Brother Ivo loves exploring paradox, and the time since Britain voted to exit the EU has left him èmbarrased for choice; where to begin?
Let’s begin on a musical note.
As the remarkable news came through, one might almost have expected Nigel Farrage to celebrate the UK ” Indpendence Day” with the words of the French National Anthem- ” Allons enfants de la patrie, Le jour de gloire est arrivé!” – “Children of the fatherland, the time of glory has arrived” It has all the bombast of the Euro-Elite who believed in the Bonapartist vision and project which is the EU, but Mr Farrage had rejected the substance whist perhaps entitled to appropriate a little of the sentiment.
Elsewhere we might enjoy the irony of young progressives demonstrating their radical credentials by joining Jeremy Còrbyn as he supported the power of unelected EU Presidents doing the bidding of lobbyists from Goldman Sachs.
As the morning extended, advocates of the new ” gentler less divisive” politics gathered outside the home of Boris Johnson to abuse him for the temerity of being part of a multi-party coalition that had just contested a binary choice referendum and – Quelle horreur – emerged with the support of the majority of UK electors. Paradox abounds.
As he and others were castigated for their “right wing” stance, their opponents were seemingly ignoring the fact òf that success being rooted in the Labour heartlands from Bury to Boston, from Swansea to Hartlepool. It may not suit the narrative of many of the liberal elite but the result transends politics, classes, regions, origins and generations.
However confident anyone may be in the majority decision there will be uncertainty; that much was always inevitable.
There is one further massive paradox.
The United Kingdom has an unelected Head of State yet unlike the EU Presidents, our Queen does not attempt to steer politics in any direct form. She stands quietly outside the fray but represents a formidable asset on the side of her peoples in these uncertain times.
Whilst young people may hold on to a high opinion of their own importance in these matters, it is the nonagenarian Queen Elizabeth who will see us through. It is worth spending a few moments counting our blessings.
Our Queen learned her “trade” from Winston Churchill ; she saw us move from an Empire spanning the world, to a Commonwealth of Nations that even countries never part of the Empire have wanted to join. She remembers the inception of the EU, its idealism and its initial purpose, she knew De Gaulle and Adenaur. She discussed potential nuclear war with JFK. She has overseen wars and negòtiated peace. She remembers the Windrush, the Notting Hill riots and was on friendly terms with Nelson Mandela. US Presidents shuffle nervously as they await an audience with her.
So here is the greatest paradox.
Our young express anxiety about the future. Our Queen draws on her experience, wisdom, and faith, and whilst others hesitate she will greet our new a Prime Minister and ensure that he or stay on the path which is best for her peoples.
So never mind EU grandiosity La Patrie and la gloire -” God save the Queen”!