Memories #Sunday #ramble
This is Wednesbury Market, my local market. In the past the council have tried stopping other markets and car boot sales setting up too close, by claiming that this market has a royal charter. It is generally accepted that the market does have a royal charter, but the truth is the royal charter was given to the lord of the manor and not the council, for two fairs a year; not two markets a week!
It’s amazing how the truth and history can be bent to suit a spurious purpose. The truth and history is being bent out of shape by the political parties in the run up to the general election. This is quite normal; they leave out some facts and emphasise others. They remind people of the great British Empire, but conveniently forget about the slave trade.
When people are hurt, they have long memories. Some people still remember Margaret Thatcher’s social experiment with the community charge. They remember how the mines were closed down, the industry devastated and cheap social housing made way for economic rents and the rates made way for council tax. They remember how that small charge for water became a whacking six monthly bill from private companies with a monopoly. They remember how nice little chats with the bank manager when you wanted a loan or mortgage became bonus induced hard selling of ‘financial products’.
Remember those long hot summers when you were a child? It never rained did it? We tend to lock the unpleasant memories away until they surface at 3 am in the morning as a nightmare. The process help us survive the bad times, but for some people the bad times are now. Should we give them a hand up or tell them to strive for something better? Can we be generous and take care of the sick and disabled or tell them they deserve a ‘hand up, not a hand out’. Then cynically tell them to get a job. Incidentally, that ‘hand up, not a hand out’ was a Labour slogan, thought up by one of their nasty spin doctors.
If we take the soldier who returns from a war zone having locked away all the horrors of war in his subconscious mind, do we tell him to get a job when the nightmares begin? Do we pass him by when he finds himself begging on the street? Do we cynically say ‘a hand up, not a hand out’ when he needs help. Do we trust a company driven by Thatcherite profit-making to provide his psychological treatment? Can we trust a treatment with a fancy name like Cognitive Behaviour Therapy run by a private ‘consultant’ to help him cope with his fears? Doesn’t he deserve the best and a proper doctor?
Remember the good old days when we could leave our back doors unlocked and children played in the streets? I do, I also remember the respiratory diseases, the poor education, polio, thalidomide and back street abortions. I remember homes so cold, people huddled around coal fires. I remember bitterly cold winters when people had to trudge through the snow to school and work. I remember the rich in their Rolls Royces condescending to wave at the poor peasants. I remember people being hanged until they were dead, often on the slimmest of evidence. I remember children being abused and no one caring. It’s so convenient to only remember the happy times…
It’s very windy today, but there is a bit of sunshine. I have a camcorder thing for my car now and so I can video record my driving. The history group on Facebook like the clips. I also share my photos with them and will be out again today shooting more still and video clips. I hope you found today’s Sunday ramble interesting. Wave if you see me out today!
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