I am walking back from the local supermarket having purchased the stuffed crust pizzas my daughter prefers when a car reverses out of their drive just in front on me and stops me in my tracks. I know I am angry because I don’t move out of the way so the driver can see down the road and underneath I am fizzing because cars are supposed to give way to pedestrians according to the highway code. It is a righteous anger because it is based on law but rather than burst out it stays in the background of my mind. I have done this manoeuvre myself a few times so I understand the issue and I reflect that the real problem is that the driver didn’t back onto his driveway in the first place. The driver waves his hand at me a few times to acknowledge my part in the vignette and I do a curt nod back showing I have received the appreciation. Having check the road traffic, the driver completes the reverse and then drives off up the hill my eyes following him. I note the make and model of the car; I don’t know why.
A few minutes earlier I came to the conclusion that it sucks being an adult. I remember when Margaret Thatcher got elected the first woman prime minister of the UK and how it seemed that everybody I knew was really happy about it. Looking back now I can’t believe how naïve I was but considering my age I guess it wasn’t too surprising. Thatcher was never a friend of Scotland and continues to immensely unpopular here but people from different places have different views.
This morning I set my alarm for 4.15am to see if the Presidential election in the USA was concluded or not; it wasn’t. I then set my alarm for 5.15am, then 6.30am. By that time I think it seemed clear that Trump was going to win. I don’t think I went back to sleep after that but lay there trying to imagine a world with Trump as President and the seemingly inevitable divisions that will cause. My wife came in after waking up looking for comfort but I couldn’t give her anything, my detachment was in full flow and I said there was nothing we could do.
I have been here before when the Brexit vote came through and however much liberals such as myself might grumble about it, Brexit will happen. It may be defeatist but I would rather accept the democratic process and apply my brain power to making the most of it. My heart wouldn’t be in it though so I probably would be rubbish in negotiations (or would I?) and so I sit on the side lines watching the political farce play out.
My conclusion about American election is that Clinton must have really been hated to have lost. It seems that similar themes were repeated in the States as we had here for Brexit. A population disillusioned with the political mainstream voted for change because the status quo was no longer acceptable; change was required and the bigger, brasher, and headline grabbing the change was the better because it would be a major change.
In the last week I have witnessed the haranguing of three judges by the popular media because their expert interpretation of the law said that the UK government had to consult parliament before taking the advice of the general population to leave the EU. In the climate of today the popular press in the name of representing the people feel okay to harass and demonise judges, or any other experts that do not agree with them. They attack the foundation of the UK’s democracy when they attack the judges that interpret the law, the judges are independent of the government and are free to give unbiased opinions. The popular press used freedom of speech to launch their attacks but do not recognise the judges own rights to freedom of speech. Are we going back to the “common man on the omnibus” basis of law, or should we have a revolution and kick out all rich people and intellectuals?
Where does all this hatred and dissatisfaction come from? I wondered as I walked up the hill to my house. I wonder if the global economic meltdown at the end of the first decade of this century was to blame? Does it take eight years of uncertain struggle for the people of these countries to say “no more”? What worries me is that it is hard to see any good coming out of this focus on our own borders and our own needs. I want people to come together to find solutions not to come together to fight their own corner and requirements. I want doesn’t get, so the saying goes.
When I look at my own situation I do also wonder though whether a bit of self-introspection might be a good thing. In a sense I have closed down my own borders to protect myself and sort myself out but I recognise that I need to interact with others in order to gain experience to work with. My hope in going through this process is to be better than ever (happy in myself and more integrated perhaps) which will enable me to contribute more to life.
Is this period of history we are living through a mirror of what I am going through on a personal level, a focussing on self to sort out the issues to become a country that contributes more positively to the world? One can only hope.