Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Rainbow thinking - the only way ahead

I’ve written on this blog a number of times about nothing ever being black and white. I’m convinced that the western world is in the state that it is because of lazy thinking. Fundamentalism, political or religious, is the greatest philosophical danger to humankind; there are no one-word answers to the problems that beset our world. There are rarely simple solutions. Life is much more complicated than a tabloid headline. Unfortunately ‘public debate’ all too often sinks into polarised, lowest common denominator, narrow mindedness. Creating the Promised Land is not as easy as a political sound-bite or any religious teaching might suggest. Economics and indeed life itself are complicated webs. We are in the state that we are in because too many people think in black and white instead of all the colours of the rainbow.

Okay this one is not for the faint-hearted. This video has been at least a year and a half in the making, with some of the content dating back over the last ten years. It’s a slightly surreal video that I hope encapsulates my philosophy of ‘Nothing is ever black and white’. If you only think in black and white then you won't get this video. Even if you don't think in black and white you still might not get it. I've tried to convey a sense of the complexity of life and our existence. I hope I've at least partially achieved that. But of course it might be a load of old tosh and I'm a complete charlatan. If you're looking for the meaning of life you might find this helpful; I think humankind is a long way off finding a reason for life and I suspect a meaning might not even exist. Doubt is the beginning and not the end of wisdom. Scratch beneath the surface to see further than what you might think of as the obvious. Remove your blinkers!

Friday, 19 July 2019

You can never have equality in a world where competition exists

You can never have equality in a world where competition exists. Any competition is a process of grading people by criteria determined by another person or group of people; a form of segregation, a form of elitism.

Competition is the antithesis of equality. Having winners and losers destroys any pretence of equality. Now I’m not saying that we all have to be considered of equal ability in certain skills or attributes. But we don’t need to shout about it, keep league tables on it, award prizes or suggest that some peoples’ achievement makes them better than others. We need to accept, embrace and celebrate our differences. What I'm saying is we all have equal value, equal worth. Just because you have more money than me, you can kick a bag of wind around or just because you have more qualifications than me it doesn’t make you a better person. Competition has infected our whole social structure. It won't be an easy trait to shake off. It governs commerce, education and leisure. But we can do it differently. We just need to use a little imagination. We need to break free from our conditioning.

I realise that a lot of you will be shouting at me saying, ‘you’ve got to have competition otherwise how can you decide things?’, but I say to you, ‘try thinking out of the box’. It doesn’t have to be that way. Of course there will be areas of life where what could be seen as competition will manifest itself. And if the pedantic amongst you (and I might include myself in that number) want to call it competition well I accept that. In the end much of it is semantics. One of the obvious examples in current life where competition exists and might be hard to change is in the job selection process. But if you think of it more as a jigsaw puzzle rather than a game of snakes and ladders then I think you can eradicate the competitive element from it.

If you really desire equality, and I certainly do, we will need to remove competition from all walks of life. You can't say we are all equal and then start measuring people or groups of people and saying some are better than others. That just creates Animal Farm.

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

St George

I took this photo in the William Morris gallery in Walthamstow last month. I love the work of William and his contemporaries but this is actually a pretty ridiculous image. Whilst I'm not big on realism, this sort of impression paints a very wrong image that simpletons love to feed on.

I'm an atheist so I don't approve of religious symbols either but if you are going to feature a historic figure in a picture then it is quite offensive to change that figure's ethnic identity. The geezer that was George came from the Middle East therefore would have had a much darker complexion. The above Northern European looking person is just plain wrong.

Saturday, 20 April 2019


Dosh-hogs are the enemy of the people. They are the 1%, the filthy rich capitalists, the patriarchy that control our lives. We are oppressed by the monied mafioso, there are very few of them in comparison with the rest of us yet we allow them to control us.

A small number of parasites live off the toil of the majority. It needs to change. It's unsustainable and it really can't be right that a few people have vast wealth, have so much and many many more have so little, and too many do not have enough to even survive

Dosh-hogs are greedy, evil, selfish, bastards that have no right to the power that they wield. Neo-liberalism needs to die.

The time has come to push the button.

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

If you fear socialism… don’t really understand it.

I’ve been a socialist all my adult life. For me socialism is the purest form of democracy that any group of people, any collective can have. It is the most equitable form of government you can have.

Just recently the label ‘Marxist’ has been used when referring to Jeremy Corbyn as if it were an insult. The thing is that there is nothing insulting about being a Marxist. I don’t claim to be over knowledgeable about politics but I like to think I know quite a bit more about it than the average person on the Clapham Omnibus.If only we didn’t have a politically illiterate electorate.

To help people out a nice person tweeted a link to a website that houses an explanation of Marxism in 800 words. I read it and thought, ‘yep that pretty much is how I understand it’.

A word of warning if you trot out some tired, worn out old cliche about Socialism and/or Marxism having something to do with deformed one-party states then you’re a complete knob who probably knows fuck all about politics and have no doubt found yourself agreeing with headlines in The Daily Mail (the paper that supported Hitler) on more than one occasion. So do yourself a favour. Educate yourself.

Sunday, 24 March 2019

Taking back control

I thought this seemed appropriate for a #SocialistSunday.

If you really want to take back control there's only one way to do it, and that's to 'get involved’. If you believe in democracy then you need to play your part as best you can. And as best you can isn't just turning up to vote at general elections.

If you really want to take back control you really need to do it through the democratic process. As without the democratic process any control you have will be tenuous and limited.

If Brexit was a protest vote against politicians then it was a spectacularly immature and stupid protest vote. We get the politicians we deserve and if we are ambivalent, ignorant and/or disinterested in politics then we end up with the corrupt, the idiots, the gangsters, the bullies and the inbreds in charge.

Never underestimate the stupidity of the English electorate. They consistently vote in governments that do them harm. Large parts of the electorate would sign their own death warrant if handed to them wrapped in a sugar coated lie.

Sadly we don't yet live in a democracy. There are several things that need to change before we can truly call ourselves a democracy. The obvious thing that needs to change is our way of voting. First past the post is undemocratic and needs to go. Secondly we need to educate people. People need to be capable of critical thinking. They need to understand that “nothing is ever black and white”. If you have a blinkered view of the world how can you make informed choices.

People can't help being stupid. They've been condition to be stupid. The whole system is set up to suppress thinking. They are fed lies in the form of easy to digest bigoted soundbites by the capitalists. They fall for it all.

I was brought up on a council estate. I'm working class. I don't remember a time when I wasn't interested in politics even though I didn't always understand what was going on. I became a socialist at the age of seventeen and have never wavered since. I know that we will never achieve a fair, just and equitable socialist society until the working class have been educated so that they are equipped to make informed choices. The state aren't going to do it so as a movement we should. We will never have a socialist society until that happens.

I rarely apologise for my arrogance in calling stupid people stupid. Sometimes one has to tell it like it is. The trouble with stupid people is they don't realise that they are stupid because, yes you guessed it, they are stupid. The working class will only ever free themselves when they learn how to do so.

Friday, 22 March 2019

The Cornish Bakery Cheese and Sugar Scones

What kind of weirdo adds sugar when making cheese scones? Sugar?

Well The Cornish Bakery think it’s acceptable.

A little while ago we had a couple of cheese scones from The Cornish Bakery in Southwold. We didn’t eat them in Southwold but ‘ate’ them later at home in Norwich. I say ate but in reality very little was consumed. On first biting into them you could tell that they had an awful lot of sugar in them. They would have been very sweet even for sweet scones. But high sugar content with cheese just tasted vile. Utterly vile. My partner took one bite and said ‘they’ve got sugar in them’ and being a diabetic didn’t eat any more. I got a bit further. I don’t like to waste food so ate several bites but in the end I just had to give up. It was hardly practical to take them back to the shop so I complained via Twitter. Apart from gleaning that they do actually have sugar in their recipe, a brief apology and them asking for my email address I have heard no more. No offer to refund our money. Very poor customer service.

I’ve consulted several recipes to make sure it is not me that’s out of step, but none of them suggest putting sugar in them. No wonder we have a problem with obesity, type two diabetes and other sugar related problems when companies do this sort of thing.

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Art competitions

I know I bang on about competition a lot but I really do feel it is the essence of what is wrong with society.

If you're an artist then entering an art competition is the equivalent of sleeping with the enemy or selling your soul to the devil.

You can't judge art. There is no such thing as good or bad art.It's not a measurable thing, but by entering a competition you are helping to perpetuate the myth that you can. You are just adding fuel to the art as a commodity industry. Those that buy and sell art for large sums have no appreciation of aesthetics. For all they care a piece of art could just be a gold plated dog turd. They are only interested in its perceived value and money making potential.

Those in power remain so by dividing a society. The art 'elite’ do exactly the same by creating judgements and notions about what constitutes good, not quite as good and bad art. They have absolutely no authority to so.

Art and the desire to create are very healthy human traits. Competition is the opposite. Competition stifles creativity. Competition is about ‘getting one over on someone else’. All competition divides people.

Like is not a value judgement. Art is in the eye of the beholder. Art is subjective.Trying to judge art is as morally wrong as the holding of beauty contests or boxing matches, etc. etc. Collaborating with those that organise them is a betrayal!

Monday, 4 March 2019

Shameless self-promotion

The trouble is it rarely is shameless. As a self-effacing introvert, promoting my art and the artist is never an easy task. It always seems wrong somehow. It's very difficult to shout, “look at me, look at my stuff”. It makes me feel sordid or unclean. But I force myself to do it. I suppose because if I don't who the hell will?

Something that took me almost sixty years to acquire is a self belief in my art. Still don't have a self belief in me, but my belief in my art is now unshakeable. Which is why I persist with trying to tell people about my work.

I would also like to thank all those that share my work on social media in the way of reposts etc. I am eternally grateful for all the kind people who take the trouble to pass my art on. I probably don’t thank those people enough, to my everlasting shame.

Wednesday, 27 February 2019


All of humankind's problems can be directly attributable to one cause, competition. I'm sure many would question this and some would say 'what about avarice?’ It is true that greed appears to drive so much of the ills we experience but I would argue that even greed is driven by what is intrinsically the essence of competition. The desire to triumph over the next person. Competition is about categorising people as winners or losers. Victors and also rans. It divides people. It creates a lot of waste.

The various forms of competition (including war, capitalism, nationalism, sport, awards, honours etc etc) all create division. Think of all the energy that goes into competing/fighting with each other, and for what?

You don't need competition to create or innovate. You just need capacity of thought. Imagination.

Competition forces people to have a very narrow field of vision, focusing on narrow, narrow-minded goals rather seeing the bigger picture.

The long term survival of the human race will require understanding, harmony, solidarity, compromise and most importantly cooperation.