You can bank on it! By Trevor Plumbly

Hard cash I wonder where the guy got his inspiration when he announced that ‘money was the root of all evil’? Maybe he’d been mugged or something. Lack of the stuff certainly clouded my childhood: having a few bob was the birth-right of the upper and middle classes, along with decent housing, education, clothing and food, whilst lack of it sentenced the rest of us poor sods to struggle. Growing up like that makes it hard not to be cynical about money; like religion and democracy it’s OK if it’s properly dealt… Read More

After the gold rush by Trevor Plumbly

‘Helpless, helpless’ (Neil Young) Neil was scarcely boy-next-door material; he looked like someone had abandoned him in a doorway: overlong hair and a face that charity would describe as ‘lived in’. But the guy could write! He was the high priest of the folk/druggie followers (see ‘The needle and the damage done’). Vocally he wasn’t much, but then neither were the others; the message was more important than the melody. They were heady times with newly discovered drugs, rights, sexual freedom and social wrongs to identify with, from racial discrimination to nuclear… Read More

Historical bias by Susan Grimsdell

The British perspective Sometimes I wonder if kids in every Commonwealth country were taught the same history in school – British history.  I grew up in Canada and yes, we did learn a bit about Canadian history, mainly focusing on how brave the British were, to fight against the Indian “savages”, and how wonderful it was that they won and now look at our fantastic country.  Mostly we had to learn about the kings and queens of England.  It wasn’t until I left school that I learned the real history of Canada… Read More

Let’s have a real Labour government by Susan Grimsdell

Faults of the free market Although most so-called conspiracies are fake, some are actually true.  One of these concerns a group of wealthy and influential people (as it was 1947, I’m probably safe to say “men”) who met after the war and formed the Mont Pelerin Society.  They conspired to promote the idea that the free market should dominate all aspects of society with individual  liberty being the main and only guiding principle.  They wanted to transform every aspect of life into an unrestrained marketplace where everything had a price, private enterprise… Read More

Those against – a few thoughts on protest by Trevor Plumbly

I’m musing. (I love that word! It makes me sound creative). I’m musing about protest. Lots of folk don’t like protest, it makes them uncomfortable, they prefer the illusion of ‘seeing the big picture’, but others put their dignity and safety on the line in open displays of defiance. During my school years, protest of any sort was a punishable offence, but in my teens I did dabble with the anti-brigade, by joining the ‘Ban the Bomb’ movement and getting arrested for my trouble. Other than that, it was fairly comfortable: the… Read More