Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Monday, 9 July 2012
Something very depressing occurred to me this morning - that all this industrial activity front and back, 24 hours a day, is just the commercial equivalent of fiddling whilst Rome burns.
I cannot say whether or not my spirits would have been lifted if I had gone to bed last night in the secure knowledge that Andy Murray had won the men's final, but the sight of one of a pair of nesting gulls on a nearby roof, desperately trying to cower from vicious (thanks, Sarah) attack by it's neighbours because it has a broken wing, did not help. I don't know how it got back to it's roost when it cannot fly, but maybe it was broken up there - possibly by one of it's neighbours. Red in tooth, claw and beak.
A broadcaster this morning drew a parallel between the current events in Syria and the atrocities committed in the 1870s by Ottoman Turkey in Bulgaria, when the slitting of the throats of innocent women and children was glossed over by a prime minister who was keen not to upset Turkey. Benjamin Disraeli's lines were spoken by Andrew Sachs - the actor who played Manuel in 'Fawlty Towers'.
In the end, they all agreed that there are some international situations which you just have to sit back and watch - even if you can afford to get militarily involved. Paddy Ashdown, the ex-soldier turned politician, has first-hand knowledge of this, when he donned a blue helmet and went over to the Balkans to stand by and stare as hundreds of civilians had their throats cut by an opposing tribe - knowing that they could be observed doing it with impunity. Who needs the Peace Corps?
For 'Bulgaria', read Syria, and for the 'Ottoman Empire', read Russia. Whilst the women and children are being slaughtered with Russia's blessing, two Russian oligarchs are currently fighting it out in London, squabbling over a few million dollars which they don't need - a fraction of the profits made by the biggest aluminium works in the world, the ownership of which is being contested by one over the other. London's top barristers are making so much money from this, that the loser of the case will probably pay more than the sum contested.
The whole point of the radio program which had Sachs reading Disraeli was to show that there are events in history which continually repeat themselves, and we are supposed to learn a lesson from taking a long-view. The lesson to be learned from any of this is that psychopaths have never - and will never - shed a single tear over the violent death of one innocent child. The other lesson to be learned (too late now) is that - somehow - we have allowed psychopaths to infiltrate every aspect of international social life until they are now in such a position of global power, that there is almost nothing anyone can do about it, other than wait for them to die off and hope they do not form dysfunctional dynasties.