The death of yet another local institution looks likely as our country communities continue to spiral down to their ultimate demise. It appears that Chiddingstone Fete is to come to an end, due to lack of support, and with it the village dance. The largest and best attended in the district in times gone by, Four Elms, Marsh Green and Cowden cannot be far behind.
Once at the heart of every out of town community’s calendar, such events are no longer the place to be seen, to chat with neighbours and raise funds for local amenities. Not fashionable or sophisticated enough they have been pushed to the margins by a rash of more trendy, in your face events. Their time has come. Just one more nail in rurality’s coffin.
After the debacle at the end of October, despite a general election having at last been called, surely no one can continue to delude themselves that we are a democratic nation? Anarchy rules and a more volatile population would, by now, be sowing the seeds of civil war. Our political system is broken. Our elected MP’s no longer represent our majority interests, only their own.
Fortunately there are none more docile than the British. It has been suggested, by the more militant among us, that we should all abstain from voting at this election to send a message of no confidence in any of the contestants and I do see the point in sending a strong message to these pathetic tossers. Yet I was raised to appreciate that this is a hard won privilege, even if it is little more than a pretense, and that it is the duty of every citizen to exercise their right. Also if one does not do so we cannot complain about whatever we ultimately end up with. However, there is a third way.
Our nation already has a well established party which I believe contests every seat, with as yet little success but which now deserves our undivided support. A vote for them would at least ensure that we get exactly what we deserve without further disappointment or sense of betrayal. I therefore urge you to have the courage of your convictions and vote Monster Raving Loony at this, and every possible opportunity. Let’s all canvas as many friends and acquaintances as possible and return them to govern us with a massive majority, then at least we would have the government that we expect. With Noel Edmonds appointed Prime Minister, for his vast experience with ‘Deal or No Deal’, Brexit would be a breeze and who can deny that its high time broccoli was legalised?
No more delusions, no false promises or expectations, just exactly what we vote for, a complete, unmitigated, bunch of raving mad idiots. Same as usual but without any pretense. On this scale it would (unlike the ‘Boaty McBoatface’ fix) be impossible to deny the result without flatly rejecting democratic process. What would the establishment make of that I wonder?
With the misery of the music festival season hopefully behind us for another year, autumn once again brought renewed joy at the end of last month with the Hever Castle Triathlon which once more imprisoned us in our homes for another weekend, with one-way traffic restrictions 7.30am-12.30pm Saturday 28/9 and 7.30am-2.30pm Sunday 29/9. Officially, as residents, we are allowed in and out if you can get out of the end of our lane, but none of the competitors will give way for a second and the other end is jammed solid with the arriving hoards trying to reach their campsite. Even if successful you must then run the gauntlet of thousands of car thumping ‘athletes’ focusing their solitary braincells on achieving their singular conscious objective of a personal best.
That aside its not so much the actual event which is the problem. Unlike the three nights of sleep depravation wrought by the NeverWorld nonsense this event does not, in itself, disturb us too greatly, so long as we don’t try to venture beyond the confines of our own lane. The problem is that it does not end there. Having found the area, huge numbers of competitors now travel back to train throughout the year. The majority are, I’m sure, despite being dead from the neck up, decent folk, nevertheless, numbers are now huge and there is always a more militant litter flinging element who threaten violence if we dare to get in their way.
My clandestine intelligence network tells me that those critical of my views, who claim to represent us locally, are now squealing about the situation and have revealed that Volvo are allegedly set to start sponsoring the event next year, which can only mean it is set to get even bigger.
There was a time, a few years ago, when we had a meaningful opportunity to register local opposition at a meeting convened in the village hall. Out of an adult population exceeding four hundred, who were loudly declaring their objections in private, just six of us bothered to turn up on the night. We are, therefore, probably stuck with it forever. Like it or not folks that’s how true democracy works!
Our lanes have been completely usurped by cyclists, dozens wherever we go in the week, hundreds at weekends and on occasion thousands. This means it is now impossible to go for a quiet walk at any time, even in winter. It has had more impact on our locality than anything else, including music festivals and planning permissions, and has completely changed the character of the area from tranquil rural retreat to perpetual velodrome.
Given all of the above I seldom go anywhere within our home district these days and only rarely even visit the local hostelries, preferring to travel a little in order to get away from it all. The back garden is, until the development to our rear begins, my only remaining sanctuary and it is now time to put that to bed for the winter. In truth I don’t do too much other than a judicious pruning and pulling of weeds. Experience has taught me that the winter is a great ally and will do much of the work for you with only a minimum of assistance. With this in mind I set about turning over the veggie plot. The idea being to inter the weeds, break up the soil into large sods, and leave it for the worms and frost to break down into a fine tilth, ready for spring.
I’ve always found physical labour, without any pressure or deadlines, to be great therapy for stress, so, after a couple of dry days following a wet spell, I got stuck in and thoroughly enjoyed it. Not so the younger generation I fear. No muck and sweat for them. No contact with reality at all it seems. If its not on a fluorescent screen it doesn’t exist.
My friend over the road was telling me recently that his kids (both at primary school) and their schoolmates are fretting over Brexit and the Climate Extinction thing to the point where they can’t sleep at night. That’s very sad, I don’t think we were even aware of politics at that age, but it set me thinking. In my view the problem is not the reality that they face but the constant bombardment they experience from all the many forms of media they are subjected to.
We grew up in relative poverty under the constant threat of nuclear annihilation. Even since living here, in the mid eighties every house in the country received the government of the day’s advisory pamphlet ‘Protect And Survive’ as an attack looked imminent. This outlined how to survive an atomic blast by putting sellotape over door and window cracks, to keep out radioactive dust, and hiding under a table with a mattress on top. Utter bollocks of course, it was just to keep us quietly occupied while we fried. If caught in the open we were told to get down and assume a foetal position. Presumably in order to kiss your arse goodbye!
The two generations before ours had world wars to fight and die in and prior to that there was infant mortality, epidemics, and starvation to face up to, yet there was far less mental illness and neurosis. Ditch the shrink, bin the Prozac and just turn the bloody screens off!
I was interested to read Peter Hitchens, writing in The Mail on Sunday on 13th October. He was pointing out the idiocy of closing and demolishing Didcot ‘A’ coal-fired power station rather than mothballing it as a hedge against the time when our new renewable marvels inevitably fail us. This has a generating capacity of 1.44 gigawatts while China currently has 259 gigawatts of new coal-fired capacity under development, on top of the 993 gigawatts already in operation. India is also increasing its 200 gigawatts of coal-fired generation and I’ve not even mentioned The USA.
Here in the UK our whole requirement for electrical generation, from all available sources, is 85 gigawatts. If we give up electricity completely it will make no difference on a world scale whatsoever.
I’ve been banging on about over population for years but everyone tells me that nothing can be done (if interested at all). Never have I said it will be easy and at the level it has been allowed to reach it would now require horrendous draconian measures to have even minimal effect. Now little Getta Iceberg and Climate Extinction may at last have come up with a solution, perhaps the final solution, as they push so forcibly for an unrealistic rush to zero CO2 emissions.
Even with the application of some new technology, that would mean a return to pre industrial revolution living standards. For a start virtually all current transport systems, on land, sea, and air would be defunct and we would be faced with a return to relying on beasts of burden and sail. Virtually all food would need to be grown locally. Nothing exotic or out off season, no more foreign holidays or long commutes to work. No more reliance on fossil fuels. Thus many drugs would be unobtainable, as would most pesticides, herbicides and the fertilisers that have massively boosted food production over the last hundred years.
The good news is that this would mean an end to plastics (with it would go all man made textiles of course, together with mobile phones, computers etc) and a great deal of pollution, and the bad? The planet would no longer be capable of sustaining more than two billion of us, meaning that most of us would need to leave, hence over a few decades at most, almost six billion of us would succumb to starvation, cold and disease. One way of fixing it!
I wrote last month of some of the massive natural drivers for global warming beyond any human control, but outside of the confines of our home planet there are even greater forces at work which may yet result in our weather going in entirely the opposite direction in the very near future. Sunspot activity has long been cited by some as the real force behind increasing global temperatures over the last couple of decades with CO2 levels being something of a resultant red herring rather than a cause in itself.
NASA has recently stated that from 2020 we will be heading into a Grand Solar Minimum in the eleven year solar cycle as defined by the number of sunspots. This will peak in 2025 when our sun will be at its weakest for 200 years. The effect could last for fifty years and might be of similar intensity to The Dalton Minimum (1790 – 1830) when average global temperatures fell by around 2c and included of course 1816, The Year With No Summer.
Fancy a frost fair anyone? Perhaps we should tell our kids a different bedtime story?