Cover Story (66): Brexit's empty shelves, missing lorry drivers and Ewan MacColl classic song of the road. Bob Fox, Dubliners or MacColl
Brexit is the poisoned chalice that just keeps on dispensing its noxious social and economic pollutants.
Whichever way you look - exporters, importers, farmers, fishermen, musicians, students, the NI peace process - it causes problems.
And the stock response of government, its toadying supporters and the far right elements (including some of the aforementioned) who wanted an even more damaging break with the EU, is to blame Brussels for Brexit unless Covid or an invented world issue can be deemed responsible.
And yet opinion polls suggest a majority of Brits, or more accurately English voters, would put Boris and his squalid party right back in office in an election called now.
Lorry drivers! A global shortage, Boris stooges insist. Ask anyone who actually knows and the cause of lack of deliveries and empty shelves in the UK is much, much more to do with Brexit. Bob Fox would know. As well as being one of the finest performers in British folk, he holds an HGV licence, a relic of the time he took varied jobs in a break from music. And he offers a marvellous portrayal of the haulier's life, pre-Brexit and mostly pre-motorway.
Bob Fox, courtesy of Roger Liptrot's superb folkimages site
Me liquor is diesel oil laced with strong tea
And the old Highway Code was me first ABC
And I cut me eye-teeth on an old AEC
And I'm champion at keeping them rolling
I've sat in the cabin and broiled in the sun
Been snowed up on Shap on the Manchester run
I've crawled through the fog with me twentytwo ton
Of fish that was stinking like blazes
The song is probably as well known by the Dubliners as anyone else.
That band has given me huge pleasure over the years, live and on record, and I like singing along to them when driving. I also enjoy their version of MacColl's song, with Ronnie Drew taking the vocals without feeling it holds a candle to Fox's.
And we should never overlook the writer.
MacColl's original, from his 1957 Shuttle & Cage album on Topic, is honest and interesting but - 60+ years on - suffers from the limits of 1950s recording technology.
In other words, Bob Fox all day long. And if his proper career takes a dip, he can always take one of those Tesco bribes and get back behind the wheel.