Tag Archives: politics

A Very Quick Post

Bribery, bloodshed, Stone Age values, corruption, anarchy…

No, not Game of Thrones, just a comment on the Prime Minister’s disastrous European dealings and her alliance with the Democratic Unionist Party.

I feel ashamed to be governed by these idiots and soiled by the way the future of the country is being decided by the bigots of the DUP.

There was a time when you bribed someone and they stayed bribed but after Theresa May secured the votes of the DUP with promises of billions in aid, they now turn round and are likely to betray her.

At one time you could rely on the venality of politicians, promise some cash and some knighthoods and carry the day.

What is happening.

We even have a power-crazed person of restricted growth – in our case The Speaker, rather than Tyrion Lannister.

Idiots!

 

A Politics Free Post. Well Freeish…

It has always been my intention never to swear on this blog, and never to engage in politics. I’ve also always thought it impolite to comment on heads of state and various laws that strike me as ill-advised. After all, if a nation votes for someone, and their legislature passes laws, who am I to disagree?

Despite the temptation, I am not going to let myself deviate from my personal code.

Elect who you like, and have as many guns as you like, though I would be grateful if you’d keep them at home.

However, I would like to point out that I do not carry a knife when I leave the house. Nor have I ever seen a hospital floor covered in blood or noticed myself living in a war zone.

In the UK we have fewer murders per year than the city of Chicago. We also have fewer snowploughs, though I’m not sure there’s any link between the two statistics.

We haven’t had a school shooting since 1996 when we took decisive action to stop them.  In fact I think we’ve only ever had one school shooting. We have 80 massacres recorded in the UK according to Wikipedia, including two civil wars, a thirty year bombing campaign and the Romans, who make the first entry on the list in 61 AD when they slaughtered the Druids on Anglesey.

If anyone wants to do the research for America I doubt you’ll need to go back that far.

However, that’s getting a little close to criticism, so I’ll leave it there. I just wanted to emphasise that we aren’t all knife-wielding thugs wading through pools of blood as our society slides into a murderous abyss.

We’re actually quite peaceful though if we do take offence at a head of state we have been known to chop their heads off. Sic semper tyrannis, as they say.

The forthcoming State Visit is going to be interesting.

The Bits in Between

I’ve often wondered what happens to people in between the bits they write about in their blogs.

I’m assuming, like me, that people only write about the best, most interesting and positive bits of their lives. So today I’m going to write about all the bits in between – the bits that make me appear lazy, small-minded and xenophobic. This might be news to those of you who already see me as lazy, small-minded and xenophobic, but there are, I promise, further depths to explore.

This morning, for instance, whilst eating a piece of toast and marmalade Julia had made me I pondered the question of whether or not she does it on purpose. She knows I’m trying to cut down on carbs and sugar, and that I’m life-threateningly obese. I’m not sure whether she’s merely absent-minded or whether the toast and marmalade is part of a cunning long-term plan to kill me.

That’s why I watch a lot of crime dramas, it’s research for foolproof ways to murder your spouse. I’m not sure why Julia watches them, but I have my suspicions.

There is an alternative, but that involves getting up earlier and making my own breakfast.

While I was eating the potentially fatal dose of calories I watched TV and muttered about European politics. Just before the EU referendum I was broadly in favour of Europe, but since the vote, with all the posturing of the negotiators, I’ve moved to a position where I’m not.

This mirrors the experience of two of my uncles who had trouble getting out of Europe in the summer of 1940.

Anyway, enough of my growing anti-European bigotry.

After dropping Julia off at work I shouted abuse at a couple of drivers and went back to sleep. I woke up and went back to sleep again. And again. Finally, feeling sluggish, and having wasted an entire morning, I got up.

The launderette was deserted. I’ve stopped going early in the morning as it always seems to be crammed with people trying to avoid the rush. The machine was faulty again and I disobeyed the instruction taped to it by changing programmes mid-wash. This seemed to work and it started washing again.

When I went to the supermarket it all went well until it came time to pay. I had my cards out ready to claim my points and pay when the till operator was asked to help with a problem at the till next door. I don’t know about you, but if it had been me I’d have completed my own sale before doing something else.

I smiled through it, despite being late for picking Julia up from work, even when the machine messed up my contactless payment three times. I find that smiling and being pleasant is character forming, and is good practice for dealing with customers in the shop.

This evening, armed with a list of jobs I’d written in the launderette, I made a start on turning my life round with efficiency.

I’ve done one of them, which was to load eight items onto eBay. I prepared them yesterday at work but put them on tonight as Sunday night is supposedly the night where people pay the most.

Sadly, that’s the only one of eleven items that I’ve done. The fault is obviously with the list, rather than me. If I’d listed Go to the chip shop, Watch crap TV and Potter about on the internet I’d have been able to tick four jobs off instead of just one.

Part of my pottering involved looking at the site 32 Inspirational Sunday Quotes, but by the time I’d reached Number 19 the forced jollity was inspiring me to kick a puppy. This was probably not what they were meaning to do.

With that thought, I will leave you.

 

A Day for Clerihews

The Clerihew, according to Wikipedia, is a four line biographical poem invented by Edmund Clerihew Bentley, with a rhyme scheme of aabb. The lines are irregular, though the first line should feature the name of the person who is the subject of the poem.  Bentley believed that the name should be at the end of the line as part of the challenge lay in finding a rhyme for awkward names. It can be whimsical, absurd and inaccurate.

In other words, they aren’t very demanding in terms of technique and historical research.

Here are three that I’ve written as part of a series about British Prime Ministers. Don’t rely on them if you are revising for an exam on the subject. I’ve covered PMs in other posts, but as there have been around 57 of them I still have a way to go.

I will try a few more over Christmas as I will have (a) time and (b) an unpleasantly crotchety attitude, which are both useful for political subjects.

 

 

Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford,

was known to be fond of his orchard.

He was in power for 20 years.

And he raised gin tax, causing many tears.

 

Augustus Henry FitzRoy, 3rd Duke of Grafton

never wore a kaftan.

As a Chathamite Whig

he was a bit of a prig.

 

 

PM Stanley Baldwin

had a disagreement with the King.

A man of stately carriage,

he opposed King Edward’s marriage.

 

 

 

 

Poetry and Prime Ministers

Following on from the clerihews yesterday, and the challenges from Derrick Knight and Clare Pooley, here are a few more.

 

Anthony Charles Lynton Blair,

had a certain, easy flair,

for acts of great mendacity,

but sadly not veracity.

 

Sir Edward Heath

was famous for teeth.

With music and sailing, an  undoubted geek,

who gave us all a three day week.

 

Sir Henry Campbell Bannerman

was sound around geraniums.

He was Prime Minister and Father of the House

and was known for being portly, as was his spouse.

 

This is post 1,001 – post 1,002 will return to more familiar topics.

 

 

Political Clerihews (Again)

Today it’s back to clerihews.  This might be a bit incromprehensible to non-UK readers – sorry if this is the case. I could, I suppose, write them about foreign politicians, but that seems a bit rude. It’s not my place to take the mickey out of politicians from other countries – that’s for you to do. I’ve added a few links to help out.

Theresa May,

or she may not.

But she’s being rather shifty

on the subject of Article Fifty.

 

Blondie Boris Johnson

always has a response on

world politics and affairs of state

but his hair looks like he got up late.

 

Sir Michael Fallon

was a trifle too hands on.

He touched up a lady reporter

which he didn’t oughter.

 

Just a quick note – it’s OK for clerihews to be bad, that’s really part of the form. In fact I’m worried that these scan too well, which comes close to making them limericks.

I’m thinking about doing a whole series on UK Prime Ministers, because the world needs more poems about Pitt the Younger and the Earl of  Bute, though at least the latter will be easy to rhyme. I’m not looking forward to Campbell-Bannerman.

Political Limericks and Other Poems

Warning, this post may include tedium. This is particularly true for overseas readers who may not recognise any of the names.

I was intending to write some political limericks last week, but haven’t been firing on all cylinders after being ill. A limerick, with five lines, two rhymes (AABBA) and anapestic meter is trickier than it looks. Even when my brain is replete with fish and purring like a sardine-stuffed cat, questions of metre have a tendency to take the shine off my day.

The answer I adopted, in line with my normal policy of lowering standards to match results, is to cut out all the difficult bits. That would suggest a clerihew, a form often used to make fun of famous figures. The rhymes are easy (AABB) and it has a sensibly easy-going view of line length and metre.

Theresa May

Gave a poll lead away

She lost her majority

and offended her sorority

or

Jeremy Corbyn

Rhymes with next to nothin’

A beardy, weirdy smarty

Who leads the Labour party

To be fair, I’m not sure how smart he is. As long as it isn’t libellous (and I’m pretty sure that accusing politicians of intelligence is not defamatory) I think I’m in the clear as accuracy doesn’t seem too important in clerihews.

Nicola Salmon

Has a tendency to bang on

About places north of the border

That sound a bit like Mordor

Other parties are available, but I can’t remember the names of any of the leaders.

I then had a look at senryu. They are like haiku but without the rules –  no cutting words, no season words and no nature. Seventeen syllables or less. You can include humour and human foibles. They are almost the limerick of Japanese poetry and, apart from throwing a selection of words on the table to see what happens, there can’t be many easier ways to write a poem.

Ripples of applause

A political speech

The sound of lyres

Sorry, it’s a cheap shot but I couldn’t resist.

As for my comment on throwing a selection of words on the table, there is a poet who does that at workshops. I forget her name but she was on Radio Four a couple of weeks ago when it was National Poetry Day. She travels the world with a big bag of words running poetry workshops in a career that makes professional cuddler look almost mainstream.