Well, just about the end of September and there's a chill in the air. It feels like summer, excellent though it was, is now a very distant memory. October welcomes in the last quarter of the year. A year which, weather apart, has been a bit of a disappointment. When I say disappointment, I mean that it has been a complete and utter disastrous nightmare from the earliest stages of 2022, right through to now, the day on which I am writing (26 September).
I know it is customary to document the events of the year around late December, but I have been moved to do so now as there have been so many things that have affected or afflicted society in the past nine months. It might not do the events which have already happened justice if they were to be rolled up with what is possibly to come.
As I write, the people of Italy look to have have elected a coalition bloc headed by a party which has its roots in that of Mussolini's National Fascists. Their campaign apparently ran on a stream of popular nationalism, anti-immigration and anti-sex/gender minority rights. A kind of mawkish ethnocentrism, denying anyone other than those with their own myopic view of what it means to be of that country. Othering, being used as a vehicle to yet again separate 'us from them' and encourage citizenry to rail against a perceived or constructed enemy.
The saddest thing of all is that, despite how often the same lame and empty tactic has been tried, it yet again looks like this abhorrent manoeuvre has been successful. We have also seen where this kind of collective, paternalistic, nationalist sentiment has been used to dupe populations. An example is Putin's war on Ukraine, which has simultaneously claimed to be a war of liberation, while attempting to annex parts of the country in an imperialist land grab and forcing the citizenry to become part of Mother Russia. The contradictions of such actions have being completely ignored by the aggressor.
In the US, as we run up toward the mid-term elections, we continue to see the damage perpetrated by another populist leader. Defeated, but never yielding, Don the son of a Scottish mother, continues in his attempts to run a coach and horses through the norms of American political precedence. Seemingly prepared to say anything, no matter the consequences, to reinvigorate his chances of again being elected to the highest political office in America.
These are only a selection of the world leaders who appear to have eschewed the need for at least some measure of truth, decency and honour in their term of governance. I almost forgot to mention one, much closer to home, who if all reports are to be believed, kind of made it up to suit himself as he went along. Perhaps not the tyrant or despot seen in other jurisdictions, some might say more just a lazy and entitled type, grossly unsuitable for the task.
Against all of this, there is always hope. I recently found a card wallet in the street and though it contained the name, address and picture of the owner, I was still unable to locate said person through social media. That in itself might be seen by many as an abnormality in these times of instant connection and communication. However, I was left with no alternative than to hand the find into my nearest police station. I gave it no real thought beyond that until, a few day ago, I received a letter from the police advising me that the lost article had been reunited with its lawful owner. A £10 reward was waiting at the station for my collection. A small bright spot in otherwise shitty times.
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