The tradition of giving thanks for a bountiful harvest pre-dates the Pilgrim Fathers of Plymouth Rock, all organised religions and probably even the invention of recognisable clothing. After successfully hunter-gathering the roots, berries and mammoth steaks, what better way to celebrate than pulling on the Sunday best and eating until physical activity is rendered impossible.
Fleeing from intolerance, religious oppression, imprisonment and summary execution, England Dissenters migrated first to Holland and then undertook a perilous voyage across treacherous seas to reach a new world offering a land of the free and a home for the brave. Many died in that first harsh winter but, according to legend, the colony managed to survive due to its endurance, toil and by the grace of God. Another version suggests that the local Native Americans took pity and shared their food only to be rewarded with the European gift of smallpox. (more…)
In these uncertain and dangerous times, it seems churlish to point out that even before the term was coined and the condition categorised, governments have operated from a position of paranoid schizophrenia. Monsters are out to kill us, they bellow. We will be murdered unless you do exactly what we tell you to do. Vote for us and we will keep you safe in exchange for your civil liberties. You have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide. In the aftermath of yet another dreadful atrocity, “leaders” feel it necessary, usually in the same statement, to tell us that we are in great danger and yet also quite safe. (more…)
I know that my disgraceful behaviour and offensive lack of respect has caused incalculable distress and justifiable outrage. I have brought shame upon my family; I have let myself down and I have let the nation down. No possible apology is even remotely acceptable and I can only throw myself at the mercy of my betters in the vain hope of forgiveness. There are no excuses or vacuous invented justifications; I did what I did and I`m very, very sorry. (more…)
As David Cameron repeatedly reminds us, the first duty of a British Prime Minister is to protect the safety and security of British citizens at home and abroad. However, his courageous decision to ground all flights to and from a holiday resort on the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula is not the tactical triumph of TE Lawrence taking Aqaba from the desert hinterland.
Obviously a lot has changed in 102 years and Lawrence was considered insane to cross the Jordanian Nefud desert allied to the Arab Revolt in order to oust the Ottoman Empire defenders from the strategically significant port. Quite why Cameron wanted to shut down Sharm el-Sheikh airport is anyone`s guess. (more…)
Apparently from the BBC
There has been a lot of talk about British values of late with some far from noble politicians suggesting that tolerance and decency are somehow exclusively British attributes. For the most part, the British people have always been fairly tolerant and generally decent and over the years have managed to put up with some dreadful monarchs and some dreadful governments.
Celts, Romans, Saxons, Vikings and Normans came, saw, conquered and some stayed and others went. Having integrated and accepted the craic, the status quo, the zeitgeist and the smorgasbord of denouement, Britons went on to rule the waves enabling the nation to see off the Armada, the Luftwaffe, Communist hoards and General Galtieri. (more…)