Thursday, July 11, 2013

Patten, Britain's Establishment and MPs Pay

I offered two paasages from Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged to readers of this blog on New Year's Day 2011. I repeat them today, the first on the rotten oak tree as it seems so apt on thinking of the British Establishment in 2013 so dreadfully epitomised by ex-EU Commissioner Patten; the second because so many of our MPs whose proposed 11% pay rise will be discussed in the House of Commons today, seem so far away from having any grasp of what is right!

The great oak tree had stood on a hill over the Hudson, in a lonely spot of the Taggert estate. Eddie Willers, aged seven, liked to come and look at that tree. It had stood there for hundreds of years, and he thought it would always stand there. Its roots clutched the hill like a fist with fingers stuck into the soil, and he thought if a giant were to seize it by the top, he would not be able to uproot it, but would swing the hill and the whole of the earth with it, like a ball at the end of a string. He felt safe in the oak tree's presence; it was a thing that nothing could change or threaten; it was his greatest symbol of strength.

   One night, lightning struck the oak tree. Eddie saw it the next morning. It lay broken in half, and he looked into its trunk as into the mouth of a black tunnel. The trunk was only an empty shell; its heart had rotted away long ago; there was nothing inside - just a thin gray dust that was being dispersed by the whim of the faintest wind. The living power had gone, and the shape of it left had not been able to stand without it.


  Eddie Willers smiled. He had said " Whatever is right," twenty-two years ago. He had kept that statement unchallenged ever since; the other questions had faded in his mind; he had been too busy to ask them. But he still thought it self-evident that one had to do what was right; he had never learned how people could want to do otherwise; he had learned only that they did. It still seemed simple and incomprehensible to him: simple that things should be right, and incomprehensible that they weren't.

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Blogger Unknown said...

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Anonymous Cecile said...

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8:28 AM  

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