Billions of words have already been expressed over the sad events in Paris and there are many billions to come. But how about some actions? Most obviously stopping the funding of extreme Islam by the West's 'greatest friend' in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia. Where a man has just been sentenced to 10 years in jail plus 1,000(!) lashes - at 50 a time - for publishing blog posts the government didn't like. And where women who drive are arrested on terrorism charges. Any chance a US invasion to inflict democracy on the country? Or is it still all about oil and the buy-offs it finances?
Or how about plastering the world - or most of it - with billboards showing cartoons poking fun at all religions, not just the Islamist version of Islam? Only then will we all be Charlie Hebdo. Until then, it's all just words. Which are as cheap as ever.
By the way . . . Yesterday, Sky News - and doubtless other rolling news channels - dedicated 99% of its coverage to French developments - raising the question of which now un-newsworthy events of the day would have been considered newsworthy if nothing had happened in Paris. If you see what I mean.
But the need for reporters to be spontaneous - or even to vamp - does throw up some funny moments:-
- Either before or after that, the hostage taker was shot.
- We'll have a continuing update in just a moment.
The UK's deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, has described his wife as having a 'truly Spanish' character. Pressed for amplification, he tried this:- "That means that the Spanish are a magnificent people and one of the things they pride themselves on is the forcefulness with which they express their opinions and the way in which they don’t hide their emotions. "This", he added, "is a great, great virtue. They are a forthright people." Doubtless he experienced some forthrightness when he got home.
Talking of the UK . . . There are now 119,000 solicitors there. Almost one for each of the country's 129,000 policemen. 50 years ago, there were only 30,000 solicitors in the UK, against more than 129,000 policemen. The numbers for barristers are 3,000 and 30,000. What this says about UK society, I really don't know. But I have read that there are now more than a few unemployed lawyers there.
My daughter and I recently visited a Chinese bazar on the outskirts of Pontevedra. It was huge and bloody cold. But it did provide this evidence of Chinese confusion about Western religious symbols. Or perhaps just a tidy mind:-
Finally . . . A new type of beggar in Pontevedra? Yesterday, as I came out of the Post Office, a well-dressed woman in her 30s asked me for €2, saying she needed it to get petrol to drive home to Vigo. When I declined, she looked pretty distraught/disgusted and I almost changed my mind. Almost. Maybe she pulls the same trick in Vigo and maybe she was genuine. I guess the acid test will be whether she reappears on the steps of the Post Office.