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Welcome - The International Writers Magazine - June 2009
writing from across the globe.

June 15th: Hay Fever. Iran wakes up to find they elected a dictator. We have the usual summer rain. Life's usual pattern. Take a look at this June edition of Hacks. Lots to read and consider. Oh yes and buy my book Another Place to Die if you want to know how to survive the coming flu pandemic - the big one this autumn. (You can download it even to your Sony E Reader if you want to save money).

The Importance of European Elections and other summer puddings

The people have spoken in the UK. They want Labour out, they want Gordon Brown gone. Labour suffered a total wipe out in local elections and now control not one single council in the UK. In Europe they have lost yet more seats, the Conservatives top the poll (only just from the separatists of UKIP). Sadly Labour still control the government and we will have to suffer months more of corruption, deceit and leadership of donkeys. The European results is dire for them and already Gordon has rescued one of the pigs in the trough from Europe and planted her in his cabinet of fools. Mrs Kinnock a world expert in gravy trains survives. Sad and pathetic. I have a feeling that we shall see an autumn general election.

I suppose Governments of any persuasion are no panacea. In the end the people have to run their own lives but it helps if there is a little bit of inspiration from the top. Having just seen the dreadful Terminator Salvation I am beginning to root for the machines. Obama is a man who is intelligent and thoughtful and inspirational. He may not succeed entirely as he is only a man, but at least he provides hope. Our leader provides just despair and mockery and drags us all down with him.

It’s sometimes hard to care about the ‘fabric’ of our society. Everyone is on the make and I guess if I have one regret it is not making it too. Teaching doesn’t seem to involve perks or expenses, hell I have to buy the books and DVDs I use in class myself.

Where is my moat? Where is my 100,000 pounds it takes to run my office, on top of my salary and ‘expenses’? Democracy is rung out to dry guys. Might as well live in North Korea, at least you know your money is going to waste on lavish palaces and nuclear bombs. Apparently, according to a survey quoted on BBC Radio 4, 66 percent of the UK population beleive our MPs are on the make and have lost total trust in them. What kind of crazy people are the other 36 percent who presumably believe our officials are honest? I guess they never read the news - ever. 'Trust No One' said Mulder and he was right all along.

Should we be shocked? I see in my own field the ‘management’ reward themselves huge salaries as a reward for getting us to agree to 0.3 percent pay rises. I am not sure I’d be able to see the difference, but the bosses will, as they can and do award themselves huge bonuses for keeping everyone in line and boosts to their pensions.

You see this everywhere. The police are going to have to lay people off, I am sure that will play well with voters come the election as crime soars. In Surrey they are taking people of forensics teams (who actually catch criminals) and putting them on the beat or on that 'early retirement' bandwagon.

Hospitals are closing wards despite running a huge profit this and last year. Not many people seem to be aware of that. There is NO SHORTAGE of money in the NHS there have been efficiency savings. Notably in making sure fewer people get the operations they need.

The army is going to have to make do, yet again, with inadequate weaponry and protection equipment.
Ditto the rest of the armed services. We are broke the politicians bleat but really? Don’t you think if they cut back on some of their expenses money might be found?

650 MPs could run their offices out of their salary for example or use public transport or pay their own rents, that’s many millions right there that could provide proper care for out soldiers in Afghanistan. Better yet, save a few more lives and bring them home. Why are we there? What can we do better than the Russians? Bring the troops home and save BILLIONS.

It’s summer now; it’s hard to concentrate of being miserable. It’s hard to believe we have been saddled with such an incompetent government for nearly 13 years and still they won’t go. Hell even the mad drunik woman next door thinks she can do a better job...

Everyone has lost faith in authority, in the future, and there’s a great danger in all that. Our graduates will find it hard to get jobs, they too will feel aggrieved and that’s 300,000 of them looking for jobs right now.

Yes we have been here before (I graduated into a recession myself years ago) but I am not sure we shall get out from under this so easy. Last time there was no China to compete with or India and they can beat all European labour costs and are hungry for success without the constraints of working time directives or health and safety and huge high taxes or costs of living.

I think I’ll have a cup of tea and just calm down. Reflect on walking the dogs on Sunday and coming face to face with a deer in the wilds of Surrey. It's a good feeling to know they are there and look healthy - the deer not the dogs. Good to ride in the warm breeze down the Basingstoke Canal with Kit to Woking for coffee and muffins. Simple pleasures are best.

This is the last Hacks Issue for the summer. There may be a September issue – depending upon circumstances, money, life, and books that have to be written and so forth. (Yes I am going to South West France again - it's a hard life, sorry).

If you are coming to the Winchester Writers’ Conference I will see you there. Foolishly I agreed to speak on something I know little about. Thought I could do with the challenge. Stupid really. Should have stuck to dystopias – something I do know something about. Damnit I was even dreaming aobut giving the lecture last night and suffering the paralysis of not knowing what happens next.
Be well, hope you survive the summer hackreaders.

June 15th 2009 - Check out this months issue now- lots of good features and points of view

If you want to help Hackwriters keep going, buy my new book Mean Tide. A young adult ghost story set in Greenwhich, London.
All profits go into the magazine.
Mean Tide by Sam North
'Extraordinary novel about a child's psychic awakening'

Lulu Press - ISBN: 978-1-4092-0354-4
Review: 'An engaging, unusual and completely engrossing read'
- Beverly Birch author of 'Rift'

Sent to live with his spooky Grandma by the river in Greenwich, Oliver (12) discovers a whole world of disturbed people who are probably even crazier than the ones he left behind. When he finds a dog with its throat cut on the beach, everything changes.
Age range 12-16 and adult

Meanwhile, are you worried about your health? Read my book 'Another Place to Die'' . If you have the slightest worry about how to survive the coming flu pandemic, you need this book and all the proceeds go to keep Hackwriters going. See the review from Calvin Hussey

The Curse of the Nibelung - A Sherlock Holmes Mystery
by Sam North

ISBN 1-4116-3748-8
$19.98 Retail - 300 pages - Lulu Press USA

'Chocolate will never be the same again' - Sunday Express
Buy from your favourite on-line retailer

Amazon UK
Amazon USA
Barnes and Noble
& Waterstones

Diamonds - The Rush of '72
By Sam North
ISBN: 1-4116-1088-1

Buy now from
'a terrific piece of storytelling' Historical Novel Society Review

Also printed in the UK and available from
& Waterstones

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