THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
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An enemy of sanity

An Enemy of the People starring Matt Smith extends at the West End’s Duke of York’s Theatre | West End Theatre.

Enemy of SanityThings are better in my world. The Misses P are back in my life and that was the only real reason (my divorce having gone through with goodwill on both sides) for me to be sad. The ex-Mrs P is remarried and I sincerely wish her and her new husband every joy. 
Last night the Misses P took me to the theatre as my birthday present. The birthday was last month. The actor who played my favourite modern Doctor Who, Matt Smith, is in the final week of an extended run of Ibsen's "Enemy of the People."
Not that Ibsen had much to do with it, beyond the hyper-naturalism of the acting, the Norwegian names of the characters or the fact that no-one cares what happens to any of the miserable Nordic mofos in the dreary plot.
The production was modern, featured some badly-performed Clash and Bowie, and led to a deranged political rant by the leading character to open an audience participation town-hall meeting. 
I was not convinced that the audience participants were genuine but my daughters assured me they were. A gent from Northern Ireland immediately behind me launched into a terrifying speech about filthy privatised water versus the angelically-pure stuff that flowed from our taps when morally-flawless public servants were in charge. His thinking was not even reality-adjacent. It sounded like he'd never met a non-Marxist in his life. And he was by no means the wackiest loon to stand up.
We're in an election year. I sat with my head in my hands, unable to look at the theatre-going madmen engaged in a Highland Games of lunacy; tossing ever greater rhetorical cabers and cheering each other on while pumping clenched fists in the air. 
People like them must find The Guardian far-right. I told myself repeatedly that "nothing is less representative than a West End audience". London's theatre-loving young bourgeoisie could not be less like the British people I keep trying to love. 
I thanked the Misses P for their gift as we parted. I had loved being in their presence, even if the play had driven me first to boredom, then to sleep and finally to despair. I anxiously urged them to remember that they live in a better world than they were born into. That life-expectancy keeps rising, poverty keeps falling and that their lives are well worth living and becoming more so by the day. 
Then I stood waiting for a taxi on the other side of the street as the actors, including Mr Smith of whom I was so recently a fan, came out to sign autographs for adoring theatre-goers who might as well have been Mao's Red Guards for all their attachment to Enlightenment values and a free market economy.
I've never slunk before, but there was no better verb to describe how I went home. What kind of world has such people in it? 


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Social (sorry, that should of course be antisocial) media and click-baiting reportage of issues has so much to answer for. That, and the failure of the education system which teaches people by rote, rather than imbuing an ability to reason and think.

Sun Tzu - he of the divide and conquer method of overcoming enemy nations - is being proven right by the day. I really hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist but we are in a war, and losing it badly to forces that manipulate and re-educate by setting victim groups and those with pre-prepared, well-rehearsed, grievances against each other and against the status quo.

I read a while ago that that well-known horse's rear end Benedict Cumberbatch is known for delivering political rants from the stage. I've thought several times that the only thing that would get me into a theatre these days would be the joy of standing up and walking out were Cumberbatch, or some other cocooned luvvie, to start.

On a brighter note, it was good to read that the Misses P are back onside. It must have been very painful to have been excluded.

Best wishes.

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