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
futures
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
remembering
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
again.

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:
http://www.ppu.org.uk/.
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.

Also

" 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
 https://petition.parliament.uk/archived/petitions/184398  
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

https://www.awarenessdays.com/awareness-days-calendar/national-stress-awareness-day-2017/

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

https://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/Pages/mental-health-helplines.aspx 

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.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

When one person suffers from delusions, we call it a mental illness, when society suffers from them we call it being normal


(a morning ramble)

" We are caged by our cultural programming. Culture is a mass hallucination and when you step outside the mass hallucination you see it  for what it's worth "

- Terence McKenna

Furthermore our societies are engineered,  as our views are formed, while consent is manufactured and consumption dictated. Perhaps it is time to de-program ourselves, stop supporting companies that keep us living as economic slaves. Shop and buy local. Find opportunities  to connect with what is really important in life.
When faced with demands for conformity, slowly ask , "What will happen if I refuse." there are no rules to follow, after all you can make it up as you go along.
But please keep questioning what is happening on the planet, even though you will face fierce opposition. As the mainstream media keep publishing headlines that are lies,  subvert their message, turn their papers over in the racks, hide them, do it yourself, these small acts can be greatly satisfying. 
If society was truly rational it would  be standing strongly now against a government that serves only the interests of the rich and powerful but at the moment just wanders in compliance. So be defiant, be a rebel, keep non-conforming, boldly resisting consensus,  the normalisation that causes poverty and war,  keep thinking outside their boxes with oppositional defiance. Lets leave the peddlers of delusion to their own devices, spreaders of fear and intolerance, lets have the courage and grace to go to different places, that really matter, beyond the fixations with growth, that continue to make tragedies of our human lives. With enough fire and imagination, and determination, lets keep sitting outside the confines of their caged enclosures.    

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Goodbye Fats Domino Rock and Roll Legend R.I.P


Sad news legendary  the singer- songwriter and piano player Fats Domino  whose style was hugely influential on the development of rock 'n' roll , died peacefully Wednesday morning at the age of 89
Domino was a lifelong resident of New Orleans Lower Ninth Ward, where he was born into a musical French Creole family on February 27, 1928. He dropped out of school yo play piano in his teens, and in 1949 met producer Dave Bartholomew, with whom he would produce some of his biggest hits. Domino's nickname, given to him by bass player and bandleader Billy Diamond, inspiring  his first single, "The Fat Man, " by 1953 that record became the first rock 'n'roll record to sell more than a million copies.



Fats crossed over to the mainstream with ' Ain't  that a shame ' cracking the top ten at a time when the radio was still widely segregated , it was in fact a cover by a white artist Pat Boone that reached no 1.


The following year  he had his biggest hit ' Blueberry Hill,' which would reach No 2 in the Billboard Top 40 and No 1 on the R&B charts.


The mainstreaming of rock  n roll was profitable for Fats, who went on to have seven more top ten hits between 1956 and 1959. Yet these were stormy times, in 1956, riots broke out at four different Fats Domino concerts, including one in North Carolina in which Domino and several of his band members were injured. In the end though, Domino managed to chart a staggering 63 times on the pop charts and 50 times on the R&B charts outselling the likes of Little Richard, Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly.Fats influence though as a black artist  who dominated the pop charts and audiences off all races ii a segregated America cannot be understated, as he and his band challenged pre - Civil Rights movement conventions in a white- dominated industry.
In 1969 Fats travelled to Las Vegas to attend and Elvis concert. When a journalist referred to Presley as 'The King', Presley simply gestured towards Fats and famously declared. "No. That's the real King of rock and roll. John Lennon also said ' There wouldn't have been a Beatles without Fats Domino," the Beatles adored him and his music.
Fats was one of the first inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, and he recieved a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1987.
A shy and reclusive man, he remained a live performer through most of his life, he once said "I'd play for nothing, as a matter of fact, right now I'd rather pay for nothing and sound good than play for nothing and sound good than play for something and sound bad, we're all blessed. People tell me my music did something for them, and it works both ways. I just love music, that's all. I really appreciate that the people have been nice to me and bought my records all these years. I want them to know I love them, too." Sweet.
Fats declined an offer from President Bill Clinton to perform at the White House, though he did accept the National Medal of Arts. Fats had to be airlifted out of his home during Hurricane Katrina, which also resulted in all his possessions being destroyed. In 2006, President George W. Bush visited Fats home then still badly damaged by Katrina, to replace the National Medal of the Arts that Fats had lost in the storm. Fats is survived by eight children, and an entire genre of music for which he was one of the key innovators.Rock and Roll will never die, but one of the great individuals directly responsible for shaping it  in the first place has now joined the choir invincible, there must be a whole lot of boogie woogie happening now above us in the stars and universe. R.I.P

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Poetry is real


Poetry is real
as injustice is real,
running through veins
all through our lives,
between love and wild emotions
never silent, relentless,
keeps battering down doors
never straight, never gives up,
will never be chained
will never be tamed,
has the capacity to heal
release avenues of possibility,
wildly running free
on gauntlets of imagination,
a chorus of different voices
that refuse to remain silent,
we are all prisoners of the world
never truly free until death,
poetry can deliver comfort
carry freedoms torch,
standing up for  rights
of people everywhere,
words stirring, provoking
creating new worlds,
fleshed out of existence
for all to share.

Monday, 23 October 2017

Amddiffyn Bodlondeb! Stand Up for Bodlondeb!


The Aberystwyth community in West Wales is relatively aware and supportive of this campaign to save this residential care home for the elderly because of where Bodlondeb is. Unions have also said there is no plan in place for care provision if the home shuts, and residents could have to move long distances. However the proposed closure of this home with the result of a loss of 33 jobs is a wider austerity issue in which our public services are being stolen by the privateers at a rate of knots. If we lose Bodlondeb, the other six council run elderly care homes in the county will go down the same way. Most of the cabinet voting on this decision have the wards elsewhere in Ceredigion, not Aberystwyth, so it would be excellent if they had some pressure from their own constituents, The signs say that they are really looking to close it but this could be swung with a successful lobying campaign and an extremely well attended march. Please come along to the march and bring a friend or two.
Join us on 4th November in Aberystwyth Town Centre to save our beautiful council-run elderly care home. Bodlondeb is ours, not the Council’s. They are supposed to look after it for us and for our families, not sell it off! If Bodlondeb closes then other council run care homes for the elderly are surely next: Tregerddan, Bryntirion, Yr Hafod, Hafan Deg, Awel Deg, Min y Mor ……

4 November at 12:00
 
 Owain Glyndwr Square, Aberystwyth
 
 
 





Saturday, 21 October 2017

These 5 Billionaires own 80 % of the UK media


Corporations run our government.There are 5 billionaires who run our media, and they have huge power in our democracy forcing our political parties to prioritise  their wishes over the wishes of the British public.
These 5 people not only own 80% of the newspapers we red every day, they also own TV stations, press agencies, book companies, cinemas, so everything we think or speak in Britain is nearly controlled entirely by these 5 men.
The following are the 5 men in control :-

Richard Desmond: Owner of the Daily Star, Sunday Star, Daily and Sunday Express. The 2016 Sunday Times Rich List reported his net worth at £2.25 billion, making him the 48th richest person in Britain.

Jonathan Harmsworth, 4th Viscount Rothermere: Owner of the Daily Mail, the Mail on Sunday and  the Metro. In April 2015, the Sunday Times estimated his net worth at £1 billion.He currently resides in France.

Sir David Rowat Barclay and Sir Frederick Hugh Barclay: Owners of the Telegraph, the Spectator and the Business. The Sunday Times Rich List of 2015 estimated their wealth at £6.5 billion who live on a private island near Saark. .

Rupert Murdoch: Owner of the Sun, Times, Sky, Fox and many others. Estimated wealth of $13 Billion who lives in Australia.

Where the real power lies:

The power to decide who is elected as the government in this country lies in the hands of these 5 Billionaires who between them own 80% of the media. Messrs Desmond, Harmsworth, Murdoch and the Barclay Brothers control what you read, see and hear and the narrow range of topics which make it into the newspapers, and of course, they all back the party of the Billionaires, the Conservatives. In spite of wielding this amount of power in the UK, none of them pay tax and their newspapers are registered to tax havens, and that's the way they want it to stay. They ignore the climate crisis, back fracking, and bully politicians to do their bidding. They maintain an unjust hold on the world , they stir up fear and hate , so that we all blame one another rather  than those truly responsible.Theresa May merely does what she is told.
We need a free democratic press one that serves the 100% and not the 0.1%, recognising that it is essential for the creation  of a Britain with true social, political and ecological justice, a free press that continues to hold those in power to account. Time to take back control.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Autumn: A Dirge - Percy Bysshe Shelley



The power of seasons changing in the following poem by the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley nicely evokes the overall power yet grace the natural world consists of. Here, the elements themselves seem to be moaning about the injustice that is corrupting the society.  

Autumn : A Dirge - Percy Bysshe Shelley 

( from Posthumous Poems : 1824 )


The warm sun is falling, the bleak wind is wailing,
The bare boughs are sighing, the pale flowers are dying,
And the Year
On the earth is her death-bed, in a shroud of leaves dead,
Is lying.
Come, Months, come away,
From November to May,
In your saddest array;
Follow the bier
Of the dead cold Year,
And like dim shadows watch by her sepulchre.

The chill rain is falling, the nipped worm is crawling,
The rivers are swelling, the thunder is knelling
For the Year;
The blithe swallows are flown, and the lizards each gone
To his dwelling.
Come, Months, come away;
Put on white, black and gray;
Let your light sisters play--
Ye, follow the bier
Of the dead cold Year,
And make her grave green with tear on tear.

Here is link to earlier post about Shelley:

https://teifidancer-teifidancer.blogspot.co.uk/2017/08/percy-bysshe-shelley-august-4-1792-july.html

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

A Beautiful Resistance


following poem inspired by attending rally in Haverfordwest 14/10/17)

A Beautiful Resistance

Among tides of wild currents
Freedom spreads beautiful resistance
flying strong on winds of existence,
some will try to steal our thunder
tempt us into  places of fear and hate
but like the breezes that blow with persistence
mighty are minds that follow this source,
with compassion will help deliver tyranny's end
for the lives of the many, not the hands of a few
beyond the darkness of our current days
there is strength in a crowd of solidarity,
with people's power the future looks bold
we can create and build a fairer world,.
following  paths of love and equality
our desires can continue to be shared,
carrying rainbow flags of diversity
refusing to be silenced or usurped
each night and day dreams will live
sowing hope in  hearts, seeds of change
onwards we rise,never to  disappear.

https://iamnotasilentpoet.wordpress.com/2017/10/20/a-beautiful-resistance-by-dave-rendle/

Monday, 16 October 2017

Fela Kuti ( 15 October 1938 – 2 August 1997) Afrobeat pioneer who used his music as a weapon



Fela Kuti (born Olufela Olusegun Oludotun Ransome-Kuti), also known as Fela Anikulapo Kuti or simply Fela, was a Nigerian multi-instrumentalist, musician, visionary composer, pioneer of the Afrobeat music genre, human rights activist, marijuana smoking icon and incendiary political maverick.
Fela was born into  an upper middle class family in Abeokuta, Oguri State Nigeria..His father was the strict Rev Canon Israel Oludoton Ransome Kuti an ordained minister grammar  school principal and first president of the Nigerian Union of Teachers. Fela's  mother Funmilayo was a leader of the country's nascent socialist, nationalist and sufragette campaigns. As a teen , Fela was already playing the role of a rebel against authority.At school he formed a club called the Planless society, he said "the rule of the club  was simple : we had no plans. You could be called upon to disobey orders at any time. Disobedience was our law."
Like many children of the Nigerian  middle class, Fela was sent to London to study at university. But Fela now a trumpet player wasn't interested in the professional careers in medicine and law and instead  enrolled at the London Trinity College of Music.
Fela  would marry his first wife Remi in 1961, and with some West Indian and Nigerian friends , started a jazz band called Koola Lobitos. He had his first two children, daughter Yeni in '61 and son Femi in '62, and graduated from Trinity with certificates in practice and theory.Fela and his family returned to Nigeria in 1963, where got a job with the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation.
When he first started in the 1960's, his brand of music was the Highlifw which he performed with other artists in the many night clubs of Lagos. In the late  1960;s to early 1970's he went to the United States and became influenced by the Black Panthers, and the ideas of Malcolm X and co.In line with his Pan- Africanist identity  he would change his surname, Ransome- Kuti  a hybid of a slave name to Anikualpo - Kuti, which is completely African. Anikulapa literally means, ' he that has pocketed death.' Fela developed a reputation for openly amoking cannabis, and sleeping with a large amount of women,but  his influence on contemporary music  is incredible. A true original and innovator, one of musics most skilled agitators. His songs could stretch to over an hour, filled with passionaae lyrics, about military corruption and social inequality. he conveyed both a radical indignation and a radical message.
In Nigeria he founded a communal  compound and rehearsal space he called the Kalakuta Republic, and a night club the Shrine. The musical style he created was called  Afrobeat  a wonderful fusion of Jazz, Funk, Ghanian/Nigerian High life, psychedelic rock  and traditional West African rhythms  characterized by a fairly large band with many instruments, vocals, and a musical structure featuring jazzy, funky horn sections. A riff-based "endless groove" is used, in which a base rhythm of drums, shekere, muted West African-style guitar, and melodic bass guitar riffs are repeated throughout the song. Commonly, interlocking melodic riffs and rhythms are introduced one by one, building the groove bit-by-bit and layer-by-layer. The horn section then becomes prominent, introducing other riffs and main melodic themes.
Fela's band was notable for featuring two baritone saxophones, whereas most groups were using only one of this instrument. This is a common technique in African and African-influenced musical styles, and can be seen in Funk and Hip hop. Fela's bands at times even performed with two bassists at the same time both playing interlocking melodies and rhythms. There were always two or more guitarists. The electric West African style guitar in Afrobeat bands are paramount, but are used to give basic structure, playing a repeating chordal/melodic statement, riff, or groove.
His songs were mostly sung in Nigerian pidgin English, although he also performed a few songs in the Yoruba language. Fela's main instruments were the saxophone and the keyboards, but he also played the trumpet, electric guitar, and took the occasional drum solo. Fela refused to perform songs again after he had already recorded them, which also hindered his popularity outside Africa.
Fela was known for his showmanship, and his concerts were often quite outlandish and wild. He referred to his stage act as the "Underground" Spiritual Game. Fela attempted making a movie but lost all the materials to the fire that was set to his house by the military government in power.
It is of note that as Fela's musical career developed, so too did his political influence, not only in his home country of Nigeria, not just throughout Africa, but throughout the world. As his political influence grew, the religious aspect of his musical approach grew. Fela was a part of an Afro-Centric consciousness movement that was founded on and delivered through his music.
In the 1970' and 80's his rebellious  song lyrics established him as a political dissident. He became associated with making political , social and cutural statements about greed and corruption.
In an  interview  he once said  "Music is supposed to have an effect. If you're playing music and people don't feel something, you're not doing shit. That's what African music is about. When you hear something, you must move. I want to move people to dance, but also to think. Music wants to dictate a better life, against a bad life. When you're listening to something that depicts having a better life, and you're not having a better life, it must have an effect on you."
Playing constantly and recording  at a ferocious pace, Fela and his band. who were now called Africa 70 became huge stars in West Africa. His biggest fan base were Nigeria's poor. Because his music tackled issues close to the Nigerian underclass, he was more than just a simple pop star, like Bob Marley in Jamaica he was the voice of Nigeria's voiceless, he was there cultural rebel. This is something Nigerias military junta tried to stop, and from the moment he arrived back in Nigeria he was hounded and harrassed. Rebelling against oppressive regimes through his music came at a heavy cost to Kuti who was arrested by the Nigerian government 200 times, and was subject to numerous beatings that left him with lifelong scars and nearly killed by a government intent  on silencing him..In one of the most awful acts of violence committed against him, 1000 Nigerian soldiers attacked his compound in 1977. Fela  suffered a fractured skull as well as other broken bones, his 82 year old mother was thrown from an upstairs window, inflicting injuries that would  be fatal  she died from her injuries a year later.
The soldiers set fire to the compound and prevented firefighters from reaching the area. Fela's recording studio, all his aster tapes and musical instruments were destroyed.Rather than abandon his cause, he used these experiences as inspiration to write more lyrics recording more uncompromising songs about the incident in the aftermath.  He produced roughly 50 albums over the course of his musical career.

Fela Kuti - Coffin for  head of state


After experiencing this tragedy he briefly lived in exile in Ghana, before returning to Nigeria in 1978. In 1979 he formed his own political party, MOP , Movement of the People and at start of decade renamed his band Egypt 80. From 1980 to 1983 , Nigeria was under civilian rule and it marked a peaceful time for Fela. He would record and tour non stop, However military rule returned in 1982, ad in 1984 Fela was sentenced yo ten years in prison on trumped up charges accused of currency smuggling. With help from Amnesty International he was freed in 1985.
At the end.of the 90's he recorded  blistering attacks against Nigeria's corrupt military government, as well as broadsides aimed at Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. most abrasively on the album Beast of No Nation.Never what you would call a progressive when it came to relationships with women, or patriarchy in general , in fact he was a bit of a sexist , strange considering his mother was one of Nigerias earliest feminists. Fela was also a polygamist, in 1978 he married 27 women in a single wedding ceremony. He would eventually divorce them all.
Fela died of Aids related complications on August 2, 1997, at the age of 58  in Lagos, Nigeria. Roughly 1 million attended his funeral procession. A press release from the United Front of Nigeria at the time of Fela's death said " Those who knew you well were insistent that you could never compromise with the evil you had fought  all your life. Even though made weak by time and fate, you remained strong in will and never abandoned your goal of a free, democratic socialist Africa. " this was the esteem in which he was held.
 His musical legacy is a strong one which continues to have influence on the musical scene of Nigeria and across the world. For many one of Fela's major sources of attraction was and is the rhytymic,, melodious and danceable form of his renditions. And no one can deny his constant and consistent quest for a better life for the masses. Fela constantly challenged the military rulers of Nigeria and portrayed the plight of his people who laid his life on the line in his struggle against injustice, corruption and the abuse of power, whose spirit was never broken.
 I was most fortunate to see him play at my first Glastonbury festival in 1985, under the influence like him of cannabis, his performance was powerful, a memory I will never fail to treasure. And has left me many brilliant albums that continue to stand the test of time,who remains for me as one of my biggest musical influences. Fela Kuti maybe no more but his legendary music still moves with much resonance. Lets continue to hail this Black President , his courageousness and musical genius. Today his sons Femi  and Seun  are still carrying his musical torch.

Fela Kuti - Suffering and schmiling



Fela Kuti - International Thief ITT



Fela Kuti - Water got no enemy



Fela Kuti  - Sorrow tears and blood



Fela Kuti - Colonial mentality



Fela Kuti - Army arrangement




Finding Fela , biography film from 2014, looking at life and  music of Fela Kuti





Sunday, 15 October 2017

77 years ago: World Premiere of Charlie Chaplin's Great Dictator in New York


This was not just a film,  this was  a message from Charlie Chaplin's deep humanity.   One of the  most inspirational speeches in recorded history.
This from a man who was ridiculed and demonised for simply telling the truth in his pure authenticity.The world still needs to stand still and listen and stand against the forces of fascism.

An earlier tribute  of mine to this great man can be found here :-

http://teifidancer-teifidancer.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/charlie-chaplin-b1641889-251277-citizen.html 

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Sam Kelly and the lost boys - Chasing Shadows



Got  lift earlier with friend over the magical Preseli mountains, listened to this track and found much solidarity and hope  in Haverforwest's castle square.in rally with aim to unseat Tory MP Stephen Crabb. Together we can chase dark shadows  follow paths of unity. Awakening together we are strong, determined to get what we want for the many not the few. Rising mightily like lions,  deep with consistency  the sustenance of anger will deliver to us victory. This beat of resistance will guide us, as we move forwards to better days.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Indigenous Resistance Day/ Dia de la Raza

(image: 1992 poster by Seth Tobocman to counter 500th anniversary celebrations of Columbus first arriving in the Americas and to celebrate 500 years of resistance)

Columbus Day marks the day when Christopher Columbus and his crew were lost at sea and arrived in the Americas on October 12, 1492, beginning a process of colonization and genocide afainst Native people, which represents one of the darkest chapters in the history of this continent, that commemorates a chapter full of genocidal murder, human trafficking and unimaginable brutality against the indigenous people of this continent.
For oppressed people this day is a constant reminder that many of their ancestors and their suffering simply did not matter. As a result many countries in the Americas  now celebrate October 12 as Día de la Raza and many indigenous peoples and other progressive people celebrate it as Indigenous People's Day or Indigenous Resistance Day. Because this  so-called “discovery” of the America caused the worst demographic catastrophe of human history, with around 95 percent of the indigenous population annihilated in the first 130 years of colonization, without mentioning the victims from the African continent, with about 60 million people sent to the Americas as slaves, and only 12 percent of them arrived alive.Therefore, Native American groups consider Columbus a European colonizer responsible for the genocide of millions of indigenous people. Not an individual worthy of celebration  because he helped contribute  to the Europeans Colonization of the Americas which resulted in  slavery, killings, and other atrocities against the native Americans
As a counter to official celebrations of "Columbus Day"  with indigenous people increasingly demanding their rights, in 1992 the United Nations declared October 12 as the International Day of Indigenous Peoples, ruining thereby the determination of Spain and other countries to call it International Day of America's Discovery, this was then followed  by Venezuela which was the first country of the region to grant the demand under Hugo Chavez's administration, accepting their suggestion of “Day of Indigenous Resistance” in 2002. Chavez described the previous name “Day of Race” chosen by then President of Venezuela, Juan Vicente Gomez in 1921, as “discriminatory, racist and pejorative.”​
Nicaragua and Daniel Ortega´s Sandinista government  has been the only country going as far as Venezuela until now, also choosing the name “Day of Indigenous Resistance” in 2007.
With several exceptions, such as the conservative governments of Paraguay, Colombia and Honduras, for instance, many other countries of the continent have nevertheless changed the infamous name “Day of Race.”
It became the “Day of Respect for Cultural Diversity” in Argentina, after the failure of a legislative project in 2004 to change it to “Day of Resistance of Indigenous Peoples.” Argentina has more than 1,600 indigenous communities, and over a million Argentinian people who claim their indigenous identity according to the National Institution of Indigenous People.Yet the indigenous communities of Argentina organize counter-marches to protest against this name, recalling the damages caused by the conqueror Julio Argentino Roca to their ancestral lands at the end of the 19th century.
In Chile as well, where the Mapuche community are still fighting to claim their native lands in the fertile south of the country, the day was renamed even more weakly, “Day of the Encounter Between the Two Worlds” in 2000.
In Ecuador, President Rafael Correa changed the name to “Day of Inter-culturality and Pluri-nationality” in 2011. That same year in Bolivia, President Evo Morales, the first indigenous leader in South America, changed it to "Day of Mourning for the Misery, Diseases and Hunger Brought by the European Invasion of America." The diseases were indeed the main cause of the indigenous genocide, as the invaders brought viruses and bacterias the indigenous peoples were not immune to.
Last year, Salvadorean and Uruguayan indigenous peoples began demanding a name change of their governments. The Charrua community of Uruguay for instance has made the demand since 2010, but has faced strong opposition by conservative sectors. In 2014, the National Assembly approved a legislative project, but only changed the name to “Day of Cultural Diversity.” The ruling party Broad Front (Frente Amplio) had pushed for the same name as in Venezuela and Nicaragua, but the legislative commission then chose to modify it.

In El Salvador, social and indigenous organizations presented a legislative project before the parliament, for which the congresspeople of the governing Farabundo Marti Front (FMLN) expressed their support. In June 2014, the congress finally approved a constitutional reform recognizing the existence of indigenous peoples in the country.
Indigenous peoples in Latin America account for about 13 percent of the total population – about 40 million, with around 670 different nations or communities, according to the CEPAL. Most of them are in Mexico, Guatemala, and Andean countries. They all face some level of racism, discrimination and poverty, suffering more than the rest of the population from an unequal access to resources like employment, health and education services, but also deprived of their ancestral lands and natural resources – about 40 percent of rural populations are indigenous, according to the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs.https://www.iwgia.org/en/
Today is not about declaring one celebration more important over another. It is about honoring the rich history of resistance that Native communities across the world which has been inspiring  and  it is also about a deep commitment to intergenerational justice .May we spend this day, and all days, honoring Native Peoples’ commitment to making the world a better place for all. Reflect on their ancestral past , celebrate their sacrifices and celebrate life whilst.recognizing the people, traditions and cultures that were wiped out because of Columbus’ colonization and acknowledge the. bloodshed and elimination of the cultures and groups that were massacred..Transforming this day into a celebration of indigenous people and a celebration of social justice  allows us to make a connection between this painful history and the ongoing marginalization, discrimination and poverty that indigenous communities face to this day.

...

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Linton Kweisi Johnson - Poems of shape and motion


Linton Kwesi Johnson  is arguably the most influential Black British poet. Born 24th of August 1952 in Chapelton, a small town in the rural parish of Clarendon, Jamaica. He came to London in 1963, attended Tulse Hill secondary school, and later studied Sociology at Goldsmiths’ College, University of London (graduating in 1973), which currently holds his personal papers in its archives. While still at school he joined the Black Panthers, helping to organise a poetry workshop within the movement. In 1977 he was awarded a C. Day Lewis Fellowship, and was the writer-in-residence for the London Borough of Lambeth for that year. He went on to work as the Library Resources and Education Officer at the Keskidee Centre, the first home of Black theatre and art.
Much of Johnson's poetry is political, dealing primarily with the experiences of being an African-Caribbean in Britain. "Writing was a political act and poetry was a cultural weapon", he told an interviewer in 2008. He has also written about issues such as British foreign policy, and the death of anti-racist marcher Blair Peach. His most striking and celebrated work was arguably produced in the 1980's, with Johnson’s spirit of anger and protest finding its ideal subject and opposite under Margaret Thatcher's Conservative government. Poems such as 'Sonny's Lettah' and 'Di Great Insohreckshan' contain accounts of police brutality upon young black men, and capture the period’s unwritten attitude of resistance and antagonism in their empathic descriptions of rioting and imprisonment. Told via the uncompromising, yet generous and inventive use of  Jamaican patois, the poems are alive with Johnson’s relish of the tics and rhythms of spoken language.
The 'world's first dub poet', he coined the term dub poetry in the mid-seventies to describe Jamaican DJs 'toasting' over the instrumental B-sides of reggae songs. It stuck to his own work, which blends reggae's bass rhythm with his spoken voice.
 Johnson's poems first appeared in the journal Race Today, who published his debut collection, Voices of the Living and the Dead, in 1974. His second collection, Dread Beat An' Blood, was published in 1975 by Bogle-L'Ouverture, and shares its title with his first LP, released by Virgin in 1978. That year also saw the release of a documentary film about Johnson’s work of the same name. Inglan Is A Bitch, his third book, came out in 1980.  In 2005 he was awarded a silver Musgrave medal from the Institute of Jamaica for distinguished eminence in the field of poetry. Johnson is the second living poet, and the only black poet, to be published in the Penguin Classics series: Mi Revalueshanary Fren in 2002, with a Selected following in 2006.
 Music, politics and poetry what more could you ask for. Johnson's albums have sold more than 2 million copies, he commands huge audiences worldwide, and his poetic artistry is now praised in the Poetry Review. His best known records include his debut "Dread Beat An' Blood", "Forces of Victory", "Bass Culture" and "Making History". Across these albums are spread classics of the dub poetry school of performance - and, indeed, of reggae itself. A people's poet of much passion who is still thrillingly subversive.

Poems of shape and motion

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

World Mental Health Day 2017


World Mental Health Day is observed in more than 100 countries on October 10 through local, regional and national World Mental Health Day commemorative events and programs. First held in 1992, today is the 25th day dedicated to raising awareness of mental health issues, and to fighting the still-associated stigma.
Mental illness is now recognised as one of the biggest causes of individual distress and misery in our societies and cities, comparable to poverty and unemployment. One in four adults in the UK today has been diagnosed with a mental illness, and four million people take antidepressants every year. This can have a profound impact on the lives of tens of millions of people in the UK, and can affect their ability to sustain relationships, work, or just get through the day. What greater indictment of a system could there be.
The issues of mental health and mental illness are complicated. Experiences of social isolation, inequality, feelings of alienation and dissociation, and even the basic assumptions and ideology of materialism and neoliberalism itself are seen today to be significant drivers . And of course there is also persuasive evidence that human biology plays an important role in determining each person’s likelihood of contending with particular mental health conditions. 
Many of us increasingly experience daily life as a battle. Emotionally, our heads are only just above water. I personally have a trusty black dog that  calls regularly that  I unfortunately  have no control  over, it just happens. It suddenly  creates sadness , fear, and all those turbulent feelings that drives one to self destruction , and nights with no sleep. I also  get so angst ridden that I cannot leave my house, let alone phone a GP to seek help, because I fear I will be judged and blamed somehow, embarrassed and ashamed for something I have no control over. A tendency to affix blame and leave me  feeling even more unworthy.
It should be noted  that many  people believe that our Governments policies are actually fuelling the current  mental health crisis. Budget cuts to mental health services combined with no genuine support are driving  many people to the edge. As a result many young people and adults are left isolated facing long waiting lists for mental health therapies and diagnostic assessments. Prime Minister Maggie May herself said   "On my first day in Downing Street last July, I described shortfalls in mental health services as one of the burning injustices in our country.
Despite these gestures the Tories have not delivered on their promise to give mental health the same priority as physical health. They have not offered  no extra funding and have consistently raided mental health budgets over the last seven years. There are now over 6,000 fewer mental health nurses than in 2010. The number of psychiatrists employed by the NHS has fallen by  four percent since 2014 , with a 10 percent drop in those who specialise in children's mental health and a similar drop in those working with older adults. Seven years of Tory Government have left those with mental health problems without the support they need. The only thing that the Tories deliver are empty words and actions  that are shaping a society that does  not help to tackle the injustice of unequal treatment in mental health. Also because of how dire the times are getting: not only are benefit cuts driving people to think of killing themselves, but low wages and welfare sanctions are making people ill, shortening people's lives. For many insecurity  has become the way of  life. You simply can't trust May and co on mental health.
Too often mental health is swept under the carpet and ignored ,either because of the stigma and taboo surrounding it , so we have to keep battling to destroy the negative attitudes and stereotypes that is directed towards people with mental health issues that disproportionately affect people living in poverty, those who are unemployed, people living in isolation and those who already face discrimination, so we also have to keep challenging policies that  exasperate these problems. In the meantime I will try to keep fighting and surviving, and hope that one day mental health  becomes  a genuine Government priority that would help reduce peoples pain and suffering. And who knows one day might come when I will become strong and stable.
Capitalist society plays its part on  people’s mental health: the anxiety from attending job centre appointments, the depression when you get sanctioned and have to live on the breadlines for weeks on end, the paranoia when you get another one of their dreaded Department for Work and Pensions brown envelopes through the door etc etc. Additionally, we live in a culture which exploits people with  low wages, zero hours contracts and zero rights .It is difficult to function in a society that seems to continually put obstacles in your way and causes huge stress.
Among the most menacing barriers to the social progress we need around mental health are the profound levels of guilt, shame and stigma that surround these issues. Mental illness scares us and shames us. Those who suffer are often, like me, ashamed to speak of it. Those who are lucky enough to be free of mental illness are terrified of it. When it comes to mental illness, we still don't quite get how it all works. Our treatments, while sometimes effective, often are not. And the symptoms, involving a fundamental breakdown of our perceived reality, are existentially terrifying. There is something almost random about physical illness, in how it comes upon us , a physical illness can strike anyone – and that is almost comforting. But  mental illness seems  to fall into that same category, the fact  it too could strike any of us, without warning should be equally recognised..
But more than simple fear, mental illness brings out a judgmental streak that would be unthinkably grotesque when applied to physical illness. Imagine telling someone with a broken leg to "snap out of it." Imagine that a death by cancer was accompanied by the same smug headshaking that so often greets death by suicide. Mental illness is so qualitatively different that we feel it permissible to be judgmental. We might even go so far as to blame the sufferer. Because of the  stigma involved  it often leaves us much sicker.
Capitalist society also teaches us that we are each personally responsible for our own success.  A system of blame that somehow makes the emotional and psychological difficulties we encounter seem to be our own fault.  This belief is such a firm part of ruling class ideology that millions of people who would never openly articulate this idea, nonetheless accept it in subtle and overt ways.  People are often ashamed that they need medication, seeing this as revealing some constitutional weakness.  People feel guilty about needing therapy, thinking that they should be able to solve their problems on their own.  Millions of people fail to seek any treatment, because mental health care is seen as something that only the most dramatically unstable person would turn to. An ill-informed and damaging attitude among some people exists around mental health that can make it difficult for some to seek help. It is estimated that only about a quarter of people with a mental health problem in the UK receive ongoing treatment, leaving the majority of people grappling with mental health issues on their own, seeking help or information, and dependent on the informal support of family, friends or colleagues.
We need to break the silence around mental health.  These are issues that all of us should have some basic exposure to.  The proportion of the population that will experience an episode of acute emotional distress is extremely high.  Those of us who have never been depressed probably know and love several people who have.It  should be no more shameful to say that one is suffering from mental illness , than to announce that one is asthmatic or has breast cancer.  Talking about these issues is part of the solution.  Breaking the silence can be liberating. Mental health care should be part of what we demand when we think about solutions to the economic crisis, we should keep  fighting for the best mental health care to be the  natural right of all designed to meet human needs. Until then, engaging in the struggle toward such a society can be a source of hope. That is a world surely worth fighting for.
If you need to talk to someone, the NHS mental health helpline page includes organisations you can call for help, such as Anxiety UK and Bipolar UK. or call The Samaritans on 116 123.