The World’s Greatest Democracy

The world’s greatest democracy has a cancer. It’s pathology is found in disenfranchised folk with an easy access to heavy artillery. And yet the glib constitutional righteousness remains.


Behind The Curtains


Paris would’ve been much different had the victims been carrying guns, opined Donald Trump, in one of his latest tender soundbites. While conveniently ignoring the almost weekly mass shootings on the streets of America. But will a manic right wing agenda make people feel any safer? Not when you put arms into the hands of the disenfranchised and they’re tipped over their edge.

Republicans in Congress and on the campaign trail vehemently eschew the rights of women to have access to abortion; a man picks up a gun in Colorado and shoots. The tipping point appeared minimal; the result is more lives lost through an intolerance readily espoused as right.

Was that a terrorist attack in California? It’s premature to reach full conclusions – although one look at the surnames and copies of the Quran will undoubtedly guarantee knee-jerk headlines. But in a country where black lives are still persecuted and a potential presidential candidate readily falsifies a memory of Muslims dancing in the streets of New Jersey at the fall of the Twin Towers; suggests closing the borders to all Syrian refugees; and having a national database of Muslims [in a rather eerie parallel to a certain Nazi philosophy!]. A leading Republican presidential candidate.  It makes you wonder.

Intolerance breeds tipping points. And then puts guns into the hands of the disenfranchised. Gun control feels increasingly like an important moral agenda. But at the same time feels like an attempt to desalinate the entire world’s seas. The world’s greatest democracy [self-titled grandiose epithet] has potentially shot itself in both feet.



Escaping Darkness : There Is A Light That Can Never Go Out

I grew up through my formative years in the 70’s and 80’s. A time, here in Britain, when terrorism was marked by the IRA; aside from the sectarian violence in Northern Ireland, it was the IRA that brought the reality to the mainland.

Escaping Darkness : There Is A Light That Must Never Go Out
Escaping Darkness : There Is A Light That Must Never Go Out

Their terrorism was, for the most part, marked by disruption and token destruction; bombs were planted, warning telephone calls were made and, relatively speaking, few lives were lost. And no terrorist would either allow themselves to be killed, or intentionally blow themselves up. So, as sometimes tragic and disconcerting as those times – and certainly some significant events – were, the vulnerability felt by the wider public was arguably less terrified and more an uncertain vulnerability.

But terrorism now – in Europe – is something entirely different. When you’re faced with people prepared to die for their perception of the greater cause; people who hold such a twisted sense of mortality that after sadistically murdering numerous innocent people in cold blood will then send themselves to paradise; there is much to be terrified about. And coupled with the 24 hour news and social media; martyrdom, infamy and terror is complete.

However, I want to close by referring to a comment apparently posted on social media last night, from someone caught in the middle of the carnage. They said they’d seen the worst of humanity last night … and the best. Invited in from off the streets by strangers. Terrified but supportive of one another and resolute.

This is the light that must never go out.