Monday, 28 January 2013

How could we fix our broken democracy?

I was listening to Start the Week this morning (BBC Radio 4 9am Start the Week) and someone said that our democracy worked in the 19th century because the electorate was relatively small and everyone spoke / understood the same political / cultural language, but that now the electorate is so heterogeneous it is no longer possible for politicians to say anything very sophisticated because most of the different demographics will simply not understand or relate to what the politician is saying. So we are reduced to soundbites and tweets, and constant repetition of simple messages (e.g. that the deficit is all Labour's fault, or that the Conservatives are cruel and heartless and want to privatise the NHS).

And the biggest problem is that the professionalised political class are only interested in the very small minority of the electorate that occupies the mysterious and mythical centre ground and will decide the result of a general election in a small number of marginal seats. So, unsurprisingly, the great majority of the electorate are simply bored and uninterested in what the politicians (and the political media) are saying.

So what's the answer?

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Metanoia (a short history of the 21st Century)

Now completed and available as an e-book - go to to see sample and order a copy.

Poems written and recited

Poems at the Crabbe Prize 2012


Casa Cuseni

At Sudbury Poets' Cafe

anne boileau and me reading The Bible in german and english


The prodigal son; as we say the mantra we should be returning to our father, but there are barriers - first our greed and desire, our childlike wish to experience the whole world and what it contains (our 'inheritance') - in meditating, our fantasies, thoughts, daydreams, plans, worries. Then our pride - "I am doing this, I am meditating, I am repeating this mantra, I am concentrating" - and if I do all this, I will achieve enlightenment / nirvana / salvation by my own efforts. Then we admit we are helpless and only our father's unconditional love can save us from this pigsty our ego has created for us, so we give up, give in, and return to our father (each time we say the mantra or bring our attention back to it). And then there is the last barrier, after our father comes running to us - the older brother - "you do not deserve this, you are not worthy of this, you have done nothing, this is not fair" - like Mary and Martha - why is just sitting here deserving of anything?