We live on the only Paradise humans will ever know. It reduces down to one strike and you’re out. Life here is as far as we know the only life there is. We haven’t even begun to understand it. We have barely begun to understand, we don’t understand it, yet we are at ad hock war with every other life form, organic or inorganic, the very mix that sustains us, driven by greed and ignorance. I suggest we turn our gaze to those who rule and subdue us. They are the enemy at the gates.

The Conservatives in the 80s were not just privatisers, they didn’t just open the gates of hell when they deregulated the City – attracting all the money into it that might otherwise have gone into British manufacturing – the Conservatives were actually supporters of the Apartheid regime and they believed that all socialists and communists were “ the enemy within”.

Young Tories in those days, (Cameron and Johnson were too young to be among them) made T-Shirts about Nelson Mandela stamped with the sentence: “Hang the terrorist.” This was the age when Britain didn’t just coattail on US wars in the hope of getting thrown a few scraps and scrag ends – resources and a little strategic advantage; it was a time when when the Conservatives actually turned Britain into ground zero for a potential WWIII.

Since, incredibly, losing Hartlepool to the Tories, Starmer has been engaged in a balletic act of shadow-boxing against a leadership challenger who doesn’t exist. A recent poll found that Labour voters overwhelmingly want Starmer to go before the next election, but most have no idea who will replace him. In other words, they’re so keen to be rid of him hat they don’t care that there’s no obvious successor.

Noam Chomsky, a deeply rational and lucid man, made certain assumptions based on tried and tested principles from the philosophy of science. Lakoff and others called this an objectification of something that was actually deeply subjective and experiential; namely the interplay between experience and language.

This was some time ago. Their positions haven’t changed much for 30 years.

How would the grandees of the Civil Service, the heads of industry, the aristocracy, the media, Global big business, the military, MI5, the CIA, shadowy organisations such as the Ditchley Group, the dark money brokers, the Trilateral Commission, the City, the Chipping Norton Set, the hedge funds, the oligarchs, and all the other unelected holders of power react to a socialist UK? They have an absolute belief in their entitlement, something akin to the divine right of kings – democracy be buggered.

This month, Moniza Alvi brings us such a shattering reality and leaves us asking to redefine the use of the word animal.

A key to notice is her craft very precise and incisive with each word weighing in with its presence. Just look at the poem Candle. With candle, caves, stalagmites and stalactites, does it need to say more?

French cuisine ain’t as good as it used to be. The rot set in well before Chirac made his famous remarks, and seems to be accelerating. As someone who has visited and stayed in France frequently over the decades, I chart this decline with great sadness. French cuisine has always been celebrated for its excellence and variety, and has been inextricably a big part of my seventy year bout of Francophilia.

But communities helping themselves, breaking free from corporate tyranny, building sustainable, more localised economies, getting representatives who actually represent them rather than vested interests – now that should be one hell of a draw.

A coalition of the left might achieve that. But if Labour is ever to be reborn, it will have to shed the centrist dead wood and learn to live with like-minded progressive groups. Ditch first past the post. Cooperate.

No one wants to be lead by donkeys, or dangerous buffoons like Boris Johnson. But who imagines that the Naxalites (or the Sikh farmers) can govern in India? Who thinks the Zapatistas should rule in Chiapas, or Sendero Luminoso in Peru? Who agrees that certain key Brexit voting communities in the north should be the ones to decide the future of the UK.

I utterly need Green around me! I am experiencing a kind of lack of it at the moment, as I moved to the seaside. The sea is wonderful, but I am hankering after Forest… I’ve never been really drawn to deserts, although my eldest son really wants to experience a desert, but he wants to go to the Atacama.