Posted by: Jon | 10/12/2009

Ways of Seeing: Part One

Okay! Okay! Okay! Let’s not get over-excited! Let’s just remember who we are. We’re British, aren’t we? We don’t get emotional, we don’t do earnest conversations and we certainly don’t approve of moralising. We can see the humorous side and that’s how we always muddle through. We’re calm and collected and even-handed and we never jump to conclusions. So let’s just think about it rationally. Now, what was the question again? Oh yes – is this the end of the world?

Right then – let’s weigh up the evidence. What have we got? Well, for starters we’ve got a shrinking economy….well, off a cliff actually…. all right, all right, I’m not going to start again…. I’m still cool Britannia. But that’s the first thing, right? We can all agree on that, can’t we. The economy’s a bit battered and bruised, right?   Agreed.  But that was the bankers, wasn’t it. Nothing to do with anything else – that was just because of the greedy wankers.

So, what’s next – climate change? Rii…iight, climate change. Well, we’re not so sure about that, are we? They haven’t proved that yet – that’s all a bit of a con, innit? That’s just so they can put our taxes up and hope that we won’t notice. We all know the weather’s a bit up and down, don’t we? I mean, come on, this is Britain! Medieval Warm Period one minute and Little Ice Age the next. So we can leave that aside, can’t we.

All right then, so what else have we got…? Food shortages? What? Where? What food shortages? Supermarket was still there last time I looked. What do you mean, remember the lorry drivers’ strike? When? 2000? Shelves emptied in three days? No, they didn’t. They could have? What are you talking about? The rising cost of oil? What’s it got to do with oil? You don’t know what you’re going on about, mate. Peak oil? What do you do with that when it’s at home – polish the dresser with it?

All right then, so swine flu. Yeah, yeah, I got the leaflet through the door. And what a load of porkies that turned out to be. Global pandemic, my foot and mouth. End of the human race? Just like bird flu was? Yeah, and pigs might fly, eh? What about that, then – pigs might fly – swine flu by Easyjet all the way from Mexico City – that’s a good one, eh?

So what else have we got – where’s the rest of your so-called evidence? All right, all right, I’ve got to admit that’s true. I’ve got to agree with you there. There are too many of them – breeding like flies. But we’ll send them all back home, right? What do you mean it’s not that simple? It’ll put an end to the suicide bombings, won’t it? They can all go back and blow up their own bleeding countries. That’ll lower their populations. But you can leave us out of it. We’re British, aren’t we? Britain for the British, that’s what I say. We’ll muddle through – that’s what we’re good at. We always do in the end.

Sorry, mate, I don’t get you, how’s it all connected? What do you mean too connected? What’s wrong with that – its globalisation, innit. It’s the future. The only thing too connected round here is all that rubbish in your head, mate. You wanna be careful you don’t blow a fuse  – and then the lights really will go out. Right, drink up, you mad bastard. It’s your shout. Get them in.

(From ‘Silent Memoir’)


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