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Issue 341

20th June 2014

How time flies ... The last time RBW held a stall at a car-boot sale was in 2008 ... It‟s about time we held another ... Anyone wanting to volunteer to help on the stall please let us know within next seven days. Date and local venue as yet to be arranged. We can‟t hold a stall without things to sell so now‟s a good time for a clear out of clutter ... Thank you!

Rising Brook Library under threat. Ear-marked to become a ‘Community’ volunteer run library under Tory County Council proposals.

Random words : corner, gate, post box, school, cottage, stream, crying, smoking Assignment : Bring me sunshine

It’s odd how sometimes, people’s names reflect their occupation, or some aspect of their character. Plans are underway to privatise one of our best-performing public services, the Land Registry the government body that records the sale of all houses and land. The Land Registry has a 98% satisfaction rating with people who’ve used it. It’s also entirely self-financing, and passes its profits on in reduced fees. But the sell-off hasn’t hit the headlines, and many of us haven’t even heard about it. James is a 38 Degrees member, who works for a legal services company and uses the Land Registry on a daily basis. He’s started a petition on ‘Campaigns by You’ to stop the sell-off and already has strong support from high street solicitors behind the campaign. But if thousands of 38 Degrees members sign the petition, together we could tell the government to scrap their plans. Aside from providing a great service, the Land Registry produces data on house prices, that the government uses to make policy decisions. Privatisation would put this data in the hands of profit-making companies and could give them influence on government policy. James, who started the campaign, says: “The Land Registry is well run, efficient and professional. If the government is to sell off one of our best performing public services, the wider public needs to be able to have its say.” Together 38 Degrees members can show ministers that voters want the Land Registry to stay in public hands. Link to petition

Facebook Friend‟s post: My blog has received over 45,000 hits. This is very boosting to the ego, of course; though it does suggest that some people really need to get out more! Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves, as they shall always be amused. Ever wondered why it is so difficult to lose weight? Perhaps it‟s this .... “One of the reasons it has seemed so difficult for a person to change his habits, his personality, or his way of life, has been that heretofore nearly all efforts at change have been directed to the circumference of the self, so to speak, rather than to the center." ~ Maxwell Maltz It is really scary when grandparents send complete strangers photographs of their grandchildren on social media sites ... Facebook friends aren‟t real friends, Grandma ... The North/South divide: Teeth ... So many adult lives are blighted by poor dental health care as children. “Levels of decay vary regionally with more children in northern regions with tooth decay than those in the south and eastern regions. Levels of decay ranged from 21.2% of 5 year olds in the South East to 34.8% in the North West. Decay levels are higher in the more deprived local authorities.” Gov‟t survey 2013 Is everything too expensive or am I just poor? Tongue in cheek: Isn‟t it lovely when the football thingy is happening half a world away and the matches are on late at night so with a little perspicacious telly watching effort one can ignore it completely ... Seriously, I had always thought there was a disturbing „tribal‟ aspect to some sporting team events until called upon to sponsor children‟s football some years ago in a deprived locality: it was a sobering experience. The lack of positive male role models in their lives and the sense of camaraderie and achievement these youngsters gained from learning through sport and being with inspirational replacement „dads‟ while in training was an eye-opener and something I will never forget.


Kids standing in line at food banks, bad teeth, rickets in schools, stunted growth, rife obesity ... are they bringing back school milk or only talking about it? Perhaps the witch really is dead ... Naah ...

2015 Collection: “Defying Gravity” Submissions now open

The Gardening Tips series was produced by well known local gardening expert Mrs. FM Hartley as monthly gardening items which featured on an audio news-tape produced locally for partially sighted people. (Link To Stafford & Stone Talking Newspaper. Link To R.N.I.B.) As such the articles are meant to be read individually and not as chapters of a book. The articles were written over a period of some 7 years. RBW is absolutely delighted that Mrs Hartley has agreed to some of her words of gardening wisdom gathered over nine decades being reproduced for our benefit by son Alan.

Gardening Tips Week Ending 5th June 2014. Hello Folks Summer time is here at last. All the bedding plants are in, or at least should be and baskets can be hung out. Out door Tomatoes should be hardened off by now and be ready for going outside. It‟s not too late to plant everything though and if you like Sweet Corn that can still go in. I have grown plants in tubs successfully before now, but you need a very large tub - big enough to take four plants to ensure good pollination. Cobs will be a bit on the small side, but they make an extra tasty vegetable. Plants can still be bought in trays ready to grow on. Turnip seed can go in later than most vegetables and indeed are a good crop to grow on after the Potatoes are harvested. Just fork over the ground well after harvesting and sow the Turnip seed. You may get a lot of small ones, but they are tasty in stews, or casseroles on a cold Winters day. Although all the Summer vegetables should really be in now it is time we should be thinking about planting vegetables for the Winter like Sprouts, Kale, Leeks, Spring Cabbage, Spinach and Swiss Chard. These can all be started in what are called 6 packs that are a plastic tray with 6 cells in. You can get these cell trays with all sorts of combinations of the number of cells in, but they all make planting out easier and the fewer the cells the bigger they are and the more growing room they have for the young plants.


Strawberries will soon be ready for picking and if we do as well as last year I shall open freeze some again, so that when they are frozen they can be tipped into bags and will still be loose instead of making a solid lump of Strawberry ice. We found last year that when 4, or 5 Strawberries are put in and into a fruit crumble it sweetens it enough, so that you don‟t need to use Sugar at all - even with Rhubarb, Gooseberry, or Apple. The taste of the Strawberries comes through strongly though, so don‟t put too many in, or

else you will over power all the other tastes. The Grass is growing so well that Alan seems to be cutting it every 3 or 4 days. Grass cuttings make an ideal mulch round all sorts of Bean plants and any scattered amongst fruit and vegetables like Squashes, or Courgettes will help to keep the weeds down and moisture in. Another use for grass cuttings is to help to warm the compost heap up. Don‟t put them in too thickly though – just scatter them in and they will help turn your garden rubbish into good garden compost. Done properly a compost heap does not smell as some people think it might and it does not encourage rats as long as no waste food goes into it. Winter flowering Heathers should be clipped over lightly now to tidy them up and encourage new growth, but there isn‟t much other pruning to be done at the moment. Wisteria is one thing that will need a little pruning soon and you can lightly prune some of your fruit trees just to keep them in shape, but make sure that you don‟t cut off the branches with fruit on although, it is time to thin out heavily fruiting trees. Alan has just lightly trimmed up our Grape Vine to remove some of the excess bunches and encourage those left to grow a little bigger. Well that all for now. Cheerio. Frances Hartley

Unpeeling a banana with gusto, Evadne Gardenblaum, the doyen of the Golden Dragon Company and matriarch of the DG Theatre Operatic Society, didn‟t need divine inspiration to know a back-stabbing exercise was going on. She had already ascertained that the three ton compost delivery to the stage door was a hoax and not a critique of her latest performance as Juliet. Two could play at that game! She didn‟t need a Madame Rose‟s taro reading, or a casting of the runes, to know who was behind the mischief. Thirty years treading the boards taught one a degree of mindfulness, for maximum revenge she would need a plan which required a minimum of effort on her part. She, personally, would not do a hand‟s turn but Charles Frederick Smart was not being this year‟s Pantomime Dame. Not on your Nellie!

The founding father of utilitarian philosophy was Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832). He argued that everything should be judged by its "usefulness"; by which he meant its ability to increase pleasure and diminish pain. These two concepts were self-defining: "pleasure" = "what I to like to experience": "pain" = "what I dislike". The purpose of the arts was obvious: namely, to give people pleasure. But this led to a famous controversy, which has been summed up in the phrase, "Poetry versus Pushpin" (Pushpin being a trivial game played in pubs). Some people enjoy reading Shakespeare; other people enjoy playing pub games. But can we say that in any sense it is "better" to read Shakespeare than to play pub games? Bentham thought, "No". The purpose of both poetry and pushpin is to provide pleasure to the participant: if it achieves this, it has fulfilled its purpose; if it does not, it has failed. It is quite futile for me to tell someone that he "ought" to like Shakespeare, rather than "wasting his time" playing pub games which he enjoys. Bentham's most famous follower, John Stuart Mill (1806-73) took a very different attitude. Mill was a midVictorian, and an exact contemporary of Karl Marx, and like Marx he was obsessed with the idea of "Progress", a concept quite unknown to Bentham's contemporaries. The western world was industrializing, creating a completely new form of society, and in consequence was rapidly taking over the rest of the world. Nothing like this had ever happened before in all human history. Why had this progress occurred, and how could it be maintained? Mill's answer to this was different from Marx's. To Mill, progress was achieved by individuals who dared to think for themselves; to experiment with new ideas and new ways of living: conformity led to stagnation and the likelihood of being overtaken by more progressive cultures. Mill has been accused of being interested only in a "clerisy"; a small elite of enlightened individuals who would provide leadership and guidance, but this is most unfair. What Mill wanted was for the whole community to be "a mentally active people", who would be prepared to think for themselves and make rational judgments, not simply blindly accept what they were told. Mill therefore argued for greater democracy, including votes for women, because he believed the mass of people in his day were capable of independent thought; and, furthermore, that participatory democracy would encourage it. Mill therefore profoundly disagreed with Bentham on the "Poetry versus Pushpin" issue. There was no question that, from the point of view of achieving progress, reading Shakespeare was much better than playing pub games. Reading Shakespeare encourages you to think about important issues! It involves exercising what Mill called the "mental muscles", which, he believed, just like the physical muscles, would atrophy and decay without frequent use. The purpose of the arts is educative: they should be a stimulant, not a sedative. If a poem or a painting is "difficult" to understand; so much the better! By striving to understand it, even if you eventually decide you don't like it, you have achieved something; exercising your brain and expanding your field of knowledge. If we are to progress, both as individuals and as a society, we must always be open to new ideas, to accept that other people might know more than us, and to listen to them. Of course, this does not mean we always have to accept the new ideas, or to believe what the so-called experts tell us, but we should always give such

things careful consideration, although we may ultimately reject them. Without this process, replacing the old ideas with new ones where necessary, there can be no progress. (Living in the 20th century, Mill would have made the point that taking time to study Shakespeare could, at the very least, be highly utilitarian in that enables you to pass exams and thus qualify for a better-paid job. Nowadays, with soap operas and pop songs being the subject of university dissertations, this has become more questionable: though Mill might have conceded that the important thing is the exercise of the critical faculties rather than the subject itself. And we shall pass over the people who are able to earn a good living by playing, not pushpin, but other pub games!) I once discussed with a conservative philosopher the question of whether there had been any "progress" in the arts (he thought not). The point I made was that where there has undeniably been progress is in access to the arts. The great mass of the people can now experience good art, literature and music (however we choose to define "good"), at little or no cost, in a way unimaginable until quite recently. I'm sure Mill would have approved. What, and who, ultimately decides whether one poem or painting is in any sense "better" than another? Bentham would have said, what is best is what gives most pleasure to most people. Mill undoubtedly thought that some poems and novels and paintings were better than others, and if pressed he would probably have said, listen to what the experts have to say and then make up your own mind. But are there any objective standards by which the arts can be judged? A rigid classicist like, Doctor Johnson in the 18th century, would unhesitatingly say, "Yes!" But things are less clear today. If merit were to be decided by democratic vote, then the latest soap-opera would be judged better than Shakespeare, chocolate-box art better than all abstract expressionism, and a pop song better than Mozart or Beethoven, and we are right back to Jeremy Bentham. Should instead the evaluation be done by a handful of cognoscenti, as Mill was accused of favouring? But that sounds distinctly elitist, and furthermore calls into question the validity of democracy in other fields as well, such as the assessment of the government's economic policy. I cannot see any easy answer to this question. Once when I was talking to a man who lectured in modern art, I admitted that I found much of it difficult to understand. He replied (rather loftily, I thought) that a mere layman like me couldn't be expected to understand these things; it should be left to the experts to provide guidance. I told him that he was in danger of converting me to Socialist Realism. This is a term which merits explanation. It is often forgotten that Russia at the start of the 20th century was one of the great centres of experimental abstract art, with such masters as Malevich, Tatlin, Chagall and many others. Several of these artists supported the Bolshevik revolution, but when things had settled down, Lenin instructed them to start producing revolutionary art. They replied that their art was revolutionary, but of course that was not what Lenin meant. To Lenin, art served no purpose unless it was easily accessible to the mass of the people: pictures painted with photographic accuracy, straightforward novels and stories about ordinary people's lives, poems which could be readily memorized and recited, tunes which everyone could hum on their way to work. Anything over and above this was elitist and (the ultimate hate-word!) "bourgeois". Also, the arts had a propaganda purpose, pointing the way to the communist future. As our guide put it on my first visit to the Soviet Union, "'Art for art's sake' was replaced by a superior concept: 'Art for the people's sake'". This was utilitarianism in the arts returning with a vengeance! What resulted was Socialist Realism. What was so destructive of the arts in the USSR was not so much Socialist Realism in itself as the fact that soon nothing else was officially permitted, and that under Stalin all the arts became instruments of crude propaganda. Paintings showed mostly scenes of heroic workers and peasants, and literature was full of the most servile praise for the Soviet leadership and its achievements. Many of the brightest literary talents, like Mandelstam and Isaac Babel, perished in the purges; others, like Anna Akhmatova, were officially denounced but managed to survive. Even in music, Shoshtokovich found his opera "Lady Macbeth of Mtensk" savagely attacked and was forced into a grovelling recantation.

(It has been pointed out that Stalin shared with Hitler the artistic tastes of a mid-19th century conservative: a preference for paintings which had a clear and obvious "message", for poetry which rhymed, for music which had recognizable tunes) Russian cultural experimentation was damaged beyond recall. In the end the Soviet Union and the whole communist system collapsed, largely because it was unable to keep up with the capitalist west in productivity or in living standards. This would not have surprised Mill. He never had any faith in the ability of the state to plan progress, and always cited Russia (under the Tsars in his time, of course) as a country whose progress was severely retarded by an oppressive government and a lack of individual freedom. We in this country are fortunate in that the artistic tastes of our political leaders are of no importance whatsoever! George Orwell once said that the only true test of the arts is survival: will the books still be read decades or centuries later? By any literary standard, George Meredith was a much better writer than Conan Doyle (see image) , yet hardly anyone reads Meredith's novels nowadays, whereas Sherlock Holmes is one of the best-known fictional characters in the world. (Interestingly enough, Conan Doyle thought his best work was his historical novels, which are now completely forgotten). Orwell's definition is not foolproof, but I have yet to hear a better one.

Random words: June 2nd Postage cow polish Romanian

broken glass noise -abatement sleep sheep Italian carte-blanche

Typical! Helen thought. She picked the post card off the doormat. The Italian lakes this time, and Carole hadn‟t even bothered to pay the postage. Lucky the postman hadn‟t asked her to pay! Carole, her classmate. Carole, with her scarlet nail polish and voice like broken glass. Even the dead didn‟t sleep in peace when Carole was around. Surely, if ever there was one, a case for the Noise Abatement Society. Carole, who‟d married a Romanian millionaire who‟d made his money from sheep dip, of all things! And believe it or not, ironically it had turned out to be a cash cow and had made him a fortune in Australia, so that now Carole had carte-blanche to spend what she liked on his credit cards. But it didn‟t extend to a stamp! (PMW)

Holding the solicitor‟s letter which, annoyingly, had arrived without sufficient postage, Millicent sighed, a deep sigh. She wasn‟t sleeping well after the debacle at the funeral. How she regretted the way mother had given Herbert carte-blanche to run the family business as he wished. For a barrister, Herbert was an unpolished diamond, his vowels grated like broken-glass on the ear-drum. She could hear her brother‟s high-pitched shrieking coming from the barn: in full flow he could give the noiseabetment police a thing or two to say. Sheepishly, the two men on the short end of her brother‟s rant were immerging into the sunlight, Pavel, the aged Romanian and Georgio, a smoulderingly handsome Italian from Napoli. The two migrant workers were followed by a cow called Mildred on a leading rein and two tattered looking sheep, which was a bit worrying. Where was the rest of the flock? (SMS)

Let’s start off randomly with some Random Words ―Yes dear, it's nice here in the Italian Alps, but I'll be complaining to the noise-abatement people about the racket that goes on all night. ―What's that dear? Trying to sleep on broken glass? Yes! Well, you could be right there, dear, the beds aren't that good, and you should hear the racket the staff makes with that machine.‖ ―What's that dear? Polishing the floors? Possibly, but it's more like giving the dirt a new outlook on life.‖ ―Say that again dear. You know I can't hear properly until the cows and sheep are out.‖ ―No dear, I don't suppose it'll affect breakfast; it'll be toast and stuff like always on the Continent. We had one of them, what do you call 'ems ... carte-blanche … menus last night. Didn't do me any good I can tell you, got avec on everything; spoils food does too much avec.‖ ―No dear, off to that Romanian place today, what's it called … Postage, or something? Maybe they can do a proper cup of tea there!‖ ―Phone you tomorrow, bye dear.‖ <<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>> Things heard around the Haggis and Wine appreciation section of the Nevercombe Upwards Ladies All-in Wrestling, Boxing, Cricket, Fencing, Croquet, Morris and Highland Dancing, Competition Knitting and Embroidery Club. Assignment wot woz writ down by Aym Lez Rambylin's ―It's an art form you know?‖ ―Art form! What are you on about Shandy? What's an art form?‖ ―Clout casting, Pipe. You know the old saying about ne'er cast a clout til May be out? Well it's June so it's clout casting time.‖ G&T cast a jaundiced eye over the assembled throng in the cricket pavilion before saying. ―You'll not get much clout casting going on around here, Shandy. The odd walking stick and surgical appliance, maybe. But what with the Custard Pie hurling season just starting, and the ladies All -in Fencing team in full cry to take the All-comers Post-and-Rail cup this year! Well it stands to reason that clout casting's got to be a back marker.‖ ―That's 'cos there's never been a proper cup for it before, lads.‖ ―A cup! What sort of cup?‖ Pipe was agog. Previously he'd only ever come third in the agog stakes and was giving it his best this time around. However, he did admit he was sadly out of practise. ―Not sure. The Vicar was a rummaging around in the bell tower loft, after his Grandfather’s hearing aid I think, and found this old cup, with words on it. He's none too sure, what they mean but reckons it's the Hooray Henry Cup for clout casting. Goes back a good way that do. Mrs Vicar looked it up and says it goes back to Tudor times. Mind you I never did trust them Tudors, I mean just look at what they did to them cottages they built down in Cobbles last year.‖ ―Cottages!‖ G&T interjected, ―What cottages are you on about, Shandy? They built some houses on the old hall site, Tudor Mansions they called the place, but no cottages.‖ ―That's what I means. Have you took a look at 'em? Not proper houses at all, black and white at the top they are, and they got indoor plumbing. Proper Tudor houses don't have indoor plumbing, and all the doors and windows are square. Proper Tudor houses, like mine, has crooked windows and doors that don't fit, everybody knows that!‖ ―So what's that got to do with a cup for clout casting then, Shandy?‖ G&T wanted to know. ―Easy in'it. We gives the cup, annual like, to them what does the most for the fine art of clout casting. An annual exhibition in the Village Hall I should think. 'Course we'll be out of it, can't do the wriggles no more. Mind you, according to Telescope, E-type’s younger sister could do well.‖ ―Telescope! What does he know about it?‖ If he hadn't run out of his favourite joss sticks, Pipe would have been incensed at the idea of young telescope peering into bedrooms. ―Well you know he's always on nights, unless it's raining of course, so he's been going about with her for some days. Says she's the fastest clouter he's ever known and he's got the black eye to prove it.‖


POETRY LIBRARY: Latest Competitions: Buzzwords Open Poetry Competition | Closing Date: 17-Aug-14

Saveas Writers' International Writing Competition 2014 - Reflections on the Great War | Closing Date: 23-Aug-14

The Manchester Poetry Prize 2014 | Closing Date: 29-Aug-14

The Portico Brotherton Poetry Prize 2014 | Closing Date: 31-Aug-14

National Poetry Competition 2014 | Closing Date: 31-Oct-14

New Events: BOLTON: Write Out Loud | 15-Jun-14 id=10550

LONDON SE5: Bloomsound | 16-Jun-14 id=10535

LONDON SE15: Literary Kitchen Festival |16-Jun poetryappreciation/?id=10563

LONDON SE15: The Reader Organisation | 16-Jun id=10564

LONDON WC2: T S Eliot & Kathleen Raine |17-Jun poetryappreciation/?id=10423

LONDON WC1: Lumen Poetry Series | 17-Jun-14 id=10439

LONDON SE15: Goldsmiths Writers' Centre: Lit Live | 18-Jun-14 id=10572

CARMARTHENSHIRE: Dinefwr Literature Festival | 20-Jun-14 id=9109

CONISTON: Summer Solstice | 20-Jun-14 id=9941

BOLTON: Walt Whitman's Bolton Connection |20-Jun poetryappreciation/?id=10551

LONDON SE15: Unwriters' Anonymous | 20-Jun-14 id=10566

NORWICH: Poetry Environments | 21-Jun-14 id=9811

BLIDWORTH: Workshop with Claire Coombes |21-Jun id=10498

LONDON SE15: Riddle Me This Poet-Led Walk|21-Jun id=10586

LONDON SW5: What We Should Have Said | 23-Jun id=9923

LONDON EC1R: Weatherfronts | 23-Jun-14 id=10351

LONDON EC2: The Fateful Voyage | 23-Jun-14 id=10544

ABERGAVENNY: Hen & Chicks | 24-Jun-14

LONDON NW3: Templar Poetry - Penelope Shuttle | id=9760 17-Jun-14 readings/?id=10472

LONDON WC1: Blue Bus | 17-Jun-14 id=10542

ORKNEY: Orkney Writers' Course | 18-Jun-14 id=10006

LONDON SE14:'Utter!'Spoken Word History/24-Jun id=10258

BROMLEY: Mattson & Bartholomew-Biggs | 24-Jun-1 id=10402

BOLTON: The Worktown Festival Launch! | 24-JunLONDON WC2H: Three Chinese Poets | 18-Jun-14 id=10372

LONDON SE15: Haiku Jam Live Event | 18-Jun-14 id=10571 poetryappreciation/?id=10552

LONDON SE14: Utter! Spoken Word History | 24Jun-14 poetryappreciation/?id=10577

LONDON N10: Creative Writes | 25-Jun-14 id=9968

LONDON WC2: Poetry at the Courtauld Institute | 28-Jun-14 id=10557

LONDON N6: Lauderdale House Poetry Reading |25Jun-14 LONDON NW3: A Dream Deferred | 29-Jun-14 id=10363 writingpoetry/?id=10473 BOLTON: International Poetry Night | 25-Jun-14 readings/?id=10553

CHICHESTER: Petersfield Write Angle | 29-Jun-14

BOLTON: George Wallace Workshop | 26-Jun-14

Latest News: Forward Prizes 2014 shortlists announced | 03Jun-14 poetryscene/?id=1194 id=10554

LONDON E1: Six East London Poets | 27-Jun-14 readings/?id=10537 BOLTON: Alabaster Deplume & Guests | 27-Jun-14 id=10556

LONDON WC1: Magma 59 Launch at the LRB | 27-Jun id=10576 id=10529

Saboteur Awards 2014 - Results | 02-Jun-14 poetryscene/?id=1188

The Poetry Library Update extract ...

SHEEP AND COW POEM. How do sheep get to sleep? Do they count sheep? They should copy a cow -they know how They just lie on the grass with buttercups and daises avoiding broken glass. Well sheep and cow alike make the noise that they best like. The "moo" and the "baa" can be heard by the herd from afar. They think they have Carte Blanche living in a field or on a ranch to make a din in Sheep Polish or Cow Rumanian and they both learn Italian on the hoof. They are really intelligent . This is their proof! They promise to keep down the noise in the future and show their intent with a letter of apology to the Department of Noise Abatement. But Sheep and Cow don’t do post they don’t know how end in a rage Can’t afford the postage They just can’t cope with the technological age. June 2014 Random Words

The Little Parties You Have Never Heard Of But Could Save Your Life? Writes ACW In Greece, a lot of little socialist parties managed to gather together and now are called SY.RIZ.A, which by the abbreviation dots you can see is amalgamation of little parties. Watched SY.RIZ.A in two general elections either end of the month, yes two, go from 4 per cent of the vote to 30 per cent of the vote and become the official opposition party in parliament. So it can be done. What TUSC (Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition) is trying to do, is bring all the little socialist parties together under an umbrella coalition. Maybe even bring in to TUSC the People’s Assembly, which is not a political party. The most obvious thing is to convert sitting Labour councillors and MPs and Labour party members into membership of TUSC, as the Chairperson is an ex Labour MP. In Labour, is still New Labour within a group called Progress. Something has to change to make enough candidates to form a majority government in 2015 of a socialist reborn Labour, and not need a coalition again, and keep the Tories out of re-election. It keeps being said that 2015 will see the lowest voter turnout in UK history. Labour sounds far too much like the Tories so often. With so much hunger amongst the working poor, that are the majority going to food banks, then another 5 years of austerity could bring meltdown revolution. No, far better a nice quiet election with a few per cent more voting than the 70 per cent who never bother, and we get to keep socialism at all in our land. Why socialism? Because it gave us everything that makes the people and workers human to the state, altogether: The 8 hour day, health and safety at work, women being human to the state, children not down the mines or in industry, the NHS making medical care accessible by all, food money for working poor, disabled, sick, retired elderly and unemployed (last one only 3 per cent of total benefits bill), free schools. And a lot more besides. So Who Are These Little Socialist Parties? TUSC is an umbrella for campaign activists like anti-bedroom tax, anti-fracking and little socialist parties in coalition, to form a political party with a view to being in government and getting rid of these threats to our wellbeing. Left Unity Party is hard left and offers hope in social housing to put a roof over everyone’s head and bringing back the link of the state pension to average wages. Mebyon Kernow of Cornwall wanted to bring in a living wage for its low paid council staff on the frontline by cutting manager’s salaries, so could be done without raising council tax. Links are on my personal website: including the banned TUSC video for the May 22 council elections, that might have brought about a very different result in Labour run councils. I have the distinction now of having been banned from two online media sites from commenting. Mostly for trying to promote my petition against loss of women’s state pension payout from 2013, when women MPs kept the pension payout from 2012 and all MPs get my lost food money as an 11 per cent pay rise in 2015, general election year. Hope to help in my small way to save the starving of all ages and keep socialism alive in England, where Karl Marx wrote his famous book, Das Kapital, and Engels wrote our social history of England, with his book, The Condition of the Working Class in England written September 1844 (the beginning of the Industrial Revolution). Take heart from the words of the Poet Percy Bysshe Shelley (4 August 1792 – 8 July 1822):

Stand ye calm and resolute, Like a forest, close and mute, With folded arms and looks which are Weapons of unvanquished war. Rise like Lions after slumber In unvanquishable number Shake your chains to earth like dew Which in sleep had fallen on you Ye are many — they are few.

Poetry competition You should by now have seen in your local library a poster advertising Poetry on Loan’s poetry competition, open to anyone who lives or works regularly in the West Midlands. If there’s no poster in your local library, then feel free to tell them that there should be one! The prize is, for adult entries, a paid performance in the prestigious Library of Birmingham, at a time and date to be agreed with the winner - so it’s really worth having a go! The junior prize winner will receive book tokens. It’s free to enter, but it’s really important that you stick to the rules. These are given in detail here: All entries must be made through the Poetry on Loan Contact form. Put Poetry competition in the subject line. Ledbury Poetry Festival Selection of the next Birmingham Poet Laureate

Staffordshire County Council has said it has "no plans" to close any libraries as it seeks to launch a consultation on the service. Staffordshire County Council claims a proposed 12-week consultation would help "shape the future direction" of 43 libraries. It said user numbers in the county were falling and it was looking to see if some buildings could be shared with health services or the police, while other libraries could be community-run. In February, the council approved £19.3m of budget cuts. However, it claims the plans were "not simply about saving money", any changes would take two years to fully implement and start after April 2015. Mike Lawrence, the Conservative County Councillor (South Staffordshire - Cheslyn Hay, Essington and Great Wyrley Conservative Cabinet Member for Children, Communities and Localism) who oversees the library service, said he was proposing the consultation to the cabinet: "Libraries have already changed a great deal in the last decade, but user numbers are still falling. We need to change, radically, to reinvigorate our libraries so they are better used within their communities and to do this within the council's financial resources." If approved, consultation would begin on 7 July. RBW has registered our interest as a stakeholder in any proposed consultation. The Express & Star reports Rising Brook Library is one of four ear-marked to become a community, volunteer run, library. 200 jobs (full/part-time) in the library service are at risk. It is a concern and well documented that libraries which switch over to being operated by the voluntary sector, often close soon afterwards.

This year’s Bloody Scotland Short Story Competition is open for submissions!

The competition, which is in its third year, invites short stories of up to 3000 words from anywhere (and everywhere!) in the world. Bloody Scotland is Scotland‟s first literary festival dedicated to crime fiction, and with the announcement of the full programme of events for this year‟s festival (19th - 21st September in Stirling, Scotland) just days away, we invite entries from budding crime writers! The purpose of our competition is to find and celebrate emerging creative talent, and we would love for you to share this opportunity within your creative writing network. Details for the competition rules of entry and submission form can be found here: Stevie Marsden, Bloody Scotland Short Story Competition Coordinator Seeking the Best in New Crime Writing from All Over the World The Caledonian Crime Writing Festival, Scottish Company No SC404578, Registered office: Caledonian Exchange, 19A Canning Street, Edinburgh EH3 8HE. The Caledonian Crime Writing Festival is a Scottish Registered Charity, known as Bloody Scotland; Charity No SC042615.

Bedford Short Story Competition 2014:

The Short Story Competition 2014 being run by the Bedford Writing Competition: this is a new competition with the aim of providing a platform for the finest in fiction writing. BWC is a non-profit making organisation and any proceeds will be donated to charity. This year the competition is for short stories of up to 3000 words in length, on any theme. Prizes totalling £200 will be awarded to three stories judged to be the best by award-winning novelist Leigh Russell with ten of the short-listed entries being published on BWC‟ s website. To see the entry requirements for stories which should be submitted by 30th September 2014 please see our website

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Issue 341 RBW Online  

Car-boot stall proposal, Rising Brook library under threat

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