How tired am I???

Well, two days of doing not much since getting back, and I’m still exhausted! I’d forgotten just how tiring this kind of touring is, especially carrying all the stuff on trains… I’m recovering, but slowly.

So not much to blog about in my life, so i thought I’d rant about Trick Or Treat. Is it really wise to teach kids that threatening people who don’t give you sweets is a good thing?? Or that going round door to door asking for sweets is a good thing anyway?

As a kid I was told that Halloween was evil because of the association with the occult and all that stuff – not something I’m all that bothered by now. But giving kids a reason to go round demanding stuff on pain of some kind of ‘trick’ has to be a bad idea, given that number of rather more harmful parallel activities too many kids are already getting into.

In the US, according to TAFKASJ, kids of ‘no concept of the “Trick” part of it’ – they just go round the houses collecting sweets (or ‘candy’, I guess with it being america). So it’s about gluttony rather than the threatening part of it, the expectation that the fun neighbours are the ones who give you sweets, and only a miserable bastard would withhold candy from the kids.

As someone who would seriously not want my kids (were I to have any) to be given sweets by anyone, let alone strangers, the idea of a national holiday built around the idea that the best halloween you can have is one where you get loads of sweets doesn’t work for me at all. Dressing up is great fun, parties are cool – it’s not that I’m anti-fun, far from it. It’s just a shame that the fun seems to revolve around filling kids’ stomachs with borderline inedible sugar and chemical concoctions in vast quantities. No wonder there’s a childhood obesity crisis in the US and the UK.

So whether it’s threatening people who don’t give you sweets, judging neighbours by how much candy they produce or filling your face with millions of nasty sweets, it just doesn’t work for me on any level, and certainly doesn’t seem to be setting up these kids for any kind of positive view of anything. I’ve come full circle from when I was a kid – we’d do none of the ghost stuff and all of the sweets and toffee apples… now, I’ve got no problem with the ghost stories, but will avoid the gluttony at all costs…

…maybe we should all just celebrate samhain instead?

Euroblog #7

Euroblog 7

Right, lesson #1 from all this has been to get the complete Europass whatever you’re doing. OK, so it costs about £100 more, but it gives you way more options, and stops you getting stung the way I have been just now.

Having bought my tickets in Venice on Thursday, on the train just now, I discovered that all the woman had done was reserve the seats for me, and charge me a booking fee, not actually sell me the sodding tickets! She’s listed them as though I had a pass for the whole of Europe, rather than one that doesn’t cover Switzerland and Germany. so I’ve just been stung for another $50 for the Swiss bit of the journey. I think the same is likely to happen in Germany too… eeek. I mean, it’s not going to break the bank, but it’s a total pain in the arse to have been sold the wrong tickets. I think I might go into the Rail Europe offices in London when I get back and complain – it’s not that I would have minded paying the extra – indeed, I was surprised when she told me the price of the tickets from Milan to Amsterdam via Switzerland and Germany – but the hassle of being sold one lot of stuff, then finding out that it’s not valid is just nonsense.

Other than that, it’s all going fine. I’m on train two out of a five train series – this one’s a local Swiss train, from Arth to Olten, and then I change and get on a train to Mannheim, then to Koln, and thence to Amsterdam. It’s funny, traveling on trains takes a lot longer, but is way less tiring than flying. I’m much more relaxed, can get up and wander around, and can watch some of the most beautiful scenery in the world whistle past the window, safe in the knowledge that my eco-monkey credentials are improving by the second. Also got to meet a couple of lovely americans from Portland Oregon, on their way home after a trip round Italy – always nice to meet fellow travellers, have a chat and move on. It’s great the way orbits intersect like this on the road. Sometimes they cross and merge, as with Luca and I, where we end up working together for years to come. Other times, it’s just a 20 minute chat on a train or plane and away you go.

Current Listening – Tollak, Walk This World – he’s the harp-monkey from EuroBassDay, and this record of his is lovely. It’s kind of classic singer/songwriter stuff, in the big emotional 80s songwriter vein, with a fairly major chunk of Beatles harmony.

Update – now on the train from Olten to Mannheim – I think I managed to flummox the ticket inspector with the number of bits of paper I thrust at her – my inter rail pass, my swiss ticket (which says it’s for Basel but I haven’t been there), my seat reservation, and the following tickets through to Amsterdam, and she just tapped some information into her over-sized palm pilot thingie, thanked me and left. So so long as she wasn’t sending messages to marksmen in Mannheim saying I should be shot on sight when I leave the train, I think I’m OK… We’ll see. More news at the top of the hour.

In other train related news, met two more lovely Americans on the last leg of the trip – two girls from Seattle backpacking round Europe.

And Swiss trains officially kick the arse of all other trains. They’re fantastic! I thought I’d wandered into first class by mistake. But no, this is my seat. yay! However, they still haven’t cottoned onto the idea that a power-point next to each seat is a really great idea for laptop users. I guess i’m the only one… riiiight. Also finally managed to find something veggie to eat in a shop on Olten station – a cheese and jalapeno tortilla wrap! Molto picante e bueno. or something.

The big problem with Switzerland is the language thing – with bits of it being Italian speaking, German Speaking, French Speaking, and Swiss-German speaking. My brain hasn’t at all been able to switch to German thus far… I got to the point where I could hold basic conversations when I toured in Germany a lot in the early 90s, but it’s going to take a bit of work to get it back into shape…

[second update] I take back what I said about Swiss trains, I’m stucking in a fucking smoking carriage, and am going to end up smelling disgusting by the end of this, and feeling rather sick. What kind of loser train network lets people smoke on trains? What more’s the point, what kind of loser ticket agent books a seat for a non-smoker in a smoking carriage! The kind of moron that works at Venice station and doesn’t actually book me any tickets, just seat reservations, that’s who… grrrr.

Euroblog #5

Venice. Wow. What a place. I’m sure I’m the last one to get here, but if you’ve not been, it’s great.

The first thing I had to do when I got here was book my ticket to Amsterdam for Saturday. Sounds easy. Is it bollocks. I go to the ticket office, ask for the ticket but get sent to the information desk to get the train times, get them printed out and take them back to the ticket office. Back to the ticket office, that train is fully booked. So back to the information desk for more trains. WTF? Two completely independent computer systems for tickets and time-table!!! 95 minutes later and I’ve got tickets booked for the train up through Switzerland and Germany, but still only costing an extra 20-odd Euros, and actually saving me about three hours on the time it would take via Paris. Worth 20 Euros of anyone’s money.

Anyway, after that, my fantastic host here in Venice, Daniel Deluve takes us to the hotel where the gig is happening. Swanky doesn’t even scratch the surface of how posh this hotel is. 495€ a night posh. Just nuts. Venice, having no roads, is a nuts place to get to, and we travel to the gig by boat (this is definitely the only gig I’ve ever done where the PA and bass rig have been delivered by boat (is it just me, or am I writing in some weird pidgin english? All I can hear in my head is the kind of bizarre simplified english that I use to speak to Italians who speak slight more english that I speak Italian… sorry if all this sounds a bit odd..)

Anyway, we dump the stuff at the hotel and head off for lunch and a wander round this gorgeous city. It’s nuts. it’s one big cliche, in the best sense of the word – gondolas, canals, street musicians playing lutes, and chock full of loud obnoxious tourists. Yay for the English speaking world and our bizarre relationship with the beautiful parts of the planet.

Anyway, the gig was great fun. A mix of residents in the hotel, friends of Daniel and some tourists (including an american dude who lives in Cornwall and is a David Torn and David Sylvian fan – restoring my faith in tourists as people of taste and discernment). All in a great time had by me, and seemingly by everyone else too. nice to get to play two 40 minutes sets too.

Then the journey home, back on the boat with PA and bass rig. Suddenly the boat is invaded by four completely hammered tourist losers from Bolton. Incoherently drunk, singing and dancing, and making me oh-so-proud to be English. One pissed lady comes to talk to me, so I pretend to be Italian – ‘no parlo inglesi’ – shows just how hammered she was that my crap Italian grammar and piss poor accent fooled her. But it was great to have some English buffoon shouting ‘ARE YOU A MUSICIAN? MUSIC? LA-LA-LA???’ in my face while I look blank, and ask my Italian friend to translate for me, then tell her I’m a pianist, despite the fact that I’ve got a bass gig bag leaning against me. Fun with drunks.

So today, I’m heading back to Luca’s to mix the last of the tunes for the album, the tomorrow onto Milan.

I love my life – as John Lester commented on my MySpace page, ‘That ain’t working, that’s the way you do it’.

Euro Blog 3

So, saturday and we’re onto the EuroBassDay – Verona is a city I’ve visited a few times before, and the organiser of the Bass Day, Giambattista Zerpalloni is an old friend. I get to the venue, and run into lots of Italian friends from prevous visits, and Oteil Burbridge, who I’ve met a few times at NAMM shows, and always got on very well with.

I check in at the hotel (which is miles away from the venue, but nice), and then go back and get ready to play. First up is a half hour Looperlative demo in the main concert hall (the venue is the Palazzio Della Grande Guarda, right in the main square in Verona – a stunning location for a Bass Day!) which goes very well. the LP1 once again behaves itself, proving that it’s fixed, and the response is v. positive.

After that, it’s time to just relax. I head off out to get away from the noise of bass, run into Oteil and his lovely wife at a restaurant in the square, and have dinner with them. A hugely enjoyable meal that set the tone for the rest of the weekend – playing a bit of bass punctuated by hours and hours of hanging out with totally wonderful people.

The rest of the american contingent are Epifani endorsers – Oteil, Andrew Gauche (gospel bass legend), Lincoln Goines (stunning Latin groovemeister and lovely fretless player), Dominique DiPiazza (French solo bassist, possessed of the most terrifying flamenco skillz I’ve ever seen on bass), Nic Epifani and Joey Lauricella from Epifani and Fodera. It’d be tough to find more enjoyable company at a bass day. Hours and hours of hanging out, chatting, joking, and occasionally playing. We get back to the hotel at past 2am, and crash.

Day two of bass day, and I’m on earlier – 2.15 – and it’s a 45 minute set. Oteil agrees to come and play a duet, and in the middle of a gig that also features Grace And Gratitude, MMFSOG, Nobody Wins, Scott Peck, Deeper Still and What A Wonderful World, we do an extended improv thing that just blew my mind. Really really lovely RecycleMusic at a bass day. Totally delicious (I really want to get hold of the video of it!)

After that it’s escape time again, and this time, Oteil’s wife Barri and I head out shopping, me being the honourary girl of the group, so deemed acceptable as shoe and handbag shopping partner. I also prove to be an expert haggler and berry gets get a 45€ bag for €15.

Out for dinner with the whole Epifani crowd again for more fun and japes, and back for the final gig, which goes on far too long, features a few stunning moments (musical hero of the weekend is a harmonica player living in Holland called Tollak who really does have a musical midas touch), and ends with a fairly loose and messy 8-bass cover of Big Bottom, all of us taking solos. Dominique wisely hides and sits this one out. Fun, but hardly a stunning musical finale to the weekend.

Bass Days are a weird thing – on the one hand, there are occasional moments of great music, and some fantastic people (even moreso at this one than usual), but there’s also an awful lot of slapping and tapping and overplaying and noisy nastiness. On balance, I really enjoy it, but I could happily go another year without hearing anymore slapped or tapped demi-semi-quavers.

Another late night, and we’re up to now, sat in my hotel on Monday morning, about to go and spend the day in Verona with Oteil and Barri. Yay for the touring life!

InterRail ticket is booked…

I’m going to blog my travel process in some detail, given that I’m doing my Italy/Germany tour in October via an InterRail ticket – that is, I buy one ticket, and can get through all of France, Belgium, Holland, Italy, Greece, Turkey and, er, Luxembourg for 22 days on the train.

I booked the ticket online – nice easy process, though you do need your passport to hand as they want your passport number. The online booking process is fairly non-specific, in that you don’t book a seat on individual trains then, you just choose the zones, your age bracket (under or over 26) and a start date. I’ll be ringing up on Monday morning to get reserved seats from London to Geneva, Geneva to Milan, Milan to Verona, and then after that Verona to Dusseldorf, which is out of my zones (as is Geneva), but I’m hoping I can just pay a coupla quid extra and cross the border, as both are v. close to the French/Dutch borders…

While in Italy, I’m going to take advantage of the free ticket and see if I can get away to Rome for a day between gigs – need to find out how long the train takes from where I’ll be staying…

If this all works out as planned, it’s definitely THE way to tour in Europe – no airplane baggage limits, no 2 hour checkin times, no hassle finding crappy airports 30 miles outside the city centre to be able to get the cheap flights, no trouble if you miss your first train, no problem if a last minute gig comes in and you have to reroute… And to cap it all, plenty of time to see the countries you’re playing in! If the gigs are really well paid and spread out, you can break the journeys over night in interesting cities on the way.

This kind of ticket scheme is available for Americans wanting to travel in Europe too – do a google search and see what y’all can find!

The only limitations I’ve come across so far are that you can’t use it in the country you live in, though you do qualify for cheap tickets to get you out of your own country (£100 return to paris in the eurostar, £80 return to Calais – I’m going to see if I can pick up the TGV in Calais…) and if you want to book a fast train, there’s a booking fee of a couple of quid for the seat. It remains to be seen if you can get on without a booked seat, and just take your chances (or end up standing in the restaurant car for 8 hours – no thanks!)

the big thing I’m hoping for are electrical sockets on the trains near the seats. You get these on British trains now, so hopefully, given that the Europeans seem to do EVERYTHING train-related better than us, they’ll have that, and free wi-fi! At least with the plug socket I’ll be able to spend some time working on transcriptions of my tunes. I’m also going to download a few greenbelt seminars and put them onto my phone to listen to, as well as this year’s Reith Lectures by Daniel Barenboim.

I’ll let you know how the booking of the individual trains and the Eurostar goes on Monday…

Steve Reich – the Cave, The Barbican, last night.

A lovely evening last night, spent with Todd Reynolds – violinist extraordinaire, who’s in town playing violin as part of Steve Reich’s ensemble in the concert series celebrating Steve’s 70th birthday. Last night’s show was The Cave, a multimedia piece based in interviews with Jews, Muslims and Americans from lots of backgrounds about Abraham and the story of his first two sons – Ishmael and Isaac. The music is all based on the rhythms and cadences of the voices, and as such changes time signature, key and tempo every couple of bars. Without doubt some of the most insanely complex and difficult to perform music I’ve ever come across. I can’t even begin to imagine how they pulled it off. The conductor, Brad Lubman, was outstanding, conducting in different meters with each hand, cueing the singers, seemingly random piano chords, and the rest of the ensemble. By no means an easy experience, largely due to it’s length and the changes in time, the music itself was actually fairly accessible, probably because the vocal cadences humanised the whole thing.

And once again, it confirmed for me what an incredible musician Todd is – having now seen him play with his former quartet, Ethel, with Joe Jackson and Todd Rungren, play solo at the Recycle Collective, improvising at the RC, playing ‘lead guitar’ with the Michael Gordon band, and now this crazy music with Steve Reich, he’s clearly one of the most remarkable musicians I’ve ever encountered. And one of my favourite people. Leo and I went down early to meet Todd for dinner before the gig, which was truncated by a 6.30 soundcheck, but after the gig Todd and Conductor-Brad both came over to the pub for a drink before heading out to Steve Reich’s birthday celebrations. A marvellous evening all round, great people, amazing music, out of this world playing and conducting, and fantastic company in the form of Leo, Todd, Brad and Julian (Seigel – top sax bloke who was at the gig too, and met us in the pub after). Great stuff.

There are a few more Steve Reich gigs on – go if you can. He’s America’s most important living composer of New Music, and a huge influence on so many people – when I was 17 and studying music AS level, he was composer of the week radio 3, and I recorded it every day and listened to those tapes over and over, writing a series of minimalist-style pieces, including a serial minimalist piece for cello and marimba, that I remember being quite good, but my memory is pretty much certainly better than the actual thing… Still, the shifting textures of so much of Steve’s work is there in much of the loop stuff I do, so it was great to finally see some of his music live.

OK, who thought Jackass was some kind of infomercial?

the crassness of the world of amusement parks just hit an all time low with this story – if you eat a LIVE cockroach, you get to jump the queues for all the rides…

er…

ummm…

WTF????????!?!?!?

What on earth is going on? It’s the kind of thing Steve-O off Jackass or those buffoons on Dirty Sanchez would do, thinking it was cool. But in both of their defenses, they got a TV series out of it!!! That’s a career, all be it a weird one that involves covering yourself in human waste and nailing your scrotum to a plank on occasion… The idea that eating live insects is somehow a good thing to do to get onto amusement rides quicker is utterly beyond me. Quite apart from the being vegetarian part of me, crunching up live-but-immanently-dead animals just seems very wrong indeed. (actually i doubt it is quite apart from me being vegetarian – my repulsion at it is definitely heightened by my general distain for eating meat…)

As we used to say in the 80s, pre-Blair; ‘it could only happen in America’.

Violence over being called violent

Much has been said about the events following the Pope’s perhaps unwise comments about Islam – see here and here – but it’s worth repeating. Unwise though the pope was, does it really do any favours to show your displeasure at being accused of being a violent religion by killing nuns or calling for ‘a day of anger’? If the pope was feeling particularly rash he’d probably just go ‘see???? you nutters are proving me right!’.

What is clear is that there are a heck of a lot of Muslims who aren’t into violent retribution for nonsense talked by the pope. But the ones who do declare fatwas on people for trash-talking the Prophet or the Koran could clearly do with a reality check. Either that or just say ‘yes, we are indeed a violent religion – you, in the robes, outside, now!’

Every faith has its extremists – America has it’s gun-toting so-called-christian militia (otherwise know as the GOP), but they aren’t generally referred to in the press as ‘Christian extremists’ – same with the troubles in Northern Ireland. Our language is very different. Perhaps because the terms we use to describe the different levels of commitment to a religion don’t really work for Islam – moderate doesn’t seem to be a word that any muslims like, with its connotations of being watered down and less committed. Perhaps what we need to support are those muslim leaders who challenge muslims that it is more intrinsically muslim to be anti-war than it is to be pro-violence.

A very wise friend once commented that the problem with George Bush isn’t that he’s an evangelical christian, it’s that he’s not evangelical christian enough. The culture of right wing Evangelicalism in the US has very little to do with any Biblical notions of ‘christ-like’ behaviour. Blessed are the peace-makers? Is it possible to read the whole story of the bible and not come out with the conclusion that God is on the side of the poor? the marginal? Sure, it’s easy enough to proof-text any level of craziness, in the same way that Armando Ianucci can edit a Blair speech for Time Trumpet to make him look like he’s into all manner of surreal weirdness. But if you take the Bible seriously, it seems to me pretty clear that the calling on people who are inspired by Jesus is towards peace, reconciliation, justice, care for the poor, sick, disenfranchised. All very politically charged things. As Desmond Tutu once said ‘when people tell me religion and politics don’t mix, I have to wonder if they’re reading the same bible as me’, or words to that effect…

So in the same way that the deranged war-monger in the White House needs to be exposed not as a religious extremist, but as a having a violent, neo-imperial agenda utterly indefensible from the Bible, so it’d be great to see more public dialogue about the nature of ‘true’ Islam, rather than just some late night channel five discussion show chaired by Terry Christian (which was the last one I saw – truly dreadful).

For reference, my favourite book deconstructing the theology of the far right in the US is Ceasefire – Searching For Sanity In America’s Culture Wars by Tom Sine – it’s pre-Bush Jnr, but pre-empts it perfectly, and is still prescient. Would love to see Tom Sine update it, but he lost a hell of a lot of friends when he wrote it…

I Know I'm Not Alone

Just found the perfect way to focus my thoughts about world politics on a day when everyone’s talking about it. I watched I Know I’m not AloneMichael Franti’s documentary about his time in Baghdad, Israel and the Occupied Territories. It’s a fantastically well made documentary, especially for a first time film maker – fabulously put together, brilliantly edited and profoundly moving.

Franti’s commentary is as you’d expect – insightful, wise, observant, and full of choice quotes about our reponse to conflict, war, and the search for peace.

He says towards the end ‘If I’ve learnt anything from this trip it’s that I’m not on the side of the Americans or the Iraqis or the Israelis or the Palestinians – I’m on the side of the peacemakers, wherever they come from.’ Sounds kind of sermon-on-the-mount-ish, dontcha think?

A blessing be upon the head of Michael Franti for his gift to us of this film. Buy a copy, watch it and take it round to your friend’s houses. And while you’re at it, buy the new Spearhead album, ‘Yell Fire’. It’s amazing.

Anniversary…

Pretty much impossible to avoid blogging about the anniversary of the events of 11/9/01.

As a subject it’s so fraught with the possibility of being misunderstood in your appraisal of its legacy, to sound callous by attempting to frame the deaths in the context of the many tens of thousands more deaths that have followed based on the lies that the UK/US governments formulated about those responsible as an excuse for invading Iraq…

So I’ll start with my sadness for New Yorkers, for those who knew people involved. I really feel for the American people, the confusion it must’ve caused – the US has been pretty much impervious to attack on its own soil for ever, and all of a sudden, a few guys of indeterminate origin or affiliation managed to hijack planes and fly them into buildings. Thank God the media’s initial insane assessment of the death toll was wildly over exaggerated. Two and a half thousand people dying is an enormous tragedy. One person dying is an enormous tragedy when it’s your dad/husband/son/brother/friend. That’s two and a half thousand individuals with circles of influence whose lives were shattered.

And it’s utterly vital that we rethink the way we view those who’ve died in the middle east to see them in the same way. Because they have families, friends, colleagues whose lives are torn apart in exactly the same way. Because your country has a history of war doesn’t mean that its people are laid back about losing their family members. Because people are inspired to fight against the occupying forces, doesn’t mean that their families aren’t torn apart when they are killed.

Sept 11th 2001 was one day in a continuum that stretches back decades, that takes in the whole Israel/Palestine problem, the Suez crisis, the Iran/Iraq war, the Soviet invasion and repulsion from Afghanistan, and even further back Britains colonial meddlings and pointless wars in the region. Relations between the Arab world and ‘the west’ have been fraught for decades, occasionally flaring up into wars, but often being held in tension for the sake of the oil. Now the two have come together – it’s flared up into a war for the sake of oil.

Sept 11th 2001 stands out because a) it was utterly unexpected by the public (though apparently not by the security peoples) b) it was americans who were killed and c) the killing all happened on one day, not stretched out over a few weeks or months. It was a heartbreaking event, perpetrated by evil people that wreaked massive destruction on the city and struck right at the heart of America’s sense of invincibility at home.

But it was also used as a catalyst/excuse/fountain of lies for our governments to then go and bomb Iraq, making up all kinds of shit about links to Bin Laden, WMDs etc. etc. We all know what’s happened. We know the numbers involved in how many have died, don’t we? – Well, most estimates put it at hundreds of thousands, but here’s the rub – WE DON’T ACTUALLY KNOW. As Tommy Franks said ‘we don’t do body-counts’. We know exactly how many died in the World Trade Centre. We know their names, can see their pictures in memorial books, hear recordings of their last phone calls. The iraqis killed are collateral damage, civilian casualties, a regrettable byproduct of a war that needs to be fought…. Bollocks. They are people, with families and friends and hobbies. They are internet junkies and news-hounds, footballers and model train enthusiasts, people who grow the own food and people who resent paying over the odds for supermarket food. People in poverty and people who are doing quite well thanks. People who love their cars, people who take pride in their new sofa. Just normal people, not saints, not heroes, just people needlessly killed. Exactly the same as the people in New York. They weren’t heroes, they weren’t saints. They were people who worked for multinationals, paying the bills and feeding their families. Just normal people who were phenomenally unlucky, in the grand scheme of things. Unlucky to work in the WTC or unlucky to born in Tekrit or Basra. It’s the same shit. Same death, same grief. The numbers who died on a particular day don’t change that.

So what’s the anniversary/memorial stuff all about? Should we mark it? Of course we should, but we should mark it by vowing to stop provoking mad nutters into bombing, to stop killing, to do what we can to end the pain of loss that families round the world are feeling, the families of civilians and the families of servicemen on all sides. We should put an end to it, and put pressure on military states to end it, put pressure on Hezbollah and on the Israeli government, on the Burmese government and on the Chinese illegal occupation of Tibet. On Mugabe in Zimbabwe and on the Sudanese government. If only the big economies of the world understood the notion of being ‘wise stewards’ of what they’ve been entrusted with looking after.

The fucking nerve of our governments going to war against the Iraqis is so infuriating given all the things they ignore. The barefaced self-interest of it, couched in such transparently bull-shit-laden ‘moral’ terms. Winning the war of hearts and minds requires consistency, transparency, honesty, humility, and a level playing field.

We need peace, we’ve been dragged to war. We need to negotiate and discuss, we instead use threats and bombs. We need fair trade, instead we offer sanctions and political weighted ‘inducements’. We need to empower, instead we enslave. We need to respect and celebrate diversity, instead we talk of tolerance and ‘Britishness’. Wrong at every turn, good swapped for evil, peace for war, doves for bombs.

The long term tragedy of 11/9/01 is that instead of learning lessons for peace, our elected officials have told lies to create war. The worst possible memorial to the people who died there is the fact that a war was started and still goes on as a result of their deaths being opportunistically cited as a reason for an invasion.

Fair is foul and foul is fair.

So we should indeed never forget, but I’m buggered if I can think of any more ways of telling the governments that.

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