National days, the individual and statues.

Let me begin by saying that the circumstances surrounding the death of Stephen Lawrence 25 years ago must have been horrific for him, his family and his friends.

My concern is to question the appropriateness of a ‘national day’ for one individual in these circumstances. After all, there have been many many others who have been murdered for what they are, or they represented, both white and black – Kriss Donald in Glasgow along with Richard Everett and Lee Rigby in London spring to mind, to ‘balance the books’. Personally, I would also question the motivation behind the fact that it is 25 years ago and maybe it’s time to move on? The point has clearly been made as both his parents and especially his mother, are now part of the ‘establishment’.

To develop this issue, I have noticed that many politicians and especially those in government and more widely in Parliament (predominantly on the ‘left’), have resorted to focusing on individuals and individual causes and cases. They raise individual (often named) cases in Parliament and at ‘Prime Minister’s Questions’ and, as above, we now have national days (paid for by the tax payer) for individuals. Surely the purpose of government and MPs is to collect and collate individual cases and present them as issues in a constituency or national context. If we spend too much time on individual cases (and for that matter referendums) the role and purpose of Parliament (and MPs) becomes degraded, devalued and eroded and the governance of the country and government is diluted.

Today, a statue to Millicent Fawcett is being unveiled in Parliament Square. This may be a different case/cause, but my concern is that it is being driven by a feminist cause (which so often is, by nature, one driven by misandry) rather than recalling the ‘mission’ she represented. If this is the case, this is sad, as it is of national importance to us all. I would also criticise the ‘art’ in the statue, as it lacks the subtlety of those around it. Most of the statues in Parliament Square are of people who said a lot, had a lot to say and is memorable, but they are not holding up banners, which I appreciate the Suffragists and Suffragettes did, of course. The words inscribed on the plinth would have been adequate, as with the staggeringly haunting Edith Cavell on the edge of Trafalgar Square. The images of another 50 or so individuals (who of course have to be mentioned!) also spoil the statue…and set a worrying precedent.

The BBC Proms and all that…

Well, the big day for ‘music lovers’ has come…and gone. The programme for the “largest classical music festival in the world” is out today and continues the downward trend toward some form of ‘cross-over’ music prostituting itself under the guise of ‘classical music’. There are some truly ‘classical music’ concerts, don’t get me wrong, but there is no way that the entire programme is ‘classical’ or even in some cases “music” and then there is the usual liberal dose of BBC ‘virtue signalling’…which some may call propaganda or even brainwashing. It is so sad and the abuse of Sir Henry Wood’s concept for the Proms has been hijacked and polluted by the BBC long ago. He must be turning in his grave.

I switched on BBC Radio 4 as usual this morning to listen to the over-dramatised regurgitation of the same issues as yesterday and the day before…pretending to be NEWs. Suddenly and to my amazement, I heard the dulcet tones of Billy Bragg (who I can’t abide even for a few minutes) spouting his marxist theories for the salvation of mankind. Nothing new there I thought, but as always I wondered what he was ‘selling’…a lot of the BBC output these days are in fact trailers or adverts for their forthcoming programmes. So, I was firstly dumbfounded and then horrified to hear that this was indeed a trailer, but not for a BBC programme. It was in fact for a “speech” he was giving on (marxist) economics…AT THE BANK OF ENGLAND this afternoon, in London. I almost fell off my chair…as I did when I listened to his claptrap on YouTube this afternoon, which I did in order to reassure myself of my personal assessment of this dangerous man and his ideals. I can only assume he wrote the speech…because he read it…in his opulent study in his (by most people’s measure) ‘small Marxist palace’ or, perhaps, Dacha would be a better word.

Incidentally, Billy Bragg calls himself a “musician”, so it got me thinking as to whether he would ever appear at the BBC Proms, given the direction I mentioned earlier. Given the BBC and it’s ‘leftie’ views, I guess that is highly likely.

The myths about ‘popular music’ in the late 20th and early 21st centuries…

I have read a number of posts on Twitter recently that have encouraged me to write this short blog, which some are likely to feel is somewhat of a diatribe.

These Twitter posts are not infrequent and reflect views clearly and widely held, that so-called ‘popular music’ is…and should be seen as… ‘on a par’ with music that is commonly described as ‘classical music’. Such a myth has been developed and encouraged by the ‘music industry’ (and in the case of the Beatles, by the city of ‘Liverpool’) over the last few decades and has meant an almost universal brainwashing of global citizens that this is indeed the case and that it is all accepted as ‘music’.

In the strict sense of a definition, of course, much of it is ‘music’, but the key issue for me is whether ‘art’ and especially ‘great art’ (of any type) is determined by the level of great (public and massed) adulation OR by its great content and quality. For me it is and should always be the latter.

It just cannot be, that even the ‘great’ Beatles, who managed to strum a few naive, repetitive and bland chords on a guitar to accompany some arguably catchy lyrics, could possibly be compared with even the weaker output of, say, JS Bach, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky or such composers. This is, frankly, an insult to anyone with reasonable senses or sensibilities.

So how have we arrived and this ludicrous point in civilisation given that, up to now and especially following the ‘age of enlightenment’, things have generally move forward and improved. I don’t have the answer for this ‘u-turn’ in our development as human beings, but it is clearly accelerating downwards based even on a cursory analysis of, say, Spotify. There we see a lot that makes even the Beatles look vaguely acceptable.

Decline and Emin…

Well, it seems that that Labour Party continues to decline! Barry Gardiner is using Hebrew words to describe the Good Friday Agreement! An interesting mix of errors given their recent antisemitic scandals and the sensitivities about Brexit. I see that Maureen Lipman has joined the debate and may even been considering a shift to the Tories!

There seem to be a lot of calls for a new ‘centre party’ at the moment. Certainly it needs to happen now, if it is going to emerge to give it time to mature in time for the next General Election.

Things seem to be deteriorating in and around Syria. Lots of warmongering from the US. Let’s hope we don’t get sucked in again as the parties involved are very complex, possibly more so than in, say, Iraq. I guess the main issue is whether this is more about Russia than Syria?

Since the ‘attack’ in Salisbury, the issue around chemical weapons has ‘met the public eye’ once more. I have never quite understood the ‘additional emotion’ around these ‘weapons of war’, over and above, say, tanks, bombs, nuclear weapons, nail bombs etc etc. Is that ‘additional emotion’ because of the potential of/for ‘collateral damage’? I wonder also whether the use of the word “war” should be defined by (and only used when there is) a willingness to accept collateral damage as a consequence of action?

The BBC are giving a lot of profile to a so-called work of art by Tracey Emin that has been unveiled in that glory of neo-gothic architecture that is St Pancras station in London. On her own admission on the Today programme on Radio 4, it’s a clear anti-Brexit statement for arrivals in London to see when they step off their Eurostar train from France. I wonder what would happen if I asked the station authorities if I could put up a large pro-Brexit poster? Would it help if I called it ‘art’?!

Lone pedestrians…

I have only been writing this blog for a short time but in the last day or so have not been motivated to say anything.

However, today I have been interested in the aggressive responses on social media regarding the rise of cycling and the rapidly increasing ‘left wing’ of this activity. By that I mean it’s all about rights and much less about responsibility.

For years I have seen the rise of motorcycling aggression in the roads and been fascinated with the fact that very little policing exists (especially on rural roads) in terms of noise, but more importantly excessive speeding. However, in the defence of the motorcyclists, there attitude on social media seems far less aggressive or defensive.

It seems quite clear that more and more people are taking up cycling and quite often, not as a so-called ‘sport’, but more of a fashion statement…based on the ludicrous sums that people spend on equipment and ‘Lycra’ and not just in the machines themselves…or perhaps as a religion. It also seems that more and more of these people are asserting their ‘rights’ on urban roads, on country lanes and even on pavements and in busy shopping precincts. What sensible pedestrian is likely to challenge a cyclist who often has a helmet and is travelling at speed and increasingly in groups. Cyclists travel relatively silently round country lanes and it is very difficult to hear them coming – let alone see them and you challenge them at your peril!

Actually the ‘lone pedestrian’ is threatened, not only by ‘cycling fascism’ but also by the fact that I am told that ‘having a go’ at aggressive cyclists either singly or as a group is a ‘hate crime’ and you could, therefore, be arrested by the police!

Incidentally, the ‘lone pedestrian’ is also under threat from the ‘pushers of push chairs’ (most of the aggressive behaviour, by the way, is from women) who seem to think their rights are more important than yours in lifts, on pavements, in shops, on public transport etc etc. It’s as if they feel they are in the same ‘bracket’ as, say, a disabled person in a wheelchair and, based on personal experience, they also should be challenged at your peril.

So, where does this leave the ‘lone pedestrian’ who in urban environments has been assaulted by car fumes for some time but, until now, was able to use pavements and county lanes in relative peace and safety. There is undoubtedly a new series of ‘religions’ emerging around cycling and pushchairs that may need challenging soon, before they become a ‘sect’ and we start punishing those that are just carrying on what they have done for centuries.

Easter Monday…

I was going to write something yesterday, however I got so annoyed by people hijacking Easter I decided it probably wasn’t a good idea. All those sycophantic messages (mostly political and vote-seeking) from many who have little or no interest in Christianity, or worse still, belong to groups or who align themselves with individuals who often want to see and encourage (or even participate in) its demise and destruction.

The news this morning does not seem much better and Jeremy Corbyn seems to be determined to ride this one out. Appalling arrogance! What an appalling example of so-called leadership he is! Then there is the new ‘comedienne’ appointed to the NEC of the Labour Party…well, that’s a good joke anyway.

I have just been reading about the fact that there are now more murders in London than in the ‘crime capital’ that is New York. Our ‘forefathers’ are probably turning in their graves at this news. One of the observers on this sad news commentating on social media, used that (in)famous line from the much-derided and misunderstood politician Enoch Powell…from his speech in the Burlington Hotel in Birmingham…when he referred to the “rivers of blood”. It seems to be being quoted and reflected on much more these days…interesting, considering they were ‘dirty words’ not that long ago.

I have just been reading reports of the heavy traffic in parts of the U.K. Why do so many people get in their cars on Bank Holidays and spend a large part of their precious time in traffic jams and in this case, in miserable and wet weather. I don’t and never will understand it and ALWAYS stay at home on such occasions. The only down side is that my so-called diet ‘goes to the dogs’!