Will war come to our shores? Blogger of the Year PETER RHODES on the spread of extreme Islam, the shame of Ireland and the joys of owning an old Swede
THIS is Friday the 13th so be very carefu . . . oops, too late.
I REFERRED a couple of days ago to the 1944 Normandy battle known as Epson. It was, of course, Epsom. Epson is the name on the printer right next to this computer. No excuses, but you can see how these things happen.
I OCCASIONALLY sing the praises of my old Volvo which, like myself, combines great age with Scrooge-like frugality. But at 136,000 miles, mine is a mere stripling compared with the V70 owned by Simon Marshall of Berkshire. Built in 2004, it has just covered 575,000 miles without a single breakdown. Mind you, the Volvo owner manual gives an idea of what to expect. It has service intervals extending to 360,000 miles - or 20 years. A very tough old Swede.
TWO announcements on the same day this week are guaranteed to chill the blood. The first was the gloomy forecast from a Middle East expert on Radio 4 that if the jihadist group ISIL creates its extreme Islamic caliphate in Iraq and Syria, it might one day head towards Europe. The second announcement, from the National Audit Office, predicted that cuts to the armed forces might limit Britain's ability to send troops overseas. The way things are going, before long we may not need to go abroad for wars. The wars may come to us.
NOT that events in Iraq are a great advert for ultra-Islam. As ISIL stormed into Mosul by the front gate, half a million residents fled through the back gate.
BUT if you think there is no more dangerous creature than a man with a gun who thinks he can hear the voice of God, consider the horrors coming to light in Ireland. A mass grave of 800 children has been uncovered at a former home for unmarried mothers in County Galway. This week an Irish radio show claimed that hundreds of children in such homes were used as guinea pigs for vaccines. These homes were run by nuns. Once she has been suitably brainwashed, the female of the species can be just as unpleasant as the male.
AND you wonder why the Unionists in Ulster never wanted to join the Irish Republic?
J K ROWLING has donated £1 million to the Better Together campaign and dismissed the Scottish independence campaign as “a denial of risks.” She is a brave lady. There is a nasty, trollish side to the Yes movement and when the Scots reject independence in September, as they most certainly will, the angry, blue-faced Braveheart tendency will be looking for people to blame.
WE are told this week that millions of Brits are borderline diabetic. So what's your blood-sugar level? You probably don't know and neither does your doctor, because you hardly ever meet each other. Those of us with high blood pressure, on the other hand, get a series of free MoTs with six-monthly checks and annual blood tests. My test was a fortnight ago so I know my blood-sugar is fine, my potassium is a little low and my hypertension is controlled. It is an irony of the NHS that the best way to stay healthy these days is to develop a medical condition.
IF you read nothing else during this World Cup, get yourself a copy of the Big Issue and see Jonathan Meades' superb demolition job on the current state of the beautiful game. It's headlined “Welcome to the Rank Arena of the Yob-Gods.” Perfect.