Wednesday, June 23, 2004


Idris and the Frog have only been gone since Sunday and already one half of the kitchen looks like this.

 Posted by Hello

The photo of the other half failed to make it past my inner censor. I do have some pride.

It has however, given me a chance to catch up on some marking. For the last three days I have been listening to recordings of oral interlocutions of such a numbing homogeneity as to leave your correspondent jaded in the extreme.

Under the influence of extreme boredom, my reflex is usually to hie me in the direction of or the fridge. On this occasion as, it has to be said, on so many others the 'or' was replaced by 'and' so now it is with fingers cooled by the green bottle that I bang this one out.

Other than ennui, I have no theme, no grand design, no wisdom to impart...just a few observations on the content of a week and a half's batch of newspapers I picked up on Monday and have just skimmed through this evening.

Overall, no great surprises. England seems just as fucked up now as it was when I abandoned ship in '91. Back then, I could handle individual pockets of the place just as I could appreciate individuals who lived there but, taken en masse, viewed as a whole, the country was a pile of shit in which the inhabitants seemed all too content to wallow. After 13 years of exile, I do not regret my decision to leave and, viewing the place from an objective distance, it seems to me that despite a few cosmetic adjustments, that which lies beneath is as rotten and corrupt and ignorant and bigoted and small minded as ever.

Broad strokes, I agree. A general impression which ignores the fine brush work certainly but one by which I will nevertheless stand.

A few snapshots.

David Beckham scratching his balls on a hotel balcony makes the front pages.

Our Prime Minister can say, "Now is not the time for a change in direction...but a change in gear." and really mean, "Fuck you, peasants. What do you know?" He's lost it. Get rid.

Kilroy-Bloody-Silk vows to "wreck" the European Parliament all the while drawing his 60 odd thousand quid salary from his villa in Spain. Hypocritical tosspot.

David Blunkett vows to "nail" a single solitary hooligan. Secretary of STATE, David...state, stately, statesmanlike, dignified. Playground bully. Enough said.

All the rhetoric concerning Europe is conducted in the language of conflict and defense. "Fight for Britain's interests", "bat for Britain", "defend our rights". Just what is it that scares them so much?

All the good things this Labour Government has done pass by ignored, unheralded, unpublicised by either the press or the government itself. Redistribution by stealth it may be but if no-one knows about it, who is going to kick up a fuss when a future Tory/Spineless Dipstick/Liberally-Bandwagonning Party government reverses it all?

Identity cards. Fucking fuck the fuck right off.

I seem to have rather stumbled upon a theme, wouldn't you say? 'Twas not my intention at the outset but, having turned over the stone, 'twere best I look under it.

So, from whence comes this Little/Middle England mentality and what is to be done?

An aside.

All the above is utterly and completely without any scientific basis in either research or experimentation. I appear to have arrived at these views by a process inexplicable to me...the steady drip drip of experience maybe...but I can no more explain them to you than a devout christian could explain the basis of their faith to me. What follows is pretty much of the same decidedly non-scientific background. Incoherent and unconnected it may be but I honestly do believe ("Have faith!", came the cry.) that all are somehow responsible for the mess I think we're in today.

Democracy has never really taken root in this country. We are probably the only surviving feudal society in Europe.

We are not citizens and have never accepted our responsibilities as such either. We are subjects of a Queen, in thrall to the aristocracy still. People inherit their positions in our second Chamber by right of birth and 'position'. We are still tugging our forelocks in deference to our 'betters'. Or maybe we have realised that we have no betters but rather than use this knowledge to realise our latent potential have used it instead to drag everything down to lowest common denominator level.

Our education system is not democratic. It has always favoured the rich and still does. There is no equality of education. Student loans deter the poor from a university education and the only way to get your kid into a good school is to move to an area with the right post code. Again, for the rich.

There is no debate in this country. Our politics are based on adversarial political point scoring (at national level, Bob!) and our newspapers are mostly propoganda sheets. The politicians do not trust us and we do not therefore, trust them. How can we place our trust in others when we do not even trust ourselves?

We have never really had a revolution in this country, at least not one that was lasting and produced a citizenry aware of its role and responsibilities in society. We've always let them get on with it and never really taken responsibility for our situation. We have always prefered to blame 'them' for our problems.

Empire. Would that we had been the conquered. We might still have a sense of humility and a more realistic sense of our own worth.

Great Britain. Well, I suppose it does roll off the tongue a little better than Moderately Good Britain or Not Bad All Things Considered Britain but still an obstacle to realistic appraisal, wouldn't you say.

Princess Bloody Di. For perpetuating the myth. And the Queen Bloody Mother for the identical crime. Abominations both. Only by reason of the positions we gave them you understand. Stripped of rank and privilege they would not have been in the least bit offensive. Well, offensive maybe but not dangerous.

The Second World War. In case it has escaped your attention and, judging by the amount of TV coverage it still gets, it may have, it's over, finished, ended. We have no more need of wartime propoganda stereotypes, thank you very much. Get over it.

Funny how one so optimistic concerning his own life can be so desperately pessimistic and cynical regarding the land of his birth, isn't it? Tell me I'm wrong, tell me there is still hope, tell me that one day we may indeed build Jerusalem in our green and pleasant land. And, should you doubt my love of country, just typing that last line has brought me out in goose-bumps.

Oh, I've had enough. I'm off to watch the Czechs stuff the Krauts.

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