Saturday, December 13, 2014

I, Monster


Today in modern London I know of several work colleagues from Southern Europe who ideally would rather be living in more economically sustainable Northern European climes such as Germany, Holland or Scandinavia. Likewise I have acquaintances from Northern Europe who would most certainly prefer to be residentially located today in warmer Southern European locations such as Spain or Italy. The vast majority of my own British friends meanwhile would prefer to be living in a Britain of thirty or forty years vintage. In the meantime all of us appear to be doomed to a life of seriously nasty Joycean stasis here in the literal crossroads of a wankered post-Europe because of the contingencies of the English language alone.

We thus approach the most astoundingly depressing Christmas in British history since 1944 and the Wehrmacht's counter-offensive through the frozen soil of the Forest of the Ardennes against the Anglo-American forces.

Many many years ago while studying politics I recall the lecturer noting how at the end of World War Two our nation had a clearcut decision to make by way of either decolonising with extreme haste - and thus consolidating the party political consensus over welfare capitalism - or else maintain our clearcut global imperial focus. In essence we could NOT do both.

In the two decades following VE Day - and whilst other defeated or fundamentally broken European countries passed Great Britain by in terms of industrial infrastructural base and managerial acumen - we literally attempted to balance both geo-political imperatives to disastrous ends. The industrial relations chaos of the Seventies and the deindustrialisation of the Thatcher years thus heralding the final glorious throw of the fantasy dice with the national Ponzi housing scam of the past decade. This in turn has clearly toxified much of British life down to cellular levels. In the capital alone this reaches from West London's oligarchical Notting Hell clean through to the Jack the Hipster-haunted East End and all the landscapes of Morder inbetween.

It is indeed so interesting now to watch classic British movies from the Fifties and Sixties in terms of not only a lost country of people and place but of a very clearly stratified national identity grounded on a shared industrial heritage, wartime austerities and a sense of rightly inflated ethical and moral worth. Britain in these contexts appears as genuinely independent and literally unique as France.

Today by contrast our dislocated country lies awash with deflation, hopelessness, cheap supermarket booze, Marlboro Lights and jumbo bags of festive Onion Rings. The  only dynamics afoot being that that of rank greed, stupidity and ignorance. The Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come would never have believed how this has all played out and there is surely much much worse to come.

In parallel the ideological struggles of yore between political heavyweights such as Tony Benn or Enoch Powell have descended to an historic new low with the clearly ringfenced Russell Brand and former banker Nigel Farage grandstanding in the idiot media. The Labour Party leader in turn assures us that next year will see a battle for the soul of the country. There is no soul anywhere and there certainly is no fucking country anymore....mate.

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