Bach’s Bongs

I’m bothered by Boris’s boorish ‘Bung a Bob for a Big Ben Bong’ and all the other brayings of the British Brexiteers. They don’t quite cause me sleepless nights but when I woke in the early hours of this morning to the bonging of Bach’s bells from the Thomaskirche, near my AirBnB in Leipzig, it was a sweeter sound, to my ears, than any Bong for Brexit could ever be.

I’m in Leipzig for Wagner’s Ring, and a preliminary evening of Bernstein’s Candide. Pacing the well-ordered streets of this cultivated German city I sense that its citizens are happily Leipziggers, Saxons, Germans, Europeans and citizens of the world, without the little-England identity angst so many of my fellow citizens feel.

If Big Ben bongs for Brexit it will toll balefully for me.