Let’s have a stile council.

Just had a lovely weekend; Friday Kate and I went to Wells to surprise Kate’s aunt with her 80th birthday celebratory meal then on Saturday to Barthomley to meet up with Gillian and Mark. Surprises all round on Friday with Kate’s aunt very happy to see Kate augmented by delicious food and wine, then stay in south Cheshire, our first visit to the area. We met in a great old pub in Barthomley, The White Lion, they had TWO fires burning, the day before the summer solstice. Went for a walk and I discovered it’s easier getting lost in a potato field than wild open moorland or the like. Lots of stiles, and who is responsible for their upkeep? Why the Stile Council, of course (thanks Mark). Apparently the last wild wolf was killed in Barthomley Wood. Cheshire felt very toryland, well s&m osborne does have his constituency there. Typically tired on our return home, not due to hangovers, in fact more was drunk on Friday night.

Before getting to Wells we stopped off in Glastonbury, primarily for Kate to leave flowers at the Tor for Yan. We didn’t make the climb to the top owing to my tired old legs so we stopped in a field looking up at the Tor. Kate took some great photos of our bunch of wild flowers in the foreground of the Tor. I kept smelling a distinctly fecal smell whilst we were sat down , it wasn’t a typical agricultural smell and was a little unsettling. As we got up to leave I noticed an extremely large dog turd right by my hand, even more unsettling for various reasons!

We’d stayed in a rather splendid B&B in Wells, the bed was almost as large as ours and very comfortable. The landlady was a very chatty lady and at breakfast told us how she’d suffered from eczema since childhood, cue my unctuous speech and the giving of an unction sample. Her initial response was avowedly cynical having tried so many treatments over the years, but she tried it, said it smelled lovely and almost immediately reported reduced itching! Have booked a stall at Bath Artisan market in 3 weeks time to sell me unctions.

A while ago I read some piece analysing what’s happened politically and economically since the crash on 1929. Basically for the next 50 years or so Western democracies followed a Keynesian formula and governments raised money primarily through taxation and the rich were taxed more. Welfare states developed and more people enjoyed the fruits of economic growth. Since the late 1970’s and the rise of the so-called neoliberals, taxes for richer folk and corporations have been steadily reduced and governments (and individuals) have relied increasingly on borrowing. This approach has been increasingly fruitful for the kleptos and is making life increasingly difficult for the rest of us. The tts are using a particularly simplistic model (that of ‘austerity’) to drive through their class-based programme and in their eyes permanently reduce the ‘welfare state’ to a rump, perhaps on a par with that of Victorian times. It is a particularly vicious and punitive programme which involves the use of propaganda to basically divide and rule, we all know the terms: strivers versus skivers, hard working families and all the other bollocks.

I find it all so depressing, there is little in the tts narrative that is uplifting, that gives us the vision of an improving society in which we believe our children can look forward to a better world. As a former teacher (sounds weird writing that) I have experienced the increasingly dispiriting nature of teaching as the ‘neoliberal audit society’s’ tentacles spread their demoralising bollocks. Theirs is a joyless world for the vast majority of us, they, of course, having the wealth and power, enjoy the fruits of our labour. Humanity’s latest technological revolution has already been commandeered by the kleptos and is almost totally applied to increasing their wealth and power and not for the benefit of all.

But Duncan you don’t live in the ‘real world’ and can’t you feel the trickling down of all the increasing wealth? No, I, like most others, just witness the increasing desiccation, even the current pope recognises this.

Brilliant bit of radio last Friday on the jeremy vine show when Bonnie Greer and a man who’s name I can’t remember discussed the racist massacre in Charlottesville. She ‘called out’ murdoch and fox news for fostering and perpetuating racism, the man, who’s name I can’t remember, contrasted the arrest of the white perpetrator of the mass murder with the arrest of a black man for illegally selling cigarettes. The black man, like many other black men, was shot and killed by the police. We need, as I was desperately trying to describe in a recent blog, to develop a better discussive, discursive language within more open formats. Fat chance with the likes of the tts in power and with murdoch dominating our media and an education system that perpetuates this bollocks. And of course the nra gun lobbying, their spokesman saying if the pastor in the Charlottesville church had had a gun then he could have defended himself by killing roof. It truly is madness.

Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.

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