Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Kinsella campaign...

It would be difficult to disagree with Brooke Kinsella's personal campaign to reduce the number of killings on our streets; a campaign she launched following the murder of her brother, who was knifed to death two years ago

Whilst obviously sympathising with her grievous loss, I have to ask whether the manner in which a victim is murdered automatically renders the offence more or less serious.

If, for instance, stabbing someone to death - possibly with only a single blow to the chest or abdomen - renders the offender liable to life imprisonment with a minimum term of twenty-five years', why does the act of repeatedly kicking and stamping on their victim's head until he, or increasingly she, dies render that offender liable to a minimum tariff of only fifteen years?

Forgive the bluntness of my point, but aren't both victims equally dead, and aren't both their families equally shockingly bereaved? So why the disparity in the minimum tariffs for their perpetrators?

Fry's delight...

Well, well; the saint in human form otherwise known as Stephen Fry has put his foot right in it by suggesting that women do not enjoy sex.

I think most people - of both genders - would have nodded vigorously had he simply added two more words: "with me."

Monday, October 25, 2010

St Crispin's Day...

The more historically aware amongst you will know that today is St Crispin's Day.

More famously, of course, it is also the anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, when an English army only 6,000 strong defeated French forces six times as large on their own soil.

As such, it's time to turn once agai to the greatest ever Englishman's take on what Henry V told his men on the eve of that epic battle:


O that we now had here
But one ten thousand of those men in England
That do no work to-day!


What's he that wishes so?
My cousin Westmoreland?
No, my fair cousin;
If we are mark'd to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God's will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England.
God's peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more methinks would share from me
For the best hope I have.
O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
And crowns for convoy put into his purse;
We would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is call'd the feast of Crispian.
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam'd,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian.'
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say 'These wounds I had on Crispian's day.'
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words-
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester-
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb'red.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Puncturing the grocer's vanity...

Some weeks ago I wrote of how I intended never to refer to the traitorous Edward Heath on this blog again.

However, when I read the following paragraph in Christopher Booker's column in the Daily Telegraph, I decided to change my mind...

When Edward Heath died, he left Arundells, his grand retirement home in Salisbury Cathedral Close, as a monument to his life and work. But so few people visited this dead museum to the man who took us into Europe that it will this week be closing its doors to the public for the last time. The beautiful house is now to be sold, thus returning it to the land of the living.

Further comment from me would be superfluous.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The return of The Mekon...

Reading this story about 'socialist barrister' Emily Lomax, it struck me that she bears more than a passing resemblance to that arch-enemy of mankind, The Mekon.

Still, as a disqualified driver, she could probably use a floating platform controlled by the power of thought as a means of transport.

Well, that or the bus.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Open aspects to front and rear...

When I read in today's Daily Telegraph that Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani had built the world' first $1 billion house, I expected it to look like a cross between the Taj Mahal and Chatsworth House.

Unfortunately, however luxurious it might be inside, it looks to me like a lop-sided tree-house, thrown together from discarded pallets...

Monday, October 11, 2010

I'm back. With a deletion...

Not for the first time in the history of the Thone, there has been something of a hiatus in posting due to pressue of work. Having worked two and a half weeks of solid twelve to fourteen-hour days, the last thing I have felt like doing on getting home is bashing something out on my keyboard.

That demanding regime is now at an end, albeit my ongoing workload is such that posting will be sporadic at best.

But as an opener, I thought I might briefly explain why I have removed the Grumpy Old Tw*t blog from my 'Good Reading' sidebar. Put simply, it wasn't the tidal wave of bad language in every single post; that doesn't bother me in the slightest: it was the vituperative references to Islam and to Muslims in general.

In fact, the word 'vituperative' is something of a euphemism for outrageous, borderline racist pronouncements supported, I'm afraid to say, by nakedly racist and in my view potentially criminal, comments from his readership.

So, enjoy his rants as I used to, I'm afraid that I can't encourage my tiny and probably shrinking, readership to visit his site again and as such, the link had to go.