Sunday, June 26, 2016

Taken back.

I am taken back to the words of my father:

"What will you do if there is a war?"

He was concerned about my moving to France.

In the late 80's such a question seemed a ridiculous anachronism.

"But it's different now. We're in Europe."

I seem to remember saying.

I had grown up with stories of mined beaches, evacuation, threats of invasion.

It was all so damn sepia tinted.

Taken Back 

Surely we have moved on?

We have full colour documentaries now.

Here I am, listening to British politicians trot out lie after lie in the Brexit referendum campaigns.

Here I am, witnessing French fascist politicians gloating.

Here I am, listening to British fascist politicians gloating.

Here I am, witnessing Donald Trump talk of Brits "taking their country back."

Taken aback.

Here I am, reading expressions of hate.

I am taken back to driving through a South London street.

A young man yelled out:

"Get back to France you fucking French bastards."

I am back in France, British, with a French wife and kids with dual nationality.

Taken  back.

They talk of "taking back control".

Do you control hate?

Were politicians in "control" in the 1930's?

We are taken back.
I could not dig; I dared not rob:
Therefore I lied to please the mob.
Now all my lies are proved untrue
And I must face the men I slew.
What tale shall serve me here among
Mine angry and defrauded young?


  1. While we have the lessons from the past to guide us in our future decisions, it seems we keep wanting to ignore those lessons and repeat past mistakes.

  2. Simon, I too have been mentally reviewing much from my own sepia tinted memory bank. Things coming back around full circle. It was one thing to witness the wall go up and then come down when you thought it was there to stay. And about time too. But another to have witnessed the stages from common market to union and then away. It feels like a center not holding -- beyond merely distressing.

  3. Louis Brandeis, U.S. Supreme Ct Justice and native son of my home town Louisville, KY, once said, "We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." Also posted PJ Harvey's reading of Donne's "No Man Is an Island" here: You are not alone.

  4. I've been crying on an off all weekend. My only small glimmer of hope is that Nicola can pull we Scots out of this - but that's no consolation really. RIP Britain. Killed by fascists, 23rd June 2016.

  5. I'm reading your posts about a month after they were written. More bad news since the end of June. I saw a headline today saying "Talk of War in Europe and Russia". In the USA we will elect one of two people who have no fear of war. One just seems crazier and more out of control.

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