Who’s really profiting from post office’s loss?

I was on the telly last week. It was in episode 3 of the BBC2 series, Signed, Sealed and Delivered: Inside the Post Office, about the occupation of our Crown Post Office on the day the building closed down for redevelopment. A copy exists on YouTube if you want to watch it. I’m a bit-part player, that’s all. You see me carrying a bucket and then explaining what it will be used for. The programme also features Hugh Lanning, James Flanagan, and Brian Hitcham; plus the talented Justin Mitchell, playing a moving rendition of the Last Post on his bugle, … Continue reading Who’s really profiting from post office’s loss?

“Fury” over plans to house refugees

Front page of the Whitstable Gazette last week: “Fury over plans to house refugees”. Pardon? Did I hear that right? There’s an unused building in Whitstable; there’s  some homeless, traumatised children – that’s the meaning of the term “unaccompanied minor” – and somebody is “furious” about it; someone objects? What has become of us, that we treat young people seeking refuge this way? The victims of wars that our political and economic elites started in order to fill their own pockets. Orphans, driven from their homes by conditions which we helped to create. We don’t even know who these children … Continue reading “Fury” over plans to house refugees

Privatisation making postal service worse

It seems that the closure of the Gladstone Road Post Office in Whitstable is a foregone conclusion. In a statement to the Gazette last week Post Office spokesman Cathal Wogan said: “When a preferred franchise partner is identified we will conduct a public consultation.” “When” not “If”. You should also note the sequence of events. First they intend to find the partner, and only after that will they allow us a public consultation. There will be no consultation over whether we want a franchised Post Office in the first place. Our MP, Julian Brazier, says he has no objection to … Continue reading Privatisation making postal service worse

Stop the Israeli terror on civilians

Readers may have seen the story about Julie Wassmer’s poster protesting against the slaughter in Gaza. It was fixed to a tree outside of her house in solidarity with the suffering people of that desperate, besieged, overcrowded enclave. She put a copy of it up on Twitter, which earned her a massive response. Many people throughout the world are appalled at what has happened in Gaza, at the brutality and callousness of the Israeli Army in attacking women, children and old people in their homes. Later a policeman visited her and took the poster down. He said that someone had complained that … Continue reading Stop the Israeli terror on civilians

A form of squatting by any other name

I’ve just come back from visiting a community farm in the Forest of Dean. What’s a “community farm” you ask? In this case it’s a squatted farm on disputed land in which the residents – mainly young people from the nearby cities – are learning the art of sustainable living. Well I say “squatted” and that gives you a particular impression of the status of the people living there The word implies people occupying property to which they are not legally entitled. And that’s true, of course. Except that if you look at the history of land, all land was … Continue reading A form of squatting by any other name

The Battle of the Beanfield

1st June 1985. A date that signifies horror and disillusionment to anyone who knows of it. A date which reveals the poisonous worm at the heart of the British Establishment. The day that the dreams of a generation died. An extract from my book Fierce Dancing: adventures in the Underground. Remembering the anniversary of an infamous day in British history. Read more here. Continue reading The Battle of the Beanfield

King Arthur Pendragon at Stonehenge

It was back in 1986, before the name change. He was still plain old Johnny Rothwell then, a crazy-arsed barbarian from the Farnborough and Aldershot area, head of a gang of outlaw bikers, a death-defying trouble-maker, a rebel and a fighter, known as “King John” at the time, not because he had any aspirations to royalty, but because he was famed for throwing full-moon parties at nearby Odiham Castle, also known as King John’s Castle. He’d had this weird revelation about his true identity – about his once, true and former name, as he describes it – in a run-down … Continue reading King Arthur Pendragon at Stonehenge

Satyagraha: Engaged Spirituality

Mahatma Gandhi called it Satyagraha, Truth Force. Martin Luther King called it Soul Force. It is mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita, as Karma Yoga, Action Yoga, consecrated action. Or we could call it Engaged Spirituality. It is the means by which a person with spiritual beliefs may become involved in the political world. http://cjstone.hubpages.com/hub/Satyagraha Continue reading Satyagraha: Engaged Spirituality

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