Judgement Day

It’s June 11th and I’m in a swamp of electoral bilge. Watching the politicians blaming each other for the shit we’re bobbing about in. The language of electioneering that gives me heartburn. The emptiness of their promises, the Tory back slapping, the lies, the ridiculous claims, the endless clich├ęs.
Grappling with untruths. Trying to read between the lines. A Labour party that hasn’t found it’s voice yet.
I’m not alone when I say the war of words is driving me batty.
I want to be cared for.
I want to be looked after.
I want my country to feel like it did when I was growing up, and it’s got nothing to do with immigration. It has to do with optimism and a little less of everything. Milk bottles on the doorstep, the silver tops pecked by birds. Trees at bustops, buses at bustops. Less fear, Walking to school and the neighbours stopping to offer a lift, well the few that had cars. A red telephone box that stood in the corner of the road, people waiting patiently with their pennies to make a call.
Televisions that went off at night and trains that chuntered slowly to the next station where guards helped out and hanging baskets with purple petunias hung near the ticket office.
I’m not screaming for the past I’m holding onto a memory of life that smelt of new leather in the autumn. New shoes, new wallets, new pencils. Once a year not every fucking weekend. Sunday best and leather satchels – made to last holding school books that promised learning and future possibilities.
I’m not shouting for the past I’m remembering what it was like to see spiderwebs in the hedgerows when summers were hot and winters were cold. When we jumped in puddles not drowned in floods.
Scientists bellow for us to listen but the greedy big boys dont take heed from their bunkers. Simpering Sunak with his army of sycophants, who have replaced communities with empty ‘new builds’ that nobody can afford,
After fourteen years of selfishness, after thirty years of Thatcherite destruction, we’re living through a time when tourists are spat at and nowhere seems friendly any more.
I was taken out for breakfast to a village that has working shops and no hyper markets. A village that speaks quietly and offers up its seats to the elderly. Not a lot of smirking, not a lot of angry folk. A village that prides itself on well behaved dogs sitting at the next table.
I can’t put my finger on my discombobulation. When Sunac opens his mouth I want to hurl marbles at him. He makes me feel violent. I get frightened that he will manipulate his way back into number ten. And Starmer doesn’t feel like a safe pair of hands, yet! And Farage has a big mouth. And Davy is a jester, and The Greens can’t win even though their policies make sense. And the far right in Europe are storming their way into positions of power, and my generation is terrified that we are seeing the 30’s all over again, reenacted before our very eyes. Whispering despair. We need immigrants, we dont want immigrants. We need nurses and teachers but they mustn’t be black or brown or yellow, where do we find a work force any more? Our green and pleasant land is full of lily livered elders who have forgotten what life is. No more Morris dancing outside the pub, no more singing round the piano. No more dance halls. Just drunken karaoke feeding back tuneless babble.
We need a careful, caring country but nobody is willing to take a proper look at what we all need. There are too many people in a world that hasn’t enough yet has too much of everything. We’ve become ugly and gross, publicly ostentatious, pushing me to want buttoned up cardigans and covered up ankles, turning me into a puritanical old prude. I’m sick of breasts and penises being thrust into my face by commissioners of telly programs that don’t know their arses from their elbows.
Life has become cheap; machete wielding children who are so desensitised that social media has got ’em by the short and curlies. And clouds with seeds in and unhinged politicians who only see the short term who don’t care about the lack of cuckoos, and dogma and bigotry and conspiracy theorists and exhaustion and desperation and potholes and despots and the hollow eyes of the unsupported.
The solution?
‘Don’t despair too much if you see beautiful things destroyed, if you see them perish. Because the best things are always growing in secret.’
Ben Okri

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