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The Art Of Opposition

Wednesday 14th March, and another misty morning. The nights are sharp, the afternoon skies clear and powder blue. One mass of frogspawn, in the wrong pool; of which I've carefully removed a lump to the plasterer's tub, don't like disturbing it, but the fish are not safe company. The smaller pool needs flushing out, there's just not been enough rain. And not much on the horizon.

Didn't get round to reporting on my visit to the NHS frontline rally in Central Hall last week, and there isn't in fact a lot to say. The hall was packed, the ambience was of a revivalist meeting. Everytime anyone on the platform said "Nye Bevan"* or "Save Our NHS" the crowd roared, clapped and in many cases stood up, to express their emotion. If anyone said "DO WE WANT THIS BILL?" everyone roared NO!. Any more complex statements, eg from clinical staff, were received in a silence that seemed, if only by contrast, bewildered. (Give us a clue, what are we supposed to roar now?) A couple of times hecklers proposing wholesale strike action were removed. I don't know if the peacemaking letter addressed to the PM by Dr Clare Gerada the chair of the Royal College Of General Practitioners was already known to the organisers, but I'm sure everybody up there was feeling that all this we shall fight them on the beaches was a kind of sad ritual, that must be respected. Only comedian and former psychiatric nurse even mentioned that the rot had set in in the eighties, when cleaning hospitals first went out to the cheapest tender. Now, in a few years, we're set to be going all the way to the USA and beyond. Health insurance firms getting disgustingly fat, the poor living in fear. Interestingly, the only two speakers actually engaged in government, Lib Dem MP Andrew George, and reprimanded Cumbrian Medical Officer John Ashton, both explained to us, in just about so many words, that there was no hope, because Dave could not possibly climb down,(no matter if he was perfectly convinced by the general protests that his Health and Social Care Bill was ruinous and cruel). It's a man thing. The guy can't help it, the size of his virility would be in question...

(Nonsense, btw. It's a profit motive thing.)

What I missed was any tough talk about a way forward, strategy and tactics for fighting the defeat. Fighting the defeat is what opposition in government is supposed to be about. You don't give up, if you are the forces of the Good State, in bad times like these. You keep out of trouble as long as is humanly possible (not any further!), and you keep hauling the other way, by all means you can possibly invent. You never do nothing because you can't do much. I suppose it wasn't the setting.

So, oh well, I suppose I'm happier now.

So, anyway, I found a page with a cogent explanation of the crash of the urban sparrow population, and now I know what we have to do in the fledgling season. Feed live meal worms. It's worth trying.

Must flush out that pool, and get some new dipped live pondwater from the Heart of Reeds.

And many thanks to Beneluxcon, for helping me to make £71.50 from selling my books for the Freedom From Torture medical foundation

GOH talk on Ghosts will be made available soon.

*My parents disagreed with Bevan btw. They wanted the Health Service means-tested (like access to Higher Education was) from the get-go. But I don't know. I went to University with some absolute toffs who were on the full grant. Were they poor, were they hell. Their parents had good accountants.