Friday, 19 May 2023


 I save the articles I read that seem to me to matter. Here's an edited selection of stories from my newspapers and online social media. 

Thanks to COSMONAUT for this image

They all signal the misgovernment we are suffering. 

Which way do you favour? What are we going to do about this crisis of democracy?

Patrick Strudwick was on good form in the 'i' on Monday 20 March this Year in making the case that there have been three great lies that have shaped Britain in the 21st century:

  • In early 2003, Tony Blair colluded in the propaganda of George W. Bush that suggested Iraq was connected to 9/11 in 2001 (it wasn't), that they had weapons of mass destruction (they didn't), and most infamously of all, that Iraq could send such a weapon in 45 minutes (they couldn't). The invasion of Iraq followed, despite one million protestors taking to the streets

Sunday, 30 April 2023


This is the last day of April and my blogposts have been few and far between this month. So this evening I will endeavour to complete this post about my local circuit running that I have had planned since Saturday April 8 earlier this month when I ran the 3.5 mile circuit twice in 01:31:30. I calculated my10K time as 1 hour and 20.5 minutes. Here I am in a staged photo, arranged after I had finished, returned home, and asked Louise to come out to take the image:

Easter Saturday - 8 April 2023 - heading home down the Stennack, with the Fire Station in the distance and the Leach Pottery on the other side of the road. My time for the 7 miles of running was 1 hour 31 minutes and 30 seconds - two minutes slower than the year before, in April 2022.    

These double runs are a rare and beautiful thing. They don't happen that often - and when they do, it's tangible evidence that there is still stamina in my body, despite three years of side-effects from my anti-hormonal drug treatment that has helped me fight the battle, successfully so far, against prostate cancer. First Zoladex for a year, and then Decapeptyl for a further two years, wiped out my testosterone and so

Thursday, 13 April 2023



Our economy, our society, our politics, our values - all would have been enhanced if this man, Jeremy Corbyn, had not been targeted by the richest and most powerful in the land 

Support the Five Demands

put forward by Jeremy Corbyn in response to the Chancellor's budget for the 1% in April 2023


After years of real-term wage cuts, workers up and down the country are choosing between feeding their children or heating their homes, from nurses and teachers to rail workers and posties, these past few months have seen record levels of industrial action in the UK. Everyone has a right to live and work with dignity. That means giving nurses, teachers and public sector workers an above-inflation pay rise, implementing a minimum wage of £15 per hour, banning zero-hours contracts and reversing cruel benefit sanctions.

The people of Britain demand pay rises


As millions struggle to pay their energy bills, fossil fuel giants are taking home record profits. Private profiteering is plunging people into poverty and destroying our planet. Alongside water, rail and mail,

Wednesday, 29 March 2023


 In 2019 a book was published by the Belknap Press of Harvard University Press in the USA that in nearly 800 pages in length. Its author is Eugene McCarraher, Associate Professor at Villanova University; its title: The Enchantments of Mammon - How Capitalism Became The Religion Of Modernity. I bought my copy in 2021 but didn't make the time to begin reading until January of this year. My loss. This book is a masterpiece of scholarship and a wonderful testimony to the value of a morality that puts people before profit. 

Professor Eugene McCarraher and the front cover of his masterpiece, published in 1919 just before the coronavirus pandemic struck

By the end of January, reading a little almost every day, I had left my bookmark at p.152 with the first five chapters under my belt. Since then, my own work on the 1919 Levant Mine Disaster chapter in Mine to Die, my book that is heading for publication in 2024, has delayed the publication of this blog post which is the first in a series of perhaps five posts that will give you the essence of Professor McCarraher's scholarship and vision.

Here, as tasters, are some of the reviews of The Enchantments of Mammon:

"... a game changer - the history of capitalism will never look the same." - Jackson Lears

"Capitalism emerges here ... as an affront to the divine creation of which we are a part. An astonishing work of history and criticism." - Casey Nelson Blake

"McCarraher argues that modern capitalism has not been a secularizing movement from enchantment to disenchantment, but rather an alternative, competing form of enchantment. He is sharply critical of the underlying assumptions and damaging consequences of modern capitalism with its emphasis on extractive efficiency and profit-making. A powerful, impressive work." - Brad Gregory

"In the world of economic enchantment masquerading as hard-eyed realism, McCarraher urges us to keep open an imaginative window through which to glimpse alternatives." - Bethany Moreton

"The author’s dogged idealism is uplifting. But Romantic countercultures have had an unsuccessful time challenging the church of Mammon. Sometimes, as McCarraher notes, their ideas have simply been monetised and co-opted into the next wave of capitalist accumulation. And at least some readers may be less surprised than he is at how hard it is to live in heaven, given the expectations there. There seems to be little sense here of original sin, or the tragic dimension to life.

But it feels wrong to quibble with a book that is so refreshingly original and splendidly pulled off. In any case, where pessimism might take hold, the author’s Christian faith gives him a trump card. For McCarraher, it is simply the case that “the Earth is a sacramental place, mediating the presence and power of God”. That cannot change, however obscured the truth is by a destructive lust for power

Tuesday, 7 March 2023


 My source for this blogpost has been an article by Tom Bawden, published in the 'i' on Thursday 2 March 2023. Those of you familiar with the pattern and substance of my posts will know that I have become a self-styled Jeremiah figure, lamenting the failure of those who misgovern us to treat this deadly virus with the attention and seriousness required. 

For 'Exile Is Coming' read 'The Virus Is Still Here'  

The death toll in the UK has now passed 220,000; those suffering the effects of so-called 'Long Covid' number over two million. Yet the UK population has been lulled into a state of ignorance where most people assume the pandemic is over and the threat eradicated. Politicians have been driven by an ideology that prioritizes the supposed needs of the market and the unthinking pursuit of profit. They have been supported by a media that shares those same beliefs. The outcome has been what we see whenever we move outside our homes: a world that acts as if the virus has disappeared. 

Tom Bawden writes:

'... experts warn we are still nowhere near seeing the back of Covid-19 - even though cases are temporarily falling the UK and public safety measures such as mask-wearing have been reversed'.

The group of leading Covid scientists canvassed by the 'i' newspaper were agreed that the situation was likely to remain much the same in the next twelve months. It is quite feasible that things could be even worse in five years time, although the hope remains that such a bleak assessment will not be justified. The point

Friday, 3 March 2023


OPEN DEMOCRACY is a movement I support with a fiver a month subscription. Each day I get a news letter from them in my email box. 

Autocracy can be defined as government by a person or people in his or their interests, holding absolute power. Democracy has been defined as government of the people, by the people, and in the interests of the people.  

Here is OPEN DEMOCRACY's mission statement: 

About us

Open Democracy is an independent international media platform. We produce high-quality journalism which challenges power, inspires change and builds leadership among groups underrepresented in the media. Headquartered in London, we have team members across four continents.

We are a mission-focused organisation, which means we always think about the impact our journalism can have. Our investigative journalism has triggered legal changes, parliamentary probes, lawsuits and criminal investigations and we also offer a rich diversity of stories and perspectives from across the world. We help voices otherwise excluded from the media to reach larger audiences, and we campaign on key stories, pushing for a more open, democratic and egalitarian world.

Our stories frequently get picked up across the global media, including The New York Times, CNN, France 24, El PaĆ­s, National Geographic, Sky News, ITV News, Newsnight, BBC Radio 4’s Today, The World This Weekend and File on Four, Daily Mail, Daily Express, Daily Mirror, Financial Times, The Times, Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Observer, The Independent, Channel 4 News, LBC and Private Eye in 2021 alone. attracts more than 11 million visits per year, and we provide a vital space for analysis, comment, and debate on issues ranging from democracy, gender and human rights to economics and climate change. We have projects publishing in Russian, Spanish and Portuguese as well as English. In the past two years, we’ve been nominated for and won a number of prestigious journalism prizes, from the Gabo Award to the Paul Foot and British Journalism Awards.

I know there are millions of us in this country who are drawn to the vision of socialists such as Jeremy Corbyn. We know that the political system is not working in our interests. We know that those who have wealth and power are determined to thwart our moves towards making society fairer and more equal when that

Saturday, 25 February 2023


 Around ten million British citizens voted for the Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn in the General Election in December 2019. Millions of us still believe that the phenomenon of JC was the best idea since sliced bread - it was so exciting to have a socialist voice at the centre of British politics and we yearn for a party that can carry those ideals forward. I know of at least one former Labour party member who, like me, resigned before he was expelled and has now joined the Green Party. My preference is for a Socialist Party, by name. The sickening determination of Starmer to crush the spirit of socialism within the present Labour Party should send the warning bells ringing furiously. 

David Rosenberg is a London radical, the author of Rebel Footprints - a Guide to Uncovering London's Radical History (2015) - and the author of Rebel Notes, his own blog post medium that offers powerful insights into historical and contemporary anti-Semitism. I read David's latest offering this morning and wanted to share the facts he reveals. Truth is precious and the mainstream media are selective about what truths they willing convey.

David Rosenberg and JC - sharing a copy of Rebel Footprints

Here, then, is David's truth - and mine - and millions of others:


The murderous antisemitic hate that Starmer’s Labour has not dealt with

  • The Guardian newspaper which enthusiastically promoted the narrative of a “crisis of antisemitism” during the period when Jeremy Corbyn was leader, found itself in a bit of trouble a few days back for daring to suggest that criticisms of Corbyn’s long record of anti-racism were unjustified. Cue a batch of furious letters from the (not so) great and (not so) good. They have since published two very calm responses to those furious letters.

  • Sadly, they didn’t publish mine. Perhaps because it contained a very discomfiting revelation of how Starmer-led Labour utterly failed to deal with a very serious case of antisemitism within the party. This revelation ought to be