“Emma, who lives in Cornwall with her retired grandmother, a famous retired actress, wakes one morning to find that the world has apparently gone mad:
No post, no telephone, no radio, a warship in the bay and American soldiers advancing across the field towards the house.
The time is a few years in the future. England has withdrawn from the Common Market and, on the brink of bankruptcy, has decided that salvation lies in a union – political, military and economic – with the United States.
Theoretically, it is to be an equal partnership; but to some people it soon begins to look like a takeover bid.”
This is on the flyleaf of Rule Britannia, written by Daphne Du Maurier in 1972.
I had never seen this book before – but as you, dear reader, know by now, Oxfam is a Pandora’s box of surprises.
(Yesterday the box opened to reveal an inundation of books – just when Duncan, an Oxfam stalwart if ever there was one, and I thought we had the shop all sorted out – and they were mostly recycling-sack fillers.)
Back to Daphne. As a (deflated) Bremainer, I am sure that we are living in the phoney war period and the real fall out will come over months and then years.
Yesterday, I was culling the Old and Interesting shelves and although we give them a longer chance than say, gardening, there comes a time when all good things must come to an end, and they have to go.
I picked up a book on the history of the Liberal Party in its early days and was about to throw it onto the reject pile, when I thought again – for the very pragmatic reason that I didn’t have enough alternatives to fill up the shelf.
Now, that book has been there for months but blow me down as they say, half an hour after I had moved it from one shelf to the one lower down, a woman bought it.
I asked her if she was a political historian and she said no but her daughter had done a masters in international politics and was now working in London.
Then she reduced her voice to a whisper and said, ‘ She was so angry about the Brexit vote that she joined the Liberal Party. She would have joined Labour but there isn’t really a Labour Party at the moment.’
(Whilst social and mainstream media is full of stories about vile threats and angry denunciations of Remainers and Brexiteers alike, in Petersfield it seems, we reduce our voices to a whisper when talking politics.)
And that young , likely-to-be-on-the-receiving-end-of-the-bad-news-about-Brexit womanis right, there isn’t really a Labour Party at the moment and not likely to be one, or for that matter much in the way of a vigorous opposition party, for the foreseeable future.
So, with Trump dangerously likely to end up in the White House and the fallout of our referendum still to come, I am off to read what Daphne Du Maurier prophesied.