I have posted this poem before, because I wanted something satiric. Eugene Aram was a celebrated murderer. who walks no more, because he was hanged. Orwell assumes the reader has seen a play about his life, from an unfashionable Irish writer, and Duggie was probably the spiv who took his bets on the nags.
Duggie’s occupation was abolished in New Zealand by the development of the TAB: a state run gambling house.
And the socialist happy vicar, cheerfully preaching on Sunday what he (if you know your Orwell novels) what he does not believe, also no longer exists. Such creatures now infest progressive political parties and movements, writing complaints to twitter, the race relations commissioner, and other amenable authorities. Orwell would have seen this, and wonder if he wrote well: for he saw England as a continuity.
Yes, there is something distinctive and recognizable in English civilization. It is a culture as individual as that of Spain. It is somehow bound up with solid breakfasts and gloomy Sundays, smoky towns and winding roads, green fields and red pillar-boxes. It has a flavour of its own. Moreover it is continuous, it stretches into the future and the past, there is something in it that persists, as in a living creature. What can the England of 1940 have in common with the England of 1840? But then, what have you in common with the child of five whose photograph your mother keeps on the mantelpiece? Nothing, except that you happen to be the same person.
And above all, it is your civilization, it is you. However much you hate it or laugh at it, you will never be happy away from it for any length of time. The suet puddings and the red pillar-boxes have entered into your soul. Good or evil, it is yours, you belong to it, and this side the grave you will never get away from the marks that it has given you.
George Orwell: The Lion and the Unicorn
The globalist — conservative and progressive — miss this. They don’t understand the humour, the subversion, the class system, the integration of the book of common prayer, and the cycle of the year from Michealmas to Lent. Orwell did: he may have been anti-imperial, but he was deeply, profoundly observant of the very nation he self identified with, though a Scot.
Our current elite see Orwell not as a warning, but a manual. But Orwell would have preferred to be born not between the wars.
A happy vicar I might have been
Two hundred years ago
To preach upon eternal doom
And watch my walnuts grow;
But born, alas, in an evil time,
I missed that pleasant haven,
For the hair has grown on my upper lip
And the clergy are all clean-shaven.
And later still the times were good,
We were so easy to please,
We rocked our troubled thoughts to sleep
On the bosoms of the trees.
All ignorant we dared to own
The joys we now dissemble;
The greenfinch on the apple bough
Could make my enemies tremble.
But girl’s bellies and apricots,
Roach in a shaded stream,
Horses, ducks in flight at dawn,
All these are a dream.
It is forbidden to dream again;
We maim our joys or hide them:
Horses are made of chromium steel
And little fat men shall ride them.
I am the worm who never turned,
The eunuch without a harem;
Between the priest and the commissar
I walk like Eugene Aram;
And the commissar is telling my fortune
While the radio plays,
But the priest has promised an Austin Seven,
For Duggie always pays.
I dreamt I dwelt in marble halls,
And woke to find it true;
I wasn’t born for an age like this;
Was Smith? Was Jones? Were you?
Eric Blair (George Orwell), 1935
I am not English. I am a colonial, and I know that this time is the one I need to influence. Nostalgia is understandable, but this is the time in which we act. And the spirit of Orwell did infect us, for the English speaking people may have left England, but we still seek the Lion and the true King. Our rulers delude themselves if they think they can ban our dreams.