Tag Archives: labour

Interesting times

My eldest Grandson and I stayed up all night, watching the results of the general election. It’s now almost 4.30pm. I still haven’t slept; I’m buzzing from the excitement. My family are getting together for an Indian takeaway in half an hour, to celebrate a comparative victory.

The results for Labour were better than anyone expected. Although they got less seats than the Conservatives, the Conservatives didn’t get enough to achieve an overall majority. They have 328 seats, having lost 12, Labour have 261 seats, having gained 31. The Conservatives plan to form a coalition with the Democratic Unionist Party, formed by right-wing racist Ian Paisley in 1971. It appears to have became a little less extreme since those early days.

The smaller parties lost out to tactical voting. It was nice to see UKIP being crushed underfoot, but I’m sad that the Green Party didn’t get more votes. The Scottish National Party had almost all of Scotland after the last election, with 54 MPs. They’ve slipped dramatically down to 35, with some areas plumping for labour, and others going for the Conservatives.

I’m with the Green party, but they had no chance of winning this election; the most we hoped for were a few seats, but I was a card carrying Labourite until the despicable Tony Blair appeared on the scene. I couldn’t continue my membership with him at the helm.

I think Jeremy Corbyn is one of the best things that’s happened to labour since the revered Aneurin Bevan was an MP. I wanted Labour to win. Jeremy achieved the highest vote ever recorded in his constituency of Islington; a wopping great 40,086 (in the last general election he got 20,659 votes, so that’s a an increase of 19,427 votes.) Somewhere in the distance, behind him, were the Conservatives, with 6,871, and the Liberal Democrats with 4,946.

That’s one in the eye for the Blairites who tried to push him out of the leadership. The country loves him, and so do his constituants. He’s a good, fair man, who wants the best for he people of this country.

Theresa May and her Cons have blown it. Political commentators and Conservative associates are pointing the blame for the humiliating result at Theresa May, which seems fair. She ran a terrible campaign, making a lot of slip-ups. Jeremy Corbyn is calling for her resignation, but she says she won’t stand down. The general opinion is that the Conservatives are ruthless cut-throats; she’s blotted her copy book so thoroughly it won’t be long before they dump her.

The Conservative Party should be a laughing stock by now; David Cameron chose to hold a referendum to prove that the people of the UK wanted to stay in the EU, then Theresa May announced a general election, with the idea of proving that the country was securely behind her.

David provided the timber, and Theresa constructed the coffin. Will the next Party leader put the lid on it? We shall see…

The Conservatives are feeling quite sore and tender today. I wonder what tomorrow will bring.

These are interesting times….

The Daily Post #Tender

©Jane Paterson Basil


Normal Service Will Be Resumed Shortly.

Leaden bucket
filled with marbles
knock and crash
within the head.

Missing calls
from silent mobile
dragging nausea
down the road
abandoned list
in the kitchen
Normal service….

Phone vibrating
labour started
still the brain
cannot compute
thank the lord
brain has switched to
default mode.
Normal service will….

kills the headache
grandson’s presence
cooling balm
chatty waiting
when will brother
make belated
presence felt.
Normal service will be….

it has happened!
Mum and baby
doing fine
much elation
deep within me
huppy hugging
all around
rapid visit
to the bedroom
warm pink silence
clothed in white
smiling beauty
soft enfolds me
all these loved ones
now complete
Normal service will be resumed….

Duty beckons
friends awaiting
of the fact
must fulfil their
shout the news
all abroad
fast response
hanging on my
every word.
Now a harder
task to handle
damaged daughter
must be told
chase her demons
to a distance
far enough
to silence them
so she can hear
the words I utter
understand them
and absorb.
Errant son
locked in prison
for the crime
of stupid youth
waits for my
of the longed for
baby’s birth.
Normal service will be resumed….

© Jane Paterson Basil


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Was there a moment – in this antiseptic, cubic place, cluttered with metal and micro-chipped technology – sharp with scalpels and crisp corners – in this eternal, crushing cave of agony – this black hole within the centre of the glaring electric white, which punishes my eyes – this heat which melts me – this cold which causes convulsive shivers throughout my ravaged body – was there a moment, just gone, just around the last corner, when pain was not squeezing me monstrously from all around, its seepage filling my every pore – when I was not made of pain?

I am a unit of searing torment. To distract myself, I search for a word that adequately describes how it feels. My ability to focus on this suggests that already the contraction is ebbing.

I can’t come up with a phrase stronger than excruciating agony, and that’s not even close.

It’s coming back.

Breathe. Pant. I can’t Ican’t Ican’t I don’t care what you do make it go away make it go away I’ve changed my mind I don’t want a baby I can’t do it.

I feel a release, and the midwife says I’m nearly there. I’m having a baby! It’s nearly over.

”Just one more big push.”

I am working towards the prize, throwing all I have and more into the job.

I see a blood-streaked head, shoulders, arms. A twisted rope is attached to the navel.

”It’s a boy.”

A surge of love, joy and pride. My son – my son is in the midwife’s hands. I made him and he has come from my body to live with me, and to love and be loved by me, and he is beautiful, and I had no idea; no idea it would feel like this. There are two of us now. This is what I was made for. I realise that I hadn’t been prepared for the wonderful surprise; the miracle of him.

The midwife says that everything is fine, but she has to give him oxygen, as he is stressed. She takes quickly him through the door at the side of the room. I had expected him to be placed on my body. I’m not ready for this sudden departure. I feel an invisible thread pulling at me, tugging at my tender, flabby belly, trying to pull him back to me, but the strength is not there.

A different midwife tells me that I just have to deliver the afterbirth. I hardly notice it happening.

I’m familiar with loneliness. When you’ve been brought up in the care of the Social Services you learn to compensate for the lack of familial love. But I have just made a family, and I am hungry to enjoy it now. The second midwife stays with me, makes re-assuring sounds. Gentle words and sentences come from her, but the words she speaks go over my head, because it is dawning on me that I have seen people do her job many times, over the years. She is the person sent to keep me calm. The question looms in my head; why is she doing this, and terror grips my heart as the answer comes crashing over me.

There is something wrong with my baby.

The thought becomes words ”There is something wrong with my baby!” The nurse is alarmed, and she must be saying more words, because her mouth moves like a computer animation She’s shaking her head. I’m sobbing, and the nurse has tried to take my hand, but I have pulled it away from her treacherous reach. She is standing up, still spilling words. As she walks towards the door to – what? Get help? Escape?, it opens. A woman in white comes through, and she hasn’t got my baby. I think she must be a doctor. She’s going to tell me the horrible thing and I can’t bear it. Thick, black oil is swirling inside my head, I can see the look on her face telling me it’s all over. My eyes close, and I hear a quiet, high keening noise which is coming from me.

And then I hear another sound. My eyes open of their own volition. The woman in white is removing soiled equipment. The midwife is back in the room.

She has swaddled my lovely son in a hospital blanket. She pads softly towards me, across the room.

She is smiling as he cries in her arms. Cries for his mum.

© Jane Paterson Basil
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