Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Miranda Revolution

The Miranda Revolution is a book of light and shade. Although there is humour, there is also a serious side to it. Shelly encouraged the poor to seek a better world with the phrase, “Ye are many, they are few.” The poor know only too well that the rich have the guns and tanks on their side and they know that the parties of the working class have failed in their historic mission. The book is a work of fiction but it suggests one way those problems could be overcome. It is a message of hope.

The Miranda Revolution is suitable for young adults. It contains sex and violence but none of it is graphic. Most of the sexual references illustrate the plight of the street-girls in the Dictatorship.

In this book, three characters from Salt Wars, Wolf-Dietrich, Tilly and Xavier become involved with the battle to overthrow the Dictatorship. It is an adventure story in which the three of them fight evil in their own very different ways.
The Dictatorship described is generic and could apply to a number of countries. The gangsters control the streets and the Dictatorship controls the gangsters.

The Dictator's consort, Miranda, is drawn into the revolution by realising one of the street-girls is her daughter. A religious movement which has been a safety valve of value to the Dictator is transformed by Miranda's visions through the 'mirror of eternity'.
Half of the money I receive from this book will go to OXFAM.

Arrested defending $15!

Kshama Sawant Arrested Defending SeaTac Workers' Right to $15 Wage 

In November 2013 in SeaTac, a suburb of Seattle, a majority of voters passed Proposition 1 establishing a minimum wage of $15/hour for airport related workers.  Alaska Airlines and other corporations have strongly resisted implementing the democratic decision of the voters. Socialist Alternative Seattle Councilmember Kshama Sawant issued this statement after she was arrested yesterday defending SeaTac airport workers' right to a $15/hour minimum wage.

"It was the courage of SeaTac workers and their victory at the ballot that made $15/hour possible in Seattle. I'm proud to stand with them today against Alaska Airlines' attempted robbery. First, Alaska Airlines said the City of SeaTac doesn't have the right to enforce $15/hour for airport workers; only the Port does. Now Alaska Airlines is leading the charge on a federal lawsuit claiming the Port has no authority to raise wages. Which is it? What's clear is they'd rather spend millions trying to overturn democracy than pay low-wage workers what they've earned."
See coverage from over 35 media outlets! 


The fight for $15 continues! Donate $15 to support the fight for $15! 




Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Using Flash Fiction with learners

I am a retired teacher. I work as a volunteer, along with my wife, Angela, with a functional English Class in Worthing in Sussex.

I have started using Every Day Fiction with the class. I have posted links to specific stories or to a menu of stories on Moodle and added a forum for learners to write their comments.

Moodle is a magical open-source digital learning environment. Students can work on it in class. There is time to read a story and write about it in one lesson along with all the other things we have to do. Using Moodle means that the more motivated students can also do it at home. 

I made a start with the Halloween stories and they were very popular.

The students are mainly adults who don't read a great deal and some stories are going to be easier for them than others. The fact that stories have tags is very useful to guide them to stories they are likely to like.

I hope some of them will get hooked on Everyday Fiction.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Band Aid 30

Bob Geldof spoke for the nation when he told Chris Evans to shut up when the vacuous presenter was waffling brainlessly over Band Aid 30 on Radio 2 this morning. Band Aid 30 is aimed at raising money to help the victims of ebola. The abiding image used by Bob Geldof is of a mother who cannot hold a suffering child because ebola could kill her in turn.

It is typical of the media that they have sought to turn it into a ridiculous dispute between Adele and Bob Geldof.  The idea of Band Aid - that celebs should use their fame for a good purpose is a million miles away from the trivial concerns of the gutter press.

The single only costs 90p but you can donate by text: Text AID to 70060 to give £5. By 

And the government, well they are far too busy exporting bombs and drones to bother with ebola. Yet the ebola virus is just a plane ride away from Great Britain.

It’s Christmas time – and there’s no need to be afraid
At Christmas time – we let in light – and banish shade
And in our world of plenty – we can spread a smile of joy
Throw your arms around the world
At Christmas time

But say a prayer – pray for the other ones
At Christmas time – it’s hard but while you’re having fun
There’s a world outside your window – and it’s a world of dread and fear
Where a kiss of love can kill you – and there’s death in every tear
And the Christmas bells that ring there – are the clanging chimes of doom
Well tonight we’re reaching out and touching you

No peace and joy this Christmas in West Africa
The only hope they’ll have is being alive
Where to comfort is to fear
Where to touch is to be scared
How can they know it’s Christmas time at all

Here’s to you
Raise a glass to everyone
And here’s to them
And all their years to come
Let them know it’s Christmas after all

Feed the world - Let them know it’s Christmastime again
Feel the world - Let them know it’s Christmastime again
Heal the world - Let them know it’s Christmastime again

Friday, November 14, 2014

Jeremy Hunt's deception

In a typical piece of deception, the government is urging people with "trivial" illnesses not to go to the doctor or to A and E. The plain fact is that often the only way people can get treatment urgently is to go to A and E because the waiting lists for minor surgery are so long it could easily become major surgery by the time you get to the front of the queue. This does not apply to the rich who always join the queue at the front anyway.

Hunt has announced an injection of cash to deal with the anticipated oncoming crisis in winter. However, the BMA has said that the funding is not new money.

Quoted in "The i" newspaper, Mark Porter, chair of the BMA council said "This announcement is merely a sticking plaster. It masks the fact that a funding gap of thirty billion pounds is opening up in the NHS and does not go far enough to address the underlying reasons why the system is under such extreme pressure."

The NHS is not safe in the hands of any of the politicians. We have to fight for it if we want a National Health Service worthy of the name and not just a meaningless "brand".


Saturday, November 01, 2014

Tower of London moat of blood

The poppies outside the Tower are a piercing reminder of the hundreds of thousands who died.
It looks like a moat of blood because the arrogant ruling class and the politicians and generals defend their power and privilege with the blood of better people than themselves. 

After the first world war, people celebrated peace and they wore the poppy to remember the fallen. The last thing they wanted was military parades and exhortations to go and fight another war...and another...and another. The politicians hypocritically pretend to honour "the unknown soldier". They conveniently forget the "unknown civilian". 

There is all the difference in the world between the attitude of the working class towards remembering the war and the attitude of the captains and the kings. Trotsky remarked in "The Death Agony of Capitalism":

"When the small farmers or workers speak about the defence of the fatherland, they means defence of their homes, their  families and other similar families from invasion, bombs and poison gas. The capitalist and his journalist understand by the defence of the fatherland the seizure of colonies and markets, the predatory increase of the "national" share of world income. Capitalist pacifism and patriotism are shot through with deceit. In the pacifism and even patriotism of the oppressed, there are elements which reflect on the one hand a hatred of destructive war, and on the other a clinging to what they believe to be their own good."

War is often enough a war between the rich and the poor. And the rich make absolutely sure that somebody else does the actual fighting for them.

Note My Vote

Another online way of communicating with MPs. Unfortunately my MP does not respond to emails. There is an assumption that you could put a goat up for the Tories in Worthing and it would get elected.

Click here for the website