Shave and a haircut
It was no less a visionary than Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi who allegedly said that an eye for an eye leaves the world blind. It is not certain when the Mahatma offered this rather sensible advice or in what context he intended it to be used but it is tempting to imagine that this call for sanity was made during the partition of India in 1947. If it was true then, then it is true now and was equally true in 1948 with the creation of the State of Israel.
The mindless horror once again unfolding in Gaza does not have its root cause in the end of the British mandate in Palestine or even in the British Balfour Declaration of 1917. Although those events have unquestionably contributed to the current madness, we need to consider a more ancient time when Jerusalem was the centre of a much smaller universe, London was a swamp and the followers of Abraham decided to go their separate ways. When Abraham laid the foundations for three of the great world religions; Christianity, Islam and Judaism, even his great wisdom could not have imagined that God`s vengeance would promote the schism and be delivered by suicide vest or laser guided from Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. (more…)
Banksy via streetartutopia.com
In these dark and perilous hours, my thoughts and prayers are with my fellow British citizens as we face the most grievous emergency to ever threaten the very existence of our proud and free nation.
Hoards of organised criminals, terrorists, perverts and Trade Unionists are openly conspiring to send each other pictures of sodding cats and are communicating via comments about TV programmes that nobody else is watching. It is vital that we remain vigilant against this unspeakable plot and happily wave goodbye to civil liberties justifiably sacrificed on the sacred alter of national security. In David Cameron we have a leader who is at last courageous enough steam roller emergency legislation to allow government free access to every snippet of electronic communication without the unnecessary delay of allowing elected MPs to actually debate or even read the DRIP bill. (more…)
Hello? What? Yes I`ve tried that.
As a family, we are experts at dealing with unexpected calamity and the occasional crisis but Sunday proved to be cataclysmic as the full horror of the collapse of internet network connection visited our humble home.
The first horseman of the apocalypse crashed through the roof when an anguished scream was heard coming from an upper storey of the east wing of our small to medium mansion at about lunchtime. Engaged in “blowing away” cyborgs to reach the next level of some surrogate game designed to replace a more sensible passage to manhood, the son and heir issued a loud frustrated expletive when the internet crashed just before he had achieved enough kills to entitle him to deploy cluster bombs. On a previous occasion when male bonding was deemed necessary, I ventured the proposition that if it were a cyborg, then the screen should not be covered with just blood, brains and gore, but that the gloop should also contain the occasional microchip, PCB and possibly a resistor or two. He shrugged, saying that “it`s not real” and then quoted Asimov, Arthur C Clarke and even Descartes. I managed to resist the temptation to slap him round the back of the head. (more…)
The full English
Enjoying a breakfast consisting of a croissant and a cup of strong Turkish coffee, a person from Scotland informed me of the news of the day via a radio manufactured in Taiwan. With an elbow resting on the Swedish worktop, I poured another cup of Yemen`s finest from the stainless steel Spanish percolator and considered the question being asked on the radio. British values, it seems, are to be promoted in British schools and the questioner was asking what defines British values.
Responding to a non-existent plot to indoctrinate children into the ways of terrorism, Michael Gove now insists that British values will be actively promoted in schools. He helpfully added that British values include respect and tolerance and liberty and without any sense of shame or irony, the PM chimed in with talk of responsibility. The mouthful of coffee ended up all over the Chinese wok. (more…)
A bird on a spike
There is much to be admired when a nifty bit of lateral thinking neatly side-steps an obviously embarrassing problem. In the strange world of Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council, the invention of creative excuses is informed by a wonderful surrealism that would merit the municipal equivalent of the Turner Prize.
Even the most apathetic and innumerate Walsall council tax payer must have raised a quizzical eyebrow at the news that it costs 10 grand to move the flagpole that sits proudly atop the big house on Lichfield Street. In a moment of unusual lucidity, supreme leader Councillor Mike Bird said: (more…)