Spirit Possession

I tried to look this up on the Internet, and all the references I found are about so-called ‘demonic possession’. This may be a leftover from Christian and other religious prejudice which regard all such things as ‘demonic’ or of ‘the Devil’.

My own perception is that there are various kinds of possession or ‘walk-in’ phenomena.

The only kind which could be termed ‘demonic’, in my view, is when a lower spirit entity takes over a living human and encourages them to kill, sexually assault or injure other human beings. Even so these spirits are not ‘demons’ but simply those who have not evolved and whose spiritual realm should be the lower astral until they are able to regret their actions and evolve to higher spiritual dimensions.

The second category of this kind of phenomena is when an Earthbound spirit enters a living human to satisfy an addiction to alcohol, drugs, consensual sexual gratification with other adults, etc. I do not regard this as ‘demonic’ It is certainly an inability to move on, and if the host is unaware or unwilling to accommodate the spirit, it is unhealthy and an invasion of personal privacy.

The third category would be as Andrew Russell-Davis is experiencing with Diana, former Princess of Wales. An Earthbound spirit which feels it has a mission and also unfinished business on Earth. A mission to prove survival, for instance, and a desire to connect with loved ones on Earth and, in Diana’s case and possibly others, to add evidence to the circumstances of the death of their physical body. In this case the host may be willing to accommodate the spirit, sharing a sense of mission or of completing unfinished business.

All are examples of either possession or ‘walk-ins’ where a spirit, permanently or temporarily, enters a living human being or attaches itself to one.

Are all these forms of phenomena unhealthy? That is the real question. Should all spirits move on to the Spiritual dimensions and not remain Earthbound? Are some given permission to undertake a mission in this way? If so is this because the mission is planned by Higher Spirits or for educational/development purposes for the Earthbound spirit so they can learn to what extent remaining Earthbound and attached to a living human can achieve their stated purpose?

I try to keep an open mind, though tend toward the latter interpretation. There will come a time when all Earthbound spirits will decide it is time to move on, whether they are attached to a living human being or not. For the host of an attached spirit, whether willing or unwilling, I fear it may be unhealthy especially if it continues for a long period with little positive results. If very positive results are achieved, however, it could become very worthwhile for both the Earthbound spirit, the host and for other human beings on Earth.

Can Labour win the 2017 General Election?

Despite what the opinion polls say, and even they show Labour reducing the Tory lead, Labour can win the General Election, and Jeremy Corbyn is immensely popular, in fact more popular than any other current Party leader judging by the huge crowds which greet him everywhere. However if you read the Main Stream Media, or listen to it via TV, you would get the opposite impression, that Corbyn is the most unpopular leader, and the opinion polls give the same message. It all depends, of course, on who is asked the questions and what newspapers they read.

The problem is that entrenched in Parliament are so many Labour MPs who got there in the New Labour era, and they have done everything in their power from the moment Corbyn was first elected leader to stab him in the back. He picked a Shadow Cabinet from all sections of the Parliamentary Labour Party, and the Blairites then promptly resigned saying he was ‘incompetent’. For heaven’s sake, the man had been a backbencher for decades, a bit of help and support would have been nice, and patience. Blairite MPs constantly ran him down in the rightwing media, then 172 voted ‘no confidence’ in him. Had Corbyn then resigned as leader, he would have been kept off the ballot paper along with all other leftwingers.

They put up Owen Smith, who nobody had ever heard of, to challenge Corbyn for the leadership, spouting a left-sounding agenda, but the membership did not fall for it and re-elected Corbyn with an even bigger majority.

As to the General Election which all the polls predict the Tories will win, in these uncertain times nothing can be predicted with any reliability. So many factors come into play in this Election. Brexit will feature prominently. How will Remainers vote? How will Leavers vote? So far it seems most UKIP votes will go to the Tories, but this is not necessarily so. Many could go to Labour. Then there will be tactical voting to confuse things. What happens in Scotland could be crucial, but a post-election alliance of Labour and the SNP could stop the Tories if together they could form a majority of MPs.

One thing is certain. To achieve a Labour victory people must vote Labour. That may seen obvious, but when so many of the potential electorate do not register or register but then do not vote, then they cannot complain if they end up with a government they do not like. In the past many have not bothered to vote as they saw little difference between the main political parties or just did not trust politicians. This time it is different, as Labour under Corbyn has inspired many people that we now have a real alternative and a new kind of politics.

If young people, many of whom were denied a vote in the EU Referendum or were too young to vote in the 2015 General Election, register and vote Labour, and if sufficient numbers of people who do not usually vote do the same, Labour could not only win, but even win by a landslide. That is a lot of ‘ifs’, but it is perfectly possible.

The big fly in the ointment is the Main Stream Media, which includes the BBC and most other TV news outlets, and most of the Press. The tabloids are the worst. In Soviet-style Socialist Democracy the government told the people how to vote; in our own version of democracy Rupert Murdoch, George Osborne and company tell the people how to vote. Thank goodness for social media!

There are two possibilities in this Election. Either young people and previous non-voters come out in their millions and vote, in which case Labour could form the next government, or they leave it to the older generation and readers of the tabloids in which case the Tories will be returned with a bigger majority.

Persecution of Gays in Chechnya and elsewhere

There are consistent reports coming out of Russia about gay men being arrested, kept in prisons or concentration camps, tortured, made to reveal names of other gay men, and sometimes killed by the Chechen authorities. Chechnya is an extremist Islamic autonomous republic within the Russian Federation, and honor killings of gay man by their families is also a common practice, so many gay men there are forced to marry a woman and keep their sexuality secret. The current purge of gay men is truly horrific, and there have been demonstrations outside Russian embassies and petitions to the Russian government.

The difficulty is short of sending in the tanks again, or threatening to do so, the Russian federal government is powerless to do much apart from tell the Chechen authorities to stop this persecution of gay men. The Russian Federation itself is riddled with homophobia due largely to the influence of the Russian Orthodox Church, though in Chechnya and some other Russian republics it is extremist Islam which is homophobic. Russia has a law, similar to Thatcher’s Section 28, which prohibits the promotion of ‘unnatural’ sexual relations to minors. This has encouraged violent homophobia, and causes Gay Pride marches to be banned and broken up. Any kind of promotion of the gay lifestyle is illegal.

This is in stark contrast to Lenin’s decriminalization of homosexuality soon after the Bolshevik Revolution, though there was a clamp down later under Stalin and later leaders. It is also in marked contrast to the legalization of homosexuality in Soviet-bloc countries like Czechoslovakia and East Germany in the 1960s. However the homophobia in Russia seems to have got much worse since the disintegration of the Soviet Union, an officially atheist state, and the rising influence of organized religion in the form of the Christian Orthodox church and extreme Islam.

Homophobia is also rampant in Saudi Arabia, Qata, the ISIS held areas and other extremist Islamic areas, also in other Christian Orthodox countries like Greece and the Republic of Cyprus. Also in areas where fundamentalist Christianity is prevalent, such as the Southern states of America, especially in rural areas. However it is in the extreme Islamic republics that killing and torture of gay men, and lesbians, is official government policy.

While Russia must do its utmost to halt the pogrom of gay men in Chechnya, the West has a duty to put pressure on countries like Saudi Arabia which it supplies with arms and torture equipment. These supplies should be stopped immediately, as they also find their way from these extremist Islamic states to ISIS where gays are also being murdered.

As to the Chechen situation in Russia, there have already been two wars between Russia and the largely uncontrollable Chechen republic since the fall of the Soviet Union, as Chechnya declared independence in 1991. Chechen terrorists have set off bombs in the Moscow Metro system. The current Chechen leader, approved by Moscow, is guilty of causing this progrom and by publicizing what is going on and showing the world is watching, the Amnesty International tactic for decades, we can only hope the authorities will take notice and stop the persecution. As there are no Chechen embassies to protest outside people have no option other than to demand the Russian Federation itself puts pressure on this semi-independent republic. The fact that Russia is heavily involved in Syria, has a divided Ukraine on its doorstep with a large Russian-speaking population and a hostile rightwing government in Kiev due to a coup, and has also had to build up troops on its Western borders because of a NATO build-up does not exactly help, nor does the fact that Russia itself is increasingly homophobic.

A thoroughly depressing situation to which I can see no easy short-term solution. The MSM giving maximum publicity to the Chechen pogrom and similar persecution in other areas of the world is probably the only thing we can do.

Brexit begins

On Wednesday March 29th the Government will invoke Article 50 to begin the process of withdrawal from the European Union. We can argue about how democratic or otherwise the referendum was. It certainly did not come up to normal standards for referendums on Constitutional issues, which can change the nature of a state for a generation or more. Usually a majority of two thirds is required to alter the status quo, since this is not like a General Election where the result can be reversed in five years time. In the Scottish independence referendum 16/17 year olds were allowed to vote, since Constitutional matters like this will affect the younger generation more than the older generation. It would also have been sensible to say that all four of the UK nations had to vote Leave for it to be effective provided the total Leave vote for the UK was 66% of the voters, not the 52% it actually was, with Scotland and Northern Ireland voting to Remain.

Jeremy Corbyn has said Labour will vote against any final deal which does not maintain access to the single market, protection of workers’ rights, etc. Although the Government has promised MPs a vote on the final deal, May has threatened to leave the EU with no deal if Parliament rejects this final deal. MPs must amend this motion to stop the Government doing such a foolhardy thing.

There has been no attempt at compromise by the Government to heal the bitter divisions in the country caused by this Referendum result. The consequences of a Hard Brexit, which nobody voted for whatever they may think since this option was not on the Referendum paper, will be disastrous. The European Health Insurance Card for holidaymakers will probably no longer be valid, the plummeting pound will make all holidays abroad very expensive. As firms re-locate to EU countries the jobless totals will spiral. Maybe there will be low-paid jobs once filled by EU workers in the UK.

Lies were told during the Leave campaign, not least that we could control immigration. We always had control over immigration from non-EU states, but this could stop if we pursue Hard Brexit. There will be a land border between the UK and an EU country in Ireland, and possibly another one between Scotland and England if the former decides to leave the UK and re-join the EU. People from all countries of the world would be able to stream across these open land borders unchecked, and any attempt to control the border in Ireland would lead to the collapse of the Good Friday Agreement and quite possibly a repeat of the IRA terror campaign.

Then there is the question of the status of EU nationals living in the UK and British citizens living in EU countries. Their futures are in jeopardy, and the rights of British EU citizens are also being threatened. Is it right for the 27% of the British population who voted Leave to take away the citizenship and rights of the remaining 73%, especially when the younger generations who will be most affected were not even able to vote?

Did Leave voters take all these complex issue into consideration when they put their cross against ‘Leave’ in the Referendum? This is the reason such complex Constitutional issues should NEVER EVER have been left to a simple ‘Yes’/’No’ or in this case ‘Leave’/’Remain’ option on a Referendum paper without even a threshold being set for altering the status quo. It is now up to Parliament to ensure that Brexit protects the rights of all citizens and that a disastrous Hard Brexit is not approved.

It would indeed be ironic if the Leave campaign promoted so strongly and misleadingly by the United Kingdom Independence Party led to the end of the UK and the consigning of the Union Flag into the trashcan of history.

Brexit, Scottish, Northern Irish referenda

Brexit, especially the Hard Brexit being pursued by the government, has shaken the United Kingdom to its very foundations and it may not even survive.

It is somewhat ironic that many Leave voters are very patriotic, but all they may achieve is consigning the Union Flag to the dustbin of history and a new flag may have to be designed for what remains of the UK, possibly just England and Wales.

The SNP in Scotland and Sinn Fein in Northern Ireland have called for referenda on the status of their regions. The Scottish one would be on independence so Scotland can remain in or re-join the EU, and the Northern Ireland one would be to unite with the Republic of Ireland, which is already an EU member.

Had Theresa May gone for soft Brexit and continued membership of the single market it would have been a compromise which would have avoided these upheavals, but would also probably be far from ideal in that we would still be bound by EU rules and regulations but have no vote or say in forming them.

However life outside the EU and single market altogether, which nobody voted for because it was not on the Referendum paper, is an as yet unknown territory depending on what deal, and it is unlikely to be a good one, May can get from the 27 remaining EU members. If they gave UK a good deal, then other EU countries might be encouraged to leave and negotiate similar terms.

Whatever happens in the referenda in Scotland and Northern Ireland, if they happen, UK leaving the EU will cause immense problems which I am sure people voting Leave in the EU Referendum never even considered: the status of the border in Ireland and the Good Friday Agreement, the status of British nationals in other EU countries are just two of these uncertainties. If there is ANY sort of control of the border in Ireland the Good Friday Agreement will collapse, risking the Troubles with the IRA starting again. If the border is left uncontrolled, then there will be an open border with an EU country where EU nationals many Leave voters are so anxious to keep out can stream in. If Scotland leaves the UK there will be another border with an EU country which either has to be controlled or again, an entry point for immigrants to stream in uncontrolled. We will have completely lost control of one or two borders whichever way the referenda go, except in the unlikely event Northern Ireland unites with the Republic but Scotland remains in the UK. The open border(s) would be easy entry points not just for EU immigrants. Anyone who gains entry to the Republic of Ireland could cross the border into the UK and similarly with an independent Scotland. Net result of Brexit: no control whatsoever over immigration from any country because of the open land border(s).

All this is just the beginning of the Pandora’s Box which Leave voters have opened, but for which David Cameron and Parliament are entirely to blame. Thresholds are usually required for Constitutional referenda like this. A two-thirds majority to change the status quo is not an uncommon requirement. It would have also have been sensible, in order to keep the UK intact, to require all four countries of the UK to have a majority vote to change the status quo for it to be effective. Plus the fact that those who will be most affected by leaving the EU were barred from voting yet 16/17 year olds were allowed to vote in other referenda. The end result is just 27% of the British population are dragging the remaining 73%, many of whom although they will be most affected were not allowed a vote, out of the EU. This is hardly democracy, it is a travesty of democracy. Even of the eligible electorate only 37% voted to Leave the UK. I can think of no other Constitutional change anywhere where such a low margin of voters have altered the status quo with unforeseeable consequences.

Finally, at a General Election the electorate get a chance to vote again in 5 years. With the EU referendum anyone demanding a second one to confirm the biggest Constitutional change in recent years once it is known what it will actually mean is greeted with accusations of being undemocratic because Brexit is the ‘will of the people’. Correction: it was the expressed will, apparently, of 27% of the people on one day in June 2016. Some were just registering protest votes against the government, some may have changed their minds since, and the other 73% either were not given a vote or might like to vote when the actual terms and consequences of Brexit are known. How can that be undemocratic? You might as well say once we’ve had a General Election the party who got the most seats in Parliament rules forever!

Copeland by-election result

The loss of this former Labour seat has been blamed on Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, and in this case this is probably correct because of his previous record as being against nuclear power stations and also he is against Trident replacement, quite rightly in my opinion on both counts. However two big local employers are Sellafield nuclear power plant and the shipyards at neighboring Barrow-in-Furness where Trident submarines are built. Therefore, despite official Labour Party policy still being in favor of both nuclear power stations and Trident replacement, the electorate were reluctant to vote Labour while led by Jeremy.

However it is not all down to Corbyn as the Labour vote in Copeland had been going down and down long before he was elected leader. Labour ended up only 2,000 or so votes behind the Tory who became the new MP.

This is a unique constituency because of the two local big employers, so cannot be regarded as a barometer as to what might happen in a General Election. Though it also has to be said there were other factors as to why Labour is so far behind in the opinion polls, and why they lost Copeland. A divided political party is bound to find it difficult to convince the electorate to vote for it, especially when 172 Labour MPs voted ‘no confidence’ in the democratically elected leader and many constantly join the media in rubbishing his leadership. This is not down to Corbyn, but to the Labour MPs who refused to give the new, inexperienced leader a chance and showed no loyalty to him or the membership who elected him. This was an MP from the backbenches who never expected to become leader, and a bit of advice and help would have been welcome instead of the constant back-stabbing.

Another reason for the loss of Copeland, and also a factor in Stoke-on-Trent which Labour held on to, was that both Labour MPs resigned to take alternative employment, and they had only been elected in the 2015 General Election. An MP who resigns after such a short time will tend to damage his Party in that constituency – MPs are expected to serve their full term unless there are exceptional circumstances.

So what is likely to happen in the next General Election, whenever it is held? The Party MUST unite behind the democratically elected leader whoever he or she is, and this includes the Parliamentary Labour Party. To go into a General Election with most of the Labour MPs against the Leader of the Opposition would be political suicide.

New DianaSpeaks messages – January 2017

“Hello Everyone

As people are now aware my personal FB Group no longer exists and Andrew has cancelled his own. We still not aware of why mine was dismantled suddenly without warning and what violation is supposed to have been committed but it is of no relevance and latterly certainly Andrew was working all hours on articles but they were not gaining anything like the amount of attention to them that might have been expected.

I only have this to remind people of what I said about America’s choice of President and that being “America will get the President it deserves” and meaning the one to teach it the lessons most necessary and often the greatest lessons made by making mistakes. Politicians are corrupt and divisive, discriminatory and discerning and this is not news but with the U.S President something being made globally so transparent!

What do I see happening, well treading in too many minefields too heavily is bound to detonate one sooner or later and make of that what you will but certainly powerful grenades are being thrown at various targets indiscriminately which is extremely disturbing and bound to invite as they have done retaliation and rebellion and I wonder how long it will be before the danger of a revolution is not something needing very serious consideration as after all it would not be the first time happening in the nation!

So anyway concluding I am still very aware of things happening and much like Paris suddenly disappearing but still around in keeping with proving my promise; she won’t go quietly!”

With love from, Diana xx

Summerland

This is what many Spiritualists call the Third Level of Spirit, where most of us go on transiting from the Earth plane. Some might call it ‘heaven’, but it is not so different from the Earth plane without the disadvantages. All this is knowledge gathered from spirits on the Other Side, and from NDErs who have visited it briefly then returned.

There comes a stage in this life when most of one’s friends, relatives and associates have passed on before you. This is the case with me. Of close family only my brother remains on the Earth plane, and he is in North Yorkshire and I very rarely see him.

So many friends and relatives are on the Other Side, along with many former work colleagues, so I look forward to a reunion with them, but especially with my life-partner George, my mother Dorothy and my best friend at school Michael who passed over following a road accident on my 15th birthday. These three are my guides, I believe, along with a Native American woman, Little Star, who is my door-keeper. (Their pictures are above this article.) Her face and name came to me one night as I was lying in bed awake. I later found a painting of her, and it is the same face I saw, except her black hair was pulled back in the vision I saw. A lady at a Spiritualist center once told me she saw a woman with long black hair standing next to me, undoubtedly Little Star, my main guide and doorkeeper (doorkeepers protect us from Lower Astral spirits, and try to nudge us to complete our life’s mission, and protect us while doing this.)

Noel and Brian who I spent many times with at their chaotic flat in Hastings, filled with valuable paintings and antiques, I will be glad to see again, along with other friends and acquaintances like Lenny, Roy, Charlie, Sheila, Rita, Marion, Peggy, Jimpy, Tony W., Charles, Levy, David W., Mrs M., John C., Steve H., etc. Also all my aunts and uncles from both sides of the family, and my dad who was always very distant while on Earth (my parents separated when I was six). With my father and his siblings, parents, etc. there will no longer be the language barrier as telepathy is the means of communication over there. Also, of course, my maternal grandparents who transited back in 1971, and two cousins, Miriam and Jenny. As well as these there are my in-laws/outlaws (gays were not allowed to marry or have civil partnerships when George was on the Earth plane) Betty, Chick, John, Stephen, George Mullaney and Charles Dickson.

There must be more I haven’t even mentioned here. Bogus ‘aunts’ from my early childhood like Dora and Gretel, actually just friends with my mother and father. So when my time comes I will not be sad to go. I will be looking forward to the big runion.

Asking the wrong questions?

When it comes to the fundamental questions are most people asking or deciding on the wrong ones? Questions such as ‘does God exist?’ or ‘is there an afterlife?’ Or indeed, ‘is any religion right or is it all hogwash?’

Forget God, forget the afterlife, forget religion. Instead turn to science and what we know and do not yet know about the universe and life itself. The most fundamental question, still unanswered by materialist science, is about the nature and origin of consciousness. It is the mystery on which everything else hangs.

There are two main trains of scientific thought in the 21st Century, which can be summarized as the presently accepted scientific paradigm of materialist science, and the upcoming theories which can be summarized as post-materialist science. Materialist science suggests consciousness is the product of the brain, but it cannot begin to explain how it can arise from brain cells. It also has the major disadvantage that this theory does not fit in with the observable facts. It cannot explain why the double-slit experiment of Quantum Physics, for instance, indicates that sub-atomic particles revert to wave function when not being observed or measured. Nor can it explain remote viewing, out-of-the-body experiences where people accurately report on events at a distance, or when they are in a coma or clinically ‘dead’ during an NDE. Nor can it explain various other paranormal phenomena such as telepathy, telekinesis (affecting objects by mere thought), ESP, etc..

Post-materialist scientific theories, however, explain all these things by making Consciousness the fundamental reality. If everything is a gigantic Thought, as some scientists have suggested, then it means Consciousness is non-local and does not originate in the brains of living organisms. Mind and brain are separate, and the brain acts more like a transmitter/receiver than the origin of consciousness.

These post-materialist theories which suggest, based on the overwhelming evidence, that Consciousness is non-local and creates matter, not the other way around, does not equate to proving the existence of God. At least not if you define ‘God’ as an all-knowing, never-changing, entity which plans and controls everything. It suggests rather that Conscious energy is constantly evolving and learning from its mistakes and that we are all part of this process.

Scientist/engineer the late Ronald Pearson, who had his theories published in scientific journals in Russia and elsewhere, calls this Conscious energy the ‘intelligent ether’ or ‘i-ther’, a Conscious matrix which permeates everything and creates material environments to experience and thereby evolve. He discards the ridiculous Big Bang theory, which explains diddly squat and does not even explain why the Universe is constantly expanding at an accelerating rate, and instead suggests constant net creation also known as the Big Breed Theory. According to the Big Bang Theory the Universe should not be expanding at an ever increasing rate, but should slow down and ultimately contract into the Big Crunch. This is not happening. So instead the ever expanding Universe is put down to the existence of Dark Energy and Dark Matter, which in fact makes up 96% of the multi-verse.

In other words, only 4% of the Universe or multi-verse (various dimensions or universes) is observable, the rest is Dark Matter or Dark Energy. This is where String Theory, Biocentralism, Quantum Physics and many other scientific theories and disciplines suggest there may be many alternative universes or dimensions which we cannot observe.

The Big Bang does not explain anything since it assumes everything suddenly appeared out of nothing. If you ask a scientist what happened before the Big Bang they cannot answer this question. You might as well ask a priest, a rabbi or an Imam what happened before God existed. They will probably say it/she/he always existed, and that at least makes sense according to Einstein’s Theory of Relativity which says Time is just the fourth dimension of our Universe. This suggests outside our own Universe Time does not exist, at least not as we know it. However much of the Theory of Relativity and many other of Einstein’s theories are incompatible with Quantum Physics. This led Einstein, when he reached 70, to suggest to a friend that he doubted if his theories would stand the test of time. Two particles, millions of miles apart, for instance, can communicate to each other far faster than the speed of light.

Surely we must think outside the box of our four-dimensional Universe and admit that Time is as illusory as matter. We are existing in a virtual reality. Nothing is really solid, and even the sub-atomic particles which appear to make up solid matter are separated by space, so a solid block of concrete is, in fact, largely empty space. It feels solid to us because we are tuned in to the vibrations. An entity on a different wavelength could pass through apparently solid matter, but in their dimension everything would appear solid. Indeed it is suggested by scientists that many dimensions or universes interpenetrate our own, invisible and undetectable to us normally. However mediums can sometimes tune in to those dimensions closest to our own. Some animals and tiny children also seem to have this ability.

If Time does not really exist, then everything is eternal, or outside of our understanding of Time. Therefore there was no beginning and there will be no end either. It can surely not be more mind-boggling than the idea that everything suddenly appeared out of nothing.

We are in a century of great changes. Just as it took hundreds of years for scientists to accept that the world was a globe and revolved around the sun, so it will take time, hopefully not hundreds more years, for the prevailing materialist paradigm to change and for a new one to replace it putting Consciousness as the fundamental reality from which everything else originates. This has many implications, of course, and means we are all essentially beings of conscious energy temporarily operating through physical bodies but perfectly able to exist independently of them and to survive death of the physical body. Also, that we are all inter-connected and essentially we are all One. All part of the Universal Consciousness, albeit at different stages of evolution. Some aspects of this Universal Consciousness are much more highly evolved than others, but it is an eternal ongoing process.

Marxism and Communism

I describe myself nowadays as a Socialist or even as a Marxist, but note not a Communist or a Marxist-Leninist. It seems this requires further clarification, but I know of others who similarly describe themselves as Marxists but not Communists.

I departed the British Communist Party in 1976 after two visits to the Soviet Union and the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). During the last visit to the GDR in 1976 my life-partner, George Miller, accompanied me and pointed out the defects in the system I preferred to ignore or excuse as a temporary aberration.

It took me many years to consolidate my political views and recover from the shattering of my dreams for the world eventually evolving into a self-governing Communist society in which all States had withered away, in which wars would be no more, and in which a classless society would govern themselves without police, judges, courts, prisons or even money. Marx and Engels had given us this vision of a society in which there was an abundance of goods and services, and in which everybody lived by the maxim: ‘from each according to their ability, to each according to their needs’.

I eventually realized that this utopian dream was totally unrealistic and that, in this world at least, there would always be those who would seek to corrupt any system and gain privileges for themselves and their families. It also became obvious that attempts to clamp down on those seeking to distort Socialism in this way failed, and much worse, it seemed the main victims of Stalinist repression were those who remained true to the ideals of the Bolshevik revolution or who were for genuine freedom of speech and real democracy, albeit under a Socialist Constitution.

Those who sought to usurp the organs or power and use them to award privileges for themselves and their families had no such ideals, so were willing to sway with the political wind, always following the Party line and whoever was the leading comrade. They thus, for the most part, survived the Stalinist purges and all attempts to clamp down on dissent; they paid lip-service to the ideals of the revolution and to the creation of a Communist society.

I still maintain, however, that the Soviet Union and the other Socialist countries achieved a great deal, including full employment, education for everyone, homes for everyone at low rents, good publc transport and public services, good health services, and for some at least, a feeling of comradeship between peoples and hope for the future. I also believe that in the years 1989-1991 which saw the collapse of the Soviet Union and Socialism in Eastern and Central Europe, opportunities were lost for making the system more democratic. I believe not that they threw out the baby with the bathwater, but in many cases they threw out the Socialist baby and kept the corrupt bathwater. No place was this more obvious than in former Yugoslavia, the most liberal and successful Socialist state in Europe, where the old Communist Party leaders became nationalists overnight and where terrible wars and genocides took place as the country fragmented.

In countries like the GDR and CSSR (Czechoslovakia) there was a ruling coalition headed by the Marxist-Leninist Party but also including many other political parties. It would have been relatively simple to break up these coalitions and allow the individual political parties to put up rival candidates and contest free General Elections held under the Socialist Constitution of these countries. This would have allowed corrupt governments and officials to be voted out, and a new government elected to run their own brand of Socialism. The Socialist Constitution could have been replaced only by a referendum in which a substantial majority would need to vote for a new Constitution. In the one-party states like the USSR, amendments to the Socialist Constitution would have been needed to allow new political organizations and parties to form and contest elections.

Now we come to the question of Marxism, Marxism-Leninism and Communism. I have already said that I now believe Communism, i.e. the utopian Stateless society, is unlikely to evolve anywhere in the near future, if at all. In my view there will always be the need for a State and all its apparatus such as police, judges, courts, prisons, etc. and indeed money or its equivalent and the ability, as Tony Benn said, to elect representatives to governing bodies and to remove them.

However Marxism is not just about creating the utopian society of Communism. Marx’s greatest achievement was probably to describe the surplus value of labor; that workers by hand and brain create surplus value to what they need to subsist and this is what is exploited by capitalism in the form of profits and dividends. It can be demonstrated by the value of, for example, gold. If it remains in the ground it is worthless until miners expend their labor to dig it out of the ground. It is the danger and hard labor involved in digging out this rare commodity which give it its high value. If gold rained down from the skies or grew on trees it would still be pretty and used for jewelry, etc. but would not have much true value at all. Similarly with great works of art and antiques; the labor, often very skilled labor, involved in producing them, much of it unique, give these works and antiques their scarcity value. If machines and computers help produce goods, then it is the labor power involved in their design and manufacture which give the end products their value.

The other important philosophy Marx formulated were the doctrines of Dialectical and Historical Materialism. He showed how society inevitably evolves through stages from primitive tribal society, through feudalism to capitalism and Socialism. He then added the final stage of Communism, which no society has yet achieved, except possibly in small communes and these tended to be temporary before they collapsed or transmuted into something else.

I still believe that the eventual collapse of capitalism is inevitable and that it must be replaced by some sort of Socialism. Wars and dictatorial systems like fascism can delay this evolution, but however long it takes Socialism must come eventually come about.

We now come to the question of Marxism-Leninism. I now believe Lenin, and indeed his close compatriot Leon Trotsky, both betrayed the original ideals of the Bolshevik Revolution and paved the way for the Stalinist terror and all that followed including the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union. Early in the days of Soviet power the Kronstadt rebellion took place, led by sailors and others seeking to preserve the original ideas of the Revolution. Their demands were quite modest and included the right to organize in trade unions and leftwing political parties, to allow limited private enterprise which did not include hired labor, to a degree of workers’ control (which would eliminate the growing bureaucracy), etc. This rebellion was crushed on the orders of Lenin by Trotsky’s Red Army. For obvious reasons the crushing of this Kronstadt rebellion is not criticized by either Trotskyist organizations nor by the successors to the Stalinist branches of Marxism-Leninism.

As I believe it was Lenin, along with Trotsky, who laid the foundations for a bureaucratic dictatorship in the Soviet Unon and all the horrors which followed, I no longer can describe myself as a Marxist-Leninist. However it can be argued that in adopting the notion of the ‘Dictatorship of the Proletariat’ Marx and Engels also laid the foundations for the repression which symbolized Soviet-style Socialism, and its most extreme form during the Stalinist eras in several Socialist countries. However the term can be interpreted in several ways. Marx and Engels used it to describe the Socialist era after the collapse of capitalism and that it was necessary to create the classless, self-governing society of Communism proper. By creating a one-Party State the toiling masses would be able to join and by sheer numbers eliminate any attempts to restore capitalism or to corrupt the Socialist system, and eventually create the self-governing, classless society of Communism. This of course never happened as the bureaucratic repression had already been instigated by Lenin and Trotsky, carried to extremes by Stalin, and the corrupted and distorted version of Socialism led to its eventual demise.

There are, however, as I said other interpretations which can be applied to the ‘Dictatorship of the Proletariat’, though I dislike the term and would no longer use it as it implies repression of all minorities. Nevertheless democracy itself can be described as ‘the dictatorship of the majority’ and if the majority labor for a living, as the ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’. Again the rights of minorities are overlooked in this description. I would therefore now use the term Socialist Democracy to describe the kind of society I would like to see. This would involve, as described above, all political parties and organizations existing side-by-side, able to contest free elections, the ability of the electorate to vote out one government and elect another, freedom of speech and of the Press, but within the confines of a Socialist Constitution which could only be replaced by a substantial majority vote in a Constitutional referendum. In this way Socialism could be enshrined as the basis of society, but corrupt governments could be voted out and another political party voted in to administer Socialism, or indeed their own brand of Socialism. The Soviet model was by no means universal, and Tito in Yugoslavia had a unique system of worker cooperatives which was much more successful. Rather than huge State monopolies operating under cumbersome and inefficient five-year plans, individual companies could also be taken into public ownership with workers’ control and they could compete along with cooperatives in a Socialist market place. State monopolies or nationalization is probably more suitable for the public utilites and transport systems which use national networks or grids which need to be maintained centrally.

So I consider myself a Socialist and a Marxist, but no longer a Marxist-Leninist. I would be quite satisfied if society reached and maintained the Socialist society Marx and others envisaged without the repression of Soviet-style Socialism and with no promise of an eventual Communist society. If that does eventually materialize in this world it would not be for many generations in hundreds or even thousands of years time when humanity has evolved sufficiently to make it practicable.