It always amazes me when people of a more left-wing persuasion sneer at historic traditions, such as those seen this week during the state visit of President Trump. I’ve heard several disparaging conversations around London this week in which the word ‘pomp’ has been spat out, almost in disgust.
This, to me, is a very cold-hearted attitude to take to the wealth of history that exists around us and we take for granted each day. It’s not only built into the fabric of the cities and towns we live in, it’s in our culture and our language. It is very much the core of the extended order, and it influences us on a daily basis. Yet so many are blind to this, more concerned with how they appear to other people, too keen to dismiss the rich history around us as somehow embarrassing.
Barely seven years ago, when London hosted the Olympics, there was a great outswelling of national pride, buoyed, I think in great part by Danny Boyles’ incredible opening ceremony, which brilliantly demonstrated the great diversity of our nation’s history. For a short while, people believed in the country, not just the conservative types.
Alas, the show moved on and we returned to our myopic ways, our hearts shrinking back to being two sizes too small. It’s a shame, but such is the cynical (and hypocritical) heart, I believe, of the left (despite the constant proclamations that they are the only ones who care).
So, when you’re next out and about, rather than staring at the phone in your hand (and getting in my way), look up and around you and think of the people and the history that surrounds us, those millions of interactions and relationships and decisions and ideas that occurred through history so you could be there, at that moment, marvelling at the view. Perhaps, then, our hearts will start to grow again.