Thursday, 4 April 2019

A nation in denial of crisis at last appeals for help from EU


England, 2019

"Many of us...have a feeling that we are living in a country where fanatics, hooligans and eccentrics
have got the upper hand."
Horace Rumbold, British Ambassador to Berlin, 1933

"My God. History will condemn this period. It will condemn those who’ve sat back and kept their view to themselves, who haven’t stood up and tried to stop all this nonsense.”
Anna Soubry MP, 2017

Muse_reading a scroll Louvre_CA2220
Clio, Muse of History reading a scroll
Attic red-figure lekythos, ca. 435-425 BC. From Boeotia. Louvre. Image: Wikipedia

“I don’t want to be known as the last prime minister of the United Kingdom”
attributed to Theresa May, Prime Minister, 2019

"When I am dead and opened, you shall find Calais engraved on my heart".
Mary I, 1558, referring to the humiliating incompetence of losing England's last stronghold in continental Europe

Cassandra lamenting
Jan Swart van Groningen, Woman Lamenting by a Burning City 1550-55
Pen in black, brush in brown,
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. Image: WGA

Monday, 25 March 2019

Tyranny

"So Theresa May will not promise to accept the will of our democratically elected Parliament when we vote on Brexit options - but she will carry out the result of an advisory referendum, won through cheating and lies, regardless of the cost to the country." David Lammy, 25 March, 2019

Lorenzettiambrogio Effects of badgovernent

Lorenzetti THE EFFECTS OF BAD GOVERNMENT 1337 -39, Sala della Pace (Hall of Peace) Siena. Image: WGA

"May is making a very straightforward argument that the will of the executive is more important that the will of parliament. I had always thought that Oliver Cromwell had settled that argument with Charles I in a fairly conclusive manner." Craig Murray, 25 March, 2019

triumphofpoverty

Lucas Vorsterman TRIUMPH OF POVERTY c. 1624 -30 Pen in brown, with gray and brown wash,
black and red chalks, and white highlights, British Museum, London. Image source: WGA

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

The Persecution of Love

https://pipparathborne.wordpress.com/2019/02/12/the-persecution-of-love/
Huguenot Lovers on St Bartholomew’s Day by John Everett Millais, oil on canvas, 1852.
Image: Wikipedia


If you are living in a mixed-nationality marriage in the hostile environment of the modern UK, true love and hard work are not enough to stop you from being forcibly separated from your family. “Oh, it couldn’t happen here”. Oh, yes it could, and it is happening now.
Only the rich will survive in Brexit Britain.


Many people who’ve not had cause to find out the hard way don’t realise that mixed-nationality couples can be forbidden from living together in the UK if they don’t earn enough. We want to raise awareness of this, and we’re proud that Lib Dem policy is to oppose it. If you’re married to a British person, you should be allowed to live with them. No means 
testing. For richer, for poorer.



 🐾
Lina is a Dachshund from Munich, Germany; Jamie is an English Bulldog from Croydon. Jamie worries about whether Brexit will mean Lina can’t come and live with him.
Kuniko is a Shiba Inu from Kyoto, Japan. Gary is a Jack Russell Terrier from Bolton. Gary’s income is just enough for Kuniko to be allowed here — but not enough for their puppies too. They don’t know what they should do.
Malcolm is an Old English Sheepdog from Hexham; Brigitte is a Bichon Frise from Toulouse, France. Brigitte is looking forward to the country life, but first she needs to find out what paperwork she’ll need, and the Home Office isn’t answering her questions.
Maryam is a Persian cat from Isfahan, Iran. Tom is a Yorkshire Terrier from Leeds. Maryam expects to get a good job in the UK — but the Home Office won’t count that as income while she’s still in Iran. The stress is affecting both of them.
Rick is an English Bulldog from Solihull; Ernesto is a chihuahua from Ciudad Juarez in Chihuahua, Mexico. Unfortunately Rick lost his job as a security guard, and his benefits don’t come to enough for Ernesto to join him.
Rachel is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel from Southampton; Dietrich is a Bernese Mountain Dog from Bern, Switzerland. Dietrich is trying to sort out Settled Status but that needs an Android smartphone and his big paws aren’t good with phones.
Shirley is a Bearded Collie from Durham; Jane is a Shih Tzu from Shenzhen, China. Same-sex marriages aren’t recognized in China; Shirley and Jane wonder if this will affect their rights in the UK.
Morag is a West Highland Terrier from Ardnamurchan, and Paweł is a Pomeranian from Gdańsk in Pomerania, Poland. Morag hopes that Paweł won’t experience the abuse that many Poles in the UK have had.
Rhys is a Collie from near Aberystwyth; no-one is quite sure where Ziggy is from, but Rhys loves them anyway.

* Liberal Democrat Immigrants exists to represent those members of the Liberal Democrats who have chosen to come to live in the UK from elsewhere. It also seeks to represent the interests of immigrants to the UK in general and to highlight those issues that disproportionately affect immigrants.”


#hostileenvironment #FBPE #Remain

https://pipparathborne.wordpress.com/2017/12/01/will-of-the-people/
A King Charles Spaniel by Manet, oil on canvas, c. 1866

The look on a dog’s face that says people have lost their minds. They had happiness within their grasp and they have thrown the ball away. Stop Brexit. STAY!

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Mesmerized


The evolution of Merlin and of Ygraine and Uther, the parents of the Once and Future King, re-imagined through a unique blend of mythology, science fiction and ancient history. 

I got to looking forward to the next installment, for the aesthetic rush of your performance that invariably left me feeling uplifted, strengthened. Somehow – magically! – your artistic élan brightened my own mundane history. That’s the authentic power of art! Thank you for bringing that power to my novel.
I am mesmerized by the voice you have given this novel

 A. A. Attanasio describing
Pippa Rathborne's
narration of
THE DRAGON AND THE UNICORN

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Iridescence

 Natural pearl and diamond pendant, 18th century;
set with an oval diamond supporting a diamond bow motif
and a baroque drop-shaped natural pearl measuring approximately 16 × 18 × 26mm.

A natural pearl and diamond jewel of delicately wrought beauty once belonged to history's most glamorous scapegoats for the abuses and injustices of autocracy, the victim of nationalism and misogyny, reviled by women and men, the hated l'autrichienne, the Austrian bitch, Marie Antoinette, queen of France.

Political assassination is arguably justified, character assassination is not. Of all the offensive insults thrust at her, the most hurtful, far worse than all the salacious sexual slurs, the one that cut deepest, more humiliating than being deprived of shoes and false teeth in prison, more painful than beheading, was the Tribunal's allegation of incest with her son.

"If I have not replied it is because Nature itself refuses to answer such a charge laid against a mother. I appeal to all mothers here present – is it true?”


Marie Antoinette on her way to the guillotine, drawn by David, 16 October 1793. Image: Wikipedia.
She was 37 years old. Usually, press reports about celebrity women degrade them by mentioning their age, but in this case the vulgar habit of prejudging is justified by the shock of this woman's premature ageing due to suffering.

She, who was brought up to be a dynastic pawn, a bride and mother of kings, became the Eternal Feminine demonized. The modern perception of Marie Antoinette has shifted away from the inverted fairy story heroine, the romanticized narrative of an over-privileged but misunderstood star of the diamond-studded, blood-stained Versailles reality show, to the universal figure in women's history of wronged mother and foreigner.

 Marie-Antoinette and her children by Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun, 1787

While she was imprisoned, she was separated from her children. As she prepared for death, her chief anxiety was about their fate. An 18th century princess endured the kind of degradation and psychological torture that tyranny in the modern world still inflicts on female immigrants and their families.

And there's the jewel itself, the progeny of animals and human skill, that natural pearl of iridescence beyond price, a man-made thing lovely enough to be the symbol of our atonement for our sins against nature and each other, sold for silly money, £25 million that should be spent on environmental conservation and humanitarian missions to reunite migrant families and release political prisoners.

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

The moment modern Britain got back its dignity


Dominic Grieve's magisterial speech at The People's Vote rally on 13 November was an historic moment to remember, whatever the outcome of the movement to save our disunited kingdom will be. All the speakers found new reserves of passion and determination, and, in some cases, humility, showing the time has come to put our country above all personal interests. This was patriotism, not nationalism.

Saturday, 27 October 2018

October Afternoon

Trafalgar Square, afternoon, 20 October, 2018
  
700,000 patriots marched to save the future of our country from the consequences of Brexit
 
over 300,000 people have signed the  
 
over 1 million people have signed
The
Independent's petition for



Friday, 28 September 2018

Last Hope to Save Britain?

https://www.peoples-vote.uk/march

JOIN THE MARCH TO DEMAND

A FINAL SAY

ON THE BREXIT DEAL.


The politicians cannot deliver a workable deal. Our democracy is discredited if it does
not benefit the people.
This is the biggest fight of our lives to save our country and a decent quality of life for everyone,
the poor as well as the rich,
the sick as much as the healthy.
This march isn't just for Europhiles:
it is for all of us.

It is for our children;
it is for our parents and grandparents and great-grandparents who fought to give us
social and political rights we take for granted.

It is for people who care about education, environment and culture,
for equality and justice, for music and science, for nursing and medicine, for affordable nutritious food
and humane farming standards, for their jobs.

It is for the freedom to follow your vocation in the modern world, unfettered by prejudice and ideology.

It's the last reality check before self-destruction.

A bad Brexit will cause more civil unrest in the long run than no Brexit.


Democracy was given to free the people,
not trap them.

 

March for a vote on the deal.
March for an option to Remain in the EU and reform it from within. 


Get details of the march here

over 300,000 people have signed the  
petition for a People's Vote
over 1 million people have signed
The
Independent's petition for

a Final Say

#finalsay

Friday, 14 September 2018

Remain for a brighter future

A BRIGHTER FUTURE FOR THE UK
proposed by Gina Miller in a new campaign to save UK from political chaos, social injustice and economic decline

"The vote for Brexit shone a light on problems that successive
Governments have consistently failed to address – communities left
behind, inequality, the immigration system, economic stagnation,
stretched public services, crisis in housing and social care.
"Britain is one of the most unequal societies in Europe, where success increasingly depends on where you live, which school or university you went to, who your parents are, and who they know.
"With 42% of UK wealth owned by 10% of households, it is no wonder there is a breakdown of trust in our institutions and politicians.
"But is Brexit the solution?"
 Gina Miller, Remain Plus for a Brighter Future

 Ghirlandaio Four Sibyls Vaulting of the Sassetti Chapel, Santa Trinita, Florence.
Fresco c 1485.Image: WGA

"What we have ended up with is division, anxiety and unhappiness.  The options facing us are so poorly defined that clarity is desperately and urgently needed. There must be a better way.

"Time is running out, but it is not too late. It is only right, morally and democratically, that the people of the UK are given a vote on a future we will have to face together.

"We believe this is the only way to clear away the confusion, draw a line under Brexit and get back to dealing with the issues facing our country.  The only way to end the chaos."
Extract from Gina Miller's mission statement on the new website
End the Chaos


The full text of Gina Miller's clear and constructive programme for reform following A People's Vote on Brexit is available to read here: Remain Plus for a Brighter Future

END THE CHAOS
REMAIN IN THE EU

Sunday, 29 July 2018

"Darling! The set was wonderful"

It’s one of those site-specific shows in which the lead actress, in the title role of “Sweet Melancholy”, is upstaged by a live, cooing, flying prop; the play is in blank verse, and the director, after blaming everyone else at the Tech Rehearsal, has lost the plot; but the set design is wonderful....

 Joseph-Marie Vien Sweet Melancholy 1756.
Cleveland Museum of Art. Image: Wikipedia

Melancholy, as you know it, was never this sweet. This looks more like Wistful Posing, though maybe you have missed the point about contemporary self-consciousness. Mid-drama, she, Melancholy, looking as pretty as possible, rearranges her drapery and takes a selfie.

You would be at a loss for words when you congratulate your friend afterwards, if it wasn't for Vien's sophisticated colour scheme, daring to put Melancholy's acid yellow dress against a dark grey background, and his dedication to historical detail in the props and furniture, pioneering a fashion in neoclassical home interiors.

The smoke from the antique brazier is scented, sending the front rows, especially the critics, into drowsy raptures. That might explain the liminal moment when you thought you heard the dove speak.

You travelled far to get here, to a disused temple in an inaccessible part of the old City, where no buses dare to stop. You took three wrong turns on your way from the station. You are dismayed by the thought of missing connections on the long journey home, and arriving tired and dispirited in the lonely night.

You imagine yourself slumped unprettily on a chair, holding your head in your hands, mourning your losses, knowing that bad as the day has been, there is always hope tomorrow will be worse.

You promise yourself that if you can ever afford it - ach, if only you'd got that film job the other day - you will buy a neoclassical upholstered chair and incense-burner, and recline elegantly in a full-length, yellow silk gown, to sweeten your own melancholy.

You are not lying when you reassure Sweet Melancholy that, "You looked like a goddess on that set, and deserve awards just for acting with that pigeon."

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Thursday, 5 July 2018

INFORMED CONSENT

"The public...need guarantees on NHS staffing, access to medicines and the safety of the NHS from any US-UK trade deal, before they can be satisfied that... Brexit will do no harm to our NHS and social care."

"At its 70th birthday, the NHS faces – in Brexit – perhaps the greatest threat to its survival in its history.

"The consent given by the public for Brexit was not informed consent. In medicine – and surely to any reasonable person – consent which is not informed is considered invalid, and this mandates a vote on the Brexit deal."

Save the nation from self-harming by signing
the petition for a People's Vote

CLICK HERE TO READ FULL POST



Sunday, 1 July 2018

Fortitude in high heels

https://pipparathborne.wordpress.com/2018/07/01/fortitude-in-high-heels/
Fortitude Sculpture by Serpotta in white stucco and gilding, height 200 cm, 1710-17.
Oratorio del Rosario di San Domenico, Palermo. Image: WGA


Elegantly dressed for the life she wants,
in her favourite high-heeled shoes, breastplate bodice
and plumed headdress,
Fortitude leans her elbow on the pillar of patience,
never keeping her eyes off the longest battle.

CLICK HERE TO READ FULL POST

She doesn't like what she sees, but she will never give in, she will never be part of it, even when other people make snarky remarks about her posing in her Rococo niche.

She exemplifies the moral courage of sticking to her post "because it is noble to do so, or because it is disgraceful not to do so."