This Blessed Plot


With rather beautiful synchronicity/serendipity we received the above poignant  Martin Parr-esque photograph from Wirral Leaks very own Weegee and a moving comment upon our Poppy Appeal story from ‘The Prof’ with which we would like to do a bit of a mash-up.

The photograph was once taken in front of yet another another piece of land on the corner of Church Road/Liscard Road in Wallasey that Wirral Council have just sold off to developers. Like our photographer and others we’re having trouble making sense of this frantic off-loading of random pieces of land to developers (be it brownfield or green belt). It seems to us that with Wirral having a declining population it is rapidly turning into buy-to-let heaven but , might we suggest, what better way is there to launder money – other than poor quality ‘care’ homes?

Which brings us on to ‘The Prof’s lament for lost land and a lost land …

Gentlemen this week has been a moving time for the many families whose loved ones fought in WW1 and WW2. My own father fought in Normandy and was severely wounded in the Netherlands. I felt surprisingly moved …to anger…that our council friends could not even manage to raise a poppy at the Town Hall. I looked up again the patriotic deathbed speech of  John of Gaunt in Richard the 2nd. Act 2, Scene 1. Every English school child knows  the famous beginning:

“This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle…”

But few know of John Of Gaunt’s final,dying despair of his political masters:

‘This land of such dear souls, this dear, dear land
Dear for her reputation through the world,
Is now leased out, I die pronouncing it.
England bound in with the triumphant sea
Is now bound in with shame,
With inky blots and rotten parchment bonds:
That England that was want to conquer others,
Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
Ah, would the scandal vanish with my life,
How happy then were my ensuing death!’
Why did our heroes die? To bend the knee to a Federalist Europe? To watch this ‘blessed plot’ , ‘this precious stone set in a silver sea’ sink beneath concrete and brick to satisfy the greed of land speculators and the stupidity of ministers and councillors , with no sense of heritage?
                                                                                    The Prof.