Here is an innocent British citizen, a good and patently well-meaning 54-year-old British teacher. She has decided to make a new life for herself by giving instruction to children in one of the poorest countries on Earth. She has got herself into a muddle over the name of a teddy bear – and now she is facing 40 lashes or six months in jail.
There was a time when Britain would have sent a gunboat to rescue her. There was a time when MPs would have been holding furious debates on the matter, and bandying phrases such as “civis Britannicus sum”.
In the old days there would have been démarche from Britain to Sudan, warning that His Majesty’s government would not suffer a hair on her head to be disturbed.
Well, folks, that time is past. We must accept that the world has changed, and our place in the world has changed, too.
Yeah. No kidding.
(So, what do we think? Is he keeping tabs on us, keeping abreast of the mood of the right-thinking world community? Or is his eery parallel to our own thinking strictly coincidence?)