Fashion Victim

There goes one of those

Young 1950s ladies

I think she is late

.

n.b. August, 2019, on the London bound train, a woman walked through the carriage dressed in Young Fogey clothing, (smartly turned out with a wide-brimmed straw hat as big as an archery target that sat on her shoulders).

Why would you want to dress in a fashion reminiscent of living in post-war Britain with all its grieving, Blitz damage, rationing, smog and the evolving Cold War?

Preparation for “No Deal” Brexit?

.

CLP 03/08/2019

Advertisements

On Dorset IX (of XIII)

Roughly hewn stone quay

Cut through cliff on gullied path

Rum run, duty free

.

n.b. The coastline of Dorset, its back lanes and ancient tracks marking routes to pre-Roman settlements, avoiding the old toll roads of the King’s Highways were busy with smuggling as decommissioned soldiers and sailors sought ways to make a living after wars with Spain and later France.

Will we see a return to large-scale smuggling from Europe when the UK leaves its nearest and most valuable trading bloc partner? The Royal Navy has much to do and few resources to hand. We will see how free enterprise evolves with a depleted police service and small scale navy to enforce regulations and tarrifs.

Watch this space, or rather watch these spaces; voids left to be filled by Austerity and Brexit. Meanwhile if you want to save money on your income, hide ill-gotten gains, the UK and its islands (Isle of Man, Cayman Isles, Turks & Caicos, British Virgin Islands, even Gibraltar) are open for business. Welcome aboard!

CLP 20/07/2019

On Dorset V (of XIII)

Spirit of revolt

Now just anarchist cartoons

Sprayed in seaside town

n.b. The graffiti reads

“…you won’t fool the children of revolution” This is a chorus line from a song by Marc Bolan, who sang in his band T Rex.

Dorset is the home of organised labour in the United Kingdom. Each July the Tolpuddle Martyrs are remembered during a festival that centres on the sycamore tree under which local farm workers met to discuss how to organise themselves to challenge the exploitative nature of their employers.

Landworkers’ rights in 1834 were still based on the feudal system that had been in place in Wessex under Saxon lords, before the viscious Norman invasion of 1066 CE.

In the early 19th Century many West Country workers were heading for the newly established industrial towns of the West Midlands that offered year round employment. Seasonal work on the land with accommodation commonly provided on a tied basis was tough to break out from and machinery was being introduced that replaced workers and increased profits. Wages for farm workers were being cut year on year.

Those workers who stayed on the land had been pushed to the point of desperation by landowners. Punishments for dissent were harsh and included the threat of execution.

The landed people of Dorsetshire, with its landlords holding sway, setting the laws as Members of Parliament (only landowners voted) and enforcing laws in the courts as voluntary magistrates, (an unpaid position open to local men of status), were not willing to accept challenge.

The tone of landowners was set in part by King William VI who had spoken against the abolition of slavery in the House of Lords, with the argument that enslaved people of the Caribbean islands lived in better conditions than free Scotsmen and women of the Western Isles, i.e. vassalage was for the greater good.

Fear of revolt by the common people following years of conflict with revolutionary France (from 1789 and officially from 1793) and the Napoleonic Wars (1803 to 1815) and the 1830 Swing Rebellion (in which threshing machines had been trashed by farmworkers and attacks had been made on landlords in Kent and throughout East Anglia), meant the southern counties were heavily mlitarised.

The Royal Navy had a base in Portland, the army had a large garrison in the county town of Dorchester. The Revenue men patrolled the coastlines to try and combat smuggling to try and enforce tarrifs on imported alcohol and other luxuries. Over 1,200 items were placed under tarrifs at this time.

Any hint of the mass of population organising to ask for “more” of the little they were allowed, (as Oliver Twist would dare do in Charles Dickens’ novel of 1837), was quickly jumped on and severly punished. At Tolpuddle the putative Friendly Society of Agricultural Labourers were rounded up and transported to Australia. They were discussing what to do following a third pay cut in three years.

Following uproar at the severity of this punishment, a pardon was granted in 1837 and the men eventually returned home in 1839. There had been a petition of 800,000 signatures and a protest march in London. Donations sustained the bereft families, whilst the sentence of penal servitude (slavery) was imposed on the men. By trying to squash these voices, the people rose up.

This is far removed from a pathetic bit of spray paint on a wall in the seaside resort of Weymouth in post-Thatcher England, but good to see that the idea of revolution is not yet dead, (although of course Brexiteers pretend that they are revolting against European oppression, whilst voting for Christmas like chlorinated turkeys).

CLP 16/07/2019

LEC Fridge in a Ditch

IMG_9007

Reflecting chilled winter sky

Thrown amongst fresh nettles

Down with creeping ivy

In a cool ditch

With iced rainwater

Here’s someone’s LEC fridge-freezer

Dumped

 

Until reported and collected

By two men on a special trip out in a van

After e-mails, phone calls, fuel, wages, engine emissions

CFCs drip out from the disposed equipment

 

Hey! The horse has bolted

Just leave the stable door open

As you left it

The hinges are probably fucked anyway

From neglect.

 

I expect that whoever did this

Got a brand new unit for Christmas

For the UK’s Gross Domestic Product that’s a plus

In the Land where Time went Backwards

The price of everything is counted

And nothing of worth is valued.

 

n.b. Another perfect example of the knock-on effects of Austerity government economic policy. Our most vulnerable people being harmed. Our environment damaged. Meanwhile those in Government focus on breaking ties with our closest and most valuable trading partners. The United Kingdom is a failing nation.

 

CLP  24/12/2018