There’s a woman standing outside Baron’s Court tube station playing, or rather attempting to play, a harmonica. I’ve seen her here before, she hangs out at Baron’s Court Housing project where they do free meals. She wears a wig and theatrical makeup. I thought at first she was a transvestite, like my neighbour Steve who goes to the Coop in stilettos and a mini skirt, but apparently not.
My other slightly more sober neighbour tells me she is an old theatre performer, been out of work for years though, a drinker with mental health issues. “A right care in the community that one” say’s my neighbour “a real special“.
The story goes that she was having medical treatment for a congenital brain disease during the privatisation of the NHS. She could’t afford to continue the treatment with the specialist hospital so ended up going through the Charity Care system. The hack-up job the church hospital did was well meaning but naive and slapdash, her memory was blown to pieces.
This is all just rumours you understand, but she is quite mad!
Still, she stands there at Barons Court station feather bower and all, screaching out lunacy and blowing down that poor old harmonica. The Station manager occasionally moves her along but she’s back the next day. On Sundays she is particularly enthusiastic, her words seem to take on a hell fearing vigor as she denounes the Sunday shopping public.
This time last year I undertook knicker-less voting. In hindsight it turned out to be a disaster. I got what I asked for but it turned out what I asked for was very very wrong! So this year I’m wearing the sturdiest most sensible white knickers I can find to vote for a new way in which to vote.
The poll station this time is the Bhavan Centre which I’ve never been in before, it has a large mural of Krishna surrounded by golden cows on the far wall which makes the tatty polling booths and printed out instruction posters look completely out of place. It was worth going to vote because despite the mundane and somewhat Monty Python democracy ritual, Krishna was still looking good.
I voted today dressed as a stern school teacher – long dress, hair back in a tight bun – but wearing no knickers. It seemed to make the activity slightly more of an event. It wasn’t an event, notable only for its inability to be anything meaningful. People have fort and died for the right to vote and here I am essentially voting for a hung parliament. I just don’t understand how any of the main parties could make much of a beneficial difference given our dependence on the world economy. So I vote for the situation where the least amount of damage can be done. Knicker-less voting.
As far as I can tell Britain cannot sustain itself without dependence on banks and bankers for maintaining our position in the global economy. Britain, and certainly London, simply does not currently have enough resources to carry on without being able to consume globally, we would starve. So it follows that we cannot put up taxes much because if we do the bankers will leave the country, and we do have to bail them out of trouble so we are in a position where we can still shop in the global economy. If we have to throw money at bankers to keep them here then how can we improve schools and hospitals? “We will organise things better”, “we will cut the red tape”, say the candidates that come to my door. Thats easy to say by anyone not in power, even i can say that, it doesn’t mean anything though.
The big thing I don’t understand about modern politics is how can the economy and global consumption keep going? Humans, despite all our fancy technology, are still entirely dependent on the earth’s resources. These resources are limited, yet the global economy depends on the vast and ever growing consumption of them. How can this be maintained? Whether you believe climate change is due to humans or not, doesn’t change the fact that we are dependent on the earth’s limited resources. “Nuclear Energy” people say, as if this is suddenly going to solve everything. Really? There is still the basic problem of land isn’t there? Food, over farmed land turns into dessert, but populations are growing and as countries develop they demand more and more food. And waste, all that waste, continually growing, where will it all go?
As for the privacy issues these are likely to stay pretty much the same no matter who gets in power, just dressed up in different costumes (dominatrix or mother?). As the global economy grows and the earth’s resources get used up the gap between rich and poor will greatly increase. Those without will get restless, cause problems, rebellions and war. The only way to control this is through increasing security measures and surveillance.
So my voting was meaningless, because I simply don’t understand how anything much can change for the better without completely radical changes to politics and the way we live and think. Perhaps we are merely carrying out our destiny as organisms – feed, breed, grow in population, consume more, create waste, run out of food, poison ourselves on our own waste – yeast cells in a petri dish.
I don’t have TV or regularly read a paper so I’m not very up to date on day to day issues. Maybe what I’ve just said is complete gobledegoo in todays politics. Maybe people who dress up as school teachers to vote and don’t wear any knickers shouldn’t be allowed the vote!
Anyway, I’ve had my little political rant and will now return to more important issues like Rude Mechanicals. Performing on stage entertains people, cheers them up (hopefully), gives them a moments escape, which is more meaningful than what I’d be doing if I was a politician.