The Manicured Sophistry of Israel

I am getting tired and depressed listening to representatives of the Israeli government explain, with their manicured sophistry, just how essential it is to protect Israel that Israel should bomb women and children while they sleep in a United Nations shelter in Gaza, and how it is proportionate that the body count of Palestinians exceeds that of Israelis by a factor of twenty and how to describe such body count as disproportionate is “emotive”. Continue reading

The Balance Sheet of Death

Traditionally dictators and tyrants keep good order over the nations they rule, because to do otherwise would put their rule in peril. Once the tyrant is deposed new potential tyrants emerge and the nation suffers civil war and destruction until one tyrant manages to seize power. Continue reading

The Banker’s Exemption From the Criminal Law

It is better to use short words instead of long phrases. We should not call spades agricultural implements and we should not call fraud  serious misconduct. However, if you a fraudster operating in the banking system, organising large scale deceptions your chances of being prosecuted are so low that I do not think I can compute them.

There are so many examples of this, that I stand in pause to know where I should first begin, but I shall simply mention the sale by all the major UK banks of interest rate hedging products to small and medium sized businesses. Continue reading

The Military Objective of a War is to Win the Peace that Follows

Wars are complex difficult events but when you simplify the act of fighting a war to its bare essentials the way to victory is to kill more of the enemy than the enemy can kill of your side. Ultimately, if you can kill all of the enemy you will likely succeed in the political aims of the war. These days no one can kill all of their enemies; international law requires warring parties to leave plenty of enemies alive, and in those you leave alive you leave a breeding ground for generations of enemies that will plague you with endless war.  Continue reading

GM Crops

Manufacturers of genetically modified crops make great claims about them especially when lobbying government, but they do not explain the disadvantages about their products. Continue reading

Dust Rising

When I was very young I lived in Drury Lane London WC1, where the Muffin Man once lived. Drury Lane is a very narrow street, then filled with tenements and my family (all five of us) live at number 163 in one room , with a kitchen. We shared a bathroom with others in the building. Our room was on the first floor, with two sash windows overlooking the narrow busy road, which then had cafes and cheap restaurants for those visiting the theatres or the Law Courts and cheaper places to eat for those who lived there. The nearest park was Lincoln’s Inn Fields, where my mother would perambulate us. Continue reading

Counting

I count the steps as I walk, the seconds as I do a task which is necessary but uninteresting. It relieves the tedium, but I forget the numbers when my counting stops. The pavements are hard and unforgiving, but each flagstone has its own character and its own personality. I waste time thus in dreary frenzy. I wash down the drugs with preparations hoping extend my life, bloated by my belly bare, hoping to count to the number that will do what I cannot.