Thursday, 5 April 2012

People After Profit

They Govern in the interests of Capitalist profit
The UK Coalition government knows how capitalism works –it runs on profits, so priority must be given to profitability and profit-making. It’s written all over their economic policies and was confirmed in last month’s budget.
The only way capitalism gets out of a slump is when profit-making opportunities reappear. When they do, “growth” resumes. This means that, in a slump, any government must not do anything that will adversely affect profitability and profit-making prospects. Just the opposite, it must encourage these. That is, if it is going to do anything. Another option is to simply let spontaneous economic forces operate to restore profitability, as through unprofitable firms going bust and their assets passing cheaply to their rivals and increased unemployment pushing down wages.
Job Centres with Nothing to Offer
A government can help restore profitability in two ways. It can reduce taxes on profits. In the budget, for the second year running, the Chancellor announced a cut in corporation tax, a direct tax on profits. This reduces government revenue, which means that it has to cut back on some of its other spending, as the present government is doing with a vengeance, forcing local councils to reduce public amenities and slashing payments to those who can’t find or who are unable to work. With more to come.
The second way a government can help restore profitability is to reinforce the downward pressures that mass unemployment exerts on wage levels.  Two recently announced measures openly proclaim this as their aim.
The Chancellor confirmed that national pay bargaining for public sector workers is to be replaced by regional bargaining on the grounds that the present system results in wage levels in some regions being too high, so high that to attract workers employers have to pay higher wages than otherwise. The aim of regional pay bargaining is to reduce wages –and so boost profitability –in areas of the country where public service workers are considered to be overpaid.

The minimum wage is to go up in October but by only half the rate of price increases. So, it’s going to be reduced in real terms. For those under 21, the rate is not going to be increased at all. Business Secretary Vince Cable justified this on the grounds that it would make it easier for young people to get a job.  That the lower wage is aimed at boosting the profit prospects of firms employing workers on the minimum wage.

But what about taxes on the rich that have also been announced? That’s a side-show. “Tycoon taxes”, “Mansion Taxes” and the like are not taxes on profits, but taxes on the consumption of the capitalist class. A government can safely increase them in a slump as they don’t affect profitability. This even has the political advantage of allowing them to justify the austerity measures imposed on the rest of the population as “fair” as even the rich are affected.
They enjoy the spoils of our ruined lives under the profit system
It is true, though, as the Labour Opposition has been quick to point out, that this propaganda ploy has been rather undermined by the government’s reduction of the rate of tax on incomes over £150,000 from 50 to 45 percent, supposedly to attract overseas businesspeople to come to invest in Britain. But, as the traditional party of the rich, the Tories can’t clobber their clientele too much.
There is no alternative under capitalism.
As long as capitalism lasts all governments have to pursue a policy of giving priority to profits. Profits before people is the rule. It’s why we need World Socialism.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

The Shoulders of Giants

In my view we are all standing on the shoulders of giants. 
But ‘the giants’ are only a reflection of our collective Humanity.  For example, one of my main interests, as you may know, is in a positive attitude towards the future and the potential modification of world society through revolutionary change and the re-making of History.  But I wasn’t born with those ideas – far from it.  In fact, my childhood development was founded upon being part of a loving working-class, Catholic, quite socially Conservative family who were originally slightly horrified by how I’ve turned out. 
Picture of Albert Camus, author of L'Etranger (The Outsider, The Stranger) and The Plague (La Peste); French literature, twentieth century
Albert Camus
But my folks were doing what they thought was right at the time.  And they were right at the time and we now still get along as well as we ever did.  Mum and Dad were always social thinkers.  Dad knew something was going on when I kept him up all night over a glass of Whiskey in 1981 arguing that ‘The Outsider’ by Albert Camus was the best book in the literary canon. 

Only for me to bounce back the following week with a thorough-going critical defence of Satre’s ‘Age of Reason’ trilogy.  That was my 'Existentialist' phase. 
Jean Paul Satre

Dad implored me to pay attention at school, read ‘Ireland’s Own' and go to Mass.  Of course I knew best!  All this was before I ran into Karl Marx and William Morris.
Paul Weller posing with my Scooter
Artists are standing on the shoulders of giants.   For example, Paul Weller put out a brilliant album called ’22 Dreams’ - it is flawless in my view.  But not many have picked up on the fact that the title track is simply an exercise in plagiarising The Electric Prunes.  

Meanwhile, my classic song ‘Hairy Ned’ is about a character I know from Slacky Lane, but the origins of this piece song go back much further.  Lots of years ago I picked up an album called ‘Scoop’, it was a collection of demos and out-takes recorded by Pete Townshend.  When getting ‘Hairy Ned’ together it seemed natural to borrow the chords from Townshend’s long forgotten classic ‘Mary’ from the aborted WHO 'Lifehouse' project which I’d always loved and tried to master.  Check it here -   
Hairy Ned preparing to be Best Man at the wedding of No Toes Percy and Samantha

The same sentiments hold true for my song ‘On the Bombsite’.  Since I was 13 I was mad on The Small Faces and they were on Immediate records which was a small and pioneering Independent label owned by Andrew Loog-Oldham who also managed The Rolling Stones for a time. 

The Bombsite
The association with The Small Faces ensured I picked up everything on Immediate.  A consequence of this was my acquaintance with Duncan Browne and his very obscure number – you’ve guessed it – ‘On the Bombsite’.  Have a listen and see how much of a rip off merchant I am!

While I'm at it you may as well know that 'Friday Means a Funeral' lifts its' main line from Tom Waits' 'In the Neighbourhood'

Thomas Allan Waits
Tom Waits has always been one of my heroes.  I don't talk about him much because for some reason it makes me sad when I think about him.  But I do love him very much indeed.  When I was starting off with The Cudgels it is well documented that Tom Waits was probably my biggest lyrical influence.

The way he constructed songs perplexed some people but not me - he is a non-musical musician but his music is timeless and actually very complex and concomitantly simple.  I'll probably have a Tom Waits song played at my funeral.  I used to play his records all the time and I had ALL his albums.  My family just got used to it and even Uncle Joe became a big fan - the Finstall Mount Hotel used to swing to Tom Waits!  Swordfishtrombones, Rain Dogs and Blue Valentine were the best.  'Kentucky Avenue' from Blue Valentine is one of the greatest songs ever written.  I think he is a GENIUS and a musical pioneer.  The music for 'Friday Means a Funeral' is a combination of 'In the Neighbourhood' and 'Sheep' by The Housemartins.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Brand New Start

Regular followers of my blog will know I am a very avid admirer of the CHANGINGMAN - also known as The MODFATHER.  Also known as Paul Weller - Punk Prince, Mod Mandarin and Britpop Buddy.  I've NEVER met Mr Weller in the flesh - they say ... "Don't meet your heroes."  And in this case I would like to keep it real.  Today I wonder what he had for breakfast this morning?  As I have done every day since early 1977.

Paul wrote a beautiful song called BRAND NEW START and it means alot to me.

See here:

Sunday, 13 November 2011


A Towering Socialist thinker - Hardy is one of my political heroes.  He was a massive influence within the Socialist Party of Great Britain - the SPGB - during the 20th Century.  But at the end of each day, as he stated himself, he was merely an 'ordinary member' of a leaderless political party of equals.

Edgar Hardcastle—or Hardy as he was simply known in the Party gave a great input into the Party particularly to the Socialist Standard, serving on the editorial committee for over thirty years and contributing articles from the early 1920s onwards. He was also a member of the Executive Committee for decades and a Party lecturer and representative in debates as well as serving on the new pamphlets committee.
Edgar Hardcastle
The son of a founder member, he went to prison as a socialist conscientious objector in the First World War, formally joining the Party in 1922. After studying at the London School of Economics under Professor Edwin Cannan he worked all his life as a researcher in the trade union movement, first for the Agriculture Workers Union, then for a short while for the international trade union movement in Brussels, then till his retirement for the Post Office workers' union where he was chief adviser to a succession of UPW General Secretaries.

Hardy had the reputation of being a “theoretician” of Marxian economics but in fact he was something different and rarer in the socialist movement: a person who combined a wide knowledge of Marxian economics with a knowledge of the contemporary empirical evidence.

Hardy's main interest was monetary economics. From the 1930s on, as his articles testify, he did battle against Keynes on behalf of Marx and also, more curiously it might be thought, on behalf of his old professor, Cannan. Edwin Cannan, a largely forgotten bourgeois economist of the first part of this century (he died in 1935), could be described as the last of the Classical Political Economists and, as such, shared with Marx certain economic views. In particular that inflation was a purely monetary phenomenon caused by an excessive issue of an inconvertible paper currency and that banks were merely financial intermediaries without any power to “create credit”. Both of these positions were denied by Keynes whose views became part of the economic orthodoxy.


Hardy’s empirical bent enabled the Party to refute, with the necessary statistical evidence, theories which have sometimes been attributed to Marx such as under-consumptionism, the increasing pauperisation of the working class, the collapse of capitalism (Hardy was the author of the famous 1932 Socialist Party pamphlet Why Capitalism Will Not Collapse) and—more controversially within the Party—the increasing severity of crises.  I am certain Hardy was absolutely right on that issue.


It was a pitiful business that towards the end of his life, Hardy found himself a member of a branch which was expelled by a poll of all the membership (the only way anyone can be excluded from the SPGB) for deliberately and repeatedly refusing to apply a democratically-arrived-at Conference decision. This was a sad end to a lifetime’s contribution to the development of the socialist movement.

Remembrance Day

I doubt there is not one family touched somehow by the ravages of war during the last 100 years - and for many before.  And we should remember all the fallen with respect - but take seriously the notion it should never be that way again.  The shibboleth that they fought so we may be free is partly true - but only after we liberate world society from the heavy yoke of the irrational capitalist system will we ever truly liberate humanity.

The ribbons arrayed the honours displayed
The medals jingling on parade
Echo of battles long ago
But they’re picking sides for another go.

The martial air, the vacant stare
The oft-repeated pointless prayer
“Peace oh’ Lord on earth below”
Yet they’re picking sides for another go.

The clasped hands, the pious stance
The hackneyed phrase “Somewhere in France”
The eyes downcast as bugles blow
Still they’re picking sides for another go.

Symbol of death the cross-shaped wreath
The sword is restless in the sheath
As children pluck where poppies grow
They’re picking sides for another go.

Have not the slain but died in vain?
The hoardings point, “Prepare again”
The former friend a future foe?
They’re picking sides for another go.

I hear Mars laugh at the cenotaph
Says he, as statesmen blow the gaff
“Let the Unknown Warriors flame still glow”
For they’re picking sides for another go.

A socialist plan the world would span
Then man would live in peace with man
Then wealth to all would freely flow
And want and war we would never know.

J. Boyle 1971

Monday, 10 October 2011

Cornish Panties?

For a good old laugh along with the Two Ronnies check out the link to their funny sketch - 'The Confusing Shopping List'.  See here:

or here:

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Forward 4 Wiz

Wiz - Second Left
Darren ‘Wiz’ Brown was a singer-songwriter with an intense passion for sound. Fronting the successful globe-trotting Mega City Four, he went on to write and play with Therapy? and Canada’s Doughboys, to name but a few.

In the late 90s Wiz formed Serpico, and then Ipanema, achieving international acclaim for the powerful and heartfelt rock music he wrote.

On 6th December 2006, Wiz tragically passed away after collapsing at a band rehearsal, suffering a haemorrhage on the brain stem. He played, wrote and aspired to the last.

The Forward 4 Wiz Trust was set up in April 07 in memory of Wiz’s inspirational approach to music and to life. Always striving forward, the trust has taken Wiz’s attitude and applied it to what he loved most. New music.

I admired and liked WIZ as a person and Miles Apart by the Mega City Four sort of sums him up!  I remember WIZ with a tear in my eye when hear it:

See here:

The aims of the trust are to assist, mentor and educate musicians to further themselves, both in writing and promotional terms, to inspire to aspire. f4Wt aims to do this in several ways; educate musicians in ways of promotion and good practice, mentor through the minefields of a musical career, from recording a demo, getting gigs and rehearsal rooms to record deals, touring, and the pitfalls of legalities. The trust also aims to financially assist needy musicians and bands where it’s needed most, at grassroots.

Please support the Forward 4 Wiz Trust!

And give some talented kids a chance to live their dream!

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Happy Birthday Dad!

Today my Dad, Davies the Pipe, is 70 years of age. 

We'll be celebrating this milestone in Walsall tonight. 

When you realise your Dad is 70 it sort of makes one wise up.  You see,  being a rascally type of person has not really ever been in my nature. 

And I could never have been described a thorough going bounder or toerag, either.  But I have always known how to quietly, and sometimes less so, hold and impart my own counsel, not least in the court of public opinion.  This is largely due to the influence of my father, Davies the Pipe.  My best pal and my only hero.

Happy Birthday Dad!

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Mike from They Go Boom!!

As a boy of 12 years I took up what has turned out to be a lifelong pastime.  That is playing the guitar in a fairly rudimentary fashion and setting words to the pleasing chord progressions I can muster.
It is a truism that I often say to young people... “if you have a musical instrument then you will always have a friend.”  What I mean by this is, unlike say my pipe, which is a valued companion whenever I hit the road or anywhere else for that matter, the musician will always find other kindred spirits and concomitantly other musicians will seek to check one out.  Bert Weedon’s ‘Play in a Day’ has stood me in better stead than any of the idiotic teachers I had talk down to me at school.

Bert Weedon - Play in a Day
Whilst thinking of friends made through music there are many and varied characters.  One of the most interesting I have ever sauntered across is the almost legendary ‘Mike from They Go Boom!!’. To hear 'Someday Soon' by They Go Boom!! see here:
They Go Boom!! was formed in Margate by Mike Innes and his friend Daryl Smith sometime in the late 1980’s.  They specialised in making fantastic pop music in Daryl’s spare room using electronic instruments bought from Woolworths.  Mike also had a legendary fanzine which was produced on a semi-regular basis – it went by the name of ‘PHEW! WOW!’ – named after an old song by the Farmers Boys.
Mike and Daryl - They Go Boom!!
There are many tales of jolly japes I could regale my loyal readership with, but many of the stories are fart ‘oo embarrassing.  We didn't always see eye to eye, which is one of my reasons for enjoying Mike's company.  Once he refused to speak to me for nearly six months because I disliked a song by the awful twee band BRIGHTER which he adored.  Then there was a major row over whether Ann-Mari from the Field Mice had a big bum (or not). Another time he fell off a coach with me and my brother after a serious discussion about the merits of Belgium, which we had just visited.  Thus, the Davies brothers were required, sans Parka and penniless, to spend the night huddled in Margate shop doorways and on the beach.  I will, however, elaborate further on the world of They Go Boom!! and all their pals in due course.

Friday, 2 September 2011

I Can See for Miles

See Here:

This is THE WHO.  See Above.

And even though it is on some Balls Ache of a Swedish telly programme.  THE WHO always gave their all.  I dig some of those swedes and their outfits.

The drummer was called Keith Moon.

I Love Them.  I think the WHO are the best band ever created.  Because they defied definition.  They were Mods, and then they played rock better than anyone - and because... well I don't know. 

I briefly met Pete Townshend once.   I said "God Bless you Pete".  And he replied... "But you don't believe in him do you.  You should believe in me!"

Friday, 26 August 2011

Social and Political Decadence

At present, society is in deadlock. The capitalist class have no perspective to offer society other than even more of that which is causing the problems. And for its part the working class has been unable to implement its own historic solution to the contradictions of capitalist society – World Socialism.

The result of this situation, which has pertained since the beginnings of the profit system, on the political field is a form of stalemate. At the level of society as a whole, the descent of capitalism is not just into political decadence, but a very real social decadence too. Society does indeed seem to be rotting on its feet, and nobody is able to do anything to stop it.

This putrefying of capitalism's social basis and codes has taken on a number of forms, all of which are symptomatic of a society which is, to paraphrase, "ill at ease with itself". Here are some of the most obvious manifestations of capitalism's social decadence:

The Myth of Empowerment and the reality of State Power
The ongoing break-up of community relationships and the atomisation of the individual. This has been particularly characterised by the development of a competitive "everyone for themselves" culture as the dominant one in society, and by the appearance and consolidation of seemingly unbridgeable generation gaps.
NOT a packet of SMARTIES!

The massive explosions of casual drug taking and nihilistic bachanallia, phenomena which were once peripheral or isolated in pockets of society, but which are now generalised throughout the market economy. Drug culture and youth culture are now virtually synonymous.

The increase in violence and social disorder, spurred on by the horror and violence infecting the media, which influences children and young people. And then the re-appearance of mass rioting.

The worst of these riots, such as in Los Angeles (and recently London), have turned major cities at the heart of capitalism into uncontrollable zones.

This is London - August 2nd 2011
The continuing, if not increasing political vacuity of the capitalist class which has been mirrored in the rise of a vacuous, nihilistic "no future" culture among large sections of young dispossessed workers who see no progress and no hope beyond their pint glass or next 'hit'.

The massive corruption of capitalism's political apparatus, which is particularly evident in Britain with the succession of 'sleaze' scandals, but which is in fact a feature of the modem nation state virtually across the globe, from the US to France to Japan (let alone in Africa or Latin America).

The revival of religious fundamentalism, creationism and the spread of mystical and New Age sects, this being based on a loss of confidence in science and human progress together with a general rejection of rational thought and problem solving.

• Lastly, though certainly not least, heightened nationalism, racism and inter-ethnic violence, engendered and encouraged by the rampant competition eating away at the social fabric of society.

The BNP may be a small rump of know-nothing idiots - but racist nationalism is alive and well in Britain

It is in these ways that capitalism is undermining the principles and continued existence of collective life.

Social decadence has followed on from political decadence and all the signs are that it will continue and probably deepen, for there are few if any forces or tendencies within capitalism operating in the opposite direction.

Filling the prisons is no long-term solution on many grounds, not least of which is cost, and no government following this line has yet really succeeded in reversing the process which the market has started.

None of the TV evangelising by the ridiculous David Cameron and his contemptuous posh lackeys or political appeals to "family values" are likely to succeed either as the very continued existence of capitalism and the forces it has unleashed make that near impossible. Appealing to some sort of higher morality or set of values within the context of the market is clutching at straws, a long way from a considered and practical response to the problems we face.

If the social decadence infecting society is to be overturned it has to be tackled at source – and that means the abolition of the market and the poisonous relationships which spring from it..

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Dave Cameron : Not My Crisis

The Politicians tell us 'We are All In it Together' in 'Our Country'.  Meanwhile, it seems some people are immune to the effects of the ongoing systemic collapse of capitalism.

The Bullingdon Club - Can you recognise Anyone?

The Bullingdon Club is a socially exclusive student dining club at Oxford University. The club has no permanent rooms and is notorious for its members' wealth and destructive binges.  Membership is by invitation only, and prohibitively expensive for most, given the need to pay for the uniform, dinners and damages.

David Cameron watches the action between England and India on the second day of the fourth test match at The Oval (Pic: AFP)
Clueless: Ex Bullington Boy Cameron Goes to the Cricket while UK Capitalism Crumbles
Take Prime Minister David Cameron for instance: this hard boiled Millionare Capitalist Politician thought it uneccesary to break his holiday at his Tuscan Villa as the streets of London fell into riot and arson.  He latterly panicked, realising his political legitimacy was declining further and hot-footed back to Westminster at the behest of his party chairman Zaida Warzi. His Chancellor, the Millionaire ex-Bullingdon Clubber Gideon Osbourne was even less inclined to return from a lucrative break in California, until it became clear that the global economic system had gone beyond 'meltdown', and he was obliged to give an explanation to a recalled Parliament
 And the ex-Bullingdon Clubbing buffoon of a London Mayor, Millionaire Boris Johnson claimed from his Italian holiday with the crooked Silvio Burlusconi that he had every confidence in the police to deal with the situation on 'his' London streets.  Until the utterly impotent reaction of the Metropolitan Police to the riots and looting in London embarrassed an already vacuous political class.

Most people realise this UK Coalition Government of Tory and Liberal nondescripts, and the ludicrously inept so-called Labour Opposition offer nothing for ordinary people in the 21st Century.   These know-nothing, do-nothing political clowns and arrogant toffs can be swept away - and indeed they will be. 

We have the vote - we have a voice - and we have an alternative! It is a leaderless, stateless, moneyless, truly democratic World in Common in which all citizens of the world will be free.  We don't have to put up with the Status Quo - we have a world to win! 

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Rest in Peace Amy

I first heard about the late Amy Winehouse via an interview she gave to the Observer newspaper in 2004.  She came across as a feisty and voluptuous wee temptress and I thought that's the type of woman for me!  I immediately obtained her brilliant debut album 'Frank' and subsequently the incredible follow-up 'Back to Black'.  They are both classics.  Amy greatly amused me at a concert she gave in 2007 in Birmingham when many of the seated and besuited Guardian reading types put down their programmes and walked out en masse due to the allegedly sloppy performance.  Amy said..."Oh Boo me if you must!" And then launched into a ska medley.  I was dancing in the mosh-pit and thought it was brilliant.

The news of her death today at the age of 27 is a tragedy for her loved ones and my heart goes out to them.

To watch Amy performing the Marvin Gaye classic 'I Heard it through the Grapevine' with the Modfather... See here:

Amy gave so much pleasure to so many people, perhaps much to her own cost.

And a beautiful 'Don't go to Strangers' with the Modfather:

They wanted you to go to rehab but you said NO NO NO!

Amy Winehouse models her new Fred Perry line

Rest in peace sweetheart.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Nothings Too Much Trouble

The genius of the Two Ronnies meets the angst of the Man in the Sweet Shop.

See here for a rollocking old laugh:

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Happy Jack

The foursome of Keith Moon, John Entwistle, Peter Dennis Blandford Townshend and Roger Harry Daltrey have had a profound impact upon my life.  Since I was 12 the 'ORRIBLE 'OO were the best thing that happened to me.  I learned to play guitar in the Townshend style and analysed his often wild lyrics with glee.  I came to the conclusion that Pete Townshend is a creative genius, but not only that it is a trusim that Moon, Entwistle and Daltrey were masters of the game.  If you don't believe me ask Irish Jack.

I have all their records and hope to carry them with me wherever I go.

See Here:

Sunday, 3 July 2011

The Rag 'n' Bone Man

I live in the English West Midlands, North of Birmingham, on the cusp of Staffordshire and in an area known as 'The Black Country'.  Lately, it has been impossible not to note the rise of early morning cries of 'OLD IRON' and horns blowing in my direction in that regard.

This morning, Quigsy had an appointment with the local Priest and as she took my buggy off the driveway to get upon her way she managed to avoid a pony and trap, with one adult, one lad, and a young child sat upon.  'OLD IRON'!  They cried.

And well they might.  An old working class uncle of mine has laughed about the quaint return of the TATTERS, TINKERS and HAWKERS - well I don't think it is funny at all.

It is a disgraceful indictment of a so-called civilised society that very enterprising and useful people have to sell their energies and dignity for a few pieces of scrap metal.

The Capitalist ruling class will never have to beg or hawk - at least not until we put a stop to their personal corruption and theft of our labour and dignity.  It will be my wish until I die that the Rag 'n' Bone man has the last laugh along with all the other workers of the world.

ANY OLD IRON? NO THANKS!  We have a world to win and nothing to lose but our chains.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Push it Along!

It might not be everyone's cup of tea but it seems to me the Modfather still cuts it in his dotage.  Hats off to Mr Weller from Davies the Pipe Jnr.

See here:

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

MPs Pensions NOT Under Threat

Money is the Cause of Poverty
Both Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs had, before the 2010 UK General Election, emphasised their belief that MPs pensions were too generous and should be reformed. What has actually happened since the election?

They raised the retirement age for women and men to 66. As a result 4.5 million people will have to wait longer than expected before they can pick up their state pension. Some women will receive their state pension almost two years later than they had expected.

What about the reforms to MPs pensions?

They continue to reward themselves with up to one fortieth of their final salary for every year’s service if they contribute 11.9 per cent of their salary. This reduces to one fiftieth if they pay in 7.9 per cent and one sixtieth if they pay in 5.9 per cent. An MP could work for just 15 years and build up a £24,000 pension, based on his salary of £65,738. A worker in the private sector would have to build up a pension pot of £700,000 over a lifetime to get the same income at age 65. MPs’ spouses also receive generous benefits when their husband or wife dies – including a lump-sum worth four times their annual salary and an income of five eights of their pension. In 2008 the state contribute three times more to MPs pensions than its members did themselves.
More than a third of UK Pensioners Live Below the Poverty Line
MPs are still discussing recommendations made by the Senior Salaries Review Board last summer. This recommended moving from a final salary pension to a less generous one based on career average, and increasing MPs’ pension age from 65 to 68. It also said their pension should be built up more slowly. By dilly-dallying over reforming their own pensions while taking swift and punitive measure over everyone else’s (including replacing the RPI link with CPI) MPs have revealed once again that whatever their political colours their prime cause is feathering their own nest. The hypocrisy of our MPs would appear to know no bounds.

Come into the Garden Maude
(And Don't Make Yourself at Home!)

Consider the obnoxious, mendacious and utterly duplicitous Cabinet Office minister, Francis Maude, the MP for Horsham in West Sussex, who has claimed £35,000 in mortgage interest payments on a London flat complete with 24-hour concierge and gym . This is close to a house he already owned. He also boasts a house in the country and one in France. Maudes' personal net wealth is estimated at £3m. Despite this, during a discussion on Newsnight on 22 October 2010 he argued that a 5% cut to his £65,738 salary was equal to the 'pain' suffered by Britain's poor. He previously worked in banking as Managing Director at Morgan Stanley from 1993 to 1997. He was also appointed a non-executive director of ASDA Group Plc in July 1992, and served as a director of Salomon Brothers from 1992 to 1993.  This Capitalist freak is being paid by you and me.

Big Society - Big Con
Maude was tasked by the Prime Minister David Cameron to lead the publicity drive on the Conservative leaders' pet policy fetish which he calls the Big Society.  This ridiculous notion involves the idea that people should start rolling up their sleeves and helping out in their communities to the benefit of all concerned.  Obviously, this is all about restoring profitability to UK Capitalism PLC as vital local services are slashed so that Cameron and his friends can continue to screw the rest of us

Never minding that a vast number of working class people have for many years volunteered their time and energies as school governors, youth group leaders and active citizens in many respects.  As this agenda is rolled out, Ghost of a ne'er do Well feels less inclinded than ever to do any voluntary work whatsoever, which I have done alot of in the past.  I have no compunction to serve as a school governor, youth leader or private eye for the reactionary state.  Cameron's Big Society is dead in the water.  Because it is a Top-Down AUTHORITARIAN agenda, predicated upon the rich taking idle advantage of the poor.  Not only that, Cameron's world-view extends barely beyond his pathetic little Oxford constituency and his Central London Power Base.  I'd love to meet the prick on the streets of Tipton.  He'd barely last two minutes - before his fluffers would put him back into his car.

Meanwhile, Maude was given a slot on the BBC PM programme to push this Big Society idea.  When asked by interviewer Eddie Mair what he had ever done in a voluntary capacity to serve his community he was completely stumped.  He eventually, and quite pathetically, stated that he is 'involved with his local church'.

The Ruling Elite - Out of Gas!
It is time to bundle the know-nothing likes of Maude, Cameron, the Millibands, Clegg, Cable and all the other mendacious Millionaire Capitalist lackeys and their bastard offspring together and do away with them for good, ideally democratically using Parliament and the voting system

They know their system of wage slavery for us and personal profiteering for them is over and their days are numbered.  These duplicitous, vacuous hypocrites and their profit system supporting counterparts across the globe could be swept away in short order leaving an opportunity for a thorough going refreshment of world democracy.  Then the field will be clear for a new and genuine World in Common to emerge, in a truly human society.

Want can be replaced by plenty, war, hunger and worry can be supplanted to the past as a rational, stateless, moneyless, co-operative world society becomes the true expression of our common will.  A form of society which has hitherto never existed.  And the earth will belong to us all.  It's our choice.  Come on - Lets Go!

Friday, 17 June 2011

The Dalai Lama

Recently the esteemed Tibetan spiritual leader The Dalai Lama had a raging toothache and walked to his local dentist to get an emergency filling. Although old and  frail, he walked often, and in keeping with his monastic, asethic lifestyle he walked barefoot, as evidenced by the thickness of the dry skin on the soles of his feet. It is for this reason he is referred to in the tea rooms of Tipton as the "super-calloused fragile mystic vexed by halitosis."
Spiritual or Political Buddies?

When the Dentist inspected the Dalai Lama's tooth, and said he could fill the cavity immediately with the use of pain killing Novocain, the Dalai Lama declined,  saying he wanted to "transcend dental medication."

N.B.  Coming soon on Ghost of a Ne'er do Well:
Davies the Pipe Jnr in conversation with Arthur Sultan the table tapping Tipton Mystic.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

On Being a Mod

It isn't a question of labels when one comes to understand the fundamentals of Modernism. Being a Mod is a statement of attitudinal detachment from the Status Quo, not some ridiculous affectation or hankering for long ago nights with Mels Mods' at the Barrel Organ, old Jam records or trips to the Wigan Casino.

Davies the Pipe Jnr
(Far Right upon his SX200)
Being a Mod is a thorough going attitude of mind, in which rare groove, RnB, The Kinks, The Who and The Small Faces all matter just as much as well cut cloth - but not only.  Ultimately, being a Mod is all about the future - and whilst it may be an individualist creed, it is also collective in nature, gathering around the idea that the future will be better than the past.  Standing out is important to mods, not just visibly but intellectually.  We have our own code.  What Pete Meaden once referred to as Clean Living Under Difficult Circumstances. 

The Mod Movement has moved on significantly since the late 1950's and will continue to thrive as style driven young people invent new and powerful means in which to subvert the meaning of the received wisdom of the day.  In the meantime I'll be collecting my newly adorned Lambretta SX200 from Irish Jack next week.

For a great side of Mod check out Dobie Gray below:

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

The Riddle of the Sands

The Riddle of the Sands is a novel by Erskine Childers.  It is an early example of the espionage novel, with a strong underlying theme of pre-world war 1 militarism.  It has been one of Ghost of a Ne'er do Well's favourite novels for many years.  So much so that I have navigated the sands and mudflats of the Frisian Islands alone and stayed overnight in a one-man tent on the island of Nordeney.
This is a novel that owes a lot to the wonderful adventure novels of writers like Rider Haggard, that were a staple of Victorian Britain.    Perhaps more significantly, it was a spy novel that established a formula that included a mass of verifiable detail, which gave authenticity to the story – the same ploy that would be used so well by John Buchan, Ian Fleming, John le CarrĂ© and many others.
Carruthers, a minor official in the Foreign Office is contacted by an acquaintance,  Davies, asking him to join in a yachting holiday in the Baltic Sea.  Carruthers agrees, as his other plans for a holiday have fallen through. He arrives to find that Davies has a small sailing boat named The Dulcibella, not the comfortable crewed yacht that he expected.

Davies gradually reveals that he suspects that the Germans are undertaking something sinister in the German Frisian islands, based on his belief that he was nearly wrecked by a German yacht luring him into a shoal in rough weather.  Carruthers and Davies sail back to the Frisian Islands and spend some time exploring the shallow tidal waters of the area, moving closer to the mysterious site where there is a rumoured secret treasure recovery project in progress. They are watched by a German navy patrol boat, which warns them away from the area.

Taking advantage of a thick fog,  Davies navigates them covertly through the complicated sandbanks in a small boat to investigate the site. They find that it is actually the centre of a German plan to invade England. The invasion plan is master-minded by a renegade Englishman, but Davies has fallen in love with his daughter and he does not want to hurt her by revealing her father's treason. Eventually they manage to escape with the information and the invasion plan is foiled.

N.B.  More on this subject is to come.