Buy, Buy, Bye, Bye.


I think I must have put them all in a box which is now in the loft. I remember separating them, dividing them by type, each having their own little baggie. When we moved all my stuff out of Railway Cuttings down to The Potting Shed I’m pretty sure that they were in a box which ended up in the loft. Or the garage. Or under the stairs. Wherever it is, I want to find that box because I’m gonna need it. With the Euro’s future likely to be confined to Pathe News, episodes of QI or International Baccalaureate history exams, I’m gonna need something to spend on my next trip.

There was a bag containing Marks, one which had about thirty quid worth of Francs therein, and another with a collection of Pesetas, Drachmas, Italian lira and and Dutch Guilder. In total I reckon there’s at least 60 quid’s worth of old foreign currency,nearly enough to buy me a cup of coffee on Rue de Rivoli. How glad am I that at the time I couldn’t be bothered to hand over all my loose European change to those charities who, back in 2002, were asking for the coins “we wouldn’t need again”? At last my inertia and apathy towards helping others is paying off. Well that’s my guess anyway.

Now I know I’m only guessing, and my glass is typically half empty, but guesswork is all I’m left with as I’m no economist. No, really I’m not. I know I’m a world authority on cricket, lemons, modern art and movies, but I fall just short when it comes to economic nouse.

Not that the supposed experts know what’s gonna happen either: Tony Blair said that the collapse of the Euro would be “catastrophic” for the UK and urged all of us to get behind it. I don’t actually know how to get behind a euro, but on the other hand Tony once told me that I had 45 minutes to put on my tin hat and get to the air raid shelter before the nasty beardy-wierdies attacked. Well, as Tony’s mate George Bush once said “Fool me once, shame on … shame on you. Fool me … You can’t get fooled again.” So I think it’s fair to say I won’t be heeding what Blair says. Let’s look farther afield for help:

Chancellor Merkel has indicated that Germany either receives Britain’s support for invading Belg…sorry, for economic treaty changes or Germany will go it alone, drawing a new map of Europe with Germany at it’s fore. Where does she get her ideas from ? The German Chancellor can’t stand the French President Sarkozy, which doesn’t make her a member of a particularly exclusive club, but both countries hate Britain more, and this antagonistic feeling is only second to their disgust at Greece for dropping us all in the mire, so they have common enemies: David Cameron and this week’s Greek PM, [subs: please fill in name here].

Events in Italy seem to have muddied the waters even further. Berlusconi’s finally gone, just not that very far. He’s made it clear he still intends to make a comeback (this man has the Blair-like gift of being unshakeable and unshameable), and anyway, Super Mario Monti looks like he’s in Silvio’s pocket. No measures or acts will get through the Italian Parliament without the former Milanese Media Mogul’s nod. He’s still the leader of the biggest political party in the chamber, and we have learned from past events, he’s never out of the limelight for long. Once he gets a firm grip on either power or a woman’s gusset, he’s a bugger to shake off.

If you believe (and why the hell would you?) the analysts queuing up to talk to reporters, France looks like the next in line to go tits-up. The Euro economy domino theory goes thus: If Greece goes, Italy goes. If Italy goes, France goes. If France , Britain goes, (always bearing in mind that love grows where my Rosemary goes, and nobody knows like me).

No wonder Sarkozy, David Cameron and his attack-poodle George Osborne are looking nervous and sounding unusually vicious, even by their standards. Every one is blaming everyone else for the big pile of doo-doo we find ourselves in. But of course, still no-one is attacking the banks. Small businesses being refused bank loans, poor people being given huge mortgages which they could never have afforded to repay; mass redundancies and huge unemployment causing the collapse of the highs street: all these factors seem to have been forgotten.

The Brit govt blames the public sector workforce for striking in an attempt to save their pensions and pay.; the French blame Greek bin men and schoolteachers for not paying tax; the media blame the Italian citizen for voting for Berlusconi in the first place. UK finance minister Osborne has been blaming the referendum on Scottish devolution for the state of finances north of the border. Sarkozy accused Uraguay of being a tax-haven. Rare indeed for a French politician to consider tax havens as a bad thing. They’ll be coming out against extra-marital affairs next. Merkel, of course, is blaming everyone within spitting distance.

The shites are coming out, all over Europe.

What Would Mr Yeatman Do ?


Church of England in crisis talks over resignations at St Paul’s Cathedral.

BREAKING NEWS:

Mr Yeatman has come out in favour of taxing bank transactions.

Goodbye-eee


According to the BBC, when I was born I was the 3,290,008,752nd person alive on earth. I dunno how they know this, but they know this. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only one to be born on that particular day in history, so I don’t know how they are sure which of us is the 3,290,008,752nd, which the 3,290,008,753rd or which the 3,290,008,751st. But maybe I’m reading too much into this. Not sure. Probably not.

Anyway, by some time this morning there will be 7 billion people on the planet. It would have been a couple of hours earlier but daylight saving had to be factored in. Oh, and Jimmy Savile popped his gold lamé clogs. So every cloud.

Now, 7 billion is a big number. People are getting rather het up about it. But if you think you’re worried about it, can you imaging being John Terry knowing that the planet was becoming overrun by billions of f**cking bl**k c**ts ? Of course, when Chelsea captain John says “f**cking bl**k c**t” he means nothing by it. He’s not racist, you know ! He even led out a white and a black child mascot onto the pitch on saturday. Even touched the black kiddie. See ! Not racist in any way at all. In a modern world of 7 billion people, if you can’t call a f**cking bl**k c**t a “f**cking bl**k c**t” then what can a brain-dead, womanizing, nasty piece of sh*t, drug-dealing-family-member, thick c*nt like John supposed to do? (by the way, please don’t take that last sentence out of context. I meant nothing by it.) It’s not as if he was captain of England and supposed to set an example or anything, is it ?

Anyway, there may be a few less of “them” for John to worry about, and a few more of anyone really, if this Euro-zone business doesn’t sort itself out. Warning that unless Europe agreed with her about the Euro, German leader Angel Merkel recently said “No one should think that a further half century of peace and prosperity is assured.” Nothing warms the cockles quite like a German Chancellor predicting a European war. Sarkozy’s already told Cameron to shut up, while stating that it was a bad idea to admit Greece into the fold in the first place. This British PM won’t be waving a piece of paper around Croydon Airport this evening, predicting “peace in our time”.

Cameron and his mate Gideon Osborne, who clearly enjoy being outside the tent, pissing in, have announced they won’t be contributing to any further Euro bailouts. Yeah ! that’s right, chaps: Fuck Johnny Foreigner, and fuck him good, greasy little franco/woppo/dago/krauto wanker. We don’t need him or his mates. Apart from their holiday homes…and their yachts. Oh! and their trade…

So battles lines are being drawn up early. I’m glad that Sarko hasn’t lost sight of the fact it was all those Greek bin-men and teachers who got us into the shit in the first place. Bastards ! They don’t even pay tax on their €20,000-a-year job, d’you know ? What we need is to strengthen those poor banks. Don’t want them failing again, bless em.

Or should I say, “Bless ’em All”

The Blair Peach Project


So after all that, I thought it was about time you took a little breath and took in some considered thought. Honestly.

The Police (we are told by the BBC’s very impartial Nick Robinson) have been telling MPs that the only reason they were stand-offish during London riots the other night was because the last time there was a major disturbance on the streets of London, one of their member ended up on a manslaughter charge for acting too robustly.

So let me get this right: They are saying that the only alternative to killing middle-aged innocent newspaper vendors is to stand idly by and let teenagers burn down shops and houses and flats. Nothing in-between those two tactics ? Death or indolence.

It’s not been a great week or three for Pc Plod. They keep having to roll-up, and maybe sober-up, another Deputy Assistant Acting Commissioner, as the Met scurry to find a replacement for those top cops who have either been arrested, or have merely resigned in the belief they’re about to be arrested due to their culpability in the Murdoch/News International scandal.

Please, please let their new guvnor not be Sir Hugh Orde. Even by Police standards he has a face only a mother could love. He makes Ian Blair and Andy Hayman positively trustworthy.

Then three coppers show up to a riot only to find they’re slightly outnumbered. Not their fault, I know, (yes, you’re right, it’s the fault of holiday-loving George Osborne again) but nevertheless it seems a pretty poor show. Not that this is my main reason for putting pen to teller today.

If I had a grievance against the Old Bill (note the word if) I’d like to think I’d go and kick one or two of them in the goolies. If my beef was with the government (heaven forfend) I’d like to think me and my hoodie mates would attack Downing Street. Or maybe, just maybe I’d use my vote at the ballot box and vote the bastards out next time (I told you I’d mellowed).

If anyone can tell me what looting and torching, among other places, a party novelties shop in Clapham, poor and sheltered housing in Tottenham and a sandwich shop in Manchester has to do with some idiot coppers shooting a father you are a better man than me. That was a disgrace and heads should roll. They have a long and shameful track record of murdering people and it’s gotta stop. But what rent-a-mob have been up to since then has nothing to do with it. Anyone who says different is talking a load of old bollocks.

The Beeb are forever calling it “copycat violence”, or my favourite word of the week “thuggery” (which is still illegal in some states). Sadly I can’t find myself in a position to disagree with that. I’ve seen too many crying council house tenants who’ve fled their houses to think any other way at the moment. Maybe I’m just going pink.

You can see the despair and the shame on the faces of the poor community workers, people who have worked so hard with these kids (cos that’s what the majority are) to put them on the straight and narrow, only for them to set light to a furniture shop in Croydon and a Miss Selfridge in Salford in some bafflingly justified act of defiance against the man and the machine.

Do me a favour. Can you all fuck off home to your X-Boxes or PS3s, children?

I have decided that The Shovel can wait for a bit. I’ve had a particularly wobbly week: Too many dizzy spells and headaches for me to deal with for some reason, after making pretty good progress last week, so a trip up to the pub will have to be put on hold for a while.

I’m very happy that the NHS has provided me with a nice hard walking stick which, not only do I need to stand upright at the moment, will be deployed in a testicular-direction should any hood-wearing, leisure-suit donning little prick attempts to interfere with my or The Incumbent’s passage around the streets of Dartford.

Now I have to stop cos my new GP says I shouldn’t get would up. She reckons I have high blood-pressure (who’d a thunk it?).  I asked for a second opinion: She told me I was fat as well.

Allo, Allo, Allo…? (Part II) or Sergeant Smellie Strikes Again


Yahoo News


Pitch invader gets Tasered

Tue May 04 04:52PM

An investigation is underway after a young baseball fan who invaded the pitch was shot by a police officer with a Taser gun.

The Philadelphia Phillies supporter’s invasion was brought to an abrupt end when he was hit by a bolt from the electroshock weapon during a Major League Baseball game against the St Louis Cardinals.

The 17-year-old, who has not been named because of his age, hurdled a fence before running rings around security guards who tried to catch him in vain.

But the police officer eventually caught up with him and felled him with a shot that brought him immediately to his knees.

The scene was witnessed by more than 44,000 fans, some of whom can be heard booing in video footage taken at the time.

Police spokesman Lt Frank Vanore told The Philadelphia Inquirer that an internal investigation would be held to determine whether the firing of the gun constituted “proper use of the equipment”.

Phillies spokeswoman Bonnie Clark said: “The Police Department is investigating this matter and the Phillies are discussing with them whether in future situations this is an appropriate use of force under these circumstances.”

The fan will be charged with criminal trespass and related offences, Clark said.

See the yahoo page plus video here

Allo, Allo, Allo…?


Nice to see Sgt Delroy Smellie’s guide to community policing has been taken up by the lads in blue across the pond. Of course, American being America, everything is bigger and more spectacular over and these guys really go about their work with gusto. Must take hours of training to be able to land several precise and brutal blows to the head of a prone victim..er suspect..er obvious terrorist. Home of the Brave? Well, yes, if you’ve got your nightstick, riot shield and half a dozen pals to help you.

SKY NEWS:

Footage of police beating an innocent basketball fan unconscious as he was celebrating a win by his college team has sent shockwaves through America.

University of Maryland student John McKenna was attacked after their victory over arch rivals Duke.
CCTV pictures show him skipping down the street waving his arms in joy.

He is then approached by police on horseback who stand over him before other cops in riot gear swoop and start hitting him with their batons.

Police initially claimed Mr McKenna had attacked their officers and horses, causing them “minor injuries”, as they responded to reports of trouble after the game.

But the footage clearly shows he never struck out – and even tried to back away when confronted.

The FBI is now investigating the incident which left the 21-year-old needing eight staples to repair a head wound.

He was also allegedly told by officers in Maryland not to make a fuss about his injuries because they would have to fill out more paperwork.

Mr McKenna was arrested and placed in the back of a police van before being taken to hospital.

Charges against him have since been dropped and police chief Roberto Hylton has suspended one officer.

He said: “I was outraged. I was very disappointed at the conduct that I saw on the part of my officers on the video tape.”

Mr McKenna’s family said in a statement: “Some of these characters ought to go to jail, some ought to be booted off the force.

“The remainder should be properly trained to discover that force is not always necessary, and brutality is always wrong.”

Americans are already drawing comparisons with the beating of a black man, Rodney King, in Los Angeles in 1991.

The officers accused of that incident were acquitted by a jury, sparking riots across the city which left 53 people dead.

Winter, spring, summer or fall….


Van Gogh didn’t cut off his own ear. According to German art historians, he made up the story to protect his friend Paul Gauguin who cut it off with a sword during a fight.

Years ago, me and my old flatmate Mickey Flynn had a punch-up while trying to stand upright on a mattress on his bedroom floor. I was punching him on the the nose and he was smashing me round the head with a squash racket— taking turns to deliver our blows: whack, ping, whack, ping. Lots of claret about but I don’t remember any sword being involved, any more than I remember what the fight was over. I know it would have been Guinness-fueled as our off-licence didn’t sell Absynth at the time. Bloody hurt though.

gal_douglas_kirk_5
I suppose it’s the nature of friendships that sooner-or-later they involve full-blown rows. Most of us don’t reach for the Wilkinson, like Gauguin apparently did, but history is littered with mates who have fallen out: Julius Caeser and Mark Anthony; McBeth and Banquo; Mike and Bernie Winters— all friends and brothers who fell out, with varying degrees of violence.

I suppose here you’d expect me mention the jaw-dropping in-fighting within the Labour Party at the moment, with former friends and colleagues lining up to have a swing at Gordon Brown (texture like sun). Hazel Blears, Charles Clarke and David Blunkett—all chums and workmates who’ve reached for the squash racket and swung at the PM over the past few days.
Well I’m not going to mention that. Politicians, especially this lot, can never really be expected to remain loyal to anyone but themselves, and what goes around comes around—Gordon did his share of mud-slinging when his old mate Tony was dragging his feet leaving office. I have to say I did chuckle in amazement when Blunkett said Labour should avoid any more “self-inflicted” wounds. That’ll be D.Blunkett MP—the man who resigned twice over a couple of bouts of brazen naughtiness.

It doesn’t really matter, to be honest. Just a few weeks after GB‘s G20 triumph when he was set to save the world, his own little world seems to be collapsing around him in a whirlwind of bad judgement, bad luck and bad company. Half of me thinks he’ll be glad to get shot of the job and let the Party opposite pick up the pieces of the train wreck. It ain’t gonna get much better in the foreseeable future, whatever his (present) mate Darling thinks, so maybe the best thing might be to let the other mob have a go for a while, and hope they take the blame for some of it. On the other hand, dear old Gordon waited so long for his stint in the limelight he’s almost certainly reluctant to leave the stage.

Never a frown with Gordon Brown

Never a frown with Gordon Brown

There’s another chilling factor to consider. Blair won a landslide (Thing’s can only get better) because there was a huge part of the electorate who’d forgotten or never knew what a Labour administration was like. in 1997 the memory of Callaghan’s shambles was a distant memory to most, an entry in a history book to others. We’re about to witness something similar next year: There are people who will vote next year who would have been very, very young when Thatcher, Normo Tebbs, Aitken, Archer, Tarzan, Lawson et al had their snouts in the trough and led the single-most arrogant and wicked Government this country has ever seen. You think THIS lot are bad? Those Tories were Masters of Evil. Money grabbing, crooks who viewed the ordinary voter with staggering contempt and disdain. So when the landslide happens at the polling booths next year, which bar a miracle it surely will, we’ll be faced with one, two maybe three terms of that lot before the voters forget enough about Gordon and his feckless buffoons to vote Labour in again. That could be 15 years of Cameron. 15 years of Theresa May and Liam Fox. 15 years of George Osborne. Time to hand out the cutlasses

 

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Masters of None


DV490084The weather forecasters got it wrong again. They told me it’s warming up, yet all I keep seeing are photos of Policemen in balaclavas—must have been freezing at that g20 demonstration. Silvermans must be doing a roaring trade in wooly headgear for Constable Savage, poor love obviously feels the cold. They also sell duct tape for covering-up those annoying shiny lapel numbers. It’s nice to see there are some retailers who have inadvertently benefited from the financial collapse. I shall wait to purchase my cold weather gear til the bitter gales off the Thames rip around the Valley of Lost Dreams and nibble about me vitals. It’ll be sad enough watching a season involving the likes of Yeovil and Hartlepool, let along enduring a north-easterly unprotected. I’m sure that nice Bobby behind the goal will lend me his if I ask him.
It’s 1981 since we were in the 3rd tier of the english league and, to be brutally honest, it’s no more than we deserve. Playing against the best was great while it lasted but let’s get back to what we know best: pub football, where the only use of ‘wonder-goal’ is when someone wonders if we’ll ever score a goal again and the rotation-system is the one used by fans queuing for the urinals, not by the manager for the squad. There are many upsides to third division football, one of which being you’ll always get in, another is there’s plenty of room to stretch out, and if you get to the ground early enough you get a game.

A packed Valley awaits the teams

A packed Valley awaits the teams

If only the Charlton back four obeyed orders as well as the boys-in-blue did on April 1st. Someone (could it have been Daisy Boo of they Yard?) gave the ‘balaclavas on’ order, the bugle played “Tape-Up”, then came the ’99 call’ and a beautifully choreographed sortie began into the massed ranks of 3rd Battalion Swampy. I’m sure there were a lot lot of herberts there, spoiling for a punch-up in the demo that day—there usually are—I just, as yet, haven’t seen footage of a copper getting a pasting. As in all conflicts there were civilian casualties as a policeman with a truncheon and a riot shield has never been a precision weapon of war. If the end hadn’t been so tragic it’d be almost laughable that a large number of these acts of brutality were caught on CCTV — the very same ones that so many have called an invasion of privacy, and those that the Old Bill use as part of their own daily life. I’m sure there’s absolutely no connection between the Hendon Brigade trying to mask their id numbers and faces and the fact they knew that they’d be on camera. Charlton have been on tv camera for years and they’ve never been as devastating in attack as Her Majesty’s Finest were on that fateful day.
I notice that in a last ditch-effort to recover whatever credibility she has left, Jacqui Smith has released the Hillsborough disaster “secret files” ten years earlier than is necessary. Quite why they weren’t released immediately, and why the South Yorkshire Police will still have control of the documents (and not an independent inquiry) is beyond me. They’ll show that Liverpool fans were originally investigated for what happened that day, following the knee-jerk accusations of crowd trouble and football violence that spread like wildfire that day and over the following days. What they won’t show by the time any independent body gets its hands on the files is who in the SYP was to blame, what conversations and interviews took place between officers, and which were hushed-up. Will this new info allow for prosecutions for 96 deaths? Have the police really changed in 20 years since Hillsborogh (twelve of which under a supposedly socialist government) ?
Let’s hope the family of the G20 victim Ian Tomlinson won’t have to wait 20 years til they get their answers. But I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Vile Bodies


Hats off again to Constable Savage. That’s one less defenceless newspaper vendor we need to worry about. As reported by The Guardian this morning a copper, in a move which they call at Hendon “The Belgrano Manoeuvre”, carried out a complete surprise attack with devastating effect on a slow-moving, ageing man, peacefully walking in the opposite direction. Thank Christ England scrum-halves aren’t armed with truncheons or who knows what damage Danny Care would do on the field of play? Savage will doubtless be given the key to the tea-urn back at the station house and a free go on the Taser. Sadly the kin of the victim, Ian Tomlinson, will be more concerned with a different sort of urn. Well done the lads at The Grauniad. Doubtless there’ll be a full and frank internal police investigation.

Charing Cross, sir? Of course, sir: Down the road, second on the left.

Charing Cross, sir? Of course, sir: Down the road, second on the left.

There was a lot of bloodshed that day, most of it none-too-serious, though worrying none-the-less. But the cameras did pick up on a protester who’d had his teeth knocked out by the Police. It’s a good thing the lovely Clare Balding wasn’t commentating on the demos— she’d have told the poor guy he looked much better. The perfectly-formed Clare (perfectly-formed, that is, if you like your women to look like Colin Montgomery‘s big sister) suggested on live tv that winning jockey of last weekend’s Grand National, Liam Treadwell, could now afford to get his dodgy teeth fixed. She has since apologised saying she meant no offence. Well nor do I when I say this: Fuck off you fat, charmless, Thelwell, drag-act.

A Mrs Doubtfire Convention: Balding and Monty

A Mrs Doubtfire Convention: Balding and Monty

Now then, where was I ? Ah yes. Incidents like the above are, of course, keeping the already-stretched NHS on its toes. Imagine therefore my joy when I heard that Johnny Taxpayer is forking out 40 million quid a year to keep our hospitals staffed with chaplains. No, not silent movie actors, but priests. It’s deemed a worthy use of our cash to employ Vicars, Vergers, Rabbis etc so that, in our hour of need, we can repent/confess/convert to a man of the cloth. Wonderful. I wouldn’t want that cash to be spent on nurses or cleaners, Oh No! Let’s have a chorus of Morning Has Broken while I’m on my last legs. The Right Rev who was interviewed by the BBC stated that at his hospital they had at their disposal Catholics, Anglicans, Sikhs, Muslems and Buddah-knows-what-else in case of a religious emergency, and all on my Nat Insurance Stamp. I have in the past screamed out to the Greater Being during the more probing of examinations, but I don’t need to pay for someone to hold my hand and rattle his rosaries while its happening. I’d rather fork out for someone to knock out the doctor who’s got his finger up my arse.
dickemerybbc-998
What do these blokes do while waiting to go into action? Is there a room where they sit and wait for it to all kick-off? Do they play cards or darts together til the alarm sounds like in Thunderbirds? The eyes in a photo of Vishnu on the wall start flashing and a Hindu Holy man leaps into action, scrubs up and off to the isolation ward?
Whoyagonnacall ? DEVIL DODGERS!!

All of this leads me to news of the world’s first face-and-hand transplant—on a burns victim, as it happens. Anyone who has suffered the misery of sitting through John Travolta’s Face Off will realise not only how complicated this operation is, but also how truly awful the subsequent movie will be. Will Nick Cage ever make a decent flick again? I doubt it. But there’s something oddly enticing about a face transplant (especially if you don’t have to endure first-degree burns to qualify for one). Can you choose what, or rather who you want to look like? Now that Monty’s face has been stolen by a horse in jodhpurs (see above), and given that not all operations are a success (Andrew Lloyd Webber’s face was put on inside-out) I wonder if I could apply to look like either Hugh Grant or The Daily Lama? I’d like to hear what a South London accent coming out of their faces would be like. And while we’re at it can I get even smaller hands than I have now? There’re hidden advantages to having small hands. For starters, certain things look bigger when you hold them with small hands.

All together now:
“Pinning in the teeth…
Pinning in the teeth
We shall come rejoicing…
T-Insert Wires0567265811

How Many Roads Must a Man Walk Down?


You need militants on a demonstration. You need passion and commitment and a sense of purpose. If you’re undecided or wishy-washy your march is never gonna get off the ground. Can you imagine the leader of the Liberal Party (Simon Pegg, I think his name is) organising a demo? It’d be as effective as a solar panel in Salford. “What do we want?: DON’T KNOW; When do we want it?: SOME TIME IN THE NEAR FUTURE, IF IT’S NOT TOO MUCH TROUBLE” is not gonna get anyone excited.

So you need heart. You need drive. Often, some of this passion boils over into violence which is why we see thousands of Plod on the streets of London this morning, having had Knacker cancel all leave. Shame. But we are (up to a point, Lord Copper) exercising our right to demonstrate, and a march without passion or a smidge of violence becomes a ramble— and the Church organises those, complete with kagools and sponsorship forms. No thanks.

I was 13 when my brother took me on my first demo— The Rock Against Racism/Anti Nazi League march from Trafalgar Square to Victoria Park in East London (30th April 1978, for anyone taking notes). Fucking miles! But it was fantastic. Hundreds of thousands (Police estimate:143) of like-minded people marching for a common cause: crush racism in the UK. It was 1978 and the National Front were becoming a little strong for our liking, so we marched in protest. And we sang. “The National Front is a Nazi Front, SMASH THE NATIONAL FRONT We sang it all day. For mile after mile. We ALL sang it. It was bleedin tedious.

RAR_carnival_78_poster

Google Maps tells me the direct route between Trafalgar Square and the park is 5.9 miles. Well we didn’t go the straight route (Plod diverted us away from the posh bits in the City) and my brilliant 13 yr old mind told me we walked at LEAST 15 miles. 15 miles of singing the same song. It was like listening to a Morrisey Album all afternoon: torture. But it was a thrill for me at a tender age: collecting ANL and RAR badges. AND placards, and leaflets and flyers and pamphlets. Oh! Think of the Trees, Mike, all that wood n paper!!! well this was BGB (Before Geldof and Bono) and no-one gave a monkeys about the planet or the rainforest. A witty cardboard slogan nailed to a lovely bit of 4×2 was the weapon of choice for both pacifist and anarchist.

The Author (back row, third from left), prepares to leave Trafalgar Square. Note bad haircut

The Author (back row, third from left), prepares to leave Trafalgar Square. Note bad haircut

I was proud to have my photo taken by the Police snapper when it was my turn to carry the big banner (what DID they think I was gonna do?) waved at the spotters on the roofs, and ran away quickly when some of the bigger boys started lobbing stuff at the police. But on the whole it seemed to me to be a good-natured event, (I swear that copper was smiling as they wiped the blood from his head) and it ended with my first rock concert in the park and my first sight of Joe Strummer and the boys. I was in heaven.
So we had one message and one march. And one song.

Fast forward to today. Sit down, I have something to tell you: One of today’s marches goes from London Bridge to The Bank of England.That’s a distance of less than a mile. I have longer nostril hair than that !!

Come on guys, put a bit of effort in.

And the coalition of beefs these people have is mind-boggling: Anti Banks, Anti War, Anti Welsh, Save the Planet, Reclaim the Streets, Right to Work, Right to Left, Anarchists, Pacifists, Cyclists, Monarchists, Buggerists, Typists the list is endless. What are they gonna sing? Is there a running order? (mind you, by the time the London Bridge mob reach their destination they’d have hardly had time for a couple of lines of We Shall Overcome). As far as I’m aware they won’t be passing a McDonalds, a Shell garage, or a branch of Barclays: all classic targets for the mob (I still mourn the end of South Africa House demos). Perhaps they can get more miles under their belts by marching round and round in circles a la American pickets in episodes of The West Wing, Columbo etc. (Why DO they go round in circles??)

Say Cheese!

Say Cheese!

So let’s hope for a good clean fight today. We won’t throw lamp posts at you if you put away the CS gas and the horses. We promise not to lynch anyone, if you promise not to lie about the numbers attending. AND if you’re gonna single us out and snap potential “troublemakers” at least make the pics available to us, so that years from now I’ll have a copy of the photo for my blog.
Up the Revolution !!