Arab Nationalism is an oxymoron. It was born out of debates in a literary society formed in
It had been a central plank of British diplomacy endorsed by Palmerston that the
Winston Churchill has been called a great war leader. Perhaps. But it is worth remembering he did write the definitive history of the war.
The historian Noble Frankland is less enthusiastic. He has pointed out Churchill thought that air support on a battlefield would add a complication without an advantage; that the Germans would be unable to break the French on the Western Front; that the Japanese would be too cautious to enter the war and, if they did,
The decision that cast the longest shadow was his determination in World War 1 to invade the Ottoman Empire, which resulted in the massacre at Gallipoli and much of the mess in which we now find ourselves.
In his day,
The central British aim in the Middle East was to defeat Russian designs in Asia, the buffer that protected
Winston Churchill promoted the idea of invading the
British diplomats in
When the Young Turks took over the government no one knew anything about them. The Dragoman reported it was a Jewish conspiracy and that the Jews controlled the new Government. In fact there were only four Jews in the 288-man parliament. This mistaken belief had a disproportionate effect on future policy in the
Much of the Arab policy was based on a hoax by a 24 year old deserter from the Ottoman Army, Lt Muhammad Sharif al Faruqi. Claiming to be a member of an Arab Secret Society with important information for the British Government, he was accepted without question by Gilbert Clayton, the Head of British Intelligence in
British diplomats threw themselves wholeheartedly into the business of making the
Sir Charles Sykes, an expert on the Middle East, designed banners in black, white, green and red to symbolise the past glory of Muslim Arabs for Hussein and his
Whilst T.E. Lawrence, on behalf of the Government, was promising Hussein and his Arabs their own kingdom, Sykes and a French diplomat Francis Georges Picot signed an agreement which shared out
The Balfour Doctrine has an interesting history. It was heavily supported by Lloyd George, which was not surprising. Apart from his Cabinet office, he ran a lucrative firm of lawyers. One of the principal clients was the British Zionist party, whose cause he eagerly espoused.
His work for the Christian Zionists put the Welsh trickster in touch with Dr Chaim Weizmann, a chemist and lecturer at
It is worth remembering that the much maligned T E Lawrence did warn that what is now
I have suspected it for sometime. Now, thanks to a fascinating book, ”Nudge”, by an American academic Richard Thaler, I know that is true.
Somewhere in the dark recesses of what used to be my mind an RSM lurks. Boots gleaming, badge twinkling, pace stick at the high port, he is i/c discipline and responsible for all my actions. Thanks to him, my inner activity lock is set at instant default. Whatever I think to do, be it gardening or tidying up my library, his nagging voice says “Oh, I shouldn’t bother”. And I don’t.
Thaler points out that Nudging is not new. He praises the airport authorities in
Outwards nudging he calls choice architecture, and instances the way supermarkets lay out their store so that the customer is drawn to the items they are most anxious to sell. Doesn’t work with the RSM.
THERE WILL NEVER BE AN
My ill-paid district nurse scrimped and saved to send her bright son to a fee paying grammar school. He justified her faith. He has projected ‘As’ in all subjects. He has been told not to apply for the LSE or Oxbridge. They are only taking children from underprivileged homes.
My district nurse points out that her family has been under privileged in order to educate her son