Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Posts Tagged ‘banker

Has There Ever Been A Worse UK Government Than This?

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I am a member of the Conservative Party – just.  My annual subscription is due and I feel physically sick at the prospect of doing anything that is supportive of the appalling collection of third and fourth rates that presently sit round the cabinet table.

The Conservative Party has Lost Its Way. We Need To Get Back To Being Tories.

We need to re-focus on our fundamental principles: individual liberty, individual responsibility, small government, free markets, evidence-based policy and a benevolent, responsible, one-nation approach.

Let’s face it, we’ve had a privileged toff, little more than a ponce on the nation, who from his position of wealth found it very easy to impose austerity on people with whom he was totally out-of-touch. Throughout his political career he vacillated and dithered on policy because he has no principles except self-advancement.  Now we have some fake Tory, an authoritarian bureaucrat with big government, nanny state instincts, daughter of a high Anglican priest stuck in some 195os delusion of what Britain is today.

Meanwhile, a socialist activist but a man with integrity, courage and vision has stolen our place.  Jeremy Corbyn provides more leadership in the UK than the entire Conservative cabinet put together.  He was magnificent at Glastonbury, seizing the hearts and minds of not just the young but the young at heart – seizing the future!  Where is the Tory alternative? There is great excitement, belief and enthusiasm for Brexit, 17.4 million people voted for it!  Where is the Conservative spokesperson passionately declaiming this?  The party has been hijacked by Remainers, determined to undermine the referendum result, interested only in the ambitions and concerns of the Westminster Elite.

When I try to talk to my MP, Sir Oliver Letwin, formerly number three in Cameron’s cabinet, although I am talking to someone a few months younger than me, I feel I am talking to my father’s generation – and to someone particularly old-fashioned and out-of-touch.  My local Conservative Party branch, charming though many of the members are, is like an episode of Last of the Summer Wine, as disconnected from the rest of the UK as Cameron is from anyone on less than £250k per annum.  At 59, I’m a youngster.

It’s outrageous really that my party has got itself into such a state with years of weak opposition, popular support for non-socialist policies and, until Corbyn, an absence of effective alternative leadership.  It’s nothing less than disastrous and unless we change now we are doomed.  The membership is old and dying.  If we don’t get a grip within five years we will be gone forever.

A Perfect Storm Of Failure, Corruption And Arrogance.

I’ve been fascinated by and active in politics since the late 1970s. Never in my lifetime have I seen such a combination of mistakes and scandalous cock-ups. Brexit has been sabotaged by dithering and delay – and I’m quite ready to believe this is a calculated deceit.  With the BBC, the bankers and the Twitterati renewing Project Fear on a daily basis, is it any wonder that the going is tough?  Cameron resigned because he said we needed a Leave supporter to take charge but instead we have a Remainer, one of the worst performing government ministers ever.  How, after six years of persistent failure at the Home Office, she became PM is beyond belief but even more incredible is that after her terrible election performance she is still in No. 10.  It is ridiculous!

The failures are all too easy to see but let’s list them to be certain that the huge scale of this crisis is understood.

Brexit – Total failure to plan, perhaps deliberately, best illustrated by the absurd spectacle, just last month, of the Home Office commissioning analysis of the economic and social contributions and costs of EU citizens in Britain.  Surely something that should have been done years ago?  Boris Johnson and Michael Gove have both proved themselves to be lacking in courage and leadership skills.  The bumptious fool Dr Liam Fox, who does seem to stick to his principles on Brexit, shames us by his foreign adventures, recently praising the murdering thug President Duterte of the Philippines as having ‘shared values’ with Britain.

NHS – Persistent deceit from ministers, including the utterly in-credible Jeremy Hunt, about how much money in real terms the health service is receiving.  Scandalous failure to keep multiple promises about mental health having parity with physical health.

Democracy – The UK’s system of government is now a joke compared to other modern democracies.  Our electoral system is primitive.  Conservative and Labour parties conspire to keep the system as it is because it keeps them both in power.  It is obvious that we should be moving towards some form of proportional representation, online voting and a radical shake-up of the House of Lords.  MPs also need to be much more accountable.  The terrible murder of Jo Cox has let too many of them off the hook that the expenses scandal put them on.  Recently they have been whining about the abuse they get online. In general they deserve it for the terrible job they are doing. Also, they get protection from the police for such abuse.  The police are useless when it’s a member of the public under attack.  We need a job description for MPs, rights for constituents and a complaints procedure with teeth.

Social policy – I am ashamed at how Conservative ministers in reality are indistinguishable from the populist caricature of the ‘arrogant, uncaring, effing Tories’.  The Grenfell Tower tragedy encapsulates everything that is wrong with the high-handed view that they take of the people who pay their wages.

Justice – After food, shelter and health what is more important than justice?  The destruction of legal aid is one of the most dreadful developments in my lifetime.  All governments delight in making more and more law but what use is it if it cannot be enforced?  There is no justice if it is not available to everyone.  I am delighted at the Supreme Court’s ruling that makes legal aid available once again for employment tribunals  Without it employment law was literally useless and thousands have been deprived of their rights.  And for his disastrous, destructive, incompetent and thoroughly nasty attitude the man who defines injustice in modern Britain is Chris Grayling.  No other minster has more disgraced our party.  He is unfit to be in government and why he remains anywhere near ministerial office is unbelievable.  No one individual better epitomises the nasty, arrogant, incompetent Tory.

Prisons – There is no greater truth than that in a free society we are defined by how we treat those we send to jail.  This is a terrible condemnation of Britain.  Our prison system is a production line for turning petty criminals into alienated, aggressive, violent repeat offenders.  There is no one who deserves the additional punishments we impose on top of deprivation of liberty.  I would make an exception for Chris Grayling who really should be made to experience a taste of his own medicine.  The Netherlands is closing prisons because it doesn’t send enough people to jail.  We should swallow our pride and copy their system exactly.

Technology – As the nation that has led the world in virtually all new technologies, we are now falling a long way behind.  The government has failed miserably to give enough priority to high speed internet.  We will never catch up now and our children and our businesses are forever disadvantaged.  Progress is hampered in development of new energy sources, transport and infrastructure by bureaucracy, endless bickering between special interest groups and weak strategic management.  The EU has magnified all these problems and prevented progress in GM foods and other technologies that are essential to our future.

Transport – With Chris Grayling at the helm and the farce that is HS2, there is no hope for a sensible transport strategy.  I simply don’t buy the argument that a slightly faster journey time between north and south will do anything to create a better future.  Train fares are ludicrously high.  The conditions commuters are expected to travel under are ridiculous.  The Southern Rail scandal is a microcosm of government incompetence and inaction.  It should have been re-nationalised at least a year ago and there should be massive fines and penalties on those responsible for the chaos, including individuals.  I see no conflict with Conservative principles in re-nationalising the whole network.  The mess that has prevailed since privatisation could not be any worse and compare us with railway networks and service on the continent for a true picture of our national shame and decay.

Environment – Technology and transport converge with environmental policy and this is a difficult, challenging area of policy.  What we need is strong leadership – no, not the empty claims of Mrs May but the real leadership of Mrs Thatcher.  Even the despicable Tony Blair showed more leadership than we have had from any current Conservative politician.  We need to take bold decisions and act on them.  Ecology and controlling pollution must be a real priority but we must not be distracted by the greeny loons and their endless prevarication and delays.  I have no objection to fracking as long as it is strictly regulated and in recent visits to Ireland I have seen how forests of wind turbines do not destroy wonderful countryside and can have their own beauty, just as we now revere Victorian aqueducts and civil engineering.  Most of all though we should racing ahead with tidal power.  As an island it has to be our future and its potential is unlimited.

Northern Ireland – I hope one of the by-products of Brexit will be a united Ireland.  There is no longer a real majority of unionists in the six counties and it only ever existed because of immigrants from Scotland.  The UK’s shameful history in Ireland places a heavy obligation on us.  We are one and the same people and the damage inflicted by the English Parliament on our neighbours must be put right.  We are far closer to the Irish than we are to the French, the Dutch or the Belgians.  As independent nations, with Ulster properly restored, we could be closer than ever and if Ireland wishes to remain in the EU, we should respect that.

Drugs Policy – No policy better demonstrates the incompetence, prejudice, cowardice and corruption of government ministers from all parties. Deaths from drug overdose have reached an all time high. There has been an explosion in highly toxic new psychoactive substances and the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 has increased harms, deaths, associated crime and potency, exactly as was predicted, warnings the government chose to ignore.  The government has refused to consider or take any expert advice on introducing legal access to medical cannabis, something that virtually all other modern democracies are moving forward on. Its continuing policy on cannabis defies scientific evidence and real-life experience from places where reform has been implemented.  It also supports the criminal market, encourages street dealing, dangerous hidden cannabis farms and the production of poor quality, low-CBD, so-called ‘skunk’ cannabis.

Defence – A catalogue of cock-ups, dullards in charge and weak, indecisive leadership.  In my view we should cancel the renewal of Trident and  spend more on conventional weapons and defence measures which we may actually have to use.  We should retain some battlefield nuclear weapons but invest more in our soldiers and their technology. We should also look after them far better when they leave the service

Foreign Affairs – The UK is the world superpower in ‘soft power’.  Our culture, language, history give us more influence than any other nation and we should be proud to exercise it. We should have the courage to stand for our principles, independently of the USA and Europe.  The £12 billion we give in international aid is far too much when there is real poverty at home but even if we halved the present budget we would still lead the world.  We are responsible for the injustice perpetrated on the Palestinian people when we facilitated the seizure of their land in the 1940s.  We should be standing up to Israel which has become an out-of-control monster.  We created it and we must take responsibility for bringing it to order and helping it to live alongside its neighbours respectfully.  Its conduct is unacceptable and we should be pursuing war crimes prosecutions against Netanyahu and many of his cronies.

Housing – The housing crisis needs a courageous, radical solution, not the pathetic, sticking plaster gimmicks and gestures that is all we have had for 50 years.  Massive investment in social housing would create jobs and boost the economy all round.  We shouldn’t hesitate.  We shouldn’t fear a dramatic fall in house prices caused by massive extra supply. We have to get real and government must stop shirking its responsibility for a strategic role that only it can fill.

Boris is the only one with a brain

I have not yet decided whether I shall renew my membership.  I’m not even sure if there is any future in the UK for me.  Brexit was a great opportunity which has been sabotaged, perhaps fatally.  Britain may well become a tourist destination, fascinating for the way such a small nation led the world for centuries.  We are being led by weak, ineffectual, self-serving, out-of-touch and out-of date politicians.  As the Conservative Party is dying, it is dragging Britain down with it.

Royal Mail In EU Referendum Postal Votes Shocker! #VoteLeave

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Emptying-a-post-box

So I posted my EU referendum ballot paper this afternoon.  Then I popped into the Post Office to send a ‘signed for’ letter and buy some beer.

On the way out there was our trusted postman emptying the box.  “Be careful with that”, I called. “My vote leave papers are in there.  Make sure they get where they’re going safely!”

“Oooh aarh”, he said in his deep Dorset accent. “We’re sorting all the leave votes out, confiscating them.  Every postie gets a quid for each vote out that he intercepts.”

I’m sure he was joking. But I’m not at all sure that if EU commissioners, the bankers and Cameron thought they could get away with it, they wouldn’t do exactly that.

If we vote to leave I’m not convinced that, as in Ireland and Greece, they won’t just force another referendum until they get the result they want.

This is the best reason of all to vote leave.  They are all corrupt, self-serving and anti-democratic.

Do your duty and vote LEAVE for your children’s future.

Written by Peter Reynolds

June 2, 2016 at 6:18 pm

Vote For Independence On 23rd June. Vote For The Broad, Sunlit Uplands.

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broad sunlit uplands

The stitch-up between big business, politicians, civil servants and bankers should be crystal clear to anyone with eyes and ears. It is vital to the future of our children and grandchildren that we vote to leave the EU in a month’s time. The alternative is that we subsume ourselves forever under the yoke of transnational business, self-serving, corrupt governments intent on widening the divide between ‘us’ and ‘them’.

Intelligent people, including, to my amazement, fellow members of the Liberal Democrats, are intent on relinquishing all principles of liberalism and democracy – and for what?

All the Project Fear scaremongering, the ganging-up of the CBI, the Bank of England and all the rest of the establishment flunkies, reveals exactly what is going on.  Just as we were lied to and deceived over the need for war in Iraq, we are being led by deception and falsehood into an ever-closer union that will fill the pockets and enhance the power of corporate political interests.

This referendum is not about the economy.  It is about much bigger and more important principles of self-determination, democracy and freedom.  I believe that such principles will also, in the end, bring us more prosperity.

Leaving the EU is most important for our children.  Young people themselves must vote for opportunity.  Be for Europe but not the EU.  Be for co-operation but without a straightjacket. Be ourselves

The political elite wants it. The parasite outsourcing companies that suck up billions in taxpayers’ money want it. The civil servants in 28 countries want it. When you see David Cameron, Harriet Harman, Gordon Brown, Tony Blair, George Osborne, Michael Heseltine all want it, ask yourself why?

It’s a stitch-up!  You’re being lied to, intimidated and deceived.  Independence Day is 23rd June.  Make sure you make the right choice.

When We Will See The Corrupt Elite In Jail?

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ronaf

We have had enough. The bankers got off scot free. Just a few MPs were made to pay for their expenses fraud. HSBC launders billions in drug cartel money and is fined, whereas poor people growing a few cannabis plants go to jail.

This Fairhead woman sits atop the tree of privilege and wealth yet she takes no responsibility and offers only excuses. Even if she is sacked tomorrow as she should be, it will have no impact on her lifestyle.

As the gap between rich and poor widens and the middle class disappears, Britain is becoming a more dangerous place. If the Westminster elite doesn’t take radical steps soon, perhaps even in Britain we may see the stirrings of violent revolution.

Something needs to happen to shock Cameron and his cronies out of their contemptuous and smug complacency. The same goes for the sickening hypocrites in Labour, the trade unions and the civil service.

As Cameron’s five year term as prime minister comes to an end, Britain is broken as never before.

Written by Peter Reynolds

March 10, 2015 at 4:03 pm

Posh Boy Chav Dave And The ‘Effing Tories’.

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Yesterday, on his ill judged, flying visit to Scotland, Cameron shed crocodile tears in panic about his destruction of the United Kingdom.  He demeaned his office still further by using a thinly disguised obscenity, an appalling and shameful misjudgement.  This fool is supposed to be the prime minster of our nation.

The truth about Dave and his cronies and their selfish, arrogant, disconnect from the majority of Britons is exemplified in the trashy new movie ‘The Riot Club’.  It’s the Bullingdon Club of course, a depraved gang of posh yobboes who take alcohol, cannabis and cocaine to excess, smash up restaurants, abuse women and then sort it out by peeling a few fifties off Daddy’s wad. Key players: David Cameron, George Osborne, Boris Johnson plus assorted bankers and city conmen.  The Independent sets out the roll of dishonour here.

This is why I and millions of others, previously confirmed Tory voters, will never again vote for what has become the Bullingdon Club Party.  This is why Scotland should do the wise thing and skedaddle away from the UK ship that is sinking under the weight of corruption, cruelty and incompetence.  Any government that is so far out of touch deserves to be brought down.  That power now resides in the hands of people like Cameron, Osborne, Iain Duncan Smith, Theresa May and Chris Grayling should be all the warning we need.

Why I’d Be Voting Yes If I Lived In Scotland.

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Yes-PA

I think it will be a tragedy of immeasurable proportions if Scotland becomes an independent nation.  As a proud Briton, I am first and foremost a Welshman but Britain is a great nation and I would not argue for independence for Wales.

The Scottish referendum though offers an opportunity which must not be missed.  The corrupt, out of touch Westminster elite must be brought down. This is a chance that we may not have again. The alternative of guillotines in Parliament Square is tempting but unlikely.

Cameron, Miliband and the exclusive tribe of privately educated, independently wealthy politicians have seized this country for themselves.  They have conspired with bankers and the Fleet Street Mafia to create an oligarchy which deprives the people of any real or effective say in our nation.  Together they set the news agenda and control what we say, do and think.

They enact policies that suit them irrespective of public opinion.  They deny science and evidence at a whim.  They deceive and misinform as a matter of course.  When it suits them they use the modest threat of international terrorism to terrorise and subjugate us.  They are traitors to Britain.  The United Kingdom has become their vehicle for repression, oppression and an ever expanding state that keeps the proletariat under control.

So, it would be with great regret that I would vote ‘Yes’ to Scottish independence.  Not that I want to split Britain up but I see no other way of rolling back the self-serving, authoritarian enemy that has destroyed our democracy and taken control of both Parliament and Whitehall.

Written by Peter Reynolds

September 10, 2014 at 12:34 pm

Snooper’s Charter. This Is Why Americans Keep Their Guns.

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 “You can have my guns when you take them from my cold, dead hands.”

“You can have my guns when you take them from my cold, dead hands.”

Nick Clegg has caved in again.  Norman Baker sat next to the most monstrous woman in British politics as she sneaked her snide subversion of our freedom through parliament. These people are ‘Liberal Democrats’?

It is all decided.  There is nothing we can do.  Parliament adjourns in less than a fortnight.  There’s little your MP could do for you anyway, even if he or she had the balls to stand up against this railroading of fundamental changes to our rights.  The leadership of the main parties have conspired to pervert our democracy to their own ends. In America they would be put on trial for treason.  This is why Americans keep their guns. It is some protection against an overbearing state.

Meanwhile, in London, Boris Johnson’s water cannons have arrived. Julian Assange is still holed up in the Ecuador embassy. Edward Snowden, the great American hero is running for his life in Russia.

Bring the Guillotines To Parliament Square!

Bring the Guillotines To Parliament Square!

At least America has a constitution. British democracy is a sick joke. We have no control over our government.  Elections are meaningless.  Politicians are a self-serving, incestuous elite, part of the tripartite oligarchy with the Fleet Street Mafia and the bankers.  We are the servants of the state.  We can’t even determine the issues that the media and parliament consider.  Their agenda and priorities are imposed on us.  We can’t enact local medicinal cannabis laws as 23 states have in the US, where the people have instructed the government what to do.  We can’t define the debate on education, the health service or foreign policy.  We must just do what we’re told.

We let these people take our guns away from us – and we were foolish to do so.  After the water cannons, what comes next?

I’m Back. Six Months Early.

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In January I took my website offline because it was being used to focus destructive attacks against CLEAR.

That was a mistake.  I should have kept it up.  The haters and hypocrites continue with their lies and smears irrespective of  truth or anything that I do.  I am proud of my writing here.  That is not to say that my views don’t develop and change over time but I hold true to fundamental principles of justice and against prejudice and discrimination.  It is ironic that those are the charges that have been levelled against me.

Here you will find strong opinions, powerfully expressed. My views are essentially libertarian and I repudiate hate against anyone, despite the spite and abuse that has been levelled at me.  There is evil in the world though and I make no apology for my condemnation of the Israeli state, of the wicked extremes of Islam, the crimes of all organised religions and the corrupt oligarchy of politicians, media and bankers that run the Western world.  These evils must be fought against.

Let me be very clear about CLEAR and my role in it.  It is a single issue party and I will work with anyone, whatever  their political allegiance, race, religion or philosophy in order to end the prohibition of cannabis.   I was elected leader in February 2011.  I won a vote of confidence with a 70% majority in April 2012. Under my leadership CLEAR will continue its evidence based campaign for responsible reform of the cannabis laws.

I am back.  And I will have my say.

Written by Peter Reynolds

May 20, 2012 at 12:18 pm

London Games, Excerpt From Chapter 22

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DS Evans delivered Clive’s firearms certificate personally and at the same time he returned his father’s rifle.  Clive had installed a steel firearms cabinet with two massive locks and the detective waited until he saw the gun locked away before he said his goodbyes and left.  Clive wasn’t at all sure now why he had wanted to keep it.  He’d told the firearms officer who had interviewed him that it was a family heirloom and that he was keeping it as a collector.  There was no ammunition on the certificate which meant that if Clive ever wanted to use the gun he would have to apply for a variation.  Then he would also have to explain where and when he wanted to use it and prove that he had permission to do so from the landowner concerned.

He hadn’t forgotten the cartridges which Mr Thomas had found and which were still in the glove box of his car.  He hadn’t mentioned them to anybody.

The initial euphoria at getting the building work underway had now worn off.  There really wasn’t very much for him to do on the site anymore.  Max was well in control.  Even Simon Bristow had taken a back seat as all the construction work was finished.  Now there was a small army working on the finishing.  The decorators had started in some areas and Clive was trying to focus on marketing.  He’d had a series of meetings with estate agents, all of whom were eager for his business, all of whom had sent along their most attractive female negotiators in their smartest business suits to try and convince him.  He was none the wiser and really couldn’t decide between a local agent and the sort of prestige international outfit that also sold country estates and private Caribbean islands.

This morning then, with DS Evans gone and the rifle safely locked away, he was rattling around in his own modest, rather grubby little flat near Battersea Park.  He was bored.

Life was no longer a struggle.  His new bank had taken an entirely different view of his circumstances.  Once they’d seen the cash deposit of £150,000, a manager had been sent to visit him at the development and had then updated his file and credit status.  Although Clive didn’t know it, the bank now saw him as a high net worth individual and he had a notional limit of £50,000 against his name.  He could ask for any type of borrowing up to that level and it would be granted immediately without any further question.  In fact, on paper he was probably now worth around £5 million so he didn’t need to worry about paying his bills anymore.

What the hell!  He was going to enjoy this morning.  It was a beautiful day.  Strong sunlight was dappled through the leafy trees in the park.  It was half-term so there were kids and their scantily clad mothers everywhere.  He sauntered along the Albert Bridge Road enjoying the sunshine and wondering whether perhaps he should invite Mark for lunch at Vermont – or somewhere else.  His money was good anywhere.

Next thing there he was on Albert Bridge – again.  How long ago was it now since that evening before he’d first met Mark?  It was just a matter of weeks.  How things had changed since then.

******

Another morning at the library was over and Sir Damian was enjoying the very much more relaxed lifestyle of a worker. After being let back onto the wing he was free to wander around and chat until lunch was served.  Then he was expected to go back to his cell and push his own door shut for the lunchtime lockdown.

There was loads of noise coming from the servery but they clearly weren’t ready to start yet so he went back to his cell.   There was one letter and a slip of paper that had been pushed under the door.  He knew straightaway that the letter was from Barnaby Evans.

He ripped it open and scanned the contents quickly.  His appeal against sentence was to be heard in two weeks time.   The slip of paper told him that he was to be transferred to Ford prison in a week.

He was elated and angry, surprised and shocked, relieved and frustrated.  He almost shouted out aloud.

He barely noticed lunch although he ate it hungrily.  He didn’t want to leave Brixton now.  Why would they move him just when his appeal was coming up?  He was just a few miles from the Court here.  In Ford he would be half a day’s travelling away.  He started to write an application requesting that his transfer be cancelled.  Everything in prison is accomplished by “app”.  He’d learned that very quickly and it helped to be literate although it was best to word everything in very simple and direct language.  The officers themselves weren’t the most highly educated of people.

As he was drafting he realised that the prison probably didn’t even know about his appeal.  Even if the governor’s office had been informed he recognised that usually one hand didn’t know what the other was doing.  Everything happens behind closed doors in prison.  The administrative and management methods were like something out of the 19th century with an unhealthy dollop of union demarcation rules thrown in.  He decided to mention his job in the library as another reason he should not be moved.

The spectre of Andrew de Boer fluttered briefly across his mind but he dismissed it.  He knew now that he could cope with a couple of years.  He’d be out and rebuilding his life sooner than he’d expected.  The last thing he needed to get involved in was any sort of escape plan.  That was an absurd idea.

…read more here.

Written by Peter Reynolds

January 26, 2012 at 8:28 pm

London Games, Excerpt From Chapter Nine.

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Chapter 9

 

Across London the street lights were coming on, burning orange to begin with as they warmed up.  The western sky was also orange as the early spring day came to an end and cooled down.  From Docklands in the east to Hammersmith in the west, the traffic surged to its evening crescendo and then began to fade away as the commuters reached home or dispersed from the main roads onto the M25 and various motorways heading for the home counties and more distant destinations.

The river continued its endless and timeless meander through the capital.  The setting sun reflecting off small wavelets, the spring tide running fast, creating hard work for the dozens of small boats plying up and down, carrying passengers, moving cargo or just messing about.  The lights on Albert Bridge burned brightly as a solitary figure strolled along the pavement and paused to lean over the side and watch the water.

Clive was worrying.  He had hoped that a walk through Battersea Park and along the river would calm him down and prepare him for the meeting.  Staring at the water he told himself that he had done everything that he possibly could.  In his younger days that had been the recipe for a worry free existence.  If you’ve done everything you can then worrying isn’t going to achieve anything more.

That philosophy, or perhaps it was just a mind game, didn’t seem to work anymore though.  Not since the long and painful break up from Kim.  That experience had wounded him deeply, perhaps more than any other.  He had tried to – no, he had – acted with integrity throughout.  He had been ready to break away himself but her tears and her pitiful begging had reeled him back in and he had re-committed to her more deeply and profoundly than ever before.  Her betrayals had hit him hard and it had taken too long for him to see the truth that was actually staring him in the face.  She had pleaded to move back in with him and he had found a delightful cottage in Sussex that she had enthused about and seemed to be the perfect solution.  Within days of moving in though she had disappeared.  She went straight back to her former ways.  She’d go out to the shops and three or four days later would surface “at her sister’s” or “visiting her mum and dad”.   Clive had to come to terms with the fact that the woman he was doing his best to love was a liar and a cheat.  It hurt.

He’d spent a year looking at the bottom of a bottle.  At first it had been to dull the pain and the worry, a way to sleep.  Later it had become a problem.  He’d stopped working and would go to the pub for a couple of pints at lunchtime then spend the afternoon and evening getting through a bottle of scotch and watching old black and white movies.  Along the way, he had to deal with his father’s death and with three or four passionate reunions with Kim, each occasion causing him more pain and demonstrating the depth of her insincerity.

Tonight was to be the end of all this.  No, he’d already put all that behind him.  Tonight was the start of his new life.  He’d done everything he could.  There was no point in worrying.

He turned away from the river and started back towards the park.  He had an hour now to get home, get changed, into his car, back up through Chelsea, Kensington and Holland Park to the restaurant.  The walk had done him good.  He felt calmer and stronger.  Howard would be introducing a new man to Mark de Boer this evening.

******

The early evening rush for Mo was well underway.  His business phone was ringing almost constantly and he was making an endless and impossible series of promises to be at various different locations in west London“in 10 minutes”.

Mo knew the Range Rover was far too conspicuous but it was the one thing he was unable to resist.  He lived his life in a constant state of fear, always watching over his shoulder, checking every car behind him, trusting to his instinct, avoiding any situation that felt dangerous.  He was always ready to cut and run.  Once, outside a chicken shop on the Harrow Road, he’d been spooked by a van that he was sure he’d seen following him earlier that day.  He was serving a new customer.  He’d seen him before but never on his own, always with a girl that he’d known for some time.  The van had suddenly appeared in the side street.  Mo had turned, walked calmly but briskly away and dropped several hundred pounds worth of gear into the waste bin.  He hadn’t been pulled so on the face of it, it was a false alarm.  Several hours later he’d sent one of his soldiers to check the bin.  Amongst the empty boxes and the greasy bones and skin, he’d recovered more than half of what he’d dumped.

In this constant game of cat and mouse, Mo excused the Range Rover on the basis that the police knew who he was anyway.  If today was to be his day, it wouldn’t make any difference what he was driving.  He gunned the big black beast up to the top of Ladbroke Grove and past the Sainsbury’s roundabout.  Everything was quiet now.  The store had reopened but rumours were rife about exactly what had happened earlier.  He swung right immediately after the roundabout and headed down the back road to Trellech Tower.   There he stopped twice on two corners before completing the loop back down Golborne Roadand onto the Grove again.  He waited opposite the tube station until one of his regulars showed up, jumped in the passenger seat and then he cruised round to Portobello while they negotiated the price of a quarter-ounce in good humour.  “Give ‘em both one for me!”, Mo grinned.  “You’re too greedy for your own good!”.   He barely let the customer out of the car before flooring the throttle again and then, just as quickly, screeching to a halt as he saw Beanie bumbling down the road.  “C’mon, get in.  I need your help”.

Beanie was strung out now but he had the latest news about the stabbing at Sainsbury’s.  “It was that squaddie girl.  Susan something.  She went nuts.  There was a cash van collecting and she tried to jump them but that big fat security guard jumped her.  Y’know the one what nicked Jimmy’s missus.  She shanked him good and proper.  He’s dead”.

…read more here.

Written by Peter Reynolds

January 19, 2012 at 1:31 pm