Tuesday, 8 May 2018



"The point is that even far more extensive air strikes would not have changed the outcome of the Syrian war, though they would certainly have escalated it and killed a lot more people. There is a myth, lately adopted by President Trump, that President Obama lost a real opportunity to weaken or get rid of Assad in 2013, but the factors that restrained Obama then apply today with equal force to Trump: it is not possible to get rid of Assad without a wider war and, even if he went, the outcome would be a collapse of the state, as in Afghanistan, Libya and Iraq, producing chaos in which Daesh and al-Qaeda will flourish."
Patrick Cockburn, The Independent, April 15 2018

“We are not led to undo the work of creation or to rectify the Fall. The duty of the Christian is not to leave the world a better place. His duty is to leave this world a better man.”
Monsignor Alfred Gilbey


  1. David in Belgrade9 May 2018 at 07:36

    I started reading the piece about railways before seeing who the author was. As I read, I thought Peter Hitchens would like this :).

    I don't often use the railway because the places I most tend to travel to are either not served by them or the railway timetable does not suit my needs.

    But I always prefer to use the railway to travel to and from Cardiff for example. With my rail-pass it is much cheaper, much less stressful than driving and parking and just as quick.

    "Patrick Cockburn, The Independent, April 15 2011" - some mistake surely? But sound argument.

    "The duty of the Christian is not to leave the world a better place. His duty is to leave this world a better man.”

    Powerful, strikes a chord with me.

  2. I corrected my mistake - Patrick Cockburn wrote that last month. I cannot understand why intelligent people do not see this obvious truth.
    I loved Monsignor Gilbey, who had a great influence on me but whom I regret that I rarely met. I recommend you read this interview with him by Sir John Mortimer.


  3. David in Belgrade11 May 2018 at 17:13

    I read the interview.

    I liked the joke:

    "You know the excellent joke about the man who was asked by a woman what the difference between the sexes is, and he answered, "I can't conceive.""

    John Mortimer, the interviewer, sounds like a self-righteous prig.

  4. He was a very good interviewer. I miss Monsignor Gilbey.

  5. Younger people -- millennials -- are not drawn to cars or hot rod culture. They prefer to use public transportation or bicycles for reasonable distances. More reason to like them.