Friday, 1 April 2016

Around the world in links

We start in the nowhere-and-everywhere land of upper-middle class parenting: a good and thoughtful piece from the good and thoughtful Ross Douthat on "having it all". It is not particularly new, but none the worse for that.

Then, how Britain lost Ireland. As Daniel Hannan says, "It is hard to read the history of Britain and Ireland without wanting to weep at the missed opportunities".

On a more global note, I'm sure Hannan needs no reminding of the flags that still feature the Union Jack.

Turning from the measured tones of Douthat and Hannan, we head back to London - and how about this for something rather more strident: "Goldsmith's leaflets also promised to improve policing in London after NRIs he met and talked with, particularly elderly ones, complained of being targeted by burglars for the expensive jewellery that is often found in Indian households. This most basic of political commitments - to protect vulnerable citizens from robbery - has elicited a nasty response from Khan's supporters. The prattling ignoramus Guardian columnist, Zoe Williams, dismissed the wish to help these NRIs as a "primitive programme of materialism and fear". She then contemptuously exhorted NRIs not to care about the "trinkets" of their ancestral heirlooms - full of priceless cultural and familial value - and to worry about things other than "what is under your mattress"." If you know the TLA "NRI" then you'll guess the viewpoint - but it's not a narrow one: look for the comments on anti-semitism too ...

Let's move further afield with some thoughts on African proverbs.

By the way, the new Great Game, fought in Syria, is turning into a weird and expensive solitaire: "Syrian militias armed by different parts of the U.S. war machine have begun to fight each other on the plains between the besieged city of Aleppo and the Turkish border...". Just to complete the picture, here's more American money being used to buy (in a good way) some Syrian children in Beirut.

Finally, you can cheer yourself up by going to a Wimpy's in Essex with Ruby Tandoh.

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