I grew up in the north of Ireland – ‘Northern Ireland’ – during the ‘Troubles’ in the late 1960s and early 1970’s. The experience taught me at first hand the damage religious dogma and conflicting cultural loyalties can cause.
As a young man I traveled and worked widely in Europe and the Middle East. I trained in hotel management in England and Switzerland and in my early career worked in business management in hotels, in retailing and property development in the UK and Europe. Through this I acquired extensive experience of the corporate world – public relations, media communications, business marketing and social marketing.
I have lived in a kibbutz, in an eco-village in Ireland and in a new age commune in Scotland as well as living in suburbia and working as a business executive for twenty-five years. I have had a lifelong interest in history and politics, particularly in the way history has shaped contemporary beliefs and behaviours.
I first became interested in the historic origins of Christianity while living in the Middle East during the late 1970’s and working on archaeological digs. I was inspired to write The Hare’s Vision during time spent working in Scotland and studying early Scottish history with its strong links to Ireland.
Disillusioned with big business in my later career, I began to use my business skills to create and support social enterprises and self-help groups in the areas of men’s health, social housing, fuel poverty and environmental protection. My career involved me in a high degree of public speaking to a wide variety of groups including senior executives, government ministers, university and school groups and community organisations.
Being from the north of Ireland I was born into a tribe that gave me both my religion – Protestantism – and my political beliefs – Unionism. However being naturally rebellious in my early teens I flirted with Irish republicanism. When civil unrest impacted on my life and my community in the early seventies, I retreated into my tribe and became a convinced Ulster loyalist. This remained my view until the mid-eighties when the Anglo-Irish Agreement began a process of disillusionment with Ulster unionism and the union with Britain. Since then, and due to wider international events, my political beliefs have moved steadily to the left.
I dislike labels generally. So archaic terms from the nineteenth century such as ‘socialist’, ‘communist’, ‘anarchist’ etc. and even the binary code of left and right don’t appeal . I refuse to label myself because unless you are a one dimensional person these labels do not describe the entire human being.. I am opposed to the concept of people being ruled by a ‘state’ and its forces, to the monarchy, to all forms of hierarchy, to the continuance of British (English) rule in Ireland and to organised religion. I believe political parties cause division and place an obstacle between the people and their elected representatives.
I am convinced that placing the power of decision making as close as possible to the people in their communities in a form of participatory democracy where people have ‘power with’, not ‘power over’; is the only worthwhile future strategy for the human species. The only ‘power over’ will be applied to public control of the means of production and distribution, the banking system and the creation of money.
I am no longer involved in paid employment and work as a full time writer of historical novels and a political blog.