Is Brexit turning UK into modern-day Land of the Lotus Eaters? – leader comment

Sales of lavender-based products have soared as people seek ways to relax amid the UK’s Brexit-related political turmoil.

Demand for products made from lavender, such as that seen in this field in France, is increasing.

In Homer’s Odyssey, the hero and his crew find themselves blown off course by “foul winds” until they reach the “Land of the Lotus-eaters”.

The people who lived there gave some of the Greeks the fruit of the lotus flower, which proved to be “so delicious that those who ate of it left off caring about home, and did not even want to go back and say what had happened to them, but were for staying and munching lotus with the Lotus-eaters without thinking further” about going home.

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They “wept bitterly” when Odysseus forced them to return to their ships and tied them under the benches, while the rest of the crew “smote the grey sea with their oars”.

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Stressed consumers turn to lavender to combat effects of political strife

Some think this fabled isle was just off Tunisia, but could it have been Britain?

According to market researchers at the NPD Group, sales of lavender-based beauty products have soared by 552 per cent as people seek to forms of ‘natural relaxation’ to help cope with Brexit and the UK’s current political turmoil.

The effect of lavender-sniffing may not be as strong as lotus-eating, but we should remember that, however relaxed we feel, our political problems must still be confronted.