Speech

What’s that, Amb?

Someone has put lots and lots of rubbish in that hedge and it’s really dirty now so they should come back and clean it all up so it’s nice and clean“?

Um, yes, I think you’re… er, probably right.

[Glances sidelong at his daughter, who said exactly those words without any baby language or mistakes in her grammar]

The big lie about the cuts

Why are so many people convinced by the government line that “we have to cut everything and we have to cut it now“?

Why are so many people so eager to believe that we need to decimate the lives and livelihoods of millions across the country?

Why have so many people forgotten that it was the richest people in the country who caused the recession?

And finally, why are so few people angry that the richest people in the country (those who caused the recession, remember) are not suffering at all because of it?  Why are people blaming Gordon Brown or Labour or the LibDems, in fact everybody except those who actually caused this recession?

How are they getting away with the biggest con trick of modern times – the lie that we can somehow no longer afford to be a decent, caring society?

Because that’s what all you supporters of the cuts really mean.

Behind all your lies about paying the debt and being “realistic” what you’re actually saying is that supporting the sick, the old and the less fortunate members of our society is too expensive – we can no longer afford to behave like decent, civilised human beings.

And that’s why I marched on Saturday: because that idea utterly disgusts me.

Pictures

It’s odd how familiar our photos of Trev are becoming to me.  I’ve looked at the last sets of photos we have of him hundreds of times now – the ones from Boxing Day and the ones from late October when we all met Isabel, my niece, for the first time.

Those are the… I was going to say “most recent” but “last” is technically more accurate.  Those are the last ones we have of Trev, and I’ve looked at them all far more times than any photo before.  With other people’s photos there’s a “churn”, a replacement of older photos with newer ones, but as time goes on it strikes you that these are it, now: these are our memories of Trev and there aren’t any newer ones coming.  That’s why they’re becoming more familiar than any others.

Trev and me

It sounds like a strange thing to say but what I miss most is the future of Trev: all that time we were going to spend together and all the fun we might have had.  I don’t feel robbed of the past, I feel robbed of the future with him – of time, something I blithely assumed we had so much of.  With Trev gone that future seems to stretch out in front of us a just little less hopeful and a little less friendly.  The realisation that time is not something you can rely on.

The last week or so I’ve been mostly OK – thinking of Trev a few times a day not in a sad way but…well, just remembering his voice and things we did together over the years.  It genuinely felt as though things were almost OK.

They’re not though.  They’re better than they were and continuing, slowly, to heal.  But they’re not OK.

Poor Millie

Poor Millie, she spends a day surrounded by dangerous anarchists without suffering so much as a scratch. A day in the garden, however, has left her with a nasty cut under her left eye following a fall onto the front door step.

I was weeding the front garden as she ran back into the house; I heard her wail and turned to see her sprawled by the door. Presuming she’d hurt her knee again (it was the second time this had happened) I scooped her up and checked her legs but they were fine. Then I looked at her face and blood was just beginning to well up from an alarmingly deep cut under her eye.

My hands were covered in mud so I had to shout for the Lovely Melanie to come and help.   Fortunately there was relatively little blood from such a deep cut and Millie, our big brave girl, quickly calmed down.

But she had to have the plaster replaced three times before bed, as every time blood kept soaking through them. I even woke her up to check it before I went to bed (it was OK).

This morning we changed the plaster again before school and that seems to have done the trick.

A long-suffering Millie sighed as she told me that she was going to have to explain to everyone in her class why she had a plaster under one eye today.

Sure enough, the first two children in the playground this morning asked exactly that, and Millie looked up at me with a weary smile that said, “See? What did I tell you?

Marching against the cuts

As you can see from the previous entry, we’ve been out protesting against the cuts today.

Marching against the cuts

It was a little different from the usual demo experience, mainly because there was such a remarkable cross-section of society out marching.  I’ve never been on a march with so many old people, families, and children.  All the usual suspects were there, too, but everywhere you looked there were mothers with babies, elderly couples, dads pushing buggies, etc.

Which made it all the more annoying when we got back home – tired, cold and footsore, but pleased we’d gone – to find the TV news basically ignoring that fact and focusing on the vanishingly small minority who engaged in some rather more direct action.  We were there for four hours today and we didn’t see a single incidence of trouble or vandalism.

Not a single one!

We’d had a lovely day out – the girls enjoyed themselves, we did and saw lots of things that we’d never normally do or see, we laughed, we cheered, we marched (and I got complimented on my banner many times).

So we were astonished to be told by the BBC that we’d apparently been in the middle of some kind of violent and dangerous anarchist riot.

I say “astonished” – what I actually mean is “absolutely disgusted to find such a positive and popular day so completely misrepresented in the name of so-called news reporting“.

Shame on you, BBC.

The only redeeming feature of the BBC coverage was seeing some graffiti that used the F-word almost continually (and unavoidably) in shot on a live broadcast!