Great Britain has led four other European Union countries in refusing to make available some £600 million from the European Solidarity Fund that had been allocated to making good the earthquake damage to Modena, Ferrara, Mantova, and the iconic landscapes of the north of Italy and its smaller settlements by the earthquakes earlier this year.
It seems that the demographic shift so eagerly rewarded in the United States has also taken place in the United Kingdom and we no longer even recognise, let alone treasure, our European cultural heritage. Finland, Sweden have always been icy northern wastes; the Netherlands below sea level on any measure; Germany capable of anything. But England? To be so eaten with loathing of Brussels it refuses help to Mantova? Out of spite?
Every flake of paint, every gilded ceiling, every column, every glorious instrument, library, place of Christian worship, court of princes, and cultural cradle will be restored; but England slips ever further away from being part of that European heritage. Burning down Croydon and Tottenham is the level of cultural achievement now.
Scott Austin memorial service
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