Return To Factory Settings

Wednesday 31st July

The future is always almost upon us, we just haven’t realised it yet.  Our only real function as humans is to be consumers; to spend our money on goodies, to keep the wheels of industry turning.  Savings are useless, spend spend spend…and as quick as possible too.  And we must not actually remember anything.  1984 is already here.   Words mean what we tell you they mean.  Yesterday’s news is expunged from our brains and we must accept today’s truth – until tomorrow of course.  No inkling of conscience must remain, anything is acceptable as long as we cannot remember what we did bad yesterday.  And so with Politicians, so with us all.

And when we get confused, as some faint memory rises to the surface and fights its way past all the Celebrity news (which is the only news of any real value at all) and the froth.  When our brains think they might remember something we did or said a few days ago, or was it something we heard, surely that can’t be right.  But wait a minute – that causes unhappiness, that brings doubt into the equation – and as consumer units we cannot question things – that only brings pain.

So, press the reset button, return to factory settings – and all that nasty stuff, those bad memories, in fact all memories, all disturbing thoughts are deleted, your in-box is nicely empty again.  This is the only way to remain contented today.  Every day reset your mind, return yourself to factory settings and forget what you cannot possibly remember anyway.  Stop worrying, the machine will restart in a few minutes, do not switch off – 10% of updates are completed, your brain will restart in a few minutes.

My Record Collection 35

Sunday 29th July

BOWIE – Now there is a name to conjure with, or at least become a knife thrower…boom boom.  Apparently David Jones chose the name Bowie because of confusion with the lead singer of the Monkees; and what a good choice it was.  He joins that handful who are known simply by one word – Dylan, Joni, Elton etc.  Well, I had heard of him.  The single ‘Space Oddity’ came out in 1969 and it was great – but seemed a one-off.  Like most people I became an instant fan when I saw him singing ‘Starman’ in 1972 (probably in black and white – not sure).  I instantly bought Ziggy, then worked backwards.

Only three years earlier he had released his first album proper, now known as ‘Space Oddity’.  And what a lovely strange thing it is.  It was far too weird (even for 1969) to be a success – and it shows just how far he had travelled in those three short years.  I must have played this (and most of his records) hundreds of times, but this one still surprises.  The sweet melodies, the even sweeter singing and the brilliant songs.  It really belongs to the Summer of Love, two years earlier, but is also timeless.  Best songs – ‘Space Oddity’ which still sounds as fresh today, ‘Janine’ and ‘Memory Of A Free Festival’

In 1970 he released The Man Who Sold The World..  Now, for whatever reason I have never loved this record.  I listen to it every time I re-visit the kingdom of Bowie, but along with one or two others it is unloved.  It is certainly harder in sound than his first real album, a bit more guitar driven.  But I think it is the songs.  Apart from the title track I don’t think they are really so good.  Anyway, Lulu (of all people) had a massive hit a couple of years later with the title song – and her version is even better.  The album flopped.  Nowadays that would be it.  Two albums – no real sales, drop the artist.  But Bowie was allowed to carry on.  He was beginning to make waves, and John Peel and others at the Beeb let him have sessions (see later Bowie at the Beeb) and his next record did not disappoint.  Hunky Dory started the wave, which I caught a few months later.   It is my Favourite Bowie record.  There is  charm and naivety about it, and yet it is timeless and beautiful and full of wonderful songs.  From the opener “Changes” (a forewarning if ever there was one) to the haunting closer “The Bewlay Brothers’ it is varied and brilliant.  ‘Life on Mars’, ‘Kooks’ and ‘Quicksand’ really stand out.  And now Bowie was knocking of the door of fame; he had recruited Mick Ronson on guitar, and his mates soon joined to become the Spiders…and they started recording the next album as soon as Hunky Dory was finished.

Hunky Dory (2015 Remastered Version)


The Tree

Friday 27th July

The old man is wheeled slowly out by the nurse.  She positions him beneath the old oak tree, tucks in his blanket, and makes sure the alert button is on his lap; safely within reach.  She gives him a friendly pat of the arm and walks back to the house; she is dying for a break and a cup of tea.

The old man looks across the garden. His garden.  At least he had been allowed to return to his own house; the house he was born into, the house he grew up in.  The house he had his own children in too – though now they are scattered, like dry leaves after a storm, all over the World – James in America, Amelia in France and Jennifer in Hong Kong.  ‘What on earth is she doing in Hong Kong’, he wonders.  It was all a bit much to take in.  He had travelled, Europe mostly of course, and one memorable trip to see James and his new family in Arizona – far too hot for him, and he could barely remember James’ children, all grown up now and two with young ones of their own.  He would never get to meet them now, that much was certain.  He did talk occasionally on the telephone, but to tell the truth, they weren’t close.  None of his children were ‘close’.  But then he had not been close to his own parents; packed away to boarding school at six – how he had hated that.  And hated his father for sending him too.

Now Laura, his grand-daughter by Amelia, was different; she had come back at eighteen from France and lodged with her grandfather while she went to University.  And she had stayed, bless her – she was now his companion.  ‘My, she must be thirty by now’, he supposed.  ‘She’ll be marrying herself one day and leaving me too.  Or rather, I will be leaving her before then.  I’ve left the house to her in my will.  Plenty of money for the others’, he smiled to himself.

He can hear a blackbird singing somewhere above his head.  He looks up but the heavy canopy of leaves hides the bird from view.  ‘Ah, this tree’, he thinks.  ‘This tree has seen it all’.  He can remember when Laura and her brother Robert (what happened to him – he couldn’t remember) had spent their Summer holidays here with Grannie and Grandpa.  His wife Eleanore was still alive then, of course.  What lovely days they had spent.  And here, under this tree was where they had their picnics.  Ginger beer and egg and cress sandwiches and Victoria sponge cake.  Oh dear, he was dribbling, now where was that hankie – ah here it is.  Yes, how he loved playing with little Laura and Robert, it had been a second childhood for him, running around the garden, playing cricket, hide and seek through the bedrooms of the old house, giggling like a child himself.

A child?  Had he ever been a child?  Certainly not the carefree happy one his grandchildren had been.  He was an only child too, he remembered longing for a brother.  He had always been terrified of his father, with his moustaches and his ‘discipline’.  ‘Ah, bad memories – think of something else.  His mother?  She was always a shadowy figure’, he could barely recognise her from the few photographs he had.  Always escaping, slipping silently out of the room, that was his memory.

“Nerves”.  His father dismissed her disappearance with that single word, “Nerves” – and then his Nanny would take him back to the nursery.

As a boy he understood nothing; now he wondered what an awful life he must have led her.  She died when he was fourteen –  a stranger to the end.

“Your Mother has died.  No need to return until half-term.  Do not let this disturb your studies.”  That was what his father had written. But then, he cannot remember being that upset at the time.

All too soon he was grown up – at least he was away from school.  But straight into the Army and very soon the War.  ‘Better not to remember the War’, he thought.  Not that he had seen that much action.  Boredom mostly, like so much of his life.  ‘Ah, no good regretting that now.   He’d had a good life.  That was what they said, wasn’t it?  But how do you know?  How do you compare to others?’  We, each of us, are actually as oblivious to what goes on, what thoughts, hopes and dreams, and disappointments of others – as this tree is as unknowing of him sitting there, like so many times before, under it’s leafy boughs.  ‘Morbid thoughts.  Must blow them away.  Little time left now, must remember the happy times’.

Ah his dear Eleanore.  Returning after the War and meeting her.  Here of all places, in this very house.  His father had just got engaged to his second wife.  A party for friends and neighbours.  Not that it was such a jolly occasion as he remembers.  His father barely acknowledging his presence.  No change there then.  The only two good things were that he met Eleanore here.  Actually, he had met her once before, but he had been a sulky boy of ten and she barely eight; he only just recalled her.  But my, how she had changed.  ‘Bloomed’ – that was the word everyone said about her.  “Oh Eleanore, how you have bloomed” people remarked. She was now a real English Rose, and she fell, she tumbled gently, her petals still fresh with the mist of morning, into his lap.  He had cherished and watched her flower every year – until she became ill, oh it must be ten years ago now.  She died quite quickly in the end, not too much pain.

The other good thing was his father’s death a few weeks later.  Driving his Bentley too fast and drunk as well.  Died instantly.  And before he had re-married, so the house came to him, his only son.  A real stroke of luck.  But Eleanore was his real prize.  To love and have been loved; what a prize that was.

He sighs and looks up again searching for that blackbird.  Still singing, still hidden.  This tree.  Yes, it was here that he first kissed her.  His father was out, but fearful of his return they had gone out to the garden and laid down under this very tree.  That was their first real kiss, the gentle pressure of her lips on his, stroking the nape of her neck, and those tiny whorls of hair he wound round his fingers. The back of his hand, gliding down her cheek and onto her neck, her splendid long neck, grazing over the twin humps of her collar bones.  He had watched the rise and fall of her breasts and felt such immense contentment.   Earlier that day they had declared their love for each other.  And those kisses were enough, everything else could wait a while.  That was the beauty of those innocent days.  He had no more idea of female anatomy than how a jet engine worked.  These poor youngsters of today with the internet and all ‘knowledge’ at their fingertips and yet….understanding nothing – and caring even less, he suspected.  Denying themselves the wonder of discovery, the ecstasy of simply kissing.

But everything has changed now.  Almost beyond recognition.  Air travel, television, mobile phones and computers.  Where would it all end?  At least he wouldn’t be here to see it.  Three to four weeks at the most the Doctor said.  And he’d had nearly two already.  Laura knew – but had been sworn to secrecy.  The last thing he wanted was his far-flung children flying home in a panic, declaring their love for him and all that nonsense.  Better to just go quietly with no fuss.

There’s that blackbird again.  He never seems to tire of singing his song.  And all to attract a mate.  Ha, nothing changes.  Where is He?  He peers up, trying to discover the bird from the sound alone.  He tries to wheel the chair out a bit but it catches in a tree root, he pushes the wheel but the chair stubbornly refuses to move and he feels himself losing balance, the chair is tipping over.  Falling oh so slowly, a delicious feeling in a strange way, an abandonment – and no-one to catch him, no-one to put him back in his chair, no nurse to tuck him in and give him morphine.  No, none of that, just a delightful toppling over.  Here he goes now, gently falling, comfortably wedged into his wheelchair.  The house rises up and stands on its end, he sees the tree turn almost a full circle, the panic button flies out in a beautiful arc.  Safely out of reach.  He lands with the gentlest of bumps and there just there, on that branch he finally sees him, the blackbird, still singing his endless song…ah, bliss.



My Record Collection 34

BLUR – In the mid-nineties we had far more hype than substance; this was true of Politics as well as music.  The whole music scene was tired; the bands of the Sixties and Seventies were touring huge stadiums and the only new music was Dance Music, which to many of us slightly older people seemed impenetrable; it was simply a groove (which of course was the point – we still longed for melodies and meaningful lyrics).  Cool Brittania came along with a new generation of brash new bands – the two leading of which were Blur and Oasis.  And just as in the Sixties, we were expected to choose.  I disliked the Gallagher brothers attitude and arrogance, and so gravitated (with little enthusiasm) towards Blur.  I bought and taped their second album ‘Modern Life is Rubbish’ – I can’t really remember much about it.  The follow-up 1994’s Parklife was much bigger and better.  Almost a concept album (of which I have always been a sucker for) it is a celebration of lad culture, another sad phenomenon of the nineties.  Musically it is quite varied, slow ballad ‘To The End’ and rocky ‘Girls and Boys’ and of course ‘Parklife’ itself with Phil Daniels doing a cockney commentary over the chorus.  The album is almost worth it for that song….but it didn’t really last.  I wasn’t inspired to buy any other Blur albums, except one I picked up in a charity shop Thinktank (2003). Well, dull is not quite the word for this.  The band were in the doldrums; this was their last effort before they broke up (only to reform 10 years later and undertake a lucrative re-union World Tour).  This is the sound of a bunch of millionaires sitting around and fulfilling a recording contract.  They didn’t even seem that interested in coming up with any decent songs at all.  Not sure I won’t return it to same charity shop.

So….Blur?  They were simply a blur in the History of Popular Music.  A minor distraction which barely left a trace.  Pity, they could have been half-decent.


That Old Chestnut

Tuesday 24th July

I know that we are in the silly season for news; and to be honest almost any news that isn’t Brexit or another Trumpism should be welcome.  But we now have the Death penalty back in the news.  Strange, or maybe it isn’t, but America (along with many other so-called Religious countries) insists on retaining the Death penalty; not in all states, but for certain crimes.  And, as we got rid of this barbaric measure in the 60’s, we have had a long-standing policy of NOT sharing intelligence with foreign countries where that intelligence may result in the death penalty being used.  But….we are dealing with ISIL, or fighters who were members of that group.  And so the argument goes – that they deserve what is coming to them.  And on the surface who can argue.  ISIL were a particularly nasty group who killed indiscriminately and vowed death to the West and all our liberal values.

But, apart from the old arguments, that you can never be that certain of a person’s guilt; that mistakes cannot be rectified, or that State killing is still murder – there are three other important things to consider.

One, is that if these men are killed by the Americans, they will undoubtedly become martyrs and heroes for a new generation of fanatics.  It is surely better that we try to educate them by our better example.  By treating them in a more humane way we may begin to redress the balance.  Also, these two would far prefer to be killed and further their cause by their own martyrdom than be incarcerated.

Secondly, the ‘intelligence’ we may have on these two may of course be wrong.  We now know (some of us knew at the time) that intelligence on Iraq was faulty.  There is no doubt that the intelligence services are not immune from fabrication in order to pursue their agenda. So, ‘justice’ may be impossible in this case.

Thirdly, and by far most importantly – once you make an exception for one group of individuals, in this case ‘terrorists’, you open Pandora’s box.  What about mass murderers, what about paedophiles, killers of police…and so on.

These questions usually need a bit more thought than simply reading headlines…


My Record Collection 33

Colin Blunstone continued – Journey was Colin’s next record, and again a strong album; a bit rockier, more up beat numbers, a bit more varied sounds.  Fave songs; the wonderful single ‘Wonderful’, ‘This is Your Captain Calling’ and ‘Brother Lover’.  But in 1976 Colin switched labels and signed to Elton’s label Rocket Records.  I don’t know what happened but somehow the two records he recorded next seem to be lacking.  They feel a bit safe, a bit predictable and bland.  I still bought them of coursePlanes came out in 1976, the title track being a Bernie and Elton composition.  And of course when you re-listen after some time you have a different perception.  The album is really quite good, nice choice of songs too.  ‘Only With You’, ‘Loving and Free’ and ‘Dancing In The Dark’ are my favourites.   His second album for Rocket was ‘Never Even Thought’.  Not so bad really, but somehow lacking that vital spark.  I like ‘Do Magnolia, Do’ but not much else.  Colin had a live album which is impossible to find on CD out in the late 70’s….and then he sort of disappeared.  He became a session singer, appearing on various Alan Parsons Project releases, a short lived band called Keats (one album, I had the cassette but almost impossible to find on CD too) and I suppose somehow kept going.  A Live at the BBC record came out in the early 90’s; A sort of greatest hits live – and very good it is too.

But not until 1995 did Colin dip his toe back into recording new material. Echo Bridge; a bit of a subdued record, his voice a bit deeper I think, and maybe it was just the choice of material – a bit less melodic.  Still, he was back in the game, or at least trying.  Best song is the Gallagher and Lyle classic ‘Breakaway’.  3 years later came The Light Inside; I only discovered this fairly recently and it is really quite good.  Colin still in great voice and a decent song selection. ‘Send Me Your Broken Dreams’ and ‘Losing You’ are particularly good.  Then, in 2001, came re-union with Rod Argent (of the Zombies) – not that they had ever really split; Rod contributed songs and played on a few of Colin’s records down the years.  They released an album under joint names ‘Out of The Shadows’.   And it is pretty good, songs all written by Rod and a couple by Colin.  ‘Sanctuary’ and ‘Living in the Real World’ are best tracks.  But compared to his first three or four records….well, no comparison.  Still – nice to see the old boys continuing.  There was a re-union of The Zombies after this, and things get a bit confusing because some records are credited to Colin and Rod and some to ‘The Zombies, featuring…”  Anyway, next up is ‘As Far As I Can See’.   More upbeat album; better melodies and a good production; fave tracks – ‘’In My Mind a Miracle’, ‘Memphis’ and ‘Southside of the Street.  The Ghost of Me and You followed, a nice record, mostly with string quartet again.  A delicate quiet album – best songs ‘Love Left A Long Time Ago’ and a revisited ‘Beginning/Keep The Curtain Closed Today’. 2011 saw ‘Breathe Out, Breathe In’ a Zombies featuring Colin record.  This is okay, but not my favourite by a long chalk.  Nothing really wrong with it, it jut doesn’t excite me.  And then came On The Air Tonight, which seems again a solo Colin album, and very nice it is too. Best songs – ‘The Best Is Yet To Come’, ‘Though You Are Far Away’ and ’17 Over You’.

That and a couple of collections is it (so far) for young Colin.  Actually he was a handsome bugger – very much frazzled and gnarled looking now.  ‘Ain’t we all.


The Latest In a Long Line…

Sunday 22nd July

….of lunatics.  Dominic Raab (now I wonder where that surname comes from – sounds suspiciously un-English) has joined the long list of idiots spouting Brexit nonsense for the hordes of rabid idiots in the Tory party.  His latest pronouncement is that no deal (on trade) means no divorce payment.  Well, for a while now the Government has been saying that nothing is finalised until everything is finalised – meaning that even the already agreed heads of agreement will not be a ‘deal’ until arrangements for future trade are agreed.  Although of course the EU has a different and legal interpretation of this.  They have always insisted that the two things – Divorce, if you will, and future trade are separate entities.  Mrs May in both her Lancaster House and her Venice speeches had insisted that Britain will honour it’s legal and financial obligations.  So, in effect the rantings of Dominic Raab are nonsense.  And of course he knows it. This is dog-whistle politics, designed to appeal to Brexit voters who do not understand the finer details – which may well be why they voted Brexit in the first place.

Mr. Raab is a particularly nasty Tory, having advocated getting rid of all workplace workers protections once Brexit was done; this before he became the (second) Brexit Secretary.  Actually he makes David Davis seem quite cuddly, no mean feat.

Where this is all heading is disaster.  Either we accept EU compromises, which will effectively mean we are still in the Customs Union and maybe the Single Market – which will result in a mass revolt of the Tory blinkered Little Englanders and the demise of Mother Theresa.  Or we walk out and we have no deal – no transition period, falling back on WTO rules, chaos and confusion – and a General Election where Mrs. May will appeal to the masses to back her.  Back her, in bringing the country into economic meltdown, to manufacturing and farming collapsing, etc, etc.

And who knows….

The Opinion Polls are never that reliable, but apparently 43% of those asked think her plan is very bad and only 13 % think it is good.  Now whether those are Remainers who think any plan is bad or Leavers who want something Harder is impossible to tell.  And I think she will gamble….hold on to your seats and make sure you have your seat-belt on.  Mind you airbags won’t help much…

Just Discovered a Genius

Saturday 21st July

Spending a rare quiet evening in, trawling through the news channels – nothing.  The the terrestrials – nothing.  Tried BBC 4 – just in case.  And I discovered a genius; Jacob Collier.  I know – I had never heard of him either.  He is a multi-instrumentalist and singer, writer and interpreter of songs.  He plays piano, guitar, double bass, violin and double bass and drums, and maybe many others too.  He sings in a strange but hypnotic voice, gentle and strong, hovering over notes.  I am not sure if it is jazz or classical or modern dance music – but brilliant it certainly is.

He was playing with a full orchestra, but was never drowned out, the arrangements left plenty of room for his remarkable vocals.  He has one album out ‘In My Room’, which, on the strength of this I have just ordered.  This was self-recorded in his room as the title suggests.  But he has worked on the arrangements with this orchestra.  He has toured, playing with orchestras and smaller bands and has attracted the interest of Quincy Jones and Herbie Hancock and Dr. Dre, amongst others.  He sung some of his own songs and a couple by Stevie Wonder and The Police – remarkable versions, completely subverting and re-inventing them.  He even finished with  startling version of ‘Blackbird’ by The Beatles.

I was blown away by this 24 year-old’s talent.  Truly remarkable.  Can’t wait for the CD to arrive.

Jacob Collier -1180632.jpg

My Record Collection 32

Wednesday 18th July

Mary Black – a strange choice maybe, but for some reason her name stuck in my brain, and flicking through CDs in a charity shop this record took my eye.  Essentials is a compilation, and not at all bad.  Mary is Irish and sings, as a lot of her compatriots do, a sort of Irish/folk/country – lovely melodies and arrangement – and I am always a sucker for country ballads.   Not a bad listen but I wont rush to buy any others of hers.

The Blessing – Wow, just the one record – and it is brilliant.  Bought on the strength of brilliant single ‘Highway 5’ in 1992.   I was delighted by this, their debut record.  The voice of William Topley (see T) lead singer is incredible – a deep Southern (though he was English) drawl and a great bluesy band sound.  Best songs are the single and ‘Delta Rain’, ‘Back from Managua’ and the title track.  They had a follow up album which I am still hunting down, but it is incredibly expensive – a collector’s item around £150.00  !!!!  Still I am always on the look-out.’  And they broke up after just two records…a shame.

Colin Blunstone – I first saw Colin at the Roundhouse with my first wife Joy.  We used to go most Sundays and though I didn’t recognise the name I knew him as soon as he came on stage.  He used to be the lead singer in the Zombies (see Z).  I remember their very first single and huge hit ‘She’s Not There’; most of their other singles barely charted.  They broke up in 1969 and this was 1972.  And he was fabulous; he sang most of the songs with a string quartet and drum and guitar peeking through.  But, it was that voice which captured me; high and clear and very distinct, but more than that Colin is a great interpreter of songs – he seems to get all the emotion into his voice.  And in my experience it is emotion which we are buying when we love an Artist.  His first album was just out One Year; apparently written and recorded over the previous year.  It is simply sublime, and at 35 minutes you just want to hear the 10 songs again.  The songs are gentle and mostly a bit sad and have great arrangements.  Favourites – well, the single ‘Say you don’t mind’ of course, and ‘Misty Roses’ and ‘Caroline Goodbye’ – but not a bad song on it.  It is one of those rare records which appear almost frozen in amber, they so precisely conjure up that special year (maybe the best for music ever).  Well the album sold well, as did the single (got to 15).  I suppose the temptation was to repeat the formula, but for his next album ‘Ennismore’ Colin reverted back to a more conventional style..  But he was really on a roll and this is my very favourite of his albums. This record just takes my breath away; backed by most of Argent (with 3 former Zombies in the band) it is just perfect.  The band never get in the way of his voice but compliment it beautifully.  There are a couple of string quartet songs too.  Colin’s voice has never sounded better, gentle and whispery and unhurried.  They say it is harder to sing very slowly than faster, and Colin seems to have mastered this art.  Best songs are the single ‘I Don’t Believe In Miracles’, Andorra, Every Sound I heard’ and ‘How Could We Dare To Be Wrong’


Despair !!!!

Sunday 15th July

Occasionally I have been at the point of despair; once or twice in my private life I have seen no way out – although clearly there was indeed a way out.

But  – at the moment I almost despair of the Political situation we find ourselves in.  We have a Government which is almost at the point of paralysis, falling apart before our very eyes.  Brexit, which was the worst decision (to even grant the referendum, let alone to lose it) this country has made, probably since the War.  Almost every Prime Minister since 1945 has favoured European Co-operation.  Churchill (who even Boris admires), Macmillan, Harold Wilson and Callaghan, Heath, even Thatcher for most of her reign (she was one of the architects of the Single market) Major, Blair, Brown and Cameron all supported being a member of the EU.  And….even Theresa May was a Remainer.  And yet, we are in the deepest of dark holes, and all we seem to be doing is digging ourselves deeper.

And, this saddens me too, my own party – Labour, are just as hopeless.  I understand their problem, and incidentally that of every single M.P.  Many Labour Constituencies voted for Brexit, as did many Tory ones.  But a lot voted Remain.

And this is at the heart of the problem.  Whatever happens now – Mrs. May’s compromise, a hard Brexit a la Boris, a slightly softer one posited by Keir Starmer, a continuation of the Customs union, or even the Single Market.  Or, worst scenario of all – a No Deal (which incidentally means no transition either and harsh reality on 30th March next year), the arguments will continue.

We will never resolve this satisfactorily.  The Anti-Immigration Rabbit has jumped out of the top hat, and no conjurer can possibly induce it back in.  I can see nobody being happy with any result.  Both Remainers and Leavers will feel cheated, and any bad economic news in the future will be blamed by both sides on a Bad Brexit.

If only there were some real leadership; both Theresa and Jeremy are trying desperately to come up with a compromise which holds most of their party together.  No-one is really leading.  No-one is trying to come up with the best deal for the whole country.  No-one is even certain of the next few days, let alone the next few years.

And, even another referendum will really sort anything either.

But we must not despair – maybe the EU itself will actually save us from ourselves.  Maybe they will give us more time, time to come up with a better deal, time to even have an election, time to change our minds…

I doubt it, but in the end, ironically, the EU may be our only hope.