Saturday, January 12, 2019


Yesterday a member of the local ex-pats group on FB wondered out loud why there were native Guatemalans colados therein. 

The comment stream was soon disabled. 

An obsession with the protection of purity is a key part of the American mindset.  I’ve written (ranted?) here before how the puritan origins of the USA still inform its politics quite dramatically. 

Whether we’re talking walls to keep outsiders out, McCarthyist purges - on both the left and the right  - #metoo, no-platforming and so on, the neuroses of self-purification persist.

These amorphous, pitchfork wielding, context unaware, puritanical mobs have gone digital and have thus spread beyond the borders of the US in a way that no wall, however beautiful, can prevent. 

The contagion has reached British politics undoubtedly.  Our barrier wall will be Brexit and the end it promises to the free movement of foreign contaminants.   

Yet perhaps this is not so new or indeed alien. If you trace back some of the more educated leavers’ obsession with parliamentary sovereignty in historical terms, you eventually reach the 1650s and the English civil wars, an era when puritanical mobs were very much de rigeur.

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