Psst….. Yeah, you……

No posts for months. Two months, in fact, the longest I’ve ever gone without posting. I’d lost my passwords and had a major broadband meltdown at home.

Work – paid-for work anyway – has been various, from supply teaching to language teaching to teaching on a film set, which mostly involves eating free cake in a trailer on your own. In all of these cases, broadband access has been well, variable is probably the fairest description.

My home broadband just broke. I spent weeks trying to fix it but like the nonsense of O2’s mobile phone signal (if that’s not too strong a word for it) in my particular rural area on the top of a hill on the edge of a debateably haunted airfield, it didn’t really happen. So I’m waiting until civilisation returns on 3rd January, when a new provider comes to re-connect me to real life.

That and losing my passwords. You see, if I’d kept them all the same like any normal person there wouldn’t have been a problem. Just that when you’re out of the habit of doing something you forget exactly what you used to do automatically. Matron.

But back now, anyway.

And yes, I missed you too. Happy Christmas one and all.


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Long day-works

Summertime. And the living is queasy.
Summertime. And the living is queasy.

Back when I was at uni, when now-respectable professors happily got their kit off for photos, which is a story that needn’t bother you now, I did Sociology. Or as Paul McCartney nearly put it, Sociology did me. One of the pitifully few things I remember about any of it was the concept of time being introduced to work with the introduction of factories, whistles, time-sheets and clocking-on. Before that in summer there were long day-works and in the absence of artificial light in winter, short ones.

Tomorrow is going to be a long one, not just because it’s summer, although the weather says otherwise here. More because I’ve got to get s train ticket with a code and codes, in my experience, don’t always work. If that sounds like me just being old, I bought one of the first airline ticketless tickets, back in 2003. It didn’t eork. Nobody knew what to do with the bit of paper with the code on it at Heathrow, the printer there wasn’t working, the last plane I’d tried to catch there someone had tried to blow up and I’d spent £2,500 on Business Class tickets. Chiefly because someone else was paying. The ticket still didn’t work though.

Tomorrow I could go and get my tickets after I’ve gone to the post office and the opticians and just casually stroll up, tap my code receipt in and like a normal person, go to London. But what if it doesn’t work? If I go now and it doesn’t work at least I get a whole evening to panic about it. Because tomorrow is a bit important. I’ve got a job interview tomorrow lunchtime for something I’d like to do. After that, almost unplanned, or certainly not planned when I bought my ticket, I’m pitching Janni Schenck, the screenplay what I wrote, at Raindance. In front of money people. In front of producers. In front of people who could say “we’re going with this. Here’s some money to not sell it to anyone else while we sort out some stuff about it.”

I haven’t thought about what accent they’d use, yet. Might not happen. But it could. If my ticket works, obviously. If I can decide what to wear. And I can find somewhere to park. All kinds of things.

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Closing down the options

There are things you’re allowed to say, these days. And other things you’re not. Increasingly, you’re not allowed to ask certain questions.

An opinion for all seasons. But you aren't supposed to mention that.
        An opinion for all seasons. But you aren’t supposed to mention that.

Not because you don’t need to know, but because the answers will embarass somebody else. Somebody who doesn’t have the answers.

Who ought to. Because that’s their job. But becaue they patently havent done their job that’s not their fault, but yours. So we won’t be talking about it and that’s official. Now get back to watching Kendra On Top or The Only Way Is Essex or whatever it is people like you do all the time.

Allowable debate.
                                 Allowable debate. Talk about this all you like.

You can’t have failed to notice Boris Johnson (eezalarf, innee?) doing his usual “as Pericles put it” act over Europe. This week he doesn’t want to be part of a Europe that will let 77 million Turks come to the UK. Let’s assume, for a second, that that’s what they’d all do, because of the generous benefits system and the bountiful job opportunities which benefit Schrodinger’s Immigrant, the one who takes your job and sits on the dole at the same time.  Let’s assume Turkey gets membership of the EU. Which is more than moot, for a host of reasons. Why or more pertinently how won’t Turkish people be able to come into the UK if the UK isn’t part of the EU? And what will the IRA have to say about it? Or the Ulster Unionists? Or Sinn Fein?

It’s a serious question but nobody even wants to ask it. Because if the UK did leave the EU, the only physical way it could stop EU migrants coming into the UK would be to close the border with Eire. Passport control. Visas. A big, big fence. Customs posts. Immigration checks. At the moment you just drive through a border that’s just a line on a map. Nobody checks your pasport. Nobody asks you the purpose of your visit. There isn’t anybody there to even ask you. A bit like the fearless UK media, and this question itself.

If the UK leaves then any EU citizen who wanted to get in would Easyjet to Dublin and get on the next coach north. And they’re in, miraculously taking your job and sitting around doing nothing at the same time, according to the tabloid press. Who haven’t mentioned any of this.

Docklands, 9/2/96. Non-allowable debate.
Docklands, 9/2/96. Non-allowable debate.

In case you’ve forgotten, not very long ago there were riots and bombs taking out half of Docklands because some people wanted a united Ireland. A whacking great wall across it isn’t going to significantly further this ambition, so far as I can see.

It’s not debated. It’s not discussed. It just isn’t a question anyone is allowed to ask. And it makes me sad that this is the level of debate now. Tony Blair gets wheeled out to make people do the oposite of anything he says, presumably, while this fairly big issue, one which could kick over the whole balance of the Good Friday agreement and make every tabloid editor re-calibrate the dial on the suto-hate press machine from Moslems to Irish people isn’t even being mentioned. But obviously, we needn’t trouble our pretty little heads about it. Grown-ups like Boris and Blair will sort it all out, the same way they always do. With a big war we can’t afford, that’s built on lies, whcih does nothing but destabalise the area and that we’ll lose, if their track record is anything to go by.

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