Observer columnist Sue Arnold
, who suffers from retinitis pigmentosa and is officially registered blind ... noticed several years ago that drawing on strong Jamaican skunk suddenly and temporarily enabled her to see things clearly. But Ms Arnold has since warned of side-effects that could impede night-time navigation.
"Only trouble was,
" she said, "I couldn't stand up.
And so the children of the sixties come in for a generational bashing. Apparently Tony Blair
thinks we are to blame for the current societal ills in the UK. What a load of tosh. We weren't yuppies for a start. We were 'bulge babies', born as a consequence of the ending of World War II when our happily demobbed Mums and Dads made up for lost time in the bedrooms. We lived through rationing, and thus learned the value of recycling and good nutrition.
Dad's first car was probably pre-war and lovingly maintained. DIY and gardening were economic necessities rather than hobbies. TV
were educational and communal rather than prying and ephemeral. I listened and watched with mother. We were cosseted, true; our parents fought the war for the likes of us. Or so we were told.
We didn't so much rebel as seek a voice, our voice. The Teds, mods and rockers preceded the hippies, which I presume are the targets of Tony Blair. And I'm part of that era. I may say that I'm an aging hippie, but I'm not really. I never really dropped out, but I did tune in and turn on to some interesting social experiments.
The sixties and early seventies saw a return to communality from some 70 years before: socialism and co-operatives, a concern for society's well-being, arts and crafts and travel. Community law centres, housing and work co-operatives, community transport schemes, fair trade organizations, organic food and music festivals were all incepted by our generation. Products of the Welfare State, we looked for alternatives on a smaller scale at the level of our own community. It wasn't an era of 'fuck you' or, indeed, free sex ~ at least, not for me. It was an era of 'Self Help' and social experiment which rejected the Nanny State ethos of altruism without rejecting the core value of caring.
This post is not intended as a personal paean; I'll content myself with saying that I've been there and done that and always will.
We don't need preaching at Tony; prove that you care for all and we can stand up for ourselves.