They flew, They died, They are Remembered.

Boeing B-17F

I rarely go to the cinema these days. Most of the films put on general circulation  these days qualify as ‘drek’, the ‘super-heroes’, the ‘Ironmen’, the transgender garbage: all in all, it takes a great deal to drag me away from my t.v. with access to the ‘greats’ such as Casablanca, or Seven Samurai. 

But an advert on the back page of a newspaper pulled me to book for a Documentary, but this is no ordinary documentary. The film is called ‘The Cold Blue’, is about the American Air War in the 1942-45 era, and features film actually recorded during flights and bombing runs across Germany.

I am a child of World War Two, born as the last daylight Nazi bomber fleets pushed their paths across the airfields of Southern England in the dark days of that Battle of Britain. But we had taken on a behemoth a literal juggernaut of mechanised death. Great Britain were stretched almost to breaking point, and, in many disastrous episodes, displayed how unready we actually were for the ferocious warfare now demanded of our fighting men. We sent our soldiers to invade Norway, and some three months later, defeated, with great loss of military and civilian assets, we had to evacuate those left, losing valuable warships in the process. The German war machine was polished, and accomplished. The Allied operation was patchy, ill-thought-out, and we shouldn’t have been there.

As with all peacetime Governments, both then and now, our defence preparations were abysmal. By the great good fortune of the year gained, perhaps unwittingly, by Chamberlain by abandoning Czechoslovakia to the Nazis, we were able to build up our Air Forces, but ships take longer to design and build; as do Armies to train and equip. The Government never understood that the patience of the British people was finite, and when they attempted to block people seeking shelter against the night-time bombing of London, the barriers were simply swept aside, and the London Underground shelters became the saviour of a City. 

Hitler’s decision to turn away from the Channel, from a planned invasion of Britain; and to send his armoured legions to attack Soviet Russia, after a deadly delay, was perhaps his second greatest mistake of the entire War. His greatest mistake? In the aftermath of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, was to declare war on the United States as the Germans were allies of the Japanese Empire. No-one, most of all the Germans, obsessed as they were with racial purity, understood the American psyche or immigration make-up: nor did they understand the possibilities of an America, stung by a surprise attack, to change itself from an Isolationist stance in politics and Diplomacy, to an industrial giant which flexed its newly-strengthened muscles. My own novel, a salute to those boys, was written in the hope that a few youngsters in these British Isles would remember the sacrifice made by others, so that they might live in peace.

The film I have booked up for, ‘The Cold Blue’, is but a retelling, from long-lost reels of film, of the Air War which was prosecuted, from myriad fields and airstrips, built almost entirely by Americans, on the broad fields of Southern England. Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire; all held their complements of American servicemen, along with the B-24s, the B-17s and, latterly, the long-range fighters which were able to protect the bombers as they rained destruction from the skies. William Wyler and his cameramen went along on these daylight missions, and ‘The Cold Blue’ is but a salute to the American Boys who became Men, who flew at high level against the Nazi war machine, who never turned back despite atrocious losses; and, fighting alongside the British bomber contingent, furthered the Allied Cause to the inevitable defeat of that evil regime.


Google. Their message is clear: negate the very idea of Trump!

In the dim and scarcely-discussed world of psychiatric medicine and treatments, there is a dark joke regarding paranoia. It goes; “You may well be paranoid; and actually have people out to get you!” As I have deep personal links to my beloved wife who has been suffering from a mental illness for literally decades, I rarely joke about any form of mental illness, as I know the deep dark depths of a mind which has fallen prey to one or other of these mental illnesses; but very occasionally,  a lighter tone intrudes.

When first I was told that my wife had to be committed to a South African mental hospital, I had to perform my marital duty by signing the committal form in front of a magistrate. I then convoyed my wife to the hospital and signed her over to the care of the professionals. She lashed out at me, verbally, in terms that I had to ignore, as the doctor later stated that she literally did not know what she was saying. I tottered out; a father of three small children, all to be looked after by myself; on my way to where my car was parked; tears running down my cheeks, but was brought up short by a small, indeed tiny elderly lady, smartly dressed, who stood blocking my path.

“You’ve just come from signing your wife into here; haven’t you?”

I nodded.

“You don’t have to worry about a thing,” she said: “We have good food, the doctors and staff are great, we have lots of entertainment, and the beds are really comfy. You should really cheer up!”

I nodded again.

“Indeed,” she spoke quietly, ‘You only have one thing to worry about in this hospital.”

“What’s that,” I asked, dreading what was to come.

“Tell your wife not to go near the tuck shop!”

“But why not?” I asked, nervously.

“Because they sell drugs in there, and I know; because I’m with the F.B.I.!”

In America, there exists a campaigning organisation known as Project Veritas. You might have noticed their name in conjunction with videos which exposed the financial dealings of the Planned Parenthood movement, and the claims of Veritas that the senior Planned Parenthood officials not only knew, but approved, of the selling of body parts of aborted babies for huge profit. 

The background to this expose is the fact that Google, the huge conglomerate which is everywhere on T’Internet is being discussed by both Democrat and Republican politicians with a possible view to targeting Google in Anti-Trust litigation. In layman’s language, they are talking about the break-up of Google, because it has become so powerful that it virtually makes its own rules, especially when it comes to advertising, and the massive revenues which sustain Google itself. 

Breitbart News has published the facts that Project Veritas has obtained two videos featuring very senior Google execs., as they expand on attempts to ENSURE that the election of a President Trump could never happen again. The report includes undercover footage of longtime Google employee and Head of Responsible Innovation, Jen Gennai saying:-

“Elizabeth Warren is saying we should break up Google. And like, I love her but she’s very misguided, like that will not make it better it will make it worse, because all these smaller companies who don’t have the same resources that we do will be charged with preventing the next Trump situation, it’s like a small company cannot do that.”

As well as that, Veritas has also gained access to a video from a senior Google V.P. Kent Walker stating his intention:-

“ to make the populist-nationalist movement represented by Donald Trump a “blip” or “hiccup” in history.”

The immediate reaction to the startling 2016 Trump victory was, initially, one of stunned disbelief. How could an outsider, a man who was not any kind of politician, a businessman, the billionaire C.E.O. of a hotel chain, swing his way into the history books, and overturn the ‘Anointed Form’ which was, of course, Hilary Rodham Clinton? He not only didn’t know the ‘form’, he was literally outside of the Party under which name he stood. It was in these early moments that the plotting began which resulted in an attempted ‘Coup D´Etat’ masquerading behind the Mueller Investigation.

It is from the recorded words of the Google leaders, and of their nearest and highest associates; alongside the muscle of the Big Tech giants, the Facebooks, the Instagrammers, the YouTubers (owned and run by Google) comes their fierce determination to stop the Trump bandwagon in its electoral tracks, to vilify, to minimise, to relegate ‘search results, to damage and to detract from any message or position adopted by the legally-elected President.

Yes; by all means use your Facebook accounts and pages, your Instagram feeds, your millions of Google searches, and all the other new media available; but remember this, and remember it well: these people are out to modify your views, to mould your thinking, to make certain that a Trump, or even a fair imitation of that man, can never ever again be elected to a position of Power and of Authority; anywhere in this Western World!

Brexit goes Legal! No more Banana Republic traditions in GB&NI

Caught sight of a Brexit Party video, on FaceBook, the message from which seems to be that they are launching a Petition to review certain aspects of the voting; and of course the electoral system which allows these aspects.

The main source of the disquiet seems to revolve around the presence, in both the Peterborough By-Election Count and in the actual campaign, of a convicted fraudster; as well as allegations of postal votes being delivered in carrier bags.

Whether these allegations can be further tested remains to be seen, but I think it is yet another indicator that our Electoral System, in certain areas and in terms of all Political parties, needs a thorough overhaul, with the whole Postal vote system being rigorously overhauled and investigated.

On a separate note, I wonder if many other people have noticed the impressive stance and words of Brexit’s Mr. Richard Tice?


Turkey’s President (and would-be Strong Man / Islamic dictator) Erdogan, when nationwide local elections were routinely scheduled for March this year; thought he had all the usual bases covered. He had imprisoned hundreds of journalists whom he had decided might be writing against his Presidency. He had also imprisoned a vast swathe of his Oppositions’ activists; and after also disbarring thousands of teachers and local Government officials because he didn’t like the way they spoke against him: thought he had all the bases covered.

Unfortunately, he had either forgotten the existence of Isaac Newton, or of the existence of the Strong Man’s nightmare, Newton’s Third Law. In scientific terms, the Law states that  ‘For every actionthere is an equal and opposite reaction.’ In modern political terminology, it could well be expressed as that, given half-a-chance, a repressed and resentful electorate may well rebel, and state that the President, along with the President’s Party, ain’t as popular as he once thought. Just a few decades ago, all it took was one Union, the Solidarity Union in the shipyards of Gdansk to set off the collapsing dominoes which brought down the Soviet Union, and dismembered the stranglehold which that same Soviet held on Eastern Europe, with one domino being the Berlin Wall.

So, the March elections were held, and in a shock result, the Opposition won in many areas, but most spectacularly, in the two cities which actually count; those being Ankara and Istanbul. But President Erdogan cried ‘foul’ and pushed his hand-picked Electoral Board to organise a re-run in Istanbul, where the Opposition Mayor had won by a measly 13,000 votes.

Yesterday, the Istanbul Election was re-run, and in a stunning kick in the Presidential ‘Goolies’, the Opposition increased its majority from 13,000 to 800,000. President Erdogan might regret the day he chose “Whoever wins Istanbul, wins Turkey,” as his election slogan.

Single Vaccine? Good! MMR? H.m.m.m.m!

When I was six years old, my two brothers contracted measles. Two days later, my own skin was full of the bumpy spots, seemingly all of them itchy, four/five/six days later; we were all free of infection and back at school. All of our schoolmates had been infected, all were back, no-one was off sick. My eldest brother, the nosey one of the family, asked my mother why all the parents were relieved? She replied, ‘well, because you’ve had it early, you are all immune, you can never catch it again, and you retain that immunity all through your life’.

Statistically, it may have been the wisest thing to do to leave measles alone, without any medication involved, and in a healthy, robust nation as the British USED to be, it would seem to be the wisest path to have taken. About one in one thousand cases were severely infected enough to require hospital treatment. One in one hundred of those requiring hospital treatment succumbed, and died.

When my own kids were tiny, we booked up with our local GP surgery in a Cape Town suburb for the single vaccine for measles, and later mumps, mainly because my wife thought it vital for the kids to be protected. True, it was a bit of a hassle, getting the repeat booster shots in the series, but, apart from a few tantrums when the kids were vaccinated, it all went off well. Mainly because the injections were spaced out over weeks, and the viral load was not severe at any time.

Fast-forward twenty-odd years, and along comes the amazing (allegedly) MeaslesMumps&Rubella (MMR) vaccine, marketed and pushed by the major pharmaceutical companies as the ‘best thing since sliced bread’; and how it would protect more, and take less time, and on-and-on, just like all advertising campaigns do. The thing which just about everybody forgets, or rather avoids discussion; is the somewhat simplified truth that advertising campaigns are designed to accentuate the good things about any product, and to minimise or brush aside the negative things about that same product. No test data has ever been released from any MMR variant for public scrutiny.

Fast forward another ten years, and the MMR vaccine, still pushed by Big Pharma, is supposed to be the ‘gold standard’ of protection against these three diseases, with of course the resultant vast increase in BigPharma’s profit lines, because these injections don’t come cheap. But then comes the rash (if you would forgive the pun) of allegations from anxious parents that that little Jimmy, or indeed Janet, was perfectly okay until the MMR jabs, and they then went downhill fast, with the ultimate diagnosis of various types and severity of Autism, which is a range of mental disorders of the neurodevelopmental type.

A single British doctor ventured a hypothesis that certain types of autism were in fact generated by the MMR vaccine. Now whether this doctor was right, or wrong; as I have no expertise, I am unable to judge either for, or against this man: but the whole weight of the British medical establishment, alongside broadsides from BigPharma, (whose products, and of course profits, were at risk) landed squarely on this bloke’s head for even considering this heresy, he was hounded out of his job, disbarred from practicing, and he eventually left for America.

But here’s the thing, when the original measles vaccine was pushed out, and the general population was encouraged to have their children ‘protected’, that vaccine’s use  was never accompanied by any, repeat ‘ANY’ claim from a single parent that their child, or indeed their children; had been damaged in any manner whatsoever!

I am reminded of that old quotation from the master:-

Arthur Conan Doyle

Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.


“You can be purple, blue, green, but if you steal, you get caught, you get arrested.”

In a strangely-silent (as far as the Mainstream Media was concerned, (wonder why)) and little-publicised trial, a wealthy and extremely well-endowed American college has suffered a tremendous defeat in open court. The plaintiff was Gibson’s Bakery, of Oberlin, Ohio. The defendants were Oberlin College, and their contractors.

One black student from Oberlin college was stopped by Gibson employees as they suspected he had two bottles of wine hidden under his jacket. When the Gibson guys tried to stop the alleged thief from leaving the shop, they were attacked by two other Oberlin college students; one male, one female. The police were called, arrests were made and statements taken.

What could have been a simple shoplifting incident and arrest created a firestorm when Oberlin College students, including the Black Student Union, Student Senate and College Democrats, as well as the bunch who label themselves as #BlackLivesMatter; alleged racial profiling and launched a boycott of Gibson’s. Protests were launched outside the bakery: and epithets were thrown at the customers who braved the storm of protests to enter the bakery.

The actual train of legal events are catalogued and compiled here on the Legal Insurrection site, and it is most illuminating to view the process by which a rich college tried to bankrupt a family bakery in middle-town America: and also to view the process by which the same College was told to cough up a total of $33,000,000 (Thirty-three million dollars) in Punitive and Compensatory Damages.

What could have been just a storm-in-a-teacup, was escalated into a race-baiting exercise, and that same College has been told, bluntly, by an American Jury, that ‘You can’t do that sort of thing in America, and think you can get away with it!’

Congrats to Gibson’s, and I bet that all the pastries will taste just that little bit sweeter, after the hatred which they have had to suffer through three years of legal torment.

The MURDER sentence was correct

The majority of thinking Brits will have now read of the decision by the Courts not to charge Sally Challen after she was released from prison after a long campaign by her family, which claimed she was ‘controlled’ by her husband, and which was the reason she hit him twenty times over the head with a hammer.

As is ‘explained’ by the linked article in the Daily Mail, she was only considered for release after coercive and controlling behaviour was criminalised in 2015, and her solicitor could begin claiming that she was forced into this killing after many years of this ‘controlling and coercive behaviour’ by her husband.

Now I have a small sum of knowledge of women who have been in abusive relationships, for either long or short periods; having visited ‘Refuges’ on a couple of occasions, and the one thing which always comes to the fore is that the women made a conscious decision to seek help; to leave the premises where that abuse was happening, and to seek ‘Refuge’.

We are supposed to believe that this woman took the alleged beatings, emotional and physical abuse ‘because she loved him’!

She is supposed to have finally snapped, and killed this man whilst in a violent rage. Well, she did kill him, but she planned this death. She killed him because she was fed up with his constant cheating. She went out and bought a hammer, then, whilst her husband was eating his breakfast, buried the hammer head into his skull twenty times. When the jury heard of the systematic plans, of the manner in which she killed her husband, and then attempted to commit suicide at Beachy Head, they found her guilty of murder, and she was sentenced to 18 years in prison.

She was released, but I believe the Jury called it correct the first time, and she might have served eight years, but she should have served the full term; because she murdered her husband.

All she had to do was leave. All she had to do was get out, with the kids, and then sue for divorce! All she had to do was seek refuge: but instead she chose violence, she chose murder!


D-Day, delivered by The Greatest Generation.    

D-Day - Normandy 1944 - Omnimax

Some seventy-five years ago, over 150,000 men, the vast majority of whom were ordinary people, from ordinary jobs and upbringing, were poised to make the largest invasion ever imagined: a reality. They were supported by the largest naval armada the world had ever witnessed. They were transported by ship, by landing craft, by glider, by parachute from massed aircraft. Over a fifty-mile wide front, the British, the Americans, the Canadians, stormed ashore against the defences built by the Nazi Third Reich.

The defences, the so-called Atlantic Wall, envisaged by Hitler as the ultimate defence against the Allies, that wall which stretched from the Franco-Spanish border to the northern extremity of Norway, over Approximately 1.2 million tons of steel went into the Atlantic Wall. That’s enough to build more than 20,000 Tiger tanks. The Nazis also poured 17 million cubic metres of concrete into the defences – the equivalent of 1,100 Yankee Stadiums. The cost to lay down just the French portion of the Atlantic Wall was 3.7 billion Reichsmarks — an estimated $206 billion in today’s currency. Built with slave and conscripted labour, the Wall’s defences were supposed to stop anything imagined by the German planners.

But, aided by Hitler’s credence in the reports that the invasion would come at Calais, as he and his advisers had believed in the constant news that a huge Army, along with invasion barges, tanks and associated equipment, was massing in East Anglia under the effervescent leadership of General George Patton. Very few German military men gave any thought to the possibility that the Allies would plan for that diversion, named Operation Fortitude, and instead would send an invasion fleet over one hundred miles from the ports of Southern England; when the Straits of Dover were only twenty miles wide. Rommel, fresh from his medical recuperation, drove the entire length of the Normandy section of that Atlantic Wall, realised that the defences had been built with the understanding that reinforcements would be located centrally inland. He wished to move his armoured divisions, massed as they were around the Pas de Calais, to bolster the weak pillbox and emplacement systems. Hitler overruled Rommel, the Tiger tanks did not move until too late, and the invasion won through. Rommel described the entire Wall, along with Hitler’s strategy for defence as something out of ‘wolkenkuckucksheim’ or “cloud cuckoo land”.

He was right. The Atlantic Wall was breached, as the massed power of the D-Day invasion armies, worked on for over two years by the Allied planners; smashed into, through and over the vaunted Atlantic Wall. Nothing was a cake-walk, spirited German Army local defences took thousands of lives, but the planning, the resolution, the literal industrial might and righteous cause of the Allied advance would not be stopped. The American infantry was allocated two landing zones; Utah and Omaha. Utah defences were overwhelmed in minutes. Omaha was a different proposition, with high cliffs which needed scaling, with a broad sloping beach littered with anti-tank obstacles and mines; and an entrenched and well-served German Army defence. America suffered over 2,500 casualties as they hit Omaha beach, but they won through because the Rangers managed to scale the cliffs, kill or capture the defenders, and over 34,000 troops were able to break out, off of the killing ground, and into France. The British and the Canadians hit the beaches tagged as Sword, Juno & Gold. The invasion forces lost thousands, through enemy artillery fire which hit landing craft, tank-landing ships and troops exposed on a broad beaches, but the Germans were overwhelmed, the beachmasters brought sense and order to chaos, and the troops, the tanks, and eventually, the reinforcements drove off the ramps provided by Mulberry, the first artificial harbour  in the world, created especially for Normandy.

The ‘Bocage’ countryside in Normandy was perfect for German armour ambush, and it wasn’t until the Battle of the Falaise Gap, which was described by Eisenhower as “ unquestionably one of the greatest ‘killing fields’ of any of the war areas. Forty-eight hours after the closing of the gap I was conducted through it on foot, to encounter scenes that could be described only by Dante.” that Allied armour could confidently move forwards. On 21 August, the Falaise Pocket was sealed. Around 60,000 soldiers of Army Group B were trapped inside, 50,000 of whom were taken prisoner. In the region of 10,000 were killed by artillery or air strikes inside the pocket.

Yesterday, Her Majesty the Queen, together with President Donald Trump, visited Portsmouth as part of the Seventy-Fifth commemoration of D-Day. Her Majesty served, in uniform, in the latter part of the War. Donald Trump was not yet born, his Scots mother may have listened , as the radio told America that ‘We were going back’. I was only four years old, D-Day was just another day, the radio was blaring all day, but I just did not understand why, or indeed why my father did not come home for good for another year, but Our Nation was invincible, because we were part of an unbreakable Alliance.

Writing from the vantage point of my 78 years; I have to ask:-

Have we kept our hard-won freedoms?

Have the true winners been those who would reduce our personal freedoms, all in the cause of Equality, and Diversity, and forced Multiculturalism?

Does the youth, these youngsters who protest, who sneer at the Leader of an Ally, who clamour and call in support of a Marxist Leader of the Opposition because he protests against an American President, of whom he disapproves so strongly; having the temerity to come to Great Britain; even understand what was sacrificed by so many those Seventy-Five Years ago today?

Do they understand why the whole of the South Coast of England was stuffed full of tanks, of batteries of artillery, of trucks parked along every country road for miles and miles?

Do they really understand why men such as my father and hundreds of thousands like him, signed up for Service?

I really doubt it very, very much!




Big Media blocks Her Majesty’s Turquoise statement

It has been known and accepted for years that Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (GB&NI) has, firstly, a mind of her own, but secondly, and perhaps more importantly, many methods of ensuring that her opinions are both widely known and understood,  and of the whole idea of stating exactly what she thinks.

Perhaps less well known is Her Majesty’s impish and deep sense of humour, but it is there, and has been one of the methods by which she has managed the greasy, lying, self-serving clowns who have pestered her over the years,(minus one notable exception) whilst masquerading as politicians. She also has a great sense of style, of fashion, of dressing for the occasion. We must never ever forget that, at the age of 93, she has shrunk, literally in stature, but never, ever, metaphorically. When she visited the ongoing Crossrail construction site, she had been informed, and agreed to, the Crossrail request to name the line after her. So when she arrived, she was wearing a colour-matched hat and coat, exactly mirroring the ‘Elizabeth Line’ logo. This occasion was of course before Crossrail detonated the ’bombshell’ by stating that the central Elizabeth Line sections would be subject to a two year delay. This of course after all those documentaries produced during the tunnelling and station construction phases which stated, categorically; that everything would be ready ‘on time and within budget’! Everything, that is; excepting for making the train signalling speak to the station and tunnelling bits: and a small allowance (+/- £2 billions) for finishing off the bloody stations so people could actually use them!

Now we should travel, metaphorically of course, to the State Visit of the President of our greatest Ally, in both present and past times; the United States of America. If you give any credence whatsoever to the mockers, the blimp flyers and the “impassioned’ speeches from a confirmed enemy of everything Donald Trump represents, you might think that he is a dark apparition from a fascist past, a dictator who has placed his Nation in deep economic distress, a dictator who has, routinely, imprisoned or indeed murdered protesters, and set his face against democratic values. Surprising indeed to find, instead, a President who has played things by the Constitutional rule-book, who has proposed things, and has had them rejected by a hostile Congress, who has, even according to Mueller, not conspired with Russia to help get himself elected: and has withstood the most undemocratic series of attacks upon his Presidency’ legitimacy ever known in modern times!

It is said that he craved the ‘aura’ of a State Visit. As an American, albeit with a Scottish mother, he has always had a high regard for the Nation-State from which his forebears came; but ‘craving an aura’ because he would be mixing with the Royals? Come on. Apart from the Queen herself, they don’t present much of a bunch that would impress a man such as ‘The Donald’. As an example of that Family, what about the serial liar who is the Heir to the Throne? An espoused ‘greenie’ with his constant references to a theory where excess Carbon Dioxide is supposed to be the ruination of us all, unless we go back to Victorian standards of transportation (horses), and go freezing cold during the winter because we cannot hear our homes by gas boiler-fired central-heating, and depend upon wind and solar panels to power industry.

However, back to the State Visit, and that first and most important photograph of that tiny but indomitable LADY pictured between the towering figures of President Trump and his wife, the First Lady Melania. Note anything special about that Lady? Did you also note how few times that photo was actually used by most of the Mainstream Media and Websites.  It was shown, of course it was shown, and then, just as suddenly, it wasn’t. In its place was a very similar photo of the prior visit by President Trump when the Queen was pictured between the president and his wife. The difference? In the latest photo, seen and then just as quickly, not seen, was a subliminal message to the World which stated exactly what Her Majesty was thinking, not so much about President Trump; but about a certain series of Elections just held across the European Continent.

The photo?


Check the carefully selected tones of Light Turquoise. Remind anyone of a certain, freshly-minted Political Party?


Altitude Sickness

Many’s the time I have read, or usually just glanced in passing, of some sporting achievement, or some team winning something, within the bounds of some game or event; and have just blinked and passed on to more important things. I just do not ‘get’ the appeal of admiring or supporting some team, or group, to the extent of blackguarding all other supporters, or the teams which those people support. The ‘grip’, the ‘call’, the very idea of rooting for one bunch against another bunch, has never had any hold over my mind, intellect or indeed purpose in life.


There are literally hundreds of sporting events where men and women strive to ‘be the best’, at whatever athletic or physical endeavour they have chosen. If thats what turns their engines: so be it. Most are single-minded to the point of obsession, but whatever their field, whatever their sport, there are very few who drive their bodies to the point of destruction; or even to a space where they literally place themselves so far apart that it is surely insane; in order to achieve that extra burst, that final aim, that spurt in achievement.


However, there is but one field of endeavour, which I definitely would remove totally from the encompassing title of ‘Sport’, or indeed any sane adjective whatsoever, and that is High Mountain Climbing, especially in the killer ranges of the Himalayas. I would place this particular area of physical effort into the place reserved for ‘Approaching Disabling Mental Illnesses’.


Fair enough, if you have trained, and found that you have certain abilities, such as endurance, mental awareness and you have learned your ’trade’ from the lowest crags to small mountain ranges; and have proved to both yourself and to your peers that you have ‘what it takes’, go for it.


But when you see the photos of the ‘Wannabees’, when you see the literal queues of foolhardy ‘climbers who wouldn’t be trusted at the bottom of a flight of stairs, straggling up the death-filled slopes below Everest’s summit; surely some kind of sense must surely kick in to the authorities. Those blind fools are not done any service by the officials who issue the permits, all of which cost thousands of dollars: and so let loose upon a deadly mountain, where they stumble over the dead bodies of their climbing compatriots as they head for the illusory ‘glory’ of announcing “I was There!”


The reply should surely be “So Bloody What?”