Sunday, 4 April 2010


Extract from David Peace, GB84:

Day 68. Bad dreams again - We lie among corpses. Thousands of them. We are parched. Drowned in blood. Stained armour. Fallen crowns. We lie among corpses. We listen to the field beneath us. Worms coming. Slugs. Rats. Little bloody footprints across cold white skin. We lie among corpses. We look up at the sky. Clouds coming. Rain. Crows - One lands on me. Struts upon my chest. Cocks its head. It goes for my eye - I wake up. Bad dreams are mine - All mine. Here we go. Here we go. Here we go - Day 69. Mansfield rally today. Most of wives have come - Cath too. She wanted to. Lot of blokes have brought their kids and all. We've got on coach. Right laugh it is. Lot of songs. Banter. Come to Leisure Centre. We get off coach - What a sight. Must be thirty thousand easy. Banners as far as you can see - From Scotland. Wales. Lancashire. Derbyshire. Kent and Yorkshire - By bus. By van. By car. By foot - Here to their Heartland. Not to bully them - Here to shame them. God smiling on us too. Baking-hot sunshine. We march through town centre behind our banner. Heads held high, lot of us. Heads high with pride. Hand in hand with Cath. Kids sat on front of banner. Ice creams. Local folk out to welcome us. Clapping us. Cheering us from rooftops - Roaring us on. No scabs and their wives. None of Maggie's Storm-troopers. Not a helmet in sight. Just thirty thousand ordinary, decent men, women and children. Twelve noon we come back to Leisure Centre. Can't get near platform. But we can hear them. Tony Benn. Dennis Skinner - We can cross frontiers we have never dreamed of. We can not only stop pit closures - we can have Socialism. Fantastic every one of them. Cath clapping. Cheering. Chant goes up for Arthur. Who people want. One name - Arthur, Arthur, Arthur, Arthur, Arthur, Arthur - I look over at Cath - Clapping. Cheering. Chanting with best of them. And he's magnificent. Magnificent - You have got a union leadership who are prepared to lead until we win, and win we will - She looks at me. She squeezes my hand. She has tears in her eyes. Tears in mine - Good ones, for a change.

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