If you read any newspaper or read news media elsewhere, do you not find that we are seemingly on a global road to some dark and unforgiving place ? We have the tragedies of Somalia, Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan, North Korea, Europe, Texas and countless other regions that are experiencing changes of almost biblical proportions to the established way of things. Change is inevitable and in some instances should be encouraged, but it does seem lop-sided at this time with the emphasis upon chaos and upheaval. And perhaps the most disturbing aspect of all this is our global reaction - passive acceptance, almost a belief that this is the new normality and giving those of us broadly unaffected that sense of emotional immunity to the huge and difficult issues occurring around the world. This is not a good recipe for the human race to pursue.
In Washington we hear more of the Trump Chronicles - the daughter and her smooth looking and rather disturbing husband, Ivanka and Jared, seem to be feeling the unpleasantness of Washington DC and maybe planning on leaving the White House roles they occupy. Even for observers far away across the globe, Washington's politically nasty side has long been evidenced through the media, Hollywood and moles within the administrations of endless governments - yet the Trump's evidently have been surprised by it and are feeling bruised by the hostility and antipathy directed at them. Perhaps their surprise should be tempered by some personal reflections upon their own, garish and intrusive styles and their total lack of understanding about the roles they have been undeservedly given.
And what about Brexit ? The current round of talks are getting nowhere - despite Mrs May's gauche attempts to convince us otherwise - and fingers are being pointed at assorted individuals on both sides with accusations of obstruction, interference, inflexibility and so on. Yet the base line problem is that there really is no progress being made. We are negotiating to leave the EU - and that is the important distinction here, the EU being the political entity that governs the homogenous outlook of the member states; it is not Europe, the diverse and attractive trading region that we aspire to remain in business with. But around that negotiating table we have unelected EU officials with a mission. That mission has nothing to do with enabling the UK exit to unfold with the least upheaval, it has everything to do with protecting the political doctrine that enables the EU to exist amongst such a broad collection of democratic states. And therein lies the source of the blockage. Britain is negotiating a national interest (and I use that phrase loosely as I don't think that much of our negotiating techniques or principles right now) whilst the EU is manning a barricade. The result will, inevitably be, impasse. There are just a few glimmers of concern amongst the French and German camps that the EU is on the wrong course here, but whether their leaders will have the political guts to interfere sufficiently, we'll have to wait and see. In the meantime we could actually start addressing the key issues....
I've just read an article on the 20th anniversary emotional trauma that is being stirred up over Princess Diana's death. The commentary is not so much about Diana but more about how our culture change has opened up doors in everyone's lives that lead to extraordinary displays of emotion and grief, often over events that few of the grievers know anything about or have even a connectivity to. It's almost as if there is some politically correct driver at work urging people to behave in these ways because that is what is expected under our new rules of societal compliance to just about every subject under the sun. Readers will know I'm no fan of the politically correct, righteous outrage brigade who now hold sway over our media and thought processes. I'm proud to remain a rebel.
One last dig for today. It is revealed that as our armed forces reduce in size and capability almost daily, the reduction in civil servants at the MoD has fallen by a mere 170 posts over the last five years. There are, apparently, three civil servants in the MoD to every soldier, sailor or airman. Now doesn't that give you pause for thought !