Come in, it's lovely to see you. Pull up a cushion and stay as long as you like.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

The Day the Fish Died: A True Story

Written at Colchester Write Night, on Monday 22nd May 2017, the first meeting at our new venue, Firstsite Gallery. We looked at the story behind Grayson Perry's Julie Cope and did a writing exercise  inspired by this. Here is mine...

A young boy likes fishing in the river behind his house; that is a shop at the bottom and a flat at the top. He lives there with his mum and dad and sister, and a big white dog called Penny. Many years later the young boy’s dad remarries and his new wife is called Penny, which amuses the much older but still not very grown up man-boy, but not his dad when he reminds him of it.

The young boy used to fish in the river behind his house that was a shop at the bottom a lot. He would often walk up the road and buy maggots for bait. He (the young boy) used to put the maggots in the bin outside, until one day his mum lifted the bin lid to put some rubbish in and lots, and lots, and lots of big black flies came out. This was not the first, or the last time, that the young boys mum was cross with him, but it was the last time he put maggots in the bin.

One day, long ago, the young boy was fishing in the river behind his house that was a shop at the bottom, and the fish started to float to the top of the water, which was going blacker and blacker.

The young boy was upset, and went back to the bit of his house that was a shop, and told his mum and dad who worked in the shop (and who lived above it with their son and daughter) what had happened.

On the other side of the river that the young boy used to fish in, and loved to wade across in his bare feet and look down at the crayfish in the water and the fish he used to try and catch, was a factory. This factory had leaked some chemicals into the river which had poisoned the water and killed all the fish. The young boy never fished in that river again.

Friday, 12 May 2017

The Politics of the Parrot

So: dearest Theresa is now playing the patriotism card whilst declaring her love for murdering innocent animals; to appeal simultaneously to both the rich backers who own her and the working classes that she despises but wants to vote for her, and definitely won't let the grubby little buggers publicly ask her any questions, whilst parroting her strong and stable motto.
Jeremy is having to prove how tough and strong he is by stating he is not a pacifist and would send the army to war at some point, if needs dictated. Perhaps even if needs don't dictate, or else what's the point having an army? Half the mp's in his own party publicly despise him, as do the media, and would happily knife him in the back at a moments notice, whilst parroting his own for the many motto.
Jeremy's leaked manifesto is microscopically examined point by point and costed by people who wouldn't vote for him anyway, yet no one questions how we can afford the billions to renew Trident, or how the bankers who almost brought this country to its knees and were bailed out by the public avoided prosecution, or how Brexit, hard or soft, will take us back to the 1870's, never mind the 1970's.
Nothing new from the media, just the same old ways of reporting everything; stock phrases, cut and pasted from previous elections. This one to make so and so sound good, that one to make so and so sound bad. Tired, lazy, can't be bothered click bait hackery; their own profession as out of touch with the people they depend on as the politicians, serving no one but their own wealthy owners.
Here in Colchester, Labour and the Greens have gone begging for the UKIP vote, (which the Tories will get anyway). I assume the Lib Dems will at some point; all of them arguing publicly and amongst themselves as to which of them is the only party that can unseat the Tories, a vote for any other party is a vote for the Tories, etc etc etc, blah blah blah blah blah.
And on it goes. Nationally and locally, the same old same old. Rhetoric, insults, posturing; claim and counter claim. Anything to score a point when political careers are at stake.
Am I the only one who is sick and tired of all of it? More and more of us benefit less and less, whichever party gets power. How demeaning is all of this, to us and to them? I've never felt more like not voting for anyone; never felt more ignored and more insignificant.
It's 2017 and we are still arguing over who funds education, the NHS, transport and necessary utilities when more and more people are relying on food-banks to survive, more and more people are suffering with physical and mental illness, whilst we fill our oceans with plastic, pollute our rivers and choke to death on exhaust fumes. More and more slipping through the system, yet at the same time we have more millionaires than ever. Hoofuckingrah!
Is this the best we can do as human beings? Does this serve us? Do we benefit any more from individual party politics with one prime minister elected, whatever their colour, whoever foots their bill?
At some point, somewhere, we are going to have to start talking to each other, all of us; putting differences aside and deciding priorities. Will this ever happen? I don't know, I genuinely don't know anymore. I know that if we don't, we will all lose (if we haven't already), whatever the result of the general election.