20 Jun

I’ve been reading quite a lot about the glories of our past as a nation and the way it’s being ruined by our membership of Europe and I’m hard pressed to find anything particularly glorious about it.
The British Empire might have seen to be a cash-cow to the British, but it impoverished half the globe and ruined perfectly good societies by imposing a phony religion and distant royalty on them. I know there are those who look back at its passing with regret but in all honesty I can’t see much to be regretful about. Our own ancestors were once part of a huge empire, the Roman one, and they didn’t like it one bit. And when the Romans departed as their own centre broke up they left a country that was confused and ready for the taking by successive waves of invaders, culminating with the Normans in the eleventh century.
But the British Empire isn’t very much any more. The ownership of a people and their ways of life, their traditions, their faiths, is a spiteful and corrupt objective borne by an insatiable greed for wealth.
Anyway, back to my point. When was this golden age? It was certainly never in my life-time, and although my parents are both long dead it wasn’t in theirs either. And it wasn’t in the nineteenth century when Victoria sat on her throne, though a handful of men made fortunes from the toil of the masses. I would most probably have been one of those masses with a life expectancy in the thirties. I’m seventy-two now.
Or what about the eighteenth century? Ordinary men and women being driven towards the ever-expanding cities as an agricultural revolution drove them from the land. Or before then, when you just had to keep up to date with which brand of Christianity you subscribed to or risk having your head chopped off.
Or the medieval period when just about everything you were allowed to do was prescribed by the church and punishment for failing to attend at church was a fact of life. And don’t forget, the civil wars that seemed interminable. The wars of the roses that saw the Tudor kings emerge and thousands get killed (they had no choice, the men fighting for this or that cause, they did what they were told by their owners, the Lords of a nation of Manors.) Then there was Cromwell’s civil war and thousands more dying on battlefields.
And don’t forget the killing fields of the twentieth century, with two world wars that nobody could look back on with joy. Some call it the century of the fascist dictators and we would be wise to avoid its repetition. The leader of UKIP reminds me very much of the history of 1930s Germany and the rise of their monster.
So tell meā€¦ when was the glorious past? When are we supposed to look back on with envy and longing for its return?
And will leaving the only sensible arrangement, a united Europe complete with its imperfections and need for reform, take us there


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