richard pierce

richard pierce

25 July 2019

Singing against racism

Traitors (Mix A)

We came as strangers, no rights, no rewards.
We held up this country, straight after the wars.

The media deplore us, lies and hate haunt us.
We are traitors, we are traitors to the pure.
The media deplore us, racism taunts us.
We are traitors, we are traitors to the pure.

Death threats on white paper, murder in the streets.
Enemies of the people, making Britain great.

The media deplore us, lies and hate haunt us.
We are traitors, we are traitors to the pure.
The media deplore us, no-dealers taunt us.
We are traitors, we are traitors to the pure.

Is this still our haven, a place for those in need?
Or are we a country broken, driven by hate and greed?

The media deplore us, lies and hate haunt us.
We are traitors, we are traitors to the pure.
The media deplore us, racism taunts us.
We are traitors, we are traitors to the pure.

We came as strangers, no rights, no rewards.

Written by Florance & Pierce, 2019. Buy it HERE

In the second decade of the 21st century, the Developed World is led by a racist American President and a racist UK Prime Minister. What's really concerning is not that these men are racists and spread lies every time they open their mouths, but what their being in office actually says about the times we live in, and about the state of the world right now, where even the Labour Party is allowing the racist agenda to proceed without opposition.

Marina Florance and I wanted to write a song about the dangerous state of British politics, about the soundbites which encourage xenophobia and racist hate crime, about the very real hatred that those in power have for the poor and the foreign. We wanted to talk about how the UK was built on the labour of immigrants after World War II and in the 1950s, because we ourselves are of immigrant stock, and because too many people are being hurt, mentally and physically, by the continuing racism in this country. And it mustn't go on.

21 May 2019

Single-Issue Politics - Your Vote In EU Elections Is Vital

I would like to say that we're living in heady days, but the exact opposite is true - we are living in frightening days, when the political apparatus is broken, where the UK has not passed any significant legislation for almost three years, where the two major parties are intent on destroying the economy of this country, and, with it, the prospect of implementing any measures to achieve even only a modicum of social justice.

Let's be absolutely clear what we're talking about here, and not just for the European Elections, but in the whole remain vs brexit debate - it's racism and white supremacy, dictatorship, and oppression. We are not just in an ideological battle, but in a very real battle to preserve democracy. And if we lose, we will forever (and I don't say that lightly) be shackled by a right-wing dictatorship.

Unfortunately, the Labour and Conservative parties alike are normalising the extreme right-wing by supporting the message that the UK would be better off outside the EU, that immigration is a bad thing, that freedom of movement is bad for the people of this country, that white people are better than ethnic minorities. The Brexit Party, led by Nigel Farage (public-school-educated ex-stockbroker living on £450k/y given to him by Arron Banks, himself under police investigation, just to remind you), is said to be leading the polls for the EU elections exactly because the main parties are not arguing the case for immigration, free movement, multiculturalism, for a modern Britain that understands and realises that the killing days of the Empire are long gone, and gone for good, and gone for the better of humankind.

Claiming, as Corbyn likes to, that there are more issues to be dealt with in British politics at this time is at best disingenuous, and at worst a lie. If the UK leaves the EU, there will be no funding for Corbyn's admirable social justice policies, nor any funding to keep those already below the poverty line from dying (yes, dying). The refusal, whether that be from cowardice or self-interest of isolationist socialists, to refute right-wing claims that the 2008 crash was caused by Labour and that immigration is stealing UK jobs, is at the centre of all this. By not countering these right-wing arguments, especially as far as immigratuion is concerned, Labour has played straight into right-wing hands and managed to stoke up even more unjustified fears.

All this has brought us to this - single-issue politics, where it is more important to talk about the one single thing which will determine the future of this country rather than things which, although important, are right now peripheral, because they will be insignificant and unachievable if the UK leaves the EU. We'll be too busy fighting each other for food and medicines.

So, this Thursday, 23rd May 2019, how should you vote in the EU elections? There are many tactical voting web sites out there, and their message isn't all that clear, possibly because there are so many strands and variables to juggle. The basic message is this - if you already vote for a remain party, vote for that party (in England that's LibDem or Green, in Scotland SNP). Neither the Labour Party nor the Conservative party are remain parties. If you are a Labour or Conservative remainer, then you need to vote for a remain party (again, in England that's LibDem or Green, in Scotland SNP).

To beat the corrupt Brexit Party, you need to vote LibDem or Green. That's vital. It's also vital that you vote, that you persuade your family and friends and work colleagues to vote. We have to get the vote out. A miserable 30ish percent turnout won't cut it.

This is probably the most important election of this decade. Use your vote to defeat Brexit.

30 April 2019

A Letter to Labour on #Remain

Dear Labour Party NEC,

I am writing to you today about the meeting of Labour’s NEC to discuss Labour’s manifesto for the upcoming EU elections.

I was a member of the Labour Party until it became obvious that Labour was moving in the diametrically-opposed direction to the one we members wanted it to move in.

Labour has already become unelectable because it has not unequivocally backed Remain, because it has not committed to revoking Article 50. This is a betrayal of the working classes, and of the millions of young people, and millions of middle-aged and old people, who voted for Labour in 2017 because they believed Jeremy Corbyn's promise of a new politics, because they believed that Labour was a Remain party. The only way for Labour to become electable is for it to back Remain without question, without any weasly words which would allow Milne and Corbyn (and that order is chosen deliberately) to wriggle out of a minimum commitment to a People's Vote with Remain on the ballot paper.

The NEC must today back, as a minimum, a People's Vote on Brexit, a vote which MUST include Remain on the ballot paper. If it does not, then it is time for new leadership elections. And if that doesn't happen, then it is time for every Labour voter to support a Remain party, at the local elections, in the European elections, at the next General Election.

#RevokeArticle50 #remain


Richard Pierce-Saunderson (aged 58)

27 April 2019

Without Prejudice - Vote Wisely, Vote Stradbroke Seven

We live in an age where lies and corruption are the new normal. Liars and lawbreakers are not brought to justice, and media outlets redistribute their lies as truth. This is called normalising, and history teaches us that this can only end badly. It is no exaggeration to say that we are entering another age of fascism, both on the right and left of politics.

I have never understood the pursuit of power for its own sake, have never understood why people would want to have power if they cannot and will not and never intend to use it to make life better for anyone but themselves. But here we are, where, on a national and a local level, people are trying to grab power purely for their own benefit and masquerading it as democracy.

It is for this reason that I am thankful that we in Stradbroke at least have a parish council which, for the first time in an age, is being run by honest people honestly for the benefit of the village. I therefore have no hesitation in recommending that you vote only for the seven sitting parish councillors in the elections on 2nd May 2019, these being Chris Edwards, Jeremy Fox, James Hargrave, Kamal Ivory, Maureen John, Velda Lummis, and Toni Wisbey. The fact these these seven are running on one platform speaks for itself; it is a sign of unity and unanimity, one which signals that their presence on the Parish Council is done in the true spirit of public service, with no regard for themselves.

Right now, the situation in Stradbroke is a microcosm of what we are seeing on a national level with Brexiters, where lies are being normalised, where those telling lies either believe they're telling the truth, or know they're telling lies and carry on regardless. This is why I am suggesting that you do not vote for any of the other 9 candidates on the ballot paper. This election is costing the village money, when the opportunity was there for these people to make themselves available for co-option onto the council over the last 15 months.

Here's a non-exclusive list of reasons not to vote for those nine people. Amongst them are:
  • people who say they adhere to the Nolan Principles when they do the exact opposite (their attempted bullying of me while I was on the council being such an action, and attempted bullying of current and past councillors);
  • someone with a criminal conviction for malicious communications;
  • trustees of a charitable trust whose accounts are over 50 days overdue (breaking charity law);
  • trustees of a charitable trust which is interfering in the current election by distributing a libellous and vexatious leaflet (but which the Charity Commission would do nothing about because it has bigger fish to fry);
  • non-signatories to a poison pen letter which was distributed in the village this time last year (the excuse for non-signature being that there was no room on the leaflet - LOL);
  • people who have previously resigned from the Parish Council and said they would never stand again;
  • people claiming to have had a significant role in the Neighbourhood Plan passed by a referendum and adopted by Mid-Suffolk but complaining that actions now being implemented from that plan are undemocratic;
  • people who want to knock down the primary school to make way for a supermarket and car park.
I could go on, but I won't. Let it just be said that I suspect I will once again be subjected to attempted bullying and to malicious rumours about my private life once this post has been published.

And this brings me full circle. We live in malevolent times, times when those telling lies will allow no investigation of their motives, nor reveal their hidden agendas, and claim they are standing for truth. Vote for the current seven parish councillors and for no-one else if you want a bright future for Stradbroke in these dark dark days.

17 March 2019

Saint Gertrude

She is startled by reflections
Her one eye doesn't understand,
By the light travelling along the wall,
The spectre of full sight eluding her.

In the dark, she sees figments
That aren't a part of her,
A distant rumble of verse
Throbbing in her empty socket.

On the bed, at dawn,
She paws her comfortable places
In search of more sleep,
Somewhere to rest her tired eye.

Outside, belly close to the frozen ground,
She searches for the sun in winter,
Shivers under the shining lustre of fur,
And sleeps by the open back door.