Photo by Martin Hübscher [EU National resident and paying taxes in GB]
© 2018 MHPhotography
Cat © 2018 CAT Citizen of Nowhere/Everywhere
Natural pearl and diamond pendant, 18th century;
set with an oval diamond supporting a diamond bow motif
and a baroque drop-shaped natural pearl measuring approximately 16 × 18 × 26mm.
A natural pearl and diamond jewel of delicately wrought beauty once belonged to history’s most glamorous scapegoats for the abuses and injustices of autocracy, the victim of nationalism and misogyny, reviled by women and men, the hated l’autrichienne, the Austrian bitch, Maria-Antonia von Habsburg-Lothringin, known as Marie Antoinette, queen of France.
Political assassination is arguably justified, character assassination is not. Of all the offensive insults thrust at her, the most hurtful, far worse than all the salacious sexual slurs, the one that cut deepest, more humiliating than being deprived of shoes and false teeth in prison, more painful than beheading, was the Tribunal’s allegation of incest with her son.
“If I have not replied it is because Nature itself refuses to answer such a charge laid against a mother. I appeal to all mothers here present – is it true?”
Marie Antoinette on her way to the guillotine, drawn by David, 16 October 1793. Image: Wikipedia.
She was 37 years old. Usually, press reports about celebrity women degrade them by mentioning their age, but in this case the vulgar habit of prejudging by numbers is justified by the shock of
this woman’s premature ageing due to suffering
She, who was brought up to be a dynastic pawn, a bride and mother of kings, became the Eternal Feminine demonized. She was never expected to have control of her identity; her often derided play-acting at being a fashionably Romantic shepherdess in a pastoral idyll was her attempt at self-emancipation.
The modern perception of Marie Antoinette has shifted away from the inverted fairy story heroine, the romanticized narrative of an over-privileged but misunderstood star of the diamond-studded, blood-stained Versailles reality show, to the universal figure in women’s history of wronged mother and foreigner.
Marie-Antoinette and her children by Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun, 1787
While she was imprisoned, she was separated from her children. As she prepared for death, her chief anxiety was about their fate. An 18th century princess endured the kind of degradation and psychological torture that tyranny in the modern world still inflicts on female immigrants and their families.
And there’s the jewel itself, the progeny of animals and human skill, that natural pearl of iridescence beyond price, a man-made thing lovely enough to be the symbol of our atonement for our sins against nature and each other, sold for silly money, £25 million that should be spent on environmental conservation and humanitarian missions to reunite migrant families and release political prisoners.
The tarts of the Internet, the sublime opportunists of the home, the pragmatic survivors, the most independent inhabitants of the Kingdom, the cutest of the Cute, the choosiest of the Choosy, don’t want a hard Brexit, and anyone who knows cats knows they will get their way.
British cats in every home are telling their humans to
over 300,000 people have signed already
Photo © MHPhotography
Christmas Comet Photo © MHP 2017
Orpheus and Euridice by G.F. Watts c. 1890
Humans are selfish by instinct, like all animals. We are narcissistic, like no other animal. We reason, like no other animal. We squander our natural gifts, like no other animal. We are cruel, like no other animal. We have more regrets than any other animal. We cannot bring the people we love back to life but we can make at least one sensible decision for the common good before we die. (Noelle Mackay)
We, the people, must demand another chance to let our true voice be heard, not the one manipulated last year by a reactionary, zenophobic, racist coup d’état.
We must be able to accept or reject the deal being negotiated to Leave the EU.
And, we must be able to reject Brexit entirely. No reasonable person could claim that the EU is perfect; no reasonable person could claim that leaving the EU under the present conditions is anything but catastrophic.
It is time to stop separating personal from universal destiny. We are all implicated.
Whether you voted Leave or Remain, this Brexit is a mess. I’d have written “a dog’s breakfast” for a cheap laugh if it wasn’t an insult to dogs. There are too many cheap laughs in this world at the expense of things we should value. “Only connect”.
Gainsborough, Pomeranian Bitch and Puppy c 1777. © Tate Gallery.
Is there nothing else than the love of cute animals that can unite people?
Does humanity loathe itself so much that it will extinguish itself?
Only the delusional, or right-wing billionaires planning to turn Great Britain into Little Englanders’ Tax-Haven Ltd, could still want it. The hopes of idealistic Leavers have been betrayed, the worst fears of Remainers have been exceeded by reality.
It is still legally possible to reverse Brexit. Common sense and self-preservation demand it. “In a healthy political culture, this would be a moment for reappraisal” Ian Dunt.”
Horse Frightened by a Storm, watercolour by Eugene Delacroix, 1824. Image source: WGA
Our democracy should serve the national interest, not destroy it. If our representatives in Parliament don’t have the guts to revoke Article 50 themselves, we must advise them ourselves through another Referendum – not a second referendum, but the third since 1975.
Last year’s referendum was advisory. A responsible government would never have allowed the public a vote on an unfeasible option. No government is infallible. Nobody is infallible. History will condemn the political leadership of our times – that doesn’t let the rest of us off the hook.
If history is about ordinary people, not who and what kings and queens had for breakfast, ordinary people must show the future what a human being should be.
Sovereignty lies in Parliament, not the “Will of the People”, a meaningless slogan unless it includes the right to change our minds. If anyone insists that the 2016 Referendum was binding, then they should consider that the 1975 Referendum to stay in the EU was also binding.
Never again should an elected representative of the people have to say, as Margaret Beckett did, “I believe this will be catastrophic for my constituents, but nonetheless I feel duty‑bound to vote for it.”
In future, recanting MPs might have to put one of their hands in the fire before they betray the interests of the people.
Our generation is seeing the British dream turned into a nightmare created by ourselves. STOP IT. Brexit will be the worst mistake ever made by a modern democratic nation.
Bored with Brexit? Tough. I’d have given up this blog, ranting at an audience of two, if it wasn’t for the biggest cause of in our lifetimes. It’s not just British lives that Brexit will ruin. The fate of nations is in our hands.
Stop Brexit, I’ll stop boring you.
“Will of the People”: a potential leader for Stay in Europe.
King Charles Spaniel by Édouard Manet, oil on canvas, c. 1866. Image source: Wikipedia
The Brexit Government’s smooth ride, trampling over NHS, education, Welfare and human rights in its hurry to get to the Kill, has been jolted at last.
Over-excited by their gallop, Tory MPs forgot they represent an animal-loving electorate when they voted down the animal sentience amendment in the EU Withdrawal Bill.
For one brief moment, Leavers and Remainers in the country were united in patriotic indignation.
The Government had been stupid enough to expose the weak spot of all Conservative Administrations: being perceived as uncaring.
Instantly, damage-controlling directives went out to Tory MPs to Be Compassionate.
One Tory MP posted a video of himself Loving his Dog. The dog, Poppy, was not consulted or asked if she was reassured her rights were safe.
If Remainers elected a dog or a cat to be their leader today, Brexit would be stopped by the Will of the People tomorrow.