Greg's Occasional News & Views

18 June 2017

What a pleasant few days – moderately warm and moderately sunny some of the time. The weekend, though, has been stunning!

Now that’s the kind of weather we could come to love and appreciate!

I had a good bike ride last Sunday, a leisurely stroll of about 12 miles through the quiet country lanes around here. A bit too windy for my liking but it was sunny and it’s a very pleasant way to spend an hour or so. One thing though – the ride has helped confirm the recent realisation of my purpose in life. My role is to be that rider puffing and straining up a slight incline which the other hundred and some odd cyclists out on the road can use as motivation as they see me in the distance and then stream past me as if I were standing still. It’s good to be appreciated.

Great excitement on Wednesday with the news that Annabelle had lost her first tooth. It had been loose for a couple of weeks and during our week with them in Cornwall we all placed bets on which day it would finally fall out. I think that Sunday was the only day left when it was my turn to choose but never mind – it fell out on Wednesday which was Nick’s day. It finally came out on her way to Rainbows and it seems there was initially some panic as it couldn’t be located. Thankfully, it was finally found on the floor in the car and the tooth fairy arrived to harvest the tooth in the appropriate fashion. Do you remember the loss of your first tooth? Part of the rich tapestry of growing up.

Perhaps we can persuade her to be a bit more adventurous in removing any further loose teeth as they come along.

I ran across a terrific article in the New York Review of Books by Fintan O’Toole on the British election and the consequences for Brexit and the UK’s world place in the future. Apologies that it’s a bit lengthy – the first paragraph hits the nail well and truly on the head.

Brexit is a back-of-the-envelope proposition. Strip away the post-imperial make-believe and the Little England nostalgia, and there’s almost nothing there, no clear sense of how a middling European country with little native industry can hope to thrive by cutting itself off from its biggest trading partner and most important political alliance …

The Brits want what they can’t possibly have. They want everything to change and everything to go as before. They want an end to immigration – except for all the immigrants they need to run their economy and health service. They want it to be 1900, when Britain was a superpower and didn’t have to make messy compromises with foreigners. To take power, May had to pretend that she, too, dreams these impossible dreams. And that led her to embrace a phoney populism in which the narrow and ambiguous majority who voted for Brexit under false pretences are being re-imagined as “the people” …

May’s appeal to “the people” as a mystic entity came up against Corbyn’s appeal to real people in their daily lives, longing not for a date with national destiny, but for a good school, a functioning National Health Service, and decent public transport. Phoney populism came up against a more genuine brand of anti-establishment radicalism that convinced the young and the marginalised that they had something to come out and vote for.

Nope, you couldn’t make it up!

Love to you all,











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