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 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I explore these and related ideas in an as yet unpublished article, entitled “An Eisenhower eye on Elor Azaria’s, Alexander Blackman’s and Sir Hilary Beckles’ plays, prisms and prison terms”, the fourteenth article in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 Black and Minority Ethnic (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:
they will act 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” secular, 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 the needs and desires of fellow spiritual immigrants?
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 hero and “shero” 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 Charlie 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.
And one child I know 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, once 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 Johnny 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!”