The Famous Five, Windrush, Walter Tull and Enoch Powell

The Famous Five and Enoch Powell and Walter Tull

What an extraordinary coincidence,
That on the fiftieth anniversary
Of Enoch Powell’s ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech,
Our railway stations should be awash
With ‘Five Go on Holiday’ GWR posters;
Four children – well adults really – and a dog,
Escaping to a whitewashed cottage,
In a West Country all white fastness,
Where BBC received pronunciation,
Snobbish condescension,
And lower class deference
Keep everyone in their place,
Abetted by kindly constables on the beat,
Who will willingly tell you the time.

The Famous Five and Enoch Powell and Walter Tull

What an extraordinary coincidence,
That on the fiftieth anniversary
Of Enoch Powell’s ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech,
Our railway stations should be awash
With ‘Five Go on Holiday’ GWR posters;
Four children – well adults really – and a dog,
Escaping to a whitewashed cottage,
In a West Country all white fastness,
Where BBC received pronunciation,
Snobbish condescension,
And lower class deference
Keep everyone in their place,
Abetted by kindly constables on the beat,
Who will willingly tell you the time.

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Inprint Eulogy

The Inprint shop and building in the High Street in Stroud,
Resembles nothing so much as something out of Dickens,
An Old Curiosity Shop,
Defying straight lines of logic:
A seeming hexagonal structure,
With Wemmick-like turrets at the top;
The shop doorway on the corner at an angle,
With a fading palimpsest gable end advertisement
For something delicious and ‘home made’,
And a mysterious door numbered 31a,
That might – or might not- take us up flights of stairs,
Past so many Great Expectations,
And so to Mr. Wemmick’s castle up on high.

But far better than such an ascension,
Let us examine the shop windows:
Displays that follow the high ideals of public broadcasting,
Spectacles of books and comics and posters and maps,
All artfully and painstakingly arranged,
A tableau of colour and half-remembered past time,
A street mis en scene that arrests the eye,
And one which informs, educates and entertains,
A business that improves the mind of the passer-by,
As well as tempting the bibliophile;

The Inprint shop and building in the High Street in Stroud,
Resembles nothing so much as something out of Dickens,
An Old Curiosity Shop,
Defying straight lines of logic:
A seeming hexagonal structure,
With Wemmick-like turrets at the top;
The shop doorway on the corner at an angle,
With a fading palimpsest gable end advertisement
For something delicious and ‘home made’,
And a mysterious door numbered 31a,
That might – or might not- take us up flights of stairs,
Past so many Great Expectations,
And so to Mr. Wemmick’s castle up on high.

But far better than such an ascension,
Let us examine the shop windows:
Displays that follow the high ideals of public broadcasting,
Spectacles of books and comics and posters and maps,
All artfully and painstakingly arranged,
A tableau of colour and half-remembered past time,
A street mis en scene that arrests the eye,
And one which informs, educates and entertains,
A business that improves the mind of the passer-by,
As well as tempting the bibliophile;

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Magna Carta, David Starkey and Fracking

Thomas Pain - Rights of Man Cover

All this David Starkey
malarkey
About Magna Carta,
The Great Charter,
And Life, Liberty and Property;

I saw him on the telly,
With his usual pomposity,
But without a hint of irony,
As he talked of ending tyranny;

For as a consequence of fracking,
Our homes now face ransacking,
And so pockets can be lined,
Our homes are undermined.

An English home is your castle?
Why, that’s oh so medieval –
Magna Carta’s not for us,
Our basements turn to dust.

Oh brave new world that has such mining in it.

1066 And All That

Here are a few of the comments of Sellar and Yeatman, from their 1930 classic, on Magna Charter (‘on account of the Latin Magna (great) and Charter (a Charter)’):

  1. That no one was to be put to death, save for some reason – (except the Common People).
  2. That everyone should be free – (except the Common People).
  3. That everything should be of the same weight and measure throughout the Realm – (except the Common People).
  4. That the Barons should not be tried except by a special group of other Barons who would understand.

Magna Charter was therefore the chief cause of Democracy in England, and thus a Good Thing for everyone (except the Common People).

And, for 2015:

  1. That no one’s home should be subject to fracking – (except the Common People).