Monday, August 08, 2005

Weekend Roundup


I couldn’t restrain a cheer when I read that the crew of the trapped Russian submarine had reached the surface safely. Along with many others, I feel these real-time dramas very acutely and I’m still horrified by the Kursk disaster five years ago. Well done to the Royal Navy rescue team who saved the day and a note to the Russian Navy: Chaps, you really do need to invest a bit in your own deep sea rescue equipment...!

This weeked in the 60th anniversary of the nuclear age. As it happens, I visited Hiroshima 22 years ago, almost to the day. Unfortunately the picture of me ringing the Bell of Peace has been lost to posterity. Never mind. The place was profoundly moving and my memories are very vivid as is the sentiment that these weapons should never be used again. Unfortunately I don’t feel very confident that this will be the case…

The untimely death of British politician Robin Cook ay the age of 59 was shocking. I always felt he would have made a much better candidate for Prime Minister than Tony Blair. He was always eloquent, persuasive and erudite. Although his principled stance against the Iraq War killed his career with New Labour, to me he stood out from others with less backbone (Jack Straw and David Blunkett, please call your offices). RIP, Robin, you will be remembered.

Farewell also to Peter Jennings who has been the face of ABC News ever since I first came to America. Mr Jennings moved on the the Great Newsroom in the Sky after a short battle with lung cancer.

Finishing on a brighter note, congratulations to the England cricket team for beating the Aussies at Edgbaston in the second test. This performance seemed like vintage stuff when Ian Botham et al. clawed victory out of the jaws of defeat 20 year ago. Now lets see if Michael Vaughan and the boys can carry off the Ashes….

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