Still Alive And Kicking

Civilization, for sale at last!

Arriving in Britain, we stayed first in a Welsh cottage miles from anything remotely broadband, then a Norfolk Broads sailing cruiser boasting a double bed less than five feet ten inches in length atop, I later learned, the forty gallon tank containing effluent from the toilet.

Despite aching muscles from sleeping permanently crouched, and bruised hipbones – the two inch cushion serving as a mattress failed utterly to prevent contact with the metal underneath – we declared the holiday a success and have sought refuge in a Stratford-on-Avon hotel for two nights so my American wife can savor the flavor of the English Bard, before finally flying back to Chicago and home.

Wi-fi abounds in this hotel, and what’s more, it’s free.

Our two-week sojourn in such remote regions of the British Empire allowed only scant access to domestic news and not even a morsel of information on happenings in the US of A. Well, apart that is from the final surrender of Hillary Clinton to the politically inevitable. Even in the UK that’s considered something of which the British public needs made aware.

Most noticeable, while following the UK media, has been a shift in British political circles of late back towards the unhealthy American approach. One hoped that with the demise of Tony Blair there may have been a move by his successor towards a saner form of British politics, but alas, Gordon Brown is way too timid, and capable only of following blindly in the footsteps of Blair policies already proven lacking, thus earning the scorn of his party’s electorate and a shift in voter confidence towards those right-wing Tory vultures waiting impatiently for a chance to feast on the festering political corpse of a prime minister unable to break free from the specter of his already canonized (in some circles) predecessor.

Were it not for consistent displays of ineptitude that would lack credibility even from a mentally deficient baboon with recent frontal lobotomy, one might feel a twinge of sympathy for Gordon Brown. Taking the reins of power from Tony Blair was never going to be an easy task, but given the wrath Blair engendered from the British public in his later political years – his stubborn insistence on supporting Bush in Iraq and the Blair doctrine of turning a British Labour Party into the most right-wing political establishment in the history of the nation – surely Brown was on a winner simply by reversing these Blairite aberrations and returning the Labour Party to its original left-wing roots?

Blair’s love affair with the multinational corporates and their American base was anathema to the British; his warmongering policies a stab in the public eye. Gordon Brown, on his accession to office, appeared keen to weaken ties with America; his promise of a “return to traditional British politics” sat well with public opinion, but where has it all gone?

Within twelve months, the zest evaporated; suddenly Brown rushed across the Atlantic to suck up to Bush, pushed ahead with NHS plans that mimic health service privatization, and stumbled back into the dark, evil, quagmire of Blairite doctrines.

Around the halls of Westminister, Tory vultures flapped long-unclipped wings, discovered they could fly once more, and took to the air with a scent of blood in the nostrils.

In true ovine fashion the great British public switches allegiance. Unhappy with Brown, they flock en masse to support the ‘other side’, even when it’s painfully obvious to a blind, deaf, mute that the ‘other side’ is equally likely to sell them down the river, as Tony Blair managed so successfully, and Gordon Brown seems hell-bent on following.

Did I mention the word, ‘civilization’ earlier? Hardly. Talking of rivers, perhaps being on that boat and away from it all wasn’t such a bad idea after all.

Shiver me timbers and hoist the to’ gallants; pack me a lifebuoy and a barrel of salted pork. I’m thinkin’ it’s time to head for white water once more.

Gordon Brown’s done for me, me hearties. Splice the mainbrace, I’m joining the navy…….

Or, come to think of it, I could just fly back to the cozy insanity of America…….

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