Sunday, November 26, 2006

From Today's Papers   posted by DavidB @ 11/26/2006 01:26:00 AM

A few items of interest from today's British newspapers:

The lead story in the Sunday Telegraph reports that a majority of people in both England and Scotland want independence from each other. But I don't think it will happen, because it is against the vested interests of politicians and bureaucrats.

Also in the Telegraph, an article on the future of the Jewish community in Britain.

In the Sunday Times, a sensible article by Simon Jenkins on drugs policy. Of course, he is not quite right to say that the end of alcohol prohibition put Al Capone out of business: apart from the detail of whether Capone had already been busted for tax evasion, the end of Prohibition just meant that the crime organisations it had created turned to other sources of income, notably from drugs. But the principle is sound: legal prohibition of widely popular activities such as drugs, prostitution, or gambling is the raison d'etre of organised crime.

Added: The lead story in The Observer is a report that Tony Blair intends to make a sort-of-apology - expressing 'deep sorrow' - for Britain's involvement in the slave trade before abolishing it 200 years ago.

Enough with the apologies, already. Apart from the usual selectivity of such gestures - when are the French going to apologise for the Norman Conquest, I'd like to know - and the way they reinforce the tendency to victimology, the fundamental objection is to the idea of vicarious guilt for the actions of others. And I don't want that creeping Jesus Blair apologising on my behalf, let alone my distant ancestors'.

Also in the Observer, Jasper Gerard has some nice comments on the difficulty of finding 'moderate' Muslim spokespersons:

Like a famous Belgian, a moderate Muslim is devilishly elusive... Every time we anoint some cove the 'voice of moderation' he turns out quietly to favour female genital mutilation or a spot of light bombing.

Gerard also has a comment on Kate Moss's comedy turn for charity with Matt Lucas last week. But there seems to be a conflict of reports on the wording of Kate's best line. Some say it was 'I'll do anything for a bag of Quavers' (a popular snack), and others 'I'm anybody's for a bag of Quavers'. But Gerard has it as 'I'll give you a gob job for a bag of Quavers'. This has the ring of authenticity, but does anyone know the truth? Anyway, expect the sales of Quavers to rocket.

PS: in case anyone is wondering if I'll ever write anything about genes again, I have a series of posts about Sewall Wright in gestation, but these things take time.