Tuesday, July 03, 2007

George Orwell and perpetual war

I don’t know how many of you have read “1984” by George Orwell, but the background to the personal stories were a global war between the three remaining countries. These wars were used to justify the enslavement of their populations. I think we are on our way to that future.

Since 1990, the United Kingdom has been engaged in an assortment of armed conflicts. Often, these are not called wars, but they are. We have fought in the Balkans and West Africa, and of course, in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some of them were under UN mandates, but some were not. We have bombed countries and we have invaded them.

Currently, we are engaged in two major conflicts. We have been fighting in Afghanistan for five years now and there is no sign that we are prevailing. The Afghanis are a people with a long memory and a desire for revenge. Some of them are still quarreling about the results of Alexander the Great’s invasion of 2500 years ago! The Taliban are not from the planet Zog, most of them are Afghanis and every time one is killed his relatives are committed to revenge to honour family, clan or tribe.

Our last Prime Minister is now safely out of office but he claimed that we could be fighting there for a generation – which as family historians we would reckon as about 20 years. The new man seems to be inclined to stick with his friend Tony’s plan.

I was in favour of the invasion of Iraq to remove Saddam Husein. Rather foolishly, I imagined that the invaders would have a viable plan for post-war Iraq. Obviously they didn’t and there is no sign that things are getting better. We have been there for 4 years now and more than 100 British servicemen and women have died and hundreds have been badly injured. There is a democratically elected government in Baghdad, but they are more interested in re-fighting the battles of 1100 years ago.

Now our Prime Minister, in his first big foreign thing, is proposing we deploy troops to the Sudan. Darfur and Chad are hell-holes right in the centre of Africa. There is fighting going on between numerous murderous groups, including the governments of Chad and the Sudan. He is talking of some 27,000 troops being needed. Only a few will be British, he says. I wonder if he has heard of mission creep?

This is an UN-mandated operation. The UN already has 16,000 troops in the southern Sudan and 17,000 in the Congo. Each of these operations is costing over a billion pounds a year to run. The operation in Darfur will be a nightmare in terms of logistics. Has any ever operated on this scale in that area? I think not.

Returning to the novel "1984", do you remember the two way television set through which Big Brother watched his subjects? Think how easier that will be with TV delivered via a broadband link. Anyone looked inside their new digital TV?

Sunday, July 01, 2007

COCP Newsletter 22

Taken inside the ruins of Aghaboe Abbey west of Dublin. Strangely, no mention of Cornelius Delaney, GGGgrandfather of Michael McCormick, born here in 1800.

The COCP 1851 project is complete! The last piece is being processed right now. Now for the 1871!

Here is a list of what I think is being done at the moment; if you disagree, let me know please.

2217 Week St Mary Poundstock being transcribed by Caroline Buckland
2220 Camelford St Breward being transcribed by Brian Taylor
2225 Launceston St Magdalene being checked by Carla van Kleek
2228 Anthony Maker being transcribed by Julia Woodley
2232 Saltash being checked by Roger Parsons
2234 Callington St Ive being transcribed by Lesley van Goeson
2236 Liskeard Menheniot transcribed
2238 Liskeard being checked by Julia Mays
2240 Liskeard St Neot being checked by Donna Hazledon
2253 Padstow being transcribed by Shirley Ball
2254 Padstow Little Petherwick being transcribed by Judy Holman (Waddell)
2255 St Columb Major being transcribed by Sylvia Trevena
2256 St Columb Minor being checked by Pam Pinkerton
2261 Fowey St Blazey being checked by Marie O’sullivan
2264 St Austell being checked by Glynis Millet-Clay
2273 Probus Ladock being checked by Maxine Cadzow
2288 Kea being checked by Doug Luke
2289 Kea Feock being transcribed by John Wright
2291 Mylor being checkd by Chris Uphill
2293 Falmouth to be checked by Christ uphill
2296 Falmouth being transcribed by Faye Ammermann
2300 Wedndron being transcribed by John Dobson
2302 Wendron Sithney being checked by Frances Keshole
2304 Helston being checked by Jeff Beaton
2305 St Keverne St Martin in Meaneage to be checked by Jeff Beaton
2306 St Keverne being checked by Penny Trueman
2314 Gwennap to be checked by Maxine Cadzow
2315 Redruth being transcribed by Irene Todd
2316 Redruth being transcribed by Janet Copping
2322 Illogan being transcribed by Karen Duvall
2324 Camborne being transcribed by Yvonne Morgan
2325 Camborne being transcribed by Sue James
2328 Phillack being checked by Brian Millett
2330 Uny Lelant Ludgvan to be checked by Maxine Cadzow
2340 Penzance being checked by Lynne Evans
2341 St Just in Penwith Morvah to be transcribed by Gillian Johnson
2346 St Buryan to be checked by Judy Holman (Waddell)