May 8th, 2020

Man Proposes, God Disposes

Mrs May's government (which seems a long time ago) decided it wanted us to have a Bank holiday today to celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day (which seems more recent- or perhaps I should say, more vivid- than Mrs May's government) but CV19 has intervened- and the windows that would have been full of Union Jacks are already full of rainbows painted by children- and everyone is on "holiday" anyway- apart from those whose work really matters- like the nurses and the carers- and traditional ways of celebrating bank holidays- like congregating in heaps at the seaside- will be looked at unkindly by the police. The present is overwhelming the past- and what's happening now is quite as significant and paradigm changing as what happened 75 years ago. The media would like to push us back into the past- because the past is easier to report (yesterday's Telegraph contained instructions- with diagrams- for doing the Lindy Hop) and there will be things on TV- like the Queen making a broadcast- which she suddenly seems to be doing every other week- and there will be street parties- of a kind- with neighbours waving flags at one another over the fence- or at least that's what the TV says- but I do wonder...

I've been remembering WWII all my life and I'm tired of it. I've lived through nearly 70 years of war movies and politicians invoking the Dunkirk Spirit and journalists making much of that old chancer Winston Churchill- and I can't see it ever did us much good. Younger people, like Mrs May, can carry on with it a bit longer- if they like- but I'm not going to be replacing my rainbow with a Union Jack. I like the rainbow better.

WWII was a great ordeal- which the world went through together. The rainbow is a better symbol for the ending of a war than anybody's national flag.