4 November 2019
Best headline this week: “Boris struggles to get an election” though he did actually manage to get one after a lot of arm-waving.
Are you all registered to vote? You can check if you’re already registered at your local electoral registration office whose details can be found at https://www.yourvotematters.co.uk/. If you’re not, you can register to vote at the government website https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.
But isn’t it tragic that, as we’re celebrating the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall, we’re simultaneously trying to erect border control checkpoints and tariff walls between Britain and Europe. The checkpoint people have even been practising humiliating people who might be illegal aliens by getting Mary Beard, a Cambridge history professor to strip to her undies in public.
All we voters now have to do is decide whether our parliamentary system and our country can survive another five years with Boris Johnson as PM. Or Jeremy Corbyn. “By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes.”
Still, the best idea came from the American president who believes that everybody should be able to interfere with everybody else’s elections and suggested of a triumvirate of Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson and him should be unbearable (sorry, I mistyped that, it should read unbeatable). “Eye of newt and toe of frog, wool of bat and tongue of dog, adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting, lizard’s leg and owlet’s wing, for a charm of powerful trouble, like a hell-broth boil and bubble.”
To be fair, Johnson apparently turned the offer down after Donald Trump had proudly described in sickening detail the flight and death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi who committed suicide and murdered two small children with a bomb but it later transpired that Trump hadn’t actually seen what he described, despite repeating the prurient detail of how al-Baghdadi had been “whimpering” and “crying” as he fled. When he was found out, Trump made a hero out of a dog called Conan (whose name had been a state secret until then) who trod on some cabling and got an electric shock.
Our own local Conservative MP was so humiliated by a young, independent woman (shouldn’t you be at home getting supper for the children, dear?) at the last general election, he was recently pictured in the local paper looking sulky alongside an article saying he won’t be standing again. Unlike him, our independent candidate not only lives in the constituency but was born here, has lived all her life in it and has always been active in the community. She’ll get my vote.
Last week I said healing powers weren’t limited to “cranks with crystals” and it was only later I realised that some people might think my use of the word “cranks” was meant disparagingly rather than because of the irresistible alliteration. Not at all. I should probably have used a different word but I don’t think the methods healers use is important; whether they use crystals (probably not the other thing I mentioned) or they imagine an army of tiny techies working away doesn’t matter. What does matter is that they’ve found a way to channel their healing power in a way that can help them and others. My way is to imagine a white light but that’s just what works for me.
It’s rather like fortune telling in that it doesn’t matter if somebody reads your hand or the Tarot or studies the lines on your face*. They may have the power to learn something about you whatever method they use. I’m less certain about their ability to see the future and I worry that people who ask for payment risk being unbalanced by the pressure to say something, anything, even if they’re not picking anything up.
When I was about 20, all my family had our fortunes told (individually) and, as soon as she looked at my hand, the reader said “You love water”, which is true: I love being on it, in it, drinking it and, for as long as I can hold my breath, under it. I can look at the sea and waterfalls and lakes and streams for hours. She also said something in my neck was weak and I should look after it so, some decades later, I gave up smoking (twice) and then got neck dystonia. She also told me when I’d die but luckily she was wrong about this or there’d be a terrible smell in here as I sit and write this.
Guess which British university employs a professor of Renaissance and Magical Literatures. Answer: Exeter University. She is Marion Gibson and is based at the Streatham Campus in Exeter but also teaches a specialist Witchcraft and Magic in Literature option at the Penryn Campus in Cornwall. Only in Britain?
* Another Dylan line referenced for the benefit of aficionados