Sunshine on a rainy day. Or perhaps it’s rainshine on a sunny(ish) morning?
It’s been a funny old week.
In re the country of England in the royal collection of Great Britain in the political construct of the United Kingdom in the north Atlantic just off the coast of a Europe that, geographically, goes far, far beyond what everyone, locals included, pictures when someone says “Europe”, I mean ‘a funny old week’ in the English sense of ’embarrassing, cringe-worthy and incredibly dangerous’ of course.
In re the Cardinal and I, we’ve had a mooch around, done a few jobs, failed at one job – to be re-visited of course – and now we’re moored, briefly, in one of my unlikely but “I quite like it here” spots, snuggling up to a (very) main road. We’ll be mooching on again later today or, which is more likely, first thing in the morning. On Sundays folk “pop” out of marinas and such hidey-holes for “a quick cruise, I think, Mabel, and then back to the Club House for a dry sherry” whereas on your average October Monday morning it’s just boats that don’t cruise on Sundays because of the preponderance of slightly-tipsy Mabels and Bernards afloat.
Such as myself. 😉
I still have a bad case of Squirrelitis, we’re stocked up here against doomsday. Halsall, the fuel boat (probably my second-favourite boat on the cut) called alongside earlier in the week, and coal and gas was exchanged, gunwale over gunwale. There was a slight delay as the debit-card reader groped for a signal, another delay as I suffered from PIN-anxiety, and then all was done. At the moment I even have broccoli (and spuds and carrots and cabbage, and fresh juices squeezed by orang-utans from the flesh of living oranges) so all is well on the scurvy front.
Much as with everyone else – each and all for different reasons – I also have the strongest feeling in my life of being totally stitched up, sold down the river, royally lied to by ALL in the political public eye who open their slavering mouths. Everyone wants whatever they want to happen but what’s actually happening is nothing like what anyone wants. The quite deliberate “pressure release valves” of climate bollocks and a slightly-damp Lucky Bag full of various wars and not-wars-but-it’s-war-really abroad are working well, and the streets of Ing-ger-lund are, as yet, free from burning barricade and spent rubber-bullet. As far as I can tell, anyway, given that the profession of ‘Journalist’ no longer exists in any worthwhile shape or form.
Hell, even the semi-noble profession of “Reporter” is dead.
The Membrum Virilii of what used to be Parliament are all scurrying from bunker to Club to House amid hordes of hi-vis, machine-gun toting “Special Police” (I kid you not), fearing, they say, for their lives – but not having the wit or the botheration to wonder why so. Politicians are even having the bare-faced, brass-necked, cast-iron-brained effrontery to complain at needing extensive and continuous Police “protection”. It seems that they quite seriously have not a clue as to why that might be (hint: it’s because they are the most self-serving, corrupt and amoral collection of trough-feeders that has graced the House since Sluggy McSlug, an especially slimy slug, nipped in one afternoon to join in some vote about cabbages and slug-pellets).
Yesterday was, I think, the third Saturday that MPs had been called upon to work since WWII, with massively important matters on the table to discuss – and their very first action was to table a motion to pay themselves “childcare costs” for the day, because, you know – Scandinavian nannies do like to be paid double-time at weekends (when they’re not actually flat on their backs in the laundry room, having their brains ironed out, and thinking of Sweden or Norway).
MP’s basic pay begins at some £79,000 per annum, this plus staff and office costs, 1st-class travel and some of the most pathetically-indulgent “expenses” you can imagine – one MP, I kid you not, a couple of years ago claimed for having “the moat around his house cleaned out”. These figures don’t even begin to approach their income from bribes and insider-dealing.
I have no doubt that portions of (what remains of) England’s Army is stationed around and about the land too, with live ammunition in boxes mis-labelled as ‘Dummy Rounds’. I do have doubts about whether the Army would in fact answer any screams for help from the aforesaid politicians, since the Army is (just another) institution that has been “thoroughly done over” by Parliament through the strange decades of late, and is just as dischuffed at heart as are the peasants. That, and I am certain that the average IQ of the Army leadership far exceeds that of the amorphous mass of oxygen-wasting protoplasm currently snuffling and snorting in Westminster.
H.M. Queen Lispeth may yet be pouring tea and offering ‘Another Garibaldi biscuit, General Garibaldi?‘ before the year’s out, it only takes one extra-bright spark.
The times are indeed all very interesting. It is though with some regret that I accept that while others will be recorded as having lived during the Middle Ages or the Renaissance or England’s two quite distinct Industrial Revolutions or even the Swinging Twenties or the Nineteen-Sixties, I, if there is a history at all after this, will be one of those who lived during…
‘The Age of Stupid’.
Don’t, please, try to guess and place me in either “Exit” or “Remain” camps, for I wanted neither. I would have preferred that England grew a pair instead and change the EU for better from within (beginning by deposing the German Chancellor and consigning her French acolyte and lap-poodle to the “just stand over there and keep your mouth shut for a while” ranks). There is much about the EU that is brilliant and good. There is much about the EU that absolutely needs changing. Stay In Conditional Upon Growing a Pair and Making Changes was never an option on offer though, was it?
I would love to be able to report that the canals are an antithesis and an antidote to this but, sadly, the word you’re looking for is ‘microcosm’.
In past years I would have put the “lovely people” versus “angry / nasty / frustrated people” at one-third to two-thirds. This year though it’s more like one-tenth human to nine-tenths snarling. The good news is that this ten-percent is the best that you can get, and far outweighs the snarling masses. The canals, while crumbling like an aristocratic country estate in the hands of the feckless younger son, are still a great place to be.
In spite of…
For one thing, there’s broccoli for lunch.
It’s all very exciting. Even if it is raining again here.
Ian H., and Cardinal W.