The cranes mark the sky, their spindly presence both interrupting the otherwise clear vista and signalling the permanent interruptions which they conjure forth.
It takes a long time to plan the use of a crane, so these were certainly ordered and planned before the 24th of June, 2016 - the day which marks a turning point in a (once) great nation. The excuse that racists and xenophobes up and down this strange island (and across the western world, it seems) had been waiting for to unleash all those thoughts and feelings they used to keep to themselves, but could never quite understand why.
They just want their country back, they say. They just want to make sure that everyone is looked out for. They just want to make sure that this tidal wave of change and progress doesn't fuck them over — on this at least they have some sympathy. They just want to do this in the name of everyone, for our own good. They have always thought these thoughts, even as society cruelly prevented them from articulating them.
Then they found their champion. A woman (if she must be) who wasn't like the others. Who spoke to them. Who said and endorsed things that sounded at least a little bit like all those thoughts they've been thinking but not allowed to say — but never the exact same, always tempered somewhat. A vicar’s daughter sent from heaven to rescue them from the oppressive rule of the people who live in the places they holiday — whose cooking they enjoy, but who they actually find a bit strange.
This woman admired them. She said so openly in stilted, jaunty prose, as she addressed the nation. But they know she's speaking to them. That she's there to take the country back, for them. To hold back the tide of global progress, while ushering in a new era of their global influence. They know this is not contradictory, for they have righteousness on their side and they know that, in the long run, it is the righteous who will triumph. Their idea of their national history determines this.
Other peoples’ idea of history is different. Incompatible. Inferior. They are weak, deferential. They need to be shown their place, violently if needs must, then they will understand truly how good recent events will be. The country has spoken, they say - though whether anyone was listening all that closely is unclear.
And so both sides find themselves (lost). And both sides realise their differences. And both sides define themselves thusly. And both sides argue. And one side will win. And we'll all lose. And the cranes will disappear.