Sunday, June 26, 2016

Brexit to Candelford.

Lately we have been having a lot of elder care issues that leave us exhausted, anxious, stressed and sort of depressed. So at the end of the night we like to catch a show that is mindless gentle entertainment. That takes us to another place and time divorced from our present reality. The best of those shows has proven to be “Larkrise to Candleford.” Available on Amazon Prime it tells the story of two villages in England at the end of the 19th Century. It is a very soothing program with a gentle tone that lets you relax and forget for a while as you get engrossed in the problems and travails of rural village life. Something totally different from our urbanized information culture.

But you know me. I have to make everything political. It is all a big meataphor.

One of the subsidiary characters of the piece is the young farmhand Alfie. He is introduced as a childhood friend and potential love interest for the main protagonist of the piece Laura. However that pretense is soon discarded. You see Alfie is just a poor boy and his story is often told. Badly. His Mum was bit of a tart but the stereotypical good time girl. His father was a seaman who was always away and only occasionally sent money to this family. His mom was a spendthrift and ends up being incarcerated in debtors prison. So we have the classic case of a basically fatherless family with a feckless matriarch. Alfie steps up to take care of his siblings like a man. Even the infant that is sent to him from his Mum in prison! A lot of responsibility for a teenager. But he puts his shoulder to the wheel or the plow as it were.

Alfie is the consummate British workingman. He is in a rural setting of course not a factory worker as in the 20th century or a white collar worker in the 21st. He lives his life. Works hard. Takes care of his family as best as he can. He is too proud to take outright charity and pity but wants his just due for his hard work. Imagine if the lord of the manor decided to import foreign workers to do his job at half the price. Alfie enjoys playing his squeeze box and leading the people in the village in song and dance and happiness despite their poverty and want. The simple pleasures of simple folk. Imagine if some faceless bureaucrat in Brussels could write a regulation to control how he plays his accordion. Or what songs he could play that are politically correct. Alfie is complacent in the system he grew up in. He recognizes his place. He is not a communist like Robert Timmins who wants to overthrow the social order. But he knows his rights. Enough is enough.

That is what is happening across the globe. People who were complacent in their living their life are waking up. They want to live their life in their own way. In their own traditions. Watch their TV’s. Go to the football game and tailgate. Dance at their daughter’s wedding. But the bureaucrats and the elitists and the globalists cannot allow that. They have to control what you eat. How big your soda can be. What you say. Who you can like and who you can ignore because their lifestyle is abhorrent to you. What guns you can buy to protect yourself.  What cakes a private business can make. What bathroom you can use. Every aspect of your life. Add in unrestrained immigration to replace the working class with a cheap alternative that can be cowed because of their illegal status and you have the recipe for an explosion.

I listen to the naysayers and the apologists for the duopoly who write article after article and blog comment after blog comment who can only find fault with everything the insurgents do. Whether it is Donald Trump in the USA or Boris Johnson in the UK. I think there is a lot under the surface. The betting was that Brexit would fail miserably. Much like the polls that Trump will lose in a landslide. I think that there are many people who are not going to deal with social justice loudmouths who dominate the media and the academy. Who do not answer polls or tell them what they really think. Or who give them the answer they want to hear and get because of loaded questions. People are smart. But when the time comes for them to vote they are going to vote for change. Not the same old same old that Hillary represents. The corruption and rot that has got us in this position. In the end when faced with the choice people will vote to exit the place we are in right now.

The elitists have an answer for Alfie. He is poor because of his ignorance and sloth. He should abandon his village because it is dying. Move to another place to find work. The state will take care of his children. Put them in the work house which was the 18th century foster care welfare system. Because his values and his life is not important to them. It is Droit du seigneur all the way down.      


Rhythm and Balls said...

Interesting post. I'm always on the look-out for good tv content these days.

Big plastic soda bottles are a part of my family's long-standing traditions! We put them on the family crest!

Trooper York said...

I think you will really like it. I find it very relaxing and if you have Amazon Prime it is free.

There is of course a subtext that can be read in and it is about class as it always is in British drama. You will find it multi-layered.

Rhythm and Balls said...


I could definitely use a bridge between all that viewing I did of The Tudors, documentaries on the Stewarts, and all those Ruth Goodman clips my girlfriend watches on life on Victorian and Edwardian farms. Even though farming is tough work, people did have a happier and in some ways much less stressful existence back in the day.

Trooper York said...

I am sure you know about Doc Martin but if you don't that is one that is definitely worth a look. Especially for the Cornwall countryside.

ricpic said...

Alfie was much freer than we are. Was his life hard? Certainly. But he was completely free of one of the worst tyrannies men have ever suffered under: the tyranny that makes common sense suspect, controversial and even hateful. Did Alfie go around self-censoring in order not to offend the lord of the manor or the lord's minions? He probably did, occasionally. But we do it on a daily basis. And if we don't? Loss of employment, loss of social standing, loss of everything. So next time some progressive shit tells you a horror story about how awful life was in those benighted times before the compassionate took the saddle, don't just laugh at him...spit in his eye.

Trooper York said...

Alfie is a very interesting character in this ensemble. In fact he is the most interesting to me.

As I said his Mum was a rosy good time charlie barmaid type that everybody liked but who was irresponsible and constantly in trouble. His Dad showed up for one episode but couldn't wait to go back to sea after he dropped some seaman semen in his baby momma. Who ends up in debtors prison but ships her rug rat to her son to take care of. He loses their cottage because he was still a boy and didn't get a mans wages working on the farm so he couldn't rent a place. He finally gets his status changed and gets his own cottage where he cares for his brothers and sisters. He steps up. Does what a man should do. All the while playing his music and being a strong bulwark that others turn to for help. A great character.

I think he is by far the most interesting character even though he gets little screen time.

Trooper York said...

I see him as the stand in for the long suffering working man. Who takes the hit and keeps working to support his family. The guy the elites look down on. Despise. Write off as clinging to the old ways. They only want him as cannon fodder. Otherwise he should just shut up and be happy with the crumbs they allow him.

Chip Ahoy said...

Alfie was not free, he was slave to circumstance and locked in. His only choices are play his very sorry hand well as can be played or play his poor hand poorly. His behavior is circumscribed all over the place and mostly by his social betters.

Time-wise, this was shortly before my grandparents split and they were exceedingly class oriented. Even leaving they were still locked into that thinking.

Slave to the man. Slave to poverty.

Alfie's story is the same story as Jesus 'cept different. Jesus was eldest of six of Joseph's children. At fourteen years of age the responsibility of raising Joseph's family fell squarely on the shoulders of Jesus. And Joseph's last child, Ruth, wasn't even born yet.

Now that just blows my mind.

The way Jesus accomplished this feat and familial duty and continue with his mission was concentrate on the second oldest, James, with instructions for James to take instruction of the next three sisters, and they take on the instruction of the babies. Jesus stepped up and filled the gap and then expressed his state as a free man by leaving his family. By leaving his built in sorry stuck circumstance.

Not actual legal slavery, but come on, being stuck to labor without choice is the same thing.

Apparently my granddad, his wife and her family felt the same way. Except differently. These three broad templates match.

ricpic said...

Chip should read some of Joyce Cary's novels about England in the Edwardian Age. Yes, life was very circumscribed for many, for almost all, but it is amazing what genuine gaiety there was in the lives of not just the few well heeled but of millions. It was probably a hard slog most of the time for most of the people but there were many flashes of gaiety and joy, genuine joy. How much of that is there around now?