Stop the press! Save the cottage!

What really matters in life

A bold subheading. Especially when you see the article I'm about to link to. It seems I'm arguing that "what really matters in life" is small abandoned thatched cottages in Galway, which is a strange position to adopt, given everything else that's going on in the world at the moment.

But I am not one to be deterred once a campaign has been brought to my attention. And why should a decaying cottage not garner as much attention as Copenhagen/Iran/electoral reform? Yes, I can also think of around four hundred reasons why, but I'm going to stick with this one, dammit.

So, good luck, Galway. Save that cottage and its little windows. And save the thatch, too, obviously. If small cottages like that didn't have newspapers like you, o Galway News, standing up for them, God only knows what might happen. It might be the end of all quaint cottages! Of all picturesque scenes. Of all Constable-inspired coach tours. The ramifications are endless and terrifying.

Seriously, people. MOBILISE. Let's see some Cottage Camp swoops on the Houses of Parliament and protesters thatching the roof of Buckingham Palace to make their point. We need to show the world at large that this cottage is not going to die quietly. No indeed.


Sophie Elmhirst is features editor of the New Statesman

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“Trembling, shaking / Oh, my heart is aching”: the EU out campaign song will give you chills

But not in a good way.

You know the story. Some old guys with vague dreams of empire want Britain to leave the European Union. They’ve been kicking up such a big fuss over the past few years that the government is letting the public decide.

And what is it that sways a largely politically indifferent electorate? Strikes hope in their hearts for a mildly less bureaucratic yet dangerously human rights-free future? An anthem, of course!

Originally by Carly You’re so Vain Simon, this is the song the Leave.EU campaign (Nigel Farage’s chosen group) has chosen. It is performed by the singer Antonia Suñer, for whom freedom from the technofederalists couldn’t come any suñer.

Here are the lyrics, of which your mole has done a close reading. But essentially it’s just nature imagery with fascist undertones and some heartburn.

"Let the river run

"Let all the dreamers

"Wake the nation.

"Come, the new Jerusalem."

Don’t use a river metaphor in anything political, unless you actively want to evoke Enoch Powell. Also, Jerusalem? That’s a bit... strong, isn’t it? Heavy connotations of being a little bit too Englandy.

"Silver cities rise,

"The morning lights,

"The streets that meet them,

"And sirens call them on

"With a song."

Sirens and streets. Doesn’t sound like a wholly un-authoritarian view of the UK’s EU-free future to me.

"It’s asking for the taking,

"Trembling, shaking,

"Oh, my heart is aching."

A reference to the elderly nature of many of the UK’s eurosceptics, perhaps?

"We’re coming to the edge,

"Running on the water,

"Coming through the fog,

"Your sons and daughters."

I feel like this is something to do with the hosepipe ban.

"We the great and small,

"Stand on a star,

"And blaze a trail of desire,

"Through the dark’ning dawn."

Everyone will have to speak this kind of English in the new Jerusalem, m'lady, oft with shorten’d words which will leave you feeling cringéd.

"It’s asking for the taking.

"Come run with me now,

"The sky is the colour of blue,

"You’ve never even seen,

"In the eyes of your lover."

I think this means: no one has ever loved anyone with the same colour eyes as the EU flag.

I'm a mole, innit.