A Local Message For Dave
Johnny Rooster Byron, the hero of the award-winning play Jerusalem on in the West End, is everything we are supposed to dislike. He’s a squatter, a gypsy, a drug-pusher and a wastrel. He lives in the dank, dark woods in Wiltshire scrabbling around with his chickens in his rusting Airstream caravan.
A magnet for bored teenage children and the terror of parents, he smokes, swears, lives off junk food, sells Rum’n’Ribena, Benylin’n’brandy and wraps of speed. This Pied Piper’s arms are pitted with black tattoos. He neglects his six-year-old son, has been banned from every local pub and is the bane of the new housing estate.
Kennet and Avon District Council are trying to evict him under public health legislation. This man appears to have no morals, no sense of duty and no work ethic. No wonder Britain is battered and broken while Rooster and his bedraggled band still lurk in the bushes.
I'm confused is this a documentary they have been making in the village here? Because they have got it wrong, he lives on a barge, not in a caravan.
....satisfied our growing hunger for freedom, mischief-making and merriness. As the local village celebrates St George’s Day with safety-conscious Morris dancing, Rooster is making a stand for a land of eccentrics and rogues, pygmies and giants, pagans not puritans, anarchists rather than authoritarians and, most importantly, individuals — including charming scallywags. It is a part of England we are in danger of losing in our obsessive quest for safety, conformity and equality.
He is a brave man with a heart; this Peter Pan protects the children against greater evils such as abusive stepfathers but at the same time says: “Girls are wondrous. Grab your fill. No man has ever lain in his barrow wishing he’d loved one less woman.” Here is a character fighting against conformity, giant superstores, corporations, traffic wardens, Nimbys, focus groups, the soulless commute and the “sausage-fingered constabulary”. He sticks two fingers up at the nanny state. The middle-aged, middle-class audience, sick of being responsible and pushed around, love it.
Politicians who are obsessed by our waistlines, hospital targets, school exam results, health and safety legislation and rationing our fun should beware. This is what Gordon Brown has missed in his quest to woo Middle England. He assumes that we are all Dursleys, desperate for drab uniformity; that no one minds living in a bossy, finger-wagging, repressive, restrictive country if we think it will be a tiny bit safer; that we feel reassured by signs over hot water taps saying “Danger” and we want to be lectured on eating five bits of fruit a day and breast feeding because we cannot be trusted to get it right ourselves.
Over the years, this Government has come to believe that we would prefer to keep our children locked up in schools rather than allow them to go on potentially lethal outings, and that we are prepared to carry ID cards if there is the slightest possibility that it might prevent a terrorist attack.
But there is a flip side to the respectability and reassurance that people crave: and that is freedom. We might feel nervous about the maverick hanging out at the end of the road, refusing to live by the rules, but we are beginning to feel more trapped by the pen-pushing bureaucrats rewriting our lives, the public servants fixated on figures and targets. They can be just as dangerous. ...
...As the Tory leader focuses his message for the final months of the campaign, part of his pitch should be as David “Rooster” Cameron, promising that he will not cease from mental fight until he has built a new Tory Jerusalem, in which we all have the freedom to shape our own lives in this green, if not always pleasant, land.
Can I sue for plagiarism?