When they showed on television the cave on the island of Flores where the remains of little people had been found, I felt, I admit, a Yeatsian frisson that the world of politics cannot give. It was not delight at a new branch on the hat-stand of anthropoid evolution, but the thought that in the thick Indonesian rainforest there were (or had been, perhaps as recently as the time when dodos lived) creatures with whom we could converse, but which were not men.
John Laughland on how the US and Britain are intervening in Ukraine’s electionsA few years ago, a friend of mine was sent to Kiev by the British government to teach Ukrainians about the Western democratic system. His pupils were young reformers from western Ukraine, affiliated to the Conservative party. When they produced a manifesto containing 15 pages of impenetrable waffle, he gently suggested boiling their electoral message down to one salient point.
Radek Sikorski says Russia is using strong-arm tactics to see that its man is returned in Ukraine’s presidential electionsThe architecture of Independence Square in central Kiev is late Brezhnev but the ambience is Prague 1989. Groups of people stand around tables scattered with the propaganda of the various candidates, or make impassioned speeches to cameras. The atmosphere of a genuine election, one in which the outcome is uncertain — so rare now in the former Soviet Union — is unmistakable.
I feel like Job. Everything of significance is being stripped from me. In August my flat in west London was badly flooded; on 25 September I lost my job; on Monday lunch-time, 25 October, my beloved cat Stan, apparently terrified at the sight and sound of me knocking in a fence post, took off and hasn’t been seen since.
In the six years since he came in as a stray, Stan has never spent a whole night out of my bed.