With people in such dire straits, up and down the country, with their houses and their lives in disarray as a result of the flooding, it seems ludicrous to write what I propose, but it is nonetheless, in my view fairly important.
During this past week there was a programme on television which I did not see, but was reported to me, concerning Hitler’s ‘off-camera’ conversations. I say ‘off-camera’, when I really mean ‘off microphone’, unofficial remarks made to someone in shot, but not for general consumption. We have all seen top politicians, in question and answer sessions, on television, where a man has approached, whispered something in the ear of the person with a microphone, in such a way that his lips are unseen – they are frightened of lip- readers.
The program I refer to was a compilation of scenes of Hitler on stage and in casual mode, talking to people including Eva Braun. The producer had taken old clips and enlarged them so that the readers could actually follow the conversations between Hitler and whomever he was talking to, by lip reading.. These, apparently according to my informant, showed Hitler to have not only a gentle streak, but I suppose what can be referred to as human reactions. Whether this serves any useful purpose whatsoever, is a matter of personal judgment, but the reason I am writing this article is not whether I care or not, what Hitler had to say, because I saw what he did. It is because my informant said that this producer was now intending to perform the same trick with cinematographic outtakes of conversations, intended to be private by members of our Royal family, translate these and offer them on public display. I find this proposal abhorrent. When I see clips of the young Diana, and other young women, friends of the Royal family, being besieged on every appearance, this type of incursion is bad enough, but if every person who is being photographed had to keep silent because some casual remark could be presented later to the public, especially out of context, I find it not only unbelievably crass, but sick. This terrible maw that constantly has to be fed, the British reading public’s appetite for sensation and gossip, should not be appeased in this instance, and the law should prohibit it, or else where will it all end?
The Shambles of Shambo. Recently in Wales, a sacred bull, Shambo, held in a Hindu temple was diagnosed with bovine TB. Local farmers, allegedly worried for their own cattle, pressurised the authorities to have the animal put down, with predictable results, as far away as New Zealand, As one who has suffered from TB, and being cured purely by diet and fresh air, I find it amazing that in this day and age Shambo could not have been cured, unless this is contrary to Hindu practices. In any case, if the animal was contained in the stockade within a temple, it seems unlikely that it could have infected any creatures within miles, unless they were worried that mice or a stray cat might have carried the infection. I could have understood if the authorities had instituted extremely strict rules on the removal and destruction of the natural waste from the bull, but as slaughter, to my simple mind, appears to be a bureaucratic solution, forced on the basis of our laws, to which no flexibility has been applied, outrage, like a stone thrown in a pond, will naturally ripple round the world.
In the same newspaper that reported the death of the bull, it also reported that a number of citizens of this country had been planning subversive acts based on religious dogma. A large number of the religious rituals, practice by various sects today, have their roots in necessity. For example the Jewish religion requires that its adherents do not eat meat on the same day as they drink milk, presumably because you could not, in the past, have it and eat it. Similarly life in an area where there is little water will make circumcision a sensible precaution. There has always been persecution in the name of religion, and religion an excuse for aggression, where the basic reasons have nothing whatsoever to do with religion. Today, with people of all nations being more materialistic than religiously inclined, religion is being used more as a tool to achieve an end, rather than an end in itself. It is therefore necessary for those in authority to think carefully, circumspectly, and with an eye to the outcome, of any action or statement they may make which has a quasi religious content, as their actions could be interpreted, by those who wish to make trouble, to inflame for their own ends.