May 14th, 2004

2020 lack of vision

I guess it'll be green or liberal democrat from now on, then

This morning, on Radio 4, Tony Blair lost my vote. The exact words were "we must stand shoulder to shoulder". He was talking about Amerca's policies on treatment of prisoners of war. And I don't think we should. Sorry.

As someone who beleives in conflict avoidance, inclusive solutions, and above all, remaining in dialogue, even with the most reprehensible individuals, organisations and goverments, the war has been a tricky topic for me. A bit like drug abuse or a blind corner, I don't really think that war can be solved by walking away from it; obviously, it shouldn't be happening, but now that it is, we need to concentrate on minimising harm. So I protest, because war is wrong, but I don't yell troops out! because it's more complicated than that.

Of course that's a very compromised position. I accept that. People who go for slow progress, compromised solutions, and lots of talking to check you're doing the right thing, are never going to be quite as upright and certain as the more idealistic, more principled people.

But it's precisely because you start from that disadvantage you must hold onto your own values. You must never say, they do it so it's ok or it doesn't make any difference in the long term or what does it matter really. You must close your ears to marketeers and businessmen and sociologists who keep saying it's alright everyone does it it's necessary it's expected it's the way it's done.

Harpies, don't listen to them.

I nail my colours to the wall. And in typical compromised way, my colours are muddy, too muddy to explain in depth here.

But they don't include unconditional support for a nation that has not yet adequately disproved the allegation that torture and abuse of human rights are part of standard military practice.

this morning I will be mostly stuck in traffic

Collaborator 2 sent me a cheery text this morning, so all went well with the post, again. I begin to feel that it is storing up a disaster for me. However, any feeling of being ahead was instantly swallowed by the knowledge that the previous evening (spent in a state of nervous collapse) had put me behind with Collaborator 1. Collaborators, I should say. And given that my next job is to draw them both in sexy clothes, I feel rather cheated. A hot body scrub and an early night was no compensation, especially as it took me a staggerinq 45 minutes to make my bed.

And now I'm out of town and into the green. Spring is stretching out this year. There are still buds unburst and from a distance the woods still have that delicate variation that looks like someone was aiming to stipple in all the different shades of green. The fresh greenness of the leaves fills me a queasy, vegetable passion. They're so new, so fresh. In a fortnight they'll be burned to a uniform, workaday green. Don't laugh at me; where I grew up, the colour of the leaves was what passed for gossip.

A nice lady cruised me from her bike last night, but I'd been reading the news, so my first thought was, "I bet she beats her girlfriend." I still haven't sent my father his birthday card. Connection denotes responsibility.

My visits to Oxfordshire villages come in two varieties; half an hour early and a quarter-hour late. Early again. Very soon I will run out of side-streets to walk down.
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