Proletarian Power!

 

Karl Marx coined the slogan, much quoted even today, ‘Workers of the World, Unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains.’ Much quoted, but rarely acted upon.

The fact is, as Pete Seeger sings in ‘Solidarity Forever!’, not a single factory wheel can turn, not an ounce of coal or gold can be mined without the cooperation of the workers. Moreover no imperialist wars can be fought for land, for human slave labor and mineral resources without the working-class soldier doing the dirty work and killing other working-class soldiers in the name of ‘patriotism’.  And after the revolution or transition to Socialism, no bureaucratic and dictatorial ruling class can take over as they did in the Soviet Union, etc. if the proletariat and its allies unite and stand firm.

Let’s take the situation today. First in Britain, where Maggie Thatcher all but destroyed the trade unions. It is the unions, however, in capitalist countries like Britain and USA which have won us the relatively comfortable standards of living and decent working conditions. Thanks to the Tolpuddle Martyrs we built up a strong trade union tradition in Britain, but now it has been greatly weakened by reactionary legislation and also the trade union bureaucracy itself with many high salaried leaders owing more allegiance to the capitalist system than to their working-class membership.

The unions must be reclaimed by the proletariat, and all services, offices and industries need to be fully unionized. Nor is it sufficient to go on strike to win battles. The unions must be prepared to occupy and take over whole industries and services, turning them into workers’ and consumers’ cooperatives, the movement started by Robert Owen. The lazy capitalist class can produce nothing without the labor of the workers. All their profits come from the stolen surplus value of labor. The capitalist class cannot do without the proletariat, but the proletariat certainly does not need capitalist parasites exploiting their labor power.

This is now most evident in the developing world where the sweat shops are not unionized. The lame excuse is that if workers there tried to form and join trade unions they would be victimized. Of course they would, as the early trade unionists were in Britain. Why else would the pioneers be called ‘Martyrs’?

The ruling class are able to hold on to their exploiting power by the old method of ‘divide and rule’. The answer is for the working-class, be it in the advanced capitalist countries or the developing world, to learn solidarity and act as one. United the workers are invincible.

What has always been the weakness of the proletariat has been their lack of solidarity and determination to shake off the parasites who continually live off their labor power. This applies in the capitalist countries, and also in the former Socialist countries where a new ruling clique of bureaucrats and Party officials creamed off the best that the workers produced at home and abroad. Whatever form society takes it remains true that nothing can be produced, no wars can be fought without the cooperation of the working-class.

The ruling classes are of course cunning. They will use every method to cling on to their power and privilege. Dictatorial methods, false patriotism, cults of personality such as the British monarchy, the Stalin, Hitler, Kim dynasty and Mao Zedung ones in the UK, USSR, Third Reich, DPRK and PRC. Also, of course, the corruption of trade union and leftwing political leaders by use of bribes and privileges.

Even ordinary workers are bribed and corrupted in this way, for instance by awarding them endless credit which is a recipe for the financial disaster we are in today. All credit does is increase inflation, because it means too much paper money chasing too few goods and services. The end result will be a slump, more unemployment, more bankruptcies, and to try and get out of the mess and prevent the terminal collapse of the rotten capitalist system, boosting of the arms industry (paid for by the taxpayer) by creating a new war, fought of course by the workers on behalf of the ruling classes safe away from the front lines.

What Marx and Engels taught us way back in the 19th century is as true today as ever. United the working-class is invincible. The problem today, as always, is how to get the working-class to unite and take control of the means of production, distribution and exchange. Not just take control, as they did in the early Soviet Union, but to hang on to it and not allow a new ruling class to emerge.

Trotsky, and Mao, advocated ‘permanent’ or ‘cultural’ revolutions to defeat bureaucracy and corruption, but this can take many forms. The highest form is active and continuous proletarian political activity, but it can also happen in a pluralist Socialist society by using the ballot box to eject a corrupt pseudo-Socialist government and replace it with a genuinely Socialist one. There is, however, no substitute for the working-class taking power directly and becoming fully active in all leftwing or Socialist parties and organizations, and in the trade union and cooperative movements.

Many of the problems today are caused by so few in the advanced capitalist countries being willing to call themselves ‘working-class’. Many have been corrupted by the thought of owning several cars, their own home and other material trappings and telling themselves they are now ‘middle-class’. So entrenched is this practice that New Labour ceased referring to the working-classes at all in recent General Election campaigns. I well remember a speech by Gordon Brown in which he constantly referred to defending the middle-classes. What a travesty for a party created by the proletariat to defend their interests and fight for a Marxist brand of Socialism with workers’ control of the means of production, distribution and exchange.

Until the workers of the world do indeed unite and are prepared to stick together to raise the Red Flag high by taking control of the factories, shops and financial institutions; until the proletariat ignore the generals and politicians and refuse to fight their wars for them; until the toiling masses across the globe unite, put aside national differences, refuse to be bribed and take direct control of their destiny, then we will lurch from capitalist crisis to imperialist war until the system collapses altogether and is replaced by first total anarchy and then fascist dictatorship.

This is the only alternative, in the long run, to proletarian solidarity forcing the world to adopt true Socialism and ultimately the self-governing society of Communism proper.

 

Where is Heaven?

This blog is prompted by, not a phone conversation, but a monolog by an acquaintance who is an atheist and who jumps from one subject to another talking non-stop, so it’s almost impossible to get a word in edgeways. Unfortunately he’s not on the Internet, so won’t be able to read this even if he wanted to, which he probably doesn’t.

Anyway, among other subjects, religion kept cropping up in his monolog as he was saying, basically, if there’s a planet called Heaven, where is it and why haven’t astronomers discovered it? He claims to believe in science, yet he is only showing his ignorance, for neither science nor religion claims there is a planet called Heaven.

If he were on the Internet he could easily research the latest scientific theories on YouTube and elsewhere and he would discover that the materialist world he believes in is but an illusion. There is no such thing as solid matter, just sub-atomic particles vibrating in such a way as to create the illusion of solid matter.

What we regard as solid matter is, in actual fact, mainly empty space, and in that space there is ample room for other orders of matter to exist vibrating at different speeds. Similar to the different channels a TV is able to receive, we are normally just tuned to one channel. Many dimensions or universes may well exist side by side, interpenetrating each other, each one indetectable to the other.

This is all basic Quantum Physics, and yet so many are ignorant of such things and cling to the belief that the Universe they see and experience around them is reality. It is only a virtual reality, and the latest scientific and quantum theories suggest it is a virtual reality created by consciousness, which seems to be at the heart of everything. Indeed sub-atomic particles revert to waves of probability if no conscious observer is present. I know I’ve said this many times in these blogs, but it can’t be stressed too many times if people don’t yet understand that consciousness must be non-material and must have preceded matter. Indeed must have created and organized matter, and not just one order of matter, but many orders of matter. Many universes or dimensions.

‘Heaven’, as my acquaintance describes it, would be in one or more of these alternative realities existing side-by-side with our own. However ‘heaven’ and ‘hell’ are religious concepts and do not, in fact, exist. Survivalists and Spiritualists (which include many scientists past and present) who have contacted entities in these other dimensions know that there are many levels, sometimes called ‘planes’.

It is not known for sure how many there are, some say seven, but that may just be an arbitary number. There could be innumerable alternative levels or dimensions.

To ask ‘where is heaven’ is like asking ‘how long is a piece of string?’ What is generally agreed in Survivalist/Spiritualist circles is that most people on passing that barrier called death transit quickly to what we term the Third Level. This is an Earthlike plane with a sort of communist society where there is no State, no money, no police force or army. Which is guided by Marx’s principle: ‘from each according to their ability, to each according to their need’. There is an abundance of everything because thought or mind power creates whatever is needed, or whatever people think they need.

On this Third Level people do not sit around on clouds playing harps and there are no angels with wings; this is a real world which seems as solid as ours, but where thoughts create material things much more readily than they do on our dense level. There is no need, for example, to eat or drink on that level, but if someone who has just crossed over feels the need, say, for a cup of tea, then they can have one just by thinking of one.

This does not mean that all is rosy over there because if the passing has been sudden, traumatic or involves a small child, the new arrival may need rest, recuperation and help. So many on that Third Level help children who have crossed over, or assist those who’ve come over suddenly in wars, accidents or natural disasters. Others study music or the arts, or do other things to fulfil themselves and progress spiritually. Still others are happy to live a simple life, for it is a life beyond what we call death, in homes they have created very similar or identical to ones they had on Earth. Eventually, however, all will feel the need to move on and progress, and there are many levels above the Third Level to which they can do so. It is said that there is always something new to learn, and that this process of spiritual development goes on for eternity.

There are, of course, also lower levels than this Third Level, but these are not truly ‘hell’. There is no fire and brimstone or endless physical torture. However they are not pleasant places or situations to be in.

Basically one gravitates on death to the people most like oneself, so if a person has been cruel and selfish they will find themselves with others of a similar nature. This is why the Third Level and above are so like the communist utopia Marx and Engels dreamt of – the less developed spirits cannot enter that level until they have progressed beyond the baser, selfish and even sadistic tendencies they had on Earth. However even these spirits progress eventually, and there are helpers who go down to these levels to help those who wish to be so rescued.

Also there are many spirits who are trapped after death. Some are Earthbound. Many of these have business they feel is unfinished on Earth, or they seek revenge for some injustice. Helpers from the Third Level and above can assist these to escape their Earthbound existence (either as ghosts or as spirits possessing or trying to influence people still alive on Earth). There are Spiritualsts on Earth who try to release such spirits as well and help them to move on.

Atheists and those with closed minds may well find that they refuse to accept the reality of an afterlife, and hang around trapped on the Earth plane but unable to interact with it for centuries. Others who expect oblivion may get just that – they just sleep for centuries, but eventually they  have to awake and face the fact that they are eternal spirits or eternal individual minds who just transit to another reality after dying on Earth.

Religious people with fixed ideas as to what to expect after they die can also become trapped. Some Christians expect to sleep for centuries awaiting the return of Christ to Earth, and they too may go into a deep coma for centuries. Others may go and join fellow Christians with the founder of their religion, but they too are trapped for a while in one aspect of the greater reality. People of other religions may find themselves in environments surrounded by like-minded spirits and their religious leaders, prophets, etc.

So there are many ‘heavens’ if you like, each one created by our own expectations thoughts or desires. There are also various ‘hells’, albeit temporary ones, created by our refusal to move on and progress to better things.

Where does reincarnation fit into all this? That is a subject on which there is much controversy both here and on the Other Side. The consensus seems to be that the individuals we are on Earth are but a tiny part of our greater spiritual selves, or of our greater soul. This greater soul has many different aspects, and only one aspect is the individual we are on Earth. However other aspects may have incarnated on Earth or other planets, or may do so in future.

We are also members of soul groups, and share experiences with others in these groups, so the whole subject is extremely complex. I have read a channeled book where a woman met another aspect of herself who had lived another life on Earth. It seems all individuals, however, are unique and survive eternally, or until they are reunited with their greater selves, sharing the experiences of all the lives their various aspects have lived. They are then ready to move on to the higher spiritual planes.

Science is only just now scraping the surface of these alternative realities and gradually realizing that behind all of them is consciousness, that elusive thing which science has never been able to explain. The living brain is but a conductor, receiver or rather a filter for that non-material consciousness, so what we are here on Earth, what we know, think and sense is just a tip of the iceberg.

I know this blog is mainly Spiritualist/Survivalist dogma, if you like, but it is based on evidence received thru countless communications. What I am saying is that now science, especially quantum physics, is starting to give backing to all of this. If material states can only exist with a conscious observer present, then that conscious observer must be something akin to a spirit. The original conscious spirit must have been, if not ‘God’, then some non-material mind capable of evolving into something very like ‘God’.

We are now back to Pearson’s ‘i-ther’ or ‘intelligent ether’ theory, that conscious matrix which this scientist says is behind all matter systems and which we and everything is part of.

Whatever terms you use – New Age, religious, scientific, pseudo-scientific – it amounts to the same thing. Consciousness is eternal and non-material and is the creator and organizer of all matter systems. The higher level matter systems are what we on Earth may regard as ‘heaven’, there are many of them, and they interpenetrate our own Universe. The lower ones, nearest the Earth plane, can be tuned into more easily by human mediums and by ITC (Instrumental TransCommunication). However we also have many communications from higher entities like Silver Birch, and maybe even Source itself, though this is for me too much like organized religion and those who claim a hotline to ‘God’. I believe we are all interconnected and so Source is unlikely to be a separate entity who can be communicated with. It is more likely the sum total of that ‘intelligent ether’ Pearson speaks of; the sum total of everything living on Earth and in the many other spiritual planes or alternative realities.

Coalition’s latest plans

On the news today a cap of £26k was announced for yearly benefits in order that they don’t exceed the average yearly salary, and again the proposal that council homes would no longer be allocated for the life of the tenant.

The benefit cap seems reasonable, and perhaps should be lower. I also think for able-bodied people below retiring age they should be required to do some work for their money, or better still, that the government should create proper jobs for everybody. There’s plenty of work needs doing in the community, in hospitals, charities, etc. Why just hand out money to people able to work for doing nothing? Wasteful to the country, and demoralizing for those who feel useless. In a Socialist society jobs are created for everyone, or available work is shared out as the profit motive is then not the main goal.

As to the proposal for council homes, I’m totally against this. I believe council homes should be available for life to every adult or family who needs them. People should not be saddled with mortgages and the high cost of maintaining homes if they can’t afford them, and who knows in the current economic situation when people will be made redundant?

There’s no reason why council homes cannot be built in sufficient numbers, with tenants given the option to own them when they’ve paid rent for several decades, or alternatively, to pay a reduced rent for the rest of their lives. This would remove the need to be saddled with mortgages and repair bills for those unable to afford them.

Again, a Socialist government would provide low-rent homes for everyone who needs them, and everyone able to do so of working age would be guaranteed a job and also be required to work. The ‘dole’ would be a thing of the past.

However in our society where so many at the top are paid highly inflated salaries and bonuses, avoid paying taxes, live off unearned income like rents, dividends, profits, etc., is it any wonder so many at the bottom of the heap, unable to get a job, feel quite justified in taking whatever benefits they can claim?

Karl Marx had the recipe for a Socialist society: ‘To each according to his/her work’. With, of course, exceptions for those unable to do so for medical reasons or those too young or too old for paid employment. Combined with Marx’s recipe for Communism: ‘From each according to his/her ability; to each according to his/her needs’ these two principles would make for a much fairer society. Indeed it was on the latter principle that the Welfare State was first based, though it has been whittled away since by successive Labour and Tory governments.

Capitalism has failed, so it is useless to keep tinkering with a system which keeps throwing us into crisis after crisis, war after war. Capping benefits and abolishing the right to council housing for life will not solve the problems. Job creation and much more council and social housing is what is required, and only Socialism can do this. Even the imperfect, distorted variety in the former Soviet Union and its allies created full employment, security in old age, good education and health services – all lost with the collapse, rather than reform, of Socialism.

Capitalism is doomed for the very simple reason that you can’t squeeze blood out of a stone. The exploited toiling masses, many in the developing world paid starvation wages and those in the developed world often up to their eyes in debts, cannot continue to provide ever greater profits (the stolen fruits of labor) indefinitely, hence the recurring economic crises of capitalism.

The very profitable arms industry props it up, paid for by the taxpayers of course, and continued by the creation of continuous wars for stolen natural resources and by the continued  renewal and replacement of nuclear weapons systems and warheads by those countries which possess these illegal, indiscriminate weapons of mass destruction, all in defiance of the Nuclear Non-Ploriferation Treaty which commits them to abolishing nuclear weapons not replacing them.

The problem is, of course, that Socialism is now a dirty word thanks to the failures of the inefficient and distorted 20th Century varieties in various countries, and so there are now very few real Socialist countries or Socialist/Marxist political parties with mass support anywhere. China and Vietnam have gone largely capitalist in all but name, North Korea is just a Stalinist kind of monarchy, and the verdict is still out on the various Latin American progressive governments in Venezuela, Bolivia, etc. Heroic Cuba struggles on despite the U.S. embargo.

We in Britain need a political party, be it Labour or something else, with a commitment to an alternative to the defunct capitalist system. This must be some form of Socialism, but one which avoids the mistakes of past varieties. I have said many times, a good model would be the economic system devised by Tito in Yugoslavia. A genuine, competitive Socialist market economy composed of worker/consumer cooperatives and publicly owned companies all under workers’ control.

A Very Strange Political Party

Over six months ago I applied to join the Communist Party of Great Britain (Provisional Central Committee). Despite a meeting with them, which on reflection was very odd, then a closed meeting they had in which they apparently had no objection to my becoming a member (nice to know), and further meetings which just didn’t materialize with no explanation, I have finally given up. What attracted me to them in the first place was not because they are supposed to be Communists so much as that they seemed to be the ONLY party on the far left who accepted the reality of the European Union. Being strongly in favor of a federal United States of Europe and the Euro, though eventually I’d like to see a Socialist break-away federation, I thought I’d join them. Their paper, the Workers Weekly, has a very open policy so the letters’ page in particular is a debating forum for the whole far left.

Ken Livingstone is quoted in Wikepedia as saying, back in 1992, that this CPGB (PCC) are ‘MI5 agents’. I didn’t take much notice of this at that time as all non-mainstream political groups will be heavily infiltrated by MI5 or MI6 or similar security agencies. However a comrade in the NCP (New Communist Party) has consulted with a leading comrade in the CPB (Communist Party of Britain) and confirmed that the CPGB (PCC) is full of MI5 agents. Indeed it seems to have been set up by them, and judging from my experience over the past 6 months this now seems extremely likely.

First of all, they obviously don’t want any new members. It seems, since the membership can still apparently all fit into one small room at their monthly aggregates, that the membership has barely increased in the last 20 years. Hardly surprising in view of how my application for membership has been treated.

Secondly, there have been accusations in the past of it being undemocratic with decisions passed down from the top. Hardly unusual for any political party I’d have thought, are the Labour and Conservative parties much different? But the CPGB (PCC) doesn’t have party conferences or congresses. They say because they have these monthly aggregates which can accommodate all their membership. However 20 years on it is suspicious, surely, that they are now not much bigger with a membership across the country, or indeed, the EU since they claim to want to build an EU-wide party eventually.

Thirdly, at the meeting I had with their leading comrade he didn’t seem at all perturbed when I said I wasn’t sure I could call myself a Communist as this ideal seemed so utopian as to be probably never realizable, certainly not in the foreseeable future. I also made him aware of my Spiritual beliefs and other interests, and he said I could write book or film reviews for their paper and, this is the nonsensical part, they didn’t have to be anything to do with politics. They don’t publish anything non-political in their Weekly Worker paper, certainly not book or film reviews unrelated to politics.

I have come to realize the organization was probably set up or heavily infiltrated by MI5 in order to provide a sounding board for the far left. The organization seems to exist mainly to produce the Weekly Worker, which has a readership apparently in the tens of thousands, and for the monthly aggregates to which sympathizers are invited as well as members. This in itself is extremely unusual for far left organizations, as is the open letters’ and publishing policy of the Weekly Worker.

Seems to me that the State agencies find it useful to hear the views of a wide range of comrades on the far left and that the paper and the monthy aggregates of this organization are ways of doing this. It seems they have no desire whatsoever to actually increase their membership or build a countrywide or EU-wide political organization.

I have therefore canceled my monthly standing order to the Weekly Worker and will not pursue membership of this or any other far left organization. None of the others correspond to my views on Europe as they are all very anti the EU. In any case I prefer at this stage of my life to be an independent thinker, I don’t need to be complying with policies with which I disagree. I prefer to expound my own views based on experience in blogs such as this one, and possibly I’ll still write letters to the Weekly Worker, which are always published though sometimes shortened. It is available free of charge on-line, also suspicious I guess since anyone can access it and it seems anyone can get letters published very easily.

It doesn’t bother me that MI5 reads my letters, but I don’t want to be giving them money. If the Weekly Worker is useful to this agency good luck to them, but it could also be useful to people like me to put our own views across to others in the far left who read this publication.

As to my own political views they can be summed up as follows: pacifist, Marxist, EU federalist, but I hesitate to call myself a ‘Communist’. I prefer Marxist Socialist. By this I mean I’d be quite satisfied with a successful form of Socialism, such as they had in the former Yugoslavia possibly but with a pluralist electoral system under a Socialist constitution so a corrupt government could be voted out. I don’t see the need or realistic possibility of moving towards Communism where the State and all its paraphernalia fade away, in other words a completely self-governing society without artificial regulators such as money, police, armed forces, etc. If this ever comes about it would be probably hundreds of years from now and the human race would have to be very spiritually advanced for it to work.

All the experience of Socialism in the 20th Century and beyond shows that many safeguards need to be put in place to insure opportunists and others do not prey on the political immaturity and apathy of the masses to create a bureaucratic dictatorship. So unless and until the broad masses become politically active and able to weed out such infiltrators, a multi-party State will surely be required to deal with criminal and lazy elements who seek to exploit others.

Trotsky talked of ‘permanent revolution’ to prevent such a bureaucratic dictatorship, and to my mind a multi-party state under a Socialist Constitution is a way of achieving this. As Tony Benn said, if you elect someone or some party to power you must also have a way of getting rid of them short of bloody revolution.

Optimistically in the distant future the masses will become more involved in running society. This may come about through cooperatives, communes, etc. However whether this will ever reach the stage when the State can wither away without inviting the danger of another bureaucratic dictatorship emerging is doubtful. It would need a very politically active, mature, alert and aware broad mass of the proletariat to make this a realistic option.

Socialism – yes, a perfectly realizable option, and there are various models which can be experimented with. Communism – a utopian dream which is unlikely to be feasible at least in the foreseeable future in my opinion.

The Long Journey

The main collage room (click on it to enlarge)

It’s one all, or most of us, have to make at some time in our lives, probably more than once. The journey back from bereavement when a partner, a child, a parent, close relative or very good friend dies. The most traumatic in my life so far was when my life-partner of 21 years suddenly passed away after a short illness. Two weeks prior to this I had little indication anything was wrong, so it came as a complete shock to me.

This was all over 20 years ago now, and the classic stages of bereavement have long since been completed, though I may not have recognized them at the time. For instance I was insistent that at no time did I feel anger, yet I realize I did feel this emotion against the hospital doctor who diagnosed what was wrong with him and told us in a most insensitive manner. So insensitive, in fact, that my partner signed himself out of hospital, refused all treatment and died at home 4 days later.

The first hurdle to negotiate after he died was to hang on to the tenancy of our council flat. Back in those days there was no such thing as civil partnerships and gay couples were not recognized officially. Luckily we had a joint tenancy, but it was not all plain sailing. Because civil partnerships did not exist we were assumed to be sleeping in separate bedrooms, so were allocated a two-bedroom flat which I was now occupying by myself. With so many families on the council waiting lists the pressure was on for me to move to a smaller flat.

This for me was completely out of the question. Bereavement and moving are said to be two of the most stressful things in life, so to cope with both within weeks or months would be terrible. Many gay couples faced this before civil partnerships as without a joint tenancy, a Will or joint ownership of the property you lived in the surviving partner could be left penniless and homeless within weeks of a bereavement.

I told the council my partner had died just days later when I went to pay the rent. I was told by a totally unsympathetic woman in the office, who did not know he was my life-partner of course, that since the joint tenant had died I was now occupying the two-bedroom flat illegally! Oh sorry – was I supposed to move out into the street before his coffin had even been removed to the cremmy?

Of course she was wrong – I was the joint tenant so had every right to remain in the flat, though I did need to sign a new tenancy agreement. This allowed me to stay on in the flat but with strict conditions imposed. The rent was increased, so now I had to pay more than double what I paid when my partner was sharing the old rent with me. Also I was told under no circumstances could the tenancy pass to anyone else. This meant were I to find another partner, or have my aging mother move in with me, if I died they would be homeless. I don’t know if things have now changed in this respect.

I resisted the pressures to move to a smaller flat even after getting over the initial stages of bereavement, and even now 20 years later would find it extremely traumatic to ever have to move. The reasons for this are simple. What do childless couples have to show of their lives together when one partner dies? Old photos, memories, and perhaps things they created together. The main thing we created in our 21 years together were various homes. The current one I’m now living in includes several fabulous collages which my partner created and constantly changed. So impressive were they that a month before he died one was featured briefly in ‘Out On Tuesday’, a gay TV program. They only showed a few seconds, including us sitting together on the sofa in the collage room, but happily I managed to obtain the uncut video footage which is much longer.

There are also all the little ornaments and souvenirs we bought together from all around the world on our travels. True these could be taken with me if I move, or most of them could, but the collages still tie me to this flat. It would break my heart to have to take them down or leave them for others to destroy. They could not be recreated anywhere else, though if I moved I would salvage what I could and perhaps try to create something similar.

Other people do not always understand why I keep up these collages and tenderly repair them 20 years later. They say it belonged to another era and I should move on. We had no children of course, but his collages are something my partner created for us both to enjoy. Neither of us were any good at decorating, and they brighten the place up and make my partner feel close to me.

A friend lost his life-partner a few years ago, even more suddenly than my loss. They’d been together about 40 years. His partner felt unwell one morning and died of a heart attack. The surviving partner still keeps the other one’s room (they had separate bedrooms) as a shrine, with the TV on most of the time. This made no sense to me at first, but then I realized as long as the TV was on in the other room the surviving partner did not feel so alone – he’d been used to hearing the TV in the next room for so many years the flat would seem empty without it, even though he had his own TV in his room. The room kept as a shrine contained all his partner’s things, and as they too were of course a childless couple, were all he had left, apart from photos and memories, of their lives together in the shared council flat.

It took me about 18 months, including a lot of counseling, to accept the death of my partner and what caused it, and in fact it was not until two years after his death that I finally accepted the cause. I apparently was then in some sort of depression for years, feeling my life was over and I didn’t care if I lived or died. This is what friends tell me, and I’m sure it’s true. All I wanted at that time was to join my partner. I believe in an afterlife, but even if there wasn’t one I wanted to join him in sweet oblivion.

I not only believed in an afterlife, however, I had overwhelming evidence for it. Within hours my deceased partner was sending signals to me and all his friends that he was still very much alive in the Spirit world. Some of these are documented in the last chapter of my biography/autobiography ‘A Gay Tapestry’ elsewhere on this site. Suffice to say here that I was told things telepathically I could not possibly have known – only my deceased partner could have known them. He also answered by various methods questions I asked him the very next day or even sooner. These two-way post-humous communications have gone on, in various ways, up to and including the present.

The thing that really helped me move on and feel my life was worth living again was when I met someone and, dare I say it, fell in love again. It was not to be a partnership for us as he was already married (to a woman). Not a particularly happy marriage apparently, but this guy came on to me and made all the initial moves, and though a full physical relationship never developed, he made me laugh and there was a strong emotional bond partly expressed physically. This love affair, for that’s what it was, and occasional meetings (he used to come round my flat for lunch when he worked on my estate) boosted my self-esteem. I was, after all, only 46 when my life-partner died.

A year or so after he died I helped to form a social group for gay men who’d lost their life-partners. At the back of my mind I felt not only could we visit pubs, cinemas, etc. together, but I might meet a new partner this way. This never happened, but we did go on some outings including a weekend in Blackpool together.

With my married guy the highlight I suppose was a rock’n’roll Weekender we went on together. Friends there were treating us as a couple, and he did the cooking. His wife, by the way, knows about our relationship and her reaction was ‘if I kick the bucket you can have him all to yourself’. It seems a rather sexless marriage since they’ve had separate bedrooms most of the time and still do apparently, but he is certainly emotionally attached to her. Later a daughter came along, so they must sleep together occasionally, and then they moved away from Battersea to the South Coast. I now see him very infrequently indeed, though my heart still skips a beat whenever I meet him or hear his voice on the phone. He is, after all, the only person outside my family I felt emotionally attached to since my life-partner died, and I know the feeling was mutual. He once said if he weren’t already married he’d be my life-partner. That was nice, though I never held up any real hopes. The fact is he can’t come to terms with being gay. He had an affair with an older man when he was in his teens, then the older guy died. They never lived together, and with all his friends getting married I guess he felt that was the thing to do. I don’t think he could ever fully accept the gay thing and living with another man, though in his case a few beers help him to lose some of his inhibitions. That’s how he came on to me in the first place – in a straight pub!

Anyway, this rather strange love affair is what got me out of my depressed state and made life seem worth living again, since you never know what’s around the corner or when the unexpected might happen. Now I’m so glad I survived my bereavement, as my aging mother (now 97) needs me to look after her. I’m her main carer, and without me I guess she’d have to go into care and would probably soon give up.

It’s been a long journey since my bereavement, and I know I’ll have another to face if my mother dies before me, which I hope is the case. If I went first she’d be completely helpless, though as I said above she’d probably go downhill very fast and soon follow me.

This happened to my paternal grandfather. After an accident in which my grandmother broke her hip she deterioted rapidly, despite a successful operation, and died on my birthday. About a month later my grandfather said to my mother (who had moved in following the accident to look after them) ‘I think I’ll go and find Edie tonight duck’. He died in his sleep. They’d been together nearly 60 years and he just couldn’t go on living without her.

I was, of course, much younger, in my 40s not my 80s when my partner died. So just dying in my sleep of a broken heart was not really an option. But there was something else that kept me going, a tremendous comfort to me along with the communications with my deceased partner. This was the last pet cat we got from the Blue Cross animal shelter together about 10 months before he died. Tibby was a tremendous comfort to me, and she lived to the ripe old age of about 22. As she was only 6 when we got her, I had her for a full 15 years after my partner died. In the days and weeks after he died whenever I was in bed upset at being physically alone, Tibby would come up and nuzzle me. She seemed to know I was upset, and I’m convinced at times the Spirit of my partner came into her or at least spurred her on to comfort me. Tibby has now joined my partner and most of our friends from the old days on the Spirit planes, very few remain here on Earth.

I’m now pushing 70. The main old friend I still keep in touch with (he and his new partner help maintain my allotment) will be 73 later this year, I’ll be 67 and my mother 98. What concerns me now, apart from wanting to outlive my mother so I can continue to take care of her, is who will look after me if I survive to be like my mother, who is fairly lucid but cannot do a lot of the things she used to do? There are no close friends or family to help, to push me in a wheelchair if I’m unable to walk far, to deal with my finances and mail as I do for my mother, to do shopping and cook my meals as I also do for her, to remember medical appointments and take me to them as I also do for her.

The gay community is not organized to help those on their own in their older years. I’m reading an autobiography of Graham Norton, and his mother once told him that she was upset when she found out his sexual orientation because the gay life is a ‘lonely’ one. Graham disagreed with her, and he was right at that time. In your younger days there’s no need to feel lonely, especially if you are lucky enough to have a partner. But it comes home to you in old age that the gay life can indeed be very lonely without a partner and without children when nobody on the gay scene wants to know anyone who’s well beyond retirement age, at least that’s how it seems.

There are no Care Homes for gay people, and an old friend of ours ended up in a Care Home where he had nothing at all in common with the others. He mercifully passed away after a year or so in totally unsuitable Care Homes. Not that they were that bad, just that he was forced to mix with straight people who wouldn’t have understood his former lifestyle. Also he had to mix with women, and all his life he’d hardly ever had to do this, sharing his life with his male life-partner for 40 years till he died. The surviving partner couldn’t function without his life-partner, who did all the cooking, etc.. Fortunately a friend helped him till he had to go into care, but dementia set in and he followed his life-partner into the Spirit world a few years later.

The gay community really should set up Care Homes and support networks for older gay men and women, many of whom have no life-partners, family or children to help them and care for them in old age. I just trust in Spirit that they’ll find someone to look after me when I finally reach my dotage, or that I pass on (hopefully peacefully in my sleep) before I reach the stage when I’m unable to look after myself, as the gay community seems unlikely to rally round.

It is summed up in the song an old drag queen ‘Auntie Flo’ (the late Marc Fleming) used to sing in The Black Cap, Camden Town on Sunday lunchtimes: ‘Nobody loves a fairy when she’s 40’. How very true, and even more so when she’s pushing 70 or even older!

High time the gay community did something about this. They had buddy networks and all sorts of support groups during the AIDS epidemic – how about some similar buddy networks, support groups and Care Homes for elderly gay men and women? After all, if you survive that long, you’ll all be old one day yourselves and will be glad of these services.

 

 

Welwyn Garden City

I had the misfortune to move to this wretched town (my mother’s idea), which people either love or hate, when I was just 16. Quite the wrong time to move anywhere, and WGC as it is known is the last place for a teenager to move to. Any friends I had in North London where I lived previously were left behind, I left college in Tottenham that year and knew nobody my own age in the town. All the others had gone to school/college together locally and I was very much the outsider.

WGC had nothing for teenagers. Every facility was planned to the last detail, but the original idea of the founder Sir Ebenezer Howard, was later ignored. He envisaged garden cities (the first was Letchworth) with swathes of parkland or countryside sweeping in to the center in between buildings set in a semi-rural landscape.

WGC when I lived there from 1961-1968 had no real parks at all.  There was one recreation ground with no flowerbeds, just grass and football pitches, etc. The town center had two areas of grass and flowerbeds, but not a real park. There was Sherrards Wood just outside the town. My brother and I, who had the wild countryside of Alexandra Park to explore and play in when we lived in Wood Green backing on to the park, now had to play in a rat-infested disused army camp outside the town. The fields at the back of us (we were on the edge of the town) were private, belonging to Ascots Farm. Like most countryside around London the only access was along the few designated public footpaths.

We were assured that the fields of Ascots Farm would never be built on because our garden fence was also the boundary of WGC. However long after we moved away WGC was joined administravely (not physically) with Hatfield so the boundary no longer applied and a new housing estate has been built on the fields which adjoined the end of our garden.

Many of the teenagers apparently used to congregate in the Wimpy bar next to the old station where they met up with drug dealers from London just 20 miles down the railway line. Amphetamines, then known as ‘purple hearts’, were made at a factory in the town, and these were apparently traded for cash.

There was one cinema in the town which alternated as a theater. Precious little else. Pubs were carefully rationed – one pub and 5 shops for about every 5,000 inhabitants, spread around the town, plus the main shopping center and a smaller one in Woodhall on the eastern side of the town.

After the Second World War WGC was designated one of the New Towns to take the overspill from London, and a Development Corporation was set up to build what were, in effect, council estates. Originally WGC had been planned and built by a private company, and the West Side around Howardsgate, Parkway and Handside Lane retained a parkland or genuine rural feel.

However the East Side contained the large industrial area of factories, dominated by the Welgar (WELwyn GARden City) Shredded Wheat company. It also contained the Development Corporation’s housing projects, and it was on one of these where we lived.

My only friends were middle-aged, middle-class people largely from the posh West Side of the town who were simultaneously in both the local CND group and the Labour Party. I was a member of both, and the meetings contained the same people. One day a middle class woman known as ‘Squib’ was driving some CND members home from a meeting, dropping them off where they lived, all in thick fog. She drove along at 5 mph in the middle of the road wondering why cars were overtaking her on the left. I was the only one remaining in the car with her when she asked where I lived, and I gave her the name of the road. She had never heard of it, so I said: ‘You go over the railway bridge….’ I never got any further.

‘Oh, over THAT side of the town. I’ve never been over there, you’ll have to direct me!’ she said, absolutely horrified. The railway line was a barrier dividing the town as effectively as tbe Berlin Wall, at least for those who lived in the posh Western side of the town. They wouldn’t dream of venturing into the East unless absolutely necessary with its factories and social housing. Easterners, of course, crossed over to the West for the department store and main shopping center.

Long after I left the 1930s railway station building in the town center was demolished and replaced by one of these monstrous new shopping malls with a car park incorporated. The current station is part of this complex.

Also after I left the town, a park was created with artificial lakes immediately to the south of the town on the River Lee, adjacent to the neighboring twin town of Hatfield.

In the 1960s the whole of the Home Counties, including Hertfordshire where WGC is located, were served by London Transport buses (the green Country ones). So the London bus stops and buses gave it the ‘feel’ of London, or rather a London suburb with grass verges.

These London Transport buses and bus-stops have long gone, to be replaced by privatized services. London itself has not really expanded since the Second World War due to  the Green Belt. However the London Urban Area officially now includes places such as Woking, Dartford, Gravesend and Hoddesdon, Watford and Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire. Not, however, St Albans, Hatfield and Welwyn Garden City which are separated from the London conurbation and each other by just a few Green Belt fields.

WGC – I’m sure many people love it, but for me it was a dreadful place, neither country nor suburb, and lacking the facilities of some other New Towns like Stevenage to the north, which had a fine dance hall where rock concerts were sometimes held.

Science: The Great Division

There is a huge division in scientific theory at the moment. What is regarded as mainsteam or orthodox science, propagated by the likes of physicist Stephen Hawking and biologist Richard Dawkins and all mainstream scientists, is very materialistic and completely denies the existence of anything remotely like Spirit or God.

The other scientific theories, expounded by Quantum Physicists and many other scientists and medical men, including Prof. Brian Josephson, Prof. Jessica Utts, Dr Edgar Mitchell, Prof. Fred Alan Wolf, Deepak Chopra, Prof Russell Targ, Dr Amit Goswami, Dr Claude Swanson, Ron Pearson, Prof John O. M. Bockris, Dr Thomas Campbell, Dr Charles Tart, Dr Peter Fenwick, Dean Radin and many others, are coming to conclusions which are very different to those of the materialists.

Ever since Albert Einstein and then the advent of Quantum Physics the materialist concept of the Universe has been seriously under fire. Although Einstein’s theories and Quantum Physics do not sit easily together (Einstein disliked Quantum Physics because it did not accord with some of his theories), both show that what we regard as solid matter is far from being that at all. All apparently solid objects are largely empty space, and Quantum experiments suggest that matter itself cannot even exist without a conscious observer.

So the crux of the division between the purely materialist and the more open-minded branches of science revolves around the origin of consciousness. Whether it is a product of matter or whether matter is a product of consciousness is the basic dilemma.

Did consciousness arise in the brain due to biological and chemical processes, or is consciousness separate from matter altogether?

Quantum physics shows that consciousness is at the heart of everything, and other branches of science also point to this conclusion. What we regard as solid matter and the real world is really a gigantic virtual reality created by Mind or consciousness. Until a conscious observer is present all matter is merely a probability or a possibility. Sub-atomic particles revert to these waves of probability when no conscious observer is present.

Materialist scientists are in denial of this basic fact, because to admit it is true would be to turn all orthodox science since Einstein on its head. All research grants depend on this outdated orthodox version of science, which has been for decades in a cul-de-sac from which there is no escape. More and more outlandish theories and concepts, such as dark energy, are invented to try to make Einsteinian science fit in with the continually accelerating expansion of the Universe, and even these theories do not explain why matter does not seem to be able to even exist without a conscious observer.

The quite obvious conclusion to anyone with an open mind is that non-material consciousness is at the heart of everything. This has enormous implications.

What it means is that we, as conscious beings, and all the animal kingdom and probably much more, are essentially non-material. Our consciousness may be filtered through our brains to our physical bodies, but these brains and bodies are themselves a creation of consciousness.

Ron Pearson explains it by reviving the Newtonian concept of the ether permeating everything. He says this ether is an intelligent matrix, he calls it the ‘intelligent ether’ or ‘i-ther’, but others will call it by various names. Whatever you call it, the basic principle is that a non-material consciousness preceded all matter, and in fact created and organized matter. Without consciousness nothing could exist.

This is similar to what religious people have been saying for centuries – that God created the Universe and without Him nothing could exist. However in modern scientific terms this translates as some kind of non-material consciousness which is continually evolving. We and the whole multi-verse are part of this, and the apparently material dimensions (there are probably many of these interpenetrating each other) are merely virtual reality worlds created to gain experience in order to enable the evolution and progress of the universal consciousness.

This is, of course, in tune with New Age, mystic and Eastern philosophies which all say that everything is inter-connected and essentially One, and that we are essentially immortal spiritual beings.

To find out more about what the new open-minded physcists, scientists and others are saying (the mainstream media and official scientific journals are all heavily censored to weed out or ridicule anything regarded as heresy) scan YouTube and the Internet for startling revelations about the nature of consciousness, the illusion of matter, the evidence for survival beyond physical death, etc.

The 21st Century is surely the one when outdated concepts in science will finally be disproved and the true nature of reality will come to light. It cannot be suppressed and censored forever, and the Internet is helping to insure it isn’t.

2012

Every New Year there’s a lot of nonsense flying around. We all know that at the end of the next 12 months we’ll all be a year older, if we survive that is. We also know things will go on much the same with wars, murders, natural disasters, etc. Famous people and friends/relations will become ill and some will die. Yet every December 31st people celebrate what is, after all, just another arbitary date in a calendar based on the false birthdate of a Spiritual leader in the Middle East, and even that is some years out. The Jews and Muslims have different calendars, so why people should optimistically expect January 1st to be the start of a new era is totally illogical.

This year it is even more illogical. 2012 is apparently the last year of the Mayan calendar, so for the nth time in my life I hear the end of the world is coming. I’ve survived so many ‘end of the world’ days it’s becoming a bit monotonous.

The other prediction for 2012, from New Age sources, is that it’s going to be a year of great change, of sweeping away the old corruption and the dawn of the age of enlightenment. I won’t hold my breath, frankly, but let’s hope something of that nature at least starts to take a hold.

I don’t make New Year resolutions. I do remember some New Years of the past. My partner and I often had New Years Eve parties, on at least one very memorable occasion we celebrated Hogmanay with his relations in Glasgow, and always on New Year’s Eve/New Year’s morning I got a kiss and a Happy New Year from him. Being Scots, and having unhappy memories of a certain Christmas past, New Year meant more to him.

So we enter 2012 with a lot of optimism, and certainly good things will happen as well as the not so good. People will find lovers, make new friends, get married or hitched, recover from illnesses, babies will be born.

We have the Olympics in London later this year, and for royalists there’s the Diamond Jubilee. Not being either a sports fans or a royalist I can’t get too excited about either of these events, though I do take a mild interest in the Olympics especially as they are taking place in my home city. I did apply for tickets for either the opening or closing ceremonies, unsuccessfully of course, so will be watching them on TV. I was around for the last Olympics in London in 1948, but don’t remember anything about it as I was only 3 years old at the time.

My hopes for 2012 are for good health for me and my family and friends and for a half-decent Summer so I can get some swimming and sunbathing in. Since May 2007 when I took early retirement, looking forward to long hot Summers with no work to go to, we haven’t had one decent Summer. Surely after 5 lousy ones we are due a nice sunny one.

Have a couple of rock’n’roll Weekenders booked already – in March and end of June beginning of July. A holiday with my mother at the center in Pakefield, Lowestoft in late May/early June, and I’m hoping to take her on a week’s holiday to the hotel in Sandown Isle of Wight where we stayed last year for her birthday. At least that was the plan, but she ended up in hospital most of the week with arthritis brought on by the long coach journey, wet weather and over-prescribing of Tramadol by the Sandown GP (that didn’t bring on the arthritis, but it did completely paralyze her for about 24 hours and led to her being hospitalized. IoW hospital said she’d been prescribed twice the recommended dose for someone of 97, local GP locum in Battersea said it was four times what he’d have prescribed!)

This time we’d go by train, ferry and local bus, and she could hopefully celebrate her 98th birthday in the resort where she fooliishly swam around the pier to show off 80 years previously when she was 18 and in service. None of her employers on the Sandown beach even noticed she’d done it. I will advise her not to try to repeat her feat this year.

So anyway let’s try to be optimistic and hope that 2012 sees more exposures of corruption in high places, a better economic situation, and more enlightenment in both the political and spiritual spheres.