The rain’s been and gone – a pretend-y Scottish wannabe thunderiness has admitted defeat and there’s a freshness lightly whipping birch leaves and swooshing the 4th floor window.
Who’d guess that this world wasn’t a peaceful nirvana?
We leave for Spain in the early hours of Tuesday morning. Driving the length of the M74 and a bit of the M6 before flying from Manchester T3 to Girona at 7am. So today was a ‘2nd last minute shopping trip’ – indulging wains (the adult type cost way more than the wee wain type) and squabbling and getting a wee bit holiday-happy-excited.
Then we climbed back into the car, switched on the news and heard about atrocities in Tunisia and Kuwait and Lyon.
We drove back in silence.
I can’t write any of this without swearing. I can’t find ugly enough words to spear this anger I’m feeling.
Too fucking much this week. Just too fucking much.
Hatred and pain and suffering everywhere. Dissolution. Disintegration. Like the end of times the shambling religious nutters predict on their sandwich board adverts. The plates are shifting. Whole continents are convulsing. And I sit in a car in a contraflow traffic jam despairing and half-wondering that I’ve enough diesel in the tank to get us home. I disgust even myself,
But it was Blair and Bush fucked us all with their biblical oil and paranoia revenge war. And now we hunker down here, distracting ourselves with effluvial consumerism, cowering and fiddling with nothing that matters – fuck! – whilst people die in their 1000s fleeing from wars that we started.
We refuse to take refugees; we pull up the ladder behind us; we say ‘fuck you’ to the poor and the weak and the distressed.
Everywhere I’ve looked this week it’s been a shitty disgrace.
Two bags of ‘dry, non-perishable food items’ to the food bank. Food fucking bank!! I cannot believe it. That it’s 2015, we live in a rich country and folk haven’t enough food to eat.
£100 donation to the Primary school fund – because there are kids who haven’t a pair of shoes that fit them – and who will only know hand-me-downs and that sense of inferiority. I haven’t seen this for years. Not since I was at school. Not since I hadn’t a pair of shoes myself. Not since my father nearly died and in nearly dying lost his job – and the financial hit nearly sunk my family. I am fucking angry. What kind of society values nuclear weapons and rich hedge fund managers over small bits of wains? How many of those wains will never ever achieve even a fraction of their potential? How much does our society lose with every child whose potential is lost to it?
Then flags and guns in churches and racism. And the ugly sight of the ‘leader of the free world’ mouthing more ineffectual gobshite about gun control and refusing to name the crime: a hate crime; a terrorist act; the act of a white supremacist terrorist who’d have got a gun from somewhere, anywhere to shoot and kill those black folk.
And the wilful blindness of those who won’t see that a) a flag can be a potent symbol of hate – a rallying standard for the ugly folk who want to hurt and maim and kill and b) that ‘removing’ a flag (a fucking symbol!) isn’t going to make all the racist ugliness go away – though I’m singing ‘one more step along the world I go’…
Every flag’s a fucking semaphore shorthand for all we hold precious – for the things we’ll go to the wall for. And I hate every fucking one. Because ultimately they are about excluding ‘the other’ – the non-my-flag-believer.
From the Union Jack to the Saltire; the Red Hand of Ulster and the Tricolour of Eire; the shield of David – and all the ‘proud’ flags my mongrel forebears have borne with such conviction and pride (for they were good people in their hearts I don’t doubt they thought so) – what one would I choose?
I loved my Gran – but why would I choose to fly her red hand? I’ll acknowledge the love I feel for her and honour her memory and understand that they were proud folk who thought they were doing their best and I will not flinch from the history that led to me – but I won’t be flying her flag. That’s progress. She’s history. Her flag – with all its ugly present day associations (to far right paramilitary organisations that have sought to recruit my cousins; to racist white supremacist organisations; to thuggery and extortion and racketeering) – it should be history.
It’s why I can’t have the Saltire in the house – though I’m sorely tempted since that fucker Starkey decided it was Scotland’s swastika ffs.
And then there’s the small daily disappointments – the barely competent managerialism of the governing SNP (bereft of vision or creativity their centralising instincts will be the death of them) and the fucking death stench from the twitching corpse called Scottish Labour here and elsewhere just Labour – neither of them a match for that gobshite Osborne (funny – I went to school with a David Osbourne and he repelled me too – must be something in that name) who has hijacked the narrative. For what it’s worth I predict his changes to tax credits will be his Waterloo. Though of course he’s got that powerful weapon called hate and suspicion and ‘blame the fucker lower than you for everything’ tool that seems to be working so well for him.
Maybe I am just needing a rest.
It’s been a hard few months and I’ve only limped past the finishing line. I have 8 weeks off. 4 of them will be in Spain. I’m not hard done to. I’ve an easy life. Like I’ve said above, I disgust even myself.