Sometimes I sit on this ledge and despair at the state of a Britain so Brexit-bothered and bewildered.
Across the rubble I spy the Conservative Party lining up to replace the last hopeless prime minister with one of at least a dozen hopefuls (maybe another unknown quantity has joined the queue since I started typing, but Boris Johnson is still harrumphing away at the front).
And at the other side of the valley, up on Quarrel Hill, the Labour Party is squabbling over members who voted Lib-Dem in the Euro elections, having expelled Blair’s spin doctor, Alastair Campbell, for that sin. By some accounts, around 40% of Labour members are thought to have done the same – and that’s not including all those habitual Labour voters who followed suit or voted Green (three at least in this family of five).
Then I raise my eyes to the horizon. Donald Trump, who will be visiting soon, is busy bullying everyone at home and abroad, issuing violent Twitter threats against Iran, and diverting the usual procedure to supply arms to the Saudis, so that they can continue to bomb the shit out of Yemen.
This morning Trump has announced tariffs on all goods entering the US from Mexico, until all illegal immigration stops – another stamp of his bullying foot that will only hurt the weakest, and probably add to the six migrant children who have already died at the Mexican border. It will also cause another trade war (he does like those). Trade wars, in Trump-land, are more important than the climate crisis or the threat of mass extinction.
Now under his malign shadow, assorted US states are trying to ban abortion – a move that will mostly hit the poor who can’t afford to travel to have the procedure. What it won’t do is stop abortion; it will just make it dangerous again.
One of the mysteries of the attitude of the right in the US to abortion is that human life is sacred, all babies being a gift from God and so on, until they grow up and go school, where they might be shot. Then suddenly the right to carry guns out-votes the right to life.
This assessment is a caricature, perhaps: but sometimes caricatures come close to the truth.
Anyway, it must be time to read a book or listen to some music, or meet with friends, chat to the kids, phone my mother (well, not yet, it isn’t Sunday) or text my dad (on a cruise again, that man is cruising into old age), get in touch with the brothers. Anything but contemplate the state of the world.
A friend recommended the new Steve Earle album, and now it’s arrived, to go with all the others on the rack. It’s called Guy and is a tribute to the country legend Guy Clark, with Earle singing Clark’s songs. It’s wonderful and an export from the US I can thoroughly recommend. Unlike the one arriving here next week.