I'm afraid I am not going to join the majority in congratulating Prince Harry on 'coming out' with his stories of mental anguish and of showing his feelings.
When doing the TV series Life is Toff the director kept on asking me;
"Francis what do you feel about............" to which I eventually responded :
" How many times have I got to tell you - I don't do f****** feelings." And I don't.
Other peoples feelings (whatever they maybe) are -along with other peoples children and other peoples illnesses up there at the top of the League table of most boring topic of conversations ever.
It is also the 'Great Excuse' - Oh it is not my fault I am a complete dickhead it was because of X . No -I'm sorry - if you at a complete dickhead it is your fault.
It is the great curse of modern society that we look for and find excuses for peoples behaviour and tell them that 'it is not your fault' forgetting the thousand of others who have had traumatic experiences who get a grip and fight through without recourse to ghastly psychiatrists peddling their bogus science of endless expensive counselling sessions.
I always remember taking my children for a walk when they were very little. Out of the corner of my eye I saw my eldest -who was lagging behind - fall over onto the rough road - I read his mind - shall I scream and cry or shall I get up and go on - he decided to get up and go on- but I have absolutely no doubt that if I had turned round and said: "Oh darling - are you all right? " He would have burst into tears and howled.
What we are doing with this modern obsession with 'feelings' is encouraging everybody to burst into tears and howl and IT IS NOT HEALTHY - rather the opposite.
Inspired by the furore over the chemical atrocity in Syria I think we need to just get our brains into gear and ask some pertinent questions rather than firing off missiles.
1) Who is the major beneficiary of the chemical weapon atrocity is it;
a) President Assad and his forces or
b) Rebel forces - wishing to depose President Assad
2) What strategic advantage were President Assad's forces aiming to gain by the use of Chemical weapons against a small Civilian target?
3) Why having used chemical weapons did the Syrian forces not immediately occupy the area attacked to ensure that no Western journalists etc. had access to it?
4) Unless Assad and his commanders (and his Russian advisers) are all mentally deranged they would know
a) That the use of Chemical weapons would bring down on them the full wrath of the western press and every politician in the West
b) That president Trump being the guy he is would quite likely unleash the full force of American power to punish them
c) That therefore using chemical weapons except 'in extemis' or in order to gain an enormous strategic victory was imbecilic
Now I do not believe President Assad is a blithering idiot. I therefore do not believe he ordered or had any pre knowledge of the chemical atrocity. It is of course possible that a Pro Assad officer ordered the attack off his own bat though again it is difficult to come up with a single logical reason why any reasonably intelligent officer should order a very limited chemical attack on a civilian target and them not immediately secure the target to remove the evidence of the attack.
So I believe that elements of the rebel forces, facing defeat, deliberately engineered a chemical attack on civilians (probably civilians who were supporters of a different rebel group) in order to achieve the AIM of a massive western attack on Assad.
I have said it before and I will say it again. Damascus before the so called 'Arab spring' was the most cosmopolitan and relaxed city in the Middle East. Girls wandered about in western fashion and gays chatted away with each other in restaurants and coffee houses without being persecuted. admittedly it was a good idea not to voice vociferous anti regime statements and Western Democracy was unknown (as -of course - it is through out the Middle East) but as Dictatorhips go it was pretty benign,
All the so called 'rebel 'groups would, if they got into power, have very different agenda and if any one in the West thinks, for a moment, that some lovely secular Western style Democracy with a independent press and a independent judiciary would evolve from the ashes of the Assad regime then they are very stupid.
The other day I was on the road and in need of breakfast. I spotted a Macdonalds. Now I haven't been into a Macdonalds for about thirty years - so I thought I would see if they have improved!
I perused the menu and settled on a bacon roll. Now frankly what can go wrong with that I thought. The answer - everything. First, it was absolutely tasteless: the roll was like chewing on cotton wool, the bacon was flavourless rubber and to cap it all it was tepid. So I won't be going to a Macdonalds again. But hang on - just how could they have got something so simple and so delicious as a bacon roll so wrong?
Now a proper bacon sandwich or sarney is one of the great culinary delights of the world. The most memorable one I ever had was at a café halfway up a steep hill on our way back from a weekend playing soldiers in the Black Mountains in Wales. This - Macdonalds -is what you have to do to make a great bacon sandwich.
First -obviously - choose good thick cut tasty bacon with lots of fat - then fry it - then put the said bacon between two slices of Mothers Pride white bread which have been liberally spread with margarine- then serve with a large mug of hot tea or coffee and - as Americans say - enjoy- there is nothing to beat it.
The great thing about Donald Trump's election and Brexit is that now nearly everyone is gripped by politics. The lovely lady who comes in and helps my wife clean once a week said - as she came through the door -"What do you think of Donald Trump then?" - Well until the Brexit vote she had never voted (she voted out -natch) and now she is really 'into politics.' That she - and many millions like her - no longer find politics boring is -you would have thought - good news for Democracy - unless -that is you are member of that overeducated white middle class blancmange who are now in meltdown (incidentally next time you see a demonstration on TV try to count how many ethnics are in the demo - hardly any -interesting )
So how has the Donald done to date? Well not bad. He has castigated European countries for not paying their fair share of the cost of defending their countries - and you know what - he is absolutely right - they don't (only two European countries spend 2% of their GDP on defence per year -one is the UK)- if European countries are not prepared to pay for their own defence why on earth should America do it for them?
He has accused Germany of using the weak euro to dump it's manufactured goods onto the USA. Undeniably true again. Although -the true victims of German manufacturing dominance is not America but all those other European countries whose industries are unable to cope with-for them - an overvalued currency.
He has announced he is going to build a wall to stop illegal immigration. So what's wrong with that? It is surely the primary duty of any leader of a country to ensure its borders are secure - just as it is the primary duty of a householder to make sure his family is safe by locking doors etc. at night. He has also -of course -said -he wants to deport illegal immigrants - so Hurrah to the that - so do I -and most other Brits.
He has temporarily banned immigration and 'refugees' from six Muslim countries from entering America but -oddly -continues to allow Muslims from another 51 Muslim countries to come in! Again what's wrong with that? And am I alone in being bored by people calling themselves 'refugees when most are 'economic migrants?
So far so good. I am -I admit a littler concerned about his protectionist policies as I am a free trader and I would like him to make sure Israel understands that his support for it is conditional on it ceasing to build new settlements on the occupied West Bank. But apart from these two issues I am happy to give him an 8/10 so far -But he gets a 10/10 for making politics interesting again for everyone and not for just an educated (badly) elite
Flicking through Daily Mail on line today I came across this virulent defence of Donald Trump from someone called Piers Morgan
"The only hookers in this story are the cheap lazy journalists who ran with the fake Trump sleaze to urinate on his Presidency"
Can this possibly be the same Piers Morgan who when editor of the Daily Mirror splashed the front page with fake photographs of supposedly British soldiers urinating on captive Iraqis? Surely not, no it couldn't possibly be, especially as I read on : .
"Because if the new journalism is publish whatever comes across your desk, without any independent proof it is true, then that's not journalism, it's exactly what Trump called it today: crap "
How very true. Except that is not the 'new journalism' it is the old journalism as practised by Piers Morgan when he was editor of the Daily Mirror -for yes - amazingly -it is indeed one and the same person as -in a follow up paragraph he writes:
"I was fired for publishing supposedly fake (my italics)photographs of British troops abusing Iraqi civilians..."
Which of course is not true - there was nothing supposedly fake about those photographs - they were fake. By publishing them without "any independent proof" he undoubtedly jeopardised the lives of British troop in Iraq for his own ends. But Piers is so 'up his own bottom' (it must be a large one to accommodate such an huge arrogant ego) that he still cannot admit he was wrong and that everything he is now criticising the American press for he was guilty of years back.
A last thought - what do you think Piers-if he was editor of the Mirror today- would have done with this story-published it in full with all lurid details or refused to touch it until 'proof ' was provided? It is a no brainer isn't it. What a putrid piece of humanity Morgan is
I am feeling a little sore about Trump's election victory -not over the victory itself you understand but over my idleness in not putting a bet on him to win. I ended my blog of 5th May 2016 saying
"I must stop now and ring my bookmaker. I want a quote on double . Britain to vote out and Donald Trump to win the Presidency-after all stranger things have happened."
I meant to put a bet on and I just never got round to it and that is why I am so sore - what odds would I have got I wonder? pretty good then I should have thought.
But the Brexit vote and Trumps victory reminds me rather forcefully of a quotation from Gandhi.
"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win"
I think both Nigel Farage and Donald Trump ought to have that carved in great letters above their doorways. and, come to think of it, if Nigel is going to get the peerage which he richly deserves, it would make a great motto for his coat of arms.
Let's make the most of it. UKIP should commission a series of adverts and posters showing the photo of UKIP MEP Steven Woolfe lying unconscious having been -allegedly- felled by a blow from fellow, and aptly named, UKIP MEP Mike Hookem. The caption - of course - would be; 'Real Men vote UKIP.'
Firstly let me say that knocking someone unconscious in a bare knuckle fight is not nearly as easy as John Wayne makes it look in the films. You have to hit the right spot with a lot of power to do that - how many Conservative MP's or MEP's would you bet on being able to do that- very few. Now I am also prepared to bet - that when Stephen Woolfe get's back on his feet - he won't go running blubbing to a lawyer or the police but will shake hands with his assailant like a 'Real man' that he is.