Wednesday, 28 January 2009

RECONCILIATION-RECRIMINATION: Nothing new in Northern Ireland...

Heated exchanges in the Northern Ireland provinces today, triggered in the main by the proposal to pay a per capita compensation of twelve thousand pounds to 'victims' (that is, surviving relatives) of bombers on both sides of the Terror equation and innocent bystanders alike. Curiously, twelve thousand pounds is also the projected per capita debt of British taxpayers in a recession that now places us top of the league of recession-hit countries - thanks, of course, to Britain's rise as a major financial services sector after industry and manufacturing were systematically run down under the Thatcher Revolution. But they might have run down anyway. These islands have been picked over for their collective natural resources since the late eighteenth century. We were the first industrialised nation, and the first to fall. And we were the first financial sector, and the first, it seems to fall now, inspite of inheriting bad debts from the subprime loans scandal in the USA. Has being the biggest global empire (and that fell) taught us nothing at all about collective hubris? Instead of whinging about all this, we should accept it, stiffen those upper lips and CARRY ON REGARDLESS. God grant us the sense to live by what we need (Aeschylus - the ancient Greeks knew a lot about hubris!)

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