Saturday, 16 April 2011


To hospital to book a date to have yet another skin cancer removed. It is the Acne of the Aged.
The girl said, “Don't forget to bring proof of your nationality.” I was shocked. I said, “Young lady, the badge on my blazer denotes membership of the finest regiment in the British Army, the Veterans' badge was given me by a grateful country for the blood I spilt in the service of the king in NAAFIs all over Europe.

“My ancestors were invited to this benighted country by Edward the Confessor in 1033 AD to build castles to keep the Welsh at bay. Had they known that a thousand years later you were to insult us, we would have stayed in Normandy and you would be scraping cancers off hordes of chapel goers in suits made from old prayer book covers.”

She said, “Oh, wouldn't it be fun if you brought evidence of that!” “Your wish is my command, I told her.” I am taking my two-volume family tree. I I am not a fan of the Fenland countryside but it is still England, which is more than can be said for the rest of the country. We have a large immigrant population but they are working on the land, doing jobs that our own people scorn. . Having said that and speaking as an unashamed tribalist, I am delighted that the Government has decided there are too many immigrants. I object to the way a large Muslim population do not assimilate and in many places have stolen my country. They bring their home country with them.

That would not have been permitted in Ancient Rome. I am reading Bettany Hughes's delightful book on Socrates and I suspect there was a movement in Athens as well to control outsiders. In both cases, this was achieved by limiting the right to citizenship. Citizenship was much prized. Pericles introduced a law that said a person could only become a citizen if both his parents were.

Citizenship should be a qualification for the benefits of the Welfare State. By the same token (lovely phrase,)I cannot see why women cannot decide for themselves whether to hide their faces or adorn themselves with a crucifix. The idea of using relics of instruments of torture as expressions of faith puzzles me but it is no affair of mine. Are heavy veils to be banned as signs of mourning?

In the Late Middle Ages sumptuary laws governing dress were instituted as a way for the nobility to cap the conspicuous consumption of the prosperous bourgeoisie of medieval cities, and they continued to be used for these purposes well into the 17th century. But I see no reason for them now. The only necessary law would be against wearing full veils through customs. Simple to say that if you cannot show your face you cannot come into or get out of the country. Robbers wear masks to hold up cashiers. Are we to ban their use at parties? And what of the Venice carnival?
Our poor country. My son in Baghdad told me this morning he is appalled at the way our diplomats crawl to the sheiks,


The instruments of destruction of the long green silence of countryside are of course Wind Turbines. The Triffid de nos jours.

According to Stephen Mitten in his book on cognitive archaeology “Prehistory of the Mind”, our world is a play that has gone on for six million years but all the action is confined to a hundred thousand years. Human life has appeared in 25,000 of them. If this, as he claims, is the last act it has been a tragedy in which the human race has played Feste the Clown. The EU imposes laws governing the use of natural resources. We respond by offering energy providers huge sums to create wind farms on land which the farmers are glad to rent to them to ease their own financial difficulties.

Sometimes I dislike my trade. At the moment Catherine Zeta Jones is the butt of journalistic self righteousness because of a speech she made at an awards ceremony. They suggest it proves she was barking mad. It doesn't. It shows how delighted she was to get the award and she made that clear in a speech which was generous to her production team and her parents, touching in its innocence, and evidence of how much she loves her husband. For me, it just proves what a very lucky man he is.
The Welsh call it 'hwyl' and the Sais could do with a portion of it.


Dawnette Knight, 35, stalked and threatened the Hollywood star, claiming she was in love with her husband, the actor Michael Douglas.
She was ordered to pay $200 (£115) to Zeta Jones, who branded Knight "evil".
Knight had denied the charges but entered a plea deal and admitted one count of stalking and three counts of making criminal threats.
In a letter read out to the Los Angeles court, the actress said: "You have profoundly affected me in how I conduct my life.
"Your actions will be with me the rest of my life - how I will be constantly observing, looking over my shoulder."

She was accused of sending threatening and violent letters to Douglas.
One letter said: "We are going to slice her up like meat on a bone and feed her to the dogs."
Knight apologised in another letter, claiming she had been in love with Douglas.
Giving evidence, Zeta Jones said she was so shaken she had come close to a nervous breakdown and had feared she was going to have a heart attack.