‘We must be free or die, who speak the tongue that Shakespeare spake.’
by Ralph Berry
That was Wordsworth, a long time ago. Today that tongue is being displaced, among other languages, by Albanian. It is known that 40% of the new arrivals in Dover and Folkestone are Albanian, the beneficiaries of Albanian smuggling rings. Those Albanians who have already made it to Britain have moved up from the traditional Albanian pursuits of till robbery to people smuggling. More, the French newspapers in which they advertise their wares have announced a summer sale. Prices for the cross-channel voyage are cut from £5,000 to £3.500. A bargain, I’d say. The summer weather is blissful, all calm seas and prosperous voyaging. Eisenhower would have signed an I.O.U. for half the national debt to be assured in June 1944 of the same weather. (He had to take a chance on the senior British weather forecaster getting it right. He did.) The intrepid Albanians who make it to Dover Beach will find not the ‘darkling plain’ of Matthew Arnold’s poem but welcome at a 3-or 4-star hotel, all found, and the certainty of not being deported. Once they are accepted as bona fide asylum seekers they will have the right to import their relatives, who greatly outnumber the original illegals.
As for the tongue that Shakespeare spake, that is now under attack from the natives. Shakespeare is done for racism. Worse, his plays engender a ‘conversation’–an apparently innocent word, now loaded with intent. The latest wheeze is Ruben Espinosa’s SHAKESPEARE ON THE SHADES OF RACISM, which ‘adopts a critical approach that puts Shakespeare’s work into conversation with the contemporary social, cultural, and political events’. The Mexican border controls soon make an appearance, as does critical race theory. Whiteness and black lives move from background to foreground. Shakespeare has lost his innocence, never to be recovered under this regime.
The stage offers no salvation. The Royal Shakespeare Company is now devoted to ‘diversity’ and was severely criticized by its recent AS YOU LIKE IT with an all-black cast in an Afro-Futuristic production.
The director, Erica Whyman, was ‘saddened but not surprised’ at this ‘disgraceful reaction.’ In the past, ‘the drama’s laws, the drama’s patrons give’ as Dr Johnson put it. No longer. The drama’s laws are set by the director class (usually female), all of whom are solid for woke. It is their regimental discipline. The latest RSC production is of a RICHARD III who is disabled, and the fear is of a epidemic of casting privilege that has moved from blacks, to women, to the disabled. The future looks bleak for white male actors, unless they can fake it.
The future awaits us on September 6th, when the new Cabinet under Liz Truss will be announced. Nobody knows anything till then. The Left is apprehensive, knowing that the future is in the hands of elderly white men, the mainstay of the Conservative Party at large, who have now wrested power away from the Westminster Tories (a sad lot). The Party at large is old enough to remember what England was like in 1950, before the migrant wave began to obliterate traces of the country for which they had unlimited affection. There is still a chance for the remains of that country, and its tongue.