At the Going Down of the Sun and in the Morning….

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

Laurence Binyon

On 1 July 2016 we will mark 100 years since the start of the Battle of the Somme. More than 1 million were killed or injured. And I pause to wonder, as those boys and men waited for that first order to advance how many of them asked if the Western European Empires couldn’t find a better way to resolve trade issues and expansionism and restrain rampant nationalism. And I wonder what they would say now, about our decision to turn our backs on higher ideals and greater purpose in favour of the Ancien Regime and petty feudalism of 2 centuries ago ?

Britain has voted to leave the EU. But then annually Britain votes for dancing chefs, dog-acts, karaoke singers and C-listers in a jungle. We are ill-equipped for a debate of moral principle and economic reality. We live in a time when it is acceptable to appear on national television and proclaim one’s ignorance as if it were a badge of credibility rather than a cause of shame. And so, we voted to leave. Leave what and how or when is for other people to worry about. And that is how we got this dog-act on the news day in day out.

We are ill-equipped as a nation to consider the extrinsic nature of ‘value’. Value is not intrinsic, there is no Platonic ideal. Take England’s capitulation in the Euro 16 tournament. (Let’s not reflect on the fact that everyone knows the criticisms of the EU apply to FIFA and EUFA but we weren’t about to leave them) and instead consider Harry Kane and Kolbeinn Sigþórsson. Kolbein scored, Harry didn’t. Harry is worth more than ten times Kolbeinn. Not because he is ten times better but because far more subscription TV viewers watch Harry’s league. The ‘value’ is extrinsic, from other sources. So when people shout and scream, “how much is he paid?” they represent the fallacy that how much one earns or is worth relates to one’s ability. Something James Dyson would do well to reflect on. I would like to think that since he declared a preference to leave the EU he will return his manufacturing to the UK to shoulder some social and moral responsibility. But I suspect I am destined to be disappointed.

We have voted to leave. And it breaks my heart. So from the bottom of my heart and with compassion, if you voted to leave then on 1 July and on Remembrance Day, turn your face to the wall so that the dead of World Wars can’t see your face. It is the only honourable and compassionate thing left for you.

I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ think it possible you may be mistaken

Oliver Cromwell