So long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, À Dieu


©                                    Channelling England from France

Yesterday at 6.40am, the radio blythly told us in passing “… tomorrow the UK leaves the European Union.”

My heart hangs heavy.

Four years ago, it never occurred to me quite how out of touch I was with 17.4 million inhabitants of the so-called United Kingdom. (Those of voting age was 45.7 million. Do th’arithmatic)

Truly, I had no idea and even less conception that Northern Ireland (not), Scotland (not), Wales (?) and England felt so threatened by immigration that severing ties with the EU was the only option to protect&secure UK borders.


In some respects I geddit.

I get that seeing people who have no respect for UK values and traditions demand and receive tax-payer-subsized lifestyles is puzzlingly irksome. I am hip to the notion that lack of self-determination appears a dismal quid pro quo for membership of a disordered club: a club which had the gentleness to sing Auld Lang Syne as the UK contingent left in graceless shambles.

And yet.

1973 happened. It’s over. Returning to 1972 is a) ill-advised and b) impossible. Heraclitus’ river has flowed on by.

My heart hurts.

The putting asunder of the United Kingdom seems an inevitable consequence for Britain (it ceased Greatness some while since).

Shakespeare has John of Gaunt in Richard II*, (Act II, Scene i) say this:

…… Consuming means, soon preys upon itself.

This royal throne of kings, this scepter’d isle,

This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,

This other Eden, demi-paradise,

This fortress built by Nature for herself

Against infection and the hand of war,

This happy breed of men, this little world,

This precious stone set in the silver sea,

Which serves it in the office of a wall,

Or as a moat defensive to a house,

Against the envy of less happier lands,

This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England,

This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings,

Fear’d by their breed and famous by their birth,

Renowned for their deeds as far from home,

For Christian service and true chivalry,

Of the world’s ransom, blessed Mary’s Son,

This land of such dear souls, this dear dear land,

Dear for her reputation through the world,

Is now leased out, I die pronouncing it,

Like to a tenement or pelting farm:

England, bound in with the triumphant sea

Whose rocky shore beats back the envious siege

Of watery Neptune, is now bound in with shame,

With inky blots and rotten parchment bonds:

That England, that was wont to conquer others,

Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.

* Richard II 1367 – 1400: plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

Veni vidi da Vinci


Resisting anything but temptation, restraint is futile particularly when there’s a luscious lake from which to fish out opportunities to grow.

David Cameron seemed perplexed last year when he was wheeled out of each tête-à-tête with his opposite numéreaux essentially having evolved nothing in renegotiating terms by which Britain placed itself amid the European Union. This lack might have told him something about the EU appetite to mop Britain’s brow and cater to whimsical idiosyncracies.

After a good few centuries, Britain’s epoch of treating the rest of the world as it treated India up until Partition is over. This cannot have been more starkley demonstrated than by voisins’ voracious vocalizing to speed the triggering of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and begin ejection.

As the Prime Minister’s finger has never been sensitive to the pulse of change, it’s understandable he seems not yet to have discerned that everything is now altered. The more gracefully the UK steps aside giving another a turn at global plutocracy, the more strength and stability is retained and gained.

There is every hope this severe pruning to the country’s self esteem will support luscious growth in its compassion and humanity. It won’t be pretty, nor pain free. Ultimately though, it is plausible to posit a future of kindness and a modicum of humility.


Women, know your place

Standard Crystal balls?

©                                                              Crystal balls?

Beyond the realm of possibility is always a comfortable, sofa-like spot; less sagging towards the middle than grooved by the contours of its owner’s reality. Goodness, we seem to have diverted into metaphysics when this is supposed to concern creaking evolution time maieuts.

It might have passed you by but last week, the British Prime Minister was trapped in a media storm of protest that he might have benefitted from his father’s high- stepping financial arrangements. Now, it just so happens I don’t give a flyer about other people’s affairs, financial or otherwise: I think there’s much to be said for privacy.

But the corollary of all this scrutiny on the head honcho seems to have required all the other politicos to bow to the pressure and reveal their tax returns similarly.

Why does this matter? Well, there could be a plausible argument which states if tax affairs are to be aired, as they are in the States where salaries are publicly discussed and women receive approximately 79% [DC is 90% and New York by which I’m guessing they mean Manhattan, it’s 87%] of their male colleagues, then the pay gap, current level of 76% here might move a mite further? It’s very shrouding from past scrutiny may have added weight to the troublingly toiled lid?

Clearly, there are leagues to go on the journey to parity, but I can’t help thinking the consequence of this exoteric frankness is a step in the right direction?