Friday, 8 April 2016

Roy Harper – Dissident on trial

By Opher Goodwin, 29 January 2015

Roy Harper and Nancy

I’ve just come back from giving a character reference at the Crown Court in Worcester for Roy Harper.

I can’t help thinking that all this historical sex scandal business has got completely out of hand.

Nobody is condoning sexual impropriety or paedophilia. If there was abuse of young girls the perpetrators should have been brought to justice.Why wait forty years?

I can’t help thinking that all of this is one horrible fabrication.

I have looked at the case against Roy and it looks flaky and spurious. I cannot see Roy as the raper of a young girl. It does not ring true.

There are times when you look at the legal system and think it has gone mad. we are not talking about justice or fairness; the law is a game. The solicitors pocket the money and a game is played out. It has nothing to do with justice.

Roy was having a late flourish. His album was gaining awards and selling. He was selling out the Festival Hall, writing a new album and being feted by a host of stars.

It all came to an abrupt end. Nobody will touch him with a barge-pole. The album is no longer selling. He has sunk all his savings into his defence. His reputation is destroyed.

There is no touring; no follow-up album and Roy and Tracey have had two and a half years of hell that have taken their toll.

The accuser is anonymous. Roy’s life is shattered.

Roy is no Jimmy Saville serial predatory paedophile. What on earth is going on?

One of Britain’s greatest dissidents, musician, poet and outspoken critic of the establishment is being hounded and destroyed. Something is wrong. Surely there needs to be a statute of limitations of twenty years on these sort of things? Sure there needs to be dual anonymity? Surely there has to be stringent Crown Prosecution assessment of whether a crime has been committed? You can’t just destroy someone’s life like this!

Performing North Country, OGWT 1974

Roy Harper – I Hate The Whiteman – Lyrics of a Dissident hoisted on his own petard!

By Opher Goodwin, 30 January 2015

When Roy Harper wrote these words he was attacking all the things about the society he was spawned from that he found detestable. He was in effect taking on the brunt of the establishment. Who would have thought that it would take forty years for it to come and bite him on the bum.

The young Roy Harper was vitriolic in his attack on what the pervading culture of the ‘White Man’ was doing around the world with its creed of selfishness, exploitation and greed.

He harks back to an age where men were free to walk, hunt and live without the petty restrictions, hypocrisy and dubious morals of the world we were building.

He looked at the propaganda in the newspapers, the ever present threat of nuclear annihilation and the alcohol soaked pavements of our cities where mindless humanity obeyed the rules and drowned their sorrows as they live in a plastic, empty society devoid of meaning and purpose. Where anybody who rebels is cowed with teargas and batons, even guns. Power and might is always right.
He even turns the power of his poetry against himself and his impotence.

What an incredibly powerful indictment of the world we have created.

What a sad state of affairs when our leading dissident is now being hauled over the coals in the courtrooms of this mad society. You don’t think there’s any connection do you? It couldn’t be a conspiracy could it?

One Of Those Days In England, 1977

I Hate the Whiteman

 Far across the ocean
In the land of look and see
There once was a time
For you and me

Where the winds blow sweetly
And the easy seas flow still
And where the barefoot dream of life
Can laugh and cry it's fill

Where slot machine confusion
And the plastic universe
Are objects of amusement
In the fiction of their curse

And where the crazy whiteman
And his teargas happiness
Lies dead and long since buried
By his own fantastic mess

For I hate the whiteman
And his plastic excuse
For I hate the whiteman
And the man who turned him loose...

And the reins of coloured thunder
Of the stallion of the dawn
Ride the coalfire morning
On the beach where all is born

Where the emperor of meaning
Is burning up his fort
And sits to warm his toes around
A fire made up of useless thoughts

And when the children tempt him
With the riddles of their trance
He flings the flames of solstice
Casting laughs into their dance

And where the crazy whiteman
In the desert of his bones
Lies as bleached as the paradise
He likes to think he owns

And I hate the whiteman
In his evergreen excuse
Oh I hate the whiteman
And the man who turned him loose...

And far across the reaches
Of the drifting yellow sands
The living carpet wilderness
Forever joins it's hands

With heaven hell's attainment
In a surging crest of fire
Where more than all is thrown upon
The ever lasting pyre

And through the countless canticles
Of Jason's charcoal fleece
Are sung the songs of nothing
In the timeless masterpiece

And there stood in the middle
Guess who?
It's the everlasting bust
Built by god's very own whiteman
As he tries to rule the dust

And I hate the whiteman
In his doctrinaire refuse
Oh I hate the whiteman
And the man who turned you all loose...

And the bowels of his city
Have been locked into a safe
Where the spew stains on the sidewalks
Are defenders of his faith

While back inside his kitchen
The bowler hatted, long haired saint
Cleans with soap and water
But it's really just white paint
While his gorgon headed scandal sheet
Presents its daily bite
To give their righteous news-believers
Drugs to keep them white

While outside in the whitewash
Where the guns are always, always right
A shooting star has summoned
Deaths dark angel from its night

And I hate the whiteman
And his evergreen excuse
Oh I hate the whiteman
And the man who turned you all loose
And the man who turned him loose...

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