235 results for 'Anastasia '
When I take timeout I have to climb a mountain of emails on my return. It takes a while to catch up and to respond. But on this occasion there was one that quickly caught my attention and spurred my intellect.
Sent by a friend who shares my general political outlook, it was a link to a YouTube video, a documentary about the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory and the evolution of political correctness, with particular regard to the United States.
In The World Crisis, his book about the causes and course of the First World War, Winston Churchill, in a particularly memorable simile,... (more)
I got back on Sunday from a wonderful skiing holiday in Val-d'Isère, right in the heart of French Savoy. I’ve been before; I was there two seasons ago, and I’m pleased to say that things remain much the same as they were. The skiing was good, the company was good and New Year was wild!
Actually, it’s not really the skiing I want to talk about; it’s something else altogether, a storm in a fondue. We spent one day at the nearby resort of Val Thorens. It was here that Aidan Burley, a Conservative Member of Parliament, attended a Nazi-themed stag party last month in the excellent ( I know:... (more)
In its beginning was its end. Actually that’s not quite true; the Soviet Union came in with a bang and out with a whimper. Even so the two events were united, a long, slow motion curtain-call for the old Russian imperium. Aleksandr Kugel, a Russian theatre critic and editor, writing a few months after the Bolshevik coup in 1917 put the matter rather well;
The dying process has begun. Everything we see now is just part of the agony. Bolshevism is the death of Russia. And a body the size of Russia cannot die in one hour. It groans.
It certainly did groan, decade after decade,... (more)
I’ve been riding for most of my life now, taking my first lesson when I was six years old. I love it all; I love everything associated with horses. I’ve taken part in county show-jumping events, though fewer and fewer recently because of other pressures on my time, and my favourite form of relaxation is a nice long hack, something I do most Sundays. However, the thing that gives me most excitement or, rather, used to give me most excitement is fox-hunting. I will explain why I use the past tense in a moment or two.
I went on my first hunt in Surrey with my mother and father on Boxing... (more)
Christmas fast approaches. Here we are, now in the third week of December. I’m slightly worried; I’m concerned that another tradition may be dying: I’ve yet to see a press article bemoaning the ‘commercialisation’ of the festival, or hear some finger-wagging moralist droning on about how we have all forgotten the ‘true meaning’ of Christmas, meaning the Christian meaning!
There is no scriptural evidence for the date of Christ’s birth. December 25 was alighted on several centuries later because, by happy coincidence, it was a traditionally happy time in the Roman world, the height of... (more)
I saw lots of political graffiti in Egypt. I can’t read Arabic but I know it was political because it was often accompanied by an illustration or even some English text. In Aswan one wall had a depiction of Mina Daniel, a Coptic Christian killed by the army in October. It was close to one of Che Guevara, a figure with whom he identified, something I found out later.
There was something else, something that puzzled me, an image of a woman who appeared to be posing naked; she was certainly wearing stockings or holdups and her shoulders were bare, but the central part of her body was covered... (more)
India, like China, is a country to watch. If this is to be the Chinese century it’s just as likely to be the Indian one. This is a country that Gandhi would scarcely recognise; a country of rapid economic growth, of new technologies and gleaming skyscrapers; it’s a country of call-centres and Bollywood starlets, of glamour, fashion and high-living; it’s a country of the future.
There are problems; of course, not least of which is atrocious levels of corruption. This led to a series of protests beginning in the spring, with people coming out in support of Anna Hazare, an activist very... (more)
I don’t suppose there is any word with less real meaning now than ‘fascist’. Indeed, I begin to wonder if it ever had any meaning. It has a purpose, yes, but that’s quite different. It serves as an insult, an f word greater than the f word, the more frequently used the more meaningless it has become. I suppose there must have been a time when “you fascist b******d”, actually meant “you fascist b******d”, in the sense that one happened to belong to a political party which actually had the word ‘fascist’ in its title. The other word was mostly a matter of pure speculation…or personal knowledge.... (more)
Are you following events in Europe, the slow motion death of democracy? Yes, that’s what’s happening, all part of the continuing attempt to stabilise the troubled euro, all part of an attempt to restore the confidence of the financial markets in the benighted single currency.
The latest proposal, one that Britain opted out of, is to introduce more centralised control over the tax and spending decisions of the individual members of the euro-zone, some seventeen in all at present. European leaders, in their boundless wisdom, have suddenly discovered that one cannot have monetary union... (more)
A few years ago an attempt was made in Australia to stop Santa Claus giving his jolly Ho, Ho, Ho greeting to children, substituting Ha, Ha, Ha in its place, anodyne and wholly (!) without any kind of character or provenance. Why? Because ho is slang in America for, well, a ho!
That’s just the sort of thing that would be bound to upset every Australian girl and boy, just as it annoyed every Australian parent, many of whom were discovering for the first time what a ho was and what the jolly old, red-nosed (possible alcohol problem?) fellow was calling for.
Generally speaking Santa... (more)