Leon Rosselson - Official Website

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Leon Rosselson - Official Website

Palaces of Gold

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Justice for Grenfell




If the sons of company directors and judges’ private daughters

Had to go to school in a slum school

Dumped by some joker in a damp back alley

Had to herd into classrooms cramped with worry

With a view onto slagheaps and stagnant pools

Had to file through corridors grey with age

And play in a crackpot concrete cage.

Buttons would be pressed

Rules would be broken

Strings would be pulled

And magic words spoken

Invisible fingers would mould

Palaces of gold.

If prime-ministers and advertising executives

Royal personages and bank managers’ wives

Had to live out their lives in dank rooms

Blinded by smoke and the foul air of sewers

Rot on the walls and rats in the cellars

In rows of dumb houses like mouldering tombs

Had to bring up their children and watch them grow

In a waste land of dead streets where nothing will grow.

Buttons would be pressed 

Rules would be broken

Strings would be pulled

And magic words spoken

Invisible fingers would mould

Palaces of gold.

I’m not suggesting any sort of a plot

Everyone knows there’s not

But you unborn millions might like to be warned

That if you don’t want to be buried alive by slagheaps

Pitfalls and damp walls and rat-traps and dead streets

Arrange to be democratically born

The son of a company director

Or a judge’s fine and private daughter.

Buttons will be pressed

Rules will be broken

Strings will be pulled

And magic words spoken

Invisible fingers will mould

Palaces of gold.


"The lesson of Aberfan is never put your faith in experts or authority….Unless ordinary people take notice there will be another Aberfan, another Chernobyl and much worse." - Cyril Vaughan, Vice-Chairman of the Aberfan Disaster Fund 18 October 1986, 20 years after Aberfan.



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Israeli Checkpoint

My local Labour controlled council has just voted, like other councils, as well as universities and the UK government, to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism. This consists of a rather loose basic definition, followed by a rambling discourse around the subject that twice mentions Israel and then 11 examples, 7 of which refer to the state of Israel. Anyone with a functioning brain might suspect that this definition has less to do with protecting Jews from antisemitism than with shielding Israel from criticism.

When the European Parliament were due to vote on whether to adopt this definition, I wrote to my MEPs urging them to reject it. Two replied in identical terms, pointing out that the definition makes it clear that criticism of Israel cannot be regarded as antisemitic’. Except that it doesn’t. They lied. Why would they do that? What it actually says is that ‘criticism of Israel similar to that levelled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic’.

The italicised phrase changes everything. Why is it there? Obviously to muddy the waters. Who is to decide whether criticism of Israel goes beyond that levelled against any other country? In any case, Israel is not like any other country. It is a settler colonial state, founded on massacres and ethnic cleansing. It is, by any definition, a criminal state. Transferring Israeli settlers into the occupied territory is illegal, as is transferring Palestinian prisoners into Israeli jails. The Wall, built largely on Palestinian land was judged illegal by the International Court of Justice in 2004. The collective punishment inflicted on the people of Gaza is a war crime under the Fourth Geneva Convention. Israel itself is a racist state where ‘Arabs’ are viewed as a demographic threat. Unlike other countries (Myanmar is an exception), it is not a state for all its citizens but for all the Jews in the world, who are given the ‘Right of Return’, a right denied to the indigenous people.

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 I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish Church, by the Roman Church, by the Greek Church, by the Protestant Church, nor by any church that I know.  MY OWN MIND IS MY OWN CHURCH. 

“When the rich plunder the poor of his rights, it becomes an example to the poor to plunder the rich of his property." 

 Liberty Tree flyer - Cecil Sharp House, March 8th


Sixty Quid A Week

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A live recording by Reel News of Leon Rosselson, February 2014 
Don't you feel guilty when you meet some poor sod begging in the street? 

They Come Like Armies

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They come like armies, they assault the land
They pump down vast amounts of water, toxic chemicals & sand
To crack the rocks and win the prize
The shale gas they hope will see their profits rise.

They say it’s safe, nothing to fear
But it doesn’t take a fracking scientist to spot a bad idea
Just one small leak in the wells they sink
Will contaminate the water that we drink

Ask who will profit? Who pay the price?
This patch of earth they’re violating isn’t theirs to sacrifice.
Why can’t they see that it’s insane
To heat the planet, scar the earth for short term gain?

Earth’s buried treasures they take by force
And fracking uses so much water it depletes the water source
So now in Texas they’re asking why
The shale gas flows while the water taps run dry.

Let’s choose clean water, let’s choose clean air
Let’s choose a future that’s sustainable for everyone to share
Let’s choose clean energy sea, sun and wind
So we can keep those fossil fuels in the ground.
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