Friday 28 July 2023

BeatlesWatch: It was 55 years ago today.......................

On 28 July 1968, the Beatles went on a ‘mad day out’ around London with photographers Don McCullin and Stephen Goldblatt, to generate some publicity pictures. During the shoot, they visited St Pancras Old Churchyard in Camden, site of a Christian place of worship since perhaps the fourth century and nestling beside the lost River Fleet.

They sat on this bench – life was so exciting in those days. At the time the band were making the White Album, or more correctly Double Album, and already on the road to breaking up. 

Tuesday 4 July 2023

Brexitwatch reveals the Brexiters' biggest mistake: winning!

I've managed to resurrect another section from the history of Brexit Britain published some time after 2050 - the priceless gift of Sybil, my acquaintance from the future:

'The morning after they "won" the Brexit referendum, the leaders of the Leave campaign, Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, looked as though they were going to a funeral. No celebrations, no 'we did it' fist-pumping triumphalism. Glum faces all round. The reason was simple.

In a project with so many faults and flaws, it seems invidious to pick out one, but perhaps the greatest was that Johnson and Gove never meant Brexit to win. It was a protest movement. It was against the EU, and often against it with a visceral hatred, but it was not really in favour of anything, certainly nothing very coherent and nothing that its Heinz 57 varieties of supporters could agree on.

If only it had lost, Leavers could have gone on happily complaining about the EU, while the rest of the country got on with its business of being reasonably efficient and content. Instead Leave won, and found itself lumbered with implementing a pile of undeliverable, often contradictory promises. Soon its supporters were complaining more vociferously than they had when the UK was in the EU.

But to make things worse, those who had understood the benefits of EU membership and had now been robbed of them, were up in arms too. The whole country, Leavers and Remainers, were at worst furious at and at best cynically contemptuous of a whole English political establishment they felt had betrayed them. While it seemed the only people to have benefited were politicians like Johnson, Patel and Braverman who were promoted way beyond anything their extremely modest gifts justified.'