So this is the end of my journey recording Britain in the final month of its membership of the European Union. I had planned a long diatribe about how all parties involved in this fiasco should hold their heads in shame but truthfully what is the point? The Dutch lorry above continues to deliver its flowers to the flower shop on Queens Road, Leicester as if nothing has changed (at the time of writing nothing had!)
A man continues to ride his push bike across Victoria Park towards the University of Leicester’s main campus and as he does so the sun continues to shine.
Perhaps the most searching questions of the whole process are those asked by the young men who gave their lives in the fields of Flanders 100 years ago.
So in the end we’ll all die. Some today, some tomorrow but eventually we’ll all be taken and then what? What will future generations make of the whole sorry process? Will they walk through our graveyards and look at the names on the headstones and ask what was all this for? Will some try to use our memories to support whatever crackpot ideas they have or will they realise that there is far far more that unites us than divides us. I guess in the end the dead always ask the most searching questions of us all.
Goodbye to Brexit Britain I won’t miss the project. I have learnt a lot but if I started my journey again the one bit of advice I would give myself is this – don’t under any circumstances take that journey!
Brexit means Brexit and we’re going’ to make a mess of it….
Another day another location in Brexit Britain. Yesterday it was the big one – London. Of course there are as many Londons as there are people who live in London let alone those who visit the city state. This was my London.
As I walked around Whitehall I was struck by the number of young students there were. There excitement seemed to blanket me and I ended up feeling a profound sense of optimism for the future. Given everything that was happening around them and me that was some achievement.
I suspect it was a quiet day in and around Parliament square as nothing of great import was taking place. Yet I couldn’t escape the feeling that this was all too familiar and then it struck me the whole industry that has sprung up had the feel of an English country fair. The man difference I could see between the remainers and leavers was that leavers were mainly old white men who appeared to be more intense. I am happy to accept that this could be because as a remainer myself it was my personal prejudice shaping how I saw things. I’m sure that they were all wonderful people underneath – however they all seemed to be a bit more tense than the remainers.
I have also now worked out why Brexit is taking so long to come to some form of conclusion – London is making too much money out of all the tourists! London Eye – tick; Tower of London – tick; Buckingham Palace – tick – Palace of Westminster – tick, tick, tick. I overheard one young woman from the states on the phone to her mom saying how she had just seen Theresa May being whisked out of Parliament.
Away from the tourists London was also full of the usual unique behaviour and styles that make it such a vibrant and exciting place to visit. It is a place where you can go and be yourself no matter what. Of course it is a place where big business goes to make serious money and too many people for whatever reason fall through the cracks of society and find themselves on the on the street.
So what does this say about Brexit? Well it seems to be something that is affecting other people. People who don’t live in the city state but more likely the council estate. People who have no real feeling nor affiliation for London and everything it stands for. Even in and around Westminster Brexit had an unreal feel – more tourist attraction with plenty of walk on parts rather than something that was a serious pursuit. The country may be in a state but that wasn’t really reflected on the streets of Camden and Westminster yesterday.
Posted in Brexit, Brexit Britain, Photography
Tagged Brexit Britain, Camden, Central London, google, Palace of Westminster, photography, Street Photography, tourist, Westminster
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”
Sitting high above the Severn valley in mid Wales does give a wonderful perspective on the nonsense that continues to utter from our political masters and their coterie of political journalists. Yesterday the Prime Minister was toasts and the likely successors were practicing their best “..what me? No no no I would never replace the prime Minister…” lie. The papers screamed Coup! Yet above all this the ravens called across the valley at Powys Castle. Spring has arrived in mid Wales and the latest news from London seemed like a distant soap opera.
Today we find out the there was no coup and suprise suprise the Prime Minister hangs on for another day. If we have a barely functioning government then what can be said of all the newspapers who clearly don’t know anymore about what is happening than the Nutters. The only problems is we can no longer identify the nutters.
So the next time anyone should feel the need to listen to any more nonsense about who is plotting with whom I suggest they go and sit on the terraces below Powys Castle, take in the view across the valley and realise that none of it matters anymore.
Quoth the Raven indeed!
Posted in Brexit, Brexit Britain, Photography
Tagged Brexit, Brexit Britain, Edgar Allen Poe, Mid Wales, National Trust, photography, Powys Castle, Severn Valley, The Thick of It, Theresa May
Yesterday was a funny old day. On the one hand we had the performance artist known as the Prime Minister doing another gig in Europe where she repeated her strong and stable act. Only this time the penny dropped to the other European Union political leaders that she can’t be relied on to deliver anything so they went into panic mode. Apparently the one good thing about the European Council meeting was the Luxembourg Prime Minister’s green velvet jacket. Just to top things off the Prime Minister then retracted almost every word of her address to the nation from the night before. Of course this being Theresa May sorry is the hardest word so she didn’t say that.
Away from the bright lights of Brussels I spent an enjoyable day in Derby with the ever knowledgeable David Manley as we visited quite a number of the venues that make up the Format Photography Festival. (If you want to a fuller review of the show I’m sure David will be putting something together so why not pop over to his blog to see.)
Even here Brexit influenced a number of the exhibitions but as we walked around the city centre I started to notice that there was a much more telling Brexit motif – most of the visitors were either 6th form or foundation course students who never got the chance to vote on Brexit and yet are the ones whose lives would be most affected by whatever is the final outcome of this whole sorry nonsense.
With this in mind perhaps the most powerful exhibition was 16 at Market Hall. Here we see a series of photographs of 16 year olds from around the country and they get to say what their hopes and fears are for the future. Unlike some people I have great faith in the next generation if for no other reasons they can’t be as bat shit crazy as us so you would hope that well there is hope. After all, as Whitney Houston sang, “…the children are our future…”.
David Runciman, the leading academic from the University of Cambridge believes that we, the older generation, are screwing over the subsequent generation because: a) we control most of the wealth & b) we never had that many children so we out number the young when it comes to voting at elections thus the policies are skewed towards meeting our needs rather than theirs. I will leave others to debate the rights and wrongs of that but as we make another mess of the whole Brexit process you have to think he has a point.
So if you have a day free then take a trip to the Format Festival at Derby it is well worth the time and effort. So are the youngsters of today because remember we were once them – just as feckless and unconcerned about the future i.e when you are in your 20’s!
Posted in Brexit, Brexit Britain, Photography, Street Photography
Tagged Brexit Britain, City of Derby, David Runciman, format festival, photography, Street Photography, Theresa May, Whitney Houston
Heard the words that I told her (It wasn’t me)
Heard the screams get louder (It wasn’t me)
Seems Nurse Ratched isn’t happy and it is all the fault of the inmates. Still it isn’t her fault.
Posted in Apple Pencil, Brexit, Procreate
Tagged Apple Pencil, Brexit, drawing, Nurse Ratched, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, portrait, Shaggy, sketch, Theresa May, woman
“…Everyone wants some magical solution for their problem and everyone refuses to believe in magic…”
Mad Hatter – Alice in Wonderland
As everyday passess the whole Brexit debate gets more and more absurd. I believe this to be a statement that everyone can agree on whether they want Brexit or not. I haven’t got the first clue how to get around all the conundrums associated with Brexit and really if I did nobody would listen to me so all I can report on is what Britain is like as this political shitstorm dribbles down over us all.
Yesterday I was at the NEC for the annual Photography Show (now with added video – my addition.) As usual I spent more time looking at the people attending the show than the exhibitor’s wares. Certainly on weekdays we photographers seem to be a pretty similar bunch: white males who appear to have seen more summers than we would have liked. Most of the women appear to have attended as the plus one rather than have any great enthusiasm (I’m sure this is a great misunderstanding on my part but that was the impression I got).
Perhaps the most entertaining part of the show was away from the large corporate stands of the camera manufacturers and in the myriad small stalls who had any number of things and service to plug that were in someway photography related even if that was at the most tangential. But of course the best thing about the whole show was that for a few hours we could all get away from Brexit and talk F stop and dynamic range.
As I walked around the show I seemed to be the only photographer who was trying to document what was going on before him. This was a shame as I have to say there was a treasure trove of photographic opportunities.
But perhaps the image I like the most from the day was this one from the Hahnemuhle stand. Here we find two men in deep conversation about something which appears to have shocked the large lima behind them. However, to the side Brian Blessed seems to find the whole thing totally amusing.
Isn’t life absurd? This is the only way I can explain Brexit. Meaningful vote 3 anyone?
Posted in Brexit, Brexit Britain, Photography, Street Photography
Tagged Alice in Wonderland, Brexit, Brian Blessed, Hahnemuhle, Lima, Mad Hatter, Meaningful Vote 3, photography, Street Photography, The NEC, The Photography Show
Another week starts and given the way things are developing it is unclear where we will be by Friday. Oh Brexit the gift that just keeps on giving.
‘One of my dunderheads,’ Connie Sachs explained to Smiley
Not sure which of the Oxford educated members of the Cabinet this would apply to?
Posted in Art, Brexit, drawing, Procreate
Tagged Apple Pencil, Brexit, Digital Painting, drawing, Dunderheads, George Smiley, portrait, Procreate, sketch, Smiley's People, University of Oxford, woman