Saturday, 16 April 2016

Taking All Our Plundered Jobs

Overheard on TV last night - a 13 year-old skiffle player is being interviewed by Huw Weldon on a BBC1 talent programme in 1957.

Huw Weldon: "What are you going to do when you leave school - play skiffle?"

Jimmy Page: "No - biological research."

Was talking to a Spanish friend of mine the other day who lives in the village. In the instance of a Brexit vote we are worried about all the Brits who will be queueing up to take the jobs we took from them when we came here from mainland Europe.

The reparations issue is raising its head again - particularly reparations for slavery and colonialism. It's like this generation in the UK holding the current German generation responsible for WWII, and particularly the Jews holding them responsible for the Holocaust, which is patently absurd. Responsibility sits with those who committed the act, not their descendants, else there would be calls for reparations from the Romans, the Vikings and the Mongols - where would it stop? There is, however, a question mark over loot and plunder, but surely that belongs to the descendants of those from whom it was plundered - like artworks plundered by the Nazis - and not a general, amorphous blob called 'the nation',

I guess an exception could be made for specific cultural treasures that were not owned by individuals at the time of being looted, such as the Elgin Marbles or items looted from museums. I'm not suggesting the Elgin Marbles were plundered, but they were bought from a corrupt, occupying power, which somewhat delegitimises the purchase.

The Koh-i-Noor diamond sitting in the Queen's crown has been itself plundered so many times before it came into the hands of the British that it's impossible to determine rightful ownership - Afghanistan, Pakistan and India all claim ownership. In any case, the last owner ceded it to the British as part of the Last Treaty of Lahore, which was a bit one-sided given the British had just annexed the Punjab and a will mentioning it hadn't been executed by the East India Company prior to the annexation.

Talking of amorphous blobs, finally got the cooking temperature, size and spacing for the amaretti to absolute perfection. Crispy and golden on the outside and chewy inside.


  1. I used to pay good money for wrapped amaretti in a nice tin. I've still got the tins.

    1. My favourite biccie. I was determined to master them - now for different flavours....