With the Turkish air force bombing Iraqi Kurds, the Israeli air force bombing Gaza, Syria in flames, the future of Egypt still uncertain and a full scale civil war in Libya, now may not be the best time to visit the eastern Mediterranean. However, the prospect of warm, white sand between the toes and a hot sun beating down on a balding pate are reasons enough to take a four hour flight into the Levant where violent revolution coupled with the systematic oppression of minorities make the breathtaking sunsets even more poignant. Hey, call it globalisation and set the doors to manual.
An island of peace and tranquillity, albeit divided by a disputed border between Islam and Christendom and surrounded by a sea of turmoil, is probably a safer prospect than dear old blighty at the moment. With English children rioting and looting, the “vast majority” of decent, hard-working people calling for hanging, flogging, national service and all manner of blood curdling retribution and a government considering area curfews and curtailing the internet, Westminster now seems to have a draconian attitude more in common with Damascus, Tripoli or Tehran.
With prisons overflowing, the judiciary under government instruction, has thrown sentencing guidelines out of the window. A boy is subject to a curfew and is banned from accessing the internet for posting “Come on rioters, LOL” on Facebook. Two men are jailed for four years for using social media to encourage social disorder as a protest against the government and a man is sentenced to six months porridge for looting a £3.50 bottle of water. At £3.50 for water, one wonders if an earlier crime had been committed by the retailer. The “vast majority” of decent, hard-working people, who probably supported the popular uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt and now Syria, may hark back to the days when stealing a loaf of bread resulted in transportation and may secretly envy the justice of chopping off the hands of thieves.
Cameron and his chums who, and this has to stressed yet again, did not win an election, are delighted at the social unrest. Having spectacularly failed to emulate Thatcher’s Falkland adventure by screwing up in Libya, some homies helping themselves to trainers, Panasonics and Evian has proved to be a Godsend. Under cover of addressing the issues that caused the trouble, hug-a-hoodie Dave will now set about evicting the poor, stopping benefits and excluding children from school backed by the public opinion of the “vast majority” of decent, hard-working people. In the Balkans, they called this process ethnic cleansing.
With the packing done, the currency bought and the insurance against any eventuality except acts of God or governments in place, we leave for a location that saw Aphrodite rise from the sea in a shell. After what has happened during the last 15 months in England, one wonders if they take in political refugees in Beirut.
If not, then the bad tempered, rude and irascible curmudgeon will return in two weeks.
Happy rioting, LOL.