Archive | March, 2022

War, Williamson and Warne.

7 Mar

It is difficult to write anything in these dark times. Today the sun shines and Spring is at hand in rural Kent. The forecast is good for golf tomorrow. A short flight from here Ukraine languishes in a wintry hell. The reports from extraordinary journalists of Ukrainian bravery and Russian aggression have dumbfounded us all. We watch in horror, feeling our own impotence. Sure we can raise money, send parcels, voice support. But only 50 visas so far? For God’s sake Priti, Dominic or whoever is in charge. You demean us all.

Matthew Syed’s excellent piece in yesterday’s Sunday Times The was has woken the West to its own decay, is one of several articles of late pointing out how Putin has watched the decadent West disappear up it own arse. Syed notes that civilisations have a tendency to climb to a high point of success before decadence, greed and corruption swallow up society. A survey in 1950 asked students if they agreed with the statement I am a very important person. 12% said yes. By 1990 this had ‘exploded’ to 80% and is still rising. Syed’s point is that we have become ‘…more vain and self-obsessed, more focussed on rights than responsibilities, more likely to seek fame as an end in itself rather than achieving something worthy of fame. We are also more likely to heatedly disagree on trivial matters such as whether the word curry amounts to cultural appropriation – a classic case of what the British anthropologist Ernest Crawley calls calls “the narcissism of small differences.”‘ We have disappeared up our own orifices and while Xi Jinping and Putin were getting stuck into their global strengthening at the expense of whomsoever appeared to be in their way we were ‘arguing over gender-neutral toilets.’

The sick joke which is the ennoblement of Gavin Williamson can be seen as part of this disgraceful and corrupt descent into government without standards or probity. The man was a fawning failure. He is knighted for keeping his mouth shut. As we chase Russian money round London we have some of it sitting in the House of Lords or paying for the vodka at Downing Street parties. What a state to get into.

And Shane Warne. Great and Genius are bandied words but both apply. While influencers and Tik-Tokkers get millions of followers to fill their unforgiving minutes, hours…days – Shane Warne played cricket with such flair and panache and personality. That ball which bamboozled Gatting. I was honoured to be at Old Trafford when he snaffled his 600th test wicket. A day to make the world of cricket smile and applaud. We now mourn him on the same weekend as such dark forces engulf Ukraine. Perhaps us all.

%d bloggers like this: