Bloc Festival 2012 what really happened


Hello Good People who read this blog

After my last personal review of what happened, here is the story behind what really went on.

This is what I have been told, I cannot certify that it is true.

It is rumoured that : “The Pleasure Gardens run by the Shangri-la people were rented from Newham Council . The council lent them some of the money to pay them rent for the land.

What they didn’t mention before then was that there was asbestos on the site. Newham Council rented the land out knowing that there was asbestos there beforehand but did not remove it.The Shangri-la people then had to find another million or so pounds to have the asbestos removed from the site themselves.

This delayed the renovations of the main venue on the site , an old warehouse, which was not fixed in time for the big opening the previous weekend .It is currently still covered up and has scaffolding around it. They also did not decorate the site and were unable to do other works beforehand, and a whole part of the site was closed off leaving less room.

The Bloc festival people , who are separate from the Shangri-la people, sold tickets on the basis that they were running a festival on the entire site including the warehouse. The capacity of the entire site with the warehouse renovated would have been 15 000, the event sold out, but the warehouse with an estimated capacity of 5000 people was still out of bounds.

The main venue then became a circus tent placed in a corner of the festival not far from another big tent where Steve Reich played, and the ship. But putting up a circus tent meant there was less land available as free space for people to circulate, land surrounded by deep water, the festival being situated at a dockside.

The layout was poorly thought out in terms of people circulating from one venue to another, so that there was not enough room.”

I also heard that later “there was a confrontation between the crowd locked outside and the police and that cement blocks were thrown. (I cannot certify that this is true!)

“Also both the Pleasure Gardens and the Bloc Festival have gone bust.”

Ok well that’s the end of the rumour, it still leaves many unanswered questions for me such as why they were not letting people into venues while the acts were on and leaving us to queue outside when the tents were virtually empty , thereby creating a crowd outside, why no one could help me find the exit etc..

Got to go now…please see my previous post for a more embellished poetic version of my experiences.

Love and Peace

Born2rant

Media coverage of strike…


Hello Good People who read this blog….

I just want to write a little thing,because I am so furious and shocked about the media coverage on the imminent strike in the UK for people working in  public services. I just saw that great educationalist, role model for good behaviour and well-known feminist, James Whale ( please realise I writing with extreme sarcasm!), and to my shock  and horror Miriam Stoppard, both criticising the strike, and teachers in particular,in no uncertain terms for striking and depriving children of their education.

I am so furious with them and the media coverage I have seen so far.

I will just speak about the teachers as education is something I know about. First of all , correct me if I am wrong, but by the end of June all the essential teaching, main exams, have been done and dusted and frankly the last 3 or 4 weeks of the summer term, are taken up with end of year tasks, days out, sports days, school concerts, award ceremonies etc. Many children disappear on cheap holidays with their families at this time. You can more or less write off the last three weeks of the school year in terms of serious academic work . Also most private schools are either closed or closing by the start of July while the state schools run for another couple of weeks. If you wanted to close a school for one day this is not a bad time. In fact I hope all young people will support their teachers and join the march.

Secondly in the past, successive governments have totally disrupted the entire state education system in several ways.The government has closed down schools not for one,but many days during term-time, for years now in order to re-train teachers.Originally called “Baker days” teachers have been constantly forced to change the way they teach , what they teach, how they teach in order to please successive governments , and this has meant many days when schools were closed down.In terms of working parents, frankly there is very little consideration or help at any time of year to cope with school hours, school holidays etc., so an extra day of trying to find childcare for a good cause to will ensure quality of education for one’s children, is no big sacrifice.

The government’s implementation of the National Curriculum , league tables, and adding more and more non-academic responsibilities to the work of teachers, has been far more disruptive to children’s education that one day’s strike, at the end of the school year.

The teachers I know get up at 6. a.m. and sometimes work into the evening planning lessons, they also work at the weekends and holidays correcting work and planning lessons. The lessons planning becoming increasingly ludicrous with the ever-changing  demands of the National Curriculum.

For example one primary school teacher I know, who teaches in a very “rough” area of London, explained how she had to create a lesson teaching the painting technique of “Pointillism” , illustrated with famous paintings by Seurat which included rivers, sea and pools of water, so that this could also double-up as a science lesson on water.

I like creative  education, and I am all for teaching art in schools, but considering many of these children do not have books at home, and come from very economically deprived backgrounds, I think maybe Seurat would not be my  priority  if I were in charge of my own teaching.

Getting back to my point, this teacher retired at 60. But even though she worked tremendously long-hours, she loved her job so much,that she decided to stay on beyond 60 as a supply teacher within the same school.  However by the age of 62, she found her energy level were just too low to keep it up indefinitely, and  even though she is incredibly fit and energetic, at 62 she is forced to retire altogether at the end of this term. She can because she has a pension!

Teaching is demanding physically, emotionally, spiritually and one can expect to work a 60 hour week. It requires great commitment to children and to the future of society. Teachers are under-valued and their teaching is constantly disrupted with each changing government’s new policy, no matter which one is elected.

Therefore I am furious at the media coverage that seems to criticise teachers for wanting to retire before the age of 68  and  who expect to have a good pension to live on.

If I were not a hippie, and I was a dictator who ruled  Britain ( which I can be  in my blog), I would seize the private assets of  bankers and politicians, and their power-mad fantasies, and make them do community service: a couple of years of teaching for free in state schools, also forcing  all their children to attend the schools they work in. If they failed their OFSTED inspections then they would have to try and claim benefits and see how far they got before they would almost inevitably give up!

I would also not allow such bias in the news and other media coverage against the strike. Maybe all these critical media people could do worse than spend a couple of years working in a state school as well and then see if they thought they could still do it at 50 let alone 60 or 68.

I feel this government is trying to re-create class differences in the UK  and prohibit social mobility by creating two types of education. I doubt if private schools would employ full-time 68 year old teachers! If the teachers did not strike it would show that they didn’t understand the nature of their job and that they did not care about the quality of education for children.

Love and Peace

Born2rant

( will be joining protests soon in support of them. I had both a private and a state education, my best school  teachers were without question from the comprehensive I attended.)

Day Three of my Imaginary Glastonbury


Hello Good People who read this blog….

I thought I would start by telling you that although I smoked lots of imaginary spliffs yesterday, in real life I can’t get away with such behaviour! Dope makes me feel thoroughly ill, especially a couple of days afterwards when I get what I can only describe as “emotionally weak, panicking easily and slightly paranoid”, so these days I can only get away with the very occasional indulgence and then pay dearly for it afterwards. I love the feeling of getting stoned but I also lose keys, money, and cannot function and do all the stuff I like doing normally if I ever indulge! When I was younger I had a better resistance to these things but also grass now is  just so much stronger than the stuff we had twenty, thirty years ago.It’s a different drug these days.

So at my imaginary Glastonbury I wake up Sunday morning feeling also really rough, like a hundred elephants have been stampeding on my head in my sleep. I also get cramp in my left leg!

My Imaginary Sunday at Glastonbury is a bit of a blur, and I have in reality, little time today to write about it. So I will do this briefly( sorry!).

I look for the Healing Field to see if anyone can help me with my dope hang-over but instead find the International Music  field.

I stop and find a Javanese man who speaks no English, he endeavours to show me how to play a Sundanese zither from West Java, to accompany the singing of his beautiful wife.

After this morning’s music lesson, I traipse across the International Music field and go into a large marquee.What I see next is so bizarre that I wonder if I am imagining it all.On a cinema screen they are showing  the Chinese Revolutionary Opera: Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy ( I don’t think you’ll be seeing this at WOMAD! Please note that the singer/dancer is riding an invisible horse whose movements  are portrayed through percussion)

Leaving the International Music Cinema , I stroll around the field and come across a myriad of old friends and we edge our way to the Krautrock and German Electronica tent where we find a serene performance by Klaus Schulze

For the rest of the day, we gather our resources to make a picnic and find a dry piece of ground next to the main stage. We are all recovering from the previous night, the sun is blazing and we want to take it easy and chat about our news and lives.Some of these people I haven’t seen for ten years, a festival is more efficient than a Christmas card to stay in touch. We are all exhausted but cannot resist dancing when the Ozric Tentacles appear on stage.
Domes of G’Bal

After this we can hardly believe our eyes, as a navy blue box with a flashing light on the top,gradually manifests itself on the stage. It’s the tardis!

As if by magic,out comes the original Dr. Who followed by The Beatles ,( and a small dalek groupie wearing a pink feather boa round her neck) .

We just have to get up and sing along as they start to perform  I am The Walrus.

Inevitably we get stoned again and have to eat an entire packet of chocolate biscuits, plus crepes and drink more beer,until Pink Floyd’s set starts with  Careful with that Axe Eugene.

As we reach the final act, the sun has gone and mercifully the air is pleasant and cooler. A well-loved hippie band takes the stage, they must have some kind of secret sacred store of energy after all these years, and all those drugs.I know I can’t really cope with the pace but somehow this group’s energy is infectious and makes us feel 18 again . Yes it’s  Gong,what a great way to end the imaginary Glastonbury festival!

I go home, tired and too exhausted to go into details! I am sad to go home to an urban space where I am not constantly surrounded by live music and many friends, but we have talked about meeting at Solfest towards the end of the festival season and other festivals in between.

Love and Peace

Born2rant

London under siege of euphoria


Hello Good People who read this blog

Yesterday evening, during the rush hour, a strange thing was going on in the West end of London. I was in the street and people were rushing about without scowling. In the packed supermarket people were scrambling to buy champagne, nibbles and cakes and even the staff seemed happy, partly because they were about to go home and get a day off. On over-packed tube there were happy French tourists, happy Americans and drunk bureaucrats coming home from work after a few drinks.

On my home territory there was a similar atmosphere and last night at around midnight the streets went quiet, without traffic, just the odd shouting drunk. Was everyone on Prozac? Was there a second coming of Mohammed/Jesus/etc.. or maybe we had all somehow won the lottery , saved planet earth from ruin forever, or maybe The Beatles had travelled from a time machine in the sixties and were doing a gig on some central London rooftop?

No! I opened my copy of the Evening Standard and found there was a wedding about to take place and euphoria had spread like a happy virus in the rush hour.

I saw no opposition to this wedding, because the paper said how they’d had them all arrested beforehand by rounding up the usual suspects. Ah isn’t it lovely to live in a free country where the police know where you live, and where London can be sanitised, cured of the presence of beggars, tramps, and people who don’t fit in the frame of a pretty wedding photo.

But who is this Kate woman, someone who smiles constantly with no visible traits of personality ? I’d like to see her interviewed by Jeremy Paxman for a good hour, her smiley fake tan face, plain clothes and pretty hair are not enough information for me. Maybe I should have watched the film about how William met Cate or Kate? You see I don’t even know how you spell her nickname.

They will be travelling in the same Rolls Royce that was attacked when it strolled into a group of random protesting anarchists, how very symbolic and a bit pathetic. Yes, like so many plebs I woke up and decided to watch it on the box, some of my close acquaintances are meeting dressing up in wedding guest clothes, waving Union Jacks, and will be having a wedding breakfast with lots of sherry and champagne.

Apart from my cynicism, I have to say I do hope that the wedding goes on without any terrorist attack or people getting harmed from overcrowding etc.. But I think a protest, somewhere should be allowed and if I was Prince William I’d be a bit p***** off that I get demoted to Duke of Cambridge. That’s because there is a Royal Secret. The Queen will never die!!!!! She is here forever in her pastel clothes, hats and condescending attitude to us plebs who pay for the lot of them. The last joke must be on us!

Some people think this song was written by Hawkwind but actually this is only a cover, the lyrics were written by the Queen in 1953.

I must go now, I have work to do. Plus must turn off the  TV, just saw Victoria Beckham posing in her funeral outfit ,her eyes radiating  dark rays of evil!

P.S. I hope the Queen doesn’t die today or I will be arrested for making a joke about it on my blog!

Love and Peace

Born2rant




A few thoughts on the Protests yesterday ( London 26th of March)


Hello Good People who read this blog…

A personal rant on yesterday’s events in London…

Did you you on the march or take part in some form of protest yesterday? In which case I applaud you, about time people made their feelings known while the lives of so many people are being trashed by the government.

But I have mixed feelings about the protests in London yesterday. This morning I must say I find it all a bit depressing. I cannot see any party I would want to vote for or any group I would wholeheartedly support to replace our current government. I see anger and protest on the streets but no solutions. All the parties and all the extreme activists are playing the media game, trying to maximise their popularity by getting air time and I feel that where media manipulation occurs, sincerity is lacking.

Also I don’t agree with violence towards other people at all, and I do not see violence as a solution.  I find myself upset at reports of  people attacking the police with nasty devices, they really let everyone else down.

In terms of media footage, I was overjoyed to see a load of smiling peaceful young people occupying Fortnum and Mason’s , to me that was a peaceful but disruptive statement.If the level of direct action had remained non-violent it would have been a thousand times more effective . They would have gained the respect of all but shop-keepers. But then who was it who said that Britain is a nation of shop-keepers?

I must state, humbly and apologetically, that I was not able to march on the protest due to illness and also could not find anyone to with, which is a bit sad. Next protest I am going to drag friends or find people to march with. I would do peaceful direct action, but I am sure those who did their peaceful bit of building occupation got caught up in the crowd of violence and chaos that ensued, and being a bit ill and a bit older, that does not really appeal.

However later in the day I managed to get to the Hyde Park “rally”, arriving quite late at 4.30pm due to disruption on public transport. By then loads of people from the march were just arriving, but all the speakers,or any musicians on the main stage had scarpered! Instead it was cold and there wasn’t much going on.

They’d put Ed Milliband and the head of the TUC up on stage at around 1p.m. but that was clearly not for the benefit of the majority of the protesters. The march had only set off at 11.30 a.m. from Victoria embankment and by 1 pm only a few of them would have arrived. Instead it seems to me that they were speaking earlier for two reasons: 1. because they knew there would be rioting by late afternoon 2. to get maximum news coverage before the riots.

I find this very disappointing. I remember on so many protests where then there were speakers and bands all evening, especially in Trafalgar Square . People used to march the opposite way, meeting at Speaker’s Corner and marching up to Downing Street, and celebrations in the evening in Trafalgar Square. I like the idea of marching up to Downing Street on a weekday and shouting enough so that the Prime Minister can hear me!

So anyway, I thought I could take part in the peaceful event somehow by attending the rally in the park. Coloured by my seventies youth recollections, iI half expected to find the 2011 equivalent of bands UB40, The Damned, Aswad and Benjamin Zephaniah on stage…ah those were the days…

At least they could have had Annie Lennox to sing us a song! I think it’s lame that there wasn’t more going on after 5 pm.

I was not alone in arriving at that time, there were others on my bus. So I followed the police helicopters to try and find something interesting to join in with and see. I tried really hard to find the trouble but to be honest there wasn’t an awful lot of it.

As I walked around Mayfair there was this strange atmosphere with pubs overflowing with smiling people with their placards, having a pleasant drink after the march, and then in the background a couple of helicopters, hearing the odd firework and flare with police vans tearing around the place. I walked past one building that was guarded very heavily with armed police officers who regarded me with great suspicion, I think it was a private men’s club, but not sure, it could have been some kind of palace. I don’t frequent those kind of places!

I came across a police line around the Hilton Hotel and they let me walk straight through, as they evaluated quite rightly , that I was not about to smash it up. Although at that moment when they let me through I had this little fantasy of proving them all wrong and having a secret bomb strapped to my back! I was unwell so had to boringly go home then.

On the bus home, from the top deck I saw some trouble in Hyde Park, with lots of noise, a fire, flares and fireworks but then watched the rest on TV.

My son phoned me late in the evening to check I hadn’t been arrested or kettled. I’d like to think that he misjudged me, but the truth is, he was probably right, I like to be part of what’s going on, in a non-violent way. I’m getting a bit old to want to be arrested, especially by a police officer half my age,but I would have PEACEFULLY occupied a building.

The media will now say how terrible this all is and how these few people hijacked an otherwise peaceful demonstration.However……..I think your average Joe Public, or Mary Public, or Sexually Ambiguous Public , is probably angry enough to be quite happy, on a subconscious level, to see the banks getting a few windows broken.

I also found the direct action informative, as I did not know that Fortnum and Mason’s was related to Primark and that both owed millions of pounds in tax. So actually they fulfilled their goal in getting that kind of publicity. But fires, violence, intimidating people, no I’m totally against that.

All in all it was an amazing event but what depresses me is that I don’t think it has changed much. Maybe the changes will happen gradually as more protests occur, which they will. If I were Prince Wills , I’d put my wedding on hold for now!

I think we need a new party that will actually represent the needs of the public, and help us out of the financial mess we are in in a constructive rather than destructive way. Ed Milliband and the labour party have no credibility of any sort and neither do the others, so it is likely that there will be chaos until some viable alternative is created.

These are times of revolution and chaos, things are getting shaken up in the world down to level of the earth’s crust.

I think we need to start thinking positively and look for strong positive and creative solutions.

So much has changed. Last year when I was on the T.U.C. march it was a totally different situation, not so well attended, but already  many strong ground level political organisations run by  mostly young highly educated passionate people were emerging. What a change in the past four years since I started my little blog, urging youth to become political and to rebel. They have far more to say than me now.

a bit of music “Emancipate yourself from mental slavery”

Love and Peace

Born2rant

 

 

 

Protest march in London tomorrow 26th March 2011


Hello Good People who read this blog….

I’m not sure anyone apart from myself will read this…

Yes, I know, I ask you to subscribe and then disappear in a puff of smoke, if it’s any consolation my nearest and dearest hardly hear from me either due to 1. a lot of studying 2. a lot of writing music 3. a lot of being ill 4. a lot of trying to see my boyfriend and other friends and relatives when not doing 1., 2., and 3..

I really don’t know who has the time to spend online or watch TV, I know I don’t these days, and when I do, I feel bored unless it’s something gripping.

Yes I rebelled against online addiction some time back. I guess I am a hypocrite writing about this on my blog.

I am about to rant in a totally different direction to what I was originally going to .Before I do so , can I just urge any hippies or people who care about our society on any level, to go on the march in London tomorrow Saturday 26th of March, leaving Victoria Embankment at 11 a.m. If like me you oversleep , you can always join it all later in Hyde Park.

This is in protest to all the cuts the government is making in many public services,and many jobs lost, as opposed to making those bloody bankers and politicians who allowed this to happen and encouraged so many to live “on credit” i.e. in debt, for the past two decades, suffer financially themselves.

However having recently studied the history of Cambodia and China, I cannot say I am a communist, although more equality and a fairer society with equal access to education, services and jobs , no matter what background you come from is important to me. But I’m not a communist, I don’t believe in dictatorships as a rule, I like to dictate to myself .

Yes in terms of people spending all their time online. I find this quite disturbing, on the one hand if you are unemployed or ill or just don’t know how to make friends in a stressful urban or remote landscape, then it can certainly make you feel less isolated and validated, a lifeline.

However I have known several people who spend their entire time online and although they may be happy enough on one level, its clear there can be problems.

I am about to say something very flippant, so I apologise beforehand…

Recently a friend of mine told me of his very depressed female friend who had stopped going out, both her and her husband spend their days online in separate rooms and barely speak to one another. She plays online games and now never contacts friends, has abandoned her work and studies and is on anti-depressants, and drinks heavily while gaming all day long. This woman was recently very distressed  because a close friend of hers  had committed suicide. My friend , who was relating this story to me , said he was baffled to hear this news from her. This girl has barely seen anyone or gone out the door for two years. She elucidated  ( ooh that’s a posh word, I didn’t know I was that eloquent, sorry , back to the story) she elucidated by saying her “close friend” was another character in the game she played online.

I said ( here comes the flippant  remark),” You should have asked her if she was an Orc!”.

I then withdrew that comment as it was totally insensitive , but without wanting to sound like an American commenting on my myspace profile, OH MY GOD!  This is so wrong. People spending all day pretending to be other people and fighting battles and killing eachother all day, surely cocaine must be better for you, at least you have to get out and talk nonsense at other people for a bit ( only joking kids, repeat after me “drugs are bad, okay?”). Her unemployed husband is addicted to buying and selling his shares all day, even though he is not wealthy. There must be thousands of people now doing this every day,  even with a poor and unreliable economy.

How long will it be before we need to have rehab centres for people who do too much online gaming, or trading online and ending up broke? If all the libraries, all the leisure centres, parks,all the meeting places for people, like all the acoustic clubs that disappeared due to having to have some kind of expensive licence, if all the places where you can meet people face to face are either too expensive to get to, or are in areas that are too dangerous to get to at night, if all the neighbours stay indoors and never speak to one another, if old friends lose touch and never phone, we will all become incapable of face to face, person to person contact, what will it do to our mental health? I cannot stand the thought of  a whole wave of people staying indoors living out some kind of fantasy online and then getting overly depressed once they turn their back on the computer screen and see the grey reality of their lives and all the problems and insecurities they cannot face up to or solve.

With a good network of friends , people can pull together. It is uncanny how in some parts of the world where people are poorest, and that they survive better emotionally than Westerners surrounded by so many luxuries. We lack community, we lack a sense of belonging, of being able to rely on one another. But I don’t believe in Cameron’s “Big Society” , he clearly makes one rule for business and another for everyone else.

So I am hoping tomorrow we will see a show of unity on the march through London, and maybe make some new friends. I was going to write about Japan and the uncanny synchronicity I experienced with those events, although my connection is trivial being so far away.But I think on a subconscious level we are all linked. …maybe another time I’ll go into that one.

In the meantime I hope you get to the march tomorrow and if not I hope you support those who do and do not believe those who try and make you think we are a load of thugs….and that’s another thing, making squatting illegal, NOW? When people are going to be struggling more than ever, let students squat empty pubs, empty derelict buildings that no one wants to buy or improve, why not?

OK enough ranting…I’ll put on some music. I can’t bring myself to play western music at the moment, as I have been trying to write  music influenced by  other  cultures and am infatuated with it.So instead I’ll put this on, one of my favourite Indonesian tunes I found on You tube from Sunda West Java. Enjoy and have a good and safe weekend.

“Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it” Mahatma Gandhi.

Here is this beautiful clip of Gamelan Degung enjoy:

Love and Peace

Born2rant

Yey! The Students Are Revolting Again.


Hello Good people who might come across this blog or have read it in the past…

( this post is still being edited!)

Back in the seventies a common “joke” usually made by tittering Times readers was ” the students are revolting” as a comment on both their frequent protests and the state of their physical hygiene.

In 2010 I would say that the personal hygiene of young students is excessively fussy and over-sanitised compared to that of their lecturers who were revolting students back in the seventies. But nevermind the hygiene, the important thing is that  the students are moving, speaking, having protests. At last we have the beginnings of a new counterculture that is not based simply on wearing certain clothes. Finally we have a young generation that is ready to go out and say what they believe , even when they know they could in theory be beaten up, locked up or even killed by random batoning policemen.

I won’t venture to say that this will last forever.

Two weeks ago when a group of  “students” ( some were definitely not students but belonging to revolutionary political groups) decided to take a detour to Millbank Tower , my initial reaction was two-fold. Firstly total joy to see some true student rebellion after all these years. Secondly thinking of the people working in the building, many of whom were unconnected to the Conservative party, and how it must have stopped being fun for them as soon as the students started to set fire to things and throwing things off the roof.

However I admit, rightly or wrongly, my main emotion towards the initial student protest was total euphoria. As I am typing this I am amused as on the BBC News channel, they are telling the general public, assumed to be stupid without their godlike guidance, how they can protect themselves against snow by wearing bright jackets and being very careful. We’ve had decades of being told by the media how everything is so dangerous and how we have to be so very very very afraid of illnesses and bombs and a bit of snow. However, regardless of growing up in this state of perpetual paranoia, and in spite of seeing how protesters can be treated, these brave young people  came out and protested mostly peacefully. Even those who ended up rioting at Millbank Tower,while knowing they were constantly on camera, made no attempt to mask their faces, which was either an act of fearlessness or stupidity.

I wanted to put some music here and the obvious choice was Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A Changing”, but this song was more interesting, it’s  a Syd Barrett song protesting against protest songs , and more particularly Dylan protest songs.

Syd Barrett- Bob Dylan Blues (slight apology to Dylan fans)

The very limited police reaction to the first student protest was obviously a political decision. They could have used riot police, cs gas, water cannons, tanks, it’s central London for God’s sake. The place is crawling with armed police officers, S.A.S. and the Royal Cavalry.

If  politicians/police chiefs had wanted to do so, they could have flattened every student there within half an hour. They decided to let them carry on and have their day, probably because David Cameron was in China and wanted to demonstrate that the British way was not to run over students with tanks as in  Tiananmen Square 1989. Here is a video focussing  not on the massacre but on the brave tank man, who has disappeared ever since.

The protesters were perhaps more confident on Wednesday, thinking that since they had been treated with kid gloves two weeks ago, that they could go out and protest peacefully, or some riot, without being batoned to death again yesterday. However, the Tiananmen Square massacre occurred after a month of protests in China in various locations, where the police and army had been restrained. I firmly believe that the government is allowing students to ” let off steam” and that if the protests grow and are prolonged, that the army and riot police will soon make examples of a few rioters by severe injury, maybe a death, and severe prison sentences. However anyone actually setting fire to buildings etc…is kind of asking to be arrested at the very least. I am a peaceful anarchist, there are many ways of redistributing power.

A musical interlude in my ranting:

When I first started this blog there was far less footage available for me to post. Luckily this is up here now. My old friends Treatment ,who changed the course of my life,playing two contrasting songs in 1983 at The Greyhound in London. Like many similar bands their rehearsal time was sometimes live on stage playing to an audience, which allowed for some improvisation, part of the “Treatment sound” was due to the live psychedelic mixing.

Treatment- Stamp Out Mutants/Love is Getting Nowhere ( live 1983)

I do hope that our new coalition government continues to be restrained, but once they think they might lose control of their power and position altogether, we may see a totally different side to the police and armed forces.

Things have changed so quickly, even a year or two ago, I never thought we would ever see students protesting and showing their anger against authority ever again. Let me re-state that I am a pacifist and that I believe that violence leads to more violence, just as war leads to more wars.

Along with this new phase of student politicisation ( is that a real expression or one I just made up from too much studying?), I have sensed in the past year, that there are less jokes about “hippies” who express themselves freely, who challenge some of the more detrimental decisions made by those in power, or who complain about the inequalities in society or the treatment of our animals and environment.

In the past two years, young people have witnessed politicians using tax-payer’s money for duck houses and moats, they have seen how bankers have payed themselves billions and continue to do so,while a whole generation is told that they will have to pay for the gluttony of city finance-dealers, not just now but for a decade or more to come, young people have seen the dreams of their future careers and studies evaporate and it has left them empty hearted with nothing to lose through public protest.

But most of all I think that the news media, showing the protests in Greece, France, and other parts of Europe, have influenced the students and the public in the UK to think, “well if the French are protesting so much about the pension age going up to 62, why aren’t we protesting a lot more for all the damage and pressure we are under?”.

Ten years ago , you couldn’t force or bribe your average student to go and protest at the introduction of ever rising University fees. In 2000 most students were young Business Studies orientated hopefuls. They were born under the astrological constellation of Thatcher and brainwashed by social reinforcement from all directions , derived from  American business ethics, they believed that anyone who wanted to , could start their own business, or go to University, dress nicely, work hard and earn enough money to buy their designer clothes/cars/music/hair à la “Hollyoaks” or other soap opera full of glamourous-looking  young people. As long as they could get well pissed at the weekends and have a snort of coke when work needed to be done, there was no need to debase themselves by getting involved in shabby student politics.

Anyway I think I have ranted enough for now. I am glad to see protesting students, although hypocritically I have not been on the protests myself due to other reasons. But I’ll be on the next one, shying away from violence, but still protesting enough to walk down the middle of London streets. There has not been a majority of politically-motivated students for decades and I feel they need to be aware that the authorities may decide to crush them at any point.However the media-wise Prime Minister , and bumbling Boris, are well aware that whoever looks like the “good-guy”on TV holds the real power, and therefore some protesting may be allowed for some time!

Hawkwind- You Shouldn’t Do That (Brock/Turner 1971)sorry I think I’ve put this up before, it’s just a bit more direct than a Dylan protest song.

In the meantime, let’s see a bit of people power. In a democracy, politicians are meant to be our servants. Instead it seems, the people are the servants to a few well-connected, obscenely rich and over-priviledged business people and aristocrats who have temporarily lost control of the economy and who have been exposed for the liars and greedy people that they are. It’s not a good time for a Royal Wedding, I suggest they have it down the register office with a few sandwiches and dips in the living room afterwards.

Sometimes angry but still wishing you all:Love and Peace

Born2rant