ARMAGEDDON, with the courtesy of four minutes’ warning: that was the prospect facing the world 50 years ago, as the Cuban missile crisis threatened thermonuclear war on a scale that experts today believe would have cost more than 200 million lives.2 Comments
OOOGH! He said a rude word! Even in today’s emancipated, let-it-all-hang-out society there are certain terms that are simply not acceptable in polite circles.
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Why not remove discrimination against royal bastards?
THE wind shifts. By an inevitable process, geopolitical alignments dissolve and coalesce in new configurations as nations and power blocs rise and fall. Today the West is in decline and that trend has recently accelerated.
THESE are good times to be a jihadist, especially of the Taleban persuasion.
KENNY MacAskill will go down in history as the justice secretary who legalised crime; or, at any rate, abolished punishment. Under his beneficent rule it is becoming virtually impossible for a Scottish criminal to enter prison.
THE Queen's address to the United Nations General Assembly last week was overshadowed by her visit to the site of the Twin Towers to pay her respects, and rightly so.
THE French National Assembly voted last week to ban the burqa and niqab, the two Muslim garments for women that are most enveloping; or, at least, a section of it did - of the 577 deputies, 335 voted for the ban and one against, while the remaining 241 cravenly absented themselves. Those discreet abstainers were leftists opposed to the ban but intimidated by feminist pressure groups into passivity.
THERE are certain advantages to membership of a coalition government. The most obvious, as David Cameron has discovered, is that it allows one to become Prime Minister without actually winning a general election.
CANCEL the carriage clock: retirement is for wimps. The government's announcement last week that it will abolish the so-called default retirement age, which permits firms to force employees out of work when they reach age 65, from October 2011 is welcome.
BOOK launches are ubiquitous these days, but last week witnessed one that had a claim to be distinctive. Fidel Castro unveiled to the faithful in Cuba his autobiographical memoir The Strategic Victory. The Maximum Leader treated his captive audience to a reading of extracts from it for a little over an hour, which testifies to his weakened condition - he would never have spoken with such brevity in his heyday.
THERE is no more cringe-making spectacle than the Scottish Left in the grip of an emotional spasm as it elevates a new hero to the pantheon of socialist mythology.
A MOSQUE is not the most provocative structure that could be erected in the vicinity of New York's Ground Zero - an al-Qaeda training school, for example, would arouse more antipathy - but in the catalogue of tactless initiatives an Islamic cultural centre and mosque rank pretty high. This inflammatory gesture has so offended majority opinion in America that it is now set to become a major issue in the mid-term elections in November.
THE two most weasel words distorting public policy today are "equality" and "fairness". These are the fetishist mantras of the Frankfurt School Marxism that currently dominates Western societies. They have grown like malignant tumours within the body politic so that now it is becoming disabled.
'HEY, look… I mean… Come on…" Cue lights, music - he's back! The Great Charlatan is back on stage, like an ageing rocker trying to engineer a comeback. Entitled A Journey, the memoirs of Tony Blair are an encapsulation of the instinctive mendacity, self-exculpatory whining, rampant self-interest and moral dyslexia that characterised his squalid career.
ADVANTAGE Scotland. Although the state visit of Pope Benedict XVI is still in progress, it seems unlikely that events south of the Border will rival the success of last Thursday's Papal tour de force in Edinburgh and Glasgow. The visit to the capital, in particular, proved an unexpected triumph for the Pope, with 125,000 well-wishers lining the streets to acclaim him - ironically, on the 450th anniversary of the Reformation.
THE Friendly Games took on a distinctly chilly atmosphere last week, as Scottish and other Commonwealth Games officials expressed their horror at the squalid facilities awaiting competitors in Delhi.
THE world's most secretive power bloc last week completed the tortuous process of determining the succession to its leadership, shrouded in mystery as the party's inner circle jockeyed for position in a hot-house atmosphere of factionalism, mutual loathing and fratricidal strife.
AT THE end of his recent visit, Pope Benedict XVI was told by the Prime Minister "you have challenged the whole country to sit up and think". Unfortunately, many people have failed to rise to that challenge, as was demonstrated last week when the award of the Nobel Prize for Medicine to Robert Edwards, the pioneer of in vitro fertilisation, was denounced by the head of the Pontifical Academy for Life.
'MILIBAND survives first PMQs," proclaimed the headlines after last Wednesday's weekly marionette show in the Westminster Palace of Varieties, while Labour MPs celebrated as if their leader had just been hauled out of a Chilean mine-shaft after 70 days' confinement (Ed Miliband's record shows he has taken the robust view that 90 days' confinement is no big deal, but more of that anon).