The Black Country Festival
I went to Wednesbury carnival and to Darlaston’s Party In the Park yesterday and took lots of photographs. The Black Country Festival continues with Black Country Day tomorrow. It’s all good fun and it will hopefully bring the people and towns in the Black Country together more.
I’m not keen on flag waving, but we now have our very own Black Country flag. I think flags can be very divisive pitching one tribe against the other. We want this festival to unite people not set them against other people. There is a danger that corporate greed could get involved too. We had Cameron coming here announcing some grant to improve roads and stuff. It was a bit pathetic. They are giving more money to Pakistan and their grant aid is every year. The grant Cameron announced is over 5 years and much of it will go on the roads. I noticed the prospective Conservative candidate for Walsall tried to get in on the act too. He has no chance of ever getting elected so why does he bother?
The weather was nice yesterday, which made a change. It’s back to normal today, so I’ll have to wait and see if the rain stops this afternoon. I like to go out on a Sunday when the roads are quiet. Black Country roads are a problem and the councils with their politically correct ideas and slogans don’t make things any better. The speed humps and the mini roundabouts are a nightmare.
The general attitude to travel is bad in Britain. They actually encourage travel. It’s bad enough that people have to commute to work, but why do we encourage tourism? I like a day out. I would like to go out today. I could choose a local nature reserve, even go a bit farther; but why go to the other end of the country when you haven’t seen all this bit? Why are they building HS2? Doesn’t it make more sense for people to live close to where they work? It became a fashion a few years ago to live in the suburbs and commute into the towns and cities to work. Why? Is it because the suburbs are so much nicer? Are the people nicer in suburbia or is it the environment? Maybe we could improve the environment in our inner cities and make them more attractive places to live? Then we wouldn’t need extra lanes on the motorway or HS2 would we?
We’re quite good at common sense in the Black Country. We should all be political advisors. Take the pronouncements by the Bank of England and the financial regulators this week. My advice to them in a week when the FTSE all share index is dropping like a brick and banks in particular, is to keep quiet. They actually made things worse this week. Lloyds shares dropped dramatically and so did RBS and with the government as a major shareholder, you would think they would want the prices to go up not down. I don’t think we will see much of an improvement in the British economy for a while. The country is being run by public schoolboys who have no idea how creative ideas turns into multinational corporations like Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Apple, Zynga, EBay, PayPal and Twitter. Britain’s class structure holds us back. These big multinationals appeal to the masses, not a privileged elite.
I nearly forgot, I talked to a priest yesterday. I mentioned my health problems and he decided to pray for me. By the end of the day I was struggling and it was a painful walk back to my car when I left the carnival. I made it. Was it Black Country bloody mindedness that got me through it or divine intervention? Now let me see if we have divine intervention here. It’s raining. That makes sense, it will make my runner beans grow. They need sun too and so do I. If I am to witness divine intervention, then maybe this afternoon it will stop raining and my leg will stop hurting. I suppose they would tell me to have faith, leave the umbrella at home and allow divine intervention to protect me from catching bleedin’ pneumonia. Maybe I’ll see a bit of divine intervention because I donated a raffle prize for the raffle at the church last night? Nah, I will be lucky to see a bit of human gratitude, let alone divine gratitude…
I hope next year’s Black Country Festival will be even better. The carnival was bigger this year and more popular. The funfair had extra rides and I noticed the police patrolling regularly. I think it’s sad that they have to wear stab proof vests on a hot day though. I was quite shocked at how many knife and gunshots would were treated at local hospitals last year. Carrying a knife isn’t really part of Black Country culture and guns went out with Dick Turpin. I blame the drugs trade and that seems to be a more recent import. That internationalisation has caused a problem, perhaps localisation can ease the problem? People come here from all over the world, but as soon as they start talking like us and become part of the Black Country, they become far more civilised. You do have to live here though, a fleeting visit doesn’t really have any effect. It’s a pity; we might have had some affect on Cameron and Osborne, but they went back to London just as bigoted as when they arrived here.
That’s my ramble for this week. What do you think? Please share your thoughts in the comments box. You can also follow me on Twitter.