Sunday, April 01, 2007

The Nelson Touch

In London last week, it was difficult not to get the impression that the British lion is a bit on the mangy side. Contemplating on the success of Mr. Livingstone’s congestion charge as I skipped nimbly between the proliferation of Chelsea Tractors on the streets of the upper reaches of society, the main event on the front pages was the snaffling of a boatload of British marines from under the nose of their ship by the Iranians.
Presumably the captain of their vessel had the telescope to his blind eye and the Dean of St. Pauls did a quick check on the grave of Nelson to make sure it had not turned over. Hopefully, neither he, Drake nor Winston Churchill have heard about it.
The President of Iran is no doubt eyeing the road leading to Teheran with a wary eye lest the British Bulldog, in the shape of Margaret Beckett in her caravan, is espied coming on a rescue mission, AK7 akimbo. He is probably comforted by the fact that, as Minister of Agriculture, she was unable to supervise the distribution of funds to farmers so is probably not losing too much sleep.
There was a lot of boo-hooing on the front pages of the tabloids over the fact that one of the marines was likely to be unable to get home for her three year old daughter’s birthday. Perhaps this might clue some in to the failings of British society. If her mother prefers to be driving a rubber boat filled with marines in preference to taking care of her child, it strikes me that herein lies the root of the family problems that beset the nation. One birthday is not important but a mother’s continuing presence surely is.
And, whilst one can feel sorry for the personnel and their families, they are service men and women on active duty. It seems the shadow of the Health and Safety people looms large over the armed forces.
In that case, what are all those others doing in Iraq?


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