Music is an international language. Jazz, in particular, allows everyone to have their say and to be understood by everyone else, regardless of their race or nationality. Jazz is at its best when people listen to each other and contribute their own ideas to something which is a creation of all their efforts - a musical and emotional experience.
In short, jazz is about co-operation and co-operation is the opposite of conflict. If politicians from every country were jazz musicians we would live in a more peaceful and equitable world. Well, in theory, at least!
When a country resorts to violence and destruction, or even just the threat of unleashing such forces upon others, it is a sign of its own failure to resolve crises or to further its own ends in a more grown-up civilised manner. War now is nothing more than mass murder. The vast majority of people who die in wars are civilians, particularly the weak, the infirm, the elderly and the very young. War does not solve problems: it creates new ones.
As a musician who attempts to create new things, I firmly oppose mindless destruction, however glossy and glamorous the weapons of war may appear to others. As a human being who cherishes life, I deplore the killing and maiming of other human beings. And when it is done in my name by my own country, I utterly deplore it and will protest against it however I can.
I have been very lucky to have been able to travel widely and to have lived and worked with people from many other countries.
Co-operation with others from other backgrounds leads to a One World philosophy, which I passionately believe in. We have enough problems in combating global warming and other ecological disasters without wasting valuable resources in nationalistic behaviour at the expense of others. The war in Syria which has resulted in thousands of people dying and being injured and creating huge numbers of refugees. The conflict has drawn in other countries with their own agendas. The situation needs to be de-escalated and a ceasefire, acceptable to all parties, needs to come into force. The civil war could become the seed-bed of a third world war. It has become even more frightening as a result of the Islamic State terrorists. Their strongholds may be overcome, but not their zealous idiology which threatens the lives of people in other countries from terrorist attacks.
What is happening in Britain with the race towards leaving the European Union led by a dictatorial prime minister and idealogically short-sighted henchman fills me with dread. The foolish referendum on whether to stay in or quite the EU was based on fraudulent promises and openly racist and xenophobic propoganda by the media and politicians. The whole country, including the 48 percent who voted to stay in, is soon going to jump over a cliff. What will happen is that prices of goods will rise sharply (some of them are already rising), people's standard of living will be lowered and there could be devastating strikes in different sectors and civil unrest when the time has come. The protection given by the EU to workers and the environmental safeguards will no longer be there. We are living in a fool's paradise at the moment. Scotland is threatening to become an independent country and Northern Ireland may do the same or join up with Southern Ireland (Eire). So many British people can't get over the second world war as well as the prosperous days when Britain ruled a mighty empire (at the expense of people in other less-developed countries). Unfortunately some of these people who look back at the past with rose-coloured spectacles are at the heart of the British Governement. It seems like there is absolutely nothing anyone can do to stop this impending disaster. If you are British and read this you may not agree. Let's see who turns out right.In America, the election of Trump as president makes me despair for the future. I am sure I am not alone. Remember he has his finger on the nuclear button. He doesn't believe in global warming and is taking money away from the environment in order to boost defence spending.
We have no choice left now but to co-operate and find lasting solutions to problems which effect everyone, the world over.
For those who are interested then, here are some links to some
worthwhile organisations, many of which have branches worldwide:
War on Want
Campaign against the Arms Trade
World Development Movement
Friends of the Earth
The Carbon Neutral Company
Human Rights Watch
New Internationalist Magazine
Center for Alternative Technology
Stop the War Coalition
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
Flyingfish - links to alternative media
Medecin sans Frontieres
Lend with Care
This is an excellent scheme run by Care International. You can lend money to people in poor countries who need some investment in projects. When up and running, the money is paid back and you can choose to reinvest in something else or take the money.
Click here to read about six factors which have a detrimental effect upon the environment.
Here is an excellent couple of videos about climate change/global warming.