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…)
Diplomacy, according to Winston Churchill, is the art of telling people to go to hell in such a way that they ask for directions. Theodore Roosevelt was more pragmatic and suggested that “if you`ve got them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow”. Tony Blair, however, suggests that we should carry a great big stick and shout very, very loudly.
Former Prime Ministers usually do the decent thing by disappearing off into their dotage leaving memories of bygone days and are only occasionally wheeled out in public like some creepy uncle at a family funeral or wedding to make everybody else feel uncomfortable. Not so with former Prime Minister Tony Blair. (more…)
Fear and surprise
The origins of a united and powerful Spain can be traced back to the marriage of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile in 1469 and although they might only have been teenagers, when they later succeeded to their respective thrones – Ay caramba! – look out world.
Commissioning the voyages of Christopher Columbus, they began the wholesale plundering of Central and South America. Their fanatical devotion to Pope Sixtus IV unleashed a vicious pogrom against Judaism, Islam and basically anything that wasn`t considered Catholic. Nobody expected technological innovations such as the rack, the garrotte and water boarding to be so successful at forcing religious conversion through ruthless efficiency. The Inquisition also invented ghettos. (more…)
Whenever there is a shift in political balance, regardless of its magnitude, it is inevitably described as a lurch to something other than the status quo. The results of the European and local elections in the UK might suggest a small jump to the left with a simultaneous step to the right but what is likely to drive us all insane is the inappropriate and worryingly vulgar pelvic thrust of the unpleasant Farage creature. Rather than lurching in any particular direction, British politics and the politics of Europe and beyond are swirling into a combined vortex heading inexorably down the drain. (more…)
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…)