Friday, 28 June 2019

'In risu veritas'*

Mark Twain is quoted as saying, "Humor (sic) is the good-natured side of a truth." (I'm going with this quote on the subject, as Twain is American, rather than the possibly better-known 'many a true word is spoken in jest', that can be found in Chaucer and Shakespeare.)

While I hesitate to concede that Trump has a good-natured side, the idea that he can joke with Vladimir Putin about election meddling is a little worrying. The Democratic candidate debates have now started in the States, and Trump wants to have four more years - presumably he hasn't undermined the system quite to his personal satisfaction yet - so meddling from a country whose leader thinks that liberalism has had its day, that Trump is talented and that freedom needs to be limited to remain within the bounds of tradition, isn't something to joke about. We need progress from the kind of Stalinesque values Putin seems to hold so dear, not a regression back to them.

Meanwhile, on the same day, it is reported that Theresa May has told Putin there must be no further interference in the style of the Salisbury attack. Of course, Russia denies any involvement. One has to wonder if other interference - such as election [for which read 'referendum'] meddling would be acceptable. I haven't seen any report of Putin's view of Boris, though as someone who is perfectly happy with a personality cult and no problem with outright lying, he'd probably be happy if Boris won.

That's the Boris who says we're out of the EU on October 31st with or without a deal, and his cabinet will be made up of people who support a no-deal Brexit, an arrangement disliked by the banks and industry, quite apart from people who travel much. Though, let's face it, Jeremy isn't a whole lot better.

It's no wonder I'm grumpy and need to apologise unreservedly to anyone who had the misfortune to interact with me yesterday....

*Latin quote by James Joyce apparently, punning on 'in vino veritas'. A bit of bilingual knavery there!

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