A Time for pause

Brexit is now a fact – the people have spoken. True, they have, but did they ‘speak/vote’ for the right reasons? That’s the trouble with democracy you can’t depend on uniform knowledge or sentiment across the spectrum.

Control of borders means lots of things to lots of segments including those who genuinely fear an over stressing of public services on the one hand and the simple anti-immigration idea of the extreme right on the other. Whilst border control is a valid debate for the former it seems uncivilised for the latter. There have already been a number of dreadful racist attacks and stunts since the vote and all right minded people should unite in condemming these racist attacks. (attacks on democracy itself.) There are lots of other issues with border controls including the defaltionary effect on wages, the denuding poorer countries of their aspirational elite, to name but two.

Many younger people voted for a safe European future. Most ignored the Euro zone issues and the political imperatives allied to the Eurozone. They turned a blind eye to the awful consequences of austerity for the youth of Southern Europe. (50% unemployment). Others ignored the outside European ideal of world wide trade, and the opportunities outside Europe. Still others legitimately fear for the loss of European R & D as well as jeorpadising academic opportunity across the continent. Many feared a collective xenophobia.

The older brigade voted for a whistful desire for the ‘Old Britain’ which won wars and held the world together. They harked back to the lost days of Empire. Others still looked inward and in common with some of the young, sought safety in the days of their long passed youth.

The overall negativity of the campaign failed to hammer home the real issues of the nation’s ability to discover new initiatives in and out of Europe. Cameron embrarked on this risky adventure to salve party in fighting and he must have known the risks. Scottish independence,finacial chaos at least for a time, and yet (his) positive renegotiations with the EU (not argued through at all!)barely saw the light of day.

The strongest idea of all is that the EU has been the bastion of peace in our time, that did not seem to resonate very loudly as it should have.

Whoever you are, you will have had a dominat idea that drove you to vote. It is time for all of us to put that dominat idea in context and look for the positives for the furture of our country and how we can contribute to the rest of the world.


The young should be ashamed

Here we are Brexit, for whatever reason. The youth of the country were too lazy or disinterested to turn out to vote and so we are OUT. Now we are getting the youth bitching that they have been sold out by older generations who overwhelmingly voted to leave. In my case because of the political imperatives attached to the single currency, nothing whatever to do with immigration.

It was the young who saved this country time after time giving their lives and fighting for change and democracy. I envy the young, yes I do, because they have the opportunity to discover new things and new ways.

What is wrong with these youngsters who are seemingly afraid of change? They’ve shunned the opportunity to vote and now they complain, they demand rights to vote and then do not have the gumption to vote. They should be collectively ashamed and get a grip.

We rely on them to pick up the cudgels and work for a New Britain outside the EU. It might be tough, it might be rough but for sure it’s a time for invention and creative initiative. It’s a time for youth for goodness sake. Come on you youngsters pick up the ball and run. Don’t sit in the club house and say you don’t want to play.

A Sovereign Lady

A Sovereign lady. 90th birthday

Our Sovereign lady, Elizabeth our Queen.
What tosh! It’s the class, that abominable English thing.
The class we all despise. Yet despite the pomp,
the deference and the wealth
They love her still, a tonic for the nation’s health.

Despite the bells and whistles, the baubles and the beads,
and in an age of doubt where many folk are lean,
where food queues grow and welfare creeps.
Despite all the jewels and the crown,
they love her still. The nation’s trust she keeps.

She’s not tall, in fact she’s short,
Nor fat or thin, just so.
Each earring’s worth a house
How much was that hat?
They love her still, no matter what the cost of this or that.

She has a man, a man who can
and has, done all the things I’d like to do.
What sort of man is that?
A royal bloke, who appeals to all.
He loves her still, the man who’s tall.

She has a son, who does his bit.
He talks to trees and no doubt bees,
Despite his foibles he has the Trust
a royal prince who’s earned his spurs.
He loves her still. What about the future years?

Do you know what? In truth to tell, they’re right!
Despite the earrings and the crown,
she bares her duty, she’s never down,
and shows what work and service mean.
It’s no surprise – we love my Sovereign Lady Queen.

For Kevin Patrick Callan

My friend Kevin Patrick Callan remembered.

We were like two gnarled old trees,
one ancient and one old.
The ancient had begun to shrink
the old, me, just shedding leaves.

We shared what shade was left.
Those shadows eased the passing time.
The breeze of laughter lit up the days,
though few of those remained, we knew.

So for those gentle times we shared
thanks are not at all enough.
Though celebration of his gifts
will guild my days as I creek on.

This old tree lives on to ancient end
Feeding still upon the richness
Of my former friend,
Interred in blessed memories.