Alert readers – and what a very attentive group you are – can hardly have failed to notice that, for nearly a month now, I have failed to mention either the ‘B’ word, or the very active and controversial occupant of the White House.
The reason for these glaring omissions from my learned pronouncements – despite the fact that both subjects have continued to dominate political coverage in the media during that time – is not that there has been little to write about but that I took a pledge to ignore what was going in order to avoid burn-out. My constant harping on about the two topics ad nauseum was, I suspect, beginning to grate with some readers. “Can’t you find anything else to write about,” one correspondent wrote. “You’re beginning to sound like an obsessive barroom bore.”
Well, that’s telling me!
I shall therefore continue to ignore B and T until further notice. It will take some effort, given the stories that are streaming out of London and Washington in a never-ending cavalcade. But I take some comfort in the fact that both topics have so much further mileage that a brief hiatus now will do no permanent harm to my reputation as a self-appointed pundit.
Just today, the nominated United States ambassador to the European Union has, it seems, opined that Greece must leave the euro-zone if it is to mend its broken economy, adding fuel to an already-raging fire with by telling an interviewer that the Greek government may elect to switch not back to the drachma but to the US dollar. That, if he has been quoted correctly, and if I may be permitted to mix my metaphors, ought to set a ravenous cat among a large flock of pigeons. European leaders will no doubt be hoping that it will emerge that His Excellency-elect, one Edward Malloch, was guilty of no more than expressing an alternative fact, and not revealing a new interventionist plank of American policy.
Meanwhile, in Washington, the media are abuzz with the resignation of Michael T. Flynn as the administration’s national security advisor for allegedly misleading the White House about his discussions with a Russian diplomat before he had even been confirmed in the post. What Mr. Flynn was talking about with the Russian had something to do with American sanctions against Russia, which, apart from other reflections on why he felt impelled to do so, has less to do with American security per se than with the much broader and even more complex aspects of American diplomacy.
If, as seems evident, chaos reigns supreme on both the B and the T topics, there will be plenty of opportunities to resume my rants about both.
Meanwhile, if you get the chance, watch the rugby match between England and Wales, a riveting display, red in tooth and claw, in the cause of an ancient sporting rivalry.
Oh, and England have a new test cricket captain, a young and personable batsman extraordinaire, one Joe Root, of Yorkshire.
And today, the sun is shining on London for the first time in several weeks, waking the slumbering daffodils.
My complaining reader is right: life is too short to waste it by obsessing about politics.
And right now, in this household at least, all is right with the world.