Divide & Conquer

This morning I’m greeted by the first snow of autumn 2016, which falls almost apologetically in a gentle flutter outside. It sheepishly amalmagamates with the contents of an earlier altogether more concentrated flurry, creating a synergy responsible for extinguishing the last remnants of colour dans mon jardin.

On TV, a programme of remembrance shows a similar flurry scene, only with poppy petals falling gently to earth instead of snowflakes. Any similarities end there, though, as there is no cat foraging under a patio table on TV, nor the sight of the Boots the Chemist’s roof retail outlet, which also greets me through the bay window.

I’m not sure what the spoilt cat is doing under my patio table. It could be merely hiding from the softly descending flakes, or has maybe found our secretly hidden family supplies of halibut.

Either way, he appears contented, if not a little chilly as his black and white coat blows in the unforgiving autumn wind….. I’d previously told my wife Karen that her epiphany of keeping halibut hidden from the spoilt cat under the patio table was a foolish idea….. Would she listen though?!

There is an all consuming poetry watching the imperceptibly falling white of the snowflake outdoors and red of poppy petal on TV indoors, as it falls in disjointed synchronicity. The silence and gentleness of movement on the journey to a terra firma resting place manifests to this viewer a canvas of respectful remembrance…… Or it did until the spoilt cat decided to use my garden borders as a toilet.

I’m surprised the over indulged moggy didn’t knock on my back door asking for a roll of high quality toilet paper, before asking me to cover up his ‘business’; the cheeky get!

A remembrance poppy stirs various emotions these days. It’s hijacking by various groups for divisive means has resulted in a simple flower symbol, red of colour and powerful of sentiment, becoming a source for some of confrontational diatribes and actions.

Designed as a symbol for an annual occasion of respect, peace and quiet reflection, it now attracts unwanted hangers on with untoward agendas.

Like our national flag and the day to celebrate patron St George’s Day, to some the poppy is unwantedly and unacceptably deemed a negative symbol and frowned upon, as it may ‘offend’.

I try to avoid adding political thoughts to my narratives like the plague. I’ve been successful at avoiding the plague thus far, however I do broach the topic of politics on brief occasions.

The reasons I try and avoid matters political is, for one, I don’t feel informed or interested enough in the topic to make an erudite comment on it. Ordinarily, I also shun penning about the subject as I have no real political affiliation or interest.

I recognise the need for a ruling, democratically elected government. However, I personally don’t think the options of leaders and cabinets served up by democratic nations are overly inspiring anymore.

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Talking of uninspiring leaders, this morning we got the news that Donald Trump became the president elect of the United States of America. In a wish not to open a can of worms or unnecessarily elongate this narrative, I’m not commenting on whether I support or condemn his ideology. 

What I will say, though, is I suspect if he’d have run for president at the last election, he wouldn’t have got the same support to get near the presidency.

So what’s changed in that four years?

The ever growing capitulation to the ‘mustn’t offend people’ brigade?

A presidential adversary of questionable trust?

The end of stellar TV shows ‘Breaking Bad’ and ‘The Sopranos’ under the Democrats watch?

The war on the dialect of Frontier Gibberish?

The inability to perfect the manufacture of self-warming underpants under Obama?

Whatever the reasons behind this surprise win, there is obviously enough disaffected people in the US to allow manipulation by fear, to the benefit of Mr Trump and his cohorts!

I don’t know the answers, I’m not cleverest man at TV like Robert Peston. One thing for certain, though, if I was the bespectacled ITV finance correspondent there is one thing for certain. I’d get my bloody hair cut!…..The scruffy bleeder!

Another thing for sure is that the whole campaigning strategy on both sides has been as distasteful as one of Monica Lewinsky’s cigars!

Right, I’m off to delete some emails


*Monica Lewinsky’s cigar appears courtesy of a Monica Lewinsky tribute act and an unsuspecting Mexican called Bernard.

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