|Photos by Fiona.|
How does he do it? What is this 'charm' or 'charisma' that somehow manages to overcome the many failings that would have sunk most careers by now? I think it is simply that he knows how to spin a good yarn, presenting a narrative of hope to people who badly need one in a situation that offers very little in the line of sober and rational grounds for it. They will forgive him anything, if only he can make their idols stand another while.
That the same idols have feet of clay is beside the point; thus Johnson gets away with reasserting that his famous 'great country' can have its cake and eat it, claiming to be able to unite it while painlessly leading the way out of the E.U. before the end of October. He and Farage told them how to do it over three years ago, but unfortunately they weren't listened to, and the crowd of incompetants who failed to heed their brilliant foreign secretary made a mess of it.
Actually it was all Ireland's fault. That backstop will have to go. Wait till you see if a Johnson/Trump team can't sort it out - a small problem, “easily capable of solution”.., “The obvious way to do it is to make sure that you have checks on everybody who breaks the law, but you do it away from the border.” as Johnson put it at his campaign launch. There's nothing that belief in oneself and one's country can't achieve! No doubt with such a great man in Washington, it will also be easy to sort out Iran and Venezuela while they are at it.
How do you have 'checks on everybody who breaks the law' without having checks on everybody? Will those who break the law go around advertising the fact, saying 'here I am, check me?' It's a good job 'the full details can be left to work out later'! Not to worry, says the Duckie as I mentioned last week, "There are a lot of good minds thinking about how to do it and it's going to be just fine." Like the good minds in Israel I suppose, who became very adept at monitoring mobile phones, even if they are switched off!
Naturally, the cost of all this did not go up on the side of any bus! But far from being just fine, it sounds like a dystopian nightmare for anyone next or near the border, far worse than having the odd ignorant customs officer or soldier to contend with, as in the old days. I get a similar feeling to that when, for instance, I was hauling away at my nets in a small fishing boat when a great big ship appeared, bearing down on us. What hope for little Ireland, with a Trump/Johnson monster heading our way? And what of Johnson's "friends and partners" in Europe - are they capable of really standing up for little Ireland?
Johnson's nauseating hypocrisy, after all the lies and venom about Europe that he has poured into British ears down the years, cannot hide the fact that some kind of confrontation between Europe and the Trump camp looks very likely, probably in the form of a trade war. Whatever about the faults of those who govern Iran and Venezuela, it is American trade sanctions that are destroying their economies. Is Europe in a position to resist similar pressure? In the process, we will need to genuinely make the transition to a carbon-free economy - but then, perhaps this is the only way in which this may be made to happen!
To go back to the lessons of sea-faring, besides the merits of staying out of the way of big ships, it also teaches that it is much easier to avoid dangerous situations by anticipating them than to get out of them once they have come about. Let us use this threatened crisis to finally build a strong and united Europe, a space where a sustainable way of life, orientated to a genuine and inclusive well-being rather making money for the few and leaving the masses in misery!
There will be a great deal of pressure from certain quarters to stop this from happening, and the cost in Ireland could be very high. To make the necessary effort, we must for a start erect our own effective narrative, firmly based along the above lines, finally ditching nationalism and that tissue of lies which is commonly used to mask the doctrine of the survival of the fittest and richest, and also the facile divide between 'conservative' and 'progressive'. How can we possibly build a worthwhile future without learning from and cherishing the lessons of the past? I don't doubt that there are plenty of people all over the world desiring such a project - most likely indeed a majority even in Britain and America - but how come that their voices tend to be both subdued and confused?
It does have to be admitted that I would much rather spend a while gazing at the drama of a summer evening over Horseshoe Bay than bothering my head about such things; still, there should be sufficient time and space for both if only we didn't waste so much of them!
|A cloud appears...|
|and swells to greet the moon.|