If there's a lesson to be learned from the Wikileaks "scandal" of the past few weeks, it's a lesson we old buggers learned a long time ago:
You are under a moral imperitive to not trust your government.
It's nice to find that the diplomats actually forgo diplomatic language when they're talking to their own people back in Head Office. It's nice that, behind the scenes of political niceties, the powers-that-be in such gloriously democratic states as Saudi Arabia enjoy using language like "Cut their heads off - they are vipers" and so on, when referring to other great examples of the democratic process - the Iranians.
It's nice to know that the USA, a country I hold in great admiration, actually does call a spade a spade when it needs to be referred to as such.
But it's also wise to keep in mind that the powerful don't want us - the power-less- to know they can and do speak openly and honestly between themselves.
Mrs Clinton may have overstepped the mark when she said that these leaked cables (in reality, almost-secure emails) have put peoples' lives at stake. Actually, not being open and honest with the voters is certainly putting lives at risk: the lives of the people at the bottom of the ladders. But she - and all those who deal with the USA - may just have to wake up to the fact that open and honest government does mean just that. They need to trust their voters. The fact that they don't (in fact, they hold us in contempt) is a reflection on us: we haven't demanded their respect.
What I'd like to see is a Wikileak of papers from, say, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and China, and Iran, and Russia, and Liberia and Zimbabwe - all the shining examples of repressive government.
Schoolboy larf of the day: Irene van Dyke, the sumptuously beautiful New Zealand netball goalshoot was talking on the radio today, about emigration from South Africa, training, aging, keeping fit, etc. When asked how she keeps on top of her game, considering her age, she blithley said "My husband nails me every night..."
Snigger. She was innocently meaning that he pushed her hard when she trained in the evening. But when she followed up by talking about getting a knob in her throat... well, I brayed like a schoolboy. And my eyeballs sweated, as well. I mean - she is hot. She meant, by the way, a lump in her throat. Near tears, etc. God, I can't wait 'til I grow up....
Reading: Christopher S Wren, "The Cat Who Covered the Wold".
Listening to: Tori Amos, "From the Choir-Girl Hotel"
Finally - more "Paper Heroes": the problem with the 'pooter has gone away....
He recalled the code he lived by: rigid, unquestioning, black and white, with no room for doubt.
He was snapped to the present by the yawning and stretching of the vast barbarian, the one who claimed to be a king. Grey didn’t trust him: the giant was undisciplined, a ravening animal, even with the embots. The Texan wondered what the Cimmerian would be like without the restraints of the strange machines in his bloodstream. He doubted that anyone could control him.
Hanno stretched, and grinned. He felt whole for the first time in centuries. His mind was filled with blood and flame, images that sustained him, made him strong. His hand itched for the feel of his sword, and his great brass lungs heaved with the desire to do something. Now. No doubts, no room for questions about right and wrong. Whatever Hanno decided was right. That was the way he had lived before, and this was the way he was going to live now. He jumped to his feet, and shouted “Ha!”
And, in so doing, woke Crayne. The Crusader lay still, and interrogated himself. He could hear the whispers again, the constant voice that told him of his weaknesses and faults. His old friend. He shunted the voice aside. He rose, smiling. He was back in charge. The Crusader was here, and he scanned the room, sharp eyes noticing everything: the slow breathing of Blunt and Whistler, and disturbed sleep of John Prester, the twitching of the faces of the woman, Cienwyn, and her brother, Charles. Adam and Paulus lay still. Crayne sub-vocalised “P-See?” and heard its whispering response. His grin was shark-like. Now, he felt alive. Able to decide. And the decisions to be made were simple: right, or wrong. There is nothing in between. But his old whispering friend reminded him that a mistake can be fatal; remember the death of Sparrow? He shunted the thought aside: with time and inclination, he could rule this world.
Two sets of eyes snapped open: Blunt, and Whistler. Instinctively, they turned to each other, looking over each other’s shoulder, checking for danger behind. Blunt smiled, a wolf’s grin, and held out his hand. “I think we’re back in action, Sean.”
“Aye, Andy. God and St. Patrick preserve us, but you’re right.”
Blunt looked over at Crayne, his mind filled with images of battles fought long ago. Whistler and he clawing and slashing their way through a French column, snatching their Eagle; clambering over the shattered bodies of the Lost Cause at the breach of Badajoz; plucking a king’s ransom in jewels from the body of the Sultan Tippoo; losing it all to the vagaries of love and chance. He glanced back at Whistler, and saw that he was being shaken his own bloody memories.