Sunday, 13 March 2011

Going Japanese

The recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan certainly took me by surprise - to watch the TV and see cars bobbing up and down like rubber ducks shows the truly epic scale of the disaster, the tragedy for the Japanese people, and the task of rebuilding. It has gained the attention of religious crazies who consider it divine punishment, even though, if I did believe in God, I might think that he wanted to ensure that the third world didn't receive all the natural disasters and suffering, as part of a quota to achieve racial equality or something. Having watched the new Louis Theroux documentary on the Westboro Baptist Church, it is obvious that this view is shared by more than one person. But if the wackiness of views was to be modelled as a standard distribution, there are so many people in the world that statistically at least a few will have wacky views.

Meanwhile our best album - er -greenest government in the world... Ever! is up to its usual ploy of trying to appease the "hard pressed motorist" with a cut in fuel duty. Except it had already increased VAT on everything, so even capital M motorists were unimpressed. Luckily I had the chance to question MP and cabinet minister Jeremy Hunt about this, even though my fellow scholars are more likely to mention the mispronunciation of his name. To be honest, that's what he'll be remembered for. And he went for the hard pressed motorist line, although he did accept the cost of rail travel was excessive when pushed on this. But then, it's easy to accept that lots of things are true, and an entirely different matter to take action.

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