I really didn’t want to do another political post – but there are those in positions of power and influence in Britain acting with terrifying irresponsibility and silence does not seem an option. The front pages below say it all.
This foul rag, bigoted, racist and homophobic, spews its poison across our nation. Shame on anyone who works for it, or for its equally repellent if coarser bedfellow, the Daily Express. Paul Dacre, the editor, is not an uneducated man. He knows the power of words and can scarcely be ignorant of the fact that this phrase was regularly used by both Stalin and Mao Tse-Tung, as well as Hitler. There are moments when I do not recognise my own country – a popular newspaper using Nazi phraseology to condemn judges for upholding the law, a Lord Chancellor failing in her sworn duty to support the independence of the judiciary, and Farage, a rabble-rousing demagogue threatening violence on the streets if he does not get his way.
I have to remind myself that the vast majority of my fellow citizens are ordinary decent people (though not in Farage’s understanding of the words) who believe in parliamentary democracy, in the primacy of the law, and who would if allowed generously welcome refugees and the dispossessed from other lands. They – we – may or may not support Britain’s membership of the EU; there are valid arguments for both positions. Whatever our feelings on that subject, we are one when we support and display common humanity and basic decency in our words and actions. It may be that a time is coming when we all have to stand up and be counted.
Yeats’ famous poem, The Second Coming, has allegedly been quoted more often in 2016 than in any of the previous thirty years. I make no apologies for adding to this statistic.
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
ADDENDUM: Having just heard the appalling election news from America, I would not change a word of the above. We are in a dark place.
A FURTHER UPDATE: Why not stand up for civilisation and sign the world’s letter to Trump? Sign here