Sunday, 13 November 2016

Remembrance Sunday 2016

Today I watched the Cenotaph service (who would want my germs?). As the years pass, I feel more and not less compelled by it all. Thanks to daughter I am watching Netflix's The Crown. Claire Foy and Matt Smith carry their character's off so convincingly. To see on the real screen today so many stories. I am glad Corbyn seems to have GOT IT. Dressed in a black suit and with his lips moving to the National Anthem. Service is about putting self aside, the essence of Christ's preaching and of remembrance. What a world gathering. Being British is not about being "white", that is not what the British Empire and its Commonwealth taught. And to those who would disagree whether of the left or the right, the Cenotaph service denies you. Men and women of all creeds and colours from around the world united in Whitehall. A person watcher's dream. The Queen as inscrutable and professional as ever. Some of the other Royals revealing a mite more? Did Charles look baffled? Did the Duke see the past generations of naval men he had known including Mountbatten? Sadiq Khan and Boris Johnson a couple of bodies apart. Prime Minister's past and present, party leaders, but no Nigel Farage to represent God knows how many million, because he is meeting Trump. Now is'nt that weird? That the interim leader of most of our MEPs and with the allegiance of many millions of our nation was not there. And this moves my thinking. What an extra-ordinary year! The Tories lose London, the Brits vote for Brexit and Trump is US President Elect. Would you have bet on all three a year ago? This is a time of momentous change and none of us can really feel safe about where it is going. But for my money one of the most pressing questions posed by today is what is the meaning of Farage meeting Trump and omitting the Cenotaph? In what sense are you a serious person to do this? Is that about stealing nations? Or is it just the accidental froth of the pace of the moment? (It would seem that this year, as last, Farage was not invited. Own goal I think.)

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