Opening dialogue about abuse





Earlier this month, my deeply wise and very beautiful friend, Guilaine, spoke of her experience of the clinical psychology community and about behaviours that I consider abusive.

You can read of her experience here. As this is my response, I recommend you listen to what she has to say. I note the sparsity of comment, but I also note that it has taken me this long to finally shift into ‘spoken’ dimensions . Some issues are so deep they are rendered pre-verbal and require time for processing, for words to work their way to the surface and expression.

And my response…?


Walk away, Guilaine.

Sack the entire clinical psychology profession for profoundly unethical behaviour.

Tell them they can stick their profession where the sun don’t shine.

NO-ONE has the ‘right’ to treat anyone this way, let alone a ‘therapeutic’ profession one of their own students. Is this how they teach clinical psychologists to behave in the face of social and psychological cruelty?  They can go fuck themselves!


Walk away, Guilaine.

We both know they’ll never accept you, no matter how hard you try. You’ve lost before you’ve even started, in a rigged game, using rules that see only what is wrong with you, my beautiful and precious friend, whilst willfully refusing to acknowledge their own, far worse, failings.

The honour I see in you, Guilaine, requires that you walk away. You cannot be a part of this hypocrisy. We both know that, but there are so many more reasons for walking!


Walk away for your children.

To stay is to model acceptance of abusive behaviour. That is NOT an acceptable lesson to teach any mentally healthy child, without or within.


Walk away for our future.

The single wealthy white misogynistic male psychological narrative is cruel to all who fail to conform to their profoundly blinkered perspective. It’s a splitting narrative, which means it can only wound and harm.  True healing can only be found in the ‘unity’ of multi-narratives. Their ‘way’ is always past-oriented. Let it not be our future!


Walk away, Guilaine, our world needs your very obvious talents elsewhere.

If ever there was a time our psychological narratives needed practitioners able to facilitate excluded social narratives, it is now. You are eminently qualified for this work. We have HUGE communities across the world who need the kind of therapeutic help you are a natural for. To continue to crucify yourself on this academic cross of ‘professional acceptance’ is criminally irresponsible, both personally and socially.

You’re not alone. There are others walking away too. We see the same things you see, on our own terms and in our own way, but the pattern is unmistakable. It’s time to focus on solutions – we know the problems from the inside-out – it’s time to stop feeding the figure of the problem. Now we know what we don’t want, it’s time to focus on what we do. Those are future-oriented multi-narratives and women are born midwives. You tick all the boxes in ‘required specifications’ for such transformative work because you understand the depth and urgency of our need.


Walk away, Guilaine.

If you have clients, discuss this with them. You will be changing the therapeutic contract and your clients must be invited to reconsider their therapeutic alliance with you. It is a matter of free will and choice – there has been enough past arbitrary decision-making about clients and it needs to stop. When we take our power back, we model the process for others and give ‘unconscious permission’ to do the same. Those who are unable to change will leave, those who want to learn how to do this themselves will stay. These will be your new teachers – just follow where they lead you. They’ll show you where the interruptions and blockages are occurring – the more diverse the group, the more likely workable ‘answers’ will be found.


Walk away and come join us ‘out’-laws.

I have skills that would help get you off the ground, if you’re interested. My Gestalt training was a ‘private’ creation outside academia; student-led, experiential, facilitators learning as they went along with the help of first rate supervision. It also included the business side of setting up a practice, so I’m not suggesting anything I haven’t already done myself. By the time I retired, I’d spent 12 years in private practice. My first thoughts in your case, however, are around crowd-funding. Given the potential value of your work to the mental health of all our communities, crowd-funding would be appropriate.

As for qualifications, Life has already qualified you – you know more about wounds/wounding than any therapeutic training could teach. All you need, in my opinion, are contemporary working tools that enable/empower your ability to midwife the creativity necessary for us to get out of this nightmare, inclusive to all those who choose it.


Walk away, my friend.


Please stop hurting yourself. It’s cruel to you and its cruel to those of us who love you. It would be a healing kindness for all of us, but especially you, if you walk away. Give yourself permission to shine instead.


Remember, fear is only thirty seconds deep. Those are the first five knee-trembling steps… after that, you don’t stop. The trembling wears off as you get into your stride.


Just walk away, Guilaine… and keep walking.


My deepest gratitude to Guilaine for her willingness to engage with this. Here is her response to the above:


My Dear friend,
You have touched me in a way that I cannot put into words. And I want to say thank you.
Thank you for caring enough to ask me to walk way, but…
I will not walk away.
I am not ready to walk away.
I am not willing to walk away.
Not without a fight.
When treated unfairly, I fight for justice.
That is what I do.
This is Black women the world over are forced to do.
That is how I have survived.
That is how generations before me have survived.
I must honour them too.
I could never walk away without knowing I tried to make right the wrong done to me.
Is some of me dying in the process?
But, also some of me is coming alive.
 Alive to the suffering that is all around us.
To the myriads of ways human beings can be cruel to those who are different.
I am learning all about power.
And the inherent sense of weakness and inadequacy it serves to cover.
I’ve learnt how people can be tortured.
 In public and killed slowly all while business goes on as usual.
 I’ve learnt that closing our eyes is the way some of us embody empathy. And professionalism.
I am learning about life. And its fuckery.
These are part of universe’ gifts to me.
This is the wisdom and lived experience I draw from when I support others.
This is the lived experience I can instantly recognise when people come to me for help.
Sometimes complete strangers in the street.
So for them too, I will not walk away.
I am not a walker. I am a fighter.
Even my name means ‘the one who fights’. Perhaps another gift from the Universe.
I will not walk away.
I never have.
And I hope, through all my imperfections and mistakes as a parent, that my children can learn some things are worth fighting for.
They can be reminded that ideals are worth more than possessions.
And to be absolutely clear, I am not fighting for clinical psychology. I am fighting for decency. I am fighting for my right to equality. I am fighting for my right to treated as a human being.
And the rights of others too.
I am not disposable. And therefore not someone who can be bullied into walking away.
Thanks Dearest friend but I shall stay.
But, I welcome you on my journey.



It seems appropriate to pause here; to keep company and stay present with two very different realities emerging from separate root systems, each with unique personal responses to the issue of abusive behaviour in psychological disciplines.

It is a pause to appreciate, respect and honour our differences; it is not the same as stopping. Our conversation has not reached any kind of closure… not by a very long way.

watching others suffer

Corbyn’s Labour: Uncomradely Behaviour




do not cross


It had to happen sooner or later; the signs have been there all along – it was only a matter of when.


Andrew Fisher, an aide to Jeremy Corbyn, has been suspended from the Labour Party and faces ‘calls for his expulsion after suggesting people should back a Class War candidate in May’s election instead of Labour’s candidate’. It’s worth quoting the BBC report because the details are important:


[Andrew Fisher] had faced calls for his expulsion after suggesting people should back a Class War candidate in May’s election instead of Labour’s candidate.

Mr Fisher apologised but critics accused him of showing “contempt”.

Mr Corbyn has said he still has “full confidence” in Mr Fisher amid reports the aide was still working for him.

Channel 4 News said Mr Fisher had been suspended for “administrative” reasons.

Labour former ministers Caroline Flint and Siobhain McDonagh, who complained about the tweet, said in a joint statement they were “pleased” the party was enforcing its rules.

They said they had been acting “on behalf of those hard working members who were offended by Mr Fisher’s activities which included supporting a candidate against Labour.

Mr Fisher’s appointment is one of a number to Mr Corbyn’s close circle that have proved controversial among Labour MPs.

The economist and former trade union official posted a tweet in August 2014, which has since been deleted, saying “if you live in Croydon South, vote with dignity, vote @campaignbeard” – the Twitter name of the Class War party candidate.

Class War, an anarchist group, has suggested that there is “no difference” between any of the Westminster parties.

Labour’s official candidate in Croydon South, Emily Benn, granddaughter of Mr Corbyn’s political mentor Tony Benn, lodged a formal complaint about the tweet.

BBC: 6 November 2015 (my emphasis)


Firstly, let me make it clear that I have no personal involvement in the above and I know none of the ‘actors’. My observations are based on my past experience as a shop steward and full-time trade union representative as they relate to the operation of disciplinary procedures.


Such was my experience in representing members and negotiating disciplinary procedures that after I behavioural limitsburned-out and changed careers, my employers required me to write training courses for managers on this subject. Managers were making serious mistakes and the human resources staff wanted them educated in how to operate the procedures properly and fairly. Later, when I trained as a psychotherapist, the same issue arose around interpersonal boundaries – we need them.


We need to put boundaries around peoples’ behaviour because some behaviour is directly harmful. And if someone purposefully engages in harmful behaviour, especially within an organisation such as the Labour Party, then it is quite correct that disciplinary procedures should be invoked for the sake of everyone. So I agree with Caroline Flint and Siobhain McDonagh, it is a good thing that Labour is enforcing the rules, but only up to a point.


When I was first being trained to represent members at disciplinary hearings, the point made by the tutor, a full-time TU official, was that procedures were there to ensure the panel did their job properly. Many a management attempt at imposing disciplinary sanctions would fail if it could be shown the procedures had not been followed; that the penalty was too harsh; and/or disciplinary standards were being applied unevenly or unfairly. This last point is particularly relevant in Andrew Fisher’s case.


Emily Benn FB
The Pot and the Kettle

As I understand it, during last May’s election, Andrew Fisher sent a humorous tweet suggesting in folk in Croydon South vote for Class War candidate. The official Labour Party candidate for that constituency was Emily Benn, granddaughter of Tony Benn, who was aggrieved at Fisher’s behaviour and complained about him. Yet following Jeremy Corbyn’s election as leader, the very same Emily Benn posted a ‘retweet’ to her Facebook account suggesting women should leave the Labour Party and join the Women’s Equality Party instead.


Emily Benn tweet

Given that Ms. Benn had already complained about Andrew Fisher’s behaviour earlier in the year, it would be reasonable to assume that she was fully aware that the Labour Party has rules about encouraging members to join another non-affiliated political party yet, despite her recent encounter with this rule, she retweeted the recommendation following Jeremy’s election.


If Labour’s rules are applied to all party member’s, I await Ms Benn’s disciplinary hearing in due course, particularly if Mr Fisher’s punishment is to be expelled. To fail to call her to account for her actions would bring Labour’s disciplinary procedure into public disrepute. I would hope that both Ms. Flint and Ms. McDonagh concur, after all that’s what rules are for, aren’t they? Ms Benn’s misconduct carries a greater gravitas because she herself had complained about Mr. Fisher – she knew the rules. What’s good for the gander is also good for the goose.


Labour Party Discipline

For those in Labour celebrating the suspension of Andrew Fisher, I would point out that if you start what you allowenforcing rules upon Corbyn aides, you will raise collective awareness that Labour has disciplinary rules and this means those same rules apply to you too.


At present and in matters of ‘uncomradely behaviour’, there is growing mountain of evidence that rules are not being applied equally across the membership. A harsher behavioural regime is apparently being used to ‘police’ party members who support Jeremy Corbyn.


We are being required to endure a level of aggression and highly personal disrespect from some actively anti-Corbyn members. Indeed I blogged about this only a few days ago. Whilst unfamiliar with the party’s disciplinary procedures, I would be astonished if the relentless insults I was subjected to by a former Parliamentary Labour Party Special Advisor did not fall squarely into the category of  ‘uncomradely behaviour’.


ExSpAd to meBrimir’s opinion is that Corbyn is an unelectable disaster who will destroy the Labour Party. Over the course of the day he informed several of us engaging with him that we were ‘anachronisms’, ‘deluded sect members’, ‘off with the fairies’, ‘£3 tinpot Trots’, members of ‘the fruitcake permanent opposition party’ who were better expelled and, in my own case, ‘a deeply sad individual destined to be disappointed’.

Corbyn’s Labour: A Bloody Rotten Audience



manipulative people

I found it curious that within 48 hours of Brimir alleging Corbyn supporters were a ‘sect’, Tristram Hunt was saying something very similar. Indeed, Mr Hunt went on to inform Cambridge University students: “You are the top 1%. The Labour party is in the shit. It is your job and your responsibility to take leadership going forward.”


Jeremy Corbyn won the leadership of the Labour Party fairly and squarely – in all voting categories – by a massive majority. We could exclude all the votes from ‘£3 tinpot Trots’ and Jeremy would still have won the leadership by a massive majority. What does it say of the Parliamentary Labour Party that we now have leading members, with a very public platforms, briefing the media against their democratically-elected leader and hounding activists for mistakes that they themselves make? What interests me is whether this form of ‘uncomradely behaviour’ falls within the remit of the party’s disciplinary procedures and if it doesn’t, why not?

As news of Andrewleadership results Fisher began circulating on the social media, various other MP’s who have exhibited  ‘uncomradely behaviour’ towards Jeremy are being identified. This points to the possibility of a witchhunt and, under the desistance rules I am bound to comply with, my social responsibility will not permit me to remain a party member under such circumstances. I am boundaried by law and disciplinary rules – to remain a member during a witchhunt would be to collude with a party that has no boundaries to its behaviour. It is my duty to society to remove myself from such politics. But there’s more…


Because I’d had to abandon my attempt to engage Brimir after Tristram Hunt’s speech has sent him into deep into offensive behaviour, I took time to reflect on what I knew about the messages he’d been tweeting to me and came to this conclusion:


Additionally, Brimir is fully aware he is promoting political policies which purposefully and knowingly exclude my voice, on the grounds of his exceptionalism and my absolute worthlessness. This is the same narrative being propagated by the Tories I have standardsand the evidence says it is fatal to folk like me.  It is also the same narrative currently used by the State of Israel when describing Palestinians. The resultant death-toll is of as much supreme disinterest to Israel as my kind of benefit-death is to Brimir. I wonder if he was at all aware of how much he was unconsciously communicating in the other realms of elementary intelligence?

And if Brimir is aware, then is it reasonable to assume that his behaviour is abusive? If it were to be determined that a Labour Party member was shown to be actively and purposefully attacking the existential value of another (more vulnerable) member up to and including state-sanctioned lethal outcomes, does anything get done about it?

I ask because both my conscience and my social responsibility as a desister forbids me to remain aligned with those of murderous intent because to remain is to condone such behaviour – I’d be putting my shot at social redemption at risk if I were to remain. The austerity narrative was why I could not align with Labour before Jeremy’s election. Further, Jeremy knowingly excludes lethal force from his narratives – something I am required to comply with as a desister. It’s why I rejoined. If, however, the practical expression of Corbyn’s Labour is to allow some members to target others with lethal narratives for the sake of a ‘broad church’, then I can have no part of it.

Corbyn’s Labour: Tristram Hunt and the University of Life


As a woman with considerable long-term professional experience in the field of discipline and boundaries, I see no reason to change my assessment. If Andrew Fisher is sanctioned whilst other offenders remain undisciplined, it will signal to me that Labour is not the democratic party it claims to be and in the court of my conscience, it will be found blameworthy and summarily dismissed for gross misconduct.


consequences ahead




Corbyn’s Labour: Tristram Hunt & the University of Life



never play w hearts


Funny how synchronicity works. The day after I post ‘Corbyn’s Labour: A Bloody Rotten Audience‘ the media starts reporting Tristram Hunt’s views on the Labour Party delivered to an audience of Cambridge University students.


He was remarkably honest, I thought. In the company of our own kind, folk have a tendency to relax and say stuff they wouldn’t usually say to a ‘mixed’ crowd. He certainly inspired a triumphant Brimir to resurrect into my mentions after I’d posted the link on my feed. I had to block him. He made his nature as a troll Semitic_peopleobvious by calling me anti-Semitic for listening to all Semitic people in Palestine rather than just Israel’s narrative. His unapologetic insult made it plain to me that here is a man who does not want to be included in a Labour Party democratically led by Jeremy Corbyn. To continue to engage my compassion is to disrespect him because he clearly affords it no worth in his relationships. Equally, to continue to permit him to behave without compassion in my mentions disrespects me. So I blocked him.


Whilst I’m sure Brimir can trot out a CV to dazzle his peers, mine looks a little different. My qualifications come from the University of Life. For example, one thing I discovered there is people don’t ‘learn’ only in the way Oxbridge-type intellectuals tell us we do.



In the University of Life, there are four ‘elemental’ ways of learning:

  • intellectual knowledge
  • emotional intelligence
  • wisdom of ‘spirit’
  • practical application

Of all the ‘elements’, intellect (air) is the most restrictive in the development of intelligence, particularly when it refuses to be ‘educated’ by other elements. That sentence probably looks prejudicial, but I submit an example – the Cambridge University reporter’s response to the media reaction to Tristram Hunt’s speech. Perhaps Corbyn’s intellectuals could follow its progress through the other elements and see how it stands up. I have no problem with an emotionally-intelligent intellect.


So next size up in the elemental University of Life is emotional intelligence (water). This ‘school’ is now openly present in Labour discourse by Corbyn’s active inclusion of mental health issues. So I invite our mental health Corbynites to form an opinion on the power dynamic occurring in A Bloody Rotten Audience; what does it suggest might be happening to some new party members? In the watery elements, it is a matter of interpersonal respect that we are allowed to have feelings about how we are treated; in healthy exchanges, this calls for boundaries on all sides, not just some.


Once embarked upon the voyage of emotional intelligence, the student in the elemental University of Life will inevitably encounter ‘spirit’ dimensions, not to be confused with religion. This kind of wisdom (fire) dwells at the heart of many things human. We find it in ethics, morals and any quest for ‘truth’. What is certain here is that anything claiming to be wisdom that not rooted in some form of Love of Creation is bound to fail. It is not possible to healthily gain wisdom in this element without the presence of Love in some form or another. Without it, any knowledge gained here belongs to the dark side of the Force; it is the realm of Deatheaters; the undeniable fingerprint of the Holdfast archetype:


educating the mind wout heart“He is the hoarder of the general benefit. He is the monster avid for the greedy rights of ‘my and mine.’ The havoc wrought by him is described in mythology and fairy tale as being universal throughout his domain. This may be no more than his household, his own tortured psyche, or the lives that he blights with the touch of his friendship and assistance; or it may amount to the extent of his civilization. The inflated ego of the tyrant is a curse to himself and his world – no matter how his affairs may seem to prosper. Self-terrorized, fear-haunted, alert at every hand to meet and battle back the anticipated aggressions of his environment, which are primarily the reflections of the uncontrollable impulses to acquisition within himself, the giant of self-achieved independence is the world’s messenger of disaster, even though, in his mind, he may entertain himself with humane intentions. Wherever he sets his hand there is a cry (if not from the housetops, then – more miserably – within every heart): a cry for the redeeming hero, the carrier of the shining blade, whose blow, whose touch, whose existence, will liberate the land.”

Hero with a Thousand Faces, 2nd Edition


I intend to expand on the dangers of the archetypes swirling around Corbyn but not in this blog. This is simply to illustrate that such subjects are included in lessons from the University of Life, as are lessons on timing and our collective consciousness. I invite readers to imagine Brimir’s behaviour if I tabled such subjects in his presence. My own imagination sends me images of the weasel’s laughing themselves to death in ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit?’, or Tory mockery in the House of Commons when welfare issues are debated.


Which brings us on to the only Doctorate-level qualification issued by the elemental University of Life: practical application (earth). Unless we have lived it, we can never qualify. Bitter experience is the only measure. The human theories we create in our intellect need to be tested by water for kindness and compassion; they also need to be tested by the fire of human relationship using meExSpAd to measures of respect and fair play. We see the results in evidence (earth). The theories of humanity applied to me by Brimir posit the intellectual belief that I am totally without value to the Labour Party. This  has been supported publicly by Tristram Hunt who claims all ‘goodness’ to he and his.


“The tyrant is proud, and therein resides his doom. He is proud because he thinks of his strength as his own; thus he is in the clown role, as a mistaker of shadow for substance; it is his destiny to be tricked.”


The absence of emotional intelligence means Brimir can do things like claim the only way for Labour to win elections is by appealing to Tory voters, whilst at the same time singularly failing to notice that Jeremy Corbyn is, in fact, already Oborne on Corbynattracting such agreement, if not support, from the same. I wonder if he regards Peter Oborne or Michelle Dorrell’s opinion with the same disdain as he regards mine?


Additionally, Brimir is fully aware he is promoting political policies which purposefully and knowingly exclude my voice, on the grounds of his exceptionalism and my absolute worthlessness. This is the same narrative being propagated by the Tories and the evidence says it is fatal to folk like me.  It is also the same narrative currently used by the State of Israel when describing Palestinians. The resultant death-toll is of as much supreme disinterest to Israel as my kind of benefit-death is to Brimir. I wonder if he was at all aware of how much he was unconsciously communicating in the other realms of elementary intelligence?


And if Brimir is aware, then is it reasonable to assume that his behaviour is abusive? If it were to be determined that a Labour Party member was shown to be actively and purposefully attacking the existential value of another (more vulnerable) member up to and including state-sanctioned lethal outcomes, does anything get done about it?


I ask because both my conscience and my social responsibility as a desister forbids me to remain aligned with those of murderous intent because to remain is to condone such behaviour – I’d be putting my shot at social redemption at risk if I were to remain. The austerity narrative was why I could not align with Labour before Jeremy’s election. Further, Jeremy knowingly excludes lethal force from his narratives – something I am required to comply with as a desister. It’s why I rejoined. If, however, the practical expression of Corbyn’s Labour is to allow some members to target others with lethal narratives for the sake of a ‘broad church’, then I can have no part of it.


It would be a shame to resign so soon after rejoining without at least trying to contribute to the discussion, particularly as Hunt and Brimir have tabled it and other educated opinions are now being tossed into the mix. In my own opinion, the politics of envy has no place in the Labour Party I wish to belong to. It would be interesting to hear from others what they make of it.


For the sake of all my peers, I hope this blog offers a representative-enough view of what a graduate of University of Life can look like. I’m not alone. There are many more smarter graduates emerging from my alma-mater into party membership – are they going being subjected to the same treatment Brimir offered me?


When did it become acceptable to treat anyone that way, especially in Labour?



emotional abuse


Corbyn’s Labour: A Bloody Rotten Audience


You’re a bloody rotten audience whilst I am very good
If brains were made of oak and ash then you’d have balsa wood
I’m ethnic and authentic and I’m really full of class
While you’re ignorant, you’re cultureless, you’re philistines en masse.                                                                         Eric Bogle

So this troll turned up in my twitter mentions yesterday. For the sake of this blog, I’m going to call him Brimir because this is not about attacking him. It’s about the experience of engagement.

Brimir arrived in my mentions because I was engaged in a discussion about Jeremy Corbyn, the new leader of UK’s Labour Party. To say that Jeremy is a divisive figure within the higher echelons of Labour is to slightly understate the problem. As Brimir had previously worked within these hallowed heights, his tweeted views reflected this and as someone who has recently rejoined the Labour Party precisely because Jeremy had been elected, we were destined to disagree… vehemently. We are both people with very strong opinions.

ExSpAd to meBrimir’s opinion is that Corbyn is an unelectable disaster who will destroy the Labour Party. Over the course of the day he informed several of us engaging with him that we were ‘anachronisms’, ‘deluded sect members’, ‘off with the fairies’, ‘£3 tinpot Trots’, members of ‘the fruitcake permanent opposition party’ who were better expelled and, in my own case, ‘a deeply sad individual destined to be disappointed’. In his favour, however, the worst he imagined for us was Labour losing the election in 2020, which is probably why I continued the conversation. Usually trolls imagine far worse than that, especially if we happen to be women. Nevertheless, there were other reasons why I continued engaging.

Jeremy Corbyn has made it very clear, in both word and deed, that he views the Labour Party as inclusive, a broad church, Corbyn respectencompassing a wide range of very different views. As someone who joined because he is leader, I feel a personal responsibility to contain my engagement within these inclusive principles. Why? Because I have more than enough personal experience of being excluded, silenced, vilified and exiled from social discourse. I do no service to either society or the Labour Party by promptly stamping down on opinions I don’t like the moment my ‘team’ ‘wins’. Labour did that to its membership in the 1980’s and continued the same policy of ‘silencing the left’ over the following decades right up until Jeremy’s election. To repeat this process in reverse is to reinforce this division internally in an already deeply divisive political environment. So I had political reasons to continue engaging Brimir but I also had personal ones.

For reasons I cannot fully explain, Brimir touched my compassion. Here is a man whose personal history had dedicated 30 years of activism to the Labour Party. He has advised its leaders; has worked very hard to ensure the party would win elections and now he is faced with his worst nightmare. Everything his political narrative had told him to avoid at all costs has suddenly and unexpectedly resurrected, supported by the thousands of new members joining the party he regards has his. single storyIn human terms, it is neither reasonable nor fair to expect him to ‘get over it’ easily or quickly. The tone of yesterday’s tweets carries the emotional charge of someone whose world has just turned upside down in the worst possible way. As someone who knows what it is to have all my beliefs upended into nightmare, I can empathise with his difficulty even if I disagree with his analyses. Throughout the day, I found myself reflecting on him and still willing to engage, despite the sharp and sometimes hurtful edges of what I think of as his ill-informed stereotypical opinions.

There’s nothing wrong with being ill-informed – everyone is. There are always subjects we know well but the universe is a very big place and only the single narrative ever claims to have all the answers. Communities are far better served by multiple narratives, where we can collectively draw upon the knowledge and wisdom of many individuals. It is this knowledge that leads me to agree with Jeremy about the need for Labour to be inclusive, including Brimir and those who might feel the same way he does. In the multiple narratives Jeremy is now generating within the Labour Party, acknowledging and respecting Brimir’s opinion no longer requires me to disrespect or stifle my own. Nevertheless my narrative about Labour has been profoundly different from his. I have my own equally powerful feelings about how Labour has treated folk like me particularly in opposition and I’m not alone in feeling this way.

At present, the political gulf between us is so wide as to appear unbridgeable. Certainly it seems that way to Brimir, judging opening your eyesfrom his unhappier tweets about Corbyn’s Labour. Despite engagement, his feelings are largely unchanged and I could have been tempted to buy into his analysis and abandon him to his misery but for one thing. At the end of a very tiring day of sometimes bitter exchanges, he said something that completely floored me. He said he liked me. Given the way my compassion continued to be triggered, I suspect I might like him too. If that isn’t a first rope across the political chasm, then I don’t know what is.

There are other possible areas of agreement too. Brimir wants Labour to win the next general election in 2020. So do I. What we disagree on is the how… but then we have four years to build bridges of understanding across the gulf of the last forty years. In that time, the shock of change will have softened and, I hope for everyone’s sake, we will have enabled more opportunities to establish a much deeper mutual understanding of the social problems such a Labour government will be facing, together with potential solutions we may not like but are willing to try.

So here’s to the Brimir’s of the Labour Party capable of making a human connection with Corbynites they regard as a pain in the flipping arse. No worries lovelies, we’re inclined to think the same about you which, oddly enough, places us on the first level playing field in British politics I’ve seen in over forty years.

Salariat view of Corbyn

“The Table of Destiny” #Sept5 #globalmeditation



“Yet, no matter how deeply I go down into myself, my God is dark, and like a webbing made of a hundred roots that drink in silence.”
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

On 5th September 2015, there will be a 30-minute global meditation in New York. Anyone life-affirming can participate (local times here). Originally entitled “In the company of angels” and conceived by the sound-shaman/psychotherapist Tom Kenyon as simply part of what he does, it got ‘occupied’ by his Otherworld guides, the Hathors. This is what they’ve done to his event:

We are therefore calling into action all positive angelic forms from all spiritual traditions, from all life-affirming interdimensional beings, from all alien civilizations of positive intent, and from all human beings who are aligned with our intention.

We will be creating a nexus point on September 5, 2015. And through a global meditation we will be calling forth these many diverse and life affirming angelic forms into an alliance for the protection of life and its elevation upon this planet.

Let us be clear what we mean by this.

If human consciousness elevates itself to a higher level than it is currently manifesting, then it deserves to survive. If it does not elevate itself then humanity, as you know it, will not survive this passage. It is a collective cosmic intelligence test you are now facing on many levels.

Our creation of this nexus point, around which these positive electromagnetic fields of intelligence can move together as a coherent force, is an unusual proposition.

This is because the creators of these angels come from many different spiritual, alien and interdimensional sources.  These “angelic beings” rarely interact with each other, and yet we are calling them to the Table of Destiny for the sake of humanity and all life upon this planet.

© Tom Kenyon

All the stars you see at nightHaving work hi-jacked in unexpected directions is part of any shaman’s job description; indeed it forms part of the experience of active faith, regardless of how people may conceive it. It is the surprising quality of such experiences that attracts, nourishes and sustains my own faith. To relate to another – any kind of ‘other’ – is always unpredictable, so why should a life-affirming relationship with the Sacred Other be any different?

When Tom first posted details of The Table of Destiny, I shared them via the social media but I want to to both remind and encourage all life-affirming humans to participate. Here’s why:

Every once in a while, opportunity presents itself to each and every one of us. It comes in many forms and frequently appears during times of great difficulty. In my experience, it never shows up the way I want or expect it to, and quite rightly so, because opportunity always moves us into unexplored territory by offering new ‘solutions’. We never know whether these solutions will work; the only way to find out is to try it and see what happens.  In my view, the opportunity created by Tom and the Hathors is one of the most unusual and fascinating ideas I have ever come across; the chance to be ‘present’ at an interdimensional Table of Destiny with such ‘Others’ ~ all positive angelic forms from all spiritual traditions, from all life-affirming interdimensional beings, from all alien civilizations of positive intent, and from all human beings who are aligned with our intention ~ that it completely beggars my imagination.

‘Could such a thing possibly be true? Doesn’t this sound like all the new-age ‘woo’ circulated and promoted by flakes and psychotics?’ says my inner-cynic. Well, there is a way to check.

It is one thing to imagine beyond ourselves but to be grounded we have to have a firm grasp of reality. Here is are a few examples of the Hathors’ ‘take’ on our global reality:

Confront the empireYou are at a collective evolutionary threshold and the pressures are building. These are being felt by individuals, by those in relationship, by all aspects of your society–and your global politics. The economic powers that control the global economy are manipulating the press and information systems on your planet to create fear. Fear is an ancient method of manipulating human consciousness. When a human is afraid, he or she operates from the reptilian circuitry of his/her brain. This results in less access to the higher brain centers, a decrease in reason, and an inability to see new options. The global economic powers have a vested interest in keeping you, and society in general, in a lower evolutionary state. Here it becomes very complex and to attempt a simplification is to enter very difficult waters, so to speak. But we will attempt to do just this because the hour is late.

At the monetary level of planetary power, those in control wish to remain in control. There is an understanding on their part that the information age is about to move the center of control out of their hands, and they are doing everything they can to stop it.

© Tom Kenyon: 2003

Fear does not prevent deathThe paradox and the difficulty is that you live in a dualistic universe, and virtually any action you take is met by a counter-force. This paradox and difficulty is like a metaphorical grain of sand in an oyster; it is irritating. But through the process of self-evolution, the irritation (i.e. duality) becomes a pearl, and paradoxically, something of value emerges from that which was problematic. But each Initiate must create this pearl of self-transformation for him or herself. No religion, no master, no teacher or guru can do it for you.

It may sound too simplistic but, in our experience, the greatest evolutionary catalyst, and the greatest vibratory field of safety to bridge transition states (such as the one you are collectively entering), is through the heart, your heart.

Let us be more specific here. As the number of Chaotic Nodes increases, the challenges to mental and emotional stability will multiply. And as a result, increasing numbers of individuals will enter irrational states of consciousness. There will be a tendency for these individuals to act out in self-destructive ways. And because you are connected to all life on this planet, you will be affected to some extent by the emotional turmoil of others.

© Tom Kenyon: 2011


Sufi transformation processThere is a growing sense among many that something is terribly wrong, and along with this is the feeling that there is no solution. In this instance we agree with something Albert Einstein once said, which is that the solution to a problem cannot be solved at the level of the problem.

From our perspective, the escalation of Chaotic Nodes is creating tidal waves of intense chaotic energies that many of you are finding difficult to contend with. Furthermore, your automatic reflexive ways of dealing with change are increasingly ineffective.

There is a fork in the road, so to speak, that you have entered both individually and collectively. One path from this fork will lead you into a type of madness and an inability to function in practical ways. For those who take this fork, escapism will be on the rise. Self-destruction both individually and collectively will also increase in this period.

Many of you who have an opportunity to transition out of third-dimensional reality into other dimensions will take it.

Without mincing words, to use one of your phrases, we would say you are entering one of the more difficult passages of planetary transformation.

At this fork in the road, one path leads to self-destruction, madness, despair and hopelessness while the other fork leads to a deeper connection with your interdimensional or spiritual nature.

© Tom Kenyon: 2014

Despite the galactic perspective, the Hathors seem to have a very firm grasp of the present human condition faced by life-affirming people on our planet. They utilize the language of our science to explain the processes our planet is now experiencing. This qualifies as ‘grounded’ in my reality. The Hathors describe feelings and behaviour I experience and sometimes struggle with. Their message is consistent over time. ‘Woo’ cannot do this. But I am fortunate; I’ve had five years to get to know Tom, the Hathors and the work they do together. What of those who have not had this privilege and are encountering this invitation to the Table of Destiny for the first time? I would suggest the following:

Einstein on the universeIf you are someone with a preference for evidence, take a look at Tom’s work with the Hathors. There is no expectation or requirement to believe or accept all of it but ask yourself if there is enough information to resonate with your own experience of ‘reality’. Remember that Tom himself had similar problems with his incredulity: ‘ I was a rationalist. And these beings—whoever they were and wherever they came from—did not fit into my views of reality at the time.

Then ask yourself, “Just suppose it’s true”.

Just suppose the truth is you can meditate for half an hour, listening to “A Bridge between the Worlds” (free to download) on 5 September 2015, at this time, within a nexus described as the Table of Destiny in the company of other life-affirming people and beings from all over our universe. coming together for the sake of humanity and all life on our planet.

Given the crisis levels of fear, hatred, spite, malice, indifference and cruelty currently manifesting within humanity at present, would you really want to miss such an opportunity?

I already know my answer.

refuses to believe in magic

The Politics of Kindness, Ethics and Morality


Respect gone mad

It’s been a long while since I blogged anything. Some might call it writer’s block but, for me, it’s more about conversation and relationship. The result of the General Election last May brought all possibility of my making such interpersonal connections with others to a shuddering halt and I fell silent. What else could I possibly say to those refusing to listen that had not already been said if not by me then certainly by others?

This huge impasse began cracking when Jeremy Corbyn stood in the Labour leadership election. For the first time in years here was someone for whom my own reality existed; my circumstance became visible in UK political discourse yet it was not enough to dissolve my internal barriers to the self-expression required for blogging. It seems I have a need for human-to-human relating to give my words enough form for writing. I discovered that it is not enough to simply hang out within the Blair's heartecho-chambers of Labour’s Left-wing who, quite rightly in my opinion, are celebrating this huge existential change in UK politics. Given subsequent behaviour of many within Labour, it’s clear the emergence of such dialogue is deeply unwelcome. It’s also clear that those seeking to have this debate are equally unwelcome. The party’s active rejection of those seeking to bring it to the policy table contributed to my own decision not to rejoin the party because, Goddess knows, I carry enough reasons to be socially rejected without volunteering myself for more. Like the general election itself, the battle over whether my humanity ‘belongs’ in UK politics had the same silencing impact over my ability to blog. The environment simply had not altered enough to include my ability to relate in any supportive or constructive way. I am grateful to Jeremy Corbyn for his refusal to indulge in the dirty aspects of campaigning and deeply saddened that his opponents seemed incapable of the same magnanimity. Until today.

Corbyn respectSo if anyone ‘out there’ is glad to see this blog back in action after a six-month plus hiatus, the man to thank is Charlie Beckett whose own blog ‘The debate about the future of the Labour Party: the best and worst of times‘ was posted yesterday on the London School of Economics’ website. I invite everyone reading this to read what he has to say as well because I’m searching for models of balanced discussion in a deeply unbalanced situation and it is simply not possible to achieve balance without giving both ends of a polarity an equal hearing. Charlie is responding fairly to the ‘Corbyn effect’. This blog is responding to the valid points Charlie is raising by introducing issues vital to the different dimensions represented by his ‘self-propelling, burgeoning swarm of enthusiasts’. And, no, I’m not going to attack Charlie for using the word ‘swarm’ but I would invite him to deeper reflection, given its present use by government to dehumanise refugees and migrants. None of us are perfect and Charlie is as entitled to redemption for his 50% fuck-ups as I am for mine. To separate ourselves from contemporary tyrannical demands for perfection is the first step on the road to the politics of kindness.

I am drawn to Corbyn because he represents the qualities I both value and need most (remembering that Jeremy also has a 50% entitlement to fuck-ups too). It is his commitment to kindness, compassion and dialogue that calls to me ~ that someone at the top of our social food-chain can and does listen to folk like me matters. It matters a very great deal. It means I’m human, capable of relationship and a custodian of positive qualities as well as negative ones. That there is human space in Charlie’s perception for us ‘swarm’ matters too because it speaks to the question of balanced debate within the Labour Party.

And UR angry about benefit fraudCharlie, by his own definition, represents Labour’s right wing. This is not surprising. His biography of social roles fits well with right-wing policies. He ‘is director of Polis, in the department of media and communications at the London School of Economics. He has 20 years of experience with LWT, BBC and ITN’s Channel 4 News. He broadcasts and writes regularly on media and political affairs and is the author of SuperMedia: Saving Journalism So It Can Save The World (Blackwell, 2008).’ He is privileged to be a white man in a social narrative that favours white men. It is inevitable that this will inform his perceptions just as being a white woman inform mine. This is not politics, it’s the reality of being human and is worthy of mention because other narratives exist based on the experiences of those who do not ‘enjoy’ the privilege of being white. In matters of inclusion, all narratives matter.

Apart from my white privilege, however, I live at the polar opposite of Charlie’s social position. The only directorship I hold is over my internal life which, if not directed wisely, has the ability to sabotage my best intentions. My criminal history bears witness to this. I tick all the boxes for social exclusion by being too ill to work, poor and dependent upon social security. I left school at 16 with an O level and although, later, I studied, qualified and was accredited as a Gestalt psychotherapist, the training I completed was never recognised or respected by socially-accepted professionals. Indeed, these days I am someone ‘not to be talked about‘. Whilst all this maybe politics, I mention it only to establish my ‘qualifications’ at the other end of the polarity created within Labour by the Corbyn debate.

Charlie clearly ‘belongs’; I, clearly, do not. Charlie is a member of Labour; I’m someone Labour is more than likely to reject if only I gave them the opportunity to do so. Nevertheless, even with all this distance between us, Charlie wants to understand more about my/our perspective and I am willing to respond to those genuinely interested in listening. This is the politics of kindness between people of difference; but this blog is about more than just kindness. This blog is also about ethics and morality, and it goes way beyond any conversation between Charlie and me.

Kindness createsTo talk about kindness, compassion or love in our current political climate is to invite mockery, disdain and accusations of weakness from many who occupy the right-wing of any political party. Were Charlie to step outside current socially-accepted political narratives, he too might experience a (gentler) version of the same. We need only look to right-wing Labour’s response to the ‘Corbyn phenomenon’ for deeply painful unkind examples of how folk at my end of this polarity are treated. If we protest, we are subjected to the most appalling responses. We are regarded as irrelevant, our concerns discounted, our lifestyles disparaged and our worth to social discourse dismissed.  Leaving kindness aside for the moment, I believe it is important to ask: is this ethical/moral?

Labour grassrootsFor the record, I am not the only one raising matters of ethics. They are being raised by those on the right of the political spectrum as well as those of us on the left. For example:

A Tory MP is challenging her own party’s approach to social security recipients on ethical grounds.

A Tory journalist is challenging the ethics of contemporary mainstream journalism.

Lawyers are challenging the ethics of government changes to legal aid and the justice system.

And when the Telegraph carries this kind of piece, precariats of my persuasion might reasonably ask right-wing Labour of Charlie’s persuasion, ‘Where are ethics and morals in your narrative?’ followed by ‘Why are they missing?‘ And if Charlie, and all well-meaning folk like Charlie, understand the points I am raising here, is it fair to ask what you each intend to do about it?

Folk Disability attacklike me are forced to deal with these problems on a day-to-day basis. It’s not me who is on the front line at present (although I’m ‘scheduled’ for ‘treatment’ in the not so distant future, given I’m on ESA) but those who are dying. Literally.

Where is right-wing morality in this?

Charlie, where do I belong in the Labour Party right-wing; those who vilify, disparage, dismiss or generally devalue all those like me who find hope in Corbyn’s narrative ~ flawed as it must be because we are human? And is that such an unreasonable question to ask?

You say we excite you. I say we’re exciting because we represent Life in the face of those who would only deliver us to death. I know, because I’m one of those who is dying.

Would you miss me if I died?

I’m not the only one.

Remember this is a white-to-white conversation.

How many other colours of our human rainbow are trapped within lethal, white right-wing narratives too?

Who else would the right-wing of the Labour Party consign to existential oblivion too…. and where did you earn the ‘right’ to do that to anyone?

And thank you, Charlie, for unlocking my silence – it is not possible express my gratitude in words.

Crazy ones

(This is a deeply imperfect blog… because it’s supposed to be if we’re human. Human beings are always a work-in-progress in my reality & this level of communication has only just been unlocked on this level of the Game of Life.)

A well-versed election? #GE2015


bankers & inequality

History of class ruleOn the map of the world are countries
Which vary from huge to quite small;
Of the smallest of these, there is England
You can hardly see it at all.

Though the country itself is quite tiny
The people who live there think not;
Well, they believe they are bigger than others
Even though we all know this is rot.

Now Engerland once was all feudal
With royalty, lords and the rich
Ruling over the peasants and poorest
Which the people all thought was a bitch.

So in time, the people of England
Gave their country a bit of correction.
Instead of the royals & gentry
FireShot Pro Screen Capture #1337 - 'Media Lens - ‘Dark Omens’ And ‘Horror Shows’_ Scottish Independence, Power And Propaganda' - www_medialens_org_index_php_alerts_alert-archive_2014_774-dark-omens-and-horror-The people would rule by election.

This worked for a while in old England
When people all turned up to vote
But those who became politicians
Acquired a bad case of bloat.

Then the day came when people stopped voting
‘There’s no difference between them’, they said.
They line their own pockets with riches
And become neo-gentry instead.

Alas, so it was for old England
Green PartyThat they voted for gentry who lied
And for five years they suffered the fallout
And thousands of poor people died.

Along came the time for elections.
‘Vote for us’, said the gentry again,
And their pals in the meeja joined with them
Till it became but a single refrain.

And the party t’was meant for the people?
It kept most of the wealth for the banks.
“Well, that can fuck off” said its members,
Departing the party in ranks.

‘There’s still nothing to choose from’ repeated,
But, lo, did a green shoot arrive
That truly worked for the people
Upsetting the gentry’s ‘highfive’.

Policies Greens offered people, were
All the things we wanted and more
‘If we voted Green’ said some voters
‘We could show the gentry the door’.

Together, main meeja fell silent.
They didn’t want voters to twig
That the Green Party offered the people
A scupper to Westminster’s gig.

Youth VoteThe gentry were vexed and then frightened.
They planned to escape with their loot
Should England’s poor vote for the people
And give neo-gentry the boot.

The end of this story’s unwritten.
The poor haven’t voted as yet
So we don’t know who wins and who loses
Or how England’s sail will be set.

One thing is for sure and for certain.
If we want to get ‘new’ gentry’s goat,
There’s no other choice in the matter!
We will have to get out there and VOTE!


The Old Woman’s Magical Journey: A Tale for Midwinter


As we are

“… Whenever a fairy tale is told, it becomes night. No matter where the dwelling, no matter the time, no matter the season, the telling of tales causes a starry sky and a white moon to creep from the eaves and hover over the heads of the listeners. Sometimes, by the end of the tale, the chamber is filled with daybreak, other times a star shard is left behind, sometimes a ragged thread of storm sky. And whatever is left behind is the bounty to work with, to use towards the soul-making…”
Clarissa Pinkola Estes: from “Women Who Run With The Wolves

Part One

Once upon a time… not so very long ago… lived a woman who dwelt in a world without magic.

Although, from being a girl, she had always wished magic was real, the world around told her she was silly, that magic did not exist, it was just a story and she was foolish to even think that it could possibly be real. Slowly, and because the world said it so often, she came to believe what they told her and she grew up in this no-magic world, learning its ways. In fact, she became as non-magical as everyone around her because she believed what she had been taught; that this no-magic world was the only reality that existed.

After many, many years… so many that the woman was nearing her old age, she walked down a path one day and, to her surprise, saw a tiny breadcrumb of magic lying just where her eyes were looking and it twinkled at her. At first, the nearly-old woman was very surprised. She looked around but no one else had noticed the breadcrumb because, after all, magic did not exist, did it? But there it was – as real as life – a magical breadcrumb that was clearly twinkling at her. She wondered what she should do and, to her even greater surprise, the breadcrumb of magic whispered to her. It said
“Eat me.”

The nearly-old woman had not forgotten her little-girl wish for magic. She looked around again and when she was certain no-one was looking, quickly picked up the breadcrumb, popped it in her mouth and swallowed it down. Then she went on her way pretending as if nothing had happened. Meanwhile the breadcrumb magically burrowed its way into the nearly-old woman’s heart for, deep down, she still truly loved magic.

As the nearly-old woman began ageing into an old woman, she found more breadcrumbs of magic until she had swallowed so many and her heart had become so full of magic, she knew she could no longer live in a no-magic world. So she left it behind her, travelling far and having many many adventures until, finally, she came to dwell in a remote village deep in the countryside. She had found a land where some folk believed magic was real and where her now-magical heart could sing with content. It was far, far away from the no-magic world. Here she lived alone, content in the company of many cats, and she began to learn how to live in a land where life was made of magic.

More years passed.

There came a time, one day, as the days grew short and the nights became long, close to the darkest days of winter, when the now-old woman was going about living her new and happier life, when she heard a thousand voices carried by the wind. They were crying out for help.

“Help us” cried the voices, “Our people are suffering and dying. Our children are cold and hungry; our mothers are poor and weeping, our fathers despair and although we have tried, we cannot stop what is being done to us. Justice, if you exist in the world, find and help us.”

Now the old woman had known cold and hunger, poverty and weeping, and what it was like to try to change what was happening and fail, especially when she’d lived in the no-magic world. The voices sounded as if they came from there and their cries awoke something in her heart. She wished she could help but she didn’t know how or what she could do. So she asked the magic around. Soon afterwards, she spied another breadcrumb on her path, so she quickly swallowed it down and hurried home to learn what the breadcrumb had to teach her.

That night, the breadcrumb showed the old woman why the people had been crying out of help.

“You are correct.” said the breadcrumb, “The cry comes from people in the no-magic world you left behind. They are suffering because no-magic world is destroying them. “.

The breadcrumb said that those in charge of the no-magic world actually knew magic was real but they didn’t want the people to know it. So they lied. They told people magic didn’t exist, that it was foolish and silly to even consider magic was real while, in secret, they were stealing and gobbling down as much of the people’s magic as they could. The more they gobbled, the more they wanted, and this was how the no-magic world slowly grew in size and power. The bigger it got, the greedier it became. No-magic grew extremely fat and filthy rich, becoming exceptionally mean and horribly selfish, endlessly cruel and deeply heartless, especially towards those who might be magic if they thought it could be real. With every lie no-magic told, their power got stronger and stronger until they had eaten up almost all the magic whilst truly magical people, like the old woman, became poorer, hungrier and died sooner in their hopelessness and despair.

Then the breadcrumb showed the old woman that if magic ever really did cease to exist, the whole living world would die too. The cry for help she had heard, said the breadcrumb, was a sign that the world was getting very close to dying.

The old woman was horrified. She understood exactly what the breadcrumb was saying because she had lived it. She knew how painful it was to believe the lies of the no-magic world and she feared for the future the breadcrumb had described. She hadn’t understood she’d been lied to and was horrified by what the breadcrumb had told her about the greed and cruelty of magic thieves. Eventually she asked the breadcrumb, “Is there anything can I do to help?”

Into her heart, the breadcrumb whispered:
“On the darkest of darkest nights, when the world is has breathed out the last of the old year and before it breathes in the birth of the new, in that in-between moment where Sun, Moon and stars cease moving through the heavens – you must journey to the place where all the magic stolen from the world is being held captive. There you might set magic free to help the people whose voices you heard.”

“I will,” said the old woman and meant it with all her magical heart.
And so it happened, on the darkest of darkest nights, when the Sun, Moon and stars had ceased moving in the heavens; when the world had breathed out the passing year but had yet to breathe in the new one, the old woman stepped through her door and out into the night on a magical journey to free the stolen magic for the people crying out for help….
Part Two

“It’s a funny thing,” thought the old woman as she closed the door to her home behind her, “how similar the magical world looks to the everyday world I live in”. She looked around and everything looked just the same, only much much darker. She walked to the end of the road and then out into the surrounding fields, waiting for magic to find her. She didn’t have to wait long.

Suddenly a HUGE wind lifted her right off her feet and high into the air. Just as she feared she might fall, huge wings sprouted from her back and caught the air beneath them. The old woman found herself gliding with the wind!

“Oooooooooh! Now that is definitely magic!” said the old woman, once she’d recovered from her surprise. When she checked, it seemed that both the wind and her wings knew what they were doing and where they were taking her, and because she loved magic, she trusted and watched to see what would happen next.

She rode high in the wind for a while and then noticed that her wings were starting to carry her to the ground. At first distant, but then gradually coming closer and closer, she saw a light in the darkness. As she neared the light, she saw it came through the open doors of an entrance in a rocky cliff. Closer still and she saw a lake below the cliff reflecting the light from the doorway. The wind then softened to a breeze and the old woman’s wings glided her over the lake, where she landed on a stone platform outside the open doors. Once her feet touched the ground, her wings vanished and she stood with wobbling knees, shivering, in the light of the entrance.

Once her knees stopped shaking, the old woman took a step towards the entrance in the rocky cliff and as she did, she saw the tall dark figure of a woman who seemed to be waiting for her. So she slowly walked towards this woman and saw dressed completely in black with a Raven perched on her shoulder. When she stood before her, the old woman bowed because this was a magic journey and she knew she must be respectful to everyone she met there.

“Welcome, Daughter of Humans.” said the woman in black, “You journey to free magic back into your world. This is a very serious task. Do you have the courage for such an undertaking?”

The old woman carefully considered this question and answered,
“My Lady,” for surely, she thought, this dark woman was someone important, “I don’t know if I have the courage. All I know is that I heard a great cry for help from the world of no-magic and my heart calls me to answer. But I don’t know how to free magic. Can you help me?”

The woman in black smiled and nodded. “Come with me,” she said, “You must ask the Lady of this Land. I will take you to her.”

The woman in black turned and led her through the entrance doors into a vast rocky chamber with many doors in its walls. Leading the old woman, she crossed the chamber to another set of huge doors which opened at her approach. When the old woman passed through the doors, she saw she was in an enormous audience hall and, at its farthest end, there sat a woman made of molten fire sitting on a huge stone throne. Together, the two women approached this Lady of Fire and knelt before her.

“Majesty,” said the woman in black, “I bring the Daughter of Humans who seeks to learn how to free magic back to her people.
Daughter of Humans, before you sits the Creator Goddess of Earth Magic. It is She who knows the answers you seek.”

The old woman trembled with terror at these words, for she knew she was far from perfect, and looked down at the stone floor when she felt the sight of the Goddess pierce her, seeing through to her heart and knowing everything about her. But then she remembered the terrible cry she had heard and knew she still sought to help those people.

Slowly she raised her eyes and gazed upon the Goddess of molten fire and saw that her form flowed endlessly in hues of red, yellow, white and black. She felt heat crisp the air around her, filling the air with a scent of cleanness. She had hair of flame and a gown of smoke; her skin was smooth but black as night with seams of deep red, yellow and white; her eyes were the blue-white of the hottest flame; her lips bright, like red-hot coals. All the colours moved and flowed, and when she spoke, her voice was the sound of fire.

“Daughter of Humans, you wish to return magic to humankind?” the Creation Goddess asked.

The old woman nodded. “Yes, if it pleases you, your Majesty.”

“It pleases me.” said the Goddess, “There is a task you can do to achieve this but you must do no more and no less than that which is asked of you. Are you willing to do such a thing?”

“Yes, your Majesty,” said the old woman in a trembling voice.

“Then come. Follow me.”

The Goddess rose from her throne and moving, like fire, she crossed to another set of huge doors that opened at her approach. The two women followed.

Beyond the doors was a cave the size of a cathedral and in the cave, a silvery blue dragon whose colours flowed in the same way as the Creation Goddess. The Goddess moved to the dragon and held up a chain bearing four keys of fire; one black, one red, one yellow and one white, which she passed over the dragons head.

“You must not touch the keys. You must ride the dragon to the place where the keys belong and deliver them to the Guardians,” the Goddess told the old woman, “Do nothing more than that which has been asked of you and which you consent to freely. Do you understand this?”

“Do no more and no less than that which I am asked and consent to, my Lady” repeated the old woman.

The Goddess smiled and, with a wave of her hand, the old woman was lifted up onto the back of the silver-blue dragon. Then with a look of great Love, the Goddess turned to the dragon and said,
“You know where to go. Fly now, my beauty, and return to me when the task is complete.”

The dragon blew a dragon’s kiss to the Goddess, so that her hair of flame flowed out and filled the air behind her. Then it moved to doors at the back of the cave that opened out into this darkest of dark nights.

The old woman clung to the back of the dragon as it flew into the cold dark night. The dragon’s skin felt like the softest and smoothest of leather, warm to the touch, with ridges she could hold on to, but the night air was chilly and became colder the higher the dragon rose into the night sky. As if in response to the chill, and arriving as suddenly as her wings, the old woman found herself dressed in warm furs of white, trimmed with furs of black, red and yellow.

The dragon flew high and then set forth towards the world of no-magic. The old woman watched the sky above and the endarkened land below and she marvelled at the magic she was experiencing. They flew for what seemed to be the longest time until the land below began to change – street lights began to appear, followed by villages, then towns. Finally there appeared a great city filled with electric light. Above the city rode a whirlpool of magic threads of many colours, and the old woman could see these were all slowly being sucked into a dark core in the centre of the city.

The dragon circled the skies above the whirlpool of magic, as if seeking out a particular thread. The old woman watched as the dragon found one of silver-blue, just like the dragon’s own colours. They flew, following the thread’s circling path down into the whirling core. The thread grew in size and as they entered the spinning centre, it became a tunnel through into which the dragon flew with the old woman clinging to its back. The tunnel twisted and turned, bright with the flowing colours of silver and blue, but the dragon flew on and on until the tunnel began to dissolve around them.

As the tunnel disappeared, the old woman and the dragon emerged into a bright, warm summer landscape. The old woman’s furs disappeared with the tunnel and she found they were flying high over a vast green forest. Slowly circling, the dragon descended towards this green earth until, eventually, they arrived at a large open meadow within the forest. Standing in the middle of the meadow stood four huge human statues and the dragon landed close by them.

The old woman looked at the statues: made of stone, the first was black as blackest of earth; the second, red as the reddest of earth; the third as yellow as the yellowest of earth; the last as white as the whitest of earth. Beside each one was a huge box made of the same stuff. Whilst the old woman didn’t know what to do, the dragon did. It approached each statue in turn and breathed a dragon’s kiss over each statue in turn. With each kiss, the colours of each statue came alive and began to flow like the Creation Goddess and the dragon. Slowly each statue awoke, looked around and then saw the dragon and the Creation Goddess’s keys. Smiling, each one reached out and took the key for their box. When the last key was taken, the chain that had been holding them vanished.

Now each magical being, for surely they were no longer statues, used their key and turned the lock, then they opened all the boxes together. All at once, the magic stolen from the people flew from the boxes and out into the world – it filled the air; it filled the skies; it filled the forest; it filled the earth; and it filled the old woman with absolute wonder. It seemed as if the whole world held its breath while watching the magic return… and then the world began to breathe in the magic.

The White Magical Being then turned to the old woman sitting on the silver-blue dragon and, lightly, with its finger, gently pushed a small piece of freed stolen magic into her heart.

“This belongs to you,” said the being “I return it to you, Daughter of the White tribes, from all of us. The voices of despair you heard came from all the Sons and Daughters of all our Earth; the Black tribes, the Red tribes, the Yellow tribes and the White tribes, for our Earth is made of Magic.”

The old woman could ‘hear’ the truth in these words and knew them to be true; magic was so much more than breadcrumbs – magic was Life itself! Without magic, all Life would die. It was a truth so great, her mind could not grasp the enormity it so she thought of the smallness of herself and her actions. She had not freed magic, she thought, magic had freed itself, it seemed to her… but stopped when she realised the White being had not finished speaking.

“We would ask one further task from you, if you are willing?”

The old woman nodded, and then said, “I would be happy to.”

The White Spirit smiled and offered the old woman another key made of a dull grey metal, which she took.

“You will return now through the vortex of magical creation,” said the being, and it raised its hand to the skies. Looking up, she saw another whirlpool of magic but this time threads flowed in both directions in and out of its centre.

“In the middle of the vortex is another locked box. We would ask you to open it. Touch nothing but the key – you must turn the key to open it.”

“May I ask why?” the old woman asked, “For surely you have already freed magic into the world.”

“This box does not release magic, Daughter of humans,” replied the White being of Magic, “This box calls to all who choose to live in a world with no magic. It calls them home. They have a rightful place in the universe but it cannot here for, as you have seen and understood, to be without Magic is to be without Life itself.”

As the final words were spoken, the dragon lifted high into the air and, once again, began to search for the thread that would take them through the vortex. This time the thread was easy to find and they were soon within their tunnel passing through the vortex except… this time there was an opening in the tunnel itself. The dragon flew through this opening and into a space which held a large, dull, grey metal box and stopped close enough for the old woman to reach the lock. She leaned forward and carefully, without touching anything else, placed the key she had been given into the lock. Turning the key, she saw the lid of the box fly open. She let go of the key as the dragon began to fly around the box and back into the vortex tunnel. She listened hard for the call from the box but heard nothing. Then she heard a whisper from the new magic in her heart saying, “That call is not for you.”

The dragon flew and flew. It flew through the tunnel and out of the vortex above the city of no-magic. It flew high in the darkest of the dark night skies. But on this return journey, there was no need for furs; the old woman’s new magic kept her warm. Finally, the dragon began to descend and when they landed, she saw they were in the field above the old woman’s street. The dragon lowered its head so the old woman could slide safely from its back. When her feet were securely on the earth, she turned to the dragon and gave a bow of deep bow of gratitude and respect. Then, standing back, she stood and watched the glowing dragon rise again and fly off into the darkest of the dark night skies.

As the old woman walked slowly back to her home, she saw that her village was also glowing gently with returning magic. And when she opened the door to her home, the old woman knew her magical journey had come to a close… but the world’s journey into magic was only just beginning.

In all the worlds containing magic, this is known as a true story.

“I do believe in an everyday sort of magic — the inexplicable connectedness we sometimes experience with places, people, works of art and the like; the eerie appropriateness of moments of synchronicity; the whispered voice, the hidden presence, when we think we’re alone.”
Charles de Lint

Cawfields Quarry, Haltwhistle, Centre of Britain

Cawfields Quarry, Haltwhistle, Centre of Britain. Boxing Day 2014.

On torturing the poor and hungry #ToriesMustGo



I wrote the following blog after reading Jack Monroe’s account of her experience of giving evidence to the All-Party Inquiry into Hunger and Food Poverty. Before I continue, I would like to make it clear that Jack has not seen, nor given any consent to my posting this and therefore bears neither responsibility nor blame for its contents – that is wholly and entirely mine. I stand by my blog and I’m grateful I’m not the only one to have had a powerful response to the piece. Nevertheless, she only has to ask and she’ll have a no-obstruction removal. Her needs take precedence to mine and I do not want to add to her problems.

Psychological tortureJack Monroe has been fair game for politicians, especially the Tories, since she began using her platform to speak for the hungry poor. In that time, Edwina Currie has reduced Jack to tears live on TV. To her discredit, Sarah Wollaston was vanguard to an attempt to destroy her social achievements following Jack’s point of fact tweet concerning David Cameron’s behaviour. There are probably plenty more but after reading about the treatment Jack was subjected to by this Parliamentary All-Party Inquiry she is, in my opinion, eminently qualified her to speak plainly about the standards of parliamentary behaviour.  The shocking quality contained within the content of her narrative amounts to psychological torture in my understanding of mental health and the treatment of someone clearly suffering from post-traumatic stress.

cameron out 13It is a matter of synchronicity, that Jack’s piece was published the same day as the report into the CIA’s use of torture. Here is Glen Greenwald who is far more knowledgeable on the matter than I.

On the same day, David Cameron visited Auschwitz, which prompted this post from Mike Sivier at Vox Political.  I agree with everything Mike has to say but would particularly draw attention to the following information contained within his piece:

Work capability assessor asked why depressed claimant had not committed suicide | Vox Political, and

The work capability assessment and suicide – a.k.a. ‘chequebook euthanasia’ | Vox Political. You can find more information about ‘nudging’ here.

cameron out 11Finally, it is important to know that there are direct links between the CIA Torture Report and the British government’s treatment of our hungry poor via the psychologists involved.

“Why aren’t you dead yet?”…. on Human Rights Day.

I have drawn my own conclusions.  I leave you to come to yours. For information: I will be raising the matter with my MP since I see he is a part of the Inquiry, which makes this an all-party problem concerning both Houses.

Meanwhile,  here’s my tribute to the courage of Jack Monroe.



Today is Human Rights Day. It’s also the day Jack Monroe went public about her experience of giving evidence to The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Hunger and Food Poverty.

It took a few hours for my feeling response to her piece to make itself known. Emotional intelligence is not like intellectual knowledge. The intellect is a top-down process where the mind goes first and other human responses come later. Emotions are different. They are felt first and float up to intellectual awareness in their own time, hence the time needed to begin to understand both how I was feeling and why. Now I know and my fury seems as if it knows no bounds. To understand why, we first need to consider how Jack described her experience of appearing before this committee:

My head in my hands, choking out words, tears rushing down hot, humiliated cheeks, I raised my head to look at the array of varying expressions looking back from the other side of the room; a Labour MP, two Conservative peers, and a Conservative MP looked back, a mixture of horror and sympathy as I publicly crashed and burned. Fear and humiliation and self-loathing leaping on me like a set of hyenas, as I sobbed: “I can’t even answer my telephone, any more. If it’s an unknown number, if it rings early in the morning, or I don’t know who it is. I can’t even open my own front door. It’s not the same front door, as the one I sat with my back to, morning and afternoon, cowering as bailiffs battered on the other side of it. It’s not the same phone number. It’s not the same front door. I’m not in debt. There are no more final demands, no more red capital letters, no more threats. But … I can’t even open my own front door.”

She continues

I gave evidence at the all-party parliamentary group inquiry into hunger and food bank use in the UK a few months ago, one of over 1,000 pieces of evidence heard by the committee – expecting to recount a story told and retold at party conferences, charity events, radio interviews, to journalists, again and again and again over the past two and a half years. But the APPG wanted more than ‘hunger hurts’. They asked, probed, dug, questioned, opening up the old wounds, and made notes as I trembled in my seat, recalling nights of wrapping a baby up in a vest and a babygro and a dressing gown before putting him down to sleep. Of going to bed shortly afterwards because there’s nothing else to do, and it’s dark, and cold, and you sold the telly, so you go to bed at 7pm and curl up beside him and hold him, because it feels like the only good thing you have. Of being asked, very quietly, by a member of staff at my local children’s centre if a food bank referral form would help us out “for a little while”, as she noticed us having seconds at lunch, and thirds, and three or four sugars in endless cups of tea, of offering to wash up and boxing up the leftovers to take home, away from the eyes of the other mums in the group.

As someone in poverty myself, I can fully understand where Jack is coming from. Each time a brown envelope comes through my own front door, I always experience panic even before usually discovering they are not addressed to me. Whilst my own ‘trauma triggers’ are not the same as Jack’s, they produce very similar responses. We are not alone – there are thousands, maybe millions, of British people likely to feel the same way as we do, each for our own individual reasons. cameron out 2

The roots of the word ‘trauma’ comes from the Greek:  traumat-, trauma wound, alteration of trōma; akin to Greek titrōskein to wound, tetrainein to pierce, and they inform our psychological understanding of what it means to be traumatised.  The traumatised individual is understood to experience the following:

“The essential psychological effect of trauma is a shattering of innocence. Trauma creates a loss of faith that there is any safety, predictability, or meaning in the world, or any safe place in which to retreat. It involves utter disillusionment. Because traumatic events are often unable to be processed by the mind and body as other experiences are, due to their overwhelming and shocking nature, they are not integrated or digested. The trauma then takes on a life of its own and, through its continued effects, haunts the survivor and prevents normal life from continuing until the person gets help.”


In her own words, Jack Monroe meets the psychotherapeutic definition of a woman experiencing post-traumatic stress as a result of her personal experiences of poverty. Under such conditions, it takes a very brave woman to publicly and formally step up to the social responsibility of giving evidence to an all-parliamentary-party inquiry into hunger and food poverty. I have nothing but admiration for this young woman balanced only by my furious professional disgust at her treatment when she did so.

So let’s examine how these parliamentarians treated at least one of the witnesses who appeared before them.

We already know how members of both Houses regard Britain’s hungry poor. For example, the following occurring during a House of Common’s debate on foodbanks in December 2013:

As Fiona MacTaggart, the Labour MP for Slough, described how people battled over end of day bargains in her local Tesco, she was almost drowned out by laughter and jeering from the government benches.

Ms MacTaggart could barely be heard over the braying as she described how the supermarket had been forced to draft in extra security and asked “Isn’t that a shocking sign in the 21st century?”

Labour MP for Copeland in Cumbria, Jamie Reed told The Mirror: “I regret to say the laughter from the government benches says more about this issue than words ever could.”


cameron out 3Not for the first time were reports of the suffering inflicted on the poor met with such disdain by the same government that inflicted the traumas in the first place. So anyone who gave evidence to the Inquiry into Hunger and Food Poverty knew they were likely to be facing at least some of the abusers who had inflicted their trauma. It carries the same emotional charge that is known to impact the victims of rape when they face their rapist in court in order to secure a conviction. Just like rape victims, the experience can be as bad as the trauma itself… just as Jack described.

There were over 1000 witnesses to that Inquiry. No doubt some were representatives of organisations involved in helping our impoverished hungry. It is one thing to represent such an Inquiry with professional information as, indeed, Jack had planned to do herself: ‘I gave evidence… expecting to recount a story told and retold at party conferences, charity events, radio interviews, to journalists, again and again and again over the past two and a half years.’ This is psychologically

Click pic for source

Click pic for source

manageable – it allows our coping mechanisms to remain in place whilst still imparting the necessary information for an Inquiry to draw formal conclusions without causing further trauma or harm to the witness themselves. But the Inquiry did not permit Jack Monroe her boundaries or psychological protections: “…the APPG wanted more than ‘hunger hurts’. They asked, probed, dug, questioned, opening up the old wounds, and made notes as I trembled in my seat…” Factual information and trauma reporting were not sufficient; these MP’s wanted to see blood and made certain than they got it. If they could do that to Jack, who else did they do it to? What support was offered to these witnesses, after these baying-for-blood poverty and hunger voyeurs had finished tearing them open to reveal the still-bleeding traumas beneath their precarious and fragile coping mechanisms? Were they offered access to counselling or therapy in order to recover from their ordeal or were they, like Jack, sent home with wounds raw and untended? How many were sent back to the very same poverty they were reporting to these parliamentarians that seem to me to be indistinguishable from vampires?

SturdyAlex on poverty tourism

Click pic for source

As a former psychotherapist, I regard this as unethical, unprofessional, improper, dishonourable, unprincipled, cruel and unscrupulous behaviour towards victims traumatised by the same group of perpetrators, now claiming to be undertaking an Inquiry into how bad it has become. It’s as sick as rapists cross-examining their victims in court. In my book, it quite likely amounts to psychological torture. That well-paid, well-nourished, subsidised, all-expenses-paid professionals should demand that their victims bare their wounds for all to see whilst they remain safe, secure and snicker in their ivory tower is obscene. If all those who gave evidence of their personal experiences of hunger and food poverty were treated like Jack, then the perpetrators of the trauma permitted the traumatised no defence, no protection and no support whilst they fed on the suffering of their victims under the guise of ‘collecting evidence’.

Truly, is there anything in the darkest recesses of human ‘nature’ more sickening?

Should any member of this inquiry think to defend their actions towards Jack and the other victims, I invite you to STOP NOW and discover how it feels to be defenceless because if you weren’t perpetrating this abomination, you were enabling it. There is no defence to either. What Jack Monroe described in her column today is indefensible on all levels of interpersonal or social relationship, and it’s high time you learned what that feeling is like because you won’t change until you do.

EXCLUSIVE- “Corrupt, toxic and sociopathic”- Glenn Greenwald unloads on torture, CIA and Washington’s rotten soul - 2014-12-11 16-37-01

cameron must go 2

Why #CameronMustGo marks a decisive change in UK Politics


Worst times of life

Definition of decisive in English:


1. Settling an issue; producing a definite result:the archers played a decisive part in the victory’,a decisive battle’
2. Having or showing the ability to make decisions quickly and effectively:she had an image of being tough and decisive‘; ‘he handled the situation in a calm, decisive way’
Oxford English Dictionaries

Saturday 22 November 2014, at 6pm, marked the beginning of a new phenomenon in British politics as the hashtag #CameronMustGo took off into UK’s twitter. Cameron must go sI doubt that either Jon Swindon or Jenny Howarth imagined what would happen next. Usually twitter events that  trend do so for a few hours or a couple of days before the energy abates and other issues move in to take top billing. At the beginning, #CameronMustGo trended within the hour – a result counted as a ‘win’ for creators even when its trending is brief – but this time something different occurred; 24 hours later it was still trending… 36 hours… 48 hours… 72 hours… . By this time, it became clear #CameronMustGo was doing something very different. Now at the time of writing, two weeks later, #CameronMustGo has yet to leave UK’s twitter trends. In truth, no-one could have predicted this – to the best of my knowledge, this is unprecedented in UK twitter history.

The mainstream media only began its reporting around the hashtag following outrage from some, mainly Tories, over Jack Monroe‘s tweet (below),  even though the point had been made before by others long before she posted hers Cameron must go t(My thanks to Vox Political for covering this in detail).

It is worth noting that, as far as the mainstream media was concerned, the phenomenon of the hashtag itself became secondary to reporting establishment fury towards this outspoken lesbian single mother who has actually achieved, by dint of her own efforts, something the Tories claim all benefit ‘scroungers’ should be doing – getting herself successfully off benefits and creating a new job for herself.  As an observer of this twitter ‘row’, it would seem that even this achievement is conditional on the individual silencing their opinions of their social ‘betters’ and when they fail to do this, to expect reprisals, like the attempts that were made to get her sacked from the achievements she had already earned. The conditions being placed upon the socially excluded when it comes to entering ‘mainstream’ society need to be noted because they become relevant later on.

It took 5 days of trending for before the #CameronMustGo hashtag began to be reported.

Cameron must go fThe first detailed response from UK broadsheets came from the Telegraph. There are a lot of problems with this piece, not least that it is filed under Women/Women’s Politics and is written by a woman of colour. For a start, it seemed to me that its author, , had been set up to take any flak the piece received over a problem that had clearly been created by white men. David Cameron’s government has been consistently dominated by rich white men and it’s behaviour is deeply unfriendly to both women and people of colour. Placing a woman of colour in the vanguard of defending the white male establishment against the twitter charges emerging in #CameronMustGo is highly suspect and smacks of the same kind of psychological avoidance suggested by Jack Monroe’s tweet on disability.

Notwithstanding the above, the content of the piece is ‘enlightening’:

‘The hashtag is not linked to anything that our Prime Minister David Cameron has done lately. It isn’t tagged to any particular news story. Nor has it died a slow death since it kicked off on Saturday. Rather unusually for social media trends, it is stubbornly sticking around and just won’t go away….’
‘Is this an honest representation of the UK electorate – suggesting that Cameron has some major issues if he wants to win the General Election – or is just the work of angry left-wing activists who want to take down the PM?…’
‘I can’t help but think that this hashtag isn’t a genuine representation of the British population’s beliefs – it’s something created by left-wing activists who are hoping to use the power of social media to get rid of the Prime Minister. As they said, they wanted it to “go viral”…’
‘…most of the tweets seem to be from people who know each other and they’re all about the same issues such as majority are about cuts to the poorest people in society, large cuts to the NHS, the increasing reliance on food banks, and the increase in the cost of living….’
‘…says Ian Dunt, editor of “Twitter is usually made up of young people, students. That hashtag is the instinctive kick against the dominance of the print media [which is typically more right-wing]. It reflects the way Twitter has a much more left-wing centre of gravity than the written press.”…’
‘“If it was about something then maybe,” says Dunt. “But nothing’s actually happened. The list [of complaints people are sharing] is pretty standard left-wing complaints – they’re all legitimate but they’re not new….’
‘The problem with this hashtag is that it says more about Twitter, and the way we use it, rather than Cameron or the voters. As Dunt says, the social media site does seem to have more left-leaning tendencies, and in this case, it has been hijacked by activists….’
‘It’s not an example of the public getting really involved in politics – if anything it’s the same people using the same hashtag repeatedly to try and get their point across. They’re obviously entitled to do this, but the problem is that all other voices are drowned out….’
‘That’s why this hashtag is nothing more than a mob attack on the Prime Minister – rather than a genuine collection of legitimate concerns by real people with no vested interests.
How you make others feel

So, after an unprecedented 5 days of trending on twitter, those tweeting on the #CameronMustGo hashtag become a mob of young left-wing student activists with vested interests who, despite ‘legitimate’ complaints, offer nothing new or authentically genuine regarding the concerns of real people. Much like the response to Jack Monroe, the overall tone suggests #CameronMustGo supporters should know their place, shut up and go away because they are irrelevant.

Around the same time, the BBC finally reported on the hashtag. Their take looked like this:

‘…People using the slogan have also been targeting The Guardian and BBC Trending to try to get media coverage for the trend – and so boost its popularity further.

So could this be the beginning of a new phase of British ‘hashtag politics’? No, according to Andrew Walker, co-founder of social media analytics company, Tweetminster. “I give it two weeks,” he tells BBC Trending.

He says hashtags can quickly become popular on Twitter, but it’s difficult to keep a campaign rolling, as new catchphrases are coined and catch on. And while social media is effective at influencing local politics, it’s less effective at making a big impact on national politics, where voting behaviour is hard to shift…’

They tried to bury usIn summary: ‘Nothing to see here, move along now. Class dismissed!’

Unfortunately for the mainstream media’s ‘establishment’, the hashtag has continued to trend consistently since then and will meet Tweetminster’s predicted two week deadline today. Given that #CameronMustGo has not done what it was told to do and ‘go away’, how has the media dealt with it since?

There was a fact-checking piece from the Spectator which accurately challenged some of the images being used but here’s the thing about twitter. In my experience, twitter is remarkably self-correcting. Point out that information or images are, in fact, incorrect and the twitter I follow changes its behaviour. I’ve seen far fewer pictures of House of Common’s attendance on the #CameronMustGo hashtag since Isabel Hardman‘s piece was posted which, in my opinion, is a very good thing. If the hashtag is to continue, let it be as factually accurate as possible, and let’s be grateful to Hardman for raising the issue without insulting those tweeting on it. The same cannot be said for others.

Cameron must go 22Yesterday, to mark the hashtag’s fourteen days in the twitter trends, the Daily Mirror – the tabloid that supports the Labour Party – posted this:’Why #CameronMustGo MUST GO – We fact-checked the hashtag that has been clogging up your Twitter feed’. The piece leads with a blog from a journalist with Lib-Dem leanings who finds the hashtag difficult to fathom. The Mirror then goes on to fact-check only 12 of the issues being raised and finds that only 4 are accurate. It fails to suggest that tweeps use twitter’s ‘mute’ function to clear this ‘clog’ from their TL – a simple enough remedy for those with objections.

Given that the hashtag has been covering a multitude of issues, the fact that the piece cherry-picks only twelve points is highly informative. Given that firefighters, police, doctors, civil servants, disabled, people in poverty, poverty campaigners, etc etc have been tweeting accurate facts on it for two weeks is completely ignored. Based on these 12 points alone, the Mirror concludes that the hashtag itself must go. To be honest, I lost my temper when I read it – it was as insulting a piece as that produced by any Tory paper towards those tweeting the direct experiences of the now lethal consequences of Cameron’s government.

The last criticism I saw yesterday came from Guido Fawkes (never let it be said that this blog censors!) who claimed that because #CameronMustGo failed to register in polls, no-one cared about it. I’ll return to this point but first; with such overwhelming all-party consensus from the UK ‘establishment’, how does anyone arrive at a balanced opinion on the matter?

This is how I do it.

Tory preelection promises 2010To begin with, no-one is perfect – no-one! We all make mistakes no matter how hard we might try not to and #CameronMustGo is no exception. The measures I use acknowledge mistakes but focus more on how it is dealt with it once the mistake has been identified. The self-correcting nature of those I follow on twitter – you will have to make up your own mind about yours – means I’m willing to allow for error but I unfollow or block those who persist in knowingly tweeting misinformation. For those who make a lot of mistakes, I use a 50% tolerance measure – to allow for our imperfect reality as people – although the vast majority don’t require this. It is for this reason, I fully support #CameronMustGo, even with factual errors, because the accuracy of the information I see on my timeline falls well within that 50% margin.

When it comes to David Cameron’s government, the Westminster establishment and the mainstream media, however, the balance looks very different. Indeed, the levels of misinformation, manipulation, propaganda and barefaced lies emanating from these sources has become so bad during this government that its hard to know who to believe. Here are a very few examples (believe me, there is a veritable mountain range of factual evidence):

A list of official rebukes for Tory lies

Media Manipulation of the Masses: How the Media Psychologically Manipulates

The Westminster establishment’s margin of error is so high and tests my tolerance so deeply that I have ceased watching Cameron must go mtelevision, listening to the radio and trusting our established media unless or until their information has been cross-checked by more reliable sources. That Westminster now routinely and unethically manipulates what information is available to ‘real people’ is firmly established in fact.

As someone who does my best to stick to facts, the choice between those who, although they make mistakes, are willing to correct/self-correct and those who believe it is perfectly acceptable to persistently lie, mislead and manipulate presents no difficulties at all. For all its inevitable faults, #CameronMustGo points to the possibility that I am far from alone in my choice of who to believe.

The second issue that informs me is that of emotional intelligence (EI), which seems to be profoundly lacking within the Westminster establishment. No-one cares about #CameronMustGo, claims Guido Fawkes. In EI terms, nothing could be further from the truth. To grasp all the infinite strands of information now woven into the hashtag by over a million tweets is a vast intellectual exercise, each subject requiring its own trail of evidence. The intellect has to divide, separate and exclude in order to grasp any particular subject. As a function of human expression, intellect is quite unable to comprehend the whole and, as individuals in a national political setting, we have to rely upon wiser others to fill the information gaps we ourselves have been unable to fully understand. Nevertheless, humanity also functions at a feeling level. We have feelings about being lied to or misled. We have feelings about those who steal from or harm the vulnerable. Our emotions inform us about our vulnerability to abusers and abuse, both in the short-term – like a single-issue hashtag – but also in the longer term if that abuse is repeated over and over and over again. It is our emotional intelligence that is capable of embracing the entirety of the problem when our intellect fails to grasp its enormity.

by Ijeoma Oluo (link in pic)

by Ijeoma Oluo (link in pic)

It is emotional intelligence that underpins the success of #CameronMustGo, just as it informs the black communities in America about their relationship with the police; just as it informs the poor, unemployed, sick and disabled about government attitudes towards them. It informs public sector workers whose jobs provide for society’s needs. It informs women particularly because we are the socially nominated custodians of emotional health and well-being for both present and future. It is also emotional intelligence that is most feared and derided by those who function solely from their intellect.

Emotional intelligence is concerned with relationship – how we relate to ourselves, to others and to the planet we live with. EI says clearly that how we relate is vital to our survival and when we fail to relate, something or someone living dies as a result. Lastly, emotional intelligence enables us to differentiate between those who are anti-ethical to ‘feeling’ from those who are not.

#CameronMustGo is an emotionally-intelligent hashtag. It’s big enough to embrace ALL the social issues created by the Cameron must go 13Coalition, together with all the preceding governments who were enablers of what has already been done to the ‘real public’ under this parliament. It is inclusive where single-issue hashtags are not. It is heart-felt intelligence in the face of intellectual heartlessness. Those who participate in the wisdom of EI fully understand what is occurring when the establishment tries to dismiss the hashtag, even if they might not grasp it intellectually to begin with. The value of #CameronMustGo over the last fortnight is that when tweeps don’t quite ‘get’ what is being shared, they can ask and become informed. The hashtag has been a valuable educator because it has provided a ‘one-stop-shop’ of detailed factual information for those who want it and a tremendous enabler of much-needed emotional expression for people living under a government that seeks to repress anything and everything that fails to make a profit for their corporate friends or themselves.

So when Guido Fawkes claims no-one cares about #CameronMustGo, he could not be more in error; when Radhika Sanghani claims the hashtag does not represent real people, she could not be more mistaken; and when the Daily Mirror says all it does is clog up your timelines, they prove Douglass on civil disobediencethey haven’t the faintest idea about what they are seeing. #CameronMustGo is the reasoned, tolerant and emotionally intelligent response to an establishment that clearly despises all those it places outside its very narrow version of rich white male social acceptance. The levels of publicly expressed disdain, dismissal and class bigotry have been quite extraordinary and alarming.

From an emotional intelligence perspective, #CameronMustGo has been a social media confrontation with the UK establishment over its long-term abuse of the British public. The establishment’s arrogant and high-handed response points to a remarkable absence of self-awareness, regret or – dare I suggest it – repentance. This is the tolerant interpretation. dogend votersThere is a far darker message that needs to be drawn, in my opinion.

If any of those actively trying to shut the hashtag down do appreciate the points I’m making here and still think they are perfectly entitled to do so, then the real people of my country are in very serious trouble because we are dealing with active abusers intent on further harm because they believe they are perfectly entitled to whatever it is they intend to take from us by force.

As any survivor of domestic abuse will tell you, maybe they won’t kill you when you try to change or end such abuse, but the chances are they will. At present, the levels of political abuse inflicted by the establishment upon ordinary people is killing us by the thousands. With the intellectual divide-and-rule control of Westminster over the mainstream media, there has not been an outlet that enabled a sustained coherent collective response from real people about what has been done to us, let alone what they plan to do next. Perhaps it was an issue of timing. Nevertheless, and probably quite by accident, Jon and Jenny stumbled upon the perfectly-imperfect, frequently accurate and often passionate hashtag #CameronMustGo and enabled all of us to bring our voices together and send a message to government that we have had enough of their lies.

Look at what we have achieved on twitter in the last fortnight, against all the odds, and maybe together we can start to appreciate how amazing we really are when we’re listening to each other and not what the elite would like us to believe.