ON INTERNATIONAL WOMENS DAY CELEBRATE THE INPIRATIONAL WOMEN WHO SURROUND YOU AS WELL AS THE HEROINES OF HISTORY

Today should not be about tokenism or empty rhetoric. Today should be about honouring, remembering, celebrating and recognising the millions of women across the planet who have shaped history, improved society, challenged sexism and defied the odds to conquer adversity. A book, let alone a column, could hardly do justice to the women who have shaped and enhanced my life personally and improved living conditions generally for everyone. What follows is a mere thread from the giant tapestry which represents the progressive role and contribution of women everywhere to our world. A progressive role and contribution which is all too […]

Continue reading

Venezuela Refuses to Become the 68th Sovereign Government Overthrown By America

  Over my eleven years as an elected local government Councillor and eight years as a Member of the Scottish Parliament I championed many causes and found myself often in police cells, on picket lines, marching in demonstrations and the subject of scathing attacks in mainstream newspaper headlines and editorials. I wore such attacks as a badge of honour remembering the opinion of Labour’s first working class leader and MP, Keir Hardie, that when the press attack you it means you are doing something right. Perhaps it was that notoriety that made me very popular with journalism students anxious to conduct an interview for their course […]

Continue reading

Opposing Israeli Brutality Against Palestinians Makes You Human Not Anti-Semitic

  Writing columns often involves difficult choices. What you write about reflects your opinions and priorities. Every time I sit down at my laptop to construct a column I agonise over what to write about from a huge list of worthy topics and current affairs issues. Today I simply cannot ignore the corrosive effect of the very powerful and well financed pro-Israel lobby which is at the heart of the concerted campaigns of vilification against Jeremy Corbyn over the last four years and is responsible for the ridiculous association of Corbyn and socialists within the Labour Party with anti-Semitism. Every newspaper, news bulletin, political TV show and newspaper review segment […]

Continue reading

They Think They are the Magnificent Seven – They are Actually the Tawdry Seven

The 1960 film ‘The Magnificent Seven’ was apparently based on the true story which formed the basis of the 1954 Japanese movie the ‘Seven Samurai’. ‘The Magnificent Seven’ was in fact a Hollywood re-make of that film and was full of heroism, self-sacrifice and human integrity. I loved it. Charles Bronson and Yul Brynner were immense. Yesterday I watched the polar opposite of all those virtues when ‘The Tawdry Seven’ walked into a pre-arranged press conference in London full of giggles and self-importance to denounce the very political party they had been elected to represent less than 24 months ago. Seven individuals who would struggle to be recognised […]

Continue reading

LIES, DAMNED LIES AND THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA – DON’T BE FOOLED

“It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled” (Mark Twain) Not for the first time I reached for my Mark Twain book of quotes while I considered the thrust of what I wanted to convey in this column. The truth is what I want to say justifies a book or two rather than a single opinion piece and many others have explained the reality of the issue I want to rage about better than me. From John Pilger to Noam Chomsky, Robert Fisk to Seymour Hersh I implore those of you interested in the […]

Continue reading