New new Labour with new leader spouts new policies about new normal and yet nothing new happens. Just the same old same old from the same old crew, whichever way they dress it up, there’s nothing new! New direction from new Boris, reborn post covid, new baby, new diet, new phrasebook, new lies. Soon the thing they set out to do will be done, we’ll be gone from the EU, with no deal. For me and you there’s nothing new! Same old same old from the same old outlets. Normally the level of anxiety remains static at just above normal but in the new normal anxiety levels are abnormally high. No matter what we normally do there’s nothing new, only more of the same. S.N.A.F.U.
Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom, Wednesday 29th July 2020
Today there was so much shit in the air, That old fan finally gave up the ghost. Careerist lawyers have all blown a fuse, Now their shenanigans are in the news. Stand by my window, look up at the stars, Focus on Mars, try to collect my thoughts, Is this the moment for left versus right, To smash socialism inside the courts? Parliament’s empty of popinjays, They have all gone home for their holidays. BBC scrabbles round for bones to gnaw on, Comrades stand firm now, there is a war on. All the lost jobs, through Covid and Brexit? Yesterday’s chips and nobody gets it.
Harry Rogers, in the Red Bedroom, 1.00 AM 25th July 2020.
After new normal is over Where will there be birds left to sing? After new normal is over Will we believe in anything? When tundra has melted away, On the brightest hot April day, Too late for singularity To be born in time to save us. Clocks have already struck thirteen. No time to dream of could have been. Pristine armour, unused truncheons, Boxed up bullets, racked up rifles, All locked away and useless now. Empty roads, nothing on TV, No internet, nor mobile phones, Not since daily temperature Got stuck at one hundred and four. Somewhere, in an air conned bunker, Inexorably almost dead, Dwell the last of the bourgeoisie. Everyone else already gone, Victims of Covid-fifty three. Only cephalopods remain To see the beauty of sunsets Across darkening smoke filled skies. We had the choice to abandon Fossil fuels, but we just blew it. One chance, and we didn’t take it. Evolution is ironic.
Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom, midnight 21st July 2020
Here come sporadical lockdowns, The latest order of the day, Leicester one day, your place the next. What powers are needed for this? Are there any sporadic apps? Or are these just the random thoughts Dreamed by wily spad conjurers Who have to give their ministers A semblance of something to say In order to confirm that they, In their wisdom, actually Do something, or do anything. In the vague hope that chaos theory Will somehow come to our rescue, These dark prestidigitators Foist their sleights of hand on us all Daily. As media trumpets Blare out latest tossed off press release, Funded by magic money trees We all slither down on our knees, Smeared and mired in Tory sleaze. Wild campers pitch tents everywhere Furloughed workers stand down and stare, Weeks go by as the deadline nears, All are filled with sporadic fears Somebody said six million, That’s just a random estimate. No-one really knows how many Will draw universal credit, Welcome to Sporadicity.
Revisit the seventeenth century Hang Abracadabra outside your house Invent new magical spells for our times, Boriscadaboris might do the trick. Sniff nosegays, dance Ring-a-ring-a-roses. Judges try cases in nightingale courts, Up on Blackheath soon football will restart, Witness the show world versus the real world. Amulets and incantations abound, Rat flea Covid deniers run around Through shopping malls and half filled bierkellers They utter naive cabalistic charms, “Let’s take control of the invisible, Slow down, push down, control, don’t hang about, Roll out the Nuclear lock-down option.” Bring on magical inexactitudes. Well, whatever we do, just don’t tell the truth, Get back to work, we do not need real proof.
Harry Rogers, in the yellow room, Sunday 19th July 2020.
I recall the exact moment Aged seven, nineteen fifty four, When I moved out of childhood. Out to lunch with Auntie Barbara, In Kennards swanky restaurant. North End, Croydon, Department Store, I sit opposite Auntie B Look around at the finery, Post war women in hats and stoles, Silver cakestands, profiteroles, Seamed stockinged legs, mingled perfumes, Permanent waves, waitress service, Heady stuff for inquisitives. I don’t remember the main meal, “Would you like something for dessert?” She says, passing me a menu. The choice is vast, ice cream sundae, Banana split, Apple dumplings, Even Knickerbocker Glory. I fixated on these two words, Crème Caramel, sounds exotic, “I’d like a crème caramel please.” “Are you sure dear, not an ice cream?” I insist on Crème Caramel. Cornucopias of Ice cream Piled high with wafers and syrups Sail past our table as I wait. Eventually mine arrives. A small white china ramekin Filled with glazed, almost burnt, sugar. Inside my head I’m mortified. I don’t let on, I smile sweetly, Aunt B looks on, in sympathy. I pick up the teaspoon and crack, Sugar shatters like broken glass, Cream coloured custard oozes forth, Scoop some into sceptical mouth. I learned that it’s not the biggest Nor the flashiest that is best. Now sixty five years further on There’s only one dessert for me, Crème Caramel, brulé of course.
Harry Rogers, in the Red Bedroom, Saturday 18th July 2020.
I wrote this short story in my hut on a rainy afternoon a couple of years ago. Recently I recorded it and sent to my old friend Ashley Cadell in Melbourne Australia. He added the background music and produced the final product. To listen just click the link below.
Leonard Cohen takes my mind to a hunt. In the woods I’m not sure whether he is The hunter, nor when he is the hunted. He is self assured, dangerously so. His future has arrived with a vengeance, He’s not here, but imagine if he were. An avalanche of hidden invective, Each and every verse carefully crafted, Mirror polished to reflect cristal clear, Chaos landslides slip abstractedly by. The earphones help me to realise why He had fingers on the pulse more than most. In raincoat with beret, arrow and bow, Len strode through the flames, on fire yet unburned.
Harry Rogers, In the yellow room, Friday 17th July 2020.
See the anti vaxer shitehawks Feed at the middens of despair. They pick at fake crusty wishbones Rave baseless drumbeats through dark air. Wiser birds watch them eat their fill As they feed each other false scraps Stripped from carcus that makes us ill, They howl when caught in their own claptraps. Locked in gardens, we smell the rose, Marvel at depth of scent supreme Such hot weather sharpens the nose, We sniff reality through dream. Snarky flea bit politicians Try to avert the world mind’s eye Towards old warmed up new cold war Their agenda studded headlines Seek to keep us up till half four. Forget patchouli faerie folk With flying fanciful false flags On dragon breath they soon will choke, Covid as real as plastic bags. One hundred years ago we saw Pandemic kill far more than war Stop these silly invocations, Instead bring inoculations.
Harry Rogers, In the Red Bedroom, 3.00am 17th July 2020.
Now we watch as West Side Story Becomes Night of the Living Dead There’s no time for Morning Glory Not since Sars got inside our head We stand masked up at the bus stop, Somehow still find the time to queue, Before we shuffle to that shop Where police serve the people’s stew. Covid bulletins are long gone The MPs don’t know what to do, The whole world hums funeral songs This corona ain’t fucking flu At start of end of first lock down We bathed in the light of false dawn Virus deniers yelled cross town We’re scam victims of fake news porn Second waves crash on urban beach Tsunami floods each chicken shed, No more teachers are left to teach, We’re now the West Side Living Dead.
Half past five in the red bedroom, 15th July 2020.
Don’t bring me your mythology Your clapped out ideology For I can watch your wars no more Don’t quite know what a god is for Except to drug the people’s mind With one true way, an only kind, Of being young or being old Whilst others stuff our mouths with gold To ensure we do what we’re told For if we don’t they soon will scold, Not quite enough to set us free, You can’t be you, I can’t be me. Dont need fake beings up above, Together, all we need is love In sixty seven John was right There really is no need to fight. So you be you and I’ll be me, Together set each other free.
Blow those whistles louder, Before they come for you, Let not them stuff your gob With gold to shut you up. Shout it from the rooftops, Tell us all that you know, If you’ve got the emails, Flood them to the net. Copies of the contracts? Tweet them from dawn to dusk. Write truth in your memoir, Spill the beans with gusto. Bent ministers and spads? Please kick them where it hurts. Time to clean the stables, Flush all the crooks away, Throw them to the lions, Cummings and baby Gove, Let’s take them down today!
Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom, Saturday 11th July.
Steer Kharma, forensick, at despatch box, Mewls as Haystacks gang shoots fox after fox. Cummings has stolen all Jeremy’s clothes, To wave them beneath New New Labour’s nose. Forests of money trees bloom at the bank, Quantitavely eased with clink and clank. Billions of pounds are drawn at a stroke, Millions of workers now left for broke. Advisory rules now go up in smoke, Health ministers stats now called out a joke. The track and trace app? A pig in a poke, Changes in benefits soon to revoke, Dole queues grow longer, this mess is severe, Still, grab a meal deal, don’t say it’s austere.
Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom, Friday 10th July 2020
Here, in the disunited fiefdom, where a man with what looks like a storm blown stook of straw on his head rules the roost, us mere mortals have been offered a meal deal instead of a new deal. Up to ten pounds a punter to cover 50% of the cost of eating a meal out every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday as a way of enticing us all to get back into socialising whilst at the same time saving the businesses of restauranteurs and publicans. Meanwhile Covid spikes all over the place and we learn that indoors two metres is not much of a defence against an airborne virus. Jenny and I are staying right here harvesting our raspberries, weeding the vegetables and reupholstering the old sofa bed. Still, the muse of the iambic pentameter is ever present as the sonnets pour out of my fingers and into my phone at an alarming rate, and I am surprisingly jolly. The birds are as busy as ever, swallows and swifts swoop over the hillside lunching on the wing and woodpeckers use our nut feeder as a crazy kind of swing. Life is precious. One love, companero.
Who wants to be a Blairite millionaire? Exploit Labour voters without a care. Denigrate socialists everywhere, Start needless wars, cultivate silly hair. Lord Blunkett spouts tosh on Radio four, Whilst our Rebecca is wheeled out the door, Mandelson unsheaths his back stab once more, New new Labour now shits over house floor. In Gaza families quiver in fear, As the keys to their houses are stolen, Some of us shudder as we shed a tear, The future does not look quite so golden. Pander to petrolhead racist bullies, Electable in post Jezza woolies?
Please tell us where the buck stops, if you can. The powerful deny it is their man. Whenever there’s a crisis it’s the same. Politicians will never take the blame. Haystack bonce points to owners of care homes, These shitehawks from Westminster catacombs, Irresponsible power at the top, However can we make false spinning stop? Pass the blame, fend off shame, guilt trip others, It will be our fault, sisters and brothers. No one’s job is safe, the walls tumble down, Once again we turn our gaze to the crown, TV and Radio stand complicit, Funny how the bucks never stop, innit?
Harry Rogers, in the Yellow Room, Monday 6th July 2020
Can you tell me how Long is a moment? Eight point four six seconds at start of match? Eight mins forty six seconds knee on neck? Is it one hundred days during lockdown? One thousand one hundred days since Grenfell? Is time elastic? Can a moment stretch? Some moments expand, Some moments contract, Twenty seven years since Stephen Lawrence, Murdered at bus stop? Is that a moment? The years since Brixton, Toxteth, Notting hill? The centuries of slavery subsumed Into literature slowly consumed? These transitory periods of time, Are these all just moments that don’t matter?
Harry Rogers, in the Red bedroom, Sunday 5th July 2020.
Cocktails, ginger ales, Ipa, Lager, Pale, Wine and Whiskey, how ever can it fail? From 6.00 am one can drink from a pail, Down Covid river we merrily sail, Go out on the booze, you slick alpha male, Let’s see just how many end up in jail, Meanwhile spaff away, so says Daily Mail, Wetherspoons and buffoons shall make a sale, Public servants all a-quake and a-quail, Stay now at home, hit the head of the nail, They’ll lock drunks away, without any bail, BJ and his pals pursue holy grail, In my garden watch as bird eats a snail, At least snail won’t eat my curly kale.
Harry Rogers, in the Yellow room, 1.00 a.m. Saturday 4th July
My Labour Party membership is at an end. I decided to put down my thoughts on my Labour Party Membership in 2020. It is important to say that in 2003 I resigned from the Labour Party over the decision by Tony Blair to take Britain into illegal wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. During the following years I involved myself in the activities of the anti-war movement. It was not when Jeremy Corbyn was put forward as a leadership candidate that I decided to rejoin the Labour Party, rather I rejoined the party to oppose the election of David Miliband as leader and the continuation of neo liberalism in the higher echalons of the party, I rejoined to vote for Ed Miliband. Currently I still hold a membership card, indeed I am also the elected Chairperson of Ceredigion Constituency Labour Party. Since I joined I have paid close attention to political events inside and outside the Party. As a left wing socialist I was delighted when Jeremy Corbyn became the leader and the membership set to and produced the impetus for the 2017 election manifesto. Despite the actions of the majority of the Parliamentary Labour Party, both in launching the failed leadership bid and consistently working against the wishes of the membership the party almost won the 2017 general election. At that time I knew there were some problems in the Party administration but I put that down to ineptitude during a period of great change. Having read the leaked report on anti-Semitism I now realise that I was wrong. Paid workers in the General Secretary’s office alongside large numbers of the PLP systematically worked to nullify my and tens of thousands of party members efforts to bring about a Labour victory. Reading this report is a sickening experience, but those who haven’t read it are now disbarred from having sight of it. Since reading it and also watching the party slowly move away from socialism under the leadership of Sir Keir Starmer I have become increasingly uncomfortable. The introduction of a range of decisions designed to further undermine and smear my good friend and comrade Jeremy Corbyn has been difficult to take. All around me good comrades from across the whole of Britain have already left the party. Other good comrades still in the party are saying stay and fight, don’t leave because that’s what Starmer wants you to do, stay and hold the line, we can still get the manifesto policies implemented, unity is strength, and other such epithets. Some say the only way to defeat the Tories is to stay in the Labour Party, it’s the only show in town. To all these pleadings I have been struggling internally to dampen down the pain I feel following the defeat in the 2019 General Election. I tried to stay staunch, working alongside my excellent comrades on the CLP Executive Committee here in Ceredigion.
I did believe that we were on the road to building a truly significant local alternative social, economic, and community development strategy for the people of Ceredigion. Recent events within the the Labour Party heirarchy have dented and now, finally smashed my belief to smithereens. It isn’t just the decision to sack Rebecca Long Bailey on spurious charges of anti-Semitism, though that is a disgraceful enough episode, nor is it the fact that it is impossible to have any political influence in the decision making process of the Labour Party due to the pandemic lock-down, nor the latest attack on left wing members by Swansea MP Nia Griffiths where she outrageously accuses all comrades who have supported RLB of being anti-semites. It took a conversation with a dear friend of mine to make me stand back and look dispassionately at what I really feel about my ongoing membership. All the blandishments from different sections to stay and fight actually feel painful to me. As if, to paraphrase my friend, I am being blackmailed into staying in an abusive relationship. Tommy Cooper used to tell a joke about a man who goes in to see his doctor and says “Doctor, every time I go like this it hurts.” to which the doctor replies, “Don’t go like that.”. I have always believed that if you are doing something that hurts you should stop doing it. Being in the Labour Party has become too painful to bear so now is the time to stop hurting myself. I have no respect for the leadership, or belief in their strategies or actions. My relationship with The Labour Party as an organisation is over. I hereby resign.
Harry Rogers Monday 29th June 2020.
Postscript: Since leaving Ceredigion Labour Party I spent the whole of July and August thinking about my options. Disengaging from politics left a hole in my lufe. I attended a number of People’s Assembly Against Austerity online ZOOM meetings and became aware of Left Unity Wales. I checked out the party website, read their manifesto statements, and attended a couple of online meetings. I realised that I need to be politically engaged with like minded comrades and I joined Left Unity in September. I am so glad I did, the atmosphere here is just so much better. Forward in solidarity to a socialist future, Harry Rogers, Left Unity Wales Sunday 4th October 2020