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Thusian Spake Bannon

THE REST of the world, apart from a small group of Trini weirdos, heaved an almighty sigh of relief on Tuesday night: at least now there won’t be two 70-year-old jackasses in high office in the US; but half the adult population of Alabama wept because there were not enough God-fearing Christians who would kiss their Bible and vote for a gun-toting, slavery-approving, Muslim-hating accused child molester, so that he could go to Washington and protect the millions of unborn children who will, apparently, continue to be murdered even before they become zygotes.

It’s an enigma of modern life, this Republican moving of heaven and earth to save the unborn but not giving a flying firetruck about babies, once they’re actually out of the womb: the same so-called right-to-lifers who bomb abortion clinics to save fertilized eggs will die to preserve capital punishment; and gather cheerfully outside of prisons on execution nights in the existential version of the football stadium tailgate party.

Most satisfying, though, was the comeuppance to President Jackass. Molester (alleged) Moore’s campaign was taken straight from the Jackass’ manual and the narrow rejection of Moore meant a massive rejection of Trump, comb-over, robocall and all.

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Van Demon’s Land

Well, that’s it: I’m moving to Victoria, Australia. On Wednesday, the Victorian Parliament legalized euthanasia and that clinched it: if I get to the stage of life/near-death where I can’t decide whether the highpoint of my day is my bowl of mushy peas or my diaper change, I’m heading straight for Van Diemen’s Land.

My other go-out-with-a-bang plan would be to celebrate my 92nd birthday by hang-gliding off a tall building and aiming for a highway landing; but I can’t see myself getting away with that; even if I could organize such an outing from my wheelchair/hospital bed.

So it’s Oz for me. There are other places in the world where you can perfectly (or, sometimes, imperfectly) legally have someone help you die, but God knows they don’t have as good a cricket team.

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Leap of Faith

HE CAME to us in an unusual way, via 15 years of imprisonment, near-starvation and physical abuse, and 45 minutes on my wife’s bicycle, her right hand holding the handlebars, her left cradling his head, with his emaciated body stretching along her forearm to her elbow.

A longhaired, short-breed dog with fur that had once been white but was now the colour of the mud in the canefields, through which he’d dragged himself, and the six-foot-long, heavy iron chain attached to the tight, rough rope around his neck for days, if not weeks, after his escape. He could barely take the two or three steps forward into the small country lane along which my wife was cycling that allowed her to notice him.

He really didn’t need the extra misfortune but he was already nearly-blind in his left eye; most of it looked like a marble.

She was able to make the difficult, one-handed ride back through the rain to home only because he settled down completely on her forearm, making no struggle at all.

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​Nobody else but me

EVEN FOR people like me, who’d happily pay to do their jobs, the weight of existence itself can get a body down. Days like those, I wonder if I’d be happier if I were someone else. Here is the list I considered on Wednesday, when I couldn’t bear to think about the rough beast with the fat body and the head of a dunce, whose hour had come round at last one year before, when it slouched towards Washington to be born.

Theresa May


Can make Parliamentary majorities disappear with the snap of an election.

Can run through wheat fields if no one in authority is looking.

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​Open Secret

ALMOST A YEAR after it happened, I still can’t quite bring myself to believe the Americans actually elected the Jackass. It’s not so much that I can’t accept that people would so cavalierly dismiss President Obama’s devastatingly apt warning – that a man who can’t be trusted with a Twitter account shouldn’t have the firetrucking nuclear attack codes – although, of course, there is that.

No, the hard part of accepting that this idiot-savant-without-the-savant is in the Oval Office is that, every time I turn on the TV, he is on it, painstakingly underlining his palpable unsuitability for the post. (Come in, Keith Smith, your alliteration acolyte is in action.)

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