Monday, November 01, 2010

Caravan news

We're heading back into the 60s/70s. Turn on, tune in, drop out. But I'd suggest a twist.

I've often said to others - especially my wife - never mind New Age travellers, let's become old age travellers. That is, no tats, no drugs, no atomkraft nie danke stickers. Just go where you like by caravan, pretending you're on holiday from your drab dwelling in e.g. Birmingham. That way the police will just see you as silly old crumblies and leave you alone. Bless you, love, we're on our way to Bournemouth for a fortnight, that sort of thing. My Mum used to say people always think you're dafter than they are, just play up to it.

In other words, don't challenge the system, just sidestep it unobtrusively. We're all too interconnected to bring down the system without horrible things happening to us, the ones we love and the ones we depend on. Find your niche. As the Chinese saying goes, better to light a small candle than complain about the dark.

It's not consistent, I think, to complain about Communist strategies for mass social subversion on the one hand and then on the other to advocate something very similar oneself, e.g. withdrawing all your cash from the bank on a given date, a move Ian PJ appears to support, though I well understand the temptation.

The point is not to smash the system - we've seen the joy that brought to Russia, China, Cambodia etc - but to encourage it to mutate to our preferences. CAMRA turned the tide on proper beer, people like Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall got Tesco et al to get more serious about humane and organic food - all without torching the pubs and supermarkets.

The first to operate on the new model will doubtless get a free or cheap ride - see the caravanners who've invaded upmarket Venice Beach, a place where they could never afford to buy houses even before they had theirs repossessed - and then the system will adjust.

There's no need for a hey-guys-let's-all approach: do what you've decided, don't put up with what you don't have to, be prepared to pay the price for your decision. If enough others do the same, society will change appropriately; if not, you've suited yourself. I quit teaching in 1989 because I wasn't prepared to put up with the crap and bullying, and it cost me financially - but who knows what carrying on would have cost me? My life has been incredibly richer experientially as a result of realising that it wasn't all decided for me. We forget how free we are already.

No self-destructive emotional spasms, please, we're British.


Captain Ranty said...


A lovely post. One I agree with, broadly speaking. The only reason I am doing what I am doing is to cause trouble. I want to draw attention to the clearly broken system we have.

I am just tired of being controlled absolutely. I know why they do it, and I know how they do it. I just think it's time to say no.

They react very badly to it. Mostly though, they are filled with consternation. Having some affidavits in place is a tremendous "comfort factor". Your piece indicates that you just don't bother: no paperwork, no interaction, no confrontation.

And that is a brilliant idea.

It is workable and it is achievable.


FireballXL5 said...

Yes Capt. it is. I'm doing it!

Sackerson said...

Thanks, Cap'n. Clearly you're not "controlled absolutely" but have decided to be awkward, a decision I've often made myself. Just work out the costs and benefits, chances of success.

Fireball - caravan? If so, have you named it International Rescue 6? Or some other lifestyle choice you can tell us about?

hatfield girl said...

Well, yes. Although you have to be quite well to do and quite old. Then - certainly yes. There are quite a lot of quite reasonable complaints by the next generation about babyboomers doing just this - with or without a caravan.

Sackerson said...

If matters are arranged so that you cannot win, HG, it seems rational to give up. And actually I can think of examples of not old not rich people who decided to live in an alternative way, it isn't all SKI.

FireballXL5 said...


Apologies for the delayed response.

Motorhome actually, UK & europe, no ties, no paperwork, no hassle and no tax bills of any sort (apart from RFL!). I have thought about the Lawful Rebellion route but I feel I would just bring attention on myself for no tangible benefit. This way I really do feel as free as a bird.

Thunderbirds are GO!

Sackerson said...

Better late than never, Fireball. Best wishes to you as you truck on.