Yesterday I went up to London with my family: my brother, my two sisters, and my niece, Beatrix. We caught the 10.24 from Whitstable. This is the earliest direct train to Victoria in off-peak hours. There used to be two trains an hour going to Victoria. Now there is only one. It used to take an hour and 20 minutes. It now takes an hour and a half. Trains from Whitstable to London are slower and less frequent than they were in the 19th Century. When we got to the station there was a long queue at the ticket machine outside … Continue reading Bring Back British Rail: Jeremy Corbyn the only choice.
You will have seen the front page headline of the Gazette last week: “Fury over plans to house refugees”. I was a little puzzled by it. Someone obviously doesn’t know the meaning of the word “fury”. To quote my on-line dictionary: “unrestrained or violent anger, rage, passion”. So is someone on Vulcan Close roused to violent anger at the possibility that some migrant children may be moving into their vicinity? People may be concerned; they may be fearful; they may be unhappy, but it would take a very seriously unbalanced person to fly into a rage over it. As it is, some people – … Continue reading Let’s show refugees our compassion
Front page of the Whitstable Gazette last week: “Fury over plans to house refugees”. Pardon? Did I hear that right? There’s an unused building in Whitstable; there’s some homeless, traumatised children – that’s the meaning of the term “unaccompanied minor” – and somebody is “furious” about it; someone objects? What has become of us, that we treat young people seeking refuge this way? The victims of wars that our political and economic elites started in order to fill their own pockets. Orphans, driven from their homes by conditions which we helped to create. We don’t even know who these children … Continue reading “Fury” over plans to house refugees
Let’s have a revolution for fun New Statesman & Society 29th July 1994 Photographs by Dave Hendley Awake. awake O sleeper of the land of shadows, wake! expand! I am in you, and you in me, mutual in love divine: … Continue reading Party politics
I’ve just spent the day with my beautiful granddaughter Bella. “Bella” means “beautiful” in Italian. I had a dream about her a few weeks ago. In the dream I was coming down the stairs in a very crowded place. Bella was at the bottom of the stairs, a long way away, but when she spotted me, despite the crowds and the noise, she recognised me immediately and laughed and clapped her hands. It seems like the greatest of privileges to me to have a relationship of trust with a child. The greatest privilege, and the greatest responsibility too. It is … Continue reading Is this the world we want to leave our children?
Have you noticed how the banks have been trying to humanise themselves through their adverts recently? I first noticed it with the Nationwide advert which was aired in the run-up to Father’s Day. It’s a real tearjerker. I won’t go into the details as I’m sure you will have seen it. Suffice it to say that the storyline involves an old scarf which gets lost on the bus, and which a Nationwide employee finds and returns: all set to a simple piano tune and a querulous voice singing deeply emotional words. I don’t know about you, but I find it … Continue reading It’s offensive how banks try to play with our emotions