« | Home | »

Feeling Good

Mercifully, I was in South India for two events that showed the English at their worst: a long-delayed sporting triumph and the arrival of George Alexander Louis. So I missed the response to Andy Murray’s win at Wimbledon and the eruption that greeted the birth of yet another royal. Before these there was the ‘multicultural triumph’ of the Olympics, followed recently by the ‘illegal immigrant’ buses and non-white citizens being stopped at railway stations. Even the UKIP leader denounced this as not being ‘the British way’.

‘Feel-good’ moments never last long; underneath the decay continues. Amazon is permitted to destroy the bookshops while Google, Yahoo et al hand over encrypted lists of their users to the intelligence services. Much simpler than paying taxes. The assault on education; the continuing privatisation of the NHS; the never-ending propaganda directed against benefit claimants; the youth unemployment levels (much higher in the North than in the South-eastern bubble); the vassal status in relation to the United States (how could the NSA-GCHQ links come as a surprise?); a supine state television network under the control of frightened men and women, scared of their own shadows; an utterly debased House of Lords packed with cronies of the most dubious variety.

Presiding over all this is a political elite far removed from the interests of a large majority of its citizens. To crown it all, we live in a country without an official opposition. There is none in Parliament. Whereas in some other European countries, gay marriage is about the only issue that divides centre-left from centre-right, here it unites. In effect we are living under a National Government in everything but name. Poor, pathetic Labour destroyed from within and stumbling from one month to the next. Will they do anything substantially different were they to be elected again? Extremely unlikely. But let’s not worry too much. We’ll feel good for the next few years by celebrating the centenary of the ‘great war’ and the carnage that accompanied it.

Comments on “Feeling Good”

  1. raf37 says:

    All very true but oh so depressing. Where is the ‘spark’ as they say? Cannot find any feel good anywhere. Only solace, if it can be called that in Auden’s piece September 1939.

  2. Sinibaldi says:

    Transient memory.

    If a fine
    leaf appears
    in the heart
    of the country
    I can see, near
    a glimmer, a
    delicate white

    Francesco Sinibaldi

Comment on this post

Log in or register to post a comment.

  • Recent Posts

    RSS – posts

  • Contributors

  • Recent Comments

    • name on Who is the enemy?: Simply stating it is correct doesn't make it so, I just wish you would apply the same epistemic vigilance to "Muslim crimes" as you do to their Hebrew...
    • Glen Newey on Unwinnable War: The legal issue admits of far less clarity than the simple terms in which you – I imagine quite sincerely – frame them. For the benefit of readers...
    • Geoff Roberts on The New Normal: The causes go back a long way into the colonial past, but the more immediate causes stem from the activities of the US forces in the name of freedom a...
    • sol_adelman on The New Normal: There's also the fact that the French state denied the mass drownings of '61 even happened for forty-odd years. No episode in post-war W European hist...
    • funky gibbon on At Wembley: If England get France in the quarter finals of Euro 16 I expect that a good deal of the fraternity will go out the window

    RSS – comments

  • Contact

  • Blog Archive

  • From the LRB Archive

    Edward Said: The Iraq War
    17 April 2003

    ‘This is the most reckless war in modern times. It is all about imperial arrogance unschooled in worldliness, unfettered either by competence or experience, undeterred by history or human complexity, unrepentant in its violence and the cruelty of its technology.’

    David Runciman:
    The Politics of Good Intentions
    8 May 2003

    ‘One of the things that unites all critics of Blair’s war in Iraq, whether from the Left or the Right, is that they are sick of the sound of Blair trumpeting the purity of his purpose, when what matters is the consequences of his actions.’

    Simon Wren-Lewis: The Austerity Con
    19 February 2015

    ‘How did a policy that makes so little sense to economists come to be seen by so many people as inevitable?’

    Hugh Roberts: The Hijackers
    16 July 2015

    ‘American intelligence saw Islamic State coming and was not only relaxed about the prospect but, it appears, positively interested in it.’

Advertisement Advertisement