Generation Alienation

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Dreaming of a life we can never attain
Drinking in big brother convincing ourselves sane
Brainwashed on reality TV, fame aint setting in
Where did it go wrong, where did it begin?

Brought up to believe the world could be ours
Told to constantly keep looking at the stars
Now it has turned to ash in our mouths
We are pissed off for being left behind
No second to stop constantly on the grind

We thought we’d be kings of a better tomorrow
Our dreams slowly fade as reality sets in
Before you know it we are settling for sorrow
Hiding in vain all our shame and our pain
Lost in a world focused on material gain

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Northampton’s Road To Nowhere

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Take a walk through my town
Down the dark and dirty paths
We got no money for street lights
There are no wages for street cleaners
Peer from the lofty lift tower heights
Drink in the run down derelict sights
Hear the dereliction of council duty
Drunk on their neoliberal counsel booty
We have been cut raw to the bone
Dying homeless on the streets alone
Where is the council’s ghost at the feast
Playing host to our very own beast
Draining the lifeblood of our town
We have even been abandoned by the clown
Society now secondary to loan repayments
Who gives a fuck about benefit claimants?
Tear the bus stop down one won’t be soon
Expect one along once in a blue moon
Repeat to me we are all in this together
While I freeze to death in the cold weather
These fair weather friends provide no service
Do they forget they are suppose to serve us!

Fallen Hero

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I shall rise like the phoenix in my hour of despair
The wounded hopeless hero damaged beyond repair
Discarded demented awaiting with bated breath
My desperate final stand against the darkness
I cry out a cry of shame resigned to my fate
Swallowed hole by the sound of my own voice
Naive in the illusion I ever had a choice

Depression Path

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Losing interest in your interests
It’s a warning sign you no longer feel fine
Empty and numb got you feeling dumb
Depression may have you under the thumb

Self hating continually cries out in the night
Dabble in drink and drugs with silent shrugs
Self medicating trying to keep it out of sight
Struggles the morning after the night before
Depression can rip you apart to the core

Hopelessness and despair no surprise life isn’t fair
It gets even worse when you no longer care
But dare to go outside find someone to confide
Lack of confidence have you trying to hide
You probably have depression by your side

Suicidal spikes penetrating your thoughts
Every action you take feels for nought
Lonely mirror hanging upon my wall
Why is it that I constantly feel so small
Depression it can be oh so cruel

No need to suffocate in silence
It doesn’t make you feeble or weak
You are not meek it is a evil streak
Seek help and stand tall in defiance
Depression can be defeated if it’s treated

Fight the County Council cuts, but pick our battles; save our libraries

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Another round of cuts has been announced by the council, and another attack on our public services is being rolled out – well enough is enough, let us throw a spanner in their works and save our libraries.

We won’t be able to stop all the cuts at once, the only way to do that would be a change of administration in Parliament, and in local government – even then it would take weeks, months or even years for the budget and the policy to trickle down, arguably you wouldn’t start feeling the effects until the next financial year (by then it could be too late).

We need to be against all the cuts, but if we fight to stop all cuts we run the risk of stopping none. We have to pick and choose our battles, and we have to fight the battles we stand a chance of winning. Otherwise we are setting ourselves up for failure and the more long term negative effect of demoralisation. If we win small battles, if we win some battles and reverse some cuts, it weakens the position of cuts, and it strengthens our own hand, it makes us feel empowered, and when we are empowered, we are strong.

Chip away at the cuts, slowly but surely undermine the position through a series of smaller victories. The cuts to libraries is a battle we could win, it has been won before, and it can be won again. Why? Because it effects so many different people, it brings together a community, and they can galvanise around it, it is tangible – it is in your face. It should be the focus, the vanguard in our war against the local cuts.

We have to put forward the position that we are opposed to the cuts in principal, but if we spread ourselves too thin, the message is more diluted, and it is harder to get a tangible victory. Focus all our energies and resources on a single campaign, like libraries, campaign around stopping the closure of the libraries, while having the general anti-cut message in the background and at least then we stand the chance of claiming a victory.  Even if the only victory we end up claiming is stopping the closure of the libraries, we will have made a difference to a community. There are other positives as this helps create the campaigning infrastructure for future battles, the community links that are needed in any campaign, provides valuable experience and helps empower people.

So how do we move that forward?

1. A county wide response
Unity is strength, if the library campaigns are isolated they are easier to defeat – their needs to be a county wide response, a coordinated effort. Local groups need to be linked up and supporting one another in the communities battle to save their library

2. Raise awareness
People can’t get angry about something they don’t know about, we need to use all the available methods to raise awareness, social media campaigns, stickers, posters and petitions. Every possible way to raise awareness has to be explored, and the more innovative the better.

3. Protests
We love us a good protest and as part of a wider anti-cuts strategy it can play a pivotal part of showing our strength, and the opposition towards the closure. These can be at council meetings, and outside our libraries, and of course a speaker or two would be great.

4. Direct action
If we are going to draw a line in the sand and so no closures, we have to do more than a two hour protest, and we have to do more than a petition. We have to make it politically impossible for them to close the libraries, these means getting wider community support, but it also means making it as difficult as possible for them. Direct action has to be the way forward, occupy our libraries, carry out read ins, make it colourful, make it fun, make it innovative but most of all make it engaging so that more people get involved in the campaign.

5. Local support, local led
These campaigns have to be led from within the community or they will fail, every community has unsung heroes, and leaders waiting in them. If these campaigns are not coming from within the community, they won’t succeed, identify local leaders, and have as many local people not just involved in the campaign, but running the campaign as possible.

Get angry, get involved, get organised – save our libraries!

Vote me, I support Corbyn – A hollow battlecry

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Telling someone you’re a Corbyn supporter so they should get your vote is not enough, taking a vote for granted because you say you’re a socialist is not enough. There needs to be more, much more in order to galvanise the kind of support we need at grassroots level.

That means setting out a local vision, working within local communities and building an (at first) informal bottom up structure within our local constituency. The internal struggle within the CLP over Corbyn is one huge distraction, it’s a movement – it isn’t about Corbyn, it isn’t even about the Labour Party *gasp*. It is about that hungry person you passed on your way to work, or that homeless person you see outside your local shop, it is about a single mother facing eviction, or an elderly person that dies because of winter. It is about those suffering at the bottom, and the more we get bedded to internal struggles, the more we let them down, the more we look internally, the less we are doing externally.

So don’t expect people to support you just because you support Corbyn, or just because you’re a socialist. You need to prove to the people that you are worthy of their support, you need to show them, with your actions not just your words that you are on their side, and that they can rely on you to fight with and for them.

The vote me because I support Corbyn message is unsustainable (Corbyn won’t be here forever), while it will galvanise us to a degree, it can’t go much further than that. I want to vote for a local candidate whether that is in an internal election, a local election or a general election because I like what they’re having to say, I like where they want to take my community and I can see through their track record that they’re trustworthy – they mean what they’re saying.

If we want to transform our communities we can’t rely on Corbyn, we can’t wait until the next GE. The power to transform our communities is with all of us, the power of the movement is not with one man at the top, but all those engaged in the struggle. Less vote me because I support Corbyn, and more tapping in to that message of hope and unity that he brought to the mainstream.

Now is our chance, so let us harness the energy Corbyn has unleashed and utilise the message, but let us take ownership of it and make it our own. Make it local, make it relevant, take it and make it part of the DNA of our communities.

I could see the necessity when Labour were in a full blown civil war, but we have won that war, it is now time to win the peace.