235 results for 'Anastasia '
This year marks the thirtieth anniversary of Argentina’s illegal invasion of the Falkland Islands, a fiasco which turned out to be a political gift by a gang of fascist thugs to Margaret Thatcher, the British Prime Minister at the time. Argentina has never lost it’s hankering after a group of islands it calls Las Malvinas, though its connection is tenuous at best and the local people, all English speaking, want to preserve their link with Britain.
Now, in this anniversary year, the Argentinean government has upped the ante by lodging a protest in the United Nations over Britain’s ‘militarisation’... (more)
In 1290, following the death of Margaret the Maid of Norway, the Scottish throne fell vacant. With no generally acceptable candidate the Scots nobility turned to Edward I of England as an arbiter. Edward arbitrated alright, but at a cost. Scotland got its king, John Balliol, only to lose its freedom. As part of the deal Edward insisted that all appeals against the judgements of Scottish royal courts be reserved to his person, undermining the very thing that defines a sovereign state – the right to determine its own legal affairs.
England now finds itself in the same position; the country... (more)
February 7, 2012 is an important date in the calendar of English literature – the two hundredth anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens. I’ve loved the work of Dickens for as long as I can remember, well, ever since my class in preparatory school performed a play based on A Christmas Carol. Along with Dostoevsky he ranks as my favourite author.
I’ve now read all of his major and much of the minor work. Our Mutual Friend is a firm favourite among his novels, featuring Lavvy the Irrepressible, one of the best minor characters, in my estimation. Like her I am neither minx nor sphinx!... (more)
I have a new hero, a totally fresh discovery for me. His name is Kevin Jackson, author of The Big Black Lie, a critique of liberal America, and host of The Black Sphere website. He was interviewed recently by Melissa Kite in the Spectator, giving his views on Barack Obama and David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, and, oh my, what refreshing and perspicacious views they are!
He said something that I have long suspected though, for me, it was a truth that dare not speak its name – voting for Obama was racist! Let me qualify that by saying I believe that there were a great many... (more)
I waited an age for one biopic only to have two come along at once! Well, almost at once. It’s not long since I saw Meryl Streep playing Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady, a stunning performance in a less than stunning film. Now I’ve seen Leonardo DiCaprio, one of my favourite actors, play J. Edgar Hoover in J. Edgar, a stunning performance in a less than stunning film.
Hoover, the long standing Director – Dictator might be a better word - of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, is in many ways an even more controversial figure than Thatcher. A man of impeccable moral stature, the self-appointed... (more)
My grandfather and father both went to Eton College, the public school founded in 1440 by special endowment of King Henry VI. I would have gone too if had been a boy, continuing in a family tradition. For those who are not English I should make it clear that public does not mean public but private, as in private and highly exclusive! It has a reputation that carries far and wide, generating more than a few myths in the process.
The Duke of Wellington, another alumnus, said that the Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton. Perhaps you’ve heard that one? A good many... (more)
I admire China; I admire the present Chinese government. Oh, please don’t misunderstand me; I’m not saying that I admire communism; I don’t; I loath it, but it’s doubtful that the Chinese system has anything to do with communism in any meaningful ideological sense. No, as an idea it was effectively abandoned at the same time as the Soviet Union collapsed. Russia and China then took the high road to capitalism, chaotic for the former, controlled for the latter.
What I admire is the technique of realpolitik, the wholly Machiavellian outlook of the Chinese. This is likely to be their... (more)
Earlier this month the African National Congress, the ANC, celebrated the hundredth anniversary of its foundation. This is the party of Nelson Mandela, terrorist come secular saint, that rules South Africa, the wonderful ‘rainbow nation’…or a sad cesspit of corruption.
The latter is certainly the view of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the country’s other secular saint, who once observed that the ANC had stopped the gravy train only long enough to get on board. Actually he may have underestimated the problem, at least according to the writer Zakes Mda, who has said that the new South Africa... (more)
What does England mean to me, what does it mean to be English? Why, I suppose it’s a little bit like a reflex, a little like breathing: English is what I am; English is what I will always be.
For me it’s not about sport, or politics or any transitory passion; it really does rest on something altogether deeper. I love the English language, a love the beauty and the rhythm of simple English prose.
Yes, I know the language is not exclusively ours any longer. It’s been launched into the world sometimes with uncertain - and unhappy - returns! But I would continue to look for Englishness,... (more)
In an article I wrote about the infamous prosecution of John T Scopes http://anatheimp.blogspot.com/2009/10/monkey-trial.html, an American teacher put on trial in 1925 in Dayton, Tennessee for teaching the Darwinian view of evolution, contrary to local law, I made the point that Clarence Darrow, Scope’s defence attorney, was an enthusiast for the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche, as well as the biology of Charles Darwin.
He was influenced here by H. L. Mencken, a leading American journalist. It was Mencken who introduced the German thinker to America in his 1908 book The Philosophy... (more)