The Curmudgeon


Sunday, April 11, 2010

British Values, Roman Rubbish

The Ministry of Unfitness for Purpose, which generally has so much to say for itself on moral subjects, has come over all coy about some Roman and Etruscan artefacts which the Italian government claims were stolen. The artefacts, some of which show signs of not having been professionally cleaned, have been in the collection of one Robin Symes, a dealer with a record of bankruptcy and alleged shady dealings which has doubtless inspired a certain fellow feeling in the corridors at Whitehall. The Italians have asked for the records of how the artefacts arrived in Britain; the British Government has a legal obligation to provide these records, but has so far failed to do so. The Italians say uncharitably that this is "unhelpful", despite the British Government's long and fragrant record of adherence to international law. In fact, from all we know of the Home Office, it is more than likely that nobody knows whose laptop the records are on, much less what they say or whether the said laptop is still in the possession of its rightful owner. Consequently, the Ministry of Unfitness for Purpose has demanded that Italy hand over evidence that the artefacts "were in fact stolen", while hastily arranging to sell them off in order to cover Robin Symes' unpaid taxes.


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