Hooray, or Hoorah, we’ve all won … and we’ve all lost. What an extraordinary election result! I spent an evening as an outsider in a Stroud pub where the new Labour MP and his supporters were ‘over the moon’ celebrating his return and the election result. I am happy for Stroud, and Kensington, and Brighton, and where I live. Okay but … has anything really changed?
Huge numbers of UkIP voters have returned to vote Labour, What a surprise ! And as the media is thoughtfully pointing out, the UK is a divided country, 44 – 42 % . Rich and poor, young and old, educated and uneducated, north and south, urban and rural, Remain or Leave.
Abandoning our neighbours, we can be true Brits after all. Will the Conservatives manage to steer the UK to a non-regulated, neoliberal economic tax haven, welcoming lovely rich immigrants … oops sorry wealthy tourists, they don’t need to migrate, or will Labour create a socialist island nation, of unlimited social provision , outrageous union rights, and a return to uneconomic government intervention, and welcome everyone to spend, spend, spend as a new proletarian capitalist democracy ? Hmm…
So, anyway, the great thing is the British can decide their own fate. Either way. And either way is non-sense, because as the song says we don’t live here anymore. We might as well live in Tivalu. The island is being submerged. And it appears we don’t know who are friends are… the Saudis, the Turks, Trump, the Scots ?
What has the British electorate decided ? It doesn’t like the robot Theresa May, hard Brexit, Europe, UKIP, austerity, another Scottish referendum, Nick Clegg, a too powerful SNP, compromise N. Ireland parties, and a weak English opposition. Hmm…
And what does it like ? Everything against those guys. Well this may be a start, but it is hardly thoughtful or progressive. Then the UK electoral system doesn’t encourage thought, discussion, or a new choice, like a Macron. Not that I support Macron, it’s just that the French have a better electoral system that can deliver options, choice and change.
And so do the UK electorate want a real change? A positive change? I think they are so rooted in their own politics, so deferent to their own political system, so happy with themselves, that they and their politicians, and their media prefer to play in their own little playpen, but they haven’t noticed the rest of the world and that the waters are rising, and the sand in the playpit is turning to mud.
Gove is back, the DUP has arrived, and Labour is so busy taking selfies, it can’t see the bigger picture. It never has and it did lose by the way. Labour didn’t support PR or the EU. It wants an island nation like its voters. And Bernie Saunders saying come join the US is hardly radical.
I look on this nation with sorrow, a land of lovers of Kings and Queens, a land drinking in its own history, and drunk on its own false greatness, not realising that even what it reveres as the best is not ; its architecture, its gardens, its democracy, even its history, has for the most part been just catching up. And its literature, which it regards as paramount, is only great amongst equals . Who has read Sophocles, Homer, Dante, Cervantes, Voltaire, Goethe, Montesquieu, Proust, Joyce, Dostoyevsky, Camus, Sartre, Borges, Calvino? And why are they not taught at schools or even in universities? Don’t get me wrong, I like English people, but they do remind me of Flatlanders. Well at least that book was written by an Englishman, who else could write it?
I've had many short stories, poems, and articles published, and a book '‘Dancing In the Waves'’ [Mer 1998].For ten years I was editor of ‘Screenwriter magazine.
Ihave run European writing workshops and lead the MA Screenwriting programme at Birkbeck College,, London University.I founded and am on the board of Euroscript, the UK's premier independent script training company.My full profile is on www.paulgallagher.eu
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