Dreadful Old Man

When old Perry Venus and I were out doing The Longest Crawl, we met a lot of lovely people. One rosy-cheeked old gentleman who we met in a Worcestershire cherry orchard could not have been more charming or more helpful when telling us about the old days in the hop yards. We said goodbye to this ancient paragon, and drove up the road. Neither of us said anything for thirty seconds, until I said ‘What a dreadful old man.’ We laughed, quite a bit more than the gag deserved. After that, everytime we met somebody nice, we would always say something snobbish when we drove away. ‘Dreary old shit’, for example, or ‘Foul old woman.’ It was a running joke, and I’m very glad that no one could hear us.

I’m very glad no one was taping our private conversations, and glad we didn’t have to listen to them back. Whoever kept their tape recorder running while poor old Gordon laid into that foul old woman should be sacked, and so should the jumped up shit of a news producer who played it on air. So should I, probably, for linking to it here.

And yet…. we were joking. Gordon wasn’t. He couldn’t take one Lancashire lady telling him the real concerns of real working class people without classifying them as ridiculous bigoted disasters. We shouldn’t have heard it; but he should have been able to listen to what the lady was saying, without tantrumming.

In the meanwhile, here’s Denim singing about The Osmonds, to help keep us focussed on the forthcoming Seventies come back.

9 Responses

  1. Ian Marchant says:

    Oh, you had to be there…

  2. Graham says:

    Ian, may I?
    Dear Alan Buckley, thanks for the history lesson, but I was there. I saw what Thatcher did. I was working and raising a young family in the 80’s and 90’s.
    Now, a history lesson for you. Thatcher’s been out of power for twenty years now. However in 1997 a couple of fellows who, along with a few of their loathsome chums had hijacked the Labour party, won an election. One of them, a shifty, dour and quite dishonest Scotsman by the name of Brown (you may have heard of him) was Chancellor for eleven years. He then got the top job through the wonders of modern British democracy.
    He could have done something about the regulation of the financial sector. He didn’t though. He preferred to ride with the tax revenue it generated.
    He could have done something about getting our kids back to work, in real jobs or apprenticeships. He didn’t though. For his own reasons he preferred to let them rot.
    He could have done something about regenerating the communities which Thatcher had brutalised. Guess what? He didn’t. I can’t think why. Perhaps he actually admired her.
    So as for the working class believing in or voting for the current incarnation of the Labour party, in the Anglicized words of the wonderful Mr Halpern, of whom you will hear more in the future, ‘you don’t kiss an arse while it’s in the process of shitting on you.’
    Is that clear enough?
    Ian, I saw your mum & Ralph today. Lovely to see them.

  3. Swanny says:

    It’s the first time I’ve ever agreed with Brown,Ian! My experience of growing up as a working class bigot was rarely very pleasant. I’m glad I got educated, and learned to think a bit harder. That’s the best thing about learning stuff: you end up wanting to know more about it rather than wishing it would go away or trying to blow it up. BTW: I’m glad you put that Denim track up there. Great, isn’t it?

  4. bob says:

    Probably reflects my increasing lack of personal warmth and sensitivity but this all just strikes me as a media-generated shitstorm blown out of a highly insignificant molehill. I didn’t hear a tantrum – I heqard a grumpy old sod who’d much rather not be out kissing babies or making loveydovey with pensioners. And where’s the terrible offence anyway – not like he called her a ghastly Northern prole, or a foul old trout or something, or punched her, or took great pleasure in rubbishing her once back in the bus. ‘A bigoted woman’ is an oddly flat and impersonal kind of insult, which says more about his general level of irritation than it says about her.
    Anyway, I hear she’s being ‘advised’, courted for her ‘story’ (huh?) – no doubt friend Clifford is involved, so it will be nice little payday for her. All in all, a very modern non-story.

  5. Alan Buckley says:

    “Bulldozer approach to social engineering”? So the massive restructuring of Britain’s economy under Thatcher that destroyed large parts of our industrial base and created massive long term unemployment in the process (while making our “prosperity” dependent on an unregulated financial sector) was highly nuanced, was it? Glad to have that cleared up…

  6. Perry Venus says:

    You’ll be telling them about ‘Frank’ and his hand-me-down sheath next…
    Can there be no secrets??

  7. Graham says:

    Foul old woman? Well yes, she is a lifelong Labour voter so she’s got exactly what she’s been voting dr all her life. The left might still have just a scrap of moral authority if only they weren’t quite so sneeringly dismissive of everyone who questions their bulldozer approach to social engineering.

  8. Claudio says:

    Ahah, that would make a great “special content” (as they say for dvds) to the forthcoming Italian edition of “The Longest Crawl”, indeed! 😀

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