Whilst structure and routine are useful tools in many aspects of our day to day existence I, and I’m sure many others, sometimes feel the urge to rebel, to break free from the constraints we impose on ourselves and have imposed on us by external agencies. Such is my feeling right now as, for the last few minutes I was thinking how to start this blog. Typically I will write about my cancer, it’s treatment and effects on me, then extend this to Kate and add some more personal stuff before diving in to political or social commentary. Lately a hiatus has developed as changes are more gradual, the initial frenzy of treatment has finished and I and we wait for the initial results, still two months away.
I’m also experiencing the post party period after last Saturday and am in the middle of trying to sort out early retirement. Although I had been contemplating retirement for a few years to then be faced with it actually happening after teaching for 35 years is a bit of a shock to the system. Being a teacher had been my routine for all those years.
Kate told me yesterday that someone I’d met for the first time at Kate’s party thought that me and Tim looked like teachers, must say I wasn’t overly pleased to hear this. But now I think why did I think that, it’s like I’m denigrating myself and my profession and I feel ashamed for that thought. I am proud to have been a teacher and teachers deserve more respect.
Perhaps this is but another example of what I’ve termed the increasing coarsening of our society. We find it easier to condemn and hate as opposed to love and respect. Reading my beloved Grauniad this morning and examples abound:
The chelsea thugs on the Paris Metro, almost unbelievably chanting that they’re racist and proud to be so. To think that my last comment about the chelsea was positive with regard to paying the living wage, but what does one expect with the likes of moanrinho and terry in powerful positions, two of life’s coarseners (that which makes life more coarse).
An article about ‘defensive architecture’. This is represented by the likes of spikes put in spaces so that the homeless can’t sleep there or making public seating in parks and at bus shelters hard and uncomfortable. Not only does this state the obvious that the homeless are unwelcome and not part of society but also that any member of the public who might want to sit awhile on such a park bench is discouraged. It is a modern day repeat of medieval enclosures as the rich and powerful take over public (and private) spaces and are effectively removing those they deem undesirable (that’s most of us).
The author Ali Smith discussing something called the ‘Warwick commission’ which reveals the significant decrease in the arts in schools over the last five years in state schools. Just reading this makes me think that it is deliberate policy to deny the poorer in society (and that’s actually the majority) from the arts, stopping them from participating in stuff that makes life richer and fuller. Figures show that the richest 8% make up half of live music audiences and a third of theatre and art gallery goers. This fits with what I’ve written before about the rich and privately educated dominating all arts culture, it’s as if there’s some sort of ethnic cleansing going on.
These are but three examples in today’s edition, and I could go on. It is no co-incidence that this is happening with a balding tory twat as prime minister and will continue even faster if they win the next election. I know they are but apologists for neo-liberalism, but they are also carrying out class war. Pretty toxic combination: neo-liberalism and the tories. Thanks for your comment yesterday Richard about ids, we are as one about the odious shit.
And what about Marxist dialectics? Got me going yesterday. I read the rest of the ‘longread yesterday’ and Yanis is also pissed off with Marx, especially as Marx, like other economists, tried to do the maths of his theory and, according to Yanis, has sidetracked many people since.
Thanks for the emails Mark, are you not commenting any more as it might compromise your new position? Anyway heartening that the SNP are challenging the transatlantic trade and investment partnership (ttip), especially if it threatens the NHS in any way. If you haven’t read about this ttip thing and can be bothered do so as it really is an insidious thing that will further cement the power of corporations and is another coarsener of our lives (another term embeds itself in my blog, don’t you just love evolution?)
Don’t know if any of you good folk ever read Larry Elliott in the financial pages of the Grauniad (I know Martin does) but he is worth reading and today is another revealing little piece about the EU and Greece in which he suggests the EU stop digging an ever deepening hole that they’ve created. Seems like Mr Larry agrees with Mr Yanis and a mutual compromise is needed. Apparently the EU introduced something called the stability and growth pact designed to prevent budget deficits (what’s ours at the moment georgie porgie osborne?). And guess which countries breached it first and weren’t penalised? Yep, Germany and France, unlike poor little Greece.
Yes it’s the same the whole world over, it’s the poor what gets the blame. Pitchforks.
And what’s all this about cannabis currently? Channel 4, PM on radio 4 both doing stuff on it; now what would be funny is filling the House of Commons with cannabis fumes before and during prime ministers questions.
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- reclaim public spaces, turn the tide of defensive architecture and make our environment less coarse.
Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.