11/5/2020 The Power of ‘Nostalgia’ (why is there no antonym?)
I’m looking at the description and thinking, should this read unemployed? Technically I’ve finished all paid work now, and invoiced for it. Technically I am a ‘Jobseeker’. The last time I thought about ‘signing on’ was about 35 years ago when I was temporarily homeless, penniless and trying to get organised (again!). That experience led me to the worst job of my life. Spud-u-like (do they still exist, in ‘normal’ times?) on Brighton sea front. Largely because the bloke in the Job Centre did not believe me that I needed emergency payment … “I’m sure a nice girl (sic*) like you will find something, somewhere to stay” – stunned by the obvious undertone, I wanted to land that punch – or even a punchline. Instead I walked out fuming. Anyhow, nostalgia is nothing to get bogged down in… I’ve made a career of avoiding it. If only there was another word.
[* ‘girl’ – was an anachronism to me even back in the 80s; actually, I was about 27 so as well as insulting, demeaning and patronising, it was inaccurate.]
I am still isolating – I still have a mother in hospital in Somerset – I still can’t work out how I (or the larger we) can get out of this. I am appalled by the inability of people to read a graph, or realise that scientists disagree, that science is ever-evolving and is never totally correct at a particular time. And that, mixed with a showboating ego and advisers we don’t know or see or vote for, is dangerous. Public office is just that – or should be. I don’t care that BJ had to get Brexit done, get divorce done, get engagement done, get baby done and all that personal baggage. Public Office should mean that – your absolute priority – or move along, stand down, become furloughed, take sick leave, take a pay cut, get out the way. know this is ‘unprecedented’
I hate the fact that any semblance of democracy seems to have disappeared – edicts, speeches, little opportunity to challenge, only agreeing to be cross examined by the lightest of light weight interviewers. I am angry. And that means I switch off, avoid, ignore … because I don’t want to be permanently angry … which means I add to the lack of scrutiny and crumbling of democracy.
So, today we wait for a hastily tweaked 50-page document which purports to be UK policy, although the devolved nations have already gone rogue, so is really an English policy. The invidious nature of stretching to breaking consent policing, we’ve seen this before (that nostalgia is creeping in, and it isn’t rose tinted). No doubt this will be late (as things seem to be) with little time to scrutinise before the 3.30 presidential PM address. We can only hope that the renowned forensic scrutiny of the L. of Op. will flag up the dangers of this – for health, for society, for democracy. I certainly no longer place any faith that the Speaker will force the issue.
1985 – nostalgia again – we gave up, we left, the Miners’, the Beanfield, Stonehenge, the Public Order Act, unlawful assembly, militarisation of the police, the ‘unrest’. Seen everywhere that year spray canned, painted, printed and sewed “Last one to leave the country, please turn off the lights.”