As the dust begins to settle on those recent horrendous events in Paris, a clearer sense of perspective is starting to creep in round the edges. The Pope suggests that those who are too provocative to Islam can expect “a punch”. And even a co-founder of Charlie Hebdo says that its murdered editor’s urge to provoke had “dragged the team to its death”.
As the original editor of Private Eye, who over the years has probably contributed as many words as anyone to its “satirical” pages, I’m afraid that I have looked askance at much of what has been said and written about these events in recent days.… Seguir leyendo »
As the issue of “Europe” continued to swirl daily through the headlines, two remarkable speeches last week illustrated one of the crucial problems with this “debate”. This is that the labyrinthine workings of the EU are so complicated that few people can really begin to understand them.
The Pope’s address to the European Parliament seemed devastatingly critical. He spoke of how “the great ideas which once inspired Europe seem to have lost their attraction, only to be replaced by the bureaucratic technicalities of its institutions”. He described it as looking “elderly and haggard” in “a world which frequently regards it with aloofness, mistrust and even, at times, suspicion”.… Seguir leyendo »
Few scandals have recently aroused more howls of outrage than revelations of how many large companies are making billions of pounds of profit in Britain while paying little or no tax. David Cameron, having put this “tax avoidance” at the top of the G8 agenda last summer, was at it again on Thursday. Margaret Hodge, chairman of the Commons Public Accounts committee, never stops protesting about a practice she calls “immoral”. Last week, grilling the business tax director of HM Revenue & Customs, she asked why HMRC hadn’t brought some “show cases” against the firms responsible, to highlight what a scandal this has become.… Seguir leyendo »