Friday, 20 May 2016
Wherever This Is
Over recent decades, white working-class people have been done over by governments of every stripe (see Michael Collins' The Likes of Us for a brilliant account of this). They've been done over by de-industrialisation and globalisation, done over by mass immigration, and done over by membership of the EU (which, for them, means mass immigration and low wages). Over the first two of these they have had no say, but, by a bizarre twist of fate, they will have a say in our continuing membership of the EU - and I suspect they're going to speak loud and clear and quite possibly swing it for Brexit. We'll see...
Meanwhile, back to the ghastly Ms Glass. What she also said, having denounced the 'horrible racist', was 'I'm never coming back to wherever this is.' Wherever this is. Some hideous place where white working-class racists live, get me out of here... 'This', in fact, was the southeast Derbyshire village of Sawley - not exactly a picture-postcard village, but, like so many in Derbyshire, it has a fine church. All Saints has a grand five-light East window, a chantry chapel, several 15th and 16th-century monuments, and some fascinating fragments of a demolished monument, including an angel swinging a censer.
Wherever this is, it is continuous with a deep past, a history of life and death and faith. It is platonic England, a country unknown to the likes of Ms Glass.