Now this is not the end …

Once more, on the brink of a deadline for Britain to leave the European Union, teetering there on the precipice, barely held from toppling by parliamentarians demanding scrutiny of the executive, more than a million people gathered from across the country in Parliament Square to strengthen the hand of democracy.

For democracy does not rest simply in a single vote: the plebiscite can be the tool of the rulers, who control the information and who deceive, reward and punish at will.  Democracy sits also within Human Rights, the Rule of Law and public scrutiny, available to all and applying to all.

Boris Johnson is the man of our times: a self-invented shell of a person, without principle, whose sole purpose is to rule.  He believes himself a Man of Destiny, a second Churchill in his own mind.  If you believe that history pivots on the actions of strong or catastrophic individuals, this may prove to be one such time.

Perhaps, in this time, we are coming to an end of a beginning.  We may split first from Europe, then disintegrate to petty nation states, ruled covertly by corporations and led by minor potentates for whom a never-ending quarrel with neighbours serves to distract the populace from poverty, the burning atmosphere and rising waves.

The EU is a means, not an end in itself.  Our real task is building a community, binding together peoples and nations, re-purposed away from supporting privilege, as a tool for social justice and environmental action.

By chance, in Piccadilly, I found myself in a small part of Yorkshire, with a white rose flag and a song book.




8 responses to “Now this is not the end …

  1. The mere existence of the Yorkshire Remain Choir songbook lifts the heart. We are watching with dismay and disbelief from our side of the world. However yesterday ALL our major newspapers presented re-dacted front pages to protest the government’s increasing use of “security” to attack journalists, supress our right to know and increase the level of secrecy across all government activities.

  2. Great post – we too in Australia are looking in dismay at the events in the UK. Just when we need everyone in the whole world to collaborate on tackling climate change we have distractions like Brexit. (But it suits the Australian Government as they refuse to take climate change seriously).

    • This is what I am getting at about the end of the beginning (Churchill’s phrase). The sense that as crises become more acute, what we crudely call the elite or powerful, however defined, close ranks and seek to clamp down on dissent and distract us with petty divisions and anger.

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