Showing posts from May, 2014

Was Prince Charles Merely Guilty of Telling the Truth?

Oh dear. Prince Charles has hit the headlines again - at least in Britain - by speaking his mind.  There is no such thing as a private conversation when you're the heir to the British throne - and starting to take on more quasi-monarchical duties to boot - but His Royal Highness sometimes seems to forget that.  Nevertheless, it would be difficult to take exception to his comments regarding Vladimir Putin and that gentleman's similarities to Adolf Hitler in his approach to Ukraine.

Mr. Putin's actions in the Crimea and eastern Ukraine could have come straight out of the Hitler Handbook to Foreign Policy.  In 1938, as any fule kno, the Austrian Nazis started to cause trouble for the regime of Chancellor Schuschnigg.  Hitler demanded that the rights of Austrian Germans be respected, and then upped the ante to demand a full union of Austria and Germany, Anschluss, as befitted two nations with a common German speaking heritage.  Schuschnigg at first tried to resist the German …

Eurovision Fall-Out

It was not just a high-camp evening of dubious musical ability.  Last night's Eurovision Song Contest was also thoroughly political, with the western liberal audience of Copenhagen booing everytime Russia gained points, and a thorough victory for the ultimate symbol of western sexual tolerance, a bearded transvestite of ambiguous sexuality. 

Some right-wing British commentators are noting that the people's phone-in vote has been shafted by the vote of the euro-appointed professional jury - apparently the British people wanted Poland's saucy milkmaids to win, but the euro-elite took it on themselves to award our big points to the Austrian bearded one.  Meanwhile, the Russians are furious, and our old friend the ultra-nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky, a man who makes Vladimir Putin look like a particularly weak human incarnation of a wilting violet, has been calling down vengeance on Europe.  He has also suggested that the Soviets should never have bothered freeing Austria …

Missing Paxo

After a series of fairly terse - if perfectly polite - exchanges of letters, Jeremy Paxman came and spoke to the students at Sutton Grammar at the beginning of the January term.  He did seem a little world-weary if I'm honest, but was an interesting conversationalist, cutting to the quick of topics, using a vast reservoir of knowledge to inform his comments and questions.  I asked him to speak on politics and journalism , although I got the impression he might have preferred the historical topic of World War 1, with which he was very clearly engaged.  He gave, as expected, a masterly survey of politics, spicing it with his own sceptical view (but not cynical I should add), and seemed to enjoy his question and answer session with the students.  His answers were vigorous, but why should anyone expect anything less, and he was himself never less than polite and interested in each student's question.  Perhaps one of the comments he made, in answer to a question about journalism (…