Rage, rage …

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

This was not quite the threadstarter I had intended. However, when facts change …

Harry Leslie Smith wrote a book two years ago, and had this to say about it:

‘As one of the last remaining survivors of the Great Depression and the Second World War, I will not go gently into that good night. I want to tell you what the world looks like through my eyes, so that you can help change it…’

In November 2013, 91-year-old Yorkshireman, RAF veteran and ex-carpet salesman Harry Leslie Smith’s Guardian article – ‘This year, I will wear a poppy for the last time’ – was shared over 80,000 times on Facebook and started a huge debate about the state of society. Now he brings his unique perspective to bear on NHS cutbacks, benefits policy, political corruption, food poverty, the cost of education – and much more. From the deprivation of 1930s Barnsley and the terror of war to the creation of our welfare state, Harry has experienced how a great civilisation can rise from the rubble. But at the end of his life, he fears how easily it is being eroded. Harry’s Last Stand is a lyrical, searing modern invective that shows what the past can teach us, and how the future is ours for the taking.

I couldn’t agree more.

Harry’s Last Stand

611 thoughts on “Rage, rage …

  1. Tony Wright having a lot of fun with the recall of 113 diplomats.

    Once again, satire getting too close to the truth.

    Foreign Affairs aghast: only $1.1 million to fly diplomats home

    “A million and a bit. Whoever heard of a figure like that? It’s risible. Wouldn’t spin out a night in Monte Carlo.”

    “Quite. It equates to less than $10,000 per Head of Mission,” says Phyllis Bottomley of Accounts Received and Payable (Overseas), tucking her pencil behind her ear. “Lord Downer of The Strand has been known to outlay more than that on a dinner and knees-up. Boodle’s of St James’s Street, if you’re wondering.”

    “What’s risible is this whole idea of getting all our Heads of Mission into one place at one time without unfortunate incidents after hours,” rumbles Daphne DuMaurier, formerly known as Donald Dingle, of Data Processing


  2. Leone

    Just a thought, but doesn’t joe hockey’s family come from one of the banned countries? If so would he be allowed back into the USA?

    • Sadly, no, he’s not from anywhere banned.Hockey’s father was born in Bethlehem, Palestine to Armenian and Palestinian parents. No Muslims in the family, all Catholics.

      Palestine could make things a bit dodgy though if the Yanks want to cause a major diplomatic incident by refusing to allow the Australian ambassador back in. Malcolm had better not have any more phone fights with Trump until HoJo is safely back in the US, just in case.

  3. Good evening, all.

    I’m a bit weary this evening, so would people hold me excused if I don’t put a Friday evening thread up? Of course, if Teh Boss wants to do one …

    Otherwise, I’ll create something along the lines of Snappy Saturday and publish it in time for

  4. On the recommendation of my dad, I’ve been watching the 1976 miniseries I, Claudius and I have to say it’s some of the best TV I’ve watched for quite a while.

    I’d say it was like Game of Thrones if it had less special effects, but much better writing and actors.

    However, there’s some really good shows I’m also watching on Netflix. For instance, I thoroughly recommend the series Narcos. I hardly knew anything about the drug wars in Colombia in the 1980’s-1990’s, but this series brings it to life so well.

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