The problem with Brexit vote

Brexit map

This map, showing how the regions of the UK voted in the Referendum on whether to Remain in the EU or Leave illustrates clearly the huge problem with not setting any kind of threshold for invoking Article 50 in the event of a Leave vote. The yellow countries/regions voted Remain, the blue countries/regions voted to Leave. 48% to 52% is not a huge majority, but more to the point, two of the four countries which make up the UK and the capital city, London, voted to Remain. How is it democratic to take these regions out of the EU against their will?

I can’t see what the solution is except another Referendum which stipulates all four UK countries have to vote Leave for it to be operative. The current situation means Scotland is likely to leave the UK, and it will cause big problems for Ireland and the peace agreement which requires an open border and cross-border institutions. Already there is a move to re-unite Northern Ireland with the Republic.

On top of all this, if the end result of Article 50 negotiations means a Norway-type access to the single market for what remains of the UK there will still be free movement to/from EU countries, the very thing most Leave voters do not want. Nor, I suspect, do many of them want the UK to break up and the Union Flag to be consigned to the dustbin of history.

Nobody is keen to sort out this mess, hence Cameron, Johnson and Farage all washing their hands of the mess they’ve created. May just keeps kicking the whole issue into the long grass. This is what happens when you ask the electorate a very complex question without explaining the full possible implications of a Leave vote, especially when lies were told about £350 million extra being available for the NHS if we leave the EU, and being able to control immigration from the EU, which now looks extremely unlikely.

Justification for genocide?

At a recent get-together it was suggested that in war it might sometimes be justified to kill, say, 150,000 people to save more. I vehemently rejected this suggestion, in fact it made me extremely angry.

The most obvious reference to a real-life situation is the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, which immediately killed well over hundred thousand innocent men, women and children, and over the past 71 years has killed many more with cancers, and caused children to be born deformed. This was a heinous crime by the Americans which can never, ever be justified.

The next part of the claim can never be proven, i.e. that it ‘saved’ even more lives. The fact is the Americans committed this genocidal crime, not the Japanese. Whatever the Japanese did previously to POWs, etc. it cannot be said the atomic bombs prevented them killing even more people than these bombs did. On the contrary, if it was these two atomic bombs which caused the Japanese to surrender, why on Earth did the Americans have to agree to the humiliating terms of this surrender? They had to let Emperor Hirohito remain on the Chrysanthemum Throne and guarantee he would never be brought before a War Crimes Tribunal. So 140,000+ innocent people were killed, born deformed, had cancers induced in their bodies but Hirohito escapes Scot free. Not only that, but the Japanese had suffered similar civilian casualties in the conventional bombing of Tokyo, yet did not surrender. Kamikaze pilots were sacrificing their own lives for the Emperor. Such was the adoration of the Japanese for their Emperor they would die for him. The two bombs were more likely dropped before the end of the War in the Far East to demonstrate the awful power of the new weapon America had developed to the world, but in particular to the Soviet Union, which then quickly acquired atomic and then hydrogen bombs of its own. The other reason for the atomic bombing of the two Japanese cities was probably revenge for Pearl Harbor.

On a more general note, can it ever be justified to kill innocent people to save more lives? I say it never can because, for a start, you can never prove it would save more lives. It is an extremely dangerous policy to follow, which could be used by any despot or dictator – they could kill millions and say they did it to save even more lives.

It is said that in war such difficult decisions have to be taken, but I am a pacifist and reject all war under any circumstances. We then have to define ‘war’ itself. I can see there are situations where force has to be used, even lethal force. I would define these as special operations by the secret services, SAS, etc., or simply international policing operations, targeting the guilty rather than innocent civilians. Not using indiscriminate weapons of mass destruction, such as nuclear weapons, conventional bombs, landmines, etc.. There are occasions, of course, when innocent people get killed, such as when police are dealing with a siege with hostages and the kidnapers, who are killing the hostages, die along with some of the hostages, some shot by the police accidentally or caught in the cross-fire. This is completely different to deliberately targeting thousands or hundreds of thousands of totally innocent civilians in order to induce fear, or out of revenge.

I am a pacifist (being against war, but reluctantly supporting carefully targeted operations against those committing atrocities), but I’m also a Spiritualist. I happen to know, from researching Near Death Experiences and After Death Communications, that we all face a Life Review when we die. This Life Review is not a particularly scary experience, but rather a learning and enlightening experience. We do not simply see our whole lives flash past, but outside of Earth Time we experience every action, every thought, everything that happened in our lives not only from our own perspective, but from the perspective of all those we inter-acted with. So if we helped someone in some way, we experience what they felt, but also the effects of our negative actions. For most of us this is no big deal, but if we dropped atomic bombs which killed hundreds of thousands of people and caused cancers and deformities in others it could be quite a heavy Life Review, even though as a First World War soldier said in an After Death interview via the Direct Voice Medium Leslie Flint it would be those who ordered the killing who would feel most responsibility. However carrying out orders which result in genocide is not acceptable, as was stated at the Nuremburg Trials of Nazi War Criminals.

There are many ways to deal with dictators and those committing atrocities. I am not going to detail them all here as we all know them perfectly well. All I’ll say is individuals have been targeted by special forces many times. Also take the role of the civilian police in a siege situation. Do they bomb an entire street or area in order to kill the gang or the terrorists who caused the siege? No, they surround the premises and then make an attack, and although some hostages may get killed or injured in the raid, there is no deliberate killing by the police of totally innocent people.

War is the breakdown of normally civilized behavior. Atrocities and genocide, committed for whatever reason, cause hatred and reprisals. It is a never-ending cycle of violence. We must find more civilized ways of dealing with situations.

Finally, it is a sobering thought whether or not you are a Christian (I’m not), that Jesus Christ lived in an occupied country and told his disciples not to resist the occupiers but rather to render unto Cesar that which be Cesar’s (taxes in this instance), and also he told Peter to put away his sword when he used it against a Roman Centurion, as those who live by the sword shall perish by the sword. Jesus was a pacifist, and that’s good enough for me, he was a great Spiritual leader who taught by example. In the ultimate self-sacrifice he apparently died in a crucifixion, though this cannot be confirmed. I don’t believe, if indeed he did die in this way, it was anything to do with absolving us of responsibility for our actions. Spiritualists believe in personal responsibility and progress open to all souls.

I have come to believe that this life here on Earth is largely a virtual reality, as nothing is what it seems. For instance, everything solid around us, including our own bodies, are largely empty space, they just appear and feel solid to us. Therefore everything that happens here could well be a sort of drama acted out to learn lessons and develop spiritually. By reducing ourselves to the lowest level and copying the genocidal practices of others, we are not learning lessons, we are not developing spiritually, and we are inviting reprisals and therefore continuing an ever more violent, never-ending series of atrocities and genocidal actions by both ourselves and others.

Explanation of my current Facebook header

karl Marx tomb

The header demonstrates my Socialist principles. Although I would admit to being a Marxist, I am no longer a Communist. Karl Marx, together with Friedrich Engels, laid the basis of Socialism by showing how the surplus value of labor was exploited by the capitalist ruling class. They also theorized on how historical materialism meant society progressed thru stages, and that capitalism would inevitably collapse, due to its own contradictions, and be replaced by Socialism. This would be a society based on the common ownership and control of the means of production, distribution and exchange. The formula Marx described for the Socialist era was ‘To each according to their work’.

Marx and Engels also forecast that Socialism would eventually be replaced by Communism, a society where the State and all its institutions had withered away. There would be no police, no courts, no jails, no money, no State itself – just a completely self-governing society with an abundance of goods and services. I now feel this is far too utopian an ideal and there will always need to be a truly democratic State to avoid a corrupt ruling class rising again.

Marxism provided the basis for many Socialist parties, including the British Labour Party. Until it was re-written prior to the New Labour era, Clause IV of the Labour Party clearly stated Marxist principles, and this Clause was printed on all Labour Party membership cards. It sought the common ownership and control of the means of production, distribution and exchange. The 1945 Labour government not only greatly increased public ownership, but went further and adopted Marx’s formula for the Communist era for the National Health Service and Welfare State: ‘From each according to their ability, to each according to their needs’.

In the 20th Century we saw many Socialist states arise including the Soviet Union. While the basic necessities were catered for, and full employment achieved, an increasingly corrupt ruling class of bureaucrats arose with perks and privileges denied to the rest of the population. This, in turn, encouraged more careerists and opportunists to join the ruling Marxist-Leninist parties in order to get these privileges for themselves and their families. Since there were no opposition parties, it was very difficult to remove this ruling clique.

The Soviet dictatorship reached its peak under Stalin, but it was started by Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky. They crushed all opposition, even from other Socialist parties. The Kronstadt rebellion in the early days of the Soviet state was ruthlessly crushed by Lenin using Trotsky’s Red Army. Yet the demands of the Kronstadt rebels were to reinstate the original aims of the ‘Great October Socialist Revolution’ (October 25th by the old Orthodox calendar, November 7th by the current Western one); to allow non-capitalist parties and to end the perks for bureaucrats. The ruthless Bolshevik dictatorship of Lenin, Trotsky and others meant Stalin was later able to impose his reign of terror. Although his methods industrialized a backward country and made it into a superpower, millions died in the process, including those who perished in the labor camps (gulags) and due to his infamous show trials which managed to eliminate many of the original Bolsheviks, but which did nothing to deal with the corrupt bureaucratic ruling class distorting the system.

So I am firmly against the ‘Dictatorship of the Proletariat’ as described by Lenin and others. I also reject violent revolution which usually continues afterwards and devours its own. Evolution not revolution is my motto, though revolutionary change may need the might of the organized working class using industrial action and mass demonstrations to inforce their Will if parliamentary methods fail or are blocked by the Establishment. (Corbynistas take note!)

I do not describe myself as a Marxist-Leninist for these reasons. The term ‘Dictatorship of the Proleteriat’, even if it was truly the working-class which was ruling and not a class of bureaucrats, takes no account of the rights of minorities. The idea was the masses would join the Marxist-Leninist Party and exercise Socialist Democracy thru it, leading eventually to the self-governing society of Communism. In actual fact, as the 20th Century experiments showed, it just led to a new ruling class of politicians and other bureaucrats since it was mainly careerists and opportunists who flocked to join the ruling parties.

What is true, however, is that a constant flux between capitalism and Socialism; between common ownership and privatization, is destabilizing. Therefore once Socialism is established and working it would be advisable, via a Referendum, to draw up and implement a Socialist Constitution which would enshrine the principle of public ownership and control of the bulk of the means of production, distribution and exchange (private shops and small family businesses would still be allowed, subject to laws to prevent exploiting any hired labor.) All political parties should be allowed to contest free elections, but to overturn the Socialist Constitution and re-introduce large-scale private enterprise they would need to call another Referendum to replace the Socialist Constitution with a different one. All Referendums on Constitutional matters should be compulsory (could be done with the Census) with at least 60% voting to change the status quo in order to overturn an existing Constitution.

Finally, State ownership or nationalization has proved cumbersome and inefficient in many cases in the Soviet Union and elsewhere. While it is suitable for certain industries and services, such as those which have national grids or networks (the railways, the phone service, the postal service, the public utilities), for most industries and services there are other forms of public ownership such as cooperatives, mutuals and individual publicly owned companies all competing in a Socialist market place. This was basically the system operating in former Yugoslavia successfully before that federation broke up due to rampant nationalism.

So although the Red Flag and Karl Marx appear on my Facebook header, I am not a Communist nowadays. The Red Flag has long been a Socialist symbol, and the anthem ‘The Red Flag’ was sung at all Labour Party Conferences. I hope it continues to be and that the old Clause IV is reinstated along with the old logo to replace the New Labour red rose logo. As to the sculpture of Karl Marx, this stands atop his grave in Highgate Cemetery, London. Although it may not at the moment be one of the main tourist sights of the capital, maybe it should be. Marx’s ideas have been distorted and misused, but so have the teachings of Jesus Christ. Nevertheless Marx correctly described the nature of capitalist exploitation of labor, and showed how it must eventually collapse and lead to Socialism.

I will quote Lenin briefly, when he said progress consists of ‘two steps forward, one step back’. The collapse of the imperfect Socialist states of the 20th Century were one step back, but if we learn from their mistakes and do not repeat them we can move forward towards a better form of Socialism, and many different political parties can offer their own formulas. ‘Let a thousand flowers bloom’ said Mao, even if it wasn’t practised in China. But the best quote of all, and here I paraphrase, came from the great British Socialist Tony Benn who advised people to ask who gave politicians their power, who are they responsible to, and how we can get rid of them if necessary. This is essential to avoid a corrupt ruling class rising again.

Can Labour win a General Election under Jeremy Corbyn?

I think it can, and probably with a landslide which will be as big a shock as the 1945 General Election which brought the leftwing Clem Attlee Labour government to power, when everyone thought the Conservatives would win because its leader, Winston Churchill, had brought us thru the Second World War.

However as long as the majority of Labour MPs are voting they have ‘no confidence’ in their leader and demanding he resign, and threatening yearly challenges to his leadership, the Party is going to have difficulty not only winning elections, but successfully providing a united Opposition to the Tories in Parliament.

Nobody expected Corbyn to win the leadership. I was amazed myself, and so was Jeremy. There is a groundswell of popular opinion which is largely unrecognized by the media, by MPs, by the Establishment generally. Not only unrecognized, they hate it, they fear it. Jeremy Corbyn has long been associated with protest against the Establishment. The last time a similar man led the Labour Party was in the early 1980s when fellow CND-er Michael Foot was leader. Similarly to now he was criticized and ridiculed constantly by the media, and Labour MPs, led by the Gang of Four, attacked him and broke away to form the SDP. We know where that eventually led, to joining with the Liberal Party to become the Liberal Democrats and then going into coalition with the most rightwing Tory government since Margaret Thatcher’s!

Why did Maggie win the 1983 General Election? Was it because Michael Foot was Labour leader at the time? Only indirectly if you take into account the Labour Party had split, as it is in danger of doing now, with the formation of the SDP (Social Democratic Party). But the biggest factor was the Falklands/Malvinas war in 1982 which boosted jingoism and Maggie Thatcher’s popularity amongst much of the population, but also of course the anti-Tory vote was split.

We are in a different position today. First of all we have the SNP (Scottish Nationalist Party) which took nearly all the seats in Scotland. This really is not a problem for Labour, since either Scotland will hold another referendum on independence after Brexit and leave the UK, or if it stays in the UK the SNP will back up a leftwing Labour government in many of its policies, along with Plaid Cymru and the Greens and some of the Northern Ireland parties (if they stay in the UK).

The real question is whether Labour needs to win back people who voted Tory, and I think that would be an unmitigated disaster. We saw what happened under Tony Blair and New Labour, which Maggie Thatcher described as her greatest achievement. A Tory Party MK II, which imposed Thatcherite policies, privatized as much as it could, and took us into an illegal war in Iraq which in turn led to the rise of ISIS. Never again!

Labour must seek to win votes from those who never voted before because they were too young or too apathetic, or because there seemed little difference between the two major parties. Millions voted for the Greens and Ukip in the 2015 General Election, but this only resulted in one MP each under our first-past-the-post electoral system. Labour must try to win over these voters too. Ukip plays on fears of immigration, so Labour must tackle this issue, but in any case even if Brexit goes ahead it seems likely there will be a Norway-type arrangement whereby the UK gets access to the single market but in return has to accept freedom of movement to/from EU countries. So what does Ukip do then?

Labour can deal with the problem by enforcing the minimum wage for a start, and by ending austerity and the housing crisis. A leftwing Labour government would defuse the explosive issue whereby immigrants are seen to have caused loss of jobs and the housing crisis. It is the Tory government and New Labour before that which have caused these things, and the international banks.

Jeremy Corbyn was thrown in at the deep end. He had no experience of Cabinet government, he has had to learn on the job. He has brought a fresh approach to the job of leader of the Opposition, such as his novel way of asking questions on a Wednesday in the House, putting ordinary working-class people in the forefront. Given half a chance by his MPs I believe Jeremy Corbyn could capture the enthusiasm of millions of the electorate.

MPs who refuse to support him may be de-selected, but anyway many new MPs need to be selected before 2020 because of constituency boundary changes. So by the time of the next General Election there could be a very different Parliamentary Labour Party, the present one being representative of New Labour. Hopefully many of the present MPs will come to reaize that Labour can win elections under Corbyn if the Party is united.

Also Party policy is under constant review, such as the ongoing defense review. It could well be that Annual Conference, castrated by Tony Blair, will once again be the body which makes policy democratically, and this could easily mean many of Jeremy Corbyn’s ideas will be adopted, such as abandoning Trident for instance, also nationalizing the railways and public utilities. The idea of cooperatives is becoming to the forefront as a much more efficient and successful alternative to wholesale nationalization. These are exciting new times, and it is sad if fuddy old stick-in-the-muds who want to preserve the neo-liberal traditions of Thatcher and Blair try to smother the mood in much of the country for a new kind of politics. Just take housing for a start – more council homes need to be built for those who cannot afford to buy, and if the right to buy council homes continues than all homes sold must be replaced. Private rents need to be controlled, and the right to buy extended to private landords’ tenants.

Jeremy Corbyn is not unelectable. He is looking more like a great Labour Party leader and future Prime Minister every day, but make no mistake, the Establishment hate him and fear him. Every dirty trick in the book will be used to stop him getting anywhere near Number 10. But the sweeping changes in Labour and politics is not confined to one man, if Jeremy is out of the picture, others will rise to replace him.

Finally, is the main objective to get elected to government or to stick to certain principles? Hopefully we can do both, but for me principles ALWAYS take priority. If you make being elected to government your only priority, then that’s when you are likely to take your cue from the Murdoch media and end up with a New Labour type Thatcherite government. I have voted in the past Green, Communist and Liberal Democrat. I was once a member of the Communist Party, and of the even smaller Left Unity Party started by Ken Loach. These smaller parties never stood a chance of being elected to government on their own, but I voted for them or joined them out of principle. Sadly the LIb-Dems let me down when they betrayed the trust of many who voted for them by going into coalition with the Tories and backing many of their policies.

I want a party which sticks to its principles, and it is then up to the Labour Party to convince the electorate, and its MPs, that this is the correct course. We have to lead, not follow the herd who in turn are led by the media barons representing the Establishment.

The Royal Puppets

Most republican articles and blogs are about the expense of the Monarchy, or its undemocratic nature. I endorse all of these, but I thought it would be good to write a blog from the other side. What right have we to demand that someone be saddled with a job for life which they may not want and be totally unsuited for? Moreover, to demand that they just act as mere puppets for the Establishment and the government of the day, putting words into their mouths to read at the State Opening of Parliament – things they may totally disagree with. To deny them the right to vote or voice their opinion.

These things only apply to the sovereign, and you may argue they are trained from birth to expect this, and, apart from the fact this is denying them free choice unless they choose to abdicate, it is not always the case. Queen Elizabeth II only took on the role because her father suddenly became King when King Edward VIII abdicated. Any one of the royals in line to the Throne could suddenly find themselves lumbered with the top job for life if there was an abdication, a sudden death, or a calamitous accident (the balcony of Buck House collapses when too many royals get on it to wave at their loyal subjects, for instance.)

Then there are all the other restrictions on the Monarch and the immediate heirs to the Throne. Charles was told to find himself a suitable wife to bear him heirs to the Throne, and Camilla wasn’t thought suitable, certainly not once she married someone else. So Diana was the chosen mother. Charles slept with Camilla before and after the marriage to Diana, and as he himself said it had become royal tradition for the Prince of Wales to have a mistress. No wonder if they didn’t have a free choice on who they could marry. Diana’s life was ruined by this doomed marriage, as were many before her. Princess Margaret, the Queen’s sister, was forced to dump the man she loved, Captain Peter Townsend, and went from one unhappy liaison to another. Of course King Edward VIII was told to dump Wallis Simpson, and at least he had the guts to refuse so became the exiled Duke of Windsor for the rest of his life living in Paris.

Suppose an heir to the Throne wanted to marry someone of the same sex? In this day and age it is perfectly possible. There are rumors about several of the Queen’s children having gay affairs, and one who is married to a woman has frequented a gay club I know on Transvestite night. I have this from the club owner himself and one of his in-laws. Is this royal in a forced sham marriage? And what if an heir to the Throne insisted that he or she would marry a person of the same sex, would this be allowed and if so how would they continue the bloodline? They too would no doubt be forced to marry someone of the opposite sex in a sham marriage, or abdicate.

What about royals with mental illnesses? They have been disgracefully shoved out of sight, never to be mentioned again, in some institution and forgotten. The whole institution is inhuman.

Those who accept the role of Monarch for life and all the restrictions on personal freedom it involves then have to be willing puppets of the Establishment – acting like characters in Disneyworld/Disneyland by parading around for the benefit of the public and tourists in golden carriages, bestowing honors on certain citizens, and of course repeating parrot-like the speeches written for them, not least the program of the elected government at the State Opening of Parliament.

Of course the royals also enjoy enormous privileges. Palaces and castles with servants, a luxurious lifestyle and great wealth, many tours abroad, at least for the major royals. However with all this comes the onerous and often boring State duties and having to be polite to people all around the world which one may or may not normally wish to meet.

Much of the duties of the Monarch would also be borne by an elected President, but at least they would stand for the office by choice, and it would not be for life, just for a period of say five years, which may, if the public decide, be extended for another five or so years, but the terms of office would be limited to two or possibly three.

Then there are the people brought into the royal circle, like Diana and now Catherine. They have to learn the protocol and cope with all the restrictions, and they have not been trained from birth. It is all very well swanning around in designer clothes, but it can be very difficult if your husband is out shagging someone else and you are left alone with the kids and their nannies, like Diana was.

My point being that this whole institution, apart from being undemocratic, is an anachronism in this day and age. No institution in the 21st Century should demand anyone take on such a job for life, and dictate who they can and cannot marry. And just suppose the day came when a lesbian or gay male couple was allowed to become Queen or King and Consort, how would their heirs be conceived? Presumably some other royal would be lumbered with the job when the Monarch died without issue.

It is often said the Queen has done her duties well for over 60 years, the longest reigning British Monarch in history. What if she had decided, for instance, that she could not in all conscience launch a submarine armed with nuclear missiles which were to be aimed at totally innocent men, women and children (not to mention animals) and which if ever used would kill millions by blast, fire and radiation for years to come? Sometimes ‘doing one’s duty’ is perhaps not something to be admired, and it would maybe have been better had she protested, refused and, if necessary, abdicated. An elected President should have the same right of conscientious objection. Oh yes, that’s another thing, all male children of the Monarch are required to join the armed services, suppose they have a conscious objection to this? Again the whole institution comes across as an inhuman as well as undemocratic anachronism.

Remember the words of little Harry just after his mother died in that crash in Paris. The royals went to church in Scotland near Balmoral, but Diana was in disgrace because she had refused to act like the obedient mute breeding mare and had rocked the Monarchy. So her name wasn’t even mentioned in the service, and instead there were jokes about the comedian Billy Connolly said in church that morning. Harry turned to his father and said: ‘Is mummy really dead?’

That’s how cold and inhuman that institution can be. The nation was horrified that they stayed in Scotland, and that the flag wasn’t flown at half mast on Buckingham Palace. The Monarchy was saved when the Prime Minister and his aides persuaded, or rather ordered, the Queen to come back to London, fly a flag at half-mast and make a speech about Diana, a name she never wanted spoken in her presence again.

This is an institution which demands total obedience and loyalty, and those who do flout these rules become non-persons like Diana and the Duke of Windsor. Totally inhuman. Usually it is dictatorships who airbrush dissidents from history, but it is also the Monarchy which does this by stripping them of their titles and worse. Those who disobey the rules beware, look what happened to Diana!

Consciousness

Nobody, including scientists, can explain consciousness or how it arises. The big debate in scientific circles is whether it originates in the brain or whether it is, in fact, the ultimate reality giving rise to matter systems. Nobody can explain how brain cells could produce consciousness, and like all other cells in the body they die and are replaced. Therefore none of us have any of the cells in our body by the time we reach adulthood that we had when we were born. This means, in effect, we have survived death many times. Yet our consciousness, memories, our personalities remain intact.

Quantum Physics experiments strongly suggest that matter is created or organized by consciousness, and therefore is the fundamental reality. Matter is largely an elaborate illusion in any case, all scientists agree on this. Everything we perceive as solid is largely composed of empty space between the sub-atomic particles. Quantum Physics has shown that wave function or waves of probability are the normal state of things, and only when being consciously observed or measured does this wave function collapse to create matter.

If consciousness is indeed the fundamental reality, this means the whole multiverse and everything in it is basically an enormous thought. Does this equate to ‘God’? I would argue it doesn’t. We are all part of this universal consciousness, it is not an external entity or being, much less a male father figure. That is just religious myth. Such a religious concept of God is supposed to be all-knowing, in which case why would evolution be necessary? All the evidence points to an evolutionary process.

Consciousness, if it is indeed the fundamental reality, is constantly evolving. It experiments in matter environments it has created and evolves very gradually. With life on Earth, for instance, this slow experimentation and evolution is aided by natural selection, with the experiments which are not so efficient discarded.

The alternative theory, that consciousness is a product of the brain, has serious flaws. One, it flies in the face of Quantum Physics experimentation. Second, nobody can explain how brain cells can produce consciousness, much less relay it to new brain cells when the old ones die. Thirdly, how to explain the evolution of the species if there isn’t some consciousness guiding it and designing tiny experimental changes? Complicated organs like the heart, liver, the eyes, etc. are supposed, according to this theory, to have just evolved by pure accident or chance, yet they seem to be very carefully designed for specific purposes. Of course if you really believe millions of monkeys typing blindly on millions of keyboards for millions of years will eventually produce the complete works of Shakespeare in perfect English (or any other language), then you will also believe these organs could evolve by accident. You then have to explain why cars, televisions, spaceships and all the other wonders of our age, all intelligently designed, have not just evolved by pure chance as well.

There are many alternative post-materialist scientific theories and different terms are used to describe the fundamental consciousness, such as the ‘intelligent ether’ or ‘i-ther’ (Pearson). No true scientist would describe it as ‘God’, of if they do, it would be to patronize the religious. Such a fundamental consciousness has little in common with the religious idea of ‘God’, which is not supposed to evolve and which is worshiped and described as an all-wise, all-knowing, unchanging Entity or Being.

If consciousness is indeed the fundamental or ultimate reality, it has enormous implications. It means all matter systems, which we already know are just virtual realities, are temporary illusions, and that we and all living things are part of this consciousness and, just as we survive the death of individual cells in our bodies, we will also survive death of the physical body itself. We are essentially thought energy which cannot be destroyed.

What then, skeptics will ask, of the many experiments with the brain and the fact that if it is damaged then consciousness is altered? In fact this is not always the case. There are recorded instances where someone with no measurable brain has a perfectly normal consciousness and even a high IQ. But the fact that a damaged brain may affect consciousness does not mean it originates in the brain. If you took the valves out of an old television set it would not work properly, or at all. Yet other TV sets would still pick up the signal being transmitted. Similarly if you opened the TV set you would not see the newscaster sitting in there reading the news. The TV set is a receiver, that’s all. If the receiver is damaged, the picture and sound will be damaged or non-existent.

The brain, according to post-materialist science, is a receiver/transmitter. It also seems to be a filter to screen out things which would be too much for the brain to contain. Thoughts are received by the brain, and can be transmitted by the brain as well (telepathy).

That we are more than our physical bodies and that Mind and Brain are separate has been proven many times in many ways. Quite apart from things like Near Death Experiences (NDEs) when people flat-lining on operating tables after a cardiac arrest have accurately described things occurring around them or at a distance at the time they were clinically ‘dead’, the CIA and other secret services have made use of Remote Viewing to spy on facilities and even documents hidden thousands of miles away. Out-of-Body Experiences (OBEs) produce similar results. The mind is much more powerful than some imagine. It can not only travel instantly enormous distances and observe things accurately, but it can travel forwards and backwards in Time, which is also illusory. Remote Viewers have proved this to be the case by observing things in a different time frame. Mind or Thought can also move objects and even create matter, as Quantum Physics suggests.

It may be much simpler and less complicated to just imagine everything came about by chance, our brains create consciousness, and this ends when we die. If people find that comforting, so be it, but they may well be in for a rude shock which may well be pleasant or unpleasant. All our actions while alive on Earth have repercussions, known as the law of cause and effect or karma. People who believe there is no comeback, good or bad, from our thoughts or actions in life are living in a fools’ paradise if the overwhelming evidence of survival is correct, and many skeptical scientists have investigated survival and come to the conclusion it is real – we do survive death. This applies to everyone regardless of belief, though some who survive refuse to believe they are really dead, while others sometimes experience oblivion for a while as do some religious people who expect to sleep until the Final Judgment. However it seems evolution is unending, so all such states are only temporary. Although outside our understanding of Time, there is progress or evolution, an eternal spiral upwards.

Modern Comedians and Political Correctness

The old style comedians with jokes about mothers-in-law and jokes now considered racist such as those about an Englishman, Scotsman and an Irishman are now considered unacceptable due to political correctness. Yet a new brand of so-called comedians seem to think it’s OK to be very offensive with remarks that are not even remotely funny.

Some examples are a comedian who’ joked’ about cancer returning to a patient who was in remission, another who said to a woman in the audience that he would like to ‘fuck you’, and several well known comedians who make a big point on stage or in film of saying things like ‘when you’re dead you’re dead’ and making out anybody who believes in an afterlife is plain stupid. I find all such remarks completely unacceptable, though the last category would be suitable for a serious debate, but not to humiliate publicly on stage anyone who thinks differently from the so-called comedian.

Alternative comedians came to the fore in the 1960s with productions like ‘Beyond The Fringe’ and TV’s ‘That Was The Week That Was’. I was in my late teens and early 20s in that decade and didn’t find the jokes offensive, but my mother objected to those about religion and the royal family. Maybe our objections to new comedians and ideas of humor change as we get older, but surely it is incongruous to say the least for comedians to avoid jokes about mothers-in-law for the sake of political correctness yet joke about cancer. They have to consider how these remarks will affect someone suffering from this dreadful disease, or who has loved ones suffering from it, or who have died from it. Similarly the ones who proclaim on stage ‘When you’re dead you’re dead, there is no afterlife, get used to it!’ are being deeply offensive to recently bereaved people or those with a terminal illness who could be put into a deep depression by such remarks making out they are stupid, not to mention those scientists, medical people and researchers who actually have bothered to research the subject, often as skeptics initially, and found, as I have, that there is in fact overwhelming evidence for the afterlife. I welcome informed debate on this subject, but find it unacceptable to treat people who accept the evidence for survival of death as complete idiots.

I lament the passing of great comedians like Frankie Howerd, Tommy Cooper, Les Dawson, Arthur Haynes and many others. There are a few funny comedians on the current scene though, and one in particular is Peter Kay. You don’t need to insult people and hurt their feelings in order to be funny, or rather, in place of being funny which seems to be the case with some modern comedians.

Current World Situation

I get fed up reading the depressing posts on Facebook that a third World War is looming or a nuclear war with Russia. Having lived through the last Cold War I feel these prophecies of doom are exaggerated, but on the other hand there are worrying differences between the situation now and back in the days of the old Cold War. Then the most dangerous episode was after the failed Bay of Pigs attack on Castro’s Cuba, when the Soviet Union agreed to ship nuclear missiles to the island, just a few miles from the Florida coast, to deter any further invasion attempts by the United States. This became known as the Cuba Missile Crisis, and for a few days the world really was on the brink of a nuclear catastrophe. We then had a hot-line between Washington DC and Moscow, and the crisis was defused when Kennedy and Krushchov came to an agreement the full details of which have only come to light in more recent years. Krushchov agreed not to ship nuclear missiles to Cuba if the USA removed recently installed nuclear missiles from just across the Soviet border in Turkey. The world breathed a sigh of relief.

However, apart from Cuba, the first Communist state in North America, the spheres of influence of the two super-powers had been clearly defined in the various conferences at the end of World War II. The USSR had freedom to do more or less whatever it wanted in its sphere of influence, i.e. the Socialist ‘buffer states’ of Eastern and Central Europe which the Soviet Union had liberated from fascism and which it insisted on keeping as friendly, if subordinate, Socialist states to prevent another disastrous invasion from the West. The USSR had lost millions when Hitler invaded. Other countries in Europe, including Finland which bordered the USSR, agreed to remain neutral. So when East Germany, Hungary and then Czechosovakia were invaded by the Soviet Union to quash unrest or what the USSR regarded as dangerous reforms which might lead to counter-revolution, the West was very vocal but actually did nothing. It was different when the Soviet Union operated outside its agreed sphere of influence, such as supporting a Soviet-style government in Afghanistan. The USA and Western powers gave aid and arms to the Mohajadeen and the Soviets were eventually driven out. Ironically, this has now come back to haunt us as from the Mohajadeen developed Al-Quaida and ISIS who have also been armed with many American weapons either captured or provided by states favored by the USA.

What is so worrying about the current Cold War between Russia and the West is that there are no longer agreed ‘spheres of influence’ and there are no summit meetings between the American President and the Russian leader, who is portrayed in the West as a threat to peace on a par with Adolf Hitler. In actual fact, of course, Vladimir Putin has shown enormous restraint in the face of constant Western provocation. When the Soviet Union started to disintegrate an agreement was made between the USA and the then Soviet leader, Gorbachev, that in the event of the Warsaw Pact being dismantled, NATO would not expand Eastwards. It is now on the very borders of the Russian Federation and many former Soviet republics are now NATO members, yet Russia has not reacted apart from a defensive build up in its border areas. This has resulted in a huge NATO build up in these areas, so Russia now feels threatened. It is very much like the old Cold War situation, depicted in the German production Deutschland 83, where each side feared a planned invasion by the other. Of course there are also regular military plane flights by both sides which come dangerously close to encroaching on the other sides’ air space, and these happened constantly throughout the old Cold War as well. Indeed in the days before spy satellites became so efficient, U2 spy planes were sent by the USA over Soviet territory, which caused a big crisis when Gary Powers was shot down in one.

In the current decade there was the Western-backed rightwing coup in the former Soviet republic of Ukraine. Neo-fascists backed this coup, as did the West, but the large Russian-speaking population in the Eastern provinces of the Ukraine opposed the coup which they felt threatened the Russian language and culture. Again Putin has shown great statesmanship and enormous restraint. The eastern provinces of Ukraine would, by a large majority, love to join the Russian Federation in the wake of the Kiev coup, but only the Crimea, which has a huge Russian naval base and which was part of the Russian Federation until 1954, has been allowed to re-join Russia. This is presented by the West as an ‘invasion’, but it was the will of the majority of the local Crimean parliament and majority of the mainly Russian-speaking population, and the Russian military were already in the province because of the naval base there.

Russia has not threatened to invade the Baltic States of Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia. There has been some Russian involvement in the former Soviet republic of Georgia where South Ossetia, a Georgian province, requested Russian assistance. The problem with all these former Soviet republics, of course, is that they have large Russian-speaking populations who naturally want to preserve their language and culture. When these are threatened, they react.   As for the Ukraine, the solution is surely for a federal set-up which allows more autonomy to the eastern provinces within Ukraine.

As to the likelihood of war between Russia and the West, this is extremely unlikely. Hitler and Napoleon learned it was impossible to invade the huge Russian lands, and a nuclear war would be a catastrophe for both sides and the world in general, making it uninhabitable. There is a proxy war, however, going on in Syria, where apart from Russia and NATO many other groups including ISIS are involved. This has caused the biggest refugee problem since the Second World War, and for this all sides are guilty. Both NATO and Russia, as well as ISIS and other groups have, intentionally or not, killed many innocent civilians with their bombing and other activities. The obvious solution would be for the West/NATO to join forces with Russia to defeat ISIS with a coordinated operation under UN authority, and then to seek an agreement on the future government of Syria. However it ill behoves the West to criticize the Russian-backed Syrian government when NATO backs equally repressive regimes like Saudi Arabia, and when NATO has invaded and bombed places like Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya and only succeeded in creating anarchy and the rise of groups like ISIS in the place of the former regimes.

The West needs to engage in regular talks with the Russian leadership. USA also needs to halt its aggressive policies of invasion and intervention around the world, and its extremely provocative build up of military forces in the seas around the People’s Republic of China and on the borders with Russia. An agreement needs to be drawn up between Russia and NATO guaranteeing that neither side will encroach on the territories of the other. As for interventions to protect human rights, these should always be under the authority of the UN General Assembly resolutions; it is not for individual states or groups of states such as the USA and NATO to unilaterally take action which, rightly or wrongly, are often seen as wars for oil and to boost the profitable arms industry.

EU Referendum

This is the second such referendum in my lifetime. The previous one was about our membership of the European Common Market, or EEC, as it then was. I voted against then, but this time for the EU I will vote to stay in.

I know the European Union is far from perfect, and it needs a lot of reform, such as only one Parliament site instead of both Brussels and Strasbourg, and much more democracy. I see it as a United States of Europe in formation, and many Europeans also want to move forward to ever-closer political union. Britain is holding out against this, but a federal EU is, in my opinion, the only way it can really work with a single currency, the Euro, which must have central control over the economy, including wages and prices. These must be uniform across the EU so there are not huge influxes from poorer to richer areas which impoverishes the poorer areas even further, and can cause problems when too many flood into the richer areas.

As for democracy, we only have to look at the United States of America to see how it might work in a federal EU. Each state of the USA has its own Capitol or legislature and its own local laws. There is therefore a great deal of autonomy. I would be in favor of breaking up the United Kingdom (I’m a republican and can see no place for monarchies in a federal EU) and for England, Scotland and Wales to join a federal EU as separate states with their own legislatures. Northern Ireland should be united with the Irish Republic and join as one state. Indeed if the UK votes to leave the EU it will pose particular problems for people living in the Irish border areas – some have homes which straddle the border, as an Irish friend pointed out to me. Part of their homes would be in the EU and part outside it!

At present the EU is a bit of a mess, but that is to be expected with any federation in the making. The predecessors to the EU were formed after World War II, and part of the motivation was to prevent more world wars starting on our continent. The EU, for all its faults, has introduced a lot of progressive measures such as workers’ rights and anti-discrimination legislation. Britain was dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st Century by the EU and its institutions. It is significant that on a visit to Australia in the 1990s I was told by a Sydney resident that Britain was the laughing stock of the civilized world because many of our laws dated back to the Victorian era. This was in particular reference to our laws on male homosexuality which, despite the 1967 Sexual Offences Act, was still only semi-legal with many restrictions. Under that Act males had to be over 21, not in the armed forces, and living in a separate domicile with no other person present overnight on the premises. All ways gay men could meet were still illegal – the charge was ‘importuning for an immoral purpose’ and ‘pretty policemen’ were sent out to entrap gay men and boost police prosecutions. All public displays of affection between two men were also illegal – ‘offending public decency’. This included such things as holding hands or kissing in public. The privacy stipulation of the 1967 Act meant that gay backroom clubs,  saunas, etc. prevalent all over Western Europe, Australia and North America were illegal in the UK and were quickly raided and closed down if they opened up, and the people in them arrested and charged. This drove gay men into dangerous cruising grounds where many muggings, queer-bashings and gay murders took place, or into public toilets where they were a nuisance to the general public and where minors could inadvertently stumble upon gay activity or even become involved. I wrote an article in the gay HIM magazine in 1991 saying that Britain needed safe space for gay men away from the general public, where minors would not be admitted, and during the 1990s the police started turning a blind eye to such gay clubs which opened up, a government review was launched on reforming the law and I contributed to that, and then the EU passed legislation which made any form of discrimination illegal, so our government had to fall in line. The gay age of consent was made equal with heterosexuals, as were the privacy laws. Following on from that we got civil partnerships then gay marriage and adoptions. Age discrimination was also made illegal, so the age of retirement for men and women was equalized. All thanks to the EU.

There have been problems with EU countries getting into debt and having to be bailed out, but this would not be a problem in a federal EU. Alabama doesn’t have to be bailed out by California because they have a more or less even playing field; one country with more or less equal prices and wages across the United States, and central control of the economy. We need to move forward to a United States of Europe, and I for one can’t wait to register as an EU citizen.

In any case there is nothing to stop any member state from leaving the EU at any time in the future, or a group of states could break away and form a new federation. For instance a group of  EU states, if they felt the EU wasn’t progressive enough, could join together in a new federation with a progressive Constitution.

If Britain votes ‘No’ and leaves the EU we would come even more under the influence of the USA. Already, as a NATO member along with much of the EU, we are dominated by U.S. foreign policy with its interventions in the Middle East, etc. However the EU is becoming more critical and independent of U.S. foreign policy. Outside the EU we are in real danger of becoming even more the de facto 51st state of America, with all that implies.

Our place is in Europe, and we need the EU to become a federation to compete with the United States, the Russian Federation, China, etc. Increasingly these super-states will come to dominate the world scene, and personally I hope one day a world confederation will develop under the auspices of the United Nations with a permanent UN security force to keep law and order and defend human rights everywhere. I see the EU as but the first step in that direction. So I look forward to the possibility of people becoming less nationalistic and eventually world citizens. That’s why I’ll  be voting ‘Yes’ in the forthcoming EU Referendum.

New look, New host

This is the first post under the new look blog. I don’t use it as much nowadays because I’m on Facebook daily. However this will still be used for blogs too long for Facebook, or for those I feel would only be of interest to some of my Facebook friends, in which case I’ll supply a link to this site, as with this posting.

 

While here I will mention that there has been some controversy over recent soaps like EastEnders and Emmerdale, and also the Meryl Streep film about Margaret Thatcher entitled ‘The Iron Lady’. In all these productions characters have been seen talking to deceased persons, which are then described by reviewers as ‘hallucinations’. This is only one interpretation, another is imagination, but a third is something which happens all the time, namely, ADCs or After Death Communications. Personally, having researched the subject for many years, as have many scientists, medical people, inventors and other professional people, and had personal experience of such communications, I am glad this has now seeped into popular culture.

Both religious concepts of ‘Heaven’ and ‘Hell’ and atheist/humanist assumptions of oblivion are gradually being replaced by the idea, backed up by overwhelming evidence, that we merely pass to another dimension when our physical body dies. Indeed if, as Quantum Physics suggests, Consciousness is the fundamental reality which creates matter systems, then all conscious entities survive death. Matter systems are merely virtual realities which enable us to experience different environments/situations in order to evolve. Pearsonian science explains it as the intelligent ether (i-ther) creating these environments in order to further its own evolution, and we are all part of this process. More and more scientists are coming to similar conclusions. It is known as post-materialist science. Even materialist science acknowledges that solid matter is nothing but an elaborate illusion. The space between the sub-atomic particles of matter would enable many other dimensions to interpenetrate our own. We are usually oblivious to them because they operate on another frequency or vibration.