Africa was more than a bicycle ride. It was about establishing my sovereignty
Before I set out on this journey I had a vision of Africa of tall trees, wild animals on the distant horizon, and a very indigenous tribal look to the country. I understood that cities would be different and that tourism would be one of the main money makers for the particular countries I wanted to see. As a self-proclaimed indigene I knew I could relate to its people. I left the political and fiscal life of London knowing that I would have to return to a legal dispute between myself and the housing association to whom I haven’t paid rent to for two years; London has now become a temporary home where I live for little more than 3 months in the year to earn my money and get on with being a liberated individual. I have called myself a Freeman in the past, with all its political associations, but I am preferring the title of a non-legal being. Having just returned to London to take up my bastion nothing had changed on the home front; the flat was untouched and there was a pile of letters on the floor from bailiffs, financial institutions, utility companies, business flyers, and all the rest; I binned the lot. London—the great financial capital of the world.
The last time I was here I disputed Redcorn Ltd. on Common Law grounds for having clamped my 1980 Austin Allegro and within 2 days towed it back to a pound where they would scrap it within a week. I had just brought it back from Spain where slowly I was restoring it since the rubber-injected body had preserved it, and having done 2 rebuilds on the engine in which I learnt my mechanics I knew I had a car for life. It is just the right size to carry a few hundred litres of olive oil, a couple of hessian sacks of carob pods, and with a roof rack I managed to stick two lawn mowers on the top on its return trip to Spain. Admittedly the contents are worth more than the car, but only in financial terms. It is true, there was no road tax, nor MOT, since you can’t get one without the other, but I was insured. So I called up my mates at Rodney garages where I was mentored in mechanics and thought I had booked an MOT. This was not the case though because I didn’t speak to the boss. When I went to my own garage someone had parked across the driveway, and so I couldn’t take it off-road and decided to head home, offload my oil and park up around the corner in Boveney Road. The car is registered under my title Augustus Caesar Merlyn Peter. For a piece of motoring history 36 years old in which one values the old, there are 200 of these cars still on the road. So I bit my tongue and paid the £200 to remove it from the pound whilst threatening them with a NOUICOR—a Notice of Understanding and Intent and Claim of Right (see later). They knew about Common Law because they admired me for trying, and also because they are bailiffs. I would in good time present them with such a notice which asserted the threat of my own bailiffs if they did not refund me, but first I had to get the car back, and my good friend lent me the money because I was skint. Soon after that I got a £170 fine from DVLA for which I responded with a letter asserting my non-legal status. I didn’t pay it, like so many others; I don’t pay taxes nor fines, a totally unjust imposition upon a poor man with a spiritual disposition who earns little more than £3-4,000 per year and earns his respect from the local community for being good-natured.
Having paid for the car to get it back on the road I was left with a few hundred pounds to venture to Africa with once the work dried up, and so I drove the car back to Spain as soon as possible where it will remain for the rest of its life—I deny the UK a little piece of memorabilia for the lack of respect it should have for old things. If that isn’t bad enough even the Allegro International Club based here in Britain needed a kick up the arse when I threatened them to refund me years of membership fees after they admitted to not running a proper spares service—the reason why most people join in order to get their cars back on the road. Because of me they have now greatly improved, but without a word of thanks considering that I had a genuine case. In Spain I don’t need road tax.
Luckily, I had bought the bicycle already to make my journey to The Gambia. Practically nobody had sponsored me and in fact I was met with adversity by many individuals who bemoaned my intentions to travel. I put it to them in one of my blogs that if a member of your family or close social circle is raising money for charity by putting his livelihood and life at possible risk, doesn’t he warrant immediate support? Many people who promised support never sponsored me in the end. But then when I was about to leave Mauritania, ill with diarrhoea and just a few hundred kilometres from my destination, I suddenly got a flurry of online applications. I remember noting in one of my blogs that it was just as if they had had a meeting in London and decided that in spite of the lack of moral support for the rest of the journey let’s pay him some money now. As for those who did sponsor me from the beginning, well I can only hope that they will be friends for life. As I say, I am a good-natured person who thinks and writes with his pen when criticising society, not my penis. So that when I recently returned to London to witness the referendum to leave the EU and to see the political landscape in turmoil I was jumping head over heals. Of course here in London, the great financial centre of the world, they were calling for another referendum—a bunch of sad losers . If I recall, the referendum for Scottish independence was just as close, and I distinctly remember the gloaters then harping on about their political success and knocking true heroes like Andy Murray for texting a little pro-independence support (see previous newsletters). Truly, the country is divided between the working class and the bureaucrats, but this was a vote about democracy, how we value and acknowledge it, and why we need to politically reform the country. I couldn’t give a damn which way the vote went—I don’t vote for anything or anybody because I am a non-legal entity. But I did have admiration for David Cameron for stepping down because he knows what it means to be a true leader.
It brings on the subject of sport and the failure of the English football team. Has nobody made the clear psychological relationship between the national football team and politics? England flunked at the European cup because they had just voted out of the EU and were hated by most of the other countries where the people, comprised of millions of immigrants, withdrew their moral support. Can’t people see that what makes for luck, what brings success, is a psychological pedestal that raises one above another. Politics is an infighting game that ideally wants to balance out widespread opinion so as to create an infrastructure to suit the majority. Any great leader can spot weakness, that is their forte. Cameron stepped down because he realised, albeit unconsciously, that rather than a weak country the UK was “strongly” divided. It is capable of running its own show, only time will tell, but the result of the referendum indicates that the people hold the true solution. The paradox of this viewpoint, and I am full of them, is that a leader is not required in such a “strong’” situation; rather only when the country is weak. Hence the reshuffle in politics across the spectrum. So we can look at Leceister City FC, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic, Iceland and a few others possibly. I am afraid to say that France’s eagerness at pushing the political procedures through after the vote to leave might have given the football team a new lease of life as now that psychological ‘immigrant’ population looked to new frontiers, but pre-destination takes its course and the Portuguese result was a spiritual victory for the masses. Colonial countries lived off the social and spiritual capital of the ‘undeveloped’ world for centuries but now politics has hit a brick wall as materialistic gains are levelled, and the slower-moving environmental wave begins to subsume economic stability. I have always said, that the materialistic drive to production will have to remove the human race off the planet but it has yet to pack its bags.
The rise of nationalism is, undoubtedly, a recurring pattern that I have noticed in the Roman model. Imperialism puts economics and control first. But the whole Roman model was decentralised. Forget Rome, the rest of the empire ran itself and different rules for different cultures were the mainstay. It was not democratic politically, nor economically, only religiously. Rules were for the masses, which the elites duly ignored. It was right-wing in as much as it was a proto-form of what we call fascism. The social ladder, based upon honour and shame, required a patronage so that you went up and down according to who you knew. Is it really that much different to today?
Americanism is a form of nationalism, but it too, outside of its geological boundaries, imposes a fascistic mindset upon the rest of the world. That is how it runs other economies, through the corporate trade of arms and raw commodities that subjugate lesser technologised economies. Exactly Roman in structure. Is the rise in English nationalism fascistic? I should think so. The Italians (Etruscans among others) were always at loggerheads with the Senate because of unequal rights. The UK as such is not London (Rome) - the financial capital of the world. But it is strong as I say, like the Roman empire. All you have to do is look at the greater world to see the greater picture—it still has its Commonwealth trade links.
When I cycled to north and west Africa I needed to go to Volubilis, the furthest south city of the Roman empire near the modern Moroccan town of Moulay Idris. It survived until about 200AD and was then abandoned at the height of the Roman empire because of the economic stress it put on Mauritania. Over hundreds of years it was taken over by the indigenous Berber culture and slowly fell into ruin. The empire maintained its frontier closer to the sea through its trading capabilities. In synonymy, modern-day Morocco is incredibly rich. Don’t believe what people might be telling you. The poor get looked after and, experts in trade over thousands of years, they are the African interface to Europe. They build cities along their Atlantic coast just like the rest of Europe did. Only they are closer to the ‘undeveloped’ countries than Europe is. In fact, their internationally unrecognized occupation of Western Sahara is solely to protect the phosphor mines. When I was there the political hyperbole fudged the threat of extremism from their antagonistic partners the Algerians because the real issue is wealth and materialism per se.
Morocco is losing its religion, just like the Western nations did. But it is not a phenomenon across the whole of Morocco, just where there is a lot more materialism in the western tourist regions; places that accept the euro instead of the derham. Likewise, travelling further south corruption is prevalent in such developed city ports like Dakar in Senegal. In fact once you enter black Africa one tends to notice the evacuation of religiosity, and it is barely noticeable the Muslim majority. Undoubtedly, the most devout were the poorest, the Mauritanians, the Saharawi, the true Moroccan, who took me in and ensured I completed my journey on one and a half euros a day expenditure. I was one of them. And I became ill only as I was leaving the desert of Mauritania and entering the capital Nouadchott. There I met the generosity of a Belgic man who worked for an oil exploration company. Overly fed from his hotel tab, the dysentery(?) set in. My psychological defences lowered, I missed my turning and had to engage the mafia on the Senegalese frontier at Rosso. There they work in cooperation with the frontier guards, as do the fake police who cannot produce any ID, and my normal ability to transcend and previse such social encounters failed me. I hit the maelstrom and the disease of Mammon’s culture. But I dream of lions and my demeanour overawed them, even scared them. Why, they had followed me for thousands of kilometres across Morocco and Mauritania, polite, accommodating, diplomatic, generous, open, and generally lovely people, but the authorities in Senegal opened up a fury inside me. I dealt with 400km of sand storms, but that wasn’t preparation enough to avoid this decadence. Do you know what it is like when an angry athletic bearded traveller looks down upon you with all the blessing of God to get me to my destination in The Gambia? One is food for lions. So despite the beautiful small Guinean musicians who looked after me in St. Louise, the fly-infested docks were too much of a reminder as I haggled the prices down from one vendor to another.
There is a beauty here of sorts, a dynamic of people, a hot-pot of cultures mixing, maybe the visual stimulation after one leaves behind all the plastic crap that litters the outskirts of cities and towns, tonnes of shit piling high that nomadic goats rummage through. You don’t know the people until you meet them; what a cultural shock it must be when they come to Europe, their distinct post-colonial logic. They call you from a distance and pretend recognition, only to want to sell you something or offer their services. ‘Two-bob’ , the child’s favourite word, means ‘give me money white man’. That’s why I am indigenous, that’s why I am not white. That’s why I am sovereign, because I am poor.