Monday, 11 May 2015

England, My England

"As I write, 

highly civilised human beings 

are flying overhead,

 trying to kill me....."

-England Your England, George Orwell* 

"Trying to turn back time 

is as futile 

as trying to get

 an energy company 

to lower its prices."

-Charlotte Church

The national headline is a sad face emoticon, proof that the state of the nation and my self deprecating online persona are merging rapidly.

British politics is not a rational game, it is not a sensible game and it is not a kind game. It is gleefully violent, outrageously cruel, past the line obscene, Saw Movie blood thirsty and end of the pier ridiculous.

British politics has no etiquette. 

Why is the goose-step

 not used in England? 

 It is not used 


the people in the street 

would laugh.

It is Clive Martin, the greatest writer in the country, tweeting nonce in block capitals to Conservative politicians, it is Charlie Brooker saying I hope she fucking walked to Natalie Bennett from his set design sofa, it is every episode of Goggle Box, the best social history, social document, this side of the British Library.

It is the Tapper family tears in their eyes laughing as Ed Miliband falls over, it is Ed Miliband eating a sandwich, it is Ed Miliband crying, it is Nick Clegg crying, it is Nick Clegg in a car park whilst the Siddiqui family say so flatly 'that's the mark of a man in exile'.

 It is the Guardian colouring book of David Cameron bottle feeding a lamb, it is when I was sleepy and accidentally said David Cameron breast feeding a lamb, it is Steve Bell's condom headed Cameron, creative uses of the word cunt and the phrase tory cunts and tory scum, it is the game show broadcasts of politicians whaling over each other. And of course it is every facebook status type out if you voted UKIP or Conservative pls unfriend me (smiley face emoticon.)

And most of all it is Paddy Ashton half chewed fedora:


British politics is not subtle or balanced because it does not need to be. It has never needed to be. 

 The English electoral system,

 for instance, is an all 

but open fraud.

 In a dozen obvious ways

 it is gerrymandered 

in the interest 

of the moneyed 


It is them or us, out or in, everything is fucked or everything is awesome. 

But is not England 

notoriously two nations,

 the rich and the poor? 

Dare one pretend

 that there is anything 

in common 

between people with £100,000 

a year

and people with £1 

a week? *

Party in the cul-de-sac or riot in the street.

 It has fallen so far into parody that Russell Brand is set to symbolise the left and Nigel Farage the right.

 Sidenote: Russell Brand is trademarking his spelling of the word revolution.


I am critical of an authentic working class and cringe at the word Tory, a  ghost phrase from an Old Labour that no longer exists. But this isn't the time to quibble semantics. 

I always feel the most working class during an election I suppose, class is an embodiment, a heritage, a history. And there is almost a need for a bolded disclaimer label printed over any content I write, any social media stuff I reblog, middle classes this is not for you, not right now, not like this. And how corny is that? 

But in all societies

 the common people 

must live 

to some extent 


the existing order.

Charlie Brooker joked that the TV party debates was a great opportunity for each politician explaining their unique point, their beliefs their polices. 


*cut to stock video clip of clegg/cameron/miliband emitting a high pitched moan in perfect unison*

(It is not about being taken seriously, it is about being heard.)

And the same applies to history.

Have you ever had a tab open, watching a movie on putlocker, spam ad talking, second browser u forgot about started playing three days later. They crash eventually, they always do (unless you have to hold the power button and shut it down yourself).

The miner's strikes, the poll tax riots, the 'great' fire of london, st paul's occupy, student protests, London riots, the London olympics, the BNP, V day, the EDL, empire, India, the blackshirts, the Blitz, Bullingdon year pics, 2 world wars and 1 world cup, Cable street, Tony Benn, Tony Blair, John Major, all buffering, all loading, ready to play when you least expect, making you jump from your overcrowded Chrome. 

What can the England 

of 1940 have in common

 with the England of 1840? 

But then, 

what have you in common 

with the child of five whose 

photograph your mother keeps on 

the mantelpiece? Nothing, 


that you happen 

to be

 the same person.

And in the DC Batman/Patrick Bateman occupation of London, the martyr's death of the Joiner's Arms and the 2012 Olympics, sometimes it takes a playground pinch to the neck to restore the capital to its nonsensical self.

The Stock Exchange will be pulled down, 

the horse plough 

will give way to the tractor,

 the country houses 

will be turned into

 children’s holiday camps, 

the Eton and Harrow match

 will be forgotten,

 but England 

will still be England,

 an everlasting animal 

stretching into the future 

and the past, 

and, like all living things,

 having the power

 to change out of recognition

 and yet remain the same.

*(note: all text by George Orwell from here on in marked in yellow)


And even Welsh and Scottish readers are likely to have been offended because I have used the word ‘England’ oftener than ‘Britain’, as though the whole population dwelt in London and the Home Counties and neither north nor west possessed a culture of its own.

There is no question about the inequality of wealth in England. It is grosser than in any European country, and you have only to look down the nearest street to see it. Economically, England is certainly two nations, if not three or four. 

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