Monday, 20 November 2017

If you've bought any of these 11 things, you've helped fund the Tories

Here are eleven  well-known brands and products where shareholders of the company - or the company itself - has donated to the Tories, the party of the few, the rich and the privileged in this country.
They aren't the biggest donors by any means , fat cat donors, bankers , business tycoons are also pumping loads of cash into the Tory Party war chest. As the tories continue to court wealthy donors and businesses meanwhile ordinary people everyday are finding life increasingly more difficult to manage, facing challenging times.. Buying the following 11 things means you have sent money to the Conservatives. If you don't support the Tories and have inadvertantly bought any of the following, please reconsider your habits, stop helping the Tories out, their certainly not helping us out.

1. Melton Mowbray Pork Pies and Ginster Pies

The popular pies are owned by Samworth Brothers Ltd.
Director Mark Samworth has donated £585,000 to the Tories since 2010. Additionally, Samworth Brothers Ltd, the company itself, donated £32,000 to the party in 2002 and 2003.
Life President of the company, David Samworth, has donated just over £26,000.
In total, Samworth and those involved in the company have donated nearly £650,000 to the Tories.
Think about that next time you sit down alone and microwave yourself a depressingly limp cornish pasty.

2. Next clothing and accessories

Next CEO lord Wolfson has donated more than £400,000 to the tories since 2006. He was made a Conservative party peer by David Cameron in 2010.
Next made record £695m profits last year and is facing a trade union campaign by the GMB trade union to pay a living wage to staff.

3. Autotrader magazine

Autotrader is owned by Apax the private equity firm run by Tory Donor Adrian Beercroft, after it was bought from the owners of the Guardian newspaper through a controversial offshore deal in the Cayman Islands.
Beecroft, who has donated £593,000 to the Tories, wrote a notorious report for Downing Street recommending that a string of workers rights be scrapped so bosses can sack workers at will.

4. The Wombles

Mike Batt wrote six Wombles albums between 1973 and 1978. Batt has donated £112,500 to the Tories since 2001. If you've bought any Womble music (who hasn't) or listened to "Remember You're a Womble" in order to remind yourself that you're a Womble, you have inadvertently given money to the tories.

5. Woking football club

Owned by Surrey businessman Chris Ingram. He's donated nearly £175,000 to the tories since 2008. So if you support Woking you also support the Tories

6. Warbutons

This well-known bakery gave the Tories a £25,000 donation in the run up to the 2010 election, after David Cameron held a press conference at the firm's Bolton HQ and was pictured in front of a wall of Warburtons loaves.

7.Crombie coats

Owned by former Tory vice-chairman Alan Lewis, who has donated £246,000 to the Conservative Party. Part of Crombie's parent company Hartley Investment Trust is owned offshore on the Isle of Man. Most people I see wearing a Crombie I avoid anyway because I have suspicions their probably Tories.

8. Soreen Meat Loaf

Soreen is also owned by Samworth Brothers who donated £650,000 to the Conservatives. The search continues for a non-politically aligned malt-loaf.

9. Lycamobile

lycamobile is a virtual phone network set up in 2006. They sell international Sim cards to consumers who want to make international phone calls /
The company donated a massive £827,562 to the Tory party between 2011 and December 2015..

10. Bet Fair

Bet Fair founder and shareholder Edward Wray has donated just under £210,000 to the tories since 2010. If you've ever gambled using Betfair and lost, your loss has been the Tories gain.

11.Karl Liegerfield clothes

If you've ever bought any Karl Lagerfeld clothes  you have inadvertently donated to the Tories. The label is also owned by Apax, who have donated £593,000 to the Tories.Not the 81 year old fashion designer, but the fashion label itself.

This data was found by the Mirror, who drew their data from the Electoral Commission and Searchthemoney

Friday, 17 November 2017

Audre Lorde (18/2/34 - 17/11/ 92) - Litany for Survival / Love Poem

On this date in 1992 (Nov. 17th), Audre Lorde died of breast cancer.  Feminist, Womanist.Poet. Civil rights activist. Anti-war activist. Gay rights activist. Novelist. Librarian. Harlemite. In her own words, she was: "Black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet."  Audre Lorde dedicated both her life and her creative talent to confronting and addressing the injustices of racism, sexism, and homophobia. Her poetry, and “indeed all of her writing,” according to contributor Joan Martin in Black Women Writers (1950-1980): A Critical Evaluation, “rings with passion, sincerity, perception, and depth of feeling.” Concerned with modern society’s tendency to categorize groups of people, Lorde fought the marginalization of such categories as “lesbian” and “black woman,” thereby empowering her readers to react to the prejudice in their own lives.
Starting to write at an early age, Lorde was first published in Seventeen magazine while in high school.As society progressed with the anti-war, feminist and civil rights movements, Audre moved from themes of love to more political and personal matters. She used her platform as a writer to spread ideas and experiences about the intersecting oppressions faced by many people.  Her poetry developed an angry aura as she became more involved in activism but developed into an emotionally-supportive outlet and connected her to the world of politics with well-known figures like Langston Hughes.
Author of the controversial essay "The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House." In 1980 she co-founded (with Barbara Smith and Cherrie Moraga) a feminist publishing company called "Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press," the first publisher for women of color in the United States.
Lorde died in St. Croix, Virgin Islands, at the age of 58. She was cremated and her ashes scattered at sea. Throughout her battle, she found inspiration through her struggle as she documented in the 1980 special edition issue of the Cancer Journals. Her story included a feminist analysis of her experience with the disease and mastectomy. Before passing away, Audre changed her name to Gambda Adisa which means “Warrior” or “she who makes her meaning known.”

" There is no such thing as a single issue struggle because we do not live single issue lives " - Audre Lorde

Poetry is not only a dream and vision; it is the skeleton architecture of our lives. It lays the foundations for a future of change, a bridge across our fears of what has never been before.”- Audre Lorde 

Litany for Survival  - Audre Lorde

'For those of us who live at the shoreline
standing upon the constant edges of decision
crucial and alone
for those of us who cannot indulge
the passing dreams of choice
who love in doorways coming and going
in the hours between dawns
looking inward and outward
at once before and after
seeking a now that can breed
like bread in our children's mouths
so their dreams will not reflect
the death of ours:

For those of us
who were imprinted with fear
like a faint line in the center of our foreheads
learning to be afraid with our mother's milk
for by this weapon
this illusion of some safety to be found
the heavy-footed hoped to silence us
For all of us
this instant and this triumph
We were never meant to survive.

And when the sun rises we are afraid
it might not remain
when the sun sets we are afraid
it might not rise in the morning
when our stomachs are full we are afraid
of indigestion
when our stomachs are empty we are afraid
we may never eat again
when we are loved we are afraid
love will vanish
when we are alone we are afraid
love will never return
and when we speak we are afraid
our words will not be heard
nor welcomed
but when we are silent
we are still afraid

So it is better to speak
we were never meant to survive

Audre Lorde - Love Poem

Speak earth and bless me with what is richest
make sky flow honey out of my hips
rigis mountains
spread over a valley
carved out by the mouth of rain.

And I knew when I entered her I was
high wind in her forests hollow
fingers whispering sound
honey flowed
from the split cup
impaled on a lance of tongues
on the tips of her breasts on her navel
and my breath
howling into her entrances
through lungs of pain.

Greedy as herring-gulls
or a child
I swing out over the earth
over and over

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

DWP hang your heads in shame

For those unable to read images, it says:

‘I’m a doctor. This is a real conversation I had with the Job Centre:

“Hi, I don’t think Miss X is well enough to come to your appointment…”

“It’s a term of her benefits that she has to come.”

“I know, but I don’t think she’s well enough. Can you rearrange it?”

“So she came to your appointment?”

“Yes, but…”

“Then she can come to ours.”

“But she’s not well and I’m her doctor.”

“And she wants benefits and so she has to come here.”

“So you’re saying that she has to either jeopardise her health by coming to your meeting, or not receive any money.”

“If you’re trying to make me feel guilty you’re speaking to the wrong person.”‘

Just to add perspective to this dialogue, it might be useful to remember that a woman was afraid to leave a DWP meeting while she was having a heart attack because she thought she would be sanctioned off-benefit.

This sad state of affairs currently happening in a supposed civilised country, and completely legal too, we need a change in government as soon as possible to put and end this shameful policy. It is simply outrageous that some people are actually punished simply for being ill.

Image Black triangle campign

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Lest we forget

repost from last year

Millions of Britons will observe  two minutes of silence this weekend as the nation marks Armistice  Day and Rememberance Sunday and pay respect to those killed in war.
The Peace Pledge Union  though wants to promote the idea that there are better ways to resolve conflict than through war and violence. They also want to curb the attitude towards commemoration of war, which painrs the picture that war is noble and worth celebrating. They promote the idea of wearing a white poppy around the same time you would wear the red poppy, for Armistice Day and Rememberance Sundayaround November 11 each year with a committment to peace and a refusal to celebrate or glamourise war itself:
Remembrance Day was originally intended to remind us of the futility of war. The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month which marked the time the Armistice was signed at the end of WWI, or, as it was known at the time, The Great War, the war to end all wars. Such was  the scale of death and suffering between 1914-18 it was believed to be inconceivable that nations would again engage in such wasteful and destructive confrontation. In fact, The Great War instead turned out to be  the opening chapter of the most destructive and murderous century in the history of the human race. War became mechanized, industrial, and all consuming. No longer did armies simply face each other across a battlefield in ordered rows to slog it out until one side was victorious, entire cities and nations would be left in ruins and generation after generation of young men would be wiped out of existence. 
 Let is all remember what we do not seem to learn, that it is Politicians that send men and women to die, to go to war, so  that they can try and win unwinnable battles for them. We should remember never to be intimidated by the media which sees the wearing of a red poppy as a definition of loyalty. Let us acknowledge all those people looking for alternative ways of marking and remembering the  dead, working for peace, day by day.
Let us remind ourselves how the wearing or not wearing of the poppy has been used to shame people who make the conscious decision not to wear one, or how to criticise, is to be bandied a traitor, as we are told  told time and again  that soldiers died for our freedoms. Lets not forget  either the families of the wounded or dead who are left abandoned, and the many ex servicemen who are left homeless to fend for themselves.
It's time to expose the hypocrites who sanction wars, arms sales and state repression while wearing a red poppy and uttering platitudes on this Day.
Let us fall silent to mourn the loss of ordinary men  and women who have died when they need not have. Let us fall silent  in  the hope that remembering  will prevent the tragedies of war and  and loss and work towards a time when it does not happen again. Let us fall silent to recognise and commemorate the victims of all wars, such as civilians killed in the bombings of Dresden, Hiroshima, Baghdad, Kabul, etc.
Let us reclaim the poppy as a symbol of peace not as a symbol of war.This is why I choose to wear a white poppy only, for peace and try to remember the dead of all sides, both military and civilian.The white poppy pays tributes to victims of all wars, including those which are still ongoing.War is mass murder, and we should remember  the  politicians of all sides that  should be held responsible and tried for murder. Lest we forget. Heddwch/Peace.


" Peace cannot be kept  by force, it can only be achieved by understanding. You cannot subjegate a nation forcibly unless you wipe out every man, woman and child. Unless you wish to use drastic measures, you must find a way of settling your disputes without resort to arms."

- Albert Einstein ( from Militant Pacifist, 1931)

Futility - Wilfred Owen 

Move him into the sun -
Gently its touch awoke him once,
At home, whispering of fields unsown.
Always it woke him, even in France,
Until this morning and this snow.
If anything might rouse him now
The kind old sun will know.

Think how it wakes the seeds, -
Woke, once, the clays of a cold star.
Are limbs, so dear-achieved, are sides,
Full-nerved - still warm - too hard to stir?
Was it for this the clay grew tall?
- O what made fatuous sunbeams toil
To break earth's sleep at all?

Friday, 10 November 2017

Lowkey – The Redistribution of Power (Live in London, 2017)

Love this, absolutely awesone, Lowkey performs an acapella of ' The Redistrution of Power.' at his headline show at the Coronet in London. We need a massive radical redistribution of powerthat could help societies current disenchantment. We have nothing to lose and all to gain.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Looking for answers

I've been listing my A to Zeds
from Alpha to Zion,
sometimes it all adds up
life gets better, start understanding,
but often things will arrive that confuse
as I try to remember to resurge, rejoice,.
the sound of  blues arrives in my head
I escape the chorus, and return to bed,
darkness envelopes, the sky gets a little lost
makes the near seem so very far away,
still seek familiar faces, swimming with light
resist a world full of cruel injustice,
remember all those still struggling
as world spins, political corruption exposed,
somehow some hope floods within
answers seeking, keep on arriving.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Anais Nin - Restless heart

Said this before, but having a break from blogging, looking for some inspiration... be back sooner than  later in all probability, in the meantime some thoughts from the inimitable Anais Nin. Thanks to all who have listened. Keep on keeping on, solidarity.

" You live like this, sheltered, in a delicate world, and you believe you are living. Then you read a book, or take a trip, and you discover that you are not living, that you are hibernating. The symptoms of hibernating are easily detectable:first, restlessness. The second symptom ( when hibernating becomes dangerous and might degenerate into death) :absence of pleasure. That is all. It appears like an innocuous illness. Monotony, boredom, death. Millions live like this (or die like this) without knowing it. They work in offices. They drive a car. They picnic with their families. And then some shock treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song, and it awakens them from death. Some never awaken. "


Thursday, 2 November 2017

100th Anniversary of Balfour Declaration, a time for reflection not celebration.

                                                Lord Arthur James Balfour

The 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration marks one of Great Britain's betrayals. A shameful part of history that I have written about many times before. It refers to a letter dated 2 November 1917 from the United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary Lord Arthur James Balfour to Walter Rothschild 2nd Baron Rothschild for the supporters of the Zionist cause which had no legal authority where the indigenous Palestinians at the time of the letter amounted to 90% of the total population which paved the way for the creation of  Israel in 1948.
This cursed declaration is considered to be the first political recognition of the Zionist aims by a foreign government. It meant that those who had no ownership (Britain) permitted those who had no right to establish a national homeland on a established country Palestine with no moral or legal framework to do so.

Rothschild replied to Balfour's letter saying that 'the British government has opened up, by their message. a prospct of safety and comfort to large masses of prople who are in need of it.' But it also opened up the prospect and reality of abject misery for millions of Palestinianss who certainly did not deserve it.
The letter made it clear that the British government backed the establishment of a 'national home for the Jewish people; in Palestine. Three years later, in 1920, Britain was mandated to implement the resolution through the League of Nations.
However Palestinians were not represented in the discussions that led to the declaration, nor were they cited by name in the letter. Indeed, they were defined by what they are not ("non-Jewish"), which set the pattern for their " invisibility " in later official discussions about their future.The letter marks a pivotal moment in the history of Palestine, laying the groundwork for the eventual loss of their land, years of dispossesion, conflict and displacement affecting millions of Palestnian lives and their subsequent occupaton with ramifications that are so clearly felt today..
The Palestinian conflict does not begin in 1948 but in 1917, with this declaration. It is necessary that we go back to this crucial watershed in the history of the Middle East and the roots of the continuing betrayal of the Palestinian people, expelled from their ancestral homeland to refugee camps, to live in exile across the globe, to this present day. The continuing seperation of the prople of the West Bank and the open prison that is Gaza.
The content of the declaration seems no less distant or downright baffling. The prominent Jewish intellectual Arthur Koestler, repeating a frequent mantra, would call it “one the most improbable political documents of all time,” in which “one nation solemnly promised to a second nation the country of a third.” The fact that it included no explicit rationale for itself has also fuelled the suspicion that its authors had darker motives. After all, it was issued in the name of the largest empire in history, the Balfour Declaration is considered to be by many one of the greatest mistakes in our imperial history.
Palestinian leaders over the years have strongly urged British officials to apologise and diavow the Declaration as well as acknowledge their responsibility in the plight of the Palestinian people. The British government has refued. The writer Arundhati Roy was right to describe the Palestine tragedy as one of " imperial Britain's festering, blood-drenched gifts to the modern world.' It is also a product of a history of racism and empire that extended across most of the West. On this centennial of the Balfour Declaration, reflection on this shared culpability should serve as a reminder of the responsibility for the political action that comes with it.
Israeli officials say it is right to celebrate the centenary, and have accused those demanding and seeking an apology of being atisemitic.But I reject that and believe the British government politicians should apologise unreservedly for having turned a blind eye to Israel's breaches of international law, offences against humanitarian law which has seen the massacre of Palestinians. Because of this tainted promise, Britain bares responsibility for setting the stage for the conflict that currently exists and the legacy of deceit, injustice and oppression that exists to this day.
In pursuit of justice this ocassion  could be marked by a long adherence to the rules of international law, with an immediate apology from the Government of Great Britain. This task would take courage but is urgent.Millions of Palestinians are still marooned in refugee camps. West Bank citizens have endured 50 years of military occupation and Palestinian homes are continuing to be destroyed and replaced by thousands of new Israeli settlements.
Ahead of the 100th anniversary pro-Palestinian groups launched the following petition  
calling on the British government  to crap plans to celebrate. They argued Prime Minister Theresa May should instead use the occasion to issue an apology. Responding to the petition in April this year, the Foreign Office said: “The Balfour Declaration is an historic statement for which Her Majesty’s Government does not intend to apologize. We are proud of our role in creating the State of Israel. The task now is to encourage moves towards peace.”
It is really sad to witness Theresa May's blinkered ability to further shame the British people by ingulging in overt celebrations on the occasion of the centenary of the signing. She has also said the declaration was a "source of great pride" for Great Britain. Surely Theresa May and her cabinet cannot be simply unaware of the 100 year suffering this infamous agreement has caused.
Well done to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn  though who has refused to attend Balour Centenary Celebration dinner that is taking place, I believe he is right to avoid it. He's not snubbing Israel per say, but a celebratory dinner that is exremely controversial  and inflammatory to celebrate this .to the  Palestinians it would be seen as celebrating their ethnic cleansing, the continuing denial of a viable Palestinian State, and the fact  that 2017 also marks the 50th anniversary of the occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza and other Arab land and Israel’s refusal to end this, any celebration would be a complete mockery to the Palestinian peoples collective memory and a continuing violation of their rights..
Simon Johnson, chief executive of the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC), says British Jews should feel proud of the UK’s role in the creation of Israel, today a key regional trade and security partner. But it is worth pointing out that that all British Jews consider the declaration worth  celebrating. For instance Jews for Justice for Palestinians, offered the following perspective.The group’s parliamentary and diplomatic liaison officer, Arthur Goodman, says the government’s response to the Balfour apology petition is a skew on British history.
In reality the British government shouldn’t be particularly proud because, more than the Balfour Declaration itself, the way they ran it, in the Mandate, was very detrimental to the Palestinians,” he said.“If it had been to create a homeland on an equal basis with the already existing indigenous population, that would have been different. But that’s not what the British Mandate did. They created a state for the Zionists, who were Jews, and they excluded the possibility of the Palestinians having a state or having an equal part in a binational state.”
What would an apology actually achieve?
“Very little. In fact, if that’s all the government did, but didn’t actually help the Palestinians create a state, then it would just make Palestinians and Arabs even more convinced that the British government, among others, was being very hypocritical,” said Goodman.
“I think the correct response would be not to celebrate it, not to mark it, except to say that it’s now time for Israel to accept that it already has 78 percent of British Mandate Palestine and that should be enough for it. And the other 22 percent, i.e. the Occupied Territories, rightly belong to the Palestinians.”
 I do aknowledge though that Balfour was not unique in history in giving what he did not own to those that were not entitled to it.With Israel currently entrenching its military occupation of Palestine and senior politicians articulating there rejection of a Palestinian state, Britain should not be inflaming the situation ny marking Balfour in the way that they are, which will create barriers to the ongoing peace process.100 years after Balfour it is more than time for Britain to now apologise for this declaration that has caused so much pain, a  the time for reflection , not celebration, for us to consider on the profoundly negative consequences of the declaration by the colonial actions of Great Britain, and its continuing global consequences and think about the ongoing tragedy of the Palestinian people that my country owes a moral responsibility to.
Despite the consequences  of Balfour the Palestinians commitment to fight for freedom also remains unchanged, and neither Balfour nor all of Britain's foreign secretaries since then have managed to break the will  of the Palestinian nation.Let us also remember that the leaders of Israel were never satified with what they eventually got in 1948. They unfortunately set their sights much wider. And to this day carry out policies of expansion and domination in acts of provocation. Until measures  are made by Israel to improve the standard of living and bring economic prosperity to the Palestinians living in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Bringing some chord of social justice, and reconition of the Palestinians identity and stolen land given back to them. and an end to their continuing use of apartheid practices, their will be no peace. This is Balfours tragic legacy.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Some thoughts on National Stress Awareness Day

Stress effects us all , both in the workplace and in our everyday lives.Day in day out, ad-nfinitum.
Today however  is National Stress Awareness Day and this year’s theme is Speak Up and Speak Out. This years theme  about communicating stress,is personally quite important, as someone who has own bouts, troughs of real lows too,  who realises though that communicating effectively can be extremely difficult during stressful times. Whether that communication is to let loved ones or colleagues know that you are stressed, or simply to communicate about everyday things, people often feel worried about speaking out about being under stress. There is a perceived stigma attached to being stressed as people believe it will leave them with less influence at work, or in general social outlets can leave many people feeling isolated and  left with  believe that they cannot cope.
That is why this National Stress Awareness Day, it is important to think about Speaking Up and Speaking Out. Being able to communicate more often and more effectively will allow you to more efficiently manage stressful situations and help others deal with it, too.Lets not forget that stress is a fact of modern life, that for many us have come to fear, a force that calls when often we are not coping very well, when internal and external pressures become to great, often we see it  as a sign of weakness or an indication of mental illness.Can spark thoughts of anxiety, fear, guilt, anger and depression.Times that people often, simply forget to reach out for a  little further help..
Apart from the daily onslaught of capitalism that brings about a great deal of stress, that we daily are forced  to cope with  there are some simple ways to cope sometimes with it all. Even while alone. Personally I have learnt that eating well and regularly is a good idea, but often simply unable to because of lack of money to do so, I try to walk though somewhere, a form of taking oneself out, then resting, sleep has proven to be effective, but not too much of it. Exercing is good, so I  tend to potter about in the garden, it helps release  inner endorphins, socialising is good too, though obviouly be careful who you hang with. Hands of friendship very important, but can not always be in reach, so distract by listening to music, currentlly stereo releasing somehealing waves,  reading a good book helps too, I personally should learn to avoid using social media in periods of anxiety ,since there not always the best of places to frequent when trying to actually avoid the stresses of the world.
The truth is that there is no lasting individual solutions to the problems of stess. Human happiness, wellbeing can only be fully realized in a society free of exploitation, oppression and confusion, so best try and keep going, try not to give up, reach out to those hands that can help make the process a whole lot easier. Remember the global capitalist system is in crisis too, but  continuing to inflict great stress and pain, we are sadly all , currently caught up in this, axious with fears for the future. We are living in age of anxiety. Many of us are tired, and on the edge, but we much keep reaching out I guess, challenging, trying to find a better way, finding new possibilities, keep on keeping on, spurred on by the direction of hope and change. The power of love helps immensley too. But when stress gets to debilitating and there seem to be no other ways a doctor should be out there, but I acknowledge in days like these not that easy to get hold of one, in times of immediacy. But there is help out there. Another world too. You can also go I guess to the National Stress Awareness  Day website to download tips for stress-free living... but only tips, Im still  finding ways to overcome, keep looking for distraction,  trying to speak up , and speak out, while I can manage to do so. And there will all ways be more glad times, just cling on and wait and see, take your own time , follow your own mountains and journeys, try and find any form of love that helps. But really I simply have not got a clue, trust me when I say i'm no expert. But good luck

Here is a link to a list of helplines that could also be of use: 

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Out Demons out (A poem for Samhein/Halloween)

As the evening falls
the ghost of Maggie Thatcher
will stalk us everywhere,
while her ghoulish descendents
grimacing, keep destroying lives
leave many of us trembling with fear,
breaking our smiles with conscious cruelty
disturbing sleep,with rotten sulphuric breath,
stealing  from the poor, plundering the nation
making mischief, life so terrifying,
with policies of menace,and dark intention
keeping many petrified, scared as hell,
filling people with wrath and ire,
we must  excorcise and resist
together cast these demons out.