Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Author Central updated biography

I write the kind of stories I enjoy reading, whether they are detective, adventure, science fiction, fantasy or alternative history. Most recently I completed a new #mirrorofeternity book, "Domain of Dreams" which is a collection of short stories. It has something for everybody.

I write about 500 words a day and my wife (who is also my editor) discusses the work with me. This is the part I love most. Writing can be a solitary activity but it need not be.

My favourite type of story is the short story. Mark Twain once apologised for the length of a letter to a friend by saying "I didn't have time to write a short one." I have written short stories for Alfiedog.com  and http://www.everydayfiction.com/ as well as "Page and Spine". It is the devil's own job to get short stories published and these sites are a godsend if you will excuse the mixed metaphor :) I like editors who don't just give an "accepted" or "rejected" but tell the writer exactly why they liked or disliked the story. This is really useful.



#mirrorofeternity

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Ed Balls Speaking Out for Capitalism

Ed Balls has a conversational style of writing which makes this book easy to read. However his view that there is nothing wrong with capitalism will not make him any friends in the Labour movement.

He elicits sympathy for his battle against his stammer. His view that anyone who disagrees with him is a Communist will probably elicit less sympathy. He criticises the Oxford Labour Club for discussing whether to have a hammer and sickle on its banner and complains they rejected his openly pro-capitalist stance.

The book seems to be more significant for its omissions than for its content. It gives some interesting and amusing anecdotes from the point of view of one of Gordon Brown's henchmen but glosses over the role of New Labour in turning the Labour Party from a party promoting peace and public ownership into a party promoting war and privatisation.

The Blairites wanted Labour and Tories to be as different as "left Twix" and "right Twix"..

He talks of his and Brown's "distress" and " "disquiet" over Iraq. He fails to explain why they did damn all to publicly oppose Blair's blood lust and subservience to George W Bush.

In his Education role he developed a useful skill. Every teacher organisation in the country was opposed to SATs and Academies. Balls managed to metaphorically stick chewing gum in his ears every time they spoke to him.

He coined the phrase "Every child matters" except the children of Iraq and Afghanistan who were bombed from a great height. Clearly they did not matter. 
 
Balls' sycophantic grovelling to the royal family is disgusting. He talks about the privilege of meeting the queen (the richest tax dodger in the land). He also expresses his (probably unique) view that Prince Charles' ventures into politics were of any use whatsoever.
 

Stick to the dancing, Balls. As Craig Revel Horwood might say, "New Labour was a disaster, dahling."




 https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/153905019X/

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Rail Safety

I remain to be convinced that driver-only trains are as safe as those where there is a guard. There are many case histories of people who have been helped by rail guards. I think Southern Rail have handled the dispute very badly and getting passengers to contact the rail unions to criticise their actions was scraping the bottom of the barrel. This is particularly so because RMT report that most passengers who contacted them supported the idea of guards on trains.
What they are not telling passengers is that the increased risk to passengers of DOO has even been recognised by the Rail Safety Standards Board (RSSB) which is funded by GTR and other Train Operating Companies. RSSB have said
“DOO does not create additional undesired events but may increase the likelihood of an event occurring or increase the severity of its consequence." That is not a ringing endorsement of Driver Only Operation. Yet that is what Southern Rail is incorrectly telling passengers.

 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Domain of Dreams in Ontario

Domain of Dreams has been added to the Teen Fiction collection at the Main Library Branch located in downtown Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

For those not lucky enough to live in Ottawa it is available from Amazon


Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Book Burning and Closing Libraries

To promote the Domain of Dreams I have been contacting School Library Services throughout the UK. I tried the website http://www.sla.org.uk/schools-library-services-uk.php but in fact many of the links do not work. In the end I found that this was because School Library Services all over the country are being cut in a short-sighted measure by the government and local authorities to save money.

If you think education is expensive, you should try ignorance.

Ignorant people burned books because they hate ideas. Are the Tories closing the School Library Service for the same reason?

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Remembrance

Those who survived the Great War, greeted the 11th of November as the end of the insanity and the beginning of peace. They would have been mystified to see generals and royals using it as an opportunity to celebrate war almost a hundred years later.

Since the end of the Second World War, there has not been a single day of peace. In my lifetime there has been one imperial war of conquest after another.

The red poppy is an ambiguous symbol. On the one hand it represents remembering those who fell in war and the money is used to support those soldiers who suffered as a result of war. On the other hand it is used by generals and the royal family to glorify war. If anyone dares to criticise this disgusting militarism they are immediately accused of disrespecting the fallen and being too mean to help the military victims of warfare. This has been characterised as "Poppy Fascism".

Socialist internationalism is the only basis on which militarism can be opposed. The people of Iraq, Syria or Afghanistan are some of the poorest people in the world. What with the ruthless bombing campaigns of American Imperialism and the disgusting brutality of the Taliban and ISIL their sufferings have been made worse. A military intervention on whatever pretext can only further increase the misery. 

Socialists will oppose any such intervention. Blairites will support it - which is all you really need to know about them!
 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Maggie May and Grammar Schools

May presides over the most divided Tory Party imaginable. There is one thing, however, which the Tory backwoodsmen will always welcome and that is the return to Grammar Schools.

Just as the drive to turn every school into an academy was not evidence of sufficient thought, the Grammar School policy could have been jotted down on the back of a cigarette packet.

The Tories may pursue this expensive and flawed policy to the death but it is also possible they will have a brand new policy in time for the local election in May of next year. Education is seriously underfunded but the hundreds of millions needed for this policy were magically produced by the government.

May wants to survive as long as Margaret Thatcher as Tory leader. To listen to her you might be excused for feeling Thatcher has risen from the grave. Her desire to emulate the most hated Prime Minister in history is extraordinary but it is symptomatic of the crisis in the Tory Party at the present time.

Although popular with the Back bench yahoos in Parliament, there is serious concern over the Grammar School policy in the shires. It has been described as similar to someone trying to write a novel when they have not mastered the alphabet.