Sunday, 3 June 2018

Bullies in the Labour Party

Listening to listening to the radio discussing the Labour Party and the contempt momentum supporters have for those who have been members for years but do not agree with their policies takes me back to the 1980's. In my novel An Ordinary Life I describe what was happening during that period. It looks like the bullying has taken hold again. Ultimately as McDonnell has pointed out this leads to no truck with dissent. That notion leads to the Gulag or Venezuela!
Here is one passage from the novel.

The next time there was a Labour Party meeting in his area, Tom went along. A few people who he knew greeted him like a lost brother but others were much more hostile. He did not recognise many of the people in the room though he did know Mike Pearce among those on the platform.
         The business dragged on and Tom was aware that he had been warned about this by his brother. People started to drift away, some to go home, others to the bar. Stubbornly Tom stayed.
         “ Next item on the agenda.” The chairman Dave Dowling stated. “ The nomination of two delegates to the Labour Party conference.”
         “ I propose Dave Dowling and Mike Pearce,” a thin face woman said from the floor.
         “ Thank you,” Dave Dowling said. “ I will have to step aside while a vote is taken if there are any other nominations. Well?”
         He glowered round the room.
         “ I nominate Tom Houseman,” a quiet voice spoke from the middle of the room.
         Mr. Reynolds, thought Tom, looking round. Stan Reynolds sat with his wife Betty defiantly looking at the committee. He was dressed in a suit and tie, grey hair slicked back. His lined face showed his concern and determination. His wife was dressed in a cardigan and skirt. They must have been well passed retirement age. They had been coming to these meetings for a long time so Tom had gathered when he had talked to them after joining from the other constituency. They were the sort of old fashioned Labour people who believed in equality of opportunity, redistribution of wealth and society. For them the health service was the best thing that had ever been devised. Their children had gone, like Tom to grammar school and then into professions, one a teacher, the other doctor. They were proud of their children and grandchildren but they never lost sight of their roots and the need to give people a chance in life. They supported the monarchy and the countries institutions. As Tom’s mother would have described them, the salt of the earth. Ordinary people leading ordinary lives.
         Dave Dowling scowled. “ Seconder?”
         May Reynolds raised her hand. “ I second Tom Houseman. He will make a very good delegate to the Conference,”
         “ Is that constitutional? You are his wife.” Dave Dowling grunted.
         “ But we are individual members of the Party. Therefore we have the right to nominate and second who we like.”
         “ Do you agree to this nomination, Tom?” Mike Pearce asked bluntly.
         “ Yes,” Tom smiled sweetly. “ It looks like you will not get the shoe in you expected.”
         “ Those nominated will have to leave the room,” Dave Dowling stated glowering at Tom. “ Brian will take the chair for the vote.”
         All three trooped out. A waste of time, thought Tom looking round the room. There are only a couple of people like Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds left. All the rest are the supporters of Dave Dowling. Tom was proved right. Dave Dowling and Mike Pearce were easily elected.
         After the vote Mr. Reynolds moved a point of order. “ Are we quorate? There don’t seem to be many people here.”
         “ Of course we are quorate,” Dave Dowling now back in the chair snapped. “ I would not have taken a vote if we were not quorate.”
         “ Another thing,” Stan persisted. “ Why was such an important item placed towards the end of the agenda? A lot of brothers and sisters left before we got to that business.”
         “ They knew what was on the agenda so it is their fault they were not here for the vote.”
         “ Who draws up the agenda?” Stan asked not giving up.
         “ The committee, you ass hole!” Dave Dowling snapped.
         “ There is no need to call me that. I was asking perfectly valid questions,” Stan stood his ground.
         “ No it wasn’t a valid question. The committee draws up the agenda from all the business that needs to be discussed. That is the trouble with the party. We have to keep faith with members like you and your wife. You are from the past. You want to be civil with all sides. You believe in decency and equal opportunities. Redistribution of wealth but not getting rid of those who exploit the working class. Christ, you should not be in the party. We need to turn back to a Marxist agenda. Nationalise all the means of production, finance and business. The best thing you two could do is to leave the party to the likes of me and Mike.”
         “ That is not right. My wife and I have been working for the party for years and years. We have supported it through the good times and the bad.”
         “ Look old man. Go home and leave the proper politics to those who know what they are doing. You are not wanted. You are part of the problem.”
         Tom could see they were almost in tears and reacted angrily. “ There is no need to insult these good people, Dave Dowling. You might think that your education and ideas are superior to theirs but they are only ideas. Leave them alone.”
         Dave Dowling smiled cruelly. “ What do you know of working people, Tom Houseman? You are the product of an elitist system. You went to grammar school and then to university. You work in a university now. What do you know of struggle?”
         “ Coming from you that is rich,” Tom laughed. “ My father is at least a working man. Yours was a school teacher just as you are a school teacher. My convictions come from a deep rooted source. I believe in equality of opportunity and redistribution of wealth. But there has to be the creation of wealth in the first place. People have to earn money before they can pay taxes.”
         “ But as is shown in Russia, there can be wealth without exploitation.”
         “ Rubbish! Which is the richest country on earth?” Tom asked. “ The United States.”
         “ But they exploit the poor unlike in Russia.”
         “ Rubbish again. In Russia they put people in Gulags who disagree with the government. In the United States you are free to criticise the government. You can vote out those in office.”
         “ To help the working class we have to have a left wing agenda.”
         “ To carry out your agenda you have to get elected.”
         “ With a left wing agenda and ideas, there are more working class than the rest, so we will get elected. The trouble with this government is that it is not radical enough.”
         “ Now you are either being silly or you have your head in the clouds. With a programme like Mike is always advocating there is not a cat in hells chance of this party getting elected. Hopefully the Tories have shot themselves in the foot by electing a woman as leader. If Jim Callaghan goes to the polls this autumn, we have a chance but not with a manifesto like you are going to advocate at the party conference. Now you leave these good people alone in future. They have a perfect right to be here and a perfect right to ask questions. If you are so unsure of your position that you have to insult life long Labour members, there is something wrong with your arguments. Come on Mr. And Mrs. Reynolds. I will give you a lift home.”
         “ Don’t you dare call me a coward, Tom Houseman!” Mike exploded.
         “ Mike grow up and start acting like an adult. You are going to put this party in a right mess if you are not careful.” Tom grinned. “ The next thing you will do is start to advocate  locking up anybody who disagrees with you. All you have to do is look at dictatorships down the ages to se where hat leads. Even better, go and buy a copy of animal farm and read that if you can read and understand what it is saying. It will save you a great deal l of heart ache in the future.”
         Tom ushered them out of the building and into his car.
         “ Thank you for standing up for us,” Mr. Reynolds said as they arrived at his house. “ I don’t know what the Party is coming to when people treat other people like that.”
         “ We have to make a stand against the bullies of the left,” Tom smiled in reassurance. “ lets make sure we are there next time.”

Available from Amazon as a paperback and Kindle for downloading as an ebook

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

For The Love of Pauline by Eddie Gubbins

I was listening to the news this morning while drinking my first morning coffee in bed when the subject of trafficked women being forced into short lease brothels was raised. It reminded me that my thriller For The Love Of Pauline involves that subject.
Ken Flood' daughter Pauline dies after she takes contaminated drugs. The police appear helpless to bring the dealers to justice. Ken understands that the police have to get evidence before they can proceed. He sets out with the help of his brother to find out who was responsible for his daughter's death.
His searching brings him into conflict with harden criminals who do not hesitate to kill any who stand against them. They threaten his brother and Ken with death unless they desist in their digging. Ken has to concider the risks in carrying on against his feeling of letting his daughter down if he does not find out who was responsible.
For The Love Of Pauline is available from Amazon as a paperback and kindle to download as an ebook.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Christianity and the USA

I sat in church this morning listening to the sermon and for some reason started to wonder about the Christian credentials of the USA. The Christian Right pontificate that their philosophy is bible based but in some things they cherry pick which parts they think are relevant. It says though shalt not kill but they support capital punishment, or state killing, and many support having freedom to own and use guns. Nowhere to me do they talk about the love of Christ for everybody.
They forget this passage from the New Testament:
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
41“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
Where is their adherence to this when voting against universal medical coverage? Where is their help for the homeless or those less fortunate than themselves?
It is a puzzle to me that they call themselves Christian.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Brotherly Love by Eddie Gubbins

Brotherly Love a thriller by Eddie Gubbins.
This is the story of family loyalty in the face of whether the loyalty is misplaced. When his brother Norman asks Ken Flood for help, Ken does not question his brother's motives. Deep down he does have questions about the nature of what his brother asks him to undertake. Under the surface it Stuart's to appear that what he has been asked to do might be criminal. The question for Ken is that if the activity is outside the law should he abandon his brother and ask for help elsewhere. As ken flees first to Jersey and then to London he has no notion of which side he is on or who are his enemies. He. Has to ask him self whether he will ask any of his friends for help or should he remain on his own. Running away he suspects anybody who offers help and looks over his shoulder at the thought of pursuers. Scared and shaking he runs and hides.
Buy as a paperback from Amazon, for downloading as an ebook from Kindle store.

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

A Ceremony of Innocence by Edmund Gubbins

Two brothers are at home on holiday with their family much to the delight of their mother. It was the firsts time they had been at home together for several years. Their father is the union convener at the local shipyard and he leads the workers a out on strike against the proposed redundancies at the same time as the brothers arrive home. Though on the surface both brothers support their father, below the surface their simmers a stew of disagreement.
 Mark, the elder brother, is home fresh from months at sea as a ships officer and refuses to compromise his upwardly mobiles lifestyle with his friends for the sake of family harmony. He lives for the moment and grabs any chance of happiness.
Jim the younger brother has freshly graduated from university. He supports his father with a passion and without question.
During the summer holidays can the brothers find a way to compromise their positions and fulfil their mother's wish for a happy few weeks while they are all together? Will their rigid positions boil over into anger and open conflict and the threat of family break up?

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Tales From The Sea byEddie Gubbins

Tales From The Sea by Eddie Gubbins
Tales From the Sea is a semi-autobiographical novel based on my life serving in the British Merchant Navy between 1957 and 1969 as an officer. I served on tankers with Eagle Oil and Shell and then on small cargo ships with United Baltic Corporation serving ports in Finland, Russia and Poland. 
Inn its pages, the reader will meet the characters with whom I sailed, the good, the bad, the comedians and the tough guys. Readers will experience the nights ashore and visit through my eyes exotic places to which I voyaged. Read about the different ships, old and new, as they ploughed their way across the oceans carrying the products of the world.
Weaving a spell over everything is the sea and its dangers. To most seamen the sea itself calls. No seaman will ever know with what moods the sea will greet him when he sails out of port to meet the sea or how the mood can change very quickly. This is the excitement of the sea.

The Sailors Mistress
When the cargo is loaded and all falls quiet
The sea itself is calling.
Beckoning the sailor out there beyond the dock.
His mistress is waiting
Where the river meets the sea.
He has no real knowledge of what her reaction will be
When he sails out to meet her.
She may greet him in a calm, balmy mood
Like a gentle lover entwining him in her arms
Leaving him refreshed and happy when they part.
It might be she is angry
And will meet him with unmatched violence
A violence that beats upon the senses
And leaves the lovers drained and exhausted,
Ready to rush apart,
Ready to find a place of peace and quiet
Not the feeling of complete satisfaction.
Like lovers the sea and the sailor
Will never quite know what moods
Will greet them when they meet
Or how the mood can change very quickly.
This is the excitement of the sea.
Every time a ship leaves port
The sailor approaches that love
With a mixture of exhilaration and apprehension.
Will they together make beautiful love
Under a clear blue sky
Or will they fight?
It is not for the sailor to subdue the sea
But live with her moods
In the hope he can survive.
The sea is calling, always calling
As a lover calls.

Buy as a paperback from Amazon or createspace and as an ebook for downloading from Kindle
Or Smashwords..

Friday, 17 November 2017

The Prisoner of Parison a fantasy novel by Eddie Gubbins

The Prisoner of Parison a fantasy novel by Eddie Gubbins, Book 3 of the Rombuli Saga trilogy.

Edward Eastland and his friends Tag and Boric have gone in search of Covenenters Nomal and Rembert. Now all that was left was for the Rombuli army to retreat back to the defensible positions on the Alskar River. Grand Master Silker, the Commander of the army, had said when the plan was formulated, " We do not have enough trained soldiers to do anything about a direct attack on the enemy. With odds of something like twelve to one, we can do nothing ultimately to stop their advance. All we can do is hope that Nelvask and Latask can hold them up with their power at the Alskar River. The other thing we can do is leave some people behind their lines to harass their backs and hit their supply dumps. I have to admit it is not much of a strategy but it is the only one I can come up with at short notice. Desperate times call for desperate methods. I know it is a delaying tactic, hoping that something to help us will come up in the future.  If I am honest with myself I can see little hope of it succeeding."
Deep down in their sub consciences Nelvask, Latask and Silker all know what is proposed is suicide but it is all that can be done until somebody leads a party to Parison to rescue the leader of the Covenent, Tulka. He has been imprisoned by the invading Black Elves. With his magic and the rest of the Covenent there has to be a chance in any confrontation with the Black Elves.
After their dispute with Edward Eastland, the elves of the Golden City stir in their forest hideaway with the plan of helping the humans in their fight.
The question on all the defenders of Rombulis' minds is who will lead this assault on Parison? Will it be an all out assault or a clandestine mission? Where, they ask, is Edward Eastland and if he returns will he be able to use his power in the rescue attempt to free Tulka?
The situation is desperate. The enemy appear to have more troops and stronger magic. Will Nelvask find Edward in time and will the elves of the Golden City really come to the aid of the humans?

Buy from Amazon and createspace as a paper back, download from Kindle as an ebook.