I was thinking all night of the post I’d write about a clock, an 18th century clock. It started with the clock, anyway, and ended up being more about a mother and daughter.
It was going to be a post about self-isolation and self-improvement, about reason and tolerance defeating ignorance and greed, about women’s fight for equality and independence; about jealousy and love, egos and guillotines; about rebellion and restraint; about philosophy, education and religion; about gaiety, satire and burlesque – lyrics from Gypsy were going to be included (“Sing out, Louise”) – it was a mess, less than the sum of its parts.
The object still exists for you to look at. All you need from me is a link. No words. Everything has been said before. No more blogging, I say.
Instead, I’m copying and pasting a Tweet from the journalist John Crace, about today’s cause célèbre, the latest gobsmacking hypocrisy of the Vote Leave coup leaders who are turning the ancient democracy of Great Britain into a shoddy dictatorship, a tax haven for corrupt, nihilist capitalists, while the rest of us, if we survive the plague, will die from poverty and bitterness, and malnutrition from lowered food standards.
We will be deprived of freedom of movement to work and live and love where we want in Europe, our continent. For some of us, that freedom and that love are the meaning of life itself. We have been dispossessed. We are aliens in our own country.
The rich will still be able to do what they want, just as Cummings, Great Britain’s eminence grise, did during lockdown, when, knowing he and his wife had COVID-19, he flouted government restrictions by travelling 260 miles to visit his elderly parents with his four year-old child.
Cummings, in his own mind the child of Machiavelli and Nietzsche, doesn’t care; the pastiche prime minister/world king manqué and his equally over-entitled, even creepier associates (who can’t wait to stab him in the back) don’t care; they know there will be no consequences for the shameless. They are unaccountable. They have called democracy’s bluff.
They prey on human frailty. They play on the ordinary person being as selfish and venal as they are. They taunt and tempt like the sleazy admen and dodgy goods’ salesmen they are.
Everything they offer you has fallen off the back of a lorry. They know most of us know. They don’t care. Look how we can spin! Aren’t we funny! More entertaining than the Opposition. Razzamatazz! (Theatre is dead, due to Coronavirus, showing off isn’t.) Bragging how you have twisted the truth impresses more, nowadays, than telling the truth.
If you weren’t as bad as them before, you will be soon.
John Crace on Twitter:
According to @michaelgove
and other cabinet ministers,
those of us who didn’t break government guidelines
to drive 250 miles just didn’t love
our families and friends enough
If only Number 10 had acted as quickly and forcefully on the pandemic in March as it has to save Dominic Cummings
And, because I can’t bear to leave you without something old and pretty, here’s the link to a relic from the Age of Enlightenment and Reason, a neoclassical feminist clock illustrating the power of solitude:
“One must work with time and not against it.”
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed
and the tale hath had its effect….like a physician, who hath found out an infallible medicine, after the patient is dead. Jonathan Swift
All the world wondered.
“But for what purpose was the earth formed?” asked Candide. “To drive us mad,” replied Martin.
The great English immigration question: Why was Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, sent to England?
“Twill, a not be seen in him there; there the men are as mad as he”. Shakespeare, Hamlet
As a nation, once praised by the rest of the world for its common sense, marches to the sound of Trumpery ever nearer towards the cliff edge of “Global Britain”, we need to listen to the advice of friends, sincerely alarmed for our well-being. Nobody wants to see an old friend behaving irrationally, suffering delusions, swallowing a diet of deep fried lies and chlorinated chicken, deliberately detaching themselves from reality.
Delacroix Hamlet and Horatio in the Graveyard 1839
Quintessential pan-European heroes of English literature, visualized by a Frenchman, taking a look at 21st Century Brexit, the death of the UK as they and we know it.
Friends all over the world, not just EU Members, have warned us against Brexit for 3 years. Mark Rutte, the conservative-liberal Prime Minister of the Netherlands, candidly told us that Brexit would diminish the UK and that our own next Prime Minister is disregarding facts about trade, treaties and constitutions, all the stuff we thought politicians needed to know about. Johnson is a Post-Truth leader. He knows facts don’t matter to his supporters.
“Is politics nothing other than the art of deliberately lying?” Voltaire
Lying was not invented by Trump or Johnson. They’ve just dumbed it down for modern consumption, and it’s working, just like extra sugar, fat and salt have worked.
But the thing about these demagogues, these narcissists spouting racism and sexism with impunity on either side of the Atlantic, these satanic tempters of human vice disguised as wobbly blonde clowns, the thing that lets them get away with betraying the national interest while promoting their own, is that they are rich, very, very rich. They can afford to tell lies because they, unlike the majority of us, can afford the consequences.
“The comfort of the rich depends upon an abundant supply of the poor.” Voltaire
New tariffs, higher basic food and drink prices, job redundancies, increased travel tax, the severance of rights to work and love abroad, the erosion of workers rights and environmental and food standards, the cancelled scientific and cultural projects, the loss of opportunity for equality and liberty, the loss of all the things that make the human condition bearable, which was once collectively called civilization, don’t matter to the Brexit ringleaders because they can buy the food and holiday and lover and power they want.
You vote for a madman, you get a mad country.
Or, as a European friend to humanity warned in a more elegant turn of phrase, long, long ago:
“Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” Voltaire
Will anything spewed on to my obscure web page change a mind? Of course not. I am not an Influencer. I am one of a million Cassandras, shrieking on our self-assembled walls.
I defer to Remainer Now, the community for people with the courage to change their minds, heroes of the corrupt 2016 Referendum, along with Led by Donkeys, who have given the ineffectually led Remain cause the inspirational marketing that it needed from the beginning.
Led by Donkeys projection on the White Cliff of Dover, appealing to our historic friends in Europe for help in our time of madness, 2019
The right to change our minds is at the heart of democracy. That is why, after a civil war and constitutional revolution or two, we have fixed term parliaments. The idea was to save us from tyranny. Brexit is delivering us to a specifically modern tyranny, designed by oligarchs to be delivered by the people against the people. There are risks to another referendum (the third in UK on EU membership, not the second) but it would be entirely democratic in principle.
“Alas!” replied Candide, “It is the obstinacy of maintaining that everything is best when it is worst.”
“I should like to know which is worse: to be ravished a hundred times by pirates, and have a buttock cut off…and be flogged and hanged in an auto-da-fe, and be dissected, and have to row in a galley – in short, to undergo all the miseries we have each of us suffered – or simply to sit here and do nothing?’
A true friend tells you the truth, even when it hurts. We are all better at judging other people’s mistakes than our own. The reflection that I see in the mirror is not the person other people see.
We should listen to friendly warnings before we walk over a cliff. “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” Proverbs 13.20.
“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were: any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.” John Donne, Meditation XVII
“Many of us…have a feeling that we are living in a country where fanatics, hooligans and eccentrics have got the upper hand.”
Horace Rumbold, British Ambassador to Berlin, 1933
“My God. History will condemn this period. It will condemn those who’ve sat back and kept their view to themselves, who haven’t stood up and tried to stop all this nonsense.”
Anna Soubry MP, 2017
Clio, Muse of History reading a scroll
Attic red-figure lekythos, ca. 435-425 BC. From Boeotia. Louvre. Image: Wikipedia
“I don’t want to be known as the last prime minister of the United Kingdom”
attributed to Theresa May, Prime Minister, 2019
“When I am dead and opened, you shall find Calais engraved on my heart”.
Mary I, 1558, referring to the humiliating incompetence of losing England’s last stronghold in continental Europe
Jan Swart van Groningen, Woman Lamenting by a Burning City 1550-55
Pen in black, brush in brown,
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. Image: WGA
Huguenot Lovers on St Bartholomew’s Day by John Everett Millais, oil on canvas, 1852. Image: Wikipedia
If you are living in a mixed-nationality marriage in the hostile environment of the modern UK, true love and hard work are not enough to stop you from being forcibly separated from your family. “Oh, it couldn’t happen here”. Oh, yes it could, and it is happening now.
Many people who’ve not had cause to find out the hard way don’t realise that mixed-nationality couples can be forbidden from living together in the UK if they don’t earn enough. We want to raise awareness of this, and we’re proud that Lib Dem policy is to oppose it. If you’re married to a British person, you should be allowed to live with them. No means-testing. For richer, for poorer. 🐾
Lina is a Dachshund from Munich, Germany; Jamie is an English Bulldog from Croydon. Jamie worries about whether Brexit will mean Lina can’t come and live with him.
Kuniko is a Shiba Inu from Kyoto, Japan. Gary is a Jack Russell Terrier from Bolton. Gary’s income is just enough for Kuniko to be allowed here — but not enough for their puppies too. They don’t know what they should do.
Malcolm is an Old English Sheepdog from Hexham; Brigitte is a Bichon Frise from Toulouse, France. Brigitte is looking forward to the country life, but first she needs to find out what paperwork she’ll need, and the Home Office isn’t answering her questions.
Maryam is a Persian cat from Isfahan, Iran. Tom is a Yorkshire Terrier from Leeds. Maryam expects to get a good job in the UK — but the Home Office won’t count that as income while she’s still in Iran. The stress is affecting both of them.
Rick is an English Bulldog from Solihull; Ernesto is a chihuahua from Ciudad Juarez in Chihuahua, Mexico. Unfortunately Rick lost his job as a security guard, and his benefits don’t come to enough for Ernesto to join him.
Rachel is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel from Southampton; Dietrich is a Bernese Mountain Dog from Bern, Switzerland. Dietrich is trying to sort out Settled Status but that needs an Android smartphone and his big paws aren’t good with phones.
Shirley is a Bearded Collie from Durham; Jane is a Shih Tzu from Shenzhen, China. Same-sex marriages aren’t recognized in China; Shirley and Jane wonder if this will affect their rights in the UK.
Morag is a West Highland Terrier from Ardnamurchan, and Paweł is a Pomeranian from Gdańsk in Pomerania, Poland. Morag hopes that Paweł won’t experience the abuse that many Poles in the UK have had.
Rhys is a Collie from near Aberystwyth; no-one is quite sure where Ziggy is from, but Rhys loves them anyway.
* Liberal Democrat Immigrants exists to represent those members of the Liberal Democrats who have chosen to come to live in the UK from elsewhere. It also seeks to represent the interests of immigrants to the UK in general and to highlight those issues that disproportionately affect immigrants.”
#hostileenvironment #FBPE #Remain
Let the people take back control of our impoverished, confused country while a self-serving Government procrastinates to avoid democratic defeat.
“If the Prime Minister can change her mind, from day to day, why can’t the people be allowed to change theirs, 30 months after the referendum
Peter Ricketts Peter Ricketts @LordRickettsP
Pietro Liberi Time Being Overcome by Truth c. 1665 Image: WGA
Instinctively, he knows it’s wrong:
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel by Manet c.1866. Image: Wikipedia
“Dogs….suppress many of the more obvious signals of pain and injury to protect themselves and their social standing in their pack.
They hide their pain to appear to be more in control of the situation, but unfortunately, because of this, it is often difficult for humans to recognize when our dogs are hurting.”
Stanley Coren, Psychology Today
We are all hurting because of Brexit. End it, now.