A flood, a torrent, a tidal wave
Returning from a recent trip abroad, I was shocked and stunned at the numbers of Bulgarian and Romanian economic migrants, health tourists, potential benefit scroungers and other foreign looking ne`er-do-wells thronging the arrivals terminal.
Given all the dire warnings of an influx of criminal gang masters, I was outraged to find not a single one of them coming over here and stealing our jobs. It would seem that they are coming tomorrow, or next week, or next month or possibly on the day before an election. That very smartly dressed young man being met by officials from a local Premier League football club doesn`t count because it was 12 hours prior to the close of the transfer window and it`s absolutely wonderful when they come over here scoring our goals. There is something charmingly comic when football fans scream racist abuse when an opposing overseas player clogs lumps out of one of their own overseas players or when the overseas manager fails to come up with the end of season silverware. (more…)
There can be few things sadder than seeing formerly dignified and noble institutions descend into squalid decay or once respected and decent individuals fall from greatness into the gutter of ruined reputation.
First among equals in the downward spiral towards derelict oblivion seems to be parliamentary democracy. According to our government, doctors, nurses, support staff and ambulance crews wilfully neglect their duty and are deliberately harming every single NHS patient. By this bizarre logic, the NHS is evil and has to be dismantled. Teachers and their sinister assistants have blighted the lives of children and ruined state education. State education, therefore, is failing and needs to be put out of its misery. What passes for government thinking might also conclude that every police officer constantly tells lies about cabinet ministers, fire fighters start fires, badgers cause floods and fracking will cure cancer. The welfare state, constructed in the aftermath of war and a litmus test of just how compassionate and civilised a nation is, is dead. The illness was mercifully short. It has been less than (more…)
By any stretch of the imagination, it has been a difficult week for former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych. Setting aside allegations of electoral fraud, the poisoning of his main political opponent and the imprisonment and torture of a woman Prime Minister, poor Viktor has been getting a lot of bad press lately. Imagine being a democratically elected leader and being forced to flee your native land with only a large Antonov transport aircraft stuffed with gold bullion for comfort. Fortunately he is now under the protection of Putin and continues to claim legitimacy even as Russian troops mass on the border with Ukraine. The people of Kiev and the western provinces might include right-wing fascists armed with Kalashnikovs but they can all spot a crook when they see one. (more…)
M C Escher (1898 – 1972)
Even after thousands and thousands of years during which lots and lots of very, very clever people tried to define reality, we are still no closer to a universal proof of anything; the only certainty is that nothing is certain.
Since the days of Plato, successive governments have understood that everything is open to interpretation and have carefully exploited the benefits of chaos theory whist simultaneously denying that chaos actually exists. Our current bunch of self-appointed masters having ditched any notion of logic applied to economic policy are now systematically working their way through the sum of human knowledge discarding most of it as being irrelevant.
The rules of valid reasoning, logical argument and proof based analysis no longer seem to apply and we now enter a period of history when reverse logic takes the place of actual fact. So when an A and E department in Belfast declares a major incident because it cannot cope with the numbers of people who require treatment, it is described by some talking head in a suit from the Northern Ireland Assembly as a “one off” and nothing to worry about. A major incident usually involves some traumatic event such as an aircraft no longer being an aircraft, a train that has decided not to be a train anymore or, given that particular part of the world`s unhappy history, a bloody big bomb going off. (more…)
The Lord of Misrule
As Twelfth Night passes and with the tinsel, the baubles and the plastic tree safely stashed in the loft for another year, it is time for all God-fearing souls to commemorate Epiphany.
Depending on which calendar you use and which Gods you worship and further ignoring previous pagan rituals and the rather wonderful Saturnalia, history started on the sixth day of January Year Zero when the adoring Magi confirmed that a baby born to a migrant virgin in an outhouse was indeed the Son of God. If that happened today, I very much doubt that the Department of Work and Pensions would believe Mary`s story and Iain Duncan Smith would again waste parliamentary time with anecdotal tales of feckless, promiscuous young women seeking flat screen TVs via the medium of procreation. Mr Duncan Smith is a self-confessed Christian so thank the good Lord that Mr Duncan Smith was able to enjoy a hearty, well-fed and warm Christmas courtesy of the British tax-payer. Epiphany, however, is quite a different feast. (more…)