Monday, October 29, 2007

The rich man's burden

Former Maggie Thatcher inner-circle member and now leading Anglosphere reactionary John O'Sullivan has a complaint, which arises in a by-the-way anecodote in a praise of "New Europe" (i.e. the bits where a few people still luvv George W. Bush) --

Portuguese conservatives tend to be very Atlanticist (as do the Portuguese in general) and thus pro-American. If we want to halt the galloping anti-Americanism that now distorts European politics, we should be looking at how Portugal was not lost—and talking to the Portuguese as well as to pro-Americans in Eastern Europe and the Baltics.

Coming back through London, I took a taxi from Fulham to Notting Hill to a friend's home for dinner. It cost 24 Pounds (approx. $48.) Shortly before we reached our destination, we found ourselves crawling behind a bus that bore the following advertisement: "London-Marrakech Return Air Fare: 22 Pounds." Or $44. Characteristically the politicians here are worried about the cheap air fare rather than the expensive taxi one.

So on the one hand, all-embracing geopolitical advice that would have them nodding sagely at the cocktail parties. On the other hand, a dude who doesn't ask why exactly it is that it's now a 2:1 dollar/pound exchange rate (hint: George W. Bush) and who couldn't be bothered figuring out that it takes about 10 minutes to get from Fulham to Notting Hill (on the District Line), much quicker than a taxi stuck behind a bus and much less than $44.

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