Posts Tagged ‘current affairs’

Au Revoir Europe

Posted: January 31, 2020 in Chat
Tags: , , ,

I used to have this kind of ‘joke’:
If ever England left Europe, then they’d all be dead within 5 years.
They’ll have bored each other to death.

I think now, though, there is enough of an ethnic mix to prevent that.

Au revoir, Europe. For now.

England used to feel like a stagnant pond, when I was growing up.
Then it went international, vibrant, so alive.
There’s always this blossoming, then dying off, then all over again.

People say ‘There is something different about living on an island.’
So don’t judge too harshly.
‘Something different‘: bit of the old je ne sais quoi, then? That’s quite ironic.

Don’t judge too harshly, I wrote… then I thought of Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson, and, well… how on earth did that/did they happen?
The Conservative Party got a bit of a landslide victory at last election.
But did they?
It was an end to the Brexit chaos people voted for.
And Johnson made damned sure he was heading that one. So, no, people who would never normally vote for them, voted for the only one with the remote possibility of giving them peace from the dithering.

– Dithering – this is One thing the politicians did right: the referendum vote-divide was so close that to go all out for one side or the other would have been shamefully authoritarian, to say the least. The politicians ‘dithered’ in order to find a fair solution to both sides.
I think they should have held out longer, fought harder, but….

The Conservative landslide: the trouble is that so politically naive are most people, it didn’t dawn on them that to allow a foothold was to give permission to take the whole wall off if necessary to get in – and all their ‘policies’ with them.
An old, old, story.

I’ll not bore readers any longer with this sorry business.
Oh no, it’s started, the boring!

Au revoir – for now.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-politics-51303555/brexit-meps-sing-in-unison-ahead-of-brexit

My father-in-law died last year. He was 96.
So we had his house to sell – not done this before. The rather nebulous local couple, the buyers, wouldn’t say if they wanted furniture (new family). All the kitchen stuff, yes. No contact. Oh well.
First week this year we had our house roof retiled – been dreading it. An exhausting experience.
‘Now we can relax,’ we said.
An email: the buyers want to move in asap: 23rd Jan. Yikes! 6 days. My f-i-law had kept Everything, neatly ordered, but… everything. In a panic to clear the place we had to let important stuff go. We knocked ourselves up getting it ready. Took the keys to the estate agents (their rapacious natures came to fore – we’d still had to leave things because we don’t have, nor can afford, transport).
‘It’s 25th, they said. We have their email for 23rd. Went to notify the conveyancers that we’d handed the keys in.
‘Ah,’ they said, ‘we’d sent an email this morning…’ (we’d left by then). ‘It’s been changed to the 12th Feb.’
All those papers, items, we’d had to let go….
It has now moved to the 6th Feb. Ok, that’s doable.
Only we both came down with exhaustion, and a Winter bug – as time ticks away.

I was thinking, are there loose parallels here with the Brexit fiasco? The rather nebulous buyers image, for one: the unknown before us; those calling the shots.
We’d met a number of Leavers recently – and, boy, are they mad! They are furious. They are adamant, dug-in, come what may. No negotiation.
For whatever reason, 52% of people who voted want Out. It shocked us all. What infuriates them most is that there was No Plan. There’d be to hell to pay if the govt reneges on this deal. A new Ref would probably be the same result.
Because people don’t like to be pushed about, basically. And hurt pride? Yes; they know they have been made fools of. This arrogant stubbornness is the flip-side of the so-called ‘bulldog spirit.’
As for us: we will have to try and snatch-back as many worthwhile things out the jaws of suicidal, ruinous, Brexit.
But I wouldn’t trust my judgement, or that of anyone I have met, to decide on this vitally important topic. There are so many hidden levels of investment – from greedy-eyed Brexit MPs, making a killing off other’s misery, to rumoured ‘special relationships.’
So, who would I trust? Ah, yes, that question.
‘If Corbyn gets in,’ one Leaver said, ‘he’d bring the communists in.’
‘I didn’t think there were any of those left,’ I quipped. He chose not to hear. And Theresa May – surprised everyone with her tenacity, but there’s No Plan B. She was never a decision-maker.
I get the impression she has tried to appease both sides, and fallen down the gap in between.

I rather like that image: between two stools. An image doesn’t claim to special insight, truth, veracity; it just to be striking.
This is why the best cartoons are so important. They catch a fleeting moment, expression, in an image, and open it up. We love the entertainment an image gives. They can please, but also mislead. They don’t change anything, but they do ease the tension, allow in nuances.

And I feel for Northern Ireland and Eire in Brexit: what an impossible situation!
Scotland… I am a little wary. The hard-line Independence people are as furious and one-dimensional as the Leavers.
Think of them as the ‘Scots Wha-Haers’ that the great Scottish writer Hugh MacDiamid inveighed against, in his 1926, A Drunk Man Looks At A Thistle.

‘Scots wha hae wi Wallace bled’ (The Brus, by John Barbour, 1375: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/44292/44292-h/44292-h.htm
And get that date: 1375, ye Chaucerians) as the only criteria for Scottish identity?
And yet, I always preferred William Wallace to Robert the Bruce: Wallace, a man of the people, crushed by the English. And is there an echo of that ultimate religious sacrifice in that?
It is said the Independence Referendum in Scotland failed because the Media, Arts, Medicine, Health, Research, etc, were afraid of being shut off from sources of research grants, and knowledge.
Ahem? Nudge, nudge? But then the Tory Party of UK has  gone out of it way to ignore anything to do with Scotland, so…

The people: what are we, and where are we now?

On William Wallace: if anyone has a tour of the Houses of Parliament, stop in Westminster Hall for moment, because that is where Wallace was tried, hung, drawn, and quartered. Some authorities have it as Smithfield: See Wiki for English vindictiveness and vengeance: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Wallace

I’ve stood out by Stirling Castle, and gazed over the Firth of Forth to the Wallace memorial. It is a tower, set against high, dark, hills.
I felt a shiver of awe.

For those without a home, Rome
is nowhere, and the road
endless and everywhere.

Home is a welcoming face. No, a space
where lives are lived in that welcome
in time that’s gone, and that newly arrives.

Reasons for leaving get lost on the way; may
not arrive at all. What there is
is who is here now, backs to the wall.