La Demi-Rentree

The picture is by Alexander Wyant, and is entitled A Summer Haunt, from 1881. I found it here, on The Blog of An Art Admirer and History Lover.

Right. One half-bottle of Les Nivieres ('The Best French Supermarket Wine Since Decimalisation'), some Waitrose fish fingers with mayonnaise, a couple of veal escalopes in Parsley butter, some almond and fig wedge with a very runny cheese, and a plate of fried bananas and strawberries and...well, I'm back.

I've been teaching and lecturing like a crazy man for the weeks up to today, and have loved it. The summer has been long and golden. A course on the revolutionary Atlantic of the seventeenth and eighteenth century in Merton, two lectures on trade law in Brunel, four on critical thinking, and a lot of law undergraduates wanting someone to explain public law to them, have left me very happy.

It goes without saying that the work, which isn't really work, couldn't be avoided. I needed to get out and earn. But, well, I have earned my bread in far, far harder ways over the years, and it beats lazing on a beach. It's been distracting and fun and my mind has been let out for a run to learn in the best way possible. I ought to be humming a Baroque symphony, or at the very least a chaconne.

So, what's been happening whilst I have been away?

Well, all the things that I thought might happen have either occurred or are gathering, but in a kind of parallax way.

Pakistan appears to be on the edge of collapse, and the ISI sponsorship of terrorism, plus its own nuclear weapons, seem to have left it with few friends. This is, it goes without saying, a terrible shame when one thinks of Chief Justice Cornelius, and of what Pakistan could have been.

The disaster in that country threatens to fatally compromise the Afghan War effort, since a withdrawal of Pak troops from the 'Battle of Pakistan' areas in the west of the country cannot at present be matched by an influx from NATO. Even if NATO attempted such an injection, the Russians are using food and economics to bring vital Khrgyz and Uzbek bases and supply lines under their sphere of influence, and the Chinese are buying up Afghan resources and putting their own people on the ground. The ice fields are freezing, far from Rome.

It's been the coldest winter of modern times in the southern hemisphere. This suggests to me the idea that cyclical global warming is well and truly over, and that a long cycle of cold connected with the interaction of clouds, the heliosphere, and the cosmic winds of the sort that Henrik Svensmark has proposed and which happened in the 1600s, is upon us.

States are in a way machines for food production. Food can adapt to demand, but not to cold. We think ourselves insulated in Europe with the CAP, which so far has worked. It has provided security. Soon, however, that security may slip away.

The vast experiment of generating electronic money on either side of the Atlantic undertaken by States who then pass it on to semi-feudal banks and borrow it back in the hope that this will make the consumers rain spending is drawing to a close. Whatever you think of the Hindenburg moment, I feel that now more than ever we are on the edge of the crash and depression that Gordon Brown held off for a time in 2008, but at great cost.

I worry that we haven't the cultural resources to cope. I notice that the 'growth shills' in the dying press have on the whole no clue, but that people clutch at them, or wander around in denial. This is not going to end well, but then things never will when people won't hold to God and the Cross.

In the Labour Leadership race here, Diane Abbott is still the only candidate who knows what she is doing...and the only candidate who appears to understand that she is going to lose. I wish that she wasn't auditioning to be a sort of Carole Mosley Braun/Shirley Chisolm makeover.

The Peoples' Party of blessed memory has been reduced to the choice of a gormless facilitator of torture, his bug eyed global warmist child-man of a brother, a thug, and a pretty boy with a put on accent from some benighted northern metropolis. When the depression hits, people are going to resent this dereliction.

And what about America? Ever since the Kennedy Assassinations, it has come to resemble the Roman Republic, its axle broken and its partisan media and politics poisoning everything. In theory. In truth, Rome was never the 'Rome' of the western mind, and America certainly isn't.

That said, it ought to be clear that the US is a country in dire trouble. Its debt, deficit, mortgage foreclosures, energy grid, infrastructure and food systems are falling apart. It is prone to mad wars, and unconscionable hatreds. There are those within it who would lie and hate at the drop of a hat if it secured for them their grip. I still can't help feeling, however, that once its crisis comes on, as for many who are already in depression it must, that the event will be purging. Unlike Rome, it may come through.

I think that that will best happen if Congress tackles the deficit, the Democrats remember who elected them, and the Republicans remember Oklahoma City and forget about attacking the Constitution, but that may be to live too far in hope. Perhaps the people of the States in bankruptcy will show the way out. Maybe just plain old ingenuity will; after all, if the Gulf oil leak has really been capped and dispersed, and it may have been, the Americans and British ought to chalk it up as an historic feat. People who can do things like that can do lots to save themselves.

Oh, and Her Majesty's unloved police have been accused of murdering one violent nutter whilst the Iraqis are being cleared for murdering an arms inspector, when their former regime are the obvious suspects. Just as a note, David Kelly in life had also fingered the Russian security service as the source of a fair amount of extramural anthrax too. Do the people who kill never moonlight for other employers?

These are mad times that we are entering. I am glad that I was allowed a break from them this summer. My girl is still beautiful, my liver is still functioning, my indomitable mother is battling away, and my family is still pushing on. I have faith, a full stomach, and a good drink. What, in the face of all this, can possibly go wrong?

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