DIARY: Phoney war, Sheldrake, Poppycock Watch: Activists, Plankton for tea, Lonely swan, Profundity of the Week
With the British political scene dominated by the Leveson Inquiry into media shenanigans, it sometimes appears as if these islands are insulated from the growing disaster across the water in the Eurozone.
Frau Merkel talks a lot about fiscal union and “more Europe” while doing nothing about it. David Cameron urges the Continent to coalesce into a country called Europe, while half-promising that Britain won’t be involved.
Vetoes are whispered of into incredulous ears, and a referendum dangled in words as cheap as chips.
Let’s face it, no-one will nail their colours to the mast until somebody else makes the first move and our wretched politicos can act without being blamed for the mess.
We have also had much chatter about “real Conservatism”. Frankly, many of us would just like some Conservatism, real or not.
What the Prime Minister seems unable to grasp is that the more he imitates the vacuous Blair, the more a growing chunk of the electorate despises him. Does the man have no self-knowledge?
If he can leave his young daughter in a pub, surely he can leave the ghost of Tony somewhere appropriate?
Europe boils and bubbles, poised to shapeshift dramatically, almost all options for the worst. British politicians distance themselves from the darkening scene, but can’t resist delivering the occasional pin-prick of defiance, utterly powerless to act.
It will remind older folk of the phoney war at the close of the 1930s. They will no doubt reflect that it didn’t end well.
Rupert Sheldrake, whom I wrote about last week, has certainly stirred up some feedback here at Syntagma Towers, mostly positive. Read the article HERE.
Anyone near London interested in following this up might like to know that the controversial scientist will be live in dialogue with American evolutionary mystic Andrew Cohen at EnlightenmentNext Centre, 13 Windsor Street, N1 8QG on 20th June. Tickets £18 if booked early, £22 at the door.
I can’t make it, alas, but it should be a very stimulating evening for those able to get there.
Have you noticed the increasing number of dotty job descriptions that have sprung up in recent years? I met someone last week who said she was an Activist.
You mean a kind of lobbyist, said I. No, not central government, just general, all-inclusive stuff.
So, a multipurpose, multifunctioning busybody, thought I. A little bit of this and a little bit of that.
Social, political, scientific, any area of deprivation or unfairness, quoth she, with a hint of superiority over the rest of us who mind our own business.
But who pays people like that? It can’t be the private sector. A company spokesperson wouldn’t be referred to as an Activist, nor anyone else for that matter.
It must be the infinitely giving public sector, where no waif or stray is knowingly rejected and is provided with an all-inclusive income for doing daft things.
I wondered if I should reclassify myself as a Mystical Activist?
But nobody on earth would pay me for that.
An orange plume of oily gunge has appeared on our river in recent weeks. It has the air of something originating from a sewage outlet upstream.
The alarming thing is that the swans can’t seem to get enough of it, scooping it up in their beaks with relish. What do they think they’re doing? They have ample grazing land and lots of river life to feed on.
Then, our local Met Office man solved the riddle. It is a plume of phyto-plankton, of vegetable origin and, as Holland & Barrett reminds us, super-nutritious.
Animals are not as daft as they look.
Another little vignette of life’s woe is being played out in the swan colony here.
Among the 200 or so white swans has appeared one black swan, an Aussie intruder into a living Tchaikovskyesque tableau. He (if it is a he — hard to tell) sails around on his own, seemingly shunned by the locals.
Yesterday, as if in despair, he plunged in amongst a group of fifty of them and uttered a cry of such anguish, head pointing to the sky as in prayer, that everyone stopped in amazement.
I should add, before Trevor Phillips or Polly Toynbee descend on us with cries of racism, the white ones are so placid it would be difficult to accuse them of anything at all. His only hope of finding a mate, I think, is if he comes across another swan as lonely as himself.
If Danny Kaye was still with us, I’m sure he’d have a song for it.
Profundity of the Week
“Being born in a duck yard does not matter, if only you are hatched from a swan’s egg.” Hans Christian Andersen
who is the author of The Eternal Quest for Immortality: Is it staring you in the face? Available from Amazon and all good booksellers.
Mystics in the Modern World is coming soon.
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