Yesterday, in case any of you missed it (and judging by the almost blanket non-coverage, with a few honourable exceptions, most of you did), was the first day of the new, post-democratic Britain, they day which gave birth to the new European super state.
I remember, in my research for a university essay I wrote some years ago about the Holocaust, one thing that struck me with great force.
This was the stupefyingly naive fantasy future that, in their desperate desire simply to survive, German and European Jews constructed to comfort themselves in a wholly unprecedented situation. One could easily pen a whole library of lengthy tomes citing personal journals and the pronouncements emanating from Jewish organisations at a distance from the mass slaughter. Reading these heartrending diaries is to enter the grisly world of children stopping their ears to the scritch scratch of the bogeyman’s claws behind the wardrobe door.
As skilled tradespeople and merchants, as bankers, as artisans and farmers, they were, they said, far to valuable to be discarded, their labour too precious to the Nazis, fellow countrymen with whom they had lived at peace for centuries, for them not play a part in the new Reich.
No, they thought, they said, they wrote. Clearly our masters, the Germans, will have need of such valuable people as us. We will be sent to Germany to work on the land. Those of us with the requisite skills will be sent to work in factories or in construction of these vast projects of which we hear so much. They would be insane to do us harm.
No. We are to be resettled in….in, well, we don’t know, but somewhere.
All this while the einsatskomamandos were clearing the ghettoes, and the echo of the mass shootings was heard from the distant forests.
Reading these accounts of false hope, blind faith and misplaced trust took me back to my father’s stories of the Saturday morning films at the local flea pit. “Look out! He’s behind you!” he would cry, as the black-hatted, moustachioed villan crept up on his hero on the screen. “Look out! Look out! he’s coming to get you!”
And now, more decades on than I care to remember, here we are, just like the Jews of my father’s childhood, discussing, arguing, proposing what will happen, what our masters (oh, what a sense of humour has History!) the Germans will do with us.
No cattle trucks await us in the sidings ; no einsatzgrüppe await our delivery to the death pits in the forests of Poland….Volhynia….Russia. Not yet do the enforcers of the new Grosse Reich, patrol our streets.
But the game is over, my friends. We are lost. All our futile discussion (which we will not be permitted for much longer in any case) was, is, in vain.
They are words howled into the wind, and the wind is deaf and indifferent.
Short of some unforeseen catastrophe that will derange the whole course of human history, democracy is dead in Britain and Europe. It is dead for at least what remains of my life, and of the lives of many of us who scribble on the internet, our Democracy Wall, while it remains in existence.
The Spanish Inquisition existed for 351 years, the Soviet Empire for 75 and the Nazi regime (almost unique among the world’s tyrannnies) a mere 12 years. The Chinese dictatorship is still with us; three quarters of a century and still going strong. None of these regimes, save the Chinese, had at their disposal the modern weapons of control of dissent, of the mind and of the soul, that this Franco-German Axis (I will not be complicit in its machinations by referring to it as the European Union) now has at its disposal. None had the benefit of a mass media that can be perverted, that already is perverted, to suit the aims of the regime, that are available to these, our new masters.
We have no-one to blame but ourselves. We meekly stood by and allowed our treasonous political class to sell our millennium-old birthright. We watched, transfixed, as a thousand years of Common Law was flushed down the drain, as our right to do whatever was not expressly proscribed, became our duty to do only what is specifically permitted. We fussed and argued about issues like inflation, interest rates, the poll tax and the right to buy, while ignoring the meta-issue, as slowly the state, which had always been our servant, became the super state, our master.
Perhaps our children, armed with the vision, the courage, the commitment and the sense of morality that we appear so signally to lack, will stir themselves from this torpor and, one day, be free.
For now, I and my generation may want our liberty, but honestly, do we deserve it?