General Rose should do a Colonel Pride

General Sir Michael RoseUnlike today’s spivs who stack parliamentary votes by knavish trickery, Colonel Thomas Pride was a straightforward man of action. When in 1648 it looked likely that the Long Parliament would vote the wrong way, the good colonel moved in with his troops and removed those MPs who hadn’t seen the light of the new dawn.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not in favour of a military coup d’état as a routine method of government. However, as Guy Fawkes once said, desperate times call for desperate measures, and our times are as desperate as they get.

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Walesa is no news in the news

Source: Giedymin Jabłoński [CC BY-SA 3.0 pl]
Our papers’ unquenchable thirst for regurgitating yesterday’s news is nothing short of amazing.

That Lech Walesa was in cahoots with Służba Bezpieczeństwa, the Polish secret police, has been mooted since 1989, when he was universally hailed as the heroic liberator of Poland. His codename in the Służba, Bolek, was also widely known.

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Hitchen’s attack on Ukranian independence

Peter HitchensThe other day I suggested that trying to support a wrong proposition can make even intelligent people sound silly. Any defence of Russia’s aggression against the Ukraine does just that.

Witness Peter Hitchens, who generally makes sense when arguing in favour of supportable propositions, such as leaving the EU or refraining from forays into the Middle East for the sake of spreading democracy. But he does have a soft spot for Putin, possibly predisposed that way by his own, not so distant, Trotskyist past.

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The EU debate is lost no matter who wins

EU FlagThe less I say about the sick, pathetic joke that goes by the name of Dave’s deal with the EU, the better. Our papers are bulging with the details of this travesty, and there’s little one can add.

Regular readers of this space know that I predicted something along these lines months ago. Dave would get some crumbs off the EU’s table, I wrote, some meaningless and instantly revocable concessions. Then he’ll pass that as a triumph, claim that the very nature of our relationship with the EU has changed and rush into a referendum with every hope of winning it.

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Nothing like the EU to inspire idiocy

Emma ThompsonActually, this isn’t fair, it’s not just the EU. Defending any unsound proposition can make even an intelligent person sound silly.

Take atheism, for example. Someone who doesn’t believe in God may be bright, within certain limits. But even an extremely intelligent man sounds idiotic when he tries to defend his atheism rationally.

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We must thank Obama for solving our problems

Barak Obama
Official portrait of President-elect Barack Obama on Jan. 13, 2009.
(Photo by Pete Souza)

It’s kind of Obama to share with us the benefit of his resounding success in solving America’s own problems. Proceeding from that solid base, this living argument against reverse discrimination has decided to offer Britain some avuncular advice.

It’s futile to project one’s own feelings on the country at large, but advice is always welcome – provided that whoever proffers it has at least a remote idea of what he’s talking about. Alas, in Obama’s case this precondition isn’t met, which makes his advice not only useless but also annoying.

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Communism does funny things to tennis

Tennis racket and ball
By nao2g [CC BY 3.0]
Two tennis officials have just been banned for match fixing, which isn’t remarkable in itself. Dangle easy money before people’s eyes and watch them light up – boys will be boys.

What did catch my attention is that one of the banned officials is a Croat and the other a Russian living in Kazakhstan. Eastern Europeans, both.

Admittedly, a sample of two is insufficient for drawing statistically significant conclusions. So let’s broaden the sample a bit.

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