Archives mensuelles : août 2017

The Fall of the Iron Curtain

The story of  the fall of the  Iron Curtain

the  simplifed exit by the  USSR




Chapter  1


Well now this  will not take to long says  you  and  you  may be  right  but  listen and  hear what has  to be  said  in the next few pages and  tell me  if  this  in not just the  strangest  thing  ever


Now  the  central  player  in this  story  didn’t set out  to be a  player  in  history  nor  is  he  in fact  but  you could ask the  question  who amongst  us  is  ever the real leader of  the  next  generation  or  even a  player  in the  match    What may  be  asked  of  each  and  every one  of us  is  Did  we  know  our place  in such and  such an  event  and  did  we  effect its  outcome   If  you  care  to look at  these  mind numbing events  the  you  might  be  stumped to find  any that  really  matter or  that were  of  interest in  your  little  lot  or  wider  We  are  asking ourselves  where we  when  such and  such a  body died  was  killed  or  just  left any other  notable  events are  television based  what  were  we  doing when  the  likes  of  bombs were going off in Belfast  in oxford  street  when  did  we  see a  body bag  with contents  and  did  it  really  hit  home  or  who could  have shielded us  from such  events as  the  siege  during the  snooker match  it was good  fun  and  great  TV  , sunny day  good  teams on  site  and  fine  white buildings  to get  contrast  and  movement  .Would  it  have  been  the  same  if  the  days  were  wet  and  dull with  persistent  rain  and  even  foggier  detail . Camera teams  seem  to do better on  sunny  days  but  this  seems  like  digression  from an  original line  which  must  nay  waver  if  this  story  is  ever  to cause personal meanderings and  reflection  on  great events


The central character  would  not  have  been  involved  in this  event  had  it  not  been  for  a  great shortage  of  coconuts  wherewith  to enjoy  too many  pints  of  lager  and  the  drunken evenings which followed however decrepit this may have seemed  To achieve this  so banal requirement  he had  often to make  calls  on old friends  in pubs and bars  as distinct from men’s’ clubs and  gentlemen’s clubs  This  need  to visit  those with the possibility to bestow work was also accompanied by visits to agents  in the  job market which concentrated on the  ability to count  up look at figures  look at results  and  give out a pretence  of  being educated to a  level where you  could command a certain fee and  the agent  could justify his  gigantic fee   but  like the  spider and the fly  the really lucrative  contracts  for  short  to long term contract work was  not that plentiful or at least not as plentiful as  was needed to meet the requirements of rent  lunches  cigars  all material needs  to some and  primordial needs  for others  In this  exchange of competence  and  ability  the  hate hate relationship was evident  The agent  often hated to use  someone  but they  had  none  else  with the degree of capability and  no one else  was  prepared to take the  stipend  offered unless they could  do something  else .


From time to time ,the  agent was often the  victim of his  employees success and  a good employee could earn lots  more by working for  old  clients  of the agents  for short term stuff or  pressure work needing perhaps a fortnight close to Christmas .There were  agents  who relied on this same  precarity  to engage an employee in well rewarded work but the employee remained  stuck to a  rate well inferior to that which the  client  expected


it  was  no surprise that the client would ask  the employee if  he  could see hs way  to joining the staff albeit  for a short  period  in order to avoid the tax  and  profit charged  by  the  agent . Next  to  estate agents  job agents had  the  victor ludorum for being the  most  unscruplous set of  banditos in all London town  but  estate  agents  wre  always going  to be  hard  to beat  for  their  lack of  scruples ; This  being said  agents were  like  poachers turned gamekeepers but  they  possessed acumen  and  staying  power in a community where  longevity was  measured by  the  day  and  the humour of the employee ut  would never do to be  too avid  as  the reward never  fell to the employee but to a company or business who could at  any minute dispatch the  employee to the  scrap heap without  notice at the  simplest of  notice

Luckily  the rules  for contract and  temporary work are soon learned and  never to be forgotten  in a town where the memory of things  that  go bad  is a lot more keen than those that go well . London had  always suited this  freedom of  employment  and even in the best days  London would even pay staff whilst they were between assignments  I  never  experienced such  largesse but  I  know  of  several who did.


This  has  little or  nothing  to do  with  the  inner spirit of this narrative  and  perhaps  its  diverging  from the  subject  big time  for  many readers but  its  important  to emphasise the transient  nature of  a seemingly  important  role  and  this  transient  nature was well paid  but about as secure as vaseline on a tyre jack.


My agent , A  lowland Scot with  the  politeness inherent  in folk  from cow pastures and  continual rain never really  had  trouble  getting  me  into employment; Its  not that  I feared work but  I did  have a  deep suspicion  of  ever working  for  nothing  ,yet later years have  shown  that  working  for  nothing  is a  mental disease often  associated with  devotion and  primordial pecking  order in the human  species


Saying such a  thing  is  pompous  but  I  have known  the  rush of  blood  to the head  to please someone or a group with that bit extra effort; my agent  never  merited such devotion but  he was   formed in the basic lexicography of  London at the time we speak of  namely  the middle eighties and  the early  nineties .Jobs were  not in short supply  and  this lowland Scot  wasn’t  afraid  to lubricate  the wheels  that made  the other wheels go  round  and  if that was  a chargeable pursuit then  so be it   A function  of the  system and the wheels keep turning for the benefit  of  all  The short term benefit  to all reigned  over the  permanent  nature of  employment  in towns  like  Manchester or  Sheffield or even  Belfast  Goth Forbid.