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THE LOWDOWN – When Diego’s dogs died

Richard Hoad

THE LOWDOWN – When Diego’s dogs died

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Mrs T.J. Gilmore was the first to ridicule my simplistic tendencies.
This was after violently hurling my latest French essay at me. She apparently didn’t agree that women were designed for “divertissement et la cuisine” (doobie-doobie and cooking).
Since then many have criticized my simplistic solutions. Their method, much beloved by governments, is to appoint commissions of enquiry where highly paid consultants pore over nebulous “contributory factors” like poverty, unemployment, lack of recreational facilities, no fathers in the homes, moral decay, rap music, fast food and poor examples by corrupt politicians, businessmen, priests, media moguls and scrap metal collectors.
They then write bulky reports which no one reads. And 20 years later, you have the same problem. Only it’s a lot worse. So you appoint another commission of enquiry.
Meanwhile countries like Singapore using straightforward simple, simplistic methods achieve the desired results. And have a clean, law-abiding citizenry.
Recently the remarkable Margaret Deutsch loaned me E.H. Gombrich’s A Little History Of The World (you can read it online), which is appropriately aimed at younger readers like myself. And, boy, this is the works!
Much to my liking were the thoughts of Buddha: “He who ceases to wish for anything ceases to feel sad. If the appetite goes, the pain goes with it.”
Many other great philosophers, including Jesus, warned against our appetite for material things (“treasures on earth”), which bring less and less satisfaction, the more you have.
They have obviously been reading this column over the years.
Better yet, the overview of the world’s history has confirmed my most simplistic views. And here then are a few of the truths which we, The Lowdown, hold to be self-evident:
There is a God who created this earth. He gives us free will to do as we please. But when we throw away God and His teachings, as this nation and Western society have done, and choose instead to worship money, we are heading for disaster.
Man is basically a warlike, grasping scumbag. The Age of Enlightenment, which ushered in tolerance, humanity and reason, did little to curb man’s cruelty and prejudices. Except that we now cover them up with political correctness.
Territorial instincts remain strong. Man will welcome foreigners to his country. But when these foreigners increase by such numbers that his culture is threatened, there will be conflict.
Today’s world economy depends much on rich manipulators getting workers to produce goods which householders, brainwashed by advertising, feel they can’t do without. Like the house of cards which it really is, it is beginning to come tumbling down.
We need inspirational leaders and role models who can show that there is a better, more satisfying life out there which doesn’t require buying the latest in everything. Fat politicians don’t inspire.
Harsh punishments, including the death penalty, are effective deterrents. But deterrents only work if applied regularly without favour or exception.
And so on. Unfortunately, as previously hidden information reveals that our political leaders are not the paragons of virtue we thought, people are no longer accepting their authority.
Which brings me to mention Diego Garcia whose inhabitants lived in idyllic conditions. Until, around 1971, the United States and Britain “relocated” them to have an exclusive naval base. Relocated them, mind you, to the slums of Mauritius and the Seychelles, with husbands and wives often separated.
First, however, they gassed their dogs. And burnt the bodies in front of the owners. Who feared they might also be gassed.
That is unfortunate history, you will say. But no, the people of Diego Garcia are still fighting to return to their homeland. And so a Wikileaked cable has revealed that the Brits plan to declare it a “marine reserve”, which will “effectively end the islanders’ resettlement claims”.
This is December 2010 we’re talking about, Obama and Cameron. I say no more. Incidentally, Khalid Mohammed was taken to Diego Garcia for “extraordinary rendition”. Upon which he confessed not only to masterminding 9/11, but also to sinking the Titanic and blowing down the walls of Jericho for Joshua.
I’d always wondered about that.
Richard Hoad is a farmer and social commentator. Email [email protected]