My Britain - a long lost poem recreated.

My Britain

 

So this is my Britain:

A land of rugged rocks on shores with crashing waves;

A land of green rolling hills,

Craggy mountains,

Meadows of gaily coloured flowers alive with insects;

The chirp of crickets, the buzz of bees, the scurry of beetles and the bob of butterflies;

The darting of lizards into crisped undergrowth, the rustle of mice, voles and hedgehogs.

 

In the dappled glades of the forest remnants the fallow deer chew alertly. Under hedges rabbits venture from their burrows, adders, grass-snakes and slowworms bask in the sun, soaking up the heat, or languish in safety under the corrugated tin.

 

In the fields the red poppies bob among the feather-top grasses, the purple thistle stands erect and the yellow buttercup and dandelion gleam like tiny glowing suns.

 

In the streams the stickle-backs dart, frogs are still with eyes protruding, prone within the water and newts crawl lugubriously between the fronds of water weed as pond skaters skim above.

 

On the seashores and mudflats the waders scamper and peck as the waves recede, the gulls soar, glide and call, crabs peer from beneath rocks and barnacles scoop specks from out the water.

 

This is the land of moors of purple heather and green bracken, of lakes, lochs and cwms, abandoned mines and standing stones, of brochs, long barrows, burial chambers and castles, that signify the history, the mystery and long faded memory of the past, vestiges of by-gone eras.

 

This is my Britain:

A place populated by a mongrel race whose stride was large enough to girdle the whole earth, whose imagination has changed the world, who have left their mark in time, in every continent, in every clime.

 

A race rooted in Celt, in Pict, in Angle, Saxon, Norse, Roman and Norman, and later, as the trade routes opened up the world, in Asian, African, Australian, American and beyond - a mixture of races full of hybrid vigour and the purity of nascent blends; and all the stronger for it. Whose very language reflects this rich history of intermingling, so diverse, so expressive, so vibrant, so fluid – as if the opulence of genes flows forth from effervescent minds through the versatility of tongues. For though rooted in our European traditions we have incorporated the whole gamut of mankind and extracted the best to create something all the greater.

 

These are the people from whom I have descended – the outward looking, the brave and adventurous, those that rose to the challenge and sought the novel, whose poets revealed, whose story-tellers delighted ears, whose adventurers ignited spirits, whose philosophers dared to question, whose inventors and scientists harnessed wonder and whose dreams reached for the stars.

 

These were the people whose compassion and tolerance created hope and homes; whose spiritual buccaneers tackled mysteries and whose first response was the helping hand.

 

This is my Britain:

A land of contrasts, of variety, of peace, serenity and wonder,

A land of pleasant folk, with varied traditions and minds of scope,

A land of scholars, wisdom and industry,

A land full of history, yet still reaching for the future.

 

From these rocky shores, sandy bays and welcoming harbours, we still reach out to embrace the beyond.

From this place of culture and civilisation we welcome in the new, to incorporate and grow.

This is my Britain!

 

Not an insular island, alone, but a thriving centre, a focus of trade, a flourishing nest of humanity, a creative force, a smiling face of civilised companionship, reaching out to the world, living at one with nature.

 

Not the warlords, not the politicians, not the mean-minded bigots, the small-minded nationalists, the money-grabbers and life-suckers, but the musicians, the artists, the scientists, dancers, the merry-makers, singers, swashbucklers, free spirits, travellers, roamers, explorers, dreamers, builders, players, writers, poets and the ordinary folk whose smiles and gleeful voices are an example for us all.

 

Yes, this is my Britain,

 

A gleaming island, a green jewel, surrounded by cleansing waves, whose people have this spirit to delve and solve the greatest ambiguities, to shine light into the darkness and turn the bitterest bile into the sweetest nectar.

 

This is the Britain I am part of, stem from and take with me where-ever I tread.

 

This is my Britain.

This is my Britain.

 

Opher 6.1.2019

 

I wrote a poem much like this many years ago. I put it to a pastoral piece of music by Frinzi. I melded it to a slide-show of my photographs of Britain – from the mountains and lochs of Scotland, through the green valleys of Ireland and Wales, the moors and forests of England to the abandoned tin mines of Cornwall - incorporating the flowers, wildlife and Neolithic rocks.

 

I showed it a number of times and it always garnered a good response.

Unfortunately I lost it. I have searched for a number of years as its memory festered in my mind.

 

Finally, today, I decided that enough was enough. I wrote it again.

 

This is not the same poem but the elements are mostly there. In these days of Brexit, with its mean-minded insularity, and fear-ridden hatred, I wanted to reaffirm my belief and faith in a better Britain, one based on the love, creativity, friendliness and expansive, welcoming nature that I crave. That is the Britain that I love, that is what gives me hope and strength.

 

That is the Britain I want. That is my Britain.

Comments

opher goodwin Added Jan 7, 2019 - 6:48am
I tried putting photos with this but it did not work for some reason. never mind. You can get the full thing on my blog Opher's world if you are interested.
Johnny Fever Added Jan 7, 2019 - 10:00am
Brexit is not akin to “mean-minded insularity.”  It also has nothing to do with fear or hatred.  You can have a better Britain with Brexit…full stop.  Of course not all agree Brexit is good for Britain and there is nothing wrong with having that opinion too.  As for Britain being based on love, creativity, friendliness, that’s total crap.  That was never the case and it never will be the case.  Britain is simply a country and a country can’t love, be creative or be friendly.  Those are human traits. 
opher goodwin Added Jan 7, 2019 - 10:25am
Johnny - thank you for that. 
I am afraid I think you are wrong on many counts. 
Yes the whole concept of Brexit is steeped in mean-minded nationalism, arrogance, a sense of superiority which suggest to those of that mind set that we are better off apart.
Yes the xenophobia and racism that has driven Brexit has been directly responsible for a great increase in violence and hate crime.
It is manifestly obvious that both our economy and standing in the world will be severely damaged by Brexit. Something that all the experts and most politicians agree on. Only the rabid nationalist right-wing Brexiteers think otherwise.
The concept of Britain is an ethos that unites people. It is the zeitgeist of the nation. That zeitgeist is based on the human traits described. Every country has a different feel to it. That is due to the humanity of the people who comprise it. I do not think it is too much of a poetic liberty to ascribe the human traits of love, creativity and friendliness on the nation. That is what we do when we are at our best.
White Hair'd Added Jan 7, 2019 - 2:07pm
God Save The Queen.
The Owl Added Jan 7, 2019 - 2:25pm
"That zeitgeist is based on the human traits described. Every country has a different feel to it. That is due to the humanity of the people who comprise it. I do not think it is too much of a poetic liberty to describe the human traits of love, creativity, and friendliness on the nation. That is what we do when we are at our best."  -- Opher
 
Ah, patriotism in its finest form, a sentiment endorsed by Parry"s Jerusalem.
 
And when Britain gets threatened it stands tall even when it has to stand on its own.
 
You may not agree with it Opher, but a sufficient number of the voters of the United Kingdom are standing to enforce the notion that the British need to remain "British".
 
 
 
opher goodwin Added Jan 7, 2019 - 2:50pm
Luther - Oh No - let the old dear die.
opher goodwin Added Jan 7, 2019 - 2:52pm
Owl - I want it to stay British too - and to be a partner in something a lot better. I like partnerships, collaboration and a more global perspective. That doesn't mean giving up my Britishness.
A majority of people in Britain think like me. The Brexiteers are a minority.
Time for a rethink!
Ian Thorpe Added Jan 7, 2019 - 4:41pm
Good poem Opher, bit long for post modernist maybe, but a very recognisable vision of England to a Shropshire lad like me (In common with A E Houseman & a certain J Corbyn I'm not native to Shrophire but an import.)
And thanks for the other bit of nostalgia, your opening lines, which reminded me of something me. you, Neil and maybe a few other Britis will remember:

"In the far north where the black rocks
stand against the cold sea ..."
The Owl Added Jan 7, 2019 - 6:46pm
I never doubted that you wanted to remain British, and I never would.
 
But my comment remains germane when you get to the question of what happens when your being "British" comes up against a force that is insisting that you will not?
 
As I see the Brexit vote, sir, is that the question of "what happens" was put to the citizens of the United Kingdom vote of Parliament, an action answering the implied question of when.
 
That you think the vote for Brexit was incorrect has been made clear, as has your quiet, or not-so-quiet, contempt for those supporting the exit of the UK from the European Union.
 
In the literature on the subject that I have read, I see nothing that suggests that the pro-Brexit voters want to halt the cooperation and commerce with the nations of the continent.  Indeed, I see a lot that suggests that that is exactly what they want...continued free commerce and close cooperation with the European Union and its member states.  The Brexit supporters seem to be saying that they just don't want to do it under the terms of the EU treaty.
 
From where I sit, that is a reasoned proposition.  Yes, it is going to be an upheaval of a decades-long order, but it is consistent with what the voters have said through their open, democratic vote on the question.
 
Oh, you argue, the Brexiteers used spurious and hyperbolic arguments to make their case.
 
In reply, I say, of course, they did.  It was an "election" for heaven's sake, and that is what happens when politics comes down to a vote.  On the other side, it is safe to say that the EU-apologists did exactly the same thing to try to make their point.
 
Your problem is that your spurious and hyperbolic arguments didn't carry the day.  Annoying to you?  Yea.  So what?  Did you have a chance to vote?  Did your fellow UK citizens have a chance to vote?
 
Everything points to the fact that the people of the UK expressed their opinion.
 
You're just arguing now as to how it's going to be done, and I have yet to see from you reasonable proposals as to how you think it could be done better, especially proposals that recognize that the UK does not control how the EU is going to accept and interpret what you are offering.
 
Make your case, sir, or stand aside. 
 
 
opher goodwin Added Jan 7, 2019 - 7:08pm
Ian - nice to see you using your noggin'. 
Thanks Ian. Glad it resonated with you.
opher goodwin Added Jan 7, 2019 - 7:33pm
Owl - the whole fiasco of Brexit is long and detailed.
It is based on the need for the Tory Party to retain cohesion with a rabid bunch of extreme right-wing nationalists who had already done for Thatcher and Major.
Cameron promised them a vote on the EU to keep them on board for a general election he did not expect to win outright. He wanted to continue the coalition with the LibDems and renege on the vote on the pretext that the Libdems would not go for it. Unexpectedly he won and had to go ahead with the vote.
He was complacent about the vote and did not prepare his ground. We heard nothing of the collaborations and benefits of the EU or the substantial costs of extrication.
It was pathetic.
The Brexiteers lied about the benefits £350 million a week on the side of a bus. 5 million Turks heading our way. They also did a number of illegal campaigning.
The vote on such an important issue should never have been binary or a simple majority.
Major cock-up.
Cameron and Osbourne resigned leaving a blood bath of a leadership election. Theresa May (a remainer) got the job. She had to promise the Brexiteers in order to get elected (mistake 1). She put extreme Brexiteers in charge (mistake 2) and set lots of red lines (mistake 3). She then triggered article 50 without having consensus in her own party let alone parliament (mistake 4) on the basis that her party would have to fall in line. They didn't. She then spent two years negotiating a deal that had no hope of being accepted (mistake 5) and finally realised and dumped the hard line for a hodge-podge compromise that suited nobody (mistake 6). She wouldn't listen to reason and is futilely trying to ram it through (mistake 7). She is using threats and bluff and nobody is falling for it (mistake 8).
The whole fiasco has been about the Tory Party and never the nation.
Having lost the vote (which is a disaster for the country - as the vast majority of MPs recognise) she should have formed a cross-party group to agree what deal they were looking for. When they had a consensus that would have stood a chance of going through parliament she should have triggered article 50. They would then know what it was they wanted to make a deal on. Having got a deal it should then have gone back to parliament for ratification and approval.
That is the intelligent approach.
She has made an utter mess and should be locked up for what she has done.
The only deal that could be agreed in parliament is one which takes our sovereignty back but keeps us in the common market for trading. It is not as good as staying in but the damage is limited and it acknowledges the vote.
It was a very narrow vote and people that voted out had a large number of reasons for doing so. On a binary vote nobody can say for certain what those issues were for.
The sad thing is that it has empowered the minority of racists and xenophobes in a similar way to what has happened in the States with Trump. Hate crime has soared. Violence has soared. There are major crisis's in public services because the Tories have got away with murder while attention has been on Brexit.
Any idiot could have done a better job. May has been pathetic.
Logical Man Added Jan 7, 2019 - 7:59pm
The Britain I grew up in will never exist again. I was in some ways lucky and in others not so much, but I grew up when there were a lot less rules and there was a certain amount of freedom to just do stuff.
All the places I remember as countryside are now housing estates, all the small shops are gone, the huge steelworks are gone.
No point hanging on to that.
Oph, I think your heart is in the right place, but the Britain you referred to never existed, in reality.
Logical Man Added Jan 7, 2019 - 8:35pm
Ryan, you are a delusional fool. Incapable of even attempting to see things from another point of view.
The Brits were responsible for multiple genocides in order to hold that wonderful empire together to exploit 'lesser' races and steal the lands of others at gun point. The US has taken over the baton in the Imperial Olympics and all that goes along with it.
The Brits also carry a huge responsibility for what's going on in regards to Zionist land theft in Palestine, again, US picked up the baton.
But I guess you are OK with genocide.
Bill H. Added Jan 7, 2019 - 9:59pm
"No liberal has ever blocked me and lived to tell about it."
Opher - Seems that Ryan is tossing out death threats now! I always knew he was an unstable character.
But I seriously doubt Ryan could hold his own in a good old fistfight. He seems quite dainty to me.
Just keep squashing him!
The Owl Added Jan 8, 2019 - 12:42am
I saw your comments earlier today and debated on addressing it, or letting it go, and, out of charitableness, decided upon the latter.  -- Ryan Messano
 
Hijack Alert.  
 
Just because someone opens the door, Ryan, doesn't mean you have to go through it.
 
Opher, thank you for making my point that you didn't like the results.  And thank you for illustrating rather dramatically that you are willing to fight the rear-guard action even though you lost in what was by all objective accounts was a free and open election. 
 
(This is aside from the fact that President Barack Obama stick his nose into the internal politics of another nation, an occurrence that his political party is currently trying to hang as an albatross around the neck of Trump without any evidence that was ever involved.  But that is a discussion for another day)
 
As you both well know and are fearful of is that Brexit will happen bin two short months whether you like it or not.
 
Your Parliament may or may not have meaningful say in what happens on anything more than PM May's agreement with Brussels.   And, May's future as the head of her party and the government may well hang in the balance.
 
Those matters are for your Parliament to decide.  How you got to this point is irrelevant no matter how bitterly you see the process to have been.
 
To put this in military terms for you...You are making the mistake of fighting the last year.
 
Time to think about fighting this war and the war that may be coming.  You've offered nothing but bile and venom, and last year's losing talking points.
 
Isn't it time to put down the emotional blackmail and politics screeds and start working on what you're going to do if May's proposal at rejected.
 
Are you going to replace May with someone more cooperative with you views in time to prevent a no-agreement outcome?  Are you really going to want to hand the advantage back by insisting on a whole new Brexit vote in time to meet the Article 50 deadline?  Is  Jerymy Corbyn able to carry the Parliament to get to form a new government?  What is he going to be able to do if he moves into No. 10?
 
The "next" war on the Brexit front is going to be a lot messier than the first one...
 
And I doubt seriously that those who voted to retake some of the UK's sovereignty back from the EU aren't going to be eagerntongive it away again.
 
Fight the next war Opher, not the last one!
 
Neil Lock Added Jan 8, 2019 - 4:30am
Opher: You missed out the hornets! A nest of which, you seem to have stirred up on this thread.
 
But seriously... You describe, very well, Britain the island. And, to an extent, the people who inhabit that land. However, many take the word "Britain" to mean something quite different - the state that rules over that land and its people. Whose technical name is "the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland," although it isn't united, it isn't a kingdom, and it certainly isn't great. Whose figurehead is a silly, rich old woman called Lizzie, who lives in a castle. And whose minions use the "sovereignty" that she claims to tax and regulate us all but out of existence, and to make commitments to their European political friends that we are then expected to meet!
 
As to Brexit, it doesn't have anything to do with nationalism - not for me, at least. I am in no way a British nationalist! Culturally, I am an Englishman, with overnotes from Holland, the USA and three or four other countries I have spent significant time in. And if I wanted to be a patriot, I would be a Wessex patriot.
 
When you are out walking in a forest, and you discover you are lost, what do you as a sane person do? You back-track, until you come to a place where you know where you are again. Then you work out which way you need to go, and move off in the new direction. Going into the EU was a giant step in the wrong direction (not to mention that it was mis-sold to the people). Brexit is just a first (and small) step away from the cliff edge, and back towards a place from which we can start moving in the right direction.
opher goodwin Added Jan 8, 2019 - 7:44am
Logical - yes - the England I grew up in no longer exists. I had freedom and countryside.
Rarely has there been so much change through a period of a lifetime.
But I would challenge you as to its existence - it did exist and it still does in vestiges.
Yes - the British Empire was purely a money-making, asset stripping, land raping exercise. All empires are. The current US economic empire is doing the same in a different way.
It is what all human tribes have done on a larger scale.
That is why I want a global perspective.
opher goodwin Added Jan 8, 2019 - 7:45am
Bill - ignore the twerp. He has delusions of grandeur. Silly little brainwashed child. I will no longer entertain him on my threads. 
opher goodwin Added Jan 8, 2019 - 7:59am
Owl - I merely filled you in with the background.
What will now happen will be fought out either in parliament or the electorate and that is the battle I am currently fighting. I run my blog. Write to MPs. Go on marches and support another vote.
Not a lot more I can do short of armed insurrection.
The future looks very uncertain.
May's deal is likely to be rejected next week.
May may resign and they will be a Tory leadership election decided by the MPs. The outcome of that is very unclear. There are no candidates that come close to carrying a majority. It will be bloody and fun. I'm looking forward to the Tories ripping themselves apart.
There is no consensus in parliament so we are in unchartered territory.
The referendum vote was not statutory; it was advisory. It can be ignored.
There is no majority in parliament for May's deal.
Then, when it is rejected, we have a number of basic alternatives:
a. A general election
b. Stop Brexit and renegotiate another deal
c. Let Parliament vote on a new deal.
d. Go back to the people to get their views on the way forward.
e. Crash out without a deal.
 
Personally I would like a general election, the stop to article 50 followed by another peoples vote.
 
Let the people decide how to get out of this mess with a better designed referendum. That's democracy.
 
Crashing out would be an unmitigated disaster and I do not think anybody, apart from the extreme right-wing loonies, would go for that.
 
We'll see.
opher goodwin Added Jan 8, 2019 - 8:08am
Neil - I don't know about a hornets nest - apart from the twerp there are some interesting views.
Thank you for your comments.
I, as you see, love the country I grew up in but that doesn't necessarily make me a patriot. I'm not sure how I would describe myself. I feel very passionate about nature and the countryside as well as the best of what I perceive the British people standing for - the tolerance, freedoms, compassion and altruistic values we have stood for at our best. I feel nothing but loathing for the other side of the coin - the social hierarchy, class system, old boy's network, small-minded arrogance, racist superiority, violent avarice and conservative conformity.
I take a different view to you regarding Europe and the world. I want a global perspective, working in harmony collaboratively and better understanding and friendship between nations.
Europe has proved economically good but more importantly has built bridges.
I know all its flaws but overall I am pleased with it.
Jeff Michka Added Jan 8, 2019 - 12:03pm
Well, opher, no pics, but on this Winter's morning, your poem and a soundtrack of John Dowland and the Robertsbridge Codex playing in the background worked really well while I read it.  Hauled out my Renaissance music collection just before Xmas, and have really enjoyed listening to that early music since.  Dances written by Henry VIII are great, too.  Brexit will never take away British musical heritage, Might wreck British sausages, though. Early music in the morning is a soothing inspiration for the day and sets the stage for what the day brings.  Today brings "no power, no work" for me and 100 others.  Plant was dark and cold.  No computers, no drawings.  LOL.  That's kinda like "No bucks, no Buck Rogers."
Stone-Eater Added Jan 8, 2019 - 12:21pm
Oph
 
I wouldn't exaggerate the UK's influence. You do have 
 
a) a special humour (only George Carlin in the US could match)
b) good pubs and a cool drinking culture (like Canada)
c) nice games (pool, dart, snooker)
d) some of the best popular music there is
e) outstanding landscapes/gardens anywhere south of London
 
e) a useless royality cult
f) horrible food (in restos)
g) most superficial newspapers
h) dirty hospitals (I've been a regular visitor at Hammersmith)
i) an "empire complex" that should be overcome
 
So that's 50/50.
 
But that's ok LOL
Stone-Eater Added Jan 8, 2019 - 12:26pm
Royalty, not royality, sorry.
 
Didn't want to insult Charlie (the ear) and Mother Queenie (the stiffness) more than necessary :-)
opher goodwin Added Jan 8, 2019 - 7:03pm
Thanks Jeff. That sounds like a good start to the day. It sets a tone. No Brexit will not destroy our music - might even add to it.
I've put some pics in the poem and will release it when Autumn allows.
opher goodwin Added Jan 8, 2019 - 7:06pm
Stone - yep - I'd say 50 : 50 too - maybe with slightly different emphasis. I'd certainly agree about Royalty, Papers and Empire. Not my cup of tea.
As for restaurants - we have a cosmopolitan range. You can always find something good and our own cuisine is improving. 
opher goodwin Added Jan 8, 2019 - 7:08pm
Sorry Ian - I think your post got unintentionally deleted when I was getting rid of the child's garbage. Sorry.
Logical Man Added Jan 8, 2019 - 7:41pm
Oph, I know what you are getting at, but nostalgia ain't what it used to be!
I was born in NW England in 1955. My parents worked their arses off to give me a good life. I think it was Michael Caine who described how my life went - I grew up in poverty, but my parents kept that a secret from me.
I was fortunate to live on the edge of town - If I walked out of my parents' front door and kept going it would be about 15 miles before I hit another real road. Fields, streams, woods. Who's turn is it to steal some matches so we can have a camp fire - where can we get some rope to throw over that tree to make swing - who will be first to jump off the bridge into the canal ........
Booming industries - not perfect, but people were secure in their jobs and many enjoyed what they did.
Unfortunately there's no going back. All you can do is realise that you were privileged in some way, assuming that you were, of course.
Jeff Michka Added Jan 8, 2019 - 8:50pm
You just make people retch, Messianic.  Why not go to one of Cardinal Mogg's "articles"and go on and on and on about liberals.  You are a total and complete asshole that, like child Orange shitbag, when you don't get your way, you mess others articles up like a spoiled child. Do you write this crap when your husband Vinny is stuffing your ass?  Seems like your butt hurt butt needs a break.  You must be in pain with those pending new Turds you and Vinny are going to welcome into your family.
Logical Man Added Jan 8, 2019 - 9:19pm
Ryan, yet more evidence of imbecility!
I refuse to engage in a battle of wits with an unarmed man.
It just wouldn't be worth wasting the time.
 
The Owl Added Jan 8, 2019 - 10:23pm
Jeff's seems to be edging Ryan out for the race to the bottom...Get your popcorn folks....
 
-------------
 
Opher, thank you for responding to my needling with actual information, biased, of course, to your point of view but many a nugget that explains to the outsider what may be going on in the UK.
 
If I am reading you correctly, there may be a somewhat a period of confusion and division in your governance over the next months or years.  From what I am seeing that surely seems to be the case.  And, I agree that appears that no party seems to be able to wield power effectively in Parliament with May being wounded, as self-inflicted as that might be, and Jeremy Corbyn wrestling with the bigots and antisemites that are coalescing in pools of hatred and intolerance.
 
I sense that you may be unwilling to accept that "national pride", whatever that may be or the name you call it, is playing a distinct role in the disharmony.  British citizens don't want to be told by Brussels bureaucrats who can emigrate to the UK or who the British must accept or what laws are and are not acceptable.  It's the old desire for home rule, often expressed, and often expressed at all levels of government.
 
So, sir, what forces do you see that are going to develop the next leadership that will have to step up, and where are those leaders going to come from.  In what will they believe?  Is the UK headed for a coalition government again?  Are we going to see revolving Parliaments as one leader after another loses the confidence of the members?  Who is going to advocate for stability and sensibility when May falls, as she eventually will.  Isn't this when the value of your Queen gets expressed?  Does March 29 come without an exit agreement and the UK leaves the EU for the foreseeable future?
 
I'm not looking for your political desires, sir; I'm looking for a sense of what the next few years for our most important ally might have to offer.
 
Give it a shot for us.  We need a better sense of reality to understand what is going to happen to Europe as they are forced out from underneath the US and UK nuclear umbrellas  
 
opher goodwin Added Jan 9, 2019 - 4:23am
Logical - I was born in 1949. Nature started at the end of our road. I spent my childhood up trees, making camps, swings, making track-bikes out of bits we dug out of ditches, carts out of pram wheels, playing cricket, tennis and football in the street and hunting for caterpillars and creatures. I had a huge menagerie. That was my life - as free as a bird.
opher goodwin Added Jan 9, 2019 - 4:39am
Owl - it seems to me that we are in turbulent times where it is difficult to see what will happen.
Both our major parties are hopelessly split and the minor parties are losing momentum as the division becomes more binary.
The media storm against Corbyn (they are terrified that he might get in and actually change the scene away from the unbridled capitalism we now have) has reduced Labour to level pegging.
People are sick of Brexit. Parliament is in chaos.
I expect Parliament to decisively reject May's deal next week. Normally that would lead to an election and a leadership contest. But these aren't normal times. We now (due to the Tories) have a fixed term government and May won't resign. Besides, the Tories have no viable successor. The party could in fact split. So May may go for another parliamentary vote.
The extreme Brexiteers will push for a crashing out. But they are a small minority. Most recognise that this would be disastrous.
I don't think we'll get a general election though that is possible.
I think Parliament will attempt to coalesce around a version of Brexit that they can get a majority on. That would be a soft Brexit where we stay in the single market. That seems the most likely outcome to me. It takes into account the whole country and prevents us committing Hari Kari. It is a compromise.
If that doesn't work then I think we will go back to the people with a non-binary choice - stay, May's deal, Soft Brexit, Hard Brexit.
If that happens I think we'll reverse the decision and stay in. The majority of people, as shown in the polls, have woken up to the lies and know how damaging it would be.
Failing that we will crash out and suffer the consequences - mayhem.
So I reckon we'll get a parliamentary compromise deal - but the cards are all in the air. Everything is possible.
opher goodwin Added Jan 9, 2019 - 4:40am
Jeff - leave the child. He's not worth it. I merely eradicate the silly pest.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Jan 9, 2019 - 6:34am
This song just about sums it up for me:   Come on England:
 
Many miles I have wandered, on the paths of my homeland
By rivers, through woodland, and by the sea side
On streets I have seen those with greed and hate in their eyes
And those with their hearts and their hands open wide
 
All my life has been blessed by its thunderstorm summer times
By misty gold autumns, by fires in the snow
By Rainbows, by bluebells, by radiant spring times
In the wild windy meadows, where the dandelions blow
 
There are some who would change this fair home to a prison
To enslave the many, and bow to the few
The robbers, the racists, the breakers of faces
Who hide behind masks and the red white and blue
 
So stand up, come on England, live up to your history
Your heart can't be held in a flag or a crown
Raise your tea cups and glasses, you bold lads and lasses
And drink to the spirit that will never lie down
 
For I come from the land of the diggers and levellers
The fighters for freedom and our national health
The beaten mistreated but never defeated
The builders and guardians of the true commonwealth
 
Only lovin' can save us, only givin' will raise us
So welcome all travellers to sweet liberty
And raise all your voices to defend our democracy
For equality, justice, and community
 
So stand up, come on England, live up to your history
Your heart can't be held in a flag or a crown
Raise your teacups and glasses, you bold lads and lasses
And drink to the spirit that will never lie down
 
And drink to the spirit that will never lie down
opher goodwin Added Jan 9, 2019 - 6:40am
Robin - that is not a song I am familiar with but it looks just my sort of thing!
Merry Hell!
In the same vein as Leon Rosselson - The World Turned Upside Down.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Jan 9, 2019 - 6:45am
Great isn't it!   We are working it up as part of the Swing Rioters set.   Says a great deal about how we see the current political situation and all of the demons that have been unleashed by the lunatic Brexit decision.   It's also influencing our own song writing.
 
Merry Hell have three truly great song writing talents on board.  A really hard working and great band to see live.
opher goodwin Added Jan 9, 2019 - 6:52am
Robin - I just ordered the single on the basis of the lyrics. What's the best album?
Robin the red breasted songster Added Jan 9, 2019 - 6:54am
Bloodlines is my favourite but, to be honest, they are all pretty good.   I have them all
Robin the red breasted songster Added Jan 9, 2019 - 6:57am
Listen to "We need each other now":
 
As borders crumble, land and sea,
Bored with ideology
The skinhead and the refugee
We need each other now
 
Rise up, rise up you hopeful men
And women who might try again
And with one voice our message send
We need each other now
 
They are a great bunch of guys.   They have been very helpful, giving me detailed advice on how to set up vocal monitors best for use on stage.  They sing along in the bar too...
opher goodwin Added Jan 9, 2019 - 11:22am
Robin - I'll check out the single when it arrives and if I like it I will get the others.
They sound good and I like the sentiments!
Ian Thorpe Added Jan 9, 2019 - 3:17pm
Oph, don't worry about it, I was just going on about blue, remembered hills and stuff, with a reference to "Something nasty in the woodshed", the much quoted line from Stella Gibbons Cold Comfort Farm (an underrated classic) but other than that I can't remember what I wrote.
opher goodwin Added Jan 9, 2019 - 7:14pm
Sorry about that Ian. I'm sure it was worthy. Cold Comfort Farm is a favourite!
Jeff Michka Added Jan 12, 2019 - 2:18pm
Thanks for the moment of peaxe by making this article a "free of Ryan" zone.  LOL  Ryan does needs constant reminders of his fallibility.  Thanks for what you write for us, opher.
opher goodwin Added Jan 13, 2019 - 11:48am
Cheers Jeff I appreciate it. That brainwashed cretin is the only person I have ever deleted. But we can't allow idiots like that to be given a platform.