The Plastic Hippo

January 31, 2017

Roll over…play dead

Birmingham Victoria Square 30/1/17 via Tom @positiveLad

Birmingham Victoria Square 30/1/17 via Tom @positive Lad

The darkest hour is not necessarily just before the dawn and it is possible to be surrounded by stygian gloom even in broad daylight. With the black dog of depression lying across the collective chest of humanity as hatred and ignorance flourish unchallenged, optimism and compassion is for fools and traitors asking questions will find the hot breath of Cerberus snapping at their heels. Perhaps the victors are correct and losers like me should get over it, move on and stop moaning.

I have attended enough rallies, marches and demonstrations and have signed enough worthy petitions to know that marching and demonstrating and signing petitions has a precisely zero effect in challenging injustice. An hour or so out in the cold or an occasional blister on the big toe might make the warrior feel a warm glow of self satisfaction but it has never saved children from being bombed by dictators. Signing a petition is now even easier as it allows militancy from the comfort of a device connected to the internet and saves the security services so much time in identifying individual threats to national security.

I could make the excuse that I was just passing or that I needed to be in Birmingham on business or that I was meeting an old friend at New Street Station. I could reasonably say that I fancied a pint of Guinness in the Shakespeare or the Old Joint Stock but with fascism and racism now not even trying to hide, it seemed important to be in Victoria Square and stand with people who are prepared to make a stand. There were fine speeches from Christians, Jews, Muslims, atheists, comedians, rappers, local councillors, greens, gays, teachers, students and refugees. There was good humour and witty placards. There was anger but there was no hatred even if some of the chants strayed dangerously close to the “lock her up” hysteria directed at Clinton by Trump supporters during the election campaign. A drone hovered overhead and several speakers asked if Donald Trump and Theresa May were watching.

In the unlikely event of Donald Trump or Theresa May watching live drone footage from central Birmingham then it is even more unlikely that their minds would have been changed and that they will continue on their disastrous course in de-humanising humanity. The government will claim that the twenty or thirty of us in Victoria Square do not represent the will of the people and the organisers of the event will claim that thousands of us in Victoria Square speak for the nation. The actual attendance figure is somewhere between the two and is, in the great scheme of things, irrelevant. Trump has graduated from being a crowd pleasing clown to a dangerous crowd pleasing clown and now onwards to becoming a powerful, dangerous crowd pleasing clown. Theresa May has become something of a national embarrassment. There is a word for a person that is happy to abandon self-respect for ambition and renounce basic morality for financial advantage. It seems that Donald Trump has some up close and personal dealings with such people.

No matter how many times the BBC or Fox News (and who in British journalism will rejoice that these two news providers are now routinely compared in the same sentence) say “temporary” or “mainly” Muslim, the sad fact is that Trump`s executive orders are inherently fascist and go against the constitution of the United States of America. Trump might be happy to lie and Theresa May might be happy to lie back and on occasions think of England, but we are at a point when a stand has to be made against barbarism.

It might give the “liberal elite” a warm, cosy glow that one and a half million and counting have clicked a mouse to keep a rat away from a state visit and might allow them to scoff into their muesli that the “Committee for State Visits” was invented about 24 ago in an attempt to divert attention away from Theresa May`s lax attention to the security and viability of the nation`s undergarments, but there are those of us who think a state visit by Trump would be a jolly good idea.

He could be rendered anonymously to a remote airfield in either Cornwall or the Outer Hebrides formerly owned by Serco and then transported by G4S to a Serco run holiday camp called Yarl`s Wood Detention Centre. There, he will be racially and sexually abused and one of the immigration officers will steal his wallet. If he arrives with children, their limbs will be broken and a doctor will not be called to attend until 48 hours have elapsed. If he attempts to deny his terrorist activities, he will be tortured by water boarding to make sure he confesses his crimes. He will then be deported back to a regime that wishes to torture him further without any hope of legal representation. This is Donald Trump`s definition of extreme vetting.

Our parents, grandparents and even great-grandparents sacrificed a hell of a lot to defeat fascism and to make sure that fascism would never again be allowed to poison humanity. It might be nothing by comparison to that struggle but I was happy to stand with other human beings in Victoria Square. Some of us are not prepared to roll over and play dead.

Theresa May watching the drone footage, can only imagine how history will judge her.

1 Comment »

  1. Bravo!

    Comment by The Realist — January 31, 2017 @ 9:19 am | Reply

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