I am breaking my own rule about starting with a positive but let me just say this and then I promise to hold my peace. Campaigning must be positive as in “Get Brexit done” which really means “Vote for me !” rather than “Don’t vote for him/her/Brexit.” Nicola Sturgeon made it work in Scotland too. It may be economical with the truth but it is easier to get your head round.
OK, the election is over. If the Blond has any small self knowledge, he must admit what those many worn faces told the cameras “I didn’t vote for Boris Johnson. I voted against Jeremy Corbyn.” Without such unsatisfactory opposition, BJ wouldn’t have got his mandate. And if BJ endorses another three years of being held to ransom by what the Conservative Party does and doesn’t want, instead of what the country needs, it will come unravelled pretty fast. The Liberal Party must recognise that trying to make a national policy out of ignoring a legally acknowledged referendum was never going to fly. And the ruthlessness of mass media when you’re fronted by a Head Prefect with a voice of tin. God bless the Greens and the Independents, more power to you.
I am weary of elections conducted like a football match – here the Blues, here the Reds and guess who is the football ?
You may not care who I don’t care about but -Stanley Johnson (who cares ?) – says “Here’s to a Brexit free Christmas !” Here’s to a Stanley Johnson free Christmas. Send Nigel Farage away – send him to the US (poor devils, haven’t they got problems enough of their own ?) Send him anywhere, just – send him away. And McDonnell. Retire McCluskey, the underwriting union man. Diane Abbott has held her seat so we must suppose she is OK in constituency – fine, let’s keep her out of the national press. Tidings of comfort and joy ? I’ll settle for a breathing space.
Two journalists were briefed to write about why we should give up Christmas cards – the expense, the bother, the stamps, the waste (pretty rich when you consider the proportion of junk mail) … but every year, without fail, I hear from somebody unexpectedly. And I do it too, write to somebody I have lost touch with, to say good luck and God Bless. Casting bread on the waters …
I wouldn’t attempt to write them all in one fell swoop. I have friends who sit like dutiful children at home work, writing and stamping over a hundred cards. My list is much shorter and each card requires something personal of me. If not personal, why bother ? Christmas is personal. If it isn’t personal, it’s a short break and a marketing opportunity. And yes, I can field Christmas memories along with the best of them – but every Christmas brings me something new. If you are not going to go on learning, life isn’t much fun.
Forget the internet, I did my shopping by foot because I have to look and it brings me unexpected pleasures as well as the curled lip at horrid ugliness and expense. And a lot of what I call “almost” – the right colour but the wrong shape, the right shape in poor quality, the endless reflection “Really? Am I sure ?” and the golden rule – when in doubt, don’t.
It is infuriating that you can’t write and say “Well done !” though there is a complaints system laid down at the ready. I tried six times to reach the producer of Vienna Blood (BBC2) and eventually wrote him snail mail. It won’t get to him, the BBC don’t care about the licensees, we just pay the rent. And even what was last year a small outfit sending (very good) flowers by mail now has a whole procedure which is more trouble than it’s worth to fight through to say how pleased you are.
Next Saturday is the winter solstice, the shortest day and I have one Christmas present waiting (from Snowdrop who is in Aus) and although I am fascinated by the psychology of 20 houses with wreaths on the door and rubbish in the front garden, that’s their gardens not mine. My percolator works, my ankle is better, I had an editor who used to say “Onward and upward !” I’ll settle for onward.