Monday, August 31, 2009
The London Times, sadly, offers us the following today. "The row over the early release of the Lockerbie bomber ten days ago shows no sign of abating after the Ministry of Justice indicated that the decision to include al-Megrahi in a prisoner transfer agreement had been made with the possibility of trade deals with Libya in mind. The negotiations over a prisoner transfer agreement were part of a wider agreement (trade, oil, nuclear non-proliferation, perhaps?) for the 'normalisation of relations' with Libya as part of bringing them into the international community.''
How awfully sporting of us, and how ineffably stupid our political masters believe us to be. Spin has become an almost mandatory gambit whereby the insecure coax themselves into an Orwellian doublespeak which is delusional, immature and dishonest.
Smokescreening is not confined to the British Isles, however. Hamas has attacked the UN, alleging the organisation planned to teach Palestinian children in the Gaza Strip about the Holocaust, but the UN agency which runs schools in the enclave has hitherto not confirmed any curriculum changes. Calling the Shoah "a lie invented by the Zionists," Hamas wrote in an open letter to a senior UN official that he should withdraw plans for a new history book in the UN schools. Ah. Should he, indeed. I wonder if those labouring under Hamas' bitter and mendacious rule ever wonder if they are being lied to also. The cartoon is clumsy, misleading and, oh, yes. Immature and dishonest.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Saturday, August 15, 2009
John H Glover-Kind wrote the famous old music hall song in 1907. With the exception of multicoloured fairy lights, casting reflective splashes at night on the waters of the boating lake, little structurally seems to have changed. Culturally, however, the changes are profound. Wooden boats have gone, huge plastic swans have taken their place. Vast, well-sprung perambulators have been replaced by space age buggies, starched nannies and beparasoled ladies have disappeared, loud Eastenders in Versace copies and flipflops have taken their place. Children with improbable, porcupine haircuts attempt to destroy the gaudy toys bought for them from shops selling ticketed gewgaws. What’s all this about? Being English, I suppose. I find myself drowning in a welter of mediocrity, cultural blurring and lack of social cohesion or initative. I wish I knew what being English actually meant, the rules posted on the clubhouse door so that I could sign up before entry and feel that I belonged. As it is, I’m quite a well-dressed foreigner, it seems.
Ran across this today. India is a genuinely rainbow nation, but has a unique cultural identity and seems in some way that the UK does not, to know where it is headed. Determined, resourceful people are still doing the job of nation building, sixty two years on.
Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we will redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance .... We end today a period of ill fortune, and India discovers herself again."