The article below is published with the permission of its author Olaug Holmøy, of Amnesty International, Norway. It was written for an academic assignment as part of her studies in International Development at the University of East Anglia.
The link to Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, suggested by the alternate title is mine. More on the rationale for linking Murdoch and Morocco’s monarch managed media will follow.
I have edited the syntax (not the semantics) of Holmøy’s article very slightly, because of linguistic challenges affecting her writing.
According to Reporters Without Borders (RWB) overview the Kingdom of Morocco is ranked at the 131st place for press freedom, just above Palestine.
The authorities in the country are threatening journalists, citizen-journalists and also foreign media with surveillance, heavy fines and imprisonment.
Sensitive subjects such as Islam, the monarchy or Western Sahara are areas the authorities don’t want the media to be snooping in, and will therefore do everything within their power to prevent it from happening.
A group of journalists’ wanted to give training to citizen journalist via an App in Morocco.
Free Press Unlimited (FPU), Small World News and The Guardian Project developed the secure storytelling app called StoryMaker.
This app would provide the citizen journalist of Morocco with the opportunity to publish content and they could have been anonymous while doing so.
The StoryMaker app could be a great chance for the Moroccan people to share things about their country, reveal situations about their society and the government. It is regarding this last point that things gets tricky.
According to an article by Amnesty International from 2016 the authorities believe that grassroots journalism, like StoryMaker, can destabilize the peoples trust in their institutions.
Who’s to say the Moroccan people should trust their institutions?
After shutting down an opportunity to spread information about their situation, it does not seem reasonable to trust ‘them’.
Because of this initiative seven journalists faced trial, and some of them could get up to five years in prison.
Another example as to how the authorities work is the amendments to the criminal code.
RWB means it clearly was designed to restrict journalists’ right to information.
Journalists’ without information is no journalist at all.
According to Rethinking Media Development countries needs rules to make sure that all citizens have access to information in order to foster a media that serves the interests of society.
The World Bank have studies showing that a country with high level of press freedom is also a country with higher control of corruption (Wolfensohn, 1999).
This assertion can naturally be reversed, meaning that a country where journalists are imprisoned for taking advantage of their human right, that is freedom of expression, there is most likely corruption within the country.
It is extremely suspicious when journalists get imprisoned when wanting to write about the monarchy.
By doing so it just makes it clearer that they are closing in on a touchy subject.
Personally I am very grateful to organizations like Amnesty for pushing where it hurts and actually demanding change in countries like Morocco.
Thus having huge international organizations coming in to a country and demanding change can be tricky as well.
It can be seen as quite invasive when Amnesty and also The Guardian Project point fingers on how countries in the global south run their society.
Then again, freedom of expression is a human right, and that is in fact universal for all humans.
When foreign media wanted to cover the situation on Western Sahara, the Moroccan authorities stole the material.
They say this decision was made because the foreign media had not asked for permission before starting the story.
Still, I truly doubt the situation would have been any different if they had asked in advance.
So the Moroccan institutions should be trusted, but the people should not ask questions, and do not have access to information about their institutions such as the monarchy or the government.
Using new methods in media, such as StoryMaker is just down instantly.
Then again a platform for anonymous publishing could be misused, and people could in fact write articles to mobilize groups that are not beneficial for the country.
But as this blog states earlier; higher level of press freedom = higher control on corruption. And that can only be good, can it not?
Amnesty International (2016). Morocco: Journalists risk imprisonment for running smartphone app training. [online] Available at: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2016/06/morocco-journalists-risk-imprisonment-for-running-smartphone-app-training/ [Accessed 19.10.16]
Amnesty International (2016). Morocco ramps up crackdown on press freedom with trial over citizen journalism. [online] Available at: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2016/01/morocco-ramps-up-crackdown-on-press-freedom-with-trial-over-citizen-journalism/ [Accessed 19.10.16]
Equality and Human Rights Commission (2016). Article 10: Freedom of expression. [online] Available: https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/human-rights-act/article-10-freedom-expression [Accessed 19.10.16]
Reporters Without Borders (2016). Morocco. [online] Available at: https://rsf.org/en/morocco [Accessed 19.10.16]
Wolfensohn, James D., (1999). Voices of The Poor. [online] Available at: http://chora.virtualave.net/voicesofthepoor.htm [Accessed 19.10.16]
Author, name, (year). Rethinking Media Development. [online] Available at:
https://learn.uea.ac.uk/bbcswebdav/pid-1716876-dt-content-rid-2401915_1/courses/DEV-5015A-16-SEM1-A/Rethinking%20media%20development.pdf [Accessed 23.10.16]
I published the following poem hours before I voted in the June 8, 2017 general election in Britain.
A snap election, called by Prime Minister Theresa May, supposedly to “strengthen her hand” as she leads the country into of Brexit negotiations with the European Union.
Part battle cry, part prayer the poem addresses issues I and other UK citizens and residents have been grappling with since before the shocking murder of South Yorkshire MP Jo Cox and other extraordinary manifestations of our apparent failure to cope in what by reasonable estimation may be considered Britain’s “captive state”.
The video recording of former United States warrior-president Dwight D Eisenhower’s poignant warning about the threat to his country’s democracy posed by its own “military industrial complex” is included here in that context.
I explore these and related ideas in an as yet unpublished article, entitled “An Eisenhower eye on Elor Azaria’s, Alexander Blackman’s and Sir Hilary Beckles’ plays, prisms and prison terms”, the fourteenth article in my long-running ‘Mouth of the Beast’ series.
And my preoccupation in this poem with the ongoing ‘Free Marine A’ saga is in fact a manifestation of the chilling effect that that case has had on my mental state: the fact, essentially, that the Court Martial Appeals Court decision that basically earned Blackman his freedom was like the “Cry havoc!” invoked by Shakespeare in his play Julius Caesar.
I do not think it would be an exaggeration to say that that deeply depressing and divisive legal decision, secured with the assistance of a highly questionable campaign run by the controllers of Britain’s own “MIC” (media industrial complex), has sickened me physically.
Indeed, as I recently hinted to Dr Rachel Clawson of the University of Nottingham, leader of a study on forced marriage among disabled people, turning on the question of their mental capacity, the difficulty I have been experiencing writing the “Eisenhower eye” article stems from a very real fear that it might be the death of me.
I told Clawson of the sense of “ambient terror” that I live with daily, but did not disclose my very real fear that the manslaying “Blackman brigade” might come after me.
This sense of peril to my family’s and my own personal well being and life prospects, stems not only from my situation as a member of Britain’s BME community. It is rooted in a vulnerability that I have been groomed in by the majority black Barbados government’s peculiar capacity to inflict harm on non-conforming black citizens, directly or indirectly, where ever they may be.
It is rooted in my experience of “state capture”, Barbadian style, through that country’s strong ties with the US, Britain, Canada, Singapore, India, Zimbabwe and other Commonwealth countries.
I have long-running experience of the soul suppressing pressures of the island’s political, religious, media, academic and other orthodoxy enforcing elites that make a sham of its notions of freedom and democracy.
I will be voting for the candidate I consider the ‘lesser evil’.
For a person who, on balance,
Will do what is best not just for their party, media, trade union,
or business backing beaus
But first and foremost for the ‘ordinary’ people who extraordinarily amid this country’s mass media induced existential haze, voted them through.
I will be voting for a person of profound and practical conviction.
Whose good works, not their rhetoric, demonstrate their belief in a just yet merciful God.
I’m not particularly interested in church, mosque, synagogue or temple attendance.
As far as I can tell, much of the world’s problems
Stem from a disemboweling of truth by religious congregations.
The greatest threats we face stem from religiously fundamentalist, evangelical atheists who have more than they will ever know (or admit) in common with fundamentally impious, self-deluding religious fanatics.
I can speak on this subject with some authority
Because I used to be firmly entrenched in such secular and religious communities.
And even now,
I am not entirely out of the woods.
But how could I be,
While still living in and engaging sympathetically with fellow travelers in the world?
How could I be untouched by others suffering?
How could I not be influenced by their needs and desires?
How could I not understand Thomas Mair’s anger and confusion,
Even as I denounce and deplore that misogynist maniac’s murder of Jo Cox?
How could I not empathize with Alexander Blackman’s desire for a freedom that I feel certain he, his lawyer Jonathan Goldberg, the Daily Mail campaigner Paul Dacre and that paper’s owner Lord Rothermere know he has not earned.
I have no end of respect for the ‘Big Al’ who dared to put on a British services uniform some years ago.
But having so egregiously disgraced Lord Nelson and every other British heroes who went before him,
Named and unnamed;
Known and unknown.
Shouldn’t “Marine A” relinquish any claim to the high honor of a marine’s uniform?
Hasn’t his obscenely callous conduct in Helmand Province brought enough shame on British citizens and residents.
Hasn’t his juvenile provocation of religious fanatics, like the Charle Hebdo journalist’s, put enough of the people he was supposed to be protecting in the line of fire?
Must he like the predatory pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, who compared his dark deeds to stealing a bagel, insist on the honorable discharge he does not honorably deserve?
I empathize with Blackman’s wife, his sister Melody and other family members who campaigned for his freedom.
I too am a ‘family first’ man.
But it cannot be right that they and other people cast aspersions on the character of ordinary, hardworking people, by calling other blokes critical of their campaign ‘lesser men’, as Melody has done.
Some citizens and residents of this country may never see a designated battle field beyond Britain’s shores.
But aren’t many parts of this country unofficial war zones?
I shudder to think what life was like for murdered mother of two Kerri McAuley before ‘GI Joe’ Storey effectively ‘orphaned’ her children.
Like Blackman and Israeli medic Elor Azaria, Storey has ‘stoically’ pleaded manslaughter, by reason of diminished responsibility, the EDP reports.
And yet I know of other Norfolk men and women for whom daily life is filled with various Manchester, London, Paris-like terrorist attack terrors.
The battle of the sexes is not always a cold war.
One child was sexually and violently abused by a grandparent from the age of five until adolescence.
And that person is apparently still blaming him/herself because their body may have responded ‘naturally’ to the abuse, one that routine rape had become the norm.
Talk about cynical sexual grooming!
Talk about the human feeling distorting fog of war!
Talk about terrorism making us headless chickens primed for political manipulation by the likes of Epstein, Steve Bannon and Donald Trump!
Talk about the tragic ‘success’ of the spirituality dismissing, life experience devaluing biomedical model of psychiatry that is propagated by the military industrial complex about which president Dwight D Eisenhower warned!
Former soldier Ian Duncan Smith can tell us more than a little about that – as he can about the use of psych ops tactics by Brexiters during Britain’s EU referendum brouhaha.
So too, probably, can Welsh MP Tommy Mercer and other ex-soldiers who have apparently never learned the discipline of Jesuit pioneer Ignatius Loyola.
They seem more motivated by Trump’s tragic ‘glory grabbing’ and the perverse privacy protection of Peter Thiel, Sir Hilary Beckles, Ben Carson and others who would make Britain as grey and ‘great again’ as gun powder pretty America.
Like Jeremy Corbyn, before his reported, much-hyped awakening to the ‘real world’, they seem to be driving like ‘Bin Lorry Bin Ladin’ Harry Clarke under the influence of their unconscious.
They seem to be laboring like Len McCluskey under some Lloyds Bank-like belief that ‘bigger means stronger’.
I’m a mathematician.
I deal in proportions.
And I am done talking, for now.
From here on, this glossolalist will be practicing a Trappist monk-like silence, as I prepare to vote.
Through my pain, through my shame, through my anger like the EDP’s James Marston’s, I will vote for the one I consider the least potentially catastrophic option among those standing in Norwich South.
And while part of me really wants to tell you who will be the lucky or unlucky sod (Clive Lewis and Simon Wright who he succeeded can tell you that representing me in Parliament is no easy job) I think its best that I keep that between me and God.
As we say in my birthplace, Barbados: “Na name, na blame, na lock-up!”
I am praying for grace for the family and friends of those killed and injured by Monday’s murderous Manchester suicide bombing.
I am praying for enlightenment for misguided fundamentalist Buddhists, Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Jews and other conscious or unconscious religious opportunists who persist with the delusion that violence can solve anything.
I am praying for fundamentalist atheists and other arrogant, self-righteous secularists who blame religious people for all the evil in the world even as they themselves propagate bigotry and lies and perpetrate theft, rape, murder and other forms of direct and indirect violence.
I pray that God will help us all look beyond the cosmetic appearances offered by Rupert Murdoch’s, Lord Rothermere’s and other biglionaire’s corporate media monopolizing, divide-and-rule capitalizing analyses.
I pray that our hearts and minds may embrace a deeper, people unifying, simultaneously natural and supernatural spirituality.
I pray that God will help us see that the outrage of the Manchester suicide bombing is matched by the perversion of justice that has been perpetrated by the childhood innocence slaughtering of Satanic, predatory pedophiles, like Jeffrey Epstein.
I pray that God will help us see the great psychological and physiological harm that we are doing ourselves and our children by surrendering our roles as parents to politicians and other so-called public “servants” who play politics and profiteer with human sexuality and reproduction.
I pray that God gives us all the grace and wisdom to see through the sham reasoning of political, religious and other ideologues who ignore and undermine the fundamentals of human reproduction, the highest expression of human creative capacity, and the consequent fundamentals of parental responsibility – including that of adoptive parents.
May God help us to not be mechanistic, headless chickens, blindly internalizing and regurgitating, the morally bankrupt teachings of misguided academic ‘celebrities’ and ethically adrift scientists.
May we appreciate that at the level of principle, the bewildering brutality of the Manchester suicide bomber is matched in many ways, on many days by the evil perpetrated against children in British, American, Barbadian, Indian and other societies.
May God help us to see that there is little semantic, pragmatic or ethical difference between the routine abuse and repeated killing of children and adults by polished and priestly yet fundamentally predatory savages like Jimmy Savile, Ian Brady, Myra Hindley, Dennis Nilsen and other sociopaths.
May God help us to see that our political, religious and other ideological labels will never justify the child sacrifice we perpetrate when, in the words of the Christian apologist C.S Lewis we shout the name of Christ and enact “the service of Moloch”.
My apologies to Norwich South MP Clive Lewis and his office staff for failing to forewarn them by private email of the speculation about his sexuality that I started to share via Twitter on International Women’s Day.
In good faith, I had undertaken to put the matter to them before publishing.
And it is precisely such speculation that I intended, when I posted the International Women’s Day tweet, displayed in the following screenshot:
It reads “On #InternationalWomensDay I’m revisiting #CliveLewis’ jesting 2015 comment abt him and @Ed_Miliband sharing sexual intimacy with a goat…”
I not only go on to claim that this wildly suggestive comment, made by Lewis in the heat of the 2015 general election, raises questions about his sexual orientation and proclivities but also subtly present this proposition as an expression of personal affirmation and political ambition by alluding to reports of Lewis’ aspiration to replace Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party.
“Is the gay man the new #AlphaWoman?” I ask, cheekily.
This is actually a ‘cultural appropriation’ of a declaration or question I heard on Woman’s Hour, on BBC Radio Four recently.
Something like “The gay man is the new alpha male,” said the program’s host that day, possibly Jane Garvey or Jenni Murray.
So my Twitter post about Lewis’ probable (from my standpoint) homosexual orientation actually has a heterosexual undercurrent, rooted in the ongoing ‘battle of the sexes’ that I find myself reluctantly waging with Barbados’ fundamentalist feminists and other women and men in the Caribbean, the UK, the US, Africa, India and elsewhere, who engage in gender, race and religious racketeering, consciously or unconsciously.
And I assert my right both as a journalist and as one of Mr Lewis’ constituents to engage in such speculation, in line with the Western democratic notion that those who hold public office should be prepared to undergo public scrutiny.
Or we could say “To whom much is given, much is required,” if we want to clothe this idea in biblical language (Luke 12: 35-48).
‘Brother Lewis’, whose office is housed at the Open Youth Trust building, owned by prominent Judeo-Christian Norfolk businessman Graham Dacre certainly seems to have some Christian instincts.
Which is possibly what made his seemingly off-the-cuff, impulsive, carnal-knowledge-curry-goat comment so shocking, presumably, to Pentecostal Pastor Aaron Machaya, Anglican Bishop Rev Graham James, Ishaan Mosque leader Uthman Morrison and other leaders of Norfolk’s Christian, Jewish, Islamic and other religious communities.
Lewis’ ‘loose-batting-cricketer’ comment (slashing wildly, outside his off-stump, metaphorically) was probably less surprising and offensive to the trade unionists, left-leaning, atheists and other journalists, business people, politicians and political activists that I am inclined to believe he hangs out with more frequently.
But I am primarily concerned with how his comments would have been received by members of Norfolk’s gay and bisexual community.
In fact, from my standpoint, I think the still relatively newly minted parliamentarian Lewis’ comment might have been intended for the amusement of gay males particularly.
And that is because I believe Lewis is a member of Norfolk’s homosexual male community.
It is this conviction, bolstered by the testimony of a member of that community who shall remain nameless, that prompted me to contact Lewis’ office in the first place, on Sunday, March 5.
I had by then spent at least three weeks working on this thirteenth installment of this ‘Mouth of the Beast’ series of articles and resolved that while I would be representing professor Sir Hilary Beckles as a homo-ideologue, rather than a homosexual, I would be representing Lewis as a gay man, in line with my intuition based, anonymous source supported belief.
Now, readers should note that I am not stating that Lewis, viewed by some as a potential replacement for Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn, is gay definitively.
I believe that he is gay but I would not, indeed could not, in good faith assert this as an irrefutable certainty.
I trust my gay source, who has offered evidence that corroborates my belief.
But that evidence was not offered incontrovertibly.
So I am prepared to be proven wrong about this.
But frankly, I do not think I can be.
I believe that if Mr Lewis denies that he is gay, he and I shall have to agree to disagree.
That is not to say that I would call him a liar.
That is just one possibility.
It may just mean that his and my definitions of ‘gayness’ differ fundamentally.
You see, my definition of ‘gayness’ includes both sexual and non-sexual male-on-male attractions. (And I can think of at least two Barbadian men I know whose preference for male company may stem from such attraction.)
Indeed, it includes forms of man-to-man combat and hostility.
That is where Barbadian singer Peter ‘Ram’ Wiggins’ 2010 song ‘Hit It’, featured in the video at the top of this page, comes in.
Based on a scandalous, public, physical attack by prominent Barbadian Calypsonian Anthony ‘Mighty Gabby’ Carter on DJ Anthony ‘Admiral’ Nelson that year, it offers insights into Barbados’ culture of bullying and intimidation, which is paralleled, I think, by a culture of ‘buller’ intimacy (we generally use the word ‘buller’ there, instead of terms like ‘faggit’ or ‘queer’).
I am contending that gay sex among males in Barbados is essentially a matter of physical conquest that runs parallel to more patently violent, brutal manifestations of man-to-man animosity and hostility.
I am also contending that this deep-seated, possibly unconscious hostility, rooted in the frustration or failure of father-son relationships is at the core of what I have suffered and continue to suffer at the hands of professor Beckles and other Barbadian males who apparently think that they have a god-given or other right to deprive me, as ‘grabby Gabby’ did, of the social, financial and other material fruit of my intellectual property.
The ‘gay play’ that I am exploring here and subsequently, is a parasitic, Jimmy Savile-recalling abuse of power by people in positions of privilege and authority.
It is a predatory ‘power play’: a grab for power like Donald Trump’s grabbing at the most exquisitely powerful and vulnerable facet of a woman’s body, arguably.
In both a heterosexual and male homosexual context it entails an at least conceptual ‘boring’, penetration or other disruption of the target’s core identity.
I chose to use the “Iron Ram” video precisely because it includes a photo clip (from 0:26 to 0:28) where the word “bore” appears in a characteristically youthful, contemporary Bajan colloquial English sense, to signify a violent assault of the body.
I have suffered and continue to suffer similar assaults on my identity by Beckles, Lewis and other anti-social socialists, fundamentalist feminists, religious opportunists and other persons who ‘rape’ me socio-politically.
But this Savile-like, vampirish perversion of public service by Beckles, Lewis and their allies in the media does not affect me only.
As I explain in the rationale for a petition to the UK parliament that I created on Tuesday, the silencing or suppression of my voice by them and their allies in the UK parliament, the Commonwealth Secretariat, Norfolk Constabulary and other entities has implications for the integrity of those establishment entities.
Calling on Parliament to investigate UK politicians’ role in the criminal conspiracy against me in which Beckles and Lewis are implicated, I explain:
“Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, current Prime Minister Theresa May, Labor Leader Jeremy Corbyn, Lord Prescott and other UK politicians are implicated in a campaign of character assassination and other human rights abuses launched by Barbadian MP Donville Inniss and others against me.
The campaign stems from my opposition to Judeo-Christian hypocrisy and corruption in the 1990s.
In 1999 Inniss and my former business associate Steven Mendes launched an attack on my website www.intelek.net. The campaign was consciously or unconsciously co-opted by prominent Barbadian and UK knowledge traders, including Sir Hilary Beckles, publisher Jeremy Poynting and Lord Prescott of Kingston Upon Hull. The campaign erodes the democratic ideals and functions of the Commonwealth Secretariat.”
(And just let me note here that at the time of publishing this article I was not aware that Commonwealth trade ministers, presumably including Inniss, were meeting for an inaugural summit in London.)
I include a link to the petition here and invite readers, including Mr Lewis to sign it and work with me.
If he is innocent, he has nothing to fear and should see this as an opportunity to clear his name of any complicity in Inniss’ and others’ criminal, human rights violating, brutal gay play attacks on my knowledge trading identity and activities.
In a word, this is a chance for him to be straight with me and other members of our Norwich South constituency, whether or not he is gay.
This is not about gossip. It is about accountability.
The three articles below, written and published in 2010 as a response to the Gabby-Admiral altercation will help readers see what I mean.
The third one, entitled “Gabby-gate: my supposed hidden agenda” details how the failed Democratic Labour Party politician Gabby basically hijacked the sociopolitical capital in my song ‘Obscenity’ in 2000.
This kind of political piracy, plagiarism and psychological rape or penetration is particularly noticeable today as demagogues like Trump claim to be acting on behalf of ‘the American people’.
And the patently partial sloganeering about ‘the British electorate’ by his UK counterpart Ms May, in her least analytical, more propagandizing moments, is not much better.
I will be elaborating on the dangers of such Hitleresque homogenizing politics and related matters further in my Brexedous – Movement Of the People project, coming soon to www.brexedous.com.
Gabby gets “grabby”: is the glory gone?
Less than a week ago, he was honored with the much coveted “Calypso Monarch of Barbados” title, but today a dark cloud – not a jeweled crown – hangs over the head of one of that island’s most celebrated entertainers.
Anthony “Mighty Gabby” Carter, veteran entertainer and eighth-time winner of Barbados’ annual “Pic o de Crop” calypso singing competition – the glowing high-point of the island’s traditional Crop Over festivities that draw thousands to its shores every year – is facing national and international disgrace at what could perhaps have been his greatest moment of triumph.
Radio announcer Anthony ‘Admiral’ Nelson, a prominent Caribbean critic of the Calypso music genre, and Gabby’s compatriot, is claiming that the highly esteemed artiste got ‘grabby’ with him, physically assaulting him because of his professional criticisms.
Nationnews.com, one of Barbados’ leading online news sources, has published a picture of Nelson, shirt torn off him almost completely, following the alleged altercation.
And Caribfyah TV (www.caribfyah.com), carries a video excerpt in which the irate cultural critic remonstrates against his alleged attacker, claiming that an arrest warrant had been issued for the embattled monarch and threatening the severest possible legal action.
“I am taking this full-fledged! There’s an arrest warrant out for Gabby! I will take it to court and I don’t want any apologies!” he says.
He says “I am going for the highest judgement that I can get out of this!”
Sixty-two year old Gabby’s diamonds seemed destined to become dung from the time his victory was announced.
Large segments of the thousands strong throng that packed Barbados’ Kensington Oval booed voluminously when he was declared the competition winner, in the early hours of Saturday morning.
And Nelson, known for his controversial views as a calypso aficionado was quick to suggest that the opinions of the public seem to have factored little in the judges’ assessment of who had won.
Media reports suggest that popular criticism against “King Carter” seems to be particularly focused on “Ole Ashe”, one of the two self-penned songs he rendered for the competition.
Characterized by a fusion of Iberian (according to the artiste) and Anglo-Caribbean influences, the song combines elements of technical instrumental sophistication with lecture-like vocal narrative – augmented awkwardly, some may argue, with Gabby’s trademark populist jazz-tinged shrieking, en Espanol!
I suggested to Historian Trevor Marshall, a former Chief Judge of the competition that Gabby, also known locally for his political activism (including a number of failed bids for election to Barbados’ Parliament) was perhaps a victim of the perils of his own brand of populism.
Marshall agreed but said that even populist calypsonians are entitled to try to elevate or refine their audiences’ level of musical appreciation.
The well known social commentator also said he would be deeply disappointed with the distinguished artiste, a former cultural ambassador, attached to the Prime Minister’s office, if the allegations made against him proved to be true.
Likening the alleged conduct to that of a “rum shop brawl”, Marshall said that as an exponent of an African oral tradition based musical genre, calypsonians are expected to excel in oral-fencing when under pressure, not resort to physical aggression.
He said, “I think that if you’re a calypso monarch, you have a way with words. You have lyrics. You can defeat and deflect any opponent with words. You do not have to use anything else. Certainly not breaking the law.”
This failure of oral performance, a virtual betrayal of Gabby’s word-craft, Marshall agreed, is probably the most damning indictment that the aging wordsmith will face.
That though, perhaps depends on the prominence to be given in the coming days to the allegation of violence against women that Admiral implicitly leveled at the new monarch.
He said “I will say this to all and sundry: we preach (against) domestic violence in Barbados.
No man has a right to hit another man, for speaking! And no man has a right to hit a woman for anything! And I want to say that to Mighty Gabby!”
One source out of Barbados, speaking to All Voices on condition of anonymity, has suggested that this veiled claim may relate to an incident several years ago that left a former girlfriend of Gabby’s, Hazel King, nursing a broken arm.
Also, another former girlfriend, Joy Workman, a feminist activist, may now feel emboldened to comment on how her relationship with the mercurial artist soured.
The domestic violence suffered by Gabby’s more celebrated compatriot, international pop diva Rihanna, at the hands of Chris Brown, may even figure in future discussions of this unfortunate development – especially if the US based recording artist decides to comment on this crisis in her island home.
Could such a prominently positioned, public opinion garrisoning perspective be what Admiral had in mind when he said he would be pursuing the “highest judgement” against his aggressor?
At the time of his victory last week, Gabby is reported to have waxed biblical, saying “You know all, all, all praises to Jahovah yuh know. All praises Jahovah!”
Significantly, the dreadlocked artiste whose Rastafarian sympathies are well known, also credited the almighty for the inspiration of his controversial hit “Wuk up!”, which won him the calypso monarchy in 2000.
It would now seem though, that as the storm of criticism against him intensifies, the aging oracle is set to be consigned one of the most devastating of biblical pronouncements: ichabod – God’s glory has departed.
As international scandal looms, Barbados Government gets glib
The prospect of international embarrassment over and possible financial fallout from the “Grabby” Crop Over scandal seems to be prompting glib denials of the seriousness of the issue by Barbadian government officials.
Recently crowned calypso monarch of Barbados Anthony “Mighty Gabby” Carter, a veteran entertainer, former Cultural Ambassador attached to the Prime Minister’s office, facilitator of educational cultural awareness projects and internationally renowned afrocentric political activist is facing a criminal allegation of assault, arising from an incident on Sunday in which he clashed with local radio announcer Anthony Admiral Nelson.
In an online video interview recorded not long after the incident (http://media.caribfyah.com/video/1F0BCC68A2/cbcs-admiral-nelson-interview) Nelson, a controversial calypso critic, issued a stern warning to Gabby, linking the cultural educator’s alleged violent conduct to the scourge of domestic violence on the island. An anonymous All Voices source yesterday confirmed that the dreadlocked Gabby, who projects himself as a peaceful, spiritually enlightened artiste, and populist political champion of the black Barbadian masses, has a history of violence against women.
Yet according to local news leader Nationnews.com, on Wednesday Ken Knight, Chairman of the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) – the main government body responsible for Crop Over festivities – gave an essentially uncritical, upbeat assessment of the Pic-O-De-Crop calypso competition won by Gabby.
The relative silence of the Nation report suggests that Knight was either not questioned about or refused to comment on the 62 year-old Gabby’s alleged violent conduct, and, more crucially perhaps, that he did not comment on the hugely unpopular decision of the NCF calypso judges to crown Gabby: the unpopular NCF decision that arguably set the whole “Grabby affair” in motion.
So – again according to Nationnews.com – Knight mentions the comparatively minor booing that the audience at one event (Soca Royale) bestowed on calypso femme Terencia “TC” Coward, but said nothing about the booing that exploded at Kensington Oval when Gabby was named winner of the NCF competition!
Knight’s strategic analysis, published late last night, was predicted by earlier, similarly dismissive comments from the island’s Tourism Minister Richard Sealy.
Speaking to Voice of Barbados radio (VOB 92.9) earlier in the evening, Sealy seemed intent on deflecting attention away from the “Grabby” debacle, claiming that this year’s Crop Over had been essentially controversy free.
A remarkable claim, considering that the Pic-Of-De-Crop calypso competition is the unquestioned jewel in the crown of Crop Over – and the person adjudged “Calypso King” the master, arguably, of all he surveys on Barbados’ cultural landscape.
Comments by Pic-O-De-Crop producer Adisa “Aja” Andwele of the NCF, on the same radio station yesterday, are even more puzzling – if not alarming. Andwele, a performance poet and musician of some renown said that some elements in the media were seeking to create a controversy where there was none and that this behaviour was putting the islands premier cultural festival at risk.
Andwele may have been referring to the All Voices report published by this writer yesterday. In that report, I made what some might regard as a tenuous link between the “Grabby” affair and the much publicized criminal assault by American pop singer Chris Brown on US-based, Barbadian pop star Rhianna.
I suggested that Admiral’s linking of the assault allegedly inflicted on him by Gabby, to campaigns against domestic violence in Barbados, may have been a calculated manifestation of the Festival Stage host’s avowed intention to seek the “highest judgement” he could get against his supposed aggressor.
I stand by that suggestion. If, as Admiral’s language suggests (including his allusion to how his alleged fight with Gabby could influence his show’s listenership) he intends to make full capital of the “Grabby” affair, at Gabby’s expense, it seems reasonable to assume that he might hope to have his cause endorsed by his highflying international songbird compatriot, Rhianna Robin Fenty, given her own unfortunate experience as a victim of physical violence.
I would also suggest that Andwele’s, Sealy’s and Knight’s energies would be better spent on proactive efforts to ensure that Barbados’ cultural industries are established on an authentic ethical footing, rather than concern themselves too much with how this or that artiste appears in the international press.
Some years ago, I did an interview with former Permanent Secretary in the Jamaican Ministry of Tourism Karen Ford-Warner.
The widow of the late Barbadian playwright Earl Warner, Ford-Warner now resides in Barbados where she has been working as Deputy General Secretary of the Caribbean Tourism Organization.
Perhaps the governmental authorities who seem so keen to protect Gabby’s and Crop Over’s international image might find the counsel she shared with me during our interview instructive.
I do not recall her precise words, but the substance of her point is this: the best tourism products are not focused inordinately on the satisfaction of the visitor; they first service the needs of the people who produce them.
Put differently, in a domestic relations context, you might say that what Barbadian calypso lovers owe Gabby (and Andwele, Sealy, Knight and his other “connections”) is miniscule compared to what he (and his “connections”) owe the Barbadian calypso loving public.
And I am not talking solely about material remuneration.
Indeed, I am talking principally about the currency of respect.
I would venture that it is the disrespect implicit not only in Gabby’s recent patronizing mouthings, but also in things he has said and done over his thirty-year long career in calypso and politics – his arrogant utterances and blatant affronts to the Barbadian electorate’s common sense – that is at the crux of his current problems.
I therefore suggest that rather than trying to gloss over the current controversy, he and his “connections” should give some serious thought to how they might repay their debt.
Gabby-gate: my supposed hidden agenda
My “closeness” to Barbadian calypsonian Anthony “Mighty Gabby” Carter – the man at the centre of what I have dubbed “Gabby-gate”, has made reporting on the issues around his alleged assault of radio announcer and music critic Anthony “Admiral” Nelson a bit difficult for me.
It is a dilemma I believe every journalist faces at one time or another, to varying degrees: How do I report a story in which I have a vested interest, without making it “all about me”?
Prominent Voice of Barbados (VOB) radio journalist David Ellis may have grappled with this kind of dilemma some years ago when his father died. At least that is what Astor Marshall, a.k.a. “Cement Man” told me.
Now deceased, Marshall was a frequent contributor to VOB’s popular “Brass Tacks” call-in programme – as I was too, in those days.
It was after an edition of Brass Tacks that Marshall called me and expressed his belief that Ellis as host was particularly critical of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital – because of supposed sub-standard service to his father before he died.
I shall return to Ellis’ journalistic challenges later.
Now I must explain what I mean when I speak of my closeness to “Gabberts” – as fan and friend call the mighty one.
In 2000, I was working as an independent contractor with the Prime Minister’s office, providing (or attempting to provide) holistic communication and education services to the Barbados Government Commission for Pan Africa Affairs (BGPAF).
Prominent Barbadian Pan Africanist David Comissiong, pioneer of the BGPAF was the Director at that time.
I was also facilitating David’s father, the recently deceased Reverend Vivian Comissiong with his autobiography – at David’s request, not his father’s.
If I remember correctly, Reverend Comissiong expressed some scepticism about the project a number of times.
That though, again, is a point for another article.
The point here is that the ardent Pan Africanist, Comissiong-the-younger and I were on rather good terms, in those days.
Some “communication challenges” (he might say my “big mouth”) have come between us since.
In 2000 however, the year Gabby won the calypso crown with “Wuk Up”, the wily Comissiong, a solid friend of Gabby’s (and Ice Records producer Eddie Grant’s) was on reasonably good terms with me.
It was on these terms, presumably, that he one day benevolently and beneficially suggested that I might be viewing Gabby’s “Wuk Up” as a derivation of a song I had written, recorded and produced the same year – entitled Obscenity (http://audioboo.fm/boos/165672-obscenity).
“Wuk up” certainly addresses the same issue as “Obscenity”: the annual, stereo-typically judgemental criticisms and denouncements by Caribbean church leaders of Barbadians’ and other regional revellers’ sexually suggestive dancing during our respective festivals – Crop-Over, Carnival and so on.
And Gabby does defend the revellers against these criticisms, as I do, essentially.
However, while I would admit to feeling that I had to some extent been upstaged by the veteran calypsonian, I would not say that my feelings affected my assessment of his song.
My assessment of “Wuk up” – such as it might have been during my conversation with Comissiong – would have been influenced first and foremost by how I felt it compares with “Obscenity” – and not just with that song, but with the wider “Lewd Logic” project of which “Obscenity” was a part.
It is on that basis that I would have told Comissiong or anyone else asking, that “Wuk Up” was perhaps a good song, but not great.
Compared to “Obscenity” and the overall Lewd Logic CD project, I could only ever view “Wuk Up” as a poor imitation.
I say imitation because I do believe I had written my song long before Gabby wrote his.
Certainly, when I sang “Obscenity” for Spar1 Music chief Mike Thompson, the day in 1999 or early 2000 when he visited me at Poetpourri House in Barbados, he did not suggest he had heard anything like it.
And this was some time ahead of the 2000 Pic-o-de-crop Calyspso competition, and Gabby’s late entry with “Wuk up”.
Years before, Mac Fingall, another Barbadian calypsonian had done “Ah go wine”, another song about Barbadians’ botsie-centric (buttocks-centred) dancing.
However, while that might be described as being defiant of critics generally – not just cleric’s faultfinding – “Obscenity” (and its “Wuk up” imitation), was both more specific and direct.
Some might even call it confrontational.
There was also a song by calypsonian Charles “Romeo” Smith – “Praise Jah for Crop Over”, depicting a member of the Sons of God Apostolic Spiritual Baptist Church breaking rank, so to speak, and “playing mass” with the Crop-Over revellers one year.
Here again though, the treatment of the issues was somewhat superficial.
The Lewd Logic CD is an approximately one hour, one and a half minutes long, predominantly spoken discourse, adapted from an essay of the same name, which I wrote in 1998.
The discourse is punctuated with instrumental excerpts from “Obscenity” and climaxes (I couldn’t resist) with the full vocal and instrumental version.
The project was not intended to win me a calypso crown: it was a radical, holistic attempt to facilitate social change.
It combines theological apologetics and an analysis of Caribbean and broader church history with populist arguments, to promote a balanced assessment of Caribbean people’s sexually suggestive wukking-up or wining.
I believe that as such, the CD was the first of its kind anywhere!
It is not the only first for which I can take credit as a creative artist and activist.
As the blurb on the CD cover says, “An innovator, Bendia (I sometimes used the name Bocar Bendia – last name pronounced Ben-jah, signifying son or child of God) is also known for his pioneering work in the literary arts field, chiefly as a founding member of the Voices: Barbados Writers’ Collective.
Bendia was also responsible for what may have been Voices’ first significant effort to bring Barbadian poets and jazz musicians together, through his ambitious 1997 Poeticjazztice project.”
Now, since the playing of “Obscenity” by Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation announcer Arturro Valentino, when I did a promotional radio interview with him, “Obscenity” has never again been played by a Barbadian radio station – as far as I’m aware.
And this in spite of the Lewd Logic project’s stated aim of stemming the spread o HIV AIDS in Barbados and the Caribbean!
On one of the six panels of the CD cover, there is a poem entitled “A Word to the
Wise”, which reads:
Sex is cerebral; there is more to it
Than what meets the eye.
The best lovers are wise lovers
With a vision and a plan for their lives.
Wisdom dictates moderation
And prudence at all times.
So when you party
Remember your plan:
Live life as full as you can.
If you goin wuk-up, wuk-up wise!
“Obscenity” and the overall Lewd Logic project, therefore, is not just about making a hit song, “being true to calypso”, winning a car or any such thing – however laudable or helpful those things might be.
It is about inculcating a balanced sense of self among Caribbean people, in an area of our lives that affects us profoundly. The consequences of imbalance and excess in this area can include death.
I give this background – this context or what I call my “closeness” to Gabby – because it is the perspective from which I approach “Grabby-gate” s a journalist.
This background informs my view of the poet Aja’s and other National Cultural Foundation personnel’s keenness to suggest that “Grabby-gate” is a minor distraction from the main news coming out of this year’s Crop-Over festival -there really is no controversy or story here.
It informs my view of the overwhelming silence of the Barbados media about an alleged serious physical attack on one of their associates – or is that not what the radio announcer is? – and their failure to meaningfully address the significance of Admiral’s association of Gabby’s alleged violent conduct with the scourge of domestic violence Barbadian women (and men) contend with.
The only suggestion I have seen of any media house pursuing the possible hint by Admiral that what he allegedly suffered at Gabby’s hands, may be similar to the violence suffered by Barbadian international recording star Rihanna at the hands of her ex-boyfriend Chris Brown – a possibility I have been pursuing from my first report on “Grabby-gate” – is a report on www.nationnews.com about Rihanna’s appearance with Eminem in a music video of a song about domestic violence (http://www.nationnews.com/articles/view/rihannas-in-new-video-on-domestic-violence/).
So, I propose that the real question around “Grabby-gate” is not about any hidden agenda on my part.
In the language of RPB’s song this year: I am seeing the signs and I am reporting on them – even at the risk of being accused of having a hidden agenda.
The question is, why are Dennis Johnson, David Ellis, Anthony Brian and other Barbadian journalists and publishers not doing the same?
I ended the previous article in this series with the suggestion that no one has suffered more because of the presumed ‘inerrancy and infallibility’ of professor Sir Hilary Beckles’ “Western scholarship” than his family, especially his son Rodney.
And to support this claim I cited the seemingly paranoid, perverse reason the prominent Pan Africanist Sir Hilary gave the Barbadian media and public to defend his decision to send Rodney to a well known, predominantly-white-Barbadians-controlled-and-attended primary school: according to media reports, he said it was to spy on white people, basically.
I maintain that this explanation by Sir Hilary when his parenting was subjected to scrutiny predicted or foreshadowed his son Rodney’s later illegal drug usage and killing of his friend Khalil Campbell in January 2007.
To be clear, I am not saying that either Beckles Jr’s illegal use of marijuana, for which he was not tried, or his killing of Campbell, for which he faced a murder charge and was acquitted, were inevitable.
I am simply asserting the widely evident fact that illegal drug usage and extreme violence are part of a pattern or continuum of behaviours and situations that may, in Rodney’s case, legitimately raise questions about Sir Hilary’s and Lady Beckles’ parenting competence.
A similar predictability is behind Aristotle’s much quoted assertion: “Give me a child until he is seven, and I will show you the man.”
‘Professor’ Viola Davis, Chancellor in the school of life that I am still attending, framed the equation more poignantly, as she commented on short-sighted, petty political machinations by David Comissiong, one of Beckles’ key reparations crusading allies, ahead of the fateful 2001 UN Conference.
Quoting the ancient Heraclitus, consciously or unconsciously, Davis told me “Character is destiny.”
My focus is the kind of seeds of distrust and suspicion that were sown in the infant Beckles’ mind, and how these sour seeds or bitter beliefs may have borne fruit in the tragic, lethal outcome of a dispute which, according to at least one news report of the time, may have begun as a case of good natured teasing by Campbell about the shoes Beckles Jr was wearing.
More broadly, I am not only concerned with the normaliszation but, and more acutely, the ‘domestication’ of what 2016 Labour Party leadership challenger Angela Eagle has called the “politics of grievance” and particularly the mixed messages that rote recitation of such rhetoric sends to ‘Labour children’.
In other words, I am concerned about the conscience corrupting, mind poisoning potency of the economic historian Beckles’ and other Labour ideologues’ insufficiency rhetoric in child rearing, familial contexts.
Labour predictability and self-fulfilling prophecy
In the previous article I noted that like Sir Hilary, both former Labour leader Tony Blair and his prominent Jamaican-descended colleague Diane Abbott have been publicly criticised for socialism-preaching-but-not-practising school choices.
I think it can be reasonably stated that there is some kind of vision blurring blot or disconnect around Labour politicians’ understanding of and attitude toward scholarship.
And while prime minister Blair may be viewed as having sought to address this political-pedagogical disconnect or dysfunction, with his “aspirational” New Labour project, his deputy Lord Prescott’s ambivalent attitude toward education probably provides one of the worst examples of this dysfunction’s tragic efficacy – possibly only surpassed by Blair’s Pentecostal excursions.
In his autobiography, ‘A Journey’ the Constantinian complex afflicted Blair shares details of a visit to a Black Church Conference in Brighton where he got “drunk with the spirit”, in a manner not entirely dissimilar from his son Ewan’s experience with alcohol a few days previously.
But I cannot fault Blair too heavily for integrationist overtures or mixing his drinks, while denouncing Beckles’, Nigel Farage’s, Trump’s, Louis Farrakhan’s and others’ racial racketeering isolationism.
My concern is to draw attention to the pragmatic problems that arise when your domestic, personal pedagogy and parental discourse is out of sync with your ‘political broadcasting’.
This kind of Blott (Blair-Abbott) phenomenon seems to persistently blur Beckles’ and other fundamentalist Labour preachers’ vision.
It seems to restrict their neuro-ideological airways, obstructing the circulation of rational thought in the domestic sphere, where as any sound socialist knows, it matters first and foremost.
Readers will recall what I first shared in article seven of this series (and quoted in article eight) about the “impracticality of a dualistic, ambivalent British manners matrix that can only ever assure a fragile peace.”
Note also that the “‘too polite’ Norwich-based, lifelong Labour Party supporter” I referred to in that connection is “working in the education field”.
That individual, a head teacher, voted for Clive Lewis on the basis of his proficiency with Labour’s rhetoric of the marginalized, I believe.
In fact, as I recall, when I asked that educator why he/she was voting for Lewis, he/she simply said something like “Ooh, I could never vote Tory!” (I use the gender referent ‘he/she’ to protect the individual’s identity.)
And I seem to recall that top level educator shuddering as those words were spoken, clearly showing deep revulsion at even the idea of voting Tory.
This apparent instinctiveness or automaticity of response underscores the point I am making here about the rote-like, robotic or Corbottic (inspired by the political collaborations of Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott) character of Labour discipline and indoctrination.
Or, in a word, its predictability.
And I should note here that in my mind Aristotle’s prophetic formulae is associated with Roman Catholic indoctrination more than ancient Greek philosophy.
Perhaps that is one reason why in April last year I told Dr Michael Nibblet of the University of Warwick that I see little difference between some universities’ and churches’ pedagogy.
Indeed, from my perspective, even the antagonistic, fundamentalist atheist AC Grayling’s New College of the Humanities project can be construed as a psychologically self-alienated and socio-linguistically short-sighted and ill-fated religious venture, possibly having less to do with that Western scholar’s academic ambitions than with childhood trauma suffered in Gambia or Malawi.
But more pertinently, my preoccupation with the Roman Catholic Church (lets call it a preoccupation for the moment) has to do with Catholicism’s links to Sir Hilary, my local MP Lewis, the University of Illinois and the previously mentioned Barbados-sown, globally grown criminal conspiracy in which they and other persons and institutions are implicated.
Actually, as with the Labour Party, through a letter before action sent to its London-based Bishops Conference, I have informed the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales that I am considering legal action against it.
Sadly, like the Labour Party, the Bishops led by Cardinal Vincent Nicholls have so far spurned my proactive attempts to address the issues undermining authentic, frank and mutually respectful Christian fellowship between them and I, and in turn, between myself and other believers, especially in the local Catholic community.
I am particularly concerned about the state of relations between myself and members of Norwich Justice and Peace, especially longstanding members Pamela Lowe, Colin Allen and Isabel Ingram, as I informed the Catholic Safeguarding officer for our diocese, Michael (Mick) Thurley.
And the behaviour of the Catholic Bishops has only intensified my concerns for J&P members and other Norfolk Catholics’ wellbeing, because unlike the Labour Party, the Bishops have so far failed to even formally acknowledge letters before action that I began sending them by both post and email in June last year.
The Bishops seem instead to be banking on silence, which as Verene Shepherd, one of Beckles’ academic colleagues has pointed out, is one of the deadliest weapons in the arsenal of an assassin.
They seem to be banking on the killer instinct that makes Donald-Trump-like demagogues treat politics, religious or otherwise labelled, like a zero sum game.
And I feel obliged to note the silence here too of Unite the Union General Secretary Len McCluskey.
He too appears to have decided that the best response to my proactive attempts at constructive, conciliatory dialogue is a party political, placebo-like non-engagement policy.
But I and other silence scrutinizing alchemy assessing semanticists are mindful that where silence can be curative and healing in one social context, in another it can be destructive of civilized engagement.
As science writer Jo Marchant and others may attest, it can lead to a poisonous, communicable continuum of death.
And I have been tracking such a semantic series of deaths (including the sudden death of Norfolk County Council executive Harold Bodmer and the similarly ‘unnatural’ death of Labour MP Jo Cox), in Barbados, England and elsewhere, for some time now, and very carefully.
And my heart’s desire is to prevent any more mad Maox (Thomas-Mair-killing-Cox) misanthropic, misinterpretation of ‘the times and the seasons’ (Acts 1:7).
My main concern here, as indicated previously, is to prevent any further assassination of character or shipwrecking of human potential through deliberate or unintended distortions of faith or ideology.
It is to prevent the predictable destruction of life and distortion of ‘intellectual property’ by the globally influential, presumably well-meaning but deeply flawed and fallible scholar Beckles, my local MP Lewis and others implicated in the afore mentioned decades old criminal conspiracy against me.
And as I indicated in a Facebook post recently, while no doubt causing some strain in relations between myself and members of the Catholic Church, the Labour Party and other entities, I expect my crusade for justice to benefit those entities ultimately.
Responding to predictably snide, cynical comments by one of Lewis’ supporters in the local Muslim community I wrote “And the really great thing about this is that not only will a stronger, more unified Labour Party emerge when our work is done, THE WHOLE LANDSCAPE OF BRITISH, BARBADIAN, AMERICAN, CANADIAN and other national political-ecological systems will be transformed for the better.”
Sadly, that selective silence supporting Muslim skeptic seems too infatuated with Lewis, who he claims to have interacted with personally, to grasp the idea that like Beckles’, the Norwich South MP’s ‘scholarship’ (such as it is) could be wrecked by his human fallibility.
Like others in Norfolk’s Jewish, Christian and other religious communities who have endorsed the veteran trade unionist Lewis, his Muslim ally seems intent on portraying me as a ‘crank’ and my fight for justice as a “grand delusion” and exercise in futility.
But discerning readers will agree that like Liggins’ clearly prejudiced view of me, that Muslim detractor’s attitude merely exposes his commitment, conscious or unconscious, to Beckles’ and Lewis’ self-fulfilling prophecies about me.
Like Beckles and others who see the world through a perverse blacks versus whites and vice versa lens, that Muslim will probably continue to see what he expects to see – perhaps until a deeper revelation of Allah’s party politics transcending ways sets him free.
Reaping and sowing globally and inter-generationally
As previously stated, I view Sir Hilary as a tragic hero.
A man for whom I once had such high regard that I asked him to write a foreword to my book, The Bible: Beauty and Terror Reconciled, I now view with a mixture of modest admiration, suspicion and embarrassment.
Not surprising if you accept my historical perspective, which implicates him, along with ‘publisher emeritus’ Harold Hoyte, broadcaster Vic Fernandes, journalists David Ellis, Kaymar Jordan, Julius Gittens, politicians Donville Inniss, Mia Mottley, Owen Arthur and other influential Barbadians, as key catalysts in the conscious or unconscious, direct or indirect propagation of mind poisoning, character defaming pedagogies, the fruits of which are suspicion, cynicism and social volatility.
I have focused on the fallibility of ‘Labour’ politics and scholarship here.
But the catholicity of justice and peace perverting politics, whether labelled ‘Conservative’, capitalist, Democratic or any other denomination is not lost on me.
Coming from Barbados, where capital and labour, truth and falsehood, faith and doubt may merge imperceptibly, I have earned ‘First Class Honours’ in the study of political complexity.
That is why in 2001, with a prescience not unlike that of the economist Pettifor, whose education at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa enabled her to predict the 2007-2008 Global Financial Crisis, I warned my Pan Africanist colleagues of the folly of pushing a reparation for trans-Atlantic slavery narrative without serious consideration of the role of Africans as slave traders, not just as slaves.
And while I had no direct contact with Beckles during Barbados’ preparation for the 2001 United Nations World Conference Against Racism (WCAR), it seems clear to me that I was a target of his indirect aggression.
Looking retrospectively, I see traces of the anger Sir Hilary unleashed on me at a University of the West Indies reception, in the reasoning he offered for sending his son to a predominantly white private school, rather than a government run one.
The UWI reception followed a public lecture at the Cave Hill Campus, possibly delivered by former British Prime Minister and cricket enthusiast Sir John Major.
Oblivious to the protocol dictating room temperature for the intake of red wine, I made the churlish ‘mistake’ of asking for a few blocks of ice to chill mine.
Well, you might think that I had insulted his mother (or poked fun at his shoes?), the way the goodly professor responded.
He could hardly find words to express his distress and outrage at my socialite’s offence!
I thought he was on the verge of an apoplectic fit.
And as the look of embarrassment on one of his colleague’s face expressed, this overreaction said more about the character of the man than my plebe-like faux pa said about me.
Like the explanation of his school choice for Rodney, that outburst exposes the predictably self-destructive perversity of professor Beckles’ pedagogy, and point not only to a corrupting of Rodney’s conscience by his father from a very young age, but to the corruption of Beckles’ own conscience over many years.
It points to or predicts the cynicism of that sage.
And following this familial economic forecasting lead, it is difficult to see the thinking Beckles outlined for his school choice as anything but a rationalization of abuse of the infant Rodney’s conscience.
I see it as a cynicism inducing, deeply damaging manipulation of Rodney’s moral compass, much in the same way that fundamentalist atheists, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jews Muslims, Socialists and other inflexible ideologues brain wash children and adolescents, making them Jihadis.
Moreover, I believe that the innocence violating, pessimistic priming of a child to see the world through a divisive, paranoid racial lens that is implied by Beckles reasoning, is no less child abuse than the sexual grooming or priming that perverted, predatory Catholic priest paedophiles have excelled in.
In either case the innocence of the child is corrupted and his or her life blighted by assaults on their youthful openness and optimism, the basis of social resilience and wholesome socialisation generally.
Still, what we have here, basically, is evidence of professor Beckles’ poisonous pedagogy poisoning his own son’s mind, possibly irreversibly.
And the possible finality of such damage is indicated by Rodney’s age.
He would have only been four or five years old at the time, the standard ages of primary school entry in Barbados, as in the UK, the US and indeed most countries.
And I have certainly seen the fruit of such insipid inoculation in religious settings, where believer’s are bound-in by distrust of any but those in the upper echelons of their own doctrinal edifices.
The “Fear Factor”, as Barbadian businessman Dick Stoute has called it, operates cyclically, like ‘Labour discipline’, to deny both young and old desired relief.
Beckles jaundiced journey
Now, am I saying that the socialism preaching Sir Hilary and Lady Beckles set out to shipwreck their son’s social conscience and maroon his life chances?
I am saying that on a balance of probabilities, the tragic events of January 2007, when Rodney Beckles killed Khalil Campbell in a reputed Jamaican drug den was predictable because of the kind of fundamentalist, anal retentive, anti-social programming that Rodney was subjected to by his probably well-meaning, possibly over-protective daddy.
Moreover, I am saying that the negative, suspicion breeding racial programming that produced that particular instance of privately catastrophic black-on-black violence for the Beckles and Campbell families is characteristic of Jamaica’s labour party dominated political discourse generally.
It is part of the ‘ambient terror’ that many Jamaicans have come to accept as part of their everyday existence.
And I am saying that the ‘whites blaming’ that professor Beckles and others in Jamaica’s, Barbados’ and other Caribbean countries’ educational and political directorates excel in prevents them from addressing the black-to-black trust deficits that are a key component of that climate of fear.
In “The Destruction Of Black Civilization”, Chancellor Williams addressed this kind of trust deficit, albeit on a ‘macro economic’, continental scale.
In his “Overview” he wrote about the consequences of conflict and environmentally occasioned social fragmentation and isolation in the Sudan and elsewhere in Africa.
He wrote “Disunity and mutual suspicion became an African way of life. Small chiefdoms sprang up everywhere, often no more than a village of one or two hundred people.”
What I would have readers note here is how this same description of, lets call it, the political landscape, can be transferred to other parts of the world with little or no modification.
Is not what Williams is describing here a feature of all human society?
We will have disagreements from time to time, and these may lead to a parting of ways and leave lingering doubts and fears.
Some disputes will be explosive, and like the Beckles-Campbell bust-up in 2007, end fatally.
Grudges may even be held in seemingly less serious cases and, as between the sons of Abraham, Jews and Muslims, be sustained indefinitely.
What is Brexit, if not a manifestation of Britain’s perennial discomfort with its European neighbours’ proximity.
What about Scottish longing for independence or Anglo-Irish conflict?
Then there is the fragile peace between Indians and Pakistanis?
Do these conflicts differ from those among Africans fundamentally?
Are black people more tribal than any other people?
Are we less appreciative of the benefits of unity?
I think not.
Indeed, as I explained during a talk I delivered at the University of East Anglia some years ago, as part of a project called Aftershock, it seems to me that black people give other races credit for our strengths and weaknesses with equal ease.
And in doing so, we rob ourselves of agency.
I cite the notorious letter of the British slave owner Willie Lynch to explain what I mean.
Many blacks, especially American blacks cite Lynch’s letter to explain black-on-black distrust and mutual destruction.
They see black-to-black suspicion and violence as an outworking of Lynch’s advice to plantation owners to set father against son, daughter against mother, husband against wife and so on.
But as I asked my audience at the UEA’s Sainsbury Centre, don’t those kinds of disagreements and divisions occur naturally?
Why then exalt the infantile sociopath Lynch to the status of an evil genius?
Small children in the home and school playground can run rings around parents and teachers, demonstrating proficiency in Lynch-like divide and rule strategies to a polished degree.
My children play mummy against daddy and vice versa naturally.
The point I want to impress on readers is that if we truly develop the cognitive and affective composure and flexibility needed to resolve conflict peacefully, rather than just aping or rotishly reproducing the external forms (especially the words) of that composure and flexibility we cannot help but use those social cohesion building skills with everybody.
We will not differentiate between persons of varying colours, classes or creeds when we are mindful of the fallibility of all human beings.
Empathy, our salvation always: empathy
I can understand why Beckles who spent his crucial, characteristically volatile adolescent years growing up in England, where he was a part of its minority black community, might feel such “mental toughening” of his infant son had some validity.
However, Beckles was then living in Barbados, where the majority black and minority white populations had over centuries, with some difficulty, crafted a kind of mutual accommodation.
There has long been a kind of ‘unofficial apartheid’ on the island, that both sides tolerated, and even exploited, for their own ends.
A rough outline of the arrangement is evident in the domination of politics by black Barbadians, while white Barbadians dominated in the commercial field.
That is a simplification, of course, because in addition to slave ownership by free Blacks like Joseph Rachell and Rachel Pringle, dominance politically or commercially is a matter of perception.
Political office and commercial wealth, like pretty much everything else in life derive their power from the faith we put in them.
And it seems clear to me that faith, whether defined in religious or secular terms is one of the “fundamental forces”, to quote Pettifor, that drive economies at both the macro and micro levels.
This is the power of the ‘placebo affect’ that is evident both in the fields of physical and mental health, as Marchant, author of the book ‘Cure’ may agree.
And the Marxism minded Beckles seems to have put an extraordinary amount of trust in political and commercial dominance to the detriment of his family – especially the wellbeing of his elder son Rodney.
And let me be clear, again, that I am not without sympathy for Sir Hilary.
Heaven’s knows what he may have gone through as a child in the rural parish of St Andrew at the hands of whites there.
Likewise, I can only imagine how challenging life may have been for him when, at 13 years old, his family moved to England.
But if the goal of scholastic attainment is to maximize individual human potential and in turn the collective enrichment of society, something is sadly amiss when the Vice Chancellor of the Caribbean’s foremost university shows signs of malevolently nursing childhood and adolescent injuries.
Something is sadly amiss when an internationally celebrated educator appears to suffer a Trump-like deficit of empathy.
Why would anyone model UWI or any other educational institution on the ill-fated “Trump University”?
In his best known book, The Destruction Of Black Civilization, African-American social historian and writer Chancellor Williams offers a very useful, albeit fallible, problematic analysis of ‘Western scholarship’, which he treats as a fundamentally white racist preserve.
In this instalment of my Mouth of the Beast series of articles, I will be examining the scholarship of one particularly prominent ‘Western scholar’, professor Sir Hilary Beckles, currently the Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies.
As the title suggests I will be doing a kind of cost-benefit analysis of Beckles’ scholarship, assessing the extent to which the University of Hull trained economic historian’s career has been a blessing and blight to himself, to fellow Barbadians and other Caribbean people and, given his international prominence, to the global community.
And here I must declare an interest: Sir Hilary’s ‘scholarship’ is a crucial focus of legal and other actions I am pursuing in an effort to rehabilitate or reform relations between myself and Clive Lewis, my local MP and relations with the Labour Party as a whole.
Lewis, and Diane Abbott, both key supporters of the Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn are implicated with Beckles and others in a Barbados-sown, globally-grown conspiracy that I have uncovered and am currently mounting an innovative, peculiarly ‘para legal’, fundamentally spiritual response to.
Laura Clower, legal counsel with the University of Illinois (subsequently UofI), knows a bit about the distinctive, idiosyncratic, nature of my para-legal initiative.
She and Linda Schuh, another UofI employee are implicated in the conspiracy because of their role in derailing a business project of which my book, “The Bible: Beauty and Terror Reconciled” (TBBTR) is a primary focus.
But without any forewarning or subsequent explanation, Schuh abandoned talks I was engaged in with her about a Caribbean distribution deal for the Encyclopedia.
Mia Mottley, a former Barbados Minister of Education, and Donville Inniss the island’s current Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development are also implicated, along with Lewis’ former BBC colleague Mike Liggins and other news media personnel in what is primarily a rapacious, selective silencing, soul destroying, psychological assault on my and other’s intellectual property and related human rights and entitlements.
In my case, the assault has been sustained for more than 20 years, depriving me of significant material, fleshy fruit or practical proceeds of my labours.
Beckles and others, especially his fundamentalist feminist, Judeo-Christian, Muslim and other religion racketeering co-conspirators, simultaneously consumed my political capital, while insisting that I “have nothing professional to offer”, as British-Barbadian writer Nailah “Charmaine Gill” Imojah, a professing Rastafarian writer once asserted.
In what was supposed to be a conciliation meeting, overseen by poet Esther Phillips, Imojah made that offensive assertion even as she basked in acclaim achieved by hijacking a poetry-Jazz music project I had been developing in 1997.
My article Fundamentalist Feminism, located here, gives details of the long-running dispute I have with Imojah or ‘Lie-e-lah’ as I sometimes call her, and other Barbadian gender, race and religion racketeers.
And readers should note that like “The Donald” whose use of the word “democracy” is based primarily on theories and masks an aversion to the concept, “The Beckles'” use of the term “reparatory justice” borders on parody.
From my vantage point he has distinguished himself in international academic and political circles as a champion and defender of workers’ and human rights by disenfranchising other knowledge traders.
Similarly, Sir Hilary refuses to admit his scholarly fallibility and complicity in intellectual property rape and other professorial profiteering at my and others’ expense, even as he calls for reparatory justice, based on Britain’s profiteering at the expense of Africans and their descendants and as he denounces the “grotesque inequalities” (his mate Corbyn’s favourite catch phrase) and rape-like atrocities of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and its colonial legacies.
As Beckles and others, including the Commonwealth Secretariat Human Rights port folio holder, Jamaican Karen Mckenzie preach against slavery and colonialism related atrocities and their legacies, they have turned both a deaf ear and a blind eye to my and others’ human rights, apparently.
I am being forced to take legal action because Beckles and his Western scholarship corrupting, workers’ human rights trampling co-conspirators have resisted numerous efforts to get reparatory justice redress for their violations of my knowledge worker rights in a more amicable, non-litigious manner.
And I should also make it clear from the outset that I am not acting for my own or my family’s sake only.
I am taking a stand for the millions of knowledge traders and other persons, working in both formal and informal education sectors, whose lives are being adversely affected by the scholarly and other fallibilities and human rights perversions of Beckles, Lewis and the Labour Party, through its international connections.
Just as Beckles is a key focus but not the only object of my concern about the corruptibility or fallibility of Western scholarship, so too I am not the only target or victim of his and his conscious or unconscious co-conspirators’ academic anomalies and perversions.
The Barbados-sown, globally grown conspiracy that I am responding to spans the fields of politics, religion, academia, commerce and the media in several states, and adversely affects persons in many countries, including Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad, India-Pakistan, the UK. the US, Canada, France, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Brazil and Israel.
And that global configuration of the conspiracy is at least partly because poisonous elements of Beckles’ and others’ reverse racist Pan Africanist pedagogy are being disseminated by mainstream and marginal academic, media, trade union and related political channels around the world.
And I believe we have seen one of the consequences of the conspirators’ “sad, cynical, success” in the triumph of White Supremacist racial separatist Donald Trump over the utopian integrationist Hillary Clinton, in their battle for the White House.
But long before the Clinton-Trump or Clump capitalist catastrophe that I and others forecasted, much of the groundwork for that and other widely publicized, profoundly problematic, potentially pyric victories (like Brexit) was laid in unreported acts and secret pacts that predicted the present precarious state of not only Barbadian, British and American scholarship but all Western education systems.
Plagiarism and other forms of academic impersonation and identity theft that disembowel intellectual effort and promote a false dichotomy between knowledge workers’ “word and flesh” are ‘destroying’ (I am more inclined to say devaluing or distorting) all civilization, not just Africans’ and their descendants’.
How many white British and other Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) knowledge workers (like myself) who are residing in the former BBC Norfolk employee Lewis’ Norwich South constituency are being raped (not represented), because of superficially progressive but profoundly backwards, retrogressive, conscious or unconscious Beckwis (Beckles-Lewis) knowledge economy distortions and perversions?
Based on long-standing, ongoing personal contact not only with Barbadians but also with the Norwich branch of the Roman Catholic Church’s Justice and Peace commission, the local Muslim community and persons who identify themselves by various gender, racial, religious or other labels, or none, I can name several persons who are being adversely affected by Beckwis’ deeply flawed, supremely self-serving knowledge economy forecasting.
I have been trying to draw attention to the perverse, selective silencing, truth distorting racial reasoning of professor Beckles and other economic historians since at least 2001, when he, Mottley, politician David Comissiong and others gave Barbados the dubious distinction of being the principle national sponsor of trans-Atlantic slavery reparations, at the cumbersomely labelled World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Forms of Intolerance (subsequently WCAR).
And I have the dubious distinction of having supported their efforts, although I fundamentally disagreed with them on the issue of African fallibility and complicity in the Maafa, as the seismic tragedy of tran-Atlantic slavery and colonialism is sometimes called.
But it seems that I am rather more comfortable with admitting my shortcomings and fallibility than Beckles, Lewis and others.
It certainly seems to have been Williams’ salvation as he not only studied the forces behind the destruction of black civilization but apparently engaged with them in his own work.
I believe that his salvation, such as it was, stemmed from a profound sense of empathy that allowed him to engage with others’ corrupting, destructive flaws and fallibility from a position not only of forthrightness, calling a spade a spade, but also one of forgiveness and compassion.
And being no less empathetic than Williams, let me be the first to say that such conscientiousness is an endlessly difficult balancing act.
But no less committed to reparatory justice than Beckles, even as I denounce his shortcomings in the strongest terms possible, I am aware that like another University of Hull trained economic historian, Lord (John) Prescott and former Labour leader and British prime minister Tony Blair, Beckles is also a tragic hero of sorts.
Barbadians are certainly familiar with the scandals that have plagued his pursuit of excellence.
Williams’ racial characterization of Western scholarship was probably more accurate in 1971, when TDoBC was first published than it is today, when well established, tenured black scholars like Beckles, professor Richard Drayton and others routinely challenge the racist privileging of their white counterparts’ opinions.
And some white scholars, like Martin Bernal, have also built on Williams’ white prejudice and privilege challenging work, especially in the area of African Studies.
There is also a considerable body of West-raised or acculturated Asian scholars, who add to the complexity of the picture.
Indeed, Williams’ warnings about “Asian imperialism” and “Arabs’ white superiority complex” (page 34) are particularly pertinent today, not least because of the current state of these groups’ global presence and the economic and political influence they exert.
Note, for example, the election of Sadik Khan as Mayor of London.
And what about China and India’s strategic investments in African economies?
Williams wrote “Asian imperialism, though rarely ever mentioned, was, and still is even more devastating for the African people than that of either Europe or America. The Arabs’ white superiority complex is not one whit less than that of Europe or America, although their strategy of ‘brotherhood’ deceives naive Blacks.”
Intriguingly, while it may be argued that Williams’ assessment of the extent of America’s white bias is undermined by Barack Obama’s presidency, it can also be argued that Obama’s Asian “association”, projected both by the Kenyan-Irish descended American’s brown skin and his Muslim affiliations affirm Williams’ essential argument.
However my main purpose here is to address the corruptibility and fallibility of all scholarship, whether labelled Eastern or Western, Northern or Southern, and irrespective of the race, religion, gender or any other label of those who generate its contradictory leisures and ledgers.
I have previously expressed concerns about perennial tensions between Blacks and Asians as I have personally experienced them in a Barbadian context, through my interactions with the politically and economically well-connected matriarch Philomena Mohini Harris’ family.
And among Barbadians the alleged ‘dead chicken deviance’ of Caribbean commercial powerhouse Ram Mirchandani is a matter of folklore.
Moreover, I remain concerned about post 9/11 and 7/7 Anglo-American surrender of impartiality and objectivity, as arguably excessive soft diplomacy concessions were made to India and other Asian countries, validating VS Naipaul’s, Narendra Modi’s and others’ Islamaphobia and correspondingly extreme Hindu nationalist reactions.
However, I have no interest in endorsing or otherwise advancing Donald Trump and Peter Thiel-recalling divide and rule analyses or strategies, regardless of whether Williams or anyone else endorses or advances them.
Indeed, I think it is safe to say that based on what has gone before in this series of articles, it should be clear that while I remain a committed Pan Africanist like Beckles and Comissiong, I am a radical Pan Humanist first.
It should be clear that while I see some validity in the notion of ‘whiteness’ being normative, in many Western formal and informal educational and socializing contexts, as recently argued by another Williams-like apologist, black American academic Reggie Williams, I do not subscribe to the view that “whiteness” is normative in every scenario.
In article six I recounted a Twitter exchange I had with Williams, where I challenged that racist assumption at the heart of an article entitled “Seeing whiteness”, that the Assistant Professor of Christian Ethics at McCormick Theological Seminary had published in the Christian Post.
As Mottley, leader of the Barbados Labour Party and others have noted, while it is self-evident that “whiteness” is normative in some scenarios, especially in the UK, US, Canada, Australia and Europe where white people’s numerical majority as reflected in their domination of mainstream media and academia is still significant, it is not unchallenged.
The veil of whiteness over Western society’s vision and values is rather more porous than Williams imagines.
His vision, apparently shared by Beckles and others whose scholarship seems fundamentally compromised by a neurotic negativity or ‘inadequacy syndrome’ is in fact marred by the kind of generalization or ‘bigly’ thinking that Trump and other gender, race and religious racketeers trade on.
A persistent advocate of the wisdom of small beginnings, I subject all ‘big ideas’ to rigorous scrutiny: not least my own ‘macro economic’ notions.
So, my persistent WCAR-related questioning in 2001 of Barbadian Pan Africanists’ decision not to discuss the involvement of black people in the trans-Atlantic slave trade as traders, rather than just as slaves or slave descendants was a matter of conviction and principle.
Back then, as we prepared for that UN conference, which was hosted by South Africa, I felt that this fraught question of black-on-black abuse and violence is critical to any discussion of reparations.
My insistence that this vexing issue should be frankly discussed by Beckles, Mottley, the former Barbados Government Commission For Pan Affairs Director Comissiong and other government and NGO affiliated persons involved with me in conferences, dialogues and other preparatory activities linked to the WCAR was therefore not personal – certainly not in the petty, base sense of that word.
It was in fact an assertion of my own and other moderate black Barbadian thinkers’ personhood: the personhood of the majority of Barbadians, who choose middle-of-the-road positions not just on trans-Atlantic slavery reparations, but on a range of issues as a matter of course.
Moreover, I was asserting the personhood that every race racketeering extremist, paedophile priest, political con artist, plagiarizing academic and selectively silent journalist attacks not just in their victims, but in themselves, ultimately.
It was an expression of my and their freedom of conscience: our right to see things differently; to disagree.
It was, in fact, an expression of my democratic, human rights, including the right to imagine or believe what I choose to imagine or believe.
My right to be me.
Again, these are precisely the kinds of human rights that Beckles and other Pan Africanists were asserting even as they harassed, undermined, intimidated and threatened me, directly and indirectly.
And they made good on those threats too, as I was pounced on by some of Barbados more rapacious political capital hunting carnivores.
Not only was I declared a spy by Aaron Larrier, the Comissiong sanctioned, self-appointed head of the NGO Committee involved in preparations for the UN Conference.
Additionally, at Larrier’s bidding, the matter was put to a vote, and I was banned from attending that Committee’s private deliberations, which I had freely attend up to that point.
Now, I cannot say that the human rights activist Beckles was responsible for that attack on my human rights definitively.
I cannot say that the UWI Vice Chancellor, a globally prominent champion of reparatory justice was directly responsible for that specific instance of repressive injustice that befell me.
I cannot say with 100% certainty that Beckles, knighted for his services to tertiary education, arts and sport, particularly cricket, the game whose name is a synonym for fairness of thought and balanced, beautiful action, contributed to one of the ugliest, most unfair and imbalanced assaults on Barbados’ democratic heritage and developmental institutions.
But I am clear that the balance of probabilities supports this conclusion.
I am clear, as are many Barbadian and other Caribbean citizens who have followed his career, that over many years, Beckles has consciously or unconsciously modelled an African supremacist version of the Aryan supremacist scholarly fallibility that both he and Chancellor Williams have denounced.
More than this, and this is one reason why I consider Sir Hilary a very tragic hero, however brilliant and successful he may seem academically, discerning observers will agree that his hubris and sociopathic sense of entitlement has made him and members of his family “stars” in a very sad public show.
Indeed, it is apparent that some of the very social bond breaking, black civilization destroying behaviour that Williams has attributed to a “British (and European) philosophy of education” is being manifested by the University of Hull educated Beckles in a very tragic manner.
I have written about his eldest son Rodney’s involvement in the killing of another troubled Pan Africanist, Khalil Campbell previously.
In that article, published some years ago on the US based Pulse Point-Allvoices platform, I made links between that tragedy that unfolded in Jamaica in January 2007, 10 years ago, and the truly extraordinary explanation the social-democracy-preaching Beckles offered for his decision to have that son educated at a majority white Barbadian private school – a Barbadian instance of the parental public school choices by the social-democracy-preaching Abbott and Blair and which generated similar news stories.
According to news reports at the time, Beckles basically said that he sent his toddler son to a private, predominantly white school to spy on whites, with a view to subverting their destruction of black civilization strategies.
Presuming that this is what he actually said and that he actually meant it, that seems like a kind of child abuse to me.
To be continued…
References Why are our kids so miserable?
Below is a copy of a letter I have shared with the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.
It describes a true life situation and I have taken measures to protect key persons’ identity.
I share it here in a bid to ensure that the full scope of the issues involved are grasped by as wide a cross section of people as possible.
We all need to take ownership of this issue because we are all child-like and vulnerable to an often unrecognized extent.
I focus on the Labour Party here, in line with the trajectory of this series of articles and my ongoing engagement with my local MP Clive Lewis and others representing or linked to that organization.
But I think most people know that political paedophilia is a scourge among all UK politicians, churches, media houses, businesses, educational entities and other organizations.
Accordingly, cycles of exploitative infantilizing can only be ended and circles of abuse, whether “parliamentary paedophile rings” or covertly carnal and carniverous clerical clubs, will only be broken when all of us do our part.
Dear Ms A,
I have decided to respond by email to your last message about the situation regarding Mr B.
Using email will allow me to more fully explain my point of view in an efficient way.
I think the sadness of the situation, which involves a victim of childhood sexual abuse was attested to by the characteristically evasive, reactionary behaviour of Mr B.
I believe that behaviour, which involved attacks on my integrity, warrants the detailed declaration of my position offered here.
This is a position I am pursuing in my interaction with victims and/or the representatives of victims of religiously motivated child abuse – sexual and otherwise.
As I indicated to one Norfolk, England-based Pentecostal church leader recently, I work with a number of such victims.
Responding by email also allows me to copy in members of the Intelek Domino Effect Associates (IDEAs) project: my support network. IDEAs associates care for and support me through prayer and other means.
In accordance with the principles of confidentiality in which I am trained (both as a journalist and a holistic health care assistant), I have withheld your and Mr B’s identities and taken other measures to protect your privacy.
First, let me restate your position, as I understand it.
With all due respect, Mr Campbell, I strongly urge you to steer clear of Mr B.
His challenges are not your concern however well-intentioned you may be. Mr B is an adult now and will do whatever he believes God wants him to do for himself and those for whom he is responsible.
Also, Mr B is surrounded by fellow Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Humanists and other spiritual, caring persons who know of his dilemma and are helping him cope.
I do understand that Mr B will do whatever he thinks is best. One of the things I admire very much about Mr B is his independence of spirit.
I applaud such independent thinking, a distinctive trait of the Protestant reformer Martin Luther and the rationalist Christian apologist Rene DeCartes in my book The Bible: Beauty and Terror Reconciled. (I believe I gave you a copy.
Have you read any of it?)
I am persuaded that Mr B, a very public spirited, conscientious and caring individual, has the capacity to make as significant a contribution to Christ’s Kingdom as Luther and Descartes, if on a less prominent, more private scale.
However, I am also concerned that his judgement is being impaired by unresolved anger, stemming from the historical child abuse situation that he brought to my attention years ago.
And I am concerned that the support network around him, which you mentioned, may unintentionally be making matters worst for him.
My fundamental concern is that Mr B’s wellbeing is being compromised and jeopardized by Buddhists and other persons who, though well-meaning are acting contrary to legal and ethical principles that underpin both religious and secular notions of a just and caring society.
I am concerned that Mr B’s welfare is being sacrificed on an altar of convenience, so that a person who raped a 5 year old several years ago can be spared the humiliation of being held accountable for that deplorable, criminal activity.
And I find no comfort in the idea that Mr B’s ‘independence of spirit’ and freedom to choose is causing him to be complicit in the conspiracy of silence that is indulging the sexual predator he and his possibly well meaning but morally misguided advisors shield.
Moreover, I think it is absolutely unacceptable that Christians, Buddhists, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, humanists or any other ideologues should be advising and/or encouraging Mr B to sacrifice his psycho-social wellbeing that way.
Is the child abuser a professing Christian, Buddhist, Jew, Muslim, Hindu? Is that why his/her reputation is being shielded?
How does this situation differ from the scandal of priestly paedophilia in the Roman Catholic Church or the scourge of child soldiers in Africa?
How is this different from the worship of Moloch, that C.S. Lewis accused Christians of?
Why do supposedly enlightened, civilized, spiritual adults insist on passing their children through the fire?
Is God more tolerant and forgiving of paedophilia perpetrated by Pentecostal or other Protestant paedophiles, perhaps because Protestants have a better understanding of scripture or the workings of grace than their Catholic or Anglican brethren and ‘sistren’?
What perverse, self-righteous reasoning!
That is precisely the kind of churlish, religious-clique-privileging reasoning that the independent thinking and simultaneously Christian communion valuing apologist Lewis denounced when he wrote:
“The sort of love I have been describing… can also be felt for bodies that claim more than a natural affection: for a Church or (alas) a party in a Church, or for a religious order. This terrible subject would require a book to itself.
Here it will be enough to say that the Heavenly Society is also an earthly society.
Our (merely natural) patriotism towards the latter can very easily borrow the transcendent claims of the former and use them to justify the most abominable actions.
If ever the book which I am not going to write is written, it must be the full confession by Christendom of Christendom’s specific contribution to the sum of human cruelty and treachery. Large areas of ‘the World’ will not hear us till we have publicly disowned much of our past. Why should they? We have shouted the name of Christ and enacted the service of Moloch.”
Do you know what “the service of Moloch” is Ms T?
It’s child sacrifice, essentially.
And like the children of Israel, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Muslims and other secular and religious ideologues excel in a kind of child sacrifice when they choose to shield adults who rob children of their innocence, thereby blighting the child’s adult existence.
Ms A, are you surprised that Mr B is an alcoholic? I am not.
It fits the pattern of alcohol masking or ‘medicating’ pain suppression and similar self-harming, self-destructive conduct that victims of childhood sexual and other traumas typically resort to.
“Survivors” of abuse, like the feminist academic and activist Bettina Aptheker.
I recently told an associate in Norfolk’s Christian community that one of the biggest challenges I face as a Carer/Advocate is “the fragmented nature” of the care offering, especially at the crucial communication level.
I told him that the word “care” itself has become cliched to a large extent – a fact attested to by the antagonism between public and private sector carers, who tend to work at cross purposes, rather than as co-producers.
I also asked him to join me and others who are trying to bridge the communication gap in a methodical, spiritually measured and sustainable way.
The “Spiritual Strategy” being implemented by the Norfolk and Suffolk (NHS) Foundation Trust is one bridge-building response to the crisis.
And I believe the situation with Mr B demonstrates the need for you and others (some of whom I’ve copied this email to) to join the Trust’s, my and others’ efforts.
I am not asking you to choose between Mr B’s welbing and the child abuser’s wellbeing.
I believe that by reporting the child abuse that Mr B told me about, the child, who is now an adult, Mr B and the abuser will all be helped, ultimately.
As I see it, others, not me, are making a choice between Mr B’s and the child’s wellbeing and the abuser’s reputation, and the pride and reputations of his/her family and friends.
And I believe that the Bible’s teaching clearly prioritizes the truth over anybody’s public image or reputation.
As indeed does the Koran, the Torah and the universal witness of a clear conscience.
And what about your and my wellbeing, Ms A.
I certainly have come under attack since advising Mr B to report this case of child abuse to the police.
I have been accused of being un-Christian because I am prepared to report the matter to the police.
No one seems concerned about the loss of the bond of friendship and trust that was developing between Mr B and me.
No one seems to care that I may now be at risk of harm if those intent on maintaining a conspiratorial silence decide they need to silence me.
I have had to consider these and other safety issues not just as a civic minded Norfolk resident but as a father of young children and a bearer of related familial and wider social responsibilities.
As I recently informed another Norfolk resident, I have been working to combat childhood sexual abuse for many years now, mainly as an advocate against the pedagogical paedophilia that ensures physical paedophilia a kind of indulgence and/or impunity.
This is why I started a petition calling on Sir Cliff Richard to use the crisis of being accused of paedophilia as an opportunity to fight this scourge among evangelical Christians, whether he is or is not guilty.
You see Ms A, I take the biblical teaching about Christians’ duty to protect and nurture children, the most vulnerable human beings, very seriously.
I believe it is first and foremost a call to recognize that the child in each of us lives perpetually.
I believe that the process the Bible refers to as being “born again” is critically dependent on the human capacity for critical memory.
Childhood trauma or abuse of any kind undermines that crucial, reconstructive, redemptive capacity.
And child sexual abuse in particular limits our resilience because it attacks our fundamental, biologically-based self-esteem.
Small wonder then that even someone as enlightened and progressive in their views as Bettina Aptheker suppressed the betrayal of being sexually abused by her father as a child.
A similar self-alienation happens when we cede too much power to politicians, trade unionists, religious leaders, academics, employers and other “authorities”.
This is the kind of infantilizing and wider psychological abuse that I have accused Domino’s Pizza franchiser Surinda Kandola of.
It’s akin to the Stockholm Syndrome response of victims to “terrorists” like Donald Trump, Sir Hilary Beckles, Louis Farrakhan and other black and white bullies.
Its also a response to the indirect aggression that Hilary Clinton and other feminists perpetrate, sometimes unconsciously.
Indeed, the more I think about it, the more the biblical doctrine of the total depravity of mankind makes sense to me.
We certainly seem incapable of doing good consistently.
Call it Murphy’s Law, if you like.
Call it what the Buddhists call it (fate?), maybe.
But whatever we do, we should not blame children for it or make them bear the burden of adults’ perversity.
We must not pass children through the flames of our fallibility.
Updated November 13, 2016. A shorter version of this article was published as a ‘rapid response’ to a politically polarized, dangerously provocative article that American lobbyist Raynard Jackson published on November 8 and then promoted via Twitter, as protests against Donald Trump’s election victory were escalating.
This lengthier version links the UK-based Telegraph Jackson article more clearly with the preceding 8th instalment in this Mouth Of the Beast series.
In part 8 I addressed what I call Corbott, a conspiratorial pact or spiritual, hurricane winds approximating phenomenon generated by Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott.
The chilling Maox assassination (Jo Cox killed by Thomas Mair), issues raised by Welsh MP Johnny Mercer’s risky denunciation of the Iraq Historical Abuse Team (IHAT) as a “witch hunt” and wider life and death, ‘spiritual warfare’ were also addressed.
Jackson’s opportunistic character assassination of Obama should therefore be interpreted against this backdrop.
“Woe to them that call darkness light and light darkness.” (Isaiah 5:20)
Contrasting sharply with the tone of reconciliation and mutual respect being adopted by president elect Donald Trump and Obama during their recent White House meeting, Jackson’s promotion via Twitter of this deeply divisive document suggests that he is blissfully unaware of how precariously his country is poised on the brink of widespread racial and broader socipolitically motivated bloodletting.
Even as nationwide protests against Trump’s election victory were gathering momentum in the US, Jackson, the founder and chairman of a super PAC called Black Americans For A Better Future, was pushing his historically defective partisan political narrative, denouncing Obama’s presidency as a “massive disappointment” for Black Americans.
First published the day Americans were voting, the Republican Jackson’s patently opportunistic, partisan political punditry now runs the risk of fomenting racial and economic division and discontent at a time when they could do the worst possible damage to his country.
Your country is smoldering, Mr Jackson: why are you fanning such flames?
From my vantage point, the article represents the worst of minority ethnic identity politicking and does a disservice not only to the Black Americans that Jackson claims to be championing, but to Black people everywhere.
And readers should note the role being played by the Telegraph in this respect.
Indeed, if we adopt the humanistic, universalist frame of reference that the pacifist human rights icon Dr Martin Luther King advocated (see the final paragraph here) it becomes apparent that Jackson and his British Telegraph allies have put their interests above those of all human beings, irrespective of nationality, class, colour or creed.
Among other things, Jackson’s strategically published election day article and his subsequent post-election promotion of it on Twitter portrays him as a mawkish manipulator of sociopolitical and, especially, religious sentiment.
And Jackson’s accommodators at the Telegraph stink with the stench of his political calculation and cynicism.
Reminiscent of the volatile, typically blame-shifting rhetoric that Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan spouts habitually, Jackson’s analysis of Obama’s eight years in office marks a serious departure from more balanced analysis: analysis that had once prompted me to consider working with him.
His reckless behaviour at this crucial juncture in America’s history is first and foremost a tragic testament to his and other Black American leaders’ personal-responsibility-ducking.
What were he and other Black leaders doing during the eight years of Obama’s tenure?
Were they working with or against him, as the spectacularly self-righteous, deeply cynical Dr Ben Carson has been doing, for example?
Moreover, Jackson’s simplistic denunciation of what Obama and other Democrats and Republicans have achieved through hard won concessions not only ignores the incredible odds against which his country’s first Black president was working – including the pessimism and hostility of Blacks like Carson, journalist Herbert Dyer and others whose grasp of their own fallibility seems deeply suppressed.
It also reinforces the very Corbottic (as I call it), political rape and personal-responsibilty-ducking that Jackson has previously, rightly, castigated.
Yes WE can!
If I recall correctly, Mr Obama’s signature campaining slogan was Yes We Can.
It was not “Yes I can”, as Jackson’s analysis suggests.
As Commander-In-Chief, America’s first Black president certainly has to bear final responsibility for much that has gone wrong under his tenure in office.
But it is neither logical nor constructive for Jackson to assign Obama full or sole responsibility for the shortfalls of his leadership.
That is the kind of rationally and morally anaemic, suspiciously selective reasoning I would expect from the militancy maximising, sensationalist Farrakhan, his legalism-blinded, Barbadian-history blurring lieutenant professor Sir Hilary Beckles and his British partisan political ‘playmate’ Nigel Farage of UKIP (the United Kingdom Independence Party).
Like the machismo fond Farrakhage, as I now dub the Farrakhan-Farage controversy courting, gender, race and religion racketeering couplet, Jackson seems to have taken a page out of the book of Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels, notorious for his indifference to the violence that his hate-filled rhetoric characteristically incited.
And the bigoted beast Farrage’s physical, wide-mouthed resemblance to Goebbels is not lost on me, incidentally (see Farage-Goebbels photo collage below).
Nor are both men’s pre-political career links to the financial industry, possibly predicting their nefarious number games machinations.
Like the pre-presidential, carnivourously campaigning, ‘bigly banking’ Trump, Goebbels is known for his amoral, megalomaniac publicity seeking, typically risking or openly courting violence to secure the widest possible media reporting of his hate-filled, populace poisoning pedagogy.
As Wikipedia, citing the book “Dr Goebbels: His Life and Death”, by Roger Manvell and Fraenkel Heinrich notes, as a youthful campaigner, hand-picked by Adolf Hitler, Goebbels focused mainnly on the political capital of publicity, not caring whether the publicity was positive or negative.
Accordingly, Goebbels deliberately provoked beer-hall battles and street brawls, including violent attacks on the the Nazi Party’s communist rivals, say his biographers.
Similarly, Jackson appears to be setting aside the nuances of real life political leadership, with which he doubtless has some acquaintance, through his links to America’s political establishment.
His admission that even as a Republican he voted for Obama in 2008 is itself evidence of his familiarity with those nuances.
Yet he would now put the blame for “an uptick in murders” in US cities at the feet of the man who inspired Americans to cultivate the audacity of hope.
“Meanwhile the 30 US cities with the highest murder rate strongly correlate with those with near-to-majority black populations, run by liberal Democratic mayors in Obama’s mould,” Jackson writes.
His Telegraph article continues “This is in the context of an uptick in murders last year, the biggest single-year percentage jump since 1971, concentrated in just ten big cities. Obama’s liberal policies have only exacerbated the problems these areas face.”
But strategically published the day Americans voted in last Wednesday’s portentious poll, this selective context building was clearly done for the sole purpose of demolishing any goodwill that Obama, and by extension, his prospective presidential successor Hillary Clinton may have built up.
It is in the service of such character assassination and political stigmatization that Jackson continues: “In his home town of Chicago, the most racially segregated city in America, the number of shootings until the end of September this year was already 10 per cent higher than for the whole of 2015, following a 13 per cent increase in shooting incidents and a 12.5 per cent increase in the number of murders in 2015 on the previous year.”
By what rational process has Jackson come to the conclusion that president Obama is to be blamed for the increased crime he identifies?
Might not the incindiary rhetoric of the volatile Minister Farrakhan, for whom Chicago is a spiritual, political and economic stronghold, be at least as significant a contributor to violence in that troubled city?
Might not the hatred harbouring historical analysis of Farrakhan ally Beckles be having the same violence inciting effect on Chicago residents as it clearly had on Farrakhan when, following a speech by the hatred and hope confusing Barbadian, he called for violent action in pursuit of reparations for trans-Atlantic slavery.
As I have previously reported, inspired by the Goebbels-recalling, thinly disguised, racist scholarship of the perversely proud Barbadian professor Beckles, with whom he shared a Chicago State University platform in 2014, Farrakhan virtually called for the use of violence against Obama and other Blacks he labelled ‘Uncle Toms’, and who, according to the militant Muslim leader, are betraying his and Beckles’ beloved reparations ambitions.
What about the megalomaniac mouthings of Reverend Jeremiah Wright and other religious, political, economic and related “principalities and powers” that preside over Chicago?
What about the socio-political and economic inputs of Chicago’s Judeo-Christian power brokers, in the mould of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association?
I have it on good sources that it is the machinations of such “spiritual wickedness in high places” that conspired to derail an educational business initiative that I was developing in conjunction with the University of Illinois.
The University of Illinois Press has published a multi-page extract of my book The Bible: Beauty and Terror Reconciled, in its Encyclopedia of Caribbean Religions.
But efforts to build a broader long-term relationship with that venerable institution appear to have been sabotaged by my academic opponents.
I believe the same US, Britain and Barbados-based opposers are behind the impasse that has developed between Jackson and I.
But I remain confident of the triumph of good over evil.
I remain persuaded that notwithstanding Jackson’s, the Telegraph’s or anyone else’s erring, with Obama-like caring and sharing of each other’s burdens, we shall all overcome.
And the example of president elect Trump, abandoning his former divisive, demagogic campaigning personality and embracing the unifying, Commander-In-Chief role also reinforces my sense of hope.
While president-elect Trump’s links to the Black community are limited, as Jackson points out, they are by no means insignificant.
What Trump has lacked is respect for Black people, just as he lacks respect for women, the disabled, Latinos and other minorities.
What Trump has lacked, fundamentally, is the kind of self-respect and conscientious regard for others that his presidential predecessor Mr Obama, rather than his would-be political advisor Jackson, seems eminently qualified to teach him.
It is the admittedly flawed Obama, a clearly committed disciple of the teachings of Joshua of Nazareth and a saintly soldier, tested by political battle, after battle, rather than the mouthy, “prattle without practice” (Othello) spouting Jackson that Trump would do best to lend an ear.
It is in and through Obama that the delicate balance of a responsive, sensitive conscience and spirituality with manly uprightness and courage extolled by the World War I soldier-poet Lieutenant William Noel Hodgson are manifested.
In his famous poem “Before Action”, written shortly before he paid the ultimate price for his patriotism during the Battle of the Somme, Hodgson wrote: “By beauty lavishly outpoured/And blessings carelessly received/By all the days that I have lived/Lord make me a soldier.”
At just 23, Hodgson apparently had a greater appreciation than Welsh MP Johnny Mercer of the “total war” between good and evil and light and darkness that rages every day in human affairs, not just on military battlefields.
Details of my critique of the rogue-soldier encouragement and consequent British civilian endangerment that Mercer risks by denouncing the Iraq Historical Abuse Inquiry Team (IHAT) as a “witchhunt” are avaliable in the preceding article in this series.
I expect that Jackson is a fan of the late Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.
I leave with him and his friends at the Telegraph, presumably including my “old friend” reporter Tom Calver, some words of King that I believe informed Obama’s vison and will define his legacy no less than the dreams he inherited from his father.
Recognizing the reality of human interdependence (soldier-civilian, male-female, Black-White, Christian-Muslim, theist-atheist and so on) that makes any faultfinding or blame shifting pointless, King said,
“In a real sense all life is inter-related. All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be… This is the inter-related structure of reality.”
“The blinkered ‘eye’ of this hurricane, exemplified by Corbyn’s coupling or ‘partnership’ with the consciously or unconsciously race-racketeering Labour MP Diane Abbott, consists in a dualistic, ambivalent British manners matrix that can only ever assure a fragile peace.
A certain, ‘too polite’ Norwich-based, lifelong Labour Party supporter working in the education field may know exactly what I mean.
She and others, possibly including persons who are abandoning the troubled, stormy-sea-of-sentimentality-beset Labour ship for the emergent, blunt-knife-tipped, supposedly frank, tank-tough-truth-to-power-speaking Nigel Farage and his Trump-like-hip, real politic preaching UKIP, may understand why from my standpoint, Prescott’s anger at Blair, however long defered was destined to be manifested almost inevitably.”
(From “Tony Blair, John Prescott and other ‘flags of convenience’ – Mouth Of the Beast #7”)
Little lies and big blangs
What if every time we told a lie, we shortened our lives a bit?
Or, put positively, what if the secret to maintaining youthful health and vigour for as long as possible is the courageous, radical honesty with oneself and others that keeps one’s conscience clear?
I believe that the secret to my own relatively youthful appearance is precisely such primarily self-facing, complementarily other-embracing, courageous honesty and a healthy conscience.
I believe the pursuit of such honesty and consequent clear conscience, or as Barbadian historian Trevor Marshall might call it, “pursuit of the quintessence of spirituality”, has distinct, scientifically measurable, mathematically verifiable psychosomatic health benefits.
Marshall is one of two prominent Barbadians who wrote a Foreword to my book The Bible: Beauty and Terror Reconciled, my most simultaneously sweeping or panoramic and deeply probing prose study of the human psyche to-date.
The other foreword writer, Reverend Andrew Hatch, a high-ranking Anglican priest and broadcast media personality is now deceased.
I am indebted to those and other men, as I am to Esther Phillips, Viola Davis, Margaet Gill, Eudene Barriteau and other Barbadian women, for lessons in life that exceed the capacity of any secular or religious creed or teaching.
But their lives, their truth and ‘lies’, darkness and light are not “the history that touches and teaches me most”, as I write in the poetic tribute on TBBTR’s dedication page.
That role was and is still held by my father Geoffrey, my mother Lucille, my twin brother Wayne and sisters Cheryl, Yvette, Suzan and Ava: the members of the nuclear family into which I was born and which shaped my innermost infant and early childhood identity.
And the genetic and environmental deposits that I received through interaction with these first closest, earliest character forming relatives, continued to bear interest throughout my adolescent years, even after I was “born again”, as the saying goes, in usually keenly stressed, Bible-based evangelical Christian terminology.
The vigorous, jet stream adjustments and justifications of their love and understanding, or misunderstanding, as the case sometimes is in all familial eco systems, not only shaped my basic understanding of ‘right and wrong’ but carved the crucially character-shaping biological contours of my sexual self understanding simultaneously.
Those early, distinctly domestic interactions shaped my deeply ingrained, affective orientation toward heterosexual relations marriage and fatherfood, co-productive journeys I looked forward to as a young adult with an enthusiasm that is in some ways baffling to me.
That home-based history imparted a self image and understanding, or operational conscience, that continues to regulate my amorous appetites and wider social ambitions, moulding my moral compass and enabling me to navigate not only Barbados’ but Britain’s and the world’s fraught, perenially frothing ethical waterways with Sidney Poitier-like composure, and dignity.
It has catalysed a “personal truth to social power” principle of self-other communication that I believe is essentially what the biblical author of 1Timothy 1:19 is pointing to when he advises his intended audience, preseumed in the first instance to be a youthful apostolic apprentice named Timothy to “Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear,” as the New Living Translation puts it providentially.
And the providence I am referring to here has to do with the NLT translators’ choosing of the verb ‘cling.’
As I read this word for the umpteenth time today (Friday, November 4, 2016), it gently rang with revelatory relevance and resonance as it had been echoed in the surname of African American author, activist and educator James Clingman.
Clingman had come to my attention for the first time only minutes before, at approximately 7:00 am, as I read his latest article, published on his own Blackonomics blog (www.blackonomics.com) and the website www.blackpress.com co-productively.
That article, entitled “What you need to know about the NAACP’s war on charter schools” confirms the perennial crisis of conscience in the global labour movement that has currently come to the fore most spectacularly in the ongoing atomization or disintegration of the British Labour Party.
This workers’ ‘lights and rights’ crisis is a tributary of the core, family-focused gender dynamic that I have been tracking in these articles using tropical storm imagery.
It sprouts from the seed of male-female identity and role confusion that has been humanity’s lot from time immemorial.
In the previous article I focused on the stormy relationship between Tony Blair and John Prescott.
Here it is the arguably steamy, ferociously fecund, passionately political pact between one-time lovers Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott that concerns me primarily.
I explore that race, gender and ideology transcending pact, which I have dubbed Corbott (like Brangelina, for Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie) as a trans-generational trade unionism contrived, capitalism co-opting, democracy disembowelling gambit that may well come to be viewed as a catalyst of the Thomas Mair-Jo Cox or Maox murder-suicide tragedy.
I use the term ‘suicide’ here poetically, pointing to the environmetally sensitive, husbandman Mair’s self-destructive, Mitt Romney-like Talibank thinking: the fatal flip-flopping of those who take what they read about ‘communism’, ‘capitalism’, ‘feminism’, ‘atheism’, ‘Christianity’, ‘Islam’, ‘Hinduism’, ‘Buddhism’ and other secular and religious thought systems or ideologies too literally.
And news reports about the murderer Mair have made it clear that he read voraciously.
But are British educators, legislators, publishers and others who trade in intellectual property ever likely to take this hazard of reading seriously?
Nothing I have seeen so far in the UK, including during the ongoing British Broadcasting Corporation’s ‘Love To Read’ campaign or a recently concluded study of reading as a form of rest (R.I.P?) suggests that the lethalness of the letter is taken seriously.
Yet it is clear to me that the capacity of reading to foster simplistic, divisive analysis is costing Western society phenomenally.
For example, the same conscience eroding, opportunistic, selective superficial unity enforcing literalism conceals the catastrophic co-dependence of Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump, or Clump, as I call these long-time, ambition conjoined twin-like personalities.
I do believe that Clinton and Trump are united, or unionised, at a profound, perversely productive level as surely as some of my Unite the union colleagues and the Tories they denounce by their respective childhood tragedies.
Has either Clinton or Trump really come to terms with their parents’ follies?
Has Hillary fully forgiven her father?
Has ‘the Donald’ been radically reconciled to his mummy’s reality?
Trump’s apparent contempt for women and Clinton’s much commented on impassivity suggest otherwise.
Americans voting today may therefore legitimately ask what Bettina Aptheker recalling, long-suppressed, unresolved familial conflicts might explain the eventual winner of the US presidential election’s domestic and foreign policies.
As I indicated to those who attended the inaugural Walk On Water talk, at the United Reformed Church on Princes Street in Norwich, here in Norfolk, on October 30, I view hurricane Clump as a contemporary consumation and manifestation of the age old battle of the sexes.
In a ‘deliberately’ tangential, thought trek through Martin Luther King Jr’s paternal inheritances, sexual interests and political legacies, I told tango teacher Laura Campeo and other creative Intelek associates of Clump’s incarnation of anxieties and antagonisms around male-female copulation and co-production that date back at least to Valentinus’ (c. 100 – c. 160 AD) and other first century Christian gnostics’ cosmic theories.
These are the same tensions that the trade unionism breathing Lord Prescott admits in his 2009 biography Docks To Downing Street.
And one of my main tasks here is to show how marriage and parenting fare as poorly under atheistic fundamentalist labour influences as they do under the context ignoring, conscience corroding influence of fundamentalist Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and other religious and secular thought systems.
Clingman’s article is crucial in this respect.
The highly esteemed educator writes “The call for a moratorium on charter schools by the NAACP is a case of ‘Throwing the baby out with the bath water.'”
Implying a degree of subversive strategizing Clingman continues “While most Black folks are concentrating on Hillary and Donald, the largest and oldest ‘Colored’ organization approved an internal resolution calling for a halt to the ‘expansion of charter schools’ until those schools meet criteria set forth by the NAACP.”
“The NAACP lacks the power to enforce its resolution, but their call for this draconian measure does come with the familiar stench of other positions they have taken—and not taken—because of political and, of course, economic reasons, the latter of which seems to be the driving force behind this latest move,” he continues.
And in a reference that brought to mind the blanging (blagging and and banging) National Union of Teachers and that “certain, ‘too polite’ Norwich-based, lifelong Labour Party supporter working in the education field” mentioned in the quotation at the start of this article, Clingman quotes Dr. Steve Perry, a prominent American educator who has operated charter schools for years and who had this to say: ‘The NAACP national headquarters has received a significant amount of money from the teachers’ union. The only organizations to call for a moratorium on charter schools in particular, because they are non-union, are the teachers’ unions.’
That was conclusive proof for me that I had been led to Clingman’s article by divine providence.
The potential interpretaion of the Christian Clingman’s surname as a variant of the word “husband”, a man who clings or cleaves to his wife, as the Bible instructs, is just a collateral blessing, from that standpoint.
Life and death on the frontlines of gender struggle
Through an email notification I received on November 3, I am aware that Time Magazine has taken up the gender gyrations theme, in an article entitled ‘How the 2016 election became a battle of the sexes’.
Having read my Fundamentalist Feminism article, England-based men’s advocate Dave Pickering might understand why from my labels-penetrating linguist’s perspective, all conflicts can be viewed as off-shoots of the big bang, and subsequent clinging and clanging that is rooted in what I call fight-like-fraught, male-female complementarity or interdependence.
University of East Anglia students Juliet Donaghy and Francesca Gilbert, ‘feminist’ and ‘womanist’ activists respectively, might also appreciate why I and other heterosexual males continue to reel from the electric shock of Western media Jihadi Joans’ conscious or unconscious, Keith Vaz-like, dark, down-low homosexual hostility.
Clive Lewis, my local MP and other directly or indirectly aggressive, conscious or unconscious allies of professor Sir Hilary Beckles, his ‘understudies’ David Comissiong and Dr Aaron Kamuguishe, Barbados Labour Party leader Mia Mottley, poets Margaret Gill and Esther Phillips and other Barbadian academic, trade union and political elites might understand why I continue to protest and appeal, unapologetically, for a global gender war armistice.
I certainly hope that these and other current opposers but potential allies in my long-running campaign to expose global capital’s and labour’s flags of convenience are more open to collaborative, inclusive interpretations of contemporary gender conflicts than the ‘missing-in-action’ Martin Tod, CEO of the UK-based Men’s Health Forum and the possibly too-battle-hardened soldier Sean Jones, of the Princess of Wales’ Royal Regiment seem to be.
After supposedly reading my FF article, Tod, a Liberal Democrat councilor for Hampshire apparently has difficulty seeing how his and my understanding of feminism are compatible.
Tod says that’s why he won’t sign a petition I have created calling on the British Parliament to have possible correlations between fundamentalist feminism and increasing rates of suicide among men investigated scientifically.
He has refused to make a pact with me and others committed to explore that possibly fatal, Corbott exploiting, Maox murderously marrying, negative male-female synergy.
And Jones, who like ex-soldier and current MP Johnny Mercer is a possible unintentional defender or ‘rationalizer’ of rogue soldier threats to UK civilians’ safety, seems to think that my emphasis on spiritual discipline is incompatible with the doctrine of mental toughness that the Armored Tigers teach.
Like Abbott and Militant or Momentum operatives, surging to support Corbyn with potentially admirable but also alarming militaristic “Labour discipline”, the apparent Tory soldier Jones inserted himself into a Twitter conversation I had initiated with Mercer, after I had discovered a Tweet by the Plymouth Moor View MP denouncing the Iraq Historical Allegations Team (IHAT) as a witch hunt.
Concerned that Mercer might not be aware of the full implications of his denunciation I tweeted “Hi @JohnnyMercerMP. Are u not worried #RogueSoldiers may see yr views as licence to abuse UK civilians? #Impunity.”
Mercer, who apparently subscribes to a deeply problematic doctrine of military “exceptionalism” and has been featured on BBC Radio Four arguing that human rights law should not be applied on the battlefield responded “No. absolutely not.”
That is the only response I have had from him so far.
I responded “Why? Because you’re fallible human beings and with the best intentions, mistakes happen.”
Jones apparently accepted this explanation but also sought, consciously or unconsciously, to minimise the scale and intensity of the consequences arising from armed forces personnel fallibility, saying that he “can only think of a few individuals who have been convicted of wrong doings”.
And apparently committed to the problematic, American military and politics recalling idea of “exceptionalism” that Mercer and others (including former British Army commander in Afghanistan Colonel Richard Kemp) embrace, Jones eventually started making what I believe is an unhealthy ideologically inflexible, literalistic, Corbottic coroded-conscience distinction between British civilians’ and soldiers’ fallibility and suffering.
For example, after I went to some length to explain that life is a battle for all of us, Jihadi Jones tweeted, “i see what your saying but I know people that fight life battles daily the average joe doesn’t have much to complain about”.
He would eventually go on to imply contempt for the suffering of Kate Goldsmith who lost her daughter Aimee and three other relatives who were killed in the notorious Tomas Krozer, mobile-phone-minding-lorry-driver tragedy that was receiving prominent news coverage at the time of our twitter exchange.
When Jones continued to show signs of sociopathic Corbottic, ideologically fixated desensitization and evasion, after I shared a video of Ms Goldsmith speaking after her daughter’s killer Krozer was sentenced, I suspended communication with him indefinitely.
Yet I have considerable sympathy for rogue soldiers defending Jihadi Jones.
From my perspective, he should not be made to bear sole responsibility for getting caught in the cross-fire of the deeply entrenched, historically bequeathed indiscipline and excessive self-indulgence of British religious and secular ideologues, brain-hardened, conscience calloused careerists who like Corbot (and Mercer, possibly?) play divisive gender, race and religious racketeering games in pursuit of short-sighted personal and political victories.
Indeed, if we take former soldier, Conservative politician Ian Duncan Smith’s shockingly candid comments about the use of secretive, subversive psych op tactics (at 16:06 on the linked recording) by himself and other pro-Brexit campaigners in the EU Referendum debate seriously, we might conclude that infantryman Jone’s defence of Mercer’s reckless, rogue-soldier-sense-of-impunity risking denunciation of IHAT as a witchhunt is evidence of psychological warfare fatigue.
That is, we might conclude that Jones’ deeply insensitive and disrespectful dismissal of the battles that the bereaved parents Doug Houghton and Goldsmith face on the frontlines of unrelenting human conflict and tragedy is evidence that he is a victim of subversive psy op brainwashing and deceit.
We might conclude that Jones and indeed all UK residents, civilian, military and paramilitary, have become so desensitized to matters of life and death, through the psy ops of manipulative, monopolized media-political campaigns primarily, that like Corbott and Clump, we have lost our capacity to humanely engage with and process the murder of the Parliamentary infant Cox and other events in the unrelenting saga of human misery.
In his 2009 autobiography, Docks To Downing Street, former British Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott writes “It would be a mistake to underestimate the effect of 9/11 on the psychology of the Government or Tony Blair.”
In so doing Prescott concedes a point that seems to have not penetrated the consciousness of those labelling Blair a hubristic, blood thirsty war criminal: that is, the fact that he was driven by profound fear, some conscious, most of it probably unconscious, to weld Britain’s fate to that of George W Bush’s terror-traumatized administration.
Blair was psyched shitless, if you will pardon the expression.
He was ‘bricking it’, as some of my neighbors here in Norfolk, England might say.
But in saying that I am not saying Mr Blair was or is a coward.
I am saying I believe he was scared (and scarred) witless subconsciously, because frankly, following 9/11, so was I.
And I would wager so too was Prescott and other members of Blair’s Cabinet at the time.
In the quote above, Prescott concedes as much, if only implicitly.
And Prescott’s recent refuting of that empathising, psychologically perceptive interpretation of Blair’s decision-making post-9/11, presumably including the pious PM’s decision to back the 2003 US led invasion of Iraq, does not alter the intuitive or objective validity of the collective-responsibility-emphasizing Prescott’s previously published opinion of Blair’s and his Cabinet’s state of mind.
The totemic, ‘Thumper’ trade unionist Prescott’s suggestion in a July 10 Mirror article that he and other MPs were deceived by ‘Bambi’ Blair certainly does not change my mind on the matter.
I think his article is not so much about a ‘change of heart’ as it is about a change of strategy.
I think it is more about the war in Lord Prescott’s beloved Labour Party than it is about the war in Iraq or any of its consequences.
Whether Prescott is conscious of this cognitive dissonance himself can be debated.
The ‘fog of war’ being generated by the long-running battle for the soul of the Labour Party may be clouding the former seaman’s judgement.
Whatever Prescott’s intentions, from my standpoint, the article is a “flag of convenience”, much like the misleading, fraud and tax evasion facilitating, ‘false’ flag flying shipping practice that he challenged during his ministerial career.
And I believe his declaration of disappointment and dissent is comparable to the questionable “flag of faith” that Blair has struggled to keep hoisted, as he pursued a political career and discharge history shaping leadership responsibilities guided by what might best be called an “aspirational Christian piety”.
Both men are to some degree guilty of sending “mixed messages”, if you ask me.
But I believe we are in danger of judging them both too harshly if we ignore or do not give adequate consideration to the messages theyreceived.
Life: a ‘game of glorious uncertainties’
Deeply traumatized by the 9/11 theatre of terror myself, I reached the conclusion that it confused and effectively fossilized, fragmented or “froze” Blair’s and others’ powers of reason and decision-making long before I read Prescott’s autobiography.
Nothing Prescott has written in his July 10 Sunday Mirror confession inclines me to change that basic opinion.
I certainly will not be turning from empathy to fear or indignation and turning on Blair angrily, as Prescott appears to be doing now.
Moreover, as indicated above, I question the authenticity of Prescott’s claim of anger at Blair, declared amid the revived, widespread denunciations of the former British PM that followed the publication of the news-headlines-dominating Chilcot Report on July 6.
Observers may legitimately ask “Could Prescott’s post-electoral political ambitions be causing him to confuse fear with anger, in much the same way he, Blair, Bush and others managed to confuse courage and fear in 2003?”
Words attributed to the prophet Jeremiah in the Bible come to mind here forcefully: “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked,” says Jeremiah 17:9.
The atheistic Prescott may disagree with me, but I believe that concise, ancient biblical description of the maelstrom that is the human psyche is as relevant today as anything his autobiography offers.
Jeremiah certainly offers an intriguing perspective on Prescott’s notorious gynophobia, self-documented in his autobiography as “always suspecting the Sisters increasing demands” (page 351).
Added to the stereotypically feminine battle with bulimia that he reported, and the political ‘Bromance’ or, more accurately, marriage of convenience he shared with Blair and other “beautiful people” in the Labour Party, Prescott’s gynophobia might be viewed as a trap door, concealing subterranean urges that the notorious hard-man ignores blissfully.
And with the rise of cricket mimicking “glorious uncertainties” around issues of gender and identity that have followed the legalization of gay marriage, the foregrounding of gay parenting, gender reassignment ventures, racial ‘reorientations’ and other seismic identity innovations, the question of human beings’ capacity for self-deception addressed by Jeremiah has taken on renewed significance and urgency.
Add to this the possible election of America’s first female president, Hillary Clinton, a reputedly feeling-fragmented femme or mechanical matrix.
Now there is a heart and conscience that many people seem to think is alienated from itself and shrouded in mystery.
Who is she really, in her “heart of hearts” – or, if I might borrow the title of the well known novella by Josef Conrad, a seaman-turned-novelist with whom Prescott might identify more easily, in her Heart of Darkness?
Might she be a “man” trapped in a woman’s body?
If she wins her battle for the White House, might Americans one day wake up to the news that she has opted for gender reassignment, as the former “Bruce” now Caitlyn Jenner has done, spectacularly?
Note that in that article, I make it clear that “I have in mind both male and female passion and excitability, the clitoris being interchangeable or homologous with the penis in some species, apparently.”
(I am currently being instructed in these matters of faith and “glorious uncertainties” by a Consultant Physician, whom I will simply call Dr G.)
The mainstream media has been focusing on whether or not voters feel that they can trust the former First Lady.
My concern for her, as for Blair and Prescott and indeed all politicians, is does she really trust herself?
Does she know herself, truly?
Prescott, at least, concedes that he is “a mass of contradictions” in his autobiography.
And what about Clinton’s White House seeking rival Donald Trump?
Does anyone actually believe that the ‘hard-man’ exterior projected by him conceals anything other than a 9/11 traumatised, Islam-obsessed ‘inner woman’, possibly echoing his mother’s speech?
And what are the implications of Jeremiah’s psychosocial diagnosis for the Roman Catholic Church if the prospect of an introduction of female deacons that Pope Francis is exploring comes to fruition?
Based on my own experience of the moral ambivalence that lies beyond some Sisters’ equality rhetoric, I have not been encouraged to expect the improvements across Catholicism that Ms Clinton’s and other women’s optimism about the shattering of that ecclesiastical and other “glass ceilings” suggests.
Did Margaret Thatcher’s rise to power usher in a kind of utopia in Britain and the Commonwealth?
Among other things, the fact of the Falklands war suggests otherwise.
But my own suspicions and gynophobic views about women, and the justifications I offer for the same are well documented in my book Women-I-Zen and elsewhere.
As are the empathy with and forgiveness for persons of both sexes, or none(?), that I advise persistently.
Fatherly ‘flags of Convenience’
My primary concern here though, is with the ‘Blair-Prescott identity’ and paternal political inheritances and legacies.
It is with the fog of fear that followed 9/11 and which I believe has come into play again, albeit at a subconscious level, since the publication of the Chilcot Report last month.
I am mainly concerned with the human capacity for self-knowledge and self-trust that is critical to self-forgiveness and empathy with and for others equally.
My focus is the relationship between faith and fear that can become obscured, or even lost, like the fictional Jason Bourne’s sense of self, by trauma and tragedy.
A key concern is to explore what the Blair-Prescott coupling, like the Trump-Clinton inverted ‘marriage’, (a kind of negative synergy yielding, malformed miracle or mirage, essentially) tells us about the societies that ‘throw-up’ these personalities.
And readers mindful of Prescott’s previously cited battle with bulimia and my previous references to “cognitive cholesterol”, and person’s being “affectively anaemic” will have some sense of both the predictive and retrospective resonances of my reference here to the “throwing-up” of society.
Readers will also want to bear in mind my ongoing study of British, Americans’ and others’ embrace of a self-destructive, suicide facilitating, shallow stoicism.
And Randazza’s American nationality should not detract from the essential accuracy of my assessment of the subtlety of the ‘Blair-Prescott’ psychosocial or political inheritances and legacies.
It does not alter the relevance of my fundamental point any more than Trump’s much hyped heterosexuality alters the validity of anything I have suggested about his backer Thiel’s homosexuality.
Thiel’s nationality merely points to the universalist applicability and relevance of my critique.
And I use the word “universalist” advisedly.
Reggie Williams, Assistant Professor of Christian Ethics at McCormick Theological Seminary knows something of my insistence on the indispensable attention to context that separates conscientious constructive discussion of gender, race, religion or any other matters from the reckless, manipulative, demagogic rhetoric of identity hijackers, pirates and thieves.
I was obliged to challenge professor Williams, via Twitter, about certain assertions he made about the extent to which people are ‘seeing whiteness’ as normative, in an article published by The Christian Century.
That kind of opportunistic “universalism” or proximate “plagiaristic” appeal comes to the fore more prominently in the next article in this “Mouth of the beast” series.
There I assess the role of Barbados in events that presaged 9/11 – especially Barbados’ contribution to the 2001 United Nations World Conference Against Racism, which from my perspective, was hijacked by precisely such ‘identity politicking’ thieves.
I also explore Blair’s relationship with alleged homosexual paedophile ‘Barbadian’ Sir Cliff Richard and Prescott’s relationship with sleeping socialists like Dr Aaron Kamugishe, featured in the above video delivering a talk at the Birmingham-based University of Warwick.
Kamugishe’s apparent Prescott-like bulimic propensity to consume and regurgitate ideologically high calorie, cognitive-cholesterol-rich racial rhetoric is of deep concern to me.
I certainly cannot agree with the view that black people cannot be racist – anymore than I could accept theologian Williams’ largely legitimate but ultimately context thin, morally anaemic stereotyping of “whiteness” as normative; or lawyer Randazza’s one-sided views on Thiel’s right to conceal his homosexuality.
Such reasoning parodies authentic argument.
It prostitutes principled, context-rich, rational inquiry.
It is not only the fare of pirates and plagiarists, like Melania Trump and Fareed Zakaria, but also stock-in-trade for opportunist “informants” like fantasist and con man Rafid Ahmed Alwan Al-Janabi.
He’s the Iraqi codenamed “Curveball” by his German handlers, possibly because of his ability to spin a yarn convincingly.
As it happened, the primary Iraqi “weapon of mass destruction”, supposedly seen by Alwan, turned out to be his mouth, as he lied through his teeth.
Potentially explosive, such worrying wit-based weather systems recall the fraught, potentially ferocious Blair-Prescott psychosocial synergy that springs from the kind of Margaret Thatcher-Hilary Benn ideological ‘subsuming’, coupling or convergence that I have explored previously.
Unleashed torrentially on the tragically murdered Labour MP Jo Cox by the ‘Northern wind’ driven, brutal bellwether Thomas Mair, metaphysically, such destructive, negative synergy exemplifies cyclonic reality beyond metaphor.
It is born of a convergence of hot and cool airs or ‘spirits’, and energized by a Corbynesque ‘conservation of angular momentum’ that extends from an idealized socialist axis.
Put differently, it flows from an axiomatically anal retentive, shallow fundamentalist, self-contradicting anti-social socialist “reality”.
The blinkered ‘eye’ of this hurricane, exemplified by Corbyn’s coupling or ‘partnership’ with the consciously or unconsciously race-racketeering Labour MP Diane Abbott, consists in a dualistic, ambivalent British manners matrix that can only ever assure a fragile peace.
A certain, “too polite” Norwich-based, lifelong Labour Party supporter working in the education field may know exactly what I mean.
She, and others, possibly including persons who are abandoning the troubled, stormy-sea-of-sentimentality beset Labour ship for the emergent, blunt-knife-tipped, supposedly frank, truth-to-power-speaking Nigel Farage and his Trump-like-hip, real politic preaching UKIP may understand why from my standpoint, Prescott’s anger at Blair, however long deferred was destined to be manifested almost inevitably.
Moreover, I think Prescott’s anger claim may be an example of the confused conscience or “flawed intelligence” that I spoke about shortly after 9/11, when I performed at the 2001 Woodstock Concert of the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies.
I see it as a primarily politically motivated, cosmetic “flag of convenience” by a man I consider a father figure, to a significant degree.
Like Barbadians the late reverends Holmes Williams, and Bishop Granville Williams and UWI Vice Chancellor professor Sir Hilary Beckles; like Norfolk-based Muslim leaders Abdassamad Clarke and Uthman Morrison, Bishop Alan Hopes and others I look up to, though not uncritically, I hold both Blair and Prescott in high esteem and empathise with them in their faltering efforts to project a courageous, credible paternal lead.