Squatters Rights

Back in the 70’s and early 80’s squatters were dirty hippy/punks that lived in empty hovels that rats would’ve thought twice about moving into.

Those ‘anti-social layabouts’ had nothing better to do than protest and waste taxpayers hard earned cash by claiming twenty-eight pounds a week in benefits. I used to dream of joining their ranks when I was young and idealistic. Alas by the time I was old enough to leave home Thatcher had criminalised the movement and quashed the dreams of another anti-capitalist underachiever. The squatters movement all but disappeared. Continue reading →

Contentment – A Cautionary Tale

I’m experiencing some new sensations. One, in particular, is completely alien to me, contentment. “That’s lovely” I hear you say, “congratulations.” But wait, is this such a wonderful outcome? When I become conscious of a shift in perception I’m in danger of losing parts of a belief system that has been with me for an aeon and a day. Such a shift requires recalibration at best, at worst a destabilising loss of identity.

I’ve lived my life battling against the politics of hate and fear. And against the legacy of trauma and subsequent anxiety.  Continue reading →

Floatation Nation

It’s the only kind of tank I’ll ever be trusted with. And because my stock is worthless this is the closest I’m going to get to being floated. Perhaps the owners of the ‘Floatation Centre’ I recently visited are aspirational enough to see themselves floating on the stock market. In ten years time, there could be a Floatation Centre on every High Street. From Tasmania to Christmas Island. Continue reading →

A Cautionary Tale – Lazy Listening

From the series ‘Harry Jackson’s Cautionary Tales’ on FFS (For Fucks Sake) Magazine.

I think the voice in my head affects my ability to process important external information. By which I mean it talks over everyone else. People often mistake my poor attention for hearing loss. I’ve been called ‘deafo’ on more than one occasion.

This lack of focus has seen me perennially underachieve. Not necessarily by my standards, but certainly by those of our economically driven society. More recently my ‘lazy listening’ threatened to halt my writing career before it had escaped the stalls. Continue reading →

Charitable Thrusts

Published Northsider May 2016

My daughter told me if she could choose to donate to a charity she’d choose LGBTQ. Her reasoning for this was it would be hard for persons of a non-heterosexual bent to get a job. I agreed that if a hairy muscle-bound plumber turned up for an interview in a dress and makeup, he’d be unlikely to make the shortlist. However, given it’s not yet compulsory for people to have their sexual orientation or gender preferences tattooed on their foreheads, it would be difficult to know for sure if someone was L, G, T, B or Q. Continue reading →