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It’s not one pole of polarization that’s the problem

[ by Charles Cameron — polarization itself has a dehumanizing effect, eg Brexit — follow the music! ]

I can sympathize with Matt Griff‘s frustration at the Brexit vote —

— however, a polarization of youth against the elderly is hardly an improvement. There’s something intangible the Leavers are loving, and perhaps Blake‘s Jerusalem, sung at the wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William, captures that love without the hateful rhetoric that has accompanied Farrage‘s side of the exit campaign:


Speaking of which, I’m no great admirer of Bill Maher, who is too snide to be considered much of a wit in my book — but this little jewel of an aphorism may be the best haiku-like summation of Remainer’s regret I’ve seen.

Civilization requires civility — and polarization seems to encourage incivility on both sides of many, many issues. Sorry, folks.


My friend Michael Robinson posted this elegaic comment the other day:

Flabbergasted | “The fearmongering and outright lies of Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Nigel Farage, The Sun and the Daily Mail have won. The UK, Europe, the west and the world are damaged. The UK is diminished and seems likely soon to be divided. Europe has lost its second-biggest and most outward-looking power. The hinge between the EU and the English-speaking powers has been snapped. This is probably the most disastrous single event in British history since the second world war. …

The UK’s decision to join the EU was taken for sound reasons. Its decision to leave was not. It is a choice to turn its back on the great effort to heal Europe’s historical divisions. This is, for me, among the saddest of hours. ” (Martin Wolf FT)

Follow the music.

2 Responses to “It’s not one pole of polarization that’s the problem”

  1. Ornamental Peasant Says:

    My quotation of ‘Nimrod’ had, I thought, additional resonance — it is traditionally played at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday in November (the English equivalent of Memorial Day) — and July 1st was the 100th anniversary of the first day of the Somme Campaign, July-November 1916.
    As I wrote: “The Battle of the Somme, fought along a 15-mile front near the river Somme in northern France, took place between July and November 1916. It was planned as the major Allied effort on the western front for that year, On this day in 1916, after an intense, week-long artillery bombardment of German positions, the infantry began their advance. Men from every part of Britain and across the empire took part.
    By the end of the day, 57,000 Commonwealth and 2,000 French soldiers had become casualties – more than 19,000 of whom had been killed. The first months of the Somme campaign were fought by Kitchener’s New Armies, recruited and trained in 1915. In the last bitter, bloody months these volunteers were joined by conscripts who had been given no choice. By the time the offensive was halted in November, more than 1 million soldiers from both sides had been wounded, captured, or killed.
    The peace in Europe, which was appallingly hard won in the years through to 1945, is our shared inheritance. The UK was part of Europe then; the UK is still part of Europe now. Its peace and ours are one and the same.”

  2. Charles Cameron Says:

    Indeed, and my thanks.

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