A Postcode Lockdown? Lottery lockdown? Pottery lockdown? A Tescoed lockdown? Alfrescoed Lockdown? Chocolate lockdown? Barbecue lockdown? A jigsaw lockdown? A boardroom lockdown? A lockin lockdown? A locked out lockdown? Westminster lockdown? A Tinder lockdown? Judge Rinder lockdown? A Brexit lockdown? Poetry lockdown? Royalty lockdown? A socks down lockdown? A misch masch lockdown? A crisis lockdown? Jesus wept lockdown? Chimney swept lockdown? A landscaped lockdown? Decorate lockdown? Separate lockdown? Heaven’s gate lockdown? Empty plate lockdown? Fundraiser lockdown? War hero lockdown? Every bloody gawd blimey kind of lockdown, Except for, of course, a zero lockdown!
Harry Rogers In the Yellow Room, 28th November 2020.
Lockdown? Exactly what is a lockdown? It is a ubiquitous term used these days to cover a range of covid related rules and regulations. The trouble is, in my view, none of these are really lockdowns. I just read that all schools in the Cardigan area are closing down for a fortnight. This is an example of running around like headless chickens. Closing schools in a hyper local lockdown without implementing a full scale total lock-down with a complete strategic plan to ensure everyone is safe for a defined length of time is nuts. Zero Covid is the only way out of this tragedy. Ceredigion was considered the safest place in the UK vis a vis Covid-19 infections. Not any longer. Ceredigion County Council are blaming local people for spreading the virus through parties and raves. It’s depressing to watch politicians and their advisors flounder about, in the hope that the vaccines will soon come on stream, and bale them out. Teired systems have failed, the artificial lockdowns have failed, the firebreaks have failed. The waneing of immunity amongst those who have been infected by Covid-19 is extremely worrying as this means that people can catch it again, even after vaccination. Those countries that implemented severe zero covid lockdowns for short defined periods, such as Vietnam, have reaped great rewards in that their mortality rates are minute compared to here. Of course economies that put profits before people have seen ever increasing rates of infection and deaths. Parliament was warned but the political leadership decided to sit on the findings of an emergency planning exercise. How the Tories are still riding high in the polls after this total fiasco is beyond me. The use of the term lock-down is newspeak for cock-up, what we needed was a proper Zero Covid Strategy, its almost too late….. Sign this petition from People’s Assembly Wales.
Harry Rogers In The Yellow Room, 23rd November 2020.
Bohemian rebel rhymesters, Revolutionary wordsmiths, Who hold shiny truth filled mirrors That reflect real and imagined Worlds, ideas, remembered futures, Forgotten unlived histories, Desired justice in the now, These are the chroniclers of dreams, The uncloakers of mystery, Who can see more than what life seems The metaphorical jugglers Of iambs, meters, heart felt rhymes Joyous one minute, sad the next Able to tell it like it is In myriad forms day by day. Cry freedom for those who cannot stop, Who automatically express Their extradimensional truth To power each time they write words, Rant multiverses in the street, These are the ones we need to meet, Seers who understand pain and love, Pull snarky scales from screen filled eyes. Forget leaders, bring on Poets.
Harry Rogers In the Yellow Room, 22nd November 2020
How can we call this a lockdown? It’s a total cheap faux knockdown, Only half way round the blockdown, It’s another B J schlock down. Everybody’s put the flags up, It is good news week for a change. Are we being sold a new pup? Three vaccines at once? Is that strange? I’ll be down the quacks, rolled up sleeve, Waiting for me life saving jab, I truly do want to believe, I don’t wanna go to rehab. I need to be sure that it’s safe, Tested proper, know what I mean? Like a lickle soldier I’m brave, Push the plunger, get the stuff in. The anti vax crew can get stuffed, I want to hug my kids tightly. This nightmare? We’ve all had enough. Let’s all sleep sound again, nightly. Chaos that follows this lock-down, As people crowd onto the streets, Shop for the ultimate knockdown, Turn victories into defeats, How long will it take to rollout? Will the millions stand in line? It’s gonna be very cold out, Can we get it out there in time? This feels like a long distance race, We’re told that it will be world class, What if it’s like test, track and trace? Another BoJo special farce? These worries, they spin round my brain, As I watch these crises unfold, Shall I go up London again? Suddenly I feel very old. At this late stage in the saga, They’ve decided to test teachers, Holding this mirror gets harder, Can’t recognise all the features, Key workers look very worried, The leader still has his socks down, This whole thing feels so hurried, Once more it’s a botched up schlock down.
Harry Rogers in the Red Bedroom, 20th November 2020.
In the party, the mighty party, The liar sneers tonight, Near the village, Westminster village, The liar sneers tonight. Hush the party, don’t fear the party, The liar sneers tonight, There’s no future, no Labour future, The liar sneers tonight,
Stakes are raised, tension ratchets, Jezza’s back. Group of MPs threaten resignation. Forensic lawyer, now caught in own trap, Can’t risk a legal investigation. Tonight Labour politics lie shattered, Allusions become stark reality A number of banners now look tattered, The ghost of Pasok brooks finality, Big blue spad slinks away from Downing Street, Number ten butternut self isolates, Bowie like he reinvents with each tweet, Starmer should have stormed through the bloody gates, But he never seems to ram the sword in. Sing out loud now, “Oh, Jeremy Corbyn!!!”.
Harry Rogers, in the yellow room, 18th November, 2020.
Watch brand new documentary movie, Ronnie Scott’s Soho Jazz Club brought alive, Rollins, and Davis, Nina and Ella, Jimi and Georgie, Van the Man and Chet, They all played there whilst all of us went there. One time in London, at a conference, I needed music to empty my head, Arrive at club to see Madelaine Bell, “Table for one sir?” they ask at the door. Say “Sadly yes.”, hand over a score, A waitress is called, she’s half of my age, Leads me in through the crowd, down to the front, Seats me at table on edge of the stage. I’m at the table for one at Ronnie’s.
Harry Rogers, in the yellow room, 17th November 2020.
Canst tell me, how fit is this butchers dog? Eats scraps and trimmings of beef, sheep and hog, Overfed heavy cur, can’t jump a log, Sling him off a cliff, same as Gogmagog. Another fortnight now squirreled away, Ignore news media, tweet night and day, Fat orange golfer has shewn him the way, Don’t answer questions, faff, bluster, and play. Buy time with new spads locked down in bunker, Zoom hot and cold as enemies hunker, Sack all and sundry, such a strong junker, Quaff drafts of power, lurch ever drunker. Hoards of people still say “He’s such a card!”, In truth his new normal’s too fucking hard.
Harry Rogers, in the red bedroom, 16th November 2020
How is it possible to cut down saplings before they’ve even been planted? Well apparently in the magic money tree orchard in the realm of quantitative easing it is not only possible, but it is essential. Why is it essential? Because if you don’t keep filling the fruit baskets of capitalism then it will disintegrate. It may do this in any case if society as a whole fails to deal with the ongoing effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. It may be that the current round of lockdowns works perfectly, the R number reduces, hospitals are able to function effectively, employees go back to their old ways of working, bankruptcies are reversed, people stop dying, the pubs reopen and we all sing We’ll Meet Again as we get blue blind paralytic drunk at the greatest national celebration since the end of the second world war. In my view this is as likely as The Snowman surviving an after hours lock-in at the local sauna. You can see the fear in Rishi Sunaks eyes as he extends his furlough scheme until the end of March next year. How can this possibly be enough whilst the schools are still open? Will the economy be able to expand in any meaningful sense over this winter? Entrepreneurs appear on our screens bleating about their pain with not a single word for those now imprisoned within an unfair and vicious benefit system who are expected to continue searching for non existent jobs on a paltry below subsistence income with no access to furlough schemes. Schools are moving into ridiculous scenarios where full time teachers are absent due to infection and year 12 and 13 pupils become increasingly indisciplined as supply teachers and assistants lose control. To call what’s going on a lockdown is absurd, viruses pay no heed to school gates, there is significant evidence from epidemiological experts across the globe that pupils are spreaders. It cannot be justifiable to put educational staff, pupils, parents and the public at risk. We have to watch as the policies from the different governments in the UK chop and change with such a plethora of rules and regulations. Confusion has ruled throughout the life of the pandemic to such an extent that it’s hard not to believe that such chaos is deliberate.
Then, the spindly spad with the giant black rucksack hit the news again, briefly. The master of Tory mayhem has had some kind of falling out with the leader with the haystack on his head and 24 hours later Cummings went. Nobody it seems is indispensable, even if they believe they are.
Meanwhile, over on centre ground, a different bucket of mackerel sits on the table awaiting beheading and gutting. The Labour Party heirarchy have decided that now is the time to implode whilst they still have time before the next general election to sweep the mess under the carpet. The continued belief in the mythical broad church by so many Labour Party members is utterly astonishing. Let’s recap a little here. The election of Ed Milliband annoyed the extreme centre in Progress to such an extent that they deliberately hung him out to dry in the 2015 general election campaign. When he duly lost that election and resigned as leader they were cock-a-hoop and held a Progress leadership slate video conference which was disgusting. Of course there was no talk of the left as the Campaign Group were seen as an insignificant rump. When Jeremy Corbyn threw his hat into the ring he was not taken seriously. The centrists didn’t mount a serious campaign on social media, Corbyn did, largely through his son Seb, who managed his media campaign. Jeremy was the only candidate to put a join the Labour Party button on his web page. This was a master stroke as tens of thousands did and duly voted for him, leaving Mandelson and his Progress cronies in total disarray, and filled with rage at the failure of their slate. Clearly they were left behind by the Corbyn online campaign and the sheer volume of Jeremy Corbyn mass meetings across the UK. As soon as Jeremy Corbyn won the leadership the extreme centre began to seriously organise against him. Jeremy of course had hundreds of thousands of supporters and they duly defeated the chicken coup. The left in the party consisted of around four hundred thousand comrades, many of whom had rejoined for Jeremy. What I personally found difficult to come to terms with was the way in which Momentum set themselves up as the voice of the left and then behaved in an exclusionary manner throughout the following period of Jeremy’s leadership. Momentum never had more than thirty thousand members at it’s height and yet behaved as if they were the left in the party. This has led to a real problem both at leadership level and throughout the party in my view. Jon Lansman created a fiefdom that I and many other leftwing comrades just couldn’t buy into. Many local parties saw massive increases in membership levels but somehow that massive increase was not turned into mass action campaigns in local communities, too much attention was paid on how to fill positions within the party. The whole thing felt like a massive NUS conference. I won’t discuss my feelings about what happened at local level, suffice it to say I and others were never completely happy whilst we were in the party. What is happening now is tragic but not unexpected. It feels very similar to when the Militant Tendency and other left groups were expelled by Kinnock. I came back to Labour for Jeremy, who is an old friend and comrade of mine. He is being treated in an appalling manner both by Starmer and those “left” opportunists around him. There is no way back for him, and nor me. I am happy in Left Unity where we are small but solid in our politics. Now the attacks have widened, CLP Chairs and Secretaries along with leftwing branch activists are being suspended for daring to discuss Jeremy Corbyns suspension. The extreme centre are even now using keyword algorithms to trawl through leftwing Labour Party members social media accounts for evidence of support for Jeremy Corbyns position on anti-Semitism. Such chicanery is worthy of an insane headbang session in the oval office of the White House. I am not alone in my despair at the actions of the extreme centre in Labour. There will be a plethora of books written about this time I’m sure. Meanwhile I will work with like minded comrades to foster socialism in what time I have left. As for Cummings….. he’s yesterday’s chip paper already.
Harry Rogers, musing in the yellow room, 15th November 2020
A Passport to Cymru won’t get you here The bridges are closed so don’t you appear Stay back in England, across Irish sea, Don’t bring the covid down here to me, You’ll ruin the firebreak we’ve just been through, We’ve done our bit, now it’s all up to you, Put on your masks and keep off of the streets, It’s time to get real, don’t shop now for treats, But something’s not right, we’re led by a fool, Why are our children still sent off to School? Teachers and assistants, cleaners and cooks, All now in danger, it’s bad as it looks, All of the rules, strung out, fully loaded, We still won’t be near to zero covid.
On road to Rome in Georgia state, Trump, pumped up with drugs and steroids, Exhorts goons to intimidate, As he scratches his hemorrhoids. This final day of campaigning, For a further bout of madness, Is no longer entertaining, Riven as it is with badness. We will need a giant needle, To Prise obese, stubborn, whelk out From the shell where he does wheedle, Lie, prestidigitate and shout. He’ll wriggle, he’ll struggle, cry fake, But in the end he’ll have to go, Revealed as a broken snowflake, Blown by the wind from Ohio.
Harry Rogers In the Red Bedroom, 2nd November 2020.
Now is no time to stand and cry Neither appease nor pacify Extremists spit upon our head They will not stop, they wish us dead Media amplifies the sound That emanates from centre ground The righteous on their carpet ride Deliver social suicide They trawl through tweet and email box With grubby hands turn back the clocks How easily these ghouls are vexed By words taken out of context Deliberately on they plough To slaughter one more holy cow Point the finger, spin out the lies Phoenix New New Labour arise Soon will come corrupt aftershock They’ll fade away just like Pasok. Comrades fear not, let’s dry our eyes It’s time for us to organise.
Harry Rogers, In the Red Bedroom, 1st November 2020