Monday, February 12, 2007

Ellee -gaic Musings

I watched Ellee on Andrew Marr`s show this morning .I was hoping to see a bit more of her but it was worth the trouble .I spied Croydonian flashing onto the Screen and furiously pointed this out to the bemused Blog Virgins I was with. Anyway I have been thinking on matters Ellee -gaic and by means of an odious pun shall we segue to ,"A sense of Loss"

I suppose the Blogger who more than anyone represents the sense I am looking for is Cranmer. A magnificent confection of course but I missed the real significance until this week. I have been reading ”England an Elegy “ by Roger Scruton and found it is one of those books, that takes unformed thoughts one had ,and gives them a home . Cohere would be the modern word.

This passage struck me as peculiarly apposite with reference to his Grace’s wraith presence.
“The world of the English was a world of rituals,uniforms, precedents and offices. In any serious business they would spontaneously , adopt another and higher tone, borrowing legal and biblical words, addressing their colleagues not directly but through some real or imaginary chairman and creating a mystical body out of mere gathering of people .”

A strong sense of the ironic and ridiculous is also in evidence which balances any suspicion of pretension but , as always , there is a message in the medium. I doubt his Grace would like that reference much , but isn’t mimicking an ancient English form on a web site an image of both the connection, and the dissociation we have from our culture and its quiet necessities. I find ,as I get older ,I increasingly want to reconnect myself , to recover what has been lost.


Sometimes the sense of loss is for something that never truly existed but it is no less powerful for that
The first time my wife and I holidayed in England , we had enjoyed Italy and Egypt in particular but to go to a beach with our child and play in the rock pools was to recreate an imagined English Eden and I fell into the enchantment . In fact ,I never had such a holiday , as a child, but must have acquired the memory from books and , no doubt, the television.


This weekend we have been staying at my friend David Gardener’s Hampshire “seat“. He is an lawyer specialising in international disputes and is often abroad . He and his wonderfully hospitable wife have made for themselves the sort of haven given to the Dickensian hero who ,having walked through the darkness of the Victorian underworld re attains middleclass financial security .It is a super sized rose covered cottage ,in a chocolate box village with Hardyesque church and rolling hills thrown in.. The cottage has about eight bedrooms and numerous en suite facilities .David is hardly connected to he land , and his wife’s background was quite underprivileged ,and yet this what they have done with their doubloons. In such blissful surroundings I was almost able to forget the horror one naturally feels at someone else’s success.
We walked up to the church and visited Montgomery’s Grave . It was raining and freezing and I asked David , pointedly if we had now finished the walk. He naturally replied

“This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning….” he always was a clever bastard.


I have just watched “The Queen “it was on a knock off DVD purchased in a clandestine deal by Mrs. N at the Toddler group. Good quality though , and it reminded me of how alienated I felt at the time of Diana’s death. One by one people who one had felt were sane; “turned”. I vividly recall saying ,” Oh for god’s sake ,she was only a self besotted brainless clothes horse “ a most sniffy response .I am still convinced that this country went badly wrong at about this time and the film brought that out. The queen did not like Diana , she did not like the cult of emotion , the soupy looks to camera , the celebrity friends and the way she placed her own childish needs before an enduring institution. She was right , and I responded to her fictionalised pain at a change in “The People “ . A rare British film worth watching and Phil the Greek gets some great lines.

“Elton John …well that’s a first for Westminster Abbey …mutter mutter,.. have you looked at the guest list….well don’t.” The Queen does not emote and she explains she thought quiet dignity duty and privacy were what was expected of her. Yes indeed and I for one like the change that came over this country , not a bit.

Oh how I wish I could implant in Croydonian a proper respect for this wonderful women the very embodiment of the nation. His cold flinty republican eyes see nothing but bombast and hypocrisy. It is so much more than that.

(I need hardly add that Blair`s despicable opportunism was treated a vast deal too kindly in my humble opinion.)


Soul music has always been important to me . I was , like everyone else , enamoured by the anger of Punk , albeit a bit late. One night , however, working a late shift at a garage, I found another world , Kid Jensen played six of the best by Wilson Pickett . The first track was “I found a love” These are the words

I found a love
She `s everything I `m dreaming of
And oh if she leave me
I think I will dies ay ay ay

And sometimes in the midnight hour I wanna call I wanna say
Yoooooooohhoooo (scream) don`t leave me darlin`

That pure voice expressing the pain of loss over the simple piano accompaniment echoed over the forecourt, and I have never really recovered. I was reminded of this Damascene conversion by the death of Billy Henderson of the Detroit Spinners.”I `ve been working my way back to you”, was the sound of a summer long ago. Not much connection really.

If anyone has an experience of encountering a music that changed everything please share……


I suppose at some time we must lose W F Deedes. Has anyone noticed what astonishingly good form he is on? For a man well into his nineties it is nothing short of miraculous,and combining a sharp mind with a unique long perspective he often slips a deceptively civilised blade into the rotten body politic.
In a recent article he contrasted Chamberlain`s exit with Blair`s grim limpet-like attachment to power. Chamberlain left to the bitter sound of Ronny Cartland shouting from the Tory back benches ,"Some of us are going to fight and some of us are going to die !"

The effective cause of his departure was not losjng a vote of confidence but the rebbellion of 41 supporters . Why is there no rebbellion against Blair .Perhaps the answer is simple

"Being a Member of Parliament is a better-rewarded occupation than it was in Neville Chamberlain's time. It was then more of a voluntary service than the paid profession it has become. The salary was nominal – £600 a year. There were no allowances for staff nor space for them, no private rooms for secretaries and filing cabinets, only a small oak cupboard. "Good place to keep cigars fresh," as a senior MP observed to me at the time.

Most Labour MPs were subsidised by their trade unions. Tory and Liberal MPs paid for the privilege of being MPs. My batch of candidates who entered the Commons in 1950 were the first to have their election expenses paid by their local association. We were forbidden to contribute anything.

Would such considerations weigh with Labour MPs called upon to vote on Blair's future? In short, is the House of Commons still fit for purpose? I cannot answer that question. I don't know the answer. It is a question the electors must ponder for themselves"

You know I think he does know the answer and so do we.I look at the efforts of the Home Office , not to solve problems but to hide them, at the corruption endemic in our already degraded police and the lying smug face of the millipede and I feel the way Dennis Potter once did about the way things are going.

"...everything is getting shittier and shittier and shittier"


Anonymous said...

The Z cars theme tune!!

Newmania said...

Jesus christ Mutley I haven`t even finished it, how the flip did you manage that ?

Anonymous said...

I missed Ellee yesterday _ got it into my thick head that she was going to be on the POLITICS show at 12..... glad it went well.
re. your brief sojourn in Hants.: yes, a visit to Middle England really 'centres' one after too long in Islingey/ Harington etc.
Never had a musical damascene moment _ sounds elusive, like the female orgasm...

Newmania said...

The female orgasm is not a myth neither is the multiple female orgasm. Honest

Anonymous said...

The producer wanted to include me as a grassroots blogger, don't know why I was called a businesswoman either, but it was amazing to be included on the programme at all.
Next time I meet up with Croydonian, perhaps you, Justin and David would like to join us, it will be nice to put a face to blog.
Newmania, sounds like you had a great weekend.

Anonymous said...

The female multiple orgasm is, indeed, a myth perpetuated in order to further entrench guilt and inadequacy among the male species.

But seriously, I enjoyed this writing on many levels, Newmania. And I suspect that your clever and deservedly successful friend knows a class act when he sees it.

Newmania said...

Thanks Kev I was thinking I`d gone on to much. Its back to quick gags and stuff for me .Hope all well with you.. no no I always give a woman about three or four orgasms must be you...

I jest I can just about rely on one between us

Cheers Ellee I would have liked to have heard more of what you had to say though I `m always interested..although I do not always agree with you.

Anonymous said...

Unless by 'multiple' you mean more than one woman at a time, menage a trois - which I find quite easy to do actually ! (ha ha)

Yes things are well, we've just 'taken delivery' of our adorable rescue cat.

Scruffy is his name:

- gamma male
- quirkily handsome
- scarred
- care worn
- middle aged
- neutered

We have so much in common...

Newmania said...

Ha ha ha !!!
Love cats , we have two. They are hoity toity females who tolerate us if they must

Anonymous said...

I didn't used to like cats until I lived with my girlfriend (wife) and she had one. I hated him at first and I was definitely a dog person. One day he went missing and I was really gutted about it. There was allegedly a witches' covern nearby and animal sacrifices had been found, so we thought that was him done for.

We got a call six weeks later from a Spanish doctor working in Coventry. Somehow Rambo had made his way there from Slough.

I can't believe he thought I was that bad that he sent himslef to Coventry. But I've liked cats ever since.

Newmania said...

You do have a tale to tell K. Saki is very funny on cats . ( HH Munroe )

Anonymous said...

You missed a pun there NM...

...tail to tell ?

Newmania said...

Nope,I picked a delicate paw around it.

Anonymous said...

Cat-er-stropically unfunny.

Stan Bull said...

There aren't many comments sections to be seen which include both Cranmer and multiple female orgasm. I wonder where His Grace stands on matters libidonous.

Anonymous said...

Maybe not the fur-um for it here (forum, if you need any help there)
But David Cameron ...

...evasive during the weekends interviews don't you think ?

Wouldn't he have been much better off saying "Yes I did it..." it's beyond dispute that he did " was a stupid thing to do and I think that cannabis has a destructive influence on society."

Of course we would have forgiven him and he would have been far more convincing for doing it.

Anonymous said...

What all this about Mrs. N buying dodgy DVDs from the toddlers' group?

Anonymous said...

Unbreak my heart - Toni Braxton.
Fireball XL5 theme tune
altogether now..
I wish I was a spaceman,
the fastest guy alive,
I'd fly across the universe
in Fireball XL5..

Anonymous said...

Writing this from an internet cafe in Cambridge where I am demonstrating blogging to a group of women, you will soon have hordes of new fans from here.

Anonymous said...


Philipa said...

Hullo ellee, hullo women bloggers. Check out raincoasters blog as another example of a female blogger.

Anonymous said...

Never mind all that.

Scruffy doesn't like Pink Floyd.

Oh dear.

Back to the Blue Cross he must go.


CityUnslicker said...

Republicanism is the way forward N. The system as we have it is unfair and why should a family of idiots have a constituional role.

I would appreciate hearing your views at more length.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. Not much concern for Scruffy there then.

Anonymous said...

well, yeah, but - Pink Floyd, come on

Give him a second chance - play him Animals.

Otherwise - Weclome to the Machine...

Anonymous said...

Animals - ha ha ! That tickled me.

Not to detract from Cityunslicker's important question about royalty - especially in light of Fergie's latest photos.

(Scruffy going back to the Blue Cross was a joke, ok ?)

Anonymous said...

Oh - agree with Philipa too. Raincoaster is cool.

Newmania said...

CU I see it rather like prserving old chuches although I do not myself have great faith.
I would go on but I have flu and I am going to back to bed

Serf said...

One of the great discoveries of blogging, is that other people felt the same about Diana as I did.

For the first time in my life, I really felt ashamed to be British.

Croydonian said...

Serf - amen to that.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't mind responding on this CU if you don't mind.


The monarchy provides (or should provide)

- continuity
- example
- conservatism
- a bulwark against tyranny
- one of the independent pillars of complex (Roman in origin) British democracy

In standing up to progressiveness of the liberalist movement the Queen has been an abject failure. I agree with you (CU)that minor Royals have done nothing but further the abolitionist argument. But the Queen has been an undeniable source of moral rectitude and is still capable of becoming a 'rallying point' alternative to the odious and racialist BNP.

We have examples of Republicanism embodied in the vulgar and avaricious Cherie Blair and the dreadful Maastricht Treaty (of which the Conservatives were signatory) and Jade Goody. No thank you very much.

Philipa said...

CU - "Republicanism is the way forward"? Oh what rot. Are you just very young and full of idealism or blind? You want to replace a perfectly good and functional monarchy with yet another bloody useless politician? Ken Livingstone perhaps.

Banana republicanism more like, with the main export being any Brit who can afford to emigrate.

Croydonian said...

Hurrah, another blue republican in CU.

Here are my thoughts on scrapping the monarchy, bag, baggage, flunkies, state coaches, royal yachts, royal trains etc etc from last year.

Newmania said...

Alright C you soulless devil sick and miserable as i may be i am going to have to reply .I just needa nap first

Newmania said...

Ho ho Phillipa that was a great custard pie you threw at CU and good stuff , Kevin those are good reasons for retaining the monarchy and the best one of your commenst I have seen . A real punch to it.

Still on the basis that Croydonina knows almost everyuting I `m going to have look at his cold inhuman dangerous republican tract in a fair minded and open way.

Then disagree with it

Anonymous said...

For all the 'punchiness' of my comments, Newmania, I accept that we are at a curious juncture in our history...

... I would describe myself as a Queenist rather than a Monarchist at the moment.

Pleeeease don't anyone tell the Real Peter Hitchens that I'm a Queenist !

Newmania said...

I do know what you mean Kevin and my own love of the monarchy is in some ways a symbolic stance against the modern. in the same way i often argue for capital punishment but i know it wouldn1`t be workable in this country becaise a Jury wouldn`t have the mortal courage to convict. I `m far from certian I would

Newmania said...

Serf and C we are of a tribe ..salutations my brothers. I know a cameraman who wiorked on the Jeremy Clarkson show and he asked myself and Mrs N to guess who the contenders were for Greates ever Britain.
we got all them in about ten minutes its not that hard

Cromwell took a while for some reason but it is fairly obvious
we then spent about an hour trying to fathom who the last one was. In tghe end i was doen to obscure Victorian Foreign Secretaries before i gave up .

It was of course Diana

It never even occurred to me

Newmania said...

I have hordes of new fans do I.Would any of them like to lend me some money ?

Thanks Ellee!!!I went out there a chorus girl and came back a star!

Anonymous said...

C - you advocate a super-Speaker in the ceremonial rôle, but as a republican why do you need a head of state at all?

Perhaps you'd be happy to dispense with that also (which I'd find more consistent).

But if you do see a need for the ceremonial rôle, I suggest you can't do much better than a well-schooled Royal. The ultimate civic dignitary, the Commander-in-Chief - it all comes together in a permanent pinacle. Very difficult to appoint such a person from amongst a cluster of aspirants. You just know Archer would be forcing himself to the front of the queue...

Anonymous said...

The idea of an elected 'Monarch'is self-defeating in my view (sorry CU) and could become just as sullied as any cash-for-ermine peer.

"So the Royal family isn't sullied ?"

Not the Queen.

And thus far not Prince William either.

We also lose the idea of permanent tenure of the type which transcends the influence of government, corporatist corruption and even fashionable trends.
(I don't think Prince William could hold out against this)

[From hereon my suggestions do not pertain to your ideas, CU]

There is also the issue of disconnection from the Church of England which I am sure would appeal to a closet Catholic like Tony Blair.

There might also be sound argument for a secularist turn-around in all modern societies, but let's ensure we have this argument in the form of a proper debate and vote - and not just in the form of withering ad homynem assaults against so-called 'privilege'.

If the Queen has lived a 'privileged' life then I'd sooner remain a proletarian; judging by the Union flags she can still muster in the Mall I suspect that the masses still agree with me.

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