I spent a lot of my college days protesting apartheid outside the South African embassy in Trafalgar Square, often taken into custody. At the time apartheid seemed the most egregious sin on earth. Having sat in Brixton and Toxteth as they both burned, perhaps I was over-reaching, and I had my own gripes as part of a heavily oppressed minority in the UK (MI5 were actively framing Welsh speakers at the time).

Naturally, I believe that the forgiveness and compassion showed by Nelson Mandela in a world full of Reagans and Thatchers was my moral code.

When I moved to London in the 80s I worked with an African partner to bring music from the continent to the UK and got involved with Amandala, the cultural wing of the ANC. I had never visited the country at this time and would not do so for a long time. Still, I played my part based on morals, not geography.

Madiba has sadly passed and South Africa has now matured and hosted the soccer world cup for the first time on the continent of Africa.

In the meantime, Invictus has matured into a rugby world cup win under Kolisi and a more representative team.

The country is still a long way from where it needs to be and divisions and tensions remain palpable, although perhaps less so than in the US, a country that seems to have reverted badly into dark times.

My ambition now is to take my latest venture, an educational platform, into South Africa and make a real difference, not scoring some political points.

But I still wonder how my life and destiny got sucked into a country so far away, where I have no natural affinity.



We like to believe in democracy, don’t we ? But what does democracy mean ? In its homeland of Great Britain it used to be largely made up of ‘rotten boroughs’, constituencies constructed to favour a few landowners. Even after reformation, emancipation and universal suffrage we still do not get to select the leader of our country. The country votes for a small number of Members of Parliament and they select their leader, who becomes our de facto leader.

In the US, the situation is even more arcane. People vote for a President, but then their votes are abstracted into an ‘electoral college’, of which only half are legally bound to follow the votes of their State or district. The last election saw the President loose the ‘popular vote’ by a massive three million people but still take office.

Of course, this is all laughable to countries like Russia, where the dictator running the country (with a huge amount of popular support, it has to be said) makes up his own election numbers.

And in many places, there are good reasons not to elect a leader by majority vote, countries that have significant minority populations, for example: this has resulted in horrible conflict in countries ranging from Fiji to Rwanda to Sudan.

Polemicism is on the rise – tribalism will always exist. But we live in an information age where the political models of the industrial era need overhauling.



I left London when it was ruled by Boris. He literally sold the city to the Chinese and Russians. Thousands of empty flats. That was Boris’ legacy. Along with a failed bike scheme and overpriced buses.

A scheme to plant lots of trees planted none. Hammersmith Bridge was collapsing, Boris supported a new ‘garden’ bridge.

An utter buffoon.



Let’s face it, any Trump supporter reading that Trump has paid no tax will wish they were him. Like they wish they were him as they sit in their trailer drinking beer and gouging on Big Macs.

There are no politics of envy in the US, just the politics of hope, that one day an uneducated looser living in a trailer can be a NYC property millionaire.

Trump is them, they are voting for their vicarious selves. America 2020 is Germany 1933. Everything else, in their petty little deluded minds, is media lies.



As with many, possibly most, people, musicians have been my heroes. But, one by one I have seen them for what they are.

Cat Stevens, a Swedish Cypriot kid from Soho, became a fundamentalist Muslim.

Bruce Springsteen became the foil for Trump and his supporters. His songs were about racist, redneck Americans.

Queen supported apartheid in South Africa, despite Freddie Mercury being an African himself.

We hear sad songs and inspirational lyrics and we get enamoured with the visions of drug addled idiots. Try The 1975.

Van Morrison thinks everyone should die of coronavirus, as far as I can tell, and has written songs that would kill off his Mama and Brown Eyed Girls alike.

It’s time to treat the troubadours for what they are – talented chancers, not prophets.


Do You Wanna Be In My Tribe ?

Unfortunately, the kind of dialogue seen in the image above rarely happens these days.

People have been cornered into their tribal belief sets, driven by the hysterical AI of social media into geo-political ‘segments’. (Yes, you have been segmented.)

Concepts like truth, proof, education and even morality are no longer clear. You could say that they are no longer black and white, but even tautology is problematic. Every word is loaded.

In 2020, the n word is abhorred (unless used self-referentially) but insidious racism is not only tolerated, it seems to be the official policy of many ‘developed’ democracies.

How can a word be more loaded than actions ? How did we fall for so far backwards. ?


What Are You Doing Here ?

Well, listening to the rants and raves of an old white dude who is cycnical about the world we live in.

I’m 55, live in the UK, but have lived in the US and France.

I reckon I’m liberal, but come from a minority, so I hate bullying.

I’m very well off by any measure and believe in the right to pursue wealth and happiness, but not at the expense of others.