I have been ‘de-friended’ on Facebook by my Sister-in-Law, whilst we were never really close there is a sense of history and restoration which has been broken – a dysfunctional family trying to create bonds and meaning once again shattered. To be truthfully honest I found a lot of her views bordering on the fascist, we shouldn’t be giving Aid to Africa because they should have fewer children, let the children die was the response I got once. The latest and final straw came over Greece, not to bore you with the saga suffice it to say I offered a different story to the one she was telling herself – ‘I was a traitor’ by suggesting that Germany had struggled after the Second World War, and by not sticking by … my country right or wrong.’
I wrote earlier this evening in the stories we tell ourselves that I was tired of the consistent narrative of the United Kingdom, but I have come to realise the danger in challenging the perceived orthodoxy and denying any other stores, we cannot cope with the truth, well the truth that denies our story.
I realise that on Twitter I follow, on my political account, people who tell the same stories as I tell myself, I do not entertain the other voice too much, we seek affirmation that our views are the right ones, and that the ‘other’ is wrong. I challenged someone on my account about the Governments proposed introduction of learning a Foreign Language early in school life, I was shot down in flames, I had agreed with ‘the other’.
Tonight I have agreed with the ‘other’.
I wonder if our lives and beliefs are too fragile to stand if questioned, and that if they are that fragile are they were worth holding.
I know the basics of the national story of the United Kingdom, and I hear my Leaders intone how great we are, how we have a right to voice our opinion (of late Osborne and Cameron have been pontificating on whether Greece should be in the Euro – but our opinion is of little worth, we are not part of that club) but we are Great Britain standing against evil of the Euro, we have the right.
We need to develop the ability to understand our story, how we see the world, and then take on board other people s stories, evaluate and learn to change our story if required. In my “Vivat Regina Elizabetha” I told another story of how the United Kingdom has maintained the fairy tale of Empire, of continuity, and at the end I mentioned that when the Queen Elizabeth has gone we will be left with a gaping hole of reality, I am reminded of the verse from EVITA on the death of Eva Peron:
Show business kept us all alive
Since seventeen October 1945
But the star has gone, the glamour’s worn thin
That’s a pretty bad state for a state to be in
Instead of government we had a stage
Instead of ideas, a prima donna’s rage
Instead of help we were given a crowd
She didn’t say much, but she said it loud
Unfortunately I feel that our story with the EU, with Germany is taking that course – in the United Kingdom we are finding it harder to match the reality of our story with the reality we face. The current Government is full of rancour and pomposity, the demonization of the poor, the double-speak of Government, desperately keeping us believing in their story, standing against that story you face the ridicule and denial of your reality, of the reality of the facts.
I stood against a story tonight with my story, and I was called a traitor.