Monday Musings – the Inevitability of Migration

The UK’s 68 million is but a tiny proportion of the total number of individuals, many doing the same as those former refugees from UK famines and epidemics, seeking a better life elsewhere. Continue reading Monday Musings – the Inevitability of Migration

The Truth Behind the Myth – the Christmas Truce, 1914.

here’s a New Year’s resolution for civilised people of all cultures: defeat and educate those who may be described, at best, as ‘culturally retarded’ when it comes to humanity. Continue reading The Truth Behind the Myth – the Christmas Truce, 1914.

More Remembrance

Rebecca Bryn is an author who is content to self-publish. As such she is one of a handful of writers who deserve far greater recognition than is usually accorded to those who do not have the huge publicity machine of a conventional publishing company behind them. I can unhesitatingly recommend all of her growing list of superbly written historical novels, not forgetting one of the best apocalyptic post-climate change fictions you are ever likely to read. Here she pays tribute to her grandfather and all those young men from ‘Pals’ regiments that endured the privations of World War I. via … Continue reading More Remembrance

Saturday Sound Off: Double Standards in Foreign Affairs

Am I alone in being cynical about the reaction throughout the West to the chemical attack in Syria earlier this week? In the context of six years of atrocities, of tens of thousands of deaths and many more mutilations, of millions driven from their homes, what makes is this particular act more reprehensible than a thousand others? We – the Western powers, the ‘good guys’ – maintain an arsenal of nuclear weapons which we are prepared to use if threatened. We permit certain other nations to do the same whilst imposing sanctions intended to prevent their acquisition by nations we … Continue reading Saturday Sound Off: Double Standards in Foreign Affairs

Must the Poor Always be With Us?

Yesterday, fellow blogger Sha’Tara, aka Burning Woman, posted up a collection of “Anarchist memes, facts and headlines”. I challenged one of them in the comments. Another demands a longer response. The world spent  $1735 Billion dollars on war in 2012.  It would take approximately  $135 Billion dollars to totally eradicate (systemic) poverty. For the sake of complete transparency I must admit a few things so that my readers can understand any bias I might bring to my analysis. First, I used to be a pacifist. I gave that up after giving serious consideration to the need to overcome tyranny – … Continue reading Must the Poor Always be With Us?

The Proper Response to Famine

How should we respond to disasters? Natural events – earthquakes, floods, forest fires – usually evoke an outpouring of sympathy accompanied by the dispatch of all manner of aid. Engineers, medics, machinery and food are flown in to the disaster area to ensure that victims receive succour. Appeals raise millions of dollars to support such efforts. Is our response to famine different? Should it be? Are we more inclined to seek the cause of the catastrophe before making a commitment to assist? How deeply ingrained in our knowledge of Judao/Christian history is the story of how Joseph taught his Egyptian … Continue reading The Proper Response to Famine

Nightmare: #atozchallenge

Warning: this is a rant. Some readers may be offended. I’m talking living nightmares here, not bad dreams. I watch, nightly, scenes of ravaged cities that, a few years ago were bustling, modern metropolises teeming with people going about their business and tourists photographing historic buildings. I watch, too, over-loaded boats ferrying people, men, women and frightened children, across the Mediterranean or Aegean seas. And my television also shows me lines of similar people trekking across country or, more often these days, camping in unbelievably squalid conditions beside hastily erected fences. Many of these dispossessed people are the former citizens … Continue reading Nightmare: #atozchallenge

A Tree for Life

Thursday 3rd. March the writers’ group set this prompt: The soil yielded effortlessly to the spade. The following Tuesday, 8th March, I planted a tree. Whilst I was doing that I began to think about the prompt. This is the result. I changed only the tense. The soil yields easily to the spade. I’m planting a tree. I decided a while back that the garden needed another. I didn’t want it in the lawn, it would be too difficult to maneuver the mower around. Instead, I would enlarge the flower bed at the bottom of the lawn. Later I will … Continue reading A Tree for Life

Desperate to Escape

One of the many radio programmes I remember from my childhood began with the announcement ‘Once again we stop the mighty roar of London’s traffic to bring you the stories of people who are IN TOWN TONIGHT.’ I used that memory in my recently completed novel. I imagined a young woman hearing those words in the stifling surroundings of an English provincial town in the freezing early months of 1947 and making up her mind to escape to the capital. London in 1947   I imagined, too, how a quarter of a century later she would be able to empathise … Continue reading Desperate to Escape