Gratuitous

Image credit:WordPress Free Photo Library

Feedback from other bloggers is the lifeblood of many an online outpouring. I know I look forward to these responses, and I try to give back my share of them to other bloggers.

But there is a certain kind of feedback that raises one’s hopes, only to dash them. Here is one example, of the type you may be familiar with:

You’re so interesting! I don’t believe I have read through a single thing like that before. So wonderful to discover somebody with some unique thoughts on this subject. Really… thank you for starting this up. This website is one thing that is required on the web, someone with a bit of originality!

It’s been a while since I’ve visited flim-flam spam flummery on this blog. As I’ve mentioned once or twice before, I occasionally check through spam comments to see if any genuine remarks have been hoovered up.

Mostly they haven’t.

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Circumlocations

Houses of Parliament with scaffolding and Westminster Bridge, late 20th century (credit: Bikeboy, Geograph http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2975216)

Circumlocution. The use of many words where fewer would do, especially in a deliberate attempt to be vague or evasive.
— Oxford English Dictionaries

There’s a old adage about how you can tell when a politician’s lying: when their lips move.

Well, that’s quite a cynical take on politics and those who are involved in politicking, but we often have a premonition that this adage has the ring of truth, don’t we? We’ve listened to and watched enough ministerial statements, panel discussions and live interviews to make that judgement; and we don’t always need their explicit body language to confirm it — whether from tone of voice, stumbles over phrases, shifty looks or too much unasked-for detail, these can all give the lie to many public utterances.

And in the era of fake news we cynics note with increasing frequency the evasions, the contradictory tweets, the prevarications and, above all, the smugness that such high-flying lowlife bestow on us with a complete and utter disdain. A recent interview with the British defence secretary on ITV merely underlined such disdain as the interviewee three times gave bland circumlocutions to a frustrated interviewer. Would that more of these cowardly entities that avoid accountability for their decisions and actions could, along with the interview, be similarly ‘terminated’.

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Omnishambles

blurred
Blurred vision

They say a week is a long time in politics. I have to say it has been a long week — nay, two weeks. The word that has struck me as most summing up what we in Britain have witnessed is what the foul-mouthed spin doctor from The Thick of It and In the Loop, Malcolm Tucker, terms an omnishambles.

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Midsummer madness: Brexit

Stop Exit Only

In general I try not to include anything too overtly political or religious in my blog as I know it can either cause offence or lead to fruitless argument as respective parties take up a stance one way or another. But the recent political earthquake in Britain — with its continuing aftershocks — has at the moment left me bereft of much enthusiasm for literary matters, at least until I begin to recover some equilibrium. Hence this exception to my rule.

I’ve already made some of my position clear in an earlier post “No Man is an Island” where I talked a bit about xenophobia. A Pandora’s Box has been well and truly opened now with the 52:48 vote in favour of Brexit: already racist attacks — mostly verbal so far — show a sudden and alarming rise, no doubt because many see the result as validating their appalling behaviour.

Just as alarming is the political vacuum that has emerged with the shock result. The so-called protest vote (at least a million but probably a lot more) that sought to punish certain Westminster politicians — the Prime Minister in particular — assumed from polling predictions that the Remain vote would, even if with a narrow margin, win the day. It only, as many are now acknowledging too late, pushed the Leave voters into the majority. But much more alarming is the meltdown that is happening in the two main parties, sidelining the issue of what happens now. The fact is that — with the leadership of both left and right parties being questioned — it is apparent that there is no Plan A, let alone a Plan B.

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Fair tax town

Image www.walesonline.co.uk
Image http://www.walesonline.co.uk

I avoid going Political on this blog, except with a small ‘p’. If you sense a ‘But’ coming — you’ll be right.

But there’s a sense that the UK is gradually going down the tubes thanks to the directions taken, first, by the Coalition government in 2010, and now by the Conservative Party. ‘We’re all in it together,’ famously trumpeted a certain Prime Minister, except that we’re not. Too many big earners and big corporations don’t pay their fair share of tax as their profits are lodged offshore.

So one small Welsh town, Crickhowell — to which I’ve drawn attention before and which prides itself on its independent shops free of links to chain stores and the like — has taken a stand to expose the unfairness of present government policy that’s hitting the disadvantaged, the poor and the sick, as this short video shows. Do watch and, if possible, share widely.

There’s also a website, Fair Tax Town: http://fairtaxtown.com/