Assange

Back in 1982 I began working on a novel about a young man who blows up an exclusive club in London to demonstrate his hatred of the neo-liberal agenda and attendant neo-con policies: the contrived ever-lasting wars, austerity measures, pro-elite/anti-social laws, and so on.

The novel was supposed to be a wake-up call about what was happening in capitalist societies – a warning of what would inevitably occur if monetarism and right-wing ideology was followed through.

My only surprise concerning actual events since then is that such an act of individual violence has not taken place. This suggests that people on the whole are very generous with regards to the intentions of their leaders, or that the public’s passivity knows no bounds. Perhaps it illustrates people’s innate goodness, I don’t know.Question_Cover_for_Kindle

The only acts of individual violence regularly witnessed are committed by those who have been deranged by social, military or religious pressure.

Mainly, as ever, the violence continues to be carried out by authorities on behalf of the state, either on its own citizens or in foreign countries.

This situation cannot be allowed to continue.

The whole world is under existential threat as a result of the violent policies being pursued in capitalist societies. Either war or environmental catastrophe have the very real potential to destroy the planet upon which we depend for survival.

Thankfully, more and more people are waking up to this prospect and recognising from where the real threat to their well-being emanates.

Novels by Glyn Ridgley available at bookstores and Amazon

Be yerself – if you can, too

This time last year I was diagnosed with a potentially fatal illness: haemochromotosis.

After doing my research, rather than go down the route of constant tests and check-ups at the hospital – let alone blood-letting, I bought a bottle of turmeric capsules, made kim chi, cut out alcohol, had a course of acupuncture and booked a stay in Gran Canaria.

I also changed my job.

Later, I gave up work completely to concentrate on my writing.Soul_Journey_Cover_for_Kindle

That resulted in the publication of SOUL JOURNEY earlier in the year – an artistic representation of the mess we all find ourselves currently living in.

Now I have just completed another full-length work.

What I was reminded of while writing the two inter-connected pieces was what I disliked about growing up in my beloved country, despite actually having an idyllic childhood (paradoxical though that might sound): the authority-figures wanting you to conform to some unstructured and ill-considered narrative idea running inside their skulls about how life ought to be conducted.

Not that many of them conformed to the ideas they expressed themselves.

In other words, it soon became obvious even to a child they were utter hypocrites demanding one thing from others while expecting absolutely nothing of the sort from themselves.

Now – following the social gains of the 60s and 70s – that same old, mean, exploitative, hypocritical and out-dated set of so-called values seems to be closing in again – perhaps for good this time – on that little island setting itself further adrift in the Atlantic Ocean.

Thank you Margaret Thatcher, thank you John Major, thank you Tony Blair, thank you Gordon Brown, thank you David Cameron, thank you Theresa May and all your benighted cohorts…

Thank you for screwing up what was set on course to be a truly liberal, respectful and caring society.

Thank you for absolutely nothing

A plague on all your Houses of Parliament & Lords

Novels by GLYN F RIDGLEY are available from Amazon and all enlightened bookstores

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Be yerself – if you can

And so down here in Portugal watching the whole UK Govt/Brexit fiasco unravel you get to recall and consider why you embarked on a ‘let’s see Europe one more time while we can’ journey in a tiny little red van you can’t stand up in – and then of course your original decision makes perfect sense.

You don’t want to be – were never part of – a collapsing identity.

fiat doblo

You want to be yourself.

Standing back, seeing just the way people take irresolute positions and try to force others into believing their own absolutely unsubstantiated take on affairs they know nothing about…

Makes you realise why you never believed them in the first place.

GLYN RIDGLEY novels available on Amazon and bookstores worldwide

Ramsay MacDonald: Pacifist

Ramsay MacDonald, the pacifist first Labour Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was the father of Ishbel MacDonald, who married my great-uncle Norman precisely eighty years ago.  Ramsay MacDonald has been condemned by many, but I wonder where British society would be now without such a trailblazing personality. For my part, I am glad to know that such an intelligent and far-sighted individual added something so positive to our family. I intend to add to the legacy. A few videos are attached:

Novels by Glyn F Ridgley

What a (long, strange) trip it’s been

Corn ripening in the sunny Burgundy fields brings about a sense of well-being that can only come through travelling in a landscape of harvested grain and burgeoning orchard fruits. It’s John Keats come early.fiat doblo

When this trip starting in the Balkans began I kind of had the feeling it might lead to some new sense of purposefulness and maybe a place to promote and facilitate that brand new calling. Whereas, it has further strengthened just exactly what I have felt all along regarding the role of the human being in the universe and how society might be made to fit that most important of all aspects. The places we have been to, the experiences we have had, and the people we have met, obviously, have led to this conclusion. Which is the whole point. What is travel for except to have new experiences and develop understanding?

Now I know what I have to do.

Some people may recognise the title of this blog as being borrowed from a celebrated biography of the Grateful Dead (and a line from their song ‘Truckin’). Anne and I are not part of any hippy movement fanning out from Golden Gate Park – although we went to the place on a trip (not an acid one) to southern California a couple of years ago (see my novel Answer) – but I, for one, would dearly love to see some of the thoughts expressed during that period be evoked again in our present time. On this occasion, brought to fruition. The musicians of the sixties and seventies did a great job of expanding people’s consciousness but the artists, writers and thoughtless intellectuals sadly let them down. So here we are living through times of enforced austerity brought about by the connivance of the enervating conservative powers, when we could all be living in prosperity and having unbridled dreams for an even better future.

This is what I have re-learned through our trip to the likes of Albania and Calabria where I discovered that just like with ourselves the old regime has reasserted its previous stranglehold on the present and future well-being of the population.

The eighties and beyond were like being told to expect sunshine only to have a great big rain shower come along and spoil the day.

All that ‘drip down’ economic wealth nonsense, what an insult!

And the outcome of such untruths were plainly laid out in one particular novel – Question. At least the hero of this work had the sense to see what was happening. We are the agents of our own misfortune.

Modern economic movements are making it clearer and clearer where money comes from and how it can be produced and manipulated for the benefit of society as a whole, and in so doing are giving a lie to the politicians and 1% who would have society believe otherwise.

For sure, the Establishment wants people to live in fear of the present and future in order that they can continue to govern and remain in positions of power. They don’t care that people suffer. That is not their remit. Their one and only aim is to somehow sit on the top of the pile – no matter what a heap of shit they maintain and so long as the flies continue buzzing around them.

It can sometimes be very difficult to see the present and future as being different from what they are as a result of events that happened in the past, but it is possible. The political and economic past can be seen for what it was and overcome.

So, hey, here we are sitting in a very comfortable municipal campsite in rural France and can have no complaints of a personal nature. Soon we will be back in Blighty. And the work of my blog and my novels continue.

Posted from Louhans, Borgogne

Novels by GLYN F RIDGLEY available from Amazon and bookstores worldwide

Balkans weblog #2

We arrived in Dubrovnik yesterday, having driven the length of Bosnia-Herzegovina north to south…fiat doblo
After surviving the worst electrical storm in living memory inside our camper van amongst the north Croatian hills, we settled down to living in the woods alongside Ingrid’s working homestead. This included making the half-hour drive into Karlovac where we saw yet more remaining evidence of the nineties’ Balkans conflict. Communist countries of the late twentieth century had a penchant for erecting bow-shaped walls twelve-feet high and covering them with murals depicting workers in all their industrious glory accompanied by state slogans of the ‘onward to a better future’ kind. Croatia was no exception. Today the Karlovac wall is pock-marked with bullet holes and whitewashed all over, while bearing the inscription ‘Britney bitch’ in black spray. With such precise emblems has the early twenty-first century zeitgeist supplanted the intended socialist ideal.
Having learned previously how with satellite technology a straightforward forty-five minute drive could become a six-hour odyssey of near-despair along country roads, we used our atlas map to take us out to the border at Dvor. Departing Croatia was easy enough, entering Bosnia predictably awkward. “Green card,” asks the officious border guard. “Don’t need one.” “Huh? Documents!” Yes, documents, always bloody documents in these little tinpot bureau-states. He takes our passports to the guard-hut, shows them to another official, scratches his head, walks back, hands them over, tells us to be on our way. What a palaver! There is confusion about where we can park in the border town without paying so while I stand guard Anne goes off to spend any leftover kuna on food and drink. Now we are hopeful the Prijedo-Banja Luka road will offer up plenty of camping opportunities. Ur, no. Soviet-hangovers and sinister conflict associations are about all we see. Thankfully, someone at a petrol station points us in the direction of the gorge at Krupa na Vrbasu so we follow the river south and fetch up on a disused camping ground there. In that odd manner some out-of-the-way communities have of quickly exchanging information, within ten minutes a car pulls up, the washhouse is partly-opened, and our passports are requested; money changes hands, and we are permitted to stay overnight. Best of all, we have access to a small supermarket and the Cric Cric bar – where my last post concluded…
At that point, we were headed easterly for Sarajevo, but now refreshed and learning from our mistakes about which roads to take, we make the decision to drop more directly south on the gorge road towards Mostar. With the help of an internet connection we have pinpointed a little campsite not far from the famed Islamic town. That afternoon, we pull into the site alongside the fast-flowing river Buna, say hello to the half-dozen Hungarian bikers relaxing in the shade from the hot sun, and set up in the furthest corner snugly beside the river.
Bosnia-Herzegovina does not fill with me joy. Everywhere are reminders of the most recent conflict and tensions existing between the various communities, most notably the Islamic and Christian. How I would love to see the end of all established religions. They breed so much hatred. In Mostar we see the replacement for the old bridge so infamously destroyed by the Croatians in full view of the TV cameras, then head to the war museum where a series of displays, artifacts and photographs aid us in re-living the terrible torments meted out and undergone under the guise of achieving freedom and independence, but which in actuality had the sole purpose of gaining perceived lost territories and the settling of old scores. Names of places cropped up: Prijedor, Banja Luka, Visegrad… The book I brought with me, Ivo Andric’s 1945 novel ‘The Bridge over the Drina’, tells of the bridge built by an Ottoman vezir – himself a kidnapped blood sacrifice as a ten year old from a Christian Serbian village – and the years of pain and toil it cost to erect over the Drina…and now in the Mostar museum five centuries later I am reading on the walls how Christians and Muslims have continued to torture and murder one another on that same bridge , before throwing the dead and mutilated bodies into the flowing Drina below. Heraclitus says you cannot stand in the same river twice – well, these guys seem able to stand in the self-same place thousands and thousands of times over. So who is telling it like it is, who is enacting out reality: the Hellenic philosopher or the brutal murderers..? You can judge. That is why this country does not fill me with joy, but anguish and dismay. Travelling is troublesome, as much as anything.
Coupled with the above, is the seemingly obsessively remaining sense of state control. Driving through country roads you are prepared around every corner to be pulled over by some hillbilly, dolled-up police officer, who waves you down with his little fluorescent paddle and asks to see your documents, always with that dour expression and the threat of some unpleasant outcome should he feel so inclined.
No, I have had enough of over-zealous guardians of authority pulling me over and demanding to know who I am, what do I have upon my person, where am I going and where have I been. In future, maybe I can refer them to this weblog. This familiar scenario – and I mean familiar even from teenage years in the UK (see in particular DEATH AND THE DEAD – is theatrically enacted four times over during the final two hours of our drive out from BIH: by the policjia, Republika Srpska cross-country patrol and then again at the southern border back into Croatia.
“Green card.”
“We don’t need one.”

GLYN RIDGLEY NOVELS AT AMAZON

Speaking aloud allowed

Speaking to a Ukrainian student today, I was told that in the Balkans everybody will be perfectly happy to speak with us in Russian. No surprise, really. Just nice to hear – living as I do in the UK 2018. At the same time I was informed by a group of German students they are undergoing the same anti-Russia media propaganda programme as that being foisted upon us here.eu map What is going on? It seemed so certain just a few years ago that the current generation would be in the vanguard of creating a harmonious globalised world – only to have it undermined and snatched away from them and us by a bunch of old-time conservative dotards stuck in their warlike way, intent on destroying the fragile integrity of a new collective spirit. Quite obviously, these war-mongers who want to destroy the planet have deep-seated psychological problems and need to be called out. What’s more, this is happening. Information is still being spread, despite the conservatives’ efforts at censorship – whether this be the attempted muzzling of information channels such as Wikileaks or further governmental legislation to make their own unlawful acts publicly known. Starting locally and spreading universally, people all over are communicating with one another, listening to one another, supporting one another. The fightback is happening. People are choosing knowledge over ignorance, so that no matter what language is being spoken a common humanity is being realised.

GLYN F RIDGLEY

Novels are available locally and universally

To the Balkans..!

And, so – to unfinished business…

Back in 1991, we were heading for the Russian-Polish border as news came through that the USSR was finally being wound up. Not wanting to return immediately to a wintry UK, we made the decision to head on south. Except the Balkans War was raging and that meant we were prevented from going down through the old Yugoslavia. Instead we braved the snow and ice of the eastern European states until we finally arrived in northern Greece by way of Bulgaria. (I have written about this trip in my anti-capitalist novel QUESTION, where the main protagonists must flee Russia after being involved in a murderous mafia shoot-out.) Question_Cover_for_Kindle

Now, at last, nearly thirty years later, we are in a position to make that drive down through the Balkans – and maybe beyond…

We had thought to take the more circuitous route across northern Europe and drive down through the Baltic states, but the rotten spring weather has left us desiring an immediate dose of southern warmth. So straight to the Balkans it will be. For reading matter, I have chosen Ivo Andric’s ‘The Bridge on the Drina’ – a novelistic account of the region’s history which brought the author the Nobel Prize, and recommended to me by a recent Slovenian student. Along with Bulwer-Lytton’s ‘Zanoni’, as audio. I’ll also be taking some books to re-acquaint myself with the Russian language. fiat doblo

I really can’t wait to make a break with all this anti-Russian propaganda swirling about on the media. As though the Russians were responsible for the horrible, social, warring mess were are currently experiencing. Whereas it is our own government and our own selves who are responsible for all the unease. To think we could be living in unbridled wealth and happiness if only divisions weren’t being deliberately sown within our communities and hatred being stirred up by those with invested economic and political interests! It’s very painful to consider.

How this will come through in my blog, I do not know. That is why I write novels (even if the MSM agents and publishers act as unwanted censors by refusing to make them available).

My only disappointment is that the trip means that I won’t be able to attend the annual big family get together. This year we were hoping to extend the event to include more overnight camping and music. That still remains an objective. There are strong connections with the area which we wish to celebrate and share. As I do in my writing.

NOVELS BY GLYN F RIDGLEY available from Amazon

aylesbury-vale

South Bucks, and proud!

A revolution is going on about the ‘other’ world and nothing can be hidden from my generation

The Serpentine Myth is an open message of love, life and peace deeper than the Deep State and its secret message of hate, death and war

SOUL JOURNEY @ Amazon

Life is NOT all about pretending to be reckless under pre-prepared, paid-for, controlled conditions. That is the very opposite of life if you believe life ought not to provide any safety net in order to be fully experienced.
As a matter of fact, connecting a rope to your ankle and jumping from a perilous height is all about death – or, rather, the threat of death. The same can be said for all manner of purchased and only apparently dangerous activities. Crossing the road is far more likely to be injurious.
And so…

DEATH AND THE DEAD @ Amazon

Life may be considered a kind of gnosis. To have life is to have the opportunity of complete understanding.

LIFE IS A FEELING @ Amazon

People say, ‘You only get one life,’ – which is demonstrably untrue since reincarnation is a matter of fact about which numerous proofs exist, of a personal and more general nature.
People say, ‘Life is not a dress rehearsal,’ – and again, sorry to say, they are utterly wrong. Life is precisely that, undeniably it IS a dress rehearsal, a trying on of new clothes, of looking in the mirror, and practising one’s lines. That’s just what life is!
People most often use these sayings when they simply want an excuse to be frivolous with their time and energy. Well, be frivolous – it’s great fun! – but don’t use LIFE as any kind of vindication.

“That’s all, Folks!”

Peace Pact (Pax Cultura)

peace pact banner
The symbol above – which has sometimes been used as the site icon – is The Banner of Peace designed in conjunction with the so-called Roerich Pact, and was designed by the Russian artist of that name (Nicholas Roerich 1874-1947).

‘The Banner of Peace symbol has ancient origins. Perhaps its earliest known example appears on Stone Age amulets: three dots, without the enclosing circle. Roerich came across numerous later examples in various parts of the world, and knew that it represented a deep and sophisticated understanding of the triune nature of existence. But for the purposes of the Banner and the Pact, Roerich described the circle as representing the totality of culture, with the three dots being Art, Science, and Religion, three of the most embracing of human cultural activities. He also described the circle as representing the eternity of time, encompassing the past, present, and future. The sacred origins of the symbol, as an illustration of the trinities fundamental to all religions, remain central to the meaning of the Pact and the Banner today.’

ARTICLE I

The historic monuments, museums, scientific, artistic, educational and cultural institutions shall be considered as neutral and as such respected and protected by belligerents. The same respect and protection shall be due to the personnel of the institutions mentioned above. The same respect and protection shall be accorded to the historic monuments, museums, scientific, artistic, educational and cultural institutions in time of peace as well as in war.

‘The history of international treaties shows us how many of them were relevant and applicable to the times in which they were signed, but then lapsed into irrelevance. The Roerich Pact, however, has kept its heart and its life, and is linked to the needs of today’s chaotic world as much as ever. In so many countries we see a deterioration of cultural values and a disregard for the right of all cultural treasures to have their own continued existence, forever protected and unimpeded. We see destruction of life, property, and the inheritance of the creative genius of the nations. One can only hope that a greater awareness of the importance of humanity’s cultural heritage will increase, rather than deteriorate. There is no greater value to a nation than its culture.’

‘The Roerich Pact was first agreed to by twenty-one nations of the Americas and signed as a treaty in the White House, in the presence of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, on April 15, 1935, by all the members of the Pan-American Union. It was later signed by other countries also.’

(from the Roerich Museum website)

GLYN F RIDGLEY BOOKS @ Amazon