A patient mentioned Kipling the other day, neither of the 2 nurses in the room knew of him, despite prompts such as "If" which they did not know until I quoted some, to be told that's a phone company advert, the Jungle Book "that's from Disney". I gave up after that when they asked about cakes
Inane, but true fact...by Wife's Great Grandad was his Gardener, after leaving the Met Police where he was a Constable at Whitechapel at the same time as Jack was doing his bit for community relations.
The trouble is that they don't. They still see themselves as entitled, important and the center of the known universe.
I get very worried when the more unsavoury and contentious parts of history and literature are whitewashed out (wrong choice of phrase there perhaps). We cannot learn from our past if most people do not know anything about it. Just because something is offensive to some, does this mean that it should be removed from the record?
We are at a great risk of forgetting where we have come from and creating a strand of history that seeks to blame everything on those individuals who no longer fit the bill.
Perhaps we should start a campaign in the UK to get the Italian government to apologise for the Roman invasion.........
Or should we be going down on bended-knee to make amends for out-breading the neanderthals?
Or middling/meddling jobs in the public sector. An example:
Someone close to me is currently going through a hard time: he's lost job, marriage and home because of some alcohol issues stemming from childhood which led to time in rehab. He was in a very high-powered, high-stress role but lost it.
He went the other week to sign on. He's coming from a long way back mentally but is really, really trying to get it together. I know, because I've spent a lot of time with him and have seen him trying.
He arrived at the job centre and started the online process of signing on. The process went 90 percent of the way through, and hung. He looked at the various people sat behind desks who were doing nothing and asked for help. He was told he had to ring a hotline number and got put through to someone in Liverpool (he's in Sussex). The person on the phone was very helpful but told him he'd have to make an appointment. The earliest was a week's time.
This is a guy really trying to get it together.
He looked at the several people sitting behind desks waiting for 'clients' and said, 'But you could help me - now. I'm trying to sign on. I need my stamp paying. I can't use the job centre if I'm not registered, and you people are sitting doing nothing.'
At that point, several blimps in G4S sweaters started circling because it looked like he was kicking off. He wasn't, he was just calling the people in the room on their attitude and laziness. He left, and given his mental state at the moment it took 48 hours to get his shit together.
That sums up many in front-facing public-sector roles. And you can guarantee that they're all right there on the picket line to campaign for their own rights when it suits.
I WENT into a public 'ouse to get a pint o' beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, " We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:
O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' " Tommy, go away " ;
But it's " Thank you, Mister Atkins," when the band begins to play
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's " Thank you, Mister Atkins," when the band begins to play.
I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' " Tommy, wait outside ";
But it's " Special train for Atkins " when the trooper's on the tide
The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
O it's " Special train for Atkins " when the trooper's on the tide.
Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap.
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.
Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an` Tommy, 'ow's yer soul? "
But it's " Thin red line of 'eroes " when the drums begin to roll
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's " Thin red line of 'eroes, " when the drums begin to roll.
We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;
While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an` Tommy, fall be'ind,"
But it's " Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's " Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind.
You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an` Chuck him out, the brute! "
But it's " Saviour of 'is country " when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
An 'Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool - you bet that Tommy sees!
More than a like, a testament to all fighting men, from Pvt Tommy Atkins in his bare barracks, to the Field marshal in his country estate. Kipling encapsulated the very essence of England's mighty military.
I have made for you a song,
and it might be right or wrong,
but only you can tell me if its true,
I have tried for to explain
both your pleasure and your pain,
And, Thomas heres my best respects to you.
O there surely come a day,
when they'll give you all your pay,
And treat you as a Christian ought to do;
So, until that day comes round,
Heaven keep you safe and sound,
And, Thomas, here's my best respects to you.
Nominated in 1903-4-5, and won it in 1907, he was 34. For literature. still read and quoted today. He was greatly admired by the common soldier, as he chronicled their highs and lows, in verse, all encapsulated in "Barrack room ballads" An original copy takes pride of place in my collection of his works.( Published by Methuen and son. 36 Wessex street W.C. 1899. sixteenth edition.)