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Happy to see the back of a brutal despot.

Just as an update to this entry, Robert Mugabe has resigned as President of Zimbabwe this evening. I must admit that I'm both surprised and relieved: I had visions of that stupid old man trying to cling on to power to the bitter end. He seemed to have the air of the despot too him, the kind that thinks a country is their property to rule, and any attempt remove them from power, or even criticise them in any way, is an attack on the state itself. (I get the same feeling from Trump, frankly). Now that he's gone, hopefully Zimbabwe can begin a bright fresh chapter in it's life. We should all be happy to see the back of such a brutal despot.

Happy Seventieth anniversary, your royal highnesses

I must admit to being a monarchist, sort of. I know I shouldn't be. I know the monarchy is an outdated, undemocratic institution which, as a leftist, I should want rid of. Yet at the same time, I feel the monarchy is one of the things which makes the UK what it is; a constant in a world of constant change. I admire the Queen: she didn't choose her role, but has stuck with it for sixty-five years.* And yes, I also admire the fact that today marks her seventieth wedding anniversary with prince Philip. These days, people tend to move about, picking and choosing what they want from relationship; the idea that you should remain committed and loyal to one person seems not to be fashionable. Some people seem to regard partners like shoes or coats, to be just discarded when you fancy something new. Of course I know that such notions of loyalty could be seen as rather conservative and that they aren't without their problems, particularly when it comes to people becoming trapped in abusive relationships; but I like the idea of staying with someone through thick and thin, of choosing someone and sticking with them. Thus I congratulate the Queen and Prince Philip on their anniversary, and thank them for setting such a wonderful example for us all.

*I also still have a big soft spot for this film.


[Edited 20/11/2017 at 13:01:06 - addad a bit]
[Edited 20/11/2017 at 13:25:16 - Minor correction ]
[Edited 20/11/2017 at 15:24:52 - minor correction]

Gamer predicts that eSports is going to be bigger than football

According to this BBC video, some gamers think their sport has a real chance of one day becoming more popular than football. As much as I like computer games, and as intrigued as I am by the rise of so-called e-sports, my initial reaction was that he was utterly deluded. How could any sport ever eclipse the multi-billion pound industry that is world football? But then I thought: fifty-two percent of the voting public think the UK could survive out of the EU - is he so deluded in comparison? Absurd delusions seem to be becoming more and more popular these days. Framed like that, this chap may well turn out to be right; who needs to go to footie matches when you can watch someone play Quake? Mind you, by the same token, I have a chance of one day becoming President of America, or winning the Formula One world championship.

Michael Palin reading his diaries

This might be slightly lazy blogging on my part, but if you want to chill out listening to something quite fascinating, just head here. Michael Palin reads his diaries in such a relaxing tone that you can't help but be drawn in; but the things he tells us about in this audiobook give us a glimpse of the creative process behind Monty Python. As a writer, I am intrigued by his references to the script writing process, and his description of how that became the now legendary shows. He is convivial, but behind that conviviality lies a fascinating insight into an era of British social history, now long past. I really think this is well worth a listen.

Border paradoxes

The utter stupidity of Brexit becomes clearer every day, to the extent that I'm now as certain as I can be that, sooner or later, it will collapse and we'll remain in the EU. But I think this is a perfect illustration of just how absurd things are now becoming:

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I recently came across word that a tory MP had suggested the rather bizarre notion that we could persuade Ireland to leave the EU too so they could join us in our own customs union. Seriously, how could any intelligent person let this utter foolishness continue?


[Edited 18/11/2017 at 15:56:23 - addad a bit]