Friday, June 24, 2016


AWAY FROM IT ALL..

I suppose I should be over the moon following the surprise result in the EU Referendum - after all, I`ve been going on about it for some years now.  And, of course, I welcome the choice the British people have made to put  priceless democracy above narrow self-interest.  As a result, we seem to be embarking on a bit of a mystery tour;  where will it take us?  Where will it end? With Dave calling it a day, who will be the next Prime Minister?  And, unlike the neanderthal Gordon Brown, whoever it is must surely call an early election in order to legitimise his or her Premiership. 

The Scots, led by the dogged nationalism of Jimmy Crankie will surely use that opportunity to demand another referendum on Scotland remaining part of the United Kingdom - and maybe Northern Ireland will jump on the same bandwagon too.  And across the Channel, demands in the Netherlands for the Dutch to have their own Nexit, the Danes a Dexit, the French a Frexit seem to be gaining momentum on the back of Brexit.

So, we have a good deal of mayhem ahead - there may be teardrops to shed ;  but while there`s moonlight and laughter and love and romance, I feel like getting away from it all for a while.  Somewhere like Portloe, where I took this photo about a month ago and where all the sound and the fury seems not to matter quite as much.   Well, I did promise some nice photos.......



Wednesday, June 22, 2016

DOWN YOUR WAY....

OK.  Back to the music.  About 30 years ago during a former life, I was asked to be interviewed for the then Radio Medway`s (it`s now BBC Radio Kent, having spread its wings) series based on the national `Down Your Way` programme.  

The format was pretty straightforward - the BBC presenter would visit a local village, chat to local people and ask them each to choose a piece of music they would like to hear on the radio. 

When it came to my turn I was `advised` to choose something that would not disturb the peace of Sunday afternoon too much - as that was when the programme was broadcast - and I recalled from the days of my boyhood, listening to Down Your Way on my parents` old Cossor Steam Radio that people used to choose things like `In a Monastery Garden,` Mantovani, lots of Elgar and Ivor Novello  - stuff like that.

I thought I should try and push the BBC`s envelope a bit, introduce some edginess into the proceedings, see whether they would go along with my carefully considered `choice.`  To my surprise, they did and dutifully played this ELO classic from their `Time` album.    I thought it rather fitted my image as a modern man back in those faraway 1980s..........I`m still trying    Here`s `21st Century Man............





Monday, June 20, 2016

THE FINAL COUNTDOWN...


As this extraordinary `campaign` for the EU Referendum reaches the final countdown in the next few days, I hope I`m not alone in being fed up with all the claims and counter claims, the confusion of statistics, promises, pledges, forecasts, reports and `expert opinion.`

For me at least, whilst determinedly hanging on to the courage of my convictions, I wonder if our `leaders` realise that the more I feel I am being treated as some lectured, threatened, bullied and dimwitted peasant, the more determined I become to resist all of that and cast my vote in the opposite way to that which I am being hectored to do.

Come Friday when, thank God it will all be over, I suspect that once again I will find myself not only in a minority but also disappointed at the outcome.   But, hey, I`m a Saints fan and I know all there is to know about disappointment and bewilderment, especially now that the Chairman of the Premier League has today confirmed that `all 20 clubs currently in the Premier League are in favour of remaining in the EU.`  Well, that`s that then.  I`ll go back to posting some nice photos and some decent music.


Saturday, June 18, 2016

A MISGUIDED GESTURE ?...


Now, I realise that what I am about to say may find disagreement with some who read these pages and I confirm absolutely that it is not my intention either to diminish the significance of recent events or to lessen the discomfort felt by any right minded person faced with the news of the wanton murder of Jo Cox, the MP for Batley and Spen.

Of course, on any scale, the fatal attack she suffered on the streets of Birstall is a tragedy for her family, her friends, colleagues and constituents and I certainly add my condolences and my sympathy to them.

But, it takes "a matter of major national importance" for the Government to ask the Speaker to recall parliament - something that has happened only 28 times since 1948, the last being in September 2014 to discuss events in Syria   But parliament is being recalled on Monday so that tributes can be paid to Jo Cox.   It is, of course, well meant and doubtless sincere but it might just call into question the wisdom of doing so for, admittedly, a much respected MP, a strident campaigner and, most important of all, a wife and mother, but who has only been an MP for a little over a year. 

With all respect to Jo Cox, the last time parliament was recalled in order to pay tribute to an MP was when tributes were paid to Baroness Thatcher.  The Party Leaders are perhaps right in describing Jo Cox`s murder as `an attack on democracy,` so it is also surprising that the Conservatives have decided not to contest the by-election for the vacancy in Batley and Spen caused by this tragic event, thus arguably compromising the very democracy they claim is `under attack.`.

Virtually every day someone somewhere in the UK gets murdered;  most go unnoticed, some even unrecorded in the media and most are dealt with quietly and with dignity by families, friends and by clubs or societies of which the deceased was a member.   And so I just wonder whether, on this occasion, the `club` that is Westminster might be a little misguided in their reaction to the appalling loss of one of their own? 

Not for the first time, I suspect I may be in a minority and possibly out of sync with the national mood.   Maybe I`m just getting older and older.....maybe it`s just me.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

A GOOD IDEA.....


I really don`t want to get into all the stuff about next week`s EU referendum - there`s too much sound and fury right now;  too much heat, too little light.   And anyway I made my mind up how I`m going to vote yonks ago, my decision based on some sort of innate aversion to encouraging the inevitability of a United States of Germany.

But I couldn`t help notice that yesterday the President of the European Council, one Polish gentleman by the name of Donald Tusk, warned that the UK voting to leave the European Union could be "the beginning of the destruction of Western political civilisation in its entirety."

His remarks brought instant recall of the words of Mahatma Gandhi who, when asked what he thought of Western civilisation, replied that he thought it would be a good idea.

Cant` argue with that.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

THE PLACE TO BE.....

So, I wake up in the south east powerhouse of England, switch on the TV, get the newspaper and it`s all about the mayhem in the world - Orlando, EU Referendum, ISIS, global conflict, biblical migration, financial meltdown, professional thuggery in the European Footy thingy, the wettest flaming June since records began, Ronald Koeman defecting to the honeypot of Everton (of all places) and so I turn to my photos and find a place I would like to be on a morning like this..   And it brings me at least a little sanity.   Maybe it will do the same for you.......

(Please click on photo for larger image)


Friday, June 10, 2016

THE ULTIMATE THREAT.....


Now, let me see if I`ve got this right.   Vote to leave the EU on 23 June and I`m told that these things are likely to happen:-

The UK economy will shrink
Our trading links with EU countries will be drastically affected
Foreign investment in the UK will be seriously reduced
Public services - especially the NHS - will have to be cut back
Taxes will rise
People will lose their jobs
Wages will be lower
House prices will fall
Security will be diminished
War might break out in Europe
Britain will lose its place of influence in the world despite being members of NATO and permanent members of the UN Security Council
Pensions will be reduced
The value of shares will plummet
The value of the pound will plummet
Holidays in Europe will be more expensive
......and so on and on and on and on.....

The threats are clearly building up and, as Referendum Day approaches, I quite expect them to continue and multiply.   It really would not surprise me to hear before long that we will have the ultimate threat of all.  You know the one.  Verbal Kint will tell us all, "If you vote Brexit, Keyser Soze will come and get you."