John Donne – No Man Is An Island

On this sad day of Brexit when the nationalists and patriotic jingoists have won and torn us apart from our neighbors, we say goodbye to collaboration, to freedom of movement, freedom to work and study without red tape; we say hello to more bureaucracy, more restrictions, less freedoms and higher prices. We diminish our power and lower our horizons. Today our island is up for sale in nefarious trade deals where environmental standards, food standards, and workers’ rights are up for grabs.

I am reminded of John Donne’s poem. This clod has been washed away and we are all the less. But I am still a piece of the continent.

‘No Man is an Island

‘No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent,

a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less,

as well as if a promontory were, as well as any manner of thy friends or of thine own were;

any man’s death diminishes me,

because I am involved in mankind.

And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

2 thoughts on “John Donne – No Man Is An Island

  1. John Donne’s house is up the towpath from where I live. 15+ miles, but I’ve walked there (and on to Weybridge) three times.

    I must disagree with you about Brexit. I go with Tim Martin, founder of Wetherspoon’s: “I have no problem with European people; they are friends and allies. The problem is the EU.” This shows up a big gulf between you and me. You want political relations with an unelected elite bureaucracy that claims to be “Europe.” I want friendly relations with people who live on the continent of Europe.

    It also shows up a fatal flaw in democracy. If 52% of the people want one thing, and 48% want the opposite, who should get what they want? My answer is “all of them, as long as they’re not harming anyone else.” But democracy, being a collectivist system, doesn’t permit this.

    I thank you, Opher, for what you’ve done to help keep me sane during the last year. And I hope I’ve done something comparable for you.

    May you have a happy – and healthy – new year!

    1. Lol!! Sane Neil??? Since when have you ever been sane??
      I was brought up in Walton on Thames just down the road from Weybridge.
      Tim Martin’s an arsehole!
      I want friendly relations too. I also want to trade freely, have free access, work and study, collaborate and not have a heap of extra bureaucracy. I agree that there needs to be more democracy – but my faith in democracy has been severely shaken – too many ignorant people too swayed by the likes of the Sun, Mail and Express.
      I think you’ll find that percentage has shifted substantially. Last time I looked it was 56%/44% in favour of staying in.
      But cheers Neil and happy new year. Yes I’ve enjoyed our interaction and learnt a lot.
      I wish you a happy new year!!

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