Posts Tagged ‘Brexit’

Last night we watched a biopic of English band, Joy Division, released in 2007.
This is not CONTROL, the film of Ian Curtis’ life, but a documentary.

It is the sort of documentary that you can bring away a different aspect every time you watch.
I can see many other aspects to the events, people, times, but for me this time it was this:

The distance of time gives such a perspective on many aspects of that era.
We both grew up in the same era and area of northern England.
Footage from the time shows just how shocking conditions were, conditions that we took for granted, our normal.
London, of course, was different, another world as far as living conditions and expectations were concerned.

And, yes, the north was badly, terribly, neglected.
The main industries were gone or were going, and as yet there was little to replace them.
The scars of war were still being healed. Twenty-five years afterwards.
Which also shows very clearly how little input had been provided by hugely south-centric governments and planning.

The biggest jolt came, though, with comments/reminiscences of their first meeting, by Annik Honoré.
She was a major member of Plan K, and was to become Ian Curtis, Joy Division’s, lead singer’s girlfriend (she has since died, 2014. Ian Curtis died in 1980).
The band were booked to play at Plan K, in Brussels. It was 1979.
It was their first trip out of England.
This also is very telling. There was so little money available, and so there was little outside travel.

Annik described them, as compared to her fellow Belgians and Europeans of the same age, as
undernousished, wearing thin, cheap clothes … thin coats in Winter.
They were barely 21 year’s old.

And we were. This was all of us.

On the whole most people in Europe were better fed, more aware of the world, more clued-in.

Why was this?
England had joined the EU only a few year’s previously. The effects had not yet been felt, recognised. Nothing yet had trickled down through society.
We were still living in English isolation.

Given five years and we were in a boom. It burst, but the way ahead had been seen, and we built on it. The fabric of life, and living standards, had improved hugely. Five years’ time and we could hardly believe how we had been back then.

I do not blame Ian Curtis’ death on these conditions. Is there a link? I don’t know.
This is not the angle I am looking at it all from.
But I will say that since those days there is a very well established epilepsy and autism centre, and care groups, set up in the area Ian Curtis lived and died.

Joy Division got their impetus from Punk.
The Punks used to say, Never trust anyone over 25.
The over-25s had already forgotten was it was like to be young.

Maybe We should now say, When the BIG decisions have to be made, never ask anyone under 50.
The under-50s never knew how horrible and grim it was. What we took for normal back then.

And now, with the huge unemployment from the prolonged periods of quarantine under Covid, on top of Brexit….
Goods are already becoming hard to buy; what there is available is becoming expensive. Quality of life, of services, and foodstuffs, is already falling.

Never trust anyone… who had not lived through those horrible times… to decide for you.

And do we turn against this present government for forcing this?
No, we turn on each other.

Au Revoir Europe

Posted: January 31, 2020 in Chat
Tags: , , ,

I used to have this kind of ‘joke’:
If ever England left Europe, then they’d all be dead within 5 years.
They’ll have bored each other to death.

I think now, though, there is enough of an ethnic mix to prevent that.

Au revoir, Europe. For now.

England used to feel like a stagnant pond, when I was growing up.
Then it went international, vibrant, so alive.
There’s always this blossoming, then dying off, then all over again.

People say ‘There is something different about living on an island.’
So don’t judge too harshly.
‘Something different‘: bit of the old je ne sais quoi, then? That’s quite ironic.

Don’t judge too harshly, I wrote… then I thought of Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson, and, well… how on earth did that/did they happen?
The Conservative Party got a bit of a landslide victory at last election.
But did they?
It was an end to the Brexit chaos people voted for.
And Johnson made damned sure he was heading that one. So, no, people who would never normally vote for them, voted for the only one with the remote possibility of giving them peace from the dithering.

– Dithering – this is One thing the politicians did right: the referendum vote-divide was so close that to go all out for one side or the other would have been shamefully authoritarian, to say the least. The politicians ‘dithered’ in order to find a fair solution to both sides.
I think they should have held out longer, fought harder, but….

The Conservative landslide: the trouble is that so politically naive are most people, it didn’t dawn on them that to allow a foothold was to give permission to take the whole wall off if necessary to get in – and all their ‘policies’ with them.
An old, old, story.

I’ll not bore readers any longer with this sorry business.
Oh no, it’s started, the boring!

Au revoir – for now.

My father-in-law died last year. He was 96.
So we had his house to sell – not done this before. The rather nebulous local couple, the buyers, wouldn’t say if they wanted furniture (new family). All the kitchen stuff, yes. No contact. Oh well.
First week this year we had our house roof retiled – been dreading it. An exhausting experience.
‘Now we can relax,’ we said.
An email: the buyers want to move in asap: 23rd Jan. Yikes! 6 days. My f-i-law had kept Everything, neatly ordered, but… everything. In a panic to clear the place we had to let important stuff go. We knocked ourselves up getting it ready. Took the keys to the estate agents (their rapacious natures came to fore – we’d still had to leave things because we don’t have, nor can afford, transport).
‘It’s 25th, they said. We have their email for 23rd. Went to notify the conveyancers that we’d handed the keys in.
‘Ah,’ they said, ‘we’d sent an email this morning…’ (we’d left by then). ‘It’s been changed to the 12th Feb.’
All those papers, items, we’d had to let go….
It has now moved to the 6th Feb. Ok, that’s doable.
Only we both came down with exhaustion, and a Winter bug – as time ticks away.

I was thinking, are there loose parallels here with the Brexit fiasco? The rather nebulous buyers image, for one: the unknown before us; those calling the shots.
We’d met a number of Leavers recently – and, boy, are they mad! They are furious. They are adamant, dug-in, come what may. No negotiation.
For whatever reason, 52% of people who voted want Out. It shocked us all. What infuriates them most is that there was No Plan. There’d be to hell to pay if the govt reneges on this deal. A new Ref would probably be the same result.
Because people don’t like to be pushed about, basically. And hurt pride? Yes; they know they have been made fools of. This arrogant stubbornness is the flip-side of the so-called ‘bulldog spirit.’
As for us: we will have to try and snatch-back as many worthwhile things out the jaws of suicidal, ruinous, Brexit.
But I wouldn’t trust my judgement, or that of anyone I have met, to decide on this vitally important topic. There are so many hidden levels of investment – from greedy-eyed Brexit MPs, making a killing off other’s misery, to rumoured ‘special relationships.’
So, who would I trust? Ah, yes, that question.
‘If Corbyn gets in,’ one Leaver said, ‘he’d bring the communists in.’
‘I didn’t think there were any of those left,’ I quipped. He chose not to hear. And Theresa May – surprised everyone with her tenacity, but there’s No Plan B. She was never a decision-maker.
I get the impression she has tried to appease both sides, and fallen down the gap in between.

I rather like that image: between two stools. An image doesn’t claim to special insight, truth, veracity; it just to be striking.
This is why the best cartoons are so important. They catch a fleeting moment, expression, in an image, and open it up. We love the entertainment an image gives. They can please, but also mislead. They don’t change anything, but they do ease the tension, allow in nuances.

And I feel for Northern Ireland and Eire in Brexit: what an impossible situation!
Scotland… I am a little wary. The hard-line Independence people are as furious and one-dimensional as the Leavers.
Think of them as the ‘Scots Wha-Haers’ that the great Scottish writer Hugh MacDiamid inveighed against, in his 1926, A Drunk Man Looks At A Thistle.

‘Scots wha hae wi Wallace bled’ (The Brus, by John Barbour, 1375:
And get that date: 1375, ye Chaucerians) as the only criteria for Scottish identity?
And yet, I always preferred William Wallace to Robert the Bruce: Wallace, a man of the people, crushed by the English. And is there an echo of that ultimate religious sacrifice in that?
It is said the Independence Referendum in Scotland failed because the Media, Arts, Medicine, Health, Research, etc, were afraid of being shut off from sources of research grants, and knowledge.
Ahem? Nudge, nudge? But then the Tory Party of UK has  gone out of it way to ignore anything to do with Scotland, so…

The people: what are we, and where are we now?

On William Wallace: if anyone has a tour of the Houses of Parliament, stop in Westminster Hall for moment, because that is where Wallace was tried, hung, drawn, and quartered. Some authorities have it as Smithfield: See Wiki for English vindictiveness and vengeance:

I’ve stood out by Stirling Castle, and gazed over the Firth of Forth to the Wallace memorial. It is a tower, set against high, dark, hills.
I felt a shiver of awe.


If there ever was something
then it was in this place, here

– We left it in the hall, we said
we didn’t know if it’d be use to you

If there ever was a place
it was just here, the space left

– We got smashed, stoned, then fell asleep
when we came down
it’s as though it never was

No, they said, you don’t understand
this is where everything was
Why is there nothing now

Why have you taken it all away
Where have you the locked the world up

Denial, pain, anger, blame,
indifference, disgust –

the bran-tub of passed-down characteristics
and not the prizes

They said
This is what is left behind

the memory-smell on hands of money, coin
wall-shapes of lost furniture
rumours of four walls and roof, bought, owned

no sense of  difference, of space,
or certainty in the mind


I Believe

Posted: June 25, 2016 in Chat
Tags: , ,

EU flag wallpaper in 1280x800 screen resolution