Quasi Men

Since last I wrote, I’ve had another birthday – my 121st. I kept this to myself because I know no-one here on the Pacific Rain Coast well enough to reveal how old I am and when my birthday is. Besides, even if I did know anyone well enough to reveal all this, I wouldn’t for fear this would reach the ears of the police who, for all I know, are still looking for me.

I had said last time that I was reading “Victoria – A Life” by AN Wilson. The Victoria of whom Mr Wilson writes is, of course, the late Queen Victoria of England and all its worldwide Empire. So long have I lived, I often forget that England once had an Empire – the mightiest which mankind has ever seen. I keep having to remind myself that once upon a time all the nations of the world, even the nation of America, bowed down to England in awe. Now, today, the boot is – so to speak – on the other foot, for it is England which bows down to America in awe.

I’m reminded uncomfortably of all this by the publication of the report – painstakingly put together by Sir John Chilcot – that definitively (one hopes) cements Mr Anthony Blair permanently in infamy. The sight of an Englishman, the unspeakable Mr Blair, prancing like a popinjay at the side of an American, the equally unspeakable Mr George Bush, made me ashamed to call myself an Englishman. Would Queen Victoria’s prime ministers, like Mr Gladstone or Lord Salisbury, have pranced like popinjays at the side of Emperor Wilhelm the First or Emperor Wilhelm the Second? Perish the thought. If they had, Queen Victoria would have ordered their severed heads brought to her on a silver platter, believe you me.

I think that had Mr Blair, when a young man, served as a soldier in the British Army, he would have had the perfect passage into manhood, of which he would have had sufficient confidence thereafter, so as not to feel he had to act as a quasi-man when at the side of Mr Bush, who, by the way, seemed also to me a quasi-man.

***

I wish now to speak of “Brexit” – a neologism so arresting that a man in America, who makes alcoholic beverages and sells them at a profit, plans to  produce a cider and call it “Brexit”. This does make entrepreneurial sense, because cider is so quintessentially the drink of the Englishman, that an American, while drinking Brexit Cider, will be able to imagine he’s an Englishman, and behave all the better for this. But, why stop at Brexit Cider? Why not also Brexit Tomato Sauce? Or Brexit Pork Pies? I’ll surmise this idea is already illuminating the minds of other Americans as faithful to the word of Adam Smith as they are faithful to the word of God.

I have to say, I was most disappointed at the decision of those Englishmen who still live in England, to leave the European Union. If this decision sticks, England will never again be important in the world. As long as we Englishmen remained in Europe, there was always the chance we could become the undisputed leader of Europe, and thereby again throw our weight about in the world.

We Englishmen have to face the reality, though, that the weight which we can throw about in today’s world if we have a mind to, isn’t as heavy as the weight we threw around yesterday’s world when Queen Victoria reigned. We can only compensate for this if we remain tightly in Europe, and take over as its leader. Only then will the men of America regard us seriously.

Since it appears that most of the Englishmen who voted that England leave Europe, now realise they didn’t know really what they were voting for, I can only hope that the government of England will give Englishmen another chance to vote again on whether or not to remain in Europe. I’m confident that this time the Englishman, having now seen how wrong he was the first time, will put matters right the next time.

Once more unto the breach………..
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4 comments on “Quasi Men

  1. Richard says:

    My grandfather, too, has recently had a birthday. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if yours and his happened to fall on the same day! What is your birthday?

    You may recall that until recently he was only half your age but now he is sixty-one one hundred and twenty-fourths of your age, and gaining rapidly. Will he ever catch you up?

    I spoke to him about the Chilcot Report, greatly delayed in the true and admirable traditions of a civil servant. My grandfather tells me that he is honoured to subscribe to your point of view with regard to Mr Blair’s performance. He was particularly scathing about the scorn with which President Bush the Younger secured Mr Blair’s following.

    …………

    It is with considerable temerity, however, that he begs to differ with you regarding the result of the United Kingdom plebiscite calling upon the peoples’ opinion as to whether the country should remain in the European Union,or leave. He finds this hard because, as you know, you were his commanding officer. He worries you may judge him insubordinate and have him shot at dawn. I have assured him this will not happen, but your confirmation will oblige.

    I have to say that I voted to remain, but my father and grandfather voted to leave. Yet we still love and respect each other. Since the vote, I have had my doubts over the reasons for my decision. Various reports in the newspapers have identified exaggerations in the remain campaign bordering on terminological inexactitude. Today a Japanese technological giant has bought the famous Cambridge, England, company, ARM. The Japanese CEO says he has confidence in the future of Britain outside the EU and he will create thousands of jobs in the UK.

    My father had Acorn’s BBC micro computer, produced against an almost impossible time limit in 1982, an Acorn Archimedes computer in 1987, far ahead of Windows in its operating system and reduced instruction set and remembers the appearance of ARM technology in Acorn and its later separation from Acorn in 1990. In 2015 ARM sold more microchips than Intel in its whole history. As you know, ARM chips are required in all smartphones, smartcars, intelligent televisions and many other applications.

    This speaks well for the resource of the UK, and fills me, an infant prodigy, with unalloyed enthusiasm. I have no ambition to throw weight around the world but I do value freedom and self-determination above what I now realise is the suffocating pall of the European Union. This I have discerned in recent studies of the strange institutions of the European Union and their obscure relation to the five presidents.

    I should not allow myself to be carried away like this. It is because I am gravely aware of my impudent challenge to your great wisdom and experience. I know, however that you argue that the voice of youth should be heard and felt, like that of the unemployed youth in southern Europe.

    • Jeremy says:

      It’s good to hear your grandfather had a recent birthday too. I hope he enjoyed the day. Unfortunately I can’t know if he and I share a birthday, since I’ve long forgotten which day exactly I was born, except it was sometime in June of 1895.

      I’m disappointed to hear your grandfather voted to “leave”. Could this have been the result of dementia due to his old age? I’m gratified that you, yourself, voted to “remain”. You of course must have realised that the “……freedom and self-determination…” that you appear to so love, includes the freedom to move unhindered, the better to find a career-enhancing position anywhere in the European Union, thereby achieving your own individual self-determination.

      Indeed, there is no greater freedom than the freedom to move anywhere one wishes. You, as a young fellow, with, no doubt, exalted career aspirations, will now have this freedom cruelly denied to you, unless there’s another referendum.

      This precious freedom to move is something that appears entirely to have escaped the alleged minds of the fools who voted to “leave”. Were I still an active general I’d order these fools all shot at dawn. I would of course spare your grandfather because of his dementia.

      ***

      Do the fools who voted to “leave”, have any idea of the strategic international consequences for England? Do they know that England, now isolated, will fall totally into the clutches of America? This is an America that poses the greatest threat to world peace – a threat now more ominous because of America’s drift into fascism.

      The last time we Englishmen were in the dangerous waters we’re drifting into now, was in the 1930’s, when the fascist powers of Germany and Italy posed the same threat to world peace as America does today. Then, Englishmen stood shoulder to shoulder with their threatened European brothers in opposing the fascist bullies.

      Had Englishmen then, been like the Englishmen of today, they would have turned their backs on their European brothers, thus isolating themselves, and falling helplessly into the clutches of the fascist powers of Europe. The Englishmen of today would hence be talking German and Italian instead of English. They would spend their Sunday mornings goose-stepping through England’s green and pleasant land instead of skipping joyfully through it as they do now.

      England, in fact, has always played balance-of-power politics vis a vis any would-be European dominator, whereby Englishmen supported the dominated against the dominator, and eventually saw him off. Think Wilhelmine Germany, or Napoleonic France. By voting to “leave”, and thus isolating England from Europe, the foolish Englishman of today – who shaves his head, tattoos his torso, and gets into drunken fights with Russians at football matches – has gone against how England has traditionally acted in the world.

      ***

      Some foolish Englishmen may be saying, “If Winston Churchill were alive today, he’d have voted to ‘leave’ “. Well, perhaps he would have, if only because he wanted England and America to be as one, which would have meant America effectively swallowing up England.

      Remember, though, Mr Churchill was, through his mother, a half-American. But, amidst the turmoil of war, the America he wanted England to be as one with, and to be swallowed up by – was an America that was the citadel of democracy, the America of Mr Roosevelt, the America that everyone outside America looked up to – was very different from the America of today – an America that is the citadel of creeping fascism, the America of Mr Trump, the America that everyone outside America hates.

      This is the America that England will fall into the clutches of unless the Englishman agitates for another referendum, and votes this time to stay in Europe, and to stand shoulder to shoulder with his European brothers against the predations of Mr Trump and his legions of fascists.

      • Richard says:

        I think you are right about my grandfather’s state of health. He thinks you were his general in the Great War and your name was Pericles.

        I told him you would never preach that the state must be worshipped like a god, but he would have none of it.

  2. Richard says:

    I have referred to My ARM microchip, which tells me my grandfather is sixty-one one hundred and twenty-firsts of your age, and not as stated. See how indispensable England and its genius has become since Brexit!

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