Wednesday, 10 January 2007

POLITICAL BASKET CASE

In my experience the Labour party has always been the Bermuda Triangle of progressive politics in Britain – the casualty area where good libertarian and social reforming intentions in opposition transmute into U-turns, bossiness and Nannyish heavy-handedness in government.

In the 1930s the party was in the doldrums after two short, unsatisfactory spells in office in the 1920s and the shattering experience of the 1931 general election when its former leader, Ramsay MacDonald, reneged to become the figurehead prime minister of a ‘national’ [in effect, Conservative] government with an overwhelming majority. The rump of the parliamentary Labour party under the leadership of first George Lansbury, an idealistic ineffective pacifist, and then the dour, colourless Major Attlee, was ineffective and irrelevant, especially as it continued to oppose rearmament until after Munich, while simultaneously and inconsistently calling for greater resistance to Hitler.

Attlee became deputy prime minister in Churchill’s wartime coalition, and prime minister when Labour swept into office in the 1945 general election. Deceptively self-effacing, he was in fact far and away the best leader Labour ever had in my lifetime. The cruel jokes – about him alighting from an empty taxi, and “being so flat that he was almost concave” – belied a firm hand on the tiller in a cabinet composed of much bigger fish than any of Tony Blair’s cabinet colleagues. His rebuke to an over-noisy party chairman – “a period of silence from you would be welcome” – was a classic. But he passed his prime, the initial driving energy behind his government waned, as it always does, and in 1950/51 Labour paid the price for mismanaging the economy – especially by the psychological mistake of prolonging rationing and ‘austerity’ too far into the post-war years.

Labour’s next great missed opportunity came with the Suez crisis of 1956. The country was split down the middle over the morality and usefulness of the Anglo-Israeli invasion of Egypt, and Hugh Gaitskell, the then Labour leader, argued articulately and passionately against it. But the party was – as all parties are – a coalition with some strong personal antipathies, riven by feuds between Gaitskell’s supporters and those of Aneurin Bevan, and it failed to topple Eden’s government. The party did not regain office until 1964, when Harold Wilson became prime minister after a narrowly won election.

Wilson is still a controversial figure, admired by many and loathed by others who saw him as betraying the party’s traditional values and chasing opportunism. As his Guardian obituarist, Geoffrey Goodman, put it “he lacked the deep conviction of Thatcher or De Gaulle and never possessed the philosophical and inspirational qualities of Aneurin Bevan” [Labour’s Hamlet]. His lengthy premierships saw a generational and social transformation in Britain with much of which Wilson himself was not in personal sympathy – it was his liberal-minded Home Secretary, Roy Jenkins, who masterminded much of the modernizing legal reform that reached the Statute Book, most of it ostensibly as private members’ measures. Jenkins merits the chief blame – or praise, according to how you look at it – for the mis-named ‘permissive society’.

James Callaghan, Wilson’s successor, presided for a few more years over what came to be felt as the ‘stagnant society’. An old-fashioned trades union man to the core, Callaghan failed to recognise the damage done by increasingly unpopular and outmoded industrial restrictive practices, and his return from a winter Caribbean holiday to a damp and gloomy Britain whose streets were strewn with uncollected garbage because of union strikes only elicited from him – according to the Tory tabloids - the query “Crisis? What crisis?” If he did actually say it, it was an egregious blunder. The outcome was a lost vote of confidence, a lost general election, and another 18 years of Tory government under a prime minister – Margaret Thatcher – who was much more of a radical in her own way than Callaghan or Wilson had ever been.

All governments, whether long-lasting or not, go through a life-cycle from vigorous youth, through experienced maturity, and ultimately lose their slipping, increasingly senile, grasp. A decade is a long time in the life of an individual, let alone a government. Material for personal comparisons and evaluations dwindles when, as is the case with younger voters, one has known nothing else than the current regime. For a while, Harold Macmillan’s administration which took over from the enfeebled Eden appeared to be self-confidently in command of the national agenda. But appearances can be deceptive, and when the slide comes it can be rapid. In a few hectic weeks of ministerial scandals and adverse media publicity, ‘Supermac’ was swept away muttering “Events, dear boy. Events.” Harold Wilson famously said that a week is a long time in politics.

The puzzle about the Blair government, which catapulted into power amidst such national euphoria at the demise of the unloved Tories, is why it has sustained its grip on power for so long after implementing a string of policies which have alienated its traditional bedrock supporters. This self-professed “New” Labour government is – if we are to believe the media Whitehall corridor prowlers – as racked by internal feuds as any of its predecessors, the only difference being the lengths to which all concerned go to conceal and deny this. The real difference is that the Blairite parliamentary Labour party is much more subservient to the Whips than was the case under Wilson, or even Attlee. The few threats of major ‘rebellions’ during the government’s almost ten years’ tenure have mostly been ‘fixed’ behind the scenes without any dramas on the floor of the House, and this makes day-to-day politics boring, even for the politically curious [which most people aren’t]. Blair’s ‘New Labour’ project resembles a giant pumpkin from which the all the flesh has been scooped out, leaving only an empty hallowe’en mask.

Not only party politics, but populist politics, have failed to dent this prime minister’s unshakeable belief in his own rectitude. His airy dismissal of two million protesters marching against the Iraq war speaks volumes for the decay of our representative system. Under any other administration I can think of, such a mass demonstration of public disapproval would have led to a vote of confidence in the Commons. But no-one, even in the Opposition parties, has seen fit to mount such a challenge during the past decade of Labour rule. The inner decay of political parties of all stripes, and their lessening appeal to the public, is a wider theme I cannot pursue here.

Down the years I have had excellent personal relations, and some close friendships, with many members of the Labour party in both Houses. But I have never felt in the least inclined, or been asked, to consider joining the party. Probably because they knew I was not a tribalist, as they were. The distinguishing feature of the Labour party throughout its existence has been its fervent tribalism and inward-looking loyalty, which explains the intensity of its internal feuds. Labour people are bound together by a sense of virtuous superiority to those who have the short-sightedness, or the bad taste, to remain outside “this great party of ours”. Nye Bevan’s infamous and ill-judged jibe that Tories were “lower than vermin” spoke volumes about the Labour cast of mind. As is now only too apparent, the Labour front bench are, in their own estimation, the know-all Nannies of the Nation, and I for one wish them off my back.

One of the myths of British history is that there is a deep and vibrant seam of popular devotion to free speech and civil liberties ingrained in the population at large. Despite the 19th century advances gained by some strenuous campaigning over these issues, they have always been the concern of only a minority, as is evident from the widespread indifference to the current Blairite assault on some of our traditional freedoms in the name of ‘anti-terrorism’. Wherever a resurgence of national concern about freedom is to come from, it is unlikely to be the ranks of ‘New Labour’.

My take on the Labour Party is that, without overlooking the 17th century Cavaliers and the 18th century Jacobites, it is the cause in British politics which has attracted more misguided devotion, and betrayed more fond hopes, than any other.

39 comments:

Boldscot said...

'..and in 1950/51 Labour paid the price for mismanaging the economy – especially by the psychological mistake of prolonging rationing and ‘austerity’ too far into the post-war years.'
Don't think they had much choice - they were in hock to the Yanks in a tighter jacket than Callaghan ever had to endure from the IMF.
Gaitskell is an interesting one though. Similar to John Smith.
How convenient for Messrs Wilson and Blair respectively.
I am sure David Kelly is not the only one to meet an untimely death in the wake of big oil.
Keep going, big man, give us more.

zola said...

Anticant : I suspect there is a bit of a "Whig" on your head.

zola said...

British politics lost all direction and value when the right honourable Michael Foot was booted out because he refused to toe the line.
The death of character.
The victory of numbers-games and method for method sake alone.

zola said...

Phew : Thank god I lecture today and must be away.

anticant said...

Boldscot: Economics is all in the mind, and the function of Chancellors of the Exchequer is little different from that of a voodoo witch doctor. Wasn't it Chancellor Hugh Dalton who said "money is a meaningless symbol"?

Attlee's Chancellor was the rather weird Stafford Cripps, an ascetic who believed austerity was good for the soul. He managed to project a remarkable personal aura of infallibility. [Churchill said of him: "There, but for the grace of God, goes God."] I believed then, and still believe, that a dash from austerity two or three years earlier would have boosted national morale, and therefore productivity [we still produced things in those days].

Zola: Whatever you may choose to think, I was never a full-bottomed Whig.

Michael Foot is an oddity. A brilliant thinker and writer, he was a totally inept political tactician.

Szwagier said...

Yesterday, or the day before, zola called me "a bit of a lefty". Having read this piece, I can fairly categorically say, as I would have said before, actually, that I'm no such thing. That's alright, then.

anticant said...

"Lefty" and "Right-winger" are simply terms of tribal self-congratulation or abuse, as the case may be. Completely out of date, in my view. Today's big issue is flesh-and-blood human beings [of many different views] against impersonal monolithic structures such as governments, political parties, and big business corporations.

Jose said...

Your excellent post on past times of Labour in Britain has refreshed my memories. As you may know the Canaries have always had a close link to the United Kingdom through commerce and industry. We have had to by obligation follow the comings and goings in politics of your country since the end of the civil war here, Canaries having being privileged to keep a commercial nexus by the dictatorship during the times of isolation.

There is a part of that post that reveals how it is possible that the new generations in England have not realised the lack of socialist principles affecting the new Labour governments. The lack of ideology, not only in that party but also in parties no involved in what was formerly called rightist doctrines.

Because Labour under Blair, and before Blair as well although not so much patent as it is now, has availed itself of the chance this new generation provides to conduct the capitalist policy that makes it difficult for everyone to compare it with that carried out by the Tories.

Thank you, Anticant, for your lessons.

anticant said...

Commitment to ideology has almost vanished from contemporary British politics. I'm not sure whether that is a good thing or a bad thing. The only "-ism" that rings bells with people nowadays is Consumerism - shop till you drop.

MrZhisou said...

Excellent post, very enjoyable to read.

In response to Thatcher, the Labour Party had to either present itself as something like a European Social Democratic party, or be proper socialist and hang the consequences.

When they got hung out to dry when they tried the latter, Kinnock hoodwinked them into the former with remarkable skill. He may have never convinced the electorate, but what he achieved within Labour was both laudible and was the essential prerequisite for Smith and Blair to finish the job.

Labour became New Labour, a capitalist party that also had a social conscience.

I think that's a perfectly respectable philosophy to hang your hat on and the fact that it is some distance from Labour's roots is wholly right as society is also some distance from when Labour was born and socialism seemed good and right.

The fact that they tend to over-legislate and nanny the state is not exclusive to Labour, in fact I'd accuse most parties of the same. It's all very well believing that governments should keep their neb out and devolve power as low as possible, but when you get to be that government yourself, it seems it is too tempting to wait until you've just done the next big idea ... and the next ...

zola said...

new labour with a social conscience?

Been thinking about that for a few years now and I still cannot see what indicators there are to support this.
ready to be proven wrong however.

boldscot said...

ZouZou!. Social Conscience?.
I have got more Social Conscience in my left barnacle than NuThatcherism ever had.
Having said that, my barnacles are very special (at least to me).

anticant said...

MrZhisou: When did the Labour party set out to be "proper socialist [whatever that means] and hang the consequences"?

The abiding characteristic of the Labour party is that it always sets off proclaiming it is doing one thing, and ends up doing something entirely different without admitting it.

The interesting question is whether they deceive themselves, even if they don't deceive anyone else. As Emerson said, "The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons".

And let's be fair, Zola, there are individuals in all parties who have a social conscience, but they are a dwindling minority.

merkin said...

Not so long, having returned to Britain after a number of years abroad, I spoke with a Polish resident about the dreadful state of affairs here.
I tried to explain to him that it 'was not to be believed until it had been seen'. When he said that, surely, it couldn't be worse than Thatcher I gave this as a comment :
'At least with the Tories you know they are bad bastards but Labour comes in as the good guy and then turns out worse than the worst.
Still the same.
Point is, with the Tories WYSIWYG but with Labour.............?

anticant said...

When you've been around as long as I have, you know that there was a time when there was quite a lot to be said for the pre-Thatcher Tories.

I have a theory - strictly copyright, no syndication - that Thatcher was a trotskyist mole slipped in to derail the Tories, while Blair is a capitalist mole planted to derail [or derange] the Labour party.

merkin said...

You may be right.

zola said...

No maybe about it.
Anticant IS Right.
Clip his wing I will.

zola said...

In more serious mode now : Lord Such screamed as much sense as NyLabour spins.

anticant said...

Well, that's more sense than some of Nye Bevan's utterances.

If you don't stop this disrespectful knicker-waving, Zola, the burrow will be up for inspection by Nanny Hewitt's heavies [Gauleiter Reid being fully occupied just now cleaning up yet another mess in his own back yard].

And you will be sentenced to attend a series of seminars on liberty by Isaiah Berlin's ghost.

zola said...

The Ice Man Cometh !
A dose of whisky needed
Then we take Berlin...

MrZhisou said...

By Labour being proper socialist I was meaning their 1983 attempt under Michael Foot. Probably not quite right use of words, but it was the closest they got to presenting a socialist agenda to the electorate.

New Labour shows compassion. It's easy to forget life with massive VAT on heating fuel, pensioners cold weather allowances, no minimum wage etc.

There are many Labour initiatives which show an interest in compassionate policies. Whether or not they are effective is neither here nor there. We are not discussing competence.

tyger said...

anticant,

Please accept my humblest apologies for not commenting on this wonderful essay before now. I have been very busy, but I assure you, this was my loss – what a brilliant essay, and one I’d like to reproduce on tygerland if you would be so kind? Full-accreditation of course.

My comment: Firstly, the theme running through your essay that strikes a chord with this reader is the “we know best” superiority of the Labour Party. I think this is best personified in the writings of Guardianista scribe, Polly Toynbee. A well-intentioned mummsy sense of superiority, which believes that we the people are naughty so-and-sos who don’t know what’s best for us, and as such, should allow our elected betters to look after us.

My innate Libertarian instincts are far more precious to me than any commitment to the Labour Party, which is why the current manifestation of the Labour Party (New Labour), with all its right-wing Big Brother tendencies, is such a turn off. The reason I’m naturally attracted to the Labour Party is that generally I think that, if we are to have a political establishment, then it should be a force for good. However, as I will outline later, this establishment and the baubles of Empire, is what holds us back.

In practice, this Labour Government has invested money but lacked the management ability (or commitment) to reform the public services; the changes needed to ensure the public saw returns on investment. In light of this failure it has sought to legislate itself out of trouble, which has failed (as it obviously would). Going forward the government is now essentially broke, with little chance of instigating further change. The civil services see no reason to change, and the government doesn’t have the political capital to force them to do so (it would also open them up to media criticism – slashing services and rising unemployment).

But all this is fiddling while Rome burns…

Britain has many virtues. We still have intelligent, innovative, and entrepreneurial people. We still excel in arts, science, and for an itsy-bitsy country, we don’t do too badly at sports. But a staid and regressive establishment, that rues the demise of The Empire, hamstrings us. It cannot face up to the fact that we are not, and probably never will be again, a super power. Economic realities demand that we should look to other Northern European neighbours, not America, for inspiration. Sweden and Norway accept their place in the world and make economic decisions accordingly.

I’m rambling a bit I know.

We need to usher away the cobwebs of Empire, which still almost fifty-years after its collapse, still hangs around our neck like the Mariner’s albatross. We need to deconstruct the establishment – we, more than any developed country in the world, are desperately in need of radicalism. This, I hope, is where we come in.

anticant said...

Tyger, you're very kind! By all means reproduce the piece in tygerland - my partner says it isn't one of my best, and despite your encomium he stands by that. Oh well....

I've always seen parties as vehicles for principles and policies - not as ends in themselves. It's up to all of us, whether we are party members or not, to keep them up to scratch.

In my younger days I was a Churchillian Conservative, because they then had a healthier attitude towards civil liberties than Labour, despite the latter's solid social reform achievements. [For a hilariously funny right-wing critique of the Attlee government, see "Our New Masters", by Colm Brogan.] I resigned from the party in protest over the lies told by Eden before and during the Suez crisis, and have ever since not belonged to any party although temperamentally supporting the LibDems as the best of a pretty dismal bunch.

You are of course right about the reluctance on all sides to recognise that we are no longer an imperial super-power. Our great post-WW2 failure has been to stay aloof from the European project, with the result that it is far more bureaucratic now than it would have been if we were in at the centre.

I think you are rather unfair to the civil service. They have far more experience of running the country efficiently than most politicians, but can only exercise influence up to a certain point, beyond which they are hamstrung by the party management priorities of their political masters. From my knowledge of them, they are often far more innovative in their thinking than they are given credit for.

One huge mistake, on all sides of the political spectrum, is the ingrained delusion that we are somehow 'special' to the USA, when in fact they not only regard us as foreign, but in some ways - because of their history - as more malign and macchiavellian than other nations. See Geoffrey Gorer: "The Americans" [1948] for an excellent exposition of this.

I couldn't agree with you more about the need for radicalism!

zola said...

Thank you Toby : We have never had it so good.
Ah, that one telephone number comes again.

anticant said...

What are you on, Zola? Please translate. What has Toby said? What one telephone number?

lavenderblue said...

Mine?

ben trovato said...

Are you telling is that yours is the hottest hotline? Is it you who urges your callers to strip Gordon naked? Are you a secret Blairite? Shame on you!

The Spit and Swallow Public House said...

Mr.Trovato.
Lavenderblue is unwell and has taken to her bed due to stress.
A report will be in front of you later,as dictated to her spokesperson, LatexKate and told to the press.

Richard W. Symonds said...

I'm somewhat bemused, and amused, by the pronouncements you make against people who knew exactly where they stood politically.

These self-righteous, complacent pronouncements come from people who seem to have no idea where they stand politically - or haven't got the guts, or the moral courage, to admit their political affiliation.

Nye Bevan was an Old Labour Socialist - and proud of it.

Harold Wilson was a wily Old Labour man, whose political wisdom was made manifest when he told the US to 'take a hike' when asked to enter into the Vietnam War.

George Orwell, although never a paid-up member of the Labour Party, knew exactly where he stood politically - a democratic Socialist.

For God's sake you lot, come off your lukewarm 'know-it-all' political pedastals and make a jump :

Socialist ? Capitalist ? Communist ? Fascist ?

People who stand in the middle of the road get run over.

By the way, I'm with Orwell - an English Socialist.

anticant said...

Richard W. Symonds:

"people who knew exactly where they stood politically." How lucky they were!

"Socialist ? Capitalist ? Communist ? Fascist ?"

None of the above. Why do you have to stick everybody into neatly labelled little boxes? So dull.

I suggest you read Orwell rather more perceptively.

Richard W. Symonds said...

As someone who has obviously read Orwell "perceptively", you will know that Orwell's last published words - a few months before his death in 1950 aged 46 - were :

"Don't let it happen. It depends on you"

He didn't "stick everybody into neatly labelled little boxes" - neither do I - but he could spot a Capitalist, Communist, Fascist, Socialist, or Whateverist, at 500 yards in bad light.

We all need to wake up out of our own political trances - very fast indeed - to perceive that we are being controlled by a bunch of idealogical fanatics, who seem free to run the world by a morally-bankrupt system of 'Gangster Capitalism'...

...and we are pitifully unaware of it.

anticant said...

Richard, I agree with all of that, and if you had read some of my earlier comments on the 'Guardian' CiF site before I abandoned it in disgust at the hypocritical PC censorship, you would know that my views on the current democratic deficit are as dire as yours. We will soon be way beyond the worst nightmares of 1984 unless enough people wake up and say STOP.

One cannot absolve the electorate - quite apart from party politicians - from some of the blame, as they did not vote in sufficient numbers to turn out Blair at the last election. Not that we'd have been all that better off with the Tories....

Even if I'm only a Whateverist - whatever that is - my chief concern is to mobilise more people to engage in the political process. Surely we have a great deal in common? The unbridled power of money is the biggest problem.

With respect, you are't old enough to remember, as I do, Nye Bevan in his prime. He was certainly a fiery idealist, but a very uneven performer and would not have made a good PM.

Richard W. Symonds said...

"Uneven performer" or not, Labour's Nye Bevan made the Report by Liberal Beveridge HAPPEN after the war.

Without his "fiery idealism", the NHS simply wouldn't have 'taken off' - and Housing would not have been set in motion at the speed it happened.

You and I both know that 'The 1945 Revolution' - Labour's landslide - took 'the powers-that-be' (especially in the US) completely by surprise. Our 'allies' across the pond equated Labour Socialism with Communism - and took every powerful step possible to scupper the Labour movement.

In the light of this, it makes Nye's contribution all the more remarkable.

Like many other socialists at that time, he needs to be well-remembered - not airbrushed out of official history.

Let history speak - and not be silenced - we have much to learn from "uneven performers".

Richard W. Symonds said...

And yes, anticant, "the unbridled power of money is the problem".

There is so much capital sloshing about globally. Money talks, but it doesn't listen - except to puppets who talk about "reform" (aka "privatisation") etc.

And, yes, we need to "mobilise more people to engage in the political process" - quite how is the problem, as most are "comfortably numb" with their little expensive boxes to live in, and their mobile 4x4's to play in.

Not wishing to sound clever, but a 'paradigm shift' of thinking seems a pre-condition of humanity's survival - on the same scale as Galileo/Copernicus, showing people that the opposite of what they believed to be true, was in fact the truth (the earth went round the sun, not the other way round).

This has to happen in the political, moral sphere - and fast - or else we can kiss goodbye to our asses.

Have you read "Escaping the Matrix" by Richard Moore ?

Jose said...

I am glad you made it here, Richard, a blog run by a person who I look up to for his wisdom and knowledge of public matters both in Britain and abroad.

History, as you and I have agreed upon on many occasions, is not always credible. Those who are old enough have "lived" that history very closely, some, as Anticant, from their professions, and I have no reasons not to believe what he says. He has been a very active "activist" in his younger days, as you are an activist now too, and that history lived is in my opinion more believable than those textbooks who, having been paid by our taxes, are written by persons designated by interested leaders to the effect.

Political parties, as you well know, are the weapons used by those who can to control us, to deliver those solutions sought by active tentacles of capitalism. They must by all means prove to us that their actions match their pretended ideologies and therefore issue laws that meet our needs in social matters, but their last and ultimate target is the enhancement of capitalism which has become the almighty solution in our times.

Privatisation is the solution given by political parties of any ideology to an otherwise improductive economic sector. Being run like a private enterprise has proved to be more effective than the former public system. It has also produced setbacks socially speaking.

That is the scenario we have been given and which we must live in, and this scenario has not been built up in a few years, it has been built up in decades since World War II.

It is, as always, my opinion.

anticant said...

Richard, any friend of Jose's is a friend of mine, and I hope we can go on debating these important issues in a calm and friendly way.

I sympathise with you and many others on the Left who invested more faith and hope in the Labour Party than I ever felt able to do. I too shared in that moment of euphoria back in 1997 when at long last the tired and discredited Tories were swept away, and we all looked forward to a fresh start. While not denying that this government has done some good and necessary things, I am horrified at their disregard for civil liberties, and all the creepy 1984-type surveillance measures being introduced now.

I did not "airbrush Nye Bevan out of history". He was indeed a moving spirit at the start of the NHS. But he was a prima donna and a flouncer rather than an administrator, and he airbrushed himself out of history by quitting at at the wrong moments, for which he paid the political price.

Your other points are too important to tackle in a comment, and I shall be blogging about some of them soon.

Most Americans regard anyone with a more developed social agenda than Ghengis Khan as a "Communist". That is a big problem for us all.

Both the global and national situations are, in my view, even graver than you say. It's not just 'legitimate' big business money calling the global tune, but increasingly semi-criminal, racketeering, and even mafia money.

At home, it's not just that people need to rethink. Most of them have never thought at all, and just don't care. The minority of us who do are becoming increasingly frightened, angry, and despondent, and must keep cool if we are to make our voices heard.

I agree with Jose that the most hopeful way of doing this is through interaction on the Internet, rather than through traditional political parties. Is there a practical alternative to capitalism?

Thanks for the book reference. I'll look it up.

Richard W. Symonds said...

...and any friend of Jose is also a friend of mine too - a privilege to meet up with you in your "burrow".

I enjoyed your reply very much - food for thought and thought for food.

I bow to your greater understanding and knowledge about Nye Bevan...and it looks as though he 'cocked things up' for himself and others....But, perhaps if he wasn't the person he was - at that particular time - far less would have been achieved (at least nothing effective and substantial).

I was interested in your comments about The Guardian - what comes to mind is the 'near-forgotten' story about the Encounter Magazine comes to mind - with co-editors Irving Kristol (US) and Stephen Spender (UK)...I'm sure you know what I'm talking about.

As for "keeping cool"...indeed yes...but I am mindful of Dylan Thomas : "Rage, Rage...".

I do not wish humanity (or myself) to enter possible oblivion with a whimper...

Richard W. Symonds said...

Oblivion or the Pearly Gates ?

Personally, I'm waging with Pascal...

Richard W. Symonds said...

Waging with Blaise and Raging with Dylan...yeah, I like that.

Sorry, sometimes I can resist anything except the temptation of linguistically disappearing up my own posterior.