a real political instrument, a continuation of political intercourse, a carrying out of the same by other means.

Carl von Clausewitz


I believe we face some of the most dangerous times globally for all mankind in the world today.

We have fought the wars we should never have fought and we are not fighting the wars we should be fighting.


Blair and Bush as I have previously written, by their stupidity and misplaced ideology based on revenge and religious hatred have waged wars using lies and mendaciousness, even against the will of the vast majority of the electorate who put them in power. Certainly in UK the demonstrations against the Iraq war were large and the voices vociferous. Most people when asked do not know why we were in Afghanistan for over 10 years with very little result. Both countries continue to be in political turmoil and in the midst of continuing sectarian bloodshed directly as a result of the actions of these two men.


In any other context they would be tried at the Hague.


Mission not Accomplished!!


We now find ourselves with the most dire circumstances of any Commander – —— A war on two fronts! —– Ukraine and Syria/Iraq

So what is to be done?


If we do nothing rest, assured Putin will continue to expand his borders, as we have seen all dictators traditionally do from earliest times right up to the last World War.

ISIS will continue to expand their ideology of a Caliphate and the ramifications for the extended period of world peace will be devastating.

I personally do not want to live in a world dominated by a fundamental interpretation of a religion of peace on the one hand and a Communist autocracy, that stultifies, individual creativity, freedom, business and the right to live with respect and dignity for all.


These are wars we need now to fight in concert with other like minded countries including the Eastern European countries who are most threatened by Russia and the Arab countries who are most threatened by ISIS.

If the world bands together against these twin evils we can and will win, because the alternative is too hard to bear for our children and future generations.


Do we have the will to fight; if we do not then we cannot complain at the brutality of these twin regimes as they have given us ample evidence of their intent over us.


We must for our own safety rise to arms.


The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.

Sun Tzu


Somewhere between these wise sayings from Von Clausewitz and Sun Tsu we must find an answer.

The art of war is many and varied and we must use all means at our disposal to protect our way of life, but if war is the only political extrapolation left to us we must not shirk from the unpleasantness of defending ourselves.