The 50th anniversary of first man walking on the moon (and Apollo 11) could have been an opportunity to re-focus and be ambitious. Having suffered the hottest day in the UK’s recorded history, it all ought to prompt a focus on climate change, but Britain is horribly distracted by Brexit and a new Prime Minister who seeks to create and impression of can do through jolly hockey sticks and bags of tomato and lettuce, but soon hits the reality of concerns for Britain’s border with Ireland and whose presentation of progress in Britain is piffle. Despite the proposed deal with the EU being written off, the only one the EU has said it will offer, Tony Blair reminds us that a People’s Vote will be needed; which is kinda Jeremy Corbyn’s view, too except he still offers the notion that a jobs friendly Lexit can be considered. He has though re-launched Labour’s anti-Semitism campaign.
For drama, the Cricket World Cup final excelled, though the abiding memory should be the sporting nature of amazingly unlucky New Zealand players. Instead, more piffle – as the multi-cultural nature of the England team passes nationalists by. In football, England lost another semi-final. The Open is kinda ruined by the weather of the final round, and what you learn is golf on TV is only interesting when enough players doing well. The Lehman Trilogy is great theatre, but arguably misses the big conclusions to be drawn. Yesterday is a great concept ruined by Richard Curtis’ concept of romance. Sometimes, Always, Never is a gentle surprise. Grace Eden also offers thoughts on growing older but using photos and pre-Raphaelite painting.
The World War I Centenary Memorial is completed, but the opening service is formulaic and doesn’t try to celebrate the stories of the fallen. D-Day 75th anniversary is flat too. A poignancy comes from the funeral of a man who after 25 years living on the streets, had found peace in a flat provided by Nottingham City Homes.
A depressing national political situation – – Trump visits London and invokes supporters on the streets that never were; – the Conservative candidates to be next Prime Minister see them all committing to Brexit by 31st October, when it’s still not clear the country could achieve it; – the criticism ventured focusses on a new Prime Minister not being returned via a General Election, when it is what our constitution allows and has been the case more often than not; – all but one of the Conservative candidates advocates big increases on public spending and the lost revenue from tax giveaways to corporations and banks is mentioned by no-one; – Jo Brand apologised for a joke about throwing acid (that BBC Radio decided to transmit) which was a relief cos people had taken it literally, and the remark was a tad too close to a potential reality, but it prompted a debate about the death of metaphor and the power of outrage; – Labour continues to struggle with the charge of anti-Semitism when an MP who supported party members expelled for anti-Semitism and said the party was too apologetic on the matter, is first let back in so he can be re-selected, and then suspended again in response to the outcry; – we have to make a stand for RSE and we have to remind people about the injustice toteh Windrush generation. More positive was the celebrations of our green spaces and the launch of a book to campaign on climate change. Britain was wet, Arnold was flooded, Europe suffered a fierce heatwave and the Earth recorded its hottest June.
Locally, progress is reported at the new Area 5 committee on car parking solutions for Bridgeway Shopping Centre, which also now has improved camera coverage. The Bridgeway GP practice celebrated new rooms and facilities. Reports on crime is positive overall, but some bizarre incidents including a hit and run on Bathley Street. The tram’s finances improves. The electric bus service from Queens Drive park & ride are replaced by the NCT Navy 49, which means Meadows Way west loses its most local buses again. I’ve tried to be upbeat about what further major improvements to public transport are possible at joint committees.
Diary of the month. Arts include – “Support The Girls”, “Design for Living”, “Sunset”, “Diamintino”, “One Night in Miami”, “The Keeper”. Nice exhibits by Nottingham College design students. Sports: England’s cricket team, Tottenham and England’s male football team are all below par; England’s women win 5 games in the World Cup without conceding a goal, but the Cameroon game brings out something ugly. A spate of wet weather means the triathlon adopted a swim-free format, but the crowds are driven away nevertheless.
Joined in at the end. – Asked people to reflect on Trump’s reaction to the demos at Charlottesville, and how he said he wouldn’t choose, and how we say we can choose, and that we choose the anti-racists, and that we remember Heather Heyer. Reflecting on other things about life in America – – that they are over-dependent on oil; – that some of the states are starting to take bad decisions about banning abortion; – the latest campaign against Trans people, and that the far-right in America seem to want the state so small that it can fit into our bedrooms; – that parents have to think through scenarios concerning shooters in their children’s school and classroom. We in Britain can take some comfort in being in a better place. But we do face a far-right challenge the form of Brexit and the Brexit Party, who may well have won in parts of Nottingham. That support comes from communities where the confidence they used to have in getting a job with a living wage, fair terms and conditions, and a home has been lost; that on top of a quality education and a free health service. We need the Labour movement to re-gain these. And we face new challenges such as caring for the larger numbers of older people, and in tackling climate change, for which we can acknowledge the recent contribution of Extreme Rebellion.