Fiction with an edge

Saturday, 24 September 2016

THE PARADIGM CULTURE -- Free download 25th, 26th and 27th September 2016

I had always wondered how far people would take revenge or punishment if they were granted the power of retribution. 

We all see reports on the TV and in newspapers which make us angry, sometimes even fighting mad - with people being murdered, mugged, raped, bullied, fleeced of savings by con artists, cowboy builders - the list goes on. But would the meekest of men and women change if bestowed with the power to provide an eye for an eye?  Would they then become like the people they despise? Inflicting pain and torment until they feel better? Until they feel satisfied that their 'target' has learned his or her lesson? Or would they become like King Midas? Would having the power turn them into people unable to look at the news - unable to read or hear anything without fearing that they couldn't control their reaction?

And what if this power escalated - became not just the ability to dish out punishment, but to kill just by thinking about it?  What then? How quickly then would the individual with that power be snapped up by the Government or the Military? Would his life not be his own any more? Would he be too great a risk to be allowed to exist free in society?

The Paradigm Culture is about just such a talent and how one man struggles to deal with it, before it deals with him.     


The Paradigm Culture. Now on Kindle.

Hi Guys,

My latest thriller - The Paradigm Culture - Born to Rule (453 pages), is now on Kindle. And, as an added bonus, it's going to be on free download from Sunday 25th September until and including Tuesday 27th September.  Link here:

If you feel like leaving a review on the kindle page, pleased do. You can also sample the first 14 chapters there too. 

The Paradigm Culture takes as its theme that old adage: Be careful what you wish for – which, in the case of Dan Wright, does come true. 
His troubled upbringing has left him believing life is either black or white. He has no faith in the justice system, and no truck with people who break the rules. Being made redundant from a lucrative role at close to 40, and, despite trying, still being out of work six months later, has not only seriously dented his self-esteem, but his marriage to Jayne, who is at her wits end with him and his increasing obsession with rules. She just wants him to get another job – they need the money. Imagine then Dan’s delight at, after a freak accident, suddenly being able to bring criminals to justice, move objects and see through walls just by thinking about it. What talent – what kudos – what power! Except the stuff of his dreams is becoming a nightmare. People he’d been told were there to help him, are not to be trusted, and his abilities are in demand by everyone and they’ll kill to get them – which is why he must break the rules to survive. But, above all this mayhem, is the question of where this power came from and why Dan has it. The answer, could affect the future of our world.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016


Just heard that my latest novel The Paradigm Culture has been shortlisted for Literature Works Sci-fi Competition (One Giant Write). Final round judging by Imogen Robertson and Marcus Gipps. Winner will be announced on or by September 5th.
Watch this space, guys!


Sunday, 26 June 2016

EU referendum - a shot in the dark or a blaze of light?

The EU referendum has set the UK nation at one another's throats, young against old, rich against poor, Scots (who overwhelmingly voted Remain) against anyone who voted 'Leave'. Many are saying this vote was the chance for the disaffected to voice their anger at the way the Government has ridden roughshod over the industrial north, the midlands, the forgotten southwest, in fact anywhere outside of London. If this is the case then why did no one see this result coming? Is the Government so out of touch with the people that from its ivory towers it has lost sight of what’s important to the nation – what frightens and what gels people? Is there no interest in anything that happens outside of the capital?  

At the last election the Prime Minister, David Cameron, offered the referendum to the people - guaranteed that if they voted Conservative he would deliver it – and he did. I don't know whether at the time it was a ploy to gain voters or a genuine altruistic gesture to give the people a voice on an organisation that he and his party must have felt was causing problems. After all you wouldn't offer a referendum on something that was not causing problems – would you? Whatever his motives, there is an old adage that says "You don't offer a referendum unless you know you're going to win". Now, either he'd never heard of the saying or he just assumed that, when he went to the EU to campaign to rewrite our terms of membership, Donald Tusk, (president of the European council) would agree to his demands. Tusk and his colleagues didn't agree.

So, David Cameron began telling us what others of all party colours had been saying, that the UK could thrive outside of the EU 

Then a few weeks later we began getting the scare stories – vote Remain or the economy will collapse, our security will be weakened, there could be war ... it was like someone had told Cameron and his colleagues that there was a remote chance that some people might vote Leave and maybe he should stop saying we can survive outside the EU and scaremonger those independent thinkers and Euro sceptics back into the fold. Then we had President  Obama telling us we should remain in the EU – suggesting that if we left then the 'special relationship' between our countries would somehow be irreparably damaged. Many people who felt the sovereignty of the UK was being lost under EU interference didn't take kindly to President Obama threatening us with excommunication – telling us to cow-tow to the EU or else. We know that the UK being part of the EU benefits the US in many ways – and maybe President Obama was worried that this way into the continent of Europe would be lost to the US. (I wonder how he would take it if our PM suggested that he allow another nation to control his future?)   

A plethora of scare stories began to abound from both the Remain and the Leave camps. So much so that people didn't know what to believe and what not to. The worst of this was that the politicians and gurus offering these warnings seemed to have their own agendas (party leadership – personal gains – financial interests) so could we believe them? The financial institutions – the ones who told us a few years ago that we would be finished if we didn't join the Euro – pitched in too. But what no one, except the people living in those regions of the UK, was seeing was the effect of the deprivation, the growing food banks, the zero hours contracts, the closed high street shops,  infrastructures unable to cope, not enough houses being built and the fact that we could not control our borders. David Cameron had said he would get immigration down to the tens of thousands – that failed. The question of immigration became a huge issue on both the for and against the EU sides. People who wanted controls placed on immigration were being made to feel like racists – when all they wanted was to control the influx, so that the country could budget for the numbers coming in and get the infrastructure in a position where it could cope (which it’s not doing at the moment). But the free movement of the EU membership prevented that. Of course then there were scare stories about poorer countries joining the EU and whether that influx of economic migrants into this country would be capable of being controlled. People who felt that the sovereignty of this country was being eroded were being called ‘Little Englanders’ – when all they wanted was for the elected Government of this country to be setting the rules for the nation – and if that government cocked-up then the nation had the facility to vote it out – something that can’t be done with the EU.

So there we have it – scaremongering from all sides, an out-of-touch arrogance from the Government and 52% of the electorate which felt disenfranchised by an unelectable and remote body.

June 23rd 2016 will certainly go down in history – maybe as the voting person’s revolution, but there is no going back and, now, we must get on with endeavouring to heal the rift between the Leave and Remain camps and put this great country back on the global rails.       


Friday, 1 January 2016

Thursday, 31 December 2015

A cheap shot at Postmen by the BBC? You decide ...
Pointless (Quiz Programme -- BBC 1)
Series 10 -- Episode 2 of 70
Programme first aired 27th September 2013 at 5.15pm.
Repeated on 30th December 2015at 5.45pm
I saw this episode of the quiz programme (as a repeat) on 30th December 2015 and my complaint (on the same day) to the BBC about it was that, during the introduction the presenter, Alexander Armstrong, joked that his co-presenter, Richard Osman, was called the Postman as, and I quote: "he always delivers and he isn't above stealing ten pound notes from birthday cards".  
I felt the remark was not only offensive and classed all postmen as thieves, but promoted an incorrect and slanderous stereotype.
I asked for a reply to my complaint which I received promptly the next day and is shown here:
Dear Mr  White
Thanks for contacting us about Pointless.

We understand you’re unhappy with a comment made by Alexander Armstrong.

Alexander and Richard have a very long tradition of introducing each other in a humorous way, but the joke is always firmly on them. In this case Alexander was deliberately using an outdated stereotype to poke fun at Richard, and we’d hope viewers would appreciate that the reference is obviously baseless. That said, we’d never set out to upset or offend viewers, and we’ll make sure your comments are circulated to the Pointless team.

Thanks again for contacting us.

Kind Regards

BBC Complaints


 My reply to the BBC (31st December 2015) was:

Your response:  "In this case Alexander was deliberately using an outdated stereotype to poke fun at Richard, and we’d hope viewers would appreciate that the reference is obviously baseless" I'm afraid I don't agree with, for the following reasons:  

1) Calling it an "outdated stereotype" implies that the public had thought postmen/women were thieves. I'd like to see your proof for that assertion.

2) If the reference was "obviously baseless" as you suggest, why create it? 
3) The use of the reference in the programme by a well-known personality not only gives it a base, but also promotes it as a given -- all postmen steal. So what you have done in allowing this reference to be aired again, (as it was a repeat from 2013) is give further oxygen to the myth that postmen (and postwomen) are thieves.

It was a cheap joke at the expense of hardworking, out-in-all-weathers individuals who are doing a valuable and essential role, often for less than the national average annual wage.

Someone in your organisation chose to allow this reference to be aired - why I don't know, but it smacks of elitism at the detriment of a sector of the working class that pays that person's salary, via the licence fee. 

I would like the BBC to apologise for the use of this offensive reference.   

 Is it just me, folks, am I super sensitive to this sort of crass cheap joke? I wonder if postmen / women would give it  a second thought? Maybe I should ask them. Watch this space! 



Monday, 18 May 2015

Terbinafine - Beat it!

It's back! My taste returned last Sunday, but I wanted to check that it was not a flash in the pan before I posted.

It's been 13 weeks and whilst my taste began to come back a couple of weeks ago, the ability to taste sweet things has taken a couple more weeks. If anything now I feel my taste for sweet things has heightened - I'm assuming that will regularise over the coming week or so.

For those of you still suffering this horrible so-called side-effect keep eating what you can. I know it's difficult and there were times when I felt totally depressed because I didn't want to eat (or drink) as food and liquids just tasted so terrible. I have lost weight because of this problem and now need to get back to eating healthily to put it back on.

I do believe doctors need to do more research before they prescribe this medication and I also believe the pharmaceutical companies producing it need to revisit their patient leaflets as, I believe, the information contained within them is misleading. The leaflets will suggest that (1) the possibility of developing this side-effect will be minimal and (2) what they call 'taste disturbance' will disappear as soon as the medication is stopped.Both are at inaccurate. My case and that of others is that once you have this loss of taste it can last a minimum of eight weeks (mine 13 weeks!) before you fully regain it - that's not minimal. To call this problem a taste disturbance is also grossly wrong. When it happens it brings with it a host of other problems, loss of interest in food, loss of interest in eating and drinking, medical problems associated with not eating and drinking enough, relationship issues and depression, to mention a few. These are not conditions to be treated lightly - especially in people who may already have physical or mental problems.

My GP had no knowledge of this side-effect and although he said he would stop prescribing it, there will be other doctors out there who will prescribe it, whether through a lack of knowledge of the side-effect or because they feel the on-line drug advice suggests minimal risk. I daresay, too, there will be people who will have used this drug without experiencing this side-effect and will wonder what all the fuss is about. They have been lucky and I am pleased for them. However, my concern is for the people who have and will suffer this problem and the horrible way it impinges on their lives. 

In light of the horrid situation this drug can bring on, and the fact people will not know until around 6 weeks in whether or not they will be affected, by which time it's too late to do anything about it, Terbinafine needs new medical tests and an updating of the patient advice information. Then and only then can people make an informed decision about whether to go forward with the use of this drug. And, it may be to some, that the possibility of prolonged taste loss is something which they are prepared to accept in order to deal with the fungal infection for which this drug is prescribed. But at least they will have made an informed choice which is not the current situation - because no one is informing them.

So, in summary, there is light at the end of this dark tunnel - just keep eating and drinking even though you may not feel like it. Your taste will return and you will enjoy food and drink again.