Mandela’s mission still leaves country in poverty

So Nelson Mandela has passed on. This must be the first time ever, in the entire history of the human race, that a politician will be missed. A friend of mine, Lois Davis, was at his first rally after he’d been released and she filmed the event. It took place in the Soccer City stadium in Soweto. It’s a remarkable piece of film. You can see all the people pouring towards the stadium in their pickup trucks, or walking along the dusty roads. As they get near the venue they start to run. There is such excitement in the air, such joy. It’s like a wave … Continue reading Mandela’s mission still leaves country in poverty

The Empire of Things: a new book by CJ Stone

  CJ Stone wrote a column for the Guardian Weekend from 1993 till 1998. It was called Housing Benefit Hill and won the writer much acclaim. He has also written columns for the Big Issue, for Mixmag, for Radio 4’s The Afternoon Shift, for Prediction magazine and for Kindred Spirit, as well as writing regularly for the New Statesman and the Independent on Sunday, amongst others. Currently he is a working postman. The Empire of Things is his sixth book. The novelist Jon McGregor attributed Housing Benefit Hill with making him want to become a writer. He wrote: (The Observer … Continue reading The Empire of Things: a new book by CJ Stone

Julian Brazier and Cannabis: who regulates the sources?

A few weeks ago our MP made a number of statements regarding the controversial retailers UK Skunkworks after a young man, Matt Ford of Whitstable, almost died from the effects of smoking one of their products. I responded by saying that while these legal highs are untested and potentially dangerous, some of our illegal drugs are relatively safe. I sent Mr Brazier a copy of the story. Here is an extract from his reply: “I am told by sources I respect that cannabis is both a much more potent drug than its namesake of the 60s and 70s and that … Continue reading Julian Brazier and Cannabis: who regulates the sources?