Protempore – Issue 97

Posted by in October's Magazine

Like most people, I’m not a huge fan when it comes to listening to other people’s dreams but I indulge them because dreams are important. Whether they actually tell us anything about our inner selves or have some distant touchstone to our beginnings as sparkly pieces of dust in the cosmos, I don’t know and I don’t care. They’re important. Whenever I hear anyone say, and it’s usually about their children, “oh she’s such a daydreamer,” I want to shake them and point out that making children concentrate on things that aren’t important when they’re very young and become even less important as they get older, is a miserable, joyless way to behave. And whenever I think about what’s miserable and joyless, a picture of Michael Gove comes into my mind’s eye.

A Tory education minister who thinks children should be seen and rounded up into a herd to study English history from the age of five. What a fuckwit. Five year old children should be spending the vast majority of their day daydreaming and having silly ideas put into their heads. Take a minute to think about this; how good does it feel when you suddenly realise that you’ve spent a vast amount of time doing nothing but dreaming? There you go. And talking of dreams.



I had one the other day. I drifted off back to the 1970s when I was about 12 years old. I don’t want to get all Proustian on you but I remembered things like my mum putting little dots of butter on breaded haddock before grilling them and making proper chips in the bespoke fire hazard of choice at the time, a chip pan. Around about quarter to five every weekday, my dad would get back from work and his grey overalls would smell of oil and tobacco and the cab of his lorry. He always bought the Daily Express because he wanted to know what ‘the enemy’ was saying.

He hated the Tories and was a staunch member of the Transport and General Workers Union. I can still remember those words being spat out by people like Edward Heath and Keith Joseph. Back then, you knew where you stood in politics. It was us and them. My dad always used to pause before he spat the word ‘them’ out. “There’s us. And…..them”. He liked vitriol on his fish and chips.

Like all good dreams, this one seemed to end just as things were becoming clearer and more meaningful. But by some miracle, when I eventually got the world back into full focus, I was watching the Labour party conference and Ed Milliband was on stage and in full flow.

Lord Snooty and…
Now I’ve never been a huge fan of Ed as regular readers of this page will know. I’ve always thought of him as being a ‘straight from Oxbridge into politics clone’ and to be fair that was his route to the leadership of the party, but he appears to have had some kind of epiphany. And here he was, talking about freezing energy prices, taking on the energy companies and seizing land from property developers if they hoarded it for too long so that the Government, his Government, could build houses on it. He also stated that he would increase corporation tax for big businesses in order to fund a cut for small businesses. Was I still dreaming? Was the Labour party being pulled to the left and finally standing in direct opposition to the Tories?

Would the newspapers be full of ‘Red Ed’ headlines? Did we finally have someone who would stand up to…..them? Well it looks like we have. And how has this gone down with the energy companies, big business and the Tories? As you would expect, the energy companies, who normally keep their heads well below the political parapet because they fund the Tories, have come out predicting economic disaster for the country and the prospect of blackouts. Big businesses, who normally keep their heads well…you get the picture, are panicking and predicting much the same.

The Tories and their favoured newspapers have, as you would also expect, accused Red Ed of taking the country backwards and are apoplectic about the prospect of the energy companies and big businesses having their vast profits reduced in order to help working families up and down the country. It’s not surprising, the less money big businesses have, the less they can afford to donate to Lord Snooty and his chums. The Daily Mail even went so far as to call Ed ‘Stalinist’. Are they stuck in the 1970s? If so, they better wake up fast because this isn’t a dream.

Against all the odds, Ed Milliband has got the Tories on the back foot and has, I hope, ushered in a new era of us and…..them. In my mind’s daydreaming eye, I can see the huge smile on my dad’s face over the top  of the Daily Express.


One response to “Protempore – Issue 97”

  1. There is awesome working which is inspirational for all. We should learn from such examples.

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