It is not a word that springs readily to mind in the Britain of today. The newspaper headlines carry the government’s imprecation: ‘Buy fuel normally!’, and guess what? My local filling station has no fuel at all, and it is not one of the ones that was supposed to be in danger. We are reeling from the quadrupling of wholesale gas prices, and dreading what will happen in the winter—global warming notwithstanding. There is the on-going fallout from the Pandemic, and the thoughtless behaviour of many people regarding mask-wearing—around half of the people on the London Underground today were neither wearing masks nor practicing social distancing, despite constant announcements requesting them to do so.
And presiding over all of this is a cretinous, fornicating, charlatan, who seems to think that the whole thing is a jolly public-school jape, and who, among other things, finds it highly amusing to bait the leader of our closest neighbour. I wonder if he is aware that we purchased 10% of our electricity from France last month? A figure likely to increase since we are dependent on natural gas for close to 50% of our electricity production...
The point of all of this, in case anyone was wondering, is that I am in the member’s room of the British Library, an oasis of civilization in a crazy world. Am I hiding from reality? I don’t think so. It is possible to think here. And although I pay a small annual fee for use of the members’ room, the library itself is still completely free. Long may it be so.
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Welcome to the Mirli Books blog written by Peter Maggs