Bright dawns the day with hope renewed! It certainly does when you have been prostrate for many a day and suddenly feel like putting your trotters to the ground. No idea where the bug came from, and even less where it has now gone, but it is not a companion to be desired. This being a non-monsoon day I was able to venture out into the garden. With any luck I’ll be back to allotment duties before you can say damnation to all chickens.
Meanwhile I have alternated between reading Alastair Campbell’s memoirs and newspapers in general. On the former I will mention but one thing. Campbell seems to have spent large chunks of each day noting down what one would have imagined to be confidential and privileged information. So it was in May 2003 when Blair was pushing through his dream of joining the Euro. Brown had let it be known that he, as Chancellor, would set a 5-part test. Blair believed it was simply Browns way of “thwarting” him.
And so it proved. On June 9th Brown announced that Britain had not passed the five tests. It should therefore not join the Euro currency. According to Campbell, Blair was “pretty fed up” and feared the right decision was being frustrated by his arch-enemy. So now we have at least one thing to thank Grumpy Gordon for, if Blair had been allowed free rein we would this very day be immersed in the chaotic disaster of the single currency. Thank God for Gordon Brown!
The newspapers. Given the time to study them in mind-aching depth, I have realised that the most interesting stories are those that are clearly important yet are hidden away in a paragraph on page ten or so. One of these concerned Lybia, the country that David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkosy bombed intensely throughout the Gaddafi uprising. In fact we spent billions. In fact we killed a million. But, were told, this was Cameron’s Falklands, this was about ridding the world of the most evil regime it had ever hosted.
You may have noticed that news from Libya is now as rare as hens teeth. So presumably it is now the heaven on earth promised by our dear leader as, hour by hour, he briefed us on yet another bombing raid. It most certainly isn’t. When our ambassador returned there in triumph we were told that the people lined the streets to pay homage. In reality they, or some of them, attempted to assassinate him. The Ambassador, Sir Dominic Asquith, is descended from one of our most famous Premiers and is a cousin of Helena Bonham Carter. Islamists militants launched a rocket-propelled grenade at his car and two of his bodyguards were critically wounded. How strange that a news blackout has descended on a story the like of which headline-writers dream of.
Equally strange is the omission of mention of a bomb attack on the US mission in Benghazi, or the kidnapping of a delegation from the International Criminal Court. Or, for that matter, the poublic desecration of a British Second World War cemetery. Or .. I wont go on, suffice to say an internet search throws up dozens of instances of extreme lawlessness and violence, few of which have been covered in the media. The reason for that? No briefings from central government, someone there would prefer that we remain blissfully unaware that Lybia is now even more violent and oppressive than it was under Gaddafi. In reality there is no central government, the people are living in appalling deprivation, the services that we bombed are still not working. Madmen with guns are everywhere.
There seem to be two morals here. We should be told the truth. We should stop risking the lives of our young servicemen by supporting causes we do not understand. Much though we rightly loathe people like Gadaffi and Hussain we should recognise that their countries are jam-packed with equally undesirable people.
No, it was not our dear leaders Falklands!
OUR FICKLE SPORTS WRITERS! Just a week ago every sports hack assued us that our so-called international squad, hastily assembled by Roy Hodgson, couldn’t win a raffle. Today almost every one of the selfsame experts are banging on about the celebrations that will follow Englands triumph when they bring the Euro 2012 trophy home.
So what has changed? We came from behind to beat the Swedes, that’s what. Like everyone else I would like to see England in the Final, not least because one could then reasonably ask why almost every major English club spends a fortune on continental managers and players.
But it would be nice to see a modicum of balance and caution being applied!