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Poor Angela Merkel, life’s hard for her

Germany’s economy contracting. France’s stagnating. Italy’s going into a triple dip, just like that Engländer Dave on his third seaside holiday.

As to the other 15 countries in the eurozone, their economies are a sheer Alptraum, or nightmare, as those sneering Anglo-Saxons call it.

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Dawkins: if at first you don’t succeed, abort and abort again

I’m opposed to prenatal abortion, but Richard Dawkins provides a strong argument in favour of the postnatal variety.

Wouldn’t it be nice, I catch myself fantasising, if some 50 years ago, when he first started to spout his malignant drivel, his parents had decided belatedly that their attempt at childbirth had failed miserably.

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Now our family policy is sorted, let’s talk the foreign variety

I thought I’d never find a good thing to say about Dave, but I was wrong.

Snapshots from his third holiday this year clearly show that Dave doesn’t wear socks with sandals, which betokens an impeccable sense of style.

So there, I’ve said something nice about Dave. And I’m not finished yet.

You see, Dave can make vital policy decisions even while chillaxing, which is how he describes taking a break.

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There’s nothing saintly about Marxism, your Holiness

One wonders about Pope Francis.

His Holiness has just ruled that Salvadoran Bishop Óscar Romero may be beatified – an elevation that the two previous Popes banned outright.

Both John Paul II and Benedict XVI didn’t quite see how saintliness could be reconciled with Bishop Romero’s Marxist rants, albeit packaged as they were with mock-Christian cant.

The Salvadoran was a leading proponent of ‘liberation theology’, the deadliest Christian heresy in modern times.

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Retail therapy in Birmingham and London

How does one protest against violence in a faraway land? Why, by looting shops at home of course.

It’s not only the best way but in fact the only way to express one’s political philosophy or register disagreement. We all know that.

That’s why the other day Londoners and Brummies, feeling that the British government isn’t doing enough to stop the massacre of Christians in Iraq, armed themselves with clubs, bricks and torches.

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Turning Bradford into Nuremberg, circa 1935

According to George Galloway, Hamas and Hezbollah aren’t, nor have ever been, terrorist organisations. However, Israel is.

On the strength of this eccentric taxonomy he proposes turning the Yorkshire city he represents in Parliament into an ‘Israel-free zone’.

Speaking ostensibly to Respect activists (an appropriate name for his party, wouldn’t you say?), but in effect urbi et orbi, he clarified his meaning:

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Response to Iraq massacres: abolish our Parliament’s sovereignty

What, you don’t quite follow the logic of it? This only goes to show you aren’t a Cabinet minister, not even a former one.

You’ve got to understand that one can’t ascend to government without being touched by the hand of Sophia, divine wisdom.

Once such a tactile contact has been made, the chosen one becomes privy to the rarefied reaches of intellect, where trivial Aristotelian logic is superseded, nay transcended, by higher reason.

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Women vs. men: retiring chess queen checkmates herself

Judit Polgár, the only woman in history capable of competing with men at the highest level, has retired at age 38.

Judit became a grandmaster at 15 years and four months, beating Bobby Fischer’s record by a month.

Since her teens she has been in and out of the world’s top ten, having won games against, among others, world champions both past (Kasparov) and present (Carlsen).

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The arithmetic of humanitarian aid, Putin-style

First the humanitarian aid, as widely reported:

Last night a convoy of 280 KamAz lorries left the town of Narofominsk near Moscow, heading for the distressed eastern provinces of the Ukraine.

They carry 2,000 tonnes of cargo comprised of humanitarian aid for the Ukraine: cereals, sugar, baby food, medicines, sleeping bags and power generators.

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Empty Paris, full Louvre – it would be better the other way around

Yesterday I saved €38, which is more than I can say for my sanity.

The sum in question is the cost of a day’s parking at Vinci, the Paris chain of underground garages.

What none of my French friends knows but I’ve found out is that Vinci forfeits the charge on one’s birthday, which for me was yesterday.

Call me a penny pincher, but this is one of the reasons we always spend 10 August in Paris, less than two hours away from our summer hiding place.

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