During the last week British Royal Prince Harry behaved "inappropriately" in a foreign land and is paying the price. A naked romp in America was caught on camera and the fall-out has been laughable. Media sources in the US have jumped onto the news, presumably for light relief from the country's problems.
The 2012 election campaign trundles on and in order to gain political leverage the "gloves are off". Romney raised the "birther" issue again, Republican Todd Akin offended many with ill thought out words on rape victims and abortion and more shootings were reported in the US. More unsettling has been the extent of hate that some Americans obviously feel. In a week when Europe watched the final day in court for mass murderer Anders Breivik racial and religious hate was all the more depressing.
Breivik was sentenced to 21 years for the murder of 77 people and for injuring another 240. His actions were fueled by hate. He espoused eloquently to justify his actions but in reality it was pure hatred. As act of evil. As he spoke his last words in court he began to say that he was only sorry that he did not kill more. At that point his microphone was turned off, denying him the end to his "well thought out" actions.
It was shocking to realise that Breivik, throughout his imprisonment so far, has been able to post on line and communicate with like minded individuals. The Norwegian authorities had given him some leeway in order for him to open up and the trial to be effective. That now has to stop. There are enough places on-line where hate is spewed and words manipulated.
It must gall Breivik to read that the political party he tried to attack has seen an increase in members since his massacre. Rather than deter people it has made them realise that far right extremists must be stopped.
In the UK Prince Harry's antics look set to be used as an excuse to restrict the freedoms of the Press. The Leveson inquiry has been investigating allegations of phone hacking and press intrusion and so Harry is fuel for the fire. The Palace contacted the British Press complaints commission to strong arm publications not to publish the naked images. In the end The Sun flouted this on the grounds that stifling the Press is wrong.
Whilst we could not care less about the Prince we agree. Countries that stifle the Press have included Gaddafi's Libya, Assad's Syria and Hitler's Germany. Such regimes want to control the media in order to control the people. The UK must hang on to a free and independent Press. The UK after all is quick to accuse such regimes of manipulating the media for their own ends. Need we say more?
Syria has continued to be blown apart. It is hard to ascertain what is really going on. The only things certain are that people are dying and the country is all but destroyed. The West seems keen to want to send in foreign troops, no doubt for hidden agendas.
Europe continues to fall apart financially. Spain is now also broke. Antonios Samaras the new Greek leader has visited Germany and France to ask for more time to implement the austere measures necessary for further bail outs. He should give up the ghost. Merkel in Germany gave him short shrift. Whilst she praised the Greeks for the changes implemented so far she would not agree to a time extension. No surprise there then. He went on to France to meet with Francois Hollande but there was still "no room at the inn"
Perhaps as they all know that War is coming they have bigger fish to fry. It could be Syria. It could be Iran. It could be Global. The only thing right now which seems certain is that War is on the cards. Heaven help us all.
In the UK the Paralympics will begin on August 29 and run until September 9. These games will not receive the heavy press attention that the BBC gave London 2012. They will be aired on Channel 4 in the UK. The tickets however are selling well and it is expected to be another successful Games. There will be awe inspiring performances from people who would have been shunned at one time and resigned to inactivity.
RIP to Neil Armstrong, the first man to step on the Moon with those now immortal words, One small step for (a) man, one giant leap for Mankind. Whether they were off the cuff words or well rehearsed does not matter. It was an awe inspiring moment in history.
Autumn is around the corner and this weekend in the UK it is the final Bank Holiday before Christmas. What a sobering thought. The weather is up to its old tricks and rain will make the weekend a wash out. It will not dampen the enthusiasm nor colour of the Nottinghill Carnival in London though. Have a great two days folks.
Till next week, stay safe, drop the hate and chin up. TTFN