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Tony Grist

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Getting Things In Proportion [Jun. 30th, 2016|11:08 am]
Tony Grist
The political class's collective decision- at a moment of national crisis- to go off into little huddles and play games of spot the leader amounts to a quite extraordinary dereliction of duty. The known world is collapsing round us and they've concluded it's quite acceptable for there to be no effective prime minister, no government or- though this matters less- no opposition. Really none of these people deserve to be in power.

Meanwhile I see someone has been going over Google Earth, inch by inch, and has spotted a quite enormous pyramid- ten miles across- with a bright light coming out of the top- at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. Though you might assume- from what I've been writing over the past few days- that I'm fascinated by the runnings-around-in-circles of our pygmy leaders the truth is I'm far more interested in this sort of thing...

Anyone out there know the work of Dolores Cannon?
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Put The Poor Thing Out Of Its Misery And Start Again [Jun. 29th, 2016|11:59 am]
Tony Grist
People are talking about a split in the Labour party as if that would be a bad thing- and I can't think why- unless you take the line that change is always for the worst.  As it stands the Labour party is a broken backed alliance between the true believers who sustain things at constituency level and the careerist, neo-liberal chancers who make up the bulk of the parliamentary party. It's a botched up monster off the Island of Dr Moreau that doesn't deserve to live. Shoot it- and let the left reorganise itself into groups of the likeminded.
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Dun-coloured [Jun. 28th, 2016|01:14 pm]
Tony Grist
Britain is an unhappy country right now. I remind myself that I foresaw there being chaos and confusion after the referendum- in fact I believe I put it on record- but even so I'm shocked by the amount of fear and hatred that are zinging about.

"Zinging" is the wrong word. It implies lightness and swordplay. But fear and hatred aren't like that. They're dark and heavy. Think dun-coloured, fiery clouds roiling out of a blast furnace.

I don't think this will be over by Christmas.
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A Resurrection In A Leicestershire Churchyard [Jun. 27th, 2016|10:00 am]
Tony Grist
On second thoughts I don't think 18th century gravestone makers can have had pattern books, because if that had been the case the same designs would crop up all over the country- and they don't. What you get are local and regional styles. For instance, I can't think that crowded figure compositions of the kind I featured in yesterday's post occur anywhere outside the South East- and possibly not outside Kent.

Here's a gravestone featuring resurrection symbolism from Leicestershire- from the churchyard of All Saints, Blaby. It's very different- even though some of the elements are the same.

In Leicestershire they made their gravestones out of slate- which, if not eternal, weathers very much better than friable Kentish sandstone.

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Dereliction Of Duty [Jun. 26th, 2016|07:50 pm]
Tony Grist
The Tories are having a leadership contest and now Labour wants one too. The country is in the throes of the greatest political crisis of the postwar era- and so- obviously- the politicians are going off into corners to enjoy comforting and deeply refreshing circle jerks. Well, I hope they have a lovely time.

The Tories have the excuse that their leader has fucked up and buggered off but Labour still have a leader in place and happy to stay there. His parliamentary colleagues seem to think that they'd do better at the polls if they have a front man or woman who smells more like Tony Blair- which only goes to show how completely out of touch they are with the mood of the country.

This division between the nation and it's political reresentatives is one of the reasons- possibly the root reason- why the referendum went the way it did. For a lot of people it wasn't so much about quitting the EU as about grasping a rare opportunity to show the people up in London just how angry and alienated they feel.
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A Resurrection In A Kentish Churchyard [Jun. 26th, 2016|11:25 am]
Tony Grist
This headstone- dated 1781- is in the churchyard at West Farleigh, near Maidstone. The design is not uncommon;  I've seen versions of it in churchyards all over Kent- but I've never seen one in such good condition.

The masons must have had access to pattern books- because the versions I know are all very similar,  Either that or we're looking at the work of a single mason or school of masons, active over a wide area.

In the centre a deceased person rises from a sarcophagus, on the left an angel blows its trumpet and a tower comes tumbling down, on the right a winged figure- who may be Father Time because it seems to have a beard- triumphs over Death- represented as a crowned skeleton. The winged figure has hold of Death's dart and is breaking it in two.

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Back To Being Unconnected [Jun. 26th, 2016|10:01 am]
Tony Grist
Cameron was booked to attend some sort of military thingy yesterday- and he's still Prime Minister in name so he showed up at it and stood on a rostrum in his suit while lots of soldiers marched past saluting. It was really rather sad.

Apparently there's a petition out there with 2 million names on it demanding that the referendum should be re-run because- oh- something specious. Apparently 2 million of our fellow citizens don't get how democracy works.

If Johnson becomes PM his endearing schtick- part Bertie Wooster, part Mr Tumble- will become unendearing very, very quickly.

Yes, it's a crisis, but we've had them before.

By the way, have you noticed how- as far as the media is concerned- all the world's other crises have gone into abeyance? 
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So Who's Minding The Shop? [Jun. 25th, 2016|01:14 pm]
Tony Grist
Do we still have a government?

Cameron apparently told his aides he didn't see why he should hang around to clear up the mess he'd created- and if that's so I can't see why he's still in number 10.  He's handed in his  resignation-  why doesn't he just go- and pass the job of governing Britain to someone who wants it?

Margaret Hodge has chosen this time-of all times- to try and provoke a vote of no confidence in Jermey Corbyn. So not only do we not have a properly engaged government, we don't have an opposition either.

Flippin' marvellous, innit!  Do any of these people have the interests of the nation at heart?
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A Little More Connected This Time [Jun. 25th, 2016|11:58 am]
Tony Grist

"Smile at us, pay us, pass us, but do not quite forget
That we are the people of England who have not spoken yet"

Perhaps we've spoken now.

I'm not particularly happy with what we found ourselves saying. We were offered a choice of  Tory futures- and we chose the one that would do the most damage to the political and cultural establishment. I don't think we voted to be ruled by Michael Gove or Boris Johnson; I think we voted to smack Cameron's pink chops and  knock the smirk off Osborne's dial.  Osborne was still in office last time I looked. I can't think why...

We didn't, incidentally, vote with our wallets. In the short term, anyway, we voted against our wallets. Did we believe it when the Brexiters promised that all the millions we wouldn't be sending to Europe would be spent on the NHS?  I didn't. And I see that Farage is already saying they didn't really mean it. Well, of course they didn't. They're liars. We always knew they were liars, didn't we? We weren't voting for them

We were voting to upset the apple cart. To smash things up a bit.  Some will say we cut off our nose to spite our face.

There's a lot of anger around. I caught Will Self on the news last night being really horrible to Dreda Say Mitchell. I've never warmed to Self and now I know why. He's the liberal (so-called) version of an angry white man. Last night he was expressing the rage of a metropolitan elite that has been done down by a load of bloody oiks and it wasn't pretty- all sarky and face-pulling and finger-pointy.

This isn't a good place we're in, but Britain hasn't been a good place for the poor and disadvantaged for long, long time. The elite have made sure of that...

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An Omen [Jun. 24th, 2016|04:50 pm]
Tony Grist
Talking about omens- as I was yesterday- when we were still living in the dear dead world- we've just had a white squirrel- a red-eyed albino- come to the feeder. 
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