Saturday, 22 October 2011

The Eurozone

So, I confess to being something of a 'Euro-sceptic', even (or perhaps especially) after having studied how it came about last year while I was looking at modern Europe.  But what I would like to point out before I throw my own two penneth into the ring of the debate, is that really, I'm not an economist or an economic historian.  I'm just offering some musings.

The Eurozone is a bit of a weird thing, really.  It's basically a band of countries saying 'we'll become one in currency, but not one in policy'.  Now, that's bound to cause problems.  Let's face it, we're having enough trouble in Britain dealing with the economic crisis (don't get me started on the Conservatives...), but while we're sort of four countries the countries have been largely united.  In Europe, it's different.  Whilst all the members of the Eurozone have to take the same knocks to the same currency, they don't have to respond to the crisis in the same way.  I dare say doing something utterly wrong but at least all the same would be better than everyone pulling in different directions.  The trouble is, through monetary union, the countries of the Eurozone have become one in practice, if not in fact.  It's a little like England and Scotland when James I came to the throne.  He couldn't get people to agree to a union, but he could drop trade barriers and deal with cross-border raiding.  So that's what he did.  And just over a hundred years  later, you end up with the Act of Union, incorporating Scotland and England together.

Whenever you look into how the EU has progressed (ie, from all the bazillion acronyms with E and usually one or two Cs, and perhaps one or two other letters, to a slightly different set of a bazillion acronyms), perhaps the most striking thing is how the EU has grown and developed.  From something which the Brits initially saw as a good way of making France and Germany never fight each other again, it's progressed to a sprawling empire of 'Eurocrats' and little real democracy.  But the roots remain.  Common Agricultural Policy, and the skewed balance of contributions from Germany (which was understandably keen to get involved in the first instance so that it was no longer a 'leper' country) still underlie the EU, together with disproportionate influence for France and Germany.  And what of poor Italy?  A founding member, arguably throwing a last desparate grasp at world power status, and now relegated somewhat to the sidelines, save for occaisional worried glances at the Italian economy and fearful noises being made.

The EU needs shaking up and refounding on a firmer, more democratic footing if it's going to make real progress into the future, and if people aren't going to remain sceptical.  Sure, there were elections to the EU Parliament, but when does that ever make the news?  The only thing that headlined for so far as I could see was that a couple of BNP members made it in.  And let's face it, that's gotta be a measure of how unseriously people take the thing.  If people had confidence in the institutions of the EU, we would be more willing to contribute to it, to allow for the fact that all member states are in this together.

That said, it will be pretty hard to dismember now that countries have switched to single currency.  What they going to do, dig up their old currencies?  Or have the same ones, but just differentiate based on area of issue?  That'd cause chaos and no mistake...

Thursday, 13 October 2011

The Priest

Like I said, yesterday was hard work.  So I decided to take the afternoon off doing uni work and just enjoy myself reading fiction instead.  Sometimes, you just need some fun books :)  Not that Bede isn't really interesting, but some of the books about Bede...

So, The Priest is a fairly standard crime thriller, with a freaky serial killer, excitable Spanish diplomats, and a cop with family trouble/girlfriend trouble (she's a journalist).  It's also well-written and gripping, so maybe not too standard.  Not entirely sure what else to say.  Sorry.  Feeling a bit tired, think I might go read some more fiction...  Well, it's that or continue making notes on Eddius Stephanus' 'Life of Bishop Wilfrid', which is interesting, but I think I'd rather read fantasy or something a bit less demanding of brain power.

I could put this to post tomorrow.  But then it won't make sense of the yesterday comment...  Maybe though, I will start doing the 'Schedule' thing.  That would be cool, right?  And maybe demonstrate that I am technically competent and can do exciting things, rather than just write four book reviews at once (okay, not quite four today, but sometimes...) and then abandon the blog for a week.  I could even start using pictures.  But I don't see how a blog that's primarily about reviewing books actually needs pictures.  The book cover, maybe?  Then I could use one of the new blogger view options, and people could scroll by book cover.  That might be interesting, but it'd take forever for me to add the pictures to all previous posts...

At the end of that ramble, let me sum up.  The Priest is a pretty good book, with a rather sinister serial killer and a rather interesting detective tracking him down.  Since I've come to the conclusion crime in particular stands or falls based on the characters, this one ones a pretty good job of 'standing'.  You do feel a little terrified when...  But you can read it and find out about that bit :)

Raising the Past

For a great book to read to just relax, forget about a supervision that was definitely not the best I've ever had, and generally avoid thinking about the fact that I was feeling somewhat ill, Raising the Past is one to pick.

There's a buried woolly mammoth, there's an interesting main character who saw a previous expedition he led get destroyed by drug runners, and now he's up in the Arctic again.  There're also aliens.  Great fun.  I mean, the Arctic plus aliens plus interesting characters, what more can you want?  And it does have a plot (of the, 'oh heck, we need to save the world, forget the woolly mammoth that we were going to clone' variety, admittedly, but that's still a perfectly valid plot).  It has plenty of action too, and it keeps you on your toes, keeps you interested.  So while it might not make the BBC 100 Greatest Books due to some sort of intellectual snobbery, it's actually highly enjoyable.

Speaking of those 100 Greatest Books lists, you'd think, given how much I read, that I'd come out as pretty well read on them.  But they're a bit skewed towards boring classics.  Or you get each Harry Potter book listed separately.  Haven't read Harry Potter, actually.  Feel like I'm probably too old to enjoy it now--especially having analysed a couple of scenes in English Language.  The general point of this paragraph is, I think, that I'm not 'officially' all that well read.  Unless I'm allowed to tick books which I started, found incredibly dull/annoying and wondered why anyone ever put them on a 'books to read or you will die' list, and gave up on.

Anyway, Raising the Past is good fun, a great escapist novel.  Really enjoyed it.

Saturday, 8 October 2011


I've not been very good at keeping this up to date lately.  In fact, I believe since I last wrote about my own writing, I've finished two novels.  I say this because I don't quite remember when I last said anything on the topic.  At any rate, I've now written twenty novels (some of them rather bad, some of them perhaps quite reasonable, none published).  Which I reckon's a reasonable achievement given I'm only nineteen :)

The Game Layer was the second most recent that I finished.  It was inspired by an article on the BBC about an app called Scvngr, and a few words in a long-distance conversation with another writer over facebook.  He said something about me being able to mark books on goodreads with whether I owned them or had just read them, so that I don't end up buying multiple copies.  To which I replied that I didn't have a smart phone (I believe my phone is probably the antithesis of a smart phone, as it doesn't even have a colour screen, and as it works without any problems...).  Scvngr, I should perhaps add, is an app which lets you get offers by doing real world challenges.  Using the new (or maybe just one I've never before used) button above, I shall now add a link to the very article which inspired this novel, isn't that exciting!  Probably not, but I'll do it anyway... .  There, see.  A link.  So, that got me thinking about a future in which those with smart phones are able to get progressively richer and those without become progressively excluded as they cannot access the offers and challenges that people with them have.  Then, just to make life more interesting, I altered the smart phone aspect to be in people's heads.  After all, some people are so dependent on smart phones and the internet that they might as well have them surgically attached.  From there, I just chucked in a crime/plot to dominate the world, and a bit of history leading up to the point at which the novel took place, and added a few characters.  Basically, the games were being used to make people murder.  And my main character had to figure out who was behind it.

Thorn at Kettree (not quite sure whether I'll stick with that title or not) is another sci-fi crime.  Or at least, it was meant to be, but Thorn decided that overthrowing a dictatorship would be much more fun than solving the crime I'd decided I was going to use for this story.  I plan on writing a sequel with the crime he was meant to solve put back in.  Anyway, it's in a totally different 'world'.  Humanity has spread to the universe, so there're lots of human settlements on a variety of roids and planets.  Thorn gets sent to Kettree to act as a representative of a new UN-type body for the universe that focusses more on crime than anything else, along with Lady Veronica.  He's somewhat appalled by the fact that despite the war which was meant to make the universe safe for democracy, Kettree's governor is effectively a dictator.  And that's the basics of that story :)

Maybe one day I'll get them published.  That'd be quite cool :)  Then people can come look at this post and go 'hey, this is where the idea for that novel came from' and nobody will have to make random guesses like we sometimes do in English Lit.  And I bet we always ascribe far more intricate and noble motives to writers than they actually had.  I reckon Shakespeare's Tempest is full of magic purely because he wanted to write a big spectacular, I don't know that looking for meaning is always that useful.  The meaning's probably there accidentally anyway.

Some musings on the new blogger

I'm guessing that people who read this (does anyone read this?!) don't necessarily have blogger.  But it's recently changed it's interface and it's very...  White.  Uncluttered.  Minimalist.  And I'm not quite convinced I like it in terms of the whiteness and lack of anything to click on.  All the post settings are now at the side (which probably makes no sense, but basically the options where I choose things like labels aren't beneath the post any more).  And there's a huge bit underneath where I'm typing this that's completely unused.  Maybe it's so it can be used on a phone?  But what about us users who happen to have a rather large screen?

It looks a lot more like a text editor now than it did before.  Which I guess is nice in that it makes it a lot more obvious to use for new people.  And I never really used the HTML stuff anyway, so that's not a problem.  I believe there are now more fonts and colours and things, but as I've never had reason to use different fonts and colours and things and don't know that I necessarily ever will, that's not that exciting.  There are buttons to add videos.  Maybe one day I will add a video.

It's gone a lot more icon based, especially on the dashboard.  I wonder if one day historians will look at screen shots of old computer programmes and try to extrapolate symbolic meanings.  And will they compare the different symbols which do the same things?  I wonder what you could learn from, for example, comparing the things that office, google, mac and open office use for functions within their documents.  Probably nothing, to be honest.  Which won't stop somebody trying, I'm sure.

I'm also most impressed with the 'send feedback' thing.  I thought I'd mention the large empty space that could quite easily be used for something (what?  I don't know, I'm not a software designer.  Maybe just have the compose box take up the whole space to start with, instead of it jumping to the bigger size only when you reach the bottom.)  So there was this button to highlight things using click and drag, and then you type the problem into the text box that pops up in the bottom corner of the screen.  I wonder if there's some way of making this a bit more colourful.  I miss the colourfulness.

So there you go, a nice random post as I procrastinate doing anything particularly productive on the conversion of the English.  Maybe I'll tell you a bit about that topic in a future post, once I've got my head round (or got my head as far round as possible) what actually happened.  Or what probably happened.  It was a long time ago, and it seems nobody's entirely sure of the details.  But that ramble doesn't belong in this post...

The Good Thief's Guide to Paris

Okay, so I picked this up at the library the other day because it looked interesting.  I nearly gave up part way through (it didn't have quite as much action as I was hoping for) but didn't because the library was closed and I hadn't really anything else to read.

It's quite a fun idea.  Also somewhat complicated.  The main character is talking in first person and is a thief who writes books 'pretending' to be a thief.  There might be another layer of pretending to be a thief in there, somewhere, but I'm pretty sure I got them all.  Just to make life a little more unusual, said thief (as in, the main character of the actual book, rather than the main character occaisionally mentioned in the book within the book) has early-onset arthritis.

The main character is pretty fun, as are the various characters in the somewhat eccentric bookshop.  The plot is pretty good too.  I think it was more of a personal taste issue--I suspect I would've rather read the book within the book with implausible action scenes and so on--but I did find it a little slow-going in parts.

In conclusion: an interesting idea, a fairly good book.  I'll probably read the others, if I spot them (especially as I seem to be having one of my periodic running out of interesting things to read issues), but it's not competing to go on my list of favourites.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

So, I've read another Robin Hood book.  I'm rather fond of Robin Hood, and it's really interesting to look at all the different varieties of stories there are about him.  I love how he, and other central characters, can be subtly or significantly recast, depending on the author, and how the incidents chosen and the era used to set the story in all alter the books to make many of them quite distinct.

This one, by Simon Green, is definitely one of the better versions I've read.  I like the opening, with Robin in prison in the Holy Land, breaking out with the aid of a Saracen, only to return home and find his father executed for devil worship and his house burned down.  I'm not entirely sure whether there was still much paganism in England at this point, but it does make a good addition to the story, and unlike in Angus MacDonald's 'Outlaw', Robin isn't involved in it at all.

All the characters you'd expect are there, from the evil Sheriff to Robin, Friar Tuck, Little John (in this one married and with children, which I don't recall seeing in the others, or at least, not as a major plot point), and with the addition of Azeem the Saracen who's vowed to remain by Robin's side until he can save his life and thus redeem himself of that debt.  Azeem may be in one of the other versions I've read, but not as a major character like in this one.

It's a good read, there's plenty of action, stirring defences of liberty, and of course the romance between Robin Hood and Maid Marion, which isn't made a great deal of.  Also, Maid Marion is nice and competent, which is always good :)

My only criticism is that it felt a bit short, and the ending almost read as if the author had been ordered to keep it under a certain word count, and had to rapidly cram in the last few bits of action in order to meet the target.  Other than that, it was certainly an enjoyable version of the legend.

Dragon Haven

(Slight note, unrelated: I've just started using the new interface, not entirely convinced by it.  So if this post doesn't work/looks weird/does strange things, that's why...)

This is the second book in Robin Hobb's most recent trilogy, and it's really good.  Meant I did absolutely no work for an entire day as I just lay on my bed and read this book.  I blame the person who kindly leant it to me.  I was meant to be doing uni work.  Actually, I'm meant to be doing uni work now as well, but as you can see, that's not happening.

While I've read a lot of fantasy since I first started reading Robin Hobb, I think her novels remain my favourite fantasy.  They're just so rich and detailed, so intensely real and so magically other.

Dragon Haven continues the tale of the crippled dragons and their keepers as they hunt for the mythical city the dragons sort of remember.  Romance, intrigue and the struggle to survive all give the novel depth, coupled by the wonderful missives by carrier pigeon that appear at the start of each new section, giving you character by proxy.  I love those bits, it's a really intriguing idea, to show how much (and how little) you can discover about these two characters by the notes on the edges of official post.

The dragons go stronger as they travel, and the people, cast-offs for the most part, along with a silent liveship and his tough captain, a trader lady indulging her dream of learning about the dragons and her attendant who doesn't want to be there, also grow and develop.  It's a brilliant cast, and you find yourself caring intensely about the characters.  Loved it, from start to finish.

This is definitely a recommended read, though it's worth reading the first, Dragon Keeper, first (and preferably sooner before this than I did), and you'll need plenty of time to set aside because you won't be able to put it down.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

The Last Christian

When the daughter of a missionary couple emerges from the jungle, her entire village dead, it is to find a totally different world to that her parents told her about.  America has become completely secularised--preaching any sort of religion is seen as a hate crime, nobody seems to believe in God any more.  Not only that, but people have implants in their brain, and the first brain transfusions, replacing the human brain with an artificial one, apparently identical, are just beginning.  Abby receives a message from her grandparents: both of them dreamt that she would be the one to reintroduce Christianity to America.  But it seems an impossible task.

Invited to appear on a well-watched morning tv show, Abby speaks out about her faith, and then receives numerous threats, and will be prosecuted for inciting hatred unless she leaves the country.  But she's determined not to give up her mission, and a social historian, Deighton, decides that he'll help.  She is, after all, a fascinating cultural specimen, a survival from a past world.  Finding out what makes her tick could give him a huge insight into the 'religionists'.  Trouble is, there's a problem with brain transplants, and Abby has been given a clue to it.

Great characters, and an intriguing take on the future, this is a brilliant sci-fi/thriller novel.  I've passed it on to my mum to enjoy.  And even if you don't care about God, you have to admit that the potential to live forever would change everything.  If humans no longer die, there is no need for an afterlife.  But how would society adapt to an eternal population?


I was browsing through Fantastic Fiction, looking at new authors (as you do, when you really can't face doing any more uni work and it's the holiday so there's not a whole lot to do), and happened to spot this one.  The cover, I confess, grabbed my attention.  Let's face it, we all judge books by their covers, or you'd never be able to make a decision about what you wanted to read.  Anyway, clicking on it, I discovered that this was based on an old English legend I'd never heard of...  Well, as a great lover of Robin Hood (I'm up to six different interpretations of it at the moment, with another on the way from ebay), I thought it was well worth a go.

Ah, before I go any further, I should perhaps say this version is by James Wilde, and should be easy enough to distinguish from others as it seems to be the only recent one.

Anyway, this is a fascinating read.  I'm going to be doing the period in which it's set next year at uni (and I can't wait!), so it was interesting from that perspective.  The sources from that period are so scanty that you can basically make up what you will, but it did feel fairly solidly based.  I'm not an expert yet, probably never will be an expert expert, but I would hope I'll know a bit more this time next year.

Hereward is a brilliant hero, though not without his flaws and darker side, and I love the monk, Alric, who becomes his constant companion after a chance meeting.  Alric is also portrayed very sympathetically, which often isn't the case with churchmen in historical novels (you only have to look at Angus Donald's version of Robin Hood, called Outlaw, which has a horrendous priest).  Mind, the early church is not completely safe from attack.  A rich cast of characters, and a great 'feel' to the story keep it compelling, along with some great sword play and action scenes.  I'll definitely be keeping my eye out not just for anything else by James Wilde (this is a debut novel, but he's definitely left space for a sequel--perhaps a Hereward trilogy is in the making?) but also anything else about Hereward.  The story's brilliant, and I love the fact that Hereward isn't portrayed as perfect, and also the way the story manages to cover a fairly long time span without feeling contrived.

This is a fantastic book, I thoroughly recommend it.  Rescues a great hero from obscurity (or reinvents a great hero), and provides a brilliant adventure/historical novel too.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Halo: The Flood

Okay, so I read a book based on an Xbox game.  And I've also read Contact Harvest in the same series.  But guess what?  They're actually pretty decent.  Okay, so there's not that much character development, save for the Master Chief and the AI Cortana which are developed somewhat (although most of the characters mentioned get a kind of brief personality).  But it's very exciting.  If you like Matthew Reilly, you'll probably like these--they're basically non-stop action thrillers with a lot of fighting aliens.  And I mean a lot.  The whole book is basically a single campaign.

If you've ever seen the Halo games, I have to say they do seem to match with the books.  From the book, you can kinda tell that there's only one major character (ie the Master Chief) and that it's a fighting game.  But I don't know that there's anything hugely wrong with that.  It's a good book to sit and read when you just want a bit of entertainment, aren't too bothered about the characters, and would like to enjoy a well thought through alien culture as the enemy and some pretty impressive action scenes.  I guess the fact that it's based on a game has given it advantages on the world-building side.

If you want a book that doesn't require much thought and is just a fast-paced, enjoyable read, this is for you.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

10th Anniversary

I'm not sure why I read this.  And when I started, I thought my post would go something along the lines of 'I'm not sure why I bothered even trying to read this, it was rubbish'.  But actually, this brings the Women's Murder Club back to being a great series.  So if you read 1-4, skip a lot (don't worry about missing stuff, there's nothing majorly interesting, just a long drawn out side plot involving complicated romances) and carry on with 10, you'll probably think this is great.

I decided, since I ordered it before Varsity messed me around (I was going to write book reviews for them, after agreeing, they then abruptly decided they didn't actually want me to do that after all), and since I wasn't entirely sure how to cancel ordering the book from the library, that I'd better read it.  And, um, it was pretty good.  Not fantastic, but pretty good.  My main criticism is that the story started breaking up towards the end.  There were too many plot threads, and some of them felt like they'd been thrown in and then James Patterson decided he didn't actually like those threads but couldn't be bothered to remove them and so finished it off abruptly.  Lindsay's boss going out with Yuki, for example.  Lindsay goes 'wait, he's married', which could have caused some really interesting stuff.  But then the boss, when confronted, says 'oh, we've been separated for about a year, I'm just waiting for the divorce to come through' and it's all fine.  Might as well not have been there, in my opinion.

Lindsay and Joe finally get married (how long did that take?!) and Cindy is going out with Lindsay's partner (as in cop partner).  Relationships look a little messy to be honest, but I guess it keeps the characters smaller in number.  Also, not to sound a complete pessimist (and I don't think I'm really spoiling anything), but the story ends with Lindsay pregnant.  I highly doubt the baby is going to survive, but that's just me.  Also, I wonder why we never meet Claire's husband...

So yeh, that was 10th Anniversary.  It's probably worth a read if you see it around.  Don't get too excited, it's not brilliant, but the characters are good--Lindsay's a favourite character of mine since I've followed the series pretty much from the start--and there's several interesting crimes/murders woven together.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

The Bride Collector

Okay, seriously, why has nobody told me about this author before?  This book was AMAZING.  Literally couldn't put it down, and hence am a weeny bit tired this morning (thankfully, I started it just before 8 and it wasn't too long, or I'd still be reading it now...)  Talk about a brilliant crime novel, which completely underlines the fact to me that a crime novel stands or falls on its characters.  Not necessarily the main characters who're chasing the 'bad guys' either, but the assorted victims, relatives and so on.  That's what makes a truly great crime novel.  And this one had interesting characters in abundance, particularly the cast from the Centre for Well Being and Intelligence, but I have to say I also loved the main character, special agent Brad Raines.

To be quite frank, I don't want to tell you what happens.  Just that you'll adore Roudi (a wanna be Sherlock Holmes), Paradise (just an incredibly human, incredibly moving character), Cass (short for Cassanova, need I say more?) and Andrea.

Who's sane?  Who's insane?  And where do you draw the line?

Fascinating, gripping, it takes you right into the heart of mental health issues and their treatment.  Plus there's a serial killer to catch.  As an added bonus, I don't think there's any bad language (not noticeable at any rate), and the author doesn't have this strange belief that just because it's a thriller there have to be male and female characters leaping into bed with each other!

I can't recommend this book enough, and I can't wait to get hold of any other books by Ted Dekker.

Monday, 2 May 2011

61 Hours

So, it's one of the more recent Jack Reacher books, the second most recent I think.  I had a bit of a phase of reading loads of these all in one go, gave up for a while, and when I saw this in the library figured I should read it.

It's a pleasant enough way of spending an afternoon.  I read it all in one go, which perhaps argues for it being a good book.  Although I've recently realised that a better mark is being forced to stop and then launching yourself straight back at the book as soon as you've done whatever interrupted you.

I found the constant references to how many hours there were left somewhat irritating.  A good way of keeping a sense of chronology perhaps, but not necessary.  Especially as I couldn't tell you with any degree of certainty what the countdown was actually to.  Was it the lady being attacked or the escape or when the lady was meant to be attacked or what?

The ending was a little bit like the one at the end of Six Sacred Stones, in that it's vaguely cliff-hangerry.  You know he survives, because there's another book.  It's just a case of working out how (I'm proud to say I was almost right with Six Ancient Stones).  But that was good because it was guessable.  I'm not seeing any way out based on the text so far, which would mean there's probably some loophole which enables Reacher to escape.  Of course, I might just be being ignorant, in which case I'll hold up my hands and say okay, that works.  Which I guess means I have to read the next one.

One thing I will say is that it doesn't particularly matter if this is the first one you start with.  I presume there's a gradual chronological moving forward, but as Reacher just sort of drifts across America with no personal belongings and as each of the incidents described occur in a different place across America with little tying them together, it doesn't really matter.  The only constant figure is Reacher, who according to one of those little sloganny bits you get on books all women are meant to fancy.  I'm not quite convinced, but there you are.  He's a great character in many ways, and it basically means the author gets to create loads of new characters for every book, which can be as fun as it can be hard work.  (Personally, I find surnames hardest.  They usually all need to be different, and while you can nab character traits and forenames of real people you know, surnames are a little more personal...). 

At any rate, it's a decent enough book, albeit nothing spectacular.  If you like crime with a slightly unusual main character, this is a series you'll undoubtedly enjoy.  Although at times Reacher comes across a bit Sherlock Holmesy, if you know what I mean :)

Osama Bin Laden and 'Justice'

I know I don't normally make political comments, but this is all over the news at the moment for obvious reasons, and I think it's worth making a few points.

While what has happened is almost certainly positive--and I certainly don't want to demean those who killed him--it's not justice.  Justice would be putting him through the law courts, following due process, and then legally executing him.  A comparison can probably be made with resisting arrest, in which case it's fair enough that he was shot.  But again, not justice.  Also, while I presume the burying him at sea was in order that his body doesn't become a rallying point, it does seem a little odd.  Or is it only me that finds it strange that the body has been disposed of so rapidly?  Again, I'm not trying to make up some wild conspiracy theory that the Americans either didn't find him or shot him without cause, but it does look odd.

I suppose we were all wondering just how quickly the Royal Wedding would be displaced from the news.  Whilst media coverage did seem OTT (and in particular the idea that we need a bank holiday just before May Bank every year...), at least it was something positive in the news for a change.  Now there seems to be a bit of a gore fest going on, and everyone's leaping in and this is dominating the news even more than the Wedding.  What happened to balance?  The Libyan ambassador to the UK was kicked out today (it kinda surprised me that hadn't happened weeks ago), there were a large number of tornadoes in Alabama, and I have no doubt that more things have happened that I haven't seen on the news.  All of a sudden, nobody cares that Kate and William postponed their honeymoon for security reasons, and we're all panicking about revenge attacks.

I suppose the fear of revenge attacks is a big factor against having a 'proper' trial, not that we'd be in any doubt as to the outcome.  But if that's a motive for making a mockery of justice, then surely the terrorists are winning by subverting exactly what makes 'us' different from what 'they' want.

At the end of the day, a certain part of me is glad that Bin Laden is gone.  But surely we should be celebrating more in terms of attacks he now cannot organise, rather than fearing those his supporters might.  And it's certainly not 'justice'.  Call it revenge, call it the end of a man hunt, but I don't see how it can be rightly called justice.