Dear Truth


Dear Truth,

Last week I spent many hours looking for You in town. I had lost you. I was tired – of lifts and escalators, and overpowered by the sickly-sweet smell of perfume – when I left Selfridges. You seemed nowhere to be found.

To escape the shallow like-seeking Instagram selfies and general hubbub of Oxford Street – its endless slalom between oversized bags – I popped into William Butterfield’s All Saints on Margaret Street where I thought You might be, perhaps seeking solace. You were not there either. Instead I was forced to overhear a woke verger in a rainbow jumper ramming home to some gullible teenager the horrors of Capitalism and the absolute need for a universal basic income.  The parable of the workers in the vineyard I did not hear.

So I walked down to Westminster thinking that perhaps You’d be there. Then I realised my error when I saw the cast iron gates of Downing Street.

By this stage I was sure You’d not have ventured into Islington, nor risked Soho. Nor would You have gone anywhere near the dissemblers of Great Portland. You would be down by the river. Alongside Nature. For Nature does not lie. But down on the embankment alongside Mother Thames there was an Extinction Rebellion protest and the tailbacks either side of it were pumping a surplus of fumes from blocked cars, vans and buses into the air and onto the water.

Where were You, Truth?

By this stage I was in despair.

So I strolled over Waterloo bridge and towards the station to catch a train back out to the countryside. I passed a newspaper stand: “Read all about it: Starmer calls Johnson a Liar”.

I did not stop for a copy.

As the train gathered speed, the advertising hoardings blurred. Calm restored. Soon the fields of England were passing by in the window, and late evening tractoring was the only activity I noticed. It was then I sensed that soon we should be together.

“Good Evening Percy”, I called out to the farmer as I walked the last stretch home up our country lane.

“Good Evening, Dom, how was the Big Smoke?” Percy asked.

“Mirrory,” I replied with a smile, bidding him goodnight.

And that was when I saw You, standing there in the middle of the vast meadow, cold and alone, looking so dejected. I was not sure if it was You. So I inquired of You, “Who art thou?”

“My name is Truth,” You replied.

“And for what cause,” I asked, “have You left the city to dwell alone here in the wilderness?”

And so You answered,

“Because in former times, falsehood was with few, but is now with all men.”

Dominic Wightman is Editor of Country Squire Magazine.