First they came for …

It’s been a while since I posted and the world is going to hell in a hand basket.

With the rise of the fascists in Brazil and the USA I was reminded of the poem by Pastor Martin Niemoller written about the failure to recognise fascism for what it was and to react to oppose it in the Germany of the 1930s.

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

If you now add in the homeless, gays, trans people, refugees and any weak and vulnerable group of people surely, SURELY it is clear to see what is happening across the world.

A wise man once wrote that “The love of money is the root of all evil”. Capitalism is by definition a wafer thin sheet of paper from being the love of money. Hitler rose to power using the tactics of hate and was backed by the huge businesses who stood to gain from re-arming Germany and merely from backing him. Those corporations had no morality. No corporation has morality. They did what their articles of Association demanded that they make more money.

Stay with me.

Corporations are predicated on some simple principles:

  • Buy low, sell high.
  • Minimise labour costs

Those very principles create the situation that is exploitable by the Fascists. Whether the Corporate classes are Fascists themselves is open to debate. At best they might not see what havoc they wreak.

The fact is that any government coming to power on the basis of targeting their opponents and vulnerable groups with what we now call hate-speech, (aptly Orwellian), is almost by definition a force for evil.

At present in the west we have the thin, fragile veneer of a democratic system. I urge everyone to vote for those opposing the hatemongers and the lovers of money. Because if you don’t then we will not long have even that thin veneer of decency to console ourselves with.

There is still time to prevent the falling of the dark, but like climate change that time is running out.

© 2018 J Huw Evans


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It’s been a while

I had hoped this year would have been spent revising a few of my complete novels with a view to web-publishing them myself.
“The best laid plans gang aft agly.” And so I have instead spent my time grinding my teeth, failing to deal tactfully with idiots and making bad decisions for very good reasons.
The main bad decision being to wait for some maintenance to be done on my building before selling my flat.
I don’t want to write about it. But I suppose it’s a form of catharsis.
I won’t because this would, although truthful, be actionable. I would use words like stupid, senile, demented, ineffectual and a wide and varied array of expletives.
“Least said”, as I like to say.

So I am waiting for some decoration to be done on some repairs. It may be another month yet. even though the repairs were done a fortnight ago.

I am therefore faced with a decision: To move locally which will cost a lot or to move further afield which will allow me more money to live on while I give the writing another serious crack for a few years.

Yes, I have given up on gainful employment. I think I have reached a point where interaction with other humans, particularly stupid ones that I am forced to work for, is likely to provide the proverbial final straw. I really don’t want that to happen.

I am though beginning to realise that my propensity for making bad decisions for what were entirely sensible reasons is a recurring theme in my life. I could try and screw the odds by doing the exact opposite of the sensible thing but I fear that would itself be a bad decision made for the best of reasons.

Does any of this sound like insanity to anyone out there, because it does to me?

© J Huw Evans 2018

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Random Political Niblets

Apologies for the bittiness of this post. It’s rather lazy to just pin together a load of facebook posts but – do I need an excuse? I think I don’t. So here it is. Enjoy.

The way that the UK’s Conservative government (with the accent on the CON), has co-opted the term Living Wage for the minimum wage is such a blatant example of doublespeak that you would think they would be embarrassed to be seen in public. Utterly shameless and despicable (I just added the despicable bit as a little added value).

News I have faked:
The Conservative government are working on plans to breed compliant workers for industry.

The Hunger Games movie was televised a few nights ago.
I am amazed the film hasn’t been withdrawn as a blatant attack on Trump’s presidency. Then again he doesn’t have the charm and wit of President Snow.

Bright Bart, the American influencing group that promulgates bigotry and political ignorance: Did they name themselves that because they think Bart Simpson is the archetype of the US voter ?

A longish one from the 13th of March.
Today I have been wondering which of these two are stupider, greedier and corrupter; The British Tory or the USof A Republican.
Sure the US representative is brasher and bolder, really “in your face” with their naff sales techniques that wouldn’t even serve them well at a back-street chop-shop (apparently a place they mix and match stolen vehicles for onward sale) but there is a lot to be said for the posturing, patrician condescension of the British Tory as they sell off the NHS, the military and any other bits of national assets that they can get their grubby mitts on while claiming with remote and fake (obviously fake) protestations that this will improve the economy (not the national economy obviously, just their personal and household economies) and that we should trust them to know what’s best because they are posh and expensively educated while we are all just plebs who have had to make do with the half-arsed, asset-stripped education they deign to allow us.
It’s a tough one.
Vote below. Tory or Republican. Because there really is no other choice. The rich have society sown up for their own benefit and don’t give a shit about you even when their gods tell them they really should.

First they came for the Orang-utan and I did nothing because I was not an Orang. Then they came for the Cappuchin Monkeys and still I did nothing.
Then they came for the gorillas, the chimpanzees and the bonobos but I did nothing because I was afraid. And then they came for me because I was the lowest, least powerful primate remaining and they had the legalities and immoralities all sown up and I was royally fucked.

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So that was Dad.

My father died a little over two weeks ago. Like so many people he finally died of a myocardial infarction but that tells so little of the story. He had vascular dementia. That was the defining illness of his later years, robbing him of himself. He missed this year’s six nations rugby union tournament in its entirety.

I won’t go on.

I just want to post the tribute I wrote for the vicar to read at his funeral. It’s far from a work of literary genius but I hope it will give a sense of the man and his life.


John was born on the 14th of July 1932.

He had an eventful childhood and indeed an eventful life. During the second world war he and his mates swam the river to the army camp to equip themselves with weapons in the event of an invasion. They may still be hidden somewhere around Builth Wells.

The US army had a base near the town and John made enough money selling the G.I.s newspapers to enable him to pay for his own education, including uniform and books at Llandrindod Grammar  School. He even flew in one of their spotter planes.

On one memorable occasion he saved a local girl from an assault in a barn by dropping a bale onto her attacker, who chased him up a hill where John evaded him in bracken and set the hillside ablaze to make good his escape.

There were many memorable stories, from fighting off dogs when delivering boots for his father to meeting Lord Baden-Powell who spent summers in Builth. Some of these stories are unsuitable for this occasion.

He was a keen rugby player and became a regular in the Grammar School’s first team in his first year there, after filling in for an older boy who fell ill, and scoring the winning try.

Having acquired a bicycle from a trainer of boxers, John thought nothing of cycling to Aberystwyth and sometimes back in one night.

After school he worked his apprenticeship in his father’s boot and saddlery shop in Builth. Drawing the, seemingly never ending, apprenticeship to a close himself, and without his father’s knowledge he contacted the authorities to declare himself ready for national service and joined the 52nd Locating Regiment of the Royal Artillery in January 1954.

John was soon playing rugby the first team in both the regiment and the garrison. He also boxed as a light heavyweight remaining undefeated for his two years in the army.

Having learnt to drive before the army, John impressed the assessors by being able to drive their biggest truck, not mentioning that he’d been taught to do so before joining up. This led to him driving for the regiment’s officers and occasionally the Brigadier. Driving for the Brigadier though had its drawbacks. On one occasion having been urged to drive faster, they were stopped by the police for speeding. This led to some time in the cells before the Brigadier eventually rescued him.

Another time, while driving the regiment’s, rather portly, second in command in a landrover with a faulty door he saved the officer’s life by grabbing him when the door opened on a bend and threatened to tip the man out over a precipitous drop.

John also saved another officer, who against his advice, insisted on driving a landrover across a morn pool. The vehicle did not survive.

On leaving the army, as an acting sergeant, in January 1956, John was offered a commission and also the opportunity to play professional rugby league. He turned down these opportunities to return to run the family business. It soon became clear that the business was failing and his father’s promise to hand it over would never happen.  This led John to work as a representative for a footwear and clothing wholesaler in Liverpool where he played the occasional rugby match for Waterloo who were then one of the leading English clubs.

John was re-called by the army to go to Egypt during the Suez Crisis, but fortunately the crisis ended just as he was preparing to board ship.

John married Coris Elizabeth Bufton on the 12th February 1958. Janet was born the following year on the 20th of March. Soon after the family left Llandrindod for the wilds of Shropshire, otherwise known as Meeson, a tiny hamlet which appears only on the more detailed maps. Their son Huw was born in July 1962. He has turned out to be a scientific and literary genius, who coincidentally wrote this tribute. Meryl was born in April 1966.

For many years John travelled for a variety of companies, mainly in the shoe trade, but also in fashion and as a land agent which led on to him managing a department store in Market Drayton for some time before it was sold. These jobs took him across the country, covering the Midlands, Wales, the West Country, Lincolnshire, Lancashire, Yorkshire and London. He was a Chairman of the the North Wales Federation of the Commercial Travellers Association and was Chairman of the Shrewsbury and Shropshire branches of the British Benefit Society.

After that his previous military experience led to a career at the Ministry of Defence in Donnington where he rose to a civilian rank equivalent to a Colonel on retirement. Among his accomplishments during that time were:

  • Overseeing the preparation of the Green Goddesses to provide emergency cover during the Firemen’s strike in 1977
  • Recommissioning all manner of materiel for the first Gulf War in 1990 in the absence of his senior managers who went on sick leave.
  • Becoming the depot’s Radiological Protection officer
  • Organising equipment for D-day Commemorations in Normandy

Later in his career he specialised in packaging becoming a member of the Institutes of Packaging and Industrial Managers. In his last year with the M.O.D. his manager awarded him top marks but his manager refused to accept that anyone approaching retirement could possibly work that hard. His ex-colleagues have said how much they enjoyed working with him.

After their retirement John and Coris moved to Deuddwr. Sadly Coris succumbed to cancer in 2004. John busied himself with gardening, learning Welsh and was a high tenor in the Offa’s Dyke choir until it disbanded, a highlight being a performance with them at the Royal Albert Hall.

He represented this church at the Diocesan Council and, until his health prevented it, enjoyed running the skittles at Penrhos sports.

One of the greatest regrets of his later years was that his failing eyesight meant that he was unable to drive as so much of his life and career had involved driving. Sadly this meant that, despite the help and support of  his family and friends, continuing to live in Dol Awel was no longer possible and so in the autumn of 2015 he moved to Caergwrle near his youngest daughter Meryl where, with her particular help, he was able to enjoy independence for all but the last few months of his life.

John broke his hip in a fall at home in October past, and despite a good recovery from the operation to repair it, that nevertheless precipitated his final decline.

The Vascular Dementia which assailed him over the last few years failed to dim his humour, intelligence and love for life until close to the end. He died on the 30th of January after several weeks in hospital.

His children Janet, Huw and Meryl, and his grandsons: Christopher and George will cherish their memories of a generous, witty and loving, father and grandfather.


Copyright 16th Feb 2017

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A less random thought on depression

It’s roughly three months since my last missive to the vast audience out there in the e-niverse.

I had recently stopped my anti-depressants. So this is by way of an update and an aid memoir to me.

The head zaps have thankfully stopped but I’m plagued with an almost constant feeling of pressure in my head. This feels a bit like having a continual nose cold without the snot. It’s not particularly painful just ever present. It covers the top front of the head at the moment but it can be like a band around the head from forehead around to the back over the ears or down the front of my head. Weird. But like the Monty Python fast-bowler being repeatedly bashed in the face with the cricket ball – I’m getting used to it.

Three months without my wit and wisdom. I apologise. I hope you have all (five of you now I think – I’m too lazy to go and check) been well and happy in my absence.

I haven’t done much.

I had a rejection from a literary agent. No real reason given. No comment on the work. I may start my own literary agency. It doesn’t seem to take much effort. And I like to think I could recognise a good book and even one that might sell.

I did an acting course at the weekend. I received more praise than I could deal with but I will follow up and see if I can maybe get some extra work or something. If I looked like my profile picture this might not be a problem but then again perhaps age and wisdom have leant me a certain je ne c’est quoi – if only I knew what it was.

Copywright me now.

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Random thought #1

My life is performance art that nobody is watching.

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The Pony Boys of the Apocalypse

Is this the real world? Is this just fantasy?

It’s been a funny year. Funny peculiar if you are an enlightened human being and funny haha if you are a sociopath.

Now don’t get me wrong. I was not particularly exercised about the whole EU, in or out debate (except for all the lying) but I have been rather upset when pointing out these lies to smug, stupid leavers to be accused of being partisan and the reason why the Remain side lost.

Nothing really makes me angry so much as stupidity. OK I don’t like stupid people being my boss or being in a position of authority that they neglect or smug, stupid, people who are being smug about something stupid.

But on we go. A stupid Prime Minister resigns and 5 stupid candidates are put forward. At least I should be grateful that the least stupid was made PM but, mmm no, not really.

The stupid challenger for the Labour Party leadership is a stupid woman who failed and failed badly in her attempt to become the deputy leader, and who thinks that losing that campaign and swapping public school type quips with the previous stupid prime minister qualifies her to replace an honest, forthright and principled man, saying that he is a wonderful man but we don’t want anyone like that running the party.

So my view of humanity has moved on. I no longer put all the ills of the world at the doorstep of corruption, greed and heartlessness. Stupidity has stepped forth to complete the ranks of the ponyboys of the apocalypse: Corruption, Greed, Heartlessness and Stupidity.
Naturally I imagined that the stupidity had peaked. Ah the naivety of youthful middle age.
This morning dawned, this beautiful sun caressed morning, with the gulls and magpies squabbling on the slates above my head and the gentle cooing of the pigeons in the neighbouring trees. I have woken to the news that Boris Johnson has been appointed to the Foreign Office. It could have been a waking dream, a jumbled juxtaposition of impossible comedy thoughts percolating at the back of my head, but no. Boris Johnson is Britain’s Foreign Minister.

You couldn’t make this stuff up, but if you did wouldn’t you have a PM called May so that the people could shout out “M’aidez, m’aidez” with no sense of irony and would you not giggle just a little that a large Johnson has pulled out of Europe. That’s my greatest fear, that this nation, this world, this universe is the fevered dream of one of the least skillful writers of Carry On films.

M’aidez, m’aidez, m’aidez. Is there anyone out there? Please send help.


© J Huw Evans 2016

p.s. If anyone has found this article because of the mind-control tag – I’m just messing with you. xx

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