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…)
November 23, 2015
November 17, 2015
François-Marie Arouet, better known as Voltaire, was born in Paris in 1694 and died in Paris at the ripe old age of 83. Frequently exiled or banged up in the Bastille for having a pop at the Church, the Monarchy; the State and just about anything else that smacked of hypocrisy, Voltaire was at the centre of the Enlightenment and gave voice to the beginnings of the French Republic. Now considered to be a national hero, he has a splendid Haussmann designed avenue named in his honour.
Exactly 250 years ago and about 25 years before the start of the French Revolution, Voltaire published an essay critical of organised religion called “Questions sur les Miracles”. In it, he said:
“Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” (more…)
November 9, 2015
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…)
November 4, 2015
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…)
October 21, 2015
It would be erroneous to suggest that the strange universe occupied by David Cameron is governed on the basis of duplicity, distraction, disinformation and downright lies. These leadership qualities so brilliantly manifested by the Prime Minister are not, as some have suggested, second nature to the Right Honourable member of parliament for Witney, but are in fact his default position on just about everything known, unknown, secret or even in plain sight.
On the rare occasions when he is directly challenged by a supine media regarding some truly disturbing allegations, he is heard to comment that “a full denial has been made” even though no denial has been made. When pressed on a particularly tricky issue, he says (more…)