Every now and then I read the comments after an article I’ve read online. Mostly they stir in me a reaction similar to the one I get when I watch Question Time and I switch off lest I explode indignantly. Occasionally a comment is funny or there’s a punning thread. But every now and then a comment chimes deeply with me and my bias is confirmed. I’ve just read such a comment after an article about how the English reformation sowed the seeds of brexit, Luther made his post challenging the papacy on halloween 500 years ago. The article explained in part how English exceptionalism has evolved since. The comment took this further:
“And people who have had their land stolen, sent to die in wars to create an Empire that served only the few, locked into a mediaeval class system, their work and communities destroyed and an education system that values academic understanding above practical knowledge and so on and so on, tricked, lied to and bullied… such people inevitably become powerless and depressed, lost and ignorant. And unfortunately then rise up against the wrong enemy.”
A pretty good summation of the brexit vote. A friend from my crabby cohort in pre-brexit times said he was going to vote with ‘his gut’, this is how I think many voted.
Our, much as American exceptionalism, is a dangerous thing. We believe ourselves to be somehow superior because it’s been a long time since we were invaded or had a civil war. Thing is this false belief is one that has been inculcated by the rich and powerful over centuries and is now deeply embedded in our national psyche. “Two world wars and one world cup doo dah doo dah”. The disease has not erupted as it has in other European countries through war and civil strife with it’s brothers in arms of fascism and dictators. Our demons have not been more fully aired and confronted, they just linger pustulently in the likes of farage and bunter.
Our national decline will merely be hastened by brexit, oh there’s the knock at the door and I’m off to the Tower for seditious treason……….
Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.