The Heart of Darkness

Some months ago I wrote about the cycling of events. Specifically that the election of Donald Trump in 2017 was exactly 84 years after the rise of Adolf Hitler to the Chancellorship of Germany in 1933. For those with little interest in cycles or numbers, 84 may seem a random sort of number, but it is 7 x 12. 12, for those not fully conversant with numbers or their environment, is the full circle of the Zodiac and of the Olympian Gods, and for this reason was chosen, by those set on creating orthodoxy in the Roman Empire, as the number of disciples given to Jesus. That that good man had many more than a mere dozen disciples is not in contention here.

Rather what is significant is that 12 is also the number of the faces of the Dodecahedron the symbol for the Cosmos in Platonic thought.

As well as this it is the number of years Jupiter takes to cycle around the zodiac. The idea of Jupiter on a mountain bike, peddling like crazy, might amuse many but Jupiter is the planet concerned with Justice and Power. The word Zeus (the Greek God whose name was transferred in Roman mythology to Jupiter – Deus Pater, God the Father) in Greek means ‘force’. A magnet has its Zeus, as does a cannonball. May the Force be with you. A memorable line.

But to return to our theme. 7 cycles of power have passed since those fateful days in Deutschland. Today we see the rise of extremism in Europe once more, as again a dictatorship has declared war against democracy and legitimate government because it does not agree with it.

Among the first of those things, civil liberties we can call them, to suffer is freedom of speech. This week saw an example of this in the castigation of a very popular broadcaster by the Director Gernel of the BBC, a political appointment, that is to say someone appointed by parliament, not one from within the BBC. On a whim, it seems, the DG decided that ‘Lineker will not broadcast’. This was after a soulful plea from the clearly hurt Home Secretary was broadcast. She felt that a comment comparing the promotion of government legislation to the language used in 1930s Germany was unjust.

The whole situation blew out of control as fellow broadcasters felt the judgement by the DG was disproportionate and out of line. They did the only thing they could to stand in solidarity, not only with Gary Lineker, but also with the plight of refugees who are to be vilified by the legislation should it ever be passed into law. The broadcasters withdrew their labour.

Funny that. There are a multitude of agencies withdrawing their labour under the current government, from solicitors to brain surgeons, railwaymen to teachers, postal workers to nurses. The list is almost endless. Even the police are threatening strike action due to broken promises.

But my purpose in mentioning all of this, which like all popular news will blow over with a change of Moon, is to say that the suppression of free speech, advocated in that instance by the DG of the BBC, is the first step on to a very slippery slope towards tyranny.

But step away from the political situation and the tremors that shudder through British society, or that cause British society to shudder, and lets return to the cycles. We stand at the mid-point of the 12 year cycle I mentioned earlier. I write this with a sense of anticipation and celebration to say we are halfway through the cycle, only another 6 years to go.

As they say a week is a long time in politics. In the matter of three such weeks the British economy was destroyed last year. The first step towards creating an army one might suppose. Or did it happen before that even? When the pandemic clampdown threw education into disarray and crushed the hopes of many schoolchildren, rendering their exams results useless or at best questionable. Leaving them without qualifications to go for or to hold.

Look too at the arrogance of the current elected parliament. A former Prime Minister who denied any law breaking, which even the Metropolitan police had to argue against and issue a fine for law-breaking, to the current prime minster the single other minister to be handed a fine for attending a gathering, which only weeks before he had denied as a right to the general public. It is difficult when writing about current events not to be political and, while I am sure that both Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak are likeable enough people, their lack of judgement really has left the country on its knees and likely to stay there for the coming foreseeable future. A peacetime debt the largest in history? War in Ukraine is soon to be followed, if we read the signs correctly, with war with China.

Oh well if there is any validity to the 12 year cycle proposal, then we can hope it will all be over by 2029. For me I am left with the line from an 80s song ‘And here is a red balloon, I think of you and let it go’.

Author: Keith Armstrong

Dance teacher, writer, film-maker, educationalist, enthusiast.