Welcome to my weekly column; my unpaid weekly column, I might add.  Am I nuts?  For whom do I write this, you or me?  In truth, me.  It is nothing if not cathartic and nobody really wants to listen to – or discuss – reality anymore.  Self-preservation dictates that the majority wear blinkers and ear muffs.  Translated, that means an addiction to the phone – eyes down – and air pods,  precluding any human connection whilst emitting mindless noise.  Of course, when I choose to listen to my music on the train – a necessity, one undertands, in an ever more difficult quest to preserve sanity – my taste demands literacy, enunciation, musicality and talent.  Totally different!

It is a thought, though, the number of people who, today, choose to keep their heads down and get on with everyday life, ignoring – or oblivious to – the big bad world beyond.  It’s easier that way.  Ignore the news.  Who buys a newspaper anymore and how many actually read?  It’s all about podcasts, life on the go and mental health.  Granted, it’s well-nigh impossible to be ignorant of the conflict in the Middle East, at the moment, with the constant mention of Israel, Hamas, Palestine and Iran but how many are aware of what’s really going on?  How many of us truly understand it or, moreover, make any effort to understand it by educating ourselves?  Rhetorical.  Thus, it is more than likely that few will be aware of what has been going on in London, every weekend, for the past six months: the pro-Palestine protests.  Throngs of aggressive, deliberately intimidating marchers wearing masks, hoodies and balaclavas taking over the streets – wherever they choose – declaring their full-throated support for Hamas, waving anti-semitic placards, swastikas, calling for Jihad and all in full view of the Met Police who stand by, seemingly powerless!  I, too, was unaware of this – no, ignorant is the word – until I saw a post on Instagram.  Thank goodness for it!  It is a video of a young Jewish guy who, last Saturday I think, was out and about in London, returning from morning prayers.  Well-dressed, he was wearing a kippah and carrying a tote bag adorned with the Star of David in which was his prayer shawl.  Inadvertently, he found himself in the vicinity of one of these marches.  Merely wishing to cross the road, instead, he was intercepted by one of the Met Police on duty – of which there were many – and told that his presence was antagonising the crowd and, if he did not leave, they could not guarantee his safety.  (This is on film.  Look it up.  I have just noticed that it is now a Top Story, as I write.)  He explained that all he wished to do was cross the road but the policeman proceeded to threaten his arrest if he did so!  What happened to London being safe for Jews?  Safe for them to walk, freely, wherever they choose to go?  According to Sir Mark Rowley, Commissioner of the Met, that is the reality … but it’s not!

Britain, long, long ago, lost the Great but whatever happened to basic tolerance and decency – and, in its absence, to law enforcement?  There is none.  We are a country now reduced to mob rule while our police force cower on the side lines, powerless, preferring low-hanging fruit: reasonable, law abiding citizens exercising their right to freedom and the ability to go about their daily lives.  Enough!  What is going on?  This country is dead in the water infiltrated by rabid cells who wish only to incite hatred.  In a world which turned woke on the 25th May, 2020, law enforcement – as we knew it – ceased to exist.  Minorities rule and the rest are too scared to offend.  History is a swear word; tradition must be wiped out.  Reparation is what’s important in a culture of victimhood.  Our entire education system is under threat, our very foundations being dismantled under our very noses, brick by brick.  What are we doing about it?  The sane have been silenced.  Opinion outlawed.  Do we give up?  Look around.  Have those amongst us who still give credence to history learned nothing?!

One Life.  The Zone of Interest.  2024!  Almost eighty years on and, once again, Jews are being persecuted.  Humanity hang thy head …

Ignore the news.  Bury one’s head.  Live in a bubble.  Of course, that’s the easy option but ‘For evil to triumph, it need only that good men do nothing.’  Edmund Burke.  No, it’s not an option to leave it to somebody else.  Speak up.  Say something.  Do something.  At the very least, read about it.  Educate onself.  Ignorance is never an excuse.

On a lighter note, the Sturgeon’s husband – ex CEO of the SNP, Peter Murrell – was re-arrested yesterday and, finally, charged with embezzling party funds.  Who’d have thought?  Surely, it’s just a matter of time …  Then there’s Humza ‘Useless” brother-in-law, charged with abduction and extortion.  One couldn’t write it.  Scotland at its best!  While the plebs are being arrested for expressing an opinion in their own homes, members of the governing party and their relatives are committing real crimes.  I repeat, one couldn’t write it!  Not that real crimes have any relevance when it comes to Trump, whose popularity in the run up to the November elections continues to soar.  Determined to de-rail him no matter what, the Democrats now have him tied up in the Supreme Court in New York charged with fraud.  Desperate.  Laughable.  Next, they’ll be charging him with tying his shoe laces the wrong way!!  In a world gone mad …

How to end?  It’s been a horrible week, for many reasons, and hearing Bridge Over Troubled Water on the radio, this morning, more than ever struck a chord.  The most beautiful song, I was reminded of how blessed I am/was – Manny, too – to have heard Art Garfunkel sing it, live.  What a privilege!  24th September, 2015, the Usher Hall.  In the second row, I remember closing my eyes and savouring every second, determined to remember the moment forever – and I will.

Finally, may I also mention how much I detest fake bow ties?  Too late.  A bit left-field but bear with.  I watched the Olivier awards last Sunday and they were everywhere – fake bow ties – elastic pinging!  I suppose one should acknowledge those who, at least, endeavour to respect the instruction, Black Tie; however, in truth, no half measures are acceptable.  Real men tie their own.  Simple as that.  Compare and contrast: David Tennant and Hugh Grant.  Exactly.  Put it this way, David Tennant wore a skirt to the last awards ceremony …

Thou shalt not be a victim, thou shalt not be a perpetrator but, above all, thou shalt not be a bystander.’

Yehuda Bauer

Never!

This is Trish, signing off.