Helpless by Trevor Plumbly

Helpless, Helpless (Neil Young) There’s more than tragedy and anger to consider after the events in Paris. A horrifying door’s been opened and as in the past the zealots, the misguided and those that feel disenfranchised will pour through it. This new breed of war doesn’t need army casualties or land occupation to measure progress, it operates on the basis that whilst terror itself doesn’t actually kill, it destroys communities and the fabric of that binds them. Terrorism isn’t a modern concept, consider the Spanish Inquisition, the Nazi purification measures during the… Read More

The Home Front by Trevor Plumbly

A New Order The sound of marching soldiers signals the beginning of Karl Jenkins’ haunting work ‘The Armed Man’, or ‘The Mass for Peace’; in its way the sound is far more poignant than the music and choral work that follows. Just marching boots, but in their way seeming to ask age old questions. Marching for what? Duty? Or towards what? The dream of a better, safer world, or defeat? The practice of soldiers actually marching into battle is somewhat redundant these days, as is the idea of ‘going to war’. War,… Read More

I Always Feel Like Somebody’s Watching Me by Emily Smart

Your Facebook status – is it really of national importance? I was going to write a post about spying, networks, Prisms and privacy, but I’m not sure I’m in possession of all the pertinent facts. I’m a little bit mystified as to why everybody is up in arms about this. Are we really surprised that intelligence agencies follow us on social media sites? Poor buggers is all I can say. How boring can it be reading the ordinariness of people with ordinary lives? I won’t name and shame, but here’s a selection… Read More

Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp by Angela Caldin

Have you ever wondered, as I have, why the infamous US detention camp is on the island of Cuba in the first place, given that the two nations are enemies? How did the place where the beautiful guantanamera of song originates come to be chosen as the site of the prison for the hundreds of so-called enemy combatants who were picked up by the US in the wake of 9/11? And have you ever wondered why so many of them are still there even though they have been cleared for release? Why… Read More