Not inspired to rant about politics (too) much today after a trip there and back again from one end of England to another to sojourn in the land of my fathers amongst various Welsh-descended life forms and one northern Celt and then to sally forth to spend a not-too-bad time-considering-she’s-a-teenager with Tiny Northwester.
The bluebells are still out around the edges and sunlit outer shades of jewel-green woodlands, and May blossom dots the landscape like so much clotted cream before high summer adds the pink of what will be autumn’s berries.
And is it still
Hard to say.
She lives in what seems like an Enid Blyton paradise where children can innocently cycle down cream-hedges country lanes to visit friends with little fear of cars and none at all of savage strangers in a rural time warp like some Conservative-survivalist commune in some valley far from muggings, hoodies, drugs and the inevitable illiteracy brought about by progressive education. Her school, expensively, teaches subjects that Cecil Rhodes and William Wordsworth would have recognised and valued, if not William of Occam or Thomas Hobbes, and natural rights and how they might limit power and the war of all against all are still distant, sixth form subject choice possibilities in a time when pets and ponies and camping and even church are the realities she lives with daily.
I’m grateful that chance (and easy divorce, alas) have together brought her to a better place materially - and possibly emotionally - than her mother and I could have realistically provided for her together.
What her high, clean, pure hopes and principles will do when they hit the world beyond Merry England’s lowland Brig o’
Which is real: the England of those young thugs running past my Castle City house last night and threatening their womenfolk with violence, or the England of Church fetes and tenderly schooled decency and a crisp new piety and patriotism with which her mother, her stepfather and I are trying to equip her? Arm her? Armour her? Delude her?
Will her inner strength (if any) be added to her always affectionate heart and produce a cherisher and defender of what is good and true, or will she reject it all as the chains and delusions of a privileged and exploitative class?
And how the hell will she survive in the cities policed by the servants of Blair (A), Blair (Sir Ian), and Brown, Cameron and Clegg?
And what’s a father to do about it?
Picture from here.