I was born in 1951, I grew up in a Greater London suburban town called Eastcote, which was made possible by the revolution in travel that was the London underground. Eastcote Underground station was opened in 1906, one of the vital commuter lines to feed London’s ever growing need for workers, aided not least by positive recruitment of workers from British overseas territories, or, immigrants, as we now insult and demonise them, who came as British citizens of Empire. 
Back then social communication was pretty much one way, radio, newspapers and magazines (we had no television, not till after I’d left home). The best we could do was ‘Letters to the Editor’, of which I’ve written a few in my time. It wasn’t much, but it was all we had. The telephone was a sacred, Bakelite, thing, now called antiques, like me. In my home it was closely monitored as calls were costly and it was an object for adults, not for us children (until I discovered girls).
I was educated at home and at school in obedience, ‘children must be seen and not heard’, ‘respect your elders’, ‘speak when you’re spoken to’, ‘mind your p’s and q’s’, ‘don’t talk back’, go to your room/headmasters office’, ‘don’t come home and complain about a caning or you’ll get another one’. Some lessons you never forget and you’re not meant to. Rebelliousness was swiftly punished and I was a late but determined learner for which I am grateful because rebellion should be a considered, informed and determined thing, performed with dedication, requiring no ones else’s permission or approval. Learning and knowing when to dig in and hold your own is a bloody fine thing when you understand the value and the not inconsiderable consequences and you know when it is worth paying the price.
Thankfully for me, the hippy era came to educate and save me from the, all too often (usual?), bigotry of authority. It was a rebellion of peace and a voyage of discovery, a youth revolution, a music revolution, a sexual revolution, a peace revolution, an anti-war and anti-nuclear revolution, a drugs revolution, a clothing revolution and a revolution of consent, hitherto unheard of in all of history. We changed the world, and the bastards in power hated it, but they couldn’t stop it, though America gunned down peace (and peaceful) protesters . It’s alive and well in me to this day, that was a true adventure of education and personal exploration that has lasted my lifetime. It was, truly, fucking ‘far out, man’.
That era differed from the current social media revolution because it was led by our feet, we were capturing and changing life primarily and fundamentally joyously. We had everything to gain and only the hitherto blind obedience of our parents world to the status quo to lose.
I learnt that I was by nature and temperament a peaceful and gentle man. I learnt that these were not failings, but enormous strengths that were at war with my past, a war not easily resolved but worth battling for, a battle that continues to this day as state oppression and brutality grows in our time. There was nothing easy about it because it existed in a social context and was how I became an anarchist socialist. I learned the value of bottom up politics, of empowerment and ‘Consent’.
The problem with ‘we the people’ is that we can only unite by informed consent, which is inherently messy. Demands and bullying are weapons of the enemy. Mob rule is a disaster waiting to happen, headed by the loudest, nastiest and brashest.
I used to be ashamed and terrified of the braying school mobs that flocked to every school fight, I avoided them and walked home feeling like the worst kind of coward, loathing myself for the revulsion I felt of the mob and the violence. It took me years to realise I was right to walk away, there was nothing noble, decent or admirable in those mobs. They were revolting and shameful, loving the pain and suffering, usually aimed at the victim of bullying, not a battle of equals. I was, without knowing it, already voting with my feet. I hated school with good reason, even if I could not understand or vocalise it, there was nothing of real life education there that ever appealed to me and I was being held without my consent, informed or otherwise.
The establishment talks about the consent of the governed, a chimera that doesn’t really exist other than as part of the grand lie of the controlled masses. Informed consent is something opposed by both government and the entire main stream media, both of which have employed propaganda as a means of control and subjugation of our individual will and consent. Such, so called, consent is more like gang rape, as we can see today in the rise of the right as fascism once again threatens us, but this time it’s the so called free west leading the way, the very nations who opposed it last time. The followers just as blind as before, fed by the vilest media outlets, like the Mail, Sun, Express and Telegraph, and the BBC, of course.
The fundamental problem is that the world is controlled by a microscopic minority who globally decide everything, control everything, rule everything, in their favour… and god help the helpless.
This is a consistent truth which, for reasons no one fully understands, has become brutal, vindictive and lethal since 2010. We are led by the least among us who, by dint of priviledge and wealth, would not under any other circumstances deserve a second of our time or concern. They are, in all things, nothing but a waste of space, time and energy.
Never underestimate the violence a microscopic privileged few can unjustly inflict on the vast majority of perfectly ordinary people.
And they always expect and demand others to do their dirty work for them.
Then and now they are, and always have been, the enemies of peace and of the people.