22 Dec 2016

Dulce et Decorum Est

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,

6 Nov 2016

World War Two: a just war?

See www.newleftproject.org blog of 19 February 2014 by Ian Sinclair, which notes how World War Two in the Pacific and Middle East was an imperialist venture and how Churchill and Stalin carved up South East Europe in 1944.

8 Oct 2016

Jonathan Bartley, Green Party new co-leader

Jonathan Bartley – Quaker?

Jonathan Bartley, the Green Party’s new co-leader alongside Caroline Lucas, is a direct descendant of Elizabeth Fry, the Quaker prisoner reformer.

28 Sep 2016

20 Sep 2016

search files by path length

Trying to back up or copy large volumes of files to an external hard drive?

3 Sep 2016

Electric Vehicles 18/9/2016 Firstsite

Electric Vehicle (EV) workshop with presentation from Nissan and opportunity to drive an EV: Sunday 18 September at 3pm at Firstsite, meeting hosted by Colchester Green Party. My friend WB writes:

21 Aug 2016


In economics, a recession is a negative economic growth for two consecutive quarters. Anything less than annual three per cent growth in GDP, however, is traditionally also viewed with concern in our times.

20 Aug 2016

Anti-Austerity Alliance in Ireland

Ireland elected six new socialist TDs (the Irish Dail's equivalent of MPs) at the February 2016 election. The vote reflected continuing resistance to austerity and in particular the powerful campaign against water charges, as reported in socialistworker.co.uk.

19 Aug 2016

proud to be a rebel - Roger Casement

I am proud to be a rebel - Roger Casement, former British diplomat, hanged by the British 100 years ago: 3 August 1916, the last of the leaders of the Easter Rising in Ireland to be executed. (Source: Gerry Adams's blog)

15 Aug 2016

Pagan Sabbats

There are eight Sabbats that make up the Wheel of the Year. The Sabbats are solar, seasonal and represent the cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth. They are: Samhain, Yule, Imbolc, Ostara, Beltain, Litha, Lughnasadh, and Mabon.

26 Jul 2016

Rethinking Capitalism edited by Mariana Mazzucato

Rethinking Capitalism: Economics and Policy for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth, co-edited by Mariana Mazzucato and Michael Jacobs, (published by Wiley / Political Quarterly, 2016) is another recommendation from Friend RNP, reviewed here on marianamazzucato.com:

The Courageous State by Richard Murphy

In The Courageous State: Rethinking Economics, Society and the Role of Government Richard Murphy
argues that neoliberalism has bred weak governments led by weak politicians who believe implicitly in the supremacy of the market. It has created a cowardly state: a state that sees responsibility and then runs away from it. Worse, the weak politicians who run our cowardly state want power solely to ensure that as much tax revenue as possible is used to benefit the private sector that they idolise. But neoliberal theory is wrong – it has created the crises we’re suffering. And it has no solution to them.

11 Jul 2016

Sir Richard Body, Conservative MP and Quaker

Sir Richard Body (born 18 May 1927, official biography at www.parliament.uk) was a Conservative MP from 1966 to 2001 and he is a Quaker, as I've continually been told when arguing with Friends about how our natural political home is in the Green Party, just as the Church of England is sometimes called the Tory Party at prayer, while the Methodist tradition has much in common with Labour.

5 Jul 2016

Radio Resistance Chesterfield

Radio Resistance Chesterfield is a left-wing radio cloudcast, and antidote to the right-wing propaganda of the mainstream.

30 Jun 2016

Lexden Road Bus Stop

Following my blog on 24 June, here are various objections to the proposed scheme for a bus lane along Lexden Road, edited from various sources.

24 Jun 2016

No to Lexden Road Bus Lane

I'm not opposed to bus lanes in principle, far from it, but this plan to remove the two cycle lanes on Lexden Road to make way for an unnecessary bus lane is driving me round the bend.

Rhode Gear Ultra Shuttle 3 Cycle Bike Rack instructions

Step 1

23 Jun 2016

Conversation in a cable car

"Conversation in a cable car" by Ernest Hall, published in May 2016 Southern East Anglia Area Quaker Meeting Newsletter

22 Jun 2016

reflections on Experiment with Light

My reflections on Experiment with Light, the one-day Quaker retreat on Saturday 9 April at Colchester Meeting House,

15 Jun 2016

Referendums past and present: EU and AV

EEC referendum 6 June 1975: UK voters backed continued membership of the European Economic Community by a large majority in the country's first nationwide referendum, reported the BBC:

14 Jun 2016

10 Jun 2016

EU referendum betting odds

Betting odds indicate 62 per cent probability of UK voting to stay in EU (as at 15 June 2016), having dropped from 78 per cent probability in the last few weeks. Nevertheless 62:38 is not a neck and neck race!

30 May 2016

Organic Bug Spray

With predictions of a slug population explosion this year, either try spent coffee grounds (see CAA previous newsletter) or this recipe for Organic Bug Spray:

16 May 2016

2016 election results: from socialism to ecologism - Rupert Read

The best analysis of the 2016 election results that I have seen so far is "In the Corbyn era, Greens must move from socialism to ecologism" by Rupert Read, 10 May 2016. The point about Corbyn (who I've met and admire) proposing in January this year to keep the Trident nuclear subs, only without their carrying nuclear weapons, passed me by until now.

25 Apr 2016

Never talk about religion or politics

The received wisdom that you should "never discuss religion or politics in polite company," and similar guidance on social etiquette, is based on the assumption that talking about topics on which people may hold passionate and diverse opinions can lead to unpleasant arguments, conflict and hostility.

18 Mar 2016

Lymphatic drainage

Lymphatic drainage is an important part of lympdoedema treatment. It’s a form of massage that helps stimulate the lymphatic system and encourages the flow of lymph fluid.

If you want a quiet place don't go to an Essex library

So said the librarian at the Essex County Council library in Prettygate last Tuesday. I expressed my amazement and she gave me a form to fill in: see below...

15 Mar 2016

Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig

A very old friend of mine, who I meet about once a year, told me about this book last week, which was first published 1 January 2015.

24 Feb 2016

air pollution kills one thousand people in UK every week

Brilliant website at www.opendemocracy.net

Horrendous news - one thousand people are killed every week in the UK by air pollution. Remember last year's fixing of emissions tests by VW?

Read more at An urgent struggle: our tainted air: The deadliness of air pollution is all too often overlooked; a national action campaign is long overdue...

Ethics - book recommendations

Book recommendations (by my friend DB).
  • Alasdair MacIntyre - history of ethics - very good on the Greeks. 
  • Phillipa Foot - good on how our philosophical concepts of morality are governed by a very Protestant Christian assumption that it's all about actions. And that the actions are somehow objectively right or wrong (God ordained, or, in the absence of God, still somehow not determined by humanity, timeless) rather than flowing from humans. 
  • Bernard Williams and Geoffrey Warnock - very good on utilitarianism. (Bernard Williams was married to Shirley Williams for a while - possibly one of the brightest philosophers ever.)

9 Jan 2016

The Magickal Year by Diana Ferguson

The Magickal Year by Diana Ferguson provides a historical context for pagan belief and examines our changing spirituality in conjuction with our relationships to the natural world.

3 Jan 2016

#ThisIsACoup - Angela, suck our balls

In 4 bite-sized chunks (15 mins each approx) comes #ThisIsACoup, a four-part documentary series telling the story of how the European Union destroyed the first radical left government in modern history.