The Rise of the Nazis – some parallels today?

Anyone who has flicked around cable TV channels will know that somewhere in the world you can always watch: (1) Friends and (2) Lots of Nazis goose-stepping backwards and forwards on history channels.

So, it was with some trepidation that I saw that the BBC were to air “The Rise of the Nazis”.

I expected yet another compilation of black and white clips of goose-stepping soldiers. Continue reading

Horrific Labour conference motion on private schools proposes nothing less than theft

Christ's Hospital Dining Hall
Christ’s Hospital school, Sussex, which has been admitting mainly pupils from less privileged backgrounds since 1552
There has been much debate following the Labour conference’s motion to “abolish private schools”.

When explaining the rules of cricket to the average American, one sees their eyes glazing over even before one reaches mention of “deep square leg”.

It’s the same when you try to explain to them that, in the UK, public schools are private schools. You may reach the point when you feel further explanation is pointless. Why not, instead, try explaining to them that Scotch whisky has no “e”, but Irish whiskey does. It may be easier.

Anyway, I went to a public school. Or, if you prefer, I went to a private school. Continue reading

Conference pays heartfelt and fulsome tribute to Paddy

There were 20 minutes set aside this morning in the main hall to pay tribute to Paddy Ashdown.

In the front row for the session were Jane, Kate and Simon Ashdown.

(Baroness) Liz Barker presented the salute to our founding leader with a quiet and heartfelt voice. She emphasised that this was a tribute to a partnership – Paddy and Jane.

The section started with a video on the big screen. Relaxed and sincere tributes came from Ed Davey, Nick Clegg, Tony Blair, Jane Ashdown and (Baroness) Cathy Bakewell (who worked with Paddy during his early days as an MP in Yeovil). Continue reading

Could we at least be told which particular disused Cornish tin mine our donations to the party are being thrown down, please?

Embed from Getty Images
My wife and I once gave a small donation to a Nuns’ mission in Kenya that helps the desperately poor. A week or so later we received a hand drawn card which had been signed by all the nuns in that mission, thanking us most effusively for our donation. It was the nicest thank you we have ever received and we treasured that card for months.

Recently I made a donation to a re-wilding project in Scotland. I received not one, but two personally signed thank you letters, one from the treasurer and one from the chair of the project. They were both long letters, explaining how my money would be spent. One of them said: “Your donation arrived at a crucial time for us, so was particularly welcome.” Continue reading