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Sometimes one wonders about this Pope


His Holiness has regaled us with two more statements, to which one doesn’t immediately know how to react.

The first one, on evolution, is generally unassailable from any position, other than the stridently and unscientifically atheist one. It does, however, raise the question of why it had to be made at all. Also, some of the wording may be interpreted as more deist than Christian.

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Real culture doesn’t need ministers

Who was England’s culture minister at the time of Shakespeare, Sidney and Donne?

Austria’s, during the period demarcated by Haydn at one end and Brahms at the other, with Mozart and Beethoven in between?

Russia’s, from Pushkin and Gogol to Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky?

Venice’s, from Bellini to Tintoretto, via Titian?

Tuscany’s, when Duccio and Piero della Francesca painted their masterpieces?

France’s, when Rabelais used fictional titans to satirise real pygmies?

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Bach was an impostor – isn’t that a lovely story?

I know I’m repeating myself, but, as we all know, repetition is the mother of all learning.

Not everyone has yet learned that we’re living in a lunatic asylum run by its inmates, and so, at the risk of repeating myself, I have to produce more factual evidence.

Mercifully, the newspapers never disappoint. The current big story picked up by all our broadsheets is that some of J.S. Bach’s best works were actually written by his second wife Anna Magdalena.

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Political correctness is no joking matter

Political correctness also existed back in the USSR, so nostalgically remembered by the Beatles. The basic concept was the same as in today’s West, but the interpretation was different.

Far from being proscribed, jokes about racial minorities, Jews, women and cripples were actively encouraged.

The political correctness the authorities enforced really was political. Hence a joke about communism or any of its figureheads would act as a starting gun for a race.

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My friend José Manuel Barroso has a point

The EU has just told Britain to top up her net contribution to the EU coffers by another 20 per cent or, in absolute numbers, £1.7 billion. The deadline is 1 December.

This being close to a by-election in which Ukip is leading the Tories by 13 points, Dave felt called upon to throw that extortionist demand back into those Euro mugs.

“If people think I am paying that bill on 1 December, they have another think coming,” he intoned, both mendaciously and incorrectly.

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A walk through psychiatric wards in England and elsewhere

The theme of madness keeps recurring in this space, and it’ll continue to do so.

Madness is of course a clinically imprecise term, what with mental disorders coming in all shapes and sizes.

However, common to many patients, such as those suffering from schizophrenic and paranoid delusions, is losing touch with reality.

As with any other illness, the symptoms may vary from mild to severe, and psychiatric patients must be grouped together accordingly.

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The Tories are running out of bribery money

If you read about as fast as I do, it has taken you three seconds to read this headline.

During the same time the UK national debt has grown by £15,510, which is, you must agree, pretty good going.

Or, depending on your point of view, pretty bad going. Catastrophic, come to think of it.

Our debt is currently but a cat’s whisker under £1.5 trillion. If it continues to accelerate at the same rate, over the next five years it’ll grow by £8,152,056,000,000. Before long we’ll be talking serious money.

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Dispatches from the madhouse (otherwise known as news)

If you still doubt we’re living in a lunatic asylum run by the inmates, read today’s papers, especially our domestic news.

World news does occasionally introduce a faint touch of sanity, this time supplied by France.

The cast of Opéra Bastille in Paris stopped singing La Traviata halfway through, and not in protest to its demotic music.

The singers objected to the sight of a burka-clad woman in the audience. And – make sure you’re prepared for the shock – no one called the police to have the reactionary vocalists arrested.

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Barroso’s strong, if unwitting, argument against the EU

Obviously the outgoing gauleiter of the European Commission didn’t make that argument in so many words.

However, he does make it in his person. For an organisation that brings the likes of him to the fore has to be fatally flawed, not to say downright evil.

José Manuel Barroso began his political career in the ranks of an underground Maoist party committed to terrorism as a valid form of political self-expression.

His aim then was to destroy the sovereign government of Portugal, and he pursued it with youthful vigour.

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“Madam” isn’t just Merkel’s title. It’s part of her job

During a Formula One race in Sochi Bernie Ecclestone was sufficiently impressed with Col. Putin to suggest he could run both Europe and America if he could find time in his busy schedule.

Bernie didn’t specify what made the good colonel’s schedule so busy, probably deciding it would be impolite to suggest that his host’s time is mostly taken up with ripping off his own country and attacking his neighbours.


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