Tuesday January 31st 2012 Tim
I was living in the City of
Cardiff when Ronald Reagan was elected President of the United States.
The general opinion was that citizens of the United States were an
unnaturally cheerful bunch who waved flags and who reckoned the British
Isles qualified as the Near East. Then when they elected a film star as
their king, it was obvious to us they'd all gone quite insane and the
world would shortly end. His Evil Empire Speech, some of us thought a
comedy routine, but more likely we were enthused by the certainty this
man and his underlings would further concentrate wealth, as some
theories predicted, then at least something could be called true.
At the beginning of the 1980's in South
Wales, mines were shedding miners, steel was already gone to Japan, I think.
Our iron foundries dying, our factories shuttered, the middle class still
obsessed by poor opportunity after being so well behaved at school. We had
elected Margaret Thatcher who wanted us to be Great again. And I could go on
into the torrid account of how our great leader fell when she called for a Flat
Tax which she decided was a Community Tax, but which in fact was a Poll Tax,
and which because of tradition meant rioting. But, I'd like to announce, I
am one citizen of the United States who has just seen a Brown Thrasher in
January out there on the Solstice Path and I have priorities which do not
include listening to what used to be called pretenders, but who now are
called candidates, sing.