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It's People's Vote Time Again!



It can't be the People's Vote March time again, can it? Surely we just had one . . . I distinctly remember. It was sunny, we took a sandwich, we spent ages kettled (not in an aggressive way, all very friendly) outside the Army and Navy club . . . Oh, so it isn't going to be an annual event? It just feels that way? It just feels as if the awful BREXIT ROULETTE wheel can keep on rolling and the ball rattling around and around, up she goes, down they go, up they go, down she goes, and never come to rest on the red or the black, while Labour keeps on hoping for the worst (because the worst coming to the worst will be Jeremy's opportunity, he's convinced of that) while the Greens and the Lib Dems and the Good Tories jump up and down gamely on the sidelines, repeating You're all mad! Completely vicious, selfish, reckless and mad! (true, but is it useful?).

And hardly anyone in parliament seems to even know where the Northern Irish Border actually is, let alone that it was a bloody battlefield, town by town, street by street, house by house, before the GFA . . . . And this staggering, blind-drunk squabble between Tory and Tory will just go on. Forever. Because not even the best of them has the courage to remember the oath (I think it's an oath) they took (which I phone-snapped on somebody's placard): and put country before Party . . .




But anyway . . . We were there, and I can tell you two things about this event. First, there really were A LOT of people. If there were 100,000 the first time, I think 700,000 is a conservative (sorry . . . ) estimate for Saturday 20th. Where's it all going to end? Second is that nobody we talked to (and we were volunteering, so we talked to a lot of people) believed the march, whether seven hundred thousand or seven million strong, would make any difference. Not a hope. Not the slightest bit of difference!, they all said, grimly cheerful. The health service will collapse, the lorries will be backed up in squalid holding pens to the Midlands. Stockpiles of food and essential medicines must be gathered for this disaster, but it's "the will of the people", and though we ARE the people, and we strongly suspect ruthless personal profiteering (and also cowardice), is what's really keeping BREXIT on its rattling track, we're here without any hope. Because we had to be able to say we tried.

The sky was an eerie cobalt blue, the October sunlight was glaring. The march was just as good-humoured but more gruelling, from the sheer press of bodies; the police were wonderful. We shared a tortilla sandwich as before, on a different kerbstone, and we had early satsumas this time, not late Valencias, but still Spanish; not so sweet, but juicy, with a lovely mellow yellow coloured skin . . . (old soldiers march on their stomachs). Parliament Square was impossible, so we abandoned the speeches, cut our losses and had a pint at the Greencoat Boy.

very nice pint, but pricely.

Alastair Campbell's March


Mixed Media

Killing Eve? Blood-soaked bit of fluff. Oh, did I just liken that that cool, kinky "Look! Female Leads!" thriller to a used tampon? Shame on me, because I certainly watched it, and enjoyed it, and was charmed by both the leads, and besides I thought it was (also) totally inane, & tampons (though they may not be the greatest solution to monthly bleeds), are not.

The Wire Just as gripping, & more amazing visually second time round. Better with the English subtitles on, because then you can (if you are English, that is), look around you and stuff. Entirely male viewpoint, w. good female police and legal characters, who don't get the awful, awful Jane Tennison/Helen Mirren treatment (and therefore not true to life, of course!). Getting near the end now, and the darkness deepens. There's no such thing as "special dead". Last time Omar was my favourite (isn't he everyone's?) Like the coolest of the 7 Samurai, Omar don't scare. This time I'm in love with Kima Greggs (Sonja Sohn).

Black Honey/PINS At the Concorde, on Dinah's birthday. Down on Brighton seafront, in spectacular black torrential rain, was a good place to be last Sunday week, for old sake's sake. I was feeling like death, bad cold or flu, but even so. However I liked the support best. I thought PINS http://www.wearepins.co.uk/ were great. Black Honey a bit ordinary, but competent. Pins means legs, I should explain.

Dreams of Maryam Tair: Blue Boots and Orange Blossom. Mhani Alaoui I don't really like magical realism. It's Mystification: it's decorative, but it changes nothing, and in fact ends up reinforcing the status quo (as indeed happens here), despite its "literary radicals" rep. But Dreams of Maryam Tair is pretty hard to resist. All about Morocco, ancient and modern, both at the same time: set mainly in Casablanca, and curated by and ageless but certainly ancient Scherazade herself, the story of a young girl, child of rape (her mother got raped a lot, reading between the stuff about demons, when she and her young husband were picked up for being generally "progressive" in the early eighties), who grows up to be, with her beloved bicycle . . . well, say no more, it's just an enchanting read.

Oh No!, Roland Barthes has been murdered by a laundry van! And he was carrying on his person the dreadful secret of The Seventh Function Of Language. Mon Dieu!, if that awful formula were to get into the wrong hands!!!! Hilarious. Sexy, The name dropping is relentless, everybody and everything involved, however tangentially, in the soi-disant "linguistic turn" gets dragged into the plot, (including the Bologna station bombing, but who cares about good taste). The feminists are there, of course, as Bitch Goddesses; of course (there is no other role a woman can play in the power games of academia). Fear not. You don't have to know a single thing about semiotics, or post-structuralism, or anything. Just relax and enjoy the caper.






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