The Early Days of a Better Nation

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

A Right Royal Train-Wreck

When the Queen indicated that she had remembered a conversation with Paul Burrell, the effect of which recollection was to halt his trial, I was startled enough by this bizarre turn of events to cast aspersions on Her Majesty's character. It now appears that a reason for her suddenly recovered memory may have been a desire to prevent the emergence in court of an allegation about Prince Charles, to repeat which here would be as unnecessary as it is illegal. Instead I take the opportunity to withdraw unreservedly my previous uncalled-for remarks, and acknowledge the sound sense of the Queen's actions in doing what she could to forestall the present unhappy situation.

I still hope and expect to see the Second British Republic.

Smoke Without Fire?

Two correspondents have courteously pointed out that the whole WTC filming/Urban Moving Systems/Israeli art students affair looks a lot less curious than it may at first seem when the following facts are taken into consideration:

There are many thousands of young Israelis in the US. Many of them are there in violation of their visas. It is not unheard of for some of them to make a living by peddling bad art, while claiming to be students or graduates of prestigious art schools. It is not straining probability that some of them should live in the same districts as other temporary residents of Middle Eastern origin. It is not at all inconceivable that a small number of them are capable of acting like idiots. It is entirely predictable that after 9/11 some of them should be rounded up on suspicion, found to be innocent of anything serious but in violation of their visas, and deported. Nor is it unlikely that after an initial flurry of interest the major media concluded that the whole thing was a mare's nest.


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