Apparently, during the Crimean War, some Victorian spectators, men and women, journeyed to the area to watch the battles. Can you imagine viewing The Charge of The Light Brigade whilst tucking into strawberries and cream? That would seem to be like stopping at a motorway pile up and getting the hamper, parasols and deck chairs out of the boot. Surreal? Of course not. It’s still going on.
It’s difficult for me to imagine how the England cricket team can possibly play even the one game in Zimbabwe. It beggars belief that discussions and a vote haven’t taken place among the players as to whether or not to entertain Robert Mugabe. It’s not as though the whole world doesn’t know who he is. It wouldn’t be easy for me to pull out of the biggest tournament I was ever likely to play in, but I think that tucking into ham sarnys at teatime in a town where there will be protests, a probable riot, and possibly even a couple of deaths to mark it’s stay in town might be a bit like swallowing the whole pig. In the usual half-baked manner King Tony fudged when he said he would have preferred them not to participate, but he didn’t actually ‘advise’ them not to go. He just took a moment out to pay the usual strained lip service to democracy again. I’ve been waiting for someone with some small degree of gumption to pull out, make a stand against a vicious regime in Southern Africa, and I cannot believe that it’s got this far. But then again, it’s hard to believe that the Bush/Blair adventure has got as far as it has. Are we all just sitting back being entertained by the surreal? In the certain knowledge that there isn’t a thing that we could have done about it unless we’d all been Presidents of the Oxford Union thirty years ago? During all our separate checkered childhoods?
Confused? You ought to be. Nothing is straight. Not that it ever was. But right now it’s as wrong as it was in 1933. Worse, because we should have different lives and agendas by now; and we don’t. Like then, the most powerful military nation on earth has a fundamentalist religious maniac in charge of it’s arsenal. A man you wouldn’t trust to come up with one rational thought. He’s nothing short of a warped comedian, and his straight man is the honourable member for Sedgefield. A fundamentalist conservative who would have Mandelsoned his way into whichever political party was fashionable in his youth.