Thursday, 11 January 2018

nihil profici patientia nisi ut graviora tamquam ex facili tolerantibus imperentur

"All we get by patience is that heavier demands are exacted from us, as from men who will readily submit."

Not new thinking exactly, it's from ancient days when Britons dwelt upon the miseries of subjugation.

Back around AD60-ish, Tacitus wrote of Britain in ways similar to Douglas Adams in the Hitchikers Guide describing Earth. Not 'mostly harmless', but instead that 'Their sky is obscured by continual rain and cloud. Severity of cold is unknown.'

As well as climate commentary, Tacitus noted that the Brits could be easily divided.

"They were once ruled by kings, but are now divided under chieftains into factions and parties. Our greatest (Roman) advantage in coping with tribes ... is that they do not act in concert. Seldom is it that two or three states meet together to ward off a common danger. Thus, while they fight singly, all are conquered."

And so was the means by which Boudicea was defeated, similar to that new TV show set in a slightly earlier time, with different tribes, similar divisions and a different female leader.

Considering this was around 2,000 years ago, there's still some similarities.

The Brits may be protesting their place in the European Union and ostensibly planning exit. We still don't seem to have a united plan. Even one of the chief agitators, that awful ashtray and claret man, is suggesting a second referendum, secure in his 49% leave: 37% stay: 13% don't know knowledge that the Brexiteers would still prevail. And our leader is inconsequentially shuffling her tribal leaders and avoiding any brexecutions.

Meanwhile we get complicated ceremonies and charts, but still lack real content to make it interesting.

No wonder the EU27 don't offer anything constructive. As an example, a three tier system of membership (Gold, Silver, Bronze) could probably have solved many of the EU questions a long time ago. Gold for the hardcore members (France, Germany and so on), Silver for a less convinced ring (some of the Balkan states etc). Then fold partial members into a Bronze membership (Switzerland, Norway, Great Britain). Everyone pays something to be in the club, but - guess what- the Gold members get more from it than the Bronze.

Each to his own, albeit with less individual power. So that can't be, can it? Not a chance.

As Tacitus observed, "Lust of absolute power is more burning than all the passions"

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