Yesterday turned out to be a weird day. I was about to go home when we heard that someone we do quite a lot of work with had died. Although it’s not confirmed yet, everything is pointing to him having killed himself. Him dying is tragic enough, but through suicide is somehow even worse. He is probably one of the least likely people to take that course of action (although, as it turns out, seemingly not). It has to be said that if we’d had a choice about working with him we would probably have preferred not to. I think it’s best to describe him as robust and direct - but there is no way that we would ever have wanted our working relationship to end like this. We were just utterly stunned by the news and I phoned some colleagues from another organisation that we do a lot of work with to make sure that they didn’t find out through the somewhat unfortunate route that we heard the news. They were equally shocked. We were actually meant to have seen this chap on Monday but at the last minute he said he couldn’t come to the meeting. It now looks as though this was not entirely unconnected to his death.
Strangely, last week, one of G’s colleagues also died unexpectedly. No-one has confirmed what the circumstances were but the death was certainly unexpected and the chap was only his in thirties. They think that might also have been suicide. Strange times indeed.
Anyway… I was slightly perplexed by the suggestion of children pledging allegiance to the Queen. I can see that there might be more of a case to pledging allegiance to the country (although I still think that a bit odd), but pledging allegiance to a person, with all their human fallibilities and frailties, seems downright bizarre. I think it is a suggestion that is doomed to failure and is likely to be more divisive than uniting. Anyone who is in favour of a republic is not likely to standing their at the front of the queue pledging allegiance and is more likely to be standing in the back row laughing at it all. I like that we have a monarchy, I just don’t think this is the answer to “being British”