A True History of the Isles Vol II Chap 9 – The Celts A Necessary(Socialist) Overview

 

 

Something of an Introduction

As the narrative has now reached the commencement of the 15th Century and has dealt mostly with the events and kings of England (with Scots’ interference) it is essential we now look back over the 14th Century and events in Ireland (with Scots’ interference), Scotland (with their own and English interference) and Wales (which, quite frankly went into a bit of a sulk).

In the spirit of fairness, equity (and mischief) a separate chapter will be given over to each nation. This is chapter is therefore simply an overview and background.

Of Disclaimers and Justifications

Whereas and hither to thereupon, any history of the Celtic races of these Isles is bound to cause offense to someone or other, in advance the author asserts the right to make harsh judgements and controversial statements on the grounds that he is:

Welsh and thus, apparently Celtic, so can’t be said to be English and therefore entitled to say anything he wants to about apparently fellow Celts

A socialist and thus has the predisposition to be critical of any royal or titled household of which there were a positive surfeit until the 20th Century; irrespective of what allegedly noble causes they claimed to have espoused while grabbing more land and power.

A dedicated misanthrope and thus entitled to be dismissive of any accounts or heritages which show the slightest hint of romance or alleged acts of the proto-democratic nature on the rather obvious grounds that we are discussing the 14th Century ( and earlier)  in Europe.

Catholic– which hasn’t got much to do with anything in this chapter but might irritate people who deserve to be irritated.

The Basic Histories

A Sad Fact of History

To look back upon the history of the Celts, one aspect which cannot be avoided is the Celts invaded someone else’s land, massacred, subjugated or drove out the native folk. Some historians of Celtic history are a bit queasy about this and prefer the term ‘Settled The Land’. Actually, they should not be so squeamish, as on a world-wide basis aside from a few aboriginal peoples on the very margins of lands discovered by humans, everyone did it. By all means one should complain about being massacred, pillaged and enslaved. However, they should not carry on so as if being conquered was personal and only happened to their people.

A Brief Overview of The History.

Once the Celts had spread out all over the Isles they set to fighting, betraying and subjugating each other; which in Human terms was the usual business. There was a brief interlude (in historical terms) when the Romans arrived and being very civilised took advantage of local rivalries conquered and subjugated a large portion in a very formal way, massacring being reserved for those who would not co-operate. Those living in the large portion generally liked this, until one day the Romans declined to subjugate them anymore, went away to fall and left the lands to deprivations of various peoples some Celtic, some not.

Eventually as narrated in the previous volume some Celtic kings invited Saxons over to help the Celtic kings with their attempts to be bigger kings. The Saxons stayed, did their own conquering and subjugating, until the Vikings and Normans turned up.

At this stage the Celtics had organised themselves in Welsh, Scots, Irish and Cornish, with no one paying any attention to those who lived on The Isle of Mann. Although the Vikings did some subjugating of anyone who had survived their conquering, they were far too restless and angst ridden to stay very long. This did not apply to their descendants The Normans.

The Normans had been Vikings but since they’d settled in France they felt sailing about and pillaging as a means of government was now beneath them. So, they stole lands and fought amongst themselves and the locals, in the meantime inventing Aquitaine, Anjou, Maine, Brittany, Normandy, etc. Thus, by the time and opportunity came to invade and seize the throne of England they were fairly well versed in the professions of conquering, subjugating etc, whereas the Anglo-Saxon and Celts were still steeped in the lesser arts of squabbling and betraying. With these advantages The Normans conquered England, Cornwall, parts of Wales and discovered there was also Scotland and Ireland.

It can be seen, therefore that conquering, subjugating etc were part of the Historical Process, which was of no comfort if you happened to be in the way of The Conquerors and Subjugators, particularly as their followers and hirelings were usually Pillagers, and Slaughters.

The Harsh Truths

There Were No English       

Unfortunately for Celtic folk in terms of accuracy concerning romantic ballads, legends, etc in the formative times of the Middle-Middle and Early-Late-Middle Ages, this was the case. There were indeed Folk and Communities, along with a few Tribes, but no nationalities as we would recognise them. To be accurate there were peoples who lived in places we now have clumped together as countries and that was that.

In these times Normans Who Followed William (The I or Conqueror) were given lands by William on the basis that he had won a battle and a crown and also that was that. Wherever they might be, the Common People were common and to be pushed around and thus again that was that. This trend was to continue until experiments by Henry (The V) who chose recently deceased folk to block up walls and granted them the posthumous title of English. This system quite fell apart when he died, and was buried not used to fill gaps in places.

In point of fact when one considers England, folk only looked as far as six villages in either direction, and anyone beyond spoke funny and was foreign. To suggest to someone living in Kent they were associated with someone who lived in York would get you at least dumped in a pond or at worse suffer farming implements/ tools of their trade.

All deprivations, privations, complications and implications were therefore the results of the actions of kings (remote/ couldn’t give a dead bishop’s socks about you/ So what? They’re common) or local lords (regrettably not remote/ grasping/ greedy/ couldn’t give a dead bishop’s socks about you, etc). A sensible commoner thus gave loyalty to their lord (opportunist/ conniving/ the one with the armed men, etc).

Under this system nationalities were therefore the preserve of kings who decided who was who, when and why.

Who Cares Who Your Grandparents Were (If you were common, that is)

As in general throughout History, for a leader the idea was to grab influence, authority and land. The rest was all useful stuff to get the Common Folk thinking you were worth following. For the Common Folk following a leader on a knobbly cause was a great opportunity to grab other people’s stuff without being punished, unless you got the tough break and were involved in a battle. It didn’t really matter who you were assailing or in which direction you were marching, that sort of stuff would be left up to later generations of chroniclers, balladeers and folk who wanted to start up their own cause.

Celts Didn’t Learn

We shouldn’t be too harsh on the leaders of those times (allegedly romantic), because various emperors of great civilisations (Roman, China, Persia, etc) had done the same thing.

“ie- We’re having trouble with Rebel Lords, Common People, Rivals etc, let’s get a few of those tough folk from over the border to help us out and pay them- no gold? No problem we’ll give them some of that scrubby land we don’t really need”

The flaw with this sort of plan was that the tough folk from over the border were led by people just as grasping, conniving and cunning as those issuing the invitations, and had lots of tough followers who knew what to do with swords, spears, bows, etc. So, once you got them in, you couldn’t get rid of them, and they would decide

“Hey. This is just what we were looking for. Move over loser we’re taking charge”

Naturally there would be some locals who having been honed on generations of in-fighting would object to this and so later generations of chroniclers, balladeers etc could dress it all up as a knobbly cause for freedom, justice, national identity (whatever that was) etc. Whichever way you looked at it, folk grabbed land, followers grabbed stuff and the poor folk in between got stamped on.

As we will see in later chapters successive waves of Celtic rulers really got their people a large amount of misery for this sort of business, although this part didn’t really trouble them too much, just so long as they got their land back (or better still, in the chaos, more of it)

The Celtic Identit(ies)

There were two great advantages the folk resident in what we term today as Wales, Ireland and Scotland had:

Romantic Nationhood

The first had foundations in strong leaders knocking (in most cases literally) into the heads of populous the notion that the bigger your tribe, the better chances you had. The Celts had been experimenting with and refining this since the Romans had turned up. Progress had been patchy due to arguments over whose tribe was the biggest, rebellious relatives, savage but indeterminate invaders etc.

When things had settled in Europe  Saxons, Angles, Jutes, Vikings Normans, etc came in by ship and like all invaders didn’t see why they should care two stabs of a sword why they should adopt local customs. Some of the more recalcitrant surviving local lords said these new folks were particularly foreign. This proved useful when the said lords wanted to stir up a land-grab, try for a throne or title or just fight back because the Saxons, Vikings, Normans etc ‘were who they were’. This excuse could be passed down from generation to generation of lord, noble etc and anyone who didn’t join in was a traitor to The Nation (whatever that was at the time).

The Arts

The second and more important being The Celtic Cultures.

Since the Celts had got rid of the locals very early on they had had a long time to utilise arts, crafts, writing, music, folk tales etc. This allowed whoever you were, whenever to record or have recorded in some shape of form yourself and your ancestors in the best light, and throw in a few villains for dramatic effect. It also allowed you to turn around some embarrassing defeat, betrayal, switching of sides or downright villainy into something heroic and even better tragic.

Because of the geographical separations of the three principal Celtic groupings this cultural significance diverted when it came to literature and music.

The Irish could turn individuals irrespective of their actual historical background into cheerful, irreverent fellows who if they were feeling a bit down just went out and slaughtered foes. In later ages, these sorts became more pernickety and only fought and or slew those they thought to be English. There was a divergence in this art form in that some subjects were wont to brood and stride the lands and slay supernatural creatures, or English. Either type of hero was possessed of wit, wisdom and a big sword.

The Scots developed that most fearsome of lyrical weapons, The Lament. Through this style Scots balladeers were to record any defeat or set back in such magnificently romantic and forlorn tones that even those who had bested the Scots loved the lament so much they sung it too. Thus in Scottish history there were only ever heroic defeats which wouldn’t have happened if there hadn’t been traitors and English gold. In later times the subjects became individuals who normally lived in the Highlands and had annoyed some lord (always English) so much that the hero was obliged to travel overseas and wander this way and that, singing about home.

The Welsh having laid claim to the assertions that they were the original Celts, had a language even older and more classical than Latin and allowed to lurk in mountainous regions of the western bumpy bit of the main island did utilise druids. These druids were the cultural and intellectual foundation of the culture and were such an encompassing influence within, the Welsh affinity with the arts reached a high level embracing poetry, music and song to an extent unsurpassed. In this milieu indivual heroes and defeats were not included unless there was enough material for two or three volumes or a song which could only be done justice to by a choir and a harp. Eventually religion was to a valuable source material.

Bottom of the League

The English being still uninvented were unable to cope with this. Luckily a fellow called Chaucer did record some tales, he was so unique they still survive to this day, even if unreadable in the original form. All was patchy though until Shakespeare turned up, and even then it was not until the arrival of The Romantic Poets, Jane Austin, Jerome K Jerome, Kipling and Turner that the English could truly say they had a grasp of The Arts.

Conclusion

Against this backdrop each people’s doings in the 14th Century will be examined in the next few chapters.

 

A True History of The Isles Part 10 – The Fall of The Britons

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A True History of The Isles Vol II Chapter 5- The Status of Women in the Middle-High-Middle Ages.

In this chapter we shall take a break off from kings, conniving nobles, fussy church folk and those who liked to pretend they were any of the aforementioned and consider the status of Women in the Medieval era. The reasons for this lurch is that we have just left Edward II who may or may have not been killed by nobles, but there seems to be a common misconception even to this day at that at the bottom of his fall was his cold cruel wife Isabella of France who being a mere woman also fell under the spell of wicked Roger Mortimer.

At this stage, the author of this work would like to say ‘Oh! Grow up!’

So, let us look at the matter in more detail.

The Basic Details

Women suffered from a bad press. Men in general, irrespective of intelligence and education were not inclined to understand the poetical and allegorical nature of parts of the Old Testament of the Bible so blamed women for Eve, or vice versa (it was a source of great theological debate). Also, if they did get around to reading stuff from the Elderly Greeks and Roman which of course had to be classical, these works were all about men apart with a few devious or hysterical women thrown in for dramatic effect; these works being written by men. It was thus concluded women were weak, devious, incapable of thought, emotional and not to be trusted out of your sight.

The fact that this could be applied in equal measure to your average male, in particularly the nobility and the higher officers of The Church was of course blamed on outside influences, especially women.

Thus, women were allowed only to get married and have children, or failing that enter convents. For anything else they had to have the permission of their fathers, brothers or husbands. If they insisted on surviving all male relatives then they were expected to marry the nearest available male. If he was already married she would have to seek another male; the one exception being the nobility; they were allowed to ask a bishop to find out a reason why the current marriage was illegal, immoral or inconvenient.

The Social Structure

Peasant Women.

These had less rights than their male counterparts, which was a bit of a problem seeing as in practice the male peasant was quite devoid of any rights. The law could be very harsh; if it was found out a woman had a child out of marriage, some male peasant had to pay a large fine to the local lord, irrespective if the lord was the father of said child. In addition to having children, cooking and keeping the hovel free of rats, they were also expected to work in the fields, forest etc. Those who survived all this to the ripe old age of thirty-five might be suspected of witchcraft.

Something More Than Peasant Women, Women

Although their status was something similar to Peasant Women, due to legal loopholes some women could keep some of their own property and income. They could also organise their own businesses, as long as a man knew about it. Women could be brewers or butchers, until men started to get queasy about the concept of that the person who brewed their ale could also wield a large axe.

Women Whose Husbands Were Commoners But Wealthy.

Whereas these women were still expected to produce children, they could have servants to boss about. When The Old Man was away for some reason, The Wife was expected to run his business. Sometimes the community and business partners found out she could do a better job than he could and his return might be difficult. Sometimes robbers waylaid him and no questions were asked.

Women With Titles

Generally, a daughter was set up to marry someone by the age they were four. The whole business being to organise alliances between families and of course produce male children. If they survived this they might be chosen to be lesser lady to some higherborn noble woman and either be loyal or insufferable if they were older than the said higherborn. Having a title allowed them at any stage to say they wanted to be a nun and get out of the whole messy business. There were many convents in those days.

Noble Women

Noble women basically had to have male children. If they didn’t it was their fault. If the poor mite died it was their fault. If the kid grew up and became a disappointment it was his fault. The father always wriggled out of the deal.

Very noble women were allowed to rule while their husband was off making a nuisance of himself somewhere or other. This was known as a regency and was a status not a style of ornate fashion. They usually ruled quite well and this was very unsettling for their hubby when he came back. They were also allowed to accompany their husbands on a crusade, whether they wanted to or not. Some were even more noble about it than their husbands. Therefore, it can be seen why some nobles felt more comfortable with their fluffy young mistresses.

Despite every male telling every other male that this was the one time they should listen to the teaching of The Church, there was still the sneaking suspicion that some women were alarmingly capable.

In England whereas the nobility had recovered from the shock of the Age of Matlhildas & Matildas (See Vol I King Stephen), there was still the worrying evidence that The Eleanors were still prevalent. Everyone still remembered how Eleanor of Provence had been worryingly more capable than husband Henry (III and a bit weak and wet) no matter how rude they were about her. Then the Dynamic Edward the I (and very grim) was supported by and so fond of Eleanor of Castile that he didn’t bother with mistresses and mourned her when she died (the fact that she was a canny and ruthless property dealer suggests he, being an invader and subjugator found she was of a like mind and therefore the ideal wife and helpmate). Naturally as both women were intelligent, well read, and capable they were not popular with the nobility who told their peasants why they should think the same way, but neither woman came as close to vilifications as……

Isabella of France (some time in 1295 – 22 August 1358), Edward II’s wife. As it will have been noted in the previous chapter being married to an Edward The II could not have been easy. Isabella and Peers Gaveston (Favourite the I) did try to work together by being so complicated that the barons never knew whether they liked or didn’t like each other. In 1311 she went with Edward on his campaign against the Scots and thanks to Edward nearly was captured by the Scots which did cause some marital strain. After Gaveston was murdered by Lancaster (the noble not the city) or welshmen she did try to raise Edward’s spirits by giving birth to a son. But this didn’t work as he lost a little war to the Barons and then the Scots and Isabella was nearly captured by both. Even if she did give birth to another son, it must be assumed some of the glamour was fading from the marriage, particularly as she, like the rest of the country suffered from the Dispensers. And around this time thanks once more to Edward’s ineptitude was nearly captured by the Scots again!

By now understandably fed up of Dispensers, Scots, Barons and Edward she fled to France where in order to invade England she and Roger Mortimer became lovers, raised troops, invaded England, dispensed with the Despensers and probably enabled Edward to flee England as live and uncomplicated life. She then made a big mistake of trying to rule England with Mortimer without being Just, Fair and Noble and was duly removed justly, fairly and nobly by her son Edward (the soon to be III), though the same courtesy was not extended to Mortimer.

Although she’d been instrumental in getting rid of the hated Dispensers and shoving her hapless and inept husband off of the throne because she was a woman and not allowed to do such things she was thence vilified. Had she been a man she would have simply been a chapter. Of course Christopher Marlowe’s play ‘Edward II’ has not helped, as there are folk who will take plays as actually history. There again being a character in a Christopher Marlowe play is hardly helpful to anyone’s public image.     

Women Who Took Up A Religious Life

Some of course did this out of conviction, others having seen what happened to mothers, elder sisters, cousins and so forth were quick to hitch up their skirts and scamper off to the nearest convent. This was the one course of action a woman could take without men interfering, as to do this might incur the Attention of The Church, which no one really wanted. This is only mentioned to illustrate the option and will be looked into in more detail in a separate chapter of The Church and other religious aspects.

A medieval singlewoman

This was not a unit of counting the population for statistical purposes, but a woman who was not married without being a widow or religious. Usually without a family they were obliged to find their own dowry. This being a system whereby the family of the woman paid a large sum of money for someone to marry her; today there are many parents of teenage daughters who wished this was still common practice. The Singlewoman was obliged to save up for her own dowry, which in some cases could be a pretty good excuse for putting off the event. There were also women who didn’t bother with such trifling excuses, such as Cecilia Penifader of Brigstock (1295–1344) who made a announcement she would remain unwed, whether this was made as a statement with dignity or followed by a vulgar noise has not been recorded, but she has had a book written about her and lived beyond 30 years of age.

Women of Low Virtue

This only applied to women who did not have titles or of nobility. These lower class women were naturally called whores and other demeaning names, which didn’t stop brothels from making money. This class of women couldn’t have been that ill-considered as their testimony in court was valid, particularly if it was embarrassing to some fellow whose rivals were sharp operators.

To say a woman of high birth was as such, was simply asking for you to get to suffer pain in all sorts of manners, unless of course you were a noble yourself and she was involved with a rival. Normally women in such circumstances were known as mistresses and were generally approved of particularly by wives who hadn’t cared for their husbands in the first place. As long as they didn’t try and influence him politically mistresses of kings were very much accepted, particularly if you were lucky enough for your wife to be one; this opened all sorts of doors for you. Sometimes the children of such relationships muddied the accession circumstance, but some nobles found this a useful way of upsetting rivals or even creating a Pretender to the throne; otherwise they were called Fitz-something and given some land somewhere and told not to get involved in anything.

Education

Whether men liked it or not some measure of education was necessary so that wives could look after things when The Old Man was somewhere else. Some nobles insisted their daughters were very well educated not just to impress others, but so they could spy on their husbands for Dad. Some miserable types complained that if women could write they would spend their time sending passionate letters to lovers. These were just sour-pusses because they didn’t get any of that type of letter.

The Church was naturally suspicious, but grudgingly accepted nuns who could write, just so long as they wrote favorable comments about Christianity and more importantly The Church. Any women who started to speculate about questions of theology were looked upon with concern for the sin of Female Independent Thinking and would be made to submit their work to a Bishop who would then get picky about their use of Latin Grammar.

Religion

This will be looked at in more detail in that separate chapter on The Church. Suffice it to say The Church with its Eve fixation was very suspicious of Women as being weak, devious, lascivious and other words they could fit into Latin. Generally, there were two schools of thought:

Younger members of The Church having read Genesis feared that women would either leap at them and tear off their clothes to force their attentions upon them, or by seductive female means would achieve the same end. It was best therefore if women were not allowed to do anything outside of the house, and religious men should only go into the houses when other men were there. These men also kept their bedroom doors locked, just in case.

Elderly members of The Church had the same opinions, they were of a grumpy stony outlook because in all their years they had never been in such dangers and thought that ‘typical’ or whatever Latin word they cared to use. They had given up locking their bedroom doors      

Some members of The Church had more moderate outlooks. They also kept their bedroom doors locked, for quite different reasons.

Warfare

Noble women often gathered or led armies when The Old Man was either doing that somewhere else or the fool had got himself captured. A few women were quite good at it, though men did not care to see it that way (See Vol 1- The Matildas). The English had had a narrow squeak with a welsh princess Gwenllian ferch Gruffydd earlier on in 1100-1136 who used to go around with her husband sharing raids and chopping Anglo-Normans to bits, but generally in this era in these Isles women did not often get involved with handing out the business end of sharp bits of metal; unless of course they were legendary. Whether any independently minded young women disguised themselves as boys, went off to war and subsequently unsettled hardened leaders of men who found themselves strangely attracted to the new lad is a matter to writers of fiction.

Conclusion

These days, although some men won’t admit it, they yearn for these simpler times, and have to be more subtle and inventive; unless of course they are morons in which case they say they are exercising they right to free-speech (and presumably exercising something else, which is why they keep their bedroom doors locked).

 

In the next Chapter we shall consider the Vigorous Edward III, which will no doubt be of relief to those male readers who are insecure (work it out for yourself for pity’s sake man!)

Edward II, And What Others Did About Him 

A True History of the Isles Part 21- 1135-1154 Who Is Who and Who is in Charge of England Anyhow?

A True History of The Isles Part 27-Eleanor of Aquitaine-Yes Mam! No Mam! At Once Mam!

 

A Guide To The Results of an Election

General Election 2017 (UK that is)

 

 

Dear neighbours in the WP community. The 2017 UK General Election results and implications made simple:

Reason Why We Had A General Election and Why They Were Bad Reasons

Prime Minister Theresa May:

Wanted to show she was The Lady. (Well….that kinda worked out for her…..because at the moment no one else in their right mind wants the lousy job, at present, but the Conservatives are deadly good at fiendish plots against their own leaders)

Wanted to throw out of her cabinet a bunch of folk she’d been stuck with after David Cameron quit. (That might have worked- but the wrong way…some of them didn’t get re-elected and Labour got their seats. She should have realised there are always ‘Shock Results’ and someone big loses their ‘seat’)

Wanted to make things worse for Labour than they already were. (Bad idea! The only ones who are able to make things worse for Labour than they already are, are Labour themselves)

Wanted to grab back all those UKIP voters who now that there was no Brexit voting stuff weren’t too sure what to do with their time (Should have realised that people had begun to ‘think things’ through after Brexit and seen UKIP as a one-trick pony, and would amble away in all political directions this time around)

And finally.

Hoped she might lose Boris Johnson somewhere in the fracas (Good plan. Pity it didn’t work)

On to the next topic:

Reasons Why People Voted The Way They Did.

The Young Vote: For the last few years having been fed a steady stream of ‘You will have to work until you’re 75. We will also pass a law making it illegal for you to die any earlier’ and ‘If you want an education beyond counting up to 20 and learning your ABC you’ll have to borrow £20,000 per year and sell you first born to help pay it back’, there would have been a possible tendency to vote for a party with a more promising outlook to life.

The Elderly Vote: ‘If you start to get ill we’ll either let you starve and let nature take it course, then if you persist in being stubborn we’ll lock you away and recycle you for environmental purposes’ might have been the message they received from the Conservative Manifesto

The Middle Vote: ‘Keep working those two jobs for 50 hours a week and we’ll reduce your income tax by£1.75p a month’ was probably  not the most attractive theme.

Brexit: Everyone is confused anyway. So it didn’t matter to folk this time around. (Unless you were a die-hard UKIP member)

Other Issues:

The train service is still costly and lousy

Unless they get the funding right any government will take a hit on the NHS.

You knew there was something going wrong with the Conservative campaign when Labour and in particular Jeremy Corbyn felt secure enough to challenge the Conservatives on their safe ground of Law & Order and police numbers.

 

Implications

England: The map was turned upside down and conservatives did well(ish) in the north and Labour did well in the south. This will make everyone dizzy.

Wales: Plaid Cymru- The Welsh National Party snatched another seat. The conservatives made the great cultural error of spending more time and effort in North Wales, which naturally nfuriated voters in South Wales who promptly ditched them; North Wales wasn’t that impressed anyhow.

Scotland: No one in the SNP really read their history way back when which shows that not all scots when push comes to shove want to be independent, but since many a true Scot would not want to be led by somebody so obviously southern English as Jeremy Corbyn lots voted Tory, others feeling nostalgic for simpler times voted Labour or Liberal Democrats. Result SNP lost lotsa seats.

Northern Ireland (or Ulster): No one who lives outside of Ulster should ever try to understand why politics is the way it is in Northern Ireland; it will make your head spin. Suffice it to say folk voted along ‘community lines’. This meant the Democratic Unionist Party won the Protestant Unionist vote while Sinn Fein won the Catholic Republican vote so both sides could claim a great victory, even though Sinn Fein don’t actually take up their seats in The House of Commons and the Democratic Unionists Party don’t trust any other party in the, said The House of Commons.

 

What Is Happening:

The SNP (Scotland) – Have to pretend everything is fine, but don’t mention Independence ever again.

The Liberal Democrats- Were supposed to get completely wiped out but actually won 4 seats, thus returning to common the stance of the last 80 years ‘Oh! That’s a nice surprise! It should  have been worse’

Labour- Although Labour lost, ie had less seats than the Conservatives, they actually won, because they ended up with more seats than expected. Which in turn means that although they don’t get to form an government, means they can be seen to maybe be able to form an government next time around. Unless of course they shoot themselves in the feet by starting a traditional venomous internal argument over something which has no bearing on the day-to-day lives of the ordinary folk of this country.

Plaid Cymru and The Green Party- Have not gone away and although only have a total of five seats in such a circumstance are very important. The Green Party plays a very important role by having one seat, in that this presence will cause apoplexy in the USA Whitehouse if any one there should notice.

 

Who Is In Charge Now?

Well at present, and if nothing else happens by the time I finish this post. Prime Minister Theresa May (vocals and tambourine) and the Conservatives Government will still be able to limp along with the aid of the Democratic Unionist Party. How long this will last is anyone’s guess but should keep political pundits, academics, journalists and commentators in steady work for at least the rest of 2017.

When considering this arrangement, it should be born in mind;

That Catholic voters in England and Wales who voted for the Conservatives have now given the Hard-line Protestant Democratic Unionists Party a voice in their affairs.

Conversely;

The Hard-line Protestants of the DUP must now be grateful to the said Catholic voters in England and Wales for given them a voice in UK affairs.

This proves conclusively that God has a sense of humour.

 

This complex result will be difficult to explain to the amateurs currently cluttering up the Whitehouse in Washington USA and is best broken down as follows;

Theresa May is still Prime Minster, ie Big Boss Lady

No socialists are involved in the running of Central Government. Yet

Everything is fine. Except the things which aren’t and they don’t concern you, so keep your noses out of it.

No one cares what you think anyway.

That state visit is so not going to happen for a while.

Stay out of London.

 

Other than that The UK will provide a steady source of entertainment for those wo find politics funny.

Safety Measures

I suppose most of us worry about our health from time to time, be it physical, mental, artistic or spiritual and at times feel as my dad used to say ‘feel at the bottom of the wheel’.

The question can arise if or when something should be done about whatever it is not just for your own well-being but for those close to you in the fall-out area. How much does your state affect them?

You see my demons have got a hold at the present and this will not do. They come sneaking up on the blind side every time. The side that loathes Intolerance, Ignorance and the Plain Stupid.  Using those they can pump that up pretty good and they’ve had plenty to work with.

The prejudice and self-delusory short-sightedness of a large number of the Brexit voters.

The fashionable and thus self-judged clean-conscienced anti-Semitic of the junior wing of the Labour Party and the indulgent self-denying response by the leadership, thus allowing the opposition to have a field-day with ‘The Nasty Party’ label

The sheer bile and venom arising from the last US presidential Election, and the subsequent amateurish way this administration has started off.

The Islamophobic response to the London terror attack.

And the recent insight into the Sandy Hook conspiracy creatures.

Yes, you might say, you have good cause to be angry at them all.

Yes, but not the thundering venomous abusive response I have problems keeping in check, not the sort of remarks I have bouncing around in my head, which are not being released. For once they are released then more follow and then suddenly you are in a whole new way of life. You are looking to be offended, you don’t really spend much time thinking about the victims, you just want to hurt and humiliated the preps, the more damage you cause, the better; the urge to break one.

That is not healthy.

It is hypocrisy rampant.

My wife has to put up with this imitation of an Old Testament character striding about the place.

Because I like to write in a light and slightly flippant style the muse gets scared off    

 Now I can’t shift the blame onto the sources, nice though that would be. I should be above this instead of sinking into their mire. But currently I am in their depths, and it’s not fair that I should sully the WP with the sort of stuff currently going through my head; it might seep out onto my replies to others post and that will certainly not do! (Particularly if the subject matter of the post has only the most tenuous link to whatever I will be snarling about)

So I’m putting myself in quarantine for a while, work on the Patchwork novel and maybe start on another volume of the History. No reading of news either. This is a sort of retreat. Clean out the toxicity, and take some time to work out how I can up-grade my blog too; it’s been two years I should be able to have learnt something by now.

I wish you all the very best and secure in the knowledge that you will all keep on with your good works; interesting, entertaining, captivating and challenging.

Give me a couple of months, there’s no way I could ever truly leave WP.

Ah….Fresh Air!! (Mild showers of Rant warning)

Sorry I’m late folks. I really should have been writing up a post about the experiences when going through your first draft you find a big bit of the plot stinks and you have an experience similar to the crew of a big ocean going ship trying to steer it around too quickly. Anyway another day maybe.

No, I have been out and about mis-behaving on a Social Media site. The mother of that fool who killed and maimed folk on London bridge. The dear lady was expressing her grief at what he had done.

You would not believe the spiteful, nasty, bigoted and ignorant comments directed at her and Muslims in general…..or sadly maybe you would.

So yours truly posted out a comment condemning them and telling the bozos they were great recruiters for IS, then I made a few personal attacks on some of the very most objectionable attacks (see how they like it) an praised one dear lady who supported the woman. I then posted up a faux-set of awards for the ‘best’ stupid comments so far and am hoping to upset a few folk.

But it brings out the ravage/Punisher in me, and being Lent I shouldn’t be doing such things. (I fall for it every time). Thus I return to the clear air of WP. Even though I strongly disagree with them all, even the acts of the current Administration seem tolerable in comparison. (Just rich folk getting richer? Or finding ways to dismantle govt to get even richer?)

I embrace you all. I embrace those I agree with. I embrace those I disagree with, because here on WP at least the latter are eloquent and put forward arguments in an understandable and sometimes witty way.

Oooh, it’s good to be back in WP.

Keep the lights shining and keep on writing folks.

And take care of you and yours

London….

_95274784_passers_by_getty

Hug a loved one or send them a message of love.

Smile and show courtesy to a stranger who the hate-mongers would have you revile.

Do not respond to provocations direct or indirect.

Reach out.

Which ever faith or creed teaches you personally Compassion, Respect and Tolerance, drink deep from its wellspring.

And by your strength of your heart and through your keyboard keep a light ever shining

Light of Writing 1

God Bless You and Yours, God Keep You and Yours and May His Countenance shine upon You and Yours bringing You All Peace.

Goodnight WP Family.

Survival Guide: Getting Lost In The Majesty of Creation ( or one very small bit…The Kuiper Belt)

I would like to extend my thanks to all the folk who commented on my earlier post Survival Guide: Keeping Your Sanity Intact.

As you could tell I was in a Sounding Off mood, so it was quite humbling to find out how folk were telling me how much they appreciated the post. I had best not elaborate any further lest I slip in Oscar Acceptance mode.

Anyway. So we sit there and decide to write something about the wonder which is Creation; the Universe; the Cosmology and at the other end of the scale The Quantum, and try and encapsulate it all…..

…..which is when our heads start to spin.

Rather than have my head fly off, which is bound to inconvenience my darling wife as I did promise cut back some of hedge of ivy this week, I would like to give you this example of the sort of thing which keeps me close to Stability.

Firstly a bit of an introduction to the source.

BBC has a world-wide reputation and if it would stop trying to be fashionably image savvy and also cut back on some of its gaudier stuff all would be well, but that’s for another time. The radio wing boasts Radio 4 which covers a wide scope of programmes, one of which is my favourite: In Our Time; broadcast twice on a Thursday  morning edition 45mins; evening edition edited down to 30mins, the format is quite simple host Melvyn Bragg (something of a British institution) and a topic; Arts, History, Religion, Philosophy, Politics, Science and three experts in the field and they basically talk, prompted or shepherded by Bragg: Use your favourite search engine tap in ‘BBC In Our Time’ and it should lead you there. Programme or played back on your device

This topic for this particular episode is The Kuiper Belt, a vast array of matter left over from the formation of this Solar System. The detail which flows out in plain language is amazing and when you consider this solar system does not even measure as a pin-prick in the scheme of things then the transitory blow-hards can simply be filed away as ‘So What’

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08g7ttx

As Melvyn Bragg says in the podcast introduction ‘I hope you enjoy the programme’

As a conclusion, if science is not your choice then have a rummage through the other programmes on offer (there have been times when I’ve downloaded about 30 programmes and cheerfully wandered through so many subjects on my MP3)

Survival Guide: Keeping Your Sanity Intact

As we know in this day and age in the light of events recent and not so-recent you cannot help but wonder…..’WHAAAAAAAAT!’

Now I know most readers will think I’m going down the road of the USA Presidential Elections or the UK British Brexit referendum, which would be rational, however they are but two examples.

Let me just cite a few in my recent experience both personal and witnessed.

The ‘religious forum’ I gave up on. The fundamentalist atheist who argued I had no business believing in science and a God and had a closed mind for doing so (no kidding…It’s E=MC2 or nothing in his world)

The british comic who in his temper-tantrum (no satire, just a foul-mouthed tirade) over the US elections (his followers thought he was being witty) ranted “Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not against Americans. I like overweight mass-killers as much as anyone” (The way he said it…..Apparently all Americans……Racism anyone?)

Then there were the sour gnomes who were being nasty about a group of US girls soccer team because they all wore headscarves in solidarity with a Muslim team-member who had been told she couldn’t (Mind you I don’t think the gnomes expected me to turn up in one of my very combatative, vitriolic and abusive moods….. when that fellow is let loose watch out)  

Oh yes that inadequate over in the US who not having any backbone claims it’s a constitutional right to be offensive

Anyway enough about these brothers and sisters in the unfaith of negativity

 Ways to escape all of this toxicity

Put it into a Universal Context and Perspective.

Consider the size and the age of The Universe and the myriad histories which exist out there and of which we shall never know. And when the foolish and limited people have gone and are long forgotten by generations ahead, the majesty of this Creation will still be moving on, and their time and their egos will not have shifted its progress not one smallest measure of distance or velocity.

Consider The Laws Which Govern the Universe (Well the bits we know about)

These are still being discovered. But, well despite all the huff ‘n puff generated and the ways they will try to screw with you. There is still gravity. Water is comprised of molecules which are made up of 2 x Hydrogen atoms & 1 x Oxygen atoms. Light moves at a speed. Scientists have and will continue to discover complex laws which make the world we know move and progress. And there is no one dam’ thing any blow-hard, hate-monger, or inadequate internet crawler can do about it. Nothing creeps! You ‘cannae change the Laws of Physics’- yeh- You. Pretty pathetic, aren’t you? Not so a hot-shot!

What Us Humans Do

To name but a few ….We congratulate the excited woman who says she is expecting a child and wish her well. We will run to the child who has fallen and comfort them. We weep at loss. We will dig with our bare hands even when they are raw and bleeding to rescue someone. We will risk our life to safe another. We will marvel at a sunrise. We care for animals. We share the pain of a friend even a stranger. We take on burdens. We work for our families. We make mistakes and we get up again. And you toxics will not stop that

WP- Writers

We are one. We encourage. We advise. We support. We congratulate. We unite under sacred urge to create positive work. We transcend politics, religion, gender, nation, genre, style.

So neighbours, brothers, sisters, friends, when it’s all getting to look like the Low-Priests of Hate and Narrowness of any stripes are taking hold, remember at the end of it all…they are, were and always will be transitory and when they are gone; We and The Worlds about us will continue……..

Keep on keeping folks.

Intolerance- I would have you rot.

Good day to you all. There are 200 + followers to this blog (thank you one and all). Now many of you recently arrived will be familiar with the quirky, idiosyncratic, affable posts.

That author’s not at home today. You’ve got me instead. At this stage I would advise you there will be (A) Unsettling political ideals stated (B) Harsh and unforgiving opinions (C) Stern and iron clad condemnatory statements (D) One of two profanities used with surgical care. (E) This post may upset everyone that reads it. (F) It’s very long 2000+ words- I may have overdone it- don’t care.

The Hate and The Intolerance. A Waste

The rage and the outrage, turned into screaming obscenity and masked as justifiable by The Left. The swift urge to hide behind Freedom of Speech, wilful mis-reading of a Constitution, Bible or political creed by The Right. What a complete and utter waste of time by one and all!

Sad and infuriating to observe the willingness to fall into step with the terminally stupid, the twisted hate-mongers and the snake-oil merchants all peddling their brands of Intolerance, because oh yes indeed, nothing sells so good a Venom and Fear. US Elections, Brexit and now Frexit (France goes to elections shortly). Another period of history where the histrionic and the hysterics have their say revelling in the attention while their followers puff out their chests and make proud with ‘Not In My Name’ banners or fatuously proclaim ‘Liberty’ (for themselves of course). Lots of shouting but very little talking. What fools. What blind, useless, destructive, criminal waste of energy and endeavour. In a world thank is screaming out for communal effort and far-sighted strategy here we have the unedifying spectacle of whole populations dithering, spitting and scrapping over meaningless picky bits of irrelevance.

One Solution: Then Another

Small wonder then that when I view Orwell’s ‘1984’ I think to myself: ‘Not a bad way to run a country. Need to drop the ‘Hate’ interludes and replace it with ‘Community’. Lighten up a bit on the party members (bread and circuses thing). Oh yeh Room 101, just talk at them, on and on and on; that’ll work’ . Oh yes, dear reader my views are very austere Left-Wing, none of your fluffy ‘Freedom and Rights’. For me: Civil Rights come with Civil Responsibilities. You abuse the latter, you seriously lose the former. There is a simple equation to this, we live in complex societies with many layers of beliefs, outlooks, social styles, advantage (or lack of) and financial inequality; these cause many pressures which must be kept in check and then the energy syphoned off- (social programmes folks, we all put in- no exceptions, everyone to the best of their ability.). Hate- can’t change Humanity, but The State can certainly weed out and supress the corrosion and its sources, and the State can ensure that the best doctrine for social stability can be indoctrinated.

I daresay this is all very disturbing for many, and no doubt if many of the more strident folk on social media were to read this they would be in Abuse Mode in seconds. To the latter my answer is a shrug and the response. ‘Well you had better do something to prove that people of different views, outlooks, races and beliefs can get along together. Prove your maturity. Talk. Discuss. Listen. Learn. All of you.’ . Because historically, in terms of centuries the wheels will turn, the engines re-calibrated and is response to this rowdy negativity will come authoritarianism, and many will welcome it, for the seeming stability it brings, and as for the rest, you will be consumed by the system, fresh and supported.

I’m Calling Out The Culprits

Now I’ll only deal with the US & The UK because those are the nations I am most familiar with. The US comes first because you are the younger:

USA  

Firstly I will not really bother with President Trump. He is where he is because a large section of the population both for and against him are not thinking straight. Putting an amateur in charge? If he hadn’t been around those who voted for him would have invented him.  He has to learn pretty fast, novelty can soon wear off, and the might which is the state has many tricks up its sleeve to immobilise him.

Anyway, to the population. It’s difficult to know where to start really. Apparently, there is an Alternative Right, well in the UK we had an Alternative Left; they seem to be very similar. Loud, aggressive (but only to those they can bully or out-number), narrow minded and much given to wrapping up prejudices in some nebulous excuse of ‘The Right To Free Speech’. Looking at the US these seem to be the very folk which The Founding Fathers did not wish to give the vote to ‘The Mob’. There’s some little person scrabbling about the place claiming the ‘Right To Be Offensive’ ; I’m guessing someone who wouldn’t have been allowed to sign the Declaration of Independence. Then we have those who have bought into the notion that every Muslim is a threat and it would only take a few in their town to ruin it. This is of course just what IS and the rest love, white folk picking on Muslims, ideal recruiting fodder. Naturally I could go on about the misogynists, the old fashioned racists (all nicely packaged these days) and my brother and sisters in Christ who somewhere along the way decided that Jesus didn’t really mean you should love everyone and not call everyone a fool, he was obviously referring to Fine, Upstanding Folk. Somewhere mixed up and dragged along with these tawdry groups are folk who really just want everything to be Peaceful, Quiet and Prosperous. These I say, talk to the other side, you don’t really belong amongst the haters. Use you God-given Hearts and Minds.

Now my good friends on The Left or the Liberal Wing. It is very difficult in these times to make your voices heard, seeing as how most of Talk Radio seems inhabited by those paid for their capacity to shock and upset , and of course the Net has rank and festering pools of Hate. The problem you have is similar to those on the Right, you are listening to the wrong folk, the Strident who love to preach to the converted, because they love the feedback. Your tactical problem is you will keep denigrating the entire opposition as if they all lacking in intelligence all are bigoted and quite frankly you seem to think they are all weird. Not so, they are simply you on the other side of the mirror. Why are you not embracing the Dignity of the Silent Protest or the Reasoned Argument. Yes, it is difficult, but shouting is the easy and quite wrong answer. Yes I know the moment you appear above the parapet you get labelled Social Justice Warrior or worse. I did my time both in the UK Civil Service and on a Religious Discussion Site hijacked by the more venomous type of atheist who adhere to the Book of Dawkins and take it from me the only way you get through is by quiet and reasoned argument; some of course will not get it because they don’t want to. But don’t follow the offensive ones, like the guy allegedly an academic who stole the Sacred Host from a Catholic Church and messed with it and burnt a copy of the Quran to demonstrated his bigotry against religion. And there are those in crowd who physically attack the single member of the opposition (usually a woman I notice).

Talk together everyone, lest you watch your country separate into minor nations because that is just what History has in store for you if you don’t learn.

UK

I am less forgiving here. The Isles have been through many trials and tribulations over a two thousand years and damn’d well should have learnt by now.. The native folk of many regions have often vented their ignorant anger on minorities. Less us not hear about the The Irish, or The Scots or The Welsh or The English and their trials, none of us are innocent and the total victim. We are all guilty, mostly of selective history and doing whatever suited us at the time.

So now, these Isles with no merchant fleet to speak of, a navy that is very small, an industrial base which is mostly overseas owned, relies on an overseas supply on energy and communally insist that we can’t possibly use any homegrown energy sources lest they impinge on our back gardens; whose income comes from the unformulated world of finance has now decided that if we set the clock back the The Glorious Revolution of 1688-89 then all will be well because we can magic up the conditions to make us a great trading powerhouse. Some of course blame all the foreign people that have come here for everything that has gone wrong which is an excuse so old but regrettably not worn out.

But we are also quite inventive in our spite here. In fact we are far more enterprising that our fellows in ignorance in the US, we don’t have a written constitution to play with. However, us Brits are much more inventive. Particularly my comrades on the Left; The Fashionable Left that is.

Of course prejudice is a nasty thing and we wouldn’t want to be associated with those horrible people on The Right, but fear not we can hide behind the masks of Social Conscience. We can indulge in an old tradition in these Isles of Anti-Semitism, but these days we can say it’s because we object to the Israeli Government. It’s so much more easy than trying to make common cause with the Israeli opposition groups, and there are Jews here to  pick on. Naturally it’s nothing personal because we all know they support the Israeli Govt. We would be horrified to be associated with attacks on Muslim folk as individuals, but of course we can rail against Islam because look how ‘they’ treat their women. They all do it y’know. None of those women wish to dress like that, they have been brain-washed by their men. And of course we are on safe ground by being offensive to religion overall because it has been the cause of more wars and abuse than anything else in the whole wide-world. We know, we read it on a web-site.

And finally, the Left can indulge in some real open racism by picking on Americans. We can call them stupid, lazy, ignorant, superstitious (religion) obsessed with guns and every single adult for being responsible for Donald Trump, because we are witty, astute, informed having spent many minutes reading inanities on web-sites. And no obviously we didn’t mean those of the minorities, no  we have been mis-understood.

Coming back to reality there is nothing so sad in the UK as someone on the Left displaying a crass ignorance by generalising; unless you count those who enthusiastically agree with them.

Conclusion

So what do I know then? Apart from my history. Well I know about Intolerance and Prejudice I’ve suffered them but more importantly I’ve indulged and am still prey to them. Oh yes, Racial Prejudice, small -time irritation but some standards, but it’s there no the less. I don’t even have excuse of being born into it, I acquired it as an adult. NO I don’t make a virtue of that. It’s a weakness to be fought against, to be erased. It is an offense unto God. I written all these words under a cloud of hypocrisy. The details are secret, because I do not wish to cause offense to anyone by detailing this moral crime of which I am guilty. The internal battle goes on; it will not win.

I could go on a lot longer, but it would be a bit self-indulgent.

In conclusion I would thank you all who’ve read this. And if anyone wants to rant at me in justifiable outrage, please do, as Mr Bennett said in Pride and Prejudice “I am at my leisure”