Strolling around town during the last few weeks and I am struck by how many local winos (Plonkies is the local colloquiallism in these here parts) there are and how people in general look tired and downtrodden. The long hard winter certainly accounts for the pale pasty faces but this area is certainly a noted high unemployment 'blackspot'. The cuts in public services haven't yet begun to bite but the impact of little work, higher prices and a bleak future for many is striking home. Stories of 300 applicants for a couple of jobs and short term insecure employment isn't helpful. Grimsby is a long way from the fleshpots of the big smoke and more than a world away from the supposed mother of all parliaments. There will be trouble ahead especially if there is a combination of a hot summer and growing resentment towards those in power. With cuts in police numbers, increasing pressure on finances and pointless draconian laws alienating various and disparate groups in society it may just be one small thing that sets it all off. With the examples of Tunisia, Egypt and now other parts of the Arab world providing a template, the student protests over the past few months may prove to be the starter to the main course. Even my seventy year old mother is talking of joining protests! If ordinary people feel criminalised for smoking, drinking, walking on the cracks in the pavement or speaking their minds then the concept of criminality is diluted. Especially if the common perception of real criminals getting away with murder adds to the perception of unfairness then authority in all shapes and forms will be seen as the enemy. As I have said before, we are living in interesting times and multimedia such as twitter, facebook,etc... allows people to communicate and organise.
I haven't been blogging much of late because it has been a busy and difficult time at work. Much has happened and is happening which I can't currently write about. It does presage the gradual dismantlement of the nhs as we know it which will bring joy to some, horror to others and, sadly, indifference to many. But things do change and politicians do so love to be seen as progenitors of change even when everyone else recognises it as meddling. On a local level I would like to believe it is for the best but even I don't duck for flying pigs. On a brighter note despite the last couple of cold days there are signs of spring on its way. Snowdrops in abundance and increasingly noticeable birdsong although a couple of bloody Magpies are chasing the small birds away from the food we put out for them. I would release the cats but they would go after the Robin and Bluetits although I believe they'd have a better chance of catching some of those extremely fat wood pigeons who frequent the bird table. I have also gravitated towards the gardening sections of shops and I am foolishly once again looking at one of those plastic greenhouses. The last two were wrecked by windy weather with one of them flying over the fence with a cat trapped inside. Some creative thinking and heavy weights may be required. Growing
tomatoes, chillis, hops, etc... will keep me somewhat sane during these insane times. I must away as that curry won't cook itself.