"He who can not draw on three thousand years is living hand to mouth"- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Monday, 21 February 2011

The Ever-Changing Proem (started at around Ten the twenty-first of febuary) (that is in the need of a good illustator)

And the joke stops at 12 (as if
it never begun)
When all the laughter starts (as if
it's never ending) you see

But the parts are always cast
Just to act is enough,
even though it might not last,
even though it's tough,  Because

More Bacon or Bacon More?

Our tills more then store?
Bread more than loaves,
Stoves more than fire,
fire more than de-sir!-e
for bu-sin!-ness?
To Fry some meat is no great feat
but to Fry a Spy is harder to try (while Oscar died Crossed)
And More killed from belief that had him, finally, killed
But to kill is not hard to have that death one is skilled
Learnt form gentle inductioning than hard-press doctrination
That goes from any person- any nation from nude Belgium to sandy Cario
From Italy to Canada- so far!
As far a Jacques...Jacque....Jack....Ja...ah!  Yes, yes o yes...Derrida!  What about 

The Hitch can save the nine
Stephen is shaking with Richard
But Mr. 'arris went to 'arris
Spoke a little Bench but not enough enough to speak....
And John is easy to define
Even without the use of lables,
even without the use of cables even while

Because it begins as tragedy 
And then as a farce
It always starts a comedy 
Until it's has become sparce, but
Boethius sits in his cell as philosophy is speaking,
While poetry is telling
Which from the warm emotion reeks,
And he awakens from, his & to the, spell
                                                                    -but he has nobody to call
no body at all...so

Dots are only spots and headlights are really starts 
But no-one started a car with fire
and no-one played dot-to-dot...

Four Quarters might be enough though 4 is small
Five is bigger less perfect and rounded than 4
But Four's enough and no more but

Terry thinks that life is jazz
and that cars move rather fast
he prefers to take a walk
he prefers to take a talk despite the fact and Pablo was several old foreign beasts while

Successful Sisters go to graduations,
While troublesome brothers start revolutions
but Lewis was never a serial killer but a writer who liked
no sense...look at it this way

Not to have a community of belief would be such a relief 
And pictures speak through words,
Though deaf and dumb and blind,
And letters talk through paintings,
Though rubbish, waste, unkind and look

And the dogs are rising- one of a corsperation,
one of a dead man dying but both are for the fighting and
both are for the lying but if both are not for each other there's really no point trying
there really is no point crying even if tears cause floods even if cuts cause bloods and no one was caught drinking wine and no one was held for spilling milk  because one never suicideds without commitment one never weds a bride without doves even though logos are a gogo listening all to toto singing about africa even while

The Owls are slowly staring
The Magpies are in Fury
The Cuckoos are in Unrest
The dawn chorus of the Canaries is  rising louder 
Who will come and hear their birdsong?
Come and listen to the birdsong under the cellars.  Because

Thick wallpaper deafens the unfamiliar noise
Of something nature-related but who can remember between the ads still

Solomon has the luck of the unlucky
His coat so red his health so plucky
A man with his personal club
With a language you cannot dub

The still small music of history
Though the bass still race the beats of many hearts and still

Napoleon is sitting on his hill,
Is he about to say "Peace!"
Readjusting Greece?

Or will he say "War, war, more war!"
Because he can never have enough or more.  But how about

Eliot needed his editor.
It was April,
-Not January
-Not Febuary
-Not March
-Not April
-Not May 
-Not July
-Not August
-Not Septemember
-Not October
-Not Novemeber
-Not December
                           that was the funniest month 
at least the first time

Pen-Men die in stations, starvations, from what they saw and And Allen's echo howls...
Though some re-makes r-ecreation makes his song rather station... Soren gave an earthquake to his only father
He changed his name & blamed the game 

And Zarathustra is coming down the mountain,
He is coming to check the fountain.
Is the water clean & clear
Or is it bleach & is it dear?  WhileSmiling ever after hang on!...

Happy new Era every one!  Happy new Decade,
Happy new Year my son happy, happy new day
It is never never over yet...you better you better you bet! and

Sunday, 20 February 2011

The Conversation Agaisnt George Monbiot

I came to Coventry to do two things.  To see George's Left Hook and to visit my grandparents and cousins.

"If we were meant to talk more than listen, we would have two mouths and one ear"- Mark Twain

(And so with a quote from an American writer began my evening with George Monbiot, Guardian Columnist and Environmental Activist, along with 40 or so other people in the Warwick Arts Centre.  In the first part George would, he told us, begin with a statement that would begin a discussion, even a debate, over it.  The second part was open to audience statement and questions that would be given the same treatment.  Ever since his name was dropped in a lecture I've been reading and watching video clips by him and about him.  You could say I was excited to meet him.  You'd be right but for me it was different.  I've met famous writers before and then I felt nervous.  This was the first time I was excited by the presence of a writer.)

George began his statement that first referenced Milton Friedman, Noami Klein and Pinochet.  Noami Klein is known for her book 'The Shock Doctrine', which is about the rise of disaster capitalism.  Milton Friedman was 'an ambitious and charismatic man on a mission to fundamentally revolutionize his profession' within the University of Chicago's Economics Department.  General Augusto Pinochet was a Chilean dictator who led a coup d'état in 1973 overthrowing the democratically elected President Salvador Allende.  The premise for 'The Shock Doctrine' is that 'there are people with power who are cashing in on chaos'.  

Friedman and others of the Chicago Economics Department developed an idea to get unpopular polices through on democratic terms.  Wait for a disaster that puts people's safety in danger than push the unpopular policy through as quickly as possible.  When the invasion of Iraq occurred the government sent in their crack team of economists alongside the soldiers issuing flat taxes to the people.  The International Monetary Fund (IMF) calls this 'structural adjustment'.  After the hurricane New Orleans began a process of 'reform'.  In order to make sure that the unpopular policy stays within policy the structural adjustment must happen within 6 to 8 months because after that any adjustments made become hard to change.  The Shock Doctrine is being applied in Britain now.

(That was George's statement.  After a moment of absorbing that statement George then began to take questions from the audience.)

A crisis is a terrible thing to waste.  Wouldn't the left-wing take the same opportunities?
G. Yes your right, but I would argue that the left-wing does it for the greater good

Economics seems to be hi-jacked.  What went wrong with economics?  To me it seems that economics is taught rather than open to challenge and questioning.  Do the economists bare any responsibility?

G.  Economists live on a different planet.  Their worldview, to them, goes above the psychological, the biological.  You know the well known phrase "if the model doesn't fit the world than it's the world that's wrong", well that's the attitude.  The amount of corporate sponsorship and support who sit on research councils is disturbing.   Look at the composition of review councils.  What I don't know is to what extent does this affect things?  What they are saying is "sack this world and let's elect a new one". 

Personality types plays a great role- people who want to go into Business Schools are usually those who want to go into Big Business.

G.  What I don't like about Business Schools is the speed at which students are expected to make a choice about which career you go into.  Few people know what they really want to do and then say "well then to get there I'll do that then that then that".  There's more to life than knowing what work to do, like pursuing our passions and our loves.  The purpose of these University's is to turn people into corporate drones.

First I'd like to thank you and 'The Guardian' for being a voice of sanity.  Isn't true to say that Labour continued the economic model of the previous Tory government and so now there's an inability to challenge the given consensus?

G.  What happened with Labour and the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) was a real shock.  The Walsgrave hospital in Coventry, for example, which was to have been refurbished at a cost of £30m, was instead knocked down and rebuilt at a cost of £330m, solely in order to make the project attractive to private companies. It is like the book 'Ghost' by Robert Harris (that was made into a film by Roman Polanski) where a left-wing Prime Minister was implanted by a Secrect Service agency.  I don't believe that literally but it's a metaphor for what is happening.  When Blair was Prime Minister he did something much more damaging than push the right-wing agenda further than the right-wing he destroyed hope in political alternatives.  He turned the Worker's Party into the Boss' Party.

What do you think of the global phenoemon of this right-wing leaning?

G.  I believe that what is happening is that a transnational elite is emerging.  The rich countries are holding the poor countries to ransom.  When I wrote 'Captive State' I made a mistake.  It should have been called the 'Re-captured State'.

Three more people asked questions one after another.  One of them was me.

-That's quite a gloomy picture you paint and it's powerfully argued.  But there's only a handful of us here to listen to you.  I would think most people outside this room simply don't care.  Where do you find the hope in this situation?       
-With the lack of an alternative exactly what alternative is there?           
-Do you think that our inability to respond to these big challenges stem from a desperate lack of imagination?
G.  Your right, it is a gloomy picture, but there are hopeful signs.  UK Uncut have been making a lot of noise and a lot of good points.  So good in fact that even 'The Daily Mail' has agreed with their points and even has their sympathy.  It seems to me that there is an enormous anger from not only the working classes but from the middle classes who have realised what the government has been spending their money on.  We see that the student protests have been continuing involving many different varieties of causes but what we haven't seen is a unified message.  What there needs to be now is a call for a new agenda and a list of specific targets of spending that could be cut instead of the ones the government is proposing.

(That was the end of part one.  During the interval George took scraps of paper with people's questions, about any subject they wished to talk about, in order to have them answered in the second part. "And to censor out any questions you don't wish to answer" said a women in the front row to which George ruefully smiled.)

(In the second part a whole new, but not entirely unrelated, set of questions began.)

George, how can such a smart chap as yourself put the climate change blame on us Westerners without acknowledging the huge population in African countries.  They simply don't have the family planning necessary in place.

G.  Population control is a problem but the population in most African countries are not the ones consuming on an industrial scale while emitting CO2 gas into the air.  What most Western countries do is try to transfer responsibility on to other countries.  In this case it's the rich pointing to the poor.  David Satterthwaite  of the IIED showed that populations are rising by people who are not environmentally responsible.  Paul R. Erlich in 'The Population Bomb' he uses the formula I= PxAxT(where I = Environmental Impact, P = Population, A = Affluence, T = Technology), but I would change the P for a C to stand for Consumers because it's consumers that have the most environmental impact.  In terms of world population the amount of consumers is about 2 million.  There is some good news in that the population will stabiles in around 2060 to 9 to 10 million people.  However that's still too many in environmental terms.  We Westerners have got to show willingness to change.

George takes four questions one after another.

-Although runaway climate change is a big issue I actually think a bigger issue is peak oil since the WikiLeak documents concerning Saudi Arabia.         
-Shouldn't these crises be seen as an opportunity rather than a problem?
-I would say that it's not in the interest of corporate capitalism to provide a political alternative.
-On the subject of corporate capitalism David Bohm has written about end of world scenarios and one that I find very interesting is the idea of Zero Growth.  There doesn't seem to be a lot of time left for change so what can we do to make an impact in a hurry? 

G.  The government has never had a contingency plan for peak oil.  Whenever anyone in the government is asked what is their contingency plan if the oil runs out they say "but it won't run out".  No-one in the whole infrastructure has a clue of what they are doing, well what are they doing?  They've got to be there for something.   There has never been any real analysis into the possibility of peak oil.  In every major situation the British government has always done it's own analysis but for this situation they have realied solely on outside analysis.  You can tell a lot from a government about what they don't look at.  The dates of resource depletion has been gotten wrong by environmentalists (I almost said the only thing).  We have often underestimated the huge amount of unconventional oil that are out there.  

My name is Richard Lemarr, yours is Monbiot, you asked us only to write our Christian names on the question slips, my question is: what do you think about multiculturalism?

G.  When David Cameron is talking about multiculturalism I believe that what he is really talking about is Islam and I don't know why he doesn't just come out and say it.  The narrative goes like this "For too long we have been too tolerant on Muslims and it's time they learned how to act in this country."  There was a Dispatchers program last year on this very subject entitled 'Britain's Islamic Republic'.  I find Cameron's talk of multiculturalism worrying because it seems to be done in genocidal terms.

Is multiculturalism really the right word.  I think nationalism defines aspects of British culture more accurately.
G.  I think you're right.  If you see the way the Arab Israelis are treated by the Palestinians at the moment they aren't really talking about multiculturalism as much as they are about nationalism.            
I'm going to try to make an even more controversial  point just to spark a bit more debateI read a book by David Willetts 'The Pinch: how the baby boomers took their children's future- and why they should give it back' and apparently I've been very lazy indeed and owe a lot of money.

G.  It's a very interesting book.  Will Hutton wrote an article recently about who, and how, those responsible for the major problems of the financial system.

How do you like putting your pension on a Casino?

G.  Fundamentally Willetts' book was right in that the baby boomers found themselves in extremely lucky circumstances.  Will Hutton makes the point that the way the boomers kept growth stable was through downsizing companies and outsourcing problems.  Technologically speaking there has really been little change since the 1960s.  All the new technologies we get today aren't really new technologies but simply the same technologies improved.  A prime example of this can be seen in mobile phones.  They used to be big and clunky but now they're small and slim.  The period between the 1900s to the 1960s there has been a more profounder change in technology.  Think of the program 'Life on Mars'.  Britain back then looked different, a little weird, but not so different that we wouldn't be able to function within it.  If you tried to make the same program but set at the end of the 19th Century it would be incomprehensible to us because of the social grammar.  It would be like learning a whole new language.  To keep up growth governments will damage the terms and conditions of the work contract to achieve it.  It's a vampire economy that rides the back of previous innovations hoping it would strong enough to keep it going without having to do much.                

There's a very crash and burn mentality about in politics such as the government reinventing the jobs role after the death of big government.
G.  There's an interesting cycle that seems to happen.  At the beginning of the 20th Century capitalism was bailed out by socialism by means of a redistribution of wealth.  There was a post-war period where there seemed to be a lucid moment of sanity before people started spending and carried on with business as usual.  You could say the ultra capitalist cuts it's own throat while the non-capitalist mops up all the blood and patches it up before the Pinochets of the world rise up against it.  It's a weird cycle.  

With that the end of George's Left Hook approached.  But George was still in the building and for people needing answers the issues are never over until they get them.  I offered to buy him a drink but a man in a suit got there before I could and in the bar of Warwick Arts Centre a smaller group of us pulled two round tables together.  The conversation continued.   
The man in the suit, about 40, sitting next to me wanted to talk about Fractional Reserve Banking.  
"Yes, I've been meaning to write about Fractional Reserve Banking for a while but haven't yet partly because it's called Fractional Reserve Banking"
The man next to me said that "there's a core of fairness in British people and if they could see what the banks have been doing in clear terms than I would think the majority of them would be so shocked that they would reform them instantly.  People need to realise that these banks are actually allowed to do FRB because it helps to drive consumerism.  It's a purely mathematical system based on projected earnings."

A student of Warwick University, in his early 20s, who earlier likened corporations to (if I remember correctly) a sociopath in that they are not morally only 'good' or 'bad' but only act in such ways because it is their nature, mentions that it seems to be the religious groups who are doing a good job of looking after their money.  Take the Islamic usury policy which is much more of an Old World notion of money.  He also mentioned, I think, the Christian Terry Drew Karanen was mentioned concerning economic truths.  There was also something about gold standard.  Malcom Gladwell's Black Swan was also mentioned.  

"There's a whole raft of fundamental truths that need to be questioned" said the gentlemen next to me.  "FRB  is basically fraud.  It comes from gold merchants lending money due to reserve.  After a while the merchants noticed that they could charge any interest they wanted because none of the customers knew how much reserve there really was.  They would lend out £5 and charge 5% interest when it was paid back- that's £50 from nothing!  We're building a huge pyramid scheme and there's a big bill for whoever ends up paying it.  It's exactly what happened during the Wall Street Crash"  

Another chap, in his late twenties wearing a black hooded coat, said: "Can I ask a stupid question?  If you can raise £50 from nothing than why is that so social bad?  With that money you could buy more doctors, more art centres, etc...

The gentleman next to me said: "Government created the money and they given the bonds to the commercial banks.  Commercial banks now need more taxes in order to keep going.  Initially you're right you could buy more doctors but you couldn't keep them on unless you make some of them redundant or lower their wages so in the end you actually lose out more.  Banks are massively bigger than what they were and their vacuuming the people."

A man on my other side, I believe it was Mr. Lemarr with a notebook, asked George if he had a thick skin and wanted to get into bed with the police.  Alongside this I noted that he had has death threats and asked if he thought any of us was going to pull a knife on him. 

"I do my best to try to ignore them, and let it get to me, but really what I most want is to have a proper conversation with these people.  That Brenden O'Neill article did get to me a bit but you just have to ignore the insults."

Our conversation then went on to the current protests in Cairo and the role Facebook played in it.

"Social media," George said "is good as a bulletin board.  Malcolm Gladwell made a good point, good for Malcolm Gladwell that is, that the Facebook messages were written by English speaking people who were writing messages of support.  So we'll have to wait and see what emerges in the next month.  The Internet looked like such a wonderful gift.  Finally those columnists were knocked off their perch and everyone was talking.  But so many people use it like a upset monkey throwing shit at people."

The man in the black hood jumper asked "if John Smith were still alive do you think he would have made the same decisions as Tony Blair?"

"I honestly do not know" says George "I do feel sure that he would have at least hesitated before making them but Blair never did.  What Blair had a great talent for was understanding power.  He knew how it worked and he knew how he could get it.  The City disciplines it's politicans"          

He made mention of Nicholas Shaxson's 'Treasure Islands: Tax Havens and the Men Who Stole the World' before leaving to catch the train.

At the bus station I had a lot of big thinking to do about what I had just heard.  On the Bus Stop glass were posters for Warwick's Economic Summit happening between the 18th-20th of February that has various sponsors including Warwick Economic Department, Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays Wealth.

I had an awful feeling that I had experienced something that was going to change my life dramatically.

Right,  it's about time a cleared some mysteries about myself and raise a few flags for myself.  I am about to paint a picture that will probably be personally painful not only for me but for my family however I have gone through too much shit and have stayed far too quite for anybody's good only for this opportunity to have a effectively positive influence go to waste- I've got enough regret, I need no more.  

Here it goes.

I was born in Coventry.  

I was born in Walsgrave Hospital at 7.25pm on Friday 31st weighing 7 pounds and 3 ounces.

My cousins were born in Walsgrave Hospital.

Simon Todd was born there.

Daniel Todd was born there.

Becky Todd was born there.

Sophie Todd was born there.

Louis Todd was born there.

They all live in one house that is stuffed with toys and clothes. 

It has holes in the walls and mold in the bathroom.

My Granny, Grace Todd, worked in Walsgrave Hospital for 30 years before retiring as a cleaner.

My other Grandma, Ruth Reckitt, used to be a teacher.

My mother's, Katherine, side used to own Reckitts Blue a manufacturer of a laundry whitener.   

My other cousin, Susanna Reckitt, is studying Economics.  She is studying it at Cambridge.
Her father, Mark Reckitt, used to work for Cadbury before it was taken over by Kraft and was made redundant.

My Uncle and Aunt, Jack and Margret Reckitt, used to work in some line of insurance.  They are now based in California learning how to make wine.

My mum's sister, Polly Wilson, works as a University Lecturer for, I believe, Bristol Uni.  She has a husband, Mark Wilson, and two children, Heidi Wilson and Emily Wilson. 

My Uncle George Todd works the night shift at B&Q.  He lives with my  grand, his, parents.

My father, Ian Todd, works as an administrator for a church of england church St. Paul's.

About a month ago I made a speech for the English Literature Society.  My friends were surprised, confused, interested, unhappy and upset at what I said.
Dan Williams wanted to know what I was up to:

'Hi Alistair, I've read - as you told me to, your latest blog entry, but I have to be honest I don't 'get' it, if indeed it is intended to be 'got' by people. It seems to be a mish mash array of points all thrown into a speech, and it seems difficult to follow. What exactly (and please, be exact) are you trying to say, and what on a broader scale are your points? Thanks in advance, Dan.'

At the time I tried to explain but I wanted to be able to explain fully and without misunderstanding.  I knew I was on a very fine tightrope to balance on.  Dan you deserve an answer and here it is as clear and as exacting an answer I have yet produced.  

Yesterday I read some books in a library that has a leak about the history of the Labour party and I have two question: Why haven't I ever heard the name, as common as it is, John Smith?  And, Why does nobody talk about Clause 4 pre and post 1997?

Caroline Spelman, a lady who is for turning, had to apologize for making a mistake after The National Trust, The Woodland Trust, 38 degrees, 500000 people who signed an online petition including Rachel Johnson, President, Save England’s Forests, Sir Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal, Carol Ann Duffy, Poet Laureate, Tony Juniper, Special Adviser to the Prince of Wales’ Rainforest Project, Bill Bryson, president Campaign to Protect Rural England, Lloyd Grossman, chairman of the Heritage Alliance,
Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury (++ Rowan Cantaur),Bishop of Gloucester, the Rt Revd Michael Perham (+Michael Gloucestr), Rabbi Dr David Goldberg, Emeritus Rabbi of the Liberal Jewish Synagogue, Mr Farooq Murad. Secretary General, MCB, Dame Judi Dench, actor, Annie Lennox, singer, Anthony Gormley, artist, Tracey Emin, artist, Gavin Turk, artist, Geoffrey Hill, Oxford Professor of Poetry, Baroness Young of Hornsey, Caroline Lucas, MP for Bright Pavilion and leader of the Green Party, Ken Livingstone, London Mayoral Candidate (Labour), Mark Constantine, co-founder, Lush Ltd, Lily Cole, model and actor, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, chef and campaigner
John Houlihan, Chairman, British Mountain Bike Orienteering, Oona King, working peer, Trudie Styler, actress and producer, Nick Jones, founder, Soho House Group, Julian Barnes, author
Katherine Hamnett, designer, Camila Batmangheilidjh, founder, Kids Company, Tim Smit, CEO and co-founder, Eden Project, Rob Hopkins, co-founder, Transition Network, Trustees of the Natural Beekeeping Trust, Rosie Boycott, broadcaster, Gillian Anderson, actor, Gordon Roddick, philanthropist, Wayne Hemingway MBE, designer, Dame Joan Bakewell, writer and broadcaster
Giles Coren, writer and broadcaster, Tracey Marchioness of Worcester, Ben Fogle, expeditionist and broadcster, Dylan Jones, editor, GQ magazine, Sue Perkins, comedian and broadcaster, Richard E Grant, actor, Lisa Bilton, Mothers4Children, Stephen Bayley, author, Alex James, broadcaster and farmer, Kathy Lette, author, Edward Whitley, Whitley Fund for Nature, Anne Robinson, broadcaster, Rachel Billington, author, Christopher Simon Sykes, author, Lady Helen Taylor, Bill Amberg, designer, Susie Forbes, journalist, Henry Porter, journalist, Rowley Leigh, chef, Camilla Woodward, philanthropist, Ben Elliot, co-founder, Quintessentially, Joanna Trollope, author, Ronni Ancona, comedian, Dame Vivienne Westwood, designer, Katherine Hamnett, designer, Lord Roy Hattersley, politician, author, journalist, Jonathan Porritt, Founder, Director Forum for the Future, Lord Clark of Windermere (former Chair of the Forestry Commission), Claire Tomalin, author and biographer, Kevin Gopal, editor of the Big Issue in the North MP, New Economics Foundation, Paul Fisher, editor, Cotswold Water Park Life MP, Andy Harries, Chief Exec, Left Bank Pictures, Michael Frayn, playwright and novelist, Annabelle Bond, expeditionist, Ranulph Fiennes OBE, adventurer and writer, Stanley Johnson, author and politician, Dr Robert MacFarlane, author, Eugenie Harvey, UK director, 10:10, Trustees of the Women’s Environmental Network, Charley Boorman, adventurer, writer, actor, Richard Briers, actor, Foragers Pub UK, Andy Goldring, Chief Exec, Permaculture Association, Leo Johnson, Sustainable Finance Ltd, Dr Richard Lofthouse, Editor, Oxford Today, Ian Beacham, Editor in Chief, Best of British and Vintage Tractor and Countryside Heritage, Dr Jerome Lewis, co-director of cultures of Sustainability, UCL Environment Institute, Toby Gardner, NERC Fellow and Darwin College Research Fellow, Conservation Science Group, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Dr David Humphreys, senior lecturer in Environmental Policy, the Open University,  disagreed with the government's plan to change the ownership of 258,000 hectares of state-owned woodland.

Caroline says: "We teach our children honesty".

I worked for The National Trust for one summer.  There was a meeting I attended where they were trying to find ways of getting more people to visit their estates.  After some discussion they unveiled their plan.  An advertising overhaul re-branding it's image in new fonts. 

Reading books in Costa Coffee I hear one staff say: "All she comes out with is excuses.  She said to me that "sometimes if there are too many customers she'll just run out to the back and hide".  I don't like all my customers, but for your management to do that- it doesn't leave a good impression".  Around Christmas Costa Coffee was short staffed and an exasperated employee said the management "didn't know what they were doing".

New property is being developed: the slope by The Welsh Books Council, by the roundabout opposite Morrisons, the car park by the Council Offices, by Pengliais Hill, in the corner of Rosser.  A new car park has just been opened by the Hospital.

In the bins behind Cwrt Mawr Bar there is a microwave that has been PAT tested in the year 2010.

Over the river a sign stands at the bottom of a street, a Neighbourhood Watch sign.  It's picture is of a single eye.

On my way back from Coventry to Aberystwyth I overheard a couple on the train talking about working, I think, the Job Centre.  On was telling the other how one man wouldn't have an interview because he was always angry and would never finish it.  They went on to talk about applicants who lie on their applications: "You can't follow up every one.  You've no time.  But you can't doubt all of them.  But you can't believe all of them.  The ones who lie know what answers they need to give."  

The Bees are suffering from Colony Collapse Disorder.
I asked George Mobiot for a slogan.  He said: "Tax the Rich, not the Poor".

I was listening to a newly downloaded Radiohead album, 'In Rainbows', before I ran away from Aberystwyth University.  I am listening to a newly downloaded Radiohead album, 'King of Limbs', and I am not planning on running away. 

I do not know what unforeseen consequences will occur from this action of free speech.  The next few months will be a challenge.

Tomorrow I have to talk with my seminar tutor for Utopia Fiction, Sarah Hutton, about why I haven't been turning up to my seminars.  I imagine we will talk about utopias.

I thank those of my friends who have not been frightened off, who have kept talking to me and who have convinced me of my own worth and talent and power.  I pray for it to stay this way.

To the many strangers I have added and to those who have wandered onto this article I will say that let me be known as the man who used his beauty for goodness.  I pray for it to be known.   

                   The Book Spy                                                                                (aka Alistair David Todd)



The Shock Doctrine, by Naomi Klein. HB.95.K6

Pinochet in Piccadily, by Andy Beckett. F.3101.P56.B3

Monetary vs Fiscal Policy: A Dialogue between Milton Friedman and Walter W. Heller.  HG.538.F9

First as Tragedy, Then as Farce, by Slavoj ZiZek. HB.501.Z8

The State We're In, by Will Hutton.  HC.256.7.H9
Heat, by George Mobiot. 



UK Uncut as reported by 'The Daily Mail'
Kraft as reported by 'The Daily Mail'

Saturday, 19 February 2011

bro ddiogelach

It is an evil thing to have an eye at the bottom of the street
it is an evil thing to have a spy and the end of a policeman's beat

"I said it's ok I'm part of your neighbourhood watch"
"I said it's OK I'm part of your neighbourhood WATCH"

Friday, 18 February 2011

The Origins of the English Literature Society

By the western sea there is an old pub and in this pub sit three old men.  There was the old man with a cat, the old man with the walking stick & the old man with the red nose.  The old man with the red nose is laughing.  The old man with the walking stick is reading.  The old man with the cat was petting the feline while it drank milk from a shallow bowl.  If you ask them they will tell you about the beginning of the English Literature & Creative Writing Society.  If you believe them they will buy you a drink. They have told me their story once and I will now tell it to you.

In the time when words were birds & paper grew from the ground, when the University was a circus and the sea mewed the music of strings, there was a hamster and a monkey.  The hamster had a loud laugh and it laughed where-ever it went.  The monkey had a quick laugh and it laughed where-ever it went.  The two were brought together by their laughter.  As they were brought together their laughter crept away because they were jealous.  The hamster was jealous of the monkey’s tail and it would say to itself, “I wish I had a tail to flick and curl with.  My tail is so short that I cannot make it do anything.  The monkey does aerobatics & that is almost like flying”.  The monkey was jealous of the hamster’s size, “That hamster is so small I bet it can go anywhere it wishes, in pipes, wheels, the bars through cages, I wish I was as small as it.”

Neither animal told their jealousies to any of their friends, but all of their friends could see that something was wrong when the hamster & the monkey were brought together.  After a long time the monkey was fed up with not laughing.  The hamster could see that the monkey was unhappy & plucked up the courage to ask what was wrong. 

“Why can’t I be as small as you?  I am so long & tall & ungainly that I would only get stuck in the places you reach,” said the monkey.  The hamster was surprise said, “Being so small is not so great.  Nobody notices me and I am always in fear of being treaded on.  You’re not afraid of people’s feet, being so high up & everyone looks to you.  If only we could change bodies or swap places.”  The two animals were sad together for that day. 

The monkey now tries to teach the hamster how to jump & the hamster tries to teach the monkey how to crawl.  The two animals had children who were small furry creatures who could run over rooftops and hide under floorboards.  The birds fell into the flowers; the sea roared the sound of drums and the circus clowns, performers, aerial artists & magicians turned into Creative Writing Students who picked the ground of the worded paper. 

And that, say the old drunken men, is how the English Literature Society began.




Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Two Poets After Two Poets

Listening to natural unstressed lines
Of countryside under clear skies
Embraced by the warmth of reading 
Frost on the roads,
Sheep in the field,
Two poets walk away to the landscape
After hearing two national poets
Saying hello, they walking in the glow
Of a corned sun defining sense,
Happiness precise, the warm room of words
in the winter land of writing.
Let this be our scene to reference
All our smiles

Friday, 4 February 2011

Colourful Rhapsody

Colourful Rhapsody:
a golden notebook

a comfort of constant background vibration low-humming washing the sunlight stillness of the peaceful space.

Archaic rural building, tin roof resting on leaning supports, neat rows of cabbages in the small plot by the house.

School children playing besides green fields, in an old school halls playing ground and a large clockwork timeface, hovering above.

An old dream of an old england , stripped of the pain of war and industry, leaving a pure form of yearning nostalgia;- children’s  happiness.

Pleasant ambiance of travel, lulls a soothing movement into a deeper peace of mind.

Green: strong and subtle, powerfully enhancing, a life-force.

Single fully leafed tree growing, fluttering, alone on the life  carpeted ground.

Small pretty weed-like flowers cluster up from the small angular rocks.  A place of short term and long term momentum.  Movement of three tenses: present, past, future.

Hill of trees, a large soft seed, a splash in a wooden lake.

Village tucked in the grass and bark of countryside.

Plethora of shades, a whizzing monochrome of verduntra, a panthean of green.

In long journeys contemplation can quitely found and better fostered.

Church on a white cliff; the house built on stone.

Country of first colours, brights, bold, bountiful.

In the distance slumbers a field of sun, covered in a blanket of sky and light air.

Grove of wild flowers, a secrect flora.

Leaves dripping with light.

Light balancing on a cloud as a single line.

Castle sswatting on a mound of foilage, defended by grass, stones and wooden fences .

First german bomb fell on dover, Trewell Rd. in 1914.

Castle remenets peek over the leafy green and the chalky white; possibly waiting for warmer weather before reavealing fully.

Water drizzles over a different, murkier, darker, sort of green; rippling in waves and criss-splasing and splich-crossing.  Liquid conveyabelt.  Watery surface- solid enough to travel over without parting.

Cardboard ships on top of the  horizon swimming like ducks on the painted stage of the sea

Tension of waiting in uncertain certainty

Lonely pink maison at the back of a lush field

Rows of idylic trees line the roads

Deep pastures where behind it lies more, more, more clear clolurs and spaces abounds with plentiful of sweet sturdy air

Forest wall, lined with slanted fields of vegetables and  plants, watches from a throne while dipping rocky and leafy toes in the varstly enlongated river running by many villiages, dotted with small  childish ancient castles

An assortment of greenery, secrectively covering groves of worldly mystery

Language of french is like ribbions tied with smooth knots; language of german is like a steep and rocky landscape, full of sstops and starts

Black stone castle tower, eroded at the edges, riddled with vines, stands quietly, proudly humble dorment in the middle of a fill bloom park while the towering metal and glass skyscapers guard the frontiers of the grass distantl looking over and above

Great white tor of salt; made of crumbs of flavour

Though paintstrokes made with a thick brush colours the evening sky with light bluish and grying white

Is it called bad because of it’s horror of unatural beauty, the last outpost of the krouts where the border is terrifying as it’s neighbours are very different people and who would know what they do to innocents?

Hovering seeds float spiritedly in the covering air from the trees that wave with a silent cheer unbreakering the awe soaked sounds of life in reverence.  The platform is like a path for monks and nuns leading up to their place of holy pilgramage

Layers of brown and green fir trees decorate the black and dark red rocks and cliffs.  The river runs along the bottom like before but unlike before only a small part of the land has been tamed by builders and artutechs and the woods are left to grow as wildly as it pleases.  To walk into it is to be swallowed up by the forest

Brilliant tone of gleaming white of the small chateau or castle stands singularly like a well brushed tooth in the middle of a fury gaping mouth on rocky gums

Wide and long motion of glass, overlaping and continous to far, far down from far, far back.  Deceptively trechous and possibly dangerously deep pretending to look like a transparently solid belt of converyance.  The green rocks under the edge of it are as sharp and as hungary as piranas and would trick and ddistract in order to feed .  it is dirty and majestic, strangely mysterious in it’s common ugliness. There are no fish to be seen

Circular hollow burrows through a hill connecting two grass sids together where all context is lost.  Sparse garish lights punctuate the darkness but not the coldness of the path which is a lost space that subtly shifts underfoot and twist all abstracts into unrecognisable ddistortion.  It is a void between two places; with all the uncertainty and terrifying solace of one’s self

Living pristine picture, that perfect clear, without wrinkle, stain, rip, tear or crumble. H aving the spirit of wishes to emmulate  which inspires love for the world

The city does nt square off the natural land and crowd round the little pathes of greenrey it allows to grow; it is the life of plants that crowds in the city around like an organic bubble containing an inorganic material. But it is not even that seperated for they intertwine and interweave with each other that they are almost inseperable and interchangeable from each other. It is a city of life

Even in the sweating of the light these towers look like they are permently in the darkness of an eclipse

Overlooking the small city while being watched by Karl Hynek Mácah it occurs to from me that this is no forest or wood but a park; the grafftied ruin of a small house or castle can trick you otherwise into a line of thought that will run on uncaught to what is really there.  Yes, this is a park but a park that is it’s own which will wildly grow becoming a mystery to roam.  The poets will linger ever-on Mácah in the park for ever Maj Kafka in the city riding his suit with their art bridging the two places shortening our commite

Who are you unknown figure to have such affect on me? Who are you silent statue that gives me such unexperienced recollections?  I have never read your words but I hold on to your image; the idea of your letters gives me hope.  Forgotten romantic: :I remember you!

Though warm and dry earlier in the morning the dark water-heavy clouds clamped down on the sun as a hand does with a ligtbulb, then a moment or two of silence; then the storm.  Droplets hurtled down splashing hitting the ground while intermittent white light flashes under the gloomy dramatic canopy.  The world was once again wet

Clouds float by like ghostly angles passively observing the small world below. Some look so white and strong as they could be scaled like a creamy mountain; some are whispy sketches with threads of moisture at its frayed edges; some are flat like hovering platforms and above above us blue: the deepest brightest kind and it covers all of the sky and seems to go up infinitely

From blue to white to green: only the undergrowth is missing from this spectrum of this planet. Viewed in sky

Ethereal garden that grows light rocks and vague forms of misty plants it is the garden above gardens landscape above landscape and in its loftiness hidden and mostly unknown. A kingdom without king
A path of mud with the sky wet and white filtered by dripping veiny growths of grassy webbed hands; and slants  of sun slip through the small spaces the unclouded untrodden uncluttered places

Dark mist hanging like a black sentence eclipsing the hulls in shadow a poster paint of daubed on grey a congomerate of blues a syneregy of silhouettes and in the distance a thin blade of golden light humbly royal linking the silver coil of cloud .  Than a sun of mist, mist of sun

Silhouettes the hills

Living in the time of slowed down light seeing each atom and second soaking an atmosphere in permenance living in the long now

Waves of rain marching a parade of moisten warriors

Some deep and soft clouded sea wie dirty with wildlife winding its way through fields ice cold and cyrstalised freshingly deep

A dark red hue smudges a sky of dark blue

Delicate rain falls on the coarse river scales glittering and moving in the arua of sun.  wind throws the tiny spears down into its own waters to be absorbed and mold reunite  waiting for the gold to pick it up again. Soft focus of sun cast around a monochrome of cloud onto a sepia of sea.  White stone wettens and red bricks weep. Warmth of sky prevades and invades the cold air moist but becoming dry as cold rushes to embrace warm. Bordering the horizon dark grey and bright silver steel and cotton underlines with thick swirls a clear working tablecloth set for a feast.

Here beginith a season of heaven

How do bright humours rise up from dark tumors how maglinant mortality gives grace eternity

And in hope death

We have been in hell and seen satan himself now let me take you to the spheres of heaven and experience the lord of love

The clouds move in on a clear skey the trees are in anticipation the stones settle in dust the clouds drag a  trailing of mist like a long dress. Grass on the hill gasps. Surroundings of a stillness that will soon change under the seet of the approaching lady. Tension strokes the leaves touches the slow-worms breaths on the rocks

A lear dried day is slowly getting brushed away and the lights are dimming. Lady Rain arrives drenching the woods with her waters soaking the animals and splashing the ground. She is passionate and powerful all-embracing and holding all-carressing and graceful. Wet is the world hard with cold exillerence an outpouring of cloud

Bright  bold colours of a stained glass countryside

My love is knitting me a rose and embrodering it to our new tapestry with my old cloth and her new silk each scene weaves into each other just as we weave together

The world has put on a white dress and a crisp suit. It has taken off its green tunic and it is preparing for a cold dance. It covers itself with scatterings of clouds melding all the rags into one neat cloth of frost. Studded with jewles of ice

The deep velvert white unstainted fur crisp & without crease. A piece of paper from a page of a notebook wraps the fields cvers the roads. A grey mist hangs between the air in the cracks & spaces of blades and branches. The earth tinges with blue. Traces are covered signs are erased cold deepens. Silence is encapsulated in ice. Untouched water lay on the emoty trees and paved upont he quiet groud.

Afternoon colour weighs on flaps of trees standing up in a shadow. Warm waves on cool stonecool shades on warm water. A fountain bathing with a dry mouth. Slow & gradual movements never ceasing never hesistating never still but slow. Birds gliding robins in streams magpies atop firs an hour from a minute. Graves in ground hung in time caught inside a pendulum on a string hel with a hand in a picture being watched with held eyes that circle round themselves a ring of bright light around dark wells that lead on & echo with drips of soft glass drops.

Sepia coloured  countryside faded with sun like an old bleached photograph. Grass like straw soil like sand

Gliding away the city slips further into the countryside stretching out relaxing the muscles of movement and easing into a fact that more vital than the tickets and the bags is this view of a tiny piece of eternity that evaporates calculations and ruins in return an ocean that floats and floats allmaterials along a place of no destinations an everywhere of calm. Moving through the landscape as the wind moves through the landscape without holding on from point to point unattached gathering speed and strength before disappearing with no trace presence disapperaing into presence slowing and stopping into presence becoming unoticed becoming the air and everywhere. Love is a language love must arise from and be used from instinct for knowing without checking. Love cannot be learnt by memory only love needs pratice experience. Language cannot be forced upon a person language flows in a person the person must be washed and not become  dry. A person must be soaked wih language of different types and varities. Language must become them. Language is a trust a felling boardering knowledge in its certainty. Soaking in language is bathing in trust. Language can soften argument it can refresh a perosn either in surprise or in desperatio it can comfort it can burn it can drown language can be a danger and a restoration. It can be a tool a tool that is part of a person a decoration a decoration that is part of a person describtion is part of a person statement is part of a person part of a person is in language. Part of a person is in trust part of a person is in love. As I use language I believe in love. As I speak I am talking in faith in the repetitioons of word I  am affirming the value of the repetition of language. As I talk it is language as I write it is in language. Language is the method and the message. Love is the structure and it is the content. 
I am afraid of poetry Iam afraid of poems I am afraid because `there is no-one to know ‘em. I am afraid of poetry I am afraid of poets I am afraid of what might be because no-one will know it. I am afraid of verses and rhymes and hexes I am afraid of omens this is why it vexes I am afraid of curses. That’s why I am afraid of poetry because I’m afriad of poems

Transparent girls with transparent hair blowing in the transparent wind.

The poor of prague stand the poor of buda sit the prague poor walk until tired the buda poor sleep until wake they sweat under the same sun under their heavy clothes hungarily the bins are searched waiting they are peached on corners and on benches their skin hard and unhealed dry and thristing for water walking without destination sleeping without rest they have been lost through the cities hold them still and the people are ashamed for having them and the people are weary with seeing them and the people are afraid of becoming them. They must have love in life if any of us feel justified in happiness and in hope then allow them to be loved for you are allowed to love allowed to build a beautiful house allowed to grow the garden flowers allowed to let the stranger inallowed to cook a meal allowed to eatknowing love is in these walls. Love is in that grass love is in this food you eat and feel love fillinf and see love growing and love built and having built a house you wish to share its beauty wish to share its beauty wish to share your space with another who has not had a home for some time who has beggeed for crumbs and acavenged for scraps who has gone dirty and old who now is a useless human being who is not worth your weary seeing who does not need your weary sighing who does not need your weary keeping and does not need your weary crying but needs warmth and refreshing gentle breezes and glowing fires wind and heat earth and ai. They need  all this as do you. lLve the lost or lose love as the cost.

We are thankful for the uniforms we ware  though they tighten our breathing lungs  we are pleased for being useful though the use is not for us we are glad for being alive though the meanings dug out from us we must say “have a nice day” though clearly its getting worse. When was it when the lies begun when we have time to guess who said it was for the best before our carriage became a herse

Tree soaken mists crawl and cling over the tops of spiky firs as they stand silently in a crowd without an inch of space between each wet and damp other without shivering or sneezing but swimming still  in the moisture

Rocky bones uncovered by the skin of grass or the clothes of trees showing off frozen water packed up in it’s crevices retained for warmer days to melt it into a liquid that will run down the cracks in the side of the rock running down and soaking in the soil below where the green leaves above flutter by the wind but held by the branch

Clouds dot the trees pretending to be snow and a sea of smoke. The sea swoops the air and swirls in clusters just under the tops of peaks just over the tops of trees mysteriously covering the landscape with soft textures of trechrous vapors clinging hanging like paintstroke of a frozen fire of a coldly burning immesnse ghostly entirety stretchted out along the middle of the side hovering in either death or sleep beneath the burnt mountains in the frosting forests warming and cooling

Thin rain dripping rain stem-like rain falling like a heavy mist drops of cloud that clouds the air

If these are men of the world than the world is smaller then they let on and they fill it with their egos with their pricks and their silence let me be small with violence

Arthur Koestler and eyes closed feeling the wind in his face the pain in his memories feeling the pain in the wind

Kafka rides a coat but cannot move a note because his coat is stone he cannot move by stone alone

Men who don’t get tired but are always weary men that are not frightening but are always scary men who say they’re men but wonder where their mothers are men who speak of gold but really spout out piss. These men I do not care they are not brave or friendly whereever theiir lain footsteps are I shall not follow gently. Let me not fail as they fail.I’d rather catch a train than a tail

We cats cannot love we cats are alone we are full of pleasure & sadness we are cruel & used we cats cannot make connection we stretch & yawn our teas away we are tired by selfish yearings we care for our kittens but our sloves link away beautifully loved & gone we curl up in comfort where they should be we feel the empty spaces with our sensitive whiskers our tactile feline touch of our drooping species  we are cats we only love the lost things

Poems are perfectly formed pearls of sweat drawn ot from the back darkness of the mind & brought into light

Green a patchness of green going past & brown dots the leaves. Trunks sprint across hedges grow & die in an instant of speed. Grey headers remain uniform with a clear certainly it won’t change befre it does. It is mostly alive with exceptions of the usual collections of dead stone & brick- corpses in a festival- the outline of an absent actor- cosy & unhaming in its’s harmful way- a bed of blemish with sick sleepers silent- it disappeares quicker than it’s built. A margin of leafy men line amoung the footer not waiting but waitful as a presence of patience for a slow performance

Unforgiving tesselated paths set in fields mappa from cords threaded beaded & fashioned through by the long steps back the high short tip-toes now here. Quietening sets of poits pointing to an overcast cressedance forebearing the optimittance of sound. Broken through stillness ordinary unassumed being without trial or harrassed strokes of sun shifting through the lenses of twigs root & wood overround. Here something found the ever-discovering routes of unplicking fruits by ever- grossiping running storage which ends with waking while walking the distance is a long way down off beating paths- the corridor of business for a gardener with an office of space neatly growing in weaving hands stictching the bark to the wood the left to the branch in a green embroided blanket of oath scattered with autumns