There is no light relief forthcoming, it would seem; almost requiring of a photograph of my hair, multi-coloured and growing into a style replicating one in which my mother delighted when I was a child – long, un-styled and just perfect for bunches or plaits! No, perhaps not quite that desperate …
Once more, where to start? A weekend of news footage horrific to watch. Black Lives Matter protests characterised by mass crowds – and violence. Saturday alerted me to the sight of a police horse in London, rider-less and panic-stricken, bolting through the siege. Not surprising when one bears witness to human depravity such that innocent animals are targeted by harmful missiles including a bike! Reports claim that the protests were mainly peaceful with only a few responsible for violence but the anger was clear to see whether bubbling under the surface or given outlet. Mass mentality. The need to be part of, regardless. The need to belong, mindlessly, in the absence of self-worth.
Why throw bottles, a bike, at innocent animals with the intent to injure? Yes, they may be police horses but these policemen/women are not representative of the one/ones responsible for the death of George Floyd, neither are these animals deserving targets of such anger. No matter. These protests – mass gatherings – afford an opportunity for release; the release of resentment, frustration, self-loathing personified … as required!
To see the memorial statue of Edward Colston, a slave trader, being torn down by angry mobs in Bristol and thrown into the harbour is nothing short of barbaric, its violent treatment feral. Given the chance to question the actions of those involved, how many would offer reason embedded in history? How many could, in an attempt to justify their actions, rely on knowledge? Sadder, still, how many would even try?
Depressing – and exhausting. The defacing of Churchill in Parliament Square, accused of racism, is just more of the same. Have those responsible any idea why his statue is worthy of such treatment? The man who led the country to victory in the Second World War, ridding the world of Nazi dictatorship and ensuring our freedom? Apparently, he has, in the past, been blamed for causing the Bengal Famine of 1943, a subject about which – hands up – I know/knew nothing. Perfect. Join the crowd!
Diane Abbott, MP, has been vocal on Twitter, meanwhile. Surprise me! Attacking Lord Mandelson for calling for the arrest of all those responsible in toppling the Edward Colston statue in Bristol – citing mob rule as ‘very disturbing’ and inciting by referring to the ‘law of the jungle’ – she says he ‘should recognise that the real barbarism was the slave trade itself.’ Nobody is denying that the slave trade was morally indefensible but the past is written in stone. It cannot be changed and nothing good can come of such deep-seated resentment today. Once again, I am reminded of Steve Biko’s intelligent – and peaceful – belief in the importance of mindset and self-worth.
I, too, am reminded of Hitler’s persecution of the Jews; the atrocities suffered, collectively, by those he considered weak, dangerous and inferior belonging to a race which had no place in his vision of Germany. No heed to the individual but condemned by race, alone. Racism. Anti-Semitism has not been abolished in the modern world yet I have an enduring image of the dignity manifest in those who, peacefully, paid tribute to the victims – their fellow Jews – on the 27th January this year, the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz.
Still, no light relief forthcoming? Well, perhaps there are glimmers to be had but not necessarily in the right places! Take the new quarantine rules issued by the Government, forthcoming on the lunchtime news today: £100 fine for failure to provide an address and £1000 fine for failure to self-isolate. How ridiculous! Failure to provide an address ensures there is no scope for policing one’s 14-day self-isolation! Made me smile – and wince, at the same time – at the ineptitude of those, supposedly, in control. Anyone seen a yellow brick road anywhere? Perhaps they could borrow Dominic Cummings’ Sat Nav and head for the Land of Oz in search of a brain … even one between them?
Madeleine McCann continues to be in the news following the weekend coverage and the biased sympathy for her parents is, apparently, unswerving. Why no balanced opinion? Is it that nobody dare voice an opinion to the contrary or is it that most, but for the grace of God, see themselves in the McCanns?
‘We may even have left our children in their rooms – with a listening service – while we ate dinner nearby.’ (Miranda Levy, The Persecution of Kate McCann …’, The Telegraph, 4 June, 2020).
In her support of Kate, Miranda Levy is prepared to admit her own guilt – well, almost! While she may have left her children, it must have been with ‘a listening service’. Of course! God forbid one would go all out and throw oneself totally in with the McCanns. It does, however, explain the blanket sympathy, as though erasing all memory of neglect. It would seem that, not only am I an increasingly lone voice but my children should be forever grateful that their parents chose to put the safety of their offspring before their own enjoyment. A small price to pay …
Humour is hard to come by in this mess that is life today but our nightly fix of Downton Abbey and Dame Maggie Smith as the Dowager, Countess of Grantham provides some much-needed gems. She has sarcasm down to a tee and I love her for it! Let me end with one of her best …
‘There’s nothing simpler than avoiding people you don’t like. Avoiding one’s friends, that’s the real test!’.
This is Trish, signing off.