blowing hot and cold

What would you like. Close up, silence, closed caption. Changed name to protect…who? From whom? Protection is freedom, but freedom from, or freedom to? All my “A” Level English back to haunt. Inspectors calling, windmills, just out of reach, tilting and all the rest. From this throne I shalt rule, and et cetera. No, none of that. Do you want tears? Fresh from the market, all the firmest, most fine onions for that purpose.What do you like? I can give you close-up shots of eyes before, during, and after tears; a tongue licking the top of teeth; a hand rubbing the cheek.
I have just been back to the hard-copy diaries. How obscene I have been, ignoring them. Seven years of writing and all because of these stupid fake media, these blogs which are so empty, so silly, I leave the pages empty. And how do the other diaries feel? These blogs may give some select few the chance to pretend to be on the pulse of life, but honestly how pathetic, empty, how daft they are. I do not want to be drawn into the lazy reactionary commentary so common amongst the bloggers, the armchair councillors. My diary is much more personal than these daft things, these empty boxes of dirge and boredom.
Sorry, you want me sitting here? Amongst the saints, amongst the clouds. So un-naturally dark, these shadows, these remants of thoughs, now shaped across walls higher than I could reach, let along the suggestion of escape. Thoughts, captured within the finger-taps of want. These are the dry regrets fresh from emersion. All is tired, and so am I, and no doubt so are the ghosts. No more daemons in this room, as there once was, as there has always been. Quality control, zooming into the detail, right up to the smallest of pixels. And once the image is distorted, there are no more pictures. I understand the fragility of photographs, and the currency of a good laugh. Above me, only a storm, and that passes with the avatar granted by humans with no other role in life. Above me, as always, the shadows of ghosts. A silence most acute: and as it goes, all the words are without a linkage to anything stronger than lost hope, so maybe the ghosts are waiting for the death of whichever spark keeps the rest of me alive. It is all start and end, and it is all circles and squares.
What do you want to hear? No, sorry, what would you like to hear? I can give you lyrics, or maybe misquote films? What else are these stupid things for? I can give you context…There is zero, a big hole, a hole I can touch, which is a circle with wings, like an angel without a body, just a hole, just within/without…A paper face drawn from the outside by invisible hands.

darkness

The lightbulb in my room has blown. I woke at….about 20mins ago. The desklamp bulb has gone too, so that all looks well for the week. Our hall light is ripe for picking, and I may do so tonight.
Strange dreams – was talking in bare minimum French to a young lady I cannot describe, but she was noticably beautiful. Then, in the way of dreams, it all changed on a beat to being a very different kind of dream indeed. I had been woken before by the World Service, but this was later, in silence.

Last week of work before a lazy do-nothing holiday. My shoes are falling apart, my room is plunged into darkness, I have nothing much in the cupboards in the way of food, and most vital of all, I have rough sketch plans of a London holiday next year…I need pay day to come.

The next general election

Sheesh, thinking about it, the next election is a head ache. Just seen Gordon Brown and Tony Blair on the various political shows of the day. Blair is obviously frustrated that the loud ticking countdown clock is getting more and more prominant, less and less easy to talk over. Nothing he says cannot be framed outside the leadership debate, and Brown seems to be licking his lips at the prospect of pushing his own “double-devolution” agenda. Blair is right about David Cameron’s positioning – you cannot build an international policy by being both separate from the US and free from Europe. I notice the media have turned away from the Liberal Democrats before the last train has left Brighton. As a member and supporter of the LibDems I feel this could be the way we run into the next election, much worse than before. There is just no connection between us and the news coverage of the day anymore. Menzies Campbell did not set any kind of agenda, and now the next election is a “squeeze” between the main two. Labour going for a fourth term, the Conservatives hoping for a slender majority, which is all the current figures show they could realistically achieve. The LibDems appear squeezed, I will go to say “sunk”, frankly.

It seems, so far from the date, already as though the next election will be much more “vital” than the last two. So many more parties, so many more posibilities. The new boundaries are just one of the “external” elements far beyond manifesto pledges. The date is likely to fall on the same day as the 2009 European Parliamentary elections – can this context be part of the predictions too?

For the first time in a generation, the UK is looking at a very real possibility of a hung parliament, and as this is something which has never been realistically the case in my lifetime, I cannot guess of any of the gameplay which could occur if that happens.

Subway did not invent the sandwich

This sounds like such an old-school rant, the kind of lefty guilt-trip you get from the school of “all multi nationals are evil”. I am not the kind of slogan shouting protester who thinks a valid argument against capitalism is to throw a bollard through McDonalds’ windows, to call it some how a vital act against the creep of the markets against the little man. That kind of action is vandalism, no matter how many out of context quotes you spiel at me in the name of whatever -ism you are currently preaching.
Sorry, I wanted to start this differently. All this came from buying a chicken salad barm at Glover’s in Lostock Hall. My mind began to count how many times I have preferred the big name evil blood suckers over the small baker/sandwich makers… I know Glover’s is not a one man band, but there is a different feeling walking out of there than the sense with a bag of 6″ “Sub of the Day” from you-know-who. Maybe the subtle difference is all in my head – certainly it is in my pocket, with prices from 50% to 70% cheaper in Glover’s. Maybe it is the wet liberal side of me, who prefers the little man but has been hit by guilt now all the small shops are closing. I was asked the very same questions – did I want salad, egg, onions, mayonnaise – just without the “production line” feel. Of course I enjoy Subway, and at 3am when spilling out of a club they are sometimes my saving grace, but….Ah, the word “but”.
I know the state we are in means the cards are loaded in the favour of the bigger boys, but a humble chicken barm, served by a nice enough young lady who didn’t give me a pre-packaged lump of stodge, or grunt a half-apology for getting my order wrong and did I mind if I got a steak pie with an egg custard, has got me thinking of a different perspective. The man is right, Subway did not invent the sandwich.

in the morning

It is quite early. I wa doing my head in when I woke trying to tip-toe around not waking anyone, so it was just as good to leave as it was to stay. Preston is ankle-deep in club flyers. At about 8 last night I curled up with Cloud Atlas but without a moment’s warning I fell into sleep. Cannot recall all the dreams, but there was a “segment” involving a motivational speaker called Corl or Corn, his name written in Cyrillic script behind him on a screen. There was a, if you will, nightmarish quality to a dream – almost film like.
The passage of people around me are bored commuter types..Lots of slumped shoulders, slouched feet. No trains, no crackling announcements. Were it not for a newly reborn laziness I would walk it in. As it is, I am the only person around. An idle Virgin train, its head looking like a banana, is all lights-out and silent on a distant, no-longer-used platform. This whole place seems eery, un-naturally quiet. No pigeons. There used to be a cafe near the ramp – it is just a blank unused space now, marked with a drinking bow for dogs – where I used to go on my youthful wanders. They sold microwaved cheeseburgers for £2, and that was a long long time ago. In the morning, these are the hazy memories brought to mind.
I have no plans for the day. Work beckons. All is as was.

LibDems will suffer at the next election

It is Conference Season. I have not been to a LibDem Conference for time – mostly money, mostly becuase the only benefit ordinary members get from such things is the occasional bad photograph with a prominant face for the FOCUS. Sadly this always used to mean a gurning Lembit Opik (where has he gone, by the way) or a bored Vince Cable. Conference is the chance we get to form our party’s agenda, but the whole event is a draw only to the most committed anoraks.

Whatever happens at Conference, the thoughts will always be on the next General election. If all goes well – that is, if an election is called after Parliament agrees the planned boundary changes, and Ed Balls gets nowhere with his Judicial Review against plans to abolish his constituency, the next election will be run on entirely new boundaries in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Labour will begin with a significent loss due to an increase in larger rural seats more likely to vote Conservative. The LibDem vote appears to have been largely squeezed, as a raft of election prediction web sites are pointing out.

I have taken a number of recent opinon polls, and using the basic averaging out of figures, have an opinion poll average of the past month of Labour 34.5%,.Conservative 32.5%, LibDems 20.0%, discouting others. This seems highly reasonable and credible, and would result, with all the usual caveats, in a Labour majority of 38, and a LibDem collapse from 60 seats to 48. Moving the LibDems up to 22% – about the very highest you could agree on as a credible LibDem figure – and the predictions suggest no change from last year’s election. I can find very few recent polls giving the party anything like 22%. Almost all sit the party no higher than 20%, which is 2% lower than the result of the last election. It seems the party are stuck – the leadership is not attracting media attention, certainly does not reach out to floating voters, and policy ideas seem stuck and ill-defined. If the polls are credible and realistic, the results could see a collapse not seen since the formation of the party, and if I see Cameron’s redifined liberal conservatives attracting the natural centre ground vote on such a squeezed support base, a collapse is all the credible predictions could possibly suggest.

Conference will be optimistic, they always are, but the polls do not look good.

"And"

Not sure what this is, actually. In a half-sleep, whilst putting pencils to paper, I wrote a few things, rubbed a few things out, and repeated to fade. This is no way complete, perfect, or even that good, but you know, what is a blog without bad poetry?

And
There is no voice,
leave the branches untouched
says the ghost.
On the edge of an orchard waits the sprit.
Tongues, entangled ribbons of summer,
dance behind the fishermen a long way from their shore.
Nobody speaks anymore
This is not a mountain
say the farmers:
There are no descriptions for these stones,
say the farmers’ wives.
This is not a path through the forest
there are no words remaining to accompany this walk.
There is no door into the stone house
and the clouds call the trees to the ground
and the voices of harvest draw silence through the town
and the language of the fields are lost
and the heart beat of the ghosts are shot

dead air

Things are not well, are they, all told. I hesitate before churning out all the inner woes, because blogs are essentially vantiy toys for the bored. I trawl through other blogs in moments of boredom, and as I suspected they are either generally interesting (the minority), or deadly dull (the vast, huge, largest majority). I spotted a lot of “round robin” style blogs from career women desparate to give daily updates on how India and Xavier are doing at the Fluffy Bunny School for the Dull and Deadly. Maybe the point is to go one further than the “round robin”, and to go for on-line wars – soon little Tykes are forced to have chat room sessions with French teachers on Mayotte.
Strange dream this morning. A good friend of mine, and me, on a coach, which speeded up through an urban landscape and splattered itself (and us) against the tarmac. This followed a scene in which I was shot at by a crazed gun-man at a traffic light junction not to far from where I live. No wonder the calming tones from the World Service jolted me when I eventually woke. No car crashes on the way in, just the dullard new starter at work sending inappropriate emails on her third day. From IT to HR in a swift tap of the enter key.
As for friends – eep, I could find myself typing for days. I thank whoever above for the “hard copy” diaries, in which I can be sure of putting the world to rights without being traced. Just remain in a state of confusion about certain things, and this seems to tie in with the news story concerning lads stuffing themselves with pills because of the number of “six packed gym types” shown on TV and elsewhere. A teacher at my school called it “porn envy”, but that was my school, before the National Curriculum took complete control. At just under 10stone, and with a beer filled pot-belly, I recognise the concern that may be felt, but I have no desire to a) spend my free time pumping iron, or b) spend my spare money on dodgy muscle building who-knows-what. Such feelings, from so many young men, are the unspoken concern, the secret no-one wants to speak about because women are the only sex who are supposed to feel insecure about their looks. On the male side, it is never taken seriously, and it really should.
Gonna scoot… I was going to spend a while skirting round danger zones, but not sure I could.