Author: katybeddoe

A painter, poet, earth worshipper and left wing activist; with a lack of understanding of our material and insular society.

Thoughts on Brexit and a second referendum

I’m saddened that Corbyn has been coerced into a second referendum, against what he believes in. It’s a mistake for our party, given that the majority of our stronghold constituencies voted to leave. It’s a mistake for our country as undermines the entire essence of referendums and democracy. Above all it is dangerous.

Yes I understand there’s a strong feeling that the electorate were misinformed and misled. However, we are aware that we live in a society with a corrupt political system and media which 70% is owned by 6 billionaires whose agenda does not seek to serve us. It’s our individual responsibility to educate ourselves when we are making a monumental constitutional decision. You don’t get a second vote.

The referendum opened Pandora’s box and that sadly can’t be closed. It’s exposed, mainstreamed and legitimised a hate in our society that I’ve never seen before. The far right as I predicted in my blog beforehand has been bolstered and they are hitting the streets in numbers not previously seen.

It terrifies me.

They talk of civil unrest, they legitimate violence, the dehumanise sections of our society and minority’s in our country are facing hatred everyday.

A second referendum is negligence, we can not and should not stir this hostility anymore.

I voted remain, I don’t want to leave the EU.

It wasn’t an easy choice given the corporate corruption of its institution. I was aware that it would be impossible reform as it’s entire structure is set against this happening. My decision was fundamentally based on what a I believed a leave win would do to our country, I didn’t want to be part of that. I was right and I really wish I wasn’t.

So why the hell do we want to do this again? It’s negligence and as bloody negligent as David Cameron was putting us in the position in the first place!

A choice between two shits.

I haven’t been able to campaign for this referendum, I’m feeling so unenthused by any of the debates and apathetic about it all. 
But reading this article today in Red Pepper reassures me it’s ok, I don’t have to have a little word with myself, or do a health and wellbeing check; It is as I said in the very beginning, it’s a choice between two shits.
We can intellectually debate this until we send a glass eye to sleep, the left is good at that. But when you get down to it, there really isn’t a progressive option here:
Remain, is signing us up to continued neoliberalism which no progressive wants to do. But then the consequence of Brexit’s full on thatcher style neoliberism seems to stink a bit more rotten. The other debates are reform that I can’t help but feel is as deluded as redemption for Murdoch, but then also so is Lexit.

So, you can dress this up all you want on either side of the debate, this is not an opportunity for the left, this referendum was dictated by the far right from day one. The debate was based on immigration, mirroring the conversations that took us into World Wars. An underfunded, unrepresented (in the media) intelligent debate has barely been heard further than our own left cliques throughout this campaign. Leaving the EU won’t bring us a Lexit dream, that is a fanciful and horrendously dangerous step to take with even further reaching consequences.

“A vote to ‘leave’ is a win for the reactionary, nationalist right. It’s a signal to those burgeoning right-wing movements across Europe that an inward-looking, closed-door, xenophobic position is a politically and economically viable option. Far-right parties will be bolstered in their claims that it is the EU and migrants (along with all the other ‘Others’) that are at the root cause of our economic and social crises, further closing down space for any progressive systemic analysis.” and that risk I can not play a part in.

So thank you very much you bunch of Bullington bastards, you’ve stifled democracy again. I’d made a decision many years ago when I stopped voting for Labour, the lesser of two evils (then), to keep the nasties out. Eventually I realised voting for a party I had no belief in, for individuals I had no political correlation with, was not participating in democracy at all, it was being submissive to a capitalistic reign. So I promised myself if there wasn’t a option that I believe in, I’d spoil it with a pretentious message. 

But here I am settled on the conclusion of holding my nose to vote in fear instead of hope to remain and I’ll continue to hide in my garden until all this nonsense is over. 

Crack on telling me how wrong I am about this, my decision is so woolly I will probably agree with you and carry on feeding my pumpkins and weeding through my beans.

We can get back to the real fight post June 23rd. Wherever that may be for me. 

What are right-wing people? – a guide for under 10-year-olds

Pride's Purge


toby young cartoon

This is Toby. Toby thinks he is great. Toby likes to tell other people how they can be great too. Toby is what we call a ‘right-wing’ person.

But what are ‘right-wing’ people?

Right-wing people are people who think they are great. Right-wing people think everyone can be great too if only other people were a bit more like them. Right-wing people think they know how to do things better than other people.

Some right-wing people even think they know better than experts. If you have a tummy ache, normal people go to a doctor. Normal people listen to the doctor and do what they tell them to do.

But right-wing people don’t like to listen to doctors. Right-wing people think they know better than doctors.

jeremy cartoonThis is Jeremy. Jeremy thinks he knows better than doctors.

Right-wing people also think they know better than firemen how to put out fires. And they think…

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Tories, the trade union bill and the assault on democracy

“We’re out in the cold, only able to observe,
as big money still lunches with those paid to serve.
Gagged! As dread pervades throughout our core,
we can only assume this is a declaration of war.”


Wales has a proud and active tradition of trade unionism. I followed in the footsteps of my dad and I’m proud to say I have been a trade union member all my working life. Without trade unions we wouldn’t have sick pay, weekends or annual leave. We wouldn’t have regulations keeping us safe in the work place or fair and equal treatment. Therefore, I’m always bewildered to hear someone say they don’t believe in trade unions. Why wouldn’t you? Aren’t we all stronger when we stand together?As my son grew up, I stepped up from being an from being an armchair activist, stepped up from signing petitions and shouting at the TV and became an active foot soldier in the working-class fight, finding solidarity in the trade union movement. That is when I caught the political bug, there’s no turning back after that.

The trade union movement is representative of 7 million members throughout the UK, far bigger than any political party. This scares those that seek to represent not the people they are paid and elected to represent, but big cooperation’s and the banking elite. That’s why the latest tory assault on the unions with the trade union bill, needs to be opposed from every direction and every step of the way. The fact the torys want to impose a 50% minimum on strike ballots, when their own government reigns control on only 24% vote of the population; shows their inconsistency in approach to democracy, dependant on who it serves. Additionally, removing the funding that trade unions can donate to political a party, which is predominately labour, their greatest opposition. This is another sign that they are continuing to assault equal playing fields in this new term.

This along with the Lobbying bill of 2014, better known as the Gagging Law; carving up the constituency boundaries to their benefit, chucking over 800,000 people off the register by changing the rules – most of which are young people who would not vote for them and their support for TTIP;  this government has nothing but distain for democracy, as they seek to enter us into an age of kleptocracy.

This is something that our Welsh Assembly is showing strength with, as Labour, along with Plaid and the Libdems have dropped their differences and are working together to oppose this bill in Wales. Cross party alliances are vital to oppose this government assaults upon the people and the environment. Some say will say that talking class politics is divisive. But we can’t deny that it is happening, that it is real, we can see it, we can hear it and we can feel it here in Gwent. As a Wales Green Party Prospective Assembly Election Candidate I will stand in solidarity with anyone who opposes this bill and will remain to be an advocate to work with other partys for the sake of the cause.  As candidate and, as an activist, I will always fight for not just an environment fit for the future, but for human rights and dignity of the people, particularly advocating for those who don’t have a voice.


The EU Referendum

Reblogged from from

It’s the most measured offering I’ve read about the EU referendum. It pretty much highlights how I feel about the referendum and our ‘options’. I’ll be voting to stay in with a heavy heart, I doesn’t feel like a democratic choice.

Dr John Cox blogs

I’ve written on this topic before and remain unpersuaded.  The ‘left case’ against the undemocratic and built-in anti-socialist structures of the EU is as valid today as for the last referendum – but the consequences of “Brexit”are frightening.

I agree with “Attila the Stockbroker”, writing in the anti-EU Morning Star, that the “Exit Left platform demanding a vote for Britain to leave the EU is a very powerful, indeed almost watertight, argument…. The EU in its present state is a bosses’ cabal, a device to ship cheap labour around Europe and a facilitator for the odious TTIP agreement which will give a free rein to bankers, increase online surveillance of ordinary citizens and allow multinationals to sue elected governments who threaten their profits. What they did to Greece is unspeakable.”

But he then goes on to argue that “withdrawal from the EU will put this country in an even worse position…

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Fighting against the wave of fascism

The late great Martin Luther King once said “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”
This is something I always bring myself back to; anger is an easy default reaction to much of the injustices in this world. As hard as it is to imagine fascists as human as their beliefs are so alien to us; we have to at least try to extend our empathy, understand the person behind the anger and challenge their hatred.

I’m sure I’m not the only person here who has been disappointed to see a facebook friend post a Britain’s First post. My knee jerk reaction to delete that ‘friend’ in a justified, ‘I don’t want people like that in my life’ dismissal. But that was an opportunity lost, an opportunity to re-educate and work against the wave of fascism in our society.

I was disappointed with myself; as a youth worker I challenge racism almost every day. But in that role I automatically have unconditional regard for the young people I work with. I don’t write them off, I understand that they often haven’t heard an alternative to prejudice and hate. Haven’t had any positive role models. Are often victims of the same vile tabloids and media and feel the need to deflect the blame. They are hurting, living in poverty and wrong in believing that other groups are being fast tracked to housing, work etc. It is easier and much less scary to believe than the complex societal issues and oppression of the ruling class.

It doesn’t matter whether it is in my paid role, within my activism or on the campaign trail, I see that racism can be challenged and people can open their minds to an alternative vision, we can bring about this change. There are so many answers we can provide to explain why people are suffering, stereotypes and mistruths to dispel.

I’m not suggesting that we can sit down and have a friendly chat with these fascist thugs on Saturday. They’ll be revved with mob mentality and I’ll hazard an unqualified guess that many require intense psychotherapy to deal with their anger issues. I’m just asking you to step back sometimes and understand everyone has a story, we don’t know their story and if we can influence the next chapter. Even if we just can change one person out of twenty, we can never know of its ripple affect.

Just to add, for everyone to take something back with them. We need to go back to our local authorities and ask, what are they doing to address prejudice in their communities? What are they doing to bring different cultures together to promote understanding? This should be happening not just throughout our schools; but also reactive services such as youth and community development. This is something we have allowed to generate, I don’t believe enough is being done and our young people are far more likely to be radicalised into far right extremism that religious fanaticism.


Then the moment 

grinds to a halt

Suspends in the air

The tweeting of a bird

calling the chorus

that follows

The healing flow 

of the spring


The laughter of the little people

The breeze


kissing my cheeks

making me aware of my tears

Vibrations of the yew

takes me into a misted wood

of shadows

through the veil

That’s feels so familiar

A peaceful cwtch

A kiss of being

A gift laid at my feet

to care for

take root and be reborn

Boxes, scribbles and memories.

As I start a whole new positive chapter in my life, it’s transition has unearthed loads of memories, good and bad. I guess I’m in a better place to cope with them all now, the stuff I’d hid away, photos, paintings and scribbles. Here’s one, written by an old me, one I can remember, but in a detached way, like a young person I may had worked with and helped. It’s a bit simplistic, I wrote it in 2000, I didn’t write again until 2012 despite writing poetry since I was a child.


I still feel you in the wind,

as you rustle through the leaves.

I can smell you in the rain

and hear you whisper through the trees.


I cry out and try to touch you

but there’s nothing tangible to hold.

Your physical in existence,

just leaves me feeling cold.


I feel you deep inside me,

united in my soul.

But with this space beside me,

somehow I don’t feel whole.


I try to block out painful memories

some too hard to bare.

I try to go on with my life,

but can’t let anyone near.


I just shut myself inside,

and wander from day to day.

I wish I could understand why you did this.

I wish you hadn’t made me feel this way.


When I started writing again, I tried to bring about closure, they best way I could in Broken Memory.

Mhairi Black’s maiden speech

Dr John Cox blogs

Mhairi BlackMhairi Black is the youngest (20) SNP MP and, in her maiden speech on 15th July appealed for cooperation with the Labour Party in opposing Tory government policies. Her speech covered benefit sanctions, the budget and Labour’s proposed abstention on the Government’s welfare and work bill. Here are the main highlights (for me) of the speech:

…  my constituency has … a wonderful population with a cracking sense of humour and much to offer both the tourists and to those who reside there. But the truth is that within my constituency it’s not all fantastic. We’ve watched our town centres deteriorate. We’re watched our communities decline. Our unemployment level is higher than that of the UK average. One in five children in my constituency go to bed hungry every night….

Before I was elected I volunteered for a charitable organisation and there was a gentleman who I grew very…

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Dr John Cox blogs

I don’t claim special insight into Greek politics – merely a strong emotional attachment. This dates back to the war (1939-45) – when Tony and Betty Ambatielou lodged with us in Cardiff. After the war, when Tony was under sentence of death and Betty led the international campaign for his release, all of our family was both politically and emotionally involved.

Later, during the military dictatorship, we helped several of the refugees and my personal emotional attachment became stronger. So I’ve followed every twist and turn in Greek politics for 70+ years and, naturally, was overjoyed by the rise of Syriza.

Syriza is not responsible for what previous governments did – the blame for the deficit rests squarely with the ultra-rich and their allies in Europe. The recent EU/troika ‘bailouts’ have been paid to the very people that caused the problem whilst, in contrast, the EU/troika insists that ordinary Greek people…

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