Writings, photos, politics and rants... *Original content - may not be reproduced without my consent.*

Sunday, 6 November 2016



In this episode Debra Torrance talks about what emancipation means to her, Matt Geraghty asks if democracy in the UK and USA is shit or shite, and Ruth McAteer speaks about independence for disabled people.
With Victoria Pearson talking about remembrance, Red Raiph on Halloween, and Matt Carr from One Day Without Us talking about the planned day of action on February 20th in protest of the dangerous rhetoric surrounding the migration debate.
We'll also hear from Chuck HamiltonEric Joyce, and John McHarg and have some poetry from Steve McAuliffe.
With thanks to Neil Anderson for his work with the sound on Red Raiph and Steve McAuliffe's pieces, and Neil Scott for pulling everything together. Backing music in Red Raiph's piece used with permission from bensound.
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Thursday, 27 October 2016

The American Presidency Election... Ungagged...!

Videodrome...

(A piece I've submitted to the "Ungagged!" website which will be launched next week).
Lots of people are in to "Mindfullness." I don't see it as a particularly bad thing at all. Yoga helped rid me of my aches and pains after all. Thinking about what I eat has changed my shape and given me energy- and my frazzled tastebuds back, so self help, in my opinion CAN help change society. Some little changes to your lifestyle can impact on how you see the world and interact with people. Eating reasonably healthily, not smoking and quitting drink has made me feel happier, more energetic and able to meet the world. Surprisingly, when I ate shite I felt shite. Which is a pity- because shite tasted good. A quick fix. A burger or a spicy chicken something or some other piece of dead, chemical pumped, pig fat filled flesh in a bit of fat injected pastry.




At present, British society is being dragged to the proto-fascist right. I read words of hate and hear reasonable, lovely people say the most unreasonable things about "Muslims" and "foreigners." A wee bit of self help can help with this swing towards a KKK style, burning cross on the lawns of the semi-detached lower middle class majority. And the thing is, I recognise the words they spit when they speak about the outsiders they have met only in one place... Well, not met exactly- but read about or listen to fat rich fuckers on tv and radio cleverly demonise using references that on cross examination they can deny are racist- but are cues that can be picked up by people like us- cues that direct us to the great white telephone of racist boaking Huey.




I have a self help guide. How to rid yourself of the stodge that bloats your mind with hatred and fear and deflecting blame. It isn't your fault that you have been targeted by these billionaires as their bastion against anyone taking their power from them. Your fat postuled mind, poisoned by their video, needs a work out.


Back in 1983, Debbie Harry starred in a film I probably wouldn't have watched only for the fact Debbie Harry was in it.


David Cronenberg's Videodrome.




At the time, across the world, the press were worrying and deflecting us with stories of depraved snuff videos, chess matches and horror, the USSR arms build up, Samantha Fox and Sylvester Stallone, while the billionaires and the Tories raped the country of its industry and stockpiled enough profit bleeding weapons to pulverise the world into a puff of smoke. The press deflected us from the robbery of our working class heritage- snatched by Thatcher, her pals and Reagan- while we blamed the Ruskies, the Argies, and Holywood for the terrible youths standing on street corners, dancing to Too Rye Aye and dangerous boys in eyeliner.




Videodrome, Cronenberg's biggest hit at that time, predicted a world of reality t.v. gone mad and corporatise control of our heads.


Of course, people cite research they haven't read, but have been "told about," to argue against their having been manipulated or that young people don't become violent or sexist or racist or hydrogenated fat filled because of messages on their many screens. The same people can also cite research they have never read (but believe they have as it was in the Sun or on daytime TV or radio) that says global warming is not real, or that the fucking illuminati control everyone's ass except their fat one. And that smoking, regardless of it being a criminal industry that targets children in developing countries and is re- glamourising nicotine in this country, as almost like some sort of herbal remedy (or the £20 a pack every few days habit as being "my only pleasure sitting reading the Kentucky fried Sun and the Daily Heil, while glancing at poor people fighting each other on early morning TV).


I was that person. I read, drank, are and spewed that shite into the faces of other trapped, propaganda filled to bursting fat fuckers, until one day I found myself weighing up some now long ditched media god's fucking tattoo and his fiery, violent and drunken relationship with Janet-Street Look at Me, I'm famous... What does this fucking Skateboarding, long haired clown matter when the factory I'm working in is now sending its work overseas to be stitched by a seven year olds bleeding fingers? I watched all the pulp the bbc, itv and channel four could throw at me. But did I stop? Did I fuck. But over the years that initial realisation built into recognising  damage the distraction and their lies had on the world around me.


The miners begged and they fought, and they starved and sang and marched while the press demonised them for a whole year. And the police baton charged them and Thatcher and her nasties rubbed their hands as they smashed "the enemy within," us. And distracted us with tales of Boy George and Marilyn and Sigue Sigue Sputnik and Morrissey. Thatcher murdered retreating young Argentinians, while we were entertained by Jim'll Fix It and fucking Rolf Harris. And our industries were smashed, our protective unions stamped on by the Tebbit Jack boot while we sang -a long-a Kylie and are they or aren't they Jason.


 One of the protagonists in Videodrome says about the dodgy TV show the population in its world has become addicted to;


“It has something that you don’t have, Max. It has a philosophy. And that’s what makes it dangerous”.


That to me is the fucking rub- ideologies are stamped on- the working class are sold half truths and pretendy science and non-science by billionaires protecting their Cayman Island stores of rotting riches gained by starving people, murdering them and blinding them daily. Education is slowly becoming something only for a selected (self selected) elite as fees that didn't exist in the eighties now soar, ensuring working class young people head for the telephones, Kwikfit McJobs that offer no security, and ensuring they are profit squeezing fodder for those educated only in how to squeeze the proles harder.  Be fucking grateful they give you crumbs and quit grumbling. Robbed of the education our unions in our communities and workers clubs gave, we are their fodder- their targets - with little critical skills beyond weighing up what one fascist rich shit says against another.


The lies Geobals told- the lies the German people lapped up after their defeat and impoverishment post WW1- are being spun in a new way. The world's economy was again, smashed by war mongering greedy bastards- yet the press -the propaganda organs subtly invading your Facebook pages, Twitter, tv and Titbit magazines have a huge proportion of people believing it was the Muslims; the foreigner; the immigrant; the disabled; the homeless; the gypsy and the refugee fleeing from the profit building rain of high explosives, phosphorous, gas and irradiated warheads who have meant your teenaged daughter is on a council house list as long as David "Pinocchio" Cameron's fat piggy nose. In 1983, Cronenberg's weird, at times funny, but very scary film teenaged me watched by mistake because Debbie Harry was in it, predicted the rise of propaganda- or at the very least- how far insidious -invidious- propaganda was going.




In my opinion, if you believed the Project Fear of the rich Brexiteers or the panicking London elites who thought they were losing cash cow Scotland, you've been Videodromed. Videodromed by Murdoch, the Mail, Sky TV, the establishment within the BBC and the fear and distraction they very carefully create. They ensure your ideology of fairness and peace is stripped and ridiculed and tortured in their Abu Ghraib like pages and magazines and quips and asides as you watch or read them castigate people fighting for you- or fighting for their lives.


Why the fuck would you want a free NHS/education/ mass council house building and service industries ran by your taxes when everyone knows Corbyn loves terrorists and dresses badly-their panel of experts say so. He lies, as does Sturgeon and the lefties in the Yes/remain campaigns who hate our boys and our Queen who works her knuckles to the bone at tea parties meeting plebs who wave wee flags. It must be gruelling. Question the elites place in the world and the Sun will come after you- just ask Gary Lineker who has suddenly become the voice of political reason in a world of Tories calling themselves Labour; and Labour Party members in Scotland voting to keep us shackled to a UK Parliament so corrupt, they can't allow investigation of child rape until all of the rapist bastards peacefully pass away.


Instant therapy: Yoga of the mind.  A friend has told me he buys the Sun because of its football coverage. My tip to that friend is STOP BUYING THE Sun. Yet he wouldn't eat shite. Instead he crams it into his festering, increasingly racist brain. As another friend said to me - if he read the weather forecast in the Super Soaring Shitebag Sun, he'd walk outside to check. The Sun lies. Over and over again it's been caught- not least recently when it was proved to have lied regarding the Liverpool 96. Liverpool is a wonderful place to visit. Liverpool does not read the Sun. Liverpool knows.


Do not read the Daily Mail. The Mail was, before WW2, a champion for Hitler and his British supports. The Mail hates anything beyond the Queens blue eyed white biscuit tin stare. The Mail lies. Dump it, you'll feel better.


Be selective in what you watch on telly- Sky TV is partly (and very influentially) owned by Rupert Murdoch- the billionaire who travels the world without thought or barriers , who approves of poor people being housed in regions unable to move beyond their town of birth. He loves the wall around Gaza. It may be a wall around Liverpool next for the old Digger.


Question everything. War, economics, Brexit, disaster.


And just start accepting these words... There are shitebags who are white, brown, black, beige, able bodied, disabled, employed, Christian, Muslim, Jewish atheist and unemployed. And a huge proportion of those shitebags only care about how to ensure you keep your head down and don't question how they broke the world's economy or why they started wars.


Shitebags start wars, order young people to shoot/blow up/ other young people. And shitebags will ensure in the coming years, no champions of the working class will be allowed to rise from its decreasingly educated and increasingly indentured ranks. And we'll allow them if we are more interested in talking Chelsea, Geordie Shore or the Beverley Hills Housewives than TTIP, war and justice.


Mindfulness is great- but concentrate on what they are telling you- what they don't want you to know and what is churned out -for profit- to distract you.


Debbie Harry's character got distracted in Videodrome -and it killed her. The ideology of profit and hate was driven by distracting viewers with gore and sex. No questions- just "look at this shite- be shocked and get a hard on, and we'll merrily stock up in the Cayman isles while you wank in between your two McJobs."

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Podcast: The Fasci... Tory Party conference...




This is an unscheduled, bonus podcast, because here at Ungagged we couldn't just let the vile rhetoric pumping out of the Tory party conference go unanswered or unchallenged.

Featuring Matt Geraghty, Debra TorranceVictoria Pearson, Eric Joyce,  Steve McAuliffe, Amber Daniels and pulled together, as always by the inimitable Neil Scott.

With music by
Thee Faction with Conservative Friend
Vodun with Bloodstones
And
Dream Nails with DIY.






Saturday, 27 August 2016

Two Furra Pound - Podcast two!




Our new podcast!

Over caffeinated conversation on IndependenceLive.net HERE (mentioned by @nwsocialist and Chuck Hamilton on thepodcast)
Music by:


Hand of Dog
The Blackheart Orchestra
The Unholy A-Men
The Tuts
Joe Solo
Steve White and the Protest Family
The Wakes
The Hurriers
The Cundeez

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

My perfect body...

East Dunbartonshire Council have it wrong...

We are having a new bathroom hammered and scraped and crowbarred into the house at the moment. Besides the fact it's painful - only having a toilet that is flushed by a bucket, no door on the room and no shower or bath for a week- it has changed my life in other ways- for a week. Or who knows- more? We'll see.

 I hate not being clean, so rather than booking into a hotel (we couldn't afford to), we've been using the local leisure centre for our morning ablutions.

And what a revelation! I swim for 15-20 minutes, slowly, managing around 15-20 lengths of the pool. At 50, I'm no longer racing anyone! We use the showers and quickly get dressed.

My wife takes a little longer than I do to dry her hair. She has hair, which is nice for her. I towel dry my beard and shine my baldy heid. And as I wait for her in the reception area of the Allander Leisure Centre in Bearsden, I notice the glossy adverts created to attract people to use the wonderful facilities- facilities always under threat from Tories who feel health and wellbeing are a market to exploit and squeeze profits from. And I think, "One day I will have a body like that 20 something, active looking bloke in that shiny, well taken photo..."

I'm a bit taken aback by the adverts, in all honestly.



Buffed, tanned, perfect bodies don the walls, urging us to change our lives by joining the gym or coming for a swim. But after over forty years of worrying about how I look -a lifetime of putting off working hard to achieve the perfect body, I see these adverts as a really negative thing. Who are they aimed at? Me? They can't be. My 19 year old son? I hope he really doesn't pay any attention to them.

I look around the reception area. And in the queue are pensioners, children, harassed parents, middle aged women and men in all shapes and sizes. And I think of who I shared the pool with a few minutes before. None of them looked at all like these professional models- people whose lives are dedicated to looking this fit and tanned in order to make money from lenses that tweak, deceive and retouch their poses into the sculpted visions of perfect humanity, torturing the rest of us.



Yes- torturing. Creating mental blocks to health.

East Dunbartonshire Council don't seem to have heard of social marketing- the latest craze in the high street and on the catwalk.

Social marketing is about persuading people to buy/do something by showing them that other people like them, buy it/do it. It is a way to show that ordinary folk with bodies like me or other people who have lifestyles that mean they are working 9-5 NOT feeding a camera lens; people who have reached that golden time called retirement; people who need sticks to walk; people with the real imperfections that everyone has that are never shown in GQ or Vogue; people with bumps lumps, smiles and resilience through the onslaught of the media scrum that seeks out youth and holds it above reality- an unhealthy obsession with youth going back to the turn of the 20th century and under aged model, Evelyn Nesbitt and the IT girl and resulting in the dreadful diseases of self hatred, harm and nihilistic eating, drinking and smoking some of us resort to! The unattainable as an ambition. A reality divorced from the streets and the coffee shops and the pubs and the supermarkets where real bodies slouch and run hurriedly to their work.



Of course, this social marketing is beg used at present by really unhealthy brands. Ordinary people- with ordinary bodies and faces and habits- are showing us that fast food and fizzy drinks and tv channel hopping as a lifestyle choice are for them.

But the counter to that really is not what East Dunbartonshire Council seem to think it is- presenting what is unattainable for most of us as "health."

My revelation has been this. I don't look like that model. I'll never look like that model. I don't have the time or the narcissistic tendency to spend my time, money or mental health in achieving the perfection of the East Dunbartonshire Leisure Centre photo models. But I feel good! The necessity of having to go to the Allander this week and having a swim has made me FEEL good.



As a young person, I used to run, cycle and I did my time sweating in a gym. And even though, for a short time, I was addicted to the reshaping of my 20 something year old body- it was in vain- I did not become Adonis. I was still a 6 foot 1, slightly stooped, bandy legged, buck tooth *me.* Just a fitter, healthier me. Well, physically healthy- not altogether mentally fitter as the unattainable just seemed to become more and more unattainable as I strived to attain it. The high and happiness I got from exercise was negated by the presentation of perfection the media, Holywood and advertising presented to me.

And at times when I realised the Adonis me was unattainable, I gave up. I over ate; I over drank; I smoked and I slumped in front of the telly (not always as a reaction to my imperfections- I enjoyed these things, and the alcohol marketing man or woman showed me another way to attain the photo model/movie star look through a cigarette balanced between my lips and a drink in my hand!) All the time, though, knowing that I didn't feel that good. And all of these unattainable images telling me; torturing me; taunting me.

Now, after a few years of casting off things that make me feel bad, I think I am going in the right direction. I don't drink- and after four years of being alcohol free, I feel confident enough in situations where alcohol is the social driver, to drink non alcoholic beer or sparkling water and still have a good time. I don't eat meat and am transitioning to vegan- and this makes me feel good in that I am not supporting the torture and slaughter of other beings on the planet I share with them. I stopped smoking many years ago; and the only drug I take is caffeine in coffee and green tea. And I feel good!

Swimming this week has made me feel good as well.

I dipped my toe in the pool for the first time last Tuesday. And it was with trepidation. Embarrassment. Embarrassed at my shape and lumps, bumps and imperfections. I wasn't the model that they used to advertise their facilities.

But no longer. Because the reality of the Allander pool is not the perfect bodies on their adverts. The reality is that those sharing the pool with me are all shapes, sizes, weights and ages. And they look happy and healthy.

Social marketing - reflecting reality..?
Of course there are a few people in the pool, in the lanes, powering up and down the pool; gliding through the water -being almost perfect. They are noticeable, only because at the start of the week they showed me how unfit I had become. There was a time when I could swim fast, with a perfect stroke. But they no longer put me off. I no longer focus on that perfection. And I think, "are the same things goading them that goaded me when I was twenty?"

I look to the other people-the people like me- the majority of us of different ages, shapes and lives- and I am comforted that real health is about feeling good. Looking good is for those who are blessed with faces and bodies that magazine editors and marketing women and men (who are probably imperfect like the rest of us), seek to create in art that the photographer and her lens presents as perfection.

The models East Dunbartonshire Council have donned the place with, make the place look good, like the pages of a glossy fashion/unattainable lifestyle magazine- but their perfection honed in a studio is off putting. It is damaging. It does not promote the reality of good health.

Good health is not feeling shame walking from the changing rooms to poolside. Good health is knowing the short swim I do is protecting me from our societal diseases -diseases our marketing people have a huge responsibility in raising to the dreadful heights they are at.

But I am feeling a bit more confident despite their photos. I am feeling more energised by the exercise, and I am happy with some of my imperfections. And that's where I am.