When In Rome

Before I have a further thought, I would just like to make it clear that I am fanatically against the Taliban, and given half a chance I would put an end to the idea within a second. I think that I made this clear in the Royal Festival Hall programme in June 2001, three months before the New York attack. I just don’t want any more innocent Afghanis to join the innocent New Yorkers. It will be as bad, if not worse, to kill any more……….the problem is.. that it’s very much harder to kill an idea, than it is to kill the person who may be carrying it …….. However…….

As I was re-reading my rant on globalization, I realised that although I knew what I meant, that it was too general of a statement… and that to trash the whole concept isn’t real. After all, it’s here, and it’s here for as long as we can maintain this scale of ‘organised’ habitation on the planet. The most serious question that can be asked in the present context is whether or not, or how much, ‘globalization’ has contributed to conditions which precipitated the events of Sept 11th.

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The Morning After


How much was understood by the average FBI agent who torched Waco? About religious fanaticism? And how easy it is for the unsuspecting to fall into the false comfort which that type of fantasy worship encourages?

I’d had good stabs at it beforehand. In earlier poems. On the first record it was mentioned in Sophisticated Beggar, the title track, which is now 36 years old, and a year or two later in McGoohans Blues, etc, but I really got to grips with a poetic treatment of where I wanted to be with regard to organised religion when I wrote ‘The Same Old Rock’ on ‘Stormcock’ in 1969. Joan Bakewell, (described at the time as ‘the thinking man’s crumpet’) reviewed it in some rag saying, “One hopes that he doesn’t believe in what he’s singing about” ! ! I thought that I had really done well, but the record met with ignorance from the record company and apathy from the critics. I was very frustrated with that at the time. Some people didn’t understand it. Most didn’t want to. It has been my second best selling record for the last twenty years.

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