moments of happiness in a crazy world

It’s 5 weeks since I’ve last wrote, in that time I’ve been busy with the writing school and I also got caught up in a new job at a primary school where I’m learning lots of fun things such as writing my name in Egyptian symbols, and played some songs on the recorder. Life as a 7 year old is fun, but at 38 it can still be fun but things get a bit tougher.

I still admire Jeremy Corbyn enormously, but it’s easy to feel disillusioned by the Labour party, all the in-fighting and I’m feeling confused as to why JC surrounds himself by people who don’t seem to have a clue. I guess it’s all inexperience, but it’s a shame because every time I listen to Jeremy Corbyn or read one of his speeches I’m always feeling inspired and excited. Transferring that into the political bubble isn’t that easy though.

What happened in Paris is heart breaking, and there’s been enough media coverage there’s little else to add to it. Targeting a rock concert was particularly stupid of them, and killing random people including Muslims and children isn’t going to win them any new recruits. I don’t know what kind of idiot thought bringing such slaughter to Paris was going to help their cause, because there’s nothing noble about the barbaric slaughter of innocent people. If it means anything, I’m against military intervention right now. We need allies in the Middle East to help us to sort out this mess, doing it ourselves is just going to create more trouble in the long run. This isn’t Nazi Germany we’re dealing with, despite what IS claims, it’s not a country but a set of ideas. Our whole foreign policy needs a major re-think and a complete change in strategy.

I thought Benjamin Clementine has a great album, and I’m glad he won the Mercury Music Prize. He’s a young man with an old soul, and it was touching when he dedicated his award to the victims of Paris.

 

As original and fresh as Clementine is, my personal favourite of the nominations was Soak. Here’s one of her most atmospheric songs, with a ace video too.

 

I’m reading the entire Diary of a Wimpy Kid books with my son. There’s a new out too that looks just as fun that he’s desperate to get for Christmas. If you’ve never read one, you should!  These books are brilliant, and it’s so nice to share them and laugh along with my little boy. Perfect for bedtime reading in a crazy world.

Goodnight.

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The new politics

95% of the time this is a music and poetry blog. Sometimes though, it diverts into other things. This is one of those times, normal service will return when I’m back from a charity trip to Romania on the 27th, but before I leave for the airport I need to write about Jeremy Corbyn.

I was one of the thousands upon thousands of people who voted for the inspiring left-wing MP Jeremy Corbyn to become the new leader of Labour. He won almost 60% (the guy who came second got 19%). He lives and breathes socialism and social justice. I saw him speak at the anti austerity demo in London a few months ago and was so impressed I knew he was the one to lead Labour to victory in 2020. But….but…but

The media onslaught against him is in full-swing, I won’t bother to go into it, but the usual things about him being dangerous, a threat to British family life and society, unelectable, scruffy (?), unpatriotic (he’s a republic and didn’t, gasp!, sing the national anthem at a Battle of Britain remembrance service) and he’s actually secretly a rich kid who went to public school (big deal, so did I!). The last few days here in England there’s been this onslaught, and it’s worse that Corbyn seems to be completely unprepared and unable to handle what’s going on. The last few days he’s had no-one to advise him how to handle the press, and simply his team use facebook and twitter to bemoan the mainstream media and get more “likes” from those of us long converted to the cause.

Sadly, this approach isn’t going to work. He didn’t go on Andrew Marr (a big political show) so millions of people who have no idea who he really is, instead they see a clip of him not talking to journalists, another of him not singing and they draw their own conclusions. He used prime minister questions to ask questions his supporters sent in, a nice idea as a one-off, but Cameron didn’t care and PMQ’s lacked the usual excitement and unpredictability. People say he’s new, he’s finding his feet, and of course this is true. I worry if he doesn’t get a handle on the media, the message of who he is will be a distorted hysterical view supported by all those Media Blairites and Cameron’s pals in the Murdoch press.

It’s a shame, because Corbyn can so easily win the 2020 election, he is charming, friendly, principled and spent his lifetime campaigning for a fairer and more equal world. It would be awful if all this is lost by the hysterics whipped up by the Tory’s and Daily Mail that he’s a “loony lefty”.When people go to vote they aren’t going to think of how Corbyn has a caring and soft heart, they’re going to think he’s a friend of terrorists because that’s the lie they’ve been fed by the media. It’s up to Labour to unite behind their leader and get the truth out. Politics is a messy crazy world.

There’s still time, but I worry because I just read his team have finally hired a press secretary who seems to hate the mainstream media and thinks facebook is the only way to communicate. This simply isn’t true.  I think it’s down to people like the hugely talented and admirable new Deputy PM Tom Watson to make sure Labour can adapt to Corbyn, but that they can communicate their desire for social justice and equality to the British public. Posting on facebook to the already-converted simply won’t cut it.

space man save earth and album of the year

Summer news is always silly, even though I took a few weeks on holiday away from British media-consumption, the most interesting news stories of the summer appear to be some nasa astronaunt who was the 6th person on the moon telling everyone a big military secret, get ready for it…space men came to Earth during the cold war to dismantle some nuclear weapons that would have caused world war 3. I like this story, as silly as it is. The idea somewhere far away some aliens care enough about us to bother to come to Earth, and help us out in our crazy ways somehow comforts me.

On a similar “totally nuts” theme I read some big-shot scientist is convinced we aren’t real, we are all part of a computer game some alien kid put together for his school science project! He said because the universe and everything seems so perfectly formed, almost like a computer program, we’re all just robots or computers unaware of the “real world” outside. I guess he’s half there, see I think God made the universe perfect, not some alien bratty kid making it up to pass his school GCSE science class and to impress some nerdy girl. Funny idea though.

The good good great news is Jeremy Corbyn looks set to be the Labour leader, “Our timeless task in the Labour Party is to stand up against injustice wherever we find it”

I’m so bowled over by the new sun kil moon album. Mark Kozelek is the most interesting and talented songwriter around at the moment. I don’t think anyone can touch him at the moment, and if you only get one album this year, please make it “universal themes“. It will knock you out, blow you away, all that good stuff. It finishes with this hypnotic beauty, which you lucky people can listen to below: “Traveling and playing and writing until I’m fucking dizzy, some people love what I do and some get fucking pissy, but I don’t give a fuck, one day they’re all gonna miss me”

Next week : a new poem called “whatever is pure”