Monday, 28 January 2013


Cardigan, west Wales

I realised recently that the small town near where I live in Wales today has some strong similarities  to how my hometown was around 40 to 50 years ago when I was growing up in south east England.  There is a big difference, of course, in the cultural background and language. But there are still many similarities and sometimes it looks as if Cardigan is going the same way as my old home town – and that would be very sad. So I wrote this…


You used to be fun to be with.

Cardigan's High Street. Still full of little shops.

We had so many good days,
romping in your woods and fields,
playing in all the outside ways.

We bought iced buns in Simon’s bakery,
sherbet fountains in Bunty’s sweet shop.
There was a fish shop, a butcher, a chippy,
and a grocery store with bottles of pop.

But you have changed, hometown.

There was always loads to do and see,
plenty of theatre, fairs and events.
Your pubs and cafes were smoky full.
We never had trouble with malcontents.

We had a great common with lakes,
a park, with swings and slides.
We called our cinema the flea pit,
but there was plenty to do besides.

How you have changed, hometown.

There was a swimming pool and bowling alley,
the youth clubs buzzed to the beat of the day.
There was a police station and a library.
Our town met all our needs in every way.

Our meeting point by the chestnut tree
was one of our most favourite places.
We smoked our first cigarettes there,
Tested illicit alcohol and generally got off our faces.

We called you ‘the village’ and everyone knew everyone.
We walked to school alone, no need of chaperone.
You had it all, little hometown.
Oh how you have changed.

When we were very small we ran to
wait on the footbridge over the railway,
where the flying Scotsman would rush beneath us
as we waved her on her steaming way.

The railway has a different meaning now.
When Thatcher’s army developed and grew,
slowly you became a soulless place,

Cardigan Guildhall

hometown, as they took the heart out of you.

Whizz-kid loadsamoney troops
hustle and bustle to catch the train,
just 20 minutes to the castles of commerce -
double your money and come home again.

Oh hometown how you have changed.

The bankers took over the little place,
they built estates of six bed homes,
decimated our community and now
they only talk on their mobile phones.

There is no police station, no youth club,
the cinema site is covered in flats.
Gone is the greengrocer, sweet shop and newspaper.
The library is closed, now it’s a shelter for rats.

Oh hometown how you have changed.

Estate agents and charity shops fill your centre.
As supermarkets and chainstores suck the life out…
Your pubs and clubs are dark and desolate,
As night after night there is no one about.

Our meeting tree is pollarded,
no-one waits there now.
The community is faded; and
as all is sacrificed to the great cash cow.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

The cull of humans

The total of deaths directly related by Coroners' Courts to welfare reform is nearing 50. Some of the people who chose suicide as the way out are named here. It is estimated that thousands have died shortly after being told they were fit to work, some of them are named here also. Website links for further info and campaigns are below. 

Flowers for those who died after being found fit for work


The cull of humans

They are culling the people now, the ones that, they say, don’t play a good part in the wonderful ‘big society’.

They must be made to pay, they say,
the ones that are a ‘drain on the state’,
the ones that can live no other way.

Elaine Christian drowned under the strain
of the ‘work capability assessment’.
She was found dead in an English drain.

There are many more who have elected to die;
people like her, who see no other way
to live with this Government and its lie. 

Christelle Pardo and six-month-old Kayjah. 
They cut her benefit and left her destitute.
She jumped with her son. They died under a car.

Richard Sanderson could not go on
after a letter from his council told him
that his housing benefit was now all gone.

Grandma Stephanie Bottrill couldn’t pay her bedroom tax,
she told her son to blame the Government
and walked in front of a lorry on the M6.

Martin Rust was ordered back to work.
He knew he could not go, and
the only answer he had was to go berserk.

Amputee Craig Monk became fatally depressed 
when they cut his benefits -
he hung himself when his HB was reassessed.

David Groves faced a medical ordeal;
he died of a heart attack
while he searched for a way to make an appeal.

Leanne Chambers jumped in the river.
They told her she’d have to work, and
there was no more money they could give her.

Stephen Hill died of a heart attack
after they said he was well enough to work,
and there was no reason he couldn’t go back.

Mark Scott was left completely penniless.
Declared fit for work, his benefits were stopped.
And like all the others, he died of hopelessness.

They are culling the people now,
the ones that, they say, don’t play a good part
in our wonderful ‘big society’.
We owe them a full roll call,
but we cannot know the names of them all.

See also:

For the petition see:

and for more info and other links
Welfare 'reform' has also played a role in the deaths of these people:
Paul Reekit, Paul Willcoxson, Mark Mullins, Helen Mullins, Vicky Harrison, Linda Knott, Jack Shemtob, Sandra Moon, Paul Turner, Brian McArdle, Christopher Harness, Carl Payne, Stephen Cawthra, Peter Hodgson, Colin Traynor, Jacqueline Harrison.

and: Nicholas Peter Barker:

October 2014, latest up date here: