Monthly Archives: July 2012

Heaven and Hell

A famous joke, probably politically incorrect, first told to me by an Armenian businessman in East Africa 27 or so years ago: HEAVEN is where the police are British, the cooks are French, the mechanics German, the lovers Italian, and … Continue reading

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Eh bien! C’est moi!

Political invective knows no boundaries, of course, but Latin countries bring their own particular spices to the feast.  Here is a list of things Talleyrand was accused of being at various stages of his long and lucky life (1754-1838), shown … Continue reading

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Poems by Rumi

Until last month, I confess, I had never even heard of the Persian poet and Sufi mystic Jalal ad-Dïn Muhammad Rumi, ‘Mawlana‘ (1207-1273).  I am indebted to Estelle Gillingham for her recently quoting the great philosopher online.  From Rumi’s extensive … Continue reading

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Army changes

Looking at the list published today of UK army units to be merged or abolished, I reckon that they have all been here before: during the Cardwell reforms of the mid-nineteenth century, the amalgamations of the late 1920s, the next … Continue reading

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Upon what meat?

The Barclays fine is but the latest in a chain of scandals of global significance.  In each case, the perpetrators were shown to have sealed themselves into a culture of assumed invincibility over against the rest of us: exposed by … Continue reading

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