The Curmudgeon


Tuesday, March 03, 2009

A Silver Honey Bowl in the Shape of an Apple

A little knowledge makes for much charity. Those who laud John F Kennedy for opposing the Vietnam War can do so only thanks to their charitable ignorance of his enthusiasm in escalating it. Those who praise the Greatest Ever Number One Briton Ever, Winston Churchill, for opposing "appeasement", can do so only by charitably closing their eyes to his role in ensuring that Britain was not ready to fight a war earlier than 1939. The American foundation which has named the Glorious Successor World Statesman of the Year evidently suffers from the same kindly myopia, although conspiracy theorists will inevitably leap to the conclusion that it must have been helped by a Board of Trustees which includes George H W Bush. The founder and president, Rabbi Arthur Schneier, praised Gordon for his "courage in defending freedom and human rights", an aspect of the Glorious Successor's glorious career which many of us seem to have missed; and also his "key intellectual and compassionate leadership in these critical times, when financial upheavals raised societal tensions and international tensions". Charity is a wonderful thing. The quality of the foundation's previous recognised world savers says a good deal: they include the Australian Prime Minister, John Howard; the indirect cause and failed political profiteer of the 2004 Madrid train bombings, José María Aznar; and the President of the French Republic, Nicolas de Racaille, on whose behalf the Nobel Peace laureate Henry Kissinger gave a "poignant address". Charity is a wonderful thing.


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