Monthly Archives: February 2014

Where’s the difference?

It’s reported (e.g. here) that the Queen’s grandson wants all the royal family’s ivory destroyed.

I am reminded of the Taliban destroying the Bamiyan Buddhas.  The act looks much the same: destroying priceless works of art.  The motivation looks much the same too: the works are founded on something seen as absolutely unacceptable.  Is there a difference?

I heard someone debating this on the radio today.  A lady supporting the Prince’s line put the Endarkenment argument: by owning the ivory, the royal family is complicit in the slaughter of elephants to collect it.  Just as consumers of sex and violence are complicit, and we must be protected from such depravity as Shakespeare …

Hmmm.  Yes, it’s a good link.  A close analogy between policing the ‘net, destroying the ivory, and destroying the Buddhas.

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Cut off!

It seems the southwest is very largely cut off from the rest of England.  And now it’s indefinite!

The main railway line across Somerset has been closed for some time, along with many roads.  An inconvenience, but at least an alternative (much slower, single-track) line to London remains open.  But now the serious problem has happened: the Dawlish/Teignmouth coastal stretch has dramatically collapsed.  The BBC has some footage of it here, showing the waves crashing over what remains of the line.  Right now they’re apparently not even running replacement buses: conditions on the roads are challenging too.

This has long been a disaster waiting to happen: that stretch is surely not maintainable (as many of us, including Yours Truly, have long been saying).  Time to get that alternative Exeter-Plymouth line North and West of Dartmoor reinstated, not in many years but as a matter of urgency!