You know that common-place assertion that one of the remarkable features of Jane Austen's novels is their failure to mention the Napoleonic wars? I read an essay by, I think, Margaret Atwood, which made the compelling point that Austen's failure to mention any political fallout of the tumultuous upset on the continent, other than by featuring a succession of military officers in romantic roles, is one of the keys to understanding her essentially Tory worldview. Well maybe.
I've been meaning to post onto CentreRight for days now, my head is full of stuff: about the Kirk in Scotland; about a book I've just re-read and what its author says about love; about a random act of beauty witnessed in the London Fields park on a sunny Friday afternoon, shortly before a random act of violence at the edge of the same park led to the death of another Hackney child in the early hours of Saturday morning. But any points to be made about any of these matters must, it strikes me, be of almost no general interest at the moment, as is the case for any political topic which isn't directly to do with the revolution sweeping the House of Commons.
If you were ever kind enough to be mildly curious about why I'm so grateful to be allowed to write here, it's because I think it may be important to try to shine a small light onto the politics of the everyday. I confess to no grand theory (other than love) and in fact distrust those who claim to have such a bigger picture, a phrase I detest. But the light from my shaky, amateur torch cannot begin to compete with the black hole of the Westminster carcrash, which is sucking every other story into its maw. Once light enters a black hole, of course, it never again escapes, and I wonder just how many topics, of perhaps national import, are being sucked in too, never to be seen again; topics, perhaps, which are being aired now precisely because their authors feel that they will escape proper public attention.
That the House is to be denied a vote on DNA sample retention, for example, and that the government is offering a sophist's solution to the recent legal ruling on the issue, strikes me as a topic which deserves national anger. It won't get it. There won't even be a debate on the floor of the House on the matter --
-- but it's no use. Even this liberal Tory can't muster enthusiasm to think through the consequences of the latest jackboot-stamp to our face. Do not misunderstand me; I share the national rage at the grand guignol unwinding in front of us. You would need the language of opera to do justice to both the full horror of the ethical bypasses, as well as to the whining post-disclosure self-justifications (I would call the opera Within The Rules). My point is simply that there are other issues which we are currently, nationally, ignoring. These issues are important. But the contradiction is that, because of the Expenses-driven warp to Political Space, they simultaneously are not important.
Nothing else is of importance - nothing else, literally, can be of importance - until this malfunctioning House is shut down and rebooted. Candidate re-selection followed by General Election: now, please.