By Shirley Edwards
(These are my views as a woman living in England, on how the culture and spirit of my country has changed over 50 years. Why the country does not feel protected or strong any more, how it has lost, and is losing it values and decency, and how we are daily losing our free speech.)
Viewing my own country through the eyes of a visiting American, on their first ever trip to England, has been an interesting, exciting, and revealing experience.
We have witnessed the bright yellow stonework of Cotswold cottages which reflect a warm summer glow; the numerous country gardens stacked with roses, wisteria, poppies and buttercups, and we have stood alongside the soft gentle flow of the River Windrush flowing through the numerous villages which dot the Cotswold countryside. Winding our way through the narrow country lanes towards the beautiful villages of Broadway, Chipping Camden, Bourton on the Water and Stow on the Wold, we have also stopped at numerous quaint gift shops and rested at countless chintzy tea rooms; a revelation in itself for the chance meetings that we have encountered and the various conversations that we have overheard during the very timely visit of another visiting American. President Donald J Trump.
Of course, putting our best image forward for visitors to this particular part of England, is something for which the counties of Oxfordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire are always extremely proud of. The welcome extended to President Trump and his family, by the Royal Family with all its pomp and formality was also a spectacle which saw millions watching the state visit on their own TV’s.
My own particular guest joined me in listening to the various commentaries on the TV, reading the media headlines of the tabloids, and also witnessing many of the gift shop cards and souvenirs which were at the best of times extremely mocking towards her country’s president, whilst often glorifying the British royal family and its household.
But, if British people were living under some sort of illusion of superiority, it was never made more clear to me how very wrong they were when my guest and I visited the famous university town of Oxford, and also how I later listened to Labour MP leader Jeremy Corbyn, who was planning to speak at an anti-Trump rally that day, apparently to hundreds of thousands of demonstrators!
The City of ‘Dreaming’ Spires
Ironically, reaching Oxford, which is just 50 miles from London, had required us to drive past Blenheim Palace, the stately home and birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. It was earlier that day I had listened to an interview between journalist, Piers Morgan and President Trump broadcast from the actual war room bunker that Churchill had used located beneath London during World War II.
Difficult questions had been directly fired at President Trump, in relation to gun control in America, transgender personnel in the military, the NHS, and his use of the word ‘nasty’. They were in my opinion handled honestly, but also very tactfully, directing the state of our own country in relation to knife crime back upon Piers Morgan.
If President Trump was on his very best behaviour and in awe of the royal family, as reported by a very biased media, than Piers Morgan had been equally cordial, later publicly thanking him that he had agreed to the interview, and also pointing out the misdemeanour’s of a previous president, namely President William Jefferson Clinton, whilst actually still in office. I had literally wanted to cheer when he bought up the obvious.
All in all, the interview won a lot of respect towards both men, who have both in their own way become the epitome of exercising their very own brand of ‘direct’ free speech, something which has become ‘criminalized’ in the UK and is sometimes supported by a very sensitive and politically correct public. The discussion was like a breath of fresh air in relation to the hatred which was being demonstrated by anti-trump supporters who were being allowed to exercise their ‘right’ to free speech and once more fly their Baby Trump balloon.
That it is the University of Oxford which is meant to be one of the worlds leading universities in extolling civilized debate and conversation; it should also be a shame upon our nation that it has now become part of a construct which, it is reported, can no longer tolerate views which may fall outside its own indoctrinated views on diversity.
Harold McMillan who had once described the debating society of the Oxford Union as ‘the last bastion of free speech in the western world’ might be surprised today at the intolerance that is regularly shown towards guests invited to the Oxford Union to speak.
Below is the demonstration outside an organized debate directed towards outspoken columnist Katie Hopkins, followed by a debate within the Cambridge Union, another university idealized for its views on tolerance and free speech. If you view the full debate you will witness the descent and also the apathy directed towards her which is a reflection on how our country has truly been polarized by an organized ‘elitist’ view directed towards common sensibility, which does represent a vast majority of the UK.
After strolling around the colleges of Christ Church, All Souls, Magdelan and Queens College, which are just four of the 30 different colleges in Oxford, it was here whilst sitting quietly on a bench, that I watched the passers by. My head had become slightly dizzy with the atmosphere and the number of people on the streets.
Amidst the sea of parked bicycles, were suited graduates sometimes donning black gowns and wearing white carnations purposefully striding towards various venues amidst a sea of tourists. At times some of them looked aloof and oblivious to the many events taking place around them. On one occasion we overheard one small group express how much money you would need to comfortably live in America. There was a female beggar sitting on the corner of a street exposing her diseased legs in an effort to obtain sympathy and money. There were large groups of Japanese tourists taking photographs, and tour guides speaking loudly about the history of each particular building. A bus pulled up opposite to where I was sitting painted in every colour of the rainbow advertising Oxford LGBTQ Pride, and lastly a young man, no more than 20 years old completely out of his mind on drink or drugs swaying uncontrollably and pitifully along the pavements, at one time standing in front of oncoming traffic unable to comprehend where he was or what he was doing. It was probably the most realistic and honest image of what life has become today in the UK in the absence of God and in mans own interpretation of ‘understanding’ in this city of spires.
As a helicopter circled overhead, I thought about the emphasis on anti-trump demonstrations and how they had also become an embarrassing distraction, and how they were also an example of how people were unable to deal with the problems in our own country which were blatantly staring us in the face.
Taking advantage of the situation, MP Jeremy Corbyn, who had been unable to assimilate the similarities of over 17 million people in the UK who wanted to be independent from Global control, and why Donald J Trump was elected the President of the United States of America, announced he would be speaking at the demonstration against the President and standing in solidarity with the protestors. It was reported he had “tweeted”
“Tomorrow’s protest against Donald Trump’s state visit is an opportunity to stand in solidarity with those he’s attacked in America, around the world and in our own country, including, just this morning, Sadiq Khan.”
Somebody, somewhere, should have told them that regardless of their views, the whole purpose of the visit was about the commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the D Day landings, an event fought by both American, Canadian and British forces, shoulder to shoulder, who had actually stood in solidarity to attempt to push the Nazi’s out of Europe resulting in the loss of over 150,000 brave men.
Driving home, along the surrounding hills of the Cotswolds my American visitor and I stopped at a hilltop town where she took a photograph depicting a tribute to D Day in a shop window. There were two armchairs, one with an American Flag and one with a British Flag draped over them which somehow depicted conversation and unity which had once taken place.
I felt proud of my American friend who had taken the good, the bad, and the ‘nasty’ all in her stride. It is my hope that she witnessed that the English population are not all antagonistic towards America, and that many of us value independence and freedom, and that we are frustrated with our lack of democracy, and are extremely disappointed and embarrassed by most our politicians.
We remember all those who fought for freedom on the 6th June, 1944, their sacrifice enabled us to live a free life. Today we are in a cultural and spiritual battle for our lives. The politicians in the UK need to honour the fact that those of us who really appreciate diversity also know that we are being displaced by a dictatorship from within and controlled from the EU.
Spiritually, we have forgotten God, the Creator who many soldiers would have cried out to. It really is time to honour their sacrifice.
Remembering all those who fought for freedom
6th June 1944
© 2019 Shirley Edwards, All Rights Reserved
Shirley Edwards was born and lives in Great Britain. She has always worked in administration, but has also taught and studied complimentary health. In administrative roles, she has worked within The Church of England. She also worked for some years as a volunteer within the hospice movement. Shirley has an interest in all health issues, loves the British countryside, and enjoys writing. She is thankful for talk radio and loves listening. Shirley has always been concerned about the loss of freedoms in her country, and also the demise of America, a country she loves for the original reasons on which it was founded. She believes in the Pursuit of Genuine Happiness. EMail: firstname.lastname@example.org