Friday, 29 January 2010

“Thirlington Cubicles”

In the good old, bad old days, before flying away for foreign holidays became more immoral the more that you thought about it, I went to Bulgaria. This was in the very last days of Communism, at the time of the coup against Gorbachev in the USSR. Bulgaria was beautiful, or I saw the beautiful bits of it, but there was something a little boring about it and I couldn’t figure out what that was.

Then I realised whilst sitting in a roadside café that, the passing lorries had no logos on their sides. They were not emblazoned with any slogans, names or images. Bulgarian camions at this time were mostly pale grey in colour with a black registration number on the side in some sort of militaristic font.

I would rather be bored by Bulgarian logoless lorries than see capitalism continue along its destructive trajectory, but the all pervasive advertising plastered on nearly every available surface in contemporary Britain, brings me all sorts of absurd statements that I sometimes enjoy if I’m in the mood for it. I’ve even seen a sandwich delivery van than claimed, in its mission statement, to have an overarching existential purpose.

Today in Cricklewood I saw a large white lorry with the words “Thirlington Cubicles” written on it.

I realised immediately that I had been given a new name and a solution to some of the quandaries that might confront me when I sit at the Standing Orders Committee table at the next Green Party Conference. If someone approached with a problem or query and asks “Are you Peter Murry?”. I will respond “No. I am, Thirlington Cubicles, Peter Murry is that person of there in the red pullover who is grinding his/her teeth” This might buy me enough time to escape.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

THE Kneeling Man

When I turned the corner into the narrow Holborn back street which leads to the Dragon Hall, I saw a man kneeling on the pavement. He was silhouetted against the bright electric light coming through a plate glass door situated behind him. At first he knelt, then he went down onto all fours then he rose again.

I can be sure how many times he repeated this movement as I slowly approached, trying to make sense of what I was seeing. His movements did seemed voluntary and did not indicate pain, so I began to come to the conclusion that he was engaged into the ritualised grovelling to an imaginary being that people call prayer.

This assumption depressed me until I came near enough to see the screwdriver in his hand. He was engaged in fixing the lock that was situated in a metal strip on the bottom of the plate glass door. I was relieved to see that his actions were rational and not mindless self abasement following a dogmatically dictated formula.

I was not to encounter much other such rationality that night because I was about to attend a meeting of the London Federation Of Green Parties.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Two Camerons in Cricklewood

The citizens of Cricklewood are being confronted with a frightful sight, as they stand in large grey meltwater slushpuppies at the northbound bus stop on the Broadway.

The Conservative Party has seen fit to erect two vast, adjacent and almost identical billboards both depicting huge images of David Cameron’s head and shoulders, captioned with some implausible slogan about ‘cutting the deficit not the NHS’.

The two giant Camerons are only almost identical, since in each he is a different colour. On the left, (if you were facing east), he has a very pale green skin tone, like fish flesh just going off. However the right hand Cameron is a shiny orangish hue, like a Kilroy-Silk suntan.

Could this diversity in skin tone be deliberate?, After all Cricklewood is possibly one of the most ethnically heterogeneous places on the planet, whilst waiting at the bus and staring at the strange Camerons, you are likely to hear people speaking English, Polish, Tamil, Brazilian, Portuguese, Somali and Lingala at least. However I doubt if many know or care who the terrible twins on the billboard are.

Perhaps there is a subliminal political message, e.g.: ‘I’m slightly concerned about the environment sometimes, but also a bit liberal and democratic’.

As I stand staring incredulously at the dual apparitions, waiting for a bus, I find it warming to think that the Tories have wasted money putting up these silly posters, but chilling to think how much more such rubbish they will be able to afford before the general election.