Re Dominic Lawson: I never managed to shake hands with this marvellous man, but came within striking distance on a couple of occasions. The first was as conductor of a splendid bunch of commies:
… who had the custom of singing for him on his frequent arrivals at Amsterdam airport – his quid pro quo for considerable Dutch donations. And they all fancied him, and not half, a necessary condition for the leader of a millenarian sect.
The second was at another airport where, quite remarkably, he recognised one of the numerous offspring of someone with whom he had worked closely prior to his imprisonment, and whose siblings suffered considerably and then profited more in subsequent developments in MK and the ANC. There there is an exquisitely non-self-critical perception that, like Our Lord Jesus Christ, NM became the pretty face of a rapacious bureaucracy, and that the truly dreadful Jacob Zuma kept him wired up to machines for as long as possible purely to improve his chances in next year’s generals.
If some day our Utopia is to come, it ain’t going to be tomorrow. But you’re probably bored of reading that here.
- Hospital food
A comparison of the offering at Vall d’Hebron (Barcelona), Manchester Royal Infirmary and Medisch Centrum Haaglanden (The Hague).
- Barrel organ available for losing bettors on the Iowa caucuses
Exemplary punishments from the 1892 US presidential election.
- Here’s a good singer
I thought this was rather special, especially when you consider all the one-note-samba rubbish still floating around: an early C20th recording
- Before/after you’ve gone
In Amsterdam Dutch the term boterbrief, “butter-letter”, is used for a marriage licence. In English a bread-and-butter letter is written to
- Spain, zombie kingdom?
Some terrible discoveries along the Llobregat.