Friday, 11 March 2016

Five years since the disaster


It's been exactly five years since the earthquake struck in Tohoku, causing a tsunami and nuclear meltdown.

I don't really have anything much to say about it all, or rather, I have too much to say that really isn't relevant. I have been fortunate and never suffered from the disaster, it's others who had it worse who should be in our thoughts now.

I did write a book (well, actually an illustrated essay) about travelling around Tohoku to talk to survivors of the tsunami last year. And to commemorate the fifth anniversary, I'm giving it away for free from Amazon for the next few days.

If you'd like a copy of the book, Children of the Tsunami, click here and click on one of the links at the bottom of the post to download it.

Friday, 25 December 2015

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Sign up, drop down. Or somgheting



Our Man knows it is traditional at Chrudmas to flog whatever rubbish the marketing dept has alert over and that  sell sell eslell tis the reason for the season. So here ya go. All dressed u p and nowhere tp go. THIS WAS HOUR MAN'S FIRST NOVLE. NPW YOU CAN GET IT FOR FREE. LCIKC HERE AND there is salsa a funny short story throwjn in too, I am nor oa Foreingnvn.

AKA, a free couple of biooks for you. Merry Christmas. Honto ni.

Saturday, 5 December 2015

'Something must be done'


Our Man's thoughts on Hilary Benn’s speech in favour of Britain bombing Syria, not that you probably care, but Our Man cut and paste them here to get them straight in his mind if no one else's...

It was a coherent speech, but the substance boiled down to: action, while not perfect, is better than inaction. Islamic fundamentalists are fascists, we are anti-fascist, therefore we must do something. This, I think, we can all agree on.

The problem is the efficacy of air strikes. For all the talk of 1930s parallels, a more apt one would be Vietnam where France, then US, had much more skin in the game and relied on air power in a doomed attempt to prove you could bomb a country to peace. You can't, by definition.

The honest truth is I'm not sure the best course of action. But to use another example in the news, bombing because we have a need to prove we are "doing something" is like fighting the mass shootings afflicting America by shooting the neighbours of the crazed gunmen. "Well, it's not very effective, but it's something" turns out to be worse than a flimsy argument, and actually would be exactly what we're trying to stop.

In closing, my right honorable friends, it is relatively easy to talk the talk, but just because action is needed doesn't mean this is the right walk to walk. Case not proven, imho.

I wish we we would approach terrorism as international crime rather than acts of war. Terrorists are criminal scum. Fight them as such, don't give them what they want which is the elevated status of being enemies powerful enough to change the course of history, which is what oratory like Hilary Benn's confers on them. That plays into their hands and makes us pawns in their game. Not a sensible thing for statesmen to do.

Just my two penneth.