By now everybody knows about the results of the recent elections in the UK. The fact that Labour has suffered a defeat is good news for most of us who care about England. And I hope that there can be no more obstructions put in the path of Britain’s exiting the EU. After so many previous efforts to thwart Brexit, I can’t help wondering if someone will make an effort to delay it further; I wonder if the EU can legally pull something out of the hat at this point?
James Thompson at Unz.com gives a good analysis of the election results. Among other things, he brings out the fact, of which many in America are unaware, that the United Kingdom is made up of several separate ‘nations’: the three on the island of Great Britain, England, Scotland, and Wales, and then Ulster, in northern Ireland. England tends to be the most conservative part, with Scotland siding with the Brexit globalists, and making noises about independence, while voting against it in the last referendum on the subject. Wales, as Thompson notes, is leaning towards the English stance. I often hear people in America complaining of the “leftist” English, but they seem not to know that it is the other components of the UK that skew the politics of the country in a leftward direction. I can’t say I agree with the writer of the piece, or with the finer points of Chesterton’s supposed viewpoint on politics, because I am not a Catholic, but somehow Chesterton’s poem seems to fit the current situation in England.
“They have given us into the hand of new unhappy lords,
Lords without anger or honour, who dare not carry their swords.
They fight by shuffling papers; they have bright dead alien eyes;
They look at our labour and laughter as a tired man looks at flies.
And the load of their loveless pity is worse than the ancient wrongs,
Their doors are shut in the evening; and they know no songs.
We hear men speaking for us of new laws strong and sweet,
Yet is there no man speaketh as we speak in the street.
It may be we shall rise the last as Frenchmen rose the first,
Our wrath come after Russia’s wrath and our wrath be the worst.
It may be we are meant to mark with our riot and our rest
God’s scorn for all men governing. It may be beer is best.
But we are the people of England; and we have not spoken yet.
Smile at us, pay us, pass us. But do not quite forget.”