A Review of The Cheering Rain by Kate Adams

A foreign country During the launch of her poetry collection at the Whitstable Labour Club Kate Adams read the title poem, The Cheering Rain. Before she did she introduced the poem, saying that she was waiting for a publisher to confirm if it had been accepted for an upcoming anthology. She said that the publisher had asked her which country it was set in. “Birmingham,” came the reply, to a ripple of laughter. It’s easy to see why the publisher was confused. Continue reading A Review of The Cheering Rain by Kate Adams

Do the Israelis Really Want Peace?

“When Israelis in the occupied territories now claim that they have to defend themselves, they are defending themselves in the sense that any military occupier has to defend itself against the population they are crushing… You can’t defend yourself when you’re militarily occupying someone else’s land. That’s not defense. Call it what you like, it’s not defense.” — Noam Chomsky How can we know the truth when all we ever hear are lies? Something very strange is going on. One of the world’s most powerful armies is using overwhelming force in one of the world’s most densely populated areas, firing … Continue reading Do the Israelis Really Want Peace?

The Trials of Arthur Revised Edition is a Brand New Book

Mog Ur Kreb Dragonrider When I first started work on The Trials of Arthur, people thought that I was crazy. If I told people about Arthur they would say, “so where are you meeting him then, in a mental institution?” It became a hard thing to justify. I’d been moderately successful in my writing career up till then, with columns in the Guardian and the Big Issue amongst others. I’d had two books published. After I started work on what I’ve always referred to as “the Arthur book” my career went into terminal decline. I’m not saying that co-writing a book with a biker … Continue reading The Trials of Arthur Revised Edition is a Brand New Book

Levels of Consciousness

In the zone I’ve just woken up. I’m a perennial insomniac so sleeping is an issue for me. Sometimes it’s hard to know whether I’ve been sleeping or not. I’ll be lying awake, tossing and turning, and I’ll think, “I’ve been here for an hour at least, and I still haven’t got to sleep.” But then I look at the clock and several hours have passed, which means that somewhere in amongst all that frustrated tossing about some real sleep had actually occurred. I just never remembered it, that’s all. There are a number of levels in sleep. The first is the … Continue reading Levels of Consciousness

If You See Sid

So how’s that privatisation thing working out for you now? You know: the one where they sold companies we already owned back to us on the basis that it would create a “stakeholder economy” and that competition was going to keep prices low. “Competition”. That’s not really the word. It has actually had the opposite effect. Once one energy company puts up its prices, all the others follow suit. A better word would be “cartel”. It’s not as if these companies are starved for profit either. British Gas increased its margins by 24% to £742 million last year. Other companies … Continue reading If You See Sid

Age and protest

I’m 59 years old this year. That’s six years to my retirement. Age creeps up on you. One day you’re trundling along in that indeterminate phase between youth and contented middle age, and the next you are contemplating your pension. That is, if I’m allowed a pension. They will probably have abolished pensions by then, in order to pay more bonuses for bankers. Age does have its compensations, however. I’ve needed glasses to read for many years. More recently I’ve needed glasses all the time. The disadvantage of this is that it means that I’m showing my age. The advantage … Continue reading Age and protest