Tuesday, 20 November 2012

My England


After reading David Caddy's "The Bunny Poems." and listening to Polly Jean Harvey's "Let England Shake" I have been thinking more of the land I am from. Not so much in a patriotic manner, although there is an element of that, but more in the mood of the myth and memory of these 'green and pleasant lands' that seem to be falling ever more under the sway of modernity, of industrialisation; all in the name of progress. I question that concept especially in light of recent business experiments in America where a large call centre sent its entire workforce home. At first the bosses feared that productivity would decline but it didn't. It increased dramatically.
This experiment is not an isolated case. My next door neighbour works from home as do I. This mode of working is on the increase. With the advent of computers working from home is a viable option. It might also bring, in a circumspect manner, communities back together.   It also may bring a 'greener' method of working. I hope so.
The following is from Stanley Baldwin's St. George's Day speech given on 6th May 1924.
"To me, England is the country, and the country is England. And when I ask myself what I mean by England, when I think of England when I am abroad, England comes to me through my various senses – through the ear, through the eye, and through certain imperishable scents. I will tell you what they are, and there may be those among you who feel as I do.
The sounds of England, the tinkle of hammer on anvil in the country smithy, the corncrake on a dewey morning, the sound of the scythe against the whetstone, and the sight of a plough team coming over the brow of a hill, the sight that has been in England since England was a land, and may be seen in England long after the Empire has perished and every works in England has ceased to function, for centuries the one eternal sight of England. The wild anenomies in the woods of April, the last load at night of hay being drawn down a lane as the twilight comes on, when you can scarcely distinguish the figures on the horses as they take it home to the farm, and above all, most subtle, most penetrating and most moving, the smell of wood smoke coming in an autumn evening, or the smell of the scutch fires: that wood smoke that our ancestors, tens of thousands of years ago, must have caught on the air when they were still nomads, and when they were still roaming the forests and the plains of the continent of Europe. These things strike down into the very depths of our nature, and touch chords that go back to the beginning of time and the human race, but they are chords that with every year of our life sound a deeper note in our innermost being."

Stanley Baldwin

And while on the subject of this land I love what of Danny Nightingale the SAS soldier who, having been caught in possession of a Glock gun has been sentenced to eighteen months in prison. Owning a gun without having a license is a criminal offence in this country therefore constitutes a crime; quite right to. We are a country that outlawed having weapons many years ago and have no desire to change something that has served us well. However, this case is not run-of-the-mill. Nightingale was given the gun as a gift from Iraqi soldiers. Not to have accepted the gift would have been seen as bad manners. Nightingale accepted the gift which he then donated to the Sergeants Mess where it was to be ‘made safe.’ It then so happened that Sergeant Nightingale suffered a head injury during action which was duly recorded on his medical notes. The injury left him with amnesia for several years taking in the period after being gifted the gun up until relatively recently. When arrested he had no knowledge of the weapon. This fact has been confirmed by doctors. The man is a hero. Whether we like to accept the fact and whether or not we support such a war,  he fought with bravery in Afghanistan and Iraq. I can understand him being given a slap on the wrist but not, under the circumstances, such a stiff sentence.
Then there is Abu Qatada. A man who is a serious threat to this country. A man known to be a terrorist. A man who has insulted many and planned to kill more. When you consider in balance the two cases it does make Great Britain seem a right bunch of arses doesn’t it?
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all words and art are copyright © of Russell 'C.J' Duffy.To view my books on Amazon/Kindle go here: https://www.amazon.com/author/russellduffy -- For another side of CJ go here: sOMeThiNg For tHE wEeKeND, SiR?

1 comment:

Russell 'C.J.' Duffy said...

An internet 'friend' from America suggested that however gold tinged the memories of this apparently idyllic time the truth was far different. The working class were down trodden (see any of Thomas Hardy's work) and life was hard.
I do not want a return to hardship nor do I want to dismantle the existing system. I would like for the modern way to be modified so as to include the possibility of maintaining the natural way of life of Albion but without forsaking the virtue of capitalism. I am guilty perhaps (although guilty of what?) of wanting the best of both worlds. I see no reason why we couldn't have both.