(Illustration of fallen angels from Vincent of Beauvais, Le Mirouer historial (French translation of Speculum historiale), Paris 1463; BnF, Français 50, fol. 14r; found here. Yes, it probably is over the top, but I like it, so there)
I don’t write about politics here but the last week has been so utterly consuming and depressing that I feel I have to comment here now that my fury has somewhat abated. Something really ugly has been unleashed, something that has been fed quietly and in the dark for many years, and it’s shocking to see it unashamed and loud, spewing out hatred at those it deems ‘other’, people just going about their daily lives. I’m sickened by the racist and xenophobic attacks, which parts of the press and the Brexit campaign seem to have legitimised, at least in the minds of those who commit them. It is for all of us to stand up and condemn them. Both sides are publicly spitting hatred and contempt at each other and that is not helping.
For the rest, I think I’m only now finally able to believe that Britain voted to leave the EU. I don’t agree with those who voted to Leave because to me it’s not just an enormous risk with potentially not much to gain and plenty to lose; it’s also a real kick in the face to community, to working together (though heaven knows there’s a lot wrong with the EU, let’s not forget that) and sharing a common heritage. I’m genuinely afraid of what may happen in Northern Ireland, which seems to have been quite cavalierly sacrificed in Brexit. I deplore the state of politics now; some are arguing that we are now in a ‘post-factual’ era where emotions are key to winning over the electorate. That is truly frightening; is it correct though? (Please, no.)
And this is news of no interest to anyone except my family, but very sadly we had to cull Night Fluffy, thus further intensifying the shitness of the week. He was beautiful and not really aggressive for a cockerel, but I couldn’t let children go in the chicken run any more unless I was there between them and NF (just in case, he never actually attacked one) and I am afraid that although he loved his wifelets he was ripping out all their feathers in his enthusiasm and hurting them. We’d have re-homed him but nobody wants cockerels. I feel really bad about this; he was only doing his job. Let me assure you though that he did have a very happy life, no cockerel could have had better.
I am going to write about Sarah Perry’s novel The Essex Serpent but I find I cannot write anything unless I get this out of the way first, even though there is nothing new here. Of course I voted to Remain, but that doesn’t mean that I despise you if you voted Leave. We’re all in this together now; let’s do our best to heal and push our leaders to do better for us all.
Normal, irregular service will resume shortly.