Monday 26th January
Bob Dylan wrote those words in late 1963. President Kennedy had just been shot dead in Dallas, America had just survived the Cuban Missile Crisis and possibly Nuclear War with Russia. There was still Racial Segregation in the Deep South and The Beatles had changed the face of pop music with their first album and singles. In Britain we had a Conservative Government that was reeling from the Christine Keeler Affair and led by a grouse-shooting old-school Tory Grandee. Harold Wilson was waiting in the wings, and though we didn’t know it at the time “The Sixties” were just about to happen.
How prescient of Mr. Zimmerman to have grasped the moment so brilliantly.
And here we are fifty odd years later. We are rapidly entering into another cold war with Russia (the old enemy), the Middle East is an absolute mess, largely of our own creation. The country is being run by a bunch of old Etonians who only managed to scrape in with a third of the votes last time and yet tried to take the country back thirty years to the days of Maggie. Racial Segregation has been replaced by an undeclared war on Muslims. And where are the kids, where are the angry young people demanding the country change. There is no new music, no new Art or fashions coming from the young. It feels we are stuck in some time-warp, or ground-hog day. There are channels and channels on TV and yet nothing really gripping to watch. The cinema is full of sequels and films about superheroes or CGI filled action movies. The two most popular politicians, Boris and Nigel, are almost caricatures and nobody can really take them seriously. Our two main parties will be lucky to get even 30% of the vote each, and yet there is no real opposition, no new ideas; it is just a question of who can best manage the tedium and do the least harm. We may even be heading for deflation and utter economic stagnation. And it seems that nobody care….
It feels that the times definitely are not changing.