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Truth and the War

Just finished reading Truth and The War, E.D.Morel, the book that inspired my last two posts, a collection of articles published in 1916, about the atrocious lies, damn lies and secret politics that led to the catastrophe of World War I, and fueled the unstoppable surge of public support for the completely pointless, irrational, slaughter in France and Belgium.

E.D.Morel was the journalist who blew the whistle on King Leopold of Belgium's hideous regime in what's now Congo. In this foray, he's a bit too keen to insist that Germany was the innocent, peacable party, forced into conflict by the Triple Entente (or was it the Triple Alliance?) all pinned to a bizarre incident in Sarajevo* . . . But by 1916 it was blatantly Germany vs Britain, and all about global markets . . .

(I knew all this when I was seventeen, it comes back to me vaguely, mostly in the form of satirical cartoons. . .)

But could exposing the truth stop that war ? I don't think so! As Morel and others had spotted, we weren't just stuck with the meaningless slaughter, we were already in for the devastating second round.

I wear a white poppy, and strictly on 11th November. I hated that centenary celebration

Naturally, this week and last, I drew parallels. Couldn't help it.

It's heartbreaking to see what's happening to the far-from United Kingdom right now, but the trouble is, same as in 1916, fraud is a crime without redress. The money's gone. Your house has been sold from under you, old lady, and you signed the papers yourself . . . And anyway, you're too proud, too timid, and too inflexible with age, to admit that you were fooled. The irrefutable fact that the people were lied to in 2016. That murderous fascism was recklessly incited and promoted by the Leave campaign, in 2016, is no use to anyone now. We're here because we're here.

*See also Black Lamb, Grey Falcon, Rebecca West. A massive, wonderful book about "The Balkans", which includes a blow by blow account of that day in Sarajevo. You really, truly, couldn't have made it up.

The Plumb Pudding In Danger

Further to my last . . . Maybe there's always been no future in utopian revolution, before our day. Pol Pot didn't achieve much, beyond those fields of skulls. Mao was a monster. It didn't take long to get from the storming of the Bastille to the Terror (a nightmare in which (check it out if you like) the majority of those guillotined were not aristocrats, fat cats, or even the losers in the swift reverses of revolutionary power. They were far more likely to be hapless, lower middle class citizens, denounced by the citizen next door, for no particular reason except personal gain. But the odds are different now.

The plumb pudding in the cartoon above is clearly, as you can see, planet earth ----in danger of being carved-up by someone called "William Pitt the Younger", (you may remember him in Blackadder) Prime Minister of what was soon to be the greatest super power the world had ever known; representing wealth creation. Who is dining out with someone you should easily recognise as Napoleon Bonaparte, top war-monger of the period. (in our modest, domestic peril, I suppose that would be Theresa May across the table from that go-getting rabble-rouser Nigel Farage).

I've labelled them Economic Growth and War, and these are the existential bad guys in the Bold as Love story. Both of them are monsters; or have become monsters. Both of them have to go. I realise Economic Growth is our society's devoutly unquestioned religion, on every scale from the sublime to the ridiculous, and so do you (you can't have missed the sausage roll in the manger?*), so maybe this is the shocking part, rather than the savage attacks perpetrated on the sinews of war, by oil-field torchers and others, all the way from the Baltic to the Black Sea. But shocking or not, denouncing them is not fiction, it's vital for our future. We don't need more money. Nobody could possibly need more money than "we" have concentrated in a very few hands: we need less. We don't need more War, on any scale. Nobody could possibly need more than we have right now . . . Remember that Third World War? The one fought with sticks and stones?

What we seriously need is more time. We need to scratch up another hundred years from somewhere, or fifty, or even twenty, and then we might just get through this part. But without some kind of rough magic, like a global economic crash and the rise of a Hard Green Countercultural revolution, the future of this living world, the only one we have, never mind the future of so-called global civilisation, does not look good.

Climate change was already a wolf at the door twenty years ago for science fiction writers, Counterculturals and others. The actual threat has been perceived by science for a lot longer (but scientists are so timid! Someone just waved a hockey-stick at them, and they vanished) It's coming on much faster now. It's real as real. But still nobody seems to care. What's wrong with us all?

The Plumb Pudding in danger: from HYPERALLERGIC

Castles Made Of Sand, the print edition with the Anne Sudworth cover, is still readily available.

The EU does not play a glorious role in Bold As Love btw. It's the government, everybody blames it for everything. That's what governments are for. But European identity is vital for the revolutionaries, Europe is where we all live. In times of trouble, the people cling together, I read that in the flood countries, long ago

*Okay, the outrage over equating Jesus, saviour of the world, & btw no fan of dietary restrictions (Matthew 15:11) with a non-kosher pork snack was funny: (now if only it had been a vegan sausage roll!) But what I see in that ad is the mass-market, populist form of "greed is good". Feeding your face is God.

Here, Beside the Rising Tide . . .

In 1999 I set the date for the Dissolution of the United Kingdom. Scotland, Wales and the newly United Ireland went their separate ways calmly, (Wales Inc. happy to be wholely or partly owned by the Japanese*). The fourth nation state went straight to hell, via a bloody coup engineered by a back-stabbing Home Secretary (who got his head blown off the same night); a brutal, populist, rock-star "Head of State", a devastating epidemic of illiterate, starving, homeless wanderers, an army of righteous Rock Festival "staybehinds", and a rampage of Hard Green violence up and down the country. Not to mention Union Jack Loyalists mining the beaches of the North East against desperate migrants, and a small war in Islamic Yorkshire.

It was a fairytale. Not a fantasy, not even in 1999, you may be surprised to learn, but I never imagined things could get so scarily, idiotically awful in the real UK, so fast, with or without Dissolution. I never thought I'd live to see poverty and starvation return here, or illiteracy swiftly rising, or so many homeless, or, or . . . (More on that rising tide in my next post). But given my early-adopter behaviours, my tree-hugging, anti-fracking and so on, why did I make the Bold As Love Hard Greens into feared, ruthless terrorists?

Because that's what happens to utopian revolutions? Because the desperate straits that create these explosions always lead swiftly and dreadfully to a Terror? It's a fair point.** But I wouldn't do that. Not my style at all. I wanted to tell the story of a passionate, no-surrender, love is all there is, total revolution, with guitar, that would find a way to stay sane. I think the music helps . . .

Bold As Love

But please do, make up your own minds.

*better than being governed from Cardiff, see?
**Clement Attlee's government and the Welfare State, the utopian world where I was born, had admittedly paid a steep price in global war and genocide, in advance.