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Saturday, 16 February 2019

A Deafening Silence in Reading...

One of the joys of retirement is that I can just jump on a train during the middle of the week instead of burdening myself down on my daily work routine, whether it's to satisfy my employer or to ensure that the fees from every client I serve are keeping my bank account topped up. Both forms of employment - working for a boss (12 years) and working for myself (35 years) adds up to 47 years of useful employment and, I hope, a worthwhile contribution to society. 

According to the conversations I had with a number of former clientele, I have found that the 47 years of my working life is generally longer than those who work in the professions, the latter which begins after leaving University at around 22 years of age and retiring at sixty on a private or work pension, making the pro's working lifespan of 38 years. And as for me to retire at 63 instead of the compulsory 65 years of age for State Pension eligibility was mainly due to health. My cardiac procedure has made carrying heavy equipment by hand difficult enough to reduce the five-day working week to three-day for the last three months before retiring in early Autumn of 2015.

And now I'm free to board a train to Reading or even to London midweek, which I find more fulfilling than at weekends, which was the norm before retirement. Watching office workers out on their lunch break, dressed in a suit yet, in this present day, minus a tie, which is something unnoticeable at weekends. And also find myself mingling among schoolchildren of both genders in their uniform and all having to wear a tie. A reminisce of my own school days more than half a century earlier, when I had to wear full uniform and tie under the threat of punishment from our P.E. master.

Suit minus tie - Prince William.

By means of a snap decision, I began to stroll casually west towards an attraction which meant so much to me, spanning right back to the late sixties. It was Reading's Central Pool, and after work during the early seventies, I use to go there for an evening's swim, as well as visiting at weekends, which usually get crowded, mainly with out-of-school adolescents, but some adults also turn up, who were mainly parents of younger children, along with a few pensioners. Therefore, serious swimming can be hard done by during the weekend, hence preferring a weekday visit.

However, I wanted more than just lane swimming, and after making inquiries and speaking to lifeguards on duty, in 1972, I joined Reading Life-Saving club, back then the only club throughout Berkshire which specialises in Water Safety. This involves improvement in existing swimming skills as well as learning new skills, both in and out of the water, and an accumulation of knowledge in human anatomy - in my mind, an area of Science which should have been dealt with at school.

As I dwelt into memory, I recalled passing the qualification exam, both practical and theory, just before Christmas of 1972, and about the same time I was converted to Christ. This meant that in 1973, I was able to land a job at Central Pool in Reading as Pool Attendant, joining a team of four people (men, actually) patrolling the poolside. Although spiritually I was a babe in Christ, and maybe that was why I was a proud cock-of-the-walk at the poolside, as being a qualified lifesaver has always been a requirement for the job, with intermittent tests carried out throughout our time there, along with further in-job coaching or brushing up if necessary.

And so this week as I stood there, outside a two-metre high hoarding encircling the site where the pool building once stood. Painted brilliant white and completely free from ad posters and with hardly any graffiti, I sauntered around the outside of the enclosed area, looking for a way to satisfy my burning curiosity of what lies within such an impenetrable barrier. It was when I passed a lampost that I noticed a small peephole directly behind it, but enough to look into a flat, rubble-strewn ground resembling somewhat to a pebble beach. On one side a pile of rubble rising from the site where the changing cubicles and cloakroom use to be.

Oh, it was so sad. Being just outside of the town centre, the pre-war residences of terraced housing predating the 1960s pool building now overlooks the enclosed rubble. With the demolition contractors having already moved out, the area was quiet, deserted, an air of stillness hanging over the site where it once echoed with children splashing and shouting, the raised voice of the swimming instructor booming across the cavernous chamber, the cheering of spectators during a swimming gala, the amplified calls through the tannoy for all with a certain colour wristband to please leave the pool, the slamming and lock-clicking of cubicle doors, the hustle and bustle of people entering and leaving, an occasional child crying along with some adolescent bickering, the constant sound of splash, splash, splash, both from the main pool and also from the adjoining diving pool, above which the ten-metre high platform held a challenge to the nerves of any would-be diver.

Now all was still, all was quiet, a miniature and inaccessible semi-desert on the edge of town, and here am I, wondering what will be built there. I think it will be a block of apartments. Well, I hope so. Because a shining new office block would never hold a candle to the joviality of a year-round indoor leisure facility.

Central Swimming Pool, Reading. Opened in 1967.

Being a day of reminiscence was enforced by the fact that just the day before I boarded the train to Reading, it was my eldest daughter's 18th birthday, the day she comes of age. And that had quite a repercussion for both my wife and myself. Because she, along with her younger sister, was taken from us against our will for eventual adoption, knowing that she had just come of age without us raising her up. She had just turned four when she was taken, and her younger sister was approaching her first birthday. Yet Alex and I will never forget that fateful night of February 2005 when a knock on the door at three in the morning was answered with two Police officers and a social worker barging into our house and running upstairs, then back down with our two sleepy daughters in their arms and my wife left screaming hysterically upstairs.

The next morning we found the silence unbearable. Therefore we kept our hi-fi constantly playing. I was unable to work that day. It was a Friday anyway when most of the week's work was already done. Unable to tolerate the silence at home, I booked a hotel for an overnight stay for both of us in London. It was that evening, at the Trocadero bowling alley near Picadilly Circus, that I burst into tears in public and allowed myself to cry without restraint. Indeed, just as a heavy silence hangs over the site where once was jovialty and bustling life, so an awful silence hangs over our lounge where just the day before was a hive of family activity.

What was it that caused our beloved daughters to be taken away for adoption, against our will? It took months for us to find out. And a friendly Psychologist revealed that which we were totally unaware of, although I have heard of it before. Two friends of mine, both with very high IQs, have it. Asperger's Syndrome.

I was too embarrassed to look at the world with open eyes. My hatred of our original social worker, Wendy, remained intense for months to come. How my pent-up rage and desire for revenge remained unfulfilled! Her arrogance, her atheism and her sense of personal, social and ethnic superiority were beyond a joke. She was even astonished that I owned a mobile phone and rendered us as far too stupid to understand what it means to be online on an Internet website. Too bad that in those days we did not have the Internet, even though she still expressed surprise that we owned a desktop computer.

Fortunately, she was given a month's notice to clear her desk soon after our daughters were taken, having been refused to renew her contract. But even long after she had gone, both my rage was thunderingly loud and the silence in the house was equally deafening. It took quite an effort to sit down before God and ask for the ability to forgive Wendy for everything she had done to us. This was made more difficult by the fact that she wasn't around anymore, and therefore unable to sit down and talk it all out. But forgiveness for her did come. It was later that I learned that by forgiving Wendy in her absence is doing myself great favour. The day I forgave Wendy was the day I was set free from the anger for my own sake, and not for her sake.

But knowing that I have Asperger's Syndrome has answered some mysteries in my life which had always puzzled me. For example, at school, why wasn't I good at team sports, especially in football and rugby? Why had I never felt a sense of team belonging? And at any social meeting, such as in a restaurant or bar, why am I usually the quiet one?

And in a church environment, I do find "fellowshipping" difficult. And I don't mean coffee and doughnuts. Such refreshment is the easy bit. What I do find difficult is interrelationships, especially in a small group.

And I can relate a good example just over a week ago. At a local church, there is a monthly informal group meeting for all those in the fellowship who have an Apple computer or those who are interested in such a brand of technology. First of all, I don't own an Apple computer, the laptop I own runs on Microsoft (did I get that right?) But even if I did own an Apple, the meeting would still be outside my realm.

But in recent weeks, Google had decided to close the Google+ account, which was connected to this Blogger page. Therefore this group decided to centre this month's meeting to the loss of Google+ as I will also be personally affected by it. So, for a one-off, I decided to attend.

There were nine of us, most were around my age, but I sat next to Dr Andrew Milnthorpe, a good friend of mine and a regular attendee of the group. He was the only one who helped me feel a slither of a welcome. Otherwise, I felt lost there. And I think that it was not that I wasn't welcome. Instead, they did not know how I should feel welcomed. Their knowledge of computers and its software is well above my realm of understanding.

But I am convinced that the bottom line cause of this isolationism is not that I'm too stupid to understand technology. Rather, it's down to having Asperger's syndrome. The inability to communicate.

10-metre high Diving Platform, Central Pool.

Asperger's Syndrome is a result of the Fall and the inherent sinful nature as a result. But it's not earned by wilful sinning. Rather it is a genetic defect which occurred at conception. It is not even inherited by either of my parents. I have a younger brother, a good businessman, and he does not have Asperger's Syndrome. Neither has any of his three daughters. I was the unlucky one.

The loss of our children brought great distress to us, but there are three positive outcomes. First, instead of running away from God, we ran towards him, calling out for help and to be filled with his Holy Spirit. Secondly, we relied on each other's strength to support each other and by making our marriage strong and robust. I'm happy to say, with all honesty, that disagreements between us are extremely rare. We enjoy a strong, loving marriage, especially since my beloved had lost her full mobility caused by the stress brought by the loss of our daughters.

And thirdly and no less important, we chose to forgive. Especially forgiving Wendy and setting us free from the emotional perils that would otherwise eat us up.

In Reading, there was life and bustle at the Central Swimming Pool. Now there is silence. At home, there was once life and bustle among our two daughters. Now also silence, but like in Reading, the bustle of daily living can only be revived by rebuilding on the firm foundations after the removal of all the rubble which occupied our lives.

Saturday, 9 February 2019

Travelling Back into History...

During the 1970s I had several fictional novels centred on Negro slavery of the Caribbean and of the Deep South, covering the last sixty years of that era between approximately AD 1800-1865. Three of these books, all by the same author, belonged to my father, but after finishing with them, he insisted that I should read them myself, a good way to open my eyes to the brutal realities of history.*

Although told through fictional characters, the locations were real enough. For example, according to the novel, Dumaine Street in New Orleans was where Madame Alix DeVaux was supposed to have had her infamous bordello, which became the popular venue where her illegal Negro son, Drum, took on all comers in its popular Saturday evening pastime of negro-fighting. Here, slave owners would pit their fighters against each other amidst swopping of bets, with the victorious owner having thousands of dollars of winnings stuffed into his bag. Consequently, the losing owner was not only left out of pocket but sometimes lost his crippled slave fighter by means of death, either in the arena itself or afterwards through gunshot, or less severely, left alive but permanently scarred by a whip.

Although I wasn't yet a Christian when I read all three of these books, nevertheless, as a teenager, I was already emotionally immune to such brutal narration. This was because, during the early years of my working life, mainly between 1968-1973, there was enough smut and crudeness going around the all-male workplace in where I had to grow out of schoolboy adolescence pretty quickly. Whether such tales actually held up to the reality of history, or whether many of these incidents were exaggerated to make enjoyable reading, I can't be sure. But in 1978, whilst backpacking alone across the USA, New Orleans in the southern State of Louisiana was one of my stops along the way, consisting of a three-night stay at a YMCA a short walk from the French Creole Old City.

Maybe such books did hint in reflecting true history rather than dwell on colourful exaggeration. One afternoon, whilst in the YMCA communal showers, I felt ill at ease as I was gawked at by another male - something far from unusual for me back then, with the realisation that such occasions were also very common during those slave days, as highlighted in those books. However, I saw that prominent locations such as Dumaine Street actually exists. As I walked through this otherwise unassuming Creole throughway, I could have picked out any of the townhouses as once home to DeVaux's bordello and her slave fighter Drum.

Dumaine Street, New Orleans. Visited 1978.

Other locations, such as the Old Absinthe House, a bar frequented by slave owners whose plantations were nearby, was still there in 1978, where I enjoyed a drink in this historic venue. Kyle Onstott's books narrate that the Old Absinthe House at Rue Bourbon was frequented by pirate Jean Lafitte during the city's height of slave prosperity, and where he held his business meetings. And history confirms Jean Lafitte to be a real historical figure, along with his brother Pierre, who, according to the novel, had a blacksmith shop in the town. In the novel, the retired Napoleon soldier Dominique You had a rapport with Alix DeVaux and was one of her regular customers. Dominique You was also a historical figure who had close associations with the Lafitte brothers.

If factfinding from fictional books can be so plausible, and the characters and locations were real people and real places, then other details connected with life in the Deep South which comes to light must also be based on truth. And plantation life was fully detailed. And that is especially when the owners, usually a married couple, have a daughter as their firstborn. If the firstborn had been a son, there would have been no problems. The son would be the natural heir to the plantation, its land, barns, crops and slaves, as well as the house itself. And he would have grown up specifically groomed for this. His future wife was normally a daughter of another plantation owner.

But if the firstborn was a daughter, then she would need to marry, either someone from outside, or she would marry the heir of another plantation owner and move out of her home to settle with her husband at his property. However, there were occasions when the suitor agrees to leave his home to live at his wife's plantation. According to the novels, such suitors usually have an older brother who is the rightful heir, or he could be a poorer man from the streets, who will marry the heiress for his own advantage. 

There has been, however, a small minority of strong-willed women who had chosen to remain the sole heir of her plantation after her father's demise and has developed a good knowledge of management and slave handling. A man from elsewhere may marry her, again for his own gain, but finds himself disillusioned when forced to remain subservient to her. Fiction loves to poke fun at such characters!

Old Absinthe House - I had a drink here in 1978.

However, the majority of women in the Deep South grew up with an instinctive fear of lifelong spinsterhood. They would be willing to marry anyone who came along, regardless whether he's Mr Right or not. As already mentioned, a poorer man who has no property or slaves of his own would offer his hand to marry a desperate spinster in order to inherit her father's plantation with its servants, even if her Dad is still alive and well, with years yet to go.

And it makes me wonder if true love really existed in such an environment and culture. And I think the churches at the time were mainly to blame. Across the Caribbean, along with French and Spanish societies in the Deep South, they were Roman Catholic, which by then, had forgotten about the free grace available to all through faith in Jesus, and instead, the churches emphasised oral confession, penance and good works, praying to Mary, and the keeping of the Sacraments to earn Heaven together with submission to the Pope and regular Mass attendance.

The Protestant church leaders of the day had loved to emphasise "poor sinners invited to sit at the Lord's banqueting table" with hardly any understanding of the Atonement made by Christ on the Cross and his Resurrection. In addition, they also had a hatred for all the "Papists from Babylon the Great" alongside interdenominational disputes among themselves along with their lack of emphasis for a commitment to Christ, according to these novels. And I suppose that had they taught faith in Jesus Christ to Biblical standards, slavery would have crumbled beyond recovery.

Really, I can't help but feel sorry for those women who marry just to escape spinsterhood. They are well aware that the principal motive of the man is not so much love for her as his desire for such an inheritance, instantly transforming him from a back-street commoner to a wealthy plantation owner just by sliding a ring on her finger. With the property under his name, she knows that he can sell as much as he wants and then pocket the proceeds, yet her fear of separation and abandonment will always be at the back of her mind.

However, would that kind of relationship really generate a true love in her for him? Quite a point that is! These novels seem to be far more about dry, loveless marriages of convenience than those bonded by true love.

Plantation House - the type featured in Onstott's novels.

And I think this could be the shortcomings of many evangelical Christians throughout history. At exactly the same time frame as depicted in Kyle Onstott's novels, English novelist Charles Dickens was writing his novels. In one particular book, he describes regular church-going Christians of around the 1830s, and mainly of the Anglican Church, as viscious and nasty, unkind, having a very punitive attitude towards those who don't fit their wealthy model and possessing an unrealistically high moral bar from which they judge others, especially towards the rough-living, the poor and the criminal-minded. **

The very kind of loveless church institution which was the spawning ground for such a Carribean and Deep South slave-owning attitudes and way of life during the same time period.

What a contrast to that of the love Jesus Christ has for his Bride. His love for his Bride, which I understand is the Church, was of great sacrificial cost. It meant that this man who committed no sin whatsoever had to die a criminal's death to redeem and purchase his own Bride.

Fortunately, I live in the day when the Holy Spirit is moving among his people. Believers who take the Bible more seriously and making it more applicable for daily living. However, we still have a long way to go. In one area which needs further progress is the need to repudiate Evolution, whether Darwinian or Theistic, and accept as history the record of a literal six-day Creation, the Fall, and the Flood as recorded in Genesis.

However, I do believe that reading those books on Negro slavery, learning the truth of history, and even visiting the actual places connected with such history, brutal as it was to present standards, has opened my eyes to what evil was all about, what it can entail, and what it's all about at present, and the need to draw upon God's goodness to empower my love for my brothers in Christ, and to enhance my own marriage to Alex with genuine, sacrificial love - the same kind of love Christ has for his Church.

Except, of course, my love and marriage will never be perfect, due to our sinful flesh which embodies each and every one of us. Therefore our need to draw on the Holy Spirit who dwells within us. To read such books and learn to avoid those mistakes and sheer greed made by these slave owners, along with the fear, when it comes to love, marriage, and interpersonal relationships.
*Kyle Onstott, Mandingo, Drum, and Master of Falconhurst. 1957, Pan Books
**Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist, 1837.

Saturday, 2 February 2019

Almanac - A Return to Conscription.

Following what I have written last week, A Whiff of Hypocrisy, I thought for this week to write a tongue-in-cheek almanack on what could happen after March 29, 2019 - the day the UK leaves the EU.

Imagine accidentally dropping a china plate. When it hits the hard floor, often it breaks into half a dozen or so wedges rather than shatter into a thousand fragments as with the case of glass, such as an empty bottle or jam jar. But the area of impact between plate and floor is a small area indeed, yet in an instant, a crack shoots across the plate, diverting dendroid-like until each fragment separates and fly across the floor in different directions.   

Brexit day had that effect on the European Union. From the day the UK left the EU, a massive political earthquake so severe shook the European block that the Union itself was drastically weakened. Two countries suddenly decided to leave, Hungary and Italy. This was followed by Austria, along with the Czech and Slovak Republics. Unlike with Britain, there was no messy political turmoil and confusion stretching to nearly three years since the 2016 Referendum. Instead, when these countries held their polls, and the majority wanted out, these Governments put their people's vote into action straight away, each leaving the EU after just a few weeks after polling day. 

Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, had weakened to the extent that her position was under threat. Therefore, to preserve any remnants of the EU, she formed an alliance with French President Emmanuel Macron. Meanwhile, Spain gets into a huff with Britain over the destiny of Gibraltar, as this tiny territory has left the EU with the UK. Therefore this major Iberian Penninsula nation forms a stronger alliance with France and Germany. However, the Greek economy remains so weak that it decides to ditch the Euro currency for its original Drachma, just as Italy has brought back its Lira, Austria its Schilling, and the original Koruna became the currency for both the Czech and Slovak Republics. With its restored Drachma, Greece also drops out of the EU, although with the blessing of Germany, Spain and France.

Back in post-Brexit Britain, Theresa May, having fulfilled her duty, stands down as Prime Minister, leaving a vacancy which triggers a leadership contest. Candidates such as Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Jacob Rees-Mogg, among others, all threw their names into the hat. But with both Johnson and Rees-Mogg having attended Eton, the contest was eventually whittled down to those two. However, because Rees-Mogg has an ongoing experience of being head of the European Research Group, he was already acquainted with leadership, along with his characteristic formal off-duty dress and stiff upper lip, he was voted in as leader of the Conservative Party, which remains in power, making Rees-Mogg the new Prime Minister. Odd, coming to think of it, but the party seemed to have forgotten that Johnson was once Mayor of London. Or was it because he lost to Sadiq Khan in May 2016, which the Tories consider something of a tragedy?

In turn, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Christian Democratic Union Party fell out of power due to increasing lack of popularity and a strong swing in favour of the Far Right neo-Nazis. Its chairman, Jorg Meuthen, becomes Head of State, and quickly breaks his alliance with France, and leaving what remains of the EU. Bent on National supremacy, not only does he want his country to be populated only by his Aryan race, but also has in mind to reintroduce eugenics into his manifesto, and turns to German universities, looking for post-graduates, particularly in the medical field, to staff his Cabinet.

It is a revival of the set of concepts which blossomed into the WWII Holocaust. To this leader, Darwin's Evolution is a basic truth further developed towards the human social sphere by Darwin's cousin, Francis Galton. The extermination of "weaker" races of mankind, which is the whole purpose of Natural Selection given a boost by human activity, therefore everyone who does not match the ideal Ayran model of humanity will be either killed, sent to lifelong hard labour, or be forcibly sterilised.  

Included in Germany's political manifesto is a bill which makes Christianity a criminal offence, and with it, the closing down of all churches, including Roman Catholic. Any belief in the Gospel of Jesus Christ must include a literal six-day Divine Creation recorded in Genesis, the cornerstone for the rest of the Bible. This Scriptural record would shatter Darwin's evolutionary theories to a thousand pieces, therefore making it totally irredeemable. The German neo-Nazis know this well enough. Therefore, by criminalising the Christian faith, along with the historicity of the Bible, will justify their concept of Darwinism and its nationalistic and eugenic offsprings.

All German churches close down like this one in Cuba.

Meanwhile, in London, Rees-Mogg had to bow to circumstances. Due to massive traffic congestions on the motorway leading to Dover, as well as a dangerously low level of vital medical supplies and the importation of other goods into the UK, the Prime Minister had no other option but to sign a new deal with the much-weakened Brussels for a Customs agreement. Although the EU is only a fragment of what it used to be, such signing of the agreement opened the door for such congestions to clear up and just as important, allow European immigrants into the UK to fill large swaths of medical staff vacancies which posed a very definite danger for every patient.

Rees-Mogg's stoicism, his stiff upper lip, and his plumb upper-class accent, as well as his constant smartness despite hot summer weather, has given everyone around him a sense of confidence, maybe even a sense of smug self-satisfaction. However, it's his stoicism which is hiding a very deep fear, maybe to the point of feeling terrified. And that is the rise of neo-Nazism in Germany, also no longer in the EU.

The new Fatherland's philosophy of Governance by means of national supremacy involving eugenics matches that of Adolf Hitler's in the 1930s, and our PM cannot help feeling that a war with Germany is becoming more and more likely with each passing day. So he consulted with the Ministry of Defence, and after long talks, all agreed that with such a scenario, the only way forward is to bring back compulsory Conscription, that is National Service for all males aged 18 and above, a making of a comeback after it was done away with since the start of 1962.

After the announcement was broadcast in all the Media, emotions ran high. There were some who relished the idea of the military. Oddly enough, it may not be so much for Queen and Country as for a sense of adventure along with plenty of camaraderie and comradeship among those under the umbrella of warfare. Such imagination looks far more exciting than the dreary day-to-day being stuck in traffic for a life of drudgery in the office. 

Then there are those at the other end of the thought spectrum, those who are terrified of the prospect of losing their comfortable existence enjoyed and taken for granted for past decades. Labelled as "snowflakes", they will do anything to acquire the status of a Conscientious Objector. They will also feel envious and rage towards the Baby-Boomer generation, nearly all having retired from full-time work and having never seen the inside of the barracks, therefore automatically exempt from the call-up.

Among those, there is the third group, probably the largest of the three. They are the ones who see the impending war as a nuisance, but for Queen and Country, they enrol without much of a fuss, and merely take such an inconvenience in their stride. After all, it's all that life is all about. 

Although there will be some years before the war with Germany will finally break out, the culture of the land is seen as changing post-Brexit. Despite the screaming objections uttered by the feminists, women are first discouraged, then forbidden to be on the battle front line, and are confined to administrative jobs. Also among the keener conscripts, a growing sense of patriotism is developing in their minds. But with this, also a sense of xenophobia, racism and homophobia. Conscripts who were thought to be gay were often enticed behind the sheds, away from any supervision, and beaten up. The same is also happening to non-whites. In addition, "snowflakes" are also victims of a severe beating behind the sheds, their whinging and apparent lack of physical prowess being a major source of weakness, so it is thought, on the battlefront. 

Across the country, a resurgence of boxing clubs is appearing at most if not all leisure centres, aiming particularly at teenagers prior to conscription. Also in this sport, females are discouraged as young males are drawn in, uttering wails of protest from the fairer gender. Once again the sport of boxing will evolve to be an exclusively male activity.  

Pride in traditional British culture is also resurfacing. And the most obvious of this is the revival of the neck-tie. Over the years, I have seen a gradual decline of this strip of cloth worn around the collared shirt. That includes many City workers, general office management and staff, medical staff, TV news reporters and scientists. As the tie nears to the point of being confined to weddings and the school uniform, now post-Brexit, it's enjoying a resurgence. As a result, the good old Tie-Rack store is reopening in all towns, and tailors such as Burton's are also making a comeback. Alongside this, landlords are becoming more racist and xenophobic, with black and Asian applicants for tenancy, along with Eastern Europeans, are all refused accommodation.

Many employers fire their non-white staff with an order to "go back to their own country" - despite many having been born here. But many other businesses are forced to shut down because most Eastern Europeans, who have sustained such businesses, have already returned home. Therefore with no indigenous Brit keen to take on such low-paid menial jobs, the Economy now has to rely entirely on imports - hence Rees-Mogg's need for the signing of the Customs agreement.

There is a national sense of returning to the 1950s. Compulsory conscription, boys learning to be boys, having a rough-up in the street instead of a constant fixation to their computer and tablet screens. In churches, this crazy idea of hugging each other ceases, even among the most charismatics, and the stoic, stiff upper lip is revived, especially among the men. 

A schoolboy, taken in 1950. Now he's well into his seventies.

At number 10, Jacob Rees Mogg is expecting Germany to declare war any time now. He knows that this war is a contest for national and world supremacy. The working of natural selection and the struggle for existence. The concept thought of by ardent atheist Jean Baptiste Lamarck, Charles Lyell, then by Charles Darwin and modified by Francis Galton. A race to godhood, so it seems, as was the false promise made in the Garden of Eden, and Brexit was a good launch-pad towards national supremacy, or to see it another way, a redirector, after being an EU member causing the Social Natural Selection to tire somewhat in its progress.

Germany, who sees the UK as a direct rival in the race for world supremacy, declares war! But after an intermediate period for Britain to surrender, and Jacob Rees-Mogg's refusal to give in to the Germans, Germany launches its main weapon, a nuclear warhead. As it plunges into central England, the resulting mushroom cloud annihilates a very large percentage of the population... 

Based on what I have read a Creationist worldview on Hitler and his Nazi reign, I cannot say that these things would never happen. There is a chance that it could. Fortunately, we have a God who created everything in just six days, whose breath of life are through our nostrils, and whose future lay entirely in his hands. And in his love and redemptive powers, I can rest my case, always trusting in him.