If there is one thing seared on the memory it is the jig “Do The Hokey Cokey”, where a line of linked people, usually alternate male and female, snake around the hall or room or wherever bellowing out the lyric and doing the moves.
During my youth it usually marked the point where those attending were either seriously sloshed or felt that the “do” needed livening up with a bit of noisy jollity. As a stroppy youngster, inevitably, I felt that it was undignified for people as old as 30 or even more to be doing this kind of thing.
The lyric, it still makes me wince, is on the Wikipedia entry along with other versions internationally. It begins, “You put your right leg in, you put your right leg out, in, out, in out, shake it all about….” and goes on, and on, and on. In the days before amplified sound it was one thing, heaven knows what it is like with amplification.
Nevertheless, such a basic simplification of basic human movements can be applied in other contexts. One appears to be the current Prime Ministerial view of the nature of question to be asked in any referendum we may have on the issue of
We are told that it might be an “In in” question, that is do we go with the flow as it is happening in Europe at present, or do we engage in one of those diplomatic dances where the idea is that some sort of deal may result to the satisfaction of both parties,
The trouble is we have done this before, a great many times. Those brilliant minds at the Foreign Office and the highest reaches of the Civil Service allied to the wayward attention of our politicians have almost always ensured that we were well and truly sold down the river.
That is why so many of us feel that not only must there be a better way, but the only way is out to enable us to attend to our own affairs in our own interest. So the question should be “In or out”, and if the vote is for in then the question on what basis can be addressed.
One matter that does complicate the issue is that we are now at a point where fewer and fewer trust anything that emerges from government and our first instinct is not to identify the key issues for but to ask who is getting the loot and has most to gain?
In the past this was often hard to work out and we were bedevilled by lack of access to information or debate or to any thorough critical analysis. In the age of the internet this is not the case, there is a lot more to go at and some very good material for debate if you know where to look or are interested.
But the difficult part is how to transmit any of this to the mass of the voters, or rather those who will actually vote. This should be a function of the media, but this today is either bought or bound up with sensation or trivia.
So if the trend is against what our elite want, we will be offered the media equivalent of the Hokey Cokey to amuse, engage or distract us. If then we are only offered an “In in” choice we will finish up with an “In” dictated to us by
Who was it who said “First, get rid of the pianist”?