The View from Global Britain

The View from Global Britain

25 June 2020

By Adrian Favell:

(a small Island off the North West of Europe, sailing North-by-North-West towards an unknown destination)

Later, when he reviewed the strange sequence of events that led to the breakdown of order and the reversion of the high rise residence to a state of near primitive excess and violence, Dr Gove concluded that it might all be traced back to that one day…

A sickly, swollen orange early morning sun squinted pallidly through the chemical haze over the East End of London’s Docklands. Gove reached over casually from his balcony chair to pick up one of the three books lying on his coffee table. It was a warm day already at 8am outside on the apartment balcony: he had not bothered to change out of his boxer shorts and T-shirt. A well thumbed classic Penguin edition of George Orwell’s Collected Essays and Journalism Volume 4, lay on one side of the reclining beach style chair, that was his usual morning professional treat before the driver arrived. It was marked with pink post it slips on the pages of the essay ‘The Lion and the Unicorn’. Underneath, was a glossy, less well read edition of translated selections from Michel Foucault’s 1970 College de France Lectures on Governmentality. But the book he perused over the top of his red designer Ace & Tate glasses – which he had bought on the last trip to Amsterdam – was a cherished copy of Roger Scruton’s The Philosopher on Dover Beach. An opera lover, the strains of one of Wagner’s Rings could be heard from his Danish Bang & Olufsen state-of-the-art stereo system inside. Funnily enough, he had seen it live together with his friend, rival and now boss, Johnson, and their now ex-wives in Germany, only a few weeks before D-Day, all that time ago. He congratulated himself once again on the purchase of the Segafredo coffee maker, as he drained the content of his third nespresso of the morning, pausing only slightly to feel the slight twinge of pain that followed in his chest. If only he were George Clooney, he thought, wryly.

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