Monthly Archives: April 2016

Poor Hurts

I’ve been reworking song lyrics again.  This time it’s Love Hurts that gets the treatment.  If you don’t know the song, Gram and Emmylou’s version is embedded at the bottom.

Poor hurts, poor scars
Poor wounds and mars
Any heart not tough
Nor strong enough

To take a lot of pain
Take a lot of pain
Poor is like a dead weight
Holds holds you like a chain

Poor hurts
Mmm mmm, poor hurts

You’re only poor
‘Cause they are rich
The time will come
To make a switch

It’s time to learn a lot
Time to learn a lot
Standing hand in hand
We won’t accept our lot

Poor hurts
Mmm mmm poor hurts

Power towers crumble into dust
‘Cause they must, yes they must
Some fools fool themselves, I guess
But they’re not fooling me

I know it isn’t true
Know it isn’t true
This is all we get
Caps off to the few

Poor hurts
Mmm mmm poor hurts
Poor hurts
Mmm mmm poor hurts

Cereal Killer: in defence of criticism

bella1Some of the completely unnecessary rubbish thrown at Mike Small, following his publication of “Eat Your Cereal” on Sunday, is the impetus behind me writing this. I’ve written on this subject before and thought there was nothing more to say but, no, some of the half-baked nonsense that I have read in relation to Mike’s article means that I’m back here again.

First of all, let’s get something straight. Not every criticism of the SNP is anti-SNP. Friends criticise each other. We wouldn’t be very good friends if we didn’t. In the run up to the referendum in 2014, we had a shared vision. It was plural, diverse, contradictory, a bit scary, but it was ours. The defeat was our defeat and we all felt it, deeply. We almost made it but almost wasn’t enough.

We should all be very proud of what we achieved, the rebirth of democratic engagement in Scotland on a scale I haven’t seen in my lifetime (and I’ve been around a bit) and it was all of us, with our friends and families, in old organisations and new, all of us, working together towards a common purpose, that got us this far.

Since the referendum things have changed. “Politics as usual” has been resumed and it’s narrow. It’s point-scoring. It’s binary. It’s trying to put that big vision in a box that can’t contain it. It doesn’t belong in a box. You’ll break it if you try. One party cannot contain indy. It couldn’t contain the indy movement in the run-up to 2014, so why should it now.

Let’s take an analogy. Two phrases I remember from school report cards – “could do better” and “easily distracted”. The is the essence of most pro-indy criticism of SNP policy. Just as my teachers weren’t anti-me, articles like Mike’s aren’t anti-SNP. They are challenging the SNP to be better, to go further, to remember the vision and not be cowed by the political establishment.

I don’t do party loyalty. I’m a member of RISE because it best reflects my ideas and aspirations but I willy happily criticise if I have to. I will even walk away if I have to. The party reflects the idea; it isn’t the idea. The party and the movement are only vehicles. We must be prepared to adapt, improve, even discard if we need to, in order to reach the goal.

This is a long-game but one which can’t wait. Every step matters and people are in need now. I spent the ’80s and early ’90s waiting for a Labour government would make things bette. I held my nose and voted Labour and all we got was Blair, Brown and the Iraq War. Seasoned politicians took us for granted and gave us nothing back.  I will not vote on that basis again.

Let’s be bold. It’s time for us to tell our politicians what we want, not to be limited by what they say is possible. In the words of Robb Johnson: “Be reasonable and demand the impossible now!”.

To conclude, I remember the hope, standing on top of Calton Hill in 2013, singing the the Freedom Come All Ye alongside everyone else. Let’s take these words as our inspiration.

calton1

Sae come aa ye at hame wi freedom
Never heed whit the houdies croak for Doom
In yer hous aa the bairns o Aidam
Will fin breid, barley-bree an paintit room
Whan MacLean meets wi’s friens in Springburn
Aa thae roses an geeans will turn tae blume
An a black laud frae yont Nyanga
Dings the fell gallows o the burghers doun.

The Ghost of ’85

In 1985, at the Labour Party conference in Bournemouth, Neil Kinnock stood up and launched an attack on Liverpool City Council.  This was the council who had stood up and defied Thatcher and Tory cuts, with the consistent backing of local people.  Kinnock’s words and deeds will be remembered amongst the worst betrayals in British Labour history.

How fitting then to parody his words and reflect on what my local council has done recently.  Just over a month ago it announced £91 million pounds of ‘savings’ were to be made.  In real terms this means 2000 jobs and massive cuts to services.  To them, I dedicate the following:

I’ll tell you what happens with broken promises. You start with passive obedience.  This is then pickled into complacency, and a sense of entitlement, and you go through the years sticking to that, out-dated, mis-placed, irrelevant to the real needs, and you end in the ridiculous spectacle of Labour councillors – Labour councillors – protesting outside their own meeting before they then go in and slash public services

militant-rally-465-570408779

Liverpool fights Thatcher

 

Friends of Dunfermline

Community Led Regeneration

Friends of Pilmuir Works

Turning a Local Liability into a Community Asset

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Everything written on here are my own personal opinions. They are not in anyway to be confused with the opinions and ideology of any of the organisations I am a member of, whether it is my union, party or any other group or organisations.

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