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Showing posts from August, 2012

Mr Murdoch has declared war on us...

The direct, personal decision by Rupert Murdoch to fly in the face of the rules that are supposed to circumscribe newspaper editors and publish the unfortunate pictures of Price Harry in flagrante is an act of both political calculation and of defiance. The Murdoch Empire is not merely on the back foot, it is in the dock, both of law and of public opinion. Murdoch now resorts to twitter to apply the whip to the nag of the British body politic, but his newspapers retain the power that they had before the hacking scandal virtually intact. Indeed, the arrogant and high handed culture that led to the wreck of the News of the World remains untouched- as this latest 10 day wonder shows. Murdoch knows that the publication is a clear breach of the PCC editors code, but he has decided to run the story to remind the politicians of the power that he has. It is not just Prince Harry who has unfortunate or compromising stories in the Sun Editor's desk. However, I think that the Dirty Dig

Unleashing the (Estonian) hooligan within

“Of course you know”, said a friend of mine the other day, “Kalevipoeg is really simply a football hooligan”. Well, of course, an Estonian mythical giant is, by definition, going to have certain Estonian characteristics: A large capacity for alcohol- check A desire to spend time deep in the countryside- check An ambivalent relationship with Finland- check Wanting to be anywhere except Estonia for long periods of time- check Yet it had not occurred to me that Estonia’s great national hero could be seen in quite the same light as the A Team Young Casuals of [NAME DELETED ON LEGAL ADVICE] United FC. Now that a new translation of the Estonian national epic is available, it will give a wider audience the opportunity to encounter the proto-hooligan and judge for themselves. For, I have to admit, the behaviour of Kalvipoeg does seem to be predicated on a remarkable level of violence, drunkenness and yet more violence. It comes as something of a surprise to realise that the n

Some damn thing in the Senkakus

A long hiatus from blogging, although there has been much to write about. I was travelling across Europe at ground level, for a change, of which more in later blogs.  One of the countries I travelled through was Germany, where despite the marvellous array of beautiful landscapes and quirky towns and villages with centuries of history to chose from, sooner or later one comes up against the appalling 12 years of Nazi rule. In the beautiful abbey of Quedlinburg we find that the sinister and creepy Heinrich Himmler expelled the church to build an absurd and horrible SS shrine around the grave of Henry the Fowler- the first king of East Frankia- that is proto-Germany, rather than West Frankia, which was proto-France. In Bamberg, an equally beautiful world heritage site, we find the "Bamberg Knight", the supposed archetype of the Aryan man- though to my eyes a rather effete looking piece .  Nazism was a kind of death cult, and the symbolism of death's head and the glorifi