Not the PPE Party

So, an urging to begin, an urging of you lovely readers to urgently log on to and search for PPE and watch the microplay about politics. It is very different, extremely powerful and I was in tears at the end, it will only take you 5 minutes. You’ll then understand this blog’s title, how’s that for an urging on the madness that is ‘black friday’.

Had a new experience yesterday which was a little weird. Lying on the table at the radio saloon I could for the first time see my reflection on the glass fronted bit of the machine immediately above me. I saw the mask in full in all it’s holey mauviness, despite the many holes could see nothing of myself. Cris-crossing it were a number of luminous green laser lines, all quite weirdly futuristic.

We took in, at Kate’s suggestion, a box of shortbread to leave for other patients, I took one as we left as I love shortbread. The first bite was OK but the rest bland and couldn’t even taste the sugar. This losiing/changing taste is making me very sad as I am unashamedly epicurist. i told the nurse and she said it will soon return, I don’t want to lose it in the first place and am angry as well as sad.

There are still many things that gladden my heart, most especially my beautiful wife and family. Also thank you so much Julie and Jim, the flowers and thoughts really appreciated. And Tish, who I’ve only met once at Gillian and Mark’s wedding last year, and yet has sent me a series of thoughtful cards filled with enriching words.

So I assume from the relative dearth of comments from the majority of you gorgeous readers of this arrogant blog that you all agree with all my rants?

Can you spot when I’m steroidal?

Hey, I made a comment this morning online about the PPE microfilm, I was number 4, never been so high up in the order, of course there is every chance I’ll also be the last!

So another aspect of our crazy ubercapitalist world is that too many of us are working ridiculously long hours and it’s seen as some sort of virtue. Gaby Hinsliff writes about it and it’s something I’ve long been aware of and I’m in the ‘we need idleness as well camp’. She writes about Harriet Green, the recently removed boss of Thomas Cook who has 4 hours sleep, has a day filled with all sorts of executive style work practices and activities and reminds me of Thatcher. This supports their narrative of ‘if you want to succeed then you have to work hard and long hours’. Many also work long hours because they are paid so poorly and have next to no chance of being paid anything like the likes of all the kleptos.

Unfortunately for the advocates of this way of existence there is increasing evidence that it doesn’t work effectively and is detrimental to health and well being. Longer working can lead to heart attacks, strokes and diabetes and lack of proper sleep and rest to obesity and early death. It can all also lead to poorer performance. So seems obvious to me, share the workload and rewards out more equitably. Just have to get rid of all the privately educated and private schools first!

Manifesto 31:

  • a limit on working hours that people are paid for ( they are free to do whatever they want in their own time of course). Any attempts by the kleptos and co. to continue to encourage their mad working practices to be rewarded by an intensively relaxed education programme to help them see the error of their ways. Education and training in idleness to include contemplation of romanesco broccoli and other fractal stuff.

I wrote earlier in the week about my feeling vulnerable, especially when in the pub. I’ve spoken to some women since about this and they say how they feel that way when they go to pubs such that they either won’t go or will only go with others. Kate said how when she was younger she fought this and would go on her own into a pub and sit to read the paper, she would then get lots of unwarranted male attention. We were watching a programme on telly the other night about TV in the 70’s, it was very different, primarily in it’s overt sexism and racism. There was stuff that we are now appalled about, but, of course, we are still surrounded by sexism, misogyny and female objectification. What did cause me to reflect was when watching a young Austin Mitchell (now veteran labour MP) report on a woman trying to break the world record for swinging her tassled boobs around right in front of his face. Reminded me of when I was 18 and up from the sticks and at college on the King’s Road, London going into a pub and there being strippers. At the time a common thing. Initially caused me some titillation, but as I grew up, and I mean way beyond any tumescent penile growing up, I felt increasingly uncomfortable with this. It must have not only aroused men but reinforced the idea that women are just sexual objects to be used and abused at men’s convenience. Perhaps this continues to play a big part in women feeling vulnerable when they go to pubs. Bring back the women only snugs.

Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.


4 thoughts on “Not the PPE Party

  1. You’re in good ranting company Duncan – did you see David Mitchell in magnificently outraged mode on Have i got a bit more news for you Monday? – and to leaven things a tad, David Mitchell thought the best thing ever said by the Crime Minister was the following: (seems even poormei’monlyavictimofbeingtheyoungestcandidatefortorywetdreams has something resembling a sense of humour) – on Friday morning before an anticipated bike ride with (P)rime Minister Tony Abbott on the eve of the G20 summit in Brisbane.
    “I thought that might involve wearing more lycra than is consistent with seeking re-election,” he told business leaders at a breakfast in Sydney. Whaw haw haw.
    Cyclists of the world donate!

    keep on, saloon bars and purple hearts will soon be in the past. xx


  2. I’ve been catching up – been rather distracted recently.

    Your writing continues to be really interesting and I am hooked. Can’t say I always agree with you but most of the time I do. You get it right so often, you have insight and the ability to express it well. It is remarkable how we have taken different paths and yet we are both Guardian readers and, as such, have many ideas in common. But i don’t totally reject the capitalist system, and I know I am very fortunate to have benefited from it. To pick up on one of your points I increasingly cannot understand the justification for privatising many services that has happened in our adult lives. I have embraced the capitalist system bought the shares, sold them and watched the owners screw us. The big wake up call to me is when the government owned companies in Europe are buying up our privatised companies. Bonkers.

    But I would say that British Airways was appropriate to sell off. Where there is not a serious public need and where there is serious competition it seems appropriate that it does not need to belong to us and probably we the people collectively are not great at running airlines. However, gas, electricity, water, social care, care homes, railway lines, rail companies (unless there can be better competition) well it just hasn’t worked. When those Intercity 125s rolled out of Paddington station in the 70’s they were the best in Europe. Well we still have those trains – but nothing better – we stagnated and the rest of Europe kept investing in its infrastructure. Now our rail system is pathetic.

    But just have to comment on tax avoidance – you should avoid paying tax that you don’t need to pay. You should have an ISA – people should save. But you shouldn’t tell Pret a Manger that you are taking the food away and then take a table and eat in. That would be evasion.

    Well you asked for comment. Sorry, not as eloquent as you.

    Keep on loving and keep being Duncan.


  3. Thanks for the reply Jonathan, and I want people to engage, the old Socratic dialogue. I’m not totally against capitalism and know that it’s driven a fair amount of development, what I don’t like, which you seem to go along with, is the obsession with private good/public bad. There seems to be very good evidence, that from the end of the 2nd war until the 70’s there was lots of public/private stuff which really moved things along. You’re so right about the trains, I really do hate that carpetbagging beardy. Then along came Friedman and co, they honestly thought that what they were imposing with smaller state, free market (no such thing by the way), deregulation, globalisation,and financialisation has unleashed this sort of ubercapitalism that is causing so many ills.
    Thanks for the writing compliments, I am enjoying the iterative process and am planning to write a book over the next few months, it will have feminist elementsand I wonder if Virago will publish?
    Jo, egg face has also got an increasing bald patch which is why he gave a gong to his hairdresser who keeps it hidden. Have you watched the PPE micro film? It really is brilliant.
    Love Duncan


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