Sunday, 30 November 2008

A lesson from the third world*

*Health warning: If you work for The Guardian, its style guide forbids you to use the experession 'the third world'.

How refreshing to see that India's home minister Shivraj Patil has taken moral responsibility for the Bombay** attacks. (The BBC has quotation marks around moral responsibility; doubtless they are seen as ironic apostrophes in the minds of news editorial.) When was the last time a British cabinet minister said and did that? About the time of the Falklands War, I would have said. Yes, there have been many resignations, but they have taken place after absurd levels of personal lobbying, media lobbying, prying, negotiation and outright blackmail.

** Yes, I called it Bombay. And so, apparently, do many of its citizens. The name was changed by Hindu nationalists. How funny to see British cultural marxism (that's PC in its correct terminology) rolls over and sops to a nationalist whim (the nation state being the Original Sin of man's relationship with topography and the prime reason everywhere must become EU sector no. 78978979; in other words nowhere). Why? Whatever a post-colonial country does is right. Handsome is as handsome does, as my old granny used to say. And when it is airbrushing its history of the mark of the imperial oppressor it is very right indeed. But many Indians still call it Bombay. My brother-in-law works there from time to time and confirmed this.

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