Archive for September 15th, 2005

A Nick and a Promise

Today’s Guardian (yes, I know, I’ll stop soon, I promise) homepage advertises Nicky Cambpell’s piece on the Ashes as follows:

Nicky Campbell: The Ashes made me stop hating England.

Can anyone suggest anything to make me stop hating Nicky Campbell?

The Petrol Bomb of History

If there is one thing the Love Ulster episode and loyalist riots have managed to bring to the fore, it is the idea of a United Ireland.

The riots have caught the eye of the ever-readable Max Hastings, who sees unification as inevitable:

‘Today, the position is transformed. Northern Ireland has nothing to lose but its subsidies, while the south is rich and successful. No constituency which gives its political support to such a leader as Paisley possesses a plausible vision of its own future. We are witnessing the last writhings of a society left beached by the march of history.

When unification comes, Northern Ireland’s Protestants may be amazed by the wealth and happiness which accrue to their children, once they shed the baggage of Cromwell as icon, the Orange Order, mafia rule and institutionalised bigotry. I was wrong about the proximity of Irish peace in December 1969. But in September 2005, it seems closer than the petrol bombers might make us suppose.’

The whole article is well worth reading, if only for an informed English perspective on Northern Ireland Protestants. If this is what Max Hastings thinks, would many in the British establishment disagree?

For related reading, see Big Ulsterman’s post and the ensuing post and discussion on the NI Magyar..

Highway to Hell

Continuing the dead creatures thing, there was an awful lot of dead animals on the country roads I ran along this evening. A badger, a fox, a hedgehog, two rabbits, several rats and some dead birds. And I only did about 5 miles.

There is a great blink-and-you-miss-it moment in The Incredibles where one of the kids is racing through the jungle at ludicrous speed when he cops a mouthful of flies and starts coughing like mad.

Every time I see a carcass lying on the road, I close my mouth, lest I ingest a fly that’s just been gorging on rat.

The volume and speed of traffic is what causes the death of so many animals on these roads. But it’s not made any better by the average motorist here, whose driving can be rather cavalier. In my experience, drivers in the Republic are the worst at judging distances and the least considerate towards runners.

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September 2005