Sunday, June 26, 2016

Why does Winston Churchill have bandaged hands?

The Churchill statue is in Toronto, not London. The old boy seems to be having trouble with his hands. Perhaps he struck his metaphorical fists too hard when Britain left the European Union. If he were living, could he have rallied his countrymen against the sorry Brexit affair?

As the voting pattern shows, Scotland and Northern Ireland disagreed as usual with the south. But above all, baby boomers sold out the young cosmopolitans who will struggle with the fallout for years to come. A.A. Gill describes Brexit as "snorting a line of the most pernicious and debilitating little English drug, nostalgia." Ethnic nationalism is indeed an illusion, and that perilous pill is more than ever a nonsense in a cosmopolitan world where we must all rub along together, or else. The lesson of our era is to learn that we are all one.

As a Canadian anglais, I grieve for the Remain camp. I cast my mind back to the Quebec separatist referendum of 1995 in profound gratitude that Canada didn't break up then. The vote was just as close, but on the right side of 50%.

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