The Kingdom To Come
By Peter Hennessy
Haus Publishing – £7.99
According to the Times Higher Education: ”Haus is to be congratulated for its courage in dusting off the political pamphlet format and publishing a series of essays, short enough to be read in one sitting, in the internet age.”
I couldn’t agree more.
Especially in this particular instance, where the essay has been somewhat entertainingly written by the Attlee Professor of contemporary British History at Queen Mary, University of London, Peter Hennessy. An astute and dedicated journalist, who has over the last twenty or so years, beguiled us with his more than informative writings in such publications as The Financial Times and The Economist.
Already on n page seventeen of The Kingdom To Come – Thoughts on the Union before and after the Scottish Referendum, he writes: ”There’s lighting and heavy rain over the Palace of Westminster. We wonder if this is God showing he’s a unionist;” which, in the big scheme of what could quite easily have been construed as an all too dry and rather didactic subject matter, once again, beguiles the reader unto reading more.
This ought hardly be surprising, because it is after all, Hennessy, who , in this pocket-size book’s Introduction (‘Thoughts from South Ronaldsay: Hope, anxiety and the shadow of Orwell’) writes: ”Pessimism is not my strongest suit. Quite the reverse. I possess perhaps excessive faith in the UK – that we will find a way through with out allies whatever we are up against, whether it be the Kaiser, Hitler or Stalin and his successors – or any ‘ism,’ person or country likely to threaten our existence or the special cluster of characteristics and practices we bundle together inside our borders.”
Given the current migrant crisis, the final sentence of the above (cryptic and colourful) quote, is surely capable of triggering another Haus pamphlet in its own right?
Watch this space I guess.