Obesity is rife, and faith is dead. Hook-toothed, near-feral members of an underclass two generations removed from the travails of work or true responsibility shuffle with waxen skin through the towns.
The wealthier English spend their money on trinkets and bad food.
The rivers are choked with plastic, tattered shreds of carrier bags dangling from the branches of the shore-dwelling trees like shrouds. The towns die in ignominy, slowly the shops close. Only the vapid chain-stores remain. We all look the same. These are my people, and I am no better; and no wiser. While the sun shines we drink and enjoy life, and put off until tomorrow what can be put off. We are a long way from Wigan Pier, but we have little better concern for the plight of the workless poor today than the champagne socialists who Orwell so hated had for the blighted miners back in 1937. Truly, the modern day equivalents who occupy the Labour Party today do not stand for the poor- they merely hate the rich.
Society is evidently, obviously self-segregated, not just by class and wealth but also by race. The meme of multiculturalism is in reality utterly devoid of cultural exchange on demographic levels- the edges blur together, there are no clear lines delineating the boundaries. The very concept of England is now divided against itself.
Do they not see how We come to [their] land and shrink its borders? God decides- no one can reverse His decision- and He is swift in reckoning. ~ Quran 13:41
I spoke to an Englishwoman on the street and she said;
"We're not integrating- it didn't happen like we were told it would. It feels like we [the English] are second-class now."
Class divisions are a permanent aspect of Englishness, despite the efforts of socialists to produce the classless society. Instead of eliminating the financial and social barriers to upward mobility through social justice and welfare, we have developed a voluntary apartheid and a White British underclass that has the worst prospects of the young compared to any other demographic. The Whites walk with the Whites, Black men have Black friends, the hijabis push strollers and prams in packs, trailed by two more children apiece. The different groups look at each other with suspicion, as animals at the waterhole do.
I visited desolate churches. Leeds Holy Trinity, now cloaked in a steel and glass multi-tier shopping center that elevates the food court as high as the steeple, held a service for 8 people in a holy place built for fifty times that number. The reading was Acts, the story of Saul of Tarsus struck blind by the light of the resurrected Lord on the road to Damascus.
Leeds Holy Trinity
In Wakefield Cathedral we paid respects to the generations of Yorkshire soldiers who gave their lives for Queen and Country over more than a century of endless war. Campaign banners hang overhead in this place, a site of continuous worship for at least a thousand years. There are carved stones here that are so old, none know who made them. At some point in our history, men of this region patiently chiseled the likeness of a cross into rock and decorated it as an act of faith.
Like Trinity, there feels a sense in the air of slow decline. The Gospel is read to a congregation of a dozen or so, and the choir is empty. The faith that has held for so long has faltered. It is a beautiful place, this cathedral; not the most magnificent but functional, good, and human. It is a place that tells the story of her people and her faith and preserves it- for now.
On the steps outside the Cathedral, we sit in the sun and watch the world go by. My betrothed notices some crumbs of cannabis on the steps by our feet. Some intoxicated men with facial tattoos elicit her help to attach friendship bracelets to their arms. One man comments how important it is to him to collect as many as he can, and bemoans that they fall off so easily.
On these steps, I see Saint George.
Dressed in full mail with a giant shield emblazoned with the red cross on a white field that is both the livery of the Saint and the flag of England, sword at his hip and lance in hand, an old man stands proudly in front of the cathedral. For those who are unaware of his story, St. George is the patron saint of England, but was probably Georgian; or even possibly Roman. There are many tales of why and how he became a saint, which seems to have subsumed stories of other notable figures into one narrative which is the common way of human beings and our great stories. The most famous of these tales involves a dragon, a common adversary to many sainted figures and pagan heroes like Perseus and Hercules. The dragon in this context is likely to be the Devil or some earthly tyrant; the name George is from the Greek γεωργός, farmer or husbandman. In such a way this story is of the patient grower of faith, and in hymnography is known as "The Cultivator of Christ."
In any event the simple story of triumph over evil is ubiquitous. Everyone can understand that the dragon lives within us all- it is that internal struggle that we must constantly contend with; in order to live in the Saintly manner, rather than become the Serpent. This day, the Saint is embodied by a man in his sixties; a grandfather of my people, and a man of clear bravery and conviction in these times.
I spoke with this venerable Englishman, who looked at me warily at first. This is understandable, he has many enemies even among his own people who hate him for what he is. I thanked him for the gift of his example, that he humbled me. He told me;
"There is nothing evil in it, being an Englishman. We should be proud to be English, not ashamed."
I told this avatar of St. George that I had failed this simple test throughout my whole life, and only recently -thanks to the example of the Polish- learned that my people had been lied to, and conditioned to hate ourselves. I promised that I was trying to make amends and that his simple act of Becoming- literally taking up the shield- moved me in profound ways. We shook hands more than once. I hope to see him again one day.
Three days later, on this Day of St. George, I am humbled by this grandfather who for his belief in his people alone takes up the mantle of the saint, many kilos of arms and armor, and stands in the blazing, unseasonal sunshine to point the way with his lance and plant his great shield by the church. I find this to be an incredibly profound symbolic gesture. Transcendent, even- through his sheer will he shrugs off scorn and mockery; such things are far beneath Old George. This act is too pure and brilliant for a writer as mean as I to fully express or conjure. This humbling came because I am not brave enough, not free enough to do as George has done. He sets an example, as the Avatar of England. It is this symbol made manifest that thousands of men will cheer on this summer as the English football team plays in the World Cup- but is it not the case that that is also a metaphor? Why then can we English not rally to our flag without accusations of racism? As Dr. Jordan Peterson writes;
To the degree we are patriotic... our country is not just important to us. It is us. We might even sacrifice our entire smaller individual selves, in battle, to maintain the integrity of our country. For much of history, such willingness to die has been regarded as something admirable and courageous, as a part of human duty. Paradoxically, that is a direct consequence not of our aggression but of our extreme sociability and willingness to cooperate. If we can become not only ourselves, but our families, teams and countries, cooperation comes easily to us, relying on the same innate mechanisms that drive us (and other creatures) to protect our very bodies. ~ 12 Rules For Life
On this Saint George's Day, I remember the Saint that slew the dragon and recognize that this dragon is the metaphor of sinfulness; lies, self-deception, and cowardice. The St. George of Wakefield embodied the dragonslayer in his knightly form; he conquers his sins without becoming a tyrant. Instead, he raises his shield on the cathedral steps to defend the true church, and the objective truth; that to deliberately cause suffering is evil, and the defense against such ills must, therefore, be good. As Enoch Powell said;
The supreme function of statesmanship is to provide against preventable evils. In seeking to do so, it encounters obstacles which are deeply rooted in human nature.
One is that by the very order of things such evils are not demonstrable until they have occurred: at each stage in their onset there is room for doubt and for dispute whether they be real or imaginary. By the same token, they attract little attention in comparison with current troubles, which are both indisputable and pressing: whence the besetting temptation of all politics to concern itself with the immediate present at the expense of the future.
This understanding- that the past, which is our collective culture and history, must be protected -and yet also renewed by the vigor of youth- is an ancient story. the virus of post-modernist thought that claims all history is racist and evil is the path to cultural suicide and the literal, willing genocide of European races. This is the deliberate causation of suffering in my people- it is a dragon, it is evil incarnate.
Our inner dragons and inner St. George's act out this metaphorical battle on a daily basis, and though it might seem trite to write down, I do so in the spirit of George of Wakefield- if you laugh, that is your choice. It doesn't change that these words are true, and I am unashamed. Some cliches are simple truths that have become too familiar for your comfort. Our personal dragons must be slain, to make our inner realms safe from the tyranny of vengeful, hungry lizards. What does it mean to you to defend yourself against yourself? Maybe sometimes the dragon has a point, and there are parts of yourself that need to be devoured in flame. What does it mean to follow the path of St. George in the real world also, to defend your people- even against themselves? Is it even possible?
It is a gigantic task that we will all fail at repeatedly, as to emulate a saint is near impossible; though, of course, that means we should certainly attempt. Raise a glass with me to begin; to George of Wakefield who with a shield and a handshake has set us a simple example. Pride in being English comes with responsibility, to slay your dragon- and to defend against evil, within and without.