Boro

I have a slew of Brexit-related days out coming up, one done already down in Middlesbrough, which was nearly two-thirds in favour of Leave. Our half-dozen campaigners, a jolly mix of people from Newcastle and north Yorkshire, stood outside Debenhams for two hours this Saturday gone and vox-popped folk on how they thought Brexit was going. Four to one think it is, in short, a clusterfuck. And time and again we had those who came up, said they’d voted Leave, but now regretted it in light of new information. Not, they’d done it out of spite against the Tories when they knew better, or were so bored of it, no. They’d been misled and they were angry about that, or they knew people who’d been misled and who couldn’t talk about it out of shame. It is a travesty.

I got into a well-spirited debate with a trades unionist who wasn’t going to be persuaded, although he agreed it was a load of lies sold by Tories who’d only ever been in it for themselves, but his main beef was immigration overwhelming local resources, principally housing. In fact I was talking to a friend today who said the same thing, and that’s what it was for many, housing, that’s what it’s always been.

And now I think of it, of course, when did this really come about? In the mid-noughties, when house prices were heading into the strastosphere and I was doing my nut for not being on the housing ladder, the endless articles and TV shows and propaganda about home-owning, the money being thrown at it. I got my own place, an ex-council flat no less …. but what of the millions of others increasingly struggling to find anywhere even to rent? Certainly not the councils who’d sold so much stock over the years to enable to working class to become home-owners (and thereby middle-class, prosperous, no longer dependent on the community, maybe even come to vote Tory?) but hadn’t built anything like enough to replace them. And at the same time immigration began to increase dramatically, and those nominal working-class Labour-voters began to support the BNP.

I said at the time we had a real debt timebomb of over a trillion pounds, stacked against old bricks, and indeed it went bust in 2008, for which we got years of austerity which provoked enough voters to vote Leave just to stick it to Cameron – and not least because the EU hadn’t done them any good either way, so they think.

Throughout austerity those without homes still never got their bricks, while wages are augmented by foodbanks, festering an anger that has had to be directed at someone, somewhere.

Them over there in that house.

Was that the real timebomb?

Was the writing on the wall all the way back then?

https://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/teesside-news/eu-referendum-teesside-votes-overwhelmingly-11518440

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Painting and decorating

I hate it, I hate it so. The paint dries, the sheen is uneven, there’s this ‘flashing’, while other parts are thin and need another coat and then there are lap lines, then you take off the tape and some paint’s seeped under, some of the tape is caught under the edge of the paint, some of the paint taped over has come off with the tape.

I hate it. I fucking hate it. I would hate to be a decorator almost as much as I’d hate to work in removals. Oh my Lord that would be torture, a life of backache and crushed toes and nipped fingers, hauling two-hundred-weight wardrobes up and down stairs.

Fuck that, man.

The none-too distant future

My studies as a paramedic are rolling around again. Holy Balls, what have I done? Not enough work … but I’ve picked up a few books, things are making sense. It’s interesting. I like it. Shit. I might just have to do this, Goddamn.

A few days ago in town I saw a crew treating a man for Spice, they’d got the pads on and an IGel down his throat, but he was breathing fairly normally, they weren’t bagging him, they were working swiftly but he flailed a couple of times, they got him on the stretcher and loaded up but didn’t move off, so even then it’s unlikely they suspected a major head injury from falling over.

Then earlier today I was coming back from a good 5-mile run and found a dog on the pavement, an old, fat dog that doesn’t get much exercise and is spoiled but not for being old, it’s cos its master/mistress is old too, and I took it back to its house, the back gate and back door open, no reply to knocking, me ‘hello?’, I thought ‘right this a nan-down, better investigate.’ Then this old dear appeared from the shed and was shocked to see me, but I explained I was worried the dog wasn’t supposed to be out and she was good with that. But I thought … yeah, what if she was down, and the DRCABCDE came back and so on.

Hmm….

Winter

Winter is coming. Am I ready? I’m a lot better placed than I was last year, but even so.

Demoralising as Hell is this Brexit clusterfuck that’s only months away. The extent of our government’s incompetence, its vile intransigence towards the Brits in Europe who are making their own groups of expertise to work out what the fuck to do, the criminal paucity of the direction to the hundreds of thousands of businesses and jobs already under threat here just for sheer want of knowing what they’re supposed to do, and the investments, and contracts lost because of that. The stress. All of it is just disgusting, by a government that fucked off on holiday, leaving the country teetering off a cliff like the ending of The Italian Job, and now May’s gone to Africa to cobble together interest among a few Commonwealth states with a combined GDP less than that of Scotland.

The woman responsible for Windrush is in South Africa patronising the locals with her adoration of Mandela for his dreams of living in a country devoid of any colour bar. She promises £4bn for jobs for the young there. She says a no-deal won’t be a big deal.

All at the behest of a criminal cabal of far-right asset strippers, JRM, Farage, Boston Consulting. They know what’s going to happen, they’re preparing to short the market and steam in with their vastl, untaxed gains from crashing the Pound to buy up and asset strip what’s left of industry. They simply do not care, they never did. Rees-Mogg is actually prepared to have inspections of people crossing the hard border into Ireland. Are the locals prepared to put up with that? No. The GFA will die and people will die with it. He’ll have a punt on that outcome riding somewhere.

I’ve not written about this in great length, spending too much time on Twitter arguing the toss with bots. But I know the view from abroad is bafflement, incomprehension, humour, the Berliners simply don’t get it at all. More anon …

They’ve abandoned a million Brits in Europe, they’ve left 3 million fine friends and family here in complete limbo with the outcome possibly being ‘you have no right to stay’, and being drummed out, some leaving children, by total thugs. How is this conscionable to be so derelict, so negligent, so vile, on any level?

So what do I do?

Sunday

Had our relatively regular Sunday coffee at Costa in Blaydon, although every time we go I remember it takes weeks to get served.

Loads of fat people in Blaydon, and loads of people sitting in their cars in the Morrisons’ car park. Not sure what the appeal is of the latter, while I’m not making much of a link between the two phenomena. We had a scan through the Heil on Sunday where following on from the Genoa bridge collapse they thought it in the public interest / good to wind the readers by reporting on the UK being home to thousands of bridges all about to collapse. I thought this the other day, adding to my fear every time we go under a motorway bridge some bastard kid is going to drop a brick through the windscreen that levels my forehead at 70 mph. Then talked about how many people died in the Japanese tsunami of 2011, Dawn said 200, I said 10,000, in fact it was 15,000 but mostly in the earthquake, not the flood, still though the waves hitting Chile and Alaska, thanks to Japan’s inability to keep its earthquakes under control! (sorry I went Heil on Sunday there), plus an obscenely stupid piece by Toby Young that I must now daub with excrement in the most intellectual of ways.

A bridge expert said on the radio how a great deal of the major infrastructure in Italy built in the 60s and 70s could be compromised by the influence of the mafia, who demanding cuts here there and everywhere hack at the quality of the materials used, sub-spec stuff gets used, the quality stuff is diverted elsewhere (over and over and over). Everyone takes their cut. We see similar stuff in China and North Korea (the latter suffering sanctions as well, which is interesting because for such a police state you’d think graft was unthinkable, whereas it’s the black economy reality of the place, it wouldn’t survive without it).

I did an evening’s extra work the other night, Friday night, me and this other nice chap put on balaclavas and burst out the back of a van to abduct this very nice young actor, who was game considering he couldn’t see and we could have smashed his head and shins bundling him into the van. It was a proper shoot as well, a lot of kit quickly deployed for this back-alley scene where you’d more likely find Hartlepoolists fucking and vomming on a Friday night (hopefully not at the same time). Proper stunt coordinator doing high kicks (aged 57, he was chuffed to say), while giving us contrary instructions about our scene (I think to wreck the first take for the sake of an out-takes vid, seeing how funny everyone found it). The director was this seriously obese American who seemed nice enough, but there’s a definite heirarchy, as if only certain people get to speak at a certain volume. The big jokes and joshing is all their preserve, basically, everyone else is on full-scurry mode.

Sitting with the extras for a couple of hours, the chat was slow at first, and a lot of resorting to staring at our phones, but it turned the chap I abducted with was a driving instructor, the older chap who had his own kidnapping scene spent 30 years on oil rigs (and had his own consultancy in Aberdeen for years), this burly dude from London was a former fireman. Really interesting people. The guy playing our mafia boss was very nice, came over and introduced himself, a few anecdotes, he seemed canny.

My opposite then saw going to queue for food this young blonde who he was sure was a hit off Children’s BBC, as his kids watched the prog (and no doubt so did he too many times for his own liking) and so she was! Later as we got into the minibus to take us all to town for various scenes, she came and sat next to us on the bus, and he got out his phone and showed her a pic of his kids, saying they were fans of hers. ‘Oh right, great’, she said, then turned to her friend and they had the most scintillating conversation about planning a Doritos’ party some time.

God’s Teeth. All she had to say was ‘great! What are their names? Would you like a selfie with me to show them?’ Would have cost nothing to her, and meant everything to them, instead she’s bloody rude and up herself. The bus driver attested to this later, drivers always have the inside track on this kind of shit, said she was a diva who’d spend two hours in make-up. (I was in make-up and was done in five minutes!)

Interesting contrast, the people who are the extras, the nobodies in the background, have others lives they lead, real lives, and that’s what makes them interesting, whereas the star of the show is a know-nothing self-obsessed child.

SHUN THE NON BELIEVERS

UKIP is an EVIL CULT, based on BLIND FAITH in its appeal to the old and senile for a return to PARADISE LOST, CASTING OUT the non-believers, a cult fomented by HATE PREACHERS Farage and Robinson, directed by the EVIL AYATOLLAH BANNON from his cave in Washington.

Goddamn

Beeped hello at the local racist as I drove past him walking his dog, or hobbling with his dog as he has a walking stick that he brandished aloft in response to my beep, only then I thought he could fall over, which I might remember for next time I beep him.

Our neighbours’ van for their co-owned business is still in the back lane. They must be at home, on a working day. They must be AT IT.

Then I see Crawcrook’s angriest tiler doing a paint job on Doreen’s iron fence. Maybe I should remind him to keep his temper, but conclude this might set him off. He is unstable after all. I choose to leave him be, and for that, I am grateful to my own better judgement.

Queue out the fucking door at the pie-shop, where I’d gone to get my ration plus some black pudding  for the hounds, cos some old bat won’t stop nattering with the Womble-butcher, even then she forgets half her order so has to biddy back in ‘owwo wow wowo wow, biddy biddy biddy’ bollockery. What was the name of that helmet-headed robot off Buck Rogers, who is so alike Theresa May?

Point being, you’d think people circling the drain like this might spend their last days doing something better than pottering, not even pottering, faffing as if it’s a fine art. The end of the line is well and truly in sight, those buffers you see just ahead, you’re piling straight into them and it’s a one-sided collision, trust me, so all those incredible things you’ve put off, better get on it.

That said, maybe they’re all artists at heart and this semi-professional biddying/pottering/faffing is a prolonged piece of performance art.

Not that prolonged, mind. *ROFLCOPTER.

Just realised something else. I’ve got a load of work come in, editing, a bit of writing, an evening as an extra in Hartlepool, adds up to £1,200. Great. But this is averaged over weeks, months. It’s shit. I’m sick of being poor. I fucking hate being poor. Twelve years ago I was on, all things considered, over £40k – at the time. What the Hell did I spend it on? Where’s all my money gone? How the fuck do I get by now? Well shove it, frankly.

MISSION: I’m going to fuck off out of here and earn a stack doing great things. No biddy in a pie-shop will dare hold me up.