Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Cameron's Folly

Ich bin ein Englander,
Frau Merkel!
One of my favourite pieces from Yes Minister is the piece where Jim Hacker, brushing off a local issue of seemingly little importance, has it explained to him that the issue could compromise him electorally.  He suddenly reassesses his interest, slips his hand inside the lapel of his jacket, and proclaims "but they are my people, and I am their leader!  I must follow them!"  David Cameron could have said as much today as he launched what his advisor should have called a brave initiative.  

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Oh No, Not Again...

Lord Moulton of Forgettery
We've discussed Britain's problem with history before, or rather its predilection for forgetting when it comes to its past indiscretions.  But a segment on the Channel 4 News last night was utterly astonishing.  Their business correspondent Sarah Smith nabbed a doozie with what might best be referred to as a proper posh toff from the city in discussing the extensive investments of the Qatari sovereign wealth fund in London.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Twitter Trolls: Permanence, Insanity, Defamation and Forgetting

Daniel Sickles, the first man acquitted by
reason of temporary insanity in the US
Daniel Edgar Sickles died in 1914 at the age of 95.  He had had a successful and long life, as a military leader at Gettysburg, US Ambassador to Spain, and Congressman.  He also had a colourful life, plagued by scandals, the highlight of which - if it can be called such - was his acquittal for the murder of his wife's lover, for the first defence in the US courts of temporary insanity.  While there was some unease with the verdict, the public outcry was most pronounced when it became known that he had returned to his wife, who he had publicly branded a harlot.  The people of 1859 were fickle, it appears, and not all that well grounded in legal philosophy and considered righteousness; plus ca change, then.