|LETTERS FROM LONDON
|REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
10 August 2014
|The Golden Days
When pupils at Alston Primary School in Cumbria took part in a dig at
Kirkhaugh, Northumberland, euphoria was not the expected result.
Four of the primary school age boys unearthed one of the earliest metal objects
ever to be found in the UK: a 4,300-year-old golden hair ornament from the
Copper Age. Be amazed. Really. Be amazed.
The gold item was discovered alongside three flint arrowheads and a jet button.
It was found appropriately in the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural
Beauty. It is one of only ten similar objects ever found. Be astonished.
Extraordinarily it actually came in a set of two; its matching one was found in
Kirkhaugh during an excavation in 1935. Be astounded. The children surely
Seven year-old, Joseph Bell said: “We were digging carefully in the ground
and I saw something shiny, it was gold. Me and Luca started dancing with joy.
It was very exciting.” Ah. Dancing with joy. What else would you do. Sweet.
His friend Luca Alderson, added: “When I first saw it I felt happy but I thought it
was plastic. When I found out it was gold, I was very happy.” Very happy.
Brilliant! As you would have to say.
The 1.3in long rare item causing all this dancing and happiness dates back to
around 2,300BC. It has been described as an intricate hair tress, which could
have been worn by a metal worker in search of gold and copper. ‘You should
Worth [His] Weight in Gold
Formula 1’s Bernie Ecclestone uses bribery to have his bribery case
dismissed. As you do when you have more billions than you can count.
Controlling and dominating motor racing for 40 years, BE handed over a mere
£60m to a German court, oh and to - clearly crucial – a children’s hospice. Not
blatantly obvious at all, Bernie. Well, he couldn’t have helped those poor
children if he were locked up could he....
Wondering what Bernie did? His legal woes date back to the sale of the sport to
CVC Capital Partners in 2006. The allegation of the dodgy deed involved claims
BE paid a German banker, Gerhard Gribkowsky, £33m to undervalue the
business so that CVC could buy it. Seriously. What billionaire doesn’t?
So where’s BE’s partner in corruption now? Oh take a guess. Gribkowsky is
now in jail for eight-and-a-half years. BE could have been given ten years. BE
said he was blackmailed to prevent his false (really?) tax information being
We expected to see the 83 year-old moving his tiny feet (he’s exceptionally
short you know) to Spandau Ballet’s Gold when set bribery-free. Surely you
have the lyrics memorised:
Nothing left to make me feel small
Luck has left me standing so tall
Always believe in your soul
You've got the power to know
Always believe in, because you are
His favourite karaoke tune, don’t you reckon?
Bernie's irrevocable importance is enhanced by his flawless reputation. BE
tried to bribe the Labour party, referred to women as “domestic appliances”
who could never race, allowed commercial and corporate elements to take over
the sport, admired Hitler as a man who “got things done”, now admires Putin for
his anti-gay law, “I’ve great admiration for him and his courage to say what he
says. I think he is completely right.” Mutual admiration of one little dictator to
another I should think.
We’re so blessed. London is now the millionaire capital of the world. Yes. The
world. Funny that. How would we know? Lights out? Curtains closed? They
don't actually live in those £60-85m palatial abodes do they? Hundreds of grand
dwellings left dark and empty. Any aid for the now-newly-poor, cash for closing
hospitals, charities, parks, playgrounds, pools, ad inf? If these many
millionaires put their money where their mouths – all right – gold reserves are -
these vital venues wouldn’t be closing, would they.
A New World Wealth study revealed 3% (nearly 400,000 people – okay, most
probably men) have access to $1m – more than Tokyo or New York. Is that
ranting and raving I hear? I hope so. London has the third highest number of
multi-millionaires – nearly 10,000 – with more added daily. Keep ranting, but
you know it will have no effect at all. Sigh.
Streets Will be Paved with Gold
Time to move those stripey beach chairs from the hilltop locations to the rubble
of Gaza. Don’t forget those picnic hampers – oh and bottled water as Gaza
doesn’t have access to drinkable water, does it.
The deputy speaker of the Israeli Knesset, Moshe Feiglin, calls for the total
destruction of Gaza down to its foundations, the total relocation of Gazan
citizens so that "the city of Gaza and its suburbs will be rebuilt as Israeli tourist
and commercial cities”. Hmmm. Gaza. A popular tourist refuge. A holiday
retreat. Beach volley ball on the infamous beach. Fun in the sun.
Moshe has called for “the conquest of Gaza”. What am I missing here? Hasn’t
the ‘conquest’ already occurred? Assault, invasion, capture, occupation,
isolation, subjugation, slaughter, devastation? Oh. He must mean the total
annihilation. Now I understand.
Referring to the Oslo Accords (which set Israel and the Palestinians on a path
towards Palestinian self-government), Moshe announced: "Oslo is finished".
The Times of Israel reported that Moshe has plans for tent encampments until
countries willing to take all the Gazan refugees in exchange for a “generous
economic aid package” which would be granted once the refugees arrived at
their destination. Inspired by buy-off-Bernie?
As reported: ‘Israel’s military actions are supportive of Washington’s Middle
East strategy which consists in destabilizing and fragmenting Israel’s
neighbouring Arab States. It is also part of the road map of US-NATO-Israel
war plans directed against Iran. The timing of Israel’s attack on Gaza coincides
with the militarization of Eastern Europe and relentless war threats directed
This carefully planned Israeli military undertaking was coordinated with the
Pentagon and NATO. It has broad geopolitical and economic ramifications...’
Moshe: "No two states for two people; there is only one state for one nation...
this is a war between evil and good; between light and darkness." So none of
that: This land is your land, This land is my land, according to the deputy
speaker of the Knesset. What a charmer.
Beach towels and sun cream to hand. It’s the new Israel – its the new Ibiza.