Tuesday, 31 May 2011


This ugly little kingdom
This rotten little empire
Is on its way down
Is on its way out

This squalid little nation
With its horrid little leaders
Is on its way out for sure

Monday, 30 May 2011


Rewrite the history books
Revise the official record
Airbrush the photographs
Erase the names

Smear the troublemakers
Deny them oxygen
Ridicule their protestations
Sabotage their plans

Because no one will dissent
In this hobbled parliament
And soon they will forget
What they thought they knew

Let's make this thing total
Absolute and unequivocal
It must be seamless and sophisticated
Let's make this complete

We won't tolerate
Those who procrastinate
You're either with us
Or against us

Block the messages
Ignore the phone calls
Tear up and burn the letters
Delete the mails

And no one will dissent
In this rotten parliament
And soon they will forget
They held another view

Let's make this thing total
Absolute and unequivocal
It must be seamless and sophisticated
Let's make this complete


Always sirens after thunder
Always silence after hailstones
The tide of violence drags me under
The petty tyrants and their patrons

Always sirens after thunder
The Predators and their deadly payloads
The lives of children torn asunder
The names recorded on the gravestones

Sunday, 29 May 2011


Re: Sunday, Radio 4, 29 May

Dear Ed

I wonder why you would wish to interview Tony Blair, a discredited figure who inflicted huge suffering on the nations of Iraq & Afghanistan to name but two.

Some bizarre views, quite at odds with a spiritual perspective on life, went unchallenged. Blair's rhetoric about ‘faith and globalization’ was a case in point – it is difficult to reconcile Christ's message with the systematic prising open of developing countries to boost the profits of rapacious TNCs.

Blair's lack of qualms over the extra-judicial killing of Bin Laden was unsurprising given the former's record on respecting international law, but it was remarkable that a spiritual programme could leave his comments unchallenged.

The astonishing claim that the problems of the Middle East have not been caused by outsiders would be utterly hilarious were the consequences not so dire for millions of ruined lives - this is a man complicit in the deaths of a million Iraqis.

Please, if you must interview Blair, challenge him to substantiate his delusional views. Otherwise, you simply condone his perverse worldview.

Yours sincerely



we don't need no thought control
actually roger waters was quite wrong about the first point
we do need education
what we don't need is school
a place where we lock up our kids
and isolate them from people of all other age groups and walks of life
england's got millions of young people
emerging from these prisons at the age of sixteen
after twelve years of compulsory schooling
with practically no useful skills whatsoever
and a dreadful fear and loathing of education
society wrings its hands
and wonders why these youngsters are so feckless
and unsuited to work
governments blunder around producing league tables
as if education were like football
more like apartheid, i'd say
schools for the wealthy
schools for the middle classes
and schools for the rest
so that children quickly learn to know their place in the pecking order
with the accession of every new government
more blundering fools attempt to rejig the system
like applying a sticking plaster to a gaping wound
untold billions of public revenue are wasted on this futile exercise
but the thing these goons don't understand is
an education is not something that can be imposed
a real education is something that needs to be actively acquired
by each individual in their own way and in their own time
i should know
i spent thirteen years at school
and three years at university
learning almost nothing except how not to learn
i got myself through my exams
by knuckling down on my own with some revision study guides
i was terribly unprepared for adulthood or the real world
it was only when i left the world of institutions
that i started to teach myself
so it goes
what young people need is not blind obedience
but the chance to learn for themselves
from their families and friends
their grandparents and their neighbours
from skilled and knowledgable role models in their own context
what can a class of thirty 7-year-olds learn
from one 24-year-old straight out of teaching college?
of course by locking up our young people for thirty-five hours a week
it frees their parents and carers to be full-time wage slaves
fuelling the public purse in order to nationalise private debt
and subsidise transnational corporations and arms manufacturers
someone must be benefiting from this dismal situation
or am i just being cynical?

Thursday, 26 May 2011


i just heard something terribly terribly sad
the chap who ran our organic box farm in herefordshire just passed away
he was the same age as me
cancer stole him away from his farm and his family
from his wife and three kids
from his friends and colleagues
from his apple orchards and his vegetable gardens
from his purple broccoli and his lollo rosso lettuces
from his brassicas and curly kale
i met mike hamilton
he gave us a tour of his orchards
gave us an insight into the perils and rewards of organic husbandry
he showed us a wasp that had bored its way into one of his baby apples
his solar-powered electronic field sensors
that warn his staff when fruit flies will soon be on the wing
and it's time to protect the apples with soapy water
it was mike who showed us the chickens that keep the grass down
who introduced us to the farm's organic bee-keeper
who poured us delicious cups of cloudy apple juice
and served us tasty sarnies on crusty bread
a day out in the may sunshine two years ago
and now a lifetime passes
it is an achingly sad day
i feel for mike's family, friends and colleagues
i regret the suffering he must have endured
this strong vital man diminished
as his life ebbed away
although his memory lives on
every hour god sends us wings

Wednesday, 25 May 2011


Complaint type: BBC News
Location: England
What is your complaint about: Radio News
Programme title: PM
Transmission date: 25/05/2011
Complaint category: Bias
Complaint summary: Failure to question, test or analyse the grossly hypocritical pronouncements of President Obama to members of Parliament
Full complaint: I am shocked and appalled by today’s coverage on PM of President Obama’s address to the Houses of Parliament. In a sane world, Obama’s hypocritical pronouncements to abide by the rule of law in the aftermath of the extra-judicial killing of Bin Laden and illegal invasion of Iraq would be greeted with scorn and derision. Instead listeners were subjected to the unquestioning platitudes of your reporter, and worse, the obsequious fawning of Brooks Newmark MP. Where is the balanced reporting? Where are the dissenting voices? Absolutely nowhere to be heard!

Tuesday, 24 May 2011


i read the news today oh boy...
pass me the sick bucket
it's enough to make you weep
on the guardians of power online
on the toady programme
the sycophants fawn and fuss over brand obama
swooning as he removes his jacket to pick up a table-tennis bat
for a press knock-up with nasty posh git cameraman
applauding obsequiously as he sips a pint of guinness in an irish boozer
oohing and aahing at michelle's latest extravagant frock
what kind of fantasy world do these people inhabit?
a parallel universe where the us president really is a good guy
instead of a fraudulent hypocrite hiding behind a brand
condemning untold millions to lives of utter misery
i wanna take out a super injunction
to protect the public from the antics of this rogue
and his loathesome outlaw state
all donations gratefully accepted...


Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who that it's namin'...

How many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
How many times must the cannonballs fly
Before they are forever banned?

How many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
How many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?

The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind
The answer is blowing in the wind

Happy birthday, Bob!

Yes, the poets, the artists and the singer-songwriters have it!

Saturday, 21 May 2011


under the eye of the clock
far from the maddening crowd
and the rush hour traffic hell
the early evening is bathed in sunlight and possibility
the spring flowers exhale an inebriating fragrance
out on the all-weather pitch
the players dodge, swerve and pant around the field
raucous cries of protest and encouragement
pretty young things in ankle socks parade by
clutching books demurely to their chests
perhaps one of them will linger to take in the game
or idle in conversation
all is romance, youth and vigour
here and now
so long away and so far ago

Saturday, 14 May 2011


pardon the lengthy absence
i have been slaving away at the microphone and mixing desk
i have been picking and plucking
crooning and comping
ooing and aahing
to get this thing finished
and now ive just burned the first master of menagerie
twelve tracks tended lovingly to fruition
a single-handed forty-five-minute audio symphony
courtesy of fireseed studios
album number six
the second in eight months
i guess that makes me prolific!
but is it any good?
a new record always feels like a personal best
fresh, clean and vulnerable
at least as fresh as the result of hundreds of man-hours can be
tweaking and rerecording and correcting flat vocals and dodgy timings
listening to it all the way through on a proper hifi
it's like birthing and nursing a new-born babe
there are a few innovations that i'm quite pleased with
there are a lot of piano ballads on this one
plus a few more upbeat piano songs
certainly not so many jangly guitars
although they crop up here and there to add colour and warmth
an aura of ethereal mystery or a touch of hard-edged angularity
writing on piano has definitely freshened things up a bit
moving further away from the old formula of guitar, bass and drums
the vocals continue to improve
i've learned to relax and croon instead of straining for more volume
of course there's a bit of a concept going on
i guess i don't need to tell you that
i like 'as wide as the sky' for its wide-eyed innocent beauty
'shopping aisle' for its tongue-in-cheek humour and observation
'renunciation' for its melty middle 8 and vocal performance
'meniscus' for each spirituality and emotion
an eleventh-hour coup de grace
a nice a range meant
there's some very pretty guitar flourishes on that one
i think there are some pretty good lyrics too
though i say it myself
i put that down to divine inspiration
being just a conduit (nitwit?) and all that
anyway i hope you'll like it
even if you don't buy it
i'll put some tracks up on mice pace for your free peru sal
happy listening!